I want it to feel like a creepy, Victorian bed-time story that Dru thinks would be comforting. Hmmm. Here goes... Fuck it.
Title: Family - The Ties That Bind
Rating: 'Tis work safe. But keep young children away from Dru. Probably Feral!Connor, too.
Spoilers: Up to the opening ep in Angel, Season 4 - takes place during the summer of Angel's Underwater Sea Adventure.
Thanks to cityphonelines and crazydiamondsue for the beta and ecouragement with this. No one knows Dru like Vinnie, and no one knows me like Sue.
Family - The Ties That Bind
She hated to be alone. Before she was born the priests would warn her about the evil that descended upon her when alone. Her mother - not Grandmother Mother - would worry about the things she said when alone. The things said to her when she was alone. After she was re-born, she wasn't alone again for a very long time. There was Daddy and Grandmother. Daddy had made the alone-time before awful, but then it was better. Daddy liked it when the stars spoke to her. Daddy liked the friends he couldn't see. The alone-voices told her where the screaming and the blood was. Daddy liked the screaming and the blood. And then she had her William - her Spike. And he loved her alone-voices most of all.
And when Daddy became Not Daddy and a Very Bad Daddy he left her. And Grandmother went away, heartbroken over Daddy. But she wasn't alone - she had her Spike. But he became covered in the Slayer to the point where she was alone again, and her heart was broken like Grandmother's and the voices left her alone as well. She tried to make the stars tell her where blood and screaming was, but they didn't speak to her for several years. And when they came back, they told her she would have a baby and that she would have a family again.
The nasty lawyers helped her make her baby. And it was Grandmother but also her baby. She wanted a family again. It was always nice with family. More screaming... more parties... She was so happy to not be alone again. They would kill Angel - who was never to be Daddy again. When they tried to hurt him, he let them have their party - perhaps he could be family again... But no, there was fire and blood and screaming and not the beautiful kind and her baby was angry and wanted to leave her, but she didn't want to be alone again. But then the stars began to sing.
The blood was warm and soothing in her mouth. As she drank, the fortune teller's blood gave her stories of what was to come. "My brother is cross with Daddy. Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished, why am I cold?"
Drusilla stands, and with delicate hands, dusts off bits of hair and flesh that fell in her lap from her dinner. "Ashes to ashes. Ashes to ashes. Mummy doesn't come for her baby anymore. Brother won't let Daddy punish him for going away."
A whimper from the corner.
Drusilla turns her head, allows her body to follow. With her head down and large eyes on the child in the corner, she moves in and pulls the scarf from its eyes, picks the small body up into her arms rocking and cooing to the frightened toddler.
"So small. Your Daddy didn't save you from me. Would you like a cup of milk?" Drusilla drags her nail along her collarbone and holds the child to the droplets of blood that begin to form. "No? Time for beddy-bye." She spins the child in a circle and giggles. With a snap of her hand, the body slides from her loosened grip to lay with the others.
She holds her long skirt with her blood-red nails and steps over the bodies, eyes trained on the stars in the night sky. "Connor."
He looked over the edge of the pier at his reflection. The lights of the dock allowed him to see his face in the water. Seeing his smile was still taking some getting used to. Seeing his face was taking some getting used to. A boat pulled up causing waves to warp his face in the water. His smile wavered. The popping and crackling from bugs landing on the dock lights came to an abrupt stop. Connor was trained to be aware of movements around him, but he didn't have vampires to train with on Quor'toth, and was still adjusting to their lack of breathing. A quick search of the empty beach and scattered skiffs showed he was alone.
My fa-,Angelus warned me of that during our training sessions. Fool, he thought. Taught me every one of his moves. Connor sneered. Dad. He got what he deserved.
"Yes. Daddy never did like to be in small places."
A lilting, feminine voice spoke softly behind him. Connor whirled, drawing two sharp knives from his sleeves, bracing himself in a fighter's stance. The girl giggled and clapped her hands. "Oh, Daddy's taught you, he has." Very gently, as if she was lulling a newborn to sleep, she leaned to one side, then the other. Large eyes connect with Connor's - open, wide, and far from innocent.
"Who are you? I know you are a vampire. Filth."
The girl stops. Hands that were splayed against her thighs draw up to her belly. "Not filth. I'm beautiful. Do you want to make your sister cross?"
Connor's hands wavered. He relaxed his stance for a brief moment, cocked his head, then remembered what she (it) is. "Sister? I have no family"
More giggling. "Daddy's in the well. No welcome, and pillows of stones for dreaming."
Connor took a step back. "You're crazy."
The girl pouted and played with a curl in her dark hair. Connor couldn't help but follow her hand as it twisted and pulled and traced the shiny black of her long, glossy hair. He felt overcome with with heartsickness for her as he looked into her wide eyes. He felt naked under that stare and didn't realize until he almost lost his balance that he had been stretching his chin forward, exposing his neck. Knives in his hands, years of training were forgotten as he blinked and tried to collect himself under her stare.
"Daddy is at the bottom of the ocean. You've had your games."
"Daddy? What are you talking about? How- How did you know about Angelus?"
"No, not Angelus. Not for a very long time. Only forever my poor Angel."
"You say it like there's a difference. A demon is a demon."
"He speaks, but he doesn't know anything, does he? You don't know Angelus. My real daddy. So sad, my Angel. Broken and hungry and lost... and now he is alone and I have you."
The girl moves past Connor with no acknowledgment of his weaponry and stands at the edge, looking down in the water. She waved with the tips of her fingers as a child would say goodbye to an imaginary friend. Connor heard Holtz screaming in his head, push her! Stake her! Cut off her head! but could only stand next to her and look down at the rippling surface of the ocean.
"Huh. You really don't have reflections."
"Oh, we do, little Connor."
They continue to stare down at the surface of the water, one face looking back at them.
"Someone has put a wreath on the sea."
"That's a fishing net."
Connor, when thinking about their meeting later, marveled at how natural it felt for her cool, small hand to take his and lead him away. How he had registered no shock at her knowing his name. Holtz had left this earthly dimension before Angelus had made his masterpiece. Holtz hadn't told Stephen of any other family than Darla. Since his brief time with Sunny, the want for female companionship had become a frenzied need.
They are so soft and fragile looking. But this one is stronger than the others. She is as strong as me. Connor allowed himself to be led away to a building at the edge of the beach. The girl kept humming and lightly tracing her hands up his arms, which caused his heart to race.
"Who are you? I mean, what's your name?"
She looked at him with surprise, her hands drawn up into fists at her breasts. "Drusilla."
*~*~* TBC... Right Here
*the line: "Whose is that... why am I cold?" Is from "The Bee Meeting," by Sylvia Plath.
*the line: "No welcome, and pillows of stones for dreaming" was inspired by the poem, "In Stony Country" by W.S. Merwin.