DISTRIBUTION: If you want it for your fic page, just ask.
RATING: R for heaps o' violence aplenty.
SUMMARY: Spike gets a strange visit from Drusilla.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. I wish. Grr. Argh.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Much love to Tink, Chelle, and Yahtzee. The bit about the Duke is a very twisted qoute from the book "The 13 Clocks", by James Thurber. I use because I love.
The note was written in an unfamiliar hand, and the small, torn piece of notepaper was crumpled, the writing hastily scrawled as if the author had crouched just outside the crypt door and scribbled it on the spot. An afterthought.
It said merely, "They told me to leave these, but I thought you'd want them." There was no salutation or signature. The spelling wasn't impeccable and the ink was laid down so faintly that it was barely readable. Nevertheless, the message was understood.
Spike picked up the bag, carefully cradling the bottom of the crinkled sack. It felt strangely light in his hand, and he frowned, holding it a little tighter, wishing the load inside were heavier, more tangible.
The crypt door swung open under his hand, and he stepped through the familiar opening into the dark, moist solace of his home. He placed the bag gently in the outstretched hand of one of the angel statues that decorated his small living space, carefully securing it on that surface before letting it go. He shrugged his coat from his shoulders and bent to unlace his boots, kicking them off carelessly. They raised a plume of dust and dirt from the floor where they landed.
He straightened slowly, trying to ignore the aches and pains of another battle fought and lost, trying to remember when he'd been feared by humans and demons alike. But those days were gone, and now he commanded no one and was feared by no one. William the Bloody, terror of little children and fluffy kittens. He scowled, turning to approach the raised stone slab that served as his bed, and that was when he saw her.
Drusilla reclined on the stone surface, her dress tangled around her legs. She leaned back on her hands, her face obscured by a curtain of dark hair, and looked coyly up at him from the shadows around her eyes. She didn't say anything at first; she just swung her legs down, slid off the surface of the sepulchre, and weaved her way toward him in a slow, barefooted dance. Her long, silky dress flared out around her legs, and her pale feet padded softly against the stone floor, her hair shifting around her face like a gentle rainfall. Dimly, Spike realized that it had begun raining outside, too, providing a faint soundtrack to her mesmerizing movements.
When she finally reached his side, her hands reached toward him, not touching, but torturing with her closeness. She leaned in as if to kiss him, but her lips did not touch his, and instead they whispered secretively. "Hark, Hark, the dogs do bark," she murmured, providing her own snarling sound effect. "The Duke is fond of kittens. He likes to take their insides out and use their fur for mittens."
Some dark part of his mind recalled that the short poetic passage was from a book, and remembered the first time he'd read it to her, replaying the scene in vivid detail. She'd been sick, so terribly thin and pale that he'd been sure that if he touched her, she'd crumble to dust. Her emaciated body had been sunken into the silk sheets, and when she'd asked him to make love to her, he'd been unwilling, unable to bring himself to touch the wasted creature she'd become...
"I've got a secret," she whispered, pulling him back to the present. She still didn't touch him, and when his hand reached out for her, she danced away again, out of arm's reach. "You mustn't tell little Victoria that I've eaten her mother and made pie of her pets."
Spike frowned, taking a step closer to her, but she sidled smoothly back and away again, circling to put the coffin between them. "How long have you been in town, Dru?" he asked.
"As long as it takes to die, and kill, and then to die again," she replied, an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile tugging at her lips.
"Why haven't you come to see me?" He tried not to sound needy, or hurt, but somehow both emotions saturated his voice.
"I am here to see you," she pointed out. Her eyes narrowed, and her gaze focused on the floor near Spike's feet. He looked down, too, but nothing was there. "Stop barking, fiend," Drusilla told the empty space, then her eyes turned back to Spike again. "I saw a little puppy run onto the path, and the cart wheel ran over its downy head. It spoke to me in a little doggie voice and said 'Pop, crack.' I told it not to say such things, but it followed me home, always saying, 'Pop, crack,' and sometimes in the night I hear it bark. Do you think that the Devil sent the dog to make me wicked?"
"No, baby," Spike protested automatically, taking another step toward her. This time she didn't edge away. "The Devil follows after you himself, in awe of your beauty."
Her smile was slow, but it came, beginning small and soon spreading thin pink lips to reveal a flash of white teeth. "Clever Spike," she drawled, beginning to sway in place again. "Just like me."
"Why did you come here, Drusilla?" He tried to sound annoyed, but the jagged edges of his voice bled.
"You wanted me to come," she answered. "The wind sang your pain to me, and the rain urged me to move quickly." She smiled again, sharply at odds with his severe frown, and padded swiftly past him, toward the door. "Of course, I'm not really here at all."
"Yeah, you never were all there," Spike muttered to himself, tracking her progress with his eyes. "Where are you going?"
"Shhhh," she chided, opening the door wide, then returning to the room to stand in a darkened corner, her glittering eyes focused on him. "You have a visitor."
Buffy stood in the doorway, paying no attention to the rain that fell on her shoulders and plastered her hair to her scalp. She stepped inside, firmly closing the door behind her, and said, "You shouldn't leave your door open like that. Someone might see it as an invitation to come in here and kick your defenseless ass."
Spike shrugged, his face blank.
"Anya told me that she brought something over for you," Buffy continued, moving boldly further into the room. Her eyes fell on the paper bag, still balanced carefully in the stone hand of a statue. "I see you got it."
Spike didn't respond, watching as the girl picked up the bag. The paper whispered and crunched in her hand. From the corner of his eye, he could see Drusilla swaying toward him, cloaked in shadows, a wicked smile on her face. Buffy didn't seem to notice the other vampire in the room, her eyes flickering lazily around the dark space but not settling even for a moment on Drusilla.
"So you must know what happened, then. Are we going to have a problem over this?" Buffy opened the bag, peering in at its contents, then turned it upside down. A thin rush of dust streamed out, settling thin and sparkling on the floor.
"No," Spike answered, his voice echoing in his head as if it had traveled to him down a long corridor. "No problems at all. I was just thinking about a story Dru told me once. Something about a dog."
The weight in his hand was sudden and familiar, and his eyes flickered downward to see a railroad spike clutched tightly in his fist. Drusilla stood near his arm now, near enough to touch, but he didn't know if he'd picked up the weapon himself or if Drusilla had handed it to him. His fingers idly caressed the smooth metal length of it, and his thoughts cleared, narrowed, and focused sharply.
Buffy scowled at him, clearly signaling her disinterest. "Okay. Have fun reminiscing. Glad there's no hard feelings; I'd hate to have to kill you like I did your crazy girlfriend." She turned to head back for the door, then paused, opening her mouth to speak again. The words nearly came; she nearly threw the, 'No, wait, I *do* want to kill you' back over her shoulder. But the words couldn't escape with the railroad spike suddenly thrust through the side of her throat, and she managed only a bloody gurgle before she collapsed. Her body hit the floor with a very audible thud.
"Pop, crack!" Drusilla whispered, her mouth at his ear.
It took a moment for the chip in Spike's brain to process what had happened, but when it did, its retribution was instantaneous and merciless.
Drusilla's repeated cry of "Pop, crack!" echoed through the crypt in perfect time with the sounds that thundered in his ears, then she flashed out of his view as his eyes boiled in their sockets, and there was nothing left to feel but a terrible rush of heat.
The charred remains of his skeleton hit the floor, burnt and pitted from the chip's chemical burn, and there was a series of sharp cracks as his bones clattered to the ground and shattered. The sounds echoed against the stone walls with only the uncaring dead to hear them.