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Saltwater Taffy

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Drusilla comes upon her at twilight, a happy dolly skipping down the sidewalk with two shadows and murder a lovely black rot upon her soul. Her shining blonde pigtails and stiff black tulle bounce with every step. To Drusilla’s eyes, the girl’s possibilities hanging about her like a tattered shroud. Intrigued, Drusilla forgets her previous hunt and instead follows the girl and her Death, watching them chatter together like the dearest of friends.

The Death fixes a bloodshot eye on Drusilla but says nothing of Drusilla’s interest to the sweet dolly. Instead, the Death flexes her hand around the girl’s smaller one, bone-white claws drawing blood from soft pink flesh. The girl’s blood perfumes the cooling night air, drawing Drusilla closer, a shark slipping through eddies of humanity in pursuit of her chosen prey.

Ahead, the girl squeals, not at all unhappily, and scolds her second shadow, pulling her hand out of the other’s grasp to lap at the small wound with her pretty, pink tongue. Drusilla licks her upper lip and draws closer still, wending her way through Tokyo’s foot traffic to join them, to help the girl down a handy alley or side street where Drusilla can help the girl in the best way that she knows how.

Before Drusilla reaches them, the girl and her Death duck into the lobby of a tall skyscraper, its lovely glass doors no barrier to a vampire, and Drusilla watches as the girl speaks love to a boy that has use for her, but not appreciation. This girl, who will be Drusilla’s second childe, is a shining thing, her value overlooked in her life but not by her death.

She is like Spike but not like him at all, a pretty poppet to be petted and cosseted instead of a bad, rude dog to be punished. This childe will enjoy being bathed and fed from Mummy’s own veins. She will play tea party and hair brushing and ribbons. And she will beg so prettily for her Mummy’s favors and petting and cosseting that Drusilla will hold her down and pink her up and draw red ribbons out of her flesh and heart and pleasure. When she is good, Drusilla will be a very good mummy.

And when she is bad, as all children eventually are, Drusilla will be awful. Drusilla will enjoy that just as much – and so will she.

Drusilla thinks on this, on pulling screams from the girl like wine red threads from white and gold cloth, while the boy, Drusilla’s brittle shadow, her inverse of the other in gender, coloring, and appreciations, makes her shining childe cry soft, hopeless tears. The Death bristles and scowls at his cruelty, her bones creaking with her agitation, but Drusilla is calm, content in the knowledge that the stars already sing her light shadow’s eulogy. Soon, laughter will fall from her girl’s lips like coppery pennies in the snow.

When they emerge, the girl and her Death, the last light of the day has faded from the sky, which is now heavy and blue with approaching night. The girl is crying too hard to see where she is going, trusting in her second shadow to lead her safely home.

Instead, the Death leads her to Drusilla.

Drusilla presses a crisp, white handkerchief into the girl’s hand and slips her arm around the girl’s slender waist in trade. The girl’s dress, a confection of black lace, stiff black tulle, and strong, black laces corseting up the back, is delightful, both for its softness and intricate texturing. Against her palm, the girl’s ribs hitch in a gasp, teasing Drusilla with the possibility of catching them and prying them loose for their wishes. Drusilla reins in the impulse because this dolly is one to keep, like Miss Edith and Spike, not one to replace, like all of the others.

“Th-Thank you,” the girl stutters, blotting at her face with the handkerchief. “Misa-Misa is-is grateful.”

“Shhhh, sweet childe,” murmurs Drusilla as she and the Death lead her new Misa-Misa down a side street. To Drusilla’s annoyance, it is filled to its seams with humanity. The Death slants an amused look at Drusilla over their childe’s head and solicitously leads them instead down another side street, an alley, and a third side street. By then, the girl is looking more alert and less defenseless, though no less vulnerable with her smeared makeup, flushed face, and red-rimmed eyes.

Drusilla wishes to bite her lips and lick her tears away before sucking out her colors and giving her forever.

“H-Hey,” says the girl, Misa-Misa, as she looks up at Drusilla. “I thought you’d be old because of the pocket handkerchief! But you’re not old at all!”

“It’s very kind of you to say so,” Drusilla demurs, as politely as her poor, departed mother had ever taught her to do.

“No, really!” Misa-Misa earnestly assures Drusilla, her hand clenching around Drusilla’s now crumpled and stained handkerchief. Her words rush out of her like ink out of a damaged fountain pen. “If I wasn’t so into guys – well, into Light – I’d invite you out for drinks and kiss you and –” Her words deserting her, Misa-Misa hides her face behind her hands. Bitterly, she says, “Never mind. Misa-Misa is a fool. Everyone says so.”

“Did he tell you that?” Drusilla inquires, idly curious. “The one who made you cry.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Misa-Misa says sullenly as the Death leads them down a second alley, her unseen bulk parting the herd of humanity around them like a whale powering through an ocean of drops.

If Misa-Misa ever speaks to Drusilla in that tone after Drusilla makes her, Drusilla will pink her pretty arse for her. Drusilla sincerely hopes that her pretty poppet is a sulky, naughty thing, just like she is now, from time to time after the transition.

Her arm still around the girl’s waist, Drusilla follows Misa-Misa and her Death up the first flight of stairs, a cramped, rickety contraption made of bent metal and rust, to a battered door, shrouded in shadows as the overhead light has most conveniently burned out.

“This is me,” says the girl as they halt in front of the door. “Thanks for walking me home! Misa-Misa really appreciates it!”

“May I have my handkerchief back?” Drusilla asks, her arm still around Misa’-Misa’s waist.

The girl looks down at her hands, having seemingly forgotten the scrap of fabric and white lace that she is clutching between them. She makes a small, distressed noise at the sight.

“Oh, no! I’ve ruined it! Don’t worry! I can replace it! Will black do?”

“I’d rather a kiss,” Drusilla purrs, “Two actually. One for the handkerchief and one for walking you home.”

After a century and a half of experiences, two kisses are all Drusilla needs.

“O-Okay?” Misa-Misa says uncertainly, looking up at Drusilla with eyes the same shade of golden-brown as saltwater taffy. Smiling, Drusilla tightens her arm around the girl’s waist, pulling her closer still, and swoops down to claim the first of her prizes.

At the first press of her lips, the girl startles and gasps. Undeterred, Drusilla cups the back of the girl’s neck, bared by her pigtails, and teasingly licks at her girl’s parted lips. She strokes her other hand up the curve of the girl’s back to cup the delicate wing of her shoulder blade and then draws it down again, her nails digging into cloth and flesh with pressure carefully calculated to raise pretty red welts without breaking skin.

Misa-Misa arches into the fingers scratching down her back then melts against Drusilla, her curves fitting sweetly against Drusilla’s own. One carefully manicured hand comes up to clutch and knead at Drusilla’s shoulder through the soft fabric of Drusilla’s sheer, white gown, while the other tentatively settles at the curve of her waist.

Drusilla is less restrained, her fingers roaming ceaselessly, tracing Misa-Misa’s curves, ghosting across her valleys, and stroking over smooth skin and soft lace with equal enjoyment. Under her hands, the girl is soft and warm and oh so willing.

Misa-Misa shivers and gasps, breaking their kiss to pant warm breaths against Drusilla’s lips and cheek. She ghosts her hand along the cool skin of Drusilla’s bared shoulder and around to the back of Drusilla’s neck, in a mirror of Drusilla’s earlier touch. Misa-Misa cards her fingers through the hair at the nape of Drusilla’s neck and, between pleading noises and half-formed words, dusts tiny kisses across Drusilla’s cheek, back along the line of her jaw, and down her throat.

When she nips Drusilla, a tentative scrape of her teeth against Drusilla’s throat, Drusilla groans throatily and lets her head loll back, and the girl smiles and bites Drusilla’s throat again and then again, her nails gently scratching over the small of Drusilla’s back. Drusilla rewards the girl’s cleverness by palming one of her small breasts.

The girl whimpers and arches her chest forward into Drusilla’s touch. She leans in, as if to kiss Drusilla again, and Drusilla allows her to clumsily plant her mouth against Drusilla’s own.  Drusilla tilts her head, realigning their mouths, and gently bites the girl’s lower lip. When Misa-Misa opens her mouth, inviting Drusilla in with a pleading little noise, Drusilla gladly takes the invitation.

Misa-Misa tastes sweet and salty and coppery, just like Drusilla remembers saltwater taffy tasting. At the taste of her favorite childhood treat, Drusilla moans and presses closer. Her hand firmly planted in the small of Misa-Misa’s back, Drusilla ravishes Misa-Misa’s mouth and gently kneads her breast, making the girl mewl and wriggle against her.

When Misa-Misa breaks the kiss, gulping for breath, her eyes half-lidded and her mouth kiss swollen, she gasps, “Please?”

“Two kisses,” Drusilla reminds her. “Invite me in and I’ll kiss you as many times as you like.”

“Come in,” Misa-Misa gasped. She fumbles at her purse, drops it, and lurches under Drusilla’s hands. “Please, please, come in. Please?”

Triumph thrills through Drusilla and she pulls Misa-Misa up to kiss her fiercely, while Misa-Misa’s bone white death, which has been hovering just beyond Misa-Misa’s shoulder, cackles gleefully. Between them, Misa-Misa whines and clutches at Drusilla.

It is the Death who swoops down to retrieve the handbag, open the door, and lead them inside, Drusilla who guides Misa-Misa into the darkened apartment, and Misa-Misa who kicks the door shut behind them.

Drusilla pushes Misa-Misa against her pale shadow, laying the living girl out on a bed of moonlight and bone, and the creature’s enormous clawed hands rise to gently curl around the girl’s waist, holding her safe and steady. Misa-Misa leans into the other, her blonde hair messy and her expression bright with anticipation.

Drusilla pauses to memorize Misa-Misa’s face and form, her flushed, living skin and the rich scent of her arousal, adding it all to the treasure trove of her possessions, the only treasures that any vampire posses: her memories. As she gazes on her girl, her second childe, Misa-Misa’s expression shifts slowly from anticipatory to pleading. Drusilla memorizes that too.

Realization begins to dawn in the girl’s expression. “You- You can see Rem,” the girl accuses, her voice quivering. Her human eyes are wide and her pupils are dilated, vainly seeking Drusilla in the dark.

“Yes,” Drusilla admits. “I can see many things, including your worth, shining girl.” Cupping her cool hand around the curve of Misa-Misa’s flushed cheek, causes the girl to startle and flinch but there is nowhere for her to run from Drusilla, from her Death, not now. “I see your flame, so bright and warm and lively. I see forever in you, if you want it.”

“Can I still help Light?”

“If you still want to after your rebirth,” Drusilla replies, knowing how unlikely that is. Behind Misa-Misa, the Death’s eye glows and Drusilla idly wonders what would happen if she poked it out.

Her hand slides down to cup the side of Misa-Misa’s throat. Under her palm, Misa-Misa’s pulse is a wild, galloping thing. Drusilla flexes her fingers against the back of the girl’s neck and reminds herself, Not yet. A new childe is not a snack.

“Rem?”

“It’s a good deal, Misa,” rumbles the shadow, her hands tightening and loosening around Misa’s waist. Her claws scratch lightly against the girl’s stomach, making Misa-Misa shiver. Drusilla wonders what those claws would feel like against her back, scrabbling and tearing and gouging as she comes. She shudders with anticipation. “It’s better than anyone else is offering. You’ll outlive the Death Note.”

“You will be loved, cherished, adored,” murmurs Drusilla, appealing to the vulnerabilities that she can see lurking in the girl’s wide eyes. “You will never be lonely or forgotten. You will never know old age or infirmity. Your beauty will be immortal. And I will always want to kiss you.”

“What do I have to do?” Misa-Misa asks, her expression firming with determination.

“Nothing,” Drusilla murmurs. “You are already yourself.”

Misa-Misa’s smile lights up her face, just before she pulls Drusilla in and covers her mouth with a kiss.