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Crazy Madcap Redemption

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They’d had a good long day and night of it, fighting evil from within the evil heart of Wolfram and Hart, and Spike was racing the dawn back to his flat after picking up a few essentials. This was a road well-traveled in the past and he didn’t expect to see anything that would rock him from his end-of-night reverie.

But there she was, across the street from his building, leaning against a light post. She should have been awash in light, magnificent somehow, but she just looked lost.

Spike, for his part, nearly dropped his groceries. “Drusilla.”

She rocked her head against the light post. “Daddy’s cross with me.”

“Yeah,” Spike smiled through his shock, almost laughed. “Yeah he is, petal. On account you’re an unlivin’ reminder of what a bastard he was.”

One bare arm snaked over her head. Dru was wearing a strapless gown, a ragged prom-dress in faded blue organdy. She always did like to dress up. “The fairies lied, Spike. They all said you were going to burn up. Poof! Like tissue paper, all golden light exploding from inside.”

The bottle of bourbon in his paper bag was threatening to tear through and Spike had to re-adjust the bag in his arms. “Um… well, I did, pet. Burned right up.”

“Oh.” Drusilla straightened away from the post and looked at him earnestly. “Good. I’d thought I’d gone quite mad.”

Spike did laugh then, and dropped his bag, bottles clinking as Drusilla wound her arms between his. They stared at each other, arms just resting around each other, not yet pulled into an embrace, neither sure of what to do, both gazing in surprise.

Dru’s eyes were still hypnotic. Spike shook himself from the spell. “Would you like to come in? Sun’s almost up.”

“They brought you back to me,” Drusilla said. “You were gone forever but they brought you back.” Her fingertips ghosted over his cheek.

He took her hand in his and pressed his lips to the cool palm. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’. Come on, love. Don’t wanna burn up again.”

It was too easy, too familiar, gathering up the grocery bag, feeling briefly to ensure the bottles were still intact, then taking Dru’s arm and leading her into the building. She smiled and giggled, eyes roving over the dull scenery of the building lobby and the stairs down to his apartment. Drusilla saw a million private jokes in the plain beige walls and industrial green carpet, and her fingertips brushed his arm to share them.

“I should want to kill you,” Spike said, more to himself than her, as he let her in. He set the groceries on the table. Drusilla walked along the wall, hand skimming over the surface as though feeling for ley-lines. “Still evil, pet? You kill anyone today?”

“Beautiful little boy from far away. So much hope and sunshine. But he had hamburger grease under his nails.” Drusilla turned from her inspection of the wall to make a face.

“Right,” Spike said, his voice heavy and flat. He leaned against the kitchen counter, watching her inspect the room, and turned this over in his mind, poking at it like a wound.

“Do you still have the nasty wires in your head?” She had made a full circuit of the room and poked now at his temple experimentally. “Fizz and spark and no no bad dog!”

“Can’t let you kill again, love,” he said, quietly.

“Can’t! Won’t!” She threw her hands up and glared at him.

It looked like she was about to strike him, so Spike took her wrists in hand. “Can’t you see it in me, pet? You could see it in Angel; you said so. I never could tell the difference, but you could. Can you?”

“No,” she said, and sank back, trying to pull her arms from his grip. “No. Nooo!”

“I got my soul, love. It’s a tighter leash than the chip ever was. Can’t do it. Can’t be yours again, not like I was.”

Drusilla’s protests rose into a wordless wail and she collapsed in his arms, unwilling or unable to hold herself up. Spike found himself sliding down the wall, cradling her in his lap. “Shush, shush, love, there…” he smoothed tear-wet locks back from her face and kissed her forehead.

She cried it out, helpless hands slapping at him, rocking her head against the hollow of his shoulder. She looked so little, young and helpless. He smoothed the taffeta and organdy of her dress, tucked it around her feet, which were clad in a frayed pair of ballet slippers.

Slowly her cries descended into whimpers and snuffles, and then quieted into only the occasional sniffle. “Christ, Dru. What’m I supposed to do with you? You can’t even imagine what it’s like… what’s right and wrong. Poor love.” He stared helplessly at the dreary grey wall opposite them. It didn’t have any answers written on it. “Soul’s a terrible thing. You know I actually thought it would make my life simpler? Heh. Was a right pillock, wasn’t I?”

She slipped out of his arms, crawled backward like a startled cat, staring at him.

“Drusilla?” He reached toward her.

Her smile stretched tear-bright cheeks. “Silly Spike. You have to get rid of it. Nasty, awful, wicked soul!”

He shifted to his knees, reaching for her arm. “Doesn’t work like that, petal. Here… let’s not get too worked up. Have a hot cuppa blood and get some sleep, yeah?”

She let him take hold of her arm and guide her toward the meager dinette set’s only chair, but when he let go to see to the groceries – part of which was a quart of Mrs. Wong’s finest pigs blood – she lunged at him. She wrapped her arms tight around his shoulders, strong and supple like steel cables.

“No, Spike. It has to come out. Same as before. Of course, sweet William! I know your heart, know how to get at it.”

“Dru…” he turned in her embrace, tried to get her to meet his gaze, but her head was tilted to the side, studying his neck.

She struck like a viper, hard and fast, arms squeezing him to encourage the stagnant blood to flow. He was so startled he just let it happen for a moment, felt the sharp, unexpected pleasure and pain of Drusilla’s teeth luring him into memory, into yearning…

He pushed gently at first, to disentangle, her fingernails dug in and she growled into his shoulder. “No, Dru… it won’t work, love… God, pet…”

He pushed her away, feeling the skin tear after her. Felt like ripping a limb off. He noted that, good seed for a poem. A bloody awful angst-ridden poem.

Drusilla glared at him, her mouth and chin red with his blood. “Bad Spike! You’re confused. The golden light’s driving you mad. Let mummy pull it out.”

“Won’t work. You can drain me and fill me up again, but it isn’t going to work. Already a vampire, love. That hasn’t changed. Still your blood in here.” He set his hand on his heart.

She shook her head, tears welling afresh. The blood on her chin made a bizarre, exaggerated clown-frown.

Spike took hold of her shoulders, drew her close. “You’re still in here,” he said, taking her hand and resting it over his unbeating heart. “Yeah, love?”

Her lips were slick, slow to respond. But soon the kiss deepened, and he felt his own blood smeared, felt her, almost crying himself because the taste was familiar, the touch of her tongue like returning to a long-forgotten home.

He didn’t regret a thing they’d done when alone. When there were no victims. He tried to partition his memory, only recall those intimate moments – but even those were too often sanguine.

He broke the kiss, eyes squeezed shut. “I’m going to hell,” he said.

Drusilla was licking the wound on his neck, making soft, soothing noises like she was comforting him. Perhaps, in her mind, she was.

“Why’d you have to come back, Dru? Why couldn’t I just pretend…? Ah, love, you know I can’t… can’t let you leave. Can’t let you kill.” She’d finished cleaning the wound and was working her way up his neck.

“Poor Spike,” she kissed his jaw. “Always says ‘can’t’ when he means ‘won’t’. There’s more ‘can’t’ in your head than in the world.”

“Love?” He brushed her hair back. “Could you do it? Could you give up killin’, for love? I’ll provide for you. You could drink from me, if you like, if it helps.”

She pouted at him. Blood was now smeared on her face like frosting. He wondered how he looked.

“You can’t, can you?” He answered for her.

She stroked his cheek. “I can make you my strong prince and we will be together forever, fate sealed in a kiss.”

Spike felt something break inside him. In his heart, or more likely his brain. He leaned against her. “All right, pet. Just for tonight, let’s pretend that’s the way it is. Just for tonight.”

And they started to sway, to dance to the music only Drusilla heard, from the stars or fairies or the powers that fuck with us, whatever it was that hummed to her. They swayed around the kitchenette and Spike’s pig’s blood spoiled on the table.

She tasted familiar and strange, his blood bland on spicy lips. “Gonna have to kill you in the morning,” he said.

“Sh,” she said. “You can’t.”

He woke late in the afternoon, alone, leaden and feverish. Dried blood was soaked in to the surface of his cheap mattress – the bed sheets rumpled all on the floor.

And he hoped, fervently, contradictory and at once, that she’d come back and he’d never see her again.