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Title: Follow
Author: Scynneh
Fandom: BTVS
Pairing: Spike/Dru, maybe more, if you look closely.
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I would make sure there was lots of swimming. In strange waters.
Rating: R, for some things which are not for anyone not of the age.
Improv 25: lazy, complex, candy, immense
Author's Notes: It seemed right. Second Part at:
Spoilers: The Gift.

She liked the quiet, not that it was easy to find nowadays, cars and their larger equivalents roar by gullies and crush the ground so that it bows underneath their pressure. Much like the lone activist being shoved by all parties until, sadly they gave way. Better not to have majorities, she muttered, factions constantly vying for control were messy, and ultimately, not of enough entertainment for her liking.

She once went to a 'mall with her darling; she had seen the pictures of people on television and they held out gleaming bottles of scent supposed to entice a mate. She had imagined that the vials were stopped off with warded corks keeping in and contained, spells of olfactory submission, signals of smell would overwhelm the unfaithful and bring them back, crawling weeping and ready to be punished for their absence. Thoughtless butchers of love, all. She stood still and could Hear them, scorned women, their powers muted by the ideals of this time, where machismo counted for more than integrity. Hateful years, Dru hissed at the sun mocking her from her castle below the soil and longed to tear the hurtful orb from its throne.

When one can Hear a Mate's pain, that devotion transcends the flesh and becomes a bond of the spirit. Agony is shared, increased exponentially in the exchange. So when a Mother Heard her OtherHalf, Childe, and all else, screaming in her veins, she doubled over, clawing at her arms and face, wailing with reaction.

It did not make a difference the cause of such a deep heartwound; nasty Slayers would come again, but the plea for succor was unique- wrongs admitted and the belly grovel of submission said 'anything to go back to what was.' And she knew what he dealt with; the choosing had been made with soft, lazy brains curdled by sparkling machinery of the mortals. He had realized what the emotions led to; the humans would leave and all others, unless he placed the familial needs above his personal fleeting adorations. No more heartbeat flushed arms, bends where pulse said 'nourishment,' but gave decay of the self. That kind of affection was intolerable, especially when he had a youngling of his own to coddle.

When she had first seen the girl, huddled in a sarcophagus, her aura flaring blindingly, trying to melt herself into the stone, to disappear, in spite of the immense bubbling of energy around her, wailing out the belief that Sister's death was her fault, Mother could not help but be intrigued. Already awakened to the loss of romantic notions in the world, she could envision how bitterly this one would rebel against the establishment of rules, how even now, she ran wild as los lobos in the hills. That was how Mother thought of them, she the wisdom, her Children slowly inching out of a trap smelted from longing, and the last, still bearing the fur of youth, but being filled out by tragedy. And now she was the strongest of them all, ready to welcome them back to her Hearth.

The woman stepped up the gate of the cemetery; dressed in a long coat, the hood obscuring her features form the curious woodland. She could Hear the trees, whispering to one another, speculating as to her identify and destination. She hummed soundlessly within her body swaying to and fro, soothing the worried boughs over her head.

*Nothing to fear Mummy's home*, she chanted and the leaves ceased twitching, now moving to sweep her hair as she walked below them. She would take care of things, make them right again; the stars giggled, and then said conspiratorially. 'Mother is going to make the bad ones pay and in ever so beautiful blood.'

"Shush, don't tell secrets," she chided, but a smile winked in her dark eyes, giving credence to the overhead gossips' words.

The air was fat with pain and she walked father-light to the newest source of it. This town had always been in chronic distress, but the freshest was the most clear. Slippers halted at the headstone, almost hidden by piles of flowers ripped from their beds unwillingly. Focusing on the words, Dru smiled. Terrible Bringer of Heartache and Death was dead. And she could smell the body in the soil, the happy choir of eating beasts already working to break down flesh, such small animals, but their melodies flooded Dru's ears as easily as if they were directly beside her. Granted, dear Spike would be miserable about this death, he'd not been doing his duty to the Blood, but she would remind him of their connection, their sometimes confining umbilical tethers.

It was in her blood, her need for him, the humanity that despite self-flagellation of all kinds would not be cast off. There had been trials to bear to wean her off the most harmful vices, but the ones that she wanted, the kinds that would not kill her had not been permitted.

She had wanted to smoke so very badly, but that was something that ladies were not supposed to do. Once Daddy had found her with one of the cigars that he favored, and he'd flayed the skin from her back, for two days. And when Spike had cut her down, he'd lectured about what a nasty habit that was for chits, and she had smiled demurely, inwardly sharpening her nails against his words. She was not a lady, she was the monster, and if the silly men were so done up in thoughts of her being a princess, then she would be quite happy to put them in the high tower, see how they liked it.

Now Spike was in the rubble of his castle, and he had only her and a babe. He sensed her, and when he turned to look at her, with all of that wounding in every fiber of his lean frame, she bared her teeth back, the sharp greeting of mates, the challenge of hunters, and welcome home to a bond which the humans had interfered with. Powers of Higher Orders were not something of their world; theirs was the pain of the innocent, enjoyment and fun. All of that had gone away for too long. Still, the feeling was the same as when she had first seen him, wanted that soul to fly out and refill the pocket of emptiness with all of the potential that steamed out with his every mortal breath.

She had missed this; not even known how much so, his hesitation inches from her face, and then the confidence that he was hers and she was his princess and that he had the right as no one else did to coddle her and watch over her and protect her, and that even though she was the elder, she would allow it for a time, because he had the Ambition as she had the Spirituality to carry it all through. And the yards and years of distance and hurt did not matter; she cleared them all of complexities on swells of willing air and was upon him, the girl observing without fear, only Spike mattered, sweet, precious, darling lover that he had always been, especially when naughty. A dangerous sugariness on her palate, an almost meringue death that she would see untamed, and covered in black denim.

Her legs went over his hips in the fashion that they had always done so well, and their physical proximity encouraged mouths to reacquaint with one another. Tongue on her lips, tentative as he had not been since first Turned, and she found it so endearingly tragic, he wanted to be good, but was bad, so very much so, to the root of his being, an intelligent evil, and now he was smart enough to know how badly he had mucked things up. Knowing that, she had returned. Despite all of the warnings that she gave herself and all of the rumors, so sticky with rot that drifted down to her from this Sunny Place of Hell.

There are some who never know pain; live in perfection their entire lives. And there are those with whom pain is not a companion, but a devoted lover. And as Dru stared at the girl-child observing without speaking, the experienced madame invited the tarnished infant into the ranks of her family.

If one is open to the possibility of something else, then they will be more likely to find those things which are unseen by close-minded individuals.

Thin body that isn't a nourishing image, but something dead should not be so vibrant, she glows in the right light the kisses of the moon that is. All of the pain that has shaped Dru is evident, but she has moved inside of all that suffering and made it part of her beauty, mutable her agony is, and sharp but at the same time fiercely appealing, the metal out of the flame, heated but not dulled. Never mind how wrong all of this is, her watching the creature that is a demon, her guardian, his promises to her dead sister shining in the air and wet with spit of immortals. Teeth and claws and *hiss* from Dru that makes him back down for a moment, if just so that she can grab him by the nape of his neck, where the chip hides her fingers briefly touch, and then she wrings him back and froth like a mother scolding her offspring.

Which she is, Dawn realizes, seeing the way that Spike relaxes under her, not resentful, maybe relieved that someone is taking control of something for once, no one in the Scoobies has done anything for the entire summer, and that is probably part of the reason that Dawn is beginning to shed what little baby fat she had become a *figure* beside Spike as they patrol the streets.

A lot of wanting to have fun in that expression that is making Dawn wonder how old Drusilla was when she was turned, and she probably didn't have a whole lot of fun during that time, because that was the years when the world was kind of laced, and women wore a lot of skirts and underwear that was hot and uncomfortable, and something about the way that she twirls and bares her tummy at odd moments says that this is some kind of liberty that is new and still savory in her mind.

A murderer, or is there an 'ess' on the end, or is the word asexual, and these thoughts are taking longer than usual to process, mostly for the sake of Dawn's already mushed up brains as she tries to decide why she isn't really worried about life ending as she knows it, because there is no life as she knows it, just separate incidents that others call days held together by alcohol and she is beginning to genuinely like getting drunk with no parents around and only a really old adult that likes to tell slaughtering stories when she asks for them.

All the heroes are dead, that has been said the most of almost anything she can remember, along with lies about *fine* and *okay someday*, and now that she's outgrown all of that, she might want something more mature, dangerous, knowing what is out there, what she is going to get into.

And this is the beast for it, Harmony, not her, she was too young and vapid, and whenever Spike talks about her, there is nothing like when he has mentioned Buffy and this Goddess. Dark, power of hurt and mind and wonder at the big open sky of midnight, all in her eyes and smile as she gleams down at Dawn where she is huddled inside the open sarcophagus, one hand inside her little haven, *come here child, alright, I understand, under the bed is better than in all of those blankets. *

Each word unspoken and yet she hears it between her ears in a miracle that she doesn't question. Just agrees, hand in the outstretched fingers, long in ways that she doesn't have the vocabulary for, and she can tell that they aren't just touching, but probing at her mind, whisker-licks of that ancient madness, and she stares back, resolutely not weirded out, and gets the closure of digits on her wrist and she is pulled out to face the pair of them.

Thinks maybe, this woman was meant to be a great healer, and instead she looks at people and figures out how best to take them apart. But there is some comfort that someone else has been royally broken apart by the universe, and she thinks that she and Dru may bond over their mutual soiling. Sometime in the future when they are far from this place where she has been taught and sheltered, but never able to *run. *

That's what Dru wants, to see if she can hold up, no coddling or swathing bandages of rules, just their eyes and grins and what will be teeth she can tell by the twitching of pale lips.

"Mmm?" an arch of dark brows that might be questioning, threatening, or any number of things that she is just not ready to think about, not in any universe that she might have existed in, but maybe, in this one.

Someday. Very soon.


Feedback, that which makes me do pirouettes.