*****The Next Day*****
Xander woke up feeling pleasantly content. It'd been a long time since he'd felt that way—not since before his engagement to Anya. After they'd gotten engaged, things were never the same between them. Now, though, his world was so vastly different, he didn't even know how to compare the man he was then to the man he was now. He opened his eyes, looking for the source of his contentment. He grinned when he saw his lover already dressed, sipping coffee and reading the paper.
"How can you be so put together so early in the morning?" Xander complained.
"It is ten o'clock," Elijah replied, giving him an indulgent smile.
"What can I say? You wore me out!" Xander teased.
"Are you hungry? There's pastries and fruit over there," Elijah said, pointing.
"In a bit. Thanks. What's on the agenda?" Xander asked, pouring a cup of coffee from the carafe.
"Niklaus wants us to head to New Orleans. We will access the strong magics that are there to break Oz's curse," Elijah explained. "The witches there are unusually powerful. They use ancestral magic."
"What's that? Calling on the power of their ancestors?" Xander asked.
"Basically," Elijah said. "There's more to it, but unlike your friend Willow, their power is the strongest where their family is buried and resides."
"I really hope we can get this hex broken. Oz is the nicest guy. I've never met anyone like him. I don't always get him, but he always got me," Xander said, a small smile on his face as he thought of their old Scooby meetings.
Elijah looked at him with interest. "That's right. You knew him in high school—I had forgotten," Elijah said.
"I knew him before he became a werewolf. He'd just started hanging around, and he was stuck on Will. He was the first one to really see her. She really started to blossom when she dated him," Xander said. "He was a year ahead, but he repeated his senior year. He was too into his band to go to class and didn't pass. I thought that was hilarious because he's even smarter than Will."
"Why did he and Willow break up?" Elijah asked. He'd not gotten to spend much time with his brother's hybrid. However, Kol had told him what a positive influence the hybrid had on their brother.
"He met another female werewolf that had some weird type of attraction for his wolf. He went wolfing with her and maybe had sex with her. Will never actually said, but she was so devastated that I figured it was more than just him leaving," Xander said. "The girl tried to kill Willow, but his wolf killed the girl instead. Oz was so guilt-stricken that he left town. He returned several months later after he'd got a handle on his wolf. But by that time, Willow had already met and fallen for Tara."
"It takes an incredible amount of self-control for a werewolf to not turn on a full moon," Elijah said thoughtfully. "In fact, in all my years, I've never came across one that managed to do so."
"Oz did," Xander said proudly. He drained his cup of coffee. "I'm going to get cleaned up."
"I will have some blood for you when you return," Elijah said. He was trying to teach Xander to control his blood lust while drinking blood bags and from a human. Sometimes, a blood bag might not be on hand. Elijah didn't want him to ever hurt any of his friends since he was always surrounded by people. So far, the young man was proving to be every bit as extraordinary as he had been as a human. Elijah couldn't help but look forward to long years observing the things he would do.
*****Down the Hall******
Klaus hung up his phone. His contact had proved very helpful. There was a knock on his door, so he went to the door and opened it. It was Oz.
"Come in," he said, smiling at his friend. "When I was in that hell, I didn't know if I was going to see your stoic face again."
Oz gave him a look of concern. "Are you okay?" Oz asked him. "Angel came out of hell a rabid animal. You seem okay. Yesterday, I was a bit concerned."
"Well, I don't reek of demon like the souled vamp," Klaus said, curling his lip in derision. "Also, I believe he was in a hell much longer. I know I was at the end of my strength. I owe the Old One a real debt."
"I lost control after you left," Oz admitted.
"Really? In what way?" Klaus asked with interest.
"I ripped out Willow's throat," he said, obviously upset still at the thought of his actions.
"What?" Klaus asked in amazement. "You hurt your beloved witch?" He would've never had predicted such a thing.
"It's the hex! You know I'd never hurt a hair on her head!" Oz protested, showing more real emotion than normal.
"I know," Klaus said, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder. "I'm sure that you would've controlled your anger without the hex. I am grateful, though, that you stood with me against the woman who means so much to you."
"She shouldn't have done it, and she knows that now," Oz said. "You and Will aren't so different you know."
"I am nothing like that woman!" Klaus said in annoyance.
"You both are extremely powerful and often lash out in extreme ways when provoked," Oz pointed out. "Also, you both are very protective of those you care about."
Klaus glared at him. "Why are you trying to provoke me?" he asked crossly.
"I'm not. I'm just trying to make you understand that Willow made a mistake—one she regrets. Rebekah was really upset with her," Oz shared. "Willow didn't understand your complicated family relationship—the years of devotion between you and your sister."
"So I take it she survived your attack?" Klaus inquired.
"Barely. Her magic healed her when we couldn't," he said. "It was a close call, though. I'm not sure what I would've done if I'd actually killed her. Hex or no hex—it'd still be my fault."
"For your sake, I'm glad she still lives," Klaus said, meaning it. His friend had the purest heart he'd ever encountered, whether human or not. He would never want him to carry the burden of killing someone he loved. Klaus knew what that was like.
"You won't hurt her?" Oz asked, eying him carefully.
Klaus shook his head. "I have no plans to lay a hand on your witch. Nor send anyone to do so in my stead," Klaus said.
Oz gave him a grateful look. "Thanks," he said.
"It does not mean that I will let her go unpunished, however," Klaus warned. "She must suffer for what she did."
"You're not planning on going to Mystic Falls and killing all my friends to hurt her?" Oz asked, alarmed at the thought.
"I do not wish a war with the slayers," Klaus admitted. "Also, the two people she loves most are loved by me and Elijah. I could not hurt Xander or my sister. Nor do I want to spend the next few decades battling slayers."
Oz looked relieved. "Good," he said. He sat down on one of the chairs in the room. "So I went to sing for Lorne last night."
"Did he have any advice we can use?" Klaus wondered.
"Not really. He said I was marked for death," Oz said morosely. "He said the challenge would be not to get everyone I cared about killed, too. You and your family have a big magical target on your back."
"It's our mother," Klaus shared.
"What?" Oz asked in surprise.
"Our mother requires our death. She's the ancient, powerful witch on the Other Side trying to kill us," Klaus said grimly.
"Seriously?" Oz asked, having trouble believing it.
"She turned us into monsters and then hated us for it," Klaus said. "She went against nature and regretted it soon after."
"I'm sorry," Oz said, giving him a look of compassion and sorrow.
Klaus waved away his sympathy. "I'm not. I love being this powerful," he said arrogantly.
Oz gave him a small smile. Then he looked at the time. "I guess I'll go see what time Elijah wants us to leave," Oz said.
"I won't be leaving with you," Klaus revealed. "I have some things to take care of before heading to New Orleans. Some arrangements to make."
"We can wait for you," Oz offered.
"No. It's important that Elijah go to our New Orleans home and begin reacquainting himself with our old friends in the city," Klaus said. "You will need to be on hand in case something develops before I can be there. Trust Elijah. He's a bit stodgy in his old age, but he's a lot like you. He doesn't like it when I kill indiscriminately either."
Oz nodded, a half-smile on his face, and said goodbye. Then he left to go to Elijah and Xander's room. When Elijah welcomed him into the room, Oz smiled in greeting.
Oz walked forward and stopped when he saw the still rumbled king size bed. His wolf sense of smell detected a surprising scent, and he gave Elijah a curious look.
Elijah knew what the hybrid smelled. "I would hope that you would respect Xander's wish for discretion," he said.
Oz frowned. "Is he sired bonded to you? Are you taking advantage of him?" Oz asked, unsure what to think.
Elijah's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "Out of respect for your friendship with both Xander and my brother, I will forgive your insult," he said coldly.
"No insult intended. Just genuine concern," Oz replied, not backing down from the deadly Original.
"I appreciate your friendship with Xander. Rest assured he will never come to any harm at my hands," Elijah assured Oz. "Nor is he sire bonded to me. I didn't sire him, remember?"
Oz nodded. "Fine. Just be careful with him. He's more fragile than most people think," Oz said.
Elijah looked thoughtful. "Yes, I am aware," Elijah, surprised by the hybrid's insight. However, he shouldn't be since many had told him that the man was unique.
"Hey, Oz," Xander said, coming in, toweling his head dry. A towel wrapped around his waist. "How are you feeling?" He walked over to his suitcase and took out some clothes.
"Fine. I just wanted to know when we were leaving," Oz asked.
"Our flight is in three hours. We should leave within one," Elijah said. "Will you tell Kol?"
"Sure," Oz said. He turned and left.
Xander dropped his towel and began to dress. Elijah waited until he was dressed before speaking.
"I think your friend Oz is aware of the nature of our relationship," Elijah said.
Xander shrugged. "I'm not ashamed of it," Xander said. "He won't say anything to anyone anyway. If you looked up private in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of his face!"
Kol came in through the connecting door. "Are we ready to get this show on the road?" he asked eagerly. "I can taste the gumbo now!"
"I've never been," Xander said.
"Oh, you're going to love it! I'll show you all the best spots!" Kol said excitedly.
"I'm sure, brother, the city has changed since we were last there. It's been around a hundred years. A hurricane almost destroyed the place recently," Elijah said.
"New Orleans never really changes, big brother. You'll see!" Kol said.
Elijah hoped he was right. They had fled the city once long ago, running from their father. He hoped things would not be so turbulent this time around.
Buffy and Dawn were with Willow and Rebekah trying on dresses. Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena were also there. Willow was the maid of honor. Dawn and Elena were bridesmaids. Even though Buffy hadn't known Elena long, Rick considered her family. Since he had even less than Buffy, Buffy had asked Elena to be one of her bridesmaids. Damon was going to be Rick's best man. Xander and Jeremy were his groomsmen. Matt had agreed to be one of the ushers while Caroline was going to sing. Buffy couldn't believe how quickly things were falling into place. She and Rick agreed on flowers a few days earlier. Yesterday, they'd ordered their cake. Now if she could just find the perfect dress…
"I'm so glad you picked blue for our dresses," Dawn said. "I look amazing in blue!"
"Not as amazing as I!" Willow said with a wink.
"Sorry, love, but I'm going to upstage you all," Rebekah said arrogantly as she posed in a strapless red dress that had a very short train.
"Oooh," Willow said, grinning at her girlfriend. She put the dress she was looking at back on the rack and walked over to her. She ran her hand down the bare shoulder. "You look good enough to eat!"
"Ick! Gross! None of that! Virgin ears here!" Dawn said, putting her hand to her ears.
"You're still a virgin?" Rebekah asked in surprise.
"Of course, she is still a virgin!" Buffy said hotly.
"What's with the 'of course'? You weren't at her age," Willow said with a snicker.
"Hey!" Buffy protested with a pout. "I'm the bride! There's no-picking-on-Buffy-day until after I've been married!"
The girls laughed. "Buffy, what do you think of this one?" Bonnie asked, pulling out an ivory lace dress with three quarter sleeves that had a long, flowing princess train.
"Gimme!" Buffy said, eagerly. She took the dress to the dressing room to try on.
Dawn and Elena also went to try on a dress while Bonnie kept looking through the bride dresses.
"Bon, you need to find one for you to wear," Caroline said.
"I already have one. I don't need to buy one," Bonnie said.
"A wedding is a perfect excuse to buy a new dress, Bonnie!" Caroline scolded. "Have I taught you nothing?"
Bonnie gave her a fond smile. Then she heard Elena yell for her assistance in the dressing room, so she went to help her.
"So, Caroline, is my brother really okay?" Rebekah asked. Caroline had arrived back home the day before, but Rebekah hadn't had a chance to ask.
"He's okay. He looked pretty awful when he came through that portal," Caroline said, giving Willow a pointed glare. Willow flushed and moved to give them privacy.
"How is his state of mind?" Rebekah asked. "Is he very angry?"
"What do you think? She sent him to hell where he had to fight every second just to live. He had no source of blood or nutriment. For him, it wasn't a few days but weeks," Caroline shared.
Rebekah was distraught at the news. "Is he angry with me for not being there?" she asked tentatively.
Caroline shrugged. "I can't say. We didn't really talk about you," Caroline said. "I don't think he plans on hurting Willow, though."
"Really?" Rebekah asked in surprise.
"We all agreed not to tell him that she lost her mojo," Caroline explained. "Right now, he's mostly worried about Oz. They're hoping the witches in New Orleans can help him."
"Yes, Elijah has told me," Rebekah said. She's spent so little time away from her family in her long life that it was strange having none of them around. Although she loved her new life, she missed her brothers much more than she'd anticipated. "Does he hate me?"
"I don't think so," Caroline answered honestly. "He loves you. He just needs some time."
Buffy came out in her dress, the rest of the girls right behind her. She was smiling happily. "I think this is it!" she exclaimed excitedly.
They all looked at her, admiring her dress. "I feel like a princess!" she said as she twirled in the dress, the full skirt flowing around her.
"You look like one!" Willow said, happy for her. If anyone deserved a happy ending, it was Buffy.
Damon dodged one of the creature's four arms while Spike slashed off two arms with his sword.
"Ha!" Spike yelled in satisfaction. He smirked at Damon. "That's how you get it done!"
Too busy boasting, he didn't notice when the creature grabbed him with one of his other arms around the waist, pulling him closer. Then the other hand went around his throat, squeezing.
Damon smirked. "Not so clever now are you!" he exclaimed.
"What are you waiting for? Kill it!" Spike gasped.
However, before Damon could, Illyria sliced off its other arms while Angel separated its head from the body.
"About bloody time!" Spike complained from his crouched position.
"If you two clowns didn't talk to so much, these jobs wouldn't take nearly as long," Angel scolded.
Damon snickered. He never knew how much fun he'd have killing demons. How he managed to live so long without being aware that he wasn't the deadliest creature in the world was beyond him. Los Angeles, he'd discovered, was brimming with all kinds of demonic activity. Whatever moron named the city was full of wishful thinking.
"City of Angels, my ass," he muttered.
The supernatural creatures with him, though, heard his remark.
"It's filled with angels—visions of loveliness," Spike said. "You and I need to spend more time enjoying the night life. Find us an angel or two to take home." Katherine hadn't been waiting for him when they'd returned. He'd given her one fleeting thought of regret before pushing her out of his mind.
Illyria blinked and frowned. "I have not come across angels on this planet. Do such creatures exist?" she wondered.
While Damon and Spike snickered, Angel gave a longsuffering sigh. "Not in the heavenly sense. Metaphorically," Angel exclaimed.
"Don't worry, love, no one would mistake you for one," Spike said.
Illyria gave him a puzzled look, not sure if that was an insult she should beat him for or a compliment. With these duplicit creatures, one could never be sure. Finally, she decided to beat him on principle. She swung her fist and hit him hard in the face. When he went airborne, Damon glared at her.
"What did you do that for?" he said, offended on his friend's behalf.
She gave him the same treatment. "Because I can," she simply. Then she turned and walked away.
Angel finally laughed.
Klaus finally had all the pieces in place. His revenge would be complete tonight. He knew using this particular vampire wouldn't be easy. She had a reputation for being very hard to manage. She'd left a lot of bodies behind in Los Angeles a few years ago. However, Klaus knew that he would be able to handle her just fine. He had found one of the demon vampire's the slayers hunted and tried his compulsion on it. It still worked. His power was superior. His source told him that she was in this club somewhere. Carefully, he surveyed the room. Finally, he spotted her dancing in the corner by herself, her arms raised above her. Her eyes were closed as she swayed to the music.
He approached slowly, observing. Her long dark hair framed an attractive face. When he stopped several feet away, her eyes opened. Her lips formed a knowing smile—as if she knew exactly who he was and what he wanted. He returned her smile with one of his. Then he crooked his index finger at her, beckoning her to come to him.
She danced slowly toward him. When she made it to him, her body never stopped swaying. "Dance with me," she ordered.
"I'm not here to dance," he said.
"I am," she said, closing her eyes and dancing to the music.
Klaus said nothing, waiting for the song to end. When it did, she kept moving. Impatient, he reached out and pulled her against him, startling her eyes open.
"Such a strong man!" she said with a giggle, unafraid. "But you're not a man, are you? You're a beast and a vampire." Then she frowned, titling her head as if listening. "There's no demon in you. How are you a vampire with a soul? Are you like my daddy, Angelus? Cursed with one because you were a bad boy?" She grinned at the thought. Then her eyes filled with sorrow. "Or did you go fight for yours like my poor, whipped Spike. The Slayer took away his fangs. Then she gave him back his soul. He left me for her, but now he's with Daddy, and I'm all alone."
At first, Klaus found her ramblings amusing. However, when they seemed to have no end in sight, he cut her off. "I'm Klaus. My family is the original vampires that were created by magic. We are not demons. I am, though, the original hybrid. Part werewolf," he explained.
She growled and barked. "I like dogs. My William gave me a dog once, but he died so easily. Their necks are so fragile, you know," she said matter-of-factly.
Klaus realized the reports about her were not exaggerated. The woman was a loon, but it mattered not. She'd do what he wanted regardless. "I'm not a dog. Call me that again, and you will feel my bite," he warned.
She grinned, still unafraid. She tilted her head again as if listening to voices that were not there. "You are angry. The big mean witch sent you to a very bad place. You want to punish her, but you live in fear of her and her friends," she said. Her eyes widened. "Your witch is that dreadful slayer's friend! Do you want to kill the slayer and her witch? Can I watch? Can I bathe in their blood?" She twirled around and rubbed her hands down her body as if she could feel their blood on her and relished in the feeling.
"No, I don't want to kill Willow. I want to punish her," Klaus said. "As for the slayer, Buffy is no enemy of mine."
"What do you need me from then?" she said, giving him a disappointed pout.
"My darling Drusilla, I was hoping you would ask that," Klaus said with a grin. "Come with me." He held out her hand. She gave that mad giggle of hers and took his hand. He led her out of the club.
*****To Be Continued*****
So I have always been very intimidated about the thought of writing Drusilla in any of my stories. Her character is so singularly unique that I am not overly confident in my ability to get her down right. However, I finally decided to take a chance with this story. I hope I didn't do her too badly. (I wrote this story before writing my SG-1/BTVS story where she was brought in for a bit). Reviews are much appreciated!