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Tea Parties

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Drusilla didn't know everything that happened when the black boys full of metal rode into town on their motorcycles. The stars were not specific. But she knew the most important bits: the Slayer was alive again, Spike was still her tamed wolf, and lying by a fire was a broken dolly full of sparks whom everyone forgot. Everyone except Dru.

Dru came by night in a motor car, piloted by a delicious young man whose kindness she thanked with a kiss. There'd be no trains this time, bursting with plump chickens. She'd not go after Spike; she learned her lessons once they were taught her, and these she'd learned well: Angel would burn her and Spike would stake her. Even Grandmummy was gone, growing ripe with a secret she didn't yet know herself. There was no family left for Drusilla except for night her mother and darkness her sister, and they were uncomforting company.

Dru crept through wreckage and twisted metal. She found the fire, only embers now, and by their glow Dru saw the dolly. She was Slayer-shaped; Spike had done it, the stars told Dru. The dolly's eyes were closed. Someone should have put coins on them. Dru was glad no one did, because then the dolly would have floated off down the river there was no remembering from. “We’ll sew you up,” she promised. “All the stuffing on the inside again.”


Dru brought the box full of dolly to the house the stars directed her to. A boy opened the door to her. His eyes turned wide at the dolly’s hand hanging from the box. “Fix her,” Dru said.

“Are you nuts? I can’t fix this.” He poked at a wire. There was a lovely sizzle and snap, and he swore and put his finger in his mouth. “It’d be easier to build a new one.”

“I don’t want another one. I want this one.” Dru brought out her face; certain feelings could only be properly expressed with fangs. “Fix her.”

After that, the boy somehow found in him the will to try. Dru didn't even have to fascinate him. Dru fidgeted while he worked. She sang a song she'd heard a milkman sing a little while ago – she couldn't remember when, exactly, but it was a sweet song and she didn't want to forget it. Her stomach began to growl with beastly hunger, which sped the boy’s pulse faster through his veins. She went for take-out, and missed Spike, miserable Spike, because it was he who’d taught her that word. Take-out. She slept, assured that a bee would wake her if the boy got up to mischief. He didn’t.

It was days later, maybe, when the boy began mumbling promises of being almost done, and another day after that, he cleared his throat and said, “So here she is.”

The Slayer dolly opened her eyes and said, “Hi, I’m Buffy!”


Dru took her to Angel’s old house, because sometimes the cool weight of its stone cooled the frenzy in Dru’s head. She found a tea set in a window display in town and brought it back to a table Angel had left; she filled the pot with blood like Spike used to do for her, and poured ever so daintily, as Grandmummy had taught her.

“I’m not thirsty right now,” the dolly said. “But you can have some without me!”

That wasn’t what Dru’s dollies usually said. Miss Edith had never once declined tea. “Have a nibble, then,” Dru said, and offered the plate. She’d made finger sandwiches specially for the occasion.

“I’m not hungry right now, but you should have some without me.”

In the end, Dru drank the pot dry herself.


The dolly wanted to go back to Spike. "I'm always supposed to go home to Spike. Or Willow. She's very nice. But I like Spike better.”

Drusilla made a face at her, a scowly one that quieted even in the most troublesome playthings. “You can’t go home,” she said. “They don’t want you. They left you all in pieces.”

The dolly sadly looked down at her hands. Unquieted, she said, “Spike didn’t want me anyway.”

Dru huffed. “He doesn’t want anyone anymore, except the Slayer.”

“But I am the Slayer,” the dolly chirped.

“You’re not,” Dru said. “You’ll never be. You’re nothing but a dolly that won’t drink your tea, won’t be quiet. You were broken and left all alone, and nobody wants you.” Dru stalked away from the house and out into the night. She found a gentle tender lamb and made it bleat.


The dolly liked dress-up, just like Miss Edith. Dru took her to town one night and showed fangs at passers-by, and together she and the dolly chose the clothes they liked from each shop window. A security man came, but the dolly put him to sleep on Dru’s command: “Just for a little. He’ll wake up soon enough.”

When they returned home, all sparkle and satin, the dolly said, “I know who you are.”

“Do you?” Dru said. She scowled down at her pretty gown. The sheen had suddenly gone off.

“You’re Spike’s princess of the night.”

Dru made a sound no lady would ever make. “Spike doesn’t want a princess anymore. None but the Slayer.”

“You like blood and stars and little creepy-crawlies,” the dolly continued.

Dru did. She liked wrigglies that turned hard and blossomed into butterflies, whose wings crunched so sweetly between the fingers. Spike used to send minions out into the day to catch them for her, and they’d come back, their cupped hands scalded and red. She liked stars; they sang and told her stories, though these days the songs were all sad. She liked blood, drunk from bleating lambs; she liked it going down Spike’s throat, his teeth in her wrist or her neck, intimate as death – and she knew death very, very well indeed.

But he was all gone now, not a creature of darkness any longer; now he hid in the Slayer’s shadow the best he could from the evil, vicious sun.

“What do you like?” Dru asked.

“Spike,” the dolly said promptly.

Dru rolled her eyes. “I haven’t got a Spike. Not little or big or just right, not dark or fair. What else?”

“I like slaying vampires,” the dolly said thoughtfully. “And after I slay them, I like sex.”

Dru considered. “There’s vampires that need slaying. Could find you one.”


There were caves that burrowed through the earth, dark as graves, and dug into them like worms were vampires. Most of them were less than beetles to Drusilla, but she took the dolly hunting and found what she was looking for: a minion. He’d been one of Spike’s, and the Anointed One’s before that.

He’d laughed about Drusilla once. Not where she could hear it, but then it wasn’t only her ears listening. The flame in the candle had told her all about it.

The dolly took out her cruel wooden barb, ready to strike, but Dru shook her head. They slunk upon him like jaguars, and like the spotted cats they pounced. He squawked and cried and gibbered like no respecting vampire would; he mumbled Drusilla’s name. “We’ll take him with us,” Dru said. “You can slay him there. Slowly.”

In the end, it was Dru who tickled his heart with the stake while the dolly looked on, bewildered. But when Dru had had her fun, she set him loose. The dolly danced and spun like Giselle, wreaking her violence with grace to rival a swallow’s, delivering her final strike as sure as a serpent. She stood in the vampire’s ashes, grinning wide, chest heaving. Dru grinned back, ever so pleased, and took her by the hand, and bestowed on her all the favors appropriate to a distinguished warrior from a lady.

And a Spike was entirely unnecessary, they discovered.