Title: Family News

Author: Jade Hunter

Disclaimer: None of the characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to me.

A.N: One shot ficlet, inspired by reading some Spike/Dru fics. Takes place after Wrecked in Buffy.

"talking"

emphasis

thoughts

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Drusilla gasped in awe.

She dropped the corpse of the little boy she had been feeding on, stepping over him to retrieve Miss Edith. Shifting out of game face, she giggled as she straightened the dress on her porcelain doll.

"The moon tells us pretty things, Miss Edith," she said, closing her eyes and twirling. She came to a halt, and spoke again, "Grandmummy is screaming and screaming…but she's happy, the stars say."

Gliding out of the alleyway, the insane vampire began to hum, her face soft and alight with an ethereal glee.

"I will have a new brother."

She addressed Miss Edith once more, "And my Spike must know of his new uncle, mustn't he, Miss Edith?"

*****

Spike sat in his crypt, his eyes dark and angry.

"Bloody bitch!" he muttered, and looked around for something to throw, but couldn't find anything.

How dare she? Sleeping with him, then pretending it never happened! He may be a vampire, and love's bitch, but that didn't mean he didn't have feelings.

Suddenly, he felt a prickle on the back of his neck, announcing someone's presence.

"Get out," he growled, not in the mood for any visitors.

A whisper of cloth. "My William."

Immediately, he whirled around to face the owner of the familiar voice, his expression shocked. After what had happened the last time she'd come to visit him, he never expected to see her again.

"Dru," he whispered, trying to remain calm. Luckily, the 'love bites' the Slayer had inflicted on him just a couple of hours ago had already faded, thanks to vampire healing.

Her head tilted to the side as she regarded him with clouded dark eyes. She clutched Miss Edith in her pale arms. She looked different from before, her hair now curled and styled beautifully, half of the silk mass piled up on her head. A red and black dress – his favorite colors – clung to her like a second skin, as if the material was a part of her.

She looked breathtaking.

A whimpering moan erupted from her pale throat, and she bowed her head, clutching her temples in a frenzy of emotion. Miss Edith dropped to the floor, unchecked and ignored.

"Lies! Lies!" she wailed, shaking her head.

Despite the bad history between them, mostly in the past five years, Spike was still concerned for his Sire, his Dark Goddess. He was at her side in an instant, his arms around her frail body as they had been a hundred times for over a hundred years.

Anguish plain on her features, Drusilla pushed at his chest, straining to get away from him. Her movements were jerky, like that of a child, and Spike knew better than to let her go, lest she fall and somehow hurt herself.

"Dru? What is it?" he asked, worried.

Her chocolate colored eyes wild, she gazed at him with something akin to betrayal and pain, "My William…gone! Gone to the Slayer! She's all over him, all over! She haunts his mind, she hovers over his skin, but she scorns him, even as she holds him captive!"

He froze; years of time with her had made him quite adept at deciphering her gibberish. What she'd said was that she knew he'd had sex with the Slayer, and that Buffy was in deep denial. He shouldn't have been surprised – she was a rather talented psychic, after all, never a wrong vision in her entire life and unlife – but he was, stunned into immobility.

"Pet," he managed to say, his voice coming out as a croak. He licked his lips and tried again, making his tone more soothing, "Dru. Calm down, love."

He began to rock her in his arms, as he used to when she was sick and besieged by one of her fits; eventually, it began to have the same calming effect it used to. Her whimpering quieted, and her shakes subsided as she relaxed in his arms again.

It was strange, how right it felt, despite his love for Buffy. Drusilla was his Sire, not only that, but he had loved her for almost a hundred and twenty-six years. And there had been a time when she had loved him back, purely, completely, devotedly, when Angelus had gone, Darla leaving a bit later, when all that they had were each other.

"My William," Drusilla crooned, her hands no longer pushing him away. They stroked his hair, as they used to, and ran across his features, recognizing them and exploring them again. "My shining knight come to sweep me off my feet."

Spike said nothing. Had anyone else tried to call him by his former, human name, he would have ripped their throats out, vampire or human, chip or no chip. But this was Drusilla, and from her he would take anything and still love her with everything he had. Even when he loved another.

"And I wonder," she breathed, her eyes far away. "What possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven…and brought this handsome stranger to tears?"

She was having one of her moments again. "Dru," he said, not unkindly. "Pet, I'm not a stranger, and I'm not in tears. That was a long time ago, ducks."

Her gaze bore into him, startling him with how lucid they were. "You do not see," she replied, her voice strong. "You think you do, but you cannot see like I can. You are a stranger to me again, not my William, not my Spike, but someone who loves the Slayer. You are a stranger to me."

Her words cut deeper than he could have imagined.

He was about to speak, to protest, when she placed a hand on his lips to shush him, "I can see your tears, Spike, I can see them…"

She pointed to his head, "Here." Then to his heart, "And here."

It was a scene that mirrored the one that night, so long ago, when he'd been turned, but there was a bittersweet quality to this one that was lacking from the one in his memory. That night had been a glorious one, a new rebirth for him – this one was horrific, it was a death all over again, nothing glorious in it, for his Sire and his love was condemning him.

It hurt.

For a moment, Spike felt as if he really was crying.

"I see you. A man, surrounded by fools who cannot see…" she continued. "Who will not see."

As always, there was an absolute truth to her words.

Spike tried to lighten the mood, unable to bear it any longer, "And burning baby fish?"

"The fish have gone, Spike," she replied, in all seriousness, her eyes sad. "You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine, they refuse to try, and the fish have gone, no more burning, your path is no longer my path. My knight has broken his oath and has left me."

Spike swallowed, hard. It was a habitual action, like breathing, something many vampires never left behind no matter how old they became. Talking required one to draw in a breath, after all, and the only time a vampire was completely still was when they slept the day away.

"What are you doing here, Dru?" he asked, gruffly, letting her go.

She stood on her own, not bothering to pick up Miss Edith, and regarded him again. Strangely, his arms felt empty without her, she who was so different from Buffy.

He loved Buffy because of her nature, her need to protect others and her love of the fight; her light drew him like a moth to a flame, and he was many times singed already. With Dru, it had never been about light. They had been dark together, glorious darkness, bathing in blood and fear and traveling the world together. He loved Dru for being the one person to see him, to see the true him. The one person who ever cared enough.

Both his loves were so different, opposites of each other. Buffy was light, Dru was dark. Buffy was petite, Dru was tall. Buffy scorned him, Dru nurtured him. But there were similarities as well. Buffy was powerful, Dru was powerful. Buffy loved Angel, Dru loved Angelus. Buffy was passionate, Dru was passionate. Buffy had rejected him, Dru had rejected him.

So different, and yet so similar.

The two sides of a coin.

The question was, which side did he prefer?

The million dollar question for a rainy day.

"I thought you went back to Darla," he continued, not giving a hint as to what was going on in his mind.

Drusilla smiled. "Grandmummy has a surprise for us, Spike."

"Yeah? What's that?" he asked, not really expecting anything big.

His Dark Goddess leaned in close, her eyes sparkling with excitement. "A baby."

Spike wasn't impressed. "So she napped herself a kid, that's great."

"Spike doesn't understand, does he?" Drusilla said to the air around her, pouting. She twirled around, the flowing material of her skirt whirling around her legs, and clapped her hands. "Grandmum is going to have a baby. No need to steal one."

A beat.

"What?" Spike demanded, stunned. He must have heard wrong. "You're not saying Darla's pregnant, are you, ducks?"

Drusilla hummed, pleased that Spike now understood. "Grandmum will have the baby soon. Even now, she feels it moving in her belly, and she will feel pain as it tries to crawl out, to live, to breathe, a human baby, inside her, consuming her."

"And…how, exactly, did this happen?" he managed to ask, plopping down on the sarcophagus.

Drusilla sashayed over, her arms wide open as if pleading with someone.

"My Angel did it," she whispered, as it telling a secret. "He was feeling naughty, and went to Grandmum. Now she has his baby."

"Wait a minute," Spike said, raising a hand to halt the flow of impossible words. "You're saying that Angel, do-gooder vampire with a soul, your Sire, my Grandsire, the poofter himself…had sex with Darla?"

"Mmm hmm," Drusilla nodded. "He made her scream and scream."

Okay. That part he could have done without.

A thought struck him. "And he still has his soul?"

Dru nodded again.

Try as hard as he might, Spike couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up from inside him. He hadn't felt this amused since…well, since the old days, when he'd brought carnage to every town he passed through.

"Naughty," Dru scolded. "Spike shouldn't laugh at Daddy."

That just made him laugh harder.

"I'm just," he laughed, thankful he didn't have to breathe, "picturing Darla's face…after they had a go at it, and Angel was still Angel!"

More laughter.

Drusilla, ever with the soft spot for her only childe, giggled. "Grandmum was mad. She left. Then she came back, more madder, because she had a baby."

It took a while for Spike to sober up, but he did, though the occasional chuckle escaped him now and then.

"So, what's all that got to do with me?" he managed to ask.

Drusilla came closer to him, winding her arms around his shoulders, her hands in his hair. He let his hands rest on her waist, comfortable with the old familiarity.

"The moon says that the baby is not well," Drusilla said, somber. Her face was sad, as sad as she had ever been. "Grandmum will not be able to hold the baby, she's dead, it's alive, it cannot come out, no matter how much she tries and it tries hard, too."

Spike's mind raced as he figured out what she was saying. "Darla can't have the baby because she's a vampire? Her body's dead, so it can't bear a child, is that it?"

Dru nodded.

"Then it'll die?" Spike asked.

"The baby will die," Dru said, "or Grandmum will die. A choice must be made, bad choice, hard choice, not one wants to make it, not even Angel."

"If the choice is up to Darla, there's no way she'll save the kid," Spike frowned. Although he had nothing against Darla – she'd always been amused by him and had sometimes defended him from Angelus' wrath in the early years because of that fact – he had no delusions of how heartless she was.

Drusilla moaned and shook her head, her curls bouncing. "No, Spike does not understand, but the stars tell me, the moon tells me, and I understand." She leaned in close, to his ear, really conveying a secret now, something she shouldn't even mention aloud, lest she be punished. "The baby, the human baby, has a soul, inside Grandmum, poisoning her with goodness, and she cries and rages but she feels it and she hates it, and loves the baby."

Spike tried to get the pained Drusilla to meet his gaze.

"So Darla will kill herself for the baby?" he asked, softly. It seemed impossible, that one of them could do something without a soul, a true soul of their own, even when affected by another soul. The survival instinct of a vampire was very powerful.

Drusilla did not answer. She knew that he knew the answer, and simply went to pick up Miss Edith from where the doll had been laying on the floor. She headed for the crypt door, as if to leave, and Spike stood up despite himself.

She paused, then turned. "Will you come?"

"To see Darla?" he asked, knowing it was where she was headed.

Drusilla gazed at him, her deadly boy, her dark childe, no longer entirely hers, but still hers indeed, for he loved her and she loved him, the poor boy, in love with the Slayer, too, who did not love him.

"Will you?" she asked. "There is no glowing, there is no glistening, nothing effulgent. There is only the moonlight, the starlight, Angel and Grandmum and the baby, and me and Miss Edith. Will you come?"

He was considering it, really considering, which surprised the hell out of him. He had never been too close with Angelus, despite the vicious vampire having been his Grandsire and his teacher, and that gap had worsened when the stranger who wore Angelus' face came back a few years back. Darla had never been his favorite, either, though he had tolerated her well enough, despite her treating him like a young child, a pet, to indulge occasionally and to be amused by. And there was no sense in repeating all that Drusilla meant to him.

Although Angelus was Angel now, the souled poofter, someone Spike hated, it was mainly because Angel had abandoned them, without a second thought, all those years ago. The true reason he hated him. For leaving, and for breaking up their family. Because, no matter how much or how little he liked Darla or Angelus or Drusilla, the four of them had been a family. They had been a family, and Angel had left them with no warning. It had taken years for Spike to find out about the soul, and those years had grown, in him, a hatred of the older vampire.

The truth was, he had loved them, Darla and Angelus, because they had been part of the little family.

And now, one of them was about to die.

Briefly, he thought of Buffy, of the Slayerettes, but his mind was already made up.

From where it was draped over his armchair, Spike retrieved his button down red silk shirt, putting it on but leaving it unbuttoned. Darla had always appreciated a bit of spiffiness, and though he wouldn't change his entire look for her, at least he could make himself look a bit more presentable.

He grabbed his duster and walked over to Dru, who was still waiting.

Taking her hand, he said, "We'll take my car."

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~Jade Hunter~