Title: Mending the Future

Author: Jade Hunter

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

Tenko: First, thanks for reviewing. Secondly, I used to be a sometimes-B/S fan, though I always preferred S/Dru, but I stopped being one after Buffy became so self-absorbed in Season 4. After the events of Season 6, I totally abandoned the ship, because although nothing excuses Spike's attempted rape – and I mean nothing – one cannot help but understand why he did it. Anyway, I'd like to say I agree, Drusilla is the most underrated character. Before, it was Darla, but after her return to Angel and her sacrifice,…it's Dru now. I've always loved her and Spike, the whole Sid and Nancy thing, way back from Season 2, and I still love it now, maybe more than ever since we saw more into them in Fool For Love and Crush. I stopped being an avid fan of the show after they neutered Spike, because I loved him as the Big Bad, and I was horrified when they gave him a soul and took away his duster. About the whole Spike and Angel thing, I think Spike now hates Angel with every part of his being – thus the whole torturing thing for the Gem. However, back in Season 2 in School Hard, when he first saw Angel, he punched him, called him a traitor, and seemed truly broken up about it – plus he called Angel his Yoda. And when Angelus returned, he was as happy as Dru, ecstatic, almost, and in Becoming 2, Angelus said that he liked Spike watching his back because it was like 'old times'. It was after Spike had to tolerate Angelus stealing Drusilla that he began to hate him for real. And I have my own theory about why Angelus acted that way, which you can read in my one-shot fic For Our Sake. About Connor…well, we'll see, but probably not. I don't exactly see Angelus letting Darla kill herself for a human baby.

"talking"

thoughts

emphasis

flashback

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It was quiet, at least, to the average person.

No one but a handful of people knew of the creatures that roamed in the shadows of Sunnydale, the creatures that preyed on humans.

Although the death toll in their town was unusually high, most people only saw the mundane routines of their lives, not what went on in the dark.

They were blind.

And yet, for some unexplainable reason, most of the older townies tended to avoid going anywhere in the dark. It was mostly teenagers, eager to prove their brazenness to their friends, who wandered into danger zones and fell victim to the vampires, to the demons.

It was a school night, however, and so even the teenagers were lacking.

There was no one around to notice what happened next – no one who would care.

A classic 1958 Dodge DeSoto FireFlite crashed through the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign, screeching to a halt.

The driver's door opened, and Spike stepped out. Strolling over to the curb, he took out a cigarette and lit it, taking in a deep breath.

"Home, sweet home," he smirked.

Inside the DeSoto, her head resting on the front passenger seat, Drusilla met his gaze – and smiled.

*****

"Zachary didn't return from the hunt last night."

Darla dropped her eyes at the mention of one of the older vampires – not as old as she was, and certainly not a Master Vampire, but older than most. She didn't need any guesses on what had happened to him.

"The Slayer," she hissed.

"Zachary was strong, and he was careful. And still the Slayer takes him…as she has taken so many of my family," the Master commented. The shaky breath he took to soothe his temper belied his calm exterior, "It wears thin." Turning to the Anointed One, he asked, "Collin, what would you do about it?"

Looking up briefly from his act of tossing pebbles into the pool of water before him, the young boy's face remained impassive as he replied, "I'd annihilate her."

The Master inhaled slowly, for patience, "Out of the mouths of babes…"

Darla was about to speak when another voice, rough and accented, interrupted her.

"Yeah, they do tend to say the strangest things, don't they?"

Spike stepped farther into the cavern, in full game face, arching his scarred eyebrow at the state the Master was living in, the conditions Darla lived in. For as long as he had known his Great-Grandsire, she had always desired the best things – the finest clothes, the finest transportation, the finest living conditions – and her new life in caves amused him.

"That is, 'fore I eat 'em," he grinned, his expression feral. "Normally, I'd go for the ones that fight back, get the blood all pumping, but sometimes, you just want the delicacies."

Darla stepped forward, shocked.

"Spike," she said.

The Master turned his head sharply to his favorite Childe, then rested his gaze on the intruder, a spark of recognition in his eyes. He had never met the vampire personally, but when Darla had returned to his fold, she had told him a bit of her adventures.

He extended a hand in gracious welcome as Collin stood up. "Ah, Spike," he smiled. "I have heard much about you and your exploits from Darla here."

Spike glanced at the blonde, and she smiled slightly.

"Killed a Slayer when you were scant twenty years old," the Master stated, moving to sit on his throne. "Quite impressive."

"I don't like to brag," Spike shrugged. A grin split his face a second later, and he laughed, "Who am I kidding? I love to brag!"

He jumped over the slope, landing easily on the lower level.

"I killed a second Slayer," he began, and smiled when he saw that he had an audience; the Master leaned forward, clearly wanting to hear the tale. "Back in New York, on the subway, in '77. She was a hell of a fighter – the first one, she was all business, but this one…"

Spike trailed off as he sensed something. The others in the cavern, too, sensed the approach of another vampire. They remained relaxed as they saw Spike's game face melt away, his expression becoming tender, a stark contrast to the one who had been recounting a kill just a moment ago.

A whisper of soft cloth, and a dark-haired female vampire, clad entirely in white, emerged from the entrance to the cavern, her expression distant but pleased.

"Drusilla," Darla greeted, and the Master tilted his head, recognizing the name. Collin simply continued to observe the proceedings, his expression blank.

The vacant expression fled Drusilla's face as she smiled slightly, tiredly, "Hello, Grandmother."

Darla had long given up on reprimanding the insane vampire for calling her that, and so chose to overlook it, despite the amused glance the Master gave her. Instead, she noticed the unusual pallor of the vampire's skin – several shades more pale than a vampire should be – and how truly out of it the younger female seemed to be. Drusilla had always been off in her own world, but this was different, it was as if the vampire was forcing herself to pay attention, to move, as if besieged by some disease.

"What's wrong with her?" she asked, glancing at Spike.

Drusilla stepped closer, and Spike immediately moved to assist her down the slope.

"A bloody mob in Prague, that's what's wrong with her," he spat out, anger on his face. "Paid for it with blood, they did, their own blood, flowing down the streets in red rivers…"

A pale hand came up to his cheek, and Spike bit his tongue as Drusilla caressed his face.

"Shh," she said, and Darla noticed that her voice was weaker as well. "All in the past, my William."

The Master studied her; "You would be the vampire with the Sight?"

Drusilla faced the Master, dropping as best she could into a curtsey, her eyes bright. "The stars speak to me," she answered. "And the moon tells naught but the truth, and Miss Edith has been a bad girl today."

Spike smiled fondly down at his kitten, and Darla simply nodded, amused. She had forgotten what fun being around the insane vampire was like, although she clearly remembered the babbling words and childish antics.

A beat.

Collin stared.

The Master leaned back in his throne, sighing.

"Do you like daisies, hmm?" Drusilla asked, turning to the Anointed One. "I plant them, but they always die." Her voice turned melancholy. "Everything I put in the ground withers and dies." She seemed to fold into herself, her expression crumbling as she called out, "Spike?"

He came up behind her.

"I'm cold," she told him, her voice desperate and teary. It was supposed to be impossible for vampires to be affected by cold that much, even she knew it, and her state angered and frustrated her.

Not even missing a beat, Spike immediately took off his treasured duster, wrapping it securely around his princess.

"I've got you," he whispered.

She leaned in close to him, smiling, "I'm a princess."

He smiled, "That's what you are."

Drusilla pricked his flesh with her fingernail, dragging down to create a scratch. Moving closer to him, she stretched to lick the blood that welled up. She pulled her head back, just a little, and Spike moved in as if to kiss her. They hovered, just for a moment, their lips a millimeter away from each other, before they touched foreheads, turning their heads in complete synchronization to look at their audience.

"Dru and me," Spike said, a small smirk on his face. "We're moving in."

The Master exchanged glanced with Darla and Collin.

"Well, not in here," Spike continued, glancing around. He separated from Drusilla, walking around in a small circle to view the digs. "I couldn't stand for two seconds to live in a place like this. We'll find somewhere else to hole up, won't we, love?"

He turned to Dru, who smiled in response. He smiled back, then faced the Master expectantly.

The Master sighed, his expression that of great tolerance with a hint of amusement. "I can see that the blood of your Grandsire flows strongly in your veins," he said, wryly, remembering the young stallion that had scoffed at the thought of living in the sewers.

Spike growled. "I'd appreciate it," he forced out, knowing the Master was old and powerful, more than he could probably imagine. He might like a good fight, but he didn't have a death wish. "If no one mentioned my Grandsire in my presence. I just came here for a bit of a family reunion, and to give Dru a chance to recover."

"That would be a problem," the Master commented.

Not understanding, Spike narrowed his eyes.

Darla smiled. "Didn't you know? The Slayer is here."

Spike twisted his head to look at Drusilla, who nodded. His brow furrowed as the wheels in his head turned.

"I thought she was in LA. But if the Slayer's here," Spike said slowly, "then that means that Angel is here as well."

"How did you know that?" Darla demanded, then glanced at Drusilla, who tilted her head to look at her. "Nevermind."

Spike shrugged, then smiled, reaching out to drape an arm across his Black Goddess, "Yeah, Dru and her visions, you know? Plus, the whole demon community's been talking about it, how a vampire is killing his own kind and all that rot. Disgusting, a bloke can't even drink in peace without someone telling him his Grandsire's a traitor."

"If you didn't come here to help us with the Slayer and Angel, why are you here?" The Master asked, curious.

"See, here's the thing. Dru's sick. And no matter how much she feeds, she's not getting any better," Spike explained, his playful demeanor gone, replaced with a seriousness that shocked Darla.

She glanced at the passive Drusilla, and frowned. "How bad?"

"She's dying," Spike replied, bluntly, his eyes shining with pain at the mere thought of it. "Don't know how much time she has left."

The Master tapped a clawed finger on his chin. "Again, I will ask, why are you here?"

"Dru had a vision," Spike answered, gritting his teeth in anger at the uncaring manner the Master had adopted. "There's a cure."

"A cure?" Darla repeated, somewhat relieved, much to her chagrin.

Spike nodded. "It's here, in Sunnydale. We came to find it."

Darla turned to the Master; fond as she was, in her own way, of the two vampires, her Sire was still the Master of Sunnydale. His word was law here.

"I will make a deal with you," the Master smiled. "You've killed two Slayers. Make it three, and we will help you find that cure."

Grinning, Spike's eyes flashed gold as he exchanged a look with Drusilla.

"You've got a deal, mate."

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~Jade Hunter~