Dru missed her kitten. Three night had come and gone without her seeing him. She knew something was dreadfully wrong even though the stars refused to tell her what it was. Maybe it was the five planets sitting all in a row that made her vision fail.
It was a mistake, coming to the place where her kitten worked. Dru knew it before she went, after she got there and right up until the time, someone slid out of the crowd and whispered so only she would hear, "You'll never have him again."
Dru turned when she knew she should run but she had to look the Gold Queen in the eyes as she said, 'checkmate.' Something burned into Dru's belly, that bit of lightning one could hold in their hands, the thing she had once used on the Slayer. She fell, wondering why the Slayer wasn't ready to turn her to dust.
When Dru's came back to herself, the game was over and she had lost. She didn't know what this defeat meant because she had been allowed to live. She hadn't expected that. Something still made her groggy. The naughty Slayers must have put a poison in her to make her sleep because she could tell she had lost a good deal of time. She heard the dark-haired Slayer, the one of bottled fury, say, "I don't get why we didn't just dust her."
"Because we don't know what that'll do to Xander's brain. Giles wants to talk to Angel and Spike first," Buffy replied.
Dru tried to rub her eyes but her arms were fastened behind her. Heavy chains ran under her breasts, lashing her to something square cool and metal. Even her ankles were linked together and her skirt was pushed high, all rumpled and embarrassingly showing her pale legs to the world. "The danger from the west," Dru sing-songed. "The butterflies warned me."
"She's awake," Faith said.
"Yeah, I hear. What butterflies?" Buffy asked.
"They tried to warn me and my kitten about the dangers coming in from the west but I couldn't see..." Dru looked up at them. "Fix my dress. Mummy would be ever so cross with me...if Angel hadn't bitten out her throat."
Buffy made a face. "What?"
"Women didn't show their legs when Dru was mortal," Giles said, coming down the basement steps with Xander and the red headed witch that Dru rather feared.
"Dru!" Xander struggled against the older man but Dru saw her kitten was well leashed. Giles passed him off to Faith.
"What are you doing bringing him here, Giles?" Buffy's eyes were hard and Dru didn't like her tone.
"Xander wouldn't believe me that you hadn't staked Drusilla. Given his level of agitation, this was better than leaving him upstairs," Giles said.
"Don't let her just sit there all messy like that, Buffy," Xander pleaded.
Dru didn't even kick or make a sound when the bad Slayer rearranged her skirts for her. "My boys are here."
"You can tell?" Buffy said.
"You feel them, just like I can," Dru said and Buffy's head slowly bobbed.
"Buffy, do not make eye contact with Drusilla," Giles said, as heavy footfalls sounded on the cheap wooden stairs.
Dawn appeared, car keys still in hand but Dru looked past the child to her two boys. Both had faces so grim they darkened the room.
"Oh, Daddy is mad at me," she whimpered.
"He won't hurt you, Dru," Xander said but Dru ignored her kitten. "How'd you even get Dead Boy One and Two here?" Xander snarled. "I thought vampires didn't fly."
"They do when they have access to corporate jets that have necro-tempered glass," Spike said.
"We came as soon as Giles called," Angel said.
Dru saw how her boys didn't look at her. They couldn't take their traitorous eyes off of the Slayer. "She doesn't love either of you. She wants you both gone as soon as possible," she said.
"Hush, Dru," Angel said but it lacked sting. His eyes were on her now. "How long has she had Xander under her control?"
"Wait? What? My Dru and Harris?" Spike's face went blotchy with rage. "You didn't tell me that!"
Angel sighed. "Because I didn't want to hear you complaining all the way from L.A. All you needed to know was Buffy wanted us to come to Cleveland."
"Naughty, Spike," Dru said. "Running to lick the Slayer's boots like a puppy." She barked at him.
Spike stood over her. "Dru? How could you? I mean, Harris? That's worse than the Chaos demon!"
"Hey! I am not!" Xander squirmed but Faith held tight. "I love Dru."
Dru's heart sang at the look of horror in her boys eyes. "My kitten is so sweet, isn't he?"
"Can you break her hold over him?" Buffy asked. "We were afraid what might happen to him if we dusted her."
"Hard to say. Usually she kills whoever she's got under her thrall." Angel shrugged. "I've never seen her let one live before. Well, outside of Giles and only because Spike said we might still need him."
"So now what?" Willow asked.
"Dru usually needs to be there, to keep herself in their minds," Spike said. "If we take her with us, he might get better in time. Of course, it's hard to ever forget Dru."
Dru basked in that smile he gave her even if it wasn't as warm as her kitten's. Then the meaning of his words burst into brilliance in her mind. "No, you can't take my kitten away from me."
"Dru, this is wrong and you know it is," Angel said, patiently as if she were a child. Sometimes she liked it when he did that but not today.
"You can't separate us," Xander raged.
Dru's heart broke at the pain in her kitten's voice. "Daddy, it would be cruel."
"No, Dru, this is cruel. Xander needs control of his mind back," Angel said.
"Such as it is," Spike added and her kitten spat at him.
"But, Daddy." Dru's lip trembled. She knew once her boys sided against her there would be little she could do.
"So that's it? You just take her away? We don't dust her." Faith sounded disappointed.
"What if she gets away and comes back?" Dawn asked.
"Dawn has a point," Buffy said.
"Wolfram and Hart have copies of the Initiative's work in their files. I have no idea how they got it but I can imagine why," Angel said.
"I hate doing it to her, but we can have Dru chipped." Spike leaned down and caressed her check. "Sorry, princess."
Dru bit him and he jerked away, cursing. "No nasty science, no webs of pain, please, Daddy."
"Sorry, Dru, it has to be this way," Angel said.
"Buffy, you can't let them hurt her. You saw what that chip did to Spike," Xander said.
"Yes, I did. It let him hang around us when maybe we shouldn't have let it go on," Buffy said. "That means Dru could just come back here once you're done with the procedure."
Dru saw a light flicker in her kitten's eyes as he said, "Hey, yeah, then no one could complain. She'd be just like Spike was and we could be together."
"I'm not sure that is a sound idea," Giles said.
"Spike and I are responsible for Dru. We always have been." Angel gave Dru a sad look. "We've shirked that duty and it's time we stopped that. We'll keep her with us, help her adjust. We just don't have the heart to kill her. She is my childe, after all."
"And my sire." Spike nursed his bleeding hand. "It's asking too much."
"If you think this is the best," Buffy said reluctantly.
"I do," Xander said. "It'll be okay, Dru. If Spike could adjust, you could do it even better."
Dru smiled at her kitten's enthusiasm but she knew it was misplaced. She would no longer be herself once they opened up her head and shoved metal in. "It will hurt."
"Only if you try to hurt a human, baby. It's not so bad once you get used to it," Spike said.
"That's not what you said when I saw you last, you bad boy." Dru pouted at him.
"With Cordelia's death, I no longer have a seer. Dru could be very helpful. It's why I picked her in the first place," Angel said. "It'll be all right Dru. We could be a family again."
"Can I bring my kitten?" She turned hopeful eyes on them.
"No, Xander's being shipped to the Watcher's Council back in Europe with Robin," Buffy said.
"I'm what? No, you can't do that." Xander's eyes went wild.
"It's for your own good, Xander," Willow said.
"No, it's not." He twisted and jerked, as his eyes filled with tears but he still couldn't get away from Faith.
"We can not win this fight, my kitten," Dru said and saw them hear her pain.
"Dru?" Xander sagged in Faith's arms.
"Times change. Listen to the winds," Dru told him. "They'll tell you when it'll change back again." She looked up at her boys. "Miss Edith has to come with us. I need her."
"I don't know where she is, Dru."
"I do," Xander said and told them where to find her.
"Thank you, my sweet kitten. I'll miss your poetry," Dru said.
"I can't believe you're just giving up."
Dru couldn't let him see how afraid she was. It would only hurt him more. "Times change," she said again. "The wheel turns but it will come back around again."
Dru didn't fuss as her boys unchained her and said their goodbyes to the bad Slayer. Her kitten slipped free just long enough to kiss her once before her boys led her away. Dru had never flown before. She could spend her life riding the clouds if she could. She almost wasn't afraid any more. She could feel her kitten, even from here. He was in the clouds now too, going to the other ends of the earth. It wouldn't matter what her boys did to her. One day her kitten with eyes of poetry would find her again. The trials she faced now might even make the time to come that much sweeter.
Dru settled back, content with that, Miss Edith tucked against her breast. She looked out the plane's window and danced in her heart with the moon.
Author's Note - The Dobama Theatre is real as is the play mentioned in the story. Check it out. ;