Hush and don't tell, because this is a secret of Drusilla's: she has always wanted a little girl.
"She's a little bird trying to fly away," she says, stroking her fingers through her new girl's long hair. She's so pleased it's red. Blood-coloured, danger-coloured. Drusilla likes the moon best when it's swollen and red. There was a blood-moon in Prague and she had a wonderful party, but nasty people came and spoiled her games.
She feels better now, strong and ready to play again. Darla and Spike took the blood from the puppy-thing that looks like Daddy (except for the pale blue halo all around him, and doesn't he know he's on fire?) and Drusilla was fresh as a daisy, fresh as the corpses in the hall downstairs.
"Mummy and Daddy were ever so nice to let us inside," she says, because one must always say thank you for a lovely party.
"Father was all right," Spike says. "I didn't like the mother. Tasted gamey."
Drusilla's new pet whimpers. Tucks her head to her knees and pulls her arms around them just so. Trying to keep the world out, and that won't do at all.
Spike says, "Don't want to hurry you, ducks, but the sun'll be up soon. If you want to bury her…"
Drusilla presses a finger to her lips. Bold and bad of William to talk in church. The girl is whispering pleaseohplease and Drusilla tugs her hands free, uncurls the fingers. Palms to the ceiling, she traces the lines as the pulse flutters beneath the skin of the wrist. Heart and head and life, and the ones she doesn't know she names herself - the viscera line. The Channel of Prosperxa.
She digs down hard with her nails. The girl lifts her head and screams. Drusilla admires the small, neat wound in each palm and laps away the blood.
"Her hands told me lies," she says. She saw a Slayer in her palm, a Slayer between two mirrors, stretching to infinity. Drusilla doesn't care for mirrors. They don't speak to her. "They said she would kill Bartholomew and try to make the world ashes and salt."
Spike, when she looks to him, is inspecting a tank full of shining, coloured fish. He taps the glass with his ring. The fish dart away. If wishes were fishes we'd live in the sea… "You just go ahead and turn her," he says. "Then she won't be killing anybody." He frowns. "Well, she will. Come on, love. Dawn's coming."
"Oh, no," she corrects him seriously. "Not for years. Maybe not at all, now." Then she turns back to the girl, because she mustn't favour one over the other, even if Spike is the oldest. "Are you frightened, petal?" She's still holding her hands. Pulls her in, slowly, so slowly. She smells of fear and fractured mirrors. "Shhh. Mummy's here now." And she bites down.
"I'll name you Flybynight," Dru says. "Paraplyxia. Aeris of the Sacred Veil."
"I'm hungry," Aeris-or-not pouts. Her white pyjamas are filthy. Soil clings to her eyelashes and the ends of her hair. "And anyway. My name's Willow." Dead, her skin is bone-white. She looks like a doll come alive (Coppelia would be a lovely name, Drusilla thinks, but if she's so wedded to Willow then Willow it will be). Miss Edith will be beside herself with jealousy.
Drusilla wishes she could have done better than a coffin full of dirt, but the sun crept up on them bit by bit and made them run for shelter. Her daughter never got to sleep deep in the ground with the worms tickling at her insides, or rip her way up up up through the Earth.
Willow blinks around her at the bare grey walls. "This is the Bronze, isn't it? They closed it after all those kids died. I knew something ooky was going on down here."
"Screaming," Dru says, swaying happily from side to side, "they screamed, but there was nowhere to run away to." She and Spike weren't in Sunnydale then, but the building remembers. The screaming still hasn't stopped.
"Hungry," Willow says again.
Dru reaches out her hand. "Then we'll feed, my poppet." Great-grandfather is such a thoughtful host. Even in daytime, there are always treats in his castle.
"Will we have fun?" Willow says. "I don't think I ever had enough fun." She talks carefully, as if she's unused to letting the words spill out from their prison in her head.
Drusilla runs a finger across her lower lip. "We will have music and dancing and beautiful slaughter," she says. "Sweets and precious things beneath the stars."
Her doll-child stares wide-eyed at her, bewitched.
Spike pays his new little sister no mind, save when Drusilla spends too long petting her or playing with her; then he crashes around complaining till Dru coos over him. She loved him first, adores him still.
But he knows and Willow knows that she will always love Daddy best. She takes tea-parties by his cage, she and Willow and Miss Edith sitting neatly around a dying body. Drusilla likes the little girls the best. Willow prefers those her own age, girls or boys.
"Why is he in a cage?"
"He was terribly naughty," Drusilla confides. The man they're eating is dark-haired, weeping - neither of them like him much. "Left us all alone."
Willow drinks slowly. Angelus, huddled in his corner, won't join the party.
Darla sweeps in and past them, straight to the cage.
"Would you like some, grandmamma?" Drusilla offers formally.
"Don't call me that," she says. "Angel." And her tone is suddenly sugarcubes and razors. "Have you met Drusilla's girl? Willow, isn't it?" This addressed to Willow, who looks back at her, implacable green cats'-eyes.
Darla has never used Willow's name - calls her 'girl', or nothing at all.
"She hunted by herself last night," she tells Angel. "Just before dawn she hauled back a teenage boy." Puts her hands on the bars, almost caressing them. "He's still alive, if you can call it alive."
"I haven't finished," Willow says. "He used to be mean to me. I'm not finished playing with him."
"She won't even let him lose consciousness. Luke says she actually set up a kind of transfusion to keep him alive." Darla says, "Our Willow is an artist. It must be in the blood, don't you think?" And she laughs.
Angel turns away from them. Drusilla isn't sure he's not crying, and that makes her cross. He's not supposed to cry. She cries, and he pets her and hurts her just so, and the world's nice again.
"Willow, the Master wants to see you," Darla tells her, and leaves, sparing Daddy one haughty look on the way out.
Willow points at the hunched form in the cage and says, "If I'm very good, will the Master let me play with him?"
Drusilla likes the saying sweet sixteen. It suits her Willow, sweet and beautiful and sixteen forever.
Willow dresses in lace and black leather, tight to her skin. She says dresses make her think of Sears and her dead mother. Drusilla is sorry, so sorry, that Willow never got to taste her family's blood.
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed.
Drusilla kisses her on the beds in the back rooms of the Bronze. Whispers dirty hidden things to her mouth and her soft places. Willow calls her Sire and Mistress and Mother, as Spike never has.
Spike has Angelus's fingerprints over him still. Drusilla had Willow first, and the only marks there are her own.
Four is the proper number for a family. Three is unbalanced, and Darla has her Master now. No time for Drusilla and Spike and Willow.
So when Willow makes herself a playmate, Drusilla is pleased. It's just like the old days, when things were happy and good.
The moon over the graveyard is fat and red. Willow smiled when she saw it and said she loved eclipses. Now she's silent, sitting by herself at the fresh grave.
Dru leans back into Spike's arms.
"She left his family alive, you know," he says at her ear, dropping a kiss on her temple. "Said he'd want to do it himself. Vicious little thing."
Willow lies on her back, arms stretched above her head, back arching as if she's responding to some invisible lover.
"How'd you know?" Spike says. "The night you turned her… you were so sure it was the right house. I thought she'd be a snivelling little thing. Looked like she wouldn't say boo."
Dru turns and whispers, because this is a great secret. "She's the dark fairy. All lovely malice on the inside."
Willow cries, "They're singing!" Sits up and looks to them and says, "Dru, the stars - I hear them. I really hear them." And Drusilla smiles, proud as any mother could possibly be.