Title: Shadows
Author/LJ: nikitangel
Pairing: (gen) Drusilla
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 2,019
Written for: The Dangerous Woman Ficathon
Requestor: utopianbabie
Dedication: as always, to my woobie, theantijoss, the best beta a girl could ask for
Notes: A thousand apologies for the awful tardiness of this entry. RL and my muse conspired to keep this fic from being written!

The Request:
Your dangerous woman: Drusilla
One other person that must be included: Angelus
Requirements: flashbacks to the fanged four's past exploits, a scene/the story set on a ship.
You must use this quote: "Not in the least. You won't even hurt me just a little bit"

The loud was hurting her head. Drusilla didn't like all that dirty noise in her ears, drowning out her lovely friends. She scowled at the man slumped on the doorstep of the rundown apartment building. The woman ahead of her pushed past the door with the broken lock and stumbled inside, gesturing for Dru to follow.

"Whatsa matta baby, you gettin' scared?" slurred the man standing behind her. "Me and Gracie'll treat you real good." He clumsily slid a hand over her thigh.

Drusilla contemplated leaving, but the street was loud and she was hungry and it was almost sunrise. These two wouldn't take long. "Coming," she answered, gliding through the doorway and following Gracie up the worn staircase.

When the trio finally reached the fifth floor, Gracie and Steven were both breathing heavily, their liquor-soaked breath perfuming the air. Gracie managed to fit a key into the lock and stagger into the dark apartment. "Get inside already," she called over her shoulder. "I'm horny." She whirled around, attempting a suggestive smile and nearly losing her balance as her companions followed her in.

"Mom?"

Dru's head snapped up. She sniffed, her eyes crawling over the squalid surroundings until they came to rest on a figure huddled under the kitchen table. Dessert.

"What the hell is that brat doing here?" snapped Steven.

"'Fuck am I supposed to do with her?" Gracie scowled at the table. "Get outta there." She kicked the table leg and the child crawled out, dragging a ragged doll behind her. "What'd I tell you about bugging me when I got friends over, huh?"

The girl stood up awkwardly, rubbing a dirt-smeared elbow. "I'm hungry. There's no more Spaghetti-Os and the milk is gross."

"So get outta here and go buy some!" The man was being loud again. Drusilla frowned at him.

"I don't got any money." She crossed her arms and glared at the man.

"Well, whose fault is that? You're eight years old, go get a goddamned job."

"Don't tell me what to do!"

Dru tilted her head, regarding the child thoughtfully. The evening was suddenly interesting again. She could smell the blood coursing through those tiny veins and briefly closed her eyes, humming happily to herself.

Without warning, her arm shot out and grabbed the man's neck, yanking him closer. He was still scrabbling at her hands when she began to drink. She kept her gaze on the girl, watching those little eyes widen and hands start to tremble. Her breathing accelerated, of course, but it was the rapid heartbeat that always gave Dru that tickly feeling.

While the girl stood stock still in terror, Gracie was rubbing her reddened eyes and shaking her head. "What the hell am I on tonight?" she mumbled. "And what the hell happened to your face?"

Dru swallowed one last time and licked her upper lip. She grasped the body by the scruff of its mutilated neck, holding it out at arm's length.

"Would you like your Daddy back, little girl?" she asked sweetly.

A whimper escaped from the child. "Mom? Mommy?" She turned to find her mother passed out on the grimy linoleum.

"I can bring him back forever, you know." Dru smiled knowingly. "Forever and ever." She wouldn't, of course. Drusilla didn't care to share eternity with such a distasteful creature.

The girl swallowed convulsively, then stuck out her chin defiantly. "He's not my dad."

"Really?"

"And I don't want him back," she added, her voice tremulous.

"You want him to stay dead? What a naughty little girl." Dru smiled. "You've got a big dark, deep hole in you, just like me."

"No, I don't!" Tiny fists curled in rage. "Don't say that! You're – ugly, and mean!"

"Shouldn't say such things," admonished Dru. "People will think –" But she didn't get to finish her warning before the flashes came. Pretty, pretty pictures, all swimming around in front of her, whispering to her, singing to her, dancing with her.

She came back to the present with a surprised gasp. "You killed the birdie!" She stared at the child in wonder. "Made a big red hole in him, to match your deep, dark hole."

The young face twisted in frightened confusion. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"You've got a naughty mouth, Little Birdie. Your Mummy should have fixed that." She tsked and dropped the corpse on the floor next to the unconscious woman. Stepping forward, she drew a fingernail down the side of the girl's face. "I used to have a birdie, you know. But you didn't kill him. He's just sleeping. He never sings for me anymore," she said wistfully. "Why doesn't he sing?"

Little Birdie was flinching away from her. "What do you want?"

"Do you have a Daddy?"

"Duh. I know about sex."

Dru delighted in the tremors of fear behind the bravado in the Birdie's voice. "He's not here. Did he leave you? My Daddy left me. He left and took all the lovely games and parties and treats with him."

Birdie tried to run away, but Dru caught her arm easily. "Little birdies have little bones. So easy to break. Just snap, right in your fingers." She squeezed. "You should be careful, Little Birdie."

Then Little Birdie was punching and kicking her. "I know karate!" she cried. "I'm gonna kick your ass!"

"Not in the least. You won't even hurt me just a little bit." Dru smiled indulgently. "You like to flutter, don't you, Birdie? You run away from the trousers."

"You don't even make any sense. You're crazy!" The little chin was wobbling.

"Daddy never said I was crazy. Daddy told me I was perfect. Did your Daddy ever tell you that?"

Birdie didn't answer.

"Daddy is all dark on his insides, too. You'll like him."

Birdie looked up at her with lovely tears in her eyes. "Are you gonna kill me or what?"

"Patience, Little Birdie. Shall I teach you to be patient like my Daddy did? He took me on my first big boat ride, Daddy did. Lots and lots of yummy people to eat, but we had to be patient. Daddy explained about rationing. Me and my Spike and Daddy and his Mummy." Drusilla ran her fingers through the girl's hair as she spoke. "Lots of days on the big boat, lots of weeks, lots of months, water, water, everywhere. But mustn't eat all the food at once or you'll get hungry later. Do you understand, Little Birdie?"

The girl jerked her head up and down and Dru petted her fondly.

"The food started to get squiggly after awhile, and they kept jumping into the water. Mustn't waste food, Birdie. So Daddy locked them all up, all that lovely pink food in our deep dark rooms in the big boat. One little girl was naughty. She wasn't patient for her turn and Daddy had to punish her. He waited for the big moon and tied her up on the pointy stick in the sky." Dru's eyes glazed over. "Those lovely pink legs turned red after awhile and she stopped being so noisy." Drusilla frowned. "But she didn't taste very good."

Now the Birdie was crying. Little snuffly tears and hiccups.

"Are you sad, Little Birdie? Do you want some cheesecake?" Drusilla slid her hand off of the girl's head over her mouth. "Mustn't cry, Birdie." She tightened her grip, cutting off the Birdie's air, and felt the little chest contract. Birdie nodded frantically, so she let go and patted her now-silent mouth. "Good girl."

"After awhile, the boat wasn't going where Daddy wanted it to. There was no food to make it go and the water got very short. We got out of the boat and danced on the sands under the moon. We danced for a long time. Food kept visiting our island to come save us." Dru licked her lips. "Daddy was very good at tricking the food."

A groan from the floor interrupted Drusilla's reminiscing. "The fuck?" Gracie asked as she lifted her head and looked around dizzily. "Are you that chick from the bar? Where's Steven?" She put out a hand to lift herself and instead it landed on the squishy food. Little Birdie's mommy started screaming. Dru didn't like the loud.

Gracie scrambled backwards, holding a hand over her mouth. Her gaze flew to Drusilla and took in the scene before her. She flicked her eyes between Dru and the door a few times before she lunged forward. Dru considered stopping her, but she wasn't hungry anymore. She was talking to Birdie now.

"Mom?" The girl cried out. "Where are you going?"

But the woman was gone.

"It's okay, Little Birdie," said Dru soothingly. "I'll be your new Mummy. We'll be dark together, forever and ever. Like chocolate."

The Birdie was shaking her head. Silly Birdie.

"You'll have lots more fun with me, I promise," she cooed.

"I don't wanna be chocolate," said the Birdie pitifully.

"Too late. You killed the mountain man. Red and black mountains. Red and black and red and black and red and black and-" Drusilla drifted, chanting the words over and over while holding tight to the struggling girl in her arms. More pictures, more visits from her friends. Her eyes rolled back as she reveled in the visions.

She opened her eyes with a start.

"Birdie! You tried to hurt my Daddy!" Drusilla glared at the squirming girl.

"No, I didn't! I didn't do anything!" protested the Birdie desperately.

"You gave him the man with the lyre. You're a dirty little girl. I don't want to be your Mummy anymore." Her grip on the girl's hair tightened as she twisted her fist in it. Her other hand swung, striking the child's cheek and sending her flying into the table.

The Birdie was lying on the floor now, little birdie legs wiggling around like worms. Dru didn't like worms.

"Bad Birdie. I'm going to teach you a different lesson."

Birdie was crawling away now, wiping her hand across her nose as she skittered away.

"Can't get away from me, Little Birdie. I'll find you." Dru waited patiently as the Birdie disappeared into a tiny bedroom. She liked playing games.

"Come out, come out, Little Birdie. Time for dinner …"

She took her time sauntering over to the room. Blood was sweeter when it ran faster. Drusilla reached the bedroom door and nudged it open, bit by bit. No Birdie. Her eye caught on the nearly-closed closet door, still slightly swinging.

"Hello, Little Birdie." She approached slowly, a hunter stalking his favorite prey. "You're going to taste delicious. Just like butter."

With a triumphant smile, Dru yanked the door all the way open. Her smile disappeared as she felt the air currents change. She shoved aside the hanging clothes impatiently and stared in shock. Birdie had made a big hole.

No, Dru decided, taking in the glass fragments scattered across the floor. Birdie's Not-Daddy had made the big hole in the wall. Drusilla growled and punched through the remains of the flimsy wall.

As she stepped into the neighboring apartment, she could barely hear the sounds of clanking metal. She strode over to the open patio door and looked down. There was the Little Birdie, all the way down there, making the little ladders go up and down.

This was inconvenient. Dru liked chasing her food, but she was tired of this game. She sniffed tentatively and looked up at the sky. Sunrise. She narrowed her eyes as she watched Birdie scramble down balcony after balcony. Fine. She would catch her another day. Birdies tasted better when they were bigger anyway.

Humming once again, Drusilla made her way back to the Birdie's apartment. Nudging the corpse aside, she stooped to pick up Birdie's dolly, peeking out from under the table.

"Hello, Birdie's dolly. Your Mummy and I are going to have fun together. Just wait until she finds her big snake."

Drusilla ran a finger over the name inked in marker on the dolly's chest. F-A-I-T-H. Her Little Birdie would find her deep-dark some day. Dru could be patient.