Part III

And it grows, ooohh it grows, the reverberations spreading and multiplying, ripples leaping from other ripples, complications and permutations and consequences caroming off each other like … pocket billiards, like pocket billiards, and why do they make the chalk blue now? So unattractive, really. She sees the Slayer, mad with grief and guilt and hate, exploding through the night children of Sunnydale like chain lightning, a berserk unquenchable cyclone of vengeance and death. She sees the girl pushing away the consoling arms of her father, and the other man she calls father, sees her striking out from all who care for her, honing and hardening and armoring herself until she can never again be hurt, never again be bereaved, never again love or laugh or trust, until at last she is a wandering, solitary hunter, fighting when she can find a fight but always moving, always fleeing, always alone, alone …

"Waiting for an answer here, Dru."

She looked up with a shiver of delight, pleasure and adoration and remembered fear coursing through her like … champagne, pink champagne, SO wonderful it tasted when you knew what to mix with it, all red and rich and fizzy, but she could never remember to bring any home … "Angel," she purred. "Did you want me?"

"You tell me." He was leaning against the heavy draperies, elegant and ominous. "I was about to make a house call, show my ex that it'll take more than 'changing the locks' to keep me out, and then you go all, Woo-o-oo, this just in. So what's the big news?"

She gave him a fond smile. Such a lovely fire he had/would made/make, she really must be there to see it again …

… but …

… but then who would sing to her and hurt her and make her feel precious? Spike, Spike would never leave her, wonderful Spike, how all those silly Chinamen had been terrified of him, it made her giggle to think of it even ever so many years later … No, it wouldn't do. Spike was a love, but it simply couldn't be right without Angel. They were a family, she had to keep their happy home together, it was a woman's duty to see to such things, even when her hair changed directions and started growing inward, it pressed so on her brain.

She moved to his side, sliding an arm around his waist and molding herself to him. "Go visit her mummy some other night," she wheedled. "I saw the most darling pair of girls, ice skaters, all firm and sequiny, they looked just scrumptious. Say you'll have them with me?"

Angel shrugged. "Why not? Good ol' Mom will keep, and it isn't like she'd be much of a challenge anyway." He grinned down at Drusilla as she raised his hand to her mouth and began to nip at his fingers. "What d'you think, should we bring back a doggy bag for Spike? The boy needs nourishment, he's looking kind of peaked."

They went out into the night, arm in arm, she smiling at her victory and knowing he would believe her pleasure was due to his presence … and it was, it was. So easy, really, a touch of gentle guidance at exactly the right moment, and let the manly men think they were in charge. They would always be together, linked by blood and atrocity and need, and that was as it should be.

Above them the moon was screaming, and she began to croon in harmony with it.