Last installment, bitches. Still not mine. Also, I owe a lot of the characterization to other awesome writers, not to mention "Growing Up Cullen" at Livejournal.
The hour had passed, and Jasper was still sitting in the hotel room, strumming away on the guitar. He'd just finished a twangy version of "Johnny Boy" when he noticed the time on the clock read an hour after Alice's departure. Carlisle had not yet returned from wherever he had vanished to, and for a moment Jasper was torn – wait for him, or run to the aid of his woman.
He decided, ultimately, to run to the aid of his woman, leaving a short note for Carlisle:
Saving Alice from saving Edward and Bella. Be back soon.
He then ran outside, determined to figure out where his ladylove had gone but not having her psychic intuition to guide him. Instead, he settled on asking the first uncouth-looking vampire-esque type he saw, cornering him and demanding, "Have you seen my wife?"
"How the hell'd I know? Tons of broads get around here," the vamp shrugged. "What's she look like? Hope I didn't have her for dinner earlier, ha-ha."
"Petite and pixielike," Jasper said rotely. "Short brown hair. Topaz eyes."
"Wearin' a lot of blue? Think she went into the tunnels," the vamp said. "Looking for trouble, eh?"
"I'll say," a female voice called out, belonging to Buffy, who dashed over and dusted the vamp in two seconds flat and grabbed Jasper by the collar. "You're one of the new vamps, aren't you?"
"Yes," Jasper said tersely, using his empathetic vampiric abilities to calm her a bit.
"Where's the rest of your merry band, then?"
"After Edward and Bella disappeared, Alice went after them," Jasper declared stoically. "She is in the tunnels. Where are the tunnels?"
"Dammit," Buffy groaned.
Angel, standing behind her, raised an eyebrow. "We take him with us?"
"My wife is in danger," Jasper said emotionally.
"Guess that's a yes," Buffy sighed. "C'mon."
Angel grabbed the nearest manhole cover up and lowered Buffy in. He made as if to lower Jasper in, as well, but Jasper just jumped down into the tunnel like a cat, ignoring Angel's demasculinizing offer. Angel shrugged and followed, keeping a distance from the skinny, big-eyed sparkler. "They must be in the factory," Angel said, naming the known lair for Spike and his gang. "It'll be east from here, I think."
He took the lead, and nobody seemed inclined to make conversation. Jasper was naturally taciturn, to the point of painfulness at times; Angel was busy leading as well as brooding; Buffy was getting into her fight zone. But finally, politeness required she turn and ask, "Hey, what's your name?"
"Jasper Hale, ma'am," said Jasper. "And you?" He was still, underneath the layers of vamp-scarred skin and inherent lust for blood, a Southern gentleman.
"Buffy Summers," she replied, raising an eyebrow at the "ma'am" but shrugging it off. "You, ah. So you know Edward."
"He is my adopted brother," Jasper nodded. "Or brother-in-law, I suppose."
"Brother-in-law?" Buffy asked, perplexed.
"Yes – you see, Alice is his adopted sister, and I am Alice's husband," Jasper explained. "And Rosalie is my adopted sister, and Emmett is her husband, so he is my brother-in-law, also. And Esme and Carlisle are our adopted parents."
"Uh-huh," Buffy nodded. "And you're all… sparkly?"
"Yes," Jasper confirmed.
The conversation ended there, and Angel led them the rest of the way to the factory's tunnel entrance in silence. He personally couldn't believe that the glittery vampires had actually gone to the trouble to marry; he and Darla had lived together as lovers for a century without thinking of it, and the only one he knew who put any stock by family titles in the vampire world was, incidentally, Drusilla, who had forever spoken of Grandmummy, Daddy and her darling boy when they'd been the Fearsome Foursome. And even then he hadn't thought anything of it – after all, it was Drusilla, crazy Dru.
They reached the factory entrance and stepped in, Buffy getting her weapons at the ready and handing a spare to Angel just in case. She didn't entirely trust Jasper with one. "Ssh," she whispered unnecessarily, motioning for Jasper to follow behind her. Angel led the way, listening for voices. He soon heard Drusilla's lilting murmur.
"Buffy, I think I'd better go in there alone," he said, barely audible. "It's not safe for you."
She rolled her eyes. "Chill, Angel. I'm not gonna stay and pick a fight. We're just here to play search and rescue, then we'll split."
"If I can distract them, you should get in and grab the girl," Angel declared. "I don't want you to get hurt."
"I think I can take care of myself," she muttered, folding her arms. He sighed, a sign of consent, and they inched towards the doorway that Drusilla's voice was sounding from, stopping still as they observed the scene playing out in front of them.
"If you had just turned me, I would still be here, my love," Drusilla whispered, her hands on Edward's bare chest. Though her voice still fell in the same sing-song way, her words were decidedly less Dru-like: stiff and normal, unembellished. She ran her hands up to his cheeks, cupping his head in her hands. "But they hurt me. Why didn't you save me?"
"I would have, Bella – I am so, so sorry," Edward murmured.
"She's got him enthralled," Angel muttered, clenching his fists.
"Where's the girl?" Buffy whispered.
She was answered when Jasper darted out from behind them, lightning-fast, and dove for the pool of blood in which Bella's body lay. Despite his vegetarianism, he could not resist. This seemed to amuse Spike, who Buffy and Angel now noticed was standing nearby the chest of drawers with arms folded, watching the whole scene.
"If I'd known you would lick frosting from the bowl, I'd have saved you some of the cake," Spike smirked, raising an eyebrow. "Oi, but I thought you lot didn't go in for the human blood."
Jasper looked mildly horrified at his actions, and averted his eyes, standing up quickly. "N-no, sir, I don't. Least since joinin' up with Carlisle's brood."
"You'll have to forgive Jasper," Alice's voice drifted out from behind a dressing screen. "He can't help that he still craves human blood. He's only been surviving off of animals for – seventy-so years? It can be trying for the poor boy."
"Is that so," Spike chuckled.
"The Slayer is here," Alice announced lightly, still behind the screen, which she flung a black-and-white striped top over.
"Is that so!" Spike repeated, turning to face her and her glowering boyfriend. "Well, well, well. Look at that."
"We just came to save the girl," Angel said in his manly monotone.
"Everyone's about saving that little girl, aren't they," Spike said, grinning. "But everyone's just too late. Shame, isn't it. But you won't have to worry, Slayer, we didn't make her one of us or nothin'. You won't have to dust that pretty little bit tomorrow night."
"Gee, how that comforts me," Buffy snarked.
Alice emerged from behind the dressing screen, now clad in a long, flowing dress made of sky-blue silk, the top embroidered with tiny flowers. She also appeared to have applied makeup in the indeterminate amount of time she'd been back there, as her eyes were ringed in kohl and her lips, which now parted in a smile, were a decidedly darker red than before. "Jasper, my pet, you mustn't tear this dress when you ravage me later. Mummy Dru was kind enough to give it to me but it was dreadful expensive."
Jasper, Buffy and Angel all blinked in shock and confusion.
"Is she still at work?" Alice asked Spike, coming to stand by him and tilting her head curiously.
"Yes, luv, she's gettin' as much outta the prat as she can," Spike smirked.
"It was selfish of you not to turn me, Edward my love," Drusilla whispered, staring Edward right in his unblinking topaz eyes. "We could have been together forever."
"I promise, I will go offer myself to the Volturi in penance, and if there is an afterlife for the soulless and damned, I will pray to see you there," Edward said.
Alice and Spike both giggled.
"Um, hate to break up your fun, but this is the part where I kick your sorry little ass," Buffy declared, folding her arms.
"Doesn't happen that way," Alice chirped cheerfully. "You fight but nobody gets hurt. You and your boyfriend flee. Everyone's safe. No dust or decapitation tonight – I hate to ruin your plans, Slayer, but I've already seen it, you understand?"
Buffy stared blankly at the tiny little mini-Dru.
"Alice, we must save Edward," Jasper said.
"Save him? From what? Mummy Dru is just playing, silly boy," Alice giggled. "She's already tried her sticks and stones, but only words can hurt him."
"That's Alice?" Buffy exclaimed. "That's your wife?"
"She is not usually so –" Jasper frowned, trying to think of the word.
"Crazed?" Buffy offered.
"Now, Slayer, you mustn't call Dru's new dolly crazed," Spike cautioned. "She might be one'a the shimmery kind, but she's tough. Ain't that right?"
"Oooo, it is," Alice agreed, grinning. "Jasper, Edward meant to sell me out, did you know? It's an awfully good thing he didn't realize how kindly Mummy Dru would take to me. Even her Spike likes me, and he never takes to fledges. Course, I'm not a fledge in that sense – won't you be introduced properly? Jasper, this is Spike, and Spike, this is Jasper, my husband, my love."
Jasper nodded awkwardly at Spike, who returned the gesture, smirking all the while.
"Whatever," Buffy groaned. "I'm just going to assume Alice here is suffering from some warped Stockholm thingy and get her the hell out of here so her honey is happy."
"Don't forget about the boy," Angel reminded her. "We aren't leaving him down here with Drusilla and Spike."
"Fine," Buffy muttered, rolling her eyes. She moved to kick Spike in the head, and he quickly ducked, throwing a punch.
"Oi, Dru – snap out of it, we've got unwelcome guests," Spike called out. After a moment, Drusilla whipped her head around, staring at the fight that was breaking out around them. Edward blinked, shocked and confused now that he was released from his trance. Buffy threw Alice across the room, and she happened to land against Drusilla, who smiled widely.
"Alice-dolly, you look like a proper lady, now, you've made Mummy proud," she said.
Dru then went to grab another vial of holy water and toss it in Angel's face. His skin smoked for a moment, but he dodged the brunt of it. Meanwhile, Jasper yanked the chains apart with his vampiric strength, freeing Edward, and shoved him out the door. Alice watched with a pout.
"Don't want to go, Jasper, my pet, we've barely begun to play," she said, frowning. "We haven't even had tea."
"Alice, come on," Jasper muttered, shuttling her away.
She turned to call out, "Mummy Dru, thank you for your hospitality – I know I shan't be away long, I'm dreadfully sorry I have to leave like this –" and must have continued rambling as Jasper pulled her away. Once Buffy and Angel knew the coast was clear, they delivered final blows and followed the three shiny vampires out, Angel stopping to pick up Bella's body and carry it out with him.
"Shame," Drusilla frowned. "Mean boys, ruining my Alice-dolly's fun. We were going to make decorations of little precious."
"So you just… left them?" Xander asked the next day. The Scoobies were striding through the outdoor hallways of Sunnydale High, listening to Buffy retell the events of the previous night.
"Well, they weren't going to hurt anyone," Buffy shrugged. "Once we got them back to the motel, their so-called 'father' showed and herded them inside. Said he wouldn't let them make any more trouble. He actually apologized for their behavior. And I heard him telling Alice to 'wipe that stuff off her lips.'"
"Blood?" Willow questioned, wide-eyed.
"Lipstick," Buffy smirked. "The father seemed pretty – conservative, you could say. He wasn't going to take kindly to his daughter tramping up Dru-style."
"Geez," Cordelia muttered unhelpfully. "Stick up his ass much?"
"Cordelia, I hardly think that's the issue at hand," Giles said, raising an eyebrow. "As long as they've gone, I'd say we can stop worrying about them. Vampires though they may be, they seem – fairly harmless."
"Giles, Jasper went for the blood quick as he saw it," Buffy reminded him. "He's still a killer at heart. And Alice – much more time with Drusilla and she'd have been full-on loopy too."
"Yes, well – that may be," Giles fretted. "However, they've gone, yes?"
"Saw them drive away in their dumb silver cars," Buffy confirmed.
"So they are no longer our problem, I'd say," Giles nodded.
"Well, look at you, throwing caution to the wind," Xander chuckled. "Guess as long as they're not gonna turn out to be the big bad here, we're safe."
"Whatever," Cordelia groaned. "Look, the walking disco balls are gone, can we stop rehashing?"
"It's important to learn from our experiences, Cordelia," Giles scolded.
"This was hardly educational," Cordelia shot back. "I mean, unless you're planning on testing us – ew. Please don't take that as a suggestion. I get enough of that in my real classes."
"And it worries you so much, then," Xander snarked.
"Yeah, well –"
Waving goodbye with amused smiles, Buffy and Willow parted ways from the others, on their way to their French class. "You really think they're gone?" Willow asked.
"I hope so," Buffy said.
"They were pretty durable, even if you did beat 'em up pretty bad," Willow noted thoughtfully.
"It's not even that," Buffy admitted. "Sure, fighting them was a pain, but what was even worse was listening to them. Especially Edward. God, that wimp never stopped whining."
Buffy let out a sigh, then turned to look at her best friend. They raised their eyebrows at each other, smirking, then broke into fits of laughter as they made their way up the stairs.
"That wasn't the last of them," Dru murmured, running a tiny brush through Miss Edith's blonde curls. "They'll be back. They want to see the light bounce off their shimmery skin, to feast as they were born to do. My Alice-dolly would never turn on me so quick."
"'Course not, princess," Spike muttered, sliding onto the bed next to her. "Don't worry your pretty head about it, hmm?"
"Mmm – never worry, Spike my pet – it shall come to be soon enough."