Someone is calling my name. I stand up, leaving Miss Edith with her pen in the air. Has there been an attack? Has the Slayer found our happy little home? If she's reached me, the minions are already dead. Am I strong enough to fight? Spike doesn't think so. Perhaps…perhaps I could, if I ask all my limbs and muscles very, very nicely, and promise to make them all very happy, they will feel strong for a few minutes. I've never killed a Slayer, never even seen one, really, not alive anyway. I saw the one in China, but only after my Spike had killed her, and she was still crying only quietly so only I could hear, calling for her mummy. I would like to kill a Slayer, maybe Slayer blood will make me feel better, I am so, so tired all the time, and I am so, so tired of being tired and—
But it isn't a Slayer. It's my Spike, and he looks frightened. His face has switched. I like him better when the demon is quiet. He sees me, and switches back. There. That's my boy. My William.
"Drusilla, you weren't in your bed." He says. "Are you all right?"
"Miss Edith and I were talking." I say, showing him. Spike smiles.
"Talking in the closet, pet?"
"Miss Edith said she needed quiet to think."
"And what is she thinking about?"
"She's asking questions. Miss Edith is a reporter." I don't like reporters. They write nosy, naughty things in the papers, and sometimes policemen get mad, and then we have to kill them, and policemen taste like blueberries, and I've never liked those.
"Does she, now?" Spike asks, coming over to me. He picks me up and carries me out of my little closet. I rest my head against his chest. He is so warm, must have fed recently. Sometimes I think Spike is a nest. He feels like home. But home that moves.
"She does. Spike," I say, as he lays me down in bed, " She's too far away, I can't hear her from here." So Spike picks Miss Edith up by the leg—which is how she lost her hat in Moscow, and she was very sad and cried for a week—and puts her down next to me. I roll on to my stomach, looking into Miss Edith's glass eyes. She looks expectant.
Well? Where were you? She says
I don't remember.
Yes, you do.
Yes, I do.
Spike is lying on the bed next to me. He isn't touching me.
"Spike," I remind him, "You're too far away from me." Spike smiles and brings me close, wrapping his arms around me so I'm settled with my back to him and my eyes to Miss Edith. It is a very warm, comfortable, safe way to be. Why can't I be here all the time? Spike smells like fear and stardust, and all I can do is touch him.
"Miss Edith is not very polite." I remark, " She doesn't know she should turn her eyes away."
"Don't think she'd be able to even if she wanted to, love," Spike says, his fingers running through my hair, " Doll hasn't got any manners at all."
"Sometimes I think I'm a bad mummy."
"You're a wonderful mummy."
"The other child doesn't think so." Spike sits up.
"What do you mean by that?" he demands, "You don't have a…"
"Would you like a little sister, Spike? With pretty blonde hair, like Miss Edith?" Spike rolls onto his back again.
"No. No more blondes. They're trouble. Never trust a blonde, Dru."
"Grandmummy was blonde," Though Miss Edith is blonder. "She had such pretty hair."
"I rest my case."
"And you're blond," I say. When my William was born he was almost brunette. Now my Spike is white as a sheet. Platinum, they say. I remember when all the movie stars were platinum blond. Spike wasn't blond then. He wore his hair slicked back, and a hat. No one wears hats any more. I'd like a hat. "Spike, do you think I'd look pretty in a bonnet?"
"Pretty as a picture." He says, though I don't think he's listening to me.
"Do you remember when all the girls wore bonnets? I remember. I was just telling Miss Edith about it, so long ago. I wore bonnets then. I had a pretty blue one with flowers on it. Were you born when I wore bonnets?"
"I remember, Dru." Spike says, and he's really not listening to me now.
"Did you like it when I wore bonnets? Was I prettier then?" I look him right in the eye. He finally turns to me.
"I thought," he said, "That you were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And you still are, precious. With or without your bonnet." He always does know what to say, and I don't mean to but I sigh. Miss Edith sighs too. She thinks Spike is a poet. I tell her to hush. He doesn't like people reminding him what he was like in the bonnet-days.
"Though, must say," Spike says, his tone a bit different. "Glad to see those silly things go. Demure doesn't suit you, Dru." I smile. I know what's he's thinking about.
"No?" I whisper to him, tilting my head and letting my dress fall off my shoulders just a bit. He smiles in return and reaches out to touch me.
"Certainly not." I close my eyes as he runs his fingers down my shoulders and arms, and starts unzipping my dress in the back. Zippers are a lovely invention, Miss Edith. Buttons took forever and hooks were fiddly and small. Zip zip, in your dress, zip zip out of it, and zip zip back in when the fun's over.
"Did you kill her, tonight?" I ask, as he undresses me, though I already know the answer. If the Slayer was dead, my Spike would have brought me her body and saved me some of her blood. I got to taste only a little of the Chinese one, and the New York one Spike ate all on his own. I was very cross with him for that.
"No, pet." He grumbles, though he seems more interested in my bare breasts, resting his head on them, "Came bloody close! This bloody close!"
"Not even with the inside-outside?"
"Seconds, Dru, seconds, and I'd have been bringing you the prettiest doll you've ever seen."
Miss Edith scoffs. She thinks she is prettier than the Slayer. I wouldn't know, as I haven't seen her. I haven't been out of the factory, since we got here, and I don't like it. But it's better than sleeping in the car, freezing sometimes, though Spike wraps me in his coat when I'm cold, and I'm always cold. It's warm here. Hell makes it warm, or the sun, or the angels. I'm still cold.
"Do you think a child would warm me up?" I ask
"Are you hungry, pet?" Spike asks, lifting his head hopefully. He doesn't think I eat enough.
"My tummy wants a little child to make it warm and happy." Spike lunges out of the bed and puts his coat on.
"It's done." He says, "One plump little kid coming up for my princess." I smile at him.
"And then," I whisper to him, "Perhaps my Spike can warm the rest of me up." Spike looks like he's eating me with his eyes.
"As soon as I get back, pet, I'll do just that. And you!" he says, doing that voice he does when he thinks he's Daddy. "Stay in that bed until I get back. No lurking about in closets with the dolls, right?"
"Miss Edith and I will continue the interview here." I say, "Won't we Miss Edith?"
"Right, I'll be off. Already been out on Halloween, doubt it matters if I go out again. I'm sure there's some trick-or-treaters left, even after tonight's…fun." He leaves, talking more to himself than me. And Miss Edith and I are alone again.
"Spike is my shining knight." I tell her, "He'll always protect me. Even when the bad things start again."
What bad things?
"I don't know yet, Miss Edith. But they'll be bad. First good, then bad. Then bad, then good. Then…gone."
My head hurts.