Summary: Dru's pov. What if she's not what everyone thinks?
Spoilers: Count everything.
Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine, no matter how much I wish they were. They belong to Joss Whedon and the WB I have to live with borrowing them for my stories.
Rating: I'm putting PG15 or 16. Some violence and such. Kinda yicky.
It's an odd concept, actually. The thought of being innocent. For, from the time you are born, you are no longer completely innocent. You are brought into a world full of heartbreak and lies and delicious blood. How can one stay innocent in such surroundings?
I was a mere nineteen when I was brought across. My purity lay in the fact that I thought no wrong of the world, that I was good. I remember it well, I remember everything. Of course, had I known then what the world was like-- had I not been so unseeing of the terrible-- I wouldn't have captured the fancy of Angelus. I wouldn't have intrigued him so, and I would never have been brought across. So for that, I suppose I am grateful. Now I see things differently, though.
Perhaps what was done to me when I was still human should have made me insane; I know that was what Angel wanted and I certainly have managed to convince all I meet of it since. But it didn't. Oh, I say that incorrectly. I was insane-- As a human. After my family was slaughtered, I was hysterical until the convent accepted me for protection. And then, when I took my Holy Vows, I had finally approached a sort of peace that had been hovering out of my reach. When I was changed, however, for the few moments when I felt my body grow cold and limp from blood loss in Angel's arms, I lost every vestige of sanity. There was no world for me, then. I focused my eyes on the only reminder of my home that I had taken with me to the Church, my childhood doll, and breathed my last breath. I did not acknowledge the man next to me slicing his own wrist.
For a few days, even after that dreaded soul was lost, I was confused. In an altered state of mind, if you will. When I fed for the first time, though, it all changed. My unlife snapped into focus and I was who I used to be... Except maybe a little older, wiser, and a lot deadlier.
When I went to the basement, that day, of the cottage we had taken over, I was ecstatic to tell the news to my sire and William. I reached them, though, and changed my mind in an instant. I realized a few things in that moment. I realized that the reason Angel had chosen me and liked me was because I *was* so innocent. While I retained my insanity, I was still partly that to him, and he could control me. However, if I didn't, then I was just another female vampire that he had created. There were already dozens of those. I knew that he would leave me forever should I regain my mind. Darla had already made her displeasure and discomfort at my presence plain but as long at he assured her that I was no threat, she would allow me to stay.
I made up my mind easily. My sanity in exchange for a family.
One might wonder what doing something like that would do to one. Pretending that they were insane for the rest of their existence, that is. It wasn't horrible or a torture to me, though. I could sum it up in one word. Fun.
It was fun having people look at me with frightened uncertainty, as if no one could guess what I was going to do next. And they were right. I felt a freedom being who I pretended that I hadn't before. People trusted, feared and revered me. And with those things, so important as they were grew something even more important to me. Power.
There were times when my sanity slipped to the surface, in a strong opinion that I carried or a desire that I wanted. But I managed to cover them easily, no one suspecting, Angel laughing at me like I was just especially amusing that day.
It was a good time for me-- The pleasure of the kill was diminished by nothing, and I grew more vicious every day. I satisfied my urge to tell people of my sanity by doing it, and then later killing them to assure my secret was kept. It was so amusing to do that to people. Let them start to trust you, give them a piece of your life, make them feel that they were trusted and then kill them.
I remember a kill that was particularly sweet for me. It was when I was still a child, thirty years or so. A man approached me in beautiful boutique--I had my eye on the exquisite maiden working-- and asked for my opinion for something for his mother. Later, though it was considered scandalous, I allowed him to accompany me to dinner at a small cafe. He ate as I watched. (I had no taste for mortal food by then. Some vampires still eat and drink, but I thought it to be merely distasteful. Why would one want to?)
The man was a good conversationalist and a wonderful listener. As the night grew on, I told him of Angel and William, the two "men" who wanted my hand. Of course, it would do no good for him to be frightened at that point. I simply needed someone to talk to. A sounding board of sorts. He listened to me talk about how I portrayed myself as being simple minded to see which of them loved me more, and of how the problem arose out of that. Now, I explained, they both loved that girl that I pretended to be... And I loved both of them.
He was very patient, and told me the same thing that I had heard over a hundred times before--That I needed to be honest, or neither of them would want me again. However, as many humans don't realize, as long as I wasn't honest they both wanted me. Was I to jeopardize that to cleanse a soul that didn't exist?
No matter-- I killed him anyway.
When I was not yet forty years of age, my sire changed. I had always had that second sight as some called it, so I knew exactly what happened long before anyone else. Perhaps a few minutes before Angel himself knew. The shock and anger whipped through me, and I hated that I could do nothing. However, the more logical part of my mind whispered at the opportunity of it.
Opportunity. I drank the liqueur of it down in one long swallow. How was I to know then that William, starting to become known as Spike, would want to take care of me? As long as there was a strong male around, I would be nothing but the female of the house. Perhaps the dominant female-- Angel's misfortune had a few benefits, such as Darla leaving-- but still the lesser of the house. When I started to feel the affection the Spike held for me, (Emotion is something that I have actually been blessed with the talent to *feel.* Spike's heart grew warm and strong for me until I knew that it would be nothing like it was before.) I decided to stay with him. Again, I traded my sanity for something that passed for love.
It seemed the better part of the bargain.
I have something that no vampire that I know of has had. I can see myself in mirrors. Not literal mirrors, of course, as none of our kind is that powerful. I'm speaking of mirrors in my mind. I can see what I look like, as clearly as the last day I saw my reflection. Some may call it a memory, but it's not so.
When I think of myself the way I was, innocent and pure, the picture seems to jump out of my mind and into reality. It may sound strange, I know, but this is the case. Perhaps I can explain it as an internal mirror making itself visible. I not only see what I was, but what I've become.
There are no lines to mar my face, as there should be. In fact, my face would be long since deteriorated by now if I were human. My skin is smooth and my hair raven and silky, much like when I was a human child. My hands are still unblemished with spots of age, and I have retained the same weight for over a hundred years. I will remain at this weight forever. But the physical appearance of the body is not what I mean when I say 'what I've become'. I am talking about my eyes.
Some say eyes are the window to the soul. I used to laugh at that particular phrase when I was a younger vampire, but now I realize it to be true. Any thing in me resembling a vampire soul shows through my eyes quite plainly. Not that I have any guilt, or remorse or conscience, far from it. But if one were to look into my eyes--One very astute at regarding people or sorts-- they would be able to see my age. I have acquired a knowledge, a certain wisdom about the human race that vampires and humans alike tend to disregard as inconsequential.
Don't misunderstand me. The human race for centuries, ever since time began has searched for love. It is one of the highest revered things on the Earth. Vampires enjoy a feed of young lovers, for the taste of their blood is richer, and quite sweet. Especially that of unrequited love. But humans also think that it is beyond their grasp. They have the belief that most love is unrequited.
Many mortals fall in love and get married, as I've noticed, but all one really needs to do is search their eyes for a moment before coming to the conclusion that the person they are with, the one they have bound themselves to for life, is not what they hoped for. They see love as something different, something more, something that will last forever no matter what. Idiots. Love is a decision. Many of them look around for the rest of their lives waiting for the next, better person to come along. It never happens, because they are too busy looking that they don't see what they have. Quite a common phrase, I know. It's truth.
But excuse me, I digress.
I am like that with love. Once, long ago, I made a very plain decision that I was going to love Spike and Angelus. Two beings, so vastly different from me, who didn't know who I really was, were going to be mine. I planned on it, depended on it, and for a moment, didn't know what to do when everything came to the most glorious and disastrous head imaginable.
The night of the falling of Acathla and Angel were two of the most wondrous sights and frightening nightmares that have ever reached the face of this planet. I knew the whole time that Spike was not interested in Acathla. I knew that he didn't want the world to die. I knew all of this, and I went forward, because I wanted it. The most purely selfish thing I had ever done. Spike had never been selfish.
With the Judge, though he knew what would happen to the dreadful mankind that walked the Earth, he helped me because it was what I had wanted. I brought me the Judge and celebrated his arrival with me. It was a magnificent night.
But then, when Angel decided to destroy the world, I knew immediately that Spike was angry and quite put out. He had tried to do it once, for me, but asking him to do it for Angel was out of the question. So I pretended. It was times like that when I was especially glad for my lies. More than usual, of course. Spike would finally give in, of that I was sure. For once, I had no idea what would happen to us.
That night I saw Spike get up out of his wheelchair, I stood still, knowing that it was one of the most majestic sights that had ever been set before my eyes. And then he brought down Angelus, my friend and enemy. Angel was my sire, though, so however much I hated him in any way didn't matter. What mattered was the blood growing behind my eyes, fury at being lied to by the one that I thought I could always trust to be honest. I threw myself on top of Spike, growling furiously.
Spike is a fine fighter. I had never had the privilege before. He bested me, of course, though I am proud to say that I gave him quite a run.
The next few months, he was pitiful. Absolutely disgusting with his remorse over hurting me and trying to right things. His gifts were unacceptable in the way they were given. His eyes had changed, too. Spike had become weak.
By this time, though, I cared about him enough that none of this mattered. My issues with gaining power were still unsatisfied, but all I could think of was him. I wanted to make him better. The way he used to be. Oh, he had such a passion for killing-- I was an awesome sight to behold. The way he caressed his victims necks to draw up the blood, a smooth, sensual gesture. I started to crave kissing his blood soaked lips, but I no longer could. He tormented himself by never eating the way he was supposed to.
Shame on me. I sound too motherly.
This leads us to now. Spike is looking down at me with a feral grin on his face, watching, predatory. I am currently tied up.
"You know, ducks, I always knew there was more than you let on about yourself. No one can do the things you did to torture me and be completely insane, it's just not possible. Why did you lie, Dru?" His whip snakes over the tops of my bare thighs, creating a lovely pink welt. My heart is singing. He is back.
"Well, are you going to tell me? How long?" He demands. How I love that strong tone in his voice.
"When I fed for the first time." The words make my dry lips crack and bleed. The pain is excruciating. I love every second of it.
Spike laughs at me. I look at him, slightly amazed that he is not leaving. He is still torturing me. I am grateful to know that he really did care. About me, not my sanity. I am in absolute awe over this. I give him a tentative smile, licking off the blood when it leaks from the cracks in my lips. It is good, full of joy and death.
"You there!" Spike gestured angrily to a young vampire in the corner, as far away from the torture as possible. He is a young thing, perhaps 20 years of age and looks quite scared of Spike's temper as he approaches hesitantly. I am glad, it has been too long since Spike was feared.
"Get me something innocent. Now." The vampire looks at him for a moment before disappearing into the room next to us briefly. Spike takes the opportunity to break a razor in half and add a little piece of it to the whip and strike me with it again. I move restlessly. The smell of my blood is making me hungry.
The vampire, I think it's name was Mitch as a human, throws a girl at my feet. Spike grins again, a little wickedly and leans down to pick her up. She is gagged and I can smell her terror. I wonder how much longer he will continue to torture me. I want to feed. Her eyes are wide and black with fear. Good. Fear is always good. It whets ones appetite.
In one motion, Spike take the other half of the razor and slits her throat. Warm, innocent blood gushes out and I feel my face change with the desire of drinking that sweet stuff. I can see the purity of it. The blood almost glows as it rushes down her neck.
Spike is smirking at me. He leans down to her throat and presses his open mouth to her bleeding wound. I see his color flush as the blood takes it's affect. How unfair of him. I am angry. That is good as well. Spike knows that I am always a greater vampire when I am angry. In every way.
Spike sees the hatred form in my eyes and he laughs again, dropping the now limp girl to the floor and kicking aside her leg as he walks to me. My eyes grow large and fasten on his mouth, still dripping with blood, still warm. He grins.
We act at the same moment. I break my ropes easily as I could have done at any time that I had wished as he leans down. I trap my fingers through his hair and pull his face violently towards mine. His arms slip around my waist, bruising me. I've missed this so much.
His mouth meets my own in fury, love and lust. On his lips I taste the blood that is now flowing through his veins and I take his bottom lip into my mouth, puncturing it with a single sharp fang. I drink the blood he stole. It is delicious. The two things I love most are happening to me now. Spike and Blood. Spike and Blood. The words sing their way across my mind.
I don't care what I've lost now.... The mirrors bleed.
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