Challenge:What they requested: AU: Darla joins the party in Sunnydale in BtVS S2. The town gets more dangerous, and the sexual relationships between the vampires get even more tangled. (That's a fair bit of latitude in terms of pairings, but I'd Darla to at least have sexual tension with Spike or Dru in addition to/instead of Angelus.)
Notes: For lasultrix. Thank you to Arrie for a last minute beta, as well as hand holding throughout. And for the cocoa. And hee, I should spend less time thinking about ficathons and more time writing!
A moment of disorientation. Darla felt the world spin, stars lurching above her head in patterns she couldn't read. The Bronze. The streets, familiar but somehow wrong and out of place. People, so many people walking, talking loudly, wearing clothes like jewels and the air rich with sweat and laughter. She closed her eyes, inhaling the smell of life, listening to hearts beating. This was not her world.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the movement, familiar and almost reassuring, one body bent over another, heard a low sound of pain. Darla smiled. She knew where to get her questions answered.
“Is this a private party, or can anybody join in?” She kept her voice low and sweet. Waited to see where the power lay.
The vampire looked up, a growl rumbling in his chest. She didn't recognize him. “Get lost…” His voice broke off as his features shifted, surprise smoothing them back to human. “Darla?”
She ignored the tone, let her own voice sharpen. “The Master. Where is he?”
“Wha-what? You mean, Spike?”
Darla kept her features impassive even as surprise ran through her. Hundreds of years of practice at hiding the truth, making sure others did not see. If your weaknesses were not visible, they had nothing to exploit. Shrugged, feigning disinterest. “No, but he'll do.”
She took careful note of the directions, saw his hesitation. “What?” she snapped.
“I'd heard, they said you were dust.” His voice faltered.
She let the words wash over her, refused to listen to the meaning beneath. “You'd heard wrong. You shouldn't believe what you don't see with your own eyes.” Backhanded him into the wall, catching the girl he'd been holding in her own arms. Felt her own face shift, change, fangs sinking into skin. It had been too long since she'd had blood this fresh, the fear tart and tangy, not worn thin with despair. When she let the body crumple to the ground she found the vampire still watching her, eyes wary. She shrugged, eyes crinkled in pleasure.
”It looks like it's time to pay a call on my family.”
She watched Spike dismissively, eyes narrowed, letting him pace and rant and rave. Part of her treasured the familiarity of it all, decades of absence smoothing away the sharp edges of annoyance. Half heard his words as she tried to make sense of this place she'd found herself in. Some of the names were ugly and familiar – Xander, Willow. The sound of them alone filled her with anger, so thick she could taste the hate in her mouth. They were the ones who had stolen her sire from her, stolen her place at his side. Betrayed Luke to his death and exiled her to the tattered edges of her master's court, the painful attempts at reconsolidation of power. Her own fault, in the end – she'd been the one to lead them to him. But here, here they were weak still, mortal. Food to savor or flesh to destroy. To pay for what they'd done in a life they'd never had. But then his words sank in.
“Angelus?” For once she allowed her voice to show its true feeling, surprise and anger mingling with hope.
“Oh yeah, he thinks he's a white hat now. All weak and in love with a human, a Slayer even. Except he's never been as smart as he thought, has he? So busy making eyes at her he forgot what he was. Can't forget now though, not with my Dru playing with him in the other room.”
The words echoed in her ears, she turned abruptly, following the sounds she'd only half heard before.
Leaned in the doorway, watching as Drusilla danced, as water dripped from a crystal decanter, flesh sizzled and smoked.
“Such pretty patterns they make, each drop is a star and each star tells a story. Did you miss me, Daddy?”
“He might not have, but I have.”
Drusilla whirled at the sound of Darla's voice, eyes alight and laughter spilling out. “Grandmummy!”
Darla beckoned, feeling the anticipation coiling in her stomach as Drusilla glided closer. Slid an arm around Drusilla, brushing back dark hair with one hand, the long line of Drusilla's throat gleaming in the light, breathed deep, tracing that line with her mouth, lips brushing against the cool, soft skin. Slow kisses, holding back the moment before the bite, drawing out the pleasure until she could resist no more and she let her teeth sink in, tearing.
The blood filled her mouth, warm and rich, anise and blackberries, the sweetness of figs and the headiness of wine. You could taste the visions in Drusilla's blood, feel them sparking against your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Euphoria and despair intermingled until you couldn't tell one from the other. There'd been days when she'd wanted to live off of it, almost foreswearing the hunt for the taste. It was why they'd kept Drusilla around, even as her madness would at times prove a liability. The visions were why they'd turned her, kept her. Darla could feel the shivers racing up and down her skin as Drusilla moaned beneath her mouth, letting out a small, breaking sob. She remembered the sound of Drusilla mewling in the church, broken and bleeding on the floor, mind and body fracturing. Her fingers clenched harder into Dru's arms, the delicate skin blooming bruises beneath her touch. So weak and fragile now, Drusilla was closer to mortality than she'd been in decades. It fed the hunger, made Darla want to keep drinking until there was nothing left, until she possessed everything that Drusilla ever was and ever could have been.
“Darla, don't…don't do this.” There was no hope in Angel's voice.
Darla forced herself to draw away, feeling Drusilla sway, seeing her eyes glazed over, seeing something out of Darla's sight. Ran her finger over the blood trickling down Drusilla's neck, collecting it. She smiled over at Angel, hanging from the bed in chains.
“Don't do what?” Reached out and traced Angel's mouth, painting it red with blood, saw the hunger in his eyes. “You want to drink, my boy. You remember how sweet she tasted, all those years ago.” She ran her nail down his cheek, slicing through the skin and watching the blood well up, running down and mingling with the remains of Drusilla's.
She watched as Angel snarled, jerking his head back from her touch. She could still taste Drusilla's blood. She could sense the visions, just out of reach. Almost hear the people screaming, the pleas for mercy. Smell the copper and salt, see the blood pooling on the floor. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “You can't resist, not for long. I know you. You need someone to belong to.”
There was no Master here. There was only Darla and she would break this world. Starting now.