Oct. 29th, 2007 11:13 pm
[identity profile] mimarie.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] vintagemilitary
Story Title: California Dreamin’ (1/2)
Author Name/LJ: [livejournal.com profile] mimarie
Crossover Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: Hard R (sex, death, vampirism and rather a lot of swearing...)
Word count: (total) 10,500
Characters: Jack Harkness, Drusilla, Spike, assorted Scoobies
Spoilers: AU after DW S1/13 Parting of the Ways / BtVS S2/10 What’s My Line pt 2
Summary: It was as good a time and place to wash up as any - maybe better than most, considering the current restrictions of his wardrobe. So long as it was brief, tight or garish whatever he wore he’d fit right in.

Notes: I figure it's only nice to say that this was originally written for the Multi Fandom Het Porn Challenge and was first posted to my lj three weeks before TW S1/01 aired. It is, however, still AU :)

Must I disclaim? Fair enough; I own nothing but the happy space between my ears.
Huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] aeshna_uk for betaing.


“And if it’s not you then....”

Flapping his wristcom shut as he twisted the last crystal relay back into its housing, Jack Harkness ducked though the hazy blur of the hatch. After the dim cabin the late afternoon was dazzling, and he squinted at the lowering sun on the horizon, heaving a deep sigh before slumping down on the breezing grass at the cliff edge.

It had to be the GPS hybrid he’d rigged into the temporal matrix - the 3200 series never did have the staying power of the old 3158. Of course he could take a chance and go now, but if the navcom-link caught the slightest discrepancy, the temporal inhibitor would kick him out of the vortex - anywhere and anywhen - unless it decided there was a less than three-in-one chance of rematerialising in at least five of the available eight dimensions, in which case …

No, whatever the flickering display said, there was no way that capacitor was shot beyond repair. He hadn’t spent six hours coaxing the field generators into a surge large enough to escape the not-quite-as-abandoned-as-he’d-thought military spaceport on Nuevo Terranea in 200,103 merely in order to get stuck somewhere else he didn’t want to be. Although, he did at least know where he was - sort of. For some reason the ship’s temporal static was blocking local satellite feed, and all his wristcom had been able to decipher from the faint, intermittent signal was that the frequency was almost definitely of Earth-origin, possibly late twentieth century, and probably the United States. Thankfully he hadn’t had to rely on any translator circuit to decipher the more primitive forms of information …

Jack reached under the ship for the bundle of printed white sheets he’d found flapping against the rails of the narrow beach steps, archaic newsprint proudly declaring itself ‘The Sunnydale Enquirer’ for Wednesday October 8, 1997. If he’d had anyone to bet him technology over humanity, he’d stake a few - dollars? - on where and when he’d be spending however long it took the navcom-link’s subsidiary systems to reboot and recharge. And then… Hell, compared to travelling over one hundred ninety-eight thousand years on navigation circuits he’d soldered with a sonic blaster and the last of his restraint-tech, the easy hop to Wales in September 2006 wasn’t so much as a faint zephyr on a Southern Californian late afternoon.

And speaking of which...

Even with the fall mists pulling in low over the bay, the blue of the ocean was glorious. Flurries of golden skinned sun-worshippers drifted like aimless leaves, some of the hardier natives wearing no more than the designer swimwear they’d spent the day in. Glancing down at the smoke-stained coverall he’d stolen in order to secure the larger prize of the time ship - also successfully appropriated, if somewhat temperamental when it came to the finer points of temporal, and spatial, navigation; if he’d paid for it he’d be sending a memo to the legal department about now - Jack ruefully decided he’d need more than a quick wash and brush-up if he wasn’t going to be laughed out of the nearest bar.

Time was he would’ve trusted his smile to get by, but three years spent on the murky fringes of a society already well past its atomise-by date had scraped away any lingering complacency - not that his life to that point had been a lesson in easy rides, of that sort, anyway. Time Agency training, special assignments - whatever it was he’d survived that his memories hadn’t - the solitary scratch of dig in and run that had filled a year’s petty theft and pathetic vengeance, and then, on the TARDIS...

There was no point in thinking about it. Even if he made the leap and didn’t have to wait around for nine years until they arrived, he still wouldn’t be home and dry. There was no way of knowing if he’d be able to catch them in Cardiff, catch them without catching himself - or at least get a chance to speak to the Doctor without throwing out everything about that night with Blon Fel Fotch - just to leave a marker, somewhere he could finally get some answers: they owed him that at least. And maybe if he, or they, were lucky - he’d decide which when he’d found out what the hell happened back on the Game Station - they’d even know where to find him again.

But for all the potential problems, just being this close after so long was beginning to give him a warm glow. Although, he mused, still squinting over the bluff at the disorderly collection of tables, umbrellas, the bright clash of furled and flapped towels - and the skin, all that skin - there were other reasons for feeling a little... warm, right? Besides, he’d been busy; he deserved a break - a little R and R, some fun…

Grinning as he patted the faint shimmer of his ship’s cloaked hull, Jack felt along the hiss of static for the hatch, taking a final glance around before clambering back inside. It was as good a time and place to wash up as any - maybe better than most, considering the current restrictions of his wardrobe. So long as it was brief, tight or garish whatever he wore he’d fit right in.

It didn’t look too bad from the cliffs above the beach, but considering how busy the town was under the late sun, by the time he’d bashed the sonic shower into shape and found something to wear that wouldn’t get him barred or baited, turning frustratedly in the claustrophobic cabin to get a half-decent view of the slim slacks and tight-fitting white t-shirt in the tiny mirror, Jack was surprised by the quiet. The last red tendrils of early evening caught descending shutters and scraping street furniture, bus queues populated by small huddles of youths, all branded with the scent of cooking fat and burnt sugar and oversized cartoonish logos on bright sweaty nylon, throwing him suspicious stares as he sauntered past.

Okay, he was walking, not something he’d seen many others doing unless they were dragging a tiny canine - or being dragged by a huge one. And he wasn’t what you’d call tanned; sunbathing being an even less sensible occupation in the smog-storm fractured perpetual Nuevo Terranean-twilight than it was under an already splintering twenty-first century ionosphere. Not jogging, not wearing blades, not even mumbling incoherently to himself, but the world, or at least one small corner of twentieth century California, could deal with him as he was for now; with any luck he’d be gone by the time the sun rose. Although, Jack smiled to himself as a wolf-whistle followed him along the broad sidewalk, he might possibly be persuaded to stay after the ship signalled - maybe even until mid-morning, but only if whoever shared their bed with him tonight could stretch to bacon and eggs and a pot of real coffee.

The pretty red-head, whose books he retrieved from the gutter as the horde of over-groomed airheads sniggered admiringly past - not that he’d usually say no, but their humour smelled a little too juvenile for his palate tonight - had blushed when he’d asked her name. Although how much of that was due to him and how much to the glower he got from the tall, dark boy he’d found suddenly helping - Will, did he say? Wilma? - stuff the rest of her textbooks in the oversized bag, Jack wasn’t sure.

She was grateful, though; grateful enough to answer his question, at least. Flashing her sour-but-cute-looking ‘oh-no-not-my-boyfriend’ a sideways look - and why was the kid checking the skyline again? Had he never seen a sunset? - before telling him very firmly-but-tentatively that if he was going out - because he said he was, and he looked like he was, but she didn’t mean to insinuate he was dressed up or anything because she was just saying, but if he was, and she was just saying, because he’d been nice, really kind and - well, there were plenty of places to go, although there was one place, and she probably wouldn’t be there later, and he probably wouldn’t enjoy it anyway -

Pretty, cute, nervous - okay, more like petrified, but, hey - invitation duly received. Defrosting that one could make for a fun night... maybe, if nothing more interesting came along, anyway - and okay, so she was right, the Bronze was a bit of a dive, but he’d seen worse. Much, much worse.

There was no sign of the red-head as he surveyed the room, but at least half a dozen of the giggling bitches from earlier were hovering around him, wearing, if it was possible, less clothing and more label than before. Rose would have sent them packing so fast, she’d have been in heaven... Jack quashed a shudder, setting the thought firmly aside - he’d see her soon enough, he’d see both of them, even if he couldn’t talk to them yet. And he’d deal with that when he got there. Tonight was his night, time for some fun.

Swallowing his impatience along with a good shot of vodka, he approached the nearest trio, putting the important questions first with a frank smile - best to make sure everyone knew what they were dealing with, after all: did any of them have her own place? What did they like - and, hey, were the three of them together?

He grinned at their flushed discomfort and, as he turned back to his drink, a shimmer of movement caught Jack’s eye, slow in the midst of frenetic energy. A solitary woman, dancing out of time to the prevailing rhythm, turning slowly with her arms raised as the band brought the rest of the crowd to a pitch of movement, creating her own space, lithe and pale skinned, long dark hair caressing her shoulders, the smooth perfection of black silk swirling around her calves and kissing her hips as she turned and turned -

Now, that.... Jack watched appreciatively, amazed that no one had already approached her and looking for the protective glare - boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever - that was keeping the air around the slender figure empty of interested hands and bodies. She was turning enough heads, whoever she was, whoever she was with, not that there was any way she was alone, surely...

After another moment, his mind made up as much by the woman’s eccentric grace as by the growing ache in his groin, he drained the last of his vodka and hitched himself off the barstool. It was a simple yes or no - and hell, the music was fairly decent; even if she just wanted to dance there was a pleasure there to be enjoyed for its own sake -

The lid of the trash can settled into a rolling ring on the concrete, its resonation startling the quiet night and almost drowning Jack’s gasp of pleasure as the surprisingly strong grip settled around the base of his prick, as cold as the mouth swallowing him down whole - oh fuck but that was good, even with the coarse breeze-block wall scraping his bare buttocks... However the hell she did that without a mouthful of ice, he wanted the trick - and didn’t she need to breathe? Humid air bathing his balls, one cool finger rubbed a slow, perfect rhythm over his perineum, further back, further and... yes - the hard pull deepening, a faint sting and shudder lost in sensation as she pushed home, sucking him, stroking into him, deeper, deeper....

Tracing her jaw with one trembling hand, he reached back to tug at his balls, trying to delay the rush of his climax - she was too good, sucking him so damn deep - but her lips were tight up to the base of his prick, a strong grip pulling his hand away from the coarse hair at his groin, skilled and enthusiastic, surrounding him, shaking him, breaking through every trick of control he could find until he was shuddering and groaning, tightening around the delicious pressure over his prostate as he thrust helplessly against the unbroken suction and coming and coming -

As the last waves of his orgasm retreated, Jack slumped back, steadying himself against the wall and stroking carefully over her pale cheek; so delicate - he’d never have imagined she could be so strong, but damn that had been a ride. Life was too short to start comparing, but that had to be in the top - five? And for a woman... Faint waves of nauseous pleasure vibrated through his belly as she sucked greedily at his slackened length; she seemed pretty eager to help him get his fuck-muscles back into shape, but he was going to need a little time to recover from that - if she thought she was going to have him hard again straight away he’d have to disappoint her. But not for too long, not if the soft curves under that sin of a dress were as delicious as her talented mouth.

“You’ll get your dress all messed up down there.” He was obviously more out of practice than he’d realised, grinning ruefully as the words emerged in a breathless rush.

“That’d be a shame, wouldn’t it, to make me all dirty.” Wherever she’d stolen her accent from, she hadn’t stayed there long enough for it to settle, Jack thought as Drusilla - gods, what a name - smiled up at him, licking her lips. The wicked sharp tongue that had tickled his ear as they danced flickered over a trail of semen and saliva that shone strangely, catching a trick of the shadows to seem darker, more fluid - either that or he’d hit his head harder than he thought when she first swallowed him; so cold, he’d nearly come there and then... Although, maybe it was the wall; he was definitely feeling more light headed than was usual about now.

“Maybe we should just find somewhere I can take it off for you.” Jack blinked, shaking his head and immediately wishing he hadn’t, a determined throb joining the party as he reached for her hand, still trying to clear the blurriness from his vision; his drink couldn’t have been spiked, she hadn’t been near it - no one had. And besides, he wasn’t even susceptible to most of the usual hypnotics, a little something to thank his last paying employer for...

“And are you going to be a gentleman an’ all? Walk a lady home?”

“Al... Always, Pride m’shelf on -” What the hell was wrong with him? Staggering back into the wall again as he pulled the slight figure to her feet, he squinted and blinked through the blurring white lights flashing under his vision, focussing finally on the smiling woman’s smooth, regular features, willing there just to be one - more was always good, but nice for the same number to stand up as knelt down - there was just her, he was light headed, but... what the hell? Now he was seeing things - she’d been doing all the work there, there was no way he’d split her lip, was there?

“Dru’shla?” Damn. Come on - “Dru - sil - la - You - you’re bleeding?”

“No, love...” Her smile widened, further, unnaturally far, her lips drawing back over sharp sprouting canines, a sharp squeeze at his softening length sending pain arching through his stomach and balls - and her face seemed to shimmer, wide pale forehead folding into irregular corrugations as her eyes bulged, and - oh crap... Jack staggered again, clutching at the sharp metal lip of the nearest trash can, fighting the wall of blank white nothing as she raised her hand to her lips, licking the broad bloody trail from her palm with relish. “…that’s you.”

“I thought you brought supper, and you want to keep him now? You know how you are with your pets, princess.”

As the dull blur of voices cut through the fog in his head, Jack groaned: he hurt. Everything hurt - his head and his neck, his back, chest; trying to roll out the stiffened ache in his shoulders and hips, the awkward position of his arms finally registered, deadened fingers prickling painfully. He raised his head, slowly and carefully, the memory of dizzied nausea enough to urge caution if not the fact that he appeared to be - oh, great - hanging by the arms and feeling as if every part of his body had been wrung out and then beaten for good measure -

And did he - whoever the hell he was - just call him… supper?

“He’s pretty and he dances nice.”

“There’s no need to bloody rub it in, Dru, love. You know it won’t be too long and I’ll dance you all over. We’ll go back to Europe, find somewhere better than this shit hole...”

Jack could almost hear the frustrated gesture as a thin squeak sounded somewhere behind him, his attempt to concentrate enough to gather detail on his surroundings distracted by the heavy scent of his own cooling sweat and a singing bleariness somewhere behind his eyes; blood loss - idiot - how could he let his prick get in the way of...

“I like him, he tastes nice - you should try ‘im, Spike, he’s all golden and shiny, like starlight and moonbeams.”

“I thought that was the point, princess. I just didn’t realise you wanted to keep the leftovers.”

Jack shifted, twisting awkwardly; it was no good, he needed to know. There’d been blood, he must have lost plenty to pass out, but...

Finally managing to separate out a throbbing ache that he wouldn’t usually have been so pleased to discover from the general pain, Jack tried again to focus on the large room he appeared to be decorating. Not that he could see much; whoever decided they wanted him as décor - Dru - Drusilla - hadn’t seen fit to light him - obviously not a connoisseur - and the pillar he was suspended from was blocking what little light flickered his way. A TV? And candles: what was this, film noir with real teeth? The thought triggered another, if anything less comforting - bulging eyes and her lips curling back from those teeth -

- cold, nice cold lips and tongue and...


Struggling against the restraints, Jack found a thin ledge behind his ankles, just wide enough to balance his weight on, the few inches of extra height easing the pull on his shoulders and providing a brief respite from the rough bite of the manacles. The heavy-looking chain was looped over a hook that protruded from the concrete pillar at least a foot out of reach, but if he could just twist the chain, stiffen it and lift -

“Forget it, mate, we’ve had more blood bags hung on that hook than you’ve had -” Whatever the man said next, Jack never heard it. His feet were suddenly gone from under him, burning, overstretched muscles and tendons fighting to keep him balanced against his own weight as two almost simultaneous wet, popping crunches tore free a hoarse yell. A wave of red nausea washing over the warm, dull flicker, he slumped down, shoulders screaming their agony too loud for blanketing unconsciousness to cover and sending him scrabbling desperately at the concrete ledge again, trying to take some of the weight off his torn muscles.

“Don’t break my dolly, Spike. I like him.” Her laughter rung across the wide room, bright and ingenuous, a delighted child with a new toy. “He’s a gentleman, all sweet rose petals and shiny black leather, he’s shiny all through - golden and shiny. And anyway…” Her voice came close in his ear and Jack tried to turn his head, the simple movement wringing another involuntary grunt from his excruciated flesh. “I want to break him. I found him; he’s mine.”

“You’re fucking insane.” Teeth gritted, Jack almost managed to keep his tone level, only losing the last syllable in a hiss as one overstretched calf muscle cramped. Sure, he’d heard of vampires, even read some of the literature about fifteen years - two lifetimes and several hundred species - ago, but he’d hardly expected to meet one - or two. And how the hell was he going to get out of this? All he’d got was a lot of pain and an unusable length of chain - he supposed it was too much to expect them to provide him with a handily sharpened length of wood or any holy water. Well he’d just have to use what he had got…

“That’s not a nice way to speak to mummy, precious.” Black silk swirled against the throbbing red foreground of pain, and Jack could have sworn for a moment that he was surrounded by a flock of acquisitive crows before his head was jerked back, the powerful grip on his hair sending yet more shards through the bright white shock in his muscles. “And you must be nice to mummy, because mummy can make you feel so nice.”

Her face smooth and perversely child-like, Drusilla looked past him when the slow squeak sounded again and Jack tried to pull his pained thoughts back together; he had to do something - and soon. He’d already had a good look at her - if he could just turn in her grasp, or get down off this damn hook he’d be able to see what he’d got to get past to get out of here - assuming he could stay conscious long enough.

“Just eat the sod, will you, Dru? I’ll get you a present later. That china doll you wanted with the moving eyes and the dress just like your favourite?”

“No, Spike, I want this one. He makes such pretty noises when I play with him and he’s all filled with stars and shiny bright lights.” Drusilla’s eyes glinted as she ran her nails over Jack’s chest, shredding his T shirt and scoring into his flesh much, much too easily, her enthusiastic lap at the slow trickle making his stomach clench tight. “Don’t you want a taste, Spike? Come and taste him before I eat him all up?”

Not stopping to process the implications of that, Jack pressed into her touch, encouraging her to suck harder at his chest before leaning away, drawing her under his point of balance and gritting his teeth as he pushed through the red mist saturating his vision, forcing his muscles to move, gripping the chain to pull higher against the restraints - higher - if he could just get his legs up...

A delicate hand slammed into his stomach, the unexpected blow stealing the last of his breath and jerking his hips painfully, shocking already overstretched muscles. Supporting him easily, Drusilla wagged her finger as hurt innocence creased her pale features. “Now that’s just bad. I’ll have to punish you if you’re going to be naughty.” Her nails tightened into his flesh, and she held him still for a moment before stepping back, the sudden drop sending pain shrieking through his back, arms, shoulders, neck...

Lost in a chorus of agony, Jack dangled helplessly, thick nausea swelling in his throat and restricting his breathing even more than the awkward angle. His pulse throbbed in his ears as the room blurred, doubling, tripling, and the lithe, dark figure moved closer - her smile widening, bright, vacant eyes blinking yellow.

“Does it hurt, sweetheart?”

Her grip tightened in his hair and Jack’s head snapped suddenly back, shoulders wrenching, twisting his spine into a curve until the ceiling closed in with a wash of agonised muscles to drown him in static. The sharp whisper of pierced flesh flashed a blinding bright blue, stink of metal and soot twenty seconds maximum and cold ashes, bloody stains on his heels and the rich stench of death weeping black never doubted black silk and bright gold with the warm press of lips and brown eyes and blue eyes a brief touch flashing blue-golden-green and then gone and then I kinda figured...

“Come on, pretty, mummy’s going to make you all big and strong.”

Jack blinked drowsily, wincing in the flickering light as he shifted, still trying to relieve the pull of chains. A dull clinking rattle sounded somewhere over his head and his torn shoulders shrieked, arms dropping to his sides to twitch briefly, painfully, exhausted muscles refusing more than another vague tremble against the heavy manacles.

Warm, soft material pressed at his back and as the musty stench of old oil and dust assaulted his burning lungs he coughed, the sudden contraction setting fire to his muscles and rasping a throat he vaguely recalled yelling hoarse. Whatever she was planning to do now, he was here for the duration - he couldn’t seem to draw breath properly, couldn’t sit up, could barely move. Trying to persuade his hands to a position where he could at least stop her biting, Jack flinched as fingers caressed his stomach, stroking up over his chest to run figures-of-eight on his throat, a dull ache pulsing there in time to the heartbeat that sounded too loud in his ears, throbbing like a loose tooth and somehow managing to compete with the pains that made up his whole body.

“There you are. I thought I’d been greedy and used you all up, but you’re strong, aren’t you? All strong and filled with gold and roses. Here, baby, let mummy make you all better.” Cool flesh pressed to Jack’s lips, cool and wet, a bright red spark slicing through his dullness, blood, the thought firing synapses, the demon gains entry through the sharing of...


Clamping his lips together, Jack twisted his head away desperately, groaning as his body protested, but determined - the Dalek ray had killed him quickly last time, faster than blood loss, faster than whatever this insane bitch wanted to do to him. Following the dictates of his prick was no good reason to die, but -

“No? You don’t want to live, baby? Don’t Jack want to go find his pretty flower? Find that shiny darkness, all the lovely places to go, all squished and squashed in a great big little blue box?”

The mattress dipped as she moved closer still, pressing her softness and silk to Jack’s bared chest and gripping his jaw, fingertips digging in as she turned him back to meet her wide stare. “If you don’t drink now you’ll be all dead and stinking, with the bugs and the worms, and you won’t be pretty and shiny no more. No more playing, no more fun for Jack, only fun for the beetles and bugs and the worms. Do you think the worms will like you like I do? Do you think they’ll play nice? Can you feel them, crawling, crawling all over your skin - they’ll make friends if you play nice, let Dru make you all strong.”

Strength belying her soft insanities, Drusilla’s grip tightened, easily overpowering Jack’s increasingly feeble struggles as she straddled him, forcing his mouth open, her features blurring hazily. “Drink up now, there’s mummy’s good boy.”

Staring down into his eyes, she sliced through her lip with one glistening fang and Jack’s gaze caught on the blood welling thickly on her pale skin; still trying to close his mouth, to turn his head away, he strained against her pincer grip and the drag of cold steel on dead limbs to draw breath... to just wet his tongue.

The irony twisted dark and necessary, somewhere inside; what a choice for his life - spit or swallow... The thought seemed outrageously funny and an unfamiliar dry wheeze wracked his throat: screw the habit of a lifetime - he’d spit this one back, spit it right in her face - it was better to die, at least he’d be clean, be himself... and then time seemed to slow, vortex currents hurled grit in his face and the slipstream retreated as the chill spread. The slight woman’s - the vampire’s - weight straining his lungs to an asthmatic pant, Jack’s quickening pulse thrummed in his ears and the room narrowed, hazing away to no more than the width of the fat, bloody droplet until that too was grown distant and dark, falling, falling...

Silk whispered faintly on his chest and as the first bright splash hit Jack’s tongue, his full mustered strength sent a thin bloody dribble trickling over his lip -

- numb; all numb lips and numb face and numb body fading, numb nothingness, deader and deadened and...

Bad dolly.” The solid blow rattled Jack's teeth as it rang through his skull, pain and shock rousing deadened senses, heart racing faster than dulled, sluggish thought -

- not real - this wasn’t real - he’d died - he was dead, he’d just got to be dead...

Tepid liquid flooded his tongue, its salty-iron pungency pooling so wet at the back of his throat - he was thirsty, just so fucking thirsty - and his body reacted, betraying him, swallowing even as nausea threatened to spew back the strong tasting liquor - the blood - “It’s all right pet, it’s all yours, all your blood, all your life.” Twisting his mouth wider around her wrist, Drusilla hummed softly, the thin tune winding creeper-like, strangling the rapid bass thump of his heart. “You drink up now, be big and strong for mummy and we’ll go find your pretty Rose and your shiny dark Doctor together. You don’t want to be dead, not again, do you? That’s no fun; all dead, all alone... You come with Dru now, come on, I’ve got what you need. Dru won’t leave you behind.”

A bright splash of laughter and dark eyes glowed gleefully, the taunting red gash at her wrist dripping wet on his face as she pulled back - out of reach but so close... Cruel delight probing each jagged snarl of pain, Jack arched after her - nothing else left, nothing left but release but he couldn’t give in - with blank whiteness offering pain-free oblivion, his cramped muscles screamed as he clutched at pale skin, obstinately following the slender promise of life.

“That’s right, come on, sweetheart, you take what you want.” A soft touch on his brow, cold fingers petting him, drawing him up to the wet gush at her throat and he swallowed convulsively, numb fingers knotting into slippery, shining dark hair, his skull’s sickening throb at the rapid staccato growing weaker, even swallowing too much for shattered, torn muscles to bear...

Thin strobing candle-flames dwindled to bright points of pain and the room darkened, long shadows retreating as Drusilla easily shrugged off Jack’s grip to leave him sucking at air like he’d drunk at her vein, faint choked breaths lost under the quiet happy tune grating nerveless skin with silk and sensation. An open-mouthed kiss turning hungry, her tongue rasped his jaw, confusing his roaring ears, every cell pulsing with dilute awareness as the numb rhythm stuttered, too fast and too slow, a faulty double, triple beat, and then another - slower -


“I love watching things die.”

The bed dipped under Jack’s shoulders as Drusilla pushed herself off his stomach, the cold hand on his chest faded to a distant numb touch; all surface, hard glitter and shine as the mattress settled and his head flopped sideways on the pillow, a thin warm trickle tickling his cheek. In the doorway the darkening candlelight burnished a figure: short, glowing golden and blonde -

- no. not again. not a dream. not another....

No - not short - merely sitting, bleached white, never blonde, detail fading to simple colours and lines: white hair, black coat, blue eyes, and beautiful, quite beautiful, hostility glistening hard on translucent skin, the man’s lip curled to sneer at a quiet, wet nearly-sound, noisome and vile, the monochrome tips of white hands idly tapping the rims of his wheelchair.

“I know you do, love. And I love watching you watch them. Now, are you going to come watch some telly?”

“Are there cartoons? I like the cartoons - not the nasty ones where the cat’s chasing the poor little mouse, nice cartoons, all flowers and fairies.”

As she passed the head of the bed, Drusilla bent slightly, one hand passing over Jack’s face and sweeping his eyes closed, the slight movement shaking his hand off his stomach to fall at his side. “Sleep well, baby...” Footsteps, a slow squeak retreating, taking sound, taking sight, taking everything - paler and fading and

“Don’t you think he looks like a dead baby, Spike.”

“Yes, princess, just like one. Come sit down now. You’ve been so busy, you must be tired - and your Spike’s lonely.”

Part two

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