punch_kicker15: (Willow rainhat)
[personal profile] punch_kicker15
Title: All Saints Day
Author: punch_kicker15
Rating: R
Characters/Relationships: Darla/Drusilla
Summary: On the night after Halloween, Darla reconnects with someone she used to know.
Word count: 1027
Notes: Written for the Tricks and Treats round at [livejournal.com profile] femslash_minis, for [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni, who wanted the pairing, a pre-series setting, flicker, jack o lantern. Also written for the ghosts prompt at [livejournal.com profile] femslashbb

Darla trudged down the street, looking on both sides for unwary prey. Sadly, since it was All Saints Day, nothing but the occasional jack-o-lantern was out on the porches. If only she’d been allowed to go out last night, when the humans wandered around in their costumes, abundant food for the taking. She’d never understood the demonic protocol surrounding Halloween. She’d rather be gauche and well-fed than refined and hungry. But the Master had been adamant about adhering to it. Of course he’d be the first to complain if she came back from her hunt without an offering.

She caught a human scent, and underneath that, one far more familiar: Dru. It was a scent she associated with thousands of memories: racing through the streets chasing down their food, watching Dru capture humans through her thrall, terrorizing everyone from Peking to Paris. There were memories of quieter times too: taking milk and honey baths together, brushing each other’s hair until it shone in the candlelight, or just sharing a kill and a bottle of wine. And then there was that time they’d set fire to a small village just to watch its inhabitants burn. That had been entertaining.

She whirled to face Dru, who was feeding on a kid in a letterman’s jacket. He groaned faintly, but otherwise seemed unaware of his surroundings.

“Grandmummy,” Dru staggered towards her, half-dragging the boy, who reeked of alcohol. Darla’s fangs started to itch, and her true face began to emerge. She’d always had a weakness for alcohol-soaked blood.

Dru’s gaze wandered all over the place, looking everywhere except at Darla. There was something not quite right about her movements. Her long white dress swayed with each feeble movement. She looked far too frail to catch any but the weakest and most inebriated prey. Darla was reminded of an elderly cat that had caught a lame mouse. Perhaps the rumors of the attack in Prague were true. Darla felt a sudden rush of gratitude for her place in the Order of Aurelius; she might have much less freedom of movement, and she was subject to The Master’s sometimes-curious whims, but at least she had protection from mobs.

Darla edged closer, cautiously. Even wounded, Dru could be a threat. It would be stupid to underestimate her. Her hair was shone in the moonlight, and her makeup was impeccable. That meant that she either had moments of strength and competence, or someone was helping her. Probably Spike. He always was ridiculously sentimental where she was concerned.

Dru pushed the boy towards her, “A treat for my favorite daughter.” From Grandmummy to daughter in the span of thirty seconds. She was clearly as crazy as ever.

The boy stumbled forward, and Darla took a bite. Hot metallic blood, tempered with the burn of alcohol, and some god-awful sweetener. “Jesus, the stuff kids drink these days. Makes me almost nostalgic for the rotgut of old.”

Dru closed her eyes and tossed her head back. She whispered, “The trees are angry tonight.”

Darla kept drinking, holding the boy up as his limbs went slack. There were neatly manicured lawns and shrubs, but there wasn’t a single tree on this dull little street. There was no point in continuing the conversation with someone who wasn’t lucid tonight, She dug her fangs in deeper, draining the last drop, and let the kid slump to the ground with a thud.

Dru fumbled with a bag on her shoulder. “For my darling daughter-to-be.” She handed Darla a box.

Darla lifted the lid and stared at the pale blue silk kimono inside. She lifted it out of the box, careful not to snag the fabric as she held it up to her chest. It was single-bolt chirimen silk, with a seam down the back, a perfect cylinder shape, with a white obi. Darla admired the tiny stitches of the silver and gold flower embroidery.

This wasn’t just Dru idly spotting a kimono in a shop window and impulsively grabbing it; this was Dru tracking down a kimono that was hand-made in Japan by a skilled seamstress.

“How did you find this?” Darla whispered, as if Dru hadn’t been spouting cryptic nonsense for the last few minutes.

A grin flickered across Dru’s face. “Still have my tricks.” She finally looked into Darla’s eyes, and for a moment she seemed like the Dru of old.

A raccoon scurried across the street, and Dru clutched Darla’s arm with a look of pure fear on her face. “It’s awful--make it go away.”

Darla hissed at the raccoon, and it raced to the other side of the street.

Dru loosened her grip on her arm, and seemed to collapse on herself. “The rabbits are coming for the wolves soon. Nothing to be done but drink our tears.”

Maybe Dru wasn’t even talking to Darla at all. Maybe she thought was talking to her dolls. Or maybe this was the one time in ten that she was predicting the future in a cryptic way. Or even in a completely literal way. Killer rabbits were not the strangest thing Darla had seen on the Hellmouth.

Dru pulled her close and kissed her. As their fangs clashed, Darla tasted blood and tea and some undefinable taste of Dru. She ran her hands through Dru’s hair, twisting a few strands around her fingers. It was as silky and soft as she remembered.

Dru gasped, and then pulled away. With a muffled sob, she turned her back on Darla and shuffled off.

Darla watched her for a moment. She’d once thought the Whirlwind would go on forever. But existence was precarious even for vampire gangs; one curse, or one angry mob, and two of its pillars could be hollowed out in the blink of an eye.

She shook herself. She had to leave the ghosts of the past behind her. There was no return to the glory days. The only thing she had was the present. She needed to find an offering for The Master before sunrise. She started walking towards the high school. If one schoolboy was stupid enough to be out this late, maybe others would be too.
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