Title: Draw Back Your Bow
Timing: AtS S1 during "Five By Five"
Pairing: Faith/Drusilla, Drusilla/OC
Warnings: Violence and sexual situations
Summary: While preparing for her showdown with Angel, Faith is confronted by a mysterious woman with a keen interest in her dark side.
A/N: Written for shapinglight, who requested a Faith/Dru drabble. The title if this piece is a segment of a lyric from the Sam Cooke song "Cupid." To listen, click HERE. Many thanks to eowyn_315 for the beta.
Two stories up, Faith sits in the cage of a fire escape, legs and feet dangling down through the bars, sharpening a stake and calibrating a crossbow. A pistol rests close to her breast in the inside pocket of her jacket. The warmed metal makes her left side feel heavy. Her heart drones on dully – reluctantly – beneath the barrel.
Below her, shadows reach long, set on fire by the orange glow of the city street lamps at the mouth of the alley. A few cars cruise down the block, thugs decked out in red or blue glaring dangerous stares into the night. Turf warfare; it makes her want to laugh. What would those bad boys do if they found themselves face to face with a contract killer? How long would it take for the menacing frowns to melt to pleading tears? Too fast, she thinks, her pocket knife scraping the coarse wood in her hand.
By 4AM, the street’s gone quiet. It’ll be an hour yet before the birds wake, before garbage and delivery trucks begin to rumble through, going about their municipal duties. In Sunnydale she’d always end her patrols during this lull, that pregnant pause just before dawn. Nothing stirring, demon or human, just her and the wide stretch of sky. As Faith takes stock of her gear, feeling them all out in turn, acquainting herself with her arsenal, her eyes scan the charcoal heavens. A blanket of smog smothers the stars, camouflaging the night’s true face. People run to LA because nothing is what it seems here; everything – everyone – is twisted and wrong.
The light tap of heels click-clacking on the sidewalk interrupts her troubled thoughts. Two girls stumble down the block, giggling to one another, pausing to kiss between laughs. The shorter one has her club gear on, glitter and sparkle adorning her face and neck. Magenta bangles and pumps flash neon against her partner’s black dress. Her bracelets tinkle merrily when she reels the woman in close, guides her hands to her hips. The sight gets Faith juiced, and sends the killer instincts packing now that her carnal ones have arrived. Shifting forward on her perch, she wonders if this is glitter girl’s first time or if she’s a card carrying member.
The girl moans, flashes a smile, as her back is pressed against the brick wall of the building at the corner. Through the inky dark, she writhes against the woman she’s entwined with, her shimmying hips hiking her skirt up her thighs. Head tipped back, her companion’s mouth brushes her neck, sinks against the soft juncture of her shoulder. Faith’s eyes narrow as they dance backward into the alley, weaving drunkenly, tripping and stumbling.
They stop just below her and rock lazily, the girl’s wrists hanging limply at her sides. Faith’s hardly surprised, if not a little disappointed, when Jane Doe’s knees buckle and she collapses bonelessly at the other woman’s feet, hair sprawled and arms splayed. Dead eyes gaze off toward a dumpster, skin drawn and pale, neck oozing. Faith looks at the girl and sees herself, dark, sad eyes hollow and vacant, empty of life.
When humming drifts up to her like curling smoke, she leans forward; the lady sways thoughtfully, her arms lifted. She’s seen vamps do all sorts of things, but this one looks about ready to dance around a May pole. Faith quickly brandishes a stake when the woman’s serpentine head swivels and she makes eye contact with her, an index finger to her lips obscuring her mischievous smile.
“You walked into the wrong alleyway, lady,” Faith sneers, locking the crossbow in her lap. She frowns when the woman lets loose a lilting, delicate laugh.
“Oh, no. No, I think this is quite right,” the woman corrects. Narrowing her eyes, she loops her thumbs together, wiggles her fingers like a flapping bird. “Where else to go to find angels without wings?”
Mouth set, Faith cocks her bow and points the bolt at Drusilla’s chest. “You’ve got five seconds to explain yourself before you’re nothing but ashtray fodder. The lawyers send you? They think I’m not gonna go through with it?”
“Daddy always liked his fruit fresh and sweet. But the worms have gotten into you. Nothing but rot and blood and pain, and there’s no one to save you from the monsters in the dark.”
“Says the chick who’s got a crossbow aimed at her chest. Yeah, I’m shaking in my boots.” Standing up, she looks through the cross-hatched grate below her feet, watches Drusilla’s yellow eyes return to brown. “What’s this about? Angel? You a groupie or something?”
“Shooting arrows through his heart will only make it grow fonder,” she murmurs knowingly, placing her hand on her breast.
“That right? And here I thought they bring a world of hurt.” A hand ghosts to her belly thinking of the gift-wrapped, poison package she signed, sealed, and delivered to Angel in Sunnydale. She hadn’t planned on the gutting she got, or the beat down and fall that sent her into coma limbo, either. But if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
“As much fun as this is,” she mutters, vaulting over the side of the basket to land in front of the vampire, “I’ve got things to do, vamps to dust – ”
“Watchers to kill?” Drusilla suggests, licking her finger.
The strike comes so quickly, Faith doesn’t even realize she’s stabbed the woman clean through the shoulder with her stake until Drusilla chortles, head thrashing. “Such a sad seraph.”
“What!?” Faith hisses, pressing the tip of her crossbow to her chest. “What the fuck did you just say? You think this is funny?”
“You want the beast. Fists and fangs and a heavy hand? Big, bad Angelus that breaks down little girls until there’s nothing left and it all becomes spoilt and sour.”
“Slayer’s gotta find a challenge sometime, don’t you think, Looney Tunes? Who better than Angel to give me a run for my money? We’ve got history and he’s got a homicidal rap sheet that goes back to seventeen-whatever. Seems to me that deserves a big ass-whoopin’.”
Head lolling, Drusilla whispers, “Someone’s been minding their lessons.” French manicured nails dip into the blood flowing from her wounded shoulder. She tenderly circles Faith’s twitching wrist, pulls her close. “He has been terribly naughty. Must pay for his bad behavior. But that won’t get you what you want. Oh, no. I’m in a much better position to do that,” she purrs, a hand reaching out to brush hair away from Faith’s neck.
“Like hell you are,” Faith spits, eyes burning. No one can take her, least of all this nutcase. She says when it’s over. She makes the call. She has the power.
The rage rattles inside her, consuming every synapse, infusing every nerve. Faith looks away for only a second - takes a breath, then another, tries not to think of her Watcher, of her dead Watcher - but that’s all that a vampire ever needs, and she curses herself when iron-strong hands grab her hair and knock the crossbow from her fingers. She tries to jerk away as Drusilla clutches her jaw, but something – a force – keeps her still.
“Mind me, pretty Slayer,” Drusilla warns her sternly. “Aim for his heart and he’ll only save you. Put to waste all the roiling malice. Can’t have that,” she breathes, her lips a hair away from Faith’s. “Mustn’t lose another. Not one as dark and deadly as you.”
She draws back, grimaces, when soft lips glide over hers. An eel flowing over rocks, slithering into dark crevices, she swarms across Faith’s mouth, nipping and sucking. It’s at once erotic and terrifying. All that Faith can do is push harder, force the stake deeper, make the pain bloom brighter in hopes of freeing herself. Staring into Drusilla’s eyes is like falling into quicksand. You only sink further the harder you struggle.
“Who are you?” Faith chokes, feeling delicate fingers circle her neck, worrying the thin skin above her throat. Wondering if this is it, if it’s really that simple.
The woman smiles with pleasure. “His favorite broken dolly,” she sings, eyes closed, lost in fond recollection. “We used to make such fearsome carnage together.”
The sucking paralysis lessens suddenly with Drusilla’s submergence into nostalgia. Faith uses the break to her advantage, channeling all the strength she can to tear her stake free and put her fists to good use.
“My advice?” Faith calls, a punch to the gut sending Dru sprawling. “Stop living in the past.”
She lets loose all the fury she can muster thinking of the woman’s false face, how nothing is what it seems. All her life has been a masquerade – being what others wanted, doing what others said. Seeing the world through Buffy’s eyes opened hers to the nothing she had become – a hollow vessel, a vortex of scattered rage, a Janus-like monster of her own making. There is an end to it, though. Vampirella wasn’t wrong. She knows who can deliver the final blow, who can end this ride from hell.
Her fists connect again and again as she throws one uppercut after another, shaking the demon free, unleashing the beast inside. Whatever carnage this woman’s been a part of, it doesn’t compare to the carnage Faith heaps on her. She watches her falter, whimper pitifully with each slam of her fist. She wants to laugh, howl. Freaky mojo can’t get her out of this jam.
Faith’s caught off guard when the woman growls, feints and dodges. Her own momentum carries her forward; a fist grazes her cheek, nails skim across flesh. The air smells like blood when yellow eyes flash in the darkness. Faith doesn’t expect the doubling blow when it comes and reels from the force, tumbling face first onto concrete. The pistol in her jacket cracks brutally against her chest; she gasps when the explosion of pain rips through her, forcing the air out of her lungs.
“Have your cage, then,” she hears Drusilla whisper bitterly. “Let your arrows go.”
The clattering of heels recedes down the alley unevenly, the bitch limping her retreat. Was that the evil that Angel was capable of? Breaking a woman so thoroughly as to be unrecognizable to her own eyes? No easy task to vanish inside a lie made just for you. She thinks he must know something about that. She’s seen past the mask he wears, too.
When Faith rolls onto her back, the stars are still obscured and fading. Time yet for a nap, some grub. Reaching beneath her denim jacket, she prods her chest, can already feel the bruise forming over her breast. The spot is tender; she rubs at it absently. She takes her time getting to her feet, stretches before bending to collect her weapons. The blood on her stake smells tangy. It gets tucked into her waistband as she slings the crossbow across her shoulder. At the mouth of the alley, Faith squints, and steps across the threshold separating the gloom from the florescence of the street lamp.
“Hope this gets you there, big guy,” she says, stuffing the bolts back into her quiver. Whatever that chick was on about, it doesn’t matter. It ends tomorrow for one of them. All bets are off on who’ll snag the prize.
In Sunnydale she met his broken heart. In LA she fought his broken mind. She could be his broken body. Walking down the street, she decides it’s time for her broken spirit to lead the charge.