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07 May 2009 @ 10:59 pm
Fic - Draw Back Your Bow (Faith/Drusilla)  

Title: Draw Back Your Bow
Author: ClawofCat
Timing: AtS S1 during "Five By Five"
Pairing: Faith/Drusilla, Drusilla/OC
Warnings: Violence and sexual situations
Words: 1929
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.


Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight back to my lover's heart for me”



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.


KSena: Angel by italian_jewelskseenaa on May 8th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
That was amazing! What a meeting! I almost hoped Faith would join Dru there. It was close, I could tell. :-) I like Drus goodbye to... Wonderfully written!
ClawofCat: fangel s3clawofcat on May 8th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm very pleased with this fic's construction. All very deliberate metaphors that cycle back and apply to Faith, Dru and Angel. I liked teasing out the layers of overlap.

I almost hoped Faith would join Dru there. It was close, I could tell.
I thought it'd be fun to have Faith underestimate Dru and let her get the upperhand. She's not much of a fighter, but she's quite tricky. I've written an AU "5x5" where Spike actually kills Faith, so I thought I'd stay truer to canon and write this as though it were a missing scene, hence Dru's planting the seed about Faith torturing Wesley and anticipating Angel's desire to save her.

I've always wanted to do something between her and Angel for the episode and the one following it. Lots of potential. I miss me some Faith/Angel!
Shapinglight: Who's your daddy?shapinglight on May 8th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Have come back and read it now, and liked it very much. People always make Dru too weak but you didn't fall into that trap. She's more than a match for Faith, though their weaknesses at this point are somewhat similar. Like calls to like, I suppose.

Thank you very much.
ClawofCat: Dru Angelus cruelclawofcat on May 8th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Cool. I'm glad you liked it. I spent a good deal of time on the construction of the story, trying to link up all the metaphors and word play so it simultaneously referred to both Angel, Faith and Dru.

People always make Dru too weak but you didn't fall into that trap.
No one should ever underestimate a crazy person. Dru is quite deadly in her own right, partly because she seems so fragile. She's not much of a fighter, but she can be tricky. Can you imagine if Dru sired vamp!Faith? Good Lord. That would be so wrong and fascinating. I shudder to think of what they'd get up to.

Like calls to like, I suppose.
Absolutely. Dru is drawn to her. Even though LA is smoggy, the stars still whisper to Dru ;)
Shapinglight: Angel tortured by Drushapinglight on May 8th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Can you imagine if Dru sired vamp!Faith? Good Lord. That would be so wrong and fascinating. I shudder to think of what they'd get up to.

:shudder: I'd rather like to read that, I think.
ClawofCat: faith hell to payclawofcat on May 10th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
I'll give it some thought and add it to my "to do" list. Perhaps when I have a more concrete idea, I'll do an AU spin on this fic and have them both go after 'ol Angel. Uh oh!
(no subject) - shapinglight on May 11th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Charlottedharkapparition on May 9th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Dru siring Faith? Awesome idea
Charlottedharkapparition on May 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
Most excellent!
ClawofCat: faithsmileclawofcat on May 10th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you! It was a challenging pair to write.
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: spikedru dancingclawofcat on May 10th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for taking a chance on the story. I'm glad it was worth it. Certainly an unusual pairing, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when writing it myself!
beer_good_foamy on May 9th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
This was brilliant. I loved the way the history of all three (because there's definitely three people in this - Angel(us) is in everything) suffuses every word they speak, and you do a great Drusilla - strong but fucked up, insane but with a very strong logic of her own, constantly going off on tangents that are anything but random babblings. “Shooting arrows through his heart will only make it grow fonder,” for instance; perfect Dru - taking a cue from another character, putting it into a different context and shooting it back at them. Loved it.
ClawofCat: faith reflectionclawofcat on May 10th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
Wow. Thank you so much for the detailed review. I really appreciate hearing that you enjoyed the construction of the story and the characterization. I spent a decent amount of time on both, so it's rewarding to hear that it was engaging and sounded authentic.

I loved the way the history of all three (because there's definitely three people in this - Angel(us) is in everything) suffuses every word they speak
Ah, so you noticed, eh? Presence while absent is a content kink of mine. It's something I go back to again and again in my writing - the specter of a third (or fourth) party haunting the main interactions of the featured pairing or character(s). The visual imagery and metaphors that Dru refers to conflates all three of them. Angel and Faith, and Faith and Dru become inextricably linked through the shared symbolism that Dru assigns to Faith - specifically that she's a fallen angel, perverted version of cupid, not what she appears, and a force of good corrupted to evil.

and you do a great Drusilla - strong but fucked up, insane but with a very strong logic of her own.
I found it easiest to write her by grouding her in the main themes I mentioned above. That adherence to her own brand of logic made it easier to carry the conversation through. She reminds me of the Sphinx, speaking in the riddles. Of course, we can follow her since we know what her clairvoyence refers to. My favorite part? The implication that it's Dru that plants the seed in Faith's head to gun for Wesley; somewhat ironic since Faith blames herself for the untimely death of her first Watcher.

Again, thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: spikedru dancingclawofcat on May 11th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I spent a lot of time trying to get her voice right. I found that anchoring her to a theme was effective in keeping her own brand of logic consistant. She cycles back to the cupid imagery again and again.
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on May 18th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Lovely insert, hon. You've done such a wonderful job painting the atmosphere, here - it's wonderfully gritty and complex and realistic. Faith, as always, is fantastic, and Dru was wonderfully done, too. :)
ClawofCat: fangel wisdomclawofcat on May 26th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Snowy. I was certainly going for gritty and dirty with this piece. The setting was meant to amplify (or reflect?) Faith's mood.

I fretted a lot about Dru's characterization here, but I'm pretty pleased with it. By grounding her to a single theme, I could wrap related metaphors and imagery into the dialogue that were abstract, but related to topic at hand.

This is a piece that really is all about the structure for me. All the parallelism between Dru, Faith, and Angel was very deliberate and calculated. I do love the a cleverly constructed fic. Why isn't there more of it?
lokifan: Faithlokifan on May 27th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
This was amazing! Faith's death wish, the denial in she has the power, the description - wow.
ClawofCat: faith hell to payclawofcat on May 29th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Great! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love writing Faith. She's such a complex character to sink your teeth into. I've posted a number of fics featuring her, but if you're intersted in Faith during this time period, have a look at my "Five by Five" AU called Window-Dressing.
foreverxkissesforeverxkisses on June 10th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
This is such an amazing pairing, I love how you've done it!

ClawofCat: faith downcastclawofcat on June 11th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. It was definately an unusual request, but of all the pairings I got this one got the wheels turning upstairs immediately. The possibilities for Faith and Dru are fascinating and disturbing.

I also love your Dollhouse icon. Amy's done such a good job, so far. They need to give her more to do!
foreverxkissesforeverxkisses on June 11th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
I hope Amy gets more screen time too, though that might be hard since her other show got picked up too. But I have faith in Joss :)
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on July 26th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
This fic was very "academic" in a sense; I was most interested here in its construction. In contrast to "Severed and Sewn" everything here is very deliberate and plotted. An interesting contrast to see how the two fics differ because of the mindset that went into them, I think. Here I used a central theme (cupid)to build and in the other I used a general concept - Angel and Spike die, Buffy and Faith mourn.
sockmonkeyheresockmonkeyhere on September 16th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
What a wonderfully grim, haunting, and accurate portrayal of these two characters. Your scenario fits so well with canon, and the dialogue is just perfect!
ClawofCat: angelus dru shhhclawofcat on September 16th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the comment. I'm glad to hear that the characterizations of both of them rang true to you, particularly Dru, whose always tough to write. You tread a hard line between being too abstract, too lucid, or too crazy. Internal logic is one of those key elements to writing her, I think.

Your scenario fits so well with canon, and the dialogue is just perfect!
This pairing prompt was certainly an unusual one. It was tough trying to think of a point of overlap for these two characters, but this time period seemed like a reasonable possibility for a chance meeting. I'm still holding out hope that someone (whose no me!) will write vamp!Faith and Dru. That would be insane!
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCatclawofcat on September 22nd, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
(Deleted comment)
ClawofCat: coc faithclawofcat on November 27th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed this so much. My favorite part of the fic to work on was the construction of that metaphor. It kept things really tight and focused, which is so important in one shots that really focus on character study.