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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
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Story Notes:
The episode didn't turn out well for us Spuffy fans, did it? I got the urge to make some changes and do a rewrite. One big difference in my version is that Buffy acknowledges having an attraction to Spike on a level from the start (at least to herself), 'cos we all know it was true *wink*

There are major differences from the episode in my story, but I did keep some scenes and dialogue from the episode written by David Fury. Thanks to Buffyworld (www.buffyworld.com) for providing the episode transcripts!

* Big thanks to my two wonderful betas, Dragonfly Lady and Passion4Spike! Passion4Spike also helped a lot with the channeling of Dru, and as always, provided devilish encouragement >:D
* Thanks to Edgehead and xoChantelly for the awesome banners!

I took the title of the story from the song by Paul Simon. I thought 'Still Crazy After All These Years' was a perfect title for a story with Drusilla lol Spike and Buffy are kinda crazy in their own ways, too :) If you'd like to give the song a listen, here's a YouTube link:


Authors Chapter Notes:
Banner by Edgehead

As she made her way home from the fruitless investigation at the train station, Buffy remembered the conversation with Dawn she'd had while escorting her home from Spike's crypt...


Buffy crossed her arms, realizing what was going on. "You have a crush on him."

"No, I don't!" Dawn protested. "It's just," she giggled, looking bashful, "he's got cool hair, and he wears cool leather coats and stuff." A moment later, she stopped smiling and became serious. "And he doesn't treat me like an alien."

"He's a killer, Dawn. You cannot have a crush on a thing that's... dead, and... and evil, and a vampire."

"Right," Dawn said smugly, "that's why you were never with Angel for three years."

Buffy swallowed, then said in a quiet voice, "Angel's different. He has a soul."

Dawn shrugged, unfazed. "Spike has a chip. Same diff."

Buffy turned away, gesturing angrily. "I-I can't listen to this!" She sighed and turned back. "Spike is a monster, okay? A-and plus, you are only fourteen years old."

"I like hanging out with him, is all. And even if I did have a crush, he wouldn't notice in a million years... Not with you around."

Buffy frowned. "What's that mean?"

"Spike's totally into you."

Buffy was speechless. She blinked at Dawn, not able to comprehend what her sister was saying.

"Oh, come on." Dawn rolled her eyes. "You didn't notice? Buffy, Spike is completely in love with you."

Back in the present...

That last sentence echoed in Buffy's mind: Buffy, Spike is completely in love with you-ooo-ooo-ooo...

How could it be true? Spike had a thing for her? Spike?! He hated her, he'd tried to kill her numerous times, his favorite hobby was making Buffy's life miserable. How could he possibly be in love, or even in lust, with her?

Buffy would never go down the vampire boyfriend path again, especially not with Spike. Okay... he was gorgeous. That, she'd noticed and couldn't deny to herself. But he was also evil and undead. Although, he'd been helping her out lately, and he was awfully nice to Dawn and her mom...

"No," Buffy said out loud, shaking her head. "Absolutely not. It's stupid and... and creepy, and wrong. It's a truckload of stupid, creepy, and wrong."

What Spike felt for her (if anything) had to be some kind of bizarre crush or fixation. Leave it to him to be twisted enough to have inappropriate feelings for his natural enemy. It was like a snake falling in love with a mongoose... or was it a mongoose falling in love with a snake? She wasn't sure who was who in that analogy. Whatever it was that Spike felt, it surely wasn't love. Soulless vampires couldn't love (or so she'd convinced herself during Angelus' reign of terror); they just weren't capable of it. Spike had seemed to love Dru... but that was just some weird loyalty or Sire thing. Not real love.

Maybe Dawn was mistaken. Maybe her sister had just gotten the wrong impression and Spike wasn't in anything with her. After all, Dawn was just a child, what did she know about love?

Buffy was very nervous about seeing Spike after what Dawn had told her. She was afraid to have the subject of his feelings for her confirmed... or denied.

There was a little piece of her that was super-secretly thrilled to think that Spike was enamored with her. That piece of her recalled how extraordinary his kisses and touches had been when they'd been 'engaged'. That piece of her still wanted him. After getting dumped by Riley, it felt so good to be desired by a man as handsome, sexy, and strong as Spike -- even if he was a vampire. And what did that say about Buffy? That the only males who found her irresistible were of the undead variety, and that at least part of her enjoyed the attention...

But the bigger portion of her mind knew how wrong it was. Just plain wrong. It disgusted and scared the resolute Slayer part of her psyche. Any feelings or warm thoughts for or about Spike were strictly forbidden -- and swiftly buried when they did occur. In another time, another place, and minus the evil, she could have fallen for Spike. But he was who and what he was, and she was who and what she was, so there wasn't any chance of anything romantic happening between them. Ever. Never-ever.

Buffy was relieved when she finally entered her house. She'd had too long to ponder Spike and his possible squishy feelings for her, it was making her crazy. A conversation with other human beings would help chase away those thoughts, fears (and feelings) about that pain-in-the-ass, bleached blond vampire.

Joyce came into the foyer from the kitchen when she heard Buffy come in.

"Hey, Mom," Buffy said with a wan smile as she hung up her jacket.

"Hi, honey. Any luck at the train station?" Joyce asked.

Buffy frowned and shook her head. "No, the cops seemed to have actually done a thorough job for once. There wasn't any kind of evidence left behind by the time Xander and I got there."

She sighed. "I hope one of you finds some clues soon, before someone else gets hurt, or worse. Maybe he'll have better luck."

"He? You mean Xander?"

"I meant Spike. He was here earlier," Joyce said off-handedly as she walked into the kitchen. "He said he was going to go digging for clues. I hope he didn't mean that literally."

Buffy's eyes widened; she gulped and followed her mother into the kitchen. "Huh?"

"I said, Spike was here. He just stopped by to see how we were and apologize about Dawn going to his place after school -- our missing child drama. Wasn't that nice?"

"Uh... yeah. When did he leave?"

"About a half hour ago. I was telling him this funny story about --"

Buffy was getting panicky again. "Mom, why were you hanging out with Spike? First Dawn, and now you?!"
"Dawn was here too. Buffy, what's bothering you?"

"Spike! Spike's bothering me! I don't want him getting cozy in my house and being buddies with my mom and little sister, okay? Is that so hard to understand?!"

Joyce frowned and looked at her anxiously. "Did something happen that I should know about?"

"N-no..." Buffy looked down at her shoes.

"Buffy," Joyce said, giving her the 'Mom Look'.

She sighed. "Nothing technically happened... Dawn told me that Spike's... in love with me."

Joyce raised her eyebrows. "Oh my... is it true?"

"I-I don't know. I'm afraid it could be true."

"How do you feel about him?"

"I hate him! He... makes me sick."

"And that's all?" Joyce asked doubtfully. Not that she'd encourage her daughter to pursue another relationship with a vampire, but Joyce suspected that Buffy had feelings for Spike that went beyond being adversaries or reluctant, occasional teammates. It wasn't healthy for anyone to repress their feelings.

"Yes! That's all."

"Buffy..." Joyce tried to think of how to phrase what she wanted to say. "You do know that it's okay for you to feel something for someone who might be totally wrong for you, don't you? It happens all the time, we --"

"No! No feelings!" Buffy shook her head rapidly. "Spike is sickening and disgusting; I could never feel anything for him."

Joyce could see that Buffy was protesting far too much, and far too vehemently. "But he has been helpful lately. He wants to help protect Dawn from Glory. He even helped you fight her at the hospital, and he didn't have to do that. That's admirable, don't you think?"

"Yeah," Buffy scoffed, "he got hit once and was out like a light for the rest of the fight. He was a big help; I'm sure Glory is shaking in her Manolo Blahniks. And it's so not fair that someone that evil owns shoes that awesome... Yet another reason for me to hate that bitch."

"Spike still tried to help, though. That counts for something. Would you be discounting Willow or Xander's help if they'd been hurt and taken out of a fight early?"

Buffy had the decency to feel a bit guilty. Her mom was right -- it wasn't fair of her to totally disregard what Spike had tried to do. 'Damn her infernal Mom Logic!' she thought.

"Y-yeah, okay, he's helped... but that doesn't mean I want to date him! Spike's annoying and rude and... stupid," Buffy finished with a pout.

Joyce sighed. Her daughter wasn't in the state of mind to do any serious introspection or admit any deep-dark secrets at the moment, so Joyce would back off. "Then I suppose you should talk to him about it, and if it turns out that he does have feelings for you, you have to let him down gently."

Buffy's eyes widened, the thought of being face-to-face with him petrified her. "I can't! What if he says it's true?" Buffy put a hand over her eyes and groaned. "Oh God, I can't deal with this... Why is this happening? You think Spike's just going to let it go just because I tell him he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell? This is the guy who's historically known for never stopping until he gets what he wants. He's also infamous for killing Slayers, and torturing people with railroad spikes..."

"Well, he can't hurt you, not with the chip." If it weren't for the chip, Joyce would think twice about encouraging Buffy to talk to Spike. Joyce liked him, she could see there was a good guy under that tough vampire exterior, but he was still a vampire. It was like someone keeping a Bengal tiger as a pet -- the tiger might be gentle and love its owner, but it was still a wild animal at heart, capable of... of well, going wild at the drop of a hat. But Joyce was confident that no harm would come to her daughter, at least not at Spike's hands.

"You need to tell him that it's not going to happen, Buffy. It's the right thing to do. But... try to be nice, okay? Spike's a very emotional and surprisingly sensitive guy. When that terrible Drusilla woman broke up with him he was a mess. It still hurts to be rejected, whether you're a human or a vampire."

"I just know he'll be following me around forever... Unless I stake him..." Buffy looked up in thought.

"Buffy, you can't just stake someone because you don't like that they have feelings for you."

"Sure I can! If that someone happens to be a vampire, I'm allowed to and it's totally within my rights to dust them. In fact, it's my sacred duty!" Buffy said, seeing a ray of hope that there was a quick and easy way out of this dilemma.

Buffy groaned and slumped at her mother's reprimanding look. "Okay, I won't stake him... geez. I wasn't serious..." Though that would be a very easy solution.

Joyce gave Buffy a hug. "I know you'll do the right thing. You always do."

Spike's plans had changed rather abruptly.

He'd been chatting with Dawn and Joyce while waiting for Buffy to get home. His need to be near the Slayer was getting stronger by the day -- he didn't know how he would be able to hide his love for her much longer.

When he'd been casually asking around for info on the train slayings, Spike had heard about some vamps living in an abandoned building in town. Though he didn't think those were the actual vampires Buffy was looking for, he saw an opportunity to go on a stakeout with her -- some alone-time in his car, just the two of them. Maybe doing more things like that would make Buffy think of him differently...

But Spike came to the conclusion that taking Buffy on a wild goose chase was a bad idea. He was thinking with his heart and not his head -- not the big head, anyway. If he buckled down and really investigated the killings, perhaps he could find the real baddie or baddies, and then he could go to Buffy with solid information. She would have to be impressed with him then... right?

So, with that goal in mind, Spike gave Joyce and Dawn his apologies, told them he had some detective work to do, and then he set off for the demon bars again. He'd be thorough this time and leave no stone unturned until he got a reliable lead.

Spike did some thinking as he drove to Willy's bar. His life had been so simple once... Everything used to be either black or white. But now, everything was drowning in sodding shades of gray. In his glory days, if he wanted something, he took it. If he was hungry, he'd have himself a happy meal. If someone pissed him off or disrespected him, he'd snap their necks. But now he had to think before he took any action or said a word -- although he still rarely made the right choice in what he said and did. Too impulsive for his own good, he was.

Everything Spike thought about doing had to be measured by what she would think. Would Buffy be angry or sad? Would she be (dare he think it) happy, would she smile at him if he made a right choice or helped someone? Having no soul, Spike didn't know if what he thought was a correct response was actually considered acceptable behavior in civilized human society. It was maddening.

But Spike knew he had it within himself to be the kind of man Buffy deserved. He still had traces of William inside him, he just needed to learn how to tap back into that part of his psyche. It wasn't easy; Spike had shut down and buried his old self long ago out of necessity. The only quality about William he'd purposely not fought was his ability to love a woman completely and unconditionally. He really regretted being blessed/cursed with that quality sometimes, but like it or not, he was stuck with it.

He scanned the crowd as he entered Willy's bar.

The place was packed tonight, even more so than it had been earlier. His odds of finding someone who knew something were better with more demons to question. Spike got some dirty looks as he walked to the bar. He was used to that; the demon community looked down on him because of his association with Buffy. He didn't let that bother him though. He met the unkind stares with steely eyes and a sneer, with the occasional backwards peace sign thrown in for good measure.

Spike smiled when he saw his friend Clem (the only demon in town he could trust even a little bit) playing darts alone. He went to the bar to get a couple beers, and then walked over to Clem.

"Can I join you, or are you just gonna play with yourself all night?" Spike asked with a smirk.

"Oh hey, Spike," Clem greeted him. He stood at the line and tried lining up his next shot. "I'm just practicing. But you can practice too." He looked at Spike. "It's just practice, understand? I'm not betting anything."

"Want a frosty one?" Spike asked, holding out one of the beer bottles.

"Hell yeah, beer me." Clem took the proffered beer.

"You still owe me a Siamese or two from last week's poker game." Spike took a swig of beer.

"Yeah, I know, but I shouldn't have to pay you. You were cheating your tight-skinned ass off."

Spike raised an eyebrow. "And you weren't cheating? I know you hide cards in the folds of skin on your arms."

Clem acted indignant. "How dare you suggest that I..." He sighed and his shoulders slumped as he quickly dropped the act. "Yeah, okay, I did. And I still lost somehow. Don't go around telling people about the cards in the skin-folds thing."

"Wouldn't dream of tattling on you, mate. How 'bout this: we'll call it even if you can give me some information."

"About what?" Clem focused back on the dartboard.

"You hear about the train of dead bodies that rolled into town?"

"Yeah, sure. Everybody's heard about that."

"You know who done it?"

"Nope." Clem threw a dart, missing the center. He growled and readied his next attempt at a bullseye. "I never did get the hang of this game."

"You're holding your wrist too limp. Try firmin' it up, but don't hold it too rigid," Spike suggested.

Clem tried following Spike's instructions, but his next shot wasn't any better than the last.

"Here, I'll show ya." Spike took a dart from Clem and faced the board. He cracked his neck from side to side, and then threw his dart -- hitting the bullseye dead-center. Spike smirked. "And that is how it's done, mate."

"You suck," Clem grumbled as he elbowed Spike out of the way. "Nobody likes a showoff."

"I'm English, darts are in the genes." Spike stepped aside and sipped his beer as he watched Clem continue to struggle to make a good throw. He chuckled. "This is bleedin' tragic."

"Shut up. My claws interfere with my throws -- that's the problem," Clem said, trying to save face.

"Why don't you trim the bloody things then?"

"'Cause chicks dig the claws, man, that's why."

Spike laughed. "Ah, the price you pay for bein' beautiful." He got back to the main reason for his visit. "So, you don't know anything 'bout those recent murders?"

Clem tensed ever-so-slightly. Anyone else might not have noticed it, but Spike did. "Nope."

"You can't bluff me, I know when you've got a better hand than you're lettin' on."

"Come on, Spike... you know it ain't smart to poke your nose in other people's business. The last thing I need is someone powerful and vicious gunning for me."

"I reckon the Slayer's gonna come 'round to ask questions and do some pokin' of her own sooner or later. Wouldn't you like to tell me over a friendly practice game of darts? Or would you rather she beats the shit out of you for the info?"

"You're very persuasive..." Clem said with a sigh. He didn't want to be on the wrong side of the Slayer. He knew Spike wasn't bluffing about that -- the Slayer would come looking for someone who knew anything about the murders on the train. And the Slayer was known to enjoy extracting information with her fists. "Okay, I'll tell you what I heard and then you make sure to tell the Slayer I played ball -- and we'll still be square for the kittens I owe you, too?"

Spike nodded.

"Keep in mind that I don't know this stuff firsthand, it's just bits and pieces of things I overheard."

"Yeah, got it. What did you hear?"

"There's a big-time vamp throwing their weight around. Could be more than one of them, I don't know for sure."

"And they just got into town?"

"Yep. Someone said something about one of them being a girl with burns on her face."

Spike's brows knit. "Burns from what?"

Clem shrugged.

Spike ran all the older or more ambitious vampires he knew about through his mind, but there were too many possibilities to narrow it down yet. The possibility that it could be Drusilla never entered his mind -- she would never come back to Sunnydale, she hated this town with a passion. And Spike didn't think she'd go out of her way just to see him again -- Dru had made her feelings (or the lack of them) clear the last time they'd talked. "Anything else?"

"Just that the vampire or vampires in question are looking to build up a gang... and that they're staying in a mansion somewhere in town."

"You know a lot more than you first let on, Clem."

"I told ya, I don't really know anything. All that stuff I told you could be wrong. You know how people like to gossip about things they have no actual knowledge about."

"Well, what did you think of the blokes you heard it from? Think they knew what they were talkin' about or just blowing smoke?"

Clem paused to consider the question, then nodded. "I think they were telling the truth as they knew it. But they could've heard it through the grapevine too. Whoever it is that did those killings, they're big and bad enough to get everyone nervous."

Spike had something to go on now, and he had a hunch that at least some of the gossip would prove to be true. Clem said the culprits had moved into a mansion, and there weren't a lot of those in Sunnydale; that would be a good place to start his investigation. "I got some legwork to do. Thanks for the info, Clem. Have a few pints on me." Spike took $10 from his pocket and then tucked it into a fold of skin on Clem's arm.

Clem smiled. "Thanks. Hey, before you go, can I ask you something?"

Spike raised his brows, then shrugged. "Yeah?"

Clem leaned in so as not to be overheard. "What's the deal with you and the Slayer?"

Spike pursed his lips. "There's no deal."

"Are you like her wisecracking vampire sidekick or somethin'?"

Spike growled. "No! I'm nobody's bloody sidekick!" He looked around, hoping no one was eavesdropping.

"Do you like her?" Clem teased.

Spike had to make an effort to keep his voice down. "'Course not! I just do what I do to... stay on her good side, y'know? Make the bitch think I'm housetrained." Spike sniffed and squared his shoulders. "If I didn't have the bloody chip in my brain, the Slayer would be six feet under by now. And once I figure out how to get rid of the chip, the Slayer's ass is mine." Though not in the way Spike wished her ass would belong to him.

"Yeah... I knew it couldn't be that you had the hots for her. I mean, she's one of the ugliest things I've ever seen."

Spike bit his tongue and hid his true feelings on Buffy's appearance as best he could. "Mmmhmm."

"That hideous mug of hers is the stuff of nightmares, I tell ya. And that body -- eugh!" Clem stuck out his tongue and shuddered with revulsion. "She's all out of proportion. And I've seen better heads of hair on scarecrows; it's all brittle-looking and --"

Spike couldn't hold back. He shoved Clem's shoulder and growled, "Eh! That's enough! Shut your bloody mouth 'fore I --"

"Aha!" Clem said haughtily, pointing a clawed finger at Spike. "You do like her. I knew it!"

Spike closed his eyes and groaned. "So I have... a physical attraction to the bint, so what? Doesn't mean anything. There are plenty of birds in this town I wouldn't mind havin' a go at, not just her."

"You didn't like me talkin' smack on your girlfriend." Clem laughed.

"She's not my bloody girlfriend."

"But... you'd like it if she was, right?"

Spike took in and then let out a calming breath. "Clem, you're one of the very few people in this world that I actually like, so I'll give you fair warning: if you keep talkin' like that and askin' me questions about her, I'm gonna string you up by your extra skin, get me a Louisville Slugger, and make like you're a bloody piñata."

Clem held his hands up. "Geez, okay, Mr. Touchy! I'll shut up. I just wanted to know what the deal was."

"You know better than to go spreadin' that around, don't you?" Spike asked, arching an eyebrow.

"You keep my 'Aces tucked into my skin folds' secret, and I'll keep your 'liking that ugly, skinny Slayer' secret." At Spike's menacing look and growl, Clem laughed nervously. "Hey, kidding! It's called having a sense of humor, you should look into it."

Before she left for Spike's crypt, Buffy called Willow and filled her in on Spike's alleged feelings for her, and asked her friend to come by to put a dis-invite on the house... just in case Dawn was right. It was a good idea even if Spike still had nothing but loathing for her. Buffy didn't like the fact that he was now just dropping in and chatting with her family. As if they were some kind of... talking buddies.

She put her jacket back on and trudged all the way to the cemetery. Buffy was so not looking forward to this...

She rehearsed several different speeches on the way. None of them sounded good. First, she'd have to determine whether or not Spike really had feelings for her, and then (if he did) she'd have to 'let him down gently', as her mom had put it. Gently, but firmly. Spike had to understand and accept that they could never have a romantic relationship.

Whatever Spike felt for her, it wasn't love, she told herself again. Vampires (of the soulless variety) weren't capable of loving anyone or anything. Spike just has a weird fixation with her because she's the Slayer. And he couldn't fight her with the chip in his head, so now he wanted to... He was completely delusional if he thought there was any chance she'd go to bed with him.

Buffy couldn't just ask him straight-out if he liked her. If it turned out Dawn was wrong, Spike would laugh his ass off and tease Buffy mercilessly. And he'd probably go on to list all of the things about her that he found unattractive, and she definitely didn't want to hear that, not with her self-esteem being trashed from getting dumped so recently. She'd have to be tricky and make him admit how he felt without asking him directly.

Buffy stopped outside his crypt and took a deep breath. "Why can't there be an apocalypse to avert right now? Here goes nothin'..."

She uncharacteristically knocked on the crypt door instead of storming in like she usually did. When she didn't get an answer, Buffy opened the door and cautiously stepped inside. The place was empty.

"Great, he's not home... Probably out at the demon bars. I'll wait for a few minutes."

Buffy sat down on a sarcophagus. She looked around nervously, her hands joined in her lap. He could be gone for hours, and she sure as hell didn't want to sit here waiting for him any longer than necessary.

She wondered why Spike would choose to live in a gross place like this. Yeah, he didn't have a whole lot of options since he was penniless, but he could find an abandoned house somewhere if he tried. There were always vacant houses available in Sunnydale, what with so many people 'disappearing' all the time. The crypt didn't even have a bed.

A thought flitted through her mind, 'Where do Spike and Harmony do it? On a hard, stone sarcophagus?' She looked down at the sarcophagus she was sitting on.

Buffy hopped up to her feet. "Ewww." She brushed off the seat of her pants. "Standing is good. I'll stand and wait."

The thought of Spike and Harmony screwing was sickening. But then... Buffy couldn't help picturing Spike in the nude. Spike... all naked and glistening with sweat. His hard muscles bulging and straining with effort as he made love to the blonde woman (who wasn't Harmony) beneath him. The blonde woman was starting to look suspiciously like the person Buffy saw in the mirror every day... Certain parts of her traitorous anatomy began to tingle with excitement.

"Oh God, what's wrong with me?! No, no, no! No thinking about him like... that!" Buffy shook her head and hands rapidly, trying to shake the impure thoughts and images loose.

She tried to explain away why she'd had a teensy little mini-fantasy about having sex with Spike. 'It's just because I've been hornier than usual, that's all. No action lately. And, according to Dawn, he's interested in me; he thinks I'm hot. And Spike's just so... sexual.'

After she took some calming breaths and composed herself, she said aloud, "Okay, new plan: I'll patrol, and then check back here before I head for home. I'm not being avoidy... I came here and everything. Not my fault he's out for the evening." Buffy wanted to put off having that talk with Spike for as long as possible, and she needed to get out of the crypt before any more crazy daydreams popped into her head.

She opened the crypt door and gasped when she nearly ran into someone.

Drusilla was smiling, her hands behind her back. "Hello, Slayer. Surprised to see me?"

Buffy took a few steps backwards, she was indeed startled to see Spike's ex. Dru was one of the last people she would've expected to see on the other side of the door. "What are you doing back in town?"

"I've got my reasons... which I'll tell you about very soon. I think you'll find it all quite interesting."

Buffy pushed past the shock and confusion and went into Slayer Mode. She reached into her jacket and produced a stake. She glared at Dru and raised the stake to chest-height. "Unfortunately for you, I'm not feeling chatty. We have a score to settle. You never should have come back, bitch."

Dru's smile expanded, she batted her eyelashes. "Oh heavens, you aren't going to stake me, are you? Whatever will I do?"

Buffy lunged at her, intending to finally put Drusilla out of her misery -- out of everyone's misery.

Drusilla's expression changed from amused to grave. She quickly brought her right hand out from behind her back, the hand which was holding a cattle prod, and thrust it at Buffy's chest.

Buffy didn't know what had happened. One moment she was about to plunge the stake through Dru's heart, and the next moment she felt like she was being electrocuted.

Buffy's body jittered and shook in the grips of the shock. When Dru took the cattle prod away, Buffy fell to the ground, still shaking and barely conscious. She clenched her teeth and looked up at the once again smiling vampiress. Buffy couldn't move, she couldn't even speak.

"Naughty, naughty," Dru said in a disapproving tone, brushing her left index finger across the top of the right and towards Buffy in the classic 'shame on you' gesture. She kicked the stake from Buffy's twitching hand, making the piece of wood skitter across the floor. Then she bent over Buffy, saying, "You're not going to win this time, Slayer. It's time you were taught a lesson 'bout stealing what belongs to me. You'll finally get what's comin' to you."

With that, Dru smiled wickedly and struck Buffy with the cattle prod again, delivering shocks to the fallen Slayer until she lost consciousness.

Dru sighed happily as she stood up straight. A minion appeared behind her, standing just outside the crypt.

"Be a lamb, take her," Drusilla said over her shoulder. "And be quick about it. I don't want Spike finding out until everything's ready." She turned and patted the minion's face. "If you do well, you'll have ice cream later. With lots of sprinkles and fudge."

"Uh, cool," the minion she'd recruited as some muscle for her gang, Joshua, replied. He was tall and broad-shouldered, having played football at Sunnydale High back when he was mortal. Joshua was only a few months old and not terribly smart (either before or after his turning), but he wasn't so dumb that he didn't know what a great opportunity it would be to work for Drusilla when she'd breezed into town and started looking for 'helpers'; he'd jumped at the chance to be Dru's underling. The opportunity to work for a legendary Master vamp like her was an honor, he'd be getting invaluable on-the-job training and experience, and if he could help her kill the Slayer, so much the better! Plus, he thought Drusilla was hot, even with burns on her face and chest.

He picked up the unconscious Slayer, surprised at how light the girl was. It seemed weird that such a powerful creature like the Slayer was light as a feather. He waved another minion off that offered to help him carry the blonde. He effortlessly slung Buffy over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.

"Mistress..." Dru had told them to call her that. "How come you just don't kill her now? I mean, I saw enough movies to know that you gotta kill the enemy right away or they usually get free and come after you. Let's rip her neck out right now -- c'mon, it'll be fun!"

"You're questioning my methods?" Dru asked, her eyes flashing gold. She handed off the cattle prod to another minion standing by her side.

"I, uh, no... You're really smart. You know what you're doing, you probably have a great plan." He gulped, seeing his unlife flashing before his eyes.

Then Drusilla smiled again, making him relax slightly. "I do have a plan, dear. A good plan. I want to play with her a bit 'fore I snuff out her flame. The Slayer has earned a world of pain, not a quick, merciful exit. Now, hurry and take her to the van. Chop, chop." She clapped her hands sharply twice.

Dru led the way to the black van she had waiting outside the cemetery gates, skipping and giggling with glee. And then it was a speedy journey to the place where Buffy would spend her final hours.

Everything was falling into place. Buffy needed to be secured, and then Dru could focus on the other part of her plan, the reunion with Spike. After the dreadful mess with Angel in L.A., Drusilla realized that she needed to be with Spike; she'd been too shortsighted when she'd left him. She'd missed him so much and she still loved him, she'd never stopped loving or wanting him. No other man she'd been with could fulfill all her needs like Spike could. She had to have him back. She wanted their happy little family back together again. The mere thought filled her with unbridled joy: Grandmummy Darla, Sweet William, and Daddy Angelus with her again, making Dru's world complete and happy once more. It would be a dream come true if the four of them could kiss and make up.

Things had gone so horribly wrong the last time Dru was in Sunnydale. But Spike wasn't to blame for everything that had happened. It was Buffy -- she'd somehow bewitched Spike. Everything was Buffy's fault. And the Slayer would pay dearly for putting a wedge between Dru and her beautiful, darling Spike.

Chapter End Notes:
I'm reposting the story here on TSR because I was a dumbass and accidentally deleted it. D'oh!

The thing that upset me most was losing all the lovely reviews the readers left for me *sniffles* Needless to say, I will be extremely careful in the future lol

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