Buffy stopped pacing at the sound of a vehicle pulling up and went to open the front door.

A concerned Willow watched her, put uncomfortably in mind of a caged animal.

"We found the SUV."

Buffy stared at the approaching, and morose-looking Xander and Dawn, back from driving into town in Lessa's car to find out what was keeping Giles. Her spirits plunged from troubled all the way down to miserable.

"And I'm guessing, since there's obviously no Giles with you, that the car was without driver?" she asked irritably, as they traipsed inside.

Dawn nodded, wide-eyed. "We checked. I-it was fine. No breakage, no blood anywhere near it; nothing that says anything bad happened."

Xander swallowed uncomfortably. "Yeah, well, Giles is never late and now he's more than an hour overdue, without even calling. We called Kylie. He never showed, so they closed at six o'clock, like always."

Dawn scowled. Her eyes grew very bright, but she remained silent.

Willow, hovering behind Buffy, looked stunned.

Buffy backed away a little, a furrow forming in her brow. "No. He's fine. He has to be. It's just... something's just come up, that's all. The coven, maybe? Someone check with Deborah..."

"Or-or maybe he had a stomach bug and he's stuck on the can somewhere?" Xander offered not very helpfully, then shrugged at the scowls he got. "He's gotta be somewhere. And someone has to have a talk to him about remembering to turn his cell phone on when he's out."

Willow's eyes widened. "Of course! Call everyone who might know where he is and if nobody's seen him, I'll do a locator spell." She grinned, and snapped her fingers. "Piece of cake."

Buffy, still struggling with the fact that Giles was actually missing, tried to focus again.

"Um, yeah, g-good plan, Will. You guys should eat something. Dinner's getting cold. Xander, Willow: phone calls," she directed dazedly, then suddenly seemed to seize on something. "I'm going to find him." She whirled and grabbed the emergency weapons backpack from the coat rack. "Call me if you hear anything."

They watched the door slam closed behind her without another word, each set of eyes with same hunted look, but the same understanding, even muted approval, in them.

"Look what we've got. Isn't he pretty?"

A hulking, greenish grey Belgar Demon dumped Giles on the bed in the dingy motel room. Drusilla leaned down and carefully removed his glasses.

Giles looked up at her, his cheekbone going purple and blue and a cut at the corner of his right eyebrow trickling blood. She paused for a moment, as if to appreciate the view.

"Such beautiful eyes," she crooned, dropping the spectacles and grinding them into the floor with her boot. "I bet they'll pop like fresh strawberries in my mouth."

Giles tried to focus, to clear his head, though the bigger of the two demons, bluish- brown and also hovering close by, had hit him hard. It was a struggle to part the fog.

"Watcher, Watcher, burning bright..." She chanted in a sing-song voice, then stopped. The smile vanished and was replaced by a childish pout below deadly eyes. "But you didn't, did you? She saved you. But he did... she let him burn."

"D-Drusilla? You... no... it can't be..." His blood turned to ice. "W-Why am I here?"

"I had a family... my own little family. And now they're all gone. Nobody loves me any more. The pixies in my head said it was all her fault... she took him. She took them all. Now I only have my lovely boys to take care of me." She sidled up to the nearest behemoth and stroked the translucent blue quills resting along the Hakkoth's brown spine. "And I take care of them..."

Still dazed, Giles frowned and decided that deciphering her rambling was a lost cause. "Angelus killed your family..."

Drusilla blinked, a split second of stark lucidity flickering in her eyes before pain twisted her features, then she laughed, not prettily. "Poor Daddy. He's all alone... waiting for something to come back, when it was never there to begin with. He doesn't know, you see; neither of them does."

The Watcher blinked, trying and failing to understand. "What... what do you want with me?"

She giggled manically and slid across to bend close to his face. "What do I want with you, my sweet?" She traced the outline of his lips. "I missed you. We had fun, you and me. We're going to have some more. And she's going to miss you for a while... and then she's going to miss you the way I miss him."


Dru giggled again. "She took him and then she let him burn. She took them all away. Now she's going to know what it's like..."

"W-what it's like?" he repeated haltingly. Giles' head was beginning to hurt from trying to follow her convoluted, non-linear conversation.

She ran her fingers through his hair. "She took mine. Now I'm going to take hers. It's going to be such fun. I wish Miss Edith was here."


Previously   Credits

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