His Tender Mercies by Enigmaticblue

ReviewsRating: PG-13

Summary: A response to Helga Von Nutwimple's Vamp-in-the-Box Challenge. Wolfram & Hart make a slight error, and bring Drusilla back instead of Darla at the end of Ats S1. Drusilla heads straight to Sunnydale and Spike, and in the process throws a monkey wrench into Buffy's thinking. Oh, and Riley left after "Restless."

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Chapters 8 & 9

Chapter 8: Strange Relations

"Pastels, I think," Cordelia said authoritatively. "Or bright colors. And you really should think about getting a tan."

Drusilla eyed the shirt she held out dubiously. "You don't think it's too bright?"

"Are you kidding?" Cordy said. "I'm the queen of fashion. Go try it on."

Cordelia was actually enjoying the shopping trip, not least because Drusilla was like a blank slate. She hadn't the first clue what was in style, and she was thus willing to listen to any and all suggestions.

It had been easy enough to get Drusilla to come along. Cordelia had simply marched into Wesley's apartment, insulted his décor, and announced that they were going shopping. She'd informed the ex-Watcher that he was in charge of getting Angel out of her apartment, and left. So, she and Drusilla had Angel's convertible for the day, not to mention Angel's credit card. Life didn't get much better.

Cordelia watched, lips pursed, as the other woman came out of the dressing room, smoothing down the front of her shirt with nervous hands. "Do I look alright?"

Eyes narrowed, Cordy considered. She took her fashion very seriously. "That's a really good shirt for you," she finally decided. "I wouldn't wear it, but you can get away with it for some reason. I think that's a definite yes."

Drusilla wasn't so sure, although her concerns didn't have much to do with the shirt. "Will D-Angel be angry? We're spending a lot of money."

Cordelia put her arm around Dru's shoulders. "What you have to realize," she began, "is that Angel will always feel guilty. How he decides to get rid of that guilt is completely up to him. Now, if he decides that buying a bunch of new clothes is the way to make himself feel better about driving you insane, who are we to argue?"

The logic of the argument was exquisite, and Drusilla was enough of a girl to appreciate it. Besides, while Buffy and Joyce had been kind enough to take her shopping to get some essentials, Drusilla still didn't have much in the way of clothing. The opportunity to shop and get whatever she wanted was a balm to her spirit.

Everything might have been just fine had she not dropped a red shirt on the floor, where it puddled in a heap. To anyone else it was simply fabric, but in Drusilla's mind it became a pool of blood-

Angel was fighting, and he was going to kill the other man. The man's severed hand already lay on the floor-

He was furious. They had taken her again, and Angel was furious because no one touched what was his. She was his. She always would be his-body and soul.

"Is something wrong?" It was the saleswoman talking, and Drusilla suddenly realized that she was in a clothing store, with Cordelia, and nothing she had seen had happened. Not right then, anyway.

Cordelia had no idea what had just happened, only that Drusilla had dropped a shirt and now she was white as a sheet and shaking. The other woman looked over at her pleadingly, and Cordy made the first excuse that came to mind. "We're fine. My friend just dropped the shirt, and she felt bad, you know. It's been a really long day."

It was probably the lamest excuse ever, since it was just noon, but Cordelia decided that they'd had enough shopping for the day. In fact, it was probably time for lunch.

~~~~~

"How about this one?" Wesley asked. "It's a basement apartment, which means you wouldn't have to worry about the sun, and you'd probably have ready sewer access."

Angel looked over the advertisement. "I don't think so," he said. "We need something that can double as an office."

Wesley gave the vampire a dirty look. "Well, we won't need an office if you don't find something soon, because Cordelia will probably stake you."

A deep sigh was all the response Wesley received, and so he kept looking. After a few minutes, Angel asked the question that he'd probably been dying to ask all morning. "How is she?"

"She's fine, Angel. I think she's adjusting better than we might have hoped, in fact." Wesley kept his nose in the paper. Cordelia had made it very clear what he was supposed to accomplish by being here. He had decided that it would be best not to tell Angel that Wolfram & Hart was watching them. The vampire wouldn't be able to do anything about it-or if he did, it would be something rather unpleasant. For now, Wesley believed himself capable of handling matters.

"I just-" Angel frowned. "I'm being stupid about this."

"Is that a question or a comment?" Wesley asked, having his own opinion on the matter.

"I just want to help."

"You are helping," Wesley said. Then, muttering under his breath, he added, "Of course, you might do a better job of it."

"I heard that."

"I'm sure you did."

Angel glared at his friend. "Fine. What would you suggest?"

"Finding another place to live and getting on with the business of helping the helpless." Wesley met Angel's eyes, his face uncharacteristically grim. "Angel, whatever Drusilla's presence may have changed, you are still serving the Powers That Be. You still have the Shanshu prophecy to think of. Drusilla has been around for a long time, and she is doing quite well without you. So perhaps you can focus on what's really important, like finding a new place."

Angel was silent. "What other options are there?"

Even though the vampire sounded sullen, Wesley was relieved that they might actually be able to make some headway.

At least he hoped so.

~~~~~

Cordelia watched Drusilla pick at the salad she'd ordered. She wasn't eating much, and Cordy had to wonder how Wesley was feeding her. Last she'd seen, he wasn't much of a cook. She felt a stab of guilt. She really had left the ex-Watcher to his own devices with Drusilla, and it wasn't as though he was particularly prepared for taking care of a crazy person. She was surprised he hadn't gone crazy himself.

"So you want to tell me what happened in there?" she finally asked.

Drusilla looked up, startled and guilty. "It was-it was nothing."

"Please," Cordelia said. "I might be the queen of fashion, but I'm also the queen of bull." Her tone suddenly gentled. "Was it a vision?"

The guilt on Drusilla's face intensified. "I saw Angel, and he'd cut off a man's hand."

"That would be Lindsay," Cordelia said confidently. "He's one of the guys that brought you back."

Drusilla breathed a sigh of relief, finally realizing why he'd looked so familiar. "And then I saw Angel again, and he was angry because someone had taken me, and he was going to get me back."

Cordelia didn't like the sound of that. Kidnapping was never good. "Just because you saw it, doesn't mean it's going to happen. I get visions all the time, and the whole point is prevention of mass destruction."

Dru shook her head, not entirely convinced. "But I see them, and I'm not supposed to. I try not to."

"I would have given anything at one point to get rid of these things," Cordy said sympathetically. "I mean, who wants to get migraines and see demons eating people anyway? But then I realized that I could do some good." When Drusilla appeared doubtful, she spoke a little more forcefully. "Look, not to be insensitive or anything, but you've done a lot of damage. Maybe you keeping the visions is a way to make up for it. You could help people."

Drusilla swallowed hard. She'd been trying not to think about that-trying not to think of all the blood she'd spilt, because the madness threatened to pull her under again. Like it threatened to do right now.

With an effort of will, Drusilla pulled her eyes up from her plate to meet Cordy's. It was time to join the world again.

~~~~~

Spike had never particularly cared for the Bronze. As far as clubs went, it was pretty small-time, catering to the younger population. He preferred something a little more-adult. The options were limited in Sunnydale, however, and so he made do.

He'd come in for a drink and to get out of the crypt for a while, feeling the need for a distraction from his own thoughts. If he wasn't wondering about Drusilla, he was thinking about the Slayer, and Spike was tired of both.

Of course, it figured that Buffy was at the Bronze with her friends. Spike couldn't get away from her to save his unlife.

Not that he wanted to get away from her, really. It just would have been nice to have a break.

Even so, since he was there, and she was there, it only made sense for him to go over and say hello. Besides, the Slayer and her friends had a table, and there weren't any others open.

"Slayer."

"Spike!" Buffy looked startled, as though she wasn't expecting to see him. Compared to the greeting the Slayer had offered the past few days, tonight's reception was downright chilly. "What are you doing here?"

He held up his bottle of beer in response to her question, raising an eyebrow to let her now how idiotic he thought it. "Just out for the evening. You?"

"Hanging with the living for once," Xander said, interrupting whatever Buffy might have said in response. "So why don't you go find somebody else to bug?"

"You have a free chair," Spike pointed out. "Otherwise I might."

Xander drew the chair closer to him with a foot. "We're saving it."

"For who?"

There was a moment of silence since Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara were all there. Spike couldn't think of one other person that might be joining them, except perhaps for Giles, and he knew that wasn't likely. When the silence stretched on, and Xander looked no more likely to allow Spike to sit, the vampire glanced over at Buffy waiting to see what she would say.

Buffy refused to meet his eyes. "Well, you know, one of our friends from school said they might show up."

It was a bold-faced lie. Spike could smell it, and he had a very good nose for that sort of thing. If Buffy had done it only a few days before, Spike would have shrugged it off and walked away. Called her a tight-assed bint and reminded himself that it was just one of many reasons to hate the Slayer.

Instead, it hurt-hurt more than it was supposed to. He was the Big Bad. Spike knew he wasn't supposed to regard Buffy's actions as a betrayal, but he did. That's what it felt like, and Spike usually went with his emotions.

"Right then. Well, I wouldn't want to interrupt your little reunion," he said, his voice tight with a hurt he was trying to hide. "See you around, Slayer."

Spike made sure his swagger was firmly in place as he walked away, slamming his bottle back quickly. It wouldn't be enough to get him drunk, of course, but that wasn't his goal anyway. He thought maybe it was time to go kill something.

~~~~~

Buffy watched Spike's back, recognizing the tension in his shoulders for what it was, and feeling absurdly guilty. After all, this was Spike they were talking about. He might be marginally helpful on patrol, and sure he was nice to her mother, but that didn't mean he wasn't an evil vampire. And it certainly didn't mean that she had to include him in everything she did.

The problem-and where the real guilt came in-was that Buffy honestly wouldn't have minded if Spike joined them. The other girls probably wouldn't have cared either. Willow, Tara, and Anya had worn looks of mild interest. It was only Xander who would have had a major problem with it.

And Buffy didn't want to explain to Xander why she was allowing an unsouled vampire to hang out with them.

"Can you believe him?" Xander demanded, once Spike had disappeared back into the crowd. "He thought we'd actually let him sit with us."

"It's not that big of a deal, Xander," Willow said. "Spike could have sat there if he wanted."

Her friend stared at her in disbelief. "Since when did you get on the pro-Spike bandwagon?"

"I'm not!" Willow replied. "I'm just saying that it's crowded in here tonight, and it wouldn't have hurt anybody to let Spike take that seat. No one else is using it."

"No," Xander said patiently, as though speaking to a particularly slow child. "But if Spike was there, that would prevent a more well-deserving person from sitting. As in, someone who actually was a person."

"You know, I think I'm going to go patrol," Buffy announced, standing. She couldn't stand it anymore. She was having mildly friendly feelings for Spike, and hearing Xander talk like that just made her feel guilty. And angry. It made her feel as though she was collaborating with a bully, and Buffy had never been one for bullying.

Unless it was Spike. And that just made her feel even more guilty. Which again, was absurd, because he was evil and deserved whatever came to him.

Then why don't you just stake him? asked the little voice in the back of her head.

"But you said you didn't think you needed to patrol tonight!" Xander protested. "You were going to hang with us."

Buffy didn't bother telling him that it would have been easier to stay if Spike had been there. She wouldn't have felt quite so much like the fifth wheel then. "Yeah, but you know those pesky vamps," the Slayer said cheerfully. "They just keep popping up."

"Yeah, you should go take care of that," Willow said knowingly.

The Slayer shot her friend a look. "There's nothing like that going on."

"Like what going on?" Xander asked.

"Xander, shut up," Anya advised him. "You're pushing it."

"Pushing what?"

"Buttons." Anya stood and grabbed his hand. "I want to dance now."

When the couple was on the dance floor, Willow leaned in closer to Buffy and said, "Don't tell me you don't have some friendly feelings for Spike."

"I don't!" Buffy replied heatedly. Then, quietly, she said, "Okay, so I don't hate him quite as much. He's been really helpful lately. But that doesn't mean I want to be best friends!"

"No, just that you didn't really want to lie to him." Willow was wearing her resolve face, and as bad a liar as Buffy was normally, there was no way she could lie to the resolve face.

Buffy sighed. "It wouldn't have killed Xander to let him sit at our table."

Willow raised an eyebrow. "But would it have killed you to tell the truth?"

~~~~~

It was a very good question, and one that wouldn't leave her alone as she patrolled. Buffy knew that Willow made a good point, and it only made it worse that the witch said she wouldn't have minded at all if Spike joined them. "He can be nice," Willow had said. "Not always, but sometimes, and he did take care of Drusilla."

"I kind of like him," had been Tara's quiet opinion. She hadn't said anything up to that point, but now she spoke up. "I-I think it m-might have hurt his f-feelings."

Like that helped Buffy feel better.

There really weren't any demons or vampires out, which was the entire reason she'd decided that patrolling wasn't necessary. She'd wanted some time with her friends, and that didn't include evil vampires.

Buffy heard him before she saw him. There were the sounds of fists on flesh, grunts and cries of pain, proving once again that Spike could find trouble wherever it might be. "And it's the Slayer to the rescue again," she muttered.

Spike was holding his own against three vampires, and Buffy paused to appreciate his fighting style. The vampire really was grace incarnate. In another moment, she was right in the middle of it all with him, and they were fighting back to back. "Did you get bored with all your little friends, Slayer?" Spike asked, a definite snarl in his voice.

"No, I just figured you were probably out trying to get yourself killed." She grunted as one of the vamps got a blow in to her face. The trio weren't mere fledglings, that was for sure. They were both skilled and graceful, and Buffy had the feeling that while she and Spike together would have no trouble dusting them, either one of them on their own would have been hard-pressed.

Spike dusted one of the vamps, and whirled to face her. "I can take care of myself!"

"Well, excuse me for caring!" Buffy shot back, dusting another vamp. She and Spike got the third at the same time. They were nose to nose now.

"Didn't think you did," Spike replied, a thick coating of anger over his words. "You couldn't even be bothered to let me sit at your table."

Buffy glared at him, although the flush in her cheeks gave her away. "Well, you know, our friend might have shown up."

"What was the friend's name?" Spike challenged.

She had to think about it too long. Spike turned to walk away. "Spike! Don't be like this!"

"Like what?" Spike called over his shoulder. "Like an undead, evil thing? 's what I am."

Buffy watched him go with a sinking feeling in her stomach, and hating it. She hated that she felt guilty, and she hated that it mattered.

Unfortunately, Buffy couldn't quite convince herself that she still hated Spike.

 

 

Chapter 9: Visions of an Unfinished Life

Drusilla didn't sleep much that night, thinking about what Cordelia had said, about what might come next. She had chosen to come to L.A. because of what she knew was coming. She had believed that it would be best for her to be out of Sunnydale and away from Spike.

She still believed that she had done the right thing, but now she was asking herself what came next. This was a different world she lived in now. Long ago, when she had been human the first time, there had always been someone looking after her. After Angelus had turned her, there had been him and Darla, and then Spike. To a certain extent, Drusilla found the idea of looking after herself, of actually making her mark on the world, frightening.

And exhilarating.

Drusilla left the bedroom in the early dawn hours, tired of tossing and turning. Wesley lay sprawled out on the couch, an open book face-down on his chest. With a small smile, she picked it up, then took the afghan off the back of the couch and spread it over him.

He woke for a moment, sleepy eyes focusing on her with difficulty. "Drusilla? Is everything-"

"Just wanted some tea," she assured him quietly. "Go back to sleep. It's early yet."

He murmured something she didn't catch and drifted back down to sleep. Drusilla walked over to one of the few windows in the apartment, looking out at the fire escape. There really wasn't much to see, but she wasn't really interested in what was outside.

She was looking within.

After a while, Drusilla glanced back over at Wesley, who was now deeply asleep again, and she made a quick decision. While she knew that the ex-Watcher probably would accompany her if asked, Drusilla felt the need to do this by herself.

It was time she learned to stand on her own two feet.

~~~~~

Spike didn't want to see Buffy. At all. He found her too confusing. One minute they were friends, and the next she was back to treating him like he was nothing. Oh, Spike understood exactly what had happened. She didn't want anyone to know that she wasn't treating him like dirt all the time now.

Well, he was done. He would go back to watching Passions and hunting demons by himself when he needed a spot of violence. He'd check in on Joyce every once in a while to make sure she was okay, and he would forget that Drusilla had ever come to town or that anything between him and the Slayer had been different.

They were mortal enemies, and that was that.

Spike wished that there was someone he could talk to about all this, but the only person he could think of was Joyce, and it was her daughter he'd be complaining about. Somehow that didn't seem right. Still, there was always the pleasure of her company, and Joyce never pretended that their relationship-whatever it might be-didn't exist.

Which was why Spike found himself on her doorstep again. He found himself relaxing as she talked about the gallery and her plans for the exhibits. There had been several mix-ups in delivery schedules that had caused her some frustration.

Spike just listened. If he couldn't talk about his problems, listening to Joyce was the next best thing. It prevented more ruminating over Drusilla and the Slayer, and it gave him some company.

"Are you certain you don't want Drusilla's phone number?" Joyce asked after a while, deciding she'd talked Spike's ear off enough. "I could give it to you."

Spike hesitated. Maybe he should call and just see how she was doing. That wouldn't be so bad. "Yeah, that would be okay, I guess." He stared at the thin layer of sugar the melted marshmallows had left on the surface of his hot chocolate.

"Would you like to tell me what happened?" Joyce asked with a smile.

He shrugged. "Not really. There isn't anythin' you can do about it anyway."

"Sometimes it just helps to talk about it," Joyce pointed out.

"Not this time," Spike replied. "'s just-" He stopped, abruptly, deciding against saying anything about what had happened the previous night. "You know, I was wonderin' somethin'."

Joyce knew he was changing the subject and decided to allow it. "What's that?"

"Well, somethin' Dru said to me made me wonder if-" The sound of the front door opening caught him off guard, and Spike immediately stood.

"Mom?"

"I should go," he muttered. "Thanks for the drink."

Joyce frowned. "You don't have to leave."

"Yeah, actually, I do," Spike said. "'ve stayed too long already. See you."

Joyce watched as he practically fled out the back door, leaving his mug still half-full. Buffy came into the kitchen a few seconds later, looking around expectantly. "Hey, Mom. Was someone back here with you?"

"Spike was," she replied, giving her daughter a look that Buffy recognized all too well. "Why is he avoiding you, Buffy?"

"How should I know?" the Slayer asked defensively. "Why does Spike do anything?"

Joyce gave her a rather pointed look. "Buffy, this has been a very difficult time for him. You might try being a little nicer."

It was the last straw. The little niggling sense of guilt from the previous night, plus a mom-generated guilt trip resulted in an exasperated Buffy. "Why?" she demanded. "He's a vampire, Mom. An evil vampire. Why should it matter how I treat him?"

Her mother was not impressed by Buffy's argument. "Because it matters. Buffy, didn't I teach you that you ought to treat others the way you'd want to be treated?"

"But that doesn't extend to vampires and demons!" she protested.

"Doesn't it?" Joyce responded. "Tell me. If you were Spike, and you couldn't hurt anybody, wouldn't you want someone to be nice to you? I think he's lonely, and it wouldn't hurt you to be friendly."

Buffy couldn't think of a good counter-argument, which annoyed her to no end.

Of course, this was what mothers did. She could still remember the really annoying girl her mother had forced her to invite to her tenth birthday party, just because she'd invited all the other girls in her class. She'd learned to have smaller parties after that.

Now her mom had decided that Spike was the equivalent of the kid that never got invited (usually for very good reasons), and so Buffy was going to get the guilt trip from hell until she started including him.

"I'll think about it," the Slayer replied, which was all she was prepared to promise at this point. No matter how good Spike was at watching her back.

Joyce just smiled. "Good," she replied, knowing very well that she already had her daughter on the ropes.

~~~~~

It hadn't taken Drusilla long to find the church. In a city like Los Angeles, they were virtually everywhere.

Of course, she'd also taken the time to look it up in the phone book.

Sitting in one of the pews, she felt a sense of peace washing over her. Drusilla had loved the Masses she had attended with her family, loved the sound of the Latin as it was read. Even when the visions had tormented her with the idea that she was somehow evil, Dru had held on to the idea that someday she would be good enough.

She knew she probably shouldn't have been able to find peace here. Not only did the visions mark her as different, but it was in a sanctuary such as this one where Angelus had committed the ultimate act of desecration. It was in a sanctuary such as this that she had met her doom.

Even so, Drusilla realized now that evil was everywhere, within and without. Whatever she might have believed back then, Cordelia was perhaps correct when she said that the visions could be viewed as a gift.

"May I help you, my dear?" An elderly priest smiled at her from behind thick-framed glasses.

Drusilla shook her head. "No, I'm fine. I just came to-" What had she come to do? She could hardly remember now.

He sat down next to her. "If you don't mind me intruding, you looked a little lost."

"I suppose I am," she replied, though her calm tone was in direct contrast to her words. "I'm not sure where I'm going." Drusilla knew better than to tell him about her visions, or her past. People these days did not believe in such things, even those who should. "I've been ill for such a long time, you see, and now I don't know what to do."

He patted her hand comfortingly. "Then perhaps you should simply thank God for a second chance and be happy you have it."

It was a platitude, but it rang true for her. It was much like what Cordelia had suggested the previous day. She should accept the gift that had been given and do what she could with it. "Thank you, Father."

"Are you certain there isn't anything I could do for you?" he asked. "If you wanted me to hear your confession-"

Drusilla shuddered, and then shook her head. There were some things that should not be spoken aloud. "No, I don't think so," she replied. And then she thought better of it. "There is one thing you could do for me."

"What is that?"

"There is a man following me," Drusilla said quietly. "He's been stalking me for a few days now. If you could call the police-" She allowed a little fear to filter into her voice, although she knew exactly what she was doing. "I would rather not go back out there until he's gone."

She nodded when the old priest told her to stay right where she was. Drusilla smiled as he hurried away to check that what she had said was true and to call the police. If she was going to help, Drusilla knew she would have to start at the beginning-with Wolfram and Hart.

~~~~~

Spike did not often dream. At least, he didn't remember his dreams. When he did, however, they usually involved blood and violence-in the best possible way. So he was not used to nightmares, especially not this sort.

He'd found himself in the alley behind the Bronze, and the Slayer was there. They were arguing over something-which wasn't anything new-but then Spike had felt the change in the air. Had watched as they got closer and closer to one another, until there was no space at all between their bodies. Spike could literally feel the Slayer's breath on his lips, and for one moment he thought they were going to kiss.

It wasn't the first time Spike had dreamed of something like that, although typically the dream had ended with them shagging and him draining her dry. The Slayer was-stimulating, and he was still a male, even if he was undead, so it only made sense.

This dream, however, had not ended with them having sex. It had ended with the Slayer shoving him back against the wall and saying the three words that Spike hated the most. "You're beneath me." It was a replay of the worst-and best-night of his life, and the sense of loss he had when Buffy said those words told him everything he needed to know about his feelings for the Slayer.

There was only one thing to do after a dream like that.

He was on his way through the third bottle of whiskey when Buffy showed up. Spike was so angry with her-both Buffy and dream-Buffy at that point-that he threw the bottle at her. Which, of course, resulted in a chip-induced migraine.

"What was that for?" Buffy demanded, hands on hips.

Spike, who felt as though his brain had just been fried, glared at her. "That's for bein' a bitch!"

He really should have seen the fist coming. His nose joined the list of things-that-hurt. " That's me being a bitch," Buffy replied snidely. She glanced around his crypt. "Geez, Spike. It's a mess in here."

"Go to hell," he suggested.

"I think that's your destination."

"You first."

They glared at one another, neither ready to back down. "What the hell do you want?" Spike finally asked as the first to look away.

"I just-well, I was going to ask if you wanted to patrol with me, but you're in no condition to go out," Buffy replied, looking him up and down, and feeling a very small amount of sympathy. "You look like crap."

He grunted. "Yeah, and you have stupid hair."

"That's the best you can do?" Buffy asked, amused rather than insulted.

Spike turned his back. "Right now it is. Come back later an' I'm sure I'll think of somethin' a little more stinging."

Buffy stared at his back and sighed. "I'm sorry I lied to you the other night, Spike."

She was gone by the time he had shaken off his amazement enough to turn around. "Bloody hell," Spike finally muttered. "'m never gonna figure that crazy bint out."

~~~~~

When Drusilla returned to the flat, she found an irate ex-Watcher. "Where have you been?" he demanded.

"I was just out," she replied, wondering why he was so upset.

Wesley glared at her. "Did it occur to you to leave a note? I had no idea where you were or if something had happened to you." He gestured at the window. "The man who was watching us was gone!"

She shrugged carelessly. "The police took him."

Wesley blinked and then sank down on the couch. He had no idea if Drusilla's little outing was a product of her madness or her sanity, and he wasn't sure what to say in response. "Why did the police take him?"

"The priest called them," Drusilla replied, then sat down on the couch next to him. "I'm sorry you were worried."

Wesley sighed. "It's fine. It's just-with Wolfram & Hart watching, and not knowing what they want, I was thinking the worst."

Drusilla hadn't thought of that. "I'm sorry."

Wesley was quiet. "We're going to have to tell Angel about this, you know. You don't have to come with me, but I'm not sure it's wise to leave you by yourself." He met her eyes, saying softly, "You understand why it's dangerous, don't you?"

"Yes," Drusilla responded. "You'll look after me, though."

Wesley smiled. It was always nice when a person had that much faith in your abilities. "Yes, but I think we need to go see Angel today. Will you be alright?"

Drusilla nodded firmly. "Yes. I want to help."

Wesley reached over and squeezed her had, feeling greatly daring. "I'll be right there the entire time."

It was time to face her demons.

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