the pearl

Mourning Air

It's a near-empty bar along the border, where Portugese and Spanish mingle and no one really remarks on the pale blonde with the narrow eyes, wearing an expensive outfit rarely seen in this small town, sitting in the corner and staring at everyone who walks in. "She must be waiting for someone," they mumble to themselves before returning to their beers and their heartaches.

And she waits. She sits in the corner, smoking her way through a pack of cigarettes, savoring every nicotine-laced breath, every possible hitch of breath and cough, every single motion bringing her closer to the oblivion she has grown to crave.


Because why wish for oblivion when there's someone — something — to turn her into the one thing she so very longs to be? To go back to never aging, never dying, never being that deranged syphilitic whore she was so very long ago, the girl whose name she can't even remember, the girl destroyed when her master offered her an escape from herself.

Another cigarette, and another drink, her English not-so-rare in a bar like this, but still unusual enough to force herself to repeat herself twice, even though she's only asking for wine. She remembers the sweet liquors she used to drink, mingling the taste of almonds, of cherries, of sweet oranges with the tang of alcohol and the coppery musky deliciousness of fresh girls' blood. Now she makes do with cheap red wine, drinking it only to cure the dusty sensation in her throat.

The bar door opens and a sudden coolness sweeps into the bar, despite the heated jungle outside. The patrons all pull up their shirt collars, glancing over at the person standing in the doorway, then crossing themselves silently, mumbling "Hail Mary"s and running their rosaries (often abandoned in their pockets, choosing instead the redemption of alcohol) through their fingers. The woman in the corner looks up, catching the eyes of the woman in the doorway, and, silently, stands, facing her.

The other woman seems to glide across the floor, her long dress (surprisingly clean of any mud or debris from outside) swaying as she makes her way there. She stares at the shorter woman with quizzical eyes.

The woman smiles, showing perfectly white small teeth, like the teeth of a feral housecat, then with a voice to match her teeth and smile, says softly, "Drusilla..."

Drusilla's mouth matches the smile, albeit with a slightly more wild edge, like a kitten gone both feral and rabid. "Grandmother..." she said, her voice happy. She cocks her head slightly, looking at the other woman with a raised eyebrow. "But you're not what you used to be..." She sniffs the air. "You're..." Her eyes widen from their slightly sleepy expression, and she takes a step back. "You're alive..."

Another deep inhalation of a cigarette and the slow exhalation of smoke. The woman watches the smoke eddy and swirl around her fingers before looking back up and responding. "Yeah..." She says in a slightly huskier, drier voice. "A group of humans wanted Angel to suffer, they brought me back." She laughs. "Didn't bother to get rid of that pesky mortality thing, though."

Drusilla frowns, her brow folding delicately over her narrowed eyes. "I saw it...the ashes swirling...blood against parchment...the black box..." Drusilla's eyebrows raise slightly as she sees the other woman close her eyes and shudder slightly. "You've been like this for too long..." she purrs, moving closer to the woman. "You hear your heartbeat and it makes you scream, unable to sleep for the sheer noise..." Drusilla's mouth moves towards her ear. "" she whispers. "I hear your heartbeat, Darla...I can smell your blood, all fresh and cinnamon..."

Darla shudders, her eyes closed tightly. "Do it," she whispered.

Drusilla steps back, looking at Darla with the wide-eyed puzzled expression again. "You want this, don't you? Want me to make you into what you once were..."

Darla's eyes open, and she stares levelly at Drusilla. "Yes."


Drusilla's house is a large, overgrown villa at the edge of the town. The jungle has taken over the land, and has begun to take over the house, vines draping over much of the stonework, and the heady scent of earth and flowers overwhelming in the night air. Darla catches sight of a jaguar, its eyes large and luminous, perched upon what was once a balcony, and moves closer to Drusilla as she follows her into the house.

Drusilla leads her to what must be her bedroom, netting and lace draped over a large colonial four-poster bed. A small collection of dolls sits in the corner, with a matching set of children in another one, their stench almost overwhelming. Darla feels her gagging reflex begin, and forcibly represses it for being far too human.

Drusilla glides over to the dolls, touching each one tenderly, the way a mother would touch her children. "Miss Caroline has been picking at the eyes again..." she says in a soft voice. "Pecking like a crow...not what little girls should be doing..." She picks up one of the dolls and turns her towards the wall. "If she doesn't see them, she won't be tempted..."

Darla sighs impatiently and lights another cigarette. "Are you going to do it?" she asks. "Are you going to change me?"

Drusilla turns back to Darla to smile, then resumes tidying up her dolls. "You've been to see a lot of us, haven't you? Looking for the right one to make you what you once were..."

Darla makes a scoffing sound and looks around the bedroom, noting the fine layer of dust and decay over everything. "I went to Sunnydale, hoping that someone over 100 years old was still there..." She pauses slightly. "I found Spike, but a lot of good he did me..."

Drusilla turned back to Darla, her hands holding a small boy doll. "My Spike?" she says softly. "I can still see him...from time to time...he's not what he used to be...turning all soft..." Her hands reached up around the doll's neck. "Soft and weak and..." The doll's head suddenly cracks, the sawdust body dropping to the ground. "Oh dear..." she says resignedly. "Poor little Billy..."

Darla chuckles. "Couldn't come near me without activating some sort of chip in his head..." She sighed. "No one else there was over fifty years one else would have understood..."

"You came to me..." Drusilla says. "You came to me because I understood?" Her eyes travel up to the ceiling, and she smiles, a distant, etheral smile. "The stars understand me...I talk to them sometimes, because I think they're the only ones who understand...they tell me very important things..."

Darla drops the cigarette to the ground, extinguishing it with her shoe, and walks over to Drusilla, reaching out gently to grasp Drusilla by the shoulders. "Drusilla..." she says, her voice trying to be gentle, but her need creeping out in an almost desperate tone. "Can you change me? Will you?"

Drusilla's eyes drop back down to look directly into Darla's. "The stars remind me..." she whispers. "The stars remind me of what you and Angelus did to me...the blood on my vestments...the seed on your dress..." Her voice grew even softer, barely audible over Darla's breath. "Snake in the woodshed...snake in the, daddy, please..."

"Drusilla..." Darla says, her tone exasperated. She shakes Drusilla, gently, trying to rouse her.

"No!" Drusilla shrieks, her fist flying to connect with Darla's jaw. "Never touch me! Don't touch me!"

Darla falls to the ground, her hand rubbing against her sore jaw. There is blood at the edge of her lip, and she licks it tenderly, her heart falling slightly at how dull it tastes. It used to be extravagantly delicious, filled with different flavors and delicate sensations, and now she just tastes the dull angry taste of iron. She closes her eyes for a second, then stands, slowly, her body filling with anger. She looks directly at Drusilla, then, lightning-quick, slaps her across the face, hard.

Drusilla responds appropriately, her face shifting as she hisses at Darla. "I'll eat your eyeballs..." she mutters. "I'll break your pretty little neck and never let you move again..."

Darla tenses, preparing for a fight. "I won't let you," she says, her voice as low. "Come on, Drusilla," she says between pants of breath. "Take me..."

Drusilla lunges, and, for a second, Darla is afraid, an instinctual response to the pure demonic fury in front of her. The second passes, and she can feel Drusilla's fangs sinking into her neck, a glorious pain, and she shudders in anguish and delight. Another second, and she can feel herself grow light-headed, dizzy with the loss. She can barely pull the small knife out of her jacket pocket, and the second it takes her to slice against Drusilla's neck is almost a second too long, for when she latches onto the thin line of blood with her moist mouth, she slides into unconsciousness almost immediately after tasting the dry iron taste of Drusilla.



Darla wakes up on the floor of Drusilla's bedroom. She can hear the rats scurrying in the room beneath her, and the silent laughter of a python as it stalks them, and she laughs, a low throaty laugh, because she has changed, she's a vampire once again, and it feels right.

She stands, slowly, her body aching slightly from the transformation of the dead to the unliving. She looks over the room and sees Drusilla, sleeping tenderly on the bed, like Snow White in her glass coffin, all dark hair and pale skin, ruby red lips and an immortal curse.

Darla smiles, and awakens her with a single, graceful, thankful kiss.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at