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So [ profile] femslash_minis are holding a Depeche Mode-inspired week, so I had to do something with it. This is for [personal profile] bruttimabuoni who wanted "People Are People" with pre-series Darla/Drusilla, alone time, and feast or famine. Hope this ticks all the boxes.

Title: Ye Gods And Little Fishes
Author: Beer Good ([personal profile] beer_good_foamy)
Fandom: Buffyverse
Rating: R-ish, I guess
Characters/Pairing: Darla/Drusilla
Word count: ~800
Notes: Written for [ profile] femslash_minis and [personal profile] bruttimabuoni's prompt "People Are People"
Summary: The first, aborted, trip to China, and why they never got there. Darla hates sea voyages, and Drusilla hates being left alone. So when she finds her grandmum alone on deck and lost in thoughts, she has to keep her attention somehow.

You'll be different in the spring, I know
You're a seasonal beast like the starfish that drift in with the tide
So until your blood runs to meet the next full moon
You're madness fits in nicely with my own
Your lunacy fits neatly with my own

- Robert Wyatt, "Sea Song"

Ye Gods And Little Fishes

Grandmum hates going on boats, they make her restless and cranky. Drusilla has asked the angels to tell her why, but they tell her there's nothing to read with vampires. No reflection, no thoughts, just blankness beneath that face that Drusilla keeps wanting to please.

On the third night out of Aden, just them and the crew and a couple of other passengers, she wakes up alone and spends some frantic minutes searching before she finds Darla. She's standing alone on deck, leaning over the railing. "I'm seasick, you idiot. Leave me alone."

Seasick? She thinks Miss Edith would have been seasick if she ever got to travel before, but Drusilla never is. "Can we do that?"

Darla sighs. "Darling, we're vampires. We can do anything we want."

"You're just cranky because you haven't eaten." Since leaving Istanbul they've only fed once, and then nothing for days aboard this tiny ship in a big sea. One more week until they reach Ceylon, and Drusilla is certain she'll die of hunger. "Would you like me to fetch you someone?"

"What did I tell you about feeding on board?" Darla pats her cheek. "Killing the crew is Dracula's thing. We need someone to steer this thing if we're ever going to get to China. Even if the ride is ever so dull..."

Then she turns back to the ocean, her fingers trailing absent-mindedly down Drusilla's jawline and her bodice before coming to rest on the railing again. Drusilla hears her stomach is growling as she looks up at the stars - so very far away, so much emptiness - and she feels Grandmum drifting away from her, lost on a sea older than she knows. Then, for just a second, the angels show her something behind the blank.

a sick and terrified blonde little girl in a storm-tossed ship's hold, her mother rocking her, telling her all will be alright in the colonies, they will build their own life, nobody will ever hurt them again

And the image is so strong and the loneliness is more than Drusilla can stand because she can't understand why they should still remember. She clings to Darla, does whatever she knows to do to keep her with her, wraps her hand around her hip and fumbles through the layers of her travelling skirt until she finds the place that makes Darla growl in both warning and encouragement. Drusilla nuzzles into her neck as Darla spreads her legs ever so slightly to allow her access. Her fingernails rip through the fabric, drawing a drop of blood from Darla's thigh before her fingers find the right spot and Darla hisses. Below her there are immeasurable depths full of sea monsters writhing and and killing, above her constellations of ancient gods, and on a tiny little piece of wood floating in the middle of the universe she's pulling Darla to her until a wave surfaces from the depths and she cries out.

"Oh, ye gods and little fishes," Darla laughs once she catches her breath and kisses Drusilla on the top of her head. "I knew there was a reason I brought you along."

Then suddenly one of the other passengers is standing right behind them. "I say, what on Earth are you doing?" Drusilla turns and looks at him while licking her finger; he looks so very upset, but he must have been watching them for some time the way his heart is beating like a dinner bell.

The man looks at them in well-practiced disgust. "Have you no common decency?" he asks, and Drusilla doesn't really understand what that has to do with big fish eating the little ones. When her true face comes out the man's jaw drops and she feels Grandmum's disapproval, but she knows it's just skin-deep; they both live for this, that moment when people realise that the rules they've always relied on don't apply any more. Then he screams, but not for long.

He's barely an appetizer for the two of them. Darla licks a rivulet of blood off Drusilla's chin up to her lips, and she's Darla again. "We will have to take all the little sailors now," Drusilla says as footsteps approach across the deck. "Are you cross with me?"

"Very much. But I guess we'll have enough time alone for you to repay me." Darla pulls her to her and kisses her, fangs out, like she did good.

Afterwards, their bellies are full and the sails are spattered in a lovely black in the moonlight. Come morning Grandmum sleeps so very well, while the wind blows them wherever it wants with no one to think he's in control.
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