Title: Friends in Common
“Hey Spike, are you home?” Anya pushed the thick stone door of Spike’s crypt open and peeked her head inside. “Spike, it’s Anya.” She entered the dark room and nearly tripped over a wooden crate that was partially covered with clothing. “Geesh, would it kill you to clean up a bit?”
“I’m already dead.” Came Spike’s voice from the stairwell. He emerged from the lower level of his crypt wearing dark jeans and no shirt. “You should be careful who’s crypt you sneak into. Besides, shouldn’t you be at Xander’s?”
“He’s doing laundry, it involves bleach, and I just couldn’t stand to be there. The smell is ghastly.”
“I remember, white’s day right? Try dealing with that smell with a vampire’s senses. You think it’s tough on your cute little human smeller.” Spike made a face of disgust and started rummaging around for a pack of cigarettes. “You know I‘ve already entertained today, think I’ve met my per-day civility limit.” He elicited no response from the ex-demon. “So what, you just came over here to sit in the dark and complain? ”
“No.” Anya ran a hand through her shoulder length blonde hair. “Everyone else in running in circles trying to track down Dracula, like that’ll happen.” She gave a small laugh and sat down in the dusty blue chair that sat in the middle of the room.
“Right.” He gave a small chortle as well. “You know the 'Dark Prince’ too huh?” Spike emphasized his words with quotation marks in the air. “I give commando boy about five minutes up against Drac’ and he’ll be eating spiders with the best of ‘em.” Spike finally found the pack of cigarettes he was looking for and lit one. He then lit one of the torches that rested in an iron sconce on the wall, softly illuminating the crypt.
“I kind of miss the bug eaters. There was something so sad and pathetic about them. I remember this one time, oh maybe 1490 or so, I was in Genoa, this poor woman had found her husband in bed with one of the servants, so I went to her. She asked me to curse him, she wanted something really gross, involving bugs, so I naturally, introduced him to the count. The next day I ran into the husband, he was having a bowl of pesto covered spiders and butterflies. Disgusting. I was quite proud of that one. Of course the best part was when Dracula drained him to celebrate his return home. It was really sweet of him. Don’t cha think?”
“Oh yeah, that’s Drac to a tee, sweet as plum pudding, that one.” Spike took a slow drag and took a seat on a worn trunk opposite Anya.
“He was fun. I miss having people around who appreciate a really good vengeance curse. So, how do you know him, anyway. I mean, you’re only like a hundred and something years old right?”
“I thought vampires avoided Rumania in the last couple hundred years.”
“Generally speaking, but you know that wacky Angelus. He and Darla had this unfortunate habit of giving each other little anniversary presents in the form of pet humans. Darla got buggered that she was going to give ‘im a gypsy so we went off to Rumania in the early part of 1897. We hadn’t been there for a week before we first met up with Drac’s little minions of doom. They followed us everywhere, it was insane. Every time Dru and I would corner a decent meal there would be eyes on us. After a few weeks of that tripe I popped up right in the middle of a snack, lunged at this pillock and had him take me back to Dracula’s huge castle. Family money mind you, he didn’t get it all himself.”
“So you met him in 1897, wow. I haven’t seen him since the mid-1500’s. Is he still all dark and broody?” Anya asked eagerly.
“More like pale and glowery last time I saw him. I swear he powders himself like some parliamentary fop. So anyway, I meet up with him in his lair on the hill. He tries to dazzle me with his wind in the willows entrance, turns into a bat, that sort of nonsense. I’m watching his show, he was amusing, but mind, I’ve been living with the king of tall, dark and handsome for nigh on twenty years at this point, so I’m not real impressed. The whole time I’m just thinking, does this ponce ever eat? He looks like one of those chinese slaves you used to see laboring in the shops. All skin and bones, really kind of off putting when you’re trying to have a conversation and such.”
“I never thought of him as being gaunt. But then I was always looking into those cerulean eyes of his.” Anya closed her eyes, as if picturing the vampire.
“Cerulean, give me a break, his eyes are blue, mine are cerulean. Just plain old blue, you can’t go taking that much poetic license with plain old blue eyes.”
“Geesh, are you jealous, or just vain?“
“Hmph. Jealous of that wanker. I think not.“ Spike stood up and opened the trunk taking out a bottle of whiskey. He closed the lid and sat back down. After swallowing a quick drink he offered the bottle to Anya. She took the bottle but did not drink.
“You are, you’re jealous of Dracula. What does he have that you don’t. I mean except for the three vampire sisters that follow him everywhere, legions of minions, a huge estate and...” Anya paused. “Oh, guess quite a bit now that I think about it.” She covered her smile by taking a drink of the foul smelling liquid.
“Well, don’t think about it!” Spike stood up again and started pacing the littered floor. “I could have had all that bollocks too, but I didn’t want it. I was perfectly happy the way things were. Just me and Dru, following Darla and Angelus wherever their whims carried us. We tore through Europe. We left a bloody trail in every country we visited, and we never looked back. In those days a vampire had free reign. We could be merciless and no one was the wiser. The slayers never lived long enough to give us much of a chase. The wannabe slayers didn’t survive long enough to be a tick in the timeline. Everything was just right. It was all right before him. Before Rumania.” Spike closed his eyes and fought back the tears that still came too easy to him.
“What happened in Rumania?”
“The world changed that’s what.” Spike grabbed the bottle from Anya, then sat down again, hoping it would calm his nerves. “Do you want the short story, or the long?”
“I’m not going anywhere, give me the long version.” She reclined in the chair for a moment then added. “Wait, is there any sex in this story?”
“Not really.” Spike grinned and continued. “So after Dracula’s little gypsy magic show I told him to sod off and let us enjoy our little holiday. He said he was just interested in others of our kind, bunch of blather, he just didn’t like any competition. I was about to leave and in walks Drusilla. She’d followed me up to the castle and just walks right up to Drac and introduces herself. So then, of course, he starts falling all over himself. She’s such a dark beauty and the like, like this is news to me. My goddess is standing there and he feels the need to tell me how close to perfection she is.
“Well, we left without much ado. We went back to the little house we had managed to wrangle up and spent the next few months being alternately stalked and ignored by Dracula and his little gang of anteaters. Then it started getting worse, there were some vampire hunters in the area. Groups of Rumani doing spells, you know, protection wards and general un-invites. Tense time. But Darla won’t leave. All the while he keeps watching Drusilla, and she gradually starts to slow down her hunts so he can watch. She answers the door when he comes to visit her. I was so upset, I wasn’t even paying attention when Darla started hunting for her gift for Angelus.
“It all came to a head early the next year. Drusilla decides Dracula needs to woo her if she’s going to waste her time on him. So she tells him they have to go into the city and have a proper meal. He takes her to this fancy restaurant, the kind of place that bows to the prince of darkness just for the tips. They had a big meal, lots of wine, which never goes over well with Dru. She started getting all dreamy, talking to the light fixtures, et cetera. The waiters started to get a bit wiggy and Dracula just gets up and leaves her there. So luckily I had followed them, wasn’t about to let her go alone. I walked in and paid for the dinner and took Dru back into the countryside. Come to find out this Van Helsing tosser that’s been stalking Drac for years was in the restaurant too. Small world, when you’re in Rumania anyway. So Drac gets away and I’m out eleven pounds for a meal I didn’t even eat.
“I got all antsy and decided to go back home. When we get there all we find is Darla screaming and a dead gypsy girl. She wouldn’t tell us what was going on, leads us to a Rumani camp and makes us kill everyone. I admit it was kind of fun, but after a while it’s all breaking necks, only so much a vamp can drink after all.” Spike took another drink and lit another cigarette.
“Was that when Angel got his soul back?” Anya asked.
“Yeah, not that Darla ever told us that. I didn’t find out what happened to Angelus in Rumania for a hundred years. Just rumors here and there. Same with Dracula really. You know, the book, it came out that same year we were there. Claiming that Van Helsing had killed him and all. What a joke. The last time I saw Van Helsing he was eating a centipede sandwich and loving every minute of it. So I had no idea what really went on. And now he’s here. I’ve half a mind to find him myself.” Spike laughed to himself.
“But you won’t will you?” Anya gave him a knowing smile. “I won’t either. I think about him sometimes. He was always fun, but I was a demon then, and here I am, all human. I’m afraid I’d just look like food.”
“You are the perfect candidate, someone he already knows, clearly on the border of thrall land.” Spike raised the bottle. “To friends in common.” He took a drink and passed the bottle back to her.
“To friends in common.” She also took a drink before adding. “Past and present.”
Copyright Tania 2002
Violators will be forced to watch their exes have sex on a table via laptop