Ten Years After

Chapter 11

The guide books had been right; the boat trip along the Seine at night was beautiful, and romantic. Had the barman and the waiter, who had contrived to leave ‘the beautiful young couple’ alone to enjoy it, been able to overhear the conversation which caused Dawn and Spike to look serious and to laugh in equal quantities they might have been somewhat surprised.

Dawn shared her most recent phone call to Giles with Spike; the way he understood why she had sought out Spike, and thought she had been right; the way he had reassured Buffy so that, hopefully, she wouldn’t feel the need to leap on the next plane, but wasn’t entirely out of the loop; and the way that he had given her his blessing to see as much of Spike as she liked.

“And how much is that, pet?” Spike enquired, sounding innocent.

Dawn paused, and then answered honestly “As much as possible!”

“Really?” Spike drawled, with his familiar tilt of the eye-brow, and Dawn knew that the double entendre had certainly not been lost on him. Then he gave her a look that was definitely ‘full smoulder,’ held it for a couple of seconds, and laughed. But Dawn felt he was laughing with her, not at her.

She told him about her idea that ‘Vampires with Souls’ would be a good name for a group, and they laughed as they discussed what type of music they should play. Spike still preferred some of the punk classics, and also had some more recent favourites, but couldn’t quite see any of them sitting easily alongside Angel’s taste in slushy ballads.

Passports and ID cards were discussed as they admired the lights playing on Les Jardins des Tuilleries. Spike explained that, as Dawn had already thought, up until the time he had been in Sunnydale, he had never had such things. If he had needed to travel across borders during all his earlier years in Europe, he had either done so where crossing was easy, or had eaten the border guards. Getting into the States had simply been a matter of travelling as freight.

It was so much harder now, but he had been provided with all the necessary whilst working at Wolfram and Hart. This was where Dawn asked the question that had been puzzling her. How long could you get away with one ID before people began to think it must be wrong, because you looked much too young for the given date of birth?

Spike thought probably five to eight years, possibly more if you smiled and praised the wonders of plastic surgery. Which of course led Dawn to ask if he was still travelling on those Wolfram and Hart papers, and to Spike giving her a slightly edited version of his dealings with Ilona Costa Bianchi, and making her laugh at the names Ilona had come up with for him.

“Why Europe these days?” Dawn asked him.

“Cos I’m a bloody European of course!” he’d answered, laughing. “Remember I’ve spent most of my life in Europe, spent a good few years in the States, but mostly in Europe – I wasn’t one of the Scourge of North America, now, was I? Anyway – I could ask you the same thing! Why Europe these days?”

“I could just say because that’s where the Watchers’ Council are, but I know you’d point out that I could work for them in the States. Actually I think it’s because I feel more real here. I can’t properly explain, but I’ve spent more real time in Europe than in the States, and I suppose part of me has been in Europe for an almost immeasurable time, so maybe that’s why I feel at home here in a way that Buffy never did.

“She saw those few years in Europe as a long vacation, but I know that so much of my time in Sunnydale and before is unreal, and everything I remember from Rome onwards are proper things I really did or saw. When I visit Buffy in Sacramento I feel as if I’m in the wrong place, but I’ve only just begun to understand why.”

Dawn’s head had dropped during this conversation, and Spike reached out, and brushed her hair back to look into her eyes. He held her gaze for what felt like minutes, then gave her a lop-sided smile and said “It might be better if the Council pull a few strings and get you a European passport when you need a new one, probably easier for them any way!”

As they left the boat at the end of the cruise, Spike kept hold of Dawn’s hand, and gave the waiter and the barman generous tips. He looked down at their hands rather as he had when they’d left the hotel earlier, then grinned, and saying “Wouldn’t like to disappoint that pair of old romantics,” and dropped Dawn’s hand in favour of an arm around her waist.

“Definitely not!” she agreed, and wrapped her own arm around him to match. To Dawn it felt very right, and Spike didn’t seem in any hurry to release her when they were away from the boat, so she reckoned it must feel OK to him too.

They stopped at a street stall to buy Dawn some crepes, but Spike decided they looked too good to miss, and they ended up walking along giggling like schoolchildren as they tried to look dignified whilst both eating crepes oozing with Nutella and banana. It reminded Dawn of time spent eating popcorn or donuts in Sunnydale, and she thought that that Dawn and Spike would have been amazed if anyone had told them they would be here, doing this, now.

They strolled through the Parisian streets, mostly hand in hand, and talked about this and that; music, films, books, finding out more about the person the other was now. Both weighing up whether this was someone they could spend a lot of time with for a very long time, or whether the neatness of such a solution was running away with them.

Eventually they were back at Dawn’s hotel, and she asked “Do you want to come in for some coffee?” and then blushed. “I really meant coffee, honestly!” she added.

“Course you did, pet,” Spike agreed amicably. “What else could you possibly have meant?” he added, but he found it impossible not to smirk.

Dawn stuck her tongue out at him. “Tea?”

Upstairs, Spike put the TV on and scanned all the channels whilst Dawn made coffee. “You know,” Spike said, “some things do make me feel very old. I can remember when most countries only had two or three channels, not two or three hundred! Music OK with you, or would you rather have the news in Chinese, films in Japanese, or National Geographic dubbed into French, to name but a few?”

“Music’s cool. As long as it’s not French ballads or smash hits of the Eighties! Whatever you fancy.” Dawn said, hoping she wouldn’t totally regret leaving the choice to Spike.

Coffee made, Dawn sat herself on the edge of the spare bed, which Spike was sprawled all over in a comfortable way. “So,” she began, “I was wondering after you left last night, why did you go to Columbia when you left LA? I mean it’s not high on the list of quiet holiday destinations.”

Spike groaned, and shifted a little so that they were no longer touching at all. “Knew you would ask. Could lie, but you’d find me out in the end. Bloody Baby Watcher!” The last words were said with no malice, but a hint of dark humour. “Didn’t want to talk about it, but guess it’s best to get it over. I was looking for Dru.”

If he had told Dawn that he had been looking for The Missing Link she would only have been marginally less surprised. But she knew, looking at Spike, that it would be better to say nothing, and let him continue in his own time.

“Angel didn’t care. Turned the poor little bint mad, left her when he got bored, left her again when he got the soul. Left her one way or another time and time again, even after that. Seemed to think as long as he pretended she was nothing to do with him any more he could forget her. Couldn’t face what he’d created. Poor little bird always loved him, but he didn’t care.

“But me – I looked after the barmy little bitch for more than a hundred years. Loved her, would’ve done anything for her, even though she loved her ‘Daddy’ more. Played on my mind after that do with Wolfram and Hart. Didn’t deserve what Angelus did to her. Tried to talk to Angel, but he still didn’t want to know. Decided I had to do it myself.” He paused.

Dawn waited a few heartbeats, and then asked “Had to do what?” She had a sinking feeling that she already knew the answer.

“Stake her.” Spike said, flatly.

“See, I reckon it wasn’t her fault, all the things she’d done, people she’d killed. Mad, totally off her trolley. Was a good little thing – going to go into a convent before Angelus mauled her brain around, fucked her poor little mind totally before he fucked her innocent little body. Ruined her every way he could. Should have been in heaven, would have been a beautiful angel years ago if it hadn’t been for her bloody ‘Daddy’.

“More I thought about it, more I thought if there’s any fairness Dru shouldn’t be held accountable for what she’s done – should be added to the pile of shit at Peaches’ feet. He’s got till eternity to brood and atone – he should pay the price, not my poor little broken bird. But she shouldn’t be left to keep killing, she should be given the chance to fly above all that, an’ she can’t do it for herself. Decided it would be the kindest thing I could do. If she got to Heaven she’d get her mind back. Set off to find her.”

Spike’s face was expressionless, his eyes dark, looking at nothing that Dawn could see, nothing in the here and now. Dawn wanted to take his hand or touch his arm, but she felt that it would not be welcome, and so she sat motionless, inches away, not moving, not touching.

“Went down to Brazil first, that’s where she took up with that bloody stupid Fungus the Bogeydemon, so I thought it was as good a place to start as any. Travelled all over the soddin’ country. Asked all over for her. Met a few locals who’d seen her – could usually tell by the shit-scared expression on their faces when they heard her name. But nothing recent, not been there for a couple of years or more.

“Rumour was she’d gone to Columbia, so off I went. Looked everywhere, no bloody sign of her, no-one knew where she was, then I met a vamp who’d been in Europe, thought he’d heard of her there. Nothing else to follow, so eventually I took myself off again. Did the trip back to LA, sorted out the business with the dealer, then headed back this way. Didn’t know where to look – Europe’s a big place, and the vamp who’d given me the tip had only heard she was ‘around somewhere’ when he’d been in Germany a good six months before.

“Anyway, decided I might need some help, and went to see what had happened to the Wolfram and Hart Offices in Rome. Found Ilona in charge – and told her who I was looking for. Took her about a month to find Dru for me – still has all the contacts you see, and didn’t charge ’cos she knew she owed us one.”

Despite herself, Dawn found herself wondering about Signorina Costa Bianchi – but thought this was most definitely not the time to ask more.

Spike hunched up more into himself, but continued his tale. “She was in Romania. Of all the soddin’ places, she’d gone back to Romania. ‘Cept it made sense in a warped Drusilla sort of way. Lots of kids you see, on the streets, living in the sewers and in any place they could find shelter. Beautiful kids – big eyed, dark haired, kids. Kids like her sisters before Angelus ripped their throats out. Loved kids did Dru. She would be really nice to them for hours on end before she ate them. Couldn’t help it, poor little fucked up bird. Made them tea parties, fed them on cake.

“She’d got herself a few male vamps as heavies, and was living underground in Bucharest. Sad thing is the kids were probably the happiest they’d been in all their bloody sad little lives for those few hours before she got bored with them, or her poor mad brain made her think they’d stay for longer if she killed them. Even turned one or two, but they never lasted.

“Anyway, didn’t take long to get one of her heavies to take me to her. Took me a while to persuade her I was back. Course she could tell I wasn’t around The Slayer any more, but she didn’t trust me ‘cos of the soul. Reminded her the soul didn’t make anyone good – no reason not to be the Big Bad just cos of the soul, did the Vlad, Hitler, Stalin chat. Set out to woo her properly.

“Even persuaded her to keep a couple of her pet children alive for a bit longer by bringing her pretty cakes and fruit to feed them with, and new china plates and tea-cups.

“She wasn’t sure, poor little bint, couldn’t decide if I was being straight or not, but when she realised I was alone, no Angel, no Slayer, she relaxed a bit. Said she’d dreamed of me coming and making her fly like a bird. Don’t think she ever recognised what it meant, don’t know.

“Brought her to my hotel room eventually – took about a week, but she came. Made it beautiful for her – covered the bed in silk and dark red roses, bought her a black silk gown, and I brushed her hair till it shone. I laid her on the bed, and I did everything I knew to make her feel good, then just as she came, eyes shut, I reached under the pillow, and I staked her.

“Then I sat in that room, on the bed covered in roses and blood, with dust swirling in the air, and I cried my fucking heart out. I bawled like a baby. And I still don’t know if I did the right thing, or whether I’ve sent my poor broken Dru to never-ending hell. I don’t soddin’ know!”

And at that the tears fell down Spike’s face, from yellow eyes, and past fangs, as he wept bitterly. And Dawn gathered him up in her arms, and held his face, no longer beautiful but ridged and ugly, to her neck and rocked him like a baby.


  • Chapter 12

  • The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.