Author: Meltha

Rating: R

Feedback: Yes, thank you.

Spoilers: One incredibly vague spoiler for the Buffy series finale

Distribution: The Blackberry Patch. If you're interested, please let me know.

Summary: Drusilla and Spike have set up their happy little home in the Swiss Alps, but an evening stroll leads to an unforgettable evening of murder, nudity, and other vampiric delights.

Author's Note: Written for ladyoneill's Spike/Dru ficathon, answering Fleur's (stoptocheer) challenge of a Spike/Dru fic with the death of at least one potential, swimming, and Drusilla with a daisy chain in her hair, set after 1900 but before Prague, an R rating, no Spander and preferably no Angelus or Darla (I fudged that a teeny bit).

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy. Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you. Thank you.

Thank you tremendously to Marsterslady for the feedback!

Pleasant Thoughts

The last blush of a rosy sunset was fading behind the Alps as Spike began to stir, nestling deeper into the featherbed. Drusilla lay pressed against his side, one leg thrown over his hip and an arm stretched over her head, fingers softly wrapped around the wooden fretwork of the headboard. He smiled mischievously at her upturned face and closed eyes, then bent down to wake her with a long, slow lick over her lips. It was no surprise when she immediately opened her mouth to nip playfully at his tongue.

"Knew you were awake," he half-mumbled in the remaining sleepiness of early evening.

"I always wake up first," she said, smiling as he nuzzled her neck drowsily. "You're a bad, lazy boy."

"Am I then?" he said, grinning widely. "Care to spank your bad boy? Make my arse a proper bright cherry red with you pretty little hand?"

She growled wantonly, but to his surprise she got out of bed, disentangling the sheet from her nude form and leaving it laying in a disheveled pile in the middle of the floor.

"Dru?" he asked disappointedly as she began to dress. "Don't you want to shag before we hunt?"

"No," she said simply, choosing a long white cotton dress that fitted loosely around her form.

He propped himself up on one arm, lying naked across the stripped bed with total unselfconsciousness, his eyes following her movements with an expression of such undisguised lust that it was an obscene act in itself. She pulled the dress, a hippie confection embroidered around the hem with intricate scarlet and black folk patterns, over her head, barring his eyes from her body, but he noticed with a gleam of pleasure she wore no underthings today. The cotton was woven tightly enough so it would go unnoticed except for the free movement of her small breasts, a common enough sight in 1970 to not attract undo attention, but the knowledge that she would be walking beside him tonight, entirely bare beneath the dress was so erotic to him a groan left his lips.

Drusilla turned back towards him and sighed in exasperation at his expression.

"Come on, luv," he said pleadingly, dragging himself off the bed and practically slinking his way towards her, his desire for her obvious. "Just let me take you, yeah? Look so gorgeous, sweetheart; want you so much."

One of his arms snaked around her waist, pulling her flush against him as the other moved to the low neck of the dress, pushing the material aside and softly circling his thumb over her breast while he whispered the most enticing things he could think of in her ear, letting the lobe brush his lips and teeth. He was somewhere between "make it so good for you, baby," and "perfect goddess of lust," when her nails started scoring an extremely painful path over his chest and down towards his abdomen, making him jump back with a yelp before she managed to injure anything too important.

"Be good," she said firmly. "We've an appointment and mustn't be late. It would be rude."

"Appointment?" he asked, ruefully rubbing his scratched belly, his not-so-little problem having deflated faster than a balloon stuck on a cactus. "With who?"

"Whom, dearie," she said, wagging her blood-tipped finger at him. "It's 'whom,' not 'who.'"

"Okay," he said, stretching out the word as he began rummaging through his pile of clothes on the floor for something that still had buttons after last night, "so with whom, then?"

"Surprise," she said, wrinkling her nose in a smile. "Not telling. But you'll like it. And afterwards, we'll have lots of naughty fun."

Spike tried to smile back, but he remembered Dru's last little surprise, which she had also said he'd like. He hadn't even realized Switzerland had bears… and as it turned out, the one she'd somehow locked in their bathroom she'd stolen from the zoo. Apparently, she'd thought it was just as cute as the teddy bear he'd given her last Valentine's Day, "only bigger, and it cuddles ever so hard!" Exactly how she had managed to get a bear unnoticed through the center of Geneva and up to the eighth floor of their apartment building baffled him completely, but he chalked it up to the mystery that was Dru.

That bloody thing had broken three of his ribs, and even after he'd killed it, which Drusilla was furious about, the stench in the bathroom was so bad they'd had to burn down their whole apartment building and move to the countryside. The quiet was a nice change, he supposed, but it was getting rather boring: too many goats and sheep and wholesomeness, not enough clubs and violence and mayhem. Still, there was a difference between scuffing up a spot of excitement and being confronted in close quarters with a gigantic, slobbering eating machine that seemed to think Spike's head would make a woderful football if he could only get it detached.

"Really?" he said, trying to look pleased. "Sounds like… fun."

Drusilla shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Stop worrying so."

Spike shrugged. Life with Dru was, at the very least, a sure cure for getting stuck in a rut. He managed to find his black jumper thrown behind the dresser, but he was having considerably more trouble tracking down his trousers, though he half-wished he wouldn't be able to find the blasted things. These bell-bottoms looked ludicrous, but as everyone was wearing them, he didn't have much choice unless he wanted to stand out a mile or wear the traditional alternative in this part of the world… and there was no way in hell he was wearing lederhosen.

Eventually he found his jeans on top of the bookcase, sadly in perfectly wearable condition. After pulling the worn blue denim over his hips, he stumbled into a pair of Birkenstocks. At least he didn't look entirely stupid, he thought, though he was fast becoming desperate for a new fashion to come into style, preferably something that looked less earthy and more predatory. Soon. Times changed quickly when you had forever to live.

Dru was running a brush through her hair, the slightly wavy locks now reaching just below mid-back. She looked like one of the flower children, all soft lines and freedom, yet somehow graceful as a ballerina. At least one of them felt comfortable in this era. With a smile, he took the brush from her and began stroking her hair himself as she practically purred from the attention, rubbing back against him in a progressively more sensual manner.

"Luv?" he asked hopefully after a few dozen passes of the brush.

She snorted, took the brush from him, and gave him a swat across the rump.

"Later!"

Spike, finally defeated, ran his fingers through his own hair a few times, the curls having grown into almost the same style he'd had when alive, the only real change being that it was actually considered fashionable now, a thought that made him shudder for the future of the world.

"Alright, love, where are we off to?"

She raised an eyebrow imperiously at him and walked out of the bedroom, through their small sitting room, and he followed her out the front door.

Their little cottage was almost too adorable for words. Dru loved it, calling it their dollhouse, and if it made her happy, it made him happy, even if it was a bit on the frou-frou side for his taste. The view, on the other hand, was utterly stunning. A valley spread out below them, green and succulent as a giant garden. Great, tall trees grew between fresh streams and ponds of crystal-clear water, and thousands of goats and cattle, all a strange, ethereal white, dotted the view, usually sleeping in little flocks. Mountains surrounded them, the peaks towering into the night clouds and becoming lost among the stars. Dru wanted to try to climb one, but he was rather concerned whether they would be able to find shelter during the day on the barren rock of the mountainside. He'd looked into getting a sturdy tent that would keep out the sunlight, but so far he hadn't found anything that would do. Still, in a place like this, he couldn't help wondering how much brighter the colors would look by day and regretting that he would never get to see them.

Dru was partway down the little dirt road that led from their cottage down to a village of freshly scrubbed mountain peasants, and Spike caught up to her in a moment, tucking her arm into his as she led the way. They walked a few miles downhill until they reached the cluster of shops and homes that formed the tiny hamlet was now behind them, and they were plunging into densely grouped trees. The occasional dairy farm had disappeared entirely, and they were now in pure wilderness, except for two bits of light not too far ahead.

Spike cocked his head questioningly, but Drusilla put a finger to her mouth, then cupped her ear as she picked her way through the grass, delicately avoiding soiling the hem of her dress. He followed, silent and listening, and eventually he was able to make out a pair of voices, both speaking in English. The conversation was illuminating.

"Your thrusts with the javelin are becoming sloppy, Patricia," said an older man's voice. "You have not been putting in enough hours of practice each day."

"Sorry, Watcher Berrington," said a young girl's voice in a heavy accent that he couldn't quite place.

Watcher? Spike's eyes widened enormously. Had Dru tracked down a Slayer out in the middle of nowhere? He tried to draw her attention, but she just waved a hand at him, telling him to draw closer. They remained in the safe shadow of a copse of trees, peering through the dense branches like a pair of wolves observing their chosen prey, their eyes glittering golden in the moonlight. Ahead of them lay a small clearing, and the two other players in their little drama continued their roles, unaware of their fates.

"Sorry will not do, Patricia," said the man, and Spike could see him quite clearly now, though it almost hadn't been necessary: standard issue tweed from head to toe, just like every other Watcher he'd ever seen of heard tell of. He wondered for a moment what exactly they'd worn before tweed was invented, then had to stop himself from laughing at the possibility that the Council might have actually invented the stuff. Again, almost as though there was an unwritten law, Berrington was scribbling in a leather-bound notebook. Spike wondered if having one of those welded to their hands was part of the secret Watcher initiation ritual.

"If you are chosen as the next Slayer, you will need to be fully trained in all the martial arts, particularly those involving projectiles," the man continued, his tone almost robotic. "Most potentials were fully trained with the javelin by the age of nine."

"But I wasn't found until last year," replied the girl, a young brunette slip of a thing, rather tall and with the awkward lankiness of fourteen or fifteen.

It was hard to believe by looking at her that she could ever be chosen as some epic warrior against the forces of darkness. A small moment of pity pricked Spike's heart, but he slammed it down immediately. This girl was being trained to kill his kind without a second thought. Turnabout was fair play.

"Indeed, which simply means you must work harder," the Watcher stated. "We shall have to cancel your bi-weekly visits with your family until the deficit is made up."

"Yes, Watcher Berrington," she said dejectedly, scuffing patterns into the dirt with the toe of her shoe.

It was just then that one of the long wooden staffs that had fallen awry of their intended tree-trunk-target vanished into the undergrowth, but neither of the two humans noticed. The Watcher was too busy lecturing his young charge on the importance of the Slayer duty of being constantly prepared for anything.

"Nothing is as important as your sacred mission," he said in that strangely imperial tone of voice reserved for Watchers and displeased schoolteachers. "Your task in this life is really quite simple, and yet you complicate the issue through your willful clumsiness. One of those javelins through a vampire's heart would instantly kill it."

"Yeah, it would at that," Spike said, stepping into view in the small clearing, casually hefting the javelin in his left hand, testing its weight. "Know what else?"

As comprehension dawned on the pair's faces simultaneously as Spike allowed his demon's features to come forth, the Watcher promptly tried to shield himself by grabbing the girl and throwing her in front of him. Spike grinned maliciously, drew back his arm, and threw with perfect aim.

"Javelin through your heart kills you lot, too," he said as they fell to the ground, instantly dead, impaled through their chests with the same long piece of wood like a human shish kabob.

Drusilla clapped merrily as she ran to where Spike stood, his face a study in elation.

"Bloody well got two in one blow there," he said with satisfaction. "Considerate of the Watcher to line them up so perfectly."

Dru knelt on the ground next to the bodies, tilting her head this way and that between them, sniffing the air.

"He's dried up as an old prune inside. I can smell him," she said, making a face.

"Yeah, well, bein' a Watcher tends to do that to you, I think," Spike said, grabbing a second javelin from the ground and aiming at the target the girl had missed. "Think it's all the books."

"Mmm," Dru said, shaking her head. "No, they're taught to be prunes, taught to dry up and let the human bits shrivel."

"Reckon they do," Spike said, scoring a perfect bull's eye. "He was right about one thing though: She was a bloody terrible shot."

"But sweet," Dru replied, bringing a fingertip down to the pool of blood next to the girl and then to her lips, lapping gently with her tongue "She tastes of half-opened roses and clouds over the sun and wine that needs leaving in the cellar a while longer to age."

"Does she now?" he said, growing more interested. "Never fed off a potential before."

He got down on the ground next to Drusilla and took her hand, which she'd been pattering about in the blood, and raised it to his mouth. She closed her eyes in bliss, swaying lightly in rhythm to his gentle sucking.

"She's better than average," he finally said when he'd finished paying her out a bit for leaving him unsatisfied earlier. "Still, it's like drinking Slayer's blood through a cigarette filter. The razzle-dazzle isn't full strength."

"And never will be now. She won't kill anyone else anymore," Drusilla said, looking coyly at him through her lashes. "You're a hero, my Spike."

"I just offed a teenybopper, pet," he replied. "I doubt that's next to the definition of 'hero' in Webster's."

"You are, though," she said, and oddly, her face seemed to fall. "Or will be when the ceiling falls through."

Spike laughed. "In any case, this was a lovely little outing… and bound to get lovelier. What was it you said earlier about having 'naughty fun' afterwards?"

He kissed her deeply, letting the remnants of blood paint their lips a ruddy shade that glowed viciously in the moonlight. He wanted nothing more than to rut with her here, fresh kills within arm's length, taking her so hard she'd scream his name loudly enough so her stars could hear her overhead. Perhaps it was the potential's blood racing through him, but just as likely it was the way Drusilla's skirt had exposed the barest hint of the back of her knee, a place he particularly loved suckling. His hands were hungry for her, reaching everywhere at once: hair, throat, breasts, thighs. Unfortunately, as his fingers were busy wandering, she deftly rolled away from him, rising and patting stray blades of grass off of her dress. He was beginning to think he was doomed to a life of celibacy.

"Druuu!" he moaned, sadly not in lust but frustration.

"We're going to be late," she said primly. "This has already put us behind schedule!"

"We're what?" he asked, completely confused.

She looked at him quizzically. "I told you before we had someplace to be tonight."

"Then… you didn't set this up? The Watcher and the pint-size Slayer just happened along?" he said, hardly able to believe it.

"The wheel of fortune gave us a pretty turn is all," she said, smoothing her rumpled skirts. "That was very nice of Vanna, even if she wouldn't let us buy a vowel."

"Who the bleeding hell is…" he began, but Drusilla was already on her feet and disappearing purposefully through the trees once more. "Never mind," he said, rolling onto his back for a moment and throwing an accusatory glance at the moon. "Suppose I'll find out eventually if I don't die of sexual starvation first."

With an overly dramatic sigh, he pulled himself back onto his feet, blew a flirtatious kiss goodbye to the dead potential but didn't spare a glance for the Watcher, and quickly tracked his black rose's path back through the trees and out into a small, grassy country lane that wound upwards along the mountain. Sulkily, he dragged behind, on the verge of turning around and going back to town, snacking on a few goat herds, and sleeping on the cottage's couch, but as the idea of drinking goat's-milk-flavored blood again was starting to be even less appealing than slogging down a dirt road behind Drusilla, he plodded on.

If he'd been paying less attention, he wouldn't have caught the sudden movement of her leaping off the road and into a thick stand of pines, but her playful, low giggle alerted him to the change in direction. He followed, and the terrain rapidly became steeper, the tree cover so dense that he could only catch glimpses of her dress ahead, darting ghost-like among the trunks. The peaceful babbling of water was just to his left, and under the heavy shadow of the trees he could barely make out the shimmering silver of moonlight on water. Drusilla's path mirrored that of the mountain brook, jumbling over rocks worn smooth through centuries of flowing water, the place so quiet that only the voice of the stream and the mildest imaginable breeze stirring in the pine needles could be heard, occasionally mixed with her bell-like laughter. In spite of himself, Spike was letting go of his temper from earlier, actually beginning to enjoy the climb.

The mountain air had become a little thinner, a little colder, but it was bracing. Spike deliberately took a deep breath, letting the cool oxygen pour into the corners of his lungs, then expelled it, letting it flow back out into the dark night. The pines abruptly ended, and he had been so occupied with the beauty of his surroundings instead of what lay ahead that he caught another breath, this one in surprise.

Another clearing spread before him, but no javelins or targets littered this small paradise. Instead, he saw a sea of little mountain wildflowers that looked like white daisies, making the rich green grass beneath his feet appear dusted with a luminous coating of snow. They led down to a pond that could have been out of poet's dream. The brook that had been accompanying him tumbled from a precipice of sheer, raw mountain stone a hundred feet above them, splashing into a deep pool, dark as night and smooth as glass except for the place where the waterfall, transparent as a bridal veil, reached down to kiss its surface. A few large rocks seemed almost to float in middle of the water, lit to glorious silver in the light of the moon and stars. Perhaps it was his imagination but it seemed that they was brighter here, nearer somehow, frosting the daisies and the water with a glow that was otherworldly in its beauty.

He just stood, staring, his jaw hanging slightly open. Then his eyes flickered to a patch of flowers a few feet ahead of him that had begun to move, and he suddenly realized Drusilla was lying among the flowers, a daisy chain resting on her hair like a fairy's wreath, looking up at him with eyes filled with moonlight.

"I wanted you to meet my friends," she said, gesturing to the daisies. "They whispered that I should bring you here. Do you like them?"

"How did you find this place?" he asked, and his accent seemed strangely less North London for a moment and more like someone he had believed was long since dead.

"They sang to me," she said simply, then darted from the flowers, running with long strides across the grass and plunging in one fluid movement into the water, the wide skirts of her dress remaining on the surface for a moment and reminding him of Ophelia.

After a long minute, her head popped up several yards from one of the rocks in the center. She swam a few strokes towards it and then hoisted herself out of the water to lie on the smooth stone, the now-transparent dress clinging to her like a second skin, and she reached her arms above her head in a contented stretch. She rolled over to face him, then beckoned with a single finger.

And Spike realized he wasn't in heaven after all. It was hell.

"Why not come back over here, luv?" he asked, trying to sound perfectly normal.

"No," she said, frowning. "I want to be wicked with you, and there are too many eyes there. It wouldn't be ladylike at all."

"Eyes?" he said, then looked around at the thousands of white daisies staring back at him. Oh, right. "Pet, your friends really wouldn't care. Plants generally don't as a rule."

"No," she insisted, "you come to me."

Spike looked away, his jaw set furiously, making his cheekbones feel ready to rip through his skin.

"I can't," he finally said.

Dru sat up and knit her brows together. "Why not?"

"Look, Dru, let's just drop it and go home, right?"

"Why not?" she repeated.

"I said let's drop it!"

She crossed her arms, serving the double purpose of making her look immovably stubborn and creating the most delicious cleavage, then said, "I'm not moving from this spot until you tell me why you won't come out here and make me scream, even if I burn all up!"

He knew she wasn't making an idle threat. She'd really sit there until the sun came or he told her the truth. His eyes blazed at the unfairness, and he was tempted for a moment to let her do just that, but instead he found himself mumbling the answer.

"I can't swim, Dru," he said so quietly that even her sharp ears could barely hear it. "I was always… a bit uncomfortable with water. Never learned."

She remained facing him in silence, and it was as though he could feel fingers stirring inside his brain, drawing out the long ago image of the brat who lived down the street when he was five, the one who had held his head underwater in a horse trough for so long that William had passed out and been left lying on the muddy ground, his pocket money gone. The thought of that water closing over his head, robbing him of breath, making his lungs ache so much he was sure they would explode, still was one of his most horrifying memories.

"Spike," Dru said in as rational a voice as she had, "you're dead. You can't drown."

"I know that," he said. "Not stupid."

"No," she said, her gaze turning soft. "but you remember the bad thing that happened, and it frightens you, even if it can't touch you anymore. I know the way of it."

She seemed to do nothing but look at him for a long while, then she nodded to herself several times, and wiggled back into the water, coming towards him with long, sure strokes, her feet paddling deftly behind her until the pool's bottom was too shallow, then stood and walked to him, running a hand over his face.

"When I wake screaming, you help," she said in a whisper. "You try to make it go away. Yes?"

"Yeah," he said, taking her hands in his and wondering if dredging up the shadows of what Angelus had done to her had made her feel frightened herself. "Of course I do. Always will, because I love you."

"I know," she said, smiling softly, then she took a step back. "I want you to take off all of your clothes."

Spike was a bit startled by the sudden change in direction the conversation had taken, but he certainly wasn't complaining.

"Thought you were scandalized with the daisies watching us," he said teasingly as he reached for the hem of his jumper.

"We're not going to be naughty," she said seriously. "I'm teaching you to swim."

"You're what?!" he said, stopping with the black wool half over his head.

"I'm teaching you to swim," she repeated as though he simply hadn't heard.

Spike finished pulling the sweater over his head and stared at her.

"Uh, Dru, I really don't think this is a good idea," he began, but she put a finger to his lips.

"Hush, my sweet. You've helped me a thousand-thousand times when the fear traps me in its little box and squeezes until I think I'll turn to ashes. This time, I get to help you," she said, drawing a finger over his muscled chest, circling the darkness of his nipples. "You've been so very good tonight at being bad. Let me do this for you, hmm?"

She gazed up at him with an expression of pure hopefulness lighting her face, and he couldn't help being touched by her words. She had always trusted him to take her through those times when things became too much, and now she was asking him to trust her in kind. Of course, she happened to be insane, so that was rather a risk on his part, but she was also his world.

"Alright, Dru," he said, hoping he wouldn't regret it.

She clapped her hands delightedly and watched with hungry eyes as he undid the button and zip of his pants, pushing them to the ground as he kicked off his sandals. From the way she was looking at him, he figured the moonlight was doing some truly good things for his physique.

"You," she said accusingly, "are a sin to look at. A perfect, wonderful, lovely sin that the good sisters would say will make me burn, burn, burn. And you have a beautiful, long, thick bippy."

"I have a what?" he said, practically choking.

"Never mind," she said and began struggling out of her wet dress, but it was obviously difficult.

Spike knelt at her feet and took the hem in his teeth, then very slowly stood, taking the skirt with him. Once he was at his full height, he reached underneath it and pulled up, yanking the dress over her head and letting her damp hair spill down around them both as it settled. They stood so close together that the pool, the daisies, the moon, the earth were completely gone from his mind, and all he could concentrate on was the feel of her bare leg rubbing idly against his own, playing with the hair she found on it with her toes.

"Okay," she said brightly all at once, "in the water!"

Then she turned and walked into the pool without a second glance.

"I'm never going to get laid ever again, am I?" he grumbled to himself, but he followed her into the water.

It was cool, but not as unpleasantly cold as he was expecting a pond fed by a mountain stream to be. When the water began to lap over his knees, a swelling tide of indescribable panic began threatening to crash over him. He stood stock still, forcing himself to breath, trying to be calm, and Dru turned around.

"Okay?" she asked, a hint of concern in her voice.

He needed to wet his lips before he answered. "Sure, fine. S'only a little water, innit?"

"You need to think of other things," she said certainly. "Like this."

She wrapped herself around him like a water snake and kissed him, hard, prying his mouth open with her tongue and curling it with his own in an incredibly amourous duel that he swore was close to making his heart beat. As she continued the oral assault, she deftly took a step backwards into deeper water, bringing him with her, then another, and another, until the water reached well above his waist.

"You see," she said, licking her lips suggestively. "Pleasant thoughts."

"Oh, hell yeah, pleasant thoughts," he thought. Water? What water?

"Now, I want you to lie flat," she said. "I'll hold you up round your middle, see?"

Granted, he knew she was strong enough to hold up a man twice his size even on dry land, but it was still a rather humiliating thought.

"Dru, you're sure there's no one out here other than your daisy friends, yeah?" he asked.

She pouted impatiently. "You didn't ask that when you wanted to do bad things in the grass. You don't mind strangers seeing me naked, but you mind them seeing you learn to swim?"

"Well, I don't look like a right git when I'm shagging you," he said defensively.

She giggled, then crossed her eyes and screwed up her face, looking like she was about to sneeze but obviously imitating him in the throes of ecstasy, then laughed again. "Yes, you do!"

He grumbled, then gave her bottom a spank underwater for her cheek. Then another, because he felt like it.

"Do as I say and all will be well," she said, and he carefully maneuvered himself how she was guiding him.

The end result was quite a sight. He lay across the top of the water, floating, but not so well as dead bodies are generally wont to do as dead bodies are rarely holding back gargantuan tidal waves of mind numbing fear.

"Spike," said Drusilla, who had an arm supporting him underneath his belly, "your bottom is shaking."

"No, it's not," he said, straining his neck to keep his face out of the water.

"Your bottom is six inches from my face and bare as the moon," she replied with a note of impatience, "and it is so shaking!"

"I'm a bit nervous, alright," he said, practically biting his cheek with the words.

The fingers of her free hand came up to his exposed cheeks, and he felt her gently stroking them in the same way she might try to calm a frightened horse… usually right before she ate it, he thought with a small shudder. Drusilla, however, continued to softly run her hand up to his back, massaging his neck, his shoulders, then back down again to his ass, making him groan as her butterfly light touches skipped lightly over the skin of his upper legs, running a finger along the crease where they joined the firm globes of his rear.

"Pleasant thoughts," she repeated again. He was still shuddering, but she was very certain that it had less to do with fear than with what was starting to poke the arm she held around her stomach. "Now, kick your legs a bit."

Spike fought to regain enough control over his limbs to do as she asked. Timidly, he moved his feet up and down.

"Not just your toes, silly!" she said, and he could hear the grin. "Your legs!"

Deciding he might as well get a bit of his own back, he suddenly kicked his legs hard, the spray drenching Dru and earning him a squeal and sputtering.

"That enough moving for you?" he asked, innocent as a lamb.

"Be nice or I'll dunk you," she threatened in a low voice that sounded frighteningly like Angelus.

"Okay, okay," Spike said, then made an honest attempt at kicking his legs in the same way he'd seen swimmers do.

"Better, but make your toes pointy, like froggy flippers," she said, and the next time he received a soft coo of pleasure. "Yes, that's just right. Now try moving your arms. Make your hands into little teacups."

Half an hour passed like this, Drusilla gently guiding him as best she could, and Spike attempting to do as she asked but still feeling extremely nervous. At last, she gently guided his feet back to the pond's sandy bottom and took a step back.

"Okay. Go," she said expectantly.

"Huh?"

"Do what you just did," she said, "but without me."

"Just… go, eh?" he said, looking extremely apprehensive. "Dru, haven't we covered enough for one night?"

"No," she said, and he swore she stamped her foot though he couldn't see it. "Do it!"

He reasoned with himself as best he could. He couldn't get any deader than he already was. The natural tendency of his body was to float. There were no monsters in the pond, or at least he bloody well hoped not.

"I'm doing this exactly once," he said, "and then we are leaving."

Drusilla nodded agreeably and took another step further back, bouncing on her toes in excitement.

He looked from one side to the other awkwardly, still trying to find some way out of this but failing. He swallowed twice in rapid succession, took a deep breath, then pulled his legs up while lying down and began to move his arms and legs as he'd been doing for a while, convinced he'd sink like a stone…

And propelled himself forward with surprising speed and ease directly to the rock in the center of the pool.

"How'd that happen?" he asked stupidly.

"You swam, you ninny," she laughed as she slipped up next to him in the water.

"I did?" he said, rather stunned that it had worked. "Yeah… guess I did at that."

For good measure, he tried again and found that he was indeed moving quite easily around the pond as Drusilla applauded and catcalled. It still wasn't something he was entirely comfortable with, but he felt far better than he had.

In the meantime, Drusilla had pulled herself back on the large rock, watching avidly as he swam, smiling. The wreath of daisies was still somehow resting on her head, though it was rather askew, and as he reached his goal and clambered up the rock beside her, he couldn't help thinking that its presence actually emphasized her nudity. She looked like a mermaid, only without the tail, a difference he was intensely grateful for.

"So," he said in a deep voice, the one that made women weak in the knees, "whatever was it that you wanted me to come out to you on this rock for in the first place, hmm?"

She laughed playfully then slipped wetly into his arms, wrapping her legs tightly around his hips and joining their lips.

Several hours later, a slightly bruised pair of vampires, each with several bite marks on various places of their bodies, emerged from the water and attempted dressing. Spike helped Drusilla on with her still wet and now filthy dress, and she found one of his sandals under a particularly dense clump of daises. He insisted she wear his jumper on the walk home, though, as the dress was still so transparent that her breasts would have been perfectly visible.

"Pet," he said after he'd pulled her hair back through the neck hole, "thanks for this."

She said nothing, just gave him a chaste peck on the cheek and took his hand, and they headed back through the daisies for the long downhill walk home. They would have just enough time to beat the dawn.

"By the by," he asked as they reached the spot where he had slain the potential Slayer and her Watcher, "how exactly did you learn to swim in the first place?"

"Grandmummy threw me into the water when we were going across the Channel once and told me to swim home."

"She what!" he yelled indignantly.

"Mm-hm," she said as though discussing the weather, "so I asked the fish, and they taught me."

"The fish taught you to swim?"

"Yeah. Grandmummy seemed displeased when I did what she said and was waiting for them in the parlor back home," Drusilla said in a puzzled voice, "but Daddy laughed and said 'a bad penny always turns up.' My name isn't Penny. I am bad, though."

"Indeed you are," he said, sounding playfully stern. "Walking about bold as brass with no knickers on, me having to give you the clothes off my back so you're decent, luring a man into stripping naked with you then letting him shag you out in the wilderness… and with thousands of innocent daisies looking on, too! Whatever should I do with you?"

Her eyes grew very round. She growled in hungry expectation, then raced him back to the cottage, both of them making it there in record time.

When the sun set in the Alps the next night, Spike and Drusilla had only just fallen asleep.