*I didn't know there were any bears left in jolly old England.*

Scratching his blond head in puzzlement, Spike looked down curiously at the small animal he'd walloped into unconsciousness just a few moments ago. He'd been wandering around for a couple of hours inside Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, a place he'd been forced to visit for reasons that were nobody's bloody business (though anybody who guessed this involved a furious mob of humans waving stakes and torches would have been absolutely correct).

The vampire had been growing hungrier and hungrier, hoping to find a traveler, a forester, or SOMEONE he could eat, until his keen ears had picked up the sounds of a trekker coming towards him along the path Spike was using. The demon had ducked into the underbrush, and when his victim had gotten near, it had been the usual leap and clout, all quite successfully accomplished, and ordinarily the next step would have been already gorily finished; i.e., the devouring of his prey.

However, Spike had never eaten a bear before.

Particularly a bear that was dressed in a pull-over red shirt that covered the upper body of the rotund, golden-furred ursine.

Mulling this over, Spike had a sudden flash of insight that made the demon give a pleased grin that showed his fangs to the world. Obviously this bear was someone's pet that had escaped -- a dancing bear, maybe, owned by gypsies who had to be somewhere near, with lots of hot, sweet blood in their veins just waiting to be drunk by the nearest vampire around.

"Which would be me," happily said Spike into the air. Nodding in satisfaction, the vampire took a step away, preparing to track the bear back to its owners and commit the usual atrocities of the demon's unlife. *That was the poofter's biggest mistake, leaving witnesses,* mused Spike, casually glancing at the bear while leaving. Abruptly, the vampire stopped and turned around, to hungrily stare at the small animal.

"Come to think of it, I might as well have one for the road," smirked Spike, stepping over to the bear, and then leaning down to pick up the heavier-than-expected animal, and straightening up with a slight grunt, he brought the bear's body towards his face for Spike to vamp out and lunge his head towards the bear's throat, deeply sinking his fangs in there and hungrily sucking, to bring the liquid of life into Spike's mouth.


Instants later, there were crashing sounds as Spike blindly ran through the forest, bursting through bushes and colliding with trees, as he desperately searched for a pond, brook, spring, mud puddle -- ANY source of water to wash away the horrible, sticky-sweet substance that now coated every bit of the interior of his mouth. In the course of his panicked flight, Spike's terror only increased, since when he tried clawing away the substance filling his oral cavity, his hands became stuck fast to his tongue, and he was forced to run with his fingers deep inside his mouth and his elbows flailing.

Several minutes after that, the bear lying on the ground stirred, and opening his eyes, he sat up on the ground, resting on his roly-poly behind, to gingerly pat the top of his aching head and then tenderly touching the rapidly-closing wounds on his neck. Muzzily, the bear stared up at the bright moon overhead, and tried to come up with something to explain what had happened to him. On his way to his home, maybe he'd felt like taking a quick nap, and then a bug had bitten him? That seemed as likely an explanation for whatever occurred, and the bear now expressed his opinion over the whole puzzling experience.

"Oh, bother," was said in his usual soft voice by Winnie-the-Pooh.

Well, whatever, it was past time for his bed, and getting up, the pet of Christopher Robin waddled his way through the familiar paths of the Hundred Acre Wood, finally reaching and entering his den. However, instead of going directly to bed, the bear went right to his cupboard in the kitchen, and opening it up, he happily smiled at all of the jars inside there.

Taking one of his meals, Winnie lifted off the lid, and brought up the jar to his mouth, tilting the container up while waiting patiently for the thick, slow liquid to flow right where it belonged.

Finally, the reward came, and the bear again gulped what he had eaten all the days of his life that had permeated every fiber of his being, eyes blissfully closed, and thinking, *A bear's best friend is his hunny.*