It was a bit odd, really. Dru hadn't been this coherent for decades, and now she was standing in front of Spike, shaking her finger in his face, and giving him clear warnings. Well, mostly clear.

"Pass by those truly devoted to each other! Avoid the man with the hidden face! Retreat from the capital of Tuscany!" And so on, and so on.

"Right, love, I'll bring you back someone nice and tender, maybe a fresh schoolgirl. Nothing but the best for my Dru, you hear me?"

That seemed to placate her, as the insane vampiress appeared to calm down a little, peering intently into Spike's tolerant face, to then give a resigned sigh, before Drusilla now turned away, to skip over to the corner of the cellar they'd been hiding in over the last couple of weeks. It was the first time either of them had ever been in the port town of Hartlepool in northeast England, but for Spike, one place was as good as the other for hunting their prey. Particularly since the high unemployment here since the end of World War II meant that if citizens of the town ever wondered about the disappearance of strangers and their neighbors, it would be assumed they'd just gone off elsewhere to find work.

Well, it was time for Spike to obtain their evening meal, so as he left their cellar, he cheerily waved goodbye at his lover. He wasn't bothered all that much at seeing Dru sitting in the cellar corner, cradling Miss Edith in her arms and singing to her doll a silly song about snooker, pigeon racing, and football. Maybe she needed to get out a bit more. It was worth thinking about, Spike decided, as he set out to get somebody to eat.

After several hours of wandering through the deserted streets of the town, Spike's attention was captured by a truly magnificent row coming from the next avenue over. Intrigued, he slipped through an alley, and at the end of this passage, he peeked out to see across the street a man and a woman standing on the sidewalk in front of a row of townhouses and screaming at each other at the tops of their lungs.

Spike, watching with interest both of these people, began to chuckle at the imaginative insults the pair were hurling at each other. The bloke, a real tich in a dark coat and trousers, was wearing a green flat cap pulled low over his face and he was shouting about it being nobody's bloody business but his own where he'd been the last couple of hours. Spike nodded in agreement over that.

The woman in the blue coat and a red scarf over her blonde hair was now shrieking that their dinner had been spoiled just because he hadn't bothered to show up, and she seemed to be about to clout the man any second now. Which should have been worrying him, considering she had at least a couple of inches and at least three stone on him.

What really fascinated Spike was that both the quarreling man and woman had identical noses, with these organs of smell now nearly touching as they bawled at each other, and resembled nothing but fleshy light bulbs in their round protuberances. *That lad must look like a traffic signal when he's lit up with a snootful,* mentally snickered Spike to himself.

After a few more moments of amusement, Spike reminded himself that it was time for dinner, and while he could think of more appetizing meals he'd had in the past, that pair with the leather lungs seemed to be it for tonight. Plus, Spike was sure that the entire street would bestow on him a vote of thanks once he permanently silenced those two.

Strolling out of the alley, Spike went across the deserted road right up to the still-shouting couple, who finally stopped only when their attention was caught by the man standing by them and grinning at the two. As one, they abruptly became quiet and their heads spun to warily regard the stranger, whose face now incredibly changed into a monster's features of ridged skin, yellow eyes, and long, sharp fangs, just before Spike lunged at the pair.

They charged right at him.

Ten minutes later, a beaten-to-a-pulp Spike, whose body had been stuffed into a dustbin in the alley he'd left, was rapidly loosing consciousness. Despite this, he still had flickers of disbelief over his incredible encounter with two ordinary humans who were still the most skilled fighters he'd ever encountered. Not only had they worked seamlessly as a duo in avoiding his most savage blows and slashes, they'd also both given him tooth-rattling punches.

What had really been humiliating about this (well, besides the broken nose and knocked-out fangs), was when Spike had actually managed to land a good one on the man, the little bloke had just stood there in his cap that hadn't stirred the slightest, peered at Spike from under the brim of his headgear, and sneered, "Blimey, that was your best? Florrie's mum gave me a backhander that hurt ten times worse when she caught me nicking a quid from her purse!"

Spike didn't have time to respond to that, when the woman's iron-hard fist then hit the vampire with stunning force right between the eyes, putting him down for the count. The pair next enthusiastically put in the boot, as savagely as if the refs had just nipped away for tea and were incapable of sending anybody off.

In his dustbin, Spike felt his eyes flutter shut as he passed out, with the last thing he was conscious of was listening to two happy voices heading away.

"Pet, that was the most fun we've had together for months!" cooed the woman, walking arm-in-arm with the man.

Chuckling, the shorter of the two allowed, "It was a bit of all right." The man then reached into his pocket and pulled out all the money Spike formerly had on him tonight. "Let's go celebrate at the pub, Florrie."

Beaming at her husband, Florence Capp contentedly went down the street with Andy Capp for drinks together.