Title: Begonias in the Belfry

Author: cherryarachnid

Feedback: Constructive, please.

Distribution: Contact me first, but I'll probably be okay with it.

Rating: T – may change later, but we'll see.

Spoilers: Probably a few.

Disclaimer: The main characters do not belong to me, obviously.

Author's Note: I have not read EVERYTHING that is canon Buffy, so my apologies if I've stepped on any continuity or story lines. If I have, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Spring 1995 - Prague

"You can't possibly be unhappy already, Love, we've only been here a couple of days." Spike was lounging in the burgundy settee which had been moved away from the enormous window and placed in the center of the opulent room. There were numerous windows in the room, as well as other rooms throughout the old, dusty mansion, but all were decorated with heavy, lined, wine-colored drapes, which had been pulled tightly closed.

In one corner of the spacious sitting room, on a plush sofa, sat an elderly couple, sitting side by side, leaning against one another. Had they been alive still, it would have been endearing. In death, however, it was grisly. Both of them were drawn and pale, completely drained of blood. Their eyes would be forever open in terror.

"You really should have done as I asked and kept them alive so that we could have fed from them a bit, Pet," Spike gestured at the elderly pair. "We're going to have to hunt, now."

"I couldn't help myself, I do love a tea party." She giggled like a young girl - a broken girl - and Spike ignored the barely relevant response, instead, watching Drusilla float across the room, back and forth, swaying, humming to herself. She was lovely. She was also bat guano crazy. He understood her, though, even her most bizarre ramblings. Angelus had always lost his temper at her non-sequeter statements, not having the patience to translate what Spike had learned was often prophecy, or at the very least, a tidbit that came in handy.

Darla had offered her to Angelus because she was a seer and Angelus had tortured her because she had been young, pure and devout, but neither had bothered to take advantage of her gift. It was a relief to be free of both of them, even if it was only a temporary absence. It didn't seem to matter how long they were separated, however, Dru eventually wanted to go back to her "daddy". It turned his stomach.

Spike glowered and upturned a bottle of Jack Daniel's so that the hot liquid slid down his throat. He hadn't found the new Slayer yet and Dru already wanted to move on. He would have to hurry or she would become insistent to the point of insanity. He never worried that she would hurt him, but she would hurt herself or do something that would capture the attention from whom they tried so hard to stay hidden.

While he wasn't afraid to kill and cause a scene, he had learned not to start something that would bring out the torches and pitchforks. He greatly preferred a brawl to a manhunt, he definitely preferred hunter to hunted. A vampire never wanted to be the prey. As predators, it obviously wasn't in their nature. As a result, he had learned to become as discreet as he could, which took an enormous amount of will power on his part. Dru was a completely different story. She would do as he said unless he hurt her feelings or the mood struck her to do something completely different. She was a barely-reigned, chaotic faerie who could cause great damage without thinking of the results... or rather, she reveled in the results that he found so uncomfortable.

"Dru, Love, would you like to go for a hunt? It's nearly dark." Drusilla clapped her tiny, white hands together and hopped up and down, looking very much like a small child in her old fashioned frocks.

"Ooh, goodie, can we visit the children? Our last meal was rather past its prime." She aimed a derisive look at the couple on the couch.

He didn't really care for hunting children. The fight was more fun than the feast to him, so he shrugged and put on a sharp-toothed smile, "I'm going to go hunting for a Slayer, you can go find yourself some veal and we can meet back here for desert." He pulled her to him and kissed her violently, then let her go to pull one of the drapes back carefully. When he saw that the sun had set, he wrapped his dark duster around his shoulders, lit a cigarette and walked out the door into the darkness. Behind him, Drusilla's mouth turned down into a pout.

"Poor Drusilla, always left home with the kiddies while the men go chasing nasty women," she sang, while she pulled on her dark blue cloak that looked like it had been sewn a century prior. Then, she followed Spike into the night.

Spike's information was vague. He had been told, through multiple sources, that the Slayer had come into her powers in Prague. Much like the vampires, who had to die and be brought back as something not quite human, not quite demon, the Slayer would wait for the previous to die, and she would awaken into a demon/human hybrid. Spike often wondered what the mix was and how different the two actually were. He suspected that they were not as different as the Watchers' Counsel would have the little girls believe.

He supposed it didn't matter. It was his fate to kill humans, it was the Slayer's fate to kill vampires, which meant it was their fates to destroy one another. He wandered up and down the dark alleys. There were a few demon bars he would try for information in a little while, but for now, he wanted to see for himself what else was hunting in the dark.

He passed a couple of vampires. They recognized him for what he was and nodded their heads briefly but made no attempt to interact with him. Vampires were not generally very social creatures. When, on the rare occasion, they formed groups, usually from the same lineage, they would stay together for decades or centuries, even when betrayed by one another. His own Aurelius line was proof enough of that. He and Dru had travelled with Angelus and Darla for decades and it was a sport for Angelus to torture and humiliate him, even sleeping with Dru just to hurt him. He thought it was great fun that it could hurt him.

Dru didn't even understand what it did to him but Darla and Angelus thrived off of his pain. It figured that he would be love-sick in life and love-sick in death. He kicked at a beer can that had been left in the gutter and listened to it clang down the street.

It had been decades, and he was still brooding. What a ponce. He heard a scuffling noise up around the next corner and decided he would just grab the first meal he could and go back to the old house. He rounded the corner just in time to see a lithe young girl jamming a wooden stake into a small man's chest. He watched him burst into a cloud of ash.

"Hello there, Slayer," he whispered to himself. He watched her brush the ash from her jeans with a shudder. He nearly laughed, giving himself away. She still wasn't used to the mess. She was new.

He shadowed her for the rest of the night, not too closely, though. He figured she hadn't quite worked out how to use her senses, but he didn't want to test it. He wanted to know where she was, but he wasn't ready to fight her yet. Rather, she wasn't ready to fight him. He craved the challenge. If he just wanted a quick kill, he could grab any girl off the street.