A/N: So I had this idea sitting for months on my hard drive, and one day in March I decided to dig it out. So I spent an entire day working on an outline (which I almost never do) and it became this epic series rewrite – and I realized that was not at all what I wanted. And so I scrapped the whole thing and wrote this instead… Some events from Season 2 will be mentioned, some will never take place, but there will be very little transcription or rewrites – there may not even be much dialogue of any kind. This is simply a (sometimes melancholy) story about two lonely, confused, people finding love where they least expect it. I hope you enjoy.

And if someday you'd like to see that epic rewrite? Let me know, I haven't deleted the outline ^_^

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All recognizable characters, dialogue, plot points, settings, etc. are copywrite Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Television, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB Television Network.


The bar was small, seedy, grungy . . . Not enough lights (not that that'd ever bothered him), too much noise. The smell of alcohol and vomit stung his nostrils. Smell of sweat too. Sweat and vomit and blood.

The bar was small, seedy, grungy . . . and human.

Because you couldn't wallow in true misery in a demon bar. Was like to get a bloke killed.

Spike raised his empty glass and the bartender quickly refilled it without a word having been exchanged. He knew what Spike wanted. Should. Spike had been here . . . well, he couldn't remember how long he'd been here, but it'd been quite some time. God bless twenty-four hour taverns.

He couldn't quite remember how he'd come to be here, the result of one or ten drinks too many, but that was alright with him. The people here spoke something not English – he thought it might be German. He'd been pretty good with German once upon a time, but ever since those damn Nazis had stuck him in that submersible tin can in the forties he'd had a bit of an aversion to it. Tried to avoid the whole damn country whenever possible.

He wasn't sure how he'd come to be here now. But then, he couldn't remember the last time he'd not been drunk and when he was drunk his feet went where they willed without first consulting his head.

Downing his whiskey in a single go he decided it didn't matter. One bar was as good as the next, regardless of what country it was in. And Germany was father to some damn fine brews.

At least he hadn't headed farther north. He hated mid-summer in the northern regions. Too much damn sun, not enough dark. Hell, all of Europe was too far north for a respectable vamp to summer in. He knew they should have gone to Rio, but, no, Dru had insisted on coming to bloody Prague.

A sob attempted to choke him and he quickly secured another whiskey, this time snatching the bottle when the barkeep came close to pour. Abandoning the glass he took a deep swallow straight from the bottle. Time to work on that forgetting.

But alcohol was a damn fickle mistress, especially when one had vamp metabolism, and forgetting apparently wasn't in the cards tonight.

Every time he closed his eyes he saw it.

If only he'd been able to get to her in time. If only she'd listened and not gone out on her own. But no, she'd been laughing and dancing and searching for her "Daddy", as if he hadn't abandoned them gone on eighty years ago now.

Dru's damn daddy. Was his fault, this was, all of it. If he hadn't run off, if he hadn't broken Spike's dark princess in the first place.

Damn Angelus and his bloody mind games. Hell couldn't come for that bastard soon enough.

The longer he sat there the more he stewed on it and the more he wished his grandsire was around so that he could thrash him. Damn Irish bastard never had given them a reason for his disappearance: one day he was trailing after them through China like a lost puppy (never had been right since he'd done in that gypsy girl), the next he was gone without so much as a by-your-leave. At first they thought he was taking a walk-about – he did that occasionally. Darla went so far as to wish him good hunting and speculate that he'd come back his old self.

Only he never came back at all and they never were able to find him. Darla left them not long after that, and good riddance too, but Dru had never been the same. Always missing her daddy.

If Spike could see the berk now he'd have a thing or two to settle with him, starting with a lesson on why you never abandon your childe, especially one you bloody well made damn near completely dependant on you.

Bloody prick.

Ought to do it. Ought to track the bastard down and give him what for.

The thought gave Spike a bit of energy. Yeah, that's what he'd do. He'd find Angelus and beat some answers out of him, or some sense into him, whichever. Maybe both if he was lucky. If nothing else he could make the bastard sorry for what he'd done; drown his pain in Angelus' screams as he'd not been able to do in whiskey.

Misery did love company.


Divorce sucked.

Not that Buffy Summers had ever been divorced. She'd never even been married. Heck, she'd only ever had one boyfriend. She wasn't too concerned about it, she was only sixteen. Plenty of miles left on her (and wasn't that a wince-worthy phrase); plenty of fish in the sea (and how did that even make sense? Why would she want to date a fish?).

Anyway, back to the point.

Divorce sucked. Divorce meant that even though she hadn't seen her dad since he'd cheated on her mom and forced them to move to Sunnydale six months ago, she was somehow supposed to be perfectly happy to be shipped off to his place in L.A. for the summer. Away from her new friends and her new life, with a father who didn't seem to know what to say to her if he wasn't yelling at her for burning down high school gymnasiums (which so, totally, hadn't been her fault – vampires! Hello?).

Yeah, so much fun.

In fact, the only part of the whole summer that didn't suck was the Absentee-Dad-Guilt inspired clothes shopping. She'd never owned so many pairs of cute shoes in her life.

Oh – and the whole no Hellmouth thing. Buffy Summers had spent an entire summer away from slaying and demons of any kind. That had not sucked at all. Especially considering that the last time she'd dealt with a vampire he'd killed her. Obviously she got better. And she'd killed him too, but, well, trauma all around. It was nice to get away from that. Not that she could talk to anyone about it anyway.

But tomorrow she was going back. Back to her mom who at least tried to talk to her, her friends who loved her but couldn't understand her, and vampires.

The dreams had already started. The slaying package should come with a disclaimer: this product has been known to cause hallucinatory type vivid dreams, which may or may not be prophetic.

Too bad she couldn't return it for a refund. She hadn't had a decent night's sleep in a week.

Yep, tomorrow she left this place where she mattered to no one and returned to the place where the whole world depended on her – whether they knew it or not.

Her life sucked.