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Fic: One Good Date

Title: One Good Date
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1400
Characters: Spike/Dru
Summary: A small interlude in the continuing adventures of Spike and Drusilla in mid-century America. In this installment, Drusilla insists that they visit what Spike believes to be "the sappiest place on earth". Will he survive with his dignity intact?
A/N: Can be seen as a prequel/sequel to my drabble Home Sweet Home, but you need not read it for this to make sense. Gorgeous new banner by amyxaphania (formerly ducktheduck). Is it not beautiful?





August 1958

It was impossible to not be aware of the latest, greatest attraction in North America, and now that they were headed to California, Dru would no longer be put off.

“It’s simply full of pixies and princesses, Spike! I will always be your princess, never fear, but I should very much like to visit with the others. We shall have tea, and talk of our unreliable dressmakers. The fairies will dance for us, and we’ll get stars tangled in our petticoats.”

“Suppose so, Dru. Aren’t you worried about wicked queens and such?” He’d been making increasingly feeble attempts to discourage her from this course. Now he was just grasping at air.

“If I wasn’t a princess, I would wish to be a wicked queen. Maybe I will be, someday,” she mused thoughtfully. “No. Grandmummy will always be the wicked queen and I will always be the beautiful princess.”

Yes “grandmummy” was a wicked bitch, indeed, and it was all her fault that they were on this ridiculous side trip in the first place. Now that was a thought…

“You know, Dru, Darla isn’t going to be happy that we are dragging our feet like this. Summoned us for a job, she did, and perhaps we’d best go straight there. She’s liable to make us pay for dillydallying this way.”

“Do you really think so, Spike?” she said with excitement. “How wonderful. I do like grandmummy’s lessons so.”

He sighed. There was no getting out of this, so he might as well make the best of it.



An hour past sundown the next evening, they pulled into the Magic Kingdom parking lot. He was grumpy from rising early after a long drive, and he hadn’t had his breakfast. Fortunately, across the aisle and down a few cars, a harried couple with a tired young child were packing up their car for the drive home, so they were able to break their fast without any trouble.

Feeling much better, they ambled up to the front gates with a few other latecomers. He pulled out the harried dad’s wallet and splurged on a couple of deluxe admission ticket books, $5.25 each. At prices like these, you’d think the place was Fort Knox or something. At least their snacks would be free of charge.

Once through the turnstile, Drusilla twirled up Main Street, U.S.A, peeking into the windows of the sham barbershops and mock milliners, chattering all the while that they must be there for the pixies’ use and “how wonderful”. Spike stood back and admired the way her crisp white skirt with red stripes flared out from her tiny waist and flowed and bounced playfully around her legs. He lit a cigarette and leisurely followed her convoluted path. When she came to the plaza in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, she stopped to stare.

“Pretty, but then you’ve seen the real thing, pet,” drawled Spike.

She nodded silently, and started toward the drawbridge. Spike caught up with her and slung a casual arm over her shoulders, and together they walked under the arch. Once through, she stopped to look accusingly back the way they’d come.

“It’s all hollow Spike. Not a proper castle at all. There’s no dungeon below, nor cauldrons of molten lead up above. It’s more a cake than a castle.”

“True enough, princess. Without thorns and dragons, it leaves very little for a handsome prince to get up to. Bit boring, really.”

“How did you know there was to be a dragon?” she asked curiously.

“A brave knight’s got to have a dragon or somesuch to slay, or he’s not a proper knight, that’s how,” he stated simply, nuzzling her hair.

She hummed her assent, and put her hand over his heart, fingertips digging in slightly, not tearing the cloth of his shirt, but bringing a sting to his flesh nevertheless. He closed his eyes and hissed his appreciation. She chuckled at that, saying, “You are the bravest of them all, my Spike.”

“Too right,” he growled, wishing he had some way to demonstrate his bravery, or at least his ardor, right this moment. However, her attention was already captured by the next manufactured delight, and he had to content himself with lifting her up onto a white carousel horse, where she sat modestly sidesaddle. He rode next to her for one go-round, but then dismounted to have a smoke. He dutifully returned her wave each time she went round, feeling ridiculous.

He followed as she then flitted over to watch the madly spinning teacups with wide eyes. After a few minutes, he guided her to the entrance and settled them into their very own cup. The ride started up, and they began to slowly swing around in lazy arcs. Drusilla was keening excitedly, and Spike gave the little wheel coming out of the floor a few hard twists, and they spun faster and faster. Drusilla threw her head back, hair flying, as she laughed. Just when it seemed they couldn’t go any faster, a fanfare rang out, and fireworks began bursting overhead.

The multicolored lights blurred crazily as they spun, remaking themselves into ever more intricate upside-down sideways patterns. The booming of the explosions melded into his hoots and her shrieks, until reaching a crescendo that made them feel as if they were weightless and floating up, up, up toward a sparkling, glistening blackness. The teacups began to slow, and they smiled lazily at each other as their senses returned to normal.

“That was all right, love. I take back all my discouraging words,” said Spike softly into her ear, as he helped her out of their cup.

“Silly Spike,” she laughed. “It wasn’t real bombs, you know. The castle wasn’t really under siege at all. It was just pretend.” She looked around, making sure they wouldn’t be overheard, and then leaned in to whisper, “It isn’t really magic, either. It’s gears and oil and human cleverness all painted in pretty colors. Worse, they haven’t used enough red paint.”

He smiled down at her. “You don’t say, ducks. How clever you are, to see all that,” he teased. She nodded proudly, and led him to the next ride.

They sailed over London in a flying pirate ship, narrowly escaped death while riding in a Tin Lizzy with a madcap amphibian, and finally, went down a rabbit hole in a garishly-colored caterpillar. Spike rather liked the funny motorcar ride, which reminded him distinctly of their early experiences with the horseless carriage, but Drusilla was mad for the Alice in Wonderland ride. They went round and round, until the ride operator told them that it was time to close. Then Spike got out and “supervised” the boy while Drusilla rode the ride by herself. When she had finally had enough, he presented her with the hapless fellow for dinner. When she was done, she licked her lips, and surveyed her work.

“I’ve painted the roses red, my Spike. Aren’t they lovely now?”

“Never so lovely as you, petal.”

They ambled down the deserted avenue, swinging their clasped hands and smiling goofily at each other.

“Even if the pixies and the princesses are all make believe, it’s great fun to play pretend, don’t you think, Spike?” she asked. Spike allowed that it was. He’d often been without a playmate as a human. Having one now, in Drusilla, ranked up toward the top of the lengthy list of things that were better since he’d died.

“Always fun playing with you, blossom. Wouldn’t mind playing a bit more, mind…”

“Don’t you want to hurry along to grandmummy?” she asked with a quirking mouth.

“Sunnydale is only 3 hours up the coast, poppet. We can easily get there tomorrow evening, which will be plenty soon enough for me. Not eager to get started springing the Master, myself. He’s able to make the lightest work feel like, well, work.”

“Well then, I’ll just have to find a game for us to play tonight,” said Drusilla. Her eyes were full of promise, and Spike could already feel the fireworks starting up again.

He might be a sap, but he was happier now than he’d ever been in life. Not even Darla and ol’ Batface would be enough to make him forget this feeling.

She poked him in the chest and cried, “You’re it!” He smiled wolfishly, and gave her a 10-second head start.

FIN

More Author's Notes:
1. You could get into Disneyland for $3.25 in 1958, so Spike's just showing off by paying the extra $2.
2. Neuschwanstein, near Munich, Germany, built for Mad King Ludwig, was the model for Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
3. All the rides (and the fireworks) mentioned were open and operating in 1958. The Sleeping Beauty movie, however, wouldn't be out until 1959, so the dragon bit wasn't well known, yet.
4. For a fun story about Spike and Dru's earlier adventures with motorcars, see shadowlass’ excellent story, Tin Lizzy.

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
snickfic
May. 4th, 2009 06:29 am (UTC)
Oh, this was delightful. Bits I especially liked:

She hummed her assent, and put her hand over his heart, fingertips digging in slightly, not tearing the cloth of his shirt, but bringing a sting to his flesh nevertheless. He closed his eyes and hissed his appreciation.

This is so them.

“I’ve painted the roses red, my Spike. Aren’t they lovely now?”

“Never so lovely as you, petal.”


Hee. Clearly Dru's either read the book (was that in the book?) or seen the movie. (And I now have the song stuck in my head, darn you!) And so utterly appropriate that she liked Alice in Wonderland best - "We're all mad here."

Bravo!
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
My hazy memory of the ride is that, near the end, the "painting the roses red" song plays repeatedly. (It is necessary to go on the "Small World" ride to get the song out of your head, alas.) I'm pretty sure there are also cutouts of white roses being splashed with red. I'm sure this would appeal mightily to Dru.

Thanks for commenting! I'm so happy you liked it!
(Deleted comment)
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it. I can't seem to stop myself from putting little factoids at the end of my "historical" stories, so this time is was the castle! Thanks for commenting.
petzipellepingo
May. 4th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
He might be a sap, but he was happier now than he’d ever been in life. Not even Darla and ol’ Batface would be enough to make him forget this feeling.

Poor Spike, if only he knew...

And this was fun, Dru is the perfect Disneyland visitor although I suspect Walt was a little put out about all those deaths.
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
I'm betting Spike is able to give Darla and the Master a run for their money. Stay tuned. Well, actually don't stay tuned, because I have no idea when I'll actually get round to writing that chapter of the story. Someday. Probably.

Heh. I thought Disneyland would appeal to a part of Dru's nature, though she would end up slightly disappointed, because the fairies aren't as real as the ones she already talks to. Still, they usually manage to have fun.

Thanks for commenting!
zanthinegirl
May. 4th, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
I do love Spike and Dru; they had such great chemistry. You write them very believably here. I like the way you write Drusilla. Canon Dru always has a method and meaning behind her madness; Spike seemed to be able to interpret her. Your Dru feels very canon to me!

rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words about "my" Dru! She has so many facets. I'm not sure I've ever been able to capture all of them in one story. I felt that my recent ones had been light on the childlike aspect of her character, so this was an attempt to work on that a bit. I'm so pleased that it worked for you!

Thanks for commenting!
hello_spikey
May. 4th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Darling this was delightful! Like cake! :D

*twirl* I love how Spike is reluctant and yet charmed. And I can just imagine Dru daintily sitting side-saddle on a merry-go-round. :D

And I adored this line:
“True enough, princess. Without thorns and dragons, it leaves very little for a handsome prince to get up to. Bit boring, really.”


Heeeee. Spike and Dru forever!! His romantical side and her whimsy!

oh, and the madness and evil and stuff, too... *whistles, kicks body under park bench*
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
So happy to delight you! "Like cake," you say? *blushes*

Heh. They are a fun couple, aren't they? One that I hope never to meet face-to-face. There's this great essay on "Spike and Courtly Love" (let me know if I should dig around for a link), that has all sorts of interesting stuff about his "romantic" side, in the older sense of the word.

I'm so pleased you think I was able to bring out the whimsy, romance, evil and madness of these two. That's what it's all about, right? Thanks for commenting.
sockmonkeyhere
May. 4th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
Love, love, LOVE this ficlet, from start to finish! Dialogue like this is just made of Dru, and so pretty:

we’ll get stars tangled in our petticoats.”

And THIS line made me spit Dr. Pepper through my nose:

“Silly Spike,” she laughed. “It wasn’t real bombs, you know."

BwaHAAAA! Dumb me; I'd assumed that they were admiring the beauty of the fireworks in the normal human way...and then I saw "It wasn't real bombs" and realized that they were admiring the fireworks in the Addams Family way: by pretending that the castle was being torpedoed. XD BRILLIANT!

*runs off to rec' it at Cold Dead Seed*
http://www.fuzzyshark.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=173296#173296

Would it be okay with you if I nominated it at some fanfic award sites?
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Don't rec me, Mr. Fox! Heh. I'm totally lying. Rec me, nom me, make me write bad checks...

I'm so happy you enjoyed this. When I read your comments, I realized that the "molten lead" bit is all Addams Family, as well. Oh well, why not steal borrow from the best, eh?

I figure that these guys would have already experienced a lot of the things displayed here in their original (less sanitized) versions. It could increase their enjoyment, in a "isn't it cute how he's wearing daddy's shoes" kind of way.

That rec page at CDS is made of awesome. I'm totally mining it.

Thanks for your super-nice comments!
(no subject) - sockmonkeyhere - May. 4th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
louise39
May. 4th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was enchanting! Sparkling Dru dialog: “It’s all hollow Spike. Not a proper castle at all. There’s no dungeon below, nor cauldrons of molten lead up above. It’s more a cake than a castle.”

Love Spike as he gets into the adventure: “A brave knight’s got to have a dragon or somesuch to slay, or he’s not a proper knight..."

They are so whimsical, it's easy to forget the hidden horror.
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks! I'm so happy that you liked it. They are very captivating characters, in both senses of the word, so I'm glad I was able to convey a bit of that duality to you.

Thanks for commenting!
shapinglight
May. 4th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
That was delightful. I could see Disneyland appealing to those two.

And they're on their way to Darla. Squee!
rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yes, yes. One step closer to that Sunnydale adventure with Darla. I figured early on that any leisure trip down Route 66 in 1958 would naturally end up in Disneyland. Especially if you have a child with you. Such as Dru. Spike would just naturally fall into boyfriend mode on such an outing. He might grumble, but we know what a pushover he is!

Thanks for commenting.
mere_ubu
May. 4th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
He rode next to her for one go-round, but then dismounted to have a smoke. He dutifully returned her wave each time she went round, feeling ridiculous.

The whole thing is so delightful, but this line in particular made me guffaw and draw the judgmental stares of my co-workers. So worth it! Poor Spike; he really is the world's most tolerant boyfriend. (I accidentally typed "boyfiend" first. Same diff, right?)

I continue to adore your Spike and Dru and their perfect voices to bits and pieces. Also? This was just what I needed to dispel my gray Monday afternoon blahs. Nothing like a magical fairyland of winsome evil to cheer a girl up! *g*

rebcake
May. 4th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! "Boyfiend!" Sounds like a story prompt to me...

¡Yay! I'm happy to banish those nasty blahs, even a little. I'm counting the days for you, you know.

It makes me so happy that you love my Spike and Dru to bits and pieces. Trouble is, they might do the same to you! Mwahahahahaha!
treadingthedark
May. 5th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
That was absolutely lovely fun! Thanks.
rebcake
May. 5th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!
riccadonna
May. 5th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC)
You know, I was worried that Drusilla would give Spike a hard time for finding that the magic wasn't really there, but it was fun that she would "explain" it to him.
A lovely swan song for the two of them before the Sunnydale debacle...
rebcake
May. 5th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind comments. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

I'm starting to think that it isn't super-clear that this takes place 40 years before the Season 2 trip to Sunnydale, though. Okay, 39 years. Whatever. I'm going to make some changes in Spike's dialog to make that clearer, I think.

This whole wacky 1958 jag of mine started with a fantas_magoria prompt asking why Spike says "Home, sweet home," when we first see him arrive in School Hard. I decided he'd been there before, probably at the behest of Darla. Now I keep working out all the shenanigans he and Dru might've been up to at this point in history.
(no subject) - riccadonna - May. 5th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
goldenusagi
May. 7th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
"I should very much like to visit with the others"

Dru would totally want to go to Disneyland!
rebcake
May. 7th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
Fairy tales can come true (it can happen to you) if you're young at heart...

Problem is, Dru's fairy tales are more the Brothers Grimm versions than the Disney versions. Still, I like to think she enjoyed "playing pretend". Thanks so much for commenting!
missus_grace
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm cracking up imagining these two wandering around Fantasyland. But there wasn't much else going on in 1958 - I can't imagine what they'd get up to in the Haunted Mansion!

Great ficlet!
rebcake
Jun. 9th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, it would be much too early for the Haunted Mansion, alas. Frontierland may have been operational. I did look it up, but it's been awhile. However, Drusilla would definitely be drawn to the fairytale stuff. I can see Spike sneaking off to try his skill at the rifle range or something, though.

I'm so glad you enjoyed their little vacay! Thanks for commenting!
moscow_watcher
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this gem! Terrific story, creepy and hilarious at the same time. Wonderful Spike and Dru voices.

Oh - and I'm looking forward to reading your Seasonal Spuffy entry! :)
rebcake
Jun. 9th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
¡Yay! I was worried I'd post the link and everybody would be all, "Ho hum. That old thing?" But I always miss stuff and am happy to have the link show up again, so I took the chance.

I'm really happy you liked it! I always love doing these guys at this time, though it's been months since I added anything. They just seem to fit in with the mid-Century American zeitgeist of youth culture. Or something. Thanks for commenting!

Yes, I am looking forward to my Seasonal Spuffy entry being finished! Why are deadlines the only thing that can get me to write? Curses!
terendel
Jun. 9th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
Awesome Dru line: “It’s simply full of pixies and princesses, Spike! I will always be your princess, never fear, but I should very much like to visit with the others. We shall have tea, and talk of our unreliable dressmakers. The fairies will dance for us, and we’ll get stars tangled in our petticoats.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
rebcake
Jun. 9th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Tee! Our Dru does have a way about her. *loves*

Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know which bit stood out for you!
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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