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A couple things plus ... Fic: Voodoo Chile

First I want to wish Happy Birthday! Good Health! Happiness! to sockmonkeyhere, whose birthday it might not be, since the little minx doesn't post that particular tidbit anymore. I also want to take this opportunity to beg her, again, to give us more In Dreams. Chapter 11 just won't leave my head, what with the the Willow jumping to an Angel/Oz conclusion, and Angel clumsily hacking out a "miss ya" e-mail to Nina. (I recc'ed it at buffyversetop5, and I'd do it again, in a heartbeat.) It's great stuff, Socky! We haven't forgotten!

Second, is anybody else having the weird LJ userpic swap? A couple of times, I've had userpics just turn into something else. For instance, earlier this week, my homemade Spike/Dru icon turned into Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen is a fine entertainer and all, but I DON'T HAVE ANY OF HER ICONS! The first time it happened, I ended up with little collegiate cartoons of beer, instead of my usual cakes and Spike, so I changed my password. But then it happened again, and now I'm feeling tech challenged. How does this dad-blamed thing work?

Third, I'm a little nervous about posting this fic, as it didn't go where I intended. Not the era, not the style, not the content. It was supposed to be a 100-word drabble about lighting a cigarette. However, I am sick of not posting anything, so I'm gonna chance it. I'm just not sure if anybody will think it's interesting. It's another historical, but hardly what you'd call ancient history. If you disagree with that assessment, may I just say: Hey! Watch it!

Feedback appreciated.

Title: Voodoo Chile
Author: Rebcake
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1069
Characters/Pairing: Spike/Dru, Historical Real People
Warnings: History, but no song!fic!
Summary: Woodstock was only part of the story...

Originally posted at still_grrr for Prompt 100: Dead Like Me


He first heard Hendrix at a gig at Blaises late in ’66, and Swingin’ London instantly seemed to turn into something much weirder and more wonderful. Dru was mesmerized, lost in the new world spread before her like a sonic magic carpet. He didn’t get a word of sense out of her for days, not that that was such a rare occurrence. What was odd was seeing Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck stand in the back of the club, looking both miserable and as if they’d seen the moon rise for the first time.

A month later, at the Brian Epstein tribute at the Saville, it was the same thing all over again: a tsunami. Dru begged for more, so, against his better judgment, they went up to Darlington. The old hotel there wasn’t up to the challenge, and those monster amps blew every fuse in the place after 3 minutes. Now, that was fun. Spike created a little havoc in the dark, somebody made off with Jimi’s guitar, and a good time was had by all. Except the deceased, he supposed.

Jimi played all over Blighty that year, and they also caught a show in Germany at one point. Fortunately, Dru didn’t follow the news and he managed to avoid being dragged to the soddin’ Royal Albert Hall. Horrible old pile. Then the band was off to the U.S. for most of ’68, and Drusilla kept going on about India, so he thought that was that.

It wasn’t, and they ended up at Woodstock in ‘69. The night before Jimi was supposed to play, Spike kept noticing the way the lights created areolae on the beautiful, seductive, enticing night sky. He knew he could make love to it, the way it deserved, the way nobody ever had before. He barely noticed the dawn trickling in with “My Generation”, but Dru did, and she got them settled in for the day, somehow.

By the next night, he was once again in possession of himself, and realized after Johnny Winter finished up that there was no way Hendrix was going to be able to play before the sun was up again. In addition, that crap hippie caterwauling was driving him mad, with all its peace and love. (A little part of him thought that “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” was very nearly a fitting tribute for his blood-splashed princess, though he’d never, ever say so.) He managed to hustle Dru out of there before the mass exodus, and it wasn’t until a year later that she brought it up again.

They were spending a lazy summer’s afternoon in the bed of some obliging (now dead) hipster. As he got up to flip the LP, she sat up, suddenly.

“We’ve got to go say goodbye, Spike,” she said solemnly.

“Goodbye to what, then, ducks?” He blew a bit of lint off the disc, and placed it on the turntable.

“To the voodoo child, of course.” He dropped the needle and waited for the music to begin again.

“Not following you, Dru. Can say goodbye to any child you want, though. Whoever you like.”

“Goody! We’re going on a boat ride!”

He finally realized that he was going to have figure out what was going on, and turned to face her with a sigh.

“Darling, where are we going, exactly?”

+++

They caught a night ferry to the Isle of Wight, packed with kids. As dinner cruises go, it was ideal. Warm breeze. Crowding. Noise. Free love. Easy disposal of the empties over the side. Once arrived, Dru calmly led him across the island to the backstage area, looking briefly into the eyes of the security guards, as they passed. The fellow with the clipboard checked them off the list with less than a blink. Right useful, when she wanted to be, his Dru.

When she glided into the featureless room, the guitarist was sprawled on a tatty couch, mahogany amid various gray-faced individuals. He looked spent, but as soon as Dru entered, he rose, and reached out to her.

“You’re already here,” he rasped, exhausted.

“No, dear heart, today is not the day. We’ve come to say goodbye. Only right and proper, to say farewell to him who speaks the worlds.” She smiled, in full vamp face, took his outstretched hand and placed it above her heart.

Spike noticed that nobody else seemed to take notice of them. The ‘60s were really getting on his nerves. All this mystical bollocks was just de rigueur anymore. Tiresome, really.

“I’ve been seeing you, been writing you, been playing you. I thought I was dreaming…”

“Oh, but you were. Dream a little longer, child.”

Her demon faded away, and she returned his hand to him. He sat back down, and Drusilla sat beside him, speaking confidentially. Spike looked around for something to occupy himself while Dru granted this audience. Nothing really came to mind. These pathetic excuses were too strung out to be any fun. He sighed.

Before he knew it, the quiet conversation was winding down. Dru removed her silver choker, tied the red ribbon carefully around Jimi’s neck, and kissed him softly on the cheek. He touched the necklace wonderingly, then fumbled in the couch cushions a bit and pressed something into her hands. She rose, held out her hand to Spike, and out they went, her skirts swirling.

They watched the performance from the wings. At least, Spike did. Drusilla wasn’t so much watching as experiencing, which was the whole point, Spike thought. Hendrix, altogether more serene and powerful than the one they’d just left, walked on stage and lit up the sky with sound. Spike, like everybody else, couldn’t look away. At one point, the music stopped and a quiet “I've been dead a long time,” whispered over the sound system. Then Jimi stepped back from the mic and his guitar slashed back to life. When it was over and the band had left the stage, Dru pressed something into Spike’s hand.

“Burn it down, Spike. It needs a pretty fire.”

So he did. The stage blazed long enough for a grand exit. Goodbye, 1960s.

In a few weeks, the musician was dead. Spike figured there was no point in listening to another guitar solo for the rest of his existence. Lighting another cigarette, he admired his prize from Wight.

He was bloody fond of that lighter.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
riccadonna
Jan. 16th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC)
As I opened the comment box, Media Player randomly picked Long Hot Summer Night--I'm not making it up, I swear--and still I haven't words to tell you how much I liked this. A list: Spike and Dru were very lifelike so I could really see them, you didn't overdo Drusilla's abilities, and Spike was just merrily lethal and carefree and enamored with the world.
I loved the different gigs and the remark about the Albert Hall, and the way you described Spike's intoxicated state at Woodstock was perfect.
Next thing I do on the internet, I'm going to look for that choker, and this is the best ever way Spike could have acquired his lighter.
PS: Thou too, Rebcake! It's Townshend, not Townsend.

rebcake
Jan. 16th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Ack! It's fixed. Thanks for the save. There I was, worrying I was going to mess up with "Wight" and I didn't even see it!

I'm so pleased you liked this. All the gigs are real ones, though I did combine a couple of events. Thanks for your very kind comments about my characterization of these two! I didn't describe them much, since I didn't think Spike would be going on about hairdos or outfits, somehow. (I admit, I'm curious to know what his style would have been at this point.)

I might be doing a series of stories about the various ways Spike got the lighter, as I keep coming up with new possibilities. It's a subject that obsesses interests me.

The choker is clear in all the Isle of Wight footage on YouTube, so have fun. I did!
mere_ubu
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Sweet fancy Moses, woman, how do you come up with this stuff?! I adore your Spike and Dru, and, as always, I immediately found myself nodding and thinking, "Well, of course Drusilla would form some deep, mystical bond with Jimi Hendrix. And where else could that lighter have possibly originated?" You sell it so well, and Dru's connection with Jimi is terribly (by which I mean wonderfully, of course) touching.

He knew he could make love to it, the way it deserved, the way nobody ever had before.

Bwah! Dood, you are trippin'! Thank you for a) giving us a glimpse of Stoned!Spike and b)sparing us any description of what he might be wearing at any of these, er, happenings. The thought of him in beads and a dashiki is too distressing to contemplate for long. Also? I giggled out loud at Spike's sheepish admission to himself about "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." (Can CSN ever be applauded in any way but against one's will?)



Edited at 2009-01-16 10:54 pm (UTC)
rebcake
Jan. 17th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Heh! I figure Spike'd be fighting all his romantic impulses when sober, but once the stops were pulled, he'd be lovin' the whole wide world, the big softy. Of course, he'd be extra pissed-off once he came down.

And no, I really don't want to know what he might've been wearing, though we all know Dru had to have been a full-on Pearl-type hippie goddess, with long skirts, lace, floppy hats, and probably even granny glasses. However, MiAmor reports being at Newport (at which he claims to have seen Hendrix play, I kid you not), where he was approached by "the world's most beautiful hippie man", who was wearing jeans, boots and pinwheel eyes, but naught else. Although I wouldn't mind if Spike decided to take that tack, I know wishful thinking when I'm thinking it.

I'm glad you thought the Dru/Jimi connection wasn't awfully contrived. I don't like to think of these guys as star-frackers, chasing the Artists Of Today(TM), hence Spike's supreme indifference at being backstage. It did seem possible to me that all that consciousness-altering could lead a special person to the same plane Drusilla taps into, though.

Heh, when I looked up the Woodstock line-up, I just knew Spike had to walk out on CSN&Y. When I was a kid, though, whole other story...

Mille grazie for commenting, Mere. Happy Friday! Four-day weekend for McDiva! Inauguration Day coming down fast! Fingers tightly crossed!
snickfic
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
This was neat, although I think I'm not old enough to appreciate everything you have going on here - I know pretty much nothing about Jimi Hendrix. Still fun, with excellent character voices, as usual.

And I'm amused by the fact that when Spike's stoned, he's the one who obsesses about the stars. I think Spike stoned might be almost as much fun as Spike drunk...
rebcake
Jan. 17th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Ah well, history is history, once it's happened. WWII or Woodstock, it's all past now. Mini Hendrix primer: leading edge guitar god, worshiped by his peers (Townshend and Beck among them), often tripping on psychedelic drugs, with an affinity for naming songs things like Gypsy Woman, Spanish Castle Magic, Purple Haze, Stone Free, and of course, Voodoo Chile. Can you see why Dru might have keyed into his headspace? Died in 1970 at 26 (27?). There's more, of course, but that's about what I had before doing the research.

I think Spike stoned would've been brilliant and sweet and open, which is why he would absolutely HATE it once he came down. Heh. Not that I have any, you know, distant experience with such things. Not at all. *cough*
snickfic
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, I did know at least some of that stuff about Hendrix, so that makes me feel better.

I think Spike stoned would've been brilliant and sweet and open, which is why he would absolutely HATE it once he came down.

Now I *really want to see this,* both during and after.

I ran across this fic once that spent a little time on Spike and Dru at Woodstock, and mentioned that while he was stoned Spike had his only completely lucid conversation with Dru, which was a detail that I just loved. How appropriate! :p
rebcake
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
Just to clarify, what we have been calling stoned is more accurately termed tripping on powerful psychedelics. A far, far more intense experience than settling in with a little reefer. I know the story you mean, and it was fantastic! I think a_pretty_fire did it for a seasonal_sd round. It was a bit of inspiration for this, though hopefully I didn't cover the same ground. Thanks again for your helpful and encouraging comments!
snickfic
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
Clarification duly noted. And no, this didn't feel like a rehash at all. :)
a_pretty_fire
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I loved this! Spike's reactions to the music - Hendrix in particular - seemed perfectly real for the character, and I loved the way he and Dru sailed through life, just enjoying themselves. It's exactly how I like to imagine their relationship, and experiences, before Sunnydale. He was so casually bloodthirsty and cool and all of the other things I loved when I first watched him sail onto the screen in Season Two.
rebcake
Jan. 19th, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
I know you know where I'm coming from!

About the music, I wanted to give Spike an aesthetic reason to turn to punk, which I remember as being partially a reaction to the (seemingly) endless guitar solo. Having watched Hendrix essentially from beginning to end would certainly be reason enough to say "heard it", and be ready to move on. I imagine him getting really excited by jazz and that rockin' early rhythm and blues, as well. He's a guy who likes innovation and really expressive art, in my book.

As I was discussing with snickfic in another thread, how I go about capturing that casually bloodthirsty air (great description!) is to make the slaughter incidental to their other activities. No more important to the story than grabbing lunch would be for anybody else, in most cases. In over a hundred years of existence, there had to be plenty of things more memorable than what you had for dinner, right? Of course, there is the occasional really special *cough*slayer*cough* repast, and those are worth mentioning, as well.

Anyway, thanks for commenting, and I'm so glad you approve.
shapinglight
May. 4th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh boy, I'm so glad you linked to this! I love it. Absolutely perfect.

Bliss!
rebcake
May. 4th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Eeek! Look at your icon! OMG! I'm so happy that you liked it! Thanks for letting me know it made you happy!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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