Word count: 644
Prompt: Nekid Numbers – Dru, Igloo, Hula Hoop (for the nekid_spike community)
Summary: ICEHOTEL brings out the child in guests of all ages.
December 22, 1996
Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, Sweden
They rounded the last bend and Drusilla gasped with wonder at the sight before them. A magnificent fairytale castle sat on the banks of the river, all carved out of ice and lit from within.
“Oh Spike,” she breathed. “You’ve found the most ingenious igloo to keep the bears away while we rest.”
“More than that, pet. There’s a bar in there, 80 rooms of guests, and not a drop of sun for days to come. What I call a smorgasbord, my love. Happy Christmas.”
She shivered with anticipation, though the doorman ushering them into the lobby probably put it down to the extreme cold. In her long sable coat and matching hat, she felt only the admiring glances of the humans. She looked around her with interest. Oh, but this was delightful! The benches and tables were all carved or built of ice. Entire walls glowed, fountains sparkled here and there, and little lights blinked gaily within carefully arranged ice blocks.
“Have they captured the snow fairies?” she asked Spike, once he was finished with the man at the desk.
“Don’t think so, my queen. Probably LEDs or some such.” Dru felt a twinge of disappointment, but Spike dangled a carrot. “Shall we take a sauna, then?”
The fairies forgotten for now, she followed him, exclaiming, “Will there be birch switches, do you think? The cold dip is very invigourating, and the hot room is very nice, but I think I like the switches best.” She hummed happily.
There were birch switches aplenty, and they drove the other occupants of the sauna away with their enjoyment of them. It was the moaning that did it, Spike said, kissing her roughly. Eventually, the heat and the switching built up a powerful urge to cool down, and they streaked out to the ice pool, Spike making a mighty splash as he leapt in, Drusilla slipping in sleek as a selkie. They bobbed happily in the cold water, looking up at the weirdly lit sky.
“Northern Lights,” commented Spike, contentedly. As Drusilla watched the shimmering colors and shifting patterns, the stars faded in comparison. It was disturbing, and she tried to concentrate, tried to feel her constant companions beyond the veil of the odd light show before her.
“It’s gone all wobbly, Spike,” she keened. “I feel the Earth spinning away, all crooked. It’s like a top at the end of its twirlings. Or, a hula hoop that’s stopped going round, and is winding down my legs. Or, perhaps, a yo yo that can’t quite climb the string.” She thought hard, fingers to temples. “No, that’s not right.”
“Hmmm,” mused Spike. “Sounds like I ought to sell off my stake in Wham-o, pidge.” He snorted through his nose, still disappointed at the lack of steam his breath made in the cold air, even after all these years. “You’ll feel better once you’ve had a bite to eat.”
But she didn’t. Even after their nightcap at the red-tinted ICEBAR, as she lay with her prince in their nest of reindeer furs spread atop the bed of ice blocks, she could feel the wobble, feel the tight, wrong rotation of the heavens.
“We’re up too high, Spike,” she finally decided. “We might spin right off the top of the world.”
“We just got here, Princess,” he sighed, knowing that his carefully planned sojourn in the darkness was already over, argue though he might.
“It’s lovely here, my Spike, and the people are keeping nicely, but the sky is all wrong. There isn’t anything to be done about it.”
“Alright, my dove. We’ll leave after breakfast. Perhaps we can make it to Prague in time for the New Year. Would you like that?”
Drusilla snuggled deeper into the furs, satisfied. Yes, after breakfast would do nicely. The room service here was delicious.