Rating: R (Warning: Strong language, sexual innuendo, bit of violence)
Summary: A day in the life of two vampires, Drusilla and Spike, fun, hi-jinks, incarceration and German beer ensue. Set 1933, Berlin, during the Cabaret era.
A/N: This fic was written for the Decades Challenge: 1900-1960. Special thanks to yourlibrarian for the very helpful beta job, although I did quite a few alterations to the end, so if there are mistakes, they are all completely mine.
We crossed the bridge over the Havel River just as dusk began to lay its dark blanket out and all the pretty things came out to play. Spike dropped my hand from where he'd tucked it into his arm, and sauntered ahead of me. Then he turned back, grinning at me.
"Lovely, innit, princess?"
I giggled because it was the stars who were dancing a pretty jig across the water and I turned my head to look over the other side. The grave statues of the ancient men whispered no secrets, just stood there and looked at me. That reminded me and I swung my head back and forth, back and forth, just to feel the hair swirl about my head. My white knight, but now dark of head, had advanced onward, not realising the new game I played with my hair — swish, swish. I heard his footsteps coming back toward me. He always did that, returned to me, over and over, even in my waking dreams.
But I didn't want to think of the last time I was here with Papa and Grandmamma. Then I had been such a young girl, and Daddy had had to teach me oh so many lessons. I was a good pupil, I think, once upon a time.
"Dru?" Spike said.
"Yes, my poppet?" My hair kept swinging backward and forward and the lights on the water danced only for me.
"What do you want to do tonight? Shall we find ourselves a nice cafe and drink some tea? And find some nice young virgin's neck to warm the tea for us?"
I didn't answer for I was listening to another voice.
"Drusilla! Stop playing with your hair. It's a very nice 'do, but I'm getting hungry and want to find some games to play."
"Come on, princess. Let's have a little wander and see what's happening in Berlin. Was chattin' with a vamp yesterday who was tellin' me of this place, the Red Grape, where all the hip, young things go. Just up your street — bit of decadence, satire, Dadaism and bloodplay. What do you say?"
Sometimes my Spike knew me oh so cleverly well. I clapped my hands, wishing we were already there.
Taking our seats in the sultry, cavernous club, Drusilla looked around, eyes wide in excitement, mouth open in that glazy, dreamlike expression when something new caught her attention. Something that distracted her.
"I'm sure Miss Edith would be right at home here, my Spike. Look at all the other pretty dollies." And indeed the audience was a sight to behold — the blacks and blood-reds of the underworldly colours in their shortened skirts, painted faces, shirtless torsos.
Some humans knew how to put on a show.
"Meinen Damen und Herren. Mesdames et Messieurs. Ladies and Gentlemen! Guten Abend, bonsoir, good evening. Wilkommen im Cabaret. Bienvenue au Cabaret. Welcome to the Cabaret. Wie geht's? Comment ça va? Do you feel good? Ich bin euer conférencier, je suis votre compère, I am your host. And may I present to you for tonight's entertainment die schoenste, la belle, the lovely Ingrid Bauchmann!!"
And on the stage appeared a most exquisite beauty; porcelain pure white skin, deep luscious curling red hair shimmering down her back, small black dress cut for kissing the knees, with spangling gold flecks catching the light and imagination.
Descending the stage to mingle with her enraptured audience, she started singing:
"Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß
Auf Liebe eingestellt,
Ich kann halt lieben nur
Und sonst gar nichts."
I was mesmerized. But something told me Drusilla wasn't quite so tickled pink.
My Spike had become smitten with the florid harlot on the stage, and I wondered if his dreams soared to making her his own. But I knew better. After all, Daddy always told him to guard his perimeter, and we all knew that meant not turning a creature you loved. Daddy had been right, hadn't he?
We had come to have a different evening and all Spike could do was gaze like a lovelorn poet at a girl who was only singing. I saw her life and it was paper and stone; she only painted herself for glory.
Because it was merciless, but more for my own amusement, I spotted a jolly little fellow sitting on the other side of the room. He had all sorts of constrictions tying him up and the music whispered that he would create a bloody pantomime, though I wasn't sure whose blood it would be.
A couple of bottles of schnapps later and I was sozzled. Well gone. Out the door and into the land of the bloke carousing and dancing with the prettiest human in the room. Her blood pulsed around me.
Unfortunately, gone was what Drusilla was 'n all.
I peered around the room trying to find her laughing face in the blurring crowd but it was hopeless.
The little Fräulein wiggled herself further into my arms and demanded I go back to her one-bedroom apartment. Something I've always found difficult to refuse.
Once out on the street it was a confusing mess of tumbling legs, inspired bosom-clutching and slobbering kisses until all of a sudden we ground to a halt, because there were a couple of burly police-type gents blocking the way. A shorter fellow, dressed to the nines in his Sunday best, stood to one side, with none other than Drusilla on his arm. He had a contemplative, distant expression in his eyes. Bloody, buggering, hell.
"Polizei," my little friend shrieked and scampered away like a mouse fleeing the hawk.
I rounded on the two hefty gentlemen and in my most cultured German tones suggested, "How's a bout a knees-up then?" and lunged for them.
The thing I didn't expect was the electric shock coming out of the device one of them held in his hands. Sent me skitterin' skyward before kissing the pavement. One of them planted a rather heavy boot on my back but I bloody squirmed nonetheless.
"You've been a naughty boy, Spike. Tsk tsk! Miss Edith hadn't said you were allowed to play in the henhouse. And you hurt Miss Edith's feelings."
"Dru. Baby. Honey, 'm sorry. Was just a bit of sport, some play. Besides, was gonna save some for you."
Before I could plead anymore, she continued, "Mr Klöckers has told me all about this exquisite place where they put insubordinate boys like you. He calls them degenerates. I'm not so certain but Miss Edith thought it would be the right and proper punishment for you."
The right and proper punishment turned out to be a jail in the Bahnhofsviertel. Inside were all sorts of misshapen maladroits sleeping, singing and swearing off their hangovers. I hung about the edges intermittently bumming a fag off anyone who'd give me one.
I wondered if I could drain the lot of them.
Herr Klöckers ended up tasting of pain, fractured torture and a bit of cherry liqueur. He had a very comfortable, plush apartment where I slept him off for quite a few hours. Yum! Yum!
The problem with Drusilla, I pondered, whilst trying to block out the overbearing snoring problem of one or two of the larger co-occupiers of the cell, was that she didn't often distinguish fair from fair. To be sure, I may dabble in and out of the field sometimes, but she knew there was an element of amusement to be had in playing with my food.
And, well, maybe she'd had to teach me that, and after some years I'd gained an insight into the delights of learning a little patience — letting a girl orgasm first before biting into her neck, or vamping out in the middle of a particularly sinister discussion with my prey, rather than right at the beginning, because the blood was syrupy with sex and fear.
Dru herself was always up for a diversion, but usually when she was the ringmaster. Damned unreasonable of her.
Not only had she bloody well denied me that particular pleasure (the girl and her sweetened blood), but she was off sampling her own addictive need for power, leaving me cooling my heels for no good reason. Drusilla never stuck to the rules of the game from one city to another, and whilst it's all very well to whip the chair out from under my feet, it'd be easier if she hadn't made nice with the one and only bloke in the room with a decent amount of clout, the police commandant, who'd decided I'd benefit from a bit of R&R in an overcrowded jail cell. And if the tables were turned I just knew I'd be scrabbling at the doors, moving heaven and hell to free her.
And where was she? Supping on the finer elements of his wine cellar, probably.
And, I needed another cigarette again.
At close to six o'clock, when I peered at my dinner's lovely, tinkling clock, I thought it might be time to collect Spike.
Only he wasn't where he was supposed to be. Naughty, disobedient Spike.
Throughout the day, I took surreptitious quaffs from a few of the Krauts sleeping around the edges, making sure to choose only the ones already incapacitated so that when the bloodloss knocked them out, nothing changed in their demeanour. Wouldn't pay for the wardens to get too suspicious. And while I could handle myself in a fight, it really just depended on how big the fight was and where the sunlight was falling. The instant rush of blood dulled the liquor and gave me a reservoir of speed and energy that helped me to clamber out of the prison windows when the last rays of the sun had disappeared.
And to whose feet should I fall but Laurel and Hardy, patrolling the perimeter, who'd captured me in the first place. This time, I knew what to do. Vamping out, I leapt for them, kicked one in the ghoulies, did a sort of pirouette and aimed my boot for the other's gonads. Was a treat to seem them squirming on the ground; and their heads squashed like ripe melons under my boot, sending blood and brains and gore across the pavement and gurgling down the drain.
When I finally found my Spike, he was lurking in a little tavern, cuddling up to a very large glass filled with beer. There was a black dog wending through his crossed legs and a lightning and thunderstorm playing across his head.
Sometimes, I could predict Spike, even without the help of the kindly fairies. I knew he was mad; mad with me, and mad at the world, because he could be such a sweet, young thing at times. Even though it chagrined me, it was always important to keep him in line; when Daddy had been around I hadn't needed to pay as much attention to all his many misdemeanours, and he could be such a wicked, naughty boy.
But because of the nastiness, that shall not be named, it was up to me to instruct Spike in all the most important lessons. I had to teach him how to be a vampire.
Even though I must try and be the hard task-mistress, keeping him in line made such pretty games, because he was my white knight. And I his princess, wrapped in furs, despite the fact that he didn't coo enough about my new hair.
I didn't notice her until she stopped right in front of me, opening her mouth for a tongue-probing kiss, which then followed with, "I begged Miss Edith to come and find you, and she said alright, but we're both not very happy."
"You're not very happy!" was my indignant reply, slamming my Weissbier into the wall behind her. "I just spent most of the night and day with a disgusting, sickening mess of humanity. I refuse to speak German. Ever again. On bloody principle. Now we're going to Barcelona. And I'm not taking no for an answer."
So, it was good to have my Spike back again, all fighting and firing and passion and indecent licentiousness, even if it took a while for his temper tantrums to turn to action, all for me and mine alone. But when we took a sweet little boat trip away from the city, the stars on the water told a tale of Spike swimming and swimming and swimming. He was as mad as he could ever be, and just because he hadn't listened to his Mummy. Again. I smiled my sly, salacious smile, all the while as he licked at me, knowing Spike would get his real comeuppance soon.
- fin -
A/N: The German song is translated thus:
"Love's always been my game
Play it as I may
I was born that way
Can't help it."
and comes from the song "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt", written by Friedrich Holländer, performed by Marlene Dietrich in Blue Angel.