It was the time of the Great War and vampires were in their element. They could rarely resist attending displays of bloodshed and war gave them the opportunity to wreak violence without fear of censure. Many blood drinkers travelled to the theatres of war to watch or to participate in the hostilities and Spike and Drusilla were no exception to this practice.
The trick was to pass as a soldier without actually getting caught up with the troops. In the confusion, an unwary vampire could be trapped with a regiment as dawn approached, and Spike had no desire to have to flee, and earn himself a shot in the back as a deserter. While it wouldn't be fatal to him, it would still sting, and be all kinds of humiliating besides.
This pretence had served Spike well thus far. Two nights ago, dressed in an appropriated uniform slightly too tight around the shoulders, Spike had given a British officer a cigarette. He'd thought this a rather merciful gesture, seeing as how the moment the man had finished it, exhaling the last puff of smoke with eyes closed in exultation, Spike had drained him dry.
Drusilla preferred to wait for quieter moments, when the battle ceased for a time, and the moon hung low over the horizon. She would haunt the soldiers, wandering around barefoot, wearing white filmy dresses and looking for all the world like a ghost. She would chant her strange, poetic sounding nonsense, or offer to comfort the weary men in her gentle embrace.
Valkyrie, some called her. Phantom, said others. Succubus, whispered a few. Nevertheless, more than a few succumbed to her charms, walking willingly to their deaths – and for some it was a swifter and kinder death than they would otherwise have met with.
When too many rumours started about her, she and Spike simply moved on to another battlefield, leaving a trail of dead soldiers behind. They cared little for the nationalities of their victims. This was not their war.
This latest battle was different. Drusilla sobbed and Spike, puzzled, asked why.
"Such a waste," she cried. "Look, all that lovely blood going to waste, feeding the ground instead of us. The ungrateful soil doesn't want it, and the moon laughs at us!"
The Battle of Albert, the first action in the Somme Offensive, was a massacre. Hundreds lay dead. Crows scavenged the corpses. The stench of blood and cordite was thick in the air. Instead of revelling in it though, Drusilla was upset and Spike sought, as always, to comfort her.
"Hush, love. There's plenty more where they came from. There's millions of people on the planet. A few dead here won't make a dent in our feeding grounds."
She turned her gaze, her eyes as always haunted by insanity, to him. "Promise?"
"Yes. I promise." Spike stood behind her, wrapped his arms about her. He was wearing a coat he'd stolen from a dead German Major and thought he looked bloody dashing in it.
The fighting was still going on, the air filled with the sound of artillery fire echoing around the landscape, and the sight of the flashes of shells as they hurtled through the sky.
"Just watch the fireworks," Spike said, and Drusilla settled back against him with a sigh of pleasure.