Paris, 1901, night. Within a paupers' graveyard, two shovels can be heard overturning clods of earth, occasionally softly knocking into one another.
"For fuck's sake, hurry up, Dru! It's already almost dawn!"
Spike cursed himself for his weakness. Dru was never going to let him live this one down, his pathetic admiration of a mortal, now freshly dead. He couldn't explain it, but there was something about the woman, some spark, which he desperately hoped to fan into life once more. He should've arranged a rendezvous *before* she had breathed her last, but, well, he wasn't exactly an expert in the course of human diseases, was he? Most of the humans he interacted with died of less-than-natural causes, you know?
Then again, his own mother had been ill with same malady, so perhaps he should've known, after all.
"It's not my job, Spike! You *know* I don't like getting my hands dirty! All this effort for some trumped-up painted whore; I hope she's grateful.."
Spike had needed a change of scene after killing the Chinese Slayer months earlier. Paris had beckoned to the romantic in him, and with its reputation as 'The City of Lights,' well, it had appealed to the vampire in him, too. So much to see and do, even at this hour, all without that pesky sunlight spoiling his fun.
Drusilla had continued to complain, until, exasperated, Spike had snatched the spade from her hand. "You didn't mind getting your hands, or various other parts of yourself, 'dirty' when it came to our old friend Angelus," he growled, though to any mortal passerby, the sound would've registered as that of an animal, if, indeed, they heard anything at all.
Drusilla's protruding lower lip was visible in profile, even in this light. "Awww, is my precious Spike still sore over that little indiscretion? At least Angelus didn't drag me to some poncy over-done house of whores to watch mutton dressed as lamb do the can-can night after night."
In truth, Spike wasn't sure what the woman's reaction would be to his 'gift,' or even the nature of his feelings towards her. She was beautiful, true; but so had many others been, and Spike hadn't moved heaven and earth - well, in this case, just earth, and lots of it - to sire them.
"'Shoulda burned this one, they should've," Dru muttered. "Filthy, sentimental humans, letting the ones they claim to love rot in the ground, worms picking their bones clean. And the waste of the clothes and jewels! At least with burning, there's some - "
Spike, working double time, had managed at last to hit the brittle wood of the home-made coffin. The fact that Satine's.. employer, or perhaps her friends and even a few loyal patrons, had cobbled together enough for that, rather than a simple burial shroud, touched him.
"At bloody last! Now pry off the lid, do your magic, and let's get the fuck out of here!," Drusilla hissed.
He had always admired Satine from afar, afraid to approach lest he repulse her, but now, when he had but a thin piece of wood separating him from the woman, Spike found himself suddenly shy.
Dru rolled her eyes. "I'm about to toss her on the dung-heap and climb into that box myself. Come ON!"
Spike steadied himself, brushing away the last of the dirt with reverence. The lid was nailed shut, whether to keep her in, or grave-robbers and pervs out, Spike wasn't sure, but he made quick work of it.
As fading moonlight spilled down upon her face, Spike felt a rush of emotion too dangerous to name. At this very moment, her love, Christian, was drowning his sorrows, ensconced in the arms of Satine's old friends. Spike felt as though he was trespassing on something sacred, but the image of Angelus taking possession of Dru's lithe form spurred him to quash that pesky little flare-up of morality. Satine no longer belonged to the world of the living; tonight, she would cross a bridge, not from death to life, but from death to immortality.
"Forgive me, love," Spike whispered into the shell of her ear. She looked so serene, the cares of her life wiped from her face by artful cosmetics and loving hands. Her cheeks, always pale, seemed to glow in the moonbeams; her rose-bud lips, to await the kiss of a dark prince; her eyes to -
"SPIKE! I swear, on everything that is unholy, if you don't - "
Spike wasn't even entirely sure that the ancient lore would hold true. Mortals had been spinning tales about his kind for eons, and they got it wrong more often than not. The most commonly spread belief was that, in order to turn a corpse into a vampire, one had to appeal to whatever they had loved most in life. For Satine, Spike suspected, that would involve song.
Thinking on his feet, Spike began to serenade the lifeless beauty.
"Little bird, sparkling diamond of my eye
Life was hard, and the hand of death was cruel.
Twist of fate, came too late; I watched you die,
But now, my love, my blood shall be your fuel.
Here beneath the stars, dear,
No more to see the sun,
Awaken to the world and set things right.
Your dreams are not so far, dear,
You'll chase down every one,
The stage shall be your realm of truth and light.
Open your eyes, love,
And be surprised, love,
Little bird, please awaken to the night."
Spike leaned in, finding where her pulse would once have fluttered and stalled in her neck, willing her to live.. or something like it. His fangs pierced the flesh, the sound not unlike puncturing a firm peach. Dead blood was normally so bitter, almost chalky, like stale tobacco or burnt coffee grounds, but Satine - Satine tasted of lavender, like the lavender biscuits Anne had made him as a boy. As he drew, there were notes of cinnamon streaking the lavender, followed by a hint of cream. If she did not rise, at least his efforts would not have been totally in vain.
Now for the trickier part. Spike noted, with some relief, that her lips did not appear to be stitched or pinned shut, not like some who were buried in the ways of the old-country superstitions. He would be loathe to mar such a perfect set of pillows by tearing them open. With a careful hand, Spike cradled Satine's jaw within his grip, pressing upon the hinges and working it with pulses of pressure, coaxing open her mouth. The scent of illness escaped like a sigh, though Spike need not fear its cloying caress. No illness would ever touch him.
"Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?," quoth Spike, before filling his mouth with his own wrist, making a generous gash for Satine. It poured into her mouth like wine as her head rested upon his free arm, and Spike waited, the seconds seeming interminably long, to see if she would rouse.
After several moments, Spike realized that Dru was uncharacteristically silent. Half-hoping she had left, Spike hazarded a backwards glance. Drusilla was staring at the corpse, with something akin to sadness or pity etched on her timeless features.
"Pretty little thing, Spikey." The voice was too soft, too human for her, and Drusilla amended her tone. "I mean, she'd make a handsome pet."
Spike was about to give up hope, to slide the lid back into place and hurriedly shove the dirt back atop her (more than Dru would want him to do, but he felt he owed Satine and her mournful comrades at least that much dignity), when Satine's body arched upwards, animus returning to her in a strangled gasp. When she opened her eyes, blinking to clear her vision, Spike affected what he hoped amounted to a friendly smile.
"I.. What's happened? Where is Christian?"
"Christian? Ahh. Yesss.. We can talk about that in a little while. First things first, we need to get you out of this.. thing, and into more amenable accommodations."
Satine looked up at Spike in equal parts wonder and confusion. "Are you.. a doctor?" She shook her head, amazed at the weight of it, of the movement of her hair; everything felt so strange. "No.. I remember you now. I saw you in the crowd some nights, at the Moulin Rouge."
Satine couldn't understand why she felt so much better, better than she had in years - or possibly ever. The feeling was like fire, like the glow of absinthe; was that why she felt so dizzy and euphoric?
"Come along, Satine. We'll have a nice long chat back at my place."
Satine, looking at the agog form of Drusilla, frowned. "I don't do.. um.. That is to say, I'm not a working girl any longer, but even if I was, I wouldn't 'work' for.. a couple.."
"No worries about that on my account, love," Dru spat, barely concealing the ice in her voice.
"I really must insist that we leave. NOW," Spike said, trying not to alarm Satine.
"And then you'll take me to Christian?," Satine asked, and the hopeful, loving way she spoke that name would've broken his heart - if, he'd, you know..
"You've been very ill, my dear, and, before anything else, you must rest."
Satine saw that the sky was beginning to grow light, and couldn't fathom why that should terrify her so. "Yes. Yes, I agree. Let's not stay here." The coffin groaned in protest at the loss of its cargo, but Satine was too focused on getting away from this place, away from the coming sun. She had always taken care to keep her skin pale, but why should she be so afraid?
Drusilla and Spike led Satine away, each of them offering her an arm.
"You're safe now," Drusilla cooed, suddenly energized at the thought of having a new progeny to mentally torment.
Spike hated himself, wondering whether he'd just made a terrible, terrible mistake.