The UC Sunnydale computer lab in Kreske Hall had only a few students plugging away at the rows of terminals in the halogen-lit room. The quiet clicks of the keys and the hum of the laser printers as they spewed forth reports and other papers were the only sounds breaking the studious silence in the lab.
Spike ejected the disk out of the disk drive, pocketed it, and pushed back from the computer. The black plastic chair squeaked on the grey tiled floor, and all eyes briefly turned on him, radiating unspoken disgust. Ignoring them, Spike slid on his duster as he checked the clock on the wall. Almost midnight. Just enough time for him to walk to Dracula's and arrive at the stereotypical witching hour. Dracula was nothing if not stereotypical. "The effin' welscher," the blond vampire muttered as he headed out of the lab.
The Kreske Hall computer lab was a great place to while-away the dull hours when the shows on television were sorely uninteresting. Free computer and Internet access, plus no blocks on email or the webpages he wanted to peruse, helped to stave off his boredom. And he was bored most of the time due to the chip in his head and the need to stay low after the Adam fiasco. Spike had been hanging around the lab quite often during the summer months when he'd seen all the reruns the first time around. It was a lot more fun than sitting in the crypt counting the cracks in the ceiling.
The ugly green dorm walls were pasted with flyers and posters announcing club activities and parties that were upcoming. Spike barely glanced at them as he navigated the halls, heading for the exit. A gaggle of girls were sitting on the floor outside of their room doors directly in his path, yapping in a pitch that hurt his ears.
"'It had been a long, hard day. The Rainbow Nuns of the Apocalypse had been a bitch to kill, and all Guido wanted was a drink,'" one of the girls read from a sheaf of papers in her hands. "'"A shot of Zima," the red-headed astro-physicist ordered, straddling a stool at his regular watering hole, "and leave the bottle."'"
Spike rounded the hall corner and entered the stairwell, thankfully cutting off the giggles. He hopped down the stairs, went out the door and into the warm late summer night.
The walk across town was quiet. Spike saw a few humans, but that was it. All the creatures of the night must've been at a party he wasn't invited to.
"Aren't we feeling a bit sorry for ourselves this evening," Spike commented to himself as he made his way up the drive to Dracula's castle. The visit from Riley the day before had thrown Spike for a loop and he still hadn't gotten over the fact that he'd backed down first. Spike had all but bent over for the overgrown spud when Riley had come around asking about Dracula.
Growling quietly, the blond entered the castle without knocking. "Drac, you bleedin' welsch, where's my eleven pounds?" he demanded loudly, his voice echoing in the gothic entryway. He waited less than a minute before yelling again, walking further into the castle as he did. "Where are you, you poof-faced tit?!"
Dracula did not appear. Spike decided to look for the gypsy, pocketing items with high resale value as he went from room to room. He was bad, after all, and Drac wouldn't miss a few knick-knacks.
On his Drac-hunt, Spike opened one particular door and almost plunged into a pit. Squinting into the semi-darkness, he estimated the distance to the floor and jumped. Within seconds of landing nimbly on his feet, three scantily-clad vampiresses emerged from the shadows.
A slow, seductive smile curved Spike's lips. "Hello, ladies," he purred. "Dracula is errant in his host duties. Why don't you come give old Spike a proper welcome in his stead?"
Several hours later, feeling quite welcomed, Spike returned to looting Dracula's castle, having found a sack in a closet. He only nicked unbreakable items that he could fence at the local pawn shop. Spike didn't have the patience to set up a reliable buyer for the artsy crap.
"May I ask, what are you doing?"
Spike was about to leave then the Ponce of Darkness himself finally appeared. The blond set the sack on the ground beside the front door and turned to Dracula. "I'm collecting on your debt," he replied.
Dracula, wearing his normal frilly clothing, walked further into the entryway. He cast a questioning eye over the full sack. "I do believe I only owe you eleven pounds, my dear Spike."
"Interest," Spike said, lightly kicking the sack. "But I want what you owe me in my hand, in cash."
Dracula muttered something about wishing he'd stayed in Romania. Then with a sigh, gestured for Spike to follow him. "Very well, Spike. The currency you desire is in my chambers."
Spike smiled and fell in behind the other vampire. "Then by all means, let's go fetch it."
A bit later, Spike strutted back into the entryway and picked up the sack. He pulled open the heavy front door to the castle and immediately felt a breeze. After zipping up his fly on his jeans, he adjusted the sack over his shoulder, exited the castle, and headed for home.