December 28th, 2007

space2

Spanderverse: Dracula, chapter 4 of 14

Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-

POV: Shifts Perspective

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes. The Dracula mythos naturally plays a part. Also be warned that it will eventually have some Slash-components, I don't think it's real explicit.

Notes: Third story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spike”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.

People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.

For online script reference I want to thank twiztv for script transcripts. I need to thank Bram Stoker, of course, as well as romaniatourism.

I also feature Xander's folks, and I couldn't find their first names believe it or not: they've become Walter and Peggy Harris.

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Spanderverse: Dracula

CH 4/14: A Castle in Sunnydale?

 

 

The night was filled with a thousand songs of various insects and the gentle lapping of the surf against wood and sand. Against the ship, the water made small splashing noises. If there were anyone on the docks, they may have noticed the odd way the water looked as it felt its way around the still invisible ship.

 

Dracula himself stood on the deck of his vessel. It was one of the very few things that the gypsies had been able to retain on his behalf after the Van Helsing gang had plunged his un-life into turmoil. The castle had been burned out; the walls remained standing but the interior was left in ruins. His collections of centuries had been destroyed without a second thought for their value. Paintings, hand woven oriental rugs, early Victorian woodworks, all of these and more were destroyed that horrible night. But, the Demeter managed to survive. The gypsies who had sworn fealty to the Count had wisely moved the vessel in the moments after they had unloaded their master’s coffin in the Romanian port of Varna. As the vampire’s men had driven his coffin at breakneck speeds toward his castle stronghold, the ship was being moved to the south for safe keeping.

 

The vampire had not been able to appreciate the fact at the time. After his healing stupor was over, he’d been too despondent over his loss of home and his ignoble loss of Mina to Jonathon Harker for him to care about a vessel that hadn’t belonged to him, anyway. It had been the property of some shipping company or another, at least until the vampire had booked passage. Now it was his, and he was grateful to those now long dead countrymen who had remained loyal to him, even as he himself had been racing to his most humiliating defeat.

 

Dracula looked out over the moonlit vista before him. With the weather so nice now, the Slayer would surely be out hunting. Because he was not yet ready to meet her, he took a moment to center himself. Focusing his powerful will, he called upon the Romanian magic he’d been patiently taught by an old gypsy crone. A woman of indomitable will; she had been at least ninety though some said she was well over a hundred. She had also been one of the few mortals alive who had never appeared at any time to be frightened of him. Despite his vampire powers, and his demonic temper, she treated each outburst at his spell-casting failures as a joke. Even when he threatened to kill her and her whole tribe for her insolence, she had only fixed him with a steely gaze and announced that the lesson was over for the evening. With an appalling lack of concern, she would then turn her back on the vampire and stroll back to her camp. He had admired her arrogance. That is why he went back to her after feeding, night after night. He listened, as a pupil to a teacher, and finally after several years he had mastered what she could teach him. He had handsomely rewarded her clansmen, for she would not take any reward he offered to her, for her devotion and patience. And when he took his leave of her and her kin, he had not harmed any of them.

 

The vampire smiled at the memory playing within his mind as he summoned up the winds and rain. He still missed that ornery old woman, even now, some 300-plus years later. As Dracula began to feel the familiar sensation of the natural world heeding his call, he focused on bringing about a storm similar to that which heralded his arrival. Though in the past, he would expect the Slayer to hunt in any weather and not to be put off by even the hardiest of storms, the current generations of humanity liked their creature comforts too much. It was unlikely that she would stay out in such inclement conditions for long. It was a sad fact, but even the demons and fellow vampires would probably quickly find a warm and dry place to settle for the evening once his spell was complete. It was a disgrace at how much more like humanity the demon community seemed to get decade by decade.

 

When the rain had started again to plummet from the sky and as the wind began to shriek through the trees, Count Dracula once again changed his form. Again a vaporous mass flowed smoothly from ship to dock and again it seemed to resist all efforts the wind made to disperse it. Unlike the last time however, when it reached the dock, it did not drift toward the now re-occupied guard house. This time a wolf, completely out of its natural habitat, ran along the wood planks leading beach ward.

 

 

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Buffy Summers was strolling through the middle of town, enjoying the pleasant evening after a so-far quiet patrol. Riley was at her side and she was content. They’d already did sweeps of three cemeteries and the Bronze and all they had to show for it was a single vampire who took off before they could stake it.

 

It was just a sad day for demon kind everywhere, Buffy thought, when a vampire didn’t have enough self-respect to attack two mortals stupidly wandering through a cemetery at night.

 

“So,” Riley broke into her thoughts, “I’m thinking we should try the whole beach picnic thing again. Maybe next weekend, what do you think?”

 

“Please. I’m a Californian, born and raised. We are, by definition, always ready for sun and surf.”

 

“Cool. So, I think I’m fitting in well with the Scooby-gang, don’t you?”

 

“What do you mean? I always thought you fit in.”

 

“Well, you know. The whole ‘I’m-part-of-the-Initiative-and-we-want-to-experiment-on-your-werewolf-and-vampire-friends’ thing.”

 

“Oh. Listen, Riley, no one blames you for what happened with Oz. I, mean, sure, you drugged him and took him away to a secret lab…” she was about to go on when Riley interrupted.

 

“So, ah, this is leading to something positive, right?” he smiled at her.

 

“Right. And don’t interrupt your girlfriend,” Buffy replied, returning an easy smile of her own. “The point is that everyone knows you tried to break him out when you found out he wasn’t just a demented demon dog-type thing. You’re cool, Riley. Everyone loves you.”

 

“I guess. At least your mom hasn’t been giving me the evil eye. She’s a great lady.”

 

“Yeah. She’s definitely the best,” Buffy agreed. “Now, as for the ‘vampire friends’ part: Spike doesn’t count. He is definitely not a friend. Except maybe to Xander, and I’m not even trying to understand what that’s all about.”

 

Overhead, the ominous sounds of thunder began to rumble through the night over Sunnydale. As Riley and Buffy simultaneously stopped and looked up, holding hands, lightning could be seen flashing to the southwest of town.

 

“Oh, c’mon! That’s it… no more mentioning picnics or beaches!” Buffy exclaimed, “Guess Willow’s off the hook for this one, though.”

 

As the rain began to fall again for the second time that day, Buffy pulled on Riley’s arm. Leading him into the nearest coffee shop, she faux-ordered him to get her a good hot cup of coffee and a non-fat muffin. He gave her an exasperated and put-upon sigh, but he grinned from ear to ear as he made his way to the counter.

 

 

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On the outskirts of town, Dracu-wolf prowled through the forested parks and the condominium parking lots looking for a place where he and the brides could settle. He was quickly becoming disenchanted with the modern American town. There didn’t seem to be any strongholds befitting one of his stature. He briefly considered traveling further toward the town center, but worry nagged at him. If he were to wander within reach of the Slayer, her damnable senses may detect him and that wouldn’t do. Not to mention the unwanted attention that would be garnered if the local constabulary should begin receiving phone calls regarding a wolf wandering town. No, despite his frustration, he would need to stay away from the more heavily populated areas of Sunnydale. It wouldn’t do to meet the Slayer before he was ready.

 

The vampire-in-canine form had reached the far northeast of the town where there had been far less construction. It scanned through the steadily falling rain trying to decipher the large, dark shadow which sat across a small park from its location. Dracula’s now extended snout was pulled back in a twisted version of a gleeful smile as his eyes fell upon the structure that he’d been searching for.

 

Across the way from where he stood panting, was the dark shape of an imposing castle. So surprised was he to see this familiar, but extremely inappropriate, structure that he continued to stare hard at it, frozen to the spot. He was sure that if he looked away and back, it would reveal itself to be the illusion it surely was. A trick of the eyes brought about by the rain, he was sure. However, the longer he stared at the dark outline, the more solid it seemed to be.

 

Taking off on all fours, he raced through the heavy downpour until he stood at the high stone walls of a genuine bastion. Dracula resumed his human form and walked up to the wet, gray brick of the castle. He placed his hands against the stone, reveling in the contact it brought to him. For just a moment, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to imagine his castle from centuries gone by. His Transylvanian home, never to be seen again.

 

He opened his eyes and scanned upward into the rain at the high walls. No, this was not like his home at all. The cement blocks were too light a shade of gray, instead of the imposing black of his lost residence. The shape was different too, more western European in look instead of the eastern architecture of Romania. Still, the fact that there was a castle here at all was an amazing coincidence. He wondered if perhaps some dark god had shown favor to him, perhaps to encourage him in his quest for the Vampire Slayer.

 

He walked around the building, looking for its entranceway. As he rounded a turret jutting up from a corner of the building, he came to a wide sidewalk. This he followed to a door over which a sign had been nailed. ‘Condemned: Danger of Injury, No Trespassing’ it stated.

 

Above the doorway was a simple placard stating that this was the ‘Burnside Medieval B&B’. Though, Dracula was unfamiliar with what a B&B was supposed to be, he did recognize the air of disuse which hung around the building like a shroud. Whatever the reason had been for building such an inappropriate citadel in this Southern California environ, it would now play host to Dracula, Lord of the Vampires. He almost laughed evilly, until he caught himself. It wouldn’t do to start acting like a cartooned cliché now, not when he had such serious plans to carry out.

 

Dracula reformed into wolf and ran back the way he had come. When he reached the docks, he patrolled the boardwalk until he came to a payphone. Resuming human shape and using a minor incantation, he was able to receive a dial tone. Using the sopping wet phone book and a lot of his patience, he finally found what he needed next. He dialed the first moving company’s number he found and arranged to have four long crates moved from a warehouse close by to the Burnside B&B building. With elaborate care he emphasized that they were to be delivered after dark the following evening, and that due to such short notice, there would be a handsome bonus for the man on the phone and the movers. A bonus that would be, if they followed his instructions, more than they could expect to make in a week.

 

With that arranged, he returned to the hold of his ship. He knew this would be the most difficult of his tasks. He could not allow the Demeter to garner curious attention, which meant it had to remain masked. The thought of carrying his own coffin never even entered the former noble’s mind, negating that idea before it became one. As he drew a circle around each coffin with blood from his sliced wrist, he steeled himself for the ordeal to come. The only way he could see having the ‘boxes’ delivered was to have mortals do the heavy lifting or teleport them there. Unfortunately, there were no gypsy clans beholden to the vampire in this area. As for teleporting, it was much too far and he was much too unfamiliar with the interior of the castle. No, he would have to teleport the coffins to the warehouse close by, and then depend on the mortals to deliver him and the girls to their temporary home.

 

With a simple glimmer spell, the coffins now appeared as common horizontal crates. As he lay in his own ornate box, surrounded by his home soil, he gathered all of the dark forces at his command. With a few gypsy phrases that hadn’t been spoken in two hundred years or more, the large ‘crates’ dissolved from the inside of the vessel, only to reappear just outside of a non-descript warehouse.

 

Inside the Master’s coffin, Dracula bled freely from his nose. His eyes burned and his head pounded, but he was alive, in a way, and he could feel the women had made the transition as well. Despite his obvious discomfort, he smiled. Surely, some greater force was assisting him.

 

Rest easy, my beloveds, his thoughts went out to the women still trapped in deep slumber, tomorrow you will be free. Tomorrow you finally feed again. And with that he once more fell into unconsciousness, himself.

 

 

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That night in bed, Buffy tossed and turned in disjointed sleep. Her dreams were filled with blood, fear, and a dark seductive power. In the morning she would not remember anything of what she had dreamed, but right now her mind was filled with images of bloodshed and pain. The worst part of these dreams was that she recognized herself as being the one inflicting the suffering.

 

Across campus at another dorm, Willow was deep in sleep snoring softly. She groaned lightly once or twice, but did not awaken. In her dreams she was a dark goddess, her eyes flashing in the mirror she held before her with a spectral black light. Her smile looked all wrong: evil, threatening, and full of malice and yet it felt so good, so freeing that she laughed at herself in the mirror. Behind her was a man she couldn’t see. She didn’t understand how she knew that there was a man behind her, but she wasn’t concerned. The important thing was that this man had freed her to be herself. Her true self, that was, not the Willow from high school. Not the meek, cooperative, doormat Willow. A small part of her wondered idly where Tara was, but as she felt the reassuring strength of the masculine hand on her lower back, she pushed all thoughts away and allowed herself to wallow in the feeling of absolute power radiating within her.

 

Next to her, Tara also slept. Unlike Willow however, her dreams were uneasy. She could feel menace somewhere close by and she wandered a darkened wood, her sight shifting in and out of the trees surrounding her. There was something in those woods, she could feel. It was dark and violent and hungry. She could feel the black magicks rolling off of whoever it was. The energy was permeating the forest around her, making the trees look twisted and malevolent.

 

She awoke with a start and scanned the room for the cause of her sudden distress. She’d felt some powerful and dark spell be cast and her insides felt queasy. Her stomach ached and she was sweating from her forehead and from under her arms. Her first impulse was that Willow had been playing with spells again, and she immediately pushed the thought away only half formed. Flushed with guilt she looked at her lover beside her as she rested quietly. Tara slipped out of bed and dressed in her sleeping gown. By the time she had visited the bathroom down the hall from her dorm room; her heart had stopped its trip hammering. She was convinced that she’d just had a bad dream by the time that she slipped back into bed gently, so as not to disturb Willow. As she drowsily slid back toward sleep, she hoped that getting caught in the rain earlier hadn’t started making her sick.

 

 

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End Ch 4

 

space2

Spanderverse: Dracula, chapter 5 of 14

Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-

POV: Shifts Perspective

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes. The Dracula mythos naturally plays a part. Also be warned that it will eventually have some Slash-components, I don't think it's real explicit.

Notes: Third story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spike”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.

People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.

For online script reference I want to thank twiztv for script transcripts. I need to thank Bram Stoker, of course, as well as romaniatourism.

I also feature Xander's folks, and I couldn't find their first names believe it or not: they've become Walter and Peggy Harris.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Spanderverse: Dracula

CH 5: The Night Begins

 

 

Monday passed slowly for Buffy. Sometimes it seemed that the only worthwhile things she did always occurred after dark. Whether it was being with Riley and making him yell her name, or whether she was staking the critters of the night, those were the moments that counted. She was in her fourth class of the day, thankfully her last. She was having trouble concentrating on all of this bookwork though and she didn’t know if it was because of the subject or just the professor. She didn’t know why she’d let Willow talk her into taking a full class load, which forced her to choose a history class. She’d always hated history in high school, but she made it through with a C, and then she turns right around and voluntarily takes another one!

 

I bet Willow cast a ‘make Buffy miserable’ spell. She probably is sitting in the campus coffee shop over a mug of hot cocoa and laughing her head off over Buffy taking ‘Literary History of Pre-Shakespeare Britain’. God! Will this guy ever just shut up? Ugh, he just drones on and on. I am so bored! That does it, I’m giving Willow a Buffy-sized butt kicking for talking me into taking this snore-athon.

 

Of course, when Professor Griggby released the class with another reading assignment, Buffy forgot all about beating Willow’s butt. Suddenly she just wanted to see her best friend so she could put the verbal smack-down on Professor Bore-me-to-Tears.

 

As she reached the top of the stairs and started down the hallway toward her and Willow’s dorm room, not that she stays here much anymore, she noticed Riley loitering outside her door. She put on a warm smile and shifted her books, subtly getting the point across to him that he should take the load from her. Of course, with the Slayer strength, it wasn’t really necessary. They weren’t that heavy, but Buffy liked it when he did the little things for her.

 

Riley dutifully took the hint, with a sardonic smile on his face. Twitching an eyebrow let her know that he was onto the game, he just didn’t mind playing it either.

 

“Hey, honey. Tough day of knowledge seeking?”

 

“Oh, god. Don’t get me started. At least not yet,” Buffy added, “I want to sit down with Willow before I start my bitch-session. She’s the one that insisted I had to take a frickin’ history course.”

 

“Oh, well, if you’re having trouble, maybe I can help. I was pretty good at history once upon a time.”

 

“Could you not talk like you’re a thousand years old? It makes me feel like I’m dating my grandfather, or something,” Buffy laughed.

 

Making their way into the dorm room, Willow greeted them both warmly.

 

“Hey, Will. Why didn’t you let Riley in?” Buffy wondered.

 

“Oh, I forgot even to knock. I mean, you’re not here so often anymore Willow. I just assumed that you’d be at class or at Tara’s.”

 

Willow gave a laugh. “Well, actually I needed to switch old clothes for new clothes. I’ve been debating with myself over doing laundry, or just waiting for the clothes to clean themselves.”

 

“Who’s winning?” Riley asked her good naturedly.

 

“I think the debate is just about over and the ‘don’t do laundry’ side has definitely creamed the competition.”

 

“Well, I’m glad you’re here Will,” Buffy said. “You’re just the Wicca I wanna wackah.”

 

“Huh? Oh! Monday, right? Lit History again?”

 

“Have I told you I want to kill you for convincing me to sign up for that class? Right after I slay the evil boredom monster, Griggby the Snoozer.”

 

The best friends shared a laugh and then spent the next twenty-five minutes gossiping about their day. Buffy making a big show of the injustice of it all that Willow skipped her classes today, without including Buffy in the big strategy.

 

“Is Tara alright?” Riley interjected before they could go on another gossipy rant.

 

“Oh, she will be. It’s just a stomach thing. She said she didn’t sleep so well last night.”

 

“It must be going around.” Buffy added, “I woke up this morning feeling a little wore out, too. Oh! Riley, how did the interview go?”

 

“I think it went really well. I got the usual ‘We have a lot of applicants to see’ routine, but I could tell the ambulance service was impressed with my medic training. Another ‘thank-you’ to Uncle Sam.”

 

Willow had a knap-sack filled with clean clothes and was slowly making her way toward the door. “So, definitely going for a paramedic position, then?”

 

“Ah, we’ll see,” Riley said, not sounding very eager, “I gotta find something to do between vampire-stakings.”

 

“Well, I think it’s great. I gotta get back to Tara. She seems to be feeling better and we’re going out to dinner tonight.”

 

“I was hoping we could eat together tonight, Will.” Buffy had a small pout on her face.

 

“Sorry, Buffy. Tara and me have this whole night planned out. You should call Xander, though. I think he gets lonely with us out here and him back in the town proper.”

 

“Actually, that sounds like a plan to me, Buff. I could use a little bit of guy company,” Riley added.

 

“Okay. Why don’t you call him and Anya. And if you can fit it in without it being obvious, tell him no vamps are welcome.”

 

“Buffy…,” Willow said in her ‘let’s not start this again’ voice.

 

“I know. I know. It’s just that I don’t know what Spike is up to and I don’t want him trying to hurt me by hurting my friends. He and Xander were always ready to kill each other. Seeing the two of them being beer buddies, or whatever, is giving me a wiggins.”

 

“I know. On the good side though, if Spike does do anything, it can’t be too serious with the chip. And, it’ll give you the excuse you need to beat his bottom for him.” With that, Willow was out the door.

 

Riley put his arms around Buffy, giving her a long kiss on her lips. “I’ll give a holler to Xan. You start deciding on what you’re going to wear. I know it takes awhile.” He took a few quick steps away from her playful slap.

 

“I can’t help it that people look to me for their fashion tips,” Buffy joked.

 

“Well, for what it’s worth, I think you always look stunning. Now, let’s see if I can subtly tell Xander that Spike isn’t welcome without him slamming the phone on my ear.”

 

“Just ask for Anya. She’ll make sure that Spike is nowhere to be seen.” Buffy grabbed some shampoo, conditioner and a towel. “I’ll be right back.” With that, she was on her way down the hall.

 

When she returned from her ten minute shower, she drew a red ‘star’ on the message board hanging outside the door. This star she filled in, the girl-sign that one or the other of them shouldn’t come barging in. Buffy doubted it would be necessary, considering Willow’s plans, but better safe than embarrassed.

 

Opening the door, she found Riley with his shoes off and lying back on her bed. Perfect, she thought.

 

“Talked to Anya. Xander and her will meet us at ‘Risotto’s’ at six-thirty. Anya was in the mood for pasta and you didn’t mention that you wanted anything in particular.”

 

“Italian’s good. But, actually, there is a little something that I really wanted.” With this she dropped her towel, revealing her freshly scrubbed and very nude body. Her nipples stood to attention, partly from desire, partly from the chill of the room. She walked toward the bed and could see Riley’s crotch already beginning to bulge.

 

“Well, I did already carry your books in for you. I guess it’s a really good thing that I’m such a giving kind of guy,” Riley said, his voice growing husky.

 

“Definitely good for me,” she whispered an inch from his face, just before capturing his lips with hers.

 

 

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Xander and Anya sat in the restaurant, waiting for Buffy and Riley. They had called earlier and claimed that something wonky was up that they wanted to check out, and could they postpone dinner until eight. Xander had agreed, thinking that the only thing that was up was probably Riley by the tone in Buffy’s voice. This was a thought which tried to produce a visual in his brain, but he successfully and violently thought about baseball until his imagination stopped visualizing. Not that Riley wasn’t a great guy, but Xander had no desire to see, nor imagine his nether regions.

 

He’d tried to take the opportunity to show Anya a little (wait, not little, not little at all) of his own nether regions after the call, but she was in another one of her moods. Apparently, he’d mentioned Spike one time over his daily quota and it threw her into a bitca-fit. He didn’t understand what the big deal was about him and Spike. So, they were friends, and they spent a lot of time hanging out. It was just a guy thing, that’s all. Was it his fault that Anya didn’t have a coffee clutch or something where she could hang out with the other girls?

 

Anyway, she’d gotten snotty, then he had gotten mouthy and now they were sitting at a table and not really talking. He’d offered her the bread basket, and talked about how good the rolls were. She thanked him, a little too enthusiastically perhaps, and asked for more wine. They were both desperately hoping that Riley and Buffy wouldn’t be delayed by yet another shag-session (as he whom I’m not allowed to mention, would say, Xander thought) or a slayage mission.

 

When the other couple entered the restaurant, Anya nearly spilled her just refilled glass of wine and caused a small scene by nearly jumping up from the table. She waved enthusiastically so that Buffy, Riley, and possibly the crew aboard the International Space Station would know where they were seated.

 

As the couple approached, and Anya retook her seat, Riley glanced around at the other tables self-consciously. Xander reached for Buffy and embraced her, while at the same time reaching out a hand around her to shake Riley’s. As if to outdo him, Anya stood from the table again, this time to stand on tip toe and place a kiss just a little too long on Riley’s cheek.

 

Ok, maybe I’m being a little bit bitchy myself now. I’m pretty sure if Buffy thought Anya was making a play for Riley, even just to upset me, her head would be over at the next table by now, Xander pondered.

 

Anya greeted Buffy and recommended the wine. She then drained her glass in one smooth, and totally embarrassing to Xander, movement. Signaling for the waiter for her second refill, while she opened her menu, she animatedly asked Buffy about classes and Willow and Tara, and basically everything and nothing nearly all at once.

 

While it seemed obvious to Xander that this was going to be a rough night, Buffy and Riley seemed to be oblivious to the tensions at the table. Or, at the very least, they were putting on a good show for his sake.

 

Things seemed to settle down after the other three occupants of the table also shared in wine, or beer in Riley’s case. The meal itself was fabulous, though expensive. Anya had insisted on treating for the evening with her brand new credit card, of which, she was inordinately proud. It being a testament to her value within a capitalistic society, she’d said. Conversations cycled easily around the table from classes to Giles still sitting on his ass to Riley’s interview to the Magic Shop where Anya had used her expertise to secure a job as a sales clerk. Although Buffy had been figuring a way of getting out of the restaurant within forty-five minutes when she’d first entered, and she had noticed the tension between Xand and Ahn, thank-you very much, it was actually three hours before the couples went their separate ways. Xander and Anya back to the ‘basement of doom’ and Buffy and Riley back to her dorm room.

 

“Wow. That was interesting. Did you see how much wine Anya was putting away?” Riley asked on the way back to the college.

 

“I know. Something is definitely going on in romance-land over there.”

 

“Oh, yeah. I think Anya was close to drunk before dinner even started. And what the hell was up with that kiss she laid on my cheek? I thought she was going to suck my skin off my face. And, by the way? Nice restraint on your part.”

 

“Thanks. It was tough not to knock her head off her shoulders when I saw that. It’s obvious though that she was trying to upset Xander. They must have had a fight before dinner. Three guesses whose fault that was.”

 

“Spike does tend to stir up a hornet’s nest wherever he goes, doesn’t he?”

 

“I shoulda dusted him when I had the chance. Now he’s all chipped and I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s like shooting a kitten or something. A really manipulative, evil, skanky, loud-mouthed, and overly bleached kitten.” Buffy was flexing her fists and Riley didn’t want her riled up. At least, not riled up like that anyway.

 

Taking her left hand in his right, he gave it a brief squeeze of affection. “I think Willow was right. I think Xander needs more time spent with you guys. I mean, you’re his best friends. I’ll start stopping by more too. Maybe giving him another guy friend to hang out with will make him see that hanging out with Spike isn’t worth pissing Anya off, over.”

 

“I know. I mean, about Will and me spending more time with him. It’s just hard between classes and Slayerhood, and I don’t want you to get left by the wayside, either.”

 

Riley laughed. “I don’t want that either. You can make me feel better about that possibility though when we get back to the room.”

 

“Oh, my god! You’re a machine!” Buffy laughed. She didn’t appear to mind a bit.

 

 

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As the central clock tower of Sunnydale tolled the midnight hour, two men in a moving truck pulled before the abandoned Burnside Medieval B&B building. The side of the truck was non-descript as the two fellows within were not employees of the company that had been contracted to move the heavy crates in the back. There actually wasn’t a ‘company’ per se. It turned out, through chance, that the first number the foreigner on the phone called was a small, single-man operation. The gentleman, using a cell phone for his ‘business’ was not an insured or bonded mover. Ian Dolsen was always meaning to get bonded, and open a real storefront shop, but any money he made from moving things always seemed to get spent on bills before he could save toward a legit business license. Of course, the fact that he seemed to drink away more of it than he spent on actual bills never seemed to cross his mind. He was considering himself pretty damned lucky to get this gig, and so he’d roped his uncle Calvin into helping him out on this ‘lucrative’ job.

 

“Jesus, it’s been rainy lately. If it keeps up like this we’ll have flooding for sure,” Calvin said, getting out of the truck. He was yanking at his coat collar, trying unsuccessfully to keep the cold water from getting down his shirt. The rain had started only ten minutes ago, but already it was like a miniature monsoon.

 

“I better not catch pneumonia moving this shit, man. I’ll sue the prick for making me come out on a night like this.”

 

Another thing about Ian was that he was always looking for his ‘big score’. He was always seeing those commercials of people on the TV for lawyer’s offices. They never seemed to be hurt, but he’d be damned if some slime-pool attorney didn’t find a way to stick it to some poor sap. They was always talking on the commercials about how they got a million dollar settlement because their little brats stuck their hands in someone else’s yard and got bit by a dog or some shit. He wished he’d get hurt. Something that looked way worse than it actually was. And in front of all kinds of witnesses, of course. He was always half hoping that a city truck would plow into his own when he was driving around town. Everyone knew the government had more money than they could keep track of.

 

“Hey, Ian? You going to stand in the rain daydreamin’ all night or you wanna get this crap moved?” Calvin looked annoyed. He hated the rain worse than Ian did.

 

As the two men began moving the first crate out, it seemed to weigh twice, or even three times as much as when they’d loaded it into the truck. Of course, at the warehouse, they’d let the hot-wired (another Ian skill) hi-loader take care of most of the burden. Now they were stuck with just the two of them and the crates were every bit as heavy as they had looked and more so.

 

As they pulled, Ian lost his end of the crate and it smashed down hard onto the tarmac at the back of the long-closed ‘bed and breakfast’. The crate flew open just a crack, but enough that dirt began to pour from it into a small pile. It quickly turned to mud in the rainwater that continued falling.

 

“Goddammit, Ian! I swear to Christ you’re just about useless!” Calvin shouted. He strained to push the crate upright before his legs buckled and he got himself flattened. “For fuck’s sake, get your ass over here and help me tip it up before I get squashed!”

 

Ian was thinking of how he was going to explain the damage wasn’t his fault when Calvin’s shouted commands brought him back out of his reverie. Rushing over to the other end, he began pushing against the bottom of the crate, helping ease it into a standing position. This of course only made it open further on the opposite end.

 

While Calvin wiped rainwater out of his hair, uselessly, since the rain continued to fall, and swearing a blue streak, Ian walked back around to the now open crate. What he saw made him come to a halt. The interior of the crate didn’t look like a crate at all, it looked like a coffin. And inside the crate/coffin there was a tall and slender man. His pale features showed the sure signs of death. Dirt and mud was piling around his feet, and he had dirt all over his shoulders and in his hair.

 

 

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Dracula was furious!

 

The trip from the warehouse to the castle had been bumpy, but that was a byproduct of the road in this area which hadn’t been maintained well. It was an annoyance, but nothing that he would allow to ruin the excitement of establishing himself in a new area. He was fantasizing about the first time he would take the Slayer; both as a vampire and as a man when he felt the truck stop and the mortals exit the truck. Tuning his sense of hearing, he could hear the men complaining about the current rain. This had made him smile, if he had his way, it would rain from sun down until sun up. Again he’d summoned the water and wind elementals to play to discourage the Slayer, wherever she was, from her usual patrolling.

 

The problems started when he failed to hear the mechanical device they had used to load the coffins into the truck in the first place. It had made his loading quite easy and had him believing this would be much simpler than he had thought. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the morons had not brought it with them and were trying to unload the crates by hand.

 

Dracula knew this to be a bad idea. He had already ascertained by careful listening that there were only the two of them, and his coffin was several hundred pounds. Perhaps even four hundred once you added his own weight and the sacred dirt of the homeland into the equations. He grimaced in his lightless box, his eyes glowing red in anger at the incompetence. They’d had the mechanical aid in their grasp, why not bring it?

 

As the men grunted and slid his box toward the back of the vehicle, he nearly screamed at them not to try unloading it by themselves. It usually took four or five gypsy men to lift his coffin during his loading and unloading, at least, when such clansmen were available. He could see how this was going to end even before one of the cretins lost his grip on the ‘crate’ and he was quickly approaching a murderous rage over it.

 

When they, in fact, did drop him and the top flew open he was beside himself. And when he noticed the dirt quickly falling toward his feet and out into the rain, as they lifted the box upward, there was no power under heaven or on Earth that would save the men.

 

As one of the peasants came around his box, and stood looking at him with his mouth hanging open, Dracula nearly flew out of his coffin. In a fluid motion from centuries of fighting, he slashed the man’s throat with nails that were far too long for a human hand. At the same time, he side kicked the edge of his coffin, sending it falling backward into the man standing behind it. He heard a yell, and a gargled gasping for air, but ignored it as he turned to the man he’d slashed.

 

The little maggot was crawling around on the tarmac, clutching his throat as blood pooled in the rain and flowed with the water toward a drainage hole. Dracula strode over to him, picking him up easily. The man’s eyes were bugged with fear and knowledge of his imminent death. Dracula allowed his features to fully vampirize; something he nearly never did, as it was beneath him to appear without his human face. As the man continued to weakly struggle, unable to breath through the slash in his trachea, Dracula bared his fangs. The man, turning blue from lack of oxygen, while paling from loss of blood tried to murmur a whimper, but all that the vampire could hear was the sucking/hissing noise of a slashed throat.

 

“It was a simple job, you incompetent boob”, the Prince of Darkness hissed at the terrified and rapidly dying man. He extended his opposite hand into a werewolves’ long paw and slashed the man’s abdomen wide open, allowing his guts to spill out onto the tarmac. With that he threw the remains away from him in disgust; at the man, not at his own actions.

 

Leaving his victim to finish his death, only seconds away at this point, he approached the second incompetent ‘mover’. One of the man’s legs was pinned and broken beneath the coffin. The lid had shut of its own accord fortunately stopping any more of the soil Dracula worshiped from being lost to the rain. The coffin was lying up across the man’s crotch, abdomen and chest making it nearly impossible to breathe. He could see him struggling for a deep breath and receiving only small puffs of air. Soon, less than a minute for sure, he’d pass out and then brain damage would set in.

 

Dracula reached forward and with one hand pulled the coffin from the man’s frame. Using no care and allowing the box to slide across the surface of the man’s skin, left the fool with the most pleasant grimace of agony as the heavy coffin ground against the man’s genitals and the snapped bone in his leg.

 

Once this was done and the man was left to catch what air he could; it appeared that one of his lungs may have collapsed by the way he struggled and wheezed, Dracula summoned the Brides to consciousness. As one they left their own coffins, still appearing as crates to all due to the glimmer still in effect.

 

They were dressed in diaphanous gowns of the finest silk. Though they were quickly soaking through in the rain, the Brides took no notice. Their eyes were only for their Lord and Master. He, who loved and treasured and cared for them.

 

Dracula smiled a ghastly smile, allowing his features to shift back to the human form he far preferred to the visage he had just worn. He looked down at the human, stuck in a place of shock and dulled fear that was having trouble reaching through his agony.

 

He glanced back up at the women, his harem, he supposed. “This is yours to share, until I can go out for something a little more… satisfying.” As Dracula turned away to begin the rather pedestrian task of moving the coffins into their new home, he heard the muffled cries of the man lying behind him. The girls giggled and slurped.

 

 

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End CH 5

 

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Spanderverse: Dracula, chapter 6 of 14

Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-

POV: Shifts Perspective

Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes. The Dracula mythos naturally plays a part. Also be warned that it will eventually have some Slash-components, I don't think it's real explicit.

Notes: Third story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spike”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.

People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.

For online script reference I want to thank twiztv for script transcripts. I need to thank Bram Stoker, of course, as well as romaniatourism.

I also feature Xander's folks, and I couldn't find their first names believe it or not: they've become Walter and Peggy Harris.

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Spanderverse: Dracula

CH 6: A Choice for Giles

 

 

Tuesday was a day like any other day for Sunnydale’s citizens. They went to work, they took care of their children, and they complained about bills and the rain. It had rained for the past three days, well mostly nights actually, and puddles of water were standing everywhere. The local news, seeing a ratings grabber, exclaimed on the dangers of the West Nile virus and mosquitoes that could swarm the area. Also making the noon news report was the body of one Carl Lanks, a former security guard that had floated up at the local yacht club. There was little information at that point, but it appeared he may have drowned. The local police were waiting for his autopsy before they could confirm cause of death.

 

The small television in Giles’ apartment droned on with the overly-perky voice of the news anchor. Apparently the woman didn’t know enough to take a more somber tone when discussing the death of a local citizen. Giles made ‘tut-tut’ noises in disgust at how the woman’s tone never changed whether she was discussing the local death toll or a birthday party for one of the hyenas at the zoo.

 

Leaving the woman on the TV to babble on about a new local all-organic food store opening down town, Giles approached Willow to see how her progress was. According to the computer store salesman, the scanner should have just been plug_and_play without any effort. Of course, in keeping with Giles’ continued luck concerning electronic devices, it had refused to work. After thirty minutes of basically clicking random buttons and loading and unloading the same CD over and over, Giles had finally called Willow over in Tara’s dorm and asked her to come over. He was standing behind her now, seeing her type things on a command line. He glared daggers at the offending machine, for surely it was something personal the computer had against him.

 

“Well, that should do it,” Willow said over her shoulder, “it looks like it was trying to use an IRC that was already claimed by your printer. It should have automatically chosen one that wasn’t in use, but that’s computers for you.”

 

“Ah, yes, well, thank you. As I’m sure you already know, I have no clue what you just said, however,” Giles reminded her, though not unkindly.

 

Willow gave a small chuckle at his continued discomfort around computers. She grabbed a book from a small stack near the infernal device and placed it in the scanner. With a few mouse clicks, the scanner hummed to life and after a short few seconds, a reproduction appeared on the screen. This Willow dutifully saved to a file called ‘Abacum Imp’ in a folder with the book’s title: ‘Household Curses and Hexes’.

 

“This was a great idea, Giles. Once we have everything scanned, I’ll create a database for the entries to make them easier to find,” she said, excitement reflected in her voice. "Of course, I'd feel better about the whole thing if you could just remind me one more time that you're absolutely, positively sure that there aren't any more Moloch-types waiting to be released?"

 

“Yes, well, I've double and triple checked all the volumes to be scanned. How about if I make you a pot of coffee? I need to go out for a bit, there’s still more things that need cataloguing. I need to retrieve them from the storage place.”

 

“What? Oh, you wanted me to scan everything today?” Willow asked, obviously not really relishing the task.

 

“Not everything, of course. There are far too many volumes, but I was hoping you could stay a few hours, perhaps. We really do need to get all of these things done as soon as we can.”

 

“What’s up Giles? You're seeming way too much of old library-type guy lately. What, with all the cataloguing and filing and whatnot.”

 

Giles sighed. He didn’t really want to bring up his future plans yet, especially since Buffy should be the first one he spoke to. On the other hand, it was rather important that Willow see the importance of not dilly-dallying around. “Well, uh, you see Willow, um. Well, actually, I’m about to lose my lease on the apartment, you see. I, uh, I’m not going to renew it, you understand. I’m actually, uh, going to rent a new place. A nice little house in Devon, actually.”

 

Devon?” Willow regarded him with a suspicious look, “You mean a new subdivision here named Devon?”

 

“Well, uh, no. I’m speaking of Devon, England. I’ve decided it’s time for me to move back home, Willow. Not, not a word of this to anyone else, yet. I haven’t told the rest of my decision.”

 

“But, but, but, Giles!”

 

Willow,” he explained kindly, but a little sadly, “I’m not needed here anymore. Without a career I’m just taking up space and since there’s no openings for a librarian to replace my high school position, well… it’s just time. Surely you can see that.”

 

“But, but, Buffy! Buffy still needs you, you’re still her Watcher. I mean, it’s not in the actually being paid a salary way, but she needs you, Giles! We all do!”

 

Giles simply smiled at her with affection. “No, Willow. You don’t. You’ve all become extraordinary adults. Something I like to feel that maybe I’ve had a small hand in, and I’m exceedingly proud of all of you. You’ll all do well on your own, now. With the reference information I’m going to leave behind on that horrid machine, which is yours… I’m not taking it with me; you’ll be fully prepared to carry on.”

 

He rested a comforting hand on Willow’s shoulder, “And… and besides that, you know I’m not retreating to a commune. I’ll have a phone and you can always get in touch with me if you ever truly need my help. I’m not abandoning the lot of you, Willow. I’m just getting back to having a life of my own in a place where I’m not stuck being the fifth wheel, so to speak.”

 

“Oh, God, Giles,” Willow looked stricken. “We didn’t mean to make you feel unneeded. We should have come by more; had more Scooby update meetings, or something. Really, it’s just a matter of time before the next ‘big bad’ shows up, and we’ll need you here.”

 

“Now, Willow, please. My mind has been made up. It’s past time that I’ve acknowledged how far Buffy has grown into her role as Slayer. She has surpassed my fondest hopes and all while maintaining her independence. As for the rest of you, although it wasn’t part of my job to take care of you, I’ve grown to have a lot of affection for each of you. You’re, uh, my step-children, if you like. But I need to go home. Perhaps find someone and have a family of my own; perhaps even convince Olivia that I can give her a more routine life if she’ll still have me. Please don’t make this more difficult than it already is.”

 

“Okay, Giles, ok, I guess. But I’m still going to hold out hope that I can convince you otherwise.” Willow gave her best ‘brave little toaster’ smile, though she thought she might start shedding a few tears, and he hadn’t even bought his plane ticket yet. Oh, God! What if he has? What if he’s leaving like, right away?!

 

“Giles,” Willow said, trying to keep a tremor of desperation out of her voice, “when are you planning on going? I mean is it really soon?”

 

He gave her a small smile, “Not very soon. Probably before Halloween, but not too much before.” He grabbed a light jacket from the coat rack, “Now I really must be off. There’s coffee in the cabinet next to the refrigerator. You can help yourself. I’ll call just before one and bring you back a little bit of lunch if you're still here. And remember, I wish you to keep things quiet for the moment. I need to figure out a way to tell Buffy.” With that he was out the door.

 

Willow sighed deeply. Turning her attention back to the pile of books near the scanner, she took ‘Household Curses and Hexes’ and flipped the page. Replacing it in the new equipment, she went on with her scanning project. In her mind, she was pondering on how she could convince Giles to stay and debating with herself whether to run and tell Buffy herself or not.

 

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End CH 6

 

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