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.
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
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.
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-t
“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
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.
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
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
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.
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,
Next to her,
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
End Ch 4