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Spanderverse: Dracula, Chapter 7 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 7/14: Legend Meets Legend

 

 

It was nearly six-thirty by the time Willow returned to her dorm room. She had called Tara and claimed that she had some heavy duty studying to take care of and would see her in the morning. In actuality, she was pondering some way to convince Rupert Giles that he shouldn't move back to England just yet. Willow was sure that they would all need him to be there until they were thirty, at least. The problem was that she couldn't come up with anything that didn't boil down to basically, "I don't want you to go" and that hadn't gotten her very far today, at all. The only chance she could see was if there really was another apocalypse that they needed to avert. If it was coming, it needed to be soon though, and these things usually happened in the late spring, not the fall. In addition, it seemed just a little bit of over-kill to hope for a world-threatening demon invasion, just to keep a friend in town. Willow turned on the radio-clock next to her bed, just for the noise it made, and laid down. An hour and a half later she woke up with a start, to realize she'd fallen asleep unexpectedly. Since she did actually have a paper due at the end of the week, she tried to push Giles' upcoming departure from her mind and focus on her Comparative Religions paper on Buddhism, but her efforts were half-hearted at best.

 

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At the same time that Willow was struggling with her class assignment, Buffy was helping her mother to clear away the dinner dishes. It was an unusually late meal around the Summers household. Joyce had been taking some time off due to her rash of tension headaches lately and she'd had a lot of make-up work to do around the gallery.

 

Buffy hated it when Joyce worked after dark. True, she wasn't exactly 100% safe during the day either. There was always the human criminal element, no matter where you went, but there were also plenty of demons that wandered into town who weren't at all bothered by sunlight. For some reason though, it was Joyce being attacked by vampires that always woke her up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. Buffy herself had meant to get over to the gallery in time to catch a ride home, and ergo, guard her mother, but she'd gotten held up herself with a gang of six vampires. After killing four of them, the other two had high tailed it.

 

It's alright though. Everything turned out fine and she's here safe and sound, Buffy thought. Looking at her mother, she didn't like the paleness of her features, or the just visible circles under her eyes.

 

Those damn headaches, she sighed. The gallery owner really does need to hire her an assistant or something soon or I might have to start kicking some selfish, white ass downtown.

 

"Thanks for the dinner mom. Everything was great, as usual."

 

"Well, thank you honey. Do you want some dessert? There's apple pie in the fridge from yesterday."

 

"That sounds great, but I really gotta run. Slayer patrol and all that."

 

"Really? It's only eight-thirty honey and I don't get to see you so much these days."

 

"I know, mom. I'm really sorry to have to bail, but once the sun goes down, the fang gang comes out. I'm hoping to catch the two that got away earlier tonight. Y'know, we should make a regular mother/daughter dinner evening now that I'm back in school. That way, you'll see me and I'll continue to be spoiled by good home cooking," Buffy smiled.

 

"Hmm," Joyce returned non-committedly. She seemed to be distracted to Buffy, who was hoping it wasn't another headache. Again she vowed to herself to drop by on the owner for a little talk if she didn't hire her mother some help very soon.

 

"It's a drag. I'd love for us to just spend an evening in. Maybe next week, I'll just take a night off and ask Riley to fill in for me."

 

"How are things going with you two, anyway?"

 

"Oh, we're great." Buffy leaned in and gave her mother a kiss on the cheek. "I'll call you tomorrow. Just leave the dishes, I'll swing by after classes tomorrow and do them up while you're at the gallery."

 

"Hmm," Joyce again returned.

 

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Xander and Willow were on their way to the Rest Crest Cemetery with iced coffees in their hands. They had met up a little earlier after Willow had called Xander to hang out, when they'd decided to find Buffy and give her and Riley a caffeine break. Although it was probably lazy of them, the slaying lovebirds had fallen into a semi-regular routine as far as patrols went, making it easy for Xander and Willow to guestimate which cemetery they'd be at, at any given time of the evening. With it closing in on ten o'clock, they were betting Rest Crest would be the happening spot.

 

"So, I know that you can probably guess where Anya is this evening. What's Tara busy with?"

 

"Huh? Oh, she still goes to that wiccan club on campus. Y'know, the girls that never actually talk about spells, or anything really interesting. Tara says she just likes being in a women's group. Now that she's coming out of her shell, she likes to shock the others by dominating the floor, too." Willow was smiling at the image of the shy, young woman she'd become involved with dominating anything. She was so proud of the way Tara seemed to be coming into her own, lately.

 

"So… uh, I have this hypothetical question I need to talk about. Uh, but its, uh, y'know, just a, uh 'suppose' question." Willow continued to stammer for several seconds about the hypothetical-ness of the question, before Xander finally interrupted.

 

"Uh, Will? You're babbling. What's the topic, already?"

 

"Well, y'see, there's this friend who may or may not be a mutual friend of one or more of the gang. Well, this friend told this other friend, who would be me, this secret. Hypothetically, I mean. This secret is kinda upsetting, or would be if this wasn't just a scenario I'm making up right now. Anyway, this friend asked that I not say anything yet, even though it would, if it was an actual real case, affect all of the gang. I'm not sure if I should keep my sorta word to keep my mouth closed for now, or if I should tell the gang about it, since it would hypothetically be something we should all know about." Willow finished with a sigh, taking a sip of her iced latte.

 

"Ok… well, just for the sake of argument, you do know that whenever anyone says 'hypothetically' more than five times in a sentence, it's a good argument that it's not so hypothetical?"

 

"Just forget about that for a minute. So, if I was to not tell the gang something that everyone should really know, because I gave my word to this made up friend? Would I be doing the right thing?"

 

"Willow, you’re without a doubt my bestest friend ever. Believe me when I tell you, you couldn't do the wrong thing if someone held hot pokers under your feet." Xander received a funny look from the redhead. "Ok, maybe not such a great allusion considering we're on Hellmouth Central and may actually face that situation someday, but you know what I mean. If this made up somebody asked you to keep quiet about a hypothetical secret, I'm sure he or she had a good reason to swear you to secrecy. That person will tell us when he or she is ready, and you'll tell us if it turns out to be something we seriously need to know, right?"

 

"You’re right," Willow said with a smile. "I'm definitely not telling you about the secret that I made up that no one who we really know said."

 

"Glad we got that cleared up. Did I tell you that Anya and I had dinner with Riley and Buffy? Totally embarrassing! Anya was trying to polish off a whole wine bottle on her own. I can't decide if Riley and Buff were being nice, or if they really didn't notice she was completely out of control."

 

"I'm sure you’re exaggerating. Well, ok, it is Anya, so maybe not." Willow gazed over at her friend, "Xan, is there something going on between you two? I mean something besides the obvious. Something of the not-so-good, maybe?"

 

"Wish I could tell you, Will. I really wish I could tell you."

 

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Buffy hadn't managed to find the two vampires that had eluded her earlier, but she wasn't leaving the cemetery empty handed.

 

Actually, I guess my hands will be empty once I dust this dude, she thought to herself, easily blocking the spin kick the vampire tried to lay on her.

 

As the vampire tried to press his attack, throwing a volley of punches and feints, Buffy continued to block easily. She was in a good mood, feeling the night air on her bare shoulders. It was getting cool at night and soon the cold weather would set in to California.

 

As cold as it could get anyway, the fall weather isn't exactly sub-freezing, or anything.

 

The vampire, obviously feeling a bit outmatched, tried to overcompensate by diving on top of the Slayer. Buffy easily side stepped the lunge. Grabbing the vampire by the arm she executed a nice flip, putting the demon on his back. A quick plunge and the typical sound of a vampire turning to dust could be heard.

 

"You know, these guys really need to come up with some sort of game plan, here. It's just getting almost boring," she said to no one.

 

There was someone within hearing distance, however. A cloud of mist began forming a few feet behind the Slayer. It rapidly took on a more humanoid shape, coalescing until Dracula stood solid upon the ground.

 

Buffy's 'spider-sense' was ringing in her brain, and without a conscious thought, she whipped herself around. Her feet were instinctually placed to brace her and she had the stake in a position to jab whatever had been stupid enough to think it could sneak up on her. In front of her stood a slender man, dressed in some sort of expensive looking formal wear. Not quite a tux, but more than just a business suit, he was exotically handsome. He was tall, with exceedingly pale skin and dark wavy hair, worn long. There was something almost magnetic in his dark eyes which seemed to take her measure, and liked what they saw.

 

"A very impressive hunt. So much power," he said, the voice betraying an accent that Buffy wasn't able to immediately place.

 

"Nah, just business as usual, actually. Care to try your luck?"

 

"We are not going to fight," the man was cocky, she'd give him that. He was also clearly a vampire.

 

"You do know what a Slayer is right? 'Cause I would be she, in case you were confused or something."

 

"The question is; do you know what a Slayer is?"

 

Something in the demeanor of the demon was intriguing. He didn't appear ready to attack, but Buffy had been taken by surprise in the past. She fought to keep her guard up, telling herself she should skip the crap and stake him already. She didn't however, instead asking who the stranger was.

 

"My apologies. Propriety dictates I should have introduced myself," the stranger gave her a small bow from the waist. "I ask you to forgive my rudeness. I am Dracula."

 

Buffy laughed, "Of course you are. Now, would that be the Jack Palance one, the Frank Langella or the Gary Oldman version?"

 

The Master Vampire favored her with a small smile. In truth he didn't like her tone. But he was sure that decades of poor movies; using his name, was no doubt causing her lack of respect. "No, really. I am the true Dracula. The one from Stoker's rather poorly written and slanderous account."

 

"Oh, my God! Get out of here!" Buffy was nearly squealing. I mean come on, the actual Dracula! How often does a Slayer get to meet a celebrity!?

 

"Sorry," Buffy said to the stranger, so close to believing him, but…"I just gotta make sure I'm getting this right. You're saying that Stoker's novel was, like, an actual fact and you’re 'he who has inspired many a movie'? And you're actually, here, in Sunnydale?"

 

"Stoker's novel was filled with blatant bias and half-truths," Dracula clarified, "and it was his book which has inspired so many insipid films. But, yes, I am the one that they purport to be representing. Very much in the way that the 'Weekly World News' represents good taste."

 

"Whoa. So, how come you've decided to visit my quaint, little town? This isn't a Hellmouth thing, is it? 'Cause I pretty much stop everyone that wants to open it."

 

"I have no interest in the portal you guard. I am here to meet you, Buffy Summers."

 

"No way! You've heard of me?"

 

"But, of course. You are the Slayer, are you not? The locals speak of you with reverential fear, as they should, I am sure. You did, correct me if I'm wrong, already defeat the area's Master? The head of the Aurelius clan?"

 

"Well, sure. But, you know, he was one of those 'I'm gonna open the Hellmouth' types."

 

"You need not explain yourself to me. The feat is impressive."

 

"Thanks. I'm afraid chat time is over though. I mean, no offense, but you’re like, major evil guy and I am the Slayer after all." With this, Buffy lunged at the vampire before her, but where her stake should have made a satisfying 'thunk' noise, instead it simply whistled through the air.

 

"What the…?" Buffy's finely honed sense suddenly warned her of the undead's presence at her back. In a blur, she spun around and again flawlessly aimed the sharp wood where the vampire's heart should have been. Once again, however, she came up with only empty air.

 

"Ok, that's cheating! As the good guy, I'm supposed to kick your ass!"

 

"I told you, we were not going to fight. I've come to unveil your powers to you."

 

"I got a handle on that, thanks. I've only been doing this for what, five or six years now. So, if you'd just hold still, I'll slay- you'll dust, and I can get back to my evening."

 

"Ah, such darkness. It will be of immense pleasure to watch it grow to fruition," Dracula said, flashing those famous fangs.

 

"I'm thinking you're a bit confused again, Dracula. Y'see… me equals good guy, light and hope and all that crap. You equal darkness, misery, and evilness."

 

"You may strive for the light, but your powers tie you to the darkness. It is where your true strength lies, not in the false morality of human civilization."

 

"Hey Madame Buffy, iced mocha-mint here," she heard Xander call out to her. In front of her, Dracula once again did that misty-disappearing thing.

 

"Guys, get out of here right now." Buffy was straining her senses, trying to detect if the vampire was still in the immediate vicinity.

 

"Ok, looks like this minty-chocolately goodness will just be mine and Will's then."

 

Buffy turned to wave her friends away since this wasn't really a good time for Xander's humor. As she was about to tell them to run for it, Dracula appeared just behind them.

 

"Behind you!" she shouted.

 

Willow and Xander immediately looked behind them, instead of just diving out of the way. Buffy rolled her eyes, her mind quickly flashing through options to get them both out of the way without leaving herself open to being killed.

 

Willow, in a display of anti-Darwinism that had Buffy ready to scream, simply greeted the vampire with a small wave and a 'hi'. Xander, of course, immediately responded with sarcasm.

 

"Well, look who has a 'prince of darkness' fetish," Xander said.

 

Buffy's eyes were locked on the vampire who was looking quite annoyed.

 

"You do not interest me. Leave." Dracula said.

 

His imperious tone bugged Xander and he wasn't about to be bossed around by an evil undead, "No we won't," fake and exaggerated accent in place, "leave." Switching to Xander voice again, he continued, "Who is this freak? And what the hell is up with the cheesy Count Chocula accent?"

 

"Uh," Buffy said, seeing some definite anger flashing in Dracula's eyes, "I'm pretty sure that's the actual Count Dracula. Undead, and in the not-living flesh."

 

"Holy moley!" Xander squeaked, grabbing Will and moving several steps to get behind Buffy. "Yo, dude. Y'know, just a little joke, there."

 

"Uh, yeah," Willow added, nervously. "We're big fans of your movies!"

 

Buffy grimaced and rolled her eyes, but Dracula seemed to have lost interest in her friends. His dark and hypnotic gaze was solidly on her. "We will meet again, later."

 

With that, the vampire turned into a large bat and swooped up into the night sky. With Willow and Buffy shrieking, 'Bat!' and ducking as if it was about to tangle itself in their hair, it was Xander who noticed the thing fly off into the distance to the northeast.

 

"Wow," he said, "you gotta admit, the guy knows a dramatic exit."

 

"I'm thinkin' it’s a good time for a meeting with Giles." Willow looked at her two friends, "All in favor?"

 

Three hands immediately shot up into the air, and they raced toward Giles' apartment.

 

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Dracula was annoyed. Actually, he was a bit pissed. When he saw the Slayer out hunting without the Watcher anywhere in sight, it seemed like the situation had been prepared especially to facilitate his seduction of her. He'd never heard of a Slayer dragging friends around with her! The redheaded girl had some magical ability to her, but he felt he wasn't in danger from her. The boy, well, he had no real clue why the boy was out there tonight. Dracula had been unable to sense any special powers within him, unless it had something to do with how quickly he had outworn his welcome. Obviously he was one of those modern youths without a civil tongue in his head and a complete lack of respect for authority. At least, once he'd been told who he was dealing with, he had shown the proper amount of fear. Once upon a time, Dracula could have ordered him drawn and quartered.

 

Those days are long past, however. I must stop dwelling on that which is lost. Perhaps the Slayer's friend can serve another purpose, than my amusement, however. Yes, he smiled to himself; after all, what is a Dracula tale these days without the Renfield stand-in?  

 

His smile grew broader, and more disturbing.

 

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End Ch 7

Tags: dracula
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