Chapter Four: Bleeding Heart
Title: Dark Inklings
Disclaimer: Joss owns all things Buffyverse, Christine owns all things Darkverse. I merely mash ‘em together.
Summary: Two worlds of hunters collide, and each seems to bring the other a bit of the salvation that was needed.
A/N: I still haven’t figured out who should be my ‘Josef’, and by be, I mean an actor who should be him. (Unlike in my Kit/Tolly fic where Tolly is so totally Henry Cavill. Ooh, I might make him Christian Cooke who played Ross Jenkins on Doctor Who). Who do you think ‘Josef’ should be? Dark Inklings
Chapter Four: Bleeding Heart
She hid out in Dawn’s room for the rest of the night, mainly because they had to do a conference call to Giles and then keep the rest of the Oops Day Troop on the up and up. They could barely believe it. And then Dawn told them all about her new boy-toy and catching them in the clothed version of the act.
“OH MY GOD!” Kit’s jaw dropped over the webcam image, which she, Carlos and Rona had crowded around.
“That’s better then when Dawn hit on Connor!”
was a drunken bet!” Dawn pouted.
“Did anyone forget that I have a penis and I don’t care about this crap?”
“You never use it, so we figured it fell off,” Rona smiled cheekily at him.
Kit burst out laughing at the exchange. Rona and Carlos had an uneasy tension going on. It had started when she walked in on him coming out of the shower, and ended with him sprawled out on the floor under her, naked and bleeding. It was kinda funny, seeing as there had been sanctioned slayage involved and naked stories were always funny. It didn’t help that it had been Faith and Connor who’d come to their aid. Carlos only glared at her before turning back to face the camera.
“Wake me when you chicks are done clucking over the dudes,” Carlos groaned, letting his head bang on the table.
“We researched this new vamp cult of yours all night.,” Kit shrugged when Dawn raised her brow. “He didn’t get a nap or any sleep, really.”
“Ah, the Cranky Carlos. Research? Didja find anything? ‘Cuz all Vi found was her tongue down Josef’s throat,” Dawn smirked at Vi who only jerked the hood of her sweatshirt over her head and over her eyes.
“We get to see this boy that our little Vi’s been molesting?” Rona grinned, leaning forward.
“Little? I’m older than all three of you!” Vi cried.
“You’re younger than me,” Carlos muttered from behind his arms. “By a year.”
“By seventeen days,” Vi huffed. “You freaky December baby.”
“And the answer would be no. We can’t disclose any actual pictures of the Carpathians because of that group of whack jobs that want them dead,” Dawn sighed, leaning back against her pillows. Then she straightened and a huge smile broke out across her face. “But now I can show you my new sketches!”
“No! Dawn,” Vi warned.
“No, it’s cool. It’s the sketches of that male Russian model who came to my art class last week,” Dawn smiled, lying through her teeth over the communication lines just in case someone managed to hack them. Not that it was likely, but just in case.
She flipped past the sketches she’d done of Mikhail and Raven and a few select others before flipping through to the one she’d done of Josef. Rona pinched Carlos, who peeked over his arm to see the picture.
“Holy hell, he’s hot
,” Kit grinned.
“He’s really not,” Dawn and Carlos said at the same time.
“He’s not that bad, you just didn’t like his attitude. Because you’re used to his type,” Rona shrugged.
“Kind of immune to it,” Dawn agreed. “I grew up around good looking and powerful guys like Spike and Angel, and even like Riley.”
“Okay, can we stop fawning over the model
,” Jealousy streaked through Vi, but only just barely. So what if Kit, Dawn, and Rona thought her Josef was hot? “Back to the problem. Problems. You researched?”
“Yeah,” Carlos finally perked up. “We hit up that tattoo Dawn sketched off that vamp that attacked the village just south of the inn.”
“This one,” Dawn showed Vi the picture in her sketch book.
“It looks really familiar. Where have I seen it before?” Vi’s brow furrowed.
“What did you guys get?” Dawn leaned forward, her elbows on her knees as she sat Indian style.
“The Bleeding Heart cult.”
“Well, duh, it’s a bleeding heart,” Vi rolled her eyes, staring at the image of a classic red heart that tore down the center, revealing an actual bleeding heart oozing black blood. It was kind of gross.
“No, don’t you see, the little white flower, just under the tear in the red heart? It’s a Bleeding Heart flower,” Carlos pointed to the tiny flower in his copy of the sketch.
“Thank you, Neville Longbottom,” Rona rolled her eyes.
“A Bleeding Heart flower in a real bleeding heart, who thinks of this crap?” Dawn shook her head.
“Black hearts are associated with - well, with turned Carpathians, aren’t they?” Vi murmured slowly.
“Yeah, because their blood turns poisonous or something after they’ve turned. It’s a corruption of what they’re supposed to be.”
“This group’s based out of Prague.”
Carlos, Kit and Rona all nodded, varying shades of disbelief and confusion in their eyes and faces. Dawn’s eyes widened as she made the connection. Vi shook her head.
“I knew that damn tattoo looked familiar!” ~*~*~
Josef could only be cooped up in his rooms for so long before he snapped and found himself pacing outside her empty bedroom. He could feel her heart beating in Dawn’s room and he ached to push her door down and finish what they started hours earlier. He was just about to leave for a quick flight when the door to Dawn’s room was yanked open and Vi literally propelled herself into him.
Vi grunted as she collided into him for the third time in less than twenty-four hours. Hell, in less than ten hours. She groaned as she looked up at him. Concern and worry clouded his eyes. I know I’m crossing the line, but are you okay?
“No, um, yeah. I um..”
“We have to go see the Prince,” Dawn said loudly behind her, making her wince a bit. “Hey Baby Joe, the mind talk stuff is kinda freaky.”
“It’s Josef, Summers. And I’m working on it,” Josef snapped at her, only making her grin at him more. “You have to see the Prince, at this hour?”
“We’ve got a lead on the vamp nest. It’s important.” Then I’ll send my uncle Byron a message to him.
You can’t do the mind thing with him?
I’m not that close a friend with the Prince. He only does the mind thing with me when he wants to.
“You two are so grossing me out, can we please go see the Prince now?”
Mikhail, Raven, Bryon, Antoinetta and two other couples were waiting for the three of them in a large drawing room. Vi swallowed nervously as she made her way into the room. She was sandwiched between Dawn and Josef, both of them good looking people, and now faced eight other ridiculously good looking people. Couldn’t they grow at least one ordinary looking person? Did they all have to be so pretty? You are the most captivating of them all.
Josef had his hand resting on the small of her back, ready to pull her back away from the other males in a heartbeat if necessary. Liar.
“We’re sorry to interrupt your evenings, and wow, I so did not know there were going to be so many of you here,” Dawn said breathlessly, taken back by the additional couples as well.
“Please sit, won’t you?” Raven smiled brightly at them, gesturing to the empty sofa.
“Forgive me, may I introduce you to my brother Jacques and his mate Shea, and my daughter Savannah and her mate Gregori,” Mikhail smiled at the two girls before turning to the others. “This is Dawn Summers and Vi -”
“My lifemate,” Josef finished.
“Really?” Savannah quirked an eyebrow his way. She, Josef and his brother Benjamin were all of a similar age, and had often been thrown together as children. Still, it was odd that a male as young as Josef had found his mate. But it had happened. Barack and Syndil were proof of that.
“Prague!” Vi blurted out, her cheeks flushing at the looks she was getting.
“What Vi means is that we have a lead on who’s running the vampire - um, our type of vampires, the demon-based ones - cult. Yeah, and it’s not good,” Dawn sighed.
“We have Drussues,” Vi blurted it out again, getting confused stares from the Carpathians.
“Forgive me, I’m not as in tune with the world as I once was, but what are drussues?” Mikhail frowned, leaning forward.
“Even if you were bar crawling every weekend, the word would still be weird. We kinda coined it,” Dawn finally blushing, feeling every bit embarrassed as Vi did.
“So, what are… drussues?” Bryon asked.
“A Person,” Vi and Dawn said together.
“See, it all really started with ConFest -” Vi started explaining.
“Which is also about a person,” Dawn interrupted. “Connor Angel, our friend and fellow demon hunter.”
“Right. We called it ConFest because it was the first time Dawn’s sister let Connor within a hundred yards of her -”
“Just because his dad was all swoony over Buffy like forever ago doesn’t mean I’m gonna fall for Connor!” Dawn blurted out angrily. The situation had happened three years ago and yet it still irked her.
“Angel was the demon-made vampire that Buffy fell for when she first moved to the Hellmouth.”
“He had a soul that made him all loveable. Until there was the sex and the fish/teacher/friend killing spree he went on,” Dawn rolled her eyes.
“I thought these kinds of …vampires couldn’t breed.” Gregori frowned, his thoughts going to their own difficulty of breeding.
“They can’t. They can only turn other humans, and make a childe, with an e, that way.” Vi shook her head, trying to ignore
“Except for Connor who was apparently prophesied about. His dad is Angel and his mom was Darla, a vampire who Buffy slew and then an evil law firm brought back to life only to have her be turned again by Drusilla. See, Darla was Angel’s sire, who in turn sired Drusilla after he drove her crazy. Then Drusilla sired Spike, who fell for her hardcore for most of his un-life.”
“Until Buffy. And the chip,” Dawn added.
“Chip?” Shea asked.
“The government put a chip in his brain to keep him from hurting humans. It got defective like three years later and they had to remove it , but it’s cool, Spike got his soul back,” Dawn shrugged giving them a smile.
“Anyway. So like three years ago, we’re planning ConFest - um, that we would be me, Dawn, and our friends Carlos, Kit and Rona - “
“The original ODT.”
“ODT?” It was Raven’s turn to ask the question they were all pondering.
“Oops Day Troop. We tend to get into weird situations a lot,” Vi blushed again. “Anyway, so we’re all at ConFest - the six of us, with Andrew as our ‘chaperone’ - why was he our chaperone? He can barely take Kit on much less the Destroyer and two slayers?”
“Apparently he was an adult. Whatever, a man who collects as many toys as he does should not be considered an adult.”
“Ahem,” Jacques coughed, getting their attention.
“We had a crasher. In the form of Drusilla.”
“We thought she was there to eat us, but apparently she just wanted to tell us that the stars were whispering to Miss Edith again - “
“Did we mention that she’s still crazy?”
“- and how she had to see her little brother and warn him. She won’t attack us, but she’s still a menace.”
“Why didn’t you slay her?” Savannah asked. “You said there were two of your slayers there.”
“Because it’s Drusilla. She’s the only member of the Scourge of Europe to never be slain. Buffy killed Darla, Angel, and Spike. It’s like a sacrilege for us to kill her,” Dawn made a ‘duh’ face at them.
“Besides, our luck the Powers That Suck On So Many Levels would bring her back with a soul and triple the crazy factor. Sometimes, you just don’t tempt fate,” Vi’s eyes widened in horror at the thought.
“We know we should, but the Powers have seen all of the others brought back and tortured/redeemed. It’s - it’s not a good mix,” Dawn sighed.
“What does this have to do with the vampires here? Or with Prague and drussues?” Mikhail sat back then, his fingers tightening around Raven’s.
“Well, those are our Drussues. Or our Drusilla Issues,” Dawn sighed.
“We’ve only see her like three or four times in the last three years, Connor sees her more often than we do, although he’s threatened her more than we have. She never attacks us and the last time she tracked the ODT down it was to show off a tattoo,” Vi chewed at her bottom lip nervously, completely aware that Josef was sending her soothing thoughts to make her less nervous, which only led her to feel more nervous.
“A tattoo of a red Valentine’s Day ripped apart showing a real bleeding black heart inside with a white bleeding heart flower at the top of the tear,” Dawn held up the sketch of it.
“It’s at the small of her back, which is kind of scandalous, seeing as all I’ve ever seen her in are flowing 19th century outfits,” Vi took a deep breath before continuing. “She also talked about going back to Prague, and hoping for a better reception this go around. The last time she and Spike had been in Prague, Dru was almost killed by a mob and was left weak, slightly naïve and childlike.”
“A bleeding heart,” Shea murmured.
“And this new influx of vampires all came from Prague, most of them with a similar tattoo,” Jacques picked up his mate’s train of thought.
“Dru’s in Prague and the vamps are rallying to her. The Cult of the Bleeding Heart,” Dawn finished. “Not a bad following for a former psychic nun.”
Drussues,” Mikhail murmured. ~*~*~
In an abandoned warehouse in Prague, a raven haired woman swayed beneath the painted stars on the ceiling. Her underlings cowered in the shadows, none of them wanting to bring their mistress the news. Her blood red gown clung to her, the tiny diamonds glittering in the dim light, the back of the gown dipping so low that it showed off the heart tattoo on her lower back.
“The pretty pixie managed to follow the breadcrumbs the stars left for her,” Drusilla crooned to no one in particular.
“We lost three of our hunters to this new threat, mistress. Slayers and these - creatures.”
“Noble, noble, noble men with fangs. Better breed, that listens to the moon and the stars. They didn’t heed the stars warnings, and had to pay the boatman’s toll,” Drusilla giggled at her own little joke before sobering. “The little one waits for what’s right and good. There isn’t a hope.”