I guess this story isn't too popular, but I figure I should post this second and final half of the adventure. Maybe with all the action in this chapter more of you will review and let me know what you think of my messed up little fic. It helps a little if you try not to take it too seriously. LOL
See Chapter One for the Disclaimer, and I know I end it there, but maybe in the future I'll be able to cook up a sequel or even a prequel so you get to know Valerie a little better.
Laurence could hear them; he was after all a Werewolf himself and had hearing that extended beyond anything his two companions might have. Dracula had sent an advance party to deal with their intrusion into his lands, smiling Laurence picked up his cane and made his way out of the barely standing house he had taken the Slayers to.
If Dracula wanted to play then he would go along with it, but he doubted very much the Slayers would be needed in this and thus left them to sleep. They came; crawling over buildings and down walls like acrobats, these were his kind.
The species created over a thousand years ago, the original, the True Werewolf. Not some of those strange and barely controlled beasts that ran rampant or the oddly skeletal looking wolves that bore little resemblance to the animals they were named after.
The same species that Dracula had sent against Van Helsing and the Gypsy woman, the Vatican was tight lipped when it came to that mission. After all Van Helsing killed Dracula then, but as usual Dracula returned even from death and began anew.
Growling and snapping a lithe looking werewolf who couldn’t be older then thirteen leapt at Talbot teeth bared and claws out ready to tear up the non-transformed wolf before her. Smiling Laurence Talbot opened his mind to the beast within and was assailed with all of his enhanced senses, his canines protruded slightly and he leapt to meet the attacker brandishing his club like a sword. The silver capped end came down and bashed the poor girls head in killing her instantly, twirling about he dispatched a larger, older specimen with a feral growl his eyes now changing into the wolfs.
There was no full moon tonight, but it was so close Talbot didn’t need it to transform slightly. That first time had been murder, unlike other werewolf species his kind tended to literally explode out of their human skin tearing it off of them to reveal the beast within. And then there was the shedding, except for Van Helsing very few of his kind could resist Dracula. Probably why he still kept the cure secretly hidden away, but in larger amounts.
A vampire rose from the night teeth bared ready to bite into his neck, depressing the pentagram on his staff he watched as the silver stake blessed by Saint Peter himself ripped through the creatures unbeating heart and dusted him instantly. Laurence grinned ferally as he literally tore the throat out of another wolf killing him instantly, it was the only release they could receive at this time and they welcomed it as at last Dracula’s hold upon them was taken away by death.
The battle raged most of the night, Laurence lost track of the time and the amount of killing he did as the moon waned however several remaining wolves rushed back to their master rather then be caught out in the daylight. None of his Childe had survived this encounter, Talbot slowly came down off of his bestial high and breathed normally again, his suit was torn and bloodied in numerous places. He’d have to change his clothes before waking the Slayers, it was a miracle they hadn’t woken up at the amount of noise going on out here, perhaps he should check on them.
Moving back into the house he crept stealthily to the door where Desiree slept, glancing inside to see what had managed to keep her asleep while he fought the hordes of Dracula’s army he was astonished to find the Slayer snoring loudly with a pair of headphones on.
“I don’t believe it.” He stated.
“I know she can sleep through anything.” A voice whispered beside him making Talbot jump. Valerie stood beside him breathing heavily sweat drenching her brow, a short sword in one hand a stake in the other. “I didn’t know you could fight like that, I mean for an old guy you fight pretty good.” She amended blushing slightly, trying to remember when the Slayer had joined the fight he could barely recall seeing her it was as if she’d simply stood by and watched him. Smiling slightly Laurence placed a hand on her shoulder and led her back outside where the bodies of the wolves littered the street.
“I’ll take that as a compliment young lady.” He said. “The types of werewolves your kind typically encounter are nothing compared to us.” He added eyeing the thirteen year old Romanian with a slight air of melancholy.
“I can believe it.” Valerie said. “What kind are you?” Laurence eyed the Slayer and shook his head in answer to her question.
“I can’t tell you that, for one thing only Dracula knows the species name and I never bothered to ask, for another I’m not really sure it’s something that should be known for if the wrong people got wind of this super wolf as it were they might try and create something better left in the darkness.” He stated. “Besides I personally don’t need one of those werewolf eating cults to get wind of us and me in particular, being eaten alive isn’t my cup of tea.” He finished sounding particularly British at that moment. Valerie smirked and then turned to the dead bodies.
“We’re going to bury them right?” She asked.
“Of course, but it will take the remainder of the night. Dracula has succeeded in preventing us from getting the rest we need in order to combat him.” Laurence growled his eyes changing once again into those of the wolf, but a hand on his shoulder from Valerie made him calm down.
“We’re creatures of the night too Larry, tomorrow night Dracula won’t know what hit him.” She proclaimed with a small smile, smirking Laurence moved to the car and popped the trunk revealing a few shovels and a pickaxe inside.
“Let’s move quickly then for the sun will soon be up and I won’t be near as awake as I am now, fights like this always exhaust me once the moon sets.” He revealed.
“This has got to be the dullest place yet.” O’Connell complained. “I think I’d prefer another ancient tomb.” He added, Van Helsing curled her lip and set to work on her plan, she’d started testing their cell as soon as the sun rose and had managed to discover what she hoped was a weak spot.
“Could be worse.” She pointed out. “The Invisible Man could be running around with Dracy again.”
“Don’t start with him.” O’Connell grumbled with a sour expression, there was bad blood between the two creatures. Well one creature and one scientist turned invisible, it was partly his fault Doctor Jones had died young. “Besides last I heard he was in charge of that assassins branch of the CIA or whatever.”
“No, Larry and I put a stop to that. We had to kill half a dozen invisible freaks, but we got the U.S government to realize messing with the supernatural to kill people wasn’t a very good idea.” Regina explained with a smirk, O’Connell sat up from his cot and eyed her curiously.
“When was this?”
“When you were in Cairo dealing with claws and scary.” She elaborated; O’Connell chuckled and flexed his gun arm recalling his last tussle with good ol’ Scorpion King.
“We have got to stop selling our stories to Hollywood, I don’t care how good the royalties are and Brendan Frasier looks nothing like me.” He commented randomly causing Regina to smirk.
“You think that Hugh Jackman guy they’re filming with looks like my ancestor?” She asked. “Sexier and totally fuckable though. If only I wasn’t a reanimated corpse, tends to put a dampener on our sex life.”
“They do make good popcorn flicks though, or at least I’m sure yours will too once it’s fully shot and in the can.” O’Connell added. “Just wish I had a descendant to give my money to, Jonathan’s clan did not fare as well as he would have liked.” O’Connell remarked flippantly.
“Got it.” Regina cut in, the wall in front of her shattered like so much fine glass revealing the unlocked cell next door. “And that’s what you can learn when you take the time to study with Voodoo priests.” She added petulantly.
“You’re never going to let me live that down.” O’Connell complained. “The guy was making an army of zombies and all you wanted to do was learn how to do magic.”
“Oh please I would have killed him in my own time, besides I thought you still had that whole Black Lagoon mess to clean up. How was I supposed to know you and it
“Whatever let’s just get out of here, distracting those listen-in wards Dracy uses is driving me batty.” O’Connell exclaimed striding purposefully out of their cell. “Let’s load up some ammo and get out of this creepy castle.”
“Not without the book and stopping old fang face dead.” Regina reminded brushing past her ‘Husband’, O’Connell smirked his trademark smirk.
“Wouldn’t dream of it, we don’t get to stretch our muscles much anymore now that all our old sparring partners are either dead or too old these days.” He said.
Valerie had despite what she’d said to Laurence last night slept through most of the morning and well into the afternoon, now she ran through her katas before sun set while as usual Desiree slept in. Talbot however surprised her again, the odd werewolf had changed out of his torn and bloodied leisure suit and into a karate Gi. Completely gray in color with twin pentagrams on the back and a smaller version of his cane’s topper above the right breast.
He’d joined her in preparing for the battle that was to come, he was a sight to behold matching her Slayer enhanced speed and when he started swinging that cane around the years almost seemed to melt off revealing a man in his early twenties.
“You said you were immortal.” She remarked thoughtfully. Talbot nodded. “Not even blessed silver will work?”
“No, my wolf and I have become more then the sum of our parts.” He explained. “I still only change on the nights of the full moon, but I have access to all enhancements that the wolf possesses as you saw last night.” He elaborated.
“I guess that helps when fighting Dracula.”
“It has its’ advantages.” Talbot agreed with a knowing smirk. “Destroying the genuine article takes more then even a Slayer has, unfortunately every time I get close to ending him someone or something always shows up to bail him out.” Talbot didn’t think it was necessary to tell her that the werewolf was the only creature that could destroy Dracula; the real Dracula had perished at the hands of Van Helsing, the first Van Helsing, Gabriel Van Helsing. Somehow either because of his powers or the Devil Dracula was reborn and Abraham Van Helsing tangled with him, which was the tale Dracula told Bram Stoker himself.
The true story concerning his brides, his first brides and their attempt to bring their children to life was one not many knew of outside the privileged few. Although from the script Regina had given him that those Hollywood people had come up with several key facts had been changed, including the presence of Marry Shelly’s Frankenstein and Igor. Probably as a marketing deal.
“Demons?” Valerie paused mid kata, Talbot shook his head.
“Brides mostly or werewolves in his thrall. I think that’s why he hates me so much; he can’t enthrall me not even if he uses the book we’re here to reclaim.” He explained smiling broadly; Valerie sighed and resumed her practice.
“What is the plan anyway?”
“We wait ‘til O’Connell contacts us.” Valerie shot him an incredulous look.
“I thought O’Connell was a prisoner.” She blurted, Talbot laughed at that and shook his head.
“Ever seen the movies?”
“Trust me he’ll contact us.” Valerie shook her head exasperatedly; this guy was far too trusting.
“This place isn’t as run down as I thought it’d be.” Regina commented as the duo walked unhindered through the corridors of the massive castle, candles or torches flickered along the walls and cobwebs littered everything. Ice also covered the walls in several places; being high atop the Transylvanian mountains the snow blanketed this place in eternal darkness. The masonry however wasn’t as dilapidated as the outward façade would seem to indicate from what little she remembered seeing upon being taken here, O’Connell glanced around disquietly a long iron pike in his hand.
“I miss machine guns.” He stated bluntly.
“Bloody hell Rick is that all ye can think about?” Van Helsing hissed, O’Connell stopped and pointed ahead of them with a familiar expression on his face.
“No, I really hate Dracy’s brides.” He informed. Hissing brought Regina’s head snapping around and she fingered the piece of chair she’d snapped off in one of the rooms. Flapping towards them the brides bared their fangs and raised their claws, swinging the pike around in a wide circle O’Connell smirked. “Just like old times.”
“Dinnae remind me.” Van Helsing complained her accent slipping. “Last time I found you in bed with them.” Blocking the brunette with the pike handle and doing his best to hold her at bay he shot Regina an impish look.
“I was tied to said bed.” He retorted defensively. “Not like I can actually perform, reanimated corpses don’t exactly have blood in their veins makes you wonder how the ol’ vamp gets it on anyway.” Regina flipped the blonde onto her back and staked her before concentrating on the red head.
“And that’s why ye can never get it up when I’m feelin’ frisky.”
“You aren’t my wife ‘Bride of Frankenstein’.” O’Connell teased ducking under a swipe of the vampire’s claw, grunting slightly he swept her feet out from under her and tried to skewer her on the pike.
“Touché.” Regina got out before being thrown down the corridor and into the leftmost door; smashing through it she collided with a table and groaned painfully as her arm twisted at an unnatural angle. Her eyes happened to fall onto the contents of the table and she smiled wickedly, O’Connell would be pleased, picking up her stolen weapons Regina stalked out of the room and targeted the red head. “Marishka.” She called sweetly, the vampires’ eyes widened in shock and she tried to fly out of harms way. Rapid fire stakes impaled her and she dusted instantly. “O’Connell.” She called tossing him his sword.
“Nice.” He said upon catching the serrated edged weapon and promptly beheaded Verona. “Convenient, but then again Dracula always was one for his games.” He commented. Shaking her head Regina resumed the search for the book, at that moment an eerie sounding roar reverberated through the castle. “That can’t be good.”
“You don’t think?” Regina eyed O’Connell knowingly; the man frowned slightly and then sighed.
“I really hate mummies.” He cursed.
Dracula’s Childe swarmed the central ball room, once a place of merriment and dancing now the epitome of horror and terror. Several caskets lay in the center of the room empty of their former Vampiric bodies and four urns lay scattered on the floor a quartet of mummified warriors flanking the central creature in the room.
Dracula stood in his true form holding the Book of the Dead in one hand and the Book of the Living in the other, his wolves yowled and nipped at the feet of several vampires. Incanting the ancient texts simultaneously Dracula had no time to concern himself with dead wives or escaped prisoners, the alignment of the stars was precise and now was the time to bring about his glorious plan one that had been set in motion centuries ago.
“Ra, deity of the sun and giver of life. Ve who have been cast into the shadows for far too long beseech you; grant us thy boon so that ve may live in sunlight again. Make us whole so that ve may hunt in the warmth of your glorious light, protect us from that which has tainted us and grant us thy blessing.” Lightning struck the castles’ walls destroying one of the stone behemoths which guarded against intruders, continuing to chant Dracula paid it no heed while some of his wolves bayed in fear.
Bursting in on this scene O’Connell and Regina took one look at the massed beasties and started firing stakes into the crowd.
“Kill them!” One of the Childe bellowed, instantly the four mummified warriors roared and charged leading a pack of wolves.
“I think I liked it better when I only had to deal with one at a time.” O’Connell remarked switching to blessed silver bullets to deal with the wolves.
“All we need now is our absentee friend from the Black Lagoon and Mister Invisible and we’d have the whole set.” Regina agreed ducking a wolf and dusting a vampire simultaneously.
“We could use Larry’s help right about now.” O’Connell observed pushing back one of the mummies with his mechanical arm. “You need a breath mint.” Regina flipped a second mummy into six vampires charging her and reached into her pocket, pulling out an ornate silver dagger she tossed it into the back of a retreating wolf and resumed dusting vamps.
“Didn’t you bring your cell?”
“And how do you propose I get reception up here?” O’Connell shot back.
“Don’t ask just do it.” Regina returned groaning as she was slammed into one of the massive pillars.
“Oh sure just do it… Wait a minute.” O’Connell smiled as he remembered something else he had in his pack, reaching in he pulled out a small object which he kept hidden from view. “We are outnumbered here you know and don’t exactly have much breathing room for phone calls.” He pointed out.
“Don’t blame that on me, you’re the one who insisted on charging in guns blazing.”
“Are you sure you and Evy weren’t related?” Regina growled and found herself slowly being cornered without much room to maneuver; Dracula must have called in every last follower despite their scattered nature. Smirking at his clever little sleight of hand O’Connell tossed the object he’d pulled out of his bag earlier, it collided with one of the mummies and exploded in a huge conflagration that burnt several vampires to a crisp and badly injured three wolves. “Gotta love C-4.” He remarked with a mischievous smirk before pulling out his cell. “You’d better be here Lar and this thing better have bars, stupid technological advances.”
The Powers that Be were not pleased, not in the slightest. They had spent a great deal of planning and manipulation in order to maintain the balance, and now because of the Slayer undoing years of patient resources Dracula was soon to grant a change in the very order of things.
Vampires that could hunt in the sun, such a thing was not a good sign at all it could give The First ideas. They needed to intervene, they had to prevent O’Connell and his allies from arriving too late, but their current options were greatly limited.
“The Slayers are a nuisance and would never agree.” H’rinta stated.
“And the ensouled vampire is currently locked into his destiny.” S’ynnea added.
“Who then is powerful enough to contain Dracula and destroy both tomes should the need arise?” V’onar questioned. The Powers stripped aside all veils and all portals glancing throughout time, inevitably their eyes fell upon one, only one. But the answer was so simple.
“It is agreed upon then and the one shall earn his redemption?” H’rinta asked all those present, each in turn nodded their consent.
to the castle.” E’trenia ordered.
“In the name of God, open this door.” Laurence recited standing before the large map of Transylvania.
“And that works?” Desiree wondered with a roll of her eyes, in response the entire map changed and became what looked like an iced over mirror.
“What is that?” Valerie wondered smiling Laurence stepped through taking both Slayers by surprise as he vanished.
“Oh hell no.” Desiree exclaimed. Valerie shrugged and followed after the werewolf, Desiree eyed where her friend had been and the mirror and then sighed hefting her weapon. “You are gonna so owe me for this one when we get back.” She said to the empty room before stepping through the mirror.
Valerie, Desiree and Laurence charged Dracula’s castle once passing through the mirror, each of them staked one of the Childe as they made their way past the massive doors and into the main hall where all hell seemed to be breaking loose.
Desiree was in full form punching, kicking a whirling dervish of energy; she killed her twelfth Vampire in seconds. Valerie on the other hand had her arms full combating the biggest werewolf she’d ever seen, if she got out of this she had to remember to ask how the hell Dracula’s wolves could climb up the walls like Spider-Man.
The trio were involved in such a swarm of action neither could keep track of how many barred their path or who they were fighting at any given time, Talbot however was beginning to sense time slipping away from them.
O’Connell cursed as he finally ran out of stakes, slipping a small golden scepter from his bag he enlarged it into the Spear of Osiris and used it to stake any vampire that got near. It paid to keep blessed divine weapons around, but what he wouldn’t give for some more C-4 or even a flamethrower right then. Everything seemed to be getting out of hand, and where did Dracy keep getting the damn hordes of undead legions?
“Why do we always come in right when the bad guy’s going to achieve his goal with that damn book?” He grumbled to himself round house kicking a mummy to dust; having enhanced strength did come in handy.
“Karma.” Regina quipped at last joining O’Connell back to back.
“Drac’s got to the end.” O’Connell realized as the fighting started to slow, though not enough to allow the duo to rush Dracula and stop him.
“Then this is it, looks like the Slayer’s going to be working twenty-four seven.” Regina observed dropping her exhausted stake launcher and removing an elegant rapier of folded steel.
“Well at least I’ll get to see my boy and Evy again, heck I’ll even be happy to see that damn fool… Jonathan!” He trailed off in shock as a brilliant shimmering portal burst open directly in front of Dracula and out stepped Rick’s brother-in-law. Startled completely by this turn of events the fighting instantly stopped, reaching up Jonathan grabbed the Book of the Living setting it on fire with his touch.
“Arrrrggh!” Dracula cried out dropping the flaming book and moving to put out his hand.
“Sorry I’m late O’Connell I had to pick up a reluctant ally.” Jonathan called out with a grin as the last person Rick expected to see emerged from the still pulsating portal, his withering glare fell on the Vampire lord and the portal closed behind him.
“Hand me the Book of the Dead.” He commanded imperiously one hand reaching out to Dracula.
“Who dares to order the master of Castle Dracula?” The demon demanded rising to his full impressive height.
“High Priest Imhotep of his Pharaoh Seti’s court.” The bronze skinned practically naked man stated in a haughty tone of voice.
“Egyptian dust.” Dracula spat before lunging at Imhotep, rather then act the coward as O’Connell saw during the Scorpion King fiasco Imhotep caught Dracula’s clawed hands in his own and the two began to grapple.
“Ok, now I’ve seen everything.” Rick remarked beheading a Childe. “Jonathan how the hell did you get here?”
“The Powers didn’t like what your vampire friend was planning so they sent me here to, ah; convince our old playmate to help.” Jonathan replied touching a vampire and lighting it on fire as he’d done the Book of the Living, though unlike the Book the vampire did not survive.
“What’s with that?”
“Oh this?” Jonathan burned another vampire with his touch smiling slightly. “Something to do about Angels and their touch, at least on vampires.”
“Ok, we might just beat Dracula at that.”
“Provided Imhotep doesn’t turn against us.” Regina pointed out tackling a wolf and joining the conversation at the same time. “I can’t believe the Powers brought him back, didn’t they learn anything from the last time?”
“He won’t.” Jonathan assured his touch turning a wolf back into a fifteen year old boy when he attempted to maul him. “But I doubt you’re going to like what happens after this.” He added. “Evy says hi by the way.”
“Just like old times.” O’Connell said.
“Doesn’t your being here upset the balance?” Regina asked.
“Not at all, I’m a low level angel. Not even important enough to be noticed, besides Angelus is keeping Wolfram and Hart looking the other way and the First’s still licking its wounds.”
Imhotep roared in the face of Dracula and tried to break the vampire’s arms, but the mummy was just equal to him in strength and so could not best him in a match of brawn alone. Fortunately he had other abilities to rely upon, with a roar a swarm of scarabs flew from his mouth and swarmed Dracula who began swatting at them with his wings.
Howling in fury the lord of the vampires bit the Egyptian mummy with his fangs, crying out in fury and pain Imhotep turned into a whirling dervish of hard sand and peppered Dracula with the diamond hard granules. Enraged Dracula leapt into the air and dove for the Book of the Living still smoldering where he’d dropped it, now he was mad and the spell to destroy Imhotep was in the Book.
A swarm of locusts arose bursting through the high windows and blocking Dracula’s progress, still smarting from the scarabs he bellowed in pain, some of his Childe came to his defense only to fall as the accursed Wolf Man struck them down.
Imhotep landed on his back and struck at his wing joints, Dracula smiled and flew up into the shadows of the room striking purposely into the overhangs injuring the Mummy in the process. The two began to fight in midair injuring the other, but never enough to be a mortal blow; Imhotep was powerful, but he was not going to destroy the great Dracula.
“You vill not win.” Dracula declared.
“All I want is the Book; victory is not what I seek.” Imhotep returned with a sneer.
“The Slayer has changed the very balance; this spell is the key to restoring the status quo.” Dracula proclaimed. Imhotep shook his head and rammed a stake into the vampires chest with such suddenness that it managed to penetrate straight to the heart.
“What the Slayer has done will be dealt with, but not by you.” Imhotep informed.
“It’ll take more then that to kill me.” Dracula spat with a blood stained snarl twisting he grabbed the stake and hurled it to the ground, Imhotep snatched the Book of the Dead still clutched in the vampires hand and turned the pages rapidly to the one he sought.
“Anubis damn this soul, Osiris destroy the dead thing before me.” He recited. Dracula screamed as his body began to crumble to dust; his rage and agony filled the room and the fighting below ceased completely. Imhotep leapt to the ground holding the Book of the Dead, Dracula hung in the air turning to dust, the Childe of Dracula yowled in their grief and the werewolves ran no longer under his thrall. “O’Connell it is time to leave.” Imhotep informed abruptly leaving through the entranceway, Regina and Rick shared a look while Laurence began searching for the two Slayers.
“Did I miss something here?” O’Connell asked. “Since when can the Book of the Dead do that, I thought only Larry could kill Dracula.”
“He’s not dead.” Jonathan spoke up. “He’s being transformed, it’s part of what you’re not going to like Rick.” He explained sheepishly, O’Connell sighed and plucked his sword out of a dead wolf. The trio watched briefly as the last of Dracula’s remains fell to the ground and then began to make their way out of the castle.
“And another thing, I thought I was the leader of our little group. Since when does Imhotep think he can boss me around?”
“Uh, later Rick I promise I’ll explain it all later. But right now we must leave before Dracula is restored in his new form.” Jonathan ordered.
“Jonathan.” O’Connell started, but whatever he was about to say was cut off as he and the others left leaving only Talbot behind.
Laurence found Desiree easily enough she was clutching her arm where a vampire had broken it and was standing over Valerie, as soon as he saw her his heart almost stopped. She was laying on the ground her throat torn out her eyes looking up at the ceiling lifeless, Desiree was in tears.
“We, we can’t leave her here.” She said bitterly.
“I’ve got her.” Laurence informed retrieving the Slayer he’d known only briefly, Desiree sobbed as the two quickly left before the vampires could recover. She didn’t know what was going to happen next all she knew was that another good person was dead and in her mind it was all her fault.
Sitting in the old car O’Connell eyed the Slayer who was hovering over her dead friend protectively, he didn’t know what to say to her, he hadn’t been very good at that sort of then even when he was alive. Imhotep and Jonathan had gone on ahead to Cleveland since they didn’t have a lot of time and the Mummy wasn’t about to sit in a car with his former worst enemy, as for Jonathan he just didn’t want to be bombarded by questions the whole way down the mountain.
“It’s going to be ok.” Regina tried to comfort Desiree, the Slayer glared up at her.
“She was my friend, my partner… I was supposed to protect her.” She said mystified.
“We can all do only our best in such situations.” Regina informed. “My bloodline has faced Dracula on four separate occasions and lived to tell the tale by sheer force of will, but they’ve lost many along the way. The first lost a woman he could have loved for the rest of his days all because she tried to save him.”
“It’s not the same, we’re Slayers… I know we have short life expectancies, but the spell was supposed to change all that, not make it worse.” Desiree spat bitterly.
“Trust us kid, dieing ain’t the end of the journey. It’s only the next step.” O’Connell pointed out, Desiree shot him a glare.
“Buffy’s going to take it so hard, she always does. Faith not so much… Oh God, Willow.” She gasped. “Valerie deserved better then this; she was the smart one, the one who could find out anything with just the right question and patience. It should have been me, I’m useless.”
“Hey!” Laurence shouted from the drivers’ seat. “Nobody is useless, don’t cheapen her sacrifice.” He accused, Desiree burst into a fit of tears and fell atop Valerie burying her face into her friend’s chest.
“Forgive me.” She pleaded of the dead girl. “I didn’t mean it like that, but why’d you have to go and tackle that werewolf? I didn’t see him coming up behind me I didn’t see him and you wanted to save my ass, why? I never treated you with an ounce of respect, I… I’m so sorry Val, I should have been better to you.” Weeping bitterly the others kept silent knowing this was probably for the best right now, the girl had to grieve.
Days later the group was back in Cleveland and the new Watcher’s Council headquarters, Jonathan had insisted that explanations could wait until they were back so O’Connell had grudgingly accepted Imhoteps’ presence amongst the group upon arriving.
The body of Valerie Cartwright had been transported back to Cleveland with the others; her parents had to be notified, at one point on the plane Desiree in a fit of insane grief had tried to use the Book, Larry being the one to carry it because of his sworn oath, to resurrect her. Imhotep, sensing her intent had stopped her without a word, simply a glare so deep and penetrating it had almost broken her.
Rupert Giles met the weary travelers in his office upon their return except for Desiree who had gone with Valerie unwilling to leave her dead friends side, Rupert rubbed his glasses vigorously as he listened to the report from Larry’s point of view having already heard it from Jonathan.
“I suspected something like this might start happening.” He admitted. “Ever since that impetuous fool of a girl performed the incantation that brought Buffy back, the First and Dracula will only be the beginning I suspect.”
“True.” Imhotep agreed. “The Powers are just as eager to return the state of affairs to the way they were.”
“Fortunately the Powers take orders and don’t just give them.” Jonathan spoke up. “Instead of forcing you to reverse the spell or allow many of the girls to die they’ve agreed to a less drastic step.”
“And what might that be.” Regina wondered curiously. Jonathan got that look Rick recognized all too often and he frowned.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re going to say one of those things we won’t want to hear right now?”
“Past experience.” Regina commented with a smirk.
“Ok, first of all you can’t stop what’s going to happen so don’t even try if you please.” Jonathan began.
“Just spit it out.” Rick commanded.
“Right, Los Angeles… Basically because of what Angel’s doing it’s going to wind up in Hell, we can’t say for how long.”
“Good Lord.” Giles exclaimed.
“Understatement of the year.” Regina quipped.
“Some of the Slayers are going to lose their powers; they’ll be made potentials again because until enough new ones are born there’s no one to carry on the line if all your Slayers get killed.” Jonathan continued. “The First isn’t going to be a problem for a while, but the Powers had to agree to letting five Turok-Han out of their prison. A few other powerful demons and old acquaintances are going to be unleashed, but they can’t even attempt to open a Hellmouth for at least four years also… Buffy’s gotta die.”
“What?” Giles demanded angrily.
“Makes sense, she’s the cause of the instability.” Regina remarked callously.
“When?” Giles demanded.
“That’s where there’s some leeway.” Jonathan revealed. “She won’t live to be ninety-five, but she won’t die at thirty. Exact timeframe I can’t say, the Powers agree to let her find true happiness though.”
“So that’s it, the entire catch?” Rick pried knowingly.
“Everything on the dark side of the equation.” Jonathan began. “The Powers want you four to work with the council, help them out against some of the troubles coming their way especially you know who.”
“Four?” Talbot questioned.
“And here’s the part I knew I was going to hate.” Rick stated. “They can’t be serious Jonathan, Imhotep’s cursed!” He exclaimed spreading his arms wide. “Not to mention the fact he tried to kill us on three separate occasions.”
“Three?” Regina repeated curiously.
“It’s a long story and not really important.” O’Connell returned. “And what about the Medjai?”
“I assure you I take no pleasure in having to work with you O’Connell, but they have decided I must seek redemption for my sins and I am willing to try.” The mummy pronounced in his haughty toned voice of general superiority. “Hell is not a place I care to remain for all eternity.” Rick rolled his eyes and sat down draping his leg over the armrest.
“What a team we’re going to make, an immortal werewolf, a cursed mummy and two reanimated corpses.”
“Quite.” Giles agreed. “Well Mister Jonathan thank you for bringing this to us, I take it the cryptic messenger got lost in the shuffle.”
“Kind of.” Jonathan grinned. “I’ve got to get back, let Evy know how you’re doin’ Rick.”
“Thanks Jonathan.” O’Connell waved. Regina turned to Imhotep.
“At least we’ve got a better guardian for the Books out of this deal… Wait a second what happened to the Book of the Living?” She asked suddenly seeming to notice the fact that only one tome was on the table in front of Giles.
“Uh…” Rick trailed off with a sour expression.
“I thought one of you grabbed it.” Talbot spoke up.
“Yes… Well you see that’s the thing.”
“You’ll get it back Rick, honest, but… Well that’s kind of how the four demons come back.”
“But I thought only the Book of the Dead could bring the dead back to life.”
“Who said they were dead?” Jonathan asked.
“Oh just perfect.” Regina grumbled.
“Jonathan!” O’Connell yelled as his brother-in-law vanished in a flash of white light.
Desiree sat next to the casket of her friend not even seeing what was around her, she was completely devastated despite her grieving on the trip home. Some how being here with Valerie there just made it all seem final. It was true she and Valerie had, had their differences and their fare share of bickering or arguing, but somehow or other they’d always managed to get along even if Desiree totally disrespected her time and time again.
Now. Now Valerie was dead; sure she’d taken the wolf that killed her with her, but it wasn’t supposed to be this way. Desiree had no idea what she was supposed to do now, how could she go on with anyone else? They’d never compare to her friend Valerie.
“I guess this is where I’m supposed to say goodbye.” She whispered laying a hand on the lid of the casket. “Is it selfish of me that I don’t want to?” She asked. She wanted to cry, but all her tears had been spent on the trip home. “I…” The words refused to come and she rose unsteadily to her feet walking away from the casket, stumbling she collapsed to her knees and at last the tears came. Breaking down she wept once again for her friend and sister Slayer as outside the sun set.
A lone wolf howled high atop the mountains of Romania, Castle Dracula sat seemingly empty all the Childe having fled upon the apparent death of their sire, the one true Dracula. His remains swirled about on a faint breeze, the Castle stood dark and devoid of unlife. Until.
An inhuman cry split the silence shattering it completely and the winds picked up, the remains whirled around in a cyclone of power and then began to reconstitute themselves into the body of a man, first the bones and then the flesh.
With a scream signaling his rebirth the master of Castle Dracula returned, brushing some dust from his lapel Dracula calmly made his way over to the center of the room and retrieved the Book of the Living.
“I may have been bested by that accursed Mummy, but at least some small hope remains.” He commented to the empty room slowly flipping through the pages. “Next time the Volf Man and I vill have our own climactic battle, but for now I vill simply resort to my second option.” Laughing Dracula began setting about making new arrangements, this time he was sure to succeed.The End