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This story is No. 1 in the series "Hunting the Night". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Buffy sitting alone at a cafe in Rome receives a strange visitor.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Vampire/Supernatural > DraculaArjaiHFR711,107073,42116 Nov 0816 Nov 08Yes

Disclaimer: As always I own none of the major characters. Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon.

(Buffy’s P.O.V.)

I sat outside at one of the small glass topped tables of the cafe watching the eleven a.m. traffic of Rome pass me by.

I sipped sullenly at my espresso, and sighed.

I had broken off my relationship with the Immortal.

Dawn and Andrew had left the previous day for Oxford, England; Willow was somewhere in South America with Kennedy.

Faith was in Cleveland holding down the fort there.

Xander and Robin were in Africa training a few new slayers, and Giles was at a conference in Kiev trying to set up a Watchers Branch Office and School in the Ukraine. I was alone for the first time since the Fall of Sunnydale

Something began to set my Slayer sense a-tingle.

A young woman dressed in a broad brimmed white sunhat and a very stylish cream colored maxi dress was walking over to my table.

My senses screamed vampire, but it was broad daylight, and the Roman sun was high! The Ring of Amara had been destroyed, hadn’t it?

“Slayer all I ask is a momentary truce. If, when I am done speaking you wish to slay me I will willingly bear my breast to you.” Her accent was upper class British, with a slight hint of something else.

“I am truly one of the undead, but I am not from your reality. I was born in England in 1870. I was rudely introduced to the world of the supernatural when my closest friend was bitten by an undead monster. My fiance who, had gone to the continent on business was severely injured and was suffering from exposure. I traveled to him, and help to nurse him in his convalescence. There in a small chapel we were married. While I was away, my friend’s suitors, and her fiance did there best to cure her of her malady, but despite their best and most frantic efforts, she died.”

“What transpired next was horrifying in the extreme. My friend became one of the undead. Unlike her seducer she was the worst kind of vampire, an insane, almost mindless killing machine, preying on innocent children. Our friends aided by my husband, who it seems had experienced the horror of her maker on the continent, finally put her to rest.”

The woman stopped as the waiter came to our table. I ordered another espresso, and she ordered tea. When the waiter had filled our order and left, she continued, “at length I too suffered the creatures attentions, and was seduced and was bitten, infected if you will. After this happened we took up the chase of this beast in earnest! We, my husband and I, and our friends, tracked down the monster and destroyed him just before he could enter his lair. Our victory was not without the loss of one of our own brave friends though.”

She sighed. “I was assured that this would be the end of my curse. We went about our mundane lives, and a year almost to the day of the monster's destruction I bore my husband a beautiful son.”

“We will now jump to my sixty-fifth year on Earth. My husband had passed away peacefully the year before; our son was a grown, successful professional man with a lovely wife, and children of his own. I had been told by my doctors that I had a severe heart condition and would not last much longer. I determined to return to the site where we slew the monster. I have been a bit dishonest with you. I assure you that I loved my dear husband very much. He was a good man, but he was, however, as exciting, as a piece of dry Melba toast, a proper Victorian businessman.”

“My sin is that I loved not one man, but two. One was my husband; the other was a monster, a master vampire, and the most exciting man I had ever known!”

“When I arrived at the scene of his demise. I went down to the castle's crypts. That was when the vampire rose from his tomb, as much undead, as he had ever been. My poor old heart stuttered to a stop, and I died, his name on my lips. I awakened as the creature you see before you. I was to discover that my love, and several other creatures of the night had been given a second chance at redemption by a generous God, and that I had been designated by the Powers That Be of that reality to LEAD them! Vampires, were-creatures, a cursed mummy, all manner of monsters joined us, along with a few very special humans. We became hunters of the night, fighting the Darkness against the very types of creatures we had been! We have lost many of these monstrous comrades in this war, but we fight on”

“You should know that those of us who are vampires, and have chosen this redemption can appear in sunlight, though if we stay too long that exposure still burns us terribly, hence my lovely sunhat and long dress,” she smiled. “We can be photographed; we cast shadows, and can go for a very long time before we succumb to our, Red Thirst. When we do feed, we never kill, and only feed from those human monsters that prey on their own, or we feed on the night creatures we hunt. If you find it in your heart to let me live on, I will be returning to my dimension shortly. We have no Slayer there. We are all that stands between humanity, and the creatures of the night, we are the nighthunters.”

“The reason I have told you all of this, and the very reason I have sought you out is because in your past life we knew one another, and loved one another as if we were sisters.”

“When one of our witches discovered who you were, and where you were. I had to come even if it would mean my second, and final death.”

“Will you let me return to my fight Slayer?”

For some strange reason I believed her. I nodded, almost dumbstruck at her revelations, and a strange desire to hug her to me.

Finally she rose from her seat, kissed my cheek and walked away. As she did she said” Goodbye my friend, God willing we will meet again when our fights are through. Goodbye Lucy.”

As she walked out of sight I whispered,”goodbye Mina, may you find your redemption.”

(Author's Note) The story is completed. It is of course crossed very loosely with Dracula. Reincarnation could play strange tricks on us.

The End

You have reached the end of "Once". This story is complete.

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