Chapter Twelve: England Swings
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghostrider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
This Disclaimer is getting longer than some Chapters I’ve read!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Chapter Twelve: England Swings
Victor, Shade, and two were-lions, Walter Martel, and Edmund Kelly, were left at the underground
on security, and to supervise the new guards. The rest of Team Slayer and the Nighthunter organization were traveling to London.
The flight to London was not terribly popular with anyone…except Gibbs and the vampires of the group... Buffy was annoyed that the man had slept most of the way while she spent the flight expelling the contents of her stomach into a bag.
Flying in 1952 was in no way similar to the type of flying that Xander and Buffy were used to. The A) Heartsblood aircraft used for overseas flights was a prototype aircraft.
B) It was originally built to accommodate seventy-five passengers, but was modified to accommodate only 40.
C) The food served aboard was actually edible, for those who could keep it down that is.
D) The weather was terrible, and the turbulence was horrendous.
Ziva, who was usually the bravest person Xander had ever met had clutched Connor’s hand like it was a life line, and had murmured prayers in Hebrew nonstop once the turbulence had begun.
Once they disembarked Connor held her for a moment before she reasserted herself. Once that was done they walked hand in hand to the Rolls-Royce limos waiting their arrival.
Gibbs walked next to the tall redheaded Countess. Mina noted that Elizabeth had traded in her customary high heels for a pair of stylish flats. Though the Special Agent and the Countess did not hold hands it was still quite obvious to all that they were starting to become ,at least temporarily, a
couple. Abby and Ducky could only conclude that it had to be the red hair, though Ducky privately felt that the noble vampire’s stunning good looks and the element of danger projected also drew his friend’s interest.
The limos moved at a stately pace to a well kept old castle just outside the city proper. They were met at the door by a young man and woman. The man looked amazingly like Vlad Dracula, though his coloring was quite different, Vlad’s hair was like Mina’s a lustrous raven’s wing black, and his eyes were blue. This man’s hair was a sandy brown, and his eyes were amber similar to Mina’s. The young woman’s hair was an almost white blonde, and she had pale gray eyes.
“This,” said Mina, “Is my son Quincy, and his dear wife Jeanne, They were turned when Quincy was 65, by an old enemy of ours. To further cause us pain, and anguish they were then slain and their bodies were burned. The Light sent them back to us to earn their redemption; I suppose that this will come as quite a surprise to Giles de Rais when we finally encounter him.”
“I believe your supposition shall prove correct mother,” said the young man quite stiffly.
“My dear son Quincy, became a barrister, and followed in his mortal father’s footsteps in becoming a stodgy, grumpy old man at the advanced age of 25. As you can see by looking at him he not only had a mortal father, but an undead one as well!” Mina’s face took on an embarrassed look, and she proved that vampires can blush.
Once inside rooms were parceled out. Everyone was given one, some went unused, but everyone had one of their own. The castle had been modernized with electricity, and running water, so there was no inconvenience to anyone.
Breakfast included a modified meet and greet session though some of those attending did not actually eat breakfast.
The new arrivals were from Nighthunter Teams stationed in Europe. Svetlana Djanova, Gregor Bogdan Chmielnicki, both vampires, were stationed in Russia. Edwina Barrett, and Captain John Allen Bishop NAMC (North American Marine Corps).also vampires, and Pere Martine LeDuc SSJ, a French werewolf, were all from the London branch. Still expected were Hanna Ashford a dhampir and American expatriate living in Zurich, and an unnamed human American archeologist who had been working in Africa, that they simply called Professor B.
Half way through breakfast a British government liaison arrived. Both Buffy and Xander nearly passed out when they were introduced to Sir Wesley Wyndam-Pryce 8th Earl of Brooke. Neither let on that they had known his late counterpart in their world. Getting to know him they found that he was more like the Wesley they had come to know after he had joined Angel in L.A. than the one he had been when he first came to Sunnydale. His wife Sarah was a wonderful Scottish lass that had a ready smile, and a cheerful disposition.
Xander sat and talked to Sir Wesley for a long time. Buffy involved herself in a conversation with Mina.
“Mina, I don’t mean to pry, but how did all of this come about,” Buffy inquired cautiously.
“Which part of all this do you mean, my friend,” the vampiress asked in return?
“The obvious wealth for one thing,” Buffy stated.
“You must understand my late husband was quite a successful barrister and solicitor before his death. Take into account that each of our friends. Had remembered us in their wills, and since none of them married we were left a tidy sum. Sadly Doctor Seward became addicted to cocaine after our return from Rumania, and ended his life in screaming madness as an inmate in his own asylum. Professor Van Helsing died in a fit of apoplexy shouting at a particularly obtuse student only five years after Dracula’s second demise. Arthur Lord Holmwood died during the First Great War leading his troops on Flanders Fields.” She paused and took a sip from her goblet, “The doctor left us the bulk of his estate several thousand pounds actually. Professor Van Helsing, though not a rich man, was well off. He left us a few thousand pounds, and a large parcel of land, several hundred acres, bordering Lake Lucerne in Switzerland,” Buffy smiled in interest. “Arthur left us the bulk of his estate, well over two million pounds, and this castle his family home. Using investment advice from Larry we started the publishing arm of Heartsblood, and invested in ship building in Scotland, a few budding aircraft companies, cattle futures in Canada, and the States, and a small shipping line here in Britain which turned out to be our only loss due to German submarine attacks during the Second Great War.” Again she sipped from the goblet, “During the war when the rest of us were involved in covert operations in Germany, Kharis, ran the businesses from Switzerland, with the aid of Harker Cross, & Co. Solicitors in London. Quincy’s grandson Arthur runs the law practice now.” Mina gave Buffy a warm smile, “We still have the gold gems, and jewelry from Poenari in storage as a hedge against future losses. Actually aside from Heartsblood we now own The Caledonia Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Limited in Dundee, a controlling interest in the Vickers-Armstrong, Ltd, an airship firm, and Draco-Talbot Films, ltd. Oh and lest I forget Larry’s favorite company Westminster Chocolatiers, Ltd,” she laughed.
Buffy smiled, “But the ties to the governments how did those come about?”
“It started here in England. Once upon a time a prominent politician had a son who was bitten by a werewolf. Now, fast forward about a year and the boy was slain by an independent were hunter, and the light sent him to us. The father did not know that the boy had been killed, but he did know that his werewolf son had been missing for almost two weeks. The boy returned home and the father was overjoyed. The boy related his encounter with the Living Light, and told his dad about us, though he cautiously did not yet go into detail. He set up a meeting between Nighthunter and his father. During the course of this meeting we showed the man our organization was truly real. We also demonstrated that we were doing a very real job protecting humanity from the things that go bump in the night. The boy began to work with us, and we eventually won the older man’s trust and support. During the War we combated Nazism inside the enemy nations, primarily Germany. This won us the support of many of his colleagues. The gentleman became Prime Minister, and we were given liaisons to both MI-5, and MI-6, in the States we work with their counterparts FLEA and CIA. Other nations have followed and now we work, if not in the open, at least covertly with the government and law enforcement. Sir Wesley is our liaison with MI-6, the Secret Intelligence Service, in other words dear he is a spy, and a damned good one from what I hear!”
As the day wore on most of our vampires went to their rest, I say most because Mina, Vlad, and Quincy closeted themselves in the library with Buffy and Xander, and went over several intelligence reports provided by both their own agents, and the governments. Wesley joined them early on and assisted them in making sense of the information gathered.
The target was easy to guess, the queen, the timing, however, was far more on the tricksy side. They knew that it would be very soon, but having a team of monsters hanging around Buckingham Palace just wasn’t done.
The problem was solved by Sir Wesley’s invitation extended on behalf of Queen Victoria II to attend a Royal Ball to be given on the following evening. The invitation was to American Publisher Mr. John Draco his wife Billie (Billie?), and her sister Buffy Harris, Billie’s sister, her husband Alexander, her father Mr. J.L Gibbs, and his wife Elizabeth. Of course the remaining Nighthunter/Team Slayer members would be hidden among the staff, and retainers of the palace.
Buffy stopped everything for a moment, “Mina would you please call Father Martine in here, I don’t feel right PRETENDING to be married to Xander.”
“Buff, are you saying that you changed your mind?” Xander’s face was hurt, and he looked as if he had been stabbed in the heart.
“Xander! That’s is not what I’m saying at all,” Buffy said softly. “Honey, I’m saying that I want to marry you right now!”
“Right…now?” Xander smiled in an open-mouthed thunder struck way.
“Abby and Gibbs can be our Maid of Honor and Best Man, Ducky can give me away, and Father Martine can marry us. I’d have had Vlad and Mina, but technically they ARE dead.” Buffy smiled apologetically at Mina. Mina smiled back.
“I haven’t planned a wedding in quite sometime. I shall be happy to do the planning for this one. Would 7:00 pm this evening be all right reception to follow in the great hall, honeymoon deferred for a few days?”
“Uh, s’ok with m…me if it’s ok with B…Buffy” stammered Xander, “but Buff, what about Giles, Wills, and Dawn?”
“”We can have another one when we get home silly. Doubles the chance for prezzies,” said the Slayer mischievously.
Xander just gave her an OH expression, and shrugged.
(Authors Note): I know there's alot of exposition, but my worst critic (who I married) has been bugging me about where the money for everything that Heartsblood, and the Nighthunters do is coming from.
Reviews please, they ARE the life's blood of a muse, and as we all know it's always about the blood!