Chapter Three: Meet and Greet
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.
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Chapter Three: Meet and Greet
A man, apparently in his mid-thirties, with slicked back dark brown hair, his blue eyes twinkling, entered the room. His broad, honest looking face was creased with a smile. He had the appearance of a businessman wearing a fifties fashionable grey and black houndstooth sports coat, with black slacks, a pale grey shirt with no tie, black socks, and grey loafers.
“Hey, Johnny! Are these our reinforcements?” he asked amiably.
“Yes Larry, and they know who I am, so you can call me by my real name,” Vlad raised an eyebrow at the man.
“Yeah, I know, but I need to get used to the Jonathon Draco name for use in public. Wouldn’t do to have your business manager go calling you Vlad Dracula in front of a writer, or publicist, would it?” The man asked as he took a seat next to Felicia, winking at her.
“Larry, could you please, evaluate the young man with the eye-patch for us? It may be important to his young companion,” Vlad looked at Xander with a very serious expression.
Larry rose and walked over to Xander. After a moment he sniffed the air, and said, “The young lady will need to move away from him for a minute, she smells too strongly of leopard, for me to accurately evaluate his scent. She’s not a were-leopard, its something else, probably a spirit animal.”
Buffy rose uncertainly and walked to the other end of the table, “is this far enough?” she asked.
“More than adequate miss, thank you,” he smiled at her.
Once more he sniffed the air around Xander, crouching down he looked into the young man’s single eye intently.
“Hyena for certain, but not a were,” he said seriously, “something I’ve never seen! Maybe Kharis or Jamila can tell you what it is. They're far older than I am!”
“He won’t shapechange, I know that much, but not only that, if I’m right he’s immune to both lycanthropy, and the infection of vampirism!” Larry seemed flummoxed.
“Thank you my friend,” the prince smiled, “This gentleman is Mr. Lawrence Talbot. Though he sounds more Canadian or American than anything else he is from England. Many years ago Larry was cursed with lycanthropy by an old gypsy. Larry is a werewolf, probably the most powerful of his kind, and he is the Alpha male of our pack!”
“Hey, there’s a movie about him in our dimension! Jesse, Willow, and me saw ‘The Wolfman’ at a Saturday Matinee when we were ten, so I know the story. He doesn’t much look like that actor though.” Xander observed, as Buffy returned to her seat next to him. He was happy when she took his hand, in hers, and squeezed gently.
The next arrivals were two very beautiful, dusky skinned women.
One looked like she may have African blood in her ancestry, the other looked more Egyptian.
“Oh good! Marie, Jamila you are just in time! All we need now is Kharis, and Beth and the ruling council will be complete,” Mina said happily. “Buffy, Xander I’d like you to meet Marie Laveau, once known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, now one of our vampiric members.” The sensuous vampire eyed them carefully with half-lidded eyes, and curtsied in the old Southern Style.
Mina continued, “and our other beauty is Jamila. Jamila is a Bast, she is basically a former servant of the Egyptian goddess Ubasti, also called Bastet the Cat goddess, once associated with the sun, and later the moon, and of course war. Jamila is a very powerful shapeshifter. She is not a lycanthrope, mind you. She is a true shapeshifter though all of her shapes ARE cat related.”
Jamila's skin tight, low-cut gown left little to the imagination. Her face blurred for a second and it became the face of a humanoid cat with honey-colored fur. Seconds later it blurred again, once more becoming human.
“What I have shown you is my natural appearance,” she purred. Looking at directly at Buffy she said, “Your leopard spirit is beautiful, child, and she stands ready always to protect you from hostile spirits, as does the savage woman-child that accompanies her.”
Looking at Xander she said, “You bear the marks of an Old One, one of the Great Primal Spirits of the world! She, trusts you, and lends you her strength. She is honored to be bound to one who is loyal, and protects family above all others.”
“I protect my friends, and by extension the Slayer Line,” Xander stated.
“And are they not your real family?” Seeing the look in Xander’s eyes, she said, “Yes, I thought so. She calls you the White Knight, the True Protector of Humankind”
“Finally,” said Mina her face at first looking cross, then breaking into musical laughter, “Kharis Menkheperreseneb, you old mummy! If I didn’t know how fast you could travel when you want to, I’d think you were infirmed!”
The object of her laughter was. what looked like, a barely five foot tall, very old man. He wore a old tan fedora, a light blue seersucker suit, a loud red and yellow tie, a bright green shirt, and red tennis shoes, with no socks. Though he really looked nothing like him, he reminded Xander of George Burns in “Oh, God!’
On his arm was a stunning redhead with an impressive figure, dressed in a pale yellow knee length sundress, and matching three inch stiletto heels, who was a minimum of five foot ten inches in height, without the heels.
The old man sat down immediately saying, “You have absolutely no respect for age my dear.” Then he smiled showing his old yellow-brown teeth, and blew Mina a kiss.
Mina rose from the table and embraced the redhead with obvious affection.
“This Buffy…Xander is my very best friend among our little band. Once upon a time she was known as the Blood Countess. She was a practitioner of the blackest of magics, and a mass murderer. After her death she became one of the undead, a vampire. She was chosen by the Living Light, and joined us. Her name is Elizabeth Bathory.”
Xander looked up at her in horror, and wonder.
Buffy on the other hand just said, “Hell, I dated both male members of the Scourge of Europe, separately not together, in my dimension, and a third member, Drusilla by name, used to call Xander her kitten, and sent him headless puppies for his birthday.”
Vlad looked surprised, “I know all four of them they are very bad news. They still roam the continent in this world, in fact…”
“Hush dear, time for that later,” said Mina with a look of warning to her mate.
Mina called to the vampire biker at the door “Shade please make sure we aren’t disturbed for a bit. If Ian returns from his mission let me know immediately.”
The biker simply saluted and walked to the front door.
“Shade doesn’t talk much but he is one of the most reliable people I’ve ever met.” Mina said to her guests.
“Didn’t outlaw biker gangs start in America after World War Two?” Asked Xander, “and if the war just ended wouldn’t he be just a fledging vampire?”
“Actually,” Vlad answered, “in our reality they were an outgrowth of the First Great War. When the troops came home there were no jobs, and they were shown very little respect by those who stayed home, and made money off their sacrifices. In desperation many of these disaffected warriors turned to crime, prohibition was in full swing. Others dropped simply out of society. Some of the later turned into the motorcycle gangs. Shade was once a junior officer in the United States of North America’s Motorized Cavalry Corps. He watched most of his unit cut to ribbons by so-called friendly fire from a French Battery. It turned out that the Battery’s officers were drunk, and celebrating the Armistice! The French refused to punish these officers, and the American government refuse to push the issue, lest they lose an ally. As a side note: France fought on the side of the Nazis in the Second Great War anyway. Lieutenant Michael Edward Farrell resigned his commission in protest. He took the rest of his troopers home and with them as the core formed the motorcycle club called ‘The Sacrificed’.”
“Somehow, " Larry said, taking up Farrell’s story, “they hooked up with a bunch of bootleggers out of North Carolina as booze caravan guards. One night they got into a gun battle with what they thought was a rival gang. It turned out to be Treasury Agents, and Shade killed a Federal Officer. The rest of his peoplewere eithre killed or captured and shot out of hand by the agents who were on the take from the mob. Having no choice but to run, Mick stowed away on a steamer out of Charleston, bound for England. He made his way to London, but on his first night there he had the misfortune of running into a vampire named Lisette LaCroix. He ‘lived’ as a vampire with Lisette in England until they were both slain by a freelance vampire hunter in 1935."
“Just about the time Mina was traveling to Rumania on her death journey,” Vlad mused.
Mina took up the narrative, "he was arrested in his fall into Hell, as was my love, and most of our other members, and offered redemption by the Living Light. He accepted and showed up at the castle shortly before I arrived there. He was one of the first recruits to come before Vlad, and myself. I determined by his aura that he was truly one of the redeemed.”
“Mina,” said Elizabeth, “can see a person’s aura if she concentrates.”
Buffy looked at Mina questioningly.
“Yes, Buffy, “I can see your aura and Xander’s.” she paused, “Yours is pure golden with a rainbow at its outer edge. Some angel, some demon, some vampire, some shapeshifter, a little of everything. Xander’s is also pure golden, it has an outer band of rust brown similar to a shapeshifter’s, but not exactly, and inside that is a thin band of green something like that of a witch, but not exactly that either. His is confusing to say the very least. There is no evil in either of your aura’s, darkness yes, but not evil.” She paused and took a deep breath.
“So anyway, this is our ruling council, well minus one actually, but Doctor Ian Hall is on a mission for us,” said Mina brightly. “What do you think of us?”
Xander just stared at the faces around the table, Buffy smiled, but her smile was somewhat apprehensive.
By Xander’s count there were five master vampires (Dracula, Mina, Elizabeth Bathory, Marie Laveau, and Shade Farrell), two lycanthropes (one werewolf, one were-tigress), a living mummy with bad fashion sense, an ancient Egyptian cat demi-goddess, and the Frankenstein Monster fer’ Criminy sakes!
“Nighthunters,” Mina grinned from ear-to-ear, “please, welcome Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer, and her companion Mr. Xander L. Harris, as Jamila has named him the White Knight, the Protector…nay…the True Protector of Humankind. Miss Summers IS the reincarnation of my almost-sister Lucy Westenra, and Mr. Harris may, or may not be, I am not certain, the reincarnation of Mr. Quincy Morris of Texas one of the slayers of Dracula. And hopefully they will aid us in our coming Apocalypse.”
She turned her lovely face to the surprised pair with hope in her clear amber-brown eyes.