Ch 34: Carfax Abbey # 2 (Night Before the Battle)
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.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
All that you touch, All that you see
All that you taste, All you feel
All that you love, All that you hate
All you distrust, All you save
All that you give, All that you deal
All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal
All you create, All you destroy
All that you do, All that you say
All that you eat, Everyone you meet
All that you slight, Everyone you fight
All that is now, All that is gone, All that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
Song lyrics: Eclipse from Dar Side Of The Moon Artists: Pink Floyd
Ch 34: Carfax Abbey # 2 (Night Before the Battle)
The Yorkshire Team had BEGUN as the premier Team Slayer/Nighthunter team and was ORIGINALLY to consist of Mina Harker-Dracula, Prince Vlad Dracula, Lady Buffy Summers-Harris, Sir Alexander Harris, Sir Johnny Cage, Willow Rosenberg, Doctor-Sir Ian Evan Hall, M. D., Lady Drusilla Harris-Hall, Dame Ziva David, Sir Connor Angel, and William Pratt. Added to the team at their own insistence were Sir Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Doctor-Sir Donald Mallard M.D., Dame Abby Sciutto, Dame Marie Laveau, Sir Victor Mann, Doctor-Dame Winifred Burkle, Lord Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Sir Kharis Menkheperreseneb, Sir Lawrence Talbot, Dame Jamila Hathor, Dawn Summers, Rupert Giles, and Andrew Wells. Since they were in England ALL of the royal honorifics applied, they even bore a commission from Queen Victoria II to the effect that they were to be treated as a Defense Force of the Crown!
Now with all of the additions it really was the penultimate premier team The battle plan was hastily re-formulated. Originally the strike was to be a stealth mission. Now the stealth mission was only the prelude to the attack plan.
Willow, Marie, Abby and Dawn would open several portals to the ruins. Andrew and Giles would assist them, and stay behind to anchor the Portals to the Abbey. Mina, Vlad, and the other vampires: Marie, William, and Drusilla would be teleported into the castle where they would immediately take on mist form. Vlad, William, and Marie would scout out the opposition while Mina was to open the main door to the ruins. Marie on the other hand would open the lower seaward gate. In the process of their assignments the vampires were to silently take out as many guards as possible, by whatever means necessary.
Larry, Jamila, Victor, and Kharis were to be teleported to join Mina and cause as much havoc as possible at the main entrance.
The remainder of the team, led by Xander, and Buffy, would enter the seaward gate and proceed to their main targets from there. Buffy’s main target assignment was Fu Manchu himself. Vlad was to join her in this assignment. Xander had drawn, much to his great satisfaction, Angelus. Drusilla was to assist her ‘brother’ with this important target. Connor, and Ziva had originally drawn Darla, but Dr. Hall had wisely traded his own assignment the voodoo zombie master Papa Shengo. Jack-the-Ripper he may have been but he had grown a lot over the past months. He didn’t feel that it would be right to as the young man to destroy even the doppelganger of his own mother. Anyway Darla was worse than any whore he had kille in life, and she was his alone! He felt the old rictus grin creasing his face. She had often been cruel to his one and only love, his angel Drusilla, and for this she would pay dearly. Dawn, Abby and Willow would be supplying magical support, with Johnny guarding them. Fred and Wesley had the dubious honor of setting charges throughout the ruins, at strategic locations. These were to be set off by Willow’s magic once the last of the group were teleported out of the castle, and out of harms way. Jethro was to protect Fred, and Wes, and kill as many of the enemy’s soldiers as possible. He had tied one of Elizabeth’s red silk handkerchiefs around his arm and used an ornate antique broache with her family crest enameled onto it to hold it in place. He carried an AK-47, and three backup automatics as well as several spare magazines on his 782 combat web belt.
Once all was in readiness they had only to wait. Buffy found Mina in the ancient Abbot's Cloister seated behind an equally ancient desk.
“Whatcha doin’ kid,” she asked in an oddly playful tone?
The vampire queen looked up, and smiled, “I’m writing out instructions for Pete Fisher in case I don’t make it back from this one. Heartsblood, and the Nighthunters must go on even if I’m not here to lead them.” Mina stretched, and yawned. ”I’m so tired, and yet if I sleep I know that I’m not really sleeping I’m just giving in to death for a short while. You know how I know that? Because I never dream, I just close my eyes, and when I open them it’s hours later, with nothing in between.” Her smile turned into a thoughtful frown.
“Believe me if my dreams are any indication...you don't really want any," she shuddered! "C’mon,” the blonde Slayer finally said, “Lets go and find the boys, and see if we can’t talk them into giving us something memorable to dream about.”
Elsewhere in the Abbey Xander sat talking to Vlad, this was something he never thought that he would ever do, sit quietly in an old refectory talking familiarly with an ancient vampire, without wanting to pull out a stake. This Vlad Dracula was so different than the Dracula in his own world he could hardly credit that they were different aspects of the same person. Hell, they didn’t even look the same. This one kind of looked like Stuart Townsend, and the other one looked a lot like that terrorist guy Ari Haswari, that his cousin Abby told him about, the one that killed Kate Todd.
This Vlad was actually a regular guy…well for the King of the Undead anyway. Their talks usually ended up being about cars, or their wives, or monster hunting techniques, you know fun stuff. Tonight, however, the conversation was of a different nature. Tonight Vlad reminisced about HIS distant cousin, Elizabeth Bathory. She had been a lady. Sure she fell from the path of goodness in her life, and had done some horrible things. She did even worse things in her unlife as an unredeemed vampire, but once she accepted the chance of redemption she had become a true warrior of the Light.
“She had a beautiful contralto voice you know,” Vlad said. “She loved to sing, and not only old songs…she loved rock and roll! There is this young singer Brenda Lee that she liked a lot, I can just hear her singing to the record. ‘Comin’ on strong, comin’ on strong, I can feel the heart aches comin’ on strong, Only thing you left me was misery for company, and memories of a love gone wrong. Baby, comin’ on strong’. She loved that song,” his voice wasn’t too bad either. He sighed, “She could play guitar, and the harp, and the harpsichord too! She was a talented seamstress, and wove many beautiful tapestries.” He paused. “She was a dead shot with a bow, and a crossbow, and she was a talented swordswoman with either a saber or a rapier. The broadsword was definitely not her weapon though,” he laughed. “I shall miss her greatly, and in a way I envy her and her redemption. But no, no I don’t, I do not wish to leave my lovely Wilhelmina, not yet, not for a very long time yet.” He shook his head sadly.
Xander put a friendly hand on his shoulder, before he realized he was doing it. “I know what you mean. I couldn’t bear to lose my Buffy…not after waiting for her so damned long...for her to realize that we were meant to be! I’ve waited for the last ten years…since the day I met her in fact… I….I just want it to last forever.”
Vlad looked at him and nodded. “When this is over, I suppose you and your team will return to your dimension won’t you?”
“I don’t really know. I’m sure some of us will, but I’m just as sure that some of us will stay. Oz already told me that he’s staying with Laura Lee. I think Johnny will stay, ‘cause here he’s free of Old Scratch, and he can work toward redemption. I think he may have had a visit from your Living Light, but I can’t be sure, because he hasn’t said anything to me yet. If he stays I’m pretty sure Wills will too.” Xander said softly. “If Elizabeth wasn’t gone I think even Gibbs might have stayed.”
“And you and Buffy, how about you two,” Vlad cocked his head?
“I don’t really know,” The one eyed carpenter said. “There’s nothing really back there for me. I’m kind of burned out as a Slayer finder, and a Watcher. I’ve watched to many little girls that I cared about die. Buffy's retired, sort of anyway. If Buffy goes back though…” he left the sentence unfinished, because the girls found them just about then.
Outside in the Abbey’s overgrown garden The Bloody Awful Poet walked hand in hand with HIS beautiful Key.
“Did you know that in my world MY Spike used to be my babysitter, and bodyguard,” she asked him?
William just looked at her and smiled.
“That’s when I fell in love with him, you...well you know, but he was still in love with my sister. Then when Sunnydale fell he died, gave his life to defeat The First Evil, and he then came back in L.A for a while. but then he died again fighting the Black Thorn’s demons with Connor’s father Angel.,” she said.
“Wait just a tick love! Connor, our Connor is your Angelus’ son?” William said incredulous at the implications. He'd only been with them for a short time after all.
“Sure, didn’t you know that,” she asked? “He was the Prophesied Child, the Impossible Child, The Destroyer, the child of two vampires; Angel, and Darla.”
“Angelus, and Darla,” he started to laugh.
“What’s so funny,” she asked him.
“Here in our dimension Angelus is a Flaming Poofter, a boy lover, and Darla only sleep with other girls,” he laughed! “Oh damn are our worlds different, or what!”
Dawn grinned at him. He stared into her eyes for a long time and then he kissed her, and then for the longest time she kissed him back. *Love at first sight who’d a’ thunk it!,* she thought to herself. Then she thought, *Good God! I do, I do, by God, love him! Oh, I hope...I hope he loves me!*
William said nothing, but to himself he thought, *I wonder if she would say yes if I asked her to marry me. I know I’m a vampire and all, but she’s some mystical key or some such. Ye’ gods, and lil’ fishes I love her! That shocks even me!*
A naked Johnny held his naked Willow in his arms, as they looked out of their window onto the moon kissed garden. Neither said anything. He leaned his head down and softly kissed her hair. She was his, and for as long as he would live...as long as she'd have him, he was hers.
Author’s Note: For those of you who do not know 782 Gear is what Marine Corps Web Belts, Ammo Belts, etal are called, or at least were called way back when I was in.
(SSGT) ArjaiH, USMC ret. (RJH) :)