Sorry about the delay. Life sadly intervened. But anyway, here we are. =)
In this chapter, there are references to Bram Stoker's Dracula. I’m twisting it around major. In the book itself, Dracula is more monster than romance. Here, I’m staging the book as more like the 1992 movie, with Dracula in a more romanticized role, rather than a horrific monster of the night. I’ve also changed up the ending of that a bit, just to fit the needs of this particular chapter. Thank you to a lovely reader (Aoi Dragon) for pointing out my error :) Also, the Scoobies are looking through it as more of a book of true events than as just a mere novel. None of it belongs to meeeee. Okay, enough jibber-jabber. Onto the chapter!
It was nearing sunrise. As weird as it probably sounds, I can usually smell it. I blame the whole part where my Slayer-ness is actually based on the vamp’s powers.
I was on the roof of my building, feet dangling over the edge, staring into the rapidly brightening sky.
I felt his presence long before he sat down.
“This…this here is why I love this planet so much. The sheer beauty of something as so simple as a sunrise…it boggles my mind. Which is a wonderful thing. A rare and wonderful thing.”
I didn’t answer. I just stared into the sky, waiting for answers to appear.
“Are you hungry?”
I shook my head.
“Buffy, you should eat something. To keep your energy up, at least.”
“Have they found anything?” I asked, quietly ignoring his concern.
“Well, there’s the usual. The stuff you already knew from last time--”
“So nothing new.” I interrupted.
“No. But they are working hard. Double and triple checking everything from the history of Vlad the Impaler to Bram Stoker’s infamous tell-all book.”
Suddenly, a thought occurred to me.
“The book is based on true events, isn’t it?”
“Yes and no. Well, partially. I think. You know the supernatural really isn’t and never has been my area of expertise.”
“Dracula’s real. Very real. So therefore at least some of it must be true.”
“Uh, well, yes, I suppose you’re right. Mostly the parts pertaining to Dracula himself would be real. Real, but not necessarily factual. Also, I imagine that the love story is probably made up. What’re you getting at, sweetheart?”
“If it’s real, we can go there.” I said, motioning to the TARDIS.
“No. No no no no no no no no. We cannot. Absolutely not.”
“One-We’re not sure what parts of it are real or not. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really fancy getting stuck somewhere in a time vortex while we’ve got such important things going on because the TARDIS tried to go into a place that may or may not be real. B-even if it were real, they would all be fixed points in time and they cannot be changed. Absolutely not. You know that.”
“I’m not talking about that. I know the rules. I just want to observe. See what we’re missing-type of thing. He was killed before. I know that. Someone…that Mina girl. In the book, she cut off his head.”
He raised his eyebrow. “You read the book?”
“Well, no. I watched the movie about the book. But still. She cut off his head and it was enough for him to make him lay low for a hundred and some odd years. There has to be something to that. Something a little more permanent.”
“I cannot believe I’m saying this. We don’t need to time travel for that.” He pulled his specs followed by a small book out of his pocket.
“Of course you’d have that in your weird huge alien-time lord pockets.” I muttered.
I let him take the reading reins, so to say. He flipped through page after page, rereading paragraphs that I’m sure he’d already read a dozen times before.
After a few minutes, he yelled loudly, throwing the book down behind him.
“AHA! There it is! How could I be so bloody stupid?!?!! It’s all right here, in beautiful black and white!”
“What? What is it?”
“You are seriously earning that genius title more and more everyday.”
I threw out a mocking glare at him. “Doctor, I love you, but seriously, if you don’t spit it out I may be forced to throw you down.”
I really do love him an awful lot but when he starts to ramble…boy does he ramble. It usually ends like twenty minutes later and me not understanding a single word he’s said. Well, besides ‘the’.
“When Van Helsing takes the men to Lucy’s tomb after she is turned, not only do they decapitate her, they drive the stake through her heart, effectively killing her. In the end of the book, at the part you mentioned before, with Mina, where she cuts off his head…”
“She did appear to shove the sword through his chest, but what if she missed his heart?”
My face lit up and then sank immediately when a new thought popped into my head.
“It’s a very valid theory, however, how on earth am I supposed to stake him and cut off his head when he just turns to dust with the first blow?”
“Hmm….yes, that does represent a problem.”
The Doctor sank deep into thought.
“There has to be a way. This connection…it feels right. Like we’re going the proper way. Ooh, that was a really tweed-like sentence.” I muttered.
After another few contemplative minutes, the Doctor shouted again.
“OH! Of course!!! At the end, Dracula was no longer the young man he had shown to Mina nor was he the old man he had shown to Mr. Harker--”
“He was in true demon form. Dracula isn’t just a regular run of the mill vamp…he’s one of the Old Ones.” I gasped loudly.
“Right!” The Doctor agreed with his usual large, silly grin. “Wait. What are the Old Ones?”
I scooted away from my dangerous perch on the ledge and stood up.
“C’mon. We have to tell the gang.”
“Well, it certainly seems to fit.” Giles said, taking his glasses off and cleaning them.
“What exactly are the ‘Old Ones’?” Jack asked, looking towards me and the Doctor.
“Don’t look at me. I, for once, have no idea.” the Doctor replied.
Jack looked impressed, to say the least.
“The Old Ones are vampires in their rawest form. The ones I go after on a nightly basis are just human-demon hybrids. Half-breeds. The Old Ones were the first on the Earth. Thousands and thousands of years before humans. Their only way to populate and survive was to feed off of each other, making more and more of their kind. Until the humans came. Kind of like if you had a choice between a gourmet lobster dinner or chicken tenders, the humans being the gourmet lobster.”
“Okay, so basically, these ‘Old Ones’ are one hundred percent demon bred vampires?” Jack asked again.
“The last time we faced something similar to the Old Ones was right before Sunnydale went all giant crater-y.” Xander added.
“Right. The turkey vamps.” I said.
“Turok-Han” Giles and Willow corrected.
“Ubervamps. Whatever. That’s not the point.” I said.
“Well, get to it quick, B. You’re rambling worse than the Doctor does.” Faith interjected.
The Doctor glared pointedly at Faith.
“The point is we may have found a way to kill Dracula. For good.” I said.
“If we can figure out how to get him into his pure demon form, I think that Buffy can pull this off.” the Doctor said.
“Buffy, Willow and I came up with another theory that I’m sorry to say seems extremely likely.” Giles said.
“What?” I asked.
“I think you best sit.” Giles said, softly.
I bit down on my lip and nodded my head.
“Well, at least I know it’s bad news.” I said, grabbing my glass bottled of iced tea and sitting down on the arm of the sofa.
“I remembered from our first encounter with Dracula that you told me he had said something about searching for you throughout time…” Giles started.
“Please don’t tell me you think he’s a Time Lord.” I said.
“He’s not. I would’ve been able to sense it.” the Doctor said.
“No, the Doctor is quite right. He’s not a Time Lord. But he does somehow manage it. Through magic, I’m presuming.” Giles said.
“How do you know?” the Doctor asked.
“It’s all right here.” Willow said, holding up an old, thick book.
“And that is?” I asked.
“It’s a Romanian book of prophecy.” Giles said, cleaning his glasses once more.
“Okay, you’re cleaning your glasses, Giles. That usually means something really really bad. What does it say?” I asked, slightly panicky.
Willow opened the book to the page she had bookmarked and started to read, quietly.
“On the twentieth day of the first month of the new year of MMV--that‘s this year, 2005, in Roman numerals--, the dark Prince will once again turn to his past to gather vengeance upon an old adversary. On the twenty-second day of the first month of the new year of MMV, the dark Prince will have his vengeance when the Key and the Energy therein is destroyed.”
“Dawn. The Key, the Energy. That’s Dawn.” the Doctor said. His tone of voice said that he had already figured it out.
I sat motionless in my seat with a blank stare on my face. I sat in that silence for a good five minutes before anybody tried to break me out of it.
“Oh God, she’s going into catatonia again. Willow, get in that brain of hers and drag her out.” Xander said, in a worried tone.
“She’s not going into catatonia, Xand. Right, B?” Faith said.
“Buffy…” Giles started.
I snapped my head up to look at him.
“I believe we’ve had this conversation once before. This is the part where you tell me that I have to kill my little sister.”
“Giles, she’s not going to die.” I fumed.
“You heard what the prophecy said, B.” Faith said, quietly.
I squeezed the glass bottle in my hand and it shattered into a million tiny pieces.
“So we’ll change it. Since when are these things right anyway?” I said, standing up, ignoring the broken glass.
“Buffy, you know how much I love Dawnie, how much we all love her, but you also know how these things work. They are always right, at least to a degree.” Willow said.
I walked over to my weapons chest and pulled out the scythe. I stormed towards the door.
“Buffy, sweetheart, where are you going?” the Doctor asked, following me.
“I’m going to find him. I’m going to find him and cut him up into itty little bits.” I snarled.
“You shouldn’t go alone. You know how he travels.” Xander said, standing up.
“I’ll go.” the Doctor replied.
I just nodded.
I started to step out the door but turned and walked back in.
“I swear to the Powers themselves, if she dies, I’m done. One hundred percent done.”