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18 January 2010 @ 04:35 pm
 
Title: The Finner Things
Pairing: Dracula x Anna Valerious
Fandom: Van Helsing
Genre: Black Humor
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 572


The Finer Things

 

He wanted to play a little game. She refused. Bad, volatile, and ungracious child. What a nuisance little Anna was being. She was young and impertinent, and he was old—so damn old—and far too spent to engage in trifling details and the sotto voce, whispering repartees they liked to speak.

 

But she was blunt, almost to a fault (the father had remarked once a long time ago, when the fool was still breathing). And she was kind and never felt the need to deal with subterfuge and subtle coaxing. She stated her mind proud and irrefutably, stated her thoughts plain and clear. And they were liquid and transparent enough: step closer and I’ll plunge a stake through your heart, any stake, wooden or silver or bare-back bone.

 

Dracula smiled and feigned morose. He was used to this (hated, loathed, but understood it well). This was a precarious game they were playing now. She liked to feel control, almost burning from the white-hot intense surge of power roaring in her pulsing blood. And he did too. Neither one liked to give (it’s why he’s kept himself pseudo-alive for all these centuries; he wasn’t careless, foolish).

 

“Must you struggle, Princess? It’s become quite…tedious.”

 

“I struggle for my freedom. What’s wrong with that?”

 

“You struggle in vain.”

 

“Let me go. Van Helsing would never trade the Creature for me. He’s not stupid.”

 

“Oh, I know that. He and I are very much the same. I wouldn’t trade you either.”

 

Anna glanced around the room carefully, seeking an exit or leap or faith or miraculous opening or…nothing. There was nothing here except for him and her and three feet of voided, vacuous, thin-lined air. She could hardly breathe.

 

“Trouble…inhaling?” he asked.

 

She bit her lip. Goddam, he was irritating.

 

“No.”

 

“Do you think you will live past tonight, Princess?”

 

Solid. The question was lividness in the making.

 

“No,” she answered truthfully.

 

“Do you regret…dying so easily? Four centuries of your family’s precious bloodline gone to waste. Just like that.”

 

Just like that, the snap of a neck or the trickle-down of poison over crystal cuts.

 

“What can I do about that?” she retorted easily.

 

And for a moment, Dracula nearly laughed. Black humor. Even he could appreciate a chuckle in the face of irony (it’s what the humans called their greatest nemesis).

 

“I am in search of a new bride. Marishka and Verona’s deaths have struck me deeply.” He bowed and mocked and bent on single-knee like the perfect prince skimming down the Carpathian Mountains.

 

“Is that so?”

 

“You could be her, Anna.”

 

“Not interested.”

 

“You’d live forever.”

 

“Never.”

 

He put on a pretense of faked hurt then smiled cruelly. Outside the dim bedroom she could see the feeble sun going down. Time to die, and this time, she really did find it funny. She tried to count the minutes, reciting the numbers. Damn, that didn’t work. She’ll wait, that’s what. She won’t be afraid and think. Absolutely. Absolution. Thinking and not panicking and definitely not

 

“No matter. I’m sure you’ll come around.”

 

And with one lethally graceful motion, he unbound her corset and exposed her back. And for one hideous second, she thought he would actually bite her.

 

“Just admiring, Princess.”

 

Dracula left in a dramatic wind but tossed her a crimson dress just before departing. A princess always appreciated the finer things in life despite certain unpleasant circumstantial terrors.