The Alternate Fate of Mr. Sherlock Holmes
An Anno Dracula Fanfiction by Blue Raja
(To Hilary, my only audience. I used the word vanilla. ^_^)
I found the detective in his flat on Baker Street, where I had expected him to be. The warm man opened the door for me but stood in its frame for a moment, allowing his tall figure to be backlit by the low lamplight inside. For a moment we regarded each other in cold silence. Then he spoke.
"Lestrade… please tell me you are in disguise."
I smiled at him, making sure to exhibit my newly elongated canines. "I cannot put you to ease on that account, my dear Holmes." Heaven knows the man has shattered my composure many times in the past. It gave me great pleasure to return the favour. He winced at my admission, his tall form seeming to curl in upon itself as he stepped aside to let me in.
"I've come with a proposition for you." I started. Holmes folded himself into his armchair, his eyes locked on me.
"I've heard it." He muttered.
I continued anyway. "You can accept the Dark Kiss and become one of us. Or you can serve us in peace. The choice is yours to make."
"I see you've taken the path of least resistance." He sneered. "I will accept neither of your 'choices'."
I wasn't at all surprised by his adamant rejection of my gift, though I would have thought him to be wiser in my now dangerous presence. I could, after all, kill him quite slowly and with few regrets. I instead chose to bring up a more painful subject. "I see you still blame us for the death of your friend."
Holmes stiffened, his eyes narrowing to slits. "You have no right to speak of him." He hissed. It was an impressive hiss; he would have been great as one of us.
"Ah, yes," I continued, casting my memory back to the case, "he was only two blocks from here, as I recall…"
"You have no right." Holmes repeated in a hoarse whisper, his shoulders tensing.
"Not a drop of blood left in him. Cause of death was ruled as an accidental draining by a newbo—"
Holmes sprang to his feet, his eyes wild and glimmering with rage. "You have no right!" he stormed, "Watson had more dignity in his little finger than your whole race put together! I won't have it! I… I won't!" It was rather obvious the man was losing his composure, perhaps even becoming hostile. There was nothing left for me to do but sedate him and take him where he couldn't hurt anyone.
His brisk footsteps echoed down the street as they always had, familiar noises in an unfamiliar world. So much had changed… so much. It was hard to believe that the world could sound the same when nothing was as it had been. Watson stopped at the kerb to blow his nose into his handkerchief. He had a cold coming on, probably the result of too many nights wandering and thinking. No matter, he was almost there anyway. Their little flat was only two blocks away, and there he could discuss current issues in peace and warmth. The smell of the tobacco was already in his nose, comforting him…
There was a fluttering noise behind him, the sound of silk brushing upon silk. He froze. No… she wasn't strong enough to leave the house yet… was she?
"Jamesss…" she whispered. He clenched his eyes shut, knowing what would come next. "Jamesss… why do you leave meee?" Her voice was strange, it whistled like a tea kettle whenever she spoke. Tonight it was thick and syrupy, artificially loving. He could sense eagerness running under that voice, hunger.
A long-nailed white hand alighted on his shoulder, at first light but slowly pressing down and digging into the tender muscles with urgency. "Jamesss?"
He turned slowly, opening his eyes reluctantly to meet the red gaze of his wife. "M-M-Mary," he stammered, startled at the shaking of his voice, "you shouldn't be up… Dr. Seward said you needed more rest…" She placed a cold finger on his lips, a gesture that used to be tender and hinted at better things to come. Watson shuddered.
Holmes paced the flat, worried for the first time in his long career. His hands were clenched together and pressed against the small of his back. The dangling ends of his house robe's sash swung pendulously, reminding him of the minutes… now approaching an hour… since Watson had promised his arrival. He was never late, never. His gaze flicked to the clock on the mantle, and it was still late. He paused in the middle of the room, his grey eyes misting over and narrowing in thought. They snapped to attention as he made up his mind.
"Ms. Hudso—" he stopped himself in mid-call. How deeply rooted are the patterns of mankind, calling for one who has been gone for weeks. Ms. Hudson had moved on to greater things, deciding to use her new lease on life to see the world. Holmes had been alone since then, yet he still imagined the sounds of her tinkering in the kitchen.
Sighing deeply, he shrugged off his robe and went for his cape. Surely Watson was lost in the thick fog. No matter, he would soon be found.
Mary was enthralled by the thick red nectar flowing from her husband's throat. It was the life-giving elixir she had taken from their maid, but better. Watson had never given his blood to anyone before, so it was thick, pulsing with amassed life. Mary drowned herself in their newly forged connection, oblivious to the moans of pain coming from her love.
"Oh Jamesss," she hissed between laps of his blood, "had they told me it wasss thisss good, I wouldn't have waited!"
Holmes strode slowly down the block, unnerved by the stillness of the air and the heavy fog that was settling upon Baker Street. His eyes roamed ceaselessly, looking for the familiar form of his companion. Surely he couldn't have wandered too far off course? No, Watson knew his way to 221B as well as a bird knew the way south in the winter. Then why was he lost? Holmes paused, his gaze settling upon the form of a woman, crouched over something on the kerb.
"Excuse me, are you alright?" he called lightly.
The she-figure's head snapped up with a suddenness that startled him. The pale white face that stared at him with wide red eyes looked very familiar. The red liquid coating the bottom half of her face and the front of her white silk nightrobe threw Holmes off guard. "Mary?"
She sprang to her feet with unearthly grace, then, poised as if to attack, she hissed at him. He froze. Her long curved nails held to the sides of her face, her teeth bared and flashing in the vanilla light of the moon, she bore a remarkable likeness to a cat. She took a step towards Holmes, breaking the spell between them.
Holmes raised his silver-tipped cane and pointed it at the creature that had once been Mary. "Get back!" he shouted, his tone as masterful and strong as ever.
She hissed angrily, putting her hands over her face, then took off down the street, shrieking in unholy agony.
Holmes stepped uncertainly towards the prone figure she had left behind. There was no mistaking that moustache, that thick mop of black hair. Holmes all but dived to Watson's side, then, kneeling, examined the extent of the damage.
"Holmes?" a weak voice emerged from the pale and bloodied figure.
"Watson, I'm no doctor… what do I do?" Holmes was at a loss. There was so much blood… Watson's hand fluttered weakly at his side, looking more like an injured dove in its death throes than an actual hand. Holmes took hold of the hand and squeezed it lightly.
"Nothing, nothing… it is too late." Watson's eyes started to cloud over behind his glasses.
"No, it's not too late." Holmes knew that his optimism was forced and sounded it. "I… I can get you somewhere. Surely someone…" he swallowed hard, "someone knows what to do."
Watson smiled weakly, gazing at Holmes with pupils that no longer matched in size or colour. "Now who's being the hopeless romantic?" he gasped. Blood dribbled from the corner of his mouth and streaked down his white face. He shuddered. "It's so cold." He added wonderingly.
"No…" Holmes whispered, "no… it… this… you're going to be fine. Just fine. I… I really mean—" His voice broke and he could not complete the sentiment.
"It's so cold." Watson repeated, his voice sounding far away. "Make it go away. The cold..."
Holmes obliged, lifting Watson into an embrace they had never shared but in glances. With his friend's shivering body in his arms, Holmes found that he was crying. He also found that he didn't give a damn if he was crying. He would cry in front of all Scotland Yard for all the deuce it was worth.
Watson's shivering subsided for a moment. His head lolled back onto Holmes' arm, blood dripping slowly from the wound in his throat. There was a hopeful moment as he looked at Holmes, his eyes clearing and focusing upon his companion's face.
"Don't cry…" he gasped, his breath rattled in his throat. "Oh, don't cry… It'll be alright…Mary."
Holmes had calmed himself and was resting his head upon the mantle. I watched him for a few moments, then approached him.
"Have you changed you mind? Maybe you have a better decision to make now?" I asked.
Holmes turned to me, the black bags under his eyes standing out like lumps of coal on his pale, drawn face. He reached up slowly with quivering hands and unbuttoned his collar.
"Get it over with."
What joy! He had given in! I was to be master of the master of all detectives! Oh unrequited joy! I leapt upon him eagerly, my teeth growing for the attack. I didn't wait for them. His memories… all his knowledge! I became one with him, nosferatu and willing victim. It was…
My teeth recoiled suddenly, leaping painfully into my gums. My throat tightened and made as if to leap out of my mouth. Pain, pain! It flared down my throat, into the pit of my stomach. It coursed through my veins, burning me from the inside.
"What did you do?" I gasped, falling to my knees in front of Holmes.
Holmes teetered on his feet, a smile slowly creeping across his face. He looked as if he were about to be sick. I could hear his heart pounding irregularly, his breath coming in short, painful gasps.
"What did you do?" I stormed with my final vampire strength.
Holmes' hand went slowly to his robe pocket, tried to take something out. It fell to the floor, slipping from his powerless grip. It shattered on the hearth, and Holmes fell to his knees upon the glass, still with that smile on his face.
"Argon solution." He said slowly and with a flicker of his old pride. "Argon."
My eyes widened with realization. The fool… the clever bloody fool! Silver! Silver injected in his blood! He had been planning this, knowing I would come! It was in me now, killing me from inside. It was killing him, too. I could see him struggling to stay awake, to see my final moments. The last thing I saw were his eyes, once grey, suddenly sparkling with tears.
His silver eyes…