A little Movie-TV crossover for the true vampire fans among us.
"Hold on." Van Helsing grabbed the collar of the friar's robes, jerking the smaller man to a halt. Carl squeaked a bit in protest, but obediently huddled to the Knight's side.
The moon hung high over the streets of Paris this evening. Van Helsing had protested this return visit, his reputation particularly poor among the French, but the Cardinal had merely shrugged and ordered Carl to accompany him, to 'keep him out of trouble'. Now the pair stood peeking around a corner at a fine Parisian mansion, waiting for their targets to appear.
Van Helsing frowned when the door to the darkened mansion opened, and three figures appeared. Two men and a woman, all finely dressed, descended the front steps and began down the sidewalk, right towards Van Helsing's and Carl's hiding place. From the furious sounding whispers amongst them, some subject was in dispute.
Just before they reached the corner, the tallest man held up his hand. Van Helsing tensed.
"Il y a quelqu'un ici." The man said.
"Deux." Replied the woman in an amused voice.
Van Helsing took a deep breath, then stepped around the corner, Carl keeping tight to his back.
The three people on the sidewalk regarded them with interest. The tallest man was pale, pale skinned and pale haired, with an amused aristocratic air. The woman was small and dark haired, delicately featured and glowingly beautiful. The other man was between the first two in height and coloring, but well built and confident in his manner. They all examined Van Helsing and Carl with polite but eager interest.
"Good evening." Van Helsing greeted them, relaxed but ready, his crossbow concealed in the folds of his coat. "That your townhouse?"
The woman laughed, as the taller man replied, "Oh no. Not ours. We're merely dropped in for…. A quick meal." His voice was joking in tone, though the other man merely rolled his eyes.
Carl tugged on Van Helsing's sleeve. "They don't match the descriptions," he hissed.
"Descriptions? Whom do you seek?" The woman asked. Her voice, though polite, held an undercurrent that made Van Helsing glance at her quickly. But before he could respond to her comment, she suddenly glanced down and, well, HISSED.
The reaction was instantaneous. Van Helsing quickly brought the crossbow to bear as the faces before him transformed. Eyes glowed, teeth elongated, and postures turned threatening.
"Vampires!" Carl yelped, stumbling back.
"A Knight of Rome!" The taller man snarled back. Rather than concerned, he still sounded entertained. "How long has it been since we've seen one of those?"
"La Renaissance, at least," the woman replied, practically licking her lips with eagerness.
"LaCroix." Suddenly the other man spoke. "Do not do this."
"Why not?" The taller man, whom Van Helsing now knew as LaCroix, fairly snarled at his compatriot.
"It's not necessary. You heard the monk – "
"Friar." Muttered Carl from somewhere behind Van Helsing.
"—They're not looking for us. Leave it." For a moment, the two stared at each other, vying silently. The quiet man's eyes glowed as well, and Van Helsing realized they faced a small coven of vampires. It seemed that the protesting one would have to bow to LaCroix, but at the last minute, LaCroix sighed elaborately and turned away.
"Oh very well," he conceded in a bored tone. "No point in it now, we're full anyway. Do as you will, Nicolaa. You generally do anyway." He turned and began to cross the street, moving away from Van Helsing and Carl.
The woman shivered, and with studied casualness adjusted her chapeau. "Oh Nicolaa. Everything has to be a scene with you, doesn't it?"
"Venez, Jeanette!" LaCroix called. The woman gave Nicolaa a significant look and followed LaCroix. Van Helsing kept his eyes on the remaining vampire, though a sudden noise of rushing wind followed by Carl's gasp tempted him to turn.
"They vanished!" Carl gasped.
The remaining vampire, clearly named Nicolaa, shook his head. "They merely moved too fast for you to follow, little friar." Van Helsing couldn't control his smirk as Carl sputtered. He relaxed fractionally, letting the point of the crossbow dip. Nicolaa made no movement.
"If you're seeking the men who own that townhouse," Nicolaa said, "You're too late. They've already been … taken care of."
Van Helsing frowned at the idea as Carl asked, "Do you only, er, hunt the wicked then?"
"Them, no. But I – I have some influence over their habits, I suppose." The vampire acknowledged.
Carl seemed to mull this over. "Interesting." He cocked his head at the vampire. "A vampire that does good. Very interesting. Benedicite."
The vampire winced from the benediction. "Thank you for the sentiment, at any rate," he said wryly.
"Thank you for getting us off the hook there," Van Helsing responded. "May we know to whom we are indebted?"
The vampire bowed. "Chevalier Nicolas Du Brabant." He glanced up. "I must rejoin my companions. I sincerely hope that – we never meet again." With another rush of wind, the vampire seemed to suddenly vanish.
"Fascinating!" Carl crowed. "Amazing! Not only are there more vampires, clearly UN-related to Dracula, but they spoke with us, and we managed to NOT get killed! We were even DEFENDED by one! Oh, I can't WAIT to report this."
"You better hope the Cardinal doesn't send us after them. I don't think that LaCroix will let us get away twice." He slung the crossbow over his shoulder. "Come on, we better verify the targets are dead, and report back." He reached over and gave Carl a yank to get him moving.
The friar continued to chatter at the big man's back, both unawares of the silent figure perched above that watched them contemplatively.