SOOOOOOOOOOO sorry for not updating! Due to laziness, unexpected events popping out of nowhere and WRITERS' BLOCK (argh…), I may not MAJORLY UPDATE until Boxing Day….

So, till my writers' block totally clears, here's a little Christmas one-shot, featuring Dracula, Shirra (my OC) and Pixel (another OC). Oh, and by the by…I do NOT own Van Helsing (or Dracula) –though I DO own Shirra and Pixel- nor do I own Enya or her song "Amid The Falling Snow".

Winter was Pixel's favorite time of the year. The ice that seemed to cover everything gave it the look of a fairyland, especially Castle Dracula.

As odd as it sounded, wintertime gave the dark, sinister fortress a -dare-Pixel-say-it? - Feel of enchantment.

Pixel blithely skipped upon the snow-covered landscape, his maroon scarf fluttering in the air like a flag ,clashing with his grey attire, leaving no footprints upon the snow as he plucked icicles and suckled upon them the way a child does a lollipop and did cartwheels and somersaults. Winter just brought out the child he never knew he had in him

And Lady Shirra too…

Pixel mentally added, smiling. He had known much nor seen much of his Master's former three brides-and very much preferred it that way personally. True, they were beautiful, but they were shallow, vindictive little tarts.

How unlike Shirra, who, like everyone else, had her flaws, but made up for it in her fiery spirit, quick wit, unorthodox beauty and above all, her surprising naiveté. This fourth-and FINAL- bride of Dracula was no shrinking violet nor was she a thistle. No, she was a beautiful rose, laced with thorns and dew-So beautiful, so strong…and yet so vulnerable all at the same time.

Just then, he caught sight of someone that made him snap out of his reverie and nearly fall onto the snow rear-first (Keyword: ALMOST).

Well, well, well… speak of the Devil-and his wife appears…

The imp thought wryly. Said female was wearing a black (what else) winter dress that allowed her free movement. Though being undead meant she did not feel the sharp kiss of winter both biting and kissing roses into her face, her dress was fur-lined, along with her hood. (Think Belle's from "Beauty and The Beast" winter attire - save Shirra's is black). She was twirling around and around like a dervish until she fell into the snow. Yet, she was giggling like a young girl.

Now you don't see THAT everyday…

Thought Pixel with amusement as he observed the Count's consort making snow angels. He quickly hid behind a tree as she sat up, not wanting to be noticed. Come to think about it, where WAS his Lord?

In seconds, a mischievous idea began to form in his head. He turned into mist-and went to look for his Lord…

Despite not being human for at least 400 years, Vladisalus Dragulia could not help but feel somewhat enchanted by the beauty of Winter.

But like him, Winter's beauty had a dark side to it: It was so very cold and so very dangerous.

He shook his head in amusement as he recalled the earlier reaction of his wife as she awoke that morning. She was a full-grown woman and yet here she was, acting like a child on Christmas morning, so excited about Winter's arrival that she forgot that the door was still CLOSED when she tried to run outside.

Vladislaus winced at the memory, unaware that his servant Pixel was just a few feet behind him…

Pixel, meanwhile, stealthily edged closer towards his Lord, smiling at the beauty of it all. His lady, after all, was just a few feet away from Dracula himself. With his quick hands, he formed a snowball, took aim-and FIRED! Pixel turned into mist seconds after he threw the snowball at Dracula.

Now the fun begins…

Shirra dusted the snow off her hair and clothes as she made her way towards the frozen lake. With the grace of a ballerina and an ice-skater, she-after testing the ice-, leapt upon the sky and danced upon the ice.

And as she did another twirl in midair, she lost her balance and hit the snow again.

Vladislaus stopped in his tracks as soon as the snowball found its mark. He slightly shuddered at the bite of the ice.

Who dared?

He thought silently, as he turned to see…Shirra dusting snow off her, a few feet away.

By the Dark Gods! Who would have guessed?

He chuckled silently as he made a snowball of his own, took aim-and FIRED, hitting his wife at the back of her neck squarely. He held back a laugh as she gave a slight shriek of shock-and turned around.

"Is that a challenge, Dracula?"

"I do suppose it is, dear."

"Well then, I've got three words for you."

"And what's that?"

"Bring. It. On."

Famous last words…

Thought Dracula.

"Certainly, my love. Though you DO realize who you're up against-

SMACK!

Shirra laughed till her sides were sore as her snowball gave her sire and husband a sharp, biting kiss to his mouth.

"Methinks you've got it backwards,"

She gasped out at long last.

"Not so fast,"

Growled Dracula playfully as he took aim once more. And so did Shirra.

They continued this way until the Winter Sun had set, then had a truce-and returned back to Castle Dracula.

Pixel was glad no one could see him and more importantly, hear him laugh. The sight of the two most powerful and dangerous vampires having a snowball fight with each other earlier were just…PRICELESS. (Just so you know, Shirra was winning…) He took the form of a jackdaw and flew back to where his Lord and Lady were. He had no idea the fun had not ended. Not yet.

In drier raiment, Dracula went to search for his elusive wife.

He checked the library- Not there.

The ballroom-Not there either.

The fencing room-Not there either.

Just then, he heard someone singing in their chambers-and the scent of several candles. He pressed his ear to the door, and heard a song of old:

"How I remember sleepless nights

When we would read by candlelight,

And on the windowpane outside

A new world made of snow;

A million feathers falling down,

A million stars that touch the ground,

So many secrets to be found

Amid the falling snow.

Maybe I am falling down.

Tell me should I touch the ground?

Maybe I won't make a sound

In the darkness all around.

The silence of a winter's night

Brings memories I hold inside;

Remembering a blue moonlight

Upon the fallen snow.

Maybe I am falling down.

Tell me should I touch the ground?

Maybe I won't make sound

In the darkness all around.

I close my window to the night.

I leave the sky her tears of white.

And all is lit by candlelight

Amid the falling snow."

Just then, the singing stopped. In a minute, the door swung open, nearly causing Dracula to fall into the room.

"How long have you been spying on me?"

asked Shirra wryly, looking radiant in a snow-white long-sleeved, flowing gown, her hair down. Dracula was sure his undead heart skipped a thousand beats at that.

"Long enough to believe angels actually exist."

"You wicked tease. Such a sweet tongue you have,"

Replied his dark queen. Had she been breathing, her face would be red.

"That is not the only part of me that is sweet, my little spirit."

"Oh Vladislaus, the night is still young…and yet your thoughts veer to the bedroom already. Well, you have to catch me first."

Shirra quietly moved closer to the bed, a wicked smile playing upon her lips.

"Really? You and what army?"

Dracula playfully shot back as he edged towards her, panther-like.

Her reply was a plump pillow that hit him squarely in the face.

"Got you!"

She giggled as she dodged and ran to the other side of the bed to grab another pillow. The snowball fight was over-but the pillow fight had just begun.

Feathers flew everywhere. One would assume, had they not known that a pillow fight between two vampires was going on, that a flock of birds had molted simultaneously in that room. But the truly interesting sight-beside the fact that it was raining feathers- was the sight of a (fallen) angel all in white and an angelic-looking devil all in black, both resembling the sharply contrasting keys on a piano.

Just then, as Dracula tried to hit Shirra with a pillow, she ducked-and a loud "Oof!" erupted from the air behind her.

That's impossible-unless…

"Pixel, show yourself."

It was a command, not a request. Despite several feathers all over him-and in his hair- Dracula truly looked every bit the intimidating vampire he was.

Shirra dropped her pillow even though it was not directed at her and watched as the purple-haired imp made himself visible, his face spelling G-U-I-L-T-Y.

Shirra put two and two together and-

"It was YOU who threw the snowball at Vladislaus earlier, wasn't it?'

Pixel nodded vigorously. It was no use lying to them both-and it was suicide to even consider doing so.

"Then again, Shirra my love, we DID have a good time, didn't we?"

"Of course we did, Dracula…but are we to let him get away with it?"

Both looked at Pixel-and grinned evilly as they each grabbed a pillow and…

"Let the feathers FLY!"

Some time later, the lovers collapsed on the bed laughing. Pixel quietly took the time to fade-but not before doing a little magic…

"Vladisalus?"

"What is it, dear?"

He looked up-and saw what she saw: a small sprig of mistletoe, hanging from the top posts of the four-post bed they were currently reclining on, just above Shirra's head.

White feathers fell around the chocolate-licorice river that was her hair. Her flowing white gown just increased the ethereal feel of it all.

"Merely a tradition set aside for amorous and possibly sexually-frustrated, if you ask –

Dracula never let her finish as he leaned in to kiss his wife. It was long and sensuous.

"Are my kisses sweet, Shirra?"

"Ah, they are sweet, but with a dash of bitterness. And what else about you is sweet?"

"Why not let me show you, my little angel of darkness?"

And the lights went out.

(THE END)

A/N: MERRY CHRISTMAS!