A/N: Heylo, everyone! Well, I was bored, and when I was flipping through my documents, I found this and decided to post it! This is a Night-Warriors-based drabble, and was originally a prize for by best friend Dr. Lust. However, she liked it so much I thought I might share it with you guys!
Disclaimer: You guys already know I don't own Van Helsing. But I do own my characters and this little plot bunny!
It seemed harmless enough-a cream-colored piece of stationery, with an invitation written on it in fancy black script. But by the way everyone looked at it, it may as well as been a poisonous snake.
"A masquerade?" Catherine asked in mild disgust.
"That's what it says," Carl said, holding the paper an inch from the tip of his nose and reading it carefully. "'Master Edward Augustin de Fore cordially invites you to a Midsummer's Masquerade, to be held at Fore Manor on the twenty-seventh of July'." He looked up from the invitation. "Yes, that's what it says."
Alexsei grimaced. "Great…did I ever mention how much I hate masquerades?"
Van Helsing gave him a curious glance. "Any reason why?"
"I can't dance…" Alexsei admitted. "We werewolves are not God's most graceful creatures…"
"And I don't think I'm allowed to go," Carl commented. "I'm sure Cardinal Jinette wouldn't approve of a man of the cloth attending a-" He paused as though he was searching for the right words. "-Hedonistic affair such as a masquerade ball."
"Interesting…you didn't put up such a fuss last time we attended a masquerade, Carl…" Van Helsing commented, taking the invitation and looking over it.
Carl's face reddened slightly. "We went to that strictly to rescue Anna; that's a different case!"
Van Helsing rolled his eyes and handed the invitation to his sister. Excluding the ball in Budapest last year, he couldn't recall ever having been to a masquerade. He glanced over at Catherine, who was handing the invitation to her husband. "Catherine…" he asked. "Did I-we-ever attend any masquerade balls before…well…?"
"Oh, yes, several," Catherine responded. "I can remember the first masquerade ball I ever attended, in fact. Actually, come to think of it, you were my escort for that ball, Gabriel…"
"He was?" Carl and Alexsei asked simultaneously.
"Oh, yes…" Catherine said, sitting down on the end of the bed. "You have to understand…not only was this a different time, but we were both only young adults at the time…so, we were no more than children by today's standards…"
With a loud clatter, the two wooden swords met as Randolph Van Helsing sparred with his fifteen-year-old son Gabriel. To his surprise, Gabriel deflected the blow quite well, forcing his wooden sword back.
They continued sparring for several more minutes, until Gabriel found himself on his back on the floor, his father's wooden sword at his throat. He grinned up at his father. "All right, all right, you win, Father."
Randolph removed his sword, then reached out a hand to help his son to his feet. "Indeed…but I am impressed, Gabriel…you are improving at an astonishing rate. I pity the vampire or werewolf that dares to challenge you!"
They shook hands like good sportsmen would do, then, Gabriel turned to leave the sparring room, only to find to find his ten-year-old sister Catherine standing by the door, watching them.
"Ah, my dear daughter, do come in!" Randolph exclaimed as he caught sight of Catherine.
She nodded, then approached her father and brother. "Gabriel, may I speak to you about something?"
He nodded. "Of course you can, Kitty! Father…if we may have a moment to speak..?"
"Oh, yes, of course," their father said, nodding. "I'll just go see if your mother is feeling any better than she was this morning…"
He left the sparring room, leaving Catherine alone with her older brother. He turned to her, giving her a smile. "What is it you wish to speak about, Catherine?"
"It's about the upcoming masquerade ball…"
"Ah, yes! Your first formal ball, Kitty! You must be so excited!"
"I'm…not…" she admitted, bowing her head in shame. Her cheeks flushed bright pink. "I'm…nervous…"
Gabriel's brow knit in confusion. "Why is that?"
She didn't speak for a long moment, then her voice came, an ashamed whisper. "I…don't know how to dance…"
Another silence followed, then, Gabriel gave a small chuckle. "Is that all, Kitty? Don't worry about it! I didn't know how to dance properly when I was your age, either!"
"But…but I don't want to embarrass Mother and Father…" she whispered, tears forming in her eyes. "And I don't want to make a fool out of myself…"
Gabriel gave a soft smile, then lifted her chin and wiped away a few tears that had fallen. "Catherine…don't cry. I can teach you how to dance right here, right now!"
"Really?" she asked.
Gabriel nodded. "Of course! I am, after all, your escort. Why not?" He swept her a bow, then he held out his hand to her. "May I have this dance, miss?"
Catherine grinned at her brother's antics, then took his hand. "Yes, you may, good sir."
Gabriel pulled her a little closer, then placed on of her hands on his shoulder. "You put one hand on my shoulder. I then put one hand at your waist…"
"And now..?" she asked.
"We dance," he said. "Here…I'll lead. All you have to do is follow my movements."
He stepped in time to the imaginary, nonexistent music, and Catherine followed, clinging tightly to her brother. He led her through the beginning steps to a simple waltz, and she seemed to be doing quite well…
"All right, Kitty…now, out…" Catherine was slightly hesitant to release her brother, but after a moment, she allowed Gabriel to gently twirl her out. "Perfect!" he praised. "And now, back in…"
He gave her a gentle pull, and she spun back in. She seemed to have a good grasp on it…and then, her right foot came down hard on Gabriel's right foot.
"Gabriel! Oh, I'm so sorry!" she cried.
"It's all right, Catherine. I barely felt it," he assured her, even though his foot was really throbbing dully in pain. "Let's simply keep trying…"
They practiced the same steps over and over again, with Catherine gradually improving the longer they practiced. About an hour or so after they had began their lesson, Randolph returned to the sparring room, only to find his son leading his daughter in a hesitant and somewhat clumsy-though well-done none the less-waltz. He leaned against the doorframe and watched as Catherine and Gabriel continued to dance. After they finished a dance, he began to clap cheerfully.
"Bravo! Bravo! Magnificent!" he praised. "Ah, Catherine, you'll make a splendid dancer! And Gabriel…ah, good work, my son! Very well done!"
Catherine's eyes lit up, and her cheeks flushed bright pink in pleasure. "Thank you, Father."
Randolph nodded, beaming at his daughter. Catherine turned to Gabriel, then embraced him tightly. "Thank you, Gabriel!" she said. "Thank you for teaching me how to dance!"
He returned his sister's embrace. "Of course, Catherine. You're quite welcome."
"Aw!" Carl gushed as Catherine concluded her tale. "What a heartwarming story!"
Van Helsing couldn't help but smile a little. "So…I take it you and I were close, Catherine."
"We've always been close," Catherine said. "I looked up to you, and admired you. You always protected me, and helped me when I needed help. That's what made us such a good team when we were tracking creatures."
"So…will we be attending this masquerade or not?" Carl asked.
"I don't see why not," Van Helsing responded with a shrug.
"Could be fun, now that I think about it," Catherine said. "For old times' sake…"
"I still can't dance, though…" Alexsei complained.
Catherine stood up, crossed the room to where her husband sat, swept a curtsy, pulling at a nonexistent skirt, then held out a hand to him.
"I could teach you, Alexsei," she offered. "May I have this dance?"
He hesitated, then took her hand. "Yes…yes, you may have this dance."
A/N: There! Just a cute little brother/sister story about Van Helsing and Catherine! What did you think? Review and let me know, please!