The Tower And The Beast
Catherine & Vincent's Second Halloween Together
By Thomas Mc
Authors Notes: Like everyone else, I have my own take on how the never seen, second season Halloween episode might have gone. This is my version of that particular episode. The story is set a week and a half after the Remember Love TV episode. Also it only seemed right that Brigit O'Donnell should play a small part in the evening's proceedings, even if only from a distance.
Note: every costume described in this story (except Vincent) is based on costumes I have seen at parties with my own eyes, including Catherine's costume (seen at a college Halloween party) and the Jack-O-Lantern man (seen at a party at my son's day care).
PS: I started to make a few corrections to deal with some problems with how this site handles certain characters and got carried away. I have made a few more revisions, expansions and added a few more encounters to this story (like I said in my Bio, I never could leave well enough alone). I am also making this story a bit longer and breaking it into three chapters.
Chapter 1 : New Tradition
Rudy Galloway, the security guard at the front desk, called out a greeting to Catherine as she rushed past him. Stopping just long enough to retrieve her mail, she smiled and called out a greeting back to him, wishing him a happy Halloween. She pulled out two book sized packages with the rest of her mail and, as she closed her mailbox, heard the elevator bell sound. Tucking it all under her arm, she rushed into the elevator that had just opened and pressed the button for the eighteenth floor. This was a very special night and she did not want to be late. While the elevator rose, she glanced at the two packages, then took a surprised closer look as the recipient names and the return addresses on them registered. Both packages had come from Derry, Ireland, but she was particularly surprised by the delivery address on the first package, because it was addressed to 'Vincent' - care of Catherine Chandler. The second package was simply addressed to Catherine Chandler.
As soon as she had entered her apartment, she set her brief case, the package addressed to Vincent, and the rest of the mail on the small table located by the door. As she made her way into the living room, she tore open the brown paper wrapping of the package that was addressed to her. The box was one of those heavy duty types used to ship items that were easily damaged. When she opened the box she found it contained a mint condition, first edition copy of the book 300 Days. Inside the front cover, it had been personally inscribed to her by the author.
To Catherine with great affection.
I hope you will find that magic
place between the worlds that you
and Vincent are looking for.
- - Brigit O'Donnell.
As she started to leaf through the book, a slip of paper fell out. It was a note from Brigit.
. . .
I had no address for Vincent, but I suspect you know how to
find him, so I sent the other package through you. I also
wanted to thank you for what you did for my father and me.
I will always be grateful to you for your kindness and
understanding. Write me sometime and let me know how
things are going between you and Vincent. I harbor a great
hope for the two of you. You both made me believe in magic
again. Maybe someday even the wall between your worlds will
finally crumble away and your dreams will come true.
- - Love Brigit
. . .
Catherine was touched by such a wonderful gift. She had confided to Brigit, that night, how much she envied her friend, Jenny, who had a first edition copy of this book. As she stood there gently caressing the leather binding and carefully flipping through the pages, she thought back to that Halloween last year when she and Vincent had both met Brigit. Vincent had told Catherine about the conversation they had when he and Brigit had gone walking in the park. Based on the letter, it appeared that Vincent had told Brigit more than he had realized or Brigit had understood more than they had expected. Regardless, that had been a wonderful time when Catherine and Vincent had, for one whole night found, as Brigit put it, the magic that lies between worlds had made the walls between them to grow thin. They had been able to spend that entire evening and night together moving openly around the city without fear of who might see them. They had even spent a large portion of that riding together in one of the cities many horse drawn carriages. That was also the night when she had fully realized that there was more than simply gratitude in her feelings for Vincent. They had ended that magical night by watching the sunrise from the park bench on the jogging path by the bridge.
Reluctantly, she pulled herself back to the present, set down the book and went into her bedroom to change into her costume. She was supposed to meet Vincent at seven and she was already running late. She also didn't want Vincent to have to endure Father's arguments about his safety for too long. She had to hurry. She took a quick shower and put on her costume and makeup in record time. She had been planning on this night for weeks and had taken great pains to get just the right costume for tonight. As she got ready to leave she took one final look in the mirror to see how the costume looked and smiled in self-satisfaction. Vincent was definitely going to flip when he saw her in it.
Running out the door, she grabbed the invitations and the package addressed to Vincent. She wondered what Father's reaction would be when he heard that Vincent had gotten mail addressed to him from Ireland. It should be interesting.
~ o ~
Jacob knew before the discussion had started that he wouldn't be able to talk Vincent out of going to this party any more than he had been able to last year. Going to this party with Catherine was something Vincent wanted too much to pass up. He also suspected that Vincent wanted this as compensation for not being able to go with Catherine to her lake house in Connecticut just a little over a week ago. He sighed and gazed pleadingly at his stubborn son. "Vincent, you don't know how much I have been dreading the return of this day, ever since last year!"
They both paused as a message on the pipes announced that Catherine was on her way down and was moving very quickly. Vincent sighed, as he watched Father, now pacing up and down the room, muttering to himself. They both knew all the arguments, both the pros and the cons. "Father, you know that it is the safest day of the year for me to go Above! And last Halloween is a perfect example of how safe it is for me."
"There ARE NO safe days for you! Don't you remember how close you came to being involved in an I.R.A. shootout?"
"But Father, that had nothing to do with my appearance," Vincent responded. "In fact, my appearance made it easier to help them and get out safely." Vincent chuckled. "Everyone involved told the police that they couldn't describe the person that had helped them because he was wearing a Halloween costume."
"I suppose you are determined to go regardless of what I say," Jacob responded.
Then Vincent brought up what he considered his two most telling points. "This is the only day of the year that I can spend time with Catherine openly Above and you know that Catherine would never do this if she thought there would be any danger."
Jacob had to admit, at least to himself, that, as Vincent had pointed out, he had experienced little difficulty in pulling it off last year despite being entangled in the assassination attempt against Brigit O'Donnell. He finally capitulated as gracefully as he could. "At least I can count on Catherine to do everything in her power to keep you safe."
That last statement gave Vincent pause. More than anything else, it brought out to Vincent just how much Father's attitude toward Catherine had changed since last Halloween. A year ago Father thought that Catherine could only bring him pain and eventually destroy him. Now Father thought of Catherine as someone he could count on to protect his very unusual son from harm in the world above. The concept made him chuckle to himself.
As Jacob stood there looking at Vincent, he wondered what had caused that amused reaction in him. Then it occurred to him that Vincent did look pretty good in his costume, such as it was. Vincent had on his best cream colored ruffled shirt and some well worn then re-dyed brown leather pants. He was wearing a pair of knee high black leather boots that Mouse claimed to have found. Jacob was afraid to ask for details. Over that was a dark purple buccaneer style coat with brass buttons and a four inch wide black belt with a huge brass buckle. He was wearing his long deep green hooded cape to complete the costume. Basically it was just Vincent dressed with a little more flair than usual, like someone dressing up in their Sunday best. Combined with his powerful lion-like features, the overall effect was like some magical creature from a romantic swashbuckler fairytale.
Jacob laid his hand on Vincent's shoulder. "Well, as costumes go, yours does look pretty good," He admitted as he gave Vincent's shoulder a squeeze trying to convey his love and concern in that one gesture. He thought for a moment and smiled. "Though it's really just you, being you."
Vincent placed his hand on Jacob's shoulder, acknowledging his gesture. "Thank you, Father!" Vincent nodded then his eyes lost focus making it look like he was gazing off into the distance. "Catherine is very near. She should be here any minute."
Jacob looked at Vincent, concern still present in his eyes. "At least be careful, and try not to draw attention to yourself."
Vincent responded. "Do not worry father. We will be lost in a large room full of people in very elaborate costumes. No one will even notice us in that kind of crowd. I have no desire of being the center of attention."
Jacob nodded and released a great sigh. "I pray you're right."
A minute and a half later Catherine entered the chamber through the upper level doorway. Jacob and Vincent both stared up, their mouths hanging open, at the vision that had just appeared at the top of the spiral stairway and taken their breath away.
Over a light green body stocking Catherine wore a long diaphanous dress that looked as though it were made of spider web silk and shimmered iridescently when she moved. On her back were attached translucent blue, green and yellow butterfly wings that measured four feet top to bottom. She wore glittering forest green shoes and in her reddish brown hair was a silver tiara bejeweled with sparkling emeralds. Her eye shadow and rouge contained glitter that sparkled in the flickering candle light and seemed calculated to bring out the color of her emerald green eyes. At her waist she wore a belt made of silver leaves chained together on which hung a small pouch that appeared to be made of large green leaves and looked as though it might just contain fairy dust. In her hand she carried a faceted glass rod topped with a glowing silver star. The overall effect was of an enchantingly beautiful forest sprite. The only apparent imperfection in her costume was the plain brown package that she carried in her other hand. Catherine almost seemed to float as she glided gracefully down the spiral stairs, every thing about her shimmering in the dancing candle light. At the bottom of the stairs she was met by a stunned Vincent. Catherine and Vincent stood for a long time, face to face, while each drank in the sight of the other. Jacob looked on equally stunned by the magical picture they made together. There could be no doubt that these two magical creatures belonged together.
The spell was finally broken when Eric and Ellie came running into the room shouting about something that revolved around the phrases "He is not" and "He is so". They both skidded to a halt at the sight of Catherine and Vincent standing there in their costumes. Both children stood and stared openmouthed at the scene before them.
Ellie was the first to speak as the word "Wow" came out in a soft sigh.
Jacob cleared his throat. "Eric, Ellie, what is all this yelling about?"
Catherine and Vincent reluctantly took their eyes away from each other to look over at the two children.
Eric spoke up. "Ellie said that Samantha said that Rebecca said that Vincent was going to a party Above." He looked back at Vincent and Catherine uncertainly.
Vincent responded. "That's right Eric, Catherine and I are going to a Halloween party at the top of the Empire State Building."
"But you can't do that," Eric protested. "If you go Above, you'll be seen!"
Catherine responded. "That will be no problem, because it's Halloween. When Vincent is seen up there tonight, he'll be just one more person in a costume. As a mater of fact, everyone at the party we're going to will be in costume." Catherine smiled at Eric, a twinkle in her eyes. "Today is the one day in all of the year that Vincent and I can safely go out on a date in the city above. We did it last year and no one ever realized that he wasn't wearing a costume."
"Oh." Eric seemed to still be a little unsure about it.
"Told you so, silly," Ellie chimed in as she reached out and smacked Eric on the top of his head. Then she ran out of the chamber.
"Hey!" Eric called out and chased after her.
The smile on her face edged over into one of mischief as Catherine waved the brown package and announced to Vincent, "Something came for you in the mail today, Vincent," as she handed the package to him.
Jacob sputtered, nearly choking as he stared at Catherine in disbelief.
Vincent's face showed surprise and confusion as she handed him the package. His face visibly brightened when he saw who the package was from. There was a definite gleam of excitement in his eyes as he carefully opened the package.
Inside the heavy duty shipping box Vincent found a brand new book bound in high quality green leather and titled in gold embossed old world style lettering.
The Magic Between The Worlds :
The Collected Short Stories of Brigit O'Donnell
Jacob just looked at them both in stunned silence as Vincent opened the book.
On the inside of the front cover near the top was a plate that read "Limited Special Edition - # 0001 of 1000" and below that it was Inscribed to Vincent.
To Vincent with great affection.
Thank you for showing me that
there is still a place for magic
and fairie music in this world. I
hope you find that dream you
and Catherine are looking for.
- - Brigit O'Donnell
Inside the book he found a note in between the first two pages.
. . .
After talking to you and Catherine last Halloween, I decided that the
world could always use a little more magic so I put this book
together. I have also started work on a new novel based on some
ideas I got from our talk . Most of the short stories in this new book
are old ones I wrote years ago, but there are three new ones that I
wrote after meeting you and Catherine. Since this book was inspired
by you and Catherine, I dedicated it to you both. This is the first
copy of a limited first edition . (The limited edition with the special
leather binding was the publisher's idea.) The regular release run is
due out from the printer at the end of next month. The entire limited
edition run was already sold out by the time it started rolling off the
presses. It's lucky I had the first 5 copies reserved. Enjoy.
- - Love Brigit
. . .
Vincent, slightly dazed, announced to Jacob, "Father, it's from Brigit O'Donnell. It's her newest book."
As Father looked at him, eyes wide with surprise, Vincent handed him the letter, then picked up the book and again opened it up. He looked at the dedication page then read it aloud, "Dedicated to Vincent and Catherine who showed me that magic can appear in the most unlikely places."
Catherine could practically feel the childlike glee from Vincent as he flipped through the book, stopping to read the first few lines of each story. Finally, with reluctant resignation, Vincent closed the book and handed it to Father. "It's getting late. We had better go."
"Please, be careful!" Jacob called after them as they passed through the doorway, out of the chamber. He didn't even bother telling them to try to avoid being noticed since that would not be possible with them looking like they did. Jacob shook his head as he muttered under his breath. "Those two are going to be about as un-noticeable as a fireworks display." With a sigh, Jacob prayed to whatever higher power was out there, to keep them safe.
After they left, Jacob stared at the book he was now holding. He knew enough about rare and valuable books to understand what an incredible treasure he was holding in his hands. Slowly he settled into his chair and re-read the letter from Brigit to Vincent. Then with extreme care he opened the book and began to read.
~ o ~
Vincent and Catherine came out of the tunnels fairly close to the Empire State Building. The party they were going to was located at the top on the observation deck level. They took their time, enjoying the feel of the city as they strolled down the streets towards their destination. For Vincent, it was a thrill just to walk openly with Catherine and not fear that they would be seen. They drew the attention of several people as they walked by, but they were looks of appreciation for their costumes, and Catherine was drawing just as much attention as Vincent.
When they reached the main doors to the building, two doormen, dressed as skeletons and wearing doorman caps, held the doors open for them.
There were already eight couples waiting at the elevators when they walked up. Several of the couples acknowledged them with smiles and nods. Vincent and Catherine both were complimented on their costumes. One of the elevators opened and a little more than half the people waiting stepped in. Just as the doors closed three more people showed up. One of the new arrivals was dressed in street clothes and asked where the party was. Shortly after that the other elevator opened and all the rest, except one couple who were waiting for some friends, boarded.
Vincent felt a delicious shiver of anticipation as they stepped through the elevator doors. It was such a novel experience to actually go into the elevator, rather than ride on top of it. This was the one day of the year when the whole world seemed to shift in his favor, and he was determined to savor the experience.
A man in a skeleton costume and wearing a bellhop's cap was standing by the controls. As soon as everyone was aboard he pressed the button for the observation deck floor. "Next stop All Hallows Eve." he announced.
The person dressed in street clothes called out. "Twelfth floor please," and the operator accommodated him.
Just after the man got off on twelve, one of the women in a sexy witch's costume leaned over and addressed Catherine. "That is a very lovely costume you're wearing, dear." The woman glanced over and up at Vincent. "And your escort is absolutely Magnificent," she added, tilting her head towards Vincent as she winked at Catherine.
When the doors opened again it was to the sounds of a party already in full swing. Another skeleton pair wearing medieval helmets crossed their pikes and barked out "Halt! Who goes there?" Catherine handed them the two invitations. The invitations were examined and returned as they were allowed to pass.
Just beyond the guards another skeleton handed them each a tall goblet of wine and welcomed them to the party. Vincent took a small sip of the wine and looked down at the goblet in surprise. The wine was very good and very strong.
They entered a large glassed in area. A live band was playing and several couples were dancing while all around the room knots of people were in deep conversation. The members of the live band were all dressed as skeletons and a banner over the stage read "The Grateful Undead". Outside the glass walls on the open air part of the deck, dining tables had been set up. People were sitting munching on snacks or drinking their wine while gazing out over the city or watching the other revelers enjoy themselves.
Continued in Part 2
'Beauty and the Beast' and its characters are owned by Witt-Thomas Productions and Republic Pictures. No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans. Original concepts and story elements may be used by other authors as long as appropriate credit is given.