A/N- So, this is something I came up with while brainstorming for a response to a writing challenge. It's changed forms a couple of times, but I hope everyone enjoys it!
Disclaimer- I don't own Castlevania or any related characters. They all belong to Konami. I also don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any related character. They all belong to Joss Whedon.
Make Your Bed
She had been dreaming of him since she had regained her mind from Glory. And her dreams had increased in quantity when she and Willow had been on their break. In her dreams, she was never in the same place twice with him. The first time, she had been entering a crypt and had read his name, his realname, upon his grave. Adrian Farenheights Tepes. She had run her hand upon the cool stone, tracing her fingers in the moss-covered letters. And, funnily enough, in her dream, she day-dreamed about what this Tepes was like…what he looked like, who his family had been, what his hopes and dreams were. Her dream self had been lost in these thoughts until she had heard Willow call her name, shaking her gently awake.
"Tara," Willow had whispered, but Tara had thought, for a moment, that it had been him, "you're dreaming, sweetie. Wake up."
The second time had been much like the first, only the crypt wasn't a crypt. Instead, he had been in a coffin inscribed with his name in a dank, dark castle room. Again, she had dreamed in her dream of him. Finally, in her fourth dream of him, two months after Buffy's death, she met him.
He was breathtaking. A statue brought to life. Pale skin, dressed in a way from days gone by, with long, pale, and fair hair that extended nearly to mid-thigh. He had towered over Tara's dream self as she, now, slept in a bed not unlike the one that she shared with Willow in Buffy's home. Tara had seen him, although asleep in her dream, hesitate to go near her. But, like she had done, he seemed to dream of her.
The night right after the break-up with Willow, Tara had cried herself to sleep. And she had awoken in her dream, still crying. This time, she was in a forest, in a clearing, and he broke through the barrier of trees, just as shocked to see her as she had been to see him. She had stood from her place on the soft forest floor and tried to dry her tears.
"Who are you?" he asked, drawing a long sword from a sheath by his side. "I've dreamed of you before."
"Me too…dreamed of you before, that is," she said, her arms hanging uselessly, awkwardly at her sides.
"Are you a demon?" he asked.
She laughed and had to stop herself from sharing the story of her family with this strange man. She simply shook her head, staring at him. For all the weight of his clothes and the build of his body, he seemed to move as if he were weightless, lithe and elegant. She wished that she could move like that. She had often thought that Willow moved that way, when she wanted to.
"You're Adrian, aren't you?" she asked, taking the smallest of steps forward.
He seemed startled by this, and she watched him tighten the grip on his sword's hilt.
"I have not been called that name in a very long time. What kind of witch are you?"
"How did you know I was a witch?"
It was a standoff of sorts now. Who would be the next to divulge something? Finally, Tara gave up, knowing, somehow, that this man had had years to prefect the art of stubbornness.
"I'm Tara," she said. "If you don't go by Adrian, then what do you go by?"
"How did you even learn my real name?"
This didn't surprise her. After all, she had known, as she had traced her fingers along the old letters, that this mysterious soul had had another identity. She shrugged.
"I'm not really sure. Honestly. It was all in a dream, I guess," she answered.
He studied her for a moment. Finally, his lips upturned ever so slightly.
"Alucard. I go by Alucard."
And she had awoken with a start. The dreams increased in volumes after that, to the point of being that she dreamt of, and had conversations with, Alucard every single night. They had exchanged histories, and she had been surprised to learn that he was half-vampire. Although they had discovered much of one another, there was one thing that that two had yet to figure out. Why they were dreaming of one another. Why would two souls, across the world from one another—because they had never once doubted the other's existence—be sharing dreams? Especially when they had, seemingly, no connection whatsoever. Finally, in her last dream of Alucard, he figured it out.
She had fallen asleep beside Willow, undressed. She had come to her the night before, wanting to end their break-up. She had been more than overjoyed to learn that Willow still felt the same about her. They had spent nearly all the next day in bed, only getting out when they had had to do Scooby work. Now, the following night, she awoke, still in a state of undress, in the very same bed she had been in with Willow. Only, now, her bedmate was Alucard.
He was fully clothed and seemed unconcerned with the fact that she was not. However, his brow furrowed when he watched her eyes flutter open. He looked worried about something. Tara, still filled with bliss, allowed a bright smile to spread across her face as she propped herself up on one elbow.
"I'm back with Willow," she said.
She had, of course, informed the dhampire all about her Willow Tree. Alucard's face fell further. She stared back at him, a question in her eyes.
"You have to wake up and leave that place…now," Alucard said.
Tara blinked at him. She sat up, pulling the sheet with her.
"What? Why?" she asked.
He shook his head. "I know why we dream of each other. It is both prophecy and a connection we share. You said that you were a witch?"
She nodded. "What prophecy?"
He continued without directly answering her. "Have you ever dealt with the dark arts? Black magicks?"
She shook her head. "No. I haven't. Never. I know what they can do to you…I watched them destroy a member of my family."
Alucard closed his eyes, sighing sadly. He did not reopen them when he spoke next.
"What family member?"
"My father…he never called it magic…because he believed 'magic' was a devil-thing. But I understand now that what he did, even lying to me about what I wasn't, was because of the magic he worked. Why, Alucard? What aren't you telling me?"
"My own father," Alucard began, "will be resurrected again. And soon. But he demands sacrifice, Tara. Often, it is of blood. But, this time, the Dark Priests plan to sacrifice a soul."
Tara's eyes were wide, alarmed and worried. "Whose? Willow's?"
For a moment, Tara forgot how to form words. So many questions flew through her mind. How could they sacrifice her soul? These Dark Priests were far, far away! And she had made no dark pact. It was impossible…but Alucard spoke the truth. She understood it all now.
He had come to warn her. All these dreams, these meetings, were meant for trust…so she could run and correct the problem. But…how do you run from a pact you didn't even make that was already worlds away from you? This was the question she chose to voice.
"What good will running do?" she asked.
"Your father made a pact with the Dark Priests…I don't know why, but it does not matter. The spell the Priests cast to take your soul from you specified a time and a place. Usually, this is not done because the person that is the object of the spell will become aware of it and simply outrun the spell, which is a one-time only circumstance. They weren't worried about you finding out due to your distance from it all. But…you are going to die, Tara, in the morning when you awake from this dream. Unless you awaken this very moment. Tara…you have to wake up," he explained, standing now.
"Running will hurt Willow…she'll think I don't love her because I won't have time to properly explain," Tara said.
"You can make her understand later. She will forgive you."
"How do I die?"
"…Gunshot…it will be quick."
"Why are you able to tell me of this?"
Alucard shrugged. "That…I'm not sure of. But I am sure that warning you is why we have been meeting this way. Tara, I'm begging you…a soul as innocent as yours does not deserve to be sacrificed to Dracula. Run away, Tara…you can come back to your Willow later."
Tara sat there, curled up on the bed and covered, staring blanking at the mattress spread before her. Again, numerous questions flew through her mind. Her father had sacrificed her soul for reasons Alucard did not know. But she did. He was angry with her disobedience. This was his vengeance. Vengeance…this thought struck a chord deep within her, and she focused on a single question.
"In this spell…do you know if others are hurt? Do you know other possible outcomes to it if I run?" she asked.
Alucard pursed his lips together. He looked, for a moment, on the verge of lying to her about the truth. Finally, he sighed and answered her, albeit reluctantly.
"If you stay…you and an evil soul will parish. If you run…three of your friends will die."
Tara shook her head. "I don't even need to know who. Alucard…thank you for warning me. It's been nice to know you."
"Tara!" Alucard said as she laid her head back on the pillow.
Alucard's sharp usage of her name melted and became Willow whispering her name to her. When Tara's eyes opened, the sun streamed brightly through the window. She smiled at Willow's bright face, concealing the sadness she felt.
"Maybe we should actually get dressed today," Willow said, climbing out of bed with no thought to cover herself up.
Tara nodded, drinking in everything about her lover. She put her on clothes on, never taking her eyes off of Willow. Willow greeted her stares with loving smiles every time she caught her eye. Such happiness…such love…Tara would not tell her. She would not tell Willow that this morning would be the day she died.
Later, she felt Willow's arms enclose around her as she cried out her name…Tara could see her own blood on Willow's beautiful white shirt. At least, Tara thought as she drew her last breath, Alucard had been right.
It had all happened so quickly.
End Notes: Okay, so the writing challenge that inspired this fic included answering a question. If you care to know, the question that I answered was "Who are you in bed with?" I've been writing a lot of Tara recently. Normally, I don't do slash…I just don't feel comfortable with keeping it realistic…being a straight woman myself. But, since it's canon, I really feel like I get this pairing. Well, hope you enjoyed!