Fandom: Castlevania and Vampire Hunter D
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Castlevania, or Vampire Hunter D. Buffy belongs to Whedon, Castlevania and related characters belong to Konami, and Vampire Hunter D belongs to Hideyuki Kikuchi. No money made.
A/N: The setting for this is post S5 for Angel. This is for twisted_slinky, who just wrote an awesome story in Connor's POV, and made me want to do it too. Also, I'm playing with timelines again, especially considering the D universe. I have my own headcanon—that's not real canon—that makes it possible for D to appear in this fic, but I won't bore you with it unless you ask. Please enjoy!
Of Like Minds
The invitation told him to be there at midnight. Specifically, it called for him to be in a small cave somewhere in Romania. To be honest, Connor wasn't sure what to do with that. The invitation—literal, solid, on special paper and everything invitation—promised no harm would come to Connor, that this was to be a peaceful meeting between those of "like minds." Of course it claimed peace. What villain was gonna outright send an invitation to your own slaughter? Well, Angel might have, during his Angelus days.
Connor tried his best to come up with excuses not to go. He didn't know who had sent it. He wasn't even sure he could find the cave. And he had that whole L.A. gone to Hell thing to help with. So he had put it out of his mind, instead choosing to work alongside his father and Spike to fight some big red demon.
The thing was huge, with silver horns that poked out of its rigid forehead. Smoke curled out from its pig-like nostrils, and it stood at least four feet taller than Angel or Spike. Connor was taking his fight cues from them. Right now, it wasn't looking good. He managed to duck just as Spike went flying overhead.
"Watch yourself," Angel cautioned.
Connor rolled his eyes. "Unnecessary."
Angel looked as if he wanted to make some sort of retort to that, but he settled on remaining silent. The demon roared, and Connor sighed.
"That's it," he said.
He ducked as he charged forward, picking up a fallen sword as he went. With a roar of his own, he leapt skyward, bringing the weapon down in a stabbing motion. He managed to embed the blade just above the demon's clavicle before he was batted away like a bothersome fly.
"Oy!" Spike yelled, but Connor was too busy landing to see what followed.
All he could hear was another roar from the demon—that one sounding more anguished than any of the others—and then he saw the dancing of fire-like light over his eyelids. Groaning, he pushed himself up, finding that nothing of the crimson demon remained save for ashes. He laid back down.
"Come on," Angel said, holding a hand out to him. "Night's not over yet."
Connor nodded, taking his father's hand and pulling up. Spike was dusting off his jacket as he approached the two of them. He stopped just at them, bending down.
"I think you dropped something, kid," he said, pulling up the invitation.
"What is it?" Angel said, but Connor snatched it before his father could.
"It's nothing." Connor shoved it into his pants pocket. "Let's get moving."
"Hang on," Angel said, grabbing his son by the arm before he could move on. "Let me see it."
"You don't have to be the dad all the time, you know. I think you have bigger problems than worrying about what's written on some stupid piece of paper."
But Angel had already snatched the invitation out of Connor's pocket. He gave it a once over, his brow furrowed. Spike leaned over his grand sire's shoulder, doing the same.
"Who sent this?"
Angel's voice was grim, and Connor could do nothing but shrug.
"Well, what does it mean?"
Again, a shrug.
"Don't you think it's worth investigating?"
"I figured we were a bit, you know, busy. Besides, it's likely a trap."
"You don't have any enemies," Spike mumbled.
The blond-haired vampire looked up. "Well, I'm sure you do. But not any that would do this, sent you a bloody invitation to a trap. That sounds like something dear ol' Dad here would've done back in his day. Not anyone that could be after you."
Connor grinned. His life may have been one jumbled mix-up after another, but at least he had a handle on Angel. Finally.
"Are you suggesting that this is serious? A 'meeting of like minds' for Connor only?" Angel asked.
Spike withdrew a cigarette and a lighter from somewhere within the folds of his jacket. He placed the slender, white-wrapped cancer stick in between his lips, lit it, and took a long drag. As he exhaled, he shrugged.
"Only one way to find out."
And that was how Connor—with the condition that Spike tag along while Angel stayed behind to deal with L.A.—ended up on a plane to Romania. Of course, they had had to travel out of the city to even find a working airport, but after that—with Spike stowed away in the cargo hold—they were on their way. It was a long series of flights, and, as it turned out, once they arrived in Romania, the cave listed on the invitation was fairly popular among the local legends. Not something to be feared, but a place of goodness, to be worshipped.
"That's different," Connor noted as he and Spike made their way into the forest that housed the cave.
He nodded. "Got that right."
It didn't take long. Something about that didn't set well with Connor, but it was fairly easy to find the cave. He turned to Spike as he shoved a well concealed stake into the sleeve of his sweater.
"What's the plan?"
"You go in. Find out what's what, and if you need me, holler."
Connor lifted a brow. "That's it?"
Spike nodded. "Why? Got a better idea?"
Connor sighed. "Guess not. Be back soon. I hope."
He made his way inside the deep, dark cave. Wishing he had thought to bring a flashlight, he tried to let his more vampiric senses take over. He could make out shapes, like they were made from the shadow itself, but it kept him from tripping over this. Largely, the cave was a straight line. Then, when he felt like he had been walking forever, he came upon a most curious thing. A door. Or at least, a makeshift version of a door, and it seemed like light was spilling from the other side. Torchlight, from the way it flickered. Connor stood there for a long moment, simply gazing at the rickety set of holey panels. Finally, he did the only thing he could think of: he knocked.
"Enter," said a deep voice from the other side. "You're welcome here, Connor Reilly."
Connor pulled the door open, stepping into the room and blinking against the sudden change in light. When his vision finally settled, his eyes narrowed. A man, dressed in a very expensive-looking black shirt with long, white-blond hair sat at the head of a long, polished dining table. Visibly just beyond the shadows stood another man, his wardrobe more armor-like, with his actual facial features hidden by the darkness. The blond man, his sharp features paler still against the light, stood, his arms swept out in welcome.
"My name is Alucard. Behind me is my brother, D. We wish you no harm, and bid you to sit with us."
Connor didn't move. An odd scent was in the air and he breathed deeply of it. These were not normal men—not that he had expected them to be. But there was something edging in on the oddness of the scent, humanity.
"What are you?" he asked.
"Dhampires. Half-blooded vampires, like yourself," the other man, D, remarked.
His voice was much like his brother's—strong, the very sound of masculinity, but strangely monotone. Connor heard the heel of his boots click against the stone floor of the cave as he stepped into the light.
If Alucard could have been considered the fairer in color, then D was most certainly his opposite. Though it was clear that the two were, indeed, brothers in their pointed features, D's hair was as dark as night, and instead of a black suit, he wore black armor instead. Strapped to his back was a long sheath for a sword Connor could only presume was just as long.
"Okay," Connor shrugged. "I give. Why am I here?"
"Please," Alucard said, gesturing to the chair nearest Connor. "Sit. I assure you, you had no need to bring your vampire friend with you."
Connor's head turned halfway toward the door at his back, like he was about to charge back toward the forest.
"How did you know about Spike?"
D took a seat on Alucard's right-hand side, setting his sword against the arm of his chair.
"You know the answer to that, Connor. It's the same way that you know that we have humanity in our veins."
They could smell him. Great. Connor would have to tell the vampire to cool it on the cologne, he figured. He sat down at the other end of the table. For a long moment, no one spoke. Finally, Connor chuckled.
"You know, I'm not actually half vampire. Technically, I should be a whole vampire, as my parents were both vampires at the time of my conception. This being able to be normal thing? I've always figured it was a fluke."
Alucard smiled, and it was something about that simple move that made Connor have to suppress a shudder.
"We know the method of your birth. But you can walk in the daylight. You can choose to suppress your bloodlust. You breathe. But you still have all the strengths afforded to you by your vampire heritage. That's half-blood enough for us."
Connor nodded, leaning back. He crossed his hands over his stomach, looking the very picture of relaxed. Of course, he was anything but. This was a Spike move, but—the way Connor figured—he had probably learned it from Angel. Just something else he inherited from Daddy dearest.
"You got me there. So, what's up? Am I getting some special, supernatural scholarship or something? And why so interested in me, anyway? I mean, you two are both half-blooded vampires. There's probably more of us. Who's your dad, anyway?"
"Dracula," D answered, and that made Connor sit up. "And no, actually, we are a rare breed. Certain conditions must be met with every conception, even yours."
"Which is why we've convened this council. We propose an alliance," Alucard added.
"An alliance? Against what?" Connor asked.
Connor laughed. "And how can I trust you? I mean, we've just met."
"We haven't attacked you," D said.
"And we don't intend to," Alucard added.
"Never, unless necessary," Alucard replied.
"And what qualifies as necessary?"
"Trying to destroy the world," D answered.
Connor nodded. "Noted. So, what? What do I get out of this alliance? I mean, I figure I'll have to be at your beck and call when you need me, but does it work the other way around?"
"Of course," Alucard said, and he sounded almost cheerful.
Cheerful, Connor decided, really didn't work for this guy. Better stick to brooding, because, if truth be told, both of these guys seemed like real-deal brooders to him. Then again, it did take one to know one.
"So, if I told you what I was dealing with now, my friends and I, you would rush to my aid?"
"The L.A. problem, you mean?" Alucard asked. "I'm afraid that's not our mess to meddle in."
"Heh," Connor scoffed, standing. "That's what I thought. Well, thanks, but no thanks. See you later."
He had made it to the door, almost out, before D called out to stop him.
"It's your destiny, and the destiny of your friends, to fight that battle. There's no way to know what horrors would be unleashed if we intervened."
Connor felt his hands clench into fist and he whirled, glaring the two dhampires down.
"Horrors? You want horrors, then spend a day in my shoes, will you? You know, I can't help but notice that the both of you look rather well put together. You know the last time I looked well put together? Or my friends? Today. Right now, innocent people are dying just because my dad tried to do the right thing. You want to fight against evil? Well, I've got a whole hell of a lot of it back home."
Where had all that come from? Connor's breath was coming in heavy puffs, and he turned back toward the door.
"Wait," Alucard said, and Connor heard his chair scrape against the ground.
Connor turned to see that both dhampires were standing, and that D had his sword back on his back.
"We cannot immediately follow. We both have responsibilities of our own. But—"
Connor arched a brow. "But?"
Alucard and D shared a glance. Finally, D nodded.
"But we'll come."
"You're right," Alucard added.
Connor's brow furrowed. "About what?"
"About not knowing if you can trust us. You need proof. We would have done the same. We'll be along, Connor. Just hold the line until then."
Connor nodded, taking his cue to leave. He found the forest—and Spike—a lot sooner than it had seemed earlier. Spike put out a cigarette—one of seven, counting the butts on the ground—as he approached.
"So?" Spike asked. "What happened? Death? Destruction? Tea party?"
Connor laughed and caught Spike up to speed. At the end of his story, Spike nodded.
"So… you think they'll come? Like they said?"
Connor's eyes searched the unseeable tops of the trees. Finally, he nodded.
"You know, I think so. Let's go, Spike. We'll head back to L.A. tomorrow."
The two of them set off through the forest, quiet for a long time. Finally, Spike groaned.
"All right, I can't hold it in any longer. That wanker Dracula had kids? Really? Please, the last we need is more of his genes. I mean, no offense, but it's bad enough that Peaches reproduced!"
Connor only chuckled.