Good eeeevening, my friends. Please enter of your own free will, and leave behind some of the happiness you bring. And now that that's out of the way, who's up for a little spooky fun?

Yeah, this is something that would probably be more suitable for October. But I'm going to be very busy the month after that, if you know what I mean, so I thought I'd get it out beforehand if possible. That and I just love writing these stories. So grab your stakes and leave your sparkles at the door, guys! It's time for An Adventure With Dracula!

DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, I don't own it.

"Of course it would be the shark! It would just chomp right through him!"

"Yeah, except for the part where he gets on land and just harpoons the thing."

"I said in a straight fight! And besides, they can jump!"

The heads of the Barnacle Face's patrons whipped back and forth like they were watching a tennis match instead of two semi-drunk men arguing. The Pirate Captain's speech was jumping back and forth across the line between coherence and babble, and his words were slurred out alongside a melodramatic pointing of his finger and the sloshing of his drink. Bellamy sat a few seats away, one shoulder resting on the bar and his chin resting on his hand as he concentrated all his annoyance with the captain into his stare. He swatted his opponent's sentences away like flies and spat out his own as though each one was the end of the discussion. Most of the tavern-goers roared with approval at them, only to groan as the captain refused to back down, while his crew refused to let their opinion be drowned out by mere strength of numbers. None of them were sure how this had started, but they'd been going on now for who knew how long.

All except one.

Jenny flinched as Peg-leg Hastings flung an arm around her and started rambling on about taking a shark's eyeballs for his own or something equally disgusting. "Yes, yes, that's very nice," she mumbled as she wriggled out of his grasp and slipped away. There was an empty table in a corner, and she sank down at it with a sigh. It was a bit quieter over here — as quiet as it probably ever got in this place, at least. She would be quite content with leaning against the wall, closing her eyes and never, ever being noticed...

"I ended up here on my first visit, too." Jenny snapped back to reality as Emma sat down across from her, carrying two mugs and trying to look welcoming. "Brought ya this," she continued, sliding one of the mugs to to the younger woman. "I watered it down."

Raising it to her lips with trembling fingers, Jenny took a sip of the beverage. Less than a second passed before her face contorted, and she spit it back into the mug. "I'm sorry! I think...I think it's an acquired taste," she said amidst gasps.

"Yeah, that's what I thought," Emma answered, pulling the mug back.

"Don't they need your help yelling over there?"

"They never need help with that. It's nice to have another lady around, y'know."


"You've been awful quiet as of late."

"I didn't think anyone noticed."

"It sticks out more than you think."

Jenny's gaze drifted down to the scratches in the tabletop. "I've been thinking," she finally answered, running her fingers along the worn lines. "About home, mostly. Beatrice..."

"I'm sure she's fine."

"...I just can't help but wonder." A hint of regret was in the girl's voice, and she wasn't doing a very good job of covering it up.

"I'm telling you," the captain continued, "it would take more than just one bullet to bring the shark down! Even if you got it right between the eyes! Why, it could grow another tail if you blew that off! Or is that what happens with teeth? That is what sharks do, right...?" He was beginning to sway back and forth.

"And that, ladies and gentlemen," Bellamy said as he stood up, "is why you should never have too much grog."

"WAIT!" the captain yelled as he regained his balance. "I've got an even better idea!"

"We forget this ever happened?"

"We put it to a bet! I prove that a shark would beat a Dracula, you give me half the treasure you've collected for Pirate of the Year so far."

Bellamy raised an eyebrow. "And what would I get if I won?"

"It's about time for us to be going," the Pirate With A Scarf said as he pulled the captain towards the door as quickly as he could, signaling for the others to help. "Isn't that right, sir?"

"Half my silver! You'd get half my silver! Not that you're going to, of course." Wrenching free of his first mate's grasp, the captain straightened his hat and strutted out the door with a grin plastered across his face.

The snickering began before he was even gone, and it burst out into laughter as soon as he was outside. "Saw that comin' from a mile away, I did!" "Oh, like that's a big accomplishment!" "Wasn't like he'd win with all that silver, anyway."

"Captain?" Scarf asked as he hurried outside. "Captain...!"

"Ah, there you coves are!" the captain exclaimed when his crew caught up to him. "We've got lots to do in the morning! I want half of you grinding up some fish and half of you cleaning up that old squid tank. There's got to be a shark or two around here, don't you think?"

"Sir, you don't have your wits about you," the Pirate With A Scarf said. "Let me go back and tell them it was only a joke — "

"Don't want to lie to them, now do we? Of course we'll win. Shark! First thing tomorrow!" The others stared at him with open mouths as he turned his back on them and began making his way down the dock.

The Pirate With A Scarf sighed as he followed him. "Maybe he'll forget about it..."