Title: Vamp SmackDown
Author: (Only)Anne (AnneB)
Posted here: 08/05
Summary: An answer at the Dracula/Angel challenge
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Please ask.
Notes: I have had this idea rattling around in my head for a while now and thought that it might provide some distraction for all of us counting down to WITW. I am not really up on the whole Dracula lore, so this is just the bare bones. I hope somebody will flesh it out.
Thanks/Dedication:I have to thank Alice for giving me the incentive to write something. I don’t know if this will be what you wanted as an answer to Dracula vs. Angel, but it will be my attempt. Hey, this is the first challenge I ever responded to, ooh the pressure….
Challenge: * The Fang Gang and the Drac Pack cross paths in LA somehow. * Dracula tries to enthral Cordelia, but she doesn’t buy it. * Include a flashback/ explanation to Angel and Drac’s first meeting. * Bonus points if Spike is included.
“Cordy, Angel can’t…can he?” Fred leaned in closer to the TV screen.
“Of course not.” Cordelia tossed more popcorn into her mouth as the small image of Gary Oldman dressed in flowing black mesmerized a terrified and turned on Winona Ryder. “Pfft, Angel wishes, he could shut me up so easily. ” Cordelia shrugged.
“She seems to be kind of enjoying it. Sort of.” Fred glanced back at Cordelia.
“More proof it’s fiction. Bad fiction, but Gary Oldman is kind of sexy. Real vampires though, definitely not something I want in my bedroom, creepy, not sexy.”
“Cordy!?” Fred dropped her jaw in protest. “Angel’s a real vampire. I mean not that you want him in your bedroom, though, he does stay in there when you are sick and dying and stuff and you go into his an awful lot. But, I mean Angel’s handsome, not creepy at all.”
Wesley moved to make their presence known. He really didn’t want to listen to Fred expound on Angel’s virtues. The vampire held out his arm, stopping Wesley. Angel waited wanting to hear Cordelia’s response. Gunn remained still, smiling. He figured this could get good.
Cordelia raised both brows. “First, Angel’s bedroom is where Connor sleeps. And yes, of course Angel’s handsome. But he’s Angel, he’s no Dracula.” She pointed to the screen as Gary Oldman, acting as Dracula hypnotized his young victim played by Winona Ryder.
“ Not a dark brooding sexy spell casting fiend tantalizing and threatening young virgins.” Cordelia pursed her lips. “Okay, Angel is dark and brooding….and okay, I’ll give you maybe sexy, MAYBE. But not the other part…Unless we’re talking about Angelus, but he just terrorized and killed, not wacky weird mind erotic stuff. That’s Dracula. Pfft, she’s so stupid; has she not heard of a stake? Fiction.”
Cordelia got up from the couch and jumped as she saw Angel, Wesley and Gunn. “Oh, hi. We didn’t hear you come in. How did it go? Bad ugly thing dead? I don’t see why I couldn’t go. Vision-pain a thing of the past. Pfft.”
Angel just stared trying to figure out why he wanted to growl and break the TV.
“Earth to Angel? How did it go?”
“Fine.” Wesley stepped past the still silent vampire.
“What’s wrong with him? Angel,” Cordelia moved in front of the vampire waving her hand in front of his face. “You weren’t hurt were you? Let me see.” Her hands suddenly going for his leather jacket.
Angel brushed at her hands. “I wasn’t hurt. What are you watching?”
“It’s Coppola’s Dracula, definitely no Godfather.” Gunn went to the couch shaking his head in disgust. “It’s movies like this that make vamps all sexy and women hot and bothered, but it ain’t Gary Oldman that you would be letting into your bedroom.”
“Gee, Gunn, really?” Cordelia rolled her eyes towards the black man and then turned back to Angel. “If you’re not hurt why are you so quiet. What happened? Why are you descending into major brood funkdom?”
“Why are you watching a movie about Dracula?”
“Uh,” Cordelia shrugged. “It was either that or The Brady Brides. Before my time, don’t see the appeal of Marcia and Jan’s double wedding mishaps.”
“But, you see the appeal of Dracula?”
“Sure, it’s a sexy movie. Stupid but sexy.” Cordelia looked back to the screen, then back at Angel. “Did Bram Stoker even meet a vampire? Where did he come up with this stuff? Sure, he got some of it right. But the shape shifting, the ‘ohh’ gaze into my eyes crap? Come on, bats? Pfft.”
Angel looked at the TV wondering how not to answer Cordelia’s questions. He never liked Dracula. The older vampire was an arrogant showboat. Angel wasn’t sure why he was getting mad.
Cordelia wasn’t enthralled with Dracula or even the concept of him, and Dracula was not really present, just an image on the TV. So why was Angel feeling very uneasy and angry. It was Dracula. Angel, Angelus, it didn’t matter. Angel just didn’t like the older vampire.
“You don’t know. Gee, what’s good about being so old if you can’t give first hand gossip? Hmmph.”
“Stoker knew Dracula.”
Cordelia turned from her path and headed straight back for Angel. “Stoker knew Dracula? You mean he knew a vampire. Dracula is fictional. Based on Vlad the Impaler, who was alive in the 15th century. Stroker didn’t write Dracula until the 19th century. What? I read, know stuff, Geez. The highlights aren’t real you know.” Cordelia glared at the other’s surprised expressions.
Well, everybody but Angel. He didn’t look surprised that Cordelia would know who actually wrote Dracula; Angel just looked annoyed.
Angel shrugged. “Vlad, whatever. Dracula was real. Egotistical, wanted to be famous, so he got Stoker to immortalize him. It wasn’t enough that he could live forever, he wanted everyone to know. Arrogant bastard.”
Fred got off the couch and headed over to Angel, anticipation clear on her face. Gunn even moved closer. Wesley raised his brow at the vampire. “Was? Dracula’s death was never recorded in the Council’s archives.”
Cordelia’s gaze broke away from Angel and turned on Wesley. “You knew?”
Wesley shrugged and took of his glasses. “One of Stoker’s intimates, Gerald St. John, was on the council, unknown to Stoker of course. St. John was intrigued by Stoker’s work of ‘fiction’; several of the characteristics of his gothic villain fit the true traits of a vampire. And as Bram Stoker was closer to a stereotypical Irish literary figure than his biographies elude, St. John proceed to keep Stoker ‘entertained’ and drunk until St. John got the whole story.”
“And” Gunn waved his hands.
Angel rolled his eyes and headed for the stairs. “I’m going to check on Connor.” Seeing his son was a far sight better than listening to Wesley talk about the origins of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Angelus lived through it.
It was the book’s popularity and Dracula’s annoying presence in London to reap the benefits of his sudden celebrity that Angelus, Darla, Drusilla, and Spike headed for Romania. In retrospect, Angel was grateful that they left otherwise he may have never been cursed with a soul in 1898 and the miraculous blessings of his family he received over an hundred years after that.
But at the time, the burgeoning ‘legend’ of Dracula had just pissed Angelus off. And Angel now, even with a soul couldn’t find one good thing to say about the older vampire.
“So, what got into his blood wheaties?” Cordelia’s eyes followed Angel’s ascent upstairs. “He’s grumpy.” Cordelia looked back to Wesley and Gunn. “Everything did go okay? Right? I mean, you killed the demon, saved the people, no weird, well extra weird stuff happened, did it? No blondes showed up?”
“It was cool.” Gunn shrugged.
Cordelia scrunched up her face and sighed. She would find out later what was wrong with her best friend. Angel had been acting strange lately and Cordelia was not going to sit by and wait like she did during Angel’s so called ‘beige’ period.
That had been a horrible mistake. One that she would never do again. But, Angel just seemed broody not cold so she could hear what Wesley had to say. “So spill, Wesley. What did the St. guy find out?”
“St. John. Well, it seemed that Dracula met Stoker in a pub in 1890. Stoker wasn’t sure why Dracula picked him to write his story, but he did. The vampire knew that Stoker was a writer. Bram Stoker had just published his first novel.”
“The dude wrote stuff other than Dracula?” Gunn asked from his position on the lobby counter.
“Yes, but he’s best known for Dracula . Actually, The Lady of the Shroud and The Lair of the White Worm were written in the early part of the 20th century, they are quite interesting….”
“Wes, DRACULA.” Cordelia interrupted impatiently.
“Oh, right.” Wesley put on his glasses. “Well, that’s it really as far as the novel goes. Dracula told of his original trip from Transylvania to England.”
“He was really from Transylvania?” Fred shifted in her chair.
“What about the bat thing? I never saw a vamp turn into a winged rat, never. Seen rats and vamps in LA, never were they one in the same, acted the same but weren’t, you know, the same.”
“Did he look like Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman? Did he get any of the franchise rights from his name and imagine. Geez, if he did, wow.” Cordelia looked back up at the stairs. “Why couldn’t have Angelus done that, instead no, he just pillaged and plundered with Darla, no concept of the future.”
The occupants of the lobby, as well as Angel who had come down, stared at Cordelia. Angel decided that while he wanted no part of the talk about Dracula, he wanted to make sure that Cordelia realized that the Count vampire was an asshole.
Angel wasn’t sure why, but he was aware of the appeal of the fictionalized Dracula had to a lot of the female mortal population, and he just wanted to make sure Cordelia knew the truth. Not that he thought she would ever romanticize the vampire or any vampire for that matter.
Cordelia was pretty adamant about the disadvantages and ‘eww’ factor of ever being attracted to a vampire. Regretfully. Angel shook his head. Angel wished Fred had never mentioned the ‘K’ word, Lorne never read him, never said out loud Angel’s hidden thoughts about the seer, that she was an extraordinary, beautiful woman. Angel wished he never saw Cordelia leaning in the doorframe of his bedroom dressed to the nines, in a dress that hid nothing of her glorious curves.
For that matter, Angel wished he never saw or touched the flesh of those curves. Sure, tormented lovers had possessed them at the ballet, but that didn’t change the fact that Angel remembered the taste and feel of Cordelia’s skin. Angel gulped the cross between a groan and growl back down his throat. And there was the fact that the Cordelia was able to be in ‘love’ with Groo. That idiot had been a demon, well half demon. Thank god, she realized that she wasn’t in love with him, just in love with the idea of being in love with the buff cartoon hero.
Angel was just glad that he hadn’t gone with his first instinct when he saw Groo standing in his hotel, kissing his seer. It was much better that Cordelia realized her mistake while he had been supportive rather than Angel just killing the Plyea deposed ruler on sight.
But the fact that she could be attracted to Groo, a half demon…Angel hid his sigh. Doyle was a half demon, too. Obviously, Cordelia wasn’t a demonphobe; she just wasn’t attracted to Angel. Angel wished he could blame it on being a vampire. But…Angel perked up.
It just wasn’t that he was a vampire demon, but there was the threat of Angelus. That would make any intelligent woman afraid to be attracted to him. Angel frowned again. Except Angelus didn’t exist anymore.
He perked up again. Cordelia didn’t know that. No one did, except maybe Lorne. Angel frowned again. That green demon knew way too much for Angel’s peace of mind.
Angel looked up as he finally realized that no one had commented on Cordelia’s question or statement, that now they all were staring at him. “What?”
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You’re acting weird. All, I meant was that if Angelus had felt the need to be immortalized by fiction and had kept the residual rights. You could’ve had a cereal named after you. It couldn’t be Count Angelus….” Cordelia paused. “Was Dracula even a real Count? Well, if Angelus had…no Notre Dame worries, bills paid, and a ski condo…..and a boat. Hmmph.”
The eyes of the room were back on Cordelia. “What?” she shrugged off their stares and turned to Angel. “So, did Dracula look like Bela or Gary…or Frank Langella…Please don’t tell he looked like George Hamilton? No vampire is that tanned, not even close, maybe Jason Patrick or Kiefer Sutherland?” Cordelia finished hopefully.
Wesley took off his glasses again. “Where was I? I have no inclination. Was I talking about Bram Stoker? I seem to recall it, but now I’m not sure.”
“None of the above. The copyright went to Stoker, so no residuals. Yes. And no robot chipmunks on ice or moonlit cruises.” Angel said.
Now Wesley, Gunn, and Fred’s eyes were on Angel.
“Hmmph. No fun.” Cordelia pouted.
“How’d he do that? The vamp understood.” Gunn nudged at Fred.
“Kryemption, it is the only explanation. And you think I babble.” Fred nudged her glasses.
“That wasn’t babble that was a hyperbola, only capable by Cordelia.” Wesley whispered.
“Wes, you were telling us about Stoker and Dracula. Hurry up. It’s close to Connor’s singing time. Is he already asleep?” Cordelia looked to the vampire.
“Yes.” Angel said.
“Well, thank you very much, Mr. Long wind.” Cordelia glared at Wesley.
Wesley just blinked and shoved on his glasses. “Once St. John knew that Stoker had gotten his story from a real vampire, he went back to the council and started the recording of Dracula. It turns out that the story that Stoker told was primarily accurate as to the individuals involved. There was a Jonathan and Mina Parker, Lucy, and Van Hessling etc.. The names and time period were changed but not by much. The only place that Stoker took dramatic license was in Dracula’s supernatural traits- no shape-shift ability, animal or mist, or hypnotic power over his victims and of course Dracula’s demise at the end of the novel. Physical appearance, I don’t know. There is no known authentic picture of Dracula.”
“If the book is substantially true, then the majority of Dracula’s enemies lived, but if he didn’t die why did he let them live?” Cordelia asked. “Angelus wouldn’t have.” Cordelia looked at Angel for confirmation.
Angel narrowed his eyes at the young woman. Ever since the night at the ballet, the appearance of Groo and the leaving of Groo, Cordelia had been bringing up his soulless identity more and more. It was always in a matter fact tone but always recounting some horrible act of the vampire he had been or what he would do in a current situation if he were too lose his soul. Angel had truly been angry when he had overheard her talking to Connor about Angelus.
The only reason he didn’t act on his anger was because Cordelia had immediately changed her tune and tone, apologizing too the infant. She then proceeded to tell the baby how brave and wonderful Angel was.
Cordelia hadn’t known Angel was outside the door. Angel knew this because if she had he would’ve have never seen the tears and the abject sincerity and remorse on her face as she hugged Connor, telling the small baby not to listen to her last bit of nonsense, that she was just in a cranky mood that Connor was so very lucky to have a father like Angel that they all were lucky to have the vampire in their lives.
And then she told Connor how Angel saved the world. Angel didn’t quite remember saving the world but Cordelia made him sound quite brave and strong. His anger had disappeared in that moment of seeing Connor in Cordelia’s arms and her whispering exaggerated and heroic tales of Angel. Then when she finally noticed the vampire’s presence, she placed the baby gently in his bassinet and ran to Angel, clutching his shirt.
And told him never not to believe that he wasn’t good, wonderful and a spectacular father. Angel tried to grab her but in that instant his vampire reflexes weren’t up too the task. Cordelia ran from the hotel. The next morning the tears, the sorrow, the regret were gone, all that was shown was cheeriness and a great big smile.
Wesley spoke filling the vampire’s silence. “Actually, we don’t know that for sure. Van Holen the true Van Helsing lived a natural life span.”
“Van Holen? He was amazing. He was a scholar on so many different levels. A doctor, psychologist, mathematician….He should have won Nobel Peace Prize. But…” Fred frowned trying to remember the facts. “He just disappeared.”
“Yes, he had made some enemies and doubters in his interest in the supernatural.” Wesley aided the young woman’s memory. “And when the academic scoffed at his very legitimate theory on certain psychotic disorders he withdrew from that world and concentrated on the supernatural. Van Holen was a great source for the Council. Very revered. As for James and Miranda Patterson they disappeared, their last records tracing them to America.”
“Dracula killed them.” Angel said.
Wesley rubbed his brow. “Oh, I’d hoped they lived a long life after their encounter.”
“They got on the ship, but never left England. No, there was a big party in London. Dracula still had influence over the woman. She led her husband to the….” Angel paused. “The event. After a time, Dracula gave them to the appreciative audience after making them jump through a bloody bizarre circus performance.”
“Influence? The hypo wacky mind stuff was real?” Cordelia stepped back from Angel.
Angel wanted to step forward and reassure the young woman. The sudden influx of fear centering on her, compelled him to ease it, to make it go away. But, Angel was also afraid. Cordelia had already compiled so many reasons, most very valid, as to why Angel would never be an object of her affection other than as a friend. He didn’t want to add one more. He started to try to explain but Cordelia interrupted him.
“I’ve experienced a few vampire’s in my time, Angelus included. None of them ever did that mind mojo. NONE.”
Angel waited two seconds, taking a breath, trying to figure out what to say. The others in the hotel had become still at the fate of James and Miranda, now they were just waiting for his answer. Cordelia had been the only one to speak and now she was silent and scared. Of him.
“When Stoker’s novel was written, Dracula had been a vampire for several hundred years. Those years he spent as a Count in Transylvania. After the first hundred he stopped hiding his true nature. Or at least he encouraged the awe and terror of the superstition that surrounded him. But as the many years went on, human blood became harder too get. His holdings were located in the darkest and wildest part of Eastern Europe. People didn’t flock there. The peasants that weren’t willingly submissive or just plain terrified left, as a result the supplies dwindled. That’s why he left for England. Britain was soon to enter into its industrial age. Queen Victoria was a powerful ruler. England was where to be. The New World was showing strength and promise, but it wasn’t old. It didn’t have the grandeur, the elitist society, yet. So, Dracula came to London.”
Angel paused. He hadn’t really explained anything, but he was stalling to gather his words. He didn’t want to frighten or disturb his human family. Angel knew that they knew vampires, but he also, knew that they didn’t, not really.
“Shape-shifting, no. Not a vampire trait. But, Dracula could. His isolation allowed him the time to learn magic. His hypnosis…Vampire’s can manipulate a human’s mind…If they know how.” He added quickly at the human’s gasp.
“Not all vampire’s know how, most don’t care to know. Most have no use for it. Dracula has the ability to enthrall a human. He liked it. It was more of the submissive adoration that he was used to. So, he was able to get to the women, cuz he could get into their mind. They let him in. Willingly, sort of.”
“Angelus, YOU?” Cordelia glared and choked at the same time.
Angel thought a moment. It actually didn’t take long to figure out the answer that would satisfy his clearly agitated seer. “Angelus never bothered. And when have I ever been able to control or manipulate you into doing anything that you didn’t want to?”
Cordelia scrunched up her face. “You have that ‘look’, that puppy dog face.” She glared at Angel.
Angel was saved from trying to answer by Wesley. “Cordelia. Please. We are talking about a vampire’s ability for mind control over a mortal, not Angel’s pathetic attempts to get you to listen to him and at least pretend to do what he asks.”
Angel thought he should be offended or angry, but since the glare was off Cordelia’s face, he decided he would just be grateful to Wesley.
“Hmmph sounds all fishy to me. Okay, I’m bored. Dracula is/was real. Don’t care. Don’t even care that brood guy didn’t say what the most popular vamp looked liked.” Cordelia paused. “So, is Lestat real? Does he look like Tom Cruise?”
“NO.” Both Angel and Wesley yelled. The men looked at each other and added in a more controlled tone. “Anne Rice’s vampire’s are truly fiction.”
“Damn. Louis sounded really cute. And Brad Pitt, to die for. Oh well, I’m going to see if Connor wants to wake up for a song.”
“Cordy.” Angel called.
“I won’t wake him, don’t worry, Geez. But, if he’s asleep, I’ll just have to stay. I’m not leaving until I get my goodnight ‘Bssblurp’ from him.”