Where There is Darkness

By: Highlander II

Category: Alternate Universe, Fantasy
Archive: Please ask.
Spoilers: Van Helsing
Rating: NC-17: (skip) Non-consensual sexual encounters, mind control, bondage, spanking/caning, character death.
Summary: What happens if Van Helsing doesn't defeat the Dracula beast and is taken prisoner instead? Carl and Anna have to locate Van Helsing and rescue him from Dracula's clutches before The Knights of the Holy Order learns what is going on and sends another army of operatives after the rogue monster hunter. In the meantime, Van Helsing has to survive his incarceration without losing his mind.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the words on this page; the characters belong to Stephen Sommers and Universal pictures.
Notes: Written for scifibigbang 2010. Art by: sanadafaye
Feedback: Highlander II

Part I

The cloud moved and the moon shone bright again, almost burning into his flesh, tearing it away to free the beast beneath the surface. He made a lunge at the vampire, leaping into the air, clearing pieces of broken machinery, aiming for the throat with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. When the feral part of his mind settled, he found himself pinned beneath the clawed foot of the Dracula beast.

The cloud moved and the moon shone bright again, almost burning into his flesh, tearing it away to free the beast beneath the surface. He made a lunge at the vampire, leaping into the air, clearing pieces of broken machinery, aiming for the throat with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. When the feral part of his mind settled, he found himself pinned beneath the clawed foot of the Dracula beast.

Eyes wide, he looked around, hands grabbing for the ankle above the foot to remove it from his chest, to no avail. The creature was heavy and pushing down on his ribcage. A half-strangled gasp escaped his throat and he chanced a look to the window - the clouds were sliding slowly away to expose the full moon and he could feel the beast clawing to break free again. His eyes shifted to the clock as the last stroke of midnight echoed through the tower.

Van Helsing's heart sank as he felt the beast tear through him, pulling the humanity away and the beast bursting forth. He flipped the Dracula beast onto its back. The werewolf pounced and landed square in the middle of Dracula's chest, snarling down in his face, drool dripping to the floor.

The Dracula beast shoved the werewolf off himself and got to his feet, changing back into Dracula-the-man as he stood. His laughter was deep and hollow. "This could not have happened better had I planned it myself." He smiled as he stepped closer to the werewolf. "Come, my pet. Come to me." He waved the werewolf to him.

As much as he tried to resist, he found himself crossing the laboratory floor to Dracula purely because he was called. No! NO! This can't be happening! Every inch of his soul told him not to move, begged him to change back, to attack, to do anything but walk right up to the vampire and be scratched behind the ears. It was a disgrace.

"Magnificent!" Dracula howled and could feel the energy, the power he now held over the lupine creature at his feet. Not only did he have a new werewolf under his command, he now controlled The Great Van Helsing.

Carl stared in shock, the silver stake clenched in his hand, poised to make that death strike, but Van Helsing was already lost and Dracula was still alive. Blinking in realization, he slowly stepped backwards, into the shadows, away from Dracula and his new 'pet'. He grabbed Anna's arm, pulled her with him as he backed away. He knew Anna would try to administer the antidote still and he could not let her do that. He needed that antidote to develop a new cure for Van Helsing - and maybe other werewolves as well.

Keep fighting, Van Helsing. I'll be back for you. Carl tugged harder on Anna's arm, kept hold even as she tried to break free.

"Let go of me," she hissed.

Face stern, he growled back, "No. We must get out of here before we're made into dinner."

"What about Van Helsing?"

"I can't help him here. Please, we must go now, before we are noticed. Anna, please, I can help him, but not if we die before I have the chance." He pulled harder on her arm.

She held up the werewolf anti-venom. "What about this?"

Carl's eyes opened wide. "Bring it with us. I need that." To keep her from doing anything foolish, he pushed her ahead of him so he could watch her.

The plan had gone horribly wrong. Van Helsing was supposed to kill Dracula, then get the cure, not be stuck as Dracula's lap dog - literally. Time had been against them, as had the weather. A cloud had covered the moon just as Van Helsing had leapt for the death-blow against Dracula, reverting him to the naked-man state and allowing him to be caught beneath the heavy foot of the castle's master. Now there was nothing he could do for his friend but hope and pray.

He felt himself pressed against the wall with a strong, but slight arm. He scowled and turned to Anna. A finger pressed against her lips, she whispered, "Quiet. Dwergi. They won't bother us if they don't see us. They're busy working."

Carl peered around Anna and watched the little creatures shuffling about their duties. He couldn't understand what they were saying, but he did recognize the pieces of machinery they were hauling. "Where are they going with the machine?"

"I don't know, but we shouldn't wait around to find out."

As much as he wanted to know where the Dwergi were going, he wanted to be out of the creepy castle more. A thought occurred to him as they entered the long entry hall. "Uh, Anna, how do we get back to Castle Valerious? We can't go through the mirror again, it closes on this side."

"What?" she snaps at him. "Why didn't you mention this before?"

Carl frowned at her. "Don't yell at me. I'm not the one who decided to walk through the thing without determining if a return trip was possible."

"I'm sorry, Carl. He came here to help me and now look where he is!"

Her frustration was beginning to show, he could see that clearly. However, he needed to make sure it stayed under control. Neither of them would be able to help Van Helsing if they both died. He gave her a firm look. "I know. But there's nothing we can do here. We have to get back to Castle Valerious so I can do some research. Now help me find a way out of here!"

Dracula had locked him in a room with only a small window in the door and had spent the last several hours watching him change from wolf to man and back again. Van Helsing prayed for dawn to break so the painful changes would stop, but it seemed that night would go on forever here. All of his attempts at escape had failed. All of his attempts at sleep had failed. A small glimmer of hope had come when he thought of Carl and Anna, even that had faded as quickly as the clouds over the moon. There was nothing either of them could do for him. He was a monster and would be until someone killed him. With that realization, all fire and passion to escape fled him. The only time he displayed any aggression at all was when in wolf-form.

"Come, my pet, you are to entertain me. How can I be entertained if you lay about on the floor and do nothing?"

Van Helsing groaned, but didn't move. His body ached, his head throbbed and he had neither the strength nor the desire to move. He couldn't remember the last time he'd slept - had it been yesterday? The day before? Or the day before that even? And he dared not fall asleep here, now, because the cloud cover would shift again and the werewolf would tear free, waking him.

The transformation was much more painful than he could ever have imagined. He hadn't noticed when he was fighting Dracula, but now that he was unable to fight, in need of rest, each time he changed was more excruciating than the last. His screams reverberated around the heavy stone walls and mixed with the hollow laughter from Dracula just on the other side of the door. He wanted to leap at the door, break through it and beat Dracula to a pulp, but he didn't have the energy. He hardly had the energy to breathe, much less fight.

"You will come to entertain me, Gabriel. For now, I will dance to your screams. It is still several hours until dawn and the clouds continue to roll. I will delight in your pain." Dracula peered through the small window in the door, studying the broken figure on the floor. "You will make an excellent pet, old friend." He then backed away from the door as another transformation brought screams to his ears.

Van Helsing's wolf form emerged and immediately smashed against the door, denting it. He snarled when he saw someone coming down the hall with a large electrical prod. The man, wisely startled and took a couple steps away from the door. Van Helsing-wolf licked his chops and felt the sudden realization that it had been several hours, at least, since he'd last eaten and this morsel would make a decent filler.

"You fool!" Dracula thundered and struck the man across the jaw. "You are not permitted anywhere near this one. If you touch him, I will kill you."

Frightened, the man dropped the electrical prod and ran off down the corridor. Van Helsing, however, wasn't sure how to take that - was Dracula protecting him or wanting to torture him himself? Obviously the clouds had rolled in again, the wolf had subsided and Van Helsing found himself scrabbling at the door to stay on his feet a moment longer. He failed. He hit the floor with a thump and promptly passed out from exhaustion.

Dracula peered through the window and his voice carried the barest hint of concern, "Gabriel, for your sake, I hope the skies darken and cloud-over." He had been enjoying the torturous screams of his former adversary, but he knew something Van Helsing did not. At some point, he might reveal this secret, but for now – there were more screams to dance to.

"How did you know that was a doorway?" Anna asked as they descended the tower staircase.

"I didn't. I guessed. I was right. Does it matter?" Carl responded, eager to get as far away from Dracula's creepy icy fortress as possible. He hoped his return trip would be less eventful and more successful. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pray."

Anna nodded. "Of course. I'll leave you in peace. Come downstairs if you would like dinner later."

Carl nodded in return, then retired to the room he was using to do his research, knelt by the couch and folded his hands together. "Heavenly Father... I pray for him now because he was doing what was asked of him and may be unable to pray for himself. Like always, Father. He always does what they ask, even if it means he may not be coming back. This time, he might not come back. He's a prisoner and I don't know how to save him. He needs my help and I need Yours. I also need time. Keep him alive long enough for me to figure out what I need to do. Don't let him lose his will. He needs You more than he would ever admit - or know. Forgive him, Father, for not talking to You on his own, someday he will. He'll be back. In the meantime, please, help me help him."

Carl continued his prayers for the next hour, stopping only when Anna entered the room to ask if he wanted to eat. "I probably should eat something, yes." He rose slowly and grabbed a book on his way out, but he did manage to, at least, join Anna for dinner.

Anna placed her fork beside her plate. "You've been awfully quiet. Have you found anything useful?"

Solemnly, Carl shook his head, but didn't look up from his book. "No."

"Need any help?" Anna was growing more and more concerned about Carl – and Van Helsing.

"No." Carl stood from his chair, book still in hand. "Would you like me to help clear the table?"

Anna shook her head gently. "I'll take care of it, thank you."

"Thank you for dinner," he looked at her over the book. "I'm sorry I wasn't better company, but if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of research to do."

Anna smiled sadly as Carl left the dining room. Would he be able to save Van Helsing or would their only option be to go back to Dracula's castle and kill him? She didn't want Van Helsing to die, but she considered the alternative and death would be a reprieve.

"Sunset comes so early here, does it not, Gabriel?" Dracula asked through the tiny window in the door. "You see, it's nearly always winter here and the days are so short." He turned to lean a shoulder against the door as he sighed. "And without my brides, my nights are so lonely. Whatever shall I do?"

"I don't care what you do," Van Helsing snarled back from his corner, trying to keep the chattering of his teeth to a minimum. It was so damned cold in the room. The stone walls were cold, the stone floor was cold and every time the wind blew, an icy draft would seep through the window in the door to swirl around the room, stirring up the air. Being naked didn't help any. "Just leave me alone."

Dracula laughed that same, haughty, dry laugh as before. "Oh, I don't think you quite understand, Gabriel. You are here for my pleasure now."

A heavy scraping sound caused Van Helsing to look up sharply from his crouched position. Dracula had opened the door and was standing just inside the room. "Come with me, Gabriel."

"I'll go nowhere with you."

Dracula raised an eyebrow and quirked a smile. "Again, you fail to understand. I said come with me, Gabriel." He raised an arm and motioned with a hand.

The realization that he was following the command didn't reach him until he was standing directly in front of Dracula. He blinked and shook his head, trying not to shiver. "Wh- what have you d-done to me?"

A wicked smile crossed Dracula's lips. "My, my, Gabriel, I do believe I am going to enjoy this." He turned and stepped into the hall, entirely without fear. "Follow me, Gabriel."

As hard as he tried, Van Helsing could not prevent his feet from moving, his body from doing exactly as Dracula had commanded. It had been one thing when it was the werewolf following the commands, but now that he had lost control of his own body and mind, the idea of remaining Dracula's prisoner for much longer was scaring the hell out of him.

The corridors were cold with heavy drafts whistling through the castle. Had he not been under the influence of whatever force Dracula was using, he wouldn't have been able to walk, his body was so chilled. He could feel his limbs shaking, shivering in the cold, but his feet kept going, following his Master. An involuntary shudder rocketed down his spine at that thought – Dracula was his master.

Dracula laughed. "Yes, my pet. You may be understanding yet. For now, come, I have ways of making you warm." He caught Van Helsing glancing at the window, seeking the view of the moon. "Worry not, my pet, you will not change tonight."

Van Helsing did not find that statement remotely reassuring.

When Anna found Carl again, he was asleep, face-down in his books. She draped heavy blankets over him to ward off the Transylvanian chill, lowered the wick of the lamp and left him to sleep.

The castle seemed so much colder and darker since they'd had to leave Van Helsing behind in Dracula's lair. She hated that she let it get to her. He was a warrior, he would fight for his freedom and it wouldn't do to have a Gypsy Princess wasting her time worrying over him. "I wish you well, Van Helsing," she whispered into the dark corridor on the way to her chambers. She too would need sleep to be able to help him.

The sunlight streaming through the window was vaguely warming and tickled Carl's nose, rousing him from his slumber. "Oh my." He looked down and found he had drooled on the book he had been reading. Blinking sleep from his eyes, he looked again and saw something he had missed the night before as he was fighting sleep. "This might be useful." He marked the passage with a bookmark and cross-referenced what he'd found in another series of texts.

Carl spent the majority of the day sifting through books and scrolls and parchments and anything he could get his hands on to fill in the blanks. He had pages of notes in his tight scrawl, with chemical formulae squeezed into what bits of margin were free of additional annotation. Though his fingers cramped and his eyes burned, he refused to give up until he'd found his answer. Even food was no persuasion at this juncture.

"Carl, you should eat at least. If you're not going to sleep. You need to keep your energy up." Anna was pleading with him yet again.

He waved a hand at her. "Not now. I think I've got something." And he would scribble for another page and a half, then drag another book over and begin the process again. "Leave it there, I'll eat in a bit."

Anna sighed. Five times he'd given her the same instructions and five times she'd returned to find the tray of food untouched. On this, the sixth trip back up, she decided to end his marathon. She set the food tray aside on a table, stalked to the desk and slapped her hand in the middle of the book he was reading. "Carl, I insist you stop now and eat something before I drag you out of here."

Annoyed, Carl growled up at her through his eyebrows, "I'm. Not. Finished."

Softly, calmly, Anna returned: "I know, but if you don't stop to eat, you won't be able to finish. What good would you be to him then?"

Exasperated, Carl pushed himself from the chair and stalked over to the tray of fresh food. He grabbed slices of cheese and crackers, stacked them together and bit into them as he stalked back to the desk. "Happy now?" he snapped, spewing cracker crumbs and curling back over the books.

Anna rolled her eyes and collected the tray of stale food on her way out of the room. "Better than nothing, I suppose."

Van Helsing had been nervous following Dracula down the hall; tied to the bed under Dracula's gaze amped that feeling up to terrified. He had been shoved down on the bed, his wrists and ankles bound and latched to the bedposts and left alone for several minutes while Dracula was entertaining himself elsewhere.

When had Dracula gotten a bed? Why would he need one? He sleeps in a coffin, right?

"Wondering about the bed, Gabriel?" Dracula dragged ragged fingernails along Van Helsing's leg. "Have you ever tried to have sex in a coffin?" There was that hollow laugh again. "Don't worry, everything is clean, Gabriel." His fingers passed Van Helsing's knee, crept up his muscled thigh and skimmed over a slender hip. The vampire had a plan. He could easily force Van Helsing to do his bidding - even in bed - but he preferred to break his enemy slowly.

The touches to his skin were simultaneously sensually erotic and revolting. There was a hint of pain, just enough to feel, but there was also the realization that it was Dracula touching him and that made his skin crawl. He pulled against the restraints to avoid the hand on his skin, but it did no good, so he closed his eyes and turned his face away.

"Look at me, Gabriel." Dracula waited, hand still until the command was obeyed, reluctantly, but obeyed. "Good boy. I want you attentive."

"I don't want to be here," Van Helsing growled as he pulled at the restraints again.

Dracula laughed. "Yes, but I want you here." And he drew a finger, slowly, down the length of Van Helsing's flaccid cock as he spoke, relishing both the shudder and the involuntary shift of his prisoner's hips. "Do you want more?"

"No!" Van Helsing cried, trying to hold back a moan. He hated that his body could take pleasure from anything an enemy would do to him - Dracula would do to him. Having gotten some sleep finally, his mind was far too alert to work at blocking out any of the disgusting sensations. Van Helsing was unsure which was more revolting, his body's reactions or the fact that it was an enemy causing them, teasing them out of him.

"No?" Dracula questioned. "I believe you are lying." Dracula licked a finger and circled it around Van Helsing's navel, trailed it lightly down toward his cock, but bypassed that in favor of smoothing the hand over his hip.

Van Helsing clenched his jaw to prevent sound escaping his throat. He heard something – a whimper – and wondered where the other prisoner was being held until he caught the smirking-grin on Dracula's lips. The whimper had come from himself. He was sickened at the thought of desiring Dracula's touch.

He flinched and tried to pull away, rolled his hips as far as he could to avoid Dracula's wandering fingers. Then they were there, not just light grazes of fingernails, but Dracula's cold fingers curled around him, stroking him to hardness. He felt bile rise to the back of his throat and he closed his eyes tight, silently begging for Dracula to stop.

"Van Helsing?" Carl gasped as he raised his head. He thought he'd heard something nearby. Something that sounded like Van Helsing – possibly in pain, possibly begging, he couldn't be sure. It had only been for a moment. He wasn't even sure it was actually a sound and not part of his dream. A glance toward the ceiling and a whispered prayer, "I ask You again, please, bring him back."

It had been a long night and Carl had gotten only a little sleep, but he stood, stretched and stepped around the table. As he was heading for the door, he caught sight of something in the painting on the wall, but when he looked again, it was gone. "That was odd." He shook his head and continued downstairs.

"Carl?" Anna gasped as the friar rounded the corner. "I thought you had permanently locked yourself in the tower."

He smirked at her. "I can't be locked in the tower. You're the princess." His sarcasm was still asleep.

"Right. Breakfast?" She pointed toward the kitchen, then dragged him in behind her and pushed him into a chair. "Eat."

This time, Carl didn’t argue. He was too hungry to argue. Though, he was uncharacteristically quiet during the meal – a combination of things - prayer, wishful thinking, scanning through the data in his head from the books, everything rolling at once and him trying to make sense of it all. The solution was there and he would find it.

Anna watched the friar clear his dishes and shuffle back into the corridor. "God speed, Carl. I hope you find the answers," she whispered behind him. Transylvanians may look on the brighter side of death, but she could see no bright side of being held as Dracula's prisoner. Dracula had killed her father and been mostly responsible for the death of her brother, plus the torture of the Frankenstein creature and the deaths of all those villagers when he sent his offspring out into the night. The vampire more than deserved his own demise and she would delight in helping bring it about – whenever it happened.

She did wish there was more she could do to help Carl, but each time she asked, he told her 'no' and that he could handle it fine on his own. Finished with breakfast, she went to Velkan's chambers. She remembered something he had mentioned when he had been searching for their father. Something about a key or a lock or a code. She was sure he had hidden it in his chambers. He had always hidden things there – secret panels in the walls and secret compartments that no one else in the family knew about – except Anna. She knew all Velkan's secrets.

"Look at me, Gabriel," Dracula commanded.

Van Helsing opened his eyes to find Dracula knelt between his legs, stroking a hand up and down his cock. The sensation drew moans of pleasure from his throat despite all his efforts to prevent them. His hips rocked up to gain more contact and he whimpered each time Dracula ceased his movements.

He hated the control Dracula had over him, the lack of control he had over his own body. Sexual arousal he had experienced before, but never at the hand of an enemy. At least, not like this. He remembered having gotten a sexual charge when fighting an enemy, or even sparring; he never understood why, but the fight would turn him on. Sometimes he would have distracting ways of dealing with it, sometimes not. But in Dracula's castle, tied to Dracula's bed, watching Dracula stroke him to dizzying madness – he wished he could find a distraction to take his mind away. He didn't want to be here with Dracula and surely not naked and aroused.

"Oh, Gabriel. So strong, so resistant. Why don't you let yourself go?" Dracula asked as he continued to slide his hand up and down Van Helsing's cock in an effort to draw an orgasm from him. Ultimate control.

Van Helsing grunted in reply. "I will fight you to the end."

Dracula laughed again. "Oh no, Gabriel, you won't." He stroked, firm and strong, and rubbed his thumb over the head of Van Helsing's cock. His free hand sneaked down to toy with the man's balls. "You will come for me, Gabriel. Just like you used to."

"No," he growled and tried to draw his hips away from the teasing hands. But it wasn't to be, the inevitable was fast approaching. He tried to keep it at bay, but Dracula's fingers playing at his cock and balls was more than he could handle. When he came, he spilled himself over Dracula's hand, screaming, howling with his head thrown back and his hips thrust up...

...like you used to... Why did that sound so familiar to him? Why was there a feeling in the back of his head that he knew what Dracula was talking about?

"Yes," Dracula crowed and broke Van Helsing's train of thought entirely. "Yes, Gabriel, yes! Come for me!" He continued to stroke with one hand and drew the other up to catch the fruit of his labors, bringing fingers to his mouth to capture the familiar taste. The look on Dracula's face as he sucked his fingers clean was almost orgasmic itself. This was exactly what he had wanted.

Van Helsing was enraged. He wished it had all been a nightmare, but he knew in his mind, in his soul, that it hadn't been. The heated skin, the hollow laughter, the strangely relaxed feeling all told him it had been all too real. He wanted to escape into the walls, get away, be anywhere but under Dracula's control.

Book cradled in his arm, Carl stared out the window at the softly falling snow. Where are you, Van Helsing? If there's a way, get yourself out. I'm coming up empty here. I won't quit, but I'm not gaining any ground. I miss you. He lowered his head, shook it gently and sighed. At a complete loss, he still wondered if he had actually seen something in that painting. He glanced at it again, just to check, but nothing.

The books had turned up little of any help and the words had been starting to blur into contiguous lines of black for the last hour. He needed something – anything – a lead, a hint, a direction.

"Carl, are you all right?"

He heard Anna's voice at the door, but didn't turn away from the window. "Fine, thank you."

"Find anything yet? How to get him out? How to cure the werewolf?"

Carl shook his head. "No." He had been hoping for something from the books, but it was looking more and more like he would need to return to Rome to work on determining the chemical make-up of the anti-venom and make an attempt to replicate it, at least.

Anna sighed and put a hand on Carl's shoulder. He hadn't even realized she'd come that far into the room. "You'll be going soon, I can tell."

He nodded. "Yes. Back to Rome. I need my lab."

"I'll get the anti-venom." Anna started for the door, but turned back, "How are you returning to Rome?"

"The same way I arrived." Finally, Carl turned from the window. "I don't have much to pack. I need to be going before nightfall."

"I'll come with you." She held up a hand. "Before you object, I have every intention of doing what I can to help."

"Aren't you needed here?"

"What use would I be here? The brides and offspring are all dead and Dracula has his new toy."

The friar growled, burning with anger. "He is not a toy! Despite what that over-bearing, pompous ass of a bloodsucker thinks. He is a person and he's needed and I will get him back." Carl stormed past Anna to gather his few belongings and the few pieces that Van Helsing had left into his bag. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a long ride ahead of me." He pushed passed her and out the door.

"Carl… wait…" Anna followed closely behind him.. "Carl, I didn't mean it like that. I know how important he is. Carl –"

The friar was gone.

End Part I

Part II