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 III

Carl rolled over on his small cot, carefully nestling his broken finger against his chest. Sleeping peacefully, he moaned and cooed and reached down between his legs, rubbing gently until he came all over his bed and his nightshirt. When he woke in the morning, he was cradling his broken finger against his chest still and his cock in his other hand.

It took him a moment, but he remembered the very nice dream he had been having and wished he could go back to it. But there were tests to run, research to do. He uncurled his fingers from his cock, wiped off his hand and rolled out of bed.

He washed up, changed his clothes, tried to comb down his hair and wandered down to the mess hall to find something for breakfast.

Still not accustomed to having an uncooperative digit, he managed to crack his finger against nearly every surface he encountered. It was a struggle not to curse every time. He did manage to get through his morning meal and down to the lab without much incident, but beyond that, he was more accident prone than he would have ever thought possible. He spilled a beaker of water, stepped on a test tube, tripped over the table and almost ran into the door on his way to the storage room.

"Carl, why don't you let me help you? You do the calculations and take notes and just tell me what needs to be done." Mark, the friar who had helped him earlier, offered his assistance again with a soft smile.

Carl grumbled something about being useful or useless, but consented to the help. He needed it. He needed it to be able to help Van Helsing. "Thank you, Mark."

Mark smiled and waited for the first instruction. They worked late into the night, but Carl was still not satisfied with the results. He had hoped to have something more by now. He was ready to run additional live tests. Unfortunately, his chemicals were not as ready.

Mark put a hand on Carl's shoulder. "You should rest. You're pushing too hard."

"But I can't. I have to do this. He needs me."

"I know, Carl, but don't you think you'll do better with some rest? Isn't it better to do it right, than to rush and make mistakes?"

Carl scowled. "It has to be right or we'll still lose him. We need him," is what he said, but what he meant was I need him. If Van Helsing had been standing in front of him at that moment, he would have said it to him.

Mark sighed. "Again, Carl, I know. But you're falling asleep while I'm working and you might be missing things you need in your notes."

Carl grumbled again and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Fine. You're right. I'll see you in the morning."

He lay in his bed, in the dark, trying to sleep for hours. His mind kept working and working, not letting him sleep. Try as he might, nothing would work - counting slowly backwards; thinking nothing; taking slow deep breaths - nothing. Finally, he got up and knelt at the window, looked out at the pale moonlight, then bent his head in prayer.

Van Helsing stopped to peer around the corner before proceeding. He hugged the wall and moved with quick, silent steps, keeping to the shadows as much as possible. Getting out of this castle was his main focus. Not getting caught went hand-in-hand with that.

His muscles ached, his stomach growled, his head swam if he moved too quickly, but he pushed it all aside and pressed on. He needed to get out and find Carl. Carl would be able to cure him, feed him, let him sleep without being disturbed. He needed that.

Even with the moonlight through the small windows, the corridors were mostly shadows. Shadows were helpful for hiding, but kept his movements slower than he would have preferred.

He rounded a corner, but jumped back abruptly to avoid being spotted by on-coming Dwergi. Weaponless, barefoot, tired and hungry, he wouldn't be able to take on even one in a fight, much less an entire horde. He backed into a corner, shielded as much of himself as possible and waited for the creatures to pass. They chattered on about something in their language that he couldn't understand with the exception of one name - Van Helsing.

Were they looking for him? Or constructing something to be used on him? Both options were unpleasant, given his surroundings and condition.

Confident the Dwergi were gone, he stepped out of the shadows and peered around the corner - checking. The next corridor was clear of obstacles and enemies, he rounded the corner and continued until he came to a crossing where he had seven new choices for which direction he could go.

He glanced toward the ceiling, but he couldn't tell if he was at the center of the castle or lost in some demented architect's idea of fun. It was at this point that Van Helsing realized he had no plan to get out of this castle. A plan would be good, but he hadn't had time to form one. He was certain that if he was caught, he wouldn't get another chance. He had to take the opportunity or he might never escape

He took a deep breath and bit into the flesh of his thumb, breaking the skin. A drop of blood welled on the surface, deep, dark red. Van Helsing pressed his thumb against the wall, drawing a thin line approximately two inches long.

Standing in the shadows, he studied the seven options before him. He walked straight out from the corridor he was in to the center of the intersection, then took the corridor immediately to the left of the one directly in front of him. He drew another two inch line on the wall of this corridor as he proceeded into it's darkness.

Carl heard the gentle footsteps enter the room and felt the warmth of a body kneeling behind him, then the pressure of a hand on his shoulder. For a brief moment, he thought it might be Van Helsing, but he knew that could not be - not yet. He finished his prayer and took a deep breath, but said nothing to his visitor.

"Carl," Mark said softly, "if you just need to talk... I'm here."

The friar still remained silent.

Mark smiled lightly. "I know you are strong enough to handle this. You can do this, Carl. You have to. He needs you to. He can't get out alone. His head may be hard as a rock, but even he knows he cannot do this alone."

Carl sighed. "I know, Mark. It doesn't make it any easier."

Mark could only shake his head. "No, it doesn't."

"Doesn't mean I won't do my damnedest, then kick his monster hunting butt when I get him patched up," Carl snarled.

A laugh escaped and Mark let it - he needed it, the room needed it. "I'm sure he'll take it well."

Carl snorted. "Hard-headed bastard. If he'd..." Carl stopped, shook his head. "He did what he thought he had to do to complete the assignment. He always does. The only difference this time is that he didn't come back."

"That's not your fault, Carl."

"Maybe it is. If I'd come up with something better; a way to handle Dracula without the werewolf; something – anything."

As cliché as it would sound, Mark said it anyway - "Don't beat yourself up, Carl."

"I know. I know I shouldn't, but, dammit, I should have figured it out sooner. I should have the antidote ready now. He shouldn't have to suffer waiting for me."

Mark slid his arms around Carl, holding him gently. "I know. And he knows you're doing the best you can. He'll live - just so you can save him. He wouldn't want to disappoint you," Mark commented with a small grin.

Carl rolled his eyes. "You are terrible at this, Mark."

"Yes, but I do try."

"You do." Carl sighed. "And I do appreciate it. More than you know."

"Then you don't want me to go?" Mark asked, maybe hoping, maybe wishing.

Carl shook his head. "No, I don't want you to go." He knew Mark was attracted to him. He also knew that Mark would do nothing as long as he thought Carl wanted someone else.

Anna tapped the metal rod she was carrying in one hand against the stones of the wall, listening for the hollow sound of a hidden opening. She knew Velkan had several around his old room, but not what he had kept in which ones. Keeping the lantern in her other hand held high enough to cast plenty of light, she walked the edge of the room tapping each stone in turn. The metal rod resounded a hollow 'thunk' against one stone, so she placed the lantern on the floor by her feet and tried to pry the stone free.

It came loose, but Anna was pulling too hard and ended up on her backside, the stone resting on her midsection. With a grunt of effort, she rolled the stone to the floor and knelt in front of the opening. Inside she found several drawings and a note addressed to her:

Dearest Sister, You will not find what you seek in here. Nor will you find it anywhere in my chambers. I have hidden my secrets where you cannot find them. I do not wish you to know of such things. I have told you what I am able, the rest should follow me to my grave.

"Dammit!" Anna slapped a hand against the wall. "Velkan. I know you have information that can help me kill Dracula. If you've hidden it from me, how can I finish our mission?"

She replaced the drawings, the note and the stone. Determined not to give up, she continued tapping along the wall for other hollow areas where Velkan might have hidden things - helpful or otherwise.

"I wish Carl were here - he's good at finding things."

Darkness surrounded him, but he focused his eyes to see through it, to find the light at the end of the corridor. There was none. No light but the faint glows from the way he came. That made no sense. He couldn't see the end, but he couldn't see the opening if he looked back either.

Was this a long corridor or was there a deep surprise in the next several yards? He peered hard down the corridor and slowed his steps, sliding his feet along the floor, feeling for an edge. Raising one arm in front of him and the other to his side, he felt for a wall ahead of him as he slid the other hand along the side wall.

The darkness only got darker as he progressed. There were no edges under his feet, but there also seemed to be no corridors leading off this one - not to the right. He couldn't reach the left wall while following the right and keeping a hand out in front, so he would have to get to the end of the corridor, then turn around and try the other direction.

His outstretched hand hit a solid surface and he stopped walking. He felt around the wall for openings, but found nothing. Utterly exhausted, he leaned against the back wall and slid to sit on the floor. He tugged the long, warm robe around his naked body and curled himself into the corner. It was still cold, but much less so than in his cell. The shivers were less violent, but still present.

He managed to fall asleep and even to dream in his cold, dark corner of the castle.

In this dream, Carl came to him, woke him gently and helped him walk to a warm bed covered in layers of blankets. He was cleaned and bandaged and put to bed, soon joined by the wiry friar, who curled arms around him gently and held him until he fell asleep.

In this dream, when he woke, he was nestled against the warmth of Carl's chest and felt safe wrapped in his arms. There are no expectations, no demands, just time to rest. It's perfect. Too perfect...

A deep painful howl echoed in the corridor when the beast took over his body again, jarring him awake, slamming him against the wall. The force of the strike took his breath for a moment. The beast recovered quickly and stared through the darkness toward the dim light at the mouth of the corridor. Something was there.

End Part III

Part IV