Disclaimer : Characters belong to their respectful owners
Fandoms : Dracula (2013), Penny Dreadful (2014)
Rating : M
Pairing : Dracula/Alexander Grayson x Dorian Gray
Genres : fanfiction, crossover, humor, probably a little OOC
Characters : Dracula/Alexander Grayson, Dorian Gray, Renfield, original character
Summary : It was pretty simple: Dracula’s habitual feeding was seen by a mortal young man (a very handsome one but it was not the matter!), so in order to protect his secrets, naturally the monarch of vampires had to kill him. Then, for some mysterious reason, the same young man showed up at his demonstration ball, alive, well and would very much like to remind the vampire how he had mercilessly ‘broken’ his heart only nights before.
II. Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray had not expected it to be an extraordinary night.
His day started at sunset: he woke up from restless dream, bathed, dressed up, put on some eau de perfume – in the mood for jasmine – and ventured out London streets in another same old boring night. Dining at a random restaurant – French, Italian, India… did not matter – flirting with a random good-looking lady which might result in a quick fuck in the restroom or against the wall – again, did not matter – and forgetting her face entirely after the climax was reached. Same old boring routine. When the clock struck 9, he directed the chauffeur to a pub in a darker corner of the city. Ordering his usual drink, he sat back and studied the other patrons, the majority of whom dressed in much less fancy clothes than his, and ordered less expensive drink than the absinthe in his hand – not quite on par with his own at home but good enough to pass. Somehow watching them gulp down bottle after bottle of cheap swill, get drunk and squabble with one another, more often than not leading to a fight and blood being spilt, lent him a small joy that would be sufficient enough to keep him from banging his head against the wall in boredom. It would not leave any lasting damage on him anyway. He guessed it was the reason he still held some interest in this frowsty place, whose furniture was tasteless, decorations vulgar and the damp air reeked of cheap perfume, booze and occasionally a drunkard’s vomit while the alcohol tasted a little better than piss. Not that he had tasted piss though.
He was yawning the thirteenth time in this evening when out of the corner of his eyes, he saw a gentleman enter through the narrow door. Like him, the gentleman was dressed in fancy clothes: dark grey suit that was meticulously tailored to his form, a matching top hat and fingerless black gloves. He sported a neat moustache and goatee that added an air of masculinity and authority to his handsome sharp features. Too sharp that he appeared intimidating and cold rather than affectionate and lovely. He meant to be feared and in fear others found his charms undeniable, intoxicating; there was no other way around. His complexion was also a little too pale for Dorian’s taste, with tiny veins visible underneath marmoreal skin, but otherwise went perfectly with his raven coifed hair. Such stark contrast was rare, the world today dominated by golden hair and rosy cheeks. Something of a novelty. The man’s eyes were a pale blue and they scrutinized the place before opting for a table half a pub away from Dorian’s. Good. Dorian did not like getting caught in the middle of spying. The pretty waitress greeted him with a much warmer smile than she did other customers (except Dorian, of course) and attended to him with equal eagerness. A Whiskey, Dorian overheard the waitress mumble as she passed his table. A faint smile graced his lips as he watched the gentleman with newly kindled interest behind his glass of flaming green absinthe.
That might prove to be an extraordinary night after all, thought Dorian. The gentleman was discreetly touching the waitress’s forearm and winking at her, causing a rose to bloom on her cheeks despite all the powder she had put on. One who mastered the art of wooing. A man of his status and wealth, judging by his garments and the overly handsome tip he gave the waitress, could (and probably should) be at a luxurious fine dining place and have any woman he wanted, all prettier and of higher birth than a common girl at a common pub. What on Earth prompted him to set his foot in here? But again, the very same thing could be said about Dorian too, yet he still frequented this as a regular patron. He smiled to himself. It was silly of him to raise the question. From his own experience, he knew it was not uncommon for a powerful and affluent man to visit pubs and mingle with the common folks. Seeking a thrill to spice up his mundane aristocratic life: the nobles with their fancy clothes and fancy words bored him to death, and only at places like this could he abandon all his restraints of formalities and indulge in the carnal pleasures his class all scorned yet secretly dreamed of and rarely had the gall to practice.
He was surprised at himself, for even after he had gone through an analysis of the gentleman’s motives, he still had not lost the odd fascination with him. He wagered it was because of the man’s handsomeness. Beauty of all genders and shapes always hooked him and with a face like that, the man could have the personality of a broken chair and still had Dorian enchanted. He had already pondered the gentleman’s favored role in bed: would he be the one to conquer or would he prefer to be dominated, played with and thoroughly used instead? Would he fancy the fairer sex only or would he fight for both sides? Dorian sat back, savoring the building heat in his stomach as he undressed his target with his eyes. As if sensing the intensity of his gaze, the gentleman looked at Dorian’s corner. Smiling at him, Dorian raised his glass of absinthe in a silent toast. His gesture went unreturned.
He paid for his drink and sprang up to follow them as the waitress and the gentleman left the door. He inexplicably knew where they would head without even asking: a vile place to match the vile act they were about to commit.
Dorian’s ears picked soft groans as he crept closer, his footsteps soundless as a shadow cat’s in spite of the puddles left after the early evening rain. That his peeping habit could get him done one day or another, he remembered Raziel’s reprimand and smiled a small, sheepish smile as he peered out of the shadow at the couple intertwining their bodies in human’s most primitive dance. His heart beat a tattoo against his ribcage.
… He certainly did not expect to bear witness to a crime. A rather unusual crime it was, with the man bringing his mouth to his partner’s neck, puncturing the flesh with his incisors (strange!) and beginning to suck from the wounds. A thin string of red winded around the woman’s neck like an exotic necklace. She was enraptured at first, letting out audible moans while clinging herself onto the man’s lean form. Again, from his experience, he knew there were a number of men and women, nobles and common folks alike, who found this rather bestial treatment enjoyable, pleasurable even. There was no pleasure without pain; hence knife play, biting, scratching and all other bloody acts were not excluded from the arts of bed. The woman apparently enjoyed her partner biting her and feeding on her blood (was he?), until the man turned violent and started causing her unpleasant pain. She began clawing and kicking at him and her protest might have uncaged something in the gentleman (perhaps not so gentle anymore), something ugly and terrible, for the next thing Dorian witnessed with wide eyes was the man tearing off his victim’s neck, with nothing but his bare teeth, now elongated, sharpened and gleaming under the gas lamp. Like animal fangs, Dorian dared think. His eyes shining with unusual light, two will-o-the-wisp flames one sometimes caught in a graveyard, and they sent a chill down Dorian’s spine. The breath clotted in his throat and he did not doubt the virgin’s blush was coloring his cheeks. He was watching the scene with such attention that he forgot to blink. Or to breathe. Thrilled. The man had been admirably handsome in the pub, but at the moment he was absolutely breathtaking, with fresh blood smearing his lips and a dazed, wild look in his dilated shining irises as he stood leaning against the wall, chest heaving heavily with the afterglow of his kill. So ravishing was the bloodsucker that Dorian almost felt love. Love. He could not believe his mind had just uttered the word. Love was so mundane a concept and he had mostly left it to dusk away in a corner of his mind. No, love was an illusion, this was not; this was real. Perhaps not love then, but something that gave a similar first impression but was actually miles apart, a feeling much more intense and urgent, like wildfire in a parched forest. He had been fascinated with this man, no – this creature, in the pub; now he yearned for him with a need greater than anything he had ever wanted.
He certainly did not see it coming – a moment before the man had been lost in his own tempest of pleasure and in a blink of an eye, he was face-to-face with Dorian, his smooth fingers – too smooth to be normal – wrapping dangerously around Dorian’s neck. Perhaps were he another man, he would be utterly horrified and his fear would permeate through every orifice of his body. But he was not afraid really, surprised and caught off guard, yes but fearful, no. Instead, he was too eager to see what this creature intended to do with the sole witness of his gruesome murder. He stared back at those icy blue eyes with defiance, perhaps a challenge. He had not been so terribly excited for a long, long time that he felt as if he could go on his knees and weep.
A wet, warm tongue flicking against the skin of his neck, that was the first sensation, followed by the pricking of two needles into his flesh. Dorian grimaced slightly because of the tiny pain of penetration. The man had bitten him, that much he had expected; what was the use of those sharp teeth if not biting? Did he want to drain him too, as Dorian was pretty sure he had done the pretty girl earlier? Blessed, he thought, that he would encounter a creature in the flesh from those penny dreadful novels he sometimes purchased and read in idle afternoons when he did not have the crave of sleep. In those books these creatures – what were they called, ah, vampires – were always described as hideous-looking, having foul breath and dressing in filthy rags. Not once had they been described as gorgeous gentlemen in tailored suits drinking whiskey in pubs, charming waitresses and smelling of eau de perfume. Musk, he noticed, a bold, lascivious choice – the man was definitely armed to prey. How terribly inaccurate and dreadful human imagination could be. This was too amusing that Dorian would have thrown his head back and laughed out loud had the vampire not already begun sucking his blood. Then he simply stopped thinking. It hit him hard and unexpectedly: he was drifting in the rocking bosom of the quiet, gentle sea than all of sudden waves from the bottom deep surged forward and swallowed him up as if a titanic sea monster’s jaw. Lost he was, and ravaged in the whirlpool of pain and pleasure perfectly mingled. His knees became dough and the rest of him would have fallen to the ground had he not subconsciously clung onto the vampire’s body. If he were able to reason at the moment, he would willingly and gladly nail his soul on the devil’s altar once again so that this exquisite pleasure would become his from this night and all the nights to come.
Something interrupted his ongoing track to climax. Dorian would not describe it as ‘pain’ but a discomfort, a tightness in the chest from which he felt his heart struggling to get free. He looked down at his chest and saw a wrist disappear where his heart was. He stared at the vampire’s extraordinary face, accentuated by the demonic glow in his eyes. So maddeningly beautiful words simply could not do it justice. He wanted to kiss him, tasting his own blood on the vampire’s lips, provided his hand was not in the way. Troublesome, he frowned and vaguely began to get a grip of what had just been done to him. He glanced at the blood-soaked wrist in his chest and strangely enough, he found no pain whatsoever.
He felt the smooth fingers on the texture of his heart, felt the pressure they briefly applied on unyielding muscles. Unwilling to give in, wasn’t it? An odd ripping sound. Then he saw the crimson fingers closing around a blood-dripping fleshy lump. It was still beating in the vampire’s hand, he thought with some fascination before the emptiness in his breast conjured up the darkness on his eyelids.
Could he die this time, he wondered, before he closed his eyes and simply lost all his senses.
… Perhaps not.
He awoke with a revolting stench in his nose and a damp stickiness on his skin. Slowly he sat up and fragments of images were resurrected in his head. The crowded pub. The handsome gentleman and the pretty waitress. This filthy deserted alleyway. Bloodsucking. The unforgettable ecstasy (the clearest memory of all!). His heart. He looked down at the gaping hole in his chest from which he could see the wall behind and grimaced. On the ground his heart lied not so far away, among white little bits he suspected to be his ribs, stained with blood and mud. He did a double wince as he scooped his heart in his hand, examined it for a little while – had never seen and touched a real human heart before – before putting it in his pocket. Never mind the ribs; they were hopeless anyway. As he was done, he tipped his head back and broke into roaring laughter. Tonight he had crossed a new limit and broke a new personal record: not even gouging out his heart could kill him. He considered trying decapitation next time but decided against it: to put himself to the guillotine was a troublesome procedure which his lazy self would probably drop out before reaching halfway.
He found his burgundy silk scarf at his feet and frowned deeply. It was stained with blood and the filth that littered the ground and the smell was disgusting when he wrapped it tightly around the mess of skin and flesh on his neck. He glanced at the young girl’s corpse, killed by the same method, and let out a sigh, feeling the air wheezing through his open wound. It was a miracle that his larynx and windpipe had suffered only a few insignificant damages by the vampire’s bite; still, his voice would be affected; he hoped it was not so unpleasant on the ears like those veterans with throat damage he had met. Should he ever meet that vampire again (if he were lucky) he had to demand compensation. His throat could heal but this scarf had been one of Dorian’s favorites and now he could not wait to feed it to the flame.
The chauffeur regarded him with bleary eyes when he opened the door for Dorian. He was grateful that the darkness and the crude man’s sleepiness was enough to conceal the fact that he was having traces of blood on his face and a see-through hole in his chest, barely concealed by his coat. As for his rather untidy state, he was pleased that the man was trained and paid well enough to not raise a question.
Well, it had been an extraordinary night beyond his expectation, with only a little mishap that resulting in his having to pick up his heart from the ground and riding home with a fatal wound. Nevertheless, it had been most exquisite.
“Shall I prepare a bath for you, sir?”
Dear old Raziel, with his carefully groomed goatee and his immaculate butler suit, opened the door for him. Dorian did not miss the older man’s sloe eyes scrutinizing him from head to toe, mentally taking note of his stained face, his ruined clothes, his dirtied scarf and especially the conspicuous hole. Observant was a butler’s virtue, and Raziel had spent years perfecting it to the point he could even point out exactly how many strands of Dorian’s hair were out of place as compared to when he had left the manor.
“A bath would be terribly in need,” said Dorian as he allowed his butler to help him with his boots and coat – thanks God his voice was not too terrible. “But right now I do require your deft hands. Come to my chamber with me.”
“Anything you wish, sir.”
“Had a rough night, sir?” the stoic butler asked, gently wiping the bloodstains on Dorian’s face and exposed neck with a silk cloth dipped in warm water. Bending his head, he studied the wound on his throat. “Huhm, dare I say your partner sure has very strong teeth.”
Dorian laughed, feeling the sound vibrating in his chest. “Yes, yes he does. And ‘rough’ is rather an understatement. Can you imagine what I encountered tonight, Razz?”
“Pardon my ignorance, sir.”
When he was done cleaning, Raziel began unbuttoned Dorian’s shirt, sliding it off his form. He stared at the hole for a good minute, examining the skin around with a doctor’s curiosity. If it were not for utmost respect for his young master, he would be very tempted to try putting his hand through the hole.
“Now now, don’t be shy, Razz,” Dorian cooed. “You can poke it if you like. I don’t mind.”
And he did, briefly, before he withdrew his hand. “A hand, about my size. Was it?”
Dorian nodded. “Your eyes are keen as usual. It was a vampire’s that did.”
Raziel took the cloth and wiped away the blood caked around the hole. “A vampire in London? How extraordinary.” There was little surprise in his flat tone. Well, for a butler whose master could survive having his heart outside his body, there were few things that were able to truly astonish him. “How was our Mr. Vampire like? Ghastly pale, dressed in filthy rags and having foul breath I suppose?”
Dorian laughed. “Dear Razz, no, we were both fooled by those penny dreadful novels. Lack of sunlight, yes but other things, no. How to describe him? Well, you can imagine a gentleman in tailored suit, who sported a top hat and a silver walking cane, who walked into pubs and charmed pretty little waitresses effortlessly with his generous tip and neat handsome look.”
“That certainly wasn’t something I expect from a creature of the night: a vampire who drinks alcohol?”
The blood was persistent and Raziel had to wash the cloth a few times before he could wash it clean. The water in the basin had turned a roseate shade.
“Whiskey,” replied Dorian. “And apparently that is not the only fluid on his menu. He took the waitress to a dark alleyway and drank her there. I watched them – please do not lecture me how that habit of mine is inappropriate, I know it is.” He held up a forefinger before continuing, “He spotted me, drank me and…” He shrugged. “… you can guess the rest.”
“Actually, no, sir. Drank you, that is a sensible thing to do to a witness. Not to waste valuable nourishment, of course. I just cannot fathom his reason for… this wanton display of sadism; it was uncalled for. Did he do the same to his first victim?”
“He drank her every drop and that was it,” Dorian answered, shaking his head lightly. “Perhaps he realized he could not kill me by draining me and had to opt for an… extreme method.”
“And how is your blood at the moment, sir?”
“Refilling, I suppose. I don’t feel very much like a dry corpse like I did an hour ago.”
“That’s very assuring, sir. Here you are.”
With much care, Raziel took the heart, now cleaned of the dirt, from the platter. “You have my heart on a silver platter?” asked Dorian. The butler could not help a small smile. “Yes, I do, sir.” Gingerly he held the heart in his hand and put it in Dorian’s chest. Holding his young master’s hand, he guided it to the hole and pressed it down. “Keep your hand like this, sir, until your wound heals.”
“Thank you Razz. You’ve been extremely helpful.”
“Your bath is prepared, sir. I took the liberty to scent it with your usual, lavender. I hope you don’t mind.”
“It would be lovely, thank you.”
The fastidious butler bowed deeply and turned to the door. “One more thing, sir, you’ve got an invitation.”
“A scientific demonstration ball, it seems, sir,” answered Raziel. “From an American entrepreneur by the name Alexander Grayson.”
“A scientific demonstration by a man I’ve never heard before? Doesn’t seem like my usual cup of tea.”
“Shall I decline, sir?”
Dorian let out a small laugh. “You know me better, Razz. I never say ‘no’. What is the harm in attending one ball or two?”
“Understood, sir. I shall make the preparation.”
The butler said and disappeared behind the door.
With his right hand pressed against his chest, Dorian stood up, half-naked, and walked to his enormous bookshelf. He found the silver cobra figurine erected on the fourth shelf and twisted it clock-wise. The heavy bookshelf gave off a low rumble and revolved, slowly revealing a secret passage. With his other hand, he grabbed the silver candlestick Raziel had left and descended the dark, low stair. Behind his back, the bookshelf reverted to its normal position.
Dorian glanced at the various reflections of himself along the hall of mirror. To him, each reflection presented a distinguished face, a distinguished expression which was similar to one another in the way they were all watching him and judging him with every step he made closer to his destination. What have you done this time, Dorian? Have you reached another level of decadence yet? Can’t wait to see the results? He almost heard them whisper and snigger among themselves. Having no hand to cover his ears, Dorian paid them no mind and kept walking. He reached the end at last – an oval room where a huge canvas stood alone, entirely covered by deep scarlet velvet. When he uncovered it, he saw particles of dust fluttering in the dim candlelight. A pair of amber-colored eyes stared straight his own. Unnerved, even frightened, every time was the same. He forced himself to stare back because that was what needed to heal himself: if he did not, he might just go back and find a needle and thread to sew himself up. Maybe not. Raziel always had better hands than his so he would be less likely to make a mess. But it would not happen because this was still within Dorian’s endurance scope. “Hideous creature,” muttered Dorian as he studied every line on the withered face, every blister, every scar on wrinkled gray skin. He felt his heart start beating again, slowly and unsteadily at first, but gradually acquired its natural rhythm as each second passed. Even without a mirror, he could tell the torn muscles on his chest closed up as if being rapidly mended by an invisible hand. He fingered the skin and found it smooth, seamless, perfect.
He draped the velvet cover over the portrait and turned to leave. His ears picked up a sigh and a whisper went straight to his head like a needle. “Won’t you stay a little longer with me, dearest child?”
He ignored the petty voice and spun on his heel.