Gotham: Vanessa, Mina, Dracula, Victor Who: Vanessa, Mina, "Alexei," and Victor What: An Expedition that Sir Malcolm would not be proud of Where: Hotel → Gotham When: Fuzzy to when completed Warnings/Rating: Unless someone gets ate, nope!
"For there is no friend like a sister / In calm or stormy weather; / To cheer one on the tedious way, / To fetch one if one goes astray, / To lift one if one totters down, / To strengthen whilst one stands."
So recited the girl standing in the hallway of the inn beyond her door. Her voice was singsong, like a small thing made grown and, in sweet virgin white, she leaned against the dreadful wallpaper, her hair defiantly loose, her fingers scandalously without gloves, and soft slippers on feet without stockings. There was a smugness to her, standing there, for she was the keeper of secrets.
Midday, and it was not so much a trouble here. There were no windows in the inn's hallways, and the door which she intended to lead the explorers through was a place covered in smog and dark clouds. She'd been assured the sun never truly smiled upon the city that Griffin called home, and she'd no reason to doubt his assertion. She felt more tired in daylight, true, less strong, and as if she was normal again and all the things remembered during that nighttime visit at the boarding house forgot. But she was not ill, nor was she ailed. She recalled different ones--different creations that were not such as she--who could not wake during the sun's time in the sky, but it was a distant memory and her fingers could not reach it through the fog that still kept such things shrouded in her mind.
She was no longer a thing divided, but putting herself together into one vessel was hardship. She wanted to laugh and twirl, feast and feed, and she wanted to care nothing for the repercussions. A maddened little thing with eyes of beryl and no regrets. But there was, tempering there, the girl with the etiquette and bitter bile in her heart, hurt coating her skin like a coat made of Vanessa's betrayal. Leaning there, her hands behind her and against the dreadful wallpaper, she promised herself she would not harm Vanessa during this expedition. She would not. She would keep her secrets, and she would act as normal, and no one would be any the wiser that things had changed with her.
Beside her, wrapped in lace and ribbon, had a dress for the other woman to wear, a thing provided by Evelyn, as was the one she wore herself. And, when Vanessa approached, she held it out to the other woman, recitation ceased. "It is an expedition. Father would be terribly pleased." Which was no falsehood, though she knew her father cared not for her in the end. His dying words were remembered, or perhaps they came after? She knew not, because memory was an odd thing for her, things out of place, and she knew events after her death, events she should not know. And she did not know things she ought to know, but no matter. Tonight she would twirl.
Tonight, she would pretend she did not know Vanessa's suitor.
She lifted blonde hair off scandalously bare shoulders, and she moved away from the wall, and perhaps there was a newness there, something bright and a little unhinged in familiar eyes, but she was just a girl at midday, pale and harmless, obliging as she ever was. And around her, the dust motes danced.