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A Castlevania Christmas
by Chanaur Majere

Author's note: Not exactly a humorous fic, 'cause I've never been good at the Genre. Unlike most of my stories, no real romance here. (Well, what did you expect? The kids are only ten years old now!) Actrise and Vankar are off with their new-born girl, celebrating to themselves. This is set on the christmas after Raziel returns, before Lacuna and the Majere's are killed, and more or less around Imbrium. Needless to say, a happy occasion.

"Raziel, take off that silly hat."

"C'mon, Lacuna, It's Christmas." Alucard nudged her with his elbow. "He should be allowed to act silly."

"Yeah." Raziel said, taking the red Santa hat off and putting it on Lacuna's head. "Even old people like us should have at least one day to-"

"Alright!" She muttered, as Imbrium forced it over her eyes. "Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

Raine giggled. "Who turned out the lights? What kind of cliche was that?"

Finally getting it off, Lacuna shook her head. "I dunno. Where are the kids, anyway?"

"Well, the last I saw, they were organizing a movement against the other kids in the neiborhood." Alucard laughed. "They sure take snowball fights seriously don't they?" He tried the hat on, his normally pale face lighting up slightly.

"That means the other kids are in trouble." Raziel smiled. "What say you and I give them a hand?"

Alucard looked at Raine, and said. "Sounds good to me. How about you?"

Raine kissed him on the cheek, and said, "I'd love too, but we've got to make dinner, and make the other preparations."

Alucard nodded, and hugged her. "Don't have too much fun without me." He threw open the front door, and was plastered with a large snowball. Raziel swept past him, scooping the snow from his face.

Lacuna heard Carrie's high pitched laugh from outside as she closed the door behind Alucard. Looking through the window, she saw that it was late dusk, so he didn't have to worry about sunlight....

Sighing, she turned back to the others. "Man, I should of gotten more sleep last night....." She put a hand on her forehead. "How 'bout you, Raine? Any rest for you?"

Raine blushed. "Well, no....."

Lacuna shook her head. "Forget I asked. Imbium, how was you night?"

Imbrium took a whiff of the oregano she held in her hand. "I didn't get any sleep last night either." She let out a deep breath. "I stayed up, reading....." She sprinkled it on the turkey they were about to put into the oven.

"What were you reading?" Raine asked, recovering from her embarassment.

"A friend of mine from overseas sent me some of his work. Well, not really. He died, and he wanted me to have a full publication of his stories and poems." Imbrium sighed. "I met him only a few times, but I knew him well."

Lacuna started to chop onions. Raine diced basil. "Is this the guy who wrote that story 'Masque of the Red Death?'" Lacuna asked.

Imbrium nodded. "Not exactly holiday reading, huh?"

"No, not really." Raine laughed. "But I've read some of the other things he wrote. It's hard to put that stuff down."

"Yes..... Dark and absorbing." Lacuna nodded. "When you're done, I'd like to borrow that."

"Me too." Intoned Raine. "Alucard would probably like to read it."

Imbrium sighed. "I miss Edgar. He was a good person, despite his strange obsessions...."

Raine nodded. "A disturbed man indeed."

For a long time, they continued in silence. Raine knew that Imbrium was very lonely. This was why she stayed up late, reading. Most of the time she read her old journals, trying to revive the old days with Kyphron.....

Raine sighed heavily, getting a couple strange looks from the other's. She payed them no mind, just kept on preparing the meal. Kyphron had been marked for death, and had to leave town for a while. However, he never made it back. In the end, he had asked the assassin to leave Imbrium and peace, and with his last words.....

Reinhardt burst through the front door. He was breathing heavily, panic in his eyes. "Aunt Raine! Alucard's unconcious! He's lying on the ground, barely breathing!"

Raine dashed out the front door, not bothering with shoes. There was Alucard, face down in the snow, unmoving.

"God...." Raine fell down onto her knees beside him. She turned him over worriedly. He was still, his face gone slack. She stared up at the sky, seeing the sun set. No, it couldn't be the sunlight..... It can't happen to me, like it did to Imbrium. Not on Christmas Eve!

The next thing she knew, she was on her back, Alucard smiling down at her. "Gotcha." He lauged, kissing her on the cheek.

He was slightly surprised when she threw his arms around him, hugging him close. "Don't you ever scare me like that again, Alucard...." Despite herself, she felt a tear in her eye. "I thought I'd lost you...."

He wrapped his arms around her, and picked her up. He looked at Reinhardt, who had thought up the whole idea. He only shrugged. "I'm sorry. It was just a joke. Granted, it wasn't a very good one....." He carried her back inside the house.

He set her down inside, and she glared up at him. "No, it wasn't." She sighed. "Just..... don't do it again."

"All right, Raine...." He kissed her gingerly on the forehead. Raine only smiled.

Imbrium turned away. She couldn't help but feel envious of the others. She had never gone out looking for another man, because she knew no one could replace Kyphron. She was jealous of the fact that they had someone to run to. A shoulder to cry on......


Imbrium put her finger in her mouth to stem the flow of blood. Distracted, she had cut herself. Raine was suddenly beside her, Alucard leaving the room. "Are you okay?"

"Yeth, I'm fine." She spoke the best she could around the appendage in her mouth. She withdrew her hand. "Damn, that hurt."

"Imbrium, you shouldn't swear on Christmas Eve." Lacuna shook her finger at her.

Raine sealed the wound. "That was a deep one. Hey, what's on your mind? I know you would never be that careless."

"Nothing." She glared at Lacuna. "I can feel you poking around, knock it off." Imbrium sighed heavily. "It's just..... the long, lonely nights are getting to me....."

"What brought this on?" Raine asked. "Oh, nevermind." She turned away with a sigh. "Well, the only way to help that problem is to get out there and find someone else....." But then she shook her head. "But, it wouldn't feel the same, would it?"

"Exactly. That's the exact reason I haven't dated anyone new yet." Imbrium sighed. "The first cut is the deepest....."

Lacuna put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry, hon. God will give you the answer."

Imbrium swallowed, allowing tears to well in her eyes. She patted Lacuna's hand. "Yes..... God will give me the answer....."

Everyone was gathered around the table, ready to say grace. Even though it was two hours after, they were still arguing about who had won the snowball fight. They all agreed with the fact that Raziel had lost, though.

Raziel raised his hand, more to silence the description of his defeat than anything. "Alucard, would you say grace for us?"

Everyone folded their hands and bowed their heads. Alucard cleared his throat, searching for the right words.

"Dear heavenly father, we thank you for this bounty you have provided. We thank you for this day, on which we could all gather. We thank you for our family, our friends, and our health. But above all, we thank you for our freedom from the darkness."

"Amen!" Everybody agreed fervently around the table.

Raziel carved the turkey as Lacuna dished out fruits and vegetables. Chanaur helped himself to some potatoes, as Reinhardt snagged a few olives from the bowl in the middle of the table. Carrie held out her plate for a serving of strawberries.

And so the feast began. Everyone talked about what was going on in the world with them, while laughing and eating at the same time. It was amazing how well they could maintain their manners even when talking with their mouths full.

Afterwords, everyone gathered in the living room. Everyone had pitched in with the cleanup, and now they were gathered around the table, playing spoons. One person with two decks of cards. Everyone started with four cards. The dealer would draw one card from the deck, look at it, and pass it on. You could only have four cards in your hand, and your trying to get four of a kind. The first person to get four of a kind takes a spoon from a group of them in the middle of the table. After this, the rest are up for grabs.

So, understandably, the scramble for the remaining spoons could range anywhere from a brief scuffle to a quasi-fistfight.

Chanaur had won the fourth hand in a row, and was getting quite smug about it. Imbrium looked out the window, seeing the position of the moon in the sky. "Alright, I'd say it's time for all of you to go to bed. You don't want santa to have to skip this house because you weren't asleep.

Carrie, Reinhardt, and Chanaur set down their cards, and headed up the stairs. "Ya know, I've always found the thought of some guy dropping down the chimney in the middle of the night a little creepy." Chanaur muttered.

"Oh, shut up, Chanaur." Reinhardt grumbled. Chanaur had spanked him in spoons, and he wasn't keen on losing.

"Hey, watch that mouth!" Carrie said. "Santa might skip us anyway!"

Chanaur laughed slightly. "You believe in this santa stuff with all your heart, don't you?"

Carrie only nodded, smiling at him. Then they were gone.

Raziel listened intently for the closing of the bedroom door, and counted backwards from ten. "Alright, let's get the presents."

Imbrium sat on the balcony outside her room, watching the snow fall. Everyone was in bed, getting a little rest before the children woke up, running downstairs to open their gifts. Everybody else would drag themselves down to the living room, open their exchanged gifts, and sip their morning coffee.

Needless to say, the children enjoyed it much more than the parents did.

Imbrium sighed, wrapping the quilt tighter around her. It wasn't really that cold outside, but she felt strangely chilled for some reason.

She couldn't sleep. She could never sleep. Her insomnia was getting steadily worse, and she found no way to curb it.

But, she knew the cause of it.....

It had been seven months ago. Dracula had just returned, and people were dissapearing from the streets of Wallachia at a frightening speed. Young Carrie had lost a good deal of some of her friends.....

....and Imbrium had lost her husband.

Another shiver passed through her body. It had been over half a year ago, but she couldn't get over it. It was strange, but that morning he dissapeared, he was gone without a trace. As if someone had dragged him out into the night.....

Every night, she would pray that he was still alive. Even by some shred of hope, she held on to that one prayer. Even though at times she felt like giving up on it, she persevered.

But this time, things were different. No matter how she prayed, hoped, or wept, he would never come back. She was damned to spend the rest of her life alone, with no real male companionship.....

She stared up at the full moon, the dark shadows known as the seas of the moon shining brightly against the black sky. One caught her eye in paticular.

Imbrium; the sea of tears.

Sometimes she wondered if her parents were aware of the origin of her name. Sometimes she considered ending it; moving to another country and starting anew. It had to be better than this.....

Kyphron.... If your out there..... Come home, please. Not just for me, but for Carrie....

Imbrium sighed heavily, and buried her face in her hands. She wept, trying to keep quiet. They couldn't see her crying.... Not today....

She felt a strong pair of arms around her. A hand patted her shoulder, consolingly. Silently, she dissolved into the embrace, taking comfort in the momentary solace.

Comforting words made it to her ears. "I could never stand to see you cry, hon....."

Imbrium choked on the fresh tears. Her heart beat nearly stopped. She remembered that voice, even though it had been so long ago since she had last heard it.....

"Kyphron?" She whispered, opening her eyes and looking full into his face.

"Yes, it is I." He smiled in the darkness. Imbrium held out her hand, producing a small light to see his face. She looked deep into his brown eyes, seeing there his love that she had longed for....

Her heart began to pulse again, faster, stronger than it had in far too long. She found her arms around him, hugging him to her as if she was afraid of losing him again. "Where have you been?" She sobbed. "Why didn't you come back? I've been waiting for so long.....

"I know, hon, I know...." His quiet voice consoled her, filling her up inside. "I've been fighting to escape, and I finally have, even if only for this night. The Dark one tried to use me as a new guardian as he slept. The transformation has begun, and it's only a matter of time before I-"

"No!" Imbrium pulled back suddenly, staring pleadingly into his eyes. "You can't leave me again! I'd die! Don't you see?" She dissolved into his embrace again. "I can't go on without you!"

"Imbrium, I'm sorry..... There's nothing I can do. God, how I wish I could stay with you forever....." He kissed her long on the lips, Imbrium responding with a fierceness that surprised them both. "....But Fate hasn't been so kind....."

They kissed again. Imbrium didn't care about the future at the moment. All that mattered was that he was back, no matter how short a time it would be.

"Kyphron, I'm sorry it had to be this way. "I wish we could remain together..... But I'm afraid it can't happen that way. At least...." She closed her eyes, nuzzling into his chest. " least we'll have tonight....."

"Yeah." He wrapped his arms closer around her. "At least we'll have tonight....."

Imbrium sighed heavily, relaxing. "I love you, Kyphron. Never forget that. With all my heart, and soul....."

He kissed her again. "I love you too, Imbrium.... But you must carry on....." He blinked suddenly, and said, "Speaking of wich, I should see her before I leave."

"It would do me world of good to see that, hon...." Imbrium sighed. "But not now. For now, just hold me...."

And hold her he did. Soon they were asleep, dreaming about what had been, and what could have been.

And what would be......

Merry Christmas, Everyone.
-Chanaur Majere

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