Whitby Vandals

Whitby Vandals 28: New Vandals, New Challenges ...
10th November

The street kids are surprised but really happy to see Tom come back home riding on a big red dog

Arthur and Darcy are returning back to the castle while Damien delivers the villains to Office 13 (police uniform, silver masks, not apprehending but keeping custody)

Michael then returns right in time for dinner and tells Darcy that if she just builds an orphanage the kids will likely not trust it and stay away, so they should invite them over for food and trust building

Darcy reluctantly agrees and goes to tell the parents, with her “dads” competitively playing Whist while Lucy is bored

Seward immediately offers to check the children for diseases but Darcy and Lucy temper him (while complimenting him) that the children probably don’t trust doctors, while Lord Arthur admits to not being good with children and says he’ll stay away

Lucy asks if she can keep one or two which Darcy snarks back are not walking juice boxes, but she can just about manage to hold back a comment about Lucy being a glutton if Lord Arthur and Seward aren’t enough

Arthur went off to tell John, who is practicing cricket, and immediately gets concerned about the kids nicking stuff so they begin planning to hold it in the great hall

Michael meanwhile goes to the park, bringing food gifts and being challenged on not bringing the cat, to talk to Troy about inviting the kids

Troy quizzes Michael on the rumors about the household and how they haven’t been raided yet but decides to talk to Brenda about it

Brenda, after getting through a sugar coma from a chocolate cake and beginning to flirt with Michael, which Michael cuts off by telling her that he is married and that no, being discrete is not an option, not going to happen, says that free food and a potential dragon are more than enough reason to come tomorrow

The kids are deciding what to bring the lady as a thank you for saving Tom and after some voting it is decided that she deserves to get the dragon ink holder Tom found on the beach several years ago while other kids are braiding bracelets and carving little trinkets

John remembers Darcy’s teasing and shows up at the master bedroom at some point in the evening and only leaves slightly later than Michael on the next morning

When Darcy comes down the house is already busy with preparations, and Arthur is glad when she grabs one of the heavy tapestries and simply walks up the wall to place it

Soon after a horde of children descend on the hall and they are somewhat apprehensive when it seems that Darcy is giving a speech, luckily she listened to Michael, makes a few jokes and then tells them to tug into the food that Misses Hudspeth has prepared

Michael and even Arthur think it is hilarious to see Darcy helplessly gnash her teeth at Brenda flirting with John given that she cannot say anything without compromising her decency

At one point Troy gets up and clinks his (sturdy) glass to call on the two youngest children to present the Lady with her present, and while Darcy is cooing at the children for such a lovely gift, Arthur realizes he has seen that dragon crest before

Soon, Darcy finds herself at the table with the different group leaders and Arthur investigating the inkwell. As Michael tells Darcy to grab the moment to make the suggestion to them Darcy for an instant is utterly baffled because she was still glaring at John and Brenda and misinterpreted his words. With a wide grin Michael leaves her to it once she realizes her mistake

The suggestion to help with an orphanage or way house goes over well for the most part and Troy seems to like her suggestion of having it run primarily by street kids themselves with outside help for education and to keep the townspeople content

When he calls over Brenda, who is the people person between the two, he notices that Darcy’s facial expression hardens and he gets concerned leading him to immediately change his tone of voice when quickly explaining to Brenda what they had discussed. Brenda happily beams at Darcy for the promised help and sends Troy off on a pretext to ask Darcy outright what the problem is. Caught out in a situation with no socially acceptable out Darcy gets rescued by Arthur (who was eavesdropping) by pretending to obliviously bumble into the conversation asking where they got the ink well from

Darcy uses the excuse and rushes off to fetch Lionel, who gets utterly confused at first that she would come to him for a social problem before with very little hint from her, he realizes that she needs to get somebody off John but cannot say that of course. He is happy to help
Brenda meanwhile has managed to get Arthur to blush at calling him out, and he, in turn, needs to be rescued by Michael, who wanders off with Brenda seemingly in control of the situation

Arthur, having heard that the inkwell likely came from the shipwreck, leaves the party to talk to Lord Arthur, who immediately suspects which dragon crest Arthur is talking about and points it out in a book. When Arthur mentions that Darcy just got a statue gift Lord Arthur grows tense but relaxes when being told it came from the wreck. The topic pains him to talk about so he hands Arthur a book on Dracula and Arthur happily wanders off reading, forgetting that he wanted to get back to the party

Darcy wanders back into the party and ends up talking to Troy about weapons, upbringing, the sleeping bat in her hair, and that there is no need to walk over to Brenda who is clearly enjoying her conversation with Lionel

Michael wanders past Darcy and whispers that smug looks good on her… she’ll let it pass this time because she is rather happy about the eliminated “danger”

Noticing that Tom is trying to convince Michael to turn Damien and Michael only just resisting Darcy calls over that if he has to play with the kids he should please not do that inside, they have gardens, which basically leads to Michael being carried off by the kids

Troy starts in talking about him having heard in town… which Darcy interrupts by immediately countering the standard rumor about herself, and Troy finishes his sentence with he heard about the wedding and the upcoming reception. Darcy gets embarrassed but is happy to hear his offer of help even if both of them currently don’t know what the street kids could do

After a bit Darcy excuses herself saying Lady will need to be let out and Troy says he will need to do a head count if all the little rascals are still around

Arthur can see a child on his own height through his upper story window, descending out of sight, and back in repeatedly, when he looks to investigate he sees Damien throwing the kids up in the air and catching them again

Shortly after the kids reverse the play by throwing a laughing Pretty between them
When Lady joins them in the garden she catches Pretty out of the air to loud gasps, but Pretty reassures them that this wolf is fine

Lady throws him up in the air unto her back and Troy, having seen the talking cat riding the wolf, shakes his head and comments: You two would have been great in the circus

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Whitby Vandals 27: The Usual Suspects
9th November

Michael leaves a little comic on the bed for Darcy to wake up to so she knows he is only out for superhero business, nothing to worry about. She decides it’s time to start a collection and put the piece of paper into an envelope she labels “Michael’s Progression in Writing”

At the breakfast table Arthur even puts his book down when she comes in

Lord Arthur is the next in the room and given his smug expression Darcy with a deep sigh asks if she needs to send Artie to heal her father (Artie is hiding behind his teacup)

Healing is probably not necessary but she decides she should bring him breakfast, which Lucy is actually receiving at the door which tells Darcy all she needs to know

The Arthurs have struck up a conversation in Romanian meanwhile, because Artie decided to learn the basics last night

Lord Arthur leaves and Michael walks in, seemingly serious despite for a bit heckling Arthur about being a sexual deviant

The good mood does not hold too long because Michael reports that there is a missing street kid in Whitby, leaving Darcy with the difficult task how to dress for that occasion, Arthur is rather baffled when she asks him and pokes fun at him being flustered by reminding him of the cabin

Michael, after laughing, helps her picking out a dress and Lucy stops Seward from commenting as his daughter leaves to investigate crime

Darcy, as per usual competitive with her mother and not to be outdone, waits for Arthur to be in the coach before pressing a kiss on John and hinting about an encore in the evening, Michael grins proudly at Darcy and conspiratorially at John

Arriving in Whitby they go to the Neptune’s Beard inn because the Hudspeths are taking care of the local street kids with left overs and sleeping space in the barn

While Cora at first remembers etiquette the moment Darcy actually sits down to hear the story of Tom going missing from the vis-à-vis roof while watching out for the inn with Lili only being gone for maybe five minutes, Cora stars fussing over her and Darcy happily overlooks the inappropriateness because she never had a mother figure like this

When Arthur asks why Tom was on the lookout the Vandals hear Whitby has seen a string of robberies

After Pretty, to Cora’ astonishment, swipes another honey cake Artie and him go investigate the roof because Darcy said she’ll be out right after them

Unknown to Darcy she is being observed by one of the older street kids who can see through fire

He is suspicious as to her honesty when she hands Cora a purse of money that probably contains a small fortune by her standards to keep helping the street kids until Darcy can manage to build the orphanage

Thinking she cannot help the boys Darcy strikes up a innocent to the beholder conversation with John, telling him that he will need to drive them to a local park where the street kids hang out normally

Arthur walks up the stairs and nearly gets stopped by a large disgruntled man who immediately backs off when being informed that Arthur is there on Lady Rossmore’s business

Trying to figure out more about the noble family sticking their noses into the case now, Troy and Brenda (who still is thinking about how to steal Pretty after being talked out of robbing John) take up position on another roof to watch Arthur apparently sniffing the shingles and talking to the cat

Pretty is telling Arthur that he probably is just too distracted to figure out the exact magic when Arthur kicks a stone and Pretty gives chase, prompting a bout of laughter from Arthur and threats of telling Darcy

Troy takes that event as him being right about the cat not actually being trained, but unknown to him Pretty has already spotted them and told Artie covertly before “vanishing” under the roof to spy on them invisibly while Arthur report back to Darcy and the two of them drive over to the park

Pretty returns back into the coach and tells on the street kids who are going to make sure that Lili is there to talk to the nobles on home turf

Troy and Brenda present a united front up to the point when Pretty reappears on the roof of the broken down gazebo and Brenda melts at getting to pet him

Darcy sees her opening and starts talking about her cat and how much he likes belly rubs, and that was all the two girls needed to start getting along

Troy feels somewhat betrayed but still tries to keep his composure while Arthur does the talking and introduces Darcy

Troy feels very little corruption coming from them, and interestingly mostly from the cat, probably trained to kill mice on command he decides

Through her just being a loveable cat owner and Arthur being an honest scholar they get the street kids to show them something of Tom’s for Pretty to track which starts the least inconspicuous parade of people following Pretty

Pretty notices that and Darcy comes to the rescue by saying her scholar speaks cat and puts Pretty up on his shoulder

The group splits up with Pretty following the trail further, Arthur investigating the robberies and Darcy taking Troy, Brenda, and two young street kids for lunch at The Neptune’s beard
Arthur gets the information from no other police officer than the one Lionel abducted and then is off to a jeweler’s shop, who after initial skepticism about his weird behaviour asks if he might get a slip for his insurance about the robbery being done through magic (Arthur says he will see what he can do with the lady)

Meanwhile Darcy has noticed that Troy unconsciously falls into actual table manners when Misses Hudspeth is in the room but decides to not comment for now

Troy on the other hand notices that Arthur’s food swiping skills definitely are not those of an amateur and he eats with the efficiency of somebody who has known hunger

After Pretty gives his report to Arthur who relays that the trail goes to an abandoned mill Darcy decides that it is time for her to retire because this is going to be a battle and for that her hero and her loyal hound are more suited

After she leaves with Pretty, Arthur can listen in on Troy and Brenda discussing how to follow them and Brenda finally agrees to take the kids while Troy trails the hero

With the usual banter when the collar needs to come on and Darcy joking about it being a tad too suspicious if the carriage is rocking, Chat D’Ore returns to the Neptune’s Beard with Lady where the street kids are just about leaving

Arthur tells them that Troy might become a problem, it seemed as if he might be able to do something to hold his ground but Michael is concerned about a civilian being around, whereas Darcy sees it as not her problem

She suggest that Artie could sniff him to figure out if he has actual magic but of course that would be difficult to do in a non-awkward way

Leaving for the mill Darcy notices Troy after a while and gives a perfect hunting dog impression of pointing him out, Artie spots him as well and tries circling around while Michael is dragged after Darcy who goes for the direct approach

Troy mainly just wants to get going so he does not run and Michael can feel his impatience and annoyance

They debate Troy’s safety and right to help while walking and Darcy after a while decides Michael is inefficient and pounces at Troy who dodges her, confirming to her that he’ll be fine, end of debate

As they get closer Troy asks if Artie is going to keep sneaking after them, which Michael deflects by saying that they all should sneak, looking at Lady and knowing that sneaking is far from her strength he asks her to transform and a rat soon hops on his shoulder

Troy just about manages to not be too astounded, partially because he can feel a fire in the mill and tries to find out what is going on inside, giving Artie more than a whiff of him doing magic right then

Michael notices him slowing down and then a massive feeling of relief that Troy explains comes from him being able to see through the hearth fire and heard the two goons talk about the boss currently giving Tom one last chance to cooperate, meaning the kid is still alive

Discussing how to investigate Michael talks about going inside, with a tiny bat in front of his face protesting and then face bombing him before flying over to Arthur and flying over his outstretched hand and then over to Troy’s face

Arthur gets that she asks if Arthur could put the place to his torch to let Troy see more but that plan doesn’t work sadly, so it’s back to Pretty, ridden by a rat, to go in invisible

They come past some wards and find the room with the stove and the two goons with a hole in the roof

Following a dark corridor they come to a door behind which they can hear a voice threatening a whimpering child, both bare their claws but Darcy makes him wait while she rushes back to the others

The small bat goes unnoticed as she flies out the rafters and Arthur soon has her pull on his shoulder to get closer to Troy, whose first reaction when a suddenly six meter tall bat is grabbing him by the shoulder is worry for his scarf (ignoring the eep about being lifted into the air by a huge bat)

Arthur, playing it cool and having come to trust Darcy, reassures him that this is fine despite him being too far up to actually smell the wards she points out and therefore unable to say if they triggered them

Darcy decides they need to be fast so she directly crashes through the decrepit roof (holding the boys safely behind her body while shielding them with her wings)

Arthur, using the confusion and horror of the goons, fires off a stun spell that nearly does the trick and everything else is quickly solved with two bat wings hitting them over the head

Troy and Arthur are rushing down the corridor toward the obvious villain monologue and Damien rawr, only to be stopped by a door for a moment before Troy masterfully ki blasts his way through

Damien is protectively holding a small child and standing his ground against the sorcerer before Troy shouts: Throw him over, which to Tom’s protest happens an instant later

The sorcerer blasts Damien moments later who crumbles to the floor, prompting Arthur to bring out the bigger guns as the sorcerer is between him and Damien

When Lady rushes into the room and sees Damien on the floor with the sorcerer definitely being fireball singed she has had it with all restraint and a wolf to the throat is something even magic users have to respect

With a sigh Arthur rushes to the bleeding out man while Lady rushes to Damien, who is beginning to wake back up, and fiercely embraces the wolf

Turning back to Michael, in a hilarious reversal it is now him cleaning her snout, whereas in the inn it was her cleaning Pretty

Troy remained outside just in case there is some spell on the door but Arthur, who has by now stabilized, bound, and gagged the sorcerer, confirms that they can leave the room

Tom asks where the cool Tiger who saved him is and Michael tells him that was him, prompting the kid to ask if he can’t turn back. Arthur is flabbergasted that he seems to be the only one who doesn’t find Damien adorable while Lady is on her back wolf laughing

Given that Damien has to carry the two goons and the sorcerer to Whitby for incarceration Tom ends up riding on the big fluffy dog, who has started to forget herself again, which Artie notices in her nearly chasing after Damien when he takes off

Arthur tells Troy that he needs to calm her down, so Tom is left with him, prompting the kid to ask who he actually is, while Arthur leads Darcy into the woods

None of his polite asking and prompting leads anywhere, but luckily for him when he says she needs to turn back, they have a wedding reception to plan the horror of that does the trick and an embarrassed Darcy is sitting on the forest floor

Having regained herself Lady goes back to carrying Tom to town

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Whitby Vandals 26: Inlaws and Interventions
10 XP

Pretty tells Darcy that they should get away from the door but that it seems as if the adults decided to be reasonable and are having “some sort of threeway arrangement”

Darcy, in her best high-pitched girl voice, hands over the reception invitation, and asks if it’s “Lord Godalming” still or if she should switch to “Lord Arthur” now if the talk went well; Seward blushes, Lucy is proud and has to bite her cheek not to laugh at Darcy’s boldness, Lord Arthur is a bit overwhelmed but says “uh, well, Lord Arthur will do”

On the next morning, Artie follows Darcy after breakfast to her study; and asks her to drop the toast at the reception, he’s happy about the party but the toast makes him really uncomfortable, to his surprise she instantly agrees; she says she likes to acknowledge him but it’s for him and if it makes him uncomfortable, why wouldn’t she? He replies that he thought it was important to her. She reiterates that it’s for him, he thanks her and then hugs her quickly and bustles out – only to stick his head back in a moment later to ask if she wants to tell Michael or if he should.

Darcy decides they should go together & being in a mischievous mood asks if he wants to skip down the hall with her. He offers her his arm & they head off.

Before encountering anything, they hear raised voices, and find Seward & Michael having an argument.

Darcy runs after her departing father, while Arthur enters room – where there’s no sign of Michael.

Looking out the window, he only sees Seward going for a “brisk walk” with his wolf-daughter chasing after him.

Darcy catches up to Seward and nuzzles his hand, he wipes his hand on a handkerchief to her offense. Then she turns back to be able to talk to him, but Seward insists it’s nothing & that everything is fine.

Knowing that facial expression she realizes that he won’t budge, but while she knows that she might not be able to get him to talk, she knows that she can get Michael to talk if need be.

Darcy heads back inside to find Arthur, who hasn’t found Michael yet. Darcy’s wolf nose tracks him down to a small upstairs room that has windows on four sides, lying in the sun as Pretty. Both approach, Darcy along the walls to avoid as much sun as possible.

Michael tries to brush their enquiries off at first, saying that he thinks Seward has second thoughts about the marriage & doesn’t think Michael is good enough, but Arthur can tell something is up and his look tells Michael as much.

Darcy asks to be in on the silent conversation, and as Michael doesn’t indicate otherwise, Arthur points out that he doesn’t think it is Seward Michael’s talking about. Darcy begins to feel panicky, and Artie goes on telling Michael that Darcy loves him and it’s too late anyway, he should just get over it.

In the face of him feeling Darcy being upset and with Artie’s prodding, Michael confesses that he still feels like Darcy’s out of his reach, like he said in his wedding vows after Seward criticised him. Darcy reassures him, and he cries on her shoulder, and they end up in a group hug with Artie pointing out that Michael’s an idiot (which Darcy approves of.)

Once they calm down, and Michael allows that maybe he should apologize to Seward for behaving like a brat, Darcy departs to enlist her mother in order to talk to Seward and prepare the ground, so to speak.

She finds Lucy painting while affecting a melancholic expression– the painting is of course pornographic. After a bit of mother-daughter banter that includes Darcy pointing out that she has no need of that picture in her bedroom because unlike Lucy, she’s visible in mirrors, Lucy agrees to talk to her husband. Darcy congratulates her on her acquisition of her second husband, and departs.

She ends up talking with Artie, then dancing with him– including on the walls and the ceiling. They get surprised by Lord Arthur just when they finish, who comments on having seen enough and leaves, this having confirmed some suspicions he had about Darcy’s & Artie’s relationship due to the fact that when he first saw them, Darcy was only in her underwear after having been trapped together with Artie.

Embarrassed and upset, Arthur and Darcy end up discussing some very personal matters, including the fact that Artie is considering duelling Lord Arthur for Darcy’s honour, his sexuality, and the effects of Darcy’s bite. To his own surprise Artie feels reassured by Darcy’s explanations that nothing is wrong with him. She tries to explain that others seem so obsessed with it because it makes them happy, the same way he seems obsessed with books to others.

Having had enough of embarrassing conversations for the moment, they decide that Arthur should go inform Michael of Lord Arthur’s suspicions, while Darcy will go keep an eye on her father’s door in case Lord Arthur decides to take his suspicions that way first.

Arthur finds Michael in the garden, and earns the expected laughter and mock pride at him being a menace to married women’s virtue, after confessing what happened.

He stays when Michael tells him that Lord Arthur is approaching, though he does remove his head from Michael’s shoulder and straightens himself out. The acknowledgement between Lord Arthur and Artie is cautious and not really subservient enough on Artie’s part, but Michael manages to smooth things over, by assuring Lord Arthur of his trust in both Darcy and Artie, and the sibling-nature of their relationship.

He then redirects the conversation to the magic book and draws Artie in as well. They part on good terms, and Artie asks Lord Arthur for lessons in Romanian. Lord Arthur observes that Artie enjoys riding, and offers to combine the two.

Meanwhile, Darcy the rat sits in front of her father’s door to eavesdrop on Lucy’s and Seward’s conversation. Lucy doesn’t broach the subject of Michael directly, but talks about the wedding and how well it went, before mentioning how lucky Darcy is in having found Michael. Seward reluctantly agrees, and Lucy leaves it at that, winking at her daughter as she leaves the room and advising her to give it ten minutes. Darcy the rat follows her mother to climb up to her shoulder and give her a quick rat kiss on the cheek before settling down to wait.

Exactly ten minutes later, according to her watch, she knocks and enters, putting on her sweetest daughter persona. After approaching the topic through the planned birthday celebrations and several subtle but unsuccessful mentions of family and happiness, Darcy has to get somewhat more direct, and asks whether her father is mad and whether she did anything wrong to cause this.

Seward, of course, denies that she has, and admits that he thinks Michael doesn’t respect him. Darcy tells him about Michael’s insecurities, and Seward says he only wants to give him the best advice he can on how to treat his wife.

Darcy’s “The way you treat mother?” is rather a shock to him, and he doesn’t regain his footing in the conversation while Darcy sweetly assures him that she’s convinced he only means to give Michael the best kind of advice – the sort he lives himself. Seward allows that he needs to think on this, and maybe talk to Michael.

Darcy hammers the coffin shut by giving him a tight hug, getting on her tip toes to give him a kiss, and telling him that she knew that he will surely get everything resolved because he is a great papa and she loves him, before floating out of the room

Shortly after Arthur and Darcy are keeping a close eye from the upstairs windows on Michael and Seward seemingly having a much more civil conversation in the gardens

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Whitby Vandals 25: Getting the band back together
November 07

On the morning after the whole book incident, Darcy and Michael are cuddling in bed when Michael brings up they should think about what to get Arthur for his birthday

Darcy, assuming that surely they would tell her a month ahead at least, thinks it’s sad that his birthday is so close to Christmas only to get utterly flabbergasted when she hears it is the same day as the reception

After first shortly cussing out Michael for not telling her earlier she jumps out of bed to storm over to the library, luckily Michael reminds her to put some clothes on first

With a bang of the door and a loud “ARTIE!” she marches into the library and hiding behind his book does Arthur no good at all

When confronted about his birthday he blushes and tries to defend himself: “But, but, the wedding is clearly more important…”

She looks at him and with a deep sigh launches into her lecture: “As much as I absolutely wanted this wedding to be soon, Arthur-dear, you are just as important. You are part of my family, the only brother I have, and your birthday symbolizes the day the world gained a wonderful person like you. It is the day I want to show you that you are special, that you are loved, and that your existence makes a difference in the lives of the people around you. Your birthday is the day of the year where I can show you that you are a gift to my life.”

Stunned by her uncommon directness he does not know what to say to all that and blushes harder: “Um… thanks?”

Knowing that there is no sense in crying over the situation, as much as she is irked by it, she decides to make the best out of it: “It cannot be changed for this year, which means, to make up for keeping silent too long you have to be completely honest now and tell me what gift you really always wanted and never thought you could get. And you are not allowed to complain when I get it for you.”

Arthur honestly does not know where to even start thinking about this, nobody but Michael ever really cared for his birthday, let alone made a big deal about getting him a gift, so he shuffles his feet insecurely: “Um, but…”

Darcy can see that he is uncomfortable with the unfamiliar situation and her insistence on indulging him so she puts on her sweetest smile and grabs his hand in the reassuring manner she has seen Lucy and Michael do so often: “I have time to wait until you decide, but you will tell me.”

Arthur cannot quite stifle the low eeping-sound that comes out with his mumbled: “Okay…”

She tries her best to make him less apprehensive about the situation and goes right for the one thing she knows is a sure fire way to get him interested: “Shall I make us some tea while you think it through? Maybe bring you a honey cake?”

Just as she suspected he perks up at the mention of the honey cake: “Thank you, if you don’t mind?”

She does not mind but she wants to make sure that he is not thinking of using her friendliness to escape she adds in her best big sister voice: “Only if you promise not to run off while I’m gone, no foul play, you are not getting away from me, young man!”

He knows she won this round so he nods earnestly and answers: “Yes, Ma’am!”

Darcy claps her hands in delight “Tea and cakes coming up then. This will be fun!”, before she bustles off to the kitchen.

Pretty materializes out of nowhere and Arthur and him banter back and forth until Darcy returns and Pretty suddenly is nowhere to be seen (mysteriously vanishing honey cakes not withstanding)

Having found out that his current favorite book is Treasure Island Darcy goes into full party planning mode for a pirate themed party the day after the reception and all Arthur can do is take notes while exchanging glares with Pretty behind Darcy’s back

Arthur does get one in on Michael though when he pushes him into the role of Jim Hawkins

Darcy walks off to tell John but finds Seward and Lord Arthur in a conversation that could break into blows any moment

Darcy decides her father needs a rescue and puts on her cutest little daughter behaviour on to “steal him from Lord Arthur”

The tactic of womanly wiles seems to work rather well on both of them and Seward isn’t even aware of what she did until she has gotten him into another room and he asks what she wanted to talk about. Telling him that she noticed that he nearly was at the point of blows with Lord Arthur he stoutly refuses, only slightly repentant to her questioning look, but does not stop her when she says she going to help.

Giving up on the topic she brings up the birthday party for Arthur and how Seward always helped with hers and if he couldn’t please go to the library and help with Arthur’s. Seward mentions that he really likes Arthur and let’s slip: “Why couldn’t you have considered him…”

Darcy is utterly shocked and isn’t even going to start to deign that comment with an answer
With Seward off to the library, Darcy is heading back to her room, picking out the cutest dress she owns and puts her hair into pigtail braids before she heads out to find Lord Arthur

Displaying her best behaviour, and biggest most adorable eyes, she talks to Lord Arthur that he please not be angry with her father. She understands that he suffered and feels betrayed but that all the lies Seward told were for her benefit. Despite him at first, counter arguing that they would immediately done something about her, her asking him how many dhampirs he knows that are tolerated when they are not vampire hunters shuts him up.
She rounds her plea off by hoping that he and Lucy can find a way to solve this and that she would be happy to call him uncle. He seems touched and probably a bit overwhelmed by her implication so she leaves.

While she is hyperventilating over what she just did around the next corner Michael finds her and seeing her distress immediately asks what’s wrong. She tells him what she just did and he is so proud of her. Throughout the conversation, she finds out that Pretty was in the library when she had the heart-to-heart with Arthur about his birthday and she ends up carrying off a cat that is way too happy to have his belly scratched.

Deciding the got the whole thing started she decides it is time to get her mother to sort all those silly male issues out, so she knocks on Lucy’s door. When she enters based on the invitation she finds Lucy in the bathtub, prompting her to turn right around and set Pretty in front of the door. Lucy seems disappointed which garners her a “Mother!”.

The two of them do agree though that Darcy put down the foundation on which Lucy can work her own womanly wiles to get Lord Arthur and Seward to see reason (defined as what the women think is best, of course). So Darcy leaves Lucy to her beauty routine in order to have the highest possible impact.

Meanwhile Arthur tried to tell Seward that it’s okay to not make a big deal out of his birthday to which Seward only replies: “You have met my daughter…” which gets Arthur to give up and go over the notes he took from Darcy’s frantic planning with, as he addresses him, Dr. Seward

Darcy, having found Michael a respectable and innocent distance away from Lucy’s door, thinks she left Arthur alone with the scary male father figure for long enough, given that she’s aiming to habituate him to having an actually good dad around without overexposing him

But before they fully return she remembers why she originally went out and rushes to find John first (with a bit of help from Pretty’s nose). John seems to be going over security improvements for the reception but of course immediately sets aside time to talk to Darcy. When she declares that they are having a themed party for Arthur and that she is holding Jim Hawkins, much to Pretty’s chagrin, she asks him if he would be okay to be their Long John Silver and gets exactly the reaction she had hoped for. She also asks him if they maybe could try to have a play with the help of his “amazing powers” and a little bit shy he says he could at least try.

When Michael and Darcy walk back into the library and Michael addresses Seward as John Darcy can basically feel the temperature in the room dropping, luckily she can send Seward out saying that Lucy wants to talk to him and files it for later that she needs to have a talk about this.

Being anxious about the talk between Lucy and her two old suitors she sends Pretty to monitor the situation

When she tells Arthur what she was up to they realize that has repercussions for the seating order at the receptions and the two of them frantically go through options, with Arthur letting it drop that if the adult situation goes bad Lord Arthur would deserve some bad luck if he wants to harm Darcy

Hoping it doesn’t come to that and Darcy getting anxious about the whole situation they decide they can get her over there with an invitation for the reception

Just as she hoped she does not end up having to listen at the door because Pretty does notice her outside the room and tells her they’ll need more time

Exhausted from all the social interaction today, she complains to Pretty and the two of them curl up on one of the corridors fainting couches together

For a while, until Pretty decides it gets dangerously long, Darcy is a red wolf taking a nap curled around an orange cat, before she turns back human, turns around and goes right back to her nap

Arthur meanwhile has snuck through the servant stairs and is raiding the kitchen for a sandwich

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Whitby Vandals 24: A story of two Arthurs

Darcy gets an unexpected package in the mail and when she opens it she is awed at the beautiful book inside. A note, written in the most graceful and floral handwriting she has ever seen, states it to be a wedding gift, but thecard is not signed.

Looking at the spine she sees that the title is “Cu privire la arta povestirii pentru dampiri”, and while she has no idea what it actually says the fact that one of the words clearly means Dhampir is enough for her to get intrigued

Given that it looks close enough to French for her to suspect Latin she bustles downstairs to Arthur’s lab and knocks with the sweetest of trills asking him for a favour. Handing him the book and asking him to translate for her pretty please he takes it and after sniffing out if it is magical tells her that it says something about Storytelling for Dhampirs

With big excited eyes Darcy sits down next to him and tries her luck on the strange language on the first page

Just as she reads the first sentence Arthur’s magic sense suddenly goes off and he slams the book shut but not in time as he feels himself blacking out

When he awakes his first thought is about how cold it is, which makes a lot more sense as he opens his eyes to a snow clad mountain forest

Darcy is right next to him, unfazed by the cold, but equally surprised

After a quick glance around they spot a tiny cabin and when they try to get there they find the snow is hip deep, prompting Darcy to fly them over

The cabin is well stocked with all kinds of things they need for survival, but not much more.
Darcy brings some firewood in while Arthur starts a fire to warm himself, relieved that his magic still works

Darcy is fussing over Arthur being cold, rubbing his shoulders and fumbling her way through making tea for him

Wrapped in a bear pelt he decides it is a good idea to investigate the surroundings and with another round of awkward shuffling and mumbling the two of them get over him cuddling into her fur on her back before she takes off

Arthur can definitely smell that the area is magical, although the smell is too faint to make it easy for him to pinpoint what it is, he can determine that it is not an illusion but not much more

Trying to fly towards the next valley at some point Arthur notices a tingling magical feeling and he wonders if that piece of forest doesn’t look a bit too familiar, when Darcy flies up as high as she dares with him they notice that the hut is now off to the distance in front of them, instead of behind them

With Arthur getting cold again they return to the cabin to plan further

Back in the castle meanwhile it is time for afternoon tea and Michael knocks on Darcy’s door but does not get any answer

Getting into the room he finds it empty

Transforming into Pretty he starts running through the house checking all rooms they regularly use, when he does not find Arthur either he begins to panic

John is sticking his head out a door as Pretty is racing past, asking what is going on

Pretty nearly tackles him over and demands to know where Arthur and Darcy are, John tries to defend himself that he isn’t stalking Darcy but the last place he saw Arthur was on the way down to the lab

Pretty is running down there, with John in pursuit at this point and can clearly pick up on Darcy’s scent leading from the door to Arthur’s study

Noticing a book lying on the table that Darcy touched and her scent not going anywhere after that he asks John what the title of the book is but to not touch it

John takes a look and blushes slightly: “Um, I’m not sure I should be looking at this if it belongs to Arthur. I cannot figure out the language but it says “Povesti erotice de aventura”

Michael instantly knows that this cannot be Arthur’s book and that something is up with it so he rushes out and catches a rabbit

Forcing the rabbit to touch first the book directly, and then after having opened it with a long stick, the pages he waits to see if anything happens but all the bunny does is trying to wriggle out of his grasp

Deciding that the book is probably at least safe to touch the bunny gets demoted to dinner and Michael and John debate what to do

John wonders if Lionel might know what is going on given that fey know so much

Michael marches to the Nexus and calls for Lionel who steps out from behind a tree asking what trouble they have gotten themselves into now and seems surprised when he hears it’s Darcy and Arthur who are missing together

On the way to the lab Michael explains what he found out so far and Lionel non-chalantly picks up the book, astounded and incredulous why humans would have this as it is a lost chronicle about a fey kingdom

And why would Darcy come to Arthur instead of him for help reading it? Oh wait, it’s Darcy, she has some strange hang-up about seeing me again, doesn’t she?

Flipping through the book Lionel notices that the cover and the content do not seem to belong together

Between their collective confusion about the book Lionel notices that they seem to be talking about different books

Handing the book to Michael, Lionel walks out the door before coming back and looking at the book again: AHA!

Michael is starting to be annoyed at being out of the loop but grumblingly hands the book to John when Lionel tells him to before dragging him out of the room and checking the time on a pocket watch before calling into the room: John, what does it say now?

To John’s astonishment, the book cover appears empty now and Lionel finally tells Michael what he is thinking: The book is showing things to us that make us more likely to read it

He says that this is clearly not his type of magic but he will ask around with some of his more distant cousins, John should see if the language could maybe tell them more because this is not Latin

John rushes to the library while Michael decides it’s time to wake up Lucy

Hammering at her door and saying he needs her help because Darcy and Arthur are missing he gets surprised by Seward (in pajamas and clearly freshly awoken) slamming his door open and inquiring what he just said

Seward marshes past Michael into Lucy’s room and not 15 minutes later both of them join John and Michael in the library study

Lucy sits down next to Michael and calmingly takes his hand asking him to tell her what is going on, Michael tells her and asks her what she sees in the book

She reads the title and smirks that she might not know the language but she’d know the word erotica in any language

Seward has gone pale and when he grabs the book from her he goes fully white: This is Romanian… this could mean…

He cannot bring himself to finish the sentence with all its implications but immediately goes to work on trying to translate the book wringing his hands in clear concern

Michael is forced to simply pace up and down the room

Meanwhile in a snowy forest Darcy and Arthur have noticed that the sun seems to be behaving strangely, moving quicker than it should but seemingly not setting at all

Arthur is searching the cabin for any more clues and finds a bible in the nightstand, in the same language as the book, and when looking under the bed he discovers something that he has to assume is a vampire hunter kit

Darcy is curious but unimpressed, although she is clearly disgusted by the thought of the vials containing explosives and acid to harm vampires

Arthur tries to figure out the notes that are in the box and deciphers that they probably are notes and theories on vampire weaknesses and powers

Figuring that the language is Romanian Darcy suddenly perks up wondering if this might have anything to do with her family, well, not really family

Arthur hasn’t actually read up on anything and doesn’t know what she means so Darcy tells him that Romania is the place where, well, the person who made Lucy a vampire came from, and he happens to be vampire high royalty

When Arthur asks her if that makes her a vampire princess she is way too gleeful about the thought but also really concerned because the vampire hunter kit could imply that they are in real trouble and she really wants to get out of the place before well, um, before she runs into trouble

It takes Arthur a tad to actually figure out that she means her getting hungry because she doesn’t really want to talk about it, thinking he’ll be frightened and disgusted again with her

The two are adorably awkward through the conversation only to shove the topic off again

They decide to reinvestigate the barrier, maybe flying is setting it off specifically

Darcy offers to carry him as a wolf and when he tries to bundle up in enough blankets even she has to admit that he won’t be able to hold on like that

He has the idea to make himself a poncho from the blankets but Darcy reminds him that that means his head is exposed

With a sigh she rips her skirt off and fashions it into a headscarf for him, both of them agreeing to ignore the fact that she is in her underwear in front of him

When she turns wolf and he gets on she bristles her fur up for him and he does find that she is so soft and warm to the touch

When they arrive at the point where they can feel something they stop and Arthur tries to poke the barrier but there isn’t really anything to feel

Darcy notices that there is something distinctively off about the forest though, it does look like the same forest, but not the same stretch

To find out more Arthur first sets a small bush and then a tree on fire

Darcy flies up and tells him that she can smoke directly behind them in a straight line

They decide that it is worth splitting up for her to investigate what happens if she approaches the fire

After about half an hour Arthur sees a bat swoop down on the other side of the barrier from him and Darcy stares right back at him despite having moved in the opposite direction

Given that it begins to be cold for Arthur again they return to the cabin

They wonder if maybe the barrier is specific to vampires so that maybe if he tried alone he could break through, when he said he can’t leave her alone she shocks him by saying that would be good, better she be alone in there than hurting him

But when she realizes that he might be stranded alone in the mountains she does agree not to let him try

Arthur notices that he is actually really hungry and tired, so they make dinner and Darcy says she’ll keep watch on the roof because she cannot actually sleep

Arthur asks if maybe digging to the ground would help and she shakes her head given that it would need to be British earth and they both doubt that

During the night Darcy keeps coming back into the cabin to restock the fire and to tug any parts of Arthur back under the heavy covers, at one point gently petting his hair before reassuming her position on the roof

The next morning arrives quicker than she thought but Arthur does feel as if he slept a whole night

Meanwhile, in the castle, Michael has been pacing for hours and Seward is getting more and more agitated about the book

The high strung nerves come to a clash when Seward accuses Michael of not having his wife under enough supervision, and he thought he could trust him on that when he allowed the marriage

Michael has to severely keep himself under control to only hiss back at Seward about him not telling him what Darcy can and cannot do, especially because in contrast to Seward he wasn’t even in the house when this happened, and also Darcy has Arthur with her

Seward is only digging himself in deeper by saying that a friend is one thing but a father or husband would be better

Luckily Lucy sweeps back into the room just in time to keep the two from going at each other’s throats and asks what they have found out

Seward sighs and says that either his translation is seriously off, apologizing that his Romanian never was the best, or that the first few pages make little grammatical sense

The later parts seem to be descriptions of people, likely vampires, and especially the last sentences are peculiar

Michael asks him to get to the last pages and check if those happen to be about Darcy and Arthur

Seward glances over the page and shakes his head, no, it is about some vampire and the last sentence makes him think the book belongs to some vampire hunters because it states the vampire’s name and says bound, staked, with a cross on his chest

Seward seems relieved that this probably didn’t come from who he at first feared but at the same time, there are vampire hunters after his daughter

Lucy looks at him and says: To catch a vampire hunter, who is it best to ask? – You cannot be serious? – We are not getting anywhere here and Darcy could be in real danger right now, this is our daughter!

Michael can see that an entire conversation is going on between the two of them without many words after that until Seward bows his head and submits to his wife’s request

“I’ll send a telegram immediately” He grabs the book and leaves

Michael cannot stand simply waiting so he talks Lucy into experimenting with the book, if this was done by vampire hunters then she should be able to also activate it and together they have to be able to help Arthur and Darcy

The two of them run after Seward and tell him their plan, he reluctantly gives them the book and rides off to still call in reinforcements

Lucy and Michael isolate themselves into a room to make sure that nobody else gets affected and Lucy begins reading the first page with nothing happening

Michael gets close to her and tells her to try to read it out loud, no matter if she knows what she’s doing or not

The two of them feel dizzy and everything goes black before they wake up in a snow clad mountain forest, but just like Darcy neither of them minds the cold

Michael immediately looks around for signs of Darcy or Arthur but does not find anything, Lucy spots the cabin and Damien starts jumping over there until Lucy waves at him telling him she is wearing the wrong type of dress for this so she’ll need a ride

Damien brings her to the door and then checks into the cabin as Pretty, not finding any trace of Arthur and Darcy, after that he investigates the wood shack outside but also finds no traces

Getting more and more agitated he nearly rushes off without Lucy to get down from the mountain but she reminds him that she needs another ride

Just as Arthur and Darcy the two of them run into the barrier and when Lucy points out the strange sensation and disorientation, Damien climbs a tree only to notice that they have been brought up the mountain even further than where they started

Lucy suggests checking at a 90-degree angle but it avails to the same results

Now utterly frustrated Damien tries to simply figure out if it snowed over the tracks and after rushing back to where they appeared (with Lucy rubbing his ears and trying to calm him down) he begins to dig down to see if maybe he overlooked something

Lucy tries to talk him into patience and that she can take another look once the sun goes down, which makes them realize that the sun has not moved at all since they arrived

Lucy has had it with being outside and in the sun, so she asks him to at least let her wait in the cabin

Clearing the snow from the entrance he opens the door for her but she reminds him that she cannot enter without him inviting her, prompting him to distract himself by starting a debate on what would count as home and needing an invite and what would not

While he looks around the cabin he also finds the vampire hunter kit and in contrast to Darcy, Lucy hisses and backs away when he opens it

At first reluctant to just throw it out because maybe not all vampire hunters are bad Lucy is rather insistent on getting rid of it and only agrees to look through the notes if he brings the box outside

Putting it in the shed he returns to find Lucy has noticed the bible on the nightstand and is sitting as far from it as she can, so he puts it out of the cabin as well

She looks over the notes but reminds him that it is her husband who has the language knowledge, although she can tell that it is the same language as in the book that brought them here

Between the two of them they decide that the most likely point of the trap is for the hunters to arrive at some point, so they settle in for the wait, planning to ambush the hunters by Lucy (who shouldn’t be able to be in the cabin as a vampire) playing the poor damsel and Pretty lying in invisible wait

Michael asks how long she can survive without blood and given that she cannot sleep here she estimates three days and when Michael tells her that he could give her goblets with his blood she is disgusted and decides it’s worth it having to potentially explain why she bit Michael to Darcy

Not looking forward to just waiting with nothing to do Lucy starts into exchanging raunchy stories with Michael while they sit in ambush

In the other cabin meanwhile Darcy is keeping her distance from Arthur feeling herself getting to the point of hunger where she knows she is doing things she doesn’t notice, well, neither does Artie

But he does notice that she is trying to protect him and also that she really tried to make passable breakfast with the ginormous amount of oatmeal he is getting

Wondering if he can maybe find some changes around the magic Arthur dons his bear pelt poncho, and fancy skirt shawl before fighting his way around the high snow for an hour

When he comes back in Darcy takes one look at his sodden pants and puts her foot down: “Arthur, take your pants off!”

Lacking any towels in the cabin she takes the remaining top of her dress off (both of them are utterly ignoring the fact that she is running around him in her underwear now) so he can rub himself dry while she makes him warm tea

With her having retreated away from him as far as she can in the tiny cabin he decides to study the annotated bible in the vampire hunter kit and the day goes by with him learning a lot of anti-necromancy theories that he would like to check against some actual books

Having still not come any closer to finding a way out, which he is convinced exists, he tries with Darcy to reconstruct the first sentence in the book that brought them there

Still too terrified about the implications she refuses to even consider his question if she needs to eat, and actually pleads with him to not invite her powers so that he is safe in the cabin, so that he could lock her out if need be, and to please stake her if she is trying to hurt him, he has the vampire hunter kit after all

He just shakes his head in disbelief and insists that she won’t hurt him before he is too tired to go on and retires

The next morning he awakes with a kiss from her and her breasts right in front of his face, prompting him to realize that she definitely needs to get something to eat, so he tries to get to the kitchen and cut his arm

Only to be stopped by her inhuman speed, taking the knife out of his hand, and cooing at him that there is no reason to get hurt

Feeling really awkward but not fully threatened by her wrapping her arms around him from behind he offers her his arm and when she asks if that is an invitation, he nods, making her fangs immediately appear

She effortlessly lifts him up into her arms and carries him over to the bed, sitting him down on her lap sideways, holding him with one arm while gently lifting his wrist to her lips with the other

Contrary to his fears when she actually does bite him it does not hurt at all, but fills him with a feeling of comfort, affection, and protection (internally he confesses that this actually feels nice)

Being hungry but still very much protective of him she has no trouble stopping herself before it becomes critical for him, but given how hungry she was she still ends up taking half his blood, leaving him feeling weak and dizzy and her gently holding him in her arms talking to him and apologizing

It takes him a bit to get the concentration together to heal himself and when he is done he shuffles out of her grasp but does not fully flee

Deciding breakfast might be a good idea he starts walking over when he suddenly feels the world going dark around him again, which makes him immediately lunge back towards Darcy, who with her speed is wrapping her arms protectively around him before he even fully turns around

In the other cabin Michael and Lucy also feel the tell-tale signs of a teleport and Pretty jumps on her lap

The first thing they see is Darcy in her underwear holding a bear pelt wrapped Arthur in her arms

Michael rushes over and hugs both of them, when Darcy starts thanking him for saving them Seward cuts in: Not him, this time it was me.

Before Darcy can turn to her father a melodious deep male voice chimes in: “Well, actually, it was me.”

To her horror there is a very aristocratic man standing next to her father, holding the magic book under his arm, and she is very glad when Michael interposes himself between them and hands his vest to her to cover her nudity

The man nods towards her but then addresses Lucy as his fiancée, effectively giving Michael the opening he needs to get Darcy out of the room because she needs to clean up before being properly able to greet the guest

Michael helps her wash up, and get herself presentable while she is panicking about having bitten Arthur, and even when Michael tries to shift the topic and calm her down by pushing for more romantic directions she circles back to the topic, being even more outraged about that then about Lord Arthur Holmwood, the vampire hunter, being in her house

To his astonishment, when he mentions the altercation with her father Darcy takes Seward’s position instead of being offended with it

She eventually shoos Michael out of the room to check on Artie, who she is afraid must be traumatized by what she did

Said Artie ran down to his lab to grab his armour right after cleaning himself up and is meeting Michael on the stairs, being rather dismissive at the question about being traumatized

He is much more concerned about the man in their house, leading the two boys to eavesdrop in on the conversation between Lord Arthur and Lucy, Seward is not contributing much apart from sounds of anguish

Lord Arthur is clearly furious and hurt about having been lied to by Seward, having been denied knowing that his love is neither dead nor doomed, and that she even has a daughter

The boys can’t help but snicker at some of Lucy’s quips at the two men

Pretty and Artie suddenly hear the beginning of Darcy cussing them out for eavesdropping before she suddenly stops, throws her hands in the air and tells them to scoot over so she can listen in too

Arthur has to hold both hands before his face and Pretty bites a paw not to burst out laughing at Darcy actually joining them

Lucy meanwhile has, of course, noticed the kids outside, and after another poignant remark points out that they should let the children back in, leading to two sudden transformations back into human form and all three being several feet away from the door when Seward rushes to open it (everything just not to be under Lord Arthur’s gaze anymore)

Michael does the formal introduction, making it clear that he considers Darcy the head of the household, and closely observing Lord Arthur’s emotions

The man asks for the right to claim old friendship with the family and to be allowed to stay the night to at least assist with the book problem and Michael can feel no anger at Darcy in him, in fact, to him it feels as if the man is filled with regret, longing, and pain

Darcy, with input from both her mother and Michael, grants the request and Lucy volunteers to bring Arthur to his old room

Seward looks like he is considering taking his old morphium habit back up at the sight of Lucy easily striking up a friendly conversation with her old flame, and Darcy follows him to take care of her papa

John sticks his head into the room right before she leaves because he didn’t want to intrude on the adults but he needed to see for himself that she is well, of course, standing next to her now he is a bit shy again, leading to a group hug between Michael, Darcy, and John

The three boys alone end up going down to the kitchen and when Artie mentions that Darcy is some kind of vampire princess John does make a comment about her being pretty in a tiara, which only gives Arthur another unwanted data point…

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Whitby Vandals 23: We will always have the Nexus ...
The SFW parts of the honeymoon

After about three days of high exertion and emotions our happy couple finally needs a break, and the moment Darcy actually tries to sleep she is out like a light

Michael wakes up in the early evening and not wanting to disturb Darcy takes a stroll outside the castle

On the other side of the lake, he sees pretty lights dancing in the evening forest

At first, he has his wits together to not follow, and when he feels that his mind is being magically drawn he tries to run back into the house but gets magically convinced that the lights just harmlessly want to play so he jumps across the lake to follow them deeper into the woods

Darcy wakes up and is wondering as to why Michael did not react to the first word she says being his name

Given that this is Michael she decides he’s playing a game of hide and seek with her, and willing to cheat a bit, she turns wolf

Having searched everywhere, including every tiny nook Pretty could squeeze in, she notices the trail outside, but even after a bat flight around the island she still cannot find him

When calling for him and saying that she is getting scared still does not lead to him showing up she, in the complete isolation of the island, utters one single curse word, before she overcomes herself and calls for Lionel and help

He strolls around a corner and once he follows the magic trail he says some words in a language Darcy cannot understand but make her blush anyway

He assures her that normally the ones that kidnapped her husband aren’t dangerous, but Darcy insists on going to rescue her husband

Lionel holds out a hand and she reluctantly takes it, allowing her to walk across the lake as if it was solid ground (which is exactly what she mumbles under her breath over and over to stave off her horror at the lake)

In the forest she turns wolf to follow Michael’s trail, getting more and more annoyed because it is meandering all over the place before suddenly breaking off because, of course, Pretty had to teleport around, so she has to search around in widening circles for every instance

Slowed down like that enough time goes by for Darcy to forget herself

When Lionel notices claw marks up a massive tree he tries to reassure her (clearly being nervous though) and telling her to stay back should he have to engage

Taking the wolf’s confusion as insult he points out that he doesn’t think she is a coward or anything

When asked to turn back to her human form the wolf does not remember that she can do that, and with Lionel seemingly getting agitated about that she goes to calm him down, nuzzling him and pushing her head under his hand

Lionel tries again, even forming mist into a transformation from wolf to human, which gets the wolf to remember that she can do that… leading to Darcy sitting on the ground, with Lionel petting her hair

Nearly falling over backwards in her struggle to get away she gets up and tells him that this never happened, blushing furiously of course, but also tells him that yes, she understood what he said about the Shadow Walker

Deciding that it is better if he takes the trail Lionel turns into a white fox and Darcy has to keep her concentration together to not coo over him, that wouldn’t do at all

Deeper into the woods they come across their foe, twenty meters up in the canopy, glowing yellow eyes the only thing visible in the shadows

Lionel turns back and actually shows more power than usual, including looking less human than normal

He holds his ground against the Shadow Walker, who is telling the princeling to leave now, by explaining that a friend was lured away by the wisps (Darcy just might have melted a bit at Lionel calling Michael friend and talking about loyalty) and then going on to say that the outcome of a fight would not be certain

The Shadow Walker gives them an hour

Lionel says that should they not find Michael he will bring her back to the island and return alone, she tries to reassure him that they will manage

Lionel is clearly breaking the laws of physics on how fast he follows the trail and the two of them arrive on a clearing with a wisp struggling to fly but its light is going on and off

Darcy is torn between helping the pitiful creature and wanting to step on it because they abducted Michael, Lionel with a sigh lifts it up and heals it before telling it to scoot

Perplexed that they didn’t question it Darcy learns that wisp memory only is good for a few minutes

Lionel has noticed something else though and hands Darcy a rock off the ground

Inspecting what looks like a scratched version of Michael’s knight sigil with an arrow Darcy frowns and tells Lionel that they better go after him because he clearly got it in his head that he has to rescue somebody

They don’t get very far as Darcy gets barreled over by Damien right the moment after
As overjoyed as she is to have him again, she does feel a little bit as if her rescue got stolen

Given that the ultimatum is still over their heads Darcy tells him to postpone the recounting of his adventure for when they are back to safety. He wants to reassure her in her heroic deed and says that she can tell him her side of the story. Noticing her strong internal “NOPE” reaction he now really wants to hear it

Lionel goes right to work reinforcing the wards, making the lake burn with blue flames, while Michael and Darcy shelter themselves back into their small castle

With his head on her lap he recounts the story of how he tried to resist the wisps but once they got him he found himself chasing after them until they brought him to a clearing and he felt them drain his energy out of him (Darcy wishes she did stomp on the injured wisp)

When he changed to Damien and swatted at them while roaring they fled though

He tried following his trail back, finding just as she did that tracking teleporting Pretty is a pain to track, so he had trouble returning

On his way he noticed something he calls cat-bear and Darcy recognizes as a young Shadow Walker from his description, fighting with some wisps

Not sure about the situation Damien turns Michael for a bit to feel the emotions, finding anger and fear in the Shadow Walker he changes back to Damien and scares off the wisps

Given that the youngling cannot walk he brings him back to his mother and siblings, but first leaves the rock for Darcy

The mother wasn’t fond of him, although the pups seemed to like playing with him, so she sets him in front of the door for Lionel and Darcy to find

Having brought her up to speed he now pokes her to tell her story, which she does, omitting her cursing and the wolf episode completely, and when he tries to figure out her embarrassment she succeeds in misdirecting his attention to when she had to hold Lionel’s hand. Michael seems disappointed but lets it go remembering that she didn’t have breakfast yet

She decides to try to help him in the kitchen and during the remainder of the now uneventful honeymoon she has learned at least the basics of breakfast

On the last day she sneaks out of bed to bring him breakfast, and he pretends to sleep through the ruckus she, of course, manages to produce before “waking up” delighted to her surprise

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Whitby Vandals 22: White Wedding
November the 5th

Lucy and Michael prank Arthur by replacing the vows with the ones they wrote, Arthur goes green, puts the paper down, notices them, and the paper goes up in smoke

Darcy at one point walks into Lucy fanning a fainted Seward and Michael stirring a strong tea, she decides it’s best not to ask

At one point Arthur and Darcy are checking through all the paperwork for the fifteenth time, and Darcy notices that even Arthur is nervous, prompting her to get all teary eyed and give him a tight hug sobbing about how amazing of a little brother he is and how much she appreciates all he is doing for her and how much she appreciates him

Michael gets so nervous and obnoxious on the last day because he is not allowed to see Darcy that John and Arthur drag him to the lake to get him to relax

Lucy has to use her vampire powers to get Darcy to sleep the evening before the wedding, only to wake her up at 3 in the morning in order to get her hair and make-up ready

The early start is worth it as even Arthur can notice how stunning she looks when Seward walks her down the aisle and starts being afraid that Michael might forget his vows given how stunned he looks

Robin seems to keep it together as well as he starts the ceremony with recounting watching the unlikely couple fall in love, overcoming both station and appropriateness (Darcy lets it slip)

Seward gasps at the breach of protocol when Robin asks Darcy first if she wants to take Michael to be her lawfully wedded husband, for her to reply with these vows:

Yes, I do.
From this day forward I promise you these things:
I will laugh with you in times of joy and comfort you in times of sorrow.
I will share in your dreams, and support you as you strive to achieve your goals.
I will listen to you with compassion and understanding, and speak to you with encouragement.
I will help you when you need it, and step aside when you do not.
I will remain faithful to you with the moon and sun as my witnesses.
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
when you are my vigilant demon.
If your path is dark, I will light your way.
If you are threatened by the storm, I will be your shelter.
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
when you are my caring feline.
I you fall, I will lift you up.
If you lack the strength to go on, I will carry you.
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
when you are my courageous man, and my husband.

Lucy has to calm down Seward at the word demon, but said demon is deeply touched by her words and answers being asked if he wants her to be his lawfully wedded wife with:

Yes, I do.
When we first met, you seemed out of reach, a princess rescued from a dark castle,
and I saw you struggle and grow through trials that would have broken other people.
You are an amazing person, and I love you, and from this day forward, I promise you this:
I will always be a safe rock for you to stand on
I will always remind you how wonderful you are
I will respect you as an individual, a partner, and an equal.
I will make you laugh
and I promise to always love you
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
I will always fight at your side and protect you if you need it
I will provide a furry shoulder to lean on if you need it
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
I will always be your faithful companion, ready to listen when you need it
I will always be there to warm you if you need it
I will walk beside you all the days of my life,
when you are my strong woman, and my wife.

John presents the rings, one in gold with intricate cat, tiger, and heart engravings, and one in wood, bone, and red gold wire

After exchanging the rings Robin asks the congregation if anybody wants to risk death by objecting to the marriage and after waiting for a few heart beats declares them wife and husband (another gasp from Seward)

Darcy is crying happy tears at the kiss, Michael is making it not a very chaste kiss, and Arthur first tries to look away before kicking Michael in the chin to remind him that there are people present

The couple is walking down the aisle to the coach given that they cannot really leave the mansion they decided to have the ride from the ceremony to the breakfast buffet

Michael is making her aware of the little hidden hearts on her ring, and Darcy then smiles at him and asks him if he recognizes the material

It takes him a bit to figure out that it is bone, and she asks him if he remembers the night she was really drunk and he got angry because she was hurt… it clicks that the bone is her own, and when she tells him that the wood is from his parents’ rocking chair Michael is rather glad that he can walk ahead into the sun room so that nobody notices that he is tearing up

Wedding cake (yes, one layer is a massive honey cake) and mingling later everybody is pretending not to look for Arthur to be able to do his duty and abduct the couple to their honey moon

He leads them down to the nexus where Lionel, with his full fairy wings showing, waits in front of fairy tale carriage

That is the exact moment Darcy decides to stop disliking him

Michael and her give Arthur a last hug and Darcy implores him to keep Lucy away from John before the two of them get in the carriage

Lionel drives them through the magical forest to a crystal lake with an island in the middle, with a tiny castle just for them

The carriage drives directly across the water producing little rainbows at the ripples the horses’ hoofs and the wheels make

Lionel opens the door with a special key for them and tells them that all wedding gifts and luggage is in the bed room, but his gift is the other room, before he leaves them alone to explore their honey moon castle

Darcy is close to fainting when she sees that the room Lionel meant is a fully equipped play room with dozens of toys all emblazoned with the Westenra family crest

Of course, the two of them get up to shenanigans during their honey moon

But for everybody else, it seems as if they are back the next morning, fey lands are interesting like that on time moving differently

Darcy is walking with a constant slight skip in her step and to Arthur’s horror, Michael’s more relaxed attitudes seem to have rubbed off on Darcy… who utterly does not notice that she made a sex joke in front of her father when her mother is pestering Michael for details on the honey moon…

Darcy also surprises everybody by walking up to Lionel and giving him a hug and at a more private moment she tells him that she should strangle him for the gift but instead thanks him with a grin, and tells him that his wings are really pretty, to which he blushes to her surprise

Darcy also only too late realizes that she thanked Arthur openly about making sure that Lucy doesn’t eat John, so Michael goes over to the slightly confused John who looks a bit shocked at the revelation that Lucy is a vampire

Darcy comes over too and when he asks if that means she isn’t a werewolf gives him a fanged, embarrassed smile, telling him that she is a dhampir because her father is human

Michael, wanting to make sure that John isn’t afraid of Darcy says that she only him, and gets intrigued at the slight annoyance spike from Darcy’s emotions at that

Deciding that they have to get back to planning Darcy is taking a walk with Arthur to discuss the reception, both of them are not happy at the thought of so many people in the castle

When they discuss that the duchess is probably going to be the highest ranked person they try to make themselves feel better by saying that at least Michael didn’t invite Duke Stark

And speak of the devil, Michael appears because he heard his name, Arthur tries to cover by saying they were just talking about seating arrangements and comes up with the most boring things to talk about only to have Michael ask where the Duke would sit

Both Darcy and Arthur quickly say that it would be much too late to invite him now, to which Michael happily counters that he already did exactly that the last time he was in London, it wasn’t even difficult, he just walked in and talked to him

Arthur and Darcy are horrified, and Arthur begins to smack Michael over the head with his notebook for being so stupid and putting himself in such danger

Darcy asks him to hit Michael a few times from her as well because she doesn’t want to start a domestic

Michael defends himself that it was a joke, he, of course, used all the necessary formality in a letter of invitation

The two of them think they are doomed and frantically try to figure out how to get professional staff at such short notice who also won’t gossip about the household, Michael walks off contemplative

Wondering if they could get fey staff they decide to split to cover more ground, with Arthur going to ask Lionel for help and Darcy is trying to get started in on the necessary paperwork to increase the profile of the reception to accommodate for a direct friend of the queen

Arthur finds Lionel already talking to Michael who had the same thought about fey staff but Lionel says that’s an idea wrought with potential pranks and makes a counter suggestion

Grabbing Darcy they follow Lionel to a special room high up in the castle, only unlockable with another enchanted key

The room is filled with objects under glass domes, and Lionel points out a bell that can summon the staff of the castle throughout the centuries for a limited time before needing years to recharge

“Ghost staff? We can do that!” Darcy and Arthur agree that he is a life saver and thank him

Darcy also tells him that she would find it inappropriate if he was the head butler because he is part of the household, he and Lynette need to be guests

Happy to be invited Lionel says they can be eccentric nobles for Russia again like they did 30 years ago at one of Queen Vic’s receptions

Happy to have the staff covered Arthur and Darcy get to work on the other arrangements

While Darcy is working in her office Michael brings in tea and snacks, nothing unusual, but Darcy knows him well enough by now to notice that he has something to say, so she puts her work aside to give him her full attention

He asks her to please trust him more, he would never do something that could hurt her or Arthur, so of course, he would not simply walk up to a member of Excalibur

She sighs and tells him that she always panics with social events, so she wasn’t thinking rationally, she does trust him and is sorry if it seemed otherwise

He accepts that and tells her that he actually did several things before talking to the Duke

Given that nobody ever showed up at the castle about potentially arresting them he wanted to find out what the situation with the police and them was, so he went to London and, together with Harker, read up on the case for the prison break

Yes, they had been of interest to the Yard, but given that she a while later re-appeared and not only took possession of her ancestral lands but performed her duties without any reason for complaint they were not of prime interest any longer

When a noble, Michael suspects the duchess, came in and gave character testimony for them the case about their potential involvement in the Pride’s prison break was all but filed

Accompanied by one of Harker’s clerks he did go to the police and testify that they were there to visit family and simply tried to get away from the Pride when it appeared they were fleeing from Excalibur

The inspector believes him and clears them of all suspicion, they are free to return to London if they want, without fear of prosecution

Michael wanted to ensure that the same goes for Excalibur, and given that the Duke already interacted with them at the duchess’ place, Michael sent him a polite letter while also mentioning where they know each other from

The Duke seemed to actually remember and invited Michael for tea and was delighted at the mention of the wedding reception and wanted to come as well as bring along his other tea guest, Sir Dr. Strange, sorcerer supreme to the Queen

Michael, of course, cannot say no to that, and that is how the invitation actually went, in other words, he did not break decorum at all and now he can bring Darcy to the London theatre

She blinks for a moment, unsure if the entire story was a windup to get to that last sentence, but then is relieved at him not only really following protocol, but also being cleared of police investigation

She thanks him and the two of them spend the next hour with another sickeningly sweet lovebird conversation before she goes back to figuring out what is needed for the reception

One of the things that Darcy realizes needs doing is John’s training as her official head of security, when she inquires he tells her that Michael is already training him

She is more than skeptical about having those two alone because she smells a major prank setup, so she insists on sitting in on a lesson

Michael has been scheming the last few days which means that Darcy is low on blood during the lesson, which just so happens to include dancing

As per usual when she is hungry her body is doing things without her mind noticing, leading to her dancing rather closely and intimately with John, who has a very teenage male reaction to it, after looking over to Michael in terror of being in trouble

Darcy can feel the reaction against her and grabs Michael for a walk

“You are setting me up for something? I’m doing something I don’t notice again, aren’t I?!”

After them having a rather strange conversation about Michael knowing how much she likes John, and him cheating by reading her emotions at some lewd suggestions he is making and Darcy finally panicking into just letting him decide what is best, he tells her to wait in her room and burn a bit more blood

Being nervous Darcy might have gone a tad overboard on that given that a very insecure John finds Darcy lounging on her couch with her dress having slipped off one shoulder, an ankle showing, and her smile revealing fangs

Michael is locking the door behind him and making sure that John at no time is doing something he does not want to, Michael and Darcy are seducing John together, with the dangerous dhampir being securely tied up of course

Hours later Michal carries John to bed and tugs him safely in before returning to Darcy who is utterly flabbergasted at what just happened

The next morning finds Michael and Darcy in a playful mood with Pretty chasing a rat down the corridor, only for the rat to turn giant once he pounces on her

Now it is Pretty running from the rat past John’s door who tries to rescue the cat and stands his ground in front of the monster rat, who has sat down on its hind legs and cocking its head before starting to have a giggle fit at John telling her that she cannot eat the cat

Pretty says that’s not going to be a problem, which makes John realize that it’s Michael, looking at the rat and asking hesitantly: “Darcy?”

The rat shrinks to normal size and runs up his body to sit on the opposite shoulder to where Pretty has made himself comfortable

When Arthur walks past that with a cup of tea and some honey cakes he just shakes his head and greets them

Pretty, spotting the honey cakes, jumps over on his shoulder and starts begging for one

Arthur informs him that those aren’t good for him as a cat, which prompts Michael to shift into human form, making Arthur topple over, spilling his tea before Michael catches him

John doesn’t have much time laughing before Darcy mimics Michael’s joke and when he sighs that the two of them definitely fit together she whispers in his ear (with a smirk) that Michael isn’t the only one that fits before she runs off giggling

Arthur’s brain puts two and two together and he really wishes it didn’t

When Darcy is on her best behaviour with him at the breakfast table that is all the confirmation he needed and he really wants some brain bleach now

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Whitby Vandals 21.5: Relationship Talks again
Alternative title: What happens when you leave Torsten and Cara alone in a room for an hour

Michael brings tea to Darcy in her room because he noticed that she felt unhappy with something about him

When he asks her about it, she is genuinely confused and he has to give her several hints before she can pinpoint which emotion he noticed

It turns out that the negativity he felt was Darcy beginning to wonder if she’s just a silly girl with how important the wedding is to her because Michael always keeps calm, so clearly it doesn’t have much of an impact on him

Michael vehemently shakes his head and goes down on a knee while taking her hand to reassure her that he is definitely nervous but wanted to be her rock, and that this is incredibly important for him, too

Giggling and touched Darcy feels a whole lot better now

Despite how romantic it is she asks him to get over to the couch with her, instead of staying on his knee

They snuggle and Michael admits to partially also not wanting Arthur to tease him if he showed his nervousness, to which Darcy counters that they could always get him back when and if he ever marries

Michael chuckles but wants to make sure that she knows how important the wedding really is to him, and when she tries to explain herself that she is so nervous because she’s only going to have one wedding after all, well, unless of course he would at some point divorce her…

He grows very serious and basically reacts as if that isn’t even an option at all, but he also very quietly mentions that he wants her to be happy and not alone. Darcy gets that he is basically hinting that he might die as her knight and puts her foot down on nothing going to happen to her demon-prince and her already having said that she won’t let him go anywhere alone anymore!

She tells him how lucky and happy she is to have him and they end up bickering about who is luckier and who would be more of a scandal. Darcy is pointing out that even her parents basically both said that she is lucky to have somebody who accepts her despite her condition, and Michael (angry at her parents) counters that he is the one with the horrible past

They reassure each other in their usual adorable way

She asks if it went over well to ask John to be ring bearer and is very relieved that he took it well

Michael takes the opportunity to try to make her feel better about him clearly having noticed that she likes John but she diverts the topic only to end up at Michael noticing that she is jealous at the thought of her mother being left alone with John for two weeks during their honey moon, which she utterly and totally denies

She then remembers that Lynette is her bride’s maid and gets flustered again about everybody, including the house, knowing what she is doing with Michael, at least Seward and John don’t and in two days it won’t have to be unofficial any longer

Two more days, AHHHHHH!

Deciding that they both need a diversion Michael is throwing her over his shoulder, to giggling protest and wiggling

When they arrive in their play room Darcy is stopping him though because as much as she would just like to get to the fun, she has noticed something and she finds it too important to talk about their relationship to improve to not mention it

When she confronts him about why it is always Damien, not Michael when she asks for harsher play he confesses that he still struggles, that despite being able to feel her reactions and her enthusiastic exclamations he cannot overcome the fact that he is hurting her

She immediately apologizes and is worried about having seduced him to sin, and that he does not have to do it if he does not want to. After all, she does not want him to just go along with it, she wants him to want it, she cannot stand the thought of forcing him to do anything he is uncomfortable with

He tells her that he will just need to get more used to it, and compares using Damien to using a life jacket when learning to swim

Opening the toy box he gifted her, he suggests to go slow and just give him time

She asks him to please reign her in if she gets pushy because she knows that she has trouble doing it herself, wondering if that is just her or the dhampir condition

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Whitby Vandals 21: He just wants to play ... I think.
(15 XP after)

Michael asks John at the lake if he wants to be ring bearer which John is only too happy to be

John also learns how strong Michael really is because the attempt to tackle him into the water goes about as well as trying to barrel over a tree

Back at the house Michael tries to console Darcy who has decided that pranks are for boys and is sulking about having utterly embarrassed herself

Michael tries to take her mind off it by getting her to practice their reception dance again with him (which reminds her that John needs a dance instructor and it will NOT be Lucy), and other diversions…

At the breakfast table Darcy is still trying to hide a bit from John who at one point leans over and asks her if she is angry with him. Him being adorable only makes it worse of course, and she tells him it’s fine, it’s just a girl embarrassment thing, and he asks concerned if he embarrassed her. Her emotions go haywire (prompting a look from Michael) before she tells him, no, just herself, he didn’t do anything

Robin strolls in, gets welcomed by Darcy and non-chalantly just sits down and starts eating while saying he isn’t really home, just a part of him but couldn’t teleport in because the house seems to not recognize him, and as a split off part he cannot do his normal tricks (to Darcy’s great relief)

She introduces John and her mother, who of course has to comment on liking Robin’s clothing

Robin seems nearly overwhelmed with the complexity of a simple timetable for when he has to be where at the wedding

There is a second knock and this time Michael comes back looking serious, so Darcy and Arthur get up, so does John after being prompted by Darcy

Darcy finds an older villager who introduces himself as Garth from the town of Duke’s Well (population 400 -3)

He gives them the following information: cloud of darkness monster comes out at night, sometimes takes people, sometimes kills them, two weeks, 13 victims (3 dead, 10 disappeared), different ages, scratches but fits into houses

Darcy orders Arthur to the library, Michael helps to carry all the books, and John gets instructed in his newfound title of Steward

Garth starts a bit of a commotion when he sees Damien and lifts a rifle, which Arthur dryly comments on: “Please don’t shoot the knight of the house.”

Sitting in the coach Arthur and Darcy manage to sidetrack themselves into a debate about it technically possibly being a fabled shadow dragon and Arthur gets way too excited at the idea of finding a dragon

With a bit of self restraint the two of them get back to putting other options on the list as well

Michal pops his head into the coach and gives them a bit more info he got from Garth: Disappearances first, 3 dead, death started 4 days after disappearances, dead persons eviscerated but not eaten

Duke’s Well is more a fort than a proper village, which makes Darcy comment: “We have something that basically looks like a castle, Arthur, put the dragon higher on the list again.” Arthur looks way too excited about that

Gwyneth, the woman running the village and wearing pants (scandalizing Darcy, even worse when they come to her home and find her bookish husband, Darius, making tea while his wife is out greeting the noble and while he presents the case he is distraught and has to be comforted by his wife):

Oldest 70, youngest 8, 6 male, 4 female (disappeared), plus 3 dead adults, all over the village, never more than one at a time (always alone in the room while the other people in the house slept through it), guards are falling asleep, scratches seem not like claws but skin protrusions, no sign where the beast gets through the palisade, all the dead are grown-ups, 6 of the disappeared were adolescent (under 15), all disappeared are relatively short, whereas two of the dead are large

Arthur and Michael follow Gwyneth to see the eviscerated bodies, while Darcy gets treated to an engaging talk and tour of Darius’ grain breeding project, she finds herself jealous of the boys

After ten days of preservation in a cold running stream the bodies are not all that lovely to work with but Arthur works through the investigation: person killed with tool, not claws, evisceration seems to be done later, somebody might be hiding their murders because something is making people disappear

Arthur draws a map of the village once they start investigate the attack sights, trying to see any pattern but apart from Michael thinking it looks like a bunny it seems random

The scratches they find seem to be from something dull

The doors aren’t broken and no signs of forced entry, but once inside it scratches the walls in tighter spots, it makes it way upstairs and then seems to leave through the window

Arthur can feel strong magic: Concealment (the dark), mind magic (sleep), movement (flight)

Arthur is hanging out the window (held by Michael) when a 12 year old girl is clearly thinking they are being silly, with Arthur telling her that despite his age he is Lady Westenra’s scholar

They climb up to the roof, followed by the girl, and Arthur finds the same magic mix but older, prompting Michael to suspect it casing the place

When they jump off the roof there is a faint but distinct “Michael!” shout coming from the direction of the grain field, but Michael only gives it a little “oops”

When checking the door again, Arthur notices movement magic and asks Pretty to teleport for comparison, but that smells differently to Arthur’s sense of magic

The girl has followed and is petting Pretty, who is still keeping up the conversation with Arthur, who does remark after Pretty is plopping down on the girl’s lap: “Don’t let your fiancée see that.” “That’s just cuddling, that’s fine…”

Arthur figures out that the movement spell is a lock picking spell

The boys return to Darcy who is starting to wonder if turning to dust under the sun might be preferable to having to listen to any more grain talk, so she is more than happy to be rescued by Michael

When Michael gets a second to kiss Darcy he gets a look that says “I’ll need a lot more of those”, which he grins back with “What? Right now?”, her emotions go in two different directions: scandal and tantalization

Once Darius leaves the room, Michael does give Darcy another kiss which she reprimands him for doing in front of Arthur, and when Michael says he’ll be fine Arthur gives him a warning glance about having black-mail material

The boys bring Darcy up to speed with their investigations and she decides that Gwyneth needs to be filled in on there being a murderer in town

Gwyneth is glad that she is trusted if taken aback when told that if it had been her they would have known by now, but cannot help narrow down the possible suspects

The Vandals decide to take care of the monster first and Darcy sends Arthur and Michael to investigate all roofs to find which roof is the last that was visited, only to find that all roofs show the magic pattern

Darcy wants to fly around with Arthur at night to spot the monster, with Michael in one of the overwatch towers, and surprisingly it is Michael who is reluctant to let her because he is concerned about them getting hurt if they get put under the sleep spell

Darcy puts her foot down, saying she can heal and she’ll make sure to have Arthur land on her

Since they will need to be up later Darcy and Arthur sleep through the rest of the day

In the evening they leave town for Darcy to change unnoticed and right before letting him climb on the bat the two of them agree to not make this awkward

Holding on gently Arthur notices a darker spot in the darkness out of the village and after having picked up Michael they ascend up into the clouds before Darcy dives straight down and successfully grabs the darkness out of the air

The darkness protests: “Don’t eat me!”

Arthur takes over the talking and learns that supposedly the darkness has been rescuing villagers and if they let it go, then it will take them to them

Darcy trusts Arthur’s decision and let’s go to then follow the darkness to a cliff where Michael and Arthur can jump off and Darcy turns first small bat and then wolf

Pretty is sticking his paw in and out of the darkness, playing with it disappearing, clearly slightly annoying the darkness

When Arthur walks up, flanked by the wolf, Pretty jumps on his shoulder, and the darkness disappears to show an about horse sized, beautiful black dragon with deep blue eyes

Arthur can’t quite keep it together to Darcy’s and Michael’s amusement, after all, dragons are awesome!

When the dragon makes a statement about something seeming fishy about the Lady the wolf gives a rather indignant growl, and when the dragon then says that a druid warned him about the local lady hunting dragons Darcy has had it and turns human: “I do not! And when I get my fingers on Robin!”

That was a bit too much for the dragon who comments: “What the fuck?” Only to get fixed by a Darcy glare and told: “Language!”

Pretty loses it at that and falls off Arthur’s shoulder laughing, who himself has trouble not snickering

Seeing how merry the two are, even Darcy struggles not to giggle, but is trying to keep the discussion on the matter at hand

Arthur clarifies that it was actually Rosamund, not Robin, who set them up as the villains

They learn that the murderer is some kind of mind parasite not one of the villagers, so trapping the body alone will not help

Michael asks the dragon if he could bring Arthur back to castle Rossmore to do the necessary research (you’re welcome Arthur for getting you a ride on a dragon), while he and Darcy make sure that there is no further murder

With Lynette’s help Arthur can devise a trap for the parasite by having a spelled shut jack-in-the-box ready

Michael pretends to arrest the villain, Arthur makes the box seem like a perfect person to take over to get away, and Darcy seals the attempt by commanding via mind control that the parasite flee

While Damien brings the missing villagers back, Darcy is trying to sneak some petting on the dragon, who obliges, ending up in Michael finding Darcy cuddling the dragon

The villagers try to throw a celebration for Darcy but Michael deflects that she has important business to attend to and the families of the dead should be allowed to mourn

While Michael is driving the coach back, Arthur is excited about the dragon coming to the castle with them because they now have a castle, a knight, a dragon, and kind of a princess (at which bat-Darcy is flying a pirouette)

Once Arthur is in the coach, Darcy is racing the dragon home

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Whitby Vandals 20: The Man They Call John ...

Darcy is grumbling all the way down to the breakfast with taking furtive glances around each corner trying to avoid Lynette and Lionel at all costs

Michael helps by shooing Lionel back into the kitchen right before Darcy can notice him. The banter at the table, now including John, is relaxed up to the point when Lynette saunters into the room wishing everybody a good morning which gets Darcy to promptly drop her tea cup (which Michael catches), turn red, mumble something and try to flee. Lynette really wanted to talk to her, so Michael tries to calm her down, taking the talking over.

Lynette informs them that payment from John would mean his permanent addition to the household and asks if everybody is okay with that, which they are. Darcy’s part of the payment is that she has to protect him from mundane methods of being removed from the house which she intended to anyway

With that settled Lynette hooks arms with John and says that this will take the better part of the day before escorting him off

Michael plans a night out on the town to celebrate with John, and Darcy, terrified at letting those two alone, enlists the somewhat unwilling Arthur as a chaperone

Michael decides to run errands in London, asking if he can bring Darcy something before suddenly smirking and saying he knows what to get. She has given up on being suspicious and just readies any letters she needs to be delivered and asks him to pick up the paperwork from Harker’s

During a short break from the paperwork for her, and from studying forensics for Arthur, he takes a ride and finds a red wolf running along for a short while. When Arthur returns to the stable Lionel asks him what is going on with Darcy now, he thought the two of them finally started getting along better so now he is confused why Michael kept him away. Arthur offers that he isn’t sure but it probably would be bad to ask directly, but given the way Michael looked lately, Arthur does not want to know anyway!

Michael returns in the evening and saunters into Darcy’s office, where she is more than happy to put the paperwork to the side given that she spent the entire day on it

He puts a fancy suitcase on her desk and hands her a key with the most innocent of grins, prompting her to open the gift very cautiously… and to slam the lid right back down once she sees that he went back to the “private gift shop” and got her a full starter kit

Utterly flustered, scandalized, but secretly curious she ends up shooing him out of the room wishing him a good night out on the town. Thrown off-balance she decides that she might just as well finish the paperwork he brought home… and of course she finds herself lifting the box lid curiously after some time only to slam it down again

With the now unlocked box still standing on the table Darcy feels rather apprehensive at her mother coming into the room to discuss some more wedding details. And of course, it takes Lucy all of a second to take a peek the moment Darcy’s back is turned leading to an utterly embarrassed Darcy and a rather proud and touched Lucy at Michael being so thoughtful towards a dhampir’s increased needs, instead of just getting her flowers. As strange a Segway as that is, it brings up a heartfelt conversation about why Lucy could not be around to raise Darcy. Many vampires want dhampirs dead for the danger they pose due to their improved hunting abilities. Darcy realizes that she might have to fight vampires and how unwilling she is to do so (not fully consciously realizing that is because she copes with being a dhampir by identifying more and more with her vampiric side)

She cannot dwell on the thought for too long because there is a rather shy knock on the door, and now fully transitioned John enters the room in much better fitting clothing. The now distinctively male smell combined with her already liking him gets Darcy to blush, which makes John blush, and Lucy turn around trying her best not to laugh. The conversation between Darcy and John is awkward, if sweet, so it is for the best when Michael shows up.
Maybe not so good that he basically tells him that he looks good and starts putting an arm around him, prompting Lucy to make a nosebleed comment which Darcy takes a good while to process before cussing her brain out. Another unbidden thought is that when her mother clearly seems interested in John she gets competitive thinking: “If somebody bites him it is going to be me!”

John and Michael go to find Arthur, finding him asleep in the library, adorably lying halfway under a book he must have been reading. Trying to be gentle, Michael puts a honey cake in front of his nose, which together with the movement does wake Arthur up.

On the way out Michael does suddenly push both of them in a different direction because he is the only one who has spotted Darcy having given up on the paperwork and fighting off her “interests” and therefore having grabbed the suitcase and is on the way to her room, and Michael knows that she would not want anybody spotting her

Out in the pub, Arthur is taking up position in a corner, with a beer and hides behind his book with only occasional glances at Michael and John to make sure everything is in order. To his astonishment, he gets approached by a girl asking about his book and it turns out that she can hold a good conversation about books, making the evening more enjoyable than he was prepared it would be.

Michael meanwhile turns out to be a good wingman and John soon is dancing with all the pretty girls, and later in the evening in a corner kissing one of them

Michael does interfere a bit to John’s grumbling by pulling him away at the end of the night and on the way home (accompanied by an “ew”-sound from Arthur and him walking ahead out of earshot) tells John that he promised Darcy to make sure that John doesn’t need a shotgun wedding, and that last girl definitely wanted in his pants, before he gives John the talk

Lionel welcomes Arthur home and asks if he didn’t feel like singing, given that he can hear the drunken singing further down the road between John and Michael, and Arthur surprises him by saying that the evening was actually okay, as soon as Lionel hears that there was somebody to talk about books he smiles and nods

In the house, John ends up putting an arm around Arthur and going into a long talk about being different and how good it feels to finally be accepted. Arthur does his best to lend a sympathetic ear while steering them towards bed

Michael knocks on Darcy’s door, probably hoping for a bit of a show, but gets disappointed when she tells him she is decent and finds her rather frustrated, given that she just found out that seemingly, being a dhampir does increase your urges but also means that you need somebody to fulfill them with

“Well, you aren’t alone anymore”, comes his response with a grin. Before they can really start in they suddenly notice a tray with a notice on it. Looking perplexed at each other Darcy grabs it and reads it out to Michael, discovering that the house has had it with them and has given them a map to a specific room to please play in from now. Darcy is embarrassed about even the house commenting on her sex life but Michael is in stitches. While they are trying to gather themselves her mirror suddenly swings aside with a clicking sound, revealing a hidden passage likely leading down to the dungeons and their room

Peeking down the passage Darcy hints that this is his chance now. Still being somewhat uncomfortable around the whole consent issue Michael does ask if she wants him to throw her over his shoulder and she pouts that him asking is sort off ruining the point of her hinting. Overcoming his second thoughts he obliges her. At the end of the tunnel they find a door with a key in the lock and another key on the ring, the two keys put together form a heart, and open the door to a room that is clearly meant for their special needs, with the bed seemingly having incorporated some of the initial dungeon furnishings…

The next morning, as long as he doesn’t think too hard on it, even Arthur is amused by Darcy’s grin slipping off her face every time her father looks in her direction, Lucy is snickering at the display, and John is nursing a headache and vehemently (supported by Arthur) declining to repeat the song from yesterday

A letter is delivered and it turns out to be Harker informing them that the Arthur’s Cove case is settled, declaring Darcy the official owner of the cove and all buildings therein. Overjoyed she asks Arthur to help her start in on setting up the necessary paperwork to bring a school to the community. Harker also asks for permission to send a clerk to help with the large number of ongoing cases and apologizes for the inconvenience so shortly before a joyous occasion. Darcy can’t help but ask her mother if the man was always so formal, which Lucy answers that he is a good man, she guesses, if boring.

For once Darcy couldn’t mind less having to do some paperwork, after all, it is such a lovely day and everything is wonderful

When she does take a break for a midday run, she notices voices from her mother’s room and immediately recognizing Michael’s raised voice she investigates to find Lucy is using vile and vigor to get Damien and Pretty into their wedding outfits for fitting, if he wants to or not. Amused that her mother for once is more interested in putting clothes on Michael than get him out of them, she has trouble ripping herself away but finally convinces herself that it might be bad luck

Arthur took John along for his ride today and Darcy is apprehensive about showing her wolf-self, so for a while she runs along in the underbrush, being loud enough (of course) to alert both to something being there

Wanting to try out one of those pranks the boys are so fond off she jumps out of the woods and at the horses when Arthur mentions that there might be wolves on the manor grounds

Having startled John enough for him to fall out of the saddle Darcy is too afraid for him to get hurt and supernaturally fast jumps again to catch him out of the air and bring him safely to the ground where she circles around him a few times to make sure he is okay, which only frightens him more

Arthur dismounts and reassures him that this wolf is harmless (growl), um, friendly

John notices that the wolf has the same eyes as Lady Darcy, prompting her to hide behind Arthur and looking rather sheepish, while Arthur is doing his best to give non-committal answers to his questions

Growing bolder John kneels in front of her, looking into her eyes, and Darcy decides she might just as well be in for a penny, in for a pound on the joke, and tackles him over licking his face

Bad idea… she notices his taste a bit too much, and is rather thankful she is still happy from last night, so to distract her and because Arthur deserves his own due, he is the next one getting tackled and slobbered on, prompting him to try to find out how much she still is in control of herself

Her deciding that her only way to save at least a little bit of face is to pretend to be more wolf than Darcy she does not give him any good answers. Slightly unsure he decides to turn around and bring everybody back to the castle just in case

Michael is waiting on the stable roof (making John gasp at jumping down) and grabs Darcy for a hug, getting slobbered over as well, with Arthur handing the problem over to him

Michael did see her wink and feels her mischievousness and decides the best way to get her to change back in that mood is to jump into the pond with her, resulting in nothing more than a wet wolf and a water fight

When Arthur to his utter disbelief sees that scene Michael is trying to get him involved, only to run nose first into a magic barrier and getting his wounds licked by Darcy, who at this point really is beginning to lose herself

Michael softly tells her to change, and too embarrassed to fully admit to it being her in front of John she runs off behind the house (after Michael’s shout about the floors veers her off her path to run into the house directly)

Alone now, the boys decide to actually go swimming for real and head to the lake, with John being much happier than one would expect for just going swimming, but to him it is the first time he can simply be one of the boys, so the joy of playing naked in the waters has special meaning to him

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