hellzabeth: (♛Fic: Monster Mash)
[personal profile] hellzabeth
Title: Monster Mash 13

Characters: Francis, Jeanne, Gabriel, Tino, Berwald, Antonio, Alfred, various police, Arthur and Matthew.

Rating: 18

Warnings: Blood! Explosions! Implied sex! Really bloody long chapters!

Summary: Originally inspired by this. (Link to pic for those who don't have Pixiv here.) Due to popular demand, what was a oneshot has now spawned a fic.

“Francis? Francis!”

He rolled over and pulled the covers over his head, blocking out the daylight for a few seconds longer.

“Francis! Wake up!”

He groaned wordlessly, annoyed at being woken up when it was clearly too early. It was summer; just because the sun was up didn’t mean he had to be as well. He’d been baking late into the night so he didn’t have to serve customers in the morning. Suddenly, the covers disappeared, snatched from his grasp and leaving him exposed to the comparatively cold morning air, not to mention the scrutiny of his wife, who was holding the blanket out of his reach.

“Jeanne, my darling, I love you, but this had better be good.” Francis grumbled, sitting up. His neck ached. He’d slept on it funny. A sudden idea occurred and he grinned. “Unless this is because you couldn’t contain yourself after seeing my handsome sleeping face-” she thew the blanket at him.

“Get up and dressed! There are three men downstairs who insist on seeing you.” she didn’t seem too happy with their sudden arrival either. For the wife of a baker, Jeanne was extremely strong willed, almost to the point of insolence. And Francis loved her that way. “They’re scaring away the customers with their big black wagon outside...” Now her demeanor shifted to uncomfortable. “You’ve not... done or said anything, have you Francis?”

The baker swung his legs out of bed and stood up, walking to his wife and drawing her into a hug. “No, I haven’t, but don’t worry, I’ll make sure they leave without trouble.”

Jeanne sighed, returning the hug briefly, before going to fix the mess that the bed had turned into. “You go, I’ll catch up.”

Francis did pulling on his shirt and daywear while wondering who on earth would come and see him. The rest of his family were all dead and gone, and he had no siblings, so that ruled out people delivering inheritance. He’d not done anything the night before, and the last time he’d actually got drunk was the weekend before, which had ended quite happily in bed with his wife, rather than in any trouble. He’d had no quarrels with anyone in the village, and nobody had stolen from his shop (apart from that one little urchin, but that had been sorted out quickly by Jeanne and her broom). So it wasn’t the local warden. He’d declined to join the army, since his work in the village was important and he didn’t have any particular interest in fighting the English anyway. That sort of thing would sort itself out with or without him.

Really, unless they were buying bread or he owed them money from a bet, nobody ever came to his house without warning. His friends were all similarly busy with life and would have to schedule visits between trips to the bigger cities to sell their wares. And from Jeanne’s reaction, these people were no friends of his.

He entered his small, and suddenly more cramped feeling kitchen with a neutral expression on his face. There were indeed three men in the room. One of them was playing disinterestedly with a sack of grain, watching the kernels run through his fingers like sand. Another was sitting at the table, elbows resting on the wood Francis had cut down himself and fingers interlaced. The last stood by the door to the front of the shop, the only other exit, with arms folded. While the first two were quite lean looking, the last was tall, stockily built and purposefully intimidating. All three were wearing dark cloaks, the hoods still up even inside. Francis swallowed.

“Good morning.” he greeted uncertainly. “To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from three gentlemen I don’t know?”

From under the cowl of the hood, the man at the table smiled. “Good morning.” He replied, and his accent made it obvious that he wasn’t from around here. He probably wasn’t even from this country, and his darker skin only confirmed that. He immediately put his guard up. “Please, have a seat, it’s your house after all.”

Carefully, Francis sat down in the only other chair available. It was where his wife usually sat, but the stranger had taken up his usual chair. “... might I ask who you are?”

“None of y’r bus’ness..” Grunted the large man by the door, his accent also strong but vastly different from the first man’s. The man at the table put his hand up to signal the large man to quiet down.

“Now now, no need for that.” the smile stayed affixed to his face. “My name is Gabriel. My colleagues, Berwald,” he indicated the large man, who grumbled at being named. “and Tino,” the pointed out the man playing with the grain. He looked up, but clearly didn’t understand the conversation aside from his name being mentioned. He waved, a shy smile visible under the hood. “have come to offer you a special deal.”

Francis slowly raised his eyebrows. “I’m sorry Monsieur Gabriel, but I don’t make deals with strange figures who won’t show their faces.” he smiled politely, but felt the atmosphere tense. Slowly, Gabriel reached up and pushed his hood back. A young man, maybe in his mid-twenties, sat before Francis, olive green eyes watching him carefully in the dim light, long, dark hair tied back behind his neck, though several shorter locks escaped to frame his face. He was definitely from the south, from Hispania or Portugal, if his complexion didn’t lie.

He could be summarised as moderately handsome, enough to be from nobility. If Francis weren’t married and surrounded by nosey neighbours... now wasn’t the time for that.

“Is this better, Monsieur Bonnefoy?” he asked, still putting on a friendly face which seemed increasingly forced the more Francis looked at him. A real smile would probably look better.

“Much, thank you.” he replied, resting his own elbows on the table as he leaned forward. “Now, what is this deal?”

“Nothing much, we simply require your assistance with some information.” Despite being foreign, he was quite fluent in Francis’ dialect of French. “You know most of the people in the area, correct?”

“Well, yes.” Francis admitted. “Anyone who buys bread, I know. Certainly I know all the people in this village, by sight if not by name.”

Gabriel seemed delighted by this. “Excellent. We’re searching for a fugitive from the church. They could have hidden anywhere, and they’ve evaded us for so long we’re beginning to wonder if they’ve settled down somewhere remote, such as your village.”

“... and you think I would harbor such a person?” Francis asked, frowning. Gabriel quickly shook his head, raising his hands.

“No, not at all. But as you know the locals very well, would you be able to tell us if anyone moved here recently?”

“No.” There was no hesitation. Nobody had moved here in decades. The village’s population had been decreasing, in fact, as children married out and moved to cities and neighbouring towns. “Not since I was born.”

Gabriel hummed thoughtfully, tapping his fingers against his chin.

“I see.” he sounded disappointed. Movement out of the corner of Francis’ eye caught his attention. A calico cat lept up into Gabriel’s lap, butting it’s head under his hand in a demand for affection. “Oh, Antonio.” Gabriel said, not sounding at all surprised. The cat had to be his, then. He plucked a note from the collar around it’s neck, a small gold crucifix danging off it. Opening it, his eyes scanned the page. He could read. “Hm. Is that so? Then this will be pointless. That’s a shame.” The cat meowed, jumping up onto the man’s shoulder. In a sudden movement, Gabriel stood from the table. “Well, thank you for your time, Monsieur Bonnefoy. We’ll continue our investigation elsewhere.”

Francis followed them to the door like a good host, and then watched them travel down the road until they went out of sight. His gossipy neighbours stared after them also, and Francis ducked back inside before they could start asking him questions, putting up the “closed” sign to ward off anyone else for the day. He needed to check on Jeanne.

“Jeanne? They’re gone, I made them leave, it’s alright.” He called up the stairs. “You don’t have to be scared.”

“I wasn’t scared!” came the immediate protest, then his wife slowly made her way downstairs, looking around warily. “... alright, maybe I was a little. What did they want? They wouldn’t tell me.”

Francis relayed the information quickly to her, watching her concerned frown set deeper and deeper.

“There hasn’t been anyone new in town for years...” she muttered.

“That’s what I told them. Either way, we don’t need to worry about it. They’re gone, and that’s the end of it as far as I’m concerned.” He held her close. “Today has got off to a bad start. What do you say we make it better, hm?” His hands searched lower.

Jeanne smiled in a manner that would have made the devil blush. “Vile man, do you think of nothing else?”

Francis grinned in response. “When I’m looking at such a beautiful woman, how can I?”

---

The afternoon passed in a sloth-like atmosphere, Francis lying back on his bed and gazing up at the cieling in thought as Jeanne snoozed at his side. The local priest would likely scold him for indulging in a deadly sin on a weekday, but Francis was too busy twirling a lock of his wife’s short blonde hair around his finger. Despite what he had said about the strange visitors, he couldn’t just forget about them so easily.

Firstly, they weren’t like the usual travellers that would pass through here. They were clean, which either meant that they’d set off recently from a local place (unlikely, judging from their accents), or they had attendants that would care for them. Francis wasn’t a stupid man. He had no education, couldn’t read or write, and his profession as a baker afforded him little real status. However, he was observant, and picked things up quickly. Others might say he was nosey. He preferred “inquisitive”.

What kind of person was a fugitive from the church?

Well, obviously a blasphemer of the highest order. Or a heretic, or heathen. A great number of things could set the church against you. Some days he irritably wondered if the church would start issuing guides on how to breathe right, lest they be sent to hell for that. But to set the church so against you that they started sending out strange, rag tag groups of cloaked figures to find you... one would have to pull off something big. Attempt to murder the pope, perhaps? Ah, but news of that surely would have spread here by now, and the people in cloaks had implied that they’d been searching for this person for a long time.

How long could one man hide from something like the church? Unless they fled the Christian world entirely, it would be impossible.

But those men, those hunters were looking here, so they must have had some kind of clue.

The sun was sinking below the horizon outside the window. Francis untangled himself from the bedsheets and his wife, and went to close the window before the cold night air could chill the house too much. In the dimming light of the sunset, he thought he saw one of the dark cloaked figures running at full pelt down the street, but the next second, they were gone. Nobody out there but a cat slinking it’s way out of an ally.

Huh. He didn’t think anyone in town had a cat. If it was from the next village, it was an awfully long way from home. Not that he was particularly concerned about the wellbeing of an animal, but the way it was darting about the street made it look nervous and flighty.

What’s more, if he squinted, he could make out its colours. A calico cat. Like the one from earlier.

His thoughts went no further than that, because as soon as he turned away from the window, the world turned upside down.

---

Francis came to and immediately smelled smoke. His head felt fogged with it, and he coughed and choked until his eyes watered. The ovens must have caught fire, or something like that. Damn it, they needed to get out.

“Jeanne?” He wheezed, trying to see through the clouds of black smoke. It was night outside still, but the light from the fire downstairs gave an orange outline to everything. Wait. Downstairs. Shit, he couldn’t get down the stairs, they were on fire. He scrambled to the window, pushing it open and hanging over the ledge as he gasped in the clean night air. “Jeanne!” He finally had the air to call properly. He couldn’t hear any answer, and so he took a deep breath in, and ducked back inside the house, feeling around blindly for the bed. It was empty. She must have got out. He got back to the window for more air, and only now opened his eyes fully to study how far away the ground outside was. He would have to jump, or risk burning.

He was certain it was night time, and yet the ground was bathed in an orange-yellow glow that couldn’t be coming from his house alone. Slowly he turned his gaze outward.

The whole village was aflame.

Every house was a raging fireball, like something from a depiction of hell on a church wall. There were no people on the streets, but he could hear screaming, muffled, from the other buildings. Horror made his stomach turn, and he wanted to be ill. But he had to get out of the house. Even with his legs feeling weak, he swung them out of the window, and then carefully turned. He lowered himself as far as he could go, prayed, and dropped to the ground.

He landed, and one of his ankles gave out painfully beneath him, and he lost his balance, smacking his head painfully against the cobblestones. Swearing, he dragged himself away from the house on his elbows, head spinning. He had to get away. He had to find Jeanne. If he could stare into the face of beauty even one more time, he’d be happy.

His sight was dimming. He didn’t have much time. “Jeanne...”

“Francis!”

Ah, he’d died, he could hear the voices of angels.

“Francis! Francis, don’t die!” Jeanne sounded like she was going to cry. “This is all my fault! Oh Francis, I’m so sorry. Please open your eyes!”

Blue eyes forced themselves open, though focusing was a touch more difficult. Jeanne was indeed crying, her face covered with soot and tears leaving clear tracks through the black. But even now, she was beautiful. She was cradling him close to her, and he could feel her clothes were singed at least. But she seemed unharmed otherwise. Thank goodness.

“Say something.” she pleaded. “Say anything!”

“... don’t cry, angel.” he breathed, voice sounding raspier than he intended it to. It probably didn’t assuage her fears at all. “This can’t be... your fault.”

“But it is! Francis, I’ve been lying all these years, but it had been so long since I’d found a place to be-” she sniffed, voice hitching. “- a place to be happy. You made me so happy, Francis.” She rested her forehead on his. She felt warm, feverishly so. Or was it that Francis felt cold? “But... Francis, I’m not an angel at all. I’m a witch.”

“... what?” he blinked at her, eyes refusing to focus but ears working well enough. “A... witch?”

She shuddered. “Yes. I’m much older than I look. I’ve been hiding here for years, with you. I should have moved on ages ago. But I couldn’t. I fell in love with a baker who flirted with every pretty girl that walked in his shop, even if they never replied to him.”

“Oh? Who is this man, I might have to chase him away from you.” Francis joked weakly, not sure if he believed his ears. Jeanne, a witch? The devil’s dance partner?

“This isn’t funny! The village is on fire because they were trying to smoke me out instead!” she was yelling right next to his ear, and it was probably a good thing, because everything was starting to sound distant. “Everyone is dying because of me!”

“Yes, because of you, witch.” said a new voice, and Jeanne’s head snapped up. Francis tried fight away the cold that was muffling everything, from sight to sound. “I’ve never liked witches. Especially not the kind that insist on taking others down with them.”

“I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for you damned Hunters setting everything ablaze!” she screeched at them, for Francis could hear three pairs of boots on the cobblestones.

“Damned?” a dry chuckle in cold tones. “Perhaps so, but no more than you.” There was a click of metal. “Some associates from the Orient have sent me this. It’s called a crossbow. What better to test it on than a witch? The arrow is silver, if you hadn’t guessed. Just in case.”

Jeanne started spitting out syllables that Francis had never heard before, not in French or any other language. They sent shivers down his spine, even more than the encroaching numbness in his limbs did. Whatever she’d been saying was cut off short, however. A gurgling sound replaced it, and something warm and hot splashed on Francis’ face. Iron, the smell of blood.

“... Jeanne?” he whispered, knowing he would get no answer. He didn’t have the energy to cry. Death was coming for him anyway. His Jeanne, his beautiful angel. He’d see her soon.

“Worry not, Monsieur Bonnefoy.” said the voice, the hunter, the murderer of his wife. “She’ll never plague you again. Spirits of witches are denied heaven and hell. For their service to the devil, Saint Peter will not let them pass. For their failure to tempt others, they are rejected from Hell as well. Hopefully she has not corrupted you to the point where you too, are forever in purgatory.” Another click of metal. “I’ll make this quick for you, so you don’t have to wait and find out.”

---

Jeanne.

He had to find her.

Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne.

She had to be somewhere.

Jeanne Jeanne Jeanne Jeanne Jeanne

If he never found her again, it might as well be hell.

jeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeannejeanne

He opened his mouth to scream, but with no air it made no sound. He wanted to tear his hair out in grief, but he had no solid form with which to do so. He wanted to die, but he was forever trapped between the state of sleep and waking, repeating a nightmare where the exit was just out of reach.

Please let it end! Make it just go away! God, I beg of you! Mercy!

Have mercy!


---

Francis didn't remember dying.

---

If he had lungs, he would probably be gasping at the whirl of memories flooding his mind. He would say head, but he didn’t have one of those either right now. Not having a form was one of his least favourite things about being a ghost - Jeanne - because then he actually had to concentrate on his appearance to look human. Consciously remembering what one looked like the whole time was quite a difficult - Jeanne - thing to do. Very few people appreciated how lucky they were to have their body - Jeanne - evidenced by most of them doing reckless Jeanne things with it.

His thoughts rambled on as they usually did, but now there was the ever present echo of what had kept him trapped on earth for so long, what he’d been so tormented by that he’d made himself forget.

Jeanne.

He was looking right at his killer, but his killer clearly couldn’t see him. Alfred was the second person to murder him (he’d rather not add a third), and for all the boy’s terror of ghosts, it seemed he didn’t have so much as an inkling of the Sight required to see them.

In the minutes (hours? It felt like a lifetime) that Francis had been dazed by the recovery of his memory, the boy had proceeded to beat the ever loving crap out of Phillipe’s body. Because it wasn’t Francis’ body. Francis’ body was out in a field in the middle of France, long rotted away.

He tried not to think about that.

“Hey, Francis?” Alfred said suddenly. “Dunno if you’re still there... don’t really wanna think about if you’re still there, but anyway. I just wanna say no hard feelings, alright? We’re even. You steal my kill, I kill you instead.”

“No hard feelings? You just broke my neck! … Phillipe’s neck!” Francis grumbled. Alfred couldn’t hear him, so he just sulked to himself. “The second Arthur gets home, I am going to tell him everything, and then you’ll be sorry.” It dawned on him that he sounded like a mother hen and he groaned frustratedly. “If I had hands I would strangle you.”

If he had hands he would tear his hair out-

Not. Thinking. About that.

Actually, if he tried to think about hating Alfred for what he’d done, now it only brought up the hate and pain from a lifetime ago. As much as he wanted to feel righteously angry with the teenager, he couldn’t. He certainly wasn’t any worse than the people who killed him in the first place. Alfred was legitimately insane. The Hunters - he wanted to spit at the word - were cold-blooded murderers who had destroyed the lives of an entire village. So for now he would have to put aside his feelings, put them into a little box in the corner of his mind, and observe. He was always a curious man (and it was often the death of him) and he wanted to see how this ended.

There was quite a commotion outside, the sound of a helicopter and several squad cars breaking the quiet of the night. The blue lights of the police cars flashed through the window, throwing shadows against the wall and making them move like they were alive themselves. For all Francis knew, the hunters - and that word stung more than ever now - were out there too. Looking out the window, he couldn’t see them, but as a ghost he knew more than anyone that just because you couldn’t see them, didn’t mean they weren’t there.

Alfred let out a low whistle. “Wow, every other cop car in the county must have turned up. All this for little old me?”

“Well no-one short of a war criminal has ever had a kill count as high as you.” Francis replied, mostly to himself.

The teenage murderer walked casually to a nearby flower pot, and pulled his chainsaw out from behind there. Sometimes Francis wondered if he just kept multiple iterations of the object hidden all over the house. Instead of walking to the front door, however, he started back along the stairs.

“Where are you going?” Francis asked, realising it was futile and mostly quite stupid. He might as well have been talking to the flower pot.

“Goin’ to the roof.” Alfred grinned.

The reply stunned him for a while. “You can hear-”

“I can’t hear you, you’re just really predictable.” And he sounded so smug at that. “And if I’m just talking to myself, there’s no-one around, and who would judge the crazy serial killer anyway?”

He had a point. He hated it when Alfred had a point. It rarely lead to anything good.

“Are you going to jump?” he asked casually, wondering how far Alfred could carry this half-audible conversation.

“Suicide? Nah man, not my thing. The police don’t know that, though.”

“What makes you think they won’t just shoot you?”

Alfred stared up at the hatch in the ceiling that opened up to the attic. “Suicide by cop is kind of a lot more difficult in England. They won’t shoot me that quick. Not before I have time to surprise them.” He poked the latch and stepped out of the way as the trapdoor opened and a ladder dropped down. He climbed up it with one hand, the other holding his chainsaw. Francis followed him through the musty attic, filled with even more things than the box room downstairs. A lot more cobwebs as well, which Alfred had to swat out of the way to get to a small window. The lock on it had rusted long ago, but Alfred swung a fist back and smacked it open. His strength would never stop surprising Francis. He’d never imagined the human body could wreak so much havoc.

Alfred had to pull himself onto the roof, while Francis floated through the tiles easily. Once up there, the blonde murderer stood and surveyed the gathered police as a lion would assess the weakest prey before pouncing. He moved as close to the edge as he could.

“I thought you weren’t going to jump.” Francis said, peering over the edge. The snow was deep but it wouldn’t help Alfred in any way. If he impacted from this height, it would break his ankles at the least.

Alfred smirked. “Falling with style.”

His words attracted the attention of the police, and many sent up a surprised shout as they noticed him edging closer to the end of the roof. “Ladies and gentlemen, behold!” Alfred cried theatrically, spreading his arms out. “The man you’ve all been waiting for, Alfred F. Jones, the Texas Chainsaw Murderer!” Francis wanted to facepalm. An idiot was always an idiot. “I’ve eluded capture for two hundred and thirty five days, and for my next trick, I shall jump off this roof!” He listened to the reactions of the crowd, grinning. “Don’t blink!”

And then he fell, leaning forwards until he wasn’t there any more. He flipped once in the air, and Francis couldn’t believe his eyes. Alfred rolled, making snow fly everywhere, and it was impossible to tell what had happened immediately. Surely not. Surely he couldn’t have survived...

The buzz of a chainsaw ripped through the night.

Of course he could.

The first policeman he got to was much too startled by the whole scene to respond in time. Alfred’s chainsaw gutted him straight across the stomach in a bloody spray that turned the snow around him red. Whooping laughter echoed off the walls of the house as Alfred jumped over cars and ducked behind trucks to avoid hails of bullets. The police helicopter overhead lit the arena, Alfred leaving a crimson path wherever he went as he got soaked in the stuff himself. Like unleashing a lion into the gladiator pit, there was no mercy, only animalistic carnage.

France kept count of the dead mentally. Granted, some of the ones Alfred had only chopped an arm off of were probably going to make it, but out here in the snow, if one had one’s entrails falling out of their body, they weren’t going to survive. He wondered briefly how he could stay so detached when he had felt the cold grip of death itself not once, but twice in his life. He decided it was because he didn’t see any ghosts forming. These people had moved on swiftly. He couldn’t stand to feel pity for those he was envious of.

Suddenly, Alfred stopped. Francis couldn’t figure out why for a second, until he looked at the boy’s movements more carefully. He pulled something out of his neck, looking at it. A dart. A tranquiliser.

Three more hit him, two on the arm and another on the neck. He dodged the rest, but his movements were quickly becoming sluggish. He collapsed against the side of a police car, spreading blood that wasn’t his own down the side.

“Haha... that was fun...” Francis heard him mutter, before falling forward into the snow. They’d shoot him now. Any second someone would avenge their fallen comrades.

But no. Nobody moved. Everyone kept their eyes and guns trained on the serial murderer, who had just killed another 5 people right in front of them and injured 30 more. Nobody fired. What Alfred had said about English police couldn’t ring that true, could it?

“Fuck.” he heard someone swear in the tense silence. “Fuck Jim, I wanna shoot him.”

“He’s down. And we’re not allowed to.” another answered.

“But-!”

“Thank you.” said someone new. Francis couldn’t for the life of him figure out what a man in a doctor’s coat was doing out here in the middle of a battle between the police and a murderer. He pushed his glasses up his nose. “We’ll take him now. The check for the losses to your police force will be double. I’m sorry for the trouble.” His accent sounded distinctly Eastern-European.

Two more people stepped forward hefting the unconscious teen upwards and seeming completely unmindful of the blood he was soaked in. They took him to a large van, similarly decorated to look like an ambulance, but emblazoned with “St Mary’s House for the Mentally Damaged.” Francis had never heard of them. He was sorely tempted to follow as the van drove off into the night, but he knew someone would have to explain to Arthur, lest the vampire overturn the whole of England looking for Alfred.

And so, that was the last Francis Bonnefoy saw of Alfred F. Jones.

---

The moon was just peeking out between clouds as the water lapped at the docks of Southsea port. Arthur was sitting atop his suitcase, looking thoroughly miserable. His travelling clothes were enough to make him look like a normal person at first glance, until one noticed the sunglasses he was wearing to deflect the glow of his eyes. Matthew, specially designed glasses doing the same job as sunglasses, placed a comforting hand on his Sire’s shoulder.

“Stupid idiot... now I have police crawling all over my house... they’re going to mess up everything. Who even broke my barrier spell...” the older vampire muttered irritably. “Bloody fucking Hunters, I swear, one day...” he let the empty threat hang in the air. After all, what could one vampire do?

“Sure you don’t want to come with us, Francis?” Matthew asked, not quite looking in the right place where the ghost actually was.

“As delightful as the company would be, I think I’ll pass.” Francis chuckled. “Now I know what I’m looking for, I think I’d like to start at the beginning, retrace my steps.”

“He says no.” Arthur passed on, the most prickly he’d ever been. “It’s just you and me going back to your coven. Maybe I can see how you’ve been doing raising them.”

“A-ahaha, don’t compare yourself to me, Arthur, I’m not nearly as impressive. I only have seven.” Matthew chuckled nervously. “Compared to thirty, it’s kind of pathetic.”

Arthur stood, sighing. “Maybe quality is better than quantity, Matthew.” Green eyes locked on to Francis and stayed there. He opened his mouth, and closed it, repeating several times before he finally stuck his hand out. “... good luck I suppose.”

Francis blinked at the gesture, and then smiled. He concentrated on shaping himself a hand, and shook the vampire’s cold grip. “Merci, mon ami. Maybe you can come find me one day, if you get tired of raising kids again.”

Arthur snorted, withdrawing his hand. “Last thing I’d do is try and find you, idiot.” he muttered, hefting his bag up. He’d managed to fit everything in there through liberal application of spells, Francis imagined. “Come on Matthew, before the boat leaves.”

“Right, right.” Matthew chuckled, flashing a smile in Francis’ general direction. “It’s been nice meeting you, Monsieur Bonnefoy.”

“Francis, please. Call me Francis.”

“He says to call him Francis, now come on boy.” Arthur insisted, balancing easily on one of the massive chains that lead up to the boat. It was a funny sight to see, when a vampire just stuck to things like walls as they did. He and Matthew both stowed away aboard the cargo ship bound for Canada, like refugees from a natural disaster, which he supposed Arthur, at least, was.

As far as Alfred could be called “natural” at least.

The boat disappeared across the horizon, and Francis turned his attention south. At least without a body, he could get through customs a lot easier.

---

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---

He leaned his head back against the wall of the van. These restraints hurt a little bit, but nothing he couldn’t handle. Briefly he wondered if he’d killed anyone the man who’d put him in this stupid straight jacked had known. That might explain why it was so tight. Or, maybe they were just afraid of him. He snorted a laugh. That was more likely. After all, he’d been so good with picking out people nobody would miss. It was like he had god-given luck.

A talent, was what they’d called it. To be so completely destructive but elude notice was a gift to be treasured.

The van slowed down, wheels crunching over gravel until the breaks squeaked it to a stop. The engine ran down until there was nothing but quiet, and footsteps approaching the back doors of the van. They swung open, revealing a man in priest’s robes flanked by two extremely burly looking men.

“Good evening, young Mister Jones.” the man greeted, friendly face lined with age and grey hair thinning at the top. He spread his arms wide, welcoming. Alfred stood on his own and walked to the entrance. The guards eyed him suspiciously. Were they expecting him to still be half asleep? The sedatives had worn off hours ago. “How nice that we could make this arrangement.”

“Call me Alfred.” the teen grinned, holding out his hand to shake the priest’s. He savoured the look of shock on the older man’s face. Did they think that this battered old straight jacket would hold him so easily? “Pleasure doing business with you.”

The priest shook off his surprise and returned the smile. “Welcome to the Hunters, Alfred.”











Notes:
- Ho. Ly. Shit. It's done! That's it! That's the end of Monster Mash! Thank you for everything, readers, I never would have finished if it weren't for your support and comments! This AU has been the most fun I've ever had writing, and I can thank quite a few of you for your ideas and contributions behind the scenes. Thank you!

Additional material:
- The Monster Series Wiki on wikia, containing lots of bonus information you never knew about the characters and the world of Monster Mash.
- There's also a Monster AU community: [livejournal.com profile] monster_au! Go check it out, there are a lot of extra ficlets and drabbles also set in the world of Monster Mash, contributed not only by me, but by other people too. Feel free to add your own!
- Special shout out to [livejournal.com profile] candesceres's epic side-story that's almost as long as the fic itself; The Ninth Circle. Warning; does contain high concentrations of OCs and shipping, but that's what side fics are for.
- [livejournal.com profile] megkips has been awesome and made an FST for Monster Mash, go download it~!

Once again, thank you all for reading, and I hope to see you soon maybe with a sequel, bye!
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