lost_spook: (Dracula)
[personal profile] lost_spook
For [personal profile] john_amend_all in the Fic Commentary Meme, a commentary on In The Blood, a Lucy/Mina ficlet for Dracula (1968).

Ha, well, what can I say? This is mostly me pushing at the boundaries of my difficulty in writing much shippiness (I'm ironically so much better at it since I learned to ship inhuman whatsits in S&S fandom; it worked for me) and my complete lack of any ability to write pr0n. This is my substitute. That being so... well, er... :loL:

The whole point of doing bingos, really, is for me to have an excuse to write things I wouldn't otherwise. I had to write 60s TV Mina/Lucy for the bingo square! (I know, I know, I have my hang-ups and issues, don't we all?) But I was a bit stuck on "unwanted transformation" until it occurred to me that Mina being vamped is certainly an unwanted transformation. She wants Lucy; she's rather horrified at the rest & that's what the ficlet is; both sides of that.

It’s long past sunset, but Mina remains dressed – severely buttoned up and laced in black stiff fabric, a kind of armour – and she won’t return to the graveyard to seek out another visitation. But she doesn’t shut the windows, and sits by them in the lady chair, stockinged feet curled under her, as if waiting for someone; she lets herself drowse. When she stirs and sees Lucy again – sweet, lost Lucy – she can believe it is merely a dream; the hope of her heart standing in her room.

The trouble is, as it swiftly becomes clear, that a dress is not armour; it’s no defence at all. Nothing stops the call of blood to blood, the infection already in her veins that fires up again now at Lucy’s nearness. Her heart has already betrayed her. A dress, after all, is merely fabric, and buttons are there to be undone. She feels the light touch of Lucy’s fingers, much as it used to be when they were aiding each other in the last details of dressing before going down for dinner, if somewhat in reverse.

I quite like the clothes/armour bit here.

It should feel odd – where Mina is burning now, Lucy is cold – but it does not; neither is it strange to Mina when it seems as if Lucy is no longer working with gentle fingers, but with clawed nails, tearing the last of the material from around her collar. In this dream, it only feels right, more so when she feels their sharpness against her breast and then against her neck. Mina knows no fear; she suddenly longs for Lucy to press in harder, to draw blood, but her friend holds back.

She’s only Lucy again suddenly, leading Mina to the bed, peeled down to her underclothes though Mina still feels herself overdressed and overheated; the corset too restricting as her breathing quickens. Lucy laughs softly and draws Mina down onto the bed.

“You understand now,” Lucy says, lying beside Mina; then moving slightly, so that she’s pressed against her friend, almost on top of her in her nightgown. “You do, don’t you, Mina?”

As she had earlier, Mina feels a leap of joy, as if she does indeed understand the whole world. There is only Lucy, only always loving Lucy. She doesn’t think of Jonathan, or John, or even of the Count. Only Lucy, returned to her like a lost angel. Yes, blood calls to blood, and Mina’s heart races, ready for the moment as Lucy moves again, her head against Mina’s neck.

“Yes,” says Mina, breathlessly, “oh yes.”

Lucy draws back however, and as she does, Mina’s heart beats slower again, almost sluggish. She’s drowsy, recalling again that this is a dream, and she’s a dead weight against the mattress. Her eyes close.

“You do, you must,” says Lucy, kissing Mina’s forehead with youthful eagerness, just as in life. Mina is too heavy with sleep to respond. “You’ll be with us. You and John. They won’t stop us.”

Mina subsides into sleep, a feverish, unsatisfactory rest, too easily broken. She keeps waking, dreaming of a dark presence in the room, but there’s never anything to be seen when she tries to look. She ignores that and clings instead to her fast-fading dream of Lucy.

Her rational, waking mind dismisses all of it as the imaginings of a slight fever. Perhaps that explains too her vision in the churchyard, but she holds the fact that she thinks she saw Lucy tightly to her. It is a promise of something, she is sure. She thinks then that it is maybe even a hope of heaven, but that notion is roughly driven from her later. It’s not that, as she finds when she reacts to Dr Van Helsing and Dr Seward with a sudden, alien ferocity, even savagery. She scratches at them with claws that she doesn’t recognise as her fingernails, hisses, even spits, and her skin burns – literally and painfully– under the cross that Van Helsing presses to her forehead.

(I'm brushing over this bit because it's a scene from the adaptation, so I didn't want to go back over it word for word, especially not in a brief ficlet, focusing on Mina's state of mind and heart.

That brings her back to her senses again, and she stops and sees, though she tries not to, her own horror and repulsion mirrored in the face of Dr Seward – John.

He holds her – or possibly he’s restraining her – as Van Helsing fires angry questions at her. (She denies the accusations – she saw not the Count, she insists, but Lucy, sweet Lucy, as she was in life.) She hides her face against John’s mourning coat, in tears of shock at what she seems to have become. Even in her distress, though, she feels an abrupt increase again in her heart rate. Blood calls to blood, and between them, in their veins, there’s something left of Lucy.

She shudders again at her own thoughts and wonders suddenly at them all – the Count who is the source of the trouble; Van Helsing, seemingly untouched by it all; Lucy and Jonathan who embraced this transformation, and she and John here, trapped unwillingly somewhere between temptation and resistance that’s bound to fail – she catches her breath as she remembers that she has already failed.

She does not want this infection, this alien thing within, the change it has wrought, the loss of control. She does not want to be damned, but she is afraid that it is too late; that she no longer has it in her to truly want to be saved.

“Oh, God, help me,” she says, but this treacherous creature within thinks of Lucy, and that path leads to the Count and damnation. There’s no way back.

It's Lucy/Mina, but it also allowed me to pull in a bit of Mina/Lucy/John, because they're all three connected by blood, hence the title. (In the 1968 adaptation, vamped Lucy successfully seduces John and Mina; Dracula bites Lucy; Mina is bitten by Lucy, and John gives Lucy his blood, which is then also taken by Dracula. It's a thing.) And, as I've said, that in this version Lucy and Jonathan seem more eager to be seduced by Dracula, whereas John and Mina are both more reluctant (even if John is also a chocolate teapot with no resistance or ability to stay upright during times of stress, but that's another story).

I wrote it one summer afternoon, and typed it up soon afterwards, and I don't recall it changing very much between the two. (I couldn't find it in my notebook, though. I have almost all my fic in notebooks, but never the ones people ask for. It's one of them law thingies.)

ETA: I just found it in a different notebook! (It was in the wrong notebook, because at the time I hated the right notebook; it was an evil cheap one that cursed me, obv. I never even filled it up; it was that evil.)

And it didn't change much in essentials, just with improved phrasing.
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