This was one of my traditional April Fool's Day Van Helsing stories. Yes, it's a tradition. Don't judge me!

A Long Time Coming

Cousin Shelley


Let me, Van Helsing. Please? I know underneath your gruff and grumbly exterior, you secretly want this."

Van Helsing sighed. Carl had been after him to let him do this for weeks now, and today he could finally take the pleading and the arguments no more. "All right, Carl. All right!" he agreed, sounding very tired. "If you insist."

"I do, obviously. And don't worry. Afterward, you'll feel good about it, it'll be such a relief for us both."

"So how do you want me to--"

"On your knees."

Van Helsing eyed him.

"It's obviously the only way unless you'd rather I stand on a chair, Van Helsing."

Van Helsing sighed and dropped to his knees. "Just go slow, Carl, you know how I feel about this."

"I know you're nervous. Though for the life of me I can't understand why a big, strong, hunter-for-the-order like yourself would have such an aversion to something so simple."

"Carl. No lecture, not now, please?"


Carl put one hand on the side of Van Helsing's head. "Now just relax, don't tense up. Think pleasant relaxing thoughts and it won't be so bad." Then Carl grabbed him and moved forward.

"Carl!" Van Helsing pulled away. "Don't lurch at me, have a little patience."

"I'm sorry." He petted Van Helsing's hair. "I guess I'm a little nervous, too. Putting it off has only made it worse."

"I know, I know. I should have let you do this a long time ago. Just don't manhandle me, all right? We can still do this slowly right until the end."

"All right."

This time, Carl moved slowly. Van Helsing tensed once or twice as he felt Carl move, but he was much more relaxed this time.

"So stiff," Van Helsing mumbled once as Carl's movement was more confident.

"Yes, I know." Carl occasionally stoked his hand down Van Helsing's hair or his neck to soothe the surprisingly nervous man. "That's it, just relax." Carl took a deep breath, two, he knew it was time, and made he one last sharp movement, causing both Van Helsing and himself to grunt with exertion.

Panting, both from the anxiety of doing such a thing and the physical strain, he said, "How was it?"

Van Helsing gingerly turned his head from side to side, stood, and turned to face Carl. "Good, I think." He smiled and embraced the friar. "Thank you, Carl. I owe you one."

"You own me many, Van Helsing," he said matter-of-factly, even as he returned the embrace and smiled. "Honestly, I should make you do my chores for a month just for having to hear about your aching neck and back for so long, and have you throw a child-like tantrum every time I suggested you let me put them back into alignment. And see? See? It was nothing. How anyone who wrestles monsters for a living can be such a big baby when it comes to his back, I don't know."

Van Helsing pulled back and looked at him with irritation, and then with a pout. "It's still sore, Carl."

Carl rolled his eyes a little and urged the man to sit so he could rub his shoulders and hopefully ease his pain. "I mean, you're welcome."

Van Helsing closed his eyes and tried to relax under Carl's skilled hands. He smirked, but then smiled as he heard Carl whisper under his breath, "Big baby."