This Van Helsing story is slash fan fiction and not for minors. It contains adult concepts and sexuality between men.
If you're underage or offended by such things, you have been warned not to read the fiction.

My 8th annual April Fool's Day Van Helsing story.

Side-Effects

Cousin Shelley


  
Carl held the little vial of powder carefully in his palm as he made his way to Van Helsing's sleeping room. He was so pleased with himself that he couldn't stop the giggle that bubbled up when he thought about the results of his plan. Unfortunately, he giggled just as he passed Brother Caleb in the hall.

"What so funny?" Caleb asked, not quite smiling. Carl though he look like he expected to be shocked, set on fire or knocked down. And Carl couldn't blame him, since all those things had happened to Caleb when he'd helped Carl over the years.

But did I giggle first?

"Nothing's funny. It was a cough."

"You giggled." Caleb put his hands on hips. "Come now, Carl. Is my clothing askew? My hair sticking out?" He patted his head to be sure. "Something in my teeth? Why did you giggle at me?"

"I wasn't giggling at you. Just a small cough. Really." Carl coughed and made a giggling noise at the same time, raising his fist to his mouth. It sounded nothing like his giggle, but he hoped it would do.

"I happen to know that tomorrow is All Fool's Day, and you're just the type to mark it early, Carl. I'd much prefer you tell me what's so funny, as I think the entire tradition is undignified in the extreme. What do you think God would think of people spending their valuable time pranking and humiliating one another?"

Carl tilted his head. "I would think that if it's all in good fun, God perhaps has a sense of humor. Where did we get ours, after all?"

"Carl." Brother Caleb shook his head. "So young and impressionable. Can we please just--"

"Oh, all right!" Carl said. There was no use trying to convince Caleb, and if they stayed here too long he'd never get to Van Helsing's room in time!

He brushed off Caleb's shoulders as if wiping something away. "You had white powder all over. Obviously someone's idea of a joke. All gone now! No one's fooling you," he said, nodding. Carl hurried away, leaving Caleb to wonder who had powdered his robe, and how he'd managed to miss it.

Carl looked up and down the narrow hall, then slipped into Van Helsing's room. When he found the garment he'd been looking for, he removed the stopper from the little vial in his hand and sprinkled a bit of the powder onto the cloth. He rubbed it in, so no loose powder was obvious. Then he rushed away, trying not to giggle and make other passing monks wonder what jokes had been played on them.

Van Helsing came to the lab the next afternoon, just to "see what trouble Carl might be getting himself into." Carl showed the man what he was working on, and explained the intricate details of one of the mechanisms he'd designed. He noticed Van Helsing squirming, twitching and otherwise unable to hold still for very long. And he noticed that Van Helsing's trousers front was quite . . . obvious. He ignored it and kept talking. Finally, he looked at Van Helsing who was squirming on the stool again, and said, "What's the matter with you?"

Van Helsing shook his head. "Nothing."

Carl went back to his explanations. I could be a gambler! I could bluff and win all the money, and no one would know what I was thinking!

He looked at Van Helsing again. "Are you sure you're all right? You seem . . . antsy."

"I'm fine."

Carl nodded and continued on with his explanation, while congratulating himself on so smoothly appearing oblivious. And wondering just why the man's pants looked quite so tight.

Van Helsing shifted on his stool, sighed, made a choked off sound of surprise, shifted again, squirmed, and finally stood up. "I think I might need--something," Van Helsing said.

"Something? A . . . new weapon?"

"No, some sort of . . . medicine. A balm, perhaps."

"Oh, I see." Carl nodded. "I'm sure if you go and see the--"

"No, I don't want to see anyone, Carl. Can't you just get something for me?"

Carl pretended to be confused. "I can, of course. What's it for? You don't ever need any kind of medicine. Do you have a wound that hasn't healed properly?" he asked, his brows lowered in concern. I'm such an actor!

"No, nothing like that. I have this . . . irritation. Itching. It started as a tickle, became an itch, and now I'm on fire." Van Helsing said fire with his teeth clenched. "It's driving me mad."

Guilt settled in. Just a little. Carl hadn't meant to cause actual pain. Perhaps he jutted out so far in front because he'd packed other cloth around himself to try to ease it? "I've heard of that." He had to keep pretending, didn't he? "It's a foot condition that itches and then burns. There are probably all sorts of things you can put on your feet--"

"MY FEET--" Van Helsing said, a little too loudly. He caught himself and continued in almost a whisper. "My feet . . . are fine. It's not my feet." Then even softer, he said, "My crotch."

Carl jerked and looked at the man as if he were truly, truly shocked. "Oh. Oh my. Your crotch?" he whispered back. "Is there a . . . rash? Or . . . lice?"

"No, there's no lice!" Van Helsing closed his eyes and sighed. "No rash, no lice. Just this maddening itching, burning, graaahhh." Carl wasn’t sure what the last word was supposed to be, if not a cross between a groan and a growl.

Van Helsing surreptitiously, or so he apparently thought, used his hand to arrange himself through his trousers. Carl watched that move, looked at Van Helsing's face, then looked back at his work. "I'm sure I can find something to help. Perhaps you should have someone, umm, look at it, to make sure you don't need a specific ointment?" Silence followed that question. Finally, Carl looked back at him.

Van Helsing's eyes narrowed. "You look terribly pleased."

"Of course. I'm pleased because this design solves so many trajectory problems I've been grappling with for ages! I'm not pleased about your itching private parts. What a silly thought." Don't panic!

"No, you look terribly pleased, but not in the way you do when you've designed something brilliant. In that way you do when you think you're getting something over on someone."

Damnit! "I have a special look for getting something over on someone?" he asked, putting on his best whatever do you mean? face.

"You do. And it's almost always followed by the look that's on your face right now--wide-eyed innocence."

Double-damnable-hell! "I'm insulted that you would think--"

Van Helsing grabbed Carl by the hood of his robe and pulled him through the lab, up the stairs and into a hallway that was empty but for them. When they stopped, Van Helsing didn't even have to ask before the truth tumbled from Carl's lips.

"It was just a joke for All Fool's Day, Gabriel. I honestly didn't mean to set you on fire. I formulated an itching powder and put it in your undergarments last night. Haha. Ha?"

Van Helsing let go of him and stepped back. "Itching powder? Guess what? It works! Another brilliant invention. Good lord!" He grabbed himself and scratched through his trousers.

"Carl, I've washed twice since this started, but the relief doesn't last long. Surely you have an antidote?"

"You washed, but put the same undergarments back on. I, umm, I ground the powder into them pretty thoroughly."

Van Helsing groaned, bit his top lip and moved his hips in a way that under other circumstances might have caused Carl to momentarily lose the power of speech. Still, he had to pause before he could form words. "Gabriel, if you'll wash again and put on fresh clothes, it should go away."

Van Helsing nodded and started to walk away, but turned back and pinned Carl to the wall by his shoulders. "Don't think I don't know what this was about, by the way. Perhaps you should have someone look at it? And who would that someone have been, Carl? If you wanted to . . . look at me . . . you didn't have to fill my pants with an itching aphrodisiac. Next time, just tell me?"

Carl swallowed hard and watched Van Helsing hurry away. "Aphrodisiac?" He ran after his friend, catching up with him at his room, where Van Helsing didn't hesitate in peeling his clothing off. Soap, cloths and water waited on the small table next to his bed where he'd obviously been trying to relieve the itch earlier. Carl watched, mesmerized, as Van Helsing simply hung himself into his wash bowl and poured water on top.

"Cold," he said through gritted teeth. Carl's eyes widened. The coldness of the water had no effect on Van Helsing's rigid state. He scrubbed himself with soap in a way that made Carl cringe, but clearly brought Van Helsing relief, judging from all the sighing and other sounds he made. Then he rinsed with a final groan, and held a towel in front to cover himself. He turned to face Carl.

"The itching won't come back now?" Van Helsing's face had actually pinked up a bit.

"As long as you don't put that undergarment back on. I'll . . . I'll wash it for you, since I'm the one who put the--"

"Since this is your fault, yes, I think you should." Van Helsing sat on his bunk. Carl couldn't stop looking at him, and the huge mound his hand covered with the towel.

"So how long until this goes away? Now that I've washed, it should disappear, shouldn't it?"

"The itching? I thought that was gone."

"Not the itching. This." He nodded down at himself. "I've been like this since the tickling started."

Hard. His powder had also made Van Helsing hard.

"Even when it started burning?"

"That actually made it worse."

"What a fascinating side-effect," Carl said.

Van Helsing stood up, still cupping himself. The towel only stayed where his hand was, however. Carl looked at his naked hips, his chest. He swallowed hard. Soon his state would match Van Helsing's if he didn't stop looking.

"Carl, are you saying you didn't know this would happen?"

"I didn't know. I'm sorry."

"Oh." Van Helsing seemed to deflate. "So you didn't mean to give me an aphrodisiac after all. And when you said someone should look at it . . . I'm sorry. I assumed you wanted . . . I assumed wrong."

"No, you didn't!" Carl clapped his mouth shut after he said that, but the hopeful look Van Helsing gave him then made him feel bolder. "I mean, not exactly."

Van Helsing lifted his head, one eyebrow arching. "Not exactly?"

"I was teasing, and maybe hinting a bit, when I said someone should look at it. Though I didn't intend the powder to do anything more than make you feel like you had ants in your pants." He smiled a little, and felt his cheeks warming. "The side-effect is . . . an appealing one. Don't you think? I mean, perhaps you really should have someone look at it, after all?"

What am I doing? He's going to throw me out on my ear.

"Think that's necessary, Carl?" Van Helsing asked. He smiled a little, but Carl was still uncertain.

"Well, it might be. Since I didn't intend for that to happen, it's an anomaly. It could go away any second, or last longer than you might find comfortable. The powder must have absorbed into your skin and caused this. So . . . it might not wear off for a fair stretch of time. At least . . . not on its own." Carl cleared his throat. "If you helped it along, however, you might get relief far sooner. And then perhaps you could forgive me for the prank?"

"Perhaps," Van Helsing said. "Do you mean relief with a balm or ointment? Or did you have some other type of treatment in mind, Carl?" He moved forward until he was leaning down over Carl, their faces close together. He dropped the towel, and took Carl's forearms, pulling him away from the door and toward the bed.

Carl made that coughing, giggling sound he'd done for Caleb, only this time it was completely involuntarily. "Balms and ointments probably won't help." His voice grew higher in pitch as he spoke. "I think what's called for here . . . is a much more hands-on approach."

"Hands-on?" Van Helsing said, and Carl could have sworn his voice changed, too.

Van Helsing sat on the bed, then moved over to make room. "Hands-on," he repeated, then took a deep breath. "For this prank, and every accidentally singed hair, failed experiment, puncture wound, spill, scrape, bruise, stumble, and even the time you set my shirt on fire when we were making camp, then startled my horse the next morning so that it tossed me in the river . . . you're forgiven. Very, very forgiven," he said, his voice lower than before.

Carl giggled again, but this time the sound was clear and true.