A/N: For those asking (and those who aren't), yes, I have scraped Past, Present and Future, mainly because even I don't know where that would go. I may bring it back once more, but later on in the year is the most likely time. This, I hope, is enough to calm you down. Third installment to the Confessions series, but set with a little different tone than the previous two. 


DREAM

            Skinner snored lightly on the mattress that lay on the floor, next to Mina's bed. The vampire, though, couldn't sleep, even though the clock on the bedside cupboard told her it was past midnight.

            It wasn't that she was hungry; she had learned to control her primal urges a long time ago. In fact, she wasn't sure herself why she was awake. She had thought long and hard about Dorian, and was at peace with her actions now — or, at least, as at peace with them as she would ever be.

           Perhaps it was her subconscious; too stubborn to let him go. Or maybe it was the loss of Allan which so affected her. Allan had been a friend; the worst hit by his death was Tom. Maybe it was both.

            Nemo had buried himself with his maps and inventions. Jekyll and herself were either chasing Skinner around or treating him. Skinner spent his time running away from the two doctors and playing with the children of the scientists. Tom, meanwhile, was always up on deck whenever they surfaced. Otherwise, he spent his time cleaning his guns in his room, the one he shared with Jekyll. He didn't show up for meals.              

            Mina turned to her side, watching Skinner, the only indication he was there at all was the big lump under the sheets. He tended to curl up when he slept, like a cat.

            Mina liked watching him, sometimes. He reminded her many times of a little kid.

            She gave a small smile in the darkness, before turning back so that she rested on her back. She needed sleep. Closing her eyes, she found her mind drifting....

            ....and locking on to a dream not her own.


            Two boys running down the bank of the Mississippi, chasing each other with abandon and wild shrieks of laughter, grabbing handfuls of mud and throwing them at each other. Getting dirty, and laughing.

            A raft floating down the dark river; three boys now, two from the river bank, another one an addition. Shouts of "Hellum-a-lee — hard-a-port!" and "Luff, and bring her to the wind!" filled the air.

            A flash.

            Running down the banks of the Mississippi once more, but with a more grave and dangerous task at hand. The joy and laughter from the previous scene, so many years ago, was gone, replaced by grim determination. Two boys, now men; the same two who were running along the banks of the river before. Both held guns; the one with chestnut hair  a Winchester rifle, the blond two pistols. All three weapons cocked, running towards the boat leaving the pier.

            A man in a thick fur coat and  a mask — "The Phantom" —  laughing his cruel laugh as the boat left the pier, leaving the two men on the wooden wharf. Looking around, spotting a raft nearby.

            Shouts filling the air once more as the small raft is pushed off, following the bigger steamboat. Firing shots at those at the railings, barely missing many bullets themselves. Then, suddenly, the Phantom himself grabbing an automatic gun from one of his lackeys, letting loose a barrage of deadly bullets. The blond, not paying attention to the Phantom but concentrating on getting rid of the armored marksmen. The chestnut haired one saw it, pushing his friend out of the way; bullets filling his body.

            Strangled cries, blood, and that laugh as the Phantom sailed away. The raft hit the sandy shores of Jackson's Islands, as the blond held his friend.

            "God, don't die on me," the blond said, horrified at what had just happened. "Huck, hang on. I'll get help."

            "No, Tom, no," the other man — Huck — gripped his friend's arm. "It's my time."

            "Huck, you idiot," Tom said, tears brimming at the edges of blue eyes the color of Caribbean waters, "Why did you do that?"

            "We look out for each other, remember?" Huck grinned, half-grimacing as he bled out. "I looked out for you."

            "Huck..."

            "It's my time, Tom," gasped Huck, clearly in pain but trying to hide it. "Now, you take care of yourself. You listen to me, Tommy Sawyer."

            "I don't like being called that," Tom told his dying friend, helpless, the gulf of despair inching ever closer.

            Huck tried to smile. "Which is why I'm calling you that."

            "Huck —" It was too late. Huck Finn took one last breath, and died in the arms of a friend.

            He stayed there, for a long time. Tears unshed, grief overwhelming. Then, a muttered prayer, and Tom stood up, gripping the Winchester so hard his hand shook. With a last one sentence of anger and grief to Huck, he got onto the raft and departed with the body of his friend.

            "He will pay."

            A flash.

            London, wet and foggy. A library, then an intense battle with the Winchester, so full of sentiment. He had procured another one, modified the same way that Huck had did it.

            An older Englishman, adventurer and a former thrill-seeker, and handing over his Winchester.

            "A Winchester."

            "Modified, American style."

            "American style shooting, too."

            "I've got another one."

            "You're in."

            Another flash

            He had escaped through the window, reaching the ground safety via a contraption of a cloak. Glancing, concern, at the stabbed Allan, who took out his wire glances; shattered.

            "Get 'im!" Tom grabbed his own Winchester and ran to the window, taking aim.

            "You're ready," Allan said weakly, as the American took aim at the man — the same man who killed his friend. "Take your time, boy. You have all...the....time in the world."

            Taking aim.

            Bidding his time.

            Not yet.

            Closing one eye, concentrating.

            Not yet.

            M was running on the ice, heading towards the stolen Nautipod...

            Not yet.

            A triumphant grin on M's features as he neared his escape.

            Now!

            He pressed the trigger, felt the gun rebound as the bullet was let loose. It hit M square in the back, killing him. The man fell onto the ice, his box of tricks sinking to the bottom of the frozen tundra. Tom turned, a triumphant cry on his lips, when he saw Allan leaning against the pile of forgotten chairs and torture instruments. One look and he knew his friend and teacher was dying.

            Gun fire

           

            Blood

            Cries

            Huck

            Laugh

            Grief

            Despair

            Love

            Pain

            Knife

            Allan

            Death  

            Revenge

            May this new century be yours...as the last was mine

 

            Tom Sawyer woke up with a yell. He sat up in his bed, sweating in the darkness. The images overwhelmed him. The death of both Allan and Huck. He shivered, although the Nautilus was cool, not cold at all. He was sitting in the crumpled mess that could only be vaguely associated with the relatively clean-pressed sheets they had been before he went to bed. He was lucky Jekyll was having a cold shower, as he always did when Hyde haunted him like a shadow. Tom could hear the water running the adjoining bathroom and prayed the doctor hadn't heard him. He leaned back on his pillows, reining in his control. His pulse slowed to something more normal, as did his breathing.

            Mina's eyes snapped open and her heart skipped a beat as the dream her mind had locked onto ended. She lay perfectly still, trying to figure out where she was. Skinner's snoring made her remember, and she relaxed. Her breathing calmed. She knew it had been from Tom, the dream. When Dracula had made her what she was today, he had also given her the gift of not-quite reading people's minds, but knowing their thoughts — and their dreams, so it seemed.

             She felt her sympathy go out to him. In that dream, she could feel his pain, his anguish. The deaths of two good men — his friends and teachers — was a great blow to him, no matter how silent he kept about it. He was suffering from pain, but it was a kind of pain that no doctor could treat.  Mina closed her eyes again, thinking about the next day and what she could do for him.

            Beside her, Skinner snored peacefully.


A/N: For those of you who read the book Dracula by Bram Stroker may realize that Mina being able to sense Tom's thoughts is a slight variation of the one found in the book; there, Dracula is able to read Mina's thoughts mainly at night. Next in the series is Jekyll, although suggestions on how to do this are much appreciated. And as for Skinner's snoring, I couldn't resist. I think it's really sweet of him to do that, hmm? *hugs Tom and Skinner plushies tight*