Disclaimer:- Yes, I have finally posted the very last part of this story, it's almost over. This chapter is written in a slightly different style to the others, you'll see what I mean when you read it. Also, the verse of the song is a different one, I really recommend you listen to the song as a whole because it's so damn good! These things never end up the way I want them to, I don't even think the ending is any good. Thank you so to everyone who has left a review over the past seven chapters. A huge thank you to both Clez and again Ten for 'reminding' me to finish this ;) Now, with out any further ado;

On The Wall

Marlene watches from the wall

Her mocking smile says it all

As she records the rise and fall

Of every man who's been here

But the only one here now is me

I'm fighting things I cannot see

I think it's called my destiny

That I am changing, changing,

changing, changing, changing...

Marlene on the wall, By Suzanne Vega.

Chapter 8:- Watches from the Wall

Taken from Mina Harker's Journal...

It is the scars you can't see that take the longest to heal.

I believe that to be the case here. Physically at least we are all mostly healed. It has been nearly two weeks since Lucy was killed and slowly, life seems to be returning to normal. On the surface at least. It is strange to say that the events I am about to recount for this journal happened two weeks ago and yet this is the first time I have spoken of them. The truth is, I have not been able to find the words to describe this, but as you will see when you read on, new incidents have brought the matter to a head and I need to clear my mind before I talk to Agent Sawyer about what has been troubling me. So first, how everyone is affected by Lucy's attacks.

Dr. Jekyll has recovered from his injuries rather quickly. He awoke soon after I brought Agent Sawyer back to the infirmary and it was easy to tell by the pained look in his eyes that he knew everything that he had done. For days afterwards he was like a ghost, a shadow of himself, jumping at every noise and not being able to bring himself to talk to any of us, out of shame. I was starting to worry about him when one day Agent Sawyer locked himself in a room with Dr. Jekyll. I don't know what he said to the man, but what ever it was, it seemed to have a startling effect on the doctor. He came out of the room like a new man, acting like himself again as he tended to his patients. Over the next few hours Mr. Skinner, Captain Nemo and myself all went up to him, reinforcing our claims that we did not blame him in the slightest for what had happened. Each time he quietly listened to us and nodded in all the right places before carefully escorting us out of the room. When I left and reached the corner, I paused and looked back. I don't quite know why I did that, but I was glad I did.

There was a relived look on his face, as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his mind and I feel – perhaps egotistically – proud that my words gave him some comfort, though I am not so selfish to believe it was only my words that created such a change in him. He seems back to normal now, as if the incident with Lucy had never happened and I hope that this is the case. I would hate for him to be hurting under his skin.

Skinner is an mystery, even now. He appeared fine after the blood transfusion and seemed more worried about the rest of us. As a result, I am rather ashamed to admit I forgot about him for a while, my own concerns fixed elsewhere. It was only recently – as recently as in the past day – that I have come to understand a little more about him.

He blamed himself for Agent Sawyer's condition. I must have been blind not to have realised that before. But then, I was blind to Agent Sawyer's suffering so perhaps I should not have been surprised that I had not noticed Skinner's belief of his guilt before. I found him standing on the conning tower looking out towards the great expanse of sea, a lost look on his face. When I closed the metal door behind me he jumped, turning sharply to see who it was. I still don't know if he was disappointed or glad that it was only me.

"Mr. Skinner." I said politely, a tad disappointed myself that he was up here. I had hoped for peace and quiet to try and sort out my chaotic feelings, but as it turned out, it was not to be. He nodded his head at me then turned back to look at the sea. That was when i first realised something was wrong with him, as he was not normally this subdued. "Is something wrong Mr. Skinner?"

"Only that Sawyer almost died because of me." He answered. I was slightly surprised and I have to admit, dismayed at his reply. Would we never be free of this spectre of guilt that lingered over us all like a malignant illness?

"Agent Sawyer's... condition, had nothing to do with you Mr. Skinner. In fact, you helped save his life when you gave him that blood he needed. It was your blood in his veins that gave him the strength he needed to fight." I told him, though the man didn't look convinced. There was a speck of morbid curiosity in my voice as I carried on. "Why do you blame yourself?"

"I knocked on his door that night! I heard him made a noise and I was worried so I went to check on him. He looked terrible, pale and almost dead like. I should have suspected something then but I didn't. I just nodded when he said everything was alright and toddled back to bed. I mean of course he would have said everything was alright! That's the sort of guy he is! Even if he had the Vampire hanging off his neck and he knew that she was there he would have said he was fine." Skinner finally stopped his rant, out of breath. I had stood next to him, listening quietly to his raging before and I took my time before I answered.

"You were not the only one who saw Agent Sawyer after he had been bitten and did nothing. We did not want to believe anything was wrong and so we did not see it. I also saw him and I know the symptoms of Vampire bites. Yet I did nothing. You helped him, remember that." With that I swept from the conning tower, leaving him to his own thoughts. I hope my words helped him, but as I have not seen him after I do not know.

In some ways Captain Nemo had recovered the best from our ordeal and in other ways the worse. It was so much worse for him because he lost some of his sailors, some of his men, people he knew and cared about. Now they were dead and gone. If he was very upset by this loss he did not show it, though to him each of his sailors lives were precious. Life is precious.

On the other hand he has no believed guilt in the whole sorry story. He tried his best to protect everyone in this vessel and if his help was needed he rose majestically to the occasion. He willingly donated his blood to save Agent Sawyer. He has recovered from that blood loss and is now back on the bridge of the Nautilus.

The biggest question mark around all of this is Agent Sawyer himself. We were in time to save him from the Vampire baptism, but only just. He was as near as anyone could be without actually becoming a Vampire himself. When I helped him back to the infirmary he was very quiet and leant on me, as he seemed unable to walk by himself. He had actually fallen unconscious before I defeated Lucy but thankfully there was enough of Agent Sawyer left to hold on until she was gone.

Over the next few days the blood slowly returned to his body and the bite marks healed before starting to fade from his neck. The shrunken, waxen appearance of his skin crept away and life returned to his face. Yet while his body was healing, his mind was not. He spends hours sitting upright in the bed he was given staring right ahead at nothing, the look in his eyes, the wide gaze of someone who is seeing something that no longer exists in this world – if it ever existed to start with.

Time after time I tried to get him to talk to me, but there was no energy in his answers and movements. Apart from when he locked Dr. Jekyll in with him to talk to the doctor, he had not left either his bed or the conning tower. Even then, he was only on the conning tower when Dr. Jekyll decided that some fresh air would do him good. Skinner and I both offered to help him but it was Skinner, in the end, who took him up there. I wonder what Agent Sawyer did? Did he simply stare out to the sea, his mind trapped somewhere else, not really seeing Skinner? Or did he actually come out of his shell and talk while he was free and outside, away from anything that still carried the scent of Lucy?

I don't know how well I, personally, am coping with everything that happened. Not as well am I might be, I suspect. It is because of my inability to come to terms with my part in Lucy's second death and the fact I almost let Agent Sawyer die that I am writing this now. I had hoped that writing all this down would help but it has not... in a way it has. Looking back over this entry I can see that the only way I will gain some sense of understanding and to be able to move on is after I had faced my own demons, and in this case it means talking to Agent Sawyer about all of this.

Perhaps talking to him is the best thing to do, it may provide relief for both of us. I will go and ask Dr. Jekyll if I should take Agent Sawyer to the conning tower. The fresh air will do both of us good.

Later...

The time has come and gone. I have spoke to Agent Sawyer and it went as well as I hoped. He seemed to be expecting me to try and talk to him as I helped him to the conning tower and there was almost a look of gladness in his eyes as I finally came to speak to him. Before I could start though he spoke.

"Mina, there is something I want to tell you... before Lucy died... well actually when she was... after you staked her. She felt... she wanted to thank you. For saving her."

After Agent Sawyer had told me this, he seemed almost cheerful. He then tried to apologise about what he had done but I quickly informed him that there was no need. For the first time in days he actually smiled, a true smile. We remained on the conning tower a little longer, talking quietly before I noticed his strength was failing and we returned to Dr. Jekyll. I left him sleeping and returned to my cabin, looking for rest.

Perhaps finally we can start to put this behind us. Perhaps we can finally start to heal.

All I can do is hope.

::fin::

And there we have it, the final part of On the Wall completed. Please leave a review and let me know what you though of it!

- Sethoz