A/N: A big thank you to all who have reviewed this story with your encouragements and comments. Also a big shout out to Dotchan, who did some fanart for this story! Find it at http: dotchan. com /myart/ 2004/ family. jpg (remove the spaces)
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
Coming to Terms: Epilogue
Enrico Maxwell knuckled his forehead in something akin to despair. Section XIII was in dire straits. The facilities for creating the regenerators had been destroyed in a simultaneous inferno that could not have been accidental. A virus had destroyed all computer files relating to the process as well. Since the men who'd created it all were dead and had been for several years or even decades, this meant they had to start over. From scratch. It would be years before they could produce another regenerator. Without the serum they'd been addicted to, Michaelous and the other paladin, Maxwell could never remember his name, would shortly be dead.
Somehow, somehow, Hellsing had to be behind this! He swore silently that the English bitch would pay, and pay dearly.
At least Anderson was dead. From the garbled reports from Michaelous, he'd turned traitor there at the end. The effects of the control serum wearing off perhaps? He'd never know.
A sound stirred on the edge of the man's awareness. He blinked and looked up. Did the shadows by the door seem – darker? Before his shocked eyes, a lanky form materialized out of the darkness. It was a very familiar form.
"Anderson?" he blurted, shocked. "But you're dead!" His hand was meanwhile reaching for the gun in his desk drawer.
There was a low chuckle from the other man as he strode forward into the light. Maxwell's eyes narrowed. Something was off. His eyes fell on the man's chest. The large silver crucifix was absent. There was a smaller one around his neck, apparently gold. He lifted his gaze to Anderson's face – and could not control his gasp at the sight of the fanged smile and the wine-red eyes.
"My God..." he whispered. His arm whipped up and he emptied the clip of blessed silver bullets into the former paladin. Or at least that was the intention. Anderson – moved – and the bullets never found their mark. Next thing he knew, Maxwell was being held against the wall by his throat, feet dangling. The cool, rational gaze Anderson had on him terrified him more than the berserk rage he'd seen the regenerator go into before.
"Ah'm fairly certain He would be most displeased wit' how ye've been treatin the faithful," commented Anderson. "Takin us an lyin t'us an controllin us like mad dogs fer yer purposes."
Oh shit. He'd read the file.
"You're a fine one to talk about the Lord," Maxwell managed to sneer. "I see you've turned your back on Him and joined the impure undead."
"Aye, Ah'm a monster," the ex-priest agreed quite calmly. "But soomehow, I think Ah'm less of one than I was when I was alive." He smiled broadly, displaying very sharp fangs. The leader of section XIII swallowed hard and felt his stomach falling towards his shoes.
"So now you'll kill me?" he forced himself to remain defiant. Unholy undead...how dared he?
"Actually I thought of somethin a bit moore fittin," Anderson replied. He held up his other hand and Maxwell stared blankly at the syringe full of pale golden liquid. It couldn't be....
"I took this wit' me when the labs blew," the vampire continued, confirming the man's worst fears. "It's the only bit o' that serum ye used on me left."
"No – Anderson, you were a man of God, don't – gyahhh!" Maxwell screamed as Anderson injected the addictive poison into his veins.
"Psychosis, weakness, then death," Anderson said quietly, and dropped the man onto the floor. "What ye had condemned me to. Maybe ye can recreate the serum in time t'keep ye alive, Maxwell. But ye'll be dependent on it even if ye do. Hope ye enjoy it."
Maxwell began to scream. Anderson turned his back and walked away.
Seras was relaxing in the jeep with her hat over her eyes when someone familiar lifted the hat and kissed her.
"Done, Alex?" she smiled at her fledgling as he settled his long legs into the seat.
"Aye," he said with grim pleasure. "Serves th'bastard right." He fingered the golden crucifix around his neck. He still had his faith, despite all the obstacles and conflicts surrounding his new existence. Maybe that was why it was called faith...? Seras had given him the golden cross after his old silver one had scorched him.
She started the engine and grinned. Why she got to drive when he knew Rome better was something he still hadn't quite figured out.
"Good. I think we have a little free time before we have to start back for London."
"I wonder how we kin pass the time," he deadpanned. He felt her mental caress in response.
"Sir Integra's probably got a load of missions lined up for when we get back, so any free time we've got..." Anderson recalled his meeting with the head of Hellsing after his transformation. He'd stood there rather sheepishly behind his diminutive Master while she defended him and her choice. Alucard, the bastard, had just stood there smirking.
"If you wanted a pet, a cat or dog might have been acceptable! Why did you have to bring home a psychotic Scottish catholic priest?"
"Actually it turns out I never was –" he'd tried to comment.
It had all worked out though. He still wasn't sure how, but it was all working out. He was now an official operative of the Hellsing agency. Seras had willingly bound herself to Integra's service, and that put him in the position she'd once been in, where Integra was Master of his Master. He shared a coffin with Seras, had decent conversations with Walter, and got to shoot up/slice up Alucard in the name of training. The fact that the annoying elder vampire always got back up at the end of it was a mere technicality.
He stretched one long arm over the back of the seat, curling possessively around Seras's shoulders. The look she shot him made him think of several pleasant ways to spend the next few hours.
It was strange. Somehow, despite becoming that which he'd hunted and hated so long, he was happy – happier than he could ever remember being. He was a vampire. He was a man of God. He was a contradiction in terms and yet he found he could balance anyway, with the help of the strawberry-blonde vampiress sitting beside him.
It was a lot to deal with, but he was coming to terms with it. Lord help him, but he could come to terms.
A/N: There it is, finally done. I have too many other projects to focus as much attention on this as I'd have liked, but that's life. Sorry if you were anticipation lemon, I can't write those well at all. Use your imaginations. Ja, ne!