Disclaimer: I don't own The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or any of the characters mentioned from other works of literature.
A.N. First and foremost, thank you all so much for the reviews for Chapter Seven! They were very much appreciated! And, once again, I must apologise for the wait. My life was taken over by exams, Doctor Who, CSI, my birthday, my driving test and many other things.
Okay, and to my anonymous reviewer, redjegger: Thank you so much for your continued interest in this story! I love to see your reviews, as ever! I adore Van Helsing- actually, I adore all the characters in Dracula! But no, no Van Helsing in this fic! Maybe next time! Thanks again!
This is the final chapter folks! Come on, big "Awwwwwww!". No? Okay then…
Mina didn't sleep much that night. Granted, as a vampire and an immortal she didn't really need to sleep but it was a habit that she didn't particularly want to break.
Nevertheless, Mina Harker didn't get much sleep. She couldn't shake the feeling that Nemo knew why she was so desperate to escape the confines of the Nautilus. Of course, if he had read the files they had received on each other before they had first departed London, he was bound to know about Quincey and even that it was his birthday. However, the thought that he would have actually remember such an insignificant little detail or have looked at the files recently enough for that particular detail to be of any importance seemed unlikely.
Perhaps it was someone else who had mentioned it. She had mentioned the fact that she had a young son to Henry a few weeks ago, but it had only been in passing in a conversation.
Of course, she could just be overreacting. But really, she didn't see the reasoning in putting a child on guard duty when the Nautilus was at her most vulnerable: docked in London. Not the Nautilus was ever truly vulnerable.
Still, she couldn't brush off this nagging little feeling. As she got ready to leave her quarters for breakfast she resolved to have a little chat with Nemo later. If he really did know about Quincey she would prefer it if he kept her son's existence to himself. After all, the last thing she wanted was for her little boy- not so little anymore at eleven years of age, she mused- to get mixed up in such a dangerous business.
When Quincey awoke sunlight was streaming through windows of the carriage, voices that he recognised as Uncle John's and Henry Jekyll's, were chatting softly and the invisible man was snoring gently.
After a quick, "Good morning," and being informed that they would be arriving at the docks in less than an hour, Quincey was content to stare out of the carriage window, straining his eyes to see as far into the distance as possible so that he could glimpse the amazing ship that Henry had described the night before.
"Hyde has been more," Henry paused as the two doctors continued their conversation, "co-operative, I suppose, of late. However the fact remains that he is more a villain than a hero and-"
"Who's Hyde?" Asked Quincey from the window, beginning to take an interest in the conversation as he heard a name he vaguely recognised. "Another member of your team?"
Henry didn't speak for a moment, casting a glance at Steward who nodded warily. "Yes…" he said, reflectively. "Of sorts, at least."
"Will I meet him on the Nautilus?" The young boy asked inquisitively.
"I hope to God not," Jekyll stated sharply, then, noticing the look of shock and surprise on Quincey's face at his outburst, spoke more softly, "He's not the most pleasant person you'll ever meet." Jekyll tried to block out the string of curses that echoed about his head. Where Edward learnt such language was beyond him. Since gaining his alter ego Jekyll certainly had gained a wider range of vocabulary.
"Oh," Quincey's features relaxed for a moment, before rearranging into a sharp look of distaste. "Will Mr Grey be there?"
Henry smiled. "No," he informed the boy, "nor will you ever see him again." He watched as Quincey nodded and turned back towards the window.
The ship was a hive of activity as Mina strode down the long hallways towards the dining room. She had decided to come down earlier than usual as to speak with Nemo in private. What she hadn't expected to find was half a dozen of Nemo's men laying the table with what looked like more than the average breakfast.
Glancing down the adjacent corridor for a sign of Nemo and finding none, she walked around the table, counting the places that had been set. Seven. There shouldn't be seven. There should be three- five if Jekyll and Skinner were back. Unless they had brought a guest. Two guests, she corrected herself. It seemed like her talk with the Captain would have to wait.
Quick footsteps entered the room, freezing at the door. Mina looked up into the face of Special Agent Tom Sawyer who was staring back like a deer caught in the headlights of Nemo's automobile. It was when she looked down at what he was holding, that she decided that Nemo definitely knew of Quincey's existence. Not only Nemo, she mused as her heartbeat quickened, but Tom too.
Tom was holding a rather large sponge cake with multiple layers, each held together with jam and cream. Yet this wasn't what made Mina so confident with her decision.
It was the blue icing that was glaring up at her. The icing that specifically read, 'Happy Birthday Quincey'.
Mina had always thought that she was more dignified than to let her jaw drop open, so that she resembled one of the various types of fish that Nemo's chef regularly chopped up and served on a platter. Nevertheless, she found herself in that very state when Sawyer stuttered, "I hope you don't mind us feeding your son cake for breakfast."
She stared in shock as he made his way across to the table, carefully depositing the cake on the centre of the table before withdrawing a box of matches from his pocket and lighting each candle. Not once did she speak, at least, until the cry went up from outside, "Doctor Jekyll and Mr Skinner have returned!"
Mina let out a bewildered, "What?" as Sawyer ushered her out of the dining room and towards the hatch where they were met by Nemo.
Outside, the carriage had pulled up and the driver was opening the door to let Jekyll and Skinner out. This would have been normal if they hadn't been followed by her long time friend and advisor, John Steward. And then, finally, everything struck her.
Not only did Nemo know of Quincey's existence, but the whole League and, now, the crew of the Nautilus as well. They also knew that today was her son's birthday. And they had deducted that a collection of these and other facts had left her yearning for London and her son.
They had noticed, she thought. And as she watched in total shock as her son climbed out of the carriage she realised that they had acted upon their observations. They had planned and plotted this massive ruse behind her back and she hadn't suspected a thing.
Had it been under any other circumstances, she would have been angry- outraged- at her team members scheming behind her back. But this was different. These were her friends who had noticed something was amiss and had endeavoured to fix it, even if it required tracking down Quincey Harker and bringing him to her.
Nemo stepped forward as the young man stepped from the carriage. "Captain Nemo of the Nautilus, Master Harker. It is an honour to finally meet you," Nemo introduced himself with a short bow, which Quincey returned.
Tom took a few quick paces forward and stuck out his hand, which Quincey shook firmly. "Special Agent, Tom Sawyer of the American Secret Service. But we don't hold much by the way of titles here. Tom's just fine." Tom grinned down at the boy who was staring up at him in admiration. "It's good to finally meet you."
Quincey uttered a polite, yet vague reply as his eyes were drawn to the one person he had been longing to see for months. He took six steps forward, until he was standing directly in front of his mother. Neither spoke for what seemed like the longest moment, but in reality was a split second.
"Quincey…" Mina's voice, cracking with emotion, broke through the silence. And with that word she opened her arms and clutched her child to her, and her to him, rocking gently in each others arms.
"Quincey," Mina murmured again, into his ear. "Why…? You shouldn't…. How…? It's not safe!" Unanswered questions and fear flooded her mind and tried to break through her lips, failing as Quincey spoke to her for the first time in months.
"Mum, everything's alright. They're your friends. They won't hurt me." He drew away slightly, looking her in the eye. Even at eleven years of age, he could see the unvoiced fear that lay there. He pulled close again, "And neither will you. I trust you, Mum."
And they basked in uninterrupted silence for a few brief moments, before the enormity of what Quincey had implied set in. "Quincey," she whispered, tensing instantaneously, "how?"
The boy smiled into his mother's shoulder. "I grew up hearing the stories of Count Dracula and how you fought him. It was easy to work out from there." He grinned, cheekily. "You did give me a good background knowledge to work from, you know."
Mina didn't say any more. There was no need. Quincey Harker knew about her curse and accepted her as his mother all the same.
As they settled down to breakfast, complete with birthday cake, Mina looked at her family. She had gone from an orphan to having a husband and son. She had gained a family in the men who had so loyally hunted Dracula with her. And here again, she realised, she had been given a family in the men who had been thrust into her path to defeat another terrible evil.
Yes, she decided, as she looked across the table at her son. Life was good.
A.N. And that's it folks! I can't believe I've finally finished! There were so many problems with this chapter and I'm not totally convinced that I've got them all fixed. But I've done all I can for now. This fic will be revamped at a later date, but for now, finito!
I'm aware this is not my best piece of writing but I've kept at it, solely because your reviews always make me smile and give me inspiration.
So thanks to you, the reader! And I hope you enjoyed this fic!