I said that I was going to go on a break from writing chapter fics, doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing all together. Hardly. I will still be here, still writing, there will just be more one shots from me.
I've got baaaaaaaad writers block, so I'm sorry I've disappeared for so long. But you know what would help? Some Gabriel/Anna that I didn't write! I'd even be willing to dish out an idea if someone would be willing to write the fic… I need fluff too you know!
Disclaimer: I don't even own a car what makes you think I own Van Helsing? Just to clarify… I do not own Van Helsing.
Gabriel Van Helsing stumbled up the steps of Valerious Manor. He felt warm, sticky, blood trickling down his back. The various cuts on his body burned, and he welcomed the pain. The deep trenches the werewolf's claws had dug in his back stung so bad they brought tears to his eyes.
Grabbing hold of the door handle, he wearily pressed his shoulder against the solid wood and shoved the door open. The entry hall of the old house was spotless, a testament to Elisabeta's hard work at cleaning it. Gabriel and Anna had only just returned from a 'hunting' trip the night before. Having spent a week in Budapest, tracking down and finally killing a satanic cult leader. Then on the way home they'd run into some nightmarish creature that neither of them could identify. It chewed Anna up a bit. When they'd finally reached the house the were both so tired that they'd simply dropped their bags, crawled up the stairs, dragged themselves into their bed and fallen asleep.
But now there wasn't a trace of any of that. No blood soaked riding jacket, no weapons scattered on the floor, and their travel bags were gone. The room was pristine, just the way Anna liked it.
It was because she'd been the one who'd been slobbered on that he'd left her at home. A villager came to the door just as the sun was setting, telling tales of a werewolf. Anna had still been asleep, proving just how worn out she was. He'd decided he could take a werewolf by himself. He'd done it before. So he left her sleeping and went out on his own.
He hated to think it, but he really had enjoyed being on his own again.
"Gabriel?" Anna's voice called from the stairway. He looked up and saw her leaning against the banister, towel drying her soaked curls. He quickly looked away, ashamed; he didn't want her to see what he'd done.
She picked up on it immediately, her tired but loving smile slipping into a frown. Laying the towel across the railing she came down the stairs to him.
"What happened, where have you been?" she asked, she lifted his chin and inspected the cut across his cheekbone. He refused to look her in the eyes; he already felt tears welling up.
He heard her gasp as she walked around him, checking for injuries, and saw the gashes in his back.
"Gabriel!" she cried in alarm, "My God, what happened!" grabbing his arm she pulled him up the stairs. He followed her numbly, wishing he could just go to sleep. He just wanted sleep.
Anna opened the door to their bedroom and then left him standing in the middle of it while she ran into the bathroom. She came out, seconds later, armed with towels, bandages and alcohol. She glanced at him worriedly and closed the door with a soft 'click'.
"Is your back the worst of it?" she asked gently. Something's wrong! Her mind screamed, why isn't he saying anything? What is going on?
Still avoiding meeting her gaze he nodded once, and closed his eyes tiredly, wanting nothing more then to curl into a ball and die. I really am a murderer, a killer. He wanted to tell Anna to stop helping him. He didn't deserve her concern. God help me, I really have become what I've hunted.
The sensation of her cold fingers on his torso jerked him back from his gloomy pit of thoughts. He looked down at the top of her dark head through half closed eyes, smiling out of habit as she traced the scar on his stomach, just like she always did.
"Lift your arms please"
He lifted his hands above his head and Anna wasted no time in relieving him of his tattered shirt.
"I need you to lay on your stomach so I can clean these cuts," Anna said softly. He did as told, lowering himself onto the soft mattress of their bed. The bed dipped as Anna sat next to him and then her hands were back on his skin. He felt it all numbly, her cold hands, the sting of the alcohol, soft towels cleaning, and finally the bandages being placed on his back.
"Are you going to tell me what happened?" Anna finally asked, and Gabriel detected a note of hurt in her tone.
You have to tell her eventually, he sighed and twisted his head to look over at her. She sat next to him, legs curled, her back against the headboard. Their eyes met and locked, her look of hurt and confusion tore at him. He felt the prick of tears at the back of his eyes.
"I-" He cleared his throat and looked down at his hands, he could feel her gaze burning into him.
"A villager came to the door…"
Gabriel blinked open his eyes and sat still in his bed. What was that? He wondered groggily. Rubbing at his eyes he looked over and saw that Anna was still fast asleep. Bone tired, as he was, he was still curious as to what had awakened him. Laying in the silence of his room he listened closely for signs of what had so rudely disturbed his slumber.
He heard Anna's soft breathing and his own, he also heard the rhythm of his heart as it pounded in his chest.
Then there were the voices he heard outside the door.
"I'm sorry sir," Vasile, the butler said, "But Master Van Helsing is still asleep."
"Please," an unknown voice begged, "It will kill again if we don't get help! He's the only one who can do it! Please, you must let me speak with him!"
"I'm sorry sir," Vasile repeated, Gabriel heard genuine regret in the elderly mans tone.
"Is the Princess home?" the other man asked in desperation, Gabriel's head turned on instinct to look at his still sleeping wife.
"She is asleep sir,"
"Will you not help me?" the voice asked piteously.
"I went to the door, and the man said that a werewolf had been living off their village," Gabriel explained, "You were still asleep, and I couldn't just let more people die because I was tired. So I went…alone"
There wasn't a sound in the dark of the forest,
And that's what worries me, Gabriel thought darkly. Not a bird chirping, not a squirrel chattering, not even crickets.
But he knew his quarry was there, he could feel it. It was stalking him even as he hunted after it.
Who's hunting whom? He asked mentally, a wry smile twisting his lips. He heard the thud of footfalls behind him, and a deep rumbling growl. He spun around, disturbing the autumn leaves fallen at his feet. Eyes narrowed he scanned the brush warily, and felt the werewolf doing the same.
"It came at me from the undergrowth, big silver bastard," Gabriel shifted uncomfortably, Anna leaned in, "He was still dripping in gore from his latest kill."
The silver werewolf lunged, mouth gaping, fangs glittering, saliva dripping. Van Helsing stood stock still, his Tojo blades buzzed angrily in the quiet forest. The werewolf snapped at him, teeth greedy for flesh. The monster hunter spun and slashed with his blades, raking them across the werewolf's big hairy arms.
It howled in anger and spun back on Gabriel, faster then he'd anticipated. Bloody fangs pulled back in a fearsome snarl the werewolf slashed back at him and roared. Gabriel felt his skin tearing…
"In my haste to leave the house, I'd left my crossbow at home. All I had was my silver dagger, the Tojo blades, and a pistol, which had been knocked aside. So I stabbed it in the heart with the dagger." Gabriel continued, he made a stabbing motion with his hand, and then twisted to look at Anna again.
The werewolf grabbed Van Helsing in a bear hug, its disgusting bloody maw right in his face.
This is it, he thought, I'm going to die.
Oh God, Anna, moving purely on adrenaline, instinct, and the thought of his wife, Gabriel pulled the silver dagger from his boot and slammed it into the werewolf's chest. The disgusting creature howled and dropped him, stumbling away with a clawed hand to its chest. Gabriel landed hard on the ground, the vicious cuts in his back screaming in protest. Yet he watched in satisfaction as the werewolf sank to his knees, blood oozing from his stab wound.
"I knew he would change back, they always do. But…"
Silver fur dripped off the murderous creature, Van Helsing pulled himself to his feet and walked over to the beast. Standing bare inches from it he crossed himself and mumbled a prayer for the lost soul.
Two soulful brown eyes looked up at him, a tussled head of blonde hair failing to obscure the face of the werewolf.
"He was just a kid!" Gabriel cried, he choked on the tears in his throat and pounded the bed with a fist.
"God!" he choked out, "He couldn't have been thirteen years old. Thirteen Anna! And I killed him!"
He raised his fist again, prepared to slam it back to the mattress, but burst into tears instead. Harsh sobs wracked his battered body as he cried for the lost boy and his unluckiness to have been the one to kill him.
Anna stared at him a moment, and felt her own tears building up. Moving cautiously she smoothed her hand over his lacerated back then leaned her entire body forward. Pressing her cheek against his shoulder she loosely draped her arms around him, ever careful of the fresh bandages.
She shushed him soothingly and held him as tightly as she dared, heart breaking at the sound of his sobs.
"Gabriel," she began and he shook his head, she pressed her lips against his shoulder and tried again, "Gabriel, look at me."
She reached out and gently cupped his chin, twisting his head and forcing him to look at her.
"How many people did you save tonight?" she whispered softly, heart tearing at the amount of pain radiating from his gaze. He shook his head again, his chest hitched with the intensity of his sobs.
"God," he croaked again and rolled over onto his back, feeling the pain of his injuries but far beyond caring. He put a hand up over his eyes and coughed, choking on the tears clogging his throat.
Anna reached out and took hold of his wrist, pulling it away from his face, and rested her other palm in the center of his chest.
"Gabriel, you saved that village, and maybe more then that!" she softly exclaimed as she stroked her fingers against his chest. "Love, you saved that boy from the curse of the werewolf! Don't you think he was grateful that he wouldn't have to kill his friends, family members, innocent people, any more?"
He drew in a shaky sigh and stared up at the ceiling for a while, before his eyes shifted and locked with hers.
"When I was a werewolf," he began, swallowing painfully against the memory, "I knew that I had to, and wanted, to kill Dracula." He paused a moment and took a deep breath "But when you came into the room, after it was done, I didn't want to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you. But I wasn't me anymore, the werewolf had already killed and exalted in it, it wanted more. The whole time I kept screaming, 'No! No! Not her! Not Anna!' but I couldn't stop." He continued, his voice trailing off into a whisper as the painful memory flashed through his mind, he could still hear Anna's scream, " I just wanted to die."
"But you didn't die, and I'm still here, we're here, you saved me and my family," Anna started; "Even my brother, you saved him too, just like you saved that boy" she finished, blinking away tears.
" I took him back to his village, the boy, I thought it was the right thing to do. His mother came to me, screaming, but she wasn't mad at me for killing him. She was heartbroken that it had to be done. She held him for a long time, rocking back and forth and sobbing. She was sobbing 'thank you' over and over." Gabriel murmured, hearing the elderly woman's wailing echoing in his head. "He was so young, so frail"
Anna leaned forward again, and took his face into her hands; she smiled softly down at him.
"Life is frail love, and if there's one thing I've learned while being with you it is that life is precious simply because it is so frail, and we should cherish it." Anna said, her smile widening as he placed his hand over hers.
"I love you," he said, feeling incredibly lightened. A full-blown grin now lit her face, she moved closer to him, stretching out on the mattress beside him and rested her cheek against his heartbeat, her favorite place to be. She wrapped her arms loosely about him, and felt his arms circle her waist. She closed her eyes and focused on the feeling of his heart drumming against her cheek.
"I love you too," she finally responded, smiling as he squeezed her waist.
"Do you want me to come with you?" Anna asked softly, watching as Gabriel pulled on his coat and grabbed his hat.
"No," he said, his voice rough with emotion. He glanced at her and shook his head no again. Still she walked with him to the front door.
"Are you sure?" she pressed, she reached out and took his hand, forcing him to look at her. The tiniest smile tugged at his mouth and then was gone.
"No," he squeezed her hand reassuringly, "But I think this is something I should do alone, don't you?"
Anna shrugged and returned the hand squeeze, "I'm here for you, I just wanted to make sure you knew that."
"I know," he sighed; he knew she wanted him to apologize for leaving her behind, and he knew he couldn't. No matter how much she wished she could've been there, Gabriel thanked God she hadn't been.
Bending his head he kissed her forehead softly, then after dropping her hand pulled her into a tight embrace.
"Thank you," he whispered to her hair, he could see her smile in the hallway mirror.
"Don't be late" she whispered back.
Unable to leave without finishing the ritual they had started on a dark night that seemed so very long ago, he kissed her, briefly.
Straightening he felt the usual tugging of his heart that happened every time they relived that night. Managing a lopsided smile for her he snatched the roses resting on the entry table and turned to open the door. Anna didn't say anything else; her eyes conveyed everything to him in their silent language.
I love you
Please, be careful
I'll be here when you get back
Swallowing against the lump in his throat, Gabriel left the warmth of his home for the biting cold of the Transylvanian dawn.
It wasn't anything spectacular, a pile of rocks in the middle of the prettiest meadow Gabriel could find.
The monster hunter looked around again, taking it all in. The butterflies chasing one another, the sun daring to shine out of the sky and warm the ground beneath it, a rare thing in Transylvania, the soft breeze that blew the long grass this way and that. He inhaled the lovely smell, and looked once more on his little pile of rocks.
Crouching down he placed the delicate red roses he'd brought in between two stones. He carefully arranged the remaining rocks so that they would hold the pretty flowers up.
Feeling tears stinging at the back of his eyes, Gabriel Van Helsing stood up. He swiped at the tears absentmindedly and continued to stare at the mound.
Following another ritual, one very different from the ritual he and Anna had made, he crossed himself slowly.
"Rest in peace," he said, and jerked at the oddness of hearing his own voice. It sounded out of place here. Bowing his head in respect Gabriel turned his back to the meadow and started back for home.
I could NOT figure out how to end this! Argh! It was hard! But I hope you like it!