Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Set after the Manga, spoilers for volume 8. Edited by Kainonis/Ironical Jester.
Field of Blood
"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day."
(Matthew 27, 3-8).
"These are your pieces of silver, Heinkel, Yumie, Maxwell," Father Anderson had told them when they were young, when his hair had not completely greyed yet. He had given a silver coin to each; they looked ancient. "As future Iscariots, you must carry them always."
Wolfe Heinkel had finished dressing in the abandoned priest cloth when she heard her partner's call. She had difficulty accustoming to the bigger size, but it was fresh, without blood or sweat. That would do. They did not have the luxury of a private tailor anymore.
"Heinkel!" Yumiko exclaimed insistently and recoiled on the small bed. The parish bedroom was simple and clean, the walls were white, only adorned with a crucifix and a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and the only decorations were statues of Saint Peter beside the bookcase. Heinkel sat in the single chair and tried to keep her friend in place.
"Calm down," she said. "Don't open your eyes, you will only hurt yourself."
"It's all dark! All dark, Heinkel!" Yumiko protested in despair with a strangled sob. "It's cold and lonely. I am alone here! Where are the chief? Our beloved Father Anderson? Why has this all happened? Why!"
Heinkel was quiet for a while, holding her still while she was hysterical. "Yumiko?" Wolfe asked, uncertain whom she was talking to.
Yumiko nodded weakly, whimpering miserably. "Yumie is gone."
Heinkel removed her sunglasses and stared at the Asian nun in disbelief. "G-gone? Don't be ridiculous. Let me talk to her." Yumie can't be gone.
"I can't! She's gone. I am alone." She was crying, tears wet against the bandages around her eyes. "I am alone and I miss her. It's all so silent, all by myself."
Heinkel closed her eyes, her head hung down forward. Yumie was stronger than she was. She would have not died so easily.
"You don't remember," Heinkel murmured, mystified. Yumiko shook her head. "You are lucky."
"Beloved Father! We must stop him, Heinkel!" Yumie had shouted, turning to look at her, then to the rest of the Iscariots. They were barely ten in total, no longer the glorious thirty soldiers of Section XIII. "Aren't we the disciples of Judas Iscariot! We should honor Anderson's memory. The one fighting isn't him!"
"Where is everyone? What happened, Heinkel! Tell me!" Yumiko insisted, enraged by the silence. It stunned Heinkel to think that she could develop spite. She was entitled to.
"Dead," her answer tasted sour in her mouth. "Archbishop Enrico Maxwell was killed by the Protestant demons. Anderson himself handed him to them for his sins." The other woman gasped, and Heinkel did not need to see the look of her eyes to know she was heartbroken. She poured water on a goblet and tried to make her drink. Yumiko moved her head, rejecting the liquid.
"What about our Father?"
She had shaken her head to Yumie's passion. "That's what the Devil says about him." She had tried to convince the berserker nun to forsake her plans, but her tone was filled with doubt. There had been no recognition in Anderson's stare, just emptiness. "We shouldn't listen to him!"
"We shouldn't? Aren't we disciples of Judas Iscariot, Heinkel! That's exactly what he did, he listened for the good of everyone!"
"Heinkel…" Yumiko trailed off softly, clumsily reaching for her hand. "You can tell me. I am not strong like Yumie, but I am not that weak either. God gives us strength."
Heinkel smiled mirthlessly and put the glass of water over on the nightstand. "Sometimes that's not enough." One hand squeezed Yumiko's and the other went to her pocket, touching the piece of silver Anderson had given to her.
She had looked at the two monsters fighting, pained to think of Anderson as no longer human. "Who are you, Iscariot?" she had exclaimed aloud.
Yumie had cheered madly and rushed to the battlefield, the other seven priests following them. The vampire had been aware of their coming, he had opened eyes on his back, and drew himself apart from Anderson.
"It is for us. We are religious people, aren't we?" Heinkel tried to decide if her tone was sarcastic or not. "Anderson is dead too, isn't he?"
"How did he die?"
If Anderson had recognized them first, he had not given any indication of it. Instead, he threw bayonets in their direction, severing four of the priests' heads. He had appeared apathetic to their fates; they were merely obstacles blocking his fight with the vampire.
"Beloved Father!" Yumie let out in a choked scream. "We came to give you this!" She pulled out the silver coin from her pocket. It shone on his face, illuminated by the moonlight. Silently, she and the other three mimicked her gesture. Anderson's expression shifted; there was a moment of lucidity in his gaze. He glanced at the dead men under his knives and wept vine thorns, tearing his flesh.
"We killed him together. It was the only thing we could do. You didn't have a direct hand on it," Heinkel lied. It was a sin she would not regret; she was damned in any case. That was not the foulest that tormented her conscious, and it would assure an innocent would not blame herself.
She had been with Father Andrea at Yumie's right side as the nun kissed Anderson's cheek; the thorns prickled her lips. She beheld the entire moment as calm as she was able to muster, uttering their creed under her breath. Her determination had faltered a bit, just like Peter when his Lord was crucified, in the moment Yumie struck her sword into their Father's heart.
She had hidden her piece of silver in her pocket, ashamed of the act.
"He can't be dead!" Yumiko sobbed aloud, releasing her hand. She embraced herself, shaking. "Take these bandages, Heinkel! I want to see."
"You can't, Yumiko," Heinkel leaned on the nun, hugging her with a firm grip, and closed her eyes. "You can't see."
The earth had trembled under their feet, the moon darkened on the sky above them. Four pieces of silver had fallen next to the dead Messiah, on the field of blood. A bright light emanated from Anderson's corpse.
She had covered her eyes with her arm in time; her dark spectacles had shielded her delicate sight. She heard the shrieks of pain of her companions, and one-by-one they had joined the coins on the ground.
"Blind?" Yumiko uttered in horror. "I am blind?" Heinkel held her closer, stroking her hair in a soothing manner. "Yumie is gone and I am blind and useless? The Holy See won't take me back. How am I going to live?"
She wished she could say or do something, but Heinkel felt impotent about her friend's plight. But she was not a Messiah or a saint. She could not make the blind see or do miracles. She was the assassin who refused to join the fates of her partners; she had not tossed the piece of silver yet.
"Yumie! Father Andrea! Father Paulo! Father Zacharias!" she had called them, kneeling to assist them. The ground was covered with blood. It was not coming from their bodies, but the coins. She checked their pulses. Dead, the four of them dead.
"I warned him humanity would top him."
She had glared hatefully at the Devil's direction. Hellsing's vampire had a solemn face, there was no trace of mockery in his features. "A human bested your original Messiah, and he knew it would be that way."
"Why don't you finish me!"
"You aren't my enemy," Alucard had said simply. "Take your survivors and leave, Catholic. This is no longer a religious battle. The Son of God is dead, the human traitors will remain in the field of blood."
She had been puzzled for a moment when she felt Yumiko stir; her body had been sparked of life once more.
"I can't see! I can't see! Heinkel! I can't see!" the nun had screamed, recoiling on the blood. She had taken pity of her friend and knocked her unconscious to carry her out.
Heinkel embraced Yumiko for hours during her tirade. She had given her painkillers she found in the deserted pharmacies, and then found shelter in the forsaken Church. Wolfe hoped that would be enough.
"W-where are we?" Yumiko questioned, changing the subject. Heinkel supposed she was in enough sorrow to dwell further into the issue.
"Badrick?" There was recognition in her tone; they both had been there when Anderson told the Patrick adventure. "But it's a ghost town after the vampire attack. Oh… I see. How did we get here?"
"I 'borrowed' one of the Vatican helicopters," Heinkel explained, grateful of the lessons Maxwell had forced into her to be his chauffer when Renaldo was not available.
"You stole it! Heinkel!" Yumiko gasped to her amusement. It felt like the old times, just both of them in some tight situation they had managed to get out of. Only Yumie was missing, she lamented.
"So? Is not like I have to answer for worse sins anyway," Heinkel stated pragmatically. "We accepted to revel in our sins after all."
"I know," she said, crestfallen. "Are we alone?" Yumiko seemed afraid to ask for survivors; perhaps she suspected everyone died except them.
"Yes, we are. All the others died in the field of blood," Heinkel affirmed. Even Yumie, she thought mournfully. Yumiko's mind had been a mystery for her, psychology aside. It was possible Yumie was the Iscariot and never her other self, so Yumiko was forgiven and would be able to continue her life in blindness.
They stayed in silent, listening to the wind moved the windows, to the surviving cats meowing on the roofs of the empty houses outside.
"Will you leave me, Heinkel, to return to the Holy See?"
Heinkel looked at the nun curled on her arms and shook her head. "I won't. We don't have a place there anymore. I am not a scapegoat for their mistakes and neither are you." Yumiko smiled at her response. As dire the circumstances were, they had each others still, and a ghost town filled with supplies to raid in need.
"I am tired…"
"The sedatives I gave you make you lethargic. You should sleep. I will watch you in the chair-"
"Don't go!" Yumiko squeezed her painfully. Yumie worked on her muscles; she did not know her strength.
"I will be right here, Yumiko," Heinkel assured her, inhaling deeply for her precious life. "I can hold your hand for you to know." Her argument did not convince her. Yumiko did not let her go, just snuggled into her further. "Fine. Let me take my coat. I will sleep with you. Just don't recoil, think in your eyes."
Yumiko beamed and loosened her grip. Heinkel frowned, but remembered she could not see the chastising expression on her features. After taking off her shoes and coat, Wolfe tried to make herself comfortable beside the Asian nun. The bed was narrow, but neither complained about the lack of space.
Yumiko prayed three "Hail Mary" before settling to sleep. She yawned and rolled over to face Heinkel, head half on the pillow and half on her chest. The drugs enticed her the rest very soon. Wolfe felt her body relaxing and bent to kiss her forehead. Her skin was cold and very pale, and Heinkel hoped she recovered her strength soon.
Unlike Yumiko, slumber eluded Heinkel for nearly an hour. She was content to have her body on a decent mattress, and her friend so close for comfort. Her own spiritual pain was far too deep to be able to heal completely, but the close distance and her presence made Wolfe light-headed and wishing to become another kind of sinner – a moment of passion to forget the grime and blood of the field she had forsaken in doubt. The urge passed, and Heinkel caught her laugher when Yumiko started to snore loudly.
"Sleep well," Heinkel wished, breathing on Yumiko's ear. She rested her head on the pillow, cradling the younger woman's skull with her chin. The candle she had lit flickered; the wax was on the near end. The light went out for Heinkel in a puff of smoke. Their bodies entwined together in the darkness.