Note from teh G-girl:

OMG! Update!... hurk!... >promptly keels over from shock>

Note to all reviewers: Thankx!

Disclaimer: I own nothing, but I like to torment! Muahaha!


Van Helsing knew that there was something (or someone) still in the room with them. He didn't know how or when it had snuck in, but it was there. Hiding, in an unseen spot that he could not determine. He looked at Carl, who seemed much more . . . relaxed than he had when Van Helsing had left the room. More magic, perhaps?

He turned to the other bed, not bothering to remove his boots, and settled himself on top of the covers. He lay there looking at the ceiling for a minute, and then he rolled over to face the wall, where the other presence would not be able to tell whether or not he was awake. He tried to calm his mind, slow his breathing to the natural indication of sleep. He felt his mind slowly slipping into a deep meditation, one that he could be quickly roused from if he so desired.

He had only to wait for a few hours.

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The girl waited until she was certain that the other man had fallen asleep, or at least certain enough that she would not be heard and caught. She carefully, slowly slid out from under the bed, and stood. The other man had his back to her, a very broad back with dark hair. She turned to the ill one. She once again sat down next to him, her weight sinking into the mattress, making it creak. She continued her earlier routine of calmly and slowly stroking the blonde man's hair, carefully and evenly, trying not to disturb him. When his breathing eased, and his fever dissipated, she stopped, satisfied. She lay down next to him, on the bed, curling herself into a small ball atop the covers, resting her head just beneath his chin. The man muttered something and a hand sneaked out from underneath the blanket, wrapping around her waist and pulling her close. She snuggled deeper against the warm body, her eyes closing.

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Van Helsing hadn't meant to fall asleep, but he woke abruptly once he realized he had. He was lying on his back and he sat up quite suddenly, causing little pools of color to dance before his eyes. He shook his head to clear them, and then his gazed drifted over to Carl's bed. There was a young blonde girl of perhaps fifteen curled up against Carl, and he had an arm around her, his chin resting upon her head. He was awake. And staring at Van Helsing.

"Carl?" he asked warily. Carl shushed him, glancing at the girl. Van Helsing climbed out of the bed, and walked across the room, bending down to pick the girl up. Once he had her cradled in his arms, he gently laid her down on his bed, tucking the cover up to her chin. He then went back and sat down next to Carl, who was sitting up and rubbing his head.

"How do you feel?" he asked.

"Better. Weak, but better. What happened?" the friar asked, squinting at the dark haired man in the dim light.

"You fell sick. I brought you to a cave, and someone found us there. I carried you back to her hut, were we are now. It was pretty bad there for a while, Carl," he ended, mildly puzzled at this sudden, almost . . . magical recovery.

"I know. I know I was dreadfully sick. But I remember –" he stopped, straining his mind to try to recall what had happened earlier, "I remember that she was there," he pointed at the girl, "and she was stroking my hair. And then . . . I felt better."

Van Helsing looked at the girl across the room. She appeared dead tired, with her mouth slightly open and her hand clutching the pillow. Carl yawned.

"Well, it's the early hours of the morning. You should try to get some sleep," Van Helsing said, and Carl rolled his eyes, but obediently lay back down on the pillow. Van Helsing slid to the floor and leaned back against the bed. He didn't want to return to sleep. There had been . . . nightmares. Not the same ones, not the ones he was used to, and could shrug off with not but a glance. There were new ones. About . . . about Anna

"You should go to bed as well," Carl's sleepy voice drifted across the sheets.

"I will," Van Helsing said, not sure entirely sure if he would.


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