AN: I probably should be updating Countess Dracula, but I've got writer's block so I'm posting this instead. Countess Dracula isn't abandoned, it's just on hold until I find myself able to continue.

Lucy almost stopped breathing in her excitement. Mina wasn't leaving. She was going to stay with Lucy. Mina had chosen Lucy over her fiancé, just as Lucy would have done for her. As quickly as the near-ecstatic joy had come, however, it was gone.

Jack, or perhaps she should call him Dr. Seward, had recently called for his old mentor Abraham Van Helsing to help identify and cure her "illness", and although the others had yet to realise it, Lucy's recent sharpening of intuition and instincts had allowed her to deduce that Dr. Van Helsing was a hunter. There was something about his demeanour, the way he moved and spoke, which led her to this conclusion.

What would he be hunting other than the fiend who came each night to leech away her lifeblood? Lucy knew she was becoming like the fiend, acquiring a taste for blood and an affinity for darkness, so surely Van Helsing would soon be hunting her as well.

Even the prospect of being ruthlessly hunted while thirsting for human blood did not disturb her so much as the knowledge of the consequences for Mina if she stayed in London. Already, a horrible yet enticing desire burned within Lucy to bring her dearest companion into the darkness with her. If Mina stayed, Lucy would succumb to her desire, and Mina would be hunted as well.

Lucy was sure that neither she nor Mina would receive any mercy from the Doctor if he decided they were too dangerous to live. It was too late for Lucy, she knew, but she was determined that the one she loved most would not suffer the same fate.

Feeling as though she would die of misery, Lucy made the most selfless decision of her nineteen years. "No, don't worry about me," she pleaded. "You've got to go to Jonathan, and you've got to love him, and you've got to marry him right then and there."

A stubborn, rebellious expression settled on Mina's lovely features, and she opened her mouth to protest, so Lucy continued to speak, desperately trying to convince Mina to leave before she lost her resolve and begged Mina to stay instead.

"And take this, my darling sister; my wedding gift to you." With those words, Lucy removed the engagement ring her fiancé had given her from her finger and held it out to the girl she loved more than life itself. Granted, their relationship had recently become rather different to that of sisters, but the sentiment was the same.

Mina looked as if she would refuse, but then seemed to change her mind. "There's a reason for this, isn't there?" she whispered, quietly enough that there was no chance that those waiting outside the room would overhear. Lucy locked eyes with Mina and whispered just as quietly, "If it is in any way possible, I promise to return to you."

Mina hesitated, and then slipped the ring onto her finger. She pressed her lips to Lucy's forehead and murmured into her ear, "Then I promise to be waiting." Only once Mina had left the room did Lucy allow a single tear to fall down the side of her face and onto her pillow.