Parting Ways

Seras was walking to Jason's room. She'd made a decision. As much as it pained her to admit, he couldn't stay. Now that Integra knew what he was capable of, She'd use him.

Seras didn't really blame her boss. In war, it made sense to use whatever was available. It saved more lives in the long run, but Seras knew what it was like to be a living weapon. She didn't want that life for Jason. She didn't even want it for herself, but it was too late for her. She'd made her choice back in Cheddar. There was no going back for her. But that's just it. At least I had a choice. A Hobson's choice, sure; but a choice, nevertheless. If Jason stays, he'll have no choice. This place will turn him into a monster. It might be different if he were older, if his value system was firmly established; but that's not the case. He's young and still very impressionable, too impressionable. I've got to get him out of here, back to his family.

Seras had been able to replay some of the memories Jason had flooded her mind with. She'd been able to slow them down, and she now knew what Jason was. He was the son of the world's greatest hero. She didn't want him to live a life of darkness. It wasn't right. He should become a hero. I know that he has doubts about that; but, at the least, he should have a chance for a normal life.

Seras reached Jason's door and stopped. She turned around and started to walk away. No, you've got to go in there. You may want him to stay, but you've got to keep in mind what's best for him. If you don't, you're just being selfish. When you care for someone, you have to place their needs above your own. Seras turned back to the door. She knocked.

It took a minute, but Jason's voice came from the other side. "Who's there?"

"It's… It's Seras. May I come in?"

There was another moment of hesitation followed by, "Sure."

Seras took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She opened the door and walked inside.

Jason was sitting in front of the window. The first lights of dawn were just starting to show. At first Seras thought the boy was just waiting to recharge himself; but then she noticed he was looking down to the ground, not up to the sky. Seras walked over to Jason and saw that he was staring at the court yard. She stopped and looked the boy over. His legs were crossed and his pad of paper rested in his lap. It was closed with the boxes of colored pencils and magic markers lying on top.

Jason asked, "What's up?" His eyes were still fixed on the window.

"Jason, we need… We need to talk about your parents."

For the first time since Seras entered the room, Jason's gaze shifted to her. "What about them?"

"I think…" Seras started and stopped. Seras started again, "I think… You need to go back to them."

"You don't want me here, anymore?" Jason stared at Seras, a hurt expression on his face.

Seras couldn't take that look. She quickly pulled Jason into a tight hug. "Of course I want you here. But…" Seras paused. How In the world am I going to explain this to him? Seras sighed. Honesty. That's what we have. That's what he needs. "If you stay, they'll change you. You'll become a weapon, a tool in their war. If you stay, you'll end up spending the rest of your life in darkness, fighting vampires and ghouls. You can't let that happen. You were not born to be a creature of the night. You... You have to go home."

"I can't go home."

Seras pulled back and looked into Jason's face. As far as the memories told her his family loved him; they loved him a lot. She hadn't seen anything that would've made Jason feel like he wouldn't be welcomed back. "Why can't you go home?"

"I'm too dangerous." Jason looked out the window again. "I lose control." Then Seras understood why he'd been staring at the courtyard. He'd been replaying the battle in his head, remembering everything he'd done. "I just can't go home."

"You're worried that you'll hurt someone you care about?" The question was more a thought that slipped out than anything else, but Seras saw Jason nod in response. Seras added an authoritative edge to her voice. "Now you listen here. That is completely ridiculous."

Jason was still looking out the window. Seras placed a hand on the side of his face and brought it around to look into her eyes. She continued. "I know you, remember? No matter what, you'd never hurt your family."

Jason meekly asked, "How can you be so sure?" The question had the same tone as a man who dying of thirst and begging for a drink of water.

Seras forced a smile unto her lips. "Because, you didn't hurt me. I was lying on the ground, helpless and nearly dead. Your eyes were glowing red, but you didn't hurt me. You saved me. You defended me. You risked your own life and broke off fighting that she-vamp to protect me from the ghouls, not once, but twice. If that's the way you act when you're 'out of control' , you're more of a hero than you think."

"I'm not a hero. Heroes don't kill. They save lives."

"You saved mine."

Jason was quiet. That may be true, but how many ghouls did I kill to do it? That can't be what being a hero is about, killing some to save others. That's not what my father would've done. He would've saved her without getting any blood on his hands. That's what heroes do. They saves people without killing. They find away.

Seras saw how quiet Jason had become. She knew that he wasn't ready to accept the title of 'hero'. "Well if not a hero, you are certainly no monster. But this place… This place will turn you into one. I know you don't want that." It wasn't really a question, but still Seras waited for a reply.

Jason responded by shaking his head back and forth a few times then letting it slump down.

Seras stood up and took Jason's hand. "Come on."

"Where are we going?"

"I'm taking you home."

Jason grabbed his pad, pencils and markers then followed Seras. Jason still had mixed feelings about going home. He missed his family, his parents. He hoped that Seras was right, that he wasn't a threat to them. He had saved her. Maybe she was right. Maybe even when he was out of control he couldn't hurt people he cared about. Maybe he didn't become some monster but merely lost his self restraint, his logic. Maybe he was still a 'good guy' but one who simply acted on emotion, on instinct, a living id that would still protect those he cared for. That was what Seras thought. That was what she'd told him and what he wanted to believe. Even if it were true though, Jason still hurt inside. He wanted to go back to his family, but he didn't want to leave Seras. She'd seen his faults, his failings, everything that was wrong with him and didn't care about it. She loved him anyway. That kind of love, that kind of acceptance, even at ten years old, Jason knew it was a rare thing; and he loved her too, loved her like family. Jason was torn. He didn't know what to do, so he simply followed Seras's lead. He left the decision up to her. It was easier that way.

Seras led Jason to her new car, the one she'd 'confiscated' from Rip; then she drove him back to his parents hotel. "Okay, this is it. You… You go back to your family now. I'm sure they miss you." Seras chuckled. If she didn't laugh, she'd cry; and she didn't want Jason to see that. "They're probably worried sick about you."

"Are… Are you going to come up? Would you like to meet them?"

Seras shook her head. "No, it's best if they don't know about me. They are reporters, after all; and I kind of need to stay out of the limelight."

"They wouldn't write anything about you. They know how to keep a secret."

Seras knew that was true. After all, they had an even bigger one than she did. But the fact that they were reporters was just an excuse. The truth was Seras didn't want to see Jason reunited with his family. She didn't want to see the slow motion running, hear the violins and watch the embrace. She didn't know if she could take it. She wanted to keep the kid. "No. Even if they can keep a secret, Integra would still have my head if she knew I was hanging around with reporters."

"Then… Then I guess this is goodbye?"

"Yeah, kid. Fraid so."

Jason handed Seras the pad of paper. "Here, I want you to have this. Something to remember me by."

Seras took the pad. "Thanks, but I don't need this to remember you. You're one special kid."

Jason smiled but only for a moment. "Seras? I'll miss you. I wish… I wish there was someway you could come with me." Jason's face lit up. "Hey, maybe my Father could get you a spot on the Justice League! He was one of the founding members."

For a moment, Seras pictured herself standing along side Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the other heroes. She chuckled at the absurdity. Yeah, right. A vampire on the Justice League? Like that would ever happen. "I don't think that would work out too well, but…" Seras opened the pad of paper and flipped through it until she got to one of the empty pages. She took out one of the colored pencils and scribbled something onto the page, then she ripped it out. Seras handed the paper to Jason and continued, "Here. Do you know what an email address is?"

Jason gave Seras an amused look. "I'm ten."

Of course, should've known he'd know. Kids these days are so into the high tech stuff. "Well, this is my email address. If you ever need my help or… Or just want a friend to talk to, send me an email. I'll always be there for you."

Jason took the paper, leaned over the seat divider and gave Seras a rather strong hug. "Ditto."

Seras briefly wondered where a ten year old would pick up that word. She knew it from an old movie called "Ghost", but that movie was before Jason's time. Seras mentally shrugged, and decided not to dwell on it. She hugged Jason back, and they stayed like that for a few moments. Then Seras let go, and after a few more seconds, Jason pulled away. He opened the car door and got out. He looked at the entrance to the hotel then turned back and started to close the car door. Before closing it completely, he said, "I remember everything, always have. I won't forget you. I'll email you every single week."

Seras willed herself to not cry. She leaned over and messed Jason's hair one final time and playfully replied, "You better." Jason smiled then closed the car door and went into the hotel. Once Jason entered the hotel, Seras drove away.

Seras just drove around for awhile then headed back to the mansion. She pulled up in front of the main entrance and turned the car off. She was about to remove the key from the ignition when the dam finally broke. Seras put her head down on the steering wheel and had herself a good cry. She lost track of the time; but when her tears were all spent, Seras recomposed herself and went inside the mansion, completely forgetting to take the keys out of the ignition.

Epilogue:

Jason kept his promise and emailed Seras at least once a week. Sometimes nothing particularly exciting was happening in his life, but he still kept up the correspondence. Schoolwork, friends, exams, family life, even if the content was sometimes dull, Jason always found something to fill his emails with.

Seras looked forward to and enjoyed each of Jason's emails, especially the 'dull' ones. They acted as a window into a 'normal' life and reminded her that such a thing still existed. She kept up her side of the correspondence, as well. Although, she sometimes censured the content. There was no need for Jason to know just how many blessed bayonets Anderson had stuck into her or exactly how much 'fun' she had on some of her dates with her master, once he finally got around to asking (Okay, more like ordering) her to go out with him. Seras never lied in her letters, though. She always expressed her feelings and emotions truthfully and fully. She was just a little vague on some of the events that led to them.

The two kept there relationship strong with frequent emails; and a year latter they were reunited... for a time. Eventually they even worked together to save the world from a time-traveling cyborg bent on world domination. But such is a tale for another time.

Alucard was reprimanded for 'ignoring' Integra's summons. He was sentenced to a month without any transfusion blood and had to spend all his free time assisting Walter around the mansion. This turned out to be as big a punishment to poor Walter as it was to Alucard; and after three weeks of begging from her loyal butler, Integra finally lifted the 'domestic duties' part of Alucard's punishment.

Integra was angered by Jason's leaving, but there really wasn't much she could do about it. It wasn't like she was going to try to kidnap Superman's son; and Seras, wisely, kept her involvement in Jason's departure a secret. Integra did, however, order the fledgling to extend an open invitation to return to the Hellsing Mansion should she ever meet back up with the boy.

Rip finally escaped the mansion, although it was no easy trick. As it turned out, the members of Gamma were far too grateful to her for saving their lives. They simply refused to leave her alone long enough for her to get away. She eventually managed to slip away after everyone else had gone to sleep. In a rare stroke of good luck, Rip found her car parked outside the mansion, keys still in the ignition.

Private Margaretha Zelle was never heard or seen after the day following Millennium's attack on the Hellsing Mansion. The Private's sudden disappearance and, the fact, that it was later discovered there was no Margaretha Zelle on Hellsing's payroll led some of the soldiers, particularly those who had been members of Gamma, to believe that the private was in fact an angel sent to protect their leader from a surprise attack and watch over them during their time of greatest adversity.

(Well, what did you think of the ending? This chapter got a little away from me. The goodbye was not supposed to be that long. But once I got into writing it, I couldn't stop. I hope it wasn't too much. And I hope you enjoyed the dashes of humor in the Epilogue. Please review. Thanks.

Have a good day, and God bless.

Metropolis Kid.)