A/N- Okay, so quite a long wait. I do apologize for that. I was busy finishing up some other fics then I had school, graduation, and other life type things. But, I hope you all will enjoy this next one-shot!
Youth and Innocence: Scene Eight
Lisa had happily been Lady Tepes now for the length of a year. Although she lived well outside her village's bounds, she still worked daily for Midwife Rochelle, who continued to grow ever older. In fact, the aging midwife had mentioned one day, quite out of the blue, that she suspected that the day when Lisa would take over for her might be coming sooner than she thought. Lisa had both been horrified and flattered by this statement all at the same time. Horrified by the idea that Rochelle might die any day—for the midwife had made clear, long ago, that this would be the only way she would ever give up her modest practice. And Lisa had been flattered because she had never, in her wildest dreams, assumed that Rochelle would leave her practice to her. She had simply thought she would work with the woman that Rochelle had named her heir. She had thanked Rochelle and begged her never to speak of such a thing again all in the same statement. The midwife had found that quite amusing.
Imelda continued to visit Lisa on a daily basis, often bringing her herbs. She usually visited her at Rochelle's house and then followed her out to the small, forest cottage that Lisa now lived at—after all, Vlad and she had agreed long ago that Castlevania was no place for her to live. For one thing, it was quite inaccessible to the common man, and Lisa's profession begged her to be at the villager's beck and call at all times of the day. And so, Lisa lived in the be-flowered cottage, where Imelda would visit with her until night began to fall.
Imelda was still not quite happy with the idea of Vlad being a vampire. She did not think less of Lisa, but she was truly uncomfortable around him. So, as soon as the sun began to set, the witch would say her good-byes and tell Lisa to give her husband her "best."
It was on such a night, as Lisa was bidding Imelda "good night," that she suddenly felt a wave of nausea overtake her. Clutching her stomach, Lisa groaned, bending forward and trying to hold herself up by the cottage's door frame. Imelda came rushing back to her friend's side, helping her indoors. She set Lisa down in the most comfortable chair she could find and immediately placed a hand to her forehead.
"Hmm, you don't appear to have a fever," Imelda said, taking her hand away.
Lisa gave a short laugh. "I'm fine. I'm sure it was only something I ate. You best be on your way, Imelda… Vlad will be here soon."
But Imelda shook her head, sending her raven locks—worn loose this evening—about her head.
"I'll wait here, and explain to him what happened," she said, taking a seat at Lisa's feet.
Now Lisa laughed, quite loudly. "You think that I can't explain to my own husband that I suddenly felt a little nauseous?"
"No, I think you'll make light of it, like you always do. Or conveniently forget to mention it. You don't like to be sick, Lisa, and you also don't like actual sickness to stop you. I'm waiting."
And wait she did, while Lisa sighed and reclined against her chair. The nausea had passed… or so she thought. A few moments before Vlad walked through the door of the cottage, Lisa doubled forward, one hand on her stomach and the other covering her mouth. Vlad entered just in time to see her sit herself upright once more and uncover her mouth. His eyes widened with worry as she rushed past Imelda—who had stood to greet him—and he dropped to one knee beside Lisa.
"Lisa, what's wrong?" he asked.
Lisa smiled and shook her head. "It's nothing, Vlad. I just feel a little sick to my stomach, that's all. Probably something I ate."
"Lisa Tepes, I know the way you worry over every little detail!" Imelda accused, pointing a thin finger at her friend. "You've never had a rotten piece of food in your house in your life, let alone eaten it! You're sick, and you know it."
Vlad's eyes went to Imelda, as if just noticing she was there. He stood and looked between the two women.
"Lisa, is this true?" he asked.
She shrugged. "I'm fine, my love, I assure you. Except for this nausea, I feel wonderful."
"Except for the nausea. Lisa, that's not fine," Imelda said.
"Imelda," Vlad said, in the tone of some general giving an order, "go into the village and fetch Rochelle, if you will."
Lisa shoved herself to her feet, shaking her head. "No. Vlad, Rochelle is getting on in her age. She can't be expected to walk into a forest in the chill of the night!"
"Then I'll send one of my carriages," he said.
"But I'm—" but another wave of nausea struck Lisa before she could finish her sentence, and this time, unable to hold it back, she rushed out the door to finally relieve her stomach of the offending substance.
Once they had Lisa inside and sitting by the fireplace, Vlad's carriage arrived, and Imelda was off without hesitation. While she was gone, Lisa could only sit, for Vlad would not allow her to move out of her seat. Thankfully, it took only a small amount of time for Imelda to return, with Rochelle rushing into the house after her. She immediately ordered Vlad and Imelda to leave the room while she examined Lisa, in order to give her privacy. After the two had stepped into the kitchen, Rochelle shook her head at Lisa.
"My best assistance had better not be sick," she said, teasingly.
Lisa laughed. "You mean, your only assistant."
"Either way, you are still the best. Now, Lisa, you know the way this goes…"
It seemed to take forever, but, finally, when Vlad could take it no longer, he used his supernatural hearing to listen in to the next room. This was followed, swiftly, by a smack on the back of the head by Imelda.
"Rochelle wanted Lisa to have privacy for a reason, Dracula," Imelda hissed.
"How did you know I was listening in?" he asked.
"Because of the ridiculous look you had on your face!"
Dracula stood to reply, only to be cut off by Lisa entering the room, a bright smile on her face. He rushed immediately to her, and she took both his hands in hers.
"What's wrong, my love?" he asked.
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh, Vlad, how could I not have realized it? Vlad… I'm pregnant!"
Immediately, Imelda let out a squeal of joy and rushed past Vlad to wrap her friend in a tight embrace. Both women laughed while Vlad took a single step back, allowing this scene to play out before him. Finally, Lisa informed Imelda that Rochelle was waiting in the carriage for her. Imelda congratulated her friend once more and left, a bright smile on her face as well.
As soon as the carriage was heard pulling away, Lisa let out a happy sigh and sank down into the chair by the fireplace in the sitting room. Vlad followed, only to remain standing. She looking up at him, a dreamy smile on her face.
"Oh, Vlad… a child. Isn't this wonderful?" she asked.
Vlad said nothing, his face a total blank. However, Lisa seemed to take no notice of this as she continued.
"I'll admit something to you, my love. I've always wanted to be a mother. I never thought I would be, though, after I met and fell in love with you. So I made my peace with that. But… oh, isn't it just wonderful?"
Here, she finally paused, staring up at her husband. Her eyes narrowed as he seemed less than enthused about this predicament. He turned, his long cape sweeping Lisa's feet as he stared into the glowing flames of the fireplace.
"Vlad?" she asked, standing and placing a hand on his shoulder.
"A vampire is not able to produce children, Lisa," he said, simply.
Her eyes widened. "What are you saying? Are you implying that I have been unfaithful?"
At this, he whirled, his eyes apologetic. "No, never! I know you could never do such a thing!"
"Then what is it that you are saying?" she asked, taking a single step away from him.
He averted his eyes from her gaze, which was growing ever more intense.
"I'm saying that… this is wrong, Lisa. It's not meant to be. This is a monster growing inside of you… I'm sure of that. I'm afraid I may have cursed your pure existence with this happening."
At this, Lisa felt her jaw set. She shoved a single finger into her husband's face and said what was perhaps the harshest words she had spoken to him yet.
"Children, no matter the parentage, are a gift from God. And I will not have you speak this way about our child ever again, do you understand me, Vlad Dracula?"
Vlad blinked once, surprised. Finally, he shook his head.
"I fear for you," he said, after a long moment.
"I know. But trust me, Vlad. This child is a gift."
At this, she wrapped herself around her husband, who wrapped his arms about her.
"I do trust you, Lisa. Only you," he whispered.
End Notes: Okay, so how was that? Finally, our first mention of Alucard… well, sort of. I hope you all enjoyed this one. I'll try not to make it such a long wait for the next chapter, okay? Please review!
Edited on 02/24/10