John looked around the destitute area that had once been called Boston. It was a dismal sight but really, what wasn't these days? According to the information pulled for him this was where he would find the most vermin. It was perfect for his plans. They had told him that he would need someone newly infected to call up a good swarm of the pale faces to him. None of the soldiers had offered to find him someone but he didn't want or need their help. After teleporting the bomb to where he wanted it John had done his own hunting. Jack's skills could come in very handy when used properly.
He sighed as he looked up into the ashen sky. "So much to say and yet not nearly the words needed to say it," he murmured. He touched the hidden locket. "My Helen," he whispered. "You were my saving grace, had I only the brains and strength to reach out and take it. I am so sorry for the pain I caused you. I would take it all back in an instant if I could. You made me happier than anyone should have a right to be. And perhaps that is why fate pulled you from me. Because what we had was too perfect. If there can be such a thing."
He gripped the locket tighter as he thought of the daughter he had known for a few brief months. "My Ashley," he murmured. "You were so like your mother, myself and yet there were things that were a part of you and you alone. I am sorry I was not there to be a true father as you deserved. You grew up to be a young woman that any man would have been proud to call his daughter. I only wish we'd had more time together. Truly, I loved you in my own way. I hope that you are helping to look after your mother and younger sibling. They will need it." Having said his piece he looked back his new toy.
He set about arming the device. He had just five minutes to gather as many of the bastards as he could. That didn't bother him. Once they heard the screeching of the girl he had brought with him they would swarm. He had seen it a thousand times over. He pulled out the locket that was still hidden under his shirt. "Just five more minutes, my darlings," he whispered. He was not naïve enough to believe that he would really be united with them in death. Helen and Ashley were certainly in heaven, if there was one, and the likes of him would never be allowed in. He had made his peace with that. He would simply be happy to not have to face another day without them.
A groan from the other side of the weapon made John look up from his preparations. He carefully walked around to see the captive girl finally waking up. She turned to him with pleading in her eyes that were slowly being crowded out by the beast. "Please," she begged, "Kill me."
John crouched next to her with a cruel smile. "Oh, I promise you will die this night," he told her. "But not until you've served your purpose."
"Why are you keeping me?" she asked. "You're just going to bring them right to you." She let out a pained groan as John straightened.
"That, my girl, is exactly what I'm hoping to do," he told her. She gave him a confused look. "Never you mind," he said. "I simply need you to call them here. And the sooner the better preferably." She clamped her mouth shut and shook her head. John could tell that the thing inside her was dying to get out. John's look changed from kindness thinly veiling cruelty to scowl that had once had grown men shaking. "If you will not do as I ask willingly then perhaps some encouragement is in order," he growled. Then he viciously backhanded her with his fist.
The girl threw her head back and let out a shriek unlike anything John had ever heard. He watched, mesmerized, as a protrusion came out of her mouth to stick straight in the air. Clearly this is what would call them. It took nearly a full minute before the girl could regain control. "Oh god, what have you done," she whimpered. "They'll come by the thousands."
"Indeed I hope so," he said, his voice laced with dark amusement. Sure enough, he could hear them coming very quickly. He moved around to the other side. Just under three minutes. A good thing for him that the beasts didn't have brains any longer and therefore wouldn't bother trying to disarm his toy. Still he wanted to ensure he took as many as possible, even with the bomb's far reaching consequences. He moved back to where the girl was tied. "Not bad for a start my dear, but I need a little more from you," he said. He raised a hand to strike her again but she did it on her own this time. "Very good," he said approvingly. "You learn quickly."
"You'll kill us both," she whispered. John could now see some of the slier among them scurrying about.
"Have you not been paying attention?' he asked. "That has been my plan all along." She let a few tears fall. "Don't cry now my dear, you'll have a quick death I promise. Think of it as a thank you for helping me." He left her alternately weeping and shrieking as he teleported to the other side. In moment that it had taken him to move, they were surrounded by vermin. John smiled as he looked at the timer nearly reaching zero. "Into death's sweet embrace my love," he whispered, "If only it were the comfort of your arms." He closed his eyes as the world around them was taken in a bright light.
Will was just coming back from a raid for more food when he heard the sound of Kate weeping. He handed off his supplies to one of his deputies and hurried to where she crouched in a corner with Declan holding her. He looked pretty sorrowful as well but he was trying to keep strong for Kate. "Hey, what's with the waterworks?" Will asked softy.
Kate looked up at him. "He's dead," she wailed, launching herself at him. Will took her into his arms and held her tight. He murmured a few comforting words before looking to Declan with a bemused look.
"John," he explained. "We picked up two new survivors today. One was from the military that described Druitt to a tee. Kate asked him what he knew. The boy said that John had come by looking for something that would take down not only him but a good deal of the pale faces as well. They gave him a tactical nuke." Will let out a low whistle. "That was my reaction," Declan nodded. "The other survivor was from the east. Talked about heading through Boston at one point. Most of it was just plain gone. The military boy confirmed the story. He over heard a conversation between John and one of the older veterans. They had sent John to Boston."
"So John Druitt is dead," Will murmured.
"He found what he was looking for," Declan agreed.
Will nodded. He felt a few of his own tears slip out. He may not have always liked the man but he did come through when they needed it. Will looked at Declan. "I'll take care of her," he said. "Go help out with the food." Declan nodded and moved off. Will continued to hold her until the tears began to dry up. He moved so he could look her in the eye. "You better?" he asked.
"Yeah," she sniffed. "It's just, we got real close those last few months. He was like the father I didn't get to have. And he was always looking out for all of us."
"He was a good guy," Will agreed.
"I can't believe he's gone."
"I still can't believe Magnus is gone," Will told her. "But John wouldn't want you to cry for him. He and Magnus are together now which is what they both want. So no more tears, okay?"
Kate rested her head against his shoulder and nodded. She put a hand on her stomach as a thought struck her. "Will?" she called.
"What is it?"
"We're going to name our boy Magnus, right?"
"If you're still up for it," he agreed.
"Could his middle name be John?"
Will smiled into her hair. "I think that would be a perfect name," he told her. Kate smiled and snuggled closer so she could rest. As Will held her close he said a prayer to whatever gods were listening that John and Magnus really were together again.
When John opened his eyes once again, he was met by a very unexpected sight. Actually the fact that he opened his eyes at all was unexpected. He wondered for a moment if the bomb had failed to work in some way but dismissed the possibility. The sky he was currently staring into was a bright blue with just a few clouds drifting lazily in the breeze. Not to mention the bright sunlight filtering through the clouds. And rather than being on hard rock and debris, he was laying on what appeared to be grass. He looked to the side and confirmed that he was indeed lying on his back on the grass. "Do you plan to lie there all day or are you going to get up?" voice demanded. It was followed by a sharp pain in his side.
John rolled his head to the other side. A figure was standing over him but their face was blocked by the sun. However he could now identify the object poking him as a cane. Add to that the familiar British voice and he could only conjure up one name. "Gregory Magnus?" he asked.
"And perhaps you were expecting the Queen herself?" Gregory wondered. "Come along, boy, we haven't all day. The tea is growing cold as we speak."
John struggled into a sitting position where he received another surprise. He was no longer in the black outfit he had been in when he had died. Instead he was in brown. He ran his hands up his front to reveal that he was clad in his brown suit from his Oxford days. He continued moving his hands upward to the top of his head. The illusion was complete; he had his long brown hair back as well. "In the name of god," he breathed.
Gregory chuckled. "Something like that," he agreed. "Now don't just lie there like a schoolgirl on holiday. The others are waiting for you to start and it wouldn't be proper to leave them hanging on."
He turned to the older man. "What is going on?" he asked. "Where are we?"
Gregory rolled his eyes. "So full of question," he sighed, exasperated. "It's why you and my daughter worked so well together. You both wanted answers and you weren't satisfied until you had them."
"You must admit for one in my position this is a very confusing circumstance," John pointed out.
"No doubt," Gregory agreed. "Now up with you as I said. We haven't the time to sit around all day. We need to get a move on."
John stumbled to his feet and brushed himself off. As he straightened he felt something thump against his chest. He reached through his many layers to pull out the golden locket. It had apparently not disappeared with the rest of his former dress. He opened it to find both pictures still inside, smiling. "You could at least tell me where we are," he pointed out.
Gregory gave another roll of his eyes. "Look around you boy," he snapped. "And use the brain god gave you for once. What does this place look like to you?"
John did as he was asked. "It looks like…Hyde Park," he said. He turned back to Gregory. "But that is impossible."
"Quite true," Gregory nodded. He leaned on his cane. "Hyde Park was destroyed quite awhile ago if I'm not mistaken. But then if it can't be Hyde Park, where is it?"
"Could this possibly be…?" John breathed.
"It is," Gregory smiled.
"But I can not be here," John stated.
"And yet you are," Gregory pointed out. John just shook his head. He couldn't come up with a logical argument for all this. "Are you coming or aren't you?" Gregory asked.
"I…am coming," John said.
Gregory smiled and they began to walk. As they continued on, John could hear male voices speaking to each other. He couldn't make them out too well but they became clearer as they walked. They passed through some brush to see three males talking. One of them, with well groomed black hair, turned to look at them. "It appears the last member of group finally arrived," he greeted. "Nikola, you've just lost our wager."
"Nigel?" John asked. All three turned to him. They were dressed as they had been when they died, only more polished. John was quite confused.
"Greetings, old boy," Griffin smiled.
"Damn," Nikola scowled, "I can't believe it took you so long. I thought you were all about the romantic gestures and all."
"Be fair, Nikola," John said. "It took two weeks to find the military."
"See?" Nikola asked Nigel, "He was planning from day one. That means I should win."
"You didn't stipulate that in the wager," the third man, James Watson, told him. "You only said it would take less than a week for him to arrive up here. It didn't, you lost. The two of you can settle up after tea." He reached for his pocket watch. "We're going to be late as it is. Let's get a move on."
The three of them fell in step with Gregory and John. "Nikola, I must ask how you ended up here," John said.
"Actually I must admit, I'm surprised as well," the vampire agreed. "But then if you can get in here why not me?"
Gregory looked between the two of them. "You'll both stop this instant," he warned. "I'll not have you ruining today."
The two murmured their agreement and they continued walking. John spoke with his old friends about trivial topics as they walked. Every so often the sound of girlish laughter would reach their ears. John inquired about it but none would give him an answer so he soon stopped asking. He got his answer as they reached a clearing. There was a set of wrought iron out door furniture resting here. On the ground next to it was his daughter playing with a small child. She was no longer in her black combat outfit. Now she was dressed in nice jeans and a white shirt. Her blonde hair was in double braids that hung down for the child to play with. She looked up as they came close with a grin. "Hey there!" she greeted with a laugh.
The other three nodded their hellos. "Good afternoon, Ashley," Gregory smiled.
"Ashley?" John whispered.
"The one and only," she agreed. She looked down at the baby. "Hey, Greg, can you say hi to daddy?" she asked him. Ashley took his arm and waved it in an imitation of hello. "That's it, say 'hi, daddy'," she giggled.
"Greg?" John asked, too stunned to think of anything else.
"Gregory William Druitt," Ashley confirmed as she played with him.
John was confused until the full name sunk in. Ashley was playing with her brother. His son. The son that Helen had been carrying when she had died. "He's wonderful," John murmured. "Like his sister." Ashley smiled at that.
"Mom was worried about what you might think," Ashley confided in him.
As though conjured by that phrase, Helen came around the corner with a full tea service. "Now stop spreading such rumors," she frowned at her oldest child. John looked at his love. He was rather pleased that she remained dark haired, even in this place. She was dressed in a long skirt of black and a blue top that matched her eyes perfectly. "It's lovely to see you again John," she smiled.
"You look wonderful," he told her.
Quick steps brought him close enough to pull her into his arms. He pressed a kiss to her forehead before drawing her as close as he could. "My darling," she murmured. "I've missed you so."
"How is this possible?" he asked quietly.
Helen pulled back to smile at him. "Does it really matter?"
John pulled her close again. "Not in the slightest." He titled her head up to give her a gentle kiss on the mouth. "I love you so much."
"I love you too," she smiled. She held him for a moment before pushing away. "We can continue after tea," she decided. "Now I'll sit here, father you'll be on this side; James, if you'd go next to him; Nigel, you there; Nikola, you next to Nigel; Ashley you and your brother go there; John if you would take your place between Ashley and me. I'll pour the tea."
John smiled as they all gathered. He held out the chair for his daughter who smiled her thanks. He looked around the table as they settled in for tea and felt a smile start to form. For the first time in a long time, John Druitt truly felt at peace.
A/N: I had to give them a happy ending. I just love them so much.