Disclaimer: I do not own Hellsing nor do I own Alucard, Seras Victoria or the Hellsing Institute. I do own Aidan and Winter and all their friends so please, no poaching okay?
Dedication: To everyone who liked Life Sentence and its world enough that this was possible. Thank you for your kind words and support. You rock.
Note: See below. I just don't shut up...
'please take my hand'
The machine beeped in a regular pattern that both shattered the silence and atmosphere at every moment and gave calming hope and reassurance. Rain beat against the window, as it so often did, and murmurs bled through the closed door that closed the room off from the busy hallway beyond. It was a symphony of sounds that made the scene all too real and yet apart from reality as a whole.
The cheapened sound of florescent lighting buzzed above their heads, more imaginary than real, as the two figures watched the third, asleep on the bed. It was cold and the dark haired woman sat beside the bed, clutching the man's hand with one of her own while the other pulled her sweater a little further closed. All the clothing in the world wouldn't matter though. She as cold inside and afraid, afraid for the first time in so many years. Afraid, perhaps, for the first time in such a way.
She'd never had time to fear before. They had always died so quickly and without warning. For the first time, she could truly find herself understanding why her friend had held out so long. The pain of waiting, uncertain, was more than plain loss. Far more.
"He'll be fine."
The woman jumped slightly, as if having forgotten the presence of the other, and looked over her shoulder with a bitter smile.
"So you keep saying. I think I'll wait til he wakes up to breathe a sigh of relief though, no offense."
The woman looked back at the man in the bed. Despite all the years that had gone by, he still looked so young in her eyes. Too young to be lying there like that. His hair was still almost entirely blonde and his skin held so few wrinkles. He was still so alive. If it weren't for the damnable machines that insisted on beeping around her and the strange tubes that led from him to them, she could nearly make herself believe that he was just sleeping.
"How did this happen, Seras?"
The blonde woman sighed softly. The only answers she had were ones of truth and could not be comforting. Truth rarely is.
"Why him?" the brunette asked, softly. "Of everyone at that damnable Institute, why him?"
"He always knew that it might happen, Winter. He accepted the danger daily."
"But what danger?" the woman asked, looking down at his hand. "He had barely been out on a mission in years. Neither of us had. Stay behind and make strategic plans, do the research, train the men. We are both two old to be the ones out there now, not when…."
She trailed off and looked back to her companion, tears streaking down her face.
"Is it just rough justice? Karma? We stopped putting ourselves on the line each time and so took the inevitable cost for being ready to sacrifice others?"
The vampire stepped forward, leaning down to wipe a tear from her long time friend's face.
"Winter, none of this was ever meant to make sense. You are not being punished for being wise enough to see that you are not as young as you once were. Sometimes the worst things simply just happen for no reason at all."
"I can't buy that, Seras," the woman argued. "I can't understand how on the one time he went out on a mission in a year he is nearly killed. Was it my fault? Was I being arrogant to think that I could still do my job in a pinch?"
"You are still as deadly as you ever were, Trashman," the vampire chuckled sadly. "It is not your fault."
"Then whose is it?"
The blonde sighed, straightening to look down at her friend and then at her master.
"I could give you answers but they wouldn't satisfy you. But, perhaps , since you so desperately need a reason, I can give you one of those."
The woman frowned slightly. "What?"
"Maybe the reason for all this is a sign that you should step down."
"You mean…quit?" The woman frowned, the concept was so foreign.
"I mean retire." The vampire sighed and sat on the bed. "You two have been doing this for so long. You don't need to do this for the rest of your life."
"But his father and his father before and even your Integra…they all did it until they died."
"What need is there for that anyone, Winter?"
The blonde looked at the woman with such sad eyes that she found herself listening despite the strangeness of the words being spoken
"All those people…they devoted their life to a life of killing and slaughtering and were all ready to die doing it. But…now…what need is there? The vampire threat has receded. How many vampires act out maliciously anymore? How many of them even need our attention?"
"But…it is what we've always done. What else would we do?"
"Let Hope take over. She is suited for it, for this new era in vampire hunting. She can assess what is needed and what isn't. She also knows that no matter how much you fight, the war will never end."
The woman sighed. "That is a depressing thought."
"How can you wage war when your enemy refuses to fight?" the vampire asked earnestly. "How can you kill an entire race of people that know how to hide themselves and do it by not causing mischief?"
She sighed, looking down at her husband. It was such a strange idea, to simply…stop. How long had it been since she had thought of anything but death? Had there ever been such a time? Had she really spent her entire life devoted to learning about something she would inevitably destroy?
"He always hated it, you know," she murmured quietly. "He hated the violence of it. Day after day he struggled with the urge to just throw it all away. A pacifist at heart."
"He's a good man."
The brunette looked up at her friend once more. "What'll I do, Seras? All I have is violence. What do I do in a world that is clamoring for peace?"
"You do something you have yet to do in all these long years."
He was standing on the parapets of the White Tower, wind rushing around him in the way it did after night fall when the cold air rushed off of the river. It was a beautiful scene and familiar but not for many, many years. Glancing over, he found Seras standing beside him wearing her old uniform, hair unbound and whipping around her face.
"Are you real?"
"As real as you are."
"But this is a dream right?"
"More or less."
"Then I'm not dead."
She smiled and shook her head. "Not for many years."
"Good to know."
"You are, however, in a coma."
He sighed. "That would explain it. Been around you too long to suddenly be sharing dreams for no reason."
"Winter is going mental isn't she?"
She laughed, nodding. "A bit. But she's fine too. In the end only one person died and you were the only one this severely injured."
"That's a relief. Who was it who died?"
Frowning, he thought over who that might be, his images foggy and blurred.
"I think I don't know who that is. I just can't quite…."
"Master, you are dreaming. Give your mind a rest. You can sort out the details later."
Chuckling he nodded. "Yes, ma'am."
For a moment, they stood in peace, looking out over London and the reflection of light over the Thames.
"What should I do, Seras?"
"You should rest."
"But," he sighed, trailing off for a moment. "I've been fighting for so long."
"Which is why you should rest."
"And put Hope in the same place that I've always hated? How could I do that to my child?"
"She has more of Winter in her than you, when it comes to that. More of Integra. She likes the challenge and sees the necessity in the fight."
"What would my father think of me, to just…give up?"
She turned and smiled at him. "He would think that you did your best in a life that you hated for three decades. He would think that you deserved a chance to be happy in your life."
He nodded quietly, looking away from her. "I didn't hate it, Seras. I just…."
"Do you think that one day there will come a time when we won't be needed? When the Hellsing family can go on to far simpler things?"
"One day. For now, you are England's hope."
Once more, he nodded his assessment.
"You know, I always wanted to travel. Maybe its time."
Grinning, he looked over at her, sparkling eyes and happiness making him look as young as he was when they first met.
"Retirement, huh? What do you think I should do first?"
Laughing, she pat his shoulder.
"First, you should wake up."
In the year of our lord 2183, Sir Elliot Walter O'Hara Hellsing and Lady Wynne Tera Shannon Hellsing did something that they had never given themselves the luxury to do in all their long lives. They took their own destines in hand. They turned away from the life they had always known and set off to live what remained of their lives as they saw fit.
In the year of our lord 2183, Hope Alexandria Shannon Hellsing was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of England and officially took over the reigns of the Hellsing Institute along with her husband Nathanial Ryan Douglas Hellsing. They immediately began instituting a set of rules that allowed for the capture and deportation of non-homicidal vampire offenders to one of the Vampiric States of the World to cut back on loss of life for her own men. The measures were to good effect until the vampire uprising in 2197 which broke out into what was later dubbed Vampire World War.
Her quick intellect, wise council and insider information allowed the Hellsing Institute to nearly single handedly turn the tides to the human advantage. She is, in certain circles, attributed as the savior of England.
In the year of our lord 2216, Sir and Lady Hellsing die abroad. They are killed in a fight to protect a private school in America from a vampire attack. They leave behind one child and three grandchildren.
Before their death, they brought down fifteen vampires and ninety ghouls. Their names become legend in the retired community as 'how much old people can still kick ass'. The Queen of England declares a day of mourning for their funeral.
In the year of our lord 2222, Aidan Sean Fitzpatrick declares that ninety years of life is good enough for him and that the year couldn't be more analytically fitting and dies during a rescue of a church in Ireland. His strategically done battle takes over twenty vampires and an unnumbered amount of ghouls with him. His funeral mass is attended by nobility and business executives the world over as his inventions and popularity gave him international fame through the years.
His wife passed on a few months previous and family stated that they were waiting for 'Da to do something stupid'.
In the year of our lord 2222, the Hellsing Institute continues on with its leader, her children and the vampires who swore an oath to serve her.
AN: Had no idea that I had that many dates stuck in my head, huh?
This chapter is actually fairly different than I originally intended. Originally, Elliot was supposed to die . but then my beta looked heart broken when I suggested that someone was going to so...into the infirmary we go. Seras was also really not supposed to be the voice of...whatever that was either. She just kinda ended up feeling kinda bad for them though.
I will say in that special features directors commentary sort of way, they never stop actually going after vampires. It's in the blood.
Number of original characters (who survived the story and had speaking roles): 12
This is a positively shameful number. I usually keep myself to...the bad guy. go figure.
Number of chapters (all three stories): 46
Total reviews (at time of posting): 370
Avg per chapter: 8
Which...honestly, I think that is the best I've seen for any of the fandoms I've written for. This has got to be the best group of people on FF.N. I have never seen more stories for one category get more regular reviews then this one. So, you people rock! Makes a writer feel worth while ^_^
I'm going to take at least a week off (I tell myself) before I post the story about invading Japan. I think it will be a three or four part story (so fairy short) under the name of Divinity Ending if you want to keep an eye out for it. After that, I have a crossover story planned for a sequel. It will take place far in the future so don't look to be seeing any of these characters. Sorry.
Thank you SO much for all the wonderful words. I hope this chapter left you with a completed feeling. (Especially as I have stories for other fandoms being neglected...)
It was fun! Happy Easter!
Til next time...
[EDIT: I've gone through and fixed the formatting for the chapters finally. yay! I will also say that since some people regretted that I did not write the end of this as an excerpt from Nikolai, I started work on something similar to that. I may or may not post it sometime soon. *shrug*]