Time for the epilogue! Unless I feel like making a sequel, we'll see. While I was writing this I found the BBC webpage for Wallander and I found out something. I've been calling her Anne-Britt this whole time, but come to find out, the detective's name is actually spelled Ann-Britt. . /programmes/b00pxtct/characters/ann-britt Woops! But when I found out I was already halfway through this chapter, so I decided to just leave it. Sorry about that! Also sorry for how long this has taken, I had a lot of grad parties this weekend, then An Event in Autumn left me very distracted from writing. One last note before this starts, in an event in autumn they imply that it has been "a few years," since the last series, and that Ann-Britt's daughter is 7. By that logic, since this is set just after the end of the second series, Sanna (Ann-Britt's daughter, also got that name from the BBC site) is probably about 4 or 5 in this. Just thought I'd clarify where I'm getting my information. That's all I have to say, thank you for reading and please let me know if you like it!
He was kneeling in the grass, holding Anne-Britt's shoulders, his fangs in her neck. Her blood was coursing down his throat. It felt amazing, like nothing he'd ever tasted, and he never wanted to stop. His eyes were shut, and he drank mindlessly.
"Magnus! You're killing her!" He heard Lisa cry out. The cry snapped him back to reality, and his eyes flew open. Anne-Britt was weak in his arms, but he was still drinking. Magnus took in a breath, knowing he had to stop, and pulled his mouth from her neck.
Nothing happened. He pulled again, feeling the motion, but his head somehow wouldn't move. He pulled, and pulled, but for some reason his head and his neck didn't even budge move. Panicked, he tried to stop drinking. But no matter what he did, no matter how many times he swallowed, Anne-Britt's blood didn't stop. For what felt like forever he struggled, but his body was frozen.
Finally it was like a spell was broken, and he pulled his head away from her. He took in a long breath. Magnus looked down with terrified eyes. Anne-Britt looked equally horrified, blood covering her neck and dripping onto her shoulder. It made Magnus feel sick with concern.
"A- Anne-Britt?" Magnus said, horrified.
"Why..." She choked out, eyes wide. Then she fell to her hands.
"Wait, no, I didn't mean-" The detective crumpled to the forest floor.
"No, no," Magnus grabbed her shoulders, turning her over and shaking her, his heart pounding. "Anne-Britt!" Her eyes drifted shut, and her body went limp as he shook it. "Anne-Britt! No! ANNE-BRITT!"
Magnus woke with a start, flying up into a sitting position. For a moment he just breathed. He felt like he was choking as his mind flew through what had just happened. His breath was heavy, and he felt cold sweat on his forehead. His mouth agape, he looked down at the thin white blanket covering his body, his hands sitting on top of it. Still frightened, he reached his hand up to his lip tentatively, then to his chin. Dry. He glanced to the door of the cell, the windows he could barely see portraying a dark night. It couldn't have been 4 am.
"God..." He whispered, bringing a hand through his blonde curls, then resting his elbows on his knees with his face in his hands. He couldn't get the image of Anne-Britt's terrified eyes out of his mind, so he opened his eyes again. He had saved her last night, she was okay, he tried to remind himself. But his heart was still slowing down from the terrifying dream.
He kicked the blanket off, watching it slip off of the small bed. He didn't care. He hadn't expected to sleep very well in a holding cell anyhow. Letting himself lay back down, he wondered what the others were doing. Had they all just left him there and gone home? He wouldn't blame them, they'd all been through quite the ordeal, and it was early. But it was still disheartening to think that now all he could do was wait, to find out that he was cleared or that he'd be going to court. He wondered about Nyberg, and if he was looking over the vampires bodies, or if they had been left there in the woods.
Magnus rubbed his eyes with his hand, still feeling uncomfortably shaken by the dream. He hadn't wanted to relive any of the nights events, but to feel confident that everyone was alright, he had to go over them again. But still the dream nagged in the back of his mind, like he couldn't tell the difference between reality and dream. The blood felt so real, looked so real. It felt like the vampire in him took over, and he just couldn't stop. His number one fear of being taken over and hurting someone he cared about had been realized.
And he killed Anne-Britt. He let out a shaking breath, the images still running through his horrified mind.
He wouldn't be getting much sleep tonight.
It was much later when Lisa came for him. The police station had come alive with detectives and cops, and a few hours later she was on her way.
Magnus had smelled the humans coming before the door open, but he was still hunched over on the bed in the holding cell when the door opened. He looked up as Lisa stood in the open door. For a moment she held his gaze. "You're clear, Magnus," She announced.
Magnus' eyes narrowed as he stood. "I am?"
Lisa nodded. "Nyberg worked all night, but he got enough off of the bodies to prove that you aren't a suspect."
Magnus came to the door, and Lisa stepped back as he moved out of the room. "That was nice of him."
Lisa shot him a glance, then took a step back. "Meet me in the conference room." She walked off into the station. Magnus watched her, wondering what they'd be gathering for. He certainly did not want to relive last night's events. A night in the holding cell and that awful nightmare was enough. When he tried to go back to sleep he was haunted by memory's of Tova's dying scream.
Needless to say, the vampire hadn't gotten very much sleep. He considered going home and getting himself cleaned up, but at the end of the day Lisa was his boss, and she was probably waiting for him. He took a moment to take a breath and headed off after her, carefully avoiding the eyes of the officers. After a night, his eyes probably weren't their normal blue, maybe even with a slight purple tint, and he knew after a day or two they would be red again. Odds were no one would give him a second glance, but he still felt naked without the blue contacts he would normally use once his eyes started to turn red.
He pulled open the door to the conference room. Sitting at the table were Kurt, Lisa, and Anne-Britt. Memories he didn't want to relive flooded him when he caught sight of the new bandage she'd put over the right side of her neck. Kurt watched the vampire as he took the chair next to him and across from Lisa. The cadet looked weary, but then again, Kurt had fallen asleep on his living room chair for the third time in a row last night.
"Morning," Magnus muttered, but his attention was clearly not on formalities. "How did Nyberg clear me?" He demanded quickly. He focused on Lisa, not wanting his eyes to stray to Anne-Britt's neck.
"Your fingerprints are only on the hand of one victim," Lisa said, looking over a file. She held it at an angle, perhaps for Magnus' sake, but Kurt could just see the cadet's mugshot and a picture of the bodies clipped to the edge of it. The glimpse of Magnus' sad eyes in the picture was unsettling, he looked like so many criminals Kurt had seen the mugshots of before."Tova's are on every body. That, and Nyberg knew the mark looked like the fangs of an animal, or a person. He figured out that Tova's teeth fit the marks perfectly."
"Won't they want to know how they were killed?" Magnus asked.
"They'll want to," Anne-Britt cut in, glancing at the photographs. "But all they know is that Tova's teeth and fingers were on all of the bodies, they don't know how she killed them." Her eyes looked up to Magnus, who took sudden interest in the side of the table. "And they never will."
"Unless you plan on telling the whole world about vampires, which of course they won't believe anyway," Lisa said, closing the file. "Pretty soon the police in charge of this investigation, which is you, Kurt and Anne-Britt, will admit to being completely stumped and the case will be put away."
Magnus took in a breath. "So it really is the unsolvable case?"
Magnus rested his hands on the table, still feeling uneasy. Though the door was closed, he lowered his voice. "But my teethmarks are on Tova's body. And fingerprints. Won't I be suspected of murder?"
"Nyberg and the other workers at the morgue think Tova had some weird procedure done to sharpen her teeth, bit those people, then killed them somehow." Lisa leaned back in her chair. "You said that Tova always had fangs because they came with the transformation, but because you resisted, they only come out when you feed. Right?" Magnus nodded. "Well, Nyberg has no reason to think you have teeth like hers, and therefore no reason to believe that you could have made that bite on her wrist." Magnus noticed Anne-Britt rub her hand over the bandage. She caught his eye, and looked away quickly, lowering her arm. Magnus looked down. "He probably thinks one of her hunters did it, and they're both dead now as well." Lisa continued. "There's no reason for them to need to check her hand for prints." She looked at Magnus. "As far as they know you tried to help this woman before Tova dragged her away and killed her somewhere else. The body turned up miles away, so they have no reason not to believe that."
Magnus paused, thinking over the whole thing. There really was no reason for anyone to do a further investigation, odds were Tova and the other hunters didn't have many friends or family to come press charges, and the only evidence they had of Magnus' connection were a few fingerprints. But something still concerned him. "Did Nyberg really work all night? Why, did you tell him what happened?"
"No," Lisa said. "I gave him the basics, said that the bodies turned up in the forest and a civilian who found them called."
Magnus narrowed his eyes. "They were deep in the woods, no one would have come across them by accident."
He noticed Anne-Britt smile softly out of the corner of his eye. "Let's just say that Emelie was very eager to help us after you freed her from Tova. She played a concerned hiker very well when we went to where she called from."
"Wow," Magnus' eyebrows raised. "She did that for me?"
"You freed her from Tova." Kurt reminded him. "She was still sane, it was probably horrible for her to watch Tova kill and be too scared to do anything."
Magnus folded his arms, going through the situation in his mind. "Nyberg sure was thorough."
"Well," Lisa looked down, letting out a long breath. "I don't think he quite liked the idea of another one of our team being separated from us."
None of the three other responded to her, their minds all focused on one person.
"Whether you tell Nyberg what you are or not is up to you, Magnus," Lisa interrupted the silence, giving him a serious look. "It's entirely your choice."
Magnus swallowed, unsure yet as to whether or not he intended to. "Thank you." He didn't think he'd need to keep it from him, Nyberg had always seemed trustworthy. But he wasn't sure he wanted to relive what happened to him. He supposed he could decide later on.
"You have another choice to make now," The Chief spoke again. Magnus looked at her. "You're free to keep working here, if you wish. You can keep learning to control your..." She swallowed nervously. "Appetite... And you can keep working in the police department. Now that we all know, Kurt can help steer you away from bloody crime scenes, and we can all do what we can to help you. Or... You can quit." She met his eyes. "I understand if you do. In a few years things are going to get very complicated if your aging really is slowed down. But until then, I would personally prefer you stayed among our ranks. And I think I speak for all of us. But it's your choice."
Magnus looked down. For a while he considered it. Having to come into work with people who knew what he was every day felt so strange. But the idea of leaving Ystad seemed much more impossible. "So much is changing." He took in and let out a long breath. "I don't want to lose this part of my life. I've been alone before, and... I don't want that again. If you guys are still okay with having a vampire on your team."
Kurt looked at him. "I got locked out of my email again last night. Goodness knows I need the help."
Magnus couldn't help but smile a bit, and Kurt mirrored it.
"Well, that's settled then." Lisa stood up, putting the case file beneath her arm. "I have a press statement to prepare. Magnus, your gun is locked in my desk, let me know when you're ready and I'll get it to you." Without another word she got up and headed out of the room.
Kurt stood as they heard the door closed. "I wasn't kidding about my email."
"I figured," Magnus rolled his eyes, starting to stand up.
"Magnus," Anne-Britt said, looking up. "Do you have a moment?"
Magnus looked to Kurt, and the senior officer nodded to him. He watched Kurt head out the door, being unable to help feeling a tad nervous. He turned around, and headed back to his chair. "I should go, once I help Kurt I need to run home and get my contacts."
"Sit down for a second," She asked. For a moment he didn't move, but eventually he pulled out the chair and lowered himself into it.
"Yeah?" He asked, looking at her briefly, then back down at the table.
"Magnus. You've been avoiding eye contact with me all morning."
He made it his point to look at her, but felt his stomach twist a bit when he saw the bandage. "It's only been a few minutes," He defended himself. "I don't think-"
"Magnus," Her voice was firm, and she put a hand down on the table. Then her tone softened. "One of the guards said he heard you calling out in your sleep last night."
Magnus' eyes went wide with surprise and embarrassment. "I... what? I did? What did I say?"
Anne-Britt shrugged, her eyes free of accusation. "He just said you cried out like you were frightened or hurt. When he went to your window and looked inside, you were asleep."
Magnus looked down. He must have been trying too hard to wake Anne-Britt from her 'death,' and his cries became actual cries. He felt suddenly very grateful his sleeping self hadn't been able to form her name. That would have been very awkward and difficult to explain to the guard on duty, and would have also meant he had to explain the dream to her. And that was something he did not intend to do. "Oh. Just a nightmare, I suppose."
Anne-Britt kept his eye contact. "Yeah, I suppose."
For a bit, neither of them spoke. Magnus started to stand up. "Look, Kurt needs-"
"Magnus," She held up a hand. He paused. Then he obediently sat down. "You've been avoiding my eyes all morning, and had some horrible nightmare." Her eyes were honest. "I need to know that you're alright."
"I'm fine, okay," He mumbled.
Anne-Britt pointed a finger at him. "Don't you do that."
"Don't shut me out like Kurt always does." Her eyes became sympathetic again. "You went through an ordeal last night, we all did. You can talk about it."
Magnus looked at her silently for a long time. He knew he could trust her like she trusted him and that there was really no reason not to. But talking about it still felt wrong. He took in a breath, attempting to explain himself. "It's just... frightening. To think that I..." His voice cut out, unsure of how to proceed.
Anne-Britt raised her eyebrows. "Go on."
He let out a breath. "That I bit you," He brought a hand through his hair, not willing to look at her. "That I actually drank your blood. It feels wrong."
"Magnus," Her tone was consoling. "You saved my life!" He looked up at her. "That was one of the most painful and terrifying things. I thought I was going to die, or turn, and I didn't want either of those things. I was terrified and hurt, and you saved my life."
"I hurt you more," Magnus said.
She frowned. "I suppose having my blood drained was a bit painful..."
"Oh, please," Magnus was the one to raise his eyebrows now. "I've had my blood drained. It's incredibly painful."
"Look, Magnus, you saved me. Maybe it hurt a little more, but in the end you saved me from pain and heartbreak and all of those terrible things you had to go through." He looked down at the table. "Magnus," She grabbed his hand, and his eyes snapped up to her. "You saved me from going through something terrible, and eternal."
Magnus swallowed, for a moment not having anything to say. The flesh on his hand wasn't distracting, he was too full from last night. "It's just that I never wanted to do that to you. And you tried to stop me."
This time it was Anne-Britt who suddenly looked uncomfortable. She pulled her hand back, and looked down. "Magnus, I thought you were trying to kill me."
Magnus gave her a pained look. "You must have been terrified."
"I was turning into a vampire, of course I was terrified," There was a surprising subtle harshness to her words, and Magnus shifted back in his seat. She paused, resting her hand on the table. "The point is that I would have been afraid and pained no matter what. This," She gestured to the bandage Magnus had avoided looking at for so long. "Saved me. And I want you to understand that." Suddenly her phone, which she'd put down on the table, started buzzing. She grabbed it and read the screen. A smile came over her face.
"Magnus, come with me."
"What?" Magnus asked as Anne-Britt got up from the table, confused.
"Just come on," Her voice was surprisingly enthusiastic as she left the room. He got off of the chair and followed her through the police station. They moved through the halls, then through the reception area, then finally towards the door. Soon they were outside.
Standing just outside of the station were four people. A tall adult, two boys, (a teenager and a child,) and one little girl with dark red-brown waves, pale skin, and a familiar smile. Magnus looked to Anne-Britt, who was smiling as she scooped the little girl into her arms. "Magnus," The cadet couldn't help feeling a tad out of place as she singled him out, the family's eyes on him. "This is my husband Henrik, my stepsons, and," she tapped her finger on the tip of the child's nose, and she giggled. "My daughter Sanna."
Magnus couldn't help but smile. He'd never met Anne-Britt's family before, nor had he met her little toddler. "Nice to meet you," He said timidly. The cadet was good with computers and attempts to control Kurt's temper, but children were new territory to him. He turned to the other three. "All of you," He offered his hand to Henrik, and the man shook it firmly.
"Magnus Martinsson," He announced.
"Mum," Magnus' attention was turned back to Sanna quickly as she spoke. "Is that the man that helped you?"
Anne-Britt grinned at him, then looked at her daughter. "Why yes he is," she looked at the younger policeman. "I told Sanna that I got a bit hurt the other night," Her tone made it clear to the him that he hadn't told the whole story, and he couldn't help but feel grateful. "And she wanted to get the chance to meet you. So I had Henrik come by on the way to take the boys to school."
"Oh, well," Magnus smiled at her. "That was very kind of you."
"Mummy said you're very brave," The young girl said, her blue eyes that were so similar to her mother's looking at him curiously.
"Well, I suppose," He smiled, shuffling his feet, still a bit unsure of how to react.
"Alright, time for Daddy to take your brothers to school," She gave Magnus a smile then headed over to Henrik, passing over the young girl. He took her, then looked over at him.
"Thanks for everything," He called as he turned towards the car, his two sons following him.
"You're welcome," Magnus called back. He watched as they headed towards the parking lot. He turned to Anne-Britt. "She's wonderful."
"Just like her Mommy," Anne-Britt smiled at him, unmistakeable pride coming over her. "She's growing up so quickly. You know," She gave Magnus a more serious look. "If you hadn't have done what you did last night, my family would be ruined." She looked off in the distance where her husband's car was starting. "I would have to either tell them the truth, and the horrible things that go along with it, or leave them, and I couldn't do that. I would have had to watch her grow up, and one day look older than I do. I would miss so much." She looked down. "I wouldn't be able to introduce myself as her mother, no one would believe me. I would be introduced to her future husband as a friend or sister. I wouldn't be able to speak at her wedding for fear of people finding out. If I had become a vampire, I would have missed out on everything in her life. And the boys' lives, and eventually Henrik's." She looked up at him, her eyes glistening with the beginning of tears. "You didn't just save me, Magnus. You saved my family too."
Magnus just looked at her. He opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out. She smiled at him, and put a hand on his shoulder. Giving him the most genuine look, she spoke. "Thank you." She squeezed his shoulder. Then she headed back into the station.
For a while Magnus didn't move, thinking over all of the things she had said, and Sanna, and Henrik, and his dream. For the first time since he'd gotten up that morning, that was what it felt like. A meaningless dream. He took in a long breath, then let it out. "Back to normal," He muttered to himself. Not the normal it had been for the last few months, but the normal it had been before the bite. Where there were no dark secrets, and they all trusted each other. Things were genuinely normal now. And that was how he liked it.
Taking in a breath, he headed back into the station.
"Martinsson!" In a moment he heard Kurt's voice carrying from across the hall.
"Coming!" He called back.
"My email will not open," Kurt's voice was increasingly frustrated as Magnus stepped into the office. "I don't know how it got screwed up."
Kurt sounded just as angry and just as confused as usual. Magnus rushed to his office, then moved in front of him, taking over the laptop. He let out a long breath as Kurt started rambling on, using multiple choice words to describe the device and technology in general. He couldn't help but smile.
"Things really are back to normal."