This is my first fanfic in years. It's been a while since I last saw Van Helsing but it's one of those movies I just adore. I've got all these wonderfully wicked plans for Gabriel and Anna. So, my lovely readers, read and review! Let me know if there's something I need to improve. I promise there's much more wickedly wonderful drama on the way!

Weeks had passed since the incident at Dracula's castle and a new sense of calm replaced the terror that once reigned over the land.

The trio had returned to the castle damaged, beaten, and bruised but still alive. Anna, just barely. Van Helsing carried her back to the castle, held tightly in his arms. She was trembling violently despite the cover of Carl's cloak. Her shaking was no major comfort to him but at least she was still alive. He thanked God for that small blessing.

The walk back to the castle had passed without words. After reassuring Van Helsing that Anna was alive, there was nothing more Carl could say. Once inside, Van Helsing did not pause to shake off the snow and dirt that had collected on his body. His only thought was to bring Anna to her room.

Carl knew what was expected of him. He quickly made for his room for medical supplies.

Van Helsing climbed the wooden stairs to Anna's room, hardly noticing his frozen fingers or feet. All that mattered was Anna now. His eyes searched her face, looking for some sign of life. He silently prayed and hoped for even the slightest flutter of an eyelash. Losing her now would prove more painful and cruel than losing her Dracula's castle. There, she would have died in battle like the warrior she was. Here, she would die in his arms and his world would crash around him.

The door to her room was open. He nudged it further with his shoulder before walking into the room fully. The maids were already bustling around the room in muted silence. The fire place was being lit. Pillows were fluffed and blankets pulled back. Everyone moved without speaking as if silence was the only thing preventing the world from falling into chaos.

"We will take it from here, Mr. Van Helsing," said an elderly maid, breaking the awkward silence as she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "The lady will be changed into her dressing gown and we will send for you."

It was with great reluctance that Van Helsing let the princess go. He lay her petite frame on the bed and with gentle but callous fingers, brushed a strand of hair from her eyes.

"Thank you," he said in a cracked voice, wrought with worry and exhaustion. Still bloodied and bare-chested, he made his way to his own room down the hall.

One week.

Anna slept, blissfully unaware, for one week. A violent snow storm had come and gone but still she slept. No one in the village celebrated the death of Dracula. If it cost the life of their princess, there would never be celebration.

Van Helsing kept watch over her day and night. It had been him who had done this to her. Driven mad by his werewolf form but still him. As he held her pale hand in his own and trailed his thumb over her knuckles, he replayed the scene again and again. His bloodshot eyes shut as he recalled her screams of terror.

When that became too much, he found himself thinking of all the things he would say to her once she woke up: how much he cared for her, how he could not live another day without her by his side, how he-

"Van Helsing?"

The word hung in the air for a few moments. Van Helsing was afraid to speak or move, as if doing so would shatter the hope that Anna might be awake. His thumb paused momentarily as his breath was held.

He would not dare to look at her, knowing she was still asleep. It would only hurt worse to see her pale, fragile frame. For days, he had sworn that the howl of the wind carried a whisper of her voice. He had been fooled far too many times to believe again.

The noise of shuffling pillows reached his ears. Bed sheets were pushed aside. No. It was a dream. It was a beautiful, painful dream.

Trembling, warm fingers braced themselves on his chin. He had dreamed of it so many times before but, in each dream, the fingers were as cold as death. The delicate fingers persuaded him to move his face towards the bed. Still, he could not look upon her sleeping form. It hurt too much to see her in a limbo somewhere between life and death.

"Van Helsing..." He had heard her voice so many times throughout the past week. This was no different.
The soft, velvety tone tinged with a Transylvanian accent he remembered so well.

Warm lips were pressed to his own. He responded in kind, giving into the dream. His eyes opened slowly, with the knowledge that it would ruin any illusion before him.

But it was not a bittersweet dream. It was Anna. His Anna.

Van Helsing's eyebrows rose in shock as his rough hands reached out to her and pulled her into his lap. Anna made a small squeak of surprise but did not break the romantic embrace. He could feel her lips curve into a smile.

"Anna.." he murmured softly, resting his forehead against hers.

"Mr. Van Helsing," she replied in kind. "You...You were a fool to stay by me each day." He could hear the weariness in her blatant stubbornness.

"You, my princess, were a fool for saving me." He wrapped his arms around her fully and pulled her closer. Her hands rest on his chest but made no effort to push him away.

Anna laughed softly, a musical tone to his ears, and smiled. Her dark hair framed her face and smiling lips. Her eyes sparkled with a mischievous glint. Van Helsing noted every feature , not wanting to forget a single detail of the woman in his arms.

"I believe, Mr. Van Helsing, that we fools have much to catch up on." Her smile promised something much more wicked than a few chaste kisses. News of her awakening would have to wait for a while longer.