They won. Silas was saved.
But everyone Carmilla loved was gone.
Mattie was dead.
Will was dead—though Carmilla was never very fond of him, he was still her little brother.
But what hurt the most… Laura was dead.
And it was all Carmilla's fault.
Blood. That was all Carmilla could smell. Her giant black paws thundered on the ground as she ran through the campus to her Mother's old apartment, When she burst through the door, she was met with a most horrifying sight.
There was Vordenburg, standing in the middle of the room, sword in hand. The once gleaming metal was now covered in a sickly red liquid. Blood.
And beneath him, lying on the ground with a wound to the stomach, was Laura.
Carmilla growled, her vision turning red with rage. Laura was the first to react. She turned her head, her brown eyes meeting Carmilla's bright yellow ones.
"Carm," she whispered, reached out a hand towards the panther.
Vordenburg looked up at the action. When he saw the giant cat standing in the doorway, he exclaimed, "Ah! Miss Karnstein! How nice of you to join us!" His voice was sickly sweet. He looked down at Laura, who was still watching Carmilla and reaching out for her.
Carmilla snarled and took a step closer. Vordenburg smiled down at Laura. "Fraulein Hollis and I were just having a nice little discussion." He looked at Carmilla. "Concerning you, in fact."
Carmilla continued to watch his every movement. "You see," he continued. "Laura here has made a very bad decision which, quite sadly, has resulted in her little… injury."
"It's a shame, really. She could have been a very good student of the Academy. But instead of choosing to join me," he looked up, meeting the panther's eyes. "She chose you."
He chuckled, looking down at the girl slowly bleeding out on the floor in front of him. "I bet you wish you'd accepted me now?"
Laura's eyes finally left the giant panther, meeting the Baron's staring down at her. She coughed, blood dripping out of her mouth. "No."
"No? And why would that be, Miss Hollis?"
"Because," Laura's voice was firm. She met the panther's eyes once more. "I love Carm. I always will."
The Baron raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?" He smiled evilly. "Well, then. You can rot in the pits of hell together."
And he plunged the sword into Laura's chest.
Carmilla roared in uncontrollable fury. She lunged at Vordenburg, fangs bared and claws unsheathed. The Baron eyes widened before she was on him. The panther met his eyes one last time before tearing into his throat and ripping him to pieces.
The sound of Laura coughing brought Carmilla out of her murderous haze. She turned. A whine escaped her throat as she bounded over to Laura.
Weakly, the girl beneath her smiled and reached up towards the panther. "Carm," she whispered,
Immediately, Carmilla transformed into her human form. She kneeled down next to Laura and gathered the girl into her arms. "Hey," she said gently. "I'm here, Cupcake. I'm here."
Laura rested her head into Carmilla's chest, coughs racking her body. "Carm," she wheezed. "I'm- I'm sorry."
"Shhh," Carmilla quieted her. "I know. And I'm sorry, too."
"I love you, Carmilla."
At this point, tears were streaming down the vampire's face. She sniffled. "I love you, too, Laura. So much."
Laura smiled up at her. She took Carmilla's hand in her own and rested it on her chest, over her heart. Carmilla could feel it beating under her palm. She could hear it slowly getting weaker. She stared into Laura's eyes. There was no hatred in them. No anger. No fear. Just love and adoration.
"It beats only for you," Laura says, before another coughing fit took over her body.
Carmilla smiled and kissed her softly. Laura's lips were so warm and soft. They tasted like iron from the blood dripping from Laura's mouth. But under that, Carmilla could still taste the sweets Laura loved to eat so much.
When she pulled away, Laura buried her face deeper into Carmilla's chest, her ear resting over Carmilla's phantom heartbeat.
"Don't forget me, Carm. And, promise me, you'll take care of the others for me," Laura whispers. She stared at Carmilla intently.
"I promise, Love. I'll watch over them,"
Carmilla laid a gentle kiss on Laura forehead. Laura's eyes remained on Carmilla's for a second longer before closing. Her grip on Carmilla's wrist tightens for a second, before her body goes limp. Her heartbeat fades to nothing and her chest stills.
Carmilla bit her lip to keep herself from screaming. She felt like there was a hole where her heart used to be. A strangled sob escapes her throat. Her grip on Laura's body tightens and she buries her face in Laura's hair and sobs uncontrollably.
Carmilla was devastated. She'd messed up. She'd failed Laura. She wasn't fast enough to save her. Not this time.
After a few moments, she feels two pairs of arms wrap around her. Her body stiffens, but she doesn't bother to look up and see who it is. She knows.
"Carmilla?" Perry asks gently.
"Go away," Carmilla cries weakly.
"We're not leaving you here alone, Carmilla." Perry says.
"We're here, Carmilla," she hears LaF say. "We're here."
Carmilla doesn't have the strength to drive them away. Instead she lets them embrace her in their arms, her grip on Laura's body never loosening. She continued to sob into Laura's neck, her eyes like a river and her heart an empty cavern.
Carmilla meets Mr. Hollis for the time at Laura's funeral. For obvious reasons, they do not reveal to him the true cause of Laura's death. They tell him it was a car accident. Understandably, he's upset. Laura was his daughter—his only child. But if they'd told him the truth, they'd have to tell him everything—about Silas, Carmilla being a vampire, everything. And no one was ready for that. Not yet,
Carmilla told Mr. Hollis that she was Laura's girlfriend. Surprisingly, he had accepted that pretty easily. He had asked her one question: "Did you love her?"
Carmilla had smiled wistfully and said, "I did. I still do. And I will never stop. I'll never love anyone like I love Laura."
He had been happy with her answer and had deemed her worthy of his daughter. He told Carmilla, dead serious, "When we join Laura again—in heaven, hell, or where ever we end up—I approve of your relationship with my daughter and as long as you promise to love her like you say you do, then I'll consider giving you my blessing."
Carmilla had smiled at that. Mr. Hollis was an amazing man and an even better father, based on what Laura had told her and what she was seeing of him now. She had a feeling that the two of them would get along very well.
They did. And though he won't say it in front of the others, he admitted to Carmilla she was his favorite of the gang. Carmilla had laughed and thanked him. She couldn't help but think of Laura at that moment. What was she thinking of the new found friendship between Carmilla and her father?
Perry and LaF finally get married a year later. They have their wedding on Laura's birthday, October 23rd. It was a simple ceremony, the only guests being Carmilla, Kirsch, Danny, and Mr. Hollis.
Oh yeah, and Danny and Kirsch had finally admitted their feelings for each other and gotten married.
A few years later, Kirsch and Danny had two baby boys, twins. They named them William and JP. And, yes, William was named after Carmilla's brother. And JP, after the flash-drive-librarian-turned-vampire.
They both loved playing with Carmilla, which Danny wasn't too happy about. But she got over it. Sort of. She still complains about it sometimes.
When she does, Carmilla always responds, "Face it, Xena. I'm irresistible."
Danny always laughs and says, "More like, you're a big sap, Fang Face."
The relationship between Carmilla and Danny had improved over the years to point where they could be called friends. Though, of course, both girls were too proud and stubborn to admit that aloud.
LaF and Perry adopted two baby girls whom they name Laura and Matska. They looked a lot like their namesakes and acted like them, as well. Baby Laura had the same curious personality and love of sweets as Carmilla's Laura did. And baby Mattie, well, let's not even start on the comparisons of those two...
Both little girls loved Carmilla, especially young Laura. Mattie adored the vampire, but Laura and Carmilla just shared a connection. When Laura was a baby, she loved being held by Carmilla more than anyone else. It was as if a piece of Laura Hollis lived on in the little girl.
It was nice to have children in her life—or, you know, children other than the Dimwit Squad.
Because, let's face it. Even Mr. Hollis is a child compared to Carmilla.
Carmilla kept a copy of the videos from their years at Silas. She watches them sometimes. It's always painful to see Laura on the screen and not have her there with her in real life. Even after all these years, the pain hasn't gone away. Hell, it hasn't even lessened. Not even a little bit. And it never would. The scars would still be there. Even after Carmilla and Laura were reunited,
At age 72, Mr. Hollis was diagnosed with cancer and moved into the hospital. His body was slowly failing him. LaF, Perry, Kirsch, Danny, and the kids visited him whenever they could.
Even though they're not related by blood, Mr. Hollis considers William, JP, Laura, and Mattie his grandkids. And, in return, know him to be their "Papa Hollis."
It's amazing, Carmilla thinks, that such a strange group of people like themselves can make such a perfect family.
The others are only able to visit a few times a week, but Carmilla spent most of her time with Laura's father in the hospital, keeping him company. After all, she had nothing better to do.
One day, she was lounging on the couch in Mr. Hollis's room, reading an old philosophy book, when all of a sudden, he spoke: "I watched the videos."
Carmilla was surprised and a little confused. "What?"
He turned to look at her. "The videos," he repeated. "I saw them."
That's when it clicked in Carmilla's mind. The videos. The videos Laura recorded at Silas.
"You- You watched them," she asked, bewildered.
He chuckled at her reaction. "Yes."
"All of them?"
"Yes, all of them. I was looking for Laura's stuffed panther. She wanted to bring it with her to college. She'd said she'd left it in your room, so I went to look in there. I found the stuffed animal under your bed. And I also found the box under there. The CDs were in it, among other things."
The box. Carmilla smiled. The wooden box that she kept all her most precious possessions in. The batwing bracelet was in there. So were the CDs. She even had a few shirts of Laura's in it—one of which was the owl sweater. They'd long since lost her scent, but they were… Laura's, That's all that mattered.
Carmilla still had the yellow pillow. It was old and raggedy now, but she continued loved it just the same. It was comforting to have when she woke up from a nightmare.
Mr. Hollis breaks her out of her thoughts, "They weren't labeled. I was curious as to what they were, So, I watched them. And I'm glad I did. There are a lot of things you didn't tell me."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Hollis. I just- I didn't-"
"I can leave if you want me to. Tell me to go and I'm gone. No one will ever see me again."
Carmilla stiffened at the use of the nickname. No one had called her that in years. Not since… you know.
"Carmilla," Mr. Hollis continued. "First of all, don't call me Mr. Hollis. Call me Richard." He smiled. "And secondly, don't you dare leave us. Otherwise, I'll have Danny hunt you down and kick your ass."
Carmilla winced. Mr. Ho- Richard never swore. And when he did, he was being dead serious.
All Carmilla could think to do was nod silently.
"And I'm not mad," Richard reassured her. "Or upset that you didn't tell me."
"You mean," Carmilla said timidly. "You… You don't hate me?"
Richard shook his head in disbelief. "Of course not!"
Carmilla was confused. "But- But I lied to you!"
"No, you didn't lie to me. You just didn't tell me you're a vampire. There's a difference."
Carmilla continued to stare at him.
"Do you remember," Richard asked her. "What I asked you at Laura's funeral when you told me you were her girlfriend?"
"You asked me if I loved Laura."
"Yes, I did. And what was your answer?"
Carmilla knew this by memory. Not because she was good at remembering things—well, she was—but this was different. She remembered this by heart… because it was still true.
Without hesitation, she replied, "I told you 'I did. I still do. And I will never stop. I'll never love anyone like I love Laura.'"
Richard nodded. "Yes, you did. Good memory, by the way."
Carmilla nodded. "But," she asked, eyebrows narrowed in confusion. "What does that have to do with the videos?"
Richard chuckled. "Don't you see, Carmilla? The videos proved to me that what you told me all those years ago is true. You do love Laura. And she loves you. You both sacrificed very much for each other. For your love. Not many relationships, even the ones that last for sixty- seventy years are that strong. Only true love is. Not many people believe in true love. I didn't. That is, not until I met Laura's mother." A gentle smile formed on his face, his eyes glazing over with images of memories from long ago.
"I loved Emma with my entire being. I'd do anything for her. She was my soul mate. And when she died, I was broken. Permanently. A part of me was missing. If it wasn't for Laura, I don't know what I would have done."
Carmilla nodded softly. "I know how you feel. When Laura-" She bit her lip. 'When she died, I… I my heart shatter into a thousand tiny pieces. It was more than heartbreak. It was like losing a part of my soul. I was drowning in sadness, looking desperately for something to cling on to. Something to keep me grounded."
Richard watched her intently, listening to her every word with rapt attention.
"Laura was my world. She was my only reason. If it weren't for her, I'd still be in my Mother's clutches. Laura changed me. She was the first person in more than a century that I'd ever found worth saving." Carmilla felt tears well up in her eyes. She wiped them away, but they kept coming. "I tried to hate her—I really did. But, I just couldn't. Laura was only doing what she believed was right—what she thought would protect everyone she cared about.
"To this day, she still has a hold on me. Even if she's not here with me, she's still my anchor. Her last request of me was to protect our friends. I promised her I would. And I've kept that promise. I've protected our family. For both of us. And the only thing that keeps me going is that she's up there, watching us. And that, one day, I'll join her and we'll be together again. God, I miss her so much."
"We all miss her," Richard says. "One day we'll all be together again."
"One day," Carmilla agreed.
Richard Hollis died at age 72 on November 22, 2032 at 2:39 AM.
"He was not in any pain," the doctors had said. "He died a peaceful death."
There was a funeral for Richard a few weeks later. It wasn't a sad ceremony. It was a happy one, celebrating a long life, full of happy memories. Carmilla was sad to see him go, but she was also happy for him in a way. He could finally see his daughter again.
Carmilla continued to keep watch over her family. Eventually, the kids grew up and went their separate ways. They went to college; Not Silas (Carmilla wouldn't allow it). After college, they all got jobs and started families of their own. She was happy for them.
The truth about Carmilla and the story of their parents and the Aunt they never meet was revealed to them when they were in their teens. They took it surprisingly well and gained a new respect for their older family members.
Carmilla watched as her friends grew old and grey. They all had a happy life and died of old age. LaF was the oldest, at 103 years old. The group was buried together, near Laura's grave. However, no one was buried right next to Laura. That place was reserved for one person. And one person only.
By the time all of her friends had joined Laura and Richard in the stars, Carmilla was close to 400 years old. She was starting to get worn out.
She missed Laura. So much. She wanted, more than anything, to finally join her. Or, at least, get to see her.
She voiced her feelings to William, JP, Laura, and Matska. They talked about it for months and finally came up with a plan.
Carmilla was to be "put down," so to speak. JP worked at a medical research lab. (LaF was very proud of him.) They had "terminators' at the lab. They were exactly like the shots they give to sick animals at veterinary hospitals when there was nothing more they could do to help the poor animal.
He'd get her a syringe full of the "terminator" liquid and she'd keep it until she was ready.
Carmilla always loved stories. When she was a young girl, reading was one of her favorite things to do. She always liked the idea of one day writing her own book and getting it published. But she never knew what she wanted to write about. That, and she was always busy running errands for her Mother to even think about it.
But now Carmilla was free to do as she pleased. And she decided she'd finally fulfill her dream of writing. She wanted to write a book about her adventures at Silas. The story of how she, a centuries old vampire with a deeply painful past, fell in love with a 19 year old girl who craved for justice. How their love was the best thing that ever happened to her. How Laura Hollis had changed the lives of so many people around her.
And so, that's exactly what she did. She wrote a book. She did not use her real name, choosing to use a pseudonym instead.
Posterity: The Story of Us
By Carmilla C. Hollis
(The "C" stood for "Cupcake," but no one needed to know that. In fact, only Carmilla herself knew. If anyone asked, she'd say it stands for "Catherine.")
The dedication of Carmilla's book:
This book is dedicated to the wonderful people, whom I shared these adventures with:
S. LaFontaine (aka Ginger 1)
Lola Perry (aka Ginger 2)
Danny Lawrence (aka Xena)
Wilson Kirsch (aka Beefcake)
JP Armitage (aka Jeep)
Matska Belmonde (aka Mattie)
William Karnstein (aka Fresh Meat)
To William and JP Kirsch, Laura and Mattie LaFontaine-Perry, and Richard Hollis
And last, but sure as hell not least,
To Laura Emma Hollis—My Cupcake, my Love, my soul mate
I will join you soon, my Darling. Wait for me. Just a little bit longer.
To all my family members—past, present, and future. I love you all and I will always be watching over you. When you need me, just look to the stars. I'll be there. I promise.
-Much love, Carmilla
The book was an immediate success. In the week after it hit the shelves, it earned a total of $1,698,000. The money was sent out to a number of different charities, one of which was a Big Cat preserve.
Carmilla attended tons of book signings in the following few years. There were tons of people every time. She became a New York Times bestselling author literally overnight. Everyone wanted to meet the mastermind behind what was being called "the most beautiful love story of all time."
She had said in her book that the events in the story were true. That it was not a fantastical tale, but a narrative of real happenings, real people, real… everything.
Of course, not many people actually believed that. They thought she had put that little piece in the book to make it even more appealing to the readers. Which it did, but that wasn't what Carmilla was aiming for when she wrote it.
The few people who did believe her told her that they were glad she shared her story with them and the rest of world. That it had inspired them to make a difference in their own lives.
Carmilla smiled every time someone told her that. When she had written Posterity, her main focus had been to simply get the story out. To tell the world the adventures of the rag tag band of people who, if it wasn't for the strange happenings of Silas (and, of course, the curiosity and determination of one little Lauronica Mars), none of them would be who they are today—whether they're still living or not. Laura had brought all of them together and made them better people in the process.
At least, Carmilla thought. That's what she did for me.
Laura had shown Carmilla that she didn't have to live in misery. She'd helped her get out of her Mother's evil clutches.
Laura had died because she had chosen Carmilla. She'd known what was coming. She'd known what Vordenburg would do to her if she refused his offer. Yet, she had still chosen Carmilla.
That was a debt Carmilla was afraid she'd never be able to repay.
Carmilla continued to watch over her family for many more years to come. She watched as Will, JP, Mattie, and Laura grew older. She watched over their children. And when their children grew up and had families of their own, she watched over them, too.
Carmilla was there for each of them when they died. It was heartbreaking for her, but she made it through, knowing that she'd see them again. One day.
A few years later, Carmilla decided it was finally her time. She was over 400 years old—406, to be exact. She'd lived one lifetime equal to that of four human lifetimes. Carmilla was ready. She was ready to finally go home.
Carmilla told her family that it was time. They accepted her decision and supported her all the way.
Carmilla's last day on Earth were spent with her family. And it was one of the happiest days of her entire life.
For once, she could be carefree. Not a worry in the world. She could be herself without being judged. Without worrying about being seen in public or assaulted by silver arrows.
She could just be… Carmilla.
She rolled around with the kids in the grass behind LaF and Perry's old home. She gave them piggy-back rides as a giant panther. They squeaked in excitement when she sped up and ran into the woods.
"Carmilla! Don't go too deep into the forest!" their parents yelled. "And don't go too fast!"
And, of course, she didn't. She ran through the trees a bit, the children on her back, still squealing in delight, clinging onto her silky fur tightly. After a few minutes, she made her way back to the house. The children climbed off Carmilla's back and the vampire shifted back to her human form.
And then Carmilla and her family sat on a blanket under the shade of the tall oak trees. They had a big lunch, which Carmilla ate even though she technically didn't need to. She made sure to have a few cookies. And a cupcake.
After lunch, the adults sat on the blanket together while the children chased each other around the yard. As Carmilla watched them play, she let her thoughts wander. She wasn't necessarily brooding, just… thinking about things.
The kids were young—barely three years old. They probably wouldn't remember her. That didn't upset her very much. After all, there were tons of pictures and videos. And they could read her book once they learned how. They'd think it was just a story at first, as most people did. But when they were old enough to understand, their parents would show them the videos from Silas and they'd learn that it wasn't a story, after all. It was all true.
And then they would grow up, have families of their own, and they'd show their kids. Who would show their children. And the cycle would go on for as long as the family line continued.
Carmilla smiled. For the first time in almost a century, she was truly at ease. She was sad to leave her family, but she missed Laura. Desperately. She couldn't live without her anymore. She had kept her promise to protect their friends. And now their family was stronger than ever. They'd be fine without Carmilla there to protect them.
And after Carmilla is gone, her story and the story of her years at Silas—the story of how the tiny journalist managed to unravel the mysteries of Silas University and save many people's lives—would live on. Generations to come would learn how a group of teenagers, plus a vampire, saved the world.
Carmilla was surrounded by her family. She was sitting on her bed. In her hand, she held the syringe JP had given her all those years ago.
She felt tears come to her eyes as she looked around the room. "I love you guys. Don't let my story die out." She paused. "For posterity."
Everyone laughed and smiled at her reassuringly. "We won't, Carm," Lily promised. She was one of William's daughters. She looked a lot like her father. And she had her grandmother's loyalty and sense of righteousness.
"You're a lot like, Xena. You know that?" Carmilla smirked.
"Yup." Lily grinned. "I know." Lily smirked back at Carmilla. "Grandma."
"Watch it, Flower," Carmilla teased. "I might haunt you in your dreams if you're not careful."
Lily laughed. "No you won't. You'll be too busy spending time with Laura."
"Touché, Flower. Touché."
Carmilla took a deep breath and looked around at all the people in the room, her eyes meeting each of theirs in turn. "I'll miss you all."
"We'll miss you, too," Nathan—Mattie's son—replied. "But you deserve to be with Laura and the others. You've spent enough time watching over us, Carm. We can take care of ourselves now. You're free."
Carmilla smiled softly and handed Lily the syringe. She lay down, rested her head down on the yellow pillow and closed her eyes. A chorus of "We love you's" was the last thing she heard before she felt the syringe enter her arm and everything went black.
When Carmilla opened her eyes again, she was met with the most beautiful sight she's ever seen. It was a girl. She was stunning. Her honey-blond hair cascaded down her shoulders in waves. Her brown eyes were shining with love and she had a bright smile on her face.
"Laura," Carmilla whispered in awe.
Carmilla lunged toward the girl, enveloping her tightly in her arms. She buried her face in the smaller girl's neck. She felt Laura wrap her arms around her waist. Laura pressed her cheek into Carmilla's chest.
Tears streamed down Carmilla's face. Could that even happen in… where ever they were? Guess it could.
"I missed you, Laura," Carmilla cried. "So God damn much."
"I missed you, too, Carmilla." Laura's voice was muffled by Carmilla's shirt.
Carmilla pulled away, never letting go of Laura. She reached up a hand to Laura's cheek and lifted her face up to look into her eyes. And she kissed her. Immediately, Laura wrapped her arms around Carmilla's neck and pulled her closer.
When they finally pulled away from one other, Carmilla rested her forehead against Laura's.
"Hey," Laura whispered.
Carmilla chuckled, "Hey."
"You wanna go see the others? They're really excited to see you again."
Carmilla smiled. "Of course. Lead the way, Cupcake."
Laura grinned and grabbed Carmilla's hand in hers. Carmilla laced their fingers together and allowed Laura to lead her through the doorway of the bedroom into what lay beyond.
It turns out the afterlife is basically the same as Earth, just more peaceful. No monsters. No villains. No war. Surprisingly, Carmilla still had all her vampiric abilities. That was… strange, but nice to know.
Laura led Carmilla through tons of halls and doorways until they were in LaF and Perry's house.
This place is weird, Carmilla thought. It's like a giant apartment building. Just… so much cooler.
Laura led her through the house and into the living room, where everyone was gathered. They were watching something on the TV.
Was that… Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Carmilla rolled her eyes. "Well, I see the taste in entertainment hasn't changed," she drawled.
Everyone turned to look at the two girls standing in the doorway. They sat silently for a moment, staring at them. And then they all jumped up and ran at them, embracing the two girls in what was probably the biggest group hug of all time.
Carmilla laughed, participating in the group hug best she could without letting go of Laura's hand. "Just because I'm officially dead," she said, "does not mean that I magically love group hugs. So, please, for the love of cats... Get off me."
Everyone pulled away, laughing.
"I see you haven't changed a bit," Danny remarked.
Carmilla looked at her, an eyebrow raised. "Did you expect me to?"
Danny grinned at her. "Nope. Not at all, Fang Face."
Carmilla smirked. "That's what I thought, Xena."
Laura laughed and kissed Carmilla's cheek. "Welcome home, Carm."
Carmilla smiled and wrapped an arm tightly around Laura's waist, pulling her closer. She placed a kiss to the top of Laura's head. "Thanks, Creampuff."
Laura giggled. "I love you, Carm."
"I love you, too, Laura."
After 406 years, Carmilla had joined the afterlife. She was home. She'd finally joined her family in the stars.
After 81 years of keeping her promise, Carmilla was reunited with Laura.
All Carmilla could think to say was, "At last."