Characters in this prompt: Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower

Summary: Maria has to face that she is still alive.

(Author's note: The first fill is a bit short. I tried to go more for the feeling instead of making a story with a plot and keeping it short works better for these kind of story. I hope it is still enjoyable.

Warning for suicidial implication in this one.)

Maria awoke in a cold sweat, she shot up and was already fumbling for her Rakuyo when she realized she wasn't out in the field, but in her room in her bed in the research hall. It had just been a nightmare. She was safe and sound in, there was no hunt going on. Maria simply had awoken to live through another day. While others didn't.

Maria let herself fall back into her pillows. It was a tad too early to already get up. Of course, eventually she had to get up, she had took it upon her to look after the patients in the research hall. It felt like some sort of redemption for the atrocious things she had done. Like her role in the Fishing Hamlet. There wasn't a single day going by without her feeling intense guilt at all the lives that had been lost there, only because this villagers had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. It made Maria feel ashamed to still be a part of the Healing Church.

Even though once it all had started so promising... Back then she had been able to escape Cainhurst to attend scholarship at Byrgenwerth. This was where she had met Gehrman and the others. And frankly, these years with their little groups of friend, her, Gehrman, Laurence, Micolash and Caryll, had felt like the best time in her life.

When Laurence had decided to leave Byrgenwerth to be able to continue the research on the old blood, she had followed alongside with Gehrman, truly believing that they could better the world with the founding of the Healing Church. Back then there still had been hope. All of them had worked hard to achieve their goals and once she had been proud about her role. All had been well until the beastly scourge had hit.

When it had happened the first time, they didn't even knew that this beasts once had been people. They had come out of nowhere. She and Gehrman had driven them back. Maria still remembered her shock when they had found out. The guilt blooming in her chest. She tried to tell herself that killing them had been the only way. And so the night of the hunt started to plague Yharnam. Nowadays Maria couldn't even count how many beasts had fallen victim to her blade. Beasts that once had been people. People that apparently didn't deserve to live anymore. While she did.

At the moment there wasn't a hunt going on, but it never left her mind, still visited her in her dreams. She had hoped that in the research hall they could work on finding a cure, but instead a lot of the patients died in the strange experiments they had to undergo. Or they turned into disfigured mutants. Maria had taken them into her care. She would always been there for them, listen to them, soothing their pain. She wanted to do the right thing, atone herself, very unlike Laurence, the vicar.

While they once had been friends and while Maria was sure that Laurence originally wanted to do the right thing, now he would stop at nothing to get his goal. To keep the Healing Church in power. How many skeletons did they had in the closet?

The feeling of guilt in Maria's chest overwhelmed her. Her gaze drifted to the site and landed on her Rakuyo. She stared deep and hard at it. It wasn't the first time she thought about it. Abandon it all. Ending it. She was barely able to stomach it anymore. But... when she was gone, what would happen to the patients? She was everything they still had. She couldn't vanish. Not now. Not as long as there still was someone counting on her.

For now she had to live on. She got up to face living in another day. While others didn't.