(O)(E)(O) Epilogue (O)(E)(O)

Parting with dear friends was always hard, but parting with a lover never felt this painful before. Margarete sighed as she packed her belongings. The battle with Albert Simon and that Meta god he had summoned concluded, it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Her new assignment waited for her in her apartment in Paris. Master Zhuzhen left early this morning aboard a ship that would take him back to China, they'd all miss him so much, but it doesn't mean they won't be able to visit him in Shanghai, where Quihua and her father waited for his return.

Alice and Yuri got married with Master Zhuzhen performing the ceremony himself, but they planned to marry again, in church this time as soon as they could meet her mother in Zurich. Halley and the other orphans together with Koudelka boarded a ship for America, hoping to find his father.

As for Keith…he had declared that all the excitement would last him several lifetimes and wishes to rest.

She had grown fond of the vampire, a great liability for her! Margarete thought. But she couldn't help it. She never expected to feel this way, she thought that she'd been there, done it all but now…the thought of parting ways with him made her lonely already, and it both shocked and scared her, for she has never felt the need for another person before…she had always been independent, self reliant…

The object of her thoughts suddenly manifested. Keith was a quiet man, er vampire, who rarely speaks unless spoken to. But this morning as he looked at Margarete, something in his blue eyes made her pulse quicken.

He glanced at all her baggage and something fleeted in his eyes so briefly she thought she had only imagined it.

Keith took one of her hand, kissed her in the gallant manner he always bestows on her person.

"When you are tired of flying my golden dove, you know where your home is…" He said, he looked at her with his intense blue eyes and for a moment she couldn't breathe at what she saw in their depths.

"Keith…"

"The doors of Blue Castle will always be open for you…but don't take too long in coming home my love or I will be forced to stalk you."

Suddenly she was crying in his arms, helplessly giving in. How she had longed to belong to someone, to call him her own.

"Just one more assignment." The alluring spy said. "I owe it to the man who saved me from the gutter, and then I would be free, free to be with you."

(O(o)O)

On a train bound for Zurich.

"Yuri what are you reading?" Alice asked as she settled against his shoulder. She sighed as they were almost home, this is the last leg of their journey. Traveling here from Wales would have been longer if not for the railway system. That carriage ride from Prague to Rouen took them more than a month! But she enjoyed their long trips together, it had become sort of a honey moon for her. Now they didn't have to rush, to worry about some warlock intent on destroying everything.

"Um something that old goat left me." Yuri said as he held her closer to him.

"I see. May I take a look?" Alice said.

"Uh, you might not like it. It's written in Chinese." Yuri said, reluctantly handing her the book.

Of course she couldn't understand the Chinese characters, but the illustrations left little room for doubts. She slammed the book down in embarrassment.

"Yuri what on earth is that?" She gasped, a little horrified seeing the various sex positions.

"Taoist Guide to Good Sex." He translated slowly, grinning at her devilishly.

"Throw it away! My mother will kill you if she found that book."

"Oh c'mon baby, what harm would this book do? Bet it would make you cast sexy spells huh? Why don't you try?" He teased.

She only pinched his arm, "Yuri Hyuga! Don't you dare speak of such things in front of mother!"

He chuckled and kissed her indignant cheek. Unable to remain angry with him for long, Alice settled more comfortably against the crook of his neck, feeling intensely happy and content just to be with him.

Outside the window, the train slowly passed through farmlands, meadows, rivers and now the snow capped mountains.

"Hey Baby?" Yuri said, caressing her arm.

"Hmm?" She said sleepily.

"If I were to fuse with a monster with penises on his hand instead of fingers, would you make love with me?"

Her eyes flew open in shock. "Certainly not! You Jackanapes!" After all this time, he never fails to amaze her with the things he'd suddenly say.

Yuri laughed and kissed the tip of her nose. "Hush baby, I won't share you…you know that. Especially with a monster, even if it is Seraphic Radiance himself!"

The possessive glint in his eyes made her smile. Then it reminded her of Christopher; until now she wasn't sure what happened to him. But she got a bad feeling that Christopher met an untimely end just like Charlotte did.

After that night in Roger's house, Yuri returned to his former self. Confident in her love for him, he was happier, more content than he had ever been in his entire life. She should punish the dummy for ever doubting her love, but Alice couldn't bring herself to inflict even a momentary punishment on his person.

She was already three months pregnant, their baby conceived that very night they first made love, it would have been a miracle if she hadn't, not with the way they fell on each other that night! Alice smiled. Yuri bragged to everyone as if he managed a great feat by getting her with child. Silly man! She thought affectionately.

Then her eyes closed and finally succumbed to sleep. Yuri gathered her closer and surrendered himself to slumber.

Then he had a horrible nightmare in which he dreamt that she died while asleep. Startled he opened his eyes, even as fear and desolation washed over him.

His sudden movement roused Alice, and rather sleepily she looked at him in question. With a trembling hand, Yuri caressed her face, sending a silent prayer of thanks that she is alive, well and safe here with him. He didn't know what he would do if she never woke up again, if he'll have the strength to move on…she is his life.

Alice settled her head back against him, smiled as she felt the gentle hand that caressed the tiny life inside her. She hopes they'd have a boy, though Yuri wishes for a girl. She'd like to have to have a small replica of him, and see how he is as a little boy.

Life won't always be this happy or easy she knows. Albert Simon's words warned them of hard times ahead. But as long as Yuri is with her, Alice have no doubt that they could overcome any trials of life together. They have come so far, suffered a lot together.

As the warlock said, even if the harshest of winter brings the harshest hardships…I intend to live my life, with my new family.

(O)END(O)

Author's notes:

Yes, I started to replay the first Shadow Hearts game again. Strange, but I feel I still like the first one, despite its outdated graphics, and funny voice actors. I mean, I find that Alice is more beautiful in Covenant, and I find Yuri more appealing. But SH1 got a deeper story, more endearing characters...oh, I definitely like Kurando, Ana and Joachim, but their purpose on why they travelled with Yuri isn't clear...err maybe I should play covenant again huh? I only played it once and then only watched the theater afterwards! perhaps I'm missing something out. But I am terribly attached to Alice, and playing a game without her, felt not as enjoyable.

Oh, I tried to write down the last sentence Alice spoke in the 'good ending', but since I still haven't finished the game again, I could only write from what I remember. When she said my new family, the first thing that came to mind is that she's preggy. Hee hee! yeah go ahead whack puffy in the head!

Oh as a final note, I'd like to thank all who took the time to review. Puffy hopes she'll be a better writer one day, just like herfavorite authors!In the mean time, suffer the antics of Puffy!

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puffy