Oh my God, we're actually here! The second final chapter! Funny how one moment I thought this fic would just go on and on, and then suddenly we're here. Have you enjoyed yourself? I have.
Disclaimer: Need I say?
The silence in the Great Hall of Castle Dracula lasted only a couple of seconds but it seemed to drag to eternity. Currently there were six persons in the Great Hall. Princess Anna, the last of the noble house of Valerious, was trying to get herself up from the filthy floor, which wasn't easy due to dizziness she was suffering and the fact she lost heel from her other boot. There was other person on the floor also, the hunchback Igor, who still lay unconscious. Carl, the young friar, had taken a few steps back after loosing his holy light. Both Gabriel Van Helsing, the hunter send by the Knights of the Holy Order, and Count Dracula, the vampire overlord of Transylvania, were both watching a young woman who sat on an altar. Just few moments ago then this woman still was Isabella Mortte, but now there was other speaking through her mouth. A spirit of Sabrina.
Dracula was the first one to break the silence. "Sabrina" he breathed as he started to approach the altar. "I've waited this night for 400 years. I finally have you back, Sabrina".
As Dracula approached the altar, the girl sitting there looked at him with a sad, lonely loo. "Oh, Vlad. What have you done?" she sighed.
Dracula stopped. "What?" he asked with disbelief in his voice.
"Why did it come to this? Where did it all go so terribly wrong?" she asked.
Van Helsing looked the two figures from his death past with wide eyes. The two lovers, who in formers life were both very dear to him, are reunited. But Isabella…no, it is Sabrina now, doesn't look happy. What is going on, he thought.
"What are they talking about?" Carl asked, taking a hesitant step forward.
"Don't you have ears in your head, Carl?" Van Helsing asked and then stopped. He suddenly realised the two were talking Romania, to be more precisely, Romania that was talked 400 years ago then. And he understood it perfectly!
"What do you mean why has it come to this? Sabrina, you're not making sense. I brought you back, to a suitable body for you, a body that now has my blood and will live forever. We will never be apart again! I've missed you so, during my lonely centuries" Dracula said, becoming very close to altar now.
Sabrina only shook her (Isabella's?) head miserably. "You've never been alone, Vlad. All these centuries I've been with you. I've watched you and shared your loneliness and suffering. But I have also seen how, with each year passing, you change more and more. Indeed, it is very difficult to me see the young man I love in you anymore" she spoke.
Dracula looked like nothing made sense to him anymore. "It's still me, Sabrina. You could learn to live with the changes. You have eternity the time to learn" he spoke tenderly, but there was a slight edge of panic in his voice.
Sabrina turned to look the coffin next to altar. She looked at the mummified skeleton there. "This is what I am, Vlad", she said, pointing the corpse, "this is what I should be. The time we had, the time we lived is long since gone. We do not belong to this time. What does immortality bring us? I could live, yes, but I should sacrifice the life of this young woman who hasn't properly lived yet. And you? What have you become, Vlad? What use has it being for us to be apart all these centuries if you let yourself become this thing?"
Dracula seemed to be shaken by this. He summoned all his authority to him. "Sabrina…" he started but for the first time in four centuries someone dared to interrupt him.
"Look at yourself, Vlad. Are you really the passionate young man I fell in love? I remember a young man who used to chase me in gardens, not sleep in coffins. I remember a young man who defended his country passionately, not hunt innocents people to his food. I've watched how little by little Vlad Valerious has died inside you, Count" she spoke quietly.
"Do not speak of me as Valerious! I haven't been one since Radu-"
"Your brother is long since dead, Vlad. You can't bear hate for the entire line. See that woman there?" Sabrina pointed Princess Anna. "You've taken her father and brother already. Why does she need to loose her life as well? And Gabriel, my poor brother, who has lost nearly all of his memories. What good has all this done for us, Vlad?"
The silence that followed was so thick Van Helsing was sure he could slice it with his sword.
"Then…what else can I do?" Dracula finally asked.
Sabrina smiled tenderly. "It is time to come home" she said.
And with that a sudden light once again appeared around the pentagram and the young woman collapsed to the altar. Faster than any human eye could see Dracula had moved by her side. As the light dimmed Dracula moved his gaze from the young woman to the body in the coffin.
"She is gone" he finally said. "Sabrina set herself free from Isabella's body".
Van Helsing let out a sigh. "Maybe that is for better".
Dracula didn't answer. He silently watched the mummified corpse in the coffin. He paid no attention to the girl on the altar anymore. Van Helsing took few steps towards the dark figure. Anna, who could somewhat stand straight now was being helped by Carl. No one noticed the sudden absence of Igor.
"Vlad", Van Helsing said carefully, "let me take Isabella back to her father. I think we've all had enough".
Dracula had a small smile on his lips. "You're right, Gabriel. Enough is enough. However, I doubt Mortte would appreciate seeing her daughter as one my brides now" he said.
Van Helsing felt that cold feeling again. Something wasn't right. "But you said Sabrina left".
Dracula's smile turned to a diabolical grin. "Sabrina left, yes. But Isabella Mortte still carries my mark and has my blood. She is already changing to a powerful vampire".
"You monster!" Van Helsing yelled, unable to hold his rage.
"I get that a lot" Dracula sneered. "But, there is a way for you to save her, isn't there, Gabriel".
Van Helsing remembered one of the rules of the vampires. A victim can be saved from turning to a Nosferatu is the vampire that marked him or her is being killed before transformation is finished.
However, Van Helsing barely had time to react when Dracula launched himself to an attack. Van Helsing's instinct took control and he waved his sword, cutting Count's arm. Count flew past him to the other wall. Van Helsing turned around to see Dracula's arm regenerate back.
"So, let us do this by the old school way, Gabriel" Dracula said and pulled his sword from under his huge black cape. He launched himself again to Van Helsing and soon the Great Hall was filled with sound of two swords hitting each others. From the side Anna and Carl looked situation helplessly, not knowing would interrupting be best approach. While Van Helsing definitely had more experience in using sword, Dracula was much faster and stronger. Actually, it seemed as if he was holding back.
Suddenly Dracula managed to move Van Helsing's sword away and grabbed him by the collar. "Enough of waxing nostalgic, Gabriel, but do pay a visit again when you next time reborn" vampire said and threw Van Helsing across the Great Hall. The moment he landed the filthy floor he heard a sound, that couldn't mean anything good, and a moment later a pain shot through him light lightening. Van Helsing tried to stand up but only fell again gritting his teeth. His leg was broken.
Anna's voice made him turn around and Van Helsing saw Dracula flying towards him, his black cape looking like huge wings of a bad, and his sword ready to strike. Impulse took over and Van Helsing reached his silver blade with his free hand. Just as Dracula appeared over him Van Helsing used the blade to push vampire's sword aside and pushed his sword in to Dracula's chest.
For a moment everything seemed to still. Then Dracula spoke. "Déjà vu" he said.
Van Helsing looked at the Count. If he had hit his sword an inch closer to his heart then Dracula would be dead now. Dracula was still standing and breathing, but dying. The sword had hit close enough. The more blood pooled from his chest the paler skin turned.
"You…were always…the better fighter…show-off" vampire coughed and dropped to his knees.
Instead of victorious, Van Helsing felt melancholy. "I'm sorry it came to this" he said.
"No matter…" Dracula said. "I'm going home, Gabriel".
And then, in front of Van Helsing, Count Dracula collapsed to the floor and his entire body grumbled to ashes. Van Helsing closed his eyes and prayed that Vladislaus Valerious was in peace now.
One to go still! Please, remember to review.