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Rain And Ink

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Alucard stood outside the room his beloved lay dying inside, the East Wing of the castle the least damaged part. Pipes remained intact, the room kept warm for the human woman. Sweltering for the vampire, but it mattered not, so long as she died in comfort, bundled under blankets, protecting her from the world.

Hearing footsteps, white hair billowed with turn of the head, broken halo.

"I can't, Father...," topaz eyes watered, "I cannot bear this. I feel wretched, confused, angry, alone." He folded his arms, remainder human trait, Alucard recalling his former self, Trevor doing it often, youth audacious.

"And how do you think Aline feels? All of those and more."

Dracula chose to be the voice of reason, his son's anchor, moral compass. In any other circumstance, Alucard would not need this, his needle ramrod straight, dutiful, his mind firmly affixed on whatever mission he'd been given.

However, in this instance, his son, both incarnations crumbled before him, foundations yielding under immense strain, stress palpable. Reprobate agony bore fruit as the Dragon saw the same expression on his only child's face morph into the very same he wore when the Prince shoved his sword through his chest, eyes wide, fearful, heartbroken, torn strings, twisting chords, melancholic hymns replacing abject, heavy silence.

"Thinking hurts, realisation pulls at me. Either way, Aline dies. I can't let her wilt, but I also cannot be her salvation. It, this isn't salvation. Sorry, Father, but it is not. I fight myself every day, as I know you do, too. I won't have Aline having to fight nature, want to kill, just to survive. Death eternal, or death, immortal?"

"You do not have to watch her die, Alucard. Her time is near, though I suggest you visit her, one last time, before then. Don't make the same mistake I did with your Mother. I had plenty of time prior to being sent away to see her. I did not because I wished to train, push myself, become stronger for her. Had I visited? I would have seen her, pregnant, with you. I never would have left, I simply couldn't."

A single tear worked its way down Alucard's cheek, precious scarlet fluid spilt willingly, ever so tragically.

"Father...," he sniffled, swallowing iron, "none of this would have happened. We'd have perished long ago. I wouldn't have met Aline, I wouldn't fall a second time, my heart lurching, stomach roiling. Do I witness her fall as Trevor or Alucard?"

That question flummoxed the Prince, pondering how to answer it in shoulder squeezes, his son's desperation in hunched posture, shoulder's taut.

"Whomever fell for her."

Openly bawling, Alucard mustered courage, battling want to run, unwilling to see another woman he loved perish.

He took Dracula's hand, wiry strength enacted, though the Prince barely felt it, the battle with Satan taking away his vigour for some time afterwards. Only recently did he begin to feel somewhat like himself again.

Never truly like himself, he'd given up on Gabriel millennia ago.

Leaving his Father, his rock in his wake, Alucard stepped into the chamber, breath held, prayer held on tongue, words sonorous in mind.