"Your skin feels a bit warmer this time. Are you in any pain?"
"I haven't had any spasms lately. It just hurts a little."
"Do you want me to have the doctor come back and have a look at you?"
"She cannot do any more for me. I've had my last rites. But...you have pleased me by bringing the whole family here. How many people arrived?"
"At least two hundred. I think there might be more coming." The old man sighed and pulled the blanket up a bit more on his dying charge. "I never thought...I never thought it would actually happen."
"I have lived a long life, Louis. Over five hundred years. I think...I think my time is now passing."
"Are you afraid of what's going to happen afterwards? I mean..."
Alucard weakly raised up his hand. The subject of afterlife to those born of vampire blood was something they'd both discussed many times. "Whatever happens, happens. I will be content."
Louis looked down at the wasted form of Alucard. Despite the claims that Alucard was now mortal, his face had not changed and he had not seemed to age. All the Belmonts and the helper families had forgotten this. Now that Alucard had fallen deathly ill, the family members from around the world flocked to Wakariya. It was not any sort of cancer that was killing Alucard, but merely age and mortality catching up to him.
Alucard smiled a little. "You're fretting again, Louis. Don't be afraid. Haven't we done so much? The Belmont family has so many roots in so many countries now that no one vampire can ever destroy us again." The Belmont family had done much to regain its strength. Men and women from all races and varied nations were Belmonts in spirit, if not in names. But this time, the family had branched out in so many directions that not all Belmonts were fighters. There were doctors, lawyers, followers of holy orders, financial advisors, scholars, politicians, marines, and experts with computers. If a fighter wasn't called for in a situation dealing with vampires, there was always someone else who could counter a vampire strike.
"I suppose you're right. But...you need your rest. I need to placate the masses out there. If...if you think something's going to happen, you'll let me know, won't you?"
"I promise I will." Alucard looked over to the hand bell by the nightstand. "I won't leave you without saying goodbye." Louis touched Alucard's cheek gently and smiled sadly before leaving the room.
Alucard fell into a fevered sleep. It seemed as though all times were confusing themselves together. He could remember the fight against Dracula with Trevor, but then Trevor would change to Richter. Then LeCarde, dead for several years now, would be at his side, helping him to walk. He murmured in his delusions, feeling so hot and thirsty.
"Lie still." Someone lay a cool compress on his forehead. Alucard tried to speak, but couldn't find the words. "Here. Drink this." A cup of cool water was pressed to his lips and he drank it down gratefully. A gentle hand pushed back several pale locks of sweat soaked hair. Alucard heard a long sigh. "You know I could fix this. I could undo this whole thing and you wouldn't have to die."
"It's my time now. Things happened and they cannot be undone."
"You would rather die than let me help you?"
"Don't think of it like that. I have chosen my path and you yours. You know that our paths were never meant to be together."
"I say you just let that Belmont stubborness rub off on you."
Alucard smiled weakly. "It could be that too."
"So you won't change your mind?"
"No. I am content with whatever will happen to me."
"I never thought you would be as placid as your mother about these sorts of things."
"I've had time to develop some faith. I'm sure I'll see her again. And I promise to send your love when I see her."
Alucard could only hear gentle breathing. "I'm pleased you came here. I thought you might not."
"I wanted to persuade you. I could just overpower you and to hell with your wishes."
"But you won't do that, will you?"
A sigh. "I want to. But I thought that perhaps these last few words we could share without bitterness and conflict. So...I guess I won't."
"Thank you." It became a bit harder to Alucard to breathe. "Are you...are you proud of me, father?"
"Considering you've done your damnest to ruin my work several times and you rebuilt the Belmonts from nothing to something I can never destroy now...I guess...in some way, I am proud of you. And if I cannot persuade you to change your mind about your blood...may I help you on your way to your mother?"
"Yes." Alucard felt the cup pressed to his lips again, but the water tasted differently. He heard the hand bell ringing and he felt a press of lips against his forehead.
Dracula hid in the shadows and watched the Belmont family pile into the room and pay their last respects with tears. I think Simon was right. I don't think I've ever understood this family. I don't understand why my son didn't follow me. I don't understand how that child could counter my power on faith alone. The Dark One felt empty. He watched them all say their farewells. When Alucard's head slumped to the side and his breath came no more, Dracula felt more alone than he ever had in his entire life. He flitted deep into the shadows and fell back into the embrace of Chaos. He could have destroyed the Belmonts in the room, but power seemed rather hollow next to the fact that his son was no more. Power didn't matter now. If I had faith like yours, maybe someday I could see you again with your mother and we wouldn't have to fight anymore. But Dracula was saddened by Alucard's simple fact, "You know our paths were never meant to be together." So the Dark One could only be left alone and regret for so many things done wrong...
...but somewhere both near and far, an aristocratic looking gentleman with pale locks of hair led his mother to a castle to join the Belmont family in peace and prosperity.