Sharon’s Note: I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I don’t always write them, but I always appreciate them. So here, I present the last part of this story, and unsurprisingly happy ending. Enjoy. Warning: No warning, just feels.
The hospital room was quiet except for the distant, slow music oozed through the open door. Sarah knew she should try to sleep, but she just didn’t feel like it. She’d been sleeping so much, some of it due to the drugs the doctors were giving her, some because she was old.
When it came down to it, that was why she was in the hospital. Fainting was just a symptom of that. The doctor could run all the tests they wanted, and attribute it to failing organs or whatever else, but the root cause was that she was just a month shy of ninety-eight. If this wasn’t her time, it was damn close.
Footsteps echoed through the hall, and Sarah glanced at the clock. It wasn’t time for the nurse to come around yet. One of her neighbors must have pushed the button. She ran her finger over the switch that raised her into a sitting position when whoever it was stopped at her door and knocked softly on the frame.
“Peter,” She said, breaking into a grin. “Did you have to whammy the nurses to get in here?”
“I did.” He entered the room and closed the door behind him, shifting the bouquet of assorted flowers around in his hand. “How are you doing, Little One?”
She shrugged and lifted up the tube that was all but duct taped to her arm. “About as well as can be expected. They don’t know what all is wrong, but they keep pumping me full of medications anyway. At least the food is better than when I was in here looking after Brian. Not that that is a very high bar.”
Peter laid the flowers on the nightstand and sat next to her. “Where are the kids? I thought Jeanie would have been here at minimum.”
“She was in earlier, but I made her go home. She’s got a brand-new grand baby to coo over. She should be making memories with him, not trying not to cry while fluffing my pillows for the millionth time.”
“What about Simon?” He gently stroked the petals of a carnation, oddly not looking her in the eye.”
“He brought the whole brood the day before yesterday. He would never admit it, but he wanted to give them a chance to say goodbye.”
There was a moment of hesitation before he asked, “And Michael’s daughter? What was she going by? Tempy?”
“She goes by her full name now, though I can’t figure out for the life of me why. My son had many talents, but naming things was not his forte.” She smiled as she remembered the hamster affectionately named ‘Fatious’. “Apparently she isn’t mad enough at the rest of the family not to call me on my deathbed.”
Peter didn’t challenge her assertion that she was dying. Everyone else did. They kept saying she had years left in her, but she was almost a hundred years old. How many more years did they want? Maybe he had just seen enough people die of old age that he knew it when he saw it. He also knew her well enough that he knew she wasn’t afraid.
“I have something to discuss with you.” He looked her in the eyes, and the seriousness of his gaze stopped her from making the joke about being just in time.
“Alright. Discuss away.”
“I want you to become a vampire.”
Sarah sputtered. “What? Do you think I want to be an old lady for all eternity? No.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Do you think I was turned at my prime? I was almost fifty when I was made a vampire. We heal at extraordinary rates. It is quite literally magic. You’ll revert in age as your body heals itself.”
It was her turn to pause while she avoided eye contact. Being young again did have a certain appeal. She knew enough about Peter’s life to know being the undead had its downsides, but no more or less than being human. He’d also told her that there were changes coming to the supernatural world. Hiding was no longer feasible, so they were getting ready to announce themselves to the world. That way they would have at least some control over the narrative. Peter was massively involved in the preparation. Maybe it was something she could help with.
“Why now?” she asked, staring down at her wrinkly hands. Thanks to the drugs, they didn’t ache at the moment.
“Because you’ve lived your human life. Your kids no longer need you and Brian is gone. I’ve been working tirelessly for the past thirty years to make the vampire world a better place for you to live in, and it’s finally ready. Because I think you’re ready to move on to something else. But mostly,” He smiled wryly, “I’m selfishly not ready to lose my daughter yet.”
Sarah reached out her hand. He took it, planted a quick kiss on the knuckles, and tucked it against his cheek. “I should probably let the kids know first. Just so they’re not surprised.”
I was hoping you’d agree to do it tonight.” A sheepish grin crept over his face. “It’s purely just superstition on my part, but there’s an old saying that if you agree to become a vampire, then wait, you’ll die before turning.”
“What the hell then,” she chuckled. “It’ll be revenge for that horrible surprise party they threw me last year.”
Getting out of the hospital wasn’t an issue. Peter whammied one of the nurses into taking out her IV and helping her get dressed. As she walked down the hall, one hand tucked safely into his arm, she was reminded when he had walked her down the aisle. Once again, he was leading her into a big, exciting change in her life, and Sarah felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have her loving, supportive father by her side.