Family Matters

Author: DhampyrX2 <princemoon_2000[at]>

Genre: X-over

Series: Impure Souls

Rating: PG-13, just to be safe

Summary: I have writer's block for my other stories.  So, in a classic fashion, I've started yet another series instead of plodding through what's already begun.  Anyway, this is a typical fare.   Xander has hidden family.  Xander discovers them.  Xander's life gets turned upside down in a way that will hopefully help everyone evolve a bit.

Timeframe: After Graduation, but before the College crap starts.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Don't sue me, I'm poor.

Author's Note:  You can find short histories about Countess Bartley, and if you follow the links there, all the other major characters in the Castlevania series as well, at this address:

Obviously for my story, any points that occurred past the time of the Stoker novel are null and void.  Also, I'm using an older mentioned history where Sonja was Simon's sister, and therefore could not have faced Dracula 100 years before him.  I will say that the histories for Simon, Trevor, Bartley, and Vampira are mostly accurate, though.  For slight changes, I'm claiming Dracula was well and truly undead when he married Lisa.  Also, I'm adding an altered version where Rose, the vampiress who tended Dracula's gardens, is still alive and undead as she continues her duties with the Castle wherever it may appear.  Confused yet?

[in my best Snidely Whiplash voice]...Drat my fiendish plans have been uncovered.  [back to normal] Anyway, enjoy!

Chapter 1

In a dark and dank cell in the Tower of London, a stately platinum blonde young woman in a sharp light blue and white suit sits smoking a cigarillo. Her glasses sit upon her desk, next to a bottle of red wine, and a bowl of fruit and cheese. Suddenly, from behind her, a creature decked out in a red trenchcoat and matching hat that covered his turn of the century style black suit walks in through the wall as if the stone were water. A mad grin lit his face, flashing a set of intimidating fangs, which were a fair accompaniment to the insane look in his red eyes. For once, he left his orange tinted John Lennon style shades behind.

Just as it looked as if the madman, or perhaps mad demon, was going to attack her, the woman let out a small sigh and asked, "What is your report, Alucard?"

The disturbing figure, now identified as Alucard, stood a bit straighter, abandoning his predatory pose, and adopted a mocking grin as he stepped around to face the woman. "All is as well as can be expected, Master. Walter will be released from the hospital with the next two weeks. We have a total of fifty troops still alive, thirty of which are still combat ready, mostly because they were on leave in the standard rotations, or were coming back from scouting missions abroad. Another fifteen are still trying to track down the FREAK chip manufacturing sites. Of course, the Police Girl and I are at full strength and await your instructions."

Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing nodded in satisfaction at her servant's report. "Well, that's better than I expected, at least. Not that the Hellsing Organization can do much with me still locked away in this wretched hole."

"Indeed, my Master. Of course, if you accept my offer, these stone walls and steel doors will mean little to you. You could leave at your leisure." Alucard replied with a deepening smile.

"We've discussed bringing that up, vampire." Integra snapped coldly.

Alucard's face lost its smile as he replied, "And I will continue to offer it until you accept it, Master. What possible reason can you have to trust these idiot boyars that leave you here to rot after they've discovered the true traitor among the Round Table?"

"It is my duty as a Knight of the Round Table, and a servant to the Queen, Alucard." Integra responded icily.

The vampire's face grew angry as he snapped, "I know what it means to leave a loyal servant to rot, Integra. It was done enough to me as a mortal to recognize the signs. And it was later compounded by you father. Do not assume I speak only for my desires in this! They will leave you here to die!"

The platinum haired beauty stared at her vampire with calm blue eyes as she responded, "It's hardly like you to bring up your mortal past, or to grow so easily agitated, Alucard. You generally forget you have a past."

"Matters have brought certain parallels that I find...uncomfortable, Master. I've left enough in the care of foolish mortals to know they destroy what they can not order into subservience. I have no desire for you to fall to such an ignoble fate. You are the first Hellsing since Abraham himself to truly gain my respect beyond these seals." Alucard replied solemnly.

"Are you certain you're not remembering a different mortal betrayed by her own people?" Integra inquired.

"What happened to Lisa was totally different." Alucard replied defensively. It was the first time in years she had spoken so frankly about his life and past before his time as her family's servant. The No Life King was finding his tongue uncharacteristically loosened as a result.

"Indeed. They will not leave me here forever, Alucard. You know that." Integra said evenly.

"I lost such faith in the majority of your species a long time ago, Master. Long before I was true nosferatu, really." he replied in an equally even timbre.

A silence born of long familiarity settled between them after that. Finally, after a while, Integra asked, "Was there anything else you I should be notified of?"

Alucard, who had settled into a silence any in the Hellsing group but Integra and Walter would have thought him incapable of, looked up as he responded, "You cousin has left the Boca del Infierno on what Americans refer to as a 'road trip'."

"Oh? And where is Alexander going?" she asked in mild surprise.

"To see the country, supposedly. Of course, with the mix of the blood in his veins, I'd wager he was off to unparalleled trouble over anything else." the vampire replied with the return to his mad grin.

"I'd wager you're right. If not his Hellsing blood, then the Belmont blood from his mother's side would see to that." Integra responded with a raised brow.

"Or the blood he's inherited from Adrian being his great grandfather." Alucard responded with a wicked smirk.

"You of course have to bring up his relation to your line as well, I suppose?" Integra inquired sardonically.

"As much as it shames me to admit my son was so easily swayed by the doe eyes and overly endowed breasts of Sonja Belmont, it is no reason to deny Alexander's right as an heir to the Tepes line. Really, as he stands now, he's the only suitable legal heir to the throne of Wallachia." Alucard responded proudly.

"You held that title for centuries as a mideon, Alucard. I'd wager you'd have to sacrifice it in a true death before it would even pass to Adrian, much less his descendants." Integra replied sarcastically.

"True enough. And the people do still pray for my return in times of strife. I guess I did leave quite an impression upon them. It just wouldn't be the same for them to be ruled without a proper Castlevania sitting atop the hillside." the No Life King said with a look of nostalgic happiness.

Integra snorted in mild contempt as she responded, "Yes, I'm sure they would feel displaced without armies of night time horrors terrorizing them as you punished them and the rest of humanity for your bride's wrongful execution, until another Belmont sealed you away for a few decades."

"I never claimed I didn't over react a bit. My own subjects didn't deserve such treatment." he replied, leaving the implied 'but the rest of humanity could go rot' unsaid.

Integra glared at the ancestral 'pet' of her family line as she acidly chided, "You are truly contemptible sometimes."

"I know." the vampire responded proudly.

"Alucard..." Integra growled in agitation.

The No Life King let out a little sigh as he commented, "Yes, Master. Still the departure of the boy raises some issues."

"You mean besides being one of the last Belmonts to actually hunt the darkness, even as the taint of your blood prevents him from accessing the relics?" she inquired archly.

"More to the fact that he will be without the little support the Slayer and her Watcher could provide. If he encounters anything beyond the revenant demons he's encountered that laughingly call themselves vampires, he could be in real danger." Alucard replied uneasily.

"It seems odd for you to care for a Belmont. Much less one that was sired by my traitorous uncle. You always took pride in claiming his blood was festering and vile. Blood unworthy to be called Hellsing." Integra said with a raised brow.

"I loathe traitors. Traitors to their own family they had sworn to protect most of all. Your Uncle was more garbage than the ghouls and FREAKS I exterminate for you. That does not change anything about the boy, though. He was as betrayed and abandoned in his time of need as you were. He is still Hellsing and Belmont, and acts as such. That is to be respected. More importantly, he is family, and I do not abandon my get." Alucard explained haughtily, allowing a bit of the man he was ages ago slip into his tone.

"Then what would you suggest, Alucard?" Integra asked, knowing he was building to something with all of this.

"I would ask to send the Police Girl to watch over him for a time." the vampire answered.

"And why would I do that? Seras Victoria is one of the few assets, other than yourself, that we have on hand to protect all of England." Integra commented.

"An asset wasted here during your imprisonment. We lack the network to search out our enemies right now. With you incarcerated, and Walter infirmed, there is precious little structure for the remains of your troops. They will certainly not listen to the Police Girl or I. Why shouldn't she get in some time being useful to another Hellsing heir in need? Besides, she would most likely be able to convince him to come here for a time." the vampire replied with a deeper grin.

"Counting on him inheriting his great grandfather's weakness for large chests and doe eyes, are you?" Integra replied archly.

"Perhaps just a bit." Alucard conceded. "But, if we can get him here, we can finally train him properly in his heritage. The other remaining Belmonts have lingered and atrophied into complacent blue bloods with no belief in their heritage, or desire to fight the dark. Alexander is the only worthy one of the whole lot of them. But, he needs guidance. His schooling was dismal, and his test scores were embarrassing. He's been without any of the structure and aid that helped you reach you potential. At the very least, we can correct that, and get him to embrace modern equipment in his life that the Watchers are too stupid to invest in." he added animatedly.

"I can see you still have a bit of an obsession with bringing the best to your family, whether they want it or not." Integra teased in a deadpan.

"Adrian was given every opportunity. Jessica and that drunken louse she married to hide her shame at her affair with your uncle left Alexander to struggle alone. I want to correct that. I may be a monster, but I'm not one to leave children alone and neglected."

Alucard replied icily.

Integra, knowing his past both as a vampire and a human, had to agree. Alucard would never do to his own descendants what was done to him. "True. And you make valid points. Wait for Walter to be released from the hospital, and then work out the details with him and Officer Victoria. Beyond that, your orders here remain unchanged. Search and Destroy."

"Thank you, my Master. And hear and happily obey." Alucard replied with a mocking bow. After a pause, he added, "Now are you certain you're not ready to join me in unlife, Master." in an innocent tone.

The relative peace of the conversation was broken by his question. "Get out! I've told you that I will not betray my heritage! And any choice I ever make will be made without your wheedling!" Integra snapped.

"Just a reminder, my Master." Alucard teased with a mad grin, as he faded out of site, his cackling laughter echoing throughout the cell.

"Damnable vampire." Integra groused angrily to herself.


Alucard reappeared in the Hellsing manor an hour later to find his fledgling servant, Seras Victoria, waiting in the foyer for him. She was dressed in her mini-skirt with matching blue top police style uniform, and her strawberry blonde hair was its usual slightly disorganized mess.

Her doe like red eyes were alight with curiosity as Seras inquired, "How is Sir Integra faring, Master?"

"She is as well as her imprisonment can allow her to be, Police Girl." the elder vampire replied evenly. "Have you eaten?" he asked after a pause.

"Not yet, Master." the fledgling replied shyly, looking at her feet.

"We've discussed this many times, Police Girl. You need to feed to retain your strength. If you do not drink the medical blood the staff provides you, I will make you take it more directly." Alucard warned.

"I know, Master. I still makes me queasy to think about drinking blood like that." Seras responded in a sad whisper.

The No Life King let out a put upon sigh as he commented, "You had reached such heights during the battle, girl. Do not discard your progress."

"Yes, Master. If you like, we could feed now. Like dinner?" she offered.

Alucard's face split into a wide grin as he replied, "That sounds fine, Police Girl."

Seras' face lit up with a brilliant smile as she and her Master headed to the kitchen to fetch some bagged medical blood to drink.

"You know, Seras, it's funny you should mention family." Alucard commented as they walked.

"Oh?" Seras responded, knowing something serious was afoot. Her Master rarely called her by her real name.

"Yes, my own Master has just allowed me to arrange a bit of a mission for you concerning some family related to this house."

Alucard replied with a smile.

"What kind of mission, Master?" she asked, her face giving the elder vampire the impression of a curious kitten.

"A cousin of hers, a young man who is descended from another clan of successful vampire hunters as well, is traveling alone through America right now. She would like it if you were to persuade him to visit us here in England." Alucard elaborated.

"Oh. Why me, Master?" Seras asked after mulling that thought over for a few seconds.

"You are progressing well, and can help him if he encounters any problems in his travels. You're also more...people friendly than I am, and I am needed here to hold the fort until my Master's release." Alucard answered.

"Well, I suppose that if Sir Integra wants it done, I have to go along with it. When do I leave?" she asked.

"Not until Walter is back to arrange the details. The boy, Alexander, will be fine for a couple of weeks. He comes from good stock, and is resourceful." Alucard said with a secret grin.

"Alright. Is there anything else I should know?" Seras asked as they reached the kitchen and removed their meals from the refrigerator.

"Well, there is one thing..." Alucard began to say with a smile.

Anyone that passed the Hellsing manor that night, would have heard a startled shriek, followed by what sounded like a young lady with a cockney accent shouting, "HE'S YOUR WHAT?!?"

Chapter 2

"Are you certain you understand everything you must do, Seras?"

Alucard asked his fledgling two weeks later.

It was all the young vampiress could do not to roll her eyes at her Master as she responded, "Yes, Master. I must track down Alexander; explain who I am, who he is if his mum hasn't informed him, and what has happened to Sir Integra. From there I guard and pester him until he agrees to extend his journey of discovery to include a trip back here for us to instruct and aid him in his demon hunting."

"Well done Miss Victoria." Walter complimented from the wheelchair he would be confined to for the next couple of weeks as he regained his strength. The Aged man once known as the 'Angel of Death', a title still given to him by Alucard in a show of deep, if mocking, respect cleared his throat before adding, "And do try to approach the lad during the day. The fact that true vampires such as yourself and Lord Alucard can survive in daylight, even if you are uncomfortable in it, should put his mind more at ease."

"An excellent suggestion, oh Angel of Death." Alucard commented with a wide grin.

"Yes, Walter." Seras said with a small wince. Sunlight might not kill her, but even with her strongest shades, it stung her eyes like crazy to be out in the day. And America was far brighter than England with its comparative lack of fog and long term overcast clouds in many places.

"Now now, Police Girl. It won't be so bad. You should not have to cringe at the thought of daylight like those low-bred fools, or these counterfeit vampires we destroy. You are true nosferatu, and the childe of the No Life King Himself. Try to show some decorum." Alucard chided playfully.

"Yes, Master." Seras responded tiredly.

"And do not forget to feed properly. Walter has arranged suppliers in most large cities, starting with San Francisco, where you will arrive, to feed you. I expect to see you back in proper form, not malnourished and weak." the elder vampire commended.

"I'll remember to eat, Master." Seras replied in the tired and almost bored tone reminiscent of a child being given instructions by her father before being shipped off to summer camp.

A honk that signified the arrival of a black cab to take Seras to Heathrow International Airport interrupted the males in the room before they could begin going over everything for what felt like the hundredth time to Seras.

"I do believe your ride is here, Miss Victoria." Walter said with a reassuring grin. As he motioned for one of the few remaining Hellsing guards to take her suitcases to the car. "Remember where to go to get a proper coffin to rest in if you can't find a place that has suitably dark places for you to rest, child." the older human butler fussed.

"I'll remember, Walter." Seras assured him as she gave him a child like peck on the cheek. "And take care of yourself. This house would fall apart without you here to keep us in line."

"Quite right, Miss Victoria." Walter agreed.

Things grew awkward for Seras as she turned to her Master to say her good-byes. Alucard was never the type to touchy-feely emotions or heartfelt sentiment. Although his concern for his great-great grandson had clouded her image of him as a wholly dark and bloodthirsty monster. It was like the rare times her sire had shown real concern for her, including the time when she was turned, and the time the regenerator Paladin Anderson had stabbed her through the throat, had been multiplied and intensified a hundred fold. She was seeing her first real glimpse of her Master's caring side.

Quietly, in her heart of hearts, she had to admit she'd like to see more of it.

"Take care of yourself and the boy, Seras." Alucard said, his voice sounding odd to her ears. It was neither sarcastic, nor malicious, nor cold. Instead it sounded almost...fatherly. She had to admit she liked that tone.

"I will Master." she promised, as she lifted the case for her Halcannon to take with her. Walter had made sure she had proper permits to carry all she would need to make her way to America to retrieve Sir Integra's younger cousin with relative ease. She headed down the hall toward the waiting cab after a nod from her Master, what approximated as a huge hug from the ancient vampire outside of combat.

She was halfway down the hall before she paused as Alucard called out, "One more thing, Police Girl!"

"Yes Master?" she asked curiously.

"Don't be afraid to flash some leg and chest to get the boy to listen to you. After all, he's only eighteen, and shares blood with both the Belmonts and my wayward son. He'll be easily swayed by your...charms." Alucard suggested with a lecherous grin.

"Master!" Seras cried, scandalized, as her cheeks lit with a faint blush.

Alucard's only reply was the echoing laughter throughout the Hellsing manor, as Seras headed out at a quicker pace, more than a little embarrassed at her Master's teasing.

Once the Police Girl was in her cab, and well on her way, the elder vampire, and older looking human shared a look.

"Do you think she'll be able to recover him, Alucard?" Walter asked calmly.

"Easily. Although I think it will be more her innocence, and their shared heritage through my blood that will sway him, than simply her body." Alucard responded.

"Yes, our reports do seem to suggest he has quite the weakness for pretty girls that need his help, or are overcoming strife in their own lives. Her struggles with her nature will attract him very easily." Walter agreed.

Alucard let the unspoken question hang in the air for several moments, before he replied, "I didn't offer her immortality to lure Alex to us through her, old friend."

"I never said you did." the aged retainer of the Hellsing family replied evenly.

"She has such potential. The mere fact she denies her darker impulses so strongly...she reminds me a great deal of Mina. Or at least of a Mina that that simpering idiot Harker wasn't around to taint with his Victorian ideas of subservience. Once she breaks out of her shell a little more, she will be glorious. I wasn't about to let that light in her die out if I could avoid it." Alucard elaborated.

The older looking man snorted as he replied, "You seem to have a habit of raising children that fundamentally oppose you, old boy."

The vampire laughed heartily as he responded, "Where would the fun be in my life if my children agreed with everything I did and said?"

"Where indeed? And what if Sir Integra? Where would she fit in your family if she ever accepted?" Walter inquired.

"My Master is a special case, Angel of Death. Everything she is, does, or will be is her choice alone. But I look forward to those choices." Alucard replied in a tone that offered no room for further discussion.

Walter knew enough about both Alucard and Integra to leave it at that. What the pair eventually got up to was indeed between them. The old man doubted even they knew the depths of their relationships with each other. Still watching them try to qualify those bonds did make for good entertainment in his declining years.


Xander Harris cursed his luck for what had to be the hundredth time over the last two weeks. Here he was, stuck in Oxnard thanks to the rust bucket his Uncle Rory gave him, trying to earn close enough to ends meet to repair said rust bucket, while staying in a dingy hotel and working as a dishwasher at the Fabulous Ladies Night club.

*Too bad I can't call cousin Rigby and his parents to have them wire me the money to get out of this pit. Of course that would mean that my stuck up proper Belmont relatives acknowledged I exist beyond the loaning of a tuxedo Rigby outgrew when he got too fat eating pâté and caviar.* Xander groused in his head.

He was sitting at a typical greasy spoon type of diner, the place he would prefer even if he had a share of his mother's families riches, just for the simple fact it was good food in good portions at a fair price. That fact alone ostracized him further from his richer relations. Heaven forbid a Belmont pay a decent price for something when they could get ripped off to prove how wealthy they are. Xander wondered if his relatives would be so high and mighty if they still could acknowledge the fact their money came from grave robbing and tomb raiding during fight against vampires and demons.

At least that what his mother would ramble to him drunkenly as a boy. She told him allot of things in those alcohol induced stupors he had always ignored as insanity brought on by Jack Daniel's Old no.7 until he had met Buffy. Now, he knew better about what went on at night, and he had to wonder just how much of the Belmont legacy Jessica Harris had imparted was true.

His thoughts were interrupted by the tinny little bell at the door of the diner ringing, alerting everyone to another arrival at the eating establishment. Xander turned to check over the person, a paranoid little habit his soldier possession had ingrained into him long ago that never faded, and was dumbstruck.

She was a strawberry blonde beauty in her early twenties, standing just over five foot seven, wearing a pink and white horizontally striped top and matching tight pink pants. Her hair was kept in check by a matching woven skull cap of the type that Willow preferred, and her skin was a creamy white of such perfection he had only seen it in half remembered dreams. The closest comparison was Drusilla's skin tone, but the fact it was about ten in the morning, and the young lady was standing in the sun disabused him of the thought that she was a vamp.

The only thing about her Xander felt disappointed over was the fact her eyes were hidden in custom shaped mirror shades. The type of sunglasses people with sensitive eyes use to protect them from over exposure to natural light.

*What a fox. Oh hell. What am I thinking? Like I didn't have enough trouble back home with women. I just need to calm down and relax.* he chided himself mentally as the woman sat down beside him at the counter and ordered tea. The White Knight had to suppress a shiver at the sound her cockney accent made as she ordered.


Seras checked the room surreptitiously as she entered. There was a small crowd there; including the young man she had spent a week tracking down through the few contacts Hellsing had in most major cities on this continent. Fortunately, Alexander had had to leave a credit card number with the mechanic who was fixing his car, along with an address, that were entered in the garage's computer system even though Xander would pay cash when the car was finished. Seras was glad her skills as a cop had not faded in her past year as a vampire in the Hellsing group as she had tracked her quarry.

Once she had found where he was staying, it was child's play to ask the right questions to track him from his hotel to the diner she now found herself in. She was quite proud of her detective skills as she laid eyes on the man she had been sent to find behind her shades.

Seras' first thought at seeing Alexander was, *Crikey! He looks so much like Master Alucard it's uncanny. If he had red eyes, his nose was slightly different, and you changed his clothes, they could be twins! But then he'd lose those luscious brown orbs you want to sink into...* The young vampiress shook her head a bit to cut off that line of reasoning.

*None of that, Seras. He's the Master's descendant. It just wouldn't be proper. Right? I mean it's not like you ever think of Master like that. Well you used to, but you outgrew it and see him properly as a father figure now. Besides, he's fat too into sniffing around Sir Integra's skirt to ever see you like that. And Alexander is much too handsome to be alone. So just get those naughty thoughts out of your mind, Seras Victoria! You're here on important work, not to flirt with some handsome you suitor!* she chided herself mentally as she sat down beside her target and ordered some tea.

She glanced over at Alex, and had to suppress a blush at his slightly dumbstruck expression at the sight of her. If she had been focused on learning to smell human pheromone reactions over the last year, instead of playing catch up with her more combat relative abilities, that blush would have been much deeper.

"Hi, I'm Seras." she introduced pleasantly.

"Hi. Xander. Is me. I mean...that is, I'm Xander. Nice to meet you, Seras." the young man replied.

Seras let out a nervous titter of a laugh as she responded, "It's a pleasure to meet you as well." as her tea arrived.

The waitress behind the counter suppressed a laugh as she gave Seras her beverage and walked down the counter muttering about young love under her breath, which made both of them blush, even though Xander attributed his ability to hear the mutterings to a combination of adrenaline and left over hyena residuals, while Seras knew hers came from her undead nature.

"So what brings you to Oxnard, Seras?" Xander asked amicably after they had both composed themselves.

"Oh, I'm here on business, mostly." she replied as she took a sip of her tea. She had to suppress a grimace once she tasted it, though. Contrary to some mythology, vampires could eat and drink anything; they just needed blood to sustain their vitality. Unfortunately, her acute sense of smell went hand in hand with an acute sense of taste, and she could appreciate just how cheap the quality of tea in the bag she was given actually was in ways no human connoisseur could hope to match.

Xander let out a small laugh at the face Seras made in spite of his best effort to hide it.

"Wot?" she asked curiously, wondering what he found amusing about her dislike of her tea.

"I'm sorry, it's just school we had a British Librarian who kind of like a big time mentor for my closest friends and I, and it's just...he used to make the same kind of face whenever he was subjected to American tea, is all. I didn't mean to offend you."

Xander explained.

Seras let out a girlish giggle as she responded, "It's alright. Although I can't blame your mentor for his reactions. That's the first I've had bagged tea like that. It was...unique."

"That's more polite than Giles put it. I think he mentioned something about needing a good astringent to wash the taste out of his mouth after he had it the first time." Xander replied.

"I wish I could say I can't sympathize, but..." Seras commented looking warily at her cup, before both broke out in a laugh. "So, Xander, what are you doing here. You live in Oxnard?" she asked, trying to maintain a cover until she was alone to talk to the young man.

"Nah. My car broke down on a trip to see all fifty states, and I'm keeping time here until it's fixed." Xander answered. "What about you? What kind of business brought you to the land of improperly dried sub-standard leaves of stinkweed passed off as tea?"

Seras had to think of a way to lead the conversation that would not scare him off, but not make her seem like a liar, either. Finally, she decided to be fairly truthful, without exposing herself too much in public. "Well, I'm here looking for a man by the name of Alexander Harris from Sunnydale, California. I work for some relatives of his, you see, and I need to speak with him about an inheritance of his."

Xander seemed to close off a bit to mull that over before he replied evenly, "Well, that's certainly a coincidence. Alexander Harris is my full name."

Seras tried to look appropriately surprised as she responded, "Really? You are? I don't want to sound rude or anything, but I don't suppose you have proof of that? Just for the sake of my job an' all."

Xander relaxed a bit at her childish excitement. She reminded him of a playful little kitten for some reason. "Well, I have my Driver's License right here." her supplied as he took out his wallet and showed her his ID.

Seras scrutinized the identification for a moment to put on the appearance of someone being thorough, even though she had known the second she saw him he was her man, before returning the ID to him. She looked him over seriously for several seconds before she inquired, "You mean you're middle name really is LaVelle? I was certain that was a typo." her face alight with a playful grin.

"Yeah, I wish." Xander replied amicably as he rolled his eyes at his horrendous middle name. "So what's all this about that you were tracking me down?" he asked after a pause, his face growing serious.

"I can't really discuss it here in public like this. There's some papers you have to go over, and some things I need to explain. But I have to ask, are you aware that Anthony Harris is not your biological father?" she replied tentatively.

Xander nodded solemnly as he answered, "Yeah. Yeah I am. Either he or my mom have mentioned it more than once when they've had a few too many. From what I understand, though, my real dad was no prize either. Is this about him? I know he died just over a decade ago. Something about attacking some people and getting himself shot for his trouble."

"Yes and no. for your cousin Integra on your father's side. She...well...she was who he was attacking all those years ago in an attempt to wrestle control of the family legacy from her. I don't really want to say any more in public though." Seras confirmed quietly.

"Oh." Xander replied. He knew he had had an uncle, who had died, but his mother had never mentioned a cousin, or that his father had wanted to jack her family inheritance from her.

"Then this cousin...Integra you said? She wanted you to track me down? Is she afraid that I'm going to sue her over what happened or something?" he asked.

"Oh, no. Nothing like that. She just...wants to meet you. You're the only real family she has left now. There's more to it, obviously, but that would have to wait for a more private setting." Seras explained candidly.

"Fair enough. Listen, this is a lot to take in all at once. How about you give me some time to think it over, and then we can discuss it after I've had time to process everything?" Xander suggested.

"That's fair. I can give you my mobile number. Is there a way I can reach you as well?" Seras asked.

"Yeah, I'll give you my cell number, too. I'd suggest that you give me a few hours, but I king of have to get to work soon. And I'm on shift until midnight." Xander explained as they wrote each other's cell numbers out for one another.

"Actually, if you don't mind, that could work for me. This was going to be my last bit of sustenance before I hit the hay. I'm still kind of on London time." Seras replied eagerly.

Xander had to suppress a grin at her exuberance as he replied, "Anxious to get your work done and back to where you can get a decent spot of tea, ey?" with an exaggerated wiggle of his brow.

"Kind of." Seras replied sheepishly.

"Well then, I'll give you the address of my current place of employment, and you can meet me out front at midnight." Xander said.

"I'd be delighted." Seras commented with a grin.

It was a couple of hours later that Xander's mind caught up to the fact he had just invited an attractive woman he had just met to meet him at a male strip club at night. A strip club he had admitted to working at, no less. Needless to say, he was less than pleased with himself over that.

Chapter 3

Seras smiled and hummed tunelessly to herself as she checked her appearance in the mirror of her hotel suite that night. She had to admit she was a bit dicey about meeting Xander in front of a male strip club, but she had known that was his current place of employment going in. She just hoped she didn't say anything to embarrass herself too badly when she saw him.

"Nothing to worry about, old girl. You're not going there to ogle him. You're just meeting him after he finishes washin' dishes is all." she assured herself as she checked her outfit of a red top and black slacks over again.

She left her hotel at around 11:45 and made her way to the club easily enough parking her car at five 'till.

At 12:15 she began to wonder if she had scared Xander off that morning and been brushed off politely.

At 12:30 she decided to muster up her courage and ask someone on staff if he had come in today, or left any kind of message for her.

At 12:35 she saw something that would haunt her dreams and prove a vampire can go red in the face easily when properly stimulated.

Alexander LaVelle Harris, a man of Hellsing, Belmont, and Tepes stock, a man who was a nearly dead ringer for his great-great grandfather Alucard of the Hellsing Organization, was on stage...stripping. The young man who could pass for her Master quite easily was there shaking his arse to the delight of the collection of hooting women around said stage.

"B..bu...bloody hell." Seras squeaked in a shocked whisper.


Xander idly considered just how funny life could get as he tried not to trip over himself on stage. One of the stage performers had broken his ankle just fifteen minutes before Xander's shift had ended, and the owner, who could not hope to get a replacement in time, had offered him a fistful of cash to take the dancer's place. Enough cash, in fact, to pay for his car repairs even with out the tips he was clearing on stage.

He had called Seras' phone the second he had agreed and left a voicemail telling her he was sorry, but he had to work extra, and if she didn't mind they could either go for coffee after his shift ended in another hour, or just arrange a later time to meet.

Needless to say, Seras had not checked her voicemail as she goggled at him from the back of the room.

A fact Xander realized as he spied her in said back of the room, and tripped as he was overtaken with a sudden doubling of the nervousness he had felt since his agreement to become a temporary stripper.


A little over an hour and a half later, once the club was properly closed, both the young man and the young vampiress were staring at their respective shoes outside in the parking lot, unsure of what to say. Finally, Xander broke the tense silence with an uttered, "Sorry. That...well, you're not going to believe this, but that was a one time thing. I was washing dishes here, and one of the guys broke his ankle and well..."

"Oh, no. There's nothing to get embarrassed about." Seras replied. Her eyes went wide as she realized how that sounded and followed it with a panicky "Well that is I believe you. Not that you're not handsome and all...I mean, not that I was looking, I mean...that is...well. I think I'll be quiet now." she said trailing off with a delicate blush.

"Yeah. I think we can agree no power on this Earth should mention that again. Ever." Xander replied solemnly.

Seras nodded in agreement. Although she couldn't help but add "And I think the part where you fell over was proof enough that you're not a professional go go boy." as she looked up at him for the first time.

"Hey!" Xander protested playfully, looking up into her face for the first time. It should be noted that this was the first time he had seen Seras Victoria without her shades. His first impression upon seeing her red eyes was how gorgeous they looked on her and how well they suited her.

The second thing to register was that they were in fact red. An unnatural color. A color his mother had warned him to fear in her drunken rants on more than one occasion. A color associated with the Belmont clan, and their ancient nemesis, Dracula. And even though those eyes could have been contacts, Xander knew deep down they were not.

"Nosferatu." he whispered, unsure of just where the word came from, but knowing what it meant, as he backed away and pulled out the wooden cross he habitually carried.

Seras' eyes went wide at his utterance and reaction, before her face clouded with a profound sadness. Finally, she looked into his face and said, "Well I guess that saves me from mentioning that part, or asking if your mum was more aware of her heritage than the rest of your family."

Xander couldn't help but feel a bit bad for the vampiress before him as he saw the look in her eyes. If he didn't know better, he would swear she was about to burst into tears. He knew it had to be a trick, though, and so he steeled himself inside as he said, "You tell your king I won't sit back and let him do whatever he's planning like the rest of the Belmonts will. I have connections and I will find a way to stop him."

"Wait! That's not why I'm here. I was sent to find you by your cousin Integra like I said. And well, Master fits into it and all, but he still serves Integra." Seras pleaded piteously as she watched Xander back away.

"Right. Because the Dark Prince would serve under anyone. Pull the other one, Draculina. It has bells on it." Xander spat as he continued to back away, wishing he had the weapons cache he kept in his hotel room right then.

"He does. "Seras insisted. "He's served Sir Hellsing and the Hellsing family for generations. Since Abraham van Helsing struck a bargain with him after the events fictionalized in that stupid Stoker novel." Seras explained.

"Wait a minute. Who's Sir Hellsing, and what does he have to do with this, or my supposed fictional cousin?" Xander asked, confused, as he paused in his retreat.

Seras looked a bit huffy, once again reminding Xander of a cute kitten, as she responded, "Sir Hellsing is Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing, your cousin. The daughter of Sir Lionel Hellsing, your deceased uncle, and niece to Richard Hellsing, your not so illustrious father."

"What the hell?" Xander asked, confused.

"See? This is why I wanted to sit down somewhere to talk to you. Your family is in turmoil, and you needed to be notified." Seras said, walking carefully toward the young man before her.

"That's close enough." Xander said, holding up the cross in her face when she was in arms reach.

"Of for the love of..." Seras commented with a roll of her eyes as she snatched the cross away, holding it easily, much to his shock. "I'm not one of those filthy demonic sewer rats that infest your home town, Xander. You saw me walk in daylight for heaven's sake. Unless this cross is made of very brown and grainy silver, or happens to be properly blessed and used to cut me open, it isn't going to hurt." she explained.

Xander just shrugged a bit confused as he responded, "Yeah, well, I've never felt comfortable carrying silver stuff."

"I wonder why?" Seras asked rhetorically as she rolled her eyes again.

"I dunno. It just gives me the willies," Xander replied honestly.

It took Seras a moment to catch up with that comment before asking, "You mean you really don't know?"

Xander looked her in the eyes, even as a part of him begged him to take off running because this had to be an elaborate hoax, and responded, "I just said that."

"But...I mean. How could you not know you're the Master's descendant." she asked incredulously.

"What?" Xander asked in equal incredulosity.

"That's why your line is ostracized from the other Belmonts, and you can't use their relics. You're from the branch started by Sonja Belmont and Master's son, Adrian. You have mideon blood in your veins." Seras replied, astonished.

"Whoa. Hold on a second here. You're saying I'm descended from Alucard?" Xander asked, confused.

"Of course you're descended from the Master. That's what I just said. I thought you didn't know about your Hellsing heritage though." Seras replied.

"I thought you said Dracula was your Master. And what does that have to do with Alucard and the Belmonts?" Xander responded, confused.

"Of course he's my Master. What do you mean? Alucard is the name Abraham gave the master when he was sealed into service to his family. What are you talking about?" Seras queried.

"Alucard is the name Adrian Farenheits Tepes took when he battled Count Dracula. It was a way to say he was the opposite of his father's ideals." Xander explained as he realized the source of the confusion.

"OH! Well then. Isn't that confusing." Seras commented as she wrinkled her nose in distaste.

"Yeah. SO...Dracula is under the control of the Hellsing family?" Xander asked.

"For well over a century now." Seras confirmed. "Although I have to admit, he was as much in support of sending me to find you as Sir Integra was."

Xander nodded to himself thinking that over, until he was thrown aside with a cry of "Look out!" from Seras. As he turned to see why she had tossed him like a rag doll, he noticed several people, if you could call them that, with grey faces and hollowed out eyes. The looked like bad extras in a zombie movie really, except that all the zombies Xander had seen still had eyes and a more human gait in their walk.

As he watched, Seras fired her full clip from her Berretta 9mm side arm into the approaching ghouls, dusting each one with unerring accuracy. Once the last one was dead, she turned sheepishly to regard the still prone Xander, and help him up. "Sorry about that. I guess I'm still hyped up a bit from our last combat action, and I was ordered to protect you on top of that so..." she said with an apologetic shrug.

"No biggie. I'm used to supernatural hotties tossing me around like a sack of potatoes." he replied. A beat later his eyes went wide as he realized what he said and stammered, "umm...well, that is...I mean. Oh god, I can't believe I said that."

Seras giggled at his words and reaction, as a small blush graced her cheeks. "No worries, Xander. So, do you get a lot of ghouls here in Oxnard?"

"Wha? No. Is that what those guys were?" Xander asked in reply.

"Yep. Ghouls: the undead servitors of a true vampire or of the FREAK chip copies the Hellsing group has been wading through recently. They're created when someone is bitten by the vampire, but unsuitable to be turned into true Nosferatu. In the case of chipped vampires, no conditions can elevate the vampire's victim to any status other than ghouls without the introduction of another actual FREAK chip to the victim." Seras recited from memory.

"O...K. That was a big font of stuff that's over my head. I kind of understand the ghoul stuff from my mom's ramblings, and the family diaries I found after I started hunting in Sunnydale, but the rest of that is gibberish to me." Xander confessed.

"I can go over that later, too. Although the fact that there are suddenly ghouls here worries me quite a bit. It means there's someone in the area that's much higher on the food chain than your average revenant vampire." the vampiress said.

"And they're after one or the both of us, probably." Xander said, vocalizing the unfinished part of her comment as he scanned the area around them.

"Exactly." Seras confirmed. "So, where do you think we should meet to discuss everything? I do actually have quite a bit to go over with you."

"We can stop by my motel room, and go from there." Xander responded.

"Sounds good to me. I don't suppose you want to drive?" Seras asked, nibbling at her lower lip in agitation. "I'm still trying to adjust to driving on the right side of the road, and I'm not too good at it." she admitted.

"I think we can work something out." Xander replied with a small nervous grin.

As they walked toward Seras' rental car one thought rattled louder in Xander's Head than any other. *Why do I have to always be attracted to hot demon women?*

Chapter 4

"Okay, so why is my cousin in the Tower of London again?" Xander asked, bewildered.

"That's kind of what has what's left of us in a snit." Seras replied with a sigh. They had returned to Xander's motel room and after looking it over, Seras all but dragged him to her proper hotel room with his clothes and weapons in tow.

"I can imagine." Xander commented over his cup of coffee. He had been listening to Seras' recounting of events in his family for several hours now. In fact, they had been speaking so long the sun had long since risen in the east. "Still, I thought the Tower was just a tourist attraction now." he commented uneasily.

"That's what Walter refers to as a 'polite fiction' I'm afraid. The Tower is still en vogue as the place to imprison nobles that can't be tried publicly due to the nature of the offenses." Seras responded.

"Harsh." was Xander's succinct conclusion.

"Very." Seras agreed.

"So, now what?" Xander asked after an awkward pause.

"Hmm?" Seras inquired at his question as she sipped her properly brewed British tea. If she had been with Master, of even Walter, she would be drinking her daily ration of medical blood, but she didn't want to offend her guest.

"Well, I can understand just why you couldn't tell me stuff like this over the phone. The genealogical charts were a nice touch to confirm my bloodline by the way; but, now that I know, where do we go from here?" he asked.

"Well, that depends on you. I am supposed to do my best to convince you to come to England for a time to meet your family. I won't lie about that." Seras explained.

"And if I refuse?" Xander inquired coolly, his mannerisms suddenly reminiscent of Sir Integra's.

"Well, then, according to Master Alucard I'm supposed to protect you here and pester you until you agree." she admitted guiltily. As she spoke her hands trembled a bit, a sure sign she was hungry. Seras had skipped her blood packs the day before, as well as what would have been her meal the previous evening. She could almost hear her Master scolding her for her negligence in the back of her mind as a result.

It was to her total mortification that Xander noticed her distress, though. "Are you alright, Seras?" he asked.

"Oh I'm fine." she replied too brightly and too quickly. At his look, she hung her head and replied, "I'm kind of well...hungry. It wasn't as bad to react to when I was first turned, because I pretty much refused to eat at all. But, now, I'm used to drinking medical blood, so I can feel the weakness more. You know, because I've built up some power since my last fast." she finally admitted.

"Wait. You mean you're starving yourself. Why would you do that?" Xander asked, bewildered.

Seras looked down shamefaced, her voice a harsh whisper. "Because it's not right," she answered. "It's different when Master or Walter, or Sir Integra make me drink. And I know I need to do it,'s still not right. Not human."

Xander understood then. She was fighting her nature and clinging to her humanity. It probably didn't help that she didn't really know him. He imagined she was just as embarrassed as she was ashamed of her nature. "You don't need to hold back. It's not like you're going out and draining some poor sap. I won't think less of you if you actually eat." he said, his voice as comforting as he could make it.

Seras Victoria gave Xander a ghost of a smile as she returned, "Thank you."

"Not of the big. I mean, hey, we're practically family. Right?" he responded jokingly.

"I guess so." Seras replied, although her tone was a bit unsure. *Although I certainly wouldn't find family quite this attractive.* she added mentally as she got out a packet of blood from the mini fridge in her room and poured it into a bowl. As she began to eat, she noticed Xander watching her with fascination. She was relieved to see no signs of fear or revulsion in his countenance, but his stare still distracted her. "Wot?" she asked over a spoonful of red life.

"I'm sorry." Xander said with a small blush. "It's just that...the only vampires I ever saw drink a bagged lunch, well, they drank out of a glass or mug. I never pictured any vampire being civilized enough to use a bowl. It looks like you're eating tomato soup or something. It's not really something to be self conscious about when you do it."

Seras smiled gratefully as she replied, "I think I'm rare eating this way, but thank you. I know Master prefers a wine glass, or drinking it like those Capri-Sun fruit juice packs you see in the stores. This way is just...comfortable, I guess."

"Well, it suits you. And let me just say, I'll never be able to look at a cherry Capri-Sun again." Xander said with a mock shudder.

His reward for his little quip was the bell like tinkle of Seras' laugh. A sound that filled him with a warm feeling.


From Integra's cell in the Tower of London, Alucard smiled a strangely warm smile as he broke his observation of his fledgling and great-great grandson through his psychic link to Seras. "I give them a week at most before he agrees to come here, Master. They are already getting along better than expected." he reported to Integra, who was seated at the small table she was provided, smoking a cigarillo.

"That is hardly a surprise considering what we know of Alex's personality. Although I am a bit astounded that you think it may be at least a week, yet." she replied in her customary deadpan.

"Well, I imagine they'll track down and exterminate the source of the ghouls they encountered last night, California time." Alucard replied with a wide smirk.

Integra glared sharply at the vampire after he spoke. "They encountered ghouls?" she growled.

"Indeed. About a dozen, as she was convincing our wayward relative that she meant no harm. It's not real concern, Master. The Police Girl is more than capable of taking out anything short of an elder among the ranks of the true nosferatu. I would wager she could have handled Incognito if she learned to let go more in battle, in fact. She really is shaping up to be one of my better creations." Alucard responded his smirk ever widening.

"I have utmost faith in Officer Victoria, Alucard. That doesn't make it any less worrisome that ghouls were sighted in an area where they would serve no purpose, save to attack Alexander and Seras."

Integra spat coolly.

"That much is obvious. But still it's nothing they won't be able to handle together." Alucard replied airily.

Changing the subject a bit, Integra inquired, "Have you tracked him down, yet?"

The No Life king let out a small sigh of frustration as he responded, "Not as of yet, Master. Adrian has always had a knack for eluding me when he wished to avoid detection. With my seal limits set at their current levels, I find the task even more frustrating."

"You don't actually expect me to release your seals a bit to help the search do you?" Integra asked with an arched brow.

"I was hoping for a full release, actually, but I do know better." the vampire replied with a chuckle. After a pause, he added, "It does not help that he has no desire to see me shackled as I am. For all we fought, he still thinks the method of my servitude to be...perverse. After all, his only quarrel with me was with how I treated mankind. On some level, I think the boy still expects me to be the most powerful thing in his world, even if I must commit unspeakable evil to do so."

"It's not uncommon for a child to revere their father in some way, not matter the circumstances." Integra responded, as she remembered her own father.

"I think Alex would disagree. Although, he's had poor examples of paternal figures." Alucard countered.

"Indeed." Integra agreed.

"Do you want me to contact some independent factors to support the Police Girl and Alexander?" Alucard eventually asked.

Integra mulled the suggestion over a bit before she replied, "Not right now. As you said, both are quite capable. But have Walter compile a list of emergency aid in the are should Seras call for it."

"As you command, my Master." Alucard returned with a courtly bow.

Integra narrowed her eyes at the gesture. It was far too mockingly congenial. He was about to start bothering her again.

"Now that those matters are tended, allow me to say you look parched, Master. Perhaps you'd like a drink?" he asked, offering his right forearm to her in a clear indication he was offering to turn her again.

"Not tonight, vampire. I'm in no mood for your taunts and games. If you have nothing useful to say, then return to the manor and report to Walter." she spat, her voice like ice.

The grin never left Alucard's face as he faded from sight. "Very well. For now, Master." his voice echoed even though he was no longer visible, his maniacal laughter echoing throughout the Tower.


"So, what do you think was up with those ghouls last night?" Xander asked after Seras had finished eating.

"Well, we can both agree they were after one or both of us. Beyond that, all I can think to do is try to track down their maker and handle him." Seras called back from where she was brushing her teeth in the bathroom, as Xander stayed in the main part of her suite at the small table she was provided for the room.

"I have to agree with you there." Xander said grimly, as he watched her rinse and spit before rejoining him back at the table. "So, as an agent for a major vampire hunting militia, do you have any procedure or insight I should know about?" her asked curiously.

Seras thought his question over for a few moments before she replied, "Just two things. The first is the Hellsing Organization's mission statement. Search and Destroy. The other is our traditional prayer and motto. In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen."

Xander's smile was disturbingly reminiscent of cross between her Master's and Sir Integra's in Seras' opinion, as he replied, "After Sunnydale, that's a demon hunting philosophy I can really get behind."

"Glad you like it." she replied with a small smile.

An uneasy silence settled over them then as they thought over all they had learned about each other over their conversations. Finally, Xander stood and said, "Well, I imagine you need to get some rest since it's like almost noon." He took three steps toward the door before he paused and said, "Um, Seras? Where am I going to sleep? Because you kind of made me take all my stuff and leave my crummy room."

"You can stay here with me," the vampiress returned automatically, before braking into a blush as she added, "I mean since I made you leave and all. You can sleep with me..NO! the room, I mean. Well, I'd understand if you didn't want to be near me with me being a vampire an' all, but that can take the bed, and I'll take the couch. So long as it's dark it doesn't matter where I rest."

"I don't want to kick you out of your bed, Seras. I'll take the couch." Xander replied gallantly.

"Nono. I all but forced you to stay here. It's only right you take the bed." she responded.

There was a look that would brook no argument as Xander said, "Seras, you're taking the bed. I'm taking the couch."

She didn't know if it was her attraction to him, the fact he resembled her master, the utter resolve in his face, or a combination of all of them; but, whatever the reason she found herself replying, "Okay."

Xander nodded resolutely to himself, even as his mind screamed at him for being stupid. *You moron! You just agreed to sleep in the same room as some uber hot vampiress and ordered her around like your king of the castle or something? Are you mental? What if she gets ticked and attacks you, or starts crying, or you walk in on her in the shower or something...* Xander's mental scolding paused to revel in the mental image that conjured for a second, before picking up again. *Baseball, baseball...2x2=4, 3x3=9, focus, Xander! Okay, so maybe it isn't a totally bad thing...oh just shoot me now. You're hopeless, Harris!* he spat in his head.

Needless to say, he got very little rest that afternoon.

Chapter 5

In his dark and relatively empty chambers, Alucard sat at his small table thinking over the vents that were unfolding.

*Has it really been so long that now I await the arrival of a child four generations away from me in Alexander? It seems like only yesterday, I was matching wits with Adrian, and then later Trevor.* he thought nostalgically.

His thoughts turned morose as he contemplated just how long it had been since he had last seen any of his blood relations. Well, actually only Adrian, Jessica, and Alexander were still alive. Trevor had fallen to a Terakan assassin fifty years before Abraham van Helsing had captured the No Life King. An assassin Adrian and Alucard himself had taken great pleasure in tracking down and...educating in just why it was dangerous to trifle with the house of Tepes.

Meanwhile, Trevor's daughter Jessica might as well be dead for how she drank herself into oblivion alongside Anthony Harris. Not that she did much for a century before that as she was sealed in a state of suspended animation, in a manner Adrian once favored. Those pretentious fools had thought it too embarrassing to have a line connected to him living free, and so took advantage of his capture to put her where she could not be seen. Then they conveniently forgot her origins after the last elder Belmont had freed her in a final act of remorse before he died, yet ostracized her from their ill-gotten gains without even knowing why she was shunned.

Oh how he wanted to regain his freedom just long enough to remind them why they feared the name Dracula. How people like Simon and Richter Belmont could have produced those backstabbing idiots was as much a mystery as how Abraham's seed could cultivate a man like Richard Hellsing.

Now, all that he had to call family was Adrian and Alexander. With those weighty thoughts in mind, he apperated into a hidden vault beneath the Hellsing manor. He stood there for several minutes, as he stared at a portrait of his wife, an infant Adrian, and himself in the throne room of Castlevania. Around him in glass cases were several spell scrolls and weapons his son and grandson had used fighting him over the centuries. The scrolls and weapons that would be Alex's legacy.

"[I will bring him to us Lisa. And I will not let him be destroyed as his mother and grandfather were. I swear to you, my love, I will forge in him a strength that will awe even our son. He will become a glorious heir to us all.]" he swore in his native Transylvanian as he gazed at his lost bride's visage.


Xander woke from his light doze with a start as a feeling of great expectation and destiny made his very spine shiver. Of course, he had no idea what is was that woke him, just that he had slept poorly.

"Oh, you're up." Seras mumbled with a huge yawn as she stretched.

"Yeah. How did you sleep?" Xander asked as he scratched his head, still bleary.

"Well enough. You want first run at the shower, or should I?" she asked.

That woke Xander up a bit more as a certain thought/fantasy from before he had dozed off. *Don't go there, Xander.* he chided himself mentally. "Um, you take it first." he said.

"Thank you." Seras replied with a wide smile at his manners. He was so different then those arses among the Hellsing troops that treated her so poorly. Considering his origins, that was double special.

"Not a problem." Xander responded with a smile.

Once the bathroom door was closed, and the water running, he took the opportunity to roll his eyes heavenward and mutter, "Just remember Buffy. You don't want to end up like her and Deadboy. Of course I am part vampire technically...oh stop it. Just calm down. Remember your history. Remember Faith. Women are nothing but trouble. Even if they have the cutest face, and are sweet, and have the most wonderful red eyes you want to lose yourself in...oh God help me…"


In the shower, Seras had to suppress her ever-growing blush at Xander's words. He really would have to learn just how good true vampire hearing was. *Not that he isn't handsome, and sweet and delicious himself...stop it Seras. He's human...mostly. You can't think of him like that. Just put it out of your head. Especially that dance. Crumbs but he has a nice arse, though...*


And somewhere in the Hellsing manor Alucard laughed uproariously.


Once Xander and Seras were both showered and changed, with many of the same thoughts of walking in running through the vampiress' mind a ran through Xander's (although hers revolved around phasing through the wall of the shower for a quick peek), they found themselves at the hotel restaurant eating as they planned out their actions for the evening.

"So how should we attack tracking out grey skinned friends from last night?" Xander asked over a bite of rare steak.

"Good question." Seras said with a depressed sigh. "I suppose I could try to 'feel' for the vampire making them with my senses, but I'm not that experienced at it. Master is much better at it. And if it's a FREAK vampire it can get that much harder to find it. They're just so...muddled."

"Got to admit, the thought of counterfeit vamps through science is really creeping me out." Xander said solemnly.

"I'd feel better if they were patterned after the lesser creatures you've fought. They're getting closer to mideon level powers, minus surviving sunlight, every day." she replied tiredly.

"There's something to give me nightmares tomorrow." the White Knight commented over a bite of baked potato.

"Which is why Sir Integra and Master want you to come to England to train." Seras suggested cautiously.

"Good pitch." Xander complimented with a smile as he looked out the window.

"Um, thanks." she responded shyly.

"Uh, Seras?" Xander asked as he looked outside the window, taking out the Beretta 9mm she had given him earlier in the room from the holster at the small of his back.

"Yes?" she distractedly as she had been studying his face without realizing it.

"I think you might want to to hone your senses now to see if that vamp is near." he said evenly.

"Hmmm?" she inquired as she shook her head a bit to clear it.

"Well, there's like triple the amount of last night's ghouls are heading this way, so I figure the master of them might be near to control that many." he answered conversationally, as he nodded his head in the direction where he was looking.

Seras turned to look out the window as well, and sure enough, at least thirty ghouls were shambling their way down the street toward the hotel.

"Bloody hell." the vampiress whispered under her breath, even as she thought, *Anyone that calm in the face of this really must be related to Sir Integra.*

"Shall we take them out before they get here and start killing people?" he asked as he stood from the booth and started walking toward the door.

Seras just nodded as she went and told the waitress to add the bill to her hotel tab, before rushing to catch up with her charge.

"Any suggestions?" Xander asked calmly as he surveyed the approaching throng.

"In the name and God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation." Seras grimly responded as she raised her pistol and began firing. Xander followed suit, as the pair began to put hot blessed silver alloy into the approaching servitors with lethal accuracy.

"They're faster, stronger, and more agile than what you're used to, so keep your eyes sharp." the strawberry blonde shouted as she dropped her empty clip and replaced it easily, using her fangs to chamber the pistol in a motion she had picked up from Alucard.

"Good advice", Xander replied in a grunt, as he replaced his own clip in a more traditional method, as Soldier boy's instincts came back with fluid ease in the heat of battle.

The calm that settled between the pair as they exterminated the ghouls was short lived, though, as another group stepped forward from the shadows, this group armed with automatic rifles. "Oh shit." Xander replied, dumbstruck at the thought of ghouls using guns.

Fortunately, Seras was not similarly confused as the undead monsters opened fire. She threw herself in front of Xander immediately, knocking him to the ground and covering him, a she took several rounds in the back. Once there was a pause in the carnage, which he now noticed was accompanied by the requisite screams such a gun battle would elicit, but had been ignored by the young man until that point, Seras lifted him up and ran him to a more defensible position. She ignored all around her, including her massive injuries, as she got him to relative safety behind a planter wall in front of the hotel.

"Jesus. You're hit bad. We need to get you out of here." Xander said frantically once they were no longer in motion.

"I'll live. Will you be all right here to hold position for a second? I need to apperate to the room and get a few surprises for out friends." she said as she panted unneeded breaths out of instinct.

Xander took a chance peek a over to the wall at the ever advancing ghouls, and thought things over for a moment as he sat back under their cover and said, "Go. Just leave your spare clips. I can hold this for a minute or two, while you set up to fire from the suite window. If we set a crossfire, we can take them out quicker." he replied.

"Good idea." she responded with a nod.

"Pity it won't come together in time to help you." a feminine voice cut in, seeming to originate from all around them.

"That can't be good." Xander muttered under his breath, even as a female form stepped out from the wall of the hotel and gripped Seras by the neck from behind, and the thrusting her through that same wall without the benefit of an immaterial form.

It was to his credit that Xander fired off three rounds with his pistol before it was torn from his hand and tossed off into the approaching ghouls. "Oh no, my cousin. It will not be nearly so easy to destroy me." the new vampiress sneered.

"Who the hell are you?" Xand asked as he tried to back away. only to be caught by the throat and lifted off the ground.

"You don't know much of your family, do you, you filthy Belmont blooded traitor?" she asked with a wicked sneer. "I am the Countess Elizabeth Bartley, niece to Dracula. And I look ever so forward to killing the last hunter among the filthy Belmont line. The fact you are Hellsing and one of the traitorous Belmont loving bastard Alucard's get will only sweeten it." she added with a demonic smile.

Xander offered no reply as unconsciousness due to lack of air began to overtake him.

Seras offered a reply, however, in the form of an attacking swam of blonde bats, that bit and scratched until Elizabeth threw Xander aside to scream and howl in anger. Once the boy was free, the bats reformed into a furious Seras Victoria, now clothed in her Hellsing uniform, her eyes glowing with malice.

"You filthy piece of garbage. How dare you attack one of the Master's own." Seras spat venomously.

"You need to learn your place, fledgling." Bartley sneered.

"Funny, I was about to say the same to you." Seras replied in a voice eerily reminiscent of her Master's just before battle.

Chapter 6

"Oh that is quite good coming from Uncle's newest pet. Or are you the Belmont freak's pet instead?" The Bloody Countess sneered, her red eyes mocking as he forest green hair fluttered about in the light breeze of the night. She followed her query with a hideous noblewoman's laugh that made poor Seras cringe a bit at the sound.

"I have no intention of being mocked by some pathetic Sailor Pluto wannabe in a trashy leather top that thinks she can attack someone under my protection." was Seras' steely reply, her own red eyes glinting with the bloodthirsty madness that made her Master such a feared force of nature for the Hellsing organization.

"Really? I think my lovely servants will have something to say about that." Elizabeth chuckled cruelly, as she waved her hands about her, making several armed ghouls apperate between her and Seras. "Sorry little girl. I don't soil my hands with the hired help." she said, as she began to stroll almost casually toward Xander.

As for the youngest Hellsing or Tepes in existence, he was just shaking out the cobwebs of the vampiresses unnatural strength as he coughed and rubbed his neck. As her surveyed his surroundings, he suddenly wished he had reached full unconsciousness. He was surrounded by ghouls, crazy green-haired vampire lady was heading toward him, he was unarmed save for his cross, a few stakes, and a silver plated combat knife Seras had given him in the room, and Seras herself was being detained by at least a half dozen more armed ghouls with their automatic weapons pointed at her.

"My life really sucks sometimes." he said philosophically, as he jumped up and put a stake in the chest of the nearest ghoul, cursing as it did not disintegrate. "Immune to stakes, perfect." he mutters as he jumped back from the now irate undead servitor as it lunged at him. Fortunately, he had the quick reaction time needed to unsheathe his knife and stake the ghoul a second time, dusting it with the silver blade.

Seras was seething mad as she watched the haughty vampiress ignore her, then have the nerve to stroll off after Xander. "Like hell I'll let that bitch hurt him." she spat, even as she dodged when the ghouls opened fire.

"Oh so the little Belmont has some guts after all. Too bad you don't have that cursed whip to aid you. Oh, that's right you can't use it." Bartley commented in amusement as she watched Xander begin to fend off and attack her ghouls.

Xander, for his part, was cutting up and dispatching the abominations with surprising skill. Although he had to admit they seemed less ready to attack him now in the presence of their master. *Maybe she wants to finish me herself, and they're just for tiring me out and roughing me up?* he thought as he stabbed another ghoul through the heart. For now he just had to praise his luck and try to make his way toward his fallen pistol.

Seras was getting wholly frustrated as she kept one eye on Xander, and another on the ghouls attacking her in greater and greater numbers, keeping her from his side, as she fired her last clip into them. Finally, as Xander took a particularly vicious knock to the head in his own donnybrook, she reached her last straw. With a feral roar, she leapt into the throng of ghouls around her and began tearing through them in frightening display of pure carnage. Body parts flew left and right as Seras Victoria tore the undead corpses apart with her bare hand with such ferocity that Alucard would beam with pride if he was there to witness it.

"Well, that isn't ladylike." Elizabeth said with a snort and backward glance as she watched Seras lose control. "Fledglings today." she sighed.

Xander was finally close enough to reach the Beretta, and he moved to scoop it up un a fluid motion before trying to make his way toward Seras, when his actions were halted by a heavy blow to the back, and a red leather boot settling down on the pistol. He looked up in dread at the green-trussed woman connected to that boot.

"I warned you it wouldn't be that easy, cousin." Elizabeth said in a chiding tone.

"Yeah, well I figured the gun gave me a better chance than the knife." Xander replied conversationally even as he sprang at her and thrust said blade at Bartley's heart in an attempt to catch her by surprise. He was very disappointed when her hand shot out with a viper's quickness and caught him at the wrist to stop the knife's momentum.

"Not bad. I can see a little of Uncle Vlad in you after all." she complimented in a sickeningly sweet tone as she applied further and further pressure to his captured wrist, forcing him to his knees.

"Thanks." Xander ground out through gritted teeth as he tried to ignore the mounting pain and popping noises in his arm.

"You are about to die now. You do know that?" she asked, wanting to see the fear in his eyes.

"Kind of figured that was your plan." Xander grunted back. "By the way, you ever watch the Three Stooges?" he asked a beat later in an apparent non-sequiter.

"What?" Countess Elizabeth Bartley asked in confusion, just before Xander thrust his middle and index fingers into her eyes with his free hand, making the vampiress shriek in shock and pain as she let him go and stumbled back a few paces rubbing her eyes.

Xander smirked as he reached down and picked up the pistol, leveling it at Bartley's chest. "Hey Moe, look what I can do, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk." he taunted in his best Curly impersonation as he fired the whole clip into the chest of the niece of Dracula.

He was slightly less happy, though, when she seemed to shrug off the apparently lethal shots as she shrieked, "I will make your end painful for that you human spawned weakling."

"No, you won't." Seras spat coldly from Xander's right. The White Knight dove for cover the second he saw his blood and dust covered savior. Well, actually, he dove to avoid collateral damage from the explosive shells from her big assed Halconnen that was pointed at the Bloody Countess. That proved to be a smart move as Seras began spewing hot, explosive, silver alloyed death at the evil vampiress the second he was clear.

Countess Elizabeth Bartley was blown into chucky pieces in a manner the Judge would have winced in sympathy toward. Oddly enough, her remains didn't dust in the aftermath of Seras' rescue as her head rolled next to Xander's feet. Xander watched in detached fascination, as Seras walked to the head, which he now noticed was still blinking and apparently alive. "You tell whatever idiot sorcerer resurrected you that neither Master, nor Alexander will tolerate trash like you molesting them when they bring your silly arse back again." she spat coldly at the head.

"In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen." Xander commented in apparent shell shock.

His shock and mounting horror eased a bit as Seras smiled sunnily at his and replied, "Well put, love." as she put another round into Bartley's head. This shot not only blew the vampiresses' cranium to smithereens it dusted the other leftovers as well, which until then were apparently melting or converting into bugs to reform her body.

The sudden piece that was brought by Elizabeth's death was short lived as the relatively docile ghouls began to moan and mill about randomly without her direction. The fact that most were heading toward them was not lost on Alexander and Seras.

The White Knight didn't even have time to make a quip as Seras reach behind her and tossed him an ammo pouch laded with clips, as well as a second 9mm pistol. "Shall we clean up the trash then?" she asked shyly, actually scuffing the toe of her left boot on the ground.

"Seras, I like the way you think." Xander responded with a wide grin as he took reloaded his first gun, took out the second, and began firing.

Over the din of gunfire that followed, Xander called out over his shoulder, "Hey Seras!"

"Yes, Xander?" she asked over her own sidearm fire from where she was back to back with her charge. She had dropped her Halconnen for the sake of it being overkill against simple ghouls in a populated area.

"After this, what do you say we check out, get another hotel room someplace the police won't ask questions once they're sure the demons are gone so they can move in, get a shower, and I'll take you out to another dinner?" he asked.

"You asking me out on a date? Isn't that a bit forward?" she asked, shocked a bit as she continued to exterminate Bartley's former minions.

"I figure you've already seen me mostly naked, and saved me from some major bog bad vampiress, so dinner might be a step back."

Xander replied humorously. "Forward would be asking you join me in the shower to clean up once we have another hotel."

The White Knight smiled as he heard her small squeak of surprise, even over their weapon fire. Seras was just glad he couldn't see the blush she developed at his teasing. Finally, she replied, "Dinner sounds nice."

Xander nodded in satisfaction as he the last remaining ghoul in his sights was killed. He was sure a few had skulked off, but he also knew that without a master, any survivor would be too stupid to take cover from the daylight of tomorrow's dawn. He also had to sadly admit they lacked the time and resources to track down any survivors.

"Great, it will give a chance to discuss our trip to the land of tea and tweed." Xander said with a tired smile.

Seras' eyes widened as she responded, "So you'll come with me, then?" she asked with child like exuberance.

"Yeah. Color me there. I think I'll need the training." he replied grimly as he looked over the carnage. "Besides I want to talk to Gramps Drac about crazy nieces trying to kill me."

"I think Master will be eve more upset about it. I pity whoever brought that bitch back after Master and Sir Integra get to them."

Seras replied solemnly.

"Assuming I don't track them down first." Xander retorted with a fierce look in his eyes.

*Or me.* Seras savagely added in her head.

Chapter 7

Alucard, who had been thoroughly entertained as Alexander and Seras flirted with each other unintentionally. Of course neither understood just what kinds of auric impulses and pheromones they were releasing around one another to smooth their own inhibitions. Not that he intended to enlighten them about them. Seras could certainly do with a paramour to further her development, and Alexander needed some time away from Slayers before he finished developing his inferiority complex.

The No Life King's mirth evaporated as he saw Elizabeth's actions through his link to the Police Girl. How dare she attack Alex like that?! She should have known enough from their confrontations with Adrian to know her place when it came to his descendants.

No, little Liz knew better than to come after Alex like that, Belmont blood in his veins or not. There was another hand in this, one that was sending him a message. Alucard was certain of it.

"But whom would stoop to resurrecting my wayward niece? The Millennium group perhaps? Iscariot certainly wouldn't stoop to the use of vampires. Maybe a disgruntled minion of mine from Castlevania?" he mused aloud.

He shook his head in irritation as he concluded, "Regardless, once I am free to do so, I will resurrect the child if her benefactors have not already done so. She needs to learn the importance of family, and her place in the real pecking order." His voice was dark and the ensuing laughter made everyone in the house, save Walter, shiver uncontrollably.

As for the Angel of Death, he just looked up from the expense reports Seras had sent them and shook his head. Alucard was equally angry and entertained. Some poor fool was going to die in the near future.


Dinner ended up becoming an early breakfast, as it was after five a.m. by the time Seras and Xander packed up, moved to a new hotel two towns over, unpacked, and showered.

They settled into their seats at the hotel restaurant with their food. Not that Xander was all that interested in food with all that was on his mind, or that Seras needed solid food. It was just a cover and comfort to aid their conversation.

"Thanks again for the save, Seras. I'd have been toast without you." Xander said with a heartfelt smile that only grew at his dining companions little smile in return.

"It wasn't that big. You would have handled it yourself eventually, I'm certain. You tore through those ghouls better than anyone I've seen short of Master, Walter, or Sir Integra." she responded shyly.

Xander smirked wryly as he commented, "I think you forgot to include yourself in that list, Vicky. You tore through them like they were tissue paper."

He was surprised when she looked down shame-faced at his compliment. "I...I'm sorry you had to see me like that. It's just that...she was going for you, and those blasted animals were trying to stop me an'...I'm sorry." she said as she looked at the table, close to tears.

"Hey, now. None of that. There's no need to get so sad. Bottom line, we're here, they're dust. I call that being ahead of the game. It doesn't mean anything to me how we came out ahead, just that Miss psycho crazy lady didn't kill us." he soothed.

"b..bu...but it's not right. Sometimes I can just feel my humanity slippin' away. How long until I end up a monster like that Bartley woman?" she asked piteously a she looked up at him with silent tears falling from her eyes.

"Seras, a friend once told me, the first rule of Slaying is 'don't die.' Once you manage that, the rest is just small stuff. Now, until yesterday I couldn't hope to relate to the vampiric side of stuff, but I can relate to being afraid of becoming a monster. If you ever met my step dad you'd understand what I meant. And I can tell you this. You'll become a monster the day you give up on yourself. As long as you keep trying to be better than that, you will be." Xander counseled.

"You really think so?" the vampiress asked in a voice reminiscent of a frightened little girl.

"I know it. I'd be a useless drunken waste if it wasn't true." Xander said with a disturbingly firm conviction that proved a part of him still feared that fate.

"You'd never end up like that!" Seras replied aghast.

"Don't be so sure. I've seen how it can happen. Tony wasn't so bad a father when I was little. He just slipped farther and farther from the tine I was about six or so, until by the time I was eight he was...that. And since I got all this high blood, minus the Hellsing, from Mom I can't rely on that to save me. She's just as bad." Xander countered with a bitter grin over his cup of coffee.

He was a bit surprised when, after he set his cup down, Seras reached across the table and gave his hand a comforting squeeze. He idly wondered if the warmth he felt from her grip was just a part of the type of vampire she was, or if it was because he had the same breed of blood in his veins. After a moment to revel in the simple comfort of her touch, he decided he didn't care either way.

"How about we make each other a little promise, then? I won't let you fall into that trap, and you'll help keep me out of mine." Seras suggested with a grin.

"I think I'd like that." Xander replied seriously.

From there breakfast was a much more pleasant experience as they planned out the details for a flight two days from then from a private airstrip in San Francisco. The White Knight was not very surprised that the arrangement for his passport was already settled.


Once Breakfast was done, Seras and Xander took a walk in a local park to unwind from the earlier battle. They walked arm in arm, appearing to be a perfectly normal couple to the casual observer, minus the mirror shades Seras was wearing one the sun had began to rise.

"Well, I have to say that minus the crazy relatives, that I'm really glad to have met you, Seras. Although I am kind of worried about getting my car back. We kind of left it in Oxnard." he said with a grin.

"No worries, Xander. I had it paid off and arranged to have it sent to a storage garage once it's done the day I tracked you down as a show of good faith. Although, it needed a bit more work than you thought. The engine was mostly rotted out. Still, it will be right as rain when you get back." She said with an impish grin.

"Thanks, Kitten." Xander said in his best Drusilla impersonation.

"I never should have told you about my unit callin' me that at Cheddar." she said ruefully, even as she giggled. "Although it was a funny coincidence that a revenant vampiress gave you the same handle."

"Yeah, well, Dru's full of surprises." Xander added pleasantly.

"I can imagine." Seras responded.

They walked in companionable silence for several minutes, just enjoying each other's company. "Xander, I have to agree with what you said earlier." Seras said out of the blue.

"Hmm?" Xander asked.

"I'm glad to have met you, too." Seras clarified shyly, as she moved in to gently kiss his cheek.

Whether it was fate, chance, or a carefully contrived plot device, Xander heard a sound off to the side at the same time and turned right into the kiss. Their lips met tentatively, but instincts deep inside them both quickly deepened the kiss into something far more meaningful. For those few scant seconds they were lost in each other's embrace, the pair felt a peace that had eluded them both for a very long time.

It was the improper whistle of a passing jogger than finally broke their connection, as both sprang back with deep blushes.

"Sorry!" Xander said frantically. I hear something, and then...and I Sorry!" Xander babbled, his mind still a bit frazzled.

"Oh, I'm so sorry! I was going for your cheek an then you turned and I didn't mean to offend you..." Seras babbled at the same time.

It took a couple of seconds for each to register the words the other spewed. Once they did, they both broke out into slightly embarrassed and slightly relieved laughter. "How we just say that that just happened and I'll settle for my first thought, which was...Wow." Xander suggested with a half grin.

"I think I can agree with that. Wow seems to sum it up nicely." Seras responded shyly.

Xander's smile only grew at the vampiress' reaction, as he offered his arm and said, "Then shall we continue our stroll, Miss Seras Victoria?"

Seras smiled charmingly as she took his hand and replied, "I'd be delighted."


In a cell in the Tower of London, another Hellsing heir and another vampire were having a conversation that was not nearly as sweet.

"Let me review this, Alucard." Integra commented icily. "Your niece, the long destroyed Countess Elizabeth Bartley, has been resurrected and has attacked Officer Victoria and Alexander in America?"

"Indeed Master. Although they dispatched both her, and the lion's share of her ghouls, with impressive efficiency." Alucard replied with a hint of pride in his voice.

"And just how did Elizabeth return to her relative approximation of life?" Integra asked.

"I wish I knew, Master. With these seals that bind me to your family's will, I lack the power needed to feel out for every connection I had to my many servants and allies. I was as surprised as anyone to learn of her return. And I was hardly pleased to find her attacking the children." Alucard answered, his voice growing dark at the end.

"Yes, it would seem out of character for her to so openly attack one of your get without your permission." Seras responded in her customary monotone.

"I assume it was meant as some kind of message or attack toward me. There are certainly easier Belmonts to exterminate, if that had truly been her intent. In fact I can think of no organization off of the top of my head with the exception of the Millennium group that would have the gall to attempt something like this." Alucard confided.

"I can think of at least two others. Your minions from Castlevania, that would hope to flush you out to either lead them again, or destroy you for your perceived betrayal of them. The Watcher's Council might attack him for interfering with their Slayers as well. Particularly if they recently discovered his bloodlines. They are far too proprietary with their resources, and would think nothing of coming after Alex to prevent the Slayer from 'defecting' to us."

"Those pompous dinosaurs have little, if any, chance of facing a true vampire. Much less controlling Elizabeth enough to send her after the boy and the Police Girl." Alucard scoffed.

"I tend to agree, but all possibilities must be considered. They will, at the very least, become a concern when Alex's heritage becomes more public. I'm not ready to fully discount them yet."

Integra replied languidly.

"Of course, Master." Alucard agreed solemnly. "If they do attack him, then can I assume that the orders will remain unchanged?" the vampire inquired with a mad grin of anticipation.

"You can. For over a century, they have remained unchanged. Search and Destroy. I will not have those amateurs interfering with my family, or the operation of the Royal Protestant Knights. They are allowed to operate in this country out of pure courtesy on our part. If they become ungrateful toward the source of that hospitality, then it shall be...revoked." she replied in a cold tone.

Alucard's only answer was a wider grin of anticipation.

"Is there anything else to report, Alucard?" Integra asked after a pause.

"Well, Seras and Alexander will fly back here within two days time. They are getting along splendidly, as anticipated..." he trailed off as his link relived the surprising kiss between the pair in vivid detail as Seras' feelings had become overwhelming to her.

Integra looked on in curiosity as Alucard trailed off and broke into a warm and wide smile. "What is it?" she asked, a bit put off at the sight of so open of emotion on her servant's face.

Alucard replied by replaying the kiss, feelings and all, in Integra's head telepathically. He was quite amused when she broke out into child like blush at the experience. "I've warned you about touching my mind like that without just cause and permission." she snapped as she tried to regain control of her facial capillaries.

"It was the only way I could really show you something like that without seeming...rude." Alucard responded calmly.

"Spying on a romantic liaison between your fledgling and my cousin isn't rude?" she asked archly.

"Not when it was sent because of how good the Police Girl was feeling. I wasn't in her mind at the time; that was just pure feedback that I was unprepared for. I've closed the link tighter to give them some privacy now." Alucard replied with a smile. "It appears my little girl is growing up," he added with his typical irreverent humor.

"Indeed." Integra agreed. "Do you intend to let that continue once they return?" she asked.

"Why wouldn't I? I can think of far worse choices for either of them. Slayers and French soldiers come to mind immediately."

Alucard replied with his typical smile.

"Just see that it doesn't hinder their training." Integra ordered after a moment of contemplation.

"Well, now that that is settled, there is another matter to discuss." Alucard said leadingly.

"You already know my answer, Alucard." Integra snapped at him, knowing what he meant.

"I know best of all what dwells in your heart, Master. And if nothing else, the Police Girl proves that you will not loose yourself to the curse if you do not wish to. Why do you deny yourself what you deserve?" he asked intensely.

"I have too many responsibilities to deal with now. And a heritage that is the polar opposite of your pestering. What my desires might or might not be pale in comparison to that." she answered stiffly.

Alucard wanted to argue, pester, and wheedle further, but his heart just wasn't in it that night. Perhaps it was a residual of the all too human emotions he had felt from his fledgling. Perhaps it was the recent memories of his dear Lisa. Whatever it was though, he just didn't feel like pursuing it more at that moment.

"Very well. I will let it lie for tonight, Integra." he replied solemnly, eliciting a look of shock from the platinum blonde.

"Alucard?" she asked in mild confusion.

"Sleep well, my darling Master." he whispered in a tone he had not used with her since that first tumultuous year after she had released him, as he faded from her sight to apperate back top the Hellsing manor. It was far more tender and comforting that she thought him capable of as of late.

She watched where he had faded away fro several seconds, blinking owlishly, before shaking her head in consternation. "Damnable confusing vampire." she said ruefully to herself.

Chapter 8

Two days later found Xander and Seras on a private jet owned by the Round Table flying to England's London Heathrow International airport. Xander had to admit he was a bit unnerved by the coffin that had been provided for Seras to sleep in. But all things considered, it was something he could learn to accept.

Since what he had come to refer to as the Kiss two days ago, the pair had continued to grow closer. They talked in depth about each other's lives, what they had each seen since being introduced to the darkness of the supernatural world, and even spoke a bit about what they wanted in life.

As for romance, there were a few more kisses and shy looks between the newly forming couple, but that was a far as it went. Seras was too timid, and Xander was too tentative for it to advance beyond that too soon. He had tried to learn his lesson about thinking with his privates after the mess with Faith. In fact, he figured nothing short of a woman removing all her clothes and attacking him would get him into that position before he felt he was ready. Taking things slow was definitely a smart move in his book.

Seras was having similar thoughts, although her instincts were urging her to make more 'predatory' acts when it came to spending time with her Master's great-great grandson. Although she had to admit that the idea of a bit of more aggressive snogging was not repulsive to her, she wanted to wait until they both felt comfortable. It was already too much to ask that he didn't seem to care that she was a vampire, or that she usually slept in a coffin.


Alucard was pacing the halls of the manor in agitation as he waited for the Police Girl's flight to arrive. After all these years he was finally getting the chance to meet his youngest descendant, one he happily shared with his Master (and a bit less happily with those pain in his ass Belmonts) only to have to be agonizingly delayed by the slow travel of pathetic human technology. He had half a mind to turn into fog and just meet the damnable contraption half way.

"It's no use pacing around like an expectant father, Lord Alucard." Walter commented from where he watched the vampire from the relative comfort of his wheelchair.

"I did not ask for you thoughts on the matter, Angel of Death." the No Life King snapped.

If the aged retainer was either shocked or offended at Alucard's words, he certainly didn't show it as he responded, "The flight will arrive in a matter of a couple of hours, old boy. Would you have preferred to wait the months it would have taken by ship instead?"

"I would have preferred that the trash the Belmonts have become did not migrate to another continent, or take my granddaughter with them just to abandon her and let her die inside as they did." Alucard replied dryly.

"Yes well, if that were the case, Richard might have actually felt inclined to raise Alexander. You certainly would not wish that upon the boy." Walter countered.

"Point taken." Alucard conceded.

"What do you intend to do when he intends to return to the States after we've trained him?" Walter asked after a pause.

"That will be for Integra and Alexander to decide between them." Alucard answered. "Although if we can get this place back up to standards, I imagine the Police Girl will join him."

Walter looked at him oddly as he commented, "You hardly seem the type to play matchmaker, Alucard."

"After the paramours my son and great grand daughter chose for themselves, can you really blame me?" the vampire inquired with a sardonic grin.

"Besides, it will only be for a few years at best. Alexander will return out of a sense of duty, and I will pull a few strings to make certain he gets an education as he does so. After some tutoring here, of course." Alucard added with a grin.

"Of course." Walter agreed, knowing Sir Integra will want her cousin's education furthered as well.

"And then, that same sense of duty will bring him back to us. Whether the Slayer is finally killed, or she simply finishes ostracizing him, he will lose his ties to the mouth of Hell. Then he will come where he is needed, and the enemies of Hellsing will tremble." Alucard continued with certainty.

"You seem prepared to put great faith and great pressure on the young man." Walter observed with a raised brow.

"The hottest fires forge the purest steel." Alucard responded.

"Assuming the pounding of the forge does not break the sword you are creating." Walter retorted.

"Alexander will not crumble, Walter. It's never been in him to fail against the darkness. His numerous accomplishments in his few years have already proven that." Alucard replied.

"I pray you are right." Walter said calmly.

"I am." the vampire replied with conviction and a mad grin.


Xander felt like he was about to hyperventilate as the plane set down. Before everything he had faced was theoretical. He knew he was a Belmont on his mother's side, but he was only connected to Hellsing and Dracula through nebulous ties Seras had described. Now, he was minutes away from meeting Dracula. *Alucard.* he reminded himself mentally, even if the name brought a different relative to mind for him.

Still, he was about to meet the worst enemy of his ancestors. And he was related to him. Hell, he was going to train with him in how to fight vampires. Just what was wrong with this picture?

"It will be alright, love." Seras said as she rested a gentle hand on his shoulder, making him start in agitation.

"What do you mean?" he asked nervously, trying to cover his trepidation.

"Xander, I can hear the increase of your heartbeat like a drum next to my ear. I can tell you're nervous. You need to relax. Everything will be fine." she comforted.

"Thanks Vicky. It's just a bit of a head trip, you know. His reputation kind of precedes him." Xander explained, not needing to elaborate on just who 'he' was.

"Well I can't claim he's not intimidating, or that he doesn't personify power to me or anything. I can tell you he was looking forward to meeting you. If he cares for anything in this world, beyond Sir Integra, it's his family. I've seen enough of that in the last weeks to know that much.

"Good to know. At least as long as he doesn't include his niece in that." Xander replied still nervous, but trying to calm down for her sake.

"I think the only problem he'd have with that was that he wasn't there to reprimand her personally." Seras assured him.

Once the plane came to a complete stop, looked at the door with mild trepidation and said, "Well let's go meet the family."


As the can that had been waiting for them arrived at the Hellsing Estate, Xander could only try to make his gawking less obvious. Sure Rigby and his family were wealthy, but this place was enormous. It had huge expanses of land, including what looked like a police urban warfare training center, all surrounding a huge manor house that looked to be centuries old. His nervousness only increased as the car came to a stop in front of the door, and Seras helped him out.

*Man, if the house intimidates me like this, how the hell am I going to handle being in the big D's presence?* he asked himself mentally.

*Don't worry, child. I don't anyway.* another, deeper voice answered his mental query, making the White Knight stop short.

"What the hell?" he asked, as he shook his head to clear out the odd sensation the thought had elicited.

Seras didn't have to think much about Xander's reaction before she said, "Well, I guess that answers the matter of Master being able to reach you telepathically over short distances."

"You could have warned me." he chided pleadingly.

"You were scared enough already." was Seras' response.

"Alright, I'll give you that one. Xander conceded. Then, with a final gulp, he resumed his way to the heavy oak door, which silently opened seemingly of its own accord before he could attempt to knock, much less open it himself.

"How very Addams Family." he commented nervously, as he irreverently thought the door should squeak on its hinges for effect.

"Walter would never let something like a rusty hinge get by in this house. The whole cleaning staff would be fired on the spot, and ejected under threat of death by monofilament wire if it ever happened." a voice commented from ahead of Xander. A voice that matched the one just in his head.

"Welcome home, Alexander. It's a pleasure to finally meet you in person." Alucard said with his typical maniacal grin. He was dressed as he always was in his black nineteenth century suit, red duster, matching red wide brimmed hat, white cotton gloves marked with his seals, and orange John Lennon style sunglasses. The vampire's red eyes peeked over those shades as to took in his great-great grandson's visage for the first time.

Seras was reminded of the night she was turned, when Master had asked her of she wanted to come with him instead of dying. His posture was identical.

Xander looked on in quiet awe at the figure in front of him. His first thought was *Seras wasn't kidding about a family resemblance.* as he smiled nervously, waved, and said "Hiya Gramps."

Alucard stared at the boy with astonished confusion, as did Seras who stood at Xander's side, and Walter who sat just behind and to the right of Alucard, until the No Life King finally broke out in uproarious laughter. "Alexander, I think you and I will get along very well. I can already see my Master's reaction. A Hellsing born with a taste for my sense of humor. This will be too much." he commented wryly.

"Oh dear." Seras and Walter commented in an eerie unison, even as Xander replied, "Uh, glad you like to make with the funny, I guess." his tone a bit confused. This certainly wasn't what he expected.

"Police Girl, he's set up in the guest chambers nearest to my Master's bedroom. See that he knows where that is. I'll await the both of you in the library to go over everything once you get him settled." Alucard instructed, before walking off, still chuckling.

"That was surreal." Xander said as he watched Alucard go.

"Young Master, you have no idea. "Walter responded in a disturbed tone. "Anything that entertains Alucard like that is never a good thing."

Chapter 9

As Xander unpacked his gear into his temporary room, one that was far too opulent compared to what he was used to, he had to wonder just what he had truly gotten himself into. This whole situation seemed alot easier and far more comfortable when it had just been about him and Seras. Meeting the Hellsing family 'weapon', Alucard, or Dracula if you wanted to get technical, was anything but comfortable.

Although, it was uncomfortable for reasons he had not anticipated as he thought about this meeting over the last couple of days. It was not the glistening fangs, or red eyes, or even the larger than life persona of the No Life King that worried the young man once erroneously referred to as the 'Zeppo' of the Scoobies. It was how...comforting it felt for him to meet the monster.

Xander had been certain that as a Belmont, and as a vampire hunter of sorts in his own right, that there would have been some kind of internal revulsion to the most feared (and rightly so) vampire in existence. The one to truly earn the title 'No Life King' in a matter of centuries should set off all kinds of mental alarms as far as Xander was concerned. It didn't matter that he hadn't felt like that toward Seras even as he backed off when he first saw her eyes. She was Seras. This was Dracula. The Prince of Darkness, Lord and Master of Castlevania; an unholy plague feared throughout the demon hunting community. And being near him felt...nice?

No. Not nice. Being in Alucard's presence felt right. It felt like...home. That scared the White Night to no end. How could he feel so good about meeting a vampire like Alucard, when so little of Xander himself was vampiric to begin with? He was only 1/16 mideon, after all. And he never got this sensation around his fellow Belmonts. *The fact that they're fat, lazy, degenerates that think they're too good for you and have forgotten the darkness you're devoted to fighting against might be adding to your alienation from them.* his mind supplied cheerfully, mocking his concerns from the depth of his subconscious.

"Quiet brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip." Xander muttered angrily under his breath, eliciting a giggle from Vicky, who was waiting patiently for him at the door to his room.

"Someone's seen too many of those Simpsons cartoons you showed me on the telly the other night." she chided gently.

"D'oh." Xander replied comically, giving her a lop-sided grin, as he put away the last of his clothes. He looked everything over, including the Beretta in its holster on his bed. After a moment's contemplation, he tucked it back into the small of his back where eh had taken to putting it, and said, "Well I guess it's time to have the big talk with the big 'D'. And I don't mean Dallas."

Seras nodded pleasantly to him, as she walked over and took his arm to lead him to the library. "You think you'll need the sidearm against Master?" she inquired, more curious than worried. Sir Integra was not above shooting Alucard when he got too spirited, and he was none the worse for wear over it. The only real concern was how Master would take Xander trying it. And Xander was Hellsing as well, so that should be no reason to worry. Right?

"I doubt it would help, Kitten." Xander replied wryly. "But after the encounters in Oxnard, I just feel better being armed. From what you said this place isn't immune to trouble. I don't want to become a burden because I got caught with my pants down."

*A good policy, young one. Although I imagine the Police Girl might not mind seeing you with your pants down in the future.* came a mental response in both their heads as they reached the outside of the library doors.

"Master!" Seras cried out indignantly as she blushed crimson.

"Yes Police Girl?" Alucard asked with faux innocence from where he looked over the collections of leather bound classical literature with his back to them.

"Um, I don't suppose there is a way you could warn me you're listening in like that, is there?" Xander asked timidly from where he stood beside Seras looking at his all too real and dangerous ancestor. Alucard had set aside his coat, hat, and glasses on one of the small tables in the room, making him look a bit more as one would picture the stereotypical 'Dracula'. Even if his hair was still wild and unkempt, much as Xander's usually was.

"In due time, Alex. In due time." Alucard replied with a small chuckle of anticipation.

Xander winced at the moniker the vampire had used for him. "Un, could you kind of not call me that? Please? I've never liked being called Alex or Alexander. I usually go by Xander, or a shortening of it like Xan, or Xand..." he asked.

"Or X, if you asked that Slayer Faith before she was put into a coma a few months ago." Alucard interrupted. He paused dramatically as he looked Xander over again. He certainly was born with the Tepes feature to him. "Normally, I would refuse, if not for sheer amusement, then to teach you that thinks like names are mostly useless things of little concern that you should be above getting concerned over. Since you share the name of a priest I enjoy annoying, however, I will give you that. After all, I of all people can appreciate a bit a play on words when names come into question." he answered with a toothy grin.

"Thanks, Gramps." Xander replied nervously.

"You're welcome, Xander. "Alucard responded with a predatory smile. "Now, if you can bring yourself to remove your arm from where the Police Girl has made it her personal squeeze toy for between her breasts, then please take a seat. We have a great deal to cover, sonny boy."

The pair let each other go rapidly, and it took all Seras had not to cry out in embarrassment at her Master's teasing again. She had to admit she was a bit worried for Xander, and was holding him close to her instinctively, but that was reason to get rude and pick at her like that.

Xander took a seat at another table away from where Alucard's coat rested, making certain he kept his attention on the vampire at all times. For all he knew the sense of comfort he was feeling again, one that had never really receded since the vampire first touched his mind, was some kind of way to lull him into complacency before an attack. After all, he was supposed to be in training, right?

"You're concerns are admirable, boy. They show that being around Slayers hasn't completely dulled your mind yet. Then again, if you had been fully corrupted by that 'only Slayers can fight demons' mentality they spew; you would never have taken out Mayor Wilkins at his recent Ascension. They never realized how different military training was from building a fertilizer bomb, did they? Or how much research you did to make certain the blast imploded in on the demon, instead of exploding out and killing all the people you were trying to save? You really do have a sharp mind, in spite of your test scores." Alucard said as he paced in from of Xander.

Seras just stood in the background and tried to stay out of the way. She knew this was most likely family stuff coming up, and she wasn't certain where she fit in with it. If either of them wanted privacy, they would ask for it, she knew, but she didn't want to cling to Xander like a frightened child and make a bother of herself.

"I don't know whether to be flattered, or yell 'hey'." Xander admitted after Alucard had finished speaking.

"I imagine my Master has the same problems, without your penchant for bothering to voice them. She just grits her teeth and turns a delightful shade of red." Alucard replied with chuckle.

"I'll have to take your word on that for now." Xander responded with a little grin of his own. He could picture G-Man with similar reactions. *Maybe annoying the British to the best of your abilities runs in the family?* He thought idly.

*Maybe.* Alucard replied in his head. His ever-present smirk grew when Xander did not flinch, and seemed unbothered by the intrusion. The child was learning already. "Of course your test scores are a concern unto themselves." the vampire said finally, as he moved the conversation along. "You are obviously bright. You would be dead now of you were dim, and I know you come from good stock. That implies you're just lazy." the vampire judged with a look that seemed like a disappointed schoolmaster to Xander.

Seras looked on in open-mouthed shock at her Master's words. He had never acted like this before!

At the vampire's rebuke, Xander looked up annoyed as he cried, "Hey!" He composed himself a bit as he defended his record and said, "I've been helping Buffy and getting like no sleep since sophomore year. Of course my grades sucked after that. It was only the ones before I met Buff that sucked because I was lazy!"

The mirth in Alucard's voice was clear as he replied, "So I can see. That explains why they improved a bit after you stumbled into your family's line of work. Regardless, I doubt Integra will be impressed with them, and one of the things you'll do here is improve them with some private study. No child of my line will be accused of being dim."

Xander wanted to argue that with all of his heart, but he knew enough from the look in the ancient vampire's eyes to know it would be fruitless. "Fine." he responded with a sigh. "Speaking of my cousin Integra, when do I get to meet her?"

"Well, I suppose I could teleport you to her cell, but I don't think that is the best approach here. Instead, after we've hashed some things out, I'll give you a bit of...advice on the best way to convince the guards to let you visit her. After all, as a Hellsing, it's your right to see to your poor cousin." Alucard answered with a shark's grin that made both of the younger people in the room smile as well. Nobody in the room was pleased with Integra's imprisonment. Somehow, Xander had a feeling Alucard's advice would get her out that much faster.


From there things degenerated into some more general point of what was expected of Xander as he trained at Hellsing, and what his schedule would be up until Walter was active to add his own training into the mix. Once that was done, the trio moved to the kitchen for a meal, where Alucard thought it funny to have the staff give Seras gazpacho and Xander her cold red liquid. The vampire had to admit it was fun to be yelled at by someone in his own line, but still born with that Hellsing fire Richard had always lacked.

After the mess that was their meal, Alucard sent Seras to prepare for alight patrol that night, as he took Xander with him for some 'male bonding', as he put it.

Xander was more worried by the glances back at him the Police Girl gave him, as if she were afraid she'd never see him again, than he had been by the initial suggestion. Once she was out of sight, he tried not to gulp in apprehension as he asked, "Now, what?"

"Now I show you something not seen by any eyes but my own in a very long time." the vampire replied solemnly as he put his hand on Xander's shoulder and they appeared to be eaten by a nearby shadow.

The rematerialized in the vault Alucard had been in before. Xander looked the windowless room, a room lit with sources he could neither find nor identify with muted awe. He could feel the power and history in the room. It practically sang to his senses. "What is this place?" he asked in hushed tones.

"The vault. My vault, actually. Abraham had it built shortly after I was...conscribed to his service. It is beneath the lowest depths of the manor, and is accessible only be vampiric teleportation by those of our line. This is where I keep the few personal effects I was allowed with me in my captivity. You can think of it as my sanctuary. The place I go to remember." Alucard explained as he looked over the various portraits on the walls. "You are the only other person to ever be here, except for Abraham van Helsing himself, in the last century. In fact, you're the first to know of its existence since van Helsing's passing. This is your family. Your legacy." the No Life King said wit somber reverence as he pointed to each portrait on the wall.

"That was my bride, Ilona Elisabeth Szilagy. My darling Lisa. You're great great grandmother. I never knew a kinder, more perfect woman. She had in her the pure heart to tame the monster I was. For every evil, shadowed, oily drop of darkness in what passes for my soul, she was light, and yet she loved me as I loved her. She was the angel to my devil. The gate that kept me at peace and earned the love and respect of my subjects." Alucard said with long ago tears tainting his voice. His countenance grew hard as he continued. "She was a healer, always concerned with her fellow man. She ventured out beyond out borders to tend to and heal plague victims. Once she had nursed them back to health, the backstabbing filth tried her for consorting with dark forces and burned her at the stake for loving me and bearing me my son. Even as she burned, she begged Adrian to forgive them, and protect them from my rage. She knew me well. Knew that I would make the whole damnable species pay for their crime. That day, though I had been nosferatu already for years, the last of Vlad Tepes prince of Wallachia died with his wife. And the No Life King Dracula rose from her ashes like a phoenix, then spread as a plague to make humanity suffer."

Xander said nothing as he watched his ancestor compose himself in the face of his memories. The accounts in the Belmont family diaries were not nearly as sympathetic to Dracula's plight, nor were they complimentary to Lisa. Suddenly Xander understood a great deal more about what made the creature in front of him, and could not help but feel he would have done the same in his place. It was a sobering thought.

After Alucard had calmed himself a bit, he pointed to a portrait of an aristocratic looking man with white hair, with a wicked looking sword in his hand. Next to him was a buxom young blonde in leather armor with a whip in one hand, and a cross in the other. "Of course Adrian could not refuse his mother's last request, and opposed me for most of the following years until my captivity. At least he did when I tried to wipe out the human race in my overzealous grief. Along the way, he picked up that young woman, Sonia Belmont, sister to Simon. Well, rather she pestered him until she bedded him. Belmonts in general are pushy, and her womanly charms gave her an unfair advantage against the boy. I blame myself really, I raised him to understand the workings of a vampiric court, rather than a courting human that would literally follow him into his coffin to bed him. He never stood a chance." Alucard continued, his voice regaining some good cheer as he ripped into Sonia's personality.

"Not that you're biased against Belmonts for coming after you or anything." Xander said, as he spoke for the first time since his history lesson began.

"I have no problem with you being part Belmont. It's a handicap you've overcome remarkably well. You certainly inherited their stubbornness, I'll admit, but that runs well with the Hellsing and Tepes blood in you. You have more in common with Simon and Richter, who I respected even though I hated them, than with those idiots that bear the Belmont day today. Can you honestly say you want to be associated with them?" Alucard asked indicating the current Belmonts like Rigby.

"No if you paid me." Xander replied immediately, his own thought growing dark at the thought of his snobby relations.

Alucard smiled proudly as he walked to the next portrait and gestured to it with his right hand. "From my beloved son and...pushy daughter-in-law came Trevor, your grandfather. When I raised trouble about a century after his mother's death, he came back to the village that had banished him for being too different and powerful and, with his father's help, sealed me away again. Most of the artifacts in this room were either his or Adrian's. Once you are properly trained, they will be yours."

"Cool." Xander replied, stunned. Although he had to ask, "Um, just out of curiosity...why do you have so much of their stuff here?"

"Adrian updates his arsenal with more and more powerful items where he can. What was his here was left behind in Castlevania as he no longer needed it. As for Trevor's...we lost him to an assassin from the Order of Teraka in 1846. I kept some of the mementos from his battles against me to remember him by. Well, after Adrian and I taught the fool a lesson."

"And here I thought I hated them enough for trying to kill Buffy." Xander spat in agitation. He the bug man was creepy, and he had no love for the order, but a new fire burned in his chest at the thought of them striking at his family.

Alucard nodded in agreement as he pointed out other notable Belmonts and their allies on the wall, before he turned to the opposite wall and pointed out portraits of Dracula's vampiric family and servants.

"Countess nutjob looks better in her picture." Xander said as he glared at the painting of Elizabeth Bartley with his arms folded in front of him.

"She should never have attacked you like that. She knows I would never permit it. I promise you those who brought her back will be found and dealt with." Alucard replied with cold fury. "And then I will resurrect her if they have not already done so and I teach her place once more."

"Wish I could claim that bothers me. Really I do. Strangely though, I can't seem to care. Seras and I almost died, and I really hate people hurting my friends." Xander replied with equal anger.

"That is something we will always agree on, Xander." Alucard replied with a sinister smile at the painting of his niece.


After all the history that could be covered within the vault had been covered, Alucard returned them to the library. It had bee a couple of hours and Seras would surely meet them there to check on Xander if nothing else, before she went on her patrol of London.

"Thanks for showing me all that, um Alucard." Xander said.

"I imagine Abraham's addition of my son's hunting moniker puts you off a bit." Alucard replied with dry humor. "You may refer continue to me as grandfather, or any of the versions you've used on occasion if you like. You'll find I'm not easy to throw off balance with something so easy."

"Thanks, Gramps. I appreciate it." Xander replied with a cheeky grin.

Seras had to wonder what Master had done to her Xander when she arrived and saw the pair sharing a disturbingly similar laugh. It was down right frightening to see them getting on so well so soon.

"Ah, Police Girl. You're right on time. Get the boy here outfitted with some gear and take him on patrol with you. I'm sure you're due for another date, and I can't think of a more perfect evening than taking out the trash." the vampire said with a smile and a wink that made both youths feel embarrassed.

Xander figured free time with his Vicky was time well spent as he moved toward the vampiress and called out over his shoulder, "Good idea, Grandpappy. We'll see ourselves out. Don't wait up."

All Seras could think as they headed toward the armory was *Oh dear, less than a day together and Master's already corrupted him. Sir Integra will not be pleased at all with this.*

Chapter 10

"There were no further complications with Alexander and Seras' return, I take it?" Integra asked languidly from the small table she was provided.

"All is well, Master. They came late this morning, and are currently on a light patrol to acclimate Xander to the area."

Alucard replied with a small bow.

Integra's brow rose slightly as she commented, "Xander? You've taken to using the nickname the you Jewish Wicca uses, then?"

"It is the boy's preferred moniker. He has negative memories attached to his mother and stepfather addressing him as either Alex or Alexander. I saw no issue with avoiding it. It gives him extra separation from the Judas Priest, if nothing else." Alucard answered evenly.

"Of course. Thank you for explaining it. I'll have to keep that in mind the when I can finally meet him face to face." Integra responded.

Alucard's face broke out into a shark's grin as he replied, "You should be prepared to meet him tomorrow, Master. I've been helping him so that he can gain permission to visit you then."

"That will be an interesting trick. I seriously doubt that anyone short of the Queen herself could erase the red tape the Round Table will have in place." Integra challenged.

"Master, you underestimate both Xander, and myself, greatly. I will simply coach him in Hellsing family style negotiations. I can guarantee you that he'll be by to visit tomorrow." Alucard responded.

Integra's answering smile was just as predatory as her servant's. After a pause she asked, "Beyond your coaching, how is his transition coming?"

"Far better than anticipated. He's adapting remarkably when one considers he knew only of his Belmont heritage, and had never left the Mouth of Hell until this season." Alucard answered.

"How extensively has he been briefed?" she inquired.

"I have informed him of his history from my origins until my capture by Abraham. He is well versed now in both his vampiric and Belmont heritage." Alucard replied.

"Has he been informed of...everything?" Integra asked in a surprisingly gentle tone.

Alucard grew quiet at her question for a long while. When he finally answered, his voice was low as he said, "I did not see the need to burden him with it."

"Do you think she's truly gone after your encounter in South America?" Integra asked evenly.

" No, I don't. She is too strong, and born of too pure of blood to die so easily. It would certainly take time for her to regenerate, but she eventually would." Alucard admitted.

"Then he should a least be informed of her existence, Alucard. Her hatred of Adrian is well documented. Her continued existence makes her far too likely of a suspect to leave him ill informed. It's not as if Rip van Winkle was a common mideon." Integra reprimanded sharply.

Alucard's response to her ire was far more shocking that the fact he received it. Normally he would answer Integra's fiery outbursts with either sarcastic humor, or an attempt to annoy her further. This time he met venom with venom. "Do you think me blind to all of this, Master? Don't you think I know she's a danger to him? That I should have finished her utterly long before we encountered each other because of those fools in the Millennium group? I could not! Not then, not now, and not four hundred years ago! Even a monster such as I has a heart, Master. I could not simply execute my own daughter! That's why she was sealed away to begin with!" he spat in a rage.

Integra sat there, stunned that he would admit to it so freely. The origins of the vampire later known as Lieutenant Rip van Winkle were unknown to all but two in the Hellsing Organization. Alucard and his Master were the only beings connected to the Royal Protestant Knights to know that her first, true, name was Lilith Catherine Tepes. Only they knew that she was the daughter of Vlad Tepes and his first wife, the Princess of Wallachia, born to them just before Vlad went to face Muslim invaders encroaching on his eastern territory in the Carpathia.

When Vlad had returned, his wife, thinking him dead, had committed suicide, leaving his son and daughter alone. Of course, she was partially right. Count Dracula had left a man, and returned Nosferatu. Later, after Dracula had married Lisa, and gained Adrian from that union, Lilith had taken ill in a plague.

For all the evil in him, Dracula had always loved his children. He could not simply let her die like that, so at the age of sixteen, he turned her. If that had been the end of it, it would be little more than a footnote in the history of the Dark Prince. After all even greatest critics would not fault him for wanting his child to live.

Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. Lilith was unstable. She took to killing in manners even her father found distasteful. She fed just to watch people die, and took pleasure in angering the Belmonts into coming after her father just to watch them die. She loathed and resented Adrian, seeing him as Dracula's favorite. The fact that Vlad loved Lisa, but had been with Lilith's own mother for purely political reasons certainly didn't help matters.

Eventually though, Lilith, who Dracula called his 'little Rip van Winkle' in reference to her penchant to oversleep both as a vampire and as a human, grew too far out of control. The vampire king's ire and need for vengeance had burned out some time ago, and he tormented the Belmonts either for amusement, or because Lilith had antagonized them, and looked close enough to her father in appearance to give them cause to attack. Even at his height of frenzy, his kills were purposeful. Lilith just liked to watch people die for no reason. Left unchecked she would have become a plague the likes of which the world had never seen.

So Dracula did what he could after several failed attempts to teach her some restraint, he locked her away. He had her sealed in her coffin in a state of suspended animation, and buried beneath his Carpathian castle, her ancestral home. Soon after, he was captured and conscripted by Abraham van Helsing, giving him a chance to return the dignity of the vampire race by eliminating those that killed so uselessly.

Nobody could anticipate that German shells would free Lilith during WWI, or that she would later be recruited by the Millennium Group, Hitler's occult strike force meant to last a thousand years. Integra often thought that Lilith, who shared her father's Slavic appearance, was so adamant about the support of an Aryan race because her addled mind had latched on to the face that Dracula had loved Lisa, who was blonde and blue eyed, but had not loved her own mother, who had been dark haired. On some level the vampiress, born of Vlad Dracula's seed, and first to be turned by him, was trying to emulate what she thought her father wanted.

They really should have suspected her involvement from the start. When the FREAK chip punks Leif and Jessica had been cutting a swath of terror through England last year their work had been pure Lilith in its design. The fact that the blasphemous messages that they would scrawl on the walls in leftover blood before leaving behind the ghouls to run amok always included the words, 'the No Life King is coming' were another overlooked clue. Still hindsight was always 20-20.

"I can never imagine what you've gone through for her sake, Alucard. But Alexander must be informed of her as a potential agent of the Millennium group and enemy of Adrian's, if nothing else."

Integra finally said in somber tones.

The vampire actually sighed as he replied, "I know that, Master. I still don't think it's her doing, though. This was well organized to attack Xander when he was most vulnerable. She would not stay with them after we had decimated them our team did. I did kill her commanders there, after all."

"And yet, she would be most likely to be able to set Elizabeth after him away from you while you were sealed. She is both you daughter, and your progeny. That makes her highly suspect for the potential to control the Bloody Countess." Integra countered.

"I know." was Alucard's quiet response.

"Just see that he isn't caught flatfooted should she appear."

Integra counseled.

"I will, Master." Alucard replied automatically.

"Is there anything else to report?" she asked after a time.

"Not really." Alucard answered. "Just that he and the Police Girl are safe. We've worked out a training regimen for him to follow until Walter is ready to aid us."

"I don't suppose I can get to elaborate on just what you plan for Xander to do to get in here tomorrow." Integra asked with a sardonic grin.

"Trust me Master, you will appreciate his negotiation tactics. After all I taught you how to negotiate as well, and look how well you deal with at Vatican pig Enrico Maxwell." the No Life King replied with a Cheshire cat grin as he faded from sight, his cackling laughter echoing through the Tower's halls and frightening the staff.


The next morning, Xander tried not to fidget in the charcoal grey suit Water had produced for him, complete with a lapel pin identifying him among the Royal Protestant Knights, and a red tie that matched Alucard's coat.

The young man walked right past the ticket booths and tourist entrance, instead heading to one of the guarded staff entrances. He strode up to the guard there; acting as if he owned the place, as he calmly said, "Excuse me."

"Sorry sir, this is a staff entrance. You head right over there to get in with your ticket." the red clad guard responded pleasantly as he pointed out the way to the main gates.

"I'm aware of that." Xander replied coolly. "I'm not here to take the tour, I'm here to visit a prisoner."

The guard's eyes scanned the area even as he replied, "Nice joke, sir. But the Tower of London isn't used as a prison any longer. Now you'll have to get a ticket like everyone else, and go in the proper way, or I'll have to ask you to leave."

"I'm not joking." Xander replied with confidence. "Now, I realize you're just trying to do your job, and I respect that. So please just call this in so we can get it straightened out. Tell them Alexander Lavelle Harris, de-facto head of the Hellsing Organization, is here to see his cousin, Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing, who is currently being held on charges of treason, and suspected support of terrorist acts, charges that she has been absolved of and should have been released from I might add." the White Knight replied with a tone like ice.

The guard looked upset now as he responded, "I don't know what you're talking about. If you don't stop harassing me, though, I'll contact the Bobby's to toss you right proper."

"Is there a problem here?" a man in a suit, and wearing a name badge, inquired from where he walked up to the guard from inside the gate perimeter.

"No sir." the guard responded stiffly as he came to full attention.

"Actually there is." Xander replied at the same time. "You see, I'm here to see Sir Integra Hellsing, my cousin. Mr. Jack of diamonds here is refusing to admit she's here. So could you please call in you superiors and tell them that I want my rightful visiting hours with her? I don't care if you have to call the Queen herself to open the gate, actually, I just want to see my cousin."

"I'm terribly sorry sir, but I have no idea what..." the staff person started to say.

"...what I'm talking about. Yeah, yeah, I've heard it already. You can think I'm stupid just because I was raised in the States, but please stop talking to me like I'm special needs." Xander interrupted in irritation. "Now, I'm only going to say this once, so you might want to commit it to memory. You call up whoever is high up enough to actually acknowledge that Integra is there, and get permission for me to visit, or so help me, I will finish a phrase that begins, and this is the part you want to commit to memory, 'Full release of Control arts to Level 1 unlimited...'"

Xander's face had a disturbing grin as he said, "You keep those exact words in your head when you report this, and tell them Alexander Harris, son of Richard Hellsing and temporary de-facto head of the Hellsing Organization, is the one who said them, and that if I'm not in there in the next thirty minutes to visit my cousin, then they can discuss matters with that benefits the most from them instead. And that they can do so without Integra around to keep him well behaved. Now scurry off to the phone and call that in. I can wait. For a short while."

The guard looked confused, and the staff person was sweaty and agitated as he tottled to the call station near the guard. He repeated the words and Xander's identity six different times throughout the course of the next twenty minutes, before hanging up, his face bleach white.

"I'll have a guard to escort you to Sir Integra right away, Mister Harris." the staffer said weakly.

The shark's grin on Xander's face only grew wider as he replied, "I thought they might see it my way."

Chapter 11

Xander tried to keep the cheshire cat grin on his face in check as he was escorted to Integra's cell. His threat to release the No Life King had been a total bluff, but it had worked perfectly. Thankfully nobody outside of Alucard and the Hellsing family knew the specifics of his seals. In truth, only the rightful family head, Integra, who had fed Alucard with her blood to release and revive him, could control the seals.

Even if she were to die somehow, Xander's own vampiric blood made him incapable of controlling the seals. It was a common sense safety measure to insure that nobody tuned a Hellsing, and then killed the current family head in an attempt to free the vampire. But, again, nobody outside of the Organization had any clue about that, and they couldn't take the chance.

"This is it, sir. I'll come round and knock in an hour to check on you if you're ready to be escorted out then." the guard, armed with an MP-5, said before he knocked hard on the cell door. "Visitor for you, Sir Helsing." the guard announced formally, before he unlocked and opened the door to let Xander in.

"Thanks." Xander said with a smarmy grin as he walked in proudly.

Integra waited until the door was closed and the guard had walked away before she spoke. "Welcome, cousin. I can see Alucard's training in negotiation tactics is still worth its weight in gold." she said formally as she stood from her table and offered Xander her hand.

"Yeah, Gramps knew just what to coach me on." Xander responded, suddenly nervous, as he shook her hand.

"Please take a seat." Integra offered as she gestured to her second chair in the room. "Would you care for some tea or wine? The provide me with both regularly, and the tea was brought fresh less than five minutes before your entrance."

"Um, I'm good. But feel free to have some yourself." Xander said. He was feeling completely self-conscious in the powerful presence of the Hellsing head.

Integra nodded gratefully as she poured herself a cup of tea before she settled into her seat across from Xander. "Thank you. You seem a bit nervous. Surely Alucard hasn't been filling your head with horror stories about me?" she asked dryly.

"Nah. With Gramps horror would probably be a compliment, anyway. I just feel a little out of place still, is all. I mean, here I am, wearing a pin and identifying myself as your temp replacement and stuff. I don't want to offend you or anything. I mean, for the last couple of weeks all I've heard is either Seras, or Drac...I mean Alucard, or Walter raving about how great you are. I just don't want to seem too stupid. I guess." Xander admitted through self-conscious babble.

"No need to worry, Xander. You're exploits do precede you as well. And Alucard has been beaming with his praise of you to me. We in the Hellsing group are all quite proud of your accomplishments."

Integra soothed in her typical monotone. "And I have to admit that with Alucard, horror stories might be his form of compliments, or at least wishful thinking. But I must ask, why are you referring to him as 'Gramps'?" she inquired after a sip of her tea.

"Oh, well, I feel wrong calling him Alucard. You know, because I've read all the family diaries mom had. I just think of Adrian Tepes as 'Alucard' in my head, not Vlad. So he said I could call him some kind of form of grandpa to keep it straight since I already did once before. Gramps as kind of stuck as the usual for him now." Xander explained, his face going red in embarrassment.

"I sure he loved that." Integra commented archly.

Xander laughed nervously in reply as he said, "Yeah, he said something about a Hellsing being born with his sense of humor, and how much you'd love it, or something."

"I'm certain he did." Integra responded as she held in the urge to roll her eyes.

After a pause to take another sip of her tea, she asked, "So, how did you convince the fools here to let you in to visit your poor jailbird of a cousin?"

Xander finally started to relax at the memories that question evoked as he replied, "Oh, I just politely told them who I was, who I wanted to see, and that I'd release the Control Arts fully and let Gramps deal with them if they didn't let me in. It took like six repetitions for the staff guy at the gate to relay it to someone smart enough to wet himself at that thought. After that, they were much more polite."

Integra's grin was as feral as her cousin's as she said, "I would love to see the looks on the faces of those pompous old men of the Round Table when that gets back to them."

Xander chuckled darkly as he added, "Yeah. Gramps gives them a week, tops, before they either let you out, or the Queen intercedes directly now. They know enough to know that I'm the only Belmont around to protect them from him, I have no loyalty to any Round Table member but you, and that there's a reason people who know vamps still fear the No Life King."

"Quite. Although I can't say I totally agree with your threat. They might go to the Iscariot for protection, now. And this will have repercussions for you among groups like the Watcher's Council and the Iscariot." Integra warned sternly.

"I knew it was dangerous before I shot my mouth off. If it gets them to let you out of this political prisoner crap, it's worth it. After all, a Belmont with blood tied loyalty to Dracula shouldn't be running the Hellsing group. Richard took off because he realized who mom was related to. His heir wouldn't stand up to your claim in equal standing even if he had succeeded in his coup because I was tainted." Xander replied with a disinterested shrug.

"You figured that part out, did you?" Integra asked mildly.

"That he got mom pregnant so he could have a more desirable heir to out your dad by having one with ties to the famous Belmonts? Yeah. Then he dropped her like yesterday's garbage when he realized she was descended from Adrian, even if that is considered the stronger line. Richard Hellsing was scum. I'm not crying over his loss, or not having him around to twist me. I got enough of that on the Hellmouth without his help." Xander answered evenly.

"For what it's worth, as head of the Hellsing family, I apologize for his actions toward you and your mother." Integra said formally.

"Not of the big." Xander assured her. "I mean, hey, you're family. Besides if anyone should apologize for that idiot, it's me. Gramps gave me the full recount of what he tried to pull eleven years ago. He got what he deserved, and I'm sure it's warm where he's rotting. I'm more interested in getting to meet my new relatives that don't think I'm too common to associate with them."

"We'll just call it even, then, and say Richard was a louse worthy of being forgotten." Integra responded with a small smile. Xander was already growing on her, despite his atrocious butchering of the English language. He had a personality that drew people to him with an air of good cheer. Rather like Seras Victoria did, as a matter of fact. She could see how they had hit it off so well. One of his last comments did bear comment, however. "The Belmonts think you're too common to treat well?" she asked in as close as she got to incredulous surprise.

"Yeah. Funny, huh? Mom was originally sealed, then tossed after they grew five seconds worth of pity and let her out, because she was too different. Now the new generations, who don't even believe in vampires and demons, avoid me because I'm too blue collar and common for them. I guess god does have sense of humor after all. Well, I knew he did. I mean, look at the platypus." Xander responded.

"Dogma." Integra replied automatically.

Xander raised his right brow in pleased shock as he stared at his cousin after her outburst.

"Well, it may have been a blasphemous film in general, but anything that chews into the Catholics like that couldn't be all bad. I recall Alucard laughing so hard he neared tears at the executions in the Mooby corporate boardroom scene." she defended mildly, with a tiny grin on her lips.

"My dear cousin, there is more to you than meets the eye." Xander said with a sly smile.

"And you as well. Which brings up the point of your school marks and how Walter can help you bring them up to snuff..." Integra replied with a shark's grin of her own.

"Uhrn." Was Xander's only reply to that little segue.


As Xander and Integra got down to business about his education, well Integra got down to business (Xander just whimpered allot); a secret emergency meeting was taking place in England.

"This is intolerable! He's threatening to release the Vampire totally. We should have him eliminated! This bastard child of Hellsing is tainted loose cannon with no loyalty whatsoever to Queen or country!" one of the Knights of the Round Table shouted.

This brought a round a grumbles of agreement for a time before another spoke. "Are you daft? We kill him and we're all dead!"

another shouted.

"What foolishness are you spouting, Sir Reginald?" the first knight shouted back derisively. "He's just some foolish American boy. He's no threat to us. After all the vampire will remain leashed as long as we leave that stuck up little bint alive in her cell where she belongs."

Sir Reginald held in his own irritation with a visible effort as he countered, "Have you forgotten your history so easily, Sir Curray? The betrayal and execution of a family member created the No Life King. What do you think a similar act would do when he's already angry with us for leaving Sir Integra locked away? For God's sake man, there are office pools among those with high enough clearance about when she'll accept being turned. Not if, when. Do you really think that she'd stand with us after we murder the last blood relative she has? She'll be mideon before his blood grown cold, and the pair of them would decimate us in seconds. And then there's the fact that Ripper Giles sees the lad as a son. If by some miracle Integra stayed loyal and kept the vampire subdued for a time, are you ready to have him come after us? Or worse yet, all of them together, which is the most likely scenario? The whole Table's life span would consist of how long they torture us before they decide it's no longer fun to watch us scream!"

"Then just what would you suggest, Sir Reginald?" asked a much grayer and more subdued Sir Curray.

"We bring the full matter to her Majesty's attention, say our final investigations are complete, and let Sir Integra go." Reginald suggested coolly.

"Let her go? Her pet vampire's actions..." Curray began.

"...Stopped a vampire that would have released a major demon sacrificing Sir Hellsing. A demon that would have wiped out all of London, and possible most of Europe, I might add. Which would have allowed the Millennium group to raise their thousand year Reich in the ashes of the continent and conquer the Earth." Reginald interrupted. After a pause to let that sink in, he continued, "Of course, that ignore the fact that she is best suited to her job, is totally loyal to the crown, and that she currently keeps a tighter reign on agent Alucard than any Hellsing since Abraham himself. Quite frankly, we are safer with her at the head of her house."

"And what of the Belmont whelp?" another knight asked.

"What of him? All he did was use heavy-handed tactics to gain what was already his right in visiting Sir Hellsing. If the proper head of Hellsing is restored, he is a bit player at best. One most likely to return to the Colonies to face his own problems there. Let him bark, so long as we still have the means to hold the No Life King's leash." Sir Reginald counseled.

"Let's put it to a vote then." Sir Curray suggested. "All in favor of taking executive action with Richard Hellsing's son? All opposed?" After taking the counts, he announced, "Executive action is denied. Now, all in favor of releasing Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing...?"


From his chambers in the Hellsing manor, Alucard sneered in anger. Nobody it the 'secret' meeting location noticed the small black and red cockroach in the shadows of the room with a pattern that looked suspiciously like a red pupilled eye on its back. "Hold my leash indeed. I look forward to holding your rotting traitorous hearts one day." he commented darkly.

Already, he was planning to arrange an 'accident' for Sir Curray. After all, just because he was sealed from taking personal action in such a matter without Integra's approval, it didn't mean he couldn't involve some outside 'contractors'. "I'd prefer to have your foul mouthed head on my desk after tearing it off personally and impaling your still living torso on a pike, but I'll settle for making certain you never live to gain the support to threaten Integra or Xander. Enjoy your next days, Curray. They will be your last," the vampire said with his typical manic grin, as his chilling laughter echoed throughout the house.

Chapter 12

The next day after Xander's meeting with Sir Integra, a call came to the house from Her Majesty's Royal Adjutant, Sir Reginald, that Integra would be released the following day. This brought morale among the few living troops still at the manor to a high unseen since before Seras was turned, which in turn enticed them to take Xander off that morning for a training day as a way to thank him. Most people would think this 'training' at the hands of several SAS trained demon hunters would involve drinking and debauchery on an epic scale. Most people do not work under a strict task master like Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing, commonly known as the Iron Maiden, or simply 'The Boss' by her men.

Xander tumbled back to the main manor house that afternoon covered in sweat, grime, and cordite after a stimulating day of sniper drills, urban assault training, and instruction in several forms of hand to hand combat considered illegal and immoral in civilized nations. He really couldn't be happier with his morning; after all, it got him out of the math assignments Alucard, of all people, had written up for him.

The White Knight's good cheer faltered slightly as he met Seras at the foyer, and saw her expression. "What's up, Vicky? You look like someone told you that you have cancer of the puppy." he asked in concern for his sorta-girlfriend.

The vampiress just sighed heavily, doing things to her ample chest that made Xander's heart rate increase, as she sadly answered, "We have lessons in Latin and Greek with Master in the library as soon as you've washed up, love."

"Ouch. I thought he was taking some R&R to terrorize some folks today. I mean it was Walter who was going to try to bore me to sleep with math before I got miraculously accepted by the troops for scaring the Queen's Royal Watcher's Council wannabes into springing my most excellent cousin." he replied, going into a Keanu Reeves impersonation from the word 'most'.

"He said something about not wanting to slack off in his duties as a parent and grandparent, and that I could use some education as well. He looked far too entertained for my liking." Seras responded wearily. Her face perked up into an impish grin as she added, "And you better get those jokes about Sir Integra being the Iron Maiden out of your system now. She hates it when she hears them call her that. Even obscure movie references like Bill & Ted might make her upset."

"Bogus." Xander quipped in his best Bill S. Preston voice. "Well, if he's happy about this, it can not be of the good, but we have no escape. I'll hit the showers and be back in 10. If it helps, I've picked up a little Latin and Greek from my years of staring at G-man's most boring of books, so I can try to help you with the uh...small words, anyway." he offered after getting his intended giggle from the Police Girl.

Seras' returning grin was bright and was as she replied "I'd appreciate it." before stepping up to him and giving him a peck on the lips. "Now you smell frightful, so off to the showers with you." she playfully ordered.

"Well, if you insist. I'd offer for you to join me, but I doubt my granpappy formerly known as the Unholy Prince would want to wait that long. See you in a few." he countered in an equally playful tone before kissing her quickly and running off to the shower.

"Silly git." Seras whispered fondly to herself as she nearly skipped off toward the library.

From where they had been quietly observing from an antechamber, Walter and Alucard both shared a grin at the childish antics of the two young Hellsing operatives.

"Young love, eh old friend?" Walter asked mildly from where he stood. He had been allowed out of his wheelchair as of yesterday, although he was still weak and recovering from his injuries.

"Young love indeed, Angel of Death. If they get anymore saccharine, they will give me cavities and you diabetes for being in the same room with them..." the vampire replied with a sarcastic roll of his eyes as he apperated to the library ahead of Seras.

Walter's soft grin only grew as he finished Alucard's thought with, "And you wouldn't want it any other way."


Three hours of dead languages, and 'accidental' brushes against each other that Alucard was surprisingly polite enough to ignore, later Xander and Seras found themselves with a surprising thing on their time.

Alucard had left the house after a meal shared with the two youths, one where Xander insisted on no soup or 'punch' for himself. The No Life King seemed to take a perverse pleasure in trying to convince Xander to drink blood with he and the Police Girl, since it was shown that Xander lacked the natural nausea reaction that ingested blood created for most people. Xander just tried to avoid the subject altogether so that he didn't hurt Seras' feelings due to her own reticence to feed.

Regardless, once supper was finished, Alucard had left, citing that he had things to handle in town, and that they should enjoy their last bit of freedom before his Master's return to the head of the household. Both Xander and Seras shuddered as they though of just what might catch Alucard's attention so wholly that he would practically fly out of the house at the nearest opportunity. In fact, it wouldn't surprise them if he had done so by way of transforming into a swarm of bats once he was outside.

"Well, what do you want to do with our little slice of freedom, Vicky?" Xander asked. Right now, they were killing time by honing their sidearm skills at the firing range. Well, Xander was honing his skills. Seras' vision, muscle control, reflexes, and other preternatural gifts made this more of an exercise to see of she could ever match Sir Integra's ability to put a spread so close in the target that it appeared as if only one round was fired even after three clips were spent.

*I could go for a good night of snogging, followed with that shower you offered earlier* a wicked little imp in the back of her mind suggested, even as she shrugged and replied, "I don't know. I haven't had much free time since the first weeks after Master turned me. I'm a little out of practice on the concept."

The few other troops in there just rolled their eyes at the pair and kept their mouths shut. Two nights before, when Seras and Xander had come there to unwind after a fruitless patrol for FREAKS a younger soldier, one who had harassed Seras before, had made gagging noises and a few highly ungentlemanly comments about how Xander should find a warm piece of arse instead of boffing a corpse. That trooper, a man who had all kinds of hell first hand in combat long before he had begun his stint with Hellsing, was still in the infirmary. That night Xander had proved that he could be as fearsome as his cousin when angered; and that like his cousin the subject of vampires he spends his time with was way off limits.

"Want to head into town for a bit?" Xander asked casually over the fire spewing from his new Colt. 45 caliber pistol. Walter had given it to him the day before, saying something about Alucard wanting him to work his way up to real guns.

"We didn't have much luck on patrol the last two nights, but I guess that sounds good." Seras replied, a bit frustrated as her fourth round was off by half a round's width and enlarged the hole in the target.

"Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a date." Xander responded sheepishly, even as the troops began to look elsewhere and pack up quickly. They knew they wouldn't be able to keep quiet at this pace, and lying in bed, moaning, and covered with ice and bandages there was not their idea of fun.

Seras blushed prettily as she replied, "Oh. I guess I have been to long without free time. That sounds wonderful."

Xander's grin lit up the now vacated firing range as he finished his set, and moved to disassemble and clean the pistol with Seras doing the same right beside him.


"You understand the terms of what is to be done?" Alucard asked in low, dangerous tones.

"Sure 'nuff. We put a bullet in the old codger's 'ead, an' leave 'im over in this flat in Whitechapel wif the coke an the cash to make it look like 'e was there to surrport 'is habit an' got capped." a cockney accented man in scruffy clothes responded. "But you know mate, that someone this high up, it ain't gonna even hit the rags. They'll bury it the same way they've buried 'is 'abit for years." the man warned.

Alucard grinned madly, making the man take step back in fear, as he responded, "That doesn't matter. All that matters is that it's done, you do it right, and that you never saw anyone that looked like me before. You get the other half after you've finished. Don't fail me."

"'ey now! My family's been doin' jobs for you when you wanted daytime stuff 'andled away from you for generations. We know 'ow to take out the trash when we need to." argued the man, who was clearly of gypsy descent despite his thick British accent.

"I know. That is why I called you." Alucard replied as he faded from view.

He rematerialised on the roof of the opposite building and watched in satisfaction as the man scurried off to his task.

"I see you still use your reserves when needed." a cultured voice with a slight Romanian accent said from behind him. The disapproval in the voice was clear the speaker's tone.

"Good to see you have the decency to answer your poor father's calls when it suits you, Adrian." the No Life King replied sardonically as he turned to face his white trussed son.

"I go by Alucard these days, father." Adrian responded coldly.

"Me too." the red clad vampire said with an impish grin.

"So I've heard." Adrian replied uneasily. "So who were you executing today? You rarely go to your human freelancers, even under that appalling mystic leash."

Vlad's red eyes grew hard as he replied, "Someone who was plotting to have Alexander assassinated."

Adrian's visage softened considerably as asked, "Oh. I see. Then why aren't you finishing him personally?"

The vampire's countenance was grim as he responded, "The target is a member of the Round Table. As such my Master would disapprove of my eviscerating him personally for political reasons, even if she did agree with having him killed. This just disassociates her from any conflicts of loyalty. For all anyone will know, he will have been killed chasing his own addiction to cocaine."

"Tough, but fair. You almost sound like the man I remember." Adrian commented softly. "Although I must admit that seeing you call a woman 'Master' brings up disturbing imagery."

Alucard's smirk returned full force as he replied, "And to think people believe you have mo sense of humor." At his son's understated snort of derision, he asked, "What brings you here? You would not have answered my inquiries without just cause. You hate to see me in servitude."

"I hate seeing you play at it you mean. You don't really think me fool enough to believe those spells could restrain you." the dhampir replied evenly.

The No Life King shrugged unapologetically as he replied, "They do bind me a bit. Concessions had to be made to earn Abraham's trust. After all, it was the only way I could thin out the growing weeds in the vampiric ranks that my tirades allowed to grow, without starting a civil war among us."

"It's still sick." Adrian replied coolly. "And it doesn't address just how you met Abraham van Helsing. Your actions were a lesson in foolish debauchery." he scolded.

Alucard looked annoyed as he responded, "Do not lecture me on matters you were not here to witness, child. They were already killing the girl Lucy with untyped blood transfusions, which were popular treatments for ridiculous things at the time I might add, before I fed from her. She never harmed anyone in her unlife, and wanted to be a nursemaid for children, of all things, before she was staked."

"And what about Mina Murray? Or should I say Harker? Really father, even you should be above hounding a woman engaged to be married." Adrian said reproachfully.

"The best thing I could have done for Mina was to kill Harker when he first neared Castlevania. More is the pity I did not. She did, after all, become much more than a music teacher and trophy for that simpering fool with her League after he left did she not? Her life as a true vampire was far better than letting him grind her under foot until her spirit broke. Of course, he couldn't handle her intelligence and power, much less her excellence as a chemist, now could he? I hope he's rotting in hell beside whatever piece of fluff he wed after abandoning her when she showed she had an actual brain." Alucard spat back at the refined half vampire.

Adrian simply nodded, knowing that his father believed what he was saying. In all fairness, it was probably true, not that Mina would ever thank Dracula, or acknowledge what he had done as a good thing, in a thousand lifetimes. "To answer your question...I'm tracking Lilith. This seems to be where she'll head now that she's healed. She always did run to you after she had a setback." the longtime Belmont ally said.

"I was the one to destroy her support base, Adrian. She won't run to me. Not now. Not unless my Master's concerns were right and she's going after Alex." Alucard replied with mild trepidation.

"He's here?" Adrian asked in surprise.

"He finally left Boca del Infierno a few months ago. As you know he is also Hellsing, so Integra was willing to agree to my suggestion to bring him here for training. It was a good thing too, the night our agent found him, he was attacked by ghouls. The next night he was attacked by ghouls, and Elizabeth." the vampire relayed to his son.

"This is troublesome, father." Adrian responded somberly.

"I know." Alucard agreed. "That is why I'm giving him some of the more powerful relics I have from you and Trevor once he's ready for them."

"A wise precaution." Adrian commented. "Wait. You have some of my relics?" he asked after a pause.

"Of course. You do still tend to leave your toys wherever you let them fall. Many's the time I would have to crawl out of my casket, fresh from a battle with the most recent Belmont, to go over your discarded equipment that was littered throughout Castlevania. Just like when you were a toddler. One would think after all these centuries you'd have learned to pick up after yourself." Alucard scolded playfully.

"You sound like Sonja." Adrian countered with a small smile.

"No need to get insulting. Comparing me to a Belmont. Really. I thought I raised you to have better manners than that." Alucard shot back with a falsely wounded tone of voice.

"No, that was mother. You taught me to turn into a wolf, and then let me 'wander' near the lake when Rosa was bathing there. If I recall, you left me to fend for myself as I reverted to my natural form from shock and laughed as she slapped me silly." the dhampir replied with a smile, as Alucard broke out into chuckle.

"I thought you would pass out from blood loss at your blush when she tried to give you the 'talk' after that." the vampire recalled.

"So did I, but I wasn't laughing about it the way you were." his son accused.

They let a silence that was nostalgically comfortable settle after that, before Adrian broke it and asked, "What do you intend to do if Lilith comes?"

"I'll protect my Master and my Descendant as best as I can. If I must, I'll seal her away again in a more permanent state." the vampire answered.

Adrian merely nodded. He knew better than anyone just what that admission truly entailed. After another silence he said, "I won't go to that house you were locked away in. The thought of it sickens me. But, do you suppose I could meet my great grandson?"

Alucard's grin was gentle in a way nobody but Integra and those with the last name Tepes had seen as he replied, "I think he would like it. I'll arrange something. Just keep in range of my mind." The vampire's expression grew sly as he asked, "Would you like to see him now? He's out of the manor."

"I'd love to speak to the boy. I need to see how badly you're corrupting him, if nothing else." Adrian answered with an expectant smile of anticipation.

"Oh, no. That won't be for a few days. He's on a date with my newest fledgling, and I don't want to disturb them. I just wondered if you want to help you're poor lonely father, who hasn't seen his son in over 150 years, to make sure nobody else disturbs their evening?" Alucard offered.

"He's _dating_ your fledgling? I see he's too far gone already, then." Adrian quipped mildly. "But I would like to see him." he admitted a beat later.

"Than follow me, if you remember how to." Alucard responded with a half grin, as he transformed into a flock of bats and took off into the sky.

Adrian let a chuckle loose as childhood memories of training with his father in Transylvania came to him, before he exploded into a similar swarm of bats and took off after the No Life King.

Chapter 13

The scene that met the two vampire hunters known as Alucard was one neither would forget. Xander and Seras Victoria were sharing coffee and biscuits at a local late hours cafe', trading stories of their pre vampire lives and just basking in each other's presence.

*Wonderful, they're at is again. One would think with all the pheromones, auric imprints, and general pressure around them they would just bed each other and get it over with. If I end up with the tail end of one of the Police Girl's frustration born dreams in my head again I swear I'll lock them both in her coffin together until they get past this stage!* Vlad sneered in his head as he watched his great-great grandson and fledgling making googly eyes at each other for half an hour as he melded into the shadows.

Adrian had a slightly different take on the affair. *She's an innocent. Moreso than even Alexander. How did she keep such purity in her spirit in the face of being your childe?* he asked his father telepathically.

*Her will is remarkable. Only Integra has shown greater strength from within since my arrangement with Abraham was forged. That is why she is the only one I have turned. Once she fully accepts her new self she will be even more glorious.* the No Life King explained with no small amount of pride in his mental voice.

*Xander seems to think she's perfect as is.* the dhampir no life prince responded with a mental chuckle. *Although your mention of your Master even now raises questions father.* Adrian added in a colder tone.

*Do not lecture me on such things, Adrian. Your exploits with the dhampiress Rayne in the fifties were hardly secret. Were you betraying your precious Sonja by spending time with her? Or with Maria Reinard?* Vlad countered in a tone only a father can use with a disobedient son. It was a tone that said 'I'm right, you know it, so drop this before I make you look more foolish.'

*I didn't try to destroy the human race in my grief at Sonja's death either, father. I made peace with things. You are too passionate for your own good.* Adrian replied.

*Sonja also died naturally in bed as an old woman, with you and Trevor at her side. Lisa was STOLEN by traitorous FILTH! I will always love your mother, boy. What is between Integra and I isn't like that. It is...Integra and I. Now let this pass.* the vampire retorted in even tones.

Their mental argument was cut short as a sensation assaulted their senses from outside. *What is...?* Adrian began to inquire.

*FREAKS. A few blocks away. Most likely random with how few I feel. Let's eliminate them before the children feel them.* lad replied as he removed his consciousness from the shadows and resolidified outside and less than a block away from the FREAKS.

Adrian rematerialized right beside him a moment later as he asked, "Xander can sense them, too?"

"Hmm?" Alucard inquired curiously as he took out his Casul and Jackal.

"You said before the kids sense them. That implies that Xander can sense them as well as the girl." Adrian clarified as he unsheathed his family sword his mother had given him.

"Still going for dramatics, I see." the No Life King observed with a derisive snort. "And no, he can't sense them, yet. And the Police Girl has trouble picking up FREAKS. Their imprint is so muddled to begin with it throws her off."

"I prefer stealth to loud noises and screams." Adrian defended as he gripped his sword a little tighter.

"Good point." Alucard observed as he put away his pistols and stalked toward the first freak. A simple thrust put his right hand through the abomination's chest, making it crumble to dust.

"And you scold me for theatrics." Adrian complained as he moved silently toward the next FREAK and decapitated it.

"I'm your father. I have a right to show off." Alucard said with a mad grin as he observed the three dozen ghouls inside the nightclub the FREAKS had stumbled out of. Fortunately, it was early and there had been few patrons there yet to be infected. Alucard's grin grew wider as he began to shrink and transmutate into his hellhound form, before he bounded off into the club and began to tear ghouls apart.

"A hundred years in captivity and now he's in his second childhood. I think I was more comfortable when he was simply the ultimate evil." the dhampir commented to himself as he summoned his wolf familiar to aid his father in trash disposal, before he started to fire off fireballs with a spell to eliminate more ghouls.

From the shadows of a nearby building another figure watched as the Vlad and Adrian Tepes dealt with the ghouls, and with the third and final FREAK that was hiding in the office of the club. All that could be seen of the figure was flowing black hair, and a white glove clutching a purple children's alarm clock.


Seras and Xander were laughing uproariously together as they stumbled back into the Hellsing manor at around 2:30 that morning. They had gone from coffee, to dancing and drinks at a nightclub, where Xander got her to dance freely for the first time since Seras had been a small child. After the club they took a stroll beside the Thames before calling it a night and heading home.

Soon they had made it to the door to Seras' room, and Xander was ready to dutifully drop her off. "Well, here we are." he said with a warm grin. They had avoided alcohol in their drinks for the sake of both Seras' driving, and Xander's reservations of becoming like Tony and Jessica, but they were so high on each others' presence that you couldn't tell.

"So we are. I had a wonderful time tonight, Xander. This was the most fun I've had in as long as I can remember." Seras replied with a bell like laugh and a hug.

"Well, if it gets me more huggage, then I aim to please." Xander responded confidently as he gave her a wink.

Seras giggle like a schoolgirl at his antics. After a pause to catch her unneeded breath, she chewed her lower lip in contemplation of a thought that had been running through her head for these few weeks she had known Xander. "You aim to please, eh?" she asked impishly.

"Ayup." Xander responded with an exaggerated wiggle of his eyebrows.

Any further comment the White Knight could offer was cut short as Seras lunged in for a deep kiss.

Once she pulled away a bit to let him breathe Xander, now a little breathless, had to ask, "Um, not that I'm complaining Vicky, but what?"

"Shhh. I've been wantin' this for weeks now." she whispered as she went in for another kiss. Soon they were lost in the romantic haze that had engulfed them during their first kiss back in the States. After a bit of the aggressive snogging the vampiress had fantasized about for some time now took place, she opened her door, still locked in an embrace with Xander. "I know it's not a utility closet love, but care to come in?" she asked, her voice a mixture of husky and worried that frankly drove her partner wild.

Xander tried with all his might to refuse her offer. He tried to do what he felt was the right thing after the mess his libido had made of things with Cordy, then Willow, then Faith. Really he did. Then Seras started doing that way too cute thing where she chewed on her bottom lip when she was nervous again. *Ah hell, I'm not made of stone.* he whimpered in his head as he answered her with another deep kiss.


That night a vampire's screams and cries filled the manor in a way that had nothing to do with torture or horrific slaughter.

And Alucard finally got some rest without dealing with his fledgling's issues popping up past his barriers.


"That's odd." Walter said as he looked at Xander's empty and perfectly made bed the next morning. "I know Xander wanted to wake up in time to be ready for Sir Integra's arrival." the retainer said to himself.

"Yes, well, he still needs his rest." Alucard responded smugly from the shadows.

"Then I would expect he would be here asleep, Lord Alucard. Do you happen to know where the lad is?" Walter asked politely.

"Of course I do." Alucard responded in a tone that clearly stated he had no intention of telling Walter anything.

The older British man stifled a sigh at the vampire's behavior. He was in a disturbingly good mood today. Of course, he had reported encountering his estranged son and hunting a few FREAKS together with his last night. Carnage and family time together were sure ways to brighten the No Life King's day. Add to that Sir Integra's release soon and one could not help but see why Alucard's sprits would be unprescendentedly high.

His ruminations were cut short as Alucard said, "The child is fine, Angel of Death, and in good spirits. But if you are concerned, why not ask the Police Girl. Seras has a knack for knowing his whereabouts, after all." the vampire suggested with a grin, as he melted into the wall and out of the room.

"That seems very sensible. Somehow I know that can't be a good thing coming from a too giddy for his own good vampire." Walter responded to the air, as he made his way slowly toward the subterranean level of the manor where Seras and Alucard's rooms resided.

Walter knocked twice without an answer, before he opened the door and peeked inside. He shook his head in consternation at the sight. The top of her full sized, four-poster coffin bed was down, indicating she was still dead to the world asleep, and her clothes were strewn everywhere.

If Walter had made a closer inspection of those discarded clothes on the floor, he night have noticed that here were too many of them, and that a man's undershirt was among them. Of course the fact that more obvious things like pants and a dress shirt had been hurled clean out of sight into the loo didn't help his assessment of the situation.

Walter let out a sigh as he prepared for the usual ritual that come with awakening Seras early for something as he hit the pad control to raise the canopy of the coffin and rouse the young vampire. What he saw was not what he expected to see by any stretch of the imagination, but it did answer all his questions at once.

Xander and Seras were both asleep, totally nude beneath the sheets, with wide grind adorning their slumbering visages.

Most people would have made an exclamation like 'Oh My!', of 'My Word', or even 'Bloody Hell' at such a sight, but Walter was made of sterner stuff. He simply smiled in a fatherly sort of way, hit the button to close the coffin back up, and left the room. At the door, he paused to whisper, "Pleasant Dreams." over his shoulder before exiting completely and closing the door behind him.

"Are you inquiries settled now Angel of Death?" Alucard inquired as he stepped out of the shadows of the basement hallway.

"I would have thought you above so childish of pranks as to set me up to see that, old boy." Walter replied as he adjusted his monocle.

"You know better than to try to predict me, old friend." Alucard replied with his typical mad grin.

"I suppose I do at that." Walter agreed with a small smirk of his own. "But it does raise the question of what to do if they are still asleep when Sir Integra arrives? She will want to see her cousin after the driver brings her back."

Alucard laughed heartily as he replied, "That is simple, Walter. We tell her what I told you. Ask the Police Girl."

"Are you really willing to risk her wrath for something so juvenile as having her catch her cousin and Miss Victoria in a compromising position?" Walter asked even though he knew the answer.

"Little Integra has to learn about the birds and the bees from somewhere eventually, Angel of Death." the vampire replied with a wide grin.

"Your funeral, I suppose." Walter responded with an indifferent shrug.

"Was centuries ago in Transylvania." Alucard joked whimsically as he faded from sight again.

"I don't know whether to warn Integra, warn Xander and Seras, or sit back and watch her shoot you in your jollies from a safe distance." Walter said to the empty space where the vampire had stood moments before. "Ah well. It will sort itself out eventually, I suppose." he added philosophically as he made his way upstairs to tend to any last minute details before Sir Hellsing's return.

Chapter 14

It was a truly unique combination of sensory stimuli that woke Xander Harris and Seras Victoria at one thirty in the afternoon on the day of Sir Integra's return to the Hellsing estates. For the first time, both woke to the pleasant sensation of being in a lover's arms, as Seras had never before known a man's touch, and Xander had been expelled by the emotionally unstable Slayer Faith after the loss of his virginity. In fact the scents of their coupling was another soothing facet of their joint awakening.

Unfortunately, the sights and sounds that met them, one wholly unfamiliar to anyone, another all too common, were not nearly as pleasant a way to start the day.

A red faced Integra, who sported a blush so deep her troops would never believe someone of her cool temperament (even in the face of yelling at the top of her lungs as she scolded her annoying vampire weapon) was capable of reaching such a shade of vermilion stood at the side of Seras' open coffin-bed, in total shock. Of course her troops often thought she had ice water in her veins, so a blush should make her turn blue, in their opinion. That was the uncommon sight.

The sound that ultimately woke them to it, however, was one that was heard more than once in the manor. "ALUCARD!!!"

Xander and Seras could only look at each other in silent bewilderment as a still scarlet Integra stormed out of the room in search of the vampire in question. They both flinched at the sound of each of the following six gunshots down the hall as they hastily dressed before their cousin and boss, respectively, returned.

Twenty minutes later the youths, who were still in Seras' room for fear of further upsetting Integra by leaving without permission, were finally summoned to meet her in the tearoom. As the pair made their way as quietly as possible to the meeting Xander's mind wandered from elation at memories of last night, to fear of Integra's opinion, to gratitude that Walter had thought to leave a change of fresh clothes for him in Vicky's room, to fear of Integra, to pleasant memories again, and so on and so forth.

Seras just fluctuated between fearing Sir Integra would order her away from Xander, and a fit of pique at her Master for setting them up, as she was certain he had done.

When they reached the closed door of the tearoom, Xander took a deep calming breath, as Seras gently squeezed his right hand, which she had not released for a second since they left her room, to comfort him. He smiled at the vampiress for a second before he finally knocked tentatively.

"Enter." Integra's coldly formal tones commanded from inside the room.

"Once more into the breach." Xander muttered nervously under his breath as he opened the door.


As this took place, Adrian Farenheights Tepes was searching for leads on the mideon now known as Rip van Winkle. He was currently in a sleepy little village inn a few dozen kilometers north of Stratford-upon-Avon, sitting at a small table in the tiny bar/pub area listening carefully to the conversations of the locals around him as he sipped a pint of lager and ate a helping of blood pudding. His most recent leads had someone that was close to Lilith's description sighted here often, and he had to check it out.

He was totally unprepared when a children's clock appeared on the bar next to him happily ticking away, though.

"Bunã! Drãcuºor frate. [Hello. Little devil brother]" Rip van Winkle spat in Romanian, as she sat down across from Adrian. She was dressed in her typical androgynous black suit, one designed to hide the few feminine curves she possessed, but had forgone the silver swastika medallion she wore as part of the Millennium Group.

"Bunã sorã. [Hello sister.]" he responded in kind, before switching to English. "I surprised you didn't speak in German."

"Sometimes it's good to return to your roots, betrayer." the vampiress hissed at him, her voice laced with contempt.

"I'm surprised you came to meet me." Adrian said in even tones as he sipped his lager. "And I betrayed no one. I'm as much human as I am vampire. You always forget that." he added.

"I forget nothing. I do not forget how he dotes on you. Or how he accepts your defiance with open arms and forgiveness as he scorns me and locks me away. How he licks your boots as easily as he fires bullets into Me." she sneered evilly.

Adrian knew he had to keep his tone even and his actions mild to prevent Lilith from exploding. She was wound tighter than normal, and if he slipped, the people in the bar would die in the ensuing battle. "If he had truly abandoned you, he'd have killed you then." the dhampir responded mildly.

"I know." Rip agreed, her mad blood red eyes scanning the room continuously like a hawk.

"If you were to temper yourself, he would accept you with open arms." Adrian offered in a carefully even voice.

"Your council on father's moods and actions are nothing to Me." the vampiress spat as she glared at her younger brother.

Adrian let a fair amount of time elapse so that her ire would settle before he said anything else. "Are you responsible for it?" he finally asked.

Lilith ignored him as she watched the various people in the room.

"I know you hate me, sister, but you were always honest with me. Are you the one who resurrected the Blood Countess and set her after father's fledgling?" the forgotten prince asked.

"Or my great grand nephew? That is what you really care for, halfling. You never cared for any of father's minions, except perhaps Rosa." Rip van Winkle added with pure contempt. "Do not assume I lack knowledge of what happens simply because I found a cause after my freedom was regained."

"That does not answer my question." Adrian pressed.

"You know the answer. You just have to believe it." the vampire responded in icy tones. "You should be more concerned with your own life, though. I will kill you, dear brother."

"No, you won't, sister. But I will stop you, whatever you plan." Adrian replied with regret in his voice.

"We shall see, frate." Rip van Winkle replied with a mad smirk as she picked up her clock, then faded from sight.

Adrian looked around him to see if anyone in the room had noticed her departure. It appeared no one there noticed. Still he stayed for an hour, just to be certain the confrontation had truly ended in tense conversation, and not an army of encroaching FREAKS.


"First, I must offer my apologies for my interruption. I had asked Alucard where to find my cousin, and he suggested I ask you, Officer Victoria." Integra began as she eyed the pair from their seats in front of her. Xander and Seras were watching her every move as if they were mice, and she was a hungry death adder. "And I must say that I have no problem with the two of you having...a relationship. You are both consenting adults, and what you do in your free time is your own concern. So long as it does not interfere in your work or studies." the commander of the Royal Protestant Knights added stiffly.

"i...I u-understand, Sir Integra, Sir." Seras replied with a nuclear level blush as she stared at her feet.

"Yeah. Sorry, cousin Integra. We us, didn't mean to freak you out or anything..." Xander added, but trailed off at the unending raised eyebrow from the platinum blonde. "...and I'll just shut up and stare at me feel now." he finished mildly.

Integra took the high road in the whole affair and ignored the ridiculously embarrassed and cowed youths before her as she said, "Walter has informed me that there is a training exercise in the urban assault field in twenty minutes that you are both scheduled to attend. After that, I would appreciate a chance to get to know you better personally at afternoon tea, Xander. You, however Officer Victoria, have a Latin lesson with Alucard to help you catch up to Xander's level in the language."

Seras stood automatically and saluted at the commands. "Yes sir, Sir Integra, sir." she replied sharply at attention.

Xander, with phantom soldier memories and reflexes showing themselves once again, mimicked the salute, but remained silent, unsure how to address his cousin.

Integra nodded at the pair in approval as she responded, "Dismissed."

Xander and Seras needed no further encouragement as they exited as quickly as they could without running for their very lives.

Once they were gone, Integra made her way to her office, and had time to see her cousin and the young vampiress run to the cityscape mock-up from her large bay windows as she lit up a cigarillo. The door opened up behind her a beat later. "You could have warned me." she accused in a monotone, recognizing the sound of the steps easily.

"My apologies, Sir Integra. I felt that if Lord Alucard were foolhardy to attempt something like that, it was better to get it out of his system rather than give him time and opportunity to think of a more...appropriate welcome home gift for you." Walter replied as he poured her a cup of tea.

"I take it you have no problems with Seras and Alexander being together, then?" she asked, never turning away from the window.

"Not really, Sir. They make one another happy, and they make a good team working together. If anything, this will make them fight harder to watch out for one another." Walter counseled.

Integra mulled over her retainer's words in silence for several minutes before she asked, "How well is he truly progressing?"

"Quite well. His martial skills due to both his possession, and the rather quiet training he's done on his own away from the Slayer Summers, put him at a level where he is more prepared than anticipated for full theater action. Lord Alucard anticipates another month or so before he begins his higher level training." Walter reported.

"And his studies?" she asked sardonically.

"He shows high intelligence when given practical applications to force him to apply himself. Subjects he can reasonably connect to improving his hunting skills, such as languages to translate texts and prophecies, or physics to help determine attack vector variables and sniping stratagems are much easier for him to apply himself to. Things like royal history, or poetry, or advanced math nearly put the lad to sleep." the Angel of Death answered.

"I see." was Integra's minimalist response.

"Are there any other matters of major import to discuss?" she asked after a time.

"Just that Lord Alucard is in extremely high spirits due to making contact with prince Adrian last evening. They hunted down and exterminated three FREAK chip vampires and their subsequent ghouls in a nightclub in London. The attack appeared to be a random event that would normally have been handled long before it advanced as far as it did if we were at full strength." Walter recounted.

"Understood. Do you have the lists for potential recruits prepared, yet?" she asked evenly as she turned to face her longtime friend and caretaker.

"I do. But, if I may make a suggestion, Sit Integra? Invite Alexander to go over them with you. He has a keen strategic mind and a vested interest in helping us to rebuild our forces. He may come up with solutions, or see problems in out thinking that we have missed." Walter responded.

"I'll bring it up with him during tea this afternoon." Integra replied with a small nod of approval, before she sat down at her desk and booted up her computer.

"Thank you, Sir Integra. And welcome home." Walter replied with a small bow as the head of the Hellsing family familiarized herself with the backlog of troop field report summaries and expenditures for the period of her incarceration.

Chapter 15

Xander tried to hide his trepidation at meeting Integra that afternoon. After all, all he truly knew of the woman was what he had been told, plus the contents of one conversation while he visited her in the Tower of London a few days ago. He really wasn't sure if this meeting was just her way of hiding the fact that she would try to tear him away from Seras in some fashion without upsetting the young vampiress. Integra didn't seem the type for such subterfuge, and his instincts told him to give her the benefit of the doubt, but he was still leery as he entered the tearoom.

"Ah, cousin, right on time I see." Integra commented from where she perused the reports Seras had filed on her and Xander's encounters in America. Integra looked up from the paper hard copy of the report and gave him a pleasant, if strained smile.

"Yeah." Xander said warily as he took a seat across from the Hellsing leader.

Integra let him sit there and stew for a moment before she sighed a bit in exasperation and commented, "I said it was your business, and I'm leaving it at that. Don't let Alucard's demented need for ways to satiate his boredom create undue tension between us. I would like the chance to get to know my only remaining family without him looking like I'm about to devour him at any moment."

"Ok, gotcha." Xander said with a nod. "It's not like it's the first time Gramps made his fun at my expense, anyway." the White Knight added with a small shrug.

"Oh?" Integra inquired mildly, as she set her papers aside for the time being.

"Yeah, seems he thinks it's a laugh to mix up mine and Vicky's food if we have dinner together...which we really have since the first day I arrived. He'll order gazpacho, or fruit punch, or anything that involves red liquid as a part of my meal; then he'll 'accidentally' switch it with Seras." Xander explained with a roll of his eyes.

"That sounds like his sense of humor, alright." Integra confided with lidded eyes. "Although I'm surprised he would risk making you ill like that. He's usually more...gentle with family historically."

"Yeah well, that's what makes it funny for him. It turns out blood doesn't make me toss my cookies like a normal human. I guess I'm just vamp enough to stomach it." Xander elaborated. "So he tried to convince me to eat 'properly' with him and Seras, and then switches my meal when I try to avoid it. I mean, if it was just the ick factor of drinking blood, I might give in for the sake of not hurting Vicky's feelings. She feels horrible drinking blood as is. But, well, that blood was acquired specifically for Gramps and Seras to feed from. They can't get any nutrition from _anything_ else in the house. I just don't feel like wasting their only viable food for the sake of his weird entertainment value."

Integra raised her brow at that. She had never considered the 'tactical' reasoning of why Xander would refuse. Walter was quite right in implying the young man could introduce fresh perspectives to certain situations. "Have you mentioned that to him in your protests?" she asked evenly.

Xander nodded tiredly as he replied, "He says you have plenty, we can afford it, and that he'd be happy to give me his share because I'm a growing boy, and there are plenty of human threats to Hellsing to feed him if things get tight. Then he went into a story about how when he was first captured they fed him condemned prisoners and complained about how vile their blood tasted from the diseases they picked up in prison, and the drugs they took. I kind of tried to tune him out at that point."

"You are not the first Hellsing to do so." Integra replied with a grin. "Still, I will speak to him about it this evening when he comes to pester me." she promised.

From there the cousins settled into a more pleasant form of chatter as Integra inquired about his studies and training, his experiences on the Hellmouth, and his plans for the future. After a half hour of conversation the tea arrived courtesy of the regular servants, as Walter was still trying to take it easy and mend, and they settled in with their tea and biscuits as they continued to discuss things.

"You know I have it on good authority that Alucard intends for you to train with swords at some point, Xander." Integra commented as she spread some clotted cream on a currant scone.

"Yeah, he's mentioned giving me one of great grandpa Adrian's' old swords once I'm ready to handle it." he replied as he tried to hold in the obvious Spaceballs joke at the tip of his tongue.

"If you like, I could train you in fencing as part of your regimen. I was quite skilled at the use of the blade, mostly due to Alucard's direction, and I could use the practice to get back my top form."

she offered.

Xander gave Integra that half grin that made Seras melt (metaphorically, not like Alucard when he reforms his body) as he responded, "That sounds great."

Anything else he was about to say was cut off as Walter entered with a new set of papers in hand. "Sorry to interrupt, Sir Integra, Master Xander, but I have the reports for possible recruits to bolster our ranks compiled." he said by way of introduction, as he adjusted his monocle with his free hand, and gave Integra the files with the other.

"Not of the big, Wally. Important stuff comes first." Xander cheerfully replied.

"Wally?" Integra asked as she looked up from the papers she was now perusing.

Walter sighed as he responded, "The young master has a tendency to give shortened nicknames to people once he feels comfortable around them. Such as calling Officer Victoria 'Vicky' or myself 'Wally'"

Integra smirked sarcastically as she said, "Why, cousin, I'm hurt. You don't feel comfortable enough with me to make a play on words at my expense?"

Xander shrugged affably as he responded, "It's kind of hard to shorten a name as unique as 'Integra' without coming off with something really insulting. And Grams was pretty insistent that he had the monopoly on making you upset."

"He certainly does." Integra replied with a look that bordered on fondness, not that she'd ever admit it, "But remember I order him around. He does not command you."

*Any yet you should remember to have respect for your elders, child.* Alucard added telepathically in Xander's head with a laugh.

Xander wisely choose to ignore the vampire's intrusion as he nodded in reply to his cousin's counsel, and tried to peek a bit at the files she was handed.

Integra noticed his curiosity and handed him half of the files as she said, "If you don't mind, I'd like your opinion on these candidates. You are a Hellsing, after all, and you have shown quite an aptitude for structuring of strike force during your high school graduation."

Xander took the files with a dumbfounded expression as he replied, "Thanks. But I just did what had to be done in the situation. It was nothing special."

"Ah, but the fact you did do what was needed is what makes it special. You researched your needs, organized and deployed your forces, and set out and executed a timetable that accomplished your goals with minimal losses in a matter of days. That is not something to be taken lightly." Integra countered to his modesty.

Xander just nodded, still a bit unsure of himself, as he looked over the files in his hand. Soon the cousins found a need to move to the larger tables in the library as they sorted through the candidates and explained why they thought each should be recruited or left alone.

One thing about the files bothered Xander, though. "Why do you only have military personnel in the files?" he asked with a furrowed brow.

"What?" Integra asked in return, thinking the answer would be obvious. "They're already trained and combat ready. We just have to get them up to Hellsing standards."

"Yeah but, isn't that the reason so many wash out?" he countered.

"What do you mean?" Integra asked with interest sparking in her eyes.

"Well, I can see having some military personnel. If they can handle fighting demons and stuff, great. Most of the successes, from what the troops told me yesterday, are guys who ran up against demons before they came here and had a reason to fight with everything they had. But these files are all military. It's like you're reducing your recruitment pool for no reason." he tried to explain.

"We tried supplementing our ranks with mercenaries after the Valentine brothers affair. They were more trouble then they were worth with one exception." Integra responded coolly.

Xander shook his head in reply to her answer as he said, "I don't mean mercs. They'll have similar problems. The real problem with training soldiers for this work, and forgive me for going all Yoda-y on you, is that they have to unlearn what they have learned. You have to retrain them to go only for head and heart shots, and to acclimate themselves to vampiric and ghoul speeds and reflexes. The thing is they're already trained to deal with human opponents, so that throws them off their game because they have muscle memories and ingrained responses that hinder them."

"Then what would you suggest?" Integra asked, seeing he already had something in mind.

"Recruit and train civilians. Offer the opportunity for survivors of vampire and ghoul attacks learn the skills they need to fight back. Offer to train and recruit the local hunting groups in areas where they have no support and are fighting blind like we were in Sunnydale. I mean, if someone had offered to train all of us so that we would have a better chance to survive, I would have joined up in a nanosecond. Buffy might have refused because of the combination of the 'me Slayer, me protect, you human, you hide' mentality the Council force fed her and her own fears about losing friends, but after the stunts they pulled this year starting with that trial crap and firing Giles, you or any group that treated up like actual people would have had the whole group in a clean sweep."

"You want us to recruit untrained children?" Integra asked archly.

"Not kids. Recruit the people who are already fighting this war on their own, instead of solely retraining people meant to handle other wars. If you get together even half of the small hunting groups that are running around the larger cities like London, or Glasgow, or hell even foreign countries, then you'll have a huge base of people that our existing troops can mold to deal with things properly from the start. After all, the troops here know what boot camp is for. If Hellsing makes it's own boot camp to train people already willing to die to fight demons, and you have to be willing to face death just to enter this fight, we'll be in a much better position overall, and our numbers would swell way faster then the amount of time it takes for up to weed out and harvest competent soldiers alone." he explained growing more animated as he detailed his thoughts.

Integra was silent for a long time after he finished speaking. He had brought up some valid points that she had never really considered before. "You may be on to something, Xander." she said after a time. "But it raises the question of how to locate these hunting groups."

"Simple. Head to areas with high concentrations of the lower bred revenant vamps, places like Sunnydale where the walking sewer rats like to congregate, and patrol the local hot spots. Five will get you ten you'll find the local hunters fighting them within the two weeks, tops, at any location." Xander replied confidently.

Integra mulled his words over again before she replied, "I'll need permission from Her Majesty to expand our policy like this. I'll see to asking her for it. I'd like you to work with Walter on the logistics of attempting this within Britain's borders alone for now, just to see how feasible it truly is."

Xander beamed like a proud ten year old as he replied, "You got it."

Any further planning was put on hold as Alucard walked through the wall to Integra's right. "What is it, Alucard?" she asked in icy tones, still upset at his foolish prank at her expense.

"Night has fallen Master, and the Police Girl has finished her lessons. I await you orders." Alucard replied with a small formal bow.

"I want you to check the area where you and Adrian encountered the FREAK chip vampires last night and see of you can find any reason for their insertion there." Integra ordered.

"You encountered FREAKS last night? And saw Adrian?" Xander asked, feeling a bit lost.

"Indeed I did, boy. We took out the trash in a small dance club in the city." the No Life King replied with a wide smile of satisfaction.

"Huh. Seras and I have come up dry all week in patrols. You just have all the luck, I guess." Xander commented.

"More skill than, luck, child. Adrian and I can sense FREAKS far more easily than the Police Girl. Or perhaps I should call her Police Woman, now?" the vampire responded with a leering grin as Xander blushed and looked at his feet.

"Alucard! You will not harass them like that!" Integra snapped at her 'pet' in agitation.

"Of course not, Master." the vampire replied with false innocence. "Did I not already say I prefer their choice of paramour over their previous desired entanglements?"

"Uh, I think I'll get gone and see how Vicky is. Do you have any particular mission for us; um...I'm not sure what to call you for official things." Xander admitted to Integra as he made his way for the door.

"You will still be having supper before I leave, won't you, Xander. I've grown fond of spending family time with you and the Police Girl." Alucard commented in a voice that said he was not escaping the house without a meal in his and Seras' stomachs.

"Yeah, if it's cool with Integra, I guess." Xander replied nervously.

"It is fine with me, Xander. In fact, you, Alucard, and Officer Victoria can join me for supper as well. That way I can make certain Alucard does not harass you further. As for a title, in private like this, you may call me Integra. In front of the men, you can refer to me as 'Sir Integra' or 'Commander'. Both are appropriate enough in their eyes." she replied to his queries.

Xander just nodded gratefully, before leaving the room and heading off to find Seras.

Once he was gone, Integra looked sharply at her vampire and asked, "Why are you training my cousin to drink blood?"

Alucard shrugged as he answered, "The fact he can do so suggests that he's got enough mideon traits to gain some power from it. If nothing else it will keep his reserves of eldritch energies high enough give him full access to Alucard and Trevor's relics. I want him at his peak when trains with them."

"Then explain that to him, instead of acting like an overgrown child." she replied in a monotone.

"As you wish, Master." Alucard replied with a bow.

Integra nodded once, sharply, before she returned her attentions to the files before her.

"He really is remarkable, isn't he?" Alucard asked from beside her.

"Yes. He is." Integra agreed. "Less then a month into knowing his heritage, and he's already arranged to create the circumstances for my release, and quite possibly opened an avenue to return us to strength even greater than before the FREAKS were introduced."

"It will be a pity to see him return to America." Alucard commented rhetorically after a moment.

"You believe he will?" She asked evenly, never looking up from her papers.

"Of course. His sense of loyalty is too strong to leave them for good. Even if he does not return at the end of the summer, they will eventually get themselves into a situation he will feel requires his aid." Alucard answered.

"I know. What do you recommend we do?" Integra asked, finally looking up at the vampire.

"Send him with our blessings and, if his plans pan out as I think they will, send the Police Girl along with him. The ranks will be full enough to spare her, she'll give him a reminder of his family here, and she can support him in ways the Slayer and Watcher could never dream of." Alucard replied.

"You sound as if you think his leave will not be permanent." Integra pointed out to the vampire.

"It won't be. The Slayer is spoiled, and will resent the Police Girl. So will the witch. Both of them will also be put off by the boy's power. I intend to train him with the Vorpal Blade and the Sword of Dawn, as well as several spells. All of that will serve him well, and will intimidate and upset them. Eventually, they will force him away with their pettiness, and he will return to us. There he is a sidebar, a troop that is expected to follow their commands as law. Here, he is a leader in training, and heir to us all. He will know where he is best needed. And most wanted."

Alucard explained with surety.

Integra just nodded her head. Alucard's predictions, though pessimistic, did fit with the psychological profiles of Xander's Sunnydale allies. She knew she could trust her 'weapon' to give wise council on this matter. "I imagine Seras and Xander are nearly dressed and ready for supper. Shall we head off, then?" she asked regally.

"At you command, Sir Hellsing." Alucard replied with a bow and a smile. It was good to have her back.

Chapter 16

Xander would swear that the dinner that had transpired that night was one of the strangest meals of his life for the rest of his days. Between Alucard's ridiculously transparent double entendres to tease Xander and Seras, his teasing of Integra, and the way Integra and he seemed to bicker in ways that reminded him of an old married couple, Xander was certain the evening would never fade from his memory.

The fact that his cousin forced the ancient vampire king to explain why he wanted Xander to drink blood, and gave her blessings if he chose to do so was memorable as well.

"I'm going to need decades of therapy at this rate." he muttered to himself as he looked over his appearance in his bathroom mirror. It was ten days after the first full family dinner among all his relatives in the Hellsing Organization (all two if them) and he and Alucard were going to meet Adrian, the fabled protector and ally of the Belmont clan. The fact he was Xander's great-grandfather only added to his tension.

As he came out his room, once again dressed in the Hellsing-pinned suit Walter had arranged for him when he had visited Integra in the Tower of London, Seras was there to meet him. "You look dashing, love." she complimented with a shy smile.

"Thanks, Kitten." he replied with a half grin. "I just hope this goes smoothly. I mean, Adrian's got as large a reputation as Gramps with my family, just in the other direction. I hope I meet up to standards and stuff."

"I'm certain you will. After all, Master and Sir Integra are certainly glad to know you." she assured him as they walked toward the garage. Xander would be driven to the flat Adrian was staying at while in London by Integra's personal driver. Alucard was already there, presumably by way of bat swarm, due to his distaste for what he called 'a poor imitation of Nemo's design'. Neither youth knew what he meant by that, but decided not to press the issue.

"Yeah, well Teg' and Gramps wanted me here to train, anyway. Great-grandpa was just passing through. I guess I'm just worried my family reunion record will even out to two for and two against, instead of going three to one." he admitted sheepishly.

Seras gave him a warm and comforting grin even as she admonished, "You know Sir Integra doesn't appreciate being called Teg'."

Xander shrugged and grinned unapologetically as he responded, "She was the one who complained that I didn't think enough of her to name her like I did you and Wally. She can deal with the results. It's not like I'm calling her cousin Int, or something. Besides, I don't get that informal around the troops, so it's not like it's a morale or discipline issue. She needs to lighten up a bit, anyway. She's always really tense."

"She has a lot of responsibilities. And had to take them too young to remember how to relax." Seras said in defense of her boss.

"Which is why I need to help her loosen up. It's either me making with the funnies, or we find her an opportunity to get laid. And I don't want her, Wally, and Gramps all gutting me at once for suggesting that to her." he replied with a shudder.

"Xander!" Seras cried in mock outrage. "You don't say things like that! Cor, but that's twisted."

"Sane is both boring and deadly when you grow up on the mouth of hell." he responded with a smile.

"And suggesting Sir Integra needs a man is suicidal." she added.

"Which is why I make with the funnies." he retorted.


As that conversation took place, another was transpiring between the two vampiric beings known as Alucard.

"So she is here, then." Vlad commented in somber and thoughtful tones.

"Yes, father, she is. But she did not seem as you described her from the encounter with the Millennium group. If anything she seemed...saner. Her hatred and resentment of me was as strong as ever, but she actually restrained herself in the inn, and did not send anyone to attack for the two days I remained in the area afterward." Adrian replied evenly.

"Anything would be an improvement over the terrified creature I faced South America. All she did was shout 'He's here' repeatedly, and refer to me as 'Samiel'. I couldn't even reach her mind." the vampire admitted. "Did she mention anything about the attack on Xander and Seras?" the No Life King inquired of his son.

"She said I already know the answer, and I just have to believe it. She did admit to knowing of Alex's existence, though." Adrian answered.

"Curiouser and curiouser." Vlad mused as he contemplated this information.

"Does it mean something special father?" Adrian inquired.

"Not really. But if she knew about Xander, it begs the question of why she didn't attack him before when he was vulnerable. It would certainly have drawn me away from my Master at her own orders, and left Integra open to be sacrificed before I could reach her. Perhaps she was less dedicated to those pathetic Nazi remnants than I first believed." he answered.

"She did seem less interested in the child, than she did in threatening me. Truthfully, I've never seen her like that before. It was like she was trying to subdue herself to reduce attention, and was watching out for an attack all at once." Adrian confided.

"Maybe das Millennium came to a similar conclusion about my wayward daughter. Or simply handle failure the way their parent organizations did." Vlad mused darkly.

"You think they would hunt her for failing to destroy you?" Adrian asked, somewhat surprised.

"If she did anything they saw as abandonment, she would certainly be a fair target for them. I would hardly call her the Aryan ideal."

Vlad replied.

"True. She looks like a younger female version of you, but with freckles." Adrian responded.

"And it seemed that she was the only one among the entire group to know my full power. If she was well and truly their loyal servant, one would assume she would have informed them more thoroughly of my capabilities. None of them even knew the extent of my regeneration." the vampire continued.

"The one thing she always desired most was your approval, even when she screamed to the heavens about how much she hated you." Adrian pointed out.

"I think there is a great deal more to this than meets the eye, my son. And we just don't have enough pieces to see what is coming. Not yet, at least." Vlad mused.

Adrian nodded in agreement before turning the conversation back to lighter concerns. "So, you said you will give Xander the Sword of Dawn and the Vorpal Blade?" he asked.

"Yes, they are diverse enough in power to serve him well on the Hellmouth in several situations..." Vlad began as he took the opportunity to discuss lighter things.


Xander gulped nervously as he fought a bout of anxiety outside the door to Adrian's flat. Well, actually, it belonged to a friend of his named Mina, but she hadn't been in Britain for some time apparently, and gave her permission for him to stay there whenever he was in London. He adjusted his tie, a red monstrosity with an eye design that Gramps had given him and insisted he wear tonight, as he checked his appearance one more time before he moved his hand to knock on the door.

Just as he was about to knock, he was interrupted by a mental chuckle and a command of *Just open the door and get in here, boy. It's not like we can't hear your heartbeat and breathing out there.* from Vlad.

Xander shook his head ruefully as he obeyed. "Sorry Gramps. I was just trying to observe the manners Teg' and Wally are so keen on at the manor." he commented as he entered.

"Those rules are for my Master and her world. Here, away from courtly concerns, we are simply family. You have no grounds for such trepidation." the No Life King admonished with an irreverent grin.

"As little as I agree with father on anything, I must agree with him here, Xander. Please come in and relax." Adrian commented as he came in from the kitchen with two cups of blood for himself and Vlad.

"Uh, thanks Alucard." Xander replied automatically as he walked the rest of the way into the room and sat sown in a well stuffed easy chair.

Adrian took in the sight of him reading everything from his physical features to his aura, as he walked over and gave him his hand to shake. "It is good to finally meet you, Xander. Both as an ally of the Belmont Clan, and as your great-grandfather, I welcome you." the dhampir said as Xander stood and shook his hand.

"It's um, an honor to meet you as well." Xander replied awkwardly.

Adrian smiled gently in a way that reminded Vlad so much of Lisa it hurt, as he responded, "Relax, child. You're among family here. If you can withstand living in a house with father and his...master, then you have little to fear from me. Now, would you care for anything to drink?"

"He'll have what we are having." Vlad answered from behind them.

"I thought his aura looked more vivid then it did two weeks ago."

Adrian commented with a small glare over his shoulder at his father.

"I'm surprised you didn't smell it on his breath." Vlad replied with am unrepentant smirk.

"I, uh, brushed my teeth before I left, Gramps. I'm not a pig, you know." Xander defended with a look of mild confusion. *Why would Adrian be upset with me feeding, when Teg' isn't? I mean she's the fully human one.* he thought to himself.

"Because I had hoped you had been far enough removed from us to feel totally human, Xander. The more you drink, the more powerfully your mideon blood may manifest." Adrian answered to his unasked question as he took a stepped away from the White Knight so he could speak more freely with both Xander and his father.

"Which will help him access his relics and use them to their best purpose." Vlad interjected.

"Un does this mean I'm turning from drinking blood?" Xander asked with a small amount of panic in voice.

Adrian and Vlad both looked at him with no small bit of amusement as Vlad snorted, and Adrian replied, "No. Not really. Being turned is changing what you are fundamentally. It changes your species. Your vampire blood was already there in you, it was just dormant. All this will really do is awaken it to a degree. Even at your full power, you would be considered a dhampir at most. I had just wanted you to feel more...integrated than Trevor, Jessica, and I."

Adrian's explanation mollified Xander a bit, but it also raised some odd questions. "Okay, I can get that, I guess. Although, for the record, being raised in Sunnydale does not prepare you for regular society. Our high school newspaper had an obituary section. But if I was already kinda vampy, then how did the alternate me from Anya's powers get turned into a revenant vamp? I mean, people with mideon blood are immune right? Wouldn't I have turned into my regular self instead of getting all soulless and growing some extra forehead once I started feeding?"

At Adrian's look of bewilderment, Vlad used his powers to recount the events in question, where Xander had learned of his vampiric doppelganger from the deposed demoness Anyanka's alternate universe due to an errant spell to retrieve her power center that brought an alternate, revenant, Willow to their reality. "That is a good question. All I can assume is that your power was so tightly buried, that it allowed the demon to eject your soul and corrupt your body. Your aura is certainly too powerful now to be turned by that filth. Truthfully, I'm not certain just how that worked."

Adrian suggested.

"It's also possible that my alternate would just gather your ashes once someone staked you, and regenerate you with the proper resurrection spells I have at my disposal in Castlevania. Or that you would regenerate as your true self on your own from the feeding the demon did for your body, once it was removed from the body."

Vlad supplied.

"I guess." Xander said, still bothered by the matter, even as Adrian went and fetched him a cup of blood and handed it to him. Xander looked as the red viscous fluid in a new light now as he held the wine glass in his hands. Before, once Integra had made Vlad explain his reasons he wanted Xander to feed; so that he could access the relics of his Tepes ancestors, he was willing to grin and bear it. It made Vicky feel less crummy about feeding if nothing else. Now, it meant he was becoming more like Alucard...both Alucards. That was a scary proposition, but not an unbearable one. They kept their souls, and used their powers for good; even in Gramps did it under duress. It also meant he was immune to becoming a garden variety Sunnydale vamp. After Jesse, that was one of his greatest fears. That his body would become a soulless shell for a demon that killed all Xander loved with a smile on its face, and a song in its heart.

Drinking blood to stave that off seemed a small price to pay in comparison.

Xander was brought out of his reverie when Adrian asked, "Have you begun your weapons training yet, Xander?"

"Huh?" Xander uttered as he took a sip of blood unconsciously.

"Have you trained with the old spells and relics your grandfather and I used against my father yet?" Adrian asked with a kind smile.

"No, Gramps here thinks I need a little more power and training before I do. Why?" the White Knight asked in reply.

"Because I have a few to give you as well." Adrian responded with a sad grin, as he moved over to a wooden chest in the corner and brought it to where Xander and Vlad were seated. "There were some of the earliest of our hunting aids. I kept them for sentimental value, as I evolved past using most of the ones that were mine. The most important though, is this." the dhampir added as he opened the chest and held up a worn leather whip.

"Is that...?" Xander asked with whispered awe.

"The original that Simon used? No. Your mideon blood would not let you access that whip. This was the one granted to Trevor by the Poltergeist King to fight father. It is similar, but it can be empowered by our blood, where the ancestral Belmont Whip can not. I will show you how to access its powers once father has brought you a bit more up to speed. I'm sure Trevor would have been proud to see you bear in his memory." Adrian replied with a sad grin.

Vlad looked into the chest as they spoke, and had an almost nostalgic look on his face as he saw what else was in there. "I can hardly believe you kept these." he said, as he took out and set down a purple oval stone with what looked like a black cloud on it, a greenish gold one with a black wolf's silhouette, a card with a bat on it, a card with a faerie on it, what looked like a set of a set of black football shoulder pads with dark metal mail hanging from the bottom of them (the Mojo Mail), and a necklace with what looked like a crescent moon on the end (the moonstone pendant).

"They served me well before I mastered my full power. Now, if he so chooses, they can serve Xander." Adrian replied with a small grin. "Father can teach you the spell to throw fireballs, as well. It was always a favorite of his." he added, addressing the youth who was still enamored with the whip.

As the one once erroneously called the Zeppo of the Scooby gang looked up and noticed the odd assortment of items. "Whoa. That's a lot of stuff. Uh, could you maybe explain what it all does?" Xander asked timidly, as he clutched the whip to his chest like a treasured teddy bear, and launched a round of explanations and demonstrations that lasted through the afternoon and into that evening.

Chapter 17

"Hey, Willow." Xander said with a stifled sigh as he held the cradle of the phone in his hand.

"Yeah. I know. Look, I'm sorry I didn't call sooner, but things have been busy. What? No! Resolve face doesn't work where I can't see you, Wills. [Sigh] If it's that important to know, I'm visiting my family. No, not the Belmonts. You know how we feel about each other in general. I said family, Wills; the Harris' aren't family no matter what me records say. Uncle Rory's the only one I'd claim to know if the police picked him up. Well, actually, I'm with my cousin from my real dad's side of the family. Yeah. No, Willow I'm making it up so I can get my needed quota of Willow babble to survive. [Laughs] It was too funny. I am the Xan-man, god of all that is funny, and you must bow to my judgment. Seriously, though, you know how all mom told me was he was dead? Well, it turns out my cousin has been looking for me for a long time after he croaked because I'm like her only living family left. Yes, she's a woman. No, she's not a demon. Yes, I'm sure. She's my cousin, Wills, not a girl I'm looking to date. Well, she got hold of me on my cell phone, and invited me to visit her place for a bit so we could get to know each other. Yeah, I guess I am doing something toward discovering who I really am, aren't I? Listen Wills, I have to go. I'm out of state and this is long distance. I don't want to seem like I'm trying to leech of cousin Teg's good graces. I'll call you later. Love ya, Willow. Bye."

Xander started when he heard a voice behind him comment, "You do realize she will have trouble accepting you as you truly are, boy."

"I've known her since I was five, Gramps. She'll have my back if I need her. Just like I've always had her back." Xander assured evenly.

"The Police Girl might have issues with you 'having' another woman's 'back'." Alucard replied with a smirk.

"It's not like that and you know it." the White Knight responded with a bit of heat in his voice.

Alucard's grin only widened as he commented, "You sound a little more like a proper Hellsing every day, Xander. Soon, you'll be threatening to lock me in the basement, or shooting me for harmless fun."

"Like it would do any good." Xander said with a snort.

"That never stopped my Master from doing either." Alucard replied.

Xander just nodded in acceptance of that. "Is it time to work on expanding my senses again?" he asked after a pause.

"It is. But remember my words, great-great grandson. She will have trouble accepting you as you truly are. And the Slayer may abandon you altogether. You drink blood. You have powers they could never possess or comprehend. You are Hellsing, Belmont, and Tepes. You are hardly the simple boy destined to be their support system and token normal human any longer. Already your senses are better honed than the Slayer's. Your magic, as it evolves, will be more controlled and in tune with your nature than the Wicca's simply because you know your limits and areas to focus on. She has more potential power, to be certain, but she does not have the defined limits and goals you possess. Do not think they will look at you and see only Xander Harris. they will look for him, but he is no longer all that you are. You are an agent of the Hellsing Organization. You are a No Life Prince, and a rightful heir to Wallachia, with more noble blood in your veins than any American could understand. Do not expect them to feel...uncomfortable as you return to them more than what you were when you departed."

Xander sighed at the No Life King's speech. "I know, Gramps. You're not saying anything I haven't thought of a million times already. Buffy's reaction to Vicky alone will be ugly after the crap I gave her over Deadboy. But, they're still my friends. I can't believe they'll just abandon me after all we've been through."

The vampire snorted contemptuously as he replied, "You and your cousin share dangerous similarities, child. You both put far too much faith and trust in humanity in general."

"Yeah, maybe we do. But if don't have hope, you end up locked in pointless fight with the same family for centuries on end even after it's about nothing more than the fact you're bored." Xander responded sarcastically.

"You would not be here of not for that rivalry, Xander." Alucard replied with a wide smile.

"I never said I was complaining about it. Just that I haven't given up hope." he countered, as they made their way to Alucard's chambers to train.


<clang, clang, chink clang, chink, whshh, whshh, clang, chink, whshh, whshh, THAWP!> "OW!" Xander cried out.

"Again." came the merciless voice of his tormentor.

<clang, clang, chink clang, chink, whshh, whshh, clang, chink, whshh, whshh, chink, chink, clang, THAWP!>


...and so it went for the hour that was Xander's fencing lesson.

"I thought you said you were rusty, Teg. That looked and felt a whole lot like handing me my ass on a platter." <THWAP!> "OW!"

Xander cried out.

"There is no need for vulgarity here, cousin." Integra reprimanded in her typical monotone after hitting him in the thigh with her foil.

"Ass isn't that bad. You should hear the troops." Xander protested as he rubbed the affected area.

"I was referring to calling me...'Teg'." Integra replied evenly.

Xander elected to keep his mouth shut in the face of his cousin's minimalist sardonic humor.

"You are progressing remarkably, Xander. How is your progress with Alucard coming?" Integra asked as they removed their protective masks and pads.

"He says it's pretty good so far. I can activate the bat familiar card at night with the moonstone pendant now. Gramps thinks that if I wear the mail, and build up for another couple of days, I'll be able to access the wolf relic. I start working with the Vorpal Blade tomorrow." Xander reported as he toweled off the sweat from his brow.

"I understand he mentioned some touchy subjects for you yesterday before your training." Integra replied.

"You mean about how I should not freak if the gang wigs out on me and my shiny new mideon based powers? I'd be more upset if he wasn't just rehashing my own fears." Xander admitted.

"It will be alright, Xander. Even if things go sour there, they may one day accept it. If nothing else, you will always have a place here with your family." the Iron Maiden comforted/

"Good to know." he responded with a bittersweet grin. He was glad for her support, but it didn't change his worries. "And I'm glad I do have a family that will be there if I need them. It's a new and exciting experience."

"Speaking of family...there's been something I wanted to discuss with you." Integra mentioned.

"Oh?" Xander asked.

"Well, I was wondering just how attached you are to the name Harris? I wouldn't be so crass in asking, normally, but it's just that there are some files we've come upon, well letter from the mayor's office in your file actually that are...less than complimentary. We believe he knew of your heritage as a Belmont at the very least and wanted to keep you from becoming too...threatening I suppose. Most likely it was done as a favor for someone, because his ascension would have already taken place by the time you would attend university, so he could not have been concerned for himself. Either way, it would be nigh unto impossible For Alexander Harris to be admitted into the California University system." Integra explained.

"But there's nothing in there about Alexander 'Hellsing', right?" Xander asked with a smirk as he saw where she was heading.

"Exactly." Integra agreed with a shark's grin of her own.

Xander mulled it over for a few seconds before he answered, "Honestly, I was wondering if you would ask something like this. Or of I'd bring it up myself. Truth be memories of Tony aren't a reason to cling to anything. I even told Willow on the phone yesterday that the Harris' weren't family to me. I think when I did that; I realized that I was among family here. And if there's a black mark courtesy of the mayor that makes being a Harris worse than it was already...I'd be honored to make it official. Consider me Xander Hellsing."

"Splendid. I'll have Walter work out the details." Integra responded with a rare full smile as she tousled his hair.


Xander munched idly on his cheezy chips as he and Vicky watched the scene before them. It had started as a typical patrol in a small British town. As usual of late, when they strayed too far from Hellsing for a mission Alucard stayed near him, and Seras never left his side. Xander had to admit the thought of another crazy mideon relative of his on the loose; one that made the Bloody Countess look like a girl scout, was less than happy news. Still they had yet to see Rip van Winkle outside of the worn drawing Gramps had in his journal, and the photos on file for her in the archives. She had attacked or traded words with Adrian three more times since her confirmed appearance in Britain, but she had yet to show herself or attack any of the Hellsing get.

"This time I have ye', monster!" cried a ridiculously tall blonde priest with a Scottish accent who sported several blessed silver blades.

"Do your worst, oh Judas Priest!" Alucard sneered with evil glee as he fired round after round from his Jackal at the man.

"So you say this happens often?" Xander asked the three women around him.

"Every time they meet. It's like they don't care that the old truces seem to be back in force after the joint effort we shared in South America." Seras replied with a sigh, as she made certain they were a safe distance away. Paladin Alexander Anderson wasn't known for discrimination in his targets, or restraint when facing the No Life King.

"Zhe are just too used to hating each ozher." replied a tall woman with an Austrian accent.

"They are far too enthusiastic in these affairs most times." agreed a meek looking Japanese nun who was compulsively keeping her glasses on in the face of the explosions around them.

"No kidding." Xander responded as he watched Alucard blow the priest's arms clean off.

"You know, I always wondered since the first time that happened, how long does it take for his arms to regenerate after that, Sister Yumiko?" Seras asked as she looked over to the nun.

"I don't really know. Do you Heinkel?" the Asian nun replied apologetically.

"Nein. He runs off in a huff after zhis happens. I zink only Father Maxwell and his assistant vould know for certain." the Austrian answered tersely. It was clear she wasn't too pleased to be this near a vampire like Seras and not attack.

"Well, looks like it's over. Paladin Alexander is doing his best Monty Python impersonation. Let's get Alucard home before he causes real trouble. It was nice to meet you, sisters." Xander commented as Alucard blew the Judas Priest's legs off, before heading toward the No Life King to pull him away before he shattered the tenuous peace between the Hellsing and the Iscariot again.


Xander stared at himself intently in the mirror. He had experienced what Alucard assured him was the only noticeable physical change he could expect to see for at least a century in the face of awakening his mideon blood. Well, the only change other then the fact his aging would start to slow to a stop over the next few years that is. Xander watched in detached fascination as he elongated and retracted his canines again. Fangs. He had retractable fangs. He truly was dhampir, the mixed breed of vampire and human. God, he would never live this down if the others discovered it.

"Quit preening and come on, child. You have lessons in Latin and Greek today, as well as a lesson in gun building and modification with Walter this afternoon." Alucard scolded playfully from his bathroom door.

"Preening? Preening?! I have fangs now, Gramps! This is majorly wig worthy! You never mentioned growing fangs was a part of getting in touch with my inner No Life King!" Xander spat for the umpteenth time since they has deployed for the first time the night before as he and Seras were um...occupied."

"Yes, you have fangs. As do I. Not to mention Seras and Adrian. You are part mideon, Xander, with increasing control of your power. It's natural to display an aspect of that. Be glad it was something you can conceal easily and not something like red irises in your eyes." Alucard responded evenly.

"Grandfather Adrian said it's really rare for even full half-breed dhampir to have vampiric eyes. His are brown, after all." Xander replied.

"Yes, but it put it in perspective to mention it. Besides the Police girl will be the only one inspecting your mouth closely enough to notice, and she is well aware of them." Alucard countered.

"Point taken." Xander admitted.

"Good. Now get your journals together and meet me in the library. You've dawdled long enough." the vampire commended as he faded from sight.

Xander just sighed a bit, before going back to inspecting his mouth. He'd never admit it to Alucard, but when you took away the desire to kill everything in sight, the demonic possession, added forehead, allergy to sunlight and religion, and overall evil associated with vampires the way you did as a mideon, the fangs were pretty cool. Still, he had to say, "Oh no, my life's not complicated. Not at all. Fangs. Sheesh."

Chapter 18

<knock> <knock>

"Yes, come in." Quentin Travers commented distractedly as he went over the reports filed by Wesley after the 'Graduation Battle' against the ascended mayor of Sunnydale, Richard Wilkins. *I'd have to edit this so heavily it would useless to anyone before I could even try to submit it to the rest of the Council heads. I may as well just claim he never filed a final report and add it to the list of reasons we sacked him. Damn that fool for falling into Rupert's little cadre so easily! At this rate the reform and factional movements in the Council can only grow in strength. I should have just kept Rupert in charge rather than send that fool. Too emotionally attacked or not, he was at least competent and useful. From these reports Price did nothing of significance at all.* the senior Watcher groused in his head.

"Sir. We've tracked the movement of the...independent factor around Slayer Summers as you requested. There has been some activity in his legal records that tipped us off to his location. From there we had several reports and informants privy to sensitive information among the Round Table members give us enough for a comprehensive summary." a meek looking aid in tweed reported as he handed the older man a stack of papers.

Travers looked over the sheaves for nearly half an hour without making a sound; his face changed expressions rapidly and repeatedly as he tried to come up with something to say. The aid, who had stood there quietly, sweating as his boss read the reports, flinched noticeably at the deadly quiet tone of the man's voice when he finally did begin to speak. "Cecil. This reports that that young Alexander Harris has had his name legally changed to Hellsing with the aid of his cousin. A cousin by the name if Integra Hellsing. As in Sir Integra Hellsing. As in SIR INTEGRA FAIRBROOK WINDGATES HELLSING, leader of the Royal Protestant Knights! It also lists his mother's maiden name as 'Belmont'. Can you kindly tell me how a child connected to the two most powerful demon hunting families on EARTH was right under our nose influencing Slayer Summers without our knowledge?" Quentin spat, as he worked up into a frantic rage.

The aid, Cecil, gulped audibly as he responded, "Well, sir...we're not entirely certain. The reports list that young Mister Hellsing had always gone under his step father's name, so there was no reason to even remotely associate him with Sir Hellsing. It seems though, that, well, we...never saw fit to do the standard background checks after reviewing Watcher Giles' initial reports from Sunnydale as he saw the young man as more of a...distraction than anything else. A...and as he displayed more competence, we had long since considered him typical 'background noise' for Slayer Summers' approach toward her calling. We just...never say him."

"See that the teams in charge of the decision to forgo the background checks are sacked immediately." the head Watcher replied with finality.

"Yes sir." the aid replied before running out of the room.

Once he was gone Quentin sat back and read the full report again with greater attention to detail.

... encountered ghouls in Oxnard California with the mideon Hellsing agent known as 'Seras Victoria'... is currently residing in the Hellsing manor... threatened to release the No Life King when denied the right to visit his cousin while she was incarcerated... is currently training with the Hellsing group in identification and eradication of vampires, ghouls, and other undead threats...

"Well this answers just how a bunch of teenagers led by a rogue Slayer could defeat a man ascended to full demonhood. I always suspected an extra factor we couldn't see. The question is how do we turn you to our advantage, Mister Hellsing? Especially when I've all but burned any bridge I have with Rupert to get more accurate and personal information. How am I going to handle you so that we don't loose our only active Slayer totally?" Travers mused aloud as he pondered his new information long into the night.


"Xander, we have a new gift for you." Alucard said as he and Walter approached the archery range where Xander was demonstrating his progress with Trevor Belmont's whip to Integra and Seras with the use of human shaped straw targets. It was three weeks after the emergence of his fangs, and other than a few choice words for her servant from Integra about said fangs, things had settled down into routine once again as Xander's progress in his heritage moved along.

"Oooh, presents. What is it? New sword? Another familiar card? A shiny nickel?" the White Knight asked with enthusiasm.

Alucard and Seras both chuckled, even as Walter and Integra looked on in confusion at his last guess. "Sadly no. You'll have to wait for a special occasion for a shiny nickel. Your gift is related to nickel, though." the vampire replied with a cheeky smile.

"Huh?" Xander asked in confusion.

Walter cleared his throat then as he held out a black lacquered wooden box, with the Hellsing family mounted in the center of the lid, to the bewildered young man. "May I present you official Hellsing issue weapons, young Master Alexander." the retainer formally intoned.

"I think you're ready to handle these now." Alucard added with his typical creepy smirk.

Seras came forward to see what his new weapons were, even as Integra moved to Alucard and Walter's sides to see his reaction. "Whoa."

Xander breathed at the sight that filled his vision as he opened the box. There, inside a bed of crushed red velvet, were two nickel plated Hellsing Arms 454 Casull pistols engraved with all three of his family crests, with the Hellsing prayer, 'In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen', engraved below them. The grips were ebony, with a gold inlay of a word on each. One said 'Shenzi', and the other said 'Ed'.

"What do the names 'Shenzi and Ed' have to do with anything?" Seras asked, confused.

Xander, however, got the joke immediately. "Hyenas." he responded tersely. "They're the names of two of the hyenas in the Disney film 'The Lion King'." he added with an annoyed glare at his ancestor.

"Well, you're not big enough for a Jackal, so we gave you hyenas. You seem to have somewhat of an affinity for them as I recall."

Alucard commented in a falsely innocent tone.

"Does that mean you're renaming your Casull 'Banzai' to go along with this pair, Gramps?" Xander inquired sarcastically.

"Would that make you feel any better, Xander?" the No Life Kings asked in a saccharine tone.

"It might." Xander spat defiantly.

"Too bad." Alucard responded with an ever widening grin as Xander set the case down and extracted 'Ed' to test its weight in his hand.

"Kind of heavy." he commented as he hefted the huge pistol.

"But you're so big." Alucard countered playfully.

Xander ignored the barb as he ejected the clip and checked to see that it was, in fact, loaded with standard lead rounds. The Hellsing organization trained with lead and generally reserved the more expensive silver rounds for the field, which proved to be a smart policy in the wake of the three hundred new recruits currently being indoctrinated by the senior soldiers. Only sniper trained with silver full time.

"You know Gramps you once said something about me acting more like a Hellsing everyday. In fact you mentioned that I might start shooting you for being irritating me at any time. I think this might be a day to make Teg proud of me." the White Knight said with a savage grin as he pointed the high caliber 11.53x35mm automatic pistol at the No Life King.

The vampire sneered playfully at the boy as he replied, "Just like a Belmont. Always out to spoil my fun with a weapon in hand and a whip at his belt. Catch me of you can brat.", before he shrank into his hellhound for and took off at a good clip away from the irritated young man.

Xander, however, held his fire as he grit his teeth and watched Alucard take off. With a weapon that big, he wasn't about to risk stray shots in the open with so many new recruits that didn't know where it was safe to step yet. Instead, he reset the safety and replaced the gun in the case, before he turned to the others and said, "Excuse me. I have something to discuss with the old bat."

With that said Xander focused on his wolf relic, concentrating all his accumulated energy until he shrank in a form reminiscent of the hell hound if it had two brown eyes instead of eight red ones. Once he had managed his transformation, he took off after Alucard at his best speed, looking forward to a supernatural game of tag.

"Um, Sir Integra? That is, may I?" Seras asked self consciously as she watched her Master and paramour take off in their respective canine forms.

Integra held let out an aggrieved sigh before she replied, "Go ahead, Officer Victoria. Maybe this time you can help to keep them out of the house when they start doing this."

"Yes Sir!" Seras responded peppily, as she snapped off a sharp salute. Soon, a light grey wolf-hound with red eyes and a mop of messy strawberry blonde head was bounding off to catch up with the other mideon blooded members of the Organization.

"Walter?" Sir Integra said after Seras had disappeared over the crest of a small hill on the grounds.

"Yes Sir Integra?" the Angel of Death replied as he gathered up the guns. Xander had managed to keep the whip, which was attuned to his family line by the Poltergeist King, with him when he used Adrian's relics to transform. However, he lacked the power and control necessary to keep any equipment, beyond his clothes, with him that was not similarly attuned.

"Remind me to have a stern word with Adrian Tepes, should I ever meet him face to face, in regards to having two overly hyper lupine formed vampires roughhousing in my home due to his relics." she commanded evenly.

"I will Sir Integra." Walter assured her.


In a small hamlet outside of Bath, another kind of vampiric roughhousing was taking place.


"If I ever find the idiot Nazi that thought Lilith of all vampires needed a hyped up musket with explosive shells I'll eviscerate him." Adrian growled as a hole big enough to be called a small window exploded through the wall he had taken cover behind, a few inches away from his head.

"This time you DIE, MEIN BRUDER!" Rip van Winkle screamed as she fired off several more rounds, which forced Adrian to run for more cover.

"I think not, Sorã!" the dhampir shouted back in challenge as he fired off a burst of fireballs at the maddened vampiress.

Rip faded from sight just before the volley reached her, as she lat off a mad giggle that echoed all around Adrian. "You think you can cow me with a poor imitation of out father's old tricks?" he voice asked as it danced on the wind.

"No, but I might get in a shot with a few of my own." Alucard replied as he summoned his sword familiar and sent it to strike out at where Lilith was concealed.

The mad vampiress shrieked in equal parts pain and rage at the cut across her belly as she reformed into her visible self once again less than ten feet from Vlad Dracula's only other living child.

Alucard wasted no words as he drew his mother's family's ancestral blade, leapt forward, and slashed Rip van Winkle's musket in two just above the clip that contained the large explosive silver shells for the weapon. Once her toy was destroyed, he stepped back and leveled his blade to point at her throat as he calmly said, "Let's see if you remember how to fight as yourself, little sister."

Rip van Winkle glared hatefully at the half-breed in front of her as the very air around them seemed to warp and transform into a demonic red hue, until it appeared they were in a tunnel of blood red energy. (Like what Alucard did to Leif and Jessica in 'Order M')

"Now who is stealing Father's tricks?" Adrian commented with a half grin.

"The difference is that I can match them. You use poor imitations." Lilith replied coolly.

"Maybe I should keep relying on my own tricks, then." the dhampir responded with equal ice, as he melted into a sickly green mist that began to erode the illusion around then as it crept toward Rip van Winkle.

"I forgot about your poisonous gas form, frate." the vampiress admitted, as she let go of her illusion totally and leapt into the air, where she exploded into a swarm of bats.

Adrian returned to solid form and looked up at the scattered beasts; beasts he knew would begin to attack random townsfolk just to irk him. With grim determination, he burst into a similar bat cloud. Soon the two swarms were dancing across the air in a hundred mini battles as the fight between Rip van Winkle and Alucard continued.

It was nearly dawn when the two children of Vlad Tepes both exhausted and bleeding took another pause to glare balefully at one another. "It seems we are still very evenly matched, Lilith."

Adrian commented quietly.

"If I were not displeased with the thought of fighting you blinded by the accursed sun, I would finish you here, traitor. Mark my words; you will die at my hands. We will meet again." Lilith snapped as she faded from sight.

Adrian stood there on guard until the sun finally rose. Once it did, he apperated to the room he had rented in Bath to lick his wounds and rest. As he cleaned out a nasty looking clay gash across his chest, he looked in the mirror and thought over his mad sister's parting words. "Yes, Sorã, we will meet again. And again, and again, and again, until I can finally stop you, and help father quell the fires inside that torment you so." he solemnly vowed.

Chapter 19

Unit commander Alexander Hellsing moved carefully through the Victorian streets that reports claimed to be overwrought with ghouls just hours ago in the city of York. It was his fourth mission since his new civilian based units, now referred to as the 'X-Men' by the older military trained Hellsing units that had become the various team leaders for the newbies, had graduated to active duty. All in all, the experiment of training and incorporating civilian vampire hunters had proven worthwhile thus far. The new recruits had a washout rate less than half of the old system and, due mostly to their familiarity of staying alive against things stronger and faster than they were through teamwork and planning, they had suffered far fewer casualties than any raw recruit class ever.

Of course the fact that they mostly set up and secured perimeters for Alucard, Seras, and him might have something to do with the survivability rates. The troops certainly knew what to do against a mideon or a ghoul. That didn't mean any of either species survived long enough to reach them in the face of Alucard's fun with he and Vicky in tow to clean up the remains.

Tonight, however, was a different matter. Due to the large area they needed to cover, and the reports of several FREAKs, Xander and his compatriots had to split up for the first time in live combat. In the back of his mind, Xander would swear this was a set up of some kind, but that didn't make him back away. It looked like he was due for a baptism by fire in the face of his expanding abilities.

That little metaphor became all too accurate as a pack of eight ghouls shambled out from around the corner, moaning inarticulately as the headed for the White Knight. "In the Name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation." he coldly recited as he lifted Shenzi, opened fire, and eliminated the putrid, gray-skinned servitors.


Alucard didn't even bother to let his head twitch at the sound of a Casull spewing forth its blessed payload into some hapless ghouls. He knew well enough what was happening. Frankly, he was more interested in the pack of FREAKs he could feel ahead of him than with Xander. The boy would take care of a few ghouls himself without any trouble.

Alucard opened the door to the two story house full of a dozen chipped vampires with a flourish as he gave them his best sadistic laugh and said, "Well, let's see if any of you pathetic counterfeits bear any resemblance to an original."

What followed could not be recounted or repeated for the sake of those with weak constitutions. Suffice it to say that the combination of the No Life King having fun, combined with his dislike of the affront to true vampires he considers the FREACK chip to be made for a truly horrific sight.


Seras moved quietly through the old streets of York, constantly on guard for trouble. She heard the harsh bark of a Casull pierce the night, and cursed the fact she was so far away from her Xander. She was currently walking near where the river Ouse fed the city. She walked on silently as she considered the advisability of going to assist her lover.

*Surely Sir Integra knows this is some kind of set up? The reports were far too detailed for it to be anything else. But...I can't let it affect my work. Besides, he's a big boy. He can take care of himself.* she assured herself mentally.

The Police Girl's contemplations were cut short as several mermen leapt forth from the water of the river and began to attack her en masse. "Bloody Hell." she whispered through gritted teeth as her Halconnen spewed forth its deadly payload at the fish creatures.


Xander replaced the clip in one Casull, cambering it with his teeth, as he fired the other into the next ten ghouls coming at him. He had stopped bothering to count after the thirty second one became so much dust around him, and was now more concerned with his dwindling ammunition supply. It wasn't like he could teleport more clips to his side like Gramps, after all.

With that in mind, he stowed and holstered Ed, then drew the Vorpal Blade with his free hand. The enchanted sword hummed with a sound eerily reminiscent of a lightsaber as Xander concentrated his power into it, making the blade occasionally leave violet after images as it moved. When the White Knight had spent his current clip in his second Casull, he simply returned it to its sling and started to systematically cut his opponents down in a more traditional manner that Adrian would approve of.

In a matter of a couple of minutes it was over, and Xander was left in deadly silence. Well, he was until he heard the repeated barks of a Jackal and Casull from one direction, and the unmistakable boom of a Halconnen in another. "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Xander muttered as all sounds around him seemed to unnaturally cease. "A real bad feeling."

Soon a sound did imprint itself on his ears besides the beating of his own heart. Xander couldn't claim at the time he was glad to hear it, though.

<Tick> <Tock>

<Tick> <Tock>

<Tick> <Tock>

<Tick> <Tock>

<Tick> <Tock>

When he felt a presence behind him, a fact that was giving him a wiggins in and of itself due to the fact it had to be powerful for him to pick up on it so easily, he couldn't help but quip, "If I turn around and see a worker for 'It's a Small World' behind me, I'm going to be sorely disappointed at all the built up drama."

The youngest Hellsing turned around slowly his blade at the ready as he faced what he knew was behind him. "Hello, Lieutenant Rip van Winkle." he greeted evenly.

"Good evening, nephew." Lilith replied with a shark's grin."


*Master, I keep coming up against fish people, Golems, and these strange demonic looking bat things. What in the name of all that's holy is going on?* Seras asked mentally as she took out another demon bat by tearing off its head and stepping on it.

*I don't know, Police Girl. It sounds as if you are encountering many of my old minions and cannon fodder from Castlevania. I myself am finding an ever increasing throng of FREAK chipped imposters coming after me, along with whatever ghouls they might turn out of either stupidity, or a desire to overwhelm me with simple numbers.* Alucard responded in irritation as he put his hand through another FREAK with delusions of grandeur.

*Have you heard from Xander at all?* Seras asked after taking the time to eliminate another merman.

* But that means little. If he were in immediate danger one of us would sense it whether he could call out telepathically or not.* the No Life king answered.

*I hope you're right.* Seras responded worriedly.

"As do I, Seras. As do I." Alucard muttered aloud while he dispatched three more FREAKs.


Xander tried not to fidget as the, by all accounts insane, half-sister of Adrian looked him over. His first impression was how much she looked like Gramps, or like Xander himself, truthfully. In fact, in one subtracted her freckles, red eyes, and spectacles, and added some weight, a shorter haircut, and...well...he supposed a phallus, although he had no intention of checking what kind of plumbing the androgynous looking woman had in order to be certain, then one might think them twins.

"Does everyone in the family look like Gramps in the face but the Bartley woman?" Xander asked, more to fill the tense ensuing silence than for any other reason. He knew good and well that the vampiress in front of him could tear him apart like tissue paper, and have fun doing it. for whatever reason, though, Alucard was ignoring his mental cries for help.

"I am not certain that your...cousin is actually related to us." Rip replied in a voice strangely tinged with both German overtones, and the subtle Transylvanian timbre that Adrian still possessed in regular speech, and Vlad let loose when he felt truly passionate about something.

"Well, that's actually a load off my mind. I wasn't looking forward to a surprise like having kids someday with green hair." Xander babbled in response.

"Oh, are you planning to raise a get with Father's little servant?" Lilith asked with what sounded like genuine curiosity.

"Uh...well...isn't that kind of personal to ask someone you just met. Even if we are family?" Xander replied nervously.

Rip van Winkle seemed to mull it over for a few moments before she nodded and replied, "I suppose it is. Forgive me for my lack of manners. It has been too long since I was around anyone but dad Millennium and it sometimes show. Very few of them were as mannered as Father and his court." After a pause, she distractedly commented, "You can stop bothering with trying to contact them. This area is sealed and sanctified against such things. That's what those sheaves of paper on the doors and lamp poles are." as she looked over the buildings around them, before she settled her gaze on his face again.

"I, uh, don't suppose you come here in peace, do you?" Xander asked with equal parts fear and grim determination.

Lilith seemed to mull that over as well before she admitted, "I don't know. Hurting you would bother Adrian, but it would also anger Father. And you look more like Father than the traitor. You have never betrayed him for the Belmonts. Yet, because of Adrian, you are a Belmont. But he cares for you. He trains you. And you are he prefers. You are not Aryan. You are a quandary, nephew. I do not want to anger Father. I do not want to tear apart his loyal family and allies. And yet...hurting you hurts mein bruder as well."

"So you set all this up just to look at me and decide if you wanted to gut me?" Xander asked in confusion, even as he screamed in his head to shut up and not giver her ideas.

"I did not arrange this. I just took advantage of it. In the house to my right you will find a corpse of what looked like a gross between a chipped vampire and a gargoyle. I killed it so I could look at you without getting you too mussed." Rip replied as she cocked her head to the right to regard him.

"Um, thanks." Xander responded lamely.

"You're welcome." Rip replied, before her faced blossomed into a bright smile. "I guess I do still have some manners after all, eh?" she asked, which earned a worried nod from the son of Jessica Belmont. "I don't think I will kill you tonight. I'm still not sure of you. You do have nice fangs though. They come out when you are nervous. Father would be proud. Good night, nephew." Rip van Winkle said before she faded into the shadows of the night behind her, leaving Xander alone to contemplate what the hell just happened.

"G'night Aunt Lilith." he replied in a bewildered tone as he sank to his knees from the emotional strain of the last few minutes. His relief was cut short be the shuffling sound of more ghoul steps. Xander sighed in irritation as he headed toward the noise with the Vorpal Blade in front of him. "Back to work, I guess." he commented rhetorically as he leapt into this batch to eliminate them.

Chapter 20

Xander stumbled out of the room, nearly tripping over himself, before he shut the door behind him. After his report and debriefing, he had experienced the one thing universally feared by the insane and the lucid alike...a severe dressing down at the hands of Sir Integra. *Man, Teg is scarier than normal when she wants to be.* he commented in his mind.

"Master can indeed be intimidating, Xander." Alucard responded to the unvoiced thought, as he stepped out of the wall.

"Is it your turn to jump over me for endangering myself, my unit, and all the personnel with me by 'going off on my own like a damned American cowboy'? You know, despite the fact that was what I was ordered to do?" Xander wearily inquired.

"I will not condemn you for what you could not control, boy." Alucard responded with a surprisingly gentle tone; as he fell into step with Xander, who was heading toward his room and his shower.

"Well, so far you're the only one, Gramps." Xander spat half heartedly.

"Master and the Police Girl are both merely expressing worry. You know that. They have reason to feel fear about Lilith." the vampire counseled.

"I know that. And I can deal with Vicky crying and calling me a stupid git and all like she did on the way back tonight. It's Teg going off on me that doesn't see, fair. She's the one that advised up to split up and cover more ground!" Xander complained.

"My Master expresses her worry in strange ways. You must remember that she has been taught to hide any softness in her demeanor in the face of all things. She must never show weakness. Her love and concern for her family, you, is a weakness. In the face of that fact, a threat to her family may cause her to...overreact." Alucard explained.

"If you call it overreacting it must be bad, 'Mr. I'll kill all of humanity because of a handful of pretentious backstabbing assholes and their uninformed actions'." Xander commented with a snort.

"I will admit I went too far. Can you say I was wrong to want the village that burned her at the stake after she risked her life to help them in that plague to burn to the ground? That they did not deserve punishment?" Alucard challenged.

"Hey! I'm all kinds of with the punishment. I'm not exactly the kind of guy to say 'oh well, that really sucks' and forget it when someone hurts my friends and family. If some jerk hurt Vicky, or Willow, or Teg, or Buffy, or...hell even you or Giles, I'd be there for first crack at putting them in a hurt locker. It doesn't matter that every one of you could handle any problem for yourself. You hurt my loved ones, I hurt you. I'm just saying that A.) You went too far after you left the village itself destroyed. It should have ended there. And B.) Teg had no reason to go off on me like that." Xander answered.

"I know." Alucard responded with a sardonic grin. "But I have learned that those close to my Master must deal with her temper. It, like all things mortal, will pass in time." Alucard replied sagely.

"Unless she agrees to your turning her, you mean." Xander countered with a snort as he folded his arms and glared at his ancestor. The more he heard about that, the less he knew what to think about it. On the one hand, he was part mideon, and other than a few cool new abilities, he hadn't changed. He was still Xander, soul and all, and he still felt as he always had, fangs or no fangs. On the other hand, he didn't like the idea of anyone being turned, much less his cousin. Of course, it wasn't like it would be done against her will. Alucard had a strict policy to only turn the willing. And true mideons were nothing like the breed of 'vampires' that Angel and Spike descended from.

Xander agreed more with Alucard's assessment of the demonic revenant breed every day. They were scum, garbage, and vermin. Referring to that...species as vampires was an insult to true nosferatu like Alucard and Seras. That was why Xander adjusted so easily as his vampiric powers grew under Alucard's tutelage. It was easy to disassociate a species with rational thought and free will, a species capable of breeding naturally, and of inter-breeding with humans, from a bunch of parasitic entities that took over corpses and were driven by base instincts alone. Simply put, Mideons like Alucard were the nobility of vampires. Angelus, Spike, and his ilk were orangutans with anger management issues.

"Do not overly ponder things you do not have say in. What happens between Integra and I will be her choice. If you would condemn me for it, al least wait until I've done something." Alucard warned gently.

"It's just I have issues with family being turned. After Jesse...he was like a brother to me. And then that thing wearing his face...those eyes were not the eyes of my brother." Xander replied uneasily.

"And you released him. A far better fate than forcing him into an existence like that circus freak Angelus. To force the soul into the beast's body like that is pure Romani. Vengeance at the expense of everything, even common sense. If that clan had had any brains between them, they would have made the curse permanent. I can think of no better prison for such a beast than to be trapped by a contented soul filled with joy and love. My own Romani agents would never have let that family live down the embarrassment of such a senseless curse, I can tell you that." Alucard commented.

"You have a point there. Living with Angel for eternity would be hell." Xander replied with a weak chuckle.

"Indeed. Now get cleaned up, and get some rest. We will work on training you with the Sword of Dawn tomorrow." Alucard commanded.

Xander let out a huge yawn as he responded, "Sounds like a plan. See you tomorrow, Gramps."


"You were a bit hard on him, weren't you, Sir Integra?" Walter asked once Xander had left his cousin's office.

Integra merely sat there, seething, as she smoked her cigarillo and stared blankly out the window. "We could have easily lost him tonight, Walter." she finally said after a long, tense, pause.

"A risk each of us takes every night in this war, Sir Integra." the retainer countered.

"But not one I would send the last of my family willingly into. How is it right that he is alive by the grace of a madwoman vampiress alone, as I sat here and pushed papers?" she asked the elder Englishman.

"We all do our parts, Sir Integra. You once asked if I wished I was still out there among the carnage, fighting at Lord Alucard's side as I had through your grandfather's and father's tenures. I said I was pleased here, at your side, doing what you required of me. That was not merely something I said to reassure you. What we do is important as well. Hellsing needs commanders and organizers as surely as it needs troops, both standard, and special. You fight when the need arises. That does not mean you should be on the front for every battle." Walter advised.

"Or that I should condemn my own flesh and blood for doing what I instructed him to do?" he asked with a twisted grin, as she appreciated the irony in her tirade.

"He understands that you are concerned for him, Integra. And I know Alucard will make certain he does not take it too personally." the Angel of Death replied.

Integra heaved a little sigh as she responded, "Heaven help us all when we have to rely on that vampire for reasonable counsel and emotional support."

"You must admit that he has been remarkably helpful in Alexander's development." Walter defended.

"Of course. He cares for his family. If he could disassociate from them Rip van Winkle would never have been a problem. He would sacrifice anything for his get. It is Alucard's only real weakness." Integra mused.

"You do find the strangest common grounds with him, Sir Integra." Walter commented in a gentle tone.

Integra was silent after that as she continued to stare out the window.


Alucard stood atop the tallest spire atop the Parliament building, above Big Ben. He had apperated there to think as he looked out over London, the Thames flowing steadily behind him.

"What are you up to, child? What is going on in your head? Why do you keep me out of your mind like this?" he asked the air, as if he expected an answer.

Surprisingly, he got one. "I can not reach you fully anymore, Samiel. They...did something to me. I can barely hear you any longer." Lilith's voice replied as it carried on the wind.

"Why do you still call me the Angel of Vengeance?" Alucard asked.

"Because you are. You carry out her will, striking down those that displease her. You are the one that will strike me down for attacking her in their name. They never said she was yours." Rip van Winkle answered.

"If that were so, I would have ended you then. Why do you run from me, daughter. Why do you not let me help you? You already seem to temper yourself as you never have before. You could come with me." Alucard offered.

"I cannot." was her only reply.

"Why did you not come after Alexander when you had the chance? He is of Adrian, and you loathe your brother." the No Life King asked after a time.

"He is yours. You claim him, you train him, and you give him your face. He is hers. She claims him, and she is yours as you are hers. I will not stand before the wrath of Samiel again. I will not attack you." the wind whispered.

"Will you ever come before me as a daughter, so that I can look upon you again?" the red clad vampire asked.

"I do not know. I love you, Tata. [Papa]" Rip van Winkle said, before her hidden presence faded altogether.

"And I you, fiicã. [daughter]" the No Life King answered solemnly as he turned to watch the waves in the ever flowing river from his perch.


Xander was surprised to see Seras Victoria in his room as he came back from the shower dressed in a t-shirt and his PJ bottoms. He was certain she would be angry at him still for the 'risks' he took.

"Vicky. What can I do for you?" he asked in self conscious whisper.

Her answer was to rush him and try to hug the life out of him as she wept.

"Hey, now. It's all right. I'm here. Nothing happened to hurt me." the White Knight soothed as he help the weeping strawberry blonde.

<Sob> <Sniff> "I know, you silly git. But you've never seen what they can do. I could have lost you." the Police Girl mumbled into his chest.

"I know. But it's a risk we have to take. And Auntie Lilith didn't raise a fang against me. Or even a claw. She just wanted a better look at me is all. Nothing to worry about." Xander comforted as he maneuvered his sudden passenger to the bed so he could sit down with her.

Soon Seras had settled herself into his lap as she continued to cry out the fear for his safety she had been forced to hold in for the most part until they were alone. She simply couldn't express her true terror, however belated it may be, in from of the men. Only here, in Xander's arms, could she finally gain that release.

Once she settled down a bit, Xander adjuster her to a slightly more comfortable position as he smiled gently at her and asked, "Feeling any better now?"

"Yes." <sniff> "But, can I stay here with you tonight. I just want to hold you. I want to remind myself you're okay." Seras asked timidly.

Xander's grin grew as he replied, "You never need an excuse to get me to agree to Vicky snuggling. It's one of my favorite pastimes.", before he kissed her tenderly on the forehead.

The vampiress giggled a bit into his chest as she muttered "Goof."

"Guilty as charged." Xander responded proudly. Soon, they were spooned together in his bed, as he held his love through the night to reassure her of his presence.

Chapter 21

"You're units are performing quite remarkably, Xander. We're already at 150% of what our troop base was before the Valentine brother incident. Her Majesty herself offers her compliments for your suggestions." Integra commented evenly. She and her cousin were enjoying afternoon tea together, as had become routine for them after Xander's fencing lessons.

"Really, wow." Xander replied, clearly impressed as he sipped his glass of tea mixed so sweet that Integra swore it had become tea-flavored Kool-aid.

"It is quite ah honor to be personally commended by her Majesty. Of course, as an American, you might not appreciate the full scope of that. Which is why I was asked to give you these." Integra responded with a small smirk as she handed him a folder she had set beside her seat.

"Huh?" Xander asked in confusion as he looked over the papers. "Dual CITIZENSHIP! You mean I'm British now?" he exclaimed in a dismayed panic.

"And what precisely is wrong with being British? "Integra asked icily. "As I recall, everyone you are close to here, save Adrian and Alucard, are British. Including Officer Victoria."

Xander grimaced comically at her tone as he spat piteously, "You don't understand, Teg! Giles will never let me live this down! He'll be buying me tea and dressing me in tweed within the hour the second he finds out about this!"

Integra rolled her eyes at her cousin's theatrics during his explanation, before she responded, "You are still American as well, cousin. It's not that bad."

"I guess so." Xander replied with a note of skeptical relief.

"At best, he'll only make you wear the jacket. And I think you'll look smashing in tweed." Integra continued with smirk.

"TEG!" Xander whined.

"Yes Xander?" the eldest Hellsing inquired innocently.

Xander tried to think of something to say that she wouldn't twist against him in one way or another to make fun of him for several moments before he finally sighed, and relaxed a bit. "Never mind. Ju...just never mind." he finished in a defeated voice.

Integra reveled silently in her small verbal victory over her often smart-mouthed cousin before for a moment she asked, "I understand your training with the Sword of Dawn has hit a little snag?"

"Yeah. Gramps says I have some kind of mental block holding me back from going all out with it, or something. Then he muttered about me picking up bad habits from Vicky for like ten minutes as we trained. I keep telling him I've only been at this a couple of months and I can't cram everything at once. I mean, it's not like I lack time to get used to it, right?" the youngest Hellsing reported.

"I think it may be more that he wants you as prepared a possible before you return to the Hellmouth in a couple of weeks. Unless you're planning to delay?" Integra hinted with thinly veiled hope in her tone. Well, Walter or Alucard would be able to pick up on thinly veiled hope in her tone. A layman would have assumed it was polite curiosity. Xander just wasn't sure what it was.

"A part of me wants to stay here. I'll admit that. In just under three months this place has become more of a home to me than the Harris household ever was. But...I belong in Sunnydale. I know I do. At least for right now. Besides, I'm already going to be a week late for my intro classes at Sunnydale U." Xander responded with a small shrug.

"I take it Seras is still planning to accompany you?" Integra asked after a small nod of acceptance.

"Yeah. Unless you think you'll need her here. I don't want to leave you in a lurch." Xander answered with concern in his tone.

"We're far beyond the strength we were at before Seras was ever turned thanks to you, Xander. We can spare her. It seems Rip van Winkle is only concerned with Adrian, and had moved her attacks away from Hellsing areas out of respect for her...father. She doesn't appear to be working within the agendas of the Millennium group in any case. With her avoiding direct confrontations with us, and staying away from harming the citizenry as far as we can discern, all that remains are the usual FREAKS, and the rare rogue true vampire that we can easily handle." Integra assured him with a smile.

"But what about those Castlevania rejects that attacked Vicky?"

Xander protested in worry.

"We will find the source of them and handle it. We do have the vampire best qualified to track them down, after all. This organization survived far longer than any of us, save Alucard himself, has been alive. We can handle a mystery or two. Your education is important, and I know you wouldn't concentrate without Officer Victoria at your side. We can spare her, and if we get into a situation where the two of you are needed, we can call you. Alucard can reach you both anywhere on Earth so long as you let him in." Integra replied. After a pause to sip her tea, she gave a half grin as she quipped, "Besides, there's a certain symmetry with a Hellsing having a loyal mideon agent at their side."

Xander paused at her words, and sat there with a pensive look on his face for long seconds before he finally asked, "Um, Teg? You /do realize the parallels that could be drawn comparing Seras and I to Gramps and you, right?"

"Has Alucard taught you how to regenerate yet, Xander." Integra asked, seemingly ignoring his question.

Xander knew better as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up when he answered, "No. He said it would come as I gain in strength, but I might be decades away from mideon level healing like Grandfather Adrian has, much less coming close to what he or Vicky could. And Vicky pales against him."

"Then please refrain from making inferences about Alucard and I, or from mentioning them should they magically befoul your brain in the future.." Integra warned in far too calm a voice for Xander's liking.

"Gotcha." Xander squeaked as he sipped his tea.


"You and the boy will be leaving for a time quite soon, Police Girl." Alucard commented a few nights later. Xander was training in the use of his whip with Adrian, who knew far more about the Poltergeist King's work, and the Belmont methods, that his father did; which gave him time to counsel his fledgling on a few things.

"I know Master. I must admit, I'm excited. I've never been away fro so long before. And getting to study in college with Xander is quite thrilling. But...I'm frightened too." Seras admitted in subdued tones.

Alucard scoffed lightly as he responded, "You will be gone a few months at a time at most, Draculina. We both know you and the boy will want to spend those puerile human holidays here with your family."

Seras smiled fondly at her Master's mockingly scornful tones. It was good to know some things would never change. "Well, we wouldn't want to leave poor Walter with only one person to modify new weapons for." she timidly teased.

Alucard favored her with his typical mad grin and a throaty chuckle at her response. After a time, he took off his Lennon shades and looked deeply into his fledgling's eyes as he asked, "I have offered it to you once before, Seras. You refused, not wanting to be without my hand to guide you. Now, as you prepare to go off with your chosen, will you accept it? Will you become full nosferatu? You have already become more than so many of your peers can ever hope to be. Will you take that next step?"

Seras met red eyes with red as she pondered what Alucard was asking of her. To accept his offer was to break the link between them. She would no longer be merely his servant. She would be a vampire in her own right, and under her own power alone. She would be alone. Only...she wouldn't. She would still have Xander, and Sir Integra, and Walter. Even Master would not be gone from her life. If these past months had taught her anything, it was that he cared for and watched out for his family. She would still be family in his eyes. All this would do is change their relationship. Not end it... "I am ready, Master." she answered solemnly.

Alucard's grin threatened to split his face in two at her answer as he rolled back the sleeve on his right arm and offered her the exposed limb. "Then drink of me, Seras Victoria. Drink and grow strong. For tonight, you are no longer merely my fledgling. Tonight you become my Childhe." he replied seriously, paternal pride dripping from his voice.

Seras gulped nervously as she inched toward Alucard's forearm and opened her mouth. Every doubt she had ever had about this moment screamed at her to pull away as he fangs began to rest on the flesh of her Master's arm. Those fears and doubts washed away in a sea of power and joy when his lifeblood his her tongue, however. Soon all she felt was the power, pain, and ecstasy that come with being born fully into the night.

Birds and bats and animals of the forest took flight all at once, as the skies themselves rumbled in approval. The No Life King had made another, and the world waited with baited breath to see if she would be a boon or a plague upon them all.


"Vicky." Xander breathed as he looked up from where he and Adrian were training with the whip.

"Father." Adrian commented with far more subdued and loaded tones in his voice.

"She accepted it." Xander commented, realizing what had happened almost immediately.

"It would appear so. Father certainly took his time to guide her. Never before has he allowed someone to choose when they were ready to free themself from him. Your young Seras is to be commended for earning that faith from him at the very least." Adrian commented.

"Are you okay with all this, Alucard?" Xander inquired of his great-grandfather using the name he was best known by among the Belmonts. For Xander, Adrian would always be Alucard, and Vlad would always be Gramps.

The dhampir prince was silent for a time before he replied, "It was one of only a handful of times I can recall him turning someone for what I would agree were the right reasons. Of those, she's the first to start off so well. Lilith, whom he turned to save her life, loathes me and is unstable. Lisa and Mina, whom he was trying to save in his own twisted way, ended poorly. One was destroyed in the overzealousness of your ancestor Abraham and that Texan. Mina fell into a bad marriage that soon ended, and hates father with a passion. I just fear Seras will have an uphill climb as a child of Dracula."

"Good thing I'll be there to help her." Xander replied seriously.

"Indeed it is, grandson. Indeed it is. Now, let's see of we can get that fireball burst spell down before you head back tonight."

Adrian agreed.


A week and a half later, the day came for Xander and Seras' return to America. The last evening had a small party with the Hellsing command staff, the original soldiers that trained Xander, and all his family in England except for Lilith at a rented hall in London due to the fact that Adrian flat refused to enter the Hellsing manor, but wanted to be there to send Xander off.

"Xander, when you arrive at Los Angeles, I want you to rent a room and stay there until the next day. I've made arrangements with my legal firm to transfer certain accounts and holdings to you and the branch there will help facilitate the transfer." Alucard mentioned as he and Xander stood back to watch Integra sniping at an intimidated Adrian about games of canine tag due to his relics.

Xander looked the card over carefully at his ancestor's words. "Wolfram & Hart? You have lawyers, Gramps?" he asked skeptically.

"As most monarchy systems fell, it was a better way to handle my assets in the changing world. I also wanted to sue a pathetic revenant vampire for slander who is using my name and a few cheap spells from his human life among the Romani to impersonate me. My ties here prevent me from hunting him down as I would prefer, and he's proven a master at dodging a summons. I actually caught some pathetic revenant in the thirties grousing to himself about how 'Dracula' owed him money for a wager made on a football match. As if I would ever gamble, and with trash like that, no less. I'd sooner embrace the Judas Priest as a brother." the no Life King explained with a sneer. After a pause to sip at his blood, he continued, "I will warn you, they are run by elder demons, and are evil. Still, they do good and thorough work, and you don't have to hide your lack of aging with them. I've used them for various property purchases and civilized dispute and such for nearly three hundred years now."

"Evil lawyers, that's too easy to even make a joke about." Xander said with a wrinkled nose.

"Yes, well, the gentleman I spoke to on the phone asked me to let you know you should speak with a junior attorney named Liliah Morgan from their 'Special Projects' division to finalize the transfers. She'll be ready to meet you at 12:30 local time for a business lunch to hash everything out." Alucard instructed.

"Vicky and I will be sure to stop by, then." Xander agreed.

Speaking of Vicky, she chose that moment to walk up to the pair and hand the White knight one of the two glasses of blood she held, before she took a sip of the other. "What are you and Master here whisperin about love?" the Police Girl asked curiously as Xander snaked his arm around her waist to hold her to his side.

"Just discussing Gramps and his evil legal aid." Xander quipped with a grin.

"Evil solicitors. That's too easy for you." Seras commented as she leaned into Xander with a sigh of contentment.

Adrian hurrying up to them cut any response Xander could have made short. "Alexander, I have to be going. There's no telling where Rip will strike next, and I have to be ready for her. Thank you for letting me attend you good-bye party. I'll call you once you've settled in. Seras, good luck and take care of my great-grandson. Father...I love you, but you two deserve each other." the dhampir hurriedly said, before walking briskly toward the door.

The three remaining people with mideon blood watched with varying degrees of amusement as Adrian hurried off. "Well, my Master must be rather pleased with herself. I'm off to enjoy her god humor and charm. Take care, children." Alucard commented before heading off toward where Integra had a devilish smirk on her face.

"I think I may remember the look on Grandfather's face for the rest of my life." Xander quipped with a huge smile.

Seras giggled a bit as she responded, "Hey, now. You've been on the receiving end of one of Sir Integra's arse chewings before. Can you really blame him for running after that?

"Not in the slightest." Xander conceded with a wider smile.

"There you go, then." Seras replied smugly as she leaned up and kissed Xander lightly on the lips.

"So, you sure you're ready for tomorrow?" Xander asked as the pair strolled through the rest of the party to stand in a balcony on the north face of the hall.

"As ready as I can get to attend university in the States, I suppose." Seras replied with a nervous grin.

"Yeah, well you don't have to worry about a thing." Xander stated confidently.

"And why is that?" the Police Girl asked as she tried to hold in a giggle when Xander started to puff out his chest in a Superman pose.

Xander dropped the pantomime super-hero posture to lean down and gently kiss Seras on the balcony under the stars. "Because we'll be there together. That's all that really concerns me right now." he whispered as he pulled back for a small breath, before leaning in for another kiss.

"Well, you've certainly convinced me." Vicky whispered back as she accepted the kiss eagerly.

Chapter 22

Xander took time to reflect on all he had experienced over the last three months as he enjoyed the plush seat on the private airplane into LAX Teg and arranged for him. Well, he was more enjoying Vicky curled up next to him sleeping than he was the seat. Still the point was that he was quite content as he watched the starry blackness pass by them from the window of the round table funded Concord jet that was winging them to California.

There was a change right there. Three months ago his eyes would never have been keen enough to enjoy the view at night over the Atlantic Ocean, much less at the supersonic speeds they were traveling. They had left London at one in the morning local time, which, with time zones and the speed they were traveling at, meant they would be in before four in the morning Los Angeles time. With their Diplomatic Visas, a gift from a Round Table all too happy to get Xander out of England, especially after his biggest private detractor had apparently been killed while trying to get a score of coke, it would be a matter of less than an hour to process through customs, weapons and all, and be on their way. Their larger belongings, such as Vicky's Halconnen, were already waiting in their hotel suite. All the pair would need to do is a cursory check through and then get into Xander's '57 Chevy that was awaiting them upon arrival.

*Man, it sure has been a wild ride. If anyone would have told me I'd be returning to Sunnydale with a hot vampire girlfriend...well, alright that wouldn't have been a shock at all. This is me, after all. Still, the fact that Dracula, whom I'm related to, turned her is still a shocker. I'd have laughed my butt off at anyone that would have suggested I'd be sporting fangs and not really be bothered by them, though. Of course, it's not like I'm one of those walking pieces of trash that call themselves vampires. Being immune to ever ending up like Jessie alone is worth exploring this side of me.* he mused in his head as the Ocean flew past them.

*The fact I'll be able to stay with Vicky, Gramps, Alucard...and hell, Teg too. I know she'll cave eventually. As creepy as it is, even I can see someday my cousin will be my new step-great-great-grandmother. Those two really are made for one another. Well, the fact I'll be as ageless as they'll all be is worth it, too. Even if the girls will freak over it.* he thought with a strained grin, even as he kissed the top of Seras' head in her sleep. That, in return, earned him a murmur of contented sounds as the vampiress squirmed and re-adjusted herself in her sleep.

*Ah, let them freak.* he finally concluded as he waited for their arrival with a small grin.


A few hours later, the plane arrived with no problems as the couple went through all the necessary checks, before they moved on to their hotel to sleep off the brightest part of the day for the sake of Vicky's eyes, before they explored the city that night, and visited Wolfram & Hart the following morning.


"So, have you heard from Xander?" Buffy asked as she and Willow walked through campus on the way to their respective classes the morning that Xander and Seras' flight had arrived.

"Yeah, he called a couple of days ago and said he had a few more things to tie up before he came home. It might be anywhere from a couple of days to a week before he's back." Willow confirmed with a grin of anticipation. Never before had she been without for such an extended period since they had met in kindergarten, and she was looking forward to his return accordingly. Sunnydale just felt...wrong to her without a Xander in it.

"You had said he was visiting his family?" Buffy inquired to confirm what she remembered.

"Yeah, he said he had a good chance to get to know his cousin Teg." Willow confirmed with a wide grin as she thought about whether or not she should drop the next bombshell she had for the Slayer.

"That's nice. I know Xander always tried to get away from his parents' house. I mean, I remember what Cordy said about his home life after they broke up. It's just good to see he found family he can get along with." the Slayer commented.

Willow decided silence was too quiet as she grinned and responded, "Tell me about it. His relatives on his mom's side are all snobby and stuff. But it turns out Teg really cares. In fact that's why he's not sure when he'll be back. He has to stop at a legal firm to get control of some family accounts his uncle or somebody set up for him to go to college. Then he starts here officially next week."

"WHAT?" Buffy shouted in shocked excitement.

"Yep. He was a little light with the details, but apparently she pulled a few strings and got him accepted. It turns out his dad's family was a little more influential than he knew, and that his cousin wanted to make it right for his dad skipping out on his mom like that." Willow confirmed.

"This is great! The whole gang will be back full force. Maybe we should talk Giles into getting on here as Librarian." Buffy mused aloud.

"I think he enjoys being a 'man of leisure' too much to work here. Still, it will be the return of the original Slayerettes." Willow enthused.

Buffy wrinkled her nose as she playfully replied, "Isn't 'man of leisure' just British for unemployed?"

"Not when he has enough money that he doesn't need to work." Willow countered as they entered their psychology class with professor Walsh.


That night Xander and Vicky were enjoying themselves in a small club when Xander saw someone he never expected to run into in Los Angeles. "Oh, I don't believe this." he muttered to himself as he saw someone walk in and start watching a pretty young blonde at the bar.

"Wot is it, love?" Seras asked over a sip of her coffee. Xander had suggested it as a better choice than subjecting herself to processed American tea bang when they were out. At least with coffee, she had no pre-conceived notions on what it should taste like.

"Deadboy. And apparently reverting to type with the stalking of blondes." Xander responded in annoyance.

Seras wrinkled her nose in not so mild disgust as she asked, "You mean that ponce of a revenant with the soul?"

"That's the one. It figures though, not even in town twenty four hours, and I run into the brood machine that is Angel." Xander answered ruefully.

"Well, maybe he won't notice us. It's not like Master didn't teach me how to suppress me presence, so he won't pick up on that..."

Seras began, but trailed off as she noticed the look in her lover's eyes.

Xander's attention was focuses on the approaching revenant in question. "Hello, Deadboy." the White Knight greeted neutrally.

"Xander?" Angel inquired, as if unsure if it was truly him. "What are you doing here? Is Buffy in some kind of trouble?" he asked with ever growing concern.

"Actually, I'm here with my lovely girlfriend Seras Victoria, and had the...pleasure of running in to you randomly. I haven't seen Buff in months. I haven't even been in California. Although, I'm sure she'd be comforted you've found other blondes to stalk." Xander responded coolly, reminding Seras of Sir Integra a great deal at that moment. "By the way, Vicky, meet Angel. Angel, meet Vicky, please keep your eyes off her neck." Xander said be way of introduction.

"I'd say it was a pleasure to meet you, but I dislike your species in general." Seras responded coolly as she politely offered her hand to Angel.

Angel looked on in stunned shock at Xander's attitude, as well as how casual he was being with his references to Angel's vampirism in front of Seras as he mumbled a hello and accepted her handshake. As he greeted her he was shocked to see her red eyes and glanced over at Xander as if to ask what was up with them.

"She's albino. She just dyes her hair to blend in more. And yes, she knows about the nightlife bumping the night away. With my life, do you really think I could risk a relationship with a woman who didn't know?" Xander explained blandly.

Angel just nodded at that; he didn't feel anything off about the woman anyway. Finally, his mind caught with Xander's stalking references, and he felt he had to explain himself. "The girl at the bar is in danger. I have a...friend who gets mystical visions that said she would die tonight if I don't protect her." he said.

"Nice to see your keeping busy. And with a cryptic source of information all your own. That's neat. Really." Xander scoffed in his unyielding deadpan.

The vampire let the barbs slide off his back with a practiced ease. He and Xander would never like each other, but at least they knew where the other stood on the matter. That always bred a type of grudging respect between them. "You know, you're the second person from Sunnydale I've run into since I've been here."

"Oh?" Xander inquired curiously as he sipped his soda.

"Yeah, I ran into Cordy last night watching over the girl. She's trying to break in to acting." the vampire replied.

Xander let loose his first true genuine grin as he replied, "Good for her." He glanced back at where Angel's charge was then and commented, "Uh, Deadboy? I think you might have some issues. The girl you're supposed to be watching just got a phone call that freaked her out, and the blonde at the end of the bar that screams 'cop' and has a gun tucked under her jacket is watching you like a hawk."

"What?" the revenant asked in confusion as he looked back behind him, then swore under his breath in Gaelic. "I have to go." he reported grimly.

"Figured you would. Look, here's my cell number. I'll probably be in town a couple of days. If you need backup, I can try to reign in my disgust for you for the sake of the woman." Xander offered as he handed Angel a card with his number on it.

Angel looked at Xander oddly as he accepted the card. Since when would Xander Harris offer to help him in anything but averting the Apocalypse? "Thanks." Angel replied, the confusion clear in his tone as he accepted the card.

"I've had to grow up a little. If it saves someone, I can learn to tolerate you. Just don't expect me to bail you out of something that has no innocents on the line. Frankly, I wouldn't piss on any of your vamps if they were on fire. Including you." Xander warned with a shark's grin.

"Good to know." Angel replied with a similar grin as he walked off toward the distraught woman, his trenchcoat swishing dramatically behind him.

Once the vampire was well and truly out of hearing range, Seras commented, "Well, he was dour and sickening."

"That's just you natural aversion to those demonic insults to the word vampire wait. No it isn't. He is dour and disgusting. Being a rev. is just added fuel to the fire." Xander replied with a grin.

Vicky's smile matched his as she sipped her drink and asked, "You think he'll call?"

Xander shrugged as he replied, "Out of everyone in the 'Dale, he knew best what I was capable of even before I was properly trained. If he needed it, he'd trust me to have his back."


The next morning, Xander and Vicky woke up and had a good breakfast, before they headed off for Xander's noon meeting at W&H. Once they arrived, they were stopped for a moment at the security desk to verify their appointment.

"Alexander Hellsing here to see a miss Lilah Morgan." Xander reported coolly. He was dressed in his suit again, with Vicky dressed in a longer skirted version of her Hellsing uniform standing behind him.

"Miss Morgan is expecting you, Lord Hellsing. Please head right to her office." the security officer responded politely, before he directed the pair on where to go.

Soon, they were at Lilah's door, awaiting her response to Xander's knocks. "Ah, Lord Hellsing, Miss Victoria, please come in and have a seat." the lawyer greeted as she opened the door.

"Thanks. My great-great-grandfather told me to see you today about a transfer of accounts and assets?" Xander responded as he and Vicky came in and sat down.

"Ah, yes, yes he did. Prince Vlad arranged everything through our European branches, all you have to do is sign a few papers." Lilah replied with a grin as she walked to her desk and picked up a manila folder and handed it to Xander. "You'll find there accounts for several million dollars, a few properties here in the states, as well as in England and mainland Europe, and a few other odds and ends." she responded with a grin as she looked Xander up and down as he read.

Seras saw the lawyer gaze and cleared her throat to gain the lawyer's attention, and remove the woman's interests from eying her boyfriend as she asked, "Excuse me, Miss Morgan? But why do you keep calling Xander 'Lord' Hellsing? As far as I was aware, only Sir Integra held a title among the two of them."

Lilah, who noticed both Xander's lack of interest in her and her low-cut blouse, as well as the warning look in the nosferatu's eyes reigned in her interest visibly as she answered, "Actually, Miss Victoria, it's all in those papers. Prince Vlad, as both a Prince and a Count, arranged the conference of a title of 'Lord', as well as a small parcel of land in the Carpathian Mountains west of his ancestral castle lands, for Lord Hellsing to be in control of. Even if the Romanian government might not recognize the official titles publicly, neither they, nor the local populace, has any intention of contradicting someone of your sire's standing."

Before Seras could respond Xander, who was still buried in reading over the paperwork piped in, "Yeah. Apparently I also own Carfax Abby, a mansion three times bigger than Cordy's family had in Sunnydale that was purchased for us to live in last month, and what has to have been like four different safehouses outside of my new Wallachian summer home that are scattered all over Europe. I've got to hand it to Gramps; he isn't stingy with the wealth. The land I'm now Lord of even includes grandpa Trevor's home village. If that isn't a thumb to the nose of the other Belmonts, I don't know what is."

Seras grinned ruefully as she agreed, "That sounds like the Master, all right."

From there, the conversations degenerated into typical legal-ese with liberal smatterings of 'sign here's and 'initial there's until all the transfers were done, and debit cards for Xander and Seras were transferred into their possession.

"Well, that looks like everything." Lilah concluded, glad that a matter for such a long time and important client went off without a single hitch. Well without a hitch besides reminding herself that even thinking about poaching of the childe of the No Life King was monumentally stupid. Lilah was damned lucky Seras had a more even temper than the majority of her predecessors. "If you need anything else, I've been assigned as your personal executor. Just call me and let me know how I can help either of you." she offered.

Xander just smiled politely as he and Seras thanked her and made their way out.


That night Xander and Seras were enjoying a late night hunt in the city of Angels before they departed to for Sunnydale, when Xander's phone rang. "Yes? Hello, Angel. What's up? She's dead, huh? Her evil boyfriend was some corporate vampire? He tried to do what to Cordy? Where is she? Well where do you live? We'll be right there." Xander conversed.

"Xander, what's happened?" seas asked as she watched her lover become more and more agitated as he spoke to the revenant vampire.

"Cordy nearly got drained by some asshole revenant that like to play human businessman tonight. Angel managed to save her, and she's trying to calm down at his place. He thinks a familiar face might help her to relax after all this." Xander angrily reported. It was clear he was seething mad at what had nearly happened to the former May Queen.

"Cordy, that's your old ex you told me about, right?" Seras inquired as they made their way to the car. As they cut through an alley, they were a groups of five revenants attempted to accost them. Neither mideon, nor part mideon broke stride as they decimated the filth with claw and Vorpal Blade, respectively, on their way to the car.

"Yeah. She's really shaken up for falling into something like this from what Deadboy said." Xander replied shakily. He had moved on fully with Seras, and both knew it, but he still had a desire to protect those he cared for, and he would always care for Cordelia.

"Then we'll help her. What happened to the revenant?" Seras asked without a hint of jealousy. Xander and she had spoken in depth about his past over the months, and she knew she had nothing to fear in the way of residual feelings for the mortal girl that had been his first girlfriend.

"From the way Angel sounded, I think they had to beat a hasty retreat, so I imagine it's still alive. For now." was the White Knight's steely response.

Seras offered no further comment after that. Really what could be said with words that wouldn't be said with revenant ashes soon anyway?


Two hours of calming Cordelia down later found the group of Cordy, Seras, Angel, Doyle, and Xander sitting together in the kitchenette of Angel's apartment below his building as they discussed what to so now.

"So, you know where this ass works?" Xander icily inquired.

"Yeah. I take it you want to be there when I 'talk' to him?" Angel confirmed.

Xander offered no verbal response, but the vampire still had to suppress a shiver as they boy assumed the look that had frightened off Angelus at Sunnydale hospital so long ago. That was all the answer he needed.

On the couch, slightly removed from the action at the kitchen table, Cordelia and Seras were each enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. fortunately, Xander had assumed correctly that Angel would lack human food, and had stopped to get some powdered cocoa mix on the way.

"So, what kind of demon are you?" Cordy asked with her usual sense of tact.

"Um, I'm not a demon." Seras replied as she gave the uncomfortably gorgeous brunette an odd glance.

"Please. You're dating Xander, and frankly I'm the only one who broke his mold for super-powered chicks. The way you two carry yourselves now is so not in keeping with the slightly klutzy dorkhead I knew. So what's the deal?" the Queen bitch of Sunnydale pressed.

"Well, you see, I work for Xander's cousin Integra as a demon hunter. That's how we met, an' he's had a bit of training with us there. That's probably the difference." the vampiress responded uncomfortably.

"Right." Cordy replied with no attempt to conceal her sarcasm. "In other words, let's go into the other room while the boys plan mass destruction." she added as she dragged Seras off to the bedroom.

"Well, be in here, girl talk!" Cordelia shouted before she closed and locked the door behind her.

Doyle looked on curiously before he asked Xander, "Shouldn't you go see to that, then?"

The young man pondered that for a few seconds before he shook his head in the negative and replied, "Nah, Cor'll get the info she wants, then leave it be until at least tomorrow after we get back. It will be easier to just let her get her facts than get in between Queen C and a secret. Trust me, I know from where I speak on this."


The next morning found a unique sight as Angel and Xander strode into the boardroom of the vampire Russell Winters with a definite purpose in mind.

Angel was stopped halfway to the corporate vampire by a young lawyer who said, "I'm with Wolfram & Hart. (hands him a business card) Mr. Winters has never been accused and shall never be convicted of any crime - ever. Should you continue to harass our client, we will be forced to bring you into the light of day. A place, I'm told, that isn't all that healthy for you."

Before Angel can respond,, though, Xander pipes up from the back of the room. "Wolfram & Hart, huh? I'd think you would handle a better class of clients than to stoop to dealing with this filth."

he disdainfully spat.

"And just who are you?" Winters asked with an appraising eye toward the young man.

"Lord Alexander Hellsing, of the Hellsing Organization." Xander introduced. That declaration earned him shocked looks from Angel, Winters, and the Lawyer, one Lindsey MacDonald. The lack of fear on Russell Winters' face after he assimilated the information, however, irked Xander to no end.

"You're a little far off from England, Mr. 'Hellsing'." the revenant stated in a voice that showed he didn't believe who Xander was for a second. From there, he returned his attention to Angel and started a rant about how different things were in LA, and how as long as he paid his taxes and stayed out of the lime light he could do whatever he wanted.

Xander had heard just about enough then. "You're pathetic. You call yourself a creature of the night? You're just garbage. A sideshow freak trying to play at being modern aristocracy as you succumb night after night to your base instincts like the maggot you are. You aren't even worth my time. In fact, if you hadn't tried to kill a friend of mine last night, I wouldn't even have bothered to look at you. But, you did. And now, I'm going to deliver a message through your lawyer that can be circulated throughout this city on what happens when you touch my friends.", he sneered

"Are you threatening me?" the vampire spat back with a superior smirk on his face.

Xander laughed in a tone that was eerily reminiscent of the Hellsing 'weapon' Alucard's laugh as he drew Ed and pointed it at the heart of the vampire. "Rus, I'm a blood relative of the Hellsing and Belmont Clans, as well as a direct descendant of the No Life King himself. You're so far beneath me it's funny. All you are is an object lesson. A message to those that try to hurt my friends."

"And just what do you think that toy can do to me?" the arrogant vampire asked, even as his voice cracked with actual fear.

"My family father's side of the has a prayer that has become our motto. One about impure souls and eternal damnation. Frankly, you are so low on the scale of filth..." Xander began as the <BANG> of the Casull went off in the room and dusted Russell Winters courtesy of a blessed silver, explosive, hollow point reducing his cranium to a fine red mist. "...that you don't even have a prayer." he finished emotionlessly.

The whole room stared at the youngest Hellsing with fearful respect as he put away his hand cannon and looked over to Angel, who gaped at his with wide mouthed astonishment. "I think we made our point. Let's go." he commanded to the revenant, making Angel shake his head in shock before he walked numbly out of the room. Xander followed right behind him, but paused at the door to look over his shoulder at Lindsey and say, "Oh, if you see Lilah Morgan today, please let her know Seras and I appreciated all she did to help me with my accounts yesterday and we thought she did a great job. Ciao."

Chapter 23

The ride back to the future sight of the Angel Investigations offices was blissfully quiet for Xander. It was that quiet because Angel was hidden under a blanket in the trunk of his black convertible, but still, Xander had always enjoyed the quiet.

Of course the look of fearful confusion on Deadboy's face meant he would have massive amounts of explaining to do once they arrived, but that was expected. Hell, the second Willow, Giles, or Buffy heard his proper last name he'd be stuck explaining things for a while. It wasn't like Hellsing was a common name or anything.

The White Knight did silently curse himself for mentioning his was a blood relative to the No Life King, though. He was so accustomed to being associated with Gramps and Hellsing now, he totally ignored the backlash that could cause here. Even with his diplomatic Visa, and arranged weapons permits, he could cause an international stink if he operated too publicly.

The fact Xander was scared of his mideon heritage getting back to the Sunnydale gang, and them kicking him out or attacking him for it never came into his consideration. Really. Well, maybe just a bit.

*Oh no. This isn't complex. Never mind that Vicky told Cordy everything about herself and that I'll have to deal with that fallout. Now I have to keep Deadboy quiet. Well, okay, keeping him cryptic isn't exactly monumental. I think he'd want to risk a visit from Gramps about as much as he'd want to take up sunbathing. Still, I need to learn to keep my big trap shut.* Xander scolded himself mentally.


"Well?" Cordy asked as she stood up from Angel's leather couch when she saw Xander and Angel come through the door.

Xander gave a devilish smirk that made Vicky, who was back at the hotel room sleeping away the results of Cordy's interrogation earlier, feel like grinning like a fool whenever she saw it, as he reported, "We came, we saw, I dusted."

"You dusted him?" Cordelia asked in confusion, as she remembered just how scary Russell Winters had been.

Xander shrugged affably as he ignored the May Queen's incredulosity at his abilities.

Angel filled in the gaps, his voice somewhat shocked as he added, "He shot him. He had a huge pistol and shot him in the head from across the room. It blew his head apart, and he dusted."

Xander shrugged again, acting as if it were no big deal, as he took out Shenzi and Ed for the room to see, which caused Cordelia to let out a startled squawk, and Doyle, who was sipping a small glass of whiskey to whistle in appreciation. "Hellsing Arms 454 Casull special model. Load is an explosive hollow-point made with silver alloy melted down from blessed silver crosses at Lancaster Cathedral. A gift from my cousin Teg and her armorer." he announced proudly.

Angel gulped in fear as Xander described the weapon and its source. He was always secretly grateful his soul curse had kept him out of England since just before the Hellsing Organization formed. Smart revenants avoided London and its mideon population to begin with even before the No Life King was captured. The groups that rose from that capture kept all but the most foolish of vampires away.

"And the fact you introduced yourself as Lord Alexander Hellsing?" the Champion of the Powers that Be asked.

"It sounds cool. I'm still not to sure about this 'lord' stuff, and I'll keep it from Giles at all cost to keep him from getting stuffier than normal near me, but still, it will grab attention and send a message." Xander explained, seeming to miss a very important part of the question.

"I think he meant your last name being 'Hellsing', dingus." Cordy snapped as she ignored the intimidation factor of seeing two huge hand cannons in her ex's possession in favor of more comfortable verbal bearings.

"Oh. Cousin Teg's proper name is Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing. My real dad was her Uncle Richard Hellsing. She kind of convinced me to change my name to what it should have been if he hadn't of skipped out on my mom before I was born. After knowing Tony all there years, can you really blame me, Cor'?" Xander responded.

Cordy nodded her head in concession to that point. She knew that much from grilling Seras last night, she just wanted to make Xander fill in Angel, who now looked paler than normal. "Good point. I mean you finally found relatives who aren't drunks like Tony, or totally ignore you exist like the Belmonts, so I can see you wanting to jump at it."

"Belmont!" Doyle exclaimed in fearful shock.

" were serious, then. You're related to the Belmonts and the Hellsings." Angel muttered, even as his mind furiously repeated the other relative Xander name dropped earlier that day. He moved over and sat heavily in his desk, looking paler than normal for a revenant, and never taking his eyes off Xander and his gins.

Xander holstered his guns then and smirked a smirk only a descendant of Dracula could pull off as he reached behind him and, seemingly like magic, produced a worn leather whip in his right hand when he brought it forward. "Does it look like I'm kidding to you, Deadboy?" he asked innocently as he uncoiled the whip.

By now Doyle, who picked up his bottle and had backed up against the wall let out a terrified "Jesus." at the sight of the whip.

Cordelia, who totally missed the significance of the weapon, even if it was only a replica made by the Poltergeist King (not that either demonic man in the room knew that), snorted as she commented, "What's so about a moldy whip that made you guys back off more than those gigantic guns? You know, besides giving way too much information about Xander's personal life?"

"Tha's the Belmont Whip, Princess. You don't cross a man wavin' that around in this lifetime if you're smart." Doyle explained shakily.

"It's enchanted to kill demons and vampires. Ones so powerful they'd tear everything we saw in Sunnydale, except maybe the mayor, apart without much effort." Angel added fearfully.

"Oh. Wait, why would something like that belong to Xander?" the brunette beauty inquired.

"I'm a Belmont. The only Belmont that still believes in demons, actually, much less hunts them. Turns out it's like this huge family legacy that got ignored in the face of being rich and lazy in the new world. Actually, this is a copy made by some powerful force called the Poltergeist King. The real whip is probably sitting in a trunk somewhere in Texas at my great uncle Simon's estates. It can do most everything the original one can still, but it's not the one that they probably have in mind." Xander explained as he coiled the whip back up and put it away. "It was a gift from an old family ally." he added with a shrug as he sat down on the couch.

"Okay, just wondering." Cordelia replied nonchalantly as she sat on the arm of the couch opposite Xander and took out her nail file to work on her manicure. "Oh, Angel? While you were gone Doyle and I talked over ways to tackle your whole mission for redemption deal, and we thought setting up a detective agency might work. You know so we can actually get paid to be all heroic." she reported to the vampire.

"Huh? Okay." the revenant replied absently still staring at Xander in shock.

"We can discuss my salary as your assistant later." Cordelia added matter-of-factly, before she turned back to face Xander. "So you shot Russell?" she asked.

Xander's face beamed with pride as he answered, "Yep. Teg's been training me since she tracked me down and convinced me to learn the family business at the beginning of summer. I'm technically a unit commander of the Hellsing Organization on leave to attend college right now. And on top of it, I made things easier here for Deadboy by announcing who I was before I did it."

"What?" Angel asked in confusion.

"The law firm the guy who bothered you mentioned is a big player for big bads world wide. Now, they'll mostly ignore you, and focus on me and what I did, so you can move more freely here while I'm back in the Dale." Xander clarified.

"Doesn't that put you and your girl Seras at risk, then?" Doyle, who had calmed down considerably and ungrafted himself from the wall by now, asked in genuine concern.

Xander shrugged as he replied, "Not really. I have accounts through them on my mom's side of the family they'll care more about than anything that two bit jerks dusting cause."

"You have accounts through an evil law firm?" Cordy asked then.

"Yeah. Turns out that's where the 'Lord' Alexander Hellsing stuff comes into play. I'm the descendant of Vlad Tepes Dracula on my mom's side. As in the real Dracula, the son of the Dracul, who later became one of those major player vamps Angel was freaking out over. Who also happened to be captured and magically conscripted by the Hellsing family a little over a century ago, and decided he wanted to take care of his youngest relative and heir to the Wallachian throne several centuries down the line after he met me. He's had accounts and contract with Wolfram and Hart older than this country, and he signed a few off to me as high school graduation gifts. I wasn't exactly about to tell the No Life King no thanks when he offered that." Xander explained.

*Of course, I make no mention of my own mideon blood, or that I'm descended from a line that came from him after he was turned. Angel is just freaked enough me might assume I'm from Vlad's first heir that took the throne 'officially' after Gramps was turned, and chose to die a man rather than become nosferatu after he saw what became of Lilith.* Xander filled in mentally.

"Wow." was Cordy's response to all that, which pretty much summed up the sentiments of the whole room.

"Good idea to accept his gifts." Angel interjected after a pause.

"I thought so." Xander responded with a shrug. "Although I would appreciate it if you kept this from getting back to the Dale. I mean, I'll have to explain the name change and the reasons behind it to Giles at the very least; but you know how hard line Buffy would be about taking gifts from powerful vampires, much less getting them through an evil law firm. It will be a headache I so don't need."

"I doubt she'd be happy about the guns or military style vampire hunter training either." Angel mused aloud his tone laced with understanding.

"Yeah. So can I consider you silent, and call it a favor for a Hellsing?" Xander asked leadingly. His tone was light, but it was clear in his eyes that there was steel behind the request if Angel got uppity.

"If she asks things directly, I won't lie to her, Xander." he began, just to gauge the boy's reaction. The utter lack of any kind of response until he finished scared Angel almost as much as the earlier revelations had. It proved how much of a handle he had on just how Xander would truly react. "But I came here because she's better off without me. I'm not going to call her to gossip either about it either." he elaborated.

"Good to know." Xander responded evenly.

From there things degenerated to the point that Xander had to repeat most of the story twice more, clarifying his omission about his mideon blood into nearly an outright lie as he worked to give the impression he was descended from the human Vlad, and not the No Life King. Eventually, Cordelia took pity on him, well she really wanted the whole story and not the edited for Angel version, so she asked him to escort her back to her apartment.


"What do you think, boss?" Doyle asked once Xander and Cordy were gone.

"He left some parts out of it. But I know him well enough to know where he stands. This actually cleared up some things about him I always wondered about. When I lost my soul, he was the only one of them to ever scare Angelus. I never understood why, though. Sometimes it was small and easy to ignore, sometimes it made the demon back away, but it was always there. I think if I had known he was a Belmont and a Hellsing, Angelus would have skipped town the first day." the Champion replied.

"You really going to keep his buds uninformed for him, then?" Doyle queried.

Angel chuckled ruefully then, as he responded, "Xander always worked best hidden in the background. The fact he would draw attention to himself like that for Cordy's sake says a lot. In Sunnydale always managed to get himself hidden in the shadows, totally forgotten, until he was suddenly there to toss a cross in your face or ram a stake in your heart. I'm not going to ruin his best weapon to protect Buffy by freaking her out if I don't need to. He'll tell them when he's ready." After a pause, he added, "Besides, he already hates me. I'm not giving him incentive to sic his family on me after Buffy reams him out."


"So what's the rest of it?" Cordy asked once they were in the car and away from Angel and Doyle.

"What do you mean, Cor'?" Xander asked innocently.

"You just covered a whole bunch of what your vampire girlfriend mentioned last night, Xander. But I know there was stuff she held back on, and I know there's more than you said." the May Queen intensely insisted.

Xander sighed to himself as he tried to arrange his thoughts. After a long pause, he asked, "Anything I tell you stay between us. No telling Angel, no calling it in to the others. No arranging third hand info passage. Deal?"

Cordelia thought over his conditions for a long while before she replied. She knew him well enough to realize that this was important, monumentally so, in fact. Could she really agree to keep anything earth shattering and maybe dangerous to herself just for the sake of knowing the whole deal? Yes. For Xander she could. "Deal." she responded with certainty.

Xander smiled fondly at her then. He always knew he could rely on her when he really had to, and he really wanted to let at least someone in all the way from the old gang. "Ok. Well then, we'll start at just how I'm related to Dracula and the Belmonts and work from there..." he began.

Chapter 24

"So Cordelia took the rest of it well, I take it?" Seras asked as she finished checking her bags for the drive to Sunnydale that after noon.

"Yeah. Well she did after a half hour rant about how she dated a vampire and how sick it was she was imitating Buff. Once I explained all the differences between you or Gramps and those...

things, then explained about dhampires, she handled it well." Xander replied from where he sat at the table cleaning and oiling Ed.

"I take it you omitted how you drink medical blood now?" Seras asked with a grin.

"Figured I'd save mentioning it for a special occasion. You know, like hell freezing over." Xander responded with a roll of his eyes.

"You really think that wanker revenant will keep quiet for you?"

Seras inquired as she moved behind Xander and kissed his neck.

"He will if he knows better than to piss of Teg and Gramps." Xander replied with a classic Alucard grin.

"I think you're giving that thing entirely too much credit, then." Seras confessed seriously, before increasing her attention to the back of Xander's neck, as she added a roaming hand or two to his front.

Xander ignored the attention valiantly until he reassembled Ed and placed it in its holster. "Seras, I think I have a problem. I have this insanely hot and cute vampire paying unhealthy attention to my neck. How ever can I save myself?" he inquired impishly as he let her play.

Seras growled huskily in his ear as she replied, "You can remind her that no matter how pretty your ex is, you still would rather shag your gorgeous vampire girlfriend."

"That might just be a plan." Xander agreed as he reached around and coaxed Seras into his lap. What followed erased any insecurities in the vampiress, despite the attraction she smelled or Cordelia toward Xander; and it erased Xander's concerns about coming back to the Dale for a good long while.


A few hours later found a classic 57 Chevy owned by a certain Hellsing heir parked in the driveway of the Harris family home. "Well here we are, Casa del Harris." Xander commented in a resigned tone.

"Don't fret, love. We're just here to get your clothes an' things, right? It won't be too trying." Seras comforted. She knew how much her lover had been dreading this moment. Still, it was for the best to break ties cleanly.

"I know, Vicky. I just don't want you to see what's in there I guess. What I could become." Xander admitted in a pained whisper.

"Hey, now. We promised each other remember? You keep me from becoming a monster like Bartley, an' I keep you from falling into a bottle. There's nothin' to be ashamed of there, because you're not going to end up like them." Seras responded in strong, yet gentle tones.

Xander nodded weakly, and gave her a ghost of a grin as he said, "Let's do this."

The first thing to imprint itself on Seras and Xander both was the smell. For Xander it was one he was used to, but it smelt far more intense in the face of his ever-growing mideon dhampir abilities. For Seras, all she could think was *Blimey, it smells like a soddin' distillery in here.* as she tried to avoid recoiling in disgust.

That effort required to reign in that revulsion grew exponentially when the fat, sweaty, greasy man that was Anthony Harris stumbled up to meet them. "That you, kid?" he asked blearily as he tried to focus on Xander who was backlit by the open door.

"Yeah dad, it's me." Xander replied automatically, even though he happily accepted the fact Tony was not his father. Granted, Tony was actually a better person than Richard Hellsing had been, especially when sober, but still Xander had embraced his true family gratefully in comparison to embracing the broken lives of the Harris clan.

Tony took a few moments to get a better look at Xander, and to leer at Seras once he noticed her, before he commented, "We moved yer shit to the basement. You're eighteen now, law says we don't gotta coddle ya, so you better get a job. You want to live here, you pay rent."

Where before Xander would have taken that with a grain of salt, before he arranged everything in the basement, then took off to forget his troubles at the Bronze for a few hours; now he felt an appreciable anger at the callous actions of his childhood guardians. "Whatever you say, Tony. I'm just here to pick up a few things I actually want before as I move into my new place." he responded with narrowed eyes.

This brought a bout of confusion to the drunk, before his face broke into another leer and he commented, "New place? You shacking up with the blonde with the rack over there? What the hell does she see in a pissant like you? Though I gotta admit, you got to do something right to get all those hot broads following you all the time."

Xander thought idly about several different responses, ranging from a fireball to the genitals, to aerating organs with Shenzi tucked someplace uncomfortable, to flat out beating the shit out of him. Instead, he took the high road and ignored him as he motioned toward Seras, who seemed to be entertaining similar thoughts, along with shredding the man into a pile of red meat, with his head toward the basement door.

Tony, who did not like the thought of Jessica's little bastard ignoring him like that, decided to teach him manners in the same way he had when Xander was younger. Of course this ignored the fact that the last time he took a swing at the kid two years ago he woke up with a mild concussion and a split lip for his trouble. "Don't you turn you're back on me like that you little shit." the drunkard growled as he let loose with a wild full force haymaker right to the side of Xander's head.

He was utterly shocked when Xander didn't even stagger from the blow, and instead just turned an icy glare on the man that nearly sobered him in an instant. Although that wasn't nearly as shocking as the sensation of suddenly being lifted off the ground by his throat as he was forced to look into the furious crimson eyes of Seras Victoria, who was on his before he knew what happened. "You want to try a cheap shot like that with me you lousy little cocker?" she snarled icily.

"Vicky." Xander warned coolly. "He's not worth it." the White Knight added.

"He blindsided you, Xander! I was a copper for long enough to know he could have killed you if he hit you in the right spot from that angle." Seras protested.

"Blindsiding me is the only way he'd ever lay a hand on me anymore and he knows it. Just let it be. It's not worth the mess. Besides, I'm much harder to kill than I used to be." Xander responded emotionlessly.

"You got lucky, ya bastard." Seras spat as she tossed Tony Harris aside like the piece of human refuse he was.

Once the matter was resolved, Tony felt it was a good time to pass out from shock, fear, and alcohol ingestion from where he laid on the floor of the Harris family living room.

The sight that greeted the pair once the organized and started hauling up the fourth load of boxes from the basement to the Chevy was one Xander half-expected to see at some point. Jessica Harris was crouched down to check on her husband's condition after her return home from work. She looked over her shoulder to see her son carrying boxes, but dismissed the significance of the scene as she tended to Tony. "Alex, help me get your father to his room to sleep this off." she ordered.

"He's not out from drinking, mother. He tried to hit me and paid the price for it." Xander replied coldly.

"I thought we discussed hurting your father." Jessica replied angrily.

"My father is Richard Hellsing. And as ashamed as I am over that fact, I want nothing to do with the drunk you're tending, either."

Xander spat back.

"What?" Jessica asked in shock.

"You heard me, mother. My cousin Integra tracked me down and filled me in over the summer. I can finally finish washing my hands of him and his abuse. By the way, I'm out of here. I'm just picking up my stuff. Tony can feel free to pawn whatever I leave behind." Xander clarified coolly.

"Alex..." Jessica started to say. She really wished she had a drink about now. This was more than she wanted to face sober.

"My name is Xander." Xander interjected.

"Xander, love, do you want me to wait outside while you and she talk this over?" Seras asked timidly from behind him.

"Don't worry about it, Vicky. We're done here." Xander responded evenly.

Jessica looked over to the young girl speaking once Seras asked her question and evaluated her as most mothers do when they first meet their son's new girlfriend. *Nice figure, pretty, seems polite, and exudes kitten like cuteness. She's like Willow with huge breasts.* she thought to herself as her eyes met Seras' for a moment. Once that happened, all her previous estimations went out the window. "Nosferatu." she breathed fearfully.

"You would know Miss Belmont." Xander countered nastily.

"You're leaving with that?" Jessica spat nastily at him, finally finding a bit of ground to stand on against her child.

"You'd rather I do what? Go to the people that left you sealed in a coffin for a century once they could get away with it without your great-grandfather gutting them for their treachery? At least Gramps, and Vicky, and Teg, and Alucard had the decency to tell me who they were and who I really was from the start. They didn't try to hide who they were in a bottle next to that after the one true asshole among assholes in the Hellsing line left me high and dry."

Xander spat back, sneering at Tony when he referred to him as ' that'.

"You've met grandfather?" Jessica replied, stunned. She had not heard anything from any of her family since she had awakened. She had assumed they were all dead, save Dracula himself.

"Indeed I have. He gave me this. I understand it was your dad's." Xander responded with cool pride as he produced Trevor's whip.

Jessica's reaction to the whip was unexpected, however. "Oh god no. Get RID of that thing! Go run off with your vampire if you want but get rid of that whip and forget everything it stands for!" she cried as she backed away fearfully from her father's preferred weapon.

"I can't do that. I'm a Hellsing. And a proper Belmont. I won't turn away now." was Xander's steely response to her plea.

"Xander that whip and father's quest are a curse. It got him killed, and I had to find the body after the assassin killed him! I had to watch as our family's worst nightmare teamed up with grandfather to avenge him. That's why the others forgot the hunt. It brings nothing but pain and death! Don't go down into the same trap." Xander's mother pressed.

The White Knight's eyes softened for half a second before a curtain of steel fell over them again as he replied, "I've fought without it, or any of the other gifts of my family for three years now, Mother. It's better to be armed. I can't walk away now. Besides, I already have a Terakan under my belt. You wanted me to be safe? You shouldn't have raised in a town built on a portal to Hell." Then he turned to Seras and said, "Let's book, Vicky. I can get anything else I want from here tomorrow." and headed for the door.

Seras nodded mutely as she made to follow him when Jessica's voice made her pause, "What are you playing at vampire? Why do you follow my son? Your eyes speak of being His childe. Is He stalking Alex through you?" the woman asked icily.

"Master and Xander deal with each other in their own way and on their own terms. Master saved me from death when a regular vampire and his ghouls had killed my unit, and were going to kill me. As for Xander...I love him. He looks at me and just sees Seras Victoria. Not a childe of Dracula, or a monster, or anything like that. He just That's all the reason I need to stay with him." Seras explained before she too walked out of the house to Xander's car.

Jessica thought over what they both had said as she shouldered her husband and dragged him to bed to sleep off his combination of drunken coma and fainting from fear. As she cane back down the stairs, she took out a handle of Jim Beam and began to drink straight from it. It had been a long evening and she needed to get drunk to cope with it.


"You going to be alright, love?" Seras asked timidly after several long minutes of silence in the car on the way back to the mansion Master had purchased for Xander in Sunnydale.

"Yeah, I will, Vicky. It's just...there's a lot I still need to say to her, but I didn't have it in me to push it then. I'll deal. I always do." Xander responded shakily.

"I'm here if you need someone to listen. You know that, right?" she offered in comforting tones.

Xander smiled wanly as he replied, "I know Vicky. I know."

After a pause Xander seemed to brighten a bit as he said, "What do you say after we drop this crap off, we shower and change, and I'll show you the only place I hung out in outside of libraries and graveyards as I grew up in this one Starbuck's town?"

"I say I'm looking forward to seeing this Bronze place you always mentioned." Seras replied with a smile. She recognized he was just changing the subject, but she knew not to press him. If there was one thing the pair had, it was time.

Chapter 25

As Xander, Seras, and Jessica were having their confrontations, another one was taking place in a well-maintained high-rise office building in Los Angeles.

Lilah looked on with mild interest at best as the door to her office swung open violently with a bang that echoed throughout the entire floor. When she saw who came in so roughly, she had to suppress the superior smirk that was trying to force itself to her face. After all, it wouldn't do to show just how much irritating her primary rival in the department pleased her, even if she wasn't certain what she had done to get him this upset.

"Can I help with something, Lindsey?" she innocently inquired as she looked up at him from where she was typing up her expense reports to be sent to W&H's London offices to be forwarded to Prince Vlad.

"What the Hell are you playing at, Lilah?" the young lawyer snarled in response to her query.

"Quite a few things. Do you want to clarify just what has you this upset, or should I contact one of the clairvoyants in Corporate Specialties to help me?" she replied with an evil grin.

"I'm talking about some lunatic calling himself 'Lord Alexander Hellsing' coming into a board meeting and blowing Russell Winters' head off, then asking me to thank _you_ for all the help you were on his accounts yesterday on behalf of him and someone named Seras."

Lindsey spat back angrily.

Lilah looked equal parts surprised and pleased with herself at Lindsey's reply as she mused, "He wanted to thank me personally by name? Well, it's nice to know I'm appreciated for working on an offshoot of one of our most important client's accounts. I'll have to remember to send them a thank you card and fruit basket or something for the holidays...or maybe a cooler of blood. They might appreciate that more...hmmm."

"What the hell are you babbling about?" Lindsey seethed in frustration.

Lilah went to her filing cabinet and took out a folder, which she handed to Lindsey as she responded, "Lord Hellsing was just given rights, title, and certain property transfers over several of Prince Vlad Tepes' accounts and holding under his highness' personal request. I was asked to handle things for the young man on this end by request of the senior partners themselves. They felt I had a better personal manner with newer clients, and they didn't want to risk loosing Prince Vlad's business with some of our more abrasive lawyers. They might have asked you if you weren't so busy with the Winters account."

Lindsey ignored the barbs in her words as he read over the summary file on Xander before he looked up angrily at her. "I take it this means the account matters are closed?"

"Do you want to be the one responsible for loosing one of the most important, if not oldest, accounts we handle? The No Life King does not respond well to people harassing his family, Lindsey. And as much as I'd like to watch him pulp you for pulling stunts against his great-great-grandson, neither I, nor the senior partners I'm certain, want to deal with the fallout that might cause." Lilah replied seriously.

"And if he becomes a threat to us?" Lindsey asked evenly.

"Look at the number of things under the main Tepes accounts sometime, Lindsey. Unless he opens the gates of Heaven, destroys all the means for the dark forces to enter the realm, and personally slaughters the Mr. Wolf, Mr. Ram, and Mr. Hart themselves, there isn't anyone stupid enough to rock the boat here. The simple fact is, I just landed one of the potentially most important splinter accounts ever, and you don't have a leg to stand on with it. All you have is the dust from a dead revenant with sexual dysfunction issues to clean up. One whose need for attention kept you out of the running for this case. Now be a dear and call maintenance for me to fix my door when you get back to your office. I have much more important things to attend to other than talking to you."

Lilah replied smugly, before she turned her attention back to her computer and resumed typing.

Lindsey seethed at her tone and her comments, but knew she was right. He wasn't about to do something that would jeopardize an account that important. He put the file back down on Lilah's desk before he headed out, making certain to call his contacts and put out the word that one Cordelia Chase was off limits and to be protected. If Lilah slipped up at some point, it certainly wouldn't hurt to take a bit of a proactive in landing the Hellsing account for himself.


The Bronze was as Xander remembered it for the most part, which should have been no real surprise when one considered he was only gone for just over three months. *Three months? Has it really been that little of an amount of time? It feels like I was part of another world for decades...* he thought to himself from where he sat at a couch to scan the room.

Vicky had insisted that it was her turn to face the lines at the bar and get drinks, and that she wasn't going to let him be a 'silly git' and pamper her like some 'pathetic Barbie doll' all the time. Xander smiled at her cute pout as she protested that he was mega rich now thanks to gramps and that he didn't mind waiting in line for the sake of someone as gorgeous as her. She just kissed him in reply, before she insisted it was her turn, and that he was easy enough on the eyes to face lines for himself.

*Then again, a few lifetimes with that girl might not be enough to satisfy me. It's like someone too the best from every woman I ever knew, poured it into one mold, and then had gramps ensure we'd have similar lifespans. Not that I knew I would end up ageless when I met her...* he further mused in his mind. *Although it was kind of funny how we forgot that fact as we took our relationship to the next level. It was like all we cared about was that we make each other happy. Looking back, both being ageless was just icing. Well that, and not having to worry about Vicky getting too wild in bed and turning me into a ghoul with too deep of a love bite. No matter how crass he was in mentioning my immunity to that in his jokes, I still appreciated that little heads up. Especially in light of certain activities two people with fangs can get up to...* he continued as he fought off a blush at the memories of those activities.

He never would have pegged himself for ending up as some kind of kinky sack-viking, or Vicky for being that wild in bed herself, but he certainly wasn't complaining. *I guess it really is always the quiet ones that surprise you. To think an almost mousy virgin vampiress could do things to me and with me that would make Faith green with envy certainly puts a new spin on reality.* he thought with a wry grin.

His mental musings were cut off there, which might have been for the best as they were getting into realms that led to various forms of public embarrassment when ruminated upon too closely in social settings, as he spotted a familiar patch of straw colored dyed blonde (even if she still swore it was natural) hair.

Buffy moped though the Bronze in a definite funk. Her encounters with the vampiress Sunday, coupled with the shock of Giles pulling back from her life a bit to let her 'spread her wings', and the lack of Scooby support, with Willow taking time to spend with Oz and Xander still not back yet as far as she knew, had left her feeling weary and unsure of herself.

"The whole world in front of her and she comes back to this dive." Xander comments in mock sorrow from behind Buffy in an attempt to surprise her.

Buffy was totally surprised for the welcome voice as she cried out Xander's name in shock, before embracing him enthusiastically as he gave her a casual 'Hey, Buff.' "You're here! When did you get here? Willow said you were going to take classes but that you might be late because of legal stuff, and she didn't know for sure when you'd arrive." she exclaimed as she took in the sight of her oldest male friend among the Scoobies.

"We got in this afternoon about one. I had to stop by my 'rents and get a few personal items to move out. We'll probably get the rest tomorrow when my mom's at work." Xander replied with a shrug, forgetting that Buffy and Willow had no idea about Seras for the moment.

"We? We who? Willow didn't mention a we." Buffy replied in confusion.

Xander's answer came back at moment as Seras arrived with a pair of hot chocolates for herself and Xander. "One chocolate, extra whipped cream as ordered." she reported with a smile as she handed him the drink before she turned her attention to Buffy. Seras smiled a smile so disarming even Buffy, who was naturally on edge around anything female near Xander that wasn't her or Willow, didn't get immediately suspicious as Seras said, "Hello. You must by Buffy! Xander's told me ever so much about you. It's a pleasure to finally get to meet you."

"And it's uh...nice to meet you. I guess. Uh, Xander, a little help here?" Buffy responded with confusion in her tone.

"Oh, yeah. I guess I forgot to mention that to Willow with how expensive the long distance charges were from England and all. I always tried to get off the phone for quick to for the sake of Teg's wallet." Xander replied sheepishly as he realized he had never mentioned Seras to the girls. Of course he had good reason with their natural aversion to women near him that weren't named Buffy or Willow, but he wasn't about to mention that in front of Buffy herself. "Uh, Buff, meet Seras Victoria, my well...girlfriend. Vicky, this is Buffy, as you already guessed." he added nervously.

"You never mentioned me?" Seras asked in a tone that was surprised, reproachful, and slightly understanding all at once. She knew of his fears about revealing women he was interested in to his friends, along with the history that spawned them. She just thought he would have at least tried to soften this meeting when it inevitably happened. "We'll really have to discuss this later, Alexander."

she added with a raised eyebrow.

"Sure thing, honey." Xander replied with an exaggerated gulp.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Seras." Buffy cut in trying to save Xander, even as her eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly as she inspected this woman with her Xander-shaped friend. " did you and Xander meet?"

"Hmm? Oh, I work for his cousin, Sir Integra. I was the one that ultimately helped arrange for him to fly to England to meet her. From there we got to know one another, and well started dating. When it came time for him to return for college, well Sir Integra felt I would advance more in life with some college study abroad and let me come with him." Seras answered cheerily.

"Sir Integra? England?!? Xander, you mutant! What is she talking about?" Buffy asked indignantly as she gave her best pout to the White Knight to ferret out the whole story.

"Hey! I mentioned Teg to Willow! I might have forgot to mention she lived in England for the sake of avoiding jokes about tweed-dom at my expense, but I did mention I was getting to know my cousin."

he defended quickly.

"Honestly, Xander. You never told your friends what Sir Integra's proper name was? Or where she lived?" Seras asked exasperatedly.

"She's Teg to me, now. That's how I think of her. Getting into titles and formal stuff gives me a natural wiggins. And I wished to avoid Giles-y comments as long as possible. Teg's jokes on how good I'd look in tweed after Giles found out about my family were enough." Xander replied with a shrug.

Buffy decided that the conversation was taking a turn away from important matters, specifically information about Seras, so she tried to move it back in that direction. "So you work for Xander's cousin and helped him get to England?" Buffy asked the vampiress.

"Oh, yes. I met him here in Oxnard with his tickets and everything. Although I got to know him a bit more than I expected that first night." Seras added mixing the established cover story on how they met that would exclude their vampiric heritages, with a little anecdote of what really happened.

Xander, who knew where she had to be going with this tried to head her off with a panicked "Seras!"

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked impishly, suspecting something juicy by her friend's reaction.

"Well, Xander was working at a place called the Fabulous Ladies Night club as a dishwasher because his car had broken down an' he needed money to fix it. We had arranged for me to meet him after work since I was still jetlagged and wide awake at that time, and we had only had a few minutes to meet before he had to go to work that afternoon. We planned to grab a late night dinner after work and arrange everything we could for the trip to England, which he was still uncertain about. Of course when he was half an hour late to meet me I got worried and decided I might as well ask about him inside. I had no idea that one of the strippers had broken his ankle and a replacement was when I got in there I saw...." Seras began to recount until she was interrupted.

"Something that no power on this earth can cause to let that story be finished!" Xander interjected quickly.

"Male Strippers?" Buffy asked with amused interest.

"But I didn't even get to the part where you saw me and tripped yet!" Seras protested, figuring that would be punishment enough for now for his crime of not mentioning her to his friends.

"No power on this Earth!" Xander protested solidly.

That was too much for Buffy as she broke out into laughter at the image that created.

After a few minutes for buffy to calm down, complete with several good natured barns at his expense from the more relaxed and cheery Slayer, the trio made their way to a free table near the stairs to settle dawn and relax a bit.

"So, Buff, how college been?" Xander asked after a time.

"College has been good." Buffy replied a little morosely.

"Alright. Now again, with a little less feeling." Xander responded derisively.

"It's been alright really. Willow's loving it, and Oz has this nice house off campus with the band." Buffy began.

"And you're sitting here alone at the Bronze looking like you just got diagnosed with cancer of the puppy." Xander countered in concern.

"It's just..." Buffy began before she gave a sidelong glance at Seras.

"Oh, it's a vampire slaying issue." Xander replied getting that she was reticent to discuss it in front of Vicky.

"Xander!" Buffy cried in alarm.

"Relax, Buffy. I know all about it. Could you imagine anyone that was near Xander for more than a week not seeing things that go bump in the night? I know all about vampires being real and how to try to stay safe." Seras assured her as she took a cross out from beneath her shirt to show the Slayer.

"Oh. I was really hoping that that was more a Sunnydale thing, than a Xander thing." Buffy replied sadly.

"I know Buff. But the Dale doesn't have a monopoly on vampires. Actually I found out my family kind of has been hunting them for a long time. Vicky was in the business before I even met her. So it really might be a Xander thing that the weirdness tracks me down."

Xander replied solemnly.

"Can I get huh for 500, Alex?" Buffy asked, bewildered.

"I didn't mention Teg's full name yet; or my real dad's name, did I?" Xander asked rhetorically. He took in a deep breath ad let out a sigh before he finally continued, "Teg's full name it Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing. My pop's name was Richard Hellsing." Xander explained.

"Hellsing? You mean like...?" Buffy asked in shock.

"Abraham van Helsing, famous vampire hunter and Dracula fighter?"

Xander asked knowingly. "The very same. It turns out after the stuff you read in the novel the British government actually started hiring the Helsings to reduce vampire populations in merry old England for them in exchange for title and lands. A member of my family's been in charge of some of the vampire hunters there ever since." Xander filled in for her, as he looked at the table, unsure of how she would react to this information.

"Wow. And you never knew until your cousin found you?" Buffy asked in shock.

"Nope. It turns out my real dad made Tony Harris look like a paragon of virtue. After he decided I wasn't a good enough candidate to counter Teg as a proper heir, he left mom pregnant with me here. A few years later, after my uncle Lionel died of cancer, he tried of have Teg offed in a coup to take over the family land and money and stuff. He got himself killed trying to kill recently orphaned cousin to get her rightful inheritance. Got to say I was glad he left mom and I here." Xander answered sardonically.

Buffy's face showed her mounting horror at Xander's tale as she asked, "What happened after that?"

Xander shrugged as he responded, "Teg learned to get tough and manage a group of vampire hunters without any real training in it. Fortunately Uncle Lionel's right hand man...and another powerful asset he rarely used, helped train her on the job. Eventually, once she got everything settled, which took years, she went through everything in Richards stuff and found out about me. Of course mom wanted nothing to do with any of the Hellsing family by then, so she ignored her attempts to meet, and forbade Teg from contacting me while I was a minor. That's why I never learned any of this until after graduation. Teg couldn't call me legally until I was 18, and waited until then to try to get my cell number because mom would just hang up on her, and I was gone by the time she sent anyone here to ask about me. With all the red tape involved in that, I was in Oxnard for two weeks before I heard from anyone and learned any of this."

"It sounds like she really cared to go to all that trouble to track you down." was all Buffy could say as she tried to process Xander's story.

"I'm all the family she has left, Buff. She wanted to see if I'd at least care before she gave up. And as a result, I got a decent family member, met a great girl, and got the chance to matriculate with all of you. I can't really complain about it." Xander replied with a small smile that Seras and Buffy soon matched. "So, what's the problem that's brought the rise of mopey-Buffy?"

Buffy's depression returned as she recounted her meetings with, and losses to, the vampire Sunday.

"Ok, so we put this bitch in the ground. Where's the gang? Avengers assemble. Let's get it going!" Xander concluded decisively.

"No, I don't want to bother them. I mean, they're just starting school, and they don't need this." Buffy protested weakly.

"And needing to help a friend is a bother when?" Xander asked in confusion.

"It's's complicated. I mean, what if I can't cut it?" Buffy asked.

"Cut what? Slaying?" Xander asked in confusion.

"Slaying. Everything." Buffy responded with depression.

Seras saw that the conversation was taking a far too personal tone, and felt that she should excuse herself. "I'm going to take a powder in the ladies' room, alright, Xander." she said.

"Okay, Vicky." Xander replied gratefully. Once she was gone, Xander began, "Look Buffy this is all about fear. It's understandable, but you can't let it control you. 'Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to anger.' No wait, hold on. 'Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to the Darkside.' Hold on, no, umm, 'First you get the women, then you get the money, then you...' okay, can we forget that?"

"Thanks for that Dadaist pep talk, I feel much more abstract now." Buffy replied with a sad half grin.

"The point is, you're Buffy." Xander cut in.

"Yeah, maybe in high school I was Buffy." the Slayer responded sadly.

"And now in college you're Betty Louise?" Xander asked sarcastically.

"Yeah, I'm Betty Louise Plotnick of East Cupcake, Illinois. Or I might as well be." she agreed morosely.

Xander got up and crouched down in front of her then. "Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at 'The Fabulous Ladies Night Club.' Let me tell you something, when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero. Ok, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone I used to think, 'What is Buffy wearing?'" the White Knight confided.

Buffy looked decidedly amused as she replied, "Can that be one of those things you never, ever, tell me about? You know especially when your new girlfriend is here?"

Xander smiled proudly as he stood and responded, "It's a deal. Let's put this bitch in the ground! What do you say? I'll get icky and we'll saddle up and dust some vamp-skank?"

Buffy held out her right hand so that Xander could help her up as she replied, "I think I say thank you."

Xander smiled proudly as he responded, "And nothing says thank you like dollars in the waistband. Ok, what do we do first?"


It took all of five minutes to track down Seras and decide to check for records to match missing students after Buffy related the note she had found in her room earlier that day that claimed she was taking off because she couldn't hack college life.

"I still can't believe the vamps robbed your room." Seras commented as she went through the computer records while Xander searched old student newspapers.

"Yeah. Murder I expect. But petty larceny is so...petty." Xander cut in.

"They have to be keeping it somewhere, on campus or at least near by." Buffy asserted as she paced back and forth.

"Looks like the disappearances weren't common until 1982." Seras reported from the computer terminal.

"Match number." Xander called out from the papers, which brought Buffy by to read over his shoulder.

"Psi Theta loses its charter. Building closed for renovations." Buffy reads.

"Yeah, and the City council drug out the zoning issues on the renovations. If there was a major vamp nest in the area what do want to bet the Mayor would run interference for them?" Xander asked.

"Good call." Buffy complimented with a nod of satisfaction.

"So, we up for a little recon, then?" Seras asked.

"Sounds like a plan." Xander agreed with a shark's grin.


"That's my skirt! Like she could even wear it with those hips."

Buffy spat as they watched the vampires play with her belongings through the skylight.

"They have your weapons chest down there, too. We'll have to use the gear in the trunk of my car." Xander commented as he pointed out the trunk in the corner.

"What's the attack plan, love?" Seras asked Xander, reverting to their teamwork mode with Hellsing.

"We have to go quiet. A college campus like this would notice gunfire of explosives, so we stick to nothing louder than crossbows." Xander decided.

"Gunfire? Xander what the hell are you talking about?" Buffy asked in alarm.

"Turns out only the Council is stupid enough to send its troops off to die without at least modernizing their weapons, Buff. Hellsing's had vamp-killing ammo since before World War One, but the Watchers are too stiff to adopt it. I guess they figured too many Slayers would survive their Crucianatum thingy if they knew how to pull a trigger of something." Xander replied grimly.

"We'll have to talk about this later." Buffy replied huffily, unsure how to react to the use of guns in Slaying.

"You still have your whip, right Love? You can use that against these dust piles pretty well and keep quiet." Seras suggested.

"Yeah. And I have enough pump action crossbows for everyone, too. We use flaming bolts from up top and we can snipe at least half of them from a distance before they know they're under attack." Xander suggested.

"It might be better if you and Buffy go in first to disrupt them so they don't get wise to the sound of the glass cutter when I cut out a firing slot. 'Ell I can just break the glass in the confusion and pick them off while you two muss them up from the ground." Seras suggested.

"You two do this alot, huh?" Buffy asked from the side, feeling a bit out of place as Xander and Seras mapped out a battle plan.

"We're the best team Hellsing has seen since Walter and Gramps for a reason, Buff." Xander answered with a small grin.


It took very little time to get armed and for Seras to set up a position on the roof. A part of the vampiress felt uncomfortable leaving Xander to do the real fighting while she stood back and acted like a helpless woman, but she knew he was in no danger from some stupid revs, and that he wanted to keep their powers secret for now. "I'm in position, go whenever you're ready," she reported into her headset.

"Gotcha Vicky." Xander replied, before he whispered, "In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen." before he turned to Buffy and grinned. "Alright ramblers, let's get rambling." he said as he hefted his crossbow.

"What's with the prayer?" Buffy asked as she chose to ignore his 'From Dusk 'till Dawn' reference.

"Family motto thing. Kind cool, huh?" Xander replied with a shrug.

"Very." Buffy responded with a grin as she walked forward and kicked the door in.

What followed after that could only be classified as a slaughter as revenant vampires died left and right. If it wasn't a bolt from Seras or Xander, it was a stake from Buffy, or, after Xander ran out of ammo, a whip-driven decapitation by Xander, which eliminated all the vampires but Sunday herself in less than five minutes.

"What the hell is all this? What happened to my minions?" Sunday whined as she surveyed the carnage.

"It's called what happens when you piss off a Slayer in Sunnydale. She doesn't need to fight alone." Xander replied from where he stood at the door with his arms crossed and his whip in hand.

"It's also called me kicking your ass." Buffy added cheerfully as she moved in and began a slice of prime quality anger release therapy on the blonde vampire, finishing with a stake to the heart.

"Well I feel better now." Buffy said with a sunny smile after she was done.

"Good to know. Although I now have a new reason to hate Sunnydale's vamps." Xander said from the door, as he looked the room over.

"Wot's that, Xander" Seras asked as she came in after climbing down from the roof. Well, she actually checked for bystanders and then apperated down, but that's beside the point.

"I went to alot of trouble to get here late so I wouldn't get stuck helping Buffy move. Now I'm stuck with it anyway. I should have kept the stoned out surfer vamp alive to fix the mess they made."

Xander replied with a mocking shake of his head.

"Aww, poor Xander has to be the big strong pack animal. You poor dear." Seras replied with a giggle as she kissed his cheek.

"Karma can be a real bitch, huh, Xander?" Buffy asked with a grin as she approached the pair.

"It has its good points too, Buff." Xander replied with a smile as he kissed Vicky lightly on the lips before moving to help the Slayer gather her belongings.

As the trio made their way out to Xander's car with the first load of stuff, Xander felt he had to ask, "So what do you think of college life so far Buff?"

"I think it's turning out o be a lot like high school. Which means I can deal." the Slayer replied with a grin.

Chapter 26

"How was your Advanced Calculus class, love?" Seras asked as Xander met her after their one class they had apart. Xander had Calculus and Seras had British Literature, a little joke on Alucard's part to counteract their inverse troubles with their shared Latin class.

"It defied the laws of physics, Vicky. It managed to suck and blow simultaneously." Xander groused good naturedly as they made their way toward the commissary for a quick meal. Xander at least still required human food for some of his nutritive needs and so it made a good excuse for them to blend in better on campus.

"Hmmm. Sounds like us the other night." Seras mused aloud with a small smirk, as she traced her neck lightly with her right hand where Xander had focused quite a bit of attention the night in question.

Xander faltered a step at her comment, and had to right himself before he replied, "Seras Victoria! You are becoming entirely corrupted by me. I don't know whether to be proud or scared." with a devil may care grin.

"I'll let you know later, Kitten." she assured him with a peck on the cheek.

"Looking forward to it." Xander assured her.

"So, you ready to meet Oz and Willow?" Xander asked with a forced smile.

"Does it matter?" Seras asked with a wry grin.


"I still can't believe Xander found a girlfriend and didn't mention it to me. I mean, I've been his best friend since forever, and he always dates demons or Cordelias and needs help where women are concerned, and I'm babbling aren't I?" Willow asked as she and Oz sat down at the Rocket Cafe commissary.

"Just a bit." Oz replied with his typical deadpan and a small smile.

"But, I mean it's Xander. And fluke issues aside his taste in women has always lacked something and I just think...oh there he is now andOHmyGODDESSthey'rehuge!" Willow babbled, and then blushed severely, as she caught sight of Seras who was demurely holding Xander's hand as they made their way in and searched out the other Scoobies.

Oz lifted his brow in curiosity at his girlfriend's faux pas as he caught sight of Xander's mystery new love interest that Buffy and Willow had discussed ad-nauseum last night over the phone and he had received a recap about this morning. He summed up his assessments fully once Xander and Seras were in earshot as he profoundly declared, "Hey."

"Oz, Willow, good to see you here matriculating and stuff." Xander greeted with his typical easy grin as Willow shot up and grafted herself to him with a speed that would impress Alucard.

Seras looked on owlishly, not that you could tell with her mirrored shades in place as they were as Willow seemingly attempted to crush Xander's ribcage. "Er um, hi. You must be Willow. I'm Seras Victoria." she said by way of introduction.

"I'm Oz. She's been without him for three months." Oz explained as Willow continued to try to hug the life out of Xander while babbling what sounded like nine hundred words a minute.

"Oh, I understand perfectly. I've been on the other side of it for the same time." Seras replied with a charming grin.

"Okay okay. It's alright Willow. I'm back. I take it Buffy mentioned Vicky to you?" Xander asked as he finally got free and tried to get the redheaded Wicca to relax. "Speaking of which, this is she." her added with a gesture toward his vampiric paramour who waved shyly at the redhead.

"Um, hi." Willow responded a bit uncertainly. "I'm Willow. Nice to meet you."

"Likewise." Seras replied with a shy grin, careful to keep her fangs from peeking out. Xander thought the look was adorable, but neither wanted to deal with the fallout of the situation if they were discovered before the gang got used to her. "You'll, uh, have to excuse the shades. I don't know if Buffy mentioned it, but I'm albino, and eyes are ridiculously sun sensitive." she added sheepishly as Xander moved beside her and put his arm around her waist. That left the Police Girl feeling far more at ease.

"Oh, yeah. Buffy mentioned you had red eyes, but that you weren' know." Willow replied, as she tried to find a polite way to say Seras was not a horrible demon that Buffy's senses picked up without admitting that that was their first reaction and that Buffy had avidly checked for it.

"Showing up on the Buffinator's Slaydar?" Xander suggested with a grin as the couple sat down. Once seated, Xander took out a packet of Twinkies, reflexively handing Willow the second snack cake as he devoured the first.

Willow took the yellow treat automatically, but looked over at Seras as she said "Um, Xander..."

Seras smiled reassuringly as she replied, "It's all right. I'm more of a cupcake woman myself. I guess I just have a taste for chocolate." Vicky assured her as she took out a package of said Hostess treats and began her own snacking.

From there the two couples stumbled awkwardly through some small talk, well Xander, Seras, and Willow did anyway. Oz just sat there with a serene look on his face. Eventually, the uncomfortable lulls in conversation became less frequent as they waited for Buffy to join them.

" Teg finds out the Mayor had put a blacklist letter in my file because some asshole somewhere had a grudge against the Belmonts and I was an easy target. That was the final straw to changing my name to Hellsing. Richard may have been scum, but at least his name was clean enough I could get an education." Xander concluded as he recounted the non-mideon version of what had brought him to where he was.

"Wow. Giles will flip when he hears you're related to a real British knight. Especially a Hellsing. But aren't lady knights called dames?" Willow enthused and queried.

Xander shrugged as he replied, "The Hellsing head was always male, so she kept using the male title to keep the stuffed shirts happier on paper. As for Giles, I wouldn't be surprised if he already knows. I'm sure the Council keeps some kind of eye on us, and he has to have a few friends that would keep him informed even after he was fired."

"With you being male, will you end up the new head when you graduate?" Oz asked after a pause to consider what he had learned.

Xander shook his head in the negative as he replied, "No. Teg's been too good at the job for too long to be shoved aside. I'd refuse even if they offered it. Besides, I'm American. They'd never risk trying to pull a King Ralf with me unless something happened to her first, and I think she'll have and heir long before that becomes an issue."

"She's got someone then?" Willow asked, fascinated at this new aspect of her best friend's life. She was a little hurt he had not shared the information about his heritage with her sooner, but she could understand his desire to want to tell her face to face.

Xander smirked an evil smirk as he replied. "Oh, she has someone alright. She just won't admit to it. You never mention it to her either if you enjoy walking upright."

"I'd clam up if I were you. They both have ways of finding things out, and it's going to be your arse in a sling if that gets back to Sir Integra before you see her again. Probably doubly so if they do get together in the interim." Seras warned earnestly as she sipped on a cup of cola.

Willow looked on curiously as Xander smirked and explained, "Let's just say it's a 'love but never admit it/annoy the hell out of each other' relationship right now. Think early me and Cordy to the nth degree, minus the release of a utility closet.

"I think Sir Integra would take umbrage to that comparison." Seras put in with a smile.

"So would Cordy. She'd have an attack at the thought of wearing all those suits Teg wears for official business." Xander countered, which earned a laugh and a nod of agreement from Seras.

Willow was about to ask what they meant when the conversation was cut short by the introduction of a bit of theater in the form of Buffy meeting a young man named Parker in the food line.


Alucard laughed uproariously at the turn the conversation had taken with Xander and Seras. He was watching through a scrying spell in a mirror, as his seals made it nigh unto impossible to view them telepathically without them picking it up with the amount of energy he would need at this distance. A part of him considered sending a copy of it to play in his Master's mirror to see her reaction. She always turned such a delightful shade of red when upset.

After a moment to think about who would bear the brunt of her pique over something so minor, he reconsidered. Instead, he subtly sent the image into her subconscious while she slept. The resulting dreams from that experience, however, left the vampire with a great deal to consider. He never thought that implied familial approval would ease her fears so much...


In a non-descript room a shaded figure was looking over several surveillance photos of Xander, Vicky, Alucard, and Adrian in action over the last few months in England.

The figure finally settled on one that showed Xander destroying a FREAK with his whip and picked it up to look at it more closely.

"You're improving quite a bit, boy." the figure, which sounded male, commented. "I think I'll enjoy seeing just how much of a Belmont you truly are." he added, before tossing the picture back on the table.

"It's time you faced a few more real monsters, and not just FREAKs and revs. Wouldn't you agree Warrant Officer Schrödinger?" he asked of a man that was dressed in a uniform reminiscent of a Hitler youth.

"Indeed, mein herr. I think it will be fun to see vhat a real verevolf und disciple of das Millennium can do against zhe Dark Prince's heir." the Millennium group werewolf replied.

"Then go and test him, my friend. But remember the deal. And the reward." the figure replied.

"Ja. Kill the Hellsing whelp und I get a chance to destroy the traitor Rip van Winkle. Ser ghut. Working outside zhe unit is vorth that price. Destroying the fledgling will be a bonus, ja?"

Schrödinger replied with a shark's grin.


The face of Rupert Giles was ashen as he listened to the reports he was receiving over the phone. "I. I see. And what was Quentin's take on it? Really? No action yet? That can't be good. Thank you for telling me. I appreciate it. Yes. I will. Good bye."

The former librarian sat down heavily on his chair after he hung up the phone. That was the third call that confirmed what his few remaining contacts in the Council had been slipping to him.

*How could I have bloody missed it? I had a bloody Belmont and Hellsing heir under my nose and I was blind to it. Rupert you thrice damned fool! If Travers decides to manipulate Xander it will be your entire fault for not having measures to stop him in place. Or worse yet, if he tries to kill him it could start a damned war that could wipe us all out! Why didn't you check them out further? All you needed was his mother's maiden name. Even a credit card asks for that! Damn you, and damn Quentin, and damn yourself again Ripper!* the middle aged Brit admonished in his head as he tried furiously to develop a strategy for damage control to protect all his charges. He just prayed he could come up with something effective before it was too late.


"So, what was that with Mister handsome guy there? You thinking of getting back in the saddle?" Willow asked with a sparkling smile.

"Saddle? There something about your relationship with Oz you want to share, Willow?" Xander asked with a grin as Willow went bright red and was nearly paralyzed with a combination of mortification and anger.

"Alexander LaVelle Harris!" she began.

"Hellsing." Seras and Xander corrected automatically, which managed to head off Willow's tirade before it really had a chance to begin.

"That's so cute. You're already speaking together like that." she gushed, distracted by how synchronized they were.

Seras meanwhile looked over at where Parker had headed with an inscrutable look before she said, "He seems nice, Buffy. Just be careful...something about him seems too nice." her voice pensive.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked her voice a bit defensive.

"I'm not cutting him down or anything. It's...just a feeling. (*Or the fact the prat stinks of lust and has the lingering scent of several women on him*, she added mentally.) He seems like a good sort, but sometimes men can be a bit wolfish. His expressions remind me of an old high school boyfriend, actually. Smooth and caring right up until he tried to get me in the sack. When I refused to put out the ponce told everyone I did anyway to protect his reputation, then started on the next bird. Went through them like tissue all of senior year, then dumped them for the next girl. He was all about the thrill of the chase." she warned.

This got Xander's protective instincts up; he could smell the seediness of Parker as well anyway, as he commented, "Sounds good to keep an eye on, then. He tries anything, you want me to layeth the smaketh down upon his arse?"

Buffy rolled her eyes, touched Xander and his new honey were worried for her, but put off by it at the same time as she replied, "She's perfect for you, Xand. She gets all huffy and overprotective too. Slayer remember? I can handle myself. And If Parker's a jerk, I can take care of and ass smacking on my own." As the other four stared at Buffy wide eyed, the Slayer thought about what she had just said for a moment. Finally she reddened and looked down at the table as she amended "You guys know what I mean!"

"Sure we do, Buff. You want to borrow Willow's saddle?" Xander asked with an exaggerated wiggle of his brow, which earned him triple smacks from the ladies, before Buffy and Seras broke out into laughter as Willow remembered that she was supposed to be mad at Xander and started to lecture him on joke propriety again.

Chapter 27

"So, what else is up with the Buff, any vamp action?" Xander asked after a time, making sure to filch as many of Willow's fries as he could get away with safely.

Buffy gave Xander a bit of a sideways look at his question, as if she was unsure to confide in him or not. Eventually she shook the feeing off, Hellsing demon hunter or not, he was still her Xander shaped friend. "I did get jumped by a demon of non-specific origin last night," she admitted.

Xander seemed to perk up in child like excitement as he responded, "Yeah? Something apocalypse-y? Do we need to assemble the Scooby Gang?"

Buffy held back a laugh, as she replied, "No, but thank you for asking."

Xander looked pensive as he asked, "I just got way too excited, didn't I?"

Seras' bell like laugh lit up the room as she hugged him reassuringly and put in her opinion, "You came in just a little bit too eager love."

Xander gave his mightiest pout as he replied; "I thought you liked it when I'm eager."

This earned him several laughs at the table, although Buffy's and Willow's were both tinged with a bit of nervously uncomfortable undertones while Vicky blushed a bit and replied, "Hush, now. That's not the type of thing to say in public. You're positively incorrigible."

Buffy smiled a bit more genuinely at Seras' reaction. It seemed Xander had found a truly nice girl for a change. "You just need to get out in public a little more there, Xand," she advised reassuringly.

Xander's reply, whatever it may have been, was cut short by the arrival of Buffy's new roommate, Kathy. "Hi, everybody. Squeeze in," the overly energetic brunette said as she took a free chair from another table and forced her way in with them.

Buffy was a bit annoyed by the intrusion, but still tried to be friendly as she introduced her roommate. "You all know my roomie, Kathy?" she asked the gang.

"I don't think we've had the pleasure. Xander Hellsing," Xander said by way on introduction as she offered Kathy his hand to shake.

"I'm Seras Victoria, Xander's girlfriend," the Police Girl added when it was her turn to introduce herself. Of the people at the table, only Xander noticed her slight narrowing of the eyes as she looked at Kathy.

Xander tried to focus his senses deeper then, since he knew that Seras was hardly a suspicious person be nature. He saw a bit of what had her concerned now that he looked closer. Something about Kathy's scent and aura He wasn't adept enough to identify what was wrong, but he knew enough to recognize that something was wonky. He ignored the little discussion about the girl borrowing Buffy's sweater without permission as he tried to think of a way to get more information.

"So, where're you from, Kathy?" Xander casually inquired.

Kathy had a quaver in her voice so faint only Xander, Seras, or Buffy would have been able to detect it as the brunette replied, "Nebraska, originally." After she had answered she picked up a big, sloppy hamburger from her tray and took a huge bite, as she tried to keep an eye on Xander without being obvious about it.

"Ahh, yes. Big sky country," Xander mused in a carefree manner.

Buffy missed the subtle little byplay between the hidden dhampir and her roommate as she glared at the big drop of ketchup that fell on her sweater.


"Well, what do you think?" Xander asked as he and Seras headed toward the mansion Alucard had purchased for Xander to stay in. It kind of irked Xander that the No Life King had splurged with such obvious opulence toward him; ignoring the fact they were supposed to keep a low profile, Xander was still a man of simpler tastes. Still, the sprawling compound gave the couple a place to train, complete with a firing range built into the basement, apparently at Teg's request according to the note they found in there the first day.

"I doubt she's human. Her heartbeat was off, and she was really nervous when she heard your last name was Hellsing." Seras replied earnestly.

"I noticed. Of course, not human isn't automatically evil. I mean, look at us." Xander responded.

"True enough. Although I like to think we just retain our humanity in the face of what we've become." Seras countered, still obviously uncomfortable acknowledging her inhumanity.

"I don't really see it as that much of a change to struggle against as far as our personalities go. I mean, Gramps was pretty much the most horrible monster in existence for centuries and stuff, but he ended up that way for very human reasons. I think he'd have been just as terrible, mideon or not. All being a vamp did was extend his lifespan. It's not like the revs, where something else entirely takes over the dead body and uses the memories still stored in the brain to impersonate the victim," Xander supplied,

"I know. It just still bothers me sometimes is all," Seras returned.

"No biggie. It still wigs me out a lot too," Xander replied with his typical half-grin.

"It also doesn't get a handle on the whole Kathy issue," Seras reminded him.

"The problem here would be how to explain our concerns without explaining where they come from," Xander mused aloud.

"This would certainly be easier if we weren't hiding our heritages from the whole group." Seras commented in exasperation at their situation.

Xander shrugged as he responded, "We agreed to wait until they're used to you and trust us to be good with each other. I really don't want to worry about Buffy trying to sneak up and stake us from behind."

"I know. I agreed to keep quiet as well. Cor, I can see they aren't totally going to accept me at first. It's just frustrating to think up a way that we can broach this. Everything is all so much easier at home," Seras replied.

The White Knight sighed as he commented, "Don't I know it, Vicky. Don't I know it."


The next morning Xander and Seras got the opportunity to introduce the young vampiress to the final active member of the Scooby Gang as they saw Giles sitting in the dorm lounge with Buffy, Willow, and Oz.

They also saw Kathy there, describing a dream she had had to Giles, one they apparently had some knowledge of. "G-man, good to see you alive and well! And Kathy, nice to see you again."

"Yes, Xander, it's nice to see you as well. And please stop calling me that insufferable nickname." Giles returned with a small smile.

"Hi, uh Sanders, right?" Kathy responded with just a hint of nervousness.

"Xander actually." the White Knight replied good-naturedly.

"Sorry. Wow, look at the time. You know, I do need to dash. My whole schedule is off because someone kept me up all night. Well, it's been fun. Toodles." Kathy returned, looking pointedly at Buffy as she mentioned someone keeping her up all night.

Buffy glared at her the whole way out of sight until she finally commented, "Xander, thank you so much for scaring her off. There's something about that girl that's just...grrr."

"Maybe more than you think Buff." Xander replied with concern.

"What do you mean, Xander?" Willow asked curiously.

"Nothing I want to bring up until I have more info, Wills. Suffice it to say my Belmont sense is tingling near her in ways that make me want to find a whip." Xander responded, which made Giles go pale even as the others watched him with looks of askance for an explanation.

"As much as I'd love to hear his, I need to get to class. Can you guys fill Xan and Seras in on the evil that is Kathy?" Buffy asked in a rush, before leaving once she gained positive confirmation.

It took the gang five minutes to recount the ritual Buffy had been seeing in her dreams to Xander and Seras, and another few moments for the pair to ponder over what they had heard. "Well, first off, Giles, this is Captain Seras Victoria of the Hellsing Organization, my girlfriend. Seras, this it Rupert, the G-Man Giles, a man that has been far more of a dad to me than Tony Harris and Richard Hellsing put together," Xander said to start things off.

"A pleasure to meet you," Giles said as he shook the Police Girls hand in a bit of shock. He had been taken aback both by how casually Xander had mentioned the top secret organization, thusly assuming Giles knew about it, and at the heartwarming sentiment behind the lad's introduction of him.

"Likewise. Xander has positively raved about you, Mr. Giles," Vicky returned with a bright smile.

"Please just call me Giles, Ms. Victoria. Every other person here seems to. Well at least every American so far," Giles responded with a fatherly grin.

Seras decided to get a bit playful with her lover as she replied, "Well, that explains why Xander insists on calling you others names, then."

"Vicky!" Xander exclaimed in alarm, knowing what she was about to reveal.

"I do say, what has she got you so worked up over, Xander?" Giles asked with a grin.

"Why I thought you'd be proud, love," Seras said sweetly, too sweetly in his humble opinion, to Xander. She turned her attention back to Giles as she answered, "What's got his knickers in a twist is a desire to hide the fact he now has dual citizenship by authorization of the Queen herself as part of a commendation for his services to the Hellsing Organization. His input has brought us back from the brink of extinction after a rather nasty patch." The pride in Xander toward then end of her declaration was clear for all to see.

As Xander surveyed the stunned looks of his friends, minus Oz who looked as he always did, he took the opportunity to snarl, "The first one of you who buys me anything tweed dies. "He took a moment to school his features noticeably as he added, "Besides, the thing with Kathy and Buffy is more important."

Giles seemed to be holding back saying something remarkably fatherly and British as he reigned in his feelings of pride in his surrogate eldest son (due to Xander being a Scooby longer, even if Oz was actually older) as he replied, "Yes, quite right. But we will have to take the time to discuss this properly. Perhaps over a spot of proper tea?"

Seras looked remarkably grateful as she responded, "That would be positively delightful Mr. Giles. The tea here has been so awful. I'd be so happy to have a proper cup outside of the blends we brought with us."

"Ahem. As nice and disturbing as this all is, there's still the Kathy issue here," Xander interjected. Once he had everyone's attention again, he said, "Yesterday, when we met her, Seras and I both noticed she seemed a little nervous around me when she heard my last name. I think the way she all but ran from us the second I showed up illustrates that."

Willow gave him a look similar to the one she had been giving Buffy, the one that said 'I'm you're friend, and I support you, but please step calmly into this rubber room just for me'. "No offense, Xander, but you sound kind of..."

"Paranoid?" Xander supplied with a grin. "When you face a few dozen ghouls controlled by four scientifically created FREAK chip vampire copies because of a bad tip I guess you come off a little jumpy. in retrospect," he added.

"Um, no. I can't say I've ever seen that," Willow responded awkwardly.

"Sorry." Xander replied contritely. "Let's just say Sunnydale isn't the center of bad stuff. Some of the things Teg and the others deal with..." Xander added before trailing off.

Seras took over then, as she allowed Xander time to compose himself. "Sadly, we've had to learn to be cautious. We had a FREAK with psychic abilities pose as Sir Integra's 'sister' despite the fact she was an only child that nearly managed to kill her, for example. If ma...well that's classified. Suffice it to say one of the handful of factors that were unaffected by the thing's powers dealt with her. Regardless, we all got much more paranoid after that. I suppose it rubbed off on Xander even though he came later. And frankly, Kathy looked nervous about him from the moment she heard his last name was 'Hellsing'."

"I kind of noticed it, too," Oz supplied serenely.

"Giles, we're kind of flying blind here. Do you know a spell that can confirm or deny anything conclusively, because I don't know one that doesn't require a second witch," Willow asked.

Before the Englishman could answer, Xander supplied, "That might not be the best path, Willow. If they're both under a spell it might cloud any results a spell would give. I'd look for more physical proof."

"Like what?" Giles asked thoughtfully.

"Hair, fingernails, anything like that that Buff could provide. A few simple tests could search it out quietly. I'm sure Buffy would supply them as wigged as she seems to be around Kathy.


A few hours and a supply of toenails that regenerated after being destroyed later, the group was left in a quandary.

"Ok, we know, she's not human. Now what?" Xander asked.

"She's not human. I kill her. I'm the Slayer." Buffy said with icy finality.

"Not human doesn't equal evil unless you're with those zealots in Iscariot. Hellsing has a few non-human agents that have saved us before. We know she's hiding what she is. We need to know if she's evil," Seras mentioned evenly. Frankly, Buffy's attitude had her more than a little upset.

"She writes her name on her food and plays 'Can You Believe in Love' non-stop!" Buffy cried out indignantly.

"That proves she's irritating, not evil. If getting on your nerves was a killable offense, G-man would have offed me the first week he met me, and we all would have killed Snyder and Cordy both at some points." Xander retorted.

"Then what do we do?" Buffy asked more aggressively than the situation dictated, making the others nervous.

"That depends. Giles, what have you found on the ritual?" Xander asked in a cold monotone reminiscent of Teg.

"w..we...well, it a-appears to be a version of...oh dear," Giles began.

"What?" Buffy snapped impatiently.

"A ritual to remove a human soul." Giles supplied.

"And we have evil. Hello, slayage." Xander said with a sigh.

"Good. Time to take care of something." Buffy said with a bright smile as she picked up Giles' favorite battle-axe.

"Not so fast, Buff. If she's sucking out your soul, killing her might hurt you. Let's take the time to think." Xander said as he stepped in front of her to stop her.

"Xander, move. Kathy has to die!" Buffy snapped.

"Please let Giles look for a way to reverse the ritual first."

Xander replied without moving an inch.

Buffy's response was to take a swing at Xander, but she stopped in mid-motion as she felt a bite of pain in her left buttock. She looked down at the brightly tailed dart in said muscle group, up to Seras, who had fired it, and let out a petulant "No fair." before she collapsed to the ground unconscious.

"Good timing honey." Xander said with a smile.

Seras just grinned in reply.

"Now what?" Willow asked with obvious concern.

"I'm still not sure the ritual is related to Kathy. She might just be a coincidental victim. But, I'm going to subtly ask her what her deal is while you guys find a way to reverse this and restore sane Buffy to us." Xander replied as he headed to the door with Seras in tow.

"Xander, be careful and try to be tactful." Giles called out from behind him.

"Don't worry, I'll be subtle." Xander responded with a smile.



"You want to run that by me and my whip again, demon?" the Belmont heir asked icily as Kathy crawled to her knees and searched the room for a way out. Of course the closed door guarded by an upset looking Seras removed any hope of finding that exit, but it didn't deter her search

"It's the only way I can stay here! They'll take her home, realize it was a mix-up, toss her back and never find me!" the demon whined.

"If you had asked, I might buy that. But from where I'm standing I see a demon trying to remove the Slayer's soul. That sort of ruins your credibility." Seras responded archly from her post at the door.

"But I...she's the Slayer?" Kathy asked in confusion.

Any other conversation was interrupted as a white mist flew out of her mouth and out of the room, going through the walls as if they didn't exist. "And that would be her Watcher undoing your spell, which makes you expendable in the extreme," Xander happily reported as he took out Shenzi and aimed it at Kathy.

"In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into..." Seras gravely intoned until she was interrupted.

"WAIT!" Kathy cried out desperately with tears in her eyes. "I'll go back! I swear! Just take me to the others and I'm gone!" she pleaded pathetically.

"What do you think?" Seras asked.

"Gets her gone either way, and it saves us a mess, plus possible retaliation from dimension hopping demons. Besides she doesn't seem the type for dangerous evil." Xander replied in a bored tone. His features grew stern again as he addressed Kathy. "You ever pull anything like this again and you'll live just long enough to regret it," he warned.


Twenty-five minutes of incessant sniveling and searching later found the two of the demons in the woods, who gladly took possession of Kathy from the mideon pair.

"Don't forget what I said." Xander warned as they departed.

When they reached Buffy's dorm room, figuring that was where the others were headed once Buffy came to, they were met by a very nervous group that was happy to see them both safe and sound.

"So you sent her home?" Willow asked after a quick explanation of events from Xander and Seras.

"With the way they were treating her I got the naughty kid in for a grounding vibe. I figured it was worse than anything we could do to her." Xander replied with a smile.

"Good." Buffy responded tersely, her arms crossed in agitation. "I mean borrowing my sweater was bad enough, but my soul? talk about grabby, "she sneered. Her demeanor lightened, though, as she added, "Thanks for helping me with getting it back, though."

"We're buds. We do things like that for each other." Xander replied good-naturedly.

Seras smiled as she commented, "Only Xander would consider saving your soul as 'just a friend thing'."

Willow rolled her eyes as she replied, "Don't I know it, Seras. Don't I know it."

Chapter 28

"<YAWN!>" Xander yawned as he helped Giles go through his books at his apartment.

"Are you alright, Xander?" the native Briton asked as he glanced at the boy.

Xander nodded, a little bleary eyed as he responded, "Jus' tired, Giles. Vicky and I spent most of last night trying to track down Harmony for biting Willow. Apparently hiding is her new shopping. The little tramp is really hard to find. Of course we didn't check car backseats and the boy's locker room and the temporary high school, so that might have been our bad."

"Really Xander, just because she's a ill mannered tart that hurt Willow doesn't mean you have to be..." Giles began until he saw the look Xander was giving him.

"On second thought, I see your point," the Englishman said sagely.

"Thought you might," Xander replied.

After an awkward pause, Giles asked, "Oh by the way, Xander, there's a file on the coffee table I'm unsure of how to process. Maybe you could take a look at it for me?"

"Huh? Sure thing, G-man. Just let me take a look," Xander muttered as he moved to the table and picked up a thick manila folder. "This the one?" he asked as he held it up.

"Yes. Yes it is," Giles replied with an odd lilt to his voice.

The reason for his strange tones became evident as Xander scanned the contents of the folder. It was about Hellsing...all of Hellsing. It included reports on Teg, Wally, even identified Vicky as a Mideon and had a small file on him. "Your contacts work faster than I thought they would." Xander said levelly.

"Yes well, it brought certain facts to life I would be...remiss in not discussing with you. Especially since they've been brought to Quentin Travers' attention as well. Frankly, I'd like to know who's near me and what I have to prepare to protect you all before it rears up and bites me in my arse!" Giles raged.

" in dickweed who fired you Travers? Wow, I'm moving up in the world," Xander responded flippantly.

"This is serious, Xander! He may very well send a wetworks team after you and I have had no time to counter it if he did," ripper snapped back hotly.

"Giles, look over what Vicky is in her file. It's inaccurate. Alucard freed her just before we left. She's full nosferatu now. That's way beyond what the council could handle," Xander replied confidently.

"And how exactly can you guarantee that we don't need protection from your lovely paramour, hmmm? She is far more powerful then we can handle, after all. Good lord, boy, do you even know the rate in which young men unintentionally end up ghouls historically from shagging true vampires?" Giles inquired.

"Not an issue, Giles," Xander countered firmly.

"And how is it not an issue? As Faith can prove, you aren't a virgin, and while you might have the single minded determination to be turned without that factor, as Dracula himself was, you'd need to give yourself over to it willingly, and I know you won't let yourself be turned!" Giles responded.

"Giles, Giles, G-man. You know my family names, and you still don't know more than what the Council was allowed to dig up. Let me backtrack it out for you. Jessica Belmont begat me, Trevor Belmont begat her, Adrian Farenheights Tepes and Sonja Belmont begat him, And Gramps Dracula and Grammy Lisa begat Adrian. After Gramps was Mideon. I'm 1/16 No Life Prince here. I'm totally immune to ghoul-dom," Xander explained tiredly.

Giles by now was polishing his glasses furiously as he muttered 'Good Lord's and 'My Word's repeatedly. "And you never thought to mention this?" Giles finally queried.

"I was kind of enjoying Buffy not trying to stake my lady love and I in our sleep. She's not tolerant of non-humans unless they're named Angel. If she's used to Vicky, though, and let's face it after a while nobody can not like her, then she'll at least get 'Oz' status and I don't lose my two best friends," Xander answered.

"If you mention anything about a Winnebago, I'll toss you right out of here, fellow English gentleman or not," Giles said with a grin as he looked over his glasses at Xander.

"Not funny on several levels, Ripper," Xander responded I what Seras had come to call his 'Hellsing' voice. That is to say, a tone as devoid of emotion as Sir Integra's at her deadliest.

"Yes, quite," Giles stammered lamely. Even if he knew nothing of the boy's heritage that look would have been disturbing.

"Now, are we copasetic on the girls not knowing my family tree has a pretty large Tepes branch or not?" Xander asked with a hint of worry once he was certain he had made his point about Giles' teasing.

"I don't see how telling them would make any...well you never mentioned that," Giles said peevishly.

What Xander had not mentioned before were the pronounced fangs the White Knight displayed now as he opened his mouth wide. Once Giles had made an acceptable inspection, he closed his mouth and replied, "Price I had to pay to be immune to getting turned by the revenants. I was born immune to becoming a ghoul, though."

"Then you are..." Giles began to ask.

"Dhampir. Technically. I'll never reach the kind of full mideon power Gramps has, but no other vampire could reach that. He's called the No Life King for a reason. Still, I may get to Adrian's level according to my family, and he's close enough that nobody but true nosferatu would know the difference," Xander answered indifferently.

"And you accepted that?" Giles asked in concern.

Xander shrugged as he replied, "If it keeps me from ending up like Jesse...I still have my soul here, Giles. I'm still me; I just have some active genes that were recessive before. Hell, I learned my mom was over a hundred years old, not that she's ageless. Damned Belmonts tossed her in suspended animation once Gramps was sealed so they could hide their 'shame'. After her affair with Richard Hellsing, she followed Tony right into the bottle," Xander rambled off bitterly.

"Xander, son, I..." the former Watcher began.

"It's no big deal, Giles. I made my peace with it. Just suffice it to say that when Teg and Gramps and grandfather Adrian offered me a relatively loving and stable family, I wasn't running from the idea," the White Knight assured him.

"And what did you have to do get that peace?" Giles asked gently.

"Nothing big. Meditation with Gramps, training with family relics that were one my grandfather's, and some that belonged to my great-grandfather, incessant tutoring to bring up my grades, a few mideon things that don't involve hurting people in any way. It was nothing I had to compromise my morals over," he replied to assuage the Brit's fears.

Giles nodded in satisfaction, then. He could see Xander was still there. He was a bit darker and more grown up, but he was still Xander. Finally he shook his head ruefully and smiled as he said, "Only you could call a Knight of the Round Table 'Teg' and Dracula himself 'Gramps' and sound natural about it."

"It's a talent," Xander replied affably before the two men settled in to a more detailed discussion of Xander's life and abilities.


As this conversation was taking place, another was going on deep underground in the tunnels of Sunnydale.

"It's definitely the crypt right. I'm not keen on tunneling into someone's septic tank," Spike asked with mild irritation.

His minion looked up from his work at the blueprints he had to reply, "It's the crypt. The radar soundings are clear. The walls are thinnest here at the bottom. We'll have to tunnel underneath. More work but I'm sure..."

Spike interrupted his prattle as he slammed his head into the table and warned, "You'd better be more than sure. Cause I'd hate to have to hurt you."

"I swear, I swear," the vamp nervously responded.

At that point their discussion was cut short as Harmony sauntered in and grafted herself to Spike like a barnacle. "How's my little Blondie bear?" she asked coquettishly.

Spike barely refrained from rolling his eyes as he asked, "Harm, does this look like a good time?"

The blonde ditz ignored him as she inquired, "Are you gonna kill Willow tonight? Cause I want you to say, 'This is for messing with my sweet girl.' And then, you know. (She mock bites into his shoulder making draining noises.)"

At that point, Spike decided to throw the minion vampire aside and take Harmony by the waist as he replied, "Nobody knows I'm here. And I'm not killing the slayer's best friend because that would tend to announce my presence. And we're too bloody close."

Harmony pouted as she whined, "But you almost killed her last year. Suddenly it's a big deal?"

The master vampire grew angry as he snapped, "SOD OFF! Now go eat something, I've got work to do."

Spike and the minion vampire returned to the table to work as Harmony walked over to where a boy who was chained up and looked irritated.

Harmony wrinkled her nose and declared. "This one tastes funny. Take me out to eat."

This time Spike did roll his eyes as he retorted, "He's perfectly fresh."

Harmony peered carefully at the captive before she replied, "I think I had a math class with him last year and I didn't like him that much then either."

Spike let out a grunt of exasperation as he shouted, "Harm!"

Harmony had her best wheedling voice going full strength as she said, "I want to go to a party."

Spike slammed his fists into the table in anger, before he headed over to where she stood, grabbed her, and slammed her into the wall.

"Oh. Right here baby. In front of Bernie." the vampiress cooed in a sultry tone.

Spike gave her a grin as he asked, "You'd like that wouldn't you?"

Harmony seemed to ponder it before she replied, "Maybe I would.

After a party."

Spike finally caved as he replied, "Tonight. I'll take you somewhere nice."


Giles and Xander had finally finished arranging his books, after they had agreed that silence was still the best policy. Besides, Xander did his best work to help Buffy from the shadows.

"So, what are your plans tonight, Xander?" the Englishman asked as they had a cup of tea at Rupert's insistence.

"Vicky and I are going to some campus wide shindig after she meets me here after class," Xander answered.

"I thought you had most of your classes together?" Giles asked mildly.

"Eh. I have Advanced Calc. now, while she has Latin. Fortunately my class was cancelled due to my not really understanding it and dropping it this morning. I figure I have a week before gramps finds out and puts me in a harder one," Xander replied as he sipped his tea. It was good, but Wally's was better.

"Xander are you certain that's wise?" Giles asked.

"Yep. Mostly because I didn't really drop it, the prof gave us today off for some symposium in San Diego. I think that's college for professor only kegger, but I'm not complaining," The White Knight assured him.

Their discussion was cut short as a cheery female British voice called out, "Xander, Mr. Giles I'm here," as she knocked.

It took Xander and Giles only a few minutes to let Seras in and explain that Rupert was now 'in the know', so to speak. This left the vampiress feeling slightly ashamed at their deception as she looked toward the floor and asked, "Do you feel any ill will toward us for our deception, Mr. Giles?"

Giles watched the girl carefully, and had to agree with Xander. It was impossible not to like her. "No, Miss Victoria. I think I rather understand the reasons behind it. I was more upset because without full knowledge, I'm ill equipped for some potential political maneuvering by an old colleague from the Council. Xander's vouching for you is all the assurance I need of your sincerity to stand with us," he replied in a fatherly tone.

"I understand, Mr. Giles, sir." Vicky responded in tones drilled into her head under both her police training, and her time under Sir Integra.

"I will assume you'll tell the girls once they are ready to deal with it, though?" the Watcher asked the couple in a tone that was not one used for a question.

"Sure thing G-man," Xander replied happily, before he coughed in his hand with a sound that sounded suspiciously like *Eyghon.*


The first thing Xander and Seras heard as they neared the party was Buffy's superior taunt. Xander hardly expected the others in the conversation to be who they were though.

"What's the matter Spike? Dru dump you again?" Buffy asked with a confident smirk as she threw a pair of punches that were blocked by the vampire, before a third hit him square in the face and staggered him for a second.

"Maybe I left her." Spike replied full of wounded bravado as he feints a counter to the Slayer's next charge and forces her to veer to the left.

It was, however, the second revenant's appearance that really got Xander's attention, "She left him for a fungus demon. That's all he talks about most days."

The admission of the blonde ditz made Spike storm up to her and cry out, "Harm! We are going. It isn't time yet."

Harmony nodded in agreement as she taunted, "Yeah, but as soon as we have the Gem of Amara, you're gonna be sorr-", before she was cut off by her paramour's frustrated grunt as he tried to drag her off.

"I don't know about you, Spike, but I think it's the perfect time for a party," Xander commented icily as he and Seras seemed to melt out of the very shadows to Spike and Harmony's left.

"Droopy?" the bleached wonder asked in shock, unsure how the Slayer's favorite living lapdog could sneak up on him like that.

Harmony lacked the sense to be similarly impressed as she took in the sight of the No Life Prince and his lover. "Xander Harris, still following Buffy around to try to look remotely cool, I see. And you even got some tramp with implants to be your new special. So how is life as a pathetic townie groupie to Summers?"

she taunted with a feral smirk.

"I wouldn't know. I'm attending college and I'm no one's groupie," Xander replied in his most emotionless tone. Even Buffy and Seras, who were not the targets of his obvious rage had to suppress the shiver they felt as they heard the Hellsing heir speak.

"Can I beat on her before you kill her, love? I really didn't appreciate the crack about my chest, or what her tone implied about Cordelia," Seras asked to break the tension a bit as she glared at Harmony, who was too stupid to realize what a mistake she was making.

Spike was not similarly crippled mentally as she muttered, "Let's go Harm. Something about they way they're actin' isn't right."

"You're not seriously worried about loser Harris and his new screw toy are you Spikey?" Harmony asked in shock.

Spike's reply was cut off as he pulled himself and Harmony out of the way of a fireball that Droopy-boy had fired at them without even resorting to saying a freaking spell. Actually, he was simply dodging for himself, and would have let the blonde vampiress burn, but her purse strap got wrapped around his wrist as he had tried to drag her off earlier, so he pulled her along to safety with him.

"Am I worried? No. Am I bloody flammable? YES," Spike emphatically declared as he ran off into the night with his play toy.

"Um, Xander?" Buffy asked from where she looked on shell-shocked.

"Yeah, Buff?" Xander prompted timidly even as he cursed the fact he would have to deal with this instead of chasing Harmony down and executing her.

"Since when can you throw fireballs and why wasn't I told about it?" Buffy demanded with a rising hint of hysteria in her voice.

Xander shrugged sheepishly as he explained, "It's a family thing from my Mom's side I learned how to tap in England."

"And you never mentioned it why?" the Slayer demanded.

" never came up?" Xander offered.

"Honestly Buffy, you're best girlfriend is a powerful Wicca. How is Xander throwing a little fire a big deal? He was born and raised in a town built on a portal to Hell," Seras interjected.

"Yeah, and magick is Willow's thing. But she still doesn't throw fireballs with casual ease," Buffy cried back in shock.

"Not so much ease as it was the quietest weapon I had that wouldn't have tipped Spike off too soon. I expected him to think I was too lame to have a way to kill him, and went for something a bit more advanced than I'm used to using as a quick draw thing," Xander elaborated as he collapsed to one knee. Seras and Buffy, who saw his distress, quickly came to help him up as they asked if he was all right.

"I'm fine. I'm just really tired. Grandfather Adrian's spell is still really tough on me. It's not like I'm Gramps," Xander assured them woozily, making Vicky's eyes go wide as she wondered if he was about to say too much. Right now it was just a matter of unconnected names, but the wrong mention of mideon abilities could screw them both in a bad way.

Her worries evaporated when she caught him giving her a sly wink when his head was turned so Buffy could not see it.

"Xander you shouldn't so stuff like this if it leaves you half dead! You should just leave the magick to Willow or something,"

Buffy fretted as her best male friend began to stand and straighten himself up under his own power again.

"It wasn't the fireball itself that did this, Buff, it was pulling it out of my ass so quick that I had no time to brace myself against it. Unlike Willow, I need to center myself and gather my power to do most magick," The White Knight explained as he finally got himself back together.

The argument between Slayer and dhampir would have certainly gone much farther had another voice not intruded then.

"Xander Harris, there you are! I've been looking all over this accursed town for you. Do you know your mother doesn't even know where you moved to?" Anya Jenkins, formerly the demoness Anyanka Avenger of Scorned Women, harped as she stomped toward them.

"Demon Anya, good to see you again. And the thing with my mother is very intentional," Xander coolly replied.

"Yes, well, that doesn't mean anything here and now. What I want is to know where our relationship is going?" Anya asked with a typical lack of tact.

"What relationship?" Xander, Buffy, and Seras asked in unison. It should be noted that there was more than a little bit of a growl in Seras' tone as she voiced the query.

Anya seemed taken back for a moment as she looked at the three of them, and appeared to try to place the Police Girl's face for a second before dismissing her as unimportant as she strode even closer to Xander and declared, "Yeah. We went to the prom."

Xander rolled his eyes heavenward, before he shot an apologetic look to Vicky, who barely noticed it as she glared holes into Anya, and replied, "Yeah, on our one and only date. Second date called on account of snake, remember? And the whole, you used to be a man killing demon thing. Which to be fair, is as much my issue as it is yours."

Anya put her had on his chest then, which made him certain the area would be flooded with pissed off bats with incongruously blonde, and messy, hair, as she added, "I can't stop thinking about you.

Sometimes in my dreams, you're all naked."

Xander chuckled nervously as he glanced at Vicky again and tried to backpedal away from Anya as he joked, "Really. You know if I'm in the checkout line at the Wal-Mart I've had the same one."

Anya smiled coyly as she followed and said, "So I can assume a standing Friday night date and a mutual recognition as Prom night as our dating anniversary?"

Xander's attempt to politely decline was cut short, as Seras snarled, "Not a chance in HELL. Now get your filthy former demon hand off my man this instant before I show you just what a Hellsing operative does to demons you irritating little tart!", and physically pushed Anya off of him and onto her rear.

In fact, the only reason Anya wasn't looking down the barrel if Seras Victoria's 9mm sidearm back-up that she kept tucked into her waistband holster was because Xander had put his hand around her right arm to stay the motion and calm her. "Not as nice as I would have been, I'll admit, but I think she gets the point, honey,"

Xander assured her even as Buffy stepped forward to restrain Seras as well, if necessary. Well either restrain her or cheer her on. Buffy had a dislike for oversexed and tactless tramps making moves on her man as well <cough> Faith <cough>, and knew how Xander's lover must feel.

Anya did not understand that, or just how precarious her position was as she stood up with an incredulous glare and shouted, "You're cheating on me!?! I knew it! I knew men were scum!"

Now the White Knight looked annoyed as he snapped, "We went on one date that was all but a pity date for us both and then you left me to die when the Mayor Ascended. That's not a relationship. That's you running and me finding a woman who loves me and won't run screaming when things get rough. Which, by the way, is a foregone conclusion living on the Damned Hellmouth!"

"Look here, Xander Harris! If you think that just because I left you can screw around with some over-endowed whore..." Anya began only to be cut off.

"It's Hellsing, Anyanka," Xander informed her with a twitch in his right eye.

"What?" Anya asked in confusion.

"My name is Alexander Hellsing. Son of Richard Hellsing and Jessica Belmont-Harris. You still think I'm someone to be bullied into following you like a puppy over one date, Anyanka? "he asked coldly. "Or that I'm the type to have you insult the woman I love like that while I do nothing?" he asked as he started to stalk toward the now terrified former demon.

The way he said her former job name had Anyanka sweating bullets. If what Xander said was true she may have made an extremely gross error in the pursuit of multiple orgasms to get him out of her system.

"I think that's your cue to get out of town and never come back," Seras warned Anya with a dead tone. Her face blossomed into a smirk as she added, "Unless you'd rather we call Sir Integra about you harassing her cousin. I'm sure she could spare an agent from our trash cleaning division to talk with you. I think you might know of him, in fact. He goes by Alucard."

The look of horror on Anya's shock white face gave Seras a special warm feeling after what the little tramp had called her. Anya's gibbering, " I'll just be on my way. I'm sure there's better ways to purge these thoughts from Xander. Bye now," as she took off away from them made her feel even better.

"Uh, just out of curiosity, who is Alucard that he would scare her that bad?" Buffy asked in awe as she watched the annoying former demon run for her life.

"Remember when I said Hellsing has a few non-humans on the payroll, Buff?" Xander asked with a smile of satisfaction.

"Yeah," Buffy replied even as she began to see a bit of where he was going.

"Well Alucard was the first. In fact he's the one that the whole Hellsing group was built around. If there's something no other agent can handle, they let him out to play. Believe me when I say it's not a friendly experience to be in the receiving end of his bad temper," Xander elaborated.

"Okay. Just for reference, just how had can he..." Buffy began to ask.

"The last public fight he went at at full power destroyed over fifteen city blocks in London. The news recorded it as a terrorist act. The one in South America where Hellsing tried to wipe out the Millennium Organization...made that look very tame by comparison,"

Vicky explained solemnly.

"Oh. Uh, Millennium Organization?" Buffy asked.

"Nazi remnant where Hitler was recruiting demons. Apparently nobody told them the Nazis lost. They're the ones behind the FREAK chips I told you all about," Xander explained.

"And you guys keep someone that dangerous in the group?" Buffy asked after she assimilated the information.

"Teg has a magick binding that only lets him use as much power as she approves of. The only reason he was released in London was that a mideon called Incognito was about to sacrifice her to release an Old One worse than the Mayor type demon, and had already slaughtered most of our troops. Alucard was a last resort. After he was unsealed...the fight was really one sided, and Europe isn't in total ruins. Sometimes you need to get extreme to win, Buffy. We all know that deep down," Xander defended.

To that explanation, the Slayer had nothing to say.


After a quick call to Giles to declare Spike's intentions to look for the Gem of Amara, Buffy searched out and began to dance with Parker, and Xander and Seras danced together as well.

"He stinks of lust," Xander grumbled under his breath as they swayed to the music.

"Mmmm. So do you, kitten," Seras purred into his ear.

"Well, I am only human. Sort of," Xander responded with a smile.

"We warned her fair, and we might be wrong. What do you say we head home and let her deal with her own issues? Buffy's a big girl, she can handle one wanker if he gets out of line," Seras suggested with an enticing lick to her lover's ear.

Xander would have been gone already if he hadn't noticed Parker and Buffy separate as Buffy headed off to the restroom. "Tell you what, you lead to the loo and let Buff know we're gone, and then we can play all you want when we get home," he suggested with a grin.

Seras sighed as she said, "Just leave him alive, alright?"

"Hey, who do you think I am?" Xander asked with a wounded look.

Seras gave him a deadpan expression as she replied, "Master's heir," then went off to say goodbye to Buffy.

Xander watched her go with a smile that slid in to a devilish grin worthy of Vlad Tepes himself as he headed toward Parker. "Parker. Good to see you, man. You and Buffy having a good time?" he asked amicably.

"Xander right? Yeah, we're having a great time," Parker replied absently.

Xander nodded in agreement with the young man's words as he said, "You know you're a lucky guy, dating Buff and all. I mean don't get me wrong; I don't look at her like that or anything. In fact I think of her as a little sister. That's why I'm so glad she finally found a nice guy to spend time with. Her last boyfriend was a real looser. He took off an left her heartbroken."

"Really?" Parker asked evenly, although Xander could hear the minute thread of nervousness in his voice.

"Yep. In fact, it caused us all to be a little gun shy about Buffy dating," Xander continued. "In fact I promised her that if someone used her and abused her again, I'd break out some old family methods for getting even. I think I promised her something along the lines of impaling the guy on a pike in a way that would make a catheter jealous. Of course seeing as I'm a blood descendant of Vlad the Impaler, I guess it makes sense that was what was in those journals. Oh, and the diagrams and written recordings of just how much pain you can inflict before unconsciousness or death. You had to give the Wallachians credit for thorough research. Why I bet I could torture a man for weeks without giving him the release of death just by following the instructions," Xander mused in a chillingly friendly tone.

By now Parker was pale, green, and sweating. He was just about to flee for his life and never return when Buffy's cheery "Xander, Parker", cut off his escape as she rushed up and gave the Scooby a goodbye hug. "Seras said you two were taking off. I'll see you tomorrow?" she asked Xander once she let go.

"Sure thing, Buff. We can compare how our dates went," Xander teased with an exaggerated wiggle of his eyebrows.

"Yeah, like I want to hear about what you and Seras do together, you perv," Buffy replied with a roll of her eyes and a bright laugh.

"Sure, ruin my fun. I'll just have to find it elsewhere then. Right Parker?" Xander asked with a grin as Parker let off a hurried 'Sure' at the question. "I'll see you two crazy kids later, then. Bye," Xander finished as he walked out to where Vicky was waiting at the door.

As they headed home, the vampiress declared, "You are positively evil, you know."

Xander, who knew her hearing had picked up and filtered the conversation easily, smiled unabashedly as he replied, "I know. It runs in the family."


The next morning as Xander and Seras arrived at Giles house after a call from Willow, he saw something that made his view of the universe shatter irrevocably. "Whoa, Giles has a TV. Everybody, Giles has a TV. He's shallow like us."

"I've got to admit, I'm a little disappointed," Oz chimed in from where he was inspecting Giles' records.

Giles blushed and babbled "I, ah, uh, uh."

As Willow walked into the room she opined, "Well maybe it doesn't work. Like a piece of art."

Xander turned the TV on to test her theory, and Willow looked on in open-mouthed shock as the television came to life.

"Public television. Come on everyone we have vital work to do. Watching television is not going to help us right now." Giles tried to explain. As the news report on the TV droned "...near the UC Sunnydale campus. Officials attribute the unusual occurrence to weakening of the supporting topsoil nearby. City work crews denied any tunneling has been done in the area."

Giles looked on grimly as he declared "Tunneling. Spike. Xander, find Buffy and meet us there.

Xander nodded in acceptance as he took off for the campus while Seras, Oz, and Willow headed off with Giles.


Xander did not find Buffy in her room, and so had to rely on tracking her be scent to ferret her out as he traced her steps that day. He got there in time to see a conversation that would spell unpleasant things for Parker, just before Spike threw a punch that knocked her to the ground in broad daylight.

*Spike walking in the sun. No this isn't a bad day.* his inner voice sarcastically snarked.

His inner musings were cut off as he saw Buffy get knocked to the ground and pummeled repeatedly. That was all he needed to see to get him into the fray.


"Being a vampire sucks," Harmony declared from where she cried in the crypt where the others discovered her. That was her last declaration ever as a gunshot rang out and she disintegrated into dust.

"And you swallowed, you daft bint," Seras muttered as the others looked at her in various states of shock. "That little tart called me a whore with implants to replace Cordelia," Seras explained.

For Willow at least, that explained it all. Oz and Giles were less satisfied, but had the sense to keep their traps shut about it.


"Xander, get out of here!" Buffy cried as she saw her friend rush up to tackle the apparently invincible Spike. She was rather surprised when Xander succeeded in tossing the revenant off into the nearby brick wall, as he evaded a counter kick by the bleached vamp to do it.

"Well, well, Droopy has some new moves. You want to play with the new fireproof big bad?" Spike taunted as he moved forward toward Xander, only to stop shot at the glowing purple sword that the boy drew.

"What's with the funny lightsaber, Xan?" Buffy asked as she looked at the pretty blade.

"Family heirloom called the Vorpal Blade. I thought it might come in handy," Xander explained in a monotone, as he never took his eyes off Spike.

"You thought wrong, kid," the vampire spat as he rushed forward at the White Knight.

Buffy only had time to shriek in horror; she was too far away to save Xander as Spike approached. Her shrieks were replaced by someone else with bleached hair as Xander side-stepped and easily parried Spike's charge by severing his hand, complete with Gem of Amara ring, above the wrist. As the hand left the rest of the Vampire's body spike began to smoke and flame as he dived off into the sewer. Xander just snorted a derisive, "Loser," as he sheathed his blade and picked up Spike's hand. He removed the ring with little ceremony as he tossed the hand over his shoulder where it promptly ignited and turned to ash.

"Xander?" Buffy asked in a bit of a daze.

"Yeah, Buff?" Xander replied.

"Thanks for the save," the Slayer said with a smile.

He returned her grin as he assured her, "Any time, Buffy. Any time."

As the pair walked off toward the crypt together to find the others one could hear a conversation that went something like...

"So, where did you get the neat sword?"

"Like I said, it was a family heirloom.

"Where can I get one?"


"Can I have yours?"


"Why not?"

"You aren't trained in that kind of magick to make it work and Teg would kill me."

"Please...just think of patrols."

"That's what I use it for. You have mister pointy. And you can do the same things with a regular sword."

"Aww, no fair."

"Don't pout. If you're good, I'll but you a mocha."

"Okay. But that's still not as good as a magick sword."

"Muttering and whining isn't being good."