Disclaimer: I have no money. Please, don't sue. I don't own Hellsing.

Free talk: Rejoice, for I have kept my promise and updated! Let me hear you cheer! Happy Holidays!

Special thanks to: Fanfic Fan: Hey, thanks for the review. I've checked out the fanfic. Looks good. Keep it up.Don't get discouraged!

Gin: Yeah, go Christina! Thanks for reviewing.

The Charlatan: What would I do without you? Thanks for pointing that out. I got a little confused back there, too. Anyway, you've become a bra? Really? By this time I'd think you'd be a…thong?

M.Kasshoku: I liked that part too…but Christina has still a long, long way to go.

Iudex Acerbus: Thank you! :cries: I don't think its THAT good enough for an anime. Maybe I can do a radio drama one time. :grin, then gets thwaped at the head:

DarkenedSakura: Thank you for pointing those out. Yes, I have to improve my grammar and vocabulary.

Mystic Dragonfire: :blinks: Thanks for reading!

Akuma-sama: Thanks for the hearty cheer! I'll try to finish this as soon as I can!

I am Alucard: Thank you! You should read more in There are many, many good stories here.

Sho-rai: Short? I thought my chapters were long. Oh well. This chapter will be short!!!!

Ashtray: Thank you very much. I needed that. Here's the update.

Phoenix Renquestor: This fic is mostly based on the anime. Integra isn't 'hostile' to Alucard, she's…sharp? There's sharpness in her voice and manners when she deals with him. In this fic, she is a bit hostile, mainly because of what he did to her. Oh, yes. I do tend to do that (the critique thingy). Thanks for pointing it out. It's because of laziness in my part, but sometimes I do it for…mystery? Gah. Anyways, thank you!

Valondra Deva Phoenix: Thank you. This is the second to the last chapter. Enjoy!

Fallin' From Grace: Well, what else can I say! Go Christina.

Raid and Ruins: I know you! I read your fic! Anyway, thank you very much for reading. I'm happy that in your eyes that the characters are not OOC.

Sailor Universe: Thank you. I hope you haven't fallen off your seat waiting for the update. I know, I mean, making everyone wait this long.

EL Chacal: Yes, it was cruel. I think that little scene shows a lot about Chris's personality. As for the Vatican and Hellsing working together, it has been my running fantasy to get them to do just that, but it's not time yet. They have a lot of differences to get over before they could work together. Some other time, maybe. :grin:

Sephirothleo1: More romance? :cough: :cough: We'll see. Anyway, I am finishing this.

This chapter is for my Father. He's no Alucard, but man, he has a wicked sense of humor sometimes.

Chapter XVIII: Darker than Night, Redder than Blood

Christina Elizabeth Hellsing was in a quandary. Her mother had been kidnapped hours ago. Now, an army of ghouls was attacking Hellsing. Part of her wanted to leave immediately and rescue her mother, but another part told her to stay. She was the heir to Hellsing, and it was the highest priority of a Hellsing to protect the Institution, but she was also a daughter and her mother's safety was important to her. Even if her mother wasn't the best mother around.

"What's the situation?" Christina asked Celes. Then she glanced at the wall of monitors, eyes narrowing as she watched the Royal Protestant Knights fight. The Hellsing control room was filled with soldiers, all of whom were doing everything they can to get rid of the ghouls and FREAKS bent on overrunning the estate.

It had been nearly an hour since Hellsing Manor had been attacked. Though the Royal Protestant Knights responded quickly, the sheer number of their attackers made it hard for them to eliminate them quickly. The Undead swarmed over Hellsing like flies on a rotting corpse. Thankfully, they were able to keep the ghouls and FREAKS from reaching the control room and the upper rooms in the center area where Christina and the others had managed to reach before all hell broke loose. The soldiers have confined them to the East and West wings.

"We've managed to hold them off at the East Wing," Celes replied. "The rest are still infested with ghouls. They haven't reached the central area yet." She gave Christina a grim look. "May I request permission to join the others–"

Christina shook her head. "No, Celes. I need you here in the control room to oversee matters with David." Her gaze shifted to Alucard, who was leaning against the wall, eyes on her. Judging me, no doubt, she thought. This is my first time to be fully in charge.

How long shall we play your game, little one? Alucard whispered in her mind, his mocking tone earning him a glare from her. I tire of this.

She was tired too, but damned if she would admit it to him. She had a job to do, and she wouldn't leave until Hellsing was completely secure and free from the Undead.

Integral Wingates Hellsing eyed the man in front of her with undisguised hatred. Here was the man who had ruined so many lives, including hers, her husband, and her daughter's. "You will not succeed, Harker. Hellsing is far stronger than you think."

Joseph Jonathan Harker smiled at her. "Defiant to the end, eh? So much like your father." His smile then twisted into a bitter frown. "Too much like your father. All Hellsings are alike. My father told me that."

Integral remained in her spot, staring at Joseph. How could she have missed this? The bitterness between the Hellsing and the Harkers started long before she was born. She didn't know why, but she had suspected it was because of Alucard.

"You didn't have any idea, did you, Integral? Of what our family felt when your ancestor decided to revive that monster." He spoke the last word with contempt on his face. "No idea of the fear, the outrage. And if it wasn't enough, you became that creature's Master! We thought we had seen the last of it when your father put him away, but you–you had to revive it. Richard should have killed you! Then Alucard shouldn't have been brought back to life!"

Integral's face showed no emotion throughout Harker's ranting, though inside, she had the strong urge to strangle the man. When Harker paused to take a breath, Integral said, her voice mocking, "So you ally yourselves with Adrian because you were jealous? I've never thought the Harkers have become so weak as this. You shame your ancestors."

Harker's eyes narrowed. "Be careful of what you say, bitch. You're my prisoner now. And your vampire pet will not be here to help you. And even if he's here, Adrian will get rid of him…and that daughter of yours." He gave her a sly smile. "My son's interested in her, you know. Maybe I will keep her alive, after all."

Smirking, she said, "My daughter will never have your son. She'll kill him first."

"No, she won't, not unless she wants to burn. She is half-vampire, remember? Her blood will tell."

"You'll be dead before you'll be able to burn her. You are a fool, Harker. Do you think you could control a vampire like Alucard? Or Adrian? Vampires do not obey cowards such as you." Integral was about to say more, when she felt a sudden ominous presence descend on the room. Integral stiffened when she saw whom it belonged to.

"Adrian," Joseph Harker snapped, flashing angry eyes at the vampire that emerged from the shadows. "What are you doing here? Haven't I commanded you to lead the attack on Hellsing?"

Blond locks radiant in the dim room, Adrian bowed at Integral, then at Joseph. "I have, my Master. I'm just checking up on you, and the lovely Lord Hellsing." He spoke mockingly in his melodious voice, but whether it was directed to her or Joseph, Integral couldn't tell. "It seems we have a little problem that would require a change of plans."

"What is it?" Joseph suddenly looked agitated. "Is it the Hellsings?" Behind him, Integral felt hope surging in her.

"No. It's the Catholics–the Iscariots. I believe a priest of the name Alexander Anderson leads them. They're eliminating most of the FREAKS and ghouls." Adrian gave Integral a sardonic smile.

Purple with rage, Joseph Harker snapped round to face Integral, who looked halfway between amusement and anger. "Do you know something about this? Have you allied Hellsing with the Vatican as well, you bitch? Is that why they have come to your aid?"

Though incensed that the Vatican overstepped their bounds again, Integral just smirked at Harker. "Shouldn't you know? After all, you are the Keeper of the Codes."

"You insolent bitch!" Joseph Harker made a move to slap her, but the icy look in Integral's blue eyes made him pause. Snarling, he turned to Adrian. "What are you doing here, then? Why aren't you getting rid of them? Are you this useless?"

The smile on Adrian's face didn't change. "Why should I?" he asked.

Joseph Harker looked like he was about to explode. "Because I order you–"

Harker never finished his sentence. Adrian moved with inhuman speed, so fast Integral didn't see his hand move; she didn't even feel him move. The next thing she saw was Harker's stump of a neck, spurting blood, his head having been severed by Adrian's sharp claws.

Christina stared at the monitors again; her hands were clenched into tight fists. Where did all the ghouls come from? It seemed that there was no end to them. "There's too many of them," she said aloud.

What are you going to do now, little one?

Shut UP, Alucard. Christina turned to the screen again, then to David. "The ghouls have been confined to the East and West wings, am I correct?"

It was Captain Whitelaw who answered. "Yes, Lady Christina. They haven't breached through where we are, the center area of the mansion."

Christina glanced at the monitors, watched the growing number of ghouls, and watched their decaying faces and bodies, their jerky movements. Then she turned to a floor plan of the Hellsing mansion on the table beside her. The Hellsing mansion was in a way, divided into three parts. The East Wing, the West Wing, and the Center. She appeared to be in deep thought for a moment, brows knit in concentration. Then, exhaling slowly, she said to Captain Whitelaw. "Keep the Undead in the East and West wings. I want them to stay there at all cost. Seal it off. When that's done, I want every able man to move to the center."

Captain Whitelaw gave her a strange look. "My lady? I don't understand–"

David's eyes widened. "Miss Christina, surely you're not thinking–"

Christina gave David a level stare. "I'm going to do it. Captain, tell the men that as they make their way to the center area from the West and East wings, I want them to line the area with 'explosives'."

Captain Whitelaw gaped at her. "My lady, you are talking about blowing up parts of the Hellsing mansion! You cannot be serious!"

"I am serious. The explosion will be confined to the West and East wings, leaving the center area intact. It can be done, can't it?"

"Yes, it can be done, but Lady Christina…your mother will never consent to such a thing."

Captain Whitelaw nearly shrank at the cold look in Christina's red eyes. "But my mother isn't here, and I am not my mother." She glanced at the screens again. "We waste our time in arguing. There are too many of them for us to handle in the 'traditional' ways. The Harkers can't respond. If we wait for help, we'd end up dead. Our men are dying out there. I will not let that happen. This is the quickest way to get rid of them. I'm tired of playing this game."

"But the mansion…."

"The mansion can be rebuilt. Lives cannot be replaced." Christina smiled bitterly at him. "I wouldn't be concerned about the building. It's been build to withstand bombs, you know. Now do it."

Captain Whitelaw stared at her for a moment, then he nodded and saluted. "Yes, Lady Hellsing!" He turned to his men and bellowed out the orders. Christina watched the proceedings for a moment, then turned to Alucard, who grinned at her, baring his gleaming fangs.

Well done, Lady Christina.

Face showing little emotion, Integral eyed Joseph's headless corpse. It lay twitching on the ground, blood pooling around it. She felt no sympathy for the man, just a twinge of pity that she quickly quashed when she thought of what he did to her family. Forgive me, Christopher, for thinking ill of you, she thought.

"He's such a loudmouthed bastard, wasn't he?" Adrian remarked in his melodious voice. Integral gaze shifted to him. Blood dripped from his hand. Casually, he raised his bloody hand and slowly licked the blood off it, tongue gliding over the fingers in slow, sinuous movements, as if he was savoring the taste.

"He's not your true Master, is he?" Integral asked, her voice cold.

Adrian smiled a red smile at her. "He's merely a tool. As you've said, vampires don't follow cowards. My true Master is far from that."

In the same chill voice, Integral asked, "And who is your true Master?"

"I suppose it won't hurt for you to know. You and your daughter will be intimately involved with him quite soon, anyway." His smile turned into a fanged grin. "He has many names, my Master. He is Darkness himself, the Dark One. My Master is the Prince of Darkness, Lucifer himself."

"Christina, there's something I should tell you."

Christina gave her best friend a startled glance. She had nearly forgotten that Anna was with them. She felt sorry for her best friend. She shouldn't have been involved in this. Then Christina frowned. Anna sounded afraid, and the look on her face showed that she was. "What is it, Kat?" she asked in a gentle voice, not wishing to further frighten her friend.

Anna took a deep breath. "It's about me…and Michael Harker."

"What about you and Michael?" God, please don't tell me

"Well, he asked me stuff about you, every time I visited here. I've never really thought anything was wrong with that; he'd always been interested in you. And well…I sort of wanted to help him out with you."

Christina blinked. "You have been telling Michael what I've been doing? Why are you telling me this?"

Anna looked away. "I know this sounds weird…but I've been thinking of what you've told me this morning…about the attacks or attempts on you, it seems like hours before, Michael or me were there or with you. In Jean-Luc's wake, he was there. In the forest at school, when the vampire appeared. Then after the shopping…he called, you know…and asked."

Christina thought for a moment. "David, was Michael Harker in the funeral?"

David nodded. "Yes. I believe he and Sir Integral even talked."

Christina and Anna looked at each other. Mentally, Christina went over every meeting she had with Anna and Harker the past few weeks. The one that rose vividly to her mind was the conversation she had with Harker just hours before she left for Buckingham Palace.

"Harker, why are you really here?"

"To warn you," he said in a sober voice. There was serious expression on his face. "Something's happening. I don't know what exactly, but I think my father's involved in this. Tell your mother."

Christina narrowed her eyes at him. "Does your father know you're here?"

"No." He smiled at her. "You really look ravishing in that dress…"

Back then, she had dismissed the whole thing as unimportant, but now…Had Harker been warning her all this time? What was the connection between the Harkers and what was happening to Hellsing? Could it be that the Harkers and Adrian were connected?

Her reverie was broken when Captain Whitelaw's voice cackled to the radio. It was time to begin.

The soldier held to his radio tightly, waiting. Just a few more seconds. He watched behind a barricade as the ghouls advanced, tattered hands outstretched, their gruesome moans echoing throughout the trampled halls. Just a little bit more…

Christina stared at the screen, thumb running over the button, coating it slick with her sweat. She pressed the headphones closer to her ear, waiting for a single voice. All other noise has been muted or turned off. In the background, she could feel people holding their breaths, could hear the clock ticking, could feel their hearts beating.

They waited. And waited.

The radio then began to cackle shattering the unnatural stillness, and a small thin masculine voice cried, "CLEAR! CLEAR!"

"BRACE YOURSELVES! HOLD ON!" Celes and David shouted as Christina pressed the button.

Another unnatural silence descended on them, as if all the noise have been sucked up, and then, in a matter of seconds, the world around them rocked as the East and West wings exploded with a loud, earthshaking roar.

The explosion rocked a great part of London as well, shaking awake several people. When some glanced at where the noise had come from, many promptly rang the fire department as soon as they saw the bright ball of fire that for a moment, looked like a small sun.

"All the Undead have been destroyed, Lady Christina. What the explosion didn't finish, our men did," a weary and very dirty David told her. Christina was sitting on one of the chairs in the control room, which was now littered with rubble. "The fire is also under control."

"Damage?" Christina asked, wincing. She knew it would be very, very bad.

David smiled a tired smile. "You don't really want to know right now, Lady Christina. You're lucky the library wasn't at the wings. You're mother would have been furious." Christina's lips twitched into a small smile at that.

"Injuries? Fatalities?"

"We lost about two dozen men. About seventy or so are injured."

"Good." Christina stood up. "David, I'm leaving you in charge here. Take care of things. Alucard, Celes and I have to get my mother."


Free talk, part 2: Yes! One more chapter to go, and it will be the end! I'm going to miss this fanfiction. On another note, my good friend Damned Caeli has updated (or will update soon). Hurray!

Adrian: See? I told you he wasn't some ordinary vampire. Nasty one, isn't he?

Alucard and Celes: If you're wondering why Alucard and Celes aren't fighting at the start, Christina had ordered them not to fight to conserve their strength. Missed Alucard? You'll see a lot of him on the last chap.

Joseph Harker: I don't hate him. Really. He's a stereotypical bastard. I wish I could make him a more well-rounded character, but the hell, he's really a bastard.

Anderson and the Iscariot: Go ANDERSON!!!!! waves Anderson banner I feel I have underplayed the Iscariot here. I know they're not incompetent, but I'm based most of this fanfiction (well, all, actually) on the anime. And hehehe…unknowingly, they helped Hellsing…. You'll see them next chapter. Another weird thing, my spellchecker 'corrects' Iscariots with Escargots. Aren't those…snails?

Anna and Christina: Oohh…I didn't give a lot of hints about Anna's 'involvement', but if you read back, you'll see it (at least I hope so). Ehehehehe…Someone once asked me why Chris sticks with Anna. I mean, Anna can be pathetic at times. I think in Anna, Chris finds solace from all the 'weirdness' in her family. Anna provides normalcy, I guess. And Anna's smart. XD

My writing: If anyone's wondering why I took so long in updating, I've been recently depressed with the Hellsing fanfictiondom in general. I'm glad Hellsing's so popular nowadays, but the quality of fiction has been deteriorating a bit. I know my fic has a lot of problems and I shouldn't be saying stuff like this…but really…and there are some fans out there who have what I think are 'elitist' views on Hellsing fandom. Loosen up a little! Gah. Don't mind me. I'm just ranting.

On this chapter: Truth be told, this isn't much in this chapter…it just establishes certain things for the last chapter. Yes, I know. I'm mean. XD

Next chapter: The concluding chapter of the Hellsing Heir, and the LONGEST chapter in all. Will Adrian succeed in his plans? Alucard, Christina, and Integral face their worst enemies to date.