Disclaimer: Insert standard disclaimer here…. Okay, okay, I don't own this, I just write it.
Chapter 7-Aww Hell, there's two of them!
Ceres eyes fluttered open and she just lay still a moment. The lid of her coffin was open, but even then, she was comfortably warm under her blanket. She looked down and realized that the source of warmth was a very sleepy Ranma that was hugging her tightly.
She remembered the amount of bruises he'd had the prior evening and decided that it wasn't perhaps the smartest idea to lay on top of him. So thinking she began to carefully remove the arm around her waist, and then the arm around her shoulders.
She then carefully moved away from her current position to lie down next to him instead. The vampire stretched and yawned to drive the drowsiness away. As she looked on the sleeping form of Ranma she though she could definitely get used to the new sleeping arrangements.
Ceres looked carefully at Ranma, searching for any obvious signs of injury from the prior night, but the bruises had seemingly vanished, the only thing remaining was a large semi-healed gash on his left arm, and a smaller one on over his cheek and part of his throat.
Victoria stared transfixed at the wound and dried blood surrounding it, and in a groggy haze leaned forwards to kiss it. She didn't really know why, but she was kissing his neck and cheek were the wound was, slowly licking up the dried blood, making sure Ranma didn't wake up.
Even when it was dried up, the blood tasted delicious to the vampire, especially since she had refused to eat more then was absolutely necessary. Unknowingly to Ceres her irises had shifted, becoming thinner, more predatory, and slightly ferial.
She applied gentle suction to the part of the wound that was at widest and deepest, the Ceres Victoria part of her mind completely shutting off and letting her vampire-part take over, with only one goal in mind.
The thin crust of dried blood over the wound gave away, and as she applied more suction, new, warm, delicious, blood flowed up, completely overwhelming her senses.
Her now extremely long canines bit softly into the skin of his neck, but not puncturing it, she was drinking of the red life flowing from the wound. It tasted unlike anything she had ever tasted before, and was so very filling.
The rational part of Victoria could feel the consuming hunger that had plagued her for so long disappear as she drank the fresh blood, but the vampire part of her mind that was in control couldn't get enough of the liquid, it needed more.
Her fangs elongated even more and her face had a frenzied expression. She shifted her face a little and brought the fangs so that they rested on the wound, her muscles clenched and she was about to plunge them into the soft flesh to get more of the sweet, delicious, coppery liquid. She closed her eyes in preparation to the feeling of euphoria that was about to rush through her veins.
As she was about to end the life of the man under her she felt him shift a little and then a pair of lips gently kissing her neck.
She opened her eyes in shock and could see that it was Ranma that was kissing her softly, apparently he was thinking she was just kissing him. A cold, sharp stab of dread pierced her heart, the dark cloud lifted from her mind.
"NO!" She screamed in her mind and jerked away quickly from his neck.
She began to shudder in fear, she had almost killed Ranma.
"Victoria?" Ranma asked with confusion in his voice.
"I almost bit you" She whispered softly.
"What?" He asked, it seemed like he hadn't woken up completely yet.
"I was hungry, and, and the smell of blood…." She was talking incoherently.
Ranma just sat up and hugged her, comforting her.
"I slipped, my instincts took over and I drank blood from the wound on your neck." She continued, and Ranma absentmindedly traced the outline of the wound in question with a finger.
"When there didn't come anymore blood I almost bit you, if you hadn't kissed me…." She finished.
"Nothing happened, I am okay, see?" He said and pushed her way a little to show her he was fine.
She looked at him, his clothes were looking like they would fall off, a reminder of the brutal fight the night before, his hair which was shoulder length fell in long, oily stripes because it hadn't been washed and combed in a few days.
He had a fading bruise over on one cheek, round black bags under his eyes, and a skin colour that was definitely paler then normal, something that had to do with the fact that Victoria had drunken a good amount of his blood.
All in all his appearance wasn't the best, but even then he managed to grin confidently at her.
"You are sure?" She asked a little uncertainly.
"I've been better, but all in all I'm fine." He said, yawned, and stretched one of his arms in the air and an audible crack was heard as the stiffness in his back was chased away.
"I almost bit you, you are sure you aren't feeling strange?" She asked just to make sure, and visibly began to relax.
"Naa, but will tell you if I begin to develop a dislike for garlic, Ceres." He said jokingly while stretching his other arm.
"That is a common misunderstanding that vampires dislike garlic, but if you say that you are all right I believe you." She said and looked him over once again. He only nodded in return.
"Now what's this with you being hungry? I thought that Hellsing was supposed to supply you with medical blood." He asked and looked at her with determined eyes.
Victoria seemed to shrink back a little and mumbled quietly.
"What was that?" Ranma asked as he didn't hear.
"I said they do, but I usually don't drink it unless I really need to." She said again a little louder.
"Why is that?" He asked in confusion.
"I just feel like I kill someone every time I do it." She said and looked at him.
"But you don't, its medical blood…" He said and trailed off.
She looked down at her hands and then replied softly.
"My father was a police officer… He died when I was just a little girl, he was shot." She said but didn't look at Ranma. She then felt as Ranma hugged her again and he could hear him whisper softly in her ear.
"Im sorry." He said and hugged her a bit more tightly.
"The hospital had a shortage of blood, so they couldn't treat him properly, he died of blood loss ten minutes before the helicopter from a nearby hospital could bring more…." She said and let a single tear fall at the painful memory.
Ranma's eyes widened in understanding, and he nodded to show that he understood.
"And now you feel that there are people that need it more then you." He said to her.
"Yes, I feel so disgusted by drinking it, it feels like I can't keep what small part of humanity I have left." She said and looked down at her hands.
"And that is the reason why you won't lose it." He said after a while, thinking carefully of what to say.
"But…" Ceres began but stopped.
In the dark room there was only silence.
"Did you know that the medical blood is supplied by the soldiers, by donation every month?" He asked the vampire who looked up in surprise.
"How do you know, and why haven't anybody told me?" She asked suddenly.
"I asked Integra about it, and probably due to the fact that no one really knew why you had problems drinking it." He said and shrugged his shoulders.
Silence fell again.
"I know it won't help much, but please drink enough so you won't be hungry, okay?" He said and hugged her again.
Ceres nodded and returned the hug.
"Okay, promise" She whispered into his ear.
Silence fell again, but this time it was interrupted by a low rumbling sound.
Both looked up and around the dark room, trying to pinpoint the sound.
"MRRRREOWWW!" It came from behind them, and Ranma only got time to see a faint shadow moving before something tackled him, throwing him off the coffin and onto the floor.
Lying on top of Ranma was Ceres familiar, its tail wrapped possessively around Ranma's leg, purring like a kitten, and slowly retracting and extracting its claws on his chest as cats used to do when they are comfortable.
"getitoffme." Ranma whimpered very low, and very fast.
Ceres just blinked and then tilted her head to the side, to take a look at Ranma's face.
"I don't think it wants to hurt you." Ceres said slowly.
"Like hell, it's large, it has teeth, its using it claws trying to slice me, and most importantly it is feline." He whispered back.
"Try scratching it behind its ears, cats love that." Ceres said and sat back down on her coffin, looking on the display in not quite amusement, but close.
Ranma carefully moved his hand behind the cats left ear and scratched softly, making the large feline purr in satisfaction.
"See, it isn't dangerous, it likes you." Ceres said towards Ranma who nodded a little jerkily.
The cat suddenly stood up, stretched is entire body and then opened its mouth and let lose a long, loud, feline yawn. Ranma looked like he might be saved, but then the cat just tipped itself over and landed on the floor and Ranma with a loud thud. The cat began to purr loudly in a fashion making Ceres believe it was sleeping.
"Ranma?" Ceres said and tried to spot him under the large mass of feline familiar.
"Can't breathe…" Came a muffled voice from underneath the cat.
Ranma managed to worm his way out from underneath the cat and groggily stood up while rubbing his chest.
Ceres walked forwards and helped him stand straight, and when he could he silently backed away from the familiar sleeping on the floor.
He sat down on the edge of the coffin and continued to rub his chest. Ceres sat besides him and looked at him in worry.
In return Ranma just flashed her one of his cocky grins and laid his arm around her shoulder.
They sat like that for awhile before Ceres decided to speak up.
"Ranma?" She said determined.
"Um, yes?" He asked confused.
"Please take a shower, vampires have rather good senses, and you're both sweaty and covered in dirt." She said then, and Ranma just nodded dumbly.
Ceres stood up and dragged Ranma to his feet, before pushing him through the other door in the room.
"Shower, towel, shampoo." She pointed out the different things before going out the door.
Ranma just stared at the departing vampire before shaking his head, he would never figure women out. He discarded the remains of his tee-shirt, and Integra's trousers and threw them at the bench next to the door, before wrapping one of the fluffy white towels around his waist and headed for the shower.
He turned on the water and stuck out a hand to feel the temperature, it was cold.
He shrugged and stepped inside, feeling the curse activate, and the cold water chase away the drowsiness he was feeling.
He could hear a polite knock on the heavy door in the room outside, and then the screech of metal as it opened.
Just moments later he could hear a knock on the door to the bathroom.
"Are you in the shower now?" He heard Ceres ask through the door.
He opened the door to the shower stall and poked his head out to reply.
"Yes." He answered in a feminine voice.
The door opened and Victoria stepped inside with a bunch of towels in her arms, she quickly placed them on the same shelf he had taken his from only minutes ago, looked at Ranma and appeared startled for a second, before snapping out off it to answer his unspoken question.
"Walter on his weekly laundry check." She said.
"Ah, ok" He answered and retracted his head back into the shower.
He could hear the door close and then turned and shrugged.
After a while of showering he turned the temperature to warm and could feel himself change back. He once again wrapped the towel around his waist and walked over to the bench where he had placed his clothes, problem was, they were gone.
"Um, Ceres, have you seen my shirt and pants."
"I gave them to Walter, he wanted all dirty laundry." She said through the door.
"Ceres, those where the only clothes I have…" he said and trailed of.
Silence followed his statement.
"Umm, opps?" She tried meekly.
Ranma's left eye began to twitch and he then sighed in defeat.
"What should we do now?" He said out loud.
Along silence followed his statement.
"I have an idea…" Ceres voice from the other side of the door said and trailed off.
"I'm all ears." He said finally.
"Do you have a towel on?" Ceres asked and then waited for his reply.
"Yeah." He answered, confused with the question.
The only reply he got was the door opening and Ceres stepping inside. Ranma quickly jumped inside the shower again, only the head sticking out. Ceres walked up to the sink and turned the water on.
"What are you doin….AGHHHHH, THAT'S COLD!" The now female Ranma screamed as the glass of water hit him dead on. He fell forwards in shock and un-ceremonially landed on his ass.
Ceres turned around and walked out the door, and he could hear her scuffle around the room before returning to the bathroom.
His eyes widened.
"Absolutely not!" He said seriously.
"Ranma." She said in a warning tone.
"No" He answered.
"No, I won't wear it, under absolutely no circumstances, you can't make me." He said and turned around with a huff.
"Please." She said and tried a female's most dreaded technique, the puppy-dog eyes.
"Ceres." Ranma said, but you could hear he was giving after.
"I am just trying to help you." She said softly.
"Oh, alright. But the first thing we do is go to my flat and get some clothes." He, currently she, said in defeat.
Seeing her bright smile almost made up for wearing it in Ranma's opinion.
Ceres gave the now shorter Ranma a quick peck on the cheek and then walked out of the bathroom. Ranma just shrugged and muttered to himself about the insanity that is a woman.
"Ceres." Ranma then called out after a while.
"Yes?" She replied from the other room.
"I am not wearing the bra." He answered and then quickly tuned out any sound at all in case she tried to convince him otherwise.
Integra stared out of the window in her office, the window had been repaired, and restoration of the stone wall would begin the next day. She was thinking over the events of the last night, she had met her nephew, her nephew had met Alucard, and somewhere along the way shit had just hit the fan.
She stepped back and sat down at her desk. She sighed then groaned loudly and let her head fall to the desk so her forehead was resting on the cold surface.
Apart from the fact that her nephew had been beaten into something that closet resembled a zombie, the police girl had apparently been set free from Alucard's servitude, something that wasn't good.
The Hellsing family had wards and ancients seals in place to bind Alucard to her bloodline, and as direct result had control not only over him, but over his fledgling vampire as well.
Alucard had said that the master-servant link had been completely and utterly severed, and he didn't know of any way to reconnect them. That meant that Victoria wasn't bonded to Alucard, and more importantly, to Hellsing any longer.
She knew that Victoria tried everything to remain human, and the possibility that she would betray Hellsing was small, she still didn't like the fact to have a free vampire roam around, what would happen if she fell into a bloodlust and there was no way to stop her?.
Years ago, before she was born, Alucard had almost destroyed the entire Hellsing institute in bloodlust, and only the blood wards had managed to lock him down in the dungeon for twenty years before he was realised once more.
How much she twisted and turned on the problem she couldn't find a way out, so she dropped it.
She wondered if she should go out to the shooting range, but dismissed the idea, she had the beginnings of a killer headache and didn't want to aggravate it further.
She then turned her attention to Alucard and his promised punishment.
Even if he was relatively unhurt, the attack on a member of the Hellsing family could simply not go unpunished.
But what should she do?
Seal him inside the basement for another twenty years? That would definitely be a sufficient punishment, and apart from being a good punishment it would ease her migraines until he was released again. Unfortunately he was needed badly, and then again, it wouldn't be the same without the twice damned vampire around.
No, imprisonment wasn't in question.
Perhaps she could ask Captain Bernadotte if the wild geese were in need of a moving target…
She quickly dismissed the idea, she didn't want the captain or any of his soldiers to accidentally fall down a flight of stairs due to living shadows with crimson eyes scaring them.
Besides that, physically harming the vampire was just barbaric, and he would usually get worse things during a mission, he would have forgot the punishment, and the reason behind it the next day.
No she needed do something that would get through the vampires thick skull, something he would remember a hundred years from now, and something that he would do almost everything to escape doing again.
But what, the vampire's ego was so big he wouldn't admit the punishment had bothered him…
Hmmm…. Ego….. Unforgivable….
She sat straight up as she realised the perfect way to ensure this didn't happen again in the foreseeable future….
"Alucard." She said simply.
It didn't take long for the no life king to arrive in her office, and as usual he was wearing his annoying smirk that always seemed to drive her wild…. And not in a positive way.
She had to resist the urge to throw the solid silver ash tray, custom made for that special purpose, at the vampire.
Alucard stopped as he saw the cold calculating eyes, it was her patented say-or-do-anything-and-I-will-rip-your-heart-out-with-a-rusty-spoon expression. Even Alucard knew it was better to keep quiet now, as she usually had something important to say.
"Your attack on my nephew was not only a disgrace to yourself, but to the entire of the Hellsing-institute itself, especially with her majesty as witness. Do you have any idea what long reaching consequences your action will lead to? When, and not if the Knights of the Round Table finds out about this, I will have to run a major damage control. Our position has been extremely fragile ever since the Incognito fiasco, even with the blessing of the Queen we aren't completely trusted anymore. Your timing was the absolute worst, now I will have answer questions about you becoming a berserker or renegade, and this could possibly be the thing that drives Hellsing to its grave." She stopped to regain her breath and looked at the vampire.
Good, the remark about him being a disgrace had gone through his thick skull.
"I cannot let this crime go unpunished, you understand this." She said coldly.
"Yes." He said as if it wasn't a large issue, just a small annoyance.
The small smile that crossed Integra's lips made him rethink his prior response.
"I'm so screwed."
"You will have to…."
"Ranma?" The fledgling vampire asked and turned around to look through the door to her quarters.
"You are sure there is no one there?" He, currently she, asked out.
"For the last time yes, now move it." Victoria said impatiently.
Ranma-chan muttered darkly as she stepped out into the corridor.
She was dressed in the completely same attire as Victoria, a blue Hellsing-uniform and black boots. It fitted Ranma almost perfectly, his girl form was only slightly shorter then Ceres, and only slightly less developed.
"You should get something practical to wear instead, something that doesn't restrict your movements like this freaking skirt." Ranma said and muttered darkly, while trying to pull down the garment so it could cover more then her hip.
Ranma failed miserably, and then just continued to mutter darkly.
"Now you know how I feel." Victoria answered back, while grabbing Ranma's arm strongly.
She began to walk towards the stairs, and Ranma obediently followed.
They walked through the corridors quickly, and made their way up the stairs.
Instead of moving towards the main entrance, she walked through the office section, before moving through the servants' quarters.
As they passed the open door to the kitchen and mess, Ranma suddenly dug her heals into the ground and brought both of them to a stop.
The vampire was about to ask why they had stopped, when a low rumble was heard.
First she thought it was thunder really far away, but then she realised it was coming from the girl she was currently trying to drag out of the mansion.
It was her stomach.
She was sniffing the air and had a dreamy expression on her face.
It was then she realised that Ranma probably hadn't eaten in a while, heck the last she remembered was when he was in the infirmary.
"Please." Ranma asked in a sugary sweet voice while his…her eyes were sparkling with unshed tears.
"umm, okay…." She said slightly disturbed.
Ranma pumped his fist in the air in victory, and then quickly disappeared through the open door. She slowly followed while shaking her head in disbelief.
Inside the kitchen Ranma was moving around from stove to stove, generally annoying the kitchen personnel to hell, while looking for anything that looked like it was finished.
He managed to find a pot with a thick soup filled with various vegetables and meat, a basket with newly baked bread, and a frying pan with some bacon.
He was balancing the basket of bread, and some dishes on his head, while holding the pot and pan with a hand each.
He was looking on an offending container of milk, before Victoria took pity on him and helped him carry it.
"Thanks." Ranma said and walked to an obscure corner of the room and placed everything on the table.
Victoria was thankful that he didn't walk into the mess, she didn't want the soldiers to stare at her and Ranma. If they didn't stare at the blonde vampire, they would definitely stare at the curvy redhead.
With inhuman speed the plates were filled with steaming food, one resting in front of her. She looked a Ranma with curious expression.
"I didn't think any of it, but I noticed you always eat liquid food, soups and such." Ranma said while munching on one of the bread pieces.
"I can eat normal food, it is just that I normally feel a little queasy afterwards, this..." She said and raised the spoon with soup.
"I can eat without any problem, it just doesn't give me sustenance." She finished and let the spoon fall back into the plate.
"I learned to enjoy the simple things in life on my travel, especially hot food. You don't always have to eat because you're hungry. Hmm… That sounded gluttonous. What I meant was that you can eat because it taste good, or because you enjoy other persons company." He said, and then quickly added the last part at Victoria's look.
She nodded slowly.
She took a spoonful of the soup and raised it to her mouth, she looked at it before shaking her head. She consumed the spoonful of soup and then looked at the pot of soup in amazement.
Her senses as a vampire were drastically increased, sight, smell, hearing, everything was increased, however she didn't usually actually eat anything anymore, except to hold up appearance in public, for a simple reason.
She could enjoy the smell of good cocked food, however every time she eaten it just tasted bland, like her sense of taste was completely muted to anything else except blood. She could distinguish the different tastes, but she couldn't actually enjoy anything anymore.
Now however it actually tasted something, not nearly as much as when she had been human, but enough so she could actually enjoy the taste.
They ate in silence, and once again she noticed the kitchen personnel looking her way, but now they seemed more interested in the redhead who seemed to have a bottomless stomach.
She was on her fifth refill of soup, and half of the bread basket was gone, by the time Victoria finished her first. A quick glare at the kitchen personnel made them turn back to what they were doing, Victoria absolutely hated being the centre of attention.
Ranma's table manners had never been the best, but they had been drastically increased without Genma in the area, and especially after M's motivational speech. That woman could scare the hell out of anyone with that glare and voice.
However, most of his manners were thrown out the window, he hadn't eaten in a couple of days, and was really, really hungry.
She kept her eyes on the Ranma eating the soup, but then she caught a quick movement to her side. She could have sworn that one of the breads dematerialized in thin air.
She kept her eyes on the basket this time, and sure another one disappeared, but this time her vampiric eye-sight managed to see the afterimages of a hand.
Then it finally caught up with her, Ranma had fought a bunch of ghouls and vampires without problem, and had actually been able to fight on a relatively even ground with Alucard, something that no human should be able to do.
He had dodged bullets, and had even been able to throw that freaky black energy blade, something that could have been mistaken for some kind of vampire attack.
"How do you do that?" She asked Ranma who looked up from her bowl of soup.
She chewed a couple of time and then swallowed before replying.
"Do what?" Ranma asked.
"Moving that fast, you did it yesterday, and then throwing that thing at Alucard." She asked.
"Alucard?" Ranma asked again.
"The vampire you fought yesterday." She answered back.
"Oh, you mean the old ghoul that Integra said haunted the dungeons?" Ranma answered back, unconcerned that if Alucard had heard him he would have attacked the human, Integra's orders be damned.
"Yeah." She said a little disbelievingly at Ranma's lack of respect for the ancient vampire. She decided that she wouldn't correct him, she was more interested in the way he could move that fast.
"It comes from a lot of martial-arts training." He said and began to slow his eating speed to talk to Ceres.
"But there is a point when the human body can't become stronger or faster." She said.
"That isn't completely true, but I understand what you mean." He said and then took a quick sip of the glass of milk, he was now going into full sensei-mode and that led his interest away from the food.
He raised his arm a little and then a look of concentration fell over him. Ceres looked in interest, and then jumped slightly as a small spark of light appeared in his open palm, and it continued to grow in strength until it was the size of a tennis ball.
It hovered a couple of inches over his palm and pulsed slowly.
"This is what it's all about." He said and looked at the palm of light closely.
"What is it?" She asked and looked in fascination. It was hardly the pyrotechnic wonder as the black blade had been, but it was still intriguing.
"It is a physical projection of my life force, its called ki, the energy that my body generates." He said and then looked to make sure that Victoria was listening.
"The average person lack the training to access his ki, it took myself almost ten years to get to the point were I could use it consciously. The more you use your ki, the stronger your ki gets. The next step is to get your body accustomed to the energy, you definitely don't want to use more then you can handle or spare, yet again the more you use it the more you can use." He said and he could see he had her attention.
"What happens if you use more then you should?" The vampire asked.
"You could permanently harm your body, or even die if you overdo it. And even if you don't you'll would be spending the foreseeable future trying to refill your ki. I have personal experience with this, I was lucky and didn't have any permanent damage, however I learned to use it moderately. I used my ki to power an attack, but I didn't have any control, and it backfired and dispersed the energy through my body instead. It lasted less then a second, but think that all your nerves in your body signal every feeling of pain all at once. It hurt, it hurt a lot." He said and winched at the memory, he hadn't been able to fight for a good two weeks afterwards.
"It sounds dangerous." She said.
"Not if you have a good teacher and common sense of when to stop. Unfourtuantly for me, I had neither." He said and joked a little.
Victoria looked at him with a firm gaze.
"I hope to think I have developed a common sense by now." He said after a moments uncomfortable silence.
"Attacking a vampire?" She said simply.
"Okay, everything is relative…" Ranma said and shrugged.
"Anyway, you can then use your ki for a wide variety of things, augmenting your body is one thing, that's what I did to move so fast. It can also be used together with pressure points, and no I am not kidding about this. An ability you also gain the more you use ki, is your ability to see auras, pretty nifty if you want to see how strong a person is, or if you want to see if someone is in the area. Then you can use it to power ranged attacks, like my first class demon god assault blade……"
Alucard swiftly made his way through the building, and inside the quarters given to the new Hellsing, searching for said person.
He decided to use the normal way, and not phasing like he usually did, he didn't want a repeat of last night.
He opened the door, and could at once determine that no one had been there, all lights were out, and the bed and bathroom were untouched. Having no idea where the damn brat was he decided to check in on Victoria, she had been the one who had taken him back to the mansion.
He quickly phased through the building into the basement corridor, and the opened the heavy door to the police-girls room.
Once again he was met with a completely empty room. He turned around and was about to step out the door when something tugged on his coat hard enough to throw him to the floor.
He looked up from his position on the floor and met the crimson eyes of a large demonic feline. Said cat had a mouthful of red coat in its mouth and was wearing the feline version of a smirk.
The ancient vampire stood up while glaring murder at the vampire familiar. He really needed to talk to the police-girl about that damn cat. He tugged at his coat, but the familiar was resilient and didn't let go.
He aimed a swift kick at the feline, but it simply jumped out of the way, eyes sparkling innocently.
He didn't have time for any of these childish games with a mischievous familiar, so he phased through the building to get rid of the damn housecat.
He took a step forwards and was tugged to the floor once again, and as he looked up he could see the feline clearly smirking at the vampire.
Ranma patted his stomach when the last of the food was gone, and the suppressed a belch with his hand, the entire thing was even more comical because he was a she at the moment.
Ranma seemed to have forgotten about the clothes they should be getting, and seemed more then content just to sit there and digest the food.
Victoria however knew that they probably should be going, they needed to get those clothes before anyone decided to ask questions about the other police-girl.
"Ciao, Ceres-girl." A happy voice said from behind her. Victoria just sighed and fought back the urge to throw her hands into the air in resignation.
She turned her head around and sure enough, the Hellsing organisations very own pervert, Captain Pip Bernadotte, was standing behind her.
Out of the corner of her eye she could see Ranma looking the captain up and down as if he was evaluating him.
"And who might you be?" Pip continued and quickly focused his single eye on the curvy redhead sitting opposite Victoria.
"Names Saotome." The redhead replied and her eyes narrowed dangerously, she didn't like the look in the Captains eye.
"We should probably get going." Victoria said to Ranma, hoping that Ranma would remember why they were there.
Ranma only nodded in reply, and stood up.
"Before I forget, Victoria, Walter just told me the boss needed to speak with you, something about a missed health check?" Pip said and then turned towards the redhead again.
Both Victoria and Ranma sighed at this, but then nodded and walked towards the door, the good captain was following a couple of steps behind admiring the view.
The woman, and the man turned woman, were feeling slightly annoyed, especially as he began to sing a rather rude song about eskimos' .
The walk to Integra's office felt like an eternity to the two, and Ranma was just happy at being able to knock on the damn door.
Pip sat down on one of the couches, and began to hastily look through a folder he was carrying.
Integra was talking to Walter, when a knock on the door interrupted her.
"Come in." She said and was surprised as the door was opened by a girl in Hellsing uniform, a girl that wasn't Victoria.
She then recognised the girl as the cursed form of nephew, who was wearing a rather irritated frown.
"I need to speak with her alone Walter." She said to the Hellsing retainer, who didn't know of her nephew's shape-shifting abilities, and the vampire standing a few feet behind Ranma.
Walter nodded, and without anyone noticing put his monofilament wires back into his pocket, he had been paranoid ever since that incident with the vampire Carmilla pretending to be Lady Hellsing's sister.
The door behind her closed, and Integra was slightly disturbed by the attire Ranma was wearing.
"Not a word about the clothes." He said at the look Integra was giving him, there was a little bit of anger in the voice.
"All of my clothes are either destroyed, or in the washing machine, Victoria gave me these" He continued.
"Ahh." Integra said in relief, she didn't need a cross dresser in the family… She took a look on her own clothes and then decided to clarify that thought, a woman dressing as a male was okay, a male dressing as a woman was not.
"I was on the way to my apartment to get some spare clothing, but we got sidetracked." Ranma said and shrugged.
"Back to matters at hand, you haven't been to the promised health check." She said and looked at her nephew.
Victoria was staring at the Captain, he was being more then unbearable and she had to use every ounce of willpower not to throw the nearest blunt object at him. Her left hand twitched violently, the heavy marble ashtray on a small table next to her looked really promising.
The one thing holding her back wasn't fear of hurting the captain, but the fact that she was outside Integra's office, and Walther was working in the room opposite it.
She took a deep breath and slowly began to count to ten.
She calmed down and closed her eyes, if she didn't see his stares, she wouldn't be bothered by them, right?
Pip then decided to say a particularly lewd comment about the redhead, and Victoria's eyes snapped open in response.
She stood up quickly and her eyes were filled with anger. She'd had enough from the captain, any other day and she wouldn't have bothered, but today she wasn't in the mood and simply didn't have the patience.
She had crossed half the distance and Pip gulped loudly and began to sweat. The police girl had never reacted this way before, it had always been some harmless fun in aggravating the fledgling vampire, she had never shown violent tendencies before.
The captain was in luck, because the door leading to the office opened and the redheaded girl that was with Ceres stepped out.
Ceres stopped, took a good look at Ranma, back at the captain, and then a wicked smile spread across her face. She hoped that her plan of action would work and Pip would just back off.
She stalked up to Ranma and leaned down so that she could whisper into the shorter girl's ear.
"Sorry about this." She whispered, grabbed hold of the redheads head, and then proceeded to give Ranma the mother of all kisses.
The captain's mouth opened in shock, and he could only sit and stare at the exchange between the two curvy girls.
The kiss ended as Ranma needed to get some air, but he had a glassy look in his eyes.
Pip finally managed to speak, and whatever Victoria thought Pip would say it wasn't what he said.
"Damn girl! I knew you had it in you, you finally let our inner pervert out. Have you any idea how freaking hot that was!" He said with undisguised pride in his voice.
Bernadotte had a silly grin on his face as he said that, and Victoria just sighed in total and utter defeat. Pip didn't notice, he just continued to ramble on.
Ranma snapped out of his daze, and threw a dirty look at Pip, before casting a less irritated one at Victoria.
"He just won't leave me alone!" She said in defence, and Ranma turned back to the captain.
"I am sure as hell no innocent virgin, but I have never seen a woman deep-throat another woman's tongue befo…GAAHH! The captain continued deliriously happy, but was cut off as Ranma stalked up and grabbed Pip around the neck, and then lifted him into the air with one hand.
"You. Leave. Us. Alone!" Ranma said and jabbed a finger, to punctuate his words, into the chest of the captain, who was gasping for air while desperately struggling to break the girls grip on his throat.
"Kay'" He gasped out, and then dropped to the floor heavily as Ranma loosened his grip.
After a while he regained his breath, and cast a strange look at the two women.
"Another vampire?" He asked Victoria.
"No, just a really pissed off human." Ranma answered.
"O-kay…. I think I must be going now, the boss is waiting for my report." Pip said and motioned to the folder that had fallen to the floor.
Ranma turned around and walked away, closely followed by Victoria. She rubbed her arm and grimaced a little.
"Did you really have to do that?" Victoria asked and sighed.
"Small hints wont work, large hints wont work, obvious hints wont work, if you want him to stop just say it to him directly… Preferably with threats of blunt trauma as consequence if he won't listen." Ranma said and grimaced again.
"Are you all right?" Victoria asked as she saw Ranma's expression.
Ranma stopped and leaned against the wall and took a deep breath.
"God, I feel like hell." Ranma stumbled and slid down to a sitting position.
"What's wrong?" Victoria asked and walked up to the redhead.
"I shouldn't have done that, my body is in worse condition then I thought… Really low ki." Ranma answered and stood up on wobbly feet.
"Are you sure you shouldn't just go back to sleep?" Ceres asked and took a good grip on Ranma's arm to steady her.
"You know what? That sound like a really good idea…" Ranma answered tiredly. The fights and lack of food the last few days had taken its toll on his body, and what he really needed now was a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation before he was back in top condition.
While all his cuts, and most of his bruises were healed, the strain he had put his body through was still evident, he would probably feel like a 90 year old man the foreseeable future.
He was just happy he had vacation from his job, he had maintained a perfect record, something Miss Hinako would have thought was impossible, and he didn't want to break it now.
The young vampire helped the gender-changing martial artist stand up straight, and then they slowly walked back down towards Ceres room. Victoria had to occasionally steady Ranma as he was a bit wobbly on his feet.
She opened the door to the redhead who promptly fell over onto the couch once inside.
The male turned female just looked up at the ceiling lazily, before focusing her eyes on the blonde vampire.
"I am not taking up your time at work am I?" He said after awhile of silence.
"Nah, the soldiers all have hand to hand training this week, and a couple of months back I was banned from participating in any such events, so usually I just catch up with any paperwork that isn't done." She answered and sat down on her open coffin/bed.
"Paperwork, the bane of my existence." He said with a groan and lazily laid a hand on his forehead.
"Hardly the same amount as when I worked for the police, here I just write an occasional after-action report, there I spent more time filling out paperwork then actually training with the anti-terror units." She answered and laid down on the bed on her stomach and rested her head on her arms to look at Ranma.
"I have to hand in a written evaluation of every single trainee' to my superiors… And I'm not even sure they read the bloody things." He said and tiredly flexed his back, soft popping sounds of joints falling in place were heard.
"So you work as a drill instructor in the army?" Victoria asked, both had, with very good reason, avoided the subject of their work.
"Nah, however much my students say I act that way, I'm not a drill instructor. I work for the government and train a wide array of people in hand to hand combat, mostly police or Intelligence, and occasionally the military.
"Intelligence? Like Secret Agent Pierce Brosnan in the movies?" She asked and referred to the popular Agent Omega movies. She had always loved to watch the older movies when she had been a child.
"Only paper-pushers I'm afraid." He answered with a smile.
"Drat, there goes my dream about heroic spies saving the world." She said with a laugh.
Ranma only chuckled, which then turned into a violent cough. After he stopped he just shook his head and let it fall back into the armrest of the couch.
"Ughh… You don't mind if I just lounge around here today, do you?" He said and grimaced.
"If you even think about walking around, I'll chain you to the bed." She answered, worry was evident in her voice.
"Didn't know you were into that." He managed to get out through aloud yawn.
Ceres face flushed in embarrassment at Ranma's teasing.
Ranma in turn just stretched an arm into the air, yawned, and finally turned around before closing his eyes in an attempt to sleep.
Ceres looked at the sleeping redhead for awhile before standing up and walking over to one of the bookshelves lining the wall, she turned on the small stereo and turned down the volume as not to disturb the sleeping martial artist.
As the slow, calm sound began to drift throughout the room she picked up one of the numerous books from one of the shelves and then walked back to her bed.
She had begun to read a larger assortment of books as a result of being turned into a vampire, there weren't exactly many things she could do during her free time, she finally understood why Helena had lived in a library.
The solitude was relaxing.
Her train of thought was interrupted by a small feeling in the back of her head, a feeling she had connected with Alucard phasing into her room.
She looked up and expected to see Alucard standing there, but was instead greeted by the sight of a large black panther staring at her.
"What's that in your mouth?" Ceres asked as the cat walked over to her, a large piece of red cloth was hanging from the maw of the creature.
It dropped the cloth by her feet and then turned its head to look at Ranma, and then silently stalked over to the sleeping martial artist.
It placed its front paws on the coucj in preparation of jumping into it, something that would without doubt wake up Ranma and scare the hell out of him.
"Go away, he needs sleep, and your to large to cuddle with him, you'll wake him up!" She hissed at the cat and made gestures with her hands to scare the cat away.
Said feline just turned around and walked over to the vampire.
It growled at her quietly, in a manner that reminded her of the way the familiar had acted toward Alucard the night before when the vampire had threatened Ranma.
Ceres, be it because of her connection with the creature, or her female intuition, then understood why.
Felines are very territorial by nature, and the cat considered Ranma its territory.
"OH NO! He's mine!" She half hissed, half growled in a catlike manner at her familiar.
Her fingernails lengthened, as did her teeth, and the irises of her eyes became more ferial, in preparation of a fight.
It appeared that vampires were also very territorial.
Ceres would definitely not lose her boyfriend because of some demonic feline feeling a bit possessive… Especially not when the feline in question was her own damn familiar.
They both stared at each other, each waiting for the other to make the first move.
"You are too large to cuddle with him!" She hissed out through clenched teeth.
The feline made a quick nodding motion with its head in her direction, and she got the distinct feeling it meant "So are you!"
"No, I am the perfect size to cuddle with!" She hissed back.
The cat only snorted in amusement at that.
The vampire's eyes narrowed dangerously, and then she turned towards the sleeping martial artist. She grabbed her pillow and blanket and then moved over to the couch.
This time it was the cat's eyes that narrowed. "Don't you dare!" The look said.
"I'm his girlfriend!" The vampire hissed.
"No your not!" The roll of the feline's eyes said.
Victoria didn't answer, she just lifted Ranma's head so she could lay the pillow under it, then she threw a blanket over the sleeping redhead, before crawling under it to join the sleeping girl.
"MINE!" Victoria hissed and cuddled up to Ranma.
She sighed after awhile, her eyes, fingernails, and teeth returning to normal, her out of control emotions turning into happy satisfaction.
If just felt good cuddling with her boyfriend, even though he was her girlfriend for the moment.
She opened her eyes to make sure the panther didn't to anything, she really didn't want a 200 kilos cat jumping on her, vampire powers or not.
The cat in question gave her a long stare, and then fell to the floor in a pool of black oily substance. Numerous ripples crossed the surface, like something was moving underneath.
The black pool quickly shrunk, from covering half the floor, it soon only covered the expanse underneath the table.
A small paw broke free from the surface, followed by the head and body of a small cat.
The small pool seemed to surge up the legs of the creature and then disappeared completely. The feline just stood and stared at her, its head tilted to one side.
The familiar suddenly moved forwards with speeds befitting a vampire's familiar, and landed softly on Victoria's stomach.
The cat only yawned and then stretched its body.
The familiar then took a few quick steps on the bodies of the sleeping martial artists, and his vampire companion, spun around in a quick circle, and then curled up in a small ball between the two girls.
Victoria's eyes twitched, but she didn't do anything more then cast a quick glare at the small fur-ball.
"Herr Major?" A man wearing a twisted version of a doctor's getup asked a short, obese man shrouded in darkness. The man was sitting on an elevated throne-like chair overlooking a darkened room, the only illumination coming from the massive screens covering the darkened walls and rows upon rows of monitors.
Numerous dark shapes were seen walking from monitor to monitor.
"Yes, what's the matter?"
"The results from the different projects just arrived." The man said and quickly looked through the paper in his hand.
"And?" The man asked sounding thoroughly bored.
"As expected, the arcane branch, under the lead of Captain Schmidt, has been unable to achieve anything more then ghouls, and even that with extreme difficulty. Either our men aren't adept at necromancy, or many of the instructions to the rituals are missing, considering that we only managed to retrieve a small part of all the texts it isn't surprising. We never really had that much to begin with, not as much as Hellsing, and no where near the amount of arcane knowledge the Vatican posses. If we could just…" The man sounded insistent near the end.
"No, we have discussed this already. Continue." The man cut of the doctor.
"Yes, Herr Major. During their failed attempts to resurrect the dead they stumbled upon a few rituals that summons demons, they were extremely careful and made sure they didn't summon anything they couldn't control and send back in a moments notice. It isn't what we were looking for but it might be of interest." The doctor stopped and waited for the other mans comment.
"I've heard about Schmidt ventures into demonology, but we will still have to class Project-A as a failure. Schmidt shall however remain in the bunker in the Alps and continue on a different project with the objective of finding out more about demonology and its potential benefits." The man said with a slight smirk on his lips.
"Project-B is somewhat more successful, the medical corporation acting as cover has proven not only to work, but has been so successful as to fund other of our branches, and has also proven to give us a large influence on the world market. The project itself has proven only to be marginally more successful then Project-A, we have been able engineer a aerial-borne virus that that reanimates dead tissue, but we never get anything more then ghouls. It can however be produced in vast quantities and distributed much easier then anything else we have found so far. We have postponed the small covert field tests until our new labs are done, it's simply to contagious." The doctor answered with a grin that said that he didn't care if it was contagious or not.
"I've seen the video samples on the preliminary effects of the virus, they were quite…interesting. I must applaud Umbrella's little creation. How long before we have a clear idea what its full potential is?" The man said with eyes filled of sadistic glee.
"The Hive will be done in about six months." The doctor answered.
"Project-C?" The major asked with a cruel smile on his lips.
"Despite the setback in Hong Kong, we have the facilities up and running, and the field testing in Britain is in its finishing stages. We have been able to get rid of all the prototypes faults, the first being that it only turned out ghouls. That was one of the first things we fixed.
The second being that we have been able to tone down the blood-lust to manageable levels. The first chip-vampires were so filled with blood-lust and berserker rage that they were beyond all rational thought, this version doesn't have that problem. The strength and abilities of the vampires turned by this version is considerable greater then the older ones. However, the vampire blood we used to make the artificial blood inside the chips have given its strength, but also its weaknesses, subjects are still weak against the normal banes of a vampire. We have finished all preparations, we have a couple of field tests left but they are more for fun then anything else." The doctor said with a smirk.
"Good, we will soon finished what we began so long ago. Operation Millennium is coming along as planned, and soon we will finally have our letzte battalion." The man said and then stood up with difficulty, light falling upon his features. The man appeared to be in his late eighties, early nineties, and he was wearing glasses. He, like all the others, had been waiting for this for more then fifty years, being kept alive by the strange chemicals/potions provided by the good doctor.
As he slowly walked down the small stairs the twin lightning bolts upon the man's collar was seen, forming a crude SS.
The massive banner with the swastika on it hanging behind the chair made no doubt of what kind of soldiers these were.
Ceres Victoria slowly drifted back to consciousness from the shadowy realm that was vampire-sleep. As always she felt a bit cold waking up in the dungeons, and so pulled the warm object she was holding closer. The object in question snuggled closer and pulled the blanket tighter around them.
As she opened her eyes she was met by a mop of bright red obscuring her vision. She moved her hand, still half asleep, and tried to move the inconvenient item from her eyes.
Her movement elected a long, muffled groan from the general area of her chest.
She looked down and found out that she had pulled Ranma's head closer, unintentionally placing the redheads face firmly between her breasts.
She loosened her grip on the martial artist head and allowed him to once again breathe, said martial artist just mumbled and turned around a little before falling into deep slumber again.
Victoria just shock her head and smiled, and then stretched an arm over hear head to work out all the kinks in her back.
She carefully, with unnatural grace, slid from the couch onto her feet, and then took a quick look at the watch. She made sure Ranma still was asleep, and then walked into the bathroom. She closed and locked the door, and then walked past the small shower-stall and up to the bathtub.
While it would be quicker to take a shower she preferred a long hot soak, and Ranma wouldn't wake anytime soon, it was pretty early, or late, depending if you were a human or vampire.
With a quick movement of her hand warm, almost boiling water began to pour into the tub. She quickly stripped and threw her clothes in the laundry basket, and then proceeded to slowly sink down into the water with an audible sigh of delight.
There were few things in life…un-life, as relaxing as a simple hot bath.
Alucard was beginning to get annoyed, really, really annoyed.
He hadn't found his masters damn nephew, so he had decided to go back to his dungeon and bid his time, sooner or later he was bound to show up.
Unfortunately as soon as he had entered his rooms he had been ambushed by the police-girls house cat again, and he had hoped to be rid of the damn thing.
The thing had harassed him for the better part of the night, and the last bit of his temper had finally run out.
He looked at the demonic feline, two pair of eyes were staring at each other.
The cat had changed shape and size numerous times during the night, from a normal panther, to something that looked somewhat like a black tiger, and one time to what must had been a pre-historic feline…
It had looked like a black sabre-toothed tiger, if said feline had been the size of a larger Main Battle Tank….
The teeth must have been at least a meter and half.
The thing had been huge.
Whatever faults the police-girl had, she sure as hell had an impressive familiar…
He looked down at the familiar who now was a cute little kitten scratching and clawing halfway up his leg.
Well, impressive sometimes.
With a quick move of his leg he shoot the cat across the room with a speed rivalling most bullets.
He was slightly disappointed, but not surprised when the feline didn't become a gory smear on the wall, but instead phased through it. It would have been too good to be true to get rid of the damn thing that way.
It appeared to have phased out behind him, and with about the same velocity, for the feline projectile hit the back of the vampire's head with a resounding SMACK.
Both cat and vampire growled irritated.
He grabbed the scruff of the cat's neck and phased through the building towards Victoria's quarters.
He appeared out from one of the walls, and took a good look around the room, the familiar in the vampire's hand had disappeared during the transit. He shook his head, he really needed to talk to the girl about that damn cat.
Alucard could hear the tunes of slow relaxing music coming from the stereo, but it wasn't any music he was familiar with.
As the ancient vampire looked around he spotted an assortment of familiar weapons. A pair of katanas' in simple but elegant and functional scabbards, but the thing that made him look twice was the small row of throwing daggers secured in simple leather sheaths.
He walked up to the weapons and picked up one of the daggers, and sure enough on the hilt a finely crafted seal of the Hellsing family was engraved. The daggers had from the beginning belonged to Abraham van Hellsing himself, the man who had fought and bound him to the Hellsing family.
The blades must have slain untold vampires and ghouls, but as Van Hellsing had died the weapons had been turned into purely ceremonial daggers, rarely having any use except to show that the owner belonged to the Hellsing family.
Last he had seen them were before he had been imprisoned in the dungeons, they had been placed on display, the blades gone dull after so many years of neglect.
Alucard shook his head, the old man would surely have turned in his grave if he knew what had happened with his tools.
He carefully gripped the hilt and pulled out the dagger, surprised when it easily slid out.
The blade looked nothing like he remembered it, it had been polished to mirror sheen, nothing like the matte it had been before. He carefully traced the edge with his finger, and was surprised when he cut himself through his gloves, the thing was many times sharper then any razor.
He also noticed a thin layer of oil over the entire surface of the blade, to protect against corrosion and to make it easier to slide the dagger from its sheath.
Someone had gone through great lengths to make it fit for combat once again.
"Guess someone finally saw the value in these weapons." He chuckled softly.
He placed the dagger down, and picked up one of the swords, surprised as it was heavier then it looked.
The blade was perfectly balanced and as well kept and sharp as the daggers, together with the added weight the thing would be able to cut steel.
He had found the brats weapons, now where was the brat himself?
He carefully put the sword back, and continued to look over the room. While his own room held very few possessions, Victoria had filled hers with an assortment of trinkets, nothing of any monetary worth, just sentimental value.
All this, together with the dim lightning, gave her room a feel of romantic medieval mystique, you wouldn't have been surprised if one of Arthur's knights would step through the door.
His own room also had a medieval feel to it, but it was more along the lines of a torture chamber.
He shook his head to clear away the stray thought, and continued to look around.
He found the police-girl curled up in a ball on the couch, with a pillow over her head.
"Police-Girl" He said and waited for her to respond.
She didn't move.
"Police-Girl" He said a little louder.
He walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder to wake her up.
She turned around in her sleep and smacked his hand away.
He took a step back at the sudden movement, but then returned his hand to her shoulder and gave her a shake.
This time the blow forced him to step back.
Irritated he took a step forward and took a good grip of her arm.
The response was quite violent this time, she grabbed on to his wrist and turned around, throwing him over the couch in a strange judo throw.
He didn't get time to brace for impact, he just slammed into the wall, hard.
With his back on the floor, and legs sticking up in the air resting against the wall, he was quite a comical sight.
He pushed himself to his feet, and turned around and cast a quick glare at the couch.
The girl just continued to sleep like nothing had happened.
He walked over to the couch, and leaned forward.
He stood up and stalked up to the couch, and grabbed the pillow. He just didn't have the patience to deal with this.
"WAKE UP NOW!" He yelled into the face of Victoria…
Since when had Victoria red hair?
For that matter since when had she had blue eyes?
"Wazzup?" The girl said groggily and blinked her eyes a couple of times before she focused on Alucard
The room fell into silence, only interrupted by the stereo, both looking at each other tensely. Recognition flashed in azure blue eyes, still half asleep.
Alucard saw as the girl slowly moved her hand and took a good grip on one of the swords, but she never broke eye-contact with him. The blue eyes were unnaturally calm.
As the last vestige of sleep disappeared from Ranma's eyes, he finally recognised the male vampire that was supposed to work for Hellsing.
What had Victoria said his name was again? Wallubard? Leonard? Retard? Alutard? Alucard…
Alucard, yeah, that was his name.
"Alucard?" Ranma asked once, just to be sure.
The vampire tilted his head to the side in question.
"That is my name." The vampire answered.
"Then would you please get out of my face." She said coldly, eyes flashing dangerously.
Alucard was impressed, those ice-blue eyes was almost in the same league as Integra.
To reinforce her request Ranma began to slide the sword from its scabbard, the cold metal sound echoing eerily across the dark room.
Alucard smirked at her, but took a step backwards. He had the feeling this girl would be extremely satisfying to terrorise, somewhat like Integra.
However just ticking her off would be childish.
The girl sat up on the couch, but winched and clutched her ribs, a small trickle of blood made its way from the edge of her mouth. She loosened her grip on the sword, and instead placed her hand over her stomach.
"What do you want?" She said with as much venom as she could muster.
She realised she had something on her chin, and wiped the blood away.
"I was looking for two people, one owns those weapons..." He answered and motioned with his hand to the table.
Did her eye just twitch?
He looked at her and could see she was in quite a bit of pain.
"The other one lives here." He finished.
As he said that the girl looked around, as if looking for someone.
"They aren't here, so leave." She said and looked at him, she appeared to have trouble to focus her eyes.
Alucard nodded and then faded away, he had no reason to stay, they weren't there, and the girl seemed more and more out of it.
He did wonder what the girl was doing in Victoria's room, but dismissed the idea, there had been nothing unusual about her, save perhaps her injuries.
Ranma looked up as he heard the bathroom door open. His head was spinning uncomfortable at every sudden movement.
His little acrobatic show inside Integra's office to show he was okay had backfired.
Why the hell did he play the macho-man?
His stomach and chest hurt like hell, he had probably strained a good deal of his half healed internal organs in that little display.
Victoria stepped out of the bathroom, and in his half daze he didn't notice she wasn't wearing anything more then a towel wrapped around her body.
She used another towel to dry her hair.
He felt himself cough, and as he pulled his hand away it was covered in blood.
He gritted his teeth, and then began to pull in every bit of ki he had available, which wasn't much.
He just increased his metabolism and healing, but also increased his rehabilitation time.
With no ki available, his body began to ache like hell, he just felt like a 90 year old man with rheumatism.
The pain was immense.
He could feel his body's natural painkillers set in, a lot more potent now when he didn't have any ki to negate it.
His vision began to blur
"Ranma?" Victoria asked, she didn't think he would be awake.
He groaned loudly, but she could tell the groan wasn't because of her state of undress. He began to groggily look around, he didn't even seem to realize she was there.
When he fell to the side on the couch, she quickly closed the distance and began to look him over.
The blue eyes seemed glassy, other then that he looked fine. Her vampire instincts, that she usually suppressed, told her something else. She could smell the blood under Ranma's pale skin, the sweet smell bringing out more and more of her vampire side.
She could hear the steady loud heartbeat, hear as it raced through the veins and arteries of the dangerously strong, but still mortal body.
She could hear were it diverted and changed unnaturally forming harmless small bruises, most of them would soon be gone, others were already healing.
Everything seemed fine, except…
She quickly began to unbutton the redheads uniform, and pulled it open to expose naked flesh underneath.
"So she didn't use a bra" A small part of her mind said, the rest were occupied elsewhere.
Under the left breast a massive purple bruise covering most of her left side was adorning her body. It looked ugly and quite dangerous, and the part of her that had once been a field medic said that it had to be severe internal bleeding.
She softly traced the bruise with a long pale finger, going on instinct. It elected a long painful hiss from the girl being examined.
While the bruise was large and dangerous, it had already begun the first stages of healing. She could feel as the blood vessels and arteries under the skin began to mend, faster then any normal human would have been able to. He wasn't in the danger zone any longer, but it would hurt for some time, she didn't know how she knew it, but she did.
"Be careful." She could hear Ranma whisper.
She looked up, and could see that he had regained his senses.
She nodded in affirmative and looked at the tired and sweaty form of the redhead.
She could see that Ranma was in quite a bit off pain, he had pulled his hands into fists, and gritted his teeth.
His breathes came in short quick hisses, and sweat poured down his face and chest.
"Don't move." She said and stood up.
She walked over to one of the drawers, still with only a towel wrapped around her body.
Victoria pulled something from one of the drawers, and walked back to Ranma.
She kneeled besides him, and now he could see what it was, a field medic's kit.
She picked up a smaller box from the field kit and opened it to display a wide variety of drugs a field medic might find need for.
She took a small one-use syringe filled with a clear fluid, the black letters printed on the side said it was morphine.
She pulled out a small cotton ball, and covered it with medical alcohol from a squeeze bottle.
She softly cleaned the area around his neck, and then pressed the needle against the redhead's skin.
Ranma softly moved her hand away, making Victoria drop the syringe.
"No drugs." The redhead whispered hoarsely.
"You won't be able to sleep or move with that bruise." Victoria said and picked up the syringe.
Ranma just shook his head.
"No drugs, it will mess up my metabolism." Ranma said and looked at Victoria.
His body had become accustomed to a wide variety of drugs and poisons in Nerima, or more accurately, his body had, with a lot of help from his ki, been able to neutralize and get them through his system a lot faster.
His ki had unconsciously begun to accelerate the process as soon as soon as any substance entered his system, and that included painkillers which now was virtually useless on him.
It took a great deal of concentration and effort to negate this from happening, effort and concentration he didn't have right now.
As soon as the drug would have entered his system his body would have begun to draw ki from his reserve to neutralize it, ki that he didn't have. Instead it would draw from that small amount that was healing his injuries.
That was something that he didn't want.
He explained it to Victoria who nodded in understanding. She placed the syringe back into the field kit, and showed it under the couch.
Victoria looked at him, but didn't say a word.
Ranma succumbed into a violent coughing fit, but this time he didn't cough blood. Once again Victoria stood up and walked across the room. She opened a cabinet and pulled out a bottle and two glasses.
She walked back to the couch, placed the glasses on the table and began to unscrew the cork.
She poured a good amount of amber fluid into the glasses and then placed the bottle of the table.
Victoria handed one of the glasses to Ranma who looked doubtfully at the vampire.
"Same problem with alcohol?" Victoria asked the martial artist.
"Strangely enough, no." Ranma said, and that was true, he could fight off some of the strongest drugs, but alcohol still gave him trouble.
He swirled the glass unenthusiastically a couple of times, making the liquid splash.
Ranma raised his glass, and then tipped it backwards and gulped it down in a single sweep.
Victoria raised a blonde eyebrow while taking a small zip of her own.
Ranma's eyes opened comically, and he grabbed his throat with the hand not holding the glass.
He gasped loudly and coughed a couple of times.
"What the hell is this?" Ranma croaked out and looked in distaste at the glass in his hand.
"Whiskey, never had it before?" She asked and looked at Ranma.
"No, I usually keep myself to the things that don't ignite." Ranma said as he finally regained his breathe.
"I am not particularly fond of hard liquor either, but Walter gave me a couple of bottles to put into the tea to warm me up if it got cold." She said and took a small zip again.
"Warm me up it did, or more like it burned my throat." He said and rubbed his neck.
"You know you aren't supposed to chug it like it was simple beer?" She said and noticed that Ranma blushed at that.
She poured some more whiskey into his glass, and handed it back.
"Take small sips, it's easier to drink that way." She said took a small sip herself.
Victoria had never been one to drink, but when the lack a blood made her feel so unnaturally cold, a coldness that went to the very bone, a cup of tea with a bit of whiskey in it chased away the chill for a short period of time.
Ranma took another go at the whiskey, but this time he followed Ceres advice. He still grimaced, but he didn't cough.
He finished his second glass, and Victoria poured him a third. He didn't seem to enjoy the taste of whiskey, but he welcomed the dulled perception the alcohol brought.
He had just finished his third glass when the alcohol finally began to set in, the ache in his chest was still there, but not as noticeable as before.
Victoria poured Ranma a fourth glass, she herself was on her second.
"Are trying to get me drunk so you can take advantage of me? Ranma asked teasingly and wiped some sweat from his brow.
He faked an expression of fearful uncertainty, like a small lost girl. Victoria had the impression the alcohol was helping him joke about the curse, Ranma had seemed nothing but resigned about it, he could live with it but he didn't like it.
Victoria looked at the redhead and had to fight the urge to laugh.
Ranma's shirt was still open, exposing a generous amount of cleavage and taut stomach, all glistening in the low light because of all the sweat. The redhead was half sitting half lying lazily on the couch, head being held up by a hand, elbow resting on the armrest. The other hand was twirling the glass between her fingers.
Ranma hadn't realized it, but her entire posture was screaming of sex, had it not been for the bruise she would have been more like a redheaded succubus then an innocent little girl.
Ranma wiped the sweat from his brow, he had been perspiring an awful lot, his hair plastered in stripes to his forehead. He shivered a little, and pulled the blanket up to her head, he thought the temperature had grown increasingly colder.
He yawned and placed the glass on the table, drinking was one thing, drinking so you couldn't see straight was another thing entirely.
"How are you feeling." Victoria asked as she saw the redhead pull up the blanket.
"Its freezing in here, don't know how you can stand it." Ranma said and wiped his brow again, his entire face was glistening with sweat.
Victoria looked at Ranma for a moment and then placed her hand over the redhead forehead.
"God, your burning." She said when she removed her hand.
"Fever. When it rains it pours." Ranma said tiredly as he heard the vampire's evaluation.
He pulled the blanket tightly around him, he remembered some of the times he had fever during his training trip, and shivered violently. Sleeping outside during winter was never fun, doing it with fever was even worse.
The vampire stood up suddenly, marched across the room to the coffin/bed and opened a large chest at the foot of the bed. She kneeled down and disappeared from sight.
Ranma could only blink as a series of pillows, blankets and bedspreads sailed through the air to land on the bed.
When the pile had had reached the size of a smaller mountain, the throwing stopped and the blonde vampire reappeared.
The blonde vampire began to methodically and critically move the things lying on the bed, sometimes she didn't seem satisfied with the pillow lying there, so she moved it there, butthen she had to move that pillow there instead.
Ranma looked on at the complicated arrangement on the bed but lost track after only a few moments, it was more complicated then most of his katas.
The vampire stood up, and critically examined her handiwork, she seemed satisfied with the results and nodded to herself.
Ranma couldn't see any difference.
She turned to the redhead, who now had pulled the blanket over her head.
"Ranma?" The blonde vampire asked the now shivering lump under the blanket.
"Okay, just cold." The lump replied.
The fledgling vampire walked over to the couch and placed her hand over the spot where Ranma's head would be under the blanket.
"Would you please stand up?" The vampire asked and pulled the blanket away.
"GAAH! COLD!" The redhead said and shivered as the cold air touched bare skin.
The redhead made a half-hearted attempt to pull the blanket back, but accomplished nothing more then making the blond throw the blanket away.
The fever, alcohol and injuries made all his moves sluggish and uncoordinated.
"Stand up." The blonde ordered and Ranma slowly moved, sitting up and moved her feet to the floor.
The girl grimaced and clutched her side, but was helped by Ceres to stand up. She wobbled a little but steadied herself after a moment.
"Please take the shirt off." Victoria said, and Ranma, either to tired to argue or to out of it to care complied and handed the ruffled shirt to the vampire.
Ceras just threw it on the couch and began to manoeuvre the martial artist towards the open coffin, copying her actions from the night before when she had led the martial artist there after his fight with Alucard.
The redheaded martial artist carefully sat down on the bed, and pulled her feet up on the bed with a grimace, her stomach still hurt as hell.
Ranma laid down, and fired of a quick string of the vilest curses he could in Japanese at everything he could think of, freaky ancient vampires especially, but his eyes showed he wasn't completely there.
Victoria didn't know what he had said, but by the way he said it suggested that she didn't want to know, however, the impression was ruined when all the curses came our from between violently rattling teeth.
The apprentice vampire rolled the martial artist over, and slid down beside her boyfriend, currently girlfriend.
She curled up beside the redhead, and then reached out and grabbed the edge of one of the blankets. The redhead virtually glued herself to the vampire for warmth, nuzzling her cheek and shoulder unconsciously, the vampire wasn't sure if he was asleep or not.
Ceras pulled the corner of a blanket over her and Ranma, and seemingly all the blankets and covers followed.
The redheads shivering began to decrease, but didn't stop completely.
Victoria could feel how the redhead began to move around a little, and she could feel the bedcovers tighten around her. Ranma, like many other people when they had fever, had wrapped himself in blankets, and from the outside best resembled a cocoon.
Ranma stopped moving, and then wrapped her arms around the vampire to pull the soft source of warmth closer, Victoria didn't resist and placed her own arms around the girl next to her.
Ranma began to softly kiss and nibble on her neck, but the soft steady breathing assured the vampire the martial artist was asleep.
Victoria tried to do the same, but Ranma's activates on her neck made that pretty hard.
She had resist to moan, but let out a soft hiss filled with pleasure instead, when Ranma kissed the spot where she had been bitten, the twin punctures had healed long ago, but they had remained extremely sensitive.
She grabbed a handful of sheath as that happened, and tried her best to crush it in her palm.
She grabbed Ranma's head and kissed him, he had to stop kissing her neck, or else she would go feral, she didn't want to let the vampire in her out again.
Ranma seemed more then satisfied to kiss her lips, and after few more minutes he finally fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Well, I'm back from the dead, with a new chapter…
Not as much action in this one, more story with the bad guys, romance between the fledgling vampire and rookie vampire hunter, Pip in a small role, and of course our own psychotic vampire lord…
Next time we will see why Alucard is so intent on finding Ranma, more with Bond and perhaps a bit with my own favourite housecat…..(Anyone have a good idea for a name to the damn cat? I can't give a pet a good name if my life depended on it, if a give it one it would probably suck.)
The freak vampire stared at the large black monstrosity moving down the alley and cutting down his ghouls. He turned around and tried to run, but didn't get far, a shadow tackled him to the hard ground.
He looked up at the merciless red eyes of the hellcat, razor sharp fangs glistering in the light of a single streetlamp, saliva dripping onto his face, but he was too scared to wipe it away.
As the maw descended on him the last thing he saw was the red choker with the words "Mr Tibbles" engraved on the side.
It took me some time to get this finished (from the beginning I had the idea to have Christmas (2004) scene in it, but when I returned to it in June after working on Halo of the Hero it didn't feel right.)
When my summer vacation began I tried to get a summer job but everything was already filled, and I mean everything, from cell phone repair to septic tank cleaners.
I found other ways to preoccupy my time (hangover in the morning more often then not), so I didn't really have the time to work on it.
I simply had more important things to worry about then to work on this…. Now that school started again I finally had nothing better to do. See you next time! ( I will write faster, or make shorter chapters, either way it won't take as much time this time.)
Xerxez- "Is there such a thing as phantom hangovers?"