At first Seras didn't notice the sound; the only clue that there was something amiss was the sudden change of expression in her master's face. Then her heightened vampiric senses kicked in and she heard it as well, as far off rushing heading for them, the faint sounds of the footsteps of something very, very fast.
A breath later and the door was thrown open, revealing Pietro in full regalia. Terrified of the Vatican harbinger, Seras backed away from him and hid behind her master. Alucard, however, was practically frothing at the mouth. Here was the boy who had so disgraced his master, and neither Anderson nor any other Iscariots were in sight to shield the child from his wrath.
He began to chuckle; but Pietro, with a crazed grin of his own, whipped the volge that had been strapped to his back off and swung it around with an easy motion that made the weapon a silver blur. Seras winced, sensing the holiness of the weapon even from where she was. Pietro chuckled himself and Alucard, while continuing to smile, tensed.
The boy was faster than before, that much he could tell. Fast enough to make it difficult for even his eyesight, proficient even against that fool Valentine, to keep up with its movements. Nevertheless, the vampire took a few confident steps forward while Pietro waited as he came closer and closer and closer.
He was less than a yard away when Pietro sprang into action, moving as a whirlwind and slicing the vampire's limbs off easily before reappearing on the other side of the room, all in the space of less than a fraction of a second. Alucard's arms hadn't even fallen to the floor when Pietro was turning around and looking at him.
"Satisfied, Monster?" He smirked. "But that's not what I came here for."
Alucard gritted his teeth and reformed his limbs, the fallen pieces pooling into darkness then being reabsorbed by his body.
"You little, insolent brat," he murmured. "You have no idea what you're dealing with. They shouldn't send children on missions for men."
"I'm neither child nor man," he responded. "I am a servant who does his duty."
Then he began to run, so quickly that Seras and Pip couldn't see him at all, finding the guns they had drawn quickly cleaved in two, and Alucard only caught snatches of his positions. Out of the blurry whirlwind came the sound of Pietro's voice, distorted due to his constant motion.
"An airport is nearby," he told them. "Three miles to the north. One of ours. There's a jet there that you may take and use to get out of the country." Papers flew out of air, tossed about by the force of the wind Pietro was creating with his constant running. "There are the papers you will need. Take them and show them to the pilot."
The door was suddenly thrown open and, just like that, Pietro vanished, leaving behind only a rush of wind in his wake. Alucard glowered at the empty door, as if staring at it hard enough could bring the boy back to give him another chance, while Pip and Seras ran around gathering up the papers he had thrown at them.
Meanwhile, Pietro sprinted back to the hotel where the two American agents were staying. Bursting in breathlessly, he grinned at them and gave them a thumbs up. St. John merely nodded, while Remy frowned.
"Your weapon is dirty," he remarked.
Pietro shrugged indifferently. "I got into a bit of a scrape with the vampire."
"Dat risk was unnecessary," Remy chided.
"But I enjoyed it," Pietro grinned. "This alone, in my opinion, justifies it."
Remy sighed; already the boy was living up to his rumored reputation as intractable and careless. His attitude, even in that brief comment, made it clear that he didn't intend on taking advice from them. But no matter; he wasn't a member of their branch so he was Maxwell's headache, not Matthew's.
"Will you be stayin' th' night, den?"
"Yes," Pietro yawned. "I'm beat. No way am I crossing the Atlantic again without getting some shuteye first."
"Take that bed den," Remy pointed towards the single. "An' I'll bunk wit' St. John."
"Damn it," St. John groaned. "Can't we getta cot for the little blighter?" He glared at Remy. "You snore. And steal the covers."
"Deal wit' it!" Remy glared at him and his eyes glowed a vibrant pink.
"Ya wanna play that game?" Allerdyce retorted. "I'll set your sheets on fire – how 'bout that?"
"Jes' go tah bed!" Remy huffed.
Pietro, by that time, had already stretched out and fallen fast asleep without even sliding under the blankets, completely exhausted from his rushing about during the day.
He had another long run ahead of him on the morrow, but at least it would be coming home to a hopefully pleased Maxwell rather than running towards people he didn't care to know and a vampire he loathed with all his being.
Maxwell had been disappointed when Pietro had called him; he was hoping that the boy would be back that day. It was no matter, though; Pietro would still be back to give Maxwell a briefing before Maxwell went on his trip to England, along with Heinkel, Yumie and Kurt.
The meeting made him slightly uneasy; after all, it was to be on English ground, so he was sure there would be attempted slights and a devaluing of their strength. The abomination that the Hellsings kept would probably be there too, much to his dissatisfaction. However, even the worry of the meeting did not justify the nervousness he felt.
Something was… something was… what? Wrong? He knew that already; he knew from the first stirrings that Millennium had made that something was out of place in the world. Who knew how deeply they had infiltrated, how far he and the other untainted ones would have to go to dig them out? But that wasn't it, it was something else.
His dreams were terrible, but he couldn't remember any of them when he woke. They were a wash of red and black, fire and light. Waking up from his nightmares, he always felt like he couldn't breathe and would gasp for air like a fish for a few hideous moments.
And now he was doing it again, writing in his bed and getting up and pacing, always with the sense that there was somewhere he ought to be going and something he ought to be doing. Something calling him…
He groaned, got up, and poured himself a glass of port to steady his nerves. As he drank the wine, he inhaled deeply and caught a scent that he recognized immediately.
Blood. He could smell blood.
Frantically, he looked around in the room, then out in the hallway. Nobody was out there and there were no sounds as if there had been an attack. Using a panel in his room, he checked the security of the compound; there were no indications that it had been breached. Yet he could still smell it, as clearly as if he were standing in a pool of blood.
Thinking back, he remembered with sudden terror the mesmerizing effect that the dead men had on him earlier the previous day. Could he have be bitten at some point, he wondered in terror? Was he turning into a vampire somehow? Did that explain his sudden fascination?
It couldn't be, he reasoned. He would have remembered being accosted. He wasn't reacting adversely to anything else that seemed to harm vampires, especially new ones. There weren't any other indications. And yet… yet…
He clutched his heart; it felt as though it were being stabbed by a burning dagger. Frustrated and confused, he threw himself into bed and forced his eyes shut.
It would go away in the morning; it had to. Because it was driving him crazy and he simply did not know what to do.
When they went to the meeting the following day, Kurt kept his face as impassive as possible, even though his arm was throbbing, particularly at the spot where he'd been injected. He wasn't sure he wanted Heinkel and Yumie to know just yet, and he certainly didn't want Father Anderson to know, so he didn't mentioned it. He suspected the knowledge would out soon enough whether or not he said anything.
Sure enough, a moment came that very afternoon. Despite all of their attempts at ensuring security, somehow a messenger from the Millennium organization managed to make his way in, a child no less – or at least what appeared to be a child. Kurt knew better than perhaps anybody else in the room how appearances could deceive.
When he showed up, the already tense atmosphere in the room nearly reached a breaking point. The others listened to the message unfold with varying degrees of disgust. Kurt, however, watched the boy intently, wondering if his abilities to suddenly appear were in anyway linked with his own. There hadn't been any sulfur and he was more cat-like than demonic, but Kurt couldn't help but wonder. While the rest were focused on the small panel the creature had brought, listening to that Major person ramble on, Kurt edged closer to him, through the shadows.
He waited patiently for the right moment; then, when the vampires trained their guns on him, Kurt's tail snaked out suddenly and caught the boy around the ankle. The transported in a flash; however, instead of simply moving through the dimension that Kurt normally did in an instant, he slowed himself down. They were sailing through the air, the boy connected only by the tail wrapped around his ankle, and sulfurous rocks and pools of lava lay beneath them.
Kurt perched on a rock, swung his tail down so that half of the boy's body was submerged in lava, then continued the rest of the way through the dimension back to another part of the room.
He tossed the charred corpse onto the table where the remnants of the lava burnt through the table itself and nearly splashed a few of the delegates, nearly all of whom recoiled in horror.
"It is not such a clever trick," he intoned.
Even then he could feel the eyes of the two nuns upon him; he knew that they knew. There was no other explanation for it, his sudden control of where and how fast he transported.
The meeting broke up not long after with the English monarch issuing orders that none of their delegation cared about. Information was exchanged, but apart from the one incident, not much else occurred. As soon as they were back on the plane, however, Heinkel pulled him aside and roughly pushed the sleeve of his shirt up, snapping the buttons off and revealing a blood-stained piece of gauze on his upper arm.
"You got it, didn't you?" She accused. "The same treatment Pietro got?" He nodded. "Vhy?" She pressed him, letting his arm go but still clearly agitated.
"Ve need every advantage ve can get," he sighed. "It vas vhat I felt I had to do."
For a moment he thought she was going to upbraid him. However, after a pause, she merely nodded, then left to go sit down near Yumie. Kurt sighed and settled into his own seat for the ride. Nothing good lay ahead, that was certain.
Wanda looked out of her window, down to the streets of Rome below. Father Anderson had left the orphanage, to 'clean up messes' as he called it, and rather than stay there alone she had come to the city to stay with her brother. While they waited for the others to return from the meeting with the English, they had been practicing a little, Pietro much more enthusiastically than she was.
Hearing the door open and shut behind her, Wanda turned to see Pietro standing there with a bundle in his arms.
"I know you haven't had a lot of experience. And I know you're a bit hesitant about all of this. But things seem to be getting rough. And I… well, I got you this." He tossed a package at her; unwrapping it, she found a blood red habit inside. "I asked Father Maxwell about it before he left. You have permission to wear it, as a member of our organization, even though you aren't officially part of any order."
"Thank you," she murmured. "I'll treasure it."
"Wanda… Wanda I know this is hard for you. But it's going to work out, you'll see. We will emerge victorious and it will all be over and everything will be wonderful!"
"Who's 'we'?" She inquired.
Pietro sighed; sometimes his sister could be so impossible.
"Just trust me, OK?"
He left here there. She went back to fretting, he to anticipating the plan Maxwell had laid out for him.
There was blood on the horizon; that much both of them knew. But while Wanda recoiled from it, Pietro welcomed it with open arms.
CC: The alternate dimension Kurt travels through is mainly based off of the appearance of that dimension in the X-Men Evolution tv series.