"Do you two mind explaining this?"

Melannen, Gabriel, Shades, and Carl had made it to the Vatican at last. Unfortunately, Cardinal Jinette had not missed the fact that Melannen happened to have wings. (More info in my previous fics) So, of course, the whole story ended up coming out, from the very beginning. Shades, too, was viewed with more than a bit of curiosity.

As the tale unfolded, Jinette's eyes got wider and wider until they were the size of saucers. The peculiar thing was that throughout the whole time, Van Helsing said very little, if anything. Melannen and Carl were the first to notice this. As the tale ended, the archangel suddenly gasped and clutched at his chest wincing. Recognizing the motion for what it really was, Carl darted over to Van Helsing's side, Melannen following on his heels.

As the pair reached Van Helsing he swayed. Both angel and friar moved to catch the monster hunter as he collapsed. As Gabriel fell, the gray sweater that he wore under the black duster was revealed. Also revealed was a bloody wound on the archangel's chest, masterfully concealed. Sharp gasps sounded from friar, angel, wolf-maiden, and Cardinal.

Jinette was white as a sheet. "He has been bitten," the Cardinal whispered shakily, "Bitten by a werewolf."

"Oh, no," Carl moaned as he helped Melannen lower Van Helsing's unconscious form to the ground, "Not again!"

"AGAIN?!" the other three cried, not happy at all with the friar's response.

"This has happened before?!" Jinette fumed, obviously having not known this particular fact.

Carl's face went from paper-white with worry to cherry red with utter humiliation faster than one would have thought possible. He and Van Helsing had neglected to tell the Cardinal this detail in the account of what had happened during the battle with Dracula.

"It was in Transylvania," he said quietly, "Van Helsing was bitten by Velkan."

"But…but you said that the werewolf created by Velkan's bite was the one that killed Anna!" the Cardinal exclaimed, trying to make sense of this fact. "That would have to mean…"

Carl's face hardened. "Van Helsing was consumed by the werewolf's curse," he said, a steel no one had heard before ringing in his trembling voice, "He had no control over his actions at the time."

"But then how was he cured?" Shades asked, clearly marveling despite the situation just described.

"Dracula had a cure to the werewolf's curse," Carl continued, "Because the bite of a werewolf was the only thing that could kill him. That was how he was defeated. Anna just managed to administer the cure before it was too late. I prayed that it would never happen again. There was only ever one cure."

"That's where you're wrong, Carl," Melannen said softly, speaking at last, "There is another."

"Well, out with it, girl!" Jinette cried, still white as paper.

"It is called the Wolfsbane Spell," Melannen said in a hard, determined voice, "And only an angel can perform it."

Author's Note: Well, talk about your major case of déjà vu.

I honestly can not believe that neither of you told Jinette anything. Not too smart of a move.

Yeah, seriously.

You don't have to rub it in. I know it was stupid.

It was, without a doubt, probably the stupidest thing we've ever done, Carl. But the Cardinal wouldn't have believed us in a thousand years if we'd told him the truth.

You still should have told him.

Will you be quiet? Please?

No, I will not, Carl. Because, as the author, it is my JOB to write and to nag you to no end about your mistakes.

Anyways, next chapter is coming soon!