A/N- This is in response to the Guild of the Fantastic Quill's The Question: Part III Crossover Challenge. The 'verses with assigned characters that I chose were Castlevania, with Alucard being the assigned character, and Vampire Hunter D, with Leila being the assigned character. The question I chose to answer was "Who has tasted your blood?" Also, a note on the timelines of Castlevania and Vampire Hunter D. If anyone out there is reading the D novels, they mention in the very first one that the rise of the vampires began around 1992. And I know there is a couple of Castlevania games that take place in 2036. So, I'm moving the launching of the nuclear weapons that started the whole vampire-rise-to-power thing to 2038…just to keep things in line. Also, I'm mixing a little bit of the books and a lot from Bloodlust into this. Okay, sorry for the long author's note. Please enjoy!

Disclaimer- I don't own Castlevania or any related character. It all belongs to Konami. I also don't own Vampire Hunter D or any related character. It all belongs to Hideyuki Kikuchi and Urban Vision.


Impressions

The prince had awakened, gravely disappointed in the turns of Fate.

At some point, his father must have arranged it so that he would be aware without waking…and Alucard had learned of the whole ordeal. The launch of the weapons, the destruction, the rise of power of the vampires who were now calling themselves nobility. It was disgusting. He knew that years had flown by around him. So many, that the vampires were even in decline once more. But none of this had been what had awakened him.

At some point in his long slumber, Alucard had become aware of another…another son of Dracula. His brother, conceived in efforts of destroying the weaknesses from the vampire race. He found it ironic that the humanity that his father had so long loathed now had seemed the only way for the survival of his race. So, to that end, Dracula, long after Alucard had chosen to return to his slumber after what he had assumed was the true defeat of his father, had set out to conceive another strong child. And it was this dhampire's presence in the world that had woken Alucard.

His had learned centuries ago how to adapt, and now Alucard was clothed in the manner of the warriors of this time, the glamour he had assumed so many eons ago now unnecessary. His white-blond hair blew about him as he rode astride his cyborg horse, which he had acquired somewhere along the way of traveling this world now mostly referred to as The Frontier.

Alucard was riding in search of his brother, whose name he had come to know was D. It was not long before the rumors of him were as easily accessed as any other bit of news or gossip in each town he passed through. And he was not pleased. D was a proficient swordsman, unrivaled by most. Both women and men alike spoke of his great beauty and mystery. In his own fairly long life, D had saved the lives of many. But what had not pleased Alucard in all of this was that he did it all in the pursuit of money. Nothing if not for a price. Just like everything else in this world. Kindness was now a rarity, more precious and more dangerous than any scrap of gold.

D was not questing, as he should be, to destroy his darker kin. Instead, it seemed that he chose to simply drift along where life may lead him. Alucard could not abide this. He would find D…and deal with this issue.

He had been awake for several years now, simply searching for D—any information, any sighting, any bit of anything precious to him and useful. But it was on this night, during the hardest rainstorm he had yet lived through in this new world, that he had finally tracked the most reliable lead on D he had ever had.

He entered the small, quaint town in the midst of the torrential downpour. His brown cyborg stallion, unable to see in the rain, trailed behind the dhampire being led by the pull of his reins alone. Alucard knew that shelter was a must, because the storm was nowhere near finished raging against the heavens. But he had arrived, no less, in the very town he had sought, following the rumors that a woman that had once met the great vampire hunter D lived among these simple farmers and merchants.

"Hey!" he heard a voice scream over the unending sound of the rain pounding on the ground, roofs, and various other objects within the town's limits.

Alucard stopped, using his preternatural hearing to guide his eyes. He could see, even though it was night and pouring, a woman standing on a nearby, covered porch waving to him. He led his stallion over to the woman. Nearing her, he took in her appearance.

She was dressed simply in black boots—caked with mud, black slacks, and a well-fitted blue tunic. Her hair was a nice yellowed blonde, cut in a man's fashion, and her eyes were wide and blue.

"What are you doing out in this mess, stranger?" she yelled to him, the rain still roaring around them, though it was truly unnecessary. He could have heard her even if she had whispered.

"I'm in search of someone. Though it would seem that I am currently in search of shelter for the night," Alucard yelled back, knowing that he must for the woman to hear him.

She eyed him for a moment, trying to decide if it was acceptable to let him into her home. Nobody was trusting in The Frontier, and for good reason. Finally, she sighed.

"Put your horse in the barn out back, and then come on in!" she yelled.

Alucard gave her his thanks and did as he was told as she entered her home. The horse, it seemed, was quite grateful to be out of the rain, and so was his master. Alucard stood in the barn for a moment, almost having to drum up the courage to re-enter the rain to make it back to the small home. Running water, such as rain, did nothing for his vampiric qualities. Finally, he set out, making it to the house in near moments. The door had been left open for him, and he wiped the caked mud off his own boots before entering fully.

"Come and sit down by the fire," the woman said, patting the chair nearest to the crimson, orange, and yellow flames.

He nodded and handed his traveling cloak to her when she gestured for it. She exited the room with it, returning with a large, white towel. She sat down in the chair nearest him, crossing her legs knee over knee.

"Here, dry off with this," she said, handing him the towel.

He took it, thanking her once again, and she crossed her arms in front of her.

"So, tell me your name," she asked.

"Alucard," he answered, as he finished drying off his hair.

"Alucard, huh? And what brings you to our little corner of nowhere, Alucard?"

He tossed the towel to the side, away from the flames, and turned his gaze upon hers.

"I'm looking for someone," he said, keeping his tone even.

"Ah."

She nodded. Then, with a dark grin on her face, she laughed softly. He raised a brow at her.

"What?" he asked.

"Oh, nothing. I just thought that I ought to inform you that most people out in these parts, or anywhere really, aren't quite fond of dhampires."

Her grin widened at the same time his eyes did.

"How…? I have tried to hide it since…"

The woman shook her head. "I used to be a vampire hunter. That training never goes to waste on The Frontier. So, what kind of person is a dhampire looking for? Are you a hunter?"

"Not per say. I'm searching for one of my own kind. Actually, I am searching for a person who might lead me in his direction."

Alucard leaned back in the chair, sensing no hostilities from the woman. She smiled, uncrossing her legs and relaxing.

"Why are you searching for another dhampire? Owe you money?"

"Not everything is about money, Miss. Not even in this world," he snapped.

"Whoa," she said, lifting up her hands defensively. "I meant nothing by it. So, what is it then? Family?"

"Yes…after a fashion. I'm here, actually, looking for a woman I was hoping could lead me to him."

At this, the woman lost her confident banter, her face down-turning slightly. She leaned forward a little in her seat, seeming to prepare herself to spring should a potential attack rise. And Alucard knew that this was the woman he was searching for.

"What do you want?" she asked, no friendliness in her voice now.

"I mean you no harm…Leila, I believe I heard your name was. I simply want to know about him," Alucard said.

He fought the instinct to tense up for attack as well. He wanted her to know that what he said was truth, and giving in to instinct would do him no good. Still tense, the woman—Leila—poised herself a bit straighter.

"Why? You out to kill him?" she barked.

"Not unless necessary."

"Then I've got nothing to tell you."

She leaned back again, still tense but trying to look like she was not intimidated. Alucard sighed and did not speak again immediately. He could hear the rain still pounding down from the sky. He lost himself in the sound for a moment. Finally, he turned his focus back onto Leila.

"You don't understand. He is…not fulfilling his duty. I have lived since before the rise of the vampires. In my time, I fought, sacrificing everything, to stop them."

"Nice job you did there," she spat.

Alucard shook his head. "I deserved that. I returned to my rest, thinking that I had finally destroyed my father…I believe that people now refer to him as the Sacred Ancestor."

At this, Leila's eyes widened but said nothing. He continued.

"I should have stayed awake…should have made sure. But I did not. In that, I failed. Dracula found yet another rise to power…his greatest yet. He made sure that only the strongest of forces would awaken me then. It was D's presence that called me back. However, when I heard that my…brother was using his life in the pursuit of money, instead of destroying the vampires, I grew sick with disappointment. He needs to learn, to understand, what our kind's true purpose should be. This is why I seek him, Leila."

Leila shook her head, standing. "You're wrong about him, Alucard. You think all he cares about is the money? Then you really haven't met him."

She stopped, grasping for the words she needed. Alucard stared at her patiently. Finally, she continued on.

"He was going to let that girl go, Alucard. Charlotte…because she was in love with Meier. And he healed me, when I was his competition. Saved my life, actually, for no reason whatsoever. So, don't sit there and tell me that he's selfish and petty…not when you don't even know him."

Alucard nodded, showing that he was allowing for her words. Finally, he looked up at her, a sad look in his eye.

"When D healed you…did he tell you that he had drank from you?" he asked.

Leila gasped. "What? No! I mean, he didn't! He told me he didn't, and I didn't feel anything like a vampire! You're lying!"

Alucard stood, easily towering over her. She stepped back, almost falling back into her chair. He shook his head.

"I didn't say he bit you. I said that he drank from you…and he did. You can feel a vampire's or a dhampire's presence on whomever they've drunk from, even years after the fact. Oh, it fades, but it never really goes away, not until their or their victim's demise. It's rare that one encounters these people, since they often do not live to tell the tale…but I speak the truth."

He watched the anger bubble up in her as his words hit home. She glared hard at the floor, unwilling to meet the dhampire's eyes.

"I'm sorry," he said.

He knew that she must be internally raging at herself, angry that she had ever dared believe a dirty dhampire. A vampire's hellspawn. Her breath was growing heavier the more she mulled it over in her mind, and Alucard turned away from her, about to return to his seat.

"Wait," she said suddenly. "Then why not kill me?"

The dhampire turned, truly perplexed. "What?"

"Why didn't D just kill me then…you said that victims of such…attacks don't often live. Why did I get to live? Why did any of the few before me live?"

Alucard blinked. Her question shocked him. He opened his mouth to answer her, then found that he had none. Leila shook her head.

"Why did the others live, Alucard?"

He searched his long memory. Finally, he met her deep blue eyes.

"It was a method of tracking someone. It…was often done when a vampire had fallen for a human. He could feel their state of being by just drinking from them, not biting them."

Leila's grin widened. "Well, I'll guarantee you that he didn't fall for me. But that doesn't mean that he still didn't care about me on some level. We made a promise to each other, dhampire. D and I promised to bring flowers to each other, whoever died first. And I think it goes deeper than that. He cares about it all, after all. He's not doing it for the money, Alucard…or not because he has no choice. He does it for the same reason you hunt vampires. To live to see the day when humans don't have to fear the night anymore."

Alucard stood before her, stunned. She smiled, almost radiating triumph. Her smile turning brazen, she stuck a finger in his face.

"Think about it. And don't you dare just take off in the morning, 'cause I want to know what you come up with. I'll go get some bedclothes for you to make up the couch."

She disappeared into the rear of the house, leaving Alucard able to only sink back into his chair and wait.

…………………

The morning, though still sporting a very muddy ground, was bright, sunny, and warm. Alucard had brought his stallion around to the front of Leila's home, preparing to depart. Announcing her presence with a yawn, Leila appeared on the front porch, leaning against a railing.

"So, did you think about what I said last night?" she asked.

Alucard adjusted his saddle, testing that it was secure and not too tight on the animal.

"Yes," he said, no emotion in his voice.

"And?"

He looked over his shoulder at her, giving her the smallest of smiles. He pulled himself up into the saddle, turning the stallion around towards the town's exit.

"And," he said, "I found myself reminded that first impressions are often wrong."

With that, he spurred the horse on, galloping out of town. He did not look back, but he could almost see Leila's smug smile planted right on her bright face. And he was grateful for it.

Perhaps he still had much left to learn of this world.


End Notes: Okay, so what did you think? Although I've written for Castlevania and Vampire Hunter D separately, this is my first crossover for the two, so yay! Also, a note on Leila here…I just sort of picture her, after having met and made friends with D, becoming less…prejudice, which may be too strong of a word, towards dhampires. However, she is still cautious, hence that she never actually gave her name to Alucard…he guessed it. So, please review!

Fun Fact: (I find myself leaving these more and more often) The song that I replayed over and over during this fic was "Holding Out for a Hero," which was originally sung by Bonnie Tyler, but the version I was listening to was the Jennifer Saunders version off of the Shrek 2 soundtrack. I actually love both versions, I just only have the Shrek one on my computer currently.