Disclaimer: I do not own Hellsing nor the characters Seras Victoria, Integra etc. Hellsing or Alucard. Nor do I own The Nutcracker and the Mouse King or the ballet The Nutcracker. I DO own Aidan and Wynne...which is all that matters really.

Note: I apologize in advance for the weirdness. It's my first attempt at a 'Christmas story' and I think I failed at that. It's more like a story that takes place at Christmas. Ah well. I figured redoing 'A Christmas Carol' had been done so I went with the Nutcracker. It's less like the ballet and more like the original book. Be warned. Though the image of Alucard in tights would be amusing.

Dedication: To all my lovely reviewers (Celes Nightlord, Angel Reaper, KawaiiKittyChan, Metropolois Kid, 0-girlycard-0, ChaosIsBest, Lolipear, Hannahmgp and ALL others) who make me want to write everyday, to my beautiful beta Syrenity who fixes my typos, to Paul who agreed to read Hellsing and my stories and to everyone who is having a more stressful than usual holiday.

She had never liked Christmas all that much, in all honesty. Dim memories of a happy childhood hanging a kissing bough and lighting the dozens of tiny candles on a Christmas tree with her mother and father left traces of the happiness that should be associated with the holiday, but those days were long gone. And, with those thoughts drifting idly through her head, she sighed once more as she looked out the window at the first signs of snow.

Suddenly, a sharp pain in her side made her jump and she turned her furious gaze to the girl beside her. Like her, the girl had blonde hair and blue eyes. Unlike her, she had the darker complexion of one who had traces of blood other than English in her, coming from her Indian mother. And, unlike her, she was nobility.

Eyes twinkling in suppressed amusement, the girl rose her eyebrows over her unfashionable glasses and nodded towards the head of the class where the schoolmistress was standing, staring at her.

"Miss Victoria, perhaps you are already out for the holidays?"

"No, Miss Fitzpatrick."

"Then would you be so kind as to read the next passage?"

She blushed as some of the girls began to giggle into their hands.

"Yes, Miss Fitzpatrick."

Taking a deep breath, Seras Victoria, began to read outloud, thoughts of Christmas completely flown from her mind.


"Honestly, Seras, after I begged the Headmistress to let you be in the advanced classes, you have the idiocy to get caught daydreaming. You aren't stupid but you completely lack sense sometimes."

"Sorry. I know you tried hard for me, Integra, and I really am grateful. I just…."

The other girl sighed before giving her friend a quick squeeze of the hand. For a few minutes, the two girls continued in companionable silence as they walked through the halls of the prestigious ladies academy. A gust of wind hit them in the face when they opened the outer doors of the building, tearing at their starched skirts.

"Damn these blasted uniforms! I promise you, Seras, the moment I reach my majority and have complete control over all my funds, I am buying a pair of men's slacks and I'm never going to take them off."

Seras giggled, picking up one of the books she had dropped in the sudden wind. "You really shouldn't curse so much, Integra. The mistresses say it is very unladylike."

"I don't particularly wish to be a lady so that is fine with me."

"Regardless of your wishes, you are a lady, Integra. Which is probably why that uncle of yours dislikes me so much."

"Nonsense," Integra retorted as they stepped into the dormitory building and started up the stairs to the levels dedicated to the older girls. "He doesn't like you because of the money my father left to you when he died. And he doesn't like me for the same reason. He still thinks it all should have gone to him."

"Really, Integra, you shouldn't speak so meanly of your family," Seras chastised ineffectually through a stifled giggle.

"Bah! Greedy bastard would probably have found a clever way for me to have met my end if the will didn't stipulate that you would get all my money in the event of my death." The older girl sighed before brightening slightly and allowing one corner of her mouth to curve into a smile. "Which, by the by, is why I've decided to remain here for the holidays."

The younger girl's features glowed happily as a huge grin lit her face and she gripped her friend's hand excitedly.

"Truly, Integra?"

"Yes, you silly nit. Why would I joke about something like that?"

"Wonderful!" Seras laughed, grabbing Integra's other hand and whirling them both around in circles before breaking away and twirling happily to her own doorway. "What a happy piece of news!" She grinned at her friend as she stepped into her room. "I'll be in your quarters soon to dress for the festivities."

Integra chuckled softly as she watched her friend shut the door behind her. The sounds of delighted laughter wafted through the carved wood. Seras had always been rather simple in her delights and a truly cheerful girl despite the horrors of her life. If staying away from the tense atmosphere of her uncle's home for the Christmas holiday made her happy, it was an easy sacrifice to make.

With one last smile, she opened the door to her own room and shut it neatly behind her.


Perhaps because of the good mood brought on by the news earlier in the day or perhaps because of the general good cheer of her classmates due to the impending holiday, the last most would spend as girls, but for the first time in her life, Seras held some measure of popularity. The girls who spent most f the year ignoring her due to her slightly more humble origins were chatting with her amicably. Even the boys that had been invited from the academy's sister school were asking her to dance, in part due to the fine dress Integra had presented her made in the height of fashion in a color that matched her eyes perfectly.

To Seras, it felt like a dream. Soon she would wake and she would once more be the social outcast with a questionable future. Even so, she knew better than to waste the chance and chose to cherish each moment even as she knew it soon would end. She even managed to drag Integra into the holiday fun, stifling laughter at the look her friend's face had at the first time one of the boys asked her to dance.

All in all, it was a delightful evening made even better when the Hellsing retainer appeared towards the end of the festivities.

"Walter, I thought I informed you that I would remain her for the holiday."

"And so you did Miss Integra, but forgive an old man's wish to give his favorite girls their Christmas presents." He smiled down at both of them fondly. "And I must say, both of you look exceptionally well this evening."

Seras blushed. "Thank you, Walter, for my part," she stammered before breaking into a grin. "And doesn't Integra look absolutely lovely?"

"I'm impressed you managed to get her into a formal gown, Miss Seras."

"It wasn't easy," she replied conspiratorially. "I had to bribe her."

"Enough mischief, you two," the girl in question interrupted, frustration clear in the tone of her voice. "You really should not have come so far so late, Walter, so, not to sound ungrateful, but if you want to give us presents, I suggest you do so quickly before you are unable to return home."

"Yes, Miss Integra."

With a slight bow, he left the small room only to return shortly with two packages, one considerably smaller than the other. The larger he handed to Integra who took it and sat on a nearby chair to unwrap it. From the decorative papers, she pulled out two books, presumably pertaining to scientific studies of the occult from the gilt titles engraved on the covers. She nodded happily and began leafing through them as Walter turned to Seras.

"Please, Miss Seras."

She started, looking down to the small wrapped box in her hand. Hesitantly, she meticulously pried the paper off to reveal a burgundy jewelry box. She frowned at it but carefully opened it when Walter smiled and nodded encouragingly. Her gasp drew Integra's attention and both girls marveled at what lay inside.

Nestled against a bed of silk lay a large ruby pendant in which a dragon had been engraved in what appeared to be silver. It was set in an ornate setting and hung on a chain of the same metal.

"W-Walter! I-I couldn't! It must be worth-"

"Now, now, Miss Seras, you can't refuse my gift when I ask you to have it. It is very important to me that you take it."

"Why?" Integra queried brusquely. "Not that she doesn't deserve it. But, you seem rather insistent for someone who is giving a gift to someone who tends to refuse lavish presents."

The man, who did appear the age he merited, smiled, a twinkle in his eye. "Once, a long time ago, my friend gave this to me and told me to pass it on only when I thought it was right to. When I first met you, Miss Seras, all those years ago, I knew you were meant to have it and now, at last, I think you are old enough to…appreciate it."

She looked down at the necklace and nodded slowly. "T-thank you, then."

"Please, put it on. A boon for an old man."

"Allow me," Integra offered, taking the pendant in hand. When she touched it, an odd look passed over her face but she pulled it from its bed and fitted it around Seras' neck. When she finished, she stepped back and for a moment, all three of them admired the way the gem glimmered against her pale skin.

"It looks lovely, Miss Seras. Now, as Miss Integra suggested, I must be off. Have a Happy Christmas, both of you. Send for me should you need anything."

The two bid him a happy Christmas and a safe journey before returning to the festivities. The room was far emptier as the gentlemen had returned home so by then, their absence had been noted and so their return was called attention to.

"Integra, Seras. We thought you'd abandoned us, but I see you were opening your presents early."

The two girls looked at the girl who had spoken. The daughter of a duke, she was the one who ruled the small social world of the academy. Antagonizing Seras had been a game of her set since their primary days.

"Hardly, Elizabeth," Integra retorted, setting her volumes down on one of the available tables. "It was merely a visit from my retainer. Not something I would think worth mentioning."

"Ah, but you did return laden with presents. That is quite a beautiful necklace you have there, Seras. Such a fine gem on such a girl."

As she spoke, she reached out a hand to take hold of the pendant, but at the moment she touched it, a spark of pain went through both girls and Seras flinched, taking a quick step back. Unfortunately, Elizabeth's fingers caught on the necklace and the fragile chain broke. Everyone watched as the pendant fell to the floor with a soft thud as it landed on the plush carpet. No one breathed as Seras slowly reached down to pick up the gem and chain, all afraid of the reaction she might have as those who had known Seras the longest knew of her…temper.

The moment was broken, however, by one of the schoolmistresses.

"Lady Elizabeth, you must apologize this instant. It may have been an accident but if you hadn't been trying to tease Miss Victoria, it never would have happened."

"Yes, Miss Fitzpatrick," the girl responded, turning to Seras with a look flitting between scorn and fear as she spoke. "Do forgive me, Seras. It truly was an accident."

The blue eyed girl, who had been staring at the necklace in her hand, looked up, a flash of violence sparking in the depths of her gaze before they lit with grudging acceptance.

"Of course, Lady Elizabeth."

"Good. Now girls, it is off to the dormitories with you. You all have long days tomorrow." The schoolmistress looked at Seras with a sad smile. "Miss Victoria, if you will leave it here, I will lock it up for the night and give it to my brother to fix when he comes tomorrow."

As she spoke, she unlocked and opened one of the bureau drawers and looked expectantly at Seras. A moment passed before the girl stepped hesitantly to the open drawer and reluctantly laid the jewelry in the wooden compartment. She watched silently as the schoolmistress closed the drawer and locked it, pocketing the key.

"Now, then, you two should be off to bed as well."

Seras looked around to find that Integra had stayed behind as well. She smiled gratefully and the two bid their teacher goodnight before making their way through the schoolhouse and out into the bitter cold that separated them from their rooms.


It was impossible to sleep.

They had all been set to bed relatively early for a night of dancing in deference to the holiday and the fact that most girls would be travelling some distance early the next morning. Still, the good cheer of the evening stayed with them and for quite some time she had laid in bed, listening to the sounds of girls sneaking between rooms, giggling cheerfully. Even then, all had settled into bed before too long and silence had echoed thereafter.

It felt like hours since the quiet fell, as she tossed and turned restlessly. She could feel each second tick by like an eternity and each eternity left silent echoed with the thoughts she could not escape.

She could not get the vision of the falling necklace from her mind nor the sound as the chain snapped. It replayed over and over in her mind, the significance resounding each time the jewel rebounded from the carpet. It had been the first gift of true value anyone had given her and she had broken it in the first minutes she wore it. She felt she had betrayed Walter's trust and the idea pained her greatly.

Even more, thoughts of the gem itself resounded in her head. It was beautiful. The depths of the ruby seemed endless beyond the engraved dragon. Even now, she could almost see something in the glimmering facets. Something special, something….

Suddenly, she grew anxious and a strange energy filled her until she felt she would die if she didn't move. She had to see it, to look into the precious gem and see what it held. She should never have left it. She should have protected it. It was her responsibility. It was hers.

In seconds, she was on her feet and putting on a dark blue dressing gown over her thin nightdress. Pausing only long enough to pull on her house shoes and snatch a hair pin from her dressing table, she was out the door, padding her way down through the long hallway and down the elegant stairway. She hesitated only a moment before pushing through the door and out into the cold.

A blizzard had erupted since she had made the trek to bed nearly two hours before and for a moment, she considered turning back and away from the freezing temperatures and drenching snow. Yet ruby light flashed in her mind and she knew she had to go on. Concerned only for reaching the building, she ducked her head and trod on, soaking her slippers through.

After what seemed like an hour, she finally reached the door and sighed in relief upon finding that it had been left unlocked. Pulling it open, she stumbled in and forced the door shut behind her, muffling the howling wind. The sudden comparative quiet was eerie, as was the very stillness of the usually bustling building.

The soft scuffs of her shoes echoed in the empty passageway and she found herself hurrying even more quickly to the formal gathering hall. When she finally reached the room, she yanked the door open and rushed in, as ready to be done with her foolish mission as she was to have the gem safely in hand again. She pulled the hairpin from her pocket with shaking fingers – whether from cold or nerves she didn't know - grasping desperately at the small item, as she approached the bureau, with a strange need she couldn't understand. Her every action was a break of her normal character and she couldn't help but wonder at herself even as she inserted the pin in the lock.

Her father, she knew, had been a good man who upheld the law at all costs. Even all those years later, she was proud of him for it and wished everyday to be like him. Integra's father, however, had been more fond of bending the rules and had taught the daughter of his lifelong friend a number of questionable practices in the years after he had been named her guardian. It was because of those lessons that she was able to pick the simple lock quite quickly, shaking hands aside. When it clicked open, she grinned triumphantly and straightened to better look inside as she pulled the drawer open.

The second her fingers touched the red jewel, all the anxiousness fled her body. Even in the dark, it glittered entrancingly and, without thought, she walked to the window, subconsciously seeking more light to study it by. Momentarily shaken from her trance with the realization that the storm blocked all light the moon might have afforded her, she made a quick search for the matches she knew to be in the room and struck one to light the nearest candle. The academy's prized grandfather clock began to strike the midnight hour as the light of her efforts flared in the dark, momentarily sending her eyes from the source, and illuminating a figure in the far corner of the room.

She gasped and dropped the match. As it fell, the light flickered out giving her just enough time to recognize that she did not know the man who now stood in the room with her. Startled silence followed, a sound only broken by the resounding tones of the clock before she drew a quick breath and hazarded a question she knew she didn't want answered.

"W-who are you?"

"Wouldn'chu just love to know, luv?"

Desperately, she tried to strike another match, but her shaking hands dropped two matches before she finally lit the third. With a gasp, she realized that the stranger had closed the distance between them and stood only few feet away. She took a quick step back and then another when the man followed her. Another step found her pressed against the cold windows and panic began to take serious hold over her. Suddenly, she let out a small cry of pain as the fire of the match reached her fingers and once more she let the match go, plunging the room into darkness once more.

"Stay away from me," she commanded, feeling around her in the pitch dark for any sort of weapon.

"Oh, oi dun think so."

The voice came from even closer than before and she jerked to one side, stumbling along the line of the wall in her hurry to distance herself from the stranger. She finally caught her balance as she crashed into one of the tables stationed under the line of windows and winced painfully as the pendant she still held in her hand cut into her skin.

"Mm. Tha's the smell there. Fresh blood. Are you invitin' me to take a taster then luv?"

Her eyes went wide, frightened by his comment. Hands still searching for a weapon, she cursed mentally at the lack of blunt force objects. Deciding that she only had one real option, she pivoted and ran for what she hoped was the door. She had barely taken five steps, however, when she felt a hand wrap around her arm in a vice-like grip.

"Now, now, luv, you canna be runnin' away tha' way. No' when you left the door wide open for me to follow you."

"Let go of me!" she shouted, hitting him with her free arm.

"Yes, let go of her."

The two combatants stilled at the sound of a strange voice. She only allowed herself a short stunned moment, however, before continuing her struggle. A lesson learned well from some of the harsher parts of her life, she knew she had no more reason to trust this new stranger than she did the one currently assaulting her.

"Oirigh' there luv. Settle down. Perhaps your frien' 'ere can be givin' us a bi' o' light?"

No sooner than he finished speaking, a fire suddenly came to life in the hearth, sending a flickering glow across the room. The sudden light stilled her movements and she turned her eyes to the man who seemed to have conjured fire from thin air.

He stood in shadows but she could still make out most of his details. A long red caped coat hung over a grey suit of the finest quality, paired with black riding boots and a large red hat that hung low over his brow. He looked, for all intents and purposes, like a nobleman who had just finished a ride, except, perhaps, for the strange yellow glasses that covered his eyes. He might have almost looked normal if it weren't for his odd presence in a room he had no right to be in.

Or the strange smile that curved his features.

"'Oo are you then?"

"I do not give my name to trash like you. Again, I suggest you unhand the lady."

"Oi dun think so. This 'ere is my prey. Bugger off an' get yer own."

She could feel the temper rising in the strange man who gripped her arm and was briefly doused in fear once more before her mind came to the realization that he was distracted. Trained from an early age to use what she had at hand, she silently pulled off her shoe with her free hand and quickly hit him over the head with it, hoping to stun him enough that she could break free.

"Oi! You bitch!" her assailant growled, trusting her from him violently.

She stumbled and fell back, hitting her head sharply on the corner of the bureau. The sudden sharp pain drew a small cry from her and she crumbled to the floor, struggling to stay conscious.

As the blackness threatened to suck her in, she heard a low sound that reminded her of a growl and words latent with promise.

"You shouldn't have hurt her."

Then, everything went black and she fell into unconsciousness, blanking out to all that followed.


The storm from the night before had passed, leaving a frosted white world that reflected the brilliant light of the full moon. She stared out at it, thoughts chaotic and unpatterned. A sudden idea crossed her that she looked much like a child waiting for Father Christmas and the humor curved her lips before another sigh escaped her and left her face looking as confused as she felt, lost in the memories of the day….


When she woke that morning, she lay in her bed, stripped of her shoes and dressing gown. It didn't strike her as unusual for a moment before memories of the night previous had her springing upright in her bed. The sudden movement brought a sharp cry from her and, upon examination, she found a sizable bruise had formed on the back of her head and, when she looked, she found a small cut on her hand from where the necklace had cut her skin.

Thoughts of the gem struck her and she searched her person and then her room for signs of its presence, but it was gone. She sank onto her bed heavily, mind in a state of extreme confusion. If it wasn't with her, where was it? Did she not actually go get it or had one of those two men taken it from her? And if there had been those two men last night, how did she end up back in her room? Had it all just been a dream? But if that was the case, what about her injuries?

With a sigh, she shook her head and accepted that until she went to go look at the formal hall, she would have no answers. She had barely begun to dress when a knock sounded firmly on the door.

"Come in, Integra."

The doorknob turned ineffectually for a moment before the older girl sighed loudly.

"You locked the door, Seras."

She frowned, knowing for a fact that she hadn't locked it the night before, but went to unlock it all the same.

"Good morning, Integra."

"Good morning to you," the girl replied, stepping inside and shutting the door behind her. "It's unusual for you not to be dressed this late in the morning. Is something the matter?"

Seras frowned, turning when her friend indicated she would help her with her laces.

"I'm not sure. I may have had a dream but it all seemed so real and I must confess that I am extremely confused at the moment."

"What happened?"

"Well, in my dream, if it was a dream, I went back to the gathering hall to get my necklace. I couldn't sleep and I felt so bad that I had broken it right after Walter gave it to me."

"You didn't break it, Seras. That hateful cow did."

The younger girl broke into a grin, relaxing a bit for the first time that morning. "Well, still, after I'd taken it from the bureau, I tried to light a candle to look at it. When I struck the match there was this man there. He attacked me and I tried to get away but I couldn't. He'd just grabbed onto me when I heard a second man talk." She frowned slightly, the memories of what happened next fuzzier. "Something happened with the fireplace but there was a man there and he was telling the first man to let me go. While they talked, I hit the first man with a shoe and he shoved me away from him and I hit my head."

Integra studied her seriously as she spoke and waited a minute after her friend got done talking before speaking.

"How did you get back in here?"

"I don't know. I just woke up here."

The older girl frowned. "That would indicate you had a dream. It is pretty farfetched to think of one strange man breaking into the school let alone two. However, it may yet have happened."

Seras' eyes grew wide. "You mean you believe me?"

"Honestly, I'm not sure. What I do know is that you have a rather large lump on the back of your head and a cut on your hand. If it had been just a dream, where did those come from?"

The younger girl frowned. "I don't know. Maybe I was tossing and turning in my dream? It would make sense to dream about hitting my head if I knocked it against the wall in my sleep."

Integra's eyes narrowed behind her glasses. "You sound like you'd prefer it to be a dream."

Seras grinned sheepishly. "Maybe. I feel a bit like I've gone mad. Besides, it was a bit frightening. Though…."


The younger girl looked at her friend, a light blush staining her cheeks. "The second man was rather handsome."

Integra smirked, rolling her eyes. "Come on, Seras. Let us go investigate your harrowing adventure."

"Yes, let's."


"Oh, girls, there you are! You were running so late that I was beginning to worry. Not that you had to be up at a certain time, it being your holiday and all, but both of you are normally such early risers."

Seras and Integra shared a small smile at their favorite schoolmistress' chatter. It was known only to those who stayed on for the holidays that she was a good deal more lively and good humored than she showed during her lessons.

"Good morning, Miss Fitzpatrick. Happy Christmas Eve."

"Yes, good morning. Happy Christmas."

"And good morning to both you girls. Oh, and Miss Victoria, my brother is already working on your lovely necklace in the breakfast room if you want to go on in and look at it."

Seras nodded, a small frown furrowing her brow at another sign that the events of her memories were actually a dream. She gave the schoolmistress a small curtsey and followed Integra into the room.

"There are my favorite girls," a voice called out on their entrance.

They both looked over to the man sitting at the table, not much older than them, who was grinning handsomely at the two girls. Seras grinned and Integra gave a brief nod before heading to the sideboard to gather her breakfast.

"As usual. Sunshine Seraph and the Maiden of Steel. Christmas greetings to you both."

"And you as well, Mr. Fitzpatrick."

"Come, come, now, my Seraph, I have told you repeatedly to call me most inappropriately by name."

"Aidan, will you stop tormenting the girl," the schoolmistress remarked reprovingly as she entered the room once more.

"But, my sweet Wynne, she is such a delight."

Seras giggled as she stood at the sideboard, ladling on eggs and sausage to her plate before turning and sitting a seat away from the good-natured Irishman.

"It's okay, Miss Fitzpatrick. I'm used to him by now."

"Isn't that a depressing thought?"

"Have you fixed her necklace yet?" Integra asked almost sharply.

"Now, there you go, Steel Maiden, being all sharp and breaking into the good fun. But yes, your ladyship, I have finished repairing the catch just now."

"Oh! Thank you!" Seras exclaimed, reaching her hand to take the proffered necklace from his hands before he snatched it back.

"I think, my Seraph, that you should wear it now. It is high time someone showered you with the finest of life, not that you haven't tried, Lady Ice."

Integra allowed herself a small smirk at the man before nodding her head in agreement.

"You should, Seras. Walter obviously intended for you to wear it over the holiday."

"I should object, you know," the schoolmistress laughed. "It is not really the proper thing to be wearing evening jewels all day long, but go on. You have the right to it."

"That's my Wynne, forsaking conventions for a bit of fun," Aidan Fitzpatrick remarked as he stood to fasten the necklace around Seras' throat, careful not to brush his fingers against her.

"There now. That's lovely," Miss Fitzpatrick commented as she, too, sat to breakfast.

"It is," he commented, resuming his seat. "It is an interesting design. I wonder where your man Walter got it from."

"Father always said that Walter hadn't always been a butler but that is all I could say," Integra commented thoughtfully. "All he told the two of us was that a friend entrusted it to him."

"And he passed it on to you, my Seraph? Fine man must recognize what a treasure you are."

Seras, unused to such compliments, blushed bright red and looked down to her now empty plate.

"Leave her alone, Aidan."

"If you insist, fair Wynne."

After that the conversation went onto the plans for the day and soon after the four of them set out to gather greenery from the nearby wooded areas. When the Fitzpatrick twins broke into carols, Seras laughed and joined in while Integra smiled softly and began sorting the greenery while the rest hung their newfound goods around the rooms of the school building. All in all it was a lovely day and Seras could not have asked for a better holiday. Still, through the passing hours her thoughts lingered on the strange dream she had the night before.


It was after the festivities of the evening had died down that she found herself staring out the window and the still scene below. Still dressed in her evening finery, she stood, unable to contemplate sleep, clutching the strange necklace in her hands. There had been no answers for her that day. Nothing either Fitzpatrick had said indicated they had found anything unusual about the night before nor that they had taken her to her bed. Nothing indicated that the events of her memories were real.

Yet, something in her told her that she could not discount them. As impossible as it may have been, she knew what she had experienced was no fervor of her imagination. Sighing once more, she gave one last look to the gleaming white of the snow and turned from the window.

He was there.

Standing just inside the door was the man in red that she had seen the night before. He didn't move and just let her look at him until her breathing became regular and she lifted her chin.

"You were there last night."

"Indeed, I was."
"Did you save me then?"

He grinned broadly. "You were doing a fair job of saving yourself but yes, I finished it."

"Thank you, then."

"My pleasure."

"Why are you here?"

He didn't answer and instead took several slow steps towards her, seeming to keep his pace as unthreatening as possible. Still, when he stopped a mere couple of feet away, he towered over her and she could feel her heart beating wildly in her chest as she stared at him. With a steady calm, he reached out his hand to her, palm up, while he took his glasses from his face with his other hand revealing ruby eyes as deep as the gem that hung from her neck. Those eyes looked straight into hers as he smiled and spoke three words.

"Come with me."

AN: It's a bit crack right? My beta yelled at me for leaving it on a cliffhanger but it kinda had to be done. The story WILL, like the ballet, be complete in two acts so only one more chapter, which will be up, if not tomorrow, then Christmas eve.

It's a bit different from what I've posted before, more of a return to my regular writing style...ish. I hope you find it interesting.

I, as usual, would love to hear any questions or comments you have to make. I am more than happy to answer anything that would clear up the weirdness.

Thank you so much for your time and have a Happy Christmas!

Til next time!