Xander groaned as he pushed himself back to his feet from where he had fallen. The long gash in his side hurt, but he ignored it as much as he could and struck back at the demon that had gotten the jump on him. Their swords clashed and he pushed the demon back to where he could make out Lilith close by, fighting one of the other demons who was close to the Source.
All around them the fight continued. It was even more intense than the fight against Voldemort and his army at Hogwarts. The Fallen was closing in on him as fast as it could and he kept losing sight of it as he fought. Cassandra's lord and his second in command engaged it as much as they could, but they still ended up getting attacked by the demon assassins, which distracted them, leaving the fallen free to move closer to him while he was distracted.
He shook his head and dodged the attack of the demon he was fighting cursing himself for getting distracted again. He darted forwards and brought his sword up. Catching the demon he was fighting in the chest as it tried to avoid his attack. He smiled grimly as he backed up ready to strike again when Adrian suddenly appeared behind the demon and took its head clear off with a single sweep of his sword. He nodded his thanks and ran over to help Lilith. Tara soon joined them against the two demons that now assailed them after they killed the one Lilith had been fighting.
Tanith snarled in hate as he hacked another demon down while his lord did the same with his magic, but once again the demons attack wasn’t without purpose as it distracted him and his lord from Malek who was trying to reach Alexander as fast as he could.
He moved to follow his former leader and engage him in battle, but he was once again blocked by two more demons. His lord quickly joined him in taking them down, but it was too late Malek had got behind Alexander who was busy covering Lilith and Tara who were fighting two more of the demons the Source had brought to the fight. In seconds Malek unleashed a torrent of magic into Alexander's back, causing him to scream in agony. They tried to rush forward to help as did some of the others but they were all forced backwards by the demons and the Source himself helped by throwing a batch of fresh demons who had shown up into the fight and engaged them as well as the remaining guardians.
Before everyone's eyes a woman appeared, looking enraged. Besides her were ten more guardians and another powerful figure who gave off the same aura as the lord's second in command. The guardians and the new figure quickly attacked the demons, holding the others back while the woman went straight for Malek who wasn’t concentrating on anything other than slowly killing Alexander who continued to scream in pain from the attack. Tara had finally collapsed from the pain she was receiving over the bond. It was unlike anything else she had felt since she and Alexander had been bonded. Lilith and Adrian stood over her, making sure none of the demons tried to get at her while she was unable to fight. The Charmed Ones tried to use their magic to block the attack on Alexander, but kept getting distracted by the attacking demons.
Alucard growled in hate, knowing Alexander was in danger, but he was unable to do anything about it as he and Balthazar fought the Source to a standstill. When the woman appeared he almost stopped his attack in shock as he recognized her. He quickly shook off his shock and focused again on the Source who was trying to bait them with taunts.
Malek was caught completely off guard as a surge of magic dug into his back and blasted him across the field while Alexander dropped to the ground almost unconscious from the attack he had just undergone. He groaned, but he forced himself to stay awake with everything he had left. He looked up at Cassandra, shocked to see she had come to his rescue and it again made him wonder why he was so important to her. But he was grateful she had come along or sooner or later he would have been dead and so would have been Tara thanks to the bond they shared and he had no desire to be the cause of her death.
Cassandra stalked across the field ignoring everything else going on around her, she had stayed away from the fight as her lord had ordered until more demons had showed up to help the Source and Malek who had indeed been the fallen involved in the attack. She had gathered more guardians as well as Jonas who had asked to join her and then they had joined the attack just in time as Malek finally reached Alexander and attacked him from behind catching him off guard and now she was going to make him pay.
Malek pushed himself to his feet growling as he spun to face who had attacked him and almost did a double take as Cassandra stormed towards him, her hate for him clearly written in her eyes. He suddenly smirked thinking he could now have his revenge on her and then he could finish off the boy and he quickly gathered his magic and unleashed it at the approaching woman who somehow managed to dodge it and then retaliated and caught him in the leg, knocking him back to the ground but he quickly recovered and they began trading shots.
Xander used every bit of will he had to force himself back to his feet. He couldn’t afford to pass out just yet. He smiled as best as he could as Lilith and Tara as well as the Charmed ones surrounded him, making sure he was protected as he began to use his magic to fight. The magical ring he had been gifted had helped save his life and he was thankful to the Valar who had given it to him as well as one to Lilith and Tara.
"Prue, I think it's time you tried your banishment spell for the Source, we'll cover you," he shouted as he sent a surge of magic at a demon who was trying to attack his mother who was fighting side by side with Amy and Janna across from them. He was drained from the attack he had undergone and he was only still standing by will alone.
"We'll have to move closer," Prue said in response and quickly they began to move as a group towards where the Source was battling Alucard and Balthazar.
Tanith and his lord were not surprised to see Cassandra and Jonas arrive with reinforcements and so they continued to battle their way towards where she now fought Malek one on one. Jonas was covering her rear with another guardian as the battle continued to rage on.
Alucard growled as he caught a hit to his shoulder, but he shrugged it off and struck back, scoring a hit to the Source's side while Balthazar ended up catching him in the back as he turned. He noted Alexander and his small group coming closer to them and he realized they intended to use the Charmed ones banishment spell and he quickly stepped up his attack to ensure the Source didn’t see them coming.
Cassandra hissed as Malek scored another direct hit almost knocking her to the ground, but she refused to go down while Malek continued to run riot, before she could strike back her lord stepped in between her and Malek glaring at his former subordinate with hate.
"Go help the others, this one is mine Cassandra," her lord ordered and she knew better than to argue and so she quickly headed to where her son was fighting alongside Seras almost smiling at his shocked look at seeing her before they concentrated on the three demons they were fighting.
Xander almost stumbled as they came to a stop and the sisters began their spell, he was weakening fast but he refused to fall until this fight was done. He turned and noticed Cassandra's lord was now engaging the fallen in a furious battle, their blades causing sparks to fly as they clashed and magic to wrap around them and he was glad he was not a part of it.
He looked back and noticed the sisters were picking up speed in their chant and was close to finishing it and just as well as the fight between the Source and Alucard and Balthazar was picking up, luckily the fight between the demons and the guardians was finally been brought under control and they were gaining the upper hand for which he was glad as he could barely keep himself upright.
Malek cursed as he fell to the ground once more, only this time it took him longer to get back up as his former lord's attack had opened up a deep wound in his chest and he was now bleeding heavily. As they faced off once again he tried to summon all of his magic to himself but before he could lash out his former lord dived forward and imbedded his sword in the wound and jerked it upward, straight into Malek’s head, killing him instantly and caused his magic to evaporate into the ground as he fell backwards. Cassandra's lord looked down with grim satisfaction as he finally destroyed the traitor for his actions, as banishment hadn’t been enough. Turning he noted the battle was dying down with the last few demons being cut down by the guardians led by Cassandra, Tanith and Jonas. He quickly moved to support them as Janna and the remaining members of Alexander's group dropped to the ground clearly exhausted and wounded.
The Source almost screamed in frustration as Balthazar managed to avoid one of his strongest attacks and he caught another shot in the side from Alucard, the battle had gone downhill since he had been separated from his bodyguards and he knew Malek was dead, having seen him killed by one of the higher power's main leader's. Just as he was about to attack again he heard the end of a chant and he spun around to find the Charmed ones just to the side of him surrounded by the boy and some of his friends and he began to feel a burning heat within his body and realized it had been a banishment spell they had cast. He screamed in rage and his host was destroyed in burning fire watched by his enemies.
Alucard smiled as he watched the Source vanquished and he quickly looked around pleased to see everyone seemed to be okay, just wounded and tired. He stopped as Adrian approached him side by side with the woman he had recognized as Cassandra, his first wife and he noted Alexander was watching the woman closely although he still seemed about to fall on his face.
"Cassandra?" he inquired, wondering if it was truly her.
"Hello my husband," Cassandra responded, unable to repress a smile at Alucard knowing it was pointless to retreat now that they had seen her.
"Husband?" she heard Alexander ask in shock and as she turned to face him he stumbled and then fell unconscious as his strength and will finally failed, but he was caught by Prue and Lilith and lowered to the ground as Leo appeared and began to heal him.
"How is it you are here, mother?" Adrian asked as Lilith walked closer to them after making sure Alexander was okay.
"It is a long story my son and one not to be told until Alexander is awake and everyone else is healed. I will return in three hours to talk," Cassandra responded with a small smile before she, Tanith, Jonas, their lord and the guardians all vanished.
"Was that really Adrian's mother, father?" Lilith asked, shocked by this turn of events.
"So it would appear Lilith," Alucard replied, his own emotions reeling as seeing his first wife again after such a long time. He forced them away and concentrated on what needed to be done. "Let's get everyone healed and moved to the Kalderash tribe now," he ordered, moving the others into motion.
The First shook it's head as he watched the Source's defeat and banishment although he knew he would return in time to find a new host as usually. Still it would set them back a lot as they had lost a hell of a lot of demons in the last couple of weeks and it would take time to rebuild their assault forces. For now it decided it would leave the boy and his friends alone until he had indeed rebuilt the assault forces and the Source had found a new host.
The First had known the Source was stupid to believe they could actually kill one of the higher powers so easily, no it would concentrate on the other champions that were not watched so closely by the higher powers. It would also leave the Charmed ones alone for now as it was clear they were been watched just as closely as they were now part of the boy's group. He decided to concentrate on the Hellmouth for a while as even though they were connected to the boy they were not watched by the higher powers as closely as the Charmed ones were. The first laughed as it imagined the chaos it could cause as well as hoping it could kill either of the two slayers.
Cassandra waited unsure if her lord would be angry she had disobeyed his orders and entered the battle revealing herself to her husband and the rest of their family before the right time. She hoped he would understand she could no longer stay on the side lines as Malek attacked Alexander and came close to killing him. She looked up as her lord entered alongside Tanith and Jonas who all looked better after they had removed their amour and tended to their wounds.
"You disobeyed me Cassandra," their lord said although his tone showed no anger in it.
"I’m sorry my lord, but once the Source got more reinforcements and attacked Alexander I had to act. I summoned as many guardians as I could to help," Cassandra responded. "Jonas asked to come with me and I agreed knowing we needed all the help we could get until Malek and the Source were defeated," she continued. "I’m sorry I went against your orders, but I couldn’t leave Alexander to Malek's mercy. I will accept any punishment you decree," she finished, bowing her head in submission.
"I’m not going to punish you Cassandra. You acted as I would expect you to act as Alexander would act in fact," their lord stated with a chuckle. "I can’t fault your heart or your motive to aid us as we did indeed needed it. I doubt either myself or Tanith could have reached Alexander before he was killed by the attack, so I thank you for acting so quickly and the same goes for you Jonas," he added.
"Thank you my lord," Cassandra and Jonas said in reply, pleased they were not going to be punished and that their lord understood their motives. "Is it okay for me to return as I said I would, to explain the truth to Vlad and the others?" she inquired as they turned to the viewing pool and watched as Alexander woke up to find himself now in the Kalderash tribe, alongside the rest of his group.
"It is Cassandra and I wish you luck," their lord answered with a smile and a pat on her back as she readied herself for her biggest trial in years.
(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)
Xander groaned as he woke up feeling completely drained from the fight even though it was obvious Leo had healed him. He looked around and noted the sisters, Tara, Cole, Amy, his mother and Sir Integra were all in the room with him and recovering as well.
"Where are the others?" he asked as he forced himself into a sitting position.
"Outside with Janna talking to her father and the chief of the tribe, explaining our presence here," Tara replied, pleased to see Alexander awake after such a powerful attack. "How do you feel?" she inquired as Prue walked over and sat next to her so she could join the conversation.
"Like I just got run over by a herd of Rhino's," Xander stated with a smile, wincing as he moved to face them better. "How about the rest of you?" he shot back.
"The feedback from the attack on you was the worst I've ever felt and it put me down for the rest of the battle. I’m surprised you were able to stay standing," Tara replied with a shake of her head as she remembered the feeling of the attack over the bond.
"It took every ounce of strength and force of will I had left to stay standing and I think I’m paying for it now," Xander responded with a dry chuckle. "Where did Cassandra go?" he inquired.
"She left with her lord but promised to return to explain some things," Tara answered with a smile. "Alucard, Adrian and Lilith were shocked to see her as it seemed they knew her," she added.
"Yeah I remember, Cassandra referred to Alucard as her husband," Xander said thoughtfully. "I wonder what the hell is going on," he sighed.
"You are not the only one Alexander," Alucard stated as he entered alongside the rest of their group. "It would seem there is more going on here than we knew considering you seem to know Cassandra," he added with a frown. "Can you tell us why?" he asked as the rest of the group joined them.
"I think it would be best Vlad if I explain everything," a new voice said and everyone turned to find Cassandra entering the room, looking very nervous as she went and sat next to Alexander. "Before I begin I will say he could not say anything about knowing me before, because I placed blocks on him to hide the fact as I did with Tara and Janna as well who came to know of this information. It was necessary at the time that my contact with them was hidden until it was time for me to explain the truth to you all," she added.
"I see," Alucard said in reply, noting how nervous his first wife looked. "We are ready to listen," he finally said.
Cassandra took a deep breath before she began to tell her tale, knowing everything would change once it was all out in the open and she just prayed Vlad would still see her in the same light once he knew the truth about what had happened in the past and how Alexander's line came to be in existence.
"Do you think Vlad will react badly to the truth, my lord?" Jonas inquired somewhat concerned for Cassandra as he knew how much she still loved her husband and the rest of her family and how much it would hurt her if he rejected her.
"No, I do not," their lord answered with a small smile. "Vlad loved Cassandra greatly when he was alive and he has never let go of that love, even when he married Lilith's mother," he explained. "From there he loved both of them even after they died and moved on. He has feelings for Sir Integra, but he knows better than to pursue her while she is without an heir to take on the leadership of the Hellsing Organization," he continued. "No I find it very hard to believe he could reject her for something that was so out of her control and I don’t believe it will affect his relationship with Alexander either," he stated.
"Still it is bound to cause some tension between them my lord," Tanith said, looking at the viewing pool which showed Cassandra telling her tale to the group.
"Perhaps," was all their lord said in response. "Now I want you both to order some of your fellow powers to warn the other champions to be on their guard. The First will try and strike at any he can catch of guard in retaliation for this latest defeat," he ordered, moving on to more important matters. "I want watches set up to monitor events around them, especially around the Hellmouth. Any sign of activity by the First is to be reported and the same goes for the Source should it return," he added.
Tanith and Jonas both nodded in understanding of their orders, knowing their lord was correct and turned and began to leave.
"The war has changed and we must be more alert than ever before. I doubt the First will try and attack Alexander and his group for a while as it knows we are watching them closely, so I suspect it will believe our other champions are left to fend for themselves and we must prove it wrong," their lord said, stopping them from leaving. "We have to be stronger than we have been to counter what I expect from the lower powers in response to what has just happened," he added before allowing the two to leave.
(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)
Xander was more than shocked at what he had just learnt. It almost made him think it was all a joke, but he could tell from the look on Cassandra's face she was deadly serious. He looked to Adrian and noted he seemed to accept what his mother had just told him. Lilith seemed relieved to learn she shared no blood link to him so their relationship was okay. Seras seemed to find the whole thing fascinating and finally Vlad seemed introspective and slightly angry, but he doubted it was at Cassandra and had more to do with the man called Lord Baxter who had forced himself on Cassandra all those years ago.
To learn he was a descendant of Cassandra answered so many questions he'd had since this whole thing had begun. He now knew why she had been so concerned about him since his journey had begun. He could now see all of her actions in a new light and he came to appreciate them all the more. He looked to the others and noted some of them were still looking surprised by this news while others were quietly discussing it between themselves.
"Alexander, are you okay?" Cassandra asked becoming more nervous by the silence.
"I’m Cassandra, it was just a big surprise to learn the truth," Xander responded giving her a smile which she returned. "I’m not angry you kept me in the dark, there was a time and a place for me to learn this and I can accept that," he added. "At least I now know why you have taken such an interest in me," he added.
"I’m okay too mother," Adrian said with a smile. "Learning I’m distant cousins with Alexander isn’t too much of a shock seen as I will soon be his bother in law when he marries Lilith," he added with a laugh which was shared by some of the others while Lilith's smile widened as she remembered the fact that Alexander intended to marry her and the others as soon as they had finished their journey.
"And you Vlad?" Cassandra finally asking the one person she had feared telling the truth to the most.
"I’m angry you didn’t tell me what Baxter did to you. I would have gutted the slime for what he did," Alucard stated with a growl. "But I can understand why you feared telling me the truth and the actions you took to keep it secret. I don’t hold any anger towards either you or Alexander in learning this," he added to Cassandra’s relief. "But I will say this you should have told me. I would have accepted the child as my own because I loved you and I still love you," he told her, earning a smile at this from Cassandra.
"I love you as well. Being able to watch you from afar has always been painful, but it was worth it to see you all safe and I have watched you since this all began with great pride in your actions. You've all come a long way," Cassandra said, feeling great relief that the truth had finally been spoken.
"What happens now?" Sir Integra inquired and was pleased to see Alucard had not allowed his anger to get the best of him at learning his first wife had been taken against her will before he married her.
"I would suggest you stay here and recover for a few days before heading for the Lavelle tribe and finish this," Cassandra answered. "You will have to be careful how you approach them," she added.
"Is my husband, Alexander's father, still alive Cassandra?" Jessica asked, unable to stop herself from asking the woman who had been helping her son in secret.
"I can't tell you that Jessica, it is one of those things you must find out on your own, I'm sorry," Cassandra replied, truly sorry she couldn’t give Alexander's mother piece of mind as she watched her slump at her response. "I must go now, but I will return to talk to you again soon," she then said before kissing Vlad for the first time since she died. The she vanished, leaving the group to talk about what had just happened.