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Integra had never truly pondered on her father’s fascination with vampires, although she really should have.

 

Everyone had odd likings. Her nanny was quite fond of those dime paperbacks with dramatic and flamboyant covers, and once when Integra had snuck a peek into one she had quickly concluded that it was mindless drivel. 

 

Her father had pounded endlessly into her skull the fact of how dangerous nosferatu were. Dangerous, cunning, powerful, the enemy of mankind and something to be feared and hated. 

 

Yet, as she turned and saw the withered corpse was no longer a withered corpse, but a woman bent over with a serpentine tongue out to lap the spilt blood on the concrete floor, she felt no fear. She felt no hate. 

 

The eyes that bore into her own were most assuredly not human, but they were kind and gentle, and a lit with relief that the girl she was shielding was, for the most part, alright. Even the prompt transformation from soothing to murderous, once Richard had gathered his bearings, did nothing to stir any negative feelings in the young orphan. 

 

“What did my father call you?” was her question to the creature once everything was said and done. 

 

Said creature smiled. It exposed deadly canines, but her smile was not one of malice, not one to ignite any fear. She was very unlike the horrific, mad creatures of bloodlust Integra’s father had told her of. In spite of the blood from the massacre that was starting to absorb into her pale skin. 

 

“Just Seras is fine, Master.”



-----




Everything had occurred so fast, too fast for comprehension, that the time frame between the point where he had been unloading bullets into the men he had worked with for months and the point where his gaze was forced into the night sky, chest wound raw and gaping and sending blood bubbling into his mouth, felt like it was no more than a few sparse seconds. 

 

Reckless. Arrogant. A green novice who was reprimanded more than once for his overzealous attitude (‘ We’re not in America, boy ’, was the phrase often thrown his way), far too eager to run out, guns blazing, even as the old black and white zombie movies he watched when he was an actual boy began to come to life around him (‘ You’re so keen on spending everyday fantasizing about shooting the bad guys, why the hell did you join a cop squad in a rural town out in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere ’, was another sentiment he heard quite a bit.)

 

Who knows. Maybe he was somehow aware that a future job of checking out the odd disappearances surrounding a church would turn out to be zombies and fucking vampires, giving him that perverse excitement a many a thrill seekers sought out.

 

Unfortunately it didn’t end the way one would fantasize about. Not that he wasn’t willing to fight to his last breath, even after all of his ammo was gone (the last clip had been sent into the priest), furious over the matter and seeing red. Distantly he could hear the sounds of talking -yelling from the vampire, calmed discussion from a second party-, of more gunshots, and even more distantly he could register that there was someone else with them. Someone else beyond the ghouls. 

 

Then his ears were deafened by the largest blast yet, and it was here he found himself sprawled on the ground. Warmth of blood and the agony of pain taking over his senses, eyes drawn to the moon. How large it was tonight, crimson and bulbous and soon masked over by a figure, looming over his broken body. 

 

Red will-o-wisps surveyed him. Another vampire , was the curt thought, supplied by a slowly dying brain. 

 

A voice broke the now still night, nothing like he would have imagined. The priest’s inflection had been alternatively high pitched and guttural, the crazed tone of a person drunk on death and power. He had shrieked his intentions, the sort of fellow who enjoyed just hearing his own voice.

 

“You didn’t seem to hear me.”

 

Soft. 

 

“So I’m afraid I had to take the shot anyway.”

 

Female. 

 

“It was either me, or that blighter would’ve taken you out. I would prefer me.”

 

Distinctly British

 

The figure leaned in closer, and briefly his fading vision managed to re-focus. He could make out a halo of blonde hair, the edges lit up by the edges of the moon. 

 

“I can help you if you wish to live, which I imagine you would, if you answer my question properly this time. Are you a virgin?”

 

If it were any other situation, he would have laughed - honestly he still felt like laughing, but with the whole ‘hole in the chest’ thing going on, he doubted it would help his quickly dwindling life span. It would hurt far too much, and he wouldn’t be able to answer her question; and what a question it was. Dying in the grass with his entire squad long dead themselves, and a strange lady (vampire) asks him if he was chaste.  

 

Yet once the humour of the scenario had dissipated, he was only left with one thing, pulling into every single one of his steadily draining veins. 

 

He had fought for his safety as a child, 

 

- memories he did not want to steep on often, but kept him motivated and moving -

 

 forcefully pushed himself into the police force of, yes, a hicktown cop squad,

 

- all xenophobic attitudes pushed towards him aside -

 

,killed his own coworkers once they decided their sights were aimed towards devouring him, and fought against the one that had turned them undead in the first place, regardless of the obvious difference in strength, a rabbit going up against a war canon. 

 

He did not do all of these things, only to die shortly afterwards. The will to survive was strong, instilled deeply and historically into his still human blood. 

 

And he was a virgin. 

 

An incline of the head, the small movement forced and laborious, and a trembling,red-soaked hand rising upwards was his answer. 

 

The woman smiled. Her fangs glinted. She knelt, and pulled him against her lap as if he weighed nothing. 

 

Gloved fingers brushed delicately through his hair. His ponytail had come loose during the fray, and the idle stroking through the black tresses quietly reminded him of a time where everything was far better than it was now. 

 

“It’s such a beautiful night, isn’t it,” the girl breathed. It truly was, the moon above appearing to both be of the super and blood sort. He wasn’t sure if these two natural phenomena could occur at the same time. And around the natural nightlight glittered the expanse of stars, unmasked due to the small town’s lack of light pollution. It made him think of home. 

 

Only his laboured breathing interrupted the stillness of the early morning. The vampire’s face was now dipped down, mouth opening, and he felt something sharp against his neck. 

 

“This will only hurt for a moment.”

 

The knife-like objects ( fangs ), dug in, breaking through flesh as if it were made out of rice paper. His body jerked, eyes bulging, and oh it somehow hurt a lot more than being shot with something that left a bowling ball sized hole in his body, making him writhe as his breath was cut off, the audible sounds of liquid being drawn through two straws pounding endlessly through his ears. Fire drew through his bloodstream.

 

Mercifully the fire was soon replaced by a more pleasant sort of warmth, akin to drinking soup on a cold day. The agony of his wound had melted away, and like one receiving anaesthetic after a particularly bad accident, he quickly found himself slipping away.  

 

----

 

“Seras. I’ve known you for a decade now. Walter had known you for even longer. We are well familiar with your history before Hellsing. And you have never shown any interest in raising a fledgling.”

 

The sun was on the rise, sending flares of deep red and pink above. Seras was well aware of how her Master would react to seeing her ambling along the field back towards base, holding a man twice her size in her arms. Bundled all up in a blanket as well. 

 

It was as wonderful as she expected. How rare it was to gather an actually amusing response from the Iron Maiden, and Integra’s eyes widening and mouth opening was absolutely perfect. She even managed to drop her cigar! 

 

“There’s a first time for everything!” Seras chirped, as she rummaged through the unconscious man’s pockets for a form of identification. She didn’t have to look to know that Integra’s mouth was curling with doubt.   

 

“Seras.”

 

“He was dying, and he wanted to live. I had the ability to grant that wish - well, he’s technically alive - and he deserved it.” With a noise of triumph, she pulled out what appeared to be a wallet.”Not many humans would come across a vampire and have ‘shoot the hell out of them’ as their first instinct, after watching their co-workers get turned into ghouls.”

 

A lighter clicked behind her, followed by a sigh. It spelled out defeat, a clear message of sometimes I don’t understand what the fuck is going on in your blonde head. “He’s your responsibility, then.”

 

Seras tilted her head, grin cheeky. “I’ll be sure to housetrain him, and walk him every day.”

 

Her Master snorted ruefully in response, and Seras opted for finding the name of her new childe rather than continuing to goad the bespectacled woman. Flipping the wallet open immediately gave her a driver’s license. 

 

“Vilhelm,” Seras pronounced aloud, rolling the letters experimentally through her mouth, quite unsure if she was even pronouncing it correctly. The structure of the name sounded familiar, a language that she had known once upon a time. One of her age had plenty of time to roam across Europe, experience the cultures and people and tongue, but one of her age had also lived long enough that they all tended to melt together to the point where she often couldn’t recall what came from where. Always on the tip of her tongue. 

 

She didn’t bother looking at his last name. He no longer needed it. 

 

Instead she looked to the sun, on the cusp of the horizon. It was brilliant, hues of red and orange and pink and purple and white flung through the expansion above, warm and inviting. 

 

Unlike other vampires, unlike the one that she had just killed, Seras would not explode into fire as the giant star rose. 

 

Unlike other vampires, Seras found the sun compelling and wonderful and beautiful. Sunlight had a smell, and it invited her to bask in it, tranquilizing tiredness it placed onto her aside. 

 

Her freshly transformed fledgling continued to rest peacefully, protected by the light by both the blanket and his Master’s power, now flowing through every one of his cells. He too would not burst into flames. 

 

Seras turned to the rest of the small camp that had been set up, watching as men folded up chairs and took down tents. Her hand moved to the ex-police man’s head, tangling her fingers  through black hair. He didn’t stir, even as their ride back to the manor made its way up the grass.

 

The butler - her old friend, the Angel - cocked a brow as he stepped out of the vehicle, and Seras could only smile wider as she pulled the sleeping man back into her arms. It really must have been quite the sight, her short stature swamped by a bundle of a person who must have had a bit more of a foot over her. 

 

Integra’s expression was one that silently ordered Walter to not question things just yet, and Seras’ mouth continued to split across her face.

 

“Let’s take Vilhelm back home, shall we?”





 









Chapter Text

Memories of childhood came in fragmented pieces. 

 

The human mind had a fascinating way of dealing with trauma, locking it away, tucking it into the wrinkled recesses of your brain to help you go about your daily life without being too fucked up. Repressed memories shoved down in pandora’s box, ones that would cause as much chaos as the fabled story told. 

 

But there were still bits, here and there. Photo shots of brothers, of strict rules, of rough hands grabbing his arm hard enough to wilt and bruise. 

 

“How sad,” a voice commented. Whoever it was, the audience to his past life sounded truly remorseful, upset by what had been a fairly miserable childhood. There was the feel of slim fingers shifting through his mind, poking and prodding, turning through the images laid deep like one would flip through the pages of a worn scrapbook. The spectator drew these out for them to look with no resistance, although somewhere deeper he had the bother to be disgruntled by this intrusion. 

 

When the voice spoke again they still retained the same edge of sadness, but held a more wry tone, as one would when trying to lighten the mood at a tragic event. It was getting more distant, as he began to breach the surface back to conscious life, but he managed to catch it before coming back to Earth.

 

“Do you think experiencing trauma as a kid is supposed to be a requirement for joining Hellsing?”

 

------

 

Stone was what Vilhelm was met with when he awoke. Slowly other senses came to him - the sounds of people walking and talking above, the feel of a scratchy blanket encompassing him, a lingering hunger in the pit of his stomach, the lack of pain where the gunshot should have utterly destroyed his heart. His mouth was dry, and the darkness on the grey ceiling seemed to swirl in dark patterns. There was, also, a woman sitting beside his bed, and he swore he smelled her ( roses, blood, comfort, power ) before he saw her. 

 

If her voice wasn’t anything he had imagined, her appearance was just as less suited. Doll-like as she was, wrapped in a uniform with a far too short skirt. 

 

“Good, you’re awake!” she beamed, standing up with such force it knocked her chair right over. It was here he noticed that her left arm was a queer red, a red that moved incessently like the shadows above.“I’ve never done this before - well, I’ve bitten people but they’ve never stayed long afterwards - and I wasn’t sure how long your post-transformation rest should be.”

 

As she rambled, Vilhelm rose a hand to his chest. He was out of his uniform, placed in what seemed to be cotton pajamas, and the hole was gone. There was no movement under his flesh.

 

 As she rambled, he could see her fangs periodically flashing. 

 

“Where am I?” he managed to ask, cutting off the girl’s speech. He had gotten the gist of the situation, still could recall everything that had happened - but again, that tricky human brain. Vilhelm considered himself to be the sort of man who could roll through any sequence of oddities without harm, but the idea of vampires existing still managed to give him that good ol’ dose of shock. 

 

The woman (mistress, something in him called), did not answer at first. She looked at him, appraising him, and for whatever reason the stare unnerved him, made him want to duck his head in some form of animal submission. He was not fond of having such a reaction from a girl half his height simply staring at him. 

 

“Romanian!” she finally cried out, nearly making him jolt with her loud enthusiasm.”I knew I recognized it. How fitting.” 

 

Still grinning wildly, she bent over to pick up her chair, once more taking a seat. “You are currently in the headquarters of the Hellsing organization, a group dedicated to snuffing out bad  supernatural events. As you may remember, you were confronted with a bad supernatural event, and to keep you from permanently dying, I had to take some extreme measures.” She levelled him with another look, a pinch more serious now. “I’ve turned you into a vampire.” 

 

No one could blame Vilhelm for initially not knowing how to take this. It wasn’t that, logically, he couldn’t believe her - there was no giant chunk of flesh missing from his upper body, all of his senses had appeared to be heightened, and he had felt no heartbeat. He was all, for all intents and purposes, dead, and an experimental prod at his mouth allowed him to feel those twin pointed teeth. 

 

She was watching him for a reaction, and again a forceful thought was thrust into him, a dozen monikers at once that made no sense. 

 

( Seras, our sire, our mistress, lady of the night, lady of them all, our queen )

 

“Vampire,” he repeated. 

 

“Vampire,” Seras ( mistress ) affirmed. 

 

------

 

As one had to do when pushed into a situation, Vilhelm was forced to make any sort of shock melt away. He was greeted with the director of his newfound line of work (the master of my master) and the butler (who didn’t look as he seemed). And then he was immediately brought to the kitchen, woving through the several hallways of the manor to get there. He had once lived in a manor, when everything was alright. 

 

The new childe watched as Seras grabbed a bag of red from a medical box, placed inside the fridge. She was still talking. She talked a lot. 

 

“We’re going to let you take a couple of days to get adjusted to everything, but there’s one thing we need you to do before we go any further.”

 

The bag was placed in front of him. The crimson inside called to the young midian, ached like a man confronted with food after a long fast. There was a straw affixed to the side.

 

“It looks like the world’s most macabre juice box,” he muttered, previously saliva-less mouth suddenly flooded with an influx of need to drink. He was a bit afraid that if he parted his lips any more, he’d start drooling. 

 

“Pretty much!” Seras began the process of opening the bag for him. “Now, for most who didn’t actively choose to become undead, this is usually the hardest part at first. You’re hungry, but you still have that instinctive revulsion as you were still human mere hours ago. But we can not take your training anywhere unless you do this first.”

 

Head down, she looked up at him, coals of fire burning through lace-woven eyelashes. Again it made him freeze, and again he didn’t like it. 

 

“The one thing I told myself is if I ever did have a childe, I would make them drink blood right away. Even if I had to force it down their throat personally.” 

 

It was the most stern she had sounded, a lingering regret caught up somewhere in the seriousness of her statement. Vilhelm couldn’t help but look at her arm. Dark maroon shadows periodically rose in small rivets, like ghostly waves. 

 

“Do you understand?”

 

He hated this part. Hated having someone above him. In Cheddar he actively fought against his superiors, made himself out to be one with a rebellious attitude who only wished to take orders from himself, not the rotund, useless, weak men who had worked above him. He hated saying, ‘ Yes sir ’, and he hated having to submit to others. 

 

But this was different. As a police man it was part of the job, you do this, you do that, or you get fired and struggle to sustain yourself. Here it was pure, abstract instinct, a sharp resolution that she was the Alpha and he was merely the lowly servant who’s only task was to obey. 

 

Vilhelm hated it, but it compelled him strongly. 

 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

 

Certainly there was a sense that he was repulsed by his new diet. He had experienced many a awful thing, and had done many things folks would balk at as well, but there was something inherently wrong about drinking the fluids of another person (although he wasn’t a person anymore). 

 

But the elation washed any disgust away, as he drank. Replaced it was with strength and power, a promise of speed to outmatch any creature and the raw force of a jaw that could crush steel if he so wished. Hypnosis and shadow powers, transformation and the ability to create even more strength beneath you.

 

It was power that no human could dare dream to achieve, power than he could have never even begun to reach shooting up murderers and terrorists as a mortal. 

 

Vilhelm drank to the last drop. 

 

His mistress surveyed, features a harsh mix of pride and disconsolation. 



----

 

In the two days that Vilhelm was allowed to explore and adjust, he came to a quick conclusion that he was not fond of. 

 

His sire was an absolute disappointment. 

 

When one imagined a vampire, they usually saw the same image - powerful beyond belief, ruthless, bloodthirsty, terrifying creatures who stalked the night and terrorized the towns they resided in, picking off victims as the moon slowly waxed overhead, bathing in the perfume of fear of those who still lived.

 

Seras was like a puppy. 

 

She was always inexplicably happy. Always smiling, friendly towards the general staff and the soldiers, chatting away as if she were a social butterfly of the age she looked (he wasn’t sure of her actual age just yet). 

 

She hummed under her breath, sometimes belting out right into slightly off key song, and had an affinity for flowers, something he had discovered after stumbling across her in the hallway, parading about with a large pile of dandelions. 

 

“The gardener was just going to destroy them,” she had said merrily, as if that explained anything. 

 

Disappointing. 

 

Even more so because as he explored, he could hear the rumours. 

 

Everyone with high positions in Hellsing appeared to have their own nicknames. Iron Maiden for the head, Angel of Death for the elderly butler. 

 

The No-Life Queen. Hellsing’s Red Angel. The Bloody Siren. 

 

None of these fit the bubbly mass of sun that was his mistress. Vilhelm’s instincts may have called to it, but she certainly didn’t act like a queen. Or even held the air of a regal. Sir Integra exuded that sort of air, and from the get go Walter gave off the distinct vibe that he was far more than he looked. 

 

Seras, with her bright disposition and cheerful manner she talked to him in, was an utter let down, a black sheep of the main trio that made the heads of Hellsing.

 

He himself felt a melting pot of abilities he never could have imagined. Even within that short amount of time they allowed him to wander and adjust, Vilhelm was quickly discovering the many wonderful quirks that came with his new undead life - he could hear everything, conversations from several rooms over, bugs in the walls. Sight allowed him to see with better vision than even the most gifted human, and in the text he took to reading, he discovered it would give him the affinity of a telescope. 

 

But to his chagrin, he could not use that power as of yet. None of them really; as enthusiastic as Vilhelm was growing, he surmised that like a wolf pup must learn to live in the wild from their mother, he needed the guidance of his sire. 

 

Seras had smiled, told him to slow down and to relax for now, and that he had the rest of eternity to learn. 

 

Disappointing. 

 

It was the second day he resolutely decided he would best his sire, surpass her, and quickly asked for his bed to be replaced by a coffin. 

 

“You’re taking this quite easily,” Walter hummed, as he carried the spectacularly crafted casket through the doorway. The elder man held himself with a quiet dignity and refinement and in his presence Vilhelm was immediately sure that he was carrying about the ‘friendly old bloke’ act as easily as he could lift that coffin. A mask, and he wondered if his Mistress could see it as well (probably not, as dim as she was). 

 

Vilhelm’s old uniform had been replaced with the official Hellsing garb, complete with the patch where his heart once beat, where it bore their creed, ‘ We’re on a mission from God’ . He smoothed out wrinkles as he answered steadily, “I am used to being thrown into unexpected situations, so I have learned to adjust.” 

 

“You were perfectly alright with leaving your old life behind?”

 

Where did this impromptu investigation come from, and why was it the butler who was conducting it? Brushing his own inquiries off, Vilhelm graced his company with a rare smile. The movement of muscles allowed him to feel the outward press of thick fangs, sharp enough to pierce bone to dust without the slightest bit of effort. The points knicked briefly at the skin inside of his lip, only for the area to heal not a second later.

 

The feel was a good one. It gave promise to power, strength, death and command. 

 

“ I was only just turned, but I suppose you can say I never truly had a life before I became undead.”

 

Quite suddenly, he was dying to go on his first mission.

 

---

 

Something that Vilhelm learned rapidly was even with his eagerness to jump right into the role of a nightwaker, human habits still stuck with you when you were only just bitten. Your heart could still feel like it was racing, you still experienced adrenaline, and you continued to pant when you were running away from something especially dangerous. 

 

His first outing into the night had gone smoothly, if not a bit dully. Seras had all the fun of breaking into the house, he merely shot a running target. 

 

His second outing showed promise, much more promise when the bible quotes-spewing Irishman turned up. But again. Reckless. Arrogant. 

 

For a moment, he had imagined longingly that this was a chance for redemption, another priest that he could decimate. Instead, Vilhelm found himself staggering down the darkened hallway of the building the mission took place in, holy weapons lodged into his back and Seras’ neatly severed head tucked into one arm. Their master-relationship servant had compelled him to pick it up, but the dracula was still seething in the failure of his mistress. Up against a actually strong enemy for the first time since he was turned, and she had been killed so damn quickly. 

 

Pathetic. 

 

But for as pathetic as she was, Vilhelm had the grace to be aware that he was no better here. He had used up nearly every last bullet he had on him, fought with the same reverence that night in Cheddar, and had received these blades that burned like fire into his spine. He was still young, just an infant among vampires, with no true hold over his powers just yet. If she could be erased so easily, so could he - something that was far too close to happening before his boss arrived. 

 

Stunned as he was that this human woman was holding her ground against a man with the ability to regenerate, Vilhelm pulled himself back into action as he aimed his gun towards Anderson’s back, ignoring the insistent voice mocking (you only have the courage to aim again now that he’s not facing you), snarling wildly like a cornered dog. Anderson merely laughed in return.

 

Their noisy intimidation tactics were stopped as Sir Hellsing spoke. Calm. Confident. Amused.  

 

“Staked her heart? Cut off her head? That’s all?”

 

A scuttling in the background, and Vilhelm involuntarily  shrunk back like a whipped dog. 

 

“I’m afraid she isn’t like any other vampire you’ve known.”

 

A torrential wind burst into the hallway, nearly drowning out the sudden chorus of screeching bats.

 

“Seras has been broken and beaten and experimented on in our organization for over a century now. It’s going to take far more than a simple decapitation to render her useless.”

 

The winged creatures were in a frenzy, flocking together in an erratic group. Vilhelm watched in simple astonishment as a human form was created from the ground up. 

 

Veins, muscle, tissue, rapidly melding together as his mistress came back to life. Energy poured out of her in such astonishing waves it crippled Vilhelm’s thoughts and nearly forced him to his knees. Dandelion hair flowed out like watercolour splashed across a canvas, red eyes glowing so brightly it was blinding, every tooth behind pink lips sharpened to a point. An utter demand for respect and obedience, a reminder that the angel-like figure being reborn was the highest in rank of the undead. 

 

Beautiful. 

 

Breathtaking.

 

Our Queen.  

 

My Queen. 

 

The sudden fascination did not cease even after the priest had fled in a flurry of weathered paper. He lingered after her, and for the first time Vilhelm found something other than a need to obey her orders shifting in his system; a desire for acceptance, for approval, for her to look onto him with pride.

 

As stubborn and prone to talking back to authority as he was, Vilhelm could respect those who proved that they could deserve it. And Seras certainly still didn’t look like she did, but she felt like she did. 

 

“And how did the police man do?” Integra was asking, producing a cigar. She didn’t look bothered that her men were dead around her. 

 

Vilhelm raised his head as he was mentioned. 

 

“He fights recklessly,” Seras mused, drifting a glance his way. Her voice wasn’t cold or demeaning, but it wasn’t the approval he now craved either. “Doesn’t take the time to process who he’s up against. Honestly, we’re kinda lucky he didn’t end up with his head on the floor too.”

 

“I trust you to reign him in then.”

 

He didn’t want to be reigned in. Vilhelm frowned. “I deserve more credit than that. I fought back to the best of my abilities.”

 

“You only ran when you finally realized he was out of your league, and that should’ve been sooner. Like I said, you’re pretty lucky you didn’t end up rolling around lifelessly around with me,” came the smooth counter. “Many vampires fight frantically like that, and they end up dead the second they come across anyone more experienced..”

 

There was no room for any more argument, as the two women left, compelling him to follow, feathers thoroughly ruffled. 

 

------

 

“Teach me to do that.”

 

Seras looked up from her book - some sappy schlock  - to regard her childe. “Teach you what?” 

 

“How to rebuild yourself after being completely destroyed. Everything.”

 

“I’m afraid you will never be able to do it that easily,” the draculina responded, easing back into her chair. Velhilm had found her in the library, the day after the incident in Ireland. 

 

“And why is that?” 

 

“You have my blood, but you do not have the experience Hellsing has given me. When you release all of your powers you’ll be incredibly strong, but the right hit at the right spot in the brain or your heart will kill you immediately.” 

 

A disconcerting notion. “I may not have been a vampire for long, but I doubt a human could so easily kill me.”

 

His Mistress chuckled, the sound infuriating. “You really shouldn’t underestimate mortals.”

 

“Why don’t you use yours more often?” Vilhelm pressed, switching the subject as he stood by her. “I’ve never felt anything like that with any of the other vampires I’ve come across, and everything in me tells me I never will.” 

 

He knelt before her, imploring. “You have such promise, such potential for destruction and command over others, and yet you never use it. You let yourself be tied down like a dog.” 

 

Seras’ fingers curled in their gloves. She had explained that they were important for keeping her powers in check, as well as her loyalty to Hellsing, the dark ruins stark on the white material. 

 

“You could burn this entire place to the ground, kill off everyone and be free--”

 

As was the case the night he was turned, the attack happened as fast as he could blink. A force had struck him, slamming his lanky body into a bookshelf. It rattled, threatened to topple, and several books struck his head and shoulders as they came lurching down. His vision was blinded by scores of red eyes and undulating shadows. Her arm had come undone.

 

The human in him, his ingrained personality, was amused that he managed to spark such a nerve that Seras would strike him. 

 

The fledgling vampire was positively terrified he had angered his Master. Against his own will Vilhelm found himself tilting his neck a bit, baring his neck.

 

“I’m not as stupid as you think,” Seras uttered, voice now thickened and gutteral. He still had to rest his chin against his chest to look her in the eye, but there was a hellfire in that gaze that both enthralled and frightened him. “It was obvious from the second I drank your blood that you were going to be the sort of fledgling who’d be a prat when they gained their first taste of power. You were the kind of bloke who’d imagine vividly how he’d wrong things with an iron fist once - if - you became police chief.”

 

Vilhelm stiffened, despite being well aware by this point of how his blood transferred memories to the girl. 

 

“It’s a common mistake people who actively yearn to become vampires make. They just want the cool powers, they want to make an army of the undead, they want to feel that strength. They go overboard, and you know what happens to those vampires?” A grin split over her mouth, impossibly wide. He could hear jawbones creaking with the effort. “They get a stake in the heart by a human, or get a silver bullet from me.”

 

She let him go. The stab of the shelves behind Vilhelm left deep bruises, rapidly healing. 

 

“You think that you’re a proper nosferatu because you drink blood and can crush a human in a single blow. Those are merely elements of being one of the undead. It doesn’t make you one. And once you cross the line of wanting to wipe everything around you, merely to show off, you become a monster.”

 

The statement managed to catch him off guard. Vilhelm couldn’t look away as she monologued, his brows furrowing. “But we are monsters. We’re vampires.”

 

In the quiet of the library, Seras didn’t initially respond. She went to retrieve her book, which had gone flying when she did, and smiled. It was genuine, melancholy, very much unlike the one that ripped her face apart. A tendril picked up the fallen item, and she answered presently, “In the literal sense, yes. We feed on human blood, we can transform into wolves and bats, hell - children dress up like us for Halloween. We’re a fixture in monster movies.”

 

Plopping back down in her seat, Seras regarded him, undoubtedly sensing the confusion rolling through Vilhelm. Confused at the several different faces he had seen in his Mistress over the last couple of weeks since he had joined Hellsing - the sweet, overly cheerful face of a girl who looked far more dull than she appeared, the descent of the Queen of vampires who could end life without having to touch her foe, who dared those around to challenge her, and this kind, understanding, patient woman, speech fraying with a soft sorrow. Not for the first time he wondered just how old she was, what she had experienced throughout her endless lifetime.

 

“But we don’t have to be in the psychological sense.” 

 

-----

 

It was a few days later, when he popped the question. There had been no more missions, and Vilhelm had spent the time training on the outside shooting range, still managing to fight a faint delight in just how easily he could use that third eye of his. 

 

He found her in the library again. 

 

“If you knew instantly that I was the sort who craved power, the most dangerous human to turn into a vampire, why did you keep me around?”

 

Initially he expected her answer to be of the simpering sort. Some nonsense about how she didn’t want to kill an innocent. 

 

What he didn’t expect was, “As you may remember me telling you, I gained all of your memories that night. It told me you were rash and prone to going to the extreme when in certain situations, but it also told me you aren’t all that bad.”

 

Again, that smile. 

 

Vilhelm scowled in return. “If you tell me some nonsense like ‘it told me you were actually a great guy deep down’, I will forfeit any of the begrudging respect I have gained for you.” 

 

Seras laughed, high and girlish. “Then I won’t.”

 

-----

 

The massive collection of books within the mansion were, unsurprisingly, loaded with many stuffed with information about vampires. Many more were fictional tales; Sir Hellsing boasted too many copies of Dracula to count, from newer editions to ones so old they looked like they would disintegrate if touched. 

 

With no missions, Vilhelm took to these when he was not practicing his shot, not bothering to socialize with the soldiers or his other co-workers. And as he read, he pondered.

 

Still so baffling was his Mistress, with her ability to be both genuinely kind and distinctly vicious in one breath. The vampires in these books took on both the appearances of twisted, gruesome beings with sharpened ears and skin like ancient paper, and devilishly attractive creatures who stole into people’s bedrooms and seduced them for their livelihood. Even when she exploded with power, Seras matched neither of these descriptions. 

 

He tooled over the books and his thoughts, of the things that caused him to become a dangerous candidate for a nightwalker in the first place. Of a child who was quiet, but perfectly fine, who played in the woods with his brothers before he was caught and turned over and broken. 

 

The human mind had a fascinating way of dealing with trauma, that didn’t involve repressing memories. You resolved to pull yourself up from the depths, not allowing anyone to harm you in such a manner ever again. 

 

Vilhelm refused. He fought. He maimed. He struggled to get to the top.

 

( The sort of guy who would take advantage if he became boss, to compensate for a weak past )

 

Becoming one of the supernatural would have been the ultimate trip, but he recalled the priest on the night Seras took him in. Mad with the possibilities being a vampire could bring. Snuffed out instantly by a silver bullet. 

 

The books spoke to him of vampires who met the very same deaths. Pitiful. And always at the hands of humans. Too vain for their own good. 

 

He thought of Seras warning that could be his own fate.

 

As he threaded page through page, he began to notice a pattern among the texts. Vampires who longed to be as famously regarded as Bram Stoker’s creation, who took on pseudonyms to make them seem more like the fabled King of the Vampires. A simple variation on the name, pulling it backwards. 

 

In those brief few weeks he had tumbled his way through varying emotions - elation at this new lease to be powerful, frustration at his Mistress, an utter befuddlement at how the ‘ we do not have to be depraved creatures ’ rhetoric she had thrown at him. 

 

Yet, mixing somewhere with all of that, he was pleased with this shift in his story. 

 

A new life, after one stained with so many horrid things. 

 

Vilhelm thumbed at the typewritten words. Alucard. 

 

Seras was undoubtedly going to scold him for continuing to be a show off, for trying to jump the gun before he truly learned what it meant to be a nosferatu (whatever that meant in her eyes), but when one was starting a whole new journey and leaving the past one behind for good, they deserved to make a few changes. 


Chapter Text

Those who dedicate their livelihood to studying vampires sought many questions, of the physical and the mental, and an inquiry that came up quite often was, simply, ‘Did vampires dream?’ Did they fall into an actual death for the time they rested, or, like the living, did their brain continue to function, alight with thoughts and hopes and nightmares and images of the future, present and past. 

 

She dreamt. 

 

She dreamt of a castle, of a boat, of a seaside town on the cliffs with a graveyard that hung precariously and whose graves sung of supernatural events, of leaning over a ignorantly sleeping woman, of being staked through the chest, of desolation over centuries of life despite being a Queen with too many loyal subjects to count.  

 

She dreamt of her mother hiding her in a cupboard and telling her to hush, and this was often followed by the cupboard door opening, yet it was no longer a hideaway hole to escape from the bad men, but her coffin, and instead of being introduced to a gritty scene straight out of a video nasty Seras was met with the glow of a young girl in glasses, who had interrupted her sleep with questions about vampirekind. 

 

The interruption was welcome, even though before the girl could flood her with inquiries about nightwalkers she paused and asked, “Were you...crying in your sleep?”

 

Blood was crusting on her cheeks, already peeling away like dried flakes of paint. 

 

“Did you have a nightmare?”

 

“I’m afraid so.”

 

The skin between the brows of her newest master wrinkled. She leaned back, kneeling beside Seras’ coffin. “I did not know vampires dreamt.” 

 

“We do,” Seras sighed, sitting up. “Please don’t ask how, because I have no idea.”

 

Curiosity alit the youthful face of the green Hellsing head. She had forgone looking into her Father’s notes about vampires, and had instead made a habit of coming to Seras; wanting to know from the source, how the woman she ruled over and her species worked. “What do you dream of?”

 

What a blunt little thing, already learning to not beat around the bush. So much like her great-grandfather, so earnest with the desire for knowledge. She was going to make an excellent heiress.

 

Seras pushed herself up further, settling an elbow against the side of her casket. The girl beside her knelt patiently, and watched intently. She was so different from the Masters before her, who were alternately too stiff and too loose. Those eyes did not look to her in hate of a creature who stole from them or the amusement of a man who simply saw her as a toy and a weapon, but a strong yearning to learn, and a complete lack of the dark mistrust she was used to.  

 

It was a look Seras had not seen in a very, very long time, and it was doing odd things to her still heart. 

 

Blinking away the sleepiness brought on by the day, she responded presently, “Of a very lonely vampire who lived for far too long, in a cock-up of a world -- excuse my language,” she quickly added this as Integra shot her a flat look for the crude remark, “,but has now been pulled from the darkness by their new, darling Master.” 

 

Integra’s cheeks tinted a soft pink at the moniker, and she huffed irritably as Seras laughed at her embarrassed reaction. 

 

Her small Master continued to balk at the teasing, but also continued to show no terror or hatred or malice. She did not flinch when Seras patted her head, did not shy away when she grinned wide enough to show both fangs, did not recoil (at least, not in fear) when Seras would prod at her cheek with a tendril of shadow. 

 

Integra’s exasperation and rolling of the eyes were always mild, in jest, and soon they were in a restrained fondness. From the get go she treated her vampire as one who still served her, but still seemed to see her as a sentient being with their own thoughts and feelings. 

 

Seras was happy to still be a servant, a weapon, below her Master, but perhaps in this round of being awake, she would be permitted to consider the manor a home. 




-----

 

“I thought I told you to reign that new vampire of yours in.”

 

That tone was a familiar one, a cold and clipped bundle of muted exasperation. Integra had perfected it shortly after Seras had awakened, and the elder blonde had heard it far too many times to count since. It was a warning that her typically composed Master was on the edge of some strong emotion. Usually anger.

 

Seras looked up from her blood bag. She had sent Vilhelm off for the morning to train with the soldiers, promising the treat of working on his shadow manipulation for the afternoon. “I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far. Although I did shove him into one of the library bookshelves.”

 

Evidently this didn’t tide over Integra’s increasing disappointment, as curtly she responded, “You say that, but I’ve just received word from Walter that Vilhelm had acted aggressively towards our men, shortly after you dropped him off outside.”

 

Well.That wasn’t good. “Aggressive how?”

 

The Hellsing heir’s mask was beginning to crumble, as it often could when she was discussing matters privately with Seras, into a look that clearly asked those who it was directed to if they were stupid enough to ask such a question. 

 

“They went to approach him,” said Integra, eyes glacier-like behind their round frames, “And I quote from Walter, who quotes from Jonhson,” (evidently the man who got the brunt of Vilhelm’s wrath), “he ‘unhinged his jaws unnaturally, hissed like a bloody feline, and made a lunging motion’.” 

 

Well. That was really not good. Seras chewed thoughtfully on the end of her straw. “He’s already making himself out to be the type of vampire who will never join a coven. Very anti-social.”

 

Seras .” If she still used her last name, Seras supposed Integra would’ve used her full title there. “Please, take this seriously. Even though he didn’t actually harm anyone, I cannot have him intimidating our staff either.” 

 

“I am taking it seriously.” Seras stood, discarding her now empty bag in a nearby bin. “And I will deal with him. I knew he was going to be a bit rough from the get-go, but even with this incident he is starting to get better.”

 

And now Integra’s brows were drawn together in doubt. 

 

“I’ll go talk to him now. I’m guessing he was ordered back to his room?” 

 

A nod. 

 

“Alright then!” Going to bound out of the room, Seras paused once in front of Integra, smiling warmly up at her. She took the other’s hand in her own, not missing the way Integra’s features softened up. True to the steel that made up her nickname, the Iron Maiden worked to maintain her expressions in hard, stoic lines, only relenting when around those she could feel comfortable with. Seras had seen every emotion in the rainbow on that no-nonsense face, but this was certainly her favourite. It made her stomach all mushy, and made her heart feel like once more it was beating in time with the 19-year old girl she was once. 

 

“Trust me. Even though I want him to figure out some things on his own, I intend to not allow him to go so far that I’d have to kill my own childe. I’ll smash him into as many bookcases as I can to stop that from happening.” 

 

That seemed to appease Sir Hellsing. The two walked out of the kitchen together and before separating, Integra paused to say,

 

“I know I’ve already asked this once. But why did you bother turning him?” 

 

That question again, the same one Vilhelm had finally asked her himself, and one she was sure Walter was going to ask soon as well. 

 

Perhaps it was because she couldn’t let this random man bleed out on the grass.

 

Perhaps it was because she saw something in him that led her to believe he could eventually become a magnificent vampire.

 

Perhaps it was because unlike Vilhelm, Seras was indeed a social vampire and would happily lead off a coven of others to surround herself with if she weren’t in Hellsing, and wished no longer to be lonely with no others of her kind to be close to, in the way that vampires in covens were, like wolves and other social animals who longed to be in a herd or pack. 

 

Ultimately, Seras shrugged and grinned. “Who knows.” 

 

----

 

The ire coming off of Vilhelm was palpable, even through the thick, wooden door. Clearly he wasn’t too thrilled with being sent off to his room like a child on time out. He was so much in the thick of it - and because he was a bit aways from being able to sense his sire coming when she didn’t want him to know he was approaching - that when she came up from behind him and smartly cuffed over his head, he started. 

 

Vilhelm whipped about, starting to snarl in response, but quickly quieted down from a look Seras calmly gave him. As always he looked strained when she gave him an order, silent or verbal, as if he was trying his damndest to fight against the natural instincts all fledglings had. 

 

“So,” Seras started, casually taking a seat on his coffin. Vilhelm seemed adamant on going ancient medieval vampire, as aside from his coffin he only had a desk in his room. “Why weren’t you getting along with the other children?”

 

The scowl she received for the inquiry was quite impressive. “I do not wish to get friendly with anyone around here. I did not want them approaching me, and I reacted.”

 

“You’re going to have to at least tolerate their presence, you know,” Seras responded, placing the flat of her hands against the casket as she leaned back. “You haven’t done it yet, but you are going to have to go on missions with them sometime, and fight alongside them if anyone attacks our home.”

 

For how much Vilhelm seemed angered by Seras referring to him as a child, he certainly was not looking the part. He didn’t respond, instead slowly working his mouth and looking to his feet, appearing all the part of a kid who was told to play nice with the others. 

 

Seras thought of his deeper memories. He probably didn’t remember how it even was to play with children, or even remembered that he had at all. With what had been stored away due to his brain blocking it, his life really only started after he was freed. She went on. 

 

“They’re our comrades, understand? They’re essentially our co-workers, we don’t have to like them, but we can’t go about frightening them for no good reason.  ” 

 

Surprisingly, she didn’t get some expected spiel about ‘but they are mere humans, and we are the superior species!’ and instead Vilhelm bobbed his head resolutely. 

 

That was easy. 

 

“Good!” Grinning, she jumped back up, placing her hands on her hips. “And since you were kicked out of target practice early, we can start your training right now.”

 

That got his immediate attention, red eyes looking up eagerly. Again, so much like a child, excited and happy to go along. At least this part was much more fun than having to scold him. 

 

She motioned for him to stand, as he did, and then he stopped. The Dracula looked aside for a moment, contemplative, before looking back to her. 

 

“Before we begin, I have a request I’d like to ask before I continue any training. I’d like to be addressed by a new name.”

 

Not surprising. Vampires often did as such, whether it was because they wanted an entirely new life with an entirely new name, or because they had lived for so long that they had forgotten their birth one. Not even the name itself surprised her - Vilhelm was already showing skill in his powers, but keeping his thoughts to himself and putting up that handy mental wall was one he needed work with. It was because of this that his new title floated out easily to Seras, like wind catching through an open window. 

 

Seras cocked a brow, smirked, and regarded him with amusement. “Alucard? Really?” 

 

He growled in indignation, she laughed, and the two went on to continue the newly dubbed Alucard’s training (although, not without a brief comment that he was going to bear such a name, he was going to have to earn it). 

----

 

“Who was your sire?” 

 

Seras was all too happy to report that progress was being made. The newly dubbed Alucard had shied away from his habit of using books for studying and instead coming to his Mistress for information. Like a younger Integra, he surmised that it was better to get the knowledge from first hand experience. 

 

Even better, he was feeding with her! To sit down with a thrall and drink together - even if it was nasty, dead blood, that still always tasted a bit off regardless if you popped it in the microwave or not - was a great source of pride for a Sire Vampire, and it naturally filled her with much elation. She could only imagine how wonderful it would be to sit amongst a full coven of her people. 

 

She kept quiet for a moment, purposely building tension, and then said, “I didn’t have one.”

 

For the first time since biting him, she managed to elicit a reaction other than irritation, Alucard’s typically stoic expression bursting out into shock. His mouth momentarily hung open, dribbling a bit of blood. “What do you mean? How is that possible?”

 

Of course, none of the regular books in the library would hold this fact. Alucard had yet to read Van Hellsing’s original notes. And what a good thing that was, as she would have never gotten this response if he had! 

 

“It’s rare, but it’s happened,” Seras said, twirling her reddened straw between her fingers. “I was never bitten. Think of it like spontaneous combustion - it’s so unlikely to happen that any documents of it happening are still looked at with skepticism, but an actual case has slipped through the cracks of all the false reports.”

 

“So how did you turn?”

 

As happy as she was with Alucard actually treating her a bit more like his teacher, the No-Life Queen truthfully wasn’t all too fond of discussing her past in detail. She sometimes preferred to think that her undead life began when Integra’s spilt blood splashed over her mummified face. 

 

As such she remained quiet for another moment, this time simply mulling, and her answer was a very simple, “I drank blood. As a human. There are plenty of humans who have done the same thing, but to just spontaneously become a vampire...I guess you can say it requires the exact right conditions. The right situation, the right time, the right state of mind in the person...it’s difficult to explain.” 

 

“What were your conditions?” Now Alucard was actually starting to lean in, a member of the audience anticipating the grand finale to a captivating story. 

 

Seras looked to him wryly. “If you’re going to ask for my entire history at once, we’re going to be here for a week. There’s a lot to go over in five-plus centuries.”

 

Alucard frowned, but blessedly took the hint that she no longer wished to discuss this. He was getting a bit better at having some tact. Some. 

 

He did eventually speak up with another question, after he had drained his bag. “You’re over five hundred years old?” 

 

This tidbit was met with less surprise, and a bit more thoughtfulness. She didn’t have to read his mind to know her childe was beginning to ponder more on the basic immortality vampires held. 

 

“Yup. Five-hundred and sixty-eight, I think? It’s much harder to tell when most of your life you didn’t have handy, modern calendars.”

 

Alucard continued to work over this, gazing down at the table as he thought. When he spoke again, it was simply asked, “Does the spontaneous vampirism effect still only work if you’re a virgin?”

 

“...I’m not sure. I mean,” Seras cleared her throat, a little embarrassed and confused by the change in subject, “I mean, I was when I turned. Why?” 

 

More silence, more thoughtful looks. And then Alucard’s lips split into a cheeky grin, an actual look of glee that wasn’t brought on by violence towards others.

 

“I don’t know your full history yet, but that could make you one of the world’s oldest virgins.”

 

For the first time Seras was caught off guard by one of his statements, choking on her food as she sucked in a breath, and for the first time it was Alucard laughing, a deep, gravel-like rumble, as she admonished him in mortification. 

 

---



From there on, everything had gone comparatively smoothly (regardless of Alucard’s habit of sometimes slipping in his lesson to not scare the living piss out of the staff and an odd , suddenly tumultuous relationship with Walter). Alucard was still a devil of a creature, but with some tough love, Seras was sure she could wrangle him in. Compared to when the man was first brought home, things were looking up. They spent their time, free of any devious vampires or other creatures trying to do evil, training. Alucard continued to delve further into the realm of third eyes, how to deal properly with certain monsters, and attempting to learn proper hypnotism. 

 

Although sometimes overzealous and too quick to jump the gun, things that halted his learning process here and there, he was at least an enthusiastic student. 

 

And so, for the time being, Hellsing retained one of those rare instances where everything was quite peaceful, Alucard’s brief lapses of judgement aside. 

 

...

 

Then the manor was attacked. 

 

----

 

In the background, Alucard was - for once - praising Walter, all too delighted in his new weapon. Custom made by the butler himself, it was of such impressive caliber that her childe was practically gushing, looking over the semiautomatic with the gusto of a boy opening their first bb gun on Christmas morning. 

 

In the foreground, Seras tensed. Her shadows licked across the acres that made up the Hellsing mansion, and they caught the scores of bullets destroying the guards at the gate. 

 

On the day when Integra was upstairs, tersely negotiating their funds with the convention. What appropriate timing.  

 

She really hated to interrupt Alucard’s joyful ranting - she herself was rather happy with the shiny, overly massive anti-tank weapon she received - but more important manners were at hand. Walter had already ceased paying attention to Alucard and was watching her, knowing the Draculina all too well. 

 

“I’m afraid we’re going to have to cut this short,” said Seras, waving a hand to Alucard as to get him to shut his trap. “We have visitors. Alucard, follow me.”

 

Immediately gathering the jist of what she meant, Alucard quieted, clutching at this gun as he practically shook with fevered excitement; already thrilled at the prospect of fighting on the homefront. Walter was quickly making way to the phone across the room, reaching it just as the two vampires were spirited away in a gust of shadows. 

 

As they traveled through the blackened corners of the manor, Seras spoke, ‘This will be an especially different experience from any other mission you’ve had before. Where we could act as insane as we needed out in other towns and in Ireland, here we have to be more careful. This is our home, and we must protect it as well as the people inside, to the best of our abilities. So, we must get to the intruders before they make it too far.

 

A rift of snark rose vividly in Alucard’s mind, read to make some sort of remark, but he managed to push it down at the last moment. His silhouette of inky black followed her resolutely through the hallways.

 

There were two vampires, Seras shooting off another mental email to Alucard to take care of the weaker one as soon as she was certain of their numbers, followed by a quick series of orders: ‘Keep him near the front of the mansion. Walter will help you with the ghouls’. Two vampires, and a shitload of ghouls at that. Walter would be along shortly, and they would need his skill of the wire to take out the scores of gun-carrying zombies.

 

The duo - who quickly Seras found smelled strangely off - evidently weren’t expecting such a warm welcome, as the journey between Mistress and fledgeling ended just as ghouls began to pour through the front door, armed and headed by two males. As Seras dove into the swarm, arm uncurling, she heard one of the vampires call out in elated surprise, “What the--- fuck !”

 

In many parts of her life, Seras was, admittedly, a very uncoordinated and messy being. She could be clumsy, a trait very unbefitting of the No-Life Queen, spontaneous and not bothering to think before she spoke or acted. She was very carefree, apt to laughing gaily while fighting, and this was a constant source of headache for the iron attitude Integra held.

 

Those who wished to spill blood in her home brought on a severe personality shift; and as such, the taller brother of who she would soon know to be the Valentine brothers was ushered out back through the doors in a burst of red waves, into the black night, and entrance was swiftly shut behind them. She would have to trust Alucard to be guided by Walter. 

 

Luke Valentine, meanwhile, had righted himself quickly, the shock of being so rudely pushed back out absolving as he saw who had done it. The desolate moans and groans of ghouls began to pour after Seras, intermingled with a fellow who needed a good rinsing of the mouth with soap, but the indecisively fake vampire in front of her merely smiled in a smooth manner, easing his hands into his pockets. He even tilted his upper body forward in a mock bow. 

 

And he began to monologue. 

 

“How kind of you to meet me right at the door. It’s an honour; I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long--”

 

Seras eased. She fought the urge to roll her eyes. This was always the worst part. 

 

Vampires had a sense of odd etiquette -vampetiquette, if you would - when fighting their own kind. Seras did her best to abide by it, but this was always so dreadful. When they prattled on endlessly about the deeds they wished to do, their evil schemes and wishes to maim and murder.

 

It was especially tedious when you were a vampire of high caliber, and they would just not shut up with the compliments ground out through thinly veiled sneers. 

 

“-to be able to take battle with the No-Life Queen, I, Luke Valentine--”

 

They prattled.

 

“--I was built to destroy--”

 

And prattled. 

 

“--the most perfect vampire--”

 

And prattled . She hoped that the boy Alucard was dealing with didn’t talk this much with his foul mouthed words, as she doubted he had the patience to simply sit through it either. Ever since the original Hellsing, she had quickly found herself having very little restraint when it came to long speeches. 

 

The false vampire stopped in the middle of his own, and frowned. “Are you even listening to me?”

 

“No,” Seras admitted readily, and all too cheerfully, as she lunged towards him.

 

----

 

On the lawn of the Hellsing building, things were done within expert time. This ‘ perfect creation of a vampire, meant to be the one who could take down the No Life Queen !’ (a sentiment Seras, in her utter dedication to not listening, missed) did boast impressive speed, but had no familiars, no shadow abilities, and didn’t even have the basic vampiric power of self healing. He died screaming the stuttered cliche of, “ M-m-m-monster !” as he dragged himself across the lawn sans a leg, so typical that Seras would’ve found it funny if she hadn’t found it so sad, as he was devoured in the jaws of a pair of behemoth felines. 

 

(Pitiful, really. He was the perfect example of her teachings to Alucard.)

 

Inside the manor, things weren’t as cautiously serene. 

 

Evidently their forces weren’t enough to keep the horde of ghouls and their beanie-clad leader from pushing in further, as they shoved their way through the foyer in waves of bullets and outward stretching hands. The first thing Seras noted as she materialized back inside was the smell - ghouls, predictably, smelled horrible . Rank. The soil of earth and dark and spilt blood called to her senses, but death and long gone rotting flesh could be enough to even make a vampire turn their nose away. 

 

Then she noticed that some of the spilt blood was fresh. This would have not been a shock, as as much as she wanted there to not be there were always going to be casualties. 

 

But a maddened Alucard, writhing wildly, straining harshly against the wires of Walter’s well used weapon, immediately told her that the deaths on their own side were not only caused by the invaders. The thin strips of razor cut deep into his uniform, firmly holding him back the childe as his hands, pinned to his sides, flexed harshly with the intent to take more life. Blood flew from his claws, as red as his eyes, completely swallowed up in insane crimson, mouth just the same as it was wrenched inhumanly wide, a sneer of an inpatient from her time scarred across his mug. 

 

Amongst the zombified remains were a handful of men with their own uniform, throats torn like a knife across a balloon. The sight managed to make her tear her gaze away from the stark raving vampire, and it was there she continued to look for quite a few seconds. 

 

The few soldiers that had hung around started at her appearance, trigger fingers all too close to firing. Walter gave an immediate command, almost as soon as she popped into existence,

 

“Calm him now, or I won’t hesitate to cut him down myself.”

 

He had never reacted in such a way before. The usual delight of violence when shooting down ghouls, yes, but he had never entered such bloodlust that he was driven to this point. 

 

“Seras.”

 

Admittedly it had been foolish to leave him to his own devices. Still so young, and even with his training, that power-hungry human he once was was still in there. 

 

“Seras!” 

 

She stepped forward. “Alucard. You can stop now.”

 

The man paused, then kept on trashing, battling between the desire to take out the rest of the soldiers and the need to heed to his mistress’ call. 

 

“Alucard.”

 

She reached to him, wires cutting through her own flesh. They dug through her skin in criss-cross patterns as her arms wrapped around his middle from behind. “It’s over. You can stop.”

 

Alucard stilled. She did not see the blood drain from his sclera, washed away like stains on brick. She did not see him look around with the view of a man awakening from a dream, confused and uncertain, before his eyelids lowered and his mouth set into a grim line at the realization of what had just occurred. 

 

Slowly the wires unfurled from his uniform, the soldiers keeping their guns fixed upwards. The tell tale ashes of a dead vampire continued to silently lay in a heap in the corner, an omen amongst the slaughtered undead and mortals. 

 

With a sigh Seras pressed her forehead into Alucard’s back, as he slowly lowered his arms. 

 

This was going to be an absolute nightmare to explain.






Chapter Text

“How serious of a master I have.”

 

Seras was not the first vampire to come under the possession of a human, and she would not be the last. In the centuries she had worked under Hellsing she had only now a few Masters, and would have many more to come in her endless life. 

 

Abraham was one she did not enjoy looking back to. Her less painful memories of him were of a Dutch man who enjoyed going about loudly in broken English and who especially enjoyed going on such long tangents that eventually Seras began to tune them out when he started, and who had once asked her, years later and once his voice was less cold, why she had done everything she had done. 

 

(She did not have an answer for him).  

 

Then there was Arthur, who...well. Seras truly didn’t want to badmouth him, not so soon after his untimely death. But he was often too much, to the point where she took on a male form during most of her time working underneath him, just to spite the infuriatingly lecherous bloke. 

 

(Thankfully Arthur wasn’t a awful man, as he merely had whined and grumbled and kept to his human women)

 

And now there was Integra, who was looking awfully miffed at Seras’ observation. The girl frowned and looked up from her papers. “And what do you mean by that?” 

 

It was alternately a humorous and depressing sight.  A child sitting at a desk that was far too big for them, their feet not able to reach the floor. It was the picture of a tyke pretending to be grown up at their parent’s workspace, shuffling through files with words and situations that they could not understand, soaring off with imaginative scenarios on how glamorous adult life was going to be. 

 

Surrounded by stacks of documents that needed looking over and signing, Integra appeared even smaller than she was. There were plenty of children in the world, now and especially when Seras was young, who were forced to thrust themselves into adulthood far too early, and Lady Hellsing was taking to the role quite nicely. She had already bullied the fidgety and sweaty Penwood into making sure they were going to be appropriately supplied, and with some help from Walter (the angel of death had experienced quite a bit of aging himself) her capabilities at handling the desk work were well above and beyond what any 12-year old could accomplish. 

 

This just made it all the more sad. 

 

Standing dutifully over her new Master’s shoulder, Seras peered down at her work as an animal would; really, the ‘child sitting at a desk’ thought much more fit her. She didn’t have the patience to sit and mull for hours over such serious matters, and she was all the more thankful that Walter was still alive and kicking. “You haven’t done anything but slave over these, study, and fencing lessons since I was de-mummified. I mean you did have that really funny interaction with that Penwood guy, but aside from that you’ve just had the most grave expression. You’ve been all work and no play, and I can’t imagine that will do you any good.”

 

Now Integra was starting to scowl. “I have to re-work my Father’s organization from the ground up, secure the funds that were frozen during the time you were in the basement. And I have to study every last thing I can learn about vampires, while making sure I’m physically fit if I ever need to defend myself. I don’t have time for ‘play’”.

 

Undeterred by the younger’s stiff, to-the-point speech, Seras leaned over, placing her hands on her hips. “The life of the boss of a vampire hunting company is as busy as it gets, but you’ll find the time to relax. Your Father certainly did.” 

 

At this Integra peered out of her peripheral, the slightest bit curious. Not wanting to stain her old guardian’s memory with the knowledge of his old adoration with entertaining pretty ladies, the midian went on, “As much as you’ve already shown me how strong you’re are, keeping to all of this,” she gestured to the piles of paper, “is going to wear you down. And look at you! You’re the most serious little preteen I’ve ever seen. Going to have wrinkles by the time you’re in year 9...except for these, of course.”

 

A gloved finger prodded at the side of Integra’s mouth, where laugh lines settled.The sudden touch actually made the girl start. 

 

“Seras!” Integra actually growled, swatting her hand away. Her cheeks had turned pink, and she had turned in her too big a seat with so much voracity she nearly fell off.  Naturally a tendril of solid shadow immediately pushed her back before she could go overboard. “Will you stop that!” 

 

Seras beamed, all teeth and fangs and a stupid amount of sunshine. “You’ll have to specifically order me to, Master.”

 

Instead of doing just that, Integra huffed and puffed irritably, shooing Seras to her previous position with a wave of her hand. Her theatrics only made Seras giggle, which only made Integra’s smolder of a glare worsen. 

 

From the second she was born and given  her name, Integra was not meant to be a normal child. Even if Arthur’s wretched brother had not had his way, she wouldn’t have ever been reared entirely normal. 

 

Integra was not a girl who was meant to play outside in the sun, watch cartoons and socialize with her fellow children. She would never know what the teenagehood full of sneaking out to meet boys and going to the movies with friends was like. 

 

Instead, she was meant to be molded and kneaded into the perfect commander, a child soldier, a child general, and before she would ever hit the tender age of 13 she would be forced into the role only held by those much older than she. Her life would be nothing but planning and strategy and meetings and fighting and monsters, with the horrid bonus of having scores of lives of both the supernatural and mortal on her thin shoulders. 

 

The same tendril that held Integra out began to creep forwards again. It plucked her round glasses right from her nose, placing them atop her head and throwing another series of scolding the Draculina’s way. 

 

 Seras was well aware that she was now partially responsible for sculpting Integra into what she needed to be. 

 

But it didn’t mean she couldn’t have at least a bit of fun. 

 

----

 

It took a lot to surprise Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing. And Seras walking back to camp with a large man in her arms was one way to achieve it. 

 

A human-bound creature like her was far too quick to jump into making sudden, rash decisions, when they were able to find a loophole that wasn’t disallowed by their master. Seras had asked for many a things since she was re-awakened - a record player, an instant camera, a VCR with a list of tapes she wanted, and most of these were allowed as the Convention were well aware of how a bored vampire made for a dangerous vampire, and wanted to keep her occupied during slow periods. These things were put into her room with a collection of other objects she had collected with her previous Masters, and soon the dungeon Seras occupied was a vintage hoarders dream. Even her throne was covered in a large amalgamation of books, with nowhere to sit.  

 

It didn’t take a person to be well versed in psychology to know she was collecting things to fill up something she did not have. 

 

That thing appeared to be company of her own kind; and from the get go, Integra hadn’t been sure whether to be happy that Seras was happy, or  delve into black uncertainty that another vampire being reared in Hellsing was going to work out or not. 

 

It was usually the latter. 

 

Vilhelm (who Seras would soon say wished to be named Alucard, of all things) was not someone she felt compelled to be warm to. After the initial shock wore off she watched impassively as Seras fussed over his unconscious form, and continued to watch with little expression through the weeks as her servant paraded around with her new childe, either not noticing his chagrin towards her or completely ignoring it. 

 

If it were the former, it was not like Seras would mind. She was an oddball case of an elder vampiress who wasn’t dignified and morose, but rather filled with such a bright spirit that Integra still could barely fathom that the demon who caused such sorrow and destruction over a century ago was this bouncy woman who so rarely ever frowned. But, there was always a bit of a sense of melancholy within her servant vampire, as if everything on the surface was putting on a show. 

 

And now, with Vil--Alucard by her side, Seras was positively radiant, to the point where Integra soon figured that if a regular vampire was in her radius they would immediately burst into a sea of flames. The few times in the weeks since the police man was initiated into Hellsing in which the two women had a moment alone, Seras’ bubbly rambling had been filled to the brim with nothing but comments over her childe, and his progress, and she was filled with such visible pride Integra could not help but irrationally feel a bit guilty over doubting her abilities as a Sire. 

 

This guilt was instantly snuffed out as Sir Hellsing looked over the scope of the invasion to her home, silent and grim. The dead from their own crew had been quickly and efficiently placed away, to be ready for a future funeral, and the ghouls were absorbed into Seras’ neverending number of inner souls long before Integra finally made her way down to the foyer. The blood, also, had been sucked into her vampires by that strange gravitational pull every nightwalker held. If it weren’t for the bullet holes and other cosmetic destruction, you wouldn’t have an idea that a fierce battle just occured.

 

‘Millennium’ was the only clue the dying Jan Valentine supplied, and was the word Walter repeated to her. It was a word she read in the history files of Hellsing during her Father’s time, a word that came with so many horrible connotations that just for a moment, she didn’t give much bother to listening to Seras’ report on Alucard’s brief outbreak of bloodlust.

 

“Four of our casualties were caused by Alucard, before Walter contained him,” Seras was intoning solemnly. She stood by Integra’s side, back straight and features expressionless, her thrall leaning up against a nearby wall. His own mask of nothingness mirrored that of his Mistress. 

 

This was the first time their headquarters had been attacked under her rule. It was a blessing that she, Seras and Walter had discussed the possibilities ages ago, as Seras’ declaration of, ‘I would rather none of the staff die, if I can help it ,’ aided in stopping the event from being a full on massacre. 

 

But those four soldiers. Dead on her own property, by the hands of their comrade.

 

“It was my fault for leaving him alone. His previous missions had been nothing but ghouls and other vampires, this was the first time he experienced a fight where fresh human blood was spilt.”

 

Integra closed her eyes, momentarily. She could not press to mourn over the fallen, not at the moment. Alucard’s actions and the potential rise of a staggering new force were too important. 

 

“As a young fledgeling, he was unable to control himself.”

 

Stiff upper lip, and all that. 

 

“I’ll keep him restrained for a while, and make sure he’s efficiently trained to not react like this.”

 

So odd it was to hear Seras speak so formally and robotically. Integra slowly delivered a terse breath, before opening her eyes again and saying, “This is going to be hell to explain to the Convention. They’re already hesitant on accepting another vampire into Hellsing, so Alucard is already on thin ice. Any more transgressions, and it will not matter what you or I say or do. He will be taken out.”

 

Just as strange was it was to have Seras shrouded in an air of resolution, Alucard too was uncharacteristically silent, with nary a word of insolence. 

 

Seras bowed deeply, gaze glancing to her Childe acutely. “I understand, Master.”



------

 

The Iron Lady did not like to think of herself as a sentimental person, but whisps and bits of nostalgic vapour would often pour through the cracks, more so than she would have liked. 

 

She doted on her childhood with a strange fondness. Of course there was the horrid bundle of days where her father died in the most horrible manner, and she was forced to crawl through air ducts in attempt to escape from her amoral uncle, and it really seemed like nothing would be alright ever again. Then Seras awoke. 

 

Aside from the late Arthur Hellsing, Walter had been the most prominent figure in her life. The one she looked to for guidance and wisdom, emotional support, her best confidant in the world; then came along Seras, who burst recklessly into her life with no shame, and somehow had propelled herself into the slot that Walter had previously occupied. 

 

Her childhood, post-Richard’s betrayal, was filled with an abundance of training, etiquette and fencing and strategic lessons, and scores of schoolwork taught by only the finest of personal home teachers. And Seras.

 

The midian was to be her bodyguard, her shadow who trailed wherever she led; and Seras hadn’t been a quiet shadow, never. She awoke her alongside Walter, who would always be carrying a tray of morning tea, galavanting into the room with a musical note of a good morning. She would greet her young Master enthusiastically before proceeding to yawn theatrically, at which Walter would gently push her out of the room and tell her to go to bed already. 

 

There were barely any memories of the later half of her life where the Midian wasn’t involved. Seras regaling her of stories of life from centuries ago, Seras fussing over her mane of hair as she planted dozens of tiny dandelions into the strands, Seras momentarily breaking her cheerful persona to gleefully declare that if any boys at the party Integra was attending did anything that made her uncomfortable, she would flay them of their skin (alive, no less!). 

 

It made it very difficult to be distant. To not feel any adoration, to not have her heart skip a beat like a bloody schoolgirl every single damn Seras so much as smiled (which she did a lot) or laughed (which she also did a lot). She was a Hellsing, one of the few clans of humans who were able to rear in vampires and have them under their complete control, leader of the organization meant to wipe out such threats with their weapon of a creature. 

 

But Seras made it so damn difficult. And goddamn that woman, she was continually making Integra so fucking soft

 

Even now, a handful of days later, she was torn between a frustration and a wanting to understand Seras’ position, as her pen scratched incessantly over scores of paperwork. Every death in their system required a page, and somehow the ballpoint felt heavier than before, scrawling over each looseleaf with more resistance than normal. 

 

She forced Millenium to the back of her mind, for the time being. Walter was pouring every resource he owned on finding information, so she bore the horrible task of planning out funerals and contacting family. For just a fleeting moment, whatever black thing was coming over the horizon could wait. 

 

With a whistle of breath Integra paused, rubbing at one tired eye. “Seras.”

 

There was no sound, no indication the girl had popped up from behind her, but she knew all the same. 

 

“Yeah, Master?” 

 

Already Seras had slipped back into her normal, casual tone. It soothed the headache of everything that had happened, if just a pinch. 

 

Integra resumed writing. “How is Alucard’s training coming along?”

“He’s adapted quickly.”

 

A more casual tone, but a curt response. 

 

Somewhere, Integra half-blamed herself. She was not an elder vampire, but she was an owner of one, a mortal Master in a family that would remain tied to them for centuries to come. Too lenient on allowing Seras to go about as she wished, on a looser leash. She could have ordered for the training Alucard was now going through; the constraint to resist blood from a new formed cut.

 

Could have. Should have. The scenarios of but, what, and ifs were many, and they were only just that: scenarios. Dead was dead, and all they could do was make sure Alucard was essentially molded into controlling his bloodlust, and if not, sending him off to be turned into ash. Simple as that.

 

“He no longer reacts violently?” 

 

“The first few times he jerked a bit, but after that he didn’t react at all.”In her mind’s eye Integra could see Seras worming a fang into her bottom lip, hesitant to go on. “Except for the attack, he never did anything more than flinch.”

 

Of course he didn’t. 

 

Boots clipped slowly up to her chair, the smell of something rose-like wafting quickly after. It was always easy enough to know if the midian was somewhere in the room, hiding in the shadows, if the area smelled of roses and no flower was to be seen. “I can’t apologize enough, Master. I was too concerned with making sure the most dangerous intruder was taken out, I didn’t think to make sure Alucard wouldn’t get caught up with the thrill of battle.”

 

Her voice, although firm, sounded small. 

 

Once upon a time, Arthur Hellsing had weaved the narrative that vampires were selfish creatures. They were the perfect idiom of someone who wanted something they couldn’t have, who shook their fists and wailed mercilessly like a toddler when it came to their desires, using their in-human strengths and powers to achieve obtainment, 

 

Even further back, Dr. Abraham Van Hellsing had specifically noted Seras in his case towards the childish nature she and her fellow nightwalkers often had; as it was, it was more common in ones who were entirely alone, such as her. He had described her as simplistic in countenance, with a brain like a child’s; one noted, expanding and exploring, and often quite tunnel visioned. 

 

Seras had grown since then, certainly. But bits and edges of juvenile behaviour and thought poked through, and Integra was frequently reminded that yes, a good chunk of vampires were really youngsters in centuries-old bodies. 

 

“What’s done is done,” Integra mused stiffly, flipping her work to a new page. “The most we can do now is make sure every one of our fallen are given proper farewells.” 

 

There was no verbal response, just some more shuffling, and from her peripheral she could see shadows floating over her shoulder. 

 

Again. Childish. 

 

Integra stopped again, sighed, and turned. She took in the utterly miserable look Seras had on, red doe-eyes and all, before lifting a hand to brush atop of her choppy hair. 

 

The transformation was instant. Her vampire’s lids fell, head tilting into her palm. Her throat began to produce an odd rumble, form going slack.

 

This was something she knew was wrong, that she shouldn’t do. Hellsing was meant to control the supernatural and destroy the supernatural; Seras - and any others they might collect over the years - were meant to be nothing more than a gun, a nuclear bomb resembling a human, not a pet that was to be loved and coddled. Certainly the convention would throw a fit if they knew how she was often treated behind closed doors. 

 

Twin slivers of red, squinted like a happy feline, peered down at her. Filled with so much elated emotion at being touched by their Master that it never failed to make her chest constrict painfully. 

 

(Love)

 

Perhaps, if she had been raised alongside a different vampire, a more cold vampire, it would have been much easier to delay such smothering feelings. 

 

But she wasn’t. And Seras, damn her, was never going to make it easy. 

 

--------

 

The memorials were held. A simple service, of staff members and families of the deceased, and she had donned the rare dress for the occasion. 

 

Like every event, it was done over with quickly and brushed to the side; allowing the more pressing matter at hand to come to the forefront. 

 

All in all their casualties had been considerably low. This didn’t stop Integra from ordering Walter to look for more to add to their force.

 

“Okay, so, make sure to not let them touch you at all.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“They’re not going to believe you or Master on the whole vampire thing, so you’re going to have to prove it.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And you have to do it in a way that won’t hurt them.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Try not to do it mentally as well? Like, just enough proof that they know you aren’t faking anything, but not enough that it’s going to scar them. They have to get used to us being real, and throwing them into the pool headfirst isn’t going to do us any favours.” 

 

“Yes, Mistress. I get it .”

 

With concealed amusement, she listened as Seras schooled Alucard on how to treat their new guests, their reinforcement. He had continued to show improvement in restrain, and now was being used as their sure-fire proof that, yes, their new recruits were going to be fighting vampires and zombies. 

 

“Hey!” Seras grabbed a lock of his hair, tugging on it gently and utterly ignoring the reproachful look she got in return. “Don’t be cheeky!” 

 

The Hellsing head still didn’t find herself to be all that fond of Alucard. There was still a lingering ire from the intrusion, as well as 

 

(if she ever said this aloud, Seras would undoubtedly coin the term ‘jealous’, and she would then be all the happy to put a silver bullet in her head herself)

 

something else, spinning below the surface, something she did not want to touch on. 

 

So instead, she cleared her throat and said, “It’s about time we go greet them. Alucard, take your position.” 

 

He did so without complaint, and Seras watched him go with the energy of a parent sending their child off to school for the first time, Integra following soon after.

 

They had a bit of luck on their side. Alucard truly did look more like the a-typical vampire than his Mistress - according to her, he had looked like this even before death. The even paler skin and red eyes only added to the effect. 

 

So when the Wild Geese’s Captain appraised the other man, there had been a glimmer of belief. 

 

“I mean he looks like a vampire,” their one-eyed leader said with a smirk and a shrug. Pip Bernadotte looked to be a rough and tumble sort of man, captain of a ragtag band of mercenaries, but Walter assured her he had a decently good head in his shoulders. At the appearance of Alucard and the declaration of his true identity, he and half of his men had laughed. The Frenchman stood, taking a few strides forward. “But you really can’t expect us to believe that he’s-”

 

Right on cue, a burst of shadows erupted from Alucard’s back. Long, black tendrils licked up to the ceiling, dots of small, translucent, vacantly staring eyes spreading scarcely over the black flames. He watched passively as the Captain recoiled with a, “ Merde, fuck! ”, the other mercenaries following in tow with several notes of shouts (and a few high pitched screams). 

 

Integra withheld her own pompous smirk. “I imagine that that will be enough proof. Trust me, you don’t want him showing any more.”

 

“...D-d’accord.” Captain Bernadotte straightened from his defensive, crouched position, adjusting his slouched hat. Behind him, the rest of the grizzled Geese exuded the air of someone who was heavily regretting their decision. “Not gonna lie to you boss, it’s going to take us a minute to get used to this. Especially if your other vampire is like--”

 

Once more Pip was interrupted. Out of the corner of her eye Integra saw the first glimpses of Seras’ shadow, on the opposite wall; and before she could stop the female midian from plopping out of the wall, her upper half came out in a swirl of red and black anyway. 

 

Eyes bright, Seras held her hands against her cheeks, smiling so widely her mouth nearly split her face, as it sometimes does. She gushed out an excitable, horribly proud, “Oh look Master! He’s getting so good at that, isn’t he?” 

 

There was a beat. Integra steeled herself for the next onslaught of horrified screams. 

 

The Wild Geese did not disappoint. 

 

-----

 

From the moment Seras awoke, Integra had no reason to fear her. Not when she ripped the throats of Richard’s goons with her own teeth, not when she bent before her, not when she took a bullet to the arm with no complaint. 

 

So, she wasn’t afraid to, one day, reach out and touch Seras’ arm. 

 

It was cool to the touch, and felt like an especially viscous mist. 

 

Seras looked to her, questioning. 

 

“Why is your arm like this?” Integra asked, curling her fingers. The shadows wavered around her flesh. 

 

“It was cut off,” was the simple answer. Even at her young age, the Hellsing head could detect a bit of melancholy in it. 

 

“But why did it turn out like this? You could have just healed it, grown it back properly. Right?” 

 

Slowly Seras’ arm began to form into the more solid, limb-like form she sometimes had. Crimson fingers laced delicately around Integra’s, still as chilly as when they were a vapour.  The two were sitting in one of the library’s especially large reading chairs, a book detailing bats spread out across their laps. 

 

Her close presence was comforting. 

 

“It was done several years ago, before I even met your great grandfather. I was weakened, so it ended up growing back like this. I could’ve healed it back up after I got strong again...but decided against it.” 

 

“Why?” 

 

Silent, Seras nibbled on her bottom lip, a habit that soon enough Integra would find rather endearing. That little curve of a fang, habitual as Seras thought over something. 

 

“You know  when humans get badly injured in war or some other serious event, a giant scar or loss of a limb, and instead of trying to ignore it, receive reconstructive surgery or a plastic arm, they bear it openly as a reminder of all the horrible things they went through?”

 

Integra did not know, but she could gather a guess as to what Seras meant, so she nodded anyway. 

 

“It’s kind of like that. It’s a reminder to me, of how much of a blighter I was when it happened, and how my foolish actions caused this.”

 

It was clear that Seras was purposely beating around the bush. She may have scores of centuries over Integra, but the Young Master thought herself to be rather keen, and a good reader of others. And the elder vampiress had only been with her for a few months now,  but her distaste to discussing her past was already one of her most notable traits; if only because Seras very much enjoyed talking, and only here would she sober up and shut her gob. 

 

Integra sunk back in thought, allowing Seras to distractedly move her hand about. With her free one she thumbed up at their shared book.

 

“I know you don’t want to tell me what really happened, and I’m not going to order you to.  But I would like to know someday, if you don’t mind.”

 

Whenever she spoke in that crisp, refined manner, from someone far beyond her years, the reaction was always that of an adult who was surprised to hear such a mature lit coming from a young mind. The Convention still didn’t trust her abilities to head an organization, and this wariness was shared with every other adult she had to interact with. 

 

Only Walter and Seras looked upon her with understanding and with not even a pinch of doubt, almost overwhelmingly supportive. Seras surely acknowledged how young she was, with insufferable suggestions of going out for ice cream and watching cartoons on the telly (which really, was more for the vampire’s benefit than her own), but there was zero hesitation in the ancient one’s willingness to look to her for guidance. 

 

It was this that was the first stepping block to rinsing away her Father’s doctrine about nightwalkers. Do not trust them, do not become friendly with them, they are your enemy. Becoming chummy with them, as a Hellsing, will be your downfall. 

 

Words that were becoming as easy to follow as grabbing a handful of mist. She longed to know more, not simply how vampires worked but how Seras worked; how was her childhood, what brought her to cause Van Hellsing to hunt her down, the personal life of one who had lived so long. 

 

She tightened her hold around Seras’ fingers, still dark maroon but now fully solid. They were as smooth as marble, bearing no nails or lines of knuckle and skin. 

 

Seras’ smile was gentle, as if often was. Only the shadows extending from her shoulder continued to unfurl, licking across strands of Integra’s hair. 

 

“Sure thing. Even if it’s not now, if my darling master wishes it, someday I’ll tell you my full story.”

 

That was good enough. The topic over with, the two sunk back into the grand chair, turning their sights back to the world of winged mammalians. The only sounds for the next hour were the turning of pages, crackle of fire, and hushed voices. 




Chapter Text

The creature before him was an absolute vulgar mess of a specimen, was what Alucard had quickly declared. The thing had sworn in surprise after watching his brother be swept out the door, and then had whistled lowly after it slammed shut. The whistle was followed by a slimy comment, “Fuck. Only saw that for a second but damn do I wish that bitch had taken me out there instead.” 

 

Alucard visibly bristled. 

 

He could later on surmise that perhaps he had reacted so violently only because he had already been aggravated by this fuckwit; his demeanor, calmed for battle, had evaporated instantly.

 

The childe had battled with a frenzy of emotions over the last few weeks, fruitlessly trying to adjust to the forced changes to his psyche that came with being synced in with another, and it seemed like every day he learned of something new. Today, it was the contempt towards his sire being talked about in such a manner; an irony, as he so rarely had a kind thought to her as well. 

 

A molten thought, a need to fight on her behalf, overtook his being even as Walter and the Hellsing trained soldiers arrived at the fray, working tooth and nail to keep the enemy from getting any further into the sprawling hallways. Blind rage that churned him on to accept the same anti-tank rifle his Mistress used, seemingly left behind on purpose, from Walter to blast away the enemy’s armour, destroy the ghouls with the ease of a hot knife through butter, strike the foul-mouthed vermin to the ground, and, eventually, rise at the scent of warm blood and lunge at one of those on his own side. 

 

It was a switch flipped, a memory muscle tap of the finger that took no thought to do, to turn the lights on; that is to say, it occured so fast that if he had been coherent, Alucard would have been almost proud of actually managing to catch Walter off guard. 

 

It only happened after Jan was decimated in a hailstorm of bullets, had snapped his fingers and was consequently engulfed in a sea of flames. ‘Millenium’ meant nothing to Alucard, and he didn’t care all that much anyway as there was something far sweeter that had caught his attention. 

 

The most delicious of foods, the most bountiful of banquets. It was the same as Seras placing the blood bag before him, but multiplied by endless numbers. It was not awful and cold, but warm and alive, pushed from the body of someone whose heart continued to beat. Most of the men managed to go unscathed, a scant few succumbing to well executed shots from the invaders, and those who had survived were relatively uninjured. Except for the man who had been shot in the arm, and was bleeding profusely. 

 

The threat was resolved with. Red continued to draw over his vision. Before Walter could even turn to ask the man how bad the injury was, Alucard had been at his throat. A spray of crimson enveloped his face in the mock form of a horror movie poster. 

 

Seras would make the excuse that it was because he’s a young one. He had never actually come in close quarters with a living human who bled his life source. The height of battle, the bloodlust of violence only made it worse. 

 

He couldn’t even remember doing it. The last bit of ashes from the Millenium vampire had piled up on the expensive carpet, and then there was just red and red and red and red and red and red and red

 

(Even as a member of the undead, the mind’s ability to repress was wondrous)

 

But Alucard could recall something flowery replacing the copper, spring water washing away the gore, and a pair of arms had wrapped around his middle. 

 

“Alucard.”

 

“Alucard. You can stop now.”

 

Refreshing, a sedative to his mangled brain. He calmed, and noted his hands were dripping, curled into claws. 

 

(They were like this once before, but they were considerably smaller, drops of blood falling off clenched fingers because he had fought to defend himself)

 

But now his hands were stained not only with defense, but intent to murder an innocent. And once more, as Seras hugged him from behind, he was filled with a grim, suffocating doubt on his purpose, once more struggling between the instinctual need for power and dominance, and the equally human nature of being distressed at having committed such an act. 

 

-----

 

“It’s adorable how the eyes on your shadows are so small and transparent! Like a child who can’t draw a circle just right yet.” 

 

Their first meeting with their newest bodyguards had gone splendidly. The order to not touch the mercenaries had been as strict as could be, and the shadow performance had done the trick. Alucard honestly hadn’t expected Seras to make an appearance as well - but the screams of the men, despite how much it hurt his sensitive ears, were so amusing that amongst their shouts of fear he managed to slide in a chuckle. 

 

Seras, meanwhile, had floundered back and forth between fighting down her own giggles while apologizing profusely for frightening the Geese. Integra barely had time to scold her before Walter rushed into the room with a letter of importance. 

 

He only caught the name of the sender (some Enrico Maxwell; another mission for another day) before the staff of Hellsing were sent along their way. Seras cozied up to him as they walked off into the manor, which was where her observation made Alucard scowl. 

 

He sniffed indignantly. “That’s insulting. I’m not a child.”

 

“You are in vampire terms,” Seras replied readily. “But no need to feel bad about your lines being squiggly. You really are getting better at it!” 

 

Alucard glared down at her, clearly not pleased at being talked to in such an infantile manner. Seras just smiled back. 

 

“Today you had the opportunity to show off your skills, but tomorrow we have to keep ourselves in check,” she continued, just as easily flipping the subject. “Master does not have the best relationship with Maxwell.” At Alucard’s pondering gaze, she supplied, “He’s the leader of Iscariot. Remember that crazy priest man from a few weeks ago?” 

 

Oh. He did, and his pride was still a bit bruised from how easy his own defeat was (not that he would admit it). 

 

Da ,” Alucard rumbled instead, scowl deepening. “They’re pissed we had a clash with him?”

 

Of the readings Alucard poured over after the experience in Ireland, information about Iscariot was one of them. He wasn’t all too surprised that the Vatican had their own personal army, even in the modern day, 

 

“Probably.” Seras’ face soured for a second, as she shrugged.  “I wish it wasn’t so turmontolous between our organizations. We’re both aiming for the same goal in the end. We could so easily work together!” 

 

The younger of the pair thought over what he read. He thought that that particular notion was childish in itself, but didn’t comment; he was slowly starting to get used to Seras’ hopeless, saccharine optimism.  “Other than them not being thrilled that Hellsing uses vampires to kill vampires, the biggest rift is because of religion, correct?”

 

“Yes, and that’s silly too! Just because they work under the Catholic church, and we work under the Protestant Queen, doesn’t mean we can’t get along and work together.” 

 

Not for the first time, Alucard found himself begrudgingly interested in the conversation (1st year rhetoric of ‘ get along with your classmates !’ aside). “You sound flippant about it. Do vampires even follow religion?” 

 

“Some might, but I don’t.” The answer was so prompt and blunt it surprised him. “I was born in a time where you basically had to be, but stack five centuries onto your life and you’re a little bit apt to decide to drop it.”

 

She paused, and then looked to Alucard severely. “Don’t tell my Master that. She does take it seriously.”

 

The question was asked with so much mock importance Alucard couldn’t help but snort; and, for whatever reason, he felt compelled to reply with personal detail, “I won’t, as I’m on the same boat. I was raised devout. I am no longer.”

 

There was something so deliciously soothing about conversing calmly with your sire. The notes on relationships between servant vampires and master vampires were little, but the prominence of guidance and companionship was at the forefront. A toxic relationship was as dangerous as it was between humans, as it often led to the childe going wild and, like Seras had assured, being killed. 

 

He would still not admit that he was particularly fond of her, and it wasn’t because of anything new . Alucard could readily admit he was never fond of folks who went about in a neverending, obnoxiously cheerful mood (something that many others agreed with him on, in his defense). They were nothing short of irritating, to an introvert such as him. The fact that, despite her power, she didn’t seem to take the role of an all powerful vampire too seriously, did not help. 

 

The first third of his new life, it was nothing but raw ire towards her. Now it was still quite a bit of that, but as well as a chaotic sense of ease at being spoken so nicely to by his Mistress, coupled with that still lingering desire for approval that clashed with his more negative thoughts.

 

It was still as baffling and frustrating as it was the night she talked about how vampires don’t need to be senseless monsters. 

 

Seras looked to him, but said nothing. There was no need for questions, as he knew that his life story was told to her when he was turned, and that she would know the reason for his current lack of faith. 

 

Her expression was one of gentle pity. It caused his head to flare with scorn, and his silent chest to constrict with something more foreign. Alucard could only take a few seconds of it before jerking his head aside.

 

Bluffing for something to respond with, Alucard eventually settled on, “That’s a big word for you to say. Tumontlous. I would’ve assumed it was too hard for your vocabulary.” 

 

A tilt of the head rewarded him with Seras opening her mouth like a fish in shock, before she returned his earlier glower. “Oh -- you -- why have you been so mouthy lately?!” 

With a huff she gave his shoulder what was supposed to be a playful punch; but her ‘gentle’ hit was still hard enough to send Alucard staggering sideways, his bones immediately creaking and beginning to ache from the impact.

 

On any normal day, he would have snarled under his breath, furious about being pushed around. 

 

But instead, Alucard laughed. Bemused by his ability to so easily get under her skin with the most inane of choice words, and her offended actions. And he laughed again when she scolded him and pouted in response, cheeks puffed in the pantomime of a chipmunk. 

 

----

 

It was relatively early in the evening, when their new hires had arrived, so it wasn’t much of a surprise (much , as he hadn’t expected them to get over their fears so quickly), when Captain Bernadotte appeared in the kitchen shortly after they had entered. 

 

As having a decently civil conversation,  the notion of feeding together was just as soothing. Even Seras had fully admitted that drinking chilled blood right out of the fridge had the same appeal as peeling a can of soup open and drinking it straight (although he was quite sure she did not have cans of soup during her time), and quickly recommended the ‘ pop it in the microwave so you can at least have the illusion of feeding from a still warm body ’ technique.

 

It had been relatively quiet - not a good idea to speak with a mouth full of blood -, Seras now mutely huffing and puffing over the earlier round of teasing, and as such he wasn’t all too thrilled when the door was pushed open to reveal the mercernarie’s captain. 

 

The band of men were a long shot from the rest of the soldiers employed by Hellsing. Such as the one he had put down, they were stone-faced, professional, and were not one for conversation outside of the job, when they were on the job. 

 

Captain Bernadotte and his gaggle of scarred, grizzled mercs were what he imagined the grim men who roamed the halls would be on the rare occasions they were allowed a night on the town. Loud, irritating, all too much like working with the bumbling idiots of the Cheddar police force. Jackasses who would joke around too much, and not take the task at hand seriously. 

 

The Frenchman paused momentarily upon crossing the door’s threshold, single eye sliding over to Alucard, stark green filled with brief hesitation. Fear at the large, silent man who stared defiantly back, practically glowered at him over his macabre juice pouch. 

 

Then his gaze had slid to Seras, who appeared to either not notice his presence or was actively ignoring it, and the fear melted; if just a bit. Just enough that you could detect the creep of a leer, and the bristle Alucard experienced during the Valentine’s attack was just the same at the sight of it. 

 

With confident, long strides Pip ambled over to where the vampires were seated, hands placed into one of the pockets of his coat. Apparently deterred by what exactly the two nightwalkers were slurping up, he stopped short a few feet from Seras. 

 

“I’d like to apologize for that display of, ah, bravery that was displayed before,” he spoke up, clearly addressing Seras. He grinned down at her, boyish and rouge-like, a smile that, surely, worked like a charm on most ladies he shot it towards. “It’s going to take some getting used to, the reality of vampires thing.”

 

Mute, Alucard watched the display, teeth clamping harshly over his straw. Perhaps it had been out of fright, but their own professionally trained soldiers had never dared to even try to approach Seras; in the few instances he had bothered to listen to their conversations, the few times they had strayed off topic, she had often been a point of interest. Not a surprising fact, as equally so as how they would be too afraid to try to flirt. 

 

More than likely for the best as, for how friendly she was, it was certainly foolish for a mortal to try to boldly come onto an ancient, all-powerful monster. 

 

Pip Bernadotte appeared adamant on being that fool.

 

On the receiving end, Seras looked up through her fringe for a second and said nothing. 

 

Nothing.   

 

Not a prodding, jokeful response, accompanied by a sweet laugh, as he would expect. Alucard found his irritation at the interruption slowly being replaced by a simple curiosity; his Mistress was not one to give anyone the cold shoulder. He observed the interaction play out, a uncharacterisically silent spectator. 

 

Undeterred by this - more so, anyone could easily guess that the mercenary was used to a few difficult catches here and there -, Pip straightened his back, easy-going grin not faltering for a second. He ignored Alucard’s piercing gaze with the same sort of stubborn determination Seras was likewise exhibiting. 

 

“I thought we’d make proper introductions now that we’re all going to be working together, oui ?” Again with that insufferable attempt at charm laced into his accent. And then, tone dipping into something that sounded far more suggestive, a husk of something promising that made Alucard feel like his haunches were rising, “Something I look very forward to.” 

 

He reached out to place a hand upon her shoulder. 

 

And that’s when it happened. 

Now, up until this point Alucard had never seen his sire react with that much poison to anyone else. Alexander she was swift and calculated with, and even the night she had wrecked his back against a pair of bookshelves it was clear that she didn’t take much pride in her outburst, quickly calming and executing a somber air about having to act like that in the first place. He had seen her strength exhibited in battle, but she never showed joy in what she was doing. 

 

The soldiers, the Hellsing staff, him, the boss, piles of weeds that were going to be thrown out by the gardener; she was kind to all. Saccharinely so. 

 

So the abrupt transformation he was witnessing was both startling and...rather awe-inspiring. 

 

At last Pip had Seras’ attention, as her head snapped sideways so ferociously upon him touching her that for a second Alucard feared it was going to rip right off the neck. The man practically lunged himself backwards, as if her shoulder had suddenly grown scalding, and it took a second for Alucard to realize why. 

 

Black had enshrouded her features, curling inky shadows across her face, pouring down her neck. Her eyes were gone in lieu in twin sets of jagged, white gashes that appeared to move like the static of a dead channel, mouth replaced by a larger  version with more ragged, fang-like points. The arm of a similar nature had begun to to extend, edges curling with licks reminiscent of fire, rather than the gentle swell of waves it typically had when not in the shape of a limb. 

 

She then spoke, and it was indescribable, the tone in which she took. It was more in-human than any of the guttural voices he had heard from her before; they were enough to frighten any mortal, but this was enough to stricken a man’s heart to stop, dead and powerful and something he could only imagine in the old tales of creatures of that were too incomprehensible for mere humans to understand, that could cause one to become frothing with raw insanity if they dared so try. 

 

“DO NOT TOUCH ME.”

 

Her voice sounded level, an indoor-voice, yet at the same time the cupboards around them shook and the dishware left out rattled. 

 

Pip, gracefully enough, didn’t run out of the kitchen in a fit of screams. He appeared frozen to the spot, arms out as if he were readying to grab something for a weapon, and his tanned complexion had paled considerably. 

 

This was a man who had undoubtedly seen the worst of humanity; war, druglords, traffickers, the whole nine yards. 

 

Alucard could gander a guess he had never dreamed of having to confront this sort of beast. 

 

And how exhiliteraring it was to watch him soak in the fear of it; even more so when Seras actually rose from her chair and moved forward in a few steps in such a way that it seemed like her legs had never moved, Pip still stuck to the spot. Whether now over the response of flight or fight, or because of that hypnotic gaze of a vampire, one could not be sure. 

 

Either way, she appeared all the happy to ignore her own advice on not frightening their co-workers, white static mouth peeling further back. 

 

NEVER APPROACH ME SO CASUALLY AGAIN.

 

The Captain floundered in response, a perfume of sweat pinning his bangs to his forehead. 

 

Alucard continued to watch in astonishment, floored by the display, the same respect and adoration he felt when she rescontructed herself in Ireland churning through his being. His Mistress, his Queen, an all powerful monstrosity that made even well seasoned men like Bernadotte quiver in their boots. 

 

….

 

And yet. 

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT-”

 

And yet.

 

“-TO TOUCH ME LIKE THAT.” 

 

Something was feeling dreadfully off.  

 

The palpable ire and rage should have been overwhelmingly satisfying, seeing his Mistress fall into the temptation of violence and darkness he had craved since the beginning. And it was satisfying, so alluring it was boiling something up wonderful in guts.

 

But it was wrong.  

 

It was wrong, as it wasn’t Seras to act in such a manner. She could not physically hurt the Captain, the runes on her gloves glowing to prove the point, but even intentionally scaring him to the point of mind crushing fear...was not the Mistress that he knew. It was not the Midian who damn never stopped smiling at him, who seemed to show an almost sense of remorse for the ghouls they had to kill.



(And sure, the Captain was coming onto someone who didn’t want to hear any of it, but at least this would be lesson enough for now) 

A nagging sensation picked at his brain. 

 

He had to stop this. 

 

Why him? 

 

Hell knows, he’s the only one around who could try. 

 

Gingerly, Alucard stood from his seat as well, well aware this could end in two ways; him miraculously helping Seras to calm herself, or himself becoming nothing but a shredded pile of meat upon the tiled floor. 

 

He prayed for the former. 

 

“Mistress.” 

 

The static of her eyes seemed to flicker in his direction. 

 

“Mistress, I think you can stop now.” He kept his movements calm as he approached her,  as he was taught during tense situations. A network of invisible cords tugged at his veins, a simple warning to be careful in defying his creator. His mouth quirked into a small, dark smirk anyhow as he went on, “I think he got the message.” 

 

Something that sounded like a growl escaped her, making him and Pip start. It was all too eerily similar to her embracing him from behind, ceasing his bloodshed. 

 

“Mistress.”

 

CHILDE.

 

Again he flinched, a violent shudder running down his spinal cord. 

 

This was not her. 

 

Alucard grappled together his courage, moved forward, and placed a hand just as carefully on her arm. “You know you’re being a hypocrite with your own teachings right now. You can stop.”

 

Unlike the touch to her shoulder, the girl did not react violently. 

 

Instead, whatever spell she had put on Pip had been broken, as shaking and sweating he was yanked out of his stupor, and had flung himself through the doorway as if the hounds of hell were snapping at his heels, his hat nearly falling off in the process. 

 

Alucard came around Seras, watching as the black and white melted away from her face like paint dripping off a statue. She suddenly looked quite tired. 

 

“I….” she started after a long moment, after a pregnant pause. Her left arm formed a hand, just so she could wring the both of them together, and she heaved a heavy sigh. “I’m going to have to apologize to him. I didn’t mean to react like that.” 

 

Taking his hand away from her, Alucard folded his arms. Now this was her, feeling poor for terrorizing someone. “I don’t think you should need to. It was a good lesson for him to get the first day of the job, to not flirt with the co-workers.”

 

What he didn’t say, was the lingering question: why did you respond so violently?

 

Seras shot him a look with disapproving, furrowed brows, before going back to collapse in her chair. 

 

“You know that I have to either way! Master is going to be furious when she hears about this,” she moaned, eyes widening in an almost comical way at the realization that Integra was definitely going to know about this incident, and that she was definitely going to get a tongue lashing (or perhaps worse). Another sigh left her lips, and she looked back to Alucard. “Sorry that you had to see that too.”

 

“Are you kidding me? It took me a while to think on whether I should stop you or not.” To this he was given another glare of disapproval, prompting a humourless chuckle. “Besides, it was very.,” the fledgeling rested his face against his hand, long tumbles of black hair faling over his forearm as he grinned openly, all fangs, “ attractive .” 

 

A beat of a  pause, and soon he had a red-faced Seras spluttering at him, “And what was that about flirting with your co-workers?!” 

 

And such the evening went on. They would have to leave for the ‘morrow to go attend to whatever business that letter had, but for now Alucard was content to sit and tease his Mistress. 

 

And as he did so, he could not help but contain a thought: the notion that although Seras had rejected Bernadotte in what was perhaps the most grand spectacle a woman had ever thrown, she didn’t seem to all too much mind his own small jabs, the rebuffs being nothing more than balking and a significantly restrained cuff to the head. 

 

It was a thought he was uncertain of, the fledgling side all too happy that his Mistress didn’t shove him away, and the innate human side that somehow still perched somewhere in his soul all too hesitant to accept this fact, and wanted nothing to do with it, wanted nothing to do with her, on that level. 

 

----

 

Warmth flooded about him, sprinkling through the gaps of the canopy of leaves above. 

 

Shouts of other children, ducking and weaving around bark, echoing in the sunlight. 

 

From behind, a gentle call. The home, grand and old, was placed in a position to the large expanse of woods was their backyard. On the porch came the command, a promise of food and love and comfort. 

 

Knees and hands scraped from a day’s play, he surged forward, crossing a canvas of flat wood in the anticipation of an embrace, arms firm but affectionate around his small frame. 

 

His mind, as many of that age, was simple, years away from the development needed for society, and in such the concept of love as a simple thing. 

 

It was a word, it was a feeling, that meant warm food and warm light and a warm touch and a warm smile beaming down towards him from miles away. 

 

In this simplicity he basked, with the willful ignorance children who were privileged enough to keep that knowledge of not knowing, holding it tightly in small, curled fists towards their chests, parental love and familial love and spousal love and the love between one and their mates.

 

A blissful unknowing of what was to come in the future, and how soon enough this sensation of tenderness and attachment would become as pleasant as a stab to the back, a poison that he no longer wished to indulge in.