Alexander Anderson and the Very Bad Day
Alexander Anderson was having a bad day. A very, very bad day.
First, breakfast. Now, everyone takes it as merely a saying when someone asks if one's cheerios had been befouled. For Alexander Anderson, this became quite the reality when an errant pigeon at the sidewalk café did in this morning's repast. It took all of his self-control to not bust out with the long knives and do in pack or three of those flying rodents. He set his jaw resolutely, and left his mostly untouched meal of the morning.
Next, he had somehow sliced his cell phone in half (third time, the Vatican accounting office was going to throw an absolute fit) while fumbling for it in his coat pocket. He vowed never again to set his phone to ring AND vibrate at once: the combined mayhem of pocket vibration and "Play that Funky Music, White Boy" brought about an incident of horrific embarrassment at morning mass.
Then, he managed to walk in on Enrico Maxwell in his office just as Enrique was removing his pants, which had been supposedly fouled from an errant cup of coffee. The momentary panic of seeing a pair of slightly stained skivvies and the unhealthily flabby skin of Enrique's legs covered with what could only be described as a shag rug nearly made Anderson lose what was little breakfast he managed to have that morning. Even so, it wasn't nearly as bad as Enrico's expression at being caught, which had left Anderson shivering inside and wondering if the rumors that occasionally haunted the Vatican about perverts was true. If nothing, it left him wondering if that particular mishap was planned.
Additionally, the morning's commute from the local parish to the rendezvous point brought about further incidents of embarrassment. Though it was questionable which one was more mortifying: getting his coat caught in the subway doors, having a crazy American girl trying to chat with his socks, the seeing-eye dog in training with a particular amorous fondness for his knee, or being mistaken for a serial killer ("It's all right, ma'am, I'm a priest…it's a very common mistake. Just...stop hitting me with that umbrella...).
The rendezvous was not much better. The agent was over two hours late (he had forgotten to reset his watch from his way to London via Moscow), and had managed to forget his suitcase that contained all his data and cash. Anderson had also somehow lost his wallet somewhere mid-commute, and without any money for a cab or the metro, the two took a forty-minute hike to a tiny flat where the indoor plumbing had broken down in order to retrieve the necessary data (Anderson hated public toilets – especially ones that smelled as though something had died in there).
By sundown, it was looking grim. Lunch had been skipped in order to facilitate a four hour meeting in which the agent that basically showed that among vampires, there was variation (he was going to have to complain to Vatican office about this – it was ridiculous to fund these people). Following the meeting, an emergency call to the north end of London turned out to be no more than a doddering old priest with bad eyesight and worse breath, which was topped off with a lovely dollop of an hour's delay on the metro.
So, by the time he was supposed to meet with Alucard of that damnable Hellsing Agency...Alexander Anderson was very, very tired man.
The sickle moon cast its icy aspersions upon the growing twilight. Anderson tapped his toe impatiently, patting his coat to make sure his knives and spells were well in order. He looked around, wondering where the hell that damned vampire was – if he was going to have to wait for someone again today, that someone was going to get stabbed through the groi…
Suddenly, the shadows twitched and squirmed, as Alucard made his entrance, his red coat swirling around him in a storm of movement.
Alucard smirked, and opened his mouth to speak. "Well, well, if it isn't the Vatican's…"
Anderson held up one hand, making Alucard pause out of curiosity. "Shut the hell up. I'll be back in an hour, hour and a half. Then we'll fight."
"So…is this a retreat?" Alucard looked mildly amused. He tilted his head, and the pale moonlight glinted off his yellow-tinted glasses.
"You're not that lucky, Nosferatu. You can come with me if you like, or you can stay here. Either way, we'll fight it out. But first I need dinner, an aspirin, and a beer. Then I'll tear you a new one. In the face." As if to drive his point home, he flicked out one of his long knives, before sliding it back into its sheath. And nicked himself. Anderson snarled and threw up his arms as if in defeat.
Alucard grinned evilly. He could smell the tang of fresh blood hitting the air with its perfumed glow. Oh, it was going to be fun.
"Why don't we go then?" Alucard said with a bit of a bow, something cynically aristocratic, perhaps a touch of court manners merged with some sort of 19th century gutter trash Dickensian novel character.
Anderson merely scowled and stomped on.
"How's the pasty?" Alucard leaned his chin against his enmeshed fingers, elbows on the table, and studied Anderson closely.
"Why the hell do you want to know?" Anderson's fork went flying down with a clatter. "You can't eat this shit."
"I'm curious." In the dim amber of the pub light, Alucard looked almost like a normal man, albeit a bit ungainly in dress. Stupid vampire, Anderson thought, his clothes made half the pub's population stare at him as if he was some sort of refugee from the disco era. He shuddered internally, images of Alucard and asphyxiated goldfish in platform shoes and bell-bottoms cluttering his mind.
"Yeah, well we're in England. What the hell else is the food supposed to be other than shitty?"
"Yeah, so shut up and let me eat. Then we can get this thing done with." Anderson stuck his fork into the pasty and pulled out something that looked like it had eyes. And a tail.
"Shit, what is wrong with these goddamn English?" Anderson fumed, adding in a long string of exceptionally foul curse words that made more than one pub dweller gasp with surprise. His eye twitched, as he forced himself under control. It gave more than a few twitches when he realized he was still wearing the collar and cross that defined his chosen profession.
Anderson scowled, and took a long swig of his beer. Miracle upon miracle, it had gone flatter and warmer faster than Christ's foot making that first step onto water.
"I suppose you'll be needing that aspirin now," Alucard beamed, his eyes sparkling with delight. Shit, Anderson thought, it was like that damned vampire was reading his mind.
"Yeah, it's about that time," Anderson said, as he fumbled in his coat for the little bottle of aspirin he bought at a local drug store before they stopped at this particular pub. The bottle managed to slip out of his grasp, slice itself open on one of his knives (goddamn things were ruining his day), and scatter its contents on the beer-soaked ground.
Veins were literally pumping along Anderson's forehead as he reached down for the remnants of the bottle, hoping one or two of the little pills had managed to lodge itself in the neck of the container. Fortune proved him right – there was two left. However, he realized that he had bought the wrong item – it was a container of birth control pills.
"Must have been switched at the pharmaceutical shop," Alucard's lips quirked as his eyes grew wide with amusement. "I wonder how that could have happened?"
Alexander Anderson's fingers began to tremble. Oh, how he itched to pull out his knives and slice that smirk off Alucard's face. The urge to turn this pub into the equivalent of a Benihana that served vampire rose quickly.
Just as his mouth opened to blast that damned undead with the foulest tirade he could think of, Alucard's fingers moved, almost quicker than he could see, and a little white bottle of aspirin came flying into his hands.
"I. Do. Not. Trust. You." Anderson's voice came clipped and fast.
"Please. Drugging you would be so inelegant. Plus, you promised to keep me entertained later. The seals are intact."
And so they were. Surprisingly.
Anderson sat back, waiting for the aspirin to take effect.
"I hear that humans should not ingest medications with alcohol," Alucard noted, watching Anderson drink his tepid beer. "It's supposed to be bad for your health."
"I've got worse things to worry about," Anderson replied tersely.
"Worse? Such as…?"
"That doesn't even require a response, moron." Anderson removed his glasses, and wearily rubbed at his closed eyes. Gods, he was tired. And what the hell was wrong with this man? The eyes blinked back open as he remembered who he was with. Stay on guard, Alexander, he thought to himself, as he placed the spectacles back on. It must be a ploy to distract him from God or even worse, seduce him into the Devil's playground.
"Oh, of course. I had forgotten," Alucard said with a smile, as if saying that of course he knew.
"You know, why don't I buy you a drink? I need you to shut up and give me a moment's peace so I can stab you more effectively later."
"Oh, no need to waste your money on that. I brought my own," Alucard said, pulling out what to the casual viewer appeared to be a Capri-Sun. He bit into the straw-like tip of the medical blood bag, and took a long slurp.
"Sicko. Monster. You disgust me."
"That must mean we can be friends." Alucard said with a toothy grin that showed off his elongated canines.
"I bet a lot of people tell you to shut the hell up." Anderson glared at Alucard darkly through the amber liquid of his mug of beer. Alucard's long wolfish smile squiggled and distorted in the glass. This was going to require at least another beer.
Two hours, and two more beers passed. Anderson looked at his watch blearily. He was getting too old for this crap, he thought. And the vampires were getting tougher. God must be punishing him, or at the very least, having Himself a good laugh while the Devil danced circles around his head, asking stupid questions about toilet paper and chapstick with the same serious intensity of a medical student trying to curry favor from an important professor.
"So you say there are significant differences between one-ply and two-ply?" Alucard asked, his voice tinged with a touch of wonder. "I had never known that such a thing…"
"I'm ready." Anderson stood up, and shoved the chair in.
Alucard waited outside in the damp London night while Anderson settled his bill.
"I can't believe it's £4 for a beer," Anderson came stomping out, and as the door closed, it caught the hem of his coat. He absently pulled at it, and the hem tore with a resounding rip. Pausing for a moment before he decided to ignore it, he continued on with his tirade. "And it was the lousiest beer I've ever had. I don't even want to think how much this is going to cost in lira. Vatican accounting's going to ream my ass if I try to get this reimbursed…" He began to stalk across the street toward the previously agreed upon rendezvous point.
"Watch out." An impossibly strong gloved hand reached out and dragged Anderson out of the way just as a bus came careening down the street, narrowly missing him.
"What the hell was that for?" Anderson whipped around, knocking Alucard's hand off of him. "Don't touch me, Nosferatu!"
"I want to kill you myself," Alucard said blandly. "It makes it less fun if you get hit by a bus."
Knives came to the fore. Anderson looked grimly at Alucard, his feet moving into an offensive stance. Alucard slid his gun out of its holster, slowly and deliberately, as the barrel of the gun raised toward Anderson, sighting him within its deadly aim.
"I suppose I will dispense with the usual discussion on ballistics and begin," Alucard said. "That is unless of course, you would like a refresher?"
"Why won't you just shut up and fight?" Anderson shouted, his temper getting the better of him, putting him off balance. His wrist flicked, ready to begin a torrent of knives that would shower the vampire with a hail unlike that seen since Noah's Ark took a bit of a detour around Mount Ararat. Then he felt a twinge, as some tendon in his wrist decided that Anderson hadn't filed for worker's compensation in a while. The knife sagged just a little. Anderson's eye twitched.
"Ah…?" Alucard's gun lowered. Anderson couldn't believe it – was the monster showing mercy?
"Wait…just a moment." Alucard re-holstered his gun, and patted around his coat, as if looking for something. Finally, from some hidden pocket, he pulled out what appeared to be a pager. He studied it curiously for a moment, before replacing it in his coat.
"Hmmm, my apologies," Alucard said, with that same sarcastic little bow that he gave before. "It seems that my master requires my presence. Shall we continue this another night?"
"Fine." Anderson threw his knives onto the ground in disgust. One of them neatly sliced off the tip of his boot. "Goddamnit!"
Le spirit d'escalier. "The witty riposte one thinks of only when one has left the drawing room and is already on the way downstairs."
Well, it wasn't particularly witty, and Anderson wasn't downstairs, and technically, it wasn't quite le spirit d'escalier, but it did wake him up at 2 AM to make sure that he was going to have a sleepless night.
The pager didn't go off. Both of them would have heard it, either if it vibrated or if it chimed. In fact, now that he thought of it, it looked more like a cigarette case.
Alucard had gone easy on him.
"YOU BASTARD! I'LL GET YOU!"
Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Studio Gonzo and Kouta
Author's notes: This one's for DWE. Since there probably aren't nearly enough Anderson fics. And none with a naked Enrico Maxwell.
This started off as a "Tell me a story" one evening and ended up a spamfic. Inspired by DWE's love for Anderson and his socks. UK beer prices courtesy of Pudduh.