Integra's spelling lesson, part 2.
Standard caveat applies. I don't own Hellsing or any of it's related characters. And it makes far more sense with the formatting applied.
Walter frowned at the closed door. He couldn't believe what Alucard had told him. Even under the influence of a spell, Sir Integra couldn't, wouldn't do hurt herself. She needs to be protected from herself, Alucard had said. Composing himself, the retainer knocked on the bedroom door. "Sir Integra? It's Walter, may I come in?" There was no answer. Walter pushed the door open a little bit and peered around it into the rich room. Integra was sprawled on the bed, fully clothed, and there was blood on her shirt.
Walter shoved the door open, entered the room, and bent over her, worry etched in every line on his face. Her shirt was almost completely unbuttoned, her hair was tousled, and there was blood on her collar. Walter gently turned her head to see the wound, and frowned deeper as he realised it wasn't a bite mark, but a cut, with a pink mark over it. Whatever had happened, it was very different to Alucard's explanation.
The old retainer padded into the bathroom for cold water and a cloth to clean the blood from Integra's throat, mulling over possibilities. A spell, Alucard had said. What if I'm the thing she needs to be protected from? Walter stopped dead halfway between the bathroom and the bed, cloth and bowl in hand. He looked again. Tousled hair, shirt unbuttoned, pink skin… Could it be a hickey?! Walter didn't know whether to laugh or curse as he began to gently wash Integra's neck. Luckily Alucard had stopped… whatever it was that was going to happen. Walter linked the vampire. It would have been a shame to have to kill him for Integra's sake.
Integra woke just as he was finishing cleaning her neck. She grabbed his wrist with surprising strength and rasped, "Where's Alucard?"
"Sir Integra, you're not well. You need to rest," he answered. She cursed him in language that made him blink. He never would have guessed she knew those words, let alone what they meant. She tried to shove him aside to rise, but he managed to prevent it. "Sir Integra, please, you are not yourself!" They continued to tussle, Integra fighting with a strength that belied her slender body.
Walter saw what had to be done. "Please forgive me, Sir Hellsing." He let go of her for an instant, and she shot into a sitting position. His monofilament wires snapped out, wrapping around the bedposts before snapping around her shirt cuffs. She was dragged to her back, her arms pinioned above her head.
If Walter thought her cursing before was inventive, it was nothing compared to the vitriol she showered him with now. At the top of her lungs. In three languages. It was unfortunate that Seras took that moment to look in the door.
There was Integra, writhing on the bed, kicking and spitting curses, her arms bound above her head and her clothing in disarray. There was Walter, his own hair and clothing mussed, holding her in place. Seras' mouth opened wide enough to show her tonsils.
"Don't just stand there, Miss Victoria, get something to tie her with," Walter barked. "I stand a very good chance of slicing her hands off." Still she just stood there. Walter lost what little patience he had. "Move, girl!" Seras blinked, then fled.
There was a disturbing blankness in Integra's eyes that Walter didn't like. She was running out of curse words, and so was mixing them up with snarls, yells, orders to release her, and demands to see Alucard. Despite his best efforts, his wires were slicing through her sleeves and making her wrists bleed. He was trying to think of what to do when Seras rounded the door once again, a woolly scarf in one hand and a pair of handcuffs in the other.
"All I could find," she said, racing over to the bed. She managed to tie Sir Integra's arms with the scarf and cuff to the bedposts, and Walter released the wires with an audible sigh. Integra's struggles had slowed, but she still swore. Walter leaned over her and plumped pillows behind her back, and was attempting to clean her wrists when she bucked on the bed, lashing out with her feet. She managed to kick Walter in the hip, sending him staggering back.
Integra glared from the bed. "Get the fuck away from me," she snarled. Her eyes were glazed and empty.
"Very well," Walter said softly. "I only hope you will forgive me, Sir Integra." He turned and left the room, dragging Seras with him. The door clicked shut behind them, and Walter leaned against it, waiting for what he knew would come next.
Seras lost her battle to keep silent. "What was going on in there? Master told me I had to help you, but-"
Walter interrupted her. "He told you? When?"
"Oh." Seras raised her hand and touched her temple. "He spoke to me in my mind. But he didn't tell me what's going on." The last comment was spoken in an almost whining voice.
"Alucard says Sir Integra is under some sort of spell, and that she is dangerous to herself. Until he returns, she needs to be restrained for her own good."
"I've never heard anyone swear like that," Seras commented in a thoughtful voice. "I'm just glad I kept part of my cop gear." Then she froze. "Oh no. I don't know if I've got the key!" She spun and dashed off.
Walter shook his head at her retreating back, then pushed himself away from the door. He would need to find a chair, and station himself outside Sir Integra's bedroom, and hope that Alucard hurried. And that Miss Victoria found the key.
Alucard watched from the shadows. The trail he had followed ended here, in this plain, nondescript room. The only unusual things in it were a circle of candles surrounding a table, and a dark haired woman weeping softly on the floor. The air inside the circle of candles was hazy and indistinct, with the table's top covered by a fog that eddied and swirled, reflecting the candlelight.
He stepped forward, into the room, the Jackal already out and pointed at the woman's head. He deliberately allowed himself to make noise, and watched as her head came up. She stared at the gun, then at him, as fresh tears spilled from her eyes. Alucard saw no surprise in them.
"So. It's you." Her voice was dull. "Are you going to shoot me now?"
Alucard reached out psychically and tried to read her mind, but it was no use. There was a shield of some kind blocking his access. "Is there a reason I should?" he questioned.
"I put a spell on your boss, to make her loosen up. He said that you asked him to get it done, so that you two could finally…" the woman left it hanging.
Alucard said nothing, continuing to stare at her.
"But something went wrong. He gave me photos, and a poppet, but it wasn't supposed to get this intense." She waved her hand at the table. "And now I can't even get into the circle to break it off." More tears fell. "I'm already being punished. I've lost my magic. I can't feel my power any more. All for money." She bowed her head as tears splashed down on the hands folded in her lap. "My gods have deserted me."
He stepped around the woman, getting closer to the candles. Their flames were unwavering, standing a good six centimetres in height. The candles had no wax drippings, nor pools of wax beneath them. He was willing to bet they'd stayed this way since the fog, or whatever it was, had been placed over the table. Alucard stretched out a gloved hand, and met resistance just outside the circle, slick and cold like marble. The sigil on the back of his glove began to burn with bloody fire as he pressed harder and harder, to no effect. Out of patience, he took one step back, lifted the Jackal and fired. The bullet hit the shield and stuck, hanging in mid air.
The woman on the floor had flinched at the gunshot, then cowered even more as Alucard loomed above her. He slipped off his glasses so his stare would be more effective. "Where is he, the one who paid you?" he asked, his voice dangerously silky.
She trembled, hunched over with the look in her eyes of a bird confronted by a snake. "I don't know," she whispered. "He just went. I was to keep this up for three days. The circle went solid on the second, today, just before I realised it was more potent than I thought."
Alucard leaned closer, making sure she could see his fangs. "What is his name?"
It seemed she stopped breathing for a moment, transfixed by the sight of his elongated incisors. "He never told me," she managed finally in a squeak.
Alucard straightened slowly, seeming to take forever to reach his full height. His crimson eyes burned into hers, and saw she spoke the truth. "How do I break the barrier?" he demanded.
"Kill him." Her reply was soft and short. "I don't think he'll drop it if you ask nicely."
He nodded, having expected no less. The Jackal rose again as he asked a final question. "Is there a reason why I shouldn't kill you?"
She closed her eyes. "No. My life is empty without the magic. Shoot, and you'll be doing me a favour."
He lowered the Jackal and grinned. "There's a reason to keep you alive." He turned away again, back to the circle. Alucard spread himself out of focus again while staring at it. The barrier was now visible, shimmering with a rainbow hue and backed by a dark grey. The fog was still opaque, but was now a darker grey, matching the colour on the barrier. Looking around the room, he saw a few dark grey splotches on the floor, and also on the handle of the door. The grin grew wider and meaner. His enemy had given him something to track. How thoughtful.
Only a vampire would have noticed the man shaped distortion moving across the lawns of the Hellsing manor. It hesitated at the grand entryway, then glided over the threshold and up the main staircase to the second floor. Again, it hesitated, shifting, pulsing, then continuing down the darkened hall toward the old retainer at its end.
Walter spilled out of his chair, never knowing what hit him. Integra's bedroom door opened, closed, locked.
Integra ran her eyes over her bed's canopy for what seemed like the millionth time that day. Her arms were aching slightly from being tied to the bedposts, but it was bearable. Most of the day was hazy, lost. Her throat hurt a bit – had she been yelling? In her clear-headed moments, she realised that for most of the day she was either drowned in rage or coated in lust and daydreaming about Alucard. When she was clear minded, it alternately terrified and amused her. When she raged, it made her angry. When she lusted, well…
Her head snapped around as the door opened and closed. She registered that no one had come through when she heard the lock click. "Who's there?" she demanded sharply.
A ghostly chuckle filled the air at the same time a crawling heaviness did. Integra felt herself pushed down and back into her pillows as weight filled her body. She watched as a man stepped out of thin air, and bowed with sarcastic perfection. He had hair that fell to the middle of his back in a series of messy, fog coloured curls. Tanned skin, a long grey duster, black pants and an elegant white shirt matched the high browed, almost pretty face and a pair of clear, jade-green eyes. Integra struggled to speak as he approached the bed.
"Don't worry," the stranger said in a mock cheerful voice. "It's just a handy little spell. Makes the air heavy to everyone but the caster." He passed his hand over her head and down her face, then frowned. "I don't believe it. Either you've far more control that I would have dreamed possible, or your vampire is a eunuch. You shouldn't have been able to fight that lust off, not after the trigger I sent you." He saw the expression in her eyes. "Oh, you liked my little letter? Pity if obviously didn't work. Rage is the down side of intense lust, but you're still a virgin." He rolled her head sideways, carelessly, on the pillow, gazing at the mark on her neck. "Well, well. You've been tasted, but not bitten. How interesting."
"You – bastard," Integra managed in a whisper, rolling her head back to glower at him.
"Yes, I know." He paused. "Since I am going to kill you, I can gloat about my little scheme. Then at least someone will know how well wrought it was." He lowered himself to kneel on the bed and crawled to tower above her. As he spoke, he unbuttoned her shirt and pushed it aside, smiling at her attempts to move or fight back, smiling at the revulsion in her eyes.
"You see, if I could force you to take the vampire into your bed, there were two outcomes. One, you'd kill him afterwards, and make sure he stayed dead. Two, he'd turn you or rip you apart, and you'd no longer be his master. With either of these scenarios, Hellsing loses its trump card against the vampires. Therefore, I get my pay. My only problem was that my magics don't spark lust, so I found some else's whose could and amplified them. Follow me so far?"
He'd completely bared the sensible white bra she wore and was completely ignoring her glares. "Now I'll have to be inelegant and kill you, knowing that at worst, all Alucard will do is revel in his freedom and leave the country. At best, he'll rip through this entire organization, in payback for his generations of servitude." Reaching around to the small of his back, he pulled out a gleaming knife with a six-inch blade. He placed the tip beneath the undergarment's lowest edge and sawed upwards, slowly, tauntingly, cutting through the fabric easily. Integra managed to squirm, just a bit, making the knife slip, and leave a small, bleeding scratch just over her heart.
"Now, now, Ms Hellsing, we can't have that just yet. I am going to gut you like a freshly butchered pig, but it seems such a shame to waste all that gorgeous unsullied flesh." He grinned as her eyes became huge. "Ah, at last, something the lady fears." He cut through the last piece of fabric and her breasts sprang free as he chuckled. Integra let all of her hate and rage show in her eyes, not fighting the fury that rode her as she glared at him. His grin got wider. "Don't worry, I'll make sure it doesn't hurt. Much." He lowered his head and body, moulding himself to the line of hers as he clamped his mouth over her lips. Integra fought to struggle, fought to scream, as he lifted his head with a satisfied laugh. "Your vampire is probably hiding himself somewhere, hoping not to damage his precious Master. You know," he said in a joking voice, "some like it rough, and then there's vampires?" He laughed again. "You can't call him, so he won't come." The hand without the knife moved down to squeeze her breast. "You're all alone, little Hellsing, so why don't you enjoy the ride?"
There was a clicking noise to Integra's left, and a deep voice said "I really don't like people so in love with the sound of their own voices. And I wouldn't say she's alone." Both Integra's eyes, and those of the stranger flicked over to Alucard, standing between the bed and the window, sighting down the length of the Jackal. The magician's reaction was to press down further onto Integra and bring the knife up to press it to the soft spot just below her ear and beside her jaw.
"Shoot me and you kill her," he snarled. "I won't hesitate, Nosferatu."
"I see," Alucard rumbled, lowing the gun, the holstering it.
"Wait, why aren't you slowed?" The magician's voice was angry and panicked.
"I can punch through a wall or lift a car. You think your petty little magics can slow me?" Alucard's eyes burned. He moved in a blur of red and black, slamming into his enemy and lifting him over and off the bed and onto the floor on the far side. They rolled a few times until Alucard was astride the other man, the Casull pressed to his sternum and the Jackal pressed to his temple. "Goodbye," was all he said, then pulled the triggers. Red exploded over the carpet, mixed with grey and yellow. What little splattered on Alucard was absorbed by his clothing by the time he stood up. He turned back to the bed, and his Master, and was completely arrested by the sight of her.
She lay, completely exposed from the waist up. His constant, mocking smile was gone as he fought to tear his eyes from the soft, smooth skin over her collarbones, fought not to slide his eyes down her chest to her breasts, and the thin, red line between them. He could smell the sweet, hot blood pumping though her veins. He lifted his eyes to hers and watched the anger bleed away as lust rose to full them and that scent filled the air again.
"Alucard." It was a whisper, and a plea.
She blinked as something in the room changed. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the candles begin to flicker and dance again, and the bullet fall to the floor. Rising on unsteady legs she moved to collect a bucket and water. Please, gods, let me undo this.
Integra watched him. The heaviness that had soaked her body was gone, but a different weight held her in place. Her loins tightened, and her heart pounded as she watched him look her over. She whispered his name, and trembled as he moved towards the bed.
Carefully, she moved around the circle, dripping water and putting the candles out with a hiss. She found herself still pleading with the gods, hoping, praying, that she could make this all come right.
Alucard's steps were a mockery of his usual graceful stride as he moved towards the bed. He stood, fighting a losing battle with himself as he watched her, bound, naked, helpless, beautiful. He couldn't help himself. He leaned over Integra and ran his cold tongue along the line of red that graced her breast, feeling her writhe and gasp beneath him. He moved his tongue up, over her throat, probing yesterdays wound as Integra moaned, before locking his mouth on hers.
She raised the pail over her head. With this water I shall set free, the one from under this curse that be, by the powers of the Gods in me, as we will it SO MOTE IT BE! The bucket tilted, then loosed it's flood over the table and poppet, drenching both and washing away the chalk markings. Silence that wasn't really silence rang in her ears, and she knew the gods had heard.
Integra's eyes flew open, and she stiffened abruptly. Alucard removed his mouth from hers and grinned. That was enough. Integra drew her leg up, then pistoned her foot squarely into his balls. As he staggered back, pale face going even paler, Integra looked down and flushed, then cursed herself for it. After a moment of struggle, futilely attempting to rearrange her shirt to cover herself somehow, she nearly jumped out of her skin as Alucard's gloved hands grabbed the edges and pulled them together and back into place. She did not even feel his glove brush her skin once.
Integra glared at him as he reached up and hooked his fingers in the handcuff, and, with a shriek of tortured metal, yanked it open. She rolled away from him, over the bed, to stand on the other side. Yanking the draw in the bedside table open, she drew out a small, silver plated pistol. She knew how ridiculous she must look, shirt open, bra cut up, one hand still tethered to the bed by a woolly scarf. Integra ignored it for the one thing she knew she had to do. She lifted the gun and sighted on the vampires' face and mocking smile.
"Don't. You. Ever. Fucking. Do. That. Again." With that she pulled the trigger. Alucard tumbled backwards, but she hadn't managed to wipe the smile off his face. Damn, she thought.
Tossing the pistol to the bed, she worked the scarf off her wrist, doing no more than glancing up as Seras kicked the door in, and a woozy-looking Walter stared around the frame. Holding her shirt closed with one hand, she turned to the astonished duo.
"Walter, have the cleaning staff come up here to remove that and clean up the mess. I'm going to have a shower, and I don't want it here when I get out. Oh, and get the door fixed."
"Yes, Sir Integra," he managed, then visibly pulled himself together and took off down the hall.
Integra raised her eyebrows at Seras. "Did you want something, Officer Victoria?" Seras, past speech from the mess on the floor and the fact she could only see her Master's boots past the bed on the floor, shook her head. "Then go away." Seras turned and fled. Integra delicately stepped past the pools of blood and worse on the floor, walking around the bed and stopping by the prone vampire, prodding him with her foot. "You go away too." His grin grew wider as he simply sank through the floor.
"Welcome back, Master," was all he said.
She gathered up another suit and stomped into her bathroom, closing and locking the door behind her. She realised when she was obsessively scrubbing her chest and neck that she would not be able to easily scrub Alucard's touch, like marble wrapped in velvet, from her mind. Or her enjoyment of it.
There was a gentle tap on the study door. "Come in," Integra ordered, riffling through the stack of paperwork that seemed to have grown much larger in size during her… incapacity.
Walter entered the room, pushing the tea tray before him. He deftly served her, placing a cup, a teapot, a light meal and a napkin before her with dexterous speed, then bowed, preparing to take his leave.
"A moment, Walter," Integra said, staring off into the room before focusing on him. "I… Are you injured?"
"No, just a bump on the head." The old retainers' voice was almost cheerful. "The repairs to your bedroom are almost complete. They've had to take the carpet up, so I took the liberty of choosing a new colour."
Integra nodded, then pushed a piece of paper across the desk at him. "This is a description of that magician. Before he ruined my carpet, he said something about being paid for his efforts. I want to know by whom. And we need to look into some kind of arcane protection for the manor. He just waltzed right in." Walter gathered up the paper and turned to leave once more. "I'm sorry," she blurted suddenly. "For kicking you. And everything else."
Walter turned back, a full smile on his face. "There's nothing for you to apologise for. But I would like to know where you learned all those words. It certainly wasn't from me."
An answering, small smile quirked Integra's lips upward. "A girl can't grow up around soldiers and learn nothing, you know." Walter bowed again and retreated as Integra lit a cigar and dragged another piece of paper towards her, that small smile still on her lips.
Integra tossed and turned, unable to sleep. She swung between acute embarrassment, anger, and something that she would not admit was longing. The grin on Alucard's face mocked her, even now. She knew she wouldn't be able to sleep until she got an answer from that bastard. Snarling silently, she lunged from her bed, dressed hurriedly, then stomped to the cellar.
Alucard watched Integra storm down the corridor towards him. So little difference between the last time and this, yet so much, he mused. She was once again in disarray, tie and cross pin missing, but this time her eyes were filled with anger instead of lust, and she stopped a good two meters away from him. This made him grin, which caused her to get even angrier.
"Is there something I can do for you, Master?" he smirked.
"Tell me why." He blinked. "More than once in this whole sorry mess I offered you my body and my blood. Why didn't you take m- them?"
Alucard just stared at her for a moment. Then he threw back his head and laughed uproariously. Integra felt herself blushing, then scowled and glared. When he'd simmered down, his voice was still extremely amused.
"Now here's a funny thing. I thought you'd be praising my restraint, not questioning why I didn't… take advantage."
His laughter had brought her temper to the boil. "He was right. You are a eunuch." She spoke before thinking. Faster than her eye could track, Alucard was out of his chair and had crossed the distance separating them. He went from frenetic motion to charged stillness, the edges of his coat brushing her legs, but nothing else touching her. Integra clamped down on the desire to step back and tilted her head to glower into his eyes.
When he spoke, his voice was a low, rough hiss. "Don't take your frustrations out on me, Master." He'd never spoken that word with as much contempt as he did now. "You hide in a man's suit, first to get those Round Table fools to take you seriously, then because you knew no other way. The police girl threatens you, because, even though she's abundantly female, no one treats her as a weak woman." Integra began to tremble in anger. "The side you've been hiding for all these years has woken, and you blame me for not following through, for not quenching that fire that burns within you even now, at a time when you could blame it on a spell." His voice grew even lower, an intimate growl that tugged things low in her stomach no hand was ever meant to touch. "But when you come to me, and you will, you'll come of your own free will, Integra. Anything else and the game would be spoilt." He leaned forward, his face a breath away from hers. "And I'll make your little lust dreams look like the pale shadows they are."
"How dare you?" she whispered, afraid that he was right.
"Because I can read your mind, Master." A gloating smile crossed his face as he leaned back. "I'm immortal. I have eternity. How long are you willing to wait, knowing that only I can put that fire out?" Integra backed up, one step, two.
"You lie." There was no conviction in her voice. "I'll never-" her voice broke. "Never. You had your chance vampire. You'll never get another." His smile said it all. Yes I will, it said, and when I do, you'll beg. "No." She turned and fled down the darkened corridor, Alucard's mocking laughter haunting her steps.