Birthday daze

I don't own Hellsing.  More's the pity.

Integra woke up suddenly.  She impatiently pushed away the platinum blonde strands of hair that had stuck to her face and jammed her spectacles on her nose.  Slipping out of bed, she examined her face minutely in the small mirror on her dresser.  No pimples, she thought, relieved.  Then another thought struck her, turning her towards her small calendar.  It can't be…  Well, well, sixteen today.  Damn.

"A letter for you, Milady," the last remaining servant in the house said.  "From Walter.  And I'm ready to take you to Church."

"I'm not going," Integra announced, taking the letter.  "God will have to get along without me this week.  You are dismissed."

The man gave a bow, then left swiftly.  Sunday was the only day all the Hellsing servants had off, so they made the most of it.

Integra tore open the letter.  Walter's voice sounded in her head as she read.

"Sir Integra, my deepest apologies, but I received urgent word last night after you had gone to bed that a situation has arisen in France that requires my immediate attention.  I should be back tomorrow.  Happy birthday.  Walter."

She slipped the letter back into it's envelope and sighed.  Fantastic.  Wonderful.  Happy birthday indeed.

After burning some breakfast, Integra took to wandering through the empty mansion.  Even her troops had the day off.  Integra had never really noticed just how big her ancestral home was.  And how quiet.  Every step she took echoed.  It was strange, and a little scary, she admitted to herself.

She found herself wandering in the underground corridors by noon, and standing in front of the door she had opened two years before.  The red symbols were still there, the two six pointed stars within the circles.  'I know you don't want to die tonight,' his voice had whispered in her head.  Integra still didn't know what to think of the vampire Alucard.  He was cutting, cynical and a little crazy.  He was also tall, dark, handsome, and her servant.  She knew that he would die before she was allowed to come to harm, because, at Walter's urging, she had made it a standing order.  And since he was immortal, that would take some doing.

He scared her, but what would have happened had she not found him scared her more.  Even just thinking about it made her blood boil.  Her own uncle would have killed her for her birth right, the sacred trust her father had given her on his death bed.  She turned abruptly away and stalked back down the corridor, pausing between steps as an idea occurred to her.  Integra grinned.  No Walter, no Alucard, no servants, no minders.  Her grin grew wider.  She could have some fun.

Sunset found her sitting with splayed legs on the floor of the library, clutching a half full bottle of burgundy by the neck and crying.  Another empty bottle lay on it's side on the desk.  Integra had chosen to sit on the floor when the traitorous chair had rocked, then dumped her, and she had abandoned her glass when it kept making her miss her mouth.  Now she wept, and couldn't really remember why.

A blurry black blob appeared in front of her.  She blinked, removed her glasses, scrubbed her eyes on her sleeve then put her glasses back on.  Boots!  They were boots!  Integra tilted her head, her gaze travelling up charcoal grey pants and a red coat, before fixing on a red tie.  It was at this point that she fell over backwards, unable to keep her balance.  She felt a hand yank the bottle from her before her head made brisk contact with the marble floor.  Stars exploded across her vision, and she distantly heard herself say "Ow."

When she had enough coordination between her body and brain, she levered herself to her elbows and tried to focus her eyes again.  After blinking several times, she realised.  Alucard.  Both of him.  The room and the vampire were moving in unpredictable ways, so she closed her eyes and managed speech.  "What do you want?"  She paused.  "And give me that bottle back."  Opening her eyes a bit, she watched him place the wine on the floor by her hand.  He had crouched, and was barely a foot away, his chest level with her head.  His dark hair was tousled, and there was a slight smile, one that looked genuine, on his face.

"You know, you're kinda cute.  I mean, there's the whole blood-sucking-fiend thing to deal with, but you're actually quite good looking."  Integra blinked, then blushed.  Oops, she thought.

Alucard just looked at her for a moment, then exploded into laughter.  When he'd calmed down a bit, he stated, "Of all the things I've ever seen, nothing has amused me more.  A Hellsing, blind drunk, giving compliments to her vampire servant."  He laughed again.

Integra flushed.  "Did you want something?" she demanded sharply.

Alucard was still grinning.  "I heard you crying."

Integra bit her lip.  "Oh.  That."

"May I know why?"

Integra knew it was the wine that made her answer.  "It's my birthday."  Alucard simply tilted his head, and she read his puzzlement as indifference.  Her drunken tears came again.  "I'm sixteen!  Instead of a party or presents, what do I get?  An empty house!  And the only person who remembered isn't here!" she wailed.  Uncaring that he was a vampire, she grabbed his coat in both hands and buried her face in his shirt, sobbing uncontrollably.

Alucard stared down at her.  At home with guns, ammunitions and the slaughter of the undead, he had no idea how to deal with a drunk, emotional, sixteen-year-old female.  Where was Walter when he needed him?  He patted her shoulder awkwardly, and silently wished she'd stop soaking his shirt.  Although she was endearing, in a kittenish, childish way.

He slid his gloved fingers beneath her chin and lifted her head so she could meet his eyes.  His crimson orbs burned into her blue ones.  "Self pity makes me feel sick.  All you need to remember is that you are Integra Wingates Hellsing.  Let that make you strong."  He changed his tone.  "And I think you're sleepy."  Her eyes blurred, crossed, then she passed out onto his chest.

Humans.  I'll never understand them, he sighed to himself as he picked up his young Master.  Never.

Integra woke with a start, turning green.  She dashed for the bathroom door, and made it just in time.  Only after her heaving stomach had subsided did she notice the rank, disgusting smell rising from her stained shirt.  She managed to pull it off before her stomach rose again.  Between dry heaves, she shoved the shirt in the sink and turned the tap on, hoping to get rid of the smell.

When her heaves subsided, Integra staggered back into bed on shaking legs.  Her head seemed far too small to contain the throbbing ache inside, and her throat felt like sandpaper.  Never again, she moaned silently.  Never, ever again.  Her memories of the previous night were hazy, and non-existent after she'd made it to the library.

I will never lose control like that again, she thought, as she drifted off to sleep.

Alucard watched from the shadows, grinning.  Never lose control again, eh?  This kitten was going to be fun.