"Aim. Look at the target in your mind's eye. And fire," Alucard instructed a young Integra, who nodded seriously, brow furrowed in concentration. Her hands were shaking slightly from gripping the gun so hard; she so desperately wanted to show Alucard that she could shoot the target—just as well as he could. "Relax," he said calmly, moving behind her and around, covering her hands with his own to stop her hands from quivering.
Integra flinched and whirled away from his help, glaring at him furiously. "I can do it myself!" she yelled, accidentally pulling the trigger. The bullet went through him and disappeared, but no reaction showed on his face. Integra, on the other hand, turned white with mortification from being responsible for such an action, but couldn't quite bring herself to apologize to him.
"Of course, Master," Alucard said smoothly, fading away.
"No, wait!" a grown up Integra cried out, sitting upright in her bed. Breathing hard, she hurriedly massaged her temples, trying to ease the pounding in her head. "Only a dream," she assured herself, stepping out from under the covers and looking out the window. "Only a dream," she repeated, eyes straying to the clock on her nightstand. She sighed softly. It was 1:30 am. She doubted she would be able to go back to sleep so easily after a dream like that. Shivering, her mind drifted back to reflect on the dream, despite how much she wanted to dismiss it. Why had it disturbed her so much? Why did she keep assuring herself that it was only a dream? She closed her eyes and sank against the window frame. In the distance she could hear, ever so faintly, the sounds of gunshots. The target practice room, she thought immediately. The only ones who ever used it at night, though, were Alucard and Seras. Right now, Alucard was probably teaching Seras how to use her new gun.
An uncomfortable thought snuck up on Integra, nagging and taunting her until she realized what it was. "I've been replaced," she said softly out loud, an unfamiliar pang inside her. It was almost a question, but something told her it was true. Grimacing, she stood back from the wall and began dressing herself. If I can't sleep I might as well take a walk, she thought practically, trying, in vain, to shove away her unwanted thoughts an.
Taking her glasses from their precarious perch on the edge of her nightstand, she stepped out into the hallway, closing her door behind her.
She automatically walked in the direction of the target practice area; as the emotional and physical satisfaction gained from firing at targets was second to none. By the time she realized that Alucard and Seras were still there it was too late, she had already subconsciously opened the door and stepped inside. Seras was in the process of reloading her gun, but as soon as she saw Integra she snapped to attention. Alucard regarded her thoughtfully. "You're up late, master," he commented, a faint tone of curiosity in his voice.
Integra struggled to maintain calm features as she said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was here. Please continue, I'll come back later," before fleeing in a very un-Integra like manner out the door and to the library, leaving behind a confused Seras and an Alucard who was deep in thought.
Seras started forward, as if to follow Sir Integra, but Alucard stopped her. "This will be all for tonight, Police Girl," he said firmly, putting his own gun away and stepping out.
Seras frowned. "Um...about Sir Integral...is she...?...." she began to say, trying unsuccessfully to put her thoughts into an understandable question.
"I will deal with it," Alucard interrupted calmly, before turning and walking out of the room.