Chapter 15. the last chapter. Yay. it's freshly written, so if there are any grammar/spelling mistakes, just tell me.
It wouldn't be the first time things hadn't gone her way, Integra mused. And besides, Alucard's amnesia was probably for the best, anyway. It was unthinkable to have gotten so close to him; to allow her emotion s to get the best of her.
Yes, it was much better this way.
But if that was true, why was she still crying?
Because no matter how much you try to deny it, it hurts, she realized. Even after Walter had come down to Alucard's cell to check on her and he helped her back up to her room, she had still been in shock. She was still in shock, that Alucard had forgotten…them, their relationship, her.
There was a knock on the door, and Integra hurriedly dried her tears. "Come in," she said softly.
Walter entered, carrying a tray with a half-full bottle of cabernet and a wine glass.
"Walter...I didn't ask for wine," she said in confusion.
Walter smiled and set down a tray. "Well, I thought a little wine would not be amiss right now," he said vaguely.
Integra sighed. "Thank you," she said, taking the glass he handed her.
"You know," Walter began quietly, while Integra sipped her wine, "Alucard once told me that he always likened you to a cabernet in his mind."
Integra gave him a strange look. "A cabernet? Why?"
"He said that the grapes that are used to make a cabernet are hardy and strong; they can thrive almost anywhere, bear any amount of strain, and they will still turn into fine wine," Walter answered.
"Thank you, Walter," Integra said, "I'm not sure why, but that cheered me up immensely."
He smiled and inclined his head. "Now, why don't you go put the seals on him,"
he said carefully. "The longer you put it off, the harder it will be," he added, quelling the irrational fear that had started to rise up in Integra at the thought of going down there again to confront the person who had, it seemed, forgotten her entirely.
"I guess I'll do that," she agreed, smiling weakly.
Walter beamed encouragingly at her, took the tray and left the room.
Integra took one last sip of her wine and got up from her desk. Steeling her self for the task ahead, she called to mind the procedure for seals she had memorized long ago. It would take five steps to completely seal Alucard, and it required a great deal of concentration to complete. Sighing, she left the room and made her way to the basement.
Integra looked around for Quincy in the hall. It did not take long to find him crouched alongside the wall outside of Alucard's cell.
He held out two keys to her. "Each opens one of the shackles on Alucard's wrists," he explained. "And try to do it properly this time," he drawled at her before meandering away.
Integra glared at his retreating back before hesitantly opening the door. "Alucard?" she called softly into the gloom, stepping carefully into the cell.
"Hellsing," he acknowledged coolly. Integra sighed. She'd had a small hope that his memory might return, but she realized now that that had been a foolish idea.
Now, standing in front of him, she was suddenly unsure of what to say.
After a stifling silence, Alucard finally spoke up. "Well, are you going to stand there looking pale and tragic all day, or are you actually here for a reason?" he asked irritably.
"I've a present for you, Alucard," Integra said, hating herself more with every word she uttered.
"Oh? A nice present, I hope," he murmured.
Integra wondered at the absurdity of the situation. How was it that she could have a conversation--such a stupid conversation--with an unbound, powerful vampire who had the utmost desire to kill her? She supposed the shackles had something to do with sustaining his state of mind so he was sane enough to speak to her, but this did not account for her sudden desire to burst into hysterical laughter. "A nice present?" she repeated softly. "I suppose it depends on how you look at it," she murmured. And then she started to place the first seal on him.
As soon as Alucard realized what was happening he began to fight back viciously. Integra, however, had had the element of surprise and brushed off Alucard's belated attempts to stop her with relative ease. She managed to complete the first seal smoothly and watched as the red light of the binding sunk into Alucard's skin.
"Impressive," she heard Alucard say with grudging admiration. "But can you do the other four so easily, I wonder?"
Integra wondered too—after the first seal, she had to maintain physical contact with Alucard and the shackles would have to come off, or they would interfere with the construction of the seals. But she would have some modicum of control over his actions with one seal already complete.
"Don't underestimate Hellsings," she replied curtly. She saw Alucard smirk, but ignored him as she set about unlocking the shackles on his wrists.
When the last shackle fell to the ground, he immediately slammed into to her until she was pinned underneath him on the floor, and she severely winded despite the fact that she had braced herself for such an attack. "Don't underestimate me," he breathed into her ear. For a second, Integra thought he had regained his memory, the action was so like what he would have done had he regained it, but when he roughly bit into her throat, she doubted that he had.
After what seemed like eons she felt him move away from her throat, and then off of her chest, so that he looked down at her face. Then she discovered she could breathe again with his weight off of her lungs, and she tried to experimentally draw a breath. It hurt like hell, and she automatically started coughing.
Alucard froze, and she felt his stilled movement enough that she made effort to stop coughing and look up at him curiously. His eyes were closed and he was inhaling deeply.
'What?' Integra thought. 'What's going on?' she sighed at this new complication and noticed he shivered. A reaction to her…breath? Why would he be reacting to the smell of—she thought back to what she had last drunk—wine? "Oh," she breathed, remembering when she and Alucard had shared a bottle of wine and then...she had let him drink her blood. Had the smell of wine and the taste of her blood triggered a memory from somewhere within his mind?
Suddenly she had an idea. "When most I wink then do mine eyes best see," she tried experimentally, and he shuddered; a ripple coursing throughout his body, punctuated by a growl from deep inside his throat. "For all the day, they view things unrespected," she breathed, but stopped then, not trusting her voice to continue, because
Alucard had opened his eyes and looked at her.
"Integra," he murmured dreamily, cupping her face with one hand. "Integra..." he said again, and he leaned down, brushing his lips against hers.
"Alucard," she almost sobbed, puling him closer. "You remember."
"I remember," he assured her, running his hands through her hair and nibbling affectionately on her earlobe.
"Alucard…I have to…finish putting the seals on you," she said.
He stilled, and turned to look at her again. "Must you?" He asked lightly, but his eyes pleaded with her, or dared her to try, she wasn't sure. "I would be able to unlock the seals of my own accord down to this level anyway," he said, looking at her hopefully.
"As that is the case, I see no reason why I can't just put the other seals on you anyway," Integra pointed out dryly.
Alucard laughed. "Go ahead then, Integra. I will go back into servitude for you, but only for you," he murmured. "And then the day will come when you will be mine forever," he added possessively, but there was a question in his tone.
"Maybe," Integra replied vaguely, standing up and holding out a hand to help him up. He took it gently, and stood up, using their joined hands to pull her closer to him.
"Would you get it over with?" he asked, holding her a little more tightly than necessary.
Integra inwardly shivered, but obeyed his request quickly. The other four seals went over him quickly and locked his powers accordingly. She noticed she was trembling slightly, and Alucard's hold on her tightened comfortingly so that she felt secure in his arms.
Your mother's killer, her mind supplied her helpfully. She broke away from him abruptly and stood back. She had forgotten, how could she have forgotten that he had killed her mother, even with the fact that he had remembered everything again?
"Is it possible for you to forgive me?" Alucard asked, realizing why she had shied away. "Or at least come to terms with it?" he questioned, looking for the answer in her eyes.
"I'll admit it does put a damper on our relationship," Integra said lightly, but she couldn't escape the seriousness of the question. "I don't know," she said softly. "We'll have to see, won't we?" she asked.
Alucard smiled and they walked out of the cell together.
THE END, THANK GOD.
Thanks for all of your reviewses.
Aaaand a special thank you to Death's Integrity. You have reviewed since the beginning of my fanfiction….career? is that the right word? I guess.
At times when my self-confidence got low you were always reviewing and saying good job and encouraging stuff like that. Every fanfiction author fledgling should have someone as supportive as you. but everyone else helped too ). I couldn't have done it without you guys. I'm going to stop before this gets more sappy.