Disclaimer: Characters belong to Kouta Hirano, Bram Stoker, Stevenson, H. Rider Haggard besides ideas of Alan Moore.

Author's Notes: Lyanna Kane was kind enough to edit this response to a Halloween challenge ficlet in the bloodyshorts community of livejournal (came out a bit longer than I intend). There's a reference to the comic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (not the film version), I'll consider it in the same universe of Hellsing (thus historical figures). If there's a foreshadowing in the dialogue of what is happening in canon, it's completely incidental… or no. TeaRoses, this is for you ;)


I'm dying inside this, Integral thought, as she adjusted her costume on one of the corridors of Buckingham Palace. She was wearing heavy armour that covered her from her chest to her feet. She could barely walk, let alone dance inside the thing – the worst thing was that the metallic noise made by her ever footstep could be easily heard; she could not walk without people turning their heads to look at her. Fortunately, Integral could scare off suitors who would dare ask her a waltz by claiming her sword might slide off the sheath due to too much movement.

Why Integral had allowed Her Majesty to talk her into this masquerade idea was beyond her. Especially on the occasion of such a pagan holiday that did not belong to her country. At least, she liked whom her costume represented. Despite being a former enemy of the Empire and a Catholic, she admired Jeanne D'Arc's devotion. The historical figures theme was more appealing than dressing as a mere spook.

"Come now, Master, don't be a party pooper."

Integral jumped, fairly startled at the sudden murmur next to her ear. She glared at the inexistent reflection in the mirror and turned around. Alucard was standing close to her. Too close, even - their vests crashed in her spin. Integral cursed; she did not need more attention.

Alucard was sporting armour similar to hers and the most ridiculous haircut – monk style. She held her laughter.

"What did Her Majesty suggest for you? Friar Tuck in battle mode?" Integral teased, returning to the main ball room to search for a drink. Darn, she was sweating inside this can.

"Cold, la Pucelle," Alucard husked, hovering behind her like a shadow. "Guilles De Rais."

Integral froze in her path, narrowing her eyes. She recalled reading something about De Rais, a nobleman that had fought side by side with the Maiden of Orleans. He'd eventually become a child murderer and a monster. The Queen certainly had a macabre sense of humour.

"Why aren't you away and buggering little boys, then, Bluebeard?" Integral remarked snidely.

"Not unless the Catholics set you on fire first, Master. Therefore, I'll be following you, just in case Iscariot decides to attack. Halloween is a special night. And you don't want me to become a ruthless monster upon your demise, do you?."

"Too late for that. You already are a ruthless monster."

"But not an unleashed one, Integra."

Integral scoffed, choosing to change the subject. She picked up a goblet with red wine, taking a careful sip. God only knew what could be inside. Her gaze scanned the ball floor, distinguishing the silhouette of Seras Victoria. She was dressed in a green Victorian gown, completed with a hat and a red scarf around her neck. Her dance partner was Walter, who was sporting safari kakis clothes and an elephant rifle tied to his back. He seemed to whisper something into Seras' ear that made her giggle and blush. Such endearing display.

"Look at that, Alucard."

Alucard peered from above her head. She could swear that he just growled at the sight.

"What is it?"

"Did Her Majesty send those clothes to the Police Girl?" Alucard asked in a demanding tone.

"No, both costumes were my advice."

"Why did you suggest the Police Girl to dress as Madam Mina, Integra? You, on the other hand, would have made a better fit for that costume."

Integral shook her head. She should have known that his previous fixation with Miss Murray would offend his sensibilities.

"Only if you dress as Jonathan Harker, Alucard. You cannot assist as yourself to a costume Ball."

"So you'll divorce me after a few months of failed marriage?" Alucard laughed, his tone changing, shifting to sly. "Oh… did you just say you also advised Walter? My, my, Integra. I didn't know you were into that. You were fully aware that Mina and the Great White Hunter became lovers."

"Rubbish. Just because he's dressed as Allan Quatermain, it doesn't mean that that will happen. There are the same possibilities to Walter suddenly recovering his young appearance," Integral remarked, grinning. "But I must admit that they do look like an attractive pair, despite the age difference."

"Where's the Captain? Sulking in a corner?" Alucard inquired, asserting the celebration with clear interest. "What did you suggest for him?"

"Over there, on the food table," Integral gestured to her right, "His costume was expensive but realistic. Artificial skin and special rubber for muscles. If I was going to be a French hero, he would be a British one."

Bending to the food table, Pip Bernadette looked unrecognisable with his special disguise that made a giant with a gorilla-like appearance of him. He started to eat as he stared longingly in Seras' direction. Integral gathered that he had worse difficulties to move than she did. The poor Captain was unable to dance in such garb.

"Mr. Hyde? You wanted to kill him off? That can be easily arranged."

"Don't be ridiculous, Alucard. I'm certain Captain Bernadette won't give his life in a heroic attempt to protect 'Mina.' I thought it will be amusing…" Integral commented. "And a kindness done to Walter. He seems quite smitten with the Police Girl. He sent for that indecent miniskirt uniform she wears."

"Crafty. Perhaps you and Her Majesty have more things in common than you think. Apart for your both being saucy and beautiful ladies," Alucard stated. Integral did not like where the conversation was going. "Aside from that, you two appreciate a game of foreshadowing."

"Does that mean you shall molest little boys after my death, servant?"

Alucard leaned on her, in a failed attempt to look seductive. His hair was too funny in Integral's eyes.

"Oh no. Not these particular costumes," he answered, his smirk widening, "But I overheard that next year she's planning to have us both assist as Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester."