Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: This is my Christmas Gift for Nayela who requested a conversation between Integral, Alucard and the Queen (obviously, for the sake of not violating canon, will have the chats apart). Thanks Puck 3/4 for editing it!
A Knight with Two Masters
"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
After the ceremony was over, a sensation of relief spread through her tiny frame. Integral Fairbrooks Wingates Hellsing had just been granted the knight investitures by Her Royal Majesty. Said event was held in secret and only the Bishop of London, the Royal family and the knights that shared her rank were invited along with her faithful retainer Walter.
"Congratulations, Dame Hellsing," Walter smiled down the little girl, glowing in fatherly pride. Integral nodded, looking up her steward, straightening her long skirt.
"Thank you, Walter," Integral replied with the steeliest tone a thirteen years old managed to muster. "Where's Alucard?" she asked, looking around disappointed to not see him among the guests. She bit down her lip, and deemed that the attachment she held with the vampire was insane.
"Lord Alucard wasn't invited," Walter reminded her, discreetly gesturing in Prince Phillip's direction. "I'm afraid, Her Majesty's consort isn't too fond of him." Integral glanced at the pointed man and uttered an 'Oh.' Phillip was alone since Elizabeth had retired to her quarters immediately after the knighting.
"Excuse me, Dame Hellsing."
Integral looked over her shoulder to see one of the Royal envoys standing next to her. "Yes?"
"Her Majesty wants a word with you in private. Follow me."
Walter patted her shoulder, reassuring the young Hellsing Master. Mildly curious, Integral followed the guard, stepping out of the throne room and walking through a corridor. When they arrived to the end, he opened the door for her. "Dame Integral Hellsing has arrived," he announced.
The Queen was sitting on a couch around a coffee table. She was bent down, petting a Welsh corgi that barked when Integral stepped in. She knelt in her presence, "Your Highness."
"Arise, Sir Integral," Elizabeth indicated her. "And take a seat." Integral felt baffled at the Sir title but regardless did as she was ordered and sat down, in front of the Queen. "Don't be nervous, dear child. I just want a word with you."
Integral straightened her posture, her head still bowed in obedience. "May I ask the topic, Your Highness?"
"In a minute," the Queen replied as a manservant placed a tray with tea and biscuits on the table. "Do you wish something to eat or drink?" she inquired as her butler poured tea inside her cup. Integral shook her head.
"No, thank you."
Elizabeth dismissed the servants then and they were left alone – the Queen, the knight and the corgi. She took a sip before speaking again, "It's about Alucard."
"What about him?" Integral slightly demanded, feeling defensive all sudden. She realized her insolence soon and lowered her head apologetically. "I meant, what about my servant, your Highness?"
The Queen chuckled, placing the cup over the tray again to pet her dog. "Do you consider him merely a servant?" she asked. "Your faithful hound?"
Integral's brows furrowed, thinking carefully her answer until she came into a conclusion. "No."
"I appreciate that honesty, Sir Hellsing, don't fear to speak your mind," Elizabeth commented. "And I understand it. I wanted him to behold my crowning as much you craved for his presence in your knighting ceremony…" Her tone was almost dreaming, containing the melancholy of a fond memory buried within the passing of time. Integral's eyes opened wide in wonder.
"We used to be very close when I was very young," the Queen confessed. "He helped me to accept the weight of duty and…" She paused, grimacing slightly.
"When you grow up I might discuss this issue with you again," she responded to Integral's disappointment. "What I want to tell you, Integral, is this…" she did another pause, her aged eyes met Integral's. "Sometimes the lines between Master and servant are blurred. Even with my corgis, I constantly seek their approval and happiness." Integral looked down the dog, he was waving his tail, tongue lolled out of his mouth, clearly content by the Queen's ministrations. "You ought to be extremely wise and careful to choose who your real liege is because there must be one to avoid conflict."
Integral meditated her words, "The Lord is my guide and Master, and you are His ambassador in this Earth, Your Highness," she stated firmly, "Doubt won't affect me again. Hellsing is on a mission from God."
"Excellent, Sir Hellsing," the Queen approved with a small clap of her hands. "Your ancestors would be proud of you. You are dismissed now. God be with you."
"Amen," Integral rose and saluted formally then started her path towards the exit. She stopped her tracks when Her Majesty added to her speech.
"You will do good to remember as well that good leaders also looked after their servants' welfare."
"I will," she vowed and lowered the doorknob to exit, then she shut the doors. Her brow lifted to spot sitting in the middle of the corridor a black corgi with suspiciously red eyes. "Alucard? What are you doing here?" she huffed, "You weren't invited."
The dog grinned, showing his exaggerated long teeth before trotting in her direction. 'You wanted me to be here. I'm but a loyal servant who obeys his liege, Integra.'
Integral groaned at his excuse but then smiled. "Then you beheld the ceremony?" she asked, fairly beaming.
'A little. Before one of the maids booted me out with a broom.'
"You haven't impaled her with it, have you?" Integral interrogated, narrowing her eyes. He merely laughed in response. She sighed, deeming that a lost case. "The Queen just said to me you two used to be close," Integral trailed off, hopping to obtain new information. Blasted curiosity of hers. "But she didn't clarify how much… She'll wait until I'm older."
'Maybe she is waiting for Walter to give you the talk about where new vampire hunters came from before touching the… exact nature of our former relationship.'
Integral blushed to hear that. That was the reason why Prince Phillip disliked Alucard? Oh my…Tactfully, she switched subjects, noticing the corgi was carrying a glittering item between his teeth. "Alucard… what's that and where did you get it?" She knelt to retrieve it, after some struggling, she snagged it. It was a silver cross pin.
'I brought it for you. Walter's idea,' he quickly cleared out, 'It was from your father. That is the Master you serve, Integra.'
Integral smiled, wiping the saliva away before placing the pin on her tie. Then she petted Alucard as the Queen had caressed her corgi. She could sense his mixed annoyance and content. "Thank you, Alucard," she paused and stood, glancing around to see if anyone had seen them. The hallway was empty, probably one of the vampire's tricks. "Don't you wish to speak with Her Majesty before we leave?"
'No,' he replied, sitting beside her legs. 'Just like you, I cannot be a knight with two Masters.'