Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Another of the ficlets I'm giving as Christmas Gift. This was requested and edited by Bishounen no Hime (some interaction between Major Max and Integral without being pairing). This is a possible future, post war, most certainly AU.
A Beast of Word
The cell she was in was just large enough for herself, let alone to share it with anyone. Little and dark, it was only illuminated by several candles. Integral missed the smell of cigars if only to cover the stench that came from the dreadful incense which revolved in her stomach.
The war had ended.
Integral did not respond, attempting her best to feign to be deaf to the world. She would be dead within an hour or so, depending on her captor's whims. But she knew that he was clever enough to realize that if she died, Alucard would be unstoppable. A lifetime of prison, rotting in that forgotten spot instead of a glorious demise was a cleverly devised torture.
The insistence of the tone made Integral turn her head. Mayhap she should take the opportunity and have a conversation with another before she was left alone. Even if that other was no one else but Major Montana Max. He was chained on the opposite side of the cell, bound at the legs and wrists with silver shackles. He still managed to preserve his suit pure white, even in the denigrating conditions both were in.
"I just vanted to hear your voice again… Do you enjoy the quarters?"
Integral scowled, detecting a certain tone of irony in his voice. "The room is fine, it's the company that displeases me."
"Complain that to the boy. But I'm glad to have been put vith you."
Integral lifted an eyebrow, folding her arms. "Because you could stare at something 'beautiful' until Maxwell's henchmen led you to the execution field?" she asked, sarcastic and tired.
Integral had no doubt Enrico would apply the most sadistic methods possible to kill the Major while forcing her to watch the process. She tried to push away the lingering memory of Anderson's execution, it made her blood boil. Integral had no love for the Paladin but respected him enough to know that his life should have not ended like that - immobilized and tossed to the awaiting mouths of former British citizens that had became ghouls while the crowd of knights cheered at every bite the monsters snapped out his body. A new Circus for the new Roman Emperor.
Major laughed, she looked at him with mild annoyance. "Ja, part is that. Another is that I rather be with a vorthy foe than a veak one."
"They won," Integral pointed out, defeating her own denial. "I wouldn't call them the losers, Major. Fanatic, psychopath megalomaniacs? Yes. But that's a trait you share as well."
"Did they? The little man had not broken you," Major replied with a smile. "Until then, he has lost."
Integral blinked, stunned for an instant before sweeping the surprise away. "I'm not that important… nor egocentric to presume I am."
"Ah, but fraulein, can't you see that you are?" Max chuckled, leaning his head on the wall. "You're the Master of the monster, if you're conquered, he would be too." Integral huffed; she supposed the loon had a point. "Aside of that, you're beautiful and being a priest doesn't equal to be an eunuch."
Integral shifted on her position; straightened and faked she was not unnerved by his lustful gaze appraising her body. Dear God, why were all crazy evil overlords after her? The damsel in distress role was not made for a Hellsing at all. "If he tries something unorthodox," she commented, grimacing. "I assure you he will become an eunuch. And what's your excuse?"
"Just like my Führer," Max said, "I've also admired the Britons." Integral stared at him intensely. "Vhich is vhy I attacked London myself. If the Empire fell it vould be at my hands."
Integral did not comment on that. It would be a waste of her time to speak about morals with a former member of the SS that held no remorse whatsoever of his deeds. "And here I thought you were having a pissing competition with Alucard to see who was the best mass murderer."
Major laughed again, harder this time. "I think I have surpassed him now," he announced with a mad gleam in his eyes. Integral gritted her teeth, remembering all the innocent people of London – impaled, burnt, dismembered, eaten… The buildings in ruins, blood running for the Thames. It was all a game for him, for Maxwell and for Alucard.
"Oh? Did you keep up with the body count, Major?" Integral snapped, almost hissing through her gnashed teeth. "I thought you missed the mark after the first thousand."
"Do I detect some bitterness, fraulein?"
"For someone who is about to meet his doom. I would think you should be frightened for your soul's final destination." Her eyes narrowed, knowing that the undead heathen would not care if he burnt in Hell or not. "Or a demise in hands of what you called 'the unworthy' ones." There was a flicker of something that was not madness and bloodlust in his orbs. Integral smirked proud that she had finally found a topic that riled him.
There was a prolonged silence, Integral wondered if her words were offensive enough to make him stop talking for good. She studied the Major for a while with keen interest. There was certain twitch on the corners of his lips – did the knowledge that his foes had not been destroyed and that they neither smote him displease him? To have been surprised and crushed by someone whom he had not even taken into consideration?
"I call an armistice, fraulein Hellsing," Major finally spoke again. There was a calm resolution in his features, lips twisted in a tranquil smile. That visage did not fool her the slightest, beneath all that he was a raging beast.
"You who has ordered the devastation of my city are requesting a truce with me?" Integral's voice rose, wrath barely contained. How she yearned to strangle him, to make his pig-like face squeal in pain. It was her right, her duty. "That's even too mad for you."
"Ja, fraulein, my beautiful Valkyrie. It's something ve both vant," Major assured her, "Or are you alloving them to finish me?"
Integral's eyes widened in realization. No, that was not how it was supposed to be. Major was right, she nodded her head, accepting the armistice. He in return, merely smiled serenely. Now, it was time to wait and scheme. Half an hour passed until Enrico entered escorted with two knights. She was on them before he could gloat again in her face, disarming one of the guards and wounding his partner with the stolen weapon.
"Stop her, idiots!" Enrico ordered, calling more guards. "But don't harm her. I want her unscathed."
Against Enrico's predictions, Integral did not escape – she could not achieve that miracle even if she tried. Instead, she rushed deeper inside the cell, towards the awaiting Major who spread his arms as wide the chains that held him allowed. Without hesitation, Integral plunged the spear in his heart, impaled the organ and took it out, tossing it to the ground. Then she proceeded to sever his head from his body. He did not scream, rather gave a victorious laugh.
You're not going to Valhalla, Major. Your next stop is in Hell, Integral thought venomously, staring at the headless form clothed now in a bloodied suit. She opposed no resistance to the knights that restrained her, forcing her to drop the cutting weapon. Nor paid heed to Maxwell's enraged exclamations. Her eyes remained on the corpse of the madman she had called a terrorist and for the first time she felt a little respect - very, very little.
Despite all the slaughter, Montana Max had no pretences of goodness or being her ally like Maxwell, who had betrayed her later. The Major was like Alucard in that sense – a beast of word.