Little Match Girl
by Charis

Disclaimer: None of this is mine. Based off the anime rather than the manga.

Notes: Looking at a picture by Carpe Noctem (4visions . net / hellsing / pictures / hellsingAU15.jpg -- goodness, it's hard to put URLs up here! you'll need to take all the spaces out) of what could well be an older Integra with a child in her lap, Alucard watching them through the window, made the idea gnaw at me. I suspect it's somewhat trite, but I'm just trying to get these things out of my head. Title is misleading, but there is (if I remember the tale right) a part in "The Little Match-Girl" where she looks through the windows of the rich houses in on their festivities. I tried to keep things as IC as I could.

When she was younger, he used to watch her constantly -- from mirrors, from the darkened corners of her room, from her windows on nights she ordered him out. She seldom drew the curtains after she banished him, however, and he took that as encouragement, whether it was meant or not.

That was back when he still could convince himself that some day she would join him. Now he watches more rarely, and when he does, it is with a wistful sadness that would surprise most who know him. This happens sometimes, however; his cold heart will wake, or perhaps his mind will simply become enamoured with a person, for one reason or another, and he will hunt them as patiently as he ever does his prey, watching and waiting and yearning. It had been years since anyone had interested him quite so much as she had, however. Perhaps it was because she constantly refused him.

He had dared to hope, for the longest time, that she might eventually reconsider.

He had not realised quite how deeply her sense of duty ran -- or perhaps he had, and had simply chosen not to think of the matter. But he watches her now -- from outside her window; he has not come inside since -- and sees her with the child. Small still, younger even than she was when they first met, and with dark hair, but the blue eyes are undeniably hers -- Hellsing eyes. A boy -- a boy he fancies, if looks were what mattered most, could be his. He has never asked who the father was. The fact that it is none of his business does not stop him; he dreads what she might say, and what he might see in her eyes when she speaks of the man.

It amazes him that she managed this without alerting him. He left on a mission, came back some time later, and noticed almost immediately the difference. Attuned as he had always been to her, she should have expected it. Perhaps she did. Perhaps that was why she took pains to conceive when he was gone. He could not have borne the thought of a man in her bed, when it was always closed to him ... another man taking the body he had always sworn would be his.

But he never saw the man, only her body gradually rounding as pregnancy progressed, constant reminder of what had surely been. It was not a state which suited her: accustomed to being in the field, giving commands and working hellacious hours -- to say nothing of her cherished cigars -- being trapped in what she had scathingly called 'insipid, enforced, tea-drinking idleness' had nearly driven her mad. She had scarcely recovered from childbirth when she was back in her usual suits, cigar tucked in the corner of her mouth, issuing orders to the new recruits. For a while, he had thought everything was back to normal.

Except that he could not forget. The child was brought up by nannies at the beginning, but as the boy grew older, Integra began taking time with him. A little here and there became more, and if Walter and -- surprisingly -- Seras spent more time with him, then there was still no denying his mother was a presence.

He had been jealous. Jealous of a shadow of a man, and jealous of the boy. Jealous of anyone and anything that seemed to pull his Integra further away from him. Angry, probably, because the birth of her son had cemented his servitude to another generation of Hellsings, but moreso because it meant the organisation would continue, and if that was to happen, there was even less of a chance she would ever come to him.

He had been jealous, but it had become weariness over the years, something of a pallid resignation. He still wanted her, still yearned after her so strongly it was a physical pain at times, but he had become, against his better judgement, fond of the boy as well. Watching them both now, through the window, he is reminded of another uncomfortable wanting: family. He would not trade his existence for it, no, but there are moments that he almost might ...

He lays his hand on the glass for a moment, sees mother and son both look up. Integra's face hardens, as it always does when she sees him, into that mask he knows so well, but the boy only raises a chubby hand and waves cheerfully. Alucard smiles thinly and waves back, but his eyes see only Integra's as he pushes back and fades into the darkness. That world of warmth and light is not his, no matter how much he sometimes wishes it could be.