Integra took the package. It gave slightly under its own weight, bending with a crinkle of paper. She opened the wrapping and stared at the leather-bound book nestled within. It was cracked, very much used. Opening to the first page, she saw her grandfather's handwriting on the first page.
She started hesitantly. "This is…"
"The journal kept by both your grandfather and your father." The vampire sat downin his loose boned way in a padded chair.
Alucard continued. "This contains many things that most do not know about Hellsing and the work they have done. It was entrusted to me when I was asked to step into my confinement. Your uncle was becoming ambitious and I was not needed, so I was kept secret and the documents contained within that," he said, gesturing towards the volume. "It was thought better for some things to remain hidden. I, however, thought that with the problems rising with the FREAKS that you might want the knowledge."
Integra ran her fingers across the pages, scanning the things written in her grandfather's spidery handwriting or her father's bold strokes. There were notes about the various things that they had done to Alucard, missions that had gone sour, and the rising tensions with the Vatican group, despite their close ties at the start of the century.
"I don't know what to say, Alucard," she whispered. She looked at everyone gathered around and stood.
"I couldn't think of anything to get you, any of you. You've done so much for me that I cannot encapsulate it into a mere gift."
Seras looked at her, the slight glimmer of tears in her eyes. Pip cocked an eyebrow at her while Walter looked on in something akin to bemusement.
Alucard merely grinned.
"Seras, Pip," she continued, handing them both small packages. "You are my most loyal officers. I cannot express my gratitude, but I can allow you both this. Within you will find both your new rank insignia and a pair of vouchers for tickets with British Airways. I have authorized a two week leave for you both and you may take it anywhere you wish."
She turned to Walter. "Walter. You have been my father, my aide, my confidant and my bodyguard. I would not be the person I am without you. I cannot find the words to describe what you have been to me nor can I find a proper gift. For you, I sadly must confess that I have no material gifts for you. You may request a leave or any other thing that you might wish."
She turned to face them all. "You all have become more than just my subordinates, my employees. You are my family. You have become a part of my life and for you all I would fight tooth and nail. Never doubt that."
"What about me, Master?"
She turned to the vampire. "Yes, I suppose even you, Alucard, though I know such sentiments are beneath you." She pulled out a small package and lofted it to the vampire. "That is for you."
The vampire opened it, seeing a blood pack in the paper. "I am so touched," he said dryly and drank from it. His eyes flew open.
"This," he said.
"Yes," she said.
"It's my blood."
Outside, crouched behind the door and peering through the keyholes, Mick and Lynn stood up and walked away, grins on their faces.
"Told you that they'd enjoy Christmas this year," Mick said.
"Still think my ideas were better," the brunette said.
"Yeah, they were and they were funny, but this way we don't get faced with the choice of kissing each other or Alucard after he sucked on an onion," pointed out the man.
"You saying it's a hard choice?" She asked as she shoved him lightly as they walked, and he grinned before slipping his arm about her waist.
"Hardly, but I don't think we should give the readers a show."
They walked past a large painting on the wall, and stopped to look at it. It held all the members of Hellsing in an almost familiar setting, Integra sitting in a chair with Alucard standing behind her, Walter on one side and Pip on the other with Seras perched on a lower stool in front of Pip. There was a note on the bottom.
"Sir Integra, this painting represents the way I feel towards us: You, Walter, Pip, and Master Alucard. I could think of nothing outside this to get you for Christmas and as a way of thanking you for taking us in as more than employees.- Seras Victoria."
A/N: Well, I know it was a bit sentimental, but it was showing things that could have happened. Also, Erin, you came up with the idea of Integra giving him blood and I just wanted to give you the credit. Also, I'm working on Pip's paperweight and the portait, so keep an eye on the DeviantArt pages, codenamed michaeldykes