Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano, Dracula to Bram Stoker.
Author's Notes: Ficlet dedicated to Raykat and edited by Dreadnot. Personal take on the beginning of Hellsing (mostly Manga based but if volume 7: "a vampire came to England to claim a woman" stands, could be for Anime as well).
"How is Jonathan?"
His sudden question took Wilhelmina Murray off guard for a minute, during which several emotions were displayed her face – grief, rage, and a tiny selfish relief mixed with satisfaction. She should have expected the subject would be brought up at some time but it was dumbfounding nonetheless. The conversation with Professor van Helsing had been mundane since she arrived to his new residence, located near the Epping Forest. The building was small but still under construction.
"You have read Doctor Seward's reports, Professor," Mina replied, taking a sip of her tea. "He's not very well. He never recovered from Quincey's miscarriage."
Mina regarded him through expressionless eyes. "No, but it's not my mind that I lost with my son."
"Neither was your ability to bear children," Abraham added, staring at her.
"How is your wife, Professor? Any advance in her state?" Mina changed subjects. If he were going to speak so openly of her former husband's fall to madness, she would return the favour. Abraham was very dear to her but there were issues she tried to avoid lately, her heart was in constant mourning, thus she decided those feelings would join the ones she had lost.
"Former wife," he corrected her, looking through the window. The sun was setting already, the sky shifted from blue to red shades.
"Pardon? Does she pass away? I apologize, Professor. I must confess I was not aware of that." Mina cast her gaze down, ashamed of her venomous tongue.
"My dear Miss Murray," Abraham chuckled loudly, standing and walking towards her. "Florence is quite alive and still insane. I am divorced from her."
"Divorced? I don't understand, I thought Catholics were not allowed to."
"I am not Catholic anymore," Mina sensed remorse in his words. "I was adopted by this country and as such I embraced their traditions, including Anglicanism."
Mina forced a smile, lowering her teacup, staring down at her reflection in the liquid. "You must forgive me, Professor. I am simply startled by the news. I never thought you would actually divorce your wife."
"You divorced as well, Madam Mina," Abraham pointed out, approaching her, his shadow projected over her face. She wanted to protest to say her case was different, but it was not really. The loss of a son and a vampire attack were the causes for both of them. "And they granted you a divorce, to a woman who isn't from the aristocracy nor in a high position, a novelty. Didn't you wonder what I said to convince the government?"
Mina was curious now, she had to admit that she was intrigued, and the same time wished the man would distance himself from her. She no longer tolerated people approaching so closely.
"Need. That was why they agreed to my plea," Abraham stated and knelt, grasping her hands between his. They were wet and warm, he was sweating, seemingly anxious. "My dearest Mina, I am not getting younger and soon I won't be able to sire progeny," he stated, his blue eyes were reassuring. "I beg to not appear rude but if I don't beget, then our efforts in the hunt will be in vain."
Mina shut her eyes. She had heard enough, she was fully aware what he was asking for. "Why me?" she asked, she had to. She must know why the Professor would be forcing her to live with the one she had both adored and despised.
"Because you are intelligent and kind, no matter if your heart is beyond repair," Abraham murmured, kissing her knuckles. "You are strong, a survivor of vampires such as myself. What better matriarch could a bloodline ask? Besides, you are beautiful to this old man, Mina beyond words I can describe."
Mina was speechless for a moment, troubled by the declaration of affection from her confidant. She had never thought in him in those terms, a friend perhaps, but not a lover. Yet his reasoning was flawless. "Then I must agree, Professor," she finally uttered. "Not for you or me but for our former spouses and our dead children. No more victims, we will keep the Empire safe and in our Lord's good graces."
She had been reading more and more about the New Woman, she now aspired to be one herself. And, unlike Jonathan, Abraham was more progressive and no doubt would accept her choice.
"Bless you, Madam Mina," Abraham stood and kissed her forehead gently. "You are compassionate, a gem sparkling among the women of London!"
"You flatter me, Professor," Mina nearly blushed at his outburst. Abraham was rather open with his affection, unlike her ex-husband's polite courting and Dracula's sensual and violent seduction.
"And well deserving of it you are, my dear," Abraham indicated, picking up the tray with the pot of tea. "I will refill this for you. Please say you will stay to dine with me."
"I shall stay and dine," Mina promised, her simple gestures made the Professor happy. And at least some of her friends enjoyed what life provided. She watched him depart through the door, as soon he left a layer of mist poured into the room. Inwardly, she reached for her neck, both excited and apprehensive. He was here, visiting her again.
"You have been eavesdropping." She did not need to ask, Mina knew Dracula had been doing that. Each time he was close, the hairs of the back of her neck rose and the scars he left on her neck tickled. She failed to inform Abraham for she did not want him to punish the Count.
Dracula had barely changed since she last time she had seen him, staked and captured, blood tears had stained his pale cheeks from that humiliation. He still wore the black suit and the regal cloak. His hair was long and wild, it moved as if alive. His hellish eyes seemed to consume her narrow form. Red pentagrams were imprinted on his pristine gloves, most certainly a symbol of the seals the Professor had commented on. The vampire's expression was blank.
"I thought you were forbidden to see me."
"I am not a tamed cub, Madam Mina," Dracula stated, narrowing his eyes then smirked, displaying his fangs in an attempt to frighten her. "And I always find a way to move around the old man's commands. I have done so much without his knowledge, including reading that Irishman's work of fiction. Almost faithful in most accounts except for the unrealistic ending and my one dimensional characterization."
"How much have you heard?"
"Enough," Dracula answered, looking at her with a mixture of emotions – jealousy, hatred and a wistful longing. "But I think I prefer you with that hunter than in the arms of the spineless fool."
"Have you given up because now I am not a virgin any longer and thus out of your grasp?" Mina asked, her tone was more bitter than she thought. Why did she care so much?
"I left my castle for you, I crossed lands and seas," Dracula stated, his expression was solemn then it faded in pure wickedness. "I'd rather have you here in the Mansion where I can seduce you into the forbidden pleasures of infidelity than away in some domestic life as Harker's trophy wife."
Mina shook her head. "Will you disobey my wishes as much you twist my future husband's orders?"
Dracula laughed and approached, looming as Abraham had loomed before, kneeling as had the Professor in front of her. "You are still blood of my blood," he informed her. "The curse may fade as did the mark that once you wore on your forehead, but my blood will remain." Mina said nothing, even if she found such revelation disturbing. "It will pass to your child and to your grandchild and the generations to come."
Her features hardened, her posture straightened and she put a hand on her own chest, attempting to calm her pounding heart.
"I will be loyal to them, Mina, as I am loyal to you now," Dracula pointed out, he had his head down. "And when a female will be born, because it is meant to be to some point, she will be magnificent as you are…even more, she will be inhuman in life as you aren't. I will see that one become the companion I lost."
Mina felt cold inside. Had she damned her progeny? Would she tell Abraham? No, she mused, No human will become a merciless monster.
"But it's possible, my Mina," Dracula retorted. "Otherwise I wouldn't be here now." He laughed – loudly and cruelly. "You will be the Matriarch of a bloodthirsty clan. Their bodies won't turn but their minds will. Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh…"
The Count was gone before Abraham returned with hot tea in a new pot. The liquid no longer warmed her, nothing would any longer. She never recovered like her Jonathan, but it was not her mind what she lost, but her ability to feel, and not even the omen of being a Matriarch of a doomed line fazed Wilhelmina Murray anymore.