Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano, A Cradle Song to William Blake and Vampires film to John Carpenter.
Author's Notes: Response of the June Challenge in fiction haven of livejournal, the selected quote among the ones proposed is: "Isn't it beautiful? Something you'll never forget? I know I won't" of the film Vampires. Possible slightly AU if Hirano contradicts my work, spoilers up to Hundred Swords Two (volume 8, chapter 7). Edited by Dreadnot.
Integral Hellsing stirred in her slumber; the bottom part of her body ached just like her head. During her feverish sleep she swore that she heard a lullaby and felt hands caressing her cheek tenderly. She opened her eyes and glanced up at the ceiling; it was silver, metallic, she did not recognise it. The details were lost to her without her glasses and with the bright light blinding her. With an effort, she attempted to sit straight, but as soon she moved her legs pain shot through her system, forcing her to remain still and wincing on the hospital bed. Breathless, she gritted her teeth, waiting for the agony to fade to be able to recall what happened.
There was blood, so much blood. It had been everywhere, on the ground she walked on, it fell in an unnatural rain from the sky, and there was blood even on her. She paused, smearing her hand on her clothes, staining her gloves further. Nearly dry blood. She squeezed her eyes shut, attempting to remember.
Screams, everyone had been shouting around her, every a vampire had collapsed in suffering. All but one. She had seen him and recognised him immediately, despite his younger looks, his darker clothes, and his red eyes – Walter.
Seras, Alucard, Integral thought, trying to move, disturbed by the images. She pushed herself out of the bed, falling to the floor, trying to ignore the affliction in her legs, her lower legs must been broken, she could not move them. Crawling, Integral tried to reach for the door, supporting her weight on her elbows. Her heart was pounding out of her chest, but she did her best to keep her breathing normal; unnecessary agitation would not help her escape.
Once she exited the room, Integral had no clear idea what to do. Was she in the Zeppelin? Or maybe in some kind of secret headquarters? She dodged the corpses that were sprawled in her path, if those tiny pieces of flesh could be considered bodies. She stopped to breathe and normalize her pulse rate before continuing, accidentally prickling her right hand on a the thick glass of shattered lenses when she had nearly reached the threshold. For a second, she thought the shards were from her glasses, but then dismissed the idea completely. The crystal is too big.
"They belonged to the one who changed me," a male voice stated, behind her. Integral froze on place, turning her head to glance at the speaker; sweat and hair concealed her features. Walter. He was standing on a corner, near the hospital bed with his arms crossed, watching her. "The one who brought so much suffering to our family."
"Walter…" Integral stated, trying to continue her futile escape, but with her right hand wounded, it slowed her down. "You were here all the time?" she asked, trying to buy some time. For some reason, she did not trust Walter, something he had done, but she could not remember.
"He's dead now, Integral," Walter assured her, approaching very slowly. "Everyone who tried to separate us is gone."
Everyone, Integral mused, closing her eyes in distress. Seras trembling under the influence of the red rain but rising, surviving the onslaught that exterminated the soldiers of Millennium like flies. She had tried to fly Integral away and… "You killed Seras!" she accused, the image of the Police Girl being sliced in countless pieces by his merciless wires came to her mind. She didn't even have a chance to scream.
"That whelp was trying to take you away from me," Walter snapped, kneeling, stroking her head. "What kind of monster can separate a daughter from her father?"
"You aren't my father, Walter! You are my butler!" Integral stated, trying to move away, not able to decide if she should attack him or just distance herself. His expression darkened, he roughly pulled her hair, making her flinch.
"They have done something to you, Integral, deceived you. Of course you are my beloved daughter, you are the only being I care for," Walter told her, his grip on her hair loosened. "See what you make me do, punish you for running away," he sighed softly. "I didn't want to tie you like that madman did to me and your grandmother, but I cannot let you escape. I thought your legs would be enough," he commented, grabbing her wrists gently before pressing until the bones cracked. Integral bit her tongue, unable to avoid screaming in pain. "Don't worry, I will make the pain go away soon. The confusion will be gone…"
Integral did her best to remain conscious as the ache passed, she did not dare to move, not even when Walter's took her in his arms, cradling her close to him before carrying her still form to the hospital bed. He deposited her softly on the plush mattress and trailed his digits across her forehead. She was confused what to feel if she mustered strength for feelings aside from her impotence. Sadness? Hatred? Remorse? "Alucard will come," she stated with certainty. "Walter, whatever they did to you, remember I am the daughter of Arthur Hellsing."
Walter did not listen to her, or that was her impression, he kept stroking her temple as if he thought that would soothe the pain he had inflicted on her body. "He has been a bad son to your grandmother," he started to say, shaking his head. "He's being punished as we speak."
"I don't have a living family!" Integral exclaimed, perturbed by the implying on Walter's words. Punishment. No, she could not lose Alucard as well.
"She was the beginning of everything," Walter stated with a secretive smile. "And she's not exactly living."
"What did they do to you?" Integral asked, closing her eyes, trying to be deaf to the sudden chorus of screams coming from below. She pretended everything was alright; holding in hope that this was not the end. It could not be the end.
Walter stopped his ministrations. "I couldn't speak, only suffer in silence," he explained, "They tried to make me forget about you like they did with my name but I couldn't. Not you."
Integral resisted the urge to cry, for what Walter used to be, for what Hellsing had lost. She had to kill him now, she was certain of that, for his own sake and hers. Pity her body was useless and in his power. "I am not your daughter," she insisted, her tone was as firm as she could manage in the circumstances.
"You will be," Walter indicated, pressing his cold lips on her heated forehead, lapping at her wounds and bruised skin. "I will make the pain go away, we'll be a family. She promised nothing would tear us apart." He withdrew and Integral blinked, observing him warily.
"And do you trust this woman?"
"She's my mother, she was another silent prisoner of the madman," Walter replied, moving away from the bed, towards a metallic desk. She saw him picking up a bright item that glowed at the light of the laboratory. She figured out it was a laboratory now; the smell of blood covered the subtle scent of mixed chemicals in the atmosphere. "She's quite angry at the ones who used her as a tool."
The Millennium prisoner, Integral thought, distracting her thoughts with some mental jogging. The pain was overwhelming, and was not only physical. To know Walter, her Walter, had caused her misery was a hard blow for her. "What are you going to do with me?" she asked, watching warily as he approached once more. The glittering object was clear now, it was a syringe filled with a dark crimson liquid.
"I am going to heal you, daughter," Walter told her fondly, "Your grandmother provided me the key for you to finally join us as family."
Integral's heart skipped a beat, she maintained her solemn and stoic expression. He certainly did not mean… "Walter, we aren't family!"
"I love you as family, and I sense the same feeling coming from you," Walter pointed out. "Beneath all the confusion and the ill emotions caused by their lies." He reached for her arm. Fast as a lightening, he tucked the sleeve aside and pierced a vein without applying alcohol. She gnashed her teeth and her eyes widened as Walter injected the icy liquid into her system. "Sweet dreams form a shade. O'er my lovely infants head. Sweet dreams of pleasant streams. By happy silent moony beams…" he sang under his breath the lullaby she had listened when she was a child as he held her down, frustrating any attempt to struggle.
Integral coughed and arched, her heart was racing at a painful speed, it hurt to breathe as her veins and arteries froze, slowly reaching her heart. She stifled a scream as life rapidly escaped her body. She barely sensed when Walter picked her up from the bed, holding her close, hushing her softly. Her skin grew too numb to even notice his caresses.
"Ssh, Integral. It's painful because it is a new birth, you are entitled to sob, child," Walter assured her when the spasms of the metamorphosis started, "Isn't it beautiful? Something you'll never forget? I know I won't. What kind of father would forget when his baby girl is born?"