I once swore never to write an AU fic. But here's this. Like most ridiculous things, it originated from a late night aim conversation between liz and I that went something like this:
Me: you know, if someone's name was 'Acula' and they became a doctor, their name would be 'Dr. Acula.'
Liz: AHAHAHA XD
Me: just one of those random thoughts
Liz: WRITE A FIC ABOUT IT
So, um, here it is. Just to let you know, it's not meant to be taken seriously.
Integra stepped out of the taxi that had parked in front of the Forest Glen Junior College for Young Ladies, and Walter's words from her first year here echoed in her mind. "I think you'll like it there," he had assured her nervous, fifteen-year-old self.
Now a senior student at the age of eighteen, Integra stared at the imperious building that had become home for the past three years.
The school was certainly pleasing to look at. The main building was an impressive five stories, but what really caught the eye was the incredibly long, outdoor passage that connected the east and west wings. Punctuated every few yards by rounded turrets, the entire bridge-like structure perched on brick and mortar pillars, which loomed over the creek below.
Or, there had been a creek, last time she checked. Frowning, Integra paid the taxi driver, grabbed her luggage and walked to the middle of the bridge. Peering curiously over the railing, Integra saw that it was completely dry now.
"Sad, isn't it?" A familiar voice said from behind her. She turned and faced the thoughtful look on her roommate, Leslie. "Leslie!" Integra acknowledged, smiling. Leslie smiled back, used to her friend's reserve and aversion to physical closeness, though she personally thought their reunion warranted a hug.
"Do you know why the creek is…gone?" Integra asked curiously, turning her attention back to the mystery below them.
"Someone bought the school," Leslie replied, watching surprise flicker across her friend's face, "And from what I've gathered, they wanted the creek dammed up further upstream." She grinned wryly at Integra's frown, fully aware that Integra desperately wanted to know why. "I'll miss the sound of the running creek, but at least we now have our very own pond over by the East wing," she said, amused. "We also have a new teacher," she added.
As she had hoped, this diverted Integra's attention from the creek enigma and she turned to face Leslie again. "What do they teach?" she asked, interested despite herself.
"European History," Leslie answered brightly, brushing her short brown hair out of her eyes and inclining her head towards the school. "Why don't we head for the dorms, and we can talk as we walk," she suggested, reaching for one of Integra's bags. "This is heavy!" she exclaimed, missing the annoyance on Integra's face.
"I'll take that," Integra said sharply, snatching the bag as if it weighed nothing and walking ahead of Leslie. Leslie shrugged, accustomed to Integra's moodiness, and followed her roommate to their dorms.
"Any idea who might have bought this place?" Integra asked as she set down her bags in her room.
"No idea," Leslie said regretfully, walking around Integra's room in admiration. "Wow, you got a turret room," she said enviously, running her hands over the rounded walls and the small circular window that looked out over the pond that the dammed creek had created.
"I'd forgotten that seniors get their own rooms," Integra said mildly, shoving her bags under the bed. "I'll miss your charming, constant presence invading my personal space," she said softly.
Leslie snorted. "Still have your stinging sense of humor, I see," she said.
"Never leave home without it," Integra replied airily.
"Hmph. I can see that," Leslie huffed. She peered closer out of the window and uttered a noise of surprise. "I bet that's the new European history teacher," she said, pointing out a figure below to Integra, who moved next to her.
"That's odd, male teachers aren't usually allowed here," Integra commented softly, looking curiously at the new teacher, who was conversing with the headmistress.
As if he sensed her stare, he briefly glanced up towards her window and met her eyes. Integra shivered and withdrew from the window. 'Red eyes,'she mentally noted.
"What a handsome man," Leslie sighed, "Almost as beautiful as Christian Bale," she added, before tearing herself away from the window and moving towards the door. "I'll let you unpack then," she said, seeing Integra was falling deep in thought. "And I'll nose around and see if I can uncover any information about the creek and the mysterious new owner of our school for you," she added, then with a wink she left the room, closing the door behind her.
Integra waited a few minutes before she moved to the door and locked it. Making her way back to the bed, she dragged out the heavier of the two bags, unceremoniously dumping its contents on to the bed.
A small handgun, five derringers, a rifle, a mixed variety of ammunition, and a silver cross on a chain glinted on her bed in the dying light of the sun.
Reaching under the bed again, her hands sought out the other bag. In here were clothes—three sets of her school uniform as well as some casual clothes. She quickly stuffed them in the chest at the foot of her bed and returned to the side of the bed, carrying a pair of socks.
Sorting through the ammunition, she separated bullets for the rifle, handgun, and derringers. She loaded the rifle and sorted the other ammo into the socks, replacing the socks in her sock drawer.
When that was done she hid the handgun and three derringers under a pair of black pants in the bottom drawer. She looked back to the bed where the rifle, the silver cross, and the two remaining derringers were and hesitated, frowning.
Suddenly, a thought struck her and she looked up at the ceiling. Sure enough, there was a trapdoor that (presumably) led to some kind of attic.
She quickly positioned a chair directly under it and stepped on to it carefully. She pushed at the trapdoor and it opened upwards. Getting down off the chair, she retrieved the rifle, and slung it over one shoulder. Then she got back on to the chair and hoisted herself up into the attic. It was bare, coated with generous layers of dust, but it would suit its purpose as a place to conceal the bulky weapon. She put the rifle on the floor and slid through the trap door opening to the floor again.
After checking her watch she hastily closed the trap door and replaced the chair by its desk. Closing the curtains, she changed into her uniform, put the two derringers left under her pillow, and put on the silver cross necklace, slipping it under her blouse to conceal it from view.
Now prepared to her satisfaction, she left the room and went downstairs to get her course schedule and then head to dinner.
Integra slipped quietly into the course registration office to get her course schedule, but paused when she heard voices.
"As you requested, Dr. Acula, all of your classes have been switched to the afternoon course slot," the sweet, slightly nasal voice of the secretary was saying.
"That is excellent. Thank you very much," a low voice said smoothly, making Integra unexpectedly shiver.
The door to the inner office opened and a tall man ducked through it, coming face to face with Integra, who was rooted to her spot. He was stunningly attractive, with deep black hair to compliment his pale complexion, and he had the lithe, fluid build of a dancer. He was also setting off numerous alarm bells in Integra's head—the blood-red eyes, for instance—and if she had to think up a phrase to describe him it would probably be along the lines of "deliciously evil."
"Why…hello," he practically purred, taking in her shocked appearance without batting an eye. "Is there any thing I can do for you?" he inquired.
"I'm just here for my course schedule," Integra said, suspecting more and more with each passing moment that this man in front of her was a vampire.
"Oh, I can find that for you," the man said pleasantly, gliding over to a filing cabinet by the door.
"Er…thank you," Integra said awkwardly, wishing she had thought to bring the derringers. Well, at least she had put on her silver cross.
"Hmm. What's your name?" He asked innocently, flipping through files.
"Integra H—Wingates," Integra answered, hoping he didn't notice that she had almost said her real surname. She hated that she still slipped up some times, knowing that revealing that she was a Hellsing could endanger her. But on the other hand, it was nice to think that she still thought of herself as a Hellsing, even subconsciously.
"That's a nice name," he commented, closing the file drawer and opening another.
"No, it's not," Integra snapped.
"You dislike it, then?" he asked, but then, not waiting for answer, continued, "What year are you in?"
"Last," Integra answered curtly.
After a bit more searching he pulled out her course schedule and handed it to her. "Here you are, Miss Wingates," he said. "I see that you're taking my class," he added in a pleased tone, pointing to—no, caressing the European History time slot on her schedule with one gloved hand. "I'm Dr. Acula," he said with a smile, as Integra muttered some polite pleasantry and turned to make her escape. "Do have a good day," he called after her.
Integra paused mid way down the hall and wrote out his name in her head. "Dr. Acula?" she muttered out loud. "D-r-a-c-u-l-a? Who the hell does he think he's fooling?"
Integra did not see Dr. Acula at dinner when she slipped into a seat next to Leslie. The headmistress made some sort of welcoming speech and issued some warnings ("basement's off limits for refurbishment this year") and Integra tuned her out in favor of talking to Leslie, but she was engaged in conversation with a girl on her right. Maddy Dullabux, Integra recalled her name as she mused over the mysterious Dr. Acula. "He is definitely a vampire," she muttered, vowing to investigate him further.
"What was that? Did you say something?" Leslie asked, turning to Integra with a grin. "I've been talking to Maddy," she continued earnestly, before Integra got a chance to reply. "She's gotten another bunny."
"I beg your pardon?" Integra asked blankly, wondering what on earth she was talking about. Then she remembered that Maddy was famous at Forest Glen College for her obsession with rabbits. She had had three, last Integra knew. Now, apparently, it was four. "That's lovely to hear," Integra said dismissively, "listen, I've found some things about the new teacher here, his name's Dr. Acula and he's—"
Their conversation was interrupted by a loud bang, which turned out to be a door slamming open from the outside. The noise level dropped to complete silence as Integra and the rest of the students and staff in the cafeteria collectively turned to see a second year girl framed in the doorway, trembling violently with tears streaming down her face. "I've…I've…" she began in a small voice, trying to explain the interruption. "There's…there's…oh god, I found…I saw…" she paused, drew a deep breath, and started again, "I…there's…there's a girl dead in the creek!" she finally shrieked, before falling over in a dead faint.
Everyone began murmuring in hushed tones as some of the staff rushed over to the girl and some continued outside to where she had said the other girl was.
"What were you saying about the new teacher?" Leslie asked distractedly, looking wide-eyed over at the group of teachers that had gathered around the unconscious girl.
"Ah, he's even more handsome close up," Integra said hurriedly, trying to hear what the girl—she had regained consciousness—was saying.
Integra caught the words "…two bite marks…" and hurriedly stood up.
"Where are you going?" Leslie asked, starting to stand up as well.
"I…my room, I need to…need to take my medication," Integra lied, "no need to come with me," she added, before dashing off as Leslie asked, "Medication?"
Once out in the hall, Integra looked around and saw a familiar figure turn the corner to her right. Eyes narrowing, she began to follow him, keeping to the corners, tip toeing quietly down stairs until he reached a certain stairwell. What's Dr. Acula doing heading towards the basement' Integra thought suspiciously. Didn't the headmistress say the basement was off limits?
She saw his head start to turn and withdrew into her protective corner, counting to ten. When she looked around the corner again, he was gone. Shocked, she ran a few steps forward to see where he had gone and felt a hand land on her shoulder. She started and whirled around. "Dr. A—" she exclaimed, taking a step backwards in shock, only to find that the floor had given way to the flight of stairs and she was rapidly falling backwards and down.
Only, she never felt the impact of the floor she was bracing herself for. Instead, she found that Dr. Acula had somehow reappeared behind her as she fell so that she landed in his arms, winded, but otherwise unscathed. "I'm sorry to have startled you," he apologized, sitting up.
Integra opened her eyes slowly and found that she was in his lap. And he seemed to be talking again. "…But may I ask what you were doing down here? The basement, I heard the headmistress say quite clearly, is off limits," he was saying.
"I could ask the same of you," Integra snapped, quickly twisting away from him and standing up. "Nosferatu," she added.
Dr. Acula's eyes widened and then gleamed with—appreciation? "How lovely," he said, standing up as well, "so you know what I am."
"Did you kill that girl?" Integra asked bluntly, feeling, to her surprise, the urge to reach out and touch Dr. Acula. Weird, she thought, confused.
"Don't insult me so," Dr. Acula chided, looking affronted. "I wouldn't do something like that at a school where I teach."
"Then who did?" Integra demanded. "And why are you down here?"
"Who might have killed a student is exactly what I was trying to find out myself, my dear," he answered calmly. "As for why I'm going down here, these are where my rooms are located."
"Of course," Integra murmured, "You need to stay away from the sun."
"Yes, a fitting place for a bat to hide," Dr. Acula agreed sarcastically. "Not that I need to stay away from the sun…I just hate it," he added malevolently.
Integra shuddered, mulling over the wealth of information she had just received. "And…do you have something to do with the creek being dammed up?" She asked tentatively.
"Ah, yes, I asked them to do that when I bought this place," Dr. Acula answered, making Integra stare at him in shock.
"You're the mysterious new owner of the school?" She asked incredulously.
"Yes. You would not believe what a brilliant idea that was, in hindsight," Dr. Acula said smugly, "After all, virgin blood is the best, and this school of young ladies has a lovely supply. A little nibble here and there…" he let the sentence trail off and looked back at Integra, who had pulled out the silver cross around her neck so that it was visible.
"You came prepared, I see," he said admiringly. "Why were you following me? No…don't answer that, you thought I was the killer, didn't you?"
"Aren't you?" Integra inquired, "You said yourself that you were drawn to teaching here because of the plentiful virgin blood."
"Please. I am a teacher," he said, looking affronted. "It would be…tactless, were I to kill one of my students," he continued.
Integra continued to glare at him suspiciously. "You're the only vampire in the school," she said cautiously.
"That I know of, yes," he admitted. "But I have no motive."
"Survival?" Integra suggested, eyebrow raised.
"Oh, very funny," Dr. Acula said dryly. "I assure you, I am innocent. I am 562, Ms. Wingates, and if you are as well versed in vampire lore as your silver cross suggests—I'd like to know why, at some point—you will know that I do not need to feed as often." He paused, and she nodded. "So, think on this, my dear: why would I drain a student to the point of death?" Integra opened her mouth to reply, then sighed. "I may be rancid butter, but I'm on your side of the bread," he concluded, and Integra looked up at him with a piercing stare.
"You'll help me track down the killer?" She asked, still leery of putting her trust in him, but will to accept help where it was offered.
"I was going to do that with or without your help," Dr. Acula replied with a shrug. "But for now, I suggest you go back to your room…it's getting late, after all. It's not safe to be out after curfew by yourself."
Integra huffed. "I can take care of myself," she said. She looked up and saw that he was grinning, and she scowled. "Thank you…for catching me when I tripped down the stairs," she added, before she turned and walked up the stairs towards her room.