Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.

Author's Notes: Set after the war, taken in consideration the last chapter of the Manga to date (Might and Magic I), if something happens after that to invalid my story then it's somehow AU. Edited by kitsunelover. Criticism and comments are appreciated. This is heavily AlucardxIntegral.


Karma

- Prologue

Integral was dreaming. The images that played vividly over and over again inside her head felt incredibly familiar, yet foreign, something distant buried within her brain. Faces of people she had never met but who greeted her as though they had known her for her whole life. They curtsied and bowed, smiling and trying to lead her to someone, gesturing in a direction, encouraging her with reassuring nods.

She stopped in front of a mirror, looking at herself, shocked to see the image reflected. Her hair was still blonde, albeit darker, but her eyes were green and her skin fair. She was wearing a pastel pink bonnet with a piece of gauze of the same shade falling from the top of it, and a double-stranded pearl necklace. Integral could not take her eyes off the mirror, scrutinizing the V-collared gown of an old and discreet rose colour with long sleeves that ended in yellow.

This isn't real, Integral thought, touching the glass, wanting to break it. It felt too real to be a complete product of her imagination. For some unfathomable reason, she was hurt to see herself like this. Suddenly the musicians stopped playing, the jesters' laugh died out, and the multitude parted behind her. She heard footsteps but saw no one in the mirror until cold arms embraced her from behind and pulled her into a tight grip.

Integral wrinkled her nose; it smelled like a decomposing animal.

"Contesă," he breathed sinisterly in her ear. His breathing reeked of fresh blood. She could not move a muscle nor make a sound as he pulled the necklace off her neck roughly and her pearls started to roll over the floor.

----

Integral gasped, stirring when she felt a cold hand over her shoulder. The touch was of the familiar dead sensation she had dreaded. Shocked, she looked around. She would almost have sworn to recognise the court jesters among her fellow passengers. Their mirthful smiles greeting her with knowing eyes. Contesă. Her heart skipped a beat before she regained her calm composure and tucked the ragged newspaper on her lap twice.

"Dear God… When did I fall asleep?" Integral asked, glancing at Alucard. She still was not accustomed to picturing him in a white suit. It did not fit him, an outrageous red and black was more his style.

"About half an hour ago," Alucard replied, smirking. "The news must have been really exciting."

"Murders, famine, scandal, the usual charming outlook of reality. I haven't been getting enough sleep recently," Integral explained, grimacing at the last statement.

His expression became serious. "Nightmares again?"

She nodded numbly. "At least this time they happened when I was actually sleeping and not during a Twelve Conventions briefing."

Both paused, sharing a prolonged silence when a female voice addressed the passengers in a language she could not recognize. That was what she hated about India, could they not pick one or two languages and stick with them? Immediately, several of the passengers. buckled their belts and she mimicked the gesture, nudging Alucard to do the same.

"She said we'll land in fifteen minutes," Alucard protested to her disdain then complied, grinning toothily at her annoyed look.

Good, I need to smoke soon, she thought, her hands closing and opening anxiously. "There could be turbulence and I don't want you to ruin the seat in front of you."

If he answered, Integral pretended to be deaf and looked out the window. The city of Bangalore extended amidst green valleys on the horizon. She lay back, lounging on her seat cushions and tried to relax, bracing herself for the landing. Even now her mind was playing tricks and the sounds of pearls rolling on the floor reached her ears.

Contesă…