Disclaimer: I don't own Luke, Rip or Alucard's soul, they're copyrighted to the creator of Hellsing.

A Certain Soul

Royal blue eyes flickered open slowly only to be greeted by never ending darkness. Rip let a small groan escape her lips as she forced her body to move. Numb arms pushed her thin body up into a sitting position. Moments afterwards, Rip's posture gave out and she fell back against the darkness behind her. Which, to her surprise, was rather solid and warm. Mentally she thanks the solid dark for holding her up. She doubted she would be able to sit herself up again--her body felt way too numb. She closed her eyes again, willing her body to wake up and come alive again.

What had happened to her?

She tried to recall the recent events, willing the images to play back against her eyelids. Faint memories of the Devil played before her eyes in an agonizing slow motion that made it feel like her undead heart skipped a beat. Quickly, Rip opened her eyes to rid herself of Samiel's wicked grin. On instinct Rip's hand searched beside her for her companion, her warhead. Though she found her musket was nowhere to be found. All she could feel was the warm darkness sliding against her now sweating palm. She was alone in this place of living darkness without her warhead. She was as good as truly dead.

What exactly was this place?

Calming herself and collecting her wit, she forced her eyes closed again. Sure enough, the Devil's grin greeted her as her eyelids sealed shut tight. She forced her mind onward, towards Samiel. For certain the memories were behind the Devil's wicked smile. Behind his fang-filled smile, she knew she would find what happened to her, where she was... Where he was holding her. Finally his smile faded into a grin as she pressed onward into her memories. His grin twisted into a mouthful of fangs. Those same fangs latched onto her neck, sucking her un-life out of her young body. She could hear the Major's voice, praising her. He told her she had done her job well, and the mission was a success. And then... then the darkness came... Then her body had been crushed in Alucard's, and her soul had been taken into his.

Rip's eyes opened quickly in panic. The sudden rush of undead blood flowing through her veins was all she needed for the numb feeling to fade away. With trembling legs, Rip forced herself to stand up. She looked ahead of her, then to the sides and even behind her, but it was useless. She saw nothing but darkness. A darkness that seemed like it could possibly go on forever. The texture of her surroundings did nothing to calm her, either. This black soul she was trapped in the depths of shifted from time to time. She could swear she heard un-dead sighs escaping from all around her. Sighs that were Alucard's weary soul's own, and sighs that belonged to the many other souls the Dracula had taken into his own.

Against her better judgement, Rip placed on hand onto the wall of darkness she had rested upon only moments before. She held her other hand out in front of her, feeling the atmosphere, figuring out if anything stand in her path or not. When it felt clear, Rip began to feel her way through the darkness and navigate her way around. Her undead heart felt as though it were pounding a mile a minute, though it rested silently in her chest. Human anxiety was a miracle worker.

She walked for what felt like a short eternity only to find she wasn't getting anywhere. No matter which way she went, everything was the same. Sighing, Rip stopped in midstep and let herself slump against the wall of darkness she had used to navigate with. "There ist no point in searching for a vay out of here," she reminded herself with a sad, yet amused smile on her face.

"You're right about that. Hell knows how many times I've tried," a deep, elegant male voice sounded in front of her suddenly.

To her surprise, she wasn't shocked in the least bit to suddenly find another soul wandering about in the darkness. Rip didn't bother to look up, even if she did recognize the voice. "Ah, the elder Valentine brother. So this is vhere you disappeared to." Rip replied with an tone of amusement in her voice.

Luke had a grin that matched her tone. "Yes, this is where I disappeared to. Though I have to admit, I never expected to run into you here, Rip van."

"Shut up," the Huntress hissed to the failed Valentine. "Unlike you, mien mission vas a complete success." She looked up to finally meet the other vampire's gaze.

Luke still looked amused. "A success?" He mused, rubbing a gloved finger gracefully against his chin in mock thought. "Your mission was a success?"

"Ja." She forced a tone of pride out from behind her lips.

"Mr. Montana intended for you to become fodder for Alucard then?" Luke bluntly asked, letting both arms cross over his chest now. "And you were willing to do this to aid his crazy plot?"

Only then did it sink in. Rip's whole mission had been nothing more than to die. The Huntress' eyes became dark for a moment, clouds of anger and pain mixing over royal blue. It made sense now. The pep talk the Major had given her before sending her off. All that talk of Kaspar and Samiel was nothing more than the Major psyching her out, preparing her for her own demise...

'Und then Kaspar vas taken into the depths of Hell by Samiel.' Rip mused mentally. Quickly she shook her head of those thoughts, and washed away the anger and pain with her usual smile. "Ja," she lied to Luke, nodding.

"Well, you're a very brave woman then." Luke complimented the Huntress, tossing in a complimentary smirk for show.

"I suppose." Rip played her hands together. She didn't like where this conversation was heading. She didn't want applaudes for a show she did not truly perform.

"Luke, do you know if mien varhead is here?" Rip asked suddenly, deciding she didn't like where the prior conversation was heading.

Luke chuckled dryly. "Sorry, Ms. Winkle. But I believe it's an unwritten law of Alucard's that you cannot take it with you. The bastard takes your soul and keeps your weapons." He gave her a bemused smirk once again.

Rip felt like pouting. Her musket was her companion and now she was here, stuck in someone else's eternal darkness without it. "Vell, if I may be so crude to use lay-man's tongue; that sucks."

"Indeed it does," Luke snickered. "But nowhere in the fine print did it say this deal would be a fair one."

"I didn't say it vasn't fair. I said it sucked, Valentine." Rip corrected him with a grin.

"Touché." He grinned back at her. "I can't imagine you would think that the arrangements were fair, though."

Rip's grin widened in amusement. It had been so long since she was able to uphold a battle of wit against someone. "True, I do not think that it ist fair. But really, Luke, vhat can ve do?"

"Nothing, I suppose." He sighed and shrugged. "We can't do anything until Alucard decides to free us. Or dispose of us..."

"Vell, aren't you the little optimist." Rip rolled her eyes.

"Not everyone was blessed with your sunny disposition, Rip." He smirked back at her.

A hint of sadness tugged at the smile that claimed her lips. "That ist very true." She lied through her teeth again. No one suspected her cheerful demeanor was an act, she liked it that way.

Uneasy silence threatened to tear away at the two suddenly. Luke wouldn't have that. "What happened to you, anyway? How did you end up here?"

Rip was silent for a moment. "That mad man threw me out into the battlefield to this monster. That is all you need to know." There was no way she was going to go into detail and remember all that happened to her again. Luke nodded, understanding it may not exactly be a pleasent thing to remember and let that be.

"Und you, Luke?" The Major had said the Valentines were dead. Though, near the end of Luke's battle, the transmition that passed through his Freak chip became lost.

Luke grinned a grin that had mixed emotions behind it. "Me? I was eaten by a dog."

Rip blinked for a moment before a true smile claimed her lips. "You vere vhat?"

"I was... don't make me repeat it." Luke mumbled. Even he thought his demise was a rather pathetic one. Rip's smiled twitched a moment before laughter passed through her lips.

"Eaten by a doggy, eh?" She breathed out when the laughter subsided.

Luke had a small amount of blush on his pale cheeks. "There will be no living through eternity with you now, will there, Rip van?"

"Nien. None at all. You really do not expect me to let you live that down, do you?" She grinned wickedly as Luke threw his hands up into the air for a moment in aggrivation before shoving them into his pockets and walking off.

Even if she lost her soul to the Devil, even if she was without her warhead, as long as she could continue her act in front of others, she would be alright. As long as she could have enough motivation to uphold her facade and the emotional upperhand, she would be fine. She would be fine until her true death came, if ever it did. She was certain of that.