Disclaimer: I do not own Hellsing. Piggy the Second does. Sue me not.
Warnings: Spoilers for Vol. 8 and The Dawn.
Many thanks to my beta, Cait-hime-sama-dono.
Whiskey in the Jar; Integra
Sometimes, when she tips the fancy carved crystal whiskey decanter until the smooth rim meets her tumbler's rim and pours herself another shot, whenever she refills her flask or takes it out to take a sip on the particularly cold days, Walter looks at her funny.
It's not so much of actual eye contact with a distinct funny expression in his old orbs, it's more like a slight wince at the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and his lips, like it hurts him to see her do that.
Once, when she was younger and only began drinking the delightful stuff, Walter tried making comments about how she should hold back and not drink so much so quickly.
She learned how to ignore it, learned how to add a touch of icy glare into the canceling gaze she'd give him.
Walter's comments shrunk from a small lecture to a few sentences, to one sentence, to a mumble and, finally, only the wince remained.
Integra hated his winces. She knew he cared about her and was only worried about her health and her commanding abilities under alcohol's influence, but there was more to his wincing than that.
She realized it one day when she heard him mumble to himself outside the doors to her office.
"Always drinking…even during meetings, even during work…just like her grandfather; just like Arthur…"
Integra confronted him about it.
He said she is a lot like her grandfather; strong in mind and fiery in heart, though she knows how to hold it back and not frighten people too much like Arthur often did. He said it's her feminine refining showing.
He didn't say anything about the whiskey and he didn't really say anything about her grandfather.
That's why Integra didn't like his wincing; they held back a secret.
She tried asking people about her grandfather and only heard talk of how hard he had to work during The War and how much toil and trouble it brought to him, though he came out of it victorious. Nothing about his personality, no small details to help her draw a picture of this person she so resembled.
God damn it. Everyone says she's like Arthur and no one tells her what Arthur was; therefore they don't tell her what she is.
What is she?
Cooped up in her office, above piles of papers, incoming and outgoing mail, maps, charts, instruction memos and files, placing a crystal ashtray on one pile of papers, balancing the crystal jar on the second, holding a half full glass in one hand and lighting a new cigar with the second, leaning her chin on her palm and puffing smoke up into the air of the tall room. Those are actions and she knows her titles very bloody well thank-you-very-much, but what is she?
There are handsome officers amongst her loyal men, some fine-looking NCOs and quite a bunch of downright gorgeous young officers, but they are beyond her reach.
She could reach them if she wanted to, but one slip and it's a sexual harassment case landing on her head right there.
At night she flips through the channels on her bedroom's television set, watching The Young Ones reruns on BBC 4, Shooting Stars, Red Dwarf and The Fast Show, allowing herself to laugh out loud; she likes madcap humor.
Are You Being Served, Absolutely Fabulous, and Black Adder on all its multiple seasons' reruns she watches dully; sharp witty humor she saves for work.
The Vicar of Dibley, The Good Life, Dad's Army, Only Fools and Horses, she changes the channel immediately on sight; dull dry British humor makes her feel like shooting at the screen with a very large, very automatic weapon.
She never watches Eastenders.
Sometimes she plays her father's old Beatles records, failing to fully understand why she found them in a hidden box under his bed.
She watches fancy dressed women on the television and ponders what it feels like to wear a long, flowing, heavily decorated evening dress, what it's like to walk on high heeled shoes. She wonders what it feels like to wear a teeny tiny mini skirt. How does it feel to wear a very revealing top?
She thinks of trying some of these outfits out and realizes she has no one to wear it for.
Does it bother her? Integra doesn't know as she leans on the banister of her rooms' balcony at early morning. She spins her day's first tumbler on the black dyed iron, puffing her day's first cigar smoke out to the crisp cold air, leaning her chin on her palm.
Integra looks away from the drill court below her, past the heavy vehicles parking lot, lingers to watch the morning fog's soft ghastly quilt pool around the middle of the mansion's forest trunks, on to the bright peach of the sunset's orb and the changing hues of pink and orange slowly fading into bright blue.
Aging Angel; Walter
Old age was not something Walter ever found frightening when he thought about it. He rationalized the issue of growing old way before his body ever began transforming into his latest shape, and told himself that when the time comes he won't be afraid or surprised because he aught to know it was bound to happen.
However, the first time his knees gave in under him because he pushed them over their limit, Walter found that he was very much frightened.
It happened in the middle of the new recruits' three day hike in the Scottish highlands with stretchers and mock wounded, in the middle of a near forty five degree climb up a very muddy, very foggy, very wet mountain.
Walter simply collapsed into the deep brown mudded, deep green grassed earth beneath him and could not get up for a while. His equipment clanked and clicked in his bag as he crushed to the ground.
He sat there, in the mud, blinking and gaping around, in a stupor. The nearest squad leader ran up to him, pulling the black wool mask off his face to give Walter a worried "Are you alright, sir?" with the proper respect Walter deserved.
Walter glared at him and told him off. His hand looked small, bony and shriveled as he waved away the young officer.
He pulled it towards him, away from the thickening fog around them, and for the first time in his life, scrutinized the liver spots on its back. He was growing old.
Climbing ladders while dusting high shelves became a hard task, handling Alucard's guns was harder to do than he had remembered, the Police Girl's Harconen was even harder. He can hear his knees creek as he walks, like some combatant version of Mister Flay.
He is growing old.
The fourteen year old within him who came crashing through ceilings straight into the very midst of the wolves' den could not stand this notion. He kicks around Walter's head and screams that it's impossible! He will not go down so easily, not without a fight, not without a second chance.
But it is too late, he is aging, soon his memory will go, with it his intellect, and then it's only the inevitable heart attack or stroke to finish the job.
Walter stands at the drill court while the younger soldiers run up and down the hard concrete floor still wet from this morning's drizzle, and sighs inwardly. Youth is wasted on the young.
Go in a Blaze; Pip
No amount of money anyone will ever give him will truly convince Pip to die. No rich man or woman, no master, no boss, no one will order him to go out and die.
He will put his life at risk for money and fight to the last bullet, to the last calorie his muscles will burn while fighting, to the last blood drop, but his mind will never truly agree to die and so the latter two are ones he never got to actually do.
His whole lineage were mercenary, dogs of war for hire; pay them enough and they'll perform the horrid dance of battle in the bloody river, but Pip Bernadette will not die on command.
He won't tell his men that. He won't tell his various girls that. He will definitely not tell his employers. Pip will not even tell himself that.
The need to live, always live and never give up to death, was relatively strong in comparison with how much Pip lied to himself and those surrounding him about it.
Deep down inside he knew that when the Grim Reaper came to get him he'd kick and bite and scratch the bastard away from him. They'll have to drag him all the way down to hell. Why he was like that? Pip imagined it's merely an animal instinct; the need to survive. Were his father and grandfather and forefather like that? Pip never got to ask because if he did they'd probably call him a coward.
So Pip made an excellent mercenary because during battle he fought with almost everything he had, leaving enough of his energies to escape if the need arose, and enough of Pip's abilities and knowledge proved quite enough so far.
His employers were sure they bought a hard warrior, a brave man and a loyal soldier. Deep down, Pip knew they were buying a stubborn coward and that one day they'd find out exactly what he is.
As he peeked out the Hellsing mansion's broken windows and observed fields upon fields of storming vampire Nazis, their leader a Grim Reaper herself, Pip told himself he wouldn't die for Hellsing, and nor would he die for their money.
That's why he was so angry at his men as they verbalized his thoughts, as they begged him to abandon the mission and stop fighting. What he told them of honor and their death's legacy, he told himself. He lied.
Nightmare for a No Life; Alucard
Anderson will make a fit killer for the kind of vampire Alucard is. Yes; he's human enough to do it, and resilient enough and stubborn enough to cold bloodedly do it.
Watching the priest carve his way through his affiliates like an explorer in a thick jungle, getting nearer and nearer with each swing his healthy arm gave, Alucard could feel nothing but relief.
Soon he will be dead and this nightmare's stage will be over. He will grow weak until he will be no more than a wisp of a creature and his mind will be gone into a dreaming reality. His existence in this phase of his no-life life and its experiences will be wiped out of his future memory, back only in rare small flashes as he sleeps.
Had he not done enough to deserve his death? He fought for his master well enough, is it not so? And when he's gone, his fledgling will be left behind for she already gained herself the power of a true vampire and is fit to replace him once he's dead.
So come, human, mortal, man, and kill me.
I've had had enough of bowing before my current master. I've had enough of taking blows from warmongering crazed technologically enhanced humans. I've had enough of killing my own kind or fighting away their brainless undead drones.
Come; my wings have grown bitter in my mouth.
Lost Little Girl; Victoria
Her aunt once told her that, "They don't ask you how your day was in the service, you know."
At the time Victoria rolled her eyes and corrected her aunt that she was not joining the army, she was joining the police.
The aunt shrugged, waved her hand at her a bit and offered her some more scones with her tea.
That aunt, her mother's bigger sister, the one who got married to a proper rich man who possessed enough to discharge his wife to a comfortable life of two children sent off to an early private school, five o'clock tea and women's club meetings. The aunt who didn't understand her slightly militant sister and her pointless infatuation with a meager copper.
The aunt who tried to adopt her after her parents died.
The aunt who tried to dress her in cute dresses, tried to teach her macramé and embroidery and piano playing and what cookie goes with which tea and what color goes with what and what set of cutlery to use for which course at which stage of the meal.
The only comment Victoria ever made about her sudden flood of alien education was that, "This is the sort of fork I stuck in that guy's eye," in the middle of a very respectable meal.
For most of her life Victoria resented that aunt and refused to acknowledge any blood relation with that pompous old selfish woman. She wrote her monthly, despite it, up till her chance recruiting to the Hellsing organization.
She didn't bother to keep in touch since then, nothing beyond the occasional holiday cards for what holiday she managed to spend in Hellsing.
Funny, but the more time she spent in Hellsing was the more she realized how right her aunt was.
No one cared to know how horridly awkward she felt running around with a weapon nearly twice her height because that's not the sort of things she aught to remark about her personal weapon.
No one asked her if she liked staying in a proper hotel for the first time in her life because said hotel's rooms were slowly covered by blood stains, gore and bullet holes.
No one was there to hear her mumble about the French mercenary who made her heart skip while going to the fast food eatery in Brazil because she was too embarrassed to talk to those who were there.
No one was there to chat merrily about how exciting it was to be in the same room as the Queen herself because it was not the sort of thing to say and she was too embarrassed to chat like that with anyone around her.
If she had told anyone around her that her high commander's hair early in the morning (before Integra had the chance to run her fingers through it and mess it up while working) reminds her of how her mother used to brush her hair tightly back, save for one group of hairs at the fringe, they would have surely laughed at her.
They don't ask you how your day was in the service.
As she stood before her high cold commander, one arm missing, blazing glares at the Iscariot members around her, she didn't bother telling them or even thinking of telling them how her day was.
Of how she felt when she watched one enemy missile after the other blow up and disintegrate before hitting the mansion and knowing that it was her aiming that saved Hellsing.
How doubt kept gnarling at her as she screamed at the men around them that the huge tattooed women cutting through them was nothing but an illusion.
Of the pat to her behinds from Pip which both enraged and excited her.
How she crawled on the floor, bleeding and blind, how so very pathetic she felt, and how utterly shattered and frightened she was.
No one who could care the tiniest bit about the man inside her, his kiss, his taste, his last breath on her upper lip, his death, his blood and soul raging inside her.
There's no room for lost little frightened girls in war, they aught to take up arms and join the battle. Victoria knows that and joins the battle; the little girl within her telling the newly arriving man about her day because he has nothing better to do now, does he?