Disclaimer Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Edited by Lyanna Kane. I'll appreciate any feedback.
Integral sighed as Seras Victoria continued with her protests concerning her moniker and her respective complaints to Alucard. She was a rookie in everything, it seemed. Could she not realize that her Master was purposely pushing her buttons?
She acts younger than her age.
The knight inhaled the smoke from her cigar deeply and wiped the traces of sweat that still lingered on her forehead as she kept walking towards the corpses of her bodyguards. The sight of their lifeless bodies sparked anger throughout her entire core.
The Vatican had better make amends for this, she thought, jaw clenching in repressed fury. At least Anderson's gone and the incidental damage was minimal. Integral had surveyed the building and had only just started to take out the bible pages that had worked to ward off her vampires when she heard moans, the muffled noise of slow footsteps approaching.
"Alucard!" Integral shouted, pulling one of her revolvers out of its holster. Alucard ignored his fledgling and aimed to the opposite side of the corridor. They fired in nearly synchronized motion, just as the rotting face of the first ghoul emerged from each corner. "Are there more?" she asked, turning to face Alucard after ensuring that the ghouls on her side had been reduced to piles of dust.
"Not that I can sense, my Master, but this is most amusing," Alucard answered, holstering his Casull and laughing aloud. Seras moved to her side, intimidated by his spine chilling laughter. Integral stepped forward, shielding the younger vampire in a surge of empathy.
"What the bloody hell is so funny?" Integral snapped, glaring in response to Alucard's tacky actions under the bleak circumstances.
"The Catholic Regenerator destroyed the vampire who spawned the ghouls before our entrance," Alucard said, stopping his laughing tirade. "Do you know what that means, Integra?"
Integral's eyes widened briefly as she grimaced. The violent attacks, the multiplying numbers. She glanced out the window and noticed the small ghouls, children zombies rewarded with their peace. Unusual outcomes. "How can this be?"
"I don't know," Alucard shrugged, tipping his hat in her direction. "I am a trash disposal man, I take care of the filth. I do not catalogue it."
She frowned in her discontent with his response, but that would do. He was right. She had to find out more about this, she was the one who had to resolve the mystery. "If all targets were destroyed, return to the Mansion."
Alucard nodded and looked over her shoulder, towards Seras, who hiding behind her back. "Protect the Police Girl, she could fall off the helicopter and harm herself," he taunted, vanishing from their sight.
"I wouldn't-" Seras exclaimed in her defense, but it was too late; her Master was gone already. "…do such a thing, Master."
Integral spun to face the crestfallen girl. The 'Police Girl' looked on the verge of tears. "He's teasing you," she told her matter-of-factly. "Don't give it that much thought."
"But he calls me names!" Seras complained, crossing her arms over her chest. "Don't I deserve that he should use my given one?"
Integral lifted a brow, watching her reactions with mild amusement. "I personally think 'Police Girl' is a rather endearing moniker and that fits it you well, Seras Victoria."
Integral could almost swear that the vampire was… blushing? How could a bloodless Midian flush a bright red? She nodded her assessment. "You are a young, female officer who swore to serve and protect England. A Police Girl."
"But I am supposed to hunt the undead now," As Seras grumbled, her eyes scanned the fallen ghouls shyly. "I don't think I am doing a very good job for either profession."
"I am not here to be your self esteem counselor, but your leader," Integral said, perhaps a bit more harshly than she had originally intended - confidence issues among her ranks bothered her. Seras filched as the knight moved closer, closing her eyes tightly. Integral removed her coat and put it over the Police Girl's shoulders. "Your uniform is tattered. When you move too much, the holes open," she indicated when she got a dumbfound expression as response. "I think you'll need this more than I will. It's summer, in any case."
Seras' face reddened even more and she closed the coat quickly so to hide her potential nudity. "The priest stabbed me with many bayonets… I am sorry I ruined it."
Integral inspected her; Seras did not seem to be seriously wounded: bruised and dusty but not bleeding. "You survived. A merely useless rookie would not have made it," she appraised with a smile. "Even your Master fell a victim to his stunts. Don't apologize. You did well, you held your ground until the time of my arrival."
Seras blinked, her eyes going wide at the compliments. "I-I… did, didn't I?" she half beamed timidly. "Not bad for a rookie?"
"Not bad for anyone," Integral corrected her, pausing and contemplating her next words. "I am hardly a veteran myself. I wouldn't make a fair judge. I know the theory but I have had little exercise in which to apply it."
"Really?" Seras asked, shocked. "But throughout ten years…"
"They were rather quiet. We didn't have much action until that mission in Cheddar," Integral remarked, shaking her head. "One you remember quite well, I trust." Seras nodded and looked at the floor. She supposed the vampire had her own tormenting memories to struggle with.
"Even someone with a decade in the field can commit mistakes," Integral added, shooting a glance to her fallen agents. She should have been more careful when dealing with Anderson; rushing to the rescue had led to the deaths of many of her men. "Nor would such a person know everything." She exhaled smoke, shielding her grim expression at the admittance.
"About the ghouls?" Seras ventured the question, hesitating to move closer. Integral nodded and remained in her place. "You will find out what's wrong, Sir Integral!" she said with unshakable trust. "And I'll help my Master to take care of the problem while you are researching!"
Integral studied Seras again. Her gaze was firm and confident, not in her own abilities but in those of her leader. Integral would always feel a pang of overwhelming affection for the young vampire hereon; Seras Victoria's loyalty was touching. Integral also realized she had confessed weakness to a subordinate without giving it a second thought; maybe it had to do with how Seras was as inexperienced as she and would not judge her for her careless mistakes. As much as she cared for Walter and Alucard, both were too 'perfect' for Integral to afford any flaws around them; they had forgotten what it had meant to be rookies.
"It's late, the pilot must be concerned as to my location," Integral indicated, breaking the comfortable silence that had engrossed them. "Help me with my bodyguards, Police Girl. I will take them to the Mansion and see to their burial."
"Yes sir!" Seras answered enthusiastically, and followed Integral's lead to pick and carry the unfortunate corpses. Not once did she complain about Integral's use of her moniker.