AUTHOR'S NOTE: well, this is the last one. This story didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I got my Integra x Girlycard thing, so I'm happy. Yes, I did get lazy and did a quick wrap-up. Oh well. Enjoy the story!
Sir Billings was anxious and confused.
Not only did he have to spend hours convincing a group of ladies who happened to be the head of the aristocrat gossip network that he did not propose marriage to a sixteen-year-old child, but Harrison returned two nights ago from his date with Integra completely battered and out of sorts. He couldn't recall what had happened or why his clothes were dirty and torn, and it was several hours before he could muster enough focus to form a complete sentence.
This worried him. There were rumors that strange things went on inside the Hellsing house, that there were powerful mechanisms at work that shouldn't be penetrated.
Now he sat alongside the other ten Convention members waiting for Integra's arrival. Sir Wells and Sir Islands, who were somewhat sharp to the going-ons from the past few days, were giving him thoughtful glances. They were all nervous, he knew.
The meeting room's giant doors swung open. Eleven heads raised at the person who entered.
Integra was still Integra, and yet not. She gave them a quick glance and walked to her seat. She was wearing a tailored man's pantsuit with a silver cross fastened at the collar and matching gloves. The air of impeccability she brought with her was undeniable. As they studied her new attire in surprise, she reached into her suit pocket and brought out a cigar.
"Gentlemen," she said as Walter approached, holding up a lighter, "let's get down to business."
She was knighted at nineteen by the Queen. Thereafter she went by Sir Integra Hellsing and nothing else.
Alucard was present at the ceremony, dressed in all red and sticking out like a sore thumb, something he was quite talented at. His adult form had taken a while to get used to, but she did soon enough. This was a service he did for her, she knew. He took on the form most befitting her.
The Convention members could no longer deny her rightful place at the table, nor did they ever mention Harrison. It was an unspoken truce amongst them.
More and more she became the figurehead she was meant to be. The authorities of England knew her name more than well. Hellsing was the vampire-hunter of Britain, they said. Integra Hellsing was its master.
Alucard, true to his word, never did venture into her private quarters again, though that only meant he had to make up for it by constantly hanging around her office. For the most part this was alright, except when he dropped in unexpectedly from the ceiling when she held important meetings. She could only thank God that he slept during the day.
Every now and then she would wake to find him outside her door, if only to say good morning before he retired for the day. Sometimes she would read in the library, and he would sit next to her, playing with her hair like he did when they were "kids".
On the very rare occasions when she had some spare time, they would talk.
Night of the Cheddar incident
He walked into her office. It was dark, but the curtains were open, allowing enough moonlight into the room to see the figure sitting behind the huge desk, cigar in hand, surrounded by a mist of hazy smoke.
"Don't you ever knock?" she asked him.
Alucard smirked to himself as he strolled behind her desk and leaned against it. She blew smoke into the air. That habit never left her after that night, he noted. Cigars, such horrible things.
"When have I ever knocked, master?"
"When was the last time you used the door?"
He watched her smoke. It's been a long time since he got a good look at her. Her hair was still unreasonably long, and her eyes still blue as sapphire. She's older now, into her twenty-third year as a human and tenth year as the director of Hellsing. Not old by any standard, but she seemed to exude experience and power. The last decade has hardened her in a way that no young woman should be. It made him proud.
"Are you angry?" he asked her.
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. "I haven't decided yet. I think you owe me an explanation."
"You want to know why I turned the police girl."
"Where is she now?"
"Resting. She's had a big day."
"Thanks to you."
Alucard nodded. "Honestly, I had no good reason besides… well, how young she was."
She arched an eyebrow. "I didn't know you were into young girls."
"That's not what I meant." He motioned for her to stand. "Do you remember what you were like when we first met?"
"Do you remember what you were like when we first met?"
He chuckled. "You are trying to insinuate that I enjoy the company of young girls because I looked like one?"
Integra smoked her cigar and moved to the window. The night was quiet.
"She made me think of you, how you used to be."
"How did I used to be?"
"Young." He walked behind her and wrapped his arms loosely around her waist. "You were like her, young and full of soft spots. Look at you now."
"You wish to harden her like you did me?"
Alucard shook his head. "No. She could never be like you. I can already tell. Even as a Median she'll never be as strong as you. But you have something in common: you both struggled to live. You in that dungeon, and she in that village."
"You gave her a fighting chance, like you did me."
She moved out of his embrace and put out the cigar. "I'm going to retire for the night."
He watched her, bloody eyes glowing. "Do you know what we haven't done in a long time, Integra?"
Out of the corner of her mouth was a small smile. "Come to my room, servant," she said, "if you wish to dance once more with a real woman."