"Home Alone (on a Saturday Night)"
Dedication: to snapdragon76 and sirhellsing. Thanks so much for your continued support of my fic. It means a lot to me!
"Good Evening, Alucard." Walter, Hellsing's former 'garbage man' and now, one of the most senior people in the Hellsing organization, acknowledged the powerful vampire's presence as he walked through the walls of the mansion into the great room. However, the butler did not move to pause in his task to look up and make eye contact with the undead. After all, it was Saturday and there was still some tidying up that had to be done to the room before he left for the evening. Walter hoped he could finish his tasks quickly. He had a date later that evening and didn't want to waste precious time.
"Where is she?" the monster asked, the most emphasis being placed on the last word. Alucard's voice was low and firm, shouting could not have sounded more intimidating.
Though, even to this day, the presence of the vampire, especially when he was this upset, never failed to unnerve Walter, the butler fought to conceal his inner emotions.
"Where's your manners, Alucard?" Walter chastised the vampire, trying for a lighter, more conversational tone. He stopped in his task of picking discarded papers off the floor and straightened up to face the monster. "Don't I even get 'And a good evening to you, Walter?'. "
"Don't play with me, butler," Alucard's voice was now wrapped in barely restrained anger. "I have no time for games."
"Oh, my, now I have hit a sore spot, haven't I," Walter continued, goading the vampire, "you're not calling me by my name again. I am so afraid," the butler pantomimed.
Alucard, in one fluid motion, came to stand in front of the butler and looked down at him. Tall. Dark. Menacing. Walter swallowed once, audibly. The older man kept forgetting how fast this vampire could move. Or how quietly.
"You can't kill me, she's forbidden it," Walter reminded Alucard, as he watched with satisfaction as the vampire's eyes bled red, then, went back to a more normal color.
"Don't flatter yourself," was the vampire's cold response. "I wouldn't kill you over something so asinine anyway." Hellsing's most deadly weapon stared down the butler with cold, dead eyes, "I'd rather save your death for a more meaningful reason. Besides," the vampire added, "I'll just call to the bond between Integra and I to determine where she is tonight."
"Save your strength, Alucard," Walter said with a sigh, "Sir Integra is out tonight."
"Tonight?" the vampire repeated, trying hard not to sound disappointed with the news, "we had a game of chess scheduled for this evening."
"Well, I'm sorry, Alucard," the butler continued, "but I'm afraid I have some bad news to impart to you. Your Master is away tonight. Out. On a date," he added, the last bit of information coming out a little too happily for the vampire's taste.
"If it's only a date," the vampire said and shrugged his shoulders, "then, I'm not concerned. I was afraid that there was trouble and that my Master may have been called to a round table meeting."
"I think you are more bothered by the Master's dating than you are by the meetings of the round table," the butler said perceptively. "At least, after a round table meeting, there usually is a defined enemy for you to go out and vanquish. Tonight, however, there's nothing you can do. So, while you sit at home, Integra's out on a date with a nice, young, human male. And, a very handsome one at that," Walter finished. "Such a pleasant chap. I think he said his name was Charles."
The butler turned away from the monster and went back to his menial chores of cleaning up the room. When Walter sensed that Alucard was still standing there, waiting, the butler added, "Of course, I would say that you could trail after them, watch them having their fun but then, oh, yes, what is it now, Sir Integra also said that she has forbidden you to follow them. So, I guess, therefore, that you'll just have to be content with staying home and seeing her later."
"You're enjoying all of this far too much, butler" Alucard said, sliding bonelessly into a leather nearest to the large fireplace in the room.
"I like that Sir Integra is going on more dates, yes," Walter agreed. "It's good that she gets out every now and then. It's important that she interact with more normal humans."
"I think her social life may cause her to neglect some of her duties," Alucard offered. "After all, she's only been knighted a couple of months now."
"Integra neglecting things?" the butler repeated, making a show of mock horror, "Never. She's always serious about everything she does. And I think," Walter continued, "that's why she's dating more. Sir Integra realizes that the Hellsing line needs heirs. So, now that she's realized the problem, she's serious about solving it. Through seeing more people. Through dating more. In fact, I think there might be something developing between your master and Charles. Tonight's their third date already," the butler added with a smug satisfaction.
"You get excited over every human male my Master dates," Alucard reminded Walter. The vampire stretched out in the chair adopting a more languorous position. "Either way though, I'm not concerned. She'll break up with him…eventually."
"That's what you said about 'Bill' too," Walter retorted.
"Yes, I did," the vampire said, "and see," he added happily, "I was correct. She is not seeing him anymore."
"But, you do have to admit, even to yourself, that the relationship between Bill and your Master was, however, you describe it, a 'close one'," Walter offered, rearranging the freshly cut flowers in a vase on one of the tables in the room. "Though she did break up with him, things were left open. I'm certain that if William ever comes to London someday after his studies, he'll look her up. Ah, young love," Walter said, smiling, "Just thinking about it makes me wish that I were young again as well."
"I enjoy the weight of age," was the vampire's singular reply. "With great age comes great wisdom and great insight."
"And great regret," Walter added.
"Ah, yes, that too," Alucard conceded, "however, you can't have one without the other. And personally, I'd take age over youth any day."
"Well, speak for yourself," the butler said, "you're immortal so age has no hold on your any longer. For this human, let me just say that I wouldn't mind being ten, twenty or thirty years younger."
Alucard said nothing more for a few moments, only sitting silently, watching the butler move at a faster pace than normal. "Why are you in such a hurry, tonight, Walter? Perhaps, you and I can stay home tonight and play the chess game that my master owed me."
"Not tonight, Alucard, I have a date." Walter's voice held a happy note. "I'm going to the cinema tonight with Anne, one of the daytime Hellsing maids."
"Have a good time," the vampire added with more than a hint of mockery in his voice, "Can you make certain that you have several packages of warmed blood left out for me before you leave?"
"Of course," Walter added, his tone one of respect and service, "though Sir Integra did give me instructions to tell you that you have her permission to go out and feed, but not, to kill, tonight."
The vampire nodded once to show that he understood the message but said nothing in response.
"Oh, does this mean that the most powerful vampire has grown, how shall we say, a bit bored, with the thrill of the chase?" Walter asked in mock surprise.
"I might go out later," Alucard answered, "besides, within the residence, I've had quite a few of the maids already. There was Julia and Cathy and Vicky and…" Here the vampire ticked off a long and an impressive list of many of the maids that had formerly worked at Hellsing. Some of the names were those that were still presently employed in the organization.
"It must be maddening then, for you," Walter said, "that you've had so many women, yet, you still have not shared blood nor passion with your master."
"It is only a matter of time," Alucard assured him, "only a matter of time."
"Well, that may be," Walter said, "however, if looking into your history is any indicator of what may happen between you and Sir Integra, there was another woman once who you loved. And lost."
The butler stopped suddenly, realizing that he had gone too far in playing with the vampire's emotions. A strong silence hung heavy in the room. Finally, however, the monster answered the butler in a low, quiet voice, "I didn't lose Mina. I let her go."
When Walter didn't say anything in reply to Alucard's comment, the vampire added, "I mourn her loss in my way. However, I chose not to interfere with her and her family."
"Yet," the butler said, finally coming over to take a seat in the leather chair opposite the vampire, "a 'mysterious benefactor' paid for Mrs. Harker's only son's university tuition. And graduate school as well."
"I couldn't help it, Walter," the vampire confessed, staring off into the distance, as if remembering, "I saw him once, you know. Quincey Harker, almost all grown up. In London. He had Mina's eyes. And smile. I heard his laugh and thought of her." Alucard came out of his reverie to focus again on the butler's face, "After seeing him, I couldn't let the boy live the life of a pauper. Harker never had any real business sense. Him and….Mina struggled so. It was the least I could do for the boy. For her…" The vampire's voice trailed off, a mixture of pain and immense sadness.
Alucard looked over to one of the glass tables that were next to his leather chair. On the table nearest him was a silver frame of his master. As a baby. With her mother holding her, both parents smiled happily out of the frame as if they didn't have a care in the world. Alucard picked up the picture and looked at it. Walter saw his features shift and soften. Become almost human in fact as he held the frame with large, strong hands.
"What I think was most difficult for me," Alucard said quietly, suddenly, as if in a confessional, "was not seeing Mina with Jonathan. Though that last admission of mine is probably surprising to you. No, no, the husband was not the hardest. What was the most difficult though, was, seeing Mina walk down the street with Quincey, holding his hand, laughing and talking happily to him. That was, that was…" Though the vampire didn't finish his sentence, both men understood the thought that had been expressed.
"Even if your master did choose you in the end, Alucard," Walter offered in a soothing tone, "vampires are unable to reproduce. You could not give Hellsing an heir. Nor give Sir Integra a child."
"I know that," the vampire said, his tone soft, though carrying weight, "but then, my Master will not need an heir." Alucard looked up from the picture and his gaze became cold, defiant, "For then, when she chooses me, she will become an immortal being as I am. And, Hellsing will continue. Forever."
Walter almost reached out to physically touch the imposing vampire but thought for a moment and decided to restrain his hand. After a few minutes, the butler rose from the leather chair and went to the kitchen in search of blood bags to warm for the vampire. Alucard sat in the chair, holding the picture, staring at it, before placing it back on the table. Without a glance back, he willed himself to dissolve to mist and reform in the kitchen where the trusty butler would have his supper waiting. The vampire hoped Walter had more than two blood bags ready for his use. He realized that it might be several more hours before Integra would arrive home and he could talk with his master about her adventures in the human world.