Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Set during volume 1, possible spoilers for latest chapters of the Manga (volume 8 and beyond). Edited by Puck 3/4 and has some implied pairings.
Alucard chuckled as Integral yelled at the confused Police Girl, threatening her with her rolled up newspaper. He had rarely seen a vampire paling that way at such a harmless menace. His Master did not want to admit any foolish jealousy nor her increasing like for his fledgling. How Integra feared to be replaced by Seras was beyond him. He was supposed to protect and obey her and not Police Girl; his childe was no substitute for her. There was only one Master.
"Police Girl, go and pick up the destroyed targets. We are done for tonight," Alucard interrupted, ordering the shrinking Seras.
"But Master! Do I have to? They are far away!"
"You couldn't hit the targets. So you're going to train your undead endurance by running and picking them up, incompetent girl," Alucard ordered mockingly harsh. The girl winced and looked down then started to run. "So…"
"I was talking to her, Alucard. Don't question my authority again," Integral pointed out huffing and tucking the rolled newspaper.
"I would never-" he claimed innocently.
"Shut it. I was planning something special for the decade anniversary but you'll be busy with yet another little girl you have saved," Integral sniffed. Alucard started to laugh at her aggravated facial expression. "What the bloody hell is so funny, git?"
"You. You are acting more immature than when I met you," Alucard commented, pausing in his laughter. "All because you're afraid to not be as special as you are."
Integral blushed in embarrassment and searched a cigar. Smoking always relaxed his Master and he enjoyed when she did it. It was a masochistic thrill of seeing her so human and wasting herself away from his hands. It was the best for her.
"Now you claim to remember, Alucard?"
"I remembered the night that I turned the Police Girl, I knew this day was coming," Alucard admitted. Integral's flustered glance became quizzical. "I have given you a gift for it, my Master. One day you'll realize the high cost of it."
"Alucard-" Integral was starting to say something but she could not finish, the old vampire faded just when his younger apprentice arrived with the pieces of the targets.
"Sir Integra! Where is Master?"
"He left after delivering a cryptic message," answered Integral frustrated, exhaling a puff of smoke. She rose and approached Seras. "Allow me to aid you with those. I'll show you where you can throw them."
"Thank you, Sir!"
Alucard watched both women interact from the shadows with great relief. They seemed to get along pretty well already. It was all matter of time his Master would grow closer to his Police Girl. Integra was extremely lonely for her age; only Walter and him were her companions. And neither would endure much. Walter would die sooner of later, he was nearly seventy and he - he had been planning his own demise since Arthur's era.
Ten years Alucard had delayed his fate in a foolish belief this time would be different. It would be not. He was a monster and was destined to destroy everything he loved eventually. His hubris caught his Ilona, his selfishness nearly damned his Mina, and it would not make his Integra suffer. He had learnt from his past mistakes. He would serve her to a distance to assure her safety.
"Sir Integra, er-sorry for being rude earlier," Seras' voice broke his brooding thoughts. "I wanted to joke and well I suppose it wasn't so funny. I'm sorry, Sir."
Integral smiled at the girl, opening the bin so his childe could throw the remains of the targets there. "I overreacted. Don't need to apologize, Police Girl."
"I'll do my best in next practice sessions. You all were so kind, taking me in and all."
If Alucard had cared for Seras Victoria as a human being, he would have felt a pang of guilt for what he did to her. But did not; the monster side of his nature was resurfacing to feel no remorse. He had not known how she was to mourn the loss as would if his Master or the Angel of Death abandoned their mortal states. She was convenient, right place, right time, for him. The former Count had no nerve to damn to the same existence he loathed to someone he knew. It was a fortune the girl had so much potential! It stirred something forgotten within him, a fatherly pride buried beneath his centuries.
He might have not cared for Seras that night he turned her but he did now. She was his heir, legacy and future. Alucard would go slow and easy on her, Seras had enough sorrows to face for her own nature to be worried about a strict Master. He made a dreadful vampire, in any case, he did not want her to follow his steps towards doom.
"So you met Master ten years ago?"
"Yes. I was thirteen and he saved my life, just like he did to you, Police Girl."
Alucard wanted to laugh sourly at the poor comparison. To her credit, he had not given her the full information of how Seras was changed. 'Mortally wounded during the mission.' And Police Girl claimed to be too shocked to remember details.
I killed her, Integra. I murdered her when I could have saved her. I shot her chest, took her humanity away and made her a servant. With you, I shielded you from a bullet and bowed down your human state. It couldn't be more different. He bit his words; Integra would realize within time if Walter did not voice his own concerns to her.
Alucard left both women to their private, lady-like conversations and appeared in his old cell of the basement, looking at the dark room nostalgic. The scene of his release played to his eyes once again: Integral curled beside him without fear, Richard and his men meeting death on their hands and he submitting to her service. The flashback vanished and he found himself staring at the murky floor.
Ten years had passed and he had enjoyed peace enough. Alucard was too jaded to dream, knowing the imminent outcome. The cycle of self-destruction would start once more. The No Life King hoped soon his Master realized Police Girl was his last anniversary present. He would not live to celebrate another.
Integra was correct about something. Seras Victoria was meant to substitute someone. But it was not her as his lady to defend but Alucard himself as her vampire servant.