Disclaimer: Because all recognisable characters obviously don't belong to me.
Summary: Because Alucard knows he must make her strong
A/N: First Hellsing fic - Enjoy!
They watch her, this woman-child amidst their ranks, waiting for a sign of weakness which would prove that she is too young to be their leader. None of them - hardened veterans, brave men, men trained to kill - has survived their first massacre without a gut-wrenching time in the bushes, where they gag and vomit and wish they had never heard of these damned monsters and the Hellsing Organisation.
But she, this girl with her demon servant by her side, stares impassively at the carnage, giving orders, asking questions, demanding answers, almost unnatural in her calm. Her round face, with her large glasses and puppy-fat and innocence, belies the steel in her voice and as she stares at the corpses without the hysterics and fear they expect, some wonder uneasily if she's human.
They're surprised and awed by her, but then, they don't know that this is nothing to what she has already seen.
Alucard knows that his young master won't survive the contempt of her army if she shows weakness. What might be forgiven in a man, would not be allowed in a woman, and less in child. His young master stands at the edge of a precipice; one wrong move will topple her and destroy her. She cannot afford to be less that what her inferiors are, nor can she be their equal.
Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing must spread her wings and rise above them. And only Alucard can help her.
So he whispers about the humiliation if she cannot withstand her first test of courage, taunts her with her innocence and then offers languidly to take her under his tutelage. It's her fear of failure which makes her accept, nothing else. Perhaps she thinks that indebting herself to her servant is a lesser sin than dishonouring her family name by showing weakness.
So at night, Alucard comes to her, and shows her what darkness is.
Walter doesn't know about these nightly visits. Alucard does not tell him, because he thinks the Angel of Death would not be amused by the lessons he is giving his precious little Master. Integra does not tell him because it is all that she can bear to admit that she needs these lessons because she is weak.
Weak, he tells her, as he watches her tremble as the ghouls clutch at her dress and pull her down, as the dead seek to possess themselves of her body, of her soul.
Weak, he murmurs, as she gags and vomits when she sees Vlad torturing his enemies, as she screams and tries to block the sounds of the heart-wrenching wails as he impales his live victims. He laughs mockingly as presses her down, face to face with the dead, the cloying scent of decay invading her nostrils and penetrating her skin.
I hate you, she hisses back, voice thick with tears and snot as she battles to keep her face stoic in front of her servant.
He takes her to see martyrs thrown to the lions, torn to shreds and eaten, takes her close enough to get blood and gore on her face, to stare at the faces of men as they die in excruciating pain. He stands by her as she watches women and children being burned at stake, the smell of their burned flesh permeating her nostrils, the hatred and fear of those who kill them forcing itself into her consciousness.
Alucard has no pity.
He shows her what cruelty is in torture chambers where he makes her work the devices with the accused screaming for mercy. He makes her hold the knife and cut out blasphemers' tongues, makes her dip her fingers in their blood and smear it across her mouth.
He ties her with the other victims and leaves her to be gnawed alive by rats, lets her feel the flames eating away at her skin, lets her feel herself choking on poisonous gases, leaves her writhing in agony as she is torn to bits by daemons.
Integra refuses to beg for mercy.
Weak, he murmurs every time she falters, and it's enough to make her stand her ground. He feels her anger as she struggles to prove him wrong, because she is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, and she will not be intimidated by her servant. And she grows stronger, colder and wiser and Alucard feels almost proud of his creation.
When she wakes in the morning, the smooth fabric of her nightdress covering her creamy skin, untainted and pure, telling her that they were all nightmares, that it was all in her mind.
But still, she scrubs herself red raw in the bath, to try to purge herself of the stench of blood and guts which follows her around, and at night she waits to see those devilish red-eyes staring back at hers, to take her to her torment.
So they proceed through their ghastly journey every night, visiting hell and dancing with devils.
They wonder at her calm façade, but really, this is nothing to what she has already seen.
I like opinions and comments, so reviews are very welcome. Any mistakes (grammatical and whatever) are my own fault as I have no beta. Thank you for reading!