It was a week later and the sun was shining down on the Hellsing grounds the small funeral for Sergeant Field, as he was interred in the tomb the Hellsing' had on the grounds. Kept underground and separate from the main house but for a long tunnel, it was warded even more heavily than the house itself and was to be used as a defence of last resort.
As the funeral part re-emerged into the house, Integra looked up to see Alacard standing there in his usual red trench coat and large hat but with a black armband on to show his respect for the man. "He was worthy of your hand, it is a shame to loose him so soon." He said sombrely.
Alacard had barely spoken to anyone most the week, just walked around the house like a ghost and hid in the attic, he had barely even slept either because he hadn't once ventured down into the basement levels since that night.
Integra nodded at him, her eyes red behind the veil and moved forwards silently and they shared a rare embrace with all around them still before they moved on to the reception in the large ballroom. Anderson was almost on constant watch in-case of… well, when asked he said it was in case something happened to her while she was in a fragile emotional, physical and hormonal state having cared for the odd expectant mother in his long years.
Walter was a little sad at loosing his life long job but saw to it that Anderson was trained in all the areas expected on him as the ex-priest often liked to bring Integra tea and food when she worked too hard. Might as well make sure he wasn't going to get himself in trouble! With a bow and a smile Walter disappeared down a corridor.
Once inside the ballroom the men were there in full and even those who were technically supposed to be in the infirmary still were there, only those unconscious weren't visible in the crowds. They were gathered in rank and file, standing to attention -or as close as for those in wheelchairs- and all looking at her.
Integra smiled at them all and held her arms open, "thank you all for coming and I know you bare the loss of Sergeant Field as heavy as I do. May God watch over you all, amen."
They echoed her prayer and started to move about, braking rank and milling around, a few moved up to give condolences, close friends of his and such. Moving threw the crowd Integra smiled again, sitting to one side and still sore was both Maya and Drake in there full dragon forms, they waved at her.
It was just so strange how the men treated them like they were ordinary, some of the men spoke to them, some of the healthy were taking food around to the still injured as the buffet began.
"Its good to see you two awake at last!" She said warmly moving over to the sofa bound pair, Alacard and Anderson were her looming shadows as she moved around the room but she didn't have the heart to tell either of them to bugger off. It was familiar and solid reassurance that life was moving on still.
Maya chuckled, "well we sort of pleaded with the rest of the men." Drake nodded and sat up a little straighter, "we're here under strict orders not to strain ourselves in anyway and not to do any magic if it prevents us from healing ourselves."
"I should think so!" She said firmly for a moment before she smiled faintly at them again, "lets just all celebrate in the best way we can, and I'm sure even the doctors and nurses are here some where, they won't notice once they've had too many."
"Here here!" Said Drake and a drink appeared in his hand. Integra moved away and left the two of them squabbling with each other, moving around and speaking to people until there was a faint hush in the room.
The crowd turned to look at the door and standing there, as meek as a mouse trained at the rodent college of assassins, stood Seres Victoria, here hands knotting around themselves as she stood there, uncertain.
"I-I'm s-s-s-sorry I'm late." She stammered out and bowed to all present as Integra moved up to her side and touched her shoulder, making the smaller girl rise with a blush.
"Its okay." She said as soothingly as she could manage, "thank you."
Seres smiled weakly and then moved carefully and slowly so that no one could say anything bad happened, she reached up and hugged Integra to her, "I-I just heard the news really. No one had time to tell me about it on the night and… well…" Her large red eyes welled up and caused Integra to chuckle, even as the red droplets stained her white shirt.
"Thank you Sir Hellsing and I'm sorry." Mumbled Seres as the party moved once again and the two women pulled apart. "Looking back I was so terrible to let it control me like that, for you to have to do this." She held up her gloved hands and showed the intricate designs on the back of them, before putting them down again so they could carry on twisting around each other.
"Think of it more as protection," said Integra warmly as she piloted Seres away from the door. "Even when all other vampires are dead, you are protected by Hellsing and the Crown, no-one and nothing can touch you."
"Oh… I never really… wow…" She murmured but her words trailed off as she caught sight of Alacard for the first time in a week. He was standing there, looking down and seeming very much like a giant puppy that had done his business on the carpet and was ready to get his nose rubbed in it, the tall vampire couldn't have looked more sorry for himself if he had tried. And in a room full of people too, she thought with a blink.
With a squeal Seres jumped at him, making him catch her on reflex or she would have pinned his arms to his sides with her legs. "I've missed you! You-you-you stupid vampire!" She scolded and punched him in the chest as he looked down at her in shock.
"Really?" He asked shocked making Integra and Anderson share a smile as they moved away from the vampires, leaving them to there own squabbling too.
"Its like being back at the orphanage again," said Anderson with a happy sigh as they moved to a table, one of the many at the edge of the room. Integra looked over at him puzzled as she sat down and Walter served her, her favourite tea, "how so? Were you an orphan?"
"Oh no… well… maybe, I can't really remember before the church, side-effect of the process," he said almost dismissively, as if not remembering your childhood wasn't the worst that could happen. He would know by now, for him the worst had happened and he had landed on his feet as the saying goes.
"No, I meant that… they are all like the children, they joke, they fight, they learn and grow and I help by overseeing all that." He turned a large warm smile on her, "even the blood sucking monsters." He joked with a wink that made her chuckle into her tea.
"And that's what made me content in life, you know? Just teaching the young, guiding them as best I could… I never wanted to fight. That was all that brainwashing and drugs the church used to pump into me."
Integra reached across and touched his arm as the chatter of the men swirled around them, "well… there will be a position open for a father… sometime in the near future…" She said and blushed as Anderson turned to look at her, "I mean, I'm not going to trust Alacard or Drake to help me raise my child. And, you never know…"
"… Yeah," replied Anderson at last as he smiled and took a sip from his whisky, "you never know…"
There was a comfortable silence between them as they watched the party swirl and move around them before Integra spotted the drink and elbowed him in the arm, "what about your vows?" She asked, indicating the double shot of finest malt whisky.
"What? Those? Of they were void the minuet I was shot in the back and I left." He laughed and took another satisfying drink from the glass without breaking eye contact with her. "Anyway, I was only ever good at the chastity one because women tend not to like men who are taller than doorways or get covered in blood on a regular basis."
"There are exceptions," she said tartly and indicated the volatile vampires who were still arguing but about something different and it now involved five other people.
"Of course," he said with a wink, "you never know."
Two years later…
"I think little Jack is going to have a little sister."
"Problem is, Maya is expecting too!"
I would just like to say a big thank you to those who have followed by story, I know it was a little bit long, but thank you all the same. Its the biggest I've ever written and thank you for also making it my most successful to date. Yes, I will admit there are a lot of mistakes in here and I rush things a lot so that when I go back to re-read parts even I wander what the hell I was doing sometimes.
But, thank you again. I would just like to finish with a small request of a summary review, what did people think of the story on a whole? What did they think of the Dragons? ^__^ See you round all!