Chapter 4

"I thought you said there was nothing we could do for her." Integra said quietly fuming, cigar in one hand, staring out the window rather than at her servant.

"I said there is nothing you can do for her." Alucard replied, a grin in his voice. This only served to irritate Integra more.

"What is this really about, Alucard?" Integra growled. "What happened back there?"

"Death was trying to take her, simple as that." her servant replied nonchalantly.

"I could see that as well as everyone else, Alucard!" Integra was losing her temper, "What I asked was-" She paused "You didn't turn her again did you?"

Alucard grinned in response, the only sound heard was the ashes on the end of Integra's cigar breaking off and falling to the floor.

"Alucard." Integra's silent anger filled the room

"I didn't have to turn her, she's reverting back on her own. She has reclaimed me as her master. You heard it as well as I did." Alucard's grin widened.

Integra said nothing.

"I will keep her bound to me tighter than before, my master." Alucard said, bowing.

"See that you do." Integra replied, sending her servant away so that she could have some peace of mind and mull this whole affair over.

*:_:*:_:*:_:*:_:*:_:*

I woke up to darkness. The smell around me was that of blood and gunpowder, not a pleasent scent but somehow comforting. This was the smell of Alucard, which meant I was in his coffin, but why?

I placed my right arm against the lid and pushed, sending a shock of pain through my body. That's right, mother eff I'm still injured.

The lid lifted off on it's own, I knew not because I could see, but because I could feel cool damp air drift across my skin. Far different than the warm air that was caught in the coffin.

I couldn't see anything in the darkness, but I could feel Alucard's presence.

"Master?" The words escaped my lips before I even thought about what I was saying.

"I want you to go upstairs." I jumped in surprize at Alucard's voice. "Enjoy your last hours of sunlight."

My last hours of what? Sunlight? I didn't understand what the old Vampire was talking about, but who was I to argue. I really didn't feel like staying in this place for very long, sense deprivation around a member of the undead, no matter how trustworthy, put me on edge.

I heard a creak and watched a panel of light extend from a doorway up the stairs down to a few feet infront of the coffin I sat in. It didn't illuminate any other part of the room, the light didn't extend past the rectangle on the floor. In an instant I was up, heading up the stairs to the outside.

"Watch your step, fledgling." I heard Alucard's grinning voice call as I reached the last step.

Did he just call me fledgling? I went to step forward in the doorway and tripped on a step that I swore wasn't there before, sending myself sprawling onto the floor a few feet.

The door slammed behind me. The click of locks sliding into place told me I wouldn't be asking any questions about the whole fledgling remark.

I worked my way up from the bowels of the Hellsing mannor up to the main floors. The light shining through the windows told me that I had slept through the night, odd since usually no one let me do that around here.

I didn't understand exactly what Alucard meant by "Last few hours of sunlight" but I figured my life was ending in one way or another. And somewhere in a deep and somewhat sick part of my mind I welcomed it.

I was told to enjoy the sunlight and enjoy it I did. My day was spent in the library reading by the window, being as I was on house arrest and wasn't allowed to leave the manor or the grounds for that matter. When darkness fell I was escorted back to the basement still not entirely sure what was going to happen to me next. I was left to descend the final staircase alone and once again found myself in the cold damp lair of my master. Though I couldn't see anything in front of me, I could feel my master's gaze on me and his presence filling the room.

"Fledgeling." His voice broke the silence.

"… are you going to kill me? Master?" The word escaped my mouth again. I blamed it on habit.

"No. I have no reason to kill you."

"You're going to change me again aren't you?"

"No need."

"So I'm…"

"Quiet yourself. It's already late for one who has been awake all day. Get in the coffin and I will wake you later and explain."

He was speaking to me rather kindly for someone who thought of me as a traitor. It really didn't make me feel better about my situation. Nor did it make me feel particularly comfortable about sleeping in a coffin...

"Hurry up, fledgeling."

"Uh, master…" I stammered. "I can't see…"

His cold hand slipped into mine and he carefully lead me to the coffin, helping me into it and placing the lid on once I was inside. The close quarters made me feel Closter phobic but comfortable at the same time, the smell of blood, gunpowder, and dust in the coffin giving me a strange sense of security. For a moment I felt like I was home, a strange feeling for a place that in the past filled my life with terror.

I let the familiar darkness and the quiet lull me into a dreamless sleep.