Summary: A sixteen year old Integra Hellsing outside on a warm, spring day--but she's not alone.
A/N: I won't be able to write much fan-fiction for a little bit, so I thought I'd get one more Hellsing one in. This story actually started out as a drawing, and I thought I'd put words to it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words (well 1,903 looking at the word count).
All characters © Hirano Kouta
"Come pooch, sit, stay.
Come join me where I lay."
The April sky, light and clear, stretched across the English land as the ubiquitous scents of spring lingered in the air. The halcyon cries of birds far away were an entire symphony of their own to the ears, the gentle rustle and swish of falling seeds from tall trees, the patter of furry gray squirrels scampering expertly over thin branches, every sound was precious. The small breeze itself seemed so much like a human voice whistling a lasting melody.
Glad to have finally extracted herself from her dingy quarters, a sixteen-year old Integra Hellsing lay on her stomach in the large backyard of the Hellsing Estate. Normally it would be atypical of the young heir to be caught dead actually relaxing, but these were atypical circumstances. Well not exactly atypical or infrequent…this particular change in her character could be seen every twenty-eight days, to be exact.
The rich and brilliant sunlight poked tentatively through the trees, creating little patterns of light on the lush grassy floor. Integra closed her eyes and inhaled deeply through her nose, glad to breathe in the sweet coolness of springtime air. The freshness also helped temporarily relieve the steady throbbing pain in her nether regions.
In an attempt to make herself as comfortable as possible, Integra had abandoned her traditional skirt and button-down shirt, replacing her formal attire with a sleeveless shirt and shorts. Normally she would be appalled at how scantly clad the outfit was (in her opinion), but soon decided that she no longer cared.
Integra let her dark blonde hair, already waist-length at sixteen, flare out underneath her like a blanket as she laid on top of it. She tilted her face up towards the sky and closed her eyes, trying to ignore the sluggish pulse of her throbbing temples beating a dull tattoo on the inside of her forehead.
It was so peaceful…
Integra remained like that for some time.
Suddenly something rough and wet slid up her cheek. Integra's eyes snapped open and she jolted up into a sitting position, seething.
Integra scrubbed the palm of her hand against her cheek to rid it of cold, slimy drool. "What are you doing out here?" She asked the creature before her, fairly annoyed.
A passerby of the estate, if they happened to so pass by at that very moment would have found it strange to see a teenage girl talking to a large black dog. Or perhaps they would have found the fact stranger that the dog in question had eight eyes.
The dog simply wagged his tail and uttered a low grumble in satisfaction at Integra's query, its unnaturally long tongue lolling out pleasantly.
Although Integra was never really a cat person to begin with, she resisted the urge to pet this particular hound. Some childish instinct lurking deep inside her wanted to see if this dog's black fur felt as smooth and silky as it looked, but Integra dolefully reminded herself that this was a 500 year old vampire in a Dogsbody. Not your average pooch.
"It's rare for you to be up in the middle of the day, Alucard," Integra said, recovering slightly from her irritation due to impending curiosity, "Let alone outside. I would have thought that spring would be the worst time for vampires."
As if to justify that statement the hound lowered its muzzle to the ground and promptly sneezed three times.
"Aw, does the puppy have an itchy nose?" she asked Alucard amusedly and somewhat sarcastically. The sarcasm was in part due to her discomfort. The Alucard-dog gave another sneeze and looked up at Integra, glad to be rid of that nuisance.
"But seriously though. Do you need anything?"
Integra groaned as the hound rolled over onto its back and kicked up its hindquarters in an almost human fashion. She could have sworn that the dog was grinning. Even though Alucard was more than thirty times older than her, the Hellsing heir wondered who the mature one really was. Sometimes the vampire acted like so much like a child it made one want to cry.
"I really don't need this today, servant," Integra sighed, squeezing her temples around the glasses that framed her face. "Why don't you go back to your coffin, where you belong?" God, she was so tired.
The dog blinked all eight of its eyes in unison and gave a pitiful whine. "Oh please," Integra snapped. A rather painful spasm racking through her lower abdomen then made her bite down on her full lower lip. The teenager fought to regain control of her senses. She would rather die than show weakness to Alucard…especially this kind of mishap.
"Leave. Now. I order you to," She commanded Alucard in a tone that an irascible pet owner would use with a particularly ill-behaved dog. The hellhound cocked his black head and blinked its four sets of bright vermillion eyes, but made no move to leave.
Another sickly wave of ache almost made Integra double over. "Go!" She snapped, ice blue eyes sparking dangerously. Alucard flinched at her volume and rose, his bushy tail in between his legs. He gave a low howl and loped quietly away, paws padding soundlessly on the flourishing green lawn.
With a heavy exhale that was half sighing-half groaning, Integra curled up on the grass into a semi-fetal position. She knew she should feel guilty for sending the vampire who had rescued her four years ago away with such open disrespect, but at the moment the young Hellsing was too pained to care. She pinched her eyes shut behind glass lenses. Since when had her 'time' been so painful? It was most likely due to overstressing.
Integra became aware of something then…her first thought was that it was godly soft. The second thought was that it was right beside her.
For the second time that day Integra's eyes flashed open in alarm. Wait, something was wrong…when she opened her eyes she saw nothing but black. She tried closing her eyes and reopening them, but the results were the same, her mind in too much pain to register yet what was going on.
A large black dog was snuggled up against her. Its ink-black fur was more silken and smooth than she had imagined. Although it registered no body heat at all, the hellhound's fur and closeness felt amazing. Almost like a blanket.
"Alucard…what the bloody hell are you doing?" Integra murmured lazily, too tired to be truly angry.
The only response she received was a throaty rumble from the dog. He affectionately burrowed his snout into Integra's belly, making her curl up and instinctively let out a tickled laugh. That made the teenager forget all about her pain, and for a moment there she didn't even feel any discomfort.
The hound nuzzled her some more and occasionally scrubbed his wet, cold tongue over her arms, bringing an aberrant and uncharacteristic smile to the young Hellsing's lips. Out of childish impulse and oversensitive hormones, Integra buried her skin deeper into the cool dog's fur, relishing the glossy feel and softness. When was the last time she had hugged something, or had received any physical contact, for that matter? Integra had forgotten what it felt like to hold someone close, or the other way around.
It felt nice.
And that was how Integra Hellsing fell asleep; holding a black dog close, nestled in weaves of ebony fur and emerald grass from the Hellsing lawn. She did not even realize that she had fallen asleep until she awoke to find herself in her own quarters later that evening.
-- -- --
Nighttime had fallen, and the darkness was calming to her eyes. Sliding on her glasses and walking lightly down the hall she made her way to the downstairs pantry to retrieve a glass of water. Once there she poured herself a cup and closed her eyes as the cool liquid trickled down her parched throat. She felt immensely better than she had that afternoon—
Wait, what of this afternoon?
"You don't even to become a vampire," a low and soothing voice said from the shadows behind her. "Your sleeping habits are already genuine nosferatu."
A normal teenage girl would have jumped three feet out of her clothes, but Integra had become accustomed to the vampire's spontaneous appearings.
"Alucard," she addressed him, now back in his human form. Well if you could call it human.
It was then that Integra realized she didn't know what to say next. Had this afternoon been real, or some ridiculously vivid dream brought on by her monthly malfunctioning of hormones? She couldn't remember, which frustrated her.
"Did you sleep well, young Master?" Alucard asked. He had disposed of his orange-tinted sunglasses and vermillion fedora for the evening, his reddish eyes glowing slightly in the darkness like an owl's.
"As a matter of fact, no," Integra grumbled as she downed what was left of her water glass. Alucard would become mortal before she would tell him any more, so she simply added "strange dreams" before the bothersome vampire could inquire further. Unfortunately he probably would ask anyway.
He raised an eyebrow, invisible in the dark. "I see. Care to share, Master?"
"N-not a chance, servant!" Integra huffed, her temper flaring. She grabbed her glass and viciously dropped it into the kitchen's sink, ignoring the deep chuckles coming from the vampire. Luckily the dark concealed the flush that had slowly spread across her cheeks. Integra cursed her hypersensitive hormones.
"That bad, huh? You humans and your dreams."
Integra growled something almost incoherent it was so low, but not to Alucard's vampiric ears. He wondered if she had picked up such colorful language from her father. "Are you always so irritable, young Master? I did not realize that dreaming was such a touchy subject." He paused, allowing a pointed caning to slide over his bottom lip as he grinned.
"If I didn't know any better I would say that you were dreaming about me."
He was baiting her. Integra's frosty blue eyes widened behind their spectacles.
"Alucard," she began, her voice leveled dangerously. "If you continue to spout such foolishness I will reach into your coat pocket and shoot you with your own gun."
Alucard's grin widened, stretching up to his ears. "My apologies, Master." He bowed gracefully, his jet-black hair falling in a shroud around his ears. "I bid you good night."
Young Integra gave a curt nod and exited the kitchen, her long flaxen hair billowing out behind her. Alucard listened as the sound of his master's footsteps ebbed away and the vampire smoothed his hair back with a white-gloved hand, still standing in the pantry. He suddenly gave a smile, one almost never seen by others. This smile was softer, warmer (as warm as Alucard could get, anyway), differing vastly from his typical bloodthirsty leer.
When was the last time he had cuddled with something living and warm? Alucard had forgotten what it was like to lie alongside another being.
It felt nice.
Asleep in her large quilted bed, hair flayed around her like a light fan, Integra Hellsing smiled softly.
-- -- --
I realize how many Hellsing fics are out there where Integra is suffering from menstruation (give her a break guys!). I just needed to give her a reason to be more touchy than usual, sorry-- I know this is a huge Hellsing cliche. Reviews would be much appreciated!