The Great Disappointment

"I'd make a wish, then bleed…"A.F.I.

Fall 1944, Hellsing Manor-

For the entirety of his life, Arthur Viktor Wingates Fairbrook Hellsing knew that he had a duty to perform for God, Country, and the very sake of humanity's survival. It was a heavy yolk, but he bore it with strength, honour, and a good fifth of gin nightly. True, he was a more modern man than his father, Viktor Van Hellsing-his methods were a bit more, imposing than his Patter's more subtle tactics, but right now with the entire world on the brink of turmoil, one had no time for gradual methods. Advancement had been made since the last World War in science, weaponry, and military intelligence. These were days of desperation, and even the impossible or unthinkable were coming to fruition; the very idea of using the undead in warfare would make his father turn in his grave, but it was this very creature that was responsible for the current successes in his military's missions. It was also this same fickle, little creature being held in account for his state of frustration right now. For the past two weeks, Alucard's nightly visits to his chambers had been inconsistent; one night she claimed exhaustion, while it was a 'headache ' the next.

"Headache! You're a vampire-you don't get bloody headaches!" he had exclaimed to her, but all the creature did was smile, peck him on the cheek and depart. The other evening, he was left alone waiting like a fool in his own study –Alucard never appeared. He was not one to be toyed with-Arthur had more than an inkling as to what or whom was disrupting his romantic trysts and he was going to put a stop to it-now.

The underground dungeons were vast- one could very easily get lost in the long corridors and deep, dark hallways. Arthur knew the path like the back of his hand-his father and grandfather had led him down this labyrinth since he was a small boy. To most of the household, it was a dank, frightening place, but to Arthur, it was his playground and hiding spot , and a favourite place for contemplation . There was something oddly peaceful about being so far away from the rest of the world, especially when the weight of said world rested so harshly on his shoulders, day in and day out. He came upon the heavy, barred door of his servant's quarters and knocked, the dull thud echoing throughout the hall. The door creaked open and her face peeked through the gap. It was four in the afternoon, a little too early for a nocturnal creature to be this awake.

"Master," she stated ,"To what, do I owe the pleasure of your calling?" Arthur stepped quietly inside, brushing past her without a word. He casually crossed the room, ignoring the great, lacquered coffin that occupied most of the space, and made his way to the couch and table near the back of the bedroom. Arthur seated himself and the girl approached him slowly, her steps small and almost dance-like. While irritated with her actions, Arthur could not help but notice that she was quite lovely today, clad in a pale cream frock that clung to her slender figure like skin on an apple.

"No need to be coy, servant, I need to speak with you." Alucard dropped the flirtation to her walk and came straight to her master, dropping to her knees , looking up at him .

"You never came the other night-why?" he demanded.

"Walter was upset, very upset and I stayed and comforted him." Arthur's eyebrow cocked and he crossed his arms.

"You mean like how you 'comforted' me when I was younger?" The girl placed her hands on his knees and pulled herself up a bit to face her accuser.

"No- I watched over him, that's all." His face softened a bit, but she could sense the underlying anger.

"Your little liaisons have cost me two stable grooms, a previous house butler , and three kitchen maids." Alucard brushed his cheek playfully.

"Ohhh, are you jealous that I got to them first? They were very pretty , sweet-" her conversation was cut short by her hand being jerked away and Lord Hellsing l glaring into her face fiercely.

"Need I remind you just who is the servant and who is the master here? You over step your bounds, dear. " He squeezed her palm until a subtle, intricate pattern of red became visible on the back of her hand-an illuminated tattoo of bondage. "You are bound to me and only me – and I do not like sharing what is mine." He looked deep into her crimson eyes "Aren't you fond of me anymore, or is this new toy taking up too much of your time?" Alucard chose her words carefully, knowing that if she sparked his jealousy, Walter would be the one to suffer.

"You asked me to train him, and I have . Hasn't he become magnificent, a true attribute to the household? All of that takes time, master, it's part of my duty to serve you and the organization. I'm his teacher, not his lover." She lowered her lips to his hands and kissed them. The act of subservience quelled his mood, and she made her way up to the seat of the sofa to cuddle next to him. Arthur sighed and began to run his fingers through her soft hair.

"Your are the most defiant creature I have ever met- you live just to torture me. " The girl practically purred and pressed his palm to her lips. He smiled, but still issued a warning.

" Don't think that I won't be watching you two- "

"Master, you know I am yours in all ways..." she breathed The vampire leaned in and kissed him, hands grasping at his collar, while her lithe body maneuvered into his lap. His teeth pulled at her lips until the dam of her mouth opened.

"We're you waiting for him to arrive after tea?," he whispered in-between kisses . The girl laughed lightly and lied.

"No, I heard you upstairs and hoped you'd come down and pay me a visit."

"Have me come down to you-why?" She grinned wickedly and began unraveling his ascot, then undoing the buttons on his shirt.

"Because down here, we can be as loud as we want and no one will be the wiser." And with that, she sank sharp teeth into warm, willing flesh.

Elsewhere, The Servant's Quarters-

"Is there anything else I can get you, Grandpa?" Walter asked while retrieving the glass of tea from the old man's night table. He shook his head and smiled weakly at the boy.

"I'm not hungry now anyway, maybe later." He attempted to prop himself up on the pillow, but was too unbalanced, and fell back.

"Here, let me." The young man pulled him up gently by his shoulders and set another thick pillow behind him steadying his torso. Two weeks ago, Mr. Dornez had a mild stroke, or at least that is how the doctor described it; the poor man was now partially paralyzed on his left side and left unable to walk or work. In spite of Lord Hellsing's usually demanding nature, he excused Walter from his other duties and allowed him to tend to his family. It saddened him beyond belief to see this man, once so strong and determined, now reduced to this. While people could, and did, recover from such episodes, the sinking feeling in Walter's heart reminded him that his grandfather's almost eighty years on this earth were wearing thin. Strokes tended to happen in multiple sessions-this one hit the areas of balance and movement, while the next one could …

"I've got to put this out of my mind." He thought, "If not, I'll go mad. Plus, there's the assignment at Danzig to think about…" The war raged onwards and the opposition pressed for more areas of control, especially water ways and shipping docks. Due to the nature of the assignment, a human would have to be the preferred agent in case any of the fiends were attempting to be sea bound back to Germany. He would have to be ready in a matter of days. The clock chimed five, signaling the start of the supper hour in the household. Walter squeezed Grandpa's hand and turned off the lamp so the man could get some rest in the dim, afternoon light. He made his way to the kitchen to prepare the evening meal and warm up the medical blood for Allie. She hadn't visited today like she had promised, but then again he was indisposed –perhaps she did not want to interfere in family matters.

Walter checked the oven and adjusted the heat slightly, then slid a large tray of pork loin smothered in apple gravy into the warm interior. The sweet, savory smell wafted through the room as he supervised the kitchen staff, making sure that all the work was running smoothly; pots rattled, kettles hummed, and the rhythmic chop of knives made a symphony. The table was set with crisp linen, decent china, and stemware for wine. As the hour crept onto six, there was no sign of the lord of the manor; usually he paused for a pre-supper drink or an additional cup of tea, but he did not surface. Finally, at about quarter of seven, Arthur made his appearance, a bit disheveled, but looking rather relaxed. He seated himself at the head of the table and promptly tore into his meal.

"I re-heated it, sir, it was set out for you at the regular time, but I had no idea that you were at business." Walter stated, pouring a light zinfandel into his glass. The man smiled and continued his supper. There was a certain air about him at the moment, as if he was privy to a secret that the boy was unaware of, but the butler continued his work bringing out the rest of the covered trays and plates. The master seemed pleased and opened each one with a bit of delight.

"German Pork Loin, mashed potatoes, and apple gravy-just like mum used to make. Very nice."

"Thank you, sir."

"Walter, for the next few days, I will continue to relieve you of some of the house duties, so that you may still attend to your grandfather. Dr. Rose will be coming to make an evaluation on him tomorrow. I've spoken to Oscar and he will be glad to cover your position for you until you return from Poland. " Lord Hellsing stated , spearing an apple ring from his plate with his knife. He savored the morsel and wiped his mouth. "Excellent sauce, my boy. For the next few, rest up- Alucard will be going out alone for any missions, and I suggest that you keep focused . Danzig is wanted by the Germans, the Russians and the Un-Dead- it's going to be one hell of a game keeping them out and us in. "

"Yes, sir." The boy reached in to retrieve a soiled plate from his master's side, but before he could maneuver his hand away, Arthur stabbed the side of his glove, barely missing the flesh, pinning his hand to the table. The man looked up at the shocked boy with a grin.

"Oh, by the way, Walter, I would watch my back a bit. It seems that all these recent events have made you a bit dazed-not as sharp as you used to be… " He pressed the blade a hair to the left, grazing the skin, making Walter flinch slightly. "Stay sharp, or you might lose your head." He jerked the blade back, releasing him. Walter quickly gathered up his plates and began to take a few steps back.

"Do you need anything else ?" The man shook his head and continued dining, slicing his meat with expert strokes. The butler turned to exit.

"Perhaps you're just tired, or maybe, you're in love, hmm? A girl on your mind making you dull? "Arthur stopped mid cut and shot a piercing gaze at him. "I remember what I was like at you age, and women can make you a bit mad-I'd really like to see you not lose your heart or your head, so think boy, think." The last word was punctuated with the knife digging back into his meal, and Walter had a strong premonition that Arthur would have preferred it was his hand on the plate.

Dungeon –Later that Evening-

The room was deathly quiet, touched by neither the tick of a timekeeper, nor the tock of a touching pendulum . A sharp breath and an exhaled curse in Romanian shattered the thin glass of silence. Allie was sprawled on her spine, looking up at the back of her palm , cursing the mystic etchings that kept her captive; she cursed the fading bruises on her skin and the sick, empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. It was bad enough to be that man's servant, but to be his mistress…she cursed her idea to take this wretched form most of all. It had seemed like such a clever decision at the time. A vampire could assume any form it wished; a cloak of fog, a ram with gold eyes, or even a white wolf- all of them interesting, but not as practical as a human shape could be.

Alucard had sensed the fatal flaw in this particular Hellsing, and felt that the best way to cope with another near-century of indentured servitude would be in this supple form. While Abraham had wrath, and Viktor wore pride as his sinful badge of honour, it was lust that Arthur favoured most. What better way to master the master than by appeasing his desires? Unfortunately, the creature did not know that she had created a monster; his cravings for her had robbed the vampire of most of her freedom, and his possessiveness was wearing thin. The master was young, and filled with boundless energy-particularly in the boudoir. She rolled over onto her stomach, pressing herself deep into the cushions of the couch, where she had spent the entire afternoon 'entertaining 'the wretched man. While it had been fun, even empowering in the beginning, the endless game of coquette and killer was becoming tiring. She would have to appease him even more now that he was suspicious of her feelings for the butler… ah, Walter.

The boy genuinely cared for her- and in spite of her more carnal nature, she felt a mutual respect and tenderness for him in turn. Years of close contact, training and friendship were beginning to turn into something more physical and emotional than Allie had expected. If he was simply another mortal lover overwhelmed by hormones, it would be easy to use him, bend him to her wiles and discard him like a ragged toy- but there was so much more to him than that. Walter had immense spirit, a sense of honour, and in spite of his battle-hardened persona on the field of duty, his heart was still somewhat innocent. The temptation to turn him was immense – he was still a virgin and it was ages since she had enjoyed someone's company this much. .. A dull thud on the door broke Allie from her thoughts and she rose to the inquirer.

"Allie-supper." A pleasant voice chimed. The young man was greeted to his friend looking a bit haggard, but lovely in her pale dress.

"You're late." she chided. The boy entered and placed the small, silver tray on the table near the couch.

"The master had a late supper, and now, so will you. Also, you never showed up today."

" I had to discuss some plans with the soldiers ," she lied, "I'll be doing some work without you for the next week- while you prepare for Poland, I'll be heading toward France. " The boy sat down on the couch and motioned for her to join him. He pulled his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek gently.

"I missed you today- Granddad asked how you were." He snuggled in closer, but the reoccurring thoughts of the day's activities made Allie uneasy.

"Why don't we go up to the garden- it's stuffy down here, and I want to see the moon tonight…" With that, she grabbed his hand and started to rise. "Come on, it'll be fun."

The pair raced up the steps, breathless and laughing, like two children with a secret destination. The first, second, and third levels of the house blurred past as they bounded up stairs until the ground level garden was reached. It was quiet and peaceful, complete with a pretty sliver of golden moon peeking out of the thick clouds that wore tossing about on the night sky like narrow boats.

"Nice," Walter commented, gazing up at the deep, blue plane. "It's nice to see the night so quiet instead of smoke and bullets and everything we're used to seeing these days." A sharp breeze brushed past the atmosphere, covering the little crescent in the sky.

"The moon is a little girl, and she's hiding behind a veil, a veil of silver ,waiting for her lover.." Allie stated, a small smile spreading across her lips.

"Poetry, huh?"

"Something like that." She began to make her way over to stone benches, past the iris garden and over to a small, quiet spot surrounded by bushes and low-growing shrubs where she sat down. Walter followed, wishing that he had brought a sweater with him, as the night air was a bit sharper than what he had first thought. He gazed at the girl, who seemed to be a off in her own world , staring up at the sky , knees pulled up to her chin. There were times when Allie seemed so much older and harder than himself, but now, she appeared to be any young person lost in thought. He kneeled down and rubbed her arm.

"I'm thinking about Poland." She stated softly." You've never been on your own with an assignment this big before, I'm wondering if you'll be able to complete it. "

" I'll have to –besides, I have to go out on my own sometime, better to have me do this now when I'm young and rash and can handle it ." She pocked his forehead with her finger.

"You think you can handle it. Let me ask you- do you enjoy killing, does it excite you, make your blood boil? Does it get your heart pounding and your loins quivering?" Walter looked away.

"No, no it doesn't." he said flatly. "I was ill the first time I went out on the field with you. I hated the smell of blood and the stench of the ghouls. The thought that those things were once people terrified me. But I did it- I did what was asked of me, and did it well. Battle makes me feel like I have two parts inside me- the dark, brutal side, and then there's the little boy that makes tea and sets tables. " His eyes seemed distant as he spoke . Allie slid her fingers through his and asked the next question in a whisper.

"Why do you continue to do this then?" Walter turned and looked directly into her eyes.

" It's what I can do to make this part of the world better. I can protect the people that I love and do something worthwhile. Not bad for little gypsy from Brighton, eh?" He smiled and squeezed her hand. Allie leaned in kissed him, wrapping her thin arms around him tightly.

"My gypsy," she breathed, " My angel – that's what I love about you, you're so," – kiss-"damn,"-kiss –"noble…." The pair embraced and thoughts of War and family, duty and honour were swept under a thick blanket of kisses for a night.

According to legend, vampires and ghouls cannot pass over running water. The Danzig seaport in Poland was a major area of conflict for many years between the Germans, the Russians, and the Poles to gain control both before and during WWII. While Alucard could handle the pressure of the spiritual/natural confines, it seems that Walter's humanity is more of a advantage in this particular mission. (Also, Arthur is trying to split the two up a bit more so that he can have some' personal time' with his servant…if Integra only knew what a lech her dad once was, ick!)

Quote from Oscar Wilde's "Salome", a play about the tragic romance between John the Baptist and Salome, the original Lolita from the New Testament. What can I say; young, pretty things have a tendency to be the downfall of many a man …poor John lost his head over this chick…