A/N: End of Hellsing tribute. I know my account here has been on the wane ever since I joined Lj, but hopefully people still read these! I was hoping to do a lot grander end-of-Hellsing story, but I'm suffering writer's block at the moment. This is all I can produce, feedback would be lovely. This was just my take on everything, my interpretation of Alucard's 30 year purgatory.
All characters © Hirano Kouta
He found it didn't matter if his eyes were open or closed; it was blackness all the same.
Who am I?
After a while, it became bright, and he floated along, searching for something whose purpose was unknown. The world he was in now was one with many shapes but little color, as monochrome as a newspaper and just as lifeless. There was no sound. Where was the sound?
Where am I?
Ah, there it was. He floated by a shape which could only be described as being a circle and a square at the same time. There was no word to say what it was. Behind the shape was where he saw it.
It was him. As if standing in front of a mirror, he reached out, not with his hands exactly, to touch his copy. Only the copy of himself didn't do the same. He suddenly realized that something about this doppelganger was very wrong.
Its eyes were empty, and black water dripped from their sockets. Its fangs were two sharp points in a gaping abyss. It dawned on him that even though it looked like him, wore his face, was a part of him, it was not really him at all. No, there could only be one "he" around here, and that was him.
Moving a solid arm, he plunged a spade-shaped hand into the heart of the false-him. It did not surprise him that the figure had no heart, and his hand popped wetly out empty on the other side. It writhed and shrieked for a good while before finally disintegrating into nothing. When it had vanished, he felt something inside him lighten. It was a peculiar sensation, but not at all unpleasant. On the contrary, He felt a little more in touch with the arm at his side.
In addition, where the creature-him had faded, there lay a patch of color in its wake. With a sudden clarity he saw that the color was the world that he was in. But, if the color was the world, then the monochrome must be…
The world was not colorless at all. There were just too many false-hims, blocking out all of the tones and shades. Why were there so many?
All of a sudden he wanted that feeling back, the one he had gotten when the copy had been destroyed. They were the monsters of him, and they had to disappear...that was the only way to get that sensation once more. He was the one who needed to kill them all. There could be only one him standing.
So he killed another, and another, and another. With each effacement he began to see more of himself besides just an arm. With each one more color blossomed in this strange space.
Some immeasurable amount of time later, he paused. He had killed most of the false-hims; only a few hundred remained. His entire body was clearly visible now, and he was feeling very good. Just a few more, and then what would happen?
He was starting to remember things in bits and pieces. Why was he killing these hims?
There is someone who I want to see when I get out. Someone is waiting for me.
The mirrors of himself, the few that were left, charged. This would be the final massacre.
Who am I?
His hand pierced the middle of another snarling, black-eyed figure of himself, and another piece of his world became more lucid.
Alucard…I am Alucard.
By now Integra Hellsing knew better than to mind the sound of the squeaking, vociferous planks of wood that comprised the floorboards of the Hellsing manor—there was no fear at all of waking the residents. The undead were ubiquitous in this place, and for corpses, they sure didn't sleep like them.
Yet she still found herself unaccustomed to seeing Alucard seated behind her desk when she pushed open the mahogany doors to her office late one night. He was sipping a small supply of blood out of a wine glass as opposed to a crass plastic medical-packet.
The appearance he now donned was not the one she had remembered. It was similar, but instead of appearing in his thirties with long, raven hair and porcelain skin, the vampire now looked a little older, closer to the age he was when he died as a human. In addition to his older physiognomy, he had abandoned his crimson, ostentatious trench coat and fedora, choosing to wear a simple Victorian dress shirt and black slacks. It had hardly been a fortnight since his return to the tangible world, and Integra had gotten used to the quiet without him. Well, the almost quiet, excluding Seras.
"Your sleeping patterns never change, do they, Master?"
"I thought," Integra said with a sigh, "that we had abandoned the honorifics between us seeing as you are no longer my servant, Alucard."
Gleaming white canines sparkled in the moonlight, still remembering the taste of her blood on his tongue. "My apologies, Integra."
Integra walked over to her desk and stood, facing the window against the pellucid light of the full moon. "It's a nice night," she said quietly, exhaling once more.
"That was a rather large sigh," the vampire commented from behind his wine glass, underlying amusement coloring his deep tone. "Deep in the throes of rumination, I presume?"
"What I'd give for one of my Wintermans now," Integra added longingly. She was clad in a casual night-attire, not quite professional yet not informal enough to be considered pajamas. Oh, how she missed the days when she would walk urbanely down the halls in a crisp, charcoal suit, complete with a cravat and smoking cigar. Her addiction to nicotine had been curtailed not too long ago, courtesy of Dr. Trevellian… and the horrible malady of aging.
Alucard rose and stood by her side, also staring distantly into the milky orb of the moon. "It is a nice night," he agreed, nodding. They stood in silence for a while, as the elderly sometimes do when words are no longer needed. Wisps of diaphanous clouds meandered across the moon and across the crisp, night sky.
"You've changed a little, Alucard," Integra spoke into the quiet. Her timbre was husky but approving, and the vampire by her side smiled a smile far too tender to have plagued his face in decades past. "You are no longer the No Life King."
"Ah," he rumbled. "It felt strange at first, only having one life inside of me. I've lost my familiars. I can be killed like any other midian now—even my own fledgling is more powerful than I."
Integra smiled herself, crow's feet deepening around her eye. "But I assume that's a small price to pay."
"Indeed," was his contented answer. With a white gloved hand he brushed some dark hair out of his eyes and looked over at her. "I no longer hear them screaming inside of me. I can sleep without dreams. There is also a strange sense of…peace within myself, as if I can almost be human."
A little bubbling chuckle escaped the heir's lips. "You'll always be nosferatu to me, Alucard. No matter how many lives you have." Integra rubbed the leather of her eyepatch wearily.
"However, you've become more than just a midian," she continued. "You're still different from those dogs, even if they were created from a part of you." Her nose threatened to wrinkle at the thought of that grotesque, contorted skeleton Millennium had called 'She' all those years ago, the corpse that they had used to create the freaks with her servant's blood.
So, in a distant sense, Alucard had been battling himself all of these years in more ways than one.
He spoke then, knowing that Integra needn't say more. "Of course," he replied with a light smirk, "The No Life King was first a dog, then a monster. He could only be killed by the humanity that he'd abandoned." His hair, still retaining that snaky, motile quality, stirred around his pale face as if breezing in a phantom wind.
"Still, this has been by far the grandest regicide attempt in history, if I may say so myself," Alucard mused.
Integra faced him, long blonde hair swishing against her waist. "Are you proud to have made history again, Count?" she asked, with an undertone of amusement. The moon was starting to fade; the midnight hour was slowly waning into the dawn, where a new day was waiting to begin.
"You would think," the vampire responded, implying that he begged to differ. "But the costs this time around, I believe, were much greater." His claret-colored eyes fell on her face with an unreadable expression, and he said no more.
Integra too, was silent for a moment. The antediluvian sensed rather than saw a change in her emotions. The lines on her face seemed to harden, to grow more pronounced, and her one good eye shimmered with a sapphire pathos.
"I wish you had returned sooner, Alucard," she murmured in a melancholy voice, letting her professional, staid mask slip. "I…missed your presence."
Alucard lifted his arm languidly and cupped the side of her face in his hand. It was an oddly antiquated gesture, yet it possessed a dignity and solemn deepness that no human man could engender.
"Integra," he said slowly, reasurring. "I'm finally back, and I'm here to stay." The vampire broke out into a coy grin. "That is, unless you have any objections?" If attempted by anyone else that grin would have upset the moment, but Alucard was as smooth as cashmere.
A smirk blossomed on Integra's weathered features. "None at all," she replied, and welcomed his embrace.
Seras Victoria was preparing for a good day's rest. The sun was starting to peek over the horizon in tentative rays, and the girl had just slipped inside her coffin. The coffin, made of sleek ebony on the outside and padded crushed velvet on the interior, had been a gift from Sir Integra many years ago, after the war. Seras found it to be most luxurious, and inside it sleep came effortlessly. Luckily, Master would be sharing Sir Integra's bedroom quarters from now on (and she would have to get over the confusion of calling them both "Master"), and Seras would not have to move out of the basement. She had developed a fondness for it over the decades. It reminded her of her master, as it was once his lair, and the cool stone blocked out all of the noise of the daytime.
Seras let loose a yawn and curled up on her side against the velvet coffin interior. As usual, she felt a fuzzy slumber creep up almost instantly, but she sensed something different tonight. It took a moment to place, since her ability to detect auras was a bit desensitized. After a while it became clear, what it was.
Her master was happy.
Both of them were, more so than they had been in a long time. Seras felt their contented auras from the floors above, wisps of matter laced with nostalgia and dulcet warmth. She had noticed the change in Sir Integra ever since Alucard had returned, and now her master was completely relaxed. Ever since, Hellsing had become a little more peaceful, its creatures of the day and darkness alike more at ease.
"I'd say things turned out pretty well, girlie," a voice said from inside her, also sensing the auras. It sounded like he was smiling.
"Yes, Pip," Seras mumbled with her eyes closed, "I'd say so too."