Damn. This. Writer's block. --hangs head-- I actually came up with this after reading Hellsing Volume 9 with the 'Major rejecting the blood' scene. And so 'poof'. Mmmyep. So here we are. Have at it.

THE BET

Dinner was nice tonight. Hell, dinner was nice every night, quite frankly, but tonight Integra was aware enough to actually notice. She was eating steak--medium rare, just how she liked it--and an assortment of vegetables. To the left of her plate was a glass of red wine, a very fine year. She was wearing a white silk evening gown, sleeveless with a tasteful neckline, and a silver necklace that reflected the light of the candles in the middle of the table. It was such a nice, perfect dinner. So what was the problem that made her wish her thoughts were elsewhere?

"Ist your steak not to your liking, Fraulein?"

Yes. That. "No, Major, it's fine," Integra replied, picking up her fork and knife. She cut out a piece of the steak and ate it, then washed it down with a sip of wine.

This was the usual routine, and had been for the past year. For the past year, every evening just at sunset, the Major would call on her for a nice dinner. After the dinner, he would take her on a walk around the area that the current base of operations was, which was indeed lovely, but she barely noticed. After the walk, he would have her accompany him back inside for meetings, planning, and that sort of thing. After the fact, they would have another meal, and then she would go to back to her room for whatever sleep she could muster for the next night.

Yes, this was the routine. Integra hated routine, really. At least with vampire hunting, there was randomness to count on to make life interesting (other than the fact that her life revolved around vampire hunting). Finding Alucard was random. Discovering the FREAK chip was random. Seras becoming a new member of Hellsing was random. The whole bloody Nazi war was random. Now? Routine. No randomness. Everything playing out within the Major's little hand just as he wants it to. That was her whole day.

Integra finished her meal and sat quietly to wait for the Major to finish his. Despite how the little fat man looked, he actually didnt seem to eat much. She ate just as much as he did, drank as much as he did, and when he had a small snack, he would give her what he was having.....and while on the subject, why did he find it necessary to eat, anyway? He was a bloody cyborg, for the love of the Queen! She brought that subject up once. The Major just told her that he was human and that she was being a little rude at the dinner table and that was the end of that. So she never even got her answer.

Staring at her empty plate as opposed to watching the Major finish his meal, Integra felt her mind twitch with something akin to a mental huff. She seriously needed a cigar, but the Major told her that cigars were "unladylike", and had weaned her off of them within a week. But now...it was a time like this that she really couldnt give a shit.

The Major finally finished and stood up to walk over to her end of the table to pull out her chair for her. Integra let him, then stood up and straightened out her dress, then took the Major's offered arm reluctantly for the 'nice', routine walk. Integra felt like drowning out this walk like she had all the others, but tonight, something caught her attention.

It was Seras. The young vampire was in the shooting range, teaching some newer recruits how to shoot. The sight of Seras made Integra's heart clench slightly.

In the beginning, after the Major had declared his victory and retreated with nothing but himself, the Doktor, Integra, and Seras, plus a few relatively unimportant men to pilot the airship, a new life had begun. The first thing that the Major did was summon Integra into the Doktor's cybernetics lab, where he spoke to her while the Dok tediously fixed his broken commander. The basic conversation was that Integra would be his companion, and that would entail her wearing what he picked out for her, joining him wherever he went, and more or less being there just to have some company. In return for those terms, he would pull out of England for a re expansion which would most likely take another forty or fifty years, tops.

Being that Integra had nothing else to battle him with, she had agreed, then inquired about Seras. The Major just grinned, his face distorted since the Dok hadnt gotten to that yet, and said that he needed a new Captain. And that was where Seras went. Integra sat beside the Major in the Kommandantzimmer, and Seras stood behind him to his right. The girl wore, per Major's instructions, the same style uniform the former werewolf Captain had worn, which Integra figured to be the Major's sense of humor. Seras was given orders, and she obeyed, since, when Integra was unaware, the Dok had told her that if Seras did not obey the Major, then Integra would die.

With the past year come and gone, Integra actually found it no surprise that Seras had grown accustomed to this new life. As a vampire, she needed a sense of purpose, or she'd go insane. Being a Nazi Captain to the Mad Major was just the stress relief she needed, and she was allowed to indulge her vampiric desire for combat as often as she wanted; encouraged, really. But even in the light of all that, Integra noticed that Seras remained......Seras. The same innocent little girl that Alucard brought back from Cheddar almost two years ago. And that was one continuity that Integra didnt mind.

She didnt notice that while she was watching Seras, the Major had stopped walking, and was watching the girl with her. Finally, the Major grinned and squeezed Integra's hand.

"Meine liebe Frau," he murmured, close to her ear, "does something distract you?"

Integra blinked with a small start, and turned to look down at the Major, who was grinning up at her, his golden eyes flashing. Integra shook her head and looked at Seras again.

"....Nothing," she replied. "It's nothing." The Major grinned more broadly and unhooked his arm from hers to put both arms behind his back and clasp his hand together.

"You are thinking about Captain Wictoria," he said matter-of-factly. Integra cursed his ability to know everything. He chuckled. "Not that I can blame you, Frau Integra. The girl....ist a marvel, really..." His eyes shifted to watch his Captain instruct the recruits with a firm hand and an even firmer voice. "...A joke, even..."

Integra's eyes narrowed. "A 'joke'?" she demanded. "How is Seras a 'joke'?!" The Major's eyes slid back up to her, his eyes flashing again.

"...As I haf said," he replied. "Just...a joke. She ist so unlike any wampire I haf ewer encountered. She hast the potential to haf as much power as her former Master..." He shook his head, laughing softly to himself. "...Such a shame...I vill haf to lose a Captain the day that happens..."

The former Hellsing director blinked. "What do you mean by that?" she asked. The Major arched a brow.

"I meant," he said, "that I vould not allow such a being to run rampant on zis Earth." He smirked. "Und I am sure you vould not either."

Integra scowled. "Seras is not like that," she informed firmly. "She would never be like Alucard. Never." She felt her old temper flare up when the Major actually snorted at her response.

"She ist a wampire," he said carelessly, gesturing with his hand. "As much of a Blut Jungfrau she ist now...if she vas given the opportunity, she vould take the blood of another var's river into herself...just like the wampire Alucard."

Integra could feel her nails bite into her palms through her silk evening gloves. ".....Would you care to bet on that?"

That seemed to catch the Major's attention. He blinked and stared at her, his eyes full of interest. "...I vould."

Silence rang between the two, the only sound being Seras's gunfire and commands. Finally, Integra spoke.

"How about we make this an official wager, hm?" She walked over to the railing above Seras and the recruits and held the bar, looking down at her former employee. "Say we give Seras that opportunity.....a complete and total uncontrolled-factor opportunity. And we let her make that choice...."

The Major stepped beside her to also look at Seras. "....Such confidence you haf...." he murmured to himself. "...Vhat vould your terms be?" Integra gave the Major a side glance through her one good eye.

"...If I win this wager, then I go free," she said, gripping the bar tighter as the Major shifted his eyes to her again. "You let me go, and you leave Britain--me and everything and everyone else--be forever." The Major's silence unnerved her slightly.

"......Und if I vin..." he finally said, a grin spreading across his face, "...you marry me und Seras Wictoria dies." He grinned more broadly. "By your hand."

A sense of cold washed over Integra, but she kept her face passive. "....Deal," she said. She watched Seras shout at some man for missing the target by a mile, and clenched the bar tighter. No, she thought. She had complete confidence in Seras. She was not like Alucard...not at all.

...At all.


In Part II, the bet is put into play. Who will win?