The Bet III

It was with a heart heavier than lead that Integra had when she packed what little belongings she had. Seras had earlier come back onto the ship with assistance from the Doktor, who fed her and gave her back her new uniform. As far as she knew, Seras had yet to question what had happened; but she knew that the Major would no doubt tell her eventually.

In a bag she packed a change of clothes, her gun, and two of the dresses in her closet for something to wear in the near future. The Major had given her back her sword some time ago, and she put that in the scabbard attached to a belt. When she thought she had everything packed, she heaved a sigh and looked into the vanity mirror.

She didnt look any different than she did a year ago; her hair was a bit longer, but that was it. Her left eye was missing, but the wound itself was healed and covered by a black lens on her glasses. A small glare on her chest caught her eye, and she saw that it was the silver swastika necklace that the Major had given her in place of the small cross she once kept pinned to her ascot. She reached behind her neck to unclasp the small chain and take it off. She stared at it for a moment before laying it down on the vanity's surface. She would not need it anymore.

As far as she could tell, while she was getting her things together, the Major had sent word to controls that the next destination was London. Integra would be dropped off, and Millennium would leave forever....a month ago, that was her greatest dream, her ambitious goal.

....So why did she feel so bad? Why did she feel like a piece of her had been torn away?

Integra grabbed her bag and made sure her sword was securely attached to her belt before throwing a long coat over her shoulders and walking out to the airship hanger. The halls were empty and silent, as though everyone knew of the situation and had cleared the way for her. She did not have a doubt in her mind that that was exactly the situation.

She finally made it to the foyer of the airship, where the Major, the Doktor, and indeed Seras were waiting for her. She looked hard at Seras, who was merely looking confused and curious as to what was going on. The Doktor just looked apprehensive, and the Major.....had no expression at all. His hands were behind his back and his posture was fractionally hunched. Without a word, he turned and lead the way into the airship with his Captain and Doktor in tow. Integra took to the rear, and followed the trio into the Kommandantzimmer, where the Major sat on his side of the two-seater that had been installed, an indication that she was to sit next to him as per the norm, which she did. Seras and the Dok took their respective sides behind the command chair.

The entire ride to London was a very quiet affair. The Major did not speak, and nor did Integra. Behind them, Seras and the Doktor were exchanging curious looks, but they too said nothing. The ride took only two or three hours, but to everyone it seemed like two or three weeks. Integra kept shifting her eye over to the Major, who was staring straight ahead out the windows, his golden eyes dull and almost lifeless. The very small amount of space between them, which Integra always thought was far too close, felt so far wide now that she thought about it...and the Major made no move to close that space between them, even for the sake of touching her one last time before she was deployed.

Finally, a voice over the intercom announced their arrival, and the Major stood up, holding out his hand from habit to Integra to help her up. She took it without another thought, giving him at least that much, and he kept his hold on her hand as he led the way to the balcony of the airship where a man was waiting with something that looked like a large box attached to a pulley, which was being attended to by two soldiers. The Major let go of Integra's hand and looked at her.

"This vill lower you into London," he said, his voice hollow. "I vill take my leave thereafter..." He opened up the side door for her. "...Auf Wiedersehen....meine Fraulein....." He stepped back and Integra stepped forward into the box. When the door was shut, she looked at Seras.

Seras was looking between her former employer and her current Master, looking quite torn, confused, and conflicted. The Major stepped between them. "You vill remain here vith me, Captain Wictoria," he said, his voice firm with finality. Seras's eyes widened fractionally, and she looked past the Major to Integra.

The Hellsing director only nodded and lowered her eyes down to London, which was looking quite well, considering it had only been little more than a year. Seras stared at Integra for the whole time she was lowered down to her country per the Major's instructions. The whole way down, Integra had to fight to keep the tears from her eyes, but it was a losing battle. She finally gave in and let a few tears run down her face as she looked back up to the trio still standing up on the balcony.

The Doktor was standing the tallest of them, his hands at his sides as he looked down at her. He had been decent to her, showing her as much respect as he showed his Fuhrer. Next she saw Seras, whose eyes had never left her since she had been lowered. The girl had a sad look in her eyes, and she looked as though she wanted to jump off of the balcony to join her. But she stayed by the side of her new Master, just as she had been taught and ordered to do.

And the Major was staring down at her, and locked eyes with her. The golden tone had not brightened one bit; his expression was that of someone who had lost their best friend but they were too proud to show it. As Integra stared back up at him, she knew that that was exactly what he was feeling.

Finally, she couldnt look anymore and instead focused on the ground where a team of soldiers were standing beneath her, looking as though they had been expecting her. Her hands clenched into the bar of the box as she touched ground and was escorted out of the box by the soldiers and into the small crowd of the waiting remaining Convention of Twelve.

Up on the airship, the Major subtly motioned with his hand, his command silent but clear: Leave. The airship turned and took off, leaving London forever. With another small gesture, the two soldiers left the balcony, leaving only the trio to stand out. The Doktor remained silent behind his Fuhrer, awaiting a command--any command--to break the silence.

The Major instead looked at his Captain, who had moved from behind him to his side as she looked over the railing to her former commander. He let her do so without a word. As he looked at her, he found himself thinking that this arrangement was not as bad as he had thought. The vampire had shattered his paradigm of her, and made his cards burn to ash. No one, not his former superiors, not Alucard, not even his lovely Fraulein Integra Hellsing herself, had ever been able to do that. Why was that? He actually did not know.

But he wanted to find out.

Seras had been so intent on keeping her gaze on Sir Integra that she had jumped a little when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned and saw that it was the Major who was touching her shoulder. His golden eyes were slightly brighter, and a small hint of a smile teased the corners of his mouth.

"...Let us go back inside, meine Captain," he said softly. The Doktor took that as a cue to leave first, which he did silently. Seras looked at her Master and nodded slowly, standing up straighter and leaving first. The Major followed her, pressing the button to close the balcony door behind him. He mentally concluded that he would not tell Seras Victoria about the bet. He would let her keep her thoughts about Sir Integra pure and somewhat happy. He needed that marvel--that joke--of a vampire to remain a pure, marvelous joke.

So he lost the bet. Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing lost the war. And he would revel in the spoils for many a year to come.

Well, that's the end, folks. Sorry it took so long. Bleh.