It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Disclaimer: I don't own any material contained within this story. All copyrighted content remains the property of the person, people, or organization that holds the copyright. This story is solely for fun.

AN: The plot bunny for this short story was actually sicked on my by Quickyfant, following my Baskerville spends the night in Seras's bed part of Separation Anxiety. She wanted a scene with the hell-hound begging to sleep (and I do mean SLEEP, nothing perverted) in his master's bed. So, well, Quickyfant, if you're reading this... here you go. Now call of that vicious plot bunny, okay? LoL

It was a dark and stormy night. Outside Hellsing Manor, a cold, sleet-like rain pounded upon the building's old stone walls, like thousands of tiny arrows clattering against an ancient, besieged castle. Thunder clapped. Lightning flashed. And the ferocious wind howled like a werewolf readying to attack.

Inside the Manor, a sleeping Integra tossed and turned in her bed. She was having bad dreams... no, not bad dreams... nightmares. And while at first glance one might have assumed it was due to the storm upsetting the young knight's subconscious, in reality, the violent weather had little to do with it. This night marked the first anniversary of the day her uncle betrayed her, tried to kill her and the young orphan first discovered a 'pet'/guardian vampire 'sleeping' in her basement; and the memory of that event is what filled her dreams.

Integra's father was lying on his death bed. "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers, and the flowers fall," her father whispered softly. His voice was rattly, weak, and Integra saw that just the simple act of speaking caused him physical pain. "I'm not long for this world. It is on you now, that England's fate rests, my daughter, my strong willed Integra."

Integra gulped. "N-no, Father. Y-you... you can't just leave me here. You can't!" she exclaimed more forcefully then she'd intended, then cast her eyes downward as she continued in a more demure tone. "I'm... I'm not ready."

To the young knight's surprise, her father gripped her hand with a strength she didn't believe him to still possess. She looked up and locked eyes with him. "Men may pass away, but the Word of the Lord stands forever," he said, his eyes alight with fervent intensity. "Follow, God. Trust in Him and you will find all the strength you need, my child," the man continued; and then his last reserve of strength depleted, Integra's father fell back in his bed. His eyes, slowly closed, never to open again.

The bed and Integra's father's body slowly began to drift away. "No, wait, Father," the young knight cried after the vanishing bed. "Wait! I'm not ready yet... I need you!"

A thick hand roughly clamped down on Integra's small shoulder. The young knight gasped in shock then turned to stare up into the face of her uncle; and suddenly, the room grew quite dark. Her uncle chuckled. "Don't worry, Arthur's Little Princess," he began in a smug, condescending tone. "The Hellsing organization won't be your responsibility for long." The man leered down at the young knight. He reached inside his jacket, and Integra knew that her uncle was going for his gun.

"NO!" the young knight yelled, and kicked the man's shin as hard as she could, causing just enough pain to make him reflexively release his grip on her shoulder. As soon as she was free, Integra ran from the room, just barely getting out before the first round flew from the barrel of her uncle's pistol.

She continued running as fast as she could, knowing that her life depended on reaching some place safe. She ran to Walter's room. Surely he would protect her. He was capable enough, she knew; and he'd been a loyal servant to her father since his youth. So Integra ran to Walter, she threw his door open and cried, "Walter, help... My uncle's trying to kill me!"

Walter was apparently in the process of packing for a long trip, and he just continued to pile neatly folded shirts into an old suitcase, not even bothering to turn and look at the young knight. "Oh..." the English butler replied calmly, "That's a bit of bad luck, huh? Sorry, I can't help you, Miss Integra. Important business trip, you know."

Integra couldn't believe it. He was talking as if she'd just come and told him that she'd spilled tea on a new dress and asked him to help her get out the stain. In fact, he might've been showing even less concern for her current, life threatening predicament than he did for bloody stains!

As the butler finished packing and closed up his suitcase, the young knight ran over to him. "Didn't you hear what I said?" she asked in disbelief while tugging on the man's vest. "Uncle Richard is trying to kill me!"

"Yes, I heard," Walter replied in a soft tone while he bent down and playfully touched the tip of his finger to Integra's nose. "And I wish you the best of luck. But I really don't have any time to play right now. After your father's..." The butler paused and seemed to decide that bringing up her late father's passing wasn't the best idea. "Erm, that is to say, someone has to go renegotiate our contract with our silver providers. And It would be terribly bad form if I were late." With another affectionate flick of Integra's nose, the butler stood and headed for the door.

The young knight just stood there and stared at his back for a moment, her eyes wide with shock. Then she ran out into the hallway and tried again. "No, Walter! I'm not playing a game... He's really trying to kill me!"

But the butler seemed oblivious to his young master's fear. He chuckled lightly. "It always amazes me how much young ones get into their games," the man commented out loud and turned to look down the hallway.

"Yes, quite an imagination, she has... doesn't she?" Richard's voice answered back; and upon seeing her uncle, Integra tightly gripped her butler's leg.

"W-Walter, please?" Integra nearly pleaded, and for the first time her butler looked down with something approaching concern in his eyes. And Integra's hopes rose. Maybe she'd finally gotten through to him?

But those hopes were soon shattered as Walter simply patted her on the head and replied, in a reassuring tone, "I-I'm sorry about your father. But this trip is very important to the future of the Hellsing organization. I have to go... but don't worry. I'll be back in a couple of days. And until then, I'm sure your uncle will take good care of you."

Integra just shook her head. He still didn't believe her. He was just going to abandon her; and as soon as he was out of sight, her uncle would come after her again. The young knight slowly backed away and then turned and ran for the basement.

Walter's image faded behind her, and then her uncle came after her again. "Oh, where do you think you're going, little one? There's no one left to run to anymore." He let out a sadistic laugh. "Now you're mine... all mine," he cooed and Integra, still running, turned to look back and see how close he was. The young knight soon wished she hadn't, for her uncle's form began to shift from that of a man into one of a scaled, fanged, red-eyed monster.

Integra shrieked and then, somehow, managed to run just a little bit faster. She had to reach the dungeon before her uncle caught her. She'd be safe if she could only get to the dungeon. Her father had left her a protector... He'd told her that when he'd first started getting sick. "When you are in extreme danger, or can not defend yourself against forces superior in might... Take yourself to the forgotten dungeon beneath Hellsing. There lies our only secret weapon... It will protect you." Integra remembered the words well- They were all she had left to cling to, her only remaining hope for survival.

She ran down the stairs, into the basement, the sub-basement and then, finally, came to the dungeon door. The monster that had once been her uncle was right behind her the whole time, and the young knight was more afraid than she'd ever been in her life. She reached out, grabbed the large door; and with a mighty jerk, caused by throwing back all her body weight, Integra flung the door open.

Though exhausted from her sprinting run and gasping for breath, Integra's fear was beginning to subside. She'd made it. She was safe now. The young knight quickly entered the dark chamber; and as her eyes adjusted, she saw... nothing, nothing at all. The chamber was completely empty.

Integra's heart sank. Where was he? Her uncle caught up to her, grabbed her and placed his gun against her forehead. Where was her protector? Integra's uncle grinned and slowly pulled on the trigger. Where was...

"ALLUUCCARRDDDD!" Integra awoke with a scream as the round exited the chamber of her uncle's gun.

Her servant appeared in her room, before she was even done calling for him. He had his gun already drawn and quickly searched the room for a target. Finding nothing to shoot at, the vampire seemed to relax slightly, though he still kept a tight grip on his weapon. "Is something the matter, Master?" Alucard asked, turning to look at his young master.

Integra was covered in cold sweat. She was panting, and her eyes were wide with... either shock or fear- The vampire couldn't quite decide which. Obviously something was wrong.

"N-no. I'm fine," Integra answered, just starting to pull herself back together.

"No... you're not," Alucard replied softly. "I can smell the adrenalin pouring off of you from here."

"It's nothing," Integra insisted. "I... I just had a bad dream is all."

To the young knight's surprise, her servant didn't just accept the answer and vanish away. Instead he holstered his gun and sat down at the foot of her bed. "Really? Tell me about it," the monster that was her servant said in an encouraging, almost comforting tone, a tone that surprised his master even more.

"It's nothing," the young knight repeated.

"Come now, Master," the vampire replied sounding slightly amused. "I know you better than that. You would not be this worked up over 'nothing'."

Integra sighed and looked away. She really would've liked to talk to someone. But she knew that she could not show any weakness to the vampire. He was already difficult enough to control.

"Burying your problems, trying to ignore your fears, does not show strength, my young master. Confronting them does. There is no weakness in fear, only in the cowardice of someone who would run from it," Alucard continued, his voice taking on a more serious and reassuring tone than Integra had ever heard from him before. "Only one who knows the enemy, and knows himself... herself will be victorious. To deny your fear is to deny a part of yourself. It will lead you to ruin. You must confront it and triumph over it if you are to succeed."

Integra sighed again, but recognized a simple truth in her servant's statement. "It... It really isn't that important," she replied, turning back to him. "It's... Tonight... Exactly one year ago, I found you in the basement."

"I remember, Master. Happy anniversary," Alucard said in a slightly joking tone as his master paused for a moment.

Integra's face briefly took on a sour expression as she didn't know what to do with the comment. Finally, the young knight decided to simply dismiss it. "Well, my... my nightma-dream was about that night."

Alucard's brow knit together, and he looked somewhere between displeased and offended by his master's admission. "So, the nightmare was about me?" the vampire asked in a slow, guarded voice, one that sounded a little... hurt?

"N-no... Not exactly. The dream was about my uncle. And how he tried to kill me-and my father was gone-and Walter abandoned me-and... and..." Up to now Integra's speech had been becoming more rampant, as if she feared that if she didn't get the words out quickly, they'd never come. But now the young knight paused, and her speech slowed considerably. "And I ran to the dungeon... but you weren't there."

"You were left all alone?"

Integra nodded. "Yes, and my Uncle caught me and he... he..."

"He killed you?"

Integra nodded again.

Alucard exhaled sharply and stood up. He walked over to the side of his young master's bed and grabbed her covers. "Relax. It was just a bad dream. I'll always be here for you," he said in a comforting tone; and as Integra rested back into her soft bed, her pet vampire pulled the covers up over her, tucking her in. He bent down, planted a light, chaste kiss on his young master's forehead then turned and began to walk away.

"But... but what if you're not?" Integra called out just as her servant started to dissolve.

Alucard turned back, and his face took on an unfamiliar expression, one that his master could not identify. "If something ever happens to me and you're left all alone, just remember one thing... I was not the one who killed Richard. You did that. And not only did you do that," he continued with a sly grin. "You stood up to me as well. You saw what I was capable of and, holding a weapon that you knew would do you no good, you stood up to me. You were thirteen then and trembling with fear, but you didn't let that stop you. You conquered that fear and showed greater strength that day than I have seen in a century.

"You... you are a remarkable young woman, my master; strong, intelligent and possessing an indomitable force of will; and since that day, you have made impressive progress in your weapons training." Alucard paused and seemed to regard his master proudly. "You will not need me to protect you forever.

"And though I have no intention of ever leaving your side, should a day come when circumstances, beyond even my control, force us apart, there is no doubt in my mind that you will persevere. You will overcome any obstacles in your way, and you, my master, you will emerge victorious."

At first Integra looked somewhat taken back by the forceful declaration. Obviously, the young knight was not expecting her pet to make an encouraging speech about her capabilities. But then the corner of her lip turned up in a bit of a crooked smile. "Thank you," she replied, feeling much better but still... not quite back to normal.

Lightning flashed outside her window, and the strike must've been fairly close, for the thunder did not clap. It boomed like a cannon shot, and Integra jumped slightly

Alucard let out a little sigh, then he paused. "Do you want someone to keep you company until morning, master?"

Integra looked away again. She did, but the young knight recognized that such a thing simply wouldn't be proper. "No, I don't think that's..." Integra began to reply; but as she turned back to her pet, she noticed that he was quite different.

Gone was the seven foot vampire, and in his place was a black, somewhat shaggy looking dog. The only resemblance it still seemed to bare to a vampire was the fact that its eyes were red. The creature rested its head on the foot of her bed and let out a little whine. Integra eyed the beast for a moment. "Alucard, is... is that you under all that fur?"

The 'dog' barked happily and wagged its tail, the sight causing Integra to let out a little laugh. She smiled at the creature then leaned forward and patted the foot of her bed. "Alright boy, but you stay down there."

The dog didn't seem to mind the condition in the slightest. It leapt up onto the bed and spun around three times before lying down at the foot of it.

And Integra, feeling safer and more confident than she had in a year, leaned back down and slowly fell into a calm, deep sleep.

(Well, I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the one-shot. Please let me know what you thought. Thanks.

Have a good day, and God bless.

Metropolis Kid.)