Disclaimer: I do not own Seras Victoria, Alucard or the Hellsing Institute nor any story derived from the original manga by Kouta-sensei. I do however own everyone else. Mostly.
Extended Dedication: My parents have long made jeers at me for spending time on something as 'useless' and 'unprofitable' as fanfiction. While I have told them time and again that it has helped me to an indescribable amount to refine my writing, they still dismissed it as a waste of time an energy. Until this story.
At one point, I looked up the stats on the traffic page and was able to tell my parent's that people were reading this story from over 50 countries. It would take writing the next Harry Potter to get that sort of widespread publication in 'legitimate' means.
So thank you for helping me prove to my parents that fanfiction is just as worthwhile as any other creative excercise. After six years, it's nice to shut them up.
And again, thanks to all my wonderful reviewers. There aren't enough words.
Note: Oh just look at the end. I don't shut up.
'sound of pulling heaven down'
Engines squealed, rapidly cooling as the small aircraft lowered into the cleared area of the Hellsing Institute. Even though the moon was high in the sky and the night was edging close to day, the entirety of the troops stood in neat lines to watch the aircraft come to its careful landing. At their head stood Sir Elliot Walter O'Hara Hellsing, a line of worry marring the space between his eyebrows.
The high pitch of the engines faded and the paneled door slid open. A shadow moved in its unlit cabin and then, with characteristic nimble grace, Wynne Tera Shannon alighted from the craft. She spared only enough time to send a reassuring smile to Elliot before turning to reach back into the craft.
The moment her boots had hit the ground, the Hellsing troops had gladly saluted the returning members of their Institute. The signal of respect, however, soon began to break as Ethan Williams jumped quickly down, facing the interior of the aircraft as well. Moments later, dirt marred boots bound to a stretcher emerged into view. The two quickly caught hold of the old-fashioned stretcher and took a few careful steps back. They moved slowly to redistribute the weight as Sakura Tenjou slowly worked herself to the ground while holding up the stretcher near the still figure's head. Silently, the three worked to set the wheels in place, locking the bars to prevent collapse.
Grim silence bore down on the assembled troops as they watched until an exasperated sigh broke through the tense atmosphere.
"Is this really necessary? You bastards made me walk down from the castle to this stupid airlift. I'm fairly sure I could make it to medical in one piece without being tied down to this stupid thing."
Winter grinned down at him and Aidan Fitzpatrick groaned.
"You think we'd miss the chance to tie you up and leave you merciless to the doctors? Besides, you are too much of a pansy when it comes to needles and being sewn up."
"I hate all of you."
"I'm sure, if necessary, I could…assist you," a dark voice chuckled as another figure gracefully emerged from the craft.
"No thanks, Ancient Evil, I'd like to live a while longer."
Alucard shrugged his indifference as he reached his hand back into the cabin. A shadow moved inside before snowy white cloth spilled over the edge of the craft, glowing softly in the moonlight. The figure took another short step before pausing and a soft groan of frustration could be heard by those standing closest. With a quick grin, Alucard turned, reaching into the cabin and plucking the figure from her feet and placing her swiftly on the ground.
There was brief silence as the assembled troops struggled to recognize the petite figure with blonde hair down to her waist and a truly feminine dress made in the fashion of centuries past. Her shining blue eyes held hesitation and she struggled to meet the gaze of those around her, letting her eyes fall to the ground in the end as a soft blush crept up on her cheeks. Then….
Elliot strode forward, grin wide on his face, and pulled her to him in a relieved hug. He let go of her only to grab her at the waist and, in a spurt of boyish exuberance, picked her up and twirled her in a quick circle.
"Stop it, Master Elliot," she laughed, gripping his shoulders for balance.
The sight stunned the assembled troops used to a stoic draculina and serious leader and the last remnants of a respectful salute died away as the soldiers broke into grins and slight applause. All were relieved at the successful retrieval of their draculina, their symbol and the flag they fought under.
"We don't even get a hello and he twirls her in circles," Winter groused with a grin. "We know our place now don't we folks?"
Setting Seras carefully back on her feet, Elliot turned to the rest of the returning team.
"Good job. I'm glad to see that Aidan is the only one who suffered serious injuries."
"Thank you for your hard work."
He shook hands with both Ethan and Sakura before looking Aidan over.
"What's the damage?"
"These sickos just wanted to tie me up, Sir Elliot. I'm fine."
Elliot nodded with a grin, turning away to look at Winter who was trying to glower at him unsuccessfully. In a move faster than anyone thought he could make, he caught hold of her wrist and pulled her hard against his chest. Before she could do much more than squeak in surprise, he cupped the back of her head and captured her lips in a long impassioned kiss.
Loud applause rang out in the night followed quickly with catcalls and well meant jeering as the well-beloved couple continued to embrace. Aidan began laughing hard enough to upset his wound again and Sakura and Ethan quietly excused themselves to wheel him to the infirmary. Taking it for a signal, most of the soldiers began to disperse as well, some settling up long standing bets, good mood alight in the air.
"Well," Alucard observed in a quiet draw to Seras as the two also began to make their exit, "the next Hellsing heir should be interesting."
"Yes, she should, Master."
"You called, Sir Elliot?"
"I believe, Seras, that you owe me a game of chess."
"Yes, master, I believe I do."
"You've changed a lot, you know," Winter commented one day as she and Seras watched over the latest mission with the newest recruits.
"Actually, Alucard would probably tell you that I've changed very little since I've first known him. Integra always said that I could live to be a thousand and would still probably remain as innocent as the day she first met me."
Winter laughed. "You do blush easily."
Seras shrugged. "With Alucard around, who wouldn't?"
"Still, you've changed since I've met you. For the better."
"I'm glad you think so, Winter."
There was a companionable silence for a few minutes until one of the new recruits nearly shot one of his companions in the back for the fifth time. With a low growl, Seras disappeared from beside her companion, reforming behind the disgraced soldier, and proceeded to barehanded take out the fifteen remaining ghouls in a matter of seconds.
Winter grinned sympathetically as she watched the horrified recruits back away from the blood-covered draculina quickly as she turned to yell at the recruit that had drawn her attention in the first place.
"Still scary as all hell though."
"Do you ever regret becoming what you are, Master?"
Alucard looked down at Seras where she knelt beside an aging tombstone, flowers still held loosely in her hand. He looked away as he considered the question, gaze roaming over the steady repairs Elliot and Winter Hellsing had started making on the ancestral home of the Hellsing family. In the distance, he could hear the two arguing cheerfully about whether the pregnant woman should be allowed near the workers.
A soft smile curved his lips as he looked down at his companion who was now looking up at him.
She nodded, seeming to understand enough to not inquire further.
"Do you, still, police-girl?"
She fingered her hair unconsciously, kept long, she once told him, in honor of Integra, before nodding.
"Not for any of the reasons I used to regret, though," she elaborated, looking down at the grave of her long deceased friend.
She stood up, brushing off her stockings before turning to him with a sad smile.
"It's when I think that they, too, will die one day," she answered, gesturing in the general direction of the arguing couple. "And so will their daughter and one day her child."
He nodded sagely, following her when she turned from the small graveyard and began walking towards the reconstruction.
"Do you think there are any vampires left out there strong enough to kill us, Master?"
"It is the men who kill the monsters, my draculina."
"And while we work for the men, they won't kill us. So," she repeated, smiling wryly, "do you think there are any vampires left who could kill us?"
"Honestly, no," he replied flatly, shrugging slightly at her amused expression.
They walked in silence for a few minutes before Seras stopped, eyes fixed on the humans that controlled them. Her eyes fixed on the building stomach of the young woman and the grin on the man's face.
"How do you cope with eternity, Alucard? Is it a life sentenced to either continual loss or closing yourself off from everyone who might touch your soul? Is there a way to survive without going completely mad?"
"I'm sure Integra would question you asking me of all people."
He grinned at her exasperation and pat her fondly on the head before continuing on towards the now quiet couple in the distance.
"It's simple, Seras. You find someone to spend eternity with you."
"Is that what you did?" she asked, curiosity in her voice as she followed him.
He paused for a moment and looked at her over his shoulder, a wry grin and amused look his only answer.
She stopped again, blushing fiercely.
"Once upon a time, there was a wonderful place where knights gathered together, united in a single purpose."
"To find the Holy Grail?"
"Wrong story, kid. Pipe down."
"Anyway, one day, the Queen of the Knights used a magical chain to bind a great and powerful sorceress to the knights, to help them always in their quest. For many long years, the sorceress worked with the Queen and the land became prosperous and free of demons. Then, one day, the sorceress master, an evil demon, returned."
"I should probably resent that comment."
"Anyway, together, the demon lord and the sorceress worked with the knights, their life unnaturally long due to the spell placed on them until one day the Queen's son put them under a magic spell and they slept for many years."
"Did someone have to kiss them to wake them up?"
"Thankfully no. Instead a brave knight, descendant of the great Queen, woke them from their sleep and asked that they help him again. They agreed and time passed as they fought for the knights once more. Then, one day, a crazy psychopath with an obsessive nature decided he wanted the sorceress."
"Daddy, what's a psychopath?"
"Don't worry dear. You are surrounded by them. You'll find out soon enough."
"Anyway, since he wanted her so much, he stole her from the great kingdom of the Knights and brought her to his scary castle. The brave leader of the knights sent his best knights and the demon lord after her. Once they got there they fought many foes until at last only one remained. There the demon lord conquered the psycho that had stolen his sorceress."
"What does conquered mean?"
"In this case it means tearing each of his limbs off, throwing them down a well and setting it on fire."
The room as a while jumped and turned to look at the three women standing in the doorway. Unabashed, the storyteller grinned, standing up to peck his wife on the cheek briefly before turning to his cousin who was still glaring at him admonishingly.
"That is hardly an appropriate bedtime story for three children aged six, three and two. What if you give them nightmares?"
Aidan gave her an exasperated look before gesturing to the seated children. The red haired girl, oldest of the lot, was grinning with anticipation while the younger blonde girl seemed content with the attention. If the youngest, a black haired boy, had any thoughts of fear they were washed away at seeing his mother standing in the doorway.
Winter sighed, rolling her eyes at the unspoken point while Seras stepped forward and picked up her son, frowning slightly at Alucard who sat cheerily in the corner.
"You got Michael out of bed early for this nonsense?"
He shrugged. "It's his job to bond with his future master."
She rolled her eyes and turned away. "Hope, sweetheart?"
"Yes, Auntie Seras?"
"Hit your pet vampire will you?"
Alucard stood on the roof of the restored Hellsing Manor. It was a beautiful night, the sort of night meant for doing enjoyable things. A night where fate was likely to take a hand and change the inhabitants of the earth below. Yet, the night air was still. It had been sometime since there had been a serious problem with freaks or ghouls and the only sounds that echoed through the compound were the well-organized drills of the training soldiers.
A part of him was restless, aching for some sort of activity. He was a predator and his natural role was that of seeking prey. He needed the chase, the hunt, the kill. But the world was changing and something in him told him that soon the hunts that he had enjoyed in the years past would cease to exist. Soon the vermin of the night would be standard and soon all creatures of the night would either be accepted or learn to coexist with the human race quietly.
He would soon be a hunter without prey.
Heaving a deep sigh, he sank through the mass of the building and reformed outside of the office of the Hellsing leader, ready to ask, yet again, what destruction he could wreak. Before he could enter, however, a loud shriek of laughter resounded down the hallways followed quickly by the stomp of feet. He had barely turned to look when a storm of children ran past.
Before he could ask himself or anyone else why the terrifying threesome were running in the halls at one o'clock in the morning, a petite blonde quickly followed, grin on her young features. A few steps past where he stood watching, she came to a halt and turned to grin at him.
Stepping up to him, she pulled his head down for a quick searing kiss, careful to press her body against his sensually, before breaking away with an expression of pure mischief. Tapping him lightly on the shoulder, she turned and ran down the hallway.
"Tag your it!"
For a moment, he could only stare, amazed, at the retreating figure of his draculina. Then a grin broke out on his face and a low chuckle sounded from his throat before he turned to slowly follow.
Perhaps, it was a night for a different sort of prey.
AN: It's done! Weird. I NEVER finish stories this quickly. The last story I finished that was an actual project I started in like 2005 and didn't finish until like Sept. 09.
I have to say this is probably the story I am the most proud of in my entire collection of works (original and fanfiction). I think it was largely made possible due to the awesome reviews and constructive criticism I received from all of you. As broken record as it may sound, it was a bit of happiness every time I checked my email and saw a review. Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to review every chapter. I hope the ending has satisfied you.
This actually started out as a project to refine my ability to write dark and psychological fiction. That failed miserably I think. In the end, it became dedicated to writing a story I thought you, the reader, would enjoy. I tried to take every suggestion given (including those of my Beta and Paul my not-beta) and turn this story in a direction people would enjoy. I hope I succeeded. I also hope my dark sense of humor didn't throw anyone too far off.
On a separate note, I have already started working on a series of one-shots to accompany this. There will be more detailed background on all the major characters as well as missing scenes that I wanted to write but didn't due to story flow and extras that fill in the gaps that this chapter left (including that whole Alucard/Seras kid thing...). I hope anyone interested will please take a chance on these and make requests for anything they'd like to see. I'm not planning to put them in a sequential or chronological order so...yeah.
Thank you once again for your time. I hope it was worthwhile. There will be another full story in this universe, a long way into the future, but that may not crop up for some time.
Blah blah blah, who's still reading at this point anyway?
All the love in the world!
Til next time!
PS. Anyone who actually looked up the song lyrics for the chapter titles (which were supposed to be a reflection of what was going on in Seras' head during each chapter, btw) and liked what they saw/heard they are all Blue October, as I mentioned previously. Most of the songs are from their album Foiled but if anyone asks, I can point you to their other CD's and any of their more cheerful music (they do have some). Doubt anybody paid that much attention but ...additional disclaimer?
[EDIT: I went through and put the formatting back into the story after the site deleted it. I also fixed the remaining typos and such as well as shifted a few things around a bit to and RetCon and smooth out a fe scenes…so if you are REreading this (bless you) that is why some things may seem different.]