"The Iscariot sent us a…" Integra Hellsing blinked at the air holes in the card board box Walter was holding in his hands. "…a…what?"
"It…seems to be a pet."
"I can see that." Integra sighed and stood from her chair, pinching the bridge of her nose as she considered Enrico Maxwell's mental health. "But you said Maxwell sent me a…mouse?"
Walter opened the box with practiced finesse and he hesitantly drew out the black, whiskered rodent. Integra's eyes widened and then were hidden as her glasses caught a ray of light. The lenses reflected the large red bow that was tied around the vermin's neck.
"Alright." Maxwell sneered, looking at the screen that showed a clear picture of Integra's frowning face. Anderson was sitting next to the white haired man, showing some interest in the open expressions on the Hellsing woman's face.
"She wears men's clothes even in her own home?"
Maxwell glanced at the paladin and then returned to the screen with a frown. "The Protestant sow…" he stopped as he realized voices had started talking again. The two listened with growing interest.
"What would you like to do with it, Sir Integra?" Walter moved towards the Hellsing, but stopped as she held up her hand and cringed at the twitching little nose.
"No. I want nothing to do with the creature. Put it outside."
"Cold woman." Maxwell said in a low, disdainful voice, but a smirk smeared across his sharp, boney features.
"But it'll die." Walter replied calmly and he looked down at the rodent as it peered up at him. The two Iscariots got a clear view of the elderly man's face. "I can arrange for it to be sent to a pet store…"
"Good." Integra cut in, sitting behind her desk, looking at the piles of papers. "Do that for me, Walter."
"But it'll have to wait until Saturday when I go into London."
The woman stiffened and seconds went by before she reached out for a cigar and Walter put the mouse in the box and set it on her desk so that he could give her a light. She moved the cigar thoughtfully between her lips while Maxwell frowned in distaste and Anderson snorted in amusement. "She's like a man."
With breasts, Maxwell couldn't help but think as he saw her chest when she leaned over the box. Tight suit…
"It looks like Alucard…a little, doesn't it Walter?"
The dumbfounded men had to wait for the butler's humored face to appear over the opening of the box before they could accept what had just been said.
"The black fur and the red bow make for an uncanny resemblance." He chortled at the joke while Integra smiled, stunning the Iscariots.
"She can be a pretty woman though…" Anderson admitted as he saw the human mirth in her face, making her seem younger than ever in his mind. He looked at Maxwell who refused to take his eyes from the screen. "How old is she again?"
"…Late twenties?" Maxwell guessed without much thought, captivated by the normal human behavior of the two Hellsing members.
Anderson leaned back in his seat and brought his hand to his face, running his fingers over his jaw as he looked at the wall. "Arthur Hellsing died ten years ago…when she was twelve…so that only makes her…" he blinked, stunned by the revelation and he gained Maxwell's attention. "She's only twenty-two…maybe twenty-three at most. She's barely more than a teenager…" Awe formed his features as the paladin looked at the screen to find the two laughing.
"Give the mouse to Alucard, see what he makes of it." The cigar, which had been hanging idly in Integra's fingers, now returned to her lips and she smiled again at the mouse. "I'll send Maxwell a letter, maybe. I don't know what insult he meant by sending me a rodent…might as well play along with it." Walter smiled and closed up the box.
The Iscariots went numb with disbelief, remaining silent as they looked at the black screen.
Walter left the office and headed for Alucard's 'lair'. He opened the door in the sunlit hallway, enjoying the look he imagined on the tired nosferatu's face when he saw what Integra was giving him. Down the stairs, the complete darkness was lightened by a few dim lights that lined the walls of the room. He went to the coffin and rapped on it with his knuckles.
"I'm over here, Walter."
Anderson twitched at the familiar voice and then knitted his brows as he remembered that it was only 12 o'clock in England at the moment.
The butler turned his head and found the vampire seated in his throne, his hat on his head while his glasses glinted on the table beside him, under the phantom shadow of an empty wine glass. "I thought you would be sleeping in your coffin." Walter straightened good humouredly and held out the box. Blood-red eyes lowered to the object and then stared at it blankly.
"There's an animal in that box, Walter. A rodent…what are you doing with a mouse? Integra hates them…..she has an exterminator sweep through the mansion twice a year."
The men blinked at the information, but were further intrigued as they felt they were listening to a human speak, and would not have recognized the voice as belonging to the demon if not for their prior warning. The cardboard scraped against itself as the top was unfolded.
"Sir Integra claims that it reminds her of you."
An eyebrow rose on the undead face and a moment went by before the demon's visage appeared over the box and looked down at the animal.
The two Iscariot's caught their breaths at the face, and then wondered if they might have been found out when Alucard's glove crept over the edge of the box and lowered to the mouse. The men could see that the vampire was petting the beast's head, smirking slightly.
"And the color of the fur." Walter watched curiously as the mouse seemed entranced by Alucard's presence. Suddenly, it flew at his arm and managed to slip into the sleeve of his coat before the observing humans could comprehend what was happening. Meanwhile, red eyes gleamed as the bulge traveled up the length of his arm.
Maxwell was in shock while Anderson's mouth hung open and he paled considerably as they saw only darkness on the screen. The mouse…was in the vampire's clothes…
"He's going to kill the poor thing." Anderson muttered as his eyes filled with disgust.
Sudden, jerking movement startled the men and they stared at the screen, waiting to see what was happening.
Alucard held out his coat and found the end of the sleeve the mouse was crawling towards and he quickly plucked the creature from the folds of cloth. He hooked the trench coat under his arm and held the rodent on his open palm, giving it an almost stern look. "Don't do that again."
"If it's annoying, I don't think Sir Integra would mind if you…" Walter started.
"No." Alucard smirked and his fingers arched around the beast. The mouse curled up contently in his hand. "Mice are just curious creatures…" he opened his hand again and the mouse sniffed his glove and nibbled on his thumb. "…that's why I like them."
Anderson and Maxwell were preoccupied with the dramatic difference in the vampire's appearance when he was without his coat. He was lean, almost lanky, but in a mature way. His body was athletic, streamlined…his figure made prominent with the white shirt covered by a black vest with gold buttons, and somewhat tight riding pants and boots. He looked like an English gentleman readying to mount his horse on a lazy summer day, his coat draped casually over his arm…instead of an undead monster dwelling in the darkness, feasting on the blood of the living.
Walter paused, watching Alucard. "I forgot mice and rats…as well as dogs and wolves, are your familiars. You can control the mouse..." He smiled awkwardly. "I was wondering why you were talking to it."
"Birds. Birds are also my familiars."
Anderson had to blink as he saw an unidentifiable age sweep into the demon's eyes, but it left as quickly as it had come, and the demon's lips twitched.
"Am I expected to keep it, then?"
Walter nodded, closing up the box. He set it on the floor, a few feet from the pitch coffin, and then stood up again. "Until Saturday." Alucard looked at Walter as the man faced him. "We're returning him to a pet store."
"You know people who own snakes buy mice as food." Alucard said in a dull monotone.
The Angel of Death smiled with a hint of sadism. "Are you concerned about the mouse? That's not like you…same goes for your patience with Miss Victoria."
The demon looked down at the mouse at it gnawed on his sleeve. "I simply mentioned a fact, Angel. For fledglings and familiars, I have a certain amount of interest in preserving their well-being. The Police Girl is my responsibility, and she depends on me."
The title used for Walter confused the men for a few moments, until they recalled Walter C. Dornez's nickname. They couldn't form thoughts about what Alucard was saying, and merely watched in silence.
"And it was her choice. She chose to become a vampire…as I've already explained to you before." The mouse was maneuvered through the air and the box came into sight. The cardboard was opened, but then lowered to its side. Alucard set the mouse on the stone floor and nudged it with his hand so that it would go into the box, but he did not right the container as he stood back up. Walter eyed the rodent when it came out again and wandered about the immediate area, then began to circle Alucard's boots, tasting them curiously. "You fend for yourself, fluff-ball. If I have to feed or clean up after you, then you'll be considered a failure, understand?"
Walter was laughing in the background as he left the 'lair'. Maxwell was completely lost and just stared at the unpredictable movement of the screen. Anderson's face was a mask as large black boots moved towards a chair that came into view. The rodent followed the steps and went to the leg of the chair when Alucard sat in it. Little paws could be seen scratching at the ancient wood, attempting to scale the almost vertical object. A flash of white focused after a second, forming the demon's glove as it held the rodent and put it on the armrest. Alucard took off his hat and covered the mouse with it for a moment, causing the screen to go blank. Then it was removed, revealing the vampire's amused expression. He laughed lightly and put the hat on the back of the throne-like chair while folding his coat in half and keeping it on his lap. "I forgot to ask where you came from, little vermin." Alucard folded his hands on the coat and closed his eyes with a sigh. "But that'll have to wait. I'm going back to sleep. Do what you like, but leave Integra Hellsing alone. If you scare her she might cut off your tail…" he snorted. "Like the farmer's wife…with the three blind mice… The vents tunnel throughout the mansion. If they're good enough for humans, they're good enough for you to use in order get around safely. Keep the bow. No one will accidentally kill you if you look like a pet. Stealing from the kitchen will annoy Walter…so make sure you don't leave any evidence or get caught. And…" A red eye opened and peered at the obedient rodent. "…if you run into a snake at any point in time, go for the eyes, they aren't protected by scales…but generally just run. You don't have a chance in Hell of killing one. We don't have any rats or other animals in the mansion, but search for unfriendly scents anyway." A hand shooed at the mouse. "Now go…or stay. Just don't wake me up." Alucard shifted in the chair after closing his eyes. "And don't, under any circumstances, touch my coffin. I won't forgive, and I'll personally feed you to a dog if you do."
The Iscariots' wide eyes watched the screen obsessively until Maxwell erupted into a fit of laughter. Anderson just looked at the younger man and then the dozing vampire and frowned. His eyes lingered on the pale face until the mouse moved, jumping to the floor and scurrying towards the stairs. It attempted to claw its way up the steep cliffs the steps posed as, but the beast found that the task was impossible. The animal squeaked in surprise when a hand picked it up and carried it up the stairs to the door. Then Alucard brought the mouse to the wall, showing it a vent. Using his finger, he bent some of the parallel strips of metal to form an opening. The vampire stood up again and the mouse looked at his frown and shrunk into an anxious ball.
"Just don't get lost or minced by the fan."
Then the vampire was gone and the mouse hesitantly entered the vent and scampered down the echoing corridor of metal.
"The monster has a soft spot for rodents? Feh." Maxwell laughed unpleasantly, full of disdain. "A demon that sleeps in filthy dungeons would befriend such disgusting things."
"Maxwell…" Anderson warned as the sneering laugh came again, but he was ignored.
"Scum and scum…under the feet of the English sow. They all deserve each other."
Time passed and Maxwell yawned as the mouse continued wandering about the vents. He got up, excusing himself to go get a snack and to attend to other business. When he came back he found Anderson turned around, facing the wall with his face in his hands. Maxwell started to look at the screen but the paladin distracted him. "Has the damn thing moved yet?"
"Eh?" Maxwell looked at the screen. He sputtered and backed up, hitting his head on the door. The mouse was looking out of a ceiling vent, or sleeping on one, and the screen showed an unobstructed shot down Sir Integra Hellsing's loosened blouse. An open window moved her hair and she irritably fanned herself with a few papers and tucked the loose strands of hair behind her ear. She was muttering to herself, but Maxwell couldn't understand what she was saying.
The man jumped, smacking his head into the door again as Anderson shot him a reproachful glare. Sitting down awkwardly, he offered the paladin a peach from his pocket. Anderson shook his head miserably and returned his face to his hands, slumped in his seat. "This is wrong." He groaned, biting his lip. He glanced at Maxwell to make sure he wasn't looking at the screen. When he found that he was, Anderson opened his mouth to chastise him, but then noticed Integra wasn't on the screen anymore.
There was a loud, clanking sound and the mouse started, turning back to gaze into the darkness. The two men looked at one another as they realized what the sound was. Alucard's advice came to mind….not to be minced by the fan…. But the air was pushing the mouse away from the sound and the two men calmed. Maxwell took a bite of the peach and tried not to smile as he could tell the little rodent was slipping and sliding in the vent, pushed by the air. The mouse stopped when it hooked its nails onto another air vent where a small hole stood as its chance for escape. Squeezing through the opening, the mouse fell for a breathless second and landed on something that yelled and let out a few curses.
The mouse curled up against the rim of Pip Bernadette's hat, clinging to the stitches of the fabric. The mercenary took off his hat, saw the beast, and threw it away from himself in surprise. Then he noticed the red bow and curiosity prevented him from killing the rodent.
"Well look at that." Pip's knees cracked as he squatted down beside the mouse that was trying to hide in his hat. "The Hellsing woman has a pet? Or is it Seras'?" As a hand picked up the rodent, other men grouped around their captain, asking him what had happened. Pip grinned and lifted the mouse up, causing it to squeak, and he chuckled. "It's a little mousey. Cute, ain't he?" There was murmuring and laughs from the men and a few reached out to touch either the mouse or its ribbon.
"Poor guy." Someone said, looking at the mouse with pity. "They dolled him up and everything. Look at this bow. It loops around his neck and his chest, if it snagged he could starve to death somewhere."
"I wonder why he was in the vent." Pip said to himself, looking up at the ceiling. "I'll go return it to Seras…I don't think Integra Hellsing would do this…"
"What about that guy who wears the big red jacket? The one who looks like a pimp."
Pip burst out laughing and turned to the speaker, holding up his hand in warning. "Mr. Alucard would kill you if he heard you say that…but what about him? You think he'd tie a bow on a mouse?"
"No….but doesn't he wear a red ribbon too? Like a bow on his neck?" there was a snigger. "Maybe Integra Hellsing does like bows. Nobles probably have weird, kinky tastes…remember that one politician's wife? We…" he looked at a few of the men. "…saw her wearing that school girl uniform, with bunny ears on her head? She was a hot platinum blonde too…huge implants…"
Pip was horrified while the other men laughed, and he suddenly growled and stepped towards the man who had been speaking. "I'm serious now. He will kill you if you aren't more careful. Though…" he looked at the mouse and lifted him to his face. It sniffed his nose as he looked it over. "It kinda resembles Mr. Alucard…"
Maxwell was sneering contemptuously at the screen and he scoffed. "She is a whore."
"There's not a chance any of this is true, Maxwell. Any fool could tell these people are heathen trash..."
"Who knows?" Maxwell shrugged, and Anderson scowled at the screen that showed the mouse was being carried down a hallway. "I've suspected she might be involved with the demon somehow…I wouldn't put it past her…"
"And you were staring down the woman's shirt…" Anderson muttered, making Maxwell turn red and glower at him.
Pip ended up having to back track to Integra's office as he failed to find Seras' room, or Walter, so he decided to ask for directions from the owner of the mansion. Integra stared at him when he knocked and opened the door, noticeably uncomfortable about the two buttons she had undone on her shirt, but Pip didn't seem to notice as he asked his question. She practically growled at the mouse as her eyes found it.
"He can't take care of a simple rodent?" she huffed and grabbed the phone on her desk to call Walter. The butler arrived moments later and the unwilling mercenary handed the mouse over to the elderly man and walked out of the room. Walter left with the mouse, but soon stopped by a vent that was somewhat damaged. He pushed the little creature through the opening and strode off, knowing well that Alucard had told the mouse to fend for itself. He smiled at the memory as he continued down the hall. The frightened mouse ran through the ventilation system, ironically having better luck than the mercenary in finding the fledgling vampire's room. It slipped through her vent and landed on a pile of plushies.
The Iscariots stared dumbly at the screen and Maxwell forgot about the bleeding peach that was dripping on his clothes. He remembered it and hurriedly scrambled to get rid of the mess.
"That's the vampire Alucard's fledgling?" He laughed outright as the mouse maneuvered around the teddy bears. There were four of them, all grouped together. Anderson didn't comment. The screen showed, for a moment, a desk that was occupied by a picture of a uniformed man and a woman swinging a young girl in the park, smiling at whoever was taking the picture. The simple black frame disappeared and the mouse jumped off of the shelf, landing on something wooden. There was a muffled yelp and the casket opened, forcing the mouse to slide off the lid. It hid in the shadow of the coffin as the girl sat up and looked around. She yawned and rubbed sleep from her eyes as they finally landed on the red bow tied around the mouse. She gasped and jumped out of her coffin, retreating from the rodent.
Seras had to stare at it for a full minute before she recognized its cuteness and laughed, slowly moving towards the animal in order to catch it. Once this was accomplished she practically squealed with delight and hugged the little creature as she giggled happily.
The men stared at the screen with blank minds.
Anderson coughed and looked at his lap while Maxwell continued to watch the screen.
The girl was wearing a white T-shirt and pajama shorts, much to the Iscariot's surprise and she moved the mouse to her hand, petting it lovingly. "You are so cute!" she laughed, lowering herself to the ground so she could lie down. She let the mouse go, corralling it with her arms.
Anderson left the room after five minutes of the screen showing frequent peeks down the girl's shirt. He came back after ten to find that Seras was constructing a border around the mouse, setting up walls of hardcover books. Six of them stood up on their sides when she clapped her hands, sitting back on her heels. "Now you have a little house."
She watched the mouse for a while longer before yawning and she checked the corral of books before retiring to her coffin.
The Iscariots heard the lid close and they glanced at one another doubtfully. Anderson sighed as he waited for the books to fall down, and soon he sighed again, watching the mouse crawl over a book cover and slip under the door.
"She's nothing like the vampire Alucard." Anderson heard Maxwell say to himself, and the two watched the screen.
Please…no more breasts… Anderson prayed silently as the mouse found a vent that was missing a few screws and was leaning out from the wall. No more breasts…please.
Unfortunately for Maxwell, Anderson's prayer was heard by the good Lord and all divine power was used to send the mouse somewhere far away from the female Hellsing inhabitants. The nameless mouse was moving closer and closer to the kitchen….but the mouse chose to jump down a hole it found in the ventilation system, crawling around inside the wall. A spot of light illustrated a section of granite that the mouse was moving towards. When its head peeked out of the hole, the contrast in light whitened the screen and seconds went by before the picture returned to normal.
The mouse was studying a bearish woman who was chopping up cutlets of meat. As the men watched, they realized the picture on the screen was shaking faintly and Anderson's lips pursed as he remembered Alucard's reference to the three blind mice, having their tails cut off… So the rodent understands what he says? Odd…I didn't know vampires could do that…or that mice had the ability to comprehend such things… He smiled despite himself, but creased his brow, pitying the little beast. "He thinks she's going to cut off his tail."
"What?" Maxwell's head turned to the priest but immediately jerked to the screen when there was an angry roar and the bear-woman was seen raising her knife over the petrified mouse. Her body jerked and the blade halted above the mammal as her black eyes squinted.
"Why are you wearing a bow…little pest?" She growled, but set the knife down and reached for a metal mixing bowl that sung like a bell as it covered the rodent. The mouse sat there, trembling with fear as moments went by. Finally light flooded into the bowl and Walter was seen, standing in front of the cook with a crooked smile that slipped away and left behind an irritated frown.
"Yes, this is a temporary pet. Thank you for not killing it, Ms. Barrie. You still have Sir Integra's permission to kill any other rodents you find in or around the kitchen."
The woman nodded while the man plucked the creature from the counter and walked briskly out of the kitchen. He looked down at the mouse as his journey continued. "Alucard needs to teach you how to be sneaky … he's good at it, so he should be able to give you some advice." The mouse didn't respond, instead, it squirmed around in his hands, licking his glove occasionally and then recoiling at the bitter taste. Walter's eyes lifted to where he was walking. "I've never come to understand him, Alucard… he's unpredictable, so count yourself lucky so far… but surprisingly he has a mild temper… the only time I've seen him genuinely angry was when I was seven… we got in a fight so I glued his coffin shut when he was on a mission… I woke up in the middle of the night, tied up in my blankets as he threatened to drop me from the top of the roof. He dropped me and then caught me on the ground… He made a big deal of hurting my pride back then… when I thought he was a girl… he has a unique personality… I suppose."
Girl? The Iscariot's narrowed their eyes doubtfully, at a loss of how they should interpret the story.
Walter smiled and petted the mouse as he glanced down at it. "It's refreshing, talking to a rodent like yourself. I don't even know if you can understand me." He chuckled and looked up. "Makes me feel young and foolish again… Alucard can do that with anyone. He opens your mind, tells you things you mull over for your whole life without ever finding a satisfying answer, and he does things that seem outside his character. He taught me to kill, to value and even lust for blood, but with Seras Victoria… he doesn't mind that she refuses to drink blood, that she's weak, even pathetic and childish. He's protective like a father, teasing like a friend, wise like a teacher, and then cold and wanton like a monster… never constant."
The butler sighed, stopping for a moment to rub his eye tiredly. A grim smile was given to the mouse and Walter stroked its head before moving on. "He's someone you hate as much as you love, fear as much as you depend on… and it's scary…how many times I've had to remind Sir Integra that he's a monster, because she forgets sometimes and I have to see the horror on her face…crease and age her young features, when she discovers that he has done something appalling… You know… he set her up so that she would have a pistol at the moment in the cell ten years ago when she was almost murdered… he allowed her to shoot her uncle… a Hellsing, probably because he himself is unable to kill those of the Hellsing blood, but he also did it… to see if she could do it… if she could pull the trigger… he only uses his guns if he has her permission to kill… so that he is simply an extension of herself… the finger that pulls the trigger… but then he carried her up and down the dungeon corridors and let her cry and tremble for a full hour after she killed her uncle. Then the next day, he left her alone… and made her fend for herself, like he did with you." Walter snickered dully, but his face emptied a little. "Like he did to me, all those years ago, back in Warsaw… 1945… he locked me in a room with a werewolf he himself said was over a century old… while I was only fourteen." The man shook his head and whispered. "I'll never understand him. Never. No one will… "
The man was quiet, as were the Iscariots as he walked. His feet stopped without an apparent reason and the butler heaved a sigh that startled the mouse. "He won't be happy if I wake him twice in one day, how about we skip whatever punishment he might plan for you and retire to my room for a bit? The house can run itself for half an hour while I have some tea and remember the past like any old English fogey." A light laugh began when the man turned around and walked for about a minute before stopping at a door. He entered the bedroom, switching on the lights as he closed the door. There was a round table with two chairs in the corner of the spacious, though humble, bedroom, with a device for heating water sitting next to a short stack of teacups and little plates. A small, box-like cupboard leaned against the wall and Walter picked up the whicker basket on top of it. He put a folded dishtowel in the bottom and put the mouse on top of it. Inside the cupboard were rows of tea packets, a sugar jar, honey, and some unlabeled herbs in separate tiny jars. He selected what he needed and went on about the task of making his brew of tea while checking the mouse at times to make sure it was still in the basket. The mouse fell asleep while all of this was going on, and the Iscariots were left with a picture of the inside of the basket and the white clothe on their screen.
Maxwell took this time to yawn and stand up, stretching his muscles. He left the room as minutes ticked by, but Anderson didn't show any signs of boredom, immersed in his thoughts. Then Walter sat down and looked at the mouse who was sleeping. He smiled and held the cup of tea in his both of his hands, his elbows on the table as he looked at the blue paint on his walls.
"I'll never forget that night… after we left Warsaw, thinking Millennium was beyond recuperation. I was so angry with Alucard, because he had abandoned me, so I went to Arthur and ranted and raved until my face a burning and my chest was so tight with hatred that it hurt to breathe. It was at that moment when Arthur said something that changed my perspective… regarding Alucard… forever. He looked at me with such a calm face that, in my angered state, I just wanted to hit him as hard as I could so that he could taste the pain I had endured that night… and he spoke in a low tone." Walter took a sip of his tea, never looking at the mouse as he stared at the wall. "He asked me… 'Do you hate Alucard?' I said yes. I said he was a horrible, disgusting monster. Arthur shook his head, and he was so quiet, which was unlike him back then. I became defensive and I asked if it was wrong, that I was wrong in thinking so. He shook his head again. The answer meant nothing and I was about to start screaming in frustration when he stole away all sense of emotion from me. I hadn't heard what he'd said so I asked him to repeat himself and he did. 'Pity him. Pity Alucard, Walter, for he is the most wretched and broken creature ever created. I pity him because of what my uncle once told me… Abraham van Hellsing… He told me that Alucard is like a lost child. He doesn't know what to do with himself. He was the first of his kind and the last of his kind. He is the Biblical Adam of his species. Alucard is somewhere, trapped between insanity and reason, tied to both the Earth and the pits of Hell. He enjoys killing. He craves hearing people scream and beg for mercy as well as yell and charge at him without fear. He wants to kill and eat humans, but he also, so desperately loves humanity. He loves humanity… And his purpose in existing is to pose as an obstacle that Man must overcome and destroy. He wants to watch a human being rip out his heart and damn him into Hell. Though he kills and mocks them, he does it out of frustration. He's strained… waiting centuries for a Man who would defeat him.'" Walter took a deep breath that sent ripples through his tea. "I've seen him stand and gaze at people he has killed and whisper to himself, 'Just how many more will it take?...Countless….countless millions. And it will never be enough.'. I can't remember how many times I've heard those words… but they come at chance moments of quiet. And I hated it…" Walter's lips narrowed to a line and he took another breath after a pause. "I hated when he said this… or when I caught him crying in his sleep… because it was so confusing… and it still is. It's like he's a man trapped or possessed by a demon, but then again, I know that it's just who he is." There was another short pause and Walter sipped his tea without tasting it. "Now it's less painful… back then he looked like a sad, lonely girl, sitting in an oversized chair in the dark… blood tears rolling down her face as she slept… always alone." Walter's mouth twitched and he set the teacup down, glancing at the mouse. "He still cries in his sleep even now, but when he wipes away the tears they disappear into the color of his coat instead of staining the white one he used to wear… so they're easier to forget… And then I remember how he laughs at the sight of mangled corpses, over the shouts of gunfire… while also recalling how he comes to be so quiet that you can forget that he's even there…"
Walter stood up, causing his chair to scrape against the floor and he excused himself, smiling politely at the mouse as he put his dishes into a dark green bin that was on a surface close to the door. A maid would come to collect the dishes later, like she does for all of the rooms. The butler tidied up before picking up the mouse and leaving the room. "I'll drop you off with your babysitter. I don't care how much he grumbles. He's all bark and no bite most of the time."
At this moment, Maxwell joined Anderson again and his eyes ran over the screen without interest. "What did I miss?"
After a moment, Anderson frowned and sat back in his chair. "Nothing."
"Thought so." The man snickered at the priest's worn expression. "Want to step out for some fresh air?"
Maxwell returned to the screen and his eyes widened a little. "Going back to Alucard again? How's the monster doing?"
"I don't know." Anderson murmured. "He just got there."
Alucard glared at the red bow that Walter was carrying in his hands, and he frowned sharply. "I told you not to get caught or disturb me again today, little vermin. You only needed to last another hour or so."
"Here's your rodent." Walter smirked at the reprimanding tone, catching the nosferatu's attention.
Alucard waited for a moment, searching the familiar face. "What is it?"
The man scoffed, moving forward. "I'm just tired, and a little old. That's all." He handed the mouse to Alucard who did not reach to receive it. "Here."
Alucard looked at the hands holding the mouse and slowly accepted what they offered, still doubting Walter's words. "So you refuse to tell me?"
"There's nothing to say." Walter stepped back, watching Alucard's face as the vampire analyzed his.
"A lie, Angel, but I'll leave it at that. I've been meaning to ask, where is this fur-ball from?"
Walter smirked and then grinned a little darkly. "The Iscariot."
Alucard's eyes widened as his lips parted, not suspecting the answer, and he blinked before he smiled in sinister amusement. "Maxwell gave Integra a mouse? What for? The leech must have an ulterior motive…. Did it come with a note?"
Walter nodded. "It said 'to Integra Hellsing sincerely Enrico Maxwell, Alexander Anderson, and the Iscariot.'"
Anderson shot a sharp look at Maxwell who tried not to notice. He was about to question the man when Alucard let out a roar of laughter and the demon brought the mouse to his face with a fanged grin.
"It's from Father Anderson as well? Fantastic!" more laughter poured from the demon, calming Walter who smiled as well.
A gloved hand petted the mouse, making it nestle into the demon's palm in bliss. "I'm fond of the Judas Priest."
The mortal' smile darkened. "Because he's strong?"
Alucard chuckled, looking at the mouse. "Not many have the ability to decapitate me, or face me at all and live to tell about it. The Priest has the potential of being a very… fun enemy to be at odds against."
"Do you think he could kill you?"
Alucard hummed in thought, still petting the animal in his hand. He scratched the mouse behind the ear. "I don't know… though, he reminds me of Abraham… He also resembles him, somewhat. The way he speaks to me… although Abraham was a quieter man with a… broader mind." It was quiet in the chamber for a few moments before Walter spoke again.
"Will you be sleeping again today?"
The vampire sighed and glowered at the mouse, but continued to pet it. "No. This terror won't let me, and the pathetic thing is dehydrated and half starved. If you have nothing better to do…"
"I'm busy at the moment and have unfortunately exhausted my thirty minutes and need to see to my duties." Walter chuckled as Alucard grumbled to himself, and proceeded to leave up the stairs. He was content with the demon's light mood.
Minutes passed and Alucard recognized how hungry and thirsty the mouse was now that it attempted to eat his glove, and he got up with a sigh. "I hate you…fury menace that you are. Completely worthless, spoiled, sorry excuse for vermin. But if I let you starve you'll get into even more trouble…" Alucard lifted the mouse so that they were eye to eye and he glared at it threateningly, troubling Maxwell who flinched in his seat. "…won't you now?" The vampire kept the mouse like this, taking easy strides towards the stairs. He lowered his arms and ruffled the rodent's fur between its ears. "I hate cute things, so stop being cute, or I'll have to shoot you, little vermin."
Maxwell stiffened and he looked at Anderson's thoughtful expression, full of doubt. "Did he just say he thinks the rodent is…cute?" The priest nodded absently. Maxwell laughed to himself, showing more scorn in his features. "He does have something in common with Seras Victoria then." He sneered at the screen. "Scum."
Anderson frowned, but did nothing more as his eyes followed the progress on the screen. He's moving through the walls, they both realized and straightened in their seats.
Integra gasped and she shot up out of her chair and turned wildly to stare at Alucard who was standing in the meager shadows that persisted in the room. "I'm just here to inform you that I am awake and will have to find something to feed Maxwell's spy."
"Maxwell's spy?" The woman frowned, looking at Alucard in plain confusion.
"It's called humor."
Color seemed to touch Integra's cheeks as she scoffed angrily and sat down. "I have a sense of humor as well, go play with the creature out in the sun. You need a tan."
"I hope that was not an order."
Integra snorted and looked at her desk, stretching an arm over her head, wincing at her cramped muscles. "Shut up and take care of your little pet."
"Would you like to hold it first?"
"No you idiot! I want you to leave me to my work. Vampires are supposed to sleep during the day and leave their Masters in peace!"
Alucard chuckled before he faded from the room. "Master, just to warn you, I believe your blouse has become see-through. I'd suggest a cold shower…" Something hard sounded like it collided with the wall, but by this time Alucard was already gone.
Maxwell had a look of sour humor on his face and he scowled at the screen. "They're sleeping together."
Anderson inhaled sharply, looking at Maxwell, and he practically hissed at the man. "Damn it, Maxwell. You're getting on my nerves."
The statement surprised Maxwell enough that he watched the screen without comment as the nosferatu slipped through a wall.
I don't know what exactly I'm going to make of this. I was planning on making it a short oneshot, but then it just...kept going and going...it was supposed to be strictly limited to humor, then it became darker...deeper...and more intellectually challenging, psychological... So far it's a collection of my musings... I hope I'll have time to explore the plot further, during the week.
Basically...this is an experiment with different characters.
Ignore typos, I reread this in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep.
Have a nice day. ^^