Okay, so Thalo and Alucard are not gonna leave me alone until I write out this OTHER one shot between the two of them. *sweat* Goodness, I mean is this ever gonna stop? I think their interactions work very well between the two.

This set ten years after the end of the Hellsing manga, just so there is no confusion.

Anyway, enjoy!

Redemption for Asphodel

The rain was not as heavy this summer night as it was the past two nights, where the threat of flooding was very high. This night it had come down to as if a semi-clogged watering can was pouring over the city of London. This was the weather Alucard enjoyed most; not the waterlogged feeling that Integra and Seras were used to. Well, in his case since he was controlling the weather, it worked out to his advantage even more so, as in the darkness he could see the lights once again of homes and buildings dimming into the nothingness until the street lights remained.

It reminded him of a time from over 40 years ago, setting foot inside a bar called Asphodel, and remembering the humorous yet heart-on-the-sleeve demoness bartender/owner. The time seemed perfect as he remembered the times in Asphodel with a rare warm smile on his normally cold lips as he walked the damp streets. The only thing that would have made this night perfect would be the moon at its fullest flanked by the clouds overhead.

It was rare seeing someone other than him and the Police Girl roaming the streets at night. So it came as a surprise when he saw a youth, probably in his mid-twenties standing under an awning of a business that had long since closed for business. The high, chinchilla fur collar did nothing to obscure his features as he looked into his jacket pocket for a pack of cigarettes and his lighter. Alucard watched the young man with curiosity as he silently wondered what the motive was for the youth to be out this late.

Well, the "youth" had a VERY familiar smell. One that matched the scent of a demoness bartender he remembered from over four decades ago. The biggest clue was the zipper ornament on the jacket; a martini glass with the green olive garnish. The blood and coal clad nosferatu smiled a shark's smile as he approached, seeing the male version of Thalo try his best to click the lighter on with no success whatsoever. "Do you need a little help, young man?" Alucard said, amusement laden in the last two words. The demon pursed his lips and rolled his eyes as he got a good look at who was talking to him. "Huh. I would have figured you had NOT recognized me." Thalo said, the voice matching the male form as someone who was in their early to mid-twenties.

"How could I forget the black hair with purple tinge, or the smell of your favorite drink perfuming the air?" Alucard smirked as he knew that Thalo loved her-in this case HIS- Midori Sours. "I take it you use this form in the world of the living?" the vampire asked, taking the lighter and used enough force to cause a flame to form.

"Yeah, besides I like this jacket. My friend Colt has one, and I had this one custom made for me. I just hope PETA doesn't come after my ass for the collar." Thalo said as he stuck his cigarette in his mouth, sticking the unfiltered end out to the flame and inhaling the menthol-flavored smoke. "Well, if they do, you can wipe them out quickly I am sure." Alucard grinned as he snuck a cigarette out of Thalo's pack and lit one for himself.

"Help yourself, please. And MAN, if you knew how Minos is just ITCHING to drag their asses to Inferno, even YOU would wanna stay far away if you were just THINKING about them in front of Minos." Thalo chuckled as he exhaled his smoke mid-laugh. "But hell… I like this form. Gives me a bit more freedom if someone is in trouble. Humans are more accepting of a man coming to the rescue than a woman. Isn't that sad? I can imagine Seras saving someone on missions and the human just looking at her with a confused expression, no matter how grateful they may be that she saved their sorry hides."

"Hmph. I can remember killing vampires before the big mission in the Second World War. I took my young girl form, and they just looked at me as if I was a freak. Well…" Alucard paused at this. "I am, but you know what I mean." he took a drag off his cigarette, letting the menthol smoke go down his throat. "No no, I know. It's the feeling of you should be used to it, but sometimes you get lapses in humanity. Believe me, I know. Even me being a demon all my life I get my moments of morality. Hell…." Thalo mused as he took a look at the sky, the clouds mirroring his thoughts. "Maybe I HAVE gotten soft."

"I don't think it's that you gotten 'soft'." the vampire replied, thinking of his own life with the Hellsing family. "I think it is more of a rubbing off effect. You start believing what they believe, even if it conflicts with what you originally believed about things." At that, Thalo laughed loudly. "Don't tell me Integra made you a Protestant!" Before he knew it, the Cassul was in his face, barely touching his glasses, which shut up the demon as fast as he opened his mouth. "I would hate to lose a friend over a statement about religion." Alucard said, his voice taking a deadly tone.

"Okay, okay. I take it back. She didn't rub off of you. It's Seras that did." Thalo said, his voice calm while putting up his hands in a pushing motion. Alucard had to admit this was true. As the Cassul went back into its home in the duster, the vampire did think about how long the Police Girl tried to cling onto her humanity before accepting she was a vampire. And even when she became a full vampire, she acted as much as if she was still human. Red eyes softened at the thought of his fledgling, which Thalo took as a sign to not interrupt the vampire's train of thought. The demon had his own thoughts, mainly about his surroundings as well as the level of news to drop on his vampiric friend. It was the reason he was here, to not only venture away from Asphodel but to also let Alucard know of where he was going.

"And what's on your mind?" the nosferatu's voice broke the silence as Thalo snapped his head back to his companion of this rainy night. The demon gave a heavy exhale as he dropped his cigarette in the puddle closest to him.

"I'm going to Paradiso."

This news hit Alucard like a ton of bricks as he blinked in a rare moment of confusion. "Paradiso? Haha! What did you do to deserve a position up there?"

"Believe me, I wish I knew! A messenger from Paradiso had the nerve to come in there to give me the envelope telling me I was headed up there! In fine print, it also said that your are OFFICIALLY going to Paradiso as well. Which is why I am here also. To come and find you and give YOU the news as well." As soon as Thalo finished talking, the vampire took a very long drag of his cigarette, so much so that the trail of ash was leading to the filter in less than five seconds before he exhaled a large puff of smoke. "The rules of the worlds are so confusing."

"Well, I did say that you were probably headed to the first sphere, right? I nailed it when I saw the letter. And also…I'm going there as well. So we can talk a helluva lot more than this when we both pass on, huh?" the demon laughed, stuffing his hands in his jacket pockets. "Hell, they even said I can take Asphodel up there with me, create a branch for Paradiso only and keep the original down in Limbo." Thalo gave a quick, wry laugh. "Asphodel; the bar for those who lost their way."

"Thalo….can I be honest with you?" the softness in Alucard's voice made the demon turn to him, curiosity filled in his green eyes. "If you were human…I would have loved to have you as my master. Not in this male form of course. But….you and I, we work a little too well with each other. And I can definitely see you pulling the reins on me." the vampire grinned as he finished talking, whereas Thalo grinned in kind, his form filling out and taking a more voluptuous shape. "Yeah, well having someone like you as a….oh what's the word-charge- would be VERY interesting indeed. Integra I am sure must've been hogtied with you around 40 years ago." Thalo regained her female figure and voice as she was a little too amused by Alucard's statement as her begin his master if she were human. "No, not so much. I would poke and prod her, yes, but I mostly kept to my word. Mostly." He smirked, remembering when the blood was absorbed and he disappeared.

"Well, I will say this, you are quite the person to talk to. Though my stories of conquest are boring….and vague." she blinked and looked away, embarrassed as she could barely remember the times of invasion and war. Had it been so long since she saw Xerxes? It must have been. "Though I will say this; be grateful you are NOT going to Inferno."

"Hmm? Why's that?"

"Charon is one perverted bastard. Enough said."

"I'll take your word for it." Alucard rolled his eyes at the thought of the ferryman being a pervert, realizing it wasn't that much of a stretch. Throwing his useless cigarette into the same puddle as Thalo threw hers, he began to walk, with the demoness following him. "Forgive me, I feel a bit energetic…and hungry."

"Wh-you haven't fed yet? Bad vampire!" Thalo smacked the vampire's arm playfully, while the other just chuckled. "Unless if you are…offering." Alucard grinned widely at the thought. Sinking his teeth into the neck of a demon and tasting Thalo's blood for the first time. "I dunno. Last I remember, demon's blood is not lethal to vampires, but it can make them sick…"

"Ah but I am no ordinary vampire, now am I?"

"Good point." Thalo unzipped her jacket, moving the collar down to her shoulders as she bent her neck to the side to let the vampire get a taste. "Not too much, I don't wanna pass out now."

"Aww, the almighty Thalo is frail?" Alucard mocked, bending down and licking at the exposed skin. "Hey, careful now. Me pissed off is you on a normal day." her voice gave way to a small hiss of pain as teeth sunk into flesh, gently sucking to coax the demonic blood out of her veins. Green eyes glazed over as the pleasure kicked in soon after, inciting a small moan from the demoness. This merely fueled the pleasure the vampire received in drinking her blood for the first time. The taste was very different, not like an aged wine, but perhaps a sweet fruit. Sweet, yet forbidden.

Fangs pulled away from flesh as the puncture wounds closed up on their own. As Alucard stepped back, he felt rejuvenated, if not a bit light headed, which made the demoness chuckle. "My blood does that to people. To humans, it damn near kills them, to vampires not of your caliber, it makes them violently ill. With you…well…you just get buzzed it seems." she smirked at him as she pulled her coat back up above her shoulders.

"'Buzzed.' What an interesting euphemism for intoxication."

"It's the 'I only had one drink' sort of thing."


Nor more words were said for a good while as they walked the damp streets, the rain coming down a bit heavier as Alucard's grip on the weather slipped. Perhaps he was buzzed from the Thalo's blood. Not that it was a real bother to him; he liked her taste. He shook the thought out of his mind as he continued this stroll with his companion, mind drifting back to Paradiso. "Why you? I mean….not in a derisive way, but…why you? You're a demon. Last I remember, demons are meant to stay in Inferno."

"Believe me, if I had the answer I would tell you." Thalo replied, kicking at a puddle, water splashing further down the street they occupied. "I guess the closest thing to an answer would be that I've guided souls to Asphodel by default, giving them a holding place until they are judged at last and then sent to where they belong." The demoness paused for a moment, mental gears creaking until they were well-oiled. "Considering my location in where the messengers of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso come in without much trouble, I think Limbo somehow….sits right next to the Human world instead of sitting right above Inferno."

This, to the blood-clad nosferatu, made sense. He went back to when he first met the demoness bartender, thinking about how easy it was for him to set foot in Asphodel as if it were a regular business establishment, and yet it was not one. Much like him now, with Schrödinger as the soul that he kept, he was everywhere and nowhere.

Silence reigned once more as they continued their trek through the night of London. Nothing needed to be said, only a turn of the head, a look and a smile on the lips said it all. For one to the other, they were as close as friends could get, and they wanted nothing more than that. "Feelings" made things more complicated, and Thalo just enjoyed having a friend like Alucard hanging with her in Paradiso when they both passed on.

Alucard felt much in the same way. His master, Sir Integra, was not well, and soon she would be passing on herself. When, he didn't know, but death would soon take her into his carriage and lead her-hopefully-to Paradiso as well. Seras was DEFINITELY going to Paradiso, or maybe a higher level of Mount Purgatory at best. "So when are you going?" he asked softly, catching Thalo off guard.

"When?" she paused to think. Being a demon meant she could live as long as she wanted and die when she pleased. But she felt different now that she had more buddies going to Paradiso like the two of them. "When you go, I'll go. How's that? Redemption can look us both square in the face, by then."

"Heh. And when you go, I will go."

"Deal of Redemption, eh?"

"Quite the deal, indeed."

Okay, how the…? *sighs* I dunno what I just did there either. Hopefully it flows, because I fought SO hard to not have the two of them kiss or become lovers. I feel it would have ruined the chemistry they have as friends [or as close to friends as you can call a vampire and a demon.]

And EMILY DICKINSON REFERENCE! I barely remember that poem, but it just dawned on me that I did that. xD

Author+brownies+pepsi=MADNESS. And not the Sparta kind either. xD

Welp, review and tell me what you think! Even if you see glaring plotholes, I will fix them as soon as you see them!