Hello lovelies! So, I know I've been absent for a long time (no surprises there, I fear), but I have returned. To offer tribute for my lack of faithfulness to you, my delightful readers, I have begun a revamp on this series of mine. I've edited a bit here, added some heat there, and fixed up my grammar and writing style (because I'm a perfectionist). I've updated all current chapters, and will be writing many over the course of this week and the next. After that, I'll be gone for a while. But! I promise to finish this before I go. Much love.~

She liked the darkness.

While most children demanded to be coddled with partially-lit play rooms and a hoard of stuffed animals to shield them from the many half-masked threats and promises of the night, she had welcomed her father closing and locking her bedroom door, immersing her in utter blackness that descended upon her like a blanket. She did not fear what could lie hidden; she did not shudder at what she could not see. Bereft of limiting senses such as eyesight, she was free to focus on the surreal. She would lie awake for hours on her small bed, weaving a future full of meticulously calculated plans and trump cards. Such a gift of foresight was not only typical but required of the Hellsing bloodline.

They must never be caught off guard.

They must be ready for anything, and at any moment.

Only they could tackle the monstrous shadow of the supernatural, pinning it beneath humanity's fist where it belonged.

She was no exception; she proudly assumed the title of her family, making sure to parade its bearing with dignity and excellence. Her childhood musings in the darkness had helped her become the fine specimen of Hellsing that she was now.

Yes, Sir Hellsing had not a single complaint to give about the darkness of the room she know sat in. The provider of this room had grimly anticipated her to break under the dank shadows and sour stench of its enclosement, but in truth, it wasn't even that dark to her. The single, stumpy candle on the table luxuriously loaded with a three course meal and a bottle of red wine was as brilliant as the sun to her usual light-starved eyes. How often had her great-aunt chastised her for reading in a nearly dark room?

"This is why you need glasses!" the old woman had scolded. "You'll ruin your eyes, and trust me, child, you'll miss them later! A blind Hellsing is a dead one, my dear."

A wry smile twisted her sharp features. The old crone had been right, of course. Her glasses had gone from being useful to being a necessity; she was blind without them, but the cost was well worth it. Her mind worked best in the blackness, and she had always loved to read.

There were no books here, though. The one thing this room lacked was a decent book. She had even been allowed a cigar and a comfortable mattress.

Pretty cushy, for a bloody prison cell, she mused smugly. But I suppose it pays off to be a reputed arrogant, vengeful dyke.

Integra Hellsing, was, of course, nothing of the sort. Well…they had her pinned when they referred to her as arrogant or prideful, but she accepted this gracefully. She was probably one of the few Englishwomen who still maintained a sense of patriotism and honor, so people could think what they wanted. Vengeful? Well…her temper was a bit short. But as to the last…

Integra fingered the collar of her suit. Maybe if she reverted to wearing soft, lacey skirts and gowns instead of a full suit, people would stop with their ridiculous attempts at childish jibes. No. She couldn't stand frills and ribbons; not even business-like ones. Her stiff, plain suits were easy to procure and betrayed no demotivational weakness so often held by women. She was no ordinary woman, and people's opinions were not about to change her mind on that. People were unimportant. England and the crown were what mattered to her. If dressing like a man and enduring gossip and pitiful insults were the only cons of performing her duties, being the leader of the Hellsing organization had become a frolic through the park and a child's tea party at noon.

Continuing to smile in her own emotionless manner, Integra Hellsing slouched on the side of her prison bed, drawing lazily on the cigar the guards had allowed Walter to bring from the mansion. Of course, infantile attempts at mockery were far from the only detriments of her job. At the moment, fulfilling her duty to queen and country had landed her under the suspicion of the entire military and labeled her as a would-be terrorist. She might even lose her head, if she didn't tread delicately.

Death. It was laughable, a mere stormy child that was apt to throw a tantrum or two. In light of the nature of her work, it had become almost surreal, a force that only dared to violate those under her command. She had been at its door only recently; it was nothing to be afraid of. But then…was she ever really afraid of anything? What mattered most was the fact that the demon-vampire's threat had been vanquished. The mission was complete, the recent target silenced by her most powerful trump card. If she were to die, so be it. She would march to her death with her head held high, the last of the Hellsing line giving her blood and her breath for her country.

Footsteps echoed through the stone room, cutting her thoughts short. She was no longer alone.

I never have been alone.

A white-gloved hand lifted up the wine glass as Alucard slid out of the shadows.

"Integra."

He very rarely referred to her by her first name. His voice, a deep, purring rich tone, reverberated around the closed walls and into her chest. She was startled by her name, startled by his tone, but she didn't let it show. She acknowledged his presence with a brief shrug and continued her brooding stare at the opposite wall.

"My master."

Familiarity. This was their conventional relationship. She turned to look at him. His liquid crimson eyes were masked by those ridiculous, gaudy orange lenses, and his face was twisted into its usual inhuman grin, revealing the tips of his fangs and the wild, destructive spirit only she could command.

Integra Wingates Hellsing. Even chained down by these simpletons, she still radiated all the power and confined animalistic qualities that had so earned his respect and devotion. Her pale, sharp face housed cold blue eyes that could leap to life with fire and lightning, and the white blond hair that framed these deceptive orbs cascaded down her back in its usual manner. Nothing about her had changed, but he could sense her willingness to end everything and cease to exist.

His master would not be silenced.

These pathetic mortals could not have her. He felt the beginnings of a snarl in the depths of his being, but restrained himself. Many thought of Sir Integra Hellsing, the youngest member of the Round Table, to be a cold and inhuman being incapable of feeling any sort of emotion save for self-righteous wrath and stilted arrogance as she looked down upon the world of men she deemed lesser than herself. But in actuality, she was a goddess, a being of so many emotions and passions that the mortal world could simply not comprehend and thus blinded themselves to it. He had seen these qualities leap to life behind her eyes an incountable number of times as she lived her life. She had grown up beneath his watchful gaze, solidifying his belief that she and only she would ever command him. She not only required his service by the bonds of an ancient agreement between him and her family; she reached out and tore it out of his heart with her iron will and the exhilerating conflagration of her spirit. He had once promised himself that he would die for her, die with her if need be. But now, after his recent victory over Incognito and admitted brush with Death, he resolved that neither of them would ever die.

It was time.

Time to make the Offer. It was the last Time.

"Your orders?" he queried, a gentle mockery of the bond they had once shared. Everything had changed now; the world was moving on, and they had to move with it to survive.

Integra continued to stare at him in her cold, calculating manner. She could be so maddeningly…human. To confine such a divinity in a mortal shell was blasphemy itself.
He crushed the wine glass in his hand, feeling the breath-quickening sensation of glass slicing through his skin. A mixture of blood and wine dripped from his fist, taunting her silently. The blood of a vampire.

She didn't flinch as the blood splattered before her eyes. A chuckle reverberated from the vampire's chest as he looked down at her, eyes visible through the angle of his glasses. They were wide with maddened anticipation, and she knew his words before they cut through the air.

"The decision is yours."

Droplets of blood crashed musically into the small ocean of their bretheren on the floor, and Integra smiled, realizing the opportunity her current situation had suddenly opened up before her.

"Hm."

Alucard's grin widened. She was actually considering the possibility for once. He would not fail this time.

She had refused him so many times, and her rejection had always been cutting, immediate, and laced with fury.

"Shut up! How dare you even consider that I would accept such a hideous offer?" Her British pride had flared up so suddenly the first time he had mentioned the Offer that he had laughed at her in his unique, manic fashion. Eyes snapping, she had slapped him, silencing him instantly. "Do you even stop to think?" she had demanded. "I am Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing. My family has been a long and noble line of vampire hunters, protecting the crown of England and her people for centuries. As the last of the line, it is my duty and responsibility to send all souls of the living dead to Hell, not mingle my blood with theirs! I have an image to uphold, a sacred duty to perform! I have enough trouble supporting your position in my ranks as it is! Can you imagine what would happen if I were to become a vampire? Everything my forefathers gave their lives and hearts for would fall into ruin." She grabbed him by his collar, and he yielded to her human muscles, which would be considered strong by other weaklings but could be torn to shreds easily by his much greater power. He smiled into her stony face as she spat, "Do not even attempt to bring this matter before me again! Now get out of my sight!"
Of course, he had brought it up again. It was his one true desire, to grant her immortality to he could serve her forever…and remain at her side always. She had been angry every time, but he loved her anger. It was so deliciously human, but at her core, he could see she was destined to become a true blood sucker.

Now, all responsibility had been whisked away from Integra. She was no longer looked up to as the force that protected England from the supernatural; in fact, those mongrels she had spent her entire life sheilding from unimaginable danger were doing a fine show of offering their gratitude by considering her execution. She was finally beginning to realize how far above them she really was. She was beginning to see things from his perspective.

"Bastard," she said with a dark grin. "You waited until I was at my weakest. You know me only too well."

"On the contrary," he replied, allowing a low growl to creep into his already deep voice. "You are the one mystery I know I will never understand. Even as a vampire…" He felt his fangs press against his lips as he smiled. "You would remain hidden to me. I never want to understand you, Integra. However, marching to your death is such a pathetically predictable human thing to do. I cannot allow such waste…my master." He stepped forward, extending his hand towards her.

"Give me your blood." His voice sank even lower, rasping with a glimmer of desire and drunken with anticipation. "Give me your blood, and allow me to replace it with my own. Become immortal, the creature you have always been destined to exist as. Let us rid ourselves of this weakling's hold and protect this world from those desecrates who would steal the title of vampires together. I will always serve you, I will never leave your side." He sank to his knee in front of her, bowing his head in submission. "Even if you choose to silence your heart here, I swear mine will end along beside it. I live only to be commanded by you."

Integra drew in a sharp breath. He was always honest with her…the greatest and oldest of vampires was revealing the true depth of his fealty to her. She had…tamed him? To the point that he was willing to cease his existence along with hers if she so decided to let things end this way. She had never wanted to tie him down so tightly. In her eyes, he had always been a being of unrivaled magnificence that honored her by gracing her commands with his obedience. She had imagined he was doing her a favor, not actually obeying her because he was obligated to. She was a lesser sentient…but if she became his equal, they would both be free.

Free.

She wasn't ready to let the Hellsing line end here.

She placed her hand in his and stood.

"Get up, idiot."

He looked up, eyes glowing with the same anticipation as she unbuttoned her collar and slipped her shirt halfway off her shoulders, baring her slender, long neck and the sculpted arc of her shoulder and collar bone.

"Fulfill your thirst," she ordered him. "And free us."

Alucard stood and looked her over, taking off his glasses and letting them shatter to the floor in the pool of his blood.

"Close your eyes," he purred, and smiled when she refused to. Excellent. Suddenly, he was behind her, moving so quickly that the large, velvet red hat slipped off his head, allowing his long black hair to fall over his face. He was the picture of a truly wild and captivating predator as the fingers of his left hand curved around her neck, drawing her head back until her throat was fully exposed. He snarled, unleashing his desire as he struck, sinking his teeth through the delicate skin of her neck to reach the river of warm, sweet glory that rushed pulsating beneath it. She gasped at the sensation of blood being drawn from her body. This wasn't the first or second time a vampire had dared to puncture her skin and drain the vitality from her veins, but it was the first time she allowed such a desecration.

Alucard's strong jaw grazed her neck as he drank long draughts of her blood, sending waves of exhileration, not weariness, through her body. Her eyes were half-closed, her mouth parted slightly in an unconscious, primal desire to scream for help. But no…she welcomed this. She realized, as her heart began to slow, that she had been wanting it since the day she met the fearsome vampire lord. The day he had saved her life and sworn his undying loyalty to her. She reached up, laying her hand gently against the side of his face to reassure him of her approval as this sudden intimacy broke the dam of restrained feelings she had kept locked away for so long. He tasted the sudden change in her blood, and responded by pausing briefly to slide his tongue over her bare skin and growl in a possessive way, winding his free arm around her waist and drawing her against his muscled body.

"Alucard," she whispered, feeling herself relax against such a strong, supportive wall.

"Integra," he murmured, dipping his head to lick a few spare drops that had slid farther down her chest. A shiver cascaded through her as his tongue, inhumanly long and sinuous, danced lightly across her collar bone. "Don't fret. We're halfway through."

"Don't stop," she managed.

"Drinking your blood?" She heard the ever-present dark laugh in his chocolate voice. "But you have to run out eventually, I fear."

"No. Don't stop…holding me." All pretenses of pride had long since been cast away. Only truth remained, and that truth was she never wanted to be free from his arms.
His hold on her tightened.

"That was never even a possibility...my master."

He angled his head and drained the last bit of blood from her body. As her heart began to fail and coldness began to set in, she felt him tilting her body back gently onto the bed. She was dimly aware of him leaning over her, whispering, "Sleep, my master."
Darkness.

She liked the darkness.

Suddenly, she was burning. Fire spreading through her veins, hitting her heart like a brand. She gasped, her eyes flying open as she clutched at her chest…but the pain was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. All that remained…was power.

She sat up, eyes glowing in reborn blood-luster.

Never had she felt so alive.

Alucard laughed, throwing back his head and basking in the glory of the moment.

"Rise, Sir Integra Hellsing," he said, extending his hand to her once again. His eyes glowed. "Rise, my master."

She stood, taking his hand.

"Idiot," she said, leaning in to bite his throat gently with her new fangs. "I'm not a knight of England anymore."

He pulled away, meeting her eyes. "Oh no," he replied with his typical toothy grin. "But you are a knight…of the night. Now, my blood isn't very satisfying, though you have just freed yourself from being my servant. There are two very arrogant weaklings guarding your door, and we need to make our escape, so their fate has been sealed." He bared his fangs. "It was sealed when they bound and beat you. It would be a shame to waste their deaths."

Drunk on the new power and life that flowed through her veins, Integra grinned ferally, and together, they dissolved into the shadows, leaving the room barren. All that remained as evidence of their presence was a shattered glass and a pool of blood.
The queen received a frantic telegram the next morning. Integra Hellsing was gone, on the day of her scheduled execution. The guards of her cell had been found dead, drained of all their blood, and a letter with her unmistakable eloquent flourish was found pinned to one of their lapels:

To the swine who calls himself Prime Minister, I offer only reassurance that blood like yours is too foul for me to dirty my tongue with. Have no fear; I continue to serve England, but under a different set of laws none of you could ever hope to understand. Never undestimate the Hellsing Corporation's affinity for survival. God save the Queen, and HER country, you bastards.
-Integra Hellsing

While panic swept through the military, three true vampires stood on the hillock overlooking the city. Seras Victoria gawked at her master and her master's master as they stood like a god and his goddess, keeping watch over the world of mortals as long as they walked the earth. It was a glorious, bloody new legacy. One day, she swore silently, I'll be that strong.

"Alucard," Integra's voice rang through the silence, sharp and commanding as ever.

"Your orders?"

"Let's go."