Predator on Halloween
Summary: Alucard escapes the Hellsing manor to enjoy the one time of year when it's socially acceptable to scare the pants off of mere mortals. He finds his way into a haunted house, where he begins terrorizing the patrons… and the staff.
A lone eyeball rolled aimlessly in a puddle of blood, its owner nowhere to be found. It glistened in the candlelight as its gelatinous surface became marbled with red. The No Life King licked his lips. Integra need not know about this little morsel. He stooped to pick up his snack, remembering just how excruciatingly long it had been sense he last savored human flesh. Covered in Alucard's preferred drink, the eye looked positively to die for. It easily gave way to his pointed teeth.
Alucard promptly spit it out: white chocolate. This was the reason he despised Halloween. Humans and their ridiculous sweets. He was going to need something strong to wash away the horrendous taste in his mouth. And then she showed up.
The girl froze like a doe before a cougar. If she hoped he wouldn't see her, she was sorely mistaken. The frightened thing looked to be in her late teens, wearing a scanty outfit with cat ears and a tail safety-pinned to her backside in a poor attempt at a costume. Alucard's lips parted in a half-smile, flashing his fangs. He sauntered over to her, nonchalantly.
"Are you lost, girl?"
It would have come off as charming if he didn't look so… hungry. She shook her head; she was too scared to speak.
"Do I frighten you?" he asked, crouching down to her level. The teen's wide eyes said it all. Yes, without a doubt. The vampire took a step toward her, now invading her personal bubble. Alucard extended a gloved hand toward her face. He brushed her long auburn locks back, tucking them behind her ear. She flinched away.
To any bystander, it might have looked like a perversion of a tango. Each step the girl took as she retreated was matched by one of Alucard's strides, that is until she found the wall at her back. The vampire could practically see her heart attempting to break free of her ribs as she realized there was no escape.
"Marshmallow," she whispered. Her voice was barely audible.
Marshmallow? Those unbearably sweet fluffy things that humans consumed around campfires? Alucard was thoroughly confused. Perhaps he needed his ears checked.
"Marshmallow," the girl repeated, this time a little louder.
No… his ears were fine. The girl child was simply out of her mind. He had no clue why she was shouting about sweets, and frankly, he didn't care. Alucard took one last step toward the cowering teen. Mere inches separated their bodies. He leaned in, his face so close to her neck that he could practically taste the blood flowing beneath her skin. His hot breath lapped at her ear as he whispered, "Boo."
One word was all it took.
"Marshmallow!" the girl screeched desperately. "Marshmallow, marshmallow, marshmallow!"
A dim light clicked on in the tiny, sparse room. Its yellow light splashed against the black brick walls, illuminating the pure, unadulterated terror on the costumed girl's face.
"Would you shut it?" a crass voice demanded as another person entered the room. The newcomer was an overweight balding man, dressed in a gorilla suit, carrying the costume's head under one arm. "It's just a haunted house. You're not going to die."
Alucard took a step back, letting the girl slide along the wall and escape his grasp. She sprinted out of the room without so much as a look back.
"Did you see the look on her face, man?" the newcomer laughed. "I thought she was going to wet herself before she could say the safety word."
"The safety word?" Alucard raised an eyebrow skeptically.
"Dude! Did you not pay attention at the staff meetings? They freak out and say 'marshmallow', we help them out of the maze before they have a heart attack."
"I'm not staff."
"Oh…" The chubby actor seemed puzzled. "It was a good scare anyway, man."
"I have a knack for it," Alucard smirked, showing his teeth. Of course he 'had a knack for it'. He was a fuck-mothering vampire.
"Seriously nice costume dude," the scare artist complimented. "I'd swear those teeth were real."
"They are." The vampire savored the look of comprehension dawning on his fat friend.
"That is hard core, man! Real fangs!"
Alucard moved across the room faster than the human eye could see and reappeared in the actor's face. He grinned evilly, teeth at his victim's eye level. "Would you like to see them up close?"
"M-m-marshmallow," the employee whimpered. The color drained from his face as he realized that he was dealing with something more than human.
Alucard chuckled darkly as the chubby man blustered from the room as fast as he could waddle. The vampire followed at a reasonable distance, giving his prey a little space. Ahead, he could see the actor crashing into a pair of haunted house patrons. They giggled and laughed it off, presumably believing it to be yet another failed attempt to make them scream.
"Ladies," Alucard greeted politely as he passed the pair. They eyed him suspiciously. The fact that he wasn't trying to scare them seemed to be more unsettling than anything. Perfect.
Alucard? came a voice in the back of the vampire's mind. He recognized it immediately; Sir Integra.
Yes, my master?
Get down to the carnival. Hellsing has been called in.
To a carnival? He was skeptical. The Hellsing Organization had no reason to be in such a place, right?
The police informed me that a patron found a most unusual corpse in the haunted house, Integra explained.
I presume that's out of the ordinary?
I don't know what kind of sadistic haunted houses you visit, Alucard, but most don't involve actually killing people.
Is that so?Alucard asked skeptically. At that very moment, he was staring at proof to the contrary. The grizzled remains before him were clearly fresh. The blood had only just begun to coagulate, and the skin was still warm to the touch. A pair of black cat ears matted with blood lay next to the crushed skull. It was the girl from before, his first victim that night. The smell of the sweet blood spilling onto the ground was heady and potent, like fine wine to an alcoholic. It took a remarkable amount of self-restraint, even now, to keep himself from sinking his teeth into her soft flesh and drinking her dry. Whoever had done this showed no such restraint. A myriad of gruesome bites mottled her skin. No finesse, the No-Life King thought with contempt. Integra's voice brought him back to reality.
Alucard… Where are you exactly? Her voice was rife with suspicion.
He said nothing, which to Integra said everything.
Oh god! You're already at the carnival! she realized. Why are you at the carnival?!
I was feeling festive.
And I was feeling like riding a unicorn through a field of flowers, she snapped sarcastically.
I was curious about your human traditions.
You're scaring people, aren't you?
His master knew him so well.
Integra sighed heavily. I'll be there swiftly.
It only took twenty minutes for the Hellsing director to arrive on the scene. Taking a wild guess, she went straight to the haunted house.
From his lofty perch in the rafters, the vampire spotted his master. Her blonde hair and distinctive scent were unmistakable as she threw open the creaking doors to the house of horrors.
"Ladies and gentlemen," the woman announced officially, pistol drawn and cocked. "This attraction is now closed. Please head to the nearest exit, immediately."
"But I just got here," a frustrated visitor groaned.
"This area is a crime scene. If you do not leave, you will be investigated. Thoroughly," Integra snapped.
The sound of Alucard's laughter echoed from the vaulted ceiling. The sound was magnified by the dark, open room, its location disguised by the reverberations. The noise was deafening and terrifying. The shrieks of terrified tourists joined the din. Integra was the only one who remained silent. She stoically held the door as the frightened patrons fled from the unknown horror.
Fancy meeting you here, the vampire whispered telepathically as his master closed the door, eyes searching the room for him.
"Where the hell are you?" Integra called, her voice seeming thin and hollow in the large space. "Alucard?"
The vampire in question melted into the shadows, only to emerge from the wall at ground level. Integra wandered into the center of the room. She strained all five of her senses in a futile attempt to find her demon of the night. Her eyes saw only an empty hall. Her ears heard only silence.
Integra's swears echoed among the rafters as the vampire's hot breath lapped at the back of her neck. Her gun's muzzle flashed brightly in the dim room and a bullet thudded into the vampire's head. He plucked it out casually, a bemused smirk on his face.
"Nice to see you too," Alucard said, words dripping with sarcasm.
"Come along," she demanded, her hand clamping around his wrist like a pair of handcuffs. "Show me the victim."
"As you command, my master." Alucard brought her to the fallen woman. He could see her blue eyes tracing the vicious bites which marred the soft flesh.
"I thought I made myself clear," she said. Integra fixed him with a steely glare, her voice suddenly cold as ice.
"What are you referring to?" He was genuinely confused.
"The girl," Integra growled. "I ordered you not to feed upon innocents."
"You know I would never disobey a direct order, Master," the vampire insisted, bowing like the Hellsing dog he was.
"Alucard, are you suggesting that someone else is responsible?" Integra asked seriously.
"It's not suggesting, really. More like informing. But yes."
Master and servant exited the haunted house with haste. The full moon illuminated the entire carnival before them. The bare trees stood stark against the black sky. Dead fall leaves swirled around their ankles, carried by the gentle night wind. On any other night, it would have been beautiful. Tonight, however, it was haunting. Something was out there, something hungry.
"The vampire could be anywhere," Integra grimaced in a low voice.
I doubt it was a vampire, Alucard said telepathically. It was the only way to ensure they weren't overheard.
Your kind is generally more subtle, Integra agreed. But what else could it be?
Do you remember the Captain? With Millennium?
You think our killer is a werewolf.
I think you should be loading that gun with silver bullets.
That did not look like a werewolf attack, Integra protested.
The bites were made by a full set of teeth, not just fangs.
A werewolf would have eaten the victim.
They live for the hunt, not for the next meal,Alucard scoffed.
Are you willing to bet on it? the vampire demanded, eyes narrowing.
Winner does what the loser says?
I'm your master. You already do that.
I will be silent for one whole day.
That was to beautiful for Integra to resist. "You're on," she said, extending her hand so that they could shake on it. Instead, Alucard grasped it delicately and brought it to his mouth.
"As you wish, my master."
Weapons at the ready, the two patrolled the carnival. They kept their eyes peeled for signs of terror, which was abundant at a place designed to scare the pants off willing victims. The trick was differentiating pure unadulterated horror from general Halloween shenanigans. It was exactly as difficult as it sounded. Alucard perked up after a few minutes, his superhuman hearing detecting what Integra could not. A cacophony of shrieks quietly reached the vampire's ears. His nose confirmed it; fresh blood. With a nod, he directed Integra toward the sounds of conflict. It wasn't long before they could see a crowd of people running, screaming, from of the hall of mirrors.
Stay close, my master, Alucard warned, leading Integra into the maze. Mirrors stretched from floor to ceiling, approximately twelve feet. Many were spider-webbed with cracks, others had yellowed with age. This place was old, that much was clear. Even in the distorted mirrors, Integra couldn't help but notice how pale her reflection was. She cocked her gun and puffed out her chest, determined to keep her nerves a secret.
Alucard brought a long, gloved finger to his lips. He placed a booted foot on the surface of the mirror, grinning ever so slightly as it passed through the reflective surface. His tall, elegant form met the mirror, never reflected, and simply dematerialized. The last thing the master saw of her servant were the tails of his crimson coat before they too vanished, leaving Integra staring at her own reflection. Despite her false bravado, she looked utterly frightened. She was on her own with a homicidal monster on the loose. The Hellsing director was unable to resist comforting herself with Alucard's whispers.
See anything yet?she asked telepathically.
All is still, little master.
Integra continued forward, her pistol clutched to her chest. Cautiously, she peered around the first corner. There was nothing there. She tiptoed on padded feet, eyes darting from one mirror to the next as her own motion caught her eye. The director repeated her actions at the next corner. Her blonde bangs, then her forehead, then her bespectacled eyes stretched out. With a breathless gasp, she withdrew. There it was: the werewolf.
The monster was crouched on all fours, sniffing the air. At the sound of Integra's gasp, its eyes snapped up in her direction. Three inch claws clacked against the floor as it stalked toward her. Integra could smell the rotting flesh on his breath as he neared her hiding spot. It took all of her confidence to stay in place. Running would only make her more alluring prey. Cold sweat dripped down her back as she closed her eyes, soundlessly pleading for her loyal servant to save her. As if in answer to her prayers, Alucard rose from the shadows behind the werewolf. His lips puckered, and he whistled.
"Fido!" he called. "Here, boy." The great, shaggy beast turned on a dime, now loping in the direction it had come from. Integra knees gave out; she collapsed against the wall.
Alucard drew his guns and bared his teeth as the oversized wolf ran toward him. The creature stood nearly eight feet tall, by his estimate, running on all fours. Its chocolate fur was matted with blood. More of the congealed substance dripped from its open maw. The massive beast shuddered, still running, as the transformation took hold. Even as a human, he was tall, towering several inches above Alucard. His shaggy hair and ragtag garments echoed the beast's fur. The eyes alone remained unchanged. They were piercing: bright green.
"Fantastic," Alucard cursed softly as the creature closed in. He shoved his guns back in his jacket. A strained smile plastered on his face, he called to the creature, his voice falsely exuberant. "Fenris. It's been a while."
"Alucard. My brother in blood." The shaggy humanoid gave a toothy grin. The wolfish expression was uncanny.
Explain. Integra demanded. Now.
A rather annoying acquaintance from a past life.
Acquaintances aren't 'brothers in blood'.
It's a one-sided affection.
Then use it to catch him.
"What brings you to England?" Alucard inquired casually.
"The food, of course," he replied. Saliva dripped from his jaws at the thought. Integra shivered.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop you right there. This is my feeding ground."
"Tell me the borders, brother. I did not mean to intrude."
"England. All of it."
I hope you have a plan, Alucard, Integra said nervously. She didn't like the hungry glances Fenris was throwing her way.
The werewolf phased into a more combat-suitable form. Though Fenris still stood upright, his fingers became claws. His mouth and nose elongated into a snout as thighs became haunches. A feral growl slipped out from between his fangs. "Even you can't possibly eat that much," he barked, his voice a dark baritone.
Alucard… Integra warned.
"Do you remember Bucharest?" the vampire continued.
"Of course, brother. I am forever in your debt."
"I sort of… kind of… sent that hunter after you."
"That hunter nearly killed me!" the werewolf spat.
Are you trying to piss him off?!Integra hissed.
How did you know my plan?
That's a terrible plan!
And you have a better one? His question was met with silence.
My plan it is, Alucard declared.
Fenris gave a bloodcurdling howl. "You're lying!"
"Nope," the vampire replied tersely.
"He shot me."
"I nearly died!"
"Yeah… sorry about that."
I'm not really sorry,he felt compelled to tell his master.
Don't worry,Integra assured him. I never thought so.
"My pack allied itself with you!" the beast growled.
"I take it that's not going to continue…"
Fenris's form shimmered, transforming yet again. He was back to his full wolf form, snarling at Alucard. The vampire thrust his arms into his coat, bringing Casull and Jackal to bear on the fanged beast before him.
"Down Fluffy," Alucard commanded. "We both know who's going win this fight."
It may have been the fact that Fenris despised being called 'fluffy', or perhaps it was finding out that Alucard had set a crazed hunter on his trail all those years ago. Whatever the cause, the werewolf lunged at his former friend, intent on tearing out his throat.
Teeth clashed with steel as Alucard blocked the charge with the barrel of his gun. "Sit, Rover," he spat, kicking the creature's knees and forcing him to the ground. "Now stay."
Fenris ignored the command. He lunged again, this time for the blood-drinker's gun arm. The oversized wolf closed his teeth around it and ripped, sending spurts of blood high into the air. He spat the severed limb onto the hard concrete and went back for more.
"Fido! Bad dog!" Alucard smirked, cocky as always. The werewolf howled with rage and charged the vampire at full speed. The vampire emptied a clip into the beast's skull, each shot hitting its mark with a dull thud. Fenris howled in agony yet continued running. Before their very eyes, skin and fur knitted over the gaping wounds.
"Regeneration, eh?" Alucard noted. "You've been a very bad dog indeed."
And then Fenris was on him. Razor-sharp claws shredded the vampire's trademark red coat and the flesh underneath. Alucard coughed up a lung full of blood in a spurting fountain. The beast continued his attack until the vampire's ragged flesh could no longer contain his entrails. Alucard glanced downward; his torso was no longer connected to his legs. Despite his wolfish form, it was plain to see that Fenris was quite pleased with himself as he watched Alucard's undead flesh sink into a puddle of blood.
Ripples disturbed the surface of the pool. A haunting, maniacal laughter filled the air as shadows rose from the blood, aligning themselves in a humanoid shape. A myriad of demonic eyes and mouths opened across the newly reformed flesh. Alucard's face rematerialized with a fiendish grin and wild eyes. He turned toward his master.
"May I?" he asked.
"Absolutely not!" Integra insisted, denying him. Do not are innocents galore around here,she continued telepathically.
A crowd had begun to gather, rather impressed with the shockingly realistic costumes. They probably thought it was some sort of Halloween show. It was all a blur to human eyes. The sound of gunshots and growls filled the air, eventually fading away to whimpers. The .454 Casull went sliding across the blood-soaked ground. The next thing anyone saw, the vampire has his hand clenched around the beast's throat, keeping him at arm's length. The other hand held his faithful oversized pistol to the snarling animal's temple. Both parties were bleeding profusely, Alucard from claw-shaped gashes and numerous bite marks, Fenris from a proliferation of bullet holes.
Alucard tossed the feral creature onto the pavement. The werewolf's tail curled between his legs. Alucard indeed the superior fighter, but Fenris had won one small category that day. He was faster. As the vampire stooped to pick up his second gun, the wolf took off.
Alucard swore, firing Jackal at the fleeing creature. Even with his vampiric abilities, the wolf evaded him. Integra fired as well. She was an excellent shot, but Fenris was simply too fast. He vanished into the night.
"Dammit!" Integra swore through clenched teeth. If she had allowed Alucard to release his restraints, the werewolf would be a bloody stain on the sidewalk. But she hadn't.
"Shall I go after him, Master?" the tamed vampire asked loyally as the crowds dispersed.
"We need a plan first."
A fiendish grin transfigured the vampire's face. He had just such a thing.
An hour later, after a short drive back to the Hellsing manor, Integra was one-hundred percent positive that she hated Alucard's plan. He had refused to divulge any details on the ride home. All he did, in fact, was hand her a box.
"What is it?" she had asked.
"My plan," was his response.
His plan turned out to be an all-too-revealing vampire costume. It looked as though it came straight from a lingerie store, with some fake fangs and red syrup thrown in for the vampire aspect.
"No," Integra said firmly.
"Yes," Alucard insisted.
"Not on your life!"
"I'm dead, remember? Wear it unless you have another plan."
"Another plan?!" she shrieked. "How is this a plan?"
"Think of it this way, Master. Do you remember our little wager?" From the way Integra cringed, he knew she did. "I'm cashing in my prize."
"But why?" she protested.
"If he thinks I turned you, he'll go after you."
"He'll go after me…" she repeated blankly.
"He doesn't see you as a threat now, but if you were a vampire, then he would try to take out the weaker target before he had to confront me again."
"That's your plan?" she asked incredulously. "I'm supposed to be bait?!"
"That's a terrible plan!"
"You should be fine if you stay where I can see you."
"I want more than 'should', Alucard!"
"Would I ever let anything happen to you, Master?"
That ended the debate.
Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing never thought she'd see the day when she was dressed as a slutty vampire, yet here it was. She missed her business suits. She also never thought she would be trick-or-treating down a cul-de-sac with a homicidal master vampire, but here she was.
"At least take off the fedora," Integra implored her servant.
"I like my fedora," he replied, jamming it further onto his head as if her words might make it fly away.
"Vampires don't wear hats."
"And yet here I am."
"I mean in popular notion."
"Foolish human opinion means nothing to me."
"Alucard…" she said, the pitch rising in warning.
"Oh fine." He handed her the hat. "Keep it safe, Master."
"Remind me why we had to come here," Integra requested, clearly trying to change the subject.
"Fenris likes kids," came the terse reply. Integra looked uncomfortable, but her expression quickly changed.
"Well since we're here, I'm getting some candy."
"This is your revenge for the costume, isn't it?"
"Absolutely," she grinned, the victor for once.
Integra practically skipped up to the first house with her orange jack-o-lantern bucket. She rang the doorbell and a kindly lady gave her a handful of candy with a smile.
"That is trick-or-treating?" Alucard asked scornfully.
"What did you think it was?" Integra wondered through a mouthful of chocolate.
"I assumed it involved more tricking and less asinine behavior."
"That's called kindness, you vampiric asshole."
You're supposed to be a vampiric asshole too. Start acting like it.
Sorry, she apologized telepathically. He had already forgiven her. Integra was his master, after all.
He watched placidly from the sidewalk as the director, well past the age of every other trick-or-treater on the block, walked up the long driveway to another house. He saw her ring the doorbell, and a gentlemen opened the door with a basket of goodies. It was obvious even from the street that the man found Integra was tempted to tear the eyeballs from the leering scum's skull, but Integra had expressly forbidden him from killing humans unless absolutely necessary. Could he pass this off as necessary? The vampire sighed softly. Probably not.
Integra cheerily strolled back to him, her plastic fangs contorting her normal, natural face.
"King size," she smiled, brandishing a candy bar. Alucard's red jacket landed right on her head.
"Put that on," the vampire ordered. "And don't wreck it!" he added, as a bit of an afterthought.
Integra took the cloak off her head, eyeing the vampire cautiously.
"I'm not cold…" she explained.
"Just wear the damn thing."
Alucard had to stop and think. He was damned (well… more damned) if he was going to let her know the real reason. The silence was deafening.
"Because… because red does the same thing to werewolves that it does to bulls."
"Why does it sound like you just made that up?" Integra pondered. Then it clicked. "You're jealous!"
"What?" Alucard did his best to act like it was a preposterous thought.
"You are jealous!" Integra repeated.
"Well you're… you're…" Alucard stammered. He was off his game tonight… "Just go get your goddamn candy."
Integra tossed the coat over her shoulder, smirking from ear to ear. She made sure to sashay her hips as she walked away. The vampire felt a growing desire to shoot something. The tree-lined driveway twisted and turned to a house set well-back from the street. Integra walked around a turn and vanished from Alucard's sight.
As soon as she was positive the frustrating vampire couldn't see her, Integra put on his coat. It was freezing, and she was tired of having people leer at her. The cold breeze whipped at her ankles, but Integra already felt better.
Two small children, age ten or so, raced past her ankles giggling madly. Candy was clearly on their minds, and faces. They were enjoying their Halloween. It brought a smile to Integra's face. One child, a boy dressed like a skeleton, was less graceful than the other and ran smack into Integra. They fell in a tangled heap, sweets scattering on the ground.
"Leo!" the other child called out, turning away from the allure of candy to help her fallen friend. She bent over in her bright pink fairy costume and grabbed the boy's arm to help him up. The sweet little child then turned to Integra. "Hey lady? Are you okay?"
Integra was preoccupied with the trees. She could have sworn she saw a shadow move as she was falling. Everything seemed fine; perhaps she had imagined it. The woman picked up her spilled candy piece by piece trying to look nonchalant. The two children helped.
"Yes, thank you," she replied, a bit belated. The Hellsing director dropped a few pieces of candy in the girl's bucket with a wink, a more tangible proof of thanks. She shepherded the kids toward the house just in case she wasn't hallucinating.
A pair of bright green eyes watched from the top of a pine tree. They were locked on a crimson coat, belonging to a certain vampire who was far too arrogant for his own good. The beast sniffed the air, just to be sure his eyesight wasn't playing tricks on him. The coat certainly smelled like Alucard: blood and soil, with just a hint of spice. It was very unique scent. Certain of his prey, Fenris prepared to strike.
Integra felt the hairs on the back of her neck begin to prickle. It gave her the unsettling feeling of being watched. She mentally attributed it to Alucard; he enjoyed unnerving her for his own amusement. Determined not to let the infuriating vampire control her, she kept her emotions in check and climbed the stairs up to the house's porch. The light flickered and went out. A high-pitched squeal assaulted her ear drums. The girl! Integra panicked. She spun, reaching for her pistol.
There stood a scarecrow, red eyes glowing in the night. It held a bloody scythe in one hand, and the little girl in the fairy costume in the other. The poor child was shrieking in terror. The boy with her pounded the scarecrow's leg, hollering, "Gimme back my sister, meanie!"
It was then that Integra remembered leaving her precious weapon in her room. She cursed her foolishness, she cursed her revealing costume, but mostly, she cursed Alucard. This was all his fault! The Hellsing director charged the scarecrow. Armed or unarmed, she wasn't going down without a fight.
"Woah, woah lady!" the scarecrow shouted, his voice a little muffled and very scared. It put the kid down gently and backed away, arms raised in surrender. "It was just a prank."
Integra cursed herself for panicking. It was only a Halloween trick. "My apologies," she replied, lowering her head in shame.
"I was asking for it," the scarecrow laughed. He then bent down and asked the children, "Would you like some candy?" Of course, they said yes, squealing with delight. The scarecrow retreated into his home to bring them their promised reward.
In just one heartbeat, Integra found herself pinned to the ground underneath a snarling mass of fur and fangs. Malicious claws dug into her shoulders, staining the ground with her cardinal blood. For the second time that night, she fervently wished she had her trusty pistol. Her eyes were locked on the snarling maw, it's sharpened teeth gleaming in the moonlight. It stank of rotting flesh, of death. A single drop of blood and saliva dripped onto her nose. Integra shivered. It was chilling to see her own doom so close at hand.
Waiting patiently like the loyal servant he was, Alucard breathed in the night air. Blood, fresh and flowing, with a familiar tang. Alucard savored every moment he was able to inhale its tantalizing scent. He had obediently lapped up this blood many a time in recent years, and recognized it immediately. Integra. Why had he let her out of his sight, his precious master? She was bleeding, maybe in danger, maybe even dying, all because of his carelessness. If anyone had hurt her, they would experience all of hell's fury. Integra's blood called to him, "Protect me, my servant. Save me, my Alucard." He answered the summons without a second thought.
A lone shot rang out. "Your fight is with me, dog," Alucard snarled from the rooftop. His glasses were gone, and his hair was long. He meant business. Integra had never been so happy to see her servant. Alucard promised to protect her, and he always kept his promises.
Blood blossomed from the werewolf's shoulder. Fenris yowled in pain. The wound hissed, resealing itself only seconds later. His canine snout was built for ripping and tearing, not for conversing. Fenris phased into a more humanoid form, all the better to taunt with. Integra took the opportunity to scramble away from his clawing grasp, clutching her shoulders to stem the bleeding.
On most days, Alucard would have given the creature all the time he needed to transform. After all, taunting his opponents was one of the vampire's favorite hobbies. Today, however, his master was hurt, she was bleeding. That made him just a little more insane than usual.
Alucard noticed his master's escape. The No-Life King holstered his guns. He wouldn't need them for this villainous bit of scum. His form became less human with each passing moment. Eyes opened their blinking lids all across his shadowy form. Van Helsing's gloves, the manifestation of Alucard's servitude, glowed cherry red. "Releasing control art restriction. Level zero."
Integra forgot her pain. "Into the house children!" she ordered, taking them both by the hand and yanking them from their feet. The scarecrow had left the door slightly ajar when he went inside to fetch the candy. Integra thanked her lucky stars for that. She sprinted for the door, children in tow, and slammed the door behind them. "Don't go outside, no matter what," she whispered, pale as a ghost.
"Alucard, friend," Fenris whimpered, quivering instinctively in the presence of the King of Vampires. Terror shoved his quarrel from his mind. Survival was his only desire. Fenris didn't get it. He simply couldn't understand why Alucard was this furious. He and the vampire went way back, and had fought together countless times. He had never seen him this mad, this quiet, or this powerful. What was different about this fight? Was it that they were enemies this time? No, even long ago, before he'd granted the vampire the protection of his pack, Alucard had been… well... Alucard. Then it hit him. The Hellsing bitch. Back at the carnival, he hadn't so much as touched the delectable morsel. Here, blinded by the red jacket, he'd spilled her blood. That was what had the vampire seeing red. Perhaps there was a way to win this fight after all. His lips twisted into a cruel smile as he took his werewolf shape.
Alucard extended one skinny finger, beckoning. Fenris snarled, most likely thinking the gesture was for him. It wasn't. It was for a much more terrifying hound, one from the deepest pits of hell. A menacing growl made the fur on Fenris's back stand as though electrified. The werewolf spun around, his claws grating against the pavement of the sloping driveway. He was face to face with a beast not entirely unlike himself.
It was a manifestation of the twilight gloom, a hideous fiend from somewhere unmentionable horrible. Uncounted eyes jutted from its fur, its smallest incisor dwarfed Fenris's canines. "Baskerville, kill," Alucard ordered.
The hellhound was fast, but Fenris was faster. He dashed toward the house and his only hope of salvation. He could smell the Hellsing bitch cowering with two - no, three others. Second story. Damp… probably a bathroom. His claws sunk into the damp earth, then his haunches tensed and he leapt high in the air. The werewolf landed on the roof with a clatter. His muscled torso made short work of the nearest window. He was inside.
Baskerville charged straight through the wall, using the shadows to phase straight through and leave the structure untouched. Alucard did the same, passing through the blockaded front door and then the bathroom floor with no more effort than it took to squash a bug.
The little girl shrieked when she saw the vampire's head emerge from the floor. Of course, her reaction could also have been due to the fact that Fenris had his hairy hands clasped tightly around Integra's throat and was dragging her from the room.
Alucard let out a visceral growl. "I thought I told you, mutt: your fight is with me."
Fenris grinned, exposing his sharpened canines. He squeezed Integra's throat, cutting off her air supply. Alucard stopped dead in his tracks. Fenris let up the pressure as a reward. The blonde woman coughed and gasped, drinking in the sweet air. The wolf-man picked up his hostage with one arm, the other hand never leaving her windpipe. He continued through the house as casually as one might stroll through the grocery store, until at last he reached the front door. The barricade Integra and the children had constructed was simply kicked away, as was the door. Alucard followed closely, never letting his master out of his sight. At last they were outside, where Fenris had a clear escape route. Things were working out exactly as planned. Perhaps he could afford a little gloating.
"The great Alucard, putting his life on the line for a weak human bitch," he sneered derisively, grip tightening. The vampire had to hand it to his master; she was a fighter. Despite the fact that she was rapidly running out of oxygen, Integra kicked the werewolf's shins. It didn't really have an effect on a creature that could burst through windows like they were made of tissue paper, but it was valiant nonetheless. The blueish tint of Integra's lips told him that time was running out. He took a step toward her.
Fenris grasped harder, sending the vampire a warning look. The valiant Hellsing director pulled at the hands clasped around her throat. Her feeble escape attempts grew weaker and weaker. Alucard threw his hands up in a gesture of surrender. He was pissed, oh so pissed, but Integra's life wasn't worth it.
"What do you want, dog?" he spat.
"Moi?" Fenris played innocent.
"What do you want in exchange for her life?"
"I'm curious, bloodsucker. Why are you so attached? The Alucard I knew would have eaten this little tart's blood the moment he met her."
Baskerville growled, a reflection of Alucard's mental state. How he wanted to rip the arrogant wolf's tongue out and shove it down his irritating little throat. "It's irrelevant," he growled. "Your life for hers?"
"Oh no, no. I couldn't take such a deal," the wolf-man laughed. "I want you."
"Me?" He lifted an eyebrow, confused.
"Yes you. Dead."
"You're forgetting something," Alucard hissed.
Integra, he whispered telepathically. Can you still hear me?
Yeah, she said back. Her voice was strained. Alucard could feel his blood rising.
"And what is that?" Fenris demanded.
Do you trust me?He had to know.
What… what are you planning?He could feel her fading; he had to finish this.
Just answer the question!Time was ticking.
With... my... life…He steeled himself. It had to be now.
"I'm already dead," Alucard smirked, already moving. From the side, Baskerville lunged at the werewolf's throat. His hellish fangs sunk into Fenris's jugular. Alucard took advantage of the planned distraction, drawing his guns. He unleashed two full clips of silver-coated rounds into the wolf's wrists, dangerously close to his master. Two furry, severed hands dropped to the concrete. Alucard caught Integra just inches from the ground. He laid her unconscious form down, ever so gently.
Baskerville had Fenris pinned to the ground. The hellhound only needed one paw; the werewolf's life blood was gurgling from his throat. Alucard looked at the dying creature below him. The werewolf looked more like an abandoned puppy than a fearsome monster of legend. He wished he could pity the pathetic vermin, but Fenris had done the unforgivable. "No one lays a hand on my master," he spat. His booted foot came down hard on the wolf's skull, putting the beast out of his misery.
With the threat finally eliminated, Alucard dedicated his full attention to Integra. The King of Vampires knelt by his master and holding an ear to her mouth. He heard a faint breath. The sense of relief was overwhelming. It led him to wonder if it was the compulsion of his curse, or if his little master meant that much to him. The vampire softly removed his jacket from Integra's shoulders. Her wounds were ghastly, but shallow. He bent down and gently licked them. His master's blood was like ambrosia to him. His vampiric instincts demanded that he drink every last drop. As his tongue ran over the torn flesh, it knitted together until all that remained were pink, puckered lines where Fenris's claws had dug into her skin.
Integra felt a strange, wet sensation. Both of her shoulders were on fire, but something else felt...well, strange. Her eyelids fluttered open and it all made sense.
"Alucard…" she whispered, her voice struggling to come out.
"Yes, master?" he responded, licking the last of the blood from his lips.
"What are you doing?" Her voice gained a little strength. Alucard was silent. Admittedly, it wasn't the easiest situation to explain.
"You're drinking my blood!" she shrieked, regaining enough energy to sit up. The vampire said nothing to affirm or deny the accusation. "I'm unconscious, so you just help yourself to my blood?!"
Alucard chuckled quietly. Apparently he found her reaction amusing. "It's not funny!" she insisted, which only made him laugh more.
"How can you be so frustrating?" Integra groaned. "I let you have one night of freedom and you use it to terrorize innocent people."
"It was a haunted house. People go there to be scared."
"Then you force me into this ridiculous… costume…" Her voice trailed away as something occurred to her. "You made it up. You made it all up!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"This costume didn't affect Fenris. He completely ignored me until he figured out he could use me to manipulate you. You made it all up that whole asinine plan to get me to wear this… thing." Integra almost wished she was a vampire so that she might take revenge upon her infuriating servant.
"There's one thing about your little master plan that I just don't get," she remarked, standing over what little remained of the werewolf's corpse. "If you were going to kill him anyway, why didn't you just finish him off back at the carnival?"
Alucard flashed her a toothy grin. "This was more fun."
Important: This story is a part of the Halloween one shot contest which is currently being held among TDS' own members. Please leave a review