Welcome to 'The Formative Years'. This is, in essence, a collection of drabbles that I will be adding to as ideas come to me and get written. These events take place after 'Legacy of Hellsing' and I highly recommend reading that before starting here.
Please enjoy. Standard disclaimer applies. I don't own Hellsing. That honor belongs to Kohta Hirano.
"Alucard wants what in his room?"
"A bed." Integra folded her hands in front of her, elbows resting on the arms of her office chair. She smirked at the dumbfounded look on Matheson's face. She'd already had the chance to recover from her shock in private.
"But…why? Has he ever asked for a bed? He has his coffin."
"It's for Jezebel. She keeps showing up down there and she risks taking a chill sleeping on his coffin or the stone floor."
The butler scowled for a moment, but only for a moment. With a supreme act of will, he smoothed his features into careful indifference and pushed his shoulders back. His chin lifted and a look of haughty superiority settled over his face.
"As you request, madam, but perhaps I might suggest instead locking the vampire's door so she can't sneak in?"
"Do that and you'll only find her sleeping outside his door in addition to dealing with an irritated ten year old girl and her favorite vampire."
"I should think that the whims of a child and a servant would not dictate the decisions of the master of the house."
Integra's light mirth vanished and her right eyebrow lowered dangerously, the other one hidden behind her eye patch.
"I would be careful with such comments, Matheson. You have served me faithfully for over thirty years, but your attitude toward Alucard is beginning to border on insubordination. You never had this problem with Seras."
Matheson sniffed, looking down his hooked nose at her. He reminded her of some of the more pompous members of the round table.
"Alucard is not Seras." That made Integra laugh again.
"No. No, he's not. Just get the bed down there."
Matheson bowed, every line of his body screaming disapproval. Integra ignored that as she turned to look out her office window. He could have a point. Jezebel's attachment to Alucard could become a cause for concern. Already, Integra had noticed a lack of fear or respect for the terrible power a vampire could wield. She couldn't let the child continue believing that all vampires were like Alucard and Seras, or even that Alucard would be so docile without his seals. Thinking like that could get her killed some day. But how to impress upon her the danger a vampire could present without putting her in harm's way?
She supposed she could make Alucard vamp out on the girl, but she had no desire to terrify her that badly. With her delicate mental state, it could break her…permanently. She would have to sleep on it.
"Alucard, I need your help." The vampire flopped into a chair in front of Integra's desk and lifted an eyebrow. "Jezebel is not afraid of you or Seras."
Alucard's lips twitched in a small smile.
"I had noticed." He sounded proud. Did he not understand the implications?
"That's going to cause a problem, Alucard. How can she run Hellsing if she doesn't understand that the things we hunt are intrinsically evil? You and Seras are the exception to the rule, not the norm. By her age, I knew what vampires could do and had a healthy respect for them."
"Oh, she respects what a vampire is capable of. Trust me." Alucard grinned with a knowing look behind those orange lenses. "But, if it would make you feel better, I can attempt to frighten her."
"I don't know that that's a good idea," Integra said, shaking her head. "She's so…attached to you. It could seriously harm her psyche if you became a figure of terror for her. Perhaps Seras…but Seras would feel horrible frightening a young girl."
Alucard laughed, a great series of guffaws tinged with a touch of insanity. He reached up to remove his spectacles and wipe away red tears of mirth.
"Oh, my master. You underestimate the girl. Let me vamp out on her and you will see what Jezebel is made of." Definitely pride in his voice. Integra scowled at her servant. What did he know that she didn't?
"I don't want her broken."
"I assure you, she will recover." Alucard grinned. "Would I put your heir at risk? If you pass without an acceptable heir, the seals will lock me away until someone comes along with the knowledge and power to break them. Do you really think I would risk that?"
"I never know what you would risk…but you have a point. You value what freedom you have under the seals. Very well."
They brought Jezebel to the gym in the barracks for Alucard's demonstration. Integra sat her down in the bleachers. Jezebel looked up at her with wide eyes. She knew something important was going on. Integra looked so grave.
"Jezebel, we're here to have Alucard show you something very important. We need you to understand just what vampires are capable of. I feel like you don't realize how evil they are, or how powerful. This will be frightening, but I promise he won't hurt you. I won't let him."
Jezebel glanced over to the vampire who stood, smirking, in the middle of the gym's basketball court.
"I know Alu won't hurt me."
Integra suppressed a sigh. That, right there, was the attitude that had her so worried.
"Alucard, release to level one, demonstration purposes only. No kills are permitted."
"Yes, my master." The voice echoed around the gym walls, as though it came from a hundred directions at the same time. The display started at the hem of his duster as it melted into snaking black tendrils that creeped over the floor and up the walls. The vampire's laugh echoed around the room as hundreds of eyes opened in the inky darkness. The tendrils crept across the ceiling and engulfed the lights, plunging the entire building into darkness. The only light came from the demonic red glow of hundreds of eyes blinking in the darkness.
Alucard's manic, fanged grin appeared below a particular set of eyes, opening wide with his manic laugh. Integra shuddered, thinking of all the people that had died to those fangs. Most of those in the last century had deserved their deaths, but Alucard's conscience didn't really exist. It depended solely on the morals of his master.
Next to her, Jezebel looked around, eyes wide and curious. A small smile turned her lips. Integra felt her jaw drop just a little in shock.
"I see I will have to teach you fear, little girl!" Alucard's voice boomed around the room, laced with anticipatory malice. The fangs and eyes swooped down on them, snarling in sadistic glee. Integra fought the urge to draw her sword and scramble out of the way, although the fangs obviously weren't aiming for her. It was a normal, human reaction to the predator swooping down on them.
Jezebel stood and Integra thought that, maybe, just maybe, the girl had finally found her fear and would run.
"Alu!" The girl giggled…giggled…and held her arms up toward the snarling beast, like a child asking to be held. Alucard stopped just short of the girl and the lights came back as his eyes and darkness retreated into his physical form, leaving a very smug grin plastered to his face. As soon as there was something physical to latch onto, Jezebel attached herself to his legs in a bear hug.
Alucard stooped to gather the girl in his arms. She wrapped her arms around this neck and squeezed. Integra blinked at them.
"This is not the first time Jezebel has seen my level one release. It happened at the abbey." Jezebel sat back in Alucard's arms.
"Alu saved me. His shadows made the bad priests bleed for me. Now, they'll never hurt me again."
Integra watched the child and vampire interact and felt a chill slide down her spine. Maybe it wasn't Jezebel's lack of fear she should be worried about, but the level of empathy that the child had with Alucard. What would happen to England…the world…if Alucard's bonds fell into the hands of a human that thought just like he did?
"I think ethics and morals training may be in order…immediately."
Alucard's laugh followed her out of the gym as she headed for her office to arrange a new tutor for Jezebel.