Summary: The seal is broken, the last Hellsing dead. After over a hundred years of servitude, what is Alucard to do with his freedom? Is it freedom he even sought to begin with? Total self service, but hopefully with some plot and decent characterization. *grin*

Heehee, what can I say? This is probably going to be pure, unadulterated Mary Sue. All I can say is it is being written after midnight on New Years when I am completely wasted. Dunno if it will be a oneshot or not. We'll see what people think. Just so everyone knows, I'm posting this while still inebriated. Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker? Umm…hiding now. Please, review. I'm dying to know if my writing even makes sense when I'm totally wasted.

Disclaimer: Hellsing isn't mine, although, when I'm drunk, I can pretend, right? No money made off of this…err…exercise in befuddlement.

A Chance Encounter

Champagne in dusty wine glasses. Midnight is past and he didn't even notice. Another year gone by, but who is there to care? The scent of damp earth and decay on the breeze. Alucard knelt in the Hellsing cemetery, head bowed before a grave. Integra Fairbrooke Wingates Hellsing. How long had it been? Eventually time held no more meaning, full of memories best left in the past. A slave no longer, he thought he had what he wanted. Freedom. But what is freedom? He should have offered her eternity. But she would not have accepted. Not his iron maiden.

A cold breeze whipped the strands of his pitch black hair. Still, he affected the blood red coat that man had worn…how long ago? Too long. Years of triumph, years of defeat. A million and more lives lived and lost. And still he persisted. What was life without meaning? Did he then, not live? Questions annoyed him. Blood called, the only champagne that mattered. The ambrosia of human veins. Tonight, he would hunt. It had been too long since he tasted that elixir. Too long since he cared.

Rising from the grave, sunken and old, grown over with grass and weeds, he looked to the star studded sky and closed his eyes, dissolving into a mass of flapping bats. He whirled around the cemetery, disturbing nothing more than the ephemeral mist of fleeting human spirits. He knew none of them. Only one would have mattered, anyway.

Seeking warmth and comfort, he abandoned the empty Hellsing grounds, on the market for a decade and more. Who might care about the mouldering remains of a family that had served the royal line faithfully for a century and more? Everything dies, with time. Even loyalty.


Alexis shivered in the night, bleary eyes tired from too little sleep and too much alcohol. Why was she wandering the empty streets of London? Oh yeah. Her date had abandoned her…for the blonde with the quadruple D's. Bitch.

She stumbled, frowning as she squinted across the street. Hadn't she been headed home? This wasn't the right direction. Or, wait…maybe it was. Looking around, she spotted a pair of men eyeing her from down the street. Maybe they could help. Her apartment was on…what? She fetched up against a brick wall, trying to figure out how she got there.

"Hey, baby. Lost yer way?"

That wasn't a good tone of voice. They wanted something…something she didn't want to give. Not good. Help? Did she need help? No…not yet. Was there even anyone to give help?

"Leave me alone." The words slurred out of her throat, giving away her inebriated state. One of the men grinned, crooked teeth gleaming in the distant street light. A cat wandered out of an alley, cream and black with light reflecting gold from its pupils. It eyed the humans, evaluating them. Deciding they weren't a threat, it sauntered down the street, seeking out a meal. Alexis watched it go, imagining it had human intelligence, the ability to determine that what approached her was a danger, inappropriate, and worthy of assistance. Although, what could a cat do?

Shaking her head in an attempt to clear the random thoughts, she lurched to the side, trying to change direction, go back the way she came. Laughter echoed up and down the street.

"Look at this drunk bitch. Nice piece of ass. Not enough tit, but that's okay. Take what we can get, eh?"

Another, higher pitched chuckle joined that one. Not good. Alexis tried to sprint down the street, but her legs didn't want to cooperate. Hands grabbed her, holding her up…but less helpful than they seemed. They roamed over her front, down to the cleft between her legs. The skirt she'd worn for her date in hopes he might like what he saw…much too inadequate to halt those roaming hands.

"No! Let me go!"

The men laughed, one of them giggling with a high-pitched, mad sound. They weren't listening! Hands roamed and she tried to push them off, lurching from one set of hands into another. Somehow, they ended up where they didn't belong. She didn't know them. How dare they roam there?

Taking a deep breath, she bowed to the final resort of every threatened female. She screamed at the top of her lungs. A hand clamped over her mouth, muffling her scream.

"None of that, now, bird. Wouldn't want the bobbies finding us before the fun's over with, would we? That's a good girl." She writhed as a wriggling tongue licked over her ear, sending a disgusted shudder through her body and making her stomach heave with revulsion.

Panic kicked in and she thrashed, trying to bite the hand clamped over her mouth. She clawed at whatever flesh she could get her hands on. Her assailant cursed and threw her to the ground. Descending on her, he backhanded her, turning her head and sending stars reeling through her vision. She blinked, stunned and unable to fight the hands that roamed across her person, stripping clothing and fondling areas no stranger should have access to.

"Desperate wretches. Can you find no willing woman to sate your hungers? Pathetic boys!"

That wasn't a voice that belonged to one of her assailants. She blinked blearily up at the dark figure emerging from the shadows of the alley. A distant street light picked out a red coat with matching wide-brimmed hat on a frame so tall it towered over both of her assailants by almost a foot. The distant light reflected off of orange lenses hiding the eyes of her rescuer…if rescuer he was. Something about the man screamed a danger as great or greater than those whose hands roamed loathsomely over her person.

A wide grin split that darkened face, white teeth gleaming in the distant light. Were those? No. Surely not. Just a dental defect. And yet, he…it?...descended on her attackers with fangs bared, snarling with sadistic glee. One attacker screamed like a frightened girl and fled down the alleyway. The other thrashed in the grip of the monster, nothing but strangled gurgles emanating from his throat.

Alexis watched in fascinated wonder as the creature gnawed at her assailant's throat. It had happened so quickly. One moment, filthy hands roamed over her person, and the next, one assailant fled while the other died to the fangs (fangs?!) of her rescuer. Darkness engulfed the street and her breath caught on a shocked inhale as red eyes opened all over the darkened surfaces. Black tendrils covered the man whose hands had roamed at leisure over her body. He convulsed as he disappeared beneath the writhing mass of hungry…what were those anyway?

Her thoughts smothered under the effects of the liquor and the impossible sight in front of her. The man disappeared as she watched, limbs twitching and fingers clenching in impotent fear as black tendrils smothered him and then writhed back from the absent corpse, leaving nothing of the kill but a faint splotch of red on the brick wall. The thing…her rescuer? Or just another demon intent on devouring her? It rose to an impossible height, looking down on her with red, glowing, snake slit eyes. Hadn't there been lenses before? Orange surfaces to protect the unknowing world from the demonic scheming in those unholy eyes?

She rose on shaky legs, no match for that unnatural height, but glaring up into those inhuman eyes. A smirk twisted those strangely beautiful features as hands reached for her, lips peeling back from glistening fangs.

"Unhand me, you monster!"

The hands froze, to her utter surprise. Those red, demon slit eyes scowled down at her and something twisted in those features. The black tendrils writhed back into the monster's body, the eyes winking closed. He glared down at her, seemingly nothing more than a man in a red duster, a wide brimmed fedora casting an impenetrable shadow over most of his face.


That voice could make angels weep for joy. Alexis swayed where she stood, wondering if she was already dead, her body defiled at the hands of the human devils that had assaulted her. Had Hell's fallen angels come to collect her? No. That was the liquor talking.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm no one's master."

Those red eyes narrowed. Something flickered behind them…memories? Pain? Need? Too intense. She looked away, in no state of mind to handle such an encounter.

"Take me home."

She had no idea where that demand came from. Who was she to command this creature? And yet…he blinked, scowling, and then he shook all over, like a dog coming out of the rain. Dropping to one knee, he crossed a hand over his chest, head bowed. She gaped down at him.

"Where is 'home', my lady?"

"Uh…Shadow Ridge. Corner of All Soul's Avenue and Hardinge Road. Apartment 102." Why did she tell him that? He could stalk her, now. Would he do that? No time to wonder. He rose to his feet, scooping her up in his arms, her back nestled against one arm while the other held her under the knees. He cradled her against his chest, his skin strangely cold. She shivered as he took off into the night, setting a pace no human could ever dream of maintaining.

She was dreaming. She must be. In minutes, they passed from downtown London to her apartment, several blocks away. Definitely a dream. White knights didn't exist in reality. Okay, dark knights…but still. This didn't happen in reality. Reality would see her beaten and raped in an alleyway, if she survived the night's fiasco at all. The strong shoulder against her cheek and cool arms that cradled her like a precious thing…this was the dream. Surely. She daren't hope that the impossible rescue could be real. Maybe she would wake to find the whole night some strange conglomerate of nightmare and wet dream. It seemed the only explanation that made sense.

The creature set her on unsteady feet outside the door to her apartment. She looked up at his towering frame, watching her expectantly. What did he want? What did he expect from her? Shrugging, she retrieved the keys from her tiny purse, inserting the proper one into the deadbolt on her door. It clicked open, revealing the sparse white room beyond. A part of her wanted to rush inside and tidy the discarded jeans on the back of the couch and dishes from yesterday's dinner before her inhuman guest entered, but this was a dream…right? Why should she care about the condition of her home? Why should she care, even if this was reality? This was her home. If he didn't like it, he could take a long walk off a short pier.

Giggling at the visual of his tall frame blundering into a sudden drop in the Thames, she sailed into the room, setting her keys and purse on the small bar that separated the kitchen from the living room. A one bedroom, the place wasn't much to look at, but it was hers, paid for with the toil of her own efforts. No one could take it from her…theoretically. The creature paused on the threshold, watching her with expectant red eyes.

"Well, aren't you coming in?"

"Is that an invitation?"

"I suppose. Yes."

He entered the room, then, closing the door behind him. How curious. Something about that need for an invitation tugged at her memory, but it wouldn't coalesce. The liquor running through her veins made higher thought a challenge, if not a total impossibility.

"What's your name?" Might as well get that, now. It would make for an interesting journal entry when she woke in the morning. He tilted his head at her, black hair falling across his features and hiding one red eye. Where was the hat? Hadn't there been a hat?

"What name do you want? My human name? My reborn name? The name my last master called me by?"

"Let's go with the last master's name." Why not? This must be a dream, and if so, she much preferred to be the master. Did that even make sense?

"Alucard. She called me Alucard."

Alexis nodded, smiling in bemusement as the liquor seemed to engulf her mind and her knees buckled as darkness stole over her. Cool arms caught her, lifting her inert body and carrying her to the bedroom. Soothing darkness eased her aching eyes. Dreaming. Definitely dreaming. Her back settled into the cushion of her bed and her mind slipped away in the heavy sleep of total drunkenness.