Seras Victoria always thought it was strange how Sir Integra never truly celebrated her birthday. She understood that Sir Integra was a very busy person and the said occasion would pass with minor fanfare. Of course, dignitaries and other officials would send her gifts, as would Walter. It was one of the times he would kiss her temple. Seras knew that Walter practically raised her. Sir Hellsing had fallen very ill when Sir Integra was a baby. As Sir Hellsing’s health declined, Walter shouldered more and more of the parental responsibilities, even becoming her legal guardian when Sir Hellsing passed. Sir Integra had Walter wrapped around her little finger since her first moment of life and everyone knew it.
Alucard would give Sir Integra a gift as well. The means of which he procured the gifts was from his royal fortune from his life. Everyone was mystified as to where it was hidden and how he still had access to it, but knew when it came to Alucard, some secrets were better left untold. Sir Integra chose which battles to pick with Alucard.
On this occasion, Seras would see her Master’s Master act her age for once. When possible, the few and closest friends Sir Integra had, young women her own age that have known each other since primary school, would take her out for her birthday. It was one of the few times a year she would see Sir Integra wear jeans or any other causal clothing. They would all pile into a car, laughing and drive away from Sir Integra’s responsibilities for a few hours. She would always return at a sensible time and it was back to work the next morning. That was the extant of the celebration, no grand parties or lavish dinners.
Of course, this was the Hellsing Manor and the Hellsing Organization where nothing was the same for too long. To Seras, Hellsing Manor may as well be the Bermuda Triangle when it came to weirdness. Everyone was constantly on their toes.
Seras was debriefing Sir Integra when it happened. She was smoking a cigar when they both heard a car outside. Integra froze for a split second, then jumped out of her chair to the look out the window to the courtyard below.
“Fuck! She’s here!” Integra exclaimed, hastily snubbing out her cigar and hiding any evidence of the addiction deep in a desk drawer. She popped a piece of gum in her mouth and hurried off down the hall to her private rooms.
Seras had rarely heard Sir Integra swear that coarsely and never look so frazzled. She stepped into the hall to find out what was going on, seeing Sir Integra emerge from her bedroom, tying a new cravat and buttoning a new blazer. Seras could smell fresh perfume on Sir Integra’s body and in her hair. Whoever it was, Integra did not want the person to know she smoked. The Hellsing leader looked as though she were about to face a dreaded punishment as she walked down the hall with Seras behind her.
An older woman stood in the foyer as the wait staff carried in luggage. Upon hearing footsteps on the staircase leading to her, the woman turned. Her face lit up.
“Integra!” She exclaimed happily, her voice tinged with relief.
Sir Integra hurried down the final stairs and was pulled into a tight hug by the woman. She was so short and Sir Integra so tall, that the woman could only bury her face in Sir Integra’s shoulder, her face covered by Sir Integra’s blonde hair.
Seras noticed that Walter and Alucard had joined her, coming from the opposite direction as she and Integra had.
“Who is that?” She asked them quietly.
“It’s Sir Integra’s mother, Indrina Darzi.” Walter replied.
Integra was the spitting image of her mother, they had the same facial structure, the same strong jaw, but the rest of Integra was Hellsing, the blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Indrina was a wisp of a woman, noticeably shorter than her daughter with spiky white grey hair. She wasn’t old enough to have a complete head of grey hair, so Seras guessed she was following the ‘granny hair’ trend. Indrina had kind chocolate brown eyes. When she smiled, which was often, the corners crinkled with age and a bit of mischief. Her smile was bright and contagious. She was dressed in a jade green dress with a ballet neckline and rounded back, the skirt of the dress had graduated tiers of lace that spilt into handkerchief hem. She wore simple and plain flats on her feet. Around her neck was a swirled tear drop, silver necklace (which was just enough for her and Alucard to notice, but not to bother them) with a single iridescent opal – Integra’s birthstone. On her finger was a copper Ganesh and other held a tree of life. In her ears were simple crescent moon studs and in the cartilage of her right ear was a diamond stud.
“Where has her mother been all this time?” Seras whispered.
“Well,” Walter started, “Indrina has always been a bit of a free-spirit. For the past year, she’s been following Stevie Nicks’ world concert tour.”
Seras’ brows furrowed, “Does she work for her?”
“No one knows,” Walter and Alucard replied, exasperation in their voices.
“No, I meant, where was she when Sir Integra was younger?”
Walter sighed, “Indrina and Sir Hellsing were never married. They held a very long courtship, but it eventually fizzled out. Of course, as these things go, not long after the breakup, they found out that they were pregnant with Sir Integra. They have always remained friendly for her sake. Sir Hellsing and Indrina shared joint custody of Sir Integra and Indrina settled in London proper. They raised Sir Integra together, but when Sir Integra turned seventeen, Indrina decided she wanted to travel the world. Indrina visits occasionally, but never stays long. Partially, because it is not safe for a civilian to reside here for an extended amount of time, since this is a highly classified military base and prone to attacks, but also, I believe Indrina knows that her and her daughter’s personalities are so drastically different, that if left together for too long, conflict will arise. This set up works for both of them. It’s has always been known that any heir of Arthur Hellsing would take over his mantle. So, when Sir Integra was born, she was groomed for the role. It was never meant for her to assume her title so early. When Sir Hellsing passed away and his brother mutinied, once the dust settled, Indrina was there for her daughter. She floats in on the breeze occasionally, but finds the life of a noble rigid and boring. Her absence in her daughter’s life is not born of neglect or apathy. If Sir Integra ever needed anything, all she needed to do was call Indrina and she would be there for her. They love each other very much; they just drive each other mad.”
“Indrina also devoutly believes that our Master is the reincarnation of Elizabeth I.”
“I can see it,” Seras replied.
Indrina grasped Integra’s chin, “You’ve been smoking. I know because you rarely chew gum. You think it makes people look like cows. Your father did the same thing.” Indrina held Integra’s eyes and Seras could feel her Master’s Masters’ emotion rolling off her, that of shame and the feeling of punishment from a parent.
The scene was quite funny to witness; the taller Integra being put in place by her sprite of a mother. Even Integra, Sir Integra Hellsing who commanded the legendary Alucard, who sat on the Round Table, knighted by the Queen herself at an impossibly young age and lead an army of hundreds in a war against the undead and unholy, had to listen her mother. Really, the role reversal was so jarring to Seras, she practically had whiplash.
“I have.” Integra admitted, breaking eye contact with her mother for a split second.
“You know how I feel about that.” Indrina held her daughter’s eyes for a moment longer, bopped the tip of her daughter’s nose with her finger, then looked over Integra’s shoulder.
“Walter! Alucard!” Indrina exclaimed, hugging both, “I hope you both have been taking care good care of my baby.”
Seras was thrown by the companionship and familiarity both men had for Indrina. She was fairly certain this one of the first times she her Master have any physical contact with someone he wasn’t killing.
“Ah this must be the police girl, Seras!” Indrina said cheerfully, gliding over to her, “Integra has told me so much about you!”
Behind everyone, Integra’s eyes went wide with embarrassment and disbelief. She slumped and sat down the last few steps of the staircase as her mother prattled on.
“Hello, ma’am. It’s lovely to meet you.” Seras said, smiling.
“Oh, Integra! She’s such a doll!” Indrina beamed, enveloping Seras in a strong hug. Seras sighed and wrapped her arms around this relative stranger. It had been so long since she had that type of physical contact and melted into the embrace. It was a hug only a mother could give and reminded Seras of her own mother’s affections. She really needed that hug.
Indrina pulled away, but placed her hands squarely on Seras’ shoulders, looking into her eyes. “Are you settling in okay? I’m sure this change was incredibly hard on you.”
Seras nodded, putting on a brave face, “I’m fine now, ma’am.”
“Are you sure? Are they treating you right?” Indrina’s eyes moved to Integra to Alucard. Integra sighed and Alucard chuckled. “I know they can come on strong, especially when they’re together. Like fire and gasoline, those two are. I’ll be the first to admit, that sometimes my daughter is more of an English cactus than an English rose. And Alucard, well, we all know.”
“Really, ma’am, things have worked out great and I feel at home now.” Seras reassured.
“Well, if you need anything at all, I would be happy to help,” She give Seras one last twinkling smile before moving way, back to her daughter.
“Oh, Integra, your aura is all out of balance, it used to be so vibrant when you were younger, have you been meditating like I told you to? You know, if you meditated, you wouldn’t have to smoke.” Indrina complained, wafting the air around her daughter.
Alucard shrugged, “In her defense, your aura is quite dull at the moment, Master.”
“And it would help you sleep at night,” Walter added.
“Oh, Alucard!” Indrina said in sudden realization, “I was in Romania over the winter, particularly in your area of the country. I must say, you lead a very beautiful country!”
Alucard bowed his head, “Thank you, Madam. I appreciate your words,” He said gracefully.
“Oh yes, it was very beautiful, I took a tour of Castle Bran, yes, Integra, I know, Alucard never lived there, but the tour guide was going on and on about Vlad the Impaler, it took all my strength not to start leading the tour myself!”
Integra gave her a look.
“You forget that I’ve known Hellsing and Alucard longer than you have.” She tutted, wagging a bejeweled finger at her daughter. “Oh and I bought you this, Alucard, I couldn’t resist.” Indrina replied, pulling from her bag, of all things, a Vlad the Impaler bobble head.
Alucard held the object in his hands, laughing a laugh between gleeful and maniacal as he jostled it, its head bobbing.
“Wait, you get him something and not your own daughter whose birthday is coming up? His country is the shape of a bloody Magikarp” Integra complained.
“Oh hush Integra.” Indrina chastised. “Why do you think I’m here? I would never miss your birthday. You’ll just have to wait till then to get yours.”
Indrina searched in her bag once more, “And for Walter…” from it she produced an expertly crafted knife set. “I saw you eyeing it at the shops last time.”
Surprise danced over the man’s features, “For cooking,” they both said together. Everyone besides Seras gave a knowing laugh.
“Indrina, you are too thoughtful.” He said.
Integra shook her head, “If you are finished embarrassing me in front of my subordinates, Mother, I shall return to work.” She stood up and dusted herself off. “Alucard, show her to her rooms.”
“Of course, my Master.” He nodded. “My lady,” Alucard offered Indrina his arm. She took it with a faux coquettish giggle, both playing up the part of a gentleman and his suitor and glided up the stairs with Seras behind them. They went one way at the end, Integra and Walter the opposite.
The two vampires showed Indrina to her guest quarters, not far from Integra’s own. Seras helped her unpack as Alucard lounged in a nearby chair, his legs propped up on a nearby table.
“How has Integra been, really?” Indrina asked. She knew that what Integra told Walter and Indrina herself and what she was really feeling were usually two different things (though Walter and Indrina were rarely fooled by Integra’s white lies). If she wanted a real answer, her best bet was the being that understood her daughter most. Also, the psychic connection helped, too.
Alucard grimaced and flip flopped his gloved hand side to side. “She has been…okay. She has her days. Dr. Trevalian changed her medication and it does seem to be more beneficial to her than the last, but, we lost nearly an entire squad several weeks ago. You know how heavily it weighs on Integra. She has been battling that and the Round Table has been breathing down her neck for god knows what. However, she has plans to go on holiday with Sarah Harker next month, so that should cheer her up.”
“Yeah,” Seras piqued, “The Queen found out that Sir Integra was overworking herself and not using her vacation days, so she’s now making Sir Integra take a mandatory two week holiday every year. Walter has to lock her office door and hide the key from her!”
“She’s taken to the air ducts. Again.” Alucard said, “She’ll climb into the vent in her bedroom to the vent in her office to get in.”
Indrina tsked, “She’s so much like her father. Well, other than climbing around like a monkey. That’s probably from me. It took a village to raise her.”
The rest of the day and evening was quiet. Indrina rested after unpacking as Integra finished her work for the day. That evening, Integra took her mother out to dinner. Afterwards, the old manor quieted down for several hours.
Just as Seras was about to power down her laptop and go to bed for the day, she smelled a heavenly scent – homemade, hand made from scratch, cinnamon rolls. Her mother used to make them on Sundays and the feeling of nostalgia was overpowering. Before she knew it, she felt her feet leading her upstairs to the kitchen. Indrina was swirling around the kitchen like a sprite, cooking bacon on one side of the room and keeping a watchful eye on the cinnamon rolls in the oven on the other, her purple reading glasses, perched on her nose. Walter was obviously sequestered to a chair in the dining nook, trying to focus on the newspaper in his hands, but ready to spring into action if Indrina needed.
“Really Indrina, it’s no fuss if you need help.”
“Now, now Walter, you stay right where you are. You need a break and you know it!” She punctuated the thought as she refilled his coffee. “Besides, I love to cook and it’s rare I have such quality to work with!” She gestured to the kitchen, its quality meant for a master chief.
“Ah! Seras! I didn’t expect you to still be up. Sit, sit, sit, visit with us for a bit before you retire. Would you like anything?”
It was an odd question. Blood? Real food?
Seras shook her head, taking the seat next to Walter. “No, ma’am, I’m fine. I just smelled breakfast and I had to come up. My mother used to make cinnamon rolls every weekend.”
“How sweet!” Indrina said, “Think of this as my way of welcoming you to the family! Just wish you could actually enjoy them.”
Seras gave a small smile and shrug, “You get used to it.”
“Now Walter, on Thursday I plan to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner in celebration for Integra’s birthday, all her favorites.”
“Not a surprise party!” Everyone said at once. Indrina clarified, Walter and Seras warned.
“With someone as on guard as Integra, a surprise party is just asking for a night in the ER.”
“Yes, let’s not have a repeat of her sixteenth.”
Alucard and Integra entered the room together. Alucard pulled out the seat for his Master and sat down next to her.
“I heard that.” Integra said, “You didn’t tell Seras how I accidentally set my hair on fire blowing out my candles, did you?”
Indrina giggled, “No, but you just did!”
Integra said nothing, instead digging in to her breakfast. Alucard chuckled as he produced a blood bag from his coat.
“Oh, there’s no need to drink out of those things!” Indrina said, yanking the blood bag and straw from Alucard’s hands. He looked distressed, like a baby ripped from its bottle as Indrina went to the medical refrigerator and emptied two bags of blood into glasses; one for him, one for Seras.
Integra laughed lightly. She knew he loved the absurdity of drinking blood from a juice straw and straight from the bag.
“No former ruler needs to drink from those silly things!” Indrina proclaimed.
“Don’t encourage him, Mother. In his current existence, he’s just the weirdo who lives in my basement.” She said, glaring at the red clad vampire.
Alucard gave a mocking grimace and placed his hand over his heart.
“Oh, come now, you two love each other more than the moon loves the sun! When are you going to give me grandchildren? I know it’s possible!” Indrina continued to serve the table.
Integra and Alucard dissolved into bickering and bantering in Romanian as the onlookers giggled and chuckled at the lover’s quarrel.
“We’re working on it.” Alucard replied, proudly. He sat back in his chair and crossed his legs, his hands folded neatly. “Almost nightly.”
Integra took the silver, dragon embossed signet ring she wore on her left hand. It had originally been Alucard’s. She pressed it into his cheek, searing the flesh. Alucard jumped and yelped at the pain.
“You blonde minion of the Devil!” He exclaimed, still grinning ear to ear and clasped his cheek.
“Shut up or I’ll make you sparkle, vampire.” Integra warned. “My family turned you into the perfect vampire and rid you of any weaknesses of the common vampire. I’m sure I can figure out a way to do just that.”
She handed him back the glass, before leaving for her office.
He sat there, almost stunned as everyone snickered at his expense. “I should have seen that coming.”
“But I like those books and movies,” Seras said meekly.
My aim for this story was to really ‘unmask’ Integra. I think we as fans tend to forget (or highly aware, in some cases) that she is either our age or younger than us. Maybe in some ways, she is like us, an average twenty something. I believe that she puts on the Sir Integra mask each day and plays up certain aspects of herself and personality for professional reasons. I wanted to explore the dynamic she would have with her mother, especially since Integra would outrank her. Seriously guys, look up Romania, it’s outline looks like magikarp.
Anyways, credit to Servant Loves Master on Tumblr for the blonde minions of the devil quote.
You can find me at Misanthropic Pansexual on Tumblr. I also have a Ko Fi account if you would like to drop me a few dollars. I promise it’ll go to responsible boring stuff like bills.