“Love is a flame that burns everything other than itself. It is the destruction of all that is false and the fulfillment of all that is true.” ~Adyashanti.
Seras Victoria had seen fire. She had been to war, she had seen life at its fullest and death at its worst. But now, there was nothing left. Nothing but dust. Endless, endless dust. And the very heartbroken woman before her.
London was in ruins, bodies of ghoul and humans alike lined the streets, and ominous shadows danced over the smoldering ruins of the city. What little was left of Hellsing and the Queen’s military were helping to put out the fires and destroy the few ghouls left standing.
All except for her and Miss Mina.
The discovery of a much younger Walter had shocked them both. Mina had grit her fangs and stormed away with clenched fists. Not that Seras could blame her. The man had betrayed them and in doing so caused the demise of her mate.
But that Walter didn’t look like a terrified six year old nor did the once man flinch at every little sound. This boy was meek like a frightened little mouse.
Seras had followed Mina silently, knowing the she-wolf was in no mood for a chat. Luckily none of the military officers had approached the red furred werewolf as she stalked with purpose towards the now cleared area around Alucard’s symbol.
Mina’s pack of wolves were circled around the area allowing no one near their alpha’s doleful treasure. Mina started to shift as she entered the clearing, and was in human form by she time she reached the marked center.
Seras stood a few feet from the clearing, and watched sadly as the pack curled around Mina in an attempt to comfort her. Their sorrowful whimpers did little to hide Mina’s soft heartbroken sobs to her sensitive vampire ears.
As noon approached two faint howls sounded off in the distance. Seras glanced up a faint smile graced her face; it was Fenrir and the Captain. Seras should have felt elated to see the frenchman alive and whole, but what little happiness she did feel, felt hollow.
“Captain! Should you be up?” Seras questioned the man once he had run up to her.
“Qui, mon cher. I’ve never felt better. Me and Fenrir here heard our Alpha’s destress what happened?” Pip wondered aloud as he tugged the blonde she-vamp into his arms, and buried his nose in her blonde locks.
“My master...he’s gone.” Seras whispered, sorrow griped her tightly as she leaned into Pip’s embrace. She had missed Pips now slightly pointy ears give a twitch.
“Eh? What do you mean gone?” Pip quired, and pulled back enough to look down at her downtrodden face. He used his hand to lift her face up, only to see a trail of blood dripping down the corners of her eyes.
“I mean he’s gone.” Seras choked back a sob. A deep sense of empathy for Miss Mina striking her. The redheaded monster hunter had lost the man she loved.
“My master’s gone, all that’s left is a symbol etched into the pavement. He’s left Miss Mina and me.” Seras whimpered moving to press her face into Pip’s chest before bursting out into pained sobs.
“Shh, mon chere, shh. You know zat old vampire won’t leave you or Mina for long. He’ll be back you’ll see.” Pip crooned softly to the blonde vampire he held in his arms, even as his eyes took in the woman who turned him and saved his life.
The once fierce and tenacious redhead now looked like a woman with nothing else to live for. Not that he could blame her, the odd couple, as far as he knew only shared a few kisses. Now here she was her mate gone after having just gotten engaged, and her head was probably swarming with ‘what ifs.’
Mina sat in the middle of a pack of overly large wolves. His lone eye caught the small glimmer of something purple upon the ground in front of her. She was paler than usual, her face red and blotchy, eyes all red and puffy from endless crying.
With a twitch of his nose, his sharper senses picked up on the scent of her salty tears. His Alpha’s heart was broken, ‘If zat vampire does come back I’m punching him in ze face for hurting ze girls.’
Pip watched as Fenrir slowly made his way over to Mina. Fenrir’s white fur stark contrast to the browns, blacks and gray of the other wolves. Pip’s newly sensitive ears picked up the soft whimper his packmate made once next to her. Mina’s arm lifted sluggishly and wrapped around the white wolf’s neck.
The lovesick Alpha she-wolf clung to Fenrir’s neck, her face moving to press into the snow white fur, & her sobs returning full force once more.
It was a heartbreaking sight. Seras pulled away from the frenchman’s chest, the two turned towards the sound of someone approaching them. Their keen eyes landed on Sir Integra.
“Captain. Good of you to finally join us.” Integra greeted the frenchman shortly before her gaze turned to Mina with a sigh. “Still mourning I see.”
“I can’t really blame her Ma’am.” Seras spoke softly as she wiped away her red tears, and straighten her stance. Integra hummed in thought, but turned when Pip straighten and turned from them. Both English women turned to find Mina striding towards them with purpose the sixteen oversized wolves trailing after her.
“Vampy’s gone, but he’ll be back. Even if I have to bring him back myself.” She insisted, her eyes red rimmed, but glew like an emerald blaze set with determination.
“Good, but before you start on that I need you to do something.” Integra retorted and lit a cigar.
“Is it about the pipsqueak?” Mina inquired, her emerald eyes narrowed.
“Yes.” Integra gave a snort. “He claims not to know who he is, who either of you two are or even who I am. Frankly I don’t believe him. Think you’re up to the task of sniffing out the truth?”
“If that was an attempt at a dog joke it was pitiful and in poor taste.” Mina responded dourly. “I’ll do it. If for nothing else than to put the bastard out of his misery if he’s lying through his teeth.”
“Excellent.” the human hummed and turned to lead the group to one of the larger tents that was set up, but unlike the rest of the tents this one was heavily guarded. “Leave the mongrels outside, if he’s found to be a threat you can call them in.”
“Whatever.” Mina huffed and entered the tent alone. Her emerald gaze glanced about the interior, sweeping over the armed guards to get a head count before it landed on the boy.
Walter, or what use to be him was sat on a cot in the middle of the room, his small form curled up in a ball, knees hugged to his chest and head buried atop them. On silent, and still bare, feet Mina approached the cot.
Her sharp gaze took in that the boy was trembling in the borrowed overly large clean clothes. The scent of fear was radiating off him as he sat in the middle of the cot. One of the five soldiers shifted and the boy froze, as still as a statue.
With a heavy sigh Mina knelt down in front of him and watched as his head tilted up just enough so they could look each other in the eye. Gone were the red eyes she and Seras had seen when they had found him. Instead they were dark, and not the blue that they were when she had first met Walter.
If she didn’t know any better she would have said it was another boy. But her nose didn’t lie, it was him even if his scent had changed from the human she had first met. He had originally smelt of metal polish and leather, and it had changed when she had met him in battle to almost that of a ghoul.
However the scent that belonged to the boy now smelt close to what she had come to know was termed hollow blood. The hollow bloods were a type of defect vampire that was more human than vampire.
Mina had only met a few on her travels, the hollow bloods still drank blood, but less often and their strength was lesser than that of normal vampires. They were not affected by sunlight; except their eyes, but that was easily solved with use of strong sunglasses. And somehow Walter had become one.
“I have a few questions I need you to answer for me. Do not attempt to lie to me. I am in no mood for games. I want only the truth from you, and trust me I will know if you’re lying. Understood.” Mina dictated, her eyes narrowed and left no room for argument.
She waited for him to nod in acknowledgement before she asked, “What is your name?”
“I...I don’t know.” he winced and huddled a little further in on himself.
Mina’s eyes narrowed, a spike of fear was heavy in his scent. But he was speaking the truth. Mina relaxed a little and spoke a little softer. “How old are you?”
“I’m not sure…” his brow creased with concentration as he pondered the question, his form relaxing at the gentler tone. “...Eight?”
Mina hummed and leaned a tad closer, her nostrils flaring. “I’d have to say seven. You smell a bit younger than eight. Now one more question. Do you remember anything?”
The young boy blinked up at her before his brow once again creased. “No...Am I supposed too?”
“Don’t worry too much about it kid. Let me go see what we’re going to do with you.” Mina affirmed. Mina stood with a sad sigh. I would have been easier if he had been lying. Now what were they suppose to do?
She turned to leave, but froze when a hand shot out and gripped her wrist lightly. The guards tensed and soon weapons were pointed at the boy and the her.
“Stand down!” Mina snarled with a glare. She turned only when the intimidated soldiers relaxed their stanced. She gave an annoyed snort before turning back to the now trembling boy. “Yes?”
“...you’ll come back, right?” he plead softly. His childish face wide with childish hope and with what almost looked kin to child-like adoration, but she quickly shook that silly thought away.
“We’ll see, I’m a tad busy helping the soldiers with cleaning up the city.” she answered honestly, when he still didn't relent his gentle grip on her wrist she raised an eyebrow in silent question.
“Are you sad? You’ve been crying.” he inquired a look of pure child-like stubborn curiosity etched on his face.
Mina’s heart clenched, and her eyes welled up with a fresh wave of mournful longing. She gave a rough swallow to hold back the sob that threatened to escape before she croaked out, “Yes...I lost my fiance today…”
“Oh…sorry.” he mumbled and with reluctance, let go of her wrist, slowly curling back in on himself.
“Don’t worry yourself over it, kid.” Mina sighed out, giving his head a gentle pat she turned once again and this time was able to walk out of the tent.
Upon exiting she was met with a impatient Integra. “Well?” she demanded.
“He’s not lying. My guess is that when I sent him flying and the building came down on top of him some of the rubble hit him hard over the head. Then again I do faintly remember slamming him into a wall a few dozen times…” Mina thought aloud, as she tried to remember her full actions when she went in a feral rage.
“How do you ‘faintly’ remember something.” Integra glared.
“I was in a feral rage. Everything up until you ordering me to stand down is red and hazy.” Mina snorted with a mild glare.
Seras in an attempt to keep the two authoritarian women from arguing asked, “So what do we do with him?”
“Personally, I think he needs to be watched. His memories as Walter may come back and between Seras and myself we should be able to handle any backlash...also, he’s no longer human.”
“What?!” Integra, Seras and Pip all exclaimed.
“From his scent he’s what I’ve learned as a hollow-blood.” Mina explained.
“A what? Why have I never heard this term before?!” Integra demanded, nearly biting threw her cigar.
“Basically he’s a ‘defect’ vampire. It happens occasionally, when a vampire turns someone the virus mutates. You haven't’ heard about them because most are killed by their sires as they are viewed as a blight of the bloodlines.” Mina informed.
“So we have a mutant vampire now.” Sir hellsing gave an irate growl, “Just great.”
“What’s so different between a vampire and a...hollow-blood?” Seras questioned softly from where she was almost curled against the french werewolf.
“A hollow-blood is more human-like. Their eyes are dark and only flash red when angered or hungry. They feed on less blood, less often than normal vampires. If they are turned at a young age they actually age up until maturity, unlike normal vampire that never age. Their hearts actually beat, slowly but it still beats. Which means their body temp is slightly higher than a vampire’s. Sunlight will not burn them as only their eyes are sensitive. And touching silver will not burn them it only gives them a rash, similar to an allergic reaction.” Mina informed the group.
“Anything else?” Integra demanded, a slim eyebrow twitching in irritation. Mina shook her head.
“No. That’s all I know. I will try and contact the ones I know and see if they will provide any other information or advice.”
“Damn…” Integra cursed, “He will be housed at the manor, I’m leaving you three to watch him. If he makes any indication that his memories have returned or that he’s a danger. Kill. Him.”
“Yes sir!” Seras nodded, pip nodding in agreement beside her.
“What a pain in the ass this turned out to be. I’ll go get the kid.” Mina sighed and turned to head back to the tent, but Pip’s question caused her to pause.
“Do we call him Walter?”
“No. It may trigger his memories. We’ll call him Damian Walters for now.” Mina advised.
“That would work, be easy to cover up any slip-ups.” Integra agreed, she addressed Seras and Pip as she turned. “Well go on and get the brat. Pip, Seras I think it’s time we go back to the Manor. I want to assess the damage and get started on rebuilding.”
Alone, Mina gave a resigned sigh. All she wanted, craved to do was start her search for how to bring her vampire back. But now that would have to wait. She now shared babysitting duty with Seras. Until she could properly whip Pip into proper werewolf form.