Hellsing Fan Fiction ❯ See ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
It was difficult to describe exactly what happened to him. One minute he was talking, tilted back in his chair, hands behind his head; the next, his hands had suddenly dropped to his sides, the front legs of his chair had crashed abruptly to the stone floor. The expression in his eyes was distant, and she knew, somehow, that he was no longer with them, that he was seeing things she couldn’t understand, things that were very, very far away . . . . . .

Hellsing manor. It’s nothing more than a ruin, now. Walls destroyed, the remnants awash in blood, the atmosphere filled with chaos and decaying bodies of soldiers lying around as far as the eye could see . . .

‘How did this happen?’

‘Jonathan Hellsing! Jonathan Hellsing! Jonathan Hellsing!’ voices screeched with hate.

‘Show me.’

He was pulled backwards, he could feel time working in reverse, eager to show him its tangle of cause and effect and to help him understand . . .

A male and female vampire took Jonathan’s body from the place it had landed outside the window at Hellsing Manor. Their talent for stealth and secrecy was vital, because they knew they would have to sneak in right under His nose . . . When they took him away, he was barely alive, which was what they wanted. He had to be weakened by his injuries, filled with fresh hate and pain, for their plan to work. But they had to keep him alive until he regained consciousness, long enough for him to agree to help them. Their healing methods were crude. Vampire saliva would have solved the problem easily, but it was too effective, too lasting. He sensed their manipulation at work. When he finally did wake, they wasted no time. They told him he would die. The fear crept into his eyes amidst the pain. They offered him un-life, a chance for vengeance. Something he wouldn’t get if he died. All they wanted was Him and His mate . . . Jonathan, lacking Integral’s morals and fearlessness, took their offer without hesitation. For the first time he noticed a tiny little female, a slave by blood, sitting quietly in the shadows, waiting for her Mistress’ command even as the thirst consumed her mind and ravaged her body. She was commanded to turn the traitor, Jonathan. She rose gracefully to her feet and did just as she was commanded. He could practically feel her relief, the soul-deep agony disappearing as she fed on Jonathan’s blood. Her self-control astounded him, and he understood that she would happily have killed Jonathan except for the punishment that awaited her should she do so. He smiled at the knowledge that soon she would escape this abuse and torment and find her own way in the world. She backed away from him when she sensed that she had taken enough and retreated to the safety of the shadows. It was not long before Jonathan was seized by the first steps of transformation when his body would undergo the most crucial changes that would turn him from man into monster . . .

‘Enough now? You know. You know.’ The whispering voices seemed to tug at him, unseen hands tugged at his and pulled him forward, and he knew that there wasn’t anything else to see there that he hadn’t seen before.

‘Integral. What happens to her?’

Forward, just beyond the place he’d started from, and at first he didn’t know where he was . . . but soon he focused on the subject of his inquiry, lying motionless, bloody, at his feet. She was silent, beaten, broken, his dear, brave knight, Integra . . . he feared for a brief moment that she was dead, until she turned her body suddenly to look through him at something he couldn’t yet see. It was something familiar, something comforting, he knew, because her expression became calm as her gaze followed its movement. He couldn’t tear his gaze away from Integral to see what it was, but finally it moved into his line of sight. Alucard. He knelt beside his master. They spoke softly to each other, and he didn’t need to listen to understand what was going on.

‘Does she live?’

‘Can’t say. Can’t say. Not determined. Can’t say. Not allowed.’

One thing he had learned as he had grown with his gift was that some things he was not allowed to see, because it would alter a decision that needed to be made out of blind instinct. It was easy to accept.

Suddenly he felt a pull on his soul, on his whole being. There was something They wanted him to see. They were eager to show him, they pulled at him like a child, anxious to lead him. He let himself be guided, because times like this were rare but powerful and vital.

He stood in nothing. Literally, all around him there was emptiness, and he felt the sheer panic and pain of being held in a place like this. They sensed his discomfort and hurried along, until he was finally inside the ‘world’ again and surrounded by Life. He blinked against the sudden brightness and his whole body shuddered at the return of sensation. He was standing to the right of a paved road, with knee-high grass brushing his legs and the smell of rain filling his lungs as he inhaled deeply. On the other side of the road, facing him, was a female vampire. She was old, like him and Alucard, but she was not the same, and he knew she would be coming . . .

‘Who is she? Where is she from?’

‘From Nowhere. Nowhere. From Nowhere. From Everywhere. From Fate. She comes.’

Then his vision went black again, but not as before, because before there had been nothing to see, and this time the world was merely being hidden from his Sight. He would not be allowed to see more if he continued to inquire after her, the voices told him. It didn’t make sense for them to do that, to be so determined to bring him here then blind him this way.

‘Enough. No more.’

He would see no more. His mind resisted the return journey. For Malakai, it was easy to open his mind to see what not yet occurred, and the events of the past that lay beyond the confines of his own experiences (though they came easier when he slept or happened on their own). It was returning to the waking world that was difficult, so much so that is was agonizing, and his whole body shook with violent tremors and pain roared in his head. His mind always wanted to stay in that calm, peaceful state, and resisted him when he tried to force himself to recover.

Abigail sat, awestruck, watching and literally feeling the awesome effort he exerted in his mind even though his body didn’t move an inch. Finally, his eyes fluttered and he seemed to become aware of the world around him again. He stifled a moan of pain. A wave of disgust washed through him. When had he become so susceptible to pain? Since Alexander Anderson had stuck him with a syringe and injected an experimental substance into his body that made him temporarily human. It wasn’t all bad, he admitted. But the side-effects . . . the strong reawakening of emotions that he had managed to push aside for so long, fear and sorrow, the new sensitivity to pain . . .

His vision had gone on, in reality, for half an hour, and during that time he had been silent and immovable as stone. Victoria had watched him carefully, deeply concerned. Alucard, on the other hand, had showed no interest. The visions were nothing new to him. In fact, it seemed that he had barely acknowledged it, but for the brief glance in Malakai’s direction and the subtle change in his facial expression. No, he didn’t really care. But he did care about what the white-haired vampire saw.

Alucard. Malakai grimaced. Did Alucard suffer any of the strange side-effects that plagued Malakai so? It didn’t seem that way.

He sat at the old table with his feet propped arrogantly on the worn wooden surface, tilted back in his chair. His hair, the length of it normally hidden, tucked into his large red coat, spilled down in a black curtain over his shoulders, down his back. He was dressed only in a white button-up shirt and black pants, the bottom tucked into his boots. The shirt was unbuttoned at the top just enough to expose the smooth, white flesh of his throat to the dip of his collarbone. Victoria had convinced him that there was no need to walk around his own home dressed in what she called his “battle armor” some years ago. It wasn’t like he couldn’t dress himself up in a split second the instant he was called anyway. But the facial expression was the same. The intense stare of Alucard’s eyes was as aware and all-encompassing as ever. The slightly mocking curve of his mouth, and the glint of white fangs behind his lips reminded any and all who looked at him that he was dangerous, that he was anything but human. No. Alucard showed no signs that he suffered as Malakai did. Not one.

“What did you see?” Alucard asked softly.

‘Jonathan Hellsing! Jonathan Hellsing! Jonathan Hellsing!’

“Jonathan lives.”

Victoria’s eyes widened. How could that be? No human could have survived after that fall . . . still . . . his body had disappeared so soon afterwards, and they had not been able to locate it despite their best efforts . . .

“He will come here.”

“Of course,” Alucard said, mostly to himself.

“We will be attacked, but it will come when we do not expect it. Integral will be mortally wounded in the battle.”

Alucard slid his feet off the tabletop and leaned forward intently, and Victoria couldn’t tell if he was smiling or not.

“And?” Alucard urged, not sounding in the least bit eager or anxious.

“You will make it in time.”

Alucard already knew that Malakai could not see what her decision would be, but he seemed satisfied, and leaned back again, absorbed in his thoughts.

“Nothing else. Nothing is clear at this point. Everything depends on chance and choice,” Malakai shrugged.

As Abigail listened to this she felt fascinated, and at the same time, as though she had faded into the background. But she wasn’t terribly upset. Her interest in Malakai had, she admitted to herself, grown exponentially as of a few days ago, and every new thing she learned about him seemed to build on this interest. She felt a faint flush of embarrassment rise in her cheeks, courtesy of the blood she’d had a day before.

Malakai seemed to know the direction of her thoughts and their gazes locked. He gave her a small smile. It was a smile of amusement.

She dropped her gaze to the black-and-green snake tattoo winding ’round his wrist and curving across the skin of his hand. It was detailed and vivid. She stared at it, unable to tear her gaze away, and her eyes began to play tricks on her. She imagined that it moved, that it rounded out and became a flesh-and-blood serpent, that it slid and tightened around his forearm. And that it grew. It was slow at first, the growth. But within moments the snake she thought she was imagining measured six inches thick and more than three feet long, and Malakai was gripping it around the middle of its body, and she saw that the skin was smooth and pale and unmarked. No tattoo. Suddenly she understood what she was seeing. Malakai’s familiar. The snake didn’t get any larger but she felt somehow that, if he willed it, the snake would grow so much larger, would become larger than any real serpent in the world could, for him. The black and green scales were even more vivid than the tattoo had been, and they shone brilliantly. Abigail was seized with the desire to reach out and touch one, to see if it felt as smooth as it looked, but she knew she couldn’t. Touching another vampire’s familiar without permission seemed wrong to her, though there was no rule against it. It reminded her of reaching into someone’s chest and grabbing their heart.

Abigail didn’t even notice that Malakai was looking at her, measuring her reaction, taking in her expression. Nor did she notice that the serpent was, too. In fact, if she had noticed, she would have seen that the look in Malakai’s eyes was mirrored in the black eyes of his familiar, how out-of-place this almost human expression was on the face of a snake. But it wasn’t a human expression. It was far too intent, too aware.

Malakai was soon bored with studying her, however, and he became deep in thought. He hardly seemed to notice the weight of his familiar, far greater than any real, natural serpent, resting almost entirely on his hand.

Neither Victoria nor Alucard payed even the slightest attention to any of this. It wasn’t new. It wasn’t even interesting, except that Victoria had not realized that the tattoo on his forearm had had anything to do with his familiar. But it didn’t really surprise her, either. What did surprise her, though, was that Abigail did notice, and the fact that Abigail was so aware of Malakai. It raised questions in her head.

Just as suddenly as it had come, the familiar disappeared and Malakai’s skin was again colored by the strange tattoo.

“I’m tired. I’m going to sleep,” he said abruptly.

Before Victoria could even offer so much as a ‘goodnight, sweet dreams’, he was gone.

Malakai didn’t go straight to bed, however. He lingered on the roof, taking in the night in all it’s splendor, feeling the moonlight shining down on his body. It threw shadows across his face, made each individual spike of white hair shine and glow. He felt the tension seeping out of him and he sighed.

He stayed on the roof for a few hours, face upturned toward the moon. When he finally did go to bed, he dreamed of the face of a dark-haired vampiress who would turn his life upside-down . . .