He sensed the coming of dawn. Hated it, of course, but sensed it nonetheless. The old vampire loathed sunlight with a passion bordering on the semi-divine; strange, for a being totally immune to its effects. As he usually did at this time of day, Alucard let his mental touch project over the mansion, briefly brushing against every sentient mind under the roof. After all, it was his house, was it not? No matter the name on the deed and title, hn. And, as usual, he saved his master for last.
It wasn’t surprising to find her awake; Integra Hellsing slept little more than mayfly, but it was a bit amusing to find her en route to his abode. Wine-scarlet eyes narrowed in delight of the upcoming torrent. My Master… Preternatural ears that could hear a spider coughing from ten miles away easily heard the basement door open and the measured tread upon the slick dark stones. Perfect, he thought with a snerked grin. Come to me, Integra, my girl…
He didn’t move as she approached, the gleam of platinum hair catching the gleam from the single candle that flamed to light at a small exertion of power. The wavering light flickered briefly then grew stronger, as if the shadows fed its need for illumination. Alucard remained seated, elbow propped on the chair arm, temple resting atop gloved fingers. He allowed just a hint of snark to cross his sharply planed features as she greeted him with all the cordiality she might give a snake nestled in her underwear drawer.
But to reply. Only his lips moved as he answered, “Welcome back, my master. I trust you don’t really care and have just come to vent some form of anger. But,” he drawled nonchalantly, “little has happened to forgo my incipient boredom since the last little jaunt.”
Of course, Integra had expected such...pleasantries...when it came to Alucard. She hadn't known him for ten years and not learned a thing or two. Of course, it was far more frustrating when she found out that in the time she learned one of his weaknesses, he had poked around in her mind to find a dozen of hers.
She had told him countless times not to read her mind, of course, but it was a lost cause. Integra decided long ago that it was best to accept it as much as she could before she went fully insane.
Still, Integra stood her ground at the base of the stairs, not making any move to come closer to Alucard. It wouldn't matter anyway; he could see her as she was, so why waste the effort? She folded her arms over her chest, clenching her gloved fingers to stop their shivering. The basement was always the coldest part of the mansion, which was how Alucard liked it. Integra was careful to keep her voice from wavering or faltering as well; the slightest mistake would give him yet another loophole to twist her words to his own ends.
"If there is anger that I have to vent, it isn't without good reason," she said in a voice so cold that made the icyness of the room seem pleasant. "While you did what you were ordered to in South America, many of those deaths were unnecessary. Those police had done nothing but their jobs. With your power, you could have easily spared them."
“I believe,” the Midian replied calmly, “that your orders were to ‘search and destroy’, were they not?” He remained immobile in his chair, not the least bothered by her “unfriendliness”. He’d had a decade to become accustomed to it, after all. “Destroy any opposition that stood in our way. Did I misinterpret, Sir Hellsing? Pity that. My apologies. Which are groundless, because you know I’m not really one little whit sorry or wallowing in guilt for that lovely spectacle.”
Now he did bother to look directly at her, darkly burning irises gazing eerily from beneath the shock of thick black hair that fell over his forehead. “Just as your anger towards it is groundless for you enjoyed the slaughter nearly as much as I did, would you let yourself believe it.” A wicked smirk creased his wide mouth, canines bared in a sibilant grin. “Didn’t the violence make you shiver, little Hellsing? You merely seek justification for your ruthlessness, dear Master. Besides,” he snorted, “what are those paltry little human lives to me? I loathe them all, as well you know.”
Integra's hands balled into tight fists, the blind rage in her eyes just barely suppressed. It wouldn't do her any good to start screaming and fall right into that trap as she'd done so many times before.
"That's where you're wrong, Alucard," she said, keeping her voice low and level. "You're wrong about me. I don't share your perverse tastes in what you consider 'fun' or 'pleasant'. You don't deny that you massacred those men with no other reason than to slake your own bloodlust." She turned her piercing blue gaze away from the darkness to stare at the flickering candle mounted on the wall.
"It's true," she said, voice softening just a touch. "It's true that I gave the order, I won't lie about that. But it was never my intent for so many that were uninvolved in this situation to die." When she looked back through at Alucard, it was almost as if she could see him there through the shroud of false night. "You abused my orders, servant. You took them too damn far."
Alucard waved a hand dismissively at her denial. “Sophistry, dear Master, pure sophistry. Your intent was to effectively neutralize the situation. And quite honestly, had you really been worried over the outcome, you would not have sent me with those frogs. And had you not done so, our tender little mercenaries would have gotten pasted by Alhambra and the Judas Iscariot.”
Fine nostrils flared. “So I would really appreciate it if you stopped spouting righteous indignation. If such scenes bother you, next mission give me a detailed outline of what is allowed and not and rest assured, I shall follow it to the letter.” A broad shoulder shrugged idly. “I cannot guarantee success, but your tender little sensibilities will be appeased. After all, that’s what matters, isn’t it?”
"You know perfectly well what I meant," she said, bristling at his second comment. "It is not a matter of me being able to stomach such senseless violence, Alucard, and you know it." Her hand came up to pinch the slim bridge of her nose, adjusting her glasses as she did so.
"The matter also rests in you abusing my orders," she continued, hand falling back into place, folded over her chest. She definitely needed a cigar after this... "And perhaps I will outline what it is that you can and cannot do for our next mission. If that is the only way of ensuring that I have control over your actions, then I suppose that is what I must do."
He had a point, as much as Integra hated to admit it. If Alucard got into a bad situation, then he would use Integra's own orders against her, thus making her responsible for whatever mess resulted. She sighed heavily, turning her head away from him.
One of Alucard’s black brows lifted. “You gave me no restrictions, Master. I cannot define that as abuse.” His normally cynical gaze hardened. “And this inane prattle is becoming increasingly trying, Sir Hellsing. If my actions aren’t …satisfying enough for you, by all means, let your men do the dying for you. Again. While the missions are extremely amusing, this banal existence is sufficient at the least.”
He waited a moment, then asked cheekily, “Are you done with your prattle, Master, or shall I still give the pretense of listening?”
Integra lifted her chin slightly, regarding the darkness with prim superiority. She wouldn't allow that comment about her men get to her, oh no. "Well, I'm afraid you have no say in the matter of your missions, really," she said calmly, "I'll just have to be more careful about how I give my orders next time."
She brushed a long lock of hair out of her eyes, appearing uninterested, though she really would have liked to smack the midian for speaking to her in such a manner. "Yes, quite finished," she replied tensely. "Unless you have more witticisms to add."
"Indeed so," Alucard smirked. "And I've never had any say, now have I? I belong to you and you alone, dear master. My actions are dictated by your will alone." Scarlet eyes flashed in dark amusement. "Be they what they may." He placed a white gloved hand over his undead heart, bowing his head in mocking semblance of respect. "I bid you good day, Sir Hellsing."
She decided that it would be a better idea not to respond to his taunting, in case he pushed her too far. She turned around, flicking her hair over her shoulder as she began to walk away from him. "Oh, shut up, I know you don't mean it," she grumbled bitterly as she left.