D reflects on Doris Lang...
She was an incredibly strong woman. I had seen it when she stood defiantly at the bottom of the hill as I approached her town, when she attacked me, and when she dropped her cloak, trying to distract me with her nudity. Even in this violent day and age there were few women who would toss modesty to the wind to gain the upper hand in a conflict. Even with all this, I was not actually impressed by her. It wasn't until she revealed why she had attacked me that she was burned into my memory.
Doris Lang. I remember my surprise when she had revealed herself to be a vampire victim. In that instant she had become a permanent marker in my memory for having the sheer foce of will to maintain her mind and her body's physical control under Count Lee's influence. She was beautiful, and in that moment I remembered one of the lessons He had taught me.
Only those who refuse to die, who refuse to give in with all their heart earn the right to transcend their humanity.
When that thought came to the back of my mind my own bloodlust spiked, although she never knew it. It had been many years since I had felt my vampiric side pull so hard on its own. I had even attempted to sway her in her decision to hire me by bringing up my fee-and of all the things to offer me...
Before I could catch myself I had smiled, thoughts of what the darker part of me wanted to do rising in the back of my mind, instantly followed by guilt.
"The Kiss of the Nobility is probably preferable to being bedded by the likes of me,"* I had told her in all seriousness. She was hurt, or offended, or a little of both, and she argued the point before again aking me to accept her offer. I wanted to keep going, already not trusting my control after only being close to her for a few minutes. For the first time in a long time I cursed my human side, because I could not bring myself to abandon someone so desperate to fight for their life.
"Very well then. But in return, I want to be clear on one thing."* One last attempt to make her turn me away.
"What? Just name it."*
"I'm a dhampir."*
There it was, that masked look of horror, disgust and shock all rolled into one neat package. I told her that if she waited another hunter would be along.
But no. She swallowed her initial reaction and held her hand out to me, stiffly saying, "Glad to have you. I'm Doris Lang."*
Although her reaction to my heredity helped calm the desire that had rose in me, that underlying spark she had struck was still there, and it was only a short matter of time until something fired it up again.
Why did I have to inherit His taste for strong women?
As I went about my job, gathering information to exterminate Count Lee, the ineveitable happened-that is, the girl warmed to me and developed the usual obsession most of the women I come in contact with do. Of course, over the years I have come to the point where I can ignore such behavior, but with Doris Lang, it was a burden.
I can not recall when I wanted a woman as badly as I wanted her. Of course, coming from a person of vampiric descent, basic sexual desire goes much further than simple intercourse. If it were only that, I would have taken her easily when she threw herself at me on the fourth night of my stay, after I had rescued her from the mayor's foolish son and the Count's daughter. But it is never that simple. I didn't only want her body... It was just lucky for Doris that, as a dhampir, I could not actually change her--but I could have still hurt her if I lost my head.
I'm not sure if it was my desire for my client or my constant battle to keep it under control that caused the problem, but I very nearly died... /permanently/... on that job. It was one of the those rare times when I was truly greatful to have the parasite in my left hand.
Normally, at the end of a job I leave as soon as possible after I receive my payment--if I recieve my payment... I had basically saved Doris for free. I would not request the payment she had offered-for both my pride as a man, and for fear of my will breaking. But I couldn't leave like I wanted to. I was terribly weak from my fight with both Rei Ginsei and Count Lee-my heart had been pierced twice in the same night. I needed to recouperate before I left. I closed myself in the Lang's spare room and went into a coma-like sleep to allow my body to heal itself.
She came to me again that night. It was innocent enough-she wanted to give me her father's sword as my pament because mine had been lost in the final battle. She had come upon me in my dead, regenerating sleep, and foolishly touched me. I would have thought she knew to leave sleeping dogs lie...
My instincts took over and I attacked her. Lucklily, for both of us, I didn't hurt her, merely startled her.
Realizing what I had done, my guilt doused my bloodlust and I came back to my senses. I apologiezed first, and then scolded her for endangering herslef. She looked at me with her wide blue eyes, confused at my commentary and I was reminded of another strong woman from my past.
She gave me the sword. I protested, but she insisted, saying that if I didn't take it as payment, then I should consider it a gift-that it was the least she could do for saving her life. Again, she brought to mind that woman. I thanked her and turned as she left the room.
Except she didn't leave. She closed the door and came back, pressing her lucious curves into my bare back. Blood instantly pooled in my loins, my fangs extending against my will, and my slow heartbeat thundering in my ears.
"Doris-What are you doing?" I rasped, steeling myself to the spot, needing every thread of willpower to keep from dropping on her.
She had explained herself with soft, innocent words. That she knew I had no plans of sleeping with her but that she feared she would never marry because of the count's attack on her. She asked me to make love to her, so that if she never knew another man's touch, she would at least know mine that night. I tried to warn her away-that if she didn't leave then I wouldn't be able to entirely control my actions-that I would hurt her. She said that she didn't care, and my control finally snapped.
I scooped her up, whirling around and pinned her beneath me on the spare bed so quickly that my own head swam, and my face was burried into her neck before I could stop myself. I caressed the tender skin there with my lips and tongue. I was going to drink from her sometime that night-it was better to calm my bloodlust first before moving on or I probably would hurt her. My fangs actually throbbed, the tiny vampiric muscles that extended them tensed so tightly that I could actually feel them fluttering in my jaws.
I bit her, and drew sharply from her for several seconds-just enough to calm my thirst and then healed the wound with a few drops of my own blood.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've fed from a live human. Doris Lang was one of them.
I can also count on one hand the number of people that I can say I truly loved. Doris Lang was also one of them.
I made love to her that night-one of the few instances in my long life where I can honestly use that phrasing-took her virginity, and fed from her again. I was as gentle as a monster could be with her, and she mewled for me, calling my name-or what she thought was my name. Like so many other things that had happened on that job, I found myself longing to hear her moan my real name. I had not felt that content-that accepted-since I had still used it.
But that was foolishness. That boy had died thousands of years ago. There was no sense in resurecting him.
When it was done the first thing out of my mouth was an apollogy. She actually scolded me for my self-loathing. The absurdity of that memory still amuses me.
She asked me to lie with her afterwards, and I obliged. I lay on my back and she curled into me. The words came whispered from her lips before she lost consciousness.
It struck a chord in my heart. I had many women fall for me over the years-a side effect of being part vampire. I seem to actually emit pheromones that turn both women and men into docile fools in my presence-but this was different. She felt more than the slight hypnosis of the common human. And what's more, I felt an ever-growing fondness for her.
I wanted to stay with her. More than anything in the world, I wanted to stay with her. Both sides of my psyche screammed for it.
But I couldn't do it. I already hated myself for releasing the demon inside me, and if I stayed any longer it would happen again. But more than that, humans are so very frail, and they live for such a short time... I have seen time and time again what happens to immortals who fall in love with humans. Either they change their mate to keep them by their side, or the human's mortality catches them, and they die. At such a loss, most immortal minds break. We are ment to exist through the ages, barely noticing as the years go by, uneffected as society and cultures change around us. Immortals cannot deal with the loss of a mortal partner. I know this better than most. What the Nobility of today do not realise is that their beloved Sacred Ancestor, their Count Dracula, their No Life King, is currently "living" in that broken state.
I can feel the old man's maddness in the corners of my own mind even now. Gazing at her sleeping form that night, I knew that if I stayed, I would eventually share that same fate, when my beautiful Doris would whither and die.
I could not stay for that. I could not risk my sanity. Furthermore, I could not risk losing complete control and attempting to change her into... something/-some monster neither human nor vampire-so that she might live on with me. No. I could not risk that either, and so I left her, early that morning before she or her brother woke. I could not have /her/, but I could have the /memory of her.
That was over a century ago. I have avoided that sector of the frontier ever since. At first, it was to avoid the temptation of finding her again. Now, knowing that she must have died years ago, I don't want to be reminded of her mortality.
I am pathetic. Only a fool like me would choose to live with the memory of a woman rather than the woman herself. I left her to avoid my Father's fate, and yet I am living it in my own way anyway. Maybe one day I will return to Ransylva-seek out her grave and give my apologies again... But not yet.
For all my skill in battle, I am a novice for dealing with my emotions. Since I was a boy it was far easier to repress everything-but if something manages to break my icy exterior I become a wreak. Doris is still too fresh.I need at least another fifty years to truly deal with her motality without breaking down.
And so, until then, I will simply continue what I've always done, travel across the frontier, searching for hire, exterminating the filth when I come upon it, carrying out my old order: to search and destroy.
/Disclaimer/: Vampire Hunter D/, (c) Hideyuki Kikuchi, /Hellsing (c) Kouto Hirano. I own nothing and am making no money from this...
Author's Notes: * Quotes taken from Vampire Hunter D Vol. 1, Hideyuki Kikuchi, page 17. Also, my view of Doris Lang is a bit strange. I draw from both the books and the movies--the books make me think she is of Asian descent. Therefore, the toss in of Japanese... (Side note, the woman Doris reminds D of is Seras Victoria from Hellsing.)