A/N: Okay, so this chapter was slightly delayed thanks too. . .laziness! That's right kids, there is no plausible reason for your breathless anticipation other than my own lack of motivation. ^_^ At any rate, here's yet another chapter. As always, thank you everyone who reviewed and even those who didn't. I like you guys anyway.
Also, next to writing and drawing(I have some fanart for this fic I've been meaning to get up. . .) I love music. For a little extra something, the "fight scene" should be read while listening to "Heaven Can't Help the Teenage Witch" by The Eels. It makes it all that much better, assuming that it's good in the first place. ^_^;;
Warning to the Readers: Fight scenes aren't really my forte, so I hope this doesn't disappoint.
Disclaimer: If Hellsing was mine, then Seras wouldn't be forced to wear a skirt for combat. Honestly, how effective is a mini-skirt while fighting the undead?
Seras sat in the very first pew, as close to the alter as she dared to get for fear of holy retribution or some other punishment for daring to set foot in a church. She felt dirty, being the manner of creature that she was in the house of God, but she had run out of ideas and had no where else to turn now that she had lost it all. She thought that perhaps the angels might take pity on her for what she had become in her lust for life and the hunger that was growing because of it. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to find the right words for the miracle that she had no right to ask for.
"God, I haven't done this is forever," she murmured, "OH! I didn't mean to say that, what I meant was. . ." she took another deep breath and let it out, trying to clear her ming. "God, I don't know where else to go. I'm alone and afraid and. . .not human. I have nothing left and I thought, I though maybe I could. . ." she trailed off and gazed up through her messy bangs to the crucifix hanging precariously above the alter, shadows flickering across the sharp relief. The heavy smell of incense made her senses swim as she laced her fingers together in an attitude of prayer, her head bowed solemnly.
"Please help me. . ." she felt the first tears begin to fall, sliding across her pale skin and disappearing into the folds of her skirt where they created dark patterns and circles.
"I will help you to end your pain for all eternity," the deep rumble of a male's voice laced with a heavy Scottish accent stole into her sanctuary unannounced. Fear like she had never known washed through her entire being as her eyes shot open. Slowly, she turned her head to meet the same aqua eyes laced with madness that had haunted her unlife since the beginning. He towered over her, standing at his full height beside her frail seated form, still clutched in prayer, frozen by fear.
As her mind raced, she found her voice. "Regenerator," she breathed, the word sounding almost accusing as her mind screamed at her to move, to do something to get away from the vile creature before her. She regretted not having any weapons on her, a lesson that she should have learned from Hellsing, but she hadn't expected to run into any trouble during her solitude, let alone the abomination, Alexander Anderson.
"Here I am about to say my evening prayers before a glorious night of hunting you vile midians and I find one little lamb already brought to the alter." He grinned manically, light reflecting off his round lenses and making him look more menacing in the dim light that played about his towering form. "I knew that the superstition that your kind could enter a church were false assumptions, but I've never known a lamia bold enough to do so.
Seras found that her mouth often acted upon it's own will without first consulting her brain, though she had hoped this not to be one of those times. "What are you doing in a church if it's not Catholic?" she stammered, her eyes wide with fear. Her hand automatically flew to her throat, covering the scar that ran vertically down her neck, its partner along her spine, caused by the blessed blades of the monster before her. Every time she had met the priest, he had tried to kill her and, on more than one occasion, almost succeeded. However, this time there was no Alucard to save her from Iscariot's angel of destruction, she was completely alone.
He smiled, which only made him look even more gruesome a sight, "What are you doing in a church at all? Did you really hope for salvation, vile creature of hell?" He reached into his long grey trench, the faint rustle of fabric becoming a background disturbance when the familiar clink of metal met her sensitive ears. The whole world stopped its eternal rotation for a moment as his grin widened. His heartbeat seemed sluggish as the muscles in his arms tensed in slow motion, like a viper ready to strike. "Dust to dust," he growled, his whole form coiling for the attack, "Amen."
In a flurry of motion and instinct, Seras' body finally responded to her internal battle to send it into motion, to escape the man before her. Her legs pushed off the floor as she jumped backwards in a single fluid movement, the wood around her exploding with the force of the impact. Long bayonets stuck in the pew where she had been sitting only seconds before, their blades buried deep into the splintered wood. Seras found herself perched precariously on the back of the pew about fifteen feet from where she had started, her supernatural balance allowing her to sit crouched on the balls of her feet.
Part of her could still register the screams of the few parishioners who had been lost in prayer and the scared shouts of the priests trying to stop whatever fight was disrupting their holy grounds. As fear and instincts washed over her, though, she paid no heed to the bystanders and innocents around her; the only thing she could see was the grinning madman before her.
Anderson let out an angry growl as he pulled his huge knives from the broken church bench, his face contorted into an ugly sneer. "Quicker than I thought," he smiled and crossed his knives in front of his body, "No matter, however, I'll just have a wee bit of fun before sending you to perdition."
Seras' breath came in short pants as she fought the dark desires and wild emotions that threatened to overwhelm her. Though fear still flowed through her veins like fire, part of her laughed in wild ecstacy. She almost hear her vampiric instincts called for his blood to be spilled. Though she had seen the emotion she was experiencing on her master's face many times, she had never thought to experience it herself. It was barbaric and insane, an uncontrollable madness coursing through her; it was bloodlust.
She vaguely remembered Alucard once telling her that all creature's first instinct was that of survival, all else came second to that, and vampires were no different. The only diversity between a human's intrinsic need to live and reproduce and a vampire's was the severity of the instinct. Vampires by nature experienced everything so much more vividly and the sense of power that came with immortality was a curse and a blessing when one was cornered with no way out. "When you killed your comrades in the Hellsing house that time," his voice rang purely though her memories, "you were not Seras as you think of yourself. You were a berserker, fueled by fear and the need to survive."
Seras felt a slow grin spreading across her features before she registered that she was quickly losing control of her own mind. Her pupils became small slits lost in a sea of red in her maddening eyes. Her canines slipped over her bottom lip as she flicked her tongue over her mouth. Digging her claws into the brittle wood of the pew, she let the splinters dig into her skin, piercing the tender flesh of her fingertips. When she spoke, the voice she heard was unfamiliar to her own ears and the words were not her own. "Foolish priest, to try and kill a girl in order to find a monster," the creature in her used her voice to mock him, "So, I'll show you what a monster I can really be."
As she became all but an observer in her own mind, she let go of her inhibitions. There was nothing left to lose by dying on his blades, nothing left to gain by fighting her dark instincts. She had died once before and is she did so again, it would be no great loss as her life was barely worth dragging on anyway. With such morbid thoughts cluttering her mind, she tensed herself for the true first, and perhaps last, test of her claim to immortality.
Without warning, a blessed blade flow towards her, aimed for her heart. Acting out of instinct, she ducked as surged forward towards him at an inhuman speed. She was met with the full force of a very angry paladin trying with all his might to remove her head from her body with a brutal force. He brought two blades down fiercely, forcing her to halt her attack to keep from being beheaded. She was locked in a dangerous test of strength with the priest haven't the obvious advantage, his height giving him leverage. She fought to keep his blades from descending upon the tender flesh of her exposed neck, her arms shaking with effort.
"I'll send you to hell!" Anderson growled as Seras shoved the knives away from her with all of her might. Desperately, she struck out at his exposed side only to be rewarded with the sharp sting of blessed metal tearing through her flesh.
Seras screamed and flung herself away from him to escape his bloodied bayonets. He grinned as she scowled from several yards away, licking the blood from the wound on her arm where the weapon had pierced her. The blood was bitter against her tongue, reminding her of her lack of nourishment.
"Not as powerful as you though, eh Draculina?" Alexander mocked, positioning his brands in front of his body in case she charged again. "Even your master can't kill me, you insolent whelp. What makes you think you could ever win against the likes of me?"
Seras' anger and irritation towards the Iscariot dog's appearance begin to grow to an all-out rage. "I'm not Alucard," she growled, sliding her right foot behind her left into a better fighting stance, "I am Seras Victoria and, regenerator or not, I will send your bloodied corpse into the deepest pits of hell, Paladin!"
She lunged at him again, this time changing her velocity at the last second to strike at him from the side. She was surprised to feel the cool flow of blood on her fingers before he threw her back again with an inhuman strength. She grinned ferally as she brought her sticky, red stained fingers to her mouth and slowly licked the blood from them, never letting her eyes leave his. He was panting heavily, his face contorted in both pain and anger, glaring at her from across the aisle. She didn't even stop to think about her actions as she let the cool taste of blood quench her uncontrollable thirst. She was as a man dying in the desert might be, with the first touch of the liquid to her lips, she only hungered for more of the rare wine his body provided.
"Vile beast!" Anderson roared, throwing a blade with his might aimed straight for her undead heart. She stepped easily from the knives' path and caught it by the handle. She could feel the blessing etching onto her, causing her hand to feel as if she was holding it over a warm flame.
Tossing the blade easily into the air, she caught it again, smiling manically as she cast the weapon back at him with as much force as she could put behind it. She was surprised when it met its target, embedded in his shoulder as he clutched at the wound. "Stupid little Vatican toy," she mocked, smearing his left over blood across her face, the distinct iron-smell of blood wafting to her nose, "You neglected one important fact about me." With a burst of speed, she was at his side, her fangs inches from his neck, ready to sample more of the intoxicating liquid he provided. "I'm not my master."
She only grinned as he buried a baronet into her back. It passed through her left shoulder and come out near her neck, easily cutting though her collarbone and muscles in its way. "Alucard gave me life again. He gave me his blood, his powers, and the curse and blessing eternal life." Her blood welled up around the blade and dripped onto the cool marble floor, making faint dripping noises as it fell. "However, unlike him, all that I possess is not hampered by spells and human trickery. I am the vampire that he can't be."
Anderson twisted the blade fiercely. The sickening sound of muscles tearing and bone cracking seemed to echo in the deserted church. "Monster," he snarled, "you may not die by my hands this night or even in this century, but rest assured that hell is where your soul shall rest for eternity."
She grasped his head between her hands, digging her nails into the tender flesh about his battered neck. Blood welled up over her fingers as he hissed in pain, driving the bayonet deeper into her back, her own life-force pooling from the wound to create a macabre lake at her feet. Her fangs easily cut into the veins that ran down his broken throat as she sank them into her prey, bringing fresh blood rushing to meet her hungry mouth. He struggled in her grasp, trying to resist the haze feeding induced upon the human mind, twisting the blade effortlessly in his final attempts to fight back. She pulled away from her meal for a moment, her face covered in blood. "Harder," she commanding wickedly, her voice almost sultry, "the pain is the only reassurance that I'm really alive." She laughed harshly as he tried to push her away, but his attempts became even more useless with every drink she took.
Plunging her fangs deeper into her grotesque vineyard, she let go of her humanity, letting it flow from her like bad blood. As the Paladin's life force filled her and satiated her hunger, the girl Seras Victoria finally died and the vampire was born.
The pungent aroma of car fumes and human stink brought her out of her reverie of dark thoughts She knew that she should have guarded her memories from Alucard as she relived them, but in stead she had projected them into his mind, assaulting him with every sight, smell, sound, feeling, and the bitter taste of that night Part of her wished she hadn't shown him, but another yearned for his approval. She glanced at him out of the corners of her eyes, wondering what he thought of the brutal memories he bore witness to.
He was leaning forward resting his chin on the palm of his hand and his other are wrapped around his knees which were pulled tightly to his chest. A cool breeze mused his black hair and caused him to squint in slight irritation. He looked lost in thought, processing what he had seen and felt from her memories which were now part of his own. 'Even after he betrayed me and left me to die,' Seras mused, 'I can't help but feel something for him. He's a undescribable marvelous and he doesn't even know it.'
"Seen enough?" Seras asked, a bite of sarcasm under the words. It was hard to act civil towards him after reliving the most terrifying moment of her life.
"I would tell you that you did well," he glanced at her from under his long lashes, his crimson eyes softer in her presence, "but I know that's not what you want to hear."
"Damn straight that not what I want to hear!" she snapped, "That should have never happened! Not like that! I-"
"How then should it have happened Seras?" Alucard's voice had a bitter edge to it, frightening her, "How can you be so naive, even after so long? If I had stayed, the medical blood would have only run out twice as fast! You would have had to hunt sooner or later! Did you honestly believe that I could shield you from your nature forever?!"
Seras could feel the tears threatening to break her facade of strength biting at her eyes. She blinked them away rapidly, refusing to show weakness in front of her master. "You were supposed to teach me! You were supposed to make me a great vampire! Instead, you left me to die! And despite that," her voice grew softer as a single tear slid down her pale cheek, her carefully placed barriers beginning to crumble under the torrent of emotions, "despite that, you're still my master, still my sire, and I am still no more than a fledgling in your eyes. I have learned nothing." She buried her face into her hands, trying to hide her pain from his gaze. "Why did you leave me, Master?"
She sobbed silently into her hands, her shoulders heaving with her tears. There was no answer to her question as she sat crying into her arms, knowing that he hadn't changed in such a short time. As always he would leave her with no answer but his silence. She sniffed and looked up at him as he smiled ruefully down at her. "Why did you stay?"
She watched him, wide-eyed, wishing, not for the first time, that she could read his thoughts like he could hers. "I-I don't know," she stammered, as if really considering the question for the first time.
"Don't you?" he murmured, his head tilted and his slitted, as if searching for something in her wide-eyed gaze. "You really have no idea why you wasted all these years here?"
Seras knew in her heart why she had stayed, why she had waited so many years alone and lost. Furthermore, he knew why she had never left, living in an apartment not far from the abandoned Hellsing headquarters, and that was a very dangerous thing. She hid her fear and confusion beneath anger, trying to avoid his penetrating stare. "Don't patronize me, Alucard," she muttered, "I had no where else to go."
He sighed heavily and laid back onto the cool rooftop, his hands folded neatly behind his head and his eyes wandering upwards towards the expanse of starts that littered the dark England sky. "It's so rare to be able to see the stars this time of year," he mused. Alucard was silent for a moment, looking lost in thought. She could feel his gaze on her as he turned his head and grinned. "It's a nice night, right Seras?"
Seras smiled faintly, his words striking a chord in her memory. She sighed and tilted her head back to look at the moon floating lazily through the velvet darkness, the city lights bellow obscuring her view. "Yeah, it is," she replied quietly. For the first time in over fifty years, she didn't feel so alone.