Timeline: Set shortly after "For Whom the Doves Cry", perhaps a month or two?

"Humans do the stupidest things for an organ that hardly makes an adequate meal and yet we vampires do too."

She found herself caught in her own web of jealous fury and pained longing. She tried to leave, or to at least look away, but her body stubbornly stood its ground.

A loud peal of thunder broke the silence around her and the hollow echo that followed was amplified by the length of the hallway. She was momentarily startled by the noise but said nothing and continued gazing upon Alucard's form in muted envy. She watched as Alucard pulled the bedsheets to cover a sleeping Integra. She felt a dull thump in her stomach as he then sat down slowly beside the bed. His expression, as he surveyed his moonlight-bathed lover, was one of utmost pride and possessiveness. She swallowed uneasily as he ran his fingers slowly through her long pale hair as if loathed to leave her. He surely must have known that Seras was there, observing him through the gap in the door. However, he made no attempts to acknowledge either her presence or the flood of emotions that he was stirring up within her.

She neither knew why she had not left earlier nor for how long she had stood there. She had chanced upon the whole affair by accident. Seras was on her way to Integra's room to return a book. She was about to knock when she noticed that the door was ajar. Peering cautiously through the crack, she was both angered and shocked by what she was to witness.

Alucard had appeared in the room behind an unsuspecting Integra, who was in the process of undressing for bed. A short tussle broke out as he reached to embrace her from behind. Integra was genuinely horrified at first and had tried to repel the invader. Violent thrashings soon gave way to mutterings that what they were doing was wrong now that he had chosen Seras as his companion. However, even this final wall of resistance was quickly broken down when Alucard's mouth bent down to meet hers.

Seras had watched in painful jealousy as she witnessed their frenzied kissing. Their wanting for the other had not paled in intensity to that which she shared with him. There was however, more to their interaction than just a mere lust for intercourse. This unidentified element was probably what had rooted her here to stare in morbid curiosity as her master had carried Integra to her bed gently. The young vampire had stood there the whole time Integra had fought to stifle her moans as Alucard made love to the mildly protesting lady – or as close as making love could get while maintaining Integra's status as a virgin.

Each moment of watching them made Seras sick. Each kiss, each touch, each hungry look, each cry was a knife plunged into her heart. Alucard was as close as to being kind with Integra as he could ever get. It drove Seras mad that this was a luxury reserved only for her opponent. The thoughts running though her master's mind throughout the whole event was chaotic and it was difficult to discern what he really felt but there was an unmistakable and genuine consideration as to the other woman's feelings and wants. In contrast, Alucard was not even remotely civil during his trysts with Seras. He was there to satisfy himself, and only himself, without a care as to her wellbeing. For the first few times, she returned the favor with ease. He was a cruel being and she had never expected him to be gentle with her or anyone else but the horrific truth that he could care, if he was so minded, hit her like a slap.

Gnashing her teeth in frustration, Seras placed the book on the carpet and closed the door to Integra's room quietly. She all but ran back to her chambers. A torrent of emotions flooded through her head. The most mystifying question was that of why she felt so betrayed – why she even cared. She did not love him. She was no doe eyed girl and she had never doubted that he would never love her. Why then was she now ready to have given anything for him to be as tender with her as with Integra?

Seras found herself wondering whether she would have hated the other woman if she did not respect Integra as much as she did. At this, the young vampire cursed her own immaturity. It was not as if Integra had taken Alucard from her. She had suspected and it was now clear where her master's heart (if he had one) had always laid. If so, how could Alucard have been taken if he had never been anyone's but Integra's. If anything, it was Seras who had betrayed her friend.

She felt the tears spill from her eyes as she reached for the lid of her coffin. The coppery liquid stung her vision as she threw herself into the comforting darkness. Her greatest mistake in her life was to have lost Pip. Her second greatest mistake was her attempt to quench her longing for him with her master.

She and Alucard had been strange bedfellows since the funeral but the relationship was not one built on affection or attraction. The most accurate description of their association was probably one of physical need. They were not lovers, just two lonely immortals seeking consolation from the maddening isolation they felt. For despite eternal youth and power, they could not be with whom they wanted to be with.

Eternity was a long time to be without a companion.

Not that she had believed Alucard was capable of loving. This knowledge had been a source of comfort and a beacon for sanity until recently. To be fair, she was the one who had initiated the relationship in a vain attempt to forget all that she had lost during the attack on the Hellsing mansion. The invasion led by the Major had failed and she had derived personal pleasure in meting out her vengeance on those responsible. Still, what did the extermination of a few insane men achieve? Their deaths, while necessary and justified, did nothing to ease the pain of the families and lovers they had so cruelly separated.

She had since cried every night for the mercenary but no amount of tears would bring him back. She should have fought harder. He would not have died if she had not been so weak but no amount of regretting would ever atone for her sin. It would be her private hell to live with for eternity. One that no one would ever know about - to be fair, she was not sure if her choice had been correct and her recent actions had shocked most of the Organisation. Some of the surviving Wild Geese who were particularly close to him often remarked angrily within hearing shot, of what callous a woman she was, to have hopped into the bed of another, just shortly after his body had been laid to rest. She however, did not care what anyone thought of her anymore. The stolen moments when she could pretend that it was Pip who was holding her, was all that kept her from losing her mind, from surrendering to the dark cries within her heart.

If she had not been keeping her eyes so shut, she would have realized that he never did once look at her during their time together.

She knew now that she was not the only one labouring under a pretense. He had made and was still making love to her while pretending she was someone else. They had intercourse but each was making love to another. In a way, this new revelation made her both pity him and despise him and herself more so. The fall of her lover only reinforced the urgency of his feelings towards his and yet he could not have Integra nor truly hold her until she agreed to spend the rest of eternity with him. His ever growing attachment to his master in light of the constant reminder of her human frailty gnawed at him – the prospect of forever without her was probably one of the rare things that brought terror to his wicked soul for the possibility of her agreeing to his embrace was as low as Pip rising from the grave.

She laughed bitterly at the thought and she despised him for using her to keep himself from taking Integra by force – even as she despised herself more for having been the author of her own misfortunes.

A chilling presence outside her coffin alerted her as to his presence in her room. She could feel the urgent and almost insane lust that had built up inside of him as he tore open her sanctuary. It once excited her when she foolishly fancied that perhaps he did care for her, albeit in a perverse way. However, the intensity of his wants only now served to irk her – a confirmation that she was only a vessel for his frustrations and of how madly he craved for the other. It now made sense why he hardly spoke to her anymore, only seeking her physical company dead in the middle of the night. The aroma of tobacco that seemed to linger around him each time he sought her now stunk as if brimstone. In her mind, she thought she saw them. The blue eyes that once comforted her slightly seemed to mock her.

She said nothing as he tore off her clothes hungrily. Even as he thrusted violently into her, she laid still, her soul devoid of emotion. Her make believe paradise laid shattered at her feet. Each act, each contact between their bodies only served to remind her that she would, forever, be alone.

Eternity was a long time to be alone. Forever was a long time to extract vengeance.

A/N: Does anyone find that Seras is perhaps not quite so sane anymore?