Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.

Author's Notes: This is a ficlet written as a Christmas gift request for The Princess of Darkness. Set in manga, post vol. 7, probably AU. I thank Kit Durani for editing it!

Grooming Habits

Seras could not help but wonder what possessed Integral's blood that made her irresistible. Was it because it came from a noble vintage? Virgin and pure? Or because it was the first haemoglobin she had tasted?

What made it so special to arrive at her nostrils, tempting enough to take a little sip and risk Alucard's anger?

Blood was everywhere, after all.

Beneath her - splattered on the corpses of the slaughtered civilians.

Surrounding her - dripping from the remains of the Catholic knights and Millennium's troops her Master and Iscariot had recently destroyed.

On her – the remembrance of Pip's selfless request that she would never wash away.

But even the memory of her fading love was surpassed by the enthralling scent of her blood. Her life. The increasing fluttering of Integral's heartbeat as she escorted her back to the Mansion.

"Seras? Are you quite well?"

Seras snapped at her leader's question, almost bumping into her because she had not noticed Integral pause. Embarrassed, she stepped back and kept a prudent distance. She said nothing and realized that her mouth was slightly salivating; her teeth had shifted to fangs and her eyes were on the right side of Integral's face. She had been staring at the trail of blood dried there.

"Seras?" Integral's voice was insistant; Seras could detect a note of weariness, human tiredness. Unlike her, she could not regenerate her wounds.

"Sir?" Seras replied with a question on her own, playing innocent in her best attempt to imitate her Master. Sadly, she was a bad liar and her gaze soon fell on the ground.

"What were you looking at, Seras Victoria?"

Seras gulped and glanced at her eyes. The blue orbs held no accusation, only amusement. She was relieved by that. "Ah. Well… I… was…"

"Yes?" Integral chuckled at her loss of words. Seras blushed slightly, had not she acquired a backbone? She had talked to Anderson recently! Why was it now so difficult to speak with her boss?

"I was just wondering…if it's wise for you to walk around with blood on your face."

"I stopped bleeding a few hours ago, Seras," Integral replied with a shrug as she replaced the cigar between her lips. It was out of habit for she had no lighter or match to set it on fire. Seras wondered if that relaxed her.

"But even that, Sir," Seras elaborated, suddenly feeling hot inside her cold body. Akin to how she used to feel when Pip dedicated her the Eskimo Song. "The aroma may attract Midians and ghouls…" Can't you see how much it affects me? "It's very… penetrating."

Integral lifted a delicate brow and Seras almost lamented her poor choice of words. "Hmm. And what would you propose I do? Find a bathroom among the demolished buildings? Clean myself over the even more bloody waters of the Thames?"

"Well… maybe…" Seras trailed off, inwardly licking her lips.

"Maybe… you could aid me," Integral finally stated with a knowing smirk. "At last you purged yourself from your hemophobia, Seras. Congratulations."

"Really?" Seras' eyes grew wide, beaming in victory as Integral approached and bent down. "I mean, I'm allowed to, Sir?"

"Enough talking, Police Girl. Take it as a reward for your services," Integral answered, chewing her cigarillo. "And a measure to be less easy to be tracked down."

Seras said no more. Her hands removed Integral's glasses carefully, the last thing she wanted was to accidentally make them fall and shatter. However, that would mean she would have to carry Integral the rest of the path… Feel her blood pulsating close to her as well the delicious contrasts of body temperatures…

For God's sake, Seras! I swear all the Captain's bad habits rubbed off on you!

After properly scolding herself, Seras forced her sharp teeth to become blunt again, doubtful that she would be able to control herself in frenzy. Only then did her mouth open, tongue sliding out to lap at the caked blood gathered on Integral's face. She caught a purr from her chest as she engrossed herself in her Boss' taste. Even the sweat of her skin was pleasant to her.

Tobacco, tea, gunpowder and a very delicate sandalwood perfume beneath all.

And the blood… it was exquisite, better than Seras recalled. She lapped harder, greedily trying not to let any drop go to waste. It was like the perfect blend between the exotic Far East and the traditional Western world. Finishing Integral's cheek, Seras descended to her chin, nibbling and licking the last remains.

"That's enough, Police Girl," Integral murmured with a sigh, placing a hand on the top of Seras' head. Obediently, she withdrew and straightened her posture. Her eyelids felt heavy, like a beast sated after a feast.

"Thank you, Sir," Seras muttered her response. "I'm sorry if I was overenthusiastic." She sniffed the air; Integral now also carried her scent. A horrible possessive feeling overwhelmed her. No one would damage her boss. Captain Bernadette would be the last person she lost.

Integral made a dismissive gesture with her hand and spun again, ready to continue the path. "As long you don't bite me," she replied. "Oh and Seras…"

"Yes?" Seras quickly caught up with her boss' pace, guarding the perimeter.

"Don't mention this to Alucard. He might throw a tantrum."

Seras nodded and shuddered. What would Alucard do to her if he knew? Probably nothing but her Master was hard to figure out. "Okay, Sir. But he might… uh- smell me," she confessed. "What will you say?"

"Nothing. Alucard won't be allowed to question me about my grooming habits from now on."