Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.

Author's notes: Set in a possible future (when is left to the imagination) after the Manga. Dedicated to VampKitty and response for the # 8 theme of 30 kisses: "our own world." Edited by Lyanna Kane.

A Battle of Egos

They used to have their own world, a place apart from anyone else, so peaceful and blissful inside her mind – like a beach with yellow sand and blue waters. No one could interrupt their private conversations, no one could tear them apart. They were happy. They learnt to balance their strengths and flaws. They were complete.

But nothing was made to last and within time their world was shattered by discord.

Seras started to seek another type of intimacy with a choice of acquaintances after Pip lowered her mental inhibitions regarding physicality. Her timid explorations became more and more ravenous. She forgot that Pip used to be his own person, their memories were mixed and their spirits entwined; thus she felt that what sated her, he would like as well.

Pip, on the other hand, recalled how he tasted death so closely, how his soul had been ripped off from his body along with his blood. He would never forget. Pip was not enjoying what Seras was doing, and whenever he was given the chance, he interrupted her, forcing their body away from her new man.

"What are you doing?" Seras demanded one day. He had expected such outraged reaction, but Pip could not help himself.

"It's obvious, isn't it Mignonette?" he replied with his own inquiry "What are you doing?"

"I am trying to live for the both of us." Her tone was defensive. If souls were to have had eyes, he would have held her gaze to seek deceit; but he felt nothing of the such.

"No, you are trying to live for yourself," Pip snapped, miffed. He would have wanted to strangle that young soldier she had chosen as her new lover. "You haven't asked me."

"Why should I? You always support me in what I do," Seras pointed out, her tone firm, almost marking the end of their brief conversation. She shut down from him, leaving Pip muted and fuming; that was a technique she had learnt to employ to stop his taunts whenever she was busy.

She took him for granted. The soul that had comforted her, aiding her development and sharing their memories for so long. But Pip was optimist and thought this would pass, that it was no more than a stage.

It only got worse. Seras did not speak to him for three months after the incident. Even though, Pip Bernadette kept waiting and waiting, confident that their relationship would endure. Time was nothingness and the same when someone lacked a physical attachment and a link to the outside.

But things started to change, and not for the good. The water turned black, the bright day shifted to night and the sand became cold stone. Their own world was covered with darkness. Pip wandered through that blackness, confused and dazzled. He felt so lost and tossed away as if Seras had buried him away from her conscience, in a forgotten corner of herself.

"Seras!" Pip called out, his tone desperate as his own freedom was ripped away. "Seras!"

She took her sweet time to appear. Her spirit shone and chased away the cold obscurity and Pip was relieved, leeching that light. "Captain, what do you want?"

He disliked the disdain in her voice. What had happened to her? To his beloved Mignonette?

"Nothing has changed, except the circumstances, Pip," she cleared up in a softer tone. "Since my newfound physicality bothered you, I decided it would be better if you didn't feel it. Master Alucard taught me that technique."

Anger boiled in him. She had taken decisions without asking him first yet again. Even if that was her body, he had paid a rent with his life to remain with her. "I don't want to vanish inside you."

"Pip, this is for your own good."

"No! I am tired of this. I refuse to be locked in some lost space without your presence!"

"Do you think this is easy for me?" Seras sounded angry as well. "Never having a moment alone? You are always within me, in my thoughts. I wanted to taste freedom again."

"Then free me," Pip suggested, his soul going to encounter hers. "Release me from your body and let me pass to afterlife."

"No!" Seras exclaimed, "I don't want you to go forever. I-"

"Don't want to be alone? Isn't what you wanted?" Pip asked, trying to reason. Had the passing decades fragmented her thoughts? Diminished her sanity? How had he not noticed this? "Or do you want to lock me and only take me out to help you in battle? And then would I be tossed away once more?"

"This is my body, Captain Bernadette," Seras stated firmly, "I don't need to give you explanations. We will see each other again."

Pip felt the pull, casting him to darkness once more, away from her glowing self. His memories, however, fought hers inside her own mind as an act of self defense, blurring the certainly of just who was the true owner of her body. Her body collapsed in the ground, shaking and twisting its limbs.

"What are you doing!" Seras screamed, in turn starting to fall towards the darkness, towards him.

"Do you know how I felt?" Pip spat, bitterly, "You complained about your lack of privacy but what about mine? What about the fact that I am some floating ghost inside your psyche? I won't be tossed away. If you refuse to free me, I have no other choice but this."

Their struggle was long and the screams coming out of her mouth attracted her new boy's attention. When he rushed to her aid the battle was over and her body lay motionless on the ground. Picking her up, he tried to waken her. "Seras?" he asked, sounding concerned as the vampire opened her eyes.

"I am fine. Let go of me, Lieutenant."

He did so, standing and moving away from her. "What happened?"

"I had a fight," the vampire replied cryptically, searching something in her outfit. "Do you have a cigarette, mate?" The craving for a smoke was overwhelming.

"Er-no. I don't smoke, you know that."

"Then go and seek one me for me, soldier!"

"Very well, Captain!" He looked at her strangely and then departed to fulfill his task.

Sighing, the vampire shut the door and collapsed, wrapping her arms around her body - what a nice shape it had. The other one's soul was gone, locked in the reserved space in order to avoid pestering, leaving only remorse and a strange sense of freedom.

A long time ago, Pip had saved Seras from death, sacrificing his body for her sake. Now it had been her turn to return the selfless deed. The former mercenary regretted not having been able to kiss her good bye like he had happened last time. She, for his body was female now, stared at her own empty chambers miserably. Pip was alone in her own world from now on.

No one emerged truly victorious from the battle of egos.