Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: Written for Ciarda Rois' birthday, set after the war (probably will become AU), just warning before something in the Manga happens to contradict it. Edited by SabineLaGrande.
The Mansion was in better conditions that he had expected, aside of broken doors and shattered windows only a handful of walls were demolished. Walter surveyed the state of the headquarters, making mental notes to have the walls repainted and the marble of the floor replaced. The furniture was partly ruined as well; that would be more to add in the list of damages he would give to Sir Integral when she returned to her conference in Windsor.
Mere hours had passed since the war ended, since he had renewed his freedom, and everyone who was in condition to aid was needed for something. Walter supposed watching over the wounded men or tracing the victims in the city would be more urgent than inspecting the building, but honestly, he did not trust his own state and his newly awakened thirst for violence and blood around injured mortals. Inspecting the building kept his mind occupied and an asset for the organisation.
But he was bored, he had to admit. The vampirism awoken long forgotten needs, and Doc's brainwashing affected his inhibitions. Obviously he would not tell Sir Integral; better not trouble her good conscience further. He pondered if he could practice his abilities in the woods after this, maybe hunt down small animals, but he was in need of a conversation. The muteness of his controlled state lingered fresh still inside his memories.
Speaking with living men is out of consideration, Walter said, locating the soldiers with ease, listening their juicy hearts beating. And I am not in mood for Alucard's taunts. Pity Integral hasn't returned. He caught a familiar smell: blood, dried blood in great quantity; and rushed footsteps that lacked a heartbeat nearby. He smirked to himself and headed to the source of it.
"Miss Victoria," he addressed her, watching the vampire girl about to sneak in the library. Curious, he never thought her the intellectual kind.
Seras froze under the threshold and glanced at him, warily first as if she had seen an enemy. They still had not accustomed to his new appearance. Then she relaxed visibly. "Oh, Walter, you startled me," she smiled.
"Is there anything urgent to do in the library that isn't in the battlefield?" Walter asked, keeping his tone from mocking. He could not help himself; much of his politeness had faded with his lines of age.
If she took offence, Seras did not show it. "Captain thinks we can find a way to answer our problems here."
"Bernadette?" Walter asked, suddenly interested. He had forgotten what Integral told him: the Mercenary had saved Seras' life at the expense of his own, and now his soul lived inside her body. A true pity, a veteran wasted for a rookie.
"Yes, well, we didn't know," Seras stated, looking down, saddened. "We thought fighting together would be some figure of speech, not actually being together. We will want to be intimate with each of us in different bodies."
"Haven't you asked Alucard? He can separate himself from his servants."
"Master laughed at us and told me that he would explain the process if I treated the Captain as my minion, and stopped acting like his soldier," Seras said, bristling. "Pip asked him what he would do if Integral and him were in our position, what he would act as. I think he didn't like to be called whipped; he hasn't spoken with us since then."
Walter chuckled, biting down his own laugh. Bernadette had more guts than he had even given credit for. The good Captain acted too much like him in his own teenage years, unafraid to speak his mind to the master vampire. Perhaps speaking with Pip would ease his cravings. "There's a way to accomplish that, Miss Victoria."
Walter approached, circling Seras and considering if he should tell her. She was more useful with Pip inside than without him. Seras followed his movements, slightly confused. "Yes, to avoid the confusion of identity until is too late. To recover his body," he said. "I know- so does Sir Integral- but when she returns, it might be too late."
"Will you tell us, Walter? Please?"
Walter stopped in front of her. "Not freely," he pointed out. "This separation might create a disadvantage for Hellsing defences." He read her stunned expression; something she did not expect him to say, did she? "But…" he trailed off, shooting her a hungry look. He was starved for company, some suitable to forget the sour experiences in Doc's laboratory table. He shuddered at the memory.
"But?" Seras asked boldly.
"But I could speak on your behalf if I am offered something in exchange," Walter finished his phrase, mildly sly. "I am lonely and bored, and that could be dangerous in my state. I cannot be trusted among the living."
"I cannot believe you are blackmailing us!" Seras gasped, outraged, taking a few steps back.
"Miss Victoria, didn't you know? Fallen angels never concede free boons. There is always a price to pay, even if minimal," Walter calmly put the conditions, ignoring her intense glare. "How much is both your sanity worth? Well?"
He waited, watching the myriad of facial expressions she displayed; seemly Seras Victoria was arguing with herself or, rather, with Pip Bernadette. He was patient and recognized a resolution after a couple of minutes.
"Agreed," Seras murmured at last.
"Where's Pip Bernadette's body?" Walter asked, adjusting the monocle over his nose. "We will need it."
"It's in my room; I didn't want to have him piled down with the rest to wait for burial tomorrow," Seras said. "Come with me, Walter."
Walter followed Seras towards her quarters, making his best to ignore the sweaty humans when they were in the grounds. He recalled how much the smell of tea enticed him to drink as a mortal; now that happened with all the warm living fluids. The basement was thankfully free from the living and their tempting presences. Seras's room was located at the left extreme of the corridor, opposite from Alucard's quarters. She lowered the doorknob and gestured for Walter to pass.
The chambers were simplistic; the only furniture was the coffin, a desk, and two chairs. On the floor lying against a wall were several magazines and the first design of Harkonnen before he improved the model. He glanced at the bathroom's door: the very faint smell of decomposition, imperceptible by human senses.
"I kept his body in cold water, to keep it intact for the burial," Seras explained, going along with him to the bathroom. Pip Bernadette's clothes were piled on the side of the bath while his body lay nude inside the tub.
Walter raised a brow, tracing the scars and the wounds from the battle in his abdomen. "You have cleaned him," he stated. "Allow me to close his wounds, so you can proceed. Unless you want to do the honours?"
Seras blushed brightly and moved aside; Walter passed her and reached for Pip's still form. His digits massaged the hard flesh on his back. Pulling him out slightly, he bent down, lapping at the great hole on the base his spine first, carefully weaving the skin and textures. Then he went to the front side, extracting the glass shards from his abdomen before lapping the bloodless wounds, wondering what Bernadette was thinking, watching this through Seras' eyes. It was perverse.
"Captain thinks uh… perhaps he can lick himself down there," Seras cleared her throat.
That would be like masturbation, Walter thought and nodded to trade places with Seras, or rather Pip. He could tell because her tomboyish features turned dangerous and dark. "All yours, my good Captain," he grinned toothily.
"This better fucking work," Pip cursed and dipped Seras' head to the thighs. First the mercenary was occupied to try to get the bullets out of the wounds before gaining courage to lick them closed. Walter restrained himself from laughing aloud when Seras- or Pip, he could not tell them apart- went to wash their mouths in the sink.
"Very well, now he's all fixed, Miss Victoria. You should swallow the body," Walter pointed out flatly as she finished cleaning her mouth. The look on her face was priceless.
"I am not eating Pip!" Seras shouted, looking horrified with the idea.
"I am certain Captain Bernadette will be eager to be eaten by you, Miss Victoria."
"I am, but not that way!" Seras' tone changed to a deeper timbre.
"Hush, Captain, trust me in this. I listened to Arthur Hellsing's endless speeches about vampyric traits." Walter shook his head, secretly smirking at their scandalised tirade.
"Why would be? You are acting strange, Walter," Seras scoffed, eyeing him warily.
"Strange? I am the perfect combination of the eager to serve manservant and the darker side of the undead." Walter lifted his brow. "In all seriousness, what I mean by swallowing him is that you must cover his body with your shadows and bring it to yourself, like you did with his soul. Only then you'll be able to separate your body and souls."
"Oh," Seras murmured, "How do I do the shadow trick?"
"I think you have already started." Walter gestured to her arm, or the lack thereof.
"Right, let's hope this works." Seras inhaled sharply, gaining confidence and lowering her shadow tendril to Pip's body to gently wrap it. Walter watched how she concentrated, shutting her eyes tightly. Within twenty minutes, the absorption was complete.
"Now relax and release it, or let Bernadette free himself," Walter led her calmly, noticing she was agitated, breathing as if she really needed the air. "Let him go."
Seras cried out; and from her shadow arm, Pip Bernadette's body emerged, nude, without life and half consumed by darkness. "P-Pip," she stuttered, collapsing next to it, nudging the shadows away until the man stirred and opened his eye, probably thankful that his long hair covered all crucial spots of his form.
"Seras," he replied equally as tired as her. "We did it. Told you it was going to be fine."
"Well, congratulations!" Walter clapped, amused by the display. He took a step forward with the snuggled couple. "Now, as for my payment."
Pip stood with alacrity, too fast to balance himself correctly. His hair tactfully concealed his groin and gave him a more feral appearance. He was looking good for a zombie slave. "Not so fast, she's not going to be forced to something because of me. If any, I will pay the price."
"And who said I wanted Miss Victoria? None of that, I just want an intelligent partner to speak with for a while, to appease any negative feelings I abhor inside," Walter pointed out, slightly giddy to see Pip dropping his jaw. Priceless, absolutely priceless. "Dress yourself, Bernadette, and come with me. This is all for the safety of your men," he assured, then turned to the stunned Seras, who was kneeling on the bathroom floor. "I won't keep him long, Miss Victoria. I promise."
"You British are sick," Pip shook his head as Seras handed him his clothes.
"Eccentric," Walter corrected him. "We prefer to think ourselves as eccentric and sophisticated."
"Wait!" Seras stood up, looking enraged and undignified. "Can… Can I go with you two?" she asked timidly, exchanging a glance with Pip. "Please?"
Walter considered. Seras Victoria perhaps could bring a refreshing ignorance to their conversations or a new, more naïve and inexperienced point of view. Also, would put Bernadette is a less gloomy disposition. "With one condition."
"What?" Pip grumbled, zipping up his pants, still throwing daggers when he looked in Walter's direction.
"I will be the one who tells Alucard this after we finish our session," Walter stated. He could imagine Alucard's priceless facial expressions upon hearing what his baby daughter got herself into. Former old butlers needed to extract their amusement from somewhere, after all.