Disclaimer: I don't own, so don't sue.

Set in the beginning of Order: 11 (Transcend Force) when Miss Victoria spies Alucard standing on the balcony beside Sir Integra, and her thoughts after she steps away.

The pain was nearing unbearable as she won the inner battle to step away from the door and continue down the hall. She quickened her pace, racing away from the light escaping through the cracks. She hadn't meant to spy; she had seen her Master from the corner of her eye and became excited, her desire to be in his presence for even the shortest of seconds strongly reluctant to be ignored. Now she regretted weakening to such an impulse.

He had saved her by turning her into one of those…creatures. A purer vampire than most by comparison to the freaks that she had encountered…and ultimately destroyed. It had taken her some time to adapt to this new lifestyle, still struggled with the adjustment at times, but she felt she had survived the transition partly because of his cold reasoning. The words whispered in her brain when she was reluctant to act, twisting phrases like the most intimate of caresses, spurred her on; comforted her on some level. In return she had done all she could to show her loyalty and unwavering faith in her Master, and continued to do so.

Yet, despite the fact that she was the walking undead, she was still feeling some human emotions. He had assured her that such lingering effects would fade with time and experience. Well, so far they hadn't. She adored him on a much higher level than any servant to her master. That was how she felt, at any rate. Her devotion, one-sided as it may be, was stronger than any bond she had ever known, living or otherwise. She suspected that she loved him as a woman does a man; not as a servant will love her master. Such a thing was dangerous though. It must be.

She collapsed in a chair when she reached her chamber and massaged her temples, thinking back to the scene in the hallway. Her Master had only been standing beside his master. That was all she had seen. Nothing more. But she understood how important one could feel in the presence of such a person. Theirs was a sacred relationship that she did not fully comprehend. His master was ultimately hers as well, but she was jealous of their connection nonetheless. Petty yes, but seemingly unavoidable, at least in her current state of mind.

"Pathetic," she muttered. "I'm probably such a disappointment. Why did I ever agree to such a thing?" That was a question that had plagued her since the beginning, and seemed likely of continuing to do so. Had she made a mistake in allowing herself to be turned? She had hoped not, but doubts were present. Once, when she had first joined the Hellsing Organization, Sir Integra had referred to her as her Master's "toy," and had told her that there was no place for a vampire half-starved and unable to protect her commander. Never before had she felt such humiliation. Since then she had strived to please them both. There was no indication as to whether or not her efforts were bearing fruit though.

Oh well. At least she knew Lt. Fargason was proud of her. Even Walter seemed to have developed a soft spot for her, and showed it in his own peculiar way. There was some comfort to be found there.

She shook her head and stretched. No use lingering on such thoughts. There were more pressing matters at hand. "I can't help but wonder though." And who was there to talk to about such a matter? Perhaps Helena, but she hadn't the strength to make a visit now. Besides, there was no guarantee that the elegant vampire would admit her. She once again attempted to clear her head. Maybe a quick game of solitaire would keep annoying thoughts at bay. She hummed a little song as she shuffled and dealt the cards, a hopeful catalyst to the process.

Halfway through the game three sharp raps sounded against the door. "Who is it?" she called out, but had her suspicions as to the visitor. She stood, crossed the room, and paused with her hand on the doorknob. There was only silence on the other side. She twisted the handle and heard the latch recede nearly imperceptibly. Her eyes widened in surprise. It was not whom she had originally guessed standing before her. It was her Master.

"Master! Wh – what are you doing here?" she asked. He held up two glasses and a bag of donated blood.

"May I come in?" he countered in his usual tone. She stepped aside almost immediately. This was odd behavior, even for her Master. No one ever came to visit her in her chambers unless something horrible had happened, or her presence was needed. Even then there was a telephone for such occasions. He took a seat at the table. She closed the door and stood several feet away uncertainly. There was only one chair, which he sat in, so her options were limited: sit on the bed, the table, or remain standing. She decided the third choice would be most appropriate.

"Has something happened? If it has, please discontinue any pretense of pleasantries and tell me what's going on!" she urged. "Is it Sir Integra, or are we…" His hand gestured for her to fall silent, which she did in confusion. He divided the blood into two glasses and slid one over to her.

"Nothing has occurred to warrant such alarm, police girl. Calm down." He glanced over at her and graced her with his insane grin. "Perhaps Fargason was correct when he said you're too high strung. Take a seat on the table, or the floor, if you wish. Just so long as you're comfortable in your own room," he bade her. She perched on the corner of the table, her legs pressed tightly together as she resisted the urge to kick them.

"Forgive my curiosity, but why are you here?" she inquired and raised the glass to her lips. He tilted his head slightly to look at her. If she had still been blessed with a pulse she was quite certain it would have been racing. The glare from the lamplight refracting off of his glasses obstructed her view of one eye, though the other seemed locked onto her in an almost amused manner.

"I wish to commend you. You are adapting beautifully to all new situations you have encountered. You attempt to, at least. You have come a long way, police girl." He took his own sip of rich blood. "Fargason has no complaints of you, and you even seem to have won over Walter and Sir Integra a bit."

She looked away from him and finished off her glass of blood quickly as she absorbed the information.

It was quiet for some before she had the courage to look at him once more. "Do I…do I make you proud, Master? Am I at least a semi-respectable vampire?" She couldn't help but ask the questions, which she did in a rush.

He raised an eyebrow as he gave her a once-over. "You have a listening problem and at times you are too stubborn for your own good." He paused as he watched her shoulders slump slightly. She chewed on her lip nervously. "However, you have a good head on your shoulders and you are passionate, caring, and conscientious. You are a more respectful vampire than most modern-day fools I have had the displeasure of meeting."

"But are you happy with me?" she suddenly questioned. She felt dizzy, but continued. "Should I free myself of you?" Her head had fallen forward at this last inquiry. Most of her face was hidden behind her long bangs. He rose and stood before her, tilting her head back forcibly.

"You make me proud every day you survive. I am happy with you," he confessed and held her as though she were a small child.

"I love you," she said in a nearly silent whisper. His keen vampiric senses heard her every word. "I know I shouldn't, that it isn't proper for a servant to feel such a thing for her Master, especially when undead,and especially now, but I do."

He smoothed her hair with one hand and lowered his lips to her forehead in a ghost of a kiss. "I am loyal to my master," he replied. She began to struggle in his embrace, but he placed a gloved finger to her lips. "Yet you have conquered me as surely as I have you, Seras Victoria." He stepped away from her to the wall, seeming to melt into the solid mass. "Don't ever forget," he murmured in her mind. She closed her eyes as the sound of his voice invaded her, filled her with an almost sensual peace.

No, apparently she had not made a mistake in her choice to remain after all.