Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.
Author's Notes: I wrote this during past November, therefore chapters of the Manga that came after weren't taken in consideration. I put this an AU label mostly for Alucard's real goal/view of vampires that differ from here in recent Manga chapters. This is for 30 kisses theme: "Look over here." Mostly PipxSeras but has some background AlucardxIntegral. Edited by Urwen.
Born in July
He hated travelling to London at the end of June. The British weather was hot and the wet atmosphere made his hair difficult to braid correctly. It was truly a hell to walk on the streets of Midian after the war hit the capital hard and never truly recovered. Ruined houses, lack of public transport, high crime rate and poor life expectancy. A No Man's Land where the law depended on personal morals, something lacking in that particular shithole that attracted the worst scum he had seen – and he had seen a lot.
Pip Bernadotte smoked disdainfully as he left London behind and entered the Epping Forest. The majority of humans did not try to mess with vampires unless they were vigilantes or wannabe Slayers. Most vampires did not fuck with him or any of Alucard's bloodline, so he was left alone to mind his business.
He liked it that way.
Exhaling smoke from his nostrils, Pip adjusted his hat to run faster towards the decaying Mansion. The woods around him became thicker, distracting, as if they tried to cast a spell on him. The owners of the grounds did not like unannounced visits. Alive or undead.
Pip stopped to study the forest that extended surrounding extended around the once glorious Hellsing Headquarters. There were no trees on those woods, it was formed of thousands of poles with people plunged onto them. Some of the fuckers were fortunate enough to have only their heads stuck through the lances, others had them through their stomachs, and others had the hosts' favourite (Pip resisted the urge to throw up), namely the lance shoved up through their assholmes and out of their mouths.
Alucard was one twisted psycho. But one he fortunately had good relationships with him.
Gathering courage, Pip ventured into the dead forest towards the heavy gates, half melted from the Zeppelin attack long ago. He felt reluctant to go on further, to walk on the paths that used to be filled with grass. The stench of the corpses was sickening him.
Unlike London, Pip did not loathe this place. It held memories of life, death, tears and laughs too precious to be lost. Meeting Seras, bickering with her, fighting with her, loving her, dying for her and then, when everything was black, awaking as a vampire before Dawn.
That was what Walpurgisnacht was about. Vampire rules went different and even a no-virgin could have returned from the confines of Seras' soul to his body.
Pip spat the cigarette down and crushed it with his feet. No, he did not hate the murky Mansion. He was afraid of it; he was frightened to meet Alucard again and remind him of what could wait for Seras and him if they continued their journeys in vampirism. He was terrified to cross the boss and saw her in the same state as her bloody Count. Pip disliked thinking of Integral like Alucard but, judging by their charming garden arrangements, that was probably a reality now.
"Are you going to wax inner philosophical about the degenerating lives of vampires or come in already, Bernadotte?"
Pip's eye narrowed and surveyed the perimeter. No trace of Alucard despite the fact his basso voice had been as tangible as the cigarette he was crushing with his feet. He must be in moods for one of his "try to see me, loser" type of games. Not that he cared. Shrugging, Pip renewed his quest and opened the door of the Mansion.
Inside, it looked remarkably well tended. There was a blend of old furniture and modern technology; the clash of metal and warm hues was not appealing but nonetheless practical. There were crosses and holy items in some spots. That was undoubtedly Integral's touch.
No time for this if you want to have the present in time, Pip reminded himself and focused on his task and only that. He went downstairs, heading in direction of the basement. It was bigger than he had recalled from his adventures during his mortal times. Perhaps they expanded it, he concluded, the idea made sense. As species, they preferred a subterranean existence.
Pip followed his nose, for the rooms' disposition changed but Seras' scent had barely resisted the test of time. He took out another cigarette, lighting it in pure frustration. He would have to search in all the quarters.
"Look over here," Alucard's mocking voice called him when he passed. "Look over here, mercenary. These are Seras' former chambers." Pip paused and returned his steps, opening the room at his left.
"Aren't you tired of playing mysterious, dark father figure, Alucard?" Pip asked with brutal honesty. "It confuses Seras." He waved his hand at the dust of the unused room.
"Integra told me it disconcerts Seras too," Alucard replied, without showing himself. Pip was relieved to hear Integral still managed to retain some common sense. "Perhaps I should stop doing the mysterious part in the anniversary."
Pip nodded, threading his fingers in his long hair. The anniversary was important, he had thought of a nice gift to give her. Something special. One did not turn a hundred years old every day, even for vampires that was rare nowadays. He had to find it.
"Look over here," Alucard indicated once more. This time beneath the splintered casket. "She tried to hide it here, embarrassed anyone would know she kept it."
"Thanks man," Pip grinned and lifted the coffin, removing the cobwebs that tangled his prize. He had it. Tattered as it was. That was half of the plan thus far. "See you in July, Alucard." A maniacal laugh was the only reply. Pip rolled his eyes, the old man never changed but his attempts no longer scared him. He knew Alucard would never harm him.
Days after his visit of to London, Pip had his present ready. It was wrapped in a yellow paper, bright and cheerful, as Seras liked it. No ribbons to keep it simple. She appreciated that too. He was dressed rather informally, an old T-Shirt, ragged jeans, semi-loose hair. Seras enjoyed combing it, untangling and making new styles. She was girlier than she had given herself credit for and he was like a real size Ken doll with equipment.
"Pip?" Seras asked, entering into the sitting room dressed in a manner similar to his: blue jeans and a long sweater. They lived in an apartment in Liverpool. The place was bigger than the two vampires needed, but considering they had both formerly resided in a Mansion, they favoured large spaces. "Sorry it took me so long. Master…" she stopped, correcting herself, "Alucard and I were having this long mental chat." She frowned, "I wish he'd use the telephone next time."
Pip smiled and took her hand, kissing the knuckles with a sly grin. She smelled fresh, just bathed. He wanted to cover her body with kisses but restrained himself. "I know exactly how difficult to ignore he is," he assured her, sharing her problem with Alucard's talkative habits. "But, enough of the old man. Fifth of July, your night," he teased, giving her the package. "Happy Birthday, Seras. A hundred years as a vampire," he whistled in appreciation.
Seras clasped her hands together and took the box. "Thank you!" she exclaimed excited, "What is it?"
"A cane," Pip lied and Seras rewarded him with a dirty look. "Just open it. It's nothing glamorous if you're looking forward that. Alucard is the one with those gifts."
Seras roughly tore the wrapping paper aside and removed the cover of the package. She gasped; eyes widened in shock and met his gaze. She was swelled with tears. "This is…" His girl turned overly emotional when she discovered her old police officer uniform that had worn the night she changed into a member of the undead.
Pip nodded and squeezed her forearm. "I thought you might want that back," he said, winking. "I sewed the ruined side. Vampire healing comes in handy? when the needle prickles you for so long. I don't know if it fits any longer, I was informed you… upgraded your attributes." Seras blushed and inwardly embraced her chest.
"You're terrible prick when you want to be," Seras sniffed, caressing the fabric of the part where he had sewed it with a wistful expression. "And you're the sweetest man when you put in the effort." She leaned on and kissed him briefly on the lips. "Thank you, Pip."
"You're welcome, Seras," Pip murmured, nuzzling her cheek and bringing her closer to him. "Tonight, you might want to wear that in bed," he suggested saucily. Seras giggled, shaking her head.
"Perhaps we should leave it for tomorrow."
"And why not now?" Pip asked, furrowing his brow in annoyance at the rejection. He had been a good mercenary, he deserved to play.
"Erm," Seras smiled and pointed behind him.
"Look over here, Bernadotte," Pip winced to recognise the voice and turned around. Integral and Alucard were standing on the threshold of the kitchen dressed in their matching black suits. "I decided to exchange my role from mysterious father to overprotective one."
"Shit," he said under his breath.
"Language, I don't want you to speak that way around Seras."
Pip flinched at the lecture. He liked Alucard better when he stayed in London and took care of his foetid garden. He was going to start wishing both had remained loons in their private Asylum.