Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano.

Author's Notes: Set during/after volume 2. Edited by Lavinia Lavender, answers the theme Wada Calcium CD3 from 30 kisses in livejournal. Feedback is welcome.

Building Trust

Pip Bernadotte lit a cigarette after the routine target practice. He walked out, waving at his pals and loosed his long braid, unwrapping the hair from his neck, which was slick with sweat. It had been a long session and he was very tired after non-stop firing at long-range cardboard figures. It was even more difficult to recognise the bystanders from the real objects when their difference was merely bad teeth.

"It's imperative to train your eyes in distinguishing the Midians from the humans," his boss had preached to them at the beginning of the week, which was the second one since the Wild Geese arrival to the Organisation.

She was a busy woman, that Integral Hellsing. There was a certain flair of authority, real power and nobility every time she walked by. She visited occasionally but it was evident that, despite her efforts to hide it, the young woman was a tad uncomfortable with the replacements for her former troops.

Not that he cared. As long as she paid well, Pip was not interested if he violated the delicate standards of his employer.

The old Butler passed along her instructions usually, while the creepy vampire occasionally watched them. Pip did not know why but he bet the leech was testing them somehow. If they were "men enough." Just like the chief.

Finally, there was the little-miss-high-and-mightier-than-you. The "worst vampire in the world," according to Mr. Alucard. Pip snorted - hot body, big mouth, freaky strength and no brain, in his opinion. But she was fun to watch; Bernadotte missed her at the practice today. Yesterday, the vampire girl grew so frustrated that she started to flail her arms furiously and barked childish insults he had the courtesy to return.

Then she hit him. Using three fingers instead of one.

Pip's back still hurt after that incident.

The accommodations made up for the company, in Pip's view. The Mansion was classy and very well equipped, not the shitty sundry hideouts in which he was accustomed to working. Living in this luxury would spoil the Geese rotten for sure.

They better not make their feathers too comfy in this nest, Pip mused, reaching the top of the staircase. His quarters were located on the second floor. It was of a moderate size with a good bed, a small TV, a closet and a desk. Initially, Walter had offered him a better room, more spacious than his men's for his rank as Captain. But he had declined - Pip was a comrade, he was not above his mates.

Now, a shower, watch a little TV and sleep before it's my turn to guard the Mansion, listed Pip, rubbing his hands with anticipation. His bones ached and his eye half lowered. He took out his cigarette when he opened his mouth in a jaw-breaking yawn.

He was so worn down that Pip did not notice the door was open when he had locked it before going to the practice.

When he entered his room, Pip was not expecting to see his belongings sprawled on the floor, his bed unmade and his drawers opened. Nor was he braced to face a wide-eyed Seras Victoria holding a small bottle with his pills.

"Er - hi, Captain." She waved with one hand while she hid the bottle behind her back. "Bye, Captain!" She tried to move past him, as he stared dumbfounded at the state of his quarters, but Pip was a sly goose. He was not going to let her off the hook from this so easily.

Frowning, he shut the door and leaned his body against it to block her exit. If she wanted to leave, Seras would have to stomp on him. Pip flinched inwardly. She would probably do it if she were angry enough.

"Don't hi me like that. What the fuck are you doing here!" he demanded. His temper was short at this hour.

"I-I. Er - you s-see," Seras stuttered, stepping back at his glare. She paused and straightened her slouched shoulders; her hesitation faded, and she gave him a derisive response: "Are you completely blind? I was searching your room."

"Don't sass me," Pip warned, annoyed. "You're always brave around me but with the butler, the chief or Mr. Alucard, you always play helpless little girl." She threw daggers at him that he ignored. "I'm your superior, girl. Your Captain. Who gave you permission to register my room?"

Seras looked down but lifted her chin to face him, standing her ground. "I am part of Hellsing too! I-I needed to study the new recruits by myself. To see if…"

"If we are trustworthy?" Pip finished for her, stuffing the cigarette into his mouth. "Walter already researched us, he has our references. Good ones. He didn't need to trash my room either."

"Your room was already a mess to start with!"

Pip did not bother to argue that point. It was true. Instead, he laughed at her flushed face. Tilting his head to his right, he glanced at the closet, open wide. "So… did you find many bombs hidden with my underwear?"

Seras growled, blue eyes flickering to a demonic shade of red. That caught Pip off guard initially but she wasn't Alucard. She was just a puppy showing her teeth to give an impression of menace. As if dealing with a puppy, he brushed off the threat. "That's not funny, Captain. I did a routine procedure. Like I learnt in the Academy."

"Police Academy, yeah, yeah. Walter gave me your police background. No wonder you have that noisy attitude," said Bernadotte dismissively. "I bet you'd love to have a real rogue living in your house." He winked – blinked - at her. "Did you find anything or was it just a waste of time?"

"Why so interested?" Seras interrogated, looking serious all of a sudden. "Do you have something to hide, Captain?"

Pip exhaled smoke through his nostrils and mouth, stroking his chin smugly. "You ask me? When you are the one hiding something behind your back."

Seras remained silent as she brought her hand out, showing him the little bottle with the blue prescription written mostly in Japanese with notable "Ca" and "CD3" in bigger fonts. She shook the jar, eyes narrowing in doubt. "What are these? They don't look like sleeping pills. I hope they aren't illegal substances!"

Pip grinned at her. "I don't do drugs." Unless it's a special occasion.

"I can ask Walter…"

Pip's grin waned and he tried to snatch the bottle away. Seras quickly evaded his hand and shot him a defiant gaze. That damnable girl was going to ruin his reputation if she let it be found out.

"Read the prescription, you idiot," he muttered.

"The orphanage didn't teach me Chinese, prick."

"Japanese," Pip corrected her.


"Ca. Calcium, Sherlock," Pip explained, uncomfortable, wondering how she became a police officer in the first place. He averted her look. "It's for my bones."

"Calcium pills?" Seras inquired in disbelief. "How old are you that you need them?" She started to giggle at that. He grimaced at the age insult.

"Hey. I'm just twenty-five!"

"Sure, grandpa."

"Look, Seras," the Captain said, stressing his voice; there was a note of exasperation in it. Upon hearing her name, she stopped the mockery and paid attention. "My bones are weak," he elaborated, shifty to admit this to her of all people. He pointed to his patched nose as an example. "Since I was very young."

Her laughter died out.

"Oh… I'm sorry. I didn't know. Honestly, Captain." Her apology was genuine. She returned him the bottle and looked down. "I was going to tidy everything before you came, you know. Even better than it was!"

Pip moved off the door and placed the bottle on his desk, careful to not trip over the fallen books. "Hm." He turned to study her. She looked truly regretful; looking at him like a kicked puppy with those soulful blue eyes of hers. Shit, I'm going soft. "My men are clean, officer," he assured Seras. "Spare them this, okay?"

She nodded. "I-I just wanted to avoid more damage that might come to the Organisation." Pip cocked an eyebrow, not interrupting her excuse. "I couldn't do much during the attack, only… the ghouls…" She looked sallow when talking about the zombies Walter had explained to him were the servants of vampires. "So I wanted to check for myself that you were… on our side."

Even if she was a pain in his ass, the girl was honest and meant well. Maybe she did have something other than air between her eyes. Pip smiled, understanding her act. "The chief, the butler and your Master are all hounding me already. You're a rookie, aren't you? Give me a break and I will give you a break. Deal?" He offered his hand to shake.

Seras blinked a couple of times and grinned, grasping his hand tightly. Pip felt his bones cracking and his skin losing a few shades. "Deal. And…" She chewed her bottom lip, releasing his hand. "I'll try to watch my strength around you. So I won't break anything by accident."

"Jeez. Thanks," Pip answered breathlessly, supporting his weight on the desk.

"Good night, Captain!" Seras saluted, half formally, half teasingly. She turned the knob when Pip exclaimed,

"Seras! Wait! About the pills…"

"My lips are sealed," she promised. "Get some rest, Captain. You're looking like the Frankenstein Monster now."

"Roger. Good night, Seras," Pip bid farewell and blew her a kiss. The girl vanished from his room quickly. He was too tired to appreciate her tight, short skirt.

A bit dim, but a good girl when she wants to be.

Captain Pip Bernadotte found himself willing to build more trust in his relationship with the young vampire of Hellsing. He needed some crazy pills to cure that urge.