Seras stared down at her soup miserably.
It was a small bowl; full of vegetables, spices and whatnot. It would have served as a quick healthy lunch, back when she was on the Police force and always busy. Nothing unusual. She would just drink it down and be on her way..
Yeah, right. If the food didn't choke her. If she could actually eat it, like a normal human.But I'm not human, not anymore.
That was the problem. The root of all her current melancholy revolved around it. She wasn't alive technically, she was dead. Or undead. And the dead don't eat, they suck the life from others.
She stirred the spoon in the bowl, mustering up courage to take a bite. Her mind and heart told her to; it would prove that she could beat the inhumanity, her restless vampiric nature. She hated it wholeheartedly. She wanted to be normal again, to eat like a living person--but her body lurched at the thought of it. She craved the metallic liquid that poured out of wounds; death. She could feel it in the pit of her stomach. She wanted it, so badly, the blood. She was so hungry she thought she'd be sick.
If only...she couldn't stop her shaking. If only she could take just one swallow. Maybe it would kill the anguishing need. Just this once.
Seras lifted the trembling silverware to her lips, shutting her eyes tightly. Repulse overwhelmed her senses, but she fought back her instincts. The ache got worse, like rats eating away at her insides.
It was just food, she used to eat every day of her life, like everyone else. It was nothing to be afraid of. Tears formed in the corner of her eyes. Dear God please don't let me puke. I can do this, I can do this..
Seras leaped up in her chair, completely startled, whirling around to face the interruption. All concentration was lost as she dropped the spoon with a loud clang. Her head pulsed painfully from the sudden movement, and she grumbled.
"What is it Captain?" She snapped impatiently, frustration in her voice. She had been so close!
Pip Bernadette was surprised at her outburst, one brow raised in question as he leaned against the door frame casually; short cigarette between his lips. His thick brown braid was ruffled and dirty, tossed around his neck like a chain. He looked beat, his usually clear blue-green eye clouded over and tired. Stubble lined his jawline and face.
"I thought you were a vampire, girlie." He said simply, rough voice slurred with that French accent.
Seras turned back around, annoyed. She didn't feel talking to him, or to anyone. She was currently angry at the world, everything was wrong. Completely wrong. Total darkness. She choked back a sob. She wanted him to go away, she didn't want to cry in front of him, and she feared she would. Tears swam in her blue eyes, threating to overflow.
"-I am." She said after a long pause, voice small and muffled. She hoped he'd take that and go.
Pip watched her back, thinking. There was something off about her. She'd been moping around all night, not saying a word, only to leave immediately after training was finished. He'd followed her partly out of curiosity, part boredom. She was an interesting girl. He guessed that came with her being a vampire. He'd met a lot of people, but never a member of the undead.
She'd scared the hell out of his men, though, in the beginning. They had steered clear of her any chance they got. But it was getting better. Now they were cracking jokes and hitting on her all the time at practice. He had to admit, she was fucking hot in an innocent kind of way.
But she acted so human, it was too easy to forget what she was.
He exhaled a puff of gray smoke, quietly moving to stand beside her. He was instantly alarmed at what he saw: she was slouched low in the chair, body trembling violently, staring down at the table absently, like she wasn't even there.
"Hey are you alright?" He nudged her shoulder lightly. "Seras?"
She slowly turned to look up at him, sitting back up carefully. She was disappointed that he hadn't left her alone. "Yes, I'm fine." Her eyes were watered over, fake smile across her lips. "I just don't feel very good today."
Obviously. She looked like a mess, no wonder she'd been acting so strange. Pip frowned. "Why don't you go lay down or something then?"
She was quiet for a moment. "I should, but.." She shifted nervously, trying to hide any signs of pain. Her stomach was still spasming with hunger.
"I.." She searched her mind for an explanation. "I was hungry." She blurted out, then mentally kicked herself. She didn't want to do a bunch of explaining! Maybe he won't notice..
He did though, unfortunately. Her Captain eyed the bowl sitting before her. The liquid wasn't red at all, to his surprise, it wasn't even blood. It was soup? But he thought vampires-
"You can eat regular food?"
Seras shrugged, looking shy and awkward. "Yeah.." She lied.
News to him. "Oh." He'd thought they could only drink blood, but what did he know? He didn't even know midians existed until very recently. It was all too mind-blowing and new to comprehend. This shit is crazy.
There was silence for a minute. Turmoil crawled back into Seras' head. Please go back Captain! I don't want to bother you with my problems. She didn't want him to see her in such a dark mood. She didn't want him to think her a bad soldier. Or as a weepy person. I'm not usually like this. But she didn't think he suspected anything. And even if he did, it wasn't like he'd run off and tell her Master.
She shivered at the thought of Alucard. She hated his lectures, and his heated red glares. "Lowest of the low, evening-walker" he'd tell her over and over. But it didn't matter, she didn't want to be a vicious monster like him. It was the sole reason she was putting herself through hell. I will not lose myself in all this.
Pip brought her from her thoughts again. "Mind if I sit down?"
She jumped. "Oh, um..sure. Go ahead."
He flopped down next to her, sighing in relief. He was happy to finally relax. "Mon dieu, it's been a rough night." He started babbling. "The men didn't work with me, out of it from partying last night an shit. Didn't give a damn. To top it off I think I popped my shoulder out of it's socket. And I've got a big gash in my arm thanks to klutzy Jim, that son of a bitch. I ought to return the favor."
Seras blinked at him. He was so hard to understand sometimes, with that accent of his. "Why don't you go get a bandage?" She could smell abit of blood, come to think of it.
"I will later probably. It stings, but it's not bothering me right now."
"I wouldn't wait to long, it might get infected."
"It's not that bad...you trying to get rid of me or something? That's a shame, I like your company girl." He teased.
"N-no, I hadn't meant it that way." She blushed. He was so..comfortable with her.
He grinned warmly. "Good."
Seras fidgeted, embarrassed. She really appreciated his kindness. Most of her conversations consisted of job duties, vampire issues, and so on. It was nice to seem normal, if only for a moment.
"...Does that taste bad or what?" He piqued.
He shrugged. "Just wondering. You 'avent touched it, it's going to get cold, you know."
"Oh." She did not want to try eating in front of him. She might choke or vomit, or who knows what. She sighed. "I guess I just lost my appetite.."
He nodded in sympathy. "That happens when you're sick sometimes."
Seras pushed the bowl away. She'd try it another day, another time, and hopefully alone.
"...How do you like Hellsing so far, Captain?" She asked him for the sake of conversation.
"I don't know what to think, to tell you the truth. Ms. Hellsing pays us Geese more than we need, the living arrangements are comfortable. We really just sit around on out asses all day, so it's better than what we're used to. But I don't know. I still have this feeling of danger, like something foreboding as a damn curse. Plus the vampires, and the zombies, ghouls, whatever. It's all right out of the pages of a horror comic, don't you think?"
She nodded. "Yeah..I'm still not used to everything either. And I'm not even human, but it all scares me."
"That reminds me.." He looked at her thoughtfully. "Why are you so different from that big bloodsucker?"
"You mean Master?"
"I guess it's because..I don't want to be." She said softly. "And I'm just a fledgling anyway. Master is really really old I think. Plus he enjoys being..scary."
Pip shivered, leaning forward on the table, as if to make sure Alucard wouldn't overhear. "Crazy son of a bitch. I don't even want to imagine what all he can do, what evil minions he has."
She could relate to that. A small smile spread on her lips. "Me neither."
"Do you eat blood at all?"
That caught her off guard. "Um.."
"You're a vampire aren't you? Not to be rude, or anything. I'm just curious."
What was she supposed to say? "I don't..drink it."
He looked at her in confusion. "But I thought you need blood."
She hesitated. "I do need it, but I don't want it."
That sounded bad to him. "You're starving yourself."
Seras flinched. He didn't have to put it that way. "I wouldn't call it that."
"What would you call it, then?"
"I.." she glared stubbornly. "I call it saving my sanity."
He considered her response. "It probably isn't possible to stay sane, when you're a soldier for this kind of shit."
"Maybe.." she whispered. "But I like to hope."
"Don't be naive, girlie." Pip told her, voice undermined with bitterness. "Drink the blood and be strong."
Now him too? Why was everyone so against her being human? "I don't want to be a monster! Doesn't anyone understand that?" She argued.
"I can imagine, but I don't want you dead. Don't try and kill yourself." He said, frowning.
That stopped her. Seras looked at him, surprise written on her face. Her emotions flared up again, pouring out like a floodgate. "Is that what you think I'm doing?! Its, it's not like I want to die!" She spat. "I'm not like that--I'm not suicidal! If I wanted to die, I would have when.." She paused, feeling the presence of tears in her eyes. She took in a shuddering breath, but to no avail. A tear had already slid down her pale cheek.
So much for pleasant conversation. Pip watched her without a word as she clenched her teeth and cried. He felt sympathetic for her situation. He knew what it meant to feel grief, total loss, or to even bear hatred at oneself. It was best for her to just let it out before she despaired completely. He didn't wish that for her, nobody did. She was a sweet girl.
Seras stood from her chair and turned away. "That night, when I was attacked, when everyone was killed, I didn't want to die. But I did, in the end. Not in the same sense, but I did. And now..I'm just..I'm not even living. Now I'm expected to feed from humans like a leech. And if I do, I'll go crazy. I'll lose myself in violence and death. I don't want that.." her voice turned to a whimper.
"No one else would want it either..." Pip said slowly.
She hugged her arms to her chest, shutting her eyes. The hunger pangs continued to come viciously on top of the rising sobs. She hated crying, and here she was, making a fool of herself in front of a Captain.
"I.." she sniffed, feeling sad and ashamed at her outburst. "I didn't mean to dump this on you, Mr. Bernadette. You just came at a bad time."
Pip got up and walked over to her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Eh..don't worry about it. The Geese 'ave had breakdowns plenty of times, I'm used to it. It's not a problem, really."
"I'm usually not like this." she looked down at her feet, wiping her eyes. "I'm not feeling well, is all.." That's an understatement.
He turned her around, smiling lightly. "Don't use excuses Mignonette, be honest. And you feel better now, don't you?"
"Kind of." She peered at him with large teary eyes. "...What does that mean?" she asked after a moment.
"What? Mignonette?" He hadn't noticed the slip of the tongue. That had been his mental nickname for her lately, only because it fit her so well. Much better than 'PoliceGirl.' So what, the girl was cute, it worked.
But he didn't feel like telling her. His grin got wider. "Oh it's nothing, but it's not an insult, so don't worry."
She gave him a curious look, then shrugged.
She watched as Pip lit up another cigarette, smoke hovering around his face like a cloud. He's pretty nice, and he's not afraid of me.
"I've got an idea."
He snapped her from her thoughts. "Which is..?"
"Why don't take from my wound?"
"Vampires do have that healing spit, I read it in a book the other day. It said something about disinfecting saliva. Like a dog's."
Seras stared at him, grimacing. "That's gross. And did you hear anything I just said? I don't want to drink at all."
"It's not the same thing," he shook his head. "You're not taking a lot, and you're not killing me. A taste wouldn't make you go berserko would it?"
"I don't know." She didn't like where this was going. I'm not drinking blood, didn't I make that clear enough? "I wouldn't take that chance, I mean--I lose complete control. You haven't seen it, it's horrible. Go ask Sir Integra, she knows. She had to stop me once. I don't want to hurt you Captain."
"You wouldn't kill me though, I'm sure." I hope. He needed to convince her to drink; he didn't like the thought of being fed on, but the girl needed something. She looked sick, paler than usual, like a wilted flower. If she wouldn't kill anyone for it, or drink enough from the bloodbags, maybe she would from a cut. "It hurts you doesn't it..?" he asked, seeing her clutch her stomach.
"Just a little." she answered, trying to appear stoic. She wasn't fooling him, he could see the pain in her eyes.
"Give in for once girlie." He sighed in exasperation. "You are a truly hard-headed women. I understand your point, I get it, but damn it, you have to take advantage of what makes you strong. If you don't then you'll get killed. That's what I've been trying to tell you. Just try an inch of blood. I bet you'd stop being sick."
She scowled up at him. "I can't, I told you."
Pip slid off his coat, swiftly tossing it onto a nearby chair. There was a clean cut across his upper arm, shallow but still bleeding; leaving red streaks across his tan skin. He winced as he gently dabbed his fingers in the wound. "Here."
His fingertips were bright red and shiny as he offered her his hand, as if to help her up. "It's you're choice, Mignonette, but I wish you would. It'd ease all the pointless suffering."
Seras stared at his arm hungerly. A pulse roared through her ears, an anguishing need churning in her stomach--making her hurt all over. The feeling was like a fire, burning away her insides. Please God help me. She moistened her lips.
Pip flinched as he watched her change. She went from normal, human-like, to animalistic in expression. All tears were gone from her face. He had never seen those kinds of emotions swim in another person's eyes. Not like that. The back of his mind, his instincts, were screaming at him to run. 'Don't tempt the starving tiger, don't touch the rabid wolf.' Her eyes were red, like flashing rubies. Shitfuck, what did I get myself into?
It was only Seras, a soldier, not a monster, he reminded himself. Not a threat. And this would make her better. Despite that, his heart was beating rapidly in his chest. He turned his head to the side, looking away.
Pounding agony ripped into her skin, the blood so close. Seras couldn't see, her vision went cloudy--her human vision--and the vampire took over. Her hand shot out and grabbed his wrist tightly; careful enough to not crush bone. Her pink lips parted, and she groaned. That scent.
She licked at his fingers slowly. At first her body went rigid, frozen, from the shock of it.. Then she melted, leaning into his body, his chest, listening to his frantic heartbeat. The taste of it all was exhilarating, better than even the juiciest of meats, or the sweetest of chocolates.
Pip swallowed, not expecting the sudden contact. He was at a loss; this wasn't really Seras, she wasn't thinking properly. Pushing her away would not be the smartest move.
He caught a flash of her long eye teeth, pointed and razor-like. She could easily slice this palm open--but was only dragging fangs around skin achingly slow.
Her mouth curved into a grin as she looked up at him, red eyes seeming to drill into his soul. "You are brave." she growled, voice thick, deep, and inhuman. "--For tempting me like this."
Chills shot down his spine, and he shivered from fear and other things. Fucking hell.
She grazed her eye teeth back over his rough hand, glancing only once to his bleeding arm. She bit her lip as she let go, backing away. It was over.
Pip remained still, watching her cautiously. His adrenaline dissipated as he eased down himself down. Her eyes turned sapphire blue again, like water washing away bloodstains.
He physically relaxed. It hadn't been as bad as he thought it would be. She hadn't attacked him and toar his throat out; that had been the worst possibility. She scared the shit out of him, sure, but he was unharmed.
"Are you alright?" she said, panting. "What did I..?" She looked flushed, worried.
She snaps out of it that fast? "You did what you needed to do. Do you feel better?"
Her stomach felt normal. It wasn't hurting anymore. Nothing ached. She felt whole again.
Seras nodded at him, scowling. "I do, but-."
He smiled. "Ha, see? I told you! And now you can stop moping like a lost puppy! Everyone's happy."
She huffed. "You're lucky you didn't get hurt."
He was glad for the lack of tension. She was back to Seras again. "You wouldn't have done anything."
"And you're full of yourself, Mr.Bernadette."
"Maybe, but you're stubborn."
"I don't care. I'm still not drinking blood, anyway."
"You just did."
"That didn't count!"
"I bet I taste better than nasty cold soup."
Seras frowned. "I'd rather have soup, actually."
He waved her away, sliding back into his coat. "I'm insulted."
"Um..." she wasn't hungry, she wasn't shaking. There was no more burning. No more fighting her instincts. She looked up at him with relief. I guess that horrible emptiness can be filled with lighter things than blood; I can feel human again. "Thank you."
I hope Seras didn't seem ooc, but when I read other vampire fiction, the vampire who starves himself is always in great pain, sick, or so on. In Hellsing that isn't expressed as dramaticly, and I wanted to try it. She's not a very dark character I know, but she does have depth. She can't always be cheerful when she's in a universe like Hellsing right? Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this one-shot