My Bloody Valentine

While not exactly an expert, Captain Pip Jean-Maris Bernadette, felt that he had developed a rather good grip on the subject of vampires. In the few years he had served in England under the illustrious Hellsing organization he had studied, read-up on, observed and killed his fair share of the un-dead. Also, he just happen to be courting one of them. While his relationship with the young fledgling had started out quite rocky, the years of comradeship, trust and long hours spent together had bonded them quite well-for the exception of a little, extremely frustrating snag in their affair.

According to folk lore and literature, vampires were sensual, hedonistic beings, brimming with unholy desires . Females were supposed to be particularly lusty, their existence solely devoted to their desire for blood and carnal pleasure- temptresses from the fiery pits of hell... Upon discovering this, the Captain beamed; his 'missus' was not only cute, loyal and affectionate, but he was going to be indulging in some of the most illicit actions this side of the graveyard-or so he thought.

Upon one of their more romantic meetings- a quiet supper in her quarters, some glasses of chilled white wine on the sofa, light jazz drifting from the radio, things had finally started to progress beyond their usual snuggling. She smelled delicious- a blend of jasmine and vanilla, and her skin was as smooth as the silk blouse he was desperately trying to unbutton. As kisses deepened and eager hands started to wander into the curvy terrain of her hips, her hands caught his and broke the kiss.

"Sweetie, can I talk to you for a bit?" The young man halted mid-pucker. Seras' soft, crimson eyes looked deep into his own.

"You know how much I care for you, right?"

"Of course. " he replied. Pip extended a finger and attempted to hook her chin and bring her lips back to his. The little vampire resisted his embrace to continue her train of conversation

"Honey, you know I was a virgin before I passed on, but I was also a, I know technically speaking, the 'un dead' are supposed to be these unholy creatures, but it seems pretty silly to become something that I'm not." Her captain began to nuzzle the side of her cheek, hands rubbing her shoulders lightly.

"I couldn't agree more, ma petite fleur ," he purred into her ear. The Frenchman's face was gently pulled back a bit to meet her serious gaze. His will was strong, but hers was of iron.

"When I was living , part of my beliefs were that I wanted to wait..."

"You mean, sex?" he asked. She nodded. "As in a not-until-you're married-kind of thing?"

"Well, perhaps a bit sooner, I guess it would be appropriate in an engagement... But either way, we're not there yet, so I think we should cool things down a bit. "

"But they just started to heat up!"he whined. A sharply cocked eyebrow bade him a mild warning- the little girl could have quite a nasty temper when she was riled.

"Merde.", he thought.

"Keep this up, and we'll be permanently in the deep freeze.." Seras hissed mentally.

Before he encored her wrath, or even worse drew attention of her over-protective master, he embraced her chastely, thanked her for the meal and excused himself to have a cigarette and vent his sexual frustrations. As Pip traveled his way up from the lower vaults, he pulled long and hard on the smoke and blew it out fiercely through his teeth. He made his way to the garden where the entire place was bathed in a peaceful, silver glow of a full spring moon. Pip walked over to a stone bench near the irises and sat down, his mind racing. Near the iron gate, a pair of red foxes played a mating game, barking and nipping at each other. The pair continued their dance before sensing his presence and dodging into a series of thick bushes.

"Great, everyone's out getting a bit of tail tonight-'cept me of course." he huffed.

Every time that they started to get close, it was as if something- fate, morals, the jealousy of her master, pulled them a bit further. Their relationship had been developing for almost two years on-and-off, and it was getting almost painful to have her just out of reach. He was a very physical creature; he had been to some of the best -and worst -brothels in the world with his extensive travel, had numerous lovers and affairs, and considered himself to have a healthy romantic appetite. Why starve himself for this girl- this one, single, girl.

"Because you love her..." a smooth voice countered in his head. A pool of shadows began to materialize on the bench next to him, taking the form of a rather smug-looking vampire.

"And a good evening to you, boss.", the man flatly replied, looking him up and down -the Cheshire King's regular Victorian attire was replaced with a sleek, black ensemble of high-collared shirt, vest and trousers."Shouldn't you be out killing something right now?" He grinned daggers at him. The captain could irritate Alucard quicker than anyone else in the household, so he figured that unless he wanted to become a quick snack, he best not provoke the creature too much .

"You're in a fine mood- did she slap you away this time, or throw you out?"

"Neither-she just wants to," he motioned with his hands," 'wait.'." The vampire chuckled and eyed his companion's cigarettes.

"I'm well aware of the concept- may I have one of those?" The captain looked confused.

"I didn't know that you smoked."

"When I'm frustrated, at my wit's end, I do." With slender fingers, he plucked one out and Pip lit it up . Alucard took a long drag and blew out a thin wisp of pale smoke. It was so strange to see such a human gesture from him, that the man could not help but smile.

"According to folklore and literature, human females are supposed to be quite physical creatures, their sole existence devoted entirely to romance and sensuality... apparently, they have not met my master."

"How long have you two now been..., " Pip was searching for the right term.

"I've been in her service since she was twelve, but if you mean our courtship, that was begun when we returned from the conference in Italy at Christmas."

"That long? You two do a good job of hiding it."

"She's a very private person, likes to keep her emotions well under wraps. When I got her to accept a ring, I figured that things might , progress a bit more, but here I am , sitting in a garden with you, instead of in the boudoir with my woman on my lap and a brandy in my hand." He crushed the dying cigarette out on his palm, twisting the end into unfeeling flesh. Pip winced . "I used to have some of the most lovely concubines, daughters of Turkish nobility, scores of virgins, young and willing, and beauties from the previous century, eager to cast away Victorian principles... it can be maddening at times..."

"When was the last time you, um.."

"Right after World War Two..." he groaned.

"Wow, that's a dry spell, boss." He offered him another coffin nail, and he accepted it gratefully. "So, why are you doing this? Why are you waiting for your woman to come around " He arched an eye brow impishly at him.

"Why are you?" They both smiled knowingly at each other

"L'amour. " the Frenchman stated.

"Amor. " his companion sighed. "Nothing excites like a challenge- it makes the outcomes so much sweeter. I will gladly accept the 'yes', when it is meant to happen. Women can come in and out of a lifetime, but a beloved one is priceless. Treat her well, captain...she's worth it.." The vampire began to melt away back into the shadows, the smoke leaving a trailing mist behind as evidence of their meeting.

"Perhaps he's getting to like me a bit more...Pip thought with a grin.

"Break her heart and I'll eat out yours." he warned. Alright, maybe not so much more, but it was a start. He composed himself and returned to the lower chambers. A sharp rap upon Seras' door, prompted the little vampire to crack it open .

"Yes, Captain, forget something?", she stated, not entirely unfriendly, but still a bit irked.

"The night's really lovely- we should be out, enjoying it." She didn't budge. "Please Vic, I really want to have your company."

"Are you going to try anything in the garden?" he shook his head. and smiled.

"Come on, let's go see the moon-there's foxes out there, too. " The thought of seeing something nocturnal that she didn't have to stake through the heart made her smile. The pair resurfaced to a glorious moon and a cool breeze. However, with her captain's hand pressed firmly in hers, the vampire thought it warmed up quite nicely.

Amor- Romanian for love.