For His Own Purposes

Seras Victoria sighed. She eyed the bag of blood, so inoculously labeled and so...clinical. If only she could bring herself to see it that way! But it was still blood, and even if she told herself that the person who gave it up did not die, she could not forget what it meant to spill blood. She would never forget.

Why do you hesitate?

She heard her Master's voice in her mind, and shuddered. He, of all people, couldn't, wouldn't understand. "I just...can't. Not yet. It wouldn't be...right," she said outloud, not really willing to invite him into her mind. Not now.

He appeared in the room behind her, and she was not sure if that was his perverse way of respecting her privacy. Sharing the dungeons with him could be a bit nervewracking. "Right? How is it not right for a vampire to drink blood?" he asked her, almost amused.

She just shook her head. "It's not that. It''s just...well, people don't do that! Not good people anyway."

"'Good people.'" He rolled the words around on his tongue, tasting them, as if they were utterly foreign to him. "What do you -"

He was in front of her now, eyeing her critically. "You're a Christian, aren't you, Police Girl?" he finally said.

"Well, yes, I was. I mean, not like Sir Integra and the Knights," she explained quickly. "I only went to church sometimes. Police work on Saturday nights, you know."

"You did learn your verses in Sunday school, though, didn't you?"

"I only went when I was very young. Before -" she broke off.

He murmured something in a foreign language, and she just looked at him quizzically. "Eh?"

"That was Greek," he explained.

"It was Greek to me, too," she smiled, not quite brave enough to joke with him. "I...I didn't know you spoke Greek."

"I don't," he said, showing his teeth for some reason. "But that is how I learnt it, long ago."

"Learned what?" she asked him curiously.

"The Protestants would say, 'Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.'"

Seras drew in a quick breath. "What are you saying?"

Alucard picked up the spoon from her table, and began to weave it back and forth between his long fingers, toying with it. "God seemed to think it right, at least that once," was all he said. Daring her to think about it.

She just shook her head vehemently. "I...I just can't," she implored him.

"We'll give it time yet," he said, taking the packet of blood and leaving her. She'd been afraid he'd get fed up with her refusal, but instead he seemed strangely confident that she would see things his way, eventually. It made her feel like an errant toddler, throwing a tantrum. But that painted her Master as the indulgent parent, and she just couldn't wrap her mind around that image. He was much closer to the devil, quoting scripture for his own purposes.

She shuddered again. She didn't know why she didn't just tell him. Why she let him think it was some misplaced self-righteousness that made her hold out. Actually, she did know. She could not tell him what it meant to spill blood, because she could not bear to see the eagerness on his face as she described the scene.

Her father's body, and blood...everywhere. The blood from his killer spurting onto her as she ruptured his eye. And that man licking the blood from her mother's body as he...took her.

She banished the images once again, but knew she would never be free of them. When she saw the blood, she always remembered. She would follow her Master, but she could not become her parents' killers.

Author's Note: Alucard recites the verse in Greek, because he learned it from the Byzantines. When he quotes John 6:53 for Seras, he recites the King James version. Alucard says enough about his past when he confronts Father Anderson to suggest that as a human, he was a zealot himself. I thought the connection of blood and memory would be appropriate for Hellsing.