Exceptions to the rule.

Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs people who are not me. I am making £0.00 out of this fic, it is written purely because I have a burning need to create. Although I would like to own Alucard . . . then he'd be mine.

Rating: PG-13

Authoress note: Compromises are the key to surviving some relationships.

"I hate you," Alucard glared at his fledgling.

"Well, I hate you more," Seras hissed, standing so as to loom over the sitting master vampire. Although given her diminutive size she did not truly succeed in looming, but rather looked a little strained.

"You can't out hate me. I'm a great deal older than you. I have a lot more practice at hating people." The older vampire snarled leaning closer to his fledgling, so they were almost touching "I am simply better at it than you are."

"Will you two stop, please?" Walter pleaded with the two in front of him. Alucard and Seras had been having this 'sophisticated' argument for the last half an hour. "If you both despise the situation as you keep saying then why not take another course of action."

"There is no other course," Alucard answered turning his glare onto the mortal butler, "she has to eat, it's that simple."

"You can't make me!" Seras said before she could stop herself.

"You can't honestly believe that," Alucard gave a rather manic grin and stood up. He was much taller than she and did succeed well at looming over her. Seras swallowed hard and tried to hold her nerve, her master could be intimidating when he wanted to, and she had apparently irritated him making him all to happy to be intimidating to get his way.

"Master," Seras said quietly,

"I am your Master. I can make you do anything I want you to," He snarled "be grateful I am such a nice person that I do not have you dancing naked in the hallways."

"You wouldn't!" Seras blushed, knowing that it was fully within his power to do so if he so wished. She had felt the level of control only once before when she had been very young. He had barked an order at her and she had obeyed without thought, even although moments before she had been close to tears, terrified and begging not to do what he wished. Yet one solid order from him and she had obeyed without question, without fear and without hesitation. Maybe it was to his credit that he was not simply ordering her to eat the blood. Rather he was 'trying' to 'persuade' her. Even if his methods of persuasion were simple and rather crude, involving little more than shouting at her. At least he was trying, she thought. With a sigh she turned to him. "I'm sorry master." The words were hard to say, but she swallowed her pride a lot easier than she could swallow the blood. The master vampire snarled and opened his mouth to begin shouting again but stopped when his brain registered what she had said.

"Oh," he said after a moment, and then seeming to regain himself he looked smug again. "So you'll eat then," it was not a question.

"No," she said but tried to keep herself calm this time, trying to avoid another shouting match or another 'I hate you' argument. She knew deep down that it was for her own good, she knew she was acting like a spoiled child by refusing what she needed to live but she couldn't bring herself to accept it.

"I'm not asking you to accept it," Alucard said slowly through his teeth. Seras glared, she hated it when he poked into her thoughts. "I'm telling you to do it." He continued "deal with it, grow up and eat the goddamned blood." He stood up and stalked across the room, to grumble to himself and pointlessly pace the floor. Walter sighed.

The aging butler knew that the older vampire meant well, his child needed to eat and he was trying to feed it. But he could also understand Seras' reluctance; she was frightened of losing herself, of losing what made her human, of losing her compassion. The mortal frowned, trying to think of a way to show Seras that drinking the blood would not change her any more than Alucard's bite already had. She would not become a monster because of the blood; monsters became monsters in other … slightly more elaborate ways. He glanced at Alucard kicking the wall gentle in frustration. Even although the master vampire was being 'gentle' the wall was still becoming cracked. A thought suddenly struck him, Alucard was a monster. No one doubted that he was, no one ever questioned it, it was common knowledge that he was a true monster, a creature of horror and bloodlust. But still here he was, trying in his own rather stupid way to get his child to eat without robbing her of her will to do so. It was compassionate, if one thought about it a certain way. Alucard had the power to rob Seras of her free will, but he wasn't, instead he was browbeating her. Not the kindest form of compassion but still … it could be considered nice; if one was generous with there terminology. Walter looked again to Seras, the poor wretch was shaking, not from cold, it was mild down here, nor was she shaking from fear, she was slowly becoming accustomed to Alucard's temper. She was shaking because she was hungry. He watched her poke the scones on the table, a little something he had left out for himself. An idea suddenly struck Walter and the mortal smiled.

"Alucard," he called, wincing when he saw the state of the wall the vampire was still 'gently' kicking. The ancient creature looked up at him and nodded. "I have an idea," the butler smiled and Alucard sighed, stalking over he sat himself down opposite his fledgling and growled at her. Seras glared back and stuck out her tongue. Alucard snapped his jaws together at her, but before it could get out of hand Walter put his hand between them.

"Walter?" Seras looked to the butler, absently making a rude gesture in her master's direction. Fortunately Alucard was looking at the mortal. Walter smiled and went to the fridge feeling eyes on him. He removed a fresh blood pack, the two on the table having been burst when Alucard slammed his hand down on them. Emptying the packet into a bowl Walter walked back to the table and set the bowl down.

"Well done," Alucard rolled his eyes, "what's next?" Walter cuffed the vampire on the back of his head and Alucard snarled; obviously his temper was pulled tight if such a small touch would make him snarl like some kind of half wild animal.

"Calm yourself down Alucard; anyone would think something awful had happened," Walter teased, knowing full well he would get away with it, sometimes being a friend to the monsters granted liberties, not getting your throat torn out for having an opinion was one. "My idea is a middle ground."

"I already told you …" Alucard began but was interrupted when Walter lifted a scone and dropped it in the blood before fishing it out again and dropping it in front of Alucard. The immortal looked at Walter and blinked. "You have got to be joking me," He said after a moment before standing and storming off around the kitchen ranting in Romanian. Walter sighed.

"It will work," he answered "you want Seras to eat the blood; she wants to eat 'human' food. Why not a bit of both." Alucard turned and snarled something still not in English. Walter sighed again. "English if you don't mind," he said with suffering.

"Walter I am not eating blood soaked mush just to make you two happy," he growled coming back to the table "what's next blood soaked cauliflower?" Seras laughed at the comment and Alucard smirked at her. "Solid food makes us sick," he said sitting back down.

"I've seen you eat solid food before," Walter smiled, Alucard pulled a face

"If you're talking about when I stole your takeaway whatsit then you should also remember how drunk we were and how sick I was the next day," Alucard muttered not looking at Walter or his fledgling. Seras smiled, wondering when they had gotten drunk and if it was on the cards again any time soon, it felt like a lifetime since she had gone out.

"Actually I was talking about Germany, Poland and South Hampshire," Walter smiled "and countless others." Alucard made a face.

"Eating people is different," he muttered.

"Bones have to be harder to digest than scones Alucard," Walter pointed at the small pile of slush that was scone and blood sitting in front of the master vampire.

"But this is gross," Alucard pointed at it and made a face

"You sound like Miss Victoria," Walter grinned, his plan it seemed was working. Alucard had gone very still, a stillness that Walter only ever saw in vampires, the stillness of the dead.

"You are a sneaky creature Walter," Alucard muttered and sighed. Then looking to Seras he sighed again. "You will eat this?" He pointed at the slush. Seras made a face.

"I like scones," She said lifting one and nibbling it.

"Blood," Alucard snapped Seras sighed and dipped the scone in the blood before laughing.

"This is so weird," she giggled,

"It's ridiculous that we have to go to such lengths just to feed you," Alucard muttered, Walter cuffed him on the head again. Alucard snarled.

"You as well." Walter snapped, Alucard glared harder, it was truly terrifying, but Walter was used to it, when one sees a glaring, hissing and snarling master vampire on a daily basis one learns to adjust. "Lead by example," he pushed; Alucard looked at the soppy scone in front of him and glared at his fledgling.

"You better appreciate this," he muttered lifting the mush and swallowing it whole. "That. Was. Awful." He muttered. Walter burst out laughing unable to stop himself, Seras giggle as well; it was a strange sight to see. Alucard however did not see the amusing side to this at all.

"Walter I am going to kill you," he said conversationally "I am going to find some way to make it look accidental, and you will suffer badly, Integra will cry and we will have to get a new butler." Alucard was slowly getting to his feet, still making faces of disgust at the taste in his mouth. Absently the vampire lifted a spatula from the nearest worktop, turning he advanced on the butler. Walter laughed but backed up. Survival instincts were terribly useful sometimes. Alucard snarled loudly and moved faster than Walter had expected. The butler had to twist and nearly tripped but managed to stay upright, he fled to the other side of the kitchen with Alucard in pursuit.

"It was just a scone!" he cried when the spatula was thrown

"It was awful," Alucard glared and lifted a ladle, throwing that as well Walter span and again nearly fell.

"Utensils are not a cause of accidental death!" he snapped throwing the ladle back at the vampire, cursing when it was swallowed by the darkness growing in Alucard's chest.

"I'm very imaginative," Alucard smiled, "you can always fall and 'accidentally' land in the oven if you'd rather." The darkness came out and wrapped around the butler lifting him easily and moving him closer to the oven in question. The door fell open and Walter found himself wondering if the seal would really let Alucard hurt him. But he needn't have worried.

"Walter," Seras said calmly as if the mortal was not half way to a possible death, or held there by a rapidly mutating Alucard, who now had rather a lot of eyes and teeth. "Do we have any more scones? Or what about that fruit bread stuff? Maybe some cake?" Walter fell to the ground with a thump as Alucard forgot about him watching his fledgling pull another blood pack from the fridge and empty it into the now empty bowl. The vampire and prone mortal watched as she found a packet containing fruit loaf and went back to the table, devouring both the loaf and the blood the way a mortal man would soup.

"I hate you Walter," Alucard muttered, walking back to the table and sitting. Watching his fledgling eat.

End