A/N: Another chapter for the line up.
Seras felt less noticeable in her new attire as she seemed to flit between shadows. She would be very conspicuous should she need to venture into the light, but for now the darkness hid her movements as she made her way to the college campus.
The campus proved to be as difficult to locate a single person as her last attempt. A few minutes of aimless wandering left her frustrated and short of temper. Scouring the parking lots for any signs of an identifiable vehicle came to naught as she tramped her way through the residential parts of the university.
"Well, I can't find him anywhere" Seras muttered to herself as her eyes broached the area. "But he's gotta be around somewhere in these dorms." She looked up at the young night sky, then down at the package in her hand. "And I do have all night" she mused as she stopped to look where she had wandered.
Seras found herself drawn to the older portion of the campus' dormitories, with their wizened buildings made of gothic arches and Greek columns. Her gaze was attracted to one of the older dorms close at hand. Cautiously she crept up one of the first floor window and peered into the brightly lit building.
Seras' eyes complained of the harsh light but she could make out several students crowded around a pool table. Their laughter echoed in the small room as they played a round of billiards, ignorant of the pale face at the window.
Unfortunately Seras couldn't see Integra among the crowd, and she doubted she would find the solitary young woman among such boisterous, and perfect, examples of college students. She shifted windows a few yards down and found herself at the side of the building away from the entrance.
Seras scowled as she looked in and glimpsed a well-furnished kitchen with the amenities of a full fridge, freezer, and oven. Her poor lodgings had certainly not been as well furnished, as she could recall several times when the microwave had been full of forgotten food and the oven had been broken many a night.
The sound of a car coming up the small roundabout drive caught her attention and pulled her from her inward complaints. Swiftly she sidled up to the corner and cautiously peered around the building.
Seras could have clapped for joy as she watched Integra emerge from a long black vehicle. An older gentleman, his clothes impeccable and a monocle over one eye, held the door open for her.
"Can I be of any further assistance tonight, Miss Integra?" she heard the man ask as he shut the door behind the young woman.
"Not for now, Walter" Integra replied as she held a few loose books in her hand. "But tomorrow we have work to do" she added as she gave him an informed look.
"Of course" he vaguely returned as he gave a low bow and watched his charge walk up the steps to the old building.
Seras waited for the right moment to sneak a chance at the car as her hand tightly clenched the envelope in her hand. If she managed to deliver the goods, Alucard had sworn to reveal to her the information she so desired. Now was her chance.
Or so she thought.
As Integra entered the building Seras' window of opportunity turned to a small mouse hole as Walter swiftly stepped into the vehicle and moved down the short drive. She didn't even have enough time to step from the shadows as he turned onto the busy road with a neat but reckless maneuver and sped down the thoroughfare, no doubt to park the car in it's designated private garage down in the inner city.
Seras stood amidst the shadow of the dormitory in evident disbelief as her face turned down in a scowl. She turned her eyes toward the light building to her right and her attention was caught as the light in a second story room suddenly turned on. The young woman backed up closer to the drive as she kept her sight on the window.
Fortunately her luck had evidently taken a turn as Seras noticed the outline of Integra's figure behind the thin curtains.
She couldn't follow Alucard's instructions exactly, but she could get the envelope delivered to the final receiver.
Seras stepped back into the darkness of the side exterior of the building as she waited for a resident to enter the dorm. She would catch the door before it closed and let herself in with an excuse if she needed, without one if she wasn't noticed.
The wait period turned out to be longer than she hoped as the minutes turned to almost two hours. She was about to give up hope of finding a late-night caller to use for her purpose when she heard the front window to the billiard room suddenly swing open.
The silence of the night was rudely broken by sounds of laughter as someone breathed deeply across the sill.
"That'll teach Jeff not too drink so much!" she heard a fellow laugh.
"Gah, but what a smell!" another complained as the whole party erupted in glee. Seras wrinkled her nose as their intoxicated breath wafted out into the clean air. "Should we clean it up?" the person suggested.
"Nah, the janitors will get it later" a new companion explained with a flippant attitude. "That's what they're here to do, after all" he philosophically uttered as the party against cackled with drunk enthusiasm.
"I guess we'll be nice and leave the window open then, just to freshen it up a bit" the kind soul at the window commented.
Seras held her breath for the longest time as their party recommenced, but with less enthusiasm. The ill companion had evidently lost their lunch on some vital point of the billiard table, thus all chance of game was lost unless someone were willing to clean up the mess.
Obviously no one was willing to play maid and soon the group dispersed to have their own private fun or slink off to bed to await the coming hangover. The intruder outside listened for the last footsteps to leave and the final clack of the latch to shut on the door before she ventured around the corner and toward the window.
Cautiously Seras slid beneath the sill and peeked her head up over the frame. The area appeared deserted save for a putrid substance left on the table. She wrinkled her nose but bore the smell as she slowly climbed into the room, careful not to catch the attention of anyone inside or outside the building.
Seras tiptoed past the table toward the door which led out into the hall. She grasped the knob and slowly opened the portal to peek into the corridor. All appeared quiet and calm as she heard the faint clacks of midnight typing and the occasional noise of a tv broadcasting it's entertainment.
Thankfully, like all the doors, the access to the stairs was well marked for emergencies. She considered herself an apt candidate as she took a right and made her way to the steps which lay in its own separate area.
The stairwell proved to be less empty than she had hoped as a figure lay prostrate on the steps leading to the second floor. Fortunately the male college student, evidently a member of the party which had just frequented the pool room, was too inebriated to notice her. Or much of anything.
Cautiously, however, Seras tiptoed past his semi-conscious form and made her way to the upper habitations. She reached the second floor door and made sure no alarm would trip if she were to open the portal. Again she was lucky and secreting the stairwell proved to be only another option of escaping any emergency, not starting one.
And for passing out after a hard day of binge drinking.
Seras hunkered down along the opening of the door and slowly opened the metal portal. She peered down the hall, well lit but deathly silent. Doors lay on both sides of the linoleum corridor and not a soul appeared to be awake. Or sober.
Then the young woman was hit by a terrible revelation.
Seras had no idea which one of the rooms belonged to Integra.
Cursing under her breath she slid out from the stairwell and softly closed the door behind herself. The latch made barely a noise, but she still flinched as the soft click seemed to echo through the abandoned hall.
"You have to be joking."
Seras stiffened as the voice, definitely female, broke the still silence. The sound came from the main stairs a few yards down the hall and the young woman tried to flatten herself against the door as much as she could to avoid attention.
"She never wants to do anything, even on Saturday" the same voice commented as two females emerged from the first floor. One of them was rolling her brown eyes and she shook her head. "She had got to be the biggest stuck up snob I've ever met" she added with a frown on her face.
Seras' ears perked up at the conversation. Surely there couldn't be two occupants of the building which would cause such a strong reaction.
"We can try asking her one more time" her companion meekly argued.
"With finals coming?" the first countered. "I'm surprised she even leaves her room to eat, much less have fun."
"Um" Seras coughed, catching the attention of the two. "You wouldn't happen to know where Integra's room is, would you?" she shyly asked.
"Who are you?" the dominant companion demanded as she folded her arms across her chest.
"I, um, I'm here to study with Integra" the intruder lied as she held up the folder. "I brought my work, but I forgot which room she was in."
"Miss Princess got the room at the end of the hall" she replied as she tilted her head down the hall. "The one facing the front of the building. She probably didn't want another neighbor" she surmised.
"Thanks" Seras replied as she awkwardly waited for the two to forge ahead.
She didn't want them to be behind her in case something were to go wrong with her hastily established fib.
"Yeah, sure" her informer shrugged as she walked off down the hall.
Her companion nervously smiled at Seras and followed her friend. The young woman slowly began moving down the hall as they entered their own room mid-way down the corridor. She inwardly breathed a sigh of relief as their door closed as she was again alone.
Seras no longer wasted a moment as she hurriedly treaded the corridor toward her goal at the end. She stepped up to the plain-looking door and raised her hand to knock, but her hand paused over the wood.
Integra would certainly remember her from their previous meeting, and who knows what rucous would be made should noise be made. If anyone from the campus student body were to find her, a missing person, suddenly alive and well, and trespassing in a dorm, she would have questions lobbed at her without end.
And she knew she couldn't have, or didn't want, to answer any of them.
Instead Seras opted for the sneakier route. She flattened the contents of the folder, already mashed from her tight grip the entire adventure, and kneeled down to the bottom of the frame. Fortunately there was a small bit of light which escaped the occupied room.
With a long, shaky breath Seras placed the folder on the floor and pushed the container beneath the door. With as burst of speed she stood and raced down the hall, but her time was still too slow.
She heard the door to the room open even as she was only halfway across the hall. The young woman nearly crashed into the alternate stairwell door and couldn't help but turn to see if she was being pursued.
Her eyes met the ice-blue orbs of her intended target, and for a moment both stood with the length of the passage between them. The distance, however, did nothing to soften the mixture of disgust and pity in Integra's eyes.
"What is he trying to accomplish with these notes?" Integra demanded across the empty hall as she tightly gripped the folder in her hand.
Seras could not think of a reply to the other's inquiries, as the answer to that question would be her reward for delivering the package. She could only stand as though rooted to the spot as the penetrating gaze of her adversary stared at her from down the hall.
"You know what he is" Integra stated rather than asked as she slowly took a step out into the hall. "You've seen what he can do" she alluded.
Her listener cringed as she recalled the boy from her dorm, the one who had unwittingly helped her inside and been horribly rewarded for his assistance. The sheer terror in his eyes as Alucard had attacked him, drained him of his blood and left him there to a fate she did not know. Her thoughts weren't too engrossing, however, to notice as Integra moved closer.
"He will corrupt you until you will become as he is" Integra quietly informed as she tried to move down the hall. "You cannot wish to become such a monster."
Seras could feel her heart beating rapidly against her chest as the young woman inched her way toward her. She felt trapped between two choices, both leading down dark paths without a light at the end. She could travel with the monster she knew, or take the choice offered by this stranger woman.
Her body trembled as her hand tightly gripped the door knob to the stairs. She needed answers, answers which were promised to her by only one person.
Seras turned and swept down the staircase, her feet barely making a noise along the metal steps. She raced down the single flight and slammed into the fire exit door, but hardly felt the bang as the portal opened and as she was out into the freedom of the night air.
Seras risked a glance over her shoulder as she shot across the lawn, and she was not disappointed as a lithe figure filled the lit window. She slowed her pace for a moment as their conversation swept through her mind, but the sound of a car moving past startled her and she flew into the shadows to her answers.
To her fate.
Integra watched the figure flee with apprehension and an urge to follow, but she knew the chase would be fruitless as she watched the figure escape into the night. The minute the intruder had disappeared, she pulled a cellphone out of her pocket and pressed send.
"Sir Integra?" Walter greeted with curiosity.
"She was here again, Walter" Integra informed as she looked down at the folder. "And she brought more gifts."
"Would you like me to meet you at the entrance?" he inquired.
"As soon as possible" she urged as she sighed.
"Has something caught your attention, Sir?" her loyal butler asked with some degree of worry. "Something with the girl, perhaps?"
"Like a shadow, Walter" his young charge replied as she seated herself on the bed and pulled out the contents. A frown furrowed her face as she looked on the warning from the grave. "She fled like a shadow" she repeated in a whisper.