The long, messy braid swung like dog's wagging tail as the Frenchman strolled down the sidewalk, his smug grin telling of his awareness of the watchful gazes coming from the teenage girls he passed. He didn't really have any interest in any of them, especially those under eighteen, but he didn't mind the attention or the friendly waves and smiles he received. He would wave back or flash a smile of his own, showing off his eye patch and subtly checking for their responses. Most of the girls were shocked by the uncommon characteristic, while some seemed to like the old wound a little too much.
And so, Pip Bernadette made his way towards the girl's dormitory, sporting his shiny 'Guest' tag that was pinned to his T-shirt. His hat shaded his eyes from the red rays coming from the fading sun behind him as he peered up at the tinted windows and eventually passed under a doorway and entered the dorm. He explained to the huffy woman who sat behind a counter, glaring daggers into him, that he was a bodyguard for the Hellsing family and had come to check on the two Hellsings living in this dorm. He also claimed that their guardian, Integra Hellsing, had wanted him to deliver a box of chocolates.
Aggressively, the woman's ringed fingers jabbed into the buttons on her phone as she continued to glower at the man. She told the girl who picked up that someone was here to see Miss Seras and Miss Alucard. Pip had to flinch when the woman called Alucard 'Miss', but he hid it with a cough aimed into his fist.
"They'll be down shortly." The protective woman growled at Pip and threw her hand at the open door. "Stand over there."
"Thank you." Pip nodded with an amused, and always reckless, grin, and he backtracked to the entrance to make the woman more comfortable. Seras appeared when the door of the elevator slid open, and gasped when she saw Pip. Harriet had come to her rescue earlier, to help her redo her calculus homework, so she had accompanied the fledgling vampire to meet whoever had come to see her. The girl's eyes widened and then narrowed, scrutinizing the mercenary as she followed Seras to the door.
"It's you?" Seras gaped at Pip even as she walked, causing the man to laugh.
"Is that how you greet me after not seeing each other for a whole month?" He opened his arms and adjusted his hat while he continued to chuckle.
"I liked the quiet." Seras replied dryly, her face slack with discontent. "No one would miss your disgusting songs."
"My." Pip pretended to be stunned by the comment, though he allowed himself to smile. "I thought you liked my songs. They're quite educational." He smirked at the glare he received from Seras before she passed him and went outside to get away from the desk-woman's sharp eyes. She went to a bench and the others followed, but none of them sat down. Harriet eyed Pip for a few more moments, chewing on her lip thoughtfully. Her eyes went to Seras.
"Is this guy your boyfriend?"
Pip and Seras stared at the girl, one full of amazement while the other suffered from horrified embarrassment. "This pervert is NOTHING even close to a boyfriend!"
Pip was laughing, ducking his head while one of his hands traveled to his hat and took it off. He straightened and pressed the hat to his chest as he smiled at Harriet. "And who is this? I thought at first that it was Mr. Alucard again, but I guess not."
Seras stiffened, staring at the mercenary while Harriet frowned and crossed her arms at the insult. "I look nothing like that… I look nothing like Alucard. She's short and plain and…ugh!" The girl's hair flew about her face as she jerked her head away from Pip. She calmed a little and faced him again. "Why does everyone seem to refer to her as a guy?"
"He's just stupid." Seras said darkly, causing Pip to look at her with an unserious frown. "…Anyways, I'm the only one here." She added and then dropped her eyes to the arm of the bench, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"Where is…" Pip hesitated, squeezing his eyes shut and then opening them again. "…she?"
"She's on a date with her boyfriend." Harriet hissed angrily and plopped herself onto the bench. Pip's jaw dropped a few inches, and for once, all signs of humor fell from his face.
"HE'S DOING WHAT WITH A WHAT NOW?" Pip turned on Seras who was already lunging at him to cover his mouth. A few heads appeared in the dorm windows and lingered there, watching the group inquiringly. The vampire muttered a short curse and dragged the man around the corner of the building, into its shadow and under the leaves of a towering oak tree. Harriet came with them, her blank expression reflecting her mind as she watched the two argue quietly. She couldn't hear them very well.
"He does not have a boyfriend. He does not have a boyfriend!" Seras kept Pip bent over so that his face was closer to her own. She noticed the awkwardness but stubbornly ignored it, though her cheeks colored slightly. "John is a kid he's helping out. He's actually acting like a normal person with a heart, for once. It's probably because he hasn't had anything to kill for a while so now he has to find a new hobby." The girl winced at her own bitterness and then sighed guiltily. She was just mad at her Master for burning her homework and for being so ungrateful for the help she gave him for the date. "No, it's not a hobby. I think it's pity or some form of care. John was going to end up getting himself hurt if he had been left alone for much longer." Blue eyes glanced at Harriet, content to find that she could not hear them properly.
Pip was still recovering from his unpleasant shock, so he was oblivious to the closeness the two were sharing. "Oh…that's…okay then." He rubbed the back of his head, making his braid messier, and then played with the hat in his hands. "I was supposed to deliver the Valentines box to him."
Seras blinked and her grip on Pip's shirt loosened. Her lips parted as she blinked again. "Sir Integra sent him chocolates?"
The sun had set, leaving only a splash of red in the sky and the lamps sputtered to life. Seras looked at the lights before turning her attention to Pip's response.
"I doubt it. It doesn't feel like there's chocolates in it. More like something liquid. Probably more…food for him." The single green eye watched the grass as the man slowly became conscious of the tempting opportunity he had before him. The distracted girl wouldn't be able to dodge quickly enough to avoid a kiss.
"Oh, more blood packets." The fledgling let go of the pink shirt and stepped back, disappointed for some unknown reason. She sighed while Pip cursed himself for missing out on such a promising opportunity. He handed her the box.
A green eye moved to Harriet while Seras froze, a tiny gasp splitting her lips. She instantly broke out in a nervous laugh and smiled at the girl, moving her fingers anxiously by her side. "Anemic…s..she's anemic so…s…she needs blood transfusions."
Harriet narrowed her eyes suspiciously, then gave in to a pleased smirk. "Is she now?"
Pip watched the girl for a moment, his mouth a flat line on his face. "Do you not like…A..lucard?" He faltered, unused to referring to the vampire by only his name.
"No." Harriet growled without hesitating, and she crossed her arms again. "She threw me on a bed once. She's like an inhuman freak."
Pip's alarmed gaze went to Seras, but she didn't look at him. Quietly, she defended her master. "You pulled her hair first, Harriet."
Blazing eyes stabbed into the blonde girl as Harriet inhaled sharply. "She deserved it." She snapped back.
"Damn." Pip whistled, looking at the lamps he could see shining in the thickening darkness. "You're lucky you're alive."
"What?" Harriet's lips pursed and she glared at the mercenary. She soon turned her eyes to Seras who was also watching Pip. "I'm cold. Let's go in?"
"S…sure." Seras' stared down at her shoes for a moment. "I don't think you give him enough credit." She muttered to the Frenchman as she turned to leave with Harriet. Pip's eye followed her to the corner, then returned to the lamps. He moved backwards until he could lean against the wall comfortably, and a hand went inside the open jacket he was wearing. He shook the package he took out until a single cigarette stuck out of a hole he had torn in one of the corners. Putting the cigarette between his lips, the man's features were lit with the flame from his lighter, and then darkened again when he put it away. He inhaled the smoke and nicotine thoughtfully, and stuffed his hands into his pocket to wait for the nosferatu to return, hiding under the ledge when a short lived shower of rain fell and then cleared away.
It was a curious thing to see the vampire wearing a white dress, and Pip had to take another drag on his cigarette as he watched two figures approach the dorm. Alucard was wearing a jacket that didn't match his white attire while the boy, who Pip assumed was the mysterious John, wasn't wearing a jacket as he carried a teddy bear in his arms, even though it was chilly outside.
It was a very curious thing indeed.
Pip dropped his stub of a cigarette on the ground beside the other scattered butts that had accumulated, and he ground it into the dirt and grass with the toe of his shoe. He waved at the vampire, a snicker coming before he could speak. "Oi! Miss Alucard!" He chuckled at the obvious look of disdain he received after the vampire paused, stopping with John. Alucard went to the mercenary with the teen following him unwillingly.
John took in the mercenary suspiciously, looking him up and down and glancing at Alucard occasionally. The vampire stared dully at the man and then smirked. "It's you."
Pip snorted and stepped away from the wall, remaining in the shadows. "The girl said the same thing when she saw me."
"Hm." Red eyes darted to the litter beside the building. "Did Integra send you?"
"Wait." John cut in, drawing attention to himself. He squinted at Pip in the dark. "Who is he?"
Pip's mouth twitched. "I'm right here. You can ask me that."
"Then come out of the shadows. I've had enough of perverted wackos for one day."
Pip looked at Alucard as if the title described him, and the nosferatu scowled crossly. The mercenary came into the light originating from a nearby lamp post. "He's referring to the priest, Father Anderson."
It took a moment for Pip to recall who that was. "Oh. The big guy with the funny accent." He chuckled softly and leaned back on his heels. He fixed his balance when Alucard smiled at what he had said.
"Yes. The 'big guy with the funny accent'."
"You have an accent too." John cut in once more, biting the side of his mouth as he observed the eye patch and the hat the man was wearing, along with the long braid that was draped over his shoulder. "You're French or something."
Pip stared at John, peering at him without betraying any of his thoughts. "No need to be so rude, kid. I'm not giving you any reason to hate me."
"I know Mr. Bernadette." Alucard spoke to John while his eyes stayed on Pip. "He works for Integra Hellsing."
John calmed a little at this.
"Aw." Pip tilted his head at the little girl Alucard appeared to be at the moment. "That's cold. I thought we were friends, comrades in arms."
"Since when have we been friends?" The red eyes became a glare. "I can see that you have no business with me now, if you have already met with the Police Girl. Since you have met the boy, John, scurry along." Alucard growled at the mercenary who laughed it off as the small figure moved away to leave him behind with John. The teen moved closer to Pip and grinned, comforted by the way Alucard and the man interacted.
"Yeah, she says that same thing to me every time, too." Pip glanced at the tall boy, interested in the person Mr. Alucard could possibly show kindness to. John smirked as he went on. "But I still got her to go on a date with me and I even got to see her panties once." Alucard stopped rigidly while Pip let out a pained yelp and staggered away from John with his face buried in his hands.
"Oh my God, no!" He groaned, falling against the trunk of the oak, all strength in him having disappeared. "No…bad things! Bad things!" He pressed into the tree as images flashed into his mind. Very, very disturbing and traumatizing images. Pip shuddered and rocked a little on his feet. Dumbfounded, John stood where he was, staring at the suffering being. He flinched when Alucard ripped the mercenary away from the tree, shaking the grown man.
"Out! Get that out of your head, now!" He snarled menacingly. Pip let out some kind of twisted moan.
"I'm trying. My God, am I trying." His hands lifted from his face and he saw Alucard. Instantly he recoiled and covered both his working and useless eye. "Oh God…you're a pedophi…"
Alucard's eyes burst with fury and he shook Pip until his head lolled. The man took his hands away from his face to try and stop the vampire. "I AM NOT! I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU SAY THAT AGAIN! I SWEAR I WILL! I'LL SEE YOU SUSPENDED ON ONE OF THOSE FLAGPOLES IN NO TIME AT ALL!"
"Oh God, but the underwear and the…ugh." Pip managed in a pitiful voice when Alucard stopped shaking him, and he backed away from the vampire unsteadily. He groaned and then was quiet, his eye shut tight as his hands strained as fists by his sides. "That's going to give me nightmares for sure."
"Oh damn you!" The vampire shoved Pip away from the dormitory with a snarl of disgust. "Get out of here!" He spun around to point menacingly at John, startling the boy who backed away instinctively. "Stop saying idiotic, useless, perverted, untrue things!"
John's mouth was an indignant frown. "But I did see them."
"It was the damned uniform! Don't make it sound like anything else, or I will be sure to knock you senseless!"
After this last outburst, the vampire stalked away and disappeared around the corner, abandoning the paralyzed humans. Pip grumbled as he left the school, regretting the curiosity that had led him to stay behind in order to speak with the vampire and perhaps meet the boy named John. "I'm sure of it…" He murmured, pulling up the collar of his jacket. "…I'm going to have nightmares tonight."
Alucard tugged on the doorknob and then grumbled irritably when he found that it was locked. He pounded on the door. Some scrambling was heard before Seras poked her head out into the hallway, her eyes lowering to find her master glaring up at her. "Move."
She maneuvered out of his way as he marched to his luggage to retrieve his guns for the night's hunt. He set one pistol on the bed when Seras had closed the door, and went back to get a blood packet (Seras had put the two packets that had been inside the box of chocolates into his luggage). Then he sat down on the mattress and drank his food quietly.
Seras stared at him for a while, then indicated the jacket he was wearing with a jerk of her head. "Why are you wearing that? It's John's, isn't it?"
Red moved down to the jacket and then wandered over the wall opposite of the bed. "It rained and I got wet."
"That wouldn't bother you."
"Under normal circumstances you would be correct Police Girl, but as you and your kind friend made me wear white…clothes, when it rained…they became see-through."
"O..Oh." Seras stammered, going back to her own bed. Alucard unzipped and shrugged off the jacket as he peeled off the dress and sweater while his other clothes were forming to cover him, letting the blood packet dangle from his mouth. "What did you guys do?"
Alucard removed the blood packet. "Dinner and movie and stuff. I might tell you later." The vampire continued with what he was doing. When he was done he pushed the pile of clothes and sandals away, but then paused, looking at the jacket.
The Police girl peeked at her master. "What?"
"I left the boy along with the present he gave me."
The girl waited for him to go on, but he didn't as he took his gun and slipped it into his blue jacket, moving towards the window. "What was it?" She asked, finally.
Alucard stopped for a moment. Without turning around, he answered. "It was a teddy bear."
When the vampire was gone, his fledgling allowed herself the freedom of laughing at what he had said. "Master and a teddy bear." She giggled into her pillow. "Now, I would pay to see that."