I hate geometry. Thank you for your sympathy, it's very comforting in this time of vertical angles and indirect proofs.

By the way, I forgot to let you in on this, but the chapter names are the numbers in a different language. Does that make sense? I feel like it doesn't. Ah, you're smart cookies, you'll figure it out.

It was a beautiful, warm, breezy afternoon, the kind that most vampires spent snugly tucked away in the cold, dead darkness of their coffins. However, there was one little vampiress who was not slumbering soundly like a proper monster should; Seras Victoria, the Nosferatu fledgling who preferred to spend her time in the company of the living instead of the undead. She stood in a shadowy corner of the bathroom, far from the mirror that her newfound friend with the blue hair was studying.

"This is so cool," Cricket remarked, leaning over the porcelain sink so that her face was only a few inches away from the reflection. "I look like I got in a bar fight."

Seras frowned doubtfully. "That's a good thing?" Just how much society had changed since her undeath she wasn't sure, but she was quite certain that in her day black eyes and broken noses weren't considered favorable.

Cricket shrugged, tentatively touching the edges of the bruise encircling her left eye. It had been three days since her unfortunate encounter with the door, and the bruise had only grown more tender and more purple. "I don't know about you, but my glass is half full. So I say it makes me look like a total badass who enters in underground cage fights on the weekends."

Again, Seras wondered if that was really a positive image for a teenager to be displaying.

"My mom was pretty upset though. She thinks Integra beat me up. I told her, 'Mom, Integra's my boss, not an abusive boyfriend.' But of course she doesn't believe the whole accidentally-opened-the-door-in-my-face scenario, which is a bit impudent, seeing as I've walked into street poles before." By now, she was done examining herself in the mirror and had gone back to spraying thick white cleaning foam all over the sink. "She thinks I'm making up Alucard, too."

At the mention of her master's name, Seras's back stiffened. She was very wary of Cricket having anything to do with that treacherous man. Pulling absently at the end of her stockings, she ventured further into the subject, trying to deduce if she had any suspicions. "What do you think of…Alucard, anyhow?" She wasn't used to calling him anything other than 'master'.

Cricket kneeled down, digging through a plastic blue bucket stuffed with cleaning supplies. "What do I think of him? The question is what do you think of him. After all, you're the one who works with him."

She sat in thoughtful silence. Just what did she think of him? Seras thought he was an extremely powerful, extremely dangerous, extremely ancient loon.

It took all of the self control she could muster to bite her tongue and give a civil reply. "Oh, he's…different."

This was met with a shake of the head on Cricket's part and an attempt at a snort, which came out more like a wheezing sneeze. She stood up with a sponge in her hand, waving it around emphatically as she spoke. "Different is getting Indian food instead of Chinese. Different is taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I'd say he's about ten million miles and a few detours south of different."

Such brassy remarks Seras couldn't help but admire.

"Anyhow," Cricket continued, "what do you two do, exactly?"

She had been waiting for this. Seras congratulated herself for thinking through this inevitable question beforehand, and she confidently replied, "We do special missions for Sir Integra, when the other soldiers are busy."

The girl wrung out the sudsy sponge. "Like what?"

The blonde put an adorably contemplative finger to her chin. "Oh, nothing special…Night patrol usually, just making sure nobody tries to break into the mansion." She shrugged innocently, putting up a casual guise. Well, it was casual, until she heard a familiar voice somewhere inside that blonde little head of hers, a familiar voice that made her stomach do backflips. After that, she looked just plain anxious.

Night patrol? The smoky voice said incredulously. You reduce the hunting of undead vermin to night patrol?

Cricket glanced over at the wriggling woman, quirking an eyebrow under turquoise bangs as she noted the faintly distressed look marring the buxom blonde's usually cheery face. "You really need a bazooka for guarding the mansion? Who's trying to break in, Godzilla?"

Yes, police girl, do tell.

Seras hadn't counted on her master eavesdropping, much less making any taunting comments. This was where she had gone wrong—underestimating just how much Alucard enjoyed toying with her. Unsure of exactly what to say, she settled with keeping her mouth shut, which was an uncomfortably abnormal practice for the bubbly young woman. Out of mercy or distraction, Seras wasn't sure which, Cricket allowed the subject to drop. The other party, however, was not yet satisfied.

You ought to get your stories straight ahead of time, Alucard mused on. You wouldn't want to accidentally let your little secret slip.

"I did!" She hissed through clenched incisors. "And it's our little secret, you know!" There wasn't anything she wouldn't bet that where ever he was, there was a devilish grin upon his face.

Foolish child. What we are is no secret of mine. You may choose to carry existence as a Nosferatu as a burden, but you do so alone.

"Well it's a—"

The sudden somber bong of the clock striking twelve rang deeply throughout the manor, interrupting Seras before she could finish her retort. If she hadn't been so engrossed with her conversation, she might have noticed that the silent Cricket had been quietly listening to her whispered words.

As the clock's gonging slowly died away, the youth snapped off the foamy cleaning gloves and loaded the supplies back into the bucket. "Break time," she explained with a smile, stretching her arms out and then her legs with a pleased sigh. Then, she offered this casual question: "So I was wondering, would you and your other personality care to join me for lunch?"

Seras's face turned at least a few different shades of pink as she absorbed this little remark. First she blushed from flattery and a swell of joy at the notion of partaking in a normal, run-of-the-mill activity such as lunch, then flushed a darker color as she realized that she had been speaking out loud, and to add to her embarrassment Cricket had heard every word she uttered. In poor Seras's defense it was hard enough to converse with her master telepathically during the night, much less in the middle of the day.

How badly she wanted to say yes, yes, yes! But words simply would not form in her over excited brain. Therefore Alucard, gracious as always, nobly decided to take matters into his own cold, dead hands.

"Why yes, I'd love to," Seras found herself answering. Since when was her voice so sweet, or her words so…prim?

Cricket's smile widened to an eye-crinkling grin at the confirmation. "Well then, it's a date! There's this great little bistro-café sort of place not too far from here. By the way, for me 'lunch' is really just fifteen muffins and a chai."

She strolled out of the room as she talked, bucket in hand. Seras followed, her movements much too fluid and smooth to be her own which confused and bewildered the vampiress. What was happening to her? She was moving, but she wasn't telling herself to move…How was this possible?

Why, Alucard, of course. It was really a marvel that she didn't figure it out sooner. 'Master! Leave my body alone!' Seras cried voicelessly as she realized that he had taken control of her form.

My, police girl, such dirty thoughts you have, he chastised as he coolly tailed a still-chattering Cricket. Ignoring this little remark, she wailed on while struggling fruitlessly to regain control of herself. 'You've no right to kidnap me! And don't you dare do anything to my friend!'

Silence, fledgling! He snarled sharply, his voice a low, commanding growl. You will do well to hold your tongue when your master speaks to you.

Out of a mixture of obedience, fear, and loyalty, Seras said nothing more, save for mumbled protests and nervous curses.

"Oh no, nothing of the sort." 'Seras' replied to Cricket's latest inquiry of whether she was a vegetarian or not. She was pulling on her shoes, tittering away with the same sunny, relaxed disposition as always. "Hehe, me neither. I'll let you in on a little known talent of mine: I can eat an entire raw steak." This claim was backed by a solemn nod. "The bloodier the better."

She smirked rather wolfishly, very un-Seras like, Cricket noted. "I whole heartedly agree."

I got lazy with this chapter's end. I was like, "Well, I'm done, I guess I'll just stop writing."