The first thing she became aware of, as her consciousness swum up through the darkness, was the faint smell of something burning. Recognizing instantly the aroma of melting candle wax, she cracked open her eyes and settled them upon the dark lid of her coffin with the ingrained image reminiscent of her Master’s hat. She lay still, listening to the faint whooshing sounds the flames made as they burned the oxygen around their tiny conflagrations, and the quiet murmurs of voices and footsteps in the halls and rooms far above hers. She inhaled and sighed, blinking slowly while still staring up at the lid of her bed. The sounds were good to wake up to. She didn’t know why it was, yet, but they were. Perhaps they served to remind her that even though she herself was undead, the world itself had not ceased its spinning and that life was moving on regardless of her change of dance partners. Though the thought of being a wallflower in life’s waltz was not particularly appealing, it certainly was better than being. . . well. . . properly dead. Yes, the sounds of the manor living and breathing with the life of its occupants were definitely good things. Definitely made her feel less like she should be buried six and a half feet under ground, in a coffin of blessed silver and surrounded by a holy water moat. They also gave her an incentive to get up. When the entire building around her was awake, the last thing she wanted to do was be staring up at the inside lid of a closed coffin.
She blinked, then narrowed her eyes curiously. Was it just her, or did the hat stain on the lid of the coffin look slightly different? Raising a brow in inquisitiveness, she reached up and lightly brushed her fingers against the dark whorls of wood. The stain shouldn’t look any different. The wood was dead. Dead things didn’t move. . . well, normal dead things at any rate. She and her Master were not to be included in that hypothesis. But something was seemingly. . . off about it, though. She dug her nail into the stain. It was a little. . . Abruptly the wood began to shift around her finger, giving off the appearance that it was actually melting, and before she could yank her hand away a face appeared directly above her, her probing index finger shoved unceremoniously up the manifestation’s nose.
“Ahhhhhhhh!!!!” With a suppressed squeal she yanked her invading digit from that desecrated nostril and watched with wide ruby eyes as the face stared at her silently for a moment, before exploding into uproarious laughter.
“Policewoman!” Her Master cried delightedly, his head sticking through the lid of the coffin and canine’s flashing white in the non-light. “I thought it far too late to be sleeping! Get up.”
“M-muh. . .” Shocked and a little perturbed, the only sounds that managed to leave her throat were the choked, strangled attempts at an obligatory honorific. “Ma-mast. . .”
Alucard watched with amusement as his tyro fumbled for control of her tongue.
“Really, Policewoman.” He scolded, his grin broadening and cutting a wide trough through his jaw. “This is what becomes of such creatures as we when we become fussy with our food! I assume you are trying to call me ‘Master’, though if ‘Mama’ is all that you can manage then I shall have to settle with that, however incorrect and unflattering it may be.”
As the jovial voice of the long life king deepened to sync with the small serious frown that had creeped up to grace his lips while he thought about the implications of his student calling him ‘Mama’ and the snootily smirking face of Walter should the nosy shinigami ever hear; Seras had managed to regain a somewhat feeble hold of her vocal chords.
“Master!” She cried, her voice sharp with perplexity and lingering irritation.
Alucard’s eyes widened in mock astonishment as he politely ignored her impertinent tone. “Oh! So you can pronounce it!” The small grin commandeered his lips as his voice again turned serious. “However, I would like to know why you have disobeyed my order, policewoman. You’re still in bed. Do I need to repeat myself?”
“I-Iie!” Confusion was shoved temporarily from her eyes by the trained need to obey orders, and barely thinking about it she swung her left hand to the side and slapped her palm against the button of the controller planted on her mattress.
With a ‘click’ followed by a quiet whirring sound the lid of her coffin-bed smoothly rose up from the base and - without a jolt or a start - passed stately through the deceptively substantial yet apparently not figure of her master as he floated unperturbed horizontally a half foot above her and the bed. The sudden splash of candlelight across the mattress accentuated his features and highlighted the details that were missing in the darkness when the coffin was closed, and it was now that Seras became uncomfortably aware of the secretive amusement underlaying his features as he pointedly dragged his eyes, barely visible from behind the orange lenses of his glasses, down the length of her body. Seras squirmed under the unconcealed scrutiny and felt the incredible urge to cross her hands over her chest. Why was Master looking at her like that? The confusion previously forgotten returned full force when the small quirk at the edges of Alucard’s lips widened into a fang-filled grin as he lifted his head back to meet her eyes, the brim of his hat almost brushing the tip of her nose as it passed. With a white-gloved hand he reached up and dipped his glasses. Meeting her wide ruby eyes with the amused gaze of his own, he winked quickly at her before shoving his specs back into place and abruptly righting himself.
Seras, momentarily stunned speechless by the unexpected and crazily endearing wink, felt the dipping of the mattress to either side of her as her eccentric master planted his feet opposite sides of her hips, unable to do anything but stare up at him with wide scarlet eyes as he loomed above her and continued to eye her with that unreadable expression adorning his face. She swallowed almost convulsively, made suddenly aware of how dry her throat was when the first gulp induced another. She blinked when her master began to speak again.
“Well, Policewoman. You’ve drawn attention.” He drawled, a peculiar note of merriment stringing through the otherwise serious tone of his words. “It seems I have been reduced in my position as the residents head special agent Vampire to nothing more than a mere vampiristic messenger boy. However, Fergusson wishes to speak with you.” He tugged at his cuffs indignantly, then with no warning, disappeared.
Seras lay prone for a moment longer, waiting, almost certain that her master had not really left and had just given the appearance that he had. For almost a full minute she remained in the same position, and by the end of it her fingers were twisting themselves in the sheet beneath her from the sheer expectation that he was going to pop back up again directly in front of her. Starting to feel at least a little less jumpy and nervous, she thought it was probably now safe enough to push herself up into a sitting position.
“And Policewoman,” Her master’s voice sounded abruptly from right beside her, causing her to jump and let out a tiny ‘meep’ of surprise. “I suggest you change into something more *ahem* suitable. Though seeing you like this is a pleasant change, I fear Fergusson may be induced into receiving a premature heart attack should you arrive in his office dressed as you are.”
Seras caught glimpse of another broad grin before her master faded away and she was left, for certain, alone in her chambers. Sighing in relief, for that had been a very awkward awakening, she pushed herself over to the edge of the bed and cast a quick inspection around her room to see whether Walter had brought her meal in yet. Eyes lighting upon the double-unit sachet cooling in the tureen of ice, she was made very aware that he had as almost immediately within her the hunger rose and the bitter taste of her own saliva flooded her mouth. Gasping at the unexpectedly voracious longing from early that morning, she clamped her jaw shut, squeezed her eyes tightly closed and shook her head vigorously to clear it of the haze that had made the rest of the room grey almost instantly. Daring to open them again, something else draped over the back of a chair caught her eye, and immediately her masters last parting words were brought to mind.
‘I suggest you change into something more *ahem* suitable. . .’
Mind latching onto the way he had pointedly cleared his throat, she flicked her head down and became immediately aware of why her master had been staring at her so. . . incongruously.
She had been practically naked!
Seras felt abruptly compelled to curl into a ball and await shrivelling away into nothing, seeming death just wasn’t going to happen unless someone extended a very warm and open welcome to Anderson sometime in the near future (before Alucard found a way to make him stay dead on a permanent basis). Her shirt was unbuttoned completely; half-falling off her shoulders, and one of her breasts was threatening to come free of her bra entirely. What was worse was that sometime during the day while she slept she had managed to twist and turn enough that her short policewoman’s skirt had bunched up around her waist, exposing her bare thighs and hips, and giving her master the perfect unobstructed view of her Sexy Commando underwear.
What was she going to do now? Her master had already seen her in such a. . . a. . . an anarchic state! Hiding would do her no good, now, and she had to go up and report to Fergusson as soon as possible! Typical, just when she thought the worse was over, something like this had to happen. At least she could trust her master to not expose her in any way. . . or her strange taste in underwear with foreign anime characters on them. She groaned and cradled her head in her hands. It was a good thing Master didn’t talk all that much. . .
She sat there for a few moments, deep in her humiliation and appal, when the sudden clenching and violent twisting deep within her abdomen reminded her that there was food waiting for her on the table. Prodded into motion by the rushing hunger that came with the memory, she strolled over to claim her breakfast between her teeth, while alternately righting her clothing and tucking everything that was not in its proper place back to where it belonged. More humiliation to add to what was already occupying the majority of her thoughts – her underwear just had to be the pair with the kanji for ‘Meat’ on the rear. Also another thing to be grateful for. . . Master didn’t have a chance to read what was on the back.
Finishing off the last of her iron-rich breakfast, she left the empty sachet on the table for Walter to throw away later. If she knew where he disposed of them she would do it herself, but as time stood she had no time to find out where that was - if she didn’t hurry up to Fergusson’s office soon there’d be no doubt that he’d be sending someone down to drag her to where she was required. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Grabbing the jacket she’d left folded over the back of a chair, she quickly slung it on and left her chamber, running her fingers through her hair in place of the brush she didn’t have time to use. If Fergusson had sent Alucard down to order her up to his office, then chances were her master had been in there ‘keeping him company’, in which case her superior officer was not likely to be in a good mood.
For some reason, Seras felt that tonight was not going to be one of the best ones she had ever experienced.