Title: Under the Milky Way
Author: bnomiko
Rating: R to NC-17
Pairing(s): Trevor + Sypha + Alucard, Trevor x Alucard
Spoilers: through the end of S3 + some referencing of S4
Disclaimer: "Under the Milky Way" is performed and recorded by The Church. "How to Save a Life" is performed and recorded by The Fray. Castlevania is the creation and property of Konami. Castlevania (animated series) is the creation and property of Netflix. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: After the events of Lindenfeld, all Trevor and Sypha wanted was to return to the closest thing they had to "home," but Alucard has not fared well in their absence. "You wanted to save the world, remember?" " He also needed it. He needed us." Post S3 animation canon based.
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

* * *

Under the Milky Way

Ch. 1: Step one, you say we need to talk
He walks, you say sit down, it's just a talk

* * *

Things hadn't gotten better since leaving Lindenfeld.

It had seemed so easy when Trevor and Sypha had first decided to head out to begin their adventure as a pair. They'd had a well stocked wagon and well-rested horses. They'd had a plan and a dream and one another. Sypha in particular had been riding high on optimism, figuring she could touch base with her caravan, then they could continue on to Braila and wipe out night hordes as they went.

But they'd never managed to reconnect with the Speakers, and although they'd stopped the resurrection of Dracula in Lindenfeld the town had still burned, and suddenly the prospect of boredom sounded better than half-failures and futility. So instead of pushing on towards Braila so many hundreds of miles away, all they wanted was to return home - or the closest thing to "home" that either of them had at that point. To the dear friend they'd left behind. But even backtracking proved to be a struggle.

They had to fight their way past a vampire necromancer with an army of skeletons in a swampy forest, cull night creatures outside rain drenched ruins, stop another vampire from sacrificing peasants inside a church, wipe out a field ridden with flea men, and face off against a cult attempting to sacrifice children to an image of Death. And after all that, as they hit the backstretch, a steady rain began to fall, growing heavier by the hour, as if even the heavens above were determined to slow their progress. Though the downpour finally tapered off in the evening, with the trail getting muddier by the minute and the horses flagging in exhaustion, they finally had to stop for one last night under the canopy of clouds, with only a few miles left to go.

The next morning was cloudy but bright, with no rain in sight. The roads looked passable enough. Exhausted but somewhat encouraged, Sypha and Trevor hit the road again and were soon greeted by the sight of the castle spires rising in the distance out of the gloom. The massive structure was still as dark and foreboding as ever, yet, they could only feel relief at the realization that they'd finally made it back. They were long since overdue for a break.

Their improved mood only lasted as long as it took to draw up to the castle's massive gates. The fact that there were staked night creatures wasn't too much of a surprise - Trevor had always secretly wondered if staking was just something that vampires did - but the two bodies closest to the doors appeared to be... human.

"What the fuck," Trevor growled, pulling the horses to a sudden stop. His nose wrinkled in disgust as he jumped out for a closer look, his hand unconsciously seeking out his whip. With the level of decomposition, it was impossible to know exactly what the pair had looked like while alive. They were human though, without a doubt - both of average height, with long black hair. Both were clad in white linen nightgowns - matching the ones that were on hand in the castle - that billowed in the breeze. They'd both had their throats slit.

"What do you think happened?" Sypha said from behind him, her stomach twisting with worry and a fair bit of nausea from the stench.

"What do I think? I think our half-vampire friend has some explaining to do," Trevor snapped. He looked up at the castle's closed doors, then began climbing the stairs leading towards them with increasingly forceful footfalls.

"Alucard, open up, you bastard!" he yelled, using the butt end of his whip to bang on the doors.

There was no response at all, and after several minutes of futility, the brunet began looking around for some alternate route in, though the other doors he'd recalled seeing before were all locked as well. He considered going through a window, as some looked to have anchor points close enough to reach with his whip, but before he could settle on a location, he heard Sypha call out, "Trevor, come over, he's here!"

Trevor ground his teeth as he trotted back to the main gate, ready to give the other man a piece of his mind, but the sight that greeted him wasn't at all what he or Sypha had been expecting.

Alucard, normally so graceful and composed and precise in his movements, stumbled out of the doors and down the stairs, reeking of alcohol and sweat and vomit. He was completely filthy, as if he hadn't bathed or bothered changing clothes in weeks; his long moonlight hair was dull and matted, hanging down over his face and sticking to his skin.

But what really caught the attention of both humans was the fact that the half-vampire was wearing just his coat, no shirt, and there were new, angry scars crisscrossing his bare chest and abdomen, disappearing down into the waistband of his pants.

"Alucard, what happened to you?" Sypha asked as Trevor simultaneously blurted out, "Does that have anything to do with these people you've skewered?"

Alucard's head bobbed a moment. He staggered on the second to last step, managed to steady himself enough to not go down, then continued his unsteady wobbling forward.

"Hey, answer us!" Trevor yelled, grabbing his arm.

His reflexes had dulled, but Alucard was still naturally stronger; he simply twisted his arm free of Trevor's hold and walked on as if he'd merely bumped into a branch.

"You asshole, don't ignore me!" the brunet seethed.

"Trevor, stop it!" Sypha hissed, grabbing onto her boyfriend's arm in case he thought about going after the other man more aggressively.

Alucard paused for just a moment to mutter something under his breath - the only words Sypha could make out were "more ghosts" - and then he continued on as if they weren't there at all, disappearing into the forest.

Trevor shook off Sypha's hand. The last time they'd seen each other, he'd given Alucard a goodbye salute and Alucard had responded by flipping him off. Now it was Trevor's turn to flip him the bird. It didn't change anything, but he couldn't think of another response to express how he felt, that didn't involve him drawing a weapon.

"He's the one who just walked off, didn't say a damn thing to us. No greeting, definitely no explanation... what the hell happened?" Trevor grumbled.

"I don't know. He's always had that air of sadness around him, but I've never seen him like this, not even after we defeated Dracula." The Speaker gazed out at the forest a few moments longer, then turned and looked at the castle doors, which had been left open. "Maybe we can find some answers inside."

* * *

The interior of the castle was in just a bad a shape as its master. From a cursory glance, it looked like next to nothing had been done to fix or clean it up in the months since the pair of lovers had departed. The scent of mildew clung stubbornly to stained carpets, remaining stone and wood rubble had simply been pushed aside here and there, enough to allow a person to step through, a shattered decorative window still lay in a hundred tiny pieces below the frame it once sat in.

"Well, nice to see some things haven't changed," Trevor dryly remarked, toeing a candelabra that lay toppled on the floor. "It's like that lazy bastard's been sitting around drinking and napping this whole time, while we've been out getting beaten up on every week."

"Trevor, you know that's not true!" Sypha snapped. But she understood a little of what he was getting at. Things really hadn't changed here at all. Either Alucard didn't care about the state of the castle, or he didn't care about the fact that he was living like this.

She looked down at the candelabra and exhaled; she couldn't resist bending down to pick it up and set it next to the column where it once stood. She lit it with a quick spell, trying to cut through the gloom with a bit of light.

"I... I know. I didn't mean it. But... what has he been doing here this whole time, living like this? And those two outside..." The hunter shook his head, frustrated. "I don't even know where to start. This place was - and still is - an absolute maze."

"I think I remember my way around, but more importantly, I'm curious as to where those lead to," Sypha said, pointing to some dark streaks just off the edge of the carpet, near where the candelabra now stood.

"Weren't those there before? From the battle, I mean."

"No. At least, I don't think so. Remember how wet it was in here? But those stains are newer. They're not half washed away."

"They look about as recent as those bodies outside," Trevor mused, turning to track the direction of the marks. They did appear to lead straight out the main doors, now that he was getting a good look at them. He turned around and looked in the opposite direction and saw more of the same going up the stairs. "Well, guess that's a good a start as any. Shall we?"

They tracked the stains up two floors, where they veered off onto a landing leading to a guest wing. Both Trevor and Sypha recalled having stayed there in the weeks after Dracula's defeat, though Sypha had ended up moving out of her room and into Trevor's, after a couple of days. Alucard had claimed the largest suite at the end of the hall.

Out of curiosity, Sypha peeked into the first room, the one that had been Trevor's room, and was somewhat surprised to see someone else's belongings in there: a bow and a set of arrows, clothes in a style she'd never seen before hanging in the armoire. The room next door also showed signs of being lived in, with a cloak made of straw thrown over a chair, a satchel made of dappled deer hide, and similar foreign looking clothing stashed in the armoire. Had the two outside been staying here as guests? The bedcovers in both rooms were a little rumpled from use, and various books about vampire hunting sat stacked on the nightstands, as if awaiting the inhabitants to return for another night's stay.

Prudently she checked the room across from the first two, and found that one to be unlived in. She supposed they could ask to use that one, once Alucard returned.

Meanwhile Trevor crouched down, studying the blood streaks on the floor. He'd originally thought there was just the one set, painted like bold brushstrokes, but there was another set that was fainter and more sporadic. Both led back to the double doors at the far end of the hallway.

Standing back up, he muttered, "I don't like this," but it was obvious they weren't going to get any answers from the castle's absent owner, so the only option was to piece everything together themselves.

Beside him, Sypha steeled herself. "Me neither. But we need to know exactly what happened, what we're dealing with."

"Yeah, I know. I just don't think we're going to like the answer."

Together, they approached the doors, and drew them open.

The bedroom before them was massive, with ornately carved columns flanking numerous bookshelves, a fireplace with a red velvet sofa, and an oversized bed with thick square posts. And blood, so much blood... splashed in a rising arc across the back wall and posts, dotting the mattress and pillow in a shape vaguely resembling a cross, with twin puddles pooled on either side at the foot of the bed. One of the gauzy canopies had been cut with razor precision.

Neither the Speaker nor the hunter could find the words to describe what they were feeling at the moment. They just stood there, stunned into silence, their hands clasped over their mouths as if that could somehow keep the stench of death from invading their nostrils.

Trevor was the first to snap out of it. He wasn't the most clever guy in the world, but the pieces of the puzzle were coming together so neatly that he couldn't think of any other picture they could be painting. The only thing missing was an explanation for the smaller smatterings of blood in the center of the mattress, but he ducked down to check under the bed, and found the answer to that question.

"What is that?" Sypha asked, seeing Trevor palm something that glinted in the light.

Trevor flipped the item around in his hand. A cuff made of consecrated silver, and obviously used. The wires that should've been tightly wound inside the device dangled out like a broken spring. Flecks of dried blood speckled the metal along the length of the wires. "Well, shit...!" He threw it down in disgust.


"Consecrated silver restraints. They must've come from my family's collection." He waved his hand around in agitation. "They activate the moment you snap them on someone. A human would get bound head to toe, uncomfortably so but unharmed, but vampires get the bonus of a severe and painful burn anywhere the metal touches skin. There should be another one around here," he quickly explained as he continued his search. The second one turned up under the edge of the pillow.

"Do you think those two outside did this? Is that why he staked them? He let him stay in the guest rooms; they had books about vampire hunting. Did they wait until he was asleep and then crucify him to his bed?" Sypha asked somberly, tracing the puncture marks on the mattress, then looking up at the damaged canopy.

"Quite possibly. It all matches up, doesn't it? They just didn't count on the fact that he could call his sword to him," Trevor supplied.

"If that's what happened, it's too cruel. He let them stay here, let them explore the Hold. Why would they do that to him, after all of that?" She shook her head. "Have people become so hateful?"

"God bless human nature," Trevor growled. He picked up the first cuff once again, then pocketed the pair so he could dispose of them later. He didn't even want to consider putting them back in the Belmont armory. "Well, not that I want to do it, but we should see where the other blood trail goes."

Sypha swallowed down her disappointment and sadness. "Agreed."

The other trail headed up the stairs instead of down. The marks had already been faint, but more or less disappeared by the time they hit the third spiral of the staircase. Trevor resorted to tracking by crouching down and using the torch to spot disturbances in the dust on the floor, until they'd found their way high up in one of the turrets, and Sypha's voice broke his concentration.

"This... is familiar. We've been here before," she said, looking around at the damage to the walls, the floor, even the ceiling.

"From the battle with Dracula?"

"Yes. Actually, isn't this...?" She took a step past Trevor, slightly hesitant, but then walked with a little more confidence around one corner, then another, as if drawn by some terrible, but irresistible, force.

A sudden yelp in alarm brought the hunter running to join her. "What?"

Sypha had buried half her face in her hands, trying her best to rein in the tears that threatened to escape. "He... this was his childhood room. The room Dracula died in."

Trevor's eyes quickly swept over the room, then dropped to the white sheet which lay crumpled on the floor, stiffly starched with dried blood. Only a few feet away, in the middle of the burnt hole in the blue rug, directly under the constellations painted on the ceiling, was Dracula's wedding ring. Alucard had apparently chosen to leave it there after their battle, so Trevor made sure to honor his decision and leave it untouched. "He likely fled here on instinct."

"Why did we leave? I knew he was depressed. Even without... what those people outside did, he hadn't been doing well." Sypha was coming to the realization that they'd actively avoided talking about Alucard the entire time they were away, as if anything could be solved by running away from that guilty, nagging feeling. She thought back to the day where Alucard admitted that his plan for the future was to make the castle his grave. Back then, she hadn't thought he'd meant that so literally - yet in retrospect, what else could he have meant by it?

"You wanted to save the world, remember? To help those who needed it, to do what had to be done."

"He also needed it. He needed us. And Lindenfeld burned anyway."

Trevor sighed. He'd done his best. He couldn't help it if death cults were trying to sacrifice children, if crazy monks wanted to resurrect Dracula. It really did seem like the whole world had gone crazy, and maybe Alucard had gotten caught up in that current, too. "I'd like to think we made some sort of difference out there."

"We did. I am not disputing that. But we can't be everywhere, all the time, fighting every single battle ourselves," she admitted. As much as she'd fantasized about being one of the great heroes that saved this land, reality had had a different, and far more bitter, lesson to teach her. "We can only do what's within our power to do. And this..." and she swept out her arm, gesturing to the room in front of them, "this is something only we can do. Who else can he turn to?"

Trevor couldn't argue that point. He wasn't sure if Alucard had ever had any other friends. Given how high and mighty he was, growing up in a fancy and depressing castle, an only child and a half-breed to boot, the answer was, probably not. "So what now, then? We don't even know where he's gone."

"He obviously still lives here. We can wait for him to return."

* * *

They returned to the lower floors, to the guest wing that had been abandoned. Trevor was of the opinion that setting fire to the large bedroom at the end of the hallway would be the best way to "fix" things; Sypha disagreed, it wasn't their castle to be setting fire to, and what if Alucard still had things he wanted that had been left in that room?

They at least agreed that the one unused room was probably okay to use, so while Sypha busied herself bringing up their belongings, Trevor saw to the horses and secured the wagon. And then they headed down to the kitchen to see if there was anything they could eat, as they'd pretty much run out of provisions on the way back and had skipped breakfast and lunch on their push to get here.

As soon as they walked in the smell of booze was strong enough that even Trevor's head jerked back slightly. Empty bottles, some broken, lined the walls and windowsills, sending shards of tinted light throughout the room.

"Christ, is there even any wine left in the castle at this point?" Trevor asked. He figured he could use a drink himself, with how badly things were going.

"Let's check the pantry. I remember there being quite a lot of dried provisions in there."

They found crates of salted meats and dried fruits, mostly unopened. Not the feast they'd been hoping for, but at least it was edible. Carrying what they wanted back to the kitchen, Sypha was just about to gather some plates and mugs when she heard Trevor murmur, "What's this now?"


The hunter moved aside a few bottles. "Are these... supposed to be us?" He waved his hand at a pair of cloth lumps sitting on the counter. The more he stared at them, the more certain he was of it. "This little guy even has a little whip made of twine and a scar over one eye." With careful hands he picked it up, turning it over. It was roughly made, the body stuffed with beans or small pebbles, with spoons and ladles tacked on as arms and legs. But it had clearly been created with care and affection as well.

"I missed him. He missed us, too. It's sad," said Sypha, gently picking up her own mini copy, clad in a blue robe over an underlayer of black, with some sort of reddish bristle for hair and blue button eyes. She sighed. It seemed every single room had yet another reminder that they'd done the wrong thing, that they shouldn't have left their friend behind as the sole guardian of this castle and the Hold below.

"That these were his drinking companions?"

"Yes." She looked around the room. "I guess I would be lonely too, if it was just me, here." Her brows knitted slightly. "Or worse, me and my ghosts. Did you hear him earlier?"

"Outside, you mean?"

"He said something as he walked by. But that was all I could make out, something about 'more ghosts.'"

"I didn't, but it wouldn't surprise me. He grew up here, after all. Every room must have a memory attached. And maybe there's some of my ancestors haunting the Hold too, who knows?"

The redhead's eyes narrowed. "Not funny, Trevor!"

"Wonder what state that place is in," Trevor mused. Considering the condition of the castle, he didn't hold out much hope that the remains of his family's legacy would be any better off. He put down his doll at the table, then sat himself across from it before picking up a strip of dried meat. "We can take a look after lunch, I suppose."

Sypha's doll took its place next to Trevor's, as Sypha herself also sat down. "All right," she agreed, but it was almost nerve-wracking to think of what they might find down there, given the surprises that had already been sprung on them.

* * *

Another surprise did lay in store for them, but for once, it wasn't an unpleasant one.

The first discovery was that some sort of lift device had been installed over the opening of the Belmont Hold, to easily allow for transportation down to the library below.

The second...

"Look at this! He installed lightning through the entire Hold! And it looks like it's been cleaned up too!" Sypha gasped, leaning over the railing. "When did he find the time and energy to do all of this?"

"Considering the state of the castle, I suppose this is where he's been spending his time. But why? I didn't ask him to do this."

"You pretty much did. You bequeathed him the Hold. You told him to protect it, as its guardian, its last defender. And he agreed. He honored that promise to you."

Trevor suddenly remembered the cuffs in his pocket, practically burning a hole in them now. Swallowing down a sudden, inexplicable lump, he hoarsely said, "Yes, looks like he did. I want to take a look around."

"Mm, me too."

They quickly made their way down to the ground floor and began looking around. Broken shelving had been repaired or replaced. Debris had been swept up. Books that had fallen had been neatly, precisely placed back in their exact spots on the shelves. Even the damaged section that Trevor had originally found the Morning Star in had been patched up. And apparently more weapons had been found during repairs, as a couple more storage chests had been dragged out and placed next to the one that had held the chain whip.

Trevor couldn't resist prying the chests open. In one, he found what appeared to be a double-sided dagger with a half circle hand guard, but with a flick of the wrist he found that it actually had four blades in a cross shape around a circular guard. He recalled seeing illustrations of a one of a kind Indian weapon in his mother's books, so this had to be the same one.

In another chest there was an ornate dagger that reeked of old magic but it looked somewhat incomplete, as parts of the hilt were missing. That actually got Trevor a little excited, as he'd been picking up components for some sort of jeweled weapon while they'd been fighting to return to the castle. He pulled a gem out of his pocket and took a quick moment to verify that it was a fit, and it was. It was amazing what could be pickpocketed off a crazy Death worshipping cultist in the middle of the woods.

The hunter's feet next brought him to the display cabinets on one wall of the massive room. He still needed to find the case or box that housed the cuffs in his possession, to ensure that there wasn't anything else missing, such as a second pair of the same. As he looked around, his eyes swept over the section that housed vampire skulls. His attention was caught by a smaller skull with shorter fangs... apparently one of his ancestors had considered a half-vampire child enough of a threat - or curiosity - to have obtained and kept it as a sample. He'd waved it off before, but now he wondered, how had Alucard felt, standing here and seeing all of this? Trevor couldn't help but wonder, if they had met in a different era or under different circumstances, would he have felt compelled to add another "sample" to this collection?

Disgusted, he shook the thought out of his head and continued on. He and Alucard didn't always get along, but that was a far cry from wanting to see the other man's skull displayed like some sort of trophy.

Trevor finally found what he was looking for on a low shelf, in a cabinet at the end of a row of books. It was a small relief that there weren't additional cuffs in the set, and it didn't look like anything else in the area was missing or disturbed, so he simply closed the lid and tucked the box under his arm, then went to find Sypha.

Unsurprisingly, she had her face buried in a large tome, with several more stacked on the floor around where she sat. Trevor couldn't help but smile; she loved reading a little too much. "Just some casual reading?"

Sypha looked up, flushing slightly. She hadn't meant to get caught up in reading, but even now, the Belmont Hold was an absolute marvel to her. She brushed aside a wayward russet curl. "Find what you were looking for?"

"I suppose. And yet..." He sighed; he sure was doing a lot of that today. "I really should be happy that he managed to fix this place up to this extent, but it pisses me off, too. He pisses me off. I wonder where he's gone off to?"

She put down her book and stood. "We should probably head back up and wait for him."

They climbed the stairs back to the entrance, then right as they were about to open the door, Trevor suddenly grabbed Sypha's arm. "Hold up. Do you hear that?"

The Speaker cocked her head, and was about to answer in the negative, when she thought she heard something as well, somewhere far above them. "What is it?"

Trevor's hand fell to his whip. "Let's have a look, shall we?"

The lift was still where they'd anchored it. The sound was coming from somewhere further up the entrance shaft. They both got on the lift, but as they made their way up, Trevor's earlier question of where Alucard had gone off to got answered, just as several more questions popped up.

Alucard was standing on what had once been a stairwell landing. He was apparently planning on reconstructing the shattered staircase level by level, and was currently clearing the rubble around the re-hung portrait of Leon Belmont. He seemed fixated on his work and did not turn to greet or acknowledge them, even though they called out to him repeatedly as they went by.

As soon as the lift stopped, Trevor immediately wanted to reverse course and head back down, but as there was no way to stop it, that wouldn't be helpful in the least. But thanks to Alucard, it looked like the stairs now were an option, at least down to the level he was working on.

The pair began making their way back down, while Trevor complained loudly, "The castle looks like shit. He looks like shit. Pretends he can't even hear us. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure every last floorboard in the Hold has been individually spit shined."

Sypha groaned. She understood her lover's worry. But when Trevor worried, he got angry, and loud. "Don't start yelling, please..."

"Yell? Me? I would never..." His foot hit the landing and he lengthened his stride. "Hey, you bastard, at least look at us when we're talking to you!" he bellowed as he closed in on his target.

Again, no response. Alucard continued chucking rocks and broken wood into a large bucket to haul back to the surface using a pulley.

Trevor ran his hand down his face, feeling his temper fray. Mindful of the debris being flung, he stepped behind Alucard and slapped a hand down on his shoulder.

There was a momentary pause. Then, another piece of wood flew into the bucket.

Trevor's growl rumbled low in his throat.

That finally elicited a real reaction. Alucard's hands stilled, then he slowly turned his head just enough to eye the hand on his shoulder, and trace it upwards. His mouth opened slightly to croak out, "Go away."

"Oh good, I thought you'd gone deaf. Turns out, you're just an asshole."

"Trevor Belmont!" Sypha snapped, pushing past the brunet to crouch by Alucard's side. They'd chased him off earlier; she was determined to not let it happen it again. She placed a careful hand on his arm. "Alucard, what happened here?" she asked, searching his face.

He wouldn't meet her eyes, choosing instead to stare at an empty space somewhere a few inches past his knee, so she tilted her head slightly to get a better look at him. He'd always been pale and slender, but there were hollows in his cheeks now, and shadows under his eyes.

"Why are you here?" he asked without any real interest.

"Things... haven't gone as I thought they would. And this is as close to a home as we have," Sypha responded. "So we thought..."

"So you thought, for the sake of convenience, you could come and go, using this place as you pleased."

Sypha's lips drew taut. The blond's voice hadn't changed inflection, the words coming in his usual soft baritone, but the accusation was beyond bitter. "No, not at all. We know our arrival was unannounced, that we're imposing on you. But you have no idea the things we've seen out there."

"Apparently attempting to resurrect Dracula has become all the rage," Trevor added.

Something flickered momentarily in the depths of those golden eyes, but Alucard did not ask for additional information. "Then I suppose you've come to ask me to kill my father again."

"No, that's not it..." Sypha began again, but Alucard had already turned to face the wall again.

"Please leave."

Sypha's fingers tightened on his arm. "Alucard..."

"Is this what you plan on doing with the rest of your life? Cleaning up around the Hold, drinking on your off hours?" Trevor barked. "Staking people outsi..."

Sypha swatted at her boyfriend's leg with her free arm. "TREVOR. Stop."

Alucard slid a glance in the hunter's direction, though he still didn't look at him. "You told me to make this my home. Are we regretting it now?"

Trevor's expression softened slightly. "Considering what you were originally planning, no." He went to join Sypha in crouching down, instead of talking to the top of the half-vampire's head, but just as he did so, the box tucked under his arm slipped and clattered to the ground, the lid flying open.

All three of them looked down as the flustered brunet quickly tried to recover it. Alucard's eyes narrowed; though it was empty, it wasn't hard to figure out from the shape of the indents what had been previously housed in there. Without thinking, he began clawing at the scars just under the sleeve on one arm. Even thought weeks had passed, they still hurt. All he could think was, They know. And the shame and bitterness and the rawness of it all tore through him and demanded escape... and so he did.

One moment Alucard was there, the next, there was a blur of red and Trevor and Sypha were left looking around desperately, trying to figure out where he'd sped off to. Trevor tracked upwards and just caught a glimpse of Alucard's boot as it disappeared away from the edge of the platform above them. "Well, that could've gone better."

* * *

Author's Notes:

October 6, 2022