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 + through 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 + S4 animation canon based.
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

* * *

Under the Milky Way

Ch. 11: Let him know that you know best
'Cause after all, you do know best

* * *

Unsurprisingly, Sypha was still in Lisa's study, carefully sorting through books. Or more precisely, reading books after getting distracted while sorting.

"Sypha, we found a bed but you'll need to take a look; we're not sure if it's what you were hoping for. But in the meantime, check this out," Trevor announced as he sauntered into the room.

The Speaker looked up, unsure what he was referring to at first, but then Trevor tugged down his collar a bit more and her brows furrowed.

"Is that... he bit you?!" she gasped, jumping to her feet and running over to inspect the puncture marks. The actual holes were surprisingly narrow and neat, but the skin around them was a bit swollen.


"Trevor... is that really okay?" Sypha asked, her eyes wide. Weren't they just looking around for a bed? Had they gotten into a fight or argument? She didn't think Adrian needed or wanted to drink blood, so why...

"I asked him to. I wanted to see what it was like. Haven't you ever been curious about it?"

"No, not at all!"

Trevor shrugged; it was her loss.

One reddish-blond eyebrow twitched upward. This seemed reckless, even for Trevor. Not that she didn't trust Adrian, but poking holes in someone was simply dangerous. "... And?"

"It didn't quite go as I thought it would. It hurt for sure. I thought I was going to die. But then I got to enjoying it."

Sypha sighed. She couldn't see how those two things went together. "Can you maybe try enjoying things that don't have the potential to get you killed?"

"Can I really call myself a hunter if I don't know what it's like to be bitten?" Trevor pondered.

"Could you call yourself 'alive' afterwards, if it had been someone other than Adrian?" Sypha shot back, as the aforementioned half-vampire walked into the room.

Trevor laughed. "Good point."

"I'm glad you're in high spirits after such a harrowing experience," Adrian drawled as he joined them, having heard enough of the conversation to know that Trevor still thought this was all fun and games.

"I wouldn't call it that. What's life without any risks?" asked Trevor.

Adrian sighed. He shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place. He had to come clean, before things got out of hand. "There's more risk than you think. I don't remember everything that happened; there's a good chance my control could completely slip in moments like that."

"... What don't you remember?" Sypha asked, worried.

"Pretty much anything between biting down and then releasing. I can't tell you how long it lasted, or if there were any sounds like Trevor claimed he'd heard. I had planned on just biting and immediately letting go, and I thought I'd done just that, but that contradicts everything Trevor said."

Sypha made a disgruntled sound, and turned back to the brunet. "Trevor..."

The hunter rubbed at his neck again. Yes it was starting to feel a little tender, but he kind of liked it. He had never felt so close to Adrian as he had when he'd been lying underneath him, listening to their hearts slowly beating in sync. And given all the scars he bore on his body, there was something appealing about being able to choose to receive one, knowing where it came from, and why. "What if you supervise next time?"

"What 'next time'?! Are you even listening?" Sypha yelled.

Trevor folded his arms. "It's my neck."

"... And my fangs. And I agree, it's too risky."

"I told you, I trust you. So maybe we need to work on keeping you in control of the situation, but I don't see why that should stop us," Trevor said stubbornly.

"Oh for God's sake..." Adrian hissed.

"Just indulge me a little. I don't really ask for much, do I?" Trevor wheedled. "Hell, if things go wrong, you can put the blame solely on me."

"I'd rather NOT be right!" the blond shot back.

Trevor waved his hand dismissively. "You say that, and yet when we go to bed tonight, you're going to stick your face against my neck and pretend like it's totally normal to sleep that way, that you're not sniffing out the optimal spot to bite."

"Should I sleep in the middle instead?" Sypha offered, glancing at Adrian for his reaction.

The half-vampire facepalmed. "If you wish. But despite what Trevor's implying, I'm not going to uncontrollably gnaw on him at night, either."

"So since you can control it while you're asleep, why would it be a problem when you're awake?" the brunet asked.

"Trevor, has it occurred to you that he simply doesn't want to participate?" Sypha asked.

Trevor stared at Sypha, and looked back at Adrian. "If that's the case, then just say so."

"I did," the blond shot back.

"Actually, you didn't. And you bit me anyhow."

"... Because I know how you are, and you weren't going to stop pestering me, you idiot," Adrian hissed, getting in the other man's face and drawing back his lips to flash his fully extended fangs. The last time he'd done that, Sumi had been complaining that she couldn't get inside the range of his sword, so Adrian had threatened her to make his point. But here was Trevor, smirking and tilting his head, as if he knew no fear. If anything, he had moved closer even. It was a little unsettling, given that reasonable people knew better than to stand there as if asking to get bitten. Then again, when had Trevor ever reacted like a "reasonable" person?

"I still think it's a terrible idea..." Sypha trailed off, sighing. Despite her misgivings she was starting to think it was better to just go along with Trevor's request that she somehow supervise, because she knew how ridiculously stubborn he was when he set his mind on something - and that Adrian tended to cave if Trevor pressured him. It was better than leaving him to figure out some other way to get what he wanted.

"But...?" Trevor pressed.

She rubbed her hand over her eyes, as if that somehow made what she was about to say more sensible or sane. "I'll agree to 'supervise,' but you will not browbeat Adrian into this. If he doesn't want to do it, you respect his decision."

"That's fine." Trevor turned to Adrian. "So, are you in?"

Adrian eyed the wounds in Trevor's neck. There was already the faintest bit of bruising mottling the area. "Do I really have a choice?"

"You always have a choice. I am asking you to do this, not demanding it," Trevor reminded him.

"That's funny, you seem pretty demanding, almost all the time."

"I'm persistent. It's not the same."

"Clearly my faulty perception then," Adrian quickly answered back.

"I swear, you two..." Sypha began, rolling her eyes.

"That said," the half-vampire cut in, "I'm not going to consider anything until you give that a chance to heal a bit." He gestured unnecessarily at the hunter's neck.

"Fair enough," Trevor agreed with a broad smile.

* * *

Deciding it was best to switch focus, partially to get Trevor's mind off his latest point of fascination, Sypha suggested they show her the bed. After all three of them got on it, Sypha decided it was wide enough to make a difference - she was only going to get bigger as her pregnancy advanced, and summers were warm enough that she wanted the luxury of not having to sleep squashed up against anyone. So Adrian and Trevor spent the middle part of the day moving furniture: the old bed was taken apart and moved down to the storage room in the lower levels of the castle, and the new one replaced it. And of course they had to retrieve the beer as well, bringing the barrels over to the wine cellar near the kitchen they cooked and ate in. By the time they were done, both men just wanted to flop on the mattress, but Sypha cheerily reminded Trevor that he still owed them a daily session of reading and writing.

Trevor grumbled and groaned, even as he went to sit obediently at the desk for an hour of tedium. Adrian offered to take care of it if Sypha had other things she wanted to do, so she decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go up to Adrian's childhood room.

She brought up some tools for Trevor to repair the windows later, removed the bloodied sheet, and carried out baskets of toys and stacks of additional books, along with the family portrait on the wall. She couldn't shake the feeling that she had to move it to somewhere safer, so she did, stashing it behind the toys in the unused room next to the one she and Trevor had been assigned to upon their return.

Figuring she'd spent about an hour on her tasks, she then headed over to check on Trevor's lessons, not really expecting her boyfriend to have picked up anything in the short span, but at the very least, she had confidence that Adrian had done his best to teach him. Which was why she could only frown like a disapproving mother at finding the two of them making out like teenagers: Adrian was astride Trevor's lap on a chair that was creaking in protest, and Trevor was sucking on his neck like he was trying to create the world's largest hickey.

The pair started as Sypha cleared her throat, with Adrian shooting up onto his feet like someone had set a fire under him. The marks on his neck immediately began healing up, though Sypha was pretty sure she saw some bite marks in the mix. Apparently this was a mutual interest?

"We did put in a full hour," Adrian mumbled, a bit guiltily.

"A full hour doing what, exactly?" Sypha asked icily.

"What we were supposed to be doing." Trevor began groping for the papers on the desk. "See? It's improving, right?" he said, holding up the latest samples of his handwriting.

Sypha grumbled. She didn't want to admit it, but it was a little better, yes. "And what, you wanted to be rewarded for it?"

He may have said as much to Adrian, who was now trying very hard to adjust his pants as subtly as possible - which only made it all the more obvious. Trevor made no attempt to hide the tenting in his own trousers as he leaned back in the seat. "Maybe."

"You know you don't have to give him whatever he asks for," the Speaker mildly scolded the half-vampire.

Adrian sighed. "I know."

"But you're going to anyhow." A slight smile alit on her face. She wasn't nearly as mad as they seemed to think. In many ways, she thought it was a good thing - Adrian was doing better and was still receptive to them, despite what he'd gone through. And Trevor, who'd been wary and uncertain about getting into this relationship at all, had quickly come around and was now fully embracing it. The only thing that worried her was that Trevor seemed to have gotten into the habit of bullying Adrian into doing whatever he wanted, and Adrian just capitulated as if it was second nature to him. For now it wasn't doing any harm - it was advantageous in battle at the very least, to have one person making the calls - but it was something to keep an eye on.

She looked back at the sheets. There were pages of repeating letters of course, but also names: her own, Adrian as both Alucard and Adrian F. Tepes, and Trevor C. Belmont. There were additional names too, with various spellings. She glanced at Adrian, a dozen questions in her eyes.

"We were talking about possible baby names," Adrian explained, figuring that was what she was most confused about.

"My brother's name was Frediric and my sister's was Ann. I thought... well, maybe we'd consider those for the baby?" Trevor ducked his head, unusually subdued all of a sudden. "I don't remember exactly how Frediric was spelled, though."

Sypha's smiled broadened, softening considerably. "Frediric Belmont. Ann Belmont. I like that... they sound right. But..." and she waggled her finger, "all that said, it's bad luck to name a baby this early!"

"Something to discuss later, then," Adrian agreed. "The rest of it... I figured at the very least, he should learn to write our names properly."

Sypha nodded, then pivoted to the other thing she'd noticed. "So you both have middle names? What do the C and F stand for?"

"My mother's maiden name was Farenheit," Adrian explained.

"Ah, uh... it's Christopher," Trevor muttered, unsure if he was going to regret telling her. Treffy was bad enough. He didn't need to be Treffy Chrissy or something equally awful.

"Is that another name your family passed down?" Sypha wondered.

"My godfather's name. My brother got the same. I don't recall meeting him, but he was a hunter from another family, a relative of my mother's, I believe."

"I see..."

"You're not going to turn it into a nickname are you?" Trevor asked.

Sypha's smile turned a little wicked. "Do you want me to?"

The brunet blanched.

Adrian chuckled, then figured it was as good a time as any to excuse himself, in case Sypha thought to turn her attention to him next. Besides, he was hoping to go through documents in the Hold to resolve the matter of Trevor's brother's name, and too he was starting to realize he'd been remiss in his efforts to rebuild the staircase, so it was time he got back to it.

After the half-vampire left, Sypha dragged Trevor back upstairs with her, intent on having him fix up the broken windows as soon as possible. Once they were nearly there and Sypha was sure Adrian was well out of earshot, she said warningly, "Trevor, don't push him too hard."

Trevor held his hand to his chest as if to say, "Who, me?"

The redhead rolled her eyes. "Just because he had a good cry doesn't mean he's over things. Give him some time."

"I'm not doing anything he doesn't want. And he knows he can say no at any point."

"He goes along with whatever you want, and you know it," Sypha pointed out, then a little more somberly, added, "Maybe he thinks it'll keep you around."

"But we already promised that we weren't leaving again, at least, not without him."

"Yes, we did. But we already left, once. You don't think that weighs on him?"

"He's not a kid, Sypha."

"No, but he's not really an adult, either - I don't care how quickly he aged. Maybe, like you, he grew up way too fast for his own good. He didn't have a normal childhood; he didn't have the same experiences that most people would've had." She made a vague waving gesture at the castle walls, at the stairs, then frowned slightly, remembering that she'd chastised Adrian about the exact same thing months ago, before she'd known better. It didn't feel good to know that of the three of them, she'd grown up the most "normal" by default. "I'm just asking you to be careful. He's been through a lot."

Trevor rolled that over in his head, then mused aloud, "We never did go on that hunt."

"You still need to kill something?"

He shrugged. The urge was still there, but he'd mostly forgotten about it since Adrian was doing better. "I'd rather see him happy. I don't think getting ourselves covered in blood and muck will do that."

"Probably not."

"Maybe I should go find more flowers - knowing my luck, I'll get attacked again. Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak," he said with a laugh.

"Sure. After you board up the windows."

"Yes, yes."

It wasn't the prettiest of fixes, but by the time Trevor was done, there was no longer any wind or rain blowing into the room. Not that there was all that much left to protect since Sypha had cleared out quite a lot of things earlier, but better to be safe than sorry, since they didn't know if Adrian would someday want to come and recover an item that had been left behind.

Despite Trevor's claim that he'd been considering a second round of flower picking, he and Sypha ended up spending the rest of the afternoon and the next several days making repairs around the castle. It was pretty clear by this point that Adrian wasn't going to prioritize the castle over the Hold, so if Trevor and Sypha wanted anything done around their new home, they'd have to do it themselves. It was a tall task for the two, as Sypha - who'd grown up without a house to call home, and Trevor - who'd lost his by the time he reached puberty, lacked the know-how to do home repairs. And this was a massive castle with technology far beyond their understanding. But at least they were willing to do the work.

So while Adrian shifted gears to building an enclosure around the Hold's lift to fully secure and protect the entry, Trevor and Sypha explored nearly the entirety of the castle from top to bottom, intent on both mapping it out and making it as livable as possible. They tidied up broken glass and tossed out moldy drapes and shattered wood bits into yet another burn pile. Trevor patched over a few more damaged windows and did his best to fill in - or at least cover up - holes left behind by a father and son literally punching one another through solid stone walls.

But it wasn't all labor. They marveled at the impressive tangle of pipes and machinery that operated the castle's heating, electrical and plumbing systems, nearly as massive as the engine that once moved the structure. Dracula's labs held more strange devices that whirred and clicked and sparked with blue fire; they couldn't even guess as to the nature of many of the inventions. Sypha was of course attracted to any sort of book or journal and couldn't resist browsing through whatever was left behind in the labs or in the suites of Dracula's former generals. Trevor was ecstatic to find another intact keg of beer in the "main" kitchen, which he quickly squirreled away to their pantry. A little less exciting was the discovery of a bit of stagnant blessed water in the dungeon's water coffers on the lowest level. Perhaps Dracula had kept some on hand to threaten misbehaving vampires, or maybe it was a carryover from the flooding in Braila. It smelled awful and was fairly weak, but holy water was still holy water, so Trevor put some in a couple of waterskins as it could be used as a weapon later.

When even exploration got tiresome, there was always the option of taking a break and "testing" out some of the numerous other beds and sofas in the place. As much as Trevor and Sypha liked Adrian and hoped to get him sexually involved in their relationship someday, there was something freeing about being able to embrace and enjoy one another without worrying about accommodating a third person. It felt like a bit of a reconfirmation of their feelings for one another, as well as a celebration of the new life blossoming between them. And it took some of the edge off, especially for Trevor, as they'd been having sex nearly every night while out on their grand adventure... only to abruptly stop once they returned to the castle. Trevor may have needed time to recover from their journey, but that didn't mean he couldn't indulge in any physical activity, especially now that he was about as whole and healthy as he'd ever been.

They even found some children's furniture tucked away in the very back of the spacious storage room, all beautifully carved and painted with stars and moons. There was no doubt who it had all been crafted for. It was still too early to be setting up a nursery, but they were both happy to know the furniture was there for them to use when the time came.

* * *

Adrian finished up his prioritized task amazingly fast. Trevor couldn't hide how impressed he was. There'd been nothing but piles of salvaged stone and wood around the base of the lift one day, and then a week and a half later there was an entire roofed structure with reinforced walls around it. Sypha did a bit of research and found a spell that would do something similar to the old one that used to protect the Hold, reinforcing the thick, heavy door with a magical ward that was keyed to the three of them. Since the previous door had been broken by night creatures, this one would only be so secure, but at least it would help insure that no so-called hunters-in-training would be able to sneak in to steal away anything to use against the Hold's appointed guardian again.

Trevor and Sypha weren't quite as swift in their self appointed clean up duties, but after a few days even Adrian had to return the compliment, admitting the castle looked more presentable - a lot more like the home he remembered, and not the battlefield it had turned into. He seemed more relaxed in the space as well, enough that he began dabbling in drawing again like Sypha had hoped. It helped that there were fewer broken furnishings to skirt around, fewer reminders of the desperate fight that had stained the floors with blood and scorched the walls with fire and hot ash.

The new routine wasn't too unlike the old one they had going before Trevor and Sypha had left for their grand adventure, so the trio found themselves settling back into it without too much difficulty. The main difference now was that there was no longer any illusion that they were sleeping separately, so there was no question about which bedroom they were piling into at the end of each night.

One evening, as they prepared to bed down, Trevor started rubbing at his neck, at the fading bruise that still ringed the area where he'd been bitten, then looked pointedly at Adrian and said, "So...?"

"Oh no you're not," Adrian grumbled, quickly catching on to what he was doing.

"Why not? I'm perfectly fine; never been better. Sypha's here. And conveniently," and Trevor pulled off his shirt, flopped onto the mattress, and crossed his arms behind his head, "I'm already lying down." He didn't miss the way that Adrian was eyeing his chest; it looked like shirtlessness was acceptable. Really, he'd prefer sleeping naked if possible, but he'd been keeping his clothes on so Adrian wouldn't feel uncomfortable next to him.

"How is having a bruise on one side of your neck, 'fine'?" Sypha asked. Internally she was already preparing herself for what was invariably coming, because logic and Trevor had never been friends.

"He's going to say, 'There's always the other side of my neck.'" Adrian said tiredly.

Trevor grinned. "Exactly! And this is nothing - it doesn't hurt or anything at all."

Adrian sat on the bed and rested his chin on his fist. "I will never understand what the fuck you're thinking."

"You don't have to worry about that. Come on, lie down with me." And he extended an arm upward, knowing Adrian would follow it down.

There was a bit of mild grumbling, but sure enough, Adrian climbed into his usual spot in the center of bed - and even he was amazed at how quickly he'd come to think of it as "his" spot - and lay down next to Trevor's side, slowly breathing in his scent against his better judgement. Even fresh out of the bath he smelled like leather, sweat and masculinity - and a bit of beer, as Trevor couldn't resist tapping into one of the kegs they'd secured - all the things that made Trevor who he was. The blond was dying to reach out and caress the other man's chest, but that seemed too forward, so he kept his arms curled in against himself.

Eyes wide, Sypha sat down on the edge of the bed next to Trevor, as morbidly curious as she was cautious. Trevor had suggested she supervise, though she was sure even he had no clue what exactly that meant. Was he expecting her to blast Adrian if he got out of control? What if she wasn't willing to do so?

Unaware of the Speaker's dilemma - and Adrian's war against temptation - Trevor curled towards Adrian and reached for him. He figured it was up to him to get his partner in the mood, so he slid his fingers through long moonlight locks, then wound a few curled ends around his knuckles and pulled gently. Adrian shifted over a bit on the mattress, close enough for the hunter to tilt his chin and press his lips against Adrian's. Their mouths slowly worked against one another, tongues flicking out to explore what the other tasted like, drawing soft moans from both men. Adrian forgot about his shyness and planted a hand on Trevor's chest, feeling the slight scratchiness of chest hair tickling against his palm, the firmness of muscle a solid wall to press himself against. One leg slid up and over Trevor's to hook over a knee.

Trevor was the one who finally pulled away, his breaths coming short and fast. If he wasn't careful, he'd be pushing for something more than a bite, and he wasn't sure Adrian was ready for that, even if he was giving off all the signals that he was.

He stroked a finger down Adrian's cheek, then carefully drew the blond's head down towards his neck, and let go, leaving him to it.

The nuzzling and snuffling and licking was expected. But this time, Adrian drew out the teasing with the addition of a few tiny kisses, as well as a bit of careful nipping, not with his fangs, but with his front teeth. He didn't need to do either of those things, but Trevor seemed to be enjoying it immensely, which was encouraging.

The brunet could feel his heart rate picking up from the sensations dappling his throat, mingling with anticipation. But he did his best to not wiggle around too much so maybe Adrian wouldn't feel the need to hold on so tightly to his hair. A little bit of hair pulling was fine, but Trevor preferred to be the one doing it, not the recipient.

Sure enough, after a minute a slender, elegant hand stole up to knot in the mahogany strands, then Adrian shifted his weight to give himself a better angle before turning to Sypha and asking, "Could you keep track of how much time passes, once I start?"

She nodded, swallowing. She knew he'd been concerned about his lack of awareness the first time he'd tried it. "I will."

He dipped his head in thanks, then turned back to a smug Trevor, opened his mouth, and bit down.

Sypha winced, but began a steady count in her head. It had to hurt - she could see Trevor tense up as Adrian began driving his fangs in, but once the blond was fully seated, they both began to relax noticeably. Adrian even completely released his hold on Trevor's hair, his hand drifting down to lazily caress the side of Trevor's face before shifting down to rest on his chest. If she didn't know better, she could almost believe they'd nodded off, just like that... except Adrian's eyes were half-lidded and the gold irises had become almost burnished. And the sound of their breathing had evened up until they were eerily synced, slowing to the point where she was beginning to fret that it could cause Trevor to completely pass out.

A minute passed. Sypha leaned in slightly to check on the both of them. Trevor wasn't bleeding much as far as she could see; Adrian wasn't making any attempt to drink or deepen the wounds.

Once the count in her head hit the two minute mark, she reached out to tap on Adrian's shoulder, to suggest he start easing off, but just before she touched him he stirred, lifting his head slightly while his fangs were still completely dug into Trevor's neck, much to Sypha's horror. She was amazed to not hear flesh tearing, to not see blood suddenly spraying through the air. Those golden eyes, usually soft as a sunset's glow, narrowed and took on a ruby hue as Adrian hissed at her, the sound rising up from a low growl somewhere deep in his throat.

Sypha froze, suddenly remembering Adrian's concern that his control could possibly slip. She'd never seen him like this. Other, full-blooded vampires, yes - but she'd gotten used to thinking of Adrian as much more human and much less vampire. But the man only a few feet from her was bristling with predatory instincts at the moment, and he did not want to be disturbed.

She withdrew her hand, watching in relieved fascination as the blood-red tint vanished from Adrian's eyes, as the hissing and growling died down into a soft, barely audible rumble. He slowly lowered Trevor back onto the bed and returned to lying across the prone hunter, grinding against him a bit before going still again. At least Trevor appeared unhurt - there wasn't any extra bleeding that she could see, and he'd remained relaxed through the entirety of Adrian's display, like someone on the cusp of falling asleep.

Perhaps she was looking at it the wrong way? Was that really the reaction of a predator claiming his prey, or was he acting on some primal instinct to protect?

The Speaker settled back and returned to her task, adding in fifteen extra seconds to make up for the period where she'd been too distracted to accurately keep count. Maybe it had been closer to ten, or perhaps twenty, but as long as Adrian didn't need a precise number, it was good enough.

When the count approached the four minute mark, Adrian suddenly exhaled a little louder than usual. Sypha looked down as his lashes fluttered, and just like that, he looked to be back in control and was disengaging without any difficulty.

Trevor began blinking as well as Adrian resumed licking and kissing his way up and down the column of the other man's throat, cleaning up the bit of blood around the wounds. Trevor's head rolled in his girlfriend's direction; smiling at her, he said, "See, no big deal, right?"

* * *

Author's Notes:

April 5, 2023