Title: Under the Milky Way
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. "Cuts You Up" is performed and recorded by Peter Murphy. 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. 15: It spits you out
When you desire
To conquer it
To feel you're higher
* * *
Trevor was the last to rejoin the other two in the entry hall after clearing his section of enemy attackers; the surviving refugees who followed him back were quickly assessed by Greta as she worked on sorting out who needed treatment for injuries, who could still bear arms, and so on.
"Are you all right?" Sypha asked in concern, eyeing Trevor's armor, torn up in multiple spots, and the small, sharp spikes sticking out of his arm and back. Someone or something had mistaken him for a pincushion. She barely had any scratches herself, and Adrian of course had mended his own small wounds without issue, but Trevor hadn't been so lucky.
"Nothing I won't survive," Trevor answered, pulling the last few spines out of his right arm before flexing it gingerly. They hurt, for sure - but as long as he didn't voice any complaint hopefully the other two would assume the damage was minimal, which was fine by him. He'd pull his weight, no matter what Saint Germain was plotting. "Ready to go?"
Adrian's eyebrow twitched. He knew Trevor wasn't as okay as he claimed, but they didn't have the luxury of time to see to his wounds when they seemed fairly superficial and there were already so many other injured people in need of treatment. So the blond withheld any protest and nodded, looking up at the faint trail of glowing wisps being drawn upstairs. "Time to finish this."
* * *
When they reached the heart of the engine room several floors up, it became clear that things weren't going to get any easier, as a quintet of vampires awaited them. The biggest fellow, presumably the leader, simply sat back with a nasty smirk and watched as his four compatriots immediately launched into an attack, giving Trevor, Sypha and Adrian no time to plan their counter. It was only the strength of their teamwork, built on a backbone of trust and honed through multiple battles, that got them through the encounter, as Adrian nearly got staked by one vampire while Sypha was being electrocuted by another. Trevor had to take on two opponents at once as he focused on freeing his partners from their predicaments, even losing his family heirloom, the Vampire Killer, in the chasm below. But they all pulled through to face the leader together.
It was a good thing the vampire's pride had prevented him from working together with his underlings in a joint attack; he gave the trio a hard enough time just by himself, driving the group back with dangerous, heavy swings from his dire flail. Even breaking through his armor was no deterrent; he even turned the explosive damage of the Morning Star against Trevor by tearing off his own detonating arm to throw as a projectile at the hunter, nearly knocking him off the level they were fighting on. Adrian, who was already airborne, managed to throw himself sideways in time to catch Trevor, lowering him back onto the walkway as Sypha stepped in front of them both to unleash a massive blast of fire, before the half-vampire put down his shield and went in for the kill. They had to combine their attacks to cut down the enemy, quite literally, with Sypha slingshotting a blast of electrical damage to drive Adrian's sword through the vampire's muscled torso, cleaving him in half.
The back-to-back encounters left Trevor winded and dizzy. The explosion had thrown him clear across the room, and that, in addition to the damage he'd sustained earlier, was more than he could shake off. He tried staggering to his feet but sank back down before Sypha slung his arm over her shoulders and helped him back up. She hoped to give him a moment to reorient himself before they had to move again, but Adrian gave Trevor another look over before holding a hand up.
"Stay here and recover. I'll go and finish off that bastard," Adrian declared, his nostrils flaring. The metallic tang of blood coming from Trevor's direction was stronger than before, and he couldn't pretend it was simply from their enemies.
"Wait, Adrian..." Sypha began, but the blond had made up his mind and was already darting off. "Don't underestimate him, he's a magician!" she yelled, figuring he could hear her even if he'd already left the room.
* * *
He had heard her, but it made no difference - Saint Germain had to be stopped.
The trail led Adrian into familiar territory; even from a distance he could see a red glow emanating from the direction of his childhood bedroom. Rushing in, he saw what appeared to be a writhing mass of distorted, disembodied faces, expressions twisted in agony, floating in a ball above the alchemist as he waved his hands in some sort of complicated spell, all while protected behind a magical barricade. There was another vampire present, a beady eyed, greasy looking older fellow, observing Saint Germain, but making no effort to directly aid the human in his efforts.
"Just stay back. It will be quicker and easier for everyone," Saint Germain said calmly, as if they were having a casual conversation over tea.
"What in hell are you doing?" Adrian demanded.
"I am opening a door into the Infinite Corridor. I am truly sorry that the souls of these people are being sacrificed to the cause, but they would have died of rickets or angry badgers soon enough anyway."
Adrian's gaze shifted down to the lit crimson sigils on the ground, then back up to the swirling flow of magical power in the room. "This is death magic. You're using the energies of death to..."
"To open the Corridor and direct a portal to hell. And I need this spot here, where I presume you killed your father, to anchor the connection."
"My father?" the half-vampire snarled, realizing that indeed, the runes and sigils were centered around the platinum ring in the middle of the burnt rug. The ring he'd left behind, in lieu of a grave marker, because he'd had neither the body of his mother or father to bury... He never thought that it could be used as part of a spell!
"I'm bringing him back from hell. And your mother. You're welcome to stay and watch. You can wave if you like," said Saint Germain, flippant as ever.
Adrian threw a punch into the shielding. To his disappointment, it didn't crack or waver in the slightest. He coiled his muscles and tried again, desperate. "I am going to fucking murder you!" he seethed.
"No, I don't think so. You see, in Lindenfeld I saw that a many-souled creature of magic can control the Corridor. I, Saint Germain, am going to pull Dracula and Lisa Tepes out of hell, fuse their souls together, and lock them inside the body of a Rebis." He sighed softly, as if pleased by the cleverness of his plan, as Adrian drew his sword and attempted to chip and force his way through the barrier in the room. "I can't control the Corridor while I'm in there. I'm not strong enough. But a many-souled creature... a fusion of vampire and human even, that would be a mechanism to exert control over the Corridor. Vampire and human who were already closely bonded. It was obvious, really."
"Why, man? What possible reason?" Adrian yelled, enraged by what this man was trying to do, frustrated by his inability to stop him. If he could only break through...
"Two reasons. The woman I love is lost somewhere in the Infinite Corridor. And I am an alchemist. I seek the perfection of knowledge, the achievement of the great work, the magnum opus, which can be reached by the creation of the Rebis, the divine hermaphrodite, the fusion of male and female into an alchemical creature of perfect power and knowledge. And I can fucking ride it, Alucard. I create it. I bind it. I own it. I will find my love. I will command the Infinite Corridor. I will have complete access to a million different worlds. Like God."
The man was completely delusional, utterly insane. But reluctant as Adrian was to withdraw, there was nothing else he could do at the moment. He wasn't strong enough, or more precisely, his was the wrong type of strength needed. Sypha could perhaps dispel the barrier, or maybe Trevor's enchanted weapon could break through, and the sooner, the better. With one final, futile blow using the umbo of his shield, the half-vampire turned and rushed to get back to his companions a few floors below.
Saint Germain's parting words chased after him, mocking him with deranged sweetness, as if he were savoring Adrian's discouragement and defeat. "I once observed to Sypha Belnades that God had quite gone out of fashion. God is now standing right in front of you. And soon, very, very, soon... he's going to have sex again."
* * *
"That piece of shit is in my childhood room with an old vampire; they're trying to pull my parents back from hell to enact some sort of ritual involving a Rebis!" Adrian raged as soon as he got back to Trevor and Sypha. At least the hunter was standing on his own now, though he looked a bit more ashen than usual. Sypha was doing her best to not fuss over him, but she was clearly concerned about his condition as well, her hand firm on the small of his back. Dark stains dotted her sleeves and robes; all of it smelled of Trevor.
"Glad to see you're okay," Trevor commented, as if Adrian were the one bleeding out. He was still a little irritated that Adrian had run off without them, but the blond simply shook his head at the attempted deflection.
"I need your help. I can't break through the protective shield around them," Adrian explained. He looked at Sypha, who nodded, then back at Trevor. "Are you up to it?" he asked hesitantly.
It wasn't like they had a choice. They couldn't allow Dracula to be resurrected. This nightmare had gone too far already. "Yes," Trevor said, trying to sound more confident than he felt. "Let's go."
* * *
Adrian wondered what it was about his childhood room that was so cursed. There hadn't been anything unusual about it while he'd been growing up - he had nothing but fond memories of the time he'd spent in there as a youth - but once he'd aged out of it, it was like every force in the universe had colluded to make him regret ever stepping foot in it again.
The greasy vampire was nowhere to be seen. In his place, a skeletal figure now accompanied Saint Germain, but more importantly, the shielding around the alchemist was down. Adrian tried speed boosting forward to launch an attack before he could be excluded from the room again, but the skeletal figure lifted a bony hand and erected an even tougher barrier than before, causing the half-vampire to bounce off with a snarl and a shake of his head.
Saint Germain turned and stared out at him, sweaty and jittery, looking nothing like he did before. The earlier cockiness was gone; there was an almost pleading look in his eyes, like he'd suddenly realized he'd fallen into a predicament that was well out of his control. Too bad... Adrian didn't feel one bit of pity for the man; bargain with the devil, and you were bound to get burned.
"Oh, my God. That is actually Death," said Trevor, staring at the wraith as he and Sypha caught up to join Adrian.
"What? That's supposed to be the Grim Reaper himself?" Adrian asked. He wondered if the vampire that'd been there before had merely been a glamour to allow this even more malevolent entity to sneak in.
"That's what death looks like?" Sypha gasped.
"No, no, Death. It's the name it took. It's like a vampire, only it feeds on whatever leaves us when we die. The family books called it an elemental spirit that disguises itself to serve power," Trevor explained. He inhaled, taking in the scent of dust and peat and rot that hung like a moldy curtain in the air. His hand fell to his whip. Exhausted though he was, he knew his consecrated weapon could break through the shielding, but it'd take time and effort; could he do so fast enough to stop this, and would he be in any shape to continue fighting afterwards? Get in first, worry about other things later. "Stand back a bit," he said, as he slung the explosive tip of his weapon towards the barrier.
All Sypha and Adrian could do was give him space to work, as they were forced to watch helplessly as Saint Germain - wide eyed and trembling in fear with Death's bony digits wrapped around his neck - wrenched Dracula and Lisa's souls back into the world of the living through the glowing portal in the room, as their souls were subsequently slammed into the pieced together "corpse" lying on the floor. The Rebis violently jerked to life, spasming, blood oozing from their stitches as twin screams coiled together and poured out from their mouth. Bolts of reddish energy shot forth, randomly wrecking things in the space around them; the boards over the damaged windows were blown off. The force of the dark energy was so great that some even spilled through Death's barrier to push the trio back.
Trevor huffed for breath as he rained blow after blow into the shielding. This was taking more of a toll on him than he'd expected, but he didn't have the option to stop. A quick sideways glance and he could see the horror on his companions' faces... Adrian in particular looked like he'd forgotten how to breathe, his eyes blown wide, his mouth agape like a suffocating fish, as he watched his mother and father's souls impotently struggling to control the abomination they'd been tethered to.
He had to stop this. For Adrian's sake. For all their sakes. Please, God, let me get through! Trevor prayed, fixating on what looked like a spider webbing of damage in the barricade as he wound up and put all his energy into the next strike.
The protective shielding splintered as delicately as spun glass as the Morning Star shot through.
The defeated look on Saint Germain's face faded now that he saw a way out of the mess he'd caused. Seizing the opportunity, he forcibly moved the portal to the Infinite Corridor between Death and the Rebis, knowing that the skeletal being could not pass through it. "Belmont! Make yourself useful!" he yelled.
Trevor didn't need an invitation. He ran in, reaching into a belt pouch for the waterskin of holy water he knew was stashed there, then hurled it as hard as he could at the Rebis, following up with his cross haladie to ensure the water would erupt forth, that it'd coat the blade of the weapon and drive it into his target. He only had one shot but he was sure, whenever his back was against the wall, his aim would be true.
Adrian couldn't watch, averting his gaze and closing his eyes as the dagger embedded itself into the abomination, bisecting them.
The ensuing explosion blew the Rebis apart as dying howls were torn from their body, uncontrollable blasts of energy ripping through walls and ceilings, knocking everyone and everything present away as the entire tower that had once been the Tepes family's personal quarters was torn asunder.
* * *
Trevor came to on a stone platform, somehow held aloft by magical means; remaining chunks of castle walls whirled around him as if he was caught in the eye of a hurricane. He forced himself up onto his feet, his first thought to find Sypha and Adrian, as it appeared he was alone at the location. Well... not quite alone. Death's now towering, fearsome visage loomed over him.
The brunet staggered to the closest edge, looking out through the supernatural windstorm and debris, and suddenly his grim situation looked slightly less grim. His partners were on a ledge a good way below his, but both looked to be unharmed. Better yet, the ledge was still attached to the body of the castle, with no obvious impediments to prevent them from making their way down. Trevor couldn't help but grin, happy to have that small victory.
Sypha's head jerked up; she spotted him almost immediately and began tugging at Adrian's sleeve. Trevor could see them both starting to look for a way up. The redhead probably couldn't make it with the way the winds were whipping around, but Adrian possibly could; his eyes were tracking the movement pattern of the debris and his legs were already tensing to make the leap when the opportunity arose. They had lived and fought together as a pair and a trio for months now, but there were things that a hunter had to do alone...
"Adrian, no," Trevor said, his voice loud and steady. The blond looked up, stricken, and Trevor felt himself wavering. He hated to do this, especially since Adrian had watched his parents die again only minutes ago, and by Trevor's hand, but he didn't have a choice, not if he wanted to stop his boyfriend from joining him - or even worse, bringing Sypha along with him - only to die by his side. "I won't be the last of the Belmonts."
Trevor could see Adrian putting together the request being made of him, his eyes widening until they looked like two gold coins. The half-vampire glanced at the woman beside him, then looked back at Trevor, utterly devastated.
Trevor tried his best to give the pair a bright, reassuring smile. "I love you. Both of you."
"Trevor... we know," Sypha breathed, struggling to put on a brave smile of her own, but her hand clawed for Adrian's. Adrian gripped hers back, his knuckles white.
"You better know. And remember... Trefor is a terrible name."
Sypha made a soft, strangled cry, pitching forward slightly, but Adrian picked up on another sound: the stone was beginning to crumble under the ledge they were resting on. He didn't want to leave, but with Sypha there, he would honor Trevor's request, no matter what...
Biting down on his lip hard enough to draw blood, Adrian grabbed Sypha's arm, forcibly hauling her away as the stonework deteriorated beneath them.
Trevor watched the pair disappear through the doorway below. It looked like his luck had finally run out, but he'd be satisfied as long as his loved ones survived - and that meant he had to take Death out, no matter the cost. He turned back to his adversary, marching towards Death with deliberate steps, conviction straightening his spine, ignoring just how absolutely huge Death had gotten. As if a floating figure made of bone and wasted muscle and magical fiber wasn't scary enough on a smaller scale. "Oi, Death, I want a word with you."
"You know me?" the spirit rasped.
"I'm Trevor Belmont of House Belmont. Of course I know you. Finding things and recognizing things is what we do. And you are absolutely a thing."
"I was put here at the dawn of life on Earth to feed on the last breath of every one of you fuckers. I'm a little more than a... thing."
"No. You're only a thing." Trevor's fingers tightened on the grip of his weapon as he drew the remaining whip forth. "You're only an old killer. You don't make anything. You don't live. You just eat and hide."
"Is there a point to this? Are you dictating your fucking obituary to me, Belmont?"
Probably... Trevor stopped his advance, his right foot drawing a line in the sand as he'd seen Adrian do before. "It's time to give this place back to people who know how to build things. You and me, we're just killers out of history. It's time for us to go."
"And who's going to make me go? You, with your bit of string in your hand?" Death mocked.
Trevor grinned. "Probably not." Tensing for his opening move in what would likely be the biggest - and last - fight of his life, he drew a length of chain taut between his hands with flourish. "But let's just give this one last go. Shall we?"
* * *
Adrian hurried Sypha along as much as he could, but stopped short of simply picking her up and speed boosting his way down the walls of the stairwell or leaping through a window to take their chances at the edge of the magical windstorm. His top priority was the baby's safety, so running about recklessly was out of the question.
Here and there, he could hear what sounded like crackling explosions above them, sending faint, shuddering tremors through the stonework below. Each one made him flinch, as if the steps beneath them would simply collapse, but he found himself straining to pick up the next smack as well, using it as confirmation that Trevor was still alive, still fighting. Hang on, Trevor, he thought, determined to rejoin the battle once he delivered Sypha to safety.
The castle had too many damn stairs. As a child he'd loved having so many levels to run around on, but he resented it now. Sypha slipped a bit on a step, but Adrian was quick to catch and steady her before urging her to continue on. A small wayward night creature tried to ambush them a little further on; Adrian sliced it into chunks without breaking stride.
It felt like it took way too long to get down to the main floor, but the Speaker and half-vampire finally made it to the entryway and were immediately greeted by anxious questions as the refugees huddled around the now open gates, uncertain whether it was safer inside or out at the moment.
Greta pushed past a few people to address their host, her voice rising above the din. "Will the castle hold? Alucard, what should we do?"
"I don't know," Adrian admitted, as the structure quaked again. He took a deep breath and stepped outside to assess the situation. There was no indication that the castle was in danger of imminent collapse, and no sign of additional attackers coming out of the woods. "It should be safe here for the time being, but be ready to move if anything changes." He looked back at Sypha, who now stood in the entryway, her hands clenching at the fabric of her robes in uncertainty. His gaze bored into hers. "I'm going back up."
She nodded, knowing there was nothing she could say to stop him.
But just as Adrian pivoted to go back in, there was a sudden flash of brilliant blue-violet light, brighter than the sun, and then a massive blast large enough to noticeably rock the massive stone structure. Voices cried out in panic; some people cowered where they stood, others bolted a few yards like frightened rabbits. Whirling back around, Adrian looked up in time to see the remainder of his family's personal quarters crumbling down from high above them, sending chunks of rocks and wood hurtling towards the ground. ...Trevor...?
He wasn't the only one gawking at the damage made visible by the slowly dimming light from above. Greta immediately began loudly ordering people to take shelter inside, fearing that someone would get crushed by debris. Seeing Sypha staring upward in shock, Greta grabbed her arm and forcibly dragged her back inside, as Adrian abruptly vanished in a blur of red.
Ignoring entreaties for him to be careful, the half-vampire headed straight for the center of the impact zone, trusting in his speed and agility to dodge bigger debris but otherwise not caring if he took a hit or two. If there was even the tiniest possibility that Trevor had survived the fight, he had to get to him immediately to blunt his fall, to see to his injuries.
He switched to his wolf form for better tracking, circling the area, sniffing the air, his ears twitching left and right as he nimbly leapt about to avoid being crushed. But as the fall of debris began slowing, Adrian's heart sank. The chances of the hunter being alive dropped with each passing minute. He quickly located Saint Germain's mangled body, a broken piece of the cross haladie still lodged in his chest, and massive charred fragments of bone that had to be from Death, but no sign of the one person he was looking for. Still, he wasn't going to give up. Even if all he could do was bring whatever was left of Trevor back for burial, then so be it.
Five minutes later, Adrian caught the scent of blood, but it turned out to be just a few drops on a stone façade.
Another ten minutes passed, and he picked up on a similar smell, buried under some rock. Switching back to his usual humanoid form he began digging, throwing aside stone and wood fragments and bits of glass, but it was just a little more blood.
Adrian frowned. Bodies didn't simply vanish. There was no way he couldn't find something more substantial than a few scarlet smears. He just wasn't looking hard enough, that had to be it. Undaunted, he pushed aside his fears and frustration and continued searching.
* * *
People began emerging from the castle once again after several hours had passed, as the first hints of sunrise started brightening the sky in soft blues and corals and pinks. They were traumatized by the night's events, but regardless if they were ready for it or not, life went on. The campsite had to be cleaned up. Livestock had to be rounded back up. Food had to be prepared. The dead had to be buried.
Some seventy people had died - over a quarter of the refugees. There wasn't a single person who hadn't been affected by the loss of a close friend, a beloved family member. Yet they all knew it could've been far, far worse.
Sypha swallowed her sorrow and tiredness and threw herself into helping out to keep her hands and mind busy. Adrian's assistance would've been most welcome, but no one suggested he call off his search to come help.
The sun steadily began marching across the sky, not slowing down for the humans who struggled to rebuild their lives beneath it. The morning was spent mostly on taking inventory again of needs, whether it be food or blankets, and doling out whatever was available. The afternoon saw everyone capable of pitching in digging graves on a small, grassy hill in the shadow of a leafy tree, the same place where Adrian had stashed the body of the rider that had delivered Greta's message two days earlier. Using scavenged materials, they cobbled together markers to denote each plot. The refugees kindly offered to put a marker somewhere for Trevor as well, but Sypha declined; she had a different spot in mind, one that meant a lot more to Trevor. While the digging and burials continued, Sypha started up a bonfire to get rid of whatever night creature bits were left outside and in the entry way of the castle, though there wasn't much, as Gergoth's flames had done a decent job of clearing the area. Anything further inside would need to be cleaned up later, as it just wasn't high priority.
Evening painted the skies with purple bleeding like spilled ink into the fading orange sunset. As the sun disappeared below the horizon, Greta called the survivors inside to spend the night in the entry hall of the castle, just in case - Sypha wasn't sure if there were remnant forces that could still pose a threat, so for now, better to be safe than sorry.
As the gates drew closed there was a single mournful howl from outside.
* * *
June 21, 2023