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. 5: Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left, and you stay right

* * *

By the time Adrian returned from the Hold later that evening, Sypha was monitoring an impressive bonfire outside the castle, tending to it and poking anything that tumbled out back into the center of the fire. Trevor hung a little further back, watching the flames pensively.

True to his word Trevor hadn't touched the staked corpses. The blond still wasn't sure if he ought to be relieved or not that Trevor had refrained from doing so, but he stood outside with them and watched the flames lick the night sky, until they all agreed they were hungry and the fire was under control enough to go untended for a while.

A big pot of rabbit and vegetable stew awaited the trio inside, their reward for a hard day's work. They ate in companionable silence until they'd taken the edge off their hunger, then they talked about what needed to be done tomorrow. The animal pens had to be cleaned out, and there were always more of the endless repairs that needed to be done. Sypha had already planned to put out the fire for the evening, so there'd be no need to monitor it, with the intention of starting it up again the next morning, to finish off anything still remaining. Otherwise, they were pretty much done with the clean up of the wing they were in. The bed in the largest room had been the hardest part, but thanks to Trevor breaking it down and Sypha employing some ice magic to make it easier to slide the pieces around, the two of them had gotten it done.

"So I think we've finished moving everything from the room we were in to the one across the way, the one we were using before. But if I missed anything, just let me know," the redhead told Adrian. "Also I wasn't sure if you wanted fresh sheets, since we were using the bed the last two nights. For now I left them, but if you'd rather have them switched out, I can do that for you."

"No need. You've done a lot, thank you," Adrian said. He bet Sypha would find it creepy if he said he found some comfort in having their scents on the sheets. Maybe he'd also sleep a little better knowing that there weren't reminders of Sumi and Taka just beyond the door, though there was still the matter of their bodies staked outside. Perhaps he ought to give Trevor the go ahead to... dispose of them, like he'd wanted.

"Oh - I put aside some things that I thought you might want, but if you'd rather not keep them, we can add them to the burn pile tomorrow," Sypha continued, cutting into Adrian's morose thoughts.

"Things?" Adrian wasn't sure what he'd had in the room he'd abandoned, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to find out.

"A few books, journals, items like that. I'm not sure if they're all yours as I did not look inside, in case you had anything you wanted to keep private. And there were also some very fancy clothes, like a vest with silver studs and buckles, silk shirts and cravats, gloves with gold trimmed cuffs. It's all in the hallway for now..."

"Ah yes, my old formalwear." The blond wasn't sure if he'd ever have need to wear it again, but no reason to get rid of it either. Seeing Sypha's curious look, he cleared his throat and added, "My father insisted I dress the part if he was receiving guests; my mother was fond of having family portraits painted as well."

"Oh. Now that I think about it, I've only seen the family portrait from when you were an infant."

Adrian sighed. Sypha's cornflower blue eyes were wide and sparkling. He could see where this was going. "There might still be one in my parents' room. Or perhaps in my mother's study or sitting room." He tried to return her smile, like a good host. "Would you like to see it, if I can find one?"

"Yes. But only if that's all right with you," said Sypha. She was keenly aware of the fact that certain parts of the castle were off limits - not explicitly forbidden, but given that this was Adrian's family home, he had a right to some expectation of privacy. Even though she and Trevor had been in his childhood room more than once, as a general rule the Tepes family's private wing was one of those off limit areas.

"I'll see what I can find after dinner, then."

Once the meal was finished, Sypha froze some water for the ice chest so they could have a bit of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, then cleaned up the table and headed outside to deal with the bonfire while the two men worked on washing and drying dishes. Once the kitchen was tidied to Adrian's liking, he disappeared for a little bit while Trevor and Sypha retired to their new room, but just as they were getting settled, there was a knock at the door and Adrian's voice floated in. "Can I come in?"

"Of course," Sypha called out from the sofa, where she and her boyfriend were lounging.

Adrian peeked in, taking an experimental sniff. He could still catch a slight whiff of Taka's scent, but Trevor and Sypha's presence were already overwriting it, so it was far more tolerable than before.

Sypha waved the half-vampire in and beckoned him closer. He was hugging a framed oval portrait to his chest. "Oh - you found one!"

"Yes." Adrian looked down at it for a moment, then flipped it around for the other two to see.

The portrait was beautifully done, but even Trevor couldn't miss the melancholy in Adrian's expression. He was dressed in one of the silk shirts that Sypha had put aside, the cravat tied in a puffed bow, along with the silver studded vest, a similar coat to the one he usually wore, plus a satin lined cloak with a heavy silver chain clasp. His long pale hair tumbled loose, softening the edges of his face and rolling into haphazard curls over his shoulders. His eyes were slightly downcast; there wasn't even a hint of a smile.

Sypha remembered Adrian's assertion that he'd matured unusually fast. But it was hard to imagine that this could have been painted more than a year or two ago. "How old were you when this was done, do you remember?" Sypha asked.

"Twelve, perhaps?"

Both of Sypha's brows shot up and even Trevor's mouth dropped open. "Twelve?"

"Maybe thirteen?"

"So back when I was a brat watching the Belmont estate burn, you already looked like... well, like you do now?" the hunter asked.

Adrian looked at the portrait again. He didn't quite agree - he thought he looked a bit younger in the painting - but he got the gist of it. "Something like that."

"Christ. No wonder you're depressed. Twelve, and already an adult. Or at least, you looked like one," Trevor groused.

"I honestly find your story much more depressing. No one was burning down my home when I was twelve," Adrian returned.

Trevor waved it off. "Yeah yeah." Though if Adrian looked like that at twelve or thirteen... "Wait, how old are you now?"

"Nineteen. No, wait... twenty. I turned twenty a few weeks ago," Adrian corrected. That sounded about right, unless he'd lost track of time even worse than he'd thought.

Trevor's jaw dropped again. "What the... you're the youngest here?"

"Am I?"

"Sypha's twenty-two. I'm closing in on twenty-one. Yet you act like you're my uncle or grandfather or something," the hunter complained.

"It's called maturity, Trevor," Adrian sighed. "Maybe if you hadn't stunted your growth by imbibing alcohol like water, you'd act your age too."

"You asshole..."

Sypha just shook her head. Frankly, she thought they were both being childish, but there was no advantage in saying so. At least it was mostly harmless banter, which they both seemed to enjoy. "Can we hang that in the hallway?" Sypha suggested, gesturing at the painting.

One of Adrian's eyebrows slowly slid upward.

Trevor turned to her. "Er, why?"

Sypha shrugged. Despite twelve-year-old Adrian's rather dour expression, it was still something more personal than the painting that currently hung on the wall across from their room. "It says, 'I live here,' more than a random painting of flowers, no?"

Adrian took a few steps back so he could glance out the door at the aforementioned painting in the hallway, then said, "My mother painted those flowers you know."

The Speaker flushed. "Oh!"

A slim hint of a smile touched Adrian's lips. "I didn't say it was good. Just something she dabbled in. Which is probably how it got relegated to a wing that no one was using." He looked down at the portrait he was holding, cocking his head slightly. "I suppose - since you asked - I can hang this in the hall, and move the flowers into the room I'm using."

"I'd like that," said Sypha.

"Yes, nothing says, 'Good morning,' like waking up, opening the bedroom door, and being greeted by your friend's depressed twelve-year-old self," Trevor groused.

That at least earned a chuckle from Adrian. In many ways, he agreed with Trevor, but since Sypha had requested it... "It was a long portrait session. You wouldn't look your best after four days either." He glanced down at the painting one more time, then said, "Well, I'll go take care of this then. Good night."

"You're going to bed already? It's still on the early side. We can hang out for a little bit and chat," Sypha suggested.

Adrian paused, his nose wrinkling slightly. "I'd rather not. Not in here."

Sypha's eyes widened. She looked around the room. Everything belonging to the former occupant had been removed. They'd swept the floor and beaten out the rug. The bed sheets had been changed; even the pillows had been switched out. "I thought we cleaned up thoroughly. Just how good is your sense of smell?"

The half-vampire shrugged. How could he describe it? To him, this level of sensitivity was normal, same with having better hearing than humans and the ability to see in near darkness. "It isn't nearly as noticeable as it was before, but there's still a trace..."

"We could always go hang out in your room instead," Trevor suggested.

"Oh yes, let's do that then, if it's all right, Adrian?" said Sypha.

Adrian was unsure what exactly "hanging out" entailed, but he wasn't that tired yet, so he saw no reason to refuse. He nodded, and the three of them headed back into the hallway to swap out paintings.

Once in Adrian's room - formerly Trevor and Sypha's - the trio settled on the sofa as the Speaker got a nice toasty fire going, before sitting back down between the two men.

"So then... here we are," Sypha began, hoping to kick-start some conversation, since no one else was talking.

Adrian looked at the painting he was now holding of a bouquet of white lilies - his mother's favorite - in a vase. It wasn't very big, and certainly not artistically impressive, but it was the fact that it was imperfect, done by an amateur hand - his mother's hand - that stuck with him.

He still missed her terribly. It was strange, knowing that she'd died over a year ago, but to him it felt like mere weeks, or a couple of months, at most. Part of it was because he'd been asleep for nearly a year, recovering from the damage dealt by his enraged father. And part of it was because he'd been so preoccupied with taking down his father, and the ensuing guilt, that he hadn't had time to sift through his feelings about the entire matter.

He looked over at Sypha and Trevor. Sypha had said that she'd been raised by her grandfather and the members of her caravan; her mother had died when she was barely more than an infant, so she didn't remember her at all. Trevor's background was about as miserable as his own - maybe moreso, as he'd been younger, and he'd lost his entire family to a single event.

"Trevor, can I ask you something?" Adrian found himself saying, before he'd even registered that he'd said it out loud.

"What's that?"

"Why are you so dismissive about anything involving your family?" the blond asked, setting aside the painting.

"What - aren't you the one who called my family mentally ill hoarders, black magicians, cat eaters?"

Adrian winced. Hmm, well, I suppose I did. "I... I apologize for that. At the time... I wasn't making the best decisions. Or at least, I was concerned that I wasn't. As Sypha so kindly pointed out to me, I'd thought I'd made a mistake, joining forces with you."

Trevor snorted. "Fair enough - I was questioning what the hell I was thinking as well. Who in their right mind, hunting Dracula, would take Dracula's son along for the ride?"

"Hmm, yes. I suppose if the roles were reversed, I might not have asked you to join me," Adrian admitted.

"What, your father never asked if you wanted to go hunting for Belmonts?" Trevor joked.

Adrian frowned. He wasn't so caught up in his own misery that he couldn't recognize someone else's. "He barely mentioned your family at all - granted, I believe part of that was because your family had been excommunicated and all but ruined." He turned curious gold eyes towards Trevor once again. "He didn't consider ghosts much of a threat, I suppose."

The brunet gave a heavy sigh and threw his head back. He hated talking about it... hated even thinking about it, but he supposed it was unavoidable. Sypha had had her share of questions too, and he'd dodged most of those as well. "What am I supposed to say? They died, I lived, I wandered around aimlessly for years... You call it being dismissive, but... I dunno. I suppose it's just how I've dealt with it."

Trevor could hear Sypha's sharp intake of breath, and figured he was about to get slammed with a hundred different questions, but the other two remained silent and waited to see what, if anything, he'd add.

Still addressing the ceiling, Trevor said, "Adrian, you asked before about angry mobs with torches and pitchforks... I've had first hand experience with that. The sound of glass shattering downstairs was what woke me up. There was already a thick layer of smoke rolling in from outside, and I could smell everything starting to burn. My father burst into my room moments later, grabbed me out of bed, and threw us both out the second story window..."

The hunter reached up and traced the scar over his left eye. "That's how I got this; I suppose it could've been worse. Going out the window saved our lives that instant, but there was a large mob outside and they immediately apprehended us. We were pinned down and forced to watch as the house burned, as my mother and grandmother and younger sister cried out for help. The butler and maids made it out because they were in a different part of the house, on the ground floor, but the mob chased them down and beat them. When they turned to me next, my father managed to get his whip into my hands and ordered me to run, pushing me aside to fight back, barehanded. At the time I couldn't understand what he was thinking... it took me years to realize, he hadn't fought to avenge the murder of our family, but only to give me a chance to escape."

"And so I ran and hid and waited... for help that never came. I found out later my uncle and his family were intercepted on the way back to the estate and murdered on the side of the road. Which left me with no relatives and no choice but to keep running. I lived, because I had to... if you call years of wandering and drinking and getting into pointless brawls 'living.' I walked around with my family's crest emblazoned on my tunic as a giant middle finger to everyone in Wallachia, daring someone or something to try and finish the job, but it never happened. And then we stumbled into your fucking booby trapped keep in Gresit, and, well, here we are."

Trevor finally sat forward to rest his chin on interlaced fingers. "I was a stupid brat who didn't want to study, who wasted his time playing around and not taking things seriously. If my father had had the luxury of time to make a decision, he would have saved my brother instead. He was older by two years and the obvious heir. But my room was the closest to my father's study."

Sypha's eyes were big and round with concern. "Is that what you really think? That your father made the wrong choice?"

"My brother was smarter and actually gave a shit. I think he might've made it out even without my father's help, but I'd bet almost anything that he went to save my mother and little sister instead." Trevor laughed, though it was a bitter sound. "You would've liked him, Sypha. He liked reading, for one. And he was outgoing and friendly with everyone. He... was a good guy. Not a terrible person like me."

Sypha leaned against her boyfriend, her arms coming up to encircle his broad shoulders, her fingers stroking lightly over his cheek. "I would've liked to meet him, yes. I would've liked to meet your whole family. But only you are you, Trevor. No one, not your brother or your father or anyone else, could replace you."

"And you are hardly a terrible person. I understand how hard it is to struggle under the weight of expectation, when the expectation is that you save the very people who stood by and watched the downfall of your family. Perhaps even participated in it," Adrian said softly. He hesitantly reached past Sypha to rest his hand lightly on Trevor's knee; he wasn't used to comforting people, but he knew Trevor would've done the same for him, even if he wasn't used to it either. "True, I was concerned about your dedication to the cause at first, but when push came to shove, you made your decision and you stuck to it. We wouldn't have succeeded without you."

Trevor's blue eyes traced the path from the hand on his knee back to Adrian. "You're kind of lousy at this."

"Probably. Sorry."

"I didn't say I didn't appreciate it." The brunet patted the hand on his knee, then shook his head, bemused. "But I thought we were supposed to be consoling you."

"We can't both be miserable at the same time, can we? What would Sypha do?" Adrian asked in his usual soft lilt.

"I'm not miserable," Trevor insisted, though his expression said otherwise. He sighed. "I just don't like to think about it or talk about it, that's all."

Adrian cocked his head slightly. Given what he'd just heard, that was completely understandable. "Why did you, then? I assume you've never told this to anyone else..."

"No, I hadn't. Congratulations - you managed to get something out of me that even Sypha couldn't." And Trevor paused to pat Sypha's hand on his shoulder in consolation, even as the other continued resting atop Adrian's. "But... I can't expect you to talk to us if I'm not willing to talk to you too."

"So it's bribery, is it?" the half-vampire said flatly.

"No. I'm not going to now demand that you tell us whatever it is that you don't want to tell us. That's not the point. But... I figured if anyone would understand, it'd be you. Well, the both of you." Trevor leaned back slightly into Sypha's arms. "I notice neither of you have walked off yet, so it looks like I wasn't wrong."

Sypha lightly stroked a hand down her boyfriend's hair. "We would not walk off on you, silly. It is not cowardice to confide in someone, to reveal a vulnerability... you're one of the bravest people I know."

Adrian didn't know how to respond. After all that Trevor had laid bare before them, of course he wouldn't turn him away. On the other hand... he just wasn't ready to talk, either. But that didn't mean the blond wasn't willing to offer something of an olive branch. "Your earlier request, about the... stakes, outside. I've thought it over. If... the two of you can take care of it, you have my permission to go ahead."

Trevor's eyes narrowed in assessment. "... Are you sure? You're not just saying that because you think you owe me or something?"

Adrian shook his head. "You'd be doing me a favor, I suppose. This castle is haunted enough, it doesn't need wraiths at the gates too."

It was such an unexpected response that Trevor had no way of refusing. "I'll take care of it tomorrow, then."

They fell back into silence, though it wasn't as stifling as before. Still, Sypha could only tolerate so much quiet without saying something. "Since we're already here... should we just sleep in here, then?" she suggested.

Trevor snorted. "Because it's too much work to walk across the hallway?"

Sypha just smiled.

With a wave of the hand, Trevor grunted and said, "That's fine, I don't care." He paused, considering the other two, then suggested, "Adrian, you take middle. Sypha's cold feet are the worst."

Adrian knew what Trevor was trying to do for him, but after what he'd just learned about the fate of the Belmonts... Instead, he tried to keep things lighthearted by asking, "Are you proposing that I serve as a foot warmer?"

"Yes," Trevor answered without hesitation.

"I don't know about that. I woke up with Sypha's feet pressing into the back of my calves earlier, and my lower legs went numb from it," Adrian commented.

"My feet are amazingly cold," Sypha admitted with a grin.

"Speakers have apparently never heard of socks or stockings," Trevor said with a sigh.

"We should gift her some, then," Adrian suggested. "But until then... I decline to be a foot warmer. You get in the middle, Trevor."

"Nah, it gets too hot," the hunter said.

"My body temperature runs on the cool side. And there's always Sypha's feet," Adrian argued.

Sypha looked between the two of them. "At this rate, I'll kick you both out of the middle and take it for myself."

Adrian quirked an eyebrow. "Well, if you want it..."

"No, no. Adrian should, he just said he gets cold," Trevor argued back.

"I did not. I said my body temperature naturally runs cooler."

Trevor suddenly rose to his feet and stepped in front of Adrian. As the half-vampire tilted his head back to look at him, his brow wrinkling slightly in confusion, Trevor put a hand on his cheek, then on his forehead, before leaning down to press his forehead directly against Adrian's.

Adrian's jaw went slack. "What are you...?"

"Hm... you don't feel noticeably cooler."

Their noses were nearly touching. Trevor's mouth was just inches away. Without thinking, Adrian tilted his head back further, causing the gap to shrink a bit more, and exhaled.

Just as abruptly Trevor let go and straightened back up. He'd become aware that Adrian's breathing had picked up. The blond's face was flushed faint pink in contrast with pale skin; his pupils were dilated, making his eyes look dark amber.

"Er, on second thought, maybe we should just go back to our room," Trevor told Sypha as he scratched awkwardly at the back of his neck.

Sypha's eyes flicked between the two of them. "Huh? Are you sure?"

"Yeah. I mean, why are we trying to impose, when we have a perfectly good bed in the other room?"

Adrian looked away, then hung his head slightly, his hair draping down to partially curtain over his eyes.

Sypha didn't look too pleased, especially given Adrian's reaction, but she wasn't going to make a scene either. "I guess...?"

Damn, she's mad. Trevor cleared his throat. "Well, good night, Adrian."

There was a pause, and a breath, then a soft, "... Yes. Good night."

* * *

Trevor couldn't leave the room and the awkward atmosphere fast enough, though he made sure to walk out as calmly as possible. Sypha didn't say a word to him as they got ready for bed. It wasn't until Trevor crawled under the covers, got settled, and went to put his arm around her, that she pushed back. "Just what did you think you were doing back there?"

"What do you mean?"

"Adrian agreed to letting us stay. We were relaxed; you two were even joking around. And then you just change your mind and run away?"

"He... he wanted to kiss me, I think. Or at the very least, he was considering it."

"I don't see the problem. You like him, don't you?"

Trevor's eyes widened. Wait, what? I do? "Well, he's a good friend..."

"He's more than just a 'good friend.' He was our partner. We made a good team. And when we left..." She sighed, and tried again, "When we left, didn't you feel like something was missing?"

If Trevor had to be honest about it, no, he hadn't felt that way, at least, not at first. He'd been flying high - Dracula had been defeated, he had a pretty girl on his arm who wanted to be with him, and he doing what he'd been born to do. And then Lindenfeld happened and he was reminded of just how shitty life could be. He groaned aloud. He'd even felt badly enough for Saint Germain - sad, lonely, friendless Saint Germain who'd reminded him of a certain someone in the room across the hall - to agree to help him out. And the entire time, he and Sypha had carefully, gingerly, avoided even mentioning Adrian's name. "Isn't that why we came back?

There was no point in rehashing old mistakes. "So you really only see him as a friend?"

Trevor didn't answer that directly. Instead, he pointed out, "Whether I do or not... I'm with you. You're with me. Wouldn't something like that cause issues?"

"No. Not for me. I'm a Speaker, remember?"

Trevor grunted. While some Speakers did form monogamous pairings, it wasn't unusual for them to have multiple partners either. As long as there was consent between the parties involved, any sort of romantic relationship was acceptable. Because of that, children could inherit their family name from their father or their mother - like in Sypha's case - if the father wasn't known for certain.

"Do you like him, then?" Trevor asked hesitantly, unsure which answer he wanted to hear.

"I do. But I've always gotten on well with him. He's a gentleman: honest and well mannered and well spoken - unlike a certain deformed pet bear I know," she joked.

"Why didn't you say anything earlier?" Though, that seemed like a stupid question now that he thought about it. He recalled Sypha's observation that Adrian was lonely and sad, how she'd comforted him after they'd defeated Dracula... how tenderly Sypha and Adrian had said their goodbyes when she and Trevor were departing for their grand adventure. The clues had been there, he just hadn't seen them for what they were.

"I didn't think you were interested. Not until... well, just now. And I wasn't willing to give up what we had between the two of us. It would've been awkward, no? - if I had brought it up, and you were against it. I know that Speaker norms are much different from how most good Christian people live their lives."

"Ha, I'm a Belmont, remember? Dirty heretic, excommunicated, etcetera. I don't give a fuck what the Church says."

She made a sound in agreement, then, considering the earlier discussion, quietly asked, "What about your family and their legacy? What would they think, if they were still around? He is the son of your sworn enemy after all."

"That doesn't matter. Adrian might be his father's son, but he's not his father. If someone can't tell the difference, then family or no, their opinion doesn't matter to me."

Sypha chuckled briefly at his vehemence. "That's a far cry from how you felt when you first met."

Trevor groaned. "Don't remind me. I just reacted to what I saw, okay? You know, fangs, coffin, all those weird pipes and stuff..."

"I reacted to what I saw, too," Sypha said, almost wistful but with an amused edge. "You can't tell me you didn't notice how beautiful he is, even when he'd just awakened - almost puts me to shame, and I'm a woman."

Trevor was glad that it was dark, as he could feel his face heating up a little. Of course he'd noticed. He wasn't blind. Pretty things were pretty. Adrian had the face of an angel and a body like a marble statue. "Don't say that. You're a damn fine woman. I've thought so ever since that moment I saw you standing on top of the building in Gresit, with magic swirling around you like mist rising from a morning lake."

"Don't think you can flatter your way out of this, Trevor," she lightly scolded. But Sypha couldn't help but smile at the portrait he'd painted. She'd never considered herself pretty or feminine or anything like that, having been brought up with the mindset that it was necessary to keep her gender hidden away, so to hear Trevor's description was something of a revelation.

"I'm not. Just, don't sell yourself short."

She let out an exasperated sigh. "My point is... given everything we've been though, I know you two care about each other, but I wasn't sure how much - or how deep that went. He's obviously receptive to you; I honestly didn't know he would be. The question now is, are you receptive to him?"

Trevor laced his fingers over his stomach, and stared at the ceiling that he couldn't quite see, but knew was above them. "I've had a male partner before, though we were both pretty smashed. I remember getting out of our clothes, fumbling around a bit... trying some stuff out of curiosity, mostly. I probably passed out on the floor right after, because when I woke up, I was alone and naked in a hay loft."

"So that's a yes, then!"

"Well, obviously I'm not against it... I'm open to the possibility." He chuckled, glad in some ways that he couldn't remember too many concrete details about that random encounter, as he hadn't been that interested in the man and had only gone along since the opportunity presented itself. Adrian was on a whole different level; Trevor worried he wasn't good enough for the blond... "I'm still trying to get over the fact that you chose me over him. What girl passes up the chance to be the lady of a castle and all that?" he asked, knowing full well that Sypha didn't care about things like wealth, status or fancy trappings.

"It was never a choice really. I was being practical. I like him a lot; I respect him and care about him. But I was afraid that he'd drag me into that well of sadness that he seems to be inextricably lodged in, and that there'd be no way out for either of us. I suppose there's still the risk of that, but maybe if it's the two of us..."

"If it's the two of us, maybe we can work together to pull him out."

"That's the hope. Besides... I'd like to have kids someday... as many as possible" She giggled softly at that, and even Trevor gave a snort in amusement. "But Adrian thinks of himself as cursed; he's trying to end his bloodline. So that would've been an issue too."

"The world needs more Belmonts, eh? Well, can't say I have any objection to that. When do you want to start working on it?"

Sypha groaned in annoyance. Trevor half expected to get nailed in the nuts for that remark, but his girlfriend finally rolled over and put her cheek on his shoulder and her hand on his chest, right over his heart. "Will you apologize to him tomorrow?"

"I feel like I've been apologizing to him on a daily basis, so sure, why not?"


He chuckled. Even if she hadn't asked him to, he would've. "I will. I promise."

"Good. And as far as the earlier question... not tonight, dear."

Trevor grunted, though he had to admit, he wasn't in the mood either. Too many things to think about. How did one go about courting the son of Dracula anyhow?

"Don't over think things." She patted him on his chest. "Good night, Trevor."

"Mm, yeah. Good night. Sleep tight."

* * *

Author's Notes:

December 18, 2022