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. 9: And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

* * *

Trevor in fact did not sleep a wink the entire night. Sypha stayed up for a while to keep him company, but exhaustion finally wore her down. So he alone kept watch as the near black of night faded into the pale golden gray of the coming dawn. The passage of hours did little to dull the rage that always came when called, though at least he'd come to realize the futility of it - even if he killed a hundred night creatures, it didn't change the fact that the parties responsible were no longer alive. There was no possibility of well-deserved payback. It was probably for the best.

At least those two had gotten what they'd deserved. But in many ways Trevor wished Adrian hadn't killed them. Not because Trevor would've wanted to take care of it for him - though he did - but because the blond was clearly still guilt stricken over it. Adrian had liked them; he'd trusted them and given himself to them. Of course he hadn't wanted to kill them, just as he hadn't wanted to kill his father.

Without realizing it, Trevor hugged Adrian a bit tighter as he began stroking his hair again with his other hand. He'd been doing it on and off all night after Sypha had let go of his hand as she'd slept. This time though, he got a reaction. Adrian gave a soft murmur and nuzzled closer to Trevor's neck, his breath warm against the brunet's skin. Trevor could swear he felt the hint of a fang scraping by for a brief moment, before Adrian pulled away slightly to rub reflexively at swollen eyes as he began waking up.

Trevor brushed back the long strands that spilled over as Adrian blinked blearily at him. He greeted the other man with a quiet, "Hey. Morning, beautiful..." before catching himself; he hadn't meant to say that out loud, but it wasn't like he didn't mean it, either. Funny thing was, he used to find Adrian's eyes creepy: they were the eyes of a predator, the gold irises yet another reminder that the man wasn't quite human. But Trevor quite liked them now, even if they were puffy and red-rimmed from crying. Those same eyes were honest and expressive behind the cold front they presented to the world at large.

Despite the compliment, Adrian frowned. "Don't say that. I'm not..." he began, shaking his head and immediately regretting it, as his head began pounding. The previous night was something of a blur, though he clearly remembered drinking, and breaking his silence about what had happened in Trevor and Sypha's absence.

"You are. Trust me on that. You're a remarkable person, inside and out."

Adrian looked away. He couldn't see how anyone could still be interested in him after all that he'd done. "What do you mean? I told you everything, didn't I? I let them into my bed, I let them use me, and I killed them!" he hoarsely whispered.

Trevor's face hardened slightly. "They got what they had coming. It's not your fault that they misled you and betrayed you."

"And what if you end up my next victim? Look at the trail of bodies behind me..." Adrian continued, pushing a little at Trevor's chest, but the brunet wouldn't let him go. If anything, his hold was both firmer and yet gentler than before.

"I wouldn't be so stupid as to treat you like that - like you're just a tool, like your needs don't matter. If that ever happens, stake me, rip out my throat, I don't care - because I'd deserve it. But it won't, because that's not who I am, and you know it."

"... I shouldn't have staked them outside. As they decayed, it was like they were having their last laugh at me. Or was that just the ravens' cries? I wonder... was I more upset that they'd tried to kill me, or that they were wanting to leave in the first place?

"Definitely the former and not the latter. You didn't try to stop Sypha and I from leaving; you even gave us supplies and maps," Trevor said decisively. He paused, then added in a gentler voice, "We never stopped caring about you, even as we drove away. You acted as if you'd be fine on your own, and I thought you would be. If we had known... if I'd thought you needed us to that degree..." He shook his head, and then rubbed circles with his thumb into Adrian's shoulder while whispering a barely audible apology.

Adrian looked stricken. "You don't think I'm an idiot?" he pressed, his brows drawing together. He looked like he was on the verge of crying again.

Trevor cupped his cheek and drew his head back down until it was resting on his shoulder again, an open invitation to cry on his shirt if that's what Adrian wanted. "I think you were lonely. I think you wanted to believe in them. There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone wants to matter to someone."

Trevor could hear Adrian sniffle against his shirt, so he shut up and went back to stroking his hair, until at some point he realized Adrian had nodded off again, his weight resting bonelessly at the hunter's side, leaving Trevor alone with his thoughts once again.

He'd thought he'd understood. His family had been betrayed by the Church, by their own countrymen. But it wasn't like he'd personally been betrayed by someone he knew intimately and trusted implicitly. He'd never been grievously wounded by his own father - and if it was possible for the situation to be worse, it had happened while Adrian was freshly mourning his mother. It was telling that the half-vampire still bore the scar across his chest; perhaps it would never fully fade away. And Trevor had never had someone come to his bed - someone that he'd actually cared about - and had them bind him and then attempt to murder him. Would those scars stay with Adrian forever as well? How many more could he bear before he ended up in pieces?

He thought back to his talk with Sypha about Saint Germain, about how sad and lonely he'd been, how he'd been on his own for so long that he'd let down his walls quickly, because he so desperately needed a friend. At the time, he'd been reminded of Adrian. But now he realized just how far off he'd been. Even when they'd been ready to march on Dracula's castle, Adrian had never fully dropped his guard or let them in. He'd never let them see the depth of his feelings; even Sypha had only seen the ripples on the surface. He'd always come off as too arrogant, too cold, to be bothered by simple human emotions, even as he donned his sadness like a cloak, using it to ward off others, figuring he was meant to be alone with misery as his sole companion. It was only now that Adrian was so wounded, the shell he hid behind cracked and fracturing, that they were finally getting glimpses of the deep pain and loneliness he'd been trying to hide.

"No matter what happened, my mind hasn't changed. Neither has Sypha's," the hunter murmured into the air.

The sound of her name roused the Speaker, and she rolled over, reflectively reaching for the body next to her before she fully awakened. Trevor frowned, seeing that she still had bags under her eyes.

"Everything's all right. Go back to sleep, it's still quite early," he told her, but she looked at Adrian and shook her head.

"How is he?"

"He woke, briefly. Called himself a killer and an idiot, then cried himself back to sleep."

Sypha sighed. She usually had an answer for things; she liked finding solutions to problems. But this wasn't something she could puzzle her way through. "What can we do? Is there anything we can do?"

"I don't know. I told you, I'm shit at this sort of thing."

Sypha eyed the way Trevor was cradling Adrian against his shoulder, his hand nestled in his hair. Maybe her boyfriend was going on instinct, but she disagreed with his self-assessment. The fact that Adrian kept curling up against him meant he must've felt some sense of comfort and safety at Trevor's side.

"I think you're doing all right." Her gaze shifted back to Trevor. He looked a little pale and more than a bit tired. "How about you? Have you slept at all?" she asked, reaching out to shift a few strands of hair away from his eyes. He blinked at her, his reaction time slower than normal.

Trevor gave a one-shouldered shrug. "Not really."

"You should try..."

"I can't. My mind just keeps going in circles. Can't help it."

Sypha gave him a faint smile of encouragement. With a small yawn, she settled back on her pillow. "Well, if you need anything, or if you have to go anywhere for any reason, please wake me."

"I know. I will. Go back to sleep, Sypha."

* * *

The remainder of the morning continued on without much change. Sypha woke up a few hours later and decided to get up and fix something for breakfast. Even if no one felt hungry, they needed some energy to get through the rest of the day. She brought dried fruit and tea and a few hard-boiled eggs back to the bedroom while Trevor roused Adrian, who simply curled up under the covers, refusing any food or drink. She and Trevor ended up eating next to him in silence.

Since the half-vampire was clearly not planning on getting up any time soon, Trevor and Sypha took turns staying with him while the other went to take care of whatever needed to be done, from feeding the animals to fetching cool cloths to help with the swelling of Adrian's eyes, to getting some chicken soup simmering over the fire for supper.

By mid-afternoon, Trevor was clearly flagging but still refusing to sleep, and Sypha was starting to lose patience with him. If Adrian wanted to hide in bed for the next several days, so be it, but there was no way Trevor was going to be able to continue staying up to help him. So after Sypha took a turn to go check on dinner, she made sure to grab one of the books she'd set aside earlier.

Trevor started when the tome of children's tales landed on the bed. "What's that?"

"A book, obviously."

"You're shitting me. I can't be bothered... to learn to read right now," he slurred.

"Yes, I know. I'll do the reading. And you can follow along, if you want."

"Why would I?" Trevor asked, even as he listed towards her.

"You need to sleep one way or another. I insist." She cracked open the book, glanced at the contents, and then chose an easy to follow, well-known story.

"For God's sake I'm not a fucking child." The brunet's muttered complaints went unheeded as Sypha began reading in a soft and steady tone. He struggled to keep his eyes open as she spun the tale.

Trevor was pretty sure he'd heard the story before, or something similar anyway. Something about a farmer who'd been swindled and fallen on hard times, who'd sent his animals away as he could no longer care for them. The animals eventually tricked the swindlers and returned the lost funds to their master... Not that Trevor made it as far as the ending, as he'd nodded off a few pages in, half slumping against the headboard.

Sypha continued reading regardless. She was pretty sure Adrian was awake. Whether or not he was actively listening was another thing, but maybe the sound of a familiar voice would bring him a little comfort regardless of what the words actually were.

Just as she finished the tale, Adrian lifted his head, wearily eyeing her for a moment, before shutting his eyes again. He looked absolutely exhausted despite the fact that he'd been sleeping on and off. "Did he finally fall asleep?"

"Yes. Did I wake you?" Sypha asked.

"My mother used to read me stories from that same book." He paused, then added in a much smaller voice, "I miss her."

Mindful of the source, Sypha very carefully set the book aside, then leaned down to plant a chaste kiss on top of Adrian's head. "... I know."

"I miss my father too. They'd be disappointed, wouldn't they, with how things turned out."

She could hear the tears in his voice, though his face remained dry. He probably couldn't squeeze any more out, given how swollen his eyes were. "No, never. You did what had to be done. They both would understand." She slid down on the bed a bit, so she was no longer talking to the top of his head.

He sighed, the sound harsh but faint as a whisper. "You must miss your family as well."

"Yes, but I don't intend to rejoin them," Sypha replied, knowing full well where Adrian's thoughts would go if she didn't clarify. She clasped his hands. "I just want my grandfather to know I'm alive, that I'm doing well as can be. That I'll soon have a child. And to pass on our story directly to them, because the world needs to know the truth."

Adrian hadn't met them. Trevor had, but he'd said his family had good rapport with Speakers, so it made sense that he'd gone with Sypha to see them off. "You only have your grandfather?"

"We were never sure who my father was, which isn't unusual in my community. And my mother died when I was very young, too young to remember. I was cared for by her caravan, some of whom were probably related to me one way or another, and then when we crossed paths with my grandfather's group, he took me into his caravan. I can't help but think that's the better way of raising a child - we all looked out for each other. With a community there's no question of what should be done, if a child is left orphaned."

"What would my community have been? I was neither accepted by vampires nor humans."

Sypha's lips tightened, and she stretched her hand up to begin stroking his hair as she'd often seen Trevor do.

"My mother's family mostly died of some illness that swept through the town - maybe that's why she wanted to become a doctor," Adrian continued. "Her closest surviving relatives were some aunts I believe, who denounced her for marrying my father. She tried to visit 'home' once, with me in tow - but they would not open the door. She sent letters too, but I don't know if she ever got a response. Hence these rooms having gone unused until recently."

"Unfortunately some people remain closed minded, no matter how the world changes around them. It is their loss," Sypha said.

Adrian's eyes slid shut, and he hesitantly reached out for her, wrapping his arms around her and squeezing carefully. Sypha wondered if Adrian was planning to go back to sleep, but he suddenly spoke up again, the words so faint that she strained to hear them, even though his mouth was close to her ear.

"I would've liked to meet them," he admitted.

"I know it's not the same, but I will introduce you to my family, when our paths cross again," Sypha managed to choke out as she kissed him on the forehead, saddened by the knowledge that neither Adrian nor Trevor had any family left - and unlike Trevor, Adrian had no intention to perpetuate his line. "If our paths cross again," she amended, not wanting to entertain the thought of not seeing her caravan again, but it was a possibility, and she didn't want to make a promise to Adrian that she couldn't keep.

"You will. I believe that," Adrian murmured.

"How can you be so sure?"

"Your grandfather knew Trevor was a Belmont. We're living on top of the Hold. It would only seem logical, that if one were searching for a Belmont..."

Sypha hugged him back and tried her best not to cry on him. There'd been enough tears shed already. But she was amazed that it hadn't occurred to her, that rather than her going to find her caravan, they could come looking for her instead - she was so used to being proactive that she'd assumed it was all up to her to do the searching. But Adrian had thought about it and figured it out so easily, even while trashing himself and dismissing his own needs; he was the type who'd drown himself to be someone else's stepping stone. Even his disastrous experience with Taka and Sumi hadn't changed that.

With Trevor now asleep and Adrian beginning to drift in and out, it was up to Sypha to keep watch over both her companions, so she lay pressed against Adrian, simply thinking about what the future could possibly bring, as the light faded and the room sank back into shadows. At least the darkness didn't feel as ominous as it had the previous night.

After an hour or two it became obvious that neither man was likely to get up for the rest of the evening, so Sypha quietly got out of bed to put dinner on ice for another day, and to grab an extra blanket, seeing that Trevor was still lying against the headboard like it was a giant tree. It probably wasn't terribly comfortable, though he'd argue it was no big deal, he was used to things like that. She ended up arranging it over his arms and chest to avoid burying Adrian under it - he'd ended up rolling over during Sypha's absence and crawled up on Trevor's lap, and was now clinging to him like he was a favorite teddy bear.

Deciding it was probably safe to sleep since Adrian seemed to have settled down, Sypha slipped back into bed and spooned up against Adrian's lower back and legs, since despite the fact that he wasn't bothered by cold, he seemed to like body heat. It was too much to expect things would be magically better with the sunrise, yet Adrian's last words to her had been hopeful ones, so she too would hold to that, and hope for the best.

* * *

Sypha awoke abruptly the next morning with the realization that her arms were empty. She sat up in a panic, wondering where Adrian had gone, but once she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, she realized two things: one, Adrian was still beside her but was now mostly lying on top of Trevor, as Trevor had finally slid down to properly lie on the bed, and two, Trevor was already awake and now looking over at her with concern.

"Everything all right?" he asked quietly. He still looked tired, but his eyes were alert.

"I thought Adrian had somehow slipped away." She placed her hand on her chest, taking in a deep breath to compose herself. "It's ironic. I wanted to comfort him, but instead, he ended up comforting me."

"How do you mean?"

"I told him I hoped to introduce him to my family, as he's never met them. But rather than chase after my caravan, he believes if I wait here, they'll eventually find me instead. Because even though we're in the castle, the castle sits atop..."

"... the Belmont Hold. And your grandfather knows where it is, and that you're with me," Trevor finished for her.

"It's silly, isn't it?" She frowned. "Why didn't I consider that? Or did I want to leave that badly?"

"Maybe a little of this, a little of that."

Sypha rolled back onto her back, lacing her hands over her stomach and staring up at the ceiling. "... I'm going to be a mother."

"Yeah, apparently. And I'm going to be a father. We're... I'm going to have a family again. Even saying it out loud, it still doesn't seem real," Trevor said, unable to keep the tremor of marvel out of his voice.

Sypha smiled and reached out to gently pinch Trevor's cheek, to prove to him he was indeed awake. "It'd be nice if it was a girl. Girls are easier to raise, I think; they're sweeter. But... I bet you'd like a son first, to pass on your name and family legacy."

"Mm, yes. But a girl would be fine, too. Just means we'd need to keep trying for a boy, then." He grinned and waggled his brows.

Sypha snorted softly. "I'd like at least two of each, so no one gets lonely or left out," she said decisively. She rolled her head to look over at the window, then looked back at Trevor. "Not that I'm ungrateful, but this is a pretty depressing place to raise a child."

Trevor couldn't help saying, "I think we have proof of that for sure. But we're not going to be locking our kids indoors or telling them to fear others. We'll protect them properly, but they'll learn to take care of themselves, too. Besides, we're right by the Hold. My tree's still there. And I can't say I grew up depressed."

Sypha nodded, then frowned slightly. "We didn't ask Adrian if he wanted to be part of this, did we? I just assumed... but that's not fair to him, to 'assign' him a role without asking."

Trevor tried to think back to Adrian's expression when he'd broken the news to them. He had congratulated them, but with no real feeling or enthusiasm - and Trevor had stupidly blurted out that maybe he didn't like kids. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but he hadn't gotten a chance to explain, and they'd been too distracted by the subsequent painful confession and aftermath to give it any thought until now.

"I hope he will. Not just because it'd be a big help to the two of us, but I think it'd be good for him too, because we're pretty much the closest thing he has to family now, aren't we? And maybe this place will be a little less depressing with some kids causing havoc," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "It'd be good for the kids too - he's smart and he certainly knows his fair share about fighting creatures of the night. I bet he'd be the type of uncle who'd scowl and tell them to eat their vegetables, while sneaking them treats while no one else is looking."

"A sour faced uncle... I could see that!" she said brightly. "Okay, once things have settled down, we'll make sure to have a proper discussion about it. No more guessing or expecting what he might want." She tilted her head in thought, then added, "You think he'd mind if we raided his childhood room for toys and such?"

"Heh." Trevor was amused at the thought of his son or daughter playing with toys crafted by Dracula. It was better if he thought of them as Adrian's old toys. "Well, it might be all right as long as we ask about that too."

"... Ask what?" came a sleepy murmur from his chest, and Trevor looked down to see gold eyes blinking up at him.

"Sorry, were we too loud?" Trevor asked, winding the end of a long curl around his fingers.

Adrian looked around a moment, looking a little confused, as if he was amazed he'd survived the night. "Not really. It's morning..."

"Yes, it is. Good morning, Adrian," Sypha greeted him, leaning in for a quick kiss, her lips barely brushing the side of Adrian's before she realized what she'd done. "Oh, sorry, I wasn't thinking. I hope that was all right?" she asked, wanting to make sure she hadn't overstepped any bounds.

Adrian considered it, then dipped his chin in a nod.

She smiled, exhaling slowly, then shifted up the bed to plant a kiss on Trevor's mouth as well.

Trevor relaxed a little, the tension that had kept him up the previous day finally beginning to drain away. It was nice, lying here with the two people who mattered most to him, watching Adrian flush slightly as Sypha leaned back down to hug him. It was easy to forget that the blond was the youngest. He normally seemed so composed and mature. But seeing his expression shift while he pondered Sypha's actions, all while half propped up on Trevor's chest, made him seem much younger than his twenty years.

"So do I get a morning kiss from you as well?" Trevor boldly asked, expecting absolutely nothing yet hopeful for any response other than a flat-out "no."

Adrian stared at him, confused as to who that was addressed to. But Trevor misunderstood, so he quickly added, "Although I said that, understand that I won't push you into doing anything you don't want. It really is up to you, Adrian. If you don't want to, just pretend I didn't say a thing. Or slap me, I don't care."

He... still wants to kiss me? It just seemed so impossibly farfetched; wasn't Trevor disgusted with him after what he'd heard two nights before? But the hunter seemed completely earnest.

Adrian began debating with himself over whether he should agree to it or not. He honestly didn't know if he could handle being that intimate with someone again, but at the same time, logic told him he wouldn't find any better subjects to test that theory on. Maybe he'd regret trying. But maybe it'd be a bigger regret to not try at all.

Finally, he said in a small voice, "Are you sure?"

Trevor licked his lips without realizing it. "Yes. Quite," he breathed.

Adrian hoisted himself up, looking down at Trevor, his gaze shifting between Trevor's mouth and those intense blue eyes. The blond waited to see if anything set off alarms internally, but when it become clear that the brunet was simply going to lie there and wait for him to make up his mind, he decided to stop questioning it and leaned down to press a kiss against the other man's lips. He figured if he didn't like it, or if Trevor tried to push for more, he could always pull away, or punch him, or... something.

The kiss was mostly closed mouthed and very slow and careful; Trevor could almost feel Adrian making sure his fangs remained in check, so as to not accidentally nick him. Long blond hair slid down like a curtain around them; Trevor had to knot his fingers in the sheets to keep himself from reaching up and grabbing it to pull Adrian in closer, knowing that that would scare him off. He had to let the half-vampire take the lead; he wasn't going to feel safe doing it otherwise.

Regretfully it was over sooner than Trevor would've liked, and he found himself opening his eyes - when had he shut them? - to see Adrian sitting up, lightly running his fingers over his own lips. Trevor's gaze followed the motion of those graceful digits. Adrian's lips were thinner than a woman's but surprisingly smooth. Despite his inexperience and hesitation, the kiss had been pleasant.

"Your hair was in the way, I couldn't see a thing," Sypha complained.

"You like watching, huh?" Trevor commented with a smile. He already knew the answer, but she nodded anyhow, her eyes bright.

Adrian turned, his head tilting slightly as he regarded her before he reached up to cup her face in one hand, his thumb gently sliding over her cheek as if studying the contrast between her smooth skin and Trevor's rough stubble. "Would this help make up for it?" he asked, before leaning over to gift Sypha with a similarly cautious kiss, as Trevor looked on with hungry curiosity.

The shift in weight on the mattress made Trevor's libido aware of a simple fact: Adrian was straddling him. He'd been sleeping on top of him and sitting astride him ever since they kissed. Oh my God... think about something else! Think about... night creatures? Uh, combat in fucking icy rain! The absolutely shitty time we had in Lindenfeld... he scolded himself, snapping his eyes shut, anything to stop himself from squirming or, God forbid, grinding against the weight on top of him.

"Can I try again?" Adrian's voice suddenly whispered shyly.

Trevor nearly jumped. "What?! I mean... yes?" he gasped.

Adrian frowned slightly. "Are you sure?"

"Huh?" Was Adrian seriously going to sit on top of him the whole morning?

As if awareness of their positioning suddenly registered with the blond as well, Adrian's mouth opened into a surprised "O" shape and he slid off with a barely perceptible mumble of apology, his face noticeably pinker than before. Sypha shifted over so he could sit next to her, putting her arm around his waist and leaning companionably against his shoulder, which he seemed comfortable with.

Trevor slowly sat up, shaking his head as he reflexively gathered the sheets over his crotch in a lame attempt to hide the obvious. This beautiful, proud, sad, and utterly clueless creature... just how defenseless was he? Adrian was naturally charming; adding in his apparent lack of awareness made him a ridiculously appealing target for anyone who'd take advantage of it. Trevor was determined to not be one of those people.

As it was, the brunet had to fight back every instinct that screamed at him to just knock Adrian down and lay claim to him. But Adrian was still staring at him intently, and Trevor finally "heard" what had been said earlier. "You want to try again. Right. Go on..."

Adrian glanced at Sypha as if to ask, "Is this a good idea?" but then his eyes slid over to Trevor's throat before making their way back up to his mouth.

Trevor swallowed, and without thinking reached out one hand to caress Adrian's cheek. He was rewarded with Adrian leaning his weight into it, and even nuzzling it.

Like a cat, the blond slunk forward until their faces were just an inch apart. He braced one hand on Trevor's shoulder and leaned in, feeling how quick Trevor's breaths were coming against his own skin as he closed that last gap to renew contact with Trevor's lips. They were chapped, unlike Sypha's velvet rosebud mouth, and warmer as well. Adrian liked the contrast. And he was grateful that his sharp senses further helped remind him of where he was and who he was with, even when they weren't touching, as he only needed to breathe in their scents to remind himself that this wasn't Taka and Sumi.

Trevor's hand worked its way into Adrian's hair, earning him a muffled sigh; his fingers tightened and pulled on their own, and Adrian's mouth parted enough for the hunter to slide the tip of his tongue in for a brief exploration between the fangs. Sure enough he managed to nick himself, but he didn't let that deter him. And if the half-vampire didn't like it, he made no protest - in fact, his tongue flicked out to tag Trevor's when he finally withdrew.

Well Trevor Belmont, aren't you the luckiest bastard in all of Wallachia? he thought with smug satisfaction when Adrian broke off the kiss to rest his forehead atop Trevor's shoulder, though the happy glow turned to concern when he felt Adrian starting to quiver slightly against him. Had he done something wrong? Wait, he'd grabbed his hair, hadn't he? Stupid... he'd warned himself not to do that! He'd pushed Adrian too hard, when the blond wasn't ready...

"Is that all it takes?" Adrian finally asked, his voice pitched higher than usual, and Trevor suddenly realized he was... trying not to laugh aloud?

Sypha didn't have the same restraint. Her laughter rang out like a bell. "Yes, yes you are Trevor."

The brunet blinked at her, realization setting in. "Did I... say that out loud?"

"Yes, yes you did," Sypha confirmed, eyes twinkling. It wasn't that it was all that funny, but after two stressful nights, when she'd worried that Adrian would somehow will himself to die after being hurt so badly, it was a relief to see the blond doing much better. It didn't hurt that he was being more affectionate and receptive to them as well.

"Ah. Well... it's true, isn't it?" said Trevor as Adrian nuzzled his neck again. He really was like a cat, mercurial, begging to be petted while armed with sharp pointy bits. Trevor gave in and went back to running his fingers through Adrian's hair since it seemed to be something they both enjoyed.

Once Sypha got her laughter under control, she hugged them both. Trevor grinned despite his embarrassment, and stroked his hands down their backs, though at least he caught himself with Adrian and didn't move past his waist. Trevor was more than satisfied with being able to kiss and hug him at the moment.

"Well Treffy, shall I take care of you?" Sypha whispered in his ear, nipping at the lobe, and despite the stupid nickname and the miserable, sleepless nights, the hunter suddenly felt reinvigorated and ready to go.

Adrian pulled away, though he looked more amused than anything. But it was also clear he wasn't going to want to stay and watch. "I'll go start breakfast," he said as he vanished from the room, granting the two their privacy.

* * *

Author's Notes:

February 20, 2023