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“This is all your fault, Sypha,” Trevor grumbles, as a fresh flurry of snow manages to blow itself directly into the single patch of bared skin between the clasp of his cloak and his shirt.

Sypha has the nerve to look surprised, turning round and blinking her wide blue eyes up at him with an expression of deep bemusement. “Who, me?”

“No, I was talking to the other Sypha travelling with us, of course- yes, you! Look at this!” He gestures expansively at the blizzard around them, and is rewarded with another gust of snow down the front of his collar for his troubles. “I can’t even see three feet in front of my face! And it’s fucking freezing.”

She sniffs, turning her attention back to the small flame in her hands and gesturing it forward to melt a path through the snow ahead. “Oh honestly, Trevor, you can hardly blame me for the weather.”

“Well I can blame you for the weather…”

“Alright, yes, you can, but it’s very silly. I didn’t ask for it to snow.”

“But you were the one who wanted to come here!”

“Well, I didn’t know the weather would be so…” she shudders, burrowing into the hood of her cape, “So cold. You might have warned me about that – after all, you did grow up here.”

“I suppose I did.” Trevor sighs. “God, maybe it’s my fault that we’re both going to die in this blizzard.”

Sypha flashes him a beaming smile. “You know, I think that’s the most responsibility I’ve ever heard you take for your own actions. I’m so proud of you. And as for dying, I think you’re being perfectly ridiculous - I’m sure we’ll be fine. After all, it can’t be far now… let me check the map…”


The flame she’s been using to clear snow ahead of them sputters out as she fumbles around in her bag, frowning slightly. After several alarming clunking noises as she rummages through the baffling array of clutter in her satchel, she withdraws the (by now rather crumpled) map with a delighted, “Aha! There you are.” She squints down at the parchment, clearly struggling slightly now the light of the fire is gone, and then squints up and around her at the swirling storm of white. “Ah,” she says, with a dawning look of realisation, “Oh, this map isn’t so useful when I can’t actually, uh, see anything.”

“We’re going to die,” groans Trevor. “We’re going to die and be frozen in the snow and then in the spring Alucard is going to find us thawing out like horrible defrosting meat-popsicles in his back yard and laugh at our foolishness. Urgh. Urgh!”

Sypha smacks him on the arm with the map before tucking it away. “Don’t be ridiculous, Alucard won’t laugh! He would be very sad if we died.” She contemplates this for a moment. “Well. He would be sad about me dying, anyway.”

“Oh, so you admit we’re going to die?”

“No! Stop being so silly. We can’t be more than a mile or two from the castle by now, so if we just keep going straight ahead we’re bound to bump into it. It’s very big, after all.”

In spite of both his own common sense (minimal) and the severity of the situation (considerable), Trevor can’t help but mutter a quiet, “Ha, that’s what she said,” which Sypha quite sensibly ignores. Instead, she summons the flame again and begins to trudge forward, leading the way through the deep, fresh snow.


Trevor sighs and follows in her wake, wincing as the slush from her hastily melted path continues to soak into his boots. The squelching noise they make with every step – audible even over the howling of the ever-present wind - is not a particularly encouraging sound. Nor is the chesty wheeze he’s beginning to develop in the biting air. Urgh. A Belmont, he thinks, ought to be made of stronger stuff. Then again, a Belmont probably shouldn’t be dicking about trudging through miles of snow to go and (Sypha’s words, not his) ‘check up on Alucard, the poor dear’ - a man who is not only an ass but also a vampire, for Christ’s sake. Well. Half vampire. Half vampire, half man, one hundred percent ass. Trevor smirks. He'll have to remember that one to use on Alucard when they finally make it to the castle. If they make it to the castle; the blizzard doesn’t seem to be letting up and despite Sypha’s optimistic pathmaking, they really don’t have any way of working out exactly where they are unless visibility improves drastically.


It takes them the better part of two hours before – by sheer dumb luck – they eventually stumble upon the castle. Trevor is so pre-occupied thinking up new insults to use when they next see Alucard that he walks straight into Sypha when she stops, and knocks her face-first into a snow drift.

“I saw it!” she says, as he hauls her out of the snow with a vague apologetic mumble, “I saw the castle! It’s just up ahead.”

Trevor squints. “If you say so…”


But it’s only another few paces before another gust of wind blows an eddy of snow around a shape ahead which… yes! There it is! As they approach, the castle looms out of the snow-white air with what ought to be great and terrible menace, only Trevor is too cold to feel especially menaced. Instead he just feels relieved at the thought of a warm fire. And food. Maybe even a bath? Perhaps that’s taking it too far, since he already had one a week or two back. Trevor is a firm believer that a person shouldn’t want to bathe too much; it’s unhealthy, or something. Probably.


Sypha springs ahead of him up the steps, clearly energised by the prospect of not having to stand outside in the world’s shittiest weather conditions for much longer, and raps sharply on the door. The sound is swallowed up by the wind. She frowns, and tries again. Trevor comes to stand next to her, and knocks too, but after a fairly miserable and bitingly cold few minutes of waiting, it seems clear that they haven’t been heard.

“Maybe he’s gone out?” says Sypha, peering up at Trevor through iced-over lashes.

Trevor glances at the snowstorm around them. “Uh, somehow I don’t think so. And if he has, he’s stuck in the same shitty blizzard we are, so…”

“Try knocking again?”

Trevor tries knocking again.


And again.


… and again.


Eventually he turns to Sypha. “Yeah, so, I don’t think he can hear us. Or maybe he can hear us, and he just doesn’t want to answer.”

Sypha sighs, and flops down onto the step in front of the door. “No! Why would he do that?” Trevor sits down next to her and she curls into his shoulder with a little sigh. “Perhaps,” she muses, “he thinks we are door-to-door salesmen, and that’s why he’s ignoring the knocking.”

Trevor snorts. “Door-to-door salesmen? At Dracula’s castle? In the middle of a blizzard?”

Sypha contemplates this for a moment, before nodding her head. “I suppose that would be pretty silly. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many cheap novellas. Oh, this is just awful! The worst! What are we going to do?”

“Probably die right here on the doorstep like poor starving orphans,” muses Trevor, slinging a companionable arm around Sypha’s shoulders, “Hey, if we do, let’s haunt Alucard, ok? I’d like that.”

Sypha rolls her eyes. “I don’t want to haunt Alucard, he’s already got a lot going on, you know, emotionally. He doesn’t need to add vengeful ghosts to that whole mess.”

“It would be pretty funny, though.”

She snickers. “It would. But no! No haunting. And no dying, either, come to think of it! There must be a way to…” she springs up again, showering Trevor in the dusting of snow that had already gathered on her shoulders as she sat, and glares at the door.


“That door isn’t going to open itself just because you’re giving it the evil eye,” says Trevor, standing with a sigh and attempting to brush some of the snow off his cloak. “But hey, look, if you want to make a last-minute confession of your deep and meaningful feelings for me before we both perish in the terrible icy cold-”

“Only if you confess first!” says Sypha, brightly, as she begins to rummage through her bag. “Now where did I put…”

Trevor has to give it to her, that’s a pretty effective way to call his bluff. Damn. She’s good. Really, it’s a shame that neither of them does have intense but clearly repressed feelings for the other, because they’re both such beautiful people and he really would like to… kiss… Sypha…

Wait. Does that mean-


“Aha!” says Sypha, jolting Trevor out of his train of thought as she draws a large, blunt-handled dagger from her bag. “This should do it. Now, let me just…” She sighs, and draws the blade, trying to wiggle the point into the gap between the vast double doors.

“Is that a good idea?” says Trevor.

“Oh, I’ve done it before,” she says, gritting her teeth, “Mind you, that was a while back, and I’m not too sure if the lock on this will… hmm. Oh. Oh I think I’ve get the blade stuck now, hang on…”

“Alright, ok,” says Trevor, clasping Sypha’s arm as she leans her weight into yanking the dagger out of the door, “hey, hand me that thing before you break it, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to bust down what is almost certainly a magical door with your cheese knife.”

 “I know, I know. Urgh!” She pulls the dagger free with a heave and sighs. “Now, if this was a rotten old door on a caravan I’d locked myself out of, that would be another story. I’m great with those.”


“Uh-huh. Yep.” She frowns down at the dagger, and bangs the pommel sharply on the door. It’s certainly louder than either of them managed before, but after a moment waiting it seems that there’s still no response from within. She bangs the door again, and sighs. “Maybe if I try to blast the door down? I mean, I probably could, it’s just a little rude, I guess. Hmm. What do you think?”

Trevor takes the dagger while she steps back, sizing up the situation, and bangs the pommel on the door with a sharp staccato rhythm. “Oh, by all means, go ahead. Anything that leads to me not dying and also pisses off Alucard is a strong yes from me.”



“You are so mean to him!”

Trevor shrugs. “He deserves it.”

So mean! Ok, stand back a little, I’m going to blow the door in…”


Before she can summon up the magic to do so, however, the door swings open, revealing a baffled-looking Alucard, who shivers as an icy wind blows into the room beyond. His hair is wet, tumbling down over one shoulder, and there’s a soft blush playing over his cheekbones. And his shoulders and… also most of his body…

He’s only wearing a towel. God, of course he is. It’s not even a big towel. Urgh. Why does he have to look so attractive all the time? Show-off. It’s really hard to nurse a deep enmity for somebody when they’re standing there with a slip of a towel hanging off their hips and, let’s be honest, the bone structure of a fucking god. Alucard is truly, sincerely, absolutely the worst.

“Oh, Alucard!” trills Sypha, flinging herself forward and pulling him down into a tight hug, “I’m so glad to see you! We were going to break your door down!”

“You- I- you were what?!” splutters Alucard, wincing as Sypha showers snow over his mostly naked body. He narrows his eyes at Trevor. “And why the fuck do you have a knife?”


Trevor shrugs. “You know, I’m actually not entirely sure. Mind if I come in?”