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The gossip had come quickly. Mutterings of the resurgence of vampires along human territory, the visits and signs of attacks in the night that left bodies in homes and alleys and streets. Vampire attacks during the day, before the sun could fry up the bastards where they stood and that… that was the beginning of the weird.

Times had changed since Dracula’s fall and the subsequent attempt at coup from Styria. Vampires had been quiet. Trevor didn’t know if it was because of the lack of structure in their community or fear of whatever kept the vamps in at night, and he didn’t care. It was good. Few attacks. A year of peace. Everything not going to shit. He shouldn’t have expected that to last.

Bounties had increased, seemingly out of nowhere. Vampires attacking again, slaughtering as they passed. People scrambled to make contact with the last living Belmont, and Trevor had a heavy satchel of gold for his troubles. But something was off. Something bad, he’d said, and Alucard had rolled his eyes while Sypha had looked on with furrowed eyebrows and the three of them pretended that they hadn’t seen enough shit to think it wasn’t anything.

Then the attacks got worse, and then the daylight attacks started, and then it wasn’t long after that that people started to realize something was wrong. More wrong than usual. More wrong than a few stray vampire attacks. These attacks were brutal and fast and unprovoked, and humans and vampires alike were ending up dead.

By the time they had figured out the vampires were sick, rabid with a bloodlust that either consumed them or killed them, well… the loss of life was significant, and Trevor’d spent more than one night nursing broken ribs and a stein of ale.

A vampire disease. Just what they needed.

“Any ideas?”

“None.” Alucard had been a constant presence in the castle’s library, eyebrows drawn as he’d pored over book after book after book of his father’s old literature. “I was never privy to the knowledge of any past vampire sickness, but then I suppose Father and Mother might have kept that from me as a child. If there’s something here, I’ll find it.”

The frown creasing his forehead had been tiny, but it was enough. Alucard was worried, and if that didn’t set Trevor’s nerves on edge, he didn’t know what would have.

Sypha spent her time searching the hold for information that his ancestors might have gathered, but Trevor wasn’t holding out much hope. Trying to find anything so… nondescript in either the castle or the hold was literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and he didn’t have the time or patience for it. He was tired, and aching. And frustrated. And a little bit scared, although he wouldn’t say that.

He left Alucard to the library and Sypha at the lectern and pushed himself to take as many hunts as he was able. It was rough going, but they managed. As they did.

“Can this affect you?” Sypha asked one night. She was looking towards Alucard, and Trevor raised his head from his growing stockpile of weapons. The million dollar question. The one they’d been skirting around for weeks now, and even Trevor couldn’t bring himself to ask. He didn’t want to know. Knew they had to, though. Eventually, and eventually was now.

Alucard hesitated, and then shook his head. “I’ve seen no reports of dhampirs falling victim. Even if they were, it would likely affect us differently than full-blooded vampires.”

Maybe, going by the look on Sypha’s face, Trevor wasn’t the only one who felt like he could finally breathe easily. “And once again,” he said aloud, “I thank God and all the breweries in Europe that you’re not actually one of the full-fledged ones.”

“Yes,” Alucard said, without looking up. “How your name would be tarnished if you were seen with a full-fledged vampire.” He clicked his tongue, and Trevor rolled his eyes. Even Sypha laughed, and the elephant– finally– was out of the room.

 

Two weeks later, Alucard got sick.

 

The noise distracted him away from the shelves, away from reorganizing the mess of stuff that never seemed to be tidy no matter how many times he moved it. Too much stuff, not enough space… and what the hell was that noise, anyway?

It was weird, he thought, as he raised his head and looked towards the sound. Like… coughing? Was Alucard the one doing that? Sypha’d been practicing outside, so… well, it was distinctly not Sypha, anyway.

“Hey, Alucard!” Screw it, it gave him an excuse to leave this shit here for awhile. Come back to it later. Maybe that was the real reason nothing was ever in its place, he thought idly, as he headed off towards the noise. Probably, definitely. There was just so much of it, and sitting there made his back hurt… “What are you doing over here, anyw…”

The noise was Alucard, very plain in the way that Trevor leaned over the railing to look down where he’d last seen their resident dhampir and found the blond slumped against the bookcase he’d been going through. Alucard didn’t slump, didn’t have to brace a shoulder against anything to keep standing, and didn’t stand there wheezing with a hand at his chest.

“Alucard.”

Trevor sprinted for the stairs. Alucard was half vampire. He wasn’t supposed to get sick. And he was only half vampire, he wasn’t supposed to get vampire sick. He had said… but there was no other reason Alucard would be sick, no other reason to be rasping and pale… unless he’d gotten into something? There were things here that were specifically designed to harm vampires. But Alucard was smarter than that. And he had explored this place even more than Trevor had at this point, it couldn’t be that, either…

“Alucard, hey.” The blond was already on the ground by the time Trevor joined him at the lower level, sank down with his legs folded beneath him. “Shit, you said you couldn’t get sick.”

“I’m not…” Alucard swallowed. “I’m not supposed to be able to.”

“You can’t get human stuff? At all?”

“Not according to my father.”

“Shit.” It was worth repeating. It had been worth asking. “Do you need blood? Would it help?”

“No.” He looked even more faintly ill at the thought.

“Nauseous?”

“Yes.” He grimaced, and then leaned into the press of Trevor’s hand when he placed it against Alucard’s forehead. Warm. He was… warm. Which wasn’t right. Which definitely wasn’t right.

“Oh shit, Alucard.” He didn’t want to think about this. He didn’t want to face the fact that Alucard might have what all of the other vampires had had, that he might react the same way. That he might die. He couldn’t handle that. Not him, not now, when Alucard and Sypha were two of the only people he cared about in this lifetime. Two people he cared about more than his own life. They were the only two people he had left. He couldn’t think about this. “Okay, we need to get you back upstairs. To sleep. And you’re going to have to drink something whether you like it or not.”

“I fed last night,” Alucard said weakly, and shuddered as Trevor helped him up.

“Okay…” So it probably wouldn’t do any good. It would still be in his system, or, well, however that worked. It was only last night. But on that vein, so to speak, if it was last night, that meant… “You felt like this last night? That’s why you had blood. You felt like this last night and didn’t say.”

Alucard didn’t seem to take to the lecture, glaring slightly at the stairs. “I was due a feeding regardless. I was hoping it was only that.”

“Yeah, well, if wishes were horses. This is our safety, Alucard, we’re the humans here, so if you’ve got what the rest of them had…” Their safety… mostly backburner, though. Alucard’s safety, his health… making sure he was going to be fine. He could die. Trevor didn’t want to face that possibility. There was so much more that needed to be done. “You should have told us when you started feeling off. Because you don’t feel off, and you know it.”

He was prepared to keep going, masking worry as anger because it was easier to berate him than fuss over him, but the glimpse of Alucard’s face as they stepped into the entrance of the hold… twisted up in something like guilt, and even something more like… fear, maybe, and that wasn’t a look Trevor ever wanted to see. Either of them, actually. So he held his tongue, biting the inside of his cheek until it physically hurt. A speck of pain to distract him from the situation, and pushing on to all but drag Alucard to the mechanical lift. “C’mon.”

He felt like it was a death trap, that lift. Alucard had built it as an exit to the hold, tinkered around with machines and parts until he had something functional– seemed like he knew what he was doing, even. He’d said he’d learned mechanics from his father, and Trevor had seen the castle. He believed him. But the thing jerking to life beneath his feet never failed to put a swoop of anxiety into his stomach, and this time Alucard staggered sideways into his shoulder as it started to climb. He steadied him, and reached around to slip his arm around the dhampir’s waist. Looking paler by the minute. The anxiety was crawling from his stomach to the rest of his body, up his spine to put the hair on the back of his neck on end. Alucard couldn’t have this. He couldn't.

If wishes were horses, he thought wryly, and nudged Alucard as the man’s eyes slipped closed.

“Hey. Don’t pass out here.”

“I won’t.”

“You keeping looking more woozy.”

“That’s because it's true,” Alucard admitted. He raised an arm, hesitated with it hovering near Trevor’s waist, and looked so pathetic in that moment that Trevor just wanted to haul him up over his shoulder and physically carry him back to the castle. “May I?” Alucard continued, semi-dry, and Trevor found the ability to roll his eyes and speak.

“If you’re about to pass out, you don’t really have to ask. Idiot.”

That huff of breath might have been a laugh, any other time. Alucard’s hand against his side was tentative, and then his fingers gradually knitted into the fabric of his tunic. He was actually grasping at a fistful of fabric by the time the lift reached the top, and Trevor had to think again about whether or not he ought to just haul him off his feet. There were just… some things you didn’t do, though, right? Pride and all. He’d leave Alucard’s intact… especially considering what may come in the future. (But he refused to think about that, either.)

“Here. Come on–” Helping him out of the entrance, Trevor called over his shoulder in the direction Sypha had been. “Hey, Sypha?”

“Yes?”

“Can you–” A glance over his shoulder, around him. “Wait, where are you?”

“In the tree!”

“In the…” Trevor looked up.

Alucard mirrored the action at his side, slower, eyes squinting in the daylight. “Ah…”

“In the tree. Right.” He still couldn’t see her, but he didn’t doubt she was there. She’d been practising harnessing the wind. He guessed she’d figured out how to levitate or fly or… whatever it was she was doing. Definitely hadn’t climbed. It was too tall.

“Mm.” Alucard’s arm left his waist, and before Trevor could even move to tighten his hold around the man’s shoulders, the blond had already taken three steps towards the undergrowth before being sick.

“Ergh– alright.” They’d had worse. It didn’t stop him from going to steady him in case he keeled over.

“Alucard?” The rustle of leaves, and the pass of wind. Sypha landed lightly next to them, hair tousled. “What’s wrong?” she asked, voice sharp and concerned. She reached out to place her hand against Alucard’s spine, ducking to look at his face. “You’re…”

“He’s sick,” Trevor said bluntly. It was a miracle that his voice came out steady. A small victory, as Alucard retched over another mouthful of blood and bile.

“Sick?” Sypha repeated, and Trevor pursed his lips.

“Sick, except, he said he can’t get sick.”

She was quiet for a moment. Thinking. Digesting the situation in the same way Trevor had: that there was only one assumable reason Alucard was sick now, unless the dhampir’s knowledge about his own capabilities or lack thereof was wrong. Trevor wouldn’t bet on the latter. Alucard was smart. Dracula had been, too. He wouldn’t admit any of that out loud, though.

“I’ll–”

Trevor had to slide his arm around his waist as he doubled over to puke again, and Sypha held onto Alucard’s other arm just in case, too.

“Is it normal for you to vomit blood?” she asked curiously, and she sounded so calm. Surely she wasn’t so calm. Trevor knew he wasn’t.

“No,” Alucard rasped. He scrubbed the back of his hand against his mouth. “Well–”

“He fed last night.”

“Oh, I see.” She rubbed at Alucard’s back, and steadied a hand at his elbow. “Are you finished now?”

“Yes…” He sounded miserable. Trevor couldn’t blame him. He looked miserable.

“Okay.” Sypha gently nudged him upright. “Let’s get you inside, alright? You’ll need to rest.”

“Yes,” Alucard repeated.

“Good.” She smiled reassuringly, and gestured for Trevor to help. Like he wasn’t already. “We’ve got you, Alucard.”

It was with a tiny sigh that Alucard dropped his hand from his mouth, and actually gave a tiny, tiny smile. Feeble as hell, but definitely a smile. “I know,” he said softly, and warmly, and goddamn if he didn’t look like shit but still managed to look warm and gentle and inviting.

Trevor stared, and then he realized he was staring, and looked away. Tightened his grip around Alucard’s waist, though. They still had to get him back into the castle.

Alucard coughed again, body shaking beneath Trevor and Sypha’s hands. Warm and gentle and inviting and sick as hell. God, he was already sick as hell. This had come on so fast. They had to get him better. Alucard had to get better. They couldn’t lose him the same way all these other vampires had gone. They couldn’t lose him at all.

“Come on,” Trevor murmured, urging him towards the stairs.

Chapter Text

Falling asleep in no time flat wasn’t a small feat for Alucard. He liked to stay up. Not even stay up late, but just in general… Trevor knew there were nights the dhampir didn’t sleep at all, because he could get by with that kind of thing. Didn’t need to sleep much. So dropping off the moment his head hit the pillow was weird, and even more weird was how squirmy he was after he did. That happened when you were sick, but, well… Alucard was usually still in the day to day. Now he was fidgeting in his sleep, not entirely dissimilar to the way Sypha was wringing her hands as she closed the bedroom door behind her.

“Okay. We’ll need to look through his library,” she said. There was barely a pause, but it was still there. “Your ancestors may have knowledge about vampire illness, but I think Dracula’s books are a better place to start.”

“Yeah, probably.” His turn to hesitate, and then he started down the hall. Sypha fell into step next to him, and Trevor continued. “Think he’s just got a human thing?”

“No.” Her reply was certain. She didn’t look happy about it. “If Dracula had told him he wouldn’t be susceptible to human illness, I don’t think he’d be wrong. Saying otherwise would have been risking the life of his son… he loved him too much for that. Not that he couldn’t have been wrong,” she added thoughtfully, “but I don’t think we can count it as a main possibility. Not considering the circumstances.”

“The circumstances…” Other vampires, sick. Dying. Attacks reported. Loss of lives. Uncertainty. “About those…”

“He’s not going to die,” Sypha interrupted, and her voice was very matter-of-fact. Stern. “I’m not going to let him.”

“Yeah. Of course. I wasn’t going to, either.”

“I know.”

“Yeah.”

“Good.”

“Good…” he echoed, and let the conversation drag into silence as they walked to the library. He pretended that he didn’t notice the tiny furrow of frustration between Sypha’s brows as she pored over the books, and she didn’t say anything, either.

 

 

“What are you– no, no.” Trevor skirted around the bed, taking Alucard’s arm before the man could stagger another step. “Where are you going, asshole??”

“Trevor.” Sypha took Alucard’s other hand. “I know this is new to you, Alucard, but you really have to stay in bed. You won’t get better if you don’t, and we still don’t know… what’s wrong with you yet.”

“I could think of a few things,” Trevor muttered, and there was victory in the side eye of annoyance that Alucard gave him for that comment. So he wasn’t that out of it yet. Getting worse, though. That warmth on his skin had progressed to a full on fever, and the sweat beading at his hairline was unsettling.

“Trevor,” Sypha repeated, in exasperation laced with humor, and gently urged Alucard back towards the bed. “You need to rest.”

“I need to help,” Alucard murmured. “I can understand Dracula’s writings easier than the two of you– ngh.”

“Sit down, Alucard.”

He did, maybe because Trevor didn’t miss the way he was trembling, but continued to speak anyway. “The likelihood of your finding a cure– after all these weeks…”

Behind his back, Sypha made a face that could only be described as terrified, and Trevor reached to press his hand over Alucard’s mouth before the man could continue.

“We’ll find it,” he said. Alucard and Sypha both looked at him, and he steeled his expression. Yeah, no, he wasn’t going to let Alucard sit here and probably say they wouldn’t find a cure. Not when Sypha was looking like that when she thought she couldn’t see her. Not when Trevor was panicking on the inside, too. “We’ll find something, alright. I, for one, am insulted that you think we won’t.”

Alucard made a noise of derision, maybe, a snort or a laugh. It dissolved into a cough, and continued until it sounded like the man’s throat was raw and there was blood on his lips. And tears in his eyes, with something so very much like fear that it made Trevor’s stomach hurt. Alucard wasn’t supposed to look so vulnerable. Not like this. If he was going to look human, it shouldn’t be because he was potentially dying.

Sypha was deceptively calm when she excused herself to go back to the library, and Trevor gave up the ruse not long after, when Alucard fell back asleep.

This was… yeah, miserable. He didn’t want to watch another person die. He could still remember the fire. He could still remember not being able to save them. It was the same, helpless feeling, exacerbated by the fact that Alucard was not even three feet away; Trevor could reach out and touch him, feel the fever on his skin and smooth away the gooseflesh budding there.

He hesitated for only a moment, and then did. Settled his hand lightly on the exposed part of Alucard’s forearm, and passed his thumb over the fair hair scattered along the skin. This was miserable, and all so terribly wrong.

There was a lot more to Alucard’s story. So many more chapters he had to go through. They hadn’t defeated Dracula for a fever to kill him. Trevor refused to allow it.

… he didn’t think he could weather it himself. And he didn’t want Sypha to have to bear it, either. The two of them could go on, sure. But they weren’t the two of them. They were three. He couldn’t imagine life without either of them, and…

He passed his thumb over the back of Alucard’s knuckles, staring blankly at his skin. He didn’t know what that meant, really. He needed Alucard, and Sypha… both of them. A trio instead of a duo.

Almost a year ago, Sypha had taken ahold of his hand and never quite let go. She’d grabbed ahold of his hand, and his heart, and he’d loved her with every ounce of compassion he was capable of expressing after everything he’d been through. And Alucard was always there, waiting for them to come home. And Trevor looked forward to reuniting with him after each trip away almost as much as he looked forward to tucking Sypha into his arms every night.

… which meant he did know what that meant, his unwillingness to see the three of them as anything except a group. Why he’d go to hell and back for the both of them, without question. He’d just never really thought about it enough to realize. And now was a shit time. Of course it was. Because that was generally when he realized all the big stuff like that, wasn’t it? Always at shit times.

Of course. Of course.

Trevor breathed out shakily, and gently held Alucard’s hand in his own.

 

 

The crack of paper and binding hitting the bookshelf sounded loud in the silence, and Trevor flinched even before he looked up to check on Sypha’s research. Not going well, by the sounds of it. He wasn’t doing any better.

“And fuck that one book in particular,” he murmured, and Sypha whirled on him with a look that ought to have been scary, but was just… scared.

“It’s not funny, Trevor!” she exploded.

“… I know.”

“I can’t find anything–”

“It’s only been two days…” His protest was halfhearted. He couldn’t argue. He didn’t have it in him. Cracking jokes to cover his own terror and clinging to a fantasy world of sunshine and rainbows.

“It’s been two days for him, but it’s been months since the first report– and I still can’t find anything– what if we can’t find anything?”

So the wringing of hands had reached its peak with quick-seated anger and even deeper terror. Yeah. Trevor got that. He sighed, and shoved away from the bookshelf. Sypha went willingly into his arms as he gathered her to his chest. “Then we’ll figure something else out,” he said, pressing his face into her hair. “We always do.”

“Our luck can’t continue indefinitely, Trevor.” Her voice was muffled, and she didn’t raise her head. “What if today is the day it runs out?”

Then we’re all going to be in a special kind of hell, he thought, and grimaced. He wouldn’t say that out loud. Besides, Sypha already knew. Instead, Trevor held onto her a little tighter, quiet, and then reached down to pinch the sensitive spot of skin just above her hip. “Come on,” he complained, and the forced cheerfulness in his tone just felt tired. “Are you getting pessimistic on me? You? Sypha Belnades? Whatever happened to Belnades and Belmont, huh? Thought they could take on the world.”

“Trevor.” She finally pulled back, and almost pouted as she looked up at him. It wasn’t quite the usual, missing the sharp gaze and the gentle ribbing, but… so much better than wallowing. Trevor was the one good at that. And it really did get you nowhere. If only it did. “I’m not being pessimistic, it’s just…” She trailed off.

I know, he wanted to say. I know how you feel because it’s damn near paralyzing to think about losing him after all the shit we’ve been through and I don’t know how we’re supposed to cope if we do. So we can’t. We won’t. We’ll find a cure, or a reason or explanation or something.

But that was dangerously sappy territory, emotions he and Sypha shared only with a glance on the best of days, the press of skin against skin and curling into each other’s warmth when their shit got too heavy to bear alone. They didn’t need to say all that stuff. And he couldn’t, anyway, because he couldn’t promise breakthroughs and he couldn’t promise Alucard’s health, not out loud, because he thought he might be able to deal with letting himself down– he’d a lifetime of that– but not Sypha or Alucard. Never them, he thought, and said nothing.

He tightened his hold around her instead, and Sypha said nothing, either.

It was her who broke the silence eventually, pulling away from Trevor to go collect the book she’d been looking at. “We should check on him.”

“You want me to go?”

“Both of us,” she said. “We can take a few books with us and read while he sleeps. If his fever’s gotten any higher, we can’t leave him unattended for long anyway.”

“Right.” The long hours tucked away in the library were getting to her, too. Trevor was glad for the suggestion of moving base back to Alucard’s room, and plucked the books she was gathering to help carry back to his room. “We’ll go together.”

Sypha smiled, faint, and agreed. “Together.”

Chapter Text

“You should go.”

Fat chance of that, Trevor thought. It didn’t merit him looking up from where he was thumbing through a tome the width his hand. Because, Alucard wasn’t really arguing. He wasn’t up for it and Trevor, just this once, wasn’t going to push him.

… much.

“You should shut up.”

“You’re not listening,” Alucard hissed, and now Trevor glanced up just enough to raise an eyebrow in his direction.

“Sorry, I don’t speak stupid vampire who’s being stupid.”

Alucard didn’t take the bait, and probably couldn’t. He just looked uncomfortable, and his hands clenched into fists atop the blankets. “You don’t understand.”

“No, I don’t think you understand. We’re here to help you, you dick, so just–”

“The temptation of the both of you will become too much to bear,” Alucard interrupted sharply, and cringed at whatever pass of pain came after the exertion.

Or maybe it was just the thirst. “You need blood,” Trevor said, and the response was in the way the lines etched into Alucard’s forehead the past few days deepened. The blond turned his head, eyes dipping closed, and Trevor continued. “You could have said.”

Alucard said something he couldn’t hear.

“What?”

“I said.” He was aiming for vehemence, and losing. Nowhere close to it, really. Trevor hated it. “I don’t… need blood, it’s just…”

“You want it,” Trevor finished. “Want, need, whatever.”

“The bloodlust means it’s getting worse.”

“The bloodlust means you’re a fucking vampire,” he said, standing. “It doesn’t have to mean you’re getting worse.”

“I will,” Alucard said, and then hesitation. Always this hesitation. “Am. This control is… tenuous, at best…” he trailed off.

Trevor frowned. “Hey.” Leaned a little further over the bed, both mindful of the fact Alucard had just said he was thirsty but also the fact he’d gone quiet again. “Alucard.” He didn’t respond, and Trevor snapped his fingers in front of his face. “Hey.”

Now Alucard looked back at him. “… I’m sorry?”

Something about that sounded all wrong. Maybe he was just being overly sensitive because of the situation, but Trevor’s face screwed up in distaste, anyway. Alucard hadn’t even sounded that way after Dracula’s death. “Could you not zone out after talking about wanting my blood?” he complained out loud, because it was a chance to deflect and he took it. All while moving his hand to curve along Alucard’s forehead and frowning at the heat radiating off his skin. Probably explained why he was zoning out. “Shit.”

Still, Alucard’s eyes did focus on him after a minute. “It’s getting higher. The fever.”

“Yeah. You’re too goddamn hot.” Wait. That wasn’t what he’d meant. “Wait. I meant.” Alucard looked up at him balefully, and Trevor thought maybe, just maybe, he’d gotten by with it. Alucard wasn’t saying anything, looked too sluggish to again, so Trevor pushed on. Smoothing it over the way he’d smoothed his hand over Alucard’s face and hair and hands the past two days–  “You’re never really warm usually, so this temperature’s gotta be bad for you. Especially for two days.” There. Smooth.

“Yes,” Alucard agreed vaguely, and folded his arm over his eyes.

“So…” Trevor reached for Alucard’s wrist, tugging his arm away. “Don’t do that. You need to… keep this.” He reached for the bowl of water, just lukewarm now, and the compress soaking in it. “On your forehead.” He wrung it out, and plopped it on his head. “Alright?”

“Mmm. As you say, Tref…”

“Don’t call me that.” That got no response, and he was frowning as he looked back down at their dhampir. “… Alucard?” He’d already closed his eyes again, gone silent save for the wheezing little breaths in and out… fallen asleep again.

Trevor breathed out, and leaned forward to brace his hands against the bed this time. He was tired. This worrying shit was getting old really fast. So was the pining, or whatever the hell it was. It wasn’t helping anything. It was just making it more complicated. His emotions were just doing kicks and flips because Alucard was sick, because they might lose him. That was the only reason.

That was his story, and he was sticking to it.

The door opened quietly. Trevor straightened up, and Sypha smiled tightly as she joined him again.

“We’ll need to go to town soon… there’s not much by way of food, but I managed what I could… was he awake?”

“Mmm, a bit.” He shoved his hands in his pockets. “He’s thirsty, now, he says. So there’s that.”

Sypha sighed. Crossing the room, going to smooth Alucard’s hair out of his face, was done in silence. Contemplative. Thinking. “Well,” she said shortly, “we’ll just have some blood ready for him. Whatever he needs. If you can bring it up from the storeroom–”

“I’ll give him mine.”

Sypha looked at him like he was crazy, and Trevor snorted. “Yeah, let’s not pretend we haven’t been sitting on that back-up plan for ages now.”

“Under different circumstances, perhaps, but…”

“Doesn’t get much more ‘shit circumstances’ than this, though.” He shrugged. “Might as well try it. It can’t make him worse or anything.”

“You’re right.” Sypha lowered her voice as she settled into the chair at his bedside. She began to wipe at the sweat along his hairline, and continued. “I’m not sure I like the idea of his first feeding from us being when he’s feeling this… bloodlust, but… our options are limited right now.”

Alucard mumbled something in his sleep, and Sypha pressed her hand along the line of his jaw.

“… and I hate seeing him like this,” she said softly. Her thumb was rubbing little circles into flushed skin. Trevor was distracted by the motion, letting himself revisit the touches Sypha gave to him so tenderly, and thinking about touching Alucard that way himself. And then he shook himself out of that daydream, because it so wasn’t the time.

Still, he sank back into his chair, the one at Alucard’s other side since they had started surveilling him together. One on each side of him. Trevor would ignore how nice that sounded, and pushed on. “Yeah. It’s weird. If he’s gonna act human, I… don’t want it to be because of this. Like, get him drunk or something, you know? Shit-faced so I can make fun of him.”

“Trevor.” It was another admonishment without any real scolding, a small smile at Sypha’s lips again. Their usual banter, so blissfully content. Except Alucard wasn’t awake to fend for himself in this instance.

“Can’t make fun of him now, like this,” Trevor continued. “Even I wouldn’t stoop that low.”

“Wow. Even Trevor Belmont has his limits,” she intoned, and Trevor reached across the bed to shove at her shoulder.

“Hey now.”

They both laughed, too wound up with nerves and strain. Sypha took Alucard’s hand in one hand and Trevor’s in the other, squeezing both of their fingers between hers. And Trevor fell silent, and stared a little, until Sypha kicked him out of the room to go get something to eat before dinner got cold and instructed him to fetch some more cold water to fend off Alucard’s fever, and he went only after Sypha promised the two of them wouldn’t get into trouble while he was downstairs– joking, playful. Stressed.

When Trevor let himself back into Alucard’s bedroom, both of them were asleep; Alucard with the same faintly pained expression writ across his face, the one that had been there since he’d fallen ill, and Sypha, slumped over the mattress with her head resting on her arm. And she was still holding Alucard’s hand.

Maybe that was good for something, too. Hell, maybe it would help him heal faster. Trevor would let himself pretend, anyway. It wasn’t even totally selfish.

After resuming his spot at Alucard’s bedside, he once again took his free hand to hold as he slept.

 

 

It was a calculated risk, knicking the skin at his wrist to get the blood flowing while he was less than three feet from a half vampire. And then it wasn’t really calculated at all, so. Whatever. Trevor held up his arm as the blood started to well up, and angled it towards Alucard. “Drink.”

“No…”

“You said you’re thirsty,” he replied, and nudged at Alucard’s lips with his now injured arm. “So drink.”

The dazed look on Alucard’s face spoke volumes. He did as told. Immediately bypassing mouthing away the blood and sharply sinking his fangs into Trevor’s arm with two pricks of pain that had him hissing from the sensation.

It hurt more than he had expected it to, considering it was only two little fangs. But then he guessed there would be more pain on this part of his arm, wouldn’t it? Dragged up the question of what it would feel like to be bitten on his neck. To have Alucard’s fangs embedded in his throat. If Alucard was more conscious of what he was doing, if he could make it feel less painful. And he wondered what it felt like to Alucard, being the one that was doing the drinking. He hoped that, even if it didn’t help him, he at least liked it.

That brought up the question of why he was thinking about any of this at all.

Didn’t need to be thinking about it. They had enough problems without him sitting here and daydreaming about Alucard biting him in a situation where he wanted to. Because Trevor didn’t want to be bitten on a regular basis. Nope. It really did hurt, and… he was already getting a little woozy, anyway.

“Trevor?”

“I’m okay for now,” he muttered, flexing his fingers. Flicking his gaze to Alucard’s face, looking for anything on his face that might have expressed what he was thinking or feeling. Nothing. “Alucard?”

He didn’t react, though. Trevor hadn’t expected him to, really. But his eyes were closed, a hand closed around Trevor’s wrist like he wasn’t ever going to let go… and he looked… peaceful, maybe. For the first time in a few days.

Trevor was staring, up until the point where his own eyelids started drooping.

“Trevor.”

“Mmm?” Okay, now he was getting sleepy.

“Alucard.” Now Sypha’s voice was directed to the blond, and not him. “You need to let go of him now.”

Trevor let his eyes close, because it was way too much effort to keep them open.

Sypha’s voice sharpened as she continued. “Alucard, I know you don’t want to hurt him. And I don’t want to have to hurt you, so let him go. Now, please.”

The crackle of ice creaking inside the room. Or was it? It was cold.

Trevor closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

His head was pillowed on the bed when he woke up, and he felt like shit. It was the first thing he said, actually, an uttered “shit” under his breath because Jesus.

“Trevor?”

“… yeah.” His mouth tasted like metal. Pulling his head away from the bed was a task. God. He shouldn’t be this tired. Or cold. It was frigid.

“Oh, you’re awake.” Sypha came up next to him, resting a hand on his bicep. Slid up to his shoulder and squeezed, and fidgeted with something there. Fabric… a blanket, draped about his shoulders. “Thank goodness…”

He shivered, and sat up a little more. “Yeah…?”

“Yes. You’ve been asleep almost two hours.”

“Oh… shit.” He was going to rub at his eyes, try to get himself a little more conscious, but his hand was pressed into the blankets and stuck, and… Alucard’s hand was holding it down. Holding his hand. H–Holding his– wait, what. He was staring. He couldn’t help it. You just didn’t wake up to that kind of thing!

“He took a lot of blood,” Sypha said, following his gaze. “He stopped… he did stop. But you passed out. He drifted off not long afterwards, but he wasn’t completely conscious to start with.” She made a face. “Both of you are assholes. I can handle one of you being sick, maybe. But not both!” She slapped his arm. Trevor flinched was more  from the startle, rather than the pain. “Don’t do it again!”

“Hey, tell him,” he complained, but he didn’t look up, didn’t look away yet, because how could he. Alucard, asleep, holding his goddamn hand. That wouldn’t happen if he was conscious. Which, well, he wouldn’t hold Alucard’s hand if Alucard was conscious, either, but. He was still too warm and still too flushed and still too… too much of everything. But he’d still put his hand over top of Trevor’s, anyway. “I didn’t drink my own blood.”

“Trevor.”

Finally, he managed to drag his eyes away from Alucard. “Huh?” he asked, tilting his head towards Sypha. Didn’t know what he expected, really. Maybe accusatory. Or angry. Sypha’d be able to figure it out. She was the one he’d looked at that way first. She was the one who’d made him blush first, flustered him in ways he hadn’t been before. The same ways that dumbass that was sick, not dying, in the bed next to him, made him feel too.

But she just smiled. Smiled that dumb smile he’d fallen in love with. Not that one that lit up her whole face, not that one, the one he’d fallen in love with the quickest, but… the gentle one. The crinkled eyes and tiny uptick of the corners of her mouth, looking so soft it made him want to melt.

(Yeah, he was a sap. She’d made him that a year ago. He’d given up trying to fight that particular battle, so sue him.)

“You’re blushing,” she said.

“I’m looking at you.”

“You were looking at him.”

“Uhhh.” Shit. Definitely expecting the anger now. “I swear, it’s not what it looks like–”

“Trevor,” she laughed, slipping her arms around his waist. “Don’t pull out that line on me. It’s always exactly what it looks like with you. You’re an open book.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You are.”

“I’m not.”

“All I’m saying,” she interrupted, “is that… it’s okay.” She took a breath, leaning forward to rest a hand between his shoulder blades. “I love him as much as you do.”

“I don’t love him.” Knee-jerk reaction. Over a whole year of bickering back and forth, trading vibes that were mostly playful. Sometimes serious, sometimes too far, maybe, but banter…

Sypha scoffed at his back, and Trevor floundered. Just a little. Well, what the hell was he supposed to say? Yeah, I’m in love with Alucard. But I’m in love with you, too, Sypha. It’s not a dickhead thing, I swear. And anyway, he couldn’t say that. The first bit. He couldn’t say that out loud. Especially now, when it felt like a death sentence if he did.

“Yes, I can see how much you dislike him.”

“Uh huh.”

“How much you absolutely hate spending time with him.”

“Exactly. He’s like a bad rash.”

“And an itch you want to scratch.”

“Yeah… wait, no, Sypha!”

“Oh, come on, Trevor.” She pulled away, and she was… still smiling. Amused. Actually amused, not even fake pretending amused. “Whenever we leave, you’re always rambling on about him. Plus that fighting like cats and dogs routine… you were an ass to me when we first met.”

“Excuse me?”

“You would have pulled my hair and called me names if I hadn’t been a statue,” she said, matter of fact. “You couldn’t, so you’re doubling up on it for Alucard.”

“I am not. Look, it’s not… it’s not simple,” he said, looking off towards the window. It was getting late. Alucard’s fever would be going up again, if the blood didn’t help. “He’s him, and you’re you, and we’re us–”

“Astute of you,” Sypha interrupted playfully.

“I’m serious.” God, he didn’t think he’d ever been more serious in his life and he kind of hated it. Asides from that confrontation with Dracula, everything else had been… something he could gloss over. Fake it. But he hadn’t been able to do that with Sypha and now he didn’t seem to be able to manage it with Alucard, either.

He… really was a teenage girl.

“I know.” She stepped in next to him, and leaned her temple against his arm. “I know, Trevor. But we can be a trio, you know? The three of us. We’ve been that way for awhile. Why should this be any different?”

“Because…” What was she even saying? A trio. The word he so often thought of the three of them. Which three was in itself a trio, but more than just a trio… was that what she was saying? No… because relationships didn’t work that way. Like he knew. Like he’d ever had anything significant in that department. Maybe they could. They’d worked well together this far. But one tiny thing… “… because he’s not in love with us. Or me. Definitely not me.”

“You’d be surprised at how lovable you are.”

“Ah? Don’t think he’d say that,” he said, jerking his thumb towards Alucard. I’m not, I’m really not. You’re a fluke, Sypha; I still don’t know how you chose me but he sure as hell won’t, too. That much good luck would just be asking for something bad to happen–

“You wouldn’t say it to him, either, so don’t act all superior. You both still act like children.” Teasing, but her voice turned serious. “If we do this, we have to act like actual adults for awhile. You know?”

“A serious conversation. Right.” He nodded, seriously.

“Trevor.”

“I know, I know… jeez.” Tousling up his hair didn’t help the situation. He did it, anyway. Alucard was still sleeping. “… gotta get him better, first. Our main priority.”

“Yes. Let’s do that.”

“Yes,” he murmured. Like it wasn’t a plan, like he wasn’t terrified and hopeful and… all kinds of turned around from this conversation. All of this barely mattered if Alucard didn’t get better. After everything, he didn’t think anything at all would matter if they didn’t see him through this. Priorities. “It’s about time he stop worrying us and all that crap. He’s gonna have to make it up to us,” he said, and took his seat by the bedside.

In for a penny, in for a pound. Trevor was settled in for the long haul, and had been for some time.

 

 

“C’mon, I’ve– I’ve got him.” Keeping Alucard upright meant looping his arm around his chest, nose wrinkled as the dhampir retched over the bucket deposited quickly atop the bed. “Christ.”

“This isn’t normal, is it??” Sypha asked. Her fingers were in his hair, pulling the damp, blond strands away from his face. “The other vampires didn’t get sick like this, did they? Surely not.”

“I don’t know any other vampires,” Trevor said. He was trying to keep both Alucard upright, taking on his weight as the man was practically limp against his shoulder, and the bucket’s contents from spilling. He’d already surprised them earlier by puking all over the blankets; not his fault but Trevor didn’t want to deal with it again. “How should I know?”

“It’s like a stomach bug.”

“But with comatose side-effects,” he muttered, nudging Alucard. He didn’t react, as he hadn’t been. Just stared off into space with that same blank-ass stare. He was too hot. That fever had to be sky high by now. “Which, I’ve had a stomach thing. It’s not been like this. At least I don’t think I’ve been like this. I mostly slept the whole time. Slept and puked and slept some more.”

“Didn’t someone take care of you?”

He snorted. “Yeah, like who?”

“Oh.” He could practically hear the face Sypha was making. “I’m sorry.”

He shrugged, and cursed when Alucard nearly pitched forwards. Limp as a rag doll. He really didn’t like an Alucard who couldn’t fight back. “It’s whatever.” He seemed to be done vomiting for now, though, so Trevor handed the bucket off to Sypha and put both hands back on him. “Just glad he doesn’t have to go through it alone. What with his mom and dad and everything.”

“Yes… we’re here now,” she said quietly.

“Like we told him,” Trevor said.

“Like we told him.”

Back when they had come back the first time, after going to find and visit with Sypha’s family. They’d gone back to Alucard, and he’d been… shockingly emotional. It seemed like it had even shocked himself at the time. And Sypha had told him he wasn’t alone, anymore, and didn’t have to be. They were there.

Trevor had agreed begrudgingly, because begrudgingly was how he did everything when it came to Alucard. But he’d clapped his hand to Alucard’s shoulder at the time, nearly pitching the man forward a step, and Alucard had growled back at him, weak and watery but happy.

They’d take care of him. Same way Sypha and Alucard had taken care of him since they’d found each other. They really were a trio. There was no other way to describe what their friendship-relationship was.

Trevor steadied him against his shoulder, and then slipped his fingers beneath the hem of Alucard’s shirt. “Fetch him another shirt, will you? This is soaked.” Peeling the sweaty fabric away was for allowing Sypha to wipe away at the perspiration with the damp cloth, and then, between the two of them, Alucard got a new shirt over his head and settled around his torso. It was easy, then, to get him settled back into bed. Body bracketed by an arm around his torso and hands steadying his shoulders.

Alucard stayed unconscious for all of it, although his eyes shifted beneath closed eyelids as though he was dreaming. Probably was. They all had all sorts of nightmares. Especially Alucard.

“The compress, Trevor.”

“Right.” The water felt freezing after having his hands on Alucard’s bare skin. “Shit,” he murmured, wringing out the rag. “He needs to drink something. Water. Not blood. Unless blood is his water in that way… but he still drinks other stuff too.” He pressed it against Alucard’s neck. “But blood’s not cold.”

“He’s not been conscious enough to drink anything, anyway.” She took the cloth when Trevor offered it. “Which is… worrisome. It’s almost morning. It should be going down, shouldn’t it?”

“Hell if I know. Vampires are weird. He’s even weirder.” His arms were shaking when he rest them on the bed. He needed sleep, and didn’t dare. He’d sleep come morning. “I’d say, he’s half vampire, so, more blood. But then he barely was okay enough to stop last time, let alone now.”

“No,” Sypha said firmly. “No more. We’ll get it from the storeroom. He’s had fresh blood now, either it helps or it doesn’t.” She smoothed the cloth over his forehead, and looked at him. “… it had better help.”

“It will.” He folded his arms. “It has to.”

It wasn’t a false promise now; it was necessity. The three of them had too much to do, and say, and Alucard had to be there with them along the way. That was all. Necessity.

Trevor sighed, and slumped over to rest his chin on his hand.

Chapter Text

“It’s c–cold.”

“It’s not, come on, Alucard.” Trevor didn’t have the heart to shake the man’s hand away from his wrist. And he didn’t really want to, anyway. “You know that.”

“I beg to differ,” Alucard hissed, a tiny flash of irritation and something like the usual Alucard.

Trevor hoped he was getting better. He’d been in and out until late morning, barely conscious and mentally not there. He’d woken just past five, mumbling something to Lisa. His mom. His dead human mother. The dead human mother that, until recently, he and Sypha hadn’t been aware of the fact that Alucard had been at the execution. Watched her burn at the stake and followed her commands to leave her to die and not implicate himself– and to coax Dracula away from what he had gone and done anyway.

So yeah, Alucard’s nightmares were fire and death, too. Just like Trevor’s. It wasn’t at all comforting.

Sypha and him had shared a look, and gotten back on with trying to lower his fever. Gotten back on with their silent, vaguely horrified vigil.

He’d started being a little more cognizant sometime around the afternoon, in between the two of them dozing off at his bedside. Snatches of sleep in between Alucard’s slumber, and the vomiting and mumbling and thrashing from his dreams. Trevor had woke up the latest time to find Alucard staring at him with a tired expression, looking groggy but aware. Ish. Aware-ish.

“Really?” he had intoned, rasping, and Trevor had prodded back at him with questions and teasing as he’d gotten him some water. He’d been awake and asleep in rounds again since then, but more peacefully, and… perhaps this was a start. The end of whatever the hell illness he’d had.

“You don’t even feel as hot as before, what are you complaining about now?” Alucard’s hand tightened around his wrist, and Trevor heaved a put upon sigh. He was happy. But he couldn’t let that show. “What do you want me to do, Alucard? I’m not giving you more blankets. You threw up on them, anyway. What, do you want me to get in bed with you?” he snarked, and then flared at Alucard’s response.

“Like you would.”

“Don’t doubt me,” he retorted, and then wondered vaguely why he was being so defensive. You’re protesting too much, something like Sypha’s voice intoned in his head, and Alucard looked up at him with a raised eyebrow, and Trevor stared down at him, faintly livid, and it was the world’s worst game of chicken if he’d ever saw one.

He wasn’t a chicken, dammit. Occasionally a coward, but never a chicken.

“Move the fuck over,” he said, and shoved at Alucard’s hand. But gently. Still gently. He was still sick, after all.

He managed to look surprised, maybe, at the determination and for a second, Trevor thought he’d back out himself and they wouldn’t play this game– however much he might want to– but then… Alucard simply shifted over, eyebrows still raised as he made room for Trevor to lay next to him.

“There,” Trevor said, settling. “You wanna cuddle? Cuddle.”

Alucard looked at him for a moment, and then a moment longer, and then… he rolled over, dropping his head onto Trevor’s shoulder.

“Say nothing, Belmont.”

“Oh, no, of course not. Just didn’t know you were so touchy-feely.”

“I’m cold.”

“You’re actually not, you know.”

“Are you calling me hot?”

He almost choked– in his haste to swallow and snort and laugh all at the same time, and it came out a breathless, wheezing bark of fond exasperation. “Yeah. In your dreams.”

“Hmm.” Alucard settled in, pressing his face into his neck.

It was weird. Facing his own feelings, talking to Sypha about them… all of that flustered him. But this? This was so ridiculously usual that this didn’t fluster him. Which was weird, because this was kind of the point of the thing. He didn’t comb his fingers through Alucard’s hair as he had maybe thought about doing, but this felt right, anyway. Because of nights on the road, curled up with one another on their travels, he would have said. But he knew it wasn’t that now.

It was the three of them together, or not at all. Or, at least, it wasn’t entirely truthful if it was only the two of them, and that asides, it wasn’t fair to him or Sypha. Or Alucard.

Had to be adults about these things, huh…

“… hey, Alucard.”

A quiet hum of question. Still tired. Still sick.

… now wasn’t the time.

“… you know you threw up on my boots earlier, right?”

Alucard laughed weakly, a spluttered noise of breathing and coughing. He nestled in further. Trevor wondered if he was even aware of it. “A silver lining, then,” the dhampir murmured, and fell silent in no time again.

He’d be back asleep in a half second, and, well, Trevor was pretty tired himself. Alucard was still oddly warm, in a good way that was really a bad one, but, well… he’d move in a bit. In just a little bit.

 

 

When he opened his eyes again, Sypha was staring down at him, and there was something pressing down on his chest.

“Trevor,” she said, in that same old exasperated tone he’d come to know so well. He’d done something bad without it being offensive. Annoyed and amused. “We’re supposed to be cooling him down, not warming him up.”

The weight on his chest was Alucard, head pillowed there now. Blond hair splayed over his chest, half sprawled on top of him. And Trevor had his arm around him, hand settled just above the man’s waist. Well. Why wasn’t he surprised.

“He said he was cold. How could I say no when he was complaining like that?”

“Was that the only reason?” Sypha wheedled, and Trevor huffed his own hair out of his face.

“He was cold. You know, his fangs were chattering. He kind of dared me. It was a pride thing.” He waved a hand. “We weren’t cuddling, but…”

“But now you are,” she finished, and sounded pleased.

“‘s only because I’m used to sleeping with you,” he muttered. “It just… feels natural. Except not, because he’s him and you’re you, and you’re not here so you should be. You wanna take a nap?” He held out his other arm. “I have another arm to hold you, you know.”

“Are you just using this to your own advantage?” She was teasing, although it was partially fair. And true. And, anyway, he could tell she was thinking about it, anyway. He hadn’t been sleeping. She hadn’t been sleeping. And Alucard didn’t seem to be potentially dying anymore. So long as they didn’t cuddle him too much, his fever probably would smooth out by evening. Or even tomorrow morning. Just soon. Well on his way to being better if he’d been giving Trevor attitude earlier.

“I’m not. Well, not much.”

“You’d better not be hard beneath those blankets.”

He laughed too loudly; Alucard shifted against his chest with a tiny, mumbled maybe-protest, although he didn’t wake up. Just settled back in, hand resting on Trevor’s chest.

“I’m offended,” Trevor whispered, eyes flicking back to Sypha. “It’s just morning wood.”

“It is not morning, Trevor Belmont.”

“Just get in bed,” he whined, wiggling his fingers. “Come on, you know you want to. Do it for Alucard.”

“I’ll be sleeping with you, not him.” Still, even as she waved his arm away, Sypha took another step forward, fingers settling to twitch the blankets aside.

Success. “But you’re in the same bed as him. So we’re technically sleeping together. So you’re technically doing it for him, too.”

“In that case, we’ve technically slept together multiple times by now.”

“We have.”

“You’re very loud,” Alucard muttered. A warm puff of air through the fabric of Trevor’s shirt, and he and Sypha both quieted as the man spoke. Sypha hadn’t even finished settling in next to him, and Trevor reached to wrap his arm around her.

“Were you faking?” he complained, tilting his head towards Alucard.

“No.” A pause, and then, “perhaps a bit. Merely drifting.”

“… were you listening to us talk about my prick,” Trevor asked, flat, no intonation to his voice whatsoever because he wasn’t even sure how he was meant to ask that. Or feel.

“Somewhat, unfortunately.”

He gave a snort, derisive– that was easier. Back to this. The old grind. Heh– grind– no, stop. Jesus. He hadn’t been horny until Sypha had brought it up. “You’re just jealous.”

“I’m not jealous of your prick, Belmont.”

“Everyone’s jealous of my prick.”

“No one.”

“Boys.”

Trevor shrugged the shoulder that Alucard wasn’t laying on. “It’s true. Don’t pretend it isn’t. You love my cock.”

“If you don’t stop talking about it, I might be inclined more towards Alucard’s,” she replied succinctly, and Trevor thought his mouth might have fallen open.

“Was that a proposition?” Alucard murmured, still sleepy and, shit, he hadn’t even opened his eyes. A joke. He thought it was a joke. Of course he thought it was a joke. Why would he think otherwise? Because–

“No,” Sypha said.

– he had no reason to believe that either of them were interested, let alone both–

“… an offer, maybe?” Sypha continued quietly, tentatively hopeful, and this time, Trevor really did splutter.

“Sypha–” he started, vaguely strangled, because this wasn’t the way to go about it, was it? Not that he knew how. He probably would have approached it after a joke, too, but… he and Sypha, they had just… come together. She’d kissed him first, come to think of it. He wasn’t good at making first moves when it came to the people he really cared for, it seemed like. Drunk at the tavern? Sure. That was a quick fuck and a couple of coins tossed about. But Sypha, and Alucard–

They were different. They were always going to be different.

His flight or fight was kicking in, and Trevor was regretting that he’d ended up in the middle spot in bed. He was going to bring this up. He was going to, eventually. Maybe. One day. Or maybe he would have just grabbed Alucard and kissed him, but he… oh, shit. Again with the coward. Definitely a coward.

“… what does that mean?” Alucard asked. His voice was… hesitant, maybe. Uncertain. Which was fair, since they were essentially asking him to a threesome.

God. Jesus Christ, they were asking him to have a threesome.

“It means she wants to fuck both of us,” he blurted, nervous, babbling, and Sypha slammed her elbow into his side. It almost hurt.

“Trevor.”

“What? It’s true.”

“It means, Alucard,” she continued, settling her head on Trevor’s free shoulder to look at their third half, “well… tactlessness aside, Trevor’s not completely wrong. But it doesn’t have to involve that, either. We both love you, the same way we love each other,” she said gently, “and we wanted you to share in that with us if you, hm, if you were–”

“– interested,” Trevor finished. In us. In me. He didn’t hold his breath, but only because they were both laying half on top of him and would have felt if he held his breath. This was ridiculous.  He wanted to go back to dancing around the issue and pretending he didn’t have these feelings. He’d felt like less of an idiot only a week ago.

Alucard was silent, and remained silent, and still remained silent, and Trevor was about to glare down at him even if he couldn’t see his eyes because he had to be drawing out the suspense on purpose– when Alucard spoke.

“I don’t remember the past few days,” he said quietly, “but it must have been bad in order to warrant this.”

“It wasn’t pretty.”

“The danger of losing you…” Sypha trailed off, uncomfortable. And then picked back up, unwilling to be deterred. As usual. Ready to move on. “Helped us solidify our feelings. We knew, I think.” She tilted her head to flick her eyes to Trevor’s face. “I think we knew, but having to face the fact of losing you…”

“You don’t know what you have until it’s been taken away,” Alucard murmured.

“Yes.”

“As if we weren’t learned enough on that topic already,” he continued, mostly to himself, and Sypha laughed faintly.

“It’s silly, isn’t it? After everything, and we still couldn’t see what was right in front of us.”

“Belmont.”

He wouldn’t admit that he startled at his own name from Alucard’s mouth this time. “What?” he complained instead.

“These are your feelings as well?”

“You think she’d be asking you into our relationship if it wasn’t? Come on now.”

“You love me?”

“You–” Trevor stopped himself from continuing with that line of reply. Now… really wasn’t the time for sarcasm. It was serious, and… he did. Strangely. Somehow. He did. “… yeah,” he muttered, turning his face into Sypha’s hair. “Both of you.”

“Amazing. I’m the half vampire, and yet it’s you who can’t live without me.”

“Self-righteous bastard.”

The man was laughing as Trevor fisted a hand into the back of his tunic, although the laugh turned to a cough and just like that, they were back to Alucard’s sickness being top priority.

“We shouldn’t be keeping you talking,” Sypha said, reaching over Trevor’s chest to place her hand against Alucard’s cheek. “You still need to rest.”

“I’m aware.” Alucard sighed. He seemed to angle his face just so into Sypha’s touch. Neither of them said anything.

“We can talk more later. If you need to think on it–”

“I don’t.” He ducked his head. “I’d like the opportunity. Very much so,” he continued, voice light. Barely above a whisper. Tender.

Oh.

“If you’re certain you’ve room for one more.”

“Like I told Trevor,” Sypha started.

“We’ve been a trio since we dragged your lazy ass out of Gresit,” Trevor continued, and shrugged. It was worth so much more than a shrug, but he’d keep those emotions to himself. Elation, in a way. Definite affection. Love. He wanted to think it was sappy and disgusting, but he was just this side of too pleased to do that just then. “Why make it any different now?”

There was a tiny noise of amusement, and Alucard curling in slightly to his warmth. “I suppose. If you’re sure,” he repeated.

“We’re sure.” Sypha shifted her hand to rest over Alucard’s fingers instead. Settled over the top and let it stay there as Alucard turned his hand to curl his fingers tentatively around hers.

“We’re sure,” Trevor echoed, and dared to allow himself to slip his fingers into Alucard’s hair, as he had in all his recent daydreams.

Chapter Text

“I don’t need your blood.”

“Oh, just shut up and bite me!”

“Belmont.”

Now the exasperation was evident in Alucard’s voice as he pushed Trevor’s wrist away from his face, and Trevor laughed even as his hand was shoved off.

“Don’t be stubborn, you made me pass out the last time, that’s how good my blood was.”

“I was half unconscious,” Alucard said, hand falling to rest on Trevor’s ribs. He was overly conscious of the weight of it, and how absentminded the movement was. “Ill enough to evidently prompt a love confession, even, and you’re chastising me?”

“Like you’ve been so resistant to it.” He wasn’t pouting. Really. He was happy. He didn’t like awkward, and it had only been two days more after their little offer and… things hadn’t changed. They were the same as before, just gradually closer. Like the way Alucard’s hand still hadn’t left his torso like he didn’t even know it was there. “You don’t seem to mind.”

“No?”

Trevor shifted the arm that was pillowing his head, and absolutely did not play with the strands of Alucard’s hair on the blankets. “Really, though, you’re… you don’t seem surprised. Or anything, really.” He narrowed his eyes. “Have you just been in love with us the whole time?”

“Are you asking me if it was love at first sight?” Alucard asked, voice flat. “Don’t be ridiculous, Belmont. You were hardly charming. I vividly recall you trying to kill me.”

“I thought you were Dracula. That wasn’t my fault.”

“Quaint.”

“It wasn’t my fault,” he repeated.

“Don’t worry, Alucard,” Sypha said, coming back into the room. There were three mugs balanced precariously between her two hands, steam wafting from the lot of them. Gone to make tea to help Alucard’s throat, evidently, if tea even worked on half vampires with sore throats. “He thought I was a man when we first met.”

“Your Elder said grandchild, not granddaughter. And it’s hardly my fault your Speakers make all their women up to look like boys.”

“Yes, I think you’ve said this before. Once or four times,” she said, and he heard her laugh even as she turned to set the mugs down.

“Oh, so you’re saying it wasn’t love at first sight with you, either?”

“No.” She fixed him with as dry a look as just had been on Alucard’s face. “You were an ass.”

“I was not an ass.”

“Definitely an ass,” Alucard murmured.

“Shut up.” He kind of had been. But hey, he couldn’t take that laying down. Even though he was… laying down. “Anyway, don’t try to avoid the subject, tell him he needs to drink,” he said, glancing at Sypha. “Blood, first. He won’t.”

“Alucard?”

“I don’t need blood.”

“Maybe not,” she said thoughtfully, and curled her hands around her mug of tea as she sat on the edge of the bed. “But it can’t hurt, can it?” She blew on the tea. Steam billowed up into her face. Trevor watched with a soft smile. “Human blood surely has more restorative properties than animal blood.”

“It… does,” Alucard admitted. “But it’s not necessary. Lingering weakness, and a sore throat. That’s all.”

“Would it help if it’s mine instead of his?”

Trevor sat up, and Alucard’s hand fell to the vacated blankets. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know, maybe he doesn’t like yours.”

“My blood is fine, thank you very much.” He reached out his hand for one of the mugs. “He liked it well enough earlier.”

“I was dying, Belmont."

“And it helped you get better. So my blood was, like, a liquid miracle,” he said, and then nearly scalded his mouth on a mouthful of tea.

“I don’t mind.” Sypha balanced the mug on her knee, and held out her arm to Alucard. “You’re more aware now, there isn’t any danger. Right?”

“Theoretically,” Alucard murmured, and then precariously pushed himself up. He was still woozy no matter what he said, a little wobbly as he sat up. He held himself all wrong for him to be back to his usual self, hence why they were all still camped out in the bedroom together. Part of the reason. “If it’ll put your mind at ease, Sypha,” he said, and gently took her wrist.

“You just can’t say no to her,” Trevor muttered, mostly into his tea.

Alucard shot him a faintly amused look. “Can you?”

“No. No, I don’t even try.”

“Precisely.” To Sypha, “you’re sure?” Alucard asked, and she nodded.

“Go ahead, Alucard.”

He nodded once, still a little stiff, but ducked his head to bite into her skin, anyway.

She didn’t flinch, although the look that crossed her face meant she felt the pain like he had. It hurt, more than you’d expect, really. His fangs weren’t even that big. Not like Dracula’s had been. Being bitten by a full-blooded vamp would really hurt like a bitch. Didn’t want to test that theory, though.

Instead, he slung his arm around Alucard’s waist and yawned into his pillow once he’d set aside his tea. As for Alucard, he wouldn’t drink much, either. Sypha would let him but Alucard wouldn’t let himself, now, wouldn’t risk a repeat of what he’d done to Trevor while he’d been sick. So it wasn’t a surprise when the dhampir pulled away a handful of seconds later, inquiring after her health.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Here, let me…”

“No, I’m fine. I can bind it with this.”

“But…”

“We’re taking care of you,” Trevor muttered, pressing his hand flush into his side. “Shut up and let her tend her own bite marks.”

“Or you could lift a finger to help yourself,” Alucard murmured.

“Sure.” With the hand that wasn’t wrapped around his waist, he raised a middle finger. “How’s that?”

“Trevor.”

“What? He wanted a finger, I gave him a finger.”

“You are impossible,” she said affectionately, and then turned back to bandaging the wounds. “But thank you, anyway, Alucard.” She finished with the wrapping and lifted her head to him. “Trevor’s right, though, you should rest.”

“I’ve been resting.”

“Rest some more, then,” she said, and leaned in to kiss his cheek.

“Ah–”

Trevor raised his head. Sypha had already pulled back, but Alucard was still left looking faintly flustered. Which was fair, because Trevor had been– still was– over certain kinds of romantic stuff. But… “Are you blushing?” he asked, out loud, and couldn’t help but pack as much taunting incredulity into it as he could.

Alucard’s slap came down a little too hard, knocking the breath slightly from his lungs, but then he guessed he deserved that, didn’t he? He couldn’t help it. It was too good. And Alucard looked too good, with that dusting of pink across his cheeks. A rare sight, that…

… they’d need to make him do it more often.

“Don’t let him pretend he hasn’t gotten red over a multitude of things.”

“Oh? Do share.”

“Okay,” Trevor interrupted. “Drink your tea, the both of you.”

“See what I mean?” Sypha asked.

“I am not blushing.”

“Give it a moment,” Alucard murmured.

“Shut up and drink your tea. Ass.”

So maybe Alucard still looked a little peaked as he curled his fingers around his own mug, as Sypha and him pondered sharing whatever no doubt embarrassing moments in Trevor and Sypha’s relationship so far. He didn’t pay any attention, really, lingering on the pallor of the man’s skin and the way he laughed at whatever it was being said. It was good to see him up like this, sitting on his own and talking, licking his lips to chase away tea and the remnants of Sypha’s blood.

So the worst had passed. Somehow. For whatever reason that it hadn’t affected Alucard as much as it had affected other vampires like him, that was a question that Trevor didn’t really need an answer to. Half vampire, half human, hell, maybe it was just because they had been there taking care of him… he was better. They didn’t need the technical details. All they needed was Alucard, sitting there and talking and laughing like he was doing now. That was good. That was enough.

Even better was doing this, his hand at Alucard’s hip again and Sypha looking pleased after that little kiss on the cheek. Alucard probably still a little red, if Trevor raised his head to look again. But he didn’t… because he didn’t need the teasing coming back on him and all. And whatever, he was comfortable, too. He didn’t really want to move.

“Drinking my tea,” Alucard said, and pointedly took a drink from the mug.

“Good.”

They were quiet, either of the two of them drinking tea and Trevor thinking about dozing off again until he had to catch up on hunts and everything else he’d set aside for Alucard.

Sypha broke the silence first. “It is strange, though…”

Okay, not sleeping. “What?”

“My recovery,” Alucard said, and Sypha nodded.

“I… wouldn’t know what to do if you hadn’t recovered, but… it’s curious.”

“Maybe it wasn’t the same thing?”

“Unlikely,” Alucard said. “I’m not meant to be sick with human ills, remember?”

“Well, maybe Dracula was wrong.”

“Even more unlikely.”

“Well, you’re not dead, so. You didn’t go blood crazy, either.” A glance at his bandaged arm. “Not really.”

“So, if you can’t get sick with human illness, but can get sick to some degree with vampire illness…”

“It seems it can still affect me, yes.”

“But not to its full strength.”

“No,” Alucard agreed. “Although I… admit I wouldn’t have liked to experience it without you both here.”

“Dunno,” Trevor said. “We didn’t do much. Sat and stared a lot. Felt useless.”

“Funny. That’s what Dracula used to say when my mother had taken ill.”

“Yes, yes, we love you.” Trevor waved a hand. “Is that what you’re trying to get out of us? There.”

“It wasn’t, although I don’t mind the sentiment.”

“Wish someone told me that every once in awhile…”

“I tell you that every night!” Sypha protested, and Trevor snorted a laugh into his pillow.

“Oh yes. I’ve heard her,” Alucard added. “We truly adore you, Belmont,” he said, in the most flat and sarcastic tone possible, and this time, Trevor reached over to swat at him instead.

“Wait, I take it back, never say it again,” he laughed.

“Such indecision.” Alucard took another drink, and set the tea aside. “Since Trevor doesn’t seem inclined to move, and I’m still… mending…” He looked at Sypha, and then eased himself back under the blankets. “You should join us. Worrying over my fever need no longer apply,” he said, and offered the blankets in encouragement.

Alucard settled his head back on Trevor’s shoulder, and the hunter supplied, “he’s looking for cuddles.”

“Like you aren't. Besides,” she said, slipping into bed next to Alucard, “he has an excuse. Where’s yours?”

“I don’t need one.”

“Neither does he, anymore.”

“… true.” Trevor turned his face into Alucard’s hair. “You’re one lucky bastard, Alucard.”

“Likewise, Belmont.” He tucked his nose into Trevor’s neck, and his breath was hot on his skin.

“Hey, I’m pretty lucky.” Sypha braced an arm on the bed, and rest her chin on Alucard’s chest. “I’ve got two decently pretty men.”

“Decently pretty?”

“Obviously I make up the ‘pretty’ half,” Alucard interrupted.

“So I’m just decent?” Trevor huffed. “Excuse me.”

“You look like a bear.”

He groaned. Good natured, amused. “Oh my God, stop.” Honestly? He never wanted them to. “You two– ow, stop.”

“Apologies.”

“We don’t have much space,” Sypha said. “If this is to be a regular thing…”

Alucard was quiet for a moment. And then, “Dracula and my mother’s bed is quite large, as I recall.”

“Er–”

“Absolutely not,” Trevor said forcefully. “There is a line. I’m drawing it.”

“… that’s probably for the best.”

“I’ll build a bed if I have to. I’m not sleeping in the bed Alucard was conceived in.”

“You make my conception sound like a dirty thing.” Alucard frowned. “… although, you’ve made your point, I suppose.”

“We’ll figure it out.”

“Yes.”

“Of course.”

They fell silent again. Each of them using each other as a pillow– with the exception of Trevor, who was actually using a pillow– contemplating life and love and… whatever the hell else sappy shit you did with romance. The press of warmth and companionship against their skin, maybe. All he knew was that it was good, and right, and it felt nice not to have to worry about this, that, or the other. Things were finally looking up again, and even more than before.

Trevor yawned as he tucked his chin against Alucard’s hair, and reached across the dhampir’s chest to take Sypha’s hand.