|If I Was Your Friend
Author: HopeCoppice PM
Bertrand wonders - would things have been easier if he could have pretended to be a Garside student? Bertrand/Vlad slash. AU.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Bertrand dF. & Vladimir D. - Words: 1,853 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8143055
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just a random, non-related fic I wrote on a whim. Nothing belongs to me.
Bertrand wished he'd just enrolled as a Garside student.
It wouldn't have been hard to falsify paperwork, and he was sure he could pass for an old-looking 18 year old trying to retake his first year of sixth-form. Then things would have been so much simpler. Admittedly, he would have had to deal with breathers all day – and worse, schoolwork – but there would have been far fewer obstacles between him and what he wanted more than anything in the world.
The curly-haired student was standing at his locker, trying to weed out the books he didn't need today from his brand new schoolbag, when he became aware of a presence behind him. He turned to find Vladimir Dracula watching his every move. "Hi. I haven't seen you before, thought I'd say hello. I'm Vlad, Vlad Count."Bertrand closed his locker door and nodded formally, shaking the hand Vlad offered and willing him to notice the coldness of his skin. "Bertrand du Fortunesa."
Vlad seemed determined to take the new student under his wing; Erin couldn't understand why until he pulled her aside at lunch. "The new guy, Bertrand, he's like us. I'm going to ask him to stay at the school – he might be alright living in town now, but come summer term he'll find it really difficult to get in every day." By the time night fell, everything was arranged with the Count and Bertrand returned just after dark with his few possessions.
Actually meeting the Count was a revelation in itself; Bertrand managed to slip away from Vlad and Erin as they sat doing homework and hunted the famous vampire down by himself. "You're the new kid at school? You must be centuries old. What are your intentions towards my Vlad?" Of course he was going to suspect a power play, but Bertrand hastened to reassure him. "I have a book – the Praedictum Impaver. It's my job to see that the Chosen One opens it. I was going to come as a tutor, but I've heard stories about the previous applicants, so this might be a better approach." The Count seemed to accept this, but Bertrand was sure he'd be watching him closely for a few weeks.
Ingrid was impressed; Vlad had never had any friends at this school, as far as she could tell, and now he was almost popular, spending time with Erin and the girls she liked to hang out with, and Bertrand, who was quickly picking up in popularity due to his complete indifference to everyone in the class. She knew the older vampire's opinion on breathers, and figured that indifference was unlikely to change any time soon. Vlad was suddenly surrounded by people on a regular basis, and maybe that would turn him against breathers himself once they had chance to mess him about.
Erin was interested in Vlad, Bertrand knew. They'd been flirting for a while now, and it could only be a matter of time before she made her move. Bertrand didn't know why, but he didn't want that to happen. She could have any of the breathers in the school, for all he cared, but not Vlad. He and Vlad were sitting in his coffin room after school one day, hiding from the Count and his increasingly crazy demands, when Bertrand realised there was only one way to make absolutely sure that Erin didn't get her claws into the boy, and that was to make sure he was unavailable. Bertrand was increasingly certain that this would be a case of killing two birds with one stone, because it wasn't normal to feel this way about your best friend, he was sure. Even if you'd never had a best friend before.
Vlad was staring at his History textbook. "Bertrand, you're good at this stuff. Can I have a look at your notes?" He nodded distractedly. "They're in my bag." Of course, it was highly unlikely that Vlad would be interested in him, but he thought it was worth trying. "Vlad, listen, I-" He trailed off as the younger vampire pulled out a huge, heavy book from his bag. "What's this?" Bertrand sighed. It seemed they were destined to have a different life-changing conversation today.
Vlad's reaction to 'I'm 400 years old and I've spent all that time trying to find you and give you this book' was more or less what Bertrand had expected; he'd been angry at being deceived and irked by the reminder that he was the Chosen One and would eventually have to do something about it. He'd become so angry that the book had zapped him with some kind of power and Bertrand had been thrown backwards across the small room. Vlad had looked horrified and rushed from the room.
Now, first thing the next morning, they had to sit together in History class. Bertrand slid the better of two essays across the desk to his friend, and Vlad scanned it quickly with a raised eyebrow before making as if to slide it back. Bertrand flashed him his own homework, whispering. "Peace offering?" Usually, Vlad would rather stake himself in the eye than cheat, but today he seemed more tired than usual and swept his own attempt, blotted and covered in crossings-out, back into his bag before writing his name on the top of the work Bertrand had just handed him.
That evening, Bertrand was idly annotating a piece of First World War poetry – 'which is clearly inaccurate, as I was with him at the time and it was far more bloody' – when there was a knock at his coffin room door. He opened it to find Vlad holding four bottles of soy blood and looking anxious. "Peace offering," he said as he stepped over the threshold. "I didn't mean to attack you like that last night." He handed him a bottle, noticing Bertrand's quizzical look at the small but noticeable black asterisk at the corner of the label. "Don't tell Dad."
The spiked soy blood actually proved to be vaguely drinkable, and really quite strong. "Gotta be a normal teenager somehow, right?" Vlad shrugged, opening a bottle for himself. Bertrand decided not to question Vlad's decision to try to patch things up through the medium of alchohol, choosing instead to focus on the patching-things-up aspect of the evening. "I'm sorry I wasn't honest with you, Vlad. I wasn't sure you'd want to open the book." The younger vampire sighed. "I don't. But I suppose I'm going to have to. Dad told me the whole family would be in danger if I didn't do what was expected of me – something about a vampire dedicated to elimin..." his eyes settled on Bertrand for a long, heavy moment. "Oh. That would be you, I suppose."
Bertrand nodded, taking another sip of the spiked soy. "The book glowed in my bag when I first met you at the lockers, though. Your family were in no danger." They settled down to a game of Slewdo – not a particularly riveting way to spend the evening, but the light alcoholic buzz helped – and Vlad had worked his way through two bottles before Bertrand had got to the end of his first. The older vampire was barely feeling the effects, but the Chosen One seemed to be earning himself the title of 'Clingy Drunk'. He was resting his head on Bertrand's shoulder while his temporary pillow attempted to hide his cards from him when he suddenly changed the subject mid-conversation. "I think Erin fancies me."
Bertrand crumpled his cards and set to work flattening them out again. "Really? And do you like her back?" Vlad groaned. "I don't know. I like her, like, as a friend, and she's pretty, but... I don't like her the most." Bertrand continued to fiddle with his Slewdo cards, the brief surge of hope he'd felt effectively crushed. "Oh? There's someone else you have your eye on?"
Vlad shifted slightly and turned his head, giggling a little, so that his face was pressed against Bertrand's shoulder. "Literally." He heaved himself upright and smiled absently at his friend as the older vampire looked up. "Like you." Bertrand dropped his cards and stared at him. A few moments passed and Vlad began to look embarrassed. "You're... just... you know? But 's okay, you don't have to like me ba-" Bertrand shook his head. "I do." He hadn't meant to say that. The moment it took him to realise what he'd said allowed Vlad to begin leaning in towards him, prevented from kissing him only by Bertrand's hand on his chest, holding him back. "I do, but you're drunk and I'm sure you don't feel like that when you're sober."
Vlad sighed. "No, you're drunk." Bertrand raised an eyebrow. "I didn't realise people actually said that. No, Vlad, I'm not drunk, because I've only had about half a bottle and I'm not a complete lightweight. You have sunk two of the things and it doesn't seem like you're very used to alcohol – what are you doing?" The teenager was brandishing one of the empty bottles of soy blood under Bertrand's nose. "Look at it. Look at the label, smell it if you want, it's clean. Both of them were clean. I just thought if I pretended it wasn't, I could pretend I didn't remember in the morning." Bertrand checked, and sure enough, the bottle smelt of nothing but soy blood. "So you tried to get me drunk?"
There was an awkward pause before Bertrand lowered his hand, allowing Vlad to move freely again. "I'm glad that didn't work, or you'd have felt really guilty tomorrow. Taking advantage of a drunken vampire." Vlad did indeed look ashamed of himself, until he realised what Bertrand had said. "You mean-?" Bertrand nodded. "There are a few things I need to point out. I'm much, much older than you, even if I don't look it. I'm male. I'm probably not anyone's first choice for a date for you. But if you don't mind all of that, then you need to make the decision." Vlad didn't hesitate, leaning in until his lips were a hair's breadth from his tutor's and closing the distance-
"Bertrand." He looked up to see Vlad sitting up in his coffin and staring at him curiously. "Are you staying today or not?" He smiled to himself and climbed in beside his young charge, wrapping his arms around him as they settled down to sleep.
Perhaps things had turned out better this way, after all.