Always

It had been one week, and two days. One week and two days since he had taken the title. One week since he had regained consciousness and six days since he had terrified his sister into returning the throne to their father. It had been one week and two days since he had last talked to Robin.

It was the last point that upset Vlad more than anything else that had transpired in the last 9 days.

It was on the 10th day that he decided to return to school. He still wasn't back to his usual self - his legs refused to hold him for longer than 10 minutes at a time - but he couldn't stand the castle any longer. He dressed in his uniform, suddenly much too bright and much too blue, silently, before making his way out of the castle and towards the building which he had begun to resent.

XXX

The mood he had set out with in the morning had only grown by the time it came to the last period of the day. All throughout the day he had been treated as delicate, poor little Vlad coping so well with being so ill - he mused that perhaps that almost collapsing as he walked into the school hadn't helped matters - and Robin had avoided him.

It was the last class, woodwork. Since he had made Van Helsing forget about the existence of vampires, Vlad was surprised to learn that the man was actually a brilliant teacher. The class ran smoothly, and the only incident was when the person next to him, not Robin, he had moved to the back of the class, spilt his piece of wood and it ended a little too close to Vlad's chest for his liking. All in all, he was glad when the bell rang signalling the end of the day. He stood quickly, picking up his bag and walked towards the door, stopping only as a hand touched his shoulder.

"Vlad," Robin spoke softly, as if desperate not to be overheard. "Vlad, can...can I talk to you?"

XXX

"You remember?" Vlad's voice was cracking, unsure at how he felt. "But...I didn't mean for you to remember," he admitted, an embarrassed smile gracing his face for a second before disappearing quickly.

"Yeah, well I didn't at first. It was all sort of foggy, but then things started to fall into place," Robin shrugged. "And I remembered. Don't think it was a good idea for you to make me forget," he chided Vlad with a grin. "I mean, what if I'd forgotten you?"

Vlad turned and looked at his best friend, grinning slightly. "You forget me? As if. A life without me is so not worth living." Robin grinned back widely, the friendship restored easily. They continued in their walk up to the castle, Vlad feeling happier than he had done in one week and two days. "Remember me?" He threw the question to Robin on a whim, wondering what the answer would be. The vampire geek grinned widely, throwing an arm over Vlad's shoulders.

"Always."