Meeting The Tepes Family
Disclaimer: I do not own Castlevania. This story is based off of the wonderful story Abnormality by Slinky-and-the-BloodyWands. I do, however, own the character of Valeria. To get the whole story go check out Slinky's story, though much of what happened is implied or hinted at here. This story picks up on a thought I had whilst reading Abnormality- what if where Adrian was sent really was another dimension in which events (ex: Sonia and Maria) were much closer together and Adrian was human, along with Vlad. I've started this out a little slowly to give a feel for the characters without it being one huge text, and the second chapter will be posted very soon.
Adrian Tepes turned upon his mattress, immediately squinting against the golden light of early morning and burying his head back into the hard, simple pillows that adorned his small bed. Ever so slowly he raised his head again, one pale arm extended over his eyes to block out some of the light from the window overtop where his bed rested against a rough wooden and plaster wall. Eventually he lay looking up, stormy eyes adjusting to the bright light enough that blocks of darkness didn't wane his vision, replaced instead with the dancing of small dust motes in the early morning light of his bedroom. This human's bedroom, where his mother, alive and well, had assured him that the waking in a coffin in the dead of winter, watching the woman in front of him burn in the hysteria of angry villagers, the sin of patricide against a once loving father, and his own damned existence was nothing more than a passing madness- delusions brought on by a transient but burning sickness.
He heard the quick patter of small feet outside his door and the giggling of a voice belonging to a child of about eight and then a calmer voice and footsteps accompanying them belonging to a woman. Lisa opened Adrian's door and soft sea blue eyes rested on her son, the corners of her mouth curved into a small smile as she took in the tousled platinum hair, far too long, and the slight wrinkling of his nose as the door let in more slivers of sunlight that illuminated his pale complexion in rows of golden light. She strode into the room, her simple cotton dress making light swishing noises against the hardwood of the floor, though her slippers made barely a scratching noise, she was so light footed. She laid a cool hand over his forehead before pulling over a simple wooden chair that faced his bed and lowering herself into it.
"And how are you feeling today, love?" she asked, her voice held a tint of worry but was smooth as honey and warm as a summer's day.
Adrian took a moment to reply but in his low, cultured voice finally responded, "I feel… content."
Lisa offered him a quizzical look, head propped to one side, smile faltering slightly, but continued, "content enough to eat breakfast downstairs with the rest of us, my son?" She reached over and ruffled his hair gently when he nodded, "then you'd best prepare- we'll be ready in about ten minutes."
Adrian exited his room, pulling finely boned fingers through long, flaxen hair, separating curls, watching in a bored fascination from the corner of his eye how they seemed to blur, growing fuzzy and less connected with the movement through them only to rejoin, a little less tight, a few minutes later. He had put on a simple white linen shirt and thick brown corduroy breeches with soft doe skin slippers for in the house and as he lowered his hand from his hair he stopped it. The man licked his lips briefly, noting how the tinge of pink in his skin offset the sheer white of the linen instead of blending into it, much like he was used to. His other life- the life that he wished seemed further away than it was- his life as the immortal half-bred son of a tyrant…
He was shaken out of his reverie when the patter of small feet caught his attention and a young child nearly careened into him. He caught her small, delicate hands in his own and glanced over into a surprised face with hair of the palest spun gold, much like Adrian's own, and warm coffee brown eyes, with an ever present blush suffusing the cheeks of an otherwise pale pallor, though not as extreme as his own. The girls' expression fell into a cheeky grin and she chirped, "you'd better have the mind to finish breakfast this time, Adrian, or Mum promised she'd spoon feed you next- and that I'll just have to see!" she giggled before pushing away and disappearing as quickly as she'd arrived.
As Adrian reached the breakfast table he saw a regal looking man with grey streaking his well kept black hair, his white linen shirt, simple but clean and much like the one his son wore, tucked into in to light grey trousers of cotton twill, lightening up his aged appearance far more than Dracula's heavy black and red brocade. However his appearance may have changed though, his appearance brightened with laugh lines and light materials as well as burdened with a mortal age, this was unmistakeably the same man that Adrian had both loathed and mourned over for an unbearably long existence.
Lisa, for her part, still looked soft and gentle, large eyes wide and sea blue, reflecting kindness, and body supple and strong despite her age, which had only just begun to spin select strands of her golden tresses the silver of the elderly. A light purple spencer jacket of thick wool was placed with her thick brown linen skirts, guarding her against the sparkling wintry bluster just beyond the doorway, barely visible from the thickly frosted windows.
Maria, her belly just beginning to show with child, walked the short distance from the next room, slipping in beside her husband's empty seat, hair shining like strands of gold where it was tied into a bun, the bottom half left loose to slip around her shoulders and down her back, spilling over her deep green cotton dress, lighting hazel orbs that scanned the table before glancing to Lisa, offering help with setting breakfast, which was quickly declined by the older woman.
It didn't take long for the child to re-enter the kitchen, falling into giggles when Vlad pulled her up onto his lap as she tried to run past, her little cotton nightdress providing little against the chill morning and her thick, ice blue wool housecoat doing little to help lying on the hardwood floors on the other side of the room. "Valeria," Vlad sighed, giving her a quick squeeze before allowing her to squirm off of his lap and away again, "go put your housecoat on before you catch cold, child," he insisted wearily. "And Adrian, my boy, come sit. It's good to have you back sitting with us, like a proper family," he urged.
Adrian pressed his lips together tightly, glancing at Lisa with a furrowed brow before stepping fully into the room. Lisa offered him a kind smile, placing a petite hand against his shoulder blades and leading him gently to a seat, waiting until he'd sat down before pushing the chair back in once again. Adrian, for his part, sat resolutely staring at the plain wooden plate in front of him. He was haunted by his image of Vlad, the Vlad that was burned into his mind, Vlad the Impaler- Dracula. It was difficult for Adrian to allow himself to replace this jovial human man with the bloodthirsty monster that his vampiric father had become, no matter how sincerely his mother, his father, and his wife had promised him that the entire situation had been a dream. He still found it unbelievable to not remember anything of this life, himself as a human, but wasn't this what he'd always wanted, had yearned for? A normal, human family- himself without his cursed blood, mother alive, but now that he was here this felt so wrong. He had his mother alive again, had normal relationships with both Sonia and Maria, and Maria was carrying his child- his child- presumably human, as human as this girl, Valeria, his sister, about half his height and less than half his age- without the immortality that constantly worried at the forefront of his mind. Yet as fake as this was, had to be, he couldn't help but wish that it were real, as real as the bond he undoubtedly felt for this family that he had no idea existed until a week before when he woke up in a bed with a cold sweat, sure the creature that had attacked him had killed him with its venom. Yet for all that he found himself unable to believe that this was heaven or, rather, hell, for that was surely the place a creature such as himself would end up in.
Dracula paced his chambers, his eyes fixed upon his sons face, though it might as well be carved from porcelain, for all the life it held. Alucard had been set upon in the forest, as far as he could tell, and now lay pallid in his chambers after being found.
Although Dracula did remember the little girl- Revenge personified- that had visited him, and told him how to break the poison upon his son, Dracula was having difficulty making a choice- to allow his son to die blissfully in this sleep, in this 'other world', this 'imaginary world', or to bring him back to suffer more eternal misery. Dracula did not want his son to be miserable, whatever Adrian might think of his father, but Dracula was still, fundamentally, selfish. Although Adrian had shown no inclination to remain home or claim his birthright Dracula could still provoke reaction in his son, thereby maintaining contact with the man- in Dracula's view, his immortal child, for in terms of maturity and Adrian's lifespan he was scarcely midway through his adolescence.
The imposing figure finally looked up from his sons visage, his strong, refined features hardening as he turned on his heel and stalked from the room, a figure of black and red clothing, ice pale flesh, with merciless eyes cold and hard as crimson- dead, yet inexplicably so alive and on fire that they were terrifying to behold.