A/N: Okay, so this is an odd one ... Technically, it's the beginnings - if you like - to the mentioned-in-my-profile-page Hellsing saga. A sequel of sorts to YD that takes place when Vlad's 21. So, erm, yeah. Read, review ... and be aware this was /hard/ to write.

I don't quite know how I made it to the age of 21.

My life wasn't the picture perfect suburban fantasy that it should have, by all rights, been. Right down to the fluorescent coloured building. Something right of a Tim Burton movie. I can never quite pinpoint where it all went wrong, or even why it all went wrong. It just, well it did really. I was the middle child, more or less, the overlooked one in the family. Not exactly unfavoured, but it wasn't unusual for my particular likes and dislikes to be forgotten amongst my brothers and sister's. How did my deeply eloquent brothers put it, oh yes. I was the 'weirdo Goth child' of the family, and my parents should be grateful that their other children turned out normal, and just to forget me.

I often wonder what my parents decide against doing just that. It's not like it would have helped either way. Wouldn't have stopped any of this.

I suppose never having a real friend is a great contributor to it. People piss and moan about how their friends never really understand them, and how they're alone in this big wide world. To those people I said only thing: you have no idea what being alone feels like. To have everyone in the school hate you for no other reason than liking creatures that were supposedly fictional. To have that hate only increase your interest in these creatures, if only because they took shit from no one.

I had a friend. Once upon a time. He was a vampire, well … not quite a vampire when I knew him, but still. He was what I so badly wanted to be. Odd the day that they first moved into the neighbour was the day I was so tempted to just end it all there and then. But yes, my friend. He was…unique. Destined to be the greatest leader of vampires there ever was, and possibly ever would be. Just a pity that becoming a vampire was the last thing he wanted. But there was a battle, and he had to accept his position whether he wanted to or not. He made us forget all about vampires.

And then he was gone.

I remember not long after the battle, how could I not? I'd been a vampire geek for a long while before he had shown up, and I'd worked out what he was within the first half hour of meeting him. Like he could make me forget forever.

Somehow it's worse to go through life alone, knowing what it was life to have had a friend.

I was always bullied at school, but without him around to shoulder it with him it seemed worse. Everything seemed worse. I got quieter, retreated back into a shell I thought I'd gotten rid of ages ago. Turns out it was like I was a turtle, sticking my head out into the sun for only a short while, before hiding away again. My brothers were the worse of the bullies, how could I escape the people I lived with? Eventually my parents did give up, Mum tried not to, she still tries bless her, but we both know I'm a hopeless case.

I made it through school, just, scraping through my exams by the skin of my teeth, and getting into a local uni that I commuted to. I just … it sounds pathetic, but I can't feel anything anymore. I don't have a reason to believe in anything, to believe in life. Can someone please give me a reason to believe? I fell into the cliché, I self harm. I don't do it because it's the only way I can express my pain, or because life is just too hard. No, it's much more simple than that. If I feel the pain, then I know I'm still alive. If not, well then, it's finally over.

I wonder what would happen if I were to just … push the blade in?