Thanks to Skye Phoenix Dove, SuperWolf1967, ScandinavianTrash and an anon for reviewing.

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia.

Chapter 3

His body was held down by strong hands, fingers and tongues and teeth in places where they didn't belong. He struggled, screamed and begged, but they wouldn't release him, and no one was there to help him.

Pain. The only thing he could feel. He screamed, and the three laughed. He wanted this to end. Why didn't they let it end?

Vlad stood in the doorway, a sad expression on his face. He knew that one of Lovino's brothers was hovering nearby, but he didn't care. He had more important things to worry about.

Lovino was in his bed, asleep, but not resting. The boy was covered in sweat, and he kept rolling around. His face scrunched up in fear. He was mumbling, crying, begging

Vlad had seen everything the teen had gone through in the last three months. He knew what the nightmares were about.

He cursed himself for not having the right ability to take Lovino's nightmares away. Telepathy was a valuable gift, and he couldn't use it.

Not from a distance.

He sighed, seeing no other alternative. He walked closer to Lovino's bed, sensing that the other's bother was starting to really panic. He climbed onto the bed next to the teen, and as gently as he could, he moved him so that his head was resting on his shoulder.

Immediately Lovino relaxed, the stress of the last three months fading away. Vlad snaked his arm underneath the boy and prepared for a long night.

Almost as if on cue, the youngest brother arrived, staring inside with wild eyes. Vlad lifted his finger to his lips, signalling the other to be quiet. He saw the concern melt into confusion, and he turned his attention back to Lovino.

"It's called 'contact telepathy'," Vlad said quietly, careful not to wake Lovino. "You know what telepathy is?" He turned to the younger boy, who nodded his head. "Contact telepathy only works if I maintain physical contact. He needs his sleep, and I'm making sure that he gets it."

"So you're keeping his nightmares away?" the boy asked.

Vlad nodded, and the younger teen sagged against the wall, looking relieved.

"You're not going to hurt him?" the boy asked.

Vlad shook his head. He wasn't about to explain to the boy that he couldn't hurt him. He knew that the moment his eyes fell on Lovino.

The younger nodded, and turned to leave.

"Wait," Vlad said, and the boy paused. "What's your name?"

"Marcello."

Vlad nodded, and after a while Marcello left. He turned his attention back to Lovino and sighed.

He would be there for a while still.

The three vampires finally made it to Lovino's hometown, and Francis led the way to the Italian's old home. They could smell humans inside, but they weren't sure if their human was in there.

They could, however, smell the other vampire, who also had a unique scent. But then again, all vampires had a different scent. That was how they were able to identify each other. What was confusing about the other vampire's scent was that it didn't smell like death, like the rest of them. It smelt… fresh, like new life.

But there was no denying that he was a vampire.

"Now what?" Gilbert asked, looking at the house.

"If we want to get our prey, we need to lure them out," Francis said.

"Which prey are you referring to?"

"Does it matter?"

"Guys," Antonio interrupted, looking towards the east. "We might need to wait until tonight. It's too close to dawn."

The other two sighed and nodded, finding an abandoned house for them to rest in for the day.

Feliciano groaned as the alarm clock blared. He hated the fact that they still needed to go to school, but it was better than the alternative. If they turned eighteen, they would have to join the army in order to fight the vampires.

His eyes snapped open when he remembered that Lovino was back. He jumped out of the bed and ran towards Lovino's room, only to stop at the door.

The vampire from the previous night was there, and Lovino was resting his head on his chest. The vampire had his eyes closed, but when Feliciano stopped those red eyes opened.

Feliciano whimpered, wondering if he should open the curtains and if the vampire would even give him the chance.

"He needs his sleep," the vampire explained. "This is the only way I can make sure that he isn't bothered by nightmares."

Feliciano calmed down, and took a nervous step inside the room.

"Why are you nice?" Feliciano asked, and he immediately realised his mistake.

He didn't ask why he was so nice, but nice. And yes, it was a legitimate question, but he was still worried that it was a mistake.

The vampire didn't seem to mind, though.

"I have no reason to be otherwise," the vampire said. "I don't experience hunger, although I do tend to get cravings for sweet food every now and again. My life wasn't the kind where I felt as though people owed me something, at least not until the end, and my soul…" He bit his lip and shook his head. He then turned his attention back to Feliciano. "Why are you up so early, anyway?"

"We have school," Feliciano explained. "I was wondering if Lovi wanted to go."

The vampire looked down towards the sleeping teen and shook his head.

"Let him sleep," he said. "He needs it. He's been through too much and it would be a punishment to send him to that prison called 'school'. Let him rest for a few days."

Feliciano nodded and smiled. He had to agree, he couldn't wake his brother, not while he looked so peaceful. But he was still worried about leaving him alone with the vampire.

"How can we trust you?" Feliciano asked. "I-I mean…"

"It's alright," the vampire said. "I understand. After everything that's happened…" he looked thoughtful, before biting one of his fingers. He beckoned Feliciano closer, and the Italian did as told, though very hesitantly. "It's an ancient form of a blood vow. It's used if one person needs to make a promise. Remove your shirt."

Feliciano frowned, but did so anyway. He shuddered a bit when the vampire traced an 'x' on his chest.

"I promise that I will do nothing to harm Lovino," the vampire said. "I will do nothing to harm you or your younger brother either. Should I fail in this promise, the seal will turn black, and your word would be enough to end my life."

Feliciano blinked before looking down at his chest. He saw it glow slightly before fading into his skin. It was strange. He looked back towards the vampire, a small smile on his face.

"Would you like anything to read while you wait for Lovi to wake up?" Feliciano asked.

"I wouldn't mind," the vampire said. "I don't care what it is either."

Feliciano giggled before he went to his brother's bookshelf, searching for something that the vampire might like. He finally saw something and took the book, walking over and handing it to the vampire.

"The Divine Comedy," Feliciano explained. "We were supposed to do it in Literature class, but then Lovi disappeared, and…"

"Thank you," the vampire said. "It's been a while since I've read this. Of course, I read it in the original Italian."

"Ve, you speak Italian?"

"I speak all the languages in that family," Vlad said. "This couldn't have been given a more appropriate title."

"What do you mean?"

"I've seen hell. I've met a few demons. I know Lucifer himself. And while this might not be divine, it is a comedy."

Feliciano cocked his head to the side.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

The vampire sighed and shook his head.

"It's a long and painful story. One that I would rather not share, if you wouldn't mind."

Feliciano nodded and turned away from the room. He needed to make sure that Marcello was awake, and then they would need to get ready for school.

Feliciano yawned, and not for the first time. He was having lunch with Marcello and their friends, and the two of them could barely stay awake.

"Had a late night?" Alfred asked, a teasing smile on his face.

"Kind of," Marcello admits. "Lovi's back."

Matthew had a relieved smile on his face, while Jason's eyes widened. Alfred just stared blankly.

"Are you sure it's him?" Alfred asked. "It's not some trick by the vampires?"

"He was wearing a rosary," Feliciano said. "Vampires can't touch them, remember?"

"But still…"

"Why don't we go and see for ourselves after school?" Matthew suggested. "I wouldn't mind seeing Lovino again."

Feliciano and Marcello exchanged a worried glance that the other three missed. They would need to explain about the vampire that was staying with them. And knowing Alfred, that could not go well.

Lovino sighed, nuzzling his face into his pillow. It was the first time he could sleep peacefully in a long time, uninterrupted by nightmares. He slowly opened his eyes and stared at the sight that met him.

He realised that he was sleeping on someone's shoulder, and he instantly moved away. Vlad turned to him and smiled brightly.

"Good afternoon," he greeted. "Did you sleep well?"

Lovino yelped and jumped away, unfortunately being caught in a tangle of sheets and thus falling to the floor. Vlad peeked over the edge, a worried expression on his face.

"What the hell are you doing in my bed, you bastard?" Lovino shouted.

"I was making sure you didn't have any nightmares," Vlad explained.

"How the hell does that make sure I don't get nightmares?"

"Remember when I was reading your mind, I was touching you?"

"Vaguely."

"It's called 'contact telepathy'. If I touch you, I can read your mind, and I can also plant ideas into your mind."

Lovino's eyes widened. He had been freeing himself from the sheets and jumped to his feet when he heard the vampire's proclamation.

"You what?" he demanded.

"I didn't plant any ideas in your mind," Vlad sighed. "I can also influence dreams. Make you dream what I want you to dream, or not at all. That's what I was doing."

Lovino scowled.

"Then why didn't you just let me have a happy dream?" he asked.

"Because I don't know you well enough to be able to tell what you would consider happy. And also, having to maintain the dream would take a lot of effort and I didn't know how long you were planning to sleep."

Lovino huffed.

"Fine. What time is it anyway?"

"Just after noon. I think your brother left you some lunch."

Lovino felt a pang of hunger and he sighed in relief when he realised that he would be able to pay attention to it immediately.

He walked towards the kitchen, Vlad following behind him, and when they would pass an open window the curtains would close by themselves. Eventually Lovino turned to regard Vlad.

"How are you doing that?" he asked.

Vlad smirked at him.

"Telekinesis," he said. "It's a pretty useful ability, don't you think?"

Lovino scowled.

"Just how many abilities do you have?" he asked. "I thought vampires only had one or two."

"They do. I'm just an exception."

Lovino huffed.

"Well… what else can you do?"

Vlad looked thoughtful.

"I have a lot of magical abilities," he said. "And I also have that sanguine souvenir ability that Francypants has, though like contact telepathy, it can go both ways."

"What do you mean?"

"It means I can allow others to see my memories by letting them drink my blood."

"Why would anyone drink your blood? It's silver. And why is it silver?"

Vlad smiled sadly.

"I'm afraid I don't know you well enough to tell you that," he said.

Lovino glared at the vampire.

"Hey, you know more about me than I was willing to tell anyone, especially my fratelli," he said. "You know about what happened in those months I was with them. The least you could do is tell me a little more about you."

Vlad blinked at that, and he sighed, running a hand through his strawberry blond hair.

"What do you want to know?" he asked at last.

"I don't know," Lovino said. "How old are you?"

Vlad sighed, as though the question was harder than it was supposed to be.

"That's a tough one," he said. "I'd say… around nine thousand? Maybe."

Lovino's jaw dropped. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Was he really that old?

Vlad saw the expression on his face and chuckled nervously.

"Anything else?" he asked.

"Si. Who turned you? Is he famous or something?"

Vlad's expression fell.

"Not among humankind or vampirekind," he said. "He's not a vampire. He's a demon. A powerful, cruel demon. One that wanted to turn me into one of them. Vampire is as close as he would come, I'll make sure of that."

"How?"

"If I make a mistake and kill someone, no matter what they are, he'll find me. I need to avoid killing anything. I can't even kill an ant without the risk of him tracking me down. He was the reason why I was sleeping in a church for twenty years."

Lovino looked at him with wide eyes, feeling a connection with the vampire. Perhaps that was why Vlad was being so nice. Because he knew what it was like to be forced into a life you didn't want, and to be hunted down by the ones that ruined your life. Vlad knew.

Lovino turned back towards the kitchen, not saying a word. He figured that he had asked Vlad enough about the subject. As it were, the vampire had a distant look on his face.

The thought also occurred to Lovino that Vlad was probably not a true vampire. A demon had tried to turn him into a demon and failed, leaving behind something that was stuck between states. And that being didn't want any more.

And Lovino was fine with that. But there was something that still bothered him.

"Why exactly don't you need to feed?" he asked.

Vlad chuckled.

"I don't just have enemies in heaven," Vlad explained. "While they can't undo what's been done to me, they were able to help me out. Especially the angels of life."

"Angels of life?"

"They protect all things in life. They get along with angels of death, who are their opposites. Angels of life can't kill, and it's against their nature to allow something to be killed around them, and angels of death can't interfere with the ways of life. They have healing abilities, but it requires a medium, depending on the angel. Touch of life, breath of life…" Vlad's expression saddened. "And blood of life."

Vlad and Lovino were in the living room, watching TV when Vlad suddenly turned to the door, his face scrunched up in an unreadable expression.

"What?" Lovino asked.

"It seems you have company," Vlad explained.

Lovino's eyes widened when he heard the front door open, and soon enough he could hear a familiar, loud voice.

"Hey Lovino! Feli said you're…"

Alfred came rushing into the room and stopped at the door, staring straight at Vlad. Vlad rolled his eyes, standing up.

"I see that we're going to have an awkward situation," he said. "I'll be back when you're finished."

Vlad went into the kitchen, and as soon as he was gone, Alfred rounded on him.

"Dude, what's it doing here?" Alfred demanded.

"He saved my life, and without him I wouldn't even be here," Lovino said.

He turned to see Alfred's brothers standing behind him, their eyes fixed on the door to the kitchen. And behind them stood Feliciano and Marcello, looking awkward.

"That still doesn't mean that you can trust it," Alfred said.

Vlad poked his head into the room, and Alfred faltered.

"I'll have you know that I don't appreciate being referred to as 'it', so could you kindly refrain from doing so?"

Alfred swallowed, and Vlad disappeared again.

"Look bastard, I know for a fact that Vlad won't hurt any of us," Lovino said. "He's had a million opportunities."

"But what if he's hungry?" Alfred asked.

"Vlad doesn't feed from humans."

They heard a snicker and turned their attentions to Marcello, who seemed to try to keep his laughter in check.

"'Vlad'?" he asked. "That has to be the most stereotypical name for a vampire ever."

"What's his title?" Alfred asked, rounding on Lovino.

"He doesn't have one, or at least not one that's famous," Lovino said.

"How old is he?"

"Apparently, nine thousand."

The others just looked at Lovino with wide eyes.

"Um," Alfred began, "how many people did he… you know? Turn?"

Vlad stuck his head into the room again, looking towards Alfred.

"Seven," he said, "of which only three of them are alive, so to speak, and two of them are imprisoned in more chains and locks than you could count."

And Vlad retreated into the kitchen again, leaving a stunned silence.

"Are you sure you can trust that guy?" Alfred asked.

"He gave me a rosary, he kept me from having nightmares, and he got me away from the vampires that kidnapped me," Lovino said. "I trust him more than I trust you, to be honest."

"I'm going to keep my eye on him," Alfred said.

Vlad sighed, leaning against the wall next to the door. He could hear the humans' conversation clearly, his fine hearing not necessary with the American's loud voice.

He knew what those other three were. They were the same as Lovino and his brothers, though their blood hadn't had time to thin yet.

Nephilim.

He felt another presence in the room and opened his eyes.

"Are they yours?" he asked the angel in front of him.

"No," Fletcher sighed. "They're Ayiana's. We have a mission for you."

Vlad stared at him blankly and he sighed.

"If you fulfil this mission, we'll grant you forgiveness," Fletcher continued

"Don't want it," Vlad said. "I don't need your forgiveness. Though an apology would do."

"Then what do you want?"

Vlad bit his lip and sighed.

"I want freedom," he said.

"From what?" Fletcher asked, looking concerned.

"It doesn't matter. At the very least, you should make it possible for me to walk around in sunlight."

"I'm sure something can be arranged. Now, as for your mission…"

The angel at the end was originally NyoEngland, but she has a few scenes in the future that wouldn't quite fit in here. So instead it's New Zealand.