I adore the idea of Mama!Zero taking care of people, Yuuki, Kaien, his brother, the Night Class anyone. Zero's kindness was one aspect in the manga I couldn't get enough of and seeing his kindness shine through his grumpy nature kept me reading even with all the stupid plot twists ( like the setting taking place in a post-apocalyptic timeline - that's just dumb) and an extremely disappointing 2nd half. I've seen a few other Mama!Zero fics and decided to throw my hat into the ring. I give Level E a little more sentience in this chapter than they have in canon. Kind of Au but not too much.
Note: I do not like to bash characters that aren't explicitly hateable. I don't like Vampire Yuuki( I do like human Yuuki) and Kaname's manipulations pissed me off but their portrayal in this fic is not me bashing them at all. Their behavior will be explained later.
Note 2: I hope I did Senri's emotionless personality. Also this is not me shipping Senri/Zero.
In which Zero becomes a doctor/pillow: Senri
Senri Shiki had never thought that he would meet his end in a dirty abandoned factory, bloody, broken and alone, surrounded by at least a dozen Level E's, their red manic eyes baring down at him. In his last moments he could help but remember the events that had lead him to this moment.
When Kaname had instructed him to go weed out a nearby Level E nest as few weeks after Rido's invasion, Senri had thought nothing of it. It seemed that their esteemed leader was finally taking a proactive role in cleaning up the Vampire community as well as trying to forge an allegiance with the Hunter community by lending aid against the growing Level E threat. When he had been told to go alone, he'd been completely unconcerned. As expected of their beastly nature, Level E's were slow, uncoordinated and sloppy. They were hardly a challenge for a relatively weak Vampire, let alone an aristocrat like himself.
When waking into the abandoned factory that was their hideout, Senri had expected to dispatch three or four Level Es and go about his way.
The two dozen or so that had rushed to meet him, however, was not anticipated.
He'd been surrounded. They swarmed over him like cockroaches and even with his superior strength and abilities in the face of such an overwhelming assault, Senri had barely escaped after taking out about 8 of the beasts.
The looks of horror the Night Class had sent as he limped into the dorm, let him know that his condition had looked as bad as it felt.
Senri had wanted nothing more than to limp to his room, take a few blood tablets, wash off the stench of Level E blood off his clothes and sleep off the worst of his injuries, but a cold, cultured voice had stopped him before he could even begin to hobble to his room. Senri had been greeted by the sight of Kaname walking regally down the hall, Yuuki on his arm, her face scrunched up in disgust as the scent of Level E blood hit her nose.
"Back so soon Senri?" Kaname asked when he had reached him. "Did you clean out the nest?"
Senri straightened as best he could under that regal gaze, "There was an ambush Lord Kuran," he said tonelessly," At least three dozen of them and I-"
"I didn't ask you how many there were Senri," Kaname cut in, " I asked you whether or not you cleared them all out."
Senri's mouth snapped closed as emotion finally began to bleed into his eyse, and he had stared at his cousin in confusion.
"No, Lord Kuran, there were too man-"
"I believe my brother said that you were to completely clean out that Level E Nest, Shiki" Senri shoulders had stiffened at Yuuki's impassive voice, his eyes raising to stare at her is disbelief. The girl held his gaze evenly, simply raising a perfectly manicured brow at him.
"Lady Yuuki," He rasped, "I was outnumbered. They may have been Level E's but there were too many of them to handle by myself. If I had not left- "
"You expect me to believe that you couldn't handle a couple of lowly Level E's Senri," Yuuki responded flatly," You who have the blood of the Kurans running through your veins couldn't pick off a few mindless beasts? I refuse to believe it. Your lazy nature has been tolerated in the past Senri, but this mission is imperative if we want to sway the Hunters to our side and I'll not have your slacker nature get in the way of that. I expect that nest to be cleaned out" Out of the corner of his eye Senri saw Takuma and Rima began to move forward, but a quick cutting look from Yuuki had stopped them in their tracks," Alone." Takuma's mouth had opened in shock before snapping shut, as Rima gaze dropped to the floor a frown marring her pretty face.
Senri had held his future Queen's gaze, his normally expressionless eyes brimming with disbelief. He dragged his eyes over to Kaname who had been watching the proceedings silently. Senri met his cousin wine colored gaze and searched them for even a spark of compassion… and found none.
'This is your pittance,' those impassive eyes had said, 'You brought Rido into this school. You endangered your classmates, endangered your school, endangered my future Queen and you will reap the punishment for your weakness,'
Senri's eyes had widened in realization.
Kaname had known that there was an infestation of Level's E's hiding out in that factory, had known there were too many to handle and had sent him alone anyway as punishment for his involvement in his father's invasion of the school.
The realization that his cousin had intentionally sent him into danger and was now sending him back was something too much to process at the moment and he could only stare blankly in the wake of Yuuki's cold order and Kaname's silent judgement.
"Well?" Kaname asked coldly.
Senri's eyes had shuttered, all emotion wiped from his gaze as he lowered his head submissively.
"The Nest shall be cleansed, Lord Kuran, Lady Yuuki," he whispered, bowing as best he could, his hand clutched to his bleeding abdomen.
"See that it is." Yuuki sniffed turning her attention to her brother, dismissing her cousin entirely.
No one had the courage to meet Senri's s gaze as he limped silently out the room.
He should have known Kaname wouldn't have let him off so easily after the whole Rido incident. Never mind that he'd been possessed, never mind he'd never wanted to hurt his friends and endanger his home, never mind that even now weeks later he still had nightmare of nearly killing Rima, of his father cold voice echoing in his head, taking over his body, stripping away his free will.
Senri's weakness had allowed Rido close to his home, threatened his friends and his future Queen. Senri should have know better than to think he'd go unpunished for that.
Kaname had become more ruthless since Yuuki had been awakened, grown a bit colder with each day, as if's Yuuki's awakening had flipped a switch in the older Pureblood. The change had been subtle at first but as the days passed the Older Kuran had become a little darker, a little more possessive. Yuuki, too, had also changed, going from an admittedly sweet girl to an aloof and unforgiving Mistress, cold and dismissive to everyone who wasn't her brother. She'd even started giving the Hunter the cold shoulder despite how inseparable they'd been only a few weeks prior.
Never before would Senri had expected that that once sweet girl and his stoic but kind leader would order him to take on a job far outside his ability alone and then force him back after he'd barely escaped with his life.
Yet here he was, a little way away from the factory, crouched behind a bush, downwind as to not let the Level E's catch wind of his blood, as his muddled brain tried to come up with an effective strategy to take down the dozen or so Level E's till left behind. He stomach growled lowly, his body's need for blood leaving a painful ache in the pit of belly, but he ignored it as best he could.
Leaning against a nearby tree, Senri let his eyes fall close. He just needed an hour or two, just a little break for his injuries to start to heal...
Too late. He had no time to react as he was bowled over by a large mass of muscles. He let out a pained yelp as claws dug into his already torn and tender shoulders, his head connecting with a nearby root painfully as hot rancid breath wafted across his face.
"Pretty little Vampire," a manic voice giggled above him, "tasty little Vampire, come back to play."
Senri shivered in digest as a hot tongue slid across his injured shoulder.
"Tasty, tasty, tasty!"
Senri head was swimming, his senses muddled, his eyes squeezed shut as his wounds become aggravated. He felt the Level E get off him, felt wickedly sharp claws grab him by his collar, felt himself being dragged across the forest floor into the factory, heard a door open and close, and shout in pain as he was thrown against a hard surface.
His blue-gray eyes cracked opened slowly, as he came face to face with 14 pairs of gleaming red eyes staring down hungrily at him.
"I bought us a tasty tasty tasty treat brothers," the previous Manic voice cackle giddily," The tasty naughty vampire who killed our other brothers."
Senri watched dazedly as they advanced in him, their fangs gleaming menacingly in the moonlight. They were closing in on him, surrounding him from all sides and he was broken, bloody, exhausted, at a complete disadvantaged and utterly unable to fight back.
'This is my punishment.' He thought ruefully 'This is my punishment for being weak, for letting Rido into our school, for endangering my friends. For endangering Lady Yuuki, and all the other Night Class students but most importantly Takuma and Rima. Kaname was right. I deserve this.'
Senri's vision swam in and out, blood loss finally catching up with him, his head dropping to his chest. Black crept at the edges of his vision as he slumped against the wall no other choice but to accept his fate. His last conscious sense was the sound of breaking glass, a scream of agony and a flash of silver and then he knew no more.
Senri came back to awareness slowly, shivering as he felt something wet brag across his shoulder. He moaned slightly, squirming at the sensation weakly, trying to get away from it.
"Cold." He whimpered softly, shivering slightly as the wet feeling dragged across his chest.
"Tough, "a mild voice intoned above him. "I need to get some of this blood off you just in case there are more E's lurking around."
Senri tensed slightly at the annoyingly familiar voice, his eyes opening slowly, murky gray surroundings becoming sharper as he senses caught up to his brain. He felt absolutely horrible, his body ached, his injures stung and his stomach clenched painfully with the need for blood.
But he was alive.
He dimly noticed that he was lying down, his body blanketed on something scratchy and his chest was cold. The cold wet feeling suddenly returned an Senri shivered again finally noticing that his chest was bare. The model blinked tiredly as his eyes zeroed in on a familiar but unexpected face.
"Kiriyu," Senri asked dazedly, starting up at the Hunter's tense face, "what are you doing here?"
The hunter spared him a brief glance.
"I saw you hobbling through the forest while I was on patrol," Zero replied, tearing a strip from Senri's ruined jacket and soaking it with water from a half empty bottle, "And even if I hadn't seen you, I would have smelt you. You reek of blood. I don't get what the hell you were thinking walking into a nest of Level E's covered in blood. You got a death wish?" Senri shivered again as Zero dragged the makeshift rag down his stomach.
'No," he thought grimily, " I don't have a death wish but Lord Kaname is making up for that with his own'
"What the hell does Kuran have to do with this?" Senri blinked realizing he must have just said that out loud.
"Nothing." he replied dully. Though he was not too happy with his leader at the moment, he didn't want the Hunter knowing any Night Class business. Zero shot him unamused glare but didn't press the matter returning to the task at hand.
Senri blinked as Zero continued with his task of washing of the blood for his wounds. He had expected the Hunter to put up more of fight for answers. A comfortable silence filled the now cleaned out Factory, as Zero meticulously washed as much blood as carefully as he could from the model's chest. Senri felt his eyes began to droop as the Hunter gentle ministrations began to lull him into a dreamlike state. He was just about to fall asleep when he felt a hand give him a gentle shake. He opened his eyes to see Zero glaring down at him.
"Don't go to sleep yet," He snapped shrugging off Senri's small irritated glare.
The hunter ran a critical eye down Senri 's bare chest and shoulders carefully examining his now visible injuries. His brow ceased, and he sighed noisily. "Got no choice." He whispered bitterly much to Senri's confusion.
Shrugging off his coat, unconcerned with the chill, Zero leaned over and draped it across Senri's bare chest, tucking it at the sides. Senri groaned as the Hunter jostled his injuries, and Zero's movements became notably gentler as he cocooned Senri as best he could in his jacket. Once he was satisfied, he hooked his arm under Senri's shoulders and gently lifted him off the dirty curtain that had served as his blanket and guided him to his shoulder. Senri blinked as he was settled firmly on Zero's surprisingly comfy shoulder.
'His shoulder's comfier than Takuma's' Senri thought blearily, his head lolling against the Hunter's neck. Funny, he thought it'd be bony. If he had been in his right mind, he might have balked at the gentle treatment he was was receiving from the infamous vampire hating hunter as well as the fact that he was let an injured, blood- deprived vampire so close to his neck, but at this moment he was too busy drinking up the smell of honey and lilac. He was once again about to drift off to sleep when he felt something bump against the side of his face. He groaned slightly in annoyance and cracked open his eye to see a pale wrist in front of his face. He looked up at the hunter quizzically who gazed back at him coldly.
"Drink." He said behind clenched teeth holding his wrist closer. Senri's tired face morphed into one of deep offense at the audacity of the Hunter. He wasn't just some hungry dog, he was an aristocrat and the act of offering blood to him should not be handled so crassly and should definitely not be offered by a Hunter of all things. His affront at the Hunter's rudeness and audacity momentary overrided the unbelievable fact that Zero was willingly giving a Vampire his blood.
"I realize it might not be your favorite flavor," Zero snapped acidly at his affronted look, "But it's all you got, and your injuries are bleeding pretty heavily and they won't start to heal without blood so suck it up and drink or sit here and bleed out," he pressed his wrist closer to the model's mouth," Your choice."
Senri glared petulantly at Zero for a moment before grudging guiding the Hunters wrist to his mouth and biting down hard without ceremony.
Zero winced at his less than gentle bite, but Senri paid him no heed, to busy gulping mouthful after mouthful of surprisingly tasty blood.
"Who would have thought a Hunter could taste so good,' Senri thought dazedly, gulping down another mouthful of blood.
After a few more mouthfuls, Senri felt a hand push gently but firmly against his forehead. Senri's brow ceased in displease at having his meal interrupted but the hand was incessant.
"That's enough," Zero growled lowly, hand still pressed firmly to Senri's forehead. Senri released the Hunter's wrist at the dangerous tone. Zero shot him a dirty glare, wrapping his bleeding wrist in the last few remains of Senri's ruined jacket, stemming the flow of blood. Scowling,he roughly flicked his thumb across the side of Senri's mouth, wiping a stray trickle of blood.
"Damn messy vampire." He muttered mutinously.
Thirst sated and injures in the process of healing, Senri slumped back against Zero's shoulder bonelessly, drinking in the intoxicating scent of lilac and honey that clung to the Hunter's skin. He couldn't put a name to the lovely scent but something about was so familiar, and mad him feel so safe. How Kiriyu smelled so good after slaughtering a dozen Level Es, Senri had no idea, but the lovely combination of scents coupled with his now full stomach and comfy perch was currently lulling him to sleep.
He sighed as his body began to shut itself down to recuperate when he felt an arm attach itself under his shoulders. Senri let out a sleepy protest as he was moved from his perch but didn't protest further as he was gently lowered down. All tension melted from Senri's body as his aching head meet blessed softness, as Zero cushioned the younger vampires head on his lap.
If he thought his shoulder was comfy, it was nothing compared to the Hunter's lap.
Zero looked so lithe and slender, Senri had always expected him to be all angles, comprised of nothing but hard muscles and bones, but damn if the Hunter's lap wasn't the comfiest pillow he ever rested his head upon, comfier even than Takuma's shoulder.
'It's like laying on a cloud.' Senri thought blissfully, his eyes slipping close.
Senri felt the hunter tense slightly beneath him and was dimly aware that he must have said that last statement loud, but the injured Vampire didn't care. He was too busy melting into a pool of warmth. He felt Zero began to move again and felt the previous warmth from earlier return as Zero rearranged his coat around his shoulders tucking it snugly around his sides. After a moment, Senri sensed something draw close to his head pausing hesitantly just above his forehead. He tensed slightly before immediately relaxing as long, slender fingers began to card through his hair.
Suddenly he wasn't injured, and lying on a dirty factory floor surrounded by dead level E's, instead he was in a beautifully decorated living room, his head pillowed on his Mother's lap and she, in one of her saner moods was running her fingers through his hair in the very same manner and humming softly.
And Senri sighed contentedly, finally drifting off into a peaceful sleep as he was pampered so completely by his sworn enemy.
Senri awoke the next morning, warm, full and comfortable, all his injuries completely healed. The model hummed contentedly. He'd hadn't slept so good in a long time. Yawning widely, he shifted to his side burrowing his face into his abnormally comfortable pillow, fully intending to go back to sleep.
"Since you're obviously awake now, you want to stop using me as a pillow?" a sarcastic voice drawled just above his head.
Senri's eyes flew open as he sprang up, coming face to face with an unimpressed, baggy eyed Zero.
"About time you woke up." Zero said sourly, kneading his knuckles into his legs. "Thought you'd actually sleep the whole damn day away."
Senri stared at the hunter dumbly, his groggy mind taking a minute to catch up to his senses.
"Where are we?" he slurred slightly, bringing a palm up to rub at his eye. Zero shot him a dull look slowly rising to his feet with a small groan.
"We're still at the factory, "the hunter groused, and Senri noticed a slight rasp in his voice, "been here all night. Luckily, I got all the Level E's and no more showed up last night. "
"What time is it?" Senri asked sleepily.
"I'd say it's about noon now." Senri blinked. Noon?
Senri looked around the brightly lit factory, taking notice of the bright sunlight streaming through the numerous windows. In doing so, he noticed that he and Zero where tucked into a dark corner completely protected from the sun's rays
Zero had actually had the foresight to seat them in a spot where he wouldn't be directly in the sun.
Senri was impressed and just a little bit touched. The Hunter had really thought of everything to keep him comfortable.
He was startled out of his thought when a warm weight settled on top of head, plunging his vision into darkness. He snatched off the offending article to see that it was Kiriyu's coat. He shot the Hunter a confused look.
"Use that to block out the sun on your way back." Zero said, as he headed towards the door of the factory "I'm sure you can find your own way back to the school." He threw over his shoulder.
Senri watched him walk away, seeing the Hunter with completely new eyes. He, like most of the night class, would have thought that Kiriyu would leave them all to rot if so given the chance. He certainly never made his hatred for their kind a secret. Yet, the Hunter had not only followed him when he saw him injured, he'd also saved him from certain death, feed him, given him his Jacket to keep him warm and judging from the dark circles he'd briefly seen under his eyes, had stayed up all night to keep look out allowing Senri to rest and recuperate.
Senri felt a warm feeling spread through his chest as he stared after Kiriyu's retreating form, a feeling he never in a thousand years thought he'd feel towards the Hunter.
"Kiriyu." Zero paused and stared back at Senri, a single brow raised in question.
Senri stared down at his feet, avoiding the Hunters gaze, suddenly a little bashful. He clutched the coat close to his chest drinking in the small of honey and lilac.
"Thank you." he whispered into the fabric.
Zero considered him for a minute. With a scoff, he walked silently back over to Senri and to top of a truly miraculously day placed his hand on Senri's head and gave his hair a slight ruffle.
"Don't mention it." Zero said flatly, shooting him a shadow of a smirk on his face. "Ever."
Senri arrived back at the Moon Dorm an hour or two before class changeover. He was greeted at the gates by a teary-eyed Takuma and anxious Rima. Takuma scoped him up in a tight hug, babbling about how he and Rima had been waiting up for him, how worried they were about him and how sorry they were that they couldn't go with him. That last part was not necessarily his fault, but Senri awkwardly patted Takama's back telling him that he was okay, and he wasn't angry at him or Rima to adhere to Kaname and Yuuki's will. He caught Rima's eye over Takuma heaving shoulder. A minuscule smile spread across her face and she nodded at him slightly a gesture Senri returned, his attention to focused on Takuma clinging to him to notice the small cease on her forehead.
Gently detangling himself from his sniffling friend, Senri politely excused himself with reasoning that he would like a shower and a change of clothes. His friends let him go gladly, with a promise from Takuma that if he didn't feel up for class, he'd take notes for him.
It wasn't until Senri was in his room, wasn't until he was shedding his ripped shirt that he realized that he still had the Hunter's jacket draped over his head. Senri gently pulled the coat of his head and pulled it close to his face.
Honey and Lilac. A soft comfy Lap. Long slender fingers carding through his hair.
He couldn't believe how the grumpy, stoic, unagreeable person had turned a horrible experience into such a pleasant memory.
He smirked slightly into the coat, breathing in deeply,finally able to put the word smell.
Kaname peered down through his widow, his eye glued the sight of his younger cousin engulfed in hug from Takuma.
It appeared his cousin had made it back intact.
While a lesson needed to be taught, Kaname had not wanted any permanent harm to come to Senri, he was family after all. Yes, he had known the nest would be too much to handle, and he had absolutely anticipated that Shiki would return to the dorm unable to handle the nest by himself , and yes he fully intended to send Shiki back to the nest of beasts to hammer in the lesson that weakness and any danger to his Queen would not be tolerated, but there had been one more variable that he'd factored in.
A certain silver haired hunter currently on his rounds.
Kaname had known without any doubt that Kiriyu would have caught the scent of Senri, so heavily covered in blood. He knew Kiriyu would follow after Senri, unable to ignore anyone so heavily injured even if he was a Vampire. He knew Kiriyu would come across the Level E nest and would provide Senri with the necessary back-up to ensure that his cousin would come back intact. Senri had never been in any real danger as Kaname sent Seiren to monitor the situation. His personal attendant had provided Senri unseen back-up to escape the first time and accompanied him the second time, immediately reporting back to him the second Kiriyu had entered into the scene.
So not only did he have a cleared-out nest to present the Hunter Association, but he'd taught his cousin a very important lesson.
Kaname eyes narrowed as he watched his cousin detangle himself from Takuma's hold and walk unhindered into the dorm. He had expected Senri to return looking worse for wear, a clear message to him and all of the rest of the Night Class that his wrath was not to be taken lightly but Senri looked completely healed, the rips in his clothes the only indication that'd he ever been injured. He deduced that the younger Kuran had somehow found some blood to heal his injuries and slept off campus to recuperate before coming back. Although the Pureblood hadn't a clue where he could've have found some blood because he was sure it couldn't have been from Kiriyu. Also, the fact that he had a day class student jacket draped over his head was very peculiar….
Just as well. Kaname couldn't be bothered with those minor anomalies.
The lesson was learned, the nest was cleared, and the Hunter had proved that his worthiness as tool had not been altered from Heartbreak over Yuuki.
All was as it should be.
Unfortunately, Kaname couldn't know how wrong he was. If only he had the known the bizarre consequences his manipulations would cause, perhaps he wouldn't have been so quick to take advantage of Zero's compassionate nature.
Wow, I did not intend for this chapter to be so long. But I guess it was necessary to set up the story. So there you have it. Senri has been mothered and is now forever hooked. I know Zero had a few out of character moments but I hope I got his grumpy but caring side down.
Next up: Rima.