Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Knight. I own only my characters and ideas.

Not my Time
A Vampire Knight Fanfiction

Chapter Twenty: Consequences

Wearily, I opened my eyes a crack, only to be forced to shut them in order to escape the glare of sunlight streaming in from a window nearby. Despite the intensity of the light, its presence assured me that I had successfully returned to Cross Academy.

Shifting slightly in bed, I raised a hand to shield my eyes, then opened them once more. Now that my eyes were shielded, I could make out the silhouette of a person seated next to my bed. From the immense quantity of manga littering the nightstand, I deduced that it was Ichijou.

"Ichijou… could you…" My voice was soft, and even those few words were difficult for me to speak.

"Oh. You're awake," Ichijou replied. I heard the soft thud of a manga hitting the floor, as if he hadn't been expecting me to awaken in his presence. "Of course, I'll close the curtains; sorry, I thought you would like them open… I guess after sleeping for almost twenty-four hours the light is too much even for a human to cope with."

Although Ichijou's words were meant to be amusing, he sounded anxious as he drew the curtains over the window. Before he resumed his seat, he questioned, concernedly, "How are you feeling, Lily-chan?"

"Fine… Tired…" I replied, as I blinked a few times to adjust to the darkness. "Odd how I can still feel tired…"

Struggling to sit up, an excruciating pain ignited in my left wrist as soon as the slightest pressure was applied. It had been so long since I had experienced such severe pain that I couldn't hold back a high-pitched yelp, which immediately caused Ichijou to go into a frenzy. Returning his gaze to me, Ichijou hastily interpreted my cry to mean that I had further injured myself. In his haste to come to my side, he half-tripped over his discarded manga, and somehow managed to gracefully fall upon his knees at my bedside.

"Lily-chan! Are you all right? Did you injure your neck again?" he inquired, fervently. Gently, he pushed me back until I was lying flat once more. "You need to be careful, Lily-chan. Your neck is torn badly; we don't know the extent of the damage yet."

Frantically, he attempted to examine my neck, but I waved him away. "I'm fine," I insisted, tersely. "This isn't the worst that's happened…"

Ichijou shook his head. "No; this is bad, Lily-chan. You almost died of blood-loss alone… There's no way to predict whether there won't be permanent loss of motion from these injuries… Do you… remember what happened?"

For a moment, I didn't respond, then I replied, "No; I – I can't remember…"

Closing his eyes, Ichijou at first appeared to be steeling himself for a traumatic discussion about what had caused me to become so injured; however, upon further scrutiny, I suspected that the overwhelming emotion Ichijou felt was actually relief, as if there was something he did not wish for me to remember.

Finally, Ichijou informed me, "You were attacked by a level E. Your neck was torn, and your left wrist was fractured. You lost … a lot of blood… before Night Class students arrived to deal with the vampire." He paused, then continued, "We moved you to the headmaster's guest room after the Day Class girls showed too much interest in you… Kaname suggested we keep a vigil at your bedside, in case you became frightened, and were unable to cope with the memory of being attacked."

Suddenly I remembered that Felicity and I had escaped Cross Academy's grounds in order to meander around town at night. Panic overtook me, and I jolted upright – disregarding the pain the action caused me. I was consumed solely with the desire to ensure that Felicity had not fallen prey to the level E.

"City! Is – Is she okay?" I demanded. "Where is she?"

Ichijou motioned me back down to the bed, as he assured me calmly, "She's fine, Lily-chan. We erased her memory, and put her back in her dorm-room. She's safe."

I relaxed back into my pillows with a feeling of relief; although, I couldn't help worrying that Felicity would return to the town now that she could no longer recall the danger she placed herself in. Nervously, I bit my lip, as I attempted to decide whether to alert Ichijou to my concerns. Informing him of the danger Felicity was risking by escaping into town did not require me to betray the fact that I had alerted Felicity to the presence of vampires. However, I selfishly considered how the headmaster and Kaname might take measures to ensure that she simply couldn't leave the school-grounds at night, and I certainly didn't want increased security to prevent us from fleeing when the need arose.

Surveying my expression, Ichijou quickly noted my concern, and questioned, "What's wrong, Lily-chan?"

"Nothing," I replied, unconvincingly. Quickly I added, "I - uhm… I just thought you'd be upset that I flaunted the rules, and put myself and a Day Class student in danger."

"Well, I'm not happy about it," Ichijou admitted. "But scolding you after you almost died would be cruel."

For an instant his expression appeared guilt-ridden, and I wondered whether there was something I hadn't been told. I watched carefully as Ichijou withdrew his container of blood tablets and shook three into an empty glass sitting on the nightstand. After pouring water into the glass, he drained the glass in two gulps, only to immediately deposit two more tablets and refill it.

"Sorry… Are you thirsty, Lily-chan?" he asked, already pouring water into a clean glass.

Gratefully, I took the glass, and sipped cautiously. I observed Ichijou from over the glass' rim. He wasn't able to look at me without a trace of guilt, and every time he noticed my injuries, he immediately turned his attention elsewhere. Not only did these actions reveal the confusion he felt, suddenly I realized that he somehow felt personally responsible for my condition. Almost as if he were the reason I was bedridden.

Memories suddenly flooded my vision.

Ichijou bent next to me; he was so close I could feel his breath on my neck… Kain tried to gain Ichijou's attention, but it was too late… His fangs slid slowly and neatly through my flesh… My protests went unnoticed, and even when I managed to wrench myself away, Ichijou refused to let me go…

Kain and the headmaster came into the infirmary… The headmaster told me that I wouldn't remember anything when I woke up… Kain re-wrote my memories so that I would attribute Ichijou's attack with the level E…

Gulping nervously, I turned my attention away from Ichijou, then whispered, sheepishly, "You must think I'm an idiot…"

How could they possibly think I could disregard a memory that traumatic? Why would they force me to forget? So that I drop my guard again? Is that the reason they don't want humans to know about their existence? To keep them vulnerable?

"I don't think that," Ichijou assured me.

"Then why are you lying to me?" I asked, pointedly.

Ichijou looked startled, and quickly denied, "I am not lying to you. Why would you think that?"

Despite my self-control, I felt my anger rise. If Ichijou hadn't been the one to wait at my bedside, or if he had confessed sooner, then maybe I wouldn't have felt so emotional, but considering that he was the one who had attacked me, as well as the one to re-establish the false memory that Kain had implanted in my mind, I couldn't help becoming defensive.

"You're going to keep denying it?" I accused. My tone was sharp enough to make Ichijou jump.

"Denying what, Lily-chan?" Ichijou questioned, cautiously.

"Are you really here because Kaname wanted the Night Class to keep a vigil? Or maybe he just wanted to be certain I couldn't remember?" I demanded. "And why you of all people?"

Much to my own dismay, I couldn't withstand the urge to cry, and my wrath became wholly unconvincing. However, Ichijou became even more flustered by my tears, and didn't seem capable of determining whether my tears were the product of extreme anger, fear, or sorrow. Initially, he merely stared at me with widened, confused eyes, then Ichijou rifled through the items on the nightstand before locating a box of tissue. Nervously, he presented the box to me, while still considering what to say.

After taking a deep breath, Ichijou addressed me in a soft tone, "I didn't want to lie to you, Lily-chan, and I have no intention of hurting you. Kaname asked Kain to modify your memory, so you would be able to relax. I understand how frightened I made you… It's part of the reason I was hoping you'd forget… I know that's not fair, but I really thought in the long-run it would help us both to move forward."

I shook my head, then reminded Ichijou, "It's not an overreaction to be frightened after being attacked by a classmate."

"I know, but you were frantic… You weren't letting yourself recover," Ichijou informed me, urgently. "Everyone thought it would be beneficial for you to forget."

"But you continued lying to me afterward," I pointed out. "Obviously my situational awareness isn't a priority – which is precisely what I feared when Kaname pressured me into joining the Night Class. You violated my trust when you attacked me, but I'm far more offended that Kaname has acted as if I am nothing more than a pawn." I shook my head again. "I can't go back to the Day Class, but I don't want to return to the Night Class unless I'm certain of Kaname's intentions."

"I know it seems as if Kaname is manipulating you, but he isn't," Ichijou assured me. "I understand that it might appear that way, but vampires have odd ways of protecting people from fear. We either deny the fear and internalize it, or we erase the memory of the fear. Our race assumes that humans prefer to live the same way."

Is that really what Kaname thought he was doing? Protecting me by making me vulnerable?

Ichijou slowly wrapped both his hands around my uninjured hand, and gave me a sympathetic smile. "I know it's wrong to assume such things; perhaps it's even worse than assuming humans will fear us due to their weak natures," Ichijou told me. He blushed, as if it was difficult for him to admit these things. "I'm sorry, Lily-chan. I didn't mean to cause you so much grief."

From the way Ichijou stared into my eyes, I knew that he was being honest with me. Eagerly, Ichijou anticipated my forgiveness, but slowly it dawned on him that I wasn't about to forget what had transpired. Although I did not hate Ichijou for his actions, I could not easily trust him after he had lost control and caused such damage.

In an even-tone, I informed Ichijou, "I don't hate you, but it's going to take some time before I can trust you again."

Understandingly, Ichijou nodded, but gazed away from me. Refusing to look at me appeared to give Ichijou the impression that I would suddenly decide to return to the way things were before he'd attacked me. To give himself time to realize that I meant what I said, Ichijou stared listlessly at the discarded manga scattered across the floor. After several moments, he finally accepted that I had no intention of revising my statement, and turned back to me without looking at me.

"Okay," he answered without emotion.

Awkwardly, Ichijou stood, and began piling up the manga that littered the floor. Halfway through his tidying up, Ichijou became unable to contain the emotion he had bottled up once he had realized that I wasn't willing to move on from his betrayal without any repercussions. He returned his attention to me abruptly; it would have been frightening, except he appeared as though he was more likely to dissolve into tears than engage in violence.

Speaking decisively – even provokingly, Ichijou insisted, "Answer one question for me before I leave. Your father tormented you repeatedly for years, and you never fail – even now – to defend your loyalty to him. How can you lose your trust in me after I make one mistake?"

"If you think I trust my father then you are an idiot!" I spoke quietly, but tersely enough to make my words sound like a growl. "There is a difference between loyalty and trust, and you should have realized by now that if I had trusted my father, I would have demanded to return to my home immediately. Why do you think I stayed here so willingly? Would someone with a sense of trust for their abuser really risk losing everything in order to stay away? You have no right to accuse me of bias when you clearly understand so little!"

Startled by my angry retort, Ichijou stared silently at me before attempting to speak. He barely spoke three words before I interrupted.

"I want you to leave, and don't send anyone else in; I need to think without anyone bothering me. And don't you dare try to modify my memories again! I don't need that sort of protection." My voice rose in volume as I spoke, and I knew I was letting my anger get the better of me. "Let Kaname know I won't be re-joining the Night Class."

Ichijou hesitated; shifting from one foot to the other, he nervously glanced at the door then back at me. Several times he opened his mouth to speak, but ultimately, he determined the safest strategy would be to permit me to be alone. Silently, he shut the door behind him; I could hear someone address him outside the room, but I wasn't interested in their conversation. Despite wanting to believe the best in those around me, I couldn't help feeling horribly used and betrayed by the people I had come to trust.

I sketched lazily on a sheet of paper, and ignored the calculus textbook resting nearby. Although I had intended to complete the assigned work, I had yet to solve even one problem. After attempting several questions, I had lost the motivation necessary to work through the complicated lesson, and had decided to waste the remaining three hours of my detention by daydreaming.

Seated a short distance from me was Ichijou. Unlike me, he had completed his assignments within the first two hours of our detention, and was leafing casually through a mystery novel. While he appeared interested in the novel, he read without registering any emotion, as if he were contemplating another matter entirely. Occasionally, he would glance around the room, and observe me momentarily, but he hadn't attempted to speak with me.

Yagari Toga was sitting with his feet propped up on the desk at the front of the room. Despite his tense body language, he seemed as if he were asleep. His head was bowed slightly, and it had been nearly an hour since he'd last surveyed the room. Internally I debated whether he would notice if I stood up and walked out the door; however, as soon as I shifted slightly, Yagari snapped to attention, and glared lethargically in my direction. His intense stare almost made me apologize for even considering an escape attempt.

Flipping through my calculus book in order to appear focused on my schoolwork, I reflected on the reason I was attending supplemental classes in the first place.

Two days after my emotional outburst, I stood at the headmaster's door. Due to the unknown purpose of this meeting, it took me several minutes to raise my hand and knock. When I finally did so, the headmaster's typically cheerful greeting sounded oddly serious, and I turned the doorknob cautiously in case I was in danger of another betrayal.

"Good afternoon, Lily-chan," the headmaster greeted. "How are you feeling?"

Seeing that the headmaster appeared genuinely concerned, I forced myself to smile slightly. Considering the extent of the damage, I felt that I needed to compensate in order for the headmaster to believe that nothing was wrong. The bandage wound about my neck and the brace strapped to my arm were clear evidence that I was still healing physically from the attack, and I didn't need everyone worrying about my emotional state as well. Although I had yet to move past my anger for the actions of the Night Class, of all the injuries I had sustained, the emotional damage was the easiest to cover up.

"I feel better now that I've been able to get out of that room," I replied in what I hoped was a chipper tone. "Still don't know if I'm ready to return to the Night Class."

"No; you won't be returning to the Night Class yet," the headmaster assured me. "Ichijou made your desires clear. However, we do have some matters to discuss." The headmaster hesitated, then continued, "I know you've been through a trauma, but the longer I put off this conversation the worse it will be, so… Lily, when we modified yours and Felicity's memories, we discovered that you had informed her about the Night Class' identity. While you went through a terrible ordeal, Kaname and I have decided that we cannot excuse your insubordination…"

Hastily, I interrupted, "But that isn't fair! I had a good reason! She's been sneaking off campus at least twice a week, and I was trying to discourage her! It was working, too!"

The headmaster held up a hand, then calmly responded, "I have enlisted Felicity to help with the disciplinary committee. Aidou and Kain caught her breaking into an abandoned building belonging to the Aidou family, and I decided the only way to prevent her from breaking the rules was to give her something more productive to focus on."

"Then why am I being punished?" I questioned.

"Informing others to the presence of vampires isn't your decision to make, Lily-chan," the headmaster lectured me. "You should have told someone about your concerns, and we would have discussed the subject with Felicity. What if she had reacted poorly to the news? What if she had decided to inform random people that vampires existed? Did you think of the damage you might have caused by divulging our secrets haphazardly?"

I shook my head. "It wasn't haphazard; I know Felicity," I insisted. "I know how determined she is; I didn't think anyone else would realize it until she did something deadly…"

Sighing, the headmaster gazed resolutely at his desk. "Even so… Lily-chan, you broke so many rules that night that Kaname and I have agreed we cannot ignore your actions, regardless of the trauma you endured. Given your own desire to opt out of the Night Class, we have decided to enroll you in supplementary classes for the remainder of the semester. Ichijou will attend them alongside you," the headmaster informed me, stoically. "Don't worry, Yagari Toga will supervise the classes in case any conflict arises."

Today was the first day of supplementary classes, and the semester was nearly a month from ending. Because of my disregard for the rules, the Headmaster had also withdrawn his permission for me to leave school early in order to participate in the Midwinter festivities in Kaktovik. Much to my disappointment, my aunt supported the headmaster's decision, and insisted only that I be permitted to have the night of Midwinter off. Despite not understanding the significance of Midwinter, the headmaster had agreed to her terms.

A light tap on my shoulder startled me.

"Sorry, Lily-chan," Ichijou apologized, nervously. "I – uhm – was just wondering if you needed help with your calculus assignment. I'm getting bored sitting by myself."

Slowly, I nodded, and Ichijou pulled my textbook closer to himself in order to determine which section I was focused on. As he read silently, I contemplated whether I should apologize for my actions the other day, but couldn't find the words. Reaching for my pencil and paper, Ichijou quietly told me, "I shouldn't have spoken so thoughtlessly the other day. You were right to reprimand me; it was arrogant of me to assume we could carry on as we were. I just… don't know how to earn your trust after I hurt you so grievously…"

"There isn't exactly a play-book," I reminded him. "Trying not to stifle me would help; I haven't felt free for the past month…"

At that moment the door to the classroom opened. Both Ichijou and I looked up to see who it was, and were surprised to find that both the headmaster and Kaname had entered the classroom. While the headmaster apologized for the intrusion, Kaname turned his attention to Ichijou and myself.

"Lily, go pack your belongings. Your aunt just called; there's been an emergency, and you need to return to Sleepy Hollow immediately."


Short chapter; I know it's a bit choppy; I'll revise sections later.

Sorry for the cliffhanger, especially after the other low quality chapters... I want to focus on Lily's past, but I need to send her back to her family in order to do so. XD

Review, please!

Thanks,
Mango