Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Knight, but I do own my ideas. Quotes and some scenes have been taken from some Vampire Knight volumes (particularly 2) and are used in this chapter if you recognize anything. Fanfiction is a way of expression a fan's love for their fandom, so no way could I be stealing Vampire Knight or anything owned by Matsuri Hino.
Chapter 4: Human Days
She ran across the clearing into the safety of the woods.
It was not supposed to be like this.
The cold bite of the snow hit her feet without recognition in her mind. Her only thought was to get away. And to get away quickly.
Her deal with Juuri was for her to be appear dead to everyone, to have real wounds and completely lose consciousness so that when Rido's minions came in tow, they would ignore her, believing she was dead.
Would she have agreed to Juuri's proposition if she knew the bat form of Rido's fragmented soul was in the room, listening to them and watching them plan the whole time?
No. She would not have.
The moment she regained consciousness, filthy hands grabbed out at her, forcing her into submission. Her initial shock at the scent of Haruka and Juuri's death was replaced with the terrible stench of her fiancé's level E vampires clawing at her. Hiou Shizuka was not one to be tamed. It was the nature of Purebloods to not be tamed and what a strong animalistic sense Shizuka had.
As their blood stained hands reached out for her, she destroyed them with a single burst of power. They splattered all around the room of the tower, giving Shizuka only moments of freedom before the second batch of level Es came into the room to bring her into exile. She jumped out of the window, her only escape route, and angled herself to fall as far away from the mansion as possible. She broke into a run as she landed gracefully from 30 meters in the air, seeing the disguise of the forest as her only escape. She knew not where the border between the Kuran land and the outside world lay, but she had to get away from everything in Rido's control.
She knew the moment she woke that Rido had known of her disobedience. The level Es were the symbol of Haruka and Juuri's failure of Rido's death. If he wasn't dead, then she would spend eternity begging she was dead.
Rido would rise again, with his overbearing dominance that brought Shizuka helplessly on her knees wishing to fiancé's insanity. But before he would try to ruin the Kuran blood, Shizuka would be kept a prisoner once more. Shizua had finally tasted the sweet flavor of freedom from Rido, and she never wanted it to end.
She would definitely defeat his subordinates to the sweetness of liberty.
That was why she stopped, and turned around with the last bit of bravery in her soul, facing Rido's lackeys.
But the moment she did, a net came over her whole body, encircling her with vampire hunter wards.
It wasn't as if Kaname wanted to leave, it was mandatory he did so to protect his loved one.
Having arrived at Cross' property in a matter of moments after the battle against Rido, he was able to glimpse Yuuki's current frail human body entering her new home. Hidden behind a oak among the sea of trees in the forest, he peered at her delicate form, anguished at the costs taken by her parents. Without her vampiric abilities, she wouldn't have been able to even notice that he was in the perimeter, but Kaien caught his eye. Ushering Yuuki into the warm house, Kaien nodded in acknowledgement to Kaname before shutting the back door and leaving him alone as he truly would be for the years to come.
He leaned against the trunk of the majestic oak tree and sighed. This was what emptiness felt like.
Standing tall as status and nobility enforced him to act, he dusted off some innocent snowflakes that had rested upon his shoulders and calmly walked towards the front entrance of the legendary vampire hunter's home. It was a quaint place, concealed by the forest surrounding it with cottage-like features of freshly cut logs stacked in the corner and smoke that escaped from a stoned chimney. It was two stories high, and although it was not a palace or anything as regal as the Kuran Mansion, it was comfortable, with a decent amount of space. With great hesitation, Kaname knocked on the door, firmly and loudly. In a matter of moments, Kaien opened his door and greeted the pureblood somberly.
"She is safe with me." Kaien stated, escorting Kaname into his home and hanging his trench coat on a coat rack looming in the corner.
That was all Kaname needed to hear for the knot in his chest to disappear.
"But you do not know that for sure." He argued.
Glancing at a locked door by the front entrance, and back at Kanane, Kaien replied "If need be, I have my weapons."
"Are you as strong as you were in the past?" Kaname retaliated evenly, "Weapons can do no harm if the user cannot wield its power."
"I hope you can trust me and my power as your mother did." Kaien responded, guiding Kaname into the living room.
In addition to the coziness of the exterior, the interior greatly outdid the warmth radiated from the outside. It was a three bedroom abode with more than enough space to raise dear young Yuuki. To the left led to the staircase and the bedrooms above, while to the right, it continued to a dining room and a kitchen. The furniture of Kaien's home was mainly wooden, carved and polished, and possibly handmade by him. It was old fashioned and did not follow the minimalistic black and white current style. His home emitted a sense of security that the upper levels of the Kuran Mansion never felt throughout the course of Yuuki's stay. Looking forward, Kaname was greeted with warm licks of fire, begging to be released from its hold in the fireplace. The centerpiece of the room was the hearth, with leather couches draped with blankets circling the fire. Obscuring his view of the whole fire was a petite body, huddled in the middle, and its back to him. Without a doubt, it was Yuuki.
She was wrapped in a shawl that trailed on the floor in a circle around her. She sat on a thick rug, with her arms embracing her knees keeping them close to her chest as her bare feet pointed towards the flames. She tugged the thick cloth around her before raising her arms and greeting her frigid fingers with heat. Kaname took no notice of the ornaments hanging on the wall, or the texture and workmanship of the furniture. He strode to Yuuki, gently sitting down beside her and brought her hands into his.
She turned to look at him. Internally, he gasped. Those eyes once filled with tenderness and love was now filled with emptiness. There was no emotion whatsoever. It was true; she did not know who he was. Better yet, she did not know who she was. All her memories had been erased. He brought her hands in his and she watched unmoved as he placed each hand on either side of his face and breathed in the scent of her wrists. As he expected, the traces of her vampiric blood had eased to almost nothing, but when a Pureblood was in this proximity to her skin, one could notice the peculiarity of her blood. Even so, her blood tempted and called him to commit acts in which he would never do without her consent. His eyes momentarily turned crimson. The blood circulating through her veins was his definition of desire.
Tearing his gaze from the veins protruding against her skin, Kaname finally gave her whole body a clear look. Underneath the oversized brown shawl, she wore a laced dress fit for a young woman. It was apparent that this was the garment the hidden Yuuki was wearing. Peering at its large size, Kaname deemed that she would have to been in her teen years before he had to wake her up. Calculating the destruction upon Rido's body, he estimated that it would take his uncle's body to regenerate in about a decade, leaving Yuuki at 16. The promised age of her death by Rido.
Yuuki shivered, and pulled her arms out of Kanames and thrust them to the direction of the flames' warmth. Sighing, Kaname crouched and placed one arm under her legs, and the other supporting her back, and lifted her up into his hold. Emotionlessly, Yuuki stayed put as he stood up and walked towards the direction of the stairs.
"Oh! Kaname-kun!" Kaien's voice broke Kaname and Yuuki's silence. He had walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray with three steaming mugs of tea and some biscuits.
"I trust you had already prepared her wardrobe? Her human body will catch hypothermia in these soaking clothes." Kaname answered looking down at the white dress.
"Her room is upstairs, first right." Noticing Yuuki's eyes following their exchange, Kaien spoke, "She doesn't complain with you holding her?"
"She seems indifferent about everything. She hasn't spoken a word to me yet." With that, he glided up the stairs leaving Kaien to act as a good host and set the tea on the coffee table.
Kaname settled Yuuki on the twin size mattress before rummaging through the closet in search of decent attire to clothe Yuuki in. She looked around the room, from the paintings of flowers hanging on the wall, to the work desk and lamp on her left, before settling her eyes on the window behind her. Twisting her body around, Yuuki crawled over to the glass pane and stared at the flakes of snow descending from the sky. Transfixed by the weather, she hadn't noticed Kaname staring at her as intently as she did with the snow.
He took away the shawl covering her body with ease. She did not protest. Going to the hem of her dress, he pulled it up, and took off the rest of her undergarments. It was as if she was an infant with some intelligence, seeing that she brought up her arms and helped him with the process of changing her clothes. Kaname kept a bare face, with no hints of embarrassment when he replaced her exposed body with a fresh pair of underwear, a camisole, and a turtleneck, long sleeved shirt, and modest knee length skirt. He helped pull on thick black stockings to insulate her legs, and tickled the bottom of her feet. This caused a reaction, and she kicked her legs out of his hold and stifled a laugh. Her eyes twinkled with ease and she stared calmly at Kaname.
"My dear Yuuki, do you remember who I am?" Kaname spoke, hoping his devotion for her poured out in his diction.
With a shake of her head, she sat crossed legged on the bed making more room for him to sit.
"My name is Kaname, and I promised you that I will always protect you." He leaned back onto the bed, and Yuuki peered down at him "If anything happens and you need somebody to talk to, I'll be here. Though I can't stay with you all the time, I'll be in your heart." He placed one hand over his chest, and the other over Yuuki's. A light tinge of pink scatter across her face, "If Cross is annoying, you can call me and I'll come as fast as I can." He smiled a smile only for her before reaching out and fiddling with the tips of her hair.
She gazed innocently at him, running a hand through his locks of hair.
"Someday, I'll tell you the truth, but for now, you have to stay here. That's the only way I can protect you until I'm strong enough and capable enough to harness all the powers I've inherited as a Pureblood." He widened his smile, and for the first time, Yuuki noticed his fangs. Untangling her fingers from his locks, she reached out to inspect and poke the sharp teeth.
"I'm a vampire Yuuki. You're a human." His heart shattered as he uttered those words. "My food is blood, and you have plenty of it."
Alarmed, she drew back her hand swiftly, clutching it to her bosom. Kaname propped himself up on an elbow, and took her hand into his. "But I will never intend to harm you. That is another promise."
"Kaname-kun! Yuuki-chan!" Kaien called from below. "What's taking so long?" he paused, and his voice suddenly sped up, "Are you okay? Is anybody hurt? Should I get a first-aid? Kaname-kun! You're not supposed to take her blood!" bounding up the stairs, Kaien thrust open the door to see Yuuki curled up in the corner of her bed and Kaname tenderly reaching out towards her. "Kaname-kun! What did you do?"
"I haven't done anything to her. I just told her I was a vampire." Kaname responded. "I think I'll leave now."
He got up from the bed, gazing at Yuuki all the while. After ruffling the top of her hair with his hand, he twisted around and took a step away from her. Immediately, he felt a tug at his sleeve and turned saw the delicate hand that was holding onto him. Yuuki met his gaze. With understanding, Kaname lifted Yuuki off the bed and into his arms. Snuggling her face into the warmth of his neck and wrapping her arms and legs across his body, Kaname rubbed her back tenderly.
"I won't go yet." Kaname comforted, "Cross, I'll have a cup of tea before I leave."
She was roughly brought to her knees, the net becoming tighter and tighter, stinging her all the while. She looked up at the level Es surrounding her and came face to face with Rido's main subordinate, the man who had aided in Rido's escape.
"Ichiou," She growled with pulsing venom. She launched herself at him, only to be stung with the wards made by vampire hunters. "How dare you treat a Pureblood in this manner!"
The regal old man readjusted the blazer of his suit and calmly circled the net which Shizuka was caged in. He stroked his beard before commenting, "It is a wonder how some vampire hunter weapon have weaknesses. For example, take this net which we have stolen: the handle for the net does not harm us vampires in any way. It's almost as if the hunters are encouraging us to destroy each other." He chuckled as Shizuka snarled at him.
He continued on, "My, my, my Shizuka. A Pureblood defying another Pureblood? Were you encouraging Rido-sama's death?"
She stayed silent as he began to circle her like a vulture. He sneered at the submissive position that he had brought her into.
"Rest assured, Rido is not dead." He halted in front of her, "it will take some time, but he will regenerate back into his true form. His son will also prove to be useful." Shizuka glanced suspiciously, "His bastard son, the Shiki. Ah! You did not know of it? As you were unwilling to be impregnated, he took matters into his own hands to conceive an heir.
"In the meantime, why don't we take you back to your cage?"
In the living room, Yuuki took her spot on the floor in front of the fireplace while Kaien and Kaname sat behind her on the plush sofas sipping warm mugs of jasmine tea. Both of their attentions were on Yuuki, the topic of their conversation.
Kaien started, "My condolences, Kaname. Juuri-san and Haruka-san were close friends of mine."
"What must be done had to be done. Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Rido will be killed before he lays a single finger on Yuuki."
"Rido." Kaien tasted the name of his enemy on his tongue, "What of his remains?
"His minions, the Level E's and the Council, have collected his body parts. It's only a matter of time before he is whole again." Kaname clarified.
"In that time, we will be prepared." Kaien declared. "Kaname-kun, why don't you stay with us? I have a spare bedroom."
"I can't stay here. Yuuki can only be protected by you." Kaname sighed.
"Why not? Where are you going to stay?"
"If I'm with Yuuki, the Council will pick up the peculiarity in her blood. She won't be safe beside me. For now, I need to go back to our home and deal with the Council. They must already know of Haruka and Juuri's death. Most probably, after the funeral, the Ichijou clan san will take me in." Kaname explained, "Being in the most dangerous place is the safest place to be in a time like this. Ichijou-sama's support of Rido will lead me to what I need to know and where I need to be for his death."
"I see. She will be safe with me. She'll grow up to be a normal human and nobody shall suspect her of being a vampire."
Kaname swirled the remaining tea in his cup before hesitantly asking, "Cross, do you know where Yuuki's real body is?"
Alarmed, Kaien gasped, "You don't know where she is? I thought Juuri would tell you!"
"She's hidden her from even me. It's almost as if she doesn't trust me." Pondering the thought, Kaname considered the fact that Juuri knew his true self. Kaname was not the baby born of Juuri and Haruka's blood, and they had known all along but their kindness had decided to let him stay.
"Juuri couldn't not trust you, Kaname-kun! You're the only person who knows Yuuki-chan!" Kaien stressed.
"She only gave me a clue," taking the crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket, "She can be found where you truly belong. I do not belong anywhere. Is Yuuki nowhere? It is now my task to go find her original body."
"And what of the Council? Their eyes will follow you wherever you go, Kaname-kun."
Placing a finger on his chin, Kaname said, "I will make allies. You, Cross, are my first ally. In time, subordinates will appear; the Council cannot force me to do anything."
To Kaien, it was as though he was taking to an adult of his age. But lo and behold, this child, who hadn't even reach puberty, had the aura of a leader surpassing Kaien's might. Looking at Kaname's physical appearance, one would not be able to realize the wisdom in this child who was only ten years old. Fate had caused Kaname to age his mentality to that of a king.
"I humbly accept being your ally." Kaien spoke, with no trace of sarcasm.
Placing the drained cup on top of the table, Kaname whispered, "Thank you." Straightening up to his full height, "I must leave now before the Council becomes aware of my disappearance. Good bye Cross. Good bye Yuuki."
At the sound of her name, Yuuki whipped her head back to see Kaname exiting the house. She stood to stop him but he was already gone.
Looking emotionlessly back at the red and yellow tips of flame, his lingering figure danced in her head.
Yuuki held up a piece of cloth puzzle. Making her arms stretch high into the sky, she pulled the cloth this way and that, peering at the minute rays of light that appeared in the holes as she tugged the cloth, examining it. She felt the cloth, a soft yet thick material, and noticed another almost identical cloth on the floor beside her. Her "father" had given her two of them and she wondered what in the world they were. Strewn around her were other materials of cloth, some brightly colored which had parallel lines and others plain and smooth. Each cloth was cut differently. She had scrutinized and felt each of them before going to her last object, the identical 'L' shaped cloths.
"Yuuki! That's for wrapping around your feet! They're socks!" Kaien cried with glee as he saw his daughter fiddling with her pair of petite socks.
Glancing back at her father unresponsively, she brought the "socks" back to her attention. Kaien stood at the open door, a shawl wrapped around his body and a hand on his hip. Yuuki was the definition of her name, a gentle princess. Her lack of response had caused him to worry about her intelligence, but he kept in mind her stolen memories. He would have to teach her everything again almost like a newborn baby, and that included putting on clothes.
"It's been a week, and you still haven't said a word to me Yuuki-chan." Kaien sighed, before hearing the door to his house slam open.
Not before long, Kaname sprinted up the stairs panting as he saw Kaien's presence. Placing his hands on his knees, Kaname looked up to Kaien before taking a deep breath and gasping out words. But before he could, Kaien interrupted him.
"Good evening Kaname-kun. Why did you suddenly come here? I was expecting you to call before you came."
"Eh? Didn't you send a telegram saying that vampires who are tracking her attacked your home?" Kaname feared. Taking in Kaien's nonchalant stance and the peaceful aura that radiated from his home, Kaname groaned, "Though, I was skeptical, I ran away from my Watchers and hurried, running all the way here. . . You're lying huh?"
Kaien giggled as he had finally brought out the child deep inside Kaname.
Turning his head away to hide his embarrassment, Kaname murmured, "I won't ever believe you again."
"Kaname-kun! Kaname-kun!" Shocked, Kaien stood shivering at Kaname's cold yet humiliated exterior, "Something did happen!"
"What happened?" Kaname's eyes raked around the room before he saw object of his affections huddled in the middle of the room.
"Yuuki-chan put her clothes on by herself!" Kaien shrieked, pride swelling on the inside.
There she was, the girl who Kaname had left only a week ago. She looked up at Kaname as he stared at her form. She had some sort of plaid skirt or dress fitted on the top of her head, flowing down to her back and onto the floor. Around her waist, covering her legs was a long sleeved, plain white shirt that somehow tangled with body had her arm going through one of the holes. A sock was fitted comfortably on her other hand and warming her arms. Noticing his scrutinizing stare, she gasped, covering her body with a towel, and went into the fetal position, legs and arms tucked into her body, hiding her face away from him.
A musical sound reverberated through the room, and Kaname doubled over, clutching his stomach. He slid from his hold behind the wall and crouched on the floor laughing all the while. It had been a while since he had felt this amount of amusement and joy, and he cherished the sounds coming from his body. It first started as a giggle, but it increased to a full laugh where his abdomen clenched for release. For the past week, nothing had caused him any enjoyment, from the funeral of his parents to moving in with the enemy, all events had forced him to put on a passive face. Today, he shed his mask to enjoy his moment with Yuuki. In his excitement, he began slapping the door as he continued his merriment.
Behind him, Kaien stared at the scene as bewildered as Yuuki had been with her socks. He walked in a circle, hands holding his face. "What... What to do? Kaname-kun broke down! Is it really that funny? I don't understand how he thinks!" Kaien thought as he paced around in a circle.
In all the commotion, Yuuki pulled the towel from her face to see what was going on.
Kaname spoke through bursts of hilarity as he tried to sit up, "No. . . This is not the time for laughter . . . ahahaha . . . Ha ha!" Easing himself to a sitting position, Kaname held onto his stomach and he gazed cheerfully at Yuuki, "I'm sorry I scared you, Yuuki. I'll leave now." Kaname struggled to sit up as bursts of laugher crawled their way up his throat. He forced them away and a sliver of his mask was put back on, "Bye bye."
He got up to leave her, as he knew she would be once again frightened by him. Patting down the creases in his clothes, he got up and the corners of his lips lifted to produce his genuine smile for Yuuki. She gazed at him with tender eyes as she saw him turn around and walk away from her.
Immediately, she stood up, gathering the cloth around her frail body and followed him, wherever he was going. Kaien had an arm around Kaname and was leading him out of the room. He was taller than her and the strides of his legs caused her to skip up to him so that she was in his reach.
Kaname felt a slight jerk halting him from the process of his journey back "home". It was a tug on the back of his thick coat. He could feel the small fingers that clamped around a bunch of the material, and he knew it to be Yuuki. Cautiously, he pivoted slowly in his spot so that her hold on him was still there and his eyes fell upon her cheerful face. A smiled was graced upon the mask which had covered his Yuuki and her eyes twinkled with a spark he knew from before. Although she did not know who he really was, her younger self could tell that he was important.
"Kaname." She whispered with determination, tasting the sound of his name on her tongue and lips before speaking once again with more volume, "Kana.. me?"
He lifted her into the air and caught her in an embrace.
Kaname has scavenged through the wreck of his home. Side-stepping the remains of blood and flesh which the Council had not bothered to clean up, (the Kuran Mansion was left a mess as example of what the army could produce) he walked into his home with relative peace. He paced through the intricate hallways, barely pausing to reminisce about the balls and soirees which had taken place on the upper levels of the mansion.
He came to a stop in front of a painting. The canvas was at least four meters in width and six meters in height, and outlined with a gold and mahogany frame. There stood Haruka, in his best suit standing behind Juuri who was sitting on a carved chair in front of him. She wore a short sleeved crimson dress that gathered in the middle before flowing past her body to a train behind her. Beside Haruka, behind Juuri was Kaname, standing tall in proud with his arms behind him like a soldier in an army. Their expressions showed tranquility and power. He remembered standing to take the photo which would be turned into this great masterpiece. Yuuki was two years old and she was asleep down in the basement. The photographer had chosen the backdrop for the picture to be the lobby of the Kuran Mansion, with the stairs and chandelier behind them.
Upon seeing the image of his family, Kaname gathered his fingers into a fist and slammed it into the wall beside the frame.
"Yuuki should be in the picture. Not me."
He left the room easing his anger back into himself. Not before long, he found the hidden staircase in the pantry of the kitchen that lead down to his real home. There was the lingering scent of his family here, gathering up in the dust. He walked with a purpose, leaving behind those innocent days when Haruka and Juuri were still alive. Yuuki was alive, and he needed to protect her.
She had opened up to him and he could now proudly say that he was the most important person to her. It had been a year since that tragic day where Juuri and Haruka sacrificed themselves for the life of their daughter, and had left Kaname only a scrap of information about her true whereabouts. In fact, this was the third time that he had checked this house, first, it was the top floor, second, the ground floor, and now, he was checking the basement.
"She can be found at the place that you truly belong"
Those words ghosted his over memory, devouring all thoughts of sanity. Kaname knew that he did not belong anywhere. This house was the only place that he ever felt a sense belonging. There were his nomadic days which he knew Juuri would not consider when leaving the clue, and he never told his surrogate parents where he really came from. They only knew the Kaname of the Kuran Mansion. Sneaking away from the Council was a tedious job which Kaname disliked to do each time, but every time he went out of the Council's scrutiny he was rewarded with Yuuki's delightful eyes.
After checking all the nooks and crannies in Haruka and Juuri's master bedroom, he turned the knob to his bedroom door. It was locked. Anxiety seeped into his system as he thought "This is the one". Widening his eyes, a hint of his almighty Pureblood power escaped and ripped the door into a chaotic mess of wood chips.
He was greeted with an empty bedroom, devoid of Yuuki's body.
Kaname gripped his bedpost with stress. There must be a place where he belonged, he just didn't know where. The only other place he belonged was right next to Yuuki. He let go of the bedpost and walked calmly over to Yuuki's room, opening the unlocked door with caution.
Her room was exactly as she had left it. It was a mess. There were clothes strewn around her room, hanging on the standing lamp in the corner, bunched up in a pile in the middle of the carpet, and carelessly draped over the posts of her bed. The pink and frilly things that Yuuki's room had been adorned in were not coated in dust, which allowed Kaname to believe that the Council knew of her existence. He walked dejectedly through her room, reminiscing about his "childhood" with her. When he was in close proximity with her bed, he lazily hoisted his leg over it and lay down.
He stared at the curtain which hung around the four posts of her bed, remembering a scene which has taken place here years before.
Kaname's eyes open wide. He could her whimpering, only a wall away from him. She had a nightmare again. With ease, he tiptoed out of his room and carefully turned the knob of his door hoping that Haruka or Juuri hadn't heard her crying yet so he could be the one to comfort her. He lighting rapped his knuckles on her bedroom door before entering himself.
There she was, curled up in the middle of her bed, head hidden her mountain of blankets.
"Yuuki. . ." Kaname gently called, but there was no answer. He walked over to her and gently sat on her bed, an arm soothingly rubbing her back.
"Onii-sama?" Yuuki turned her to head to him, eyes blotched red and a face wet with tears. "Onii-sama!" She hurled herself into his embrace, arms wrapped tightly around his middle while her face rested upon his shoulder.
"Did you have a nightmare again?" he asked, feeling her head nod, "Do you want to tell me what it was about?"
With trepidation, she began with sobs, "Onii-sama! You left me and you never ever . . . ever came back! Yuuki was all alone and okaa-sama and otou-sama died! And . . . and you said you hated me!" A fresh stream of tears escaped her eyes as she remembered.
"Hush now, Yuuki, I'm here. I'm not going to leave you." He softly laid her on one side of the bed before lowering himself onto the other pillow. He pulled the blanket over both of them and stared at her with determination "I won't leave you Yuuki. We're going to be like okaa-san and otou-san when we grow up."
"Okaa-sama? Otou-sama?" blinking her eyes, she opened them wide with fascination. "We're gonna be like okaa-sama and otou-sama? We're gonna get married? We're never gonna leave each other?" she grinned from ear to ear and settled into the warmth of her bed and the comfort of her brother.
"Yes Yuuki, we won't leave each other." He placed his hand on her eyes and tenderly urged her eyelids to close. "Sleep now, Yuuki. I'll stay with you for the night."
"Mhmmmm." She replied, already feeling the effects of the sand man. Kaname wrapped her arms protectively around her and fell back into the pillow.
As Kaname's consciousness began to slip, he felt the aura of a pleased Haruka and Juuri standing in the doorway. He dismissed it and allowed himself the luxury of sleep.
With an arm placed over his eyes as he recalled the scene, he sighed. "I'm sorry Yuuki. I left you."
Yuuki sat on the window sill and stared outside. It was snowing again, just like the day she was brought to Cross' house. She novel she read lay unnoticed in her lap as she watched the unique miniscule snowflakes flutter this way and that in the snow storm. Three years had passed by without a care and here she sat, pondering her existence. All thoughts of snowy days always lead her to her most important man, Kaname-sama. What was he doing today? Was he having fun? Was the Council bothering him again? She wasn't allowed out of the house often because of Cross' protectiveness, but she was fine with that. Kaname-sama was her best friend in the whole world, and having him visit was always a delight.
She felt rather than heard her "father" enter her room. Without turning to look at him, she began a statement she was aching to know its truth, "Kaname-sama is a vampire. Right? I didn't think it was possible, even when he told me when I was younger. But I think he was telling the truth. He's a vampire."
"Yes," Cross replied, "But the existence of vampires has not been approved by the government, so Yuuki, you must keep it a secret."
She stared at a snowflake which has settled itself onto the window and was slowing melting. "A secret . . . but even if it's a secret, Kaname-sama still let me touch his vampire fangs, all those years ago." She gazed at the book in her lap, A Introduction to the Supernatural: Vampires, which she had gotten on a whim in a quaint bookshop in the town nearby when she noticed the cover image of fangs. "Kaname-sama isn't like those bad vampires, right? He's completely different. Right?" it was almost as if she was begging for Kaname's kindness and normalcy to be true.
Sensing her unease, Cross asked "Has Kaname-kun ever done anything to you that you don't like?"
She gazed back at the window, thinking only positive thoughts about Kaname-sama.
Cross continued "Actually, there are vampires that live peacefully with humans."
"Yeah!" A grin broke on Yuuki's face as she glanced at Cross.
Just then, the doorbell rang, signaling a visitor's entrance. Jubilant, Yuuki hid her book and ran to open the door.
"Kaname-sama!" She cried as she leapt into his arms, ignoring the chill of his coat.
"Yuuki, let me come in so that you catch a cold." Giving into her embrace for a few moments, he untangled himself from her so that he could hang his jacket on the coat rack. Holding her hands in his, he softly smiled, "Has anything new happened while I was away?"
Breaking into a larger smile, Yuuki began to vividly recount the events of her past week.
Blood was the first thing she noticed. It stained his shirt and seeped into the collar his jacket.
His vacant expression was the second thing she saw. Peering at his face, she saw his face was also speckled with blood, but his traumatic amethyst eyes told her that it did not bother him. Yuuki suspected that he was her age, around twelve or thirteen, but the look in his eyes made him seem as though he had lived a whole lifetime.
She pushed open the door, letting it widen to accommodate both Cross and this bloodstained boy. She stood frozen in her spot, paying no attention to the snow and cold which were fluttering into her home. The wind whipped her hair back, and with that came the metallic scent of blood which sharply hit her nose.
"This is Zero Kiryuu," Cross whispered, "His family has been killed by those bad vampires." He gently nudged Zero into his house, into the warmth it radiated. "It's a miracle that he managed to survive. Yuuki, please look after him while he stays with us, okay?"
Zero stared emotionlessly into the house.
"Yuuki-chan, he's still covered in blood, so can you help him take a bath?" Cross pivoted outside, "I have to go talk to the police." He calmly walked away, leaving Yuuki to handle Zero and his silence.
Flustered, Yuuki pointed to the bathroom across the hall, "Uhmm, I'll go run you a bath." After a few steps, she turned and hastily ran to the nearest bathroom, filling up the tub with warm water. She waited anxiously until it was full before going back to Zero.
He was still the same position as she had left him, almost a quarter of an hour before. His stature was frozen, his eyes empty and his facial expressions unflinching. Yuuki paced quietly to him, speaking softly, "Is it okay if I touch you?" He did not reply, but Yuuki kindly led him to the bath. "Let's go."
They walked with an uneasy silence, and Yuuki felt as though she was as loud as an elephant when she started to speak again, "The bathtub is already filled, so take as much time as you want." He stayed silent, unresponsive to her comments. "Shall I help you take this off? Your clothes?"
He did not cringe away from Yuuki as she began to peel of his clothes. She gasped as she saw the dried clots of blood patched all over the side of his neck to the width his shoulder. Yuuki was certain that the wound was on his neck.
"Do you mind it if I wipe that on your neck?"
Without needing his answer, Yuuki had already picked up a towel and soaked it into the filled tub. She cautiously went back to him and began to wipe away the blood, hoping she wouldn't irritate the bite on his neck. When enough had been washed away, Yuuki could finally see the white expanse of his neck and she internally sighed. There were no bite marks. He was not bitten. Why had she been so wary of him? After all, he was the one who should be scared, not her.
After he was thoroughly cleaned and brought a fresh pair of clothes, Yuuki ended up finding some of Cross' old slightly shrunk garments, she took him into the guest bedroom which would finally become his. He unabashedly put on the clothes, Yuuki blushing all the while.
"I'm going to make some hot chocolate." She stammered hurriedly, "I'll call you when I'm done." Yuuki scampered out of the room and down into the kitchen.
Zero sat down on his bed, staring unfocusedly at the blank wall space in front of him.
For weeks, he remained the same. Meals brought to him, no words escaping his mouth, his position at the foot of his bed gazing at the wall. It was indeed an improvement when Zero ended his self harm and began befriending Yuuki. It had happened one night as Yuuki was passing by his room, calling him to dinner. It had been quiet in the Cross household ever since Zero had appeared. Yuuki and Cross had ceased their animated manner to give Zero some room to grieve. It left the once warm and bustling log house bitter and silent.
Upon entering his room, Yuuki was greeted by the overbearing metallic scent of blood. Wide-eyed, she gasped as she saw Zero's hand tug down the skin at his neck. There were jagged gashes from his scratching. Blood was caked on his fingers and under his nails. His neck was drenched in the liquid.
"W-w-what are you doing?" calmly, she walked into the room.
He stared apathetically at her, pausing his ministrations for only a second. "It feels disgusting. I can still feel that woman." He continued on, allowing the blood to seep into his clothes.
Yuuki screamed and ran toward him, grabbing hold onto his offending arm and embracing it. "Zero, I know that the vampire did cruel things to your family, and that you must be hurt too. . ." she tugged his arm away from his body and pressed her hand against the wound to stop the bleeding, tears beginning to form in her eyes, "but you're gonna be okay now, since you've got me to hold onto."
Later that night, after Yuuki had dressed his wounds, he quietly murmured a "thank you". It was the start of their friendship.
"Look at the snow!" Yuuki screamed as she ran around the grounds, arm outstretched and eager to meet the falling snowflakes. "Zero-kun! It's the first snow of the season!"
"Stop playing around, we've got to go back." Zero grumbled, dragging Yuuki along.
Cross had told them of his plans to run a school, and they had only recently moved into the school building – to their new home. He owned a comfortable house behind the school buildings and dormitories where they were currently living.
Zero and Yuuki had just got back from grocery shopping in a nearby town. Having been set the chore, Yuuki took it upon herself to use the time wisely and engage in friendly banter with the almost silent Zero. She rambled about nonsense and about everything she could think of. Currently, she was relishing in the stinging sensation of the snow and about her past. It had been a while since she had seen Kaname-sama. From his previous telegraph, he had briefly mentioned his tasks with the Vampire Council and how he would visit her soon to check up on Kaien's infatuation with a boarding school. He had given hints about a peculiarity of the institution, but kept it vague, leaving Yuuki to pout at his evasiveness.
"Come to think of it Zero-kun, my first memory is of being in the snow." Yuuki chattered, "There were also vampires in my first memory. That's how I ended up living with Cross."
They had reached their new home when Yuuki noticed a sleek black car parked in front of the entrance. Peering inside, she saw a chauffeur at the steering wheel, dressed immaculately in a three piece suit and spotless white gloves. The gold license plate of the car bombarded Zero and Yuuki, and they both wondered which rich aristocrat was visiting humble old Cross.
"Take a look at that ride!" Yuuki whistled, "Cross-san must have connections with the government!"
Zero gazed suspiciously at the vehicle, before protectively walking in front of Yuuki. They calmly entered the building, putting away their wet garments and carrying their bags of grocery to the kitchen.
"We're home, Cross-san!" Yuuki then continued, "Anyways, it was cold, cold day, much like today, when I was saved by a rogue vampire. . ." They had entered the living room, and noticed a silhouette of a figure obscured by the heat of the fire in the hearth in front of him. With one look at his back, Yuuki dropped all her bags and ran around Zero to greet the oh-so familiar stranger. "Kanama-sama!" she squealed.
He stood up, arms wide open, catching her in an embrace. He lifted her up and swung her around, relishing in the warmth of his loved one.
Yuuki began to giggle before pushing away slightly as Kanane ruffled her hair, "You didn't tell me you'd be here today Kaname-sama!"
A familiar scent wafted towards Zero and his pupils dilated. Instinctively, he lunged for the nearest sharp object in his reach and raced towards Yuuki and the intruder. In his hand was a penknife and he lodged the weapon into Kaname's arm who had covered Yuuki from Zero's attack.
"Vampire!" pushing the blade deeper into his arm, he cried "You smell just like that woman."
Nonchalantly, Kaname stared at the younger boy, "That woman? You must be Kiryuu." He pulled out the knife from his body and let it drop to the floor, "I've heard about you, Zero. I'm sorry about your family, but I have no intention of getting killed by you."
A/N: I do humbly ask for all of my readers forgiveness. Its been a year since I've updated, and I'm astonished that its been so long. Life and school took me out of writing fanfiction, along with writer's block and procrastination. Really, I'm sorry. I hope you liked this chapter, and I hope I'll update sooner. I do want to continue this story, especially since I made a plan and I want to stick with my plan and strive to finish this story. Reviews are welcomed but not enforced, so if you feel like reviewing, you know where the button is! :)