Title: wea(ken)ed
Author: Grasshopper (A.K.A. The Undertaker's Muse)
Rated: PG
Warnings: Alternate history/divergence thingy. BL, twincest. Ichiru.
Fandom: Vampire Knight
Challenge: No True Pair
Prompt: Ichiru & Zero, "Blood Roses"
Spoilers: Ichiru's issues.
Pairings: Ichiru/Zero
Summary: Ichiru on hate, weakness, and Zero.
Author's Notes: Set within the same AU as my Yuuki/Ruka fics Arise From Loving and Occasion.
Disclaimer: All characters and the series they come from belong to their creators. Grassy can only lay claim to the fic.

When Ichiru had been a child, he had hated. Hated his father, his mother, his master.

His Zero.


Ichiru had been born weak where Zero had been strong. Had been born at all, rather than been consumed by the fetus obviously meant for great things. In the face of that, Ichiru had nothing left in him but hate. Had he but been given the opportunity, the child Ichiru had been would have destroyed everything with that hate.

But Ichiru was no longer a child. He understood what his younger self had not.

Being of frail health did not mean that Ichiru was powerless. In truth, he held more power than most anyone realized or wanted to acknowledge. Because Ichiru-

Ichiru had Zero. And no one was more important in Zero's heart than Ichiru. No one.

The door opened softly, despite the obvious stranglehold Zero's fingers had on the knob. It closed behind him just as softly.

Ichiru smiled, book set aside in favor of his brother's attention. Zero had yet to even remove his coat; it had definitely been a hard night. Not physically so, though, as Shishou hadn't followed Zero into their apartment on the off chance that Ichiru's own health would keep him from providing aid.

Zero slid onto the bed against him, arms wrapped around Ichiru as he buried his face into Ichiru's blanketed lap. His bottom lip was red, puffy from where he had obviously worried at it with his teeth.

Spindly fingers combed through short silver locks. Ichiru could feel the slight shivers wracking Zero's body as his twin tried not to cry.

It was not the first, nor would it be the last, time Ichiru had comforted Zero in such a state. His elder brother was so very gentle, no matter how fierce battle forced him to become. That kindness was Zero's weakness the way Ichiru's body was his own.

"It's okay... I'm here, Zero... I'm here..."

"I-ichiru, I-"

"Shh, I know. I won't leave you, I'm right here..."

Strong hands clutched, tighter and tighter; Ichiru knew he would probably bruise where Zero held on to him. But it wasn't yet time to worry about such things. Ichiru had hidden similar bruises from Zero's desperation before. Zero was too out of it to realize, anyway.

Ichiru knew exactly what he was doing.

Zero was his specialty, after all.

The End