Disclaimer: The characters and the manga belong to Hino Matsuri
Summary: Kaname decided to succeed the hooded woman by using his heart to create the new material. This time Zero was the one who made those new weapons. Shounen-Ai. ZxK
A/N: This one-shot was inspired by chapter 88, Kaname said "I will be the new parent." Most of hunter weapons have disappeared, the hunters have nothing to fight and protect the humankind. Kaname originally planned to sacrifice his life to turn Yuuki back to human and give her a peaceful life, but his plan changed when he promised to the hooded woman "Ten thousand year has been more than enough. Please rest in peace, I will succeed you."
~ THE ONE IN MY FORGOTTEN PAST ~
The workshop was the most important place in the HA headquarters, and consequently was the first place to be repaired after the pureblood ancestress's spirit sensed her lover's presence and the danger he was facing, and responded by breaking free from the boiling furnace to eliminate that danger. This action resulted in the withering of her power, she decided to draw all hunter weapons back in an attempt to strengthen herself, since she wasn't ready to go before her goal was accomplished. Yet her lover couldn't see her suffer any longer and wished to release her from this relentless mission.
"Ten thousand year has been more than enough. Please rest in peace, I will succeed you."
Hammer stroke constantly on the anvil to create a ridge of the billet which would become the blade of a hunter sword. It had been hours, but the patient, industrious swordsmith determined to forge a perfectly strong and sharp sword to make it worthy of its invaluable material.
Yuuki was still on the long journey of seeking for her fiancé, to stop him from continuing his 'wrong' deeds, to save him from destroying his own life. In fact, Kaname had returned, but as his last wish, chairman Cross requested Zero to come back without telling her the pureblood was staying with them. For lovers, nothing was worse than having to say farewell before parting by death. Choosing this path and abandoning her, Kaname couldn't look at her anymore. From the very beginning, he had known he didn't deserve her love, there was a better man to comfort her, to wipe her tears off, and to give her a happy life.
The furnace fire must be kept on day and night to maintain the malleable state of the precious metal inside. As a respect to the parent, who had sacrificed their own heart to brace up such a natural metal with the power to conquer purebloods' strength, only the HA president and his successor were allowed to get in this workshop, they themselves would make and repair those weapons to be assigned to their loyal and well-trained hunters. Cross had taught forging techniques to Zero in preparing him to succeed his position. In the past year, the young hunter had created some weapons, and his time in this workshop had formed a link between him and the pureblood ancestress. Breathing in her aura, he somehow imagined she had been a phase of his existence, she could have been him in a time when he hadn't been born, he could have led a life as hers if he had lived in her time, they could have been the returns of an ancient person to continue what that one had left unfinished.
Tonight Zero came back from his long journey with dust on his shoes, snow on his trench coat. Throwing the luggage into his room, not bothering to take a shower, he immediately hurried off to the chairman's place. Cross was sitting behind his desk, waiting for him, while Kaname stood beside the window, had probably seen his hasty figure as soon as he appeared from the gate. Although the chairman had told him in details, Zero still found it hard to believe things could turn out this way. Kaname still looked like the Kaname he had got to know and disliked, usually calm and in control, yet he wasn't the person he had thought he was.
"Kaname-sama was the one who had made the first weapons for our ancestors and trained them to fight against the vampires ten thousand years ago."
The blade was carefully heated and cooled to remove the stresses which had been built up while it was being forged. Sweat beaded on his forehead, rolling on his bare chest, his eyes stung. Maybe sweat drops had fallen on his lashes. This heat wasn't easy to endure, he squeezed the blade tightly in his hand. It must be a perfect sword, completed in the shortest time.
He didn't know how long he had stayed in here, it was only him now, but Cross and Kaname had come with him in the beginning, when metal was boiling fiercely in the furnace, yet it was like any other metal in any other furnace. Since this workshop was repaired, the pureblood ancestress' aura, which used to strongly cover the whole place, was lost. All of them were put in danger by the lack of anti-vampire weapons.
Kaname walked closely to the furnace, placed a hand on his chest, and resolutely tore his flesh with his long fingers to pull out a red beating heart. Chairman Cross turned away in agony, but Zero kept staring at the vehement scene, a strange feeling overwhelmed his conscience, he wanted to stop Kaname, on the way walking to this workshop, he unexpectedly realized he didn't hate the pureblood as assumed. Was it a feeling arising since this was their last meeting or a feeling he didn't dare to admit earlier? He thought it was the first, he thought with a little time it would be accepted and nothing but an appreciation would remain. They were different races, they lived in different worlds, they had never been close, he couldn't understand him even when he was only a senpai, how could he understand the depth of the vampire ancestor who had lived longer than ten thousand years?
"I burden the rest on your shoulders, Zero!"
Metal boiled more fiercely in the furnace, a new pureblood aura started spreading out. New, yet very familiar as they had met countless times when two of them were still in school, they encountered everyday at shift-changing periods, their bodies were sometimes just at an inch distance, and accidentally brushed on each other. One night Kaname did feed him with his sacred blood. Having squeezed his shirt tightly in a hand, penetrated deeply in his skin, Zero disappointedly realized they weren't in a relationship. Why did he feel it was a loss now? Hearing Kaname address him in the first-name basis for the first time, why did he regret that they hadn't made use of time to be friends with each other?
Sound of the blade grinding on a sharpening stone produced a solitary feeling. Zero had chosen solitude, he refused to make friends, he drove Yuuki away to help her be at ease with her decision. Sometimes he wondered why he had given up on her, because he could never accept a vampire or because his love wasn't deep enough? He thought he could never leave her again when their lips once more found their ways back to each other and she finally voiced her feeling. They struggled between their personal issues, their obligations and their mission. Yet everything disappeared when Cross called him, saying the workshop had been repaired and Kaname offered his heart to boil up the new material. If it ever happened, Zero thought his immediate reaction was to burst into laughter, or if he could be convinced, he would be pleased to accept it. But in reality, he fell speechless. Nothing mattered, except the urge to return as soon as possible, to see the other person, to treasure the time that person still existed.
As in this moment, since material was ready, shouldn't he be having a good rest and freshening himself before starting the weapon fabrication? Shouldn't he call Yuuki to make sure everything was alright at her end and find a way to tell her about her fiancé's decision? In fact, none of them crossed his mind when he was concentrating all time and energy to fabricate this sword. It must be done within tonight. It must be done before that person left. He had always used full strength to attack Kaname when they fought, because deep inside he believed the pureblood would never lose. He hadn't worried for him, because deep inside he believed nothing could be able to endanger his life. Yet he was losing him, his hand didn't reach out to pull him back, but his will was completely dead witnessing him casting his heart in the furnace.
No decoration, no mark on the shining blade. After assembling it into a wood hilt, Zero raised it for a careful check, making sure all details he had spent the whole night for were perfect.
Left the workshop in a hurry, he ran toward Cross Academy at his fastest speed, ignoring the coldness of winter weather which rapidly embraced his shirtless body. He wanted to show his work to him, letting him know how powerful a weapon made of the metal mixing with his heart could be, assuring him that his sacrifice would balance the forces between vampires and hunters once again to maintain their peace.
Dawn had released its first rays at the horizon...
The Moon Dorm was absolutely empty since all night-class students had come back to their families for the winter break. Even the gate man neglected his duty to indulge himself in a deep sleep. Snow had covered the whole yard, faded all footsteps, coloring everything in a mourning white. Doors stood ajar, Zero swiftly slipped in, gliding past the large lounge in a flash and climbing up the staircase toward the pureblood's room. He had been there once. As weird as it sounded, Kaname had invited him to his private room and offer him his own blood. That night all vampires in the dorm were irritated by the sacred scent, yet nobody dared to voice their opinions. It was a taboo for a pureblood to feed an ex-human, yet that pureblood allowed that ex-human to bite him, right on his neck, which was the most private, meaningful and sensitive part of a vampire's body, and drink as much as he wanted.
Kaname stated that it was for Yuuki, and Zero had never doubted it. But if only for the sake of the girl he loved, why did he, the pureblood ancestor, choose to break their traditional customs to offer nowhere else but his neck, choose to press their bodies closely to each other, choose to submit himself physically and perceptively to an ex-human? It was totally different than what Zero had ever gotten from Yuuki's, the girl's blood contained shock in the first time, then confusion, sympathy and finally acceptance. While in his blood, he felt an immense, infinite love which was rooted deeply in each cell, and a secluded agony which he strangely found connected but was unable to reach. Those emotions got him wretched and he didn't lie when telling Kaname his blood had a bad taste.
Seiren was standing right at the chamber's door, Zero slowed down, trying to arrange some proper words to explain his good intension of the visit. However, he didn't have to say anything, she pushed the door wide for him and moved away from her stand to provide his entry. It seemed she had already known he was coming and was ordered to let him in. Giving her a light nod, he walked in, the door closed behind his back, leaving him alone in a large living room. This was where his biting session had taken place, he had never really stepped in the pureblood's chamber. Temperature was too low, he shivered. Vampires couldn't stand the heat, lower levels would die if exposed to the sun, higher ones could endure it for a while, however, they would normally prefer a temperature which humans considered cold. Zero had just left the hot workshop, then many thoughts overwhelmed his mind and he didn't realize how cold the outside was, but the quietness of this place prompted his awareness that temperature here had been purposely decreased to lengthen the time of a dying pureblood. When a vampire was dying, his body's temperature would be increasing to the point his blood and flesh turned into another substance.
Kaname was probably delaying the natural process to wait for someone. In this whole world, everyone knew he only had his eyes on Yuuki, but he had requested them not to let her know, then who could the person he wished to see in his last minute possibly be? All of a sudden Zero was afraid he was interfering in the other's privacy. They had never shared a nice conversation, Kaname might not appreciate his visit.
Mild footsteps led him to the adjacent room, where the pureblood was lying on his king-sized bed, looking like he was sleeping. Arms folding on chest, a light white blanket covering his slender body, without the stern look of those egotistic eyes, somehow Zero got a feeling that Kaname was actually a lonely, gentle soul. Now he understood who Yuuki had inherited her beauty from, though to be fair, she could only be considered good looking, while the person in front of his eyes was a true masterpiece of nature, despite that his life was waning. His complexion had turned almost transparent, a thought that he would soon change into crystal fragments and forever vanish in this world unexpectedly pained the hunter's heart. Under normal condition, Kaname would have sensed his presence, but he was still lying listlessly, even though a hunter with an anti-vampire sword was right at the edge of his bed. Zero reached out, brushing his fingers on the other's pale cheek.
"You look like a sleeping princess." He muttered.
Who would ever compare a powerful pureblood ancestor with a princess? Zero knew it sounded ridiculous, but there was nobody else in this room, those words just slipped out of his lips by themselves, even before his mind ascertained who he was talking about. Intense heat created an irritating sensation on his fingers' skin. It was the signal, a healthy person couldn't be that hot in such a freezing room. With this temperature, Kaname could only linger for a few more minutes at longest. The two crescent moons of curved brown lashes on his pallid face suddenly fluttered when those eyes struggled to open. Zero immediately pulled his hand back, and made a few steps backward to create a decent distance. He didn't mean any harm and didn't want the pureblood to misunderstand his intention.
Kaname didn't turn his head around to find him, as such a move was impossible for his stiffening body, but weary eyes were trying their best to follow him. "Come closer!" He whispered "I want to see you."
Zero wondered if he really recognized him or was imagining his visitor to be the girl he loved. Nevertheless, he carefully hid the sword behind his back, and shortened their gap until his image once again reflected in those longing eyes. Dilating pupils had turned too darkened that beautiful claret color couldn't be seen anymore, his look was fixing at him, though appeared blurry and unfocused. Not sure if he was able to see him, not sure if he should stay quiet and let Kaname think his beloved was staying by his side, at the end the hunter decided to be honest.
"Kuran, I'm Zero Kiryu. I come to show you the first sword I've make from the new material."
Long lashes were laden and gradually dropped down, shutting a glint of disappointment in his eyes. Zero felt somewhere inside him splintered. It was to be expected, yet hard to swallow. He had always viewed Kaname as a monster, a love rival, an enemy. He had never truly looked straight at him, never bothered to think what was in his mind. It could only blame their fate that they weren't in good term with each other, just as Yuuki had questioned him, what if they were both humans, what if they had met at a different time, in a different situation, what they could have become. This delicate gorgeousness wasn't meant for a powerful person, this attraction shouldn't be on an opponent. The pureblood ancestor had lived for more than ten thousand years, how many lifetimes would Zero need to understand the depth of his heart? And tonight, his life was coming to its end, would it be appropriate for him to stay by his side?
"Would you like to hear her voice?" Zero offered. They hadn't informed Yuuki as the pureblood's request. However, it shouldn't be a problem if he gave her a call just to ask how she was doing over there, how impatient she wished to meet her brother, how much she worried for him, so that Kaname would hear what she was thinking and wouldn't feel left alone, especially after the two times he had seen them being intimate to each other. Zero couldn't explain why he was feeling uneasy about that, why he was trying to console the dying pureblood, trying to give him an instant of joy.
"You still... don't remember." Kaname stuttered.
There was only a few minutes left, he struggled to suppress his yearning for disclosing a secret that he had managed to keep silent for years. It must not be exposed to give Zero and Yuuki a complete happiness. After what he had done to get them back together, to heal their relationship and bring it up to a higher level, he shouldn't destroy their second chance in his last moment. He had wanted to eliminate all purebloods and sacrifice his life at the end to turn Yuuki human again, steadily this time, so that they could share a normal life in a world where there was no more danger from the bloodsuckers, but his plan changed since meeting the hooded woman's spirit at the HA headquarters, he realized it was more important to release her from this relentless mission, to complete the soul of her current reincarnation.
When they first met, he told her he had forgotten his past. It's true that there were many things he could no longer remember, but there were also things which even after hundreds of years, or ten thousand years, he still couldn't forget, things which he didn't share with her and Yuuki. As other first purebloods, he had been born in a human family, both of his parents and his older brother were human. They were excited when his mother got pregnant again, fifteen years after his older brother was born. Ironically, his birth was the end of their happiness. He looked totally different than the parents. While his father and brother shared the same features in their silver hair and violet eyes, his hair was dark brown and there was a mysterious dark red color in his eyes. The father assumed he was a result of an adultery and forsook his mother. He was thrown away with her, and grew up with her maltreatment and abusiveness. The only good moments at that time were when his older brother came for a visit or when he stayed in front of his house waiting for him. Despite of their different looks, his brother still loved him and acknowledged him as his sibling. When Kaname was ten, his mother remarried and left him alone. He had to live as a beggar until his older brother found him.
"Zero Onii-sama, where were you? Why didn't you come to see me?"
"I'm sorry, Kaname! I will never leave you again. I will take good care of you."
His older brother, Zero, decided to leave home and relinquish his rights to inherit their family's property, because he wanted to take care of him, a denied child. They lived peacefully together until the day Zero came home, finding Kaname in their stable, drinking fresh blood from his dearest horse, White Lily. The grown-up horse strangely was unable to counter the young boy's attack. On that day he found out his little brother wasn't human, he was thirst for blood, he needed to drink blood as a part of his meal.
"Onii-sama, I'm sorry. Please don't hate me, please don't leave me alone!"
Zero was shocked, yet he couldn't turn his back to his little brother. He tried to stop this instinct of his, but it was impossible, then he tried to accept it, tried to find enough animal blood for him. One day Kaname bit him out of sudden when they were hugging. The young boy cried and said he couldn't subdue the desire to taste his blood, especially when they were physically close. Zero thought he would get angry and wouldn't forgive him, but strangely it was accepted as something his subconsciousness had been prepared for. He was relieved that both of them had become the same type, they could get much closer when biting each other, he could finally understand the good taste of blood.
"Onii-sama, take me! Make me yours!"
"You're mine, Kaname! My brother... my lover... my world... my life... my heart..."
Zero was the most talented swordsmith and an honorable knight, he had made the best swords in history and unintentionally taken away many girls' first feelings, yet he had never responded to any of them, he stayed unmarried all his life, with his little brother by his side. Pure blood lengthened his longevity a bit more than a mortal's, but at the end his system resisted it, he got weakened and passed away.
"Wait for my reincarnation, Kaname! One day I will come back. When we meet, please love that person as much as you have loved me."
"I will wait for you, Onii-sama!Please don't let me wait too long."
The pureblood stopped aging after he reached twenty, even White Lily stopped aging since Kaname gave her his powerful blood. They were immortal, and had to witness their beloved leave them. Time gradually became meaningless as they travelled around the world, seeking for his reincarnation. Many years passed by until they returned to their home town, and Kaname freed the horse.
"Go, White Lily! We'll look for him separately to double our chance. Bring him back to me if you find him one day!"
Global warming created more and more people of his type. They gathered together, fought against one another, a scheme of turning all humans into their slaves was formed when their war became fiercer. Kaname didn't join them, but stayed among human beings, waiting for his onii-sama. He wanted to live with them, the same race with his beloved's, and tried to help them, even though couldn't get close in order to hide his true identity. Yet they still found out he occasionally discreetly stole a little of their blood and expelled him from their village. Those shameful experiences turned him into a quite introverted loner. He was a monster, everyone in this world saw him as a monster, only his onii-sama would open his arms for him, accept him and love him, so he would wait, no matter how long it took, he would wait until those warm, generous arms embraced him again.
He had lost track of time when White Lily came back with a young woman on her back, beautiful violet eyes and long silver braids under a white hood.
"I have lost my family and everyone I knew for so long that I don't remember where I came from or what my name was."
"Then I will call you Kaname." She fondly caressed his face "My name is Rei Kuran."
She held her hand out for him and pulled him up the horse. He tightened his arms around her waist, following her to wherever she went. She was his onii-sama's reincarnation, this time she was also a pureblood, they would never have to separate from each other again. Finally he could look forward to being loved for an eternity. With his complete soul in the new body, onii-sama easily remembered their love after drinking from him.
"You're a good boy, Kaname!"
The pureblood was happy with her compliment. No matter how old he was, how powerful he had become, he was just a little brother to onii-sama, wanted his protection, wanted his indulgence, wanted his everlasting love.
War got more and more cruel, onii-sama determined to help humankind to defense themselves. Kaname didn't imagine this goal parted them again. Rei unhesitatingly used her pureblood heart to create a material which carried the power to kill other purebloods. She didn't tell him about her intention beforehand, knowing he would never let her do it. She left him alone to accomplish their great goal, and left their dream of eternity forever unaccomplished.
Her crystal splinters cut into his hands, he couldn't find the strength to continue his lonely life. After fabricating anti-vampire weapons for the first hunters and training them, he went in a deep slumber, not hoping to be ever waken up. Unexpectedly, fate decided to grant them another encounter as ten thousand years later, his descendant awoke him from his grave, and he started a life with no expectation of love and happiness, simply for responsibilities and duties, but White Lily once again re-appeared on a snow-covering mountain, insisting to stay in Cross Academy, forming a hope in his heart.
That winter Kaname saw a pair of boy twins from a hunter family. Violet eyes and silver hair, the older one named Zero, his Zero, his onii-sama. Ironically, Zero didn't pay attention to him, he had another little brother whom he saved all his love for. In the first time they met face to face, he stabbed him, from then on Kaname couldn't find a way to get along with the hunter. He tried to be friends, but failed. Then he provoked him to stimulate his memories, however, one wasn't supposed to remember the feelings he had harbored in his past life. Zero was in love with Yuuki and merely viewed Kaname as an enemy. Even after the pureblood had gone far to the point of convincing him to his room and giving him his blood, his onii-sama just couldn't reach to his deep longing. Kaname decided to give up. Accepting to be considered an enemy, accepting to endure his grudge, he turned Yuuki back to her real nature and took her away, with a true purpose was to save her when her mother's magic started falling and strengthen her condition before making her steadily human to be his onii-sama's bride.
However, it couldn't be fulfilled to the end. He found out a part of onii-sama's soul was still lingering in the HA headquarters. Rei hadn't made any promise and stayed silent while he was manufacturing the weapons ten thousand years ago, she didn't want him to be alone, waiting for her once more time, she wanted him to move on after it was done. However, without her promise, he lost the will to live. Fate had made him the oldest and strongest pureblood, history acknowledged him as the vampire ancestor, the first of the Kuran line, nobody knew he had an onii-sama, and from the bottom of his heart, he just wanted to be a little brother, to be pampered, to be protected, to be cared, to be loved.
"I would have been happy if I had been born as her real brother." His eyes were unfathomable when looking at the shock and wariness written clearly on the hunter's facial expression "Your face tells me you don't believe my words."
"Yuuki called you her brother, but you denied it. What is the truth?"
"What have I forgotten?" Zero asked contemplatively. There was a void in his soul. He thought it was because he had shared half of his with his twin brother. Twins were extremely rare in hunter families, because one would instinctively consume the other right in their mother's womb to complete himself and be born as a powerful hunter. Zero had been glad that it didn't happen in their case, both of them were born safely, and he, as the older brother, had always tried to love Ichiru and given him the best things he had. Unfortunately, their time wasn't long, they couldn't grow up together. In his last breath, Ichiru asked him to "eat" him, to take back what were supposed to be his. Nevertheless, Zero still didn't find whole, something was still missing, somewhere in his heart was still yearning to be filled up. He didn't know a part of his soul hadn't been reincarnated with him. After the headquarters was destroyed, and the vampire ancestress' spirit vanished, for the first time in his life he felt complete, for the first time he could understand and control his absolute self. He was able to admit to Yuuki that he yearned for blood and regularly took the E vampires' blood on his missions. He accepted to be a vampire, he confirmed his love, and made a move to convince her of conceding her feelings.
He thought he would never let her go again, then why in this moment he got a feeling that it wasn't enough? He wanted Kaname, as though this pureblood was actually the person his heart had been crying for. He wanted to comprehend the mysterious words he had told him. He wanted... his love.
Zero was stunned at his own thought, unconsciously stared at the motionless pureblood, those eyes never opened again, Kaname didn't answer his question, he probably didn't want to, or wasn't able to? Sun was rising up, there were only two of them in the quiet room. Seiren stayed out there to make sure the people her master didn't want to meet wouldn't come to disturb him. But she let Zero in. Did it mean the pureblood was waiting for him? Zero wiped off his ridiculous idea. There was no reason for Kaname to want to see him in his last minute.
But he did.
He had come not really because he wanted to show him the first sword, he had come because didn't want him to be alone. Wrapping his own hand on the other's feverish one, entwining their fingers to one another, he sat down on the bed.
"I will stay with you, Kaname! No worries, the hunters will have their new weapons, we will manage to maintain our peace treaty." His words were low as a whisper "I will take care of Yuuki and make her happy. She truly loves you, the passionate feeling she has harbored for you will never change."
Tears fell down from the pureblood's closed eyes. Zero was frozen, Kaname could still hear him, but his words were probably not included what he wanted to hear. Regretably, he wasn't sure what to say to help him rest in peace. Would it upset him more if confessing he wished they had had a chance to get to know each other? The skin under his fingers hardened, the pureblood's body magically turned into white crystal and shattered to glittering pieces.
Glittening crystal pieces on shaking hands... Pain overwhelmed the hunter's heart, why was it too painful? Why was he feeling he was losing something, something that his present life had never had?
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