A/N: My update has been delayed more than 3 months. I even thought about giving up. It's so hard to keep trying while muse is not there, but I really hate leaving things unfinished. So this chapter is the result of my struggle. I'm sorry that it isn't good, and definitely not as angsty as I want it to be, but it is what I can now

Thank you very much for your nice reviews, I appreciate them all, especially ArikaHikari, Artemis, heriyandi kurosaki, and emmawalters090 who reminded me that I still have their kind support.


Aokigahara lied at the base of Mountain Fuji with an immensity of trees covering 35 square kilometers of land. The absence of wildlife made it exceptionally quiet, and the vegetation was dense enough for one to easily disappear among the evergreens and never be seen again. Bitterness soaked in the air, sky was somber above the luxuriant leaf canopies. In the last two months, dried blood trailed on the feral ruts of its most savage area. In Japan, Aokigahara was called the Suicide Forest.

Zero raised his flashlight to find a deep cut on a trunk of an ancient tree, as a sign that he had been there before. It was difficult to recognize the directions at first, he and his comrades had to use those cuts to mark their locations. Still holding Bloody Rose ready on right hand, he lowered the other hand with the flashlight to take a quick glance at his wrist-watch. Over half past six pm. It got dark very fast in this forest, the others must have already retreated. They had wasted one more day, there was going to have other victims tonight because of their inefficiency.

Purebloods were brutal and dangerous by instinct. Humans were simply food in their eyes. Even though the peace treaty had been signed for ages, that thirst could never be quenched. Zero had spent five years to chase after a pureblood, and now he was on the hunt for another one, who was recorded as one of the first in this world. The said pureblood had been defeated and fled away thousands of years before, but suddenly re-appeared two months ago, wandering around to bite random humans to gratify his ravenous hunger and vent his deep resentment. As soon as returning from Naha and hearing about his bloody crimes, Zero volunteered to hunt him down, chairman Cross acceppted it and assigned other well-seasoned hunters to assist him. They teamed up to drive the pureblood into this forest last month, however, incapable to capture him. Last week, they got a fierce encounter, Zero was injured. Toga and Cross instantly rushed to take care of him, but the two persons who he thought about most didn't show up.

"We are now strangers. Even if you got in danger again, it wouldn't be my business."

He and Kaname had got out of touch after their short meeting. Chairman Cross said the pureblood stopped answering his calls, and there was no reply for all the emails he had sent, despite of what the content was. Zero suddenly felt a piercing pain as thinking about it. The injury on his chest hadn't been fully healed, blood still stained his bandage when Toga helped him to clean it in the evenings. Cross repeated over and over that he should go back home, but the young hunter insisted to stay with them until their mission was completed. Since that night, he was scared of staying alone, he tried to get preoccupied with responsibilities and tasks, and distract himself from deep thoughts of those complications.

Last week, a comrade of his was attacked and bitten, he committed suicide right away to protect his declining humanity. The whole team felt like losing a part of their own bodies, but none of them stopped him. A hunter didn't want to and wasn't allowed to bear the humiliation of being turned to vampire. Death was their only choice once getting bitten. Not everyone was lucky as Zero, not everyone had the second chance to recommence his life.

"I call for the strongest power of this blood

To restore your original nature

May your destruction become mine

and my strength yours

Have a dreamless sleep

and wake up as a new person."

Zero got in this mission not only for avoiding facing his conscience, it was also a persuasion from another respect of his tormenting conscience. He wanted to throw himself in danger, he wanted to experience the roughest side of life, he wanted to be punished for his oblivion, as unable to forget the feel of the pureblood's writhing agony when tardily loosening his tight grip on his shirt. At last, Kaname still chose to let him go. Takuma said the pureblood had stopped all treatments for his lung cancer, meaning his short time left was being significantly reduced. That's why he didn't want to drag out their relationship. Now walking alone in this forest, despite the risk of being assaulted anytime, Zero couldn't help drifting his mind back to the moment he had used Takuma's key to enter that hotel room.


He looked around and saw a medicine container remaining untouched and a full glass of water nearby. Kaname was sitting on an armchair, with a book of serried handwritings between printed lines in his hands.

"How can you be here?" He stammered.

There was a second which Zero unmistakably recognized joy in his single eye. The pureblood was happy to see him, and for that fleeting instant of pleasant surprise, he forgot they had no longer been lovers.

"Chairman Cross and Takuma Ichijou have told me all the truth." The hunter quietly observed his skinny body in a thin white night robe. Compared to his old photos, Kaname had obviously lost a lot of weight, lips were completely pale, no sparkle in the darkened dullness of his eye. Even staying alone, he still wore the half-faced mask and the leather glove to cover his deformation "Shizuka Hio bit me, and you absorbed the poison to purify my humanity."

To convert a born vampire to human, a pureblood must use up his strength to alter the vampiric genes. However, to convert a newly-bitten back to his original nature, the substance which was converting him into vampire must be eliminated. Pureblood's venom was harmless to vampires, however, when it entered a human's system, it became poisonous, not only to its victim, but to any other vampires, until his conversion was completed. It could only be another pureblood who was powerful enough to suck it all out and used his own body as the alternative host. Had Kaname really abandoned Zero, it would have been the young hunter, who became completely destructed and turned into an insane, monstrous bloodsucker, or as their strict teachings, already committed suicide to save his dignity. However, reality had happened in another way.

"I don't know what you are talking about. Please leave!" The pureblood uttered.

Fate had refused them a lasting happiness, but Zero had given him all he had ever dreamed for. Earlier in that tragic night, Zero had promised to spend the rest of his life with him. At one point, he had been true to his words. His life ended the instant Shizuka Hio bit him, and till the very last breath before he fell unconscious, his whole heart was laden with worries for his lover. But Kaname didn't plan to keep going without him, his ultimate wish was to follow him when he passed away, even if their ending had come too abruptly, before they could fully enjoy their bliss. In the tick of time as Kaname was about to kill himself, a second thought flashed through his mind. Feeling the hunter's weak breaths on his lap, he realized it wasn't the end for his lover yet. If he spent his life in another way, Zero would get an opportunity to start anew. He trembly bent down to kiss his beloved's cold lips. One last kiss to remember forever how passionate their love had been.

"Don't push me away anymore! Let me compensate for you." Zero went with a quick pace to shorten their distance. As they became closer, he found out the book in the pureblood's hands were full of his own handwritings. It was one of his books, which had been taken away from his apartment to conceal their past. "The fact that you are here, in this city, in this hotel room, and that..." He pointed at the old, well-preserved book "...are evidence of our relationship."

"Your words make no senses." Kaname awkwardly stood up to walk away from his lover. The hunter's look was so intense that he was afraid it would break his false apathy into pieces, and he wouldn't be able to stop himself from falling onto the hunter's chest, seeking for his affectionate warmth which he had been crazily craving for. Denial. He shouldn't do anything in this moment, other than denying what had been revealed to keep his beloved on the right track of life.

A strong grip suddenly seized his right wrist, and before he could swing himself free, another hand forcefully tore his sleeve off, exposing his upper arm, exposing the irrefutable evidence of their commitment.

-end of flashback-

Zero managed to struggle out of the depth of stifling emotions, which incessantly attempted to engulf him each time that doleful scene was replayed in his mind. He had thought Kaname would give in, once he could prove their past had been disclosed. But it was him, who got startled when seeing the beautiful rose shining on the pureblood's pallid skin. Its color was flaring in bright red by consuming vitality of the flesh it was on. That rose was the symbol of the strongest hunter line, tattooed by the needles made of anti-vampire metal, and carried their sacred essence. No matter how Zero looked at it, it was like a seal carved on the pureblood's body to torture him day and night. As giving it to him, he mustn't have imagined there was a day Kaname wasn't strong enough to suppress it. But when it happened, the pureblood should have gotten rid of it.

Gotten rid of it. Could he? This symbol was an invaluable gift which Zero had given to him. As long as love remained, Kaname would rather die than sleep with another person to remove his beloved's recognition. However, it wasn't in his intention to let the hunter see their love mark, and pressure him with burdens of gratitude.

Shades of leaf canopies got the forest much darker, Zero walked rapidly on the bendy paths which had become familiar to his hunting team. They might have to take this routine for a longer time. While the others were getting more and more frustrated, and couldn't wait to return home, he didn't seem hurried, probably because he didn't have anyone waiting for him. When taking this mission, he departed immediately, without a word for Aimi. After a couple of weeks, he called her. She didn't say anything, except wishing him safety and success. The silence in their conversation hinted something had changed. She didn't show her usual concern, he eventually realized his recent events had disappointed her. Last week, injured and lying motionlessly on the bed, he hoped she wouldn't come, because it was so ashamed of him to see her in such a situation and take more advantage of her. However, it was only chairman Cross and Yagari-sensei who came. Aimi said she wanted to see his blood test three months after his night with Kaname to make sure he was clean before continuing their engagement. It was reasonable, she had all rights to protect her future, as well as abandon him if he became a burden, especially when he hadn't been a good fiancé, and obviously betrayed her in his forgotten past. Their relationship was an arrangement which his past self hadn't respected. Nevertheless, Aimi forgave him and stayed by his side when he lost his family, but she couldn't forgive and stay when he lost himself. Everything had a limit, even Kaname stopped caring about him.


The blooming rose disclosed their commitment, Kaname got dazed by that exposition, and awkwardly lost his balance. Zero felt he was exceptionally light when pulling him close to his chest. Kaname tried to let go, but his struggle was too fragile, the constriction brought a fit of dreadful coughing which he failed to hush up. He literally leaned on his beloved hunter, his face rest on his shoulder. Zero gently slid a handkerchief into his hand.

Blood scent pervaded the air, Kaname crumpled up the blood-stained handkerchief. "You aren't obliged to compensate me. All I have done are for the Zero who chose me as his partner. You don't recognize me anymore. We are now strangers. Even if you got in danger again, it wouldn't be my business."

-end of flashback-

Zero hadn't believed in those words, hadn't believed such a deep love could ever disappear, until Aimi's absence insinuated a second thought… Maybe it was true. Even if that love remained, it wasn't for him. Kaname would rather hold his happy memories with the past Zero who no longer existed, because the current one couldn't be able to give him that passionate feeling. Though they were one, they were different. Zero bitterly squeezed the strings of his backpack, maybe his attempt to participate in this dangerous mission was completely meaningless. Who would love an uncaring, unfeeling person like him?

Breeze seemed stronger, created by a dense flock of black bats flying swiftly toward him.

The pureblood they were hunting down…

Attacked when he least expected…


Zero has been bitten his wound broke he now in a coma

An email without subject arrived in the midnight, a few words typed hastily with no marks to separate the three ideas the sender wanted to say... He possibly hadn't finished it yet, but some urgent issue forced him to send it right away, or he's afraid it would make no difference, regardless of how long it was.

The hunting team had finally, successfully killed the insane pureblood, all of them were exhausted, but they immediately started packing up to return home. It was a sleepless night, they hugged each other, they drank, they called their families, they cried… Sadly, no victory achieved without losses, Cross saw them off in the next morning, carefully handed the funeral urn to Toga, trusting him to bring their late hunter's ashes back to his family. He wanted to stay here with Zero, encouraging the young, injured hunter to wait for something he had given up.

A day had gone by as fast as a blink.

Cross stepped forward to the old window looking out the stone gate for the thousandth time, shadow was once again engulfing the empty yard, sun melancholically setting on the west. Zero sat at a table behind, quietly observed every minor expression on the chairman's profile. As a matter of fact, he was even more impatient, but struggled to hide his despair. This idea was a harrowing experience which he had disagreed from the beginning, yet Cross and Toga insisted it would help him resolve the problem in his heart.

Last night, the chairman sent a brief email to three recipients, Kaito, Aimi, and Kaname. He intentionally exaggerated the hunter's situation, and now they were waiting for their responses, though all they had received so far was an absolute silence.

"I'm leaving tomorrow." Zero finally spoke out his decision "We know they would have already arrived if they wanted to." None of them cares for me. He didn't deserve their concerns, however, Cross had put him in a situation where he couldn't help feeling badly about their indifference. Aimi Takamiya had been engaged to him since she was born. In the memories which Zero could remember, she was his destined woman. Never once had he thought about leaving her, and how hard had he tried to be worthy to her expectations, worthy to all of her efforts. With generosity and gentleness, she could have made a good partner. There was no love between them, though Zero doubted the meaning of love in hunters' opinion. All of marriages in the hunter families were arranged by their seniors. He knew his past self had wanted to break that traditional pattern by choosing a lover on his own, but in the end his attempt didn't bring any of them a happy ending. He thought he couldn't love Aimi because his heart had been frozen by the 'betrayal' of his lover. In fact, he couldn't love her because she had never tried to touch his heart. It might sound weird, but they had never openly, casually talked to each other as a couple, he didn't know any of her hopes and views, he wasn't quite sure about her likes and dislikes. For the last five years, all she had managed to get was his acceptance, which he eventually gave in on the day he returned from the fight with Shizuka Hio. Holding her exhausted body after a sleepless night, he decided it was time to get married.

Yes, they would have become husband and wife, and lived in harmony together for the rest of their lives, if he hadn't slept with Kaname Kuran on the previous night, then his forgotten relationship wouldn't have been revealed, and he wouldn't have realized he owed another person even much deeper than what he owed Aimi. This unforeseen revelation put him in an intricate dilemma. Everyone knew Aimi was his fiancée, while nobody was aware of his secret relationship with Kaname. One had generously used five years of her beautiful youth to help him through the darkest time of his life, while the other had unobtrusively sacrificed his own future, his own happiness, his everlasting longevity, even his self-esteem to save him. Between those two persons, Zero didn't have the right to make a choice. He wanted to compensate Kaname as an obligation to a savior, just as he planned to get married to Aimi as a part which had been arranged for his life. Yet the pureblood refused his offer, and Aimi wanted a break. He ran away from both of them, ran away from the indeterminable reality, ran away from his own complicated feelings.

"You are staying here with me, Zero! And you will spend the rest of your life to make up for the person who shows up." Cross said sternly, his eyes gazed at the silent shut gate below the window.

Although he didn't specifically identify who he was waiting for, Zero understood he was implying Kaname. Aimi hadn't contacted him since. In fact, she had made it clear that their engagement could only be continued if his blood test proved that he was clean. Her family had been talking a lot about improving their blood line and regaining the old glory of the Takamiya name, it's obvious that they wouldn't like to take the risk of marrying her to the wrong person, and love wasn't an issue to be considered. Although they didn't officially reply to Cross, silence was their official response that they weren't going to make any move. As far as Zero understood about them, the moment they were informed of his so-called accident through the chairman's email, his temporary break with Aimi had come to be permanent, as there was no way they would tolerate the possibility of his being her shameful burden.

So Aimi wasn't coming.

Neither was Kaname.

"I'm not the person in his heart. It was the past me, who wanted to share life with him." Zero murmured "Kaname helped me to kill Hio because it was what the past me wanted to do. But whatever happens to me now is no longer his concern."

The young hunter wasn't quite sure what he himself was talking about. Kaname had told him so, and determined to dismiss him from his hotel room. But if it was true, if Kaname really had no feelings for the current Zero, why did he use his blood to heal him when Hio attempted to break his old wound, then offer his body to release the hunter's arousal? Why did he choose to tarnish himself to protect the other person's future? Why did he never protest against the damages Zero wanted to give him?

"Would you like him to care for you? Would you like him to… love you?" Cross didn't object the young hunter's conclusion, instead he raised a weird question while holding his gaze at some clatter outside the window.

Zero leaned on the back of his chair, looking upwards the plain, white ceiling, hands laying idly on thighs. He wondered if his past self had been a better man, how his life would have been going if that catastrophic night hadn't happened, who would have been the person by his side? Everyone wished to be loved and cared, everyone had their weak moments and needed comfort and encouragements. But would it be ok as long as they have it? Or only the love and care from the person they truly desired for could make them happy? He shamefully realized a silent wish writhing in the deepest corner of his innermost, crooning to him if only his lover, who was willing to sacrifice for him and accept him whatever he became, could be a normal, healthy woman.

Zero squeezed his eyes, he was a coward. He felt guilty, he felt indebted. If Kaname Kuran showed up in front of him, he would have to spend his life to compensate him, in any way possible, as long as the pureblood wanted. But what about himself? Was it fair that he would have to stay faithful with someone he wasn't in love with? Was it fair that he would have no chance to find his soulmate, someone to urge his hand to reach out for, someone to make his heart dance with joys, someone he sincerely wanted to share his life with…

"I would take him as my life partner if he came to see me." His voice was determined, yet weary which became hardly audible in the next part "But I hope he wouldn't show up."

Cross had tried to bring them back together. When he revealed the truth to Zero, he expected the young hunter to persuade Kaname to mend their relationship. And when he sent out the email, he hoped for it even more. But in this very instant, he finally conceded failure. Love wasn't something you could shape or impose on the other, love must arise and develop naturally between the persons. Past was past, they probably could never rekindle their feelings.

The gate was slowly being opened, they were receiving a guest.

"Let's go down to see him."


Zero didn't believe in his ears, but obediently followered Cross to a small meeting room at the ground floor. This branch was an ancient building, beside a a spacious lounge and a large conference room, there were some other rooms for short meetings and discussions between a small group. Office area was next to them, however, it's totally quiet and dim. Today was Saturday, nobody was around. Zero dropped his footsteps curtly on the wood staircase until the last turn when he started hearing light cough from a room at the end of the row. That person seemed too worn-out that even his unrelenting cough didn't make much noise.

It was Kaname…

At lengths, he was the only one who came to visit Zero.

Cross turned around to stare at the young hunter when not hearing his steps behind him. There was a distance between them now, Zero was so still right on his very place, a hand roughly gripping the rail. He wasn't ready. Behind that closed door was his fate, there would be no turning back, and even if it was inevitable, he couldn't bring himself to enter the room and give Kaname his promise just yet. How ungrateful and irresponsible, but Cross didn't have a heart to reprimand him. In the last five years, they had pushed him too much. They required him to attend many strict trainings, they demanded him to re-achieve the supreme level, and lived up their expectations, they forced him to give them back the Zero they had learned to know and been proud of, to continue where their Zero had left, to fulfil his goals and plans. Even in his personal life, Cross was asking him to do what he thought his past self would. The person inside that room was his old flame, the treasure of his past ego, not him. Not related to his present feelings. There was no adequate solution for both of them, whatever it was, it would favor one, and reject the other.

So give him a few more minutes...

Cross sighed, resuming his monotonous pace towards the room. Kaname looked up from his seat as soon as the door slid open. Long, black trenchcoat covered his slender body, but the chairman was still shocked seeing his sunken cheek and a dark ring under his gloomy eye. Half face was coldly hidden by the metal mask as usual, the unusual was his complexion had turned so ghastly af if life had already left him. Last time they met, Kaname was still struggling to resist his illness, how astonishing that he was totally changed after two months. An old image unexpectedly popped up in the chairman's mind, when Asato Ichijou brought Kaname to his academy for the first time, the pureblood had already been an introverted, solitary child. Later Cross figured out he had lost his innocence and was coping with some callous issues that he wasn't able to tell anyone. It was almost forty years ago. Kaname had never been happy in his life, except the ephemeral moments holding little Zero in his arms.

"How is Zero?" A glint of intensity flashed in his fatigued countenance, the pureblood seemed to suppressing extreme emotions to appear calm, but the significant changes in his appearance had unveiled all his worries and anxiety since receiving that email, or even much longer, since he and Zero parted in Naha.

"Physically fine, but emotionally broken." Cross couldn't prolong his lie about the young hunter's situation more than what he had written in the email, but these words were actually true. He had witnessed Zero's emotional collapse starting from the New Year's Day, as the young hunter was cluelessly searching for information of his unpredicted savior. After five years in oblivion, bare truth came out all of a sudden, Zero was forced to get to know someone who under normal circumstances he would wish to stay away. He was forced to owe a debt of gratitude to someone who was despicable in his personal opinion, and to make it worse, he was forced to tie his life with him. So "broken" was indeed an understatement. His own sentiments, his own aspirations weren't taken into account, Cross only concerned about how much he could make up for Kaname. "I'm sorry I told him all the truth. I was aghast to know he pushed you to a corner. You can't suffer it after what you've done for him." The chairman muttered. It was the least he could do to defend him. More than everyone else, he believed Kaname deserved to be cared, to be cherished, to be treasured, and to be loved by the man he had devoted his whole life to.

"Does he feel better now? Is he content with your disclosure?" The pureblood smuttered, though the note of sarcasm in his words wasn't enough to cover his deep pain. "Who needs your pity? Who allows you to break him?"

Cross didn't feel surprised that his attempt wasn't appreciated, on the contrary, he thoroughly understood Kaname's unjust accusation. "I thought love would grow within him when you lived together, he actually has a susceptible soul…" He had strongly believed in that assumption, for years he had imagined they could have had a happy ending and that's why he had tried so hard to bring them close to each other, but right before Kaname arrived, he realized it was only his subjective imagination. Taking a quick glance at the closed door, he uttered "Hold on. I'll ask him to come down to see you."

It was actually a warning, so that Zero would have enough time to leave if decided not to see Kaname. From the outside, the young hunter wasn't aware that his hand had already been clenched into a fist, too harshly that his nails pierced into flesh, his whole body was thrilled with the pureblood's passion. Ironically, he didn't feel romantically connected to him, even knowing it was the person who had come to fight by his side against his enemy, then resolute to part ways with him, but finally showed up when he was supposed to have nothing left to offer, no more values to be taken advantage of, except a feel of gratitude. He hadn't had enough courage to walk in together with Cross before, but could he be able to recede now, pretending not to hear a word of their conversation? He had been struggling with his own conscience, and this struggle would never end as long as the debt of gratitude wasn't paid off.

However, the chairman's footsteps had been halted, there's a sound of a chair being moved, for the very first time, Zero heard Kaname initiating to see him.

"Is there anyone staying with him now? Can I follow you?"

Cross turned around with confusion. Many times had he suggested arranging for him to see the young hunter in person, from afar, without Zero's awareness, but in the last five years, Kaname never agreed, saying it was better for both of them not to appear in the same place ever again. Even this time, he was afraid the pureblood only came to speak to him, and would leave right after knowing his lover was fine. However, it seemed Kaname was having some other plan, it took him half a day longer than expected to arrive, and his expression was inconsolably unreadable.

"I've assigned Seiren to go to Naha and bring back to me some sand at Naminoue Beach. Upon her return, she will find out the false scene of my suicide, and a letter asking her to bury my relics together with the sand. Everyone will know Kaname Kuran couldn't get over his disrepute and has committed suicide in Hokkaido." The pureblood gently talked about his arrangements as though he was talking about someone else's fate. Death hadn't been his concern for a long time, his look became tender as thinking about the forthcoming chance to see his beloved. "Thank you for helping me all these years. Could you do me one last favor? I need to stay with him without any disturbance. After an hour, please come to remove my remains and clear up his room."

"Kaname…"Cross felt a chill running through his spine. Why had he overlooked this possibility when sending the email out? Even sitting in waiting for hours, none of them had thought about it, that the pureblood wouldn't just come here to give some comfort. "You… you want to convert him back to human one more time?" How could it be possible? How could the pureblood unhesitantly use his remaining eye, the rest of his strength to create another opportunity for his lover? "He… doesn't love you anymore… he… has forgotten you…"

"It's fine. He shouldn't remember me. You must promise me to let him believe in whatever he can read and hear about me. Please don't try to defend me, don't let anything provoke him to dig in his past again. I hope he will be at peace with himself. I hope he will find someone special, and experience the happiness that my whole life has been craving for."

The door was abruptly banged open, Zero rushed in to embrace the slim figure next to Cross. He couldn't restrain himself to stay out a minute longer, the emotion overwhelming his senses was urging him not to torment this person more than what he had suffered. It was a stupid test, did he really need it to understand how much Kaname loved him? He couldn't get over his own selfishness, he thought it was unfair for him, while the pureblood had never hesistated as far as he was concerned, even sacrificing his own life and not ever being acknowledged, even forever falling into oblivion…

Love, he couldn't give him, but his embrace wouldn't loosen…

"So this whole thing is just a deception." Kaname murmured.

Zero embarrassingly tightened his embrace around the pureblood's thin body. "I'm sorry. I didn't believe in love, I didn't know your feeling for the ignorant, oblivious me remains unswerving."

Inhaling a long breath of his beloved's human aura, a feel of reassurance gently warmed his heart, Kaname was satisfied to stir away from his arms. "If everything is alright, I will take my leave."

"Don't." Zero hastily protested. "Please let me stay by your side and take care of you." He wanted to reach for the pureblood's hand, and pulled him back to his embrace, but awkwardness contained him. Was it normal for such physical closeness with another man? However, Kaname wasn't just another man. If he had ever been close to someone in his whole life, it was only this very person, it had only happened with this very person.

Ironically, those memories had fallen into obscurity as in a previous life.

Yet at the same time his offer created a vague hope that sparkled to enhance graceful, well-defined features on half of the pureblood's unmasked face. A chance to be with Zero was so tempting, Kaname hurriedly turned away to hide his longing. "Don't force yourself. You can hire a nurse to take care of me if it makes you feel better."

"No. I'm not offering a nursing service. I want to give you a home."

Talk was usually easier than do. Even Zero knew he hadn't predicted all difficulties they would be facing. For his mistake, Kaname had been enumerated in the list of infected vampires and totally discredited. Nobody would be in sympathy with them, they wouldn't be welcome to anywhere, and even between each other, all they could share was a tough time as the pureblood's irremediable disease would be getting worse and worse. He would soon fail to take care of his natural needs and completely rely on him.

Purely depression, simply melancholy until death parted them away.

"Can we have a home together? What is our relationship to found that home?" Kaname hopelessly quivered his words. "What am I to you? Your uncle… or… your brother…?"

"You decide."

-to be continued-

If you're still around, I will continue writing. Thank you for your support!