Ren-sama's Note:

Hi there, everyone! I've missed writing KaZe ficts and I want to post this one just to inspire me more. I hope you enjoy it~!

Warning: Most likely OOC KaZe. Angst. Bad image for Kaname – no flames to that please. And uh, too much heartbreak? In any case, you've been warned. ᶺoᶺ

Disclaimer: VK isn't mine.

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It was unconscious at first and he was sure Kaname didn't mean to do it. But as Zero felt the repeated onslaught of punches, kicks, and claws, not to mention mind power used against him, the hunter couldn't help but feel that Kaname had begun seeing him as nothing but a thing. He wasn't even seen as a living creature anymore… And it hurt him a lot knowing that the person he had given himself to had become an abusive husband to him…

But it wasn't always like that. Kaname was kind and gentle to him even though they considered each other as rivals. The pureblood used to let Zero drink blood from him and sometimes even tease the hunter a bit. They were on good terms. He could even call themselves as 'friends' if he weren't so embarrassed at the term…

Zero had learned to tolerate and even like the pureblood in all the years that they stayed together trying to give Yuuki happiness. He learned to give the brunette the same warm smile he only used to give to Yuuki. He also learned to cherish Kaname in the same way he cherished his friends. Maybe… his feelings could even be considered as the feelings of a lover…

Zero knew that Kaname only proposed the blood bond as well as the marriage to cope for Yuuki's death. He agreed because he had nowhere to go anymore. The pureblood was losing his sanity then, just like how Zero was trying his best not to drown in despair as their beloved person was stolen away by the tides of time. It hurt them both to see Yuuki growing into an old woman while they both stayed young and powerful. It hurt more that the cause of her death wasn't old age but an accident on the road. It was terrible seeing her mangled body taken out of the crumpled car. What's worse was the fact that they were in the accident as well.

Zero was the one driving while Kaname sat on the seat beside the driver's. Yuuki sat alone at the back and happily singing together with the radio. They were in the highway and Zero was driving quite fast. His eyes widened when he saw a cat crossed the road and he suddenly hit the break with his foot, surprising both Kaname and Yuuki a lot. And he thought they were okay as they sighed in relief, until the swift car behind them smashed right through their car's rear. It killed Yuuki in an instant. Kaname almost killed the driver of the car even though the man was barely breathing. And that's the start of Kaname's insanity…

Ever since Yuuki's death, Kaname's demeanor had changed greatly. He became cold and merciless, aloof and unapproachable. His eyes would stare at Zero sometimes but the hunter knew the pureblood wasn't seeing him. Kaname's eyes would darken sometimes. Most of those times would be when Zero would blurt out anything concerning Yuuki. And he would start hurting himself first. Then he would hurt Zero later, spouting cruel things to him while blaming him for the accident. Then the worst of worst, Kaname would start raping him while he's still hurt and weak.

And everyday, Kaname never failed to remind him how he killed the woman they loved, the only person they cherished all those years. The pureblood never failed to hit him, to slap him across the cheek, and sometimes even choke him with the other's aura alone every time that kind of conversation would ensue. Kaname never failed to hurt him even when they had sex. Or rather, while Kaname raped him since it was non-consensus.

And every time, Zero would merely close his eyes. He would accept all of it without a word, without a single sound coming out of his mouth. He blamed himself enough for Yuuki's death without his husband rubbing it in his face. Every time a hit would land on him, he would wish nothing but death. Every time he would feel Kaname moving inside him, he would broke a quiet sob – one so quiet that not even the pureblood could hear. Or maybe Kaname was just too numb to even care.

Kaname was also becoming crueler to him, making him feel unimaginable torture inside their very room, while denying him unconsciousness. He would grit his teeth every time and he would sob silently, a heap on the carpeted floor after everything was over. They were doing that for five years now. He was more than tired of it and merely wished for his life to end.

Sometimes, Ruka and Kain who had become lovers then would visit Kaname together with the bubbly Aido. The blonde would show no interest in Zero while they talked with their Leader. But the hunter could see their eyes flickering in his direction for some seconds before they were looking at Kaname again. He could recognize the emotions in those eyes as pity… and sadness. Kaname would regain a little semblance of his old self then while talking to his subordinates, cool and regal, mighty and powerful. But Zero knew better than to believe that façade.

As of now, he felt that the beatings had ceased. He silently opened his eyes again, his lifeless and sad amethyst eyes. He tried to move but found out he couldn't. His blood pooled on the floor as always.

How he wished he could just die… He felt the tears fell down on his cheeks as his chest was raked by silent sobs. How he wished Kaname would just end both their sufferings and kill him… If the pureblood hated him so much that he couldn't stand the sight of Zero, then Kaname should just torture him enough to kill him instead of leaving him to heal before torturing him again the next night. It was a never-ending cycle. But this night seemed different from any other night since Kaname dragged him by the hair onto the bathtub to clean him there. That had never happened before. The pureblood would usually drag him to bed and fuck him there and then before sleeping.

"Kaname…" He whispered the name with a broken voice. His windpipe was almost completely crushed by Kaname's power earlier but the closed space of the bathroom allowed his voice to echo a little. "Please… just… kill me…" He looked at the pureblood with pleading eyes, too hurt and broken to even have any pride left.

Kaname's eyes darkened at that. It always did when Zero begged those words to him. "Killing you… isn't enough to quell my hatred for you, Zero. It won't even be close enough to satisfy me."

Zero tried to move up from the tub filled with warm water, but the strong arms that held him there would not budge. "…What should I do… to make you forgive me..?" His breathing came out as shallow gasps because of too much pain in his entire body. It was also difficult to breathe since his throat was bleeding from the inside out.

Kaname stared at him with those cold dark eyes as the pureblood spoke. "Nothing. Nothing can make me forgive you, Zero. Nothing can give me more satisfaction than seeing you hurt and broken."

Zero's eyes closed at that. Kaname really did hate him too much to not even bother sugarcoating anything… The pureblood knew what he wanted. And now the question was… did Zero feel the same..? Did he really want his whole life to be this fucked up and miserable? Was he willing to die a slow and painful death just so he could stay with the pureblood..?

He hadn't entertained the thought quite yet when he already felt Kaname's strong arms pulling him from the water and back into the room. He already knew what would come next… Kaname took him to bed and pushed him there rather roughly. Zero didn't even struggle anymore. He used to… but he got tired of it… He bit his lips silently as the brunette quietly tore off his clothes and penetrated him deeply without any warning. It hurt like hell and the hunter did his best not to scream in agony. Kaname thrust in and out of him with enough force and harshness to tear him open but the pureblood didn't care. He never did. The brunette grunted just before climaxing inside his husband, pulling out with equal harshness as he went back to the bathroom and closed the door.

Zero stared at the ceiling with hollow eyes. Kaname didn't even allow him to climax too. Heck, he couldn't even get hard in the first place… what with all the pain that raked through his whole body… While he stared at the ceiling, he tried picturing Yuuki there as she smiled down at him. He reached for her face through his outstretched, shaky hand but her image slowly disappeared as he felt the hot tears blur his eyes.

The truth was that he fell in love with Kaname even despite the harsh treatment that the pureblood always gave him. It was about a year after their marriage when he realized that he felt the same feeling for Kaname like the one he felt for Yuuki when she was still alive. He loved Kaname. He didn't want to leave the pureblood. That's the only reason why he still wasn't leaving the brunette despite everything. But sooner or later his love wouldn't be enough to spare him from the pain and agony, not to mention shame and guilt, that the pureblood always made him experience…

He faced to his side and curled up into a fetal position, not even bothering to put on some clothes or at least dry himself anymore. He cried miserably once again, chest heaving with painful, quiet sobs. He loved Kaname and he was sure he would still love the pureblood even in the future. But he was too tired… if Kaname was reluctant to kill him, then he'd be the one to do something…

Tomorrow… Tomorrow when the pureblood leaves for work, he would leave… and probably, he would never return anymore…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Zero took a good long gaze at the huge mansion one last time, limping as he slowly walked away, bringing with him nothing but his Bloody Rose, some money he saved from when he was still hunting, and a few spare clothes in a backpack. He could feel his tears swelling up at the mere thought of not seeing Kaname anymore, or so he hoped. Leaving the pureblood and staying with him would bring about the same result for Zero… his death. But he'd already made his decision and he didn't want to back out of it now.

He knew it was probably a wiser decision to just let the pureblood hurt him until the end, if only to be with Kaname more. But somehow, he had already pitied and blamed himself far too much for everything. His heart felt so numb and tired now. If Kaname would wish to finally kill him one of these days for even wanting to leave, then so be it. But he refused to be an immobile doll anymore.

"Farewell, Kaname…" He whispered to the air as the last set of tears fell from his eyes.

He started travelling far and wide, staying only in places where he knew Kaname wouldn't normally go to. He knew that the pureblood could find him if they were close enough in proximity because of the bond. But if he were to really go far away, then not even the bond could tell the pureblood of his location.

He had tried being a hunter once more but failed miserably since every time he opened fire, he would remember Kaname. And it only added to his pain. Thus, he tried doing something else, anything, as he searched blindly for his long lost identity and dignity. He tried doing construction works, clerical works, office work, being an artist, a writer, and every other thing in many different countries. But he was never quite satisfied for some reason. He even tried teaching small children but he found out he didn't have the patience to teach small, crying kids.

Blood also became his problem at the start. But he learned to simply buy some blood in the blood bank even though it didn't satisfy him that much. It was infinitely better than blood pills since it was real blood at the least. He would grit his teeth in frustration sometimes since his body longed for Kaname's blood. But he refused to go back to the pureblood. He refused to beg and kneel in front of Kaname anymore just to have a small amount of the brunette's precious blood.

Slowly, but surely, he regained a semblance of his old self. In all his travels and journeys, he met many different people and many different problems as well, some even worse than his own. He didn't settle in only one country in fear that Kaname might be able to track him down or that someone might realize he wasn't aging.

During those times, the one person he often thought about was Kaname. Sometimes, he would stare at the sky and suddenly he would find himself thinking if the pureblood was also looking at the clear moon somewhere at another part of the world. Or if the pureblood was busy with work… Or if he was sleeping… Or if Kaname was looking for him right now… Or if he had already got tired… Or if he had already forgotten about Zero… Or if he had already found another lover… Such thoughts plagued him day and night and there were even times when he regretted leaving. But his decision remained firm and he never came back to Kaname anymore.

He would feel scorching pain raking his chest every time he'd think that Kaname had already found another person to marry or love. He knew that purebloods sometimes had too many lovers. They tended to bed many other vampires and drink from a whole lot of subordinates. He knew Kaname wasn't like that… at least when Yuuki was still alive. But now, he wasn't sure if he still knew Kaname…

He would sometimes feel the tug in their bond. And it hurt him a lot to just ignore it and keep on doing what he was working on at the moment, whether it was only walking or eating, or even sleeping. It hurt him a lot, but he learned to ignore it with sheer will. The only thing that consoled him was the fact that he knew Kaname was fine. Kaname was fine even without him…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10 Years Later…

Zero looked up at the beautiful signboard of his shop with a satisfied smile gracing his lips. He wore a simple khaki set of pants together with a white shirt underneath the black apron as he stared proudly at the signboard in front of his small cake shop. He'd only settled on that small town in the West for two years but he found the villagers friendlier than any other place he went to. He settled there and built his own business. It was just a small cake house but he was proud to say that his cakes could make even the smallest children smile and giggle.

Inside the shop, children of several ages, lovers, and even elders sat comfortably and ate happily. He sighed in contentment as he watched his employees work with smile on their faces. He went inside the shop and was immediately greeted by cheerful children.

"Zero-nii-chan!" A girl by the name of Maria clung to his arm as she squealed at the sight of him. "I swear I will marry you when I grow up~!" Zero only chuckled together with the few adults who heard the words. Most of the people in that small village knew one another and they had learned to consider Zero as one of their family.

"Zero-san, we're out of triple chocolate cake!" One of the staffs, Kira, voiced over the kitchen.

Zero sighed and went over to the kitchen to give his people some instructions. He was their boss so he was well-respected by his employees. They immediately set out to buy some ingredients when told just as he started working in the kitchen once more.

By the end of the day, Zero felt more than exhausted but contented and happy nevertheless. He started cleaning the kitchen just as his two staffs, Kira and Megumi, started cleaning the shop. He went out of the kitchen when he was finished and also helped them in cleaning.

"Zero-san, you're really well-loved by the children. You can have children with me if you want~!" Megumi voiced with a seductive wink. She'd been trying to get Zero's heart for the past year now without much success. But she was alright with it. She knew right from the start that the silver-haired man loved someone else. Kira suddenly looked violet with disgust and Megumi immediately tried to hit him with the broom she was holding as they ran around the shop.

Zero only watched them in mild amusement as he picked up some plates from the table near him. He had also thought of trying to find someone else to love. But he knew not to fall for a human. No one knew he was actually over a hundred years old now despite his teenage appearance and that he was in fact a Level D vampire about to turn into Level E without the blood he always gets from blood banks. And besides, humans have such fleeting lives… He saw it first-hand with his parents, then with Ichiru, and with Yuuki… Even the people he met in his travels died on him. He refused to love anyone anymore, especially since his heart still throbbed for just one person only. Making a lover out of another person would not just end up hurting him but both of them. He felt that he was fine as he was now, even though he still thought of Kaname before he slept every night.

His eyebrows creased when he suddenly felt a very familiar sensation at the pit of his stomach. He looked at both Megumi and Kira still chasing each other and he was sure the feeling wasn't thirst. It was a very nostalgic feeling, and yet it also felt really pained. And his eyes widened when he realized it. It was another tug in his bond with Kaname… He hadn't felt it in such a long time now that he'd almost completely forgotten what it felt like. Not to mention that it was strong enough to deeply overwhelm him. And with that realization, his face paled as he froze in his spot. Kaname was near him, very near…

"Ah, sorry but we're already closed." Kira's voice rang in the entire shop as he and Megumi stopped in their tracks, waking Zero up from his thoughts. The hunter followed his staffs' sight, eyes widening in shock and fear when he recognized the person by the door.

Kira and Megumi looked at their boss in surprise when Zero suddenly lost the strength to hold the plates in his hands. They all shattered on the floor with loud, clattering noises.

Zero immediately paled at the sight of that one person he never thought he'd see again. Kaname's hair was a lot longer than when he last saw the man. He also looked taller and more matured. Not to mention he looked thinner and sleep-deprived somehow. But aside from that, those chocolate eyes and those silky strands of hair didn't change one bit. That pale, creamy skin also didn't change a bit.

But instead of liking the fact that he missed Kaname so much, he suddenly found his knees shaking in dread. His face suddenly lost its color as he started stepping backward silently, as if afraid that Kaname might hear him, even though they were staring into one another right now.

"Zero-san..?" Kira immediately knew something was wrong. He and Megumi didn't waste any more time as they immediately shut the door in front of the pureblood's face. Kira made sure to lock the door and even went to the extreme length of pushing a table to the door so the intruder wouldn't be able to get in. Megumi, on the other hand, immediately went to Zero's rescue just as the silver-haired man's knees gave out from too much shock and fear.

Zero knew he never feared Kaname in the past, not even when he was abused by the other, so it surprised him to feel such waves of fear running down his system at the sight of the pureblood. Maybe it was because of the fact that he left Kaname before, that he left without a word, and he left despite the fact that they were married and bonded. He feared Kaname's would-be reaction. He feared that his newly-found life here would be destroyed by his past. He feared Kaname and the pureblood's power to destroy him…

His whole body shook as he looked at his two staffs whom he treated as friends now. He spoke with a soft, quiet voice that was so not like his. He didn't want them to see how Kaname would hurt him. He didn't want them to witness anything. It was enough that Kaname's maids in the mansion all left because of the pureblood's violent tendencies. He didn't want his pride and dignity to be shattered in front of these people. "Kira, Megumi, your work for the day is over. You may come back again… tomorrow." The last word sounded unsure, like he wasn't sure he'd still be alive tomorrow.

"Zero-san, who is that person? Is he a bad person?" Megumi asked in worry. "You know we can't leave you like this! We have to call the police." Kira immediately agreed.

"N-No, he's a… a friend." Zero gave a small smile to both of them. "I was just shocked to see him. But I'm fine now." And besides, even if they call the police, he doubted any of them would put up a fight against a powerful pureblood anyway…

"Don't worry. I won't hurt your friend." The three of them turned their heads in surprise at the sudden voice that spoke by the door. Kira and Megumi looked shocked to see Kaname standing by the table which he used to keep the pureblood out. Zero's eyes widened at that. For Kaname to show such a display of his power in front of humans… He feared the time when he'd be alone with Kaname.

His two staffs immediately gave Kaname a glare, despite that fact that they looked swooned by the pureblood's unearthly features. Zero sighed and looked at them more firmly before he spoke again. "Kira, Megumi, you can both go. I'll be fine." Or so he hoped.

Both Kira and Megumi gave him one last worried glance before they both slowly took their things and went out of the front the door, still glaring at Kaname. They gave him another look of worry before they disappeared completely… from sight at least since Zero could feel them in the vicinity. They were obviously still worried and didn't want to leave just yet.

The silver-haired male almost yelped in surprise when the door suddenly closed and the table that they removed was back in its place, keeping any outsider without any means to get in. He looked at Kaname then, trying his best to not show his fear even though it already permeated in the air. Not to mention he was taking one step backward with every step Kaname took towards him.

"You don't seem too eager to see me after such a long time, Zero." Kaname maintained his cool expression, like he usually was when they were still rivals. Zero knew those eyes as the kind and gentle Kaname's, but he doesn't trust Kaname now. Not when the pureblood always used those gentle features against him during those hellish five years of their married life. "I know it's because I hurt you a lot in the past." And he took another step forward.

Zero's eyes widened when he realized he was going to be trapped pretty soon. Just two more steps and his back would hit the wall. He could blow up the wall if he really willed it, but that would mean throwing away the life that he had in the place just to get away from Kaname. "W-What do you want with me, vampire?" His voice was defiant even though he was afraid and trembling from head to toe. He whimpered when he felt the cold wall on his back but he still snarled at Kaname when the latter tried to come closer.

Kaname's eyes darkened a lot at that. Zero knew the pureblood would attack him soon. The brunette usually did when his eyes darken like that. And Zero would submit to him once again. And he thought he'd found a life away from pain and sadness and guilt…

"Zero, would you please listen to what I have to say first before you cower in fear?" The voice was steady and calm, but Zero still didn't trust it. His trust in Kaname was slowly lost during the times when Zero repeatedly begged to be spared but Kaname still continued in his torture. "Like I said earlier, I'm not here to hurt you. Just listen to me for a while."

"N-No, you'll only… spout lies…" Zero spoke quietly, too afraid to move from his position but he knew he needed to. "You'll… only hurt me again…" And he felt the hot tears as they slowly cascaded down his pale cheeks. "You'll… hurt me repeatedly… just like you always did…"

Kaname's eyes darkened even more. But Zero realized it wasn't the kind of darkness that he feared. Was it perhaps… sadness..? No, there's no way Kaname would feel that. The pureblood was only toying with him, making him feel vulnerable before striking when he wasn't ready. To the ex-hunter's surprise, the brunette took one step backward, and then another, and another, until Kaname was on the other side of the room again. "Is this space better for you?"

Zero knew all too well that it would only take half a second for Kaname to get near him even with that distance. But he still relented, knowing that the conversation wouldn't be finished if they didn't start soon, especially since he didn't have the nerve to tell Kaname to get the fuck out of his house. The pureblood was still his mate despite everything and he still very much missed Kaname, if the throbbing ache in his chest was any indication.

When the ex-hunter didn't answer, Kaname took that as a yes and started. "I haven't done this before in my entire life. But I'm willing to do this over and over again…" Zero's eyes widened as he saw Kaname knelt on both knees in front of him, head hung low in shame and guilt not befitting a pureblood like him. "Please forgive me, Zero… for tainting and stepping on your pride and dignity as a vampire and as a man… for… hurting you… for blaming you… for everything that I've done to you…"

Zero stood there, frozen like the cakes inside the freezer in his kitchen, as he stared at his lover kneeling down in front of him. The ex-hunter never talked for a while, still fearing that Kaname might attack him if he let his guard down. He was stiff all over and he wanted to do nothing but to flee the place, to be far away from Kaname. But as he stared at how Kaname's knees trembled, obviously not used to kneeling for a long time, and how the pureblood's head remained low despite the long silence that he received was enough for Zero to take pity on him. "I… I can't forgive everything in one go, Kan–, Kuran. You've… inflicted in me a wound so deep it's still bleeding even now…" He refused to call the name he'd been calling out to in his dreams.

Kaname breathed a shaky sigh before he slowly stood up, eyes covered by his brunette locks. "What should I do… to make you forgive me, Zero?"

Zero distinctly remembered how he asked those same words to Kaname before. And the answer still echoed in his ears even now.

"Nothing. Nothing can make me forgive you, Zero. Nothing can give me more satisfaction than seeing you hurt and broken."

Those words hurt him a lot. But he still didn't want to use those same words against Kaname. "Like I said, I still can't forgive you right now…" His eyebrows then furrowed as he stared at Kaname with pained eyes. "Why are you even apologizing? Didn't you use to emphasize how much you hate me? You always made me remember how much hatred you have for me. You shouldn't… be caring whether I hate you too or not. You shouldn't even be here."

Zero's eyes widened when Kaname suddenly appeared just in front of him, causing him to panic and try to flee. But a strong arm held him from behind and a hand had managed to cover his mouth before he could even scream. He knew this would happen… He knew Kaname was just acting… He knew Kaname would hurt him again…

"Zero, I won't hurt you. I already promised that." How Zero wanted to believe those words as they were voiced just beside his ears. But the fact was, he couldn't even get away or talk since he was held captive in Kaname's arms. He could only tremble in fear and sob as he struggled in vain. "Zero, Zero… please, listen to me… please… don't leave me anymore…" The voice made the ex-hunter's struggle stop.

Slowly, Kaname released him, but not before kneeling in front of him again, hands clutching tightly at his apron. "I don't hate you, Zero… I never… hated you… I wanted to hate you… for being responsible for Yuuki's death… so I always punished you… My pride didn't help either… I loved you even then, but my pride couldn't take that fact… so I opted to hurt you every time I saw you… I wanted to vent out the anger and frustration I felt… but it only hurt me more seeing you hurt and bloodied… and I would get even more frustrated and angry… and the cycle was never-ending…" The brunette's hands were shaking as he explained everything. "That day, when I went back home and you weren't there... I tried calling out to you... But there was no answer... I waited for you to come back… I waited for several days, for weeks, for months… But you didn't return. That's when I finally realized... You... already left me... And that… you will never… come back to me anymore… That's when I finally realized… that I've already lost you… just like how I lost Yuuki… I lost you too…"

Zero felt another set of tears fall down his cheeks as he sobbed softly. "I… hate you after all… I hate you… I hate you…" And his own knees also gave up and he ended up kneeling together with Kaname as he continued to cry. "I hate you… I hate you… I hate you…"

"…I know." Kaname closed his eyes as the first drop of tears also fell from his eyes. He hadn't cried since he was three and he hadn't cried even in Yuuki's funeral. He just slowly withdrew from the rest of the world. But with Zero's disappearance, he would cry every night until his consciousness gave out on him. "Several times I tried to end my life… but every time I think of you, my knees would tremble and I wouldn't be able to continue… the ache and longing was too much for me… so I tried finding you… all this time I was trying to find you…" He cupped Zero's cheeks then. The silver-haired teen weakly jerked away from him, but his hold on Zero was tight despite how it looked. He didn't want his lover to leave him anymore. "I love you, Zero… I'm willing to do anything… anything… to have you back…" And he sobbed quietly at his lover's shoulder.

Zero looked more than shocked despite the tears falling down his cheeks. He'd never seen Kaname cry before. He'd never seen Kaname's expression looked so anguished and agonized before, not even in Yuuki's funeral. He wore his mask throughout that whole ordeal. That's why he couldn't understand why Kaname was crying now… It was just Zero whom he lost. It wasn't someone important to him. There's no reason to cry about it.

"I don't understand, Kaname…" He voiced weakly. "Why are you… really doing this..?"

"Zero, please believe me." Kaname looked at him again, eyes still brimming with fresh tears. "I can't live without you… I love you… I won't hurt you again… I've already… destroyed what remains of my pride when I decided to come and find you… I have nothing else anymore… You're the only one… the only one who keeps me alive now… I don't want to lose you… Please, Zero… Please believe me…" The brunette looked so anguished that the silver-haired male couldn't help but feel his heart clench just by looking at him. "Please, Zero… I don't mind if you hurt me too… I'll take it all… I'll take everything you say… I'll take all the pain you'll give me without hesitation…"

"I'm… scared of you, Kaname…" Zero finally voiced, his trembling hand wiping his own cheeks off of tears before he stood up. "I'm not like you… I won't hurt you or say horrible things to you just because you did the same to me… I simply… wish to start a new life here now… I wish to forget everything…"

Kaname looked up at him then. "You wish to forget me..?" He looked so desperate and yet so hopeless that Zero didn't know how to answer for a while. He felt like Kaname would really break if he nodded even a little. And yet, it seemed the brunette understood despite his lack of response. "I see…" He looked down for some seconds before he stood up. Zero automatically stepped backward. That action, however, only added to Kaname's misery.

The brunette slowly closed his eyes as he started stepping backward. Zero could feel his heart clenching in pain again. Kaname would leave… He suddenly found himself torn in between wanting to stop Kaname from leaving and wanting to stay in his ground and forget the man once and for all. And yet, just seeing Kaname so broken because of him was making him feel a pain worse than all those tortures combined. He at least wanted Kaname to be happy too.

"You should… move on too." He found himself voicing. "We should both forget the past and really start living from now on."

Zero was surprised when Kaname's tears fell on his cheeks again. "That might be easy for you… But I can't do it." He shook his head before he wiped his tears and went out of the shop quietly.

Zero's breath hitched at the sudden urge to follow the pureblood. It was too hard to bear. He knew it had something to do with the bond wanting him to console his mate. But more than that, it was also his heart tearing him apart from the inside out.

"If I…" He felt too scared to believe Kaname. But he could feel his feelings for Kaname resurfacing by the second. "If I believe you…" And before he could even think about it, before he could even stop himself, before he could actually comprehend what's really happening, he already found himself running at full vampire speed wanting to catch up to his lover.

He didn't know if his decision was good, or if it would actually bring him more pain. He also wasn't quite sure what he would say in case he did catch up to the pureblood. But one thing was for sure, he didn't want to see Kaname's expression like that anymore.

Within seconds, Kaname had managed to cover what normal people could only cover within five hours of walking and it was all that Zero could do to not lose track of him. He sure ran quite fast. Zero had a rough time trying to catch up to him since the silver-haired male wasn't as fast in running as the pureblood was. Even so, Zero still ran after the brunette for almost an hour before finally realizing that he would not catch up unless Kaname himself stopped taking a step away from him.

"Kaname!" Zero shouted when he could already feel their distance stretch too far. He was starting to lose the tug in their bond. He felt too tired. He wanted to stop running but he wouldn't allow himself to. "Kaname, stop!" He knew Kaname was miles away from him, not even hearing what he was shouting anymore because of the vast distance between them. But it was all he could do at the moment, especially since he could already feel his feet giving out from too much fatigue. He hadn't had any fresh blood since he left Kaname's mansion and it diminished his strength a lot over the span of time. It also took a huge toll on him to live so far away from his blood mate. Not to mention that he was working relentlessly all this time under the heat of the sun while sleeping at night, living much like how humans did. "Kaname…" He voiced while panting. And yet, he didn't stop running until another hour has passed. By this time, he could not feel Kaname's presence anymore. Not even a small tug in their bond remained.

He found himself in the middle of a vast forest with no idea on where to go and what direction to take. The moon already hung in the sky, but its light wasn't enough to illuminate his path and show him the way towards Kaname.

He couldn't help but sob as his knees gave out and he knelt on the soft, grassy ground. Hot tears fell on his cheeks as he cried his heart out once again. Kaname showed himself in front of him only to walk away from him once more. It's like asking him to believe and then blatantly telling him it was only a lie. The dark, quiet forest was filled with his sobs as he surrendered himself to his broken heart after a long, long time.

"Zero..?" Zero looked up when he saw Kaname standing some meters away from him. The pureblood looked confused to see him. "What are you doing here?"

The silver-haired male wanted to speak but he found out something was blocking his throat. He continued to stare, wide-eyed at the presence of the pureblood before him. He wanted to think that he was merely imagining things, and that the Kaname he could see now was just a result of his desperation. But the pureblood's presence in the air felt real. Not to mention the quiet but strong tugging of their bond filled his whole being. Kaname came back…

"I felt your presence approaching and suddenly it vanished so I wasn't sure…" Kaname voiced unsurely, still maintaining his distance. He seemed afraid that if he stepped even a little closer, Zero would run away from him again. "Can I… walk closer..?"

Zero sobbed harder as he felt relief at the sight of the pureblood. He was glad it wasn't fear that he felt when he saw Kaname just now. He was glad that Kaname came back. "I… thought… I would never see you again…" He spoke with trembling voice, still trying to stifle his sobs. "I thought I would really lose you forever… I got scared and I ended up running after you…" He gasped when he felt strong, warm arms drape around him like a blanket, as if keeping him away from the darkness of the night and the coldness of the forest and everything else that could hurt him.

"I missed you so much, Zero…" Kaname's soft, quiet voice rang just beside his ear just as a brief kiss landed on his forehead. "I missed you… I thought I could never hold you like this again…"

It was the first time Kaname held him like that, like he was someone special and not just some toy to be fucked at night. It was the first time he felt Kaname's arms around him without feeling pain and fear but relief and gladness. It was the first time the brunette showed him such tenderness a lover so deserved. And it was also the first time he hugged Kaname back, his arms wounding around the pureblood just as tightly as how the brunette held him.

"I love you, Zero…" Kaname whispered to him. "I thought I would never have the chance to tell you… I love you… I love you so much… I love only you…"

Zero closed his eyes, the last set of tears falling down his cheeks, as he heard the words he so longingly hoped Kaname would tell him. He realized he was craving for Kaname's affection more than he thought he was.

"I don't know if I can readily forget the past." Kaname voiced as he looked into Zero's eyes, wanting to be understood. "But I'll try my best to start over again. In this place even, if you want to. I'm willing to leave everything behind, my title, my mansion, my work, even my subordinates. I wish to be beside you. You don't have to forgive me immediately. I'll work really hard to earn your forgiveness. Just please give me a second chance to be with you. I don't mind if you don't want to be my lover anymore. Just being your friend would do. I don't mind if you will not love me anymore or if you'll have another lover. Please just let me stay by your side…" The end of his statement was a mere whisper but Zero could finally feel the sincerity of the brunette's words. Kaname was willing to leave everything behind for him…

"I can't…" Zero shook his head, confusing the brunette even more and at the same time hurting him. But then Zero explained further. "I can't do it… because even now… I still want to be your lover. I want to be with you…"

Kaname's eyes widened, eyes filled with confusion at first then gladness before his whole expression turned a lot brighter. Even before Zero could react, Kaname had already held both his cheeks and kissed him full in the lips.

Zero gasped and the pureblood used that opportunity to enter his mouth using the brunette's tongue. The silver-haired teen had froze in his position then, remembering all those times when he was forced and raped by Kaname. The pureblood seemed to have noticed that and stopped.

"I'm sorry." The brunette voiced quietly. "I just got… excited."

Zero shook his head. "I don't think I can already do this." Kaname immediately nodded, knowing full well that it was all his fault. The silver-haired male looked at his lover and saw that Kaname seemed to have understood. "But… just this once…" He felt the tips of his ears turn red as he said the words.

This time, it was Kaname's turn to be surprised when Zero wounded his arms around the brunette's neck and kissed him full on the lips.

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.END.

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Ren-sama's Note:

Well, I did tell you that it's going to be a real angsty fanfict. And also quite short. But in the end they still got together, right? Reviews? ᶺoᶺ