A fan fiction written by Ryuko Ishida

Ryuko: A-ha! Second VK fiction and I'm trying a new (for me anyway) pairing: Yuki X Zero. I've always thought they were childhood good friends and would be better off to stay that way, you know? So this is a new one for me. Hopefully, it works.

Summary: What was once supposed to be an innocent snowball fight had managed to turn itself into something both fighters did not expect.


Kurosu Yuki snuggled herself into her coat before cautiously stepping out of the dining hall. Once she did, however, she realized she had perhaps over-dressed a bit, for the winter sun was beating its silver beams down after hours of nonstop snowing. Above her head over the arch of the entrance, icicles hung limply, their sharp edges gave a malicious spark. The snow that had appeared toneless and grey the night before because of the endless drift now transformed into an infinite patch of sparkling blanket, veiling landforms underneath and protecting them from the unusually strong rays of sunlight.

She changed her mind again, though, after a swift breath of cool air blew around her, unsheathing the sharp, invisible edges that dangerously sliced unseen wounds on her exposed skin. Yuki winced, wishing she had brought a scarf with her after all.

It was just after breakfast, and she found some spare time on her hands before the first class of the day started. So she decided to take a small walk, trying to wake herself up for fear that she might fall asleep during lessons again. She sighed, and white steam came out in a trail from her lips as the thought of her teacher's scolding voice came into her aching brain; even the thought of that made her have a sudden urge to skip class.

Still deep in thought and not paying the slightest attention to her surrounding like she usually did, Yuki never noticed a certain presence just a few paces away above the ground. When she finally did find out, it was a bit too late because her face was already covered with soft but unforgiving, cold snow.

"What the..." she brushed the flakes away. Without looking, Yuki could half guess who her attacker was. "Zero..." she growled uncharacteristically, her reddish-brown orbs narrowed with annoyance as she saw a dark shadow hopped off the branches of a tree nearby only to land gracefully and silently on the snow. He wanted to hide his laughter by covering his mouth but there really was no point in doing that; instead, Kiryu Zero let his laughter rang loudly and freely despite the death glare that the very pissed Yuki was sending him.

Something suddenly tucked her insides, making her gasp breathlessly for a short moment. The sound of Zero's laughter... Yuki realized that she hadn't really hear her friend laugh for a long time. Sure, he was laughing at her, but it had been some time since she saw him laugh so freely and defenselessly in public. His smiles, laughter – they had all either been cold and dangerous, or sarcastic and artificial, and her heart unknowingly squeezed tightly every time she heard them. Yuki understood they were merely the products of his violent past – an external shield that he used to place between himself and others – and she respected that, but sometimes, she just wish she could hear Zero laugh, truly laugh, more often.

This thought hadn't occurred to her before, and she wondered how in the world her thoughts had taken such a foreign, extreme turn. These notions scared her; she never need to deal with them before, and she was afraid of how the whole thing might turn out at the end. Yuki wondered at times if it would have an end at all. Okay, this was taking way too far; she kept the thought to herself and demanded with a harsh tone aiming at the amused male instead, "What was that for?"

"There's nothing better to do," Zero replied with a smug look on his pale face. While he was saying this, one of his hands was occupied by throwing a ball of white up and down in a rhythmic beat – seemingly an innocent movement on his part – but Yuki took it as a sign of challenge. Her lip curled into one of the small smiles of her own that went unseen by the lean male who was still giving her an almost sly smile.

'Oh, I'll give you something better to do all right.'

"Whatever, Zero," she shrugged casually and was turning back, her small smile still plastered on her lips, "I'm heading back. Coming?"

"Maybe later," his grin grew bigger as he saw his target retreated with her back towards him. 'Perfect.' His hand stilled, and like a trained professional snowball pitcher, he quickly took aim and...

"Damn!" Zero exclaimed with genuine surprise when he saw the stream of white flashed past where Yuki had been standing until the girl decided to skip into safety among the bushes as if she had predicted that would be happening. 'She knew,' Zero thought, now even happier with the knowledge of a decent competitor who was willing to play the game. And thus, a fierce snowball fight began.

Dodging and hiding behind bare trunks of leafless trees, rolling on the ground to escape further attacks from either side and firing back relentlessly took energy away from the two youngsters. But with both of them still standing and neither one nor the other willing to back down, the two fighters would not stop until one or the other admit defeat. And knowing each other quite well, neither Zero nor Yuki were suspected to give up anytime soon. Before long, Yuki found herself safely concealed behind a thick trunk, her breaths short and puffs of white came out in irregular patterns. Her cheeks were flushed slightly because of the agitated movements and the tips of her cinnamon brown locks were dripping icy water from melted snow. She shuddered when a droplet of water slide down her back as she tried to ignore the alien cold.

A snowball was held securely in each of her small hand as she slid down against the rough bark of the trunk, her eyes closing as she caught her breathes back into their regular rate. She had no idea how much time had passed – it could've been minutes, but it certainly felt way longer than that – and apparently, that was the last thing on Yuki's mind right now. At this moment, she just wanted to end this stupid game so she can go back inside because if she were to stay outside any moment longer, the problem of frostbite would come sooner or later though she definitely preferred never.

When she opened her eyes again, they widened just a bit as she realized she would never be able to run away from him now. It was useless to move and her body didn't seem to be responding properly anyway so Yuki was unable to make her legs budge as if someone had shut down all the switches of her natural instincts. Before anything made sense to her suddenly muddled mind, she found herself lying on the ice cold ground; soft snow lightened the impact of her fall.

As sudden as she had made contact with the unpleasantly cold ground, an idea bloomed in Yuki's mind. She internally smirked, but careful in not showing it externally as she continued to lay motionless on the snow. It was not the most comfortable place to be lying on, and it was not the warmest piece of land ever, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

"Aw come on! You're giving up already?" Zero shouted from a distance. When he didn't get a retorted reply back, like he had fully expected, he rolled his eyes. "Get up already, Yuki!" Still, no movement of any sort came from the girl lying on the ground, nor did any noise reach his ears. He took a few careful steps towards the immobile body and with some gap in between, the pale-eyed male tried again, "It's not funny. I know you're not dead so stop joking around." He inched closer still, near enough to see that she was still breathing, but only very faintly, as a weak snake of smoke curled from her slightly parted lips. Now at least Zero knew he didn't kill his partner guardian with a snowball but from the looks of it, she seemed to have fainted, but from what... Zero had no way to tell.

'Is it the cold? Or maybe I hit her in the head,' Zero now thought in tiny drops of anxiety. Kiryu Zero was never the frantic type of person; he didn't loose his cool easily. But then again, there was someone who would cause him the most worry and trigger out the emotions from his seemingly frozen heart. Only she would have the flames powerful enough to stand up to his remarks and attitudes, and to melt down his barriers of cold ice that guard him internally. No one should be able to detect what he thought – he wouldn't allow it because it was dangerous, and he was, in so many ways, used to it being the way it was. But Kurosu Yuki came along – she was so gentle with him when they first met after Headmaster Kurosu took him under his care, as if he were made of delicate glass, and she spoke so softly, like a caress that soothed his young, aching heart that had just been broken by the loss of his family.

Zero had treated her like a sister, a friend, but he guiltily realized that he had never been able to open up himself to her as a true brother would. He realized that it was probably because he didn't want her simply to be just a friend – he wanted something more. And then the contradicting feeling of guilt would kick in, stopping him from telling her how he felt. The realization of himself turning into a vampire didn't make his life any easier; the constant crave for her blood, as well as for her company, scared him – he was afraid that he might lose control one day and lose her. He didn't want that.

He could never live with that.

It was better to leave things the way it was right now. He would rather keep it like this – the perfect image of friendship. Anything across the border would threaten the state of Zero's internal peace. Heck, even now, he was having an inner struggle just by being with her all alone.

Zero ventured before Yuki's awkwardly stretched out position. Softly, he kneeled down on the ground, his fingers found their ways automatically to her locks, cold and wet, that had plastered on her cheeks. He gently lifted the locks and brushed them carefully behind her ear, and called out softly, "All right, Yuki. You win. Now will you please get up?" Still, no reaction of any kind came from the dark-haired female. He unconsciously leaned closer.

But before he could do anything else, he felt an abrupt, fierce tuck on his coat sleeve and when he finally realized what the hell just happened, he was already flipped on to his back, his heart beating at an abnormally quick pace. He opened his eyes, revealing his surprised iron-toned orbs and found a grinning Yuki hovering above him, her eyes sparkling brightly with a victorious glint.

"I've got you now," she announced, a bit breathlessly as if she had just finished running a marathon.

"No, you haven't," Zero disagreed with a tiny shake of his head and a small grin on his face. Calmly, as if this was a thing he did every day, he placed his hands on her slim waist. The next thing she knew, Yuki was the one laying on the ground once more, with a very amused Zero on top of her with his strong arms supporting himself at either side of her head and knees on the side of her legs to trap the poor girl down. "Now, I've got you."

"Hey! No fair!"

"Oh, look who's talking?" He leaned closer to her face, with her pouting expression respectfully in place and his own smirk secured on his lips. There were only a few meager centimeters that separated them, and Yuki was suddenly very aware of this fact. Her already flushed face became even redder, if it was still possible, as her heart worked harder than ever to pump blood up to her cheeks, leaving her feeling uncomfortably hot with the thick clothing, and the stare that Zero was giving her wasn't helping matters either.

Apparently, Zero had noticed the change of her body temperature as well, but he was reacting a little differently to this knowledge. Something deep within him, familiar yet fearful, thrilling yet hated – the beast – was aroused from its deep sleep to consciousness by the promising scent of blood. He gasped, feeling its presence stirring restlessly and ready to take over his conscience. He would not let that happen. He simply could not allow it to happen. His hands that were situated near her head turned to fists, his knuckles becoming ghostly white with pressure and his eyes were squeezed tight.

His whole frame was shuddering, as if he was suddenly feeling very cold, but it was quite the opposite in reality. Zero could feel the white, blinding heat as the beast tried to claw its way out of his humanity, scratching and cutting undetectable cuts and torturing him to get what it desired. With difficulty, he opened his eyes again, and Yuki gave a small, breathy gasp which didn't really help Zero to calm his senses down at all – his irises had been tainted with the terrifyingly beautiful tint of rose red and their usual metallic cold tone was washed away to nothingness.

"Zero..." it was an airy whisper but it was carried into Zero's ears no less, and the tone of her voice, though deciphered to be confused and lost, was nevertheless a comfort to his rousing spirit. That soft voice tamed the monster within him and calmed it down if only for the tiniest moment, but it was enough to keep Zero's eager fangs away from her neck, which had appeared to be a very alluring option to him a few seconds before she spoke his name.

'I can't,' he told himself as he looked into Yuki's warm, chocolate brown eyes, which, instead of what a human being with a normal common sense should feel, held something Zero thought he could never deserve – pity for his painful thirst, kindness for his violent past, and something else... 'I can't hurt her.'

And he could, and should, never cross the line.

"Zero, what – " She was abruptly cut off in her words when she felt his warm, faintly shivering lips covering hers, and his silvery locks brushing softly against her heated skin. Upon the swiftness of this contact, Yuki was a bit shocked to say the least, and she didn't know whether to push him away or just let him have his way. Somehow, Yuki thought she should be disgusted with herself. No, it wasn't the fact that he was a vampire. She had gotten over that fact a long while ago and she knew that if there were times he could still control himself, Zero would never allow himself to become one of those monsters who mindlessly feed on human blood. So that wasn't where the problem was coming from. It was the fact that Zero was a friend that was making her hesitate; she was pretty sure that a lip-lock between two best friends was not a normal way to show their friendship.

Zero knew he had just crossed the line he had drawn for himself. The moment he had tasted of her lips, everything was thrown into the back of his mind, and nothing was to be remembered – the border, the warnings, everything he had put up before to protect himself from falling into this deep end had failed themselves and were now labeled as 'bullshit' in the back of his mind.

As the warmth of her lips traveled across his skin and racing deeper still, Zero could feel the thirst slowly dying down, gradually disintegrating by the invisible path of flames that rushed to every part of his body as fast as the blood stream could carry it. Noiselessly, he poised himself up a bit, giving the two a chance to take in the much-needed oxygen supply. He closed his eyes softly in relief and when he opened them again, Yuki was glad to see the familiar icy metallic orbs back in place, though something had changed as well.

Instead of the usual hardened, sharp, emotionless stare, his irises were now of molten drops of silver, shimmering with a gentler and softer light.

Some distance away, bells trampled upon silence of the white, which also pulled the two out of the dreamy trance they had been experiencing during the unscheduled kiss. Zero, as he had just realized how close they had been, quickly shot up as if lightning had strike him, and he looked away to the source of the harsh, piercing sound the bells were producing. Yuki also stood up quickly, her face tinted cherry red as realization dawned upon her. The chimes echoed, and she muttered a silent, "shoot!"

Zero turned to her, this time with his usual smart-aleck kind of grin, "you better run if you want to make it on time. Oh wait. That was actually the last morning class bell." Anything that was causing her cheeks to remotely heat up a few moments before was replaced by new grumbles of annoyance as she swiftly took off.

"I'll get back to you later, Kiryu Zero!" were her words before she was swallowed up by the trees that bordered the school buildings.

"I would love to see you try." Zero followed her footsteps, but in a very relaxed pace. Hey, he wasn't in a hurry there as he relived the short-lived moment in his mind's eye while at the same time trying to stop himself thinking such tempting thoughts. Maybe he should just walk faster so there was less time for him to let dangerous thoughts have a chance for a visit.

But then again, to be late was always a tinge better than just entirely not showing up at all.


Ryuko: Consider this a little Christmas gift for people who have happened to stumble upon this. Merry Christmas, everyone!