Beginning Note: I am a bad person for doing this before updating everything else, but I just read a few other Vampire Knight stories, which adds to my every growing vampire need. I'm a big fan of such horror. Which is weird because I'm a scardy cat, but enough about me. I've been dying to do a one-shot with the title Watch Over Me. I had a few ideas of stories with Hana Yori Dango, Kaze Hikaru, and Fruits Basket, but since I'm in my vamp mood, VK it is. I hope you like it… It's kind of on a whim that I wrote this. Read and review please!

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters... No matter how sexy –cough Zero cough- may be. They are the rightful property of Matsuri Hino. I got the dialogue from my scanalations, so I give credit to whoever translated these (meaning not me).

IMPORTANT!! READ!!! A/N: To clear up any confusion that might occur, which I know there will be, the POV's change. They change kind of without warning, but I tried to make a smooth transition. The easiest way to tell the difference is the way Yuuki and Zero refer to Kaname. Zero calls him Kuran, while Yuuki calls him Kaname. I'm sorry if this is really confusing. If too many people are confused, I'll repost this story with breaks.

Spoiler Alert: I figure that I should warn you now before I get hate mail for ruining a good story. I'll be clear. This one-shot covers Chapters 1-24, volumes 1-5, with some exclusions. If there are any discrepancies with the story, they are either my own doing or stupid mistakes. I'm following the scanalations that I have, so I will try to do my best! (-hack ZeroxYuuki forever hack - Who said that??)

He had always watched over her. Now it was her turn or at least that is how it seemed in his eyes. He never realized that she had always been watching over him… From the very first moment they had met. Watch Over Me

It wasn't the first time she had been bitten. Only a few days earlier, Aidou had bitten her. It had hurt, yes, but this was different. This wasn't someone who she had already known to be a vampire.

This was Zero.

This was someone she had spent the last four years with. Someone she trusted, laughed with, fought with. Someone who's past was bloody and tragic, just as hers seemed to be, not that she could remember.

But the same could be said for Kaname. He had shared many of the same things with her for an even longer period of time. Kaname had never bitten her or ever tried to, at least to her knowledge.

But this was not Kaname.

This was Zero.

The person who watched over her every move as she did his, even when she was unaware. The person who was now hungrily drinking from her neck, whose tongue had caressed the tender, white skin of her fragile neck, whose strong hands prevented her from moving.

It hurt. She would be lying if she were to say otherwise. It hurt her not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally. She was confused. To hear him suck greedily from her neck made her faint and lightheaded. The blood that dripped down her neck made her shiver.

"Zero?"

She wanted him to stop. She knew if this went to far, she would die. She started to struggle for the first time.

This was Zero.

He would stop for her.

"NO!"

The bloodlust she saw in his eyes when she pulled away was almost too much for her to bear. Those eyes were far from the haunted eyes she was used to. But instead of the bloodlust being a hungry thirst for her deliciously sweet blood, it was an apologetic bloodlust. It was apparent to her that he wanted her blood, but he didn't want to want her blood. The internal struggle she saw in his eyes shattered her heart into tiny pieces.

"Yuu…ki… I'm sorry."

Her Zero was a broken man.

She should have been frightened beyond words. Most people would have been. He took a step forward, seeming unsure of what to do. What could he do? She took a step back unconsciously and then realized her mistake. Zero looked down at the floor, but not before she saw the hurt in his eyes. Silence stretched between them, more fragile than a wisp of smoke in the wind.

She felt ashamed.

This was Zero.

She wasn't afraid of him. She pitied him. The desperation and distress that he fostered in his eyes made her want to cry. She wanted to reach out and embrace him. To tell him that it was okay. That she forgave him for what he had done.

"Yuuki?"

Kaname's voice. His light footsteps came up the steps. She didn't want him to see this. Zero covered in her blood and the white, crisp collar of her uniform, turned crimson because of Zero's violation. But she couldn't do anything. She could only stand at the stairs and watch him slowly, but gracefully make his way up to her and Zero.

Seeing the bewildered expression on her face made the vampire move up the stairs faster and to her side. She was thrust behind him, his body a shield from the ferocious Zero. He looked at the blood-covered Zero condescendingly. His voice held venom as he berated him, calling him a beast.

Kaname didn't like Zero and Zero didn't like Kaname. It had always been like that, from the day the two had met. Nothing would ever change it. Zero was aware of Yuuki's feelings for the vampire lord and the feelings the vampire harbored for her. Kaname was likewise attuned to Zero's feelings. The object of their affections was unaware.

Panic rippled through her mind. Kaname would kill Zero. She knew he could. She had seen him do it before. It was one of her first memories. The red of the snow and the sharp, gleaming fangs of the blood-crazed vampire came rushing back. The splash of blood from the gaping head wound Kaname had inflicted. The coppery smell of blood flooded her nose, past and present combined. Kaname could kill without regret or hesitation. His harsh words echoed through her head.

You're a disgrace to all vampires.

He would kill him. It would be as simple as crushing an egg to him. She couldn't let him do it.

This was Zero.

"Don't, Kaname!"

To Zero, it was the first step that she took in becoming his protector and guardian. To Kaname, it was the first step she took in becoming further away from him and closer to the one he only tolerated because of her. To Yuuki, it was doing what she always though she did. She was protecting those dear to her.

She buckled into Zero's arms. Blood loss made her dizzy and weak. Through her blurry vision, she was able to see the shock and horror on his face. She wanted to tell him that she was okay. That he didn't need to feel that way. But she couldn't. Kaname was there to pull her out of Zero's arms and into his own. Her mind was fuzzy.

This was Zero.

How was he a vampire?

How did Kaname already know?

The Chairman appeared on the stairs. He looked at Kaname.

"Chairman…"

"Yes. I know"

He had known too.

She was the only one who hadn't realized it. How could she have been so blind? Zero was paler than normal. It was like he had returned to the day of his arrival, four years ago. She had even found the BLIXXV06ε blood tablets in the bathroom on St. Xocolatl's Day. They had no reason to be there. Unless someone was using them. He had even told her to stay away.

In the infirmary, Kaname inspected her wound, despite her protests. She sensed that he was angry. Zero had bitten her deeply.

"Does it hurt?"

Tears ran unchecked down her alabaster cheeks. Surprised, she touched the wetness. The abrasion didn't hurt anymore nor was she afraid. Pain such as that eventually went away. But her heart did hurt. That took longer to disappear.

Zero didn't tell her. That hurt more than any physical wound could. The look in his eyes haunted her. He seemed to have been pleading with her. Seeming to ask forgiveness for not sharing his secret and for the heinous act he committed against her.

The Chairman came in, sending Kaname back to his class. She couldn't blame him for keeping such a secret from her, even as he apologized to her. Just because he was a surrogate father didn't mean he was obligated to share everything with her, though he normally did.

He told her why. Zero was bitten four years ago. By a pureblood, like Kaname. She shivered slightly. Did this mean she too was to become a vampire?

Placing a gloved finger on her throat, the Chairman assured her she was safe. Despite the reassurance, she was still full of confusion and pain.

How could Zero have kept it to himself? After four years, he should have been able to trust her.

But Zero hated vampires. They had taken his family away from him. He wanted to kill each and every one of them.

He hated himself.

All those years he wanted to end his life.

It would have been easy, but he fought it. The natural instinct to become a vampire and Zero's desire to maintain his human instincts. The internal struggle must have ripped him apart.

That was what she thought as she walked to his room the next day.

Zero was a fighter. He wouldn't give up so easily.

That is what she thought until she saw the Bloody Rose pressed against his temple. The vampire killer that the Chairman had issued him when they both had become members of the disciplinary committee.

How could he think of that? Panic made her run to him and push him to the bed. He had been serious. She knew that. The safety was off. He intended to end his pitiful existence.

He hated himself and what he had become.

He hated something that he had no control over.

He was going to leave her. Whether it was by killing himself or leaving through the gates of the academy with the bag sitting on the floor. He got up and left the room. Leaving her behind. It was for good. That's what the look on his face told her.

She could just let him walk out. It would be easy. She could watch his back fade into the distance and she could go back into the academy as if nothing had happened. But she couldn't. Not after everything they had been through together. She wasn't going to let him give up so easily. It wasn't what Kiryuu Zero or she did.

Bloody Rose was heavier than she could ever imagine as she haphazardly ran to the gates. She raised the gun and pointed it at Zero's retreating back with shaking hands. She wouldn't let him leave. If he did leave, she didn't know what she would do.

He told her to kill him. The trigger was slick in her grip. It wasn't hard to just pull and save Zero from causing himself and others pain. But then what about her pain? What about how she felt? He wouldn't get away with it.

Her warm body pressing against his back jolted him. Her breath was hot and labored. He knows she's suffering. He could push her away and tell her to go back to the Chairman and Kuran Kaname. That would be the right thing to do. But her next words make him stop.

"If you want me to stop you, I will stop you."

Those words pierce through his heart, and emotions that he had been avoiding for years flooded throughout his body. He wanted to stay. Not for himself, but for the person hugging him tightly, promising to pull the trigger of Bloody Rose when the time for him to die came. He wanted to protect her and his love for her. He wanted to keep Kuran from the thing that he desired the most.

It was selfish of him.

But everyone is selfish.

Why should it be any different for him?

He knew that Kuran would be watching from his room. He would deny him his prize. Yuuki was his and his alone. The vampire lord had no claim over her. He let Yuuki take his hand and lead him back into the academy grounds.

He would choose to be selfish.

He had always watched over her. Now it was her turn or at least that is how it seemed in his eyes. He never realized that she had always been watching over him… From the very first moment they had met.

He remembered that first night. She was cautious and rightly so. He knew his fate. He wanted to kill anyone who was near him. She was different. She may have been cautious with him, but she unbelievably gentle. It warmed his cold, aching heart.

Even when he found out about Kuran.

He wouldn't talk to her, but that didn't stop him from falling in love with her anyway. She tried to make him understand. She wanted him to understand that some vampires were pacifists. It was an alien idea, but when she spoke about it, it made him want to change his views, if not for the bitterness that he felt.

He knew that she would do whatever she could to save him. She wanted to take his pain away, which was very clear. She would defy anyone in any way she could.

When his body rejected the blood tablets and his insatiable thirst almost drove him mad, she had been there. Even as she struggled against him in the cold water. It was to protect him from becoming the monster he feared he would become. He had wanted her blood, but she stopped him. She stopped him from being the beast that Kuran told him he was.

She held fast after the first shot from Yagari Touga's gun.

"But who are you to determine his life or death?"

She moved in front of Zero, shielding him from the vampire hunter. He wanted to push her away, just as he had the day he wanted to leave. He wanted to protect her from his teacher. He knew the gruff man would not hesitate.

"I won't let Zero die!"

Those words brought him to his senses. He pushed her away.

"Enough."

He needed to face his former teacher. The hostile look that she gave his teacher made him want to laugh, but he couldn't. She held so much fierceness for someone so small.

His teacher told her he was doing it for her benefit. He wanted to believe that this was the best thing. She would be safe if she stayed away from him. As she moved away from the two and past the Chairman, he looked down at the ground. He didn't want her to see the shame in his eyes. But his body called out for her desperately. The call went unnoticed.

She walked back to her dorm, not looking back once.

She knew she would be left out again. It was not her place to be with him, the hunter, and the Chairman. She needed to be there with him. Every nerve in her body told her that the hunter would kill him. She couldn't let that happen. That was her job and her job alone. She wasn't going to share that responsibility with anyone.

The look that he had on his face when she left plagued her dreams. So did his words.

Enough.

The desire to help him was so strong that her body threatened to fly apart. She could do nothing more than sit her dorm and cry for him.

He didn't come back to classes. She was left to deal with the rowdy Day class girls by herself. It didn't matter. She was able to keep them in line without him. But she missed his presence. She could feel Kaname's gaze at the back of her neck, looking for more puncture wounds. She knew he wanted an excuse to kill him no matter how much she wanted to deny it.

She needed to see him. She was afraid for him. Even as the hunter told her he was fine. She knew he wasn't.

He had given up again. She could see it in every line of his body when he answered the door. He turned away. He was ashamed. She could understand why, but he didn't need to feel that way.

Even as he explained why his teacher would kill him, she protested.

"You want to give up on everything… everything you possess."

He looked away and she knew it was true.

What about me? Will you give up on me?

He had left her Bloody Rose. It was her responsibility. She told him he couldn't leave her.

This was Zero.

Her heart beat painfully. He wouldn't look at her. He was resisting her because of his need for blood. She understood the reason. She took his hand and led him to the bathroom. This was the only way she could help. She offered herself to him.

"What are you saying?"

She had confused him. She would sacrifice her blood to him. This would save him. They both knew it.

He wouldn't be able to forgive himself.

Yet it was her choice.

She was saving him and it broke down his will. He apologized. It was the same as the first night. The only difference was this blood was given freely.

"Let us do something unforgivable."

Those whispered words made him tremble. She didn't notice. As he drank, he hand gripped the back of her shirt, her body pressed dangerously close to his. This was the only way he'd be able to hold her.

He wanted to hate the way she looked at him so calmly and asked if he was okay. After his heinous violation. But he couldn't. There was nothing that she could do to make him hate her. He hated himself and he told her that. He knew that she realized that, but he wanted to confirm it. He wanted her to not just assume that he had given up. He had given up.

She accepted it with that same calm. Even when he asked if it was okay to hate her. She was okay. She always was. She laughed and asked if he would come to school as if nothing had happened.

She knew they had to be careful. What they were doing was sinful. She knew that and he knew that, but it wouldn't stop them. Not even Kaname would.

She still didn't want him to see her with bite marks. She knew that he probably figured out what they were doing when she saw him later that night. It wouldn't surprise her. He knew many things like that. Even as she walked away from him, she realized that her feelings for him were slipping away.

He didn't come to school the next day. She didn't realize the danger of it right away. When it hit her, she ran faster than she ever had in her entire life. She was going to save him from the hunter. It was her job as his protector. Nothing would happen to him while she was still breathing.

Seeing him staring down the barrel of Bloody Rose like he had accepted his fate, made her blood run cold. The hunter wouldn't pause to kill a vampire. It was what he was trained to do. The trigger pulled back and the gun went off.

Her eyes were closed tightly. She was afraid to open them. To see him slumped on the ground, dead. It would have torn her apart. Her voice was stuck in her throat. She was unable to scream.

The hunter spoke and she opened her eyes.

He wasn't dead.

The look of anguish on his face told her that he didn't want to die but he felt that he deserved it. She disagreed. No one deserved to die, especially not him.

The hunter turned his back on him.

"Don't run away."

This was Zero.

He wouldn't run away. Not anymore. He had stared death in the face and had chosen life. She knew he wouldn't run away, but she also knew that he wouldn't forgive himself so easily.

He came back to class the next day. She followed him to the shooting range and watched him practice. He was the same abrupt person he had been before that day he first took her blood. She didn't notice him looking at her, eyes emotionless.

He knew that she still had lingering feelings for Kuran. The bandage around her neck gave him to perfect opportunity to push her away. It would make her angry. He knew that. And he succeeded. She yelled at him and ran away.

He was angry with himself. But this was the best way. He lifted Bloody Rose and took aim, imagining that it was Kuran's head. He fired, hitting the paper target in the center of the forehead. One day, when he got the chance, he would do the exact same thing to Kuran and he would finally claim Yuuki as his own.

She was furious at him. He knew exactly what buttons to push after four years of being together. No one but herself could analyze her relationship with Kaname. He was among her first memories. He was dear to her. She now realized that there was a line that she would never be able to cross. Kaname's inability to accept Zero pulled at her heart.

He had said she wanted Kaname to drink her blood. But he was wrong. It was true she knew a side of Kaname that others did not, but there was still that line. Aidou had told her that she was Kaname's property and that she would be in ecstasy when the vampire lord finally came to attain his prize.

They were both wrong.

If she had wanted Kaname to drink from her, she would have offered herself to him.

She didn't.

She chose another.

She chose Zero.

She had promised when they were younger that she would always be by his side. No matter what.

Her feelings for Kaname were fading. She knew that, and she was pretty sure that Kaname knew that too. It had been different when she was small. He was her idol. He had saved her. It was only natural that she felt that way towards him. Right?

That is what she thought as she fell asleep waiting for Zero to get out of the Chairman's bathroom.

That's how he found her. Fast asleep. He tried to wake her up, but it didn't work. She muttered the name of the one person he hated almost as much as the woman who killed his family.

The steady beat of the vein in her neck called to him. It was hard for him to resist. But he had to control himself. If he didn't, he would kill her. He couldn't do that.

He collapsed and looked up. Kuran was there. The familiar smug smile pasted onto his features. He hated the smile. He knew that Kuran was manipulative. He would one day betray Yuuki. He could feel it down to the deepest marrow of his bones.

Kuran would mock him until he finally digressed into a monster.

Until that day, he would fight him.

He was to be her protector. That's what the vampire lord told him. That was the only reason why he was living, according to Kuran.

He didn't need to be told twice that he had to protect her. He already knew that.

And he would do his duty until she put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.

When the new student, Kuranai Maria joined the Night class, he knew he had to be even more protective of Yuuki. She trusted too easily.

Something was wrong with the student. He was reminded of the woman who had murdered his family. They had the same smell and eerie presence. He needed to know more about her.

As much as he hated vampires, he went to Aidou. The childish vampire had a habit of obtaining information that others could not. Yet there was nothing but a distant relation to tie the new student and that woman together. Aidou was no help with the exception of a cryptic message of bloody bonds.

The idea of sharing a bond with that woman made him feel sick. He couldn't tell her. It would make her worry more than she already did. When he went to the Chairman's rooms that night, he didn't let on how he felt. All he could do was think of her safety, nothing more.

If she got close to the new student, something bad would happen. Kuranai was too much like that woman to just be connected by a distant relation.

But no matter how much he tried to hide it, she could still pick up that he was uneasy. While he was tutoring her, they observed each other out of the corner of their eyes without the other realizing it.

She wanted to know what was wrong with him. He watched her rise from her seat to get them coffee and he couldn't contain himself. He moved from his seat and grasped her tiny hands with his big ones.

He was playing a dangerous game by doing this. He knew that like he knew the back of his hand.

He startled her. She couldn't figure out why he was so quiet and then all of sudden he was holding her in place. But he wouldn't tell her what was wrong.

"Because Yuuki was there, I might have been able to live on."

He let her go and got his coat. She looked at him questioningly, but she had a feeling that he wasn't going to tell her anything. He told her not to forget what he taught her and left.

What did he mean when he said that? He was acting strange and she couldn't figure out why.

She ran after him.

What she saw made the blood freeze in her veins. He was with Maria, Bloody Rose pointed at her head. That isn't what made her frightened.

"No matter how I may look, you are so good, Zero… That you recognize me… The one who took your life as a 'human…'"

It was the fact that Maria was that woman. Hiou Shizuka. The woman who killed Zero's family.

"That's right. I never forget."

The tone of his voice made her shiver. She had heard Zero's voice in all his different moods, but she had never heard a tone like this. His voice was so full of hatred and anger and she felt as if she was going to break apart under the pressure he exerted.

This was Zero's vampire hunter self.

The air was dangerous. Maria… no. Shizuka was going to make her move at any moment. Sweat trickled down both his spine as well as hers. She wasn't the one about the fight, but that didn't relieve the tension that she felt in every line of her body.

He raised his gun as a sword fell from nowhere. Shizuka swiftly, but gracefully pulled the sword from its sheath and lunged for him. He blocked her swing with Bloody Rose. He looked away from the vampire girl's borrowed body when he thought he heard Yuuki call for him.

It was a mistake and he knew that. The thought of her in danger didn't let him exercise his better judgment. Shizuka's sword pushed away the gun and sliced at his chest. He fired a shot as blood dripped from his wound and collapsed to the ground. He only hoped that she wasn't really there as he watched that woman walk away from him. His vision went black.

She jolted awake, terrified. She broke out in a cold sweat, hair sticking to the back of her neck. Where was she? From the sounds of deep and steady breathing around her, it appeared she was in her dorm. But how did she get there?

She was trying to run to Zero but strong, cold hands pulled her back.

Zero!

She didn't know if he was okay. But he was strong. He wouldn't be defeated so easily. Shizuka was using a borrowed body, so she couldn't use her full potential. He was safe.

This was Zero.

That is what would have happened. She couldn't remember how she got to her dorm or why she was still fully dressed. The last thing she could remember was Zero helping her with exams. After that, her mind was blank. Something wasn't right.

She was forgetting something important…

He missed the final exams. She didn't understand why. During the entire testing period, she though about him. She was worried. What if he was in agony because he needed blood? But she couldn't get up in the middle of exams to go to him.

The class president reprimanded her for failing all her exams and causing the class to do dance preparations. She knew she would. She was too absorbed with thoughts of last night. How she had woken up back in her dorm and how she was still fully dressed. What had happened after Zero had acted weird?

Maria was by the school when she was supposed to be in the Moon Dorm. She froze.

Now she remembered what happened.

Maria wasn't Maria. She was Shizuka. She was the enemy. The one who caused him pain. He had been right when he told her to stay away from him. She was dangerous.

Shizuka smiled at her. It wasn't a nice smile and it made her want to hide in the safety of someone's arms. That smile proved that Shizuka was insane. And all she did was talk about the night's dance as if nothing had happened.

"Don't play innocent."

Shizuka hurt him. She could feel it. But the vampire assured her that he was safe. And that she knew away Zero could be saved. She couldn't trust her, but she had no choice. She had to trust her. She made a deal with Shizuka. It was like making a deal with the devil.

She wanted to find him, but didn't know if she should. She wandered towards the dance preparations and a few minutes later, he appeared. He was pale and breathing heavy, shirt scarlet and stiff with blood.

His blood.

He was looking for the woman in her false skin. He threw open double doors down the hallway, searching. She followed him, worried and bewildered. She wanted to know where the blood had come from. Was it really his?

"Weren't you there last night?"

"Where's 'there?'"

He just looked at her and told her to stay away from the new student again and avoided her questions as well as her eyes. He was pushing her away again. It was something she hated. He knew that, yet he continued to do it. She couldn't understand why. Didn't he realize how much she cared about him?

She shut the doors, cutting off the noises down the hall. She again offered herself to him, moving her hair out of the way. She would do anything for him. She wanted him to see that.

He grabbed her wrists, sliding his hands up her arms to pin them to the door above her head. He wasn't faltering for the first time since they had begun their journey of becoming unforgivable. He ran his tongue up the curve of her neck, before he bit. This was the only way he would be able to be intimate with her. It was his excuse.

In these small, fleeting moments, he was able to lose himself in her scent and her taste. He had one thing that Kuran did not, and it was this feeling. He could feel her blush and could hear the beating of her heart speed up. He told himself that these were symptoms of fear. Yet a small part of him hoped she was feeling the same rapture as he did.

"What… does it taste like taste like, Zero…?"

He winced internally. She always knew how to bring him to his senses before he became too lost in his delusions. He knew that she was only curious, but he wasn't going to indulge her. His goal was to distance himself from her, though she wasn't making it any easier. He pulled away and glared at her, reprimanding her. Telling her as harshly as he could that if had nothing to do with her.

The hurt he saw in her eyes made him feel disgusting. But he reassured himself, for what seemed like the hundredth time, that it was for her sake.

It didn't help that he already felt repulsive. That woman had touched him, wounded him. Mocked him for not being able to kill her. His creator.

The best thing to do was to be abrasive and keep her at a distance.

He leaned down and lapped the blood from her neck before drinking again.

Once he had his fill, he pushed her away. He left her standing there, her hand pressed against her neck. He wiped his mouth to get rid of any trace of blood.

He hoped one day that she would forgive him.

She watched him rub every trace of their sin away and walk off. He was always leaving her behind. She pulled a roll of bandages from her pocket and began wrapping her neck. It was almost time for the dance to start. She had to go get ready.

Her reflection looked pale in the mirror she was using to adjust her uniform. She didn't know whether it was from his drinking or the way he had treated her. She leaned forward and rested her forehead on the cool glass. Why was she feeling so conflicted?

Her friend Yori walked in with a box and handed it to her. It was from Kaname. She read the note and blushed slightly. She opened the box and gazed at its contents. What was Kaname implying and what did he want from her?

She was late. He stood there waiting for her. With nothing to distract him, his mind wandered to Shizuka… And how he could only calm down after having Yuuki's blood. Was he really becoming the animal Kuran said he was?

The Chairman surprised him, thanking him for monitoring the dance and asking why Kurenai was becoming too hard to handle. The man was dense it his eyes. It was that or the Chairman just pretended that nothing ever went on. Sneaky man.

She finally showed up, dressed beautifully. He had never seen that dress before. He stared at her, drinking her image in hungrily. There was no such thing as perfection, but she came pretty damn close. She smiled at the two of them and indulged the Chairman by promising to dance later. He felt a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, but stopped himself. He had to be cold and distant.

She was giddy and it was amusing to watch her. But what bothered him was that he remembered her saying that she wasn't all that excited about the dance. He told her that and she stopped chatting happily to stare at him.

She turned away from him.

"Did I?"

She walked away from him, the air around her becoming heavy and depressing. He had succeeded at pushing her away again.

The heavy aura that surrounded her became less and less as the evening wore on. Even if she had said that she hadn't been looking forward to the dance, it was obvious that she was enjoying herself despite their Disciplinary Committee duties. While he wouldn't enjoy himself dancing and such, he would enjoy watching her and every move that she made.

She suddenly turned to him, startling him. She scolded him for not being neat, especially since the he was a member of the Disciplinary Committee and this was a formal dance. She started fussing with his mess uniform. Embarrassed, he fixed his tie as she finished. Taking the rose from the ribbon around her neck, she placed it in his lapel pocket.

Why was she doing this? Her being this close and touching him like this made him go insane. Again, he wanted a reason to hate her, but he just couldn't bring himself to feel like that towards her. It frustrated him. It was easier to hate than the actually think about the real emotions that he was feeling.

He didn't want to think about love. He was too disgusting to love someone like her. He looked down at her.

"I don't get it… Why can you always keep smiling?"

"I think that's probably because, Zero, I want you to smile."

She was too nice to him. Too forgiving. Too understanding. He didn't deserve to be treated the way he was being treated. She should have killed him when she had the chance the first time. It would have saved him the agony of wanting to live. Wanting to protect her from the manipulative vampire lord that she was heading towards. Wanting to love her.

She walked towards the terrace. Kaname was there, waiting. Everything she wanted to say raced through her head. She realized now who had altered her memory. Kaname was the one who made her forget. She couldn't figure out why. If it didn't hurt enough that Kaname didn't accept him, the vampire lord erasing her memory hurt even more.

She was gradually coming to accept the fact that she didn't feel the same towards her idol anymore. She knew it was bound to happen. It was hard to remain faithful when she was sinning with him. She knew that Kaname recognized what they were doing. He was far from stupid.

She bowed, thanking him for the dress. He smiled his charming smile at her, causing her to redden. Just because she didn't love Kaname anymore, didn't mean that he wasn't able to flatter her.

In return for the dress, she started to dance with him. She could feel Zero's eyes watching her every move from the other side of the hall. He was always watching over her.

Seeing Kuran's arm around her waist made him unbelievably angry. He wanted to hurt the smug Kuran with every fiber of his being. He was toying with her and she didn't realize it. Yet, even as he continued to hate what Kuran was doing, he was jealous of him. He wanted to be in that situation. Dancing with her without anything troubling him.

Another fleeting fantasy.

Kaname missed the beat, confusing her. She looked at him and he smiled down at her. He wanted to dance as they had in the past. Slowly. Suspended in time. She had to say it now. She confronted him about treating her as the child that she used to be. Kaname denied it. She had a feeling that he would. He had kept her from where she needed to be. It was her job to protect Zero. He had interfered. She told him that he treated her as if she couldn't handle herself. The vampire lord pulled her close, startling her.

"No. I'm not treating you like a child. I just wanted to protect you."

She pushed him away. He had interfered with her duty and that was unacceptable.

"I'm sorry."

She turned and ran off the terrace into the dark.

She couldn't deny the fact Kaname was different from the person she thought she knew. Just as she couldn't deny the fact that her feelings had changed. She had chosen and she knew that she made the right decision.

She chose Zero. She would keep her promise to him and would complete the deal with Shizuka. Since she couldn't deliver Kaname to that woman, she would do the next best thing.

His heart constricted painfully. He was able to see Kuran embracing her clearly from across the room. While he only had the courage to embrace her while drinking from here, his rival was able to embrace her freely. It was unfair, but life was cruel and he accepted it. Life wasn't doing him any favors and he never counted on it to do it anytime soon.

He looked away. Their intimacy was hard to watch. He was distracted by one of the Day Class girls, the one he had saved from falling on St. Xocolatl's Day. He declined her request to dance politely and scanned the room before bringing his attention back to the terrace.

She was gone.

Kuran was standing alone, looking out into the garden. His heart raced. He hadn't seen her come back into the hall. He would have seen her, no matter how many people were there. He could always find her. Shizuka hadn't come to the dance in her borrowed body. That meant Yuuki was in danger.

Alarm coursed through his body and he quickly moved to the lone vampire on the terrace. Kuran was the reason why she had run off into the night. He wanted to know what happened. The vampire watched him with emotionless eyes and cryptically reiterated his role in her life.

He stared at him for a moment then looked towards the old vampire dorms. He knew now realized why she didn't remember being there last night. Kuran, the bastard that he was, altered her memories, knowing she wanted to help him.

He raced from the dance towards the former dorm building, heart pounding loudly. He needed to reach her. She was with Shizuka. He had to hurry.

He burst into the room he and Shizuka had been in the night before, Bloody Rose out and ready. The blood drained from his face when he saw Shizuka near her neck. Shizuka had shed her false skin and didn't look any different from four years ago. He fought the urge to shoot her on the spot and took a step forward.

She pulled out her weapon and stood in front of the one person he hated most in the world. She was protecting the woman who had ruined his life. Why? How could she? What she said next made him want to burst into laughter.

"That woman… will save me?"

She had a bargain with Shizuka, she told him. If she gave herself to the crazed vampire, he would be allowed to drink his maker's blood, saving him from becoming what he feared. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. She was going to become a vampire for his sake. This is how she was going to save him. It was for him.

She had to get him to back down. To let her blood be taken by his enemy. It was the only thing she could do to save him. He pushed her weapon aside, addressing Shizuka, telling her that he would drink her blood after he had killed her half way. She had to stop him, but she didn't know how. She dropped her weapon and grabbed his gun. She couldn't let him go through with this.

He told her to move, but she wouldn't budge. She wouldn't let him destroy the one chance he had at being saved. He asked her if she wanted to start telling him that vampire killing was wrong.

He didn't understand. She wanted to smack him across the face. That wasn't it. She desperately wanted him to understand. He wouldn't listen. The chime of the bracelet on her wrist brought her to her sense. If she could just get it up to his neck where his tattoo was, she would be able to fulfill her part of the bargain.

She reached, trying to move quickly.

He saw through her actions and grabbed her wrist, holding on tightly. He couldn't understand why she was acting this way. This was his responsibility. He would be unable to live with himself if she became what he was. He didn't want her to know the terrible thirst that he felt or the way he had to control himself all the time. It was pure agony.

He glared at her, but his face softened when he looked at her. She was crying. She was crying for him. No one had ever done that before. Something deep inside him awakened.

"Yuuki…"

Shizuka spoke, but her voice was different. He was frozen in place, unable to do anything, not even release Yuuki's wrist. He struggled, trying to disobey that women's voice, but it was so hard. It drained his strength. Shizuka laughed at him. He had to obey her because she was his creator. That fact was flung into his face as the vampire ordered him to keep her captive.

She struggled in his grip. He needed to let go. She glanced up at him and a jolt went through her. His face was blank, eyes staring down. It looked almost like he was brainwashed. While his face was slack, his grip was not, tightening painfully.

Shizuka was going to do something to him. She flailed, promising to be good while Shizuka drank from her, just as long as nothing happened to him. The woman smiled cruelly at her and grasped his shirt tightly before biting down on his neck.

She couldn't stand to watch it. Shizuka was drinking greedily. She needed to stop the crazed vampire before she hurt him anymore. She shook in his grip, yelling at Shizuka, telling her how cruel she was.

"It is punishment for being tamed by you. Yuuki, you tell me that I'm cruel, but who are you to tell me?"

Shizuka leaned down towards her neck, telling her that she would be tormenting him more than she already was by becoming like him. She smiled sadly, saying that it would be all right if she were with him. At least that was how she felt originally. She hoped with all her heart that he would one day forgive her for what she was about to do. She wanted him to know that.

He watched, paralyzed at first, as Shizuka went to drink from her. Hearing her ask for his forgiveness pulled him from his stupor. Why was she apologizing? It was he who was sinful. If she did this, he wouldn't forgive her. He released her and put his hands to his face, telling her his thoughts.

He hand shot past her face to grip the woman's throat. He faster he killed her, the better off they would be. With Shizuka dead, he would only have to protect her from Kuran and his schemes. That voice started again, immobilizing him. He wasn't able to squeeze his hand to end this torture. Shizuka mocked him, eerily similar to Kuran mocking him. He was weak to them. He would prove them wrong. He had something that he wanted to protect and that made him strong.

He pulled out Bloody Rose and shot himself in the leg. The sharp pain made him break free of his creators hold, enabling him to tighten his grip around her throat.

"Don't you take anything away from me!"

He wouldn't let this woman take anything more that was dear to him. He had promised himself that he would protect her with his last breath. The only way he would stop doing that was when his time to die came. Then he'd calmly let her kill him, rejoicing in the fact she was completely safe now.

He raised his gun and fired. She gripped his gun arm, pleading with him to stop. How could she, after everything this woman had done to her?

The woman laughed maniacally. He would not let her mock him anymore. He wouldn't let her take another drop of blood from him. He wrenched his arm from Yuuki's grip and started firing more shots at the hated woman. She would pay dearly for the pain she caused him. He hit her in the chest and blood began to spread on her kimono.

"I have lived only for this day…"

Shizuka need to hear, not just assume, that in almost every moment of the last four years, he though about his revenge on her. He would prove tonight just how sweet revenge could be.

She flung herself at Zero and clutched his back, hugging him tightly. She was afraid for him. Once he had his revenge, what would he do? She had a feeling that he would leave her, breaking their promise. She hated having to remind him because it tore her heart in a million different pieces. If he was going to die by her hand, she didn't want to have to go looking for him.

He tried to shrug her off, but she held on too tightly. She wanted to know what would happen when the long night finally ended. She wanted to tell him that walking away after killing Shizuka would be taking the easy way out.

The bleeding vampire chuckled and she turned to Shizuka. The woman already knew what he wanted to do. There was a smug smile on Shizuka's face as she told her that he had the desire to die with him.

That couldn't be right. Zero had already started death in the face and chose life. He wouldn't… couldn't back away now. She prayed with all her heart that this shot would be the last.

A katana flew from the shadows, piercing his arm. His eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't flinch. She cried out his name, concerned, while Shizuka merely looking into the shadows from which the blade was born. A man with a mask appeared, chiding the lady vampire for keeping him alive.

He recognized the voice. He had believed that the person before him had died four years ago. He told the masked man just that calling him Ichiru.

Ichiru chuckled, removing his mask and calling him brother. She started. They had the same face. Ichiru was Zero's twin. She didn't know that he used to have a brother, let alone a twin brother. She quietly noted how she was again left out of his life after four years.

His brother turned away, addressing Shizuka, demanding to know why she wouldn't do anything to him. Shizuka turned and started to walk out of the room. He went after her. He wouldn't let her get away, not when he was so close! Ichiru put his arm out and stopped him, scolding him for ignoring someone he hadn't seen in four long years.

He stared at the man in front of him coldly. Brother or not, he was the enemy. Ichiru was the reason he was now a vampire and that their parents were dead. Blood ties meant nothing now.

They had been unbelievably close when they were little. It didn't matter what they did, they were always right next to each other. They had been innocent, studying to become vampire hunters like their parents. But there was an immense difference in their skills. He knew it was true that his skills were superior to Ichiru's, but it had never stopped him from trying to help his brother. He loved him.

They had seen Shizuka before the attack, waiting in the cold and crying. Ichiru couldn't tell that she was a vampire, but he was able to. Later that night, Ichiru left the house angry, and it had confused him. His brother had been acting so strangely, but hadn't told him a thing. It hurt.

The minute his brother left, he could feel Shizuka's attack. His brother had unknowingly handed their entire family to a beast in human form. She bit down on his neck, securing his fate of being damned and he was forced to watch as the lady vampire killed his parents. He saw his brother and told him to run. He had to save him, but he didn't have the strength. He collapsed and blacked out.

Zero glared at Ichiru. He would never be able to forgive the excuse of a man that stood before him. His brother just smiled and walked away.

She stared at his brother's retreating back. They were so similar, yet completely different. He looked so torn, but she was afraid to touch him. Tension surrounded him and there wasn't anything she was able to do. He suddenly ran the way Shizuka had come and she hurried after him.

She almost ran into his back. He was standing in the doorway, but he hadn't drawn Bloody Rose. She peeked around him and gasped. All that was left of Shizuka was a pile of dust. He just stared at it and she put her hand on his arm. He was unable to say anything except that he didn't get to kill her.

He didn't go back to class. She figured he wouldn't for a while and she understood. It was better that way. He needed to be resting after everything he had gone through in the last few weeks. She only wished that he would open up to her more after all they had been through. She dutifully took down notes for him. It was really the only time she could see him.

She went to the Chairman's rooms to deliver them.

It was awkward and she hated it. Things seemed uncomfortable between them. She couldn't really talk to him like she wanted to. And he wouldn't drink any of her blood, despite the fact that it would heal him faster. She tried offering, but he would brush her off.

She was at the end of her rope. She was going to take the first step into getting him the way he was. Him being recluse was making her angry. She pointed out a fake mistake, distracting him. She gripped his shoulder and leaned over, biting his neck. She could feel his astonishment and fought the urge to giggle.

The sensation of her lips pressed to his neck made him ache with desire. He blushed. He wanted to let her know how he felt so badly, but he couldn't. He pushed her away, asking what she thought she was doing. She glared at him and pointed a slim finger at his chest.

She was acting so fierce, telling him that they were even and that he shouldn't hesitate to take her blood. It was beyond comical, but he couldn't laugh. He kicked her out.

"Just go."

He slammed the door in her face. Leaning against the door and gripping where his brother had stabbed him, he heard her mutter that she made him mad. His heart was racing a million miles. She didn't realize what she had just done to him. He put his hand up to the spot where she had bitten him. When he looked at it, there were tiny dots of blood. He let out a snort of laughter and shut his eyes tightly. He needed to know what he was to her. She couldn't play with him like this anymore, even if she didn't realize that she was doing it.

He had to know.

She stared at the door for a few seconds then ran down the hall. The taste of his blood was salty-sweet in her mouth. She couldn't believe that she actually did that. It didn't have the effect that she wanted though. She colored and quickly went outside to patrol.

A movement outside the academy's gates caught her eye. Jumping the fence, she scanned the darkening grounds. Behind her, a man appeared, causing her to jump slightly. He looked like the average businessman. She could tell from the moment she saw him that he wasn't human. He was a vampire. The mad was curious to know if where he was, was Cross Academy. Her eyes narrowed and she pulled out her weapon, extending it to its full size. The vampire smiled wolfishly and lunged at her, asking where the other guardian was. She wasn't going to tell him where Zero was. This man was dangerous.

She felt an arm around her waist and was pulled back. He was there, gripping the man's hand tightly, avoiding his elongated fingernails. She stared at him. So he was patrolling too? He was supposed to be in bed, resting. The man sneered at the two of them, adjusting his glasses.

"Kiryuu Zero, for committing murder of a "pure blood", Hiou Shizuka, by the command of the "Supreme Institution of Vampires", the Senior Council, you are sentenced to death."

The messenger smugly told them of the duties of the Senior Council, explaining why he should be executed. Calling it a 'cheap bargain.'

Anger bubbled inside him, threatening to boil over. He gripped the man's hand tightly and pushed it back, hearing the satisfying crack of bone. Knowing that the man would retaliate, he pushed her out of the way. His wounds from earlier caused pain to shoot through his body, making him fall to his knees.

"It's too bad there are no 'cheap' bargains to be obtained here…"

The messenger collapsed to the ground in pain, but still mocked his impending death, while the he and Yuuki were surrounded by vampires in suits. More messengers of the Senior Council. He glanced at her, telling her to leave. He knew that she wouldn't listen to him, but he figured that he would try if he could. He was right. She wouldn't leave.

One of the suit-clad men fell to the ground in a cloud of smoke, while the rest of the men looked around in confusion. The members of the Night class appeared through the trees, Kuran stepping from the shadows to take center stage.

He wanted to scoff at the vampire lord, but Kuran was defending him. He had no choice but to be grateful. His eyes widened slightly when his defender threw a bolt of power at the leader of the Senior Council messengers. He felt her grip his sleeve tightly, and he fought the urge to pull her close to him and encircle her in his arms.

She wasn't afraid of vampires, but that situation had frightened her greatly. She turned to Kaname and told him that the circumstances were suspicious. Kaname lifted his hand and caressed her cheek, but she didn't fail to notice how the vampire lord's eyes flicked to her hand fisted in the fabric of Zero's shirt.

He glared at Kaname and she could feel him trembling with anger. He demanded to know what the Moon dorm leader was planning. Kaname ignored his question and just told him it was something that was overlooked. She gripped his sleeve tighter.

Later, she reported everything that had happened to the Chairman. It was her job as a member of the Disciplinary Committee, but she was afraid that the Chairman would send Zero to die. Her eyes welled up and the Chairman laid a hand on her head, telling her he was sorry that she was thrown into that situation.

She rubbed her eyes. She still didn't understand everything that had happened, though she desperately wanted to. She felt helpless and she hated the feeling.

The Chairman informed her that Kaname had come in earlier and also told him what had happened. She realized that even though Kaname had defended him and opposed the Senior Council, it didn't mean that her idol had accepted him. She realized that Kaname had never said that he was innocent. She wondered if he believed that Zero was guilty.

She caught up with Zero after she left the Chairman's office. She didn't know what to say to him, so she babbled about his wounds healing slowly and that the attack earlier was a prank. He interrupted her talking about Shizuka to say that whether or not he was the cause of her death, he didn't regret it at all.

She watched him quietly and he stared back at her. She smiled softly at him. She couldn't begin to understand the pain he was feeling, but she sympathized with him. She didn't know whether or not he realized it, but even if he didn't, she was okay with it. He knew that she would always be there for him, even if he only needed her blood. She'd willing give up everything for him.

She told him that she was always on his side and she really meant it. Some people would abandon their friends if things got rough, but she never would, especially not him. She looked down. She knew that she wasn't the best or most reliable ally and she told him so, but she would do her best. She tried to make him understand why she had wanted to give her blood to Shizuka. If sacrificing herself meant saving him, she would have done it. Even if it meant hurting him at that moment. It would help him in the long run.

Her cheeks turned red and she held back the tears that threatened to spill over. She apologized. She looked so vulnerable at that moment. He knew that someone like him had no right to love her, yet he couldn't help himself. He had been telling himself for years that she deserved someone without a bloody past. With someone who didn't keep secrets from her as he had. But he wanted to know what he was to her. She wreaked havoc on his emotions.

"What am I to you, Yuuki?"

He mentally slapped himself. He never meant to verbalize the question. What would he do if she picked up the reason for that question? If things weren't awkward enough, his idiotic question had just made it worse. He waited for her reaction and was relieved that she looked confused. He knew that she didn't understand why he asked such a question and that would mean he wouldn't get an answer right away. He smiled at her and if she kept acting so reckless, she would be more dependable. He took advantage of her speechlessness to flee. He needed to get a handle on his feelings before he said or did something even stupider than he just had.

She stared after him. His question came out of nowhere. It reverberated in her mind. What was he to her? Did she even know that answer to that question? She had never though about it seriously. Yes, he was one of the best friends she ever had and even him keeping secrets from her didn't change that. But, what was he really to her? She ran back to her dorm, thinking deeply.

He stood in the hallway waiting. He sensed Kuran down the hall and figured that the vampire already knew that he was there. When Kuran acknowledged him, he confronted the vampire lord about the role that he really played in Shizuka's death. It hadn't taken him long to figure out that Kuran had something to do with it. He was angry with him. It wasn't Kuran's place to kill the woman that had taken everything away from him.

The two loathed each other and the conversation they were having made that loathing even more apparent. He would have drunk Shizuka's blood if that had mean he would not become a bloodthirsty beast. It was what Kuran expected… hoped he would become. But he wasn't expecting the word that came out of Kuran's mouth next.

"I am jealous of you… You, who is able to protect the girl you love."

He froze.

Kuran knew. He laughed mentally. Of course the vampire lord knew. He knew everything and he was sure that his feelings for her weren't hidden very well when Kuran was in his vicinity. He felt that he had to be more protective of her because he believed that Kuran would one day betray her and the trust she placed in him.

He narrowed his eyes, but Kuran ignored him and turned around, commenting on his injury. He fought the urge to pull Bloody Rose from under his coat and use the back of the vampire's head for target practice. His day for revenge would come. If he were patient, he would take away the one thing most important to Kuran and kill him.

One day…

She wandered around the academy campus a few days later, still thinking intensely about Zero's question. There were so many things that she wanted to say to him, but she couldn't figure out how to say them. She found herself standing in front of the boy's dorm and she heaved a sigh. Her feet involuntarily lead her here. Great. What would she do if she saw him? She couldn't run away from him. But the idea was extremely tempting.

His dorm leader got his attention. She was standing outside his dorm, talking to the girl's dorm leader. The boy's dorm leader guess that she was getting a warning from her dorm leader for wandering so close to the boy's dorms. He saw a movement around the bushes and watched closely. Aidou appeared and walked up to the two girls, talking to them.

He opened the window and jumped the three stories down to the ground to confront the vampire. Aidou wasn't supposed to be out of the Moon dorm during the day, regardless that it was a weekend. And he was especially not allowed in the Day dorm area.

Aidou glanced at him and sullenly said he didn't want to go back to the dorms, after Yuuki suggested it. Annoyed, that Aidou was acting like a child he threatened to tie him up and drag him to the dorms. The vampire didn't like that idea and bolted away from the two. He cursed under his breath and gave chase, leaving behind an amused Yuuki.

Eventually they let him stay in the Chairman's private quarters. They were going to be there anyway, so they knew that Aidou wouldn't cause any more trouble. Breaking the academy rules didn't stop the vampire from bossing the two around. He wanted to throttle the idiot vampire, but she placed a hand on his arm, questioning why Aidou didn't want to go back to the dorms. He denied that something was wrong.

Zero rolled his eyes and went into the kitchen to make food for the demanding vampire. A half hour later, the run away vampire had eaten three helpings of food and wanted more. She started at him in disbelief. She couldn't grasp the idea that he had eaten so much. She tried to threaten him with Kaname's name, but that seemed to upset Aidou.

Defeated, she trudged into the kitchen to tell him to make more food for the unbelievably selfish vampire. He looked at her, eyes wide. He couldn't believe that Aidou had eaten so much either. He handed her a blood tablet to give him, and she watched him for a moment while he started to prepare more food. He turned to glare at her. She knew he didn't like that, so she turned away quickly, telling him that she didn't need anything when he asked.

She turned away and started to the door to the dining room. He cornered her, placing one of his large hands near her head. She looked down, worried. His question had made her think a little more deeply than she had originally intended. She looked into his eyes and asked if was okay for her to be like this. Was she allowed to be so happy when she would one day have to kill him? She was frightened for him and herself. What would she do when that fateful day came? Would she be able to pull the trigger? Would she be able to live with herself?

He placed his hands over her eyes and smiled.

"Silly. Do you intend to take away my right to decide for myself?"

She didn't know how to respond. She closed her eyes and her eyelashes brushed his hand lightly.

"And, Yuuki, will you always have this look on your face when you 're concerned about me? Smile."

He removed his hand and went back to fixing Aidou's food. She left the kitchen to give Aidou the blood tablet.

Smile.

It was such a simple word, but coming out of his mouth made it seem like much more. It was ironic. He was telling her to smile when he barely did it himself. She wanted to see his smile more than anything else in the world. When he smiled, it was like the sun breaking through the clouds on a sunny day. It would always warm her heart, but his smiles were rare.

She was so lost in thought that she didn't register Aidou's question about the blood tablet pill being Zero's. When she did, her head whipped around to look at him frantically. If Aidou knew, he would tell everyone. How did he know in the first place? His gloating soon explained why and she nervously asked the vampire to not tell the secret. Aidou looked at her with distain and told her that he wasn't cowardly.

That look frightened her. Aidou frightened her at times as well. He wanted to know why Kaname gave her special treatment when she was just a human. She smiled slightly at the memory. She explained her past to Aidou, telling him that her and Kaname's relationship was simple. She viewed it that way. Aidou didn't seem to believe that the two had a simple relationship.

She admitted that she sometimes second-guessed herself about the vampire lord, but it didn't bother her if she were one day betrayed.

She wondered to herself if that was true. What would she do if Kaname betrayed her? Their simple relationship would no longer be simple and that scared her slightly.

He heard everything that she said. It wasn't hard to hear her and the run away vampire through the door. Did she really not mind being betrayed? He didn't believe it. He knew that she would hurt to the point where she would be unable to breath. He also knew that she would put on a brave exterior while her anguish ripped her apart inside.

His heart squeezed painfully. He would never let her feel that agony. He would protect her.

His Yuuki would be protected always. No matter where he was.

She brought the vampire's used dishes into the kitchen and slipped. He cringed when he heard them shatter and her inhale sharply when she cut herself on a sharp edge. The sweet smell of her blood filled his nostrils, making him hungry for her blood. He told her to leave the broken china alone. He started to turn away from her, but the look she gave him made him face her. She stood up and held up her hand.

"Lick it."

It wasn't a request or a suggestion.

It was a command.

A command that he could not ignore. Not from her.

He grasped her hand tightly by the wrist and brought it to his mouth. He licked her finger clean of blood, fangs grazing the delicate skin of her fingertips. Suddenly, he pulled away, clutching at his chest. He couldn't do this. He let go of her wrist and she glared at him. She told him that she knew he was starving. That the blood tablets were not enough to sate his hunger.

He gripped her wrist again, pushing her jacket arm out of the way. He had a feeling that she knew how hard this was for him. He didn't want to drink her blood, but he couldn't fight the desire that rippled throughout his body. It threatened to overflow. He whispered her name and ran his tongue down her wrist, over the cold metal of her bracelet, tasting her skin.

He looked at her again, to make sure she was okay that she was sinning again. Her facial expression was that of complete trust. He bit down on her wrist and began to drink, watching her the whole time. Bloodlust and desire burned in his eyes. She stared back into his eyes, mesmerized by his ministrations. He knew that this was the first time he had held her eyes with his own. He was usually too ashamed to look at her.

For some reason, tonight seemed different.

A week later, while dozing he was dozing in class, one of the Day class members fainted. The thud pulled him from his sleep and he glance over. The sight of bite marks on the girl's neck woke him completely. A vampire had bitten the girl. Trouble was on the horizon.

After taking her to the infirmary, he met with the Chairman, Yuuki, and Kuran to discuss the matter. The entire Night class ran through his head. He couldn't figure out who would attack the girl, especially right under the nose of Kuran Kaname. As much as he didn't like to admit it, Kuran was terrifying. He was a pureblood and instilled fear, as well as trust and loyalty, in the Night class. For someone to openly defy him was dangerous.

During the meeting, Kuran reminded everyone that he was a suspect, not just the Night class and any possible rouge. He couldn't say anything to the vampire lord because he knew it was true. Even if he denied it, he knew that Kuran would love to pin something like this on him. He would never drink anyone but her blood and Kuran knew it, but just suggesting him as a suspect made it apparent that Kuran thought there was a possible exception.

Yuuki surprised him by getting angry at Kuran. She told the vampire lord that she couldn't believe he thought that he had done something like that. Kuran looked away from her, and he felt a twinge of triumph. She had never spoken to him like that before. She blurted that she would prove him innocent and grabbed him by the hand, pulling him out of the room.

Before exiting, she turned around and told Kuran that she wouldn't speak to him until the vampire accepted that he was innocent. He could only stare in amazement at the girl towing him through the hallways. He knew it was hard for her to say something like that to her idol, but he appreciated it. It made him feel important to her.

While he did appreciate it, he knew that she was regretting what she had said to Kaname. No matter how hard she tried to hide it, he could feel she was on the verge of tears. He told her that she could always take back what she said and she shouted at him. Then suggested the worst plan in history.

She would cut her finger to lure the rouge vampire and then the two of them would capture the vampire. He wanted to shake her until her brain rattled. That was such a stupid plan that it didn't even deserve a sarcastic comment.

He went to the infirmary with her trailing behind. When they opened the door, five members of the Night class, Ichijou leading them, greeted them. He wanted to bang his head on the wall. They were playing detective under Kuran's orders. He would let them play. He had better things to do.

He slipped out of the room unnoticed and went down the hall, running into the Chairman. He mentioned that he talked to the Council of Ancients to look for Shizuka's murderer. He looked at the harmless-looking man. He knew that this seemingly oblivious man knew exactly who had killed the insane vampire. He told him that but that Chairman just smiled and denied his claim. He moved past the Chairman, knowing he wouldn't get anywhere.

He trudged down the hallways, thinking of Shizuka. Even though his creator was dead, she still haunted his every step. He saw the woman's face mocking him, her voice smoothly transitioning into Yuuki's. He stared in horror as she came towards him, covered in her own blood. Had he bitten her and taken too much? She whispered his name before collapsing into his arms and dying. The pungent scent of blood filled the air.

He jolted awake and gasped her name. His heart was pounding loudly. His mind strayed to what he had just seen and he shivered. He heard her call his name and he breathed a small sigh of relief.

It had been a dream.

She peeked around the curtain that surrounded the bed in the infirmary. He glanced up at her with an anguished look, sweat beading on his forehead. She was alive. He pulled her onto the bed, hugging her so tightly that she couldn't breath. He told her that he had a dream where he killed her. She grabbed his face in her hands, giving him a bewildered stare. She asked him if he was okay. He finally calmed down and she smiled, relieved that he was fine.

His raised his big hands to cup her face tenderly. She meant everything to him. He brushed her bottom lip with his thumb and leaned in close to kiss her.

I want these gentle hands and this kind smile… Even though I should not want such a thing.

He pulled away before he had the chance. It was a mistake to do something like. He could feel the blood rush to her face in a fiery blush. He wanted this so badly, yet he would deny them both.

"I'm sorry. Never mind."

He would always watch over her. Even if it wasn't in the way he wanted it, as her lover, it was his duty. It was his job to protect the one he loved.

He would do it until the day the breath left his body.

A/N: All done! This was a lot longer than I thought it would be! My story was inspired by the writer reenas-as. Even though she doesn't know who I am, I would like to thank her and I loved her three stories about Yuuki and Zero, called Bound, Possession, and Shattered. I recommend them. Thank you for reading such a long one-shot. Please read and review! Arigatou gozaimasu!

-Little Sakura-chan