Note: Just a real quick note. This story was by request and is completely unrelated to my other VK fictions. Enjoy!
Yuuki Cross was a strange girl, Kaname Kuran decided. Her past was dark and violent and frightening and hidden in shadow, her present was dangerous and desperate and filled with secrets, her future stretched out unseen but without much hope for improvement, and yet still she smiled. She was all cheerful, determined, fiery concern for others and outspoken but sometimes awkward emotion and quite frankly he found it adorable.
That in and of itself was enough to tell him that she was special.
Kaname Kuran found no one adorable.
Vampires were subjects and humans were pawns, and he truly enjoyed manipulating them all in his enigmatic games.
But not Yuuki.
He would not manipulate Yuuki.
She was so sweet, so gentle, so fragile. A walking contradiction: iron willed, tender hearted.
There was something about her, though he didn't know what. He was drawn to her scent like all the rest, drawn to her in ways he found hard to pin down. He wanted her. No. He needed her. But he was a Pureblood, a Master, he would not succumb to his animal need. She had to want this.
But though she had idolized him and felt an undeniable attraction toward him she had always maintained her distance. Perhaps she too felt that Vampires and Human could never truly be compatible.
And it pained him, haunted him.
He had wanted her to fear them, needed her to understand that vampires, pacifists or not, were still dangerous even to her. Especially to her. But perhaps he had done his job too well.
She didn't hate him, but there were times when her fear was palatable and it made him ache. She didn't let him draw her near anymore; she stiffened under even his lightest touch. If she had been anyone else it would not have mattered.
They all threw themselves as his feet, humans, vampires… but she was the only one that mattered.
Did he love her? He wasn't sure he could. But he needed her, and he didn't want her to be hurt. Perhaps that was as close to love as one of the damned could get.
It was the sense of movement in the room more than any sort of sound that alerted him to a new presence, drawing him from his thoughts. Kaname cracked open his eyes and stared up from his position, reclining on the couch, to see Aidou watching him uneasily from across the room.
"What is it?" He asked coldly, annoyed at being pulled from his thoughts, however depressing they had been. The feeling was intensified by the fact that it was Aidou.
He knew the young vampire wanted his Yuuki. The amusing thing, the irritating thing, was that Aidou hadn't the sense to try to hide it.
The whelp had had the nerve to taste her blood. And it hadn't been the first time Kaname had caught him in the attempt. But at least he had managed to divert his attentions the last time, though the end result had not been much better. AIdou needed to learn to control his urges.
Aidou was clearly uncomfortable, it was evident in the way he couldn't quite stand still and the way he raked his hands through his hair. He sank into a plush chair only to rise almost immediately thereafter, teeth catching his lower lip but fortunately not drawing blood. Just when Kaname would have snapped at him again the young vampire spoke.
"You know, don't you?
He didn't need to ask about what. "Kiriyu." He stated calmly. Another pawn, an important one, but a mere pawn none the less. Though recently the boy had been becoming more troublesome, less easily dismissed. He wondered how much Yuuki loved him, because it was obvious that she did even if she did not realize it herself.
Kaname nodded. "I have known from the beginning."
Aidou looked up at him in shock, "How," he sputtered, pausing for a moment to collect himself, "why did you let them?"
Kaname frowned, "Are you questioning me?" his voice was deceptively calm, his aura menacing. Aidou had the intelligence to shrink away, raising his hands and bowing his head in an uncharacteristic gesture of submission. He was usually too arrogant for his own good. After all, how many times had he dared to approach Yuuki in Kaname's presence?
Aidou all but collapsed in the chair, burying his face in his hands. "I just. I don't understand." He said weakly. "Doesn't it bother you?"
Kaname's gaze hardened to a look of cold steel, "I don't see how that is your concern."
Aidou looked up at him then, expression drawn and bleak. If Kaname had had the capacity he might have felt sorry for him. As he did not he felt nothing.
"You won't tell anyone, Aidou. Do you understand?" At some point he had stood and he was now towering over the other vampire.
The genius nodded hollowly and Kaname felt a twinge of disgust. Why did Aidou always remind him of things he did not want to recall? "Get up." His tone betrayed none of his feelings. "I think you should return to your chamber." Weakly Aidou complied, still refusing to meet the Master Vampire's gaze. For some reason that bothered Kaname. Aidou had never been afraid of him, even though he should have been. The young man was confident to a fault. He was powerful and intelligent and quite popular and so his behavior was, perhaps, only natural. Though Kaname had often felt his control tested by his insolence he had carried a grudging respect for him. He was not afraid to show what he felt, to reach for that which he wanted. It was irritating to see him brought so low.
At the same time he wanted Aidou to be afraid. Because if Aidou was afraid he would not tell what he knew. Kaname knew Aiodu had seen him kill Shizuka.
He shook his head in disgust and turned to leave the room, knowing Aidou would already be upstairs. With sure steps he left the Night dormitory and headed out onto the grounds. There was no school tonight, not that it would have concerned him had there been.
He decided to take a walk around the lake to clear his head and still his restless spirit. The moon was high, a pale sliver in the dark sky, but he could see as well in the darkness as in daylight, perhaps better.
Still, he almost missed the figure standing on the bank, head bowed. For a moment he was unsettled by the sight and he paused, cracking a twig as he did so. The figure looked up and he saw that it was Yuuki. Her gaze was shadowed and not just by the lack of light. It was as if her inner light had died to mere embers. Clearly he was not the only one who had sought the solitude of the lake to sort out his thoughts.
He frowned as he wondered how many of those thoughts were centered on Zero Kiriyu.
She watched him only a moment before turning her attention silently back to the water.
That was unusual as well. She had never failed to acknowledge him before, even when she was unhappy with him.
"I'm sorry." He broke the silence quietly. And he was. He had not known she would be here, had not intended to disturb her. "I'll leave you." He turned to go, his heart heavy.
"No." she said abruptly and he looked back in silent surprise.
Her back was to him as she stared out over the water.
"No," she said more softly, "Please stay."
There was something in her tone which bade him come closer, and for once he obeyed the nudging in his mind and approached her.
She looked so forlorn, her posture slumped as though under a heavy weight. Cautiously he stopped behind her and slipped his arms around her waist. He was surprised when she leaned back into him. The last time he had held her she had been less than receptive. And as far as he knew she was still unhappy with him concerning his recent treatment of Kiriyu. But he did not question his good fortune.
Neither made an attempt to speak as they stood staring out over the water, but after several minutes she seemed to relax a bit and he felt a dim flicker of satisfaction at the thought that his presence might have soothed her. This sent his thoughts in a rather unwelcome direction as he became acutely aware of her warmth pressed against him and her scent surrounding him. Without thought he lowered his head toward her shoulder, but stopped just short of resting it there. He did not want to frighten her. Still, this nearness was torture.
So close, and all he had to do was flick out his tongue and he would taste the salty sweet tang of her skin. But he refrained.
She stiffened when she felt his hot breath wash across her skin, but she did not withdraw.
"Kaname senpai," her voice was quiet, her body still in his embrace. "Aidou senpai told me…" she stopped, embarrassed and uncertain and he allowed his hold on her to tighten ever so slightly. "Aidou senpai said once that… that because you saved me I owe you," a harshly drawn in breath, "I owe you my blood." Her head turned back as if to look at him and he found he could not move as worry began to claw at him. "Kaname senpai I never thought… I didn't… do you want…" she hung her head, her voice suddenly very small, "is Kaname senpai starving too?"
And he cursed the fool in the dark silence of his mind. What right did any of them have to interfere?
He slid his hands up to her arms, fighting to keep them steady. "Yuuki, I-" and he sought to reassure her but she was still speaking.
"Because if Kaname senpai needs me…" and his breath stilled in his chest as trembling fingers reached to sweep her hair aside revealing the soft expanse of her neck to him. His fingers tightened almost painfully on her upper arms and it was only through great effort that he did not acquiesce to the need within him, did not take what she offered. He turned her to him, eyes steely but somehow desperate.
"Yuuki, do not offer this to me out of obligation." He wanted this, oh how he wanted this. But he couldn't, not until he was sure.
Slowly her hand rose to rest warmly on his cheek, her expression filled with sympathy and compassion, but neither was the emotion he was seeking. "Kaname senpai, it's okay." She whispered and the feel of her breath on his face was almost overwhelming.
"You do not know what you offer me." He whispered, voice husky and broken. And when her eyes widened at the sound he was not surprised. He had always been so careful not to let it show, this desperate desire that he had. He had always schooled his face and voice and touch so as not to frighten her. But here she was, offering herself to him so innocently, and she could not begin to fathom what it would mean were he to truly take her and make her his. His hand smoothed over her hair, fingers tangling in it. "I am not like Kiriyu. I will not be satisfied with stolen tastes and quick draughts. I want you – all of you. I don't want your blood, I want your soul."
Her eyes were wide and dark and he knew she was frightened, overwhelmed. He feared that he had gone too far. Surely she would reject him now, never let him near. He released her and moved to step away, but he was surprised by a gentle tug on his sleeve and he stopped and looked back at her.
"Why is Kaname senpai so lonely?" she questioned, eyes soft, hold gentle yet firm. She moved closer to him so that she was almost pressed against him, forced to tilt her head up to hold his gaze. "Kaname senpai should not have to be lonely."
He squeezed his eyes shut, "Stop that." He whispered. He was aching… holding himself back by a thread.
"Kaname senpai?" and she tilted her head to the side, adorably confused and his fists clenched, knuckles white, at his sides. Something in him snapped.
"Stop that." He commanded, voice rising in desperation. And when it seemed she would speak again he drew her against him hard and wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her hair, "Don't." he whispered, "don't call me senpai."
And she shuddered against him, but this time not in fear.
"Yuuki," he breathed against her, lips pressed too closely to her for the whispered words to stir her chocolate locks.
"Let me save you… Kaname." And it was as much the hesitant addition of his name alone as the implication of the offer that fed his need and caused him to draw her even closer.
"And what if I said yes?" his tone was dark with the desire he had always kept so tightly reigned and he felt her draw a quick breath against his chest. He closed his eyes as the sensation sent a slow burning heat through him and his fingers flinched convulsively against her back. He drew back just enough to capture her gaze, using a hand to gently tip her face up and hold her there. For once he allowed his expression to reflect his innermost thoughts, to show what he was feeling and she gasped at what she saw in his crimson eyes, but to his relief she did not pull away. He allowed a finger to brush lightly along the bottom edge of her lower lip. "You have no idea what it would mean to try to save me." he murmured, fighting the almost overwhelming desire to allow his lips to sink to hers. His other hand moved up to tangle his fingers in her smooth locks and his gaze followed, entranced by the sight.
She swallowed hard, her mouth suddenly too dry at the intensity of his gaze and in his voice. Gathering her courage she reached to draw his attention back to her face.
"Show me." She pleaded. "I want to save you."
He studied her intensely, as though weighing her sincerity. "From what?" he questioned softly.
She lowered her hand from his face, sliding down to his chest in an unintentionally sensual motion. She did not notice how his eyes darkened with desire. "Everything." She whispered.
He startled her when he threw his head back and released a short, humorless, laugh. She stared up at him in question and he finally met her gaze once more, hand running through her hair from root to tip before releasing the strands and returning to the crown of her head to start the journey again. "Everything." He repeated, dark amusement coloring his tone. "Everything you say. You would save me from my bloodlust? You would save me from my loneliness?" His gaze darkened and she nearly shuddered with the intensity, "And would you save me from my desires?" he mocked gently, "How? By giving yourself to me?" He stroked a finger along her check and across the line of her jaw. "Because that is what it would take to save me, and even that may not be enough. Would you still be willing?" his tone was harsh, his touch no longer truly gentle, she needed to understand.
She blinked, tears beginning to well in her eyes and he wondered if he had gone too far. And for the first time he truly understood what he had done, what he was, and the truth became painfully clear to him. He was too cynical, too jaded. Even if she offered herself he could not take her, could not taint her innocence with his stains. He was not a good man, contrary to all she believed. He had saved her, but he was not a good man.
He sighed heavily and moved both hands to frame her face. "Go back to the dormitory, Yuuki." He tried to disentangle himself from her, but she held firmly to his uniform coat, refusing to let go. When he looked down at her he found her eyes trained on the floor. She spoke so quietly he almost did not hear.
"You don't trust me." It was not an accusation, if anything she sounded saddened. The words shocked him to his core. How could she misunderstand so badly? This had nothing to do with her.
"I will not taint you." there was a vehemence in his tone that surprised even himself. He would not taint her? But isn't that what he had longed for all along? To tangle her light in his darkness and watch the tendrils curl through creating a pattern of corrosion as the white became a hazy gray. That was the reason he had saved her, because something within him needed to taste her innocence – to protect it… and to chase it away. There was something about her that called to him – called to them – and he was helpless to escape it. She could not escape her fate. She would be claimed by one of them, whether she wished it or not. Their need for her was too strong. And he had decided long ago that he would be the one to accept the privilege and the responsibility of taking her purity and shattering her perfection. And it would be he who picked up the pieces and reformed her into something else, something darker, but still beautiful. Yet now he found that when the very thing he wished for was within his grasp he could not take it. What if he broke her and could not rebuild her? "Don't you see," he said bleakly, "I would destroy you."
She stared at him with face stricken and pale, her eyes a confusing mix of fear and determination. "I don't believe you." She whispered.
His gaze softened sadly and his voice, when he spoke, was low, "You should."
"No." her voice rose and her eyes snapped with fire. "No. I won't. You won't destroy anything, because I'm going to save you." She stated with conviction.
"And who will save you?" he asked her solemnly.
"You will." She answered with quiet conviction and his lips stretched in dark mockery of a smile.
"And how will I save you from myself?"
"You don't have to. I love you, Kaname. Even if it's wrong, even if you can't love me back… I love you." Her fists clenched in his shirt front and she leaned her forehead against his chest. "Please," she pleaded, voice quiet and broken, "let me love you."
And he was shocked, because though he had known of her infatuation with him, though he had longed for her, he had never thought she had come this far. And he had been so certain that whatever feelings she had once held for him had faded in recent months. She had become so distant, so wrapped up in the ex-human boy. He had felt her slipping away, slipping faster the more he had tried to hold on to her. He remembered the way she pulled away from him as he'd held her at the dance. He remembered the fear in her eyes the one time his control had slipped and he had tried to taste her. And he knew only one thing at that moment – that she had never looked at Kiriyu with such fear.
Kiriyu had attacked her, he was drinking of her, and she had never looked at him with fear.
Was it any surprise that he had believed her to love the boy more than himself?
"You don't mean that." He was unable to keep the bitter edge from his voice, but he had resigned himself to that fact that he was not going to be able to hide his emotions from her this night. He brushed his fingers over the juncture of her neck and shoulder and she shivered. He took that as confirmation enough. "Even now you are afraid of me. Even though I am not the one who hunts you." The implication was clear and Yuuki's eyes widened and then narrowed.
"I forced him to do it, Kaname. I force him every time." And the fact that he could tell it was true only made it worse. She would offer herself to the boy freely even against his will, but she would not allow him the simple pleasure of holding her.
"And that is supposed to make it alright?"
She shook her head, "No. But he isn't a bad person. He hasn't lost his humanity." She looked away, "He's hurting."
And for a moment he thought he understood. She was trying to tell him that this was a part of her nature. That she could not stand by and watch those she cared for suffer when it was within her power to help them. It didn't mean she was in love with the boy, only that she loved him.
The thought gave him a moment of hope before he was swallowed by despair once again. "I don't want your sympathy, Yuuki." His voice was soft and ragged, "I don't need compassion."
She blinked up into his face, confused, and then her eyes widened as realization swept through her. Her hold on him tightened once again. "That isn't what I meant. That has nothing to do with this. It's just… please don't speak ill of him, Kaname." She reached her hand up to trace the features of his face, "I'm not afraid of you." She whispered breathily. She was rising on her toes, her hands pulling his head down, and he was so shocked by her boldness that he almost did not stop her in time.
"Stop, Yuuki." His hands framing her face kept her in place as he stared down at her with blazing intensity. "If you do this there will be no turning back."
He watched her as she stared at him, as she considered his words.
"Do not test me in this, Yuuki." He warned, "My need is great."
He could see her swallow at his words and knew she was likely overwhelmed. But he also knew that this had gone too far. She needed to know what was really at stake. He trialed a hand down the side of her face and her neck, down her arm and in toward her stomach, spreading the palm flat there and causing her to gasp at the searing warmth. He dipped his head bringing his lips to her ear, so that when he spoke they brushed against its curves.
"I want you." He whispered, conscious that his voice had dipped to low, husky, seductive tones, but unable to control it. "I have always wanted you." He deliberately brushed his lips against the shell of her ear in a ghost of a kiss before continuing, "I have waited, and I will continue to wait if I must. Because as much as I want this, as much as I need this," his other hand had trialed down to the small of her back, and he held her firmly against him. "I will not take it." She went completely still at his confession and he pulled away to capture her gaze again, "When you give yourself to me it will be freely and completely, with no sense of guilt or obligation. I will not take you until you need me as much as I need you. Until I know that you understand that we will be bound for eternity and there will be no escape, no second thoughts." His fingers came up to brush her hair from her face. "Once I have you I will not let you go." He gave her a few moments to absorb his words and then he released her.
"I cannot say that I love you, Yuuki." He smiled a sad smile, "I do not think I have that capacity. Like so many other human emotions it seems far beyond my reach. But I do know that you are different. You are not like the others. They mean nothing to me, you mean everything. And when you are truly ready I will be waiting."
For the third time that night he turned to go, saddened, but somehow relieved. He stumbled forward as she collided with his back, her arms circling around him, face burying in his back, and he could feel the wet warmth of tears soak through his uniform.
"Why won't you listen to me?" she murmured. "Why won't you believe me when I say that I love you?" Frozen with shock he did not stop her when she turned him around and cradled his face once again. "I told you that I'm ready. What more can I do to prove it to you?" His eyes were transfixed on her tears. "Let me save you." She pleaded once more.
She was so sincere, so innocent, he felt his thoughts begin to muddle and all his reasons were slipping away. He closed his eyes in a desperate attempt to capture one of them. "I am not a good person Yuuki." He confessed quietly, "I saved you, yes, but it was entirely selfish of me." He looked down at her, "I use people, Yuuki. I use them and then dispose of them. I didn't save you out of compassion, I saved you because I wanted you just as much as he did. And I've stayed, waiting all this time, because I still want you. I am a selfish creature, Yuuki. Nothing I have done has been out of pure motives, it has all been in an effort to attain my true desires."
"Then why are you telling me this now?"
He blinked down at her in surprise. Why was he telling her this?
"Do you know why?" she whispered, she leaned closer to him, "I'll tell you." Her gaze remained locked with his, now clear and confident, faint pink streaks the only evidence of her earlier tears. And she was still beautiful. "You say you don't love me - that you are not capable of it, but you are wrong. If you didn't love me you wouldn't try to stop me. You said yourself, you are a selfish creature. Than what does it matter to you that I come willingly? Unless it is because you care about my needs above your own."
And he realized with shock that she was right. If all that mattered were his own desires he would have taken her the moment she had offered herself. He would have taken her years before, when he had found her sleeping on the stairs, vulnerable and so tempting. He would have taken her that day in the snow, child or not.
And the sound of his name on her lips, low and pleading, broke him, took his defenses and tore them to shreds along with his control. And suddenly his mouth was on hers, ravenous and hungry, like a man starving. And she tasted sweeter than he had imagined, sweeter even then fresh blood. And she pressed herself against him eagerly, responding rather than pushing him away, and he tangled his hands in her hair and angled her head to deepen the kiss, brushing his tongue insistently along the seam of her lips until she acquiesced and allowed him entry.
And it was wrong, would be an unholy union. She was of daylight and he was of darkness. They should never be able to meet. But the feel of her against him was so good; it felt right. Having once tasted her nothing could ever force him to let her go.
She was his most precious girl. And together they would save each other - even from themselves.
Author's Notes: I am not a fan of Kaname/Yuuki, sorry… it does strange things to my head. But I made a promise, so here it is. I hope it lived up to your expectations, Obey The Fluff! And Meagan, you'd better appreciate my turning to the dark side long enough to write this, you weird Kaname/Yuuki, person who doesn't love Zero (how could you?). It's alright, I'll console Zero myself… Anywho…
Accurate through chapter 24…
Read and review (please, oh please review… I hate to see all those hits and only a few reviews… of course, I'd hate it worse to see no hits…)