A PURE-BLOOD could mask his body's scent but not his blood. If he has bleeding profusely then it would be easy to track him. Kaname followed the drops of blood and the scent of it, that he knew belonged to Rido Kuran. His steely resolve was back. The resolve to kill Rido. He couldn't let other matters cloud his mind. Matters he could almost feel as if they fought for attention on the edge of his consciousness. But he knew if he dwelt on them he would not be able to function.
Kaname stopped and sniffed. The trail ended right here as if Rido had evaporated. Well, as living things didn't do that, there was the other option. Kaname stepped back a bit and surveyed the scene. There were trees surrounding a large expanse of flattened dirt. The area just looked well worn, as if it had had to withstand a large amount of traffic human and otherwise. However as it was entirely surrounded by grass that seemed almost untouched a red flag shot up in Kaname's head.
As he stared the earth rumbled and then suddenly shot towards the sky. Kaname ignored this strange event as if he expected it. That and the loud thump as dirt and rock hit the forest floor some distance away. He peered into the hole hesitantly then shook his head annoyed with himself. Those other considerations were creeping in again. The irrelevant past ones that detracted from his purpose now, that said he may never emerge from this hole. He tossed them to one side. So what if he didn't. As long as Rido didn't either. As long as He died too. Kaname jumped in.
KANAME, following Rido's scent again after he had dropped to the cavern below the forested floor, eventually coming upon a large cave. It had several exits it seemed, but only one gave off His scent. Kaname kept going. He didn't feel his fatigue although he had been running for what seemed like hours. Rido, it seemed, was desperate to avoid him, sending him on a couple of false leads and had even set many traps that Kaname made light work of. He knew he was getting closer. Knew he would see him soon.
As he picked the exit and headed towards it, he was aware of a low moan to his left. He was inordinately annoyed with it as it had broken his concentration. He turned to see its source and was momentarily surprised. There emerging from one of the exits was the President.
"Fancy… seeing…you …here."
She fell to the ground immediately, her hand ineffective in trying to staunch the flow of blood from her neck. Kaname was surprised he was unable to smell her as he entered then realized that some of the exits may be sealed by magic. He sighed yet again as time would be wasted trying to find the right one. He moved away. He had no time for stupid, half-dead humans. He could smell the taint in her blood from the toxicity of the bite. She would not make it to being a vampire.
"Wait. Please…" The President coughed violently.
"I have nothing to say to you."
"But… I have... something…"
Kaname didn't know why he turned back. Dammit. Living with humans had made him soft. He stood silently over the dying woman, uncaring of the angle she was getting of his nude body. She even had the presence of mind to smile at the vision of lithe teenage form that entered her gaze.
"You are sadly mistaken if I am going to fall for..."
"No!" The President coughed from the effort of shouting emphatically. Her eyes told Kaname the rest of her statement. This is not a trick.
Kaname still looked skeptical and turned away.
"I don't need it."
"Yes. Seals… Many… Has … repelling spell." She coughed again, "Please... take. Get… him. Bad… "
The President fell silent. She would not speak again. Kaname went towards the exit with the scent and stopped. That damned feeling again. Much like pity. He turned back.
FINALLY. Kaname felt totally vindicated for ignoring his instincts and picking up the amulet. It had definitely made his endeavour a lot easier. As soon as he picked it up all the other exits emitted scents from far into the maze of caverns. He could even tell where one led to the outside world and which ones were dead ends. The one that had emitted Rido's scent to begin with in the large cave was a dead end and even had a trapping spell carved into the ceiling. He still wouldn't put it around his neck though. He wasn't that stupid.
Kaname gasped in relief as he emerged into the outside world again. He was sick of the spelunking expedition and the feeling of claustrophobia that came with it. He collapsed onto the grass and breathed deep breaths; glad he wasn't buried in the cave. After some minutes he stood and looked around. He hadn't a clue where he was, but it was beautiful. It was a valley. The green with patches of colour stretched for miles, only marred but the bump of dirt where Rido had emerged into it, and some rock formations behind him. He turned and scanned them, noting they would be a great place for and ambush…
The ground heaved and Kaname not taking a chance jumped into the air, "holding" himself there as the ground settled without a reward. Kaname looked up and suddenly the entire rock formation exploded into fine pebbles allowing no one to hide there. It then whipped up into the air and scattered revealing a lone figure stunned by the force of the attack. Kaname didn't do anything half way.
"So you survived my little cave Kaname-kun. I am impressed."
Kaname wasn't one for a lot of small talk. Especially when he was as tired and hungry as he was. He used his force of will to try to pry open Rido's skull. He wanted him in pain. He needed to see him in pain.
Rido grit his teeth as fought Kaname's hold. He was very weak from the loss of blood and the President hadn't been enough. His body felt lethargic and he wanted to sleep, but he would be damned if he would let this younghuman-lover defeat him. He concentrated on the hill opposite and suddenly a rocky protrusion traveled speedily towards Kaname, knocking onto the ground. He groaned as he rolled over. Come on. Get up. The ground heaved and a wave of dirt threatened to engulf him. He shattered it and rose again into the air, turning to see where Rido had dropped. If he had gone underground again he would scream.
No, there he was. Crap! Kaname narrowly missed being impaled on a volley of sharpened stones, "blocking" them at the last minute. He then found Rido brain again trying to rip it open. Rido screamed.
Summoning all his strength he sent another volley of sharpened stones and at the same time sending the earth into the air to capture Kaname. Kaname avoided this easily. He sensed weakness. Rido's concentration wasn't what it should be. The time was ripe to end this.
Kaname dropped to the ground in front of Rido and lunged at him; aiming for his heart. Rido jumped back and to the side then opened up the earth again, this time falling into it.
"No! You will not get away from me!"
Rido was lifted in the air away from his escape route. He screamed in frustration. The ground under Kaname shook but Kaname lifted himself up to avoid the hole.
"You are in my world now. Let's see how you do at altitude."
Rido's look of panic rewarded Kaname as they climbed ever higher. Kaname then lunged again at Rido. Rido waited for is young nephew and then kicked at the last minute with all his might. He connected to Kaname's stomach and the young pure-blood double over in pain. They began to drop.
"I have drunk from five pure-bloods Kaname. Even in this state you are no match for me!"
Rido dived towards the stunned Kaname and grabbed his neck, squeezing with all his might. Kaname fought and kicked but Rido was too strong. He was losing consciousness. Zero, Kaname thought in despair, I can't even avenge you.
Suddenly Rido screamed and let go of Kaname. He rubbed at his roasted hand in surprise and violent anger, eying the offending article. Kaname struggled to clear his head and looked down at…the amulet on his left hand to which pieces of Rido skin was attached. Geez he could have put this thing on…
"That god-damned bitch!" Rido screamed again in frustration. The amulet's magic was affecting more than just his hand. His entire body was shutting down. If he wasn't so weak maybe he would have bee able to fight it. But now, as the ground approached Rido gave in to the inevitable.
"Save me Kaname. Hurry! You can have some of my blood. The blood with the power of six pure bloods. Think of how indestructible you would be. How invincible. Your enemies would not touch you. Please save me and you could drink from me."
Kaname actually though about it. For a second.
"No," he said eventually, "I am not like you. Besides you don't look so indestructible to me."
Rido screamed as he found himself the only one falling to his death.
"KANAME-SAMA! You are back!"
Aidou jogged to the dark haired figure that emerged onto the clearing looking a little worst for wear, but otherwise alright. Aidou himself was all bandaged up, having been unable to persuade Yagari to donate a pint to ease a poor vampire's suffering. He did get some painkiller though, that was quite good stuff, so Aidou was smiling from ear to ear. Kaname looked at him suspiciously but said nothing, knowing his wound was bad. He stopped Aidou from coming too close.
"Where is everyone?"
"Some have already gone back to the academy in the car. We decided to stay and wait for you."
Kaname looked past Aidou to see who the "we" was. He saw Yagari and one of the nobles who had volunteered – Sasuke – and another figure with ash-blond hair. Kaname's heart skipped a beat, his eyes widening. He was upwind so he couldn't know…
"No Kaname," Aidou's smile disappeared, "that's Ichiru. He woke up not too long ago. Lot's of blood on him but no injuries though. Yagari has him trussed up like a rodeo steer."
KANAME sighed as the car stopped at the entrance to the Moon Dorms. He alighted and walked up the steps. So much had changed yet it was the same. He was alone again but now he more painfully felt the solitude. He still rolled over in his bed on evenings and reached for Him even though it had been months since… Kaname shook his head. Not while he was in public. His tears were only for his room and the haven that was his bed. He had found the pain so unbearable in the early days, especially knowing as only he did that he was the one… that… It was only because it was Zero's last wish that Kaname stilled his hand many times when opportunities to join Zero presented itself. He had been completely useless to Yuuki, leaving Chairman Cross to console her. She had even saved him from himself a couple times as he had wallowed in his grief, saying Zero would not have wanted Kaname to just give up like this. She was right, he knew, but why did knowing never help much? Why did it still hurt just as bad? Gradually, though, the pain did become bearable and he decided to throw himself into his work. It helped him to not dwell on what was missing. Zero's losing his life would not be in vain, Kaname swore, on his honour.
Two figures had also alighted with him. Ichijou, having had the benefit of Kaname's softened heart, was back in his good graces again. He strode into the hall after Kaname ignoring the bowed heads, going upstairs to Shiki to detail the funnier events at the Council meeting, even though Shiki would probably just nod intermittently as he tried to nap, already well used to Ichijou's hyper personality.
The other figure with ash-blond hair and a vacant grey-eyed stare followed Kaname upstairs to his room, carrying all the notes e.t.c. Kaname normally took with him to these meetings. He opened the door for him and went straight to draw a bath after giving Kaname a glass of red liquid. Kaname treated this figure as if he was barely there; only just taking the glass and opening his folders that were placed on the table in the order that exactly suited him and began to review. Kaname almost never reflected on the day this figure came into his life, only staring with heart rending longing at him sometimes during one of his rare weaker moments, wishing he had let Yagari deal with him as he had wanted to. But no. Kaname had had other things in mind. When they had returned that day Kaname had whispered into Ichiru's ear informing him that he would have his memories and his consciousness stay with him but he will not have his own will. He will look on until the end of his life as he did exactly as Kaname told him to do, fulfilling all his wants and desires. All. Until death saved him. Kaname took a sadistic pleasure from the scared eyes of Ichiru as they looked up at him before Kaname took over and they became the vacant ones of a slave. But he never did mistreat him. Zero wouldn't have wanted that.
Kaname sat and rubbed his temples until Ichiru came back and told him the bath was ready. Kaname stood up tiredly and turned, his eye catching the vial of dust he kept on his desk always. He ran his fingers over it, going in his mind as he did a hundred times to the feel of Zero's skin as he touched it, and the response that almost always came with it. He drew strength sometimes from just this simple act and not a little pleasure. He smiled.
"Thank you, Ichiru." He said softly although he didn't need to and went towards the bathroom.
lightpathetic wrote this but these are not my characters. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following persons for my inspiration:
Hino-sensei who is the mangaka of "Vampire Knight" from which these wonderful characters were taken – except Sasuke, Hiro, Jade, Tanaka and the two V.P.'s Sinjean and Alistaire, who are all my invention to carry the story (this is for Shamalan's and Tsuzuki's benefit).
Sologirl102 without whose encouragement I would not have made it so far.
Melitot Proud-Eye who also encouraged me to be as realistic as possible and include Yuuki more which worked out well I think. (MPE would also agree with me that as Zero was dead and blowing away in the breeze that it would stretch credulity to bring him back. Sorry all you K/Z fans out there.)
AoiYume-sama who also chimed in – yeah I know AY does it for everybody, but still, I did not know that at the time.
And all the other reviewers who encouraged me to continue with your fantastic reviews. You know who you all are which is good as I am too lazy to reproduce all of you here (if you don't remember who you are just check the reviews page).
Until next time…