Author Notes: This is the last update for Hold Me! -grins in utter relief- LOL, I'm finally finishing the very first fanfic I've ever written that started way back in December 2007 - more than a year ago! This update marks the epilogue for my ZeroxYuuki story - it's the 60th update and the 30th chapter. I've had a lot of fun writing this fanfic and it also gave rise to my other VK fanfics, with different pairings that I never expected to even read, much less write about! I hope you've enjoyed reading all the Hold Me chapters as much as I have had in writing them.
Thank you to my wonderful and loyal reviewers, some of you have been with me almost from Chapter 1 itself! -bows- Enjoy this last installment :D
-- Chapter Start --
Five years later...
The limousine that pulled up at the gates of Cross Academy was known to the guard and he opened the gates immediately, offering a respectful salute to the pureblood sitting at the back.
An almost soundless sigh escaped Kaname's lips as he looked around at the familiar landscape and buildings of the school. It had been almost a year since he had last been here last but every time he set foot in here, it always felt like... home. A place that he felt safe in, a place that was still safe - a haven where little or none of the never-ending political dealings of the vampire world touched. Kaname was determined to keep it that way and even more so now, when Cross Academy was also the home of the people he cherished most in the world – his younger sister Yuuki Kiriyu, her husband Zero, their adopted father Kaien Cross and of course, little Yuko Kiriyu.
- o -
The limousine pulled up outside the main quarters and stopped. As Kaname got down from the car, the front door opened right on cue and a curious little heart-shaped face peeped out before huge amethyst eyes widened in delight. "Oji-san!" squealed the little girl as she ran out bare footed and flung herself at the pureblood.
Kaname's very seldom heard laughter rang out as he scooped the little girl up with hardly any effort at all and held her at arms length above him, hands securely holding her small waist. "Yuko-chan, you've grown so much since I last saw you in town! How is my little angel?" he asked as he smiled up at her. Yuko beamed down at him, chubby arms and legs waving and kicking fearlessly in the air. "Fine, Oji-san, fine!" she exclaimed. "Papa will be back this evening and everyone will be here!" she continued in a suitably dramatic tone.
"He will? And what are you doing out here when you haven't even finished your dinner yet?" asked Kaname in mildly reproving tones that held a hint of laughter, having both seen and smelled the traces of what could only be porridge around his niece's mouth.
By now, his driver had already placed Kaname's overnight bag at the front door. Kaname lowered Yuko and carried her in one arm before placing a soft kiss onto her hair. "Who's everyone?" he asked as he nodded at the driver's bow then went inside, carrying his bag with his other hand.
"Why, Hanabusa Oji-san, Yori Oba-san, Tomi-chan and Taya-chan, of course!" she replied as if Kaname should have already known. "They're my bestest friends in the whole world, you know," she added thoughtfully.
Kaname chuckled, having heard the same thing from Yuuki before. "They are?"
Yuko nodded solemnly. "I'm gonna tell you a secret but you mustn't tell anyone," she added in a theatrically loud whisper, her eyes larger than ever. Kaname nodded just as solemnly. "I won't tell anyone," he promised. Yuko then took her uncle's face in her chubby, slightly sticky hands and looked straight into his eyes. Kaname hadn't had many people in his life hold his face like his, nor regard him with that utter lack of fear his niece was showing now and his heart swelled almost painfully with warmth even though he was careful to keep his face looking solemn.
"Tomi-chan says he's gonna marry me one day," Yuko declared and Kaname had to quickly bite the inside of one cheek - gently so as not to draw blood - lest he let out an accidental chuckle and offended his only niece.
"He said that?" he asked in appropriately awed tones and Yuko nodded emphatically. Then her sweet face crumpled up and Kaname's heart leapt a little in sudden alarm. "But Tomi-chan can't keep a secret, he's already told his papa!" she wailed in distress as she related her future fiancé's gross indiscretion. Kaname found himself biting the inside of his cheek even harder as he tried not to picture Aido's sure to be befuddled expression at his son's confession.
"Telling his mama would have been a better choice, I think" he murmured and Yuko nodded emphatically. "I told him that too, Oji-san, but as usual he never listens to me!" she declared on a long suffering sigh. Still frowning a little, Yuko grabbed a fistful of her uncle's long, dark hair and tugged on it absently. Kaname hoped she wasn't leaving porridge in his hair as he chuckled – the look on his niece's face was just too much.
"But you haven't told your parents yet, am I right, darling?" he asked, in an attempt to cheer her up. To be honest, Kaname wasn't quite sure what he should say in this sort of situation, despite being an articulate and politically savvy pureblood. Luckily, Yuko brightened up at once and gifted him with a happy smile that looked just like her mother's.
"No, I haven't! Even though Tomi-chan's seven years old and I'm only three!" she declared proudly, now twining the long, dark hair around her small fingers. "And a half," she added absently, looking fully absorbed in her task. After a moment, she sighed and peeped up at her uncle. "Well, I did tell Sofu-san..." she admitted sheepishly.
Kaname felt like chuckling again but he controlled himself. "Oh? And what did he say?" he asked, already knowing the eccentric ex-Headmaster's reaction. Yuko made a face. "He started crying!" she said in disgusted tones that sounded exactly like her father's. This time, Kaname's laughter rang out – he just couldn't help it.
Before he could control himself, a sweet and familiar voice had called out from the direction of the kitchen. "Kaname-nii-san?" The pureblood's dark eyes lit up as he dropped his bag in the hall and walked quickly towards the kitchen, still carrying his niece. Yuuki was standing at the stove, stirring the contents of a large pot but she dropped the ladle and walked over to greet her brother. "You're just on time, nii-san! We can have dinner as soon as Zero gets back – he's been away for four days," she said with a happy smile.
Kaname enveloped her in a one armed hug and dropped a kiss onto her soft auburn hair as he still liked to do. "That sounds great, Yuuki," he said warmly, his eyes already going to the obvious swell of her stomach, very visible under the loose sundress she wore. "How are you feeling? Not too tired?"
Yuuki chuckled as she directed Kaname to put her daughter back in the high chair that was pulled close to the kitchen table. "I'm only six months pregnant, nii-san, not about to deliver just yet" she chided gently. "I'm fine and my two boys are fine, too," she added as she patted her stomach proudly. All the same, she sat down with a relieved sigh before resuming feeding Yuko her porridge.
"How long are you staying this time?"
Kaname was taking down a mug from the shelf and didn't turn around. "A couple of days. I need to see how the new Night Class students are getting along and of course, my arrangement with Zero," he replied. The pureblood smiled to himself as he poured his tea. Yuuki never failed to start her usual fuss on why he never stayed longer than two days whenever he came to visit but he only smiled at her before taking a sip of his tea.
Three year Yuko had taken after her father in colouring but her mischievous amethyst eyes owed their large and beguiling round shape to her mother. Character-wise, Yuko was exactly like Yuuki too – happy, cheerful and kind. She adored everyone she met, could not stop talking or asking questions and whenever not closely supervised, would inevitably escape to the school canteen in order to 'talk to her friends' - whichever of the Day Class students who happened to be there. For now, Zero and Yuuki let her but they were aware that those visits would have to be strictly supervised once Yuko neared her fifth year and her milk teeth fell out. Vampire children began teething earlier than their human counterparts and their canines - their actual fangs - would begin to grow out once they reached five years old.
In fact, even though Yuko still sported her milk teeth, her parents and grandfather had already experienced getting their fingertips nipped a few times and none too gently either. Still, the ex-Headmaster was quite the besotted grandfather and having retired when she was born, delighted in taking care of her whenever Zero and Yuuki were busy, which was quite often.
Zero was now a skilled and careful vampire hunter with keen analytical skills, and had already started taking charge of minor missions. Being a hunter was in his blood and although these missions still made Yuuki worry, she never once thought of stopping her husband even if she did caution him to be careful each time he left for one of them.
Yuuki smiled at Yuko now as she popped another spoonful of porridge into her daughter's mouth. She and Zero hadn't taken any precaution on their wedding night four years ago but she hadn't gotten pregnant then. It was actually a good thing since she had had a lot of learning to do after her graduation. For the past three years, Cross Academy has been managed by a temporary Headmistress - one of Cross' female ex-colleagues who also supported his pacifist views. Yuuki was assisting her as she gained more experience before taking over as the school's Headmistress in a year's time or so while Cross still acted as advisor but only when his counsel was sought.
All of them now lived at Cross Academy. Zero and Yuuki could imagine living nowhere else – it was their home and even now, it still was. They had converted Yuuki's old room into their master bedroom and little Yuko slept in Zero's old room, next to theirs. Cross still used his bedroom next to his study.
All the nobles who made up the Night Class together with Kaname previously had flown the nest. Kaname took turns with Takuma to visit the school every once in a while to check on how things were and held meetings with the Night Class teachers on the class syllabus and any issues that arose. This time, it was Kaname's turn since it also coincided with his feeding schedule for Zero. The silver haired hunter now only required Kaname's pure blood once a year but since getting more active in his missions, he sometimes needed extra which the pureblood was only too happy to provide.
Kaname and Yuuki chatted in the kitchen for a few minutes, their casual conversation interrupted from time to time by Yuko. But after finishing his tea, Zero still hadn't returned and the pureblood stood up. "I'll go freshen up first, Yuuki," he said as he stood up and placed his mug in the sink. "Be back in fifteen minutes."
Yuuki nodded as she wiped her daughter's mouth. "Good idea. Zero should be back by then."
- o -
Yuuki swung around again at the sound of that dearly beloved voice. "Zero!" she cried happily as her husband came into the kitchen, grinning at her. He paused by the high chair to scoop an excited Yuko into his arms and kiss her soundly on the cheek before going over to the kitchen sink where Yuuki was. Zero bent down to give her a light kiss. "Mmm! You smell like chicken stew - delicious!" he teased her. Yuuki pursed her lips at him, the soapy sponge in her hand quite forgotten. "It is delicious and you're just in time for - hey, where are you going?" she asked as Zero started to walk away. He looked over his shoulder at her. "To take a shower, of course."
It was a conversation that took place each time after he came back and they never tired of it. Yuuki shook her head as she placed her soapy hands on her hips, her normally sweet expression stern. "Don't you walk away without giving me a proper kiss, Zero Kiriyu," she demanded, making her husband grin again as he retraced his steps obediently. Propping Yuko onto one hip, he tilted his wife's chin up. "Never, dearest," he murmured before kissing her thoroughly, careful of her rounded stomach. Yuuki's toes curled in her home slippers. Zero sure knew how to kiss her alright, even if he had never kissed anyone else before her – something that made her very happy. It was a long moment before they parted and Zero smiled into the soft, brown eyes. "Is that better?" he whispered huskily.
Yuuki nodded, soft colour blooming in her cheeks. "Better," she managed, half wishing that dinner was already over, Yuko already asleep and she had her husband all to herself in bed. Zero's smile widened – it wasn't difficult to read her thoughts. "Believe me, dearest, I'm looking forward to tonight just as much," he told her and Yuuki felt her cheeks warm even more. "Stop reading my thoughts!" she half laughed, half pouted at him.
Zero laughed as well, feeling the last dregs of the tension from his most recent mission melt away. He was home now and even better, on three days of leave before he had to report back to the Hunter Association – three days of doing nothing but loving and caring for his family and maybe even sitting in on a couple of the Day Class teachers' meetings, something Cross had requested of him.
"I guess Kaname's already here then?" he asked casually, having caught a faint scent of the pureblood in the kitchen as well as on his wife's hair. Yuuki nodded happily as she continued washing up the used dishes in the sink. "He's gone to wash up but will be joining us for dinner," she informed him excitedly. Zero held back his grin - he still retained his amusement from old for his wife's exuberance in almost everything she did and along with it, his delight in teasing her.
"So he doesn't know you're cooking tonight?" he asked with a perfectly straight face as he swung his daughter up and down in his strong arms. It was something Yuko loved, apparent by the loud squeals she emitted each time she was tossed up, knowing her father's arms would catch her without fail.
Yuuki blinked and gasped. Then she reached for the dish towel and flung it at her husband. Without missing a beat, Zero shifted Yuko in his arms then caught the cloth neatly one handed, making Yuuki pout again. "No fair," she muttered with a playful sniff. "And he does know I'm cooking, so there!"
Zero chuckled and walked back to her. "Don't give me that," he said gently as he bent his head to kiss her cheek after tossing the towel onto the counter. "You know he would eat anything you cooked. I would, and father too..."
Standing in the doorway, Kaname watched them silently. He had deliberately hidden his aura and was enjoying the loving scene in the kitchen with a wistful smile on his face. It was good to know that Zero and Yuuki behaved like this when they didn't know he was around. Kaname knew that the young hunter loved his younger sister and their daughter with all his heart but witnessing their open affection for each other still warmed his heart. He knew he no longer needed to worry about his sister's happiness – she was brimming with it.
Ah, I envy you your happiness, Yuuki...
Without making a sound, Kaname turned around and walked back to the living room.
- o -
Aido, Yori, Tomi and their three year old daughter Taya arrived not long after so dinner was a cheerful and noisy affair. Cross sat at the head of the table and beamed at everyone. He insisted that Yuko sat next to him which suited both Zero and Yuuki just fine since they were able to chat with the others instead. With Tomi and the two girls chattering nonstop to each other, the ex-Headmaster had his hands full but happily so.
Yori had made her decision four years ago to be turned into a vampire. It was something Zero and Yuuki suspected she would eventually do and they were right. Before that, Aido and Yori had travelled to her father's house, wanting to see his reaction about the true identity of his daughter's in-laws. The older man had not taken the news well at all and as much as it had hurt him to do so, Aido had no choice but to wipe his father-in-law's memory of that conversation. It looked like they would have to hide Yori's changed state from her family whenever they went to visit but as her father remained very busy with his business, the visits would be infrequent and therefore, more manageable.
Yori's mind was still firmly made up and a few days later, Kaname changed her. Everyone was relieved that it wasn't as painful a process as Zero's had been, since she took Kaname's blood soon after she woke up from the bite and was stabilised immediately. Although it had never crossed Aido nor Yori's mind, Kaname still took the trouble to reassure them that he would never impose his will on Yori in any way, even though technically, he was her master. Aido was actually shocked at his words and protested that Kaname had always gotten his fullest trust, something that the pureblood couldn't help smiling at even as he nodded and thanked the earnest young noble with his usual graciousness.
Well, Yori's looks hadn't really changed, thought Yuuki as she stole a glance at her friend who was now admonishing her children for talking too loudly and interrupting Cross' own dinner. Her best friend's skin was now as pale as her husband's and seemed to have a more translucent quality to it but other than that, she remained the same, sensible and level headed person she had always been.
Halfway through the meal, Zero noticed that Kaname had stopped eating. The pureblood was observing each person seated at the table, taking a moment to study each of the familiar faces. When he came to Zero who was sitting beside him, he paused. The young hunter had raised an eyebrow slightly in a silent enquiry but Kaname only shook his head before resuming eating again.
I envy you your happiness too, Zero...
- o -
It was now a few hours later, almost eleven at night. Their quarters was once again peaceful and quiet after Aido's family and Kaname left for the former Moon Dorms building to rest. The rooms there had been fixed up and refurbished and were now as comfortable as the current Moon Dorms were.
Little Yuko was already fast asleep in her bed and Yuuki smiled as she pulled the blanket higher up over her daughter's shoulders. She could be such a handful when she was awake but once asleep, her daughter's sleeping face reminded her of an angel's. Zero came out of the bathroom just as Yuuki closed her daughter's bedroom door quietly. "Sleeping already?" he asked quietly as he placed an arm around his wife's shoulders and they walked back to their room.
Yuuki nodded, smiling. "Out like a light after all the playing around with Tomi and Taya earlier," she said on a laugh. Zero closed their room door and turned to her. "And what about her mother? Is she tired as well?" he asked as he let his eyes rove over his wife's body. Despite her slightly rounded face and even more rounded stomach, he felt his body tightening with familiar desire.
Yuuki laughed again as she sat on the bed. "A little... but never too tired to make love, Zero," she reassured him and Zero smiled. "That's good, dearest," he replied a little huskily as he got into bed and reached for her.
But a few minutes later, even after having been lovingly and gently prepared, Yuuki found making love rather... uncomfortable. Zero stopped his wife as soon as he saw the discomfort reflected on her face. "Wait, Yuuki. Does it hurt?"
Yuuki paused. Zero was always careful not to place any pressure on her stomach and for the past few months, he had insisted that she remained on top of him to minimise any pressure on her middle, despite her half hearted protests that she probably weighed about the same as an average cow. Yuuki sighed as she rested more of her weight on his hips and rubbed her swollen tummy. "A little," she admitted reluctantly. "Probably because of the weight of the twins."
Zero managed a smile even though his aching body protested. He held Yuuki steady as she clambered off of him a little awkwardly. "That's OK, I don't mind," he told her.
Yuuki couldn't help sighing a little at that – Zero was just too sweet sometimes... well, most of the time. "Did you think I would believe you?" she asked as she sat next to him and reached for his straining erection. Zero started to shake his head but sighed instead as Yuuki moistened her slender fingers with his liquid then slid them up and down his length in a light, teasing fashion.
"Yuuki..." Zero told her warningly.
Yuuki was all wide eyed innocence. "What?" she asked.
Zero growled softly, unable to stop his hips from arching up under his wife's teasing ministrations. "Harder, please...!"
Yuuki laughed happily before she released him, getting another groan out of Zero. She carefully got off the bed and knelt down beside it then beckoned to her husband. "Come here, Zero..."
Zero shifted closer to the edge of the bed, placing his long legs on either side of his wife. Past experience had taught him that there was no saying 'No' to Yuuki when she had made up her mind over something and he was rewarded for his obedience as small hands and a warm mouth started to love him in earnest. Zero's head tipped back on a soft moan. "Unh... Yuuki..." he panted out, holding his hips still with an effort before drawing a shaky hand through her long, silky auburn hair, holding it away from her face.
Yuuki smiled as she used her hands, lips and tongue. Zero may love how she tasted but she definitely loved how he tasted. Her husband was ever the gentleman and would usually remove himself from his wife's mouth once he got too close to the brink but during the few times he hadn't managed to do so in time, Yuuki had no issues with taking all he had to give – to her, Zero tasted as good as he looked. Now, she paused for a moment to smile up at him.
"This time, I want it all, Zero," she told him softly and watched his cheeks flush lightly. "Really?" he asked with a touch of that same uncertainty the first time she had done this and Yuuki's heart swelled with happiness. "Really," she reassured him. Slowly, she reached up and Zero bent down so that they could kiss. He could already taste a light hint of his own scent on her lips but before he could say anything, she was bending over his hips again and working her magic on him.
Zero squirmed helplessly on the bed as his throbbing, sensitive tip was teased and caressed with Yuuki's tongue and teeth. Then she took him as deep as she dared, her head moving up and down as her hands squeezed and teased him. She knew the right amount of pressure to apply now and Zero was carried closer and closer to the edge. The sweet, throbbing tension grew more and more unbearable as he neared his completion and his chest heaved as he gave one panting cry after another. After a long and exquisite moment of torture, it happened.
"Aah... Yuuki!" Zero cried out as he finally came and found himself arching up into that soft, loving mouth even though he had tried so hard not to. Yuuki speeded up her actions as she continued pleasuring her husband until he was completely spent, his ragged breath brushing her hair. He reached for her as soon as he could and pulled her up onto the bed once more before spooning her from behind.
"That was... fantastic," he murmured, still panting softly as he dropped loving kisses onto one bare shoulder. "I love you, dearest."
Yuuki looked over her shoulder and Zero kissed her gently, flushing deeper this time as he tasted his own passion on her lips. "Thank you," he told her solemnly and Yuuki nodded. "You're welcome and I love you too," she said softly before yawning. That made Zero lean up on his elbow. "Hey, you falling asleep on me?" he asked in mock surprise, making Yuuki giggle. "Why, did you have something in mind?" she asked him innocently, already knowing what the answer would be.
"I do indeed," Zero drawled as he sat up and moved to the bottom of the bed. "Trust me, dearest, you'll sleep much better after this."
Yuuki smiled sleepily but she gasped as familiar, warm hands parted her thighs then reached for her. "Mmm... you spoil me, Zero," she said on a soft sigh as her thighs fell open, all the better to let those clever fingers tease her in turn.
"No more than you spoil me," Zero replied before he exacted sweet revenge with his tongue, making Yuuki grab the nearest pillow she could. "Zero, aaah...!"
After several deliciously sensual minutes that culminated with Yuuki's soft, panting cries, she snuggled up against Zero, feeling even sleepier than before. Her bump necessitated that he spoon her from behind but neither of them minded that since it was actually their favourite position for sleeping, or for just cuddling together.
"I feel sorry for nii-san..."
Zero's eyes blinked open. "Why?" he asked.
Yuuki yawned again. "I saw him looking around the table during dinner earlier and he... he looked so lonely."
Zero nodded. "I saw that, too." Being a pureblood sure was a lonely affair...
While waiting for Aido's family to arrive, Kaname and Zero had taken the opportunity to hold their blood sharing session. With his fangs buried in the pureblood's pale neck and their bodies pressed close together, Zero could feel that Kaname's trembles were a little more pronounced than before. After he had taken his fill of that rich, pure blood, the hunter licked the wounds on Kaname's neck closed and murmured his thanks. But when he asked if Kaname was OK, the pureblood had just shrugged before turning away to button up his shirt.
Yuuki didn't say anything and Zero cuddled her closer. "He has us, Yuuki... and he'll always be welcome here, you know that."
His words made Yuuki blink back sudden tears. She loved the fact that the two most important men in her lives no longer had any enmity between them. "You're right, Zero. But I do hope that he won't remain lonely forever... that there will be someone to love him some day."
Zero nodded then kissed the back of Yuuki's neck, loving the tickling sensation of her hair against his nose. "Like there was someone for poor, lonely me, you mean?" he teased, pulling a soft giggle from his wife. "Exactly," she said rather smugly and Zero buried his face in her neck. "I'm the luckiest man in the world," he murmured sleepily, his eyes closing. Yuuki nodded before she yawned for the third time, making Zero smile. "That makes me the luckiest woman, then," she replied.
Zero's smile grew larger as a small hand found its way into his own larger one. He squeezed it gently then placed his other hand on Yuuki's rounded stomach and in that comfortable embrace, they both fell asleep.
They had their own family and they had each other. Neither of them could ask for more.
-- THE END --