Of Chocolate and Sweet Cherries
AVampire Knights fan fiction by Riku no Kage
Of Chocolate and Sweet Cherries
Fandom: Vampire Knight
Pairing: Yuki/Zero, hints at Idol/Wild
Author: Riku no Kage
Warnings/Disclaimers/Author's Notes: Disclaimers first—all characters, locations, names, etc. are property of Maki Murakami, and are used for the sole purpose of just having fun. I am not writing this for profit, I am writing this because I enjoy writing and I also enjoy this series. As for warnings: I only have the first three Vampire Knights manga, and those are currently packed away in boxes since I'm moving at the end of the month. Yeah, that's the warning for y'all. I did find online manga scans, but those are fan-translated, and because of that, not everything is the same as in the officially translated manga version. For instance, the manga I have says "St. Xocolatl's Day," whereas the manga scans say "Valentine's Day." Which is positively infuriating, since it took me two Google pages to find the proper spelling of Xocolatl. I originally had it spelled Xhocolatl. Go ahead, laugh. So, I'm writing this entirely from the knowledge gleaned from the manga that I went out and bought, not the manga that fans have translated and posted on the internet. Which means that everything that's happening here is based from what I remember of the first three manga. And I'd like some reviews, since this is the first ever time I've written anything quite like this. This is entirely a romance, no adventure or comedy involved (at least not on purpose). … Yeah. R&R plz -:kthnxbai:-
Yuki Cross woke as sunlight struck her eyes, and stretched with a yawn. She desperately wanted to lay about in bed, since the Headmaster had given her and Zero the day off, but she remembered what today was, and anyway, old habits die hard. She was used to rising with the sun, and now that she was awake, her body demanded a bath and food, in that order.
She had been up most of the night in secret, using one of the school's kitchens that were normally reserved for culinary classes. During one of those classes earlier in the week, she and her fellow classmates had been taught how to make their own chocolate candies. Yuki hadn't quite gotten the hang of it, so when she was done with her Guardian duties, she gave herself extra practice at night. If her teachers had noticed the ingredients that she had used missing, they hadn't said a thing to her class about it. Perhaps it was a regular occurrence.
Her best batch of chocolates had come out last night, but even then, only one piece had turned out right. However, with two boys she liked very much, and today being Saint Xocolatl's Day, she was in quite the dilemma. She wouldn't get a chance to try for another perfect batch of candy, much less for a single piece. Cross Academy was holding a rare festival today in honor of the holiday, and there would be no way she could sneak past all of the teachers and students. Not with the former on watch for inappropriate behavior, and the latter wandering about trying to cause that inappropriate behavior.
Deciding on a shower instead of a bath, Yuki stripped off her pajamas and stepped under the jet of water, adjusting the temperature to her liking. She allowed the stream to wash over her and her mind to blank, but there was one niggling little thought that kept drifting to the surface of her mind: Just who was she going to give that chocolate to? She spent several long minutes trying to decide, the warm water pouring over her as she pondered. Should she give the chocolate to the man who had saved her life ten years ago, or should she give it to the boy who had become her best friend, always looking out for her, always there for her?
Should she give it to the pureblood vampire who could turn her with one bite, or to the vampire who was slowly losing his mind and his humanity?
Still unable to make up her mind, she snatched up some soap and began to vigorously scrub herself down. Even as she washed, she still pondered the question. She rinsed, and turned off the jet of the shower, stepping out onto the cool tile floor and grabbed a towel. Roughly drying her hair, she sighed and closed her eyes.
"Why couldn't someone make this holiday easy?" she mused aloud. She pushed her hair back over her shoulder, and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She lightly brushed the two small, round scars on her neck with her fingers, and allowed the memory of how she had gotten them to enter her mind.
It had happened the day after she had given Zero her first ever Saint Xocolatl's Day chocolate. She had been terrified as he held her, gently but firmly as only he would. She trembled with that remembered fear, and flinched at the memory of how it felt to have his fangs sinking into her flesh… How it had hurt to feel the sharp points penetrating her skin, the odd way his lips had tickled the area around the punctures. How even though he had been drinking her blood, he was still remarkably gentle with her, and clung to her as if he were afraid she would flee and leave him forever. She had been tempted—oh, how she had been tempted—to run from him as soon as he released her, but the look in his eyes, the fear and the guilt, had forced her to stay by his side.
She closed her eyes against the memory, and was unsurprised when she felt tears spill over her cheeks. She didn't wipe them away, feeling they were the least she could do for her friend. Not that she hadn't already done everything she could think of, but at least she cared enough for Zero to cry for him. She never did in his presence, not if she could help it, because she felt he had enough to worry about already.
She opened her eyes and stared at her reflection again, then scowled at it.
"Get a grip, Yuki!" she scolded, waggling one finger at the mirror. "Its just one chocolate! You gave one to Zero last year, so then Kaname gets it this year. There, problem solved!" She smiled at herself, but the smile seemed strained even to her, and she dropped it quickly. She sighed and leaned against the sink, staring down at the black hole of the drain.
"Oh, who am I kidding? They both mean so much to me. I don't even know who I like more. How can I possibly choose between the two of them?"
With another sigh, she shoved herself back from the sink and began to comb out her hair. The steady movement of the bristles against her scalp was almost hypnotic, but nothing would get her mind off of the question of who to give the chocolate to. As she dragged on her clothing and headed out the door, the question formed a kind of litany in her mind.
Kaname, or Zero? Who should it be? Kaname or Zero? Kaname or Zero…
She held the chocolate protectively in both hands, being careful not to damage the delicate foil she had used to wrap it. She wasn't afraid that it might melt—even if she had kept it in a box in her pocket, it still would have softened from her body heat. There was no difference between that and holding the chocolate in her hands. She stared at it as she walked, biting her lip a little as the names continued to echo in her mind.
In fact, she didn't even notice where she was going, she was so preoccupied with what was becoming her ultimate question, and she walked straight into someone's chest.
"Aiiee!" she exclaimed, clutching the chocolate protectively as she tried not to drop it or fall on her rump. "I'm so sorry!" She looked up then, to see just who she had run into. To her surprise, it was one of the students from the Night Class.
"Oh, Idol—er, Aido! Are you okay? I'm so sorry, I'm such a klutz!"
"Huh?" Aido said, looking down at her and scratching the back of his head. "Oh, its you, Yuki. No, I'm okay. I should really watch where I'm going."
They stayed there for a minute in awkward silence, neither quite sure what to say. Yuki rarely got this tongue-tied around the Night Class, even though they were all so stunningly beautiful. But there was something especially attractive about Aido today, even if she couldn't place her finger on it.
"Um," they both said at the same time. "I should get going…"
"Oh!" Yuki said, hastily stepping out of Aido's way. "I'm sorry, first I bump into you, and then I get in your way! But… Where were you going? I thought all classes were canceled today, and anyway, it's daylight…"
"Oh, uh," Aido said, suddenly flushed with embarrassment. He couldn't meet Yuki's eyes for some reason, and his hand went right back to the back of his head in a gesture she assumed came from nerves. "I was, uh… just going to meet with… um… Th-that is, I… Look, d-don't tell Kaname-sama, okay?"
"Huh? Don't tell Kaname what…? Who're you going to go meet?"
"Um…" Aido's blush deepened and he looked away as he mumbled something. Yuki pressed him, however, and he blurted out the truth.
"I'm going to meet Kain!" he said, then clapped one hand over his mouth, staring at Yuki as though horrified.
"Oh!" Yuki said, brightening up. From the way Aido had been acting, she had been certain it was a girl or something. "Why didn't you just say so?"
"I, uh… What?"
"You and Wild are together so much, its not like you had to keep it a secret that you're going to go meet him," Yuki explained patiently. "But if you don't want me to tell Kaname, then I won't. You must be doing something for him behind his back again, right?"
"Uh… yeah, something like that."
"Well, okay, then," Yuki said with a smile, lightly stepping past him and waving over her shoulder. "Good luck, Idol!"
It never even occurred to her that this might have been the wrong thing to say. Then it hit her as to why Aido had seemed exceptionally handsome. He was just one short step from dressing up, and his hair showed signs of being impeccably groomed to within an inch of its life. Now why would he go through all that trouble for Wild…?
Oh! Kain is probably having him meet with a girl, and they're double-dating! she thought, a smile crossing her face at the idea of those two with girlfriends. Maybe she shouldn't tell Kaname; it was certainly none of his business what those two decided to do with their private lives.
A voice at the back of her mind said "Oh, Yuki, you have no idea," so softly she didn't even hear it.
She continued on her way down the hall, until there was no hall left. To her right was a set of doors leading to the school grounds, and the stables. She decided to head that way, knowing that Zero liked to spend time with the horses. Maybe if she saw either him or Kaname, her question would finally be answered.
She was slightly disappointed to find that Zero wasn't in the stables at all, but one of the mares, White Lily, was missing, so he was probably out riding. That didn't seem like such a bad idea, since it was such a beautiful day out, but there was also a chance Kaname was out and about…
So, instead of saddling up a horse and going looking for Zero, she instead backtracked to one of the gardens around the school. She was quite glad it wasn't one of the smaller gardens that had secluded areas for… ahem. She blushed at the thought, but continued walking down the graveled path, headed towards one of the ponds she favored. She caught a faint whiff of scent coming from a rose bush, and she bent over to examine the blossoms more closely. This bush seemed to be blooming early, and the scent of the flowers was almost intoxicating. She remembered that it was a St. Xocolatl's Day tradition that established couples exchanged roses instead of chocolates, and wondered if anyone would be giving her a rose next year.
She sighed and straightened up, looking around at her surroundings. It was apparent that Kaname-sama wasn't here, either. She figured she would probably have to wander around the entire school before she spotted either him or Zero. Although, if Zero was out riding, it might be a while until he returned. He might even be out on an assignment as a vampire hunter again, or…
She prayed he hadn't run away.
With a last look around in case she had missed anything, she began wandering about the school grounds, looking for either Kaname or Zero everywhere she could think of for either of them, even the "fair grounds" that had been set up in honor of the holiday. With each passing hour that she couldn't find either of them, she began to despair that her efforts of the previous night had been in vain, and the chocolate that had turned out so perfect would go to waste. She considered going to check the dorms, but she decided that if they didn't want to come out of their rooms for any reason, it would be rude to go intrude and push herself on them…
Zero watched from an upper story window as Yuki roamed the school, apparently searching for someone. His habitual frown deepened at the thought that she was searching for Kaname Kuran, but he still kept a protective eye on her. When it became obvious even to him that Yuki wasn't going to find the object of her search, however, he turned away from the window, and glared at the other man in the room with him.
"I told you," he snarled to Headmaster Cross, hands clenching into fists at his side, "I'm not taking them. They don't work for me."
He was referring to the pair blood-red tablets sitting in a paper sleeve on the room's only table. He met the headmaster's unusually serious gaze with one just as stern, and lifted his chin stubbornly.
"I know they don't, Zero," the headmaster said somberly. "But they do at least help curb the thirst, don't they?"
"My body rejects them," Zero growled under his breath, half to himself and half to the headmaster. "They make me sick, and I won't take them."
"Better you become sick, than kill someone, yes?" Cross said in that infuriatingly logical way of his. Zero snarled again, but couldn't refute that simple statement. It was entirely too true. "Please take them, Zero."
"I…" Zero hesitated, subconsciously backing himself into the wall as his entire body shook with a myriad of emotions, none of them pleasant. "I can't. I can't keep taking them. Eventually they'll stop working anyway. I can't continue taking those vile things!"
That final sentence was yelled as he slammed his balled fist into the wall behind him, leaving a shallow hole in the plaster and cutting his hand a bit. He hadn't even noticed he had done it until his fist throbbed, and he brought it up before his face to stare at it incredulously. He clutched that hand to his chest with the other, and slowly sank to his knees as he fought back sobs of despair. He barely noticed as Headmaster Cross knelt before him, holding out a glass of water that had the two blood tablets dissolving at the bottom.
"Please, Zero, drink it," the man said, his voice quavering slightly. "It will at least stop the violent impulses. What if you lose control around Yuki again?"
That clinched it. That was Zero's worst fear, that he would lose his control and cause Yuki harm, more harm than he already had. Yuki was precious to him, more precious than he ever wanted her to know. He would do anything for her, no matter what. Shakily, he reached out for the glass, and drank the contents down till the glass was nearly dry. As the capsules released their chemicals into his system, his entire body went slack, and his mind seemed to stop working. That was another thing he hated about those blood tablets—they tended to act like tranquilizers on him.
"That's better," Headmaster Cross said, taking the glass from Zero's limp hands before he dropped it. "Would you like some help to your rooms?"
Zero was in just enough control of his body to shake his head, and the headmaster frowned a little, but didn't say anything. He left the room soundlessly, closing the door behind him with a soft click. As the medicine began to take effect and his bloodlust ebbed even more, Zero let his mind wander where it would. Not that he could prevent that in this condition, but this time he didn't try to fight it. Of course, the first place his mind wandered to was Yuki, and what had happened nearly a year ago today…
He had been in nearly the same state he was in now, only then he hadn't taken any tablets. Instead, he had just fought a battle with his own body as the need for blood nearly overwhelmed his senses. He had been sitting in the bathroom of the headmaster's chambers waiting for his body to start responding the way it should have, when Yuki came in. He didn't remember much of that encounter, but what he did remember was strangely… pleasant. Even if he had acted otherwise.
He allowed himself to get lost in that memory, and others from times more pleasant than his current condition. He had no idea how long he stayed that way, but he noted vaguely at the back of his mind that the tablets seemed to be working longer this time. Perhaps the headmaster had given him a stronger dose this time. Or perhaps it was simply because he wasn't fighting the effects. Either way, it was several hours later when the drugs began to wear off, but he still did not move as his mind began to clear. He had somehow managed to land in a comfortable position when he had collapsed, and he didn't see any point in moving just yet.
He started a little when he heard the door open, but he couldn't see anything past the table in front of him. He supposed that the person who had opened the door couldn't see him either because of the table, and made no move to acknowledge the other's presence. Not until the person came around the table, and halted right at the corner, staring at him. He looked up, and his jaw dropped in surprise.
"Headmaster Cross said you'd be in here," she said, taking a step closer. He saw that she held something small and round in her hands, and was forcibly reminded of what had happened last year. She came even closer, then sat down next to him, a slight smile crossing her pretty face. "This reminds me of last year," she said unexpectedly, echoing Zero's thoughts. "Remember? But we were in the bathroom then, not your bedroom. You were the first boy I had ever given a St. Xocolatl's Day chocolate to, did you know that?"
She remained silent for a long time, and Zero saw no reason to break that silence. They just sat there for what seemed like eternity, not saying anything, not touching. Zero sighed and closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the wall. He could smell the soap Yuki had used to clean herself with that morning. She tended to favor a lilac scent, which mingled nicely with the shampoo she used on her hair. He could also smell a faint hint of roses and the outdoors, which was to be expected since she had been wandering around outside for the past several hours. He could also feel her, a warm, solid presence that always comforted him, whether she knew it or not.
He heard her stand up, and opened his eyes to watch her. She turned to him, holding out something small and round, wrapped in thin red foil with a tiny white ribbon around it. He knew what it was automatically, but was a little surprised to see it still in her possession. He had thought she had found Kaname and given it to him, and that was why she was back in the dorm rooms. She caught his eye and knew he was watching her, and she slowly unwrapped the chocolate she had been carrying around all day.
"I tried so hard to get this right," she said, holding the precious dainty between two fingers. "I've been up all night sometimes trying to make the perfect chocolates so I could give you and Kaname some today. But this was the only one that turned out right. I've been trying all day to decide who I should give it to, but I think now I've made up my mind."
Slowly, she raised the chocolate to her mouth, and began to push it in. Zero chuckled and closed his eyes.
"That's cruel, Yu—"
His statement was cut off when he felt her hands on his shoulders, and his eyes snapped open with surprise to stare at her as she moved with a grace he hadn't known she'd possessed. She settled herself in his lap, her legs on both sides of him, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Somehow, she managed to smile past the chocolate sticking out of her mouth, and leaned in closer. For a second, Zero was dumbfounded, completely frozen with shock at what Yuki was doing.
Then the chocolate held delicately in her mouth touched his lips, and he got a vague idea of what she was up to. His hands seemed to move on their own, and wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer as he opened his mouth to let the candy in. She pressed closer to him, until there was hardly any space between them as she bit down on the candy. There had been a subtle seam around the side of the chocolate, and that seam burst with the pressure she exerted on it.
Her kiss tasted of chocolate and sweet cherries.