finally

Darkest before Dawn

It is said that night is darkest before dawn.
But Zero's night had just begun.

Writers Anonymous Colour Challenge: Black.


Warning:

Major spoiler for Vampire Knight volume one.

Disclaimer:

I don't own Vampire Knight; it all belongs to Matsuri Hino. And I don't make any profit out of this either. It's all for the fun of writing this, nothing more, nothing less.


Drip-drop, drip … trickle … drop …

Water was dripping from my hair, running slowly down my cheeks. It made my skin ache with a strange dryness, like something was missing, something I had lost. A loss, which felt like tears; tears I couldn't manage to cry. I held my eyes closed because it stung; it was just water but its sound was echoing with hollow pain in my head. It wasn't a comfortable feeling, no, not at all -- and it was leaving me with a heartache.

I swallowed, as if I deserved feeling comfortable, ever again.

I sank down, leaning against the wall for support; everything was falling apart tonight.

No, who was I kidding? It had been falling apart for four years - and tonight had been just the last drop. The last drop to make the levee break; and there was no way to make it ever whole again. It was utterly broken and I was drowning in this bitter sea. But I wasn't sure; did I want to be saved? Did I deserve rescue, salvation?

Broken, I felt broken - and stained, like I was still covered by her blood. All this water, it was all in vain. I had been trying to clean myself, over and over again. It didn't help, not the soap, not the water, nothing of it did.

Cleaning myself, I shrugged. As if that's ever possible after tonight. I looked down at my hands. They were clean now, but it felt as if they were still stained. I couldn't stop moving the cloth over them, moving and moving again until it hurt. Hurt, just like I had hurt her, but I hadn't been able to stop myself. I hadn't been able to fight the urge to bite her.

"Was Yuki's blood this delicious?" I kept hearing, over and over again. Kuran's voice kept taunting me. Thoughts, I tried to deny, but couldn't really - cause he had been right.

Yuki's blood had been sweet and utterly enrapturing.

I shut off the water and took a step out off the shower; my gaze fell onto my clothes.

Her blood, it was still staining my uniform but it was hardly visible, black on black. The blood looked black now; it wasn't tempting me anymore cause it's dried now. Maybe this was why Day Class wore black and not Night Class. Easy, it was easy to spot on their uniforms. Most people think of blood looking red; well, they were wrong, it looks black especially at night.

I chuckled. Headmaster Kurosu was really devious and not at all that harmless like he wanted us to believe.

As hard as I tried I couldn't get it away, this feeling of being unclean. I've been in the shower for how long, an hour or two? It didn't matter. Her blood, it was like staining my very soul, my poor bruised soul.

I felt dirty, despicable - lowest of the lowest; and it was all because of them.

Purebloods, darn arrogant purebloods, just like this Kaname Kuran.

I hated him, almost like I hated her, Shizuka, the one, who bit me and started all of this.

I hated myself for being weak; I was weak when I should've been strong. And he had the guts to rub it in my face, when in fact he wanted it for himself. Oh, I'm not blinded by his so very noble façade course I've seen it in his eyes. So, it's not my fault that he's jealous.

I laughed; it sounded ill. Just like I felt right now. Oh, no, physically I was fine, better than fine and it was all because of her, her irresistible blood. It was flowing through my veins, strengthening me, instead were it belonged, with her. I could've killed her.

There, I was calling them monsters, when I couldn't even control myself.

It was I, who was expected to protect those silly Day Class girls from the evil vampires. Too bad, I was one of them. Worse, I was worse than them because they had the control I lacked.

"Well, they did take those bloody pills," I reminded myself. Why had I refused to take them? No, of course I knew why; denial, it was all because of denial. I hadn't wanted this to be real.

Well, it was real now; so real it tore me apart.

How long till I've lost all my humanity?

How long did I have, how long until I turned Level E?

"Yuki." I gasped. I couldn't forget her panicked, frightened gaze. Her fear; I had smelled it clearly among her delicious blood. But did I stop then? Oh, no, instead it turned me even more on.

Even now, I couldn't forget it, the taste of her blood; the way it had been laced with fear among its rich innocent copper. I could never forget it and the mere thought of it stirred the beast inside me, this terrible hunger. I couldn't deny the fact that I craved it, craved it with an intensity, which burned my very soul with its dark fire.

Yep, I was a monster. A monster stained with the blood of the one, who meant most to me. Even if I looked nothing like one, but isn't it said that the most evil things came in gestalt of the ordinary? Or even beauty, just like Night Class, darn beautiful Night class.

I took another gaze into the mirror. I looked like always, like nothing had happened. There should be some change, shouldn't there? But I could see none, even my tattoo, which should have prevented this whole thing from happening, looked like it always did.

I put aside the rest of my school uniform, giving it one last glance before dismissing it. It was black; a black I didn't deserve any longer. But I didn't wanted white, not for any reason in this world. I didn't belong here anymore. Wasn't I a menace, a danger to everyone here?

I put on some ordinary clothes and went through my belongings. I stuffed some random things into a bag and threw it on my bed. I didn't care what to pack into it, not that it mattered anyway. There was something on the floor; I gazed down and picked it up.

It was the picture from my and Yuki's first school day here at Cross Academy. Yuki looked so happy back then, so innocent - and I took that innocence away. I pushed the picture out of sight, so I didn't have to looking at it anymore.

I sat down on my bed; my gaze fell onto my Bloody Rose. I remembered vividly the day I had gotten this gun.

"In your duty as prefect I'll give you this to you, Kiryu-kun." I heard the headmaster talking to me. It almost felt as if he was standing in my room, right now. I saw myself taking the gun, giving it curious look. I had seen such a weapon before when I was living with my parents but I had never used one for real back then. All I had ever done had been practice sessions, no real vampires back then.

"You cannot hurt humans with this one, only vampires." He had said, too.

Vampires.

I was a vampire now, my own worst enemy.

And this gun, my Bloody Rose gun, it could only hurt vampires.

I was a vampire, just a disaster waiting to happen, nothing but a monster in human form.

What point, what reason, had the life of a monster?

None.

I could end it all; now, here, with it.

All I had to do was pulling that damn trigger, to make all this pain disappear. I've told Yuki once, that I didn't fear death; it's still true. So, why am I still here?

Why do I fight this? Why not simply surrender to these shadows? To the shadows, which were so tempting right now, to drown my pains in.

I longed for them; for my pain to end, I craved it almost like I did blood now. So, why ... what was stopping me?

No, I knew I couldn't do that. I cannot leave her alone. I clutched the gun, clutched it like it was some cure of sorts. Oh, it was, but I won't take that cure, will I?

Yuki, my sweet Yuki, you've been always there for me; but I am no good for you. I hurt you and made you cry.

I did the unforgivable; I bit you and probable will again, maybe even kill you, too.

I would kill her, if I didn't do something to stop it from happening.

Killing her, I had to prevent that - at all cost. What would be too high a cost to keep her alive? None, I would sacrifice everything for her to be safe, my wish for vengeance, for justice and even my own life. Yes, I'd sworn to kill her, that pureblood, who took my family, my life. But right now all I cared was her safety and if it meant to end my own life so let it be.

I didn't fear death but I meant possible death to her. I know I didn't want to leave her alone, but - I didn't deserve her, didn't deserve her sacrifice and she did deserve to be safe.

I took the gun into my hand. It felt cool against my skin, so innocent and yet so deadly.

This gun was mine, mine to use, mine alone. It truly belonged to me.

But it can only kill vampires.

Vampires, I smiled and took off its safety.

I closed my eyes, surrendering to fate. So this was it. I've known it all along and I wasn't afraid. No, I wasn't afraid of dying; of the dark nothingness death would bring to me.

I pressed its barrel against my head. The gun felt heavy in my hand but strangely comforting and not cold at all; it was a familiar feeling. I reached for the trigger, touching it slightly. There was very little movement needed, just a slight pull with the right amount of pressure, not much at all.

Right here, just pull that damn trigger.

"Just pull it and all will end, Zero." I heard a voice whispering softly, so alluring. "Just pull it and all pain will end."

"Yes," I thought and pulled it, slowly.

There - it was almost done; I had almost reached the point of no return.

Click.

"Zero…!"

W-Wha… What's happening?

Yuki tackled me, tossing the gun away from my head. "Saving me, again?" I thought feeling slightly dazed by her gaze. Her eyes, I couldn't turn away. No, I had to star into her big soft brown … but sad eyes? Oh, Yuki…

"What was that about?" I heard her questioning me. Yuki worried? Sad? I still couldn't turn away from her gaze. What did you expect, Zero? Her being happy about this?

"Nothing, why?" I murmured in return. "It was nothing." I swallowed; she was so close, soft and warm. I longed for this warmth, yet I knew that it was not mine to take. She was exactly, like I ever imaged her to be, but she was not for me. No, I dared not even to hope.

"You're lying! You've taken the safety off!" Yuki yelled.

I squirmed under her accusing gaze. She was right I had taken it off, intentionally. I had taken it off on purpose, cause I wanted to end it all tonight, for good. But now I felt guilty, even if I didn't know why I should feel like that. It was the only way out, wasn't it?

I pulled free of her grasp, facing her from upside down. I grinned suddenly. I had to make her understand, why I couldn't stay. "Cruel to be kind," I thought to myself, only partly believing it.

I ripped the plaster away, the one, which was hiding my bite marks. They were only partly healed and still showing in an angry red. They had to be still painful the way they were looking.

"You felt it too, didn't you Yuki?" I sneered; had to be mean to make her see reason. "The way I sucked you blood out of your veins, didn't you?"

I touched the bite makes slightly, caressing her tender skin. It was yet so very tempting, both her soft skin and the way Yuki was trembling under my touch; that too, was enticing. But I knew she didn't want me this way, not really but for a moment I imaged it was I she trembled for. No, it's just a dream just illusion, but I wished it were real.

"How can you forget this … so easily?" I taunted, smirking.

She gasped in return, but stayed still and kept staring at me with these sad eyes. Eyes, which made me weak, eyes I couldn't fight. "Yuki," I whispered. "Why?" I couldn't take it any longer. "I can't." I was weak again.

I shook her off and fled outside, fled her pleading hurt gaze. I left my gun there; I couldn't do it right now, not after facing her like this. I had to find another way, but that left me with only one choice: I had to leave Cross Academy.

"Wait!" I heard behind me, Yuki.

She was following me, but had to lean on the wall to support herself. It was all my fault;. I made her weak. Damn, I almost killed her but she still followed me outside, followed me into the night.

I turned around, facing her, facing her pleading eyes, again.

"I won't let you go… like this, without a word." She said in a hoarse voice. "Zero."

"She doesn't understand," I realized. I had to make her understand. Make her understand that I was doomed, doomed from the beginning. Yes, I did deny it for a long time but I couldn't do that anymore. I was doomed to become insane but I preferred to be dead instead.

I couldn't let that happen, not for any reason. I wouldn't let myself turn Level E. I had to ensure, had to make sure she understood how serious I was about this.

I put the gun into her hands, using my fingers to guide hers towards the trigger, just a little. Her hands trembled, but mine didn't. I moved the gun so that its barrel would end right under my chin. The whole time I held her gaze.

"Yuki, I might kill my next human prey." I whispered softly.

She shivered in return; her eyes were big and nearly brimming with tears.

Oh, damn, she'll make a heart of stone melt with this gaze and I wasn't made of stone even if most people might believe that. "Oh, Yuki, please you have to understand this." I pleaded silently.

"Yuki, I want to die by your hand." I said with steel in my voice. "Please promise me this." It was more like an order than a request. "Please, Yuki, you have to."

"Shoot me." I whispered while I held her quivering gaze. "Aren't you afraid of me in truth?"

"I cannot, Zero…" I heard her saying, her voice trembling. "I can't do this, I just cannot." I heard her swallow. "I cannot … cause I feel it, your pain, Zero. I feel the pain, the way you're suppressing it." Her gaze … her eyes they were even bigger than usual.

Her voice, it made me weak; made me shiver in return. Oh, Yuki, how do I deserve you? I could not resist her gaze, the emotion in her eyes. I've already known this, so why did I try; try to fight her?

Because I had to; but it was all in vain.

"I will stop you, Zero." She said in a trembling voice. "I'll stop you if you want it."

She threw her arms around me, thus clinging to me. I swallowed, for it felt strangely comforting. Comfort, I hardly believed to deserve but craved like dying men in the desert were craving water. "Yuki." Now, it was I, who was shivering. "I'm not deserving you," I thought.

"I'm on your side, Zero." She said finally.

Yuki, I noticed; she too wore black; maybe there was yet a dawn to come. Just a tiny glimpse of light in my dark world, and it was always her. It all came down to Yuki, like always. She's the one I carry on for and I just have to endure this, be strong, just for her.

Maybe I am allowed to wear Day Class uniform, if so, than black was also the colour of hope.

Hope, maybe that is her true name and not Yuki, my sweet hopeless hope. So, there was still hope, at least for now I thought and surrendered, surrendered to her.

"Look!" I heard her whisper. "Look Zero, it's the sun. It's rising." Yuki was smiling at me.

I followed her gaze, she was right; dawn had come. There it was, the first rays of the approaching dawn dripping between the gate's bars, creating distinct patterns of brilliant light and darkest shadows in its wake. The dawn was driving the shadows of the night away, but had my night really ended now?

No, I still felt it, lurking in the shadows of the rising dawn.

I could just hope, that my hope, Yuki would be strong enough. Strong enough to kill me when the time comes, cause I'm sure I won't do it myself then; I would be too far gone, to be able to think of that.

Yuki, she was my day and I wished her to be my night when the time comes.

It's her, the last thing I wanted to see.

Please be there, when the time comes for my world to end.


Author's note:

I know, the dialogue isn't exact and there are two reasons for this:

1. It would be a simple rewrite of those scenes and that wasn't my intention.

2. I've got only the German version of book one and I did translate part of the dialogue.