"Checkmate, - Chapter 6: Queen takes King; King takes Knight."
Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Knight, this is a fanfic written for fun and for love of the series. I'm not making any money with it.
Warnings: Angst & blood. Also, spoilers for chapters 30 to 35. Vague spoiler to chapter 40, on Zero's feelings about deserving love.
This is a partial AU, because in this fic, some time has passed since episode 30's scene with Kaname & Zero, and there's no move on Rido's part yet. (Think of it as extending things a bit so that Rido attacks later, after the next vacation instead of this one? lol)
As a result, everybody is still at school including Takuma & co., and things are normal without Rido-in-Shiki's-body stuff as of yet.
Pairings in this fic: Kaname x Yuuki x Zero. :D (Not mentioned in the original summary because it would have been a spoiler. )
The instant the fabric gave way and frayed to rags, Kaname's wrists finally free, the pureblood lunged towards Yuuki so suddenly that they were caught off guard, unable to believe he still had that speed in him.
But before the hunter could quickly bring down his fist onto the pureblood to protect Yuuki, Zero realized Kaname wasn't trying to bite her, he was hugging her, burying his face in her chest to hide his sobs and the utter shame he felt.
"I...I'm sorry... Yuuki. I swear... I never wanted... you to see this... I... I just...can't keep going... It hurts too much..."
"Kaname... Kaname, I'm so sorry I couldn't tell you before..."
"Yu...u...ki... don't worry anymore... It will only...be hard at first... you have... him... he...he'll...take care of you..."
"No, listen to me, don't let go. Don't you let go!" The force of her command stopped him right in his tracks. Yuuki was pulling his head back from her chest and forcing him to look into her eyes as she straddled his legs to be closer.
"I love you, Kaname."
Zero staggered backwards swallowing a painful little noise halfway between a whimper and a choke, his back hitting the wall of the room and preventing him from backing away farther.
He'd been afraid something like this might happen. Yesterday already, he couldn't believe he had actually told Yuuki and that she felt the same way. When Kaname showed up during their kiss, the hunter started to feel his chances crumble.
He had confessed to her because he felt he didn't want to continue without telling Yuuki his feelings, but he also felt that if it ever came down to a decision between the two of them, Yuuki would naturally go to where she had always belonged, much as he had always hated to admit it. Instinctively, he had felt, he had known she'd go to Kaname.
In truth, it was partially why he came there, ready to do anything to save the pureblood. Because he thought sooner or later Yuuki would realize her mistake and go to her real love, or regret it forever if she could no longer do so. After all, how could she possibly ever love him? How could anyone possibly ever love him? Love the thing he was? It was already amazing Yuuki would be so kind to him. He had overstepped his boundaries by far, and dared to reach for something he could never hope to deserve. Deeply ingrained beliefs he had had since his childhood tore at him again, painfully reminding him of the inadequacies he believed he had.
He'd long hated the pureblood, but he had no illusions of deserving Yuuki. And now, he was convinced that time had come.
But to his surprise, Yuuki, while still leaning over Kaname and cradling his head to her chest with one hand, stretched her other hand towards Zero and beckoned him to approach, while she continued to speak to the pureblood.
"I... I did something horrible. You were right, Kaname, the time you said I was cruel. But I never meant to hurt either of you." She raised her eyes to meet Zero's and took his hand into her small one when he stood next to the bed. "I love you too, Zero."
The hunter's look of absolute confusion spread even farther over his features.
"I never chose to feel that way... I just couldn't help it. Maybe it means there's something really bad, really wrong in me. Maybe I'm a bad person..." Maybe that's why my family left me in the mountain to die... But she had to stay strong for the two of them right now, so she didn't allow herself to delve into the fears that she'd long harbored, and simply continued. "But I do swear I sincerely love the two of you, with all of my heart. I won't promise half of it to each of you. Each of you both own my whole heart." she had a loving smile in her face, filled with a mix of apprehension and courage.
"I really wronged you, Kaname. I never knew it was so bad... for the longest time, I tried to force myself not to think of you, because I thought it was impossible, and that we would never... never be together. But then, right when I should have told you, I couldn't bring myself to do it, thinking you would hate me for my feelings for Zero. If I knew you would do this... If I knew... I swear... I would have died so many times over so you wouldn't have to suffer like that..."
She was trying to make her point, but it was only getting more and more convoluted and she lost herself in her explanations, and the sheer emotion that was filling her so completely started to threaten to overflow, making her shake more and more.
The pureblood raised a bloodied arm and caressed her cheek softly, wiping away the tears, accidentally leaving smudges of blood from his fingers on her face. "Yuuki... what purpose would that serve? I want you to always be happy and smile... I don't ever want you to be hurt... I love you... more than anything or anyone in this world..." He couldn't continue speaking. It was as if all the tension and horror had peaked then deflated suddenly, and now he felt strangely calm, although terribly tired, and keeping his eyes open was becoming more and more difficult. So he just focused weakly on her scent, savoring in her presence and the warmth of her delicate body next to his shivering one.
He didn't have the strength to hold himself upright anymore, and his weight made that Yuuki had to lower him back to the bed, leaning on him to remain in contact as much as possible.
"Yuuki..." it was Zero now. He had been watching the pureblood closely and sensed that the end was going to come soon if they didn't do something soon. But before he needed to say anymore, Yuuki gave him an understanding look, indicating that she realized. She may not have any hunter abilities like he did, but somehow she knew.
"Kaname... I want you to drink from me."
Yuuki startled for a second at the simultaneous cry from the two men --albeit sounding more like a torn sob in Kaname's case--, but it didn't hamper her determination.
"Whether you drink from me or not, I need you to live, Kaname. I can't do it without either of you. I was too afraid you'd both hate me for loving you both, but I can't change how I feel. If either of you dies, I can't go on. I need you... I need you both to live... even if you can't forgive me, I... I... "
Kaname was caressing her back weakly, his ragged bandages catching on her uniform and slowing his movements.
"Forgive you? You are everything that matters for me. You could tear my heart out and it would never change the way I feel about you... And... I know... Kiryuu here...feels... the same for you..." His voice slurred as he nearly lost conscience as he spoke.
"Then please! Please live, Kaname!! Please!!" she pulled him closer to herself and pressed his face onto the crook of her neck, stiffening slightly preparing for his fangs to pierce her. But no pain came.
Kaname refused to bite her, steeling himself even in bloodlust, even so close to death.
He would never forgive himself if he turned her in such a moment. Not only it was too emotional of a situation for her to be able to make a decision that she wouldn't be at risk of regretting later, but he didn't have anywhere near enough blood in him at the moment to stabilize her before he died. And he would most definitely NOT risk having Yuuki fall to level E if the bathtub blood was too diluted to perform the difficult task of completely awakening her as a pureblood.
"I... I want to... I want to do what you say, Yuuki... but... it's too late..."
In a flash of an instant, Zero knew what to do. Climbing onto the bed and gently pulling Yuuki back a little, easing the pureblood's head off Yuuki's hands as she sobbed, the hunter kneeled over him, bowing low enough that his neck was offered just within reach of Kaname's fangs.
"Kaname... t-take my blood." the trauma from Shizuka's bite had never left his mind. Over the years, it had become barely bearable enough that he could go on living without the constant compulsive need to tear off the flesh of the area where he could still feel her lips, but it was something that would probably never go away completely.
The mere idea of a vampire drinking from his neck was something that threatened to shatter his very sanity that had been patched together by Yuuki's gentle care for the past four years. It had almost broken to pieces completly the day Shizuka drank from him again, on the same spot, when she came to the school, but he had managed to live on, amazing even himself. He wasn't sure he'd be okay if he did this... but he absolutely had to. He felt it as acutely as if his whole life had led him there for that very purpose, so that he could at last repay Yuuki for a little of all he owed her. It would never be enough, but he would do anything he possibly could, no matter what it costed him.
He put a hand beneath the pureblood's head in case he needed support to raise his head, and urged him on "Ka...Kaname, you wanted to die because I took Yuuki from you... well, I didn't. I could never take her from you... I wouldn't insult you two saying we should all be together or...something... I don't care what happens to me after today, but you must take care of Yuuki... You can have Yuuki, Kaname, but you must live!"
Each time that Yuuki thought she had no more tears to shed, she found she was wrong. "Ze...Zero...? What are you saying?!"
The pureblood reached up weakly and wrapped his arms around the hunter's shoulders to get a better hold, his ragged breath feverishly hot against the other's throat, making Zero shiver in apprehension, goosebumps covering his skin at the proximity.
Kaname's voice was a low growl. "I refuse."
Zero faltered, swallowing hard and falling short of arguments to try to convince the pureblood. But he had misunderstood Kaname's refusal, and the following words came as an absolute surprise.
"Yuuki said she loves the both of us...whatever may be our differences, we will conform to her choice. Only under those conditions can I accept your offer, Kiryuu."
"Ka...Kaname??" but Zero couldn't finish his question, a whimper of pain and panic being the only sound he could muster when the pureblood's fangs sank into his neck.
Blood filled Kaname's mouth, pouring out abundantly, overloading his senses like an oasis to a man lost in a desert. He groaned with delight, instinctively sucking harder despite his weakened condition, a trail of fresh blood trickling down his chin and onto his neck to mix with his own dried one.
The hunter was shivering hard in his arms, little jolts of panic barely under control under his skin, his whole body revulsed by the terrifying contact of the fangs buried deep into his flesh, a feeling so dreadfully familiar and unwelcome that a thousand years wouldn't be able to make him forget it. Zero's eyes blurred with how fast they filled with tears.
But Kaname's touch, even so thirsty and weakened, was not comparable with Shizuka's vengeance driven one. He noticed the fear in the hunter and softened his grip. Licking the wounded area gently, Kaname removed his fangs and merely left his lips around the spot, sucking with a more careful motion to cause the least pain possible. He circled the puncture wounds with his tongue, running the tip of it directly over the wounds over and over, ensuring that his pureblood saliva would numb the area and cause Zero's blood vessels to expand to enhance the rate of blood flowing from the wound without having to use his fangs again or suck too hard.
The hunter was still shivering, but now a flush was spreading through his body like fire. He was extremely ashamed to admit to himself that what the pureblood was doing felt really really good. He clenched his jaw hard, losing his mind in the maddening dance of Kaname's tongue, doing all he could to stay silent by fear that he may moan out loud otherwise. He didn't want it to feel good. In his mind, it was supposed to be painful, necessary but unwanted. The pleasure threatened to destroy the carefully set up barriers he'd long built to lock inside himself all the fear and pain he felt. Barriers that had allowed his mind to continue functioning despite the trauma, but that had also caused him to be unable to heal from his fear and move on.
And yet, the gentleness was both breaking his hearth and really soothing in a most unexpected way. Kaname was moving his fingers slowly in a soft caress on the back of Zero's neck, and it was as if he spoke to him through the blood or through whatever strange link they were sharing at the moment.
You won't be left alone.
The pure vampire blood that Zero had ingested earlier had been absorbed by his body and was flowing strong and pure through his veins, free of the water and impurities. Soon, the power contained in it was transferring itself back to Kaname, his body welcoming with greedy delight the sudden boost to his weakened immune system. The hunter poison he had ingested earlier that evening couldn't possibly by itself have a deadly effect on his pureblood body, but it had been enough to shut down much of his regenerative abilities, which is why the wounds in his arms had stopped healing, and which is what had allowed him to nearly bleed himself dry, reaching the point where even his pureblood body wouldn't function anymore, almost killing him in the process.
But now, with the purified new blood flowing into his veins, his body was brimming with renewed power.
He was still very weakened, but he was definitely out of danger; still terribly hungry, but he would most definitely be okay. With a last caress to Zero's hair, he released the hunter's neck and let his own head fall back against the bed, his fangs already retreating visibly while he caught his breath.
Yuuki was crying, but it was of joy this time. She knew he would be okay. The dread that had been knotting her insides all this time was melting away leaving no traces. For the first time in what felt like an eternity, she was feeling the panic slipping out of her tense body, replaced by a a strange certainty that everything would be okay.
Zero was absentmindedly fingering the bite wounds on his neck, his eyes lost on the bed sheets and a flush on his face, torn between his instinctive response that made him want to claw at the wound, and the most unfamiliar feeling he had now, that this wound somehow wasn't tainted or disgusting like the one left by Shizuka.
"I- I should... I should let you two..." he made a movement to get up, but Kaname's unexpected grip on his arm stopped him before he tried to leave.
"You wouldn't be thinking of breaking the conditions of our agreement, would you, Kiryuu?" The pureblood had an almost challenging weak little smile on his lips as he tugged lightly on the other's arm.
Yuuki smiled at him too, a look of embarrassed but absolute hope on her face, and she couldn't resist curling up next to Kaname, not willing to leave his side just yet. "Zero, don't go..."
As Kaname laid tiredly where he was on his back, willing his body to regain his forces, Yuuki snuggled up to him on his left, and he gestured for Zero to lay down with them as well.
"I wouldn't have considered before that sharing could ever be an acceptable possibility, but... compared to not having Yuuki, anything would be better. And she chose the both of us, so I am sure we can reach an agreement of sorts, can't we, Kiryuu?"
Zero stared at Kaname for a moment precessing his words. Sharing? As in... Really sharing?? Sharing Yuuki among the two of them?!
The hunter blushed a bright tone of red that tore a tired chuckle from the pureblood. Zero glared at him with an urge to retaliate, but didn't trust himself at the moment to make any remark that didn't make him look worse.
Yuuki was currently busy hiding her equally blushy face against Kaname's side, but she was visibly relaxing at the reaction of the two.
So long... so long suffering about what could happen if I told them... and in the end, we almost lost everything because I didn't speak sooner. She would never be afraid to tell her feelings to her two beloved ones from now on, no matter how unbearably embarrassed she may feel about things.
Still tired and weakened from the blood draw himself, Zero decided that he could worry about getting back at the pureblood later, and for now he merely laid down next to him on the side of the bed that wasn't taken by Yuuki. In a way he felt like someone who had lived far too long with a weight over his shoulders, and who had said weight finally start to lift away a little.
Maybe the hope they saw shining in Yuuki's eyes was right. Maybe it would be all fine for them after all.
Kaname slid an arm around each of them and closed his eyes, slipping into a much needed regenerative sleep.
Yes. Maybe it it would all be fine after all.
-- The End --
Sagakure, June 22th 2008
Happy end, whee! XD lol
It originally started as a deathfic. XD;;; I just love Kaname too much to leave it at that. XD
About the line "You were right, Kaname, the time you said I was cruel.", it might not work as well due to my stretching of the timeline, as it is dubious the stuff that happens in the fic would have happened the same way if it was after the scene where Kaname confesses to her in the manga, but perhaps she could be refering to a vague memory she had of hearing his words while she was sleeping, back when she was a kid and almost caused him to drink her blood by accident. XD I just really liked the line and din't want to edit it out. :)
This whole fic started as an alternate scene from another fic idea I have. The other is much longer, so I didn't start on it yet. (Not sure when or if I will, but I'd like to write it sometime. :D) It's also a lot less dramatic, or, err, at least it's supposed to be. lol ...A bit more porny too. XD
There was a dramatic part in it, and the scene of Kaname in the bathtub was one of the possible ideas for the outcome... except I changed my mind and decided not to use it, so I thought it was a bit of a waste since I liked the scene, and Checkmate was written as an one-shot... Of course, my love for Kaname being what it is, I couldn't leave it at that (the one shot was going to be a deathfic XD;), and the other 5 chapters were written... Quickly, what was meant to be a very short fic became way longer than I expected. XD;;
But I'm happy with how it turned out, and I'm also so very very happy with the reception it got, and with the fact so many lovely people enjoyed it and had fun fangirling Kaname and the others through this whole messy situation. X3
Thank you so much, to all the awesome people who've read and enjoyed the fic, and who left all those great comments, whether here or in the other places where I posted it! :DDD