When You Wake
by Blackened Wing

Rating: T

Summary: He lays so still, machines breathing for him. But his heart beats for me, because if it stops, so will mine. So long you've been asleep. But I will be here when you wake.

Warnings: None really other than mild implications of an established yaoi – m/m relationship.

Pairings: Kaname x Zero

A/N: This one shot takes place after Kaname and Zero are in an established, loving relationship, either sometime after my story "Blood Moon" or before or after "Five Hundred Miles" It doesn't matter which, it could fit in either timeline. I apologize if it's sappy, angsty crap. I, um... wrote this as a kind of catharsis, originally mostly scribbled on notebook paper while sitting in a hospital room recently, waiting for my Fiancé to wake up after he was in a car accident, although thank God his condition was not as serious as that in the story. The events and setting of this story are entirely fictional however and bear no relation to the events that inspired it beyond the similarity of the hospital situation. I apologize if it's emotionally slanted to my state of mind at that time, but writing it helped me cope and I thought I'd go ahead and share it, since so many of my friends and readers have been very supportive of me through this difficult time. The style is a departure for me too, because I usually do not like to write in the first person. So again, I apologize if it totally sucks.

Disclaimer: Vampire Knight and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to their inspired creator Matsuri Hino. I borrow them without permission, but with great affection. This story is for entertainment purposes only; no money is being made from it.


This place is too empty. Yes, I can hear the bustle of noise outside the door, the hurry of feet in the hall, muted voices, the PA system... I could hear what was being said three rooms down if I desired to. Vampire hearing is keen. But I have no interest in what is going on out there. My entire focus is on what is going on in here. In this room. And this room feels far too empty. Because even though you are lying there on the bed, and I am sitting right beside you, I cannot reach you.

Your eyes are closed. Machines breathe for you in soft, steady rhythm. You lay so still and silent. It's not right. You are never silent. Even when you do not speak, your actions, the quirk of your lips or the spark in your eyes speak volumes. What I would give to have you open your eyes and glare at me for hovering and worrying about you. What I would give for one sarcastic remark, one endearing insult from those deathly still, pale lips. Please... open your eyes. Yell at me. Tell me this is all my fault. Tell me you knew we shouldn't have gone. You tried to tell me. Why didn't I listen...? Oh God... Please... I'll do anything...

Please, just wake up, Zero.

But you don't wake up. You continue to lie there, unmoving, no matter how much I will it otherwise. I'm not used to not getting my way, you know that. Are you being stubborn, just to vex me? It would be so like you... but I can only wish this were the case.

I know the truth.

The doctors were all very thorough in their diagnosis and explanations. Vampire specialists, I sent for them myself. You know I wouldn't entrust you to anyone but the best. But I do not like the words they use. "Severe respiratory failure", "Massive internal bleeding", "Barely contained hemorrhaging"... I do not like these words. They should not be used in conjunction with you. They say that all we can do now is wait and see if your body has the will to heal. So that is what I do. I sit here by your bedside and wait. I know your will is not the problem. Your will is strong, you have always been so strong inside. It is your body that worries me. Your fragile near-mortality that terrifies me. It has been days now... no, has it been a week already? Perhaps it only feels so, I'm not sure. Time does not seem to exist in a normal sense in this white, stale vacuum of a hospital room. Anyway, it does not matter. Time is inconsequential.

Your silver hair brushes the pillow, dark lashes brushing your cheeks. I kiss your closed eyelids and gently touch your cheek, trying not to disturb all the tubes and wires that look so wildly disturbing and unnatural on you. Your smooth, handsome face is so pale. You lost a lot of blood. At least there is something I can do about that.

Even we sit here my blood is flowing into your body. Thin tubes connect us, as thin as the thread by which you seem to hang to life. Crimson flows between us, my heart beats for us both. The machine may breathe for you, but I will suffer nothing but my heart to sustain you. You deserve no less. I could give you no less. I overruled the doctors' objections in this matter. They did not want it done. Not for medical reasons, but because I am a pureblood and they think my blood should not be used so. What do they know? Presumptuous, meddling malaperts. I will decide such things thank you very much. They will do what I tell them to. Because I am a pureblood.

Yet right now, that means nothing. They say my blood is keeping you alive, but it is not doing enough... because you do not wake. Would that I could give you my heart and my body too, that I could replace your failing frame with mine and make you whole. That I could take your place. I would if I could, Zero. Please believe that.

It should be me on that bed. I was the target. They would have left you alone. But you threw yourself in the way... and the anti-vampire attack meant to be able to fell a pureblood ripped you apart instead. I killed them, Zero. I don't know if this would please you or not, but I could not allow them to live after what they did to you. I wish only that they had as many lives as you have stitches in your body, so that I could kill them again for each and every one.

They say you only lived because you were a hunter – that protected you a little. I should have protected you. I should not have let this happen... looking back, I see a thousand things I could have done differently... but none of them matter now. I cannot make this up to you; I can only hope that you will awaken so that I can spend the rest of my life trying. That would be a pleasant task, I assure you. I could easily spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to make you happy. I want nothing more than that. I want to hold you, to love you, to see that warm, rare smile of yours that lights up a room and lights up my heart when it appears. That soft look in your eyes when you let down the walls that shield you from the world and let me in... I want to spend forever with you, Zero. But if forever does not extend past the echoing, empty confines of this hospital room... then so be it.

My heart beats for both of us, but your heart beats for me. If it stops, so will mine. I cannot live without you, Zero. I do not want to. Please wake up.

--

Everything is dark. I hurt, but something is dulling my senses. My head feels like it's full of cotton and my mouth is dry. So dry it hurts. I've been drugged, but my body seems to be made out of lead and I can't even manage to get alarmed about it.

I try to swallow, to lick my lips and relieve the painful dryness, but I can't. There's something in my mouth stopping me... panic flares as I feel the strange, hard object not only in my mouth, but down my throat. What have they done to me? Am I a captive? What strange manner of restraining gag is this?

Still, I can't seem to move, or even open my eyes. I know that's why it's dark. But my senses are all out of whack and I can't really get any kind of reading about where I am. It's all slippery, elusive, like a dream. Fear floods me, thick and cloying.

Where am I? What happened? I remember flashing lights and those blades flying out of nowhere... Kaname! They were trying to kill Kaname... Oh God, is he okay? I pushed him down, I tried to shield him, I remember that now, right before the world went dark. But did I succeed? Or did I fail him? Please don't let me have failed...

The only warmth in my darkness is coming from my right hand. I don't know why, but some unconscious part of my mind senses something... comforting... there.

I will myself to move, to open my eyes, to sit up and rip at whatever bonds are holding me captive. I don't know where I am, but if it has anything to do with those bastards who tried to take out Kaname, they had better watch out because I'm going to tear their freaking heads off.

As soon as I can figure out how to open my eyes. Damn... when did that become so hard, anyway?

I keep struggling and finally light floods my vision. Blurry shapes, indistinct lines coalescing slowly with effort. Fear and worry drains away from me with warm relief, because the first thing I see... is you.

Kaname Kuran. Pureblood prince of vampires. Lord of the night... sitting rumpled and drawn, asleep in the chair beside my bed.

You look thankfully uninjured, and I relax a bit further. But your face is lined with care and I think you've not been taking care of yourself again. Your head is resting on your chest, tangled brown hair hanging around your face. Your clothes are disheveled and creased, as if you've been living in them. Considering you always look fresh out of a GQ ad, that means you've probably not moved from that spot in quite some time. Have you even eaten or drank anything besides blood tablets? I know how you are, you get focused on something and don't pay attention to anything else, especially yourself. Honestly... you really do need a baby sitter. I wouldn't have let you sit there like that, I would have made you remember to take care of yourself... but no one else will stand up to you that way, I know. You probably told them to leave you alone and they did.

I'm in a hospital, somehow I understand that now, although I'm not sure the exact moment I grasped the fact. I was too absorbed by the sight of a certain pureblood.

The warmth from my hand makes sense now as well... I can feel Kaname's fingers entwined with mine. I curl my fingers tighter around his... or at least I intend to. I find that my body is so weak a faint movement is all I can manage. There are all kinds of tubes and wires hanging around me... I realize with a small start that some of them are also connected to Kaname. Transfusion lines. No wonder he looks so pale and drawn. I want to pull the lines out, but I'm not sure where they are and there's still that whole moving issue.

My gaze is drawn back to the sleeper in the chair and I wonder how much time has passed? How long have I been here? Have you been sitting there the whole time, Kaname? Just waiting for me? Somehow, I know you have. And somehow... even though it embarrasses me a bit... it fills my heart with warmth.

--

Kaname stirred at the faint whisper of movement against his fingers. His head bobbed up and he blinked. He hadn't meant to fall asleep and hadn't realized he'd drifted off. Automatically, his gaze shifted to the bed, to Zero... and he froze.

Bleary silver eyes regarded him silently. Zero was awake.

Relief flooded Kaname's body and he was standing by the bed in an instant, careful of the transfusion lines. One hand curled tighter around Zero's as he leaned down, the fingers of the other trailing through the hunter's soft silver locks and cupping his cheek. The pureblood suddenly found he couldn't speak, his throat was too tight, but he didn't need to. His eyes said everything that was in his heart.

Zero's foggy eyes warmed in response and his weak fingers grasped at Kaname's as best he could. He looked down at where the tube snaked out of his mouth and then back at Kaname with a kind of "well, think you could get rid of that already?" expression that was such pure Zero that it made relieved tears well in Kaname's eyes. He blinked them away quickly and pressed the button for the nurse.

Yes... Zero was going to be all right.

THE END