Yuuki inwardly grumbled, but turned her head to listen, hearing nothing. The door to the bedroom as well as the door to the suite itself separated them from the hall so she was baffled as to how he could hear and discern who was approaching. She granted her sense of hearing was heightened since she had become a vampire, but that kind of perception was beyond her.

"How can you tell-?" She began, but a respectful rap at the door stopped her.

"Kaname-sama?" Aidou's clear voice was only slightly muffled by the two doors it traveled through. "Sorry to disturb you. May we speak with you?"

"Yes, come in," Kaname answered.

Yuuki shifted restlessly, now all too aware that she was straddling Kaname's waist, which was completely bare.

She made to extricate herself but before she could, a devilish glint appeared in Kaname's eyes as he placed his hands on her hips to keep her in place. "It will make him get to the point quicker," he said with a chuckle.

"But, Onii-sama!" Yuuki managed, her voice raised in panic. She could now hear Aidou and Shiki beyond the bedroom door. At this distance, she could hear the rustling of their clothes as they moved around the parlor.

"Eh, Kaname-sama…?" Aidou asked nervously for permission to enter Kaname's bedroom, after clearing his throat.

"Yes, it's alright," Kaname replied, letting go of Yuuki, who was blushing and struggling against his hold. As soon as she felt Kaname's hands lifted, she scooted to a neutral part of the bed and tried to compose herself by running a hand through her decidedly messy hair, shooting Kaname reproachful glances all the while. Kaname's grin deepened, if anything, as he as he arose from the bed and put on an elegant black silk robe hanging on the back of the door that led to the bathroom.

Yuuki felt a pang of regret as she watched him tying a loose knot at his waist, covering all that breathtaking pale flesh and lithe muscle.

Meanwhile, Aidou and Shiki came through the door in their white school uniforms. Aidou immediately flushed ochre when he not only saw that the two Purebloods he served were still various states of undress, but also noticed a distressed-looking pillow that looked like it had become someone's snack at some point.

At his side, Shiki looked to be in his normal state of absolute and utter boredom as he stared vaguely in Kaname and Yuuki's direction.

Moments passed as Aidou shuffled his feet his feet and sputtered nonsensically under Kaname's steady stare.

Finally, Shiki rolled his striking, sky-blue eyes and elbowed Aidou sharply in the ribs, muttering under his breath, "Stop looking like a child who's caught their parents in the act and tell them why we're here, idiot."

Yuuki gnawed her cheek to keep from erupting into uneasy laughter. To distract herself, she plucked a piece of lint off the comforter and appeared to examine it. Kaname sent her a look of pure adoration, which Yuuki returned as best as she could, dropping the lint dreamily from her fingers as she became enrapt by the sight of one of his flat nipples, somehow more tantalizing because it was only partially visible from the opening of his robe.

Unaware of the silent communication, Aidou massaged his ribs and shot Shiki a filthy look, but seemed like he was in more control of himself. "Kaname-sama, the Chairman has asked to see you when you're free."

Kaname returned his attention back to Aidou, his look of delight fading though he seemed unsurprised. He rubbed his forehead meditatively and asked, "Did he say why?"

"He wanted to discuss the future of the Cross Academy," Aidou answered, watching Kaname's expression carefully.

Kaname once again nodded absently and the blond vampire sighed in exasperation at not being able to discern Kaname's reaction—it was a common occurrence for the inquisitive vampire. The school had been in state of limbo since the battle with the Hunters and the Council. The holidays had put off the necessity to make any decisions on whether the school would reopen to humans, and in the interim, most of the Night Class had been making the motions of going to lectures given by their vampire teachers. Aidou recalled asking Kaname what they were supposed to do since he returned and he had dryly replied that since they were residing at a school the most logical activity was to go to class. He had been chagrined, wondering if Kaname didn't care what his followers did or was making one of his rare jokes, but whatever the intention Aidou and everyone else kept up the façade of a normal school.

"Very well," Kaname stated mildly. His eyes rested on the slighter vampire, who now looked tense. "What is it, Shiki?"

"Yes, Kaname-sama, I have a request and I wanted…"

As Shiki gathered himself, Aidou shot him an irritated glance. He was annoyed that Shiki hadn't told him why he wanted to accompany him to visit Kaname. He was tempted to tell him to 'hurry up' and embarrass him like he had done to him a few minutes ago, but in truth it was interesting for Aidou to see the unemotional Shiki so flustered for once. It was a rarity that piqued his ever- changing attention.

Shiki finally raised his chin to meet Kaname's eye. "I want to find Takuma. If you don't know his whereabouts, then I want to permission to leave and find out."

"Please," he added reluctantly after receiving a glare from Aidou.

Kaname scrutinized Shiki for a time and then stated in a cool voice, "No."

"No? But…" Shiki frowned at Kaname's silence and seemed to be struggling not to protest. Finally, he bowed his head curtly. "Yes, Kaname-sama."

"Was there something else you wanted?" Kaname questioned the glowering vampire.

"Ah, yes, I wanted to speak to Yuuki-sama," Shiki said, his tense posture suggested he was becoming even more uncomfortable.

Kaname nodded and extended his arm to Yuuki, whose brows were drawn together in confusion. "Come here, Yuuki."

Yuuki complied and stood next to Kaname, not sure what Shiki wanted since he was more standoffish with her than almost everyone else in the Night Class. She resisted the childish urge to hide behind Kaname's broad back as Shiki regarded her in an uncomfortably intense manner and wondered if she was supposed to say something to him first.

She tilted her head up and studied Kaname's serene features and exhaled a breath, drawing some strength from his untroubled air. Kaname gave her a hint of a smile and laid his hand on her shoulder.

Yuuki turned back to Shiki and gave him a weak smile. "Shiki?"

Shiki stared at her for second longer before shocking her completely by gracefully kneeling at her feet. With a bowed head, he said, "Cousin, I ask for your forgiveness."

Yuuki goggled at him and made a few wheezing sounds before questioning in a shrill voice, "Shiki, what are you doing? Get off your knees. This is silly."

His reminding her of their kinship caught her off guard almost as much as the proud vampire groveling at her feet. The fact that he was closely related to her and Kaname was never mentioned so that she forgot it most of the time. 'How must it have been having him as a father?'

Yuuki was halfway to bending down in an attempt to make him stand up before Kaname gripped her arm and shook his head. "B-but I don't understand. Why are you apologizing to me?" Yuuki asked, her eyes huge in her face.

Shiki looked up at her, a somber expression on his face. "Because of my father… for all the suffering he has brought upon you and your family."

"What? No!"

"I'm not responsible for everything, of course," he agreed with Yuuki's shrill protest, his dry demeanor returning briefly. "But what has happened recently… if I had been stronger, perhaps he would have never returned. No one would have been hurt."

A strand of hair fell over his eye as he studied his hands and Yuuki watched him, wondering if he was thinking about Rima, who was still recovering from injuries she suffered during the siege of the school. After pestering Aidou for information during Kaname's time at the council, he had told her that Shiki had been possessed by Rido and he had made Shiki do terrible things against his will.

She saw his guilt and anger and felt her heart go out to him. "I don't think you're right at all. You weren't to blame for what Uncle Rido did. I don't know everything that happened, but I can't imagine what it was like to have him controlling your body."

Yuuki shuddered and rubbed her arms at the thought as Shiki gaped at her openly. She continued, unaware of his stare. "I think having to watch him hurt people you care about and not being able to stop it… well, you were injured by that, too. So, don't worry about it, okay? And I know that we are related by blood, but I hope we can be friends someday."

Touching his mahogany hair timidly, Yuuki snatched her hand back quickly, not knowing if she crossed a boundary. "Please, get up. I'm starting to feel really ridiculous."

Shiki obeyed and looked at her like he hadn't really seen her before. "Thank you, Yuuki-sama. If you ever need anything…" He trailed off, his eyes flicking towards Kaname's in a brief moment of uncertainty, before his careful jaded expression slipped smoothly back into place.

The ensuing quiet was palpable and thick in the room, even Aidou seemed at a loss for words, whistling under his breath. Yuuki eyes sought Kaname's and the intense gaze he was directing at her made her wonder if she had somehow displeased him.

Finally, Aidou exclaimed briskly, "That was all. Again, sorry for disturbing you."

He and Shiki had both made it half-way across the room before Kaname quietly ordered them to wait. In unison, two pairs of delicate brows rose in curiosity at their leader. "The reason I refused your request is because I believe Ichijou will be returning here soon," Kaname stated, as he stared out the windows.

Both Aidou and Shiki bore expressions of deep shock at the news. Aidou appeared to want to ask Kaname more, but his forbidding expression made his mouth snap shut before the question was asked.

At the news of Ichijou being alive, Yuuki felt hope bloom in her heart. She had mourned the cheerful vampire's loss more than any of the other casualties of the Night Class after the siege. The idea of seeing his open smiling face again made her happier than she would have believed possible. "Really, Onii-sama?"

He didn't look at her and now she was sure she felt a wave of displeasure coming from him. "Yes, and he will not be alone."

Shiki and Aidou's gaze both sharpened at this. "Kaname-sama, but you said when you came back from the council that we wouldn't see him again," Aidou blurted.

Still only showing his profile, Kaname answered in an amused voice. "I lied."

Silence spun out full with unasked questions no one was quite willing to ask given Kaname's odd mood.

Yuuki finally ventured, touching his sleeve. "Kaname?"

Kaname finally gave Yuuki a sidelong glance and seeing her need for reassurance, his expression thawed. He glanced at Aidou and Shiki and then turned his attention back to Yuuki. "I want you to do something for me."


"Close your eyes," Kaname answered.

Yuuki hesitated and then complied, a bright crimson flush creeping up her neck as she considered he was going to ask for her blood now, but she then disregarded the idea as ridiculous since Aidou and Shiki were still present. 'Earlier, I wanted to give it to him so much, I guess that's why it came to my mind. Maybe later…'However, now that she had thought of it, she couldn't un-think it. She swallowed, breathing rapidly, as she realized, if he asked her, she would let him suck her blood regardless of an audience. 'Geez, what's wrong with me? Of course, he wouldn't do that!'Nervously, her tongue darted out to moisten her lips as she ran through the possibilities of what Kaname could want from her. Since her eyes were closed, she was unaware that Aidou and Shiki were staring at her neck intently since her attention was fixed on Kaname.

Kaname's eyes narrowed at the two vampires. Aidou seemed to come back to himself, before the younger Shiki. "Uh, well, we'll be leaving now," Aidou said nervously, yanking on Shiki's arm.

Kaname held up his palm for them to halt, and in a blur stood behind Yuuki. She felt her pulse fluttering wildly in neck and temple as she felt his long, lean body press behind her and his lips moved against her ear. "Yuuki, whether you mean to, or not, you are sending signals that any male vampire can read right now--you desire to be bitten."

"Oh… I… s-sorry, onii-sama. I d-didn't mean-"

"Shh, if you keep talking in that way, I'm going to have difficulty controlling myself. It's so hard for me to resist you when I know you desire this." Again, it was just a small movement of his mouth, nearly no sound escaped. "And at this moment, I don't care if anyone sees."

Yuuki felt a tremor running through his body like an electrical current against her and realized he was holding himself at bay by the slimmest of margins, and also that Aidou and Shiki were still in the room watching her as she stood perfectly still with her eyes shut. She couldn't help wondering why Kaname hadn't told them to leave if she was shamefully communicating a yearning.

She felt Kaname's chest rise against her back as he sighed and said in a voice that everyone could hear. "Yuuki, you asked how I knew Aidou and Shiki were approaching from so far away. You have this ability, as well. See them."

"But my eyes are closed," Yuuki protested.

"You're still thinking as a human, Yuuki. You can see them, and you don't need your eyes open to do it. You also need to be calm and centered."

She turned her head and opened her eyes, taken aback by the red sparks dancing in her brother's eyes, before murmuring, "But how can I be calm right now?" …with you touching me? she added silently.

Kaname's lips curved in a brief smile, perhaps guessing her thoughts, before he brought his palm up to cover her eyes. "Breathe deeply, in through your nose, out through your mouth, and recall Aidou and Shiki from your memory. It will help you focus."

Yuuki nodded, highly doubtful she would be able to concentrate since besides one of his hands shielding her eyes the other one was resting lightly on her hip, a warm weight through the cotton of her nightgown.

Listening to Kaname's own respiration behind her, she realized he was breathing slowly and deliberately as well and she was quietly surprised to find the slow rise and fall of his abdomen against her back was calming her.

Yuuki thought of Aidou‒his wavy blond hair, sharp tongue and restless energy. A vertical line appeared between her brows as she concentrated. … He has turquoise irises… like the color of tropical seas.

Yuuki gasped when color bloomed behind her closed eyes. Though she couldn't see Aidou, the warm blue of which Yuuki had imagined was visible in the darkness, a bright field which seemed to cling to his body like a second skin. She laughed in delight when she saw the Aidou-shape scratch his head. "It's like magic, onii-sama!"

"I guess it would seem that way," Kaname answered her in an amused voice. "You're sensing his aura."

"It's amazing, the color of your eyes. Aidou-senpai, you're so pretty! " Yuuki cried happily.

"Pretty!?" Aidou exclaimed, flustered. "Why does it have to be pretty? Isn't there some-"

"You know… she has a point," Yuuki heard Shiki drawl.

"Shut up!" Aidou shouted, his cheeks red.

Yuuki heard Kaname snort softly from behind and tilted her head back towards him, "Do I always have to close my eyes to see them?"

"No, when your mind is more at ease your senses will become sharper and it won't be necessary," Kaname answered. He squeezed her hip, seemingly pleased with her enthusiasm. "Can you see Shiki as well?"

Yuuki flushed and tried to forget his overwhelming presence behind her, a task easier said than done, but she managed to focus on Shiki by painting a mental picture of him as she did with Aidou. Slouching as if he barely has the energy to stand straight, rarely makes eye contact, but always watching.

Yuuki felt the internal click as something switched on in her mind, but instead of seeing the pale blue she had anticipated with Shiki's aura, she witnessed an unsettling dark orange. It's not always the color of the eyes… is it personality or how one feels?

The tiny Pureblood's forehead crinkled as she pondered this, but before she could think about it more deeply, color silently exploded behind her eyes. Whereas Aidou and Shiki's energy were flashlights in the dark, this was the blinding brightness of a floodlight—except instead of being it white it was the baleful red of the heart of a furnace.

"Onii-sama?" Yuuki questioned in a weak voice, as she was hypnotized by the swirling vortex of energy that was Kaname's aura. "Your aura, it's…" Yuuki uttered breathlessly.

"Open your eyes, Yuuki." Kaname interrupted smoothly as he removed his hand from Yuuki's eyes. She turned around, staring at him fearfully now that she couldn't see the shifting, bright corona emanating from him, ironically because her eyes were now open.

His eyes touched hers for a second before he glanced at the two other vampires. "You two may leave. Please inform the Chairman that I'll see him shortly. Thank you."

Yuuki barely registered their shared quizzical looks as they left as she regarded Kaname. "The bat, your aura… w-what are you?"

"Are you frightened of me now?" He asked sadly, instead of answering her question.

Rubbing her arms, she checked her inner workings. Finally, she looked at him directly and gave him a small smile. "No, there are so many things about you I don't understand, yet, and that frightens me, but I will learn and then these things won't be so strange and-" She gnawed her lip, searching for a safe word to describe her anxiety about seeing startling aspects of Kaname's powers. "-surprising," she said, shrugging, not entirely happy with the word, but understanding her vocabulary became very limited in times of stress.

Kaname nodded, seemingly satisfied, but not entirely happy, and Yuuki asked something she was curious about from earlier, "Kaname, what does my aura look like?"

Kaname gave her a rare genuine smile and said, "It's lovely. When I see it, I feel calm, but…"


"It's irregular because you are unsettled about your vampiric nature."

"What color is it?" Yuuki asked.

Kaname considered carefully before answering. "It isn't just one. It's bright yellows, oranges, and warm browns… earthy… like watching autumn leaves caught in the wind."

Yuuki watched the gentle smile on his face as he described what she couldn't see, but she noted that his face still looked very tired, a consequence of his lack of sleep and her feedings. Yuuki fiddled with the collar of nightgown unknowingly, but Kaname caught the gesture. "Now, that Aidou and Shiki have left I can tell you something important about your perception. It will strengthen as time goes by, but it's important for you to understand that even when you begin to become more aware, you will not always sense others auras."


"Distractions will interfere. I am not aware of everyone's movements all the time because I am preoccupied at times. Sometimes a powerful vampire can make themselves undetectable simply by concentrating… even something as frightening as myself, isn't all-powerful."

Yuuki meanwhile caught one his hands. "'You' don't scare me, onii-sama. You are the gentlest man I've ever known."

Kaname's face showed an unusual mix of emotions at this—gratefulness, confusion, and finally, though it was so brief that she thought she imagined it, fear enlarging his pupils. However, before she could dwell on it further, he released her hand and pulled her into an embrace. After a comfortable silence, he said as he rubbed her shoulder blades. "I am quite sure you're the only person in the world who sees me this way."

A crease appeared between Yuuki's brows at the dry, amused tone in Kaname's voice, she tightened her hold on his long, taut waist. "You sound like you don't believe you're good. You are."

Silence greeted this, but his caresses on her back continued, lower now, as he slowly kneaded the muscles in the small of her back. She sighed and felt her body relaxing for the first time since she had awakened and experienced the confusing and upsetting events of the morning. "Why don't you believe it? You are good; I feel it." Yuuki repeated, despite the increasing warmth and languidness in her body at his ministrations.

Kaname drew away slightly looking down into her upturned face, a hungry intensity reddening his gaze. At that moment, looking down into Yuuki's shining gaze; Kaname felt relief that mind-reading could only achieved through sharing blood. On one hand, he was moved that she believed in him so blindly, that he was noble and kind. To be judged 'good' even if it was only by one young girl's estimation, redeemed and humbled him, made him want to live up to the pure image she had created for him. However, a deep and perverse part of his mind was desperate to tear apart all that innocence clearly visible on her fragile face. That purity taunted this carefully hidden part of the Pureblood's make-up he controlled with an iron-grip. It wanted to corrupt that which it loved in mind and through and all pleasurable depravities that could be visited on a small, soft body. This voice was persuasive and familiar.

The voice was other, beyond the neat confines of Kaname Kuran, old and potent.

Kaname took a deep shuddering breath and collected himself before removing his hands from her back. Cupping her face, he brushed his thumbs over her delicate cheek bones before inching closer, his lips touching hers lightly. The innocent kiss suddenly became warm and urgent and Kaname drew away, breathing deeply, pleased as he looked at Yuuki's flushed skin and noted her rapid pulse fluttering in her throat.

"Feel? What else do you feel, Yuuki?" Kaname asked, his voice husky and his alight with desire.

A/N: I found this on my hard drive a few weeks ago. I had written it some time ago, but never bothered uploading it. I've lost most of my interest in VK, the repetitive and mind-numbingly boring story line isn't hard to give up. However, I still love Kaname deeply and I read something recently that reminded me of him so I decided to upload since it's already written.

I'm not sure I'll ever continue it. Maybe... I would dearly love to write a lemon and I have been thinking about it more lately and this is not the place I'd like to leave it.

This chapter is dedicated to Maddy, who encouraged me to upload this despite my complete apathy. She's actually responsible for the last four or five chapters being written at all and I will never be able to thank her for her kind words of encouragement.

Farewell for now. ~Arret