Note to reader: This fanfic in no way represents the actual timeline of the story. I sort of got it mixed up a little bit, but it all works out either way. I don't own any of the characters except the obvious. Enjoy.
"To think you are yearning for someone even if it might expose the Night Class to danger." Kaname let out a frustrated breath. "But you can't continue your pursuit. No matter how much you like the girl. You'll die if you continue, so I will make it so this doesn't happen again," he said to the tensely waiting Hanabusa. His eyes widened in disbelief. No, Kaname-sama wouldn't do this, he couldn't. A voice in the back of his mind whispered that Kaname was doing it for his own good, but truly, his emotions were playing havoc on his reason. He reacted almost violently before pulling himself into check.
"Please, don't touch her, Kaname-sama," he whispered, full of pleading and with a hidden pinch of warning. Kaname's eyes grew sad.
"I will do what must be done." Releasing his friend, he stepped back and slowly walked away, allowing the darkness to encompass his retreat. Hanabusa felt his legs give out, knowing full well there was nothing he could do to stop the pureblood from doing as he announced. How could it come to this?
One year ago
"Idol-senpai!" Those cries of exuberance and adoration had become a lull he had grown accustomed to and he reacted as he allowed himself to in order to quench his constant need to be recognized. He felt his eyes lazily scan through the crowds of adoring girls standing to the side as Yuki-chan attempted to hold them back yet again. Always standing to the side was her calm counterpart, Zero, one in which he hated, not for the fact he was once a human and a vampire hunter at that, but simply for the fact that his situation made him stand out more than others. It was a flaw that Hanabusa long admitted to himself, his craving for attention, and perhaps that is what led him to her. She refused to idolize any of the Night Classmen. It was ridiculous really, did she think it made her stand out from the rest; acting all reserved and cool? It was irritating really. She stood quietly as she was being jostled by her surrounding comrades. Her face blank and bored, joining in the evening ritual simply to accompany her friend, the prefect. He wasn't fooled at all by this. She was there to see the Night Class. There was no way that one such as her, a human, could withstand the charms of him and the others. His arrogance astounded even himself at times, but how could he feel guilty about something that was so evidently true.
"Yori-chan, perhaps you should go back to the dorms, they are particularly rowdy today," said Yuki in a strained voice as one girl got too anxious and ended up plowing an elbow into her side. Yuki let out a grunt. Hanabusa only watched with disinterest as he was passing. The petite blonde surprised everyone by turning to the crowd of girls, her face solemn. Her very presence was unnerving for them as she turned her will on them.
"Be quiet," she said quietly, yet there was a force of steel behind her voice. The girls had never heard her speak in such a manner and one by one, began to quiet their cries and shouts. The crowd's force was less obvious now. Yuki grinned.
"Are you sure you shouldn't be doing my job right now?" she said jokingly. "You'd make a good prefect!" Yori scoffed ever-so-slightly.
"I assure you I have no interest in the job, thank you," she said with a small smile. Hanabusa brushed the experience off his shoulder. The adoration awaiting him within the lines of girls flocking to him were all he needed. They gave him the attention he craved, yet it irked him that such a girl could remain so unaffected by the Night Class. Perhaps it was the influence of Yuki's casualness with them. Shrugging, he put it out of his mind and moved on to better thoughts.
"Aidou-senpai, the dorm leader would like to speak with you," Rima said flatly. Hanabusa reluctantly pulled himself from his adoring fans to make his way to his master's bidding. He stood steadily in front of the others.
"Hai, Kaname-sama, you wished to speak with me?" he said formally, as he bowed. His leader moved nonchalantly on towards the classroom.
"I will be needing you to take charge of a Level E case in town. It seems that they are becoming more blatant in their bloodthirsty attempts. I have already arranged for your absence from class. I would be appreciative if you would report back to me once you have completed this task. As the council has declared, we nobles and purebloods are still in charge and it is time to remind the Level E's of this." Hanabusa bowed again, covering his heart.
"As you wish, Kaname-sama."
Yori was determined not to stay trapped in the dorms yet again. She spent most of her time in the library, most of the week and on their days away from the classroom, but even someone like her needed a break sometimes. Yuki was once again out on her rounds, but after living with this girl for so long, she has been able to decipher the times that Zero-kun and she would pass at a certain entrance. It would be easy and simple, especially for someone with her advantage of insider's information. She mentally apologized to Yuki, well aware that she took her duty seriously, yet another proof that those she guarded were abnormal. Oh, yes, she knew about them, how could she not? All of the pieces had come together a while ago, but being as it was such a big secret, there was no point in making a big ruckus about it. Yet, having those bloodsucking monsters nearby made her uncomfortable. Perhaps that was her reason for taking up self-defense classes. Of course, she was sure it would do little for her given their strength. After coming to the conclusion that they were surrounded by vampires, she made extra effort to learn about them as much as possible. In fact, she had a small guilty understanding that she was somewhat enamored with them. This was something she would never admit, to no one, not even herself. This constant stress and awareness had drained her slowly over time and the breaking point was tonight. Tonight she was going to be a rebel and leave the grounds without supervision. She smiled slightly to herself as she pulled her cloak tightly around her shoulders, dressed in a black dress and a hood to cover her glowing hair. It would be easy to spot at night. Who would have thought someone like her would take such a huge risk?
Making sure she had everything, she prepared to leave, jumping from the window ledge and catching hold of the branch, only to swing around and land, none-too lightly on the ground. Her ankle stung, but she was sure that she could walk it off. Taking a sigh and deep breath of freedom she let a real smile cover her lips, she only had to get out of the confinement of the stone wall. Glancing at the large clock sitting at the top of the steeple she was pleasantly surprised she was perfectly on time according to her calculations. Zero and Yuki were nowhere in sight. Taking a deep breath she made a run for it. She silently thanked herself for taking those defense classes, they had trained her body to be lithe and agile. She vaulted up into a tree and used her momentum to flip up and over the side of the wall. With a joyous cry she landed solidly on her feet with a twinge of anger from already-stressed ankle. Determined to not let that ruin her night, she progressed toward the town, admiring the sunset as she went.
The shops were alight with beautiful lamps and items strewn across the carts' surfaces. Jewelry, pottery, clothe, weapons, food; it was all there. Yori couldn't help smiling as she wandered from one vender to another. A shadow lurked however behind others, following her at every move. Blue eyes were attached on her figure.
"What is she doing here?" he grumbled, knowing full well that it was after hours and should be back in the dorms. She must have snuck out and he found this to be natural, though others would find it to be a surprise. He sensed a strength in her that she let few see, but he had not been aware of it until earlier that day when she had stood up to her classmates. Intrigued with this mysterious side of her, he followed her slowly from one stall to the other, eyes never leaving her, waiting to see what she would do next. Cursing, he realized he was spending too much time following this girl and not enough time seeking out the Level E. Evidently quite a menace; taking on the form of a woman with a gentle smile. Looking around he saw that there were many women with gentle smiles and they were all trying to sell their wares at their carts. Scoffing quietly he turned away to begin his search for the true purpose of this excursion, leaving this girl to wander on her own, she was of no concern of his.
Aidou pushed off further into the night, leaving her behind. Yori clutched her hands into fists. Something wasn't right. For the longest time she felt a presence, watching her and suddenly it began to fade. She looked up, not sure why she felt so uncomfortable. It only took a moment for her to see him, no matter how inconspicuous he tried to be. His hair was easy to determine from others surrounding them. Anyone from the Night Class would be obvious in this crowd. Glowering, Yori switched roles. She did not like being followed and he better have a good reason for being out here as well. He walked casually, with his hands shoved in his pockets, whistling a strange tune as he went. It was as if he was waiting for something to happen, or fall from the sky. Finally, he stopped in front of an alleyway and began to make his way even further into the darkness. Yori held her breath. It wasn't the darkness she feared, it was the complete unknown that usually awaited there. Steeling herself, she plummeted in after him but was immediately grabbed from the side as she flew past him. He slammed her up harshly against the wall, knocking the breath out of her. His eyes were glowing and hers widened in surprise. They were enchanting in the dark, not frightening. She struggled to not raise her hand to touch that light. His voice stopped her.
"What are you doing here?" he hissed. If it weren't dark out she would have sworn she saw the glimmer of his fangs. "Do you know how dangerous it is out here, especially at this time?" Yori shook her head, clearing it of whatever spell it was he was binding her in at that moment. She replaced her look of surprise with one of indignation.
"I could ask you the same thing, Aidou-senpai," she said as calmly as possible. Her irritation bubbled right below the surface.
"That is none of your business," he said flatly. Seeming to come to his senses, he pulled back immediately, releasing her. "I apologize, my lady, for having shocked you and spoken so roughly. It was not my intention, but I was aware I was being followed, just not aware it was you," he said stiffly, trying to hide his annoyance with a suave exterior. She wasn't buying it.
"I was following you only because you had been following me," she said simply. He stiffened, the façade fading instantly.
"I was merely curious about a fellow delinquent student," he said pointedly. It hit its mark. She had never been unruly as a student at Cross Academy and the one time that she happened to break a rule, she became a delinquent? She was about to retort back with a sharp reply, but was instantly halted by the sound of slurping and feral growling. It came from further in the darkness. A woman sat crouched over a body, limp from the abuse and lack of blood, dead. It had been ignoring them until now, but as she had finished her meal, the Level E turned to address her disturbance. Hanabusa barely had a chance to react as the woman launched herself straight at them with a howl and a sadistic grin. Hanabusa moved to the side but had not seen that Yori was still in the way. His eyes widened as the woman was moving headlong towards the hapless girl. He cried out, knowing he was not going to be in time to shove her out of the way. Yori's eyes were frozen wide, the first time having seen something like this, but then something happened. Something snapped. Using the woman's momentum, she grabbed the other's shoulders and dropped, shoving her feet into the stomach and flinging her headlong into a nearby wall with such force several bricks tumbled out of place. Yori lay gasping on the ground, unable to get up, the initial shock still wearing off of what she had done. Once again, another attribute to self-defense. Aidou stood back eyes wide as he glanced from the girl to the crumbled figure back and forth again. He noticed her trembling hands as she shifted to stand up once again. The gurgles and hisses that came from the fallen Level E arose once again as it got up to its feet. She looked angrily at Yori.
"Blood, I need more of your blood!" she yelled angrily as she launched at Yori once again. This time Hanabusa was prepared and grabbed the woman by her neck before she had a chance to even touch his schoolmate. Instantly ice began to spread all over the entire body, encompassing the enraged Level E until finally it was unable to move anymore. With a disgusted sound, he shoved it away from him, allowing it to shatter into unfamiliar pieces.
"Disgusting," he said under his breath. Then he turned his attention to Yori, who stood staring dully at the fragments before them. He was surprised that she had not run away screaming. It would make erasing her memory easier, that's for sure. He walked up to her slowly.
"Don't touch me," she said quietly, her demeanor never changing. A smile tilted at the side of his mouth. He continued to reach forward. She was faster than he expected. Grabbing hold of his arm she wrapped it tightly around in an odd direction and pushed him to the ground, her laying firmly on his back. "I said, don't touch me, vampire." Hanabusa was surprised at first, then amused.
"So you knew then."
"I've always known. Honestly, you think that our school could keep something like that a secret from someone who really saw what was going on? Give me a break. I may not know the intimate details, but I know a vampire when I see one now."
"Impressive," Hanabusa finally responded. "Now I suggest that you release me. I don't want to hurt another student." His voice portrayed that he didn't seem to care one way or another. Yori grit her teeth, indecisive. What should she do? Run? Try to restrain him? That option was definitely not possible. Before she had a chance to do anything she felt a coldness sweeping up her arm. She gasped as she saw that the ice had encased her entire forearm, keeping her attacked to Hanabusa.
"What are you…"
"Only what I have been ordered."
"Orders? I don't believe involving me in anything is an order," she spat out. She saw she would not be able to talk herself out of this situation. Sighing, knowing she had no choice, she faced him head on. He was struck silent by the determined look on her face. She wasn't afraid? "Go on, do what you must." She closed her eyes, awaiting whatever fate had in store for her. Aidou simply stared at her, perplexed by this girl's strange reactions that evening. Not knowing what else to do, he did what he always did when he was confused. He reacted harshly.
"You're an idiot," he said under his breath. He was at a loss of what to do. He had meddled with memories before, but not when someone waited for him to do it. It was confounding and he hated ambiguity as much as he hated strong-headed girls like her. The moment was becoming too irritable for him, so he did what he knew he did best; he stalked away. Yori looked at him in confusion, not sure what had happened. She watched him leave, only to realize a few minutes later that her arm was still covered in a thick sheet of ice, growing very cold. Growling, she ran after him.
"Hey! What do you plan on doing about this?" she yelled.
"It'll melt," he said apathetically. Growling, Yori stomped off after him, intending on returning together. She did not want to be left out alone at this time. Her eyes were open to that now, even if it meant having to return with someone she was growing to dislike.
Yori felt her heart skip a beat as they approached the gates. Kaname-senpai was waiting for them right outside. His eyebrow rose up inquisitively as they approached.
"Yori-chan, aren't you out a little bit late?" She bowed low.
"It was my mistake, I was caught out after dark. I luckily ran into Aidou-senpai and he was kind enough to bring me home safely." The inquisitive look returned to Hanabusa.
"Is this true?" His silent nod was answer enough for that. "Did anything else happen?" he asked suspiciously. Yori vaguely felt Hanabusa tremble.
"Nothing, Kaname-senpai. I truly appreciated Aidou-senpai's help. Arigato," she said bowing again. "Please don't tell Yuki about this. She will be extremely worried," she said trying to change the topic, feeling as though she and Hanabusa were walking on thin Ice. Kaname gave her a gentle smile and nodded, pointing his chin over his shoulder, indicating that she could leave. Glancing over her should at Hanabusa, she walked away slowly, not sure why she felt she needed to stay behind by his side, should he need some kind of explanation. For what, she wasn't sure.
Hanabusa was grateful for the girl's aptitude in keeping his lack of action after the attack a secret, but turning back to Kaname, he realized that it didn't do any good for him.
"The target was eliminated," Hanabusa said, hoping to delay any onslaught from Kaname. His attempt went ignored.
"She knows something, doesn't she?" Hanabusa shrugged, feeling as if he wanted to return in kind to the girl, but his loyalty to Kaname was greater than that of someone he had barely spoken a word to.
"Yes, she knows, has for a while I guess."
"I see," Kaname said pensively. "Take care of it." Hanabusa smiled a little sadly.
"She has not said anything until now, is it truly necessary?" His lord's silence was answer enough. "I will do as you bid, Kaname-sama." Bowing down, Hanabusa turned to slowly follow the girl.
"Be careful," came Kaname's voice. Hanabusa responded over his shoulder.
"She's just a little girl, I will be fine." He continued his slow walk on. A small corner of Kaname's mouth went up. "So is Yuki, but that doesn't mean that they have nothing that can hurt us," he said quietly.
"Why do you continue to follow me?" Yori finally asked as she neared an alcove of trees. Hanabusa froze, surprised she had been aware of his approach. Standing straight he scratched the back of his head with a small smirk.
"I see you found me out." She gazed at him steadily.
"You wish to drink my blood?" she said flatly, turning around fully to face him. Without waiting for his answer she unsnapped the first button of her dress and pulled it aside to reveal a pale neck. Hanabusa gulped audibly. Who the hell does this girl think she is? She was tempting him. He clenched his fist and looked away, pulling his line of vision away from the invisible veins only he could see.
"Don't drop me to that level," he barked quietly. She slowly released her collar.
"Then why do you follow me?" she asked again.
"Some unfinished business," he said steadily as he stepped forward. Her eyes still did not waver. "Why do you look so calm?" he demanded, irritated by her unshakable expression.
"I knew long ago of the school's secret and I also realized that if something like this were to happen I would be powerless to stop it. I will not struggle. Yuki cares deeply for the sanctity of this secret and I will not be the one to reveal it so blatantly to others. I am not that foolish of a person." Hanabusa studied her carefully, the wind picking up speed, blowing locks of her hair across her face. She truly could be enchanting.
"You offer yourself freely in such a manner you deserve what comes then," he growled, still not advancing any further.
"If it is not my blood, then what is it you want?" she said finally. Silence. Hanabusa took one step then another and he saw that she was forcefully restraining herself from retreating with every step that he took towards her. Finally upon reaching her, he extended his hand and roughly grabbed her chin.
"You infuriate me," he said simply. "You with your blank look and calm smile. Even now I would like nothing better than to wipe that expression from your face."
"Then do it," she said. His irritation rose even further to new heights. "It is something you crave to do, isn't it? Make us humans fall into submission, acknowledge your noble place within the class? That is why you embrace your admirers so openly. You crave the homage and idolatry." His eyes flashed crimson for a moment. He felt her pulse gain speed, but still that same blank look. He had never seen it on her face before, all the other times she looked so innocent and happy with Yuki, but now, he had never seen this face. He pulled her closer and growled directly into her face.
"You are not in a position to judge anyone," he said forcefully. "You ARE human and it is best not to forget that." He faltered. He had to make her forget. That was his purpose for being there that night, to erase the fact that she knew she was human and that he was not. He grit his teeth. The leverage he had would be erased and he felt his pride welling up in him, yet another one of his faults. Pride always got in his way. If he erased this girl's memory then he could no longer laud his position. She would no longer look at him as the noble vampire, she would no longer look at him at all. He could not stand the last. He wanted her attention, not out of affection or any warm feelings, simply for his own greed and selfish desires. He felt a hunt welling up inside of him and it was so overpowering he could barely stem the anticipation. His teeth lengthened as he smiled at her haughtily.
"Just remember that. You are nothing but a mere human and I can use you as a pawn as I please," he said in a low voice. Without another word, he swung around walked slowly into the darkness.
Yori let out a gust of breath she hadn't realized she was holding. Her legs began to give out, but she strengthened her resolve, putting all her attention into not crumbling there. She felt her fear finally taking its toll on her body. The night's events flooded her as tears welled up in her eyes. What had happened? She felt as if the barrier she had carefully placed between her and the Night Class was being shattered in an instant. That was not right. She tried to remain open-minded being Yuki's friend, but now, it seemed impossible. He was a demon, a monster and there wasn't anything that would change that.