I was fading. I tried to hold onto my conciousness, to the very last piece of knowledge that showed I was still alive. Still human. But I grasped nothing but a black void, swallowing my human life like a vaccum cleaner from my protestant body. The blood continued to drip noiselessly down my neck, staining it and my shirt red. The place where her fangs had bit me hurt excruciatingly, and with every bit of my stregnth, I placed my hands to my neck and cupped it, as the last of my remaining awareness slipped away. Along with my human life.
Along with my parents and brother. Along with the last shred of saneness I had. The black came then, and the vampire was born.
Blood Stained Snowfall
Summary: After the attack on the Kiryuu household, Zero Kiryuu is left an orphan, bitten, and alone. When Yagari finds him, it's up to him to determine the boy's future. A future that will inevitably, irrevocably, end in death. Vampires who were once human will one day become souless creatures, with no redemption or hope of salvation.. and Zero is sealed with that same fate.
Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Knight.
Author's Note: This is the story of how Zero Kiryuu was found and taken to Kaien Cross. It is not a factual story. This is only how I think it could have happened. We don't know all of the details of how Zero was to be placed in Kaien Cross's care, so I took up the task of writing it. Despite not having all of the information, I had to fabricate some events slightly. I hope you enjoy, nonetheless.Songs that inspired this are "Breathe No More" and "I Must Be Dreaming Bleed" by Evanescence. I advise listening to those songs while reading, as it really helps you get into the mood and everything. XD :)
"And I bleed. I bleed.
And I breathe,
I breathe.. no.. more.."
-- Breathe No More, Evanescence
The sound of the snow crunching beneath feet were the first sounds that proved existance was still among the deep woods where hours before human life had been extinguished.
Yagari Touga walked steadily through the ankle-deep snow, his gun pack draping easily over his broad shoulders, a cigarette in hand, and a scowl printed on his face.
He hated snow.
He hated having to walk four miles in wintry tempests just to reach their house.
He hated doing this night after night.
Tonight was one of the many nights that he had to go teach the sons of the best Vampire Hunters, the Kiryuu's, to become Vampire Hunters themselves. He had to admit, at first he had not been up on the offer; he found children incapable of learning, incapable of having the patience to learn. While he adored the boys, he had not expected them to be as into their futures as their parents were. They were young, expected to be into playing and having fun like most children their age. But to his shock, they had been not only willing, they'd really put up an effort to be as good as their parents. At least one of them, anyway.
The youngest boy, Ichiru, was often ill, from a chronic illness he'd had since birth. Zero, the eldest, was healthy, and was the one who was doing the best in "Vampire Hunting" at the moment. The twins's parents often disapproved of Ichiru coming outside in cold weather to learn about the destiny that surely awaited him, just the same as his brother's, when he was so deathly ill. Yagari felt pity for the young boy. Attempting to learn only made him sicker, and there had been many days when he had just taken a break and had fun with the boys while the parents were away, taking them out of town to the park, buying them ice-cream. But Ichiru never got very far along before he would come down with yet another fever, and would have to return to the bed again, to rest.
Zero would often sneak away to see his younger brother and check up on him. While the parents sometimes caught and scolded him, Yagari had to admit that he was quietly sneaky. He hardly even caught detection. Being quiet as a mouse was a good skill to have in Vampire Hunting, and Yagari, though he never told him, was proud Zero could do such a thing so flawlessly.
He reached the end of the forest before putting the butt of the cigarette out. The boys's parents had finally put their foot down and asked Yagari to stop smoking in front of the twins, as it made Ichiru's health in even poorer condition. Immediately, he had stopped, not wanting to risk the child to other illnesses when he was already so sick.
He hadn't even completely stepped out of the forest when he saw blotches of crimson red staining the pure white snow. Blood. Suspicious, and somewhat nervous, as only the family he was loyal to lived around here, he quickly headed in the direction of the house, the blood becoming a long trail seemingly unending as he headed closer and closer. Then his eyes focused on a small figure lying in the snow, silver hair matted wet, feet bare, shivering as though experiencing a convulsion.. Zero. All trace of thought was swept from him as he rushed to the boy, noticing several things at once.
His eyes were bugged out wide, as though seeing something far away, something traumatizing, making the irises deepen into a comatose-like state. His shirt was ripped in half, and the blood Yagari had seen in the snow was dripping down the boy's neck.
Something horrific had happened here.
"Zero!" Yagari's voice came out sharp and panicked, but the silver-haired youth did not so much as blink. Apparently, he could hear or see nothing, and Yagari knew he hadn't gone deaf or become blind. His mind had completely shut down, and this alerted Yagari to the danger that had been at the very front of his mind ever since he'd stepped out of the forest.
"Zero!" He tried again. And again, Zero did not give any sign he knew Yagari was there.
Knowing that he wasn't going to get an answer from Zero, Yagari jumped to his feet and ran torward the house, looking for any clue that indicated what had happened. Where were the parents? Where was his brother, Ichiru? What could have happened to make Zero freak out so badly? His gut instinct told him the answer to all of these questions was not a good one.
He stumbled through the deep snow, the precipitation staining his socks and pants, and while he normally would have complained about it, he did not this time. Panic seemed to have overtaken any other thought. And then he stumbled over something. It was hard, and cold, lying face down in the snow, red blood seeping from her ripped out throat. Zero and Ichiru's mother. Holding his breath, Yagari forced back the shriek of shock that was caught in his throat and grabbed at it. His head was spinning. He stumbled back toward Zero, because he had known all along there was no hope, known the second he found Zero and glimpsed the mother's body, that the father and younger brother were dead as well.
He fell to his knees in front of the young boy, still in his comatose-like state, now making small, whimper-like noises. Without thinking, Yagari pulled him forward into an embrace. He learned immediately that it was a mistake. Zero twitched and began screaming an ear-piercing scream and Yagari released him, a headache starting to form, while he tried to think of a way to calm Zero down. It was obvious whoever had come here and hurt Zero enough to make him scared of touch. The boy was shaking so violently the wound in his neck was beginning to bleed more rapidly.
Yagari tore off a large piece of his pants leg and slowly and carefully pressed it onto the bleeding wound. "It's okay, Zero. No one's going to hurt you. I promise. It's okay." He repeated these words over and over, unsure how else to calm him. And eventually, slowly but surely, Zero's cunvulsive movements had become less than small tremors and he seeped back into his zombie-like state. They sat there in the snow, in silence, surrounded by nothing but death and blood.
Eventually, nightfall came, and with it colder and more ferocious weather, and Yagari knew he had to get Zero out of here and into the warmth.
"Zero? I'm going to have to touch you, okay? Just to get you out of the cold. We'll get you a change of clothes and check out that wound, too." He gently reached out and grabbed the boy's arm, and was relieved to see that Zero didn't scream or twitch this time. He didn't seem to notice he was being led into the house, and Yagari was beginning to think Zero had developed some severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Yagari noticed for the first time that the door that led to the house was ajar, wide open. The parents must have rushed from the house to find the children when whoever it was attacked. When he reached the inside, though, he saw that the house was not damaged in any way, and nothing looked suspicious enough to lead a clue in who attacked. He led Zero into his room and then began looking through clothes for him. Finally settling on a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt, to hide the blood, he began to undress and then re-dress Zero, since he knew Zero was incapable himself at the moment. Throughout the whole time, Zero did not so much as move. But when Yagari went to place the shirt over his head, Zero gave a jerk of the head and twitched away. Yagari frowned.
"Zero, you can't go outside in the cold without a shirt, come on now.."
But Zero shook his head again and grabbed at his neck. Yagari sighed.
"Okay. But you need something to cover you up, even if it's not cloth so close to the skin to irriate it. You'll get sick out in this weather." He removed his jacket and wrapped it around Zero's small body, and it was only now he saw how fragile he really was. Now he'd seen what he'd seen, he'd be more breakable, much easier to upset. He was going to have a rough few years.
Knowing that there was no more need to be here, in this house where all of Zero's memories were, Yagari sighed and gently led him out of his room and into the front room where the door was still open. The wind was picking up, snow billowing in every direction, and Yagari tensed his muscles to prepare for the frigid cold. He lifted the boy in his arms and held him carefully, as to not irritate the wound, and headed out into the tempest.
Zero wrapped his arms around the back of his neck and within moments had fallen asleep. Yagari didn't wake him, knowing the little boy only had his dreams now, dreams that would slowly develop into nightmares, nightmares stained in blood. He knew there was only one fate left for Zero, now: to die. For a moment, his hands itched the gun in his holder, to kill the boy who would surely be a vampire now, if he was bitten by a Pureblood, and from that kind of wound, it appeared that he was. A Level E would not be so precise, and the bloodlust would have made them careless and not biting so carefully like any other vampire. But Yagari knew he could not kill this innocent child who had not asked for this. He'd grown so close to him.. he would not be able to kill him as he was now, even if the vampire venom now coursed through his veins.
Maybe if he saw the fangs, the blood red eyes of blood lust... he could do it.. but here, now.. no. He could not kill Zero. He prayed to the Heaven's above that the poor child's blood, if God had any sympathy at all for this boy, would become toxic to him and he could die quickly, instead of the painful and slow transformation he would have to endure into a life of agony. His parents and brother were already dead; why couldn't the lord be merciful and take this child too?
Yagari knew he could not take the boy in, however; if the Association knew of him raising a child who had become bitten and was turning into a vampire, they'd have him kill him or they'd kill him themselves. And Yagari was prepared to not let anything happen to Zero until the time came when he would have to die, if he was destined to carry out the life as a vampire. He knew he had to take him somewhere else, and knowing the Kiryuu's had no family members to take Zero in, he had no choice but to take him to someone he knew had taken in a child, a girl, and was raising her at Cross Acadmey. The children would be friendly enough with eachother, and Zero needed to be around children like a normal child instead of an outcast as a newborn vampire. He'd have to take him to Kaien Cross.
They continued through the wintry mix until Yagari reached the outskirts of the city where the weather began to slowly calm down. Once there, he took out his cell phone and dialed the number to the police. When they answered, Yagari tried to his voice calm and even when he responded.
"Hi, yes, I found the child of a family left outside with the parents slaughtered. The other son is missing, but I didn't completely look as I wanted to get this child out of the cold."
"Okay, thank you, sir. Can you please give us the address of the boy's home and where you and the boy are?"
"Have a car meet us at the school known as Cross Academy, I'll be able to talk at legnth then."
"Oh, okay. We'll send a car out. Thank you very much for this information."
"Thank you," Yagari hung up the phone and re-adjusted Zero on his back before hitching a taxi, and decided he'd better call Kaien to let him know what's going on. He waited impatiently for the phone to ring.
"Hello, Kaien Cross speaking."
"Kaien, it's me, Yagari." Yagari said quickly.
"Oh, hello, Yagari! How are --"
"I don't have time for the formalities, Kaien. I have one of the Kiryuu boys with me. It seems the family was attacked and murdered."
"What?" Yagari could hear Kaien's shocked tone over the phone. "Oh my.. do you think it was a vampire?"
"Without a doubt." Yagari hissed, looking back at Zero's bite mark. "I can't explain right now but you'll see when I get there. I'll be there in about twenty minutes so be outside. I'm going to the Academy."
"Okay, no problem. I was just heading home anyway. But my little Yuuki is there and she might get scared with everything going on, so when we get there, perhaps we should take it a little further down the road?"
"Yes. That's fine."
"Did you call the police, at all?"
"Yeah. They're coming with me, so then I can discuss this with you and then them all at once."
"Good, that might be a wise idea."
"Well, I'll see you soon then, Kaien." Yagari didn't want to be on the phone for too long.
"See you soon. I'll meet you there." Kaien promised and Yagari hung up, closing his eyes against the pounding of his headache. He looked at Zero, who was still sound asleep, and out of a parental instinct for the boy, he lifted him into his lap, holding him as if he were his real son. He'd always felt as if he were a parental figure in the boy's life.. and now.. he had no parents at all. Although he'd rarely seen his mother and father, he'd always been surrounded by Yagari, and Yagari was the one who took care of him and Ichiru before.. before this happened. He thought of little Ichiru, always so deathly sick, and tears threatened to form as he realized that the boy would not suffer anymore, and his struggling body would now be at peace.
In almost no time at all, they reached the academy. And Yagari almost jumped out until he remembered Zero was still asleep.
"Zero." He gently shook the boy, awakening him easily. "You'll need to stay awake, okay?"
Zero said nothing, as expected, but he did not fall back asleep. After Yagari paid the driver, he exited the vehicle with Zero slowly following in tow, and Kaien was running up to them just as the cab drove away.
"Yagari.. thank you for coming." Kaien said nervously.
Yagari nodded. "I should probably make this short, but enough so that you understand what happened. But first, before I start.. I would like to make a request of you."
"Anything." Kaien agreed, looking sadly at Zero, who it seemed had gone comatose again.
"I know you took in a little girl a few years ago. Yuuki, is it? Well, I was wondering if you could possibly take in Zero. He has no other remaining family members, and I'd take him, but the Association would not allow it. You're my, and his, only remaining hope. I would hate for him to end up in an orphanage."
Kaien met Yagari's eyes for a quick second before his gaze returned to Zero. "I understand. Of course I'll take him. With all he's gone through, how could I let him suffer more?"
"He's only begun to suffer," Yagari said seriously, and Kaien's eyes widened in shock. "Whoever attacked the house and killed the family.. bit Zero."
"Bit him?" Kaien was truly in shock. "C-could it..? A Pureblood?"
"That's what I was thinking." Yagari nodded. "Here, check out the wound before the police get here. I didn't have to look twice to know a Pureblood had done this."
Kaien slowly walked towards Zero and leaned down until he was in a good view of his neck. When Kaien's finger brushed across it, Zero did nothing, standing as still as a stone. It didn't look like he could have moved if he wanted to. After a brief examination, Kaien raised his head and sighed. "Looks like a Pureblood's fangs all right."
Yagari simply nodded again.
"But.. why would a Pureblood do this? Who would do this to them?"
"Do you remember that order the Kiryuu's got some time last week?" Yagari asked him. "The one about the Level E that was the lover of a Pureblood, but the Kiryuu's had to destroy him?"
Kaien's eyes widened in realization. "You don't think?"
"I do. Hio Shizuka." Yagari spat the name bitterly. "I can't think of anyone else who would do this."
At the mention of the name, Zero suddenly twitched as though remembering something bad. Kaien and Yagari's eyes met at the same time, knowing by Zero's reaction it most definately was the Madly Blooming Princess. They could hear police sirens in the distance, getting closer. Kaien sighed again.
"The police are coming. Please explain what happened."
"Right." Yagari placed his hands in his pockets and shook his head. "I was heading over there to help them pack. They were moving, but the parents had asked me to take the boys in for the night and teach them so that they didn't fall behind. But when I got there, I found a trail of blood that came all the way to the beginning of the forest. I knew something was wrong, my instinct told me there was. As I got closer, I didn't get too far before I found Zero just lying there in the snow, his neck bleeding, and then it hit me that something had definately happened. He wouldn't talk. He's much like he is now, except he was shaking and everything. I went around to see if I could find the parents and Ichiru, but.. I found the woman's body."
"Oh, lord.." Kaien raised a hand to his mouth.
"I knew at that point they were all dead, so I headed back to Zero and got him a change of clothes. I brought some with me in case you need them, but I only could get a little for now. When I inform the Association about this, we can begin an investigation and head back to get more things for him."
"Do you plan to tell them...everything?" Kaien asked.
"Yes." Yagari admitted sadly. "Of course.. they won't do anything to him now if he's with you. They know all about your pacifism with vampires and the plan that you have to make this school a part vampire academy. I know they won't harm him if he's in your care."
"I know." Kaien said gently. "I won't let them harm him, either. The police just arrived." He added, as the car turned the corner, red headlights creating a glow across their faces, sirens turning off as the car stopped in front of them. Two officers exited, nodding at both Kaien and Yagari before glancing nervously at Zero.
"Is this the child?" One of them asked. "And you.. the one with the eye-patch.. did you bring him?"
"Yes." Yagari confirmed to both questions, although he didn't quite like the way the officer said "eye patch".
"Hmm." The other officer nodded and took out a pad of paper and pen. "Can you please tell me what happened?"
"Before we get into that," Yagari said quickly, lying his hand on Zero's shoulder, "My associate here, Kaien Cross, owner of Cross Acadmey wishes to take the boy in. I've already had to explain the situation once with the boy here, and I don't think he'd be able to bear hearing it a second time."
The officers exchanged glances before nodding and adressed Kaien. "Very well. Perhaps you should take him inside first."
"Yes." Kaien turned his attention to Zero. "I'm going to take you inside, okay, Zero?"
Again, the boy did not speak. Kaien placed his arm around Zero's back and gently lead him forward, noting the boy's lack of being able to perform physical movements without a guidance. He was sure his mental state was far worse, and his body was acting only because it was natural; Zero had no focus at all on what he was doing.
He reached the front steps and knocked quickly on the door. "Yuuki!" He called. Within seconds, Yuuki's small feet thudded across the other side of the door and she opened it looking cutely worried.
"I'm sorry I was so late, Yuuki." Kaien told her gently. "This boy --" he indicated to Zero. "Is Kiryuu Zero. Starting today, I'll be taking care of him. So he'll be living here.His family was killed by a bad vampire." Yuuki's eyes widened in recognition. "Please let him take a bath. I have to go talk with the police." He waved his hand in farewell and as he headed off towards the police, he saw out of the corner of his eye Yuuki gently leading Zero into the house, and his heart tore apart as he caught a glimpse of Zero's blank and traumatized face.
He only hoped that time would heal his wounds, and that Yuuki could help him to open his heart and learn to live and love again. He prayed that Zero could be allowed to find some hope, some form of peace and salvation with the agonizing road of pain that lay ahead for him.
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