Substitute

Pairing: Kain x Ruka

Summary: After Ruka has been rejected by Kaname, she asks Kain to do something for her. He can't deny her anything, so he complies, but sometimes feelings can change through the simplest of gestures.

Notes: Some dialogue from the manga has been adapted here for my own purposes. This piece should be considered slightly AU as I don't think this would have happened in canon, I just wanted to explore a little… I hope it's not OOC though.

Review, I'd love to know your thoughts!


Kain leaned against the wall in the corridor near Kaname's room. He had followed Ruka here earlier, watched her stand for ages outside the dorm president's door before being admitted. He knew that she was aware of his presence, but she didn't acknowledge him. Nothing was more important than her precious Kaname-sama after all.

He worried about her, going into the pureblood's room alone. Not because he thought Kaname would harm her physically, but because he knew she was likely to get her feelings hurt.

So he waited.

The doorknob turned, and Ruka emerged into the corridor. Her eyes were downcast and she held one slender, delicate hand to her graceful neck as she walked past him. He felt compelled to say something, but he didn't know what, so he cleared his throat instead. She faced him.

"What?"

Her voice was terse, but he could see it was a façade, knew that she was breaking apart inside and trying frantically not to show it.

"Nothing."

Her emotions overcame her, and she approached him, clutching onto the front of his shirt in desperation.

"I asked Kaname-sama to take my blood, but he refused…"

Kain was at a loss. He wanted to hold her tightly, to comfort her… but knew it wouldn't be appropriate. He settled for patting her gently on the back while she clung to him.

"We vampires… try to fulfil our longings by taking another vampire's blood. Your blood is no longer enough for him…"

The words were meant to placate her, but instead they made her cry.

"All this time I've yearned for him… but I will never understand Kaname-sama. I am so foolish!"

Hot tears were soaking into his shirt. She sobbed quietly for a while more, and then suddenly turned her tear-streaked face upwards, meeting his eyes.

"I… I need you to do something for me…"

He gazed at her, trying to read her expression for clues, but failed.

"Of course - what is it?"

She didn't answer, just looking up and down the corridor to ensure it was deserted, before dragging him into an empty room.

"Ruka…" he began, but she put up a hand to silence him.

She used her grip on his shirt to walk him backwards until his back made contact with the wall and he could go no further. Her voice was low, but he heard every word with startling clarity.

"Please, take my blood."

His eyes widened in shock - it was the last thing he had expected her to say. The desperation and longing in her tone was so sincere, it was breaking his heart… and he knew this was a bad idea. Knew he should excuse himself and leave. No good could come of her strange request, but he couldn't bring himself to go when he knew she needed him. She pressed herself against him, baring her neck, the faint trail of drying blood taunting his senses.

"Why?" he whispered, wanting to know.

She blushed, a sprinkling of scarlet dusting each cheek. "I just want to be… needed. And you're the only one I feel safe with."

He knew it was a lie. She wanted him to do this so that she could pretend he was Kaname. He was nothing but a replacement. It felt like all he could ever be for her - a stand-in. He tried to push her away, not wanting to use all his strength lest he hurt her, but she was clinging too tightly, trapping him against the wall.

So wrong. Just a substitute…

But her soft curves were laid against him right now, not Kaname.

Her tempting scent of heather and rain was filling his nose, not the pureblood's.

And her delicious blood… blood that he had fantasised about in secret for such a long time… was being offered to him.

It didn't matter that it had been offered to Kaname first.

Kain gave up on struggling, slipping his arms around her back and pulling her to him, placing her delectably tempting neck within reach. He let his tongue flick out to taste her, and she let out a sound halfway between a sigh and a moan. He allowed himself to savour the unique flavour of her porcelain skin for a while, laying a trail of sensual kisses and gentle bites along the length of her throat. Teasingly, he played his fangs against her flesh, delaying the moment, stretching the anticipation growing within him to the breaking point, and then…

Ivory teeth pierced pale flesh, damning them both. Each mouthful was heaven, an elixir fit for the angels themselves. Her hands skimmed up his sides, sending sparks of sudden warmth shooting up his spine, before lacing themselves behind his neck, urging him to draw deeper. He complied, unable to stop his own hands from roaming, travelling down her back, resting on the curve of her waist…

Desire coiled within him… a need for more than just her blood… but he was nothing if not skilled at denying himself, so he did not act on it.

Turning them so that she was now pressed against the wall, he took one last, deep draught of her ruby life before pulling back, kissing the wound he had made.

She took a breath to speak, and he just knew this was the part where she would ruin the moment by saying Kaname's name…

But the name she exhaled on a sigh was his.

He lifted his head, meeting her gorgeous eyes. Her cheeks flushed immediately, and she looked away, putting her hand to her lips as if she had said something inexcusable. He stepped back, releasing her, and suddenly he felt cold.

Without another word, he left the room, and neither of them mentioned the incident again.

Since that time though, she hasn't quite been able to meet his eyes.

He thinks it's because she's embarrassed, and regrets what happened between them. That he was somehow inadequate.

That's not the reason though.

Not at all.

She can't bear to look at him because she's afraid - she's held on to her hopeless fascination with Kaname-sama for so long now, she doesn't quite know how to let it go… and she is frightened that if Kain's soul-searing amber eyes gaze into her own, he will learn the truth.

To her, he is so much more than just a substitute.