A/N

Sorry this took a while to be uploaded; I was simply having a bit of difficulty with selecting what exactly I wanted to put in here. And unfortunately, I somehow managed to make this quite a bit longer than the previous chapter. But, from the lovely reviews I got (thank you to; flaming-amber, alyzzahp, and lovelyanimeangel –I am so, so glad that you like how this is going so far! And that you reviewed, of course. So thank you!) I gathered that you didn't mind the length of the previous chapter. If it's possible, do you think you could, perhaps, point out it out if you feel that a chapter is indeed too long? Just so that I know, and can somehow try to avoid that in the future? Because every time I'm typing, once I reach beyond the 3000word mark, I begin worrying about it being too long and therefore to dreary to read. It never fails to happen.

So, without further ado, here's chapter five.

Disclaimer: Hino Matsuri's. Not. Mine. Savvy?


Chapter Five: Explanations All Around

The normally relaxed and easy-going Chairman was close to tearing his hair out as he stared at the Night Class vice-president, who had ushered them in through the Moon dorm doors. The vice president who was currently staring at the quiet, eerily still girl he had in his arms.

While it was true that the slight figure was not too injured –although it appeared she had an old injury or two that needed to be cleaned and dressed- he wanted to get her to a room, to a proper bed. He wanted to see her in the midst of students who would, should the time come, provide a form of shield around her, albeit unknowingly. He wanted to see to it that she was comfortable before having to, no doubt, answer a certain Pureblood's queries; and, more importantly, he wanted to sit down with his dark-haired friend –who happened to be rather emotionally volatile at the moment- and impress upon him that marching into the Association's headquarters and going on an attempted killing/shouting spree was not going to help them in any way. It would certainly not help Yuzara, or take back whatever it was that was done to her, no matter how momentarily satisfying it might be.

But he wasn't going to achieve any of that by standing in the threshold of the Moon dorms.

"Ichijou-kun, I will explain what is necessary in due time, but for now, I need-"

"-God dammit, kid, stop gawking and show us the closest spare room!" It appeared that he wasn't the only one who was getting impatient, and yet, the Chairman managed to send his friend a tired, reprimanding look,

"Touga, lower you voice –the other students are sleeping; Ichijou-kun, today would be quite helpful..."

At that, the golden haired vampire forcefully tore his eyes away from the empty lilac pair that had been watching him unblinkingly, swallowed, and nodded quickly.

"O-Of course, Chairman, Yagari-sensei. Forgive my lack of manners," he said, with a quick bow of the head, as he turned on his heel, heading towards the stairs as the two older men followed him. "This way, please. Kaname asked for a room to be prepared, and he asked for it to be on one of the upper floors..." he paused, turning his head back slightly in order to quickly glance at the still figure in the Chairman's arms. "I'm afraid it's not exactly close, though..."

"It doesn't matter," growled out the dark haired Hunter, impatiently, "just take us there. Now."

Despite his weariness and the thoughts and questions that were quickly forming in his head, the brunet Chairman frowned once more.

"Touga, please, there's no need to-" He stopped when Ichijou stopped walking and turned to look at them.

"Ah...Chairman, Yagari-sensei...you're bleeding..." The two men looked at the green eyed vampire, before looking down at themselves, as though they had forgotten about the injuries they had sustained in town.

The dark haired Hunter –who seemed to be more roughed up than his friend- laughed darkly as he flexed his injured shoulder.

"We're bleeding and we're in the middle of the freakin' domain of...a bunch of young blood suckers," he said with a tone of dark amusement in his voice. "Brilliant idea, Kaien. This is some way to 'not attract unwanted attention'."

The Chairman frowned, unconsciously tightening his grip on the still girl in his arms.

"I didn't think...I didn't realize-"

"-Clearly. Why couldn't we have taken her to the Sun dorms? Or to your private quarters?"

"Touga, do you honestly believe that she-"

"Chairman Cross. Yagari-sensei." The brunet ex-Hunter looked up to where the Pureblood was standing at the top of the stairs. A weary half-smile appeared on his lips as he nodded at the student.

"Kaname-kun." The Pureblood's eyes landed first on the dark haired Hunter beside him, no doubt taking in his...none-too-fresh appearance, before the rich eyes fell to the figure the Chairman was cradling protectively to his chest. Of the overall stench of blood that starkly hit his sensitive senses, it took him less than half a moment to come to the realization that the stench of stale, old blood was coming from her.

Unfortunately, that was about all that he was able to ponder on, for as quick as...someone with exceptional reflexes, the previously limp girl clawed her way out of the surprised Chairman's arms before scrabbled up the steps with a speed he would not have thought she was capable of, given her...appearance.

Sensing the flaring of the Chairman's aura –as well as that of the dark haired Hunter's- he stood unmoving and easily caught the girl before she could do whatever it was that she seemed intent on doing to him, grabbing her arms in a tight grip to hold her in place.

"Ah! What-"

He tightened the grip he had on her arms as the girl struggled against him; trying to reach out with her hands, trying to land a few blows. Making sure to keep his aura controlled lest it wake the other vampires up, he applied a bit more strength into his grip, knowing that it had to hurt –and doing his best to temporarily overlook the fact that her arms were uncomfortably thin -almost nothing but bone with a layer of muscle and skin dusted over them.

"I do not think that you want to hurt me," he said, coolly, as she still somehow continued to struggle in his grip –it was as though she wasn't hurting at all...as though she couldn't even feel the pain. But that was not possible; that could not be possible. He was using his vampire strength, albeit an insignificant portion of it, but regardless of that fact, it must hurt. And yet she did not give any sign of feeling pain –of feeling anything.

It was as Seiren had said; her aura was not normal –oh, it was human alright, but the short haired vampire had hit the nail on the head when she had described the aura as broken.

For when something is broken, it leaves behind nothing but solitary fragments; and that was how he would describe her condition.

"Let her go, Kuran," growled out the dark haired Hunter, as he made his way to where he was standing at the top of the stairs. The dark haired Pureblood raised an eyebrow at the man, his countenance as polite and calm as it always appeared to be.

"And let her have her way with me, Yagari-sensei?" he questioned, politely.

The Hunter, it appeared, wasn't awed by his polite manners, as he stood behind the girl. There was a somewhat hesitant expression flashing across his face as he watched her struggle to free herself from the Pureblood –or to 'have her way with' him, as the vampire had aptly suggested. He did not understand this sudden change in her behaviour. It was true that she wasn't speaking –she hadn't spoke since they had taken her away from the hellhole she had been in- and she still looked as unresponsive as before...but the way she had acted when she saw the Pureblood...not only had she voluntarily moved, but she had done so with grace that he had, ashamedly, not thought her capable of, given her appearance and whatever treatment she had received over the last nine years of her life.

But, he reasoned, steeling himself, this is not the time for this.

"Yuzara," he said, quietly, as he reached out with a hesitant arm, wondering idly if she would break if he so much as squeezed her shoulder. But then, taking into account the fact that she didn't seem affected by the vampire's grip on her arms, he supposed that he was being ridiculous. "Yuzara," he repeated, as he went ahead and placed a heavy hand on her shoulder, "stop this." He wanted to say that the vampire wasn't dangerous –at least, not at that moment- but how was he supposed to do that? Hell, did she even know what he was? She was the daughter of a pair of Hunters, yes, but she had been a kid when she had had her first encounter with vampires...who knew if she knew what they were? If her father had explained it all to her?

For he knew for a fact that Kiryuu Ryo had not wanted his daughter to grow up to become a Hunter; but whether that meant that he wished for her to remain ignorant of the vampires that existed alongside humans, he did not know.

He was brought out of his dark musings when he heard the ex-Hunter's voice as he came to a halt beside him.

"...Please, will you stop this?" he questioned, doing his best to draw the impassive girl's attention to him. "We mean you no harm –he means you no harm. We just wish to...to aid you..." his voice faltered slightly at that, earning himself a quick glance from the Pureblood, but it was to no avail; her head remained turned in the direction of the vampire, although her struggles did slow down, somewhat.

Frowning as his earlier concerns seeped back into the forefront of his mind, the Pureblood stared down at the girl, meeting her dead lilac eyes with his rich, red-brown pair. It was with a startled mental jolt that he realized the eyes were familiar; the colour...and something of their shape... had he seen them somewhere before?

He released one of his hands from her arm –surprisingly causing her to cease her struggling as opposed to making her lash out even more- and moved it upward until it was settled on the top of her head. He wanted to be informed of what was going on, and the only way that he would be able to do that was if this human girl was not awake to cause any distraction –for it was clear that the Chairman and the dark haired Hunter were easily distracted from their usual personalities by her.

Of course, he could have knocked her out, but he doubted if the two older men would appreciate that, so he settled for using a bit of his powers and sending her to sleep. It certainly looked like she could use a decent amount of sleep. As he focused his aura and the ability he wanted to use, he suddenly noticed another rather...familiar aspect of the girl.

Her hair. It was of a light, silvery-hue.

A hue that was frustratingly familiar to him, in that he had to see it –a rather darker version of it, however- on the head of a most disliked young man, every time he headed out for class or sought out his precious girl.

And he knew that that hair colour was not a common one –which did nothing to soothe his prior concerns.

Shaking himself out of his musings, he allowed his concentration to fall on what he wanted to do, and knew it worked immediately when the girl first stiffened, lilac eyes glazing over ever so slightly, before she fell forward against him.

"You better have just put her to sleep," growled out Touga, who had instinctively jerked forward upon seeing the girl fall forward, her body limp.

"What else do you think I would have done, Yagari-sensei?" questioned Kaname, calmly, as he made to hand the girl over to Ichijou, who had remained silent throughout the scene choosing to observe what was going on instead.

The dark haired Hunter made a noise of disapproval in his throat before he swatted the golden haired vampire's outstretched hands away, moving to take the girl himself. Kaname quirked an eyebrow at the man, "You are injured, sensei," he informed him, "I would have thought-"

"-I can still carry her," he growled, daring the Pureblood to say something else. "I am not some weakling, Kuran, and you'd do well to remember that." It was evident that he was distrustful of the slender, handsome brunet, but no one had expected anything less. He was the Hunters' Association's best Hunter after all.

Or so they said.

"Very well," he said curtly, as he turned on his heel, moving to the next flight of stairs. "We will take her to the room that was prepared for her. But once she is settled in, I would suggest you two clean yourselves up. I wonder at the wisdom of entering the Moon dorms reeking of spilled blood."

"Have that argument with him," said Touga, nodded his head at his friend, who had the grace to look sheepish.

"Ah. I was too focused on getting her to safety," explained the Chairman, not seeing the way the Pureblood's lips tugged downwards as at the words, as he had his back to them. "Well then, shall we get moving? I know that you have a lot of questions about this entire thing, Kaname-kun, and I assure you that I will answer them-"

"-He's not the only one with questions."

The Chairman nodded at his friend, even as he fished the glasses out of his coat pocket; where he had safely tucked them in while attempting to rescue the silver haired girl.

"I know, and I assure the both of you that I will explain everything to you, once Yuzara is rested and safe, and once we have had a chance to clean ourselves up."

With a nod at the pacifist ex-Hunter, the Pureblood headed up the stairs not bothering to slow his speed. He wanted answers, and he wanted them soon.

For while he had earlier thought it strange that the Chairman had insinuated he wanted him to prepare a room in the Moon dorm for a human girl, he had managed to convince himself that it was nothing for him to fret about, just as long as this...girl did not interfere in his carefully thought out plans –plans concerning the protection of his dear girl.

But from what he had just seen, he could tell that this might not be the case. Not only did the Chairman and Hunter seem to be highly concerned about the girl and her welfare, but she vaguely, yet poignantly resembled someone who he was not too fond of. He could only guess as to why she resembled him, and the guesses weren't particularly pleasing either way.

I will have to see how this fits in, he thought, a small frown marring his features, perhaps it is not as bad as it seems at the moment. There will be something that I will be able to use to my advantage, I am sure...


"Wow, did you catch the registration number of the bus that hit you?"

The red haired woman's shoulders stiffened as she turned away from the fridge with a carton of milk. Her brows were furrowed as she glared at the tall male leaning against the kitchen counter. She thought about making a rude gesture at him, but decided that she didn't really feel like wasting the energy to actually do it.

Choosing to ignore him, she moved passed him and unceremoniously plopped herself down at the small, circular kitchen table. "Geez, woman, look a bit lively will you? You look like you've seen a ghost or something." Her uninvited guest smirked. "And we all know that while we've got vampires in this world, we most certainly don't have ghosts."

The short haired woman's eyes narrowed as her companion's words caused her to remember the very things she was trying to forget. Such as the oh-so-lovely meeting she had had with the President of the Association. And she didn't even want to think about thinking about the reports she had come across, purely by accident.

"If you're here to annoy me, Yamamoto," she growled out bitingly, "get the hell out of my apartment. I'm not in the mood to deal with this –or to deal with you, rather." She gulped down another large sip of milk from the carton before placing it back on the table and pushing it away from her.

What was she going to do? True, she did not know much except for what she had managed to read in the reports, but she still knew that it was enough to raise her suspicions. If only she could speak to her former colleague...but no, that option had clearly been thrown out the window by the President's unveiled threat.

Why the hell, she wondered mentally, did I have to go and confront her about it in the first place? A rueful smile formed on her lips. Kaien always said that I needed to get my emotions under control. Maybe I should actually set about doing that. But she knew that she wouldn't for even after years of the former Hunter telling her that, she had not managed to successfully do as he said, so why on earth would it start happening now?

She jumped in her seat when she felt the warm hand on her shoulder, and looked up into her companion's worried hazel eyes. "I'm fine," she muttered, brushing his hand off. When he didn't move away, she scowled, before standing up. "Chuck the milk back in the fridge for me, will you?" she asked, as she made her way around her chair, heading for her room.

"Why are you avoiding me?"

"I'm not."

He snorted.

"Yeah, and, oh, look –there's a pig flying out that window."

"Look, I already told you that I'm not-"

"Why are you so afraid to admit that there's something wrong? No one's going to judge you on that, Takiko."

She whirled around, her eyes narrowed.

"I am not afraid of-"

"-Then why, Harada Takiko, are you not willing to admit that something's wrong? That you're evidently troubled by something?" He looked her in the eye, all traces of humour gone. "There may be times when my actions make you think otherwise, but I am your friend, and friends don't like being brushed off like some insignificant speck of dirt."

The glare on Takiko's face was replaced by a hesitant look, as she took note of the seriousness present on her friend's face. She let out a heavy sigh, her shoulders drooping as she did so.

"Look," she started, running a hand through her short hair, "I'm sorry, alright? I'm not usually this rude-"

"-Oh, no, you are."

She glared half-heartedly at him.

"-I've just had a...trying day, alright? And I –I have a lot of things on my mind, things that I don't really want to think about, but that are pretty serious all the same, if there is some truth in them." She frowned. "And I just don't understand how they could stand to make such an agreement. With them of all people! After all they've done...after every bit of trouble and carnage they have caused..." Her voice trailed off as she let out a frustration growl.

Her taller friend stared at her for a moment, waiting to see if there was anything else she wanted to say before he spoke up.

"What exactly are you speaking of?" he queried, when it became evident that she had withdrawn into herself and her thoughts. Her eyes were troubled when she looked up, troubled and uncertain, and it was only when he noticed she was shifting her weight from one foot to the other that he realized whatever it was seriously troubled her. "Takiko?" he probed, gently.

Swallowing the worried, the frightened lump in her throat, Takiko nodded at nothing in particular.

"What do you know of the...relationship between the Association and the Council of Ancients?" Her voice quavered, but she ignored it, hoping her friend would too.

Yamamoto Tetsushi stiffened ever so slightly, his brows furrowing.

"There is no 'relationship' to speak of. Certainly, they are on relatively polite terms with each other, but that is all."

The lump in Takiko's throat had just gotten somewhat bigger.

"So they aren't supposed to have access to the personal details and information of all the Hunters in the Association's service?"

For a moment, the tanned face in front of her was impassive, just for a moment –until it darkened quite suddenly.

"I think," said Tetsushi, as he moved away from her to sit down on the chair next to the one she had previously occupied, "that we should sit down before you go into any further detail."

She hesitated for a moment, though, the President's words coming back to her unwillingly. Would she be putting him in a dangerous position by telling him what she had...discovered? Yes, she wanted to speak to someone about it, but that didn't mean she wanted to get them into trouble while she was at it!

But then again, she thought, unless that old hag has my apartment bugged, there's no way she'll know I discussed this with someone else.

Nodding, she stalked towards the free chair and plopped herself down on it. Tetsushi was sensible; he'd be able to help her sort things out in her head.

But first, she'd extract a promise from him; a promise to not get himself involved in whatever was going on, even if she one day decided to investigate the matter further. For she wouldn't allow him to compromise his place in the Association –a place his family had occupied for many a generation.


Later in the afternoon, at Cross Academy

The four men were seated in the portion of Kaname's dorm suite that served as a little living room of sorts; the refreshed Chairman sharing the long, cushioned sofa with his friend, who was sprawled against the other hand with his arm thrown around the back; and Ichijou had perched himself on the arm of the plush armchair that his friend had settled into.

There were two glasses of wine on the table between them, one of them Kaname's and the other belonging to the Chairman (Ichijou had politely declined, saying he had just finished is supply of pocky, whereas Touga had sent the Pureblood a look that all but screamed 'are-you-mad?', which said Pureblood had taken to mean that he didn't want anything to drink).

"So," started the Pureblood, after the silence had gone on for quite some time, "I believe we all have questions that we would like answered." He stared at the Chairman, "And you seem to be the one with all the answers, Chairman."

Cross nodded.

"It is a long story," he admitted. "Relatively long."

"Then...perhaps we should start off simply," suggested the Pureblood, politely. "Such as... informing us who the girl you brought here is?"

"Her name's Yuzara," said Cross, looking a little nervous. "Kiryuu Yuzara."

Kaname knew that the dark haired Hunter was observing him like a hawk, and he resisted his initial urge to get a bit annoyed with the scrutiny.

"I thought as much," he murmured, instead. "It isn't that hard, what with the colour of her hair and eyes. They are an unusual combination." He paused, tilting his head to a side. "How, exactly, would she be related to...Kiryuu-kun?"

Touga snorted.

"No need to sound so polite, Kuran-kun," he said. "We all know of your mutual dislike towards each other." Kaname merely sent him an enigmatic smile before fixing his eyes on the Chairman once more, turning fast enough to see the troubled expression on his face.

"Her father was Kiryuu Hiro's brother," said the ex-Hunter, carefully searching for the appropriate words to use. "And before you ask, Kaname-kun, I do not believe that any of the Night Class students will be given a reason to...fear her. She...is not another Zero-kun."

The Pureblood raised his eyebrows.

"And the reason she attempted to attack me earlier was because...?"

Ichijou, who had once again been observing the two older men, wondered if he should be concerned by the uncertain expression that spread across the Chairman's face. He glanced at his friend before he continued.

"We wouldn't know, Kaname-kun," he said, quietly, knowing that he had to choose his wording carefully not only so that the Pureblood would be willing to go along with his plan, but also so that he wouldn't give his slightly unstable friend the chance to erupt and release the mixture of anger, frustration and guilt that he just knew was gnawing at him.

Pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, he spoke once more. "But before we get to that, Kaname-kun, perhaps I should start at the beginning." He paused, collecting his thoughts. "The story of what happened to Zero is very well known, both amongst the Association and amongst the vampire society in general; Hiro and Yumi were attacked and killed by Hiou Shizuka, Ichiru...well, he... disappeared, and Zero was bitten."

Both Kaname and Ichijou nodded. "Hiro's brother, Ryu, was killed five years before that." The Chairman paused. "Ryu was also a Hunter, although he did his best to remove himself from active duty a few years after his daughter was born. For...reasons unknown to most, he went into hiding when Yuzara was seven years old. He told no one where he would be hiding." Cross felt Touga tensing beside him and refrained from sending his friend a reassuring smile, knowing that he wouldn't appreciate the action, especially not in the present audience. "One year later, the Hunters' Association received word that some vampires had found out the Kiryuus' location, and were planning an attack on them. At the time, I wasn't as involved with the Association as I had been –as you know, Kaname-kun."

"Indeed."

"A small group of Hunters were sent out to see if Ryu and the family were alright, and when they arrived at the house, it..." The Chairman trailed off for a moment, before taking in a quick breath. "...Ryu and Sakura were...dead." He paused once more, uncertain as to what exactly it was that was making him so hesitant to speak –it wasn't as though he was there to see it. He just heard about it from those who had been there.

Touga snorted at his friend's behaviour.

"What he's trying to say is that there weren't much of them left," he said, his voice sounding casual, even though Cross knew that that was nowhere near to what he was actually feeling. "They had first been incapacitated, and then bitten. More than once –probably by more than one attacker. And then they were killed."

Kaname nodded, his eyes fixed on the Hunter's sole blue one.

"And you know this, how?"

Touga didn't look away from the Pureblood's gaze.

"I was one of the Hunters sent to check up on them." Kaname saw the brief glint in the blue eye and chose not to comment on it any further. It seemed as though the dark haired Hunter had been...close to the deceased.

"I am sorry," he said, instead, bowing his head slightly as though to emphasize the statement. He didn't need to do it, mind you, but felt it appropriate. The Hunter shrugged in reply.

"What happened to Yuzara-san? Where was she when this happened?" questioned Ichijou, suddenly. He looked sheepish when the older gentlemen looked at him. "Ah, I'm sorry, you don't have to-"

Cross shook his head.

"Yuzara was with her parents. As there was...no evidence at the scene to determine if she had perished along with her parents or to suggest that she had managed to escape, the Association announced her as dead." He briefly glanced at his friend. "Those who still had some hope for her continued to search for her, but gave up when it was realized that there was nothing more that could possibly be done."

Touga mumbled something under his breath but was otherwise silent. "A few years after that incident, as I continued to...delve further into the Association's business and its dealings, I began to wonder if Yuzara actually did perish with her parents. Something about the incident, coupled with the...information I was beginning to gather made the whole situation seem somewhat odd. What was Ryu hiding from? Why was he hiding in the first place? And...what would vampires want with him, for he had stopped his active duty as a Hunter for a while before he was killed."

He shook his head slowly. "It was all very suspicious, but no matter how hard I searched, I could not find proper, conclusive evidence. And then with the founding of this Academy..." he trailed off. "I am afraid that I got side-tracked for a while."

"Which you cannot be held responsible for," commented Kaname, easily. "You were doing some very important work, and could not afford to be...distracted by anything else."

"Not that I'm saying Kaien is at fault, but really Kuran...to call this matter a distraction?" There was a steely note in the Hunter's voice as he stared directly at the Pureblood, his aura changing. Ichijou and Cross glanced at each other before the Chairman shook his head at his friend.

"Touga, please don't start something here." With another hard glance at the Pureblood, Touga huffed and looked away, crossing his arms across his chest. Deciding that it would be best if he finished this as fast as he could, and get his friend out of the Moon dorm, he continued. "In any case, I heard of a few rumour around a year and a half ago, about a girl with silver hair." He nodded at Kaname, "As you said yourself, that hair colour is not a common one, and it had me thinking again about the possibility of Yuzara not being dead." He sent his friend an apologetic glance. "I did not inform anyone of my suspicions because I did not want to create a sense of false hope."

"Of course," reasoned Ichijou, looking very interested.


Meanwhile:

As he got out of bed after having laid there for half an hour, trying to fall back asleep, Aidou decided that this was not a very good day for him. Not only had he been woken up at that ungodly hour –by Ichijou, as his cousin had informed him- but he was now unable to sleep. And whenever he didn't get enough sleep, he was cranky, and restless –and oh dear lord he would have to deal with his fan-club's high pitched screaming and squealing.

Oh someone just shoot me, he thought, before hurriedly retracting the thought. Nuh-uh, no way. Heh, wouldn't it be funny if Kiryuu popped up here right now, ready to shoot me with that god-awful weapon of his?

No, he decided, sourly, that wouldn't be funny.

Sighing as his thoughts turned cranky, he finally came to another decision and got out of bed; quietly, so as not to wake up his cousin. Too lazy to change out of his pyjamas, he slowly left his room.

Blinking a little to get adjusted to the darkness of the hallway, he began to make his way towards the stairs, when his nose picked up a different scent. Pausing, he raised his nose in the air and –throwing aside all dignity- sniffed.

Human, he thought, and familiar, but who –ah. Old man Cross. He briefly wondered why the Chairman would have been in the Moon dorm, but shrugged; it wasn't entirely unusual after all.

But that other scent...his eyes widened slightly. The Hunter...! What would he be doing here? Even though the thought of the Hunter's presence in the Moon dorm alarmed him, he knew that there wasn't much of a reason to get agitated over it. The Hunter had been teaching at the school for a while now, and although his attitude could do with a lot of improving, he hadn't made any move against them, so he couldn't be that bad, right?

Still, as precaution, he closed his eyes and concentrated until he caught the scent of the Night Class' President, up in his quarters. He was alive then, good, good.

Shaking his head at his behaviour, he continued towards the stairs, walking passed one room that served as a store room of sorts for Ichijou's manga, and then another one that he knew to be empty since the girls staying in it had left over a year--

What the-? A human? In there? His blue eyes narrowed as he stared at the closed door. Definitely not Cross. Is it Kiry –no, the scent is off...

He wanted very much to barge into the room and demand from the human what he or she was doing in the Moon dorm –and perhaps have a little nibble or two?- but he remembered all too well what had happened the last time he had...done that to a human, to a girl of the Day Class. Kaname-sama hadn't been happy at all. He gulped inadvertently, deciding that he didn't want to risk facing his leader's wrath.

Shooting the door one last look, he turned and headed back in the direction he had come from. Maybe he'd wake Akatsuki up? And ask for his opinion before running to Kaname-sama? Akatsuki always did give reasonable advice –if he'd only take the effort to follow it.

Or should he just go to Kaname-sama first?

Argh, decisions, decisions...and meanwhile, the human was still in there...


"Just last week, I finally found some...evidence. At the Association." Both vampires saw the interest in the Hunter's eye as he looked to his friend as well as the Chairman's wary look at him. "They were in the form of reports that had no names in them except for the one they were addressed to; the President of the Hunters' Association." He sent his friend another wary look. "The reports did not have much information on them, simply having a line or two in each, referring to a water-lily." At the quick intake of breath from his friend, the Chairman smiled wanly, knowing his reason for it.

"I would assume this...water-lily to be...Yuzara?"

"Yes. Her father often used the name as a...form of endearment, of sorts. And only very few people knew of that." Cross sighed. "In any case, what I gathered from the letters was that the Association had known that she was alive, that she had not perished, but chose to keep it hidden."

"Cruel," murmured Ichijou, and the Chairman agreed with him.

"It seems that she was to be of some sort of use to them," he said, frowning. "Unfortunately, the reports said nothing of what that use was..."

"But we found out what it was earlier, didn't we?" questioned Touga, his voice harsh. "The Association wanted a puppet, preferably a Kiryuu puppet." The Hunter's aura darkened. "They said that the Association only...actively became involved with her four years ago, after Shizuka wreaked her havoc on Zero and his family. It seems that they had wanted to use Zero as the puppet, but as he was taken in by Kaien, they wouldn't be able to do that. So they...focused on Yuzara instead."

Kaname nodded.

"It makes sense; Kiryuu wouldn't be easily influenced while in the Chairman's care," he murmured. "But how did you find out that this was their goal, Yagari-sensei?"

The man's eye darkened.

"The Association had placed spies in the town Yuzara had been kept in; and she was guarded by a handful of Hunters. Unprofessional ones, I'd say, to give out so much information to people."

Ichijou had put two and two together.

"So that is why you were injured," he commented.

The Chairman nodded. "How did you manage to escape without them following you?" Cross' gaze fell to his knees.

"We killed them." Ichijou's eyes widened at that, although his friend was not surprised; after all, they would have had to have done something to make sure that they didn't inform the Association of what had happened. What interested the Pureblood was the fact that the two men were willing to kill members of their own Association, for the female Kiryuu. Especially the Chairman –the man who had sworn to not kill again, unless, of course, his life was being threatened –or the life of someone he cared for.

And just like that, he hit the nail on the head. The Chairman cared for her, greatly, from the looks of things. He knew not of what their relationship had been when she had been younger and her parents had been alive, but he was still concerned. Just how far would the man go to keep her safe, to protect her?

For if matters with the Association became more troublesome, if matters involving the girl became more troublesome, would the man neglect his other, more important duties? Duties such as ensuring the protection of his precious Yuuki? He could sense even now that the man –both men, in fact- felt some form of guilt for the girl's predicament, and he thought that dangerous, for it was that type of guilt that led a person to do anything and everything he could to protect, to nurture...and in this case, the urge would be towards one Kiryuu Yuzara.

If the price of her protection was going to be Yuuki's protection, then he would be forced to step forward. To do something about it. To prevent it from happening.

He was brought out of his thoughts by a sudden realization. Rich brown eyes widened ever so slightly as they stared at the...sly expression on the Chairman's face, and as the full force of the realization hit him.

The man had planned this; every single thing had been planned beforehand.

He had mentioned to him the possible appearance of a new student, not mentioning which class she would be put into; that was because he had not been a hundred percent certain of her being alive, but if she was alive, he had not known if she had been turned into a vampire or not.

He had asked for a room to be prepared in the Moon dorm, making the request seem casual...but it was not, oh no, it was far from casual. If the Association really wanted to use Kiryuu Yuzara as a puppet –as evidence suggested- then they would search high and low for her once they learned of her rescue. They would eventually begin to suspect Cross as the culprit, since he had thwarted so many of their plans before, and would naturally find a way to see if she was located at the Academy. And if they did send in a spy, they would fully expect her to be kept either in the Chairman's quarters, or with the Day class students; they wouldn't think of her being in the Moon dorm –at least, not at first. Even if they did ponder the possibility, they would not be able to enter the Moon dorm to search for the girl, for that would be sending in Hunters to investigate a vampire residence, which would in turn break the terms set out in the peace treaty.

As for the icing on the cake, the shrewd man had to have known that he would not be too pleased with his actions, and with the fact that she was a Kiryuu –for if he wished for her to be in the Moon dorm, he would have known he would have to give him an explanation first. The man had known that he could refuse to harbour her, a Kiryuu and a human with the other vampires, but he had also guessed that he would fear for Yuuki's protection, should he keep the girl in his quarters.

The ex-Hunter knew that he would do all that he could to ensure that Yuuki remained the main focus of the Chairman's protection and concentration, which was why he would not be able to refuse his eventual request of keeping her in the Moon dorm, for to keep her in the Moon dorm, under the protection of Kuran Kaname, would give Cross some relief and would therefore make it unnecessary for him to focus all of his energies on her.

The man had thought of all of this, even while unsure as to whether he would find the supposedly deceased girl or not.

Clever, Cross Kaien, he thought to himself, as he saw the somewhat triumphant gleam in the Chairman's eyes –no doubt having realized that he had realized what he had been doing, very clever. You played your cards well, my friend, I will acknowledge that.

But one thing about Kaname was that he despised being used. By anyone. It is gratifying, to know that you would trust me with her care, he thought, but I am afraid that I will not hesitate to act if she becomes a burden to Yuuki's protection. Or if she becomes of some use to further her protection.

"I have a request to make of you, Kaname-kun," said the Chairman, bringing the Pureblood out of his reverie. "I would like for Yuzara to remain in the Moon dorm for a while," continued the bespectacled male, earning a surprised expression from Ichijou.

"Stay here?" he questioned, "But-"

"-What?!" Yagari Touga had finally had enough of this. "Here? Are you out of your fuckin' mind, Kaien? She can't stay here! She's human!"

"I am aware of that, Touga," said Cross, calmly, "and do watch your language in front of the students."

"Who gives a damn about them?" questioned Touga, hotly. "I don't believe you –keep her here indeed! What do you reckon the other vampires will do to her when they find her? Treat her like a princess? Pamper her? Love her?" He punched a fisted hand into the opened palm of his other one. "They'll suck her dry, that's what they'll do!"

"Touga-"

"-No, don't you 'Touga' me. We lost her nine years ago, and that was painful. Are you asking me to put her in a position where she could be lost to us again?" He shook his head. "And she was there the night her parents were killed –who's to say she's not afraid of vampires?"

"She wasn't afraid of Kaname-kun," pointed out the Chairman. The Hunter faltered for a moment, remembering her strange behaviour.

"That was probably some...bad reaction. Who knows what she's been through? The point is, you can't leave her with them, unprotected at that. It'll just be asking for-"

"-She won't be hurt if she is under the protection of Kaname-kun, will she?" questioned Cross, sending the Pureblood an innocent look although his eyes twinkled in merriment at the dark glance he shot him.

Touga's eye widened, as did Ichijou's as they stared at the Chairman and at Kaname respectively.

"But –he...she-" The Hunter stopped and suddenly turned around to stare at the closed door behind him. Ichijou knew the reason for this immediately, and he hopped of the arm of the chair he had been seated on.

"Aidou," he said, by way of explanation –although none in the room needed it. "I wonder what he wants..." He was halfway to the door when the knocking started.

"Kaname-sama? Are you in there?"

Signalling for Ichijou to halt, Kaname spoke up.

"What is it, Aidou?"

There was a slight pause, and when he next spoke, the Noble sounded like he was confused as well as troubled.

"There's an outsider in the dorm, Kaname-sama," he called through the door. "A human, from what I gathered. In our dorms. What should we do?"

The four figures in the room stared at each other in silence.

This would have to be dealt with very, very carefully.


A/N

Whew, much longer than the previous chapters, eh? Once again, I couldn't help it simply because I wanted to get this out of the way. For starters, we have some questions answered –the ones that Cross knew the answers to, that is- and then I really, really wanted to have some sort of insight into Kaname's thoughts on the whole issue. I find his relationship with Cross to be interesting; they're close, and seem to be friends almost, and it is evident that Kaname is powerful...but then Cross would also have power over Kaname, simply because of the fact that he had looked after Yuuki all along, and, based on the recent manga chapters, that he had been protecting her from the Council and Association, and that he would continue to do so. Kaname being...Kaname, would not want to lose Cross as an ally or friend, but even more so, he wouldn't want to lose him as Yuuki's guardian/other protector.

I hope that made sense; it's just my thoughts on the matter.

Anyways, I hope this chapter was...of a reasonable standard. I had some trouble with it, typing out different scenes before finally deciding on these.

See ya soon!

Siriusgirl1