Chapter 17

by lightpathetic

"YOU'RE insane, Shizuka. Completely insane."

"It's a good thing for you that you are useful to me. I don't tolerate anyone talking to me like that."

"There are no guarantees that he can be contained. You shouldn't toy with him, regardless of how much you want him to suffer."

"What are you saying? Have you forgotten the pain he has caused so easily? Perhaps you aren't up to the task? Go home then. I am perfectly capable of taking care of this myself..."

The masked man grabbed Shizuka by the arm she shook dismissively, arresting her none too gently. Using his free hand, he tugged off the mask that obscured half of his face. Shizuka didn't flinch as she saw the cruel diagonal scars that ruined the right side of the otherwise handsome face. She had seen them too many times before. She had seen them when they were far worse.

"The hell I am leaving. I won't rest until I see that monster dead at my feet and my brother freed. But I will never forgive you if your mischievousness gets in the way of that."

"Don't worry. I have it all under control. We will have our vengeance."

KANAME opened the door to the bathroom and immediately went to pick Zero off the floor next to the toilet bowl. Zero moaned but didn't fight as he was hauled up into tender arms and carried to the bed. He felt worse. His body was burning up and he was becoming delirious. Things were on his skin. Crawling. Little black things with red eyes...

"Zero..."

"Get away! Oh God, Kaname they're all over me..."

"There's nothing on you Zero. I am going to dress you now. They will go away soon."

"No. They won't. They've come to get me. They've finally come..."

"Zero. Pull yourself together and help me. We are going out. They have the antidote. You'll be fine again. Soon."

"Who has it?" Zero asked stupidly, then it dawned. "You're crazy! You're going to give yourself up? To them?"

"Zero, hold up your arms..."

"You're nuts! How do you even know they have it?"

"I don't. But I can't take the chance..."

"Yes you can!"

Zero pushed away Kaname's hands and tried to stand but was held down easily. Kaname, with almost bruising force, grabbed one of his arms and thrust it into a sleeve, even as Zero tried to fight him off.

"Zero. Stop it. Stop it! Dammit, I hate doing this to you...!"

"Don't you dare shut me up. You need to hear this. What if it's a trap?"

"I've told you. I don't kill easily. If they have the antidote, we'll take it and go."

"You think it's that simple? They obviously know you're a vampire! Don't you think they have planned for you?"

Zero removed his arm from the sleeve and Kaname growled. He didn't have much time. The sun was coming up and the woman had said to hurry.

"Zero, if you don't cooperate I am going to take over. I know you hate it, but I can't give in to you on this. I can't compromise with your life."

"That's what I'm trying to say! You should! There are billions of potential me's out there but you are the last one. You die and that's it. There was a time I wasn't all that weepy at the prospect..."

"Zero..."

"Kaname. Don't do this! Let me die! Walk away now and don't look back. Save yourself. Make another vampire, maybe a female and have lots of little..."

Zero slumped over and Kaname straightened him on the bed, continuing to gently but quickly dress him. He stood and carried him to the door and then away, down the back stairs to the brightening lot before taking off into the air. Kaname concentrated on this to the exclusion of all else. He had considered what Zero had said. For a moment. He knew he should walk away. He knew but... He wanted Zero. If there was a chance of saving him he would take it no matter how slim. What would be the point of living on if Zero died?

KANAME walked slowly towards the plane, his senses searching all around them. There was one pilot and a small Cessna waiting on the deserted golf course. He smelled nothing and he heard nothing else amiss. As he approached, a small man disembarked and ran out to meet him.

"Hey! Hey there! Are you Ken?"

"Don't come any closer," Kaname barked, arresting the man immediately in his tracks. The smiling face fell.

"Oh, sorry. I was waiting so long for you. My wife told me not to take this job..."

"Who sent you?" Kaname asked. He stopped in front of the door and pulled it, placing Zero gently inside after some inspection.

"I don't know. I was told to come here to pick up someone. No questions. I'd said no, but then they threw an envelope of cash on the table. It was enough to pay off the bank and some..." the man halted uncertainly, aware belatedly he was babbling to a stranger, but it helped his cause since Kaname realised the man's sin wasn't much more than being stupid and greedy.

"Get in and let's go. I'm in a hurry."

"Yes, sir. Are you...? Well I guess you are if you're out here like this..."

"And don't speak anymore," Kaname demanded quietly, but looking up at the silly man.

"N...," he began but on seeing Kaname's eyes decided to nod instead. Probably the first smart thing he'd done in his life.

KANAME'S mood didn't get any better as they flew east, into the rising sun. He was still wearing his contacts for the set lighting but they were never enough for the direct sunlight, which in the desert was many times worse. No clouds, no trees, no reprieve. He closed his eyes at intervals as he did his best to turn away, mostly burying his face into Zero's neck. It reminded him of two things: Zero's fading pulse and how hungry he was. He had exerted a lot of energy last night and he had let Zero feed in an attempt to heal him which didn't work. He couldn't sip from Zero because of the poisoning, which left the pilot, and he supposed he had better wait until he had taken them to where he was going. Kaname nuzzled Zero's sleeping form and found being there was comforting and relaxing. He wasn't even aware when his body's natural rhythms took over and he began to sleep.

KANAME came awake as the plane banked and threw him sideways. He "steadied" himself and gave the pilot a look of warning.

"Sorry. We are coming in to land," The pilot offered by way of explanation. It was hard to miss the relief in his voice. This passenger gave him the creeps. Kaname looked down to see a long track and a lonely cement building to the side of it. Kaname couldn't hear anything over the engines, or smell anything over the fuel fumes. Therefore he killed the engine.

"What? What the...!" The pilot gasped, instantly checking his gauges in disbelief, failing to notice the plane was no longer in his control. He twisted the key and began to swear at "Thelma" with something akin to grim determination. A hand grabbed his hair...

THUD THUD THUD!

The pilot screamed as holes appeared in the roof of the aircraft and the hand in his head tightened. But soon it relaxed and fell away. The pilot didn't even look behind him. He grabbed his parachute and kicked open the door, jumping clear of the alarmingly quiet aircraft. He only looked back once to see where it had stabbed the landscape, many yards east of the dirt trail.

KANAME came to and tried to lift his head. But he couldn't. He was shackled into some kind of contraption. He pulled at his bonds and grimaced as his hands shook the chains weakly. He tried to swallow, but his throat was so dry. Somehow he could stand the pain in his body more than his thirst. Kaname opened his mouth and hissed as his eyes opened and surveyed around him, already looking for a food source.

"He's awake."

"Don't go near him. Call the others."

Kaname was aware of footsteps but he couldn't follow them. His head was trapped. He looked down to see a tile. A dirty green colour, the grooves of which were stained to a dark contrast. He could see a drain near him and his eyes followed greedily the crimson trickle that he just knew was blood. From the way he was feeling he feared it was his.

A door opened behind him somewhere and Kaname heard several footsteps as many people approached him. He tried to "break apart" the apparatus holding him but he couldn't. He was too weak. His powers wouldn't work. Kaname closed his eyes.

"I thought you said he was awake?"

"He was. He is..."

"Hey, 'Kaname'. Vampire! You awake?"

That voice. The woman. Kaname pried himself away from his own personal problems to think of some others. Including...

"Ze...ro..."

The group gasped in awe as the corpse spoke. They had witnessed the draining of his blood themselves. No-one should have survived that. No-one...

"My God, it's true!"

"I told you. I told you." The woman insisted.

Kaname moaned in pain as the scent of the people teased his nostrils. His fangs were already fully grown in preparation for what he could never get. He shook the equipment alarmingly though as his concerns went unanswered.

"Zero!" He growled, the chains swinging. The group hushed immediately.

"Shut up, you scum. You are in no position to make demands. What are you on about? Your toy? You are lucky we didn't kill you for that alone."

"Is Hiou-san awake as yet?"

"Yes. I heard him on the way here. He was bellowing this creature's name..."

Kaname began to tug at his bonds in earnest. He refused to just stay here when Zero could be dying...

The woman with pale blond hair took a gun and shot him in the shoulder. Kaname screamed in agony.

"They don't have to be silver bullets to cause you pain. Your body is too weak to regenerate quickly. Too weak to help itself. You had better be quiet before I lose my temper and become more serious."

"What are you keeping him for? Why don't you kill him?" One of the group asked.

"In good time. Go and bring my nephew," Shizuka ordered, looking at some guards.

Kaname subsided again, his breaths coming in long agonised pants. He felt despair threatening to swallow him whole. Where was Zero? He tried to use his senses but he couldn't concentrate above the pain. Kaname closed his eyes in defeat. He hoped death came quickly.

"Let me go! Kaname!"

Footsteps headed towards him and stopped in front of him, but Kaname knew before he opened his eyes that it was...

"Zero... Zero..." Kaname moaned his eyes filling with tears. He was alive!

Zero dropped to his knees and held Kaname's head, stroking his hair.

"This is so touching. Really it is. Do you have a handkerchief?" Shizuka asked the masked figure next to her.

"Don't kill him. I'll do whatever you want, Aunt. I'm begging you..." Zero got to his feet and stood between the group of heavily armed gangsters and the shrivelled, snivelling, pathetic creature behind him. He forced a determination into his stance he didn't feel. An authority he had long ago given up. He heard Kaname gasp behind him but he ignored it. He had no right to judge him...

"Now you call me 'Aunt'? Now that you want something? You disowned us remember? Changed your name. Became a good, law abiding conformist. You have no right to ask me anything...!"

"I have every right!" Zero yelled, stalking forward, the old pain coming to the fore, shining in his eyes, his hands going up to tug the multiple piercings in his ears as evidence, "I helped you get where you are! I helped you to hold on to my father's legacy! The blood of our rivals is on my hands! You owe me!"

"Zero, shut up! Have some dignity! This creature isn't human! You are begging for the life of a beast! Do you know how many of us he has killed?"

"I know. But how many have we killed? He kills the guilty. Can you say the same for us?"

"Zero, I knew I should have put you out of your misery. Your father would be ashamed of you...!"

"The hell with my father!" Zero growled, his eyes flashing in anger. "I have avenged his death. That is the extent of my obligation to him. He chose his path and now I choose mine...!"

"With this creature? Are you serious?" The masked form beside Shizuka finally asked, raising his eyes to Zero for the first time. Zero looked away. He still had trouble looking at him...

"He's not a monster. Don't call him that..."

"He is. But maybe you are so brain-washed you don't see it. Maybe his dick is really that good..."

Zero ran forward and tackled the masked figure, his hands going to his throat, his eyes glinting with deadly intentions. Guards ran forward to part them but Shizuka held up her hand to stop them. Finally the figure beneath Zero pulled his gun and shot Zero in the stomach...

"AAAHHHH! Shit!"

Zero rolled off and the figure rolled onto him holding the gun to his head, leaving his mask on the dirty green tile.

"You've gotten soft, Zero. The old Zero would have done the job right."

"Don't speak to me of him, Ichiru. He died years ago. I am ashamed of him. I am ashamed of you!"

Ichiru's eyes narrowed, at Zero's words, his fingers squeezing the trigger. But then he got to his feet. He turned towards the naked vampire before them who looked wide eyed at the two of them. As if he saw a ghost...

"You remember, don't you? I bet you do. I bet you remember leaving your marks on me," Ichiru sneered as he kicked his brother in the stomach. Zero cried out and clutched his bleeding stomach. He didn't see the look Kaname was giving them. The pain and fear that had nothing to do with the situation he was in. He pulled at his manacled hands again as he tried desperately to make him stop. Don't please, not the one thing on this earth...

Ichiru smiled dangerously and knelt to his brother. He tugged him up to a seat facing the shackled beast.

"I never told you, brother. Shizuka insisted. 'Don't tell anyone, they won't believe you.' Ha! For a while I didn't believe it myself, what I saw. I thought it was a nightmare I had invented to cope with the reality. But then you got careless, vampire. You let people see you..."

"Stop! Just kill me! You don't have to waste any more time..." Kaname rasped his eyes watching Zero's face. Zero's eyes were still closed, his breathing uneven in his pain. He wasn't listening. Not yet.

"Let me finish. Zero came home later. He wasn't there. Everyone was relieved Zero was spared. The future of the Hiou rule was assured. Then he leaves. Isn't that funny? Then he deserts us."

"Ichiru..."

"Be quiet! I'm speaking. It's time he found out. About the red-eyed demon that's been haunting my dreams since I was eleven. The tall figure with dark hair and pale skin, with teeth as long a tiger's..."

"No... You're lying! You said it was an army of men! You said..."

"I said what was believable. I couldn't say one man defeated our bodyguards and shredded them before my eyes. I couldn't say he fed on... on my parents like cattle..."

"No! You're lying! You are lying!"

Zero began to fight again and Ichiru released him and stood. The smug expression returned as he looked down on his brother.

"Look at the little favourite now. Sleeping with the creature that killed your parents and left me for dead. We have videos you know. We all know how much you like it up the ass by this monster."

"Nooooo! It's not true! Kaname...? Kaname, tell me it isn't true!"

Kaname was lost. Zero's tears stung him like fine razors. The night came back to him, his memory of the frantic boy who had returned just after he had left, who had run around the grounds with a gun that was almost too big for him, yelling for "them" to come out and fight like men. He had almost gone back to finish him off. But he'd liked the kid. Had decided to spare him for another time. He hadn't thought it was the same one...

"Kaname..."

Ichiru saw his work was done and walked away twirling his gun happily.

"If you're finished Ichiru..." Shizuka finally ventured, the tense atmosphere having robbed all of them of their speech. She turned away from the creature whose eyes, the look, was almost destroying her resolve. If anything could epitomize despair...

"Kill him. Remove his limbs slowly. Sadao's arms hung from his shoulders by bits of flesh as they carried him out. I want to see that. I want to see pain."

Zero watched as the men approached Kaname slowly, warily. Almost too afraid to carry out the order in case he got free. He was dangerous. He was dangerous...

"I love you. I'm in love with you."

"You belong in the sun. You are glowing."

"Look at what you do to me. You rob me of any will to be apart from you."

"I promise I will never leave you Zero. I promise, despite everything I will always appear at your side. Always."

Stop it, Zero yelled to himself as he sat transfixed by Kaname's stare, he killed your parents! He ruined your life! He made you suffer like nothing else...! Yet Zero's mind kept betraying him. It kept going over the good times. It kept making him see Kaname for what he was. Beautiful...

"You lied to me. You both did. You told me it was Fujii and his men. You told me he did it to claim the leadership. You made me kill all those people..."

"Please!" Shizuka scoffed, not even bothering to face her naive nephew. "Is that what you're telling yourself, Zero? No-one made you kill. You made yourself kill. You wanted an outlet for your pain and your need for revenge and I gave you one. I never held a gun to your head. You went off and excelled yourself and everyone here. It was when you had realised what you had become that you decided to disappear! That you decided to leave your family!"

Zero realised his stomach no longer hurt and he stood. It had been an ordinary bullet. They were so sure he was on their side. So sure he wouldn't turn on them and that Kaname was immobilised. He considered his options carefully.

"You manipulated me."

"Do you want me to cry? What are you waiting! Kill him!" Shizuka screamed at her hesitant lackeys.

"Wait. I'll do it. I want to. Hand me the sword."

Zero walked over confidently and took the sword from the man nearest him. Then... he pushed him onto Kaname's mouth.

"What? What are you doing? Zero!" Shizuka screamed, as the chaos broke out around her.

"I'm afraid I've already claimed Kaname as my prey. You can't have him. But don't worry. He won't kill you. I will."

ZERO walked into the music room carrying a tray of French toast and orange juice, next to a tureen of coffee. Kaname sat at the piano, his face contorted as he tried to come up with a melody for some lyrics he had written earlier. Zero approached and placed the tray next to him on a small table he had put next to him for that purpose, because Kaname had been known to spend all day there.

"Time to eat."

"I'm not hungry. This god-damned song! I'm going to put it in the shredder!"

"You say that all the time. I never thought you could become so clich├ęd."

"I mean it! The melody is driving me crazy...!"

"Maybe you are hungry..."

"I'm not...!"

Zero came to stand behind Kaname and pulled back his head, roughly. He dipped and kissed him deeply, his tongue delving insistently into his mouth. Kaname moaned and reached up to hold Zero's head as he sucked on the bleeding tongue. He pulled Zero onto his lap and dragged away his collar before licking his neck. Zero shivered as Kaname's rough tongue promised a brutal bite.

"I knew it. You're always cranky when you're starving."

"I wouldn't be starving if you hadn't had insisted on being 'flown' to the beach..."

"I just mentioned it in passing because if the moon! You were the one that dropped everything and hauled me to the window! Don't put words in my mouth."

"I can't help myself. I have so much to make up for. I only want you to be happy..." Kaname replied, lifting his head to look Zero in his eyes, trying to convey, as he did every day, his pain, his gratitude...

"I know Kaname. I know... Anyway it was wonderful, admit it. I thanked you if I remember..."

"Mmmm...." Kaname moaned, remembering how as he sank his teeth into Zero's flesh, his hands sliding around him to hold his close, one dipping low to cup Zero's devastating behind. Zero chuckled and sighed.

"I hope you love me for more than my ass, Kaname. I've never seen anyone more obsessed..."

"Of course I do." Kaname lifted his head to reply hastily, "I also love the way you taste. Without those two attributes you are basically useless."

"Moron..." Zero leaned in and kissed Kaname on his nose, then lower to his mouth, cleaning the blood on his lips. Kaname suffered the caress for a while, just to please Zero, before angling for his neck again. He wasn't finished. Zero closed his eyes and relaxed. He liked these moments. Feeding Kaname. His... love...

Zero yelped as he ended up on the floor.

"Kaname!"

"I just want to indulge in my other obsession," Kaname teased as he began to pull at Zero's clothes.

"What about the song? And breakfa...aahhhhh?"

Zero stopped talking. Then only his moans and the Kaname's gentle suckling noises disturbed the night.

"AUDIENCE what do you think of that?" Tyra asked, pouting a little as a hint to how the audience should think.

A round of "Boo's" echoed around the room. Kaname's beautiful eyes opened wide in mock chagrin but Zero could tell he was enjoying himself.

"This is him, here? Is this Zero? Stand up, please, let the audience look at you. Wow, that's a fine man if I do say so myself. Nice ass..."

"Um, thank you." Kaname muttered as Zero sat abruptly, glowering at the cameraman in his face.

"So what does he think of your sex addiction?"

"Well he likes it." Another round of 'boo's'. "Of course, if I hadn't filmed us and left it carelessly around the hotel, no-one else would have known about it..."

"So you admit you were responsible for the video."

"Yes, I'm sorry, Zero. I was watching it and I left it on to go to the studio..."

"You can't get good help these days. Some people should be ashamed of themselves."

More applause for the sage wisdom from Tyra's lips.

"...Indeed. So, now you all know that I'm in love, with Zero. It's not sordid. It was a tape for just my 'amusement' and it got leaked out..."

"You know that is how it always starts. Britney, Paris, now you. When will it end? Listen people, if you have to film it, lock it up. For God sake, who needs these scandals? Does Zero forgive you?"

"No. But he still loves me."

A chorus of "awww's" broke out at Tyra's puppy-dog face.

"Alright! Hold that note! Next on 'Celebrities With Sex Tapes and Sex Addictions' we have Matt Damon! Don't touch that remote!"

The End

lightpathetic wrote this but these are not my characters. They belong to "Vampire Knight".

Crack ending! LOL. But it's a happy one. I thought of it before I realised it was just like "A History of Violence" but I'll mention it here to say thank you if I did subconsciously get inspired and please don't sue me as I am making no money off of this.

Thanks to everyone who supported this effort. Please don't let the ending make you hate it. Just look back on the good times.

Alright! On to APFU and my long suffering fans...