A/N: This is an old project I began a few months ago. This takes place right before Zero's attempt to kiss Yuuki for the first time. It does follow the manga, but it will make sense, even if you have only seen the anime.
Please take a moment to review this. I'll put up the next chapter if I am satisfied with the number of reviews. Also, this is somewhat short, but after a few chapters, they become longer.

Conundrum - a perplexing question or problem; riddle


It was late in the evening, and the Chairman, his adopted daughter, Yuuki, and Zero were sitting around the dining room table, picking at the Chairman's new recipe with twisted forks. A small conversation had come about when the Chairman mentioned a 'party with the Vampire Council.'
Zero shot the Chairman a cool glare and then spoke to Yuuki, "It's not a party."

Yuuki sighed in relief at that as she sunk into her chair. She didn't like parties.
"It's more like a meeting."
That got her attention. She peeked through one eye and watched Zero; calm as usual. And the Chairman; embarrassed that he was proven wrong.

"Why were we invited to a meeting?" she asked, lazily. It was the Chairman who answered this time.
"As the Headmaster of Cross Academy, which promotes the peace between human and vampires, it is required that I go to the council meeting to…" he cleared his throat, "discuss… a few things."

Yuuki looked to Zero then, wondering if this bothered him. His lavender eyes stay fixed on his spoon that he twirled round and round in a green soup.
"Well, in that case," Yuuki stood up, reclaiming their attention, and wiped her mouth with a napkin although she had not eaten a bite. "I guess I should get some shut-eye then, right?" Zero copied her as he smothered his mouth quickly, and shoved his hands in his pocket, waiting for Yuuki.

"It's tomorrow?" The detail was already mentioned earlier, but the Chairman nodded again.
"Well, see you." Zero was already half way out the door, but he gave a smooth wave with the back of his hand and walked out into the hall.
"Ah, Zero!" Yuuki shouted after him, forgetting to wave to her adoptive father, although he didn't seem to mind.
He picked up Zero's unused napkin and cleaned his glasses as he sighed heavily.

"Wait! Ah, jeesh. Zero!"
Yuuki caught up to him then, and tugged at his sleeve. He looked down from the corner of his eye and studied her.
"I forgot to ask, what am I supposed to wear to this meeting?"

They paused in front of his bedroom door, and she waited patiently for Zero's answer. He shook his head and spoke to her as if speaking to a low-witted child, "It's a meeting, not a wedding." She frowned, annoyed, and ignored his sour tone.
He sighed and stepped through his door, although he had not given her a straight answer. "Just wear your uniform," he said dully and began to close her out of his room.

Yuuki's hand grasped the door knob, preventing him from shutting the door in her face.
Zero looked down at her serious expression with narrow eyes. He waited, but she did not speak.
After a cold moment, Yuuki spoke, "Zero."
He winced slightly at the harsh way she said his name. No doubt she was going to ask something, looking for a straight answer. His sigh was interrupted by her sudden rush of words.

"Zero. Are you alright? I mean… I didn't know if going to this meeting would make you upset or not. Upset with me. But if you don't want to go, the Chairman and I understand. But I warn you, if you don't go, neither will I."
He looked at her stubborn, yet concerned face. Zero found himself studying her every feature.
His eyes paused at her delicate peach lips, that blew small, yet sweet, breaths. Then his lavender eyes were caught grazing her neck, where warm blood flushed.

Yuuki looked away then, her fingers brushing her neck self-consciously. The movement broke his eye contact with her neck, and he blinked, refocusing on her question.
"What makes you think I don't want to go?"

She pursed her lips and looked up at him again, slightly thrown off. "I thought you didn't like the council…"
"I have nothing wrong with a bunch of blood-sucking, control freaks."
She blinked in surprise then, not sure if he was being sarcastic or not. It was always hard to tell with Zero. His eyes were fixed intently on hers. She swallowed. He had meant every word.

Her head jumped away from his gaze. She felt uncomfortable standing there.
Yuuki's eyes hid behind her hair when a sudden rush of guilt shook her hands. She regretted asking the question, fearing it would make him hate her.
Seeing her like that, confused and sad, made Zero's heart accelerate. Uneven thumps sounded in his ear.

He could catch a glimpse of her glassy irises, beautiful and large. Her body seemed even smaller, more fragile, as she cradled herself in thin arms.
His eyes were studying again.

He studied her slim profile; her long fingers wrapped around the other arm; her curves, which seemed to be everywhere; her small feet in pointed boots; her warm skin, and behind that, blood. Blood pulsing all throughout her admirable figure.
The blood behind her skin seemed to glow with a sudden intensity. He could already taste the sweetness in his mouth. It brushed against the side of his cheeks, and then ran down his throat. It burned.
Zero's skin was tensing. It felt as if it was separating itself from him, wanting to attach to her. No, not attach, but cling. To cling and not let go.

It was much more intent, like a fire.
A fire licking the land in which it was burning.
He refused to be the fire. But…
She was… intoxicating.
And he was intoxicated.

His pale hand came down on her head, although the sober portion in the back of his mind told him otherwise. She continued to look away.
Yuuki felt as if he wasn't telling her everything. Whenever she felt that way, sadness claimed her, and she couldn't stand to look into his deep, lavender eyes. They seemed to be ripping her apart. A shallow memory came across the top of her head. The time they promised to tell each other everything.

"Shh, Zero."
It's been nearly a year since Headmaster Cross took in Zero and he and Yuuki were huddled underneath the sheets on his bed. She smacked on the flashlight, making the white sheets glow yellow in the darkness of night.

He squinted his eyes, turning his gaze slightly away from the bright light.
Yuuki held out the flashlight so it was inbetween them, and shined it upwards, making the blanket look like a small, glowing dome.
Zero looked back at her, putting his hands on the side of the sheets.

"Okay, Zero. I'm going to be really straightforward, 'kay?" He blinked and then nodded when she waited for an answer.

"Do you think…" she swallowed then and he tilted his head to the side. She started over. "Can I trust you, Zero? If your sad, or if I'm sad, or if we have something we can't tell anyone… could we tell each other?"
His eyes widened in surprise. She had come more accustomed to Zero expressing his feelings, and that made her happy.
"I mean… I've never had someone I could tell everything to. Don't you think it's kind of… of… exhilarating?" She remembered the Chairman use the word the day before. It sounded catchy.

"Being able to tell someone everything that upsets you, it's quite helpful, right? Then we don't have to worry about holding all of our burdens. We could help each other. Doesn't that sound great?" Zero had to admit, he liked the sound of that. And the fact that he would be sharing all of his secrets with Yuuki now seemed fascinating.

Suddenly he remembered his darkest secret.

That one day, he would become a vampire.
She would hate him.
Detest him.
She would think him a disgusting monster. Fear would drive her away from him.
He couldn't possibly tell her that. She would run away, and he didn't think he could stand that.

"Zero?" Yuuki asked, breaking him from his trance. He looked up at her.
She waited for an answer.
After a second thought, he swallowed and gave a stiff nod, his eyes shining with excitement.

She smiled, and extended her right pinky toward him. He blinked at it, unsure what she was doing. "This is how we make promises." She explained.
He remained unmoving.
"Hook your pinky with mine, and we'll shake on it. It's an eternal promise, so there is no going back."
Zero understood that.

They entwined their fingers together and gave two quick shakes.
Yuuki smiled the same time he did, and for once, Yuuki felt reassured.

When she didn't speak, he ruffled her hair, and she grabbed his hand, trying to stop him. "I'm going to the meeting."
Her eyes widened in the slightest, although she was not looking at him. She let go of his hand, and her eyes flickered upward to meet his.

He smiled, and she nearly gasped when she saw the sincerity of his smile reflect in his eyes. "Don't worry about me, Yuuki." It took her a moment to give a soft nod, but he continued to smile. He let her go then, and disappeared behind the door.

On the other side, Zero's eyes widened in horror. He spun around and backed away from the door, hands cold and shaking. The walls were shaking too, occasionally loosing focus, then coming back. His head fell back on a wall and he slid down to the floor, gasping and clutching his shirt.
Long fingers traced all the way down his neck. Eyes closing, he stopped where it burned most, and hesitated. Zero's fingers began to claw at the spot, but then quickly stopped again. In frustration, he bit his lip. A warm sensation flowed out where he pierced his bottom lip.

His tongue wiped across the whole lip, gathering the blood on the tip.
His once lavender eyes opened, swimming deep crimson.

A/N: That's the end! I have finished the next chapter, so if you want to read it, please review. Thank you so much for reading, guys!