Author's Note: This is it, you guys, the epilogue! Thank you so, so, SO much for all your reviews! This is my first story to hit (and pass) 100 reviews! You guys are freaking awesome. 8D
A special thanks to birning ice, bunnyxx, Apple Juice and Candy Floss, and Cassiecaseyox. You guys were my most frequent reviewers, and I really appreciate it. :) And to everyone, thank you for all your patience! I know some of these chapters took a long time, and I'm sorry about that.
I'm not sure what my next project will be, but I have a couple ideas for Zutara and Ouran High School Host Club fics, so whichever catches my fancy, I suppose. XD And now, without further ado, the epilogue of "We're Not Meant to Be." Hope you enjoy it! :)
We're Not Meant to Be
How many years has it been? 5? 10? 15 sounds closer… I can't remember though… I must have lost count a long time ago…
He trudged through the snow, his feet heavy as lead, his arms hanging limply at his sides.
How long have I been walking without a destination? I can't remember anymore… And now, the only destination I've had, I'm afraid to go to. After all these years, I'm still a pathetic coward…
His breath formed little silver clouds in the freezing air, but he couldn't feel the cold. His whole body was numb, numb with anxiety, despair, and guilt.
I hope she doesn't forgive me. Please don't forgive me…
Lights appeared between the twisted trees. They should have looked warm and welcoming, but to him, they were a terrifying sight. Too soon, the house came into view. It looked cozy, content and full of love. He swallowed forcibly. It was painful.
For a long time he stood in front of the door, knowing he had to knock, knowing it was the last thing he wanted to do. The cold was cutting into him more and more the longer he stood still, but he refused to move. This was a bad idea. The worst idea.
What part of his mind possessed him enough to make his hand knock on the door at last, he wasn't sure. His breath caught in his throat as the seconds ticked by. He could hear soft music and many happy voices muffled behind the door, but he tried not to listen enough to make out what they were saying. The doorknob turned. Warm light poured over him.
The music that had been playing died away with a pitiful wheeze. Every eye in the room – and there were many – turned to him, every one widening in shock. Several mouths dropped open. All of his resolve melted away.
"K-Kaname?? Is that you?"
A young woman was making her way through the crowd. Kaname Kuran sucked in a sharp breath. If he hadn't been sure his mother was dead, he would have been sure she was standing before him now.
Yuuki's hair fell down her back in untamed waves, her bangs framing her pale, lovely face. She wore a sleeveless pink dress with lace trim and a large rose tucked gracefully behind her ear. Her enormous crimson eyes were filled with concern, an emotion he'd been sure he wouldn't see there. By her side stood a tall, blonde vampire with shocking aquamarine eyes, widened more in surprise than worry. Kaname tried hard to swallow the lingering anger, the jealousy.
"Kaname? Are you all right?" Yuuki's voice called him back to the present. She grabbed his hand and dragged him over the threshold, into the warmth and light, and sat him down on the couch. Sitting across from him in a plush armchair, she studied his face, her eyes still filled with concern; neither seemed to notice that the whole room was staring at them. He registered her expression of shock when her eyes rested on his right cheek. "Kaname…"
The pureblood prince smiled for the first time in what seemed like years – perhaps it had been. "Just punishment," he explained shortly, unintentionally fingering the fine silver scar. He heard a throat clear and looked up, spotting the Chairman standing nearby. He didn't look too much older, despite the years, and Kaname knew he was recalling that night long ago, in a dark alley, when his sword had struck the pureblood and left its eternal mark. Kaien gave him a knowing grimace, but said nothing.
There was a tense silence. The guests, most of whom Kaname recognized immediately, where staring from him, to Yuuki, then back to him. He could see Rima and Shiki sitting together on a couch opposite him, Ruka and Kain standing near them, Ichijo and Yuuki's human friend Yori, and even Zero, leaning against the wall. There were several other human and vampire guests, all dressed in their best for a Valentine's Day party. He realized how incredibly out of place he must look, dressed in a dark cloak that had seen better days, ashen-faced and eyes rimmed from lack of sleep.
"Kaname, come eat something," Yuuki pleaded at last. "You look starved. We have a spare bedroom all ready that you can use, too. Come on…" She took his hand, they stood up, and she led him into the spacious kitchen. Aidou hung back, knowing it was wiser not to get involved yet.
Glancing around to make sure no one was around, Yuuki pulled up her sleeve and wordlessly held her bare left wrist out towards Kaname. There was a wedding band on her ring finger. Kaname closed his eyes. Hesitating for a long moment, he took her wrist in a soft grip and, very gently, kissed her palm. But he didn't bite.
"This belongs to Aidou," he said softly, folding her fingers closed over her palm.
He heard a sniffle, and the next moment Yuuki threw her arms around his neck, pulling him into a fierce embrace.
"You are my brother, Kaname-oniisan," she whispered, tears wetting the shoulder of his cloak. "Part of me will always belong to you."
"Yuuki… please don't forgive me," Kaname mumbled, standing limply in her arms, not returning the hug, but not fighting it. He hardly dared to hope that what he was hearing was the truth. "I don't deserve it."
Yuukii pulled away and smiled up at him. "Too late," she said. "It's been 4 years, Kaname-oniisan. I can't hold a grudge for that long. And even though what you did was wrong, your heart was in the right place. I know that. And Aidou knows it too."
Kaname started. Only 4 years? It felt like so much longer. But he was glad it wasn't. His dear sister's smile seemed much brighter now, her eyes full of joy. He felt himself smiling, though it was somewhat bittersweet.
"How can I make it up to you? You have to tell me," he demanded weakly. "Something – anything."
Yuuki's smile brightened. "Well you could start by eating something," she said. Kaname opened his mouth, but she waved her hand to stop him. "It doesn't have to be my blood. I have plenty of blood tablets here for our vampire guests. And then you could stay with us. At least a week. I won't let you leave any sooner."
"What about… Aidou?" Kaname asked, trying his best to say the name without prejudice, and he was happy how easy it was. Yuuki's words had more weight than she probably realized. "What will he think?"
"He'll be thrilled!" Yuuki assured him. "Everyone will. We've all been worried about you. I mean, not hearing from you for four years… I'm so happy you're back." Her eyes were swimming. "I've missed you so much!" She gave him another hug, and this time he returned it, planting a kiss on her forehead as they parted.
"I've missed you too… Yuuki."