.Silhouette Serenade- A Vampire Knight Fanfiction by Clue-sama.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything legally affiliated with Matsuri Hino's Vampire Knight and am not making money with these fanworks.

Thanks: To Shadow-nii (even if he was being difficult at the beginning and probably doesn't want this mention) for help with the epicness in this chappie. Haha- it was like... from 1 a.m to 3 a.m. that we brainstormed some parts XD Sparked a really crazy twist in this chappie too ^^

Author's Notes: Gr. School ended and stuff XD Aw... slow updates. Also I hit a damn writer's block halfway through... By the way, previous chappies have kind of been separated into either Zero's or Kaname's POV but it's starting to kind of intertwine together. Some paragraphs will have insight for Kaname, some Zero... So I don't think it'll be too much of a problem when reading, but just telling you so when I put a break in, you won't be like "Wait, whose POV is it?" XD

ACTUALLY, this chappie was going to be cut in two, cos it's rather long... On my computer it came out as sixteen pages o_o I kind of didn't want to leave it this long, but I tried to separate it into two... It just wasn't happening XD Please, I hope you don't mind the length- just think of it as a gift to savor since it took so long and it might be a while until you get chappie eleven X3... (Although you'll probably want it NOW after the end of this one ;3)

Read, enjoy, review~!

-x-X-x-

Chapter Ten

Kaname couldn't help his proud, gentle smile as Zero trotted up to him, the latter's breath coming slightly harder. The waiter-turned-unbiological-hunter-in-progress was smiling in his reserved way in self-accomplishment. A month and a half of the physical aspect of hunter-esque training and careful sparring did wonders on Zero... He was such a fast and eager learner of most of the things here at the academy, but this sort of thing was obviously what Zero was personally interested in. Kaname had decided that even though Zero would be somewhere safe when a rather violent battle ensued, at the least, the waiter could still learn how to fight. Not only was he furthering his overall marksmanship skills, Zero was basically becoming a vampire hunter, minus the charms and inborn skill. So if he came across a Level E, he would be able to handle it on his own. For Kaname, it was extremely reassuring (even if he still preferred being there bodily with the human), and for Zero, it bolstered his male pride. He could take care of himself for the most part.

Besides all of that, it was kind of fun playing around with each other. Sometimes it got a little intense when Kaname would move really fast or his instincts kicked in a bit more than either of them liked. And other times when Zero would fight a tad too well in either hand-to-hand or ranged shooting... But all in all, they enjoyed it because... well, for the pureblood, he liked seeing Zero progress in his prowess and of course, he loved being able to be the only thing Zero was focusing on at the moment. Something about those light violet eyes that got Kaname all worked up when they sparked with the intensity of 'the hunt'. As for the waiter, he obviously adored being able to shoot freely and the mock-fighting did indeed get his adrenaline going. Especially when Kaname was up in the trees or toying with him. It got kind of scary sometimes because the pureblood would get this aura... Zero shivered just thinking about it. It was like being stalked by a panther or something. Dark, graceful, powerful and beautiful, yet frightening, to behold.

"I'm not going as fast as I could, Zero... The enemy will move so much quicker than this and you will not have a chance to see them at that point. That is why I don't want you out here when the battle begins..."

Zero had nodded wordlessly at that, but he was mentally figuring that he would be fine. Once an 'E stopped moving, it was in perfect view, and that was all Zero needed to kill it. In fact... his second kill had taken place within the several weeks between the waiter's decision to secretly fight and the current day. He had still been shaky but when he lifted Bloody Rose, his aim was spot-on with the 'E's head and it was over in a matter of seconds.

"Are you ready to go back inside, Zero? It is almost time for dinner and we aren't quite in any shape to dine."

The silver-haired teen agreed and chuckled softly at how much of an understatement that was. Kaname wasn't too sweaty, but his skin was covered in a thin sheen of it and a few locks of his dark brown hair were happily clinging to his mostly exposed neck in damp curls. Zero was perspiring a little more, but still managing to look good (at least, that's what Kaname thought...), but both of their clothes where just... totaled. Jumping around in trees and rolling through the dirt under the cover of bushes didn't make for clean clothing. It made torn, mud-caked, debris-covered pieces of material that resembled shirts and pants. Kaname himself was really uncomfortable- covered in filth and sweat as he was. But it was worth it to spend time with Zero this way.

On the way back to the Moon Dormitory, Kaname noticed the lack of tension or carefulness in Zero while they walked. In the time here, the human had become much more relaxed around the pureblood which was rather nice. Even when Kaname said something that reminded Zero of how the brunette felt about the other, Zero didn't feel too intimidated. He didn't tense up (as bad) and start inching away. Okay, so he'd still look away or change the subject, but who wouldn't under Kaname's matter-of-fact comments on how Zero looked that night or reasonings why he was doing something... Something like touching Zero or looking at him a certain way.

Zero would always get the most attractive look on his face when Kaname did that sort of thing...

"I think I may have lost a few pounds since coming here, Kaname," Zero said, patting his stomach while they entered the dorms. "All of this exercise..."

Kaname gladly ran his eyes over the prefect, no longer really caring that, no- his attraction did not fade at all, before dissenting, "No. But perhaps, you've toned muscles, making you more lean and less... smooth."

Zero snorted softly and said, his tone friendly and relaxed, "Smooth? Is that your way of saying pudgy?"

Kaname raised a hand to his own mouth, trying to hold back a scoff of his own. He succeeded but Zero saw him and smirked. The pureblood shook his head and assured, "Of course not..."

"Right."

"You were never... pudgy, Zero. I meant that before, I believed you to have a smoother, more delicate shape, whereas now, it is probably firmer and less feminine."

At that, Zero paused and looked over his shoulder to Kaname. His tone dry, the human said, "Okay, so I didn't really think I was pudgy before, but 'feminine'?" He saw Kaname just stare at him innocently and Zero sighed. "Well... at least I'm not anymore, right?" His tone now suggested that he didn't care, but the pureblood shrugged slightly and his own voice was soft when he admitted, "Either way, you are beautiful."

Zero froze for a moment but continued to the steps, going up them. Kaname smirked, following. The human never seemed to take Kaname's advances seriously, or if he did, never showed any interest in really returning the pureblood's feelings. It was kind of hard on Kaname sometimes, but he figured that it was still weird for Zero. And, after all, the lack of negative reactions was better than getting said reactions. It would be even worse for the brunette if Zero yelled at him or actually told him to stop...

"Well, after dinner, I'm gonna head down for duty," Zero said casually as they reached his room. He was referring to his prefect responsibility to check the grounds for students who weren't supposed to be out. He had been surprised. Those girls didn't really seem like the stalker-ish type just by looking at them...

Kaname nodded, not too worried since Yuuki had indeed gotten to be Zero's guardian partner so she would be there if something happened. Of course, the older brunette would be checking on them periodically because while the anarchists hadn't increased the strength of the charm like he had feared, it was still very much there. And Kaname was still having problems sensing the charmed 'Es. It bothered him immensely that not only Zero, but the whole school and his friends within it, were in danger because of his inability to sense past a charm.

Speaking of the nobles, Aidou, who had been appointed to find a reverse charm, had been doing an admirable job finding things, but it was just rather difficult for him alone. The progress was slow-going and he was putting a lot of effort into it... Kaname appreciated it greatly and believed the blonde would do it eventually, but the pureblood couldn't help but wish it was ready now. His instincts were warning him that something bad was going to happen soon and it was making him be even more on edge lately. Perhaps that's why when he and Zero trained, Kaname would push the human a little harder than normal. He'd move a little faster and attack a little harder. Zero had to be well-protected just in case something happened.

"I see. After dinner, I think I shall relax until I get tired enough to sleep." Which will be once I'm sure you are safely in bed for the day...

Zero nodded and told Kaname that he'd see him in a few minutes after their showers so that they could walk down together as they usually did. Of course, the human still got a bit of well-timed glares from Ruka and Aidou, but overall, he was accepted here. Ichijou had been all kinds of helpful and even Zero could tell that the blonde wanted to help rather than just be on Kaname's good list. None of them seemed that underhanded, but it was more of 'let's be nice' versus 'let's do what the pureblood told us to.' Zero certainly appreciated the former more, but when he needed help with something around the school, it was comforting somehow to get assistance either way.

They parted ways and went into their respective rooms. Their showers went fine for the most part, Zero used to the strange surroundings by now; Kaname not daring to relax too much since showering diluted stimuli and he needed to be alert at all times. Afterwards, while Zero was putting on the shirt and pants of his uniform (so he wouldn't have to take too long getting ready for prefect duties after dinner), Kaname turned from his own wardrobe in his room to see a folded sheet of paper on his desk. That hadn't been there when he entered... He wasn't too worried since it was probably just a note from Takuma about something or another that the blonde had slipped in to give the brunette during his shower.

The pureblood approached it while buttoning up a black shirt of another kind than his uniform shirts, expecting nothing more than a notice about who may or may not be looking for Kaname's attentions... But once the brunette picked it up and read it, he saw that it was indeed Takuma who had wrote it, but the message had nothing to do with business, but some rather personal affairs.

Zero had been officially evicted from his apartment.

It wasn't a shock to Kaname. Not at all. He'd been the one paying the rent on it without Zero's knowledge, but as the weeks went on, the pureblood didn't think the waiter seemed to remember that he had a home besides here. So... Kaname had stopped paying and now Zero had nowhere else to go. But Kaname didn't care about the apartment and he didn't care that Zero was stuck here. What the brunette cared about was how he was going to tell Zero and how the human was going to react. Obviously, Zero forgot about it and he'll be upset that Kaname hadn't told him about paying the rent on it in the first place. Now... learning that the pureblood purposefully stopped paying it, didn't care that Zero had been evicted and then the human was told about everything... Kaname wondered if he should have told Zero from the start.

Well, Kaname had considered asking Zero about what he expected to do with the apartment in the beginning, but he hadn't wanted... he hadn't wanted Zero to change his mind and start trying to leave. At the time, the pureblood was admittedly desperate to have the waiter stay, enamored by the other as he was. Even still, he kind of just wanted to throw this notice away and pretend it didn't matter. Everything that Zero owned in the house that wasn't with the human already had been put into storage by Kaname's order elsewhere.

Zero was here now and he seemed content, if not happy, but Kaname knew that it was kind of an illusion to the other boy. Kaname wanted Zero's happiness and the pureblood would love it if the prefect could find it here, with Kaname himself. However, if he told Zero about his eviction and reminded him about his old life, the human would surely want to leave. His home was gone; Kaname hadn't been keeping track with Zero's old job, but the brunette was sure someone else had taken Zero's position by now... Kaname wondered if anyone was getting worried about Zero. After all, the owner of the pub, Touga Yagari, seemed rather close with his silver-haired waiter. If anyone would end up searching for Zero, Kaname suspected that it would be him. The older man was very wary of Kaname when he requested Zero's personal presence that one night and questioned him admirably... It would be a shame to have to outwit a respectable man such as Yagari if he came sniffing around for Zero. The pureblood wouldn't be surprised if the one-eyed bar owner started trying to track the young human down if he ever found out that Zero's apartment had been put up for sale.

Basically, reminding Zero of his previous life was not one of Kaname's favorite things to think about.

Kaname sighed and decided that he would tell Zero about it, maybe after his prefect duties. Even if the pureblood would do all he could to keep Zero from leaving or get him back if he did leave, the human should be allowed to make his own choices when it came to his own life. Unfortunately, the brunette fondly thought, he'll be quite upset that I purposefully let him forget about everything...

But he didn't want to lie to Zero anymore- it was getting increasingly hard to see the other's rare, gentle smiles and know that he, Zero, was being practically tricked.

--

Zero shut his door behind him, offering Kaname a friendly smile as he usually did rather than vocally greet him, and they set off down the hall in a comfortable silence. Zero's time here had been very awkward and, yes, a bit frightening at first, but currently the only thing that bothered him anymore was a surprise attack. If a Level E appeared, he would feel the familiar rush of fight or flight hormones, but he wouldn't run if he could help it. Zero was at the point where he could whip out Bloody Rose, flick the safety off in the same movement, and effectively kill the ex-human in three or less shots. But Kaname was pretty much always around for a kind of back up so he wasn't really too anxious. Zero had also come across one during his guardian duties at a time where both Kaname and Yuuki weren't around and he still took care of that one without injury to himself. They weren't human... and as long as he told himself that, it was easy enough. Besides, if he didn't dispose of it, it could get to another student or go into the city and Zero couldn't let that happen.

However, after weeks around Kaname, Zero was now able to read the other a bit and the pureblood was showing some signs of growing apprehension. Naturally, it also was making Zero a little paranoid since he'd seen Kaname move things with his mind without even looking at said things; and he'd seen what he can do to those 'Es- the brunette was powerful and yet, worried? Zero was on alert at all times. But he couldn't look too suspicious because, after all, when a larger scale fight ensued, Zero would find a way to sneak into it and help.

Pulled out of his thoughts with a quiet, "Zero, are you all right?" from Kaname, Zero turned to his friend and smiled, nodding.

"I'm fine, just a little tired."

Kaname's eyes warmed with familiar affection and he replied, "If you'd like, I can take over your Disciplinary Committee duties tonight so you can get some sleep."

At this point, they had entered the dining room and Zero glanced up to see the nobles rising from their seats since their revered pureblood had now entered. They always did that, of course, but apparently Kaname didn't think they'd care if he offered himself for labor... But if Aidou's widened blue eyes as the proposal left Kaname's mouth was any indication, the brunette was not supposed to be doing such things. Zero was going to refuse anyway, but seeing Aidou's now furious glare on himself, the prefect entertained the thought of graciously accepting just to see the noble's reaction. He ignored Aidou, though, and shook his head.

"No, Kaname, it's fine. After all, it is my responsibility and I'm sure you need the sleep more than I do. Thank you, though."

Zero was well aware of how on-edge Kaname had been since Riido's appearance. Especially since the older pureblood hadn't been seen since. The kind pureblood beside the human paused in their walk to the table and said human also stopped when he noticed Kaname wasn't next to him anymore.

"Kaname?"

Auburn eyes regarded Zero as if he were the only one in the room and the prefect scowled as he felt a blush steal its way over his cheeks.

"Zero... If I look tired, it is because I'd rather watch over you than sleep..."

The human briefly averted his gaze at those words, catching a glimpse of the awkwardly shifting nobles at the table, before simply murmuring, "And I appreciate it..."

It was true, that Zero appreciated Kaname's protection, but he could very well take care of himself. He had told the pureblood that plenty of times but as he'd come to see, Kaname had quite selective hearing. Anyway, since the brunette appeared very infatuated with Zero, said prefect passed it off as Kaname just being really protective and possessive. As Zero had figured a while ago, Kaname looked like the type who would take extremely good care of his chosen beloved... not that Zero expected it to be himself that Kaname picked.

Taking their seats, finally, Zero felt his cheeks warm again... Yeah, he'd thought about it- Kaname wanting to stay with Zero in... that sense. As his lover. How could it not cross his mind? The vampire didn't make it a priority to hide his feelings from Zero, but the human did what he could to not respond in kind. He would usually brush it off or let the flirt slide. It wasn't that he was being cold, but what was he supposed to do?! Zero wasn't attracted to men, no matter how beautiful they were! ...Nevermind that Kaname was the most beautiful man Zero'd ever seen... But that's beside the point! Kaname was a vampire; Zero was a human so, as cliché as it sounded, not only were they not meant to be...

Zero didn't want to let him any closer than he already was.

The prefect stared sightlessly down at the meal that a dormmaid placed in front of him. He would be Kaname's friend and his even his ally in battle, but anything more than that was asking for more heartbreak. When he was younger, his parents teased him playfully by saying that he was too kindhearted. Apparently Zero used to become extremely attatched to anything that was nice to him in return. His little brother was often sick, born frail, and Zero did anything and everything for him. If his father hadn't had the title himself, Zero would have certainly been the 'man of the house', taking care of everyone with a tender smile...

Then the massacre had happened and, after many days of grieving, Zero decided that to prevent this from happening again, he would be a loner. It was definitely harder than he'd expected, holding any friends he had at arms' length, but if it saved him from feeling that heart-splitting sorrow ever again, it was worth it. It had hurt so, so badly... Then again, with certain people, it was exceedingly difficult. With Yagari, Zero tried to stay 'just friends' with the one-eyed man, but having gone without a strong masculine figure for so long, Zero had sought more than a friend in Yagari. The older man was his guidance, advisor and best friend. And now Kaname was here, but he was taking another route to becoming important. Kaname was rapidly becoming a trusted friend, but rather than being like Yagari, Kaname was taking a spot in Zero's heart that no one had really even touched before... One that would take precedence over the spot Yagari had. Of course, that made Zero even more reluctant to let it happen...

Kaname glanced at Zero upon feeling the sad and confused aura; the others at the table had also noticed, but they didn't stare. The human wasn't eating, just staring at his food. Naturally, Kaname was sitting beside Zero, and the brunette reached over and lightly touched the other's arm. Zero started slightly and looked up to his friend.

"Zero..." Kaname said worriedly and his eyes darted to the door to let Zero know that if he wanted to talk...

An obviously forced smile crossed the human's lips and he shook his head, picking up his fork.

"I'm all right. Just thinking about something- sorry."

Kaname watched Zero for a moment, not convinced for a moment. The human only got like that when he was brooding over his family or something similar... It was only a matter of time before Zero got upset about it. Thankfully, a few moments later, the general air of dinner smoothed out to its usual, comfortable chatter.

--

Zero bid Kaname a good night (the human said that rather than 'good morning' when they went to bed even though the sun was indeed coming up) and headed off with Yuuki to search the grounds before they went to sleep. The male pureblood smiled and watched the prefects head off, listening to Yuuki annoy Zero about something or another.

Yuuki actually didn't like Zero very much when he first came to the academy. She was well aware of how vulnerable the human was really making her brother and he was kind of... Frankly, he was in the way and nothing but trouble. As a whole, the Night Class was upset that Kaname was obsessed with a human boy, but the Kuran siblings' closer friends had also been arguing amongst themselves about Zero. Ichijou and the other more open-minded nobles were trying to be accepting of Kaname's infatuation, but the others like Aidou were all in an uproar. How could Kaname let himself have such a foolish distraction at such a dangerous and crucial time as this? Not only was Zero causing rifts in their forces' friendships, the resulting possibility of loss would further ruin the Kuran name.

Riido taking the position as Kuran heir would do the vampire world no favors and... Yuuki was sure that her and Kaname's parents would have wanted Kaname as the head of the family. Sometimes she wondered if Kaname even thought about Juuri and Haruka- how they died for their children. Kaname usually put that goal of peaceful co-existence first (if not his sister's safety), but ever since Zero came, it was like her brother was getting soft. Now his decisions were based on co-existence and Zero. But that couldn't last forever, Yuuki knew. Something was going to happen and Kaname would be forced to choose.

However, the Kuran princess, as she basically was, was also starting to see what Kaname saw in Zero. Of course, she'd thought he was kind enough and certainly beautiful from the start, but there was something more about this Zero Kiryuu... Something that not a lot of humans had. Yuuki wasn't sure what it was, but she knew that humans were frail creatures when compared to vampires, purebloods especially. But not Zero, because when she looked at him, she could see he didn't complain about everything like most humans did. He was definitely lonely-looking when he arrived, but he fought through it and could even smile. Now, the human was obviously less alone since he had Kaname and now her as his friends, but still, at times, Yuuki could see his pretty lavender eyes hollow out with sadness. It looked like he would just slip into a corner and sit there with his knees to his chest and start crying. It was a deep sorrow, but Zero was strong. Still, Yuuki knew how it felt to not have parents- to have them killed, so when she sympathized with Zero, she also forgave him for distracting Kaname so much. She still kind of didn't understand why Kaname was practically in love (her brother claimed that it wasn't love, to which she rolled her eyes) with the human, but either way, she wasn't letting her friendship cloud her judgment like Kaname did on occassion. Besides, Zero could make some killer strawberry shortcakes right from scratch...

"Yuuki-chan, I'll take the western end this time, all right?" Zero asked, making sure it was okay with her.

The female pureblood smiled- she kind of felt bad for ever blaming such a sweet boy for anything. Anyway, she knew how stubborn her older brother could be, so it wasn't Zero's fault that Kaname was unstoppably enamoured with him.

"Of course, Zero-kun. Be careful, now! Don't forget to meet me back here when you're done!" she warned him as he nodded and turned to go. He was heard chuckling softly as he waved a hand over his shoulder. She smiled again to herself before going to the eastern side of campus, not too worried for her partner's safety. Zero had Bloody Rose and he definitely knew how to use it. She'd seen him spar with her brother before. Even if Kaname hadn't been trying too hard, she saw how close he had come to getting nicked by a bullet when he played with Zero that way. She had laughed and warned Kaname to take the other more seriously or he was going to end up hurt. Yuuki shook her head amusedly. Even though Zero was still technically a liability, the human also brought out a side of Kaname that not even Yuuki had seen before. A side that carried himself with a gentle air of tenderness that was a different brand than he used with Yuuki.

Once again she shook her head, but this time at her brother's stubbornness. How could he not see that he was in love with Zero?

--

Kaname pushed away from his desk, allowing himself to let out an ungraceful yawn and an uncomposed stretching of his arms over his head before slumping back into the chair. As much as he did it, paperwork was still as boring as it ever was. Even so, if he didn't manage his own corporations, it wouldn't get done the way he'd wanted it to...

He glanced out of the window where the sun was clear of the horizon and it was turning the sky its soft blue color. Zero and Yuuki should be almost done by now and Kaname wished they would hurry... Not only did the male pureblood want to talk to Zero about his eviction and whatever other topic ended up surfacing, the brunette's instincts were really going crazy... In fact...

Kaname scowled as his senses picked up a very faint trace of Level Es... as in more than one. He wondered if Yuuki or Zero found something. It had happened before- Kaname had felt one and he'd hurried out to find that his younger sister had Artemis' blade soiled with an 'E's blood. However, Kaname approached the window, his pupils dilating a bit painfully against the sunlight that was coming straight into the room. ...And they thinned even more when his eyes widened.

Kaname let out a rare curse and left the room at pureblood speed.

--

Zero hissed in surprise when he just barely avoided a Level E dropping from a tree above him. He quickly drew Bloody Rose and fired off a couple of rounds, one to its chest and one to its head. The mad vampire screeched for a moment before exploding into dust. Zero sighed and lowered his gun. Kaname will freak out again when I tell him... the prefect mentally groaned. Sometimes the pureblood could be such a worrywart...

As if summoned by Zero's thoughts, a hand reached out somewhere from his right and tugged him against something warm and firm. The human yelped and tried jerking away, but a familiar, yet oddly tight voice murmured, "Zero, stop it."

Zero did indeed stop, but he looked up as best he could from his sideways position against Kaname's body.

"Kaname, what are you doing?"

The pureblood's narrowed eyes were darting around and his jaw was clenched. Zero didn't like it when Kaname treated him like one of his subordinates, thinking he could do whatever he wanted and not be questioned, and the human growled, trying to pull away again, "Hey- answer me!"

Intense auburn eyes fixed him with a slight glare, but Zero just glared back until Kaname took a deep, calming breath.

"You are going back up to your room where you and Yuuki will stay until I come for you."

Zero finally tore his arm from the pureblood's grip.

"What?!" he asked, his face showing how stupid he thought the idea was. "Why?"

Kaname looked past Zero, towards the pathway and his eyes flickered with something akin to fury and... panic? Fear? Just seeing that in the pureblood's usually calm and strong gaze made the human nervous. Zero quietly tried to get Kaname's attention with a soft call of his name. Kaname did look at Zero, the wild look in his red-brown eyes still very much present, but instead of waiting for Zero to talk, the brunette lifted the other in his arms. Zero hated it when Kaname did that, too, and he opened his mouth to protest, but of course, they were off. Being in the arms of someone running at these speeds was a surprisingly smooth ride, but either way, Zero reflexively squeezed his eyes shut. Seeing everything fly by him in a blur of color made him dizzy.

When the very slight jarring stopped, before Zero even opened his eyes, he heard Yuuki's voice, also edgy.

"Kaname, I can feel-"

"I know… I want you to take Zero to his room in the dormitory and guard him. Wake the others and make sure the rest of the Night Class will remain safe as well. I want Shiki and Rima to head to Headmaster and alert him as to what is happening. Then he can decide the course of action for what to do with the Day Class. After they do that, they may help if they wish."

As soon as the male Kuran sat Zero down, the silver-haired prefect barked, "Kaname, what's going on?"

Both purebloods spared Zero a grave look and apparently Kaname decided that he did deserve some kind of answer.

"This is the deciding fight- I am sure of it. …Please be safe, Zero; Yuuki."

Lilac eyes widened as Kaname disappeared after giving Zero a soft, rather lingering look. The male pureblood had dashed off somewhere and the human vainly yelled, "Wait!" Yuuki then grabbed his sleeve and looked up at him sympathetically as she gently prompted, "Come on, Zero-kun, we have to get you safe--"

"I have Bloody Rose! I am capable of protecting myself; I want to fight," Zero hissed down at her.

She didn't show any reaction to his anger and she closed her eyes, her eyebrows faintly knitted. Zero recognized that look from Kaname as one that they displayed when they were losing patience with him. Of course, with neither Kuran sibling did Zero care if he wasn't displaying perfect obedience like the others. Deep down, he knew he sounded like a spoiled brat who was not getting what he wanted, but he wanted them to understand...

"Zero-kun, Kaname only wishes for your safety and I think it was hard enough for him to allow you to become a prefect during dangerous times. What is heading this way now might be ten times as bad." He fixed her with his defiant glare and she sighed, adding, "And do you think that I want to be cooped up inside while my only, dear brother is out there risking his life?"

Zero could see his desire to help mirrored in her large brown eyes and he bargained, a slight smirk coming to his lips, "Then how about we both stay out here and help without him knowing?" He didn't expect it to work and she smiled back slightly, shaking her head. Zero shrugged, about to say something more, but all that came out was a startled grunt when he was suddenly picked up and thrown over Yuuki's small shoulder. It was one thing to be carried bridal-style by Kaname, but a whole new level of mortification to be slung over Yuuki's shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"H-Hey!" he growled, his cheeks hot with humiliation.

She giggled and shushed him with, "Don't worry, I won't let you fall." She took off just as fast as Kaname, heading towards the Moon Dormitory with Zero in tow.

--

He knew his eyes had become the bright, glowing shade of red, but he didn't care- no one out here would be fooled if he even tried to hide it. Kaname was upset and blood was flying everywhere... Of course hiseyes were red. No sooner after the pureblood had left Zero and Yuuki's side he started for the front gates of the academy's campus to see 'Es crawling and leaping their way over them, salivating greedily as they scented the amount of prey. The sun didn't even seem to be bothering them anymore than it was Kaname. He had promptly issued a psychic shockwave, knocking them back, but as they fell, he noticed that many others were already reaching the trees and other areas farther in. As much power as he had, he couldn't focus on that many targets at once and expect other things to remain in one piece.

Just as he began to quickly make a plan, he felt Ichijou rapidly approaching- it would seem as though Yuuki had done well in getting help.

"Kaname!" the blonde cried as he stood beside the brunette, his sheathed katanna in one hand. "They're everywhere...! And yet, I can't sense any of them- aura or otherwise..."

The pureblood smiled ruefully to his friend and nodded, "I know... I suspect they actually have the campus surrounded..."

Ichijou managed his familiar optimistic grin as he drew his weapon rather than use his ability as a noble class vampire. "Well, I took the chance of advising Aidou and Kain to check out the rest of the grounds rather than follow me. So they would handle whatever side of the campus they went to... Seiren is keeping the Moon Dormitory secure while Ruka has the Sun Dormitory under her watch. Shiki and Rima may find another side when they return..." He paused to give a quiet laugh. Kaname could tell that it wasn't perhaps as chipper as a laugh should be while his green-eyed friend murmured, "As for the other sides... Well, let's just get as many as we can, yeah?"

Kaname chuckled and put a friendly hand on Ichijou's shoulder and said, "That is a good plan."

The pureblood decided not to mention that he would be finding his way to Riido during the fight, because the young Kuran prince could indeed sense his uncle was on campus if he focused hard enough to counter the anarchists' charm. Perhaps, when Kaname killed the crazed pureblood, the Level Es would be easier? Who knew, but at any rate- Riido needed to die and Kaname was the only one powerful enough to do it.

So currently, he was gradually making his way towards where he felt Riido as he swiftly killed any enemy he saw on the way. Ichijou had less vampires to kill near him since the brunette had helped thin the forces out quite a bit, so he'd be fine while his friend left. Riido was probably aware of his nephew coming for him, but what else could Kaname do? He had to go- for everyone's sake. Besides, if he didn't, Riido may grow bored of waiting and really do something terrible. Though, Kaname wasn't surprised that Riido hadn't unleashed his power on the academy yet- the older Kuran liked to see his young nephew squirm while he wondered what Riido was going to do.

--

Yuuki, after she had scrambled their aristocrat friends, returned to Zero's dorm where she knocked in a certain pattern so Zero wouldn't blow her head off upon entry. He unlocked the door and let her in, apprehensively saying, "Now what?" as the long-haired pureblood entered. She leaned against the door as it closed and sighed, her shoulders heavily dropping upon the exhale.

"Well... I guess we just wait..." she sounded disappointed, but continued. "Kaname is out there with the others, and I feel a lot of 'Es... And... I think..."

"You feel Riido, too, don't you?" Zero interrupted with a soft, serious murmur.

Yuuki didn't say anything and just stared at the carpet. Zero wondered how he would be able to sneak out if she were in the room. He would've tried earlier when she was out getting the others, but he could have been spotted by said nobles as they prepared to leave. The rest of the Night Class was asleep in their dorms and even if they woke up for something or another, the dormmaids had been appointed to keep them in, saying that there was a mass cleaning of the dorms. A bad lie, but it was all they could think of on short notice... Anyway, no vampire wanted to be out of their sealed rooms to smell harsh cleaning chemicals.

"Yuuki, I'll be fine here. By myself. You can go help him... I'm sure he needs it," Zero tried, telling the truth and also attempting to find a way to leave. However, about halfway through the sentence, she turned to sternly look up at him.

"No, Zero. I know what you're trying to do; you--"

Suddenly, she went rigid and turned around, flinging open the door. Her hand went to Artemis and she glanced back at Zero, lowly advising, "Stay here" before she went around the corner of the doorframe. Surprised, Zero also followed, despite her command, and was treated to the sounds of snarling and the sound of ripping flesh and breaking bones. Five Level Es were surrounding her and although Kaname could have just used some kind of mental trick, Zero wondered if maybe Yuuki didn't know how...? She was slashing at them; knocking them back with the other end... But one jumped on her back and tried to bite her. She growled and backed into the wall roughly, making the 'E fall off before it had a chance to sink its fangs in. Another leapt at her from the side, digging its claws into her arm. As she yelped, Zero hissed and ran back into the room to fetch his gun, so he could help her.

He had left it on a table by a window and as he snatched it up, he happened to glance out of the window there... And he dropped Bloody Rose to the floor with a dull thump.

"I... Ichiru...?" he breathed, his voice weak and shuddering.

Zero's eyes were wide with disbelief and he resisted the urge to rub at them to see if he was seeing things. If he did, then his long-lost twin might disappear... Down on the campus, leaning against a tree and looking up into the window was a person, not unlike Zero in figure and looks. In the strengthening sunlight, the silver hair was unmistakable, but it was a bit longer. It didn't matter though, because Zero knew his little twin brother when he saw him. And Zero saw him. After all this time of thinking he was the only member of the Kiryuus left... Zero saw Ichiru.

The prefect's head ached slightly at the memories that he so clinged onto of his younger twin and he even felt a little dizzy, his stomach tightening. Thinking that he was the only one left from his family... It used to make him cry at night, honestly. Sure, he knew that he could go out and find a nice girl and calm himself with the thought of expanding the Kiryuu line, but it wouldn't be the same. His lover would only be bound to him by love and his child would be of his and her blood. A different type of family. He used to love thinking of his brother as his other half, ever since he was capable of such thoughts. He never did cease that thought and when he discovered that Ichiru was missing, he always felt like he was missing a large part of himself. Alone and incomplete.

He shook his head, but there Ichiru was...! All Zero needed to do was go down there and he would be with his dear brother again...

Instinctively, Zero knelt down and picked Bloody Rose up, shoving it into his jacket as he turned around. He hesitated half a second when he was in the hall, looking back to where Yuuki and Seiren were now fighting only three 'Es, but he swallowed any guilt and thundered down the steps. She would be fine- especially since Seiren was here, probably alerted by the scent of Yuuki's spilt blood. In fact, the pureblood was certainly fine since he heard her spare a moment to scream at him for leaving just before Zero shut the heavy door behind him. At that moment, he was a bit glad that those 'Es were there because neither Yuuki or Seiren could leave after him at the moment.

--

Kaname used his nose to help him pinpoint his uncle's location as he jumped from branch to branch gracefully and quickly. His heartrate increased as he found himself actually making progress. Of course, there were plenty more 'Es in the area as he neared their master, but they were taken care of easily enough. Resting very briefly on one branch, near the side of the Moon Dorms, he hoped that fending off the 'Es hadn't worn him down too much. But as he figured that it didn't matter if they had because he'd go after Riido anyway, he heard a voice. A voice that made his stomach lurch painfully.

"Zero...!" he hissed, dropping from the tree and hurrying in that direction not too far from where he had been. As he neared, his lips already pulled into a worried and angry frown, words could be made out.

"Zero... Big brother..."

"Ichiru, what are you doing here?! Where have you been? I... I'm so happy that I found you."

Zero's voice sounded to relieved... and wistful and Kaname could imagine the hopeful shine in the lavender eyes as he regarded who sounded like his younger twin brother. Kaname even faltered in his firm steps, but as soon as he wondered what Ichiru was doing here, his eyes widened. The only way he could get this close without 'Es devouring him is if--!

"Zero!" he snarled, darting the rest of the five yards there, but it was too late. As soon as Kaname broke the tree line, Zero's yells and struggling cries were already resonating in the pureblood's ears. He turned to see a mirror image of the human standing in front of a tree, a cruel, unfeeling grin over his lips aimed in the direction where the older Kiryuu was taken. Zero's twin had somehow been recruited by the anarchists. Kaname growled loudly for good measure before he ran around to the back of the dorms where Zero's voice was now coming from. The pureblood didn't care about Ichiru right now, but if the brunette ever saw the younger twin, he would have no mercy...

The sight before him drained Kaname's face of all color, his face paler than normal. Two 'Es had a fighting Zero by either arm, but these ones seemed to be freshly turned, able to hold him still but not hurting him. They were smarter and were sure not to pierce them with their still rather short, but poisonous, claws. However, they were both sniffing along Zero's throat, their eyes blood red and their chests heaving as they panted hotly over the flesh. Kaname felt his aura escape him, cracking windows of the dorm's back rooms that they were near and causing dents and holes in nearby tree trunks. The two 'Es looked up fearfully, but did not release Zero, who looked up with a gasp at the feeling.

"K-Kaname...!"

The pureblood didn't listen as he carefully emitted a narrow mental blast at one of the 'Es, sending it slamming completely through a tree trunk, bursting into dust before it even hit the ground. The tree began its loud crash into the others around it, but Zero still managed to reach into his jacket for Bloody Rose. He yanked it out, aiming at the other 'E and fired off two shots into its head. A bit of blood spattered onto the prefect's face, but he merely gulped and turned to Kaname, fully intent on staying near him now. Even if the Level Es were at the very, very bottom of the pyramid, they were still so much stronger than a human.

Kaname's own expression was a scary mix of fury and intense ease at Zero's freedom as he also came forward. However, his body suddenly was overcome by a tingling numbness and he was thrown sideways, into the bricked wall of the dormitory, causing his head to crash into the building. Before Zero got to run to him, an arm wrapped around his waist, harshly yanking him back. Kaname groaned and hung his bleeding head, his vision blurred and spinning for a moment. A venomous hiss of, "Let me the fuck go...!" and rattling of a chain made the pureblood try to look up anyway.

"Kaname, I think I see why you like this boy so much."

"No!" Kaname growled, trying to lunge at the man who now had both of Zero's arms behind his back while the human tried to jerk himself free. Even Bloody Rose had been dropped to the ground, its chain ripped from where it had been attached Zero. But the brunette was pinned to the wall by a mental power similar to his own. "Riido...!"

The older pureblood's mismatched eyes shimmered delightedly.

"He smells absolutely delicious," Riido whispered, his voice like the most bitter chocolate ever fashioned as it dripped over Zero's senses. Digusting and yet... the natural seduction of a vampire... The human shuddered in the other pureblood's grip and his strength was quickly depleting from all the struggling he'd been doing. It was doing him no good, but he tried using the last of his strength to toss his head back, trying to knock Riido in the face. However, Riido's relfexes where much too fast and he merely moved his own head to the side and reached up with one hand, grabbing fistfuls of silky silver locks. His other hand was still holding Zero's wrists hostage and now the human's neck was elongated and exposed. As the older Kuran wrenched Zero's head back farther, a hiss of pain escaped from Zero himself and the prefect was now trembling. Riido took the chance to tilt his head around and dip his head to the warm neck, a smirk playing over his lips. Kaname roared from his spot on the wall, but Riido ignored him, muttering, "It's a wonder you haven't bitten him yet, nephew."

"Don't you dare...!" Kaname snarled, his voice rough and murderous, his own fangs elongated in rage.

Zero moved away as much as he could, his own growl reverberating in the back of his throat. Riido chuckled menacningly, his dark brown curls falling over his face so Kaname couldn't see if his mouth was really poised to bite Zero, but it didn't matter because the older pureblood now stood upright. He looked to where he had his nephew against the wall. Kaname was shaking as he began to overpower the other's control, peeling himself from the wall slowly as his burning red eyes never left his uncle. Riido made a noise as if he was impressed, but suddenly he laughed as Kaname broke free completely and leapt for him in one deadly movement. Riido avoided the attack easily enough, jumping to the side with Zero. It would be easy to kill the human now, but Riido knew his nephew. Simply killing someone near to him was no way to get Kaname to surrender the throne. If anything, it would make him hold onto it tighter.

Instead of getting rid of Zero or even engaging Kaname in a fight, Riido turned and sped away into the forest, still holding onto the prefect. Of course, Kaname tried to follow, but several 'Es suddenly were upon him, effectively hindering him. He killed them all in a sloppy fit of panic, his eyes still able to see and hear Riido and Zero's affronted and terrified face and voice. Among curses and snarls, the human was... he was calling for Kaname...

The younger Kuran hissed and ran after them, all senses irremovably trained on the pair. Even his legs burned at how fast he was forcing himself to move, but he noticed nothing but Riido's retreating form and Zero's flailing arms as he tried to squirm free from under Riido's arm. Later, maybe Kaname would feel a little strange about having pushed himself so hard, but he wouldn't regret it. Not as along as Zero was safe afterwards.

"Riido!" Kaname bellowed, his voice almost not even his own anymore, but he didn't notice his lack of control at the moment because he was rapidly gaining on the older pureblood. As soon as Riido obliged his nephew with a condescending smirk over his shoulder, opposite where Zero was tucked under his arm, Kaname snarled and leapt at his uncle, his fingers lengthened into long, darkened claws. A pureblood against any other creature was child's play for said pureblood, but a pureblood versus a pureblood was anything but quick and easy.

And while Kaname had youth on his side, his uncle had experience and power.

Kaname's razor sharp talon-like fingers were rendered harmless when Riido spun on his heel, facing the younger pureblood as he caught his nephew's hand, their fingers interlacing. Kaname immediately lashed out with his other hand, intending to shave Riido's grinning face off; however, the anarchist leader unceremoniously dropped Zero to the ground, grabbing Kaname's other wrist. Involuntarily, Kaname glanced down to where Zero was laying motionless, face-down on the forest floor. His eyes widened, but the moment he went to look back to his uncle, he felt his wrist shatter in a crushing grip.

With a terse snarl of pain, Kaname wrenched himself from Riido's hold before unleashing a ruthlessly powerful shockwave of telekinetic energy. He was careful not to hit Zero with it, but even so, the silver hair and surrounding dead leaves and other things were blown about by its force. However, Riido somehow managed to create his own wave and send it out at the same time because there was a resounding, thundering crash that would be heard for miles. Kaname winced, but was too focused to do anything else other than will his wrist to heal faster, despite his body's current state of burning energy in other areas. He looked down to where Zero lay, and saw the explosive noise had not stirred him one bit... Kaname's heart pounded even faster and briefly noted that the older Kuran was still smiling.

He knew Kaname was too weak to beat him on his own, especially when Zero was in danger.

"As I told you, Kaname..." Riido started, his tone pleasant. "Zero is nothing but a distraction."

Suddenly, as if nature was proving the older pureblood right, Kaname felt a reeling sense of nausea and he moaned, the sound rough with an inadverdant growl. His hand automatically went up to his mouth while his stomach churned from what he knew was his uncle's influence, but he still managed a discreet swarm of razorwind-like psychic attacks. Somehow, most of them hit their mark, slicing shallow cuts over Riido's body, but Kaname knew better than to think he suddenly had the upper hand.

Riido grinned wider, and before Kaname even had a chance to flee, he felt his uncle's mental chains over him once more. He physcially and mentally fought against it, ignoring the aching nausea Riido was giving him just for diversion, and let loose more invisible attacks. Riido only laughed and held his hand out before him, his fingers loosely in the shape of pointing at his nephew while said nephew cut him up more. Kaname felt like the very air was pushing down on him then, his knees even bending with the effort of standing, and he gathered himself for maybe bringing a few trees down on his uncle. A lesser vampire wouldn't even be on his feet if he were Kaname right now... How was Riido so powerful...? It was like he wasn't even feeling any pain from the smaller attacks at all.

Kaname rose his gaze to the trees above them and he quickly severed several thick branches, intending to spear his uncle with every one of them, but as he brought them down at very high speeds, sharp ends down, Riido usurped his Kaname's control with infuriating ease. The older brunette brought his free hand to his mouth and pricked his finger with a fang while the branches floated in the air... Kaname continued "pushing" back against Riido's hold over him, trying to get somewhere safe.

"Kaname..." came the sickeningly sweet sigh from said pureblood's uncle. "I see you do indeed care for this human boy. I will thoroughly enjoy his cries while I drain him... among other things." This made Kaname's eyes flash murderously and his body stand firmer against Riido's control, but the moment he did this, it increased and he felt his mental resistance bending slightly. Kaname bowed his head while it began throbbing in pain. Riido chuckled darkly, murmuring, "Hm... Maybe I could also take dear Yuuki?"

Kaname rose his head again, rage across his features; he saw three tendrils of blood lashing out at him from Riido's finger. The blood whips bit into his skin harshly, digging deep into his shoulders, his arms and legs, his chest... Kaname let out a cry as they beat him down to the ground, his new wounds not helping at all to keep him upright. His head felt like it was about to burst- his mental barriers had collapsed for a split second and Riido's influence slithered in and raked along his mind's walls at the chance. It wasn't there very long, since Kaname admirably shoved it back out with a hiss of agony as he wrapped his arms around his bleeding form. He didn't have an opportunity to move as his acute hearing picked up the sound of something wooshing through the air, but just as he rose to a squatting position to escape, one of the tree branches struck him across the head with enough force to possibly kill a human from trauma.

His vision darkened for a moment and he felt himself hit the ground again, leaves and dirt damp with his own blood. Kaname felt his consciousness slipping away, even as he attempted to drag his battered body back to his feet, but he heard Riido clicking his tongue.

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, Kaname, I did have to use a bit more force than I thought I would."

The last thing Kaname saw before he blacked out was Riido picking a limp Zero up and leaving as if the younger pureblood would not unleash Hell itself when he awoke.

--

Author's Notes: haha, I doubt anyone noticed but I put something in here that contradicted something I said in another story XD Of course, the first thing was from Zero's POV and here it was from Kaname's. But still. It was kind of funny to me when I typed it. ... ^^; You're probably like, 'wtf is she talking about?' D-Don't worry about it XD

^^ And in my music inspiration forum thingy, the fantastical (XD) Blackened Wing left this song there as a KxZ song and it came on during this chappie, helping it along. "Between Breaths" by Blaqk Audio. X3 Now it's stuck in my head. Thanks for a great song BW :D