Author Notes: I'm a bit burned out from WCAB this week so here is a small contribution to the AidoxKaname pairing fandom instead. Yes, I know, I can't believe it myself! -shakes head dolefully-

Vani, if you recall, this is the one I mentioned some time back. It's finally completed now, for better or for worse... -crosses her fingers and hopes it leans more towards the former rather than the latter- OK, let's see... this is not a pairing I really support hence it shall remain a one shot. The plotline is minimal, but it's the only one I can think of to make myself believe that Kaname would, uh, agree. Yuuki is human here, there's a bit of character bashing and some OOC-ness. And since I know practically zilch about spells and chants, let's pretend Aido knows them very well without me bungling it up for him! This one shot is also not related to any of my other VK stories.

If you like Kaname and Aido, then I'm sure you've already read, drooled over and favourited Sagakure's yummy Idolatry fic and talking cockerel's wonderful fics on this pairing.

Appreciation: Credit again to Blackened Wing's amazing Crimson Door and Blood Moon stories for mention of blood bond and Aido's superior knowledge on spells and charms.

Summary: Zero and Yuuki elope just before Christmas and Kaname is saddened. Aido is furious at Yuuki for deserting Kaname in favour of Zero and invites his pureblood leader to his home for the holidays, hoping to cheer him up.

Rating: 'M'

Disclaimer: Vampire Knight could only and does belong to the great Matsuri Hino.

-- Story Start --

It was late afternoon on Christmas Eve and already starting to get dark. A pale, languid hand moved aside the curtain, allowing a pair of frowning blue eyes to look out. Even though it was still very early 'morning' for vampires, Hanabusa Aido was already wide awake – something that happened every Christmas Eve and very possibly only then. He was used to it by now and supposed that even a lazy, indulgent vampire like him found it difficult to fight the excitement of Christmas. But of course, another reason could very well be none other than the honoured guest who was currently occupying the largest guestroom in the Aido mansion – Kaname Kuran.

Snow had started falling since early this morning when the young noble arrived at his family home with Kaname Kuran and by now, the extensive grounds and gardens that belonged to the Aido family were covered by a pristine white blanket.

It was meant to be a secret but somehow, Aido had found out. He had a knack of finding out things, even if it was usually by accident. The Day Class students had been let off for the Christmas holidays two days ago and the grounds of Cross Academy were quiet and peaceful by evening. Since Aido knew the two school prefects would not need to perform their usual patrol in the absence of the screaming Day Class girls, he was unable to resist the lure of the cold, crisp night air and was taking a quick stroll through the quiet school grounds under the pretext of a toilet break. Nearing the Chairman's quarters, the brisk wind brought the low murmur of voices to his keen ears and he recognised the Headmaster's tone as well as Kaname's. Before he even knew what he was doing, Aido had stepped closer to the lit window that he knew was in the Chairman's study, as silent as a shadow and praying the direction of the wind would not change right then.

A few seconds of eavesdropping and Aido felt his mouth fall open in shock. Zero Kiryuu and Yuuki Cross, the two School Guardians, had left Cross a note saying that they had eloped? Together? And just that very afternoon after the other Day Class students had left the school?

Aido was outraged. That Kiryuu was a bad egg; he had known it from the start but - how could that Cross girl do this to Kaname-sama?! Aido's mind was screaming the question back at him and it was all he could do not to barge right into the Headmaster's office and start ranting about staging a manhunt for the two errant, idiot and completely guilty school prefects and drag them back to Cross Academy to face Kaname's wrath. The window was only open a crack but Aido didn't dare to come close enough to peep in, just in case he was discovered. Kaname's voice was lower than usual but even then, Aido could hear the barely concealed note of pained shock when he thanked the Headmaster for informing him.

Aido couldn't bear to hear anymore – he feared that he would do something rash and get himself into trouble again. As he walked back to class however, he was practically shaking with rage, his face pale and set, his hands clenched tightly as he marched along, blind to the cold wind on his face.

I knew she couldn't be trusted! I knew she didn't appreciate what she already had... how could she do this to Kaname-sama, and what on earth does she see in that worthless Level D!

In Aido's eyes, it was completely incomprehensible how someone, anyone for that matter, could possibly choose Zero Kiryuu over Kaname Kuran. Yet if anyone didn't fit the mould of doing what everyone expected of her... it would have to be Yuuki Cross. But poor Kaname-sama! The utter disgrace of having lost to a mere Level D, of knowing that the human girl he had adored unreservedly for the past ten years had rejected his love and chosen that of an ex-human... Aido could hardly concentrate on the rest of his lessons and even Kain avoided his company as much as possible. Kaname hadn't come to class that night but he did last night. And while everyone else would be going back to their families for the Christmas break and thinking that Kaname would be enjoying both the Chairman and Yuuki's company, Aido knew that Kaname would be holed up in the Moon Dorms, alone... with nothing but the pain of rejection to keep him company.

No. It was unacceptable and Aido vowed right there and then to do something about it. When the lessons finally ended, Aido saw Kaname remain in his seat. Everyone went over to wish him Merry Christmas before leaving but Aido picked up his books and loitered near the door, waiting for everyone else to go. Then he turned back. Kaname's eyes were already on him and before he lost his nerve, Aido approached the pureblood. The noble stammered out an apology for disturbing Kaname then quickly invited him to spend the Christmas holidays with him at his family home. It wasn't as if Kaname hadn't been there before but this time, they would be without the other nobles. Kain would be spending most of Christmas with Ruka, Takuma would be at his grandfather's, Shiki with his mother, Rima with her parents...

At first, Kaname just stared at Aido as if he hadn't even heard the invitation. Just as the noble thought Kaname had dismissed him, the pureblood finally nodded and thanked him graciously, if quietly, for the invitation, saying he would be pleased to accept it. His heart swelling with surprised joy, Aido bowed low, almost hitting his head on the edge of the table before him before making his exit, saying he would need to inform his parents so that they could make the necessary arrangements. There was only one reason why Kaname had accepted Aido's invitation and the noble was well aware that he was only a distraction to the pureblood, to keep from brooding at his loss. Still, it was fine with Aido. He was determined to keep his beloved pureblood leader's spirits up as much as possible, and at the same time, equally resolved remain by his side to shield him from any pertinent questions or annoying presences no matter which of his relatives either came from.

During the car ride from Cross Academy to the Aido mansion, Kaname was very quiet and Aido, attuned to his leader's mood, was silent as well, even if his rage continued to beat at him in his heart. Those two School Prefects had exhibited utterly disgraceful behaviour – Kiryuu for daring to take what was Kaname-sama's, what had always been his. And Yuuki – for even looking at anyone other than her pureblood saviour and worse, running away with that same, worthless person. It was disgusting. Completely unacceptable. Incomprehensible. Yet something that Aido could never, ever voice out to Kaname no matter how much he wanted to. It was not his place to do so... but Cross Yuuki belongs to Kaname-sama! How dare she do this to him, to snub his gentle kindness over the years and humiliate him right into the ground by choosing Kiryuu?! That Level D can offer her nothing – nothing at all, while Kaname-sama was willing to shower her with his love, his wealth, his privilege, everything! Really, how long could Kiryuu last on human blood, anyway?!

Aido still wanted to hunt them both down and kill them on the spot. But of course, that would only turn Kaname's wrath onto himself. He had toyed with the idea of going after them to make that useless Cross girl see reason – by force if necessary. But in the end, he was resigned to just doing his best to keep Kaname's spirits up.

In his room, the noble shook himself from his thoughts and released the curtains, letting the fabric fall back into place. He was only getting himself agitated again and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. Kaname's room was only down the hall and if he were already awake, he might be able to sense the noble's agitation and get suspicious about it. Aido took a shower and got dressed. He remembered that he wanted to set a charm outside Kaname-sama's guestroom door. All the rooms in the Aido mansion were soundproofed to cater for sensitive vampire hearing but a pureblood's senses were extra sensitive. A group of close relatives were coming to join in the grand Christmas Eve dinner later tonight and Aido was concerned - if Kaname decided to skip dinner in favour of staying in his room to avoid company (even if Aido was sure he wouldn't), the noble was determined that his pureblood leader would at least have all the peace and quiet he desired. The charms he wanted to cast would ensure that any sounds and scents coming from outside would not filter into the guestroom except for a direct knock on the door itself, and vice versa – anyone outside would not be able to hear any sounds or scent anything coming from inside. It was the least Aido could do to protect his beloved pureblood leader's privacy, at what must be a very trying time for him.

As Aido had expected, the house was still silent except for the very faint sounds coming from the general area of the kitchens where the grand dinner preparations were going on, and the dining room, where no doubt, the long table there was being set for the same. Aido walked quietly to Kaname's room, glad that his cousin and Ruka were not here with him. He had had enough of hearing their ribbing about him sucking up to Kaname. He was not sucking up to him! He just happened to be the only one who understood the situation and Aido's heart was hurting him – he couldn't even imagine what it must be like to lose someone he had deeply and unconditionally loved for the past ten years, as Kaname had Yuuki Cross.

Stopping outside the guest room door, Aido got down to work. He placed one charm on each side of the door, invisible to the everyone but their owner. Almost silently, he muttered the incantation that seal the charm and prevent any sound or scent from outside to filter into the room, all the while hoping that Kaname was still soundly asleep and wouldn't suddenly open the door and see him crouching there like an eavesdropper. Still, it was very early for vampires so Kaname should still be sleeping. Fully focused on his task, Aido didn't hear the very faint sounds coming from within the room until he had finished the first part of the charm, straightened up a little and took a deep breath. So far so good. Now all he had to do was complete the second part to prevent sounds and smells from escaping the guest room and he was all... wait.

Very faint, muffled sobs were coming from inside the room. Aido froze on the spot, his blue eyes widening in shock and his eyebrows climbing as high as they could go on his forehead. He couldn't believe his ears at first but those sounds, as muffled and soft as they were, were unmistakably sobs.

Oh no... Kaname-sama was... was crying...?

No, impossible! And yet... Shaking himself, Aido hurriedly completed the spell and knew it had worked because there was now sudden and complete silence coming from within the room. But he knew the sobs could not have stopped so quickly. Cautiously, Aido stood up, intending to tip toe back to his own room, feeling a strange sense of relief that no one would hear Kaname now but an intense reluctance at the same time to turn his back on the obviously hurting pureblood. Never mind the fact that a pureblood should never, ever display his or her weakness in the first place.

Kaname-sama is alone... and he shouldn't be. Not at this time...

Even though he knew he shouldn't, even though he knew it was only going to get him into trouble yet again... Aido's shoulders slumped and a long, resigned sigh escaped from his lips. When it came to his beloved Kaname-sama, logic or reason had no say in the matter. The noble silently retraced his steps and walked back to the door.

I don't mean Kaname-sama any harm or disrespect. I just want him to know that even though that Cross girl has treated him so cruelly, he is not alone. I... I just want to comfort him, that's all...

Aido was familiar with this large guest room – it was the one Ruka occupied whenever she visited since it was the closest one to Aido's room while Kain of course, bunked in with his younger cousin. The tousle haired blond turned the doorknob and blinked when he realised the door was unlocked. Of course, no one would dare enter a pureblood's domain without his express permission but still... a shiver of awareness tingled up Aido's spine as he pushed the door and it slid open soundlessly. After all, he had never dared enter Kaname's rooms in the Moon Dorms. Quickly, the noble slipped through and closed the door quietly behind him, expecting to hear a sharp rebuke at any moment. But none came. Aido's gaze was riveted to the large double bed that stood against the far wall. The room was in darkness but the drapes were only partially closed and some of the dim, late afternoon light filtered in.

Kaname was in bed but not sleeping. Instead, the dark haired pureblood was lying facedown across the bed, on top of the covers and dressed in a long, black, silk robe, his feet bare. Aido's brows knitted and his heart squeezed softly as he realised Kaname was trying desperately to muffle his sobs with the pillow pressed to his face. But the faint sounds still leaked out and Aido was more glad than ever that he had thought of the spells and put them in place none too soon. It would never do for anyone to learn that Kaname Kuran had a weakness that could only damn him, much less shed actual tears over it...

But it's OK that I know, Kaname-sama... because your secrets are safe with me. They always will be.

Aido's thoughts were echoing fiercely in his mind as he moved towards the bed, as silent as a shadow and never lifting his gaze from the occupant lying in it. When he was six feet away though, the dark head suddenly lifted and Aido froze on the spot, huge blue eyes locked onto a most rare yet heart wrenching sight – Kaname's beautiful face, pale and drawn... Kaname's beautiful eyes, despairing and moist...

"Ka-Kaname-sama!" Aido exclaimed in a hushed whisper and the pureblood scrambled to sit up, his usual cool and haughty mask descending upon his face with long practiced ease. With his head held high and his back perfectly straight, Kaname looked completely different from the broken figure he had presented just a moment ago. Only the tell-tale moisture in his dark eyes gave him away – to wipe them away with his hand was to acknowledge their presence, to leave them there was to allow almost the same thing. Besides, it was no point wiping them away when the faint tang of salt still lingered in the air and both vampires could smell them.

"Aido!" Kaname's voice was a low hiss, filled with cold anger and mortification. "How dare you enter my room without my permission!"

Moist eyes were slowly but surely morphing to red and Aido bowed immediately, his expression stricken, his heart having gone from mildly fast to very fast in a mere heartbeat as a familiar aura swelled in the room, causing various things to rattle and shake. "I'm so sorry, Kaname-sama! I – I didn't mean t-to. I was just setting the charms outside –"

"What charms?"

Aido swallowed, remaining in his bowed position and feeling a headache coming on. "To give you privacy," he mumbled miserably, expecting to feel his head being yanked up for one of Kaname's famous slaps across his cheek at any moment. "Muffling ones to stop all sounds and scents from outside getting into your room and vice versa..." he babbled on before trailing off. There was silence and after a moment, Aido glanced up hesitantly. The pureblood was still staring at him. "Then why are you in here?" he asked, his voice still low, his tone dangerous, his eyes narrowed.

Aido gulped a second time, his wide eyes fixed on Kaname's stern face. "I – I was just about to invoke the second chant when I... when I heard... uhm... you..." he trailed off uncertainly. Kaname stayed silent and Aido took the opportunity to add, "But I've invoked both now, so – so no one outside can hear... anything..."

Another moment of silence passed before the pureblood spoke. "But you did, Aido."

The young noble shook his head. "I would never tell anyone, Kaname-sama," he whispered. It hurt that his beloved pureblood leader would actually think that he was capable of anything that could possibly harm his beloved leader in any way. "I would never, ever do that," he vowed. Perhaps it was his heartfelt words. Perhaps it was the open, transparent hurt in his wide blue eyes that mirrored his thoughts. Perhaps it was because Kaname knew how loyal Aido was to him... but the cold, dark anger finally drained from his face and the pureblood's shoulders seemed to sag a little as he glanced away. "I know," he said quietly.

Aido dared to breathe again, vastly relieved as the very air in the room seemed to settle down. Bravely, he took a step closer to the bed. "I know what happened, Kaname-sama..." The pureblood's head snapped back to his, shock evident in his dark eyes. Aido nodded. "Cross Yuuki and Kiryuu," he whispered. "I overheard Chairman Cross and you in his study that night, but I didn't mean to..."

Surprisingly, his revelation didn't bring a return of that cold anger. Instead, Kaname's shoulders slumped still further and he sighed softly. "I had hoped..." he whispered, almost to himself. "I had hoped so much... that in time, things would change and feelings... feelings would be returned..."

Aido felt his heart tearing in two at the obvious pain on Kaname's face. I would do anything to take away that pain for you, Kaname-sama.... Anything at all.

And suddenly, he realised that there was something he could give. It was something he had always wanted to give Kaname and here was a perfect opportunity, a perfect place and a perfect time. Blue eyes glowing with newfound resolve, Aido neared the bed and stopped beside it. The pureblood looked at him questioningly and Aido's hands moved up to his shirt buttons. "Please, Kaname-sama. Please do me the honour of taking from me..."

Kaname froze but his eyes had automatically dropped to the pale neck that Aido was displaying as he swiftly unbuttoned his silk dress shirt and shrugged it off, letting it fall carelessly onto the carpet. Kaname's dark and now hungry looking eyes suddenly snapped up to his and Aido kept his steady gaze on the former's face as he dropped gracefully onto his knees on the carpet beside the bed. "My blood is yours, Kaname-sama..." he whispered then closed his eyes and tilted his head back in a time honoured gesture of surrender.

For a long, long moment, there was nothing but a sharp intake of breath from Kaname and Aido kept his hands in his lap and waited with his eyes closed. He had made his offer and he would stand by it even if all he got for his impertinence was a slap across the face.

But no... Kaname's wonderfully unique scent grew stronger upon his senses and warm breath brushed his face. A hand descended onto his bare shoulder and Aido's eyes fluttered open to see Kaname's face just a few inches above his. His expression was softer now... and Aido wanted so much to shed tears of happiness when he saw the gratitude glowing in the dark depths.

"Then sit here with me, Aido," Kaname finally murmured, patting the mattress next to him with his free hand. Without any hesitation, Aido got up and obeyed, his eyes still fixed on Kaname's face, where brown eyes were morphing once again to crimson but out of need and not to induce fear. Long, graceful fingers brushed over Aido's tousled curls but the noble didn't even blink.

"Are you sure?" Kaname asked softly, his fangs already visible in his mouth, careful to keep his eyes on Aido's earnest blue ones instead of that tempting, pale neck.

"Yes, Kaname-sama," Aido murmured, his voice trembling just a very little bit from how much he wanted this.

"Very well."

- o -

Of course it was not painful. Aido hadn't expected any sort of pain and he found the session every bit as pleasurable as he had imagined it to be. Kaname was extremely skilled in taking blood and not one drop was spilled. He used his tongue to prepare Aido's neck for his bite, sweeping over the area efficiently, accurately. Then his long, sharp fangs sank in a moment later, just as quick, just as accurate. Aido let out an involuntary shiver as he inhaled softly and smelled his own blood in the air. He was once again thankful for the spells he had cast earlier.

A one sided bond would be created of course, much like the one Ruka carried with her but Aido was not worried in the least. He was not Ruka. He knew what was fantasy and what was reality. He knew his devoted feelings for Kaname would never, could never be reciprocated. After all, Kaname loved only one person – Yuuki Cross. Even so, if Kaname offered... yes, Aido would accept his affections without a moment's hesitation but that too, was fantasy and he knew it.

Kaname was very skilled at drawing blood, not sucking too hard but letting Aido's blood flow into his mouth instead as his tongue took care of any droplets that tried to escape. Despite Aido being a noble, his blood was still poor substitute for the blood Kaname so longed for but at the very least, the warm pleasure of this consensual bite soothed the bitter ache in his heart... a very little bit. It was a mild balm to the beating his pride had suffered... and the hurting pureblood was gentle as he took what he needed from Aido.

Only a couple of minutes passed before Kaname gently slid his fangs free and his lips left Aido's skin in an almost kiss. He was conscious that the noble was trembling slightly but was not concerned – Kaname knew he hadn't taken enough to make the noble feel faint and it was a natural reaction to the bite for vampires. After all, consensual bites, or even non-consensual ones, were pleasurable to their race. Kaname licked the minute traces of the crimson liquid from the pale, baby soft skin then passed his tongue over the twin wounds until they closed. Aido smelled good and his skin had the cool freshness of a recent shower and his own soft scent that never failed to remind one of a newly bathed and powdered infant. It was... very comforting, actually.

Finally, Kaname raised his head and Aido lowered his. Their gazes met and for a moment that spun out very, very slowly, both of them shared a perfect understanding, a moment that existed only when blood was offered of one's free will and accepted with true gratitude and affection, whether platonic or otherwise. "Thank you, Aido," Kaname murmured with a small but genuine smile, his hand lightly squeezing the blond's bare shoulder. Aido drank in that smile and felt it warm him from head to toe. "You are welcome, Kaname-sama," he returned a little breathlessly. But I wish you hadn't stopped so soon...

All the same, Aido couldn't help his breath from hitching a little when the pureblood's gaze suddenly dipped to his bare chest. When Kaname looked up two seconds later, Aido recognised the look in those dark eyes straight off. Biting was pleasurable. And arousing. It was inevitable Kaname was stirred up and Aido's heart suddenly started going a whole lot faster. He swallowed. Not from fear but from a sudden, unexpected, breath stealing expectation. Kaname was a little disconcerted to find Aido returning his look with a calm acceptance far beyond his years. "Aido?" he asked, hating the note of uncertainty that coloured his voice.

Aido's chin tilted just a little bit higher. "If there is anything I can give you, Kaname-sama, you have but to ask," he said proudly. He would not say anything more than that – he couldn't actually get the words past his mouth - but the words he did say and the sudden, vivid colour in his cheeks and the glow in his eyes were invitation enough. Kaname's eyes had returned to their normal brown after he drank but now, a brief shot of red raced through them.

"Really?" he murmured and Aido nodded fervently. I don't care if I am but a substitute. I will not delude myself into thinking that this can ever amount to anything but I don't care...

"No, Aido, I will not do that to you."

Kaname's face was solemn but there was unbearable sadness in those dark, endless eyes and Aido swallowed. "I would not refuse you, Kaname-sama," he whispered, feeling his eyes burn with sudden tears. Worse, he could feel a drop trickling down his cheek. Pathetic...

Kaname saw that and he gave a sad sort of smile before turning away. "I know and I thank you. But you have already given me more than you need to." His words had a brisk tone of dismissal to them and the closeness of that missed opportunity suddenly screamed at Aido in protest. "No, Kaname...! Please, if – if you will not take what I have to give, then at least... at least let me..." The words tumbled most inarticulately from Aido's lips but in his mind, he was clear on what he wanted.

"What..." Kaname looked nonplussed.

And in that moment, Kaname-sama wasn't his superior but just someone he so badly wanted to comfort. The nervousness in Aido vanished and a confident smile grew on his face as he slowly lifted his arms and placed them on Kaname's shoulders, feeling the warm silk under his hands and the slender frame beneath it. "Let me, Kaname-sama," he whispered persuasively. "Let me offer you a moment of pleasure with no strings attached. I promise..."

The pureblood froze, his eyes widening in surprise as he finally realised the noble's intention. The sculpted lips parted to issue a stern negative... but to both their surprise, Kaname gave a sudden, jerky nod of assent instead. Aido inhaled shakily, his eyes widening in delight. "You won't regret this, Kaname-sama," he vowed in a solemn whisper, giving a gentle push to the pureblood so that he was reclining back on the pillows. Silently, the pureblood nodded. I know, Aido...

With hands that trembled at the realisation of what he was being accorded the privilege of doing, Aido's hands reached for the tie of Kaname's robe. Even without seeing or touching anymore, he knew that Kaname was already aroused. The knowledge both scared and thrilled him. Slowly, his fingers pulled the knot free and Aido only started breathing again when Kaname didn't stop him.

Ever so slowly, Aido reached for the upper part of the robe's front panels and parted them reverently, exposing the pale contours of Kaname's chest. It was something he had only partially seen in the past, on the very rare occasions that the pureblood's shirt was not buttoned up to the top. Aido shifted onto his knees and crouched between the pureblood's legs, always moving very, very slowly to avoid startling Kaname. Then the noble bowed low over him, bracing his hands on either side of Kaname's arms and dipping his face to the 'V' shaped area of exposed skin that was slowly moving up and down with the pureblood's breathing.

Easy, Aido... you can do this. Don't think... just do it.

Aido refused to make his pureblood leader uncomfortable by stripping him too fast. Instead he drew the silk panels of the robe apart an inch at a time, feasting his worshipping eyes on the exposed, silky, glowing skin that he next adored with his equally worshipping mouth. First, his lips... then his tongue... imprinting every second of this opportunity in his mind, in his senses, hearing... feeling... tasting...

Aido's senses were practically reeling in delight. Kaname always smelled so good and he tasted so as well. His skin was so impossibly soft and smooth and the noble's lips glided easily over it as his fingers gently parted the robe still further until twin nipples were finally exposed, pink and already taut with anticipation.

A slight movement at the corner of his eye caught Aido's attention and he turned his gaze towards it without moving his head. Kaname's long, pale fingers were knotting tightly in the covers. Aido's eyes saw that movement and his brain processed it but he didn't say anything as he pressed a soft kiss in the exact middle of Kaname's chest, between his nipples, feeling and hearing the hastening but strong heartbeat beneath that skin. The noble then dipped lower, trailing his lips slowly down to Kaname's flat stomach, knowing that those long fingers were tightening even more on the fine linen. Then Aido moved upwards, eager to finally taste Kaname's nipples. They were so utterly... utterly perfect! Two perfectly round, small circles. Two perfectly pink buds that he knew would respond eagerly to his touch. As if he was taking his first taste of the finest delicacy on earth, Aido licked the very tip of Kaname's right nipple. It was already slightly puckered but at his touch, it hardened still more in an adorably shy manner. Both the pureblood and noble couldn't help shuddering in mutual delight, one in receiving pleasure, the other in giving it.

Gently, Aido closed his lips around that puckered bud, feeling it quiver and strain against the sensitive inner flesh of his lips. "Aahh...!" Kaname almost gave a groan as his slender back arched off the mattress and the noble triumphantly sucked that perfect nipple into his mouth, blue eyes watching the pureblood's reaction closely. Aido then adored the other nipple in the same gentle way as he continued to store every bit of Kaname's trembling responses and hitching breath in his memory, so that he could bring them out and exult over them in private.

Desire now painted Kaname's face with its unmistakable flush and the smooth skin under the noble's lips took on the same flush, turning slightly moist. Emboldened, Aido started adoring Kaname's nipples more insistently, licking and suckling each in turn and making their owner shudder. Kaname tried hard to control himself, it would only weaken him further but it was a losing battle. Then both sides of the robe had completely parted and fell to pool softly on either side of the panting pureblood and Aido lifted his head, finally able to see Kaname in his entirety.

He was... magnificent. His whole body was blemish-free and perfect, all slender planes and toned musculature, his erection regal and proud. Aido's breath caught in his throat at such blatant, male perfection as he kept his eyes glued to the very straining part of Kaname. But no... not right now. And Aido bent over the pureblood once more, bracing his hands on either side of Kaname as he lavished more attention on that heaving, bare chest, hearing the ragged breaths that issued from those parted lips.

"Unh..."

The noble couldn't help but smile as the pureblood shivered softly under his touch. His heart swelling with joy, Aido touched his lips to Kaname's chest, then abdomen, dropping soft kisses, lapping up the dampness from his flushed skin and practically purring with the delight of it all. He knew he was being accorded a privilege second to none and he was determined to enjoy every single moment of it while it lasted. Finally, at long last, Aido gave his attention to Kaname's erection and closed willing fingers around the thick, rigid length.

"Ahh...!" Kaname's head tilted back but as the noble started to fist him, something else happened – words had started to spill out of Kaname's lips in shaky whispers. "How... how could you l-leave me...?"

Aido's head snapped up, his eyes finding Kaname's face but his hands still continuing the slow and firm pumping motions. The pureblood's head was pressed back, eyes closed. It was as if he had forgotten about Aido's presence. "Please... please forgive me. Please come back... I love you!"

And with each word that spilled from those beautiful, sculpted lips, Aido's anger grew in direct proportion. How dare she! How dare Cross Yuuki ditch Kaname like this! She knew that he had loved her ever since they first met – how could she choose that worthless Kiryuu over him?! How?!

"Why did you leave me? Why...?!"

Kaname's shaking voice was increasing in both despair and volume now, making Aido once again very thankful for the charms he had put in place. Filled with renewed determination and knowing that this was his one and only chance to adore his leader, Aido bent low and without any reservation, ran his tongue up the solid length in his hands. He had always loved how Kaname smelled and there was no adverse reaction whatsoever from him as he reached the top and closed his lips over the swollen, leaking head. Kaname's reaction was immediate, his hips thrusting upwards. Eagerly, the blond noble opened his mouth and took him in, lapping up the clear dew that beaded on the top at the same time. Kaname uttered a helpless groan and shuddered, harder this time, the sheets finally tearing under his fingers.

Throwing caution to the winds, Aido took Kaname as deep as he could, his blond head bobbing up and down as he adored him relentlessly, suddenly seized by the sheer compulsion to see Kaname completely undone with his hands and his mouth.

Surrender to me, Kaname-sama... if this is the only time that you will do it, then please... surrender to me...

"Aahh..." Aido adored Kaname with everything he had, licking, squeezing, rubbing, sucking... The pureblood writhed on the bed, moving closer and closer to his release as he squeezed his eyes shut and gasped again and again. It was going to be a completely earth shattering climax... but no, he – he mustn't...

Aido could sense Kaname's inner turmoil, in wanting this brief escape from his pain yet fearing to show his weakness in front of one of his subordinates.

Oh, Kaname-sama, don't you know? You could never disgrace yourself in my eyes in any way...

Kaname tilted his head back even more, oblivious to how it would look as his long neck was exposed but Aido wasn't even looking there, he was too enraptured by the other signs of imminent orgasm – the muscles in Kaname's flat abdomen and long limbs squeezing tight, the elongated fingernails ripping into the sheets, the fine tremors of those long, pale legs on either side of him... everything about Kaname was screaming for release and his body started bucking. "How could you leave me?!" he cried on a sobbing breath.

I would never leave you, Kaname-sama! If only you would give me the privilege of loving you, of allowing me to remain by your side, I would never, ever leave you or disappoint you in anyway, not like... her. Yes, Kaname-sama. Give in to it... give in to me. At least for this moment, let me have the pleasure of knowing that I can please you... even if she can't.

It was happening - Aido could almost see the pureblood's orgasm sweeping up to crash upon him, as unstoppable and unrelenting as a huge tidal wave. And it was here – Aido kept his gaze on the sight of Kaname's beautiful body bucking on the sheets, chest heaving desperately, breath spilling out in tense, ragged pants. Liquid warmth shot into the noble's waiting throat and he swallowed automatically, his heart about to burst in joyful satisfaction. He had succeeded... but that intense, electrifying orgasm also caused the very last secret to spill from Kaname's mouth.

"Zero!! How could you leave me?!"

Aido's mouth turned suddenly slack in his shock, almost causing some of the still spilling essence to almost leak from his mouth.

Oh my God. Not Yuuki after all... but Zero. Zero Kiryuu, that worthless Level D!

Aido's eyes were rounded and shocked but he could not tear his gaze away from the pureblood, whose eyes were tightly closed, his hands belatedly clapped over his mouth, his beautiful body arching helplessly and shivering... The noble had finally realised the truth.

It was Zero Kiryuu Kaname loved and pined for.

- o –

Aido reached the door and paused with his hand on the doorknob, rather surprised that he had even made it this far. But somehow, he knew that Kaname would not let him go, not after what had happened a few minutes earlier.

"Aido."

Reluctantly but unsurprised, Aido turned around. He was once again clad in his silk shirt. "Yes, Kaname-sama?" he asked quietly.

Kaname was wearing his robe again and sitting up in bed. He was silent for a moment, looking into the earnest, round blue eyes across the room. The pureblood was all too aware of Aido's single minded devotion to him and what happened between them had only strengthened, not weakened, that love. Even knowing who was the true recipient of his pureblood leader's affections did not change the blond noble's feelings at all. But still... Kaname knew he could not let it go like this, no matter how trustworthy the blond noble was. "I am sorry, Aido. I cannot let you leave knowing what you now do."

The blond noble only inclined his head in silent deference but his eyes caught the faint smile mixed with regret on his leader's face and his aching heart strengthened a little.

"Come here..."

Without a word, Aido walked over to the bed.

"Sit here beside me." Kaname's voice was kind and gentle but Aido would have obeyed even if it wasn't. He bowed his head and felt the palm of Kaname's hand rest on his forehead, long fingers shifting through the silky mass of curls to rest upon his scalp. The pureblood leaned forward a little and Aido felt the shifting power in the air. But unexpectedly, Kaname paused.

"Aido. Perhaps... you might want to brush your teeth first."

Aido peeped up at him in surprise. Was Kaname implying that his breath – but that didn't explain the note of embarrassment in the pureblood's voice. A moment later, Aido realised what Kaname meant – his mouth still held the distinctive taste of Kaname's spent passion. It would be a dead giveaway as to what had happened here even if he didn't remember how he had gotten it, right?

Aido nodded silently then his head jerked up. With a sudden flash of his impetuousness, he said almost defiantly, "It was my pleasure, Kaname-sama!"

Kaname looked surprise at the outburst then a gentle smile graced his lips. "Thank you, Aido," he replied softly, a pale flush lingering on his perfect cheekbones. "And since you won't remember this, I will admit that it was... completely mind blowing."

Aido's eyes widened in delight and Kaname smiled again. "Use my bathroom. And my toothbrush."

Aido perked up even more at his offer. "Your toothbrush, Kaname-sama? Really?" he asked, his blue eyes shining with joy and Kaname couldn't help a very small chuckle this time. He inclined his head graciously. "Yes, Aido. Hurry up, now."

The blond noble jumped off the bed. "Yes, Kaname-sama!"

But when the blond had stepped into the bathroom and closed the door, the smile disappeared and the calm, controlled facade on Kaname's face cracked. Shuddering, he leaned forward and buried his face in the pillow he had hugged earlier. Oh God, Zero... Why did you leave me? he cried silently in his mind. More tears burned in his eyes but this time, Kaname refused to let them fall. It wasn't safe now since his unforgivable tears were what had caused this unfortunate encounter to happen in the first place.

Still, the brief respite he had gotten would help in keeping back his heartache for now. Perhaps later... perhaps when everyone was once more deeply asleep and oblivious to his breaking heart, Kaname could afford to break down again. But not now. When Aido came out two minutes later, the pureblood was his usual composed self. "Come here, Aido," he said as before. The blond noble had washed his hands as well and there was nothing but the fresh, minty scent of toothpaste on his breath now.

Kaname's long fingers sifted through Aido's curls again, fingertips resting lightly on the scalp as before. The noble was compliant and obedient, and Kaname probed his memories easily. He realised that Aido had indeed neared his room with the sole intention of casting the spells there and heard his almost inaudible sobs while doing just that. Gently, precisely, Kaname lifted his recent memories clean, starting from the moment Aido had heard his sobs and replaced those stolen minutes with a vague hint of the noble hearing his voice calling him into his room. After a pause, Kaname searched for and also removed the memory of Aido overhearing the conversation between Chairman Cross and himself two nights ago. It wasn't an easy thing to remove a memory that wasn't just a few minutes old but not a problem for a skilled pureblood. He also altered Aido's sense of smell that would last for a few minutes until the noble had left this room safely. Then those long fingers left the blond curls and Kaname whispered softly, "Go to the door now."

As if in a trance, Aido got up off the bed and walked towards the door. There, he turned around and looked back at Kaname, his blue eyes soft and vacant. Kaname unobtrusively removed his control and Aido blinked.

"So, that's settled then," Kaname was saying casually, looking perfectly relaxed and composed as he leaned back against the pillows. "No further follow up is needed. Thank you for your assistance, Aido. And I will be down later for the dinner, of course."

Aido nodded, his heart warm at the fact that he had been of use to Kaname, even if he couldn't remember what exactly. But somehow, he knew that it wasn't important. And he was extremely honoured and proud that Kaname would grace the dinner with his presence as his personal guest.

"You're welcome, Kaname-sama," Aido murmured with a little bow, right hand over his heart. Kaname nodded and gave him a warm but clearly dismissive smile. Without missing a beat, Aido opened the door and left the room. As he closed the door behind him and walked back to his room, he thought that Kaname-sama looked wonderful in that black silk robe he wore. The noble couldn't help wondering, as he had done many times before, what Kaname would looked like underneath that. Perfect, of course, Aido replied himself, feeling a light blush stain his cheeks at the very thought But of course, that was something he would never know – that privilege belonged to the girl who held Kaname's heart in her hands – Yuuki Cross.

In the guest room, a long, aching sigh escaped Kaname's lips as he lay back and hugged the pillow to his chest once more, his dark eyes unfocusing in thought.

Aido, believe me. It would have given you more heartache if I had allowed you to keep those memories. Far better this way, so that you do not remember how disgracefully weak I actually am.

Kaname shuddered again, helpless tears sliding again from his eyelids once more and soaking into the pillow he had buried his face in, despite his resolve. After all, he still had time to himself before he had to don the calm and composed mask he usually wore so that no one knew how his heart was breaking inside.

Zero, forgive me my moment of weakness. Please don't despise me for loving you... don't you know I die a little each time I see that look of disgust in your eyes? At least you love someone who is also dear to me and I know you will make her happy.

It is my only consolation.

-- Story End –-