I have been getting help from one of my reviewers, so I would like to thank Pixy for helping me brainstorm and giving me ideas when I needed them.

Finally got something done with this. Tal's been insisting on Rimefire- the good news is that it should be ready to post soon. I also went back and re-read my story and the reviews I've gotten to re-inspire myself into getting more done. Sorry it took so long. Hopefully I'm back in the grove and this won't happen again with this story.

I don't know how I would involve any Rido with anyone... Unless Kaname has a flashback of walking in on his uncle and chosen lover... Poor, poor Kaname...

Setting the Record Straight

Hanabusa snuggled deeper into the warmth around him, not quite ready to wake. It had been a somewhat tense meeting with Kaname, who had wanted to go see Zero immediately. They, thankfully, talked him out of it and convinced him to wait until Zero had awakened to go visit. Sleep had been quick to come when he'd finally gotten to settle down and he didn't want to let it go. The small blond breathed deep, taking in the familiar scent that reminded him of sunshine and incense. A slight frown marred his lips when it occurred to him that the scent was closer than it should have been. Waking more than he wanted to, Hanabusa felt warmth around him, arms encircling his waist. Blue eyes blinked open to find a chest in front of him that had not been there when he'd gone to bed.

"I was wondering when you'd wake." Akatsuki's voice drew his eyes up to the other's face, but didn't explain what his cousin was doing in his bed.

Am I awake? Hanabusa wondered, blinking owlishly in confusion at his cousin. It wouldn't be the first time he'd dreamed the other noble into his bed- though his dreams had never felt this real. He couldn't be sick and hallucinating with a fever could he? Aido didn't recall doing anything that could make him sick. Except testing the blood pills. He'd been using them personally before giving any to Zero to try. Obviously he'd need to retest the new formula and check for adverse affects.

"Hanabusa?" Akatsuki's eyebrow raised as his small cousin stared at him with wide unfocused eyes. He had wondered how the other would react to finding him in his bed, but he couldn't tell if this reaction counted as positive or negative.

"I think I might be dizzy." Hanabusa confessed with a confused frown.

Kain tipped his head and raised an eyebrow. "You're laying down Hana. How can you be dizzy?"

"Well," the small noble squirmed in embarrassment, certain his cousin was not going to like his admission, "I've been testing the blood pills on myself for adverse effects." He ignored the strangled noise Akatsuki made and continued on. "You know we've become friends with Zero and Kaname-sama obviously cares about what happens to him. So I decided to test them personally before giving them to him for use."

"Why didn't you tell me sooner? What would I have done if something went wrong? I wouldn't have been able to help because I wouldn't have known what was wrong!" Akatsuki found his mind in that familiar place, torn between wanting to hold Hanabusa close to keep him safe and wanting to grab him by the shoulders and shake some sense into the little blue eyed noble. "What were you thinking?"

Hanabusa blushed, averting his eyes as he debated between snuggling closer or moving away from Akatsuki. He was fairly certain that going back to sleep wasn't an option right now. "Of Zero's safety..." Which was not a lie. He really hadn't thought what his cousin would do if something happened to him. He'd been confident that he had finally perfected the formula so there would be no side effects but he was no fool to go without at least giving it a brief test period.

Akatsuki resisted the urge to facepalm at his cousin's answer. He should have expected something like that from Hanabusa when he had asked. Sighing he got out of bed before turning back and picking up the little blond. Carrying the other over to the corner they had set up for working on th pills and testing the effects, he couldn't help but think sulkily that this was not how he'd hoped to spend the morning.

~*O*~

Ichiru woke to find himself in a bed tucked into the corner of a room. Across the room, on the other side of a window was another bed. Pale blue-violet eyes rested on the sleeping form. Zero. The last thing he remembered was telling his twin to take his blood. He'd hoped that he still had enough of Shizuka's blood to stabilize him. Obviously he'd died. Which meant that Zero had brought him back. But why? After all that had happened he would have thought his older brother wanted nothing more to do with him. How long ago had he died?

"How are you feeling?"

The younger twin jumped at the sound of Zero's voice and idlely wondered how long he'd been staring without seeing. "I'm disoriented but fine other wise. How long was I dead?"

"Couple months." Zero struggled into a sitting position and turned to face Ichiru while he leaned against the wall.

"So long. " The hunter was stunned by that feat of skill and power. "And you still risked bringing me back?" Ichiru mimicked Zero's actions, as he'd often done when they were children.

"You are my twin, my family. You are all I have left. And I suppose I never really wanted to believe you betrayed us."Zero tilted his head and studied the younger Kiryu. "What happened that night?"

"Well, when I got out of bed that night I overheard mom and dad talking about separating us. I was upset about it. You remember how close we were- they knew it too, but they wouldn't let it stop them. While I was trying to figure out how to stop them I... well I thought I heard a whisper or something outside- the window was open- so I climbed out onto the roof to hear better. She was sitting there in the tree." Ichiru looked down to the sheets, reliving the whole night as Zero must have so many times before. He'd always managed to repress that memory, but he was sure his twin hadn't.

"So she controlled you?" Zero knew some vampires were capable of such things and he desperately hoped that was the case.

"No exactly. It would be more accurate to say she mentally manipulated me." Ichiru lifted his eyes to meet his brother's. "She took my feeling and thoughts and pushed them to an extreme. Irrational as it was, I believed that getting rid of them meant that nothing would be able to take you away from me. A total lie obviously. I haven't even seen you since then. But..." He trailed off helplessly. How could he put all the twisted things that had happened in his mind into words. Arms around him jolted him from his thoughts. Once again he'd been staring without seeing and Zero had moved over to hug him.

"It's alright. I get the gist of what she did." Zero sighed in relief when Ichiru's arms wrapped around him. It had been so long since the two of them had been like this. Reluctantly he slipped away and shifted to sit next to the younger boy on the bed.

"So tell me what's been going on." A slight turn was all it took for them to be facing each other.

"Well. I'm a Kiryu Trueblood and a Hio Pureblood, since I was turned and stabilized when my Awakening happened."

"No way! That's awesome." A pause. "Mine never occurred..." A slight frown marred Ichiru's face when he thought about it.

"Maybe because you weren't in direct danger?" Zero couldn't be sure, but it was the only thing he could think of for why it hadn't happened.

"Makes sense. Sorry for interrupting." The younger gave a wave of his hand in a 'please continue' kind of way. He got an amused smile for that action but Zero got back to it anyways.

"Right. Um, the Association has demanded that I take a mate." He winced in memory and in anticipation of his twin's reaction.

"WHAT!" Ichiru was outraged. All hunters knew the importance of love. For them to demand something like that was beyond abhorrent.

"They don't know I've Awakened." A feeble attempt to calm the raging Kiryu but he tried anyways. There wasn't much that could be done just yet in any case. A few things needed to be dealt with first.

"That's no excuse for treating a Hunter that way and you know it!" Far from being appeased, Ichiru was practically shaking with suppressed anger but he took a deep breath and attempted to let it go for now.

"Kaname is planning to court me." That should get his mind off of it. Zero thought with a mental sigh. He knew his twin would take the bait but he didn't like putting it out there.

"Say what?" There was no way he'd heard that right.

"I'm not repeating that." Zero avoided the violet-blue eyes that he knew were staring at him. While doing so he added another name to his list of people who could make him feel self-conscious with nothing more than an intense look. It annoyed him that anyone was capable of that really.

Ichiru stared blankly at Zero while he tried to assimilate that information. Zero shifted uncomfortably while his twin remained unresponsive. If that fact broke his brother's brain he was blaming the pureblood for it...

"Well... That'll be fun... and interesting... and highly amusing to watch..." Ichiru finally decided. He would have continued but Zero glared at him for his freely offered opinion.

"Don't go getting any ideas for this. I'm not even entirely sure I want him as a mate." It was the truth, Zero was sure of it. Then he thought about the kiss in the vision and how much he wanted it. Well, okay, so it was maybe just a tiny lie. But Ichiru didn't need to know that. He remembered his twin's wicked streak too well to give him such an opening. "So when we recover enough to get out of bed I can start your Awakening. Then when Cross and Master Toga go to the Association they can confirm that there are two Kiryu Truebloods and hopefully get them to revoke that order for me to breed."

"I still can't believe they did that." Ichiru grumbled to himself. He lifted a hand to rub at his eyes tiredly. "Anything else?"

"Yea. Yuki's going to be the one cooking so... It'll taste awful, but try to be somewhat nice about it. She's really worried about us." Zero stood up and walked over to his own bed, flopping down and getting ready to go back to sleep.

Ichiru laid back down as well, looking over one more time before closing his eyes. Shizuka may have lied to him all those years ago and manipulated him since into believe he was doing what was best for his twin, but maybe they would come out of this better off than he had ever dreamed possible.

~*O*~

Senri sat curled against the headboard of his bed, munching pocky, as Takuma packed a bag in anticipation of his trip to the Council since Zero had survived the reviving of Ichiru. He tried to remain indifferent to what was coming, really he did, but after the whole episode with his father taking over his body it wasn't working. The blond had risked a lot to keep his body safe while Rido used him. Though that wasn't why he'd gone to the dance with the taller vampire. He'd done it because the event had made him realize how much the noble meant to him as a friend. And maybe as something more.

"Okay, clothes- check. Toothbrush and toothpaste- check. Cellphone- check. Manga- check." Takuma looked around the room after zipping the bag closed and setting it next to the briefcase of papers he'd need at the meeting. "Did I miss anything?"

Vivid green eyes meet pale blue and Senri decided to do something impulsive for once. "Yes." He answered getting up and walking over.

"What am I forgetting?" The blond asked with worry. They couldn't mess this up, too much was riding on it.

"A good-bye kiss for luck." A small pale hand cupped the back of the blond's neck and pulled him down for a gentle meeting of lips. Slow and careful, but nowhere near chaste. A few moments later he released the tall noble and stepped back. A smirk tugging at his lips when green eyes blinked open dazedly.

"Right." A call from outside the room had him reaching for his luggage. Before leaving he turned back and gave the small brunette a stern look. "This will be discussed when I return. Don't think I'll let you just walk away like nothing happened..."

Senri gave a nod of acknowledgement as his room mate exited and only once he was gone did he allow the full extent of his actions to penetrate his mind. He ended up standing stunned and blushing at himself. That was how Rima found him ten minutes later when she breezed in to find out why he hadn't come to meet her in the library like they'd planned.

"He finally made a move on you?" The blond female guessed upon discovering her friend and fellow model.

"No." He got his voice working again, though it was filled with disbelief. "I made one on him!"

Rima couldn't help it- she laughed at her companion and his reaction to his own actions. When she was done she was going to have to sit him down and ask for details but for now she was busy trying to keep her sides from breaking.

~*O*~

Okay. Not much considering how long it's been since I last updated but I am happy to finally be writing on this again. This story feels like my baby sometimes and I miss it- which is odd to think about but I don't mind.