Author's note: My apologies for the last chapter… for Hanabusa's Uncle BLAH. I think it's fixed now but when I was writing it I hadn't thought of a name yet and accidentally published it without editing. His name is UNCLE TAKAGI incase any of you get a little confused in this chapter and are wondering who the beep is this guy?

Any who, not sure why but after re-reading this chapter it feels a little awkward and jumpy… I don't like it. Or maybe I'm just being super paranoid.
Again just a thought, it'll probably be better if you guys added the story to your alert list. It then sends an email to you when a new chapter is ready. After you submit a review you can click in the box to subscribe alerts.

Disclaimer: Vampire Knight belongs to Matsuri Hino.

All four of them exited out the mess that was originally the front door. Hanabusa and Uncle Takagi were supporting Kain on either side. No matter how well Kain thought he moved around by himself in that small house, a long and fast-paced journey was definitely not in his capabilities at the moment.

"That's another reason why more than just a few came along to help." Uncle Takagi stated.

Outside were at least a group of seventeen adult vampires. They all stood on alert, without even one hint of acknowledgment towards each other.

"If you were as badly hurt as Hanabusa told me then I figured we'd need a large guard seeing as we'd have to end up carrying you." He eyed Kain suspiciously. "Guess we'll be a little quicker now."

"Where exactly are we going anyway?" Added in Ruka from behind them. She was trailing the trio awkwardly as if uneasy she'd interrupt their 'manly' discussion.

"Back home." Hanabusa answered.

"Home?" Kain managed to croak out. His wound had started to throb again and they hadn't even started moving out. Maybe it guessed the massive journey that was to come, the burden his brain was oh so cleverly trying to hide from Kain himself.

"Yes, home, Akatsuki." Hanabusa snapped in censure. But his youthful face soon calmed. "Your parent's aren't around by the way."

"Wha-?" Kain started to ask.

"A lot of families have been evacuated from our area due to the increasing number of E level vampire attacks." Uncle Takagi cut in.

"Vampire attacks?" Ruka called in alarm.

"Yeah apparently they're targeting those in league with pureblood vampires." Hanabusa said.

Even though he couldn't see it, he felt Ruka's heart pump her blood a little faster. She was worried. He wanted to comfort her, at least give her a reassuring glance. AHH, why did she have to walk behind them?

"Don't worry the Souen family has already left, along with the Kain." Uncle Takagi affirmed.

They felt Ruka let out a sigh of relief.

"So that means only the Aido family is left?" Kain asked.

"That's right. Well most of them anyway. Around a quarter left with the others." Uncle Takagi answered.

Kain gave another once over glimpse at the alert guards. How could he not have noticed it before? No matter how different their clothes and height appeared, they all shared the same familiar family traits; blonde hair and electric blue eyes.

Within a few minutes they all set out in a tight assemblage, the ones with a stronger hold on their abilities stationed upfront, back and on the sides. At first Kain found it difficult to keep up. Even with Hanabusa and Uncle Takagi on either side. But the glimmering hope of a well-deserved rest and proper medical treatment kept popping into his thoughts.

"Guess our short trip home will be a little longer than we expected." Kain murmured more to himself than Hanabusa. But Hanabusa only bore him a laid-back smile.

"Sure, finding Kaname and Yuuki was our top priority… But we need to make sure the people we care about are safe as well." He said.

"Wow, look at you. All wise and mature-like." Kain mocked him teasingly.

And of course, the old flair that was Aido kicked in. "I've always been wise and mature!" He pouted, seeming more like a child than ever.

Kain couldn't help but chuckle at his cousin.

They'd been travelling only a day and a half and only made it back to where Kain, Hanabusa and Ruka had originally crashed in the train.

"Take what supplies you need." Uncle Takagi barked out at the group.

Ruka sighed a breath of yearning when she saw her familiar maroon luggage trunk sticking out from under a piece of steel rubble. She hurried over towards it and ripped it open in one go. Finally she'd have more clothes, shoes and… But the next word never came. She searched again and again, repeatedly thrashing around clothes and objects she'd packed inside. But they weren't there. No blood pills.

"They were probably taken by the E-levels." Sounded a familiar voice from her left.

Ruka spun around to see Kain not 3 metres away. She looked away immediately, feeling a faint blush upon her already hydrated and sweltering face. Travelling to this extent in the last few days was taking its toll. However that was nothing on the shame and guilt she felt from what she'd done to him. When the two of them were alone it was still awkward but it didn't feel like what they'd done was real, as if it had happened in a dream or something.
Now when there were people surrounding them, proving that what they were involved in was part of real life, it seriously freaked her out.
In her promises to herself after the rejection, she craved to live her own life and not leech off others anymore. Not let others take care of her, sacrifice themselves for her, fight her battles…
If possible she felt even dirtier at ignoring Kain, which was what she was planning to do. But it just didn't feel right. Or proper. Yes, proper. She was proper. She'd done something stupid and she had to pay for it. This is the new life she wanted. To actually face consequences.

Ruka turned back to Kain after a moment's hesitation to catch him narrowing his eyes at her obscurely.

"Wh... What do you mean?" She managed to force out.

"I mean, look." Kain pointed out behind them, towards the rest of the crash. And Ruka let out a stifled gasp.

The humans that had died in the crash hadn't decomposed like usual. They'd all been sucked dry. Their skin shone a sickly putrid green in the moonlight and lay loose around their bones. Their eyeballs protruded from their sockets and she could've sworn that something behind then scuttered rapidly out of sight. It made her sick.

To make matters possibly worse, Hanabusa was sulking near a particularly rotten corpse, prodding its head dejectedly.

"There's absolutely nothing left." He whined annoyingly.

Ruka scrunched up her nose in disgust. But it wasn't just Hanabusa that were dispirited. She suddenly noticed what Uncle Takagi meant by 'take what supplies you need'. He didn't just mean for the three of them… he was talking about the rest of the search party feeding on what was left of these rotting humans!

The repulsion must have been significant on her face because Kain not-so-indistinctly asked if she needed help with her trunk. Well, it did take her mind off the horrific sight.

"Help with my trunk? You should be the one asking for help."

It was true. Kain was miserably sitting on his baggage holding his wound tightly while still managing to look careless and carefree. How the hell did he do that?

"I don't need any help. I'm perfectly fine." Kain replied.

Ruka raised an eyebrow in interest. He sounded, if only the littlest bit, like Hanabusa.

Speaking of the devil, Hanabusa came wandering over.

"Great, now I have to travel the rest of the way with an empty stomach."

"You're disgusting." Ruka replied.

Hanabusa shot her a look of contempt. "Not as bad as you."

The two of them continued arguing pointlessly until two of the guard came cover towards them. They were both tall, even more so than Kain, and almost identical in appearance.

In fact, they had to be twins. They both wore a similar sweater, dark charcoal with a white line to trim the hems. Both eyes were electric blue, the main credit of belonging to the Aidou family, and shared the same sandy blonde hair.

"Lord Takagi had to scout ahead with a couple of others. So we've been assigned to help make sure you have enough support." The one on the right said. It was obvious it was meant for Kain, but the twins stood at an angle that they faced all three of their trio.

"What do you mean, scout ahead? Is there trouble?" Kain asked.

"He's not sure… Some sort of message has been sent out from home. So we need to get moving." The other twin replied.

"Wait, but I'm supporting half of Kain so we only need one of you." Hanabusa butted in.

Both the twins humorously gazed down upon him.

"Lord Takagi said you'd say that." The first one said.

"But he told us to tell you; grow taller and then he'd consider it." The second one finished.

And without waiting for an answer or even glancing towards the open-mouthed and now indignant Hanabusa, they both sped over to Kain and raised him off the luggage trunk as if he weighed no more than a feather.

The twins sped past and Kain could no more than get in a quick look of an obvious farewell towards Hanabusa and Ruka.

"What… the hell just happened?" Hanabusa cursed out loud.

He started to walk over to Kain's trunk but was brushed out of the way abruptly.

Two more blonde haired blue eyed of the guard had scooped up Kain and Ruka's trunks and sped away in the same fashion as the twins.

"What? So I can't even carry a trunk?" Hanabusa angrily called out after them.

"Hmph. As if you could." Ruka replied, walking in the direction the guard was walking in.

Hanabusa kicked piece of rubble in his fit of temper and trudged bitterly after her.

"I can't think of what's worse. Being hungry or stuck at the end of the mob with you." Hanabusa whined miserably.

"Oh shutup. We aren't at the end. There are two guards behind us." Ruka replied.

"They don't count." He answered.

Hanabusa and Ruka were paced side by side within the rescue group. Just ahead, but out of earshot, were the blonde twins assisting Kain. They had originally thought about catching up to them to keep Kain company, but every time they sped up it seemed the twins did too. Even more so. Therefore they were forced to stay where they were… and in each other's company.

"Don't make this worse than it already is." Ruka snapped irritably.

Hanabusa just pouted.

"Anyway… what did your Uncle say about Kain's wounds when you described it to him back home?" She asked.

"What do you mean? I said we got attacked and he was injured by one of them."

"That's all? That was your detailed description?" Ruka replied, narrowing her eyes sceptically.

"Well that's what happened!"

"Then why are there so many people in the guard? It seems a little strange to me."

"I told you I wasn't sure. But the fact that I said we were attacked by a group of E-level vampires would've gotten them going, don't you think?" He sneered scathingly. "By the way, how did you close his wound and stop the bleeding?"

Ruka looked up in alarm. Wait, he didn't know about the blood donating…

Stop being so obvious you idiot.

"What?" He asked.

"Huh? Nothing…"

"Well? How did you do it?"

"Do what?"

"CLOSE HIS WOUND!" Hanabusa cried out in annoyance. He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously.

"I got a-" She started.

"I knew it." Hanabusa cut her off.

Ruka threw him another look of alarm. He knew what?

"You made him do everything himself didn't you? You're so completely useless. He's bleeding to death and you-" Hanabusa said accusingly.

"I used a hot iron rod, cleaned his wound and even changed his clothes." Ruka curtly interrupted him.

Hanabusa stopped ranting and glanced towards her. But a sly grin now spread across his face.

"What the hell is that for?" She asked him impatiently.

"Nothing, nothing." He answered mysteriously. Then suddenly sped up so fast he was able to easily catch up to the twins and Kain.

Ruka watched him go cautiously.

It was another 3 hours until they saw Uncle Takagi again. He stood warily, speaking in a low voice to the other Aidou members in his scout party. Once he saw the rest of the guard approaching he stopped talking and turned around.

"There has been a change in plans." He addressed the group.

"What do you mean?" Hanabusa called out frustratingly.

How he ever managed to survive that trip home to get help in the first case just completely bewildered Kain.

"Home isn't safe anymore." Uncle Takagi finally answered.

A series of hushed voices started spinning amongst the party, until the conversations started getting louder and louder. It wasn't long until Kain felt he were smack bang in the middle of a screaming competition. In one way, he guess he was.

"But what about the families that are there?" A voice roared directly behind him.

"Have they been evacuated?" Yelled another.
"Then where are we going?" Erupted one from his left.

"QUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIETTT!" Bellowed Uncle Takagi furiously.

The group fell silent, a few looking quite ashamed of their behaviour.

"Now. Once you girls have stopped quivering." He continued. "No offence." He added, acknowledging Ruka, the only girl in the party. "We have a safe retreat to reside in. In answer to your questions; Yes, most families have either been evacuated from our homes or sent to this same safe haven. Unfortunately some have died but we won't know anything more about it til we reach our destination and start putting forth some inquiries."

A few of the group exchanged anxious glances or satisfying nods.

"The haven is not too far from here. A day's travel." He nodded towards Kain. "Even at an injured pace."

Great, Kain thought. He was publicly being named as 'the burden', the one that prolonged a bunch of adult vampires seeking knowledge that their families were unharmed. How popular he would be…

The day's travel went quicker than Kain imagined. He also seemed to move faster, as if the wound was on some accelerated healing kick. It was a little weird, he'd admit, that only a day or two ago he was near death. And now… almost completely reenergized? It seemed a little too good to be true. Deep down something was nagging him but he couldn't quite make it out. Something, some little voice was saying it didn't matter. And why not listen to that voice, he thought?

"There it is!" A voice cried out from the front of the group, breaking Kain from his thoughts. And there it was. How could he have been so entranced that he'd missed such a sight?

A huge ivory mansion was looming closer to their front. From its front door in the middle of the compound, both its sides stretched out wider than the eye could see. In fact it looked more like a museum than a house.

The party walked up towards the door by passing through the exquisite gardens. Just what was this place? It seemed like some sort of monarch's palace.

When they finally reached the front door, Uncle Takagi marched out in front and pounded hard on the delicate marble entrance. He continued it repeatedly until Kain was sure the door's dainty exterior would shatter under his violent fists.

Soon enough a beautiful lady around mid thirties swung the door open, extending her arm to invite them in. She had long blonde velvety hair, electric blue eyes and wore delicate woven fabrics in pale blue drapes over a violet coloured dress.

"We've been expecting you." She said gracefully.

From her manner, you'd think she worked as a servant. But the way she was dressed and the trinkets she wore told otherwise.

Uncle Takagi only grunted in reply and made a motion for the rest of the party to follow him in.

The twins made a motion to continue supporting him, but Kain shrugged them off. He felt fine. Better than fine. Kinda… great actually. He felt that nagging voice again, clearer this time. Warning him… about… what?

"Hanabusa, Akatsuki, Ruka!" Called out a familiar voice from inside the massive lobby. Hanabusa and Ruka had finally made their way to Kain's side and all looked up the main staircase in interest.

And there stood Takuma; blonde hair prim and perfect as always and his green eyes shined with happiness. But he wasn't alone.

Emerging from either side came Rima and Shiki, both expressions unreadable as usual however a faint trace of a smile wavered over their lips.