Yuki paced the floor of her room; everyone blamed her for getting maintenance at the school dance, and since she was a guardian, she had her own duties to maintain and wouldn't be helping clean-up.

That just made the other students hate her even more, they thought she was lazy because she got to skimp on clean-up.

She sighed, then decided she couldn't let it go another minute and walked out of her room.

She walked slowly down the hall, dreading when she would open that door and join her schoolmates on the way to class. She sighed yet again and opened the door.

She immediately met with dirty looks and whispers.

She even heard one girl turn to her friend and say

"she can slack off since she's the headmaster's kid"

Yuuki felt the tears begin to sting her eyes, but she kept her head high anyways.

Class was even worse, the whispers more severe. It was as if they wanted her to hear the scathing rumors the school was passing around.

Her teacher just had to make it worse too.

Towards the end of the day He announced that they would be partnering up to work on a chemistry assignment, and they could choose their partners as long as the matches weren't too rambunctious.

Instantly, the area around Yuuki became a ghost town.

She just sat at her desk, staring at the old, scratched wood.

"Awww, Yuuki doesn't have someone to mooch work off of" a girl named Karin spat at the seemingly lifeless girl.

The headmaster looked at his role sheet then gave her 'the teacher look'

"miss cross, you will be partnered with zero, since he is the only one absent"

just then, the said boy was walking through the door.

"Sorry I'm late" he said, then grabbed Yuuki's arm.

"you're my partner" the entire sequence of movements were so sudden that all the teacher could do was scribble on his score sheet and give zero 'the teacher look' as well.

Then, the bell rung for the end of the day, and Yuuki's torture was at an end.

She waited until everyone had left, so that she wouldn't have to endure their frightful whispering anymore, then she got up and collected her books with practiced grace.

She waited an extra few minutes just so that the corridor's crowd would go to dinner and leave her a free path back to her room. After the day's events, Yuuki had absolutely no interest in food.

There were three day left until the dance, and Yuuki didn't know if she could stand this humiliation for that long.

The next day, Yuuki woke up late; someone had snuck into her room and turned back her alarm so she was now and hour late for class.

She ran as fast as she could, barely making it there by ten fifteen.

The teacher scowled and the class snickered behind her back.

"What is your excuse for being late, miss cross?"

"Alarm clock troubles" Yuuki mumbled.

"Well, miss cross, since that poor excuse is inadequate, you will have to go to detention" Yuuki inwardly groaned and slid into her place next to zero.

That's when it hit her. In her haste, she had left her notes behind.

She rubbed her eyes furiously, telling herself she wouldn't cry.

She.

Would.

Not.

Cry.

"Here" zero said, shoving his notes to her.

"I guess you forgot to take notes yesterday" Yuuki was taken aback at his hard tone. Was he mad at her too?

"Thanks" she whispered, and then focused on the teacher's lecture.

That night, Yuuki checked her alarm clock a million times to make sure it was set, even going as far as to tape over the setting button.

But it made no difference; her alarm clock was just stolen instead.

She woke up ten minutes before class started, someone had taken her blanket, so she was cold, and hungry since she skipped dinner the night before, and to top it all off, one of her shoes was missing, she checked everywhere, then just pulled an old, too small shoe out of her closet and went to class, barely making it on time.

She remembered her notes, and did her homework, but that coupled with her nightly duties had her completely exhausted.

The class wasn't too bad, her and Zero worked on their project. By another class, they would be finished, and maybe Yuuki could redeem herself a little.

The teacher passed out a test and Yuuki tried her utmost hardest to get the answers right, managing to fill in every question slot before the class was done.

The day hadn't been bad, and Yuuki decided to chance dinner.

She sat down in a remote spot, but as she reached for the salt, a girl snatched it from her open hand.

"Bitch" the girl said, and then walked away. Yuuki was stunned.

Did people really hate her that much?

The hall was watching her, laughing at the insult the girl had given her.

Yuuki slammed her hands on the table, causing the glasses to rattle, and then fled the scene.

She threw herself down on her bed and sobbed, her heart rending because she knew that she would never.

Ever. Get forgiven for this.

It was the first time their class had ever had to do clean-up and she would be hated for it.

Forever.

That night, she couldn't bear to go out and do her duties, she felt pale, cold, and listless. She was nothing.

Nobody.

Ever.

That was the night she started cutting herself.

The first time was an accident, like it always was.

She was cutting an apple when she missed the apple and sliced deeply into her finger.

The pain felt good, it was as if she would actually control something, something in her life that wasn't taken into other people's hands and abused.

She could make herself feel.

She went to bed, happy and content.

The next day was the day of the dance.

She was up early, finding her other shoe gone as well, and now was forced to wear a pair of way too-small shoes that pinched her toes uncomfortably.

She collected her notes carefully, categorizing them by subject.

Then was even early to class. At the end of the day, the teacher announced the test scores, and Yuuki had the second highest score.

For a second, she thought that she would be forgiven, that she would be accepted again, but one boy stood up and yelled.

"She copied Kiryu's notes!" the teacher was stunned.

"Is this true miss cross?" Yuuki nodded.

Was it a crime to use zero's notes?

"I'm sorry, but you fail this test" Yuuki was absolutely speechless.

"Excuse me? Why couldn't I use zero's notes? He made me use them since I forgot mine"

The teacher glared at her

. "It wasn't your own work you were referring to. I really believed in you, miss cross, and you have disappointed me"

Yuuki sat back, completely speechless. She waited until everyone had left, then picked up her books and notes, taking her time stacking them in a pile.

She slowly opened the door, hoping everyone was gone, but as usual, she was wrong.

At first, the hallway looked deserted, but then a foot came out, tripping her, and causing all her carefully stacked notes and books to go tumbling to the floor along with herself.

A group of students were there, laughing at Yuuki's humiliation.

"That's for being a stupid bitch" one of the girls called over her shoulder as the posse walked away.

The tears started pouring down Yuuki's face then.

She didn't sob, but just let the tears race down her smooth face, completely and utterly defeated.

Yuuki slowly gathered everything and headed for her room, shoulders hunched and her face kept down.

She took the small pocket knife by her bed and made a small cut in the crook of her elbow. It was small, no one would notice.

Her spirits were higher in an instant, the little bit of power that she had given herself turned her world differently, even if the habit was dangerous.

She got the dress she was going to wear down from her closet.

The headmaster had given it to her for her birthday, and she had never found a use for it. The dress was blue, with long sleeves and lace around the collar.

She tied her hair up, and then brushed on a tiny bit of makeup. Then she slipped her mother's necklace around her neck. It was a metal locket shaped like a heart, on an intricate chain with a pearl clasp, and the only think Yuuki had of her mother's.

Yuuki looked at her face in the mirror and realized that, for the first time, she was beautiful.

It was time to set up, and she helped the other girls quickly tack the banners up, and set out the garlands, completely ignoring the whispers.

Then, Yuuki realized that she had forgotten the Artemis staff in her room, the Artemis staff was utterly important of they were going to have vampires and humans in the same place.

Yuuki quickly ran out the door, and got about halfway to her room when her path was blocked by two girls from her class.

"Now, now, stupid one, we can't have you looking better then us, especially since you're a nobody" Yuuki backed up, her eyes wide, but the girls were too fast for her, they pounced, tearing her marvelous dress to shreds.

They left her sitting there, tears spilling over her porcelain cheeks.

Not again-this couldn't be happening!

The girls were about to leave when one of them caught sight of Yuuki's necklace.

She ripped it off Yuuki's neck, and then ground it under her heel, causing Yuuki to sob harder. Now she had lost the one thing precious to her. The girls ran off, laughing.

Yuuki tried to get up, but the beating she had received kept her down.

She was sobbing harder now, clutching her ribs with the effort.

"Yuuki?" it was Kaname. He knelt in front of her, wiping the tears away.

"It's alright, I have a dress you may have" he said in his silky voice.

Yuuki hugged him around the middle.

"B-big brother" Kaname gently picked his little sister up bridal style, then took her to her room and laid her on the bed.

Then he was back a few minutes later with a box.

"Wear it tonight" he said, and then left. Yuuki sniffed, and then opened it, gasping at the contents.

Inside there was a black silk dress and a pair of black ballet flat shoes with ribbons. She pulled the dress out and slipped it on, relishing the feel of the cool silk on her skin.

The dress hung off her shoulders, the top was black beaded flowers.

It stayed on her by the tank top string that made up part of the sleeves, which hung down like a gypsy's.

The dress encased her small waist, and then flared out at the bottom, just reaching her toes.

She slipped on the shoes, tying the ribbons in a criss-cross fashion up her legs. Yuuki rubbed some more makeup on, pinned her hair up with some black clips, and then ran to the ball, remembering the Artemis staff this time.

Yuuki immediately went to find Zero when she reached the ballroom, he would be the one to tell her what he duties were.

Zero was standing with Kaname, just staring at the people absentmindedly.

Where the heck was Yuuki? Surely she would be here?

Both of the vampires stared when they saw a beautiful young woman dressed in all black practically dancing down the stairs.

Zero let his eyes follow her, then went back to staring absentmindedly.

He had to admit, whoever she was, would have many boys all over her tonight.

"Zero" a voice said, tugging on his sleeve.

It was the woman in black.

No, it was…Yuuki.

Zero involuntarily gasped at her beauty, and then felt the blush creep over his cheeks.

"What do you want?' he said gruffly. His bluntness shocked her again, so she bit down what she was going to ask.

"Nothing" she replied, then took her spot next to him, surveying the crowd for any signs of trouble.

At midnight, the chairman announced the lover's dance contest, and the best dancers would get the prize of being named Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Yuuki decided she would ask Zero, and after building her courage up, she asked him. "Z-Zero? Will you dance with me?" Zero stayed completely impassive, just like a large rock.

Yuuki turned away.

Oh well.

Then, an arm was circling around her waist, pulling her gently out to the open veranda.

She looked in surprise at Zero, who now was putting his arm around her waist, and taking her small hand in his.

"You said you wanted to dance" he said, Then leaned closer.

"It is what you wanted, isn't it?" shivers went up Yuuki's spine.

She leaned closer to him and matched his steps, going through the moves as gracefully as a vampire would have done, her turns perfect, and her paces small and graceful.

After a while, a small crowd began to watch them, and the pair were surprised when the chairman announced them as the winners.

Zero tried to hang back, but Yuuki somehow made him go onstage.

The shameless chairman put the Prince Charming crown on Zero's head, obviously oblivious to the danger he was in.

No one.

No one.

Put a crown on Zero's head, or even tried and lived.

Yuuki gently laid a hand on his arm and he relaxed, but still giving a dirty looks.

The chairman put the Cinderella tiara on Yuuki's head, and then beamed at his 'foster kids'.


Yuuki was in her room getting ready for bed when zero knocked. She opened it and he came in.

Zero was immediately overwhelmed with the smell of blood.

"Yuuki, are you bleeding?" the girl turned bright pink, remembering her habit.

"What have you been doing?" Zero said, his eyes flashing as he took a step forward.

It was about then that Zero realized she was only wearing a white lace nightgown.

"Err" he said. Yuuki giggled and reached up to mess with his hair.

Then realized too late that she used her left arm-the one that she cut on.

Zero's eyes widened as he pulled up her sleeve, exposing the three, partially healed cuts.

"Why?" he asked simply.

Why was his Yuuki hurting herself?

Wait.

His?

Hmmm.

He could get used to Yuuki being his. Just imagine what he could-

Zero shrugged off his mind's weird thoughts and turned his attention back to the girl that needed it most.

He slammed her semi-painfully into the wall, earning a startled gasp from he tiny frame.

"Why were you hurting yourself?" he said in a deathly tone, looking darkly at her from under his bangs.

"I couldn't do it anymore" she whispered, looking down at her feet.

Now it was zero's turn to look surprised.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

Was she being hurt by someone else?

Was someone abusing her in some way?

Did someone r- no. he wouldn't go there.

If she was being abused in any way, she would tell him…

right?

"The other kids…" she started to say.

Oh god. She was being abused. What was he going to do?

"Maybe you should talk to the headmaster…" he started, and then Yuuki grabbed his shirt.

"d-don't go, I'll tell you everything" What could he do but stay?

Zero gently slid Yuuki down the wall until she was in a sitting position, and then kneeled in front of her, his listening ears on.

"t-the other kids" Yuuki started. She twisted her nightgown hem in her hands.

"They hate me" here her voice broke, but she kept going.

"t-they stole my stuff, and tripped me in the halls" now zero understood.

The disappearances at meals, the tiredness, the skipped duties, everything.

He gently enveloped Yuuki in his strong arms.

"I will protect you" he whispered into her hair.

Then he kissed her, the softness of her lips drawing him in.

they broke apart after what seemed like an eternity.

Zero looked lovingly into Yuuki's big, brown eyes, then pulled something out of his pocket.

It was Yuuki's necklace, fixed and put on a red ribbon.

"h-how did you know?" she asked, taking it from him.

"Kaname" he said, then he kissed her forehead and tied the ribbon around her neck.

"T-thank you Zero" Yuuki whispered, leaning into Zero's chest.

Zero gently picked Yuuki up and laid her in her bed, then tucked the blankets around her small figure.

Then he looked out her large window onto the snow-covered grounds.

It would be Yuuki's birthday soon, she would be fifteen.

Zero looked back on her sleeping face, she looked so innocent.

He gently smoothed some hair back from her face then made his way to the door.

"Zero" Yuuki murmured in her sleep, making Zero freeze in his tracks.

He looked fondly at the young girl, then took his hand off the doorknob, and laying down on the bed opposite her, watching her breathe.

"Good night Yuuki" he thought as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to his chest.

"My Cinderella"

And with that, the silver haired vampire was asleep.


Mwahaiahahah! I have done it again!

PLease R&R!

DoN't OwN VaMpIrE KnIgHt!!!!!!!!