Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Knight in any way, nor do I make any profit from writing this.
Warning: Religious themes and possible blasphemy. Yaoi ahead. Please look on it kindly. No part of this story is meant to offend. Review please!
Zero sighed. He had finally finished his duties for the day, and was about to retire to the back room of the church where he could finally get some rest, when he realized that he wasn't alone in the Church hall.
There was a figure sitting in the front row.
Zero frowned, remembering that just thirty seconds ago he was completely alone – he was sure of it. How did that person get there? He huffed, before making his way to the figure, about to open his mouth and lapse into a lecture about how priests needed their rest too, when he was completely caught off guard by the appearance of the figure in the front row.
A perfectly sculpted face, as if by the angels themselves, his skin a shade of fair that was just short of his own – but what really caught his attention were the stranger's eyes – amber red, a colour that he had never seen in a person's eyes, an amber that seemed to glow in the dim light, head bent slightly in prayer. The stranger's hair was long, just reaching the shoulder, in loose waves, the dark chocolate in perfect contrast to the flawless fair skin. The stranger was beautiful – a beauty that was classic, timeless. Zero released the breath he didn't know he was holding.
But that was before he realized what was on the trench coat and the crisp white shirt the stranger was wearing.
Zero had neared the man and grabbed his shoulder before he could stop himself, unintentionally pushing the man against the back of the bench none too gently, wordlessly checking the stranger for wounds, his lilac eyes roaming frantically over the areas marked by crimson, before catching himself and releasing the man awkwardly, a small blush creeping onto his fair cheeks.
"Uh…I'm…Umm…Are you hurt?"
The beautiful stranger had pushed away the initial surprise on his fine features, and smiled.
"I'm fine, thank you."
It's not my blood.
A chill ran down Zero's spine as the stranger's voice reached his ears. It sounded absolutely sinful, a deep, melodious, wonderful tone.
The both of them fell silent, Zero tensely watching the stranger as if he suspected he was going to double over in pain any millisecond, when the stranger finally chuckled and smiled at him again.
"I'm really okay, shinpu-sama.* Thank you for your concern."
Zero nodded awkwardly, and stood there for a moment, mentally debating whether it was safe to leave a potential murderer or a victim or innocent bystander in the church hall alone, and figured that whatever happened probably wasn't any of his business, and was about to retire when the same rich, chocolaty voice stopped him.
"…would you care to sit with me for a while, shinpu-sama?"
Zero turned back slowly, and the stranger was looking at him in the eye, and Zero felt compelled to make his way to the little space that the stranger had made for him on the bench in the front row. Zero knew how to fend for himself, he thought, and sat down quite confidently next to the stranger, a comfortable silence settling between the two of them for a while, before the stranger spoke again.
"You're not afraid of me?"
Zero turned his head slightly, in order to shoot a look at the man that almost said 'are-you-kidding-me?', before snorting – a very unlikely thing for a priest to do – and replied.
"We're in the Lord's house. Even the devil's power is weakened here. Besides, I can fend for myself."
The stranger looked surprised again, but his expression faded into something softer and sadder.
Silence fell between them again for a while, and this time Zero broke it.
"Am I supposed to be scared?"
The stranger had stiffened visibly, his expression turning cold in the corner of Zero's eye, and there was the sound of a cat knocking down several trashcans outside before the stranger replied.
"…No, not you, shinpu-sama. Never you." The stranger's voice was soft and deep, almost a whisper.
Zero didn't know why the colour rushed to his cheeks.
Again they both didn't speak, and the quiet of the night was strangely comforting.
A few seconds later though, their awkward conversation continued.
"I'm sorry to disturb you at so late an hour, shinpu-sama."
Zero chuckled, and smiled.
"You got that right. I was about to give you half my mind about coming here at this time you know."
The stranger smiled.
"I had nowhere else to go."
Zero looked intently at the stranger from the corner of his eye.
"Well," Zero began, a little haughtily, and it made the stranger smile.
"You'll always be welcome here. I mean, as long as I'm here."
The priest tried to sound as confident as he could, and the stranger's smile grew, before he bent his beautiful head down again.
It was whispered, a sincere, soulful and grateful whisper.
Zero's cheeks flushed again.
He was about to say more when the stranger stood.
Zero's breath caught.
The scent of roses assaulted his senses, tinged with the metallic stench of blood. It scared him; it scared him for some unfathomable reason – and he tensed in his seat, his breath caught in fear, as he continued to watch the stranger walk down the aisle, unable to move a muscle. The large oak doors of the church creaked open, and the stranger had turned back to look at the silver-haired priest that was trembling as if he had been caught in a blizzard.
"Thank you, shinpu-sama."
Zero closed his eyes for about two seconds, trying to collect himself and regain control of his body, and when he opened his eyes, the stranger was gone – the doors slightly ajar, the night breeze creeping in to ruffle his hair – Zero was left alone to wonder whether that awkward conversation was real, or whether it was simply a passing dream.
Zero woke with a start.
His ears were met with silence, but somehow, he knew that the stranger was here.
He pulled the covers off of himself, slipping on his slippers, not even bothering to check himself in the mirror in his haste; he flung open his room door and rushed into the church hall.
And there he was, in all his ethereal beauty, sitting in the front row, in a crisp white shirt, an almost glaring white, with an expensive looking black trench coat draped around lean shoulders. The stranger smiled at him, and patted the little space on the bench beside him.
Zero moved toward the stranger slowly, almost in disbelief, accidentally missing a step. He instinctively shut his eyes and braced himself for impact, but that impact never came.
Instead, he found himself caught by a pair of strong arms, pulled against a hard chest, warm breath against his ear.
"Are you alright?"
It tickled, and it sent shivers up his spine, as well as a lot of blood to his cheeks.
He brushed the stranger off, gathering himself, unable to meet the stranger's eyes.
He made his way to his seat awkwardly, realizing suddenly that the bench was actually more than a few steps away, and that it was almost impossible for the stranger to have gotten to him when he did.
So Zero, being Zero, turned and asked.
"How did you-"
"You're very beautiful, shinpu-sama."
Zero was completely caught off guard, and the blush that he had fought off returned full force.
"W-w-w-what are you talking about!"
Zero stood there, at the front of the church hall, dressed in his loose nightgown and worn slippers, his silver hair a mess, regarding the brunette stranger with a look that screamed confusion.
Half a second later he found himself in front of the stranger, the same scent of roses assaulting his senses, but this time it was comforting, pleasant and welcoming. The stranger was only slightly taller than him, but still, Zero wasn't very short. The stranger had reached to gently touch the ends of the priest's silver strands, a small warm look on his face.
Zero had almost leaned into the touch, but he caught himself half a second later and backed away.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Zero's voice sounded shaky even to himself, and the look on the stranger's face did not help matters much at all.
The stranger was smiling, albeit happily, his head tilted slightly to the side, the warm chocolate locks falling onto a beautiful, creamy cheek. The amber eyes that met pale lilac ones were warm, full of admiration and joy.
"I apologize for my rudeness, shinpu-sama, I simply could not resist."
Zero regarded the stranger for a moment, before sitting down, letting out a small sigh and patting the space next to him.
"Stop calling me that, it makes me feel old. I have a name, you know."
The stranger sat down, and suddenly Zero felt extremely comfortable letting an almost complete stranger invade his personal space.
"May I be so honored as to learn it?"
Zero snorted, shooting the stranger a look.
"Kiryuu Zero. But just Zero's fine."
The stranger's smile grew, and comfortable silence settled between the pair once more.
"Aren't you going to tell me yours?"
The stranger looked slightly surprised, but leaned back, his body visibly relaxing as he moved closer to the priest just a little.
"My name is Kuran Kaname."
Zero didn't know why, but he felt that he had heard the name somewhere. He repeated it once, secretly liking the way it rolled off his tongue. He had a feeling he would be using this name frequently soon.
The silence set in again, each of them just enjoying having the other beside him, when Zero broke the silence once more.
"Why do you only come at night?"
Kaname frowned, but it was gone as soon as it came.
"I'm really busy in the day."
Zero nodded in agreement – being a priest wasn't very relaxing in the day either, he mused. But then it also occurred to him how little he knew of this mysterious night time visitor whose company he had grown to miss over the past few days.
"How come you've never visited before?"
Kaname looked down, a small wistful look on his beautiful face.
"I was scared."
"…Scared of stepping into the house of God."
"Why would you be afraid? You haven't been doing anything bad, have you?"
The stranger didn't reply, but simply smiled.
Zero frowned, but didn't push it.
For some odd reason, he knew that this man was dangerous, but also that he would never hurt him.
"I'm glad you made it. It's the first time you've visited before dark."
"Thank you for your invitation, Zero. The pie looks delectable."
Zero set a plate in front of Kaname, a small look of triumph on his face.
"I baked it myself. I'm giving you the first slice – the rest are gifts for the families that visit. Give me your honest opinion."
Kaname smiled, picking up his fork, he gingerly started eating the pastry.
Zero didn't look very convinced.
"You know it's a sin to lie in the House of God, Kaname."
"…I'm not lying."
I would never lie to you.
The brunet held out a piece for the priest, who awkwardly ate it from the fork held out in front of him.
"You're right. I'm not a very bad baker then."
Zero heard Kaname chuckle, and he shortly joined in the laughter.
"Tell me more about you."
Kaname froze, putting down his fork slowly, his expression turning grave. Zero silently wondered if he had somehow said something wrong.
Kaname took a deep breath, a small sad smile on his fine features.
"Are you sure you want to know, Zero? It may destroy everything we have now."
Zero looked surprised, but was silent.
He didn't want this to end, not yet.
"Then I'll wait."
Kaname visibly relaxed, his shoulders slumping, before he picked up his fork again and continued eating his pie with renewed vigor.
Zero had sighed defeatedly, turning and slipping off the apron and making to hang it on the rack by the fridge, when he thought he heard Kaname's silky voice whisper the words 'thank you'.
The weeks passed into months. Kaname's visits to the church were starting to become daily, and Zero would always be up to sit with the brunet until sunrise, either in silence or simply chat about recent happenings about the church. Zero was slowly growing more tired due to his lack of sleep, and had once dozed off in the middle of a conversation. Kaname had warmly carried him back into his room and tucked him in, brushing a stray lock from his face, and pressing a small secret kiss to perfect lips. The next night Kaname had insisted that Zero sleep, and that he'd just be content to watch him sleep, to which Zero had strongly objected to, and the both of them ended up on the bench in the front row as usual, because Kaname never seemed to be able to win against Zero.
"Thank you for not judging me, Zero."
Zero looked up from his crossword puzzle, a small questioning look on his face.
"…you're welcome. What's a seven letter word for a mythical creature that drinks blood to survive...? That's a Vampire, isn't it?"
Kaname froze, before coldly replying.
"What crossword is that?"
"It's a Halloween special. I don't know why, but the kids are harping about how awesome this year's Halloween will be, because they spent so much time and effort on their costumes. I hear they plan on scaring me – Kaname?"
The brunet had froze, a frown on his fine features.
"Kaname? Are you alright? Do you hate Halloween?"
"You're right, Zero. It is 'Vampire'."
Kaname's voice sounded like ice, and the normally warm amber gaze had died down to a pitch black.
Zero looked confused, before glaring at the brunet.
"It's Halloween isn't it. Everyone's in on it."
Kaname's voice was shaking.
A knock on the large oak doors caught them off guard.
The referred brunet cursed softly, his eyes resting on Zero for a moment, before he turned toward the door.
"Yes, Aidou. Did I not request that no one disturbs me here?"
"I-I-I'm sorry, Kaname-sama! But it seems that we've caught wind of Riido-sama's whereabouts-"
Kaname's eyes widened, and he immediately stood, emitting an aura that screamed violence, murder and anger at the mention of 'Riido', facing the source of the childish sounding voice. Zero's muscles froze, and breathing was difficult, he felt as if the pressure in the room had heightened suddenly, and that strange inexplicable fear was starting to bubble inside him again – like the first time they met.
"Kaname?" Zero's voice seemed to stir something inside of the brunet, and his look softened.
The effects of Kaname's anger disappeared instantly, and the brunet had dropped to his knees, an apologetic look on his handsome features, his hands reaching to gently touch the priest's cheeks lovingly.
"I apologize, Zero. I have to leave you."
Zero was still dizzy from the lack of air before, and nodded, his eyes not meeting Kaname's.
Two seconds later Zero was left alone in the church hall, still trying to catch his breath.
"I think you owe me an explanation."
Kaname sighed, but met Zero's gaze head-on.
The brunet had returned the next night, with a bouquet of lilacs in hand, as if it were a peace offering. Zero had chuckled, before walking to the large doors to greet his friend.
The Kuran didn't speak, but kept looking at the priest, as if he were trying to memorize every feature of the silver-haired man. Slowly, tentatively, the brunet reached for the priest's hand, meeting no resistance, he brought it to his face, and gently pressed his lips against long, slender fingers.
Zero's cheeks coloured, but he made no attempt to pull away.
"I'm sorry I've let this drag on for so long, Zero."
The brunet stepped closer, so that Zero's nose was almost touching his cheek, he released the warm hand he had been holding on to, reaching up to cup a flawless cheek instead, sliding downward to hold onto a perfect chin. He guided the priest's face closer to his own, tilting that perfection upward, a small apologetic look on his face. The priest had somewhat caught on to what he was trying to do, and lifted a hand to stop him, when Kaname's free hand gripped his wrist. The lilacs had fallen to the ground with a rustle.
"Please allow me to do this, Zero."
The brunet leaned closer, so that their lips were now brushing.
"…because this will be the last time…"
Their lips met, Zero caught by surprise as he was pushed against the door behind him, his head cushioned by Kaname's hand, the warm, comfortable pressure of the other man's lips was like a drug – something Zero had never once ever been exposed to – and when Kaname's tongue had intruded into his mouth, he had pushed at the body in front of him in shock, trying to break free, but the strong, familiar hands held him in place, forcing him to engage in a battle of tongues as Zero's brain went on auto-pilot.
The sound from him brought Kaname back to his senses, and he reluctantly pulled away from a now-panting Zero, but not completely, still giving into the urge to hold onto the slightly smaller man's nape, to caress that fair cheek, to touch his forehead to that of the wonderful existence that was Kiryuu Zero.
Zero's cheeks were beautifully coloured, pale lilac eyes unable to meet his own, instead stubbornly trained on the floor. The sight made Kaname want to be selfish, made him want to be greedy, to keep this terribly terrific creature all to himself.
His hands slid down to become limp at his sides as he pulled away completely now, a look that told of much pain and sorrow was spread across Kuran Kaname's perfect features as he regarded the person that had become his friend out of the kindness of his heart, for who he was instead of what he was, this person who loved him simply for being Kaname, and not the Pure-Blood Prince, Kuran…this young boy, with his stunning silver hair and snow-fair skin, his expressive lilac eyes, and his frighteningly perfect features.
"I'm sorry I met you, Zero."
The priest had froze, looking up slowly, trying to ingest what he had just heard.
"I'm never seeing you again, Zero."
Zero, Zero, Zero.
The look of shock and hurt on the fair-haired boy's face nearly broke the Kuran's resolve.
I love you.
Kaname closed his eyes as he turned, he was thinking of Zero, he didn't want this kind, beautiful man to be caught in all the darkness he was drowning in daily. No, this man was the light, he was the light that Kaname could never be, could never dream of touching. He couldn't taint such a wondrous being, he couldn't.
But Zero would have none of that.
The slightly shorter man had gripped onto his shoulder, and pulled him to face him with surprising strength.
"What are you saying? Why!"
Kaname remained silent, unable to meet the shorter man's eyes.
"You can't…You can't just saunter in here and break off all ties with me after doing that!"
Kaname finally met the priest's gaze, but what Zero saw wasn't the once warm and kind amber eyes he had been so familiar with – these were cold and lifeless and told of death.
But Zero's grip on the expensive black sleeve tightened despite himself.
"I…I don't care if you're…not normal."
There wasn't a nice way of saying things like this, but Zero really didn't want to lose this man's friendship, the company, the laughter, the smiles that he had grown to cherish and the character he had grown to care for.
"I'm not just not normal, Zero. I'm a monster."
Zero laughed awkwardly, although the tone of the Kuran's voice hardly called for it.
"You're Kaname. You could never be a monster. Now why don't we sit down and talk-"
"I was born like this, Zero."
Zero fell silent.
"I'm not human, Zero."
The slightly taller man now seemed to loom over the silver-haired male.
Kaname laughed at his own foolishness. He had forgotten that religious humans saw same-sex relationships as blasphemy.
One more reason for him not to get close to Zero.
"…You're a fallen angel?"
Kaname thought his heart had stopped when he heard the words leave Zero's lips, but he had broken out into cold chuckling instead.
"An angel, Zero? I first met you in this church hall covered in blood."
Zero looked down to the stone floor, shaking his head slightly.
"You've made me happier in the time that I've known you than all the time I've spent with the rest of the world, Kaname."
Pale lilac met with cool amber.
"You're a blessing."
The slightly shorter man took a step closer to the Kuran, who moved backward in response; unintentionally backing into the door. Zero had cornered him. Amber eyes flared.
"You have no idea what I can do to you! What I do to others! I'm a cruel, horrible person, Kiryuu Zero!" It was Kaname's plea to Zero – to save him from the darkness.
A gentle hand pushed a stray lock of chocolate behind his ear, and a gentle hand rested on his cold cheek, forcing him to look into those beautiful eyes. Kuran Kaname fought all urge to just tackle the man in front of him and consume him with his feelings; he needed to get away.
"You're the sweetest, gentlest and most honest person I've met in a while, Kaname. It's going to take a lot to change my mind about that."
Kaname's face fell.
He couldn't allow this. He couldn't allow this man to be his weakness; he couldn't allow this man to lose himself in his darkness.
"No it's not."
The words came as a whisper, one that Zero would not have heard should he not have been standing so close to the man.
"…I'll show you."
Kaname's eyes bore into Zero's, like an unspoken challenge.
A strong, elegant hand grabbed a fair wrist.
"I'll show you just how much of a monster I can be."
*shinpu-sama (神父様): "Father" or "Priest" in Japanese.