A/N: Here it is at long last: the final chapter. Enjoy!
For a moment Kaname thought he'd blown the door off the wrong room. He saw a black-haired vampire about to sink his teeth into a woman who was clearly out of his league. Kaname thought she couldn't possibly be in her right mind to consent to this guy, but he didn't have the time nor the inclination to play vigilante and save a score of damsels tonight from sleaze like this guy.
After a quick glance of the two, he intended to quickly move on, without apologies, to find Yuuki somewhere in the warehouse. If he had to blow the doors off every room and level the building to the ground, he would find her or there would be hell to pay. He had taken a step into the room and was about to walk back out leaving the couple to their tryst, when his eyes were drawn to the woman for a second glance.
His gaze trailed up the pale, naked flesh of her shapely legs to her trim and delicate form beneath a fitted, short black dress. Her bare, long arms hung feebly at her sides, arms that seemed all too familiar to him, as he'd longed for arms like those to hold him so often these days. Something inside him twinged. And then he saw her exposed neck as her hair was pulled back, and there was the shine of wetness on the skin as the fiend had primed her for the bite.
Kaname knew, but his mind needed an instant to catch up to the present. He . . . knew . . . that . . . neck.
How often he had contemplated it, finally being able to sink his teeth into it. That glorious moment that would satisfy his soul, that moment that would mean she was finally his, that she had returned to him. It was among the many things about his Yuuki that he admired when she was unaware of his eyes taking in the details of her, from afar, or when she spoke to him but would look away out of embarrassment; he had to admit to himself that the red in her cheeks only reminded him of what he longed for beneath the delicate skin of her neck as her short hair lightly brushed the spot in those instances.
But he had arrived in the present, and was now fully aware that the girl in that deviant's grip was his Yuuki. A passionate fury boiled up inside him. This was personal. This was not an occasion to stand back and eliminate this parasitic scum with his omnipotence. To simply make him destroy himself by commanding the degenerate to remove his hands from Yuuki's body and violently turn them on himself wouldn't be enough, although Kaname could easily exercise that influence over him. No punishment by mind trick or manipulation of physical forces would satiate Kaname's burning need for retribution. No this was beyond retribution, he wanted this wretched creature to suffer slowly to his last breath for daring to even look upon Yuuki with that lustful intent, for putting his vile hands on her perfect form. He would show this pervert the true meaning of depravity.
All Kaname could focus on was removing the savage from his beloved. He would inspect Yuuki head to toe to make sure she was unscathed and then deal with him appropriately. There would be no escape from death for the barbarian, but if he had left a trace of his mere existence on the girl, whether it be a bruise or even his detestable scent, Kaname would exact his revenge more torturously than the devil himself could fathom.
In a flash, Kaname had crossed to the center of the room and ignited an aura of red hot fury into the formerly cold, stark surroundings with an echoing snap as he ripped the black-haired parasite's forearm from Yuuki's bare shoulder, crushing the bone with ease. The coward screamed out in pain and fell away from Yuuki, his body writhing in the floor.
Yuuki sat back on her hands, with a look that was a mixture of shock and confusion. She looked up at Kaname, whose eyes could not be torn from his victim and his mission, except by her voice alone. "Kaname-sama?" she spoke hesitantly.
Kaname looked at her, trying his hardest to soften his expression as not to frighten her, while simultaneously surveying her for damage.
"What are you—how did you find me?" she asked, puzzled. "I'm in trouble, aren't I?" she continued. "Kaname-sama, where are we? Who is that man?"
The sight of his love, even more helpless than usual, and clearly disoriented, sent a fresh wave of anger through him, anger at the source of her disorientation, anger at the carelessness with which she was left to become prey, anger at all of the things that were out of his control. He couldn't let Yuuki witness what he was going to do with her attacker.
"Wait here. Don't move," he instructed her, refocusing his attention on the vampire on the floor. He grabbed the yelping monster by his hair and dragged him from the room. Kaname didn't want to leave Yuuki alone for long, so he decided he would be . . . efficient, rather than quick, about this matter.
In a few minutes, he had returned to find Yuuki lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling. It was easy to clear his mind and heart of all the fury when he saw her like that. And that dress—she would have to put his coat on whether she was cold or not; she was far too . . . exposed.
Yuuki rolled her head to the side to see Kaname walking toward her. He knelt down on his knee beside her and lifted her up by her shoulders, replacing her small sleeve to its proper position—everything about her dress was small, and out of character for her, but Kaname wasn't altogether opposed to it. He took the opportunity to inspect her more closely, making sure she was unharmed.
"I'm so dizzy," he heard her soft voice break into his thoughts as he studied her legs.
Kaname propped her up against his knee and gently took her head into his hands. He looked deeply into her eyes and could see that she was still not herself. "What were you thinking, Yuuki?" he implored. "Do you know what you've done to me?"
He didn't expect her to respond to him; it was clear his words were most likely lost on her in her haze. Yuuki looked down at her hands. "I'm sorry, Kaname-sama," she said, sounding somewhat serious. This surprised him, but not as much as the laugh that came from her immediately after her apology. "I still don't even know how this happened, or what even happened—where'd that creepy guy go?" she said through her nervous laughter.
"I mean one minute I'm at the academy and the next I'm stripping at a store . . ." she continued, still laughing. Kaname felt a flash of heat rise inside of him at that last part. Rima would be giving him a detailed account of the evening's events once he had returned Yuuki safely to the academy, that was for certain. "Kaname-sama, are you going to tell the headmaster . . . or Zero? Please don't tell Zero," she said trying to be serious, but falling back into a fit of laughter. "He will never, I mean never let me live this down . . ."
Kiryu. Zero had failed to prevent this. Association or not, this would have to be addressed. Yuuki would never do another dorm inspection alone, Kaname would make sure of that. However, he was glad that he was the one to find Yuuki and clean up this mess, rather than the hunter.
"What about you, Kaname-sama?" Yuuki rambled, as Kaname helped her stand up. Her heels caught his attention now. He wasn't sure how he felt about the dress or the shoes, maybe it was just that someone had taken her and dressed her without his permission and intended for him never to find out, the nerve. Kaname had to admit to himself that if Yuuki was ever going to dress this way, he wanted it to be for him, and should that occasion occur he would make sure that she was for his eyes only.
She continued to stare at him, biting her tongue and waiting for his reply while he wrapped his coat around her shoulders. "Can't you just do that memory erasing thing you do, but do it to yourself and just forget this ever happened?" she pleaded. Kaname chuckled to himself a little, as he was just about to perform that very technique on her and carry her back to the academy. Now he was rethinking it. This might be enjoyable, walking with Yuuki back to the academy. He had a feeling that the influence the drug still held over her might act as a truth serum, at the very least it had broken down the carefully reserved composure Yuuki usually tried to maintain in his presence. Now she was talking to him and laughing like he hadn't see her do since she was a child.
"You're mad aren't you?" she laughed, not being able to help herself. "You've got a temper don't you, Kaname-sama . . . haha! Like that time you slapped Aido-senpai! You were like BAM! and then he was boohooing . . . haha. I'm not sure I approve, but I'll make an exception for Aido. He usually deserves it, haha." Then she paused and tried to be serious again. "Are you going to slap me, Kaname-sama?" she asked, coyly.
Kaname didn't know how to react. This was a side of Yuuki he had not seen before. Was she criticizing him or . . . flirting with him? And if it was the latter, why would she choose to ask that? Was she trying to make him blush for once?
Kaname had often wished he could spend time alone with Yuuki, but this wasn't quite what he'd imagined. However, this could be interesting. She was mocking him, unabashedly. She would die if she could see this moment replayed for her tomorrow, and at that thought a smile pulled at the corners of Kaname's lips. He put his arm around her shoulders and ushered her from the room, choosing not to respond to her last question. It didn't matter; she continued to prattle on. Yes, he would let this all play out he decided.
Zero arrived at the warehouse that the vampire's underling had told him about. He didn't know what to expect, but there was a pretty good chance that if the creep was here there would be a fight. His best chance was to get the drop on him.
Zero found an open door on the back side of the building and slowly and quietly entered from the back alley way, the Bloody Rose at the ready in his hand. The warehouse was mostly bare. There was some old industrial equipment in an open area of the main room. He noticed some doors along a hallway that must have been offices. He figured that would be a good place to find this boss.
He didn't have to walk far before his finger twitched on the trigger of his gun. One of the office doors was blown clear off its hinges and lay crumpled in the darkened hall. He carefully approached the doorway before quickly stepping inside the room, aiming the Bloody Rose left to right as he scanned the area. There was no one. Just a desk and chair. The room was bare like everything else in the warehouse so far. Just as a precaution he walked around the desk before leaving the room. He wasn't sure, but he sensed that this room had been occupied not long ago. He walked further down the hallway, stepping over the crumpled door.
Then he picked up the distinct scent of blood as he walked down the hallway. He quickened his pace and turned around the corner at the end of the hallway. There was only one door at the end of this hallway and the scent of blood was much more potent now. Zero stepped carefully toward the door, flinging it open and rapidly making an entrance to catch the enemy off guard, but once again there was no one, at least not anymore.
The room looked like it was the set for a horror film. Blood was splattered on the floor, the ceiling, and all four walls of the empty room. In the center of the floor there was a large hole in the cement floor as if someone's head had been smashed into it. Indeed that's what Zero suspected had happened as the familiar dust of an eliminated vampire was scattered to one side of the hole. The final resting place of Zero's target.
But why did he not detect the blood until he was right up on it? With the amount of blood in this room, he should've been able to sense it a mile away. Any vampire in the area should've been able to sense it. Something was containing it. The Association had hunter spells that might be able to conceal the scent of blood for a time, but why would they assign this to him, if they were just going to send someone else? The only others capable of this kind of deception would be vampires, perhaps the higher-ups, maybe only a pureblood . . . Kuran.
What business would he have with this? But then again when did Kuran ever mind his own business? Zero thought to himself even this seemed a little excessive for the pureblood, although he suspected Kuran had a penchant for the sadistic.
Something didn't add up here.
Kaname and Yuuki walked down the street slowly, enjoying each other's company. All of Kaname's stress had melted away now that he was with her. He enjoyed listening to her talk and laugh, and thought it particularly adorable when she would have a fleeting moment of clarity as her high faded and she realized how candid she was being and would apologize. But it went as fast as it came and she would resume her chatter and giggles. Kaname thought to himself that he'd like to believe that the effects of the drug had worn off long ago and that she was acting so familiar and comfortable with him now of her own volition, like she used to . . .
As the thought lingered in his mind, Yuuki bashfully, but determinately asked him if she could hold his hand. Kaname felt an outpouring of warmth in his heart spill over his whole body at her words, a phenomenon he hadn't experienced probably since the last time she had asked for his hand when she was a little girl. "Of course," he said, trying not to seem too eager, but silently hoping that those two simple words of consent would be infused with all the reassurance he could express to her that all of her demands of him would be met similarly, with delighted fervor. He presented his hand immediately and waited as she struggled to free hers from the long sleeve of his coat, which was swallowing her small frame, so that she could take his hand with her own.
Although his hand overwhelmed hers, the feeling of her small, warm hand firmly grasping his filled him with immense contentment. He never wanted this moment to end. He had a half a mind to abduct her for the second time that evening and never look back. How was he going to return to the academy and exact his authority and demand recompense from the delinquents who had afforded him this precious moment? How could he evoke the proper amount of fear from them so that they never crossed him again when he was so filled to the brim with delight? This moment would come to an end though, he answered himself. Yuuki would ultimately have no recollection of this night after he had properly restored her to the headmaster. Tomorrow, the distance that she put up between them to keep him away would return. And he would be left to add this night to his store of memories of her, relying on them to tide him over until the time when he could finally reclaim her as his own, if she wanted him too.
"Kaname-sama?" Yuuki's voice broke through to him again, as was so easy for it to do, reminding him that although this night would come to an end, it wasn't over yet.
"Yes?" he replied, failing to conceal the adoring intensity of his gaze. She was high, he reminded himself. She wouldn't remember this tomorrow even without him using his power to erase it. He could openly adore her all he wanted; it couldn't possibly confuse her anymore than she already was.
"This is nice," she said.
"This is glorious," Kaname corrected absentmindedly.
Yuuki laughed. His eyes never once left her face. He patiently waited, hanging on her words, watching how the different city lights made her face glow in incandescent beauty.
"Some people would say that's a vampire thing," she said, emphatically whispering the word "vampire" as if people were listening to them, despite the fact that they walked down a mostly empty street, "But I say it's a you thing. It's a Kaname-sama thing. Everything about you is glorious," she mused, looking down to watch her step, another adorable tendency of hers; as if she would ever fall while he was there.
Although he didn't agree with her assessment, he couldn't deny the satisfaction he felt knowing that he was right about the truth serum effect. If it wasn't so rampantly egotistical, he would ask her outright exactly how she felt about him. He thought better of it though, reminding himself it was one thing to reveal his feelings to her. For him it was just a matter of timing. When the time was right, he would be able to tell her how he felt, if he could hold out that long. But if she didn't love him back, if there was someone else—regrettably, Zero came to mind—he would crumble. He wouldn't be able to go on.
"Kaname-sama, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, I mean, it wasn't a lie, I just- it's just you seemed upset just now . . ." she said. One of her now more frequent sobering moments.
"No, Yuuki. Thank you for saying that. It makes me very happy. I just don't want this moment to end," Kaname replied, pulling her hand to his lips and placing a gentle kiss on her warm skin.
"Me either," she smiled. "I want to tell you so many things, Kaname-sama, but I always get scared to. Even now a little, even though I feel so good."
Kaname wanted her to tell him everything, but now he was afraid that those things she had to tell him were that she didn't love him, that she wished he would leave her alone, and that she feared him—after all she said she was scared to tell him.
"I don't want you to feel afraid of me, Yuuki," he said quietly.
"Oh no, Kaname-sama, I'm not afraid of you. I just get afraid of how you'll react if I told you these things," she trailed off, looking down at the sidewalk again.
He could easily understand that. He was afraid of how she would respond to him. He feared rejection most of all. Could that be her fear as well? He was too afraid to ask.
"I don't want to force you to do anything, Yuuki. I just want you to know that you can always come to me, that you can tell me anything, whenever you're ready," he said.
"Thank you, Kaname-sama."
They walked in silence for a moment or two, still hand and hand. Nothing could induce him to let go of her.
They were coming up to Cross Academy's gate now. Yuuki spoke then. "I'm so tired," she said as they stood in front of the gate. Still holding Kaname's hand, she looked up at him. "Kaname-sama, will you keep my secret, please?" she asked him, the drowsiness apparent in her voice.
Kaname used his free hand to brush her hair from her face. "If you'll keep my secret, Yuuki," he said as he held his hand over her forehead coaxing her into sleep.
"What's your secret, Kaname-s . a . . m . . . a?" she asked as she fell into him, relinquishing her hold on his hand.
He collected the sleeping girl into his arms and looked down at her peaceful face.
"You don't know it now, but once you were mine. I hope that you'll have me again. I love you, Yuuki," he said to the beautiful girl in his arms, but he knew the night was the only one who kept his secret.
Zero walked into the chairman's office dissatisfied.
"Ah, Zero-kun." The headmaster stood up at his desk and greeted him. "I didn't hear you come in, your mission must have been a success with skills like those! I know it's late, but I made you some dinner! You must eat it!"
The chairman's enthusiasm never died down, even at this hour.
"Someone beat me to it," Zero said plainly. "My target was brutally murdered before I even got to his lair," he added sardonically.
The chairman sat back down at his desk, taking a more professional attitude, to Zero's relief. Zero went on to tell him about the humans he got the information from and how he handed them over to the Association after discovering the odd massacre of his target.
"Maybe the interrogation of those idiots I turned over will give us a lead into who's really behind all this," Zero continued.
"You think it doesn't end with the two that the man told you about?" the chairman questioned.
"I wouldn't be surprised if this went straight up to the vampire council. Those beasts would jump at the chance to do a little under the table trafficking. Their greed doesn't end with bloodlust. Money, power, they want it all," said Zero. "I think that these guys just stepped out of line and got eliminated. They'll be replaced and more lives will be lost as long as the vampires keep up the charade of an organized government," he spat.
"I'd be careful when casting stones, Zero," a voice said from behind. Kuran. "The Association should look in the mirror before anyone throws out an accusation like that one. A careless mistake like that could cost even more lives, and I think you'd agree that enough blood has been spilled."
"I hope you'll forgive my intrusion, Chairman. I let myself in seeing as I was returning Yuuki," Kuran said, ignoring Zero like he was a pesky child.
"Ah, yes I heard you found her! I was worried and started to look for her myself earlier, but I came across Takuma-kun, who told me that you had found Yuuki sleeping under a tree—the poor thing—and that she was determined to finish her inspection and report, and would be home afterward. I hope she finished. There must have been a number of things to report if she was out this late, Kaname-kun," the chairman said with a familiar smirk.
"Yuuki was missing?" Zero interrupted. "Figures without me here, she'd slack off and then try to pin it on me when the work doesn't get done" Zero said, mostly to himself.
"It's all been handled," Kuran continued, ignoring Zero. "But I'm afraid Yuuki was completely worn out so I escorted her here, seeing as it is inappropriate for me to see her to her room in the Day Class dorms."
"Very thoughtful of you, Kaname-kun, as usual," the chairman said with a smile.
Yeah, thoughtful, Zero wondered. Something wasn't right here either. Yuuki had gone missing, an incident that somehow warranted the Night Class president's involvement? Yuuki getting involved in this sort of thing wasn't completely out of the realm of possibilities, as Zero remembered saving her ass countless times before. But what did Kuran mean by that mirror comment?
"Kuran, don't play your games with me. You know exactly what happened tonight, don't you? It was you wasn't it? You killed that vampire." Zero turned on the pureblood.
"Zero-kun-" the chairman interjected.
"It's fine, Chairman. In the spirit of peaceful co-existence, it's only natural to share information," Kuran started. "Yes, I know about your assignment, Kiryu. The council apprehended a group of humans tonight that they learned were affiliated with your target's partner. I take it you didn't know there was more than one party involved in this when the Association sent you out on your leash."
Zero bit his tongue at the insult, but refused to let the pureblood get a rise out of him.
Kuran went on, "When the council learned the details of their operation they dispatched some constituents to handle the issue. As to your implication that I had some part in the execution of the criminals, I can only imagine that is a result of your blind distrust of those whom your expedient organization claim they want to coexist with. Again, I suggest to you, Kiryu, that you question the hand that feeds you before you lay accusations on the food the hand gives you."
"Once more, I apologize for the intrusion, Chairman. Yuuki is safe in her bed, so if there is nothing else I will return to overseeing the Night Class," Kuran finished, without waiting for Zero to respond.
Zero fought back the urge to point the Bloody Rose at the pureblood's head; he was sure Kuran would be expecting that. Everything made sense to him now, the creeps trafficking human girls, Yuuki's disappearance, Kuran's involvement, and now the arrogant bastard was suggesting that the Association were the ones protecting those parasites he was assigned tonight, suggesting that the president of the Association was ordering him to cover up their digression with a standard assassination mandate.
Kuran would know all about cover-ups, though. Corruption was standard fare for his kind. But the Hunter's Association was solid. They had to be. Kuran could believe whatever he wanted to believe, because when his name appeared on the assassination list, Zero would be the first to volunteer to take him out.
Kuran and the chairman exchanged pleasantries and then Kuran was gone, with a pretentious nod in Zero's direction as he left the chairman's office, leaving Zero to steam over the whole evening.
Once the chairman and the pureblood were out of sight, Zero walked out of the office toward Yuuki's bedroom. If anything had happened to her, Kuran was probably careful to erase all the evidence, but Zero would look in on her anyway.
Kaname walked the path back to the moon dorms steeped in thought. All was taken care of he reassured himself. Seiren had taken the humans from the alley way earlier to the council. They would be dealt with.
When he had arrived at the moon dorms with the sleeping Yuuki in his arms, he had taken her to his bedroom to keep her safe while he had Ichijou bring Rima and her friends to him with Yuuki's uniform. Kaname had stood outside of his bedroom and waited for the girls to dress Yuuki back in her uniform, badge and all, before he took her to the chairman's house.
He was sure he hadn't missed a thing. Zero was merely a trifle. He could handle him. Kaname probably wouldn't have to do anything; Zero would keep a tighter watch on Yuuki now just so that he might find a way of incriminating Kaname in the future, that and Kaname knew Zero harbored feelings for her. A thought he tried to push from his mind. Not tonight, he told himself. He would only think of the time he spent with Yuuki tonight and not let anything else invade his thoughts of those precious moments.
Kaname didn't have any intention of ordering the Night Class to resume classes. He simply wanted to return to his room.
No one approached him when he entered the moon dorms. He had yet to address the matter of punishment for the five Night Class girls that caused all this in the first place. They were no doubt hiding in their rooms, trying not to remind the dorm president that they were awaiting their penalty.
Kaname closed the large wood doors to his bedroom behind him. One of the doors still bore the crack where he had fractured it earlier in his frustration. He walked toward the sofa beneath the large windows, but the moonlight streaming into the room called his attention to the little black garment draped over the end of his bed, the shoes haphazardly thrown on the floor at the foot of the bed.
Kaname took the dress into his hands and up to his face. He breathed in the lingering scent there, her sweet scent. Kaname's heart ached once more, thinking of his Yuuki and how long he'd have to wait before he could be with her again like he was tonight.
The pureblood collapsed onto his bed, the dress still pressed to his face. It was night, but he suddenly found himself exhausted. He drifted to sleep thinking of Yuuki, his steady, quiet breathing aided by the comforting aroma of the dress.
His last thoughts before sinking into dreams were that he would keep the dress and one day, hopefully one day soon, show it to Yuuki and tell her about this night.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed my story, and particularly all the fluff in this last chapter. Please review and let me know what you think!