I have no legal claim to these characters.


When the Night Class students learned the nicknames the Day students had giving them, they mostly found them amusing. Perhaps the most amusing was Akatsuki's "Wild" since he truly was one of the most self-controlled vampires in existence. Though when he thought about it, he understood how someone could give him that name based on appearances alone, especially next to his cousin, Adiou. Anyone who actually knew the two men would've clearly considered Adiou the wild one, but Kain fit the look better. Adiou's polished appearance and light features made him look innocent. Kain, on the other hand, never bothered to try controlling his wild orange hair and hated the stifling feeling of buttoned, tucked in shirts. He was the one with the pierced ear, which had been an idea of Adio's to make Kain "more interesting" that he pursued with his usual obnoxiousness until Kain gave in. Even their gifts of fire and ice matched their looks, while suggesting opposite personalities.

However, it wasn't the bad nickname that Kain found the most intriguing about the Day Class Students. Nor was it his personal collection of admirers. Thinking of the Day Class girls made Kain want to sigh. Of the Night Class men, he was aware his following was the smallest, mostly due to the fact that he was about as encouraging as Kaname to the girls, always polite but cold. Adiou enjoyed the attention and often purposely encouraged the girls, but Kain knew Adiou also had a more sinister motivation than ego when he discussed which one looked the most delicious. Ichijo's friendly demeanor was often viewed by the desperate as flirting and Shiki's side work as a model made him a prime target. Kain was happy to have the shortest line on Valentine's Day, however. And he often wondered how he could make his admirer count drop to zero. He'd actively overheard some of the girls discussing the best traits of the men one day, and he'd learned that along with his "wildness," his admirers were particularly drawn to his height and suggestions that his large frame would lend to other body parts of his being large as well. The shallow debate had left him slightly disgusted, and he'd regretted listening in. He'd been hoping to figure out what made him attractive to these girls, not only to try and make himself unattractive to them, but also perhaps to become more attractive to another.

Which led him to think about the Day Class President—the only Day Class student he had any kind of feelings about even though they were a mix of pity and loathing. He saw how the man debased himself in his attempts at wooing Ruka. Outwardly and in his more shallow feelings, it amused him, even more so when he could tease Ruka about her dedicated fan. She was adorable when she was annoyed. But when he looked in deeper at his feelings, he saw the pity he felt for the man. Kain knew, more than anyone, how impossible it was for anyone but Raname to capture Ruka's attention. The man didn't stand a chance and he was too stupid to see it—blindly humiliating himself over and over again in his efforts to make her see him. That's where the loathing came in. How could this idiot continue in his pursuit, knowing it was a hopeless cause? How could a person be so stupid? So idiotic?

"Hello, Akatsuki."

Ruka's sweet voice brought Kain's thoughts to a halt, as he looked up from the book he was absently reading. "Hello Ruka." He acknowledged her with a nod.

Before he could bring his long legs to the floor to offer her room on the sofa beside him, she sat on the sofa across from him. He didn't reposition himself from his relaxed posture though his spine stiffened in her presence.

"What are you reading?"

Kain had to check the title of the book to know, but he knew she probably didn't care. "Antigone."

She bit her lip before continuing, "What's it about?"

He was lucky he'd read the story years ago, "Antigone is Oedipus' daughter and after her father died, her brothers fought in a war. One killed the other and commanded that no one touch the body, but let it rot. Antigone disobeys the order and gives her dead brother a proper burial."

Ruka's brow knitted. "Oedipus. Isn't he the guy who killed his father and married his mother?"

"Yes. The story deals with the idea that the family is cursed."

They sat in silence for a moment, Kain let Ruka open up on her own—knowing pushing her would strengthen her defenses instead of lowering them. Finally, she spoke softly, "When is the last time you saw your family, Akatsuki?"

Kain paused before answering. To put it simply, he had a complicated relationship with his parents. It was partly due to the immortal thing, most people assumed his father was his brother when they met him. But despite the reasons, Ruka knew as much about his relationship with his family as he knew about hers. "I'm not certain."

Ruka brought her legs to her chest, looking at the large window to the black campus tress. "I like it here, away from them."

He grunted in agreement, looking out the window as well. His eyes focused on the dark forest for a moment until they were distracted by Ruka's reflected image in the glass. He knew he was probably the only person Ruka really let herself be vulnerable around and greedily drank in the rare image being afforded to him.

"Do you think I'll ever marry?"

Kain turned his head sharply to look at the real Ruka, it was an abrupt change in the subject. He didn't know how to answer. She turned sad ruby eyes to him. "My mother would be very disappointed in me if I never married, perhaps more so if I married anyone beneath my status."

For a brief moment, Kain panicked that Ruka had fallen in love with a lesser vampire, or even a human. But he dismissed his fear; something else was causing Ruka's insecurities, probably Kaname. "What brought this on, Ruka?"

Her look made him long to walk over and take her in his arms, kissing any and all of her sadness and pain away. Instead he dropped his legs to the floor, signaling the undivided attention he naturally gave her. "I'm alone in this world."

It took all of his considerable restraint not to hold and kiss her now. But he did rise and join her on her sofa after her words. He softly touched her check. "You're not alone, Ruka. While I live you'll never be alone."

She smiled sadly at her best friend. "But it's not the same is it? It's not the same as having someone love you."

Kain knew this was the time, time for his tortured confession where he admitted that he's loved her for almost as long as he can remember. But before he could work up the courage to let the words slip out, Ruka unexpectedly hugged his waist and leaned her head on his chest. "Promise me, you'll never change. That things will always remain the same between us."

It should be an easy promise for a vampire to make—to never change. But it tore at Akatsuki's heart. He wanted things to change so badly between them. He wanted to love her openly, and in a perfect world, have her love him back. He placed an arm around her shoulders. "As you wish."

She snuggled her head further into his chest at his response. "How does the story end? What happens to Antigone?"

"She dies."

Ruka stayed with him for a moment, relaxing into a comforted sleep and Kain let his mind wander. He remembered the idiocy of the Day Class President again. What a fool. Ruka would never see how much he loved her.