x.o.x.o.x

.o.

.o.

"Kiryuu-sama…" One of the underlings of the Hunter's Association—a middle-aged, pinched man with bi-focal tortoiseshell glasses and a dusty, pinstriped suit—addressed him brusquely with an dour bow, "We have a problem… there seems to be a higher-level vampire lurking outside the grounds…"

Zero clicked the safety off the Bloody Rose in its belt holster and slipped the gun out into the open. "What does it want?" He asked, stepping down the carpeted, top landing of the West staircase.

"It seems to be asking for -you- specifically, Kiryuu-sama." The underling met his detached, silvery gaze, explaining contemptuously, "This intrigues the Association very much and they would like me to inform you that a written report on this rendezvous will be turned in at the main office before the day ends, depending on how long the vampire keeps you."

The gun clicked again. Warningly. The underling sneered with no intimidation. "Oh, and, you are to be held one hundred percent accountable for any and all casualties that occur as of now."

.o.

.o.

This front gate creeped him out considerably. It was physical yet it could dematerialized at any moment. When Aido's fingers brushed it, that gate sent a minor, sharp electrical current through his arm.

"Is there a reason why you are here?" His stubborn, trench-coated objective stood far off by the Gothic, flamboyant-style arches of the building's windows, calling to him, "Make it quick."

The noble vampire motioned to the criss-crossing gates, glimmering like obsidian water against the high sun overhead. "I need to speak to you for a moment. It's important," Aido grumbled, "Is it possible for me to speak to you face-to-face instead of through these blasted things?"

"You can hear me, can't you?"

He groaned out loud, rubbing at the space of his left temple with a deft, pale finger, a human habit Aido didn't care to know how he acquired. Aido backed away, surprised, as the gates started pulling themselves apart and back into nonexistence, as the silvery-haired boy approached him.

But no matter…

With a slightly pained face, Aido stiffly bowed to the hunter tucking his gun away, reciting, "Yuki Cross-sama would like me to pay her respects to you, and to thank you from the bottom of her heart for assisting her when she was feeling ill yesterday."

"Yuki Cross would have thanked me herself," Zero said matter-of-factly, "That's just how she is." Aido's face twinged at the undeniable truth. "Who really told you to say that?"

"Th-that's none of your concern and I have said what I needed to say!"

"…Whatever," the teen replied dully, and he turned away from the miffed vampire, somewhat obscured by the returning gates.

"Aren't I going to get a 'you're welcome' at the very least.?.!"

"…No."

.o.

.o.

Thankfully, the paperwork was minimal. At least, for a few more minutes before sunset. It wasn't much more before Zero was instructed to deal again with the vampire outside the Hunter's Association.

And there he was, yelling indignantly and childishly at a helpless, grown man of a guard, "…yes, take the message! I say it again! Tell Kiryuu-kun that I demand to be acknowledged for my visit here!"

"That voice of yours could wake the dead. Do you mind?" Zero snapped, watching the blond glare silently at him and the guard grew pale with relief at his new appearance. "We'll let him in."

Grumpily, Aido crossed the barrier between the street sidewalk and the single limestone arch connecting similar stone blockades around the towering building. "Well?" Aido crossed his slender arms huffily. The silvery-haired teen made no sign of understanding what he wanted from him and pressed it away when the warning systems activated, shrilling around them, and the gate reappeared—this time completely solid. Aido stared at it over his shoulder in undisguised terror.

"Damn," Zero muttered, grabbing onto the shocked vampire and roughly tugging him inside the building, "I thought we had more time. They're closing down. We're getting locked in for the evening."

"What?"

"…It's a safety procedure for the Hunter's Association. We'll be released at dawn."

"WHAAAAT?"

.o.

.o.

Even though Aido was in a fit of sulking, he could still take the time to observe his surroundings. A collection of pink-and-white seashells on one of the shelves of a cabinet; another shelf housed multiple mirrors— one mirror in particular he plucked from its stand to closely admired. It was cased in gold-flecked paint and curved to the design of a smiling, human-faced crescent moon. The spare room he was stuck in had many oddities about it. But it was not altogether an unpleasant experience.

The door connected to the outside hallway rapped several times. Aido glanced at it. "Yes?"

Without his baggy, dirtied trench coat from that afternoon, Zero entered clad in black dress pants and a simple white-collar shirt, dragging along a thick duvet and a pillow under his arm.

"Wh-what is this?" Aido asked, scandalized, as Zero did the simplest of tasks of indicating his long stay like setting his things down and stripping himself of his black socks on the single loveseat.

"The Hunter's Association wants a guarantee that you won't cause trouble for the humans staying. I'm the bodyguard tonight," Zero explained calmly, tossing the pillow and duvet at the befuddled vampire.

"I don't need a babysitter!"

At the overly emotional screech, Zero frowned darkly. "I don't like this any better than you do. So stop complaining," he said, hesitating when Aido shifted the bedding in his arms, raising a blond, sculpted eyebrow, "What now?"

"I thought these were yours."

Zero corrected him, "No. They're yours. This room is the only one we can access right now because the rest close out any vampiric energy. I'll just sleep on the loveseat."

Aido casted disbelieving looks at him. "When did you suddenly become chivalrous, Kiryuu-kun—?" His widening, turquoise-colored eyes zoned in on the lean, taut stretch of unmarked, white skin on the hunter's bare back, too mortified by the human removing his shirt in front of him to be consider himself brazen… for just happening to be looking. "—Excuse you!"

"I forgot…" The silvery-haired teen showed no facial recognition of Aido's embarrassed tantrum, fishing into his pants pocket for a black matchbox of blood tablets, placing it in the vampire's hand, "…Here. There are bottles of water in the mini-fridge. Help yourself."

.o.

.o.

The metallic, pungent smell strengthened as the bathroom door bolted open, revealing the silver-haired boy clutching hard to a light green towel wrapped around his arm. But how?

"Did you hurt yourself, Kiryuu-kun?" Aido said, lifting himself from kneeling to meticulously unfold the blanket on the duvet, instinctively concerned when Zero shook his head quietly, screwing his silvery eyes shut, holding his left arm wrapped up in the red-strained towel over the kitchen sink.

"Stay away…" He growled when Aido passed him to retrieve the first aid kit. The blond placed it down beside him, shuffling through its rubber-banded contents for gauze and disinfectant.

"I can help… I can—"

"STAY AWAY FROM ME!"

At Zero's flare of panic, Aido's searching hands stilled. "Don't flatter yourself, boy," he hissed spitefully, fangs peeking from behind his lips, "I'm not interested in your blood." With harsher intent, Aido unwrapped Zero's arm to pin it down and dump disinfectant on the wound. When the teenager cringed, but did not yank away, Aido felt a bubble of self-satisfaction rise up.

"Isn't this a bit too cliché though? In the middle of the night, the human cuts himself with a blood-thirsty vampire in the same room," the blond said, unable to suppress his inching, sarcastic smile.

"Where did you learn…?"

"To do this kind of thing, you mean?" Aido responded, shrugging and checking over his handiwork on the bandages. "When the Academy was under attack, I was with the others who were helping our human schoolmates. I learned first aid for their injuries. Practice makes perfect, the statement goes."

"Considering how much you loathe vampires, I'm astonished that you are willing sleeping in the same room with one, let alone allow yourself to let your guard down with that injury."

Not that sleep would even do the trick, Aido added privately to himself.

Silvery eyes studied him intensely. "I'll get you out of here by morning," Zero said honestly, cradling the ruined towel in his good arm, moving away from him. And the blond resisted the innate urge to callously snatch it from him, to touch the shaggy, blood-soaked material to his face and his mouth.

.o.

.o.

The glimmering obsidian gates trickled away as they stood in the inner limestone archway. Zero glanced towards the empty, early morning street sidewalk, "You are free to leave."

"I can see that," Aido quipped, pulling the collar of his pale yellow sweater closer to his neck, "I plan to avoid this section of town for as long as possible, Kiryuu-kun." It might have been a trick of the light but he could have sworn that his human companion smirked. Just for a split second.

"Oh…," the blond vampire declared, bringing back Zero's attention, "…there was one last item of business that Yuki Cross-sama wanted me to express if she didn't see you first, and please don't give me that look. It was her and not the other person you are thinking of…" Aido careened forward on his toes. He chastely, softly kissed the taller's smooth cheek, half expecting to dodge a well-placed punch to his delicate features.

But whatever Yuki Cross-sama wanted

That begrudging thought of his current personal life with the Kuran clan came to a screeching halt when the teenager responded, bunching up Aido's sweater by the front, and mashed his mouth against the blond's vulgarly. It tasted like the coffee they had before they coming outside; ugly; bitter; faintly of nutmeg.

"Thanks," Zero said, pulling away vacantly, and loosening his hand from the sweater, unmindful of the nonsensical stammering and eventual hysterics of his ravished victim storming away.

The paperwork might actually interest the Hunter's Association this time.

.o.

.o.

End.


VK is not my property. Major changes would have happened. XP Anywhoos. This is a funky little piece. But whatever. Done on short notice kind of. Tried a new idea. If you have a comment for or against it, I'll be glad to hear your opinion. -beams- As always. I have dedicated this to the birthday girl and my pal Reimei-Tsuki because we agree that ZeroxAido is kind of really fun to consider (and because she requested it earlier)—and because she is fantastic to fan girl with and not afraid to ask me for a request. I loves you, dearie! -hugs- Please have lots of fun today and go wild!