Just a series of scenes that won't leave my mind unless I wrote them down and that ending nagged me more than it did you. Thanks for the reviews and favs everyone. oz, sorry this is the last but at least I can concentrate on APFU. Hana, joining the mile high club will be saved for another story or my vivid imagination...

One More Week

by lightpathetic

THE BRUNETTE raised his hand and knocked, hesitantly at first but then with increasing confidence. He turned to back the door as he waited for an answer in order to observe the vomit-strewn comatose man lying in the hallway and the group of young men that had been following him since he had entered the apartments. He did concede that he usually got some attention because of his looks – thus Zero hadn't been to first to praise him for his beauty - but he also allowed for the fact that he was alone, a stranger, fairly well dressed and looked deceptively willowy. An easy mark. He decided now was a good time to unbutton his jacket as he waited... showing his constant companion, a Ruger SR9 automatic pistol, and to give the supposed leader of the men a meaningfully chilly look...

It had been a while with no answer so Kaname knocked again without losing eye contact, reaching behind him. The youths looked sort of reluctant to back down from a confrontation with the girly-looking dude but seemed to reach the conclusion that the few dollars he was carrying wasn't worth trying to find out if he knew which end of his gun to aim. They decided to return to their usual post at the door to check out girls and leave him be, which suited Kaname just fine. It was a fact that Kaname did know how to handle himself very well. He loved his freedom and hated answering to anyone, much to his sickeningly wealthy parents' consternation. So he had been trained from very early to protect himself and kept himself in excellent shape that way. He was of a slim build but very strong... as Zero had noticed once...

Zero... He wasn't answering. Had he realised it was him...?

"Wwill you sstop knocking the door down? Ccan't you ssee they're not there?"

Kaname turned quickly toward the "comatose" man in the hall who didn't altogether smell like he didn't need a bath. He couldn't believe Zero lived in this place...

"Do you know these people?"

"Yeah... Tthat dude and his ffamily left an hour ago. Heard them talking about Joe's..."


"Hey! You're English aren't you? You sound like a p...pompous ass." The man broke off and cackled at his own joke. Kaname walked over to him and held out a twenty dollar bill which silenced him. He reached out and Kaname pulled it back.

"Joe's?" he repeated.

"A ddrinking joint over on ... Street. I uused to ffrequent the establishment mysself until it became too rough..."

"Thank you."

Kaname dropped the money in the man's lap and stepped over him heading for the stairs. He couldn't wait until Zero came back to the apartment for more reasons than one...

ZERO LAUGHED hard at his brother's imitation of Sarah Palin and nearly fell off his chair. She was one of the alleged candidates for the illustrious office of President of these United States and so far was doing very well to keep them all entertained. Ichiru kept swearing he'd vote for her just because she was hot and hilarious and Zero insisted he wasn't casting a single vote because he'd had enough of politicians...

Seven months without a word. But then he had thrown away the cell after four. He hadn't called. Not once. As Zero eventually took a good look at his life, he realised he shouldn't even have hoped for that much. Things had been rocky with Sayori for a while – his being irrationally annoyed that she wasn't him amongst other things... – but he soon got his head back together and they survived, their engagement finally announced with the "small" wedding planned at his family's home down in Wetumpka. Their family had their own patch of earth, even if nothing much ever came out of it. Soon, with a lot of determined effort, that day was a distance memory. Almost like a fantastic dream...

Zero took up his bottle of Budweiser to take a long draught, reaching across to squeeze his fiancée's hand as she wiped tears from her eyes. Ichiru was such a cut-up. He and his wife had only just arrived for a short visit as they were in New York for a two week vacation and already had taken over their lives. But it was always good to see them. He knew Sayori liked it. Having two "Zeros" around made it quite a bit more exciting for her – they did look very much alike – and distracted them briefly from all of life's more mundane problems.

Zero tried to take another swig as he concentrated on the tale of the odd local elections back home when he found that most of it ended up in his lap, the bottle having been smacked out of his hand.


"Hey! Why don't you watch it?" Ichiru bellowed, getting to his feet.

"I'm sorry!" came the rushed apology with a travesty of an American accent that sounded Manhattan-ish, as if the man had suddenly developed a craze for Woody Allen movies – happens to the best of us... "How careless of me! Let me help you!"

A hand grabbed a few napkins from the table and began to dab his lap, even squeezing places he really shouldn't, to get the wetness out. But Zero was too stunned to stop him. He was sure he'd passed out or was hallucinating or...

"You owe him a beer, you bastard..."

"Ichiru, sit down and shut up. It's nothing," Zero commanded, snatching the tissues before he forgot himself. The man straightened a little to shoot a curious look at his twin brother but made sure to meet Zero's eyes again, even from under the cap he wore quite low.

"You should probably go to the loo to dry it properly," the clumsy pseudo-Manhattanite whispered as he left, heading towards the back. Zero looked at the others at the table wondering if he'd just seen a ghost.

"Zero, are you okay?" Sayori asked, going to do some damage control of her own but didn't register her fiancée's improbable reaction in his jeans. She did notice his stunned expression, though. "Was the beer that cold...?"

"Did you see him, Sayori?" Ichiru's wife asked, nudging her excitedly. "I'd kill for those lips alone!"

"Hands off, Luca. At least I'm not married."

The girls dissolved into giggles as Zero fidgeted guiltily.

"That idiot! He should watch where he's going! He should have bought you another beer, Zero," Ichiru shouted emphatically as if he may not have been heard before, all while looking around for the navy-blue baseball cap that the man had been wearing, ruminating over becoming a bit more physical for his brother's sake. He had five minds to go get him and make him replace it. Zero was too soft for his own good.

"I said... it's okay, Ichiru. I'll go clean up. Order another round, okay? And keep him out of trouble," Zero ordered, gesturing toward his twin. He was way too hot-headed and it had been a nice evening out so far. He'd hate to spoil it.

Zero went toward the back but instead of turning left to go to the facilities he went right, to where he saw a man in a baseball cap standing by the back exit. He went to approach him and he disappeared outside, beckoning him to follow...

"Damn, he looks just like you! But I could tell immediately...!"

"What are you doing here?" Zero demanded. There was no way he'd make him feel welcome.

"I would say that's obvious. There are nicer places uptown to go for a drink, closer to the hotel..."

"You've got some nerve showing up like this..."

"I'm sorry about not calling, Zero. I couldn't get away to see you and I was sure hearing your voice would make me forget why. Did... Did you look me up after all?"

Zero knew what he was driving at. Turns out the Tories won the recent election by a landslide and Kaname was now Minister of Something or Other...

"I really couldn't get away. Not until now," Kaname insisted, beginning to plead with his eyes when Zero remained silent.

"How did you find me?"

"It wasn't hard. I had your name..."


"I had looked through your bag when you were showering our last night together, when I got the idea of hiding my mobile in your bag so I could still reach you. I got your full name from your passport and an address from your driver's permit but it was an old one."

They couldn't stay at the house. The bank had had enough.

"Then someone told me you were on ... Street. I went to your apartment first," Kaname hoped to keep the disdain out of his voice but didn't succeed. He hated the thought of Zero living like that. It was something he resolved to change.

"Go to hell! I never asked you to come here!" Zero hissed as he began to head down the dark alley to re-enter the bar, they having closed the emergency door to talk. "Go the hell back where you crawled out from and leave me alone! Don't you know that I've already forgotten about you?"

Zero found himself falling forward as a foot caught his trailing leg, but before he was even in danger of hitting the floor he was spun and planted against a wall in the alley. Then he was kissed. Roughly, insistently, forcefully then... Zero pushed him away when he felt his jeans loosen. He couldn't be serious. They both couldn't...!

"Come with me," Kaname growled, his voice rough with desire, hardly in control of himself. It had been too long... "I have a car just down the street..."

"...No. I'm not doing this," Zero tried when he'd finally found his own voice. "You can't just walk back into my life...!"

"I never forgot you. I thought of you every day. I organised my entire life around clearing this week just for us. I've flown thousands of miles, lied to my family, security and officers and showed up in this fucking dump. Zero, it's obvious that I'm serious about this. About you...!"

"No! This is not happening...!"

Kaname stepped away from Zero very reluctantly, forcing himself to give him space to think. What did he expect anyway? Showing up here after all these months. Zero had understandably moved on with his life. He was the one that hadn't. Damn, he felt foolish. But he couldn't give up. When they'd kissed he'd realised that puzzling attraction was still there. Puzzling in that Kaname couldn't find it elsewhere. Not that he'd looked very hard but it had crossed his mind that he really was a latent homosexual. He had even looked at other men to be sure, even ones similar in type to Zero... but none gave him the same reaction. He didn't understand it. But all he did know was that he wanted to feel it again. But he couldn't force him. Zero had to want it too.

"I'll be at the ... for the next two days under the name Steven Thornton. Then I have to leave. I don't know when I can be back, if ever. Make your decision."

Then Kaname turned and walked briskly down the alley. Zero did a fair job of collecting himself to shout after him, "You can go back now! Do you hear me! As far as I'm concerned it never happened!"

But Kaname had disappeared around the corner and into the night.

IT WAS THE EVENING of the next day when Zero got out of the bus and stood opposite the ... Hotel. He shouldn't be here. He hadn't even called Sayori to say he would be home late. And it was not like he would ever see him again if he hadn't come. But Zero couldn't stay away. And he bet that Kaname knew it. He bet the brunette knew the temptation to see him would be too much if Zero knew he was close by, waiting. Especially after that kiss. That kiss...

It all came back: the taste of him, the scent, the sensation. He couldn't get the images of Kaname's body out of his head. He too had thought of him. Quite a lot when he had been waiting for the call, less frequently when it was clear he wouldn't. He'd gone through the inevitable self examination – self loathing – then said to hell with it. It had been one day. One! Out of thousands! He had to get on with it. To hell with him!

Now he was here, temptingly within reach. All that he'd done to try to survive, to move forward seemed ready to collapse around his ears at the merest taste of him. He was too weak to fight it. And it angered him, the self-loathing erupting again. However, he'd made his decision to take it all out on him. Make him hate him and maybe they could finally escape this trap.

Zero took a deep breath and took the first step towards the doors. If there was any other choice, he was incapable of making it.

KANAME sat at his laptop speaking to his daughters and then his wife, all while organising the following week after this time away.

"After the last few months I deserve it," he'd said, practically beating his wife about the head with guilt into allowing him to go on his own without too many questions.

"I wish I could go with you. I love New York. But this trial..."

"I know, my dear," Kaname had reassured her quickly. "There's always next time and we could even take the children. But I just need a break now without all the press and security. I'll talk to you every evening..."

"I know. Just remember I know a very good solicitor if you so much as look too hard at Scarlet Johansson..."

"Please. She is so third rate compared to you."

"Smooth talker..."

But it had ended with him getting to go without the third degree and now he was here. Waiting.

Kaname had no doubt he would come. Or at least very little. He'd found out where he worked as well, figuring he'd probably come afterward. In fact, Kaname knew quite a bit about Zero. The agency he had hired had been very thorough and very discrete.

The room telephone rang and Kaname crossed the room to pick it up. He was online with his wife and working hours were long passed in England. No one besides Zero knew he was at this hotel. Kaname's heart quickened as he answered.


"Mr. Thornton, a "Zero" is here to see you."

"Please send him up and make sure the meals I ordered are brought up now."

"Yes, Sir."

Kaname hung up and walked directly to the door. It was silly, Zero'd be a while before he arrived but he couldn't make himself just go back and sit... Shizuka!

"Isn't it time for bed, my dear? I'm heading out to dinner now."

"...Okay. Have fun rubbing elbows with all those starlets."

"I will. I love you."

"I love you too. See you tomorrow."


Kaname disconnected and shut down the laptop just in case. He then went right back out to the hallway, waiting, fidgeting adorably, really wanting to run down to meet him so he didn't change his mind. Kaname remembered how Zero hadn't wanted to go into the hotel that first time and smiled. He had chosen something less opulent but still comfortable with that in mind. Damn, he was nervous...

The doorbell rang and Kaname dashed forward pulling open the door with a sexy smile... to see one of the wait staff. Kaname tried to mask his disappointment as he gestured for porter to bring in the trolley, tipped him quickly and ushered him out. Where was he? Was he lost?

"DID YOU TELL him which floor?"

"Yes, Sir. And the room number. Do you want us to look for him?"

"No. No. It's fine. Just checking. Thank you."

Kaname slammed the telephone down and sat on the bed with his face in his hands. He'd probably changed his mind. Probably turned around before he got into the elevator and headed back to his girlfriend. Maybe that's what he should do. Go home. This was madness...

Kaname got to his feet and grabbed his jacket, shrugging it on as he headed out to the hallway. He was going to go find him. Kaname couldn't stand that he was this close to seeing him and it wasn't going to happen. He'd come too far, done too much. If this was the last time, so be it. But, by heaven, it would be unforgettable...


Kaname nearly collided with the silver-haired man standing outside his door. He only just stopped himself and stood there, his heart pounding audibly, trying to recover, trying to believe what he was seeing. He was so sure he'd have to drag him out of that seedy apartment...

Zero stood there as well staring at him, some inscrutable expression on his face. He seemed to be studying him, his face, probably wondering why he was here. Kaname smiled, nervously but then with a little more confidence. He was here. He'd come. That's all that mattered.

"Come in, Zero. I was just about to call out the dogs."

Zero said nothing. Kaname's smile faltered a little but not much. He turned away from the door and walked inside the suite, taking off his jacket and throwing it onto a chair in the salon. He turned back towards the door and waited until Zero finally followed him, turning to close the door before walking into the room to join him. He still said nothing as he looked around the suite, his eyes showing his own unflattering prejudgments, even if Kaname had toned down his choice of hotel a bit. It was all meaningless, of course. Zero and anyone with Google and some interest knew that Kaname Kuran was very wealthy.

"Ar...Are you hungry? I had some food brought up about forty-five minutes ago. It may be a bit cold now but it's still good. There's beer if you pref..."

"I can't stay. I just came to say goodb..."

"Here. Let me take your coat," Kaname interrupted, walking over the Zero with his usual languid grace but instead of going behind him, he stepped in front of him, way too close. Zero backed away abruptly, finally visibly shaken but Kaname followed him. Soon Zero had nowhere to go, having thumped into the texturally interesting, pale green wall paper, just shy of the light switch. Kaname made sure he stayed there, pressing his body into his. He then pushed his hands inside Zero's coat and smoothed his palms over Zero's well muscled shoulders and down his arms until it dropped onto the carpet, all while meeting Zero's beautiful eyes with his own stubborn gaze, their breaths mingling intimately. You can't even push me away, can you? You don't want to... Kaname pulled away suddenly, more than a little startled.

"You're drunk!"

Zero used the break in the seduction to side step Kaname and walk out into the open room. That had been close...

"Got it in one, Mr. Minister. I'd stopped by the bar on my way up. I couldn't resist. I've been doing that a lot lately."

"Stopping by bars?"

"No. Getting drunk."

Zero looked up to see the effect of his statement on Kaname's face. He was sorely disappointed. Kaname had folded his arms but that was all that moved since his statement a few seconds ago. Kaname was now watching him wordlessly.

"I told them to put it on your tab. I'm sure you can afford it."

"And you can't? Is that what you're trying to say? Do you resent me for that?"

"I resent you for a lot of things, Kaname, including knowing you can just wave your ass in my face and I'll come running, like some pathetic puppy..."

"If that's the way you feel about it, why did you come?"

"I've been asking myself that," Zero mused aloud, as he descended heavily into the dark green couch. "But it's no use. That's why I got blind drunk instead. You still don't much care for beer do you? I mixed it up with Bourbon if it matters..."

"This was a mistake..."

"Damned straight it was!" Zero erupted, getting to his feet rounding on the startled brunette. "Why didn't you get your personal assistant or secretary or whatever you types have nowadays to call ahead? Maybe I could have told you that particular gem before you had bothered to come over here and turn my life upside down once again! In between your campaigning or fucking your wife or rolling around in your millions, I could have told her to go fuck herself and you too...!"



"My personal assistant is Hanabusa Aidou. A man. I wanted you to get your diatribe right."

"Fuck you! I've had enough of this!"

Zero walked up to where his coat lay in an almost forgotten heap on the floor and snatched it up. He'd made a sufficient fool of himself, time to push off. Kaname watched all of this, he thought, calmly but when Zero headed for the door, something snapped. Before he knew it he was blocking the door, those flashing furious grey eyes again directed at him...

"Get out of my way..."

"How many times must I apologise? I couldn't come before now. But now I am here. Now... you can do whatever you want to me..."

"Kaname, shut up and get away from the door..."

"...Anything you want..."

"You really think I am a fool. You couldn't call for months? That isn't the whole story, is it? Is it?"

"That's the truth!"

"Bull-shit," Zero stormed, moving in close, his alcoholic breath bathing Kaname's face and making him cringe a bit. "You had intended to forget me. You were on the verge of getting everything you wanted and commonsense prevailed. That brief homosexual encounter you'd had with that insignificant American paled in importance to everything you were about to achieve or lose. Maybe it even happened as soon as you were lying inside your wife again, having lied about all those marks on your body, my bite on your lip... I'll bet you began to expunge me from your mind from the very next day, erasing the telephone number from our records and getting a new one, intending to never lay eyes on me ever again..."

"So what? It was a brief encounter! A one night stand! Anyone with any sanity would have done the same thing...!"

"Good. It's good to see that you are capable of telling the truth..."

"But it didn't work. I couldn't forget you. I tried..."

"Oh please. You got bored. You began to remember what else really excited you and now you are back in my life again. Well, you know what? You can find someone else to be your patsy. I'm through!"

"It's not like that...!"

"I said move...!"

Zero raised him hand to strike him, at his wit's end really, but Kaname reacted quickly. After all his reactions weren't dulled with alcohol and he was well trained. He grabbed the arm and twisted, pushing Zero hard against the wall. Zero groaned in pain as his face connected with the green wallpaper and the structure behind it. He lifted the hand that wasn't cruelly twisted behind his back to see if his skin was broken on his cheek.

"You bastard..."

Kaname said nothing. Only holding Zero against the wall listening to their panting breaths. Then he loosened the hold when he thought Zero was calmer but also when he thought more intimate contact was inevitable.

"No... Don't..."

Zero tried to escape the kisses on the back of his neck but he was held fast, the hard body pressed against him, the tellingly hard flesh cushioned by his own behind. Soft hands eventually slid around him to his belt, unbuckling it then unzipping him quickly to go inside and squeeze his already turgid...

Kaname became quite distracted and it didn't take much for Zero to break the hold and turn around. They stood there for a while staring, their breaths hard, panting, daring the other to make the first move. Eventually Kaname did. His eyes travelled down deliberately to where Zero's long, thick length protruded from beneath his shirt and licked his lips.

"I'll be in the bedroom," he whispered, meeting Zero's eyes again as he turned to go, unbuttoning his white, cotton shirt and divesting himself of it within Zero's line of sight. It was a gamble. He'd given Zero the choice: the door or him. But Kaname was fairly sure Zero wouldn't be able to resist...

"Tell me. What is it like?"


Kaname turned back towards Zero as he removed his belt and unbuttoned his trousers, sliding the zip down then just letting the pants fall to his ankles, freeing himself in all his glory. He hadn't been wearing any underwear, thinking as he had that he wouldn't stay dressed for long once Zero had arrived. He stepped out of the pool of fabric and moved enticingly within Zero's reach... but Zero didn't take the bait. He merely stood and waited. When he realised Kaname wasn't going to answer he folded his arms and continued. Kaname immediately got a sinking feeling...

"You'd said it's not like that, that you are not here to use me. Why are you here?"

Kaname sighed and turned away, irritation at being thwarted and Zero's insistence on having an answer to something that was best left unanswered, rising. He didn't need to beg for sex. From the time he'd been able to notice, people have been throwing themselves at him. He was handsome, disgustingly wealthy and now had a good grasp on the reins of power in Britain. It was impossible to toss a coin without hitting someone willing to bed him for a small favour. Yet he'd flown fifteen hours across the Atlantic, booked himself into a hotel that actually used polyester in its bed linens and didn't have a Jacuzzi in its "Penthouse suite" and had spent hours tracking him down to some grimy drink hole. You'd think he'd be happy that he'd bothered, especially since he could tell Zero was certainly not indifferent to him. Even now he could see that satisfying bulge inside his pants... Why did he lust for him like this? Things would certainly be less complicated if he could just walk away.

"I don't know," Kaname sighed, collapsing onto the edge of the bed, turning his eyes away from the object of his irrational desire. "I don't know anymore. I should forget you. I did try. But I couldn't forget. I found myself thinking about you more and more... You'd mentioned that your had a girlfriend so I thought you were ready to put this behind you as well, since there could be nothing between us. But then, it was as if I needed to... Oh forget it. If you want to leave, go ahead. Maybe... it was a bad idea."

It was very quiet for a long while. Kaname was sure he would leave. He turned away completely and lay on the bed pulling the pillow down over his head. He had really been looking forward to this. That day stood out in his mind as one time he had been completely happy. Of course, there were other times in his life that had neared this status. His marriage, the birth of his daughters, all their various milestones, big and small that they'd had in their lives that culminated with his election and appointment... But that day seemed to stand out because... he'd finally been able to let go of everything. No expectations, no reservations. Just exhilarating freedom, just plain Kaname. He'd looked after his own pleasure, let go of his cares and someone had been there... to take care of him. He'd wanted that again; to feel the excruciating pleasure and the feeling of being wanted for just himself. Once more...

Kaname removed the pillow and turned over in amazement when he heard the door to the bathroom close and then the shower. Despite what he'd said, he couldn't stop the feeling of hope and arousal that welled within him. When Zero came back out in a robe while towel drying his hair, Kaname lips parted of their own accord in anticipation of being kissed and then... So it was a severe disappointment when Zero tossed the towel onto a nearby chair and the robe, only to push Kaname over and pull up the quilt to settle beneath it. To sleep. He turned onto his side away from the stunned brunette and closed his eyes, just as a murderous urge came over Kaname. He was sure one of them was losing their mind. What the hell...? He was going to sleep?

Zero rolled over in time to catch the pillow before it belted him, as if he'd sensed Kaname's anger, and had the gall pull it away and throw it onto the ground before closing his eyes again calmly as if he owned the place... Kaname seethed as he twisted to gain the necessary leverage to kick him off the bed...

"I've had a long day, Kaname and I'm very drunk. For what I have in mind to do to you," Zero opened his eyes again and met Kaname's eyes... and the brunette's anger evaporated along with any thought of removing Zero from his bed. "I really should be sober. Just give me a few hours..."

And Zero closed his eyes again and very soon afterward a soft, resonating snore issued from his lips and Kaname was left alone with a nude, unconscious Zero and his own frenetic thoughts.

THE NEXT THING Zero knew he was awoken by the sensation of being thoroughly blown. He opened his eyes and moaned, just before pushing the quilt away...

Kaname looked up at him, his partially glazed, partially wary gaze very dilated and dark, but he doesn't let up his vigorous pumps over Zero's thick head, tightening his hold on the youth's legs to prevent him from taking away what he'd been dying to do since he saw him. He even pulled Zero down the bed a little in an unconsciously protective gesture, as he closed his eyes again but he continued to bob, suck and lick his entire veined, weeping length, those moist red lips pursed tightly over his hardness in the most devastating vision...

Zero had tried to protest, his fingers driving into the brunette's luxuriant locks but his body had already been taken over by the dark, throbbing sensations and then, when he saw Kaname's lips wrapped around him he could no longer function in any real way. He collapsed back onto the pillows his breaths coming in gasps as the exquisite suction continued mercilessly to its inevitable conclusion...

Zero gritted his teeth and released a series of short grunts at each almost painful spasm as his body released into the unrelenting pressure that capped it. It was only when he turned to his side and curled a little into a protective position did the mouth let up on its tortures. Zero watched, spent, as Kaname sat up in the bed and, holding his eyes the entire time, slowly licked a drop of escaped ejaculate from the corner of his mouth, seemingly savouring the taste before closing his exquisite eyes again and sighing heavily...

Zero somehow got to his knees and went after this intoxicating brunette. His hands shook as he grabbed him and pressed him onto the bed before covering him with his body. Kaname went willingly: expecting everything, denying nothing. He lay there for a while, his chest heaving as he watched Zero hover over him, an unfathomable expression of on his face. He seemed to be studying him, every facet, as if deciding something weighty and mysterious. Only then, did it occur to him that Zero may still hate him, may still leave.

"Zero... Please. I'm sor..." Kaname pleaded, his hand rising to cup his face hesitantly. But Zero grabbed his hand and held it. Tightly. Still drinking him in with his eyes. Kaname was slightly put out. He braced himself for the cruel rejection...

Zero released his hand and reached out almost reverently to trace his lips, just before pressing his index finger against the lower one, parting them softly. Kaname's eyes closed mostly in relief as he realised Zero had made his decision, as he realised...

"You are so beautiful," he whispered, his voice a hoarse whisper, his face still showing the debate his brain was having with his body, but his body was winning. His heart...

"Kiss me," Kaname ordered, his confident demeanour coming back as he became more sure of Zero. He pulled the fingers away impatiently as Zero hesitated. "Kiss. Me..."

Kaname soon found his lips crushed to Zero's own, the familiar all encompassing lust pervading them both. Kaname moaned loudly as his hands roamed restlessly, his body aching for him but Zero stilled him, pulling away.

"What? What is it?"

"Did you bring anything? I wasn't exactly... um... thinking of your comfort when I came over."

"Bring...? Oh..."

Kaname's mind did catch up eventually. He moved to get up but Zero stopped him.

"I'll get it. You stay on the bed. Where is it?"

"My bag. Inside the black carrying case for my i-assistant... Are you sure? I can..."

"Stay in the bed, Kaname. Don't move."

Kaname again reclined, his body trembling. Zero... his Zero... was back.

"What's taking you so long?" Kaname yelled, impatient with the thirty seconds that elapsed. He hated waiting. Zero eventually found what he was looking for and came back.

"Got it! It was hidden in a fake mouse..."

"You know how paranoid I am..."

"Indeed," Zero answered as he straddled Kaname, pulling open the robe he had on. "But that's not all I know about you."

Kaname gasped, nearly leaping off the bed, as Zero stroked his opened palms, slowly, right the way down the length of his torso, from his neck, over his heaving chest to his stomach and then to his hard, leaking flesh which he held with almost respectful gentleness in both hands. He seemed mesmerised again. Kaname wanted to kick him.


"Shhh, Kaname. Don't worry. I'm... just getting started..."

KANAME opened his eyes, certain he had passed out for some time. He lay on Zero's chest, a large warm arm holding him tightly as the other hand traced lazy patterns on his face: over his nose, across his cheeks, culminating on his lips... Kaname planted a kiss on the settling index finger.


Kaname lifted his head, nodded dazedly, graced him with a wide smile, still not speaking, and then lay back on the thin mat of soft, silver hair to close his eyes and savour this moment. His body ached sweetly, inside and out. Zero hadn't spared him but he hadn't been cruel. On the contrary, Zero had been slow, deliberate, firm but... Kaname's toes curled as he remembered. He realised he hadn't been the only one that had been thinking about their reunion. Zero had remembered everything about his body and had actually tried some new things... Kaname opened his eyes and looked up at Zero's lips, to the mouth in which he'd been planted for a considerable amount of time. He just couldn't get over what he could do with his tongue...

He was awake, Zero thought, trying to find the resolve to leave. Damn. He'd started out aiming for memorable and had ended up seriously involved in every breathless groan, impatient toss, frustrated frown, mindlessly exhilarated orgasm. He couldn't get enough of him, as before. Zero caressed his cheek with his bare knuckles, still drinking him in with his eyes. He was so...


Kaname smiled and rose to kiss him, loving... this. Zero looked at him as if he were an exotic bird or gorgeous dream that would soon go away. Even if he did know he wasn't bad looking and had even been featured - quite to his wife's very audible mirth and his embarrassment - on the cover of "People" magazine as the world's most gorgeous member of government, he still loved that he had this effect on Zero. He felt cherished. It was wonderful, especially when he was so used to being taken for granted.

Kaname lifted his head eventually and moved to straddle Zero's waist. Amazingly he was feeling his body's revival which, to be sure, Zero must be feeling as well. He dipped again to kiss Zero's throat then his shoulder, and then lower to one of Zero's already straining, ultra-sensitive nipples. It was the oddest thing how sensitive they were. Sometimes all Kaname had to do was breathe on them and Zero would moan softly, his erection snapping instantly to attention. The deliberate sucking of even one of these pink nubs was the quickest way to get oneself... um... sorted. Mercilessly. With this in mind, Kaname paused to lick the tip delicately – which always drove him nuts – before sinking his mouth over the stiff peak to...

"I can't... I have to go."

Kaname was beside himself with shock as he found himself roughly planted to one side as Zero rose and grabbed his robe before heading for the bathroom and closing the door firmly behind him. Kaname fell back on the bed and closed his eyes as he listened to the shower. Although he felt he had a lot to be confident about, he still felt nervous. Something about the way Zero had pushed him away...

Zero eventually exited the shower fully clothed and went straight into the salon, hardly sparing the brunette another glance. He went to pick his coat off the ground in the hallway when he saw the trolley with the food from the night before. Zero went over and lifted one silver cover out of curiosity – and hunger – and saw a fairly simple plate of steak and steamed vegetables. The other cover revealed chicken with a side of creamy pasta with grilled tomatoes and courgettes on top. Zero relieved the bird of its leg and bit into it, closing his eyes in deep appreciation as he sat and continued to eat. Maybe he did have time for breakfast...

"Are you going to eat that? It's cold!"

"I don't care. I'm starving. The last thing I had was a hot-dog from a vendor just before I caught the bus, if you don't count the olives they kept putting into my drinks."

"Zero! I can get you..."

"Are you going to eat that?" Zero asked, gesturing to the plate of steak and vegetables.

"Of course not!"

"Good," he replied before lifted the plate and scraping the contents onto his own. Kaname's mouth dropped open as half the cold beef disappeared into Zero's mouth. Oh, that was just... You'd think he hadn't eaten in a month!

Still, Kaname approached the carnage and sat in the chair he'd placed opposite the night before, when he'd had some misguided hopes for a genial dinner together before retiring. He picked up the bottle of wine he'd opened earlier to sooth his nerves after trying to sleep with a naked Zero in his room and not succeeding, and poured some for the both of them. Zero smiled his thanks and guzzled the Pinot Noir down in one as if it were a glass of Kool Aid. Kaname closed his eyes briefly as if in a silent prayer of appeasement to the wine gods and sipped his with a bit more savour, all while contemplating his next move.

"Zero... I was thinking about what you'd said last night..."

"Really? About what specifically?"

"About... what we are doing... here..."

"Oh? What are we doing?" Zero raised his eyes, all innocence to Kaname and the brunette looked away into his glass. Touché.

"...I am willing to make you a proposal... with a view to making an arrangement between us for more regular access..."

"Do you mean so we can meet more often to fuck?" Zero responded with more than a hint of sarcasm. Kaname placed the wine glass on the table and turned to meet Zero's eyes, his demeanour cold, businesslike. Enough, he thought. He was hardly some ingénue. In his experience one can get anything... if the price was right.

"Let's speak frankly, shall we? From what you've told me earlier I'm sure you've had a chance to do a bit of research on me..."

"You're Britain's newest Member of Parliament and number thirty-seven on Forbes' Wealthiest People list," Zero recited offhandedly, while stabbing a bit more of the pasta. "You come from very old money, are branched in some obscure way from the English aristocracy but you don't use the title. You've made your own fortune, amongst other things, revitalizing ailing companies and are married to... what is she? A countess...?"

"What do you want?" Kaname demanded, his eyes narrowing, sure they were on the same page.

Zero looked up at Kaname, his eyes travelling over his tousled, dark hair, those swollen, red lips before staring into his cynical, flat eyes. Kaname was so sure he would take advantage of him in some way but was still willing to deal. It was an indication of how serious he was about this. At least. Zero tore his eyes away.

"I have to go," he said, rising, wiping his mouth with the napkin. "If Sayori doesn't wake up and find me beside her she harangues me for days about having an affair..."

"I've done my own research on you. It seems you are in quite a bit of debt..."

"So? Along with most of the population..."

"I can help you..."

"No thanks. I don't take handouts..."

"I know lots of people. Important people..."

"No doubt..."

"Some in the highest echelons of English football."

Zero paused at this. How could he not. It was his one ambition in life. His mind filled with all the promises he'd made to himself and others, of standing on the field of play before thousands of fans and playing his heart out. He loved the game almost more than his life itself and knew he would die happy if he was shot dead in the middle of a match. No one could blame him for pausing to listen and Kaname stood, triumphant. He'd found his price.

"Do you still train?"

A legitimate question. Zero wasn't as toned as he'd remembered...

"No... That part of my... life is over. I work in construction now and I am going to start a family. It's time... I grew up."

Zero continued down the hall and grabbed the doorknob and pulled but the door slammed shut again. Zero turned to look at Kaname's determined visage. He won't give up.

"Zero, I'm serious about this. You might as well talk to me now. Otherwise, you'll find you have no choice but to."

"Are you threatening me?" Zero asked, half serious, remembering Kaname's line from before.


Zero removed his hand from the doorknob and straightened, really looking at Kaname as if finally seeing him. Then he sighed and ran his fingers through his damp hair as the brunette's gaze never wavered. If he was like this in business he could see why he was so rich. Zero met his eyes again.

"What do you want? Tell me."

Kaname seemed to visibly soften and removed his hand from the door.

"You. All of you. Come back with me."

"No. That's not what I want. This is my home."

"Will you reconsider? It's hard for me to come here. You can... bring your fiancée. I'm sure she would love Europe. You both can travel, see the continent in between..."

"Fucking you? That's me alright. Zero Kiriyuu, male prostitute extraordinaire. Maybe you can loan me out to your business partners as a bonus..."

Zero was cut off as Kaname grabbed his lapels and slammed him back against the wall. Zero recovered quickly to hold his wrists and pull his hands away from him, before shoving the irate and frustrated brunette away.

"I am not for sale, Kaname. You'll just have to deal with that."

"You're making a mistake."


Zero grabbed the doorknob again but paused to look again at the fuming man.

"What do you want to do tonight?"

Kaname frowned, and stared at the silver-haired youth ahead of him.


"I am willing to see you again tonight. Do you want to?"

Kaname wanted to say no.


"I'll be here around six thirty," Zero informed, opening the door. He then grinned and winked. "Wear something sexy for me."

Kaname seethed, still reeling from being thwarted. He launched himself at the door.

"You... bastard!"

But Zero was gone.


Kaname smiled around the fingers that played with his twin, soft fleshy pillows as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world. Zero too smiled and leaned in to kiss them. Again.

"They're your best feature. Especially since, when I lightly stroke them... like this..."

Kaname shivered and tucked his lower lip inside his mouth for safe keeping. Zero's eyes dilated hungrily.

"Come on," Kaname breathed, when he was finally allowed the use of them again. "Let's order breakfast and think about doing something else today besides screwing."

"I thought that was what you wanted."

"Yes. But now I'm curious about whether or not the outside world still exists."

"Your wish is my command. You order breakfast while I take a shower. You can come in when you're finished."

"As you wish. The usual?"

"Yes. And lots of..."

"...Syrup. I know."

Zero bent again and kissed him, before slowly withdrawing from inside of him. Kaname squeezed him teasingly, but reluctantly let him go before turning to grab the room phone. If he finished quickly they could have some fun in the shower before it arrived...

"What do you like about me?"

"Hmmm?" Kaname frowned, puzzled.

"My features. It there anything that stands out? And don't say my dick..."

Kaname smiled broadly, finally getting Zero's meaning. He turned back to the silver-haired youth.

"Yes, there is. But I won't tell you."

"What? Why?"

"Because it is what you do with them that excites me. If I tell you it will make you self conscious and ruin it."

"No it won't. Come on..."

"No. Now go shower. I'll be right there."

Zero went into a sulk, pouting a little as he rolled to the edge of the bed and stood to head to the bathroom. Kaname laughed to himself as he picked up the telephone. It had been a wonderful three days, this last one especially as Zero had gotten time off work to spend it with him. Kaname had relaxed a little more as Zero kept returning. But his week was ending soon. They'll still have to return to the issue of their arrangement but Kaname kept putting it off, not wanting to ruin what was happening. There had been plenty of time to do so...


The bastard had locked him out! He couldn't be still sulking!

"Open the door...!"

The door opened and Zero came out, passing him on the way to the salon.

"I'll see you at breakfast," he said haughtily and Kaname had no doubt that Zero was still upset about his omission.


"My shoulders? What do you mean...?"

"That's all I'm going to say!"

"Kaname, you're lying. My shoulders?"

Kaname placed some butter on his toast and bit it avoiding Zero's curious eyes. At least he was talking.

"You mean they turn you on?"


"But you'd said it is what I do with them. It doesn't make any sense..."

"I did tell you to drop it! But no, you just had to sulk..."

"...But what do I do with my shoulders?" Zero mused, ignoring Kaname.

"What are we doing today?"

"I don't know. Is it when I put your legs on them and f...?"

"No. What about some sightseeing?"

"In 'Jersey? What do you want to see? Six Flags?"

"Okay. It's been a while since I went to an amusement park. But we could wander around downtown first..."

"Not more shopping. My apartment is too small for a lot of crap..."

"I wanted to go to a few banks."

Kaname rattled off a few off-handedly. It was a good while before Zero got the idea that they were the same ones he used. He paused mid forkful of scrambled eggs and looked up at Kaname who was inspecting the business section of the newspaper. Or pretending to.



"No you will NOT do anything at those banks."

Kaname sighed and put down the paper. He had that look again. It trapped Zero's incredulous stare.

"I am not leaving New Jersey until you are out of debt and living in decent accommodations. I nearly had to shoot someone when I visited you and I cannot believe you let your fiancée go home to that hovel by herself..."

"She knows how to handle herself. And she doesn't wear a hundred thousand dollar Rolex as if it's a Seiko..."

"...That's beside the point. It's dangerous and I can easily do something about it..."


Kaname leaned back in his chair and pursed his lips. Zero's eyes drew involuntarily to them. He just loved the way they bunched invitingly like that when he was thinking... Zero forced himself to look at his plate when they curled into a smile as Kaname noticed.

"I am not compromising on this. If you are not coming with me then this is the alternative whether you like it or not. You are not a stranger anymore. I want to take care of you. I can easily take care of you. I can also just as easily go behind your back."

"Please. You don't scare..."

"I am sure the banks would be quite amenable to settling those bad loans. And let me see... if your fiancée won a huge house in the suburbs in a raffle..."

"Kaname, you can't just...!"

"I can. And I will. You can cooperate or you can give me the infinite pleasure of setting about forcing you into a comfortable lifestyle without your consent. Which is it to be?"

Zero stewed for a while as Kaname picked up his newspaper again.

"Here's a nice apartment: two bedrooms and it's in the city. It has a nice view of..."

"God! I can't afford...!"

"We'll look at it today," Kaname interrupted, taking a pen and circling it, before looking up with that same determination in his eyes. Zero realised that when he said Kaname was bossy it wasn't the half of it.


"Here's another nice one..." Kaname smiled, enjoying himself. He felt so good being able to do this for him. He'd definitely feel better going home knowing he was safe... and where to find him.

"What happens if this doesn't work out? I'll have to pay..."

"I'll pay ahead six months and give you the receipt. If you want to move somewhere else you can but it has to be adequate... Nice! This one has a concierge and security gates!"

"Kaname," Zero rose and went around the table. He knelt beside the excited brunette and twisted him around to face him. "You don't need to do this. Haven't I come here every day when you asked me to? I promise to do that in the future. Just call me and we can meet. All you have to do is ask..."

"I know that I don't have to, which makes me want to do it even more," Kaname leaned forward and placed his forehead against Zero's. "Don't you see how... important you are to me? I want to make sure you are safe. You don't have to do anything with me you don't want to... I just need to know you are secure and happy. Okay?"

Zero said nothing, still hating this.

"Can I at least repay you...?"

"No. Save the money. Start training again. Go to school. I don't need it, Zero. You know that. Just count yourself as lucky. When this ends we'll say we had fun. Alright?"

Zero remained silent but looked troubled. Kaname began to kiss him, if only to cheer him up but it quickly got out of hand. Kaname threw his head back and moaned as he disappeared into Zero's hot mouth, the youth drawing on him ravenously as if he was a sumptuous meal. Zero pulled him forward and spread his legs, for better access, but Kaname fell off the chair...

"No! Zero..."

Kaname moaned as he found himself on his stomach with one of his legs bent at the knee beside him as Zero licked equally ravenously between his cheeks. He was going to... God he was insatiable. If only he wasn't so sore from their previous session this morning.

Zero groaned in frustration as he realised he'd need to leave him to get the gel. But he couldn't tear himself away, especially when Kaname started pressing back into his face.



Kaname grimaced as Zero pulled away from what he was doing and left him. He turned over, thinking now was the time to talk some sense into Zero and his own body, or they'd never leave this suite, but Zero was already back and pushing him back onto his stomach.

"Now you'll be even tastier," Zero joked, as he nipped his shoulder whilst administering the item in question.


Kaname winced as Zero pushed his fingers into his tender entrance, trying to carefully prepare him. He hoped that the swelling went down by the time he returned to his wife. The last time he'd had to be quite creative explaining the bruises on his body, and she'd almost called in a physician, the last thing he needed. He could just picture the diagnosis. You appear to be suffering with injuries consistent with a rather robust session of how's your father...

But he didn't stop him. He couldn't seem to bring himself to deny Zero anything. Even when the youth lay on top of him and began to push into his...

"Oh God..."

Kaname squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth as the pain shot through him. The butter was much thinner than the gel, and Zero met with a bit more rather unfortunate resistance. Still, Kaname didn't complain. He pressed his face into the carpet, taking deep breaths as he adjusted his body, lifting his hips to meet him, bearing down to take him... Whatever he wanted. Whatever...

Zero groaned as he eventually reached his goal, sliding into Kaname's hot core. He couldn't get enough of this tightness, of bending this "bossy" brunette to his will. He pushed in firmly, seating himself deep inside. Not even Sayori could do this...

Kaname's fingernails bit into his palm as Zero began to move, his sore flesh submitting to the almost unbearable stretch and friction. He moaned into the soft flooring as Zero's hips smacked him over and over, even driving him along the floor towards the patio doors.

"Kaname. Kaname..."

Zero reached beneath the brunette as if belatedly remembering his pleasure, trying to coax the now almost flaccid length back into its previous hardness. Kaname moaned as the large hand enveloped him, rubbed him, beginning to regain his interest as a spurt of hot pleasure shot through him, tightening involuntarily around Zero's aching erection...

Zero groaned at this, his body already starting the process of capitulating. He felt too good, too...

"Ooohh fuck..."

Zero gathered Kaname tightly into his arms, burying his face in his neck as his stomach muscles tightened, his scrotum beginning to throb and spasm as it slapped Kaname's behind in increasing rhythm. It was no use. He couldn't hold back...

Kaname squeezed his eyes closed and twisted his head to bury his face into Zero's arm, completely melting as he felt Zero's hard strength envelope him, felt his shoulders bunch against his as he held him tightly. It was just this. Just the feeling of possession that always undid him...

"Zero... Please. Harder..." he begged plaintively, his face still pressed to the straining biceps as he reached to help himself...

"Kaname! I..."

Zero pressed deeper, harder but only had a few more left inside of him. He cried out loudly as he eventually lost control, seeding Kaname's heat gleefully, that seductive, hot friction too much for him. He held him tighter as he tried to melt into him, to connect, as his world came apart at the seams... and Kaname convulsed, biting his arm as his own moist heat spilled into his hand...

THEY LAY THERE in a heap for a while before Kaname reluctantly rolled Zero off of him and got to his knees. He looked down at the carpet burn he knew would be on his thighs and chest. Damn, Shizuka would never believe him...

"I think I had better go now before you recover or we'll never get anything done."

"That's another ten minutes. You'll never make it..." Zero winked as he rubbed his greasy, soft length. Kaname chuckled and crawled gingerly over to where Zero lay on his back in shameless exhibition of his attributes and planted a quick kiss on his lips. Zero's attention immediately deviated to Kaname's own assets... Kaname broke the kiss and pulled away from him laughing.

"No! Don't think I'm not on to your devious plan, Zero. I will not be so easily distracted. Get up! We've got a lot to do before I leave tomorrow evening."

Kaname got to his feet and turned to head for the bedroom. He needed to shower and dress quickly...



Kaname paused in the doorway and looked back to where Zero still sat on the carpet, but the look in his eyes made him turn back to approach him. "What is it, Zero?"

"Rather... rather than the apartment. Could you..." Zero trailed off, as if hating himself for even asking but Kaname wouldn't let him escape that easily. He stooped to Zero's level and grabbed his jaw, yanking it up so he could meet his eyes.

"Zero, you are trying my patience. Just ask me."

Zero bit his lip and Kaname growled low in immense frustration. He released him and got to his feet.

"Fine. A house it is then. In that case we'll have to get moving..."

"No wait! What I meant was..."


"...Could you help me save our house? The one the bank took...?"

"The one at the old address on ... Street?" Kaname was unimpressed. He'd seen the pictures in the dossier. It was a dingy two storey dwelling with hardly a yard to speak of in an area whose property values probably hadn't changed since the Depression. Maybe he should force Zero to think a little bigger?

"It was her mother's. Sayori's. We... I'd asked her to mortgage it to help me..."

Kaname sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He knew where this was headed.

"It's probably sold by now..." he tried.

"No it isn't. I keep checking. I've been trying to get a mortgage to buy it but..."

"Are you sure this is what you want?" There was probably a reason it hadn't been sold by now.

"Yes. Sayori was heartbroken when we had to move out. She only stopped crying when I promised her I'll get it back. I promise I'll repay every cent..."

Kaname waved him away and turned to enter the bedroom... already knowing he'd do exactly as he was asked.

"I LOVE THAT ONE, honey. You should definitely take that."

"You don't think it makes me look fat?" Shizuka asked, turning this way then that while looking in the mirror, inspecting the way the silk draped over his svelte figure. Svelte that is, except for the small bump. Kaname took the laptop off his lap and stood, walking over to his glowing wife, rolling his eyes at the attendant who barely stifled a giggle.

"I saw that, Kaname."

"I don't know what you mean, my dear," Kaname responded, meeting his wife's eyes in the mirror and he drew her back against him, placing his hand gently over her stomach. "You look wonderful. I think if you weren't pregnant now, I'm sure you would have been by this evening..."

"Kaname! I really don't know what has gotten into you! You know you're going to have to get yourself sorted. Fancy a baby at my age!" But secretly she was well pleased. While her friends struggled to hold on to their husbands or keep their eyes from wandering, she couldn't keep Kaname's hands off her.

And Kaname knew she was, grinning as he cupped her face to kiss her, all while the attendant turned around and discretely fiddled with the other maternity wear she'd brought over, wishing her husband was as romantic...

The air was suddenly filled with the beginning refrain of "Three Lions" and it was Shizuka's turn to roll her eyes.

"That friend of yours has infuriating timing."

Kaname kissed her on the cheek in apology and turned to grab the mobile from his jacket pocket. The truth was that Zero hardly called but when he did it was memorable. He didn't care where Kaname was or who he was with when he called to scold him about some "extravagant" gift or other he'd sent him or Sayori – she also knew of him, considering there was no way Zero could explain the house on his salary, which had been fully renovated with two additional bedrooms all while they were put up in an apartment in the city. She didn't know exactly who he was. Just that he was a very good friend of Zero's who happened to have deep pockets, which made things a lot easier for Kaname. After all, Zero didn't have any real excuses for refusing any of his gifts and Sayori had no such qualms.

"Hello?" Kaname answered softly as he reached the balcony.

"Hi. Are you busy?"

"No. Just spending the day with Shizuka. Shouldn't you be asleep? "

"I've been sent out for hot-wings and peppermint ice-cream," Zero replied tonelessly and Kaname laughed, knowing what he was going through.

"Chin up, Zero. You only have five months to go."

"I just want to sleep, Kaname. I'll sell my soul for a quiet room without a wife with odd midnight cravings. Last night it was lychees. It took me an hour to find a place that sold them and when I got back she was asleep. I could have strangled her."

Kaname chuckled some more as he looked out over the city. He could tell Zero was happy though, and so was he. It had only been a little over a year but he couldn't believe how well this was working. No one suspected their friendship was anything more than just that, simply because they were both men and they were scrupulously discrete. The last time they saw each other they'd even been able to go off to a cabin together. It's no surprise they hardly got any fishing done but every room certainly was...

"I miss you. When can I see you again?"

Kaname closed his eyes and tensed intimately at the slight change in Zero's voice: a confident, deep command...

"I... I can't get away for at least five weeks. You'll have to come here..."

"I can't. I have matches for the next month."

Zero had started playing again. It certainly wasn't Manchester United but he was deliriously happy. It was a small but proud club and Zero gave it his all.

Kaname was silent for a while then bowed his head, knowing he'd do whatever it takes.

"I'll see what I can do. I'll give you a call later in the week."

"Okay. I'll talk to you then. Goodbye."


Kaname pressed end and turned back to where his wife was studying him a little too closely. He smiled broadly and tossed the mobile onto the couch.

"Zero's wife is driving him nuts. She just sent him out for peppermint ice-cream and chicken. At four in the morning."

Shizuka relaxed a bit at this, reminding herself that there was nothing there. They were just good friends.

"I wish I could do that to you. But you'd just send poor Hanabusa to do it."

"Of course. That's what he's there for. But you don't have anything as mundane as cravings, do you, honey?"

"I ignore them. It too hard to keep one's figure as you grow older."

"Are you taking that dress? You should wear it to the Baroness' ball..."

"I think I shall. And I like this one as well..."

"Honey," Kaname said eventually, as he went to hold her again. "I need to go Stateside for a few days. Maybe next week?"

"Is everything alri...?"

"Yes, but he seems a bit down. I'll be back before the next physician's appointment."

"...Sure, darling. But don't forget, Yuuki's recital is the day before..."

"Ah, yes. It'll have to be a quick trip..."

Kaname zoned out planning his week as Shizuka studied his beautiful face in the mirror. She wondered what was going on behind it, wondered if there could be anything at all between these men besides this close friendship... Silly of course. Kaname just wasn't like that. She was probably feeling insecure because she was getting fat. Still...

"You know, darling, I'd be devastated if you left me for football player. A tennis player maybe..."

Kaname met her eyes in the mirror for one tense moment then laughed and kissed her cheek.

"I'll see what I can do. But no-one looks as good as you do in a black negligee, especially Zero. I may have to pass on his offer and stay with you, if that's okay."

"See that you do, darling."

Shizuka forgot her silly ideas as she took another dress from the attendant as Kaname wandered over to the balcony and looked outside, his eyes on the horizon of ancient roof tops and festering grey sky, his mind on seeing Zero again and maybe... a life with him. Kaname smirked and shook his head. Impossible. They would drive each other crazy and break up in a few months. They were such opposites. It was good this way. They were happy.

He had no regrets.

the end (again)

lightpathetic wrote this but these are not my characters. They belong to Vampire Knight.