Greetings, all. Hope this finds you well. Instead of concentrating on "Fragile" or "Strawberry Gashes" (please don't kill me for not updating SG, I just can't come up with a damn thing to write about) like I should've, instead this idea came to me recently, so I typed it out.

A few words about this fic:

Be warned, this is TOTALLY AU, so if you're looking for a fic that follows along the lines of the series, this isn't it. No one's even a vampire and there are characters that aren't in the series at all.

Disclaimers: There are a lot of bad happenings in this fic. That's why it's rated 'M', because there are plenty of adult situations and language ahead. This chapter's not too rough, but later chapters may be for some. So be warned that if you've experienced violence, this may not be the best fic for you to read, as it may contain plenty of triggers. Just letting you guys know in case.

And here's the standard: I don't own the characters of Vampire Knight. I'm just using them and putting them in a totally AU situation for entertainment purposes. Yeah.

This is going to be rather short too, if all goes as planned. Things will move very quickly and then we'll be done. Ok? Ok.

All that said, here's Chapter 1. I hope someone out there enjoys it. :)

X-O-X-O

The diminutive brunette sat in class, distracted as usual. This Multivariable Calculus class was positively killing her. Yuuki Kuran had never been adept at math, or any subject save art, for that matter. In fact, the only reason she currently found herself sitting in this class was due to her father's influence. Doctor Kuran had seen to it that his little girl received the best education possible without stopping to realize that she had no desire to be stuck in the middle of advanced mathematics courses. Her true ambitions lie elsewhere, though any dreams she'd harbored had long ago been forbidden by her parents, who were intent on forcing her into something entirely different.

She felt a bit sick as her thoughts strayed to him, the girl trying her damndest to concentrate on her professor's lecture as she attempted to block the thoughts that would surely be taking her over completely, should she allow them to do so. The lecture continued, though her mind was yet far away. Her thoughts continued until at last class was over, the girl collecting her belongings and beginning to make good her escape. Before she could vanish, her professor was next to her, halting her retreat.

"Miss Kuran, a word, please," he began, Yuuki turning to face the frowning man.

"Yes, sir?" she asked, noticing that he held a piece of paper in his hands. Great. This, she knew, was going to be epic.

"I'll get right to the point, Yuuki. Frankly, your grades in my class are beyond substandard and with finals coming up in two weeks, I'm concerned. Your GPA is suffering and it's obvious that my instruction isn't assisting you in the least," Professor Tanaka continued, Yuuki swallowing hard as she tried to keep herself from fidgeting under his scrutinizing gaze.

"Therefore," he continued, holding up her most recently failed test paper as evidence of his concern, "I've arranged for you to see a tutor. He's agreed to see you four times a week until finals and if he can't help you, I'd say you're beyond help. We use him only for the most…desperate cases," he continued, Yuuki feeling rather inadequate as she realized just how hopeless she must seem for him to have arranged such a thing. Still, she did need help with her studies if she was going to pass this class, so she relented easily, his next words surprising her a bit.

"I gave him your address…and don't worry. He's a very trustworthy individual. He's worked many a miracle for us since he's been attending this university. Now run along, Miss Kuran. He'll be there at six," Professor Tanaka concluded, before turning and leaving the girl standing there with her mouth agape. Glancing at the clock on the wall, she realized it was almost five thirty.

"Shit," she muttered, slinging her bag over her shoulder and hurrying out the door.

X-O-X-O

Her head rose as the knock sounded at her door, Yuuki nearly dropping the book in her hand onto the desk before her before she recovered enough to rise to her feet. This situation wasn't at all optimal. Having a man she didn't know in her apartment wasn't something she was looking forward to, especially if he found out. God, that was the absolute last thing she needed, the girl wondering how rude it would be to simply send her tutor away before he set foot in her door. Still, the wrath of her parents would be most unpleasant if she failed her exams, Yuuki sighing mightily as she at last opened her door, revealing a sight that would stay with her for some time to come.

There stood what was possibly the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen, his lanky form towering over her as he waited patiently before her. His silvery hair fell into his eyes, which were a beautiful, calm shade of lavender and seemed to be peering into her very soul. The longer she stood there, the more she felt devoured by those eyes, the most haunting she'd ever found herself drowning in. It was his voice that broke her from her small reverie, the girl attempting to regain her composure so as not to appear so bloody obvious.

"Hey. I'm here to tutor someone named Yuuki. Can I assume that's you?" the man wondered, shifting his weight to the other leg as he leaned against the doorframe.

"Uh…yeah. That's me," she managed, cursing herself for her sudden awkwardness. What the hell was this man doing to her?

"I'm Zero Kiryu. Nice to meet you," he said, her heart skipping a beat as his name registered in her mind. Kiryu. This was him? She wondered silently if her mouth was hanging open as she recalled the rumors she'd heard about the man standing a mere two feet from her. Unapproachable didn't even begin to describe him, from what she'd been made privy to. The collective "they" also said in whispers that he was a veritable genius that was attending their prestigious university on a full academic scholarship. Apparently, he was double majoring in math and physics and had ambitions to be a college professor himself. This guy was not what she was expecting him to be. Not by a long shot. How the hell could a man this striking have a brain, too?

"You okay? You look a little…perplexed," he pointed out, Yuuki's cheeks growing hot as she realized she'd yet to invite him in. Affirming in her mind that she would not allow his good looks and reputation get to her, she took a step back, motioning for him to enter.

"Sorry, I just spaced a bit. Come in," she invited, the man striding forth before she closed the door behind him. She managed to take his coat, slinging it over the back of her futon before her eyes landed upon the bold black lines of the tattoo upon the left side of his neck. She was momentarily left speechless by it, having never known anyone with a tattoo before in her young life. Her father had always told her that only degenerates possessed such things, but at the moment she no longer found herself believing such a thing, convinced that the man before her was anything but. At last recovering, she made her way across the room to the desk she'd been sitting at before delivering her apology.

"Forgive the mess. I haven't had much time to clean lately," she muttered, clearing a pile of books and magazines off the chair she offered him.

"No worries," he assured her, getting right to work as he slid his chair closer to hers. His proximity was more than a touch unnerving, though Yuuki fought valiantly to disguise her nervousness. No use in making a complete ass of herself in front of this reputed enigma, after all.

"Ok, so what is it that's giving you the most trouble?" he asked, his eyes scanning the page she was currently parked on.

"Well…all of it, really. I'm not a math person, that's for sure," she admitted, a smirk soon gracing her tutor's lips. It was a small thing, really, though it seemed to her as though something epic had occurred.

"That doesn't matter. Give me a little time and finals won't even faze you," Zero assured her, her breath catching in her throat as his leg brushed against hers under the table. He seemed not to notice, his finger landing upon one of the many problems on the page.

"You sound pretty confident. I hate to break it to you but I'm basically a lost cause," she told him, his smirk returning full force.

"Even if you think that, I'm still going to make sure you pass your finals," he informed her, his silver hair falling into his eyes as he bent over her open textbook. Without warning, her fingers reached out, fingertips brushing against his forehead as she cleared it from his vision. Immediately realizing her fault, she jerked away, positively mortified as his eyes caught hers. For a moment, Yuuki found herself utterly lost within their lavender depths, unable to reach the surface as she continued to drown. His voice at last snapped her out of her stupor, her heart still racing erratically as he spoke.

"Something wrong?" he wondered, slightly amused by the apparent shock written upon her face. Attempting vainly to recover, Yuuki leapt to her feet, nearly sending her chair toppling backwards.

"Oh, no. S…sorry. You want something to drink?" she asked, nearly flying into the adjacent kitchen.

Still amused, Zero leaned back in his chair, his curiosity growing by the second. Deciding to see how far he could push her, he answered.

"I can just have some of yours…if that's ok," he added after a pause, Yuuki swallowing hard as she drew a canned energy drink out of the fridge.

"Sure thing," she called, feeling more than a bit self conscious, his eyes following her as she returned to his side. She was sure she could feel her cheeks warming as she slipped back into her chair, the girl wondering if she were in fact blushing under his intent gaze. She managed to pop the top of the can, carefully taking a sip so as not to embarrass herself further by splorting her beverage all over herself. Her plan to keep calm and carry on failed miserably, however, Yuuki proceeding to nearly choke to death as his fingers landed atop hers in order to commandeer the can. Taking it from her, he sat it down before thumping her lightly on the back as she coughed and hacked, pounding herself on the chest.

"Are you gonna' make it?" Zero asked, the girl becoming still at last, feeling the warmth of his hand upon her back. She held up her hand, her other hovering over her mouth as she took the first real breath she'd been granted in several seconds.

"Wow. I'm in rare form today, huh? Sorry if I coughed all over you," she muttered, embarrassed beyond belief after making such a fool of herself in front of the reputed enigma whose eyes were still trained upon her.

"No problem. I've lived through worse," he assured her, his hand sliding down to rest upon the small of her back. Yuuki swallowed hard, her heart threatening to burst forth from her chest at any moment as his proximity registered with her. Just when she thought she'd puddle into the floor, Zero's hand was gone, the man turning back towards the book open before them.

"Ok, let's do this. We'll work on this one first," he said, her stomach in knots as she leaned forward, trying in vain to pay attention as the real torture at last began.

X-O-X-O

It was nearly 9 o'clock when Zero at last relented, Yuuki slumping forward onto the desk, completely exhausted. Her head was beginning to ache from the scores of problems he'd made her solve, Zero patiently working though each one with her until at last she'd gotten the gist of the formulas involved.

"Oh, god. I think my eyes are permanently crossed," she griped, Zero hmphing in response.

"Come on. It's not that bad, is it?" he wondered, her eyes landing on him, taking in the flawless sight of him. Before she allowed herself to look like an idiot once again, she averted her eyes, though not nearly stealthily enough for him not to take notice. The silver haired man chuckled inwardly, realizing that this would be more than just a little amusing.

'Poor little rich girl,' he thought to himself, the man having formed an opinion of her before ever stepping through her door. She was the daughter of Dr. Kuran, a well known alumnus and influential man concerning matters of their school. He was a well known financial donor and Zero knew full well that his influence was the only reason the girl sitting next to him was attending their prestigious university.

Still, he thought, she was nice to look at, his eyes trailing over her covertly as she sat focused on the notebook in front of her. She was so petite, her features soft, her long brown hair seeming to envelope her tiny form. Before he could carried away, the man straightened himself, realizing that it was time to take his leave for the night.

At last, he stood, her large cinnamon colored eyes gazing up at him as he began his farewell. Though he had yet to realize it, those eyes would be the end of him, would ensnare him with no possible chance of escape.

"I'd better get going. You did really well, Yuuki," he told her, slipping into his coat as she walked him to the door. Before he could make good his escape, he made the mistake of turning back, the sight of her nearly causing his breath to catch. She was smiling, a brilliant smile unlike any he'd ever seen before.

"Thank you for coming over to help me out. You don't know how much I appreciate it," she told him, bowing her head after she spoke. He heard her breath catch as his hand reached out, tilting her chin up so that her eyes met his once more.

"I told you, you're gonna' make it through this with no problems. Trust me," he said, seeing the color rising in her cheeks before he released her chin. He was amused as she stood speechless, obviously shocked by his actions.

"I'll see you Wednesday," he told her, taking his leave at last. She watched him go, his lanky form disappearing down the hallway before she realized she was staring after him.

"Shit," she griped aloud, before closing and locking her door. Turning back, she flopped down on her couch, sighing mightily. What the hell? Was it her imagination, or had something just…

"No way. He was just doing his job," she told herself, closing her eyes as she attempted to clear her mind of the encounter she'd just had with the enigma that would affect her more than she would ever know.

X-O-X-O

Sometime later, her head rose as the knock came at her door, dread quickly rising within her. Not again. Sighing mightily, Yuuki made her way to the door, hesitating for a moment before throwing it open. There stood an all too familiar sight, the girl forcing a smile as the dark haired man leaned in close.

"Hey, babe," he said, the girl able to smell the heavy scent of alcohol on his breath as he nearly fell into her apartment, his arm going around her as he attempted to steady himself. So he'd been at it again, had he? She wondered why she was surprised. She'd been with him long enough to know exactly what his proclivities were, Yuuki hoping to God that he'd simply pass out before she was made to endure anything further.

"Akio, it's late. Don't you have class tomorrow?" she asked, the man slamming her door behind him before beginning to back her across the floor.

"Who the hell cares?" he replied, his hand diving under her shirt, kneading the tender flesh of her chest before pushing her backward onto her futon, his body coming to rest atop her. She pushed at him, knowing full well how drunk he was. He was always rough, but he was even worse when he was like this, Yuuki attempting in vain to put space between them.

"I've got an 8 o'clock class in the morning," she tried, crying out as his fingers wound in her hair, pulling her head back forcefully before his tongue plunged into her mouth, her eyes growing wide as she continued trying to push him back.

"You're saying that shit," he said, "when I just want to see you."

"Sure you do. You should go home," she said, his fingers jerking her chin up, her neck craned as she looked into his hazy green eyes. He was so incredibly plastered that she wondered if even he realized where he was. Surely he'd been out with one of the girls he saw behind her back, Yuuki able to smell the scent of perfume on his clothes over the alcohol on his breath.

"Don't be that way," he told her, pulling her head back once again in order to plunder her mouth, the bitter taste of liquor on her tongue. Suddenly, the memory of the silver haired man that'd been in her company only hours before, of the lavender eyes that seemed to look through her into her very soul struck her full force, leaving her reeling in their wake. She pushed at him, the man obviously displeased as he looked down at her.

Her boyfriend had been an asshole since she'd started dating him almost a year ago, though she'd found herself bound to him by the social expectations of their families and unable to free herself from their dysfunctional relationship. Their fathers had been college friends, and Akio's best friend was her own brother, who was away attending law school and visited so rarely that he was completely unaware of this side of his longtime comrade. Little did he know, she thought, how unkind Akio could be.

"Look, you're drunk. You can sleep it off here if you want, but I'm not in the mood for…"

"You're an ungrateful little bitch, you know that? You should be thankful that I even speak to you," he told her, hurt and anger coursing through her as she took in his words.

"That's really sweet. Get out," she tried, only to find herself pinned against the wall, her wrists held high above her head.

"Are you ever gonna' learn not to talk back?" he wondered, the alcohol in his system at last getting the better of him as he loosed his grip on her, the man pulling her towards her bedroom, Yuuki struggling all the while. He pushed her down upon the mattress before crawling over to her, his hands unbuckling his belt as fear began to grow within her. Luckily, his next words came as a massive reprieve, the girl breathing a small sigh of relief.

"Shit. I'm too drunk to fuck," he muttered, before slumping over, his head coming to rest in her lap, his arm draped across her thighs.

"God damn it," she cursed, attempting to roll him over but to no avail. He held fast to her even in sleep, Yuuki sighing mightily as she wondered how her life had come to this. She wanted out, but she knew that to do that would mean social devastation to her family and her father would have her head if she dared do anything to embarrass him. She'd been groomed to marry this egregious asshole for years. How she'd managed to evade his grasp for so long she couldn't say, but soon after he'd ensnared her, he'd quickly stripped her of not only her virginity but her pride and self worth as well. Being with this man was like some nightmare that she couldn't seem to awaken from, Yuuki wishing for someone to rescue her from the life she'd come to know.

After a bit she managed to roll her sleeping boyfriend over, glad that he'd still be sleeping it off when she left for class in the morning. She turned away from him, her thoughts once again straying to her tutor without her consent before she fell into a fitful sleep, Akio dozing away beside her.

X-O-X-O

The next morning, she managed to slip out without waking her still slumbering boyfriend, the day passing without incident. Thankfully, Akio had disappeared by the time she arrived home, the man not bothering to call as usual. She knew that he only showed up when he wanted something, usually her body. Tonight, she thought, he must be getting it somewhere else. It wouldn't be surprising in the least, considering the kind of man he was, if he could be called that at all.

Wednesday came, Yuuki now sitting dazed in her first period Art Appreciation class. This was her only respite, the only class she actually enjoyed. Her professor only helped to make the class more enjoyable, his daily antics amusing the entire class thoroughly. Professor Cross, always dressed a bit outlandishly, always with his glasses perched on the end of his nose, seemed ageless, Yuuki unable to determine exactly how old the man could be.

Cross was perpetually cheerful, always cutting up and keeping the atmosphere light as he taught his students the importance of the preservation and admiration of the art of periods past and present.

This morning however, Yuuki had been entirely uninterested in his lecture, sitting with her head bowed over her notes as he continued speaking before the class.

At last class was over, the girl beginning to gather her belongings as the others filed out, leaving her the last lingering behind. She was surprised to see her professor practically dance over to her, his usual smile greeting her as he stopped beside her.

"Yuuki, dear, you seem troubled. You're usually so enthusiastic, but today you seem…rather despondent. Anything I can do to assist you?" Cross wondered, Yuuki managing her own small smile in return.

"No, I'm ok. I'm just having a little bit of trouble in my Calculus class. Ok, a lot of trouble," she told him, not daring to utter a word about the real reason behind her restlessness.

"Have you thought of getting a tutor?" he wondered, his finger pushing his glasses up from their precarious position on the end of his nose.

"Oh. Well, my math professor already set me up with one. He's supposed to be the best, so…"

"Ah! You must be speaking of Zero," Cross noted, Yuuki wondering if his reputation really was so far spread.

"Yeah, that's him. I've only met with him once, but he's already helped me. I'm still stressed out over finals, though," she told him, adjusting her bag as it hung over her shoulder.

"Well, you've nothing to fear with him on your side. That young man is nothing short of a genius, though he is rather…er…stoic. I'm sure you'll do fine with his help, though," her professor told her, offering another smile.

"Glad to know it. So do you…know anything else about him?" she blurted, immediately cursing herself afterward. Cross's smile became a smirk as he watched her fidget before him, obviously embarrassed by her own question.

"Perhaps," he suggested, "you should ask him directly about such things."

"You're right. I'd better get going or I'll be late for my lesson," she said, turning to go.

"I'll see you later," she called, leaving her professor with his thoughts.

X-O-X-O

The knock came at her door, her heart nearly skipping a beat as she realized who was just on the other side. Getting to her feet, she made her way to the door, opening it to reveal the sight she'd longed to see since the first time she'd been granted it only days before.

His lavender eyes were looking her through once again, the girl feeling as though he were peering into her very soul.

"Hey," he greeted, the girl managing a small smile.

"Hey. Come in," she said, fighting the urge to blush once again, closing the door behind him as he entered. She watched him shed his coat, taking it from him before draping it over the back of her futon. He then followed her to the desk in the corner, taking a seat beside her once again.

"So do you remember anything we went over last time?" he wondered, Yuuki fidgeting a bit despite herself as she sat a mere six inches from him, almost able to feel the heat radiating from his body.

"Actually, I do. You really are good at this," she noted, wishing that he'd grant her the sight of his smirk once again.

"I'm glad you remember. It'd suck to have to go through all that again, as badly as you hated it," he pointed out, the girl sighing as her nerves continued to turn into a total wreck as the moments ticked by.

"I only hate it because I suck so much at it," she told him, his hand pulling her open textbook closer as he once again began inflicting his own brand of torture upon her.

"Well, soon you won't, so you'll have to like it," he informed her, a small chuckle escaping her. Though he didn't know why, their proximity was a bit unnerving, though the silver haired man wouldn't be swayed. He had a goal to attain, and he would do that no matter what arose.

Sometime later, she sat alone as she awaited his return from the bathroom, chewing on the end of her pencil as her thoughts ran rampant. The longer she spent in his company, the more she wondered why people had such impressions of him. From what she could tell, he was nothing but pleasant, his cordial, honest demeanor refreshing after having dealt with nothing but snobs her entire life. This man was something entirely different, making Yuuki wonder exactly how much she'd missed out on in her eighteen years of life.

Soon he reemerged from the adjoining room, the girl puzzling over a particularly difficult equation. Noticing her distress, he stopped behind her, the girl nearly losing her wits as his palms landed softly upon the table on either side of her, his body bowing over her as he looked at the textbook in front of her.

"Just remember the last few. You do them the same way," he told her, her audible gasp seeming to echo throughout the room as his chest pressed against her back. She sat stone still, Zero easily recognizing her reactions to his proximity. He leaned down, his breath hot against her ear, causing a shiver to course through her, one that didn't go unnoticed.

"You ok?" he wondered, the girl managing to respond.

"Yeah, I'm good."

At least she was, until his fingers wrapped around hers, commandeering her hand as he guided it, working her through the problem before her. Yuuki was awestruck, the warmth of his fingers seeming to permeate her, his chest still resting against her back.

"Now try the next one," he said, feeling the shiver that coursed through her, the man working his angle for all he could. Even as his thoughts ran rampantly within him, he couldn't help but notice the soft floral scent she carried, drinking it in as he remained bent over her.

"Ok," was all she could manage, disappointment washing over her as he at last withdrew in order to take his place next to her once again.

To the surprise of both of them, Yuuki managed to make it through the remainder of the equations with little difficulty, at last plunking her pencil down on the desk before her, her head in her hands.

"Ugh," she groaned, amazed that she'd been able to even make it through two lessons filled with this mind melting material.

"So have you always been a genius?" she wondered, the man beside her shrugging.

"I'm just good with numbers, I suppose," he answered, still amused by how flustered she'd become in so short a time.

"You're more than just good. You really are a miracle worker, just like everyone says," she told him, immediately noting the change in his demeanor. He looked over at her, his eyes seeming to have darkened as he spoke.

"Do you always believe what everyone says?" he wondered, the girl more than a bit exasperated as she attempted to regain her wits after being taken off guard by his question.

"Not really, no," she answered, fidgeting in her seat, feeling his eyes still upon her.

"Good, because "they" usually don't know shit," he told her, leaning back in his chair as he stretched his arms over his head.

Yuuki was a bit taken aback, silent moments passing them by as she attempted to find the words she wished to speak. She was failing miserably, however, making her feel a bit more than foolish as the proverbial crickets began to chirp.

"Well, I'd better take off. You're making really good progress, Yuuki. I appreciate you actually paying attention to what I tell you. Lots of people can't even do that much," he told her, the same gorgeous smile returning to her face. He was nearly enthralled by it, the man made momentarily speechless by the sight of it before regaining his faculties. He rose to his feet, his companion soon to follow as she watched him don his coat before walking to the door.

"No, I'm the one that appreciates you. You've been really patient with me and I'm really grateful that you're taking the time to come here and help me out. So thank you," she said, the man granting her his usual smirk.

"It's no trouble. I'll see you Friday," he told her, ruffling her hair before taking his leave. Her entire body felt hot, the girl wondering if she'd be able to make it through the next week and a half without making a total idiot of herself because of her enigmatic tutor. She closed the door, her mind in overdrive as she made her way to the futon, flopping down and stretching out along it.

What was it about this man, she wondered, that had managed to intrigue her so well? She soon realized that everything about him had done so, from his intense lavender eyes to his notoriety around campus. Yuuki realized that she longed to discover everything there was to know about him, closing her eyes as she allowed her thoughts to take her over.

X-O-X-O

Chapter 1 done! Let me know what you think and thanks for reading! I expect to post an update in no longer than a month from now. I guess it depends on how this first chapter is received and if anyone is curious to read more. :)

Originally, I was going to wait until I had the entire story typed out before I posted any of it. I mean, I have something like six or seven unfinished fics right now that need attention, and yet here I am, still posting new fics. Curse me! *shakes fist at self* But it had to be done. Yes.

I've also got two or three oneshots in the works at the moment, but things are slow going there, too. I'm contemplating either a total rewrite or pulling "Strawberry Gashes" entirely. I just don't know yet. I'll figure it out eventually, I swear. Until next time!

*Cosmic*