A/N: Hey there everyone! Kahne-chan here~ Almost forgot how to spell my own name there for a second. HEY! Y'all like my new moustache~?

So, first off, a magical thing has happened. I...

I... am...

Not pregnant. No, that would be way too happy. v v

I'm on Twitter. So if you want to catch me there, I always answer all my tweets, so go ahead and talk to me; I love, love, love hearing from my fans. And that is Kveria, to get ahold of me.

Let's talk about the series as a whole this time, not because this is the last chapter, but because I wanted to clear a point; not that I feel it isn't being made, but I just... I know, I know. You want to get to Chapter Eight and you don't care what I have to say. Well, skip over this if must. I don't really care if you care about what I have to say. I know LuanRinadoes. She's a darling. I love her. I love her reviews. All y'all better thank her because there probably wouldn't be a story without her support. Every chapter she's reviewed. I know I already said that once, but oh well.

So, this story... there was something I wanted to say, but do you think I can remember? Nope. I'll write another note at the end maybe if I remember.

Also, before I forget...

The following program contains scenes of violence which may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discresion is advised.

Always wanted to say that. :D

ONWARD!

xXXx

And Then We Kiss
Chapter Eight

It had taken me only about ten minutes to get from Kaname's room to Ichiru's tower, and those who saw me knew that something was obviously wrong. They all talked like I couldn't hear, stared like I couldn't see; I heard and saw everything, and I just didn't care. In my hand was the key to the survival of my brother and I, the key to having our lives back... To forgetting all the mysteries of Kuran Manor and my warped memories of this place and these people. Ichiru was a constant, he was stability, and I wanted— no, needed that. I couldn't sense that something might be wrong when I entered the tower and felt the ice cold draft hit my whole body like a ton of bricks. I couldn't sense anything but the scorn of the other servants, who were all below me as I pushed on ahead, up the spiralling stone stairs. It was still bright, but the sun's corona was touching the horizon now—soon this would all be for nothing. I couldn't let that happen! If I were caught now, what would happen to me? To Ichiru? I let my mind wander, the fear making my heart pump faster and faster with my ragged breath. I was out of shape. Wonderful. I wished I'd known that before. But I had made it, and that was relieving—I bent at the waist to breathe hard, catching my wind as I tried to gasp out his name. "Ichiru! Ichiru! I got it... the key, I got the key!"

On cue, he came running to the door and grabbed onto the bars in the small window. "You've got it? We're going now? Zero, wait. No. I have to ask you something first." I was already trying to jam the key into the lock and reef the door open at the same time when he said this, and it stunned me. I froze and looked up, our eyes meeting for a moment before he looked away. "So is it true?"

"What? Is what true?" I had no idea what he was talking about; naturally I assumed he meant that we were running away together. "Of course it's true! We're going to go right now. We can take a couple horses from the stable and just... go. I tried to get Shizuka to come with us, but she refused, if that's your problem; it doesn't really matter to me though, so—"

"Not that." I watched his whole persona shrink away, and he withdrew from the bars, leaning against the wall next to the door. He seemed... defeated, down-trodden, sad... What was the matter? I wondered if I'd said or done anything, but nothing came to mind. Maybe it was Shizuka? But Ichiru had been so happy when we talked about leaving together just the other day... "Was it you, Zero? Tell me the truth. If... if you do, I'll forgive you."

"What are you talking about?"

"You set up Hanabusa, didn't you? So that Master would kill him."

I was about to tell him that I wouldn't even if I hated Aidou's stupid guts, but something swilled in my memory like a dark red wine, and there was the picture, clear as day. I frowned hard. That didn't seem like me at all. I pushed at it, trying to see where these thoughts would have come from, and before long it was clear. Yes... I'd come into the bed chamber on what was supposed to be the anniversary of my arrival at the house so many years ago—Kaname and I were going to have dinner together, play chess, and then have some fun that night, like always... spending the time together. But that was the thing about having a partner, was that I had to share, especially when I didn't want to. In a rage, I later stole several of Kaname's personal and valuable items, hiding them in various locations around Aidou's bedroom, the most emotional expensive of the bunch—a photograph of Kaname with his parents—was suffed into Aidou's shower bag, the entire frame destroyed. When Kaname found out, he hadn't waited for an answer to his questions. It was obvious that Aidou had stolen from him, and had, worse, desecrated his beloved photograph. The beheading was an instant death, and I remembered getting a small bit of blood on my shirt where I stood next to Kaname at the top of the stairs watching everyone else clean up. No... I thought I'd helped... but I'd stood there with Kaname's arm around my waist as he whispered into my ear, "I know, Zero. You're the last loyal servant to me. Don't ever become Aidou." Inside, I was estatic, jumping for joy because... Kaname belonged only to me, now... and that was all that mattered. Being exclusive to Kaname.

"Y-yeah... I guess I did..." Being hit like that... took my breath away. "But you don't understand. I'm in love with Kaname; I want his eyes to be only for me, Ichiru. Just me. Not you... or anyone else..." Oh no.

Ichiru paused about the same time that I did and we were still like that for at least an eternity. "So... you set me up too...?"

"Yes." What a fucking stupid answer. I scrambled to be able to explain myself to him; I didn't expect him to understand, but I was hoping... I could forgive myself. "It's just... Ichiru, he made love to you! He was so sweet to you, and I wanted that. Even when I told you it was okay, it was because I didn't want you to worry about me, and... He loves you too, Ichiru. He does. That's why he didn't kill you, right? I guess it doesn't matter. We're both dead now."

"I already said I'd forgive you, big brother. Okay? Let's go."

I turned the key, a little more focused this time, opening the door to allow Ichiru to step out. He didn't look any better than the last time I saw him, but that didn't matter now. I grabbed his hand, wordlessly, dragging him down the stairs and out the nearest back exit. The sun had barely moved, but the progression was enough. Kaname would soon awaken, notice the key missing, and realize what I'd done. He'd never forgive me for betraying him this time. Never. My heart was pounding and I could hear it in my ears, loud and clear. I couldn't even wait to properly prepare the horse I'd chosen; we ran a dandy brush over their backs, tightened the saddles on as much as we could, then threw the bridles on without taking care to place their forelocks under the browbands or straighten the cheekpieces so that the nosebands sat straight. Now, we had to keep our horses quite and walking quickly so we could get around to the front of the mansion: the only way to escape. If I'd really thought about it, I might have realized that the grounds were set up this way so that anyone who escaped had to do it out the front entrance, but I was too focused on just escaping to think. I was too focused on leading a horse that was obviously getting upset about something, and too focused on watching my younger brother behind me to make sure he was going to be okay.

We came around to the entrance and were preparing to mount... we'd wasted too much time.

"Zero, what is this?"

Startled, I looked up to see Kaname standing on the step, still half-dressed in his nightclothes. Ichiru had already mounted and was giving Kaname a look of pure fear; he shook enough to unnerve his horse who began shifting his weight and pawing the ground, waiting anxiously for a clear signal to run from Ichiru who was completely frozen. I could see why. Pooling at Kaname's feet was a sort of darkness, that even shook Lady Shizuka, who was wrapped around his right arm. We could've taken off at that point, but there was no reason. I recognized that darkness as Kaname summoning his power, and I knew that there was no way we were going to make it now. Not both of us... No. Maybe I could still save Ichiru... I touched his leg once, and he glanced down at me long enough to see my hand come back and then strike his horse on the flank. The horse, startled, jumped back on his haunches, front hooves barely coming off the ground, and used this momentum to spring forward at a full gallop while Ichiru attempted to regain himself, gathering up the reins to control the horse's head. He was still a good rider after all this time. But good riding skills weren't enough to save him from my stupidity. There was a flash of sorts as I watched the ground torn up with Kaname's pureblood power, and very cleanly, Ichiru's horse along with his body, rode out from underneath his head. There was no dramatic spurt of blood, but his body spasmed for a moment before toppling to the side and being dragged along uselessly, coating the ground in blood as it poured out, foot caught in the stirrup. The horse, scared by this strange thing dangling off it's side, ran wildly, rearing and bucking to try and free himself, but he only ended up dislodging the improperly tightened saddle and it slipped under his barrel, causing him even more stress. he was throwing his head, managed to get the reins tangled in his front legs, and tripped himself, falling on top of my brother's headless corpse and into a puddle of blood. He thrashed about for a moment before he laid still, having tired himself out.

I did nothing but stare in shock. I couldn't do anything else. My entire body felt cold watching this, wishing that I could do something, but I was frozen there. I just barely heard Kaname call my name, more... I felt his Will pulling me toward him, and my legs obeyed his beckoning. I was still stunned, shocked, my throat and mouth were arid as a summer desert. I watched him, glaring down on me and felt instantly guilty. Worse than that was seeing how close to him Shizuka was. Not for long. Stroking her, hair, his hand paused, coming around to touch her face. It was like she knew something was wrong instantly as he did so, and turned to face him. His hand traced from her face, down her whole body with a strange sort of lust in his eye. Only we could've understood.

"You wouldn't kill me, Kaname. Not the woman who carries your heir," she whispered, and even still I heard every word. Why was that? I blamed it on the adreniline.

Kaname gave a half laugh, bringing his hand to her throat. He traced her jugular with his thumb. "My heir? Don't make me laugh. Why would I have any use for Ichiru's seed?" And without giving her a chance to answer, he tore her throat out and threw it to my feet. I was rigid with fear; he had killed them, so what was to become of me? What was he going to do to me? I was shaking and sweating as he came down the front steps toward me, cradling my face just as he had with Shizuka. "Zero... what am I to do with you...?"

"Master..." It was choked out. His hand was on my throat. This was it. I knew I'd fucked up royally, and he was going to kill me. I'd deserved it. I accepted my fate.

xXXx

Son of A/N: Hello again~

Okay, so originally this story was only supposed to be, what? six chapters long? I think; and it grew into something much more. This has been an emotional roller coaster for dear Zero, full of truths and lies and false/lost memories, and I know it's got a lot of you confused. Well, dearests, that was the sole intention of this fic. To confuse. It wasn't supposed to be clear from the beginning what was going on, or I would've explained it in the first paragraph. Most of the time, I didn't even know what was happening, so it was really fun to just let my imagination go where it wanted to. About halfway through I had to make a timeline, though, so I could focus and get this story actually going somewhere instead of just floating around in space, though I'm sure some of you... Luan... would not have minded in the slightest. Of course, I had the ending planned out in my head all along, so this was all inevitable.

I think... some people might have really mistaken this for Zero being in love with Ichiru and wanting to run away to be with him, but as you can see from this chapter, that really is not the case. His intentions aren't really clear, I guess. Zero says he's in love with Kaname and he doesn't want anyone to compete with him, but then he's running away from Kaname, fearing being killed for it, because Ichiru's being mistreated. That in itself makes little sense. So, who does he care more for? That's pretty much up to speculation based on what comes next in this series. YES. Don't you worry your pretty little heads. I have a ninth chapter and an epilogue on the way, and they will explain everything that I can't tell you here.

Also, I'm thinking about writing another series set in this universe. Yay or Nay?

Thanks to all of you guys for your support and lovely reviews! Don't forget to leave one of your own, even if it just tells me how much I suck. Comments, questions, random fangirl squealing, suggestions: all are welcome. Flames, also welcome, will be used to roast marshmallows.

33