A/N: I was shocked and appalled to find out that there are so few Lissa/Rose stories. I guess I'm so used to Twilight, where even the non-canon pairings have strong fan bases. To be honest, I almost never stray outside of the Twilight fandom, but I just finished Last Sacrifice and I guess I felt inspired to write at least a little something.

This story takes place after Blood Promise but before Spirit Bound. I don't know where this is going to go. Normally I plan stories out, but I'm totally winging it on this one. It'll probably stay a one-shot, at least for now, since I'm still nursing my giant Twilight fic.

I'll shut up. Just enjoy the story.

Disclaimer: Vampire Academy is not mine. (Though I'd love to own Rose…)

I like to think that I'm fairly good at lying.

Well, not lying exactly, just…convincing. I'm a good actress. It's probably the only reason I haven't been expelled from the Academy yet. I can make just about anyone believe just about anything.

Which is why I'm so frustrated with myself at the moment.

Ever since Dimitri turned Strigoi, my life has been infinitely more complicated than it should have been. Granted, it was bad enough before then, what with me being shadow-kissed and falling in love with my mentor. But that was all stuff I could deal with.

But this? No way.

When I returned from Russia after having thought I'd successfully destroyed what remained of the man I'd loved, I'd started lying to myself. Every day I told myself that I didn't love Dimitri, that I loved Adrian instead, that I never had to get caught up in this mess again because Dimitri was dead and Adrian was here and I could now live and be happy.

My illusion was shattered when I received a letter from Dimitri, who was, evidently, very much alive.

I didn't love Adrian. Who the hell was I kidding? And, while my feelings for Dimitri were in no way what they were before he became a Strigoi, they sure as hell weren't gone.

I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself now, so I avoided Adrian and everyone else to participate in an activity I did all too rarely: hiding in my room and crying my eyes out.

And God, this sucked. I can't believe some girls do this on a daily basis.

A knock sounded on the door, and the sudden noise was all it took for me to enter guardian mode. I launched off the bed and faced the door in a defensive stance before a soft voice called from the other side, "Rose, it's me. Open up."

Lissa. Thank God.

I ripped the door open just long enough to pull my best friend into a tight, crushing hug. She returned the embrace and began to softly mutter words of comfort. "Shh, it's alright. It's going to be okay."

I realized too late that I'd burst into tears again. Lissa carefully led me to my bed and sat down, pulling me onto her lap. It was a little awkward since she was a tiny Moroi and I was a much sturdier dhampir, but I couldn't bring myself to care at the moment. I clung to her tightly and sobbed for a good twenty minutes while she did what she could to comfort me.

"I don't know what to do, Liss," I sniffed once my tears had finally run dry. "I'm kidding myself by thinking I could be with Adrian. We're totally wrong for each other."

"I know," she whispered softly, leaning back on the bed and pulling my body against hers.

"And Dimitri…god, why couldn't I do it right? Why'd I have to hesitate? If I'd just been a little quicker, if I'd been thinking, really thinking, I could've -"

She held a single finger to my lips, effectively shutting me up.

"Stop. It does you absolutely no good to berate yourself now."

"It does a world of good!" I countered angrily. "Maybe if I beat myself up about this enough, I'll be able to kill him the next time we meet." I growled softly under my breath.

But Lissa, ever the peacemaker, shook her head and brought her hand under my chin, turning my face so that I was looking right into her jade green eyes.

"Stop worrying about the future," she insisted, "Focus instead on what you have right here, right now."

I sighed, feeling some of the tension flow out of me. Lissa tended to have that effect on people; even if spirit was capable of dealing great damage within the user, to those around, it was a magnet, a powerful energy that drew others towards her and relaxed them. I closed my eyes and leaned forward, resting my forehead against hers. I heard her breathing increase slightly.

"I don't feel like I have much of anything right now," I confessed softly, thinking of everything I'd lost recently: Dimitri, Mason, a spotless record, a chance at being able to guard Lissa once I graduated…all out the window.

Lissa's hands moved to my back and began to rub soothing circles as she spoke. "You have your training, and your friends. You'll graduate soon. And…you have me."

I couldn't help but smile at the last one, especially since I'd been so afraid that I would lose Lissa when I returned home; that she wouldn't forgive me for running away and practically abandoning her. We had been close for so many years; she had literally saved my life, pulled my soul from the world of the dead, creating a bond that kept me tethered to her, able to see into her mind at will. The idea of losing her friendship had been maddening.

"I'm so sorry, Liss." I opened my eyes and looked back into her startling pools of green. "I shouldn't have run out on you like that. It was a foolish chase, anyway."

She shook her head, "It wasn't. I understand why you did it, even if it didn't work out. That being said…I'm incredibly glad you're home."

She smiled, and the sight was so beautiful that I leaned forward on impulse and kissed her cheek softly. She blushed brightly and dropped her gaze from mine. It was kind of adorable. "I'm glad to be home…I missed you a lot, Lissa."

"I missed you too," she whispered, still not looking at me. Her next words were spoken so softly that I couldn't tell if they were meant for me. "I still think about it, sometimes. When we were out in the world together, after we ran away from the Academy. It was hard, but I loved it, because I got to be with you. You were so stubborn and hot-headed, of course, but you kept me safe…like you always promised you would."

Something about her words made my heart skip a few beats. I thought back to that time and remembered just how hard it had been, having to keep to the shadows and protect Lissa despite the fact that I also had to feed her, to let her bite my neck every few days and drain my strength to keep her alive. But I had done it, and would just as soon do it again. I was a guardian, trained to protect the Moroi, and she was my best friend, a Moroi royal who I'd hopefully be guarding once I graduated. They come first. It had all been part of my duty…but it was more than that. I loved Lissa more than anyone else in the world; she'd always have a special place in my heart.

…And my mind, which suddenly became very evident as I felt a bizarre flash of fear flicker across the bond. I tensed instinctively, looking up at her. Her face was ashen white, pale even for her, and she still wasn't looking at me.

"What is it?" I asked urgently, eyes automatically scanning the room.

She shook her head and blushed deeper. Evidently she'd forgotten that I could see inside of her head. I looked through her mind then, but found it guarded from me with spirit. I pulled back into my own mind, confused. What was she hiding?

"Liss?"

She still didn't answer.

"For God's sake, Liss, what's wrong?" I begged, resting a hand on her flushed cheek. Her eyes fluttered closed at the contact. She took a deep, even breath before opening them again, looking at me with a mix of hurt and concern.

"It's nothing. It'll only confuse you more," she muttered hastily.

"That's ridiculous," I growled. "I'm sworn to protect you. If something's bothering you, you need to tell me."

"Not if it hurts you," she countered, looking away from me.

I was getting mad now. I hated to be kept out of things. It drove me insane. "Jeez, Liss, just let it out! If you –"

I was cut off when she turned suddenly and crushed her lips against mine. The move was so sudden, so startling, that it took me a couple of seconds to process what was happening. Lissa was kissing me. Lissa was kissing me. It felt beyond bizarre, and…beyond good.

Her lips were infinitely softer than any others I'd kissed before. Dimitri's were rough and Adrian's usually tasted faintly of the alcohol he drank to keep spirit at bay. Lissa's were like velvet. My brain realized this after the initial moment of shock and, instinctively, my body relaxed a bit and I started to kiss back.

Her moves were quick, desperate, and I wrapped my arms around her shoulders to calm her, pulling her closer to me. She moaned and pulled back for a moment, took a few breaths, then kissed me again, slower this time. I felt warm tingles throughout my body and I savored the contact, loosing myself in the gentle rhythm of the kiss. My heart was pounding in my chest as she leaned closer and tangled her fingers in my hair, causing me to moan.

The kiss broke again, and her eyes slowly opened to meet mine. "I've wanted to do that for a long time," she whispered, her voice making her sound very vulnerable.

I was still catching my breath. "Whoa, Lissa…" My head was reeling, my lips tingling pleasantly. I was incredibly aware of the fact that I really wanted to do that again. I couldn't find any more words to speak at that moment.

"God, I'm so sorry," she murmured, turning away from me and rolling off of the bed before my brain had even registered movement. She turned to the door and I caught myself then, shooting off of the bed and grabbing her wrist.

She stopped and turned, but before she could speak, I closed the distance between us and kissed her hungrily, backing her against the wall, pinning her in place with my body. I was barely even aware of what I was doing. All I knew at that moment was that Lissa, the person I felt closest to in the world, had just kissed me, and it had done incredible things to my body and mind. I wasn't even thinking straight. I just needed her to do that again.

My hands came to rest on her slender hips, and hers snaked around my shoulders, trying to pull me closer. I licked her bottom lip, asking for permission. Slowly, her lips parted and my tongue slipped inside. I felt her fangs now, and a shudder of excitement coursed through my body as I remembered the ecstasy brought on by her bite. It was indecent for me, a guardian in training, to have these thoughts, but I couldn't control the feelings of anticipation. I pulled away from her and bared my neck, a silent request. Her eyes widened.

"Rose, I shouldn't –" she began, but I saw her looking at my neck hungrily, her normally hidden fangs becoming more prominent.

"Please, Liss," I begged, tightening my grip on her hips, "I want you to."

She nodded slowly, leaning forward. My body tensed as her fangs pricked my skin, causing a brief flare of pain. The endorphins kicked in quickly and I felt nothing but utter bliss as she drank from me. My grip on her loosened, but hers tightened as she held a hand to the back of my head, supporting me. The world around me began to fade and I felt almost weightless, a ghost of myself, with only intense pleasure keeping me tethered to the Earth.

After a minute, she pulled away, still supporting my weight to keep me from falling to the floor. The euphoric feelings began to fade, but I still felt the pleasant post-bite tingles coursing through my body. Carefully, Lissa led me back to the bed and lay me down, wrapping her arms around me and watching as I recovered from the high.

"I took more than I should have," she worried out loud, her hand stroking my cheek softly as I tried to catch my breath.

I shook my head weakly. "No…that was…just fine," I breathed.

She smirked, "I couldn't quite help myself. You taste better than any feeder."

I laughed at that one, "Good to know…"

We lay like that for several more minutes, me resting in Lissa's arms and her holding me tightly as the last of the haze in my brain faded.

"Lissa?"

"Hmm?"

"Why didn't you tell me this before?" I whispered.

She stared into my eyes, her expression pained. "I…I knew what had to be going on in your head, between Dimitri and Adrian, and I figured I would just complicate things," she admitted. "I knew for a while that I…wanted you. But I couldn't tell you, I couldn't even think about it or else you'd eventually pick it up through the bond. I trained myself to just ignore it."

I felt a tug in my heart as I picked up the underlying pain in her voice. It cost her a lot to keep things from me, this is particular. I sighed heavily. "Lissa…"

She looked down, not meeting my eyes. "Is this the part where you tell me that I'm a great person, but you just can't deal with this right now?" She didn't sound bitter, just resigned. I shook my head quickly. That wasn't it at all.

I tried to think of the words. They wouldn't come. I closed my eyes slowly and decided to just speak from my heart. "No. This is the part where I tell you that you are the most important person in my life, the one I feel closest to, the one I love the most," she met my eyes hesitantly, "and that I wish you'd told me this sooner and not hidden it from me."

I took her hand in mine and squeezed it tightly, then leaned forward and kissed her lips softly. She smiled hesitantly at me. "I…I love you, Rose," she said, her cheeks coloring a bit.

"I love you, too, Liss. Now stop looking so worried, it's not very becoming of a Dragomir Princess," I teased. She slapped me lightly and smiled wider, then stuck her tongue out at me.

I realized that Lissa had somehow managed to make me forget about all of the problems in my life just by being here. Suddenly, worrying about Dimitri and Adrian just seemed so…trivial. Here was Lissa, who had always been there for me, who I'd always supported and protected, no matter what. She had always been so important, and I'd always put her life before my own. No one else in the world could compete with that.

Lissa curled up in my arms, resting her head against my chest and sighing in content. I kissed the top of her head before looking up at the clock and realizing how late it was. 9 am was nighttime for a Moroi, and both of us should be asleep by now. Through the bond, I felt Lissa's exhaustion, as well as the fact that she was fighting to keep herself awake.

"We should sleep," I said, laughing when Lissa mumbled nonsensically in response. It had been a long day for both of us.

"I don't want to get up," she protested, burying her face further into my chest.

"It's alright," I said, reaching over and turning off the light, "I'm used to sleeping in my clothes, anyway."

"Weird guardian," she muttered.

"Hey, it's all to protect you," I retorted.

"I know. And I'm grateful." She closed her eyes and yawned stiffly. I could tell she was about to drop off. "Thank you, Rose…"

"Of course," I answered, running my fingers through her hair gently until the bond grew hazy and she fell into a deep sleep.

Her face was relaxed, peaceful, and I couldn't help but smile as I watched her for a few more minutes before drifting off as well.

My dreams, previously plagued by a furious Dimitri with red-ringed eyes, were now graced by the jade green eyes of the last Dragomir Princess.

A/N: Awww.

Ok, personally, I'm quite happy with how that turned out. I love it when my random experiments work out :)

Let me know what you think!