A/N: Read! This is a Yaoi story between Zero and Kaname. There will be Yuuki bashing as at the moment I really don't like her. There will be some OCs as they are vital to the story line but the story is not about them. If you have a problem with any of these, please leave now and don't flame. You have been duly warned. Another thing this is my first yaoi story so it's probably rubbish.

Summary: Zero is more than he appears, and as his birthday draws closer Yuuki Kuran is going to find out how different her Level D really is and Kaname is going to discover if he's really with the right person...


Chapter One

Changes for the Changed

Zero rarely slept any more. In fact, he hadn't slept since Kuran Kaname had awoken Yuuki's vampire side. His sister. His fiancée. But Zero tried not to think about that too much; it made his stomach churn and bile rise up in his throat faster than the blood tablets. Yuuki had been moved to the Moon Dorms and Sayori, Yuuki's close human friend had taken over her duties as the second prefect. Training her in anti-vampire weapons had become a welcome distraction.

Because Zero and Yori and the rest of the Day Class had become obsolete in Yuuki's new vampire eyes. If it wasn't the shocked looks from the Night Class (including Kaname) she received the first time she pushed arrogantly past Zero, the Ex-human would have happily blamed them in Yuuki's drastic change in behaviour. But it was as if someone had erased her previous sweet, cheerful personality and rewritten her as a demanding spoiled brat with a superiority-complex.

Despite this, Yori knew it wasn't the loss of their best and in Zero's case, only friend that caused the dark shadows his eyes. It was the nightmares. Since learning of his situation, she'd offered him her blood twice. And twice he turned it down. But it wasn't just the nightmares that had Yori worried. For the past month, Zero had been acting more and more ...odd.

At first it was little things...making a cup of tea without realising he'd already made one and hadn't drunk that one yet...Forgetting what his next lesson was even though he'd told her not five minutes ago...it wasn't until Zero spoke to her in fluent French that Sayori really started to get worried. Especially when she asked, he couldn't remember what he'd said directly after. Then there was the notebook filled with Latin that he wrote but couldn't read.

She'd begged him to see the nurse but he refused point blank to even step foot in the Infirmary, she'd threatened to tell the Chairman and only got a bored "so tell him, then" back. So she'd told. The Chairman had been as worried as she had and none of the theories they'd come up with together could explain Zero's condition. She'd tried to hide her concern for him as she knew he wouldn't have wanted nor needed it.

She pretended nothing was wrong when he taught her to use Silver Edge- the extendable spear filled with Hunter magic that was her prefect's weapon. The blade, brilliant silver was kite-shaped and wickedly sharp; it was as long and wide as Zero's hand. The extendable shaft meant she could use it like a dagger when it was at its shortest and a full out spear at its longest of a foot long. She risked a small worried look at Zero as he showed her to use the shaft as a Bo staff and wield the point with deadly accuracy.

After the practise she'd attempted to convince him to visit the town together the next day, a Saturday. "No thanks." Zero had told her as he shrugged into a clean t-shirt. Sayori hadn't pressed. She knew that Zero didn't like people prying into his life too much, but she did wangle an invite to go with him when he did errands for the Chairman the next week.

A week passed. Yuuki got worse. She started to give pithy little remarks at Zero's Level D status, Zero ignored her and the Night Class began distancing themselves from her. Although Kaname couldn't stop his sister clinging on to him like a limpet every time they passed the Day Class on their way to their lessons, he had stopped giving her his secret little smiles and lavishing her with affection. Instead he gave apologetic glances at Zero when the rest of the Night Class went on. Zero ignored them.

He'd gotten worse over the week. Sayori had brought him a new notebook as an early 18th birthday present, knowing he preferred to scribble down his thoughts than talk them over. It was already filled with Latin, German, French and what looked like Celtic runes. Having stolen it and gone to library, Sayori had managed to translate the French first as she already knew some of the language, and was working on the English. She was disturbed with what she'd found. The French had gone like:

"It's filled with blood. Everywhere, everything is red. I recognise one of the girls from my dream. I still don't know her name. Her hair is the colour of milk chocolate, but dirty, greasy and hangs in rat tails to her shoulders and looks like it's been hacked at with gardening shears. She is wearing a loose dress to her knees that looks like it's made from old bed sheets. She'd led through cobbled streets with old wooden houses on either side. Men and women and children follow the horse-drawn cart where she is chained. They throw rotten vegetables and stones at her, but she doesn't react. Her pretty face is bruised and blood dribbles from the shallow cuts the stones leave.

Two burly men drag her from the cart; she kicks and screams at them. She doesn't like being touched, I know this. I don't know how or why but I know this. The one on her left backhands her and tells her to shut up. The one on her right laughs. I feel inexplicitly furious at this blatant display of disrespect towards the girl, even though she is not much older than me. They pull her up on a wooden platform, they undo the chains only to wrench her arms behind her back and refasten the heavy iron manacles, while one man slips a noose around her neck, the other reads off a list of her crimes.

The townspeople that had thrown stones and vegetables at her roar for her death. I think I shouted in fury at such a waste of a life...the Hangman pulls the lever and as she falls I run forward, desperate to save her. I can see her face turning purple, her dark eyes bulge and reel as the rope tightens around her neck...even as her kicking legs fall limp, I'm racing towards her...then I wake up, in my bed at Cross Academy. And there is no girl being hung in 1688, Paris."

Yori had carefully copied out the Latin and hidden the notebook back where she'd found it. She was now painstakingly researching books for what the words might reveal. She felt guilty about betraying Zero's trust when she'd given him the book in the first place so he didn't have to talk to her about his private thoughts. But with how he was acting Yori didn't care if he never forgave her, if it helped him it was worth it.

"Well, Kiriyuu? Aren't you going to get out my way?" The deceptively simpering voice cut through Sayori's memories as easily as Silver Edge would cut through butter. Kuran Yuuki stood in front of Zero, clinging to her brother and glaring at the male prefect in disgust. Zero stood a little in front of the Day Class girls who were screaming for 'Kaname-sempai' or 'Idol-sempai' and 'Wild-sempai'. But they didn't go past Zero, Sayori had never been on the receiving end of his Death Glare and hoped to God she never would be. Yuuki tapped her foot impatiently, even though he was well out of the way for her to walk past.

Zero ignored her and instead pointed at one of the girls that attempted to slide out of line to Aidou, "one more step at its detention tomorrow." Zero told her without looking at her. The girl squeaked and hurried back into line. Yuuki waited for an answer, she stood firm even as Kaname attempted to lead her around Zero.

"I asked a question, you filthy Level..." Yuuki's heated outburst was cut off effectively when Kaname slapped a hand over her mouth. Her dark eyes, filled with confusion and anger swivelled to meet Kaname's equally dark furious orbs.

"We are very grateful for what Kiriyuu-kun and Sayori-san do for us every day, aren't we, Yuuki?" His voice suggested it was not open for debate and if she made one she would not like the consequences. Kaname then dragged her away from the prefect and towards the school building, the rest of the Night Class waited for them patiently by the steps. After the vampires had disappeared in to the building, Zero and Sayori quickly dispersed the Day girls back to their dorms.

As they stood on the prefect's balcony where they could over look the whole campus for day students sneaking out to spy on the Night students or Night students who wanted a midnight snack. "All quiet." Sayori reported as she came up to Zero after walking the whole way round the balcony. He nodded to tell her it was the same here. "Zero...why do you think Yuuki-chan hates us now?" She finally asked him what was plaguing her mind since Yuuki was awoken.

"I don't know." He turned to look at Sayori with sad eyes. "If I hadn't seen the way Kuran looked at the first time she called..." He trailed off. They both knew that his decent to Level E was a sore spot for him. "If I hadn't seen his face, I would have thought he was changing her but he looked as shocked at her words as I was." Zero murmured quietly, talking more to himself than the second prefect.

Soon Saturday rolled round and Zero and Sayori dressed to go and do errands for the Chairman. Zero shrugged into a black winter jacket, black combat trousers and a long sleeved dark purple t-shirt that brought out the purple in his eyes. Sayori wore a knee-length pearly grey coat and jeans and green sweater underneath. They got the groceries and Zero was surprised with how comfortable it was just to be with Sayori. With Yuuki he always had to keep an eye on her because of her habit to wander off and get herself into trouble.

When Zero needed to go to the chemist to restock the school's supply of blood pills, Sayori told him she wanted to get a new history book on the French Revolution, both had been surprised when they discovered they shared an interest in foreign history. While Sayori did go to the book store, she left after finding what she wanted. She then went in to the shop next door.

The rooms were dark and filled with chirping and mewling, the blub-blub-blub of fish tanks and the scratching of tiny kittens in their huge cage. "Can I help you, Miss?" A soft croaky voice asked quietly from behind her. Sayori jumped, spinning around and her hand automatically going to Silver Edge tucked in her coat. The old woman with big horn-rimmed glasses just smiled serenely. "There's no need for that here, Miss. I'm not a vampire."

The copper-haired girl gaped at the old woman. "Y-you know?" She finally stammered out in shock.

The old woman laughed, her cheeks dimpling in her weathered face. "Oh my dear girl, of course I know. It's not often I get the Night Class students here but I did get a young one in here not three weeks ago, reddish hair and grey eyes. Not once smiled but then what teenagers do these days? He wanted one of my new kittens for his friend's birthday, as I recall."

Sayori knew immediately who the old woman was talking about. Shiki Senri had gotten a little tabby kitten for Ichijou Takuma- his boyfriend's birthday just before the end of last month. The blonde cheerful vampire had been delighted with the baby cat more than any of his other presents and had shown the newly christened Yumi off to anyone who stood in one spot longer than five minutes.

"A coincidence, I'm looking for a friend's birthday as well." Sayori's eyes drifted to an open top enclosure where three husky pups were snuffling at the clean newspaper they had. Two were pure white but one was white with a silvery grey topcoat and mask. It was the smallest of the three but the one that was pawing at the paper with the most enthusiasm.

"Ah, that's Shiloh. She's the youngest but twice the handful than her brothers." The woman warned. "Huskies need a lot of looking after, lot of companionship. Especially the puppies, if you want to get one for your friend they'll need a lot of time to play with them. "

Sayori dropped down and petted Shiloh's head. "My friend is lonely but he doesn't know he is. Maybe Shiloh can be his companion as well as him being hers." Sayori suggested, giggling a little when Shiloh eagerly licked her hand.

"Are you sure the Headmaster won't mind? A puppy is a lot different from a kitten." But the woman looked more thoughtful. She then looked up at Sayori sharply, "This friend of yours isn't Kiriyuu Zero?" She suddenly asked. Sayori blinked up at the woman as she rubbed Shiloh's fur, she nodded hesitantly and the pet shop owner's face immediately creased into a delighted smile. "He comes in here every time he'd in town, plays with the pups before he goes to the chemist. You must have just missed him leaving."

"Does he like Shiloh?" Sayori asked, if Zero preferred one of the males, she'd get him that one instead...but she liked Shiloh, she thought the grey and white puppy was much better for Zero than the other two.

"Oh he loves her. And she adores him. Do you want to get her for him?"

"Yes please." Sayori nodded.

"As it's for Kiriyuu-kun I'll give you a little discount." The woman moved behind the counter while Sayori gathered the tiny pup into her arms. "But that's just between the three of us." The woman touched a crooked finger to her nose, then tapped Sayori's and Shiloh's in turn. Sayori nodded thankfully.

Even with the discount, the price made Sayori pale and she fought back the urge to gulp, but she determinedly pushed that to the back of her mind. This was for Zero. It was worth it. She made plans to pick up Shiloh next week- closer to Zero's birthday and brought a simple brown leather collar and lead.

They had decided to meet in a cosy cafe an hour before the next bus back to school left. However due to buying Zero his birthday present, Sayori was ten minutes late. "Sorry I was so late, Zero." Sayori apologised. Zero just nodded emotionlessly, he had been waiting for her outside the coffee shop loaded down with shopping bags.

Sayori had insisted she paid for the coffees even though her bank account was still whimpering after she brought Shiloh. They found a quiet table in the back, where they could talk freely without the worry of someone overhearing them. "I got caught up reading about witch burnings in 17th century England." Sayori offered as a lame excuse- she'd finished her fascination on witch burnings three weeks ago and had moved on to the French Revolution.

But Zero just nodded and took a sip of his bitter black coffee as if he didn't already know that. The two prefects shared their coffees in comfortable silence; they still had plenty of time before they had to get the bus. Zero was happy for this, as when he went shopping with Yuuki, he often had to go find her before the last bus left and then they had to run to catch it in time.

When it was time to leave, they did so with few words between them. They were both naturally quiet people and they rarely saw the sense in pointless chatter- something Yuuki was an expert on. The bus was on time so they left quite quickly and were glad to be heading back to the school. Sayori turned to Zero as the bus crossed the bridge to their stop, "It's your birthday in next week, do you want to go into town for dinner?" She asked.

Zero continued to glare out the window. Sayori was about to ask again when he grunted and shrugged. At least it wasn't an outright rejection. "We can get away from school and prefect duties and..." Sayori paused when she realised she was about to say Yuuki's name. From the look Zero gave her he knew exactly what she was about to say as well. "...and the Chairman's cooking!" She said instead and stretched her lips into a wide smile. She heaved a sigh of relief when Zero chuckled deeply.

"Maybe that'll be nice." Zero conceded.

As it neared Zero's birthday, everything got worse. Zero got worse. The other Day Class students had started to notice as well and were now more wary of the silver haired prefect- after all what if he was contagious. The Night Class seemed to notice as well and Yuuki made even more malicious remarks on his inevitable fall to Level E.

However the elder Kuran sibling and surprisingly, Kain and Seiren started to treat Zero with more respect- Takuma had always had respect for Zero. Shiki and Rima, for their part, didn't seem to be able to drum enough interest to either follow Kaname's lead and respect the Ex-Human or taunt him like the younger pureblood. They just ignored him, although Sayori thought he saw both give sympathetic looks at the Silverette, it could have also just been her imagination.

Zero tried to hide how much he was hurting form everyone else, but Sayori had become well adapted to reading behind his half-truths and full out lies.

She could see that he was in so much pain; the bags under his eyes seemed to get darker and heavier with each passing day. He grew paler although he was already pale to start with so instead his skin was ghastly grey instead of his usual healthy alabaster. His hands would shake uncontrollably at times until he was able to firm them and hide their weakness from anyone who might have seen.

Sayori didn't know what to do any more.

She'd spoken to the headmaster on numerous occasions to try and convince the nurse to examine Zero. She'd resorted to begging and threatening Zero, desperate that he'd drop his pride and go to the nurse. He'd refused coldly and disappeared for two days, she didn't see him in class and had to with prefect duties on her own before he returned and acted as if nothing had happened, but looking worse than ever.

And she was sure the taunts from Yuuki and her cohorts- mostly unknown Level C's, looking to get in the good books of a Pureblood- had helped him any. It got so bad, Sayori's fingers itched to take Silver Edge and slowly slice up her former friend with it. Zero seemed to know this and had easily kept her distracted from Yuuki during change-over.

Two days before Zero's eighteenth birthday, as they left their History class and were making their way to their maths class, Sayori and Zero were the last ones out. Sayori paused when she felt Zero no longer next to her, she turned back to see him leaning against the doorjamb. If Sayori ever saw a ghost she'd swear it had more colour than Zero had at that moment, his face shiny with perspiration, his eyes were glassy and the pupils dilated so much that only a thin band of lavender was visible around the black pupil.

"Zero!" Sayori gasped even as the boy's eyes rolled wildly and he slid down the doorjamb and lay crumpled on the polished floor. Kazuko-Sensei, their teacher was immediately next to him with Sayori. The other members of class, having been alerted by Sayori's cry, hovered uncertainly nearby. Sayori turned to the student closest to her- one of Idol-Sempai's most devoted fans- and barked "Get the Nurse and the headmaster! Now!"

The girl scurried away with two others that went to help her. Sayori stroked Zero's damp silver hair out of his face, "It's going to be okay, Zero." She knew she was making a promise she couldn't keep. The nurse had appeared, slightly out of breathe- indicating she'd run from the infirmary, but her face was all business. Cross Kaien had also come running, his green shawl hanging off one shoulder and his glasses askew. His face was pinched with worry and more serious than Sayori had ever seen it.

The nurse took Zero's pulse and pulled back his eyelids to check his eyes. "Call an ambulance and get him sent over to St. Lucifer's." She demanded. Sayori couldn't stop a small gasp from forcing its way out of her throat. St. Lucifer's was a vampire hospital that was charity-run by both Hunters and Vampires. Kaname and Kaien had set it up to help their dream of co-existence. The hospital specialised in ex-humans that hadn't fallen to Level E just yet and was designed to try and keep them at Level D.

"I'm going with him." Sayori told them firmly. If this meant Zero was dying then he needed a friend- not one that would choke him with an overabundance of coddling but someone who knew and understood what was going to happen to him and wouldn't turn in to a gibbering mess because of it. She needed to be strong for him.

The nurse opened her mouth, clearly to state that it was best if Sayori stayed here, but one look at the young girl's face told her it would only be a waste of oxygen. The headmaster nodded solemnly. "All classes have been cancelled for today. All of you will return to your dorms and will be escorted to the cafeteria for your evening meal and then escorted back to your dorms. " He told the gathering student mass. His voice was cold and hard as steel. "Anyone caught outside their dorms without an escort will be expelled immediately. No excuses will be heard."

One of the girls made a small choked sob- none of them needed anyone to say it because it was all ingrained into them since the opening of the Night Class. By being escorted back to their dorms immediately after their evening meal, they'll miss the class change-over and miss seeing their favourite Night Class students. And with the threat of expulsion hanging over their heads, no one was going to risk sneaking out for a glimpse of the Night Class.

Sayori was only slightly surprised when headmaster Cross climbed into the back of the ambulance with Zero, clutching the boy's pale sweaty hand as if it was his only lifeline. Sayori sat on Zero's other side, one hand gripping his as hard as she dared without hurting him and the other stroking back his hair as a mother would. The paramedic was a Level C and went about his duty with a detached air that made Sayori think he didn't really like his job.

When they got to the hospital there was another vampire. This one was also a Level C and the way he offered a cheerful smile at them and then looked at Zero, a nod at an attending nurse and they wheeled Zero away. Sayori made to follow but was stopped by the headmaster. "No, Wakaba-san. We must wait here." For the first time she could remember, Cross Kaien looked...old.

"But he'll be okay, won't he?" Sayori asked desperately. She didn't know what to do anymore- Zero was in so much pain and she couldn't stop it...maybe if Yuuki hadn't...she cut herself from that thought quickly and efficiently, it'd do no good to think about what Yuuki could be like if she hadn't changed. She would not let her thoughts take that dark road.

Kaien sighed deeply; he took off his glasses and polished them on his shawl, in an unregistered nervous habit. "I don't know, Sayori-kun." He whispered hoarsely. He couldn't lie to her, not after everything she'd done. When Yuuki was awakened, Kaien was worried for her and for Kaname, the implications of what they had done...but mostly he had been worried for Zero, his reaction.

He had been unsurprised by the silver-haired Hunter's initial volatile reaction but afterwards it had been filled with warmth when the boy had promised to try and understand and stay friends with Yuuki. It had taken Kaien longer than it should have to see that Yuuki had changed too drastically for either him, Zero or even Sayori to be anything more than a blip on Yuuki's radar. Sayori had been the only one to pull Zero from his dark and turbulent thoughts. She had been the one to save him.

Kaien's heart ached for the girl who Yuuki had once been. He had lost his daughter to her evitable destiny. He would not lose his son his.

Aidou Hanabusa followed close behind the Kurans as the Night Class got ready for their lessons. He couldn't wait to see all those pretty day Class girls and to tease their Guardians; Aidou frowned when he saw that Kaname-sama walked in slow measured steps. It wasn't very hard to work out why, Aidou thought bitterly, with Yuuki-sama clinging to him like a monkey. He hopped from one foot to the other impatiently, as soon as the gates slowly clanged open, Aidou skipped through them.

Kain walked into his cousin when Aidou suddenly stopped. "Hey! What gives, Hanabusa?" He muttered darkly as he righted himself, having barely caught himself before he fell over his shorter cousin. He saw why Aidou had stopped so suddenly. The courtyard that usually held dozens of screaming fan girls was deserted. Not even Kiriyuu or Wakaba were present.

"Where is everyone?" Aidou asked, looking around as if he expected the girls he was accustomed to shouting his name to suddenly pop out of the bushes and trees that lined the walkway. No one appeared, in the distance they heard a bird cheep.

"Onii-sama, why aren't the Day Class girls here?" Yuuki asked in a sickly simpering tone. She looked up at Kaname from under her eyelashes, thinking it made her look vulnerably beautiful- and what big, strong man didn't want a damsel in distress to save? She didn't realise it made it look like something had flown into her eyes and she was trying to blink it out.

"I don't know." Kaname answered. If he was honest to himself, the quiet was a welcome change, but the absence of Zero and Sayori was disturbing. Even if they managed to keep the Day Class fan girls away, the two of them would still be here to supervise the change-over. It was not like either of them to allow the vampires free reign where there could still be humans about. "We should still get to class." He told the other vampires, immediately they started walking again.

Kaname couldn't stop himself from looking up at the empty Prefect balcony, half expecting to see the silver hair glittering in the setting sun's last rays. Instead there was nothing. The balcony was deserted and seemed to throw out a deep aura of loneliness. Kaname wondered why his heart felt so heavy at the fact there was no Zero there to glare at him hatefully.

Kaname glared at the Hunter. How dare that insignificant little human tell him what to do? The Hunter, however didn't seem to notice or care, his booted feet were propped up on the desk, his arms folded behind his head and a cigarette dangling from between his lips. His visible ice blue eye was mocking respect but Kaname could see that there was also worry hidden behind all the sarcasm.

"It is urgent I speak with Headmaster Cross, Yagari-Sensei. Please tell me where he is." Kaname kept his voice calm and controlled- bordering on polite- he knew that showing any of the anxiety he truly felt welling up inside of him would be a weakness. And Kuran Kaname did not show weakness to anybody.

"And I've already told you, he's not here. Leave a note and when he gets back he'll talk to you." Yagari sucked on his cigarette. He didn't want to be here, he'd have preferred to be at the hospital, threatening every vampire doctor in earshot until he had answers. In the eight hours since Zero collapsed, Yagari had spoken to Kaien twelve times and Sayori six, being kept updated regularly about his student's condition.

And each time all he got was 'he's still unconscious.' and 'we're still waiting for the doctor, he hasn't come back yet.' The one that truly made him worry was his last one from Wakaba, the girl was sobbing so hard that Yagari had trouble piecing together what she was saying: 'Th-they took some b-b-b-blood and other stuff. T-t-the doctor s-s-said t-th-that we had to prepare o-o-ourselves for the w-w-w-worst! Oh God! Yagari-sensei...he looks so pale and small and weak! Z-Z-Zero is n-n-not s-s-suppose to be weak!'

And now this bloodsucking Pureblood was distracting him when his thoughts should be with Zero. Yagari simply glared, pleased with the frustrated look that appeared in the vampire's eyes before he could squash and hide it. "Fine. Where is Kiriyuu, I can talk to him." The vampire ordered superiorly.

"Not here, either." Yagari bit out.

"Unless he's dropped down dead, I don't care if i'm disturbing him. Now where is he?" Kaname wanted answers and he was neither used to nor inclined to wait for them. Kaname watched as those pale blue eyes turned so cold and that face so hard and unforgiving, Kaname could easily see why Yagari was considered the best. The Hunter had bitten right through his cigarette; he tossed the two pieces into the trash can before fixing Kaname with that cold hard look.

"Zero's with Kaien." He said darkly.

Kaname was relieved. Finally they were getting somewhere. "And where might that be, Yagari-sensei?" He asked as politely as he could, he knew it came out condescending but a Pureblood never apologised to a creature that was below them.

"At St. Lucifer's." Yagari took a deep sadistic delight in the genuinely shocked face of the vampire. Kuran's face had become as pale as water and his dark eyes were large and round. But Yagari wasn't done. Before Kaname could ask the obvious follow up question, Yagari snapped out, "Zero collapsed earlier today."

"Why? Do you know how?" Kuran demanded immediately.

Yagari face contorted with fury, "Why the hell should I tell you? So you can go and make sure he stays that way? Or do you want to finish off the job? You got the girl, Kuran. Leave the boy alone. He doesn't need you."

"No, he just needs my blood." Kaname countered.

"Get out. Go to your dorm or better yet, go to hell. Either way I'll make sure you don't take one step near Zero." The look on Yagari's face told Kaname that fighting would be a waste of time and more than likely end with Yagari shooting him. Without another word, Kaname turned on his heel and left the headmaster's office.

A/N: This is my first Vampire Knight fic and my first Yaoi one. Please review to tell me what you think!