Disclaimer: I do not own VK or anything associated with it.

To those who will surely behead me for starting a new fic instead of updating my old ones: the plot for this story came to me in a dream. Zero was, in fact, in this dream. I've tried to tell it as closely to my dream as I can, but there are some things too beautiful, too mysterious to explain. I hope you won't kill me for deviating to this story before I forget it.


"Ahh, welcome Aya-san! Your aunt already filled out your permission forms." Kaien Cross chirped. Aya, a thin 16 year old, nodded mutely and turned to leave. On her way, however, Yuuki burst through the door. Two squeaks of surprise pierced the air, and both girls landed in a heap on the floor.

Yuuki leapt up first, hastily repeating apologies, "Aya-san! Gomen nasai! I didn't see you there…" Before she forgot about her altogether and raced over to Chairman Cross.

They both began talking in urgent whispers, and Aya took that opportunity to slip out the door.

Outside his office, she rubbed the back of her head dumbly. Um, ow. That really hurt. I wonder what had the prefect in such a hurry.

She had come to Kaien's office to sign (or get someone to sign) her permission form to visit the Geshou castle with the rest of her class. Thus far, it sounded like an interesting place to visit. The mansion was built centuries ago by an old carpenter, but shortly after it was built, the man went missing. He was found months later, wandering the forest surrounding his home. The man was spitting gibberish, clawing at some mysterious tattoos on his legs. He died not long after when he hung himself.

Of course, this caused many students to enter an enthusiastic debate: "Was it haunted?"

Aya pushed herself off the wall, and started down the long hallway towards the stairs. Sunlight filtered through the large windows as the breeze ruffled the curtains out of its way, and the old building seemed to be a little more alive. Aya smiled a tiny smile.

She wasn't a particularly active girl, but that wasn't her fault. Aya had been battling cancer since the age of 7, and it finally seemed as though she had won. But the effects it had on her body were not yet defeated.

Her black hair had grown back in, and was beginning to adopt a healthy sheen. The black bags under her eyes were disappearing, and she was gaining weight again. But she was still weak.

She trailed her fingers along the wall as she walked. This had become a habit she maintained, due to her susceptibility to falling. The stairs loomed ahead, and she paced her way towards them, dreading the experience.

"Take it one step at a time, you'll make it," the weary voice of her mother echoed in her head, as it always did when she needed encouragement. So she took it one step at a time.

Or she would've, if a flash of silver hadn't caught her eye.

Leaning against the railing, one flight down, was Zero Kiryuu. He was breathing heavily, his free hand wrapped around his throat. The other hand was clearly trying to break the railing. Was he in pain?

Despite everything, Aya felt her cheeks heat up. This was entirely familiar to her, for reasons she sometimes hated herself for. Aya had been attending Cross Academy for three years now, and her fascination with the tall, stoic prefect had been festering just as long. It wasn't a fascination that was borne of the same obsessive puppy-love her classmates felt for the night class…instead it was wrought from a sense of sympathy.

Zero hid it well, but when Kaname Kuran spoke to Yuuki, there was a sharp edge to his tone and a desperate light in his eyes. Aya knew he loved the bubbly, klutzy, loud prefect…and she envied her for it.

She envied Yuuki for a lot of things.

But she also hated her, for not seeing the kind of pain Zero was in all the time. Her brilliant smiles were directed at Kaname, her eyes lit up for Kaname, her cheeks blushed for Kaname…but it was Zero who had always been there for her.

So Aya watched, just in case Zero needed someone to be there for him.

But now that it seemed he finally did, she was given pause. Obviously, this was what Yuuki had been speaking to Chairman Cross about, and they would likely be barreling down the hallway any second to retrieve him. Yes, she should just walk right by him and let Yuuki and the Chairman deal with it.

Shaking, Aya began her slow descent down the first flight of stairs. Her eyes were glued to Zero's trembling form, and she found herself confused. He wasn't visibly hurt…anywhere. What could be causing him such distress?

Thud, thud, thud, thud

Her footsteps were as loud as her heartbeat; as loud as her conscience telling her she was being a coward.

Zero clearly hadn't noticed her, so distracted by his pain.

Thud, thud, thud, thud

She had reached the platform separating flights. Now all she had to do was skirt around the tall prefect, and walk down one more flight and she'd be done with it.

Then Zero made a retching noise, and grew perfectly still.

Aya's eyes widened, and she swallowed hard. Now that he knew she was next to him, could she really just walk away?

"Z-zero? Are you alright?" The trembling in his shoulders began again, and he sank to the floor.

Alarmed, Aya approached him, settling a hand on his shoulder.

In an instant, he had her pinned to the floor, and she was shocked to see glowing red eyes staring down at her. Despite her logical side screaming at her to knee him in the groin and run away as fast as possible, her other, less self preserving side couldn't help but marvel at him.

His eyes were like red water, constantly swirling and changing. His skin was flawless, as she always knew it to be, but now…up close, it looked like marble, rather than the silk she had imagined. A crease had formed between his eyebrows, and his muscles were strung tight, as if in restraint. Silver locks of hair fell around her face, tickling her cheeks. He smelled of pine, and blood…his mouth, bared in a snarl, held tiny fangs…

Beautiful, she wanted to say. She was sure that her heart was going to burst, caught in a terrible combination of admiration and fear. After all…what normal person had fangs?

He was breathing hard, hot breaths wafting across her face and stirring her bangs. Zero was simply staring at her, his large hands holding her small wrists captive. He was trying to move away, but he always shifted right back on top of her, his eyes staring fixedly at her neck.

"Z-zero?" Aya whimpered, trying not to breathe.

Hurried footsteps came down the hall from the floor above. "Zero! Get off of her!" Aya heard Chairman Cross' voice carry over them like a bomb in the silence. Zero's jaw tightened even further, and he ceased to breathe. His teeth clenched together so hard she heard a grinding noise, and he pressed harder on her wrists.

Unbidden, a squeak of pain escaped her, and just like that, Zero was off of her. He had propelled himself across the platform to the other wall, where he crouched with his head in his hands.

Yuuki barreled down the steps, but paused uncertainly before her friend. Kaien wasn't far behind, cautiously peering at his student.

"Leave me alone…" Zero growled, and Aya felt a pang of sorrow shoot through her at the sheer amount of torture his tone revealed.

He was gone the next instant, and all that was left to be said died in their throats.

This story will be told in a series of one-shots, because I clearly cannot find it in myself to pick up exactly where I left off.