Title: Interlude
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Rating/Warnings: PG for vampiric blood-drinking.
Characters: Zero and Yuki.
Summary: When Yuki offered him her neck, there was never a time that Zero didn't make some effort to reject it.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: My first "Vampire Knight" ficlet. As a classic horror fan, I have long experience with vampire characters, but Zero Kiryu offers a more sensual canvas for vampirism than I've ever written previously. This is partly an exercise in exploring that element.


"Take what you need, Zero... It's okay."

When Yuki offered him her neck, there was never a time that Zero didn't make some effort to reject it. At times he succeeded, walking away with a sarcastic retort about her pushiness, and left her to stand there with that strange look of indignation - almost as if she felt slighted, instead of relieved.

But other times, and increasingly, it was the way it was now: when the growing corruption in his body overruled his mind, and he seized her like an animal attacking its prey, even though all he wanted in the world was to push her away from him instead. When the place where that woman had bitten him burned, and he felt the scarlet flames in his eyes and the sharpness of his fangs, and cursed his powerlessness to tear the beast out of his soul.

His pale hands locked on her arms with a strength that frightened him, and he pushed her back until her shoulders met the wall of his room with a thump. He moved more aggressively every time now, although he didn't mean to; he was sure Yuki had started getting bruises, but she never complained. She only tilted her head to one side, presenting him with easy access to her throat, and her eyelashes fluttered closed as his rough exhalation of breath shivered across her cheek.

Slowly, reluctantly, his head bowed, and she let out a small gasp at the first inquisitive stroke of his tongue against her pulse. He felt the marks of his last bite; they were newer and fresher each time. The intervals between these lapses in his resistance were growing ever shorter.

Those half-healed wounds on her neck...

They marked his claim to her. She was his. No one else could have her.

A quiet groan choked out of him. His lips pressed to her flesh, and her body shuddered against him as his fangs penetrated.

Disgusting, repulsive, abhorrent -

The blood that trickled into his mouth was sweet like the fragrance of flowers. Zero closed his eyes and gulped it helplessly, feeling its warmth wash into every fiber of his being. It pushed back the darkness, cleared his head, nourished his body.

It made the beast ever stronger, as his humanity silently wept within him.

One of the cruelest things about his change was its very slowness. It would have been so much better if becoming a monster was quick and sudden, forcing his swift destruction; but instead he had endured four years of knowing, of living a waking nightmare as he felt this evil burn deeper into his soul. Four years of being forced to pretend to others that he was okay, that he was normal, even as he wondered how he would recognize it when this creeping descent finally crossed an unacceptable line.

In the past, when his body's rejection of the blood tablets left him to retch and cough them up, or even when he would lie alone on his bed and writhe with the phantom pain of blood-hunger - he could still convince himself then that he was human. But now, with his fangs against Yuki's throat and her blood dripping down his chin, with the very taste of her seeping into his brain... how could he believe he was still anything more than vampire, no matter how much his heart denied the awful finality of that acceptance?

His body was pressed to Yuki's. He felt her trembling against him, felt the soft warmth of her and the quick hard beat of her heart, even through the stiff fabric of their uniforms. In her closeness, there was a world of mortal desires and pleasures he should have felt - but the only pleasure within him now was that of the beast as it sated its lust. His human side felt nothing but the pain of degradation, of wretched guilt and shame.

And yet, that pain...

That pain was precious, for it was his humanity still asserting itself.

His eyes opened slowly. Yes. That was how he would know. When this loathsome act that sustained his life and sanity no longer brought him such torment... then he would know his human heart had died, and he was truly a monster at last.

Every day, Zero felt more sure that time would come sooner, rather than later.

But for now...

He withdrew his mouth from Yuki's neck, and with a slight shudder he turned away, drawing the back of his hand across the sinful scarlet trail on his chin. As the fire receded from his eyes, he dared a guilty sidelong glance at her. Slender fingers clasped lightly over the punctures in her throat, and for a fleeting moment, he saw her lips tighten in a faint grimace of pain; yet when her eyes met his, she only smiled.

Yuki wanted him to stay by her side. She wanted it enough to defy the forbidden, to bear this horror he inflicted on her time and again.

She wanted him to live.

And for now, that was enough.


© 2011 Jordanna Morgan