A/N: Thank you very much for the lovely reviews, faves and alerts! Welcome to the new readers. I'm glad you like this ridiculously silly fic. I hope you enjoy this chapter. (It is quite ridiculous, trust me!) and there's going to be pouncing, erm, I mean, well, general smexiness coming up next chapter. I'm out of University for the summer, so hopefully I have more writing time on my hands to balance all my currently running fics. Enjoy the read!
See first chapter for warnings, summary and disclaimer! I do not own Vampire Knight, if I did...well, you know.
The minute the doors clicked open, two heads of mismatched hair bolted from the famed Knighted Suite.
The Grandmaster's words echoed ominously in the silver-haired prince's head as he settled into an easy run, instinct and familiarity allowing him to cut corners and take short cuts towards his twin's private suite on the other end of the castle away from the wretched honeymoon quarters. The wizard had halted them long enough to place a tiny magical seal over the sluggishly bleeding cut on Kaname's face. It had stopped the bleeding and projected the appearance of flawless skin. He'd explained that they'd need Ichiru before he could heal the wound completely and urged them to hurry.
So they had.
As they ran, Zero was relieved to notice that there were no waiting guards outside the room and he made at once, for Ichiru's private quarters, the section apart from his personal shared rooms. Ichiru often resided there when he wanted some privacy away from his wife, and they were specifically magicked to keep the lovely Sara out of them. Zero had been eternally grateful for that detail, it had helped him to get used to the fact that his twin was now shared and it had helped him to accept that they would still always be together, with the shared brotherhood between them.
Kaname kept up easily with his long strides and mirrored his movements fairly well as Zero ducked and dodged down some of the secret passageways he hadn't used in weeks. He was relieved to note that they were dust free that was good, it meant that the maids were keeping up. Zero sighed, trying to think of what he ought to say when he arrived in Ichiru's sitting room. He always met with his twin there and it would work, if they were on time. If they were not…
The silver-haired prince shook his head. He didn't want to even go there. They had to be on time.
He skidded around the corner and immediately put up a hand to snap back and slam his husband—no—Prince Kuran!—against the wall, as a guard shuffled from one end of the doorway to the other. He jerked around at the sharp pinch on his arm to see a glowering Kaname and swallowed hard, exaggeratedly moving his arm away from the prince's chest and gesturing towards the armed guard in the walkway of where they'd have burst out into, a moment sooner.
Kaname's glower didn't waver, but it did darken and he folded his arms across his chest, waiting, quite obviously for Zero to think of some other brilliant plan.
Zero rolled his eyes and turned back to watching the guards. He tried to guess at what to do and finally settled for a low whistle to call the dog that he shared between his twin. The mutt was virtually nameless, but for the moment, it answered to the whistles of both royal twins and that was enough. Between him and Ichiru, Zero had managed to keep the thing as pet and as long as their parents didn't catch wind of it—though he was sure they knew—the mutt could stay.
The dog's arrival was distraction enough for the guards and Zero launched himself across the hallway and to the other side, pausing only long enough to press his royal ring, bearing his personal seal, to the magicked panel on the bedroom door and burst inside, turning around quick enough to yank Kaname in after him.
The door was shut in quick order and both young men stood, panting and half-glaring at each other. Zero put a finger to his lips, signaling quiet, ignoring the fact that Kaname rolled those gorgeous burgundy eyes at him instead and focused on listening for any hint of his twin being 'home'. A moment later, he swore softly beneath his breath.
"What?" Kaname ground out, the burgundy eyes now glaring daggers at him.
Zero mentally assigned the look as a prize expression if the Kuran prince ever wanted to get into a staring contest. It would certainly scare his opponents senseless. "He's already left. If he was here, he would've come already." Zero resisted the urge to punch something—or someone and after a few quick thoughts, he lunged for the door again, pausing to grab Kaname's hand and yank him up from the plush armchair he'd just claimed. "Come on!"
"Ow, what?" Kaname jerked back, but Zero was already running down the corridor and the forward momentum had the Kuran prince stumbling after the silver-haired beauty. He scowled darkly and broke into a jog to keep up.
"Now listen here!" Zero said, harshly. "Don't you dare give anything away!"
"As you need any help doing that." Kaname shot back. He rubbed his wrist where the prince Kiryu'd had an unnaturally strong grip. Much stronger than a human, anyhow, and there was just enough of something off that it rubbed the pureblood in the wrong way. He filed the detail away for later perusal, for the moment, circumstance ditacted that he remain in the present and very much engaged with the present.
A warm flush spread over his cheeks and with supreme effort, the pureblooded prince managed to keep it to a minimum, swallowing hard and looking away. Engaged. Engagement. Marriage. Married. He certainly hadn't meant for his thoughts to be going in that direction! Even if the entire thing had been a disaster so far—and there really wasn't much of it to compare to, a few hours at best, he was sure, but still, it irked him in a way that he didn't particularly like.
"…and are you listening to me!" Zero's slender fingered hand flashed out and grabbed Kaname's chin, jerking the pureblood's face around to look at him. "Would you at least try and pretend that you don't want to die?"
Kaname scoffed with a regal wrinkle of his very nicely pointed nose. "I am a Kuran, we do not simply die!" He hissed.
"Right. You go kicking and screaming and biting." Zero muttered, his lilac eyes grew wide as he made the connection between his hand and Kaname's chin and immediately dropped his hand to his side, eyes averted. "Look, just play it by ear, okay? Ichiru will go along with whatever I say and as long as you don't give it away, no one will be the wiser, alright? Now, the lady in there is Princess Sara, I hope you've heard of her, 'cause I don't have a single nice thing to about the witch, she's manipulative and oversensitive and this entire thing will blow up in our faces if you let slip anything out of the ordinary."
"And pray tell, why would I even be speaking in the first place?" Kaname drawled. "Really, I have no desire to be a part of your family squabbles and-"
"A family that you're now a part of!" Zero snapped. "So learn the ropes quickly!" He scowled. "You don't know my father and…he hates me." He sucked in a breath for courage and squared his shoulders. "Just…don't do anything—oh never mind. Remember which fork to use." And with that, Zero yanked out the last of his earrings, tucked them in his pocket, ran his hands through his hair and arranged his attire in a manner supposedly similar to his twins.
Kaname snorted. This was so melodramatic that it was almost painful to watch. His left eyebrow twitched at the last phrase. He always knew which fork to use! How dare that insolent little-! He stopped, watching as Zero who had forgotten to take his earrings out did so and immediately ruffled his hair and subtly shifted his appearance. He'd have to give the Kiryu prince some credit after all, he thought, sourly.
The entered the dining hall and Kaname was somewhat mollified to note that it was large, ostentatious and overbearing in every way that his parents had said to expect of the Kiryu royals. The tall, vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows seemed almost out of place for something as ordinary as a dining hall and then he saw the large, immovable, carved stone table and the elegant wooden chairs with tall, high-backs and lastly, the complicated place settings.
Oh. So that's why Zero had said something about forks.
Kaname swallowed hard. They never used every piece of silver at his home. Sure, he would know what was what, once he sat down and discreetly examined them—or looked to Zero for an example—but suddenly, he had a feeling that his own royal existence was that of a pauper at best, when it came to the finery of the Kiryu's. His resolve was swiftly tangling itself up with the very real reality in front of him. He didn't want to deal with all—yet.
"Ah, good morning-!" Ichiru began, spotting them at once.
"Good morning, Zero!" Zero greeted, a wide smile taking on his face as he approached the table, the expression firmly fixed on his features.
Ichiru blinked, swallowed and then his smile faded to a slight grimace. "Ichiru." He gave a tip of his head. "I wondered what was taking you so long! Do you think I actually enjoyed sitting here like-"
Zero gave a dismissive wave of his hand and turned to his parents, praying and hoping this would work. "Father, Mother." He inclined his head, respectfully and then gestured beside him. "Kaname?"
The Kuran Prince shot him a glare, but tipped his head forward, just the barest hints of a tilt—as much as he could politely and politically get away with—and murmured a similar greeting. "Good morning, your highnesses." The words were ground out, stiffly.
"Kaname took his time getting ready." Zero said, cheerfully, selecting the seat beside Sara, pulling out the chair for Kaname. With his customary glare—Kaname sat. Zero seated himself beside them and leaned back as the servants came forward and began to serve the morning meal.
There was the quiet clink of dishes and servants bustling and voices in the distance.
A tense, heavy silence settled over the breakfasting royals.
At one point, Sara kicked Zero under the table and when the silver-haired prince choked on his orange juice, Kaname took that moment to elbow him in the stomach. The result was Ichiru kicking Sara back in retaliation and Queen Shizuka asking if the juice had enough salt in it.
"S-salt?" Zero coughed, wincing, into the embroidered napkin.
She waved her hand, airily. "Cravings, you know how it is, Zero dear."
At that, both twins managed exact expressions and identical coughs in response.
"Ichiru." Zero wheezed as Sara helpfully whacked him on the back, with far more glee and force than necessary. "I'm Ichiru."
"Of course, Zero, dear." His mother's soft eyes flared up with a maniacal glint in her pink-hued orbs. "I do wish you'd just tell me when you two feel like switching for the day, it's much easier on the rest of us if someone knows."
At this, Ichiru began to stammer and sputter, earning himself, Sara's own tenderizing ministrations.
Kaname continued to stiffly eat his breakfast fruit salad, pretending not to notice anything out of the ordinary.
"Zero, Ichiru." King Rido's sharp voice had both of his son's sitting bolt upright and his daughter-in-law taking notice. His fierce, dual-colored eyes pierced through them both. "A word." He said, thinly. "When we are through."
"Ach, Rido!" Shizuka smacked him on the arm, with a pointed glare. "What did I tell you about discussing affairs of state at the breakfast table? You're going to give me and the baby indigestion!"
The King blanched. "D-darling, it isn't affairs of state, it's just-"
"It's just that you don't care anymore, that's it, isn't it?" She wailed, suddenly shooting to her feet. "I bet the next thing you'd have done, you wouldn't have even noticed that they'd changed places, would you?"
"Er," The king said, intelligently.
"You've never been able to tell them apart!" She snapped. "Ohh, I've had it!" She whirled around and threw her napkin in her strawberries and cream dish. "Zero, you should have said something." She ignored his spluttering protests. "And Ichiru, so should have you! Why didn't you go to see your father, directly as I told you to!"
"How was I to know you were trying to marry me off!" The twin protested. "And I didn't…this isn't my fault, don't you dare pin this on me!"
"Hey!" Zero protested.
"Or Zero." Ichiru added, belatedly. He threw an apologetic look at his partially sulking twin. "Look, this is a mess, we can…fix it. Right?"
"That indeed we can." Grandmaster Cross entered the dining hall, his head held his, his fan open and fluttering in hands as he moved in slow measured steps. "I must say your majesties, you do worry me. This could have been avoided if you had thought to ignore your penchant for cloak and dagger manipulations in the lives of your sons!" Honey-golden eyes narrowed. "You are very lucky that Zero has such a good head on his shoulders."
"Hey!" Now it was Ichiru's turn to protest.
Zero rolled his eyes.
Kaname tried not to notice how adorable they both looked with matching pouts. He blinked. NO! That was absolutely not…cute…in any way…at all.
"If you will come with me, this very minute, the preparations are complete."
"Preparations?" King Rido was on his feet and opened his arms automatically for his wife to cuddle into, even as she pinched his arms in retaliation for their verbal sparring.
"Yes, Prince Kaname attacked Prince…Zero, in a fit of rage. There is currently blood involved. Ichiru, you will need to tend to the wound as soon as possible and-"
"Wound?" Sara blinked, owlishly. "Blood?"
Ichiru calmly reached over and pinched the back of her neck, hard. He had the sense to move her plate out from in front of her, before the princess flopped over, unconscious on the dining hall table.
Kaname nearly choked. This was one insane family.
Father, Mother…what have you gotten me into?
~*~*~*Thanks for reading! Leave a comment if you can. ah, and do you think Kaname was eating with the wrong fork? :P ~*~*~