The General's Prisoner

This is a short hurt-comfort story in five parts, concentrating on Zero and Kaname and their relationship. It is an experiment of depicting characters who must deal maturely with a terrible past. Reader discretion advised.

~{}~ signifies a change in time or perspective

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, these awesome characters do not belong to me in any way. They belong to Matsuri Hino, I just love to use them over and over in my twisted stories... ;)

Summary: General Zero Kiryu has changed the face of the world, scouring it of the vampire race. Emotionally scarred by years of war and revenge upon all vampires, he nears completion of his life's work when finally the last pureblood is brought before him for judgement. What will his verdict be, when this pureblood is none other than Kaname Kuran, an old enemy from a time long gone?

Rated M: implied non-con & violence, emotional M/M lemon (if you're not into M/M, do not read)


Part I: Defeat

With heavy and unhurried steps alerting everyone to his presence, the broad-shouldered hunter entered the war tent. He was dressed in full hunter gear, weapons all over him and a long, heavy fur cloak that kept the winter's coldness at bay. It also made for an impressive appearance. Two guardians saluted as the general shook the snow from his hair, revealing its curious silver color. The guard's eyes spoke of their respect for him. Many a soldier had only joined the military ranks because of him. It was clear to all those present that the weapons this man wore were not merely on him for decorative purposes. He wasn't respected solely for the military rank he represented, this man was revered and respected for his superiority. Both in mental and physical combat.

But the famous war hero didn't overly indulge himself in his reputation. A life of war such as his meant nothing but loneliness and the resulting social distance was deeply engraven in his face. Not in signs of age - for he had none. But a cold emptiness shone in his eyes. His reputation had literally won him an army of followers. But the days when followers meant like-minded companions - or perhaps even friends - were long over for this man. For all his young looks, he had many decades ago passed the 25 years of age that he physically appeared to be. Though everyone knew this and knew what he was, they all bowed to him. He was revered because he was their savior.

"General Kiryu, Sir, the prisoner." the guard pointed to the inside of the tent and saluted.

The silver haired man nodded shortly to the guard and then dismissed him with a flick of his eyes. He breathed deeply and calmed himself. This one would be the last. The last of his kind. Yes, he was much older than he looked - it had been over 150 years now. He had made good on his promise to eradicate the vampire race. Humans were almost entirely safe now. They were more likely to die of hayfever than of a vampire attack.

It had been long and tedious work, but now he was close to weeding them all out. If you wanted to get rid of a weed for good, you needed to make sure that you had the entire root. And with vampires, their roots were the purebloods. Without them, the vampire race would dwindle on its own. Lacking purity of blood, their powers would become less and less over generations. Even so, the general didn't intend to lean back idly and wait until generations of blood suckers ran out of strength.

So, here was the last pureblood.

Without haste, the general stepped through the flaps to where the prisoner was kept, secluded. Naked, he was kneeling on the ground with hands and feet chained to a stake. His head was slumped forward and long dark hair hid his face. From what he could see, this pureblood had suffered greatly at the hands of his subordinates. His soldiers weren't known to be humane with vampires and those who had found him had most likely lied about the exact time they had caught him. His body was covered in welts and bruises and some of the bruises were more than a week old. The story about how he had been 'found' a mere three days ago was rather unlikely to be true.

The hunter could tell by his prisoner's smell that he had been raped and brutally beaten. The scent of dry blood, infected wounds, sweat and semen were all over him. Yet even through all those scents, the general smelled the familiarity of the vampire's own pureblood scent.

Without saying a word to the prisoner, he slowly walked around the crouching and shivering figure. He could smell fear. And it appealed to him. It appealed to him like it appealed to all predators. Every hunter was a predator and every vampire even more so. But for the general the sensation was hightened to the fullest, because he was both. A hunter-turned-vampire - the only turned vampire who fought his own kind.

With none of the other vampires had he felt anything but satisfaction at their captivity and death. But this one was different. This one was connected to his past. To many of his followers, who were too young to have been alive then, it was an almost forgotten past - but Zero had not forgotten. This pureblood's blood had a special lure for him. Once, long ago, this creature had saved him from madness and certain death. Not out of love or generosity. But... he had saved him nonetheless.

No, it wasn't love or even fondness that he felt toward the kneeling vampire. But neither did he feel hatred. Walking around his prisoner once, assessing his condition, he decided there was no need for additional cruelty. The pureblood didn't once acknowledge his presence or react in any other way to the scrutinizing look of his captor. All the general got from the vampire was fear. Stark and cloying fear. Most likely, his energy was so depleted that he had no senses about him and wouldn't even know who stood in front of him.

To get a closer look, the general crouched in front of the figure. With a gloved hand, he lifted his prisoner's chin and looked into the pureblood's bruised face. The prisoner flinched at the touch. Then, as the crimson eyes slowly focused, he could clearly see the shock of recognition set in the hungry gaze. Nodding once, the general spoke quietly.
"Kaname Kuran."

"K...ir...yu." the pureblood's voice croaked in answer. It was barely a harsh whisper, but it had clearly been all the pureblood could muster given his condition.

"You remember." the general said with faint appreciation. "Good."
Taking a careful look at the battered facial features, he continued in a solemn tone.

"I remember as well, Kuran. A long time ago, I remember you offered something very valuable of yours to me to save my life. You didn't do it for me, but for your own selfish reasons. It was not a noble deed, yet it saved me nonetheless. Out of respect for that generosity, I am giving you a choice, so listen well.

You know you are the last pureblood. The vampire race is dwindling and your death would mark the beginning of the end for the race of vampires. All other purebloods have been executed by torture. Since you are the last, the calls for an especially long and torturous death of yours are very loud. We both know there are ways to prolong your suffering not for mere months, but for years - decades even. But I am willing to refuse to heed that call."

At this, the vampire perked almost imperceptibly - no human would have seen it, but the general noticed.

"My offer is just as selfish as yours was back then. But it would spare you torture."
The hunter made a pause.
"I was born human, Kuran, born to live one lifespan and no longer. And yet, by the courtesy of a fellow pureblood of yours, I am still alive after more than 150 years. All humans I had known from the days when I was young have passed away and still, I show no signs of aging. And all of those humans outside this tent will decay to dust before I physically age even a few days."

The general made a pause. He knew his words had reached the pureblood and he had his attention. Though he looked more like a half-dead corpse, there was a small spark of understanding in the hungry and swirling crimson eyes. His voice softened infinitesimally.

"This then, is your choice: either die slowly by torture of my subordinates - or become my servant for life. There will be no torture from my hands, because I have seen enough of it to last me for eternity. I will not lie - you would be a slave and it would be up to me to treat you as such or not. You and your power would be bound to me in every way but you would otherwise be cared for. I could force this choice upon you, just like you forced your generosity upon me, but I will not. The choice is truly yours. You have one day to consider."

With that, the general got up and left the tent. Back outside, before the dirty flaps of fabric that made up the prisoner's tent, he spoke to the guard.

"He is not to be touched, fed or spoken to until I return."
"Yes sir."

~{}~

Kaname had already resigned himself to his fate. In the beginning, he had never meant to participate in this war. But when he was forced to chose sides and his sister was in danger, his choice was simple. Yet she hadn't lasted even a decade. He was too late to save her, he could do nothing as she turned to ashes before he could reach her. With vengeance, he had thrown himself into the war - had amounted an army, had fought though there was hardly anyone left. But it was inevitable - alone, even a pureblood could not fend off the hunters indefinitely. Without blood to sustain his energy, his powers needed longer and longer to regenerate. It wasn't like he had had qualms to take what his body needed. During war, he abandoned his ideals about co-existence and fed as any normal vampire would. But fleeing the hunters had limited his resources. They had caught him asleep. It was that simple. Tired and thirsty, he had been dreaming one moment and been charmed and bound the next.

What followed after that was too shameful to speak of. Hauled off by his hair, they had wasted no time tearing the clothes from his body. He had known that it would be painful. Yet nothing had prepared him for being raped. Nothing had prepared him for the sound of his own screams and the incredible agony. He lost track of his sanity in a matter of minutes.

The thought of decades of that kind of abuse was almost unbearable. His body ached everywhere, he wished nothing but to die swiftly. Yet that was clearly not an option. His pride forbade him to become a servant, but who was there to defend his pride? He was the last pureblood and there were hardly any other vampires left to speak of. What would have been a scandalous taboo even two decades ago, bore no relevancy to anyone now. There was no more vampire society that cared about proper treatment of purebloods. He was alone. A pureblood always was. But now more so than ever before. His pride... what was it worth now? It didn't do him any good. It merely amused his captors.

He had been so afraid of more punishment when he heard the soldiers whisper about 'the general'. Everyone knew that Zero Kiryu was the general, that he was responsible for the near-extinction of the vampire race. The hunter-turned-vampire had been mocked and laughed at in the early stages of his life, both among vampires and hunters. But with every kill he had gained respect of his followers and fear of his enemies. Now, nobody laughed at Kiryu anymore. To any vampire, his name was equivalent to death. A tortuously slow and painful death.

After satisfying their needs more than thoroughly, he had managed to snatch up a few bits of their conversations in the short moments of semi-consciousness. 'The general will work him nicely' they said. Or 'when the general gets his hand on this one, the damn vampire's gonna shed rivers of his precious blood.' Hearing those and similar phrases, he had feared an incomprehensible amount of cruelty upon meeting 'the general'. Hearing the heavy steps enter the tent, he had known doom was near. If he was honest with himself, he had to admit that his heart had almost stopped in terror.

But that touch - even with the rough leather gloves - Kiryu had been almost... kind. And when he saw the depth of those lilac eyes, he clearly saw their was no cruelty there. The hunter's wish sounded simple and plausible enough. The words he had spoken were true, his eyes hadn't lied. He desired company in his life, the company of one who would live as long as he did. The company of a former enemy, now his slave.

Kiryu was just as alone among the humans as Kaname was.

Could he be a servant to that man? A plaything to the general? He actually believed that Kiryu wouldn't be the heartlessly gruesome monster they made him out to be - perhaps he wouldn't be gentle, he might also force himself on the pureblood, but Kaname was almost certain that he wouldn't be unnecessarily cruel. Could he live like that? Or was death by torture not really the better way to go, before he got his hopes up?

His worn out body let him drift into sleep over the question, but all too soon - as though he hadn't slept at all - he felt himself woken by the sound of heavy steps.

Yesterday he hadn't been alert enough to do much assessing. Kaname felt a bit rested now and was able to at least think straight for a few seconds, though everything hurt. Not being beaten for a day had that effect, he thought grimly. He regarded the impressive man in front of him silently. The last time they had met, apart from yesterday had been over one and a half centuries ago. He was strong and mature now, after so many years of war. He was also weary and distant. The lilac gaze held his with powerful force. The pureblood felt weak under that stare and bowed his head.

"Have you made your choice, Kaname Kuran?"

The pureblood nodded. With his voice barely above a whisper, he spoke.
"I will serve you."
He thought he detected a faint smile in the hunter's expression, but his senses were still very clouded and he couldn't be sure.
"Then so be it."

He called for his guards. Under their gaze, the hunter crouched down in front of him again and reached a hand to Kaname's neck.

"The binding of your power will hurt." he said shortly. Before Kaname could nod in understanding, he already felt the hunter magic caging his remaining strength. His hoarse voice broke as he screamed in pain. Kiryu whispered a few words in an old language. Then it was over. The seal was now on the left side of his throat - mirroring the one Kiryu had himself. But the one he had placed on the pureblood was many times stronger. The pain faded slowly, leaving behind the impression of the charm on his skin. It was the Kiryu symbol of a sevenpointed blade.

"As of now, this vampire, formerly known as Kaname Kuran, is my personal slave, bound to me in every way. He is my property and as such entirely my responsibility and therefore mine to punish or to protect as I see fit. He is to follow my orders only. Is that clear?"

The guards all nodded slowly, clearly finding their general's action not to their liking, but they couldn't very well deny him. After all, it was only due to his efforts that this situation was even possible.
"Good." Satisfied with their acknowledgment, he dismissed them with a short nod.

Kaname didn't have the time to wonder what would happen next. He was too busy trying to stay conscious from the draining of his power. Though before he had been chained, bound and charmed and thereby bereft of using his abilities, he was now entirely without them. It was a completely different feeling. Usually, he would think of lifting something and his telekinetic powers were there. Charmed by hunter magic, he couldn't use them but they were still there. But now, when he thought about something he formerly could accomplish by thought, there was nothing there. Nothing. It was almost like being unable to remember a color, or the equivalent to missing an arm or his eyesight. He might have been scared if he weren't so exhausted. His body was about to give out, but he feared he might be punished if his body shut down to rest.

When the general - his new master - crouched in front of him, leaning in closely, his chest clenched in terror of what might follow. But the hunter simply undid the restraints. Too weak to support himself, Kaname fell sideways. But he never hit the ground. Kiryu's arms gathered him beforehand. The snow covered fur and leather coat and his coarse bulletproof armor were uncomfortable against his bruised and battered skin, but Kaname didn't complain. He felt the cold hit him fiercely, as the hunter carried his naked body through the winter weather to a different tent, but even at that, he made no sound of protest. As a matter of fact, the cold numbed his wounds and lessened the pain.

All too soon they entered a smaller tent. But this one was warm. The heat brought back all the pain and Kaname couldn't stifle a moan. The hunter laid him into a bathtub and began pouring warm water over his body. Seeing that the pureblood was too weak to wash himself, he washed the bruised skin. He wasn't overly gentle, but to Kaname who had been abused so much, it felt kind and soothing. Wearily, he drifted between waking and dreaming while he was being washed and dried. For the first time in months, his body was laid down on a real bed again, on sheets and under a blanket. Fleeing the hunters he had not known a bed for months and of course after he had been caught, he had chained to a cold floor or smashed against uneven rock.

"Thank You," he whispered. And then remembering that he was now a servant he added. "Kiryu-sama."

"Rest now." the hunter said in a low voice.