Disclaimer: Anybody who's actually reading this would know that Vampire Knight is the creation of Matsuri Hino. I am merely a fan.
Author's Note: Because the VK world deserves more RukaxAkatsuki fanfiction and I'm determined to populate it with such.
Prompt: You are the best thing that's ever been mine.
It started off with a simple hello.
She was hiding nervously behind her father's legs, uncertain whether or not her cousins were going to like her. Although one of them was apparently her cousin from her mother's side, she wasn't sure how her other "cousin" was going to treat her. There were hardly any blood relations between them at all. Plus, she thought worriedly as she popped a thumb in her mouth and sucked – a habit that only crept out when she was really nervous, they were both boys. They probably weren't going to like anything she liked.
The blonde boy took one look at her and turned his bored gaze away, clearly unimpressed. The last thing he probably wanted was a girl to gatecrash his little playgroup. Doesn't he like her at least a little? Ruka frowned as she shuffled her feet in discomfort. Her mother even went to all the extra effort this morning to make her look pretty. She was wearing a white sundress with matching ribbons and ballet flats. Maybe it was best if she went home.
"Hello." A soft voice spoke to her.
Peeking out from around her father's legs, Ruka's eyes met the solemn gaze of the redhead. He flashed her a small smile and held out his hand.
"I'm Akatsuki Kain and this is our cousin Hanabusa Aidou. Would you like to join us for afternoon tea?"
Her father knelt down beside her and encouraged her gently. "Afternoon tea, that sounds like fun. What do you say, sweetheart?"
Her worries vanished and with a little giggle and a small nod, Ruka stepped out from the safety of her father's presence and put her hand trustingly into Akatsuki's.
Years later, she would look back and remember how formal and mature Akatsuki was, even at the tender age of five and that even though they had just met, he was already looking out for her. He would look back and remember how pretty Ruka was, all dolled up in white like a Russian doll.
It grew with a promise.
It had been a couple of years since their initial encounter and now, Ruka couldn't imagine life without her two cousins. Yes, that included the super annoying blonde one.
Contrary to what everyone including their parents thought, the three of them actually got along famously well. Sure, Hanabusa wanted them to do things his way most of the time, but he knew when to concede control too. It was only occasionally that they would fight like cats and dogs. Even then, that was just between them. If anyone else dared to pick on one of them, then it was gloves off and game on. No one messed with the trio.
Despite those sentiments, there were still times when Ruka would love nothing more than to wring Hanabusa's neck for always coming up with the most stupid ideas. After all, if it wasn't for him, she wouldn't be stuck in the situation she was in now.
"Ruka," the blonde idiot hissed up at her. "You've got to come down. Now!"
Staring down at the ground from her perch up on a tree branch, the little girl shook her head determinedly. It was an awfully long way down to the ground and she couldn't think of a way to reach it without getting hurt. Just thinking about it was making her stomach a little bit queasy. Clutching onto the main trunk with both hands, she shivered as a gust of cold wind blasted at her.
"Ruka," her cousin sounded almost frantic. "I'm serious. For the love of all things Holy, get down here now before he arrives!"
"I can't." Squeezing her eyes shut, Ruka tightened her hold on the tree, ignoring the way the wood dug into her skin.
"Hanabusa," Ruka heard a familiar laid-back voice speak out from down below. She wanted to look to see who it was but another peek down at the ground would probably make her more nauseous than she already was. "Why are you staring up at the tree?"
"Uh," Hanabusa let out a nervous giggle. "Nothing. Nothing at all. Hey, have you found Ruka yet?" Maybe she went back to the house. Why don't you look there?"
"Hanabusa," the previous laid-back voice lowered down to a warning tone – a clear sign that the speaker didn't believe a word out of the blonde's mouth. "What are you trying to hide?"
"N-nothing," Hanabusa stuttered, his voice rising into a high pitch – a sure sign that he was indeed hiding something. "Why are you so suspicious of me, Akatsuki?"
"Akatsuki?" Ruka hiccupped, on the verge of tears as she latched onto that word. He would be able to help her – Ruka knew he would. Even now, simply knowing that he was down there, already made her feel a lot better.
"Ruka?" Akatsuki's voice rose in disbelief before settling back down in an angry growl. "Aidou, what did you do?"
"N-nothing," Hanabusa repeated, almost indignant. He knew that if Akatsuki deemed that he was the one at fault, there would be hell to pay. Despite the fact that they were both cousins, his redhead cousin always seemed to side with Ruka, even though she was just a girl. "Hey, I think she's stuck. I'm going to go and get help." With that, the boy took off running back to the main house.
"Hanabusa," Akatuski yelled after him. "I'm going to –"
"Tsuki?" Ruka called out again.
Sighing, Akatsuki pushed murderous thoughts about his blonde cousin to the back his mind and focused on the problem at hand. "Ruka," he lowered his voice to a far gentler tone. "What happened? We were just playing hide and seek a moment ago. How did you end up in a tree?"
Ruka scrunched up her face as she thought about it, momentarily forgetting that she was at such a great height. "Well, Hanabusa suggested that I should pick this place to be my hiding spot. He even gave me a boost up. I climbed and climbed but now I want to get back down and I can't. I don't want to fall."
"I won't let you." At those words, Ruka opened her eyes. Hazel clashed with amber as her eyes locked onto his. "Come on. Jump. I'll catch you."
Akatsuki's face broke out into a gentle smile as he held his arms out wide for her. "I promise."
"Always and always?" She prodded.
"Always." He repeated solemnly.
Trusting in him in a way that only a child would, Ruka released her stranglehold on the tree and slipped off her perch. Choking back a startled squeal, Ruka shut her eyes again as she prepared herself for the hard landing.
But it never came.
Instead, a pair of strong arms encircled her before they both tumbled down onto the ground, his body cushioning hers. For a moment, Ruka simply couldn't believe it.
"You caught me," her voice was filled with awe as she stared down at him.
Akatsuki chuckled. "I promised you, didn't I?"
Yes he did.
Years later, she would look back and remember that back then, she thought Akatsuki was a super hero and had trustingly followed him for months after. He would look back and remember the fitting punishment he eventually doled out to Hanabusa.
It was sparked with a jealous-fuelled question.
"Ruka-san, you are close friends with Kain-senpai right?"
The elegant brunette lifted her eyes from the book she was reading only to be confronted with a dozen or so of her fellow female classmates. She bit back a sigh as she took in the determined expressions on their faces. She already knew what they were after and she also knew it wasn't going to go down well.
Though it was only the beginning of the first year of high school, Ruka already knew she wasn't going to make many female friends in this place. Hanabusa and Akatsuki's presence by her side pretty much shot any hopes to pieces.
High school girls are such idiots.
Taking her silence as assent, the elected spokesperson continued. "It's recently come to our attention that Kain-senpai is spending a lot of time with you and you alone. So it is up to us, members of his fan club to determine the exact nature of your relationship with him."
Fan club. Akatsuki has a fan club? For some bizarre reason, that thought both tickled and rankled her at the same time.
"Well?" Impatient, one of the girls prodded her.
If she had any inclination to respond to their query politely to begin with, it all but disappeared. Instead, she closed her book shut, leaned back in her chair and shrugged her shoulders. "Why should I tell you?"
"We are members of Kain-senpai's fan club, we know everything about him. It is our duty to –"
Ruka interrupted. "If you know everything about Akatsuki," she smirked at the way they gaped in dismay at her casual usage of his first name. "Then why do you need to come here and bother me?"
If they were annoyed at her before, they were downright mad at her now.
Frankly, Ruka thought as she pretended to ignore them and study her nails. If they had approached her and asked her politely, she would have told them the truth. Akatsuki and her were nothing more than really close friends. She treated him like family and he looked out for her and Hanabusa like little siblings that he never had. But now, Ruka couldn't resist but goad them a little bit more.
"Very well," the spokesperson said stiffly. "Heed this warning. On St Valentine's Day this year, we, members of Kain-senpai's fan club, are the only students allowed to offer Kain-senpai chocolates." As the girls departed from the room, the spokesperson threw in a parting shot. "Do not attempt to get in our way or there will be retribution."
If there was one thing one should never do, it was to tell Ruka what not to do.
That's it, Ruka thought angrily as she grabbed her books, stood up and stormed out of the room. Just for that, I'm going to make Akatsuki the biggest and best chocolates he'll ever get.
Years later, she would look back with a smirk and remember how Akatsuki had politely declined all the girls' offers of chocolates. He would look back and laugh at the fact that Hanabusa was furious Akatsuki had won the bet on who would receive the most chocolates despite only accepting one offer.
It bloomed with a kiss.
Ruka didn't know when she stopped looking at Akatsuki as a protector/close friend and more as a young man that gave her butterfly feelings whenever he shot her that warm smile of his. But now that she did, she wasn't sure what she should do with it.
A year on from what Hanabusa now dubbed the infamous "Valentine Chocolate Bonanza" and Akatsuki's popularity, along with his cousin's, had skyrocketed to dizzying heights. Both of them had throngs of girls following them around. But while Hanabusa had thrived under the attention and actively cultivated his followings, Akatsuki avoided the limelight at all cost, hoping that it would somehow dampen his popularity to no avail.
But with his shockingly good looks, unruly red locks and a devil-may-care style of clothing, girls took one look at him and sighed dreamily, believing that he was the ultimate bad boy and therefore the best boyfriend material: all hot and wild.
They even gave him a nickname – "Wild kun."
"It can't be helped," Hanabusa declared with pride. "We are just that irresistible."
"Hmmph," Ruka sniffed as she ignored him and tried to concentrate on her studies. The trio was in the library, attempting to get all their homework done before dinner. "I don't see what the big deal is."
"The big deal is that we are popular." Across the table from her, Hanabusa jabbed a finger in her direction. "Say, Akatsuki, why don't we go down to the Dining Hall a bit earlier than usual and do an impromptu meet-and-greet session. We need to keep up appearances and keep our fans enticed."
"No thanks." Ruka could detect weariness in Akatsuki's tone. "I'm kind of sick of girls following me everywhere."
"What?" Hanabusa was incredulous. "Why? Having a fan club that adores you is the best thing about high school. They are sweet and attentive. Name me one bad thing that has happened because of your fans."
"Well," Akatsuki trailed off. Curious as well, Ruka looked up from her homework, only to have her gaze trapped by a pair of amber eyes. "I don't spend as much time as I would like with you. And I miss that."
For some reason, Ruka felt like he was talking to her and her alone.
Hoping she was not blushing, she tore her eyes away and fixed them firmly back on her work. But for the rest of their study session, Ruka found that she couldn't focus at all.
I miss that too. Ruka realized with startling clarity.
Sure, the two of them still had a lot of classes together, they always went to meals together and spent a lot of their free times together. But Ruka always found herself wanting more. Akatsuki's fan girls certainly didn't help at all, always butting in inopportune times to offer Akatsuki home-baked cookies or invitations to some club events or worse, confessions of feelings. Ruka almost wanted to put a giant label on Akatsuki that stated blatantly Mine.
Ruka shook her head vehemently, shocked at her thoughts.
Did she really think of Akatsuki that way?
Did he think of her that way?
Three nights later, Ruka snapped.
They were accosted by yet another fan girl in the school corridor who blushingly confessed her feelings for Akatsuki. As expected, Akatsuki had declined the girl gently, resulting in the girl bursting into tears and them wasting a good fifteen minutes to calm the girl down.
"I wish they would just stop." Ruka grumbled as the pair finally resumed their walk back to the Dormitory. "Why do you have to act so nice to them all the time?" She complained when the red head remained silent. "If you were just a little bit meaner, they would surely stop with all the confessions."
Akatsuki hummed at her comment. "But don't you think it's a good thing that they were able to express their feelings so clearly. If you had someone you loved, wouldn't you want to tell him?"
Ruka slowed her pace down before coming to a stop. Akatasuki paused as he turned to face her. "Ruka?"
Galvanized by his words, Ruka took the two steps that took her right up to Akatsuki. She tilted her head up to look at him and to this day, she would always remember the myriad of emotions swirling in his eyes. The same emotions that no doubt were reflected in hers too. She reached up to brush her lips against his.
She eventually found out that the girls were right. Akatsuki was indeed the best boyfriend material. Not that she was going to share, of course.
Years later, she would pout at the fact that she had to make the first move. He would laugh, gather her in his arms and kiss her senseless before telling her that he was glad she did.
It was sealed with a vow.
He was wearing a tux. He was even wearing a vest underneath, with a freshly ironed shirt tucked in neatly into his waist and cufflinks. He felt like an idiot playing dress up.
But he wouldn't trade it for the world.
Because for her, he would do just about anything.
Even if the tie around his neck was threatening to choke off his air supply at any moment.
Not that it mattered. Because a moment later, he forgot how to breathe completely.
There she stood, a vision in white, just like the first time they had met. But this time, the white dress she wore glided smoothly down her figure to pool behind her in a long train. Instead of ribbons in her hair, she wore her mother's veil and his grandmother's tiara. What's more, they had both grown up now and realized what they meant to each other.
As she made her way down the aisle towards him, with a bouquet in her hand and tears glistening in her eyes, Akatsuki thought back to all the times they spent together and he thought about how, in a way, it had all culminated to this.
This wasn't the end of their story together, but simply the beginning of a new chapter. A chapter in which she was his and he was hers.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…"
Years later, as she stared down at the beautiful platinum ring and princess cut engagement ring adorning her left ring finger, she knew it was a message. A message that was echoed clearly by the matching band adorning his left ring finger.
Yup, Akatsuki was all hers – and Ruka reckoned that made her the luckiest woman in the world.
Author's Note: This prompt was meant to be a drabble, something short and sweet to start this series off with because I was determined to use "Mine" as the title for this series and the prompt as the summary. Instead, I started writing a long one-shot that really never got anywhere. I left it cause it didn't work, went back to it in frustration, worked on it, left it again, repeated the whole process several times and the story still refused to go anywhere.
A couple of days ago, I threw my hands up in the air, grabbed a pen and paper and started scribbling down whatever came to my head. And this was the result. Not really a drabble either but I enjoyed writing it. I'm so glad it's done and I hope you enjoyed reading it. :)
I'm so uninspired at the moment. So if any of you have any prompts that you would like me to write, please let me know. All pairing are welcomed!