If Kiryu Zero had to guess, he would say that the first thing he was aware of was a resounding pain that flowed through his entire being. Every part of him ached and screamed at him when he moved. Reaching a hand to his pounding forehead, Zero felt the shackles about his wrists grind into his forearms and the links of the chains holding him to the wall clanked disobediently. His fingers were cold upon his brow and felt stiffly through his silver hair. He winced as he touched a gash hidden in his hairline, briefly wondering where it had come from. Glancing around for the first time, he realized he was in a cell similar to the one he'd been in when Ichiru gave up his life – though he was now sitting on a cot-like bed instead of the dingy stone floor. Cringing at the memory, Zero yanked his arms forward to test the length and strength of the chains that bound him. Even against his superhuman strength, they held tight and he let out a long, frustrated scream.
Almost as if in response, a light entered the hallway outside his cell. Faint though it was, he turned to the stairwell now illuminated to the right. The slow click of footsteps – two sets, he could tell – began to descend towards him. Bracing himself with bared fangs, his chest puffed up and he leaned forward as far as the chains would permit. Into the pale moonlight that shone through his cramped cell appeared two figures. The first was a vampire with flaxen hair and shining blue eyes and the second, a woman whose dark cloak covered her face. Zero growled at them, "Aido. What is the meaning of this?"
Painful instinct had already told him who the cloaked woman was but he chose to ignore her in acknowledgement of the promise he'd made her the last time they spoke. The blue eyed vampire grinned at him, "Long time no see, Kiryu. Has it been a year?"
Zero didn't bother to respond conventionally but lifted his lips like a caged dog and showed his fangs to the noble. The other male's eyes flickered for a moment but he turned to the woman and bowed. She stepped forward to the iron bars separating them and dropped her hood. Cross... no Kuran Yuki's long brown hair came tumbling forward and blew about her as if by some divine force. Her brown eyes met Zero's and seemed to probe his entire existence – for what, he didn't hazard a guess. All the air within his inflated chest came pouring out all at once and he tore his gaze from hers. Grumbling about her existence, he sat on the cot and leaned against the grungy wall. Even with his head turned away, he could still smell her. The pace of his heart quickened as his whole body remembered her taste. Her taste… was so gratifying to him that nothing could have replaced it – not any of the other purebloods or all of the humans combined.
"Kiryu Zero, you have been detained by the vampire council to be questioned regarding the death of Hio Shizuka."
Snorting, Zero turned a glare upon his former prefect friend, "That was over a year ago. And didn't your lov- excuse me, your brother already clear that up?"
Eying the shadow of a man that sat before her, Yuki was not surprised that he'd seen through her lie. For those who didn't know any better, it would have been a legitimate reason to capture him – even after the corrupt vampire senate was put to death. Though Kaname headed the council that existed in place of that horrible group, the death of a pureblood was not taken lightly by any. Evidently Aido had grown impatient with the silence and brashly leaned against the bars, "You may not have dealt the killing blow but the shots you fired upon Shizuka-san assisted in her death. New as you might be to our world, that blight cannot be forgiven easily."
Turning his eyes from Yuki's, Zero scoffed at the blonde vampire, "Where was the council when my family was killed by her? Where is the justice in that?"
Aido turned to grab the bars and laughed in Zero's face, "Those that hunt us should expect to be hunted as well. Their deaths were inevitable. The only unknown was who would strike the final blow."
Though he nearly roared at the egotistical noble before him, Zero's eyes only flashed red for a moment and he remained seated placidly against the wall. Eying him suspiciously, Yuki quirked an eyebrow and stepped up to Aido. Placing a hand on his shoulder, she spoke while not removing her gaze from Zero, "That's enough Aido. Please wait for me upstairs."
Stunned, he moved to resist her appeal but upon the turn of her glinting eyes, he sank into a deep bow. With only a fleeting glance towards the caged vampire, Aido turned to the stairs and took his leave. The hollow sound of his footsteps ended with the sound of a heavy door latching and the removal of any light in the corridor, save that of the moon. Now alone, Yuki reached to the lock with a key hidden in her sleeve and pushed the iron gate open once it had been unlocked. Stepping into the cell, Yuki cleared her throat, "How are you feeling, Zero?"
Unable to stop the roll of his eyes, the chained vampire insolently turned his head away from her and scowled, "Don't ask stupid questions."
Taking one more step forward, Yuki sighed, "I really need an answer to that."
Glancing at her sidelong, Zero noted the position of her small heeled feet upon the dirty stone at the edge of the slab that divided the cell in half. Keeping his voice low and dangerous, he shot back, "I'm feeling great. No thanks to you."
Narrowing her eyes, Yuki contemplated his choice of words. Truthfully, she had very little to do with his current situation but he had no way of knowing that. She was here now at the peculiar request of Kaname – whose demands she was powerless to refuse. And for Zero to insist that he was feeling no pain, after such a fierce apprehension, could only have been a lie. Sniffing slightly, Yuki greedily took in the smell of his blood. The pit of her stomach twisted with desire – such that could only be rivalled by that of her need for Kaname. Noticing this, Zero grimaced, "Disgraceful."
Even as he spoke, he internally chastised himself for being a hypocrite. Only a short while earlier he'd been craving her in the same way. He hated that he still knew her taste after what felt like forever. The last year had certainly been filled with blood for him. When he began killing as a hunter, the thrill eased the rage in his heart. As time drew on, the kills were no longer enough but the storm within him continued to be assuaged and somehow Yuki felt this now. Setting aside her lust for his blood, she sighed again, "There have been murmurs about your behavior. Though you kill without hesitation, you do not become frenzied like the Level E vampires – even after all this time. Some say it is because of all the Kuran blood you've consumed. But others, though only whispered amongst those deemed trustworthy, wonder if you haven't found a way to overcome your thirst. Zero, do you still thirst?"
In her eagerness, Yuki's shoes inched over the separation of the stone slabs and Zero lunged towards her with all his strength. Upon reaching the ends of the chains with his arms stretched behind him, he found his face only a breath away from hers. His nerves were shot at the truth in her words. He had come so close to the precipice of sanity and something within him (perhaps his soul, if humans who become vampires are permitted to retain their souls) had snapped back into place. He no longer felt as though he was going to burst at the seams and his blood lust disappeared without a trace – until Yuki had stepped back into his life. Willing his eyes to flash red, Zero whispered menacingly, "Are you not afraid of me?"
Yuki's eyes had widened at his movements but she didn't flinch, "No."
"That's a shame. I could eat you up," he muttered as he sank back down onto the cot. The thought had crossed his mind that his power as a hunter would be lessened if the vampires got wind of his internal change. Though, at this point, he wasn't sure if Yuki would spill this to the powers that be but as the second in command, she would surely have to tell Kaname. Scowling at the name, Zero dropped his head to feel for the gash but it was already gone. Dredging his chained hand through his hair, he sighed and closed his eyes.
Tingling from head to toe, Yuki couldn't help but rejoice at the change she acknowledged in her old friend. There were times throughout the last year where she had feared that he had descended into the abyss and the thought tore at her insides. His inner strength was such that he could overcome anything. A small smile crept to her lips but she hid it immediately. His final words dawned on her suddenly and she moved to kneel before him. Reaching out a small hand, she tilted his face upward with her thin fingers and forced him to look back at her. The lavender eyes she loved so much burned into hers and when he realized the emotion in her eyes, he tore his chin from her grasp, "Don't touch me! Say what you want and leave me be."
Gritting her teeth, she stood again and darkness overcame her. The last year had taught her about power and control and she was not about to let Zero ruin that. This man, whom she knew she loved as equally as Kaname, would not get the better of her. Resolve swept over Yuki and the Kuran blood within her seemed to pump faster. Reaching up to the clasp on her chest, she deftly released her cloak and it dropped smoothly to the floor. Eyes wide with questions unasked, Zero stared at the milky skin of her neck and shoulders, left uncovered by her red and white strapless dress. A feeling swept over him that had remained dormant for so long – lust.
"You may not be blood crazed anymore but I will not allow for such rudeness," Yuki snarled in a tone that was befitting of her newfound position at the head of the purebloods. Though Zero knew he should hate her for this, he could find very little space within him at the moment for hate. Lifting her skirts as if to curtsey, Yuki climbed onto his lap and straddled his legs with her own. Taking in a sharp breath, Zero willed himself not to respond to her warmth – which was sure to be a trick. Placing her hands on his shoulders, Yuki smoothed his wrinkled shirt and began to slowly unfasten its buttons. Zero's breath caught in his throat as she finished the last button and ran her palms back up his torso, savoring the smoothness of his skin. Leaning in, Yuki traced her lips along Zero's exposed neck and she felt as though she could already taste him. But instead of sinking her teeth in, she placed a row of kisses along his flesh and finally reached her tongue out to lick along its length.
Zero's head was spinning. He felt as though his blood would boil at any moment if he didn't stop her, and could only speak through clenched teeth, "Why are you doing this?"
She stopped to contemplate the questions in his eyes and with deft fingers, traced across his cheek and whispered to his lips, "Because I want you."
With that, she delved her hands into his silver locks. The strands slipped between her fingers like water and glinted in the moonlight. With every gesture, she tried to memorize the softness of it (of him) as she knew this might be the only time she would be in this position with Zero. Feeling his mental restraint, Yuki sighed and grasped the hair at the back of his head tightly and growled, "Don't bother resisting. I will get what I want."
Shuddering beneath her, Zero felt his heart quicken. It was certainly wrong but he was enjoying the new Yuki. Again responding to the perceived change in her companion's demeanor, the pureblood returned her wandering hands and lips to Zero's chest. With agonizingly slow motions, he traced his fingertips up the backs of her splayed thighs and raked along the skin of her bare bottom. Feeling no extra fabric under the dress, he gasped into her ear, "Kaname wouldn't approve of this... The things I would do to you."
Wrenching her head back, Yuki glared into the pale lilac eyes of her companion. Reaching her fingers up to his neck, she felt the wild pulse within and just before claiming his lips under hers, she mumbled, "He knows my feelings for you and sent me here anyway."
As their lips touched, each felt the world around them fall away and the last shreds of resistance were cast aside with it. Possessively wrapping his arms around Yuki's hips, Zero pulled her as close as two beings could be without becoming one. Their tongues twisted and played together until they were both short of breath and Yuki's fingers began to fiddle with the button at the top of his trousers. Lifting her up slightly to allow for better access, Zero tore his lips from hers to shower her neck and shoulders with impatient kisses. With his pants undone, Yuki reached inside and withdrew his erect member. Gasping at the feel of being in her hands for the first time, Zero leaned back against the wall and looked back into her swirling brown eyes. She already knew the question he wanted to ask but as she traced his erection along her warmth, she signaled for him to ask anyway and his voice came out in a hoarse whisper, "Yuki... Are you sure?"
Smiling as she had so many times before her introduction to the vampire world, Yuki nodded, "I have never been more certain of anything, Zero."
Emotion flooded his eyes and she took the moment to push slowly down upon him. As he slid inside of her, Zero marveled at the tingling wave of heat that washed through his entire being. The small body on top of him shuddered and fell against his chest with a choked sob. Realization flooded him and he gathered her in his arms. Wiping a tear from her cheek, Zero breathed, "You haven't...?"
A meek smile crossed her face and she shook her head ever so slightly. Though the shackles were rough against her soft skin, he drew light circles between her shoulder blades and only began moving beneath her when her breath became even again. With a groan, she reached under his open shirt and around to his back in order to steady herself. His long fingers came to rest upon the back of her neck and his motions increased in tempo when she began to moan his name. As beads of sweat began to collect on their fervent forms, Zero tilted his head back to meet her eyes, "Yuki, you know I lo..."
His voice trailed off and Yuki suspected it wasn't from lack of breath (though there was an element of that as well). She sensed in him the same feeling she knew too well – apprehension. Not that Kaname or the council would find out but that they didn't know where to go from here. How would this one act change their lives? It wasn't as if they would suddenly be able to run off together and live happily ever after. And the very idea of love in their world was a distant emotion – almost to the point of taboo. However, her mind filled in the words he was expressing and tears welled in her eyes, though she would never let them free. Her words fell out between pants and gasps of pleasure, "I know. I...hate you too, Zero. So much that I can't even explain."
Realization flashed across his eyes and with a small grin, he recaptured her lips. His thrusts picked up to a feverish pace and he really felt as though they were one being for a brief moment. With one final motion, Zero spilled his seed within his beloved Yuki and shuddered at the euphoria that swept through his body. The trembles of her body were not unnoticed by him and he kissed along her neck and collarbone to calm her senses. When their breathing had returned to normal, Yuki placed one last sorrowful kiss upon his lips and removed herself from his lap. Straightening out her disheveled appearance and fastening her cloak about her shoulders once again, she turned to her lover, "You will be set free in the morning. And I hope that the next time I see you, it will be in a better setting."
In the process of re-buttoning his shirt, Zero looked up at her and teasingly scoffed, "Whose fault is that? Yes. Until next time, my hatred for you will remain."
Bowing her head at this twisted confession, Yuki covered a smirk and locked the cell door. As she began to ascend the stairs, she found herself wondering when 'next time' would be. The resulting ache in her heart was mollified by the knowledge that their mutual hatred had endured this long and she knew with everything in her being that it would continue to endure for all of eternity – no matter what the consequences.