A New Discovery
"Zero, Ichiru, this is Kanade." The twin's mother gestured to the small, frightened girl in front of them. Ichiru hid behind Zero as the boys stared at the girl in confusion. "You need to swear to me that you will both protect her no matter what."
The 3 year olds looked up at their mother, not quite understanding why they had to make such a promise, but nodded anyways. She smiled with ease and the little girl looked at them in surprise, as they stared back at her with determination.
It was the morning after Valentines Day and Kanade stumbled out of bed, only having achieved her usual 3 or 4 hours of sleep. There was so much running through her head:
Why is it when Zero and her touch she is overcome with agonizing pain? Why does Zero seem to feel the same pain, but not when they touch? What was in that glass that the Chairman had? Why does Zero always follow her around and not explain his reasoning?
There were just so many questions and no one seemed to be willing to answer them.
She didn't bother to knock on the door of the bathroom since the Chairman never woke up this early, but unexpectedly when she walked in she found Zero fast asleep on the ground with his shirt unbuttoned. The heat rose to her cheeks as she noticed his bare chest.
‘What is he doing here?’
She crouched down to his side and took in his endearing, sleeping face before attempting to wake him up.
"Zero?" She whispered. No reply. "Zero?" She said a bit louder.
She needed to take a shower, but she didn’t want to wake him up…
He doesn't get much sleep with his job patrolling the school grounds at night, that’s why he would always try and get her to ditch class with him and go to the barn for a nap. Though tempting the idea was every time, she would always say no. She had to work hard to stay at the Academy, so she endured the unneeded detention he made her attend with him whenever he was caught sleeping in class.
She put her hand on his shoulder thinking she could shake him awake, but she was overcome with the burning discomfort when they touched. She instinctively jerked her hand away and the burning faded into a stinging. She stared down at her hand, which was perfectly fine now and took a deep breath.
She decided to take a shower anyways, hoping the sound of the water wouldn't trigger him to open his eyes. But even if it did the door would cover her and he wouldn't be able to see anything.
When she finished she grabbed the towel she hung over the door and wrapped herself in it before walking out of the shower to find Zero wide awake and now staring up at her, her cheeks flushed red.
"I tried to wake you up but…" She trailed off not knowing how to explain the burning sensation.
"It's fine." He held his head down and she walked over to the mirror.
"Don't you think you should go get ready for class?" She asked as she combed through her hair. He didn't answer her. She could tell he was lost in deep thought. "…What was the Chairman talking about last night?" She tightened her grip on the towel that started to fall. She started to get a bit nervous, afraid that she might forget to hold onto it with dear life and give him a big shock. He noticed her distress and proceeded to push himself up.
"Sorry." He started to walk out. "I'll be outside." He disappeared behind a corner. She watched after him, trying to be annoyed by the fact that he dodged her question, but could only feel concern.
Later that day Zero left Yuki to her extra classes while he went to pick up Kanade from her classroom.
They walked in their usual silence; she more than anything wanted to know what was bothering him, but knew that he would never tell her straightforward.
They turned the corner to see Kaname and another night class student walking their way. Kanade was surprised to see them since it wasn't anywhere near time for them to come out of their dorms. She looked up at Zero to see he had a completely blank expression on his face and the piercing feeling started to nag at her.
"I didn't expect to see you here Kiriyu. Yuki isn't with you today?" Kaname asked glancing down at the mysterious girl beside the prefect.
Kanade followed Zero as he walked past the two night class students.
"She has extra classes today Kuran."
Kanade noticed that Zero started to make a fist at his side, holding in his rage.
"Kiriyu." Zero stopped and Kanade glanced back to see what the unnaturally attractive man had to say. "How are you feeling?" Zero's facial expression turned to shock. "Take care now." The mysterious night class student said as he walked off.
‘Was he talking about the burning? How would he know about that? Does he know why Zero and I get those pains?’
Whatever it was she was determined to find out and it seemed Kaname Kuran had some answers.
Night fell and Kanade walked out of her room once she was positive Zero had left. She was going to go find Kaname Kuran and demand he tell her what he was talking about. She walked past the Chairman's office and the door suddenly swung open.
She jumped back, "Kaname!" She exclaimed with surprise.
He looked over at her and closed the door behind him, "Hello, Kanade."
She felt the heat rush to her cheeks.
‘He remembered… my name.’
"I wanted to talk to you." She said, trying to hide the nervous tone in her voice.
"How convenient, I wanted to do the same." He faintly smiled.
She felt her face get warmer and he gestured towards the door. She swallowed her nerves and nodded. Walking along side him outside, the stinging pain nagged at her.
"Are you from America?" Kaname asked, breaking their long silence.
"Are you adjusting well?"
"Um yes… It's very different here."
She tried her best to sound as calm as possible. Her heart was racing and her cheeks were on fire. She didn't expect him to make her this anxious.
"I never caught your full name."
"Kanade Yoshi, but I just recently found out that my father's name was Takanashi." She mentally cursed herself.
'He probably doesn't care about that.'
She hadn’t realized, but that was exactly what he wanted to hear.
"Why aren't you apart of the night class Kanade?" He asked. She looked up at him surprised by his question.
"Uhh well I'd like to be. I can never sleep at night and I think things would be a lot easier. Actually what I really want to talk about is--"
Her pain started to increase and she managed to trip over her own feet, but instead of coming in contact with the hard, concrete ground she was in Kaname's arms. The burning feeling was more intense than she had ever felt and she let out a pained scream.
"Kanade?! Are you hurt?"
"Kaname! What's wrong?" A girl from the night class appeared along with a few other students.
He didn't pay attention to them. Kanade tried to hold in her screams as she desperately tried to lift her arm to push Kaname away. That’s when he realized the truth, cursing himself for not noticing it earlier.
"Don't touch her!" Zero exclaimed as he and Yuki came running into view. He aimed his gun towards Kaname's heart.
The vampire set her down on the ground against the nearby fountain and took a step back. The pain faded into a mild stinging throughout her body and she tried to recover her breath.
"What are you doing out here Kanade? It's past curfew! Are you hurt?" Yuki asked as she ran over to her friend’s side.
"Impossible!" One of the night class boys exclaimed.
"She is one of them isn't she, Lord Kaname?"
"One of what?" Yuki asked.
Kanade tried to listen through the ringing in her ears.
"She's a dhampire. Half vampire, half human." Kaname explained as he stared down at her.
'What?! Is this really the time to be joking?!'
Zero walked over to her and picked her up sending the burning agony throughout her body once again, though much less intense than before. She held in a scream and tried to hide the pain.
"You shouldn't touch her Zero." Kaname called after him, but he ignored it.
"You bloodsuckers aren't getting your hands on her." He growled as he began to run off with her in his arms.
The night class watched after them, dumbfounded. Never before have they come in contact with a real live dhampire; they were rare creatures.
"Do we kill her?" Aido asked.
"What?! There is no killing on school grounds!" Yuki exclaimed, hoping he was joking.
"Yuki is right. You are not to kill her, she is… an old friend." Kaname said.
The night class students watched him with confusion as he started to walk off.
"Kaname!" Yuki called after him. He glanced back at her. "Why would they want to kill her?"
“Because… she’s an abomination.”
Zero set Kanade down on her bed and she took a few deep breaths as she tried to recover her breath. He backed away against the wall as the pain started to fade.
"What the fuck?! Are you all making fun of me? Making up all that bullshit about vampires!" She hissed.
She wanted to get up and slap him, but she was still to weak from all the stress her body just went through.
"No one is making fun of you." He kept his head down, ashamed that he couldn't keep her as far away from Kaname Kuran as possible.
"Stop fucking with me!" She felt like everything that was going on might have been a prank, but deep down she believed him; he seemed so sincere. "This cruel joke of yours doesn't make any sense since I've seen Kaname during the day."
"Some vampires can walk in the sun. They are just nocturnal, the sun only weakens them."
"Seriously, it's not funny. I don't like liars."
"I'm not lying." He snapped at her. She stared at him in disbelief; she didn't expect him to go this far with the whole thing.
"Okay, lets say I believe this whole charade. Did you know I was a dhampire this entire time?"
"I've known for a few days now…." He kept his gaze towards the ground.
She felt like a complete idiot for believing him. She started to stand up, but her knees were too weak and she fell to the ground. He went to pick her up, but quickly stopped himself.
"Where are you going?"
"To wash off all this sweat. I feel like I just ran a mile." She looked up at him; afraid he might laugh if she tried to crawl. He lifted her up and she winced in pain.
"I'm sorry." He mumbled as he quickly carried her to the bathroom and set her down on the cold tile floor. He started to leave but she grabbed onto his pant leg.
"Don't leave me, please." She muttered.
He sat down against the wall across from her.
"I thought you were going to take a bath." He said.
"I don't want to be alone." She took a deep breath. "I've always been alone.” There was a long silence. "Zero?" She breathed. "I’m not saying I believe you or anything but… what else do you know about me?"
He let out a sigh, "... when we were kids, my parents made me swear to protect you no matter what--"
"That doesn't make sense. I never left North Dakota." She interrupted him.
"No, you were born here."
"No, I've seen my birth certificate. I was definitely born in North Dakota."
"It was probably fake."
She felt her anger begin to pile up in her chest. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to her if it was, her mother did love to lie.
"Don't you think I would remember living in Britain? Or would have an accent?"
"You were only 4 at the time I was told you were dead, so you probably lost your accent when you were taken to America."
“Everyone said you were taken by the vampires and killed…” She could see the glint of anger in his eyes as he clenched his jaw. Just thinking about it sent waves of rage throughout his body.
She didn't want to believe the nonsense she was hearing, but it sort of made sense. If she was born here then there would have been more of a chance for her mother to have met the Chairman.
"So your parents made you swear to protect me because…?"
"My family… we’re vampire hunters." He tried to hide his anger when he thought of his family and the tragedy they faced.
"So you're… a vampire hunter?" It would explain his hatred for the night class. He nodded. "And you swore to protect a half vampire because…?"
"I don't know…"
"You made a promise to protect me without knowing why?" She wanted to laugh at his stupidity but the atmosphere was too dark.
"It was more than a promise, it was an oath… one I thought I failed to pull through on, but it turns out I didn't." He looked up at her with a sad look in his eyes. “I’m so happy you’re alive… I thought…” He clenched his hands into fists so tightly she was afraid he might begin to bleed. He averted his eyes back to the ground and mumbled, “I thought I lost you.”
She stared at him in astonishment. There was no way he was lying, he would never let his guard down like this.
They sat in another long silence. She was trying to wrap her head around the information she was just given.
“Zero… was my father… a vampire?"
He slightly nodded.
She took a deep shaken breath as she took in this ridiculous reason. It was so outrageous though, how could she not believe it?
"Why does it hurt so much whenever we touch?" She suddenly asked.
"I don't know."
"Why do you feel the same pain sometimes? Even when we don't touch." She started to sweat a bit more, just now noticing the nagging, stabbing pain at her core.
He noticed her discomfort and got up to grab a washcloth. He ran it under the water and crouched over to her side, dabbing it on her forehead. She closed her eyes and took in the comforting cold touch. She felt her heart start to race when she remembered just how close they were. She opened her eyes and more than anything wanted to graze her lips against his, but she new if she moved any closer her body would erupt in agonizing pain. He met her gaze and the serious air in his eyes.
"Promise me you will never become one of them, you'll never drink blood."
She thought about his words for a second and then nodded.
"Okay." She cherished the moment. He was looking into her eyes as if he could see her soul.
She had never felt like this before. No one had ever done anything like this for her. No one ever showed any affection for her or seemed to care if she was in pain.
'Do you care for me Zero?
You would probably be the first, so if you do…