Kaname S Homework Market

The novel that started a franchise.

Full Metal Panic! is a hybrid novel/manga/anime franchise, which tells the stories of Sergeant Sōsuke Sagara, a young soldier of the mercenary anti-terrorism organization Mithril, and Kaname Chidori, the Japanese high school student he's assigned to protect.Unbeknownst even to herself, Kaname possesses special knowledge that numerous organizations would like dearly to control for their own means. As such, Sōsuke is assigned to infiltrate her high school in order to protect her while pretending to be an ordinary student, and without her knowing that she's in danger. Sōsuke, unfortunately, has no social experience outside his military life, having been literally raised as a soldier, and thus has no idea how to properly act in civilian life.Hilarity Ensues but before long Kaname will be drawn into Sōsuke's world as well when the forces that want her for their own make their move to seize the girl, kicking off a globe-hopping plot as Sōsuke balances his bodyguard duties for Kaname with his duties as a member of Mithril's military forces.Full Metal Panic! originally debuted as a series of Light Novels in Japan, books with interspersed illustrations. The series proved so popular that it was adapted first as a serialized manga in Newtype magazine, and later as an anime by Gonzo Animation. Two more series, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (2003), and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (2005) were produced by Kyoto Animation (With Fumoffu actually being the first anime that KyoAni produced themselves) and were directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto with Shoji Gatoh and Fumihiko Shimo both serving as series composers and Osamu Horiuchi serving as character designer and chief animation director. While the original and Second Raid are both more serious action stories, Fumoffu is much Lighter and Softer.Despite the multiple formats, FMP! has managed to remain rather consistent between the novels themselves and the media that adapt them, with only minor changes. The twelfth novel (which is set to be the last full-length volume, though more short stories have not been ruled out) was released in 2010, while the anime itself has adapted the storyline of the first five (Which are the only novels to have been released in English commercially). Two of the mangas, Full Metal Panic! and its sequel Full Metal Panic! Sigma, cover the complete story, and have been fully scanlated into English. There was brief talk of a live-action movie adaptation in 2009, but that died down quickly and no more is expected to come of it.During October 2015, it has been announced there will be a fourth anime series, named in January 2017 as Invisible Victory. Whether it will continue adapting the main series or other side stories remains unknown. As part of the upcoming release, Lantis has worked with Shouji Gatou in creating an audio drama for the Dancing Very Merry Christmas arc. It is currently scheduled for a Spring 2018 debut.A sequel novel series titled Full Metal Panic! Another came out between 2011 and 2016; set ten years after the events of the original series, it inverts Sosuke and Kaname's dynamic by focusing on Tatsuya Ichinose, an Ordinary High-School Student (though one who prefers olderforeign women), and Adelina Aleksandrovina Kurenskaya, a cool-headed female soldier who works for DOMS, a Private Military Contractor run by Melissa Mao, now thrice-divorced from Kurz. Spoilers ahoy.The principal cast includes:
  • Sōsuke Sagara, a stoic teenage soldier since childhood whose mission is to protect Kaname, and whose poor social skills and inability to adjust to civilian high school life sets off much of the comedy.
  • Kaname Chidori, a beautiful but short-tempered Tsundere whose status as one of the mysterious Whispered is the driving force of the original plot.
  • Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, the precocious young captain of Mithril's aquatic base of operations, the Tuatha De Danaan, and the other corner of the Love Triangle with Kaname and Sōsuke.
  • Melissa Mao, Sōsuke's Lad-ette squad leader, and the Cool Big Sis of the team.
  • Kurz Weber, Handsome Lech and crack shot with a sniper rifle.
  • Andrei Kalinin, tactical officer for the TDD and the closest thing Sōsuke has to a father figure.
  • Gauron, a sadistic terrorist and Psycho for Hire obsessed with his Arch-Nemesis, Sousuke.
Intelligent and with a definite look at putting realism into Humongous Mecha, FMP! nonetheless is also charming, funny, and at times, touching. Certainly worth a look by most anime fans.Should not be confused withFullmetal Alchemist or even Full Metal Jacket - no matter what Sōsuke thinks. Definitely should not be confused with Strawberry Panic!.Trope relative to Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu go in his page. Feel free to check out and contribute to the Character Sheet.

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Provides Examples Of:

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  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Well, what else would you expect from an anime with traditional schools, condos, glass-tube televisions, real life guns with present-day nomenclatures (surprisingly averting A.K.A.-47), optical camouflage, military mechas and an army full of Super Prototypes, from the milita to the flagship? Subverted though, in that story happens in the end of the 90s, making the presence of the latter examples very jarring (although it's partly justified later).
  • The Abridged Series: And it's highly reminiscent of the early episodes of hbi's Berserk.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Between Hayashimizu's negotiation tactics and Sousuke's overkill.
    • Handwaved as the Principal specifically not wanting to interfere in their decisions. The way she says it, we are definitely led to believe that she could if she wanted to. (The generous donations that Mithril makes to the school appear to have something to do with her attitude.)
  • Action Survivor: Kaname is one at times, particularly when she got the jump on an assassin with nothing but a taser and a bathrobe.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Sigma, Kurz gets four chapters focusing on his backstory after his apparent death.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Second Raid mostly adapts the 5th novel, End of Day by Day, significantly expanding the smaller plot of the traitor in the novel, and doing sufficient justice to the story... and changing the male chinese twin assassins to girls, for added fanservice and emotional impact when they die.
  • All There in the Manual: Borderline, as one can follow the story easily in each incarnation, but the details missing from either adaptation still make this a completist's minor nightmare.
  • Alliterative Name: Sōsuke Sagara, Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa, Melissa Mao.
  • Almost Kiss:
    • When pulling Sousuke out of the water near the end of episode 8 in Season 1, Kaname thinks he's going to kiss her, so she closes her eyes and puckers up. Then the next scene occurs, and Sousuke is merely getting excess water off his clothing, while Kaname is still in a kissing mode. She later angrily storms off when he thinks her red face is from sickness.
    • Played straight in Episode 6 when it looks like they will kiss after Kaname refuses to leave a wounded Sousuke and Kurz behind. They jump apart on realising Kurz is awake and grinning at them.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Leonard Testarossa
  • Alternate History:
    • The Soviet Union continues to exist in the present and so does the Cold War (plus mecha).
    • In addition, China went through a civil war, with Hong Kong partitioned into Communist-controlled north and Democratic-controlled south sections, similar to Berlin, and an ECS-using nuclear missile was used on US-led coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War.
    • This is a plot point. According to both Leonard and Tessa, the experiment at Yamsk-11 made it possible for information to travel back in time and into the "whispered", which ended up altering history from that point forward.
  • Always in Class One: Averted.
  • Always Save the Girl: Played somewhat straight and subverted horribly in Sigma — simultaneously, since there are two girls in question; Sousuke experiences an excruciating ten seconds where he wonders if he should save Nami and probably die in the process, or let her die so he can save Kaname. He decides with just two seconds left to try to save them both. Unfortunately, he waits too long, and the guy holding a gun to Nami doesn't wait until the ten seconds are up before shooting her multiple times in the chest.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Lambda Driver, though most characters who have it are awesome enough without having to use it.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The first TAROS, left behind in Yamsk 11, was an experiment that went horribly wrong. Even while it's deactivated, getting close to it causes you to experience deja vu over and over, and, if you discover its true power, you'll be driven to kill anyone else around to have it all to yourself. All the scientists working on the project died that way.

    Kaname:This ruin is the product of human insanity and arrogance.

  • And This Is for...: Kaname includes this in her speech she gives while beating the ever-loving crap out of a BSODing Sousuke.

    Kaname: This is for the pain in my heart! *BAM!* This is for the pain in my body! *BAM!* And this is for . . . THE PAIN IN MY SOOOOUL! *BAM!!*

  • Anger Born of Worry: Kaname.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Gauron's "I LOVE YOU KASHIM!" Sōsuke was NOT amused.
    • In Come Make my Day, when Kaname and Sousuke get to speak to each other for the first time in six months (over the radio), they both finally admit their feelings for each other and promise to share their First Kiss the next time they meet in person. Which doesn't happen for ANOTHER six months...
    • Tessa does this to Sousuke in the OVA. Being Sousuke, he completely misinterprets it.
  • Ascended Extra: Yu Fan and Yu Lan in the anime.
  • Asleep in Class: In the second novel, Sousuke falls asleep with his eyes open after having spent the night dealing with a Humongous Mecha rampaging through Tokyo.
  • The Atoner: Kalinin towards Sōsuke, as revealed in their backstory. He always feels extremely guilty for allowing Sōsuke's mother to die, and also for leaving Sōsuke in the orphanage which led to Sōsuke eventually becoming a cold-blooded killer.
  • Ax-Crazy: Gauron, Gates, the kid who piloted the Behemoth... Pretty much all Lambda Driver users except Sousuke, point of fact.
  • Bad Boss: Gates, who has a Running Gag about killing his own men for pretty much no reason at all.
  • Bad Ass Boast: In Episode 13 of Season 1, during a heated argument, Tessa says that she can pilot an AS better than Mao can. Mao then challenges her to an AS duel, with the loser having to run around the base naked, and in the heat of the moment, Tessa agrees to it.
  • Badass Normal: After TSR Kaname certainly gained this status. Also, is hinted in one episode in the first season, that she'd make an awesome AS pilot.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most noticeably in the first anime's opening.
    • Averted in The Second Raid with Yu Fan and Yu Lan.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Tessa, Kaname and Melissa share a tub on board Tessa's submarine (it's normally used for cleaning AS parts). Melissa takes the opportunity to tell the story of how she met Sousuke and Kurz.
  • Batman Gambit: Gauron pulls one off at the end of the first season. He attacks a chemical weapons dump, knowing Mithril will come to stop him; when they do, he surrenders, claiming his AS overheated. He and his AS are taken into custody on board the Tuatha de Danaan - which turns out to have been his objective all along so that he can take over the ship, although he's foiled in this by the main cast (and also fails to die taking Sousuke with him by self-destructing his mech, which was his backup objective).
  • Beach Episode: Twice, Kaname gets primed and ready for a beach vacation only to end up having Sôsuke drag her somewhere else (once to a submarine, once to a military festival) instead. When Kaname does go to the beach for a vacation in the middle of the series, the episodes focus almost entirely on Sôsuke's mission in the Middle East instead, with only a few brief cuts to Kaname showing her bored and worrying about him.
  • Beautiful All Along: Although she's pretty cute normally, THIS is what Kyoko looks like with her glasses off and her hair let out of its braids.
  • Become a Real Boy: This happens to Al, Sousuke's support AI. Through out the series, Al develops human-like traits like making jokes, using sarcasm, annoying Sousuke by playing BGM during battles, and making decisions based on "gut feeling" rather than calculations. Later in the novels, Al needs his AI upgraded in order to use the XL-3 flight booster, with the Mithril mechanic noting that it'll bring him close to full sentience. This cumulates in the penultimate chapter of the series right before Merida Island was hit by a nuclear strike, Al asks Sousuke "I want to try something, but first I want to ask. Am I human, or machine?" and Sousuke responds with "...decide it for yourself. People... do that." This in turn saves both Sousuke and Al by allowing Al to activate the lambda driver on his own without a human catalyst.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sōsuke and Kaname.
  • Between My Legs: Chidori has this shot in episode six and episode 10, and episode 11 of Fumoffu?.
  • BFG: The ARX-8 Laevatein's 165mm Demolition Gun. Even more so in Long Range mode, with an effective range of 30 KM!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Most of the major characters have at least one throughout. Even Kaname has one at the end of Second Raid, when she helps snap Sousuke out of his Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Big Little Mecha: We know the Behemoth is a Humongous Mecha, but we only get a clear idea of its size when it envelops Melissa's Arm Slave in one hand!
  • Bishōnen: Kurz Weber, Leonard Testarossa. Hell, Leonard is as pretty as his sister. Sousuke's good looks are also noted, but he doesn't fall into the trope's aesthetic.
  • Black Box: Black Technology.
  • Blatant Lies: Sousake insists he's not following Kaname, even after jumping off a moving train to do so. Eventually even Kaname gets tired of shouting at him about it.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: One of the minor characters, Guen Bao, is a mistranslation of Nguyen Bao.
  • Blood Knight: Gauron. He doesn't care which side he's on, as long as he can cause destruction and have his Foe Yay with Sōsuke.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sōsuke, on Kaname obviously. This becomes an important plot point in The Second Raid, and leads to Sosuke's Heroic B.S.O.D. later on.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Referenced in episode 6 as part of a whole reference to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kurz and Sousuke are even prepared to invoke this trope at that point, but then the Arbalest AS arrives.
  • Bond One-Liner: One line of Sousuke's becomes this in the English dub. When asked "Who are you?!" during his infiltration of the enemy base during the school trip, his answer in Japanese is simply, "The garbage man," but in the dub it becomes, "I take out the garbage."
  • Boobs of Steel: At least regarding the relative athletic and combat skills of Mao, Kaname, and Tessa.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The first novel and first episode is literally called "Fighting Boy Meets Girl".
  • Breather Episode:
    • The Second Raid episode 6, "Edge of Heaven," the haircut episode.
    • Episodes 8 and 13 in the first season, which are rather light-hearted compared to the previous episodes where a lot of intense action takes place.
    • Sigma does this by re-arranging the order of the stories adapted. After Kurz dies, the next three volumes are composed of lighter stories including "Engaging Six and Seven"note the story of how Sousuke, Kurz, and Mao became a team and "A Cat and Kitten's Rock 'n Roll"note where Tessa and Mao get into an argument and settle it with a mock AS battle, capping off with the "Die Hard" on an XChristmas EpisodeDancing Very Merry Christmas, which was originally the 6th novel overall and is depicted here as Kaname's Flash Back. After that, the story swings into the final story arc, comprised of the events of the last two novels.
  • Brick Joke: During the Behemoth Arc, as Sousuke and Kurz make their way to A21's ship, Mao trails them in her M9, and keeps running into highway signs. Mao remarks that at least it isn't as bad as Hong Kong, with signs everywhere. The endgame of TSR takes place in Hong Kong.
    • Also in that Arc, Kaname thinks Tessa can't be The Captain because he's always an unfriendly old guy with a beard. Kalinin ends up playing this role so his captors will believe he's the leader, not Tessa.
  • Bridge Bunny: When first meeting Tessa, Kaname assumes she couldn't possibly be the captain of the De Danaan and must be one of these instead. Tessa plays along, just to mess with her.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Mao.
    • Tessa can seem like this, at least in the first few episodes of the anime. Her clumsiness is Played for Laughs in Fumoffu.
  • Busman's Holiday: The "Into the Blue" arc (covered in the third novel and last part of the anime) has Sōsuke inviting Kaname to a Mithril-held island so they can have something resembling a normal summer vacation trip. Unfortunately, they didn't count on Gauron attempting to hijack the Dannan...
  • But Not Too Foreign: Belfangan Clouseau and Kurz Weber.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: As a Romantic Comedy, naturally Sōsuke and Kaname can never work up the nerve to express their feelings in words. They finally do so in "Come Make My Day", after spending months apart and going through hell to see each other again.
    • Played seriously in "The Second Raid" when Tessa tearfully denounces Sōsuke's inability to just say he prefers Kaname over her.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Sōsuke funny enough he got drunk, and passed out, off amazake, which is a sweeter, low-alcoholic version of traditional sake. He only drank one cup.
    • In the novels, he literally Can't Hold His Liquor, due to debilitating internal injuries courtesy of a rifle round that relieved him of a portion of his liver, among other things.
  • Catch Phrase: Sōsuke. "Not a problem".
  • Caucasian Asian: An early episode has one of the KGB agents referring to Gauron as a "Chinaman". He corrects the agent, saying that he's Japanese. Given the original market, it seems to be more to explain to viewers that Gauron isn't Chinese despite having a Cantonese handle (technically speaking, he's known as "Gaulung") and to foreshadow that he's not Khmer, despite his service as a Child Soldier under the Khmer Rouge.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Tessa lets her frustrations spill out in episode 8 of The Second Raid, not to mention her anger at being the odd girl out in the Love Triangle.
  • Chaste Hero: Sōsuke doesn't understand anything about romance. He thinks that "kissing" is a synonym for CPR, "flirting" means trapping girls in cages and holding them captive at gunpoint, and that a condom is for storing water. His squad was going over the supplies he packed to try and blend in as a high schooler, and they found a condom. Mao asked him if he knew what it was for, and he said storing water. It's a very common survival kit supply item, specifically because of how much water it can hold.
  • Chekhov's Gag: We all know Sousuke causes all sorts of trouble in the school since day one, including an accidental biochemical's release. These are all made for laughs in Fumoffu. And this is what made the schoolmates escape the campus by lightspeed possible, as Kurama holds the whole school as hostage (for Kaname) when Sousuke comes to rescue them. Granted Hayashimizu's announcement helped, but still.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The red-haired Whispered girl Sousuke saves in the first episode returns later in the novels and actually helped design the ARX-8 Laevatein for him.
  • Chick Magnet: Sōsuke. Kaname, Tessa, Ena Saeki, Gray (who has heavy implications of being at least attracted to him), and Nami (from the novels) have the hots for him. Several girls at his school also show that they find him extremely handsome. And that's not even getting into how Even the Guys Want Him...
    • Remember that drugged-out whispered girl at the very beginning of the series that Sousuke rescued? Later on in the novels, she plays a larger role (and yes, she has a name - Mira Kudan), and guess what? She also has the hots for Sousuke, and sends him a love letter telling him she had already given her heart to him since that time. She's a realist, though - she acknowledges that if she were to put the moves on him, Kaname and Tessa would kill her.
    • Sousuke is some sort of "Whispered" magnet. As mentioned by Tessa, he seems to be have some sort of connection with the "Whispered". Every female "Whispered" that he has met has fallen for him, and fast. Even the male ones have connections; he is the only person recognized by Al, the ARX system developed the Bani, as its pilot and Leonard has great hatred for him, which itself is a strong connection.
  • Child Soldier: Sōsuke. Pretty much all of the various ways in which he is "stupid" about the world is because he has literally known nothing outside of the mercenary life until he gets assigned to protect Kaname. Full Metal Panic loses something of its comedy when you realise that Sōsuke's antics are caused because of complete and total ignorance of anything that doesn't have to do with killing and surviving to keep on killing.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Kurz all the way.
  • Christmas in Japan: Dancing Very Merry Christmas occurs around this time, obviously; Kaname's upset about Sōsuke apparently missing the class cruise trip not just because of the romantic implications Christmas Eve carries in Japan, but because it's also her birthday. As well as the birthday of every other Whispered.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gauron. He changes sides like crazy, without much reason other than that another side will give him more opportunities for destruction and meeting Kashim.
  • Class Representative: Kaname.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Kaname vehemently denies having feelings for Sousuke, but sure hates it whenever Tessa is around him. Especially in Fumoffu.
    • Mizuki in episode 8 of the first season. It's likely she wrote/spread the rumors about Kaname, leading Sousuke to interrogate Shirai in the boy's restroom. After her breakup, she forces Sousuke to pretend to be her boyfriend for her friends, and Kaname doesn't exactly feel comfortable with it. Particularly when Mizuki has him practicing saying "I love you" to her, and later on when he kisses her in front of her friends.
  • Closet Otaku: The OVA reveals that Closeau, the head of the SRT, is a huge anime fan, but keeps it under wraps because he wants to be a seen as an authority figure to his subordinates
  • Clown Car: The Tuatha De Danaan looks like a exceptionally large aircraft carrier turned into a submarine when we see it from the inside or during one of its oceanic voyages, but then an AS (25ft tall) stands on top of the thing and suddenly we find out it's the size of a frigate at most. Which means there's no way any of what it carries can fit in it at all. "Toy Box" indeed.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Sōsuke cusses Kaname out in the last novel, yelling out to her that she's a "stupid bitch"... which is what makes her snap back into reality.
    • And Gates from the English dub of The Second Raid.
  • Completely Missing the Point:
    • Sōsuke is the kingAnthropomorphic Personification of this.
    • Special mention for Kurz who upon seeing the gum that Gauron very deliberately pressed into his Arm Slave complains about litterbugs. Thrown gum does not flatten like that!

Author Notes: Oh goody, I managed to get this chapter ready after all! –blinks reddened eyes- Hope it satisfies your inner KxZ / ZxK fangirl and don't forget to let me know!

Warning: Just in case you hadn't noticed, this fic now has fan 'M' rating... you'll know why by chapter's end :D

Summary: The shopping for T-shirts finally commence but a certain blue eyed blond is livid over the prospect of Zero going out with his beloved Kaname-sama. Oblivious to his ire, both Kaname and Zero enjoy themselves and end up furthering their relationship more intimately.

-- Chapter Start --

It was Saturday. Zero was more than a bit shy to meet Kaname again this evening, especially after seeing that particular look in his eyes just before the pureblood left Cross' kitchen last night. Yet at the same time, Zero wanted to see him again and as how things are when you want something to happen, time paradoxically slows down.

The hours dragged by interminably and a restless Zero filled them in as best he could – plowing through his homework, completing his chores and even helping Yuuki with her Math. He was expecting Cross to pop up at anytime to announce that he would be cooking tonight's dinner but surprisingly, the older man only appeared briefly in mid afternoon to announce that he was going out and they were on their own for tonight. To Yuuki's surprised query, he replied - with a smile in Zero's direction - that he had found his fridge rather bare and hence, would need to pick up a few things after having his meal in town.

When Yuuki turned to look at Zero, expecting to see him pleased that they wouldn't have to endure their adopted father's cooking tonight, she was taken aback to see him scowling and looking away with a suspicious hint of colour in his pale cheeks instead. How strange, she thought.

- o -

Inevitably, the evening arrived. Freshly showered and changed, Zero started off for the Moon Dorms at half past six, ready to take Kaname shopping - only he wouldn't have called it that, of course. He knew he was early but he didn't want to give Yuuki a chance to drag him off to the school canteen for dinner.

Zero walked across the school grounds, lost in his thoughts. Like it or not, his feelings for Yuuki had irrevocably changed over the past few months. It wasn't that he didn't love her anymore – he still did - or that he wouldn't hesitate to kill anyone who tried to hurt her – he still would – but the urge to win her heart had... vanished. It was no longer her he wanted to be with. Now that he knew Kaname felt the same way, they both would have to figure out how to let Yuuki know this even though the onus was more on Kaname's part than his. After all, she had never known of Zero's past hidden feelings to begin with. He couldn't help feeling rather guilty about it all the same... it rather felt like he was somehow stealing her pureblood prince away from her.

Zero squashed his thoughts as he neared the Moon Dorm gates. There were no Day Class girls around at this hour since there were no classes this evening and hence no changeover. Besides, the sun was just only starting to lower over the horizon, bathing the school grounds in a pale golden light. Zero pulled open one side of the gates and nodded at the wizened guard sitting just inside. Surprisingly, the old man merely grunted and waved him towards the building but Zero's footsteps slowed down as he neared the front door.

Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to come this early after all. Zero might have dared to in the past but he suddenly didn't feel like letting himself in at the front door and making himself at home in the living room. Annoyed with himself, Zero rolled his eyes – since when had he started to act wishy washy like this? But there was no telling which of the nobles would awaken early and run into him before Kaname came downstairs. In addition, Zero suddenly felt a little casually dressed in his light blue collared T-shirt - the same one he had worn to the art gallery before - and dark blue jeans.

Damnit, make up your mind already, Kiryuu...! Feeling rather silly hanging about outside the front door when he already had the security guard's permission to go inside, Zero huffed to himself and went in. His hunter senses were tingling with the presence of the nobles upstairs and he was debating whether to remain here or wait in the living room when one of the doors upstairs opened and someone came out onto the landing.

It was Hanabusa Aido, dressed in a long sleeved shirt that matched his eyes exactly, paired with a darker blue vest and nicely fitting slacks. His pale eyebrows shot up in surprise before his eyes narrowed.


Aido – it would be him. Zero stiffened, tense shoulders going back. It took some effort on his part to hold that pair of cold blue eyes now when it had never been an issue for him in the past because all Zero could think of was the time he had come out of Kaname's rooms after spending the night with him to blurt out to the stunned group of nobles outside those few, innocent words that had come out sounding anything but – 'Kaname's sleeping now'.

Crap. Why the hell was Aido up so early, anyway?

"Aido." Zero gave a careful nod, keeping his eyes on the tousle haired blond who was now leisurely descending the grand staircase, slender fingers gliding lightly on the polished, curved railing as if there were a group of adoring Day Class girls waiting for him at the base of the stairs.

"Why are you here? Did the Chairman send you over with a message for Kaname-sama?" Aido's tone was polite but the insinuations in his eyes were not. Or are you just here to see Kaname again?

Zero's face fell into its expressionless mask without effort this time. "No message, Aido," he returned lightly but the tiny imp of mischief inside him goaded him to add, "But I am here to see Kaname." After all, I have nothing to be ashamed of... not now.

The cold blue eyes became even colder if that was possible. 'Kaname' again. Not 'Kaname-sama' or 'Kuran-sempai' or even 'Kuran'. Something was definitely going on and Aido didn't like it one bit. "What?" he hissed. "Why?"

For just a brief, unforgivable second, Zero's gaze faltered. To go on another date with Kaname? To take him shopping? To be with him? "It's none of your business," he stated coldly instead, wondering if Kaname was already up and hoping he was. As expected, Aido coloured hotly at that remark. "How dare you! It's you who have no business with Kaname-sama, Kiryuu!" he snarled, baring his fangs and Zero swallowed his anger with difficulty. He was here to see Kaname and to go out with him, not this obnoxious noble who acted like he was Kaname's unappointed personal bodyguard!

At that moment, another door opened and Takuma stepped out, followed by a yawning Shiki who was still clad in his pyjamas. The taller noble's eyes flicked between Zero who was still standing just inside the front door and Aido who was at the bottom step of the staircase. Then Takuma came downstairs quickly, flashing his trademark smile at the tense looking prefect. Like Aido, the Assistant Dorm Leader was already dressed.

"Kiryuu-kun! How nice to see you again," he greeted Zero as if the prefect was a close friend he hadn't seen for quite a while, instead of one of the School Prefects he had seen just yesterday evening. "Are you here to see Kaname?"

Zero nodded grimly. It looked like his and Aido's voices had carried somewhat but the prefect was pleased to hear the Assistant Dorm Leader actually inviting him to confirm what Aido was apparently loathe to believe. "Yes, I am," Zero replied and he even managed a small smile and nod back at Takuma. Then he looked back at Aido. The same imp of mischief was now goading him to get back at the blond noble who was now staring at Takuma, then at him in disbelief.

"Actually, Kaname and I are going out," Zero said as casually as he could, tucking both hands into his jeans pockets to hide their sudden trembling. Perhaps he shouldn't have said that - what if Kaname had changed his mind about going out this evening? What if Kaname was busy? What if he had...forgotten?

But it was totally worth it to see Aido's mouth falling open at Zero's words. Even Shiki uttered a small snort, his usual sleepy look disappearing in a brief grin of amusement and making Takuma hide his smile.

"Going out?" echoed Aido, his eyes round with shock. "Going out where?" he demanded. Zero lifted one shoulder in a nonchalant shrug. "Like I said before, it's none of your business," he returned smoothly and saw Aido clench his fists in anger.

"Well, you two have a good time then. I'm sure Kaname will be down shortly," said Takuma as he quickly took a step closer to a furious Aido. Then he paused. The air had turned cold suddenly, causing Shiki to rub his bare forearms and look around him with a sort of sleepy surprise on his face. Zero clenched his teeth – it looked like Aido wasn't going to let this go so easily.

In that silence, another door opened. This time, it was the door right at the top of the stairs and Kaname himself stepped out, dressed in a long sleeved cream coloured silk shirt and dark brown slacks. He didn't look at all surprised to see Zero there and the latter realised that the pureblood had most likely heard their exchange of words as well.

"Hello Zero, you're early," Kaname said and no one there could possibly miss the genuine smile on his face as well as the equally warm tone of his voice. Zero's heart thrilled at both and he smiled back at the pureblood in relief, ignoring the faint heat in his cheeks. "Kaname. Just a little early... shall we go, then?" he replied and Kaname nodded as he descended the stairs. Without a word, Aido stepped aside and made a little bow. "Kaname-sama," he said with his eyes downcast but after the pureblood had nodded his head and passed him, Zero saw the cold blue eyes directed at him again, filled with utter dislike.

Without a word, Zero nodded again at Takuma who wished them a good time, then walked out of the front door with Kaname.

- o -

As the limousine went past the gates of Cross Academy, Kaname glanced at Zero. The prefect had his arms folded and was looking out of the window on his side. He had not said anything since getting into the car. "Zero, is everything all right?" Kaname asked, reaching out to take the other's hand in his.

Zero turned around then and the pureblood saw the uncertainty in his eyes before the amethyst gaze dropped. "It's nothing," the prefect murmured, giving Kaname's hand a little squeeze in return and hoping their driver hadn't seen their joined hands. There was no point in thinking about Aido now. After all, he had known it wouldn't be easy getting the nobles' acceptance of his closeness with their beloved pureblood leader, hadn't he? Zero turned away with a small sigh – this was why he hadn't wanted to spend any more time in Kaname's rooms.

Warm lips brushed his knuckles a second later and Zero quickly swung around to frown at Kaname, tipping his head towards their driver at the same time. Kaname merely shrugged before releasing Zero's hand. "Don't think about them," he requested and Zero lifted an eyebrow. "Oh? What do you suggest I think about then?" he asked before realising he was leaving himself wide open for one of the pureblood's devastating remarks.

Zero steeled himself but surprisingly, Kaname only shrugged lightly. "How about where to go to look for some T-shirts?" he asked lightly. He was tempted to say something that would have put a lovely colour into Zero's cheeks but thought the better of it. Zero might not appreciate that in his current mood and to tell the truth, Kaname was feeling a slight dip in his self confidence after last night. He hadn't masked his true feelings right before he left but then again, how could he have stopped himself when the prefect was looking at him that way?

Zero looked noticeably relieved at this casual remark and nodded. "Let's go back to that shopping mall where we saw that movie last week," he suggested. Kaname nodded and told Akira where to go before sliding the soundproofed partition up again, smiling inwardly to himself as he saw Zero relax visibly at their added privacy. "And have dinner as well?" the pureblood asked and Zero shrugged. "Sure, why not?" he replied casually before giving Kaname's shirt an uneasy glance. "Uhm, did you have a place in mind?"

Kaname glanced at Zero's T-shirt and jeans then at his own more formal wear before smiling wryly. "Some place where they'll accept both of us without comment?" he suggested and Zero couldn't help grinning at that. "Right," he agreed.

- o -

When they reached the shopping mall, it was almost half past seven. There were a lot more people in the mall this time since it was the weekend and Zero was careful to hook both thumbs in his jeans pockets to deter Kaname from trying to hold his hand – the good looking and smartly dressed pureblood attracted enough attention as it was. They stopped at the information counter on the ground floor and perused the list of retailers – there were quite a number of them that carried T-shirts but Zero decided to take Kaname to the more up market ones that carried better quality apparel and would have significantly fewer customers browsing around in their premises.

As they walked into one of the trendy shops on the first floor catering to male apparel, Kaname looked around the shirts hanging on the racks with undisguised interest. "So these are not made to order?" he enquired. Zero nodded solemnly. "Mass produced," he said just as solemnly and Kaname blinked. "Well..." he said, looking around again with more interest this time and making Zero smile. "I'm sure they have custom made wear too but not for T-shirts," he amended.

The two salesgirls manning the outlet were looking at them both with undisguised interest and Zero's smile disappeared as one of them approached with a wide smile and an overly friendly 'Can I help you?' Despite knowing that it was their job to help customers find what they wanted, Zero shook his head and steered the unresisting pureblood towards the casual wear section, heading for the shelves of neatly folded T-shirts. Zero had never shopped at this particular outlet before – their prices were way above his modest budget but he knew Kaname could well afford the designer brands. Having seen some of the pureblood's clothes was ample proof of that.

Zero inspected about half a dozen colourful piles of T-shirts until he came to some that were made of exceptionally soft material. They were admittedly higher priced than the others but that would not be an issue to Kaname. The pureblood was used to having his clothes made for him so getting a shapeless garment was out of the question. After glancing at the tailored shirt the pureblood was wearing, Zero pulled out a collared T-shirt in plain black. It had shorter sleeves than usual and the sides of the shirt curved inwards, emphasizing the wearer's waist. It was also shorter and not meant to be worn tucked in. The cutting of the garment was actually similar to T-shirt designed for ladies, only these were made for tall, lean bodied males who had a figure to flaunt.

And Zero knew very well Kaname was one of those.

"Here, try this on," the prefect suggested as he turned around and proffered the shirt to Kaname. The pureblood took it but his thoughtful gaze moved back to the shelves behind Zero. "I think the red one as well?" he murmured, pointing to the same pile that Zero had taken from earlier. Nodding, the prefect pulled out the red version of the same shirt.

"What about jeans?" Kaname then asked, with a quick glance at Zero's and the prefect blinked before nodding slowly. He hadn't thought Kaname was a jeans-wearing sort of person but then again, it didn't hurt to try, did it?

The still overly friendly salesgirl pointed them to the correct shelf and this time, Zero let her select a couple of straight cut ones after giving Kaname's figure a critical but appreciative look. The store also carried trousers and jeans for tall, slender males and she was able to provide a couple of dark blue ones for Kaname to try on. By this time, the other salesgirl had already left, apparently late for dinner with her boyfriend. The one assisting asked if Kaname would like to try on the clothes and he nodded. She started walking over to the back of the outlet where the fitting rooms were and requested for him to follow her. Kaname thanked her with a quick smile then tilted his head at Zero, silently requesting for his company as well.

Behind a partition, there were three fitting rooms in a row, each with a full length mirror attached to the back wall. There were also a row of chairs in front of the rooms for customers to be comfortable while they waited their turn. At the moment, all three rooms were unoccupied and Kaname went into the furthest one. "Aren't you going to come in?" he asked in a low voice when he saw Zero sitting down on the chair that directly faced his room. The prefect shook his head with a quick frown – need Kaname even ask that?

"Try on the shirt and see if it fits," he suggested, ignoring the rather exaggerated sigh Kaname gave before closing the door. Zero glanced to his right. The salesgirl was still hovering around there hopefully but one of his trademark glares had her scuttling back to her seat behind the cash register and quickly putting on her iPod earphones.

Geez, was this how it was going to be whenever Kaname went out? Zero's glare disappeared at the thought and he sighed, tipping his head back to rest it on the wall behind him and closing his eyes. He had a sudden mental image of Kaname and him running around in shopping malls, being chased after by a mob of admiring passers-by, much like how a movie star might experience whenever he or she went out in public. Only Zero was pretty sure that the group chasing Kaname would include males as well as females if past experience were any indication.

Then the fitting room door right in front of him opened and Zero straightened up and opened his eyes. Then he froze, every other thought escaping his brain. He didn't even realised he had stood up and taken a step nearer to the pureblood. Kaname was standing there, wearing the red T-shirt and one of the dark blue jeans. It was amazing how he had managed to put the latter on since the jeans looked like they were moulded to his hips and the mere sight robbed Zero of his breath.


Kaname looked... stunning. The warm red of the shirt threw his pale, creamy skin into stark relief and complemented the deep brown tones of his wavy hair. The design of the T-shirt was quite plain, with only two narrow black lines across the chest but it allowed the observer to focus on how it outlined its wearer's torso and the shorter sleeves showed off Kaname's slender but toned arms beautifully.

As for the jeans... Zero's mouth went dry. They looked as if they might have been painted on Kaname, so perfectly did they fit and Zero had to wonder again how Kaname had managed to put them on, and so quickly. The pureblood hid a pleased smile as he took in the look of stunned approval on Zero's face.

"Well, what do you think?" Kaname murmured, taking a leaf from Zero's book and hooking his thumbs in the front pockets of his jeans as he pivoted slightly from side to side.

Zero swallowed. "Uhm, well, we got the right sizes. You look... good," he murmured then had to clear his throat to get rid of that slightly husky sound. Quickly, Zero turned away from the beguiling sight before his body had a chance to react. Perfect was a far more appropriate word than good but there was no need to inflate the pureblood's ego any bigger than it already was...

Hurriedly, Zero took a step backwards but stopped when the back of his knee bumped into the chair. Flustered, he turned away before Kaname could see the colour stealing into his cheeks. "I – uh, I'll go check out the other shirts..."

"Wait a moment, Zero. Does this make it look better?" The question was voiced out in a completely innocent tone but something told Zero not to turn around. Only of course, he did. Then he froze, arrested by the sight.

Kaname had taken his right hand out of his pocket and his bent elbow was now resting against the side of the door frame at shoulder level with his pointer finger casually touching his lower lip and his head tilted a little to the left. As he caught Zero's startled gaze, Kaname raised his right eyebrow at Zero in an innocently enquiring gesture that oozed sensuality at the same time.

Zero swallowed, his widened amethyst eyes slowly travelling over the posing pureblood from top to bottom - taking in the mischievous twinkle in the smiling brown eyes, the barest hint of a pout on those sculpted lips barely concealed by the casual pose of that beautiful hand, the way his lifted arm stretched the T-shirt tight over his chest and flat stomach, and the sight of a slightly cocked, lean hip in those gorgeous, tight fitting jeans. The pureblood looked unbelievably seductive like this and the clothes he had on might as well have been tailored just for him.

Zero felt his blood speed up to his brain and cloud his thoughts before flowing down again to warm a particular part of his body – somewhere below his stomach but above his knees - in a sudden, swift rush that left him slightly breathless. His heart felt like it was going into overtime and he swallowed again on an even drier throat - Kaname looked absolutely, fabulously, ravishingly stunning.

"Uhm. Yeah, better," Somehow, Zero managed to get his words out even though he sounded like he hadn't had a drop of water to drink in days. He cleared his throat once more, knowing that his cheeks were bright pink by now and Kaname had most likely heard his rapid heartbeat. The pureblood drank in the visible and non visible signs of Zero's approving response but he held back his smirk. "You don't think it looks too... casual?" he murmured, even taking pains to look mildly worried.

Hell, no.

"You look fine, Kaname," Zero replied huskily. His voice was warm and husky with wholehearted approval and the heated look in his amethyst eyes made Kaname's heart start to pound. "Well," the pureblood said after enjoying another delicious moment of being subjected to such a wholeheartedly approving stare. The twinkle in his eyes were more pronounced now as he continued as casually as he could, "We'll get this one, then. Let's try on another, shall we..."

And before Zero could even blink, Kaname straightened up and grasped the hem of his T-shirt. With a smooth, swift motion, he pulled it right over his head and Zero breath stuttered in his throat as Kaname's torso was revealed, barely two feet away from him. Then the T-shirt had cleared the pureblood's head and wavy locks of silky dark hair tumbled down to rest on bare shoulders, contrasting nicely against the pale, creamy skin.

Zero inhaled sharply after a second, unintentionally drawing in the intoxicating, warm scent that was purely Kaname's. The prefect swallowed again – the pureblood was now dressed in nothing but a pair of tight fitting jeans since he had also removed his shoes and he looked beautiful. Really beautiful. Zero couldn't believe he was actually applying the adjective 'beautiful' to a male but it just fitted Kaname to a 'T', no pun intended. Completely speechless, Zero let his eyes feast on an expanse of perfectly shaped male chest, lithe and toned rather than muscular, all covered by more of that same, perfect, creamy pale skin. God, even Kaname's nipples were beautiful...

The pureblood allowed himself a very small smile of satisfaction as he rested both hands on his hips, wondering if dared to turn around slowly and treat Zero to a sight of his naked back and jean clad rear. He had to admit he loved how taken Zero seemed to be by his appearance even if it was just a tad embarrassing... in a good way, of course.

"Well, what do you think?" Kaname purred after a minute or so, when it looked like Zero had apparently forgotten how to speak. The latter blinked and dragged his gaze up from a pair of nipples that had puckered slightly under all that heated scrutiny to meet a pair of deeply amused, chocolate eyes set in a smiling face that was lightly flushed.

Oh God... he had been caught ogling Kaname, and in a shop, no less! Face flaming with embarrassment, Zero scowled.

"Well?" repeated Kaname, his eyes innocently wide but his lips quirking in an unstoppable smile that made Zero's scowl deepen.

Well, fine! Let's see if Kaname can take the heat.. For a moment, it was like being at the art gallery all over again. With a suddenness that startled them both, Zero stepped forward and pushed Kaname backwards into the fitting room with the palms of both hands flat on the latter's bare chest. The pureblood stumbled back a little before regaining his balance, his startled gaze flying to Zero's grim face as the prefect nudged the door shut behind him with his foot so that it shut with a click.

"What do I think, Kaname?" Zero's voice was a low, throaty growl as he let his hands roam freely over warm, silky skin covering smooth, supple planes. "I think you look good enough to eat."

Those dangerous sounding words and the intent, darkened amethyst gaze were the only two warnings Kaname got before the silver head dipped and a hot mouth closed onto one of his bared nipples. Without hesitation, Zero sucked it into his mouth as he lightly pinched Kaname's other nipple with his thumb and forefinger. Kaname uttered a husky cry of surprise as his head fell back, both hands shooting out to the sides to slap against the side walls of the fitting room for balance. Oh God, Zero...!

Kaname tasted even more delicious than Zero had expected and how that was even possible, he didn't know and at this moment, he didn't care either. The prefect merely growled again as he sucked insistently on the very tasty, hardened nub in his mouth and heard the sharp inhalation from Kaname with immense and very male satisfaction. Zero then rubbed the tip of his tongue against that nipple and the pureblood gave that almost agonised, choked cry again as he arched his back, thrusting himself up against Zero's mouth like an offering. The prefect pinched the other nipple in appreciation and felt long, trembling fingers spearing into his hair, knotting in the silver strands as Kaname's breath turned into short pants, hissing out through his teeth.

After a few delightful nibbles that had Kaname's knees shaking, Zero finally released the throbbing, moist nipple from his mouth and trailed his lips slowly to its twin, intent on giving it the same, loving attention. He could both feel and hear the ragged pounding of Kaname's heart beneath that heaving chest and delighted in it. The pureblood was better prepared this time and he clenched his teeth to keep in another groan as he felt those lips nearing his other nipple. His other hand had encountered the row of padded steel hooks that were attached onto the wall for hanging clothes and he grasped one of them tightly with trembling fingers.

Zero adored the other nipple with his lips, tongue and teeth, both hands going around the pureblood's bare back to bring him even closer, fingers gliding over the smooth, warm skin. A small part of his brain that was still more or less sane was rather surprised at himself – Zero hadn't known that he actually knew how to impart pleasure like this but judging from Kaname's delightful reactions, he can't be doing it too badly... for a novice, that is. After a long and very enjoyable moment, Zero finally released the second swollen, aching nipple and straightened up. Kaname's head was thrown back, eyes closed and lips slightly parted as he moaned softly to himself, bare chest still heaving. The unexpectedly erotic sight pushed Zero's desire up a notch and he wanted to see the same desire reflected in the pureblood's beautiful eyes...

"Kaname," Zero whispered and those long eyelashes flickered before they parted, revealing hazy, red brown depths. "Uh... Zero," Kaname whispered, looking rather lost as he saw Zero's tongue flick out to lick at his own lips. Then the prefect had claimed his parted lips in a kiss and Kaname opened his mouth and gave in, still stunned at Zero's unexpected passion.

His pureblood instincts were clamouring for him to take over and mete out sweet punishment to the prefect in turn but Kaname fought it down and remained passive, suppliant. He still didn't trust himself fully to not to lose control again and besides... it felt unexpectedly wonderful to have someone else take charge for a change. Someone whom he trusted implicitly and loved. Besides, who knew when the normally shy and reticent Zero Kiryuu would be this wonderfully aggressive again?

All the same, Kaname didn't remain still. By now, Zero had now backed him up against the mirror as they kissed and the prefect gasped softly into the pureblood's mouth as hands tugged the front of his T-shirt out from his jeans and explored his taut stomach. Then those same hands were moving upwards and skilled, tapering fingertips found his own nipples and rubbed them lightly, teasingly. "Ka-Kaname!" Zero moaned. The pureblood wasn't the only one lost in this intense, burning heat - he was, too...

It was a really good thing the salesgirl outside still had her earphones plugged in otherwise she might have investigated the interesting symphony of moans, sighs and intermittent thuds coming from the back, where the fitting rooms were. As it was, a good few minutes had passed before Kaname and Zero finally emerged with mussed hair, a suspicious flush on their cheeks and an equally suspicious breathless note in their voices.

After the passionate kiss ended, Zero had cooled down somewhat and was mortified at his behaviour. He avoided Kaname's deep and happy grin and went back to the shelves, pulling out a couple more T-shirts for the pureblood to try on. His own light blue T-shirt was by now hanging out of his jeans but Zero didn't bother to tuck it back in since it also helped to conceal his rather aroused state. Wordlessly, he shoved the clothes at Kaname and scowled at him when the pureblood tilted his head back towards the changing room with an inviting smile, only giving up when Zero glared at him, crossed his arms and shook his head adamantly.

A few minutes later, Kaname had made his choice and purchased three T-shirts with different designs and colours, but all of them collared and snug fitting, together with the pair of jeans he had tried on. The combined price of all four garments made Zero blanch but Kaname paid for them without batting an eye. As they went downstairs to find somewhere to have their dinner, Kaname smiled at Zero. "Thank you for helping me choose the T-shirts," he said and Zero shrugged. "No problem," he replied, trying not to remember what had happened earlier.

"And the jeans, too," added Kaname with a straight face and the prefect looked away – he was trying not to remember, damnit! Zero then turned back to give the pureblood a wary 'Don't-say-anything-more-about-this' look and Kaname obliged as the former started pointing out various eating outlets they could have dinner at.

- o -

It was almost eleven when Kaname and Zero finally got into the limousine for the ride back to Cross Academy. After checking out the outlets in the shopping mall, they decided to walk through the town and found a cozy café with customers dressed as casually as Zero and as formally as Kaname. It was filled with the weekend crowd but they managed to get a table after waiting for twenty minutes – something Zero knew Kaname hadn't experienced before, either – but while the food was good, the place was too crowded and noisy for any intimate conversation. All the same, they conversed with their eyes and with Kaname's warm eyes holding an invitation for Zero to continue what he had started earlier in the fitting room, the prefect wasn't able to concentrate much on his food.

As soon as they were in the car with the sound proofed partition up, Kaname smiled at Zero. "Come here," he murmured as he pulled him close and Zero complied without hesitation. In the comfortable but confined space, they couldn't do more than exchange kisses and meaningful looks but it seemed like only minutes before they had reached Cross Academy again. Without being told, Akira stopped the car outside the gates and waited until the partition had slid down. Kaname requested him to take the shopping bags up to his room before wishing him good night, then the pureblood and Zero walked off into the darkened woods that surrounded the school. At the same spot where they kissed previously, Kaname stopped and turned towards Zero, taking hold of his hand and lifting it to his lips with a smile that the prefect returned shyly.

Finally, they had a moment of complete privacy and there was no need for words as their lips met in a heartfelt kiss. With their emotions still stirred up from the earlier episode, it wasn't long before the kiss grew more intense and more passionate. Behind two sets of closed eyelids, brown and amethyst eyes were slowly morphing to red and jaws throbbed slightly as fangs grew out, one pair significantly faster than the other. Again, it was Kaname's that drew blood, this time from Zero's tongue. As the sweet, familiar taste registered, the pureblood quickly pulled back, staring guiltily at the small crimson stain he had left on the other's kiss swollen lips.

"Oops... sorry," Kaname whispered, almost hesitantly lifting his eyes to meet Zero's. The pureblood could feel his fangs throbbing at the delicious scent but he could have smacked himself for being so careless... and just when Zero was warming up to him so nicely.

Zero didn't react immediately and for a moment, he just stood there silently, eyes still locked onto Kaname's. The prefect knew that he and Kaname had gone through a tumultuous time before when the latter had bitten him and Zero never wanted that to happen again. The gentle pureblood had suffered greatly for that one mistake and in any case, Zero realised he was more or less reconciled to the fact that it was practically impossible for two vampires to kiss one another without ever drawing blood since desire only heightened their vampire urges, bringing them to the surface. Insisting that they do not nick each other at all with their fangs, even accidentally, was both unrealistic and unfair. Besides, this kiss had been mostly tender and sweet and Zero was still deeply touched to know that Kaname loved the taste of his blood. So... yes, Kaname had drawn a little of his blood but Zero decided that it was hardly a justifiable reason for stopping the kiss.

"Hey, you OK?" Kaname was still staring at him with that look of almost apprehension in his eyes and Zero's heart squeezed softly. Kaname should not look like that. Ever.

"Shut up," Zero whispered before pressing his slightly bloodstained lips to the pureblood's again. The small cut had already healed in any case and Zero moved his mouth persuasively over Kaname's soft lips, coaxing them to open and ignoring the fangs he could feel behind them.

Kaname drew a trembling breath, feeling unaccountably near tears. He licked the delicious crimson nectar from Zero's lips then kissed him reverently and tenderly, making sure not to draw any more blood this time as he closed his stinging eyes resolutely, unwilling to break the spell of this particular kiss. Did Zero know how much his trust meant to him? Kaname wondered when they finally drew apart, and from the small, slightly crooked smile Zero gave, the pureblood realised he did.

"Well, I guess that promise you made me is kinda moot now, huh?" Zero said softly and the pureblood nodded silently, letting his eyes worship the wonderful person right in front of him. Zero's words had made a warm swell of hope rise in his chest – if the prefect was now comfortable with having a little of his blood spilt, then perhaps he also wouldn't mind giving Kaname the chance to adore his neck, like how the pureblood had longed to do for so long now...

"Zero?" he whispered.

"Mmm?" Zero was now occupied with combing his fingers through the wavy, silky strands of Kaname's hair but his eyes returned to meet the pureblood. Kaname hesitated then asked, "May I touch your neck... there?"

Zero blinked in surprise at the polite sounding question. It took a moment before he recalled the time he had reacted in Kaname's room when the pureblood had tried to touch the bite marks he had made and how Kaname hadn't attempted to touch that particular area since then. Zero took a deep breath to steady himself then he nodded. "Please do, Kaname," he whispered and felt his heart ache again at the beautiful, tremulous smile that flowered on the pureblood's lips.

Slowly, Kaname bent forward to fit his face into the sweet smelling curve of Zero's neck and felt the prefect's fingers slip out of his hair. The pureblood pressed his lips in a soft kiss at the exact place where his fangs had sunk in before and felt Zero's fingers slip down past his shoulders to grip onto his upper arms as his breath shuddered out of him, past Kaname's ear. That area was still very sensitive when he touched it, even while showering and it looked like it would always remain so. But when Kaname touched it, Zero found that he could not stop trembling. He tried to hold himself still, not wanting Kaname to think that he was still afraid but the merest puff of warm breath on that skin made him shiver.

And suddenly, Zero realised that he wasn't shivering in fright or trepidation... but in want. He wanted Kaname to touch and kiss him there and his eyes fluttered close as the pureblood adored that area with unbelievably gentle kisses, causing pleasurable tingles to spread from Zero's neck throughout his body. After a while, he realised that he wanted... more. Despite his deeply rooted fears, despite his unpleasant dreams, despite the painful bite that changed his world, Zero suddenly and illogically wanted to be bitten there again. That area on his neck was now aching, begging to be claimed by fangs but Zero knew he wanted only Kaname's fangs to mark him and no one else's. The realisation left him stunned.

With his heart thudding away in his chest, Kaname hugged the trembling boy in his arms as he dropped light, gentle kisses on the delicious, warm neck, hoping desperately that it wasn't fear that was making Zero shiver like this. Kaname's fangs were already out but he made sure that only his lips and tongue touched the other's neck this time, intent on showing Zero that he was completely worthy of his trust.

"Unh, Kaname...!" Zero moaned, unconsciously pressing himself against the pureblood in a futile attempt to get closer, then tipped his head back and to the left, exposing even more of his pale neck, unconsciously pleading to be bitten. But Kaname only groaned softly in reply before ignoring that silent plea, continuing to merely drop those delightful, infuriatingly light kisses on his neck and nothing more.

Zero felt hot... aroused... shaky. His heart was going triple time but despite all the blood pumping through his veins, his legs felt weak and he leaned heavily onto Kaname, feeling the pureblood's body bend slightly to accommodate his weight. Zero pressed himself even more into Kaname's kisses, uttering soft little moans that made the pureblood's desire skyrocket upwards. The prefect was beautiful, delicious and so darned arousing when he was making those cute little sounds. In fact, if Kaname didn't know better, it sounded like Zero was begging to have his blood drawn… but of course that couldn't possibly be what he wanted, right?

Reluctantly, Kaname raised his head, taking a moment to appreciate the appealing sight of the silver haired prefect with his eyes closed and his head tipped back in ecstasy, mouth slightly parted. Then Zero's head dipped forward, his eyes blinked open and Kaname found himself drowning in those tender violet depths.

"Zero," Kaname whispered, bending forward to rest his forehead against Zero's. "You are so beautiful..."

Violet eyes blinked in disbelief. "Wha – who, me?" Zero whispered, looking painfully shy all of a sudden. "No, I'm not! You're the one who's beautiful, Kaname."

The pureblood couldn't help the happy little chuckle that escaped his lips. "You really think so?" he whispered and Zero grimaced a little as he felt his face heat up. "Yeah, I do, you arrogant pureblood," he mumbled.

Kaname's heart swelled with happiness and he let it show on his face and in his eyes. Zero gave up to smile at him before he tilted his head and fitted his lips to the pureblood's again. They kissed for a long, passionate moment, fingers re-learning the texture of wavy, long hair and short, silvery strands, lean cheekbones and strong jaws, sensitive earlobes, with metal piercing and without. Before long, a pair of hands had found the hem of a T-shirt while another pair tugged a silk shirt out of a pair of trousers. Then they were feverishly exploring and mapping each other's flat stomachs and softly heaving chests, finding puckered nipples and feeling warm skin damp with the glow of passion.

Kaname wanted to feel Zero again and he slowly pressed his hips against him, feeling Zero tense up in his arms. "Do you feel that, Zero?" he asked softly, holding the violet gaze. Mutely, the prefect nodded but he didn't pull away and after a moment, Kaname dared to press his hips a little harder against Zero's. "Does that feel good?" he murmured.

Zero's flush deepened but again, he nodded. "Yeah," he murmured back and Kaname actually smiled. "Good," he said with a relieved sigh. Slowly, his hands slipped out of the T-shirt and went around the back before dipping to cup Zero's buttocks again. Ignoring the prefect's indignant gasp, Kaname ground his arousal against the other's as he kissed him. This time, Zero moaned into Kaname's mouth before thrusting his hips back hard, making the pureblood growl in satisfaction. Holding Zero's hips still, Kaname then started rubbing his groin against Zero's in a slow, circular but devastatingly thorough motion, making sure their arousals massaged each other through their respective pants.

Zero tipped his head back, breaking the kiss with a husky cry as Kaname held his hips still but continued to tease him mercilessly. The pureblood thrilled to the sound of that cry and dipped his head to Zero's neck again, using his tongue to outline intricate patterns across the flushed, creamy skin, loving the soft cries he wrung from Zero and hearing the boy's breaths coming out in increasingly shortened pants. Zero was incredibly turned on and very hard now – almost getting to the point of no return.

But not here, not now...!

With an effort, Zero wrenched his upper body away from Kaname, from those devastating lips and tongue but his hips were still trapped by those long fingers and those rotating, maddening hips. "St-stop, Kaname!"

Slumberous eyes with hazy reddish depths regarded Zero almost lazily. "Stop what?" Kaname drawled, his hips still rubbing suggestively against Zero. The prefect could feel a certain dampness in his underwear now and he quickly reached behind him to grip Kaname's possessive hands, practically wrenching them off his buttocks. "Stop this now!" he panted out but Kaname only chuckled and shook his head, his arms sliding around Zero's waist instead. He bent forward to capture those moist, flushed lips and Zero tipped his head back out of reach - he would have toppled backwards if it weren't for Kaname's arms supporting him. "Geez, enough, OK? Enough - let me go, Kaname!"

The pureblood shook his head and tugged Zero closer, settling him even more firmly against his hips. "Nope, never enough" Kaname whispered, a teasing, playful light dancing in his eyes. "Kiss me, Zero..."

"Huh-uh," the prefect shook his head adamantly, still struggling and Kaname sighed as he finally stopped teasing the prefect. Reluctantly, he drew his arms away but gave Zero a charming smile. "Please?" he requested. Zero huffed but finally relented to kiss him again, hard enough to punish this time. Kaname opened his mouth willingly under the onslaught of that kiss, using the opportunity to rock his lean hips seductively into Zero's once more and making the prefect moan breathlessly, his chest heaving against Kaname's, his knees slowly weakening. Zero could feel that Kaname was as aroused as he was but apparently, the pureblood had much better control than he did.

When they finally broke the kiss, panting for breath, Kaname didn't stop. He trailed his lips to a pierced ear and gently took the tender earlobe between his lips, dropping the lightest of nips and licks onto the soft flesh as his hands moved lower again. But when Zero's knees unexpectedly buckled, Kaname had to hurriedly move his hands back around the prefect's waist, feeling the hot, ragged breath that brushed his ear. Kaname couldn't help smiling – Zero was so, so adorable like this.

Slowly, the pureblood continued to rock his hips against Zero's in a hypnotic rhythm, uncaring of anything save hearing and feeling the prefect's responses as Zero moaned softly, clutching at Kaname's shoulders and feeling his own desire skyrocketing as he thrust back, pressing against Kaname. He was so hard now and aching for release... Mindlessly, Zero thrust his hips against Kaname's again and again as instinct drove and controlled his movements, concentrating every effort on trying to ease that ache and find release. In fact, it was only a matter of minutes before he – he –

A moment of sudden sanity made Zero's eyes snap open. He realised that he was getting very close to humiliating himself right here in front of Kaname and with a tremendous effort, he pulled himself away, pushing hard at Kaname's chest to get him to let go. Kaname opened his eyes when he realised that his arms were suddenly empty.

"Stop this, Kaname!"

"Why? Is something wrong?" With an effort, Kaname let his hands drop back to his sides, trying to control his breathing. It wasn't an easy task since he was more aroused than he had ever felt before but he tried. Zero uttered a mirthless laugh at the pureblood's innocent question, crossing his arms and hugging himself. "Something wrong? Kaname, look at me! You touch me anymore and I swear, I'm going to come in my jeans, damnit!"

Then Zero's mouth fell open and he stared at Kaname in horror. Oh God. He had not just said that! Uttering a low moan, he looked away, his face burning up. Right. Someone kill me now...

Kaname blinked in surprise. He knew Zero could be forthright at times but he hadn't expected that to come out. Involuntarily, his eyes dropped to the front of Zero's jeans where the bulge under the crumpled T-shirt could clearly be seen, straining against the dark fabric. Zero saw that look and swung around, biting his lip, feeling his face about to burst into flames.

A silent but incredibly embarrassing moment for Zero passed before Kaname took a step closer to him. Zero froze when a pair of warm arms closed around his waist from the back then Kaname's low voice sounded in his ear. "Hush, Zero... it's all right," the pureblood crooned softly as he pulled the other boy against him so that Zero's back rested against his chest. Kaname walked them both backwards until his back touched the trunk of the nearest tree then he stopped but rocked Zero slowly in his arms, uttering soft, soothing noises until he felt the prefect relax against him.

Zero huffed as he tried to calm himself down by taking slow, deep breaths, unintentionally filling his lungs with Kaname's delicious scent again. He didn't realise that one of Kaname's hands had slid off his waist and moved further downwards since the pureblood was now dropping more kisses along Zero's jaw line, moving slowly down to his bite area again. With another low moan, the prefect's head fell back against the pureblood's left shoulder, exposing the pale flesh on his neck. Kaname licked the soft, sensitive skin with long, slow strokes and Zero relinquished his weight to the pureblood as his legs wobbled. "Ka-Kaname..." he murmured, each of his fives senses focusing on the devastating lips at his neck.

By now, skillful fingers had found the zipper of Zero's jeans and slowly, they slid the metal fastening down a millimeter at a time. "Hush," Kaname whispered, turning his head slightly so that he could see his occupied right hand. Through the thick haze of arousal clouding him, Zero felt something brush against his arousal and he gasped. In one smooth, swift motion, warm fingers had dipped into his underwear, closed around him and skillfully pulled him out, exposing him completely. Zero's eyes shot open immediately and he looked down. What he saw made his jaw drop and his body tensed up in immediate, embarrassed protest. "What the hell – Kaname!"

"Hush, Zero, hush," Kaname whispered, his lips still kissing Zero's neck but his eyes feasting on the stiff, throbbing treasure he now cradled in his palm. The engorged tip was rosy and dewing and Kaname's fingertips ghosted over it, making Zero give an almost violent shiver in his arms. He tried to struggle out from Kaname's embrace but the pureblood rubbed his thumb firmly over the wet tip and Zero all but collapsed against the pureblood instead with a shivery moan. Kaname supported the prefect's weight with little effort and used his chin to nudge the boy's head a little more to his left and back while his right fist began a steady rhythm of sliding up and down the rigid length.

Zero gave another low moan as his hips arched up and his head lolled against the pureblood's shoulder. "Ka-Kaname, unh... let go, what are you doing?!" Zero's mind was spinning. He still couldn't believe that Kaname was actually touching him so intimately but he was so hard and his flesh was straining, aching for relief. Kaname's fingers felt so good on him, moist with his slippery liquid and moving demandingly against him as he pumped and squeezed him in alternate movements.

"I - I... Geez, Kaname, what're you doing..." he mumbled again, his head spinning and his entire body focusing on the overwhelming sensations engulfing his arousal.

"Hush, Zero. I'm just not letting you come in your jeans, that's all," Kaname replied in a heated whisper as he licked the underside of Zero's jaw. The prefect's hands were clutching at the arm around his waist and Kaname didn't care that those fingers were digging deep enough to hurt.

What?! Zero blinked as his foggy mind tried to make sense of Kaname's words. That - did that mean that Kaname wanted to... actually... undo...

As if answering his silent question, the pureblood's grip on his flesh tightened and he pumped Zero even more firmly. The prefect moaned as he parted his legs and bent his knees a little, pressing back against Kaname and thrusting his hips up into that tight, moist fist - again and again. Despite his embarrassed protests, Zero found that he didn't really want this to stop and Kaname knew that. The prefect's tip was leaking copiously by now and Kaname coated his fingers and palm with more of the slippery liquid, causing the friction between him and Zero to turn deliciously, unbearably erotic. Zero was lost, consumed by the delicious pleasure his pulsing length was receiving and his body tightened with mounting tension, breath quaking raggedly from his parted lips. "Unh... Kaname... ah... I – I can't... hold..."

Kaname's chest heaved against his back but he didn't say anything. The pureblood merely speeded up his movements and Zero pressed the back of his head hard against Kaname's shoulder as his muscles snapped tight and he felt his eyes roll to the back of his head. For one long, long second, Zero teetered on the brink of an awesome release.... Then he cried out sharply as he finally exploded, caught in the throes of an orgasm stronger than any he had ever experienced by his own hand. White hot pleasure was racing through his taut body, setting his blood on fire and igniting muscles, tendons, nerves alike as he erupted hard in Kaname's hand. Zero's shocked eyes flew open to see his essence shoot out from the pureblood's closed fist in several spurts, landing on the ground a few feet in front of him.

Kaname's ragged breath was still brushing Zero's ear and he was spellbound by the prefect's release. Zero was beautiful... perfect... passionate... and Kaname's heart thrilled at having been the one to undo Zero so thoroughly, and the only one to witness this stunning release as the prefect trembled violently in his arms.

Kaname was finally forced to release Zero's length as the prefect's knees buckled completely and he sagged back against him. Swiftly, the pureblood swept Zero up into his arms, causing a small breathless yelp to sound. Kaname pressed a comforting kiss onto Zero's damp forehead then lowered himself to sit cross legged on the ground with his back against the trunk of the tree and Zero in his lap. The prefect was leaning against him limply, one hand clutching at his silk shirt and Kaname smiled softly as he pressed more kisses along Zero's forehead, tasting the perspiration that made the silver strands cling to the skin and hearing the laboured pants coming from the boy. After a moment, Kaname fished out his handkerchief from his pocket and carefully wiped off Zero's spent length before gently tucking him back inside his underwear then drawing up the jeans zipper once more.

Zero lay quite still throughout Kaname's ministrations even though he gave a sudden, almost violent shiver as the pureblood's fingers accidentally brushed over a certain, still very sensitive spot. When he heard the rasp of his zipper, his eyes blinked open and he focused blearily on his surroundings. Tiredly, he lifted his head to see Kaname contentedly licking his own fingers clean.

What the...?! "Oh God, Kaname, st-stop that!" Zero protested in a whisper, flushing deeply. The sight of Kaname actually licking his essence from his hand floored him and made him blush hotly from the inside out.

Kaname only smiled down at him. "Why, Zero? You taste so delicious..." he whispered, his eyes drinking in the wonderful sight of Zero's adorably flushed face. With an effort, the prefect swung his burning face away. "You – you're an idiot..." he mumbled, bracing one hand on Kaname's thigh to try to push himself up but his legs refused to support him yet, still trembling a little from that incredible release.

"Sit for a while," Kaname said as he tugged Zero down again onto his lap. "Here, lean against me," he added soothingly. Zero obeyed but shifted uncomfortably as he felt something digging into his lower back. "Uh, Kaname, you - you're still..."

A soft chuckle sounded above his ear. "I know, but it's OK, I'll take care of it later."

Zero hesitated. He appeared to be debating with himself then he suddenly looked up at Kaname. "Do you want me to, uhm, you know...?"

Kaname found Zero's shyness absolutely adorable now and he smiled. "It's OK, Zero. Next time." His heart swelling with happiness, the pureblood hugged Zero closer to him and the latter buried his flushed face in Kaname's damp shirt. He still couldn't quite believe that he had actually let someone else touch him there, and not only touch him but bring him to such stunning, blinding release. And while he was still horribly shy about it, Zero was neither angry nor ashamed. Kaname was being wonderfully tender now and it felt good to rest in his embrace and let himself be soothed for a while.

After a few minutes, Zero stirred and Kaname raised his head. "You OK now?" he asked quietly. Zero could feel the slowly softening bulge in Kaname's trousers and felt an odd mix of relief and disappointment. "Yeah, I am," he said softly, stifling a yawn.

Kaname chuckled and dipped his head to capture Zero's lips in a quick kiss. "I wish you could come back with me to my rooms tonight and spend the whole of tomorrow there as well," he confessed then caught the suddenly wary look on Zero's face. "No, Zero. Despite what you think, I just want to be with you and fall asleep holding you."

Zero found himself flushing again. It seemed so very easy for Kaname to just say intimate things like that and he didn't know how to respond to them. Sure, Zero would love to be in the same bed with Kaname and sleep cuddled up next to him as well but... he wasn't sure if he could actually say those words out loud. "I don't think I should," he mumbled instead and saw Kaname's eyes fall in disappointment. "Well... even though I want to," Zero added in a truthful whisper. But when he saw Kaname's face brighten up, he quickly struggled to get out of the pureblood' s lap. "Hey, let me up..."

Reluctantly, Kaname let him go then started to get up himself but paused when Zero turned around to face him, still on his knees. The shy violet hue of his eyes had darkened to intense amethyst again and Kaname's heart started to beat a little faster.

"Zero?" he asked uncertainly and the prefect swallowed. That tone Kaname used always made Zero's heart ache a little. He wanted so much to reassure the pureblood of his feelings, even if they weren't as crystal clear as Kaname's seemed to be. And since now seemed as good a time as any, well...

Holding the trusting brown gaze with his eyes, Zero bent forward to rest both hands on Kaname's shoulders. The prefect was on his knees and with the pureblood still sitting cross legged on the grass, Zero was the taller one of the two. Despite that, Kaname did not get up or change his position but merely tipped his head back so that he could continue to hold Zero's gaze. That small action alone and how it exposed the pureblood's neck spoke of the sweet trust Kaname had placed in the prefect and Zero had to pause a little before he could speak.

"Kaname," he murmured huskily. "Please know that I..." He hesitated, lost in the luminous depths of the pureblood's eyes. Slowly, Zero slid his hands inward and up to cradle Kaname's exquisite face, feeling the creamy smooth skin against his palms. "... that I care for you," he whispered, trying hard to ignore the intense heat pulsing in his cheeks. "I do care for you, very much."

Kaname drew in a shaky breath as he heard those whispered words and felt his eyes sting in reply. Zero's breath hitched in his throat as those beautiful eyes filled with a flood of sudden tears.

"Oh no, don't..." Zero whispered, his brow knitting in consternation as he used his thumb to gently wipe away a single, glistening track down Kaname's cheek. Immediately, the pureblood shook his head. "I'm not," he protested in a whisper back and Zero had to smile. "Sure you're not, Kuran," he agreed but his tone was gentle and Kaname smiled back. He wrapped an arm around Zero's back and his other hand around his neck, long fingers sliding under the soft silvery hair before pulling Zero down to him. The prefect followed willingly, resting a hand on the tree trunk behind the pureblood as their lips met in a kiss that spoke more words than either one could say.

Soon after that, they strolled back to school, hands clasped tightly together and hearts beating in unison. Another milestone in their relationship had been reached but unknown to either one of them, something else would soon happen that would change their fates forever.

-- Chapter End --

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