A carpet of snow and dead leaves are laid out over the quiet forest surrounding the city. The bright light of the full moon shines and glistens the floor like a reflection of stars staring upward towards its similar counterpart. It is winter in the City of Yūgure. The last of the storekeepers close up shop after a long day of holiday sales and Yūgure's citizens have retired for the night. The last of the street lights flicker and dim all except for the entrance and depths of Cross Academy.
The shifting of surviving leaves is silent, not a sound of Cross Academy students stirs as many of them left for the warmer environments of their home during the winter break before returning the next morning. The remaining lights of the few Day Class students extinguish one by one, all except for a window of the Headmaster's living quarters.
Its resident packs the last of important belongings, leaving the room's white walls bare to shine of the winter moon. The room, now a ghostly memory, like its former owner. The sound of a small knock alerts of a new presence in the doorway.
The resident nods to acknowledge his long-time friend.
"It's time. We must hurry." Kaito says before heading to the front door.
Zero nods again.
The cold air fills the depths of Zero's lungs as he sighs.
This will be his only chance.
The chance to disappear without anyone but Kaito knowing. From within his pockets, a letter emerges in his grasp. The letter, plain and white, appears to not exhibit significant qualities. A contrast to its important confinements.
Zero slowly walks to place the letter on it's desired location. His window.
Zero throws his backpack over his shoulder and scans the empty room once more with the memory of sorrow and feelings of relief. His last few days with his caretaker and sensei were festive and vibrant. The smell of burnt holiday cookies, the tradition of watching holiday anime specials, and simple gifts will never be erased from his memories. But he will be forgotten as he is not an important presence to the inhabitants of the Academy.
Zero fiddled with his collar. No matter now. For where he will be going, Zero will finally experience peace and freedom. The very rights that were stripped away as a child.
The beeping from his watch alerted him of midnights' arrival. 'I'm out of time.' With those thoughts, Zero popped a white pill in his mouth and closed the door to everything connected to the past five years of his life.
The only item left of his existence in the room is guarded under the watchful eyes of the moon and army of stars.
The gleams of the morning rays streamed upward for a new day. Unbeknown to the Headmaster, the day began well before the sun arrived. Cheerful morning greetings and bubbly knocks sents vibrations across an abandoned room.
With a creak of the door and the ripping of paper, screams, and sobbing fill the room with sorrowful cries that echos across the hallways. Still clutching to the letter, Kaien clumsily dials a familiar number on his phone. As the warm voice of Yagari greets, Kaien begins to babbly explain the dire situation.
"Zero! You have to come back!!!!" Kaien sobs through the phone, snot rolling down from his red nose and lips.
"....Kaien...I..." Said Yagari's strong, yet trembling voice through the phone.
A screech of pain and a thud replied to the silence.
"Zero!!!" Kaien, still clutching the letter, dropped to the ground curling into a childlike pose as if protecting the most precious item in the universe. Tears damped the carpet while saliva and snot pooled on top of the fibers. The phone slips from his hand and the other line went silent.
Time flowed slowly for Kaien.
He didn't understand.
He couldn't understand.
The winter break was one of the more positive memories he had with Zero. Zero's smiles, laughter, and light teasing fooled Kaien to think Zero healed from his negative outlook on life and vampires. Zero seemed eager to give Kaname and Yuuki a chance. To give Kaiens' dream a chance. To give a whole new concept in life a chance.
'Maybe he never went through with it. Maybe he had a change of heart. Maybe someone saved him. Maybe he went to the stables.'
Kaien choked on his sobs.
'It's my fault...I should have noticed more. It's my fault you're not here'
Kaien refused to come back to reality. Even when Yagari's strong, warm arms wrapped around Kaiens' shaking body and new wet spots appeared on his back.
Calls were made to the different categories of authorities of human and hunter alike. The site of police roaming the campus startled the incoming Day students returning from winter break. The few Day students that stayed during the break were questioned about Zero's behavior. The police investigated the campus throughout the day into the night long enough for the Night students to arrive.
Kaname Kuran was not expecting to find yards of yellow tape surrounding the Sun dorms. Snow crunched against his boots as he gracefully exits the limo in front of Moon Dormitory and looks over at the Sun Dorms. The other side of the limo closes with a strong force and the sound of Yuuki's running fades into the distance. Kaname senses the eyes of the incoming Night Class staring at the scene unfolding with curiosity, worry, and wonder.
"This is not a scene for your attention. I need you all to focus on the tasks at hand for preparing for the next night. If I hear or catch anyone other than Yuuki or myself at the crime scene, there will be severe consequences. Am I clear?"
Nods and "Yes, Kuran-sama!" were heard.
Most of the arrivals went inside, Takuma giving Kaname a very worried look before herding the rest.
Kaname watches as his sister pesters the police officers before walking over. The calm composure hid the worry that crept into his mind. Did something happen to one of the Day students? Cross?
"Huh? Of course, I know Zero! He is my adoptive brother!"
Kaname's stomach drops. He breathes in, trying to find a scent. Nothing of Zero is present.
"Ma'am I need to ask you some questions about Zero. Mind if we talk near - Hey sir, you can't enter!"
Kaname hastily walks into the crime scene.
"Sir!" The officer yells. Kaname doesn't stop. Yuuki can cover him, but right now he needs to find Cross.
Kaname slams the front door to the Headmaster's living room open. Kaname's calm expression deteriorated the moment he saw Kaien sitting near the fireplace wrapped in a green blanket and caressing a piece of paper. Yagari, with a hand on Kaien's shoulder, is busy speaking with a fellow hunter near the fireplace about plans for a search party. Kaname carefully walks over to Kaien, like a new owner approaching a bunny. Yagari glances over with cautious, yet understanding eyes before halting his fellow hunter from attacking Kaname.
Kaname nods at Yagari with appreciation. Slowly, he crouches in front of the Headmaster, who appears worse for wear. Life has been drained from the poor man, leaving a broken person in a once happy place.
"Headmaster," Kaname whispers.
No answer. No acknowledgment, save for the slight movement of fingers holding the paper.
Curious, Kaname looked down at the paper picking up bits and pieces of the words. Droplets splashes on to the ruined paper and sobbing came out of the Headmaster. The hand holding the paper loosens enough for Kaname to grab it before it fell on the floor.
Obviously, it's a letter.
What scares Kaname is reading the letters properties. Exhaling the air out of his lungs Kaname prepares himself for the exposure.
To anyone who reads this,
I can't ask for any more time.
I can't give any of you more time.
I have to close the curtains now.
Grant, I can't stay one more day inside this life.
For now, silence will cover me.
And who cares about the fight I've had for years?
So what...Maybe Kaname had it right.
A scream of sadness interrupts the quiet environment of the home from outside. A cry for the comfort of her eldest brother as she mourns.
And who cares if I do not back alive?
A wailing cry and salt emerge from puffy eyes and tired lips right next to him.
At least I had the strength to fight.
Kaname can't go to comfort his sister and reassure her everything will be okay. He can't tell her to stop crying.
For, he is crying too.