A/N: Okayyyyyyy! Here we go. This is more of a filler chapter, an unfortunate casualty when making multipart fics. Lol But, I hope it’s still satisfying enough.
An orange glow slid along your face, making you scrunch your eyes and groan in annoyance. You were still half asleep, and as far as you were concerned, you were back on earth, lying in your modest bed and snuggled into your blankets. A warmth was next to you, a very comforting heat that you wanted to be apart of, and as you drifted softly into sleep again, your hands touched a smooth surface.
You blinked in confusion, running your fingers along it until you focused your vision. As soon as your eyes adjusted, they widened, and you squeaked, scrambling back into the bedsheets. It seems you hadn’t fallen asleep in your bed. This was a large, more than king size mattress, where no matter how far you shifted away, you were just falling into more pillows.
You whispered out, trying not to wake Balem, as he slept next to you. You felt as if your entire body was going to give out, as if fainting was the next logical step because the last thing you wanted was to have him wake up and find you there with him. You hardly remember last night, but as sleep slowly drifted from your mind things were becoming more clear.
You remember him trying to seduce you into his bath, and you certainly didn’t forget how well it was working. It was almost too easy to give in and dive in, but you thanked whatever gods allowed you to say no. He, oddly enough, didn’t seemed phased by your denial, like he was already expecting you to run off in a fit of embarrassment. That’s when you must’ve slept, you thought. Because, you don’t remember even coming into bed. Thankfully, you were still clothed in your robe, so nothing had transpired between the two of you.
As a soft groan came from next to you, you glanced back up, watching the man as he turned on his back, eyes still closed as the sheets slipped down to his waist.
It was odd being this close to him, and as much as you wanted to stare at his well built body, you felt wrong. With a turn of your head you focused on the wall, gnawing at your lip and tying to figure out what to do. It was painful to be cooped up in this room, but somehow being near him felt safer than out there. Last thing you needed was to run into another one of those lizard beings just waiting to bite your head off.
The sound of rustling made you panic, and you quickly sank back into the sheets, covering yourself as much as you could as you felt the bed begin to dip. From the shadow along the wall you noticed Balem has gotten up, sitting against his pillows as he ran a hand through his hair. Every nerve in your body was set to react, and you only hoped he assumed you were sleeping.
A deep guttural sigh came from him, and he began to lean over, his arm coming into your view, and for a second you truly believed he was about to cuddle you. Instead, he hovered over you, tapping the tablet on the nightstand as he spoke.
The tablet beeped, a screen appearing above it as Mr. Night’s face came into view. You shut your eyes again, not wanting him to alert his lord that you were actually awake. But, what a sight this must be, you thought. Balem hovering over you, half naked and you tangled in his sheets like nothing but sin took place in this room. The universe was certainly against you as of late.
“Lord Balem, I bid you a good-”
“I did not ask for your pleasantries, Mr. Night. Have my ship prepared for Departure immediately. I’ve business to attend to.”
“Yes, my lord. Where shall I have them set course to?”
“As you wish, my lord.”
The conversation between the two was brief, and you let out a breath of relief when he moved away from you.
“Do you believe me to be foolish?”
His words caused a chill to run up your spine, and you slowly looked over your shoulder to see him already staring at you. His gaze was annoyed, lips set into a deep scowl as he considered you with interest. You supposed now, that it was probably the worse idea to pretend to be asleep. It never worked on your parents, so why would it with some extraterrestrial being.
He scoffed at you, resting his arm on his knee as he rubbed at his tired eyes. He was propped up against the pillows, clearly trying to prepare his mind for whatever business he had today. But, all you could do was lay there, staring at him as if he still wasn’t real and this was some crazy dream of yours.
Balem turned his gaze towards you once more, furrowing his brows in confusion at your apology. He clearly had no clue what you were referring to, and every second that ticked by only made him more frustrated.
“You are wearing my patience, little-”
“I meant for sleeping on your bed, I don’t even remember falling asleep to begin with.”
Your memory was still fuzzy, and you only guessed the entire whirlwind of a day you experienced yesterday was the cause of it. Your dreams were no better, nightmares plagued your thoughts, and you were more than tired from a lack of good rest.
Balem, at least as much as he could be, appeared amused at your words. And as you slowly began to sit up, he just shrugged his shoulder, clearly not as concerned about last night’s events as you were.
“I brought you to bed with me, little bird.”
His confession made you flustered, and you stared a bit taken back, as he said it so nonchalantly. He seemed to catch on to your confused look, and he rolled his eyes as he looked you over.
“You fell asleep.”
He pointed towards the lounging chairs near his dresser, and you started to remember vague details about curling into the corner of the large black lounger. It must’ve been sometime after he got in the bath, but you were sure of it now. The feeing of a stranger’s arms wrapping around you, your body snug against a strong chest that smelled like vanilla and spice. It was comforting in a way, and now that it was all coming back to you, your face flushed.
“You carried me?”
He didn’t seem the type, in fact, in your mind you thought if you had given in to his seduction he would’ve thrown you out of his room in a heartbeat after. Yet, here he was making sure your personal comfort was tended to.
Balem’s eyes traveled the entirety of your body, fixating on the exposed skin of your shoulder where your collarbone dipped perfectly. He wondered what you tasted like, wondered what sounds you’d make if he just got the chance to kiss along that smooth flesh and make you his. And as you distracted yourself with the thought of him catering to you, he leaned over, crawling on top of you and making you sink back into the sheets of his bed.
“Would you prefer I leave you to sleep like some commoner?”
You were too busy trying to control your labored breathing you didn’t answer him, you just closed your eyes and hoped he’d stop his current assault on your every sense. But, Balem only furthered his seduction, smirking as he brushed his lips across your cheek, making you let out a long sigh that pleased him to no end.
“Would you care to know what you said in your sleep?”
There was no doubt you had said something completely unwarranted last night. Something that had managed to keep him endlessly amused until he could mention it to you the next morning. You were already a complete mess under him, and you didn’t feel knowing was necessary, so you simply shook your head.
His chuckle made you shiver, and you could feel his breath ghost along your flesh, making goosebumps rise. He placed his lips next to your ear, whispering out his knowledge.
“My name, little bird.”
His fingertips slid along your cheek, eyes darkening as they had the night before. You already knew what he was thinking, and it made you hold your breath in anticipation. The sad part was, you wanted him to do it, to lean down and kiss you. Your lips tingled, as if they too were ready and willing for this man to just have you in every way. And as he slowly dipped forward, you felt your heart race, blood pounding in your ears, and mind screaming for you to stop him, yet…you weren’t sure you could.
Your lips parted, body reacting on its own accord, and you were just waiting for him to slip his tongue in and make you admit how badly you needed this despite what your moral compass said. But, all that came was a soft brush of his lips on yours, making you whimper pathetically.
The doors to his chambers opened, and Balem turned to look back at the two serving girls entering his room completely unannounced. You noticed the way his eyebrow twitched, his anger levels rising at having been disturbed in the most intimate of times. But, you didn’t care to ease his rage right now. You realized how compromising this position appeared, and as the two girls looked at you both you shrugged the edge of your robe back up, blushing madly as you sank further into the sheets in shame.
Balem was settled between your spread legs, one hand upon your thigh, and his other resting next to your tousled hair. The sheets covering both of your most intimate areas didn’t leave much to the imagination, and you could only guess what these two women were thinking.
“My Lord we-”
The First Primary was seething by now, his rage directed at these two poor souls who would dare interrupt him now of all times. And you couldn’t stop yourself from flinching as his tone rose, scaring the two as they fell to their knees and bowed before him.
“I should have your heads for this!”
“We’re sorry, Lord Balem…we just brought the-”
If there was one thing that managed to unnerve you it was his loud, booming, voice that threatened to kill anyone who got in his way. Even for the smallest of things, and in attempt to ease the suffering on your ears and the girls, you ran your fingers along his forearm, trying to distract him from their monumental screw up.
At the feeling of your soft fingertips against his muscles he turned back to you, squinting down at your face as he tried to figure out what you were doing. Either way, he seemed to lose complete interest in decapitating the two women, and he whispered back in contempt.
“Enter my chambers unannounced again, and I will hold you both accountable.”
“Y-Yes, my Lord.”
At their shaky apologies, he scoffed, looking down at you and making a promise before he got off the bed to get dressed.
“We’ll continue this later.”
Both serving girls dressed him quickly, and you could tell the younger one was visibly trembling before him. She seemed much like you in that moment, both entranced and scared of this enigma of a man.
“As requested, Lord Balem. We’ve brought the dresses you ordered.”
The older one from the night before held them out to him, the entire wardrobe of dresses cascading in numerous colors down her arms as she awaited his approval. Balem seemed decently pleased with them, and he shuffled through the pile as he nodded.
“They’ll do. Dress her, and make sure she’s acquainted with her duties.”
He didn’t bother looking back at you, he grabbed his rings from the glass bowl on his dresser, and placed them back on his fingers as the doors to his chambers opened. He walked out, cape flowing behind, and all you heard was him somewhat greeting Mr. Night.
As soon as the doors shut, the older woman turned to the younger, smiling and rubbing her shoulder in comfort. “Go, I will take care of this.” The young serving girl hugged her in thanks, and immediately left to perform other duties.
“It’s nice to see you again.”
She smiled at you, walking over to the bed and giggling when she found you hiding underneath the covers in embarrassment.
“Come now. Did I not tell you yesterday that he always gets his way? Lord Balem is a man who’s very good at getting what he wants.”
“We didn’t do anything!”
You slid from underneath the blankets, blushing softly as you moved some strands of your hair away. She didn’t seem convinced by your statement, and she only smiled smugly as she laid the dresses down on the bed.
“Don’t be so modest. You’re not the first to share his bed, miss.”
“Yeah yeah, you told me that already.”
You really just wanted this conversation to end, but as she sifted through the dresses you knew she’d be here for a while.
“So nothing happened?”
She raised her well done eyebrow at you, picking out a gold satin dress from the pile and holding it up as she eyed you carefully.
“That mark on your neck would say otherwise.”
Her cheeky comment made you slap your hand over it, and you scowled in annoyance at yourself and at Balem. He no doubt did that on purpose, and you had completely forgotten it even existed. Trying to weasel your way out of this wasn’t going to be easy.
“Did you spurn his advances?!”
She failed at stifling her laugh, putting the dress down and cupping your chin as she observed your features. She pushed some hair behind your ear, angling your face as she nodded to herself.
“Well, yes but-”
“No wonder he’s in such a mood today. More than usual. Though I suppose our interruption didn’t help much.”
“No, no…” You tried to swat her hand away, but she kept at it anyway. “Your interruption was welcomed.”
“Mmm.” She smiled, pulling you up off the bed and towards the bath. It didn’t take much for her to undress you and start scrubbing at your skin. It was far too awkward and even more degrading than you anticipated, but she hardly seemed phased by it. “Afraid you might like it?”
You looked up at her, grateful when she finished washing your hair and helped you from the bath. You slipped back into the robe, scowling when she started waving that quick changer technology around you. Only this time it aided in curling your hair and instantly drying it.
“No, of course not…”
But, there was maybe some truth to her statement, not that you’d admit it out loud to her. “What’s your name anyway? I’m sorry I didn’t catch it before.”
She waved the pole around you, the gold dress now clinging beautifully to your curves and sleeves dipping off your shoulders. If possible, this dress was even prettier than the one before. But, you still felt far too overdressed.
“It’s Nevaeh, yours?”
“Then it’s a pleasure to officially meet you, Y/N.”
Nevaeh gave a slight bow, taking your hand and curling her arm around yours as she led you out the doors, eager to show you your new role here.
A/N: As always, if y'all can provide feedback HMU 👏🏻
okay so i’ve been collecting ideas for text message starters for a while and i finally decided to make a list and provide it for the public! so these are not meant to be an ask meme, they’re meant as a masterlist of open text message starters but i guess it could go either way? you do you! please do not add these to masterlists of your own since i came up with most of them (some of them might be from tfln so if you google them and find that to be true feel free to do whatever you want with those!)
a lot of these are sexual in nature and or suggestive due to the muse i pulled most of them from but i intend to add to it from time to time so check back for updates! please like / reblog if you find it helpful ily all <3
Sortinghatchat puts Kylo Ren in Ravenclaw too, and having watched him talking to his murder grandad’s skull about Truth and throwing a murder tantrum because someone wouldn’t be murder study bros with him, I would agree.
nah, like his mother, uncle, and grandfather before him, kylo ren is a gryffindor
evil gryffindor! but definitely a gryffindor. if ravenclaws love truth and understanding the world through systems of knowledge, gryffindors move through the world intuiting truth through their feelings. (in other words, a ravenclaw does what they think is right, based on their understanding of the world. a gryffindor does what they feel is right, based on their emotional internal compass.)
the problem is that kylo ren is actively resisting what his emotional moral compass is telling him (‘Forgive me. I feel it again. The pull to the light.’) and it throws his whole sense of self out of wack.
Basically doing or discerning right from wrong! Like hoseok has a loose moral compass because he cons the daylights out of people and does other illegal stuff but at the same time when push comes to shove, when it really matters, he’ll do the right thing. Hope that makes sense!
“I love you even more than who I thought you were before”
an au where Percy is missing for years instead of months and Annabeth has spent the entire time fighting to get him back
yet another collab with Rachel because that’s just what we do
When she finally gets him back she’s not even sure how to feel.
She thought he was gone and never realized what a moral compass he was to her.
She has done so much that she’s not proud of. Every time she imagines telling him all the things she said and did in his absence, things she did trying to get him back, she can’t even fathom how he could ever look at her the same so instead she pulls away. Prefers the pain of holding herself back rather than watching him pull back from her.
Percy is shadowed but he’s still that happy boy and Annabeth can’t stand the fact that he is suddenly behind
They were supposed to do everything together. She’d left him behind in some ways and thrown herself into things that she’d never wanted to do without him. Sometimes even things she never wanted to do at all.
Percy sees her the same way he did before he was taken even though nobody else does
But it doesn’t feel like a chance to start over. It feels like a lie that tastes like bile on her tongue every time she kisses him.
She shudders under his gentle touch. Something that used to send shivers up her spine now makes her skin crawl.
She’s not the same fragile girl anymore. Hasn’t been for a long time. But gods does she want to be.
For Percy, but also for herself.
Wants to remember when the sun warming her skin and this boy warming her heart were enough to make her happy. Doesn’t want to have to associate warmth with the blood running down her skin, dripping from a blade that’s been pulled from someone’s throat.
Annabeth is the only subject on which Percy has ever considered himself an expert. He sees the way she winces under his touch; how she pulls away from a kiss as soon as she can; sees the emptiness in her eyes that wasn’t there when he left.
So he makes a choice. He dives into the new Annabeth, refusing to let her go. A metaphorical drop into Tartarus.
Kissing every scar she has from battling monsters and demigods alike. Memorizing every angry wrinkle etched into her face. Becoming someone darker in the process
He willingly gives in to some darkness so that he can bring her a little light. He doesn’t shy away from the gory details of her misadventures. Instead he watches with rapt attention, focusing on how her fingers twitch and her eyes darken as she recounts every slice and punch.
She feels him growing towards her, reaching like a plant in shade reaching for an ounce of the sun’s consideration.
And for the first time in years she feels a warmth in her chest that has nothing to do with watching the life drain out of something or someone else but everything to do with this boy who would give up everything, even his goodness, to love her.
Percy makes this active choice because she did this for him and when he sees the girl who isn’t his anymore, he wants her to be. It claws at him when he looks at her.
For the first time Annabeth understands the full extent of his fatal flaw.
Their friends try to stage an intervention for Percy like they once had done for Annabeth. They explain how they’re worried about him and the small ways they see the darkness creeping into him. They don’t want to repeat the last few years of watching Annabeth become someone they didn’t fully recognize.
He looks them all in the eyes and tell them he knows. Explains how he can’t and won’t abandon Annabeth no matter what the personal cost. He needs her just as much as she needs him. And he will be whatever version of himself that he needs to be to have her.
He embraces every horrible thought he’s had because all he wants is Annabeth.
They are all powerless as Percy drops, because he’s made the decision. And he is the only one who is in control of himself.
Something about that Victorian couple has been bugging me, and I’m wondering if someone who’s read their books, blogs, etc. can help me answer it. A caveat: please replace “we don’t know…” throughout with “I don’t know from the very little reading I have done; if you do know, can you answer this question?”
What They Would Be Famous For: Probably for killing a lot of people or causing some sort of really, really big mess. Blowing up a building or something. She’s a ‘The ends justify the means’ kind of person with a rather skewed moral compass.
What They Would Get Arrested For: See above. That is, if she doesn’t escape or knock out the people trying to arrest her.
OC Most Likely To Murder Them: I’ve no idea honestly. I try to keep my OCs from killing one another.
Favorite Movie/Book Genre: Sci-fi.
Least Favorite Movie/Book Cliche: She can’t stand completely good/pure heroes in anything. Mary Sues/Gary Stues also annoy her beyond words.
Talents and/or Powers: Force Sensitive, Shatterpoints.
Why Someone Might Love Them: I’m drawing a blank. I guess that if they get past all that stoicism, there’s a very caring person. But still, kinda hard to get there.
Why Someone Might Hate Them: She’s an asshole. This pretty much sums it up.
How They Change: She’s gone from a very cold and detached person to a way less cold and detached person. She’s gonna be a real girl completely one of these days.
Why You Love Them: I don’t even know where to start with this one, honestly. She’s really easy and fun to RP, unpredictable most of the time, grows on people despite everything and people grow on her. I really think she’s one of my best OCs and perhaps my favorite. I’ve invested years in developing her this far and playing her, whether it’s IG story or in a RP, she never gets boring.
if he smiles enough his cheeks dimple and his nose is curled upwards a little, like a ski slope, and his mouth is really full and pink and his hair is curly, long and nice and really silky-looking, and his face isn’t angular or harsh or hard (but vader’s is) and he has a mole on his chin and his eyes are really, really blue and when he looks down his eyelashes rest on his cheeks and are long enough to cast a shadow and basically
do you think they casted him to look like this on purpose so when you look at him you see this cute loveable teenagerthat was manipulated and traumatized and conditioned to hurt people on command and you just feel bad instead of disgusted when he kills everyone because he looks like he should be sitting wrapped in a blanket in front of a fireplace instead of fighting a war
All work weeks need to be m/t/th and three day weekends forever because after you sleep for two days MAYBE an old hobby tries to claw itself out of the bog.
Also I bought a new toy and REALLY need to justify it (no I don’t I’m fine).
Actually I started my FIRST D&D campaign (a group of gals all playing characters off of Rejected Princesses) this weekend also so I’m going to throw “Games” into the revival category, even if it’s not of the video game flavor. So maybe some game related doodles. I always like seeing other people’s campaign arts.
This turned into an inadvertent weekend recap. I feel so LJ 2005.
I agree with Diabolik Lovers, a friend of mine asked me to watch it and I did. It was meh I couldn't get over how badly they treated female protagonist. Also I love your VK analysis your thorough/brutal but honest, it's very refreshing. Could you do a analysis on Zero please? I've read loads on Kaname, and i've tried to feel sympathy for him but I can't after reading the manga and novels knowing he manipulated Zero at every turn while acting God like all I can think is that he is a hypocrite.
I’m with you there on Diabolik Lovers. Everything I heard about it made me want to stay as far away as I could. ;) I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my analyses! I hope you’ll continue to enjoy them in the future too! =)
You’d like analysis on Zero, though, huh? Well, who can resist an analysis on Zero!
Meditations on Kiryuu Zero
Short answer: Zero is perfect.
Long answer: Zero is probably the most pivotal character in Vampire Knight. He is the source of its conflict, the source of it’s messages, and is likely going to be the source of its resolution as well by the time Vampire Knight Memories is through with him. He serves two key roles in the story:
He is the story’s moral compass, by which the heroine and the readers should judge the characters.
He is the story’s guiding light, by which salvation is granted to the characters.
Zero as moral compass
Zero is what I consider the “moral compass” of Vampire Knight. His values of right and wrong are the rubric by which all the other characters’ actions are judged. Yuuki, as heroine, has no moral code of her own but she guides herself by Zero’s moral code. If Zero had no moral code, Yuuki wouldn’t either.
This isn’t as evident in arc 1, because arc 1 spends a lot of time challenging Zero’s moral code. Are vampires truly “evil”? Is he right to hate them? Zero’s morality is put to the test in arc 1, and he is tempered by the forge of opposition. In arc 1, he is framed for a murder Kaname committed, is forced to face his own vampiric nature head on when he attacks Yuuki, must devour his own brother in the most vampiric of ways, fails to achieve his desired revenge for his family, and loses to his inner hatred of Purebloods when Yuuki is turned.
It’s important to note that, as a moral compass in arc 1, Zero fails. Literally everything he believes is right and true is stripped from him. The narrative denounces his perspective and runs him through the wringer for it.
However, something very key happens in arc 2.
Arc 2 validates Zero’s hatred through Yuuki and Kaname. Both of them spend the majority of arc 2 trapped within Zero’s old views against Purebloods. The same prejudices Zero had in arc 1, Yuuki and Kaname have in arc 2. Kaname’s are his own prejudices which he hypocritically judged Zero on during arc 1. Yuuki’s are a direct result of her understanding of Zero. Yuuki flipflops multiple times in an attempt to fulfill Zero’s ideals in the story–first she goes around offering to murder Purebloods who want to die, then she reforms the Night Class to stop children from being hurt because it upsets Zero, then she works with Aidou to make the tablets to keep the vampires under control as repayment to Zero for his blood. Yuuki lives her life in arc 2 by Zero’s creed–or what she understands as Zero’s creed. Yuuki even refers to Zero’s devotion to duty in arc 2, something she clearly admires.
However, in arc 2, Zero, after being reforged in the crucible of arc 1, begins to move down a different path of morality–the morality of tolerance and acceptance. As arc 2 moves forward, Zero begins guiding Yuuki, Aidou, the Night Class vampires, and the hunters toward a new direction–that of tolerance for vampires, and for Purebloods in particular. Although Zero still mouths off the platitudes he spouted in arc 1, his actions tell a different story–he encourages Aidou to support Yuuki’s bid to restart the Night Class, he supports Yuuki’s pills, he takes Sara’s blood to stop Kaname but not kill him, he refuses to hunt vampires unless they’re already on the list. The Zero of arc 2 is a reformed man in denial; it is not until he loses his memories in Night 88 and regains in them in Night 92 that he is able to accept his new morality.
Because it takes Zero so long to accept his new position, he fails to guide Yuuki and Kaname out of their own flawed morality. His attempts to reach them both in Night 92 fail, and he’s only capable of giving one of them–Yuuki–hope. Kaname is too far gone by this point for Zero to reach him.
Vampire Knight Memories takes Zero’s moral compass role further–how he feels about the world directly affects the Hunters under his care. Where before they would have turned on him for his acceptance of Yuuki and Ai, now they just chide him but continue supporting him. The violence against Purebloods is now at an end; Zero continues to support justice for innocent humans, and to support Aidou’s research in helping Purebloods and other vampires escape their fates of eternity. Ideally, he will reprise his moral compass role in some capacity for Kaname when Kaname regains his memories, redeeming himself from his initial failure in the original series to correct the course Kaname was taking.
Zero as guiding light
It’s so funny to be writing this, because in back in arc 1 this would sound preposterous. That Zero is the narrative’s guiding light, and not Yuuki who has been promoted ad nauseum as shining like the sun, still makes me chuckle.
But the light he is. First he is Yuuki’s light–when he leaves her life, she enters “the Deep Dark Forest” and loses her spunk, her smile, and her joy. It’s interesting that Yuuki had virtually no interest in outside politics until she saw Zero distressed over the hunter Sara killed at the ball. Then suddenly she couldn’t just sit at home (which she’d been doing for a year)–she just had to do something to help Zero. This is the same girl who, without Zero to shine the light on the things that matter, was perfectly content to just sit at home and wait for Kaname. If Yuuki is a “light,” she is but a reflective one–a moon to another’s sun.
Zero actually guides Aidou out of depression when Aidou loses his father–he’s the one who listens to Aidou’s pain, even though Aidou’s hurling accusations at him, and who encourages Aidou to support Yuuki anyway. It’s not Yuuki who supports Aidou and gives him a way out–it is Zero.
After Kaname abandons Yuuki, she at first remains depressed. But as soon as she finds ways to help Zero, she comes to life again. And once Zero offers her his blood, she is eager to repay him by living up to his expectations. She reflects Zero’s light all the way up until Night 88, where she makes the decision that takes the light literally out of the story for the next three chapters–she removes Zero’s memories.
It’s important to note that Zero without memories is still a light. His core traits of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness still exist even without Yuuki in his life. This is Hino’s way of telling us that Zero is a light by himself and would have been even without Yuuki in his life. We see this play out further while he is mind wiped when he gently chides Kaname for making Yuuki uncomfortable during the tea party in Night 90.
I’ve said this before, of course, in my other posts on Zero, but once Zero regains his memories he actually almost saves Kaname and does actually save Yuuki. His reminder to her about what Ichiru asked of him gives her the strength to try to save Kaname one last time. His appeal to Kaname to defend the academy and not make Yuuki sad nearly stops Kaname’s plan.
Zero-as-the-light is even more apparent in the sequel series. Ai literally learns the difference between “koi” and “ai” from Zero, not from her mother. Yuuki admits Zero saved her when he told her to live on for Ai in VKM 1. Zero saves Yuuki a second time in VKM 1 when he tells her to find happiness in the time she has left before she turns Kaname. When he dies, it’s very apparent Yuuki’s and the kids’ lives are no longer bright. Yuuki follows him in death soon after, and Ren and Ai are subdued and emotionally detached. His hunters clearly are following his example and have relaxed a lot of their angry, anti-vampire rhetoric.
I fully expect that Zero-as-the-light will be very pivotal as VKM moves forward. I expect him to save not only Yuuki but also Kaname by the end of VKM, thus restoring his Vampire Knight title to him in full.
Zero’s character growth
I just want to point out that Zero’s the only character in Vampire Knight who actually has a positive trajectory of character development. He grows from an angry, hurt young man who wants revenge against vampires into a tolerant, patient, forgiving adult who accepts the good and the bad of vampires and humans alike.
Unfortunately, Kaname had no growth at all (he remained a stagnant character, as befitting an antagonist), and Yuuki had a negative character trajectory–she actually regressed as a character. These two will have to grow in VKM in order to earn their happy endings.
Zero’s happy ending
As I was writing this, I realized why Zero can’t have his happy ending yet, in spite of his character growth.
Zero is the eponymous Vampire Knight. But although he learned his lessons during the course of the original series, he wasn’t able to implement what he’d learned and affect the world around him. He wasn’t able to touch anyone’s heart with what he’d learned. He figured the truth out “too late.”
This is why he hasn’t earned his happy ending in the narrative sense, although he certainly has in a character development sense. Until he actually applies the lessons he learned in the original series to the new series, he won’t be able to find happiness.
The lessons he learned were to be true to himself and to not hold on to hatred. The problem is, in VKM, he’s not being true to himself. He’s holding back certain emotions from Yuuki in order to spare her feelings. He needs to hold her accountable for her end of the relationship before they can move forward.
He also needs to guide Kaname out of the darkness, which was the task set before him in the original series and is the task he failed. Until he is honest with Yuuki and acts as Kaname’s guide, he won’t have earned his happy ending narratively.
I might be wrong of course, but this is just my hunch on the unfinished business Zero still has in this story.
Phew that was long. I’m sorry I made you wait so long for this, and I hope this was along the lines of what you were looking to read. =) Thanks for making this request!
Note: in our sorting system, a “primary” house is why a person does things–their motivations, moralities, and priorities. Secondaries are tools and traits–how a person acts.
This is part of the “burned” primary series. A burned primary happens when a person distances themselves from the core of their primary–a Hufflepuff’s community, a Slytherin’s people, a Ravenclaw’s truth or a Gryffindor’s morality. It can be a decision, a gut reaction to trauma, a safety mechanism, or a downward spiral.
In this post we are discussing the Stripped Gryffindor. For unburned primaries see [here].
From the outside, Stripped Gryffindors often look more grounded, stable or calm than your classic Gryffindor Primary. They’re more likely to let things they cannot fix just pass them by. If they charge, it is not often. (In fact, when you see a Stripped Gryffindor encountering something so important that they are willing to charge for it–um, run. Run fast.)
But for the Gryffindor, Stripping is not a steadying act, no matter how it seems to outward observers. Gryffindor is a House of certainty. Gryffindor is a House of right and wrong, of those truths requiring action. When a Gryffindor is Stripped, their sense of right and wrong is yanked out of their gut. They lose the certainty of their moral compass.
What makes Stripping so horrifying to the Gryffindor is not that they lose their sense of the importance of right and wrong. It’s that they don’t lose that sense. They lose their sense of what is right and wrong, or at least their confidence in that sense. A Stripped Gryffindor is still certain that following their internal compass is important. They just can’t see it anymore; they don’t know if they’re heading north, but even now few things are more important than where north might be.
One response to stripping is for a Gryffindor to pick up another, external system. If they are bereft of their own internal morality, they can reapply their fervency to an outward one. In this, Stripped Gryffindors often look like Ravenclaw Primaries– but where it would take new evidence and careful debate to move a Ravenclaw Primary from a system they’ve chosen, a Gryffindor is more likely to move due to a sudden insight or gut intuition–an uncontrived emotional response; a return to trusting their own heart.
Whedon’s Firefly contains two Stripped Gryffindor primaries who latch onto outward systems–and (as is common with Stripped Gryffs) both characters indeed seem to be some of the most settled, content characters on the show: Zoe Washburn and Sheppard Book. Zoe Stripped sometime during the war; and Book sometime during his checkered past. Both have latched onto outward moralities: Book onto his religion, and Zoe onto her captain. She lets Mal make the calls because at this point she trusts his weary Hufflepuff more than her own self.
A Stripped Gryffindor might try to construct themselves a functioning system (rather than picking up a pre-made one wholesale) from the actions and instincts that drove them before their traumas. They might also latch onto a community, or family, and then work under a loyalist-style morality of people-first. They might also simply curl up, close in on themselves. They might go out and keep fighting the good fight, keep going through the braveries and charges they used to intuit heart and soul, but now with a weary doubt that any of it will actually be right or worthwhile.
Kieren, the protagonist of In the Flesh, is a Stripped Gryffindor– his compass cracked before being a zombie and then shattered completely during zombieism. Now, with his mind returned to him, he looks at his ruins and repeats what the rehab people tell him. He is adrift. Friends help to push him back together, but an unmoored uncertainty remains at the core of Kieren’s character.
Jaime, the supporting protagonist of Outlander, is a Gryffindor who Stripped after various traumas. He does his best to act with kindness, and goes after bravery in a way that hinges on the smilingly self-destructive. Interaction with fierce Ravenclaw Primary/Gryffindor Secondary protagonist Claire however manages to inspire him enough that he begins pulling himself hand-by-hand out of being stripped in order to charge alongside her.
All of these ways of stripping can be functional. Being stripped is something you can survive, live with, and even thrive with. Stripping can feel practical or necessary; or it can be forced on a person; but at the core of being stripped is a sense of loss. Even if the Gryff is sure that the world is an inherently unjust place, unsaveable, they are still Gryffindors. Some part of them is likely to always prefer and miss a world where they knew what they were supposed to be doing.
Also can we please take a moment to appreciate what an amazing moral compass Kuroko Tetsuya has and what incredible parents he must have?
I mean, the boy has average grades. Average. grades. He could choose to cheat front-to-back on every exam because nobody can freaking see him, but he just takes the grades he achieves through his own study efforts.
And then there’s all the other stuff, like skipping bus fares (we’ve all done it and we’re not genetically able to avoid detection). Sneaking into the movies/museum/amusement park/zoo. Swiping candy or toys from shops. Pickpocketing.
There’s absolutely nothing stopping this boy from becoming a criminal mastermind, yet the only “abuse” of his powers on record is that he occasionally catches some shut-eye at school or uses it to cover for when he’s running late.
So with this most recent chapter, Dr. Chigyou has become an even more fascinating character. He’s definitely minor in terms of screen time, however, if I’m understanding things correctly, he’s very major in terms of plot.
Chigyou himself seems like a pretty chill guy. He doesn’t have the uber crrep-out factor that Kanou has, and (at least to me), he comes across as a sort of nerdy science-guy trope. He has a habit of launching into complex explanations and has to be reminded when people around him don’t quite follow…
(Also it’s very cute that he calls Juuzou “Suzuyacchi” ;-;)
He also shows up very improbably in Ch. 133, during the Anteiku Raid, to give Amon some much-needed armor and a new quinque…
All we really know about him is that he comes to the CCG via Germany…
And that he has developed a half-ghoul surgery much more sophisticated than Kanou’s, despite the fact that Kanou invented the surgery himself. Remember, no one at the CCG knew that half-ghouls could be created until Nashiro and Kurona showed up. So they’ve had the knowledge of the technology since then. Which means in about three years, Chigyou learned that the possibility existed, figured out how to replicate it, figured out how to control kakuhous while inside human bodies, figured out how to determine whether or not someone could handle the surgery, and implemented it successfully four times. That’s a level of genius that is difficult to comprehend.
Consider modern medicine. In the US, pharmaceutical development takes a decade, on average. And this is a surgery. Even Kanou recognizes Chigyou’s genius, although he also seems to consider himself a genius. And that isn’t to say that Kanou is stupid. All creepiness and tar-black morality aside, Kanou did, as far as we know, develop the half-ghoul surgery. And though he’s had over a thousand failures, he had had four successes.
But how much better is Chigyou, really? If he’s the primary mind behind all of the CCG’s massive advances, then he must have developed the technique for liquifying ghouls, or at least for using liquified ghouls to create things like Q-bullets. There’s no solid evidence that he did, but he’s the only researcher you ever really see talked about. In addition, he clearly views ghouls as research subjects, and has perfected the art of converting ghoul body parts into weapons that can kill ghouls. Ishida has thus far remained silent on Chigyou’s feelings or viewpoints on all of this, and I have to wonder if we’ll ever get more information on that. What does he think? How does he feel? What “north” guides his moral compass?
It would be difficult to argue that such an intelligent person is just “doing a job,” or that he hasn’t considered his position or his work in any deep or meaningful way. So what are his motivations? His justifications? And how is he going to factor in as the story progresses?
Let’s just say I’ve gotten very curious….very very curious indeed.