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One. 

When he first tries to confess his feelings, nothing goes according to plan. 

Kaname gets to school bright and early, but after that his meticulously crafted plan to confess to his best friend starts falling apart faster than he can blink. 

For one, Yuuki has somehow managed to beat him to the classroom even though he clearly remembers leaving the house while she was still eating her breakfast. Unfortunately for him, she's sitting with the person of his affections, which means Kaname will have to wait a little longer. 

He joins them at Zero's invitation and tries to ignore the knowing glint in Yuuki's eyes. Yuuki has been relentless in her teasing since she discovered that her beloved older brother was enamoured with their childhood friend. 

The day doesn't get much better, because the next time Kaname gets any time alone with Zero, it's promptly ruined by the appearance of the latter's twin. Kaname barely manages to say, "Zero, there's something I need to tell you--" before Ichiru is bursting through the door and onto the rooftop, a shit-eating grin on his face. 

"There you are, nii-san," the younger twin swings an arm around Zero's shoulder. "I've been looking for you."

Kaname tries not to glower at the much too convenient timing of Ichiru's interruption. (He's going to eviscerate Ichiru, and no one will ever find his remains.) And when Zero turns to ask him what he was about to say, Kaname tries to wave it off and look unfazed that his plans have been foiled yet again. 

And when he tries to wait for Zero after class ends, he's disappointed to find out that Yagari-sensei has at the very last minute assigned Zero to classroom cleaning duties. As he waits in the courtyard, Kaname wonders if the world has a personal vendetta against him. Either that or this is a sign that his confession is bound to fail spectacularly.  

The sight of Cross's car waiting by the curb is the final straw. 

If Kaname doesn't do something now, he'll have wasted another Valentine's Day pining from afar. 

At the sight of Zero emerging from his classroom, Kaname ignores the enthusiastically waving Cross and makes a beeline for his best friend. Zero looks surprised to see him and turns to face Kaname with a quizzical look. Reaching out with his hands, Kaname cups Zero's face and whispers a soft apology before he swoops in for a brief, chaste kiss. 

His cheeks are red when he pulls back, but Kaname's encouraged by the similar flush spreading across Zero's face. 

"I like you," Kaname says, urgently and earnestly. "This wasn't how I planned on confessing my feelings, but if I don't do it now I feel like I won't get the chance to ever again." 

There's an answering smile on Zero's face, and Kaname thinks he's falling in love.. 

"Don't be so dramatic," his best friend tells him, and then they're leaning in together for another kiss. 

 

Two. 

On their first official Valentine's Day together as a couple, nothing goes according to plan. 

Kaname has been looking forward to this day for a long time. It's no secret that his boyfriend -- his boyfriend! -- is amazing in the kitchen, and Kaname has been anticipating whatever delightful treat Zero is planning to whip up for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, Kaname can't say the same for himself, and instead of trying to inflict food poisoning upon Zero, he's decided to wait and think of an appropriate gift for White Day (which coincidentally also happens to be his boyfriend's birthday). 

Therefore, it's quite understandable that he feels disappointed when all Zero does is shove a wrapped box at him while they're passing each other in the hallway. 

"Here. It's for you," Zero mumbles. 

Kaname doesn't even have any time to react before Zero's disappearing into the crowd, and he's left staring at the neatly wrapped present in confusion. Then class is starting, and he distractedly shoves it into his desk along with the rest of the chocolates he had received from his fans.

It's only when class ends and Kaname is staring at the pile of wrapped chocolates stashed in his desk that he realizes what a mistake he made. To his absolute dismay, he cannot remember which one of these numerous boxes was Zero's gift. Try as he might, they all look the same to him. 

His brain is frantically trying not to have a meltdown right there and then when he realizes someone is shaking his shoulder and he hears a dear and familiar voice calling out to him in concern. 

"I'm sorry," Kaname turns towards Zero at last, not quite able to look the other in the eye. "I... I think I misplaced the chocolate you gave me earlier." 

He feels awful. 

Kaname has looked forward to this for so long, and now because of one careless mistake he has ruined everything. Considering how meticulous he normally is about everything, it makes this even more of an unforgivable mistake. Kaname doesn't want Zero to think he does not treasure him -- that he doesn't care about the precious gift that Zero gave him earlier. Because that absolutely is not true, and never will be. 

There's a huff of laughter from his boyfriend, and Kaname blinks owlishly in disbelief at Zero's reaction. He's confused, but he feels the tentative stir of hope in his chest. 

Zero doesn't look mad. 

If anything, he seems more...amused? 

"You're overthinking things again," Zero's voice is quiet but filled with affection. "But I also should have been more clear with you." 

To his surprise, Zero reaches inside his bag and pulls out another box. "Here's my actual gift to you. One of your fans asked me to pass along that box to you earlier." 

A surge of relief and joy passes through Kaname as he realizes that he hasn't misplaced Zero's gift after all. With still shaking fingers, he takes the wrapped present from Zero. A warm hand gently covers his trembling one and he looks up to see Zero smiling softly at him in understanding. Impulsively, Kaname leans forward and presses a small kiss to the corner of Zero's mouth.

"Thank you," he murmurs. "This means a lot to me." 

 

Three.

The first time Kaname takes Zero on a fancy date, nothing goes according to plan. 

Kaname is worriedly pacing back and forth in the hospital corridor when the nurse finally sticks her head out and informs him that he's allowed to see Zero now. The words are barely out of her mouth when he's rushing into the room, his heart beating a mile a minute. The memory of his boyfriend, face rapidly paling and chest heaving rapidly as he tried to breathe, is going to haunt Kaname for days. 

Weeks. 

Years. 

Centuries. 

Eternity.

It's a small consolation to see Zero sitting upright in bed, still a bit too pale but looking much more lively. His boyfriend's patent scowl is back, but his face eases up into something infinitely soft when Zero notices Kaname's disheveled appearance and slightly crazed expression. 

"I'm alright," Zero tells him as soon as Kaname takes a seat by Zero's bed. Kaname opens his mouth to protest, but Zero levels a firm look at him. "Seriously, Kaname, I'm fine.

Kaname shakes his head. 

"I'm going to ruin the chef," he says instead. Kaname ignores the unamused look Zero shoots him, instead mentally going over the list of ways he'd like to achieve his goal. 

He knows it's unfair. This situation is more the result of unfortunate coincidence, not intentional harm. 

None of them had known Zero was deathly allergic to avocados of all things. Yet it doesn't take away the sheer panic he had felt when Zero started blinking vacantly and swaying in his seat halfway through dinner. And when Zero started gasping for breath, Kaname had leapt up out of seat and herded his boyfriend out of the restaurant and to his car, ignoring the frantic calls of the maitre d'hotel as they rushed out. 

Thankfully, the hospital had sorted Zero out quite within minutes of their arrival, but Kaname supposes flashing his last name around and a swift reminder of the hefty donation he made last month didn't hurt either. 

He reaches out, twining their fingers together and finding reassurance in the warmth of Zero's hand.

"I really am sorry," Kaname says at last when the silence becomes too overwhelming. "It was supposed to be a perfect date, and I almost ended up killing you instead." 

It's an unforgivable oversight. 

He hears a sigh, and before he knows it Kaname is being tugged forward and he willingly follows Zero's lead as he tumbles onto the hospital bed. There's a lot of shuffling and rearranging, but eventually Kaname settles under the sheets next to Zero, their limbs tangled together. 

Zero grasps one of Kaname's hands, bringing it up to his chest. His boyfriend's face is flushed red, but his expression is determined. "I'm alive, Kaname," and Kaname's fingers curl around the fabric of Zero's shirt as he feels the steady pulse underneath the cloth. "It was an accident, and I'm fine now." 

"Besides," there's a wry grin tugging at Zero's mouth. "Shouldn't you be celebrating the fact that you got me to finally share a bed with you?" 

 

Four. 

On the day of their first picnic, nothing goes according to plan. 

While he is not particularly fond of the outdoors, Kaname knows that Zero has a fondness for all things green and growing. Which is why, despite all of his reservations, Kaname has managed to secure a completely private day for the two of them at the city's famous flower park. 

(He's made sure the path they're taking will be far, far away from those dastardly orchids. The last thing Kaname wants is to break out into a sneezing fit while he's trying his best to woo his boyfriend.)

It's a pity that the flower park's famous wisterias aren't in bloom, but Kaname isn't going to let that discourage him. The flowering cherry blossoms more than make up for it, even though he definitely would have preferred to see Zero among the cascading whites and lilacs. 

He has the whole day planned. They'll start with a pleasant stroll through the different gardens, and when the sun becomes unbearably hot they'll retreat to the cherry blossom grove where Kaname has managed to set up a wonderful picnic for the two of them. There, Kaname will proceed to wine and dine Zero before they enjoy one last evening walk around the gardens. 

The morning stroll goes wonderfully. With the flower park devoid of people, Zero is visibly more at ease and much more tolerant of Kaname's affections. And when Kaname slips his hand into Zero's, his boyfriend doesn't even say anything. Instead, Kaname receives a shy smile and a gentle squeeze of affirmation. They spend the rest of the morning exploring the flower park hand in hand, Zero occasionally pointing out a rare blossom and explaining the history behind it while Kaname watched him with a (besotted) smile.  

In fact, everything has been going so well that Kaname really should have been more suspicious. 

They make it to the cherry orchard without much fuss, and even though Zero shoots him a fondly exasperated look at the romantic gesture Kaname cannot bring himself to feel embarrassed at the cheesy set up. If it's Zero, he doesn't mind making a fool of himself. 

The real trouble starts when they start opening up the picnic basket. 

Kaname hasn't even pulled out the half of the items in the basket when he starts to feel a tickling sensation in his nose. As he begins to sneeze, Zero takes the basket from him and starts to rummage through its contents. Kaname can only glare when his boyfriend pulls out the suspected culprit, a sprig of white orchids. 

There really isn't much of a romantic atmosphere when Kaname's busy sneezing his lungs out.

Zero looks mildly amused at Kaname's spiteful glare, but it soon evolves into a look of concern when it becomes clear that Kaname's miserable. Kaname watches as Zero tucks the flowers back into the basket, moving it far away from them. A few moments later, Kaname's airways have cleared up enough for him to sound coherent again. 

"What's wrong?" And of course, Zero being his stupid caring self just has to ask. Not that Kaname thinks there's anything wrong with Zero's kind nature. But just maybe not this instance. Not when Kaname already feels like enough of a failure. 

Kaname sighs, setting down the two bento boxes in between them and trying to find the right words to say without appearing too pathetic. "I'm sorry that our Valentine's together always end up ruined," he apologizes. 

Zero hums, and Kaname smiles helplessly. 

"The day's not over yet," Zero says at last. "What else should I be looking forward to?" 

This time, Kaname's smile is more earnest. 

 

Five. 

The first time they go horseback riding together, nothing goes according to plan. 

"I'm starting to think that we should cancel our Valentine's plans," Zero tells Kaname, not quite able to entirely hide the worry in his voice even as he attempted to make light of their current situation. 

Kaname tries to laugh, but the slightest movement sends a jolt of pain through his body and he winces instead. Alright, so maybe laughing isn't the greatest idea. By the time he can breathe without feeling like his nerves are all on fire, Zero has gotten up from his seat and is now hovering by his side with concern plastered all over his face. Kaname tries to put on a reassuring smile, but he feels like he isn't quite fooling either of them. 

As Kaname tries his best to relax into the hospital bed, he can't help but bitterly reflect on how Valentine's Day has gone terribly wrong yet again. 

Perhaps he shouldn't have tried to tempt fate, because he mostly definitely could have avoided all of this. It is a sad but undeniable truth that animals have always disliked him. For as long as Kaname can remember, animals generally have kept their distance from him. As a child, he had been extremely saddened. As an adult, he's learned to accept it as part of his life. 

But when Zero, in his adorable hesitant fashion (though he would deny this), asks Kaname if he would like to go horseback riding together on Valentine's Day, Kaname doesn't even blink twice before saying yes. He knows how much horses -- especially White Lily -- means to Zero, and being asked to share in that special experience is not something he's willing to turn down. It's only when he gets back to his own house that Kaname realizes exactly what it is he's agreed to. 

"I'm really sorry," Zero says quietly. "I don't know why Artemis reacted like that. He's normally really docile." 

Ah yes, Artemis. The stallion that Zero had selected for Kaname to ride and the reason why Kaname is currently stuck in the hospital. 

While Artemis had been relatively calm when Kaname approached him, the horse had a complete change of heart as soon as Kaname was saddled in. As soon as Zero let go of Artemis, the stallion snapped and then Kaname was trying to hold on for dear life as Artemis bucked around. 

Kaname had ended up falling off anyways and breaking a bone, or two, or three. 

"It was an accident, Zero," he says, carefully reaching for his boyfriend's hand and trying to avoid hurting any more of his ribs. "I'm fine now." He isn't fine, not really, but he can't stand seeing the miserable expression on Zero's face anymore. Patting the space on the bed next to him, Kaname smiles. "Come on, lay down. You look like you need the rest, and I won't have to keep looking at you from this awkward angle." That's a lie of course, but Kaname will take any excuse he can to bask in Zero's comforting warmth. 

When Zero actually does lie down next to him, Kaname can't help but reach out and try to smooth the worried furrow of Zero's brow. "I really am fine, Zero," Kaname reassures him. "So don't worry so much, alright?" 

His actions manage to tease a tired smile out of Zero. 

"I love you, you idiot," his boyfriend says before leaning forward and pressing a quick kiss to the corner of his mouth. 

There's something infinitely warm building up inside Kaname, and he has to blink back the sudden onslaught of emotions. Then he's kissing Zero back fiercely, ignoring the aches shooting up his body as he pulls Zero closer to him. 

"I love you, too," Kaname whispers after they pull apart for air. "So please, stay by my side always."