Chapter 70

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Charlotte looked up at Kaname. He looked so at peace and she felt tears prick her eyes. Her face grew hot and she sucked in a sharp breath as she continued to look up at him. He was encased in ice; a sort of coffin that Hanabusa constructed himself to protect Kaname through the years. She felt the coolness emanating from the ice and she reached out to touch it.

Images flashed through her head, some she recognised and some she didn't. She wondered if he truly dreamt in his state. She couldn't hear his thoughts, couldn't penetrate his mind and it frustrated her. She needed to know if he was really at peace. Was he finally resting? If he dreamt, where they pleasant dreams? Would they ever truly be able to awaken him again?

Tears rolled down her face, they were hot and discomforting. She felt that lump in her throat that constricted her breathing. She was going to start hyperventilating soon, she could feel it. She didn't want to be this emotional, but she was unhappy and she worried so much. She had told herself that she was onboard with him giving his heart to the furnace and she did support him through it all, but she was in no way happy about the price that had to be paid.

"You're just as bad as Yuki," Zero said softly behind her. Charlotte didn't move, she stayed where she was, her hand on the ice, tears rolling down her cheeks as she looked up at the slumbering Kaname.

"I look up at him and I feel utterly helpless," she murmured, her voice thick with anguish. She felt like she had truly lost him, a very good friend of hers that she cared very deeply for. He had done so much for her, so much to her, and so much with her. Without him, she wouldn't be where she was, he wouldn't have been able to achieve this, and she wouldn't have gotten to see and do the things that she had seen and done.

"He did it for all of us."

"He did it for the humans," she snapped. She felt the rage coming to her, creeping up on her and overheating her body. She removed her hand from the ice lest she begin to melt it. "Those weak creatures who are prey to us. He did it for them because he loved them more than he did us! He wanted to be one of them! If he couldn't be one of them, then he had to help them. He was reckless and narrow sighted! He wouldn't even allow for me and Hanabusa to find an alternative for the Mother Metal. He didn't let me give my heart even though he knew that mine would grow back in my chest and still be able to supply you hunters with weapons."

She hadn't realised she'd been yelling. She turned to see Zero holding his hands over his ears with a concerned expression. She felt her breath shorten and quicken. She felt her heart ramming in her chest and she fought to keep her tears at bay and her emotions under control.

"Charlie," he gently placed his hand on her shoulder, "he's not really gone. His body is safe, retrievable, and you and Hanabusa have all the time in the world to look for alternatives and to return his heart."

"I know that," she sobbed softly, tears rolling freely down her face. She struggled to keep her breathing even and she grasped Zero's hand that was on her shoulder. She held it tightly, her hand shaking as she held his and her bottom lip trembled. "I know that. I know that! But it doesn't make it hurt any less. I know that we have time to get him back, but it doesn't lessen the feeling that he is unreachable."

She looked away from Kaname's sleeping face and turned to look at Zero. Her vision blurred with tears and she gasped, feeling her control on her emotions break. She released his hand and lurched forwards and wrapped her arms around him. Zero hugged her back, holding her tightly and closing her eyes as he felt her shake against him, sobbing into his shoulder and fisting the back of his shirt.

He felt her heart against his chest, he felt it hammering away in her chest and he felt her tears soak into his shirt and dampen the skin on his shoulder. He cursed Kaname in his head. He knew that Yuki would be depressed, he knew how much she loved Kaname and that she was absolutely gutted by his decision, but he hadn't anticipated Charlotte's own feelings. He didn't know that she would be this upset.

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