Chapter 1: arise
by Kayla Chavi
rating: R

* * *

Five Years Previously:

"Oi! Tohru, hurry up! We're going to be late for school!"

"Coming!" For the second time that morning, I forced myself not to murmur obscenities about Kyo under my breath. I may love cats, but there are days when I feel like hugging him out of malice. I had to run down the stairs and half way down, I tripped. I wanted to swear, really I did, but cute girls like me, didn't swear.

It would have been nice though.

Strong arms caught me from behind and through a rather acrobatic twist, I landed on top of someone. Without thinking I began to apologize. Suddenly I froze. I was laying on a human someone, not one of the many types of animals I had to chose from in this house.

Underneath me was Kyo, an annoyed expression on his face. His red eyes were glaring at me. I sat up abruptly and looked down in surprise. He had kept his hands to my waist and my arms had been caught between us.

"What the hell are you staring at?" he grumbled.

"You're not a cat."

He opened his mouth to say something sarcastic when he stopped mid-breath. I began to smile and his face softened. He reached up and tugged on one of my hair ribbons.

"I'm not a cat."

"Honestly. A bedroom would be a more appropriate place." Shigure sounded exasperated. Embarrassed, I bolted off of Kyo and was going to apologize when I caught the mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Hentai." Yuki was also standing there, an eyebrow raised as Kyo brushed himself off. He held my bookbag for me. He must have picked it up while I was sitting on top of Kyo. The entire situation made me blush again. "Hurry up, Baka Neko. You're making us late."

* * *

"There have to be rules," I mused. I took several books out of my desk and put them in my bag.

"Rules for what?" Uo-chan broke through my thoughts. I blinked and looked over at her, suddenly realizing that I had spoken out loud.

"Nothing!" I said quickly. "Sorry, I didn't mean to say that out loud. Just random thoughts."

I felt silly for obsessing on what had occurred this morning with Kyo. I normally had been so careful with both he and Yuki, that it hadn't occurred to me that it might be possible to touch somewhat intimately without the burst of smoke and the appearance of a cat or mouse.

I mean, Kazuma-san's grandfather had produced children, so it was logical to conclude that making the children is possible. After that thought, I know I turned a bright red. I was young, naive, and occasionally stupid, but even I knew the basics of making a baby.

"About who?" Uo-chan interrupted my inner monologue again.

"Kyo-san and Souma-san."

There are times that I could strangle Hana-chan. This was one of those times. I shot her a look, hoping that I looked surprised and confused, rather than accusing. She had on her normal bored expression, except that her eyes held a taunting glint. She enjoyed setting everyone off balance and I was no exception.

Uo-chan grinned in delight as she looked at our psychic friend. "Really?"

I groaned and closed my eyes. "You're making it out to be more than it is, Hana-chan. I was trying to think of a dinner I could make that both would enjoy."

"Hmm." She sounded very skeptical. I knew this was going to persuade Uo-chan to question me relentlessly. Wonderful.

"Oi!" A sharp voice cut in and my hand was tugged hard. "School's over. Let's go home."

"Hai!" I grinned. Never was I more grateful for Kyo's interruption than at that moment. The looks I got from my two friends clearly said that I was going to get it later, but I could care less. Kyo took my bag from me and slung it over his shoulder. "Where's Yuki?" I asked curiously.

"Student Council stuff. He's going to be home late. He doesn't deserve dinner," my cat announced. I laughed and shook my head in amusement. "That way you don't have to make that disgusting leek shit he likes so much."

"Leek is good for you!"

"Its revolting!"

I giggled at the disgruntled look he had on his face. Despite what had happened a month ago, he had calmed down considerably. He was going to spend our summer vacation at Kazuma-san's dojo...away from me and Yuki. I'm sure that my mouse would be happy for that, but I was going to miss him terribly.

"Well, what do you want for dinner then?" I teased, reaching out for his hand.

Two things happened simultaneously. One--Kyo's ears turned red, blushing right to the tips. Two--the bottom of my stomach dropped as I felt like I had fallen several feet. My vision blurred and I stumbled.

Kyo caught my elbow and wrenched me back on my feet. I was about to say something, most likely that I was fine and not to worry, but the words died in my throat. Suddenly I wasn't looking at Kyo, but the monstrous form that emerged at Akito's insistence. The harsh red eyes glowing hatefully down at me.

The loud rumbling of his growl tore through me as his jaws opened, revealing the large teeth that terrified me. His hot breath blew over my face.

Then he lunged for my throat. I screamed and pulled back, hitting the ground. Small rocks with sharp edges cut into my arms as I landed.


"Don't touch me!" I yelled at him, my eyes tightly shut. I put my arms up in defense even though I knew it wouldn't save me if he wanted to hurt me. "Please don't! Don't hurt me!"

"Tohru..." I felt his shadow fall over me, and the sounds of him moving. I flinched when I felt his hand touch my face, the cold beads of his bracelet pressing against my--

Wait. His bracelet was on?

My eyes snapped open and I looked up at him. There was no monster, no attack. Just Kyo. His red eyes were filled with worry and a little bit of hurt.

"Why would I hurt you?"

"I'm sorry!" I sat up quickly and started to brush off the dirt on my clothes. "I just thought I saw something." My hands clenched into fists as I tried not to tremble. I blinked in surprise when he reached out to run his fingers over my cheeks.

"You're crying."

"I'm sorry!" I quickly wiped my face and tried to stand. I stumbled and he caught me again. I could feel how concerned he was, and also how hurt. I knew he was waiting for the day I would reject him for what he could become. I was afraid of his other form, but I would never turn away from it. No matter how many
times I told him, he didn't believe me. "It's nothing."

"You just fell and screamed at me not to hurt you."

"I...I'm sorry," I said again. "I must be more tired than I thought. I'm seeing things."

"What kinds of things?"


"What did you see?" he pressed. Now I know why curiosity killed the cat.


"Me? But--" he cut himself off and let go of be abruptly. I could hear the quiet growl he made when he was upset, start to grow. "I see." I could feel the way he was puffing up, his hackles rising. It made me want to cry again. I hated hurting him.

"Kyo. Please..." I reached for him but he had pulled away before I even got close. He left me there as he practically ran home. "Kyo, wait!"

I fell to my knees and cried. I ignored the pick up of wind around me. Leaves and dirt harshly fell against me but it didn't matter. Not until--

| | I told you that you didn't belong here. | |