Title: Second Chances
Archive: sbborg . cjb . net
Time: Present time during the anime. However, taking place during summer vacation.
Summary: What if Ayame had a second chance to make up for Yuki's childhood? Yuki has reverted into a 6yr-old, with no recollection of his older self. How will everyone react? How will Akito react to this?
Disclaimer: I own not a thing.
Author Notes: Yuki will age every day until he stops at 16.
Each age Yuki turns; it will be like something totally new. Like, at 5 he was quiet. But at 6, this and this had happened, so he's more like this and this… get it? Hopefully… well, you will as the story progresses, I PROMISE!
I'm not entirely sure of what age Yuki learned to fight, so I'm just going to assume that it's 10, and Kyou learned at 9. And I'm not entirely sure of what age Yuki stopped liking Ayame really.. So I'll put that at a much older age.
Just bear with me! This is my FIRST Fruits Basket Fic!
Also, before you continue, the Tarot Cards I mention and describe are REAL. I own my own deck. But, I did have to alter the description of the boy. He's really playing a drum and not a flute.
And, I'm not really positive on how Yuki is with his little bronchi problem, so if I say something about it that doesn't make any sense, please don't review just to go on and on about how it should be like this and that... I seriously don't know all the workings of asthma, but I'd appreciate it if you'd just understand the gist of what I'm trying to do here. Thanks!
WAIT! I'm not sure as to whether Hatori took care of the Sohmas' even when he was a teenager. I'm guessing he wasn't and someone else was the doctor before him, but since I've no idea, then I'm just putting Hatori as the one who took care of Yuki at least. So Yuki won't be surprised to see Hatori helping him with his medicine and all that. Okay, I think I got everything covered. ;;
This chapter is dedicated to: Red! I owe her so much! She's always stuck by and helped me with Fruits Basket information! THANK YOU RED!
It was a cool afternoon, the slight breeze toying with their hair. The sounds of laughter, running, and all that came with carnival fun, flitted through the air as a group of six walked along the booths. Summer vacation had just started for the students, and by Tohru's suggestion, they all headed to the carnival.
Unfortunately, Tohru would leave the next day with her two best friends on a trip. She had been very reluctant to go, but the others assured her that she deserved this vacation.
"Oh! Look over there!" Tohru suddenly called, catching everyone's attention. "A fortune teller! Do you want to go?"
Everyone nodded, and they all headed in the direction Tohru led. They arrived at a medium sized tent, royal purple in color, with silver embroidery. A sign was hung over the two drawn flaps, ("Madam Yumi: One Person At A Time"), not an extraordinary sign by itself by it wasn't annoyingly flashy.
Yuki turned his face Tohru. "You should go first Honda-san." He gave an encouraging smile. Tohru hesitated, but she was lightened when the boys insisted.
Yuki watched Tohru disappear into the tent and abruptly felt a shudder run through him. Frowning, Yuki unconsciously rubbed his arms in an effort to warm his suddenly shivering body. Was he coming down with something?
After about ten minutes, Tohru came back out, gushing about how mystical it seemed and how the woman was very good.
"Ne, Tohru-chan! Nani ga atta no?" What happened?
"Gomen ne, Shigure-san. I can't tell."
Shigure blinked but shrugged, nonplussed, keeping a cheerful smile on his face. "That's okay. It makes it much more mysterious."
Tohru nodded emphatically in agreement.
One by one, everyone went in. Only Yuki was left, but Kyou was still inside. The neko came out quickly, his face puzzled. "Wakara nai.." Kyou whispered to himself, walking slowly. I don't understand..
"Sou desu ne, baka neko?" Is that so, stupid cat?
Yuki raised an eyebrow, "I'm not surprised." Yuki drawled softly. Yuki gave a sarcastic grin when Kyou glanced at him sharply, not anticipating Yuki to have heard. He glared at his back as he watched him walk inside.
"The Death." she spoke, though there was a small hint of a smile in her voice.
Kyou looked at her, wondering if she was joking about the card he pulled out. For someone pulling out a card that represented death, she didn't seem at all worried. Not that he needed any sympathy or anything, it's not like any of this was real to him. Not at all. Tch.
"This card almost never indicates literal death." She supplied.
Kyou inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.
"Instead, it refers to transformation or to casting aside former convictions or beliefs. The demise of deeply held beliefs can be quite painful. But it is a necessary loss to pave the way for a new state of being."
Her eyes met his narrowed ones. "Give not the mouse your apathy, but your empathy."
End of Kyou's Flashback
'What was she talking about?' Kyou wondered.
The smell of herbs and spices assaulted his nose, including the jingling of chimes. In the middle of the tent, stood a lone circular table with an empty chair for him to sit on. A surprisingly young woman sat at the other side, elaborately garbed in gypsy fashion.
She held out a hand, prompting him to sit. He did so nervously, because she kept staring at him. "You are like the other two." She stated softly.
Yuki didn't need to ask who she was referring to and chose to remain silent. He averted his eyes from hers and stared down at the table. What was once a bare top when he came in, now was covered in rich velvet with a long deck of cards atop it. He didn't remember seeing she put them on the table.. But then again, he might've just overlooked it. Shrugging off the sudden sense of paranoia, he waited to see what she would do.
She picked up the deck of cards, and split it four times, letting him pull out one card and laying it on the table.
"The Emperor." she said softly. "Strengths in leadership, building, and organizing. This card in your life says you should be thinking not about going off on your own, but about joining or forming a group."
Yuki kept his face perfectly blank, but inside, he felt just a tad bit contemptuous. 'This isn't real anyway.. Nothing she says is the truth.' he told himself consolingly, alarmed that he felt his chest constrict. 'She knows nothing about me.. I don't always go off on my own…'
"The Lovers." her voice cut him from his thoughts. He hadn't remembered pulling the card, but apparently he did. He felt rising suspicion but squashed it down, telling himself that this just proved he was getting paranoid.
"This card simply indicates love." Her voice slowly drew out the words, as if measuring them. "Love for another, love for humanity, and most importantly, love for one's self. However…"
She gazed at the card shrewdly. "It also indicates the need to make a difficult choice. The key to choosing wisely is to recognize the importance of the choice and to make it lovingly."
He gave a shaky sigh, idly wondering why this was affecting him so much. The woman paused in her gazing and turned to him. "Are you alright?"
"Y-yes, I'm fine.." he wordlessly reached out and pulled the next card, wanting nothing more than to just get it over with.
"The Strength." She stared at him, and he forced himself to stare back unflinchingly. "The Strength card may be an indication that your life is out of balance. You may be thinking too much and not feeling enough." Her eyes gleamed oddly. "Denial and deception, whether of others, or yourself, can only come back and haunt you in the end."
Yuki blanched at the ominous words, prompting Madam Yumi to smile. It immediately lighted the mood.
"One last card, Yuki." She held out the deck.
He hesitated, staring at her distrustfully, questioning her silently on how she already knew his name. She remained unaware of his discomfort, simply holding out the deck. With confidence he didn't feel, he reached out and lay down the final card.
"The Sun." Her smile widened. "The Sun appears in a reading, we are being advised to set aside the burdensome concerns of adulthood and allow ourselves to experience the natural, instinctive energy of childhood."
She arranged the fours cards together on the table, so Yuki could contemplate them. Impulsively leaning in to get a closer look, he took his time regarding the cards. His gaze stopped at the last card, The Sun.
It showed a massive and glorious sun that dominated the image on the card. The Sun's expression was blank and rather cryptic; it was neither friendly nor hostile. Below the sun, walked a young boy playing a flute. The boy looked ahead with an innocent, even joyful expression, as if he didn't notice the large sun looming over himm.
Yuki blinked, and suddenly, the boy in the card moved. He watched with morbid fascination as the boy opened his mouth and began speaking, though no sound came forth from the card.
Yuki drew back as if he was burnt. Did he just imagine that? He looked up, ready to ask if she had seen that too but she was nowhere in sight. He stood abruptly, his violet depths scanning inside the tent for any sign of her.
"Oi! Are you done yet?" Kyou called from outside.
Shuddering, Yuki turned and hurried out the tent. The others were standing outside, and they continued walking once Yuki joined. Yuki lagged behind, and seeing this, Shigure walked slower, so he could be in step with him. "What did she say Yuki?"
Keeping his eyes on the ground, Yuki shrugged. "Shitenai." I don't know.
Shigure stared back at him, his normally joking behavior subdued, but he made no move to question him further.
The sun streamed through the slits of the curtains. Clouds lazily drifted overhead, and the sounds of birds chirping reached the ears of the inhabitants in the house.
"Do you have everything packed Tohru?" Shigure asked, as he handed her the last duffel bag she'd packed.
Yes, but… I won't be back for a long time.."
"Mundai nai, Tohru!" It's not a problem, Tohru! Shigure held his hands up reassuringly, trying to emphasize that everything was fun. "Just have fun!"
She smiled gratefully and turned to Kyou who was standing beside Shigure. "Do you know where Yuki-kun is?"
"Kini shin masen..." Kyou muttered quietly. Don't care…
Shigure nudged Kyou painfully, giving a loud laugh to distract Tohru from asking Kyou to repeat himself. "Eh.. Don't worry. Our Yuki probably slept in late."
Tohru brightened. "I see. Please tell him I said goodbye, I don't want to wake Yuki-kun from his sleep."
Shigure nodded, and the two waved goodbye as Tohru walked off towards the car waiting. When she was out of sight, the two walked back in, Kyou managing to hit Shigure for elbowing him earlier.
"You're so aggressive Kyou! Maybe you need Yuki-kun in the morning to let off some tension.. Ne, Kyou?" He tapped his chin as if in thought, unaware that Kyou was getting angry. "It certainly explains a lot, you know?"
Shigure paused contemplatively, until realization dawned onto his face. "That is why you always challenge Yuki, ne? And--"
Shigure blinked, staring at a now red-faced Kyou. He gave a nervous smile, "Kyou? Eh? Shitemasu!" I know! He grinned wickedly. "Have I prompted Kyou to think evil thoughts of Yuki?"
"NANI?" Kyou's fury spilled over, and he started yelling threats and swearing, while chasing a manically laughing Shigure around. "Bukkoroshite yaru zo!" I am going to beat you to a pulp!
Shigure managed to turn around and playfully stick his tongue out. Getting Kyou riled up, Shigure found, was one of the most entertaining things of the day.
"Kocha koi!" Come here and get your ass kicked!
Well, entertaining and highly dangerous.
A yell tore through their heated argument, and both froze.
The two immediately abandoned their argument and sprung into action.
Kyou took the lead in running ahead of Shigure, and both sprinted up the stairs. Without wasting time, Kyou easily kicked down the door and stepped in.
His eyes scanned the Yuki's room gaping when he saw that the sheets on Yuki's normally neat bed were strewn around as if he had no regard to the mess it created. "Who's that?" Shigure called, pointing.
Kyou's eyes widened further when he saw a small boy trying to clamber through the window. Immediately, without thinking, he shot forward and dragged him back inside. Kyou didn't waste any time in turning the boy around, ready to demand who he was and where Yuki was—
The boy's shocked face immediately struck him with familiarity.
Several minutes earlier…
A small face frowned in slumber. It wasn't long until one eye cracked open, followed by the other. As what usually comes with waking up, slight disorientation was what a certain individual felt. Rubbing his eyes, which is revealed to be deep plum, Yuki yawns quietly. It takes awhile, but the sudden unfamiliarity hit him like a ton of bricks. His head whipped around, soft gray bangs whipping along with the motion.
This wasn't his room. This wasn't his bed. He looked down at himself. Well, at least he was still wearing his blue kimono. So where was he? Without meaning to, Yuki cried out. He didn't even have a chance to climb out of bed, when the sounds of hurried footsteps caught Yuki's attention. Assuming the worst, he quickly ran towards the open window, hoping to climb out onto the side. Just then, he felt strong arms encircle his waist, before he was roughly yanked back.
The same pair of hands twirled him around, and he found himself staring into vermilion eyes.
Yuki felt the hands go slack, and he backed up. He looked at Kyou oddly, before focusing on Shigure's silent form.
"GURE-SAN! YUKI-KUN! KYON-KICHI! THE WONDERFUL AND CHARMING AYA HAS COME TO GRACE EVERYONE WITH HIS DIVINE PRESENCE!" A familiar sing-song voice called from downstairs.
Shigure immediately lost his serious demeanor, cupping his hand to his mouth, and called down to Ayame. "AYA! UP HERE!"
Yuki being momentarily forgotten, Kyou growled low, glaring evilly at Shigure. "Why is that damn snake here!"
"Maa maa.. Kyou.." Shigure gave a grin.
Kyou didn't have a chance to retort when Ayame proudly arrived. His trademark smile in place, he greeted Shigure with the usual innuendo, followed by the customary floral background that irked Kyou to no end. He bristled when Ayame turned to him, and he was ready to beat him to the ground if he so much as came near him.
"Mou, Kyou-kichi, is that a way to greet--"
"O-oniisan.." came a hoarse whisper.
"--g…greet…" Golden colored eyes slowly turned to face a tiny figure. Never had Ayame heard such an endearing tone from his brother, but he never expected to see him six-years old again either.
Kyou looked down at Yuki in the corner of his eye. He knew Yuki and Ayame didn't get along together, even though they were brothers. He assumed that it was always like that, but clearly, it wasn't. Yuki was staring at his brother, eyes wide open, wondering what his older brother was doing here with these people. And didn't someone mention Shigure?
The odd voice snapped Shigure and Kyou to attention. Ayame's face was oddly serious, taking in the form of his younger, much younger, brother.
"What joke is this.. Gure-san.."
Kyou remained silent. Shigure's face turned serious. "Is it really him Ayame?" He, too, turned to Yuki, who was still gazing up at his brother in awe.
The tension was palpable. as Ayame took one step forward to his brother.
Everyone held their breath.
"Are you.. Yuki?"
Cut! Take two!
Everyone held their breath.
Ayame propelled himself forward towards Yuki. He paused just a few inches away, and bent down on one knee. The change from ecstatic to serious was so huge that it boggled even Ayame himself. Yuki hesitantly reached a hand forward, gathering the front of Ayame's clothes. Slowly, and inexplicably, Yuki did something no one had ever thought possible.
Yuki pushed himself into the comfort of Ayame's presence, his little arms not able to encompass him fully in a hug. Ayame could only blink and stare down at the top of Yuki's head in shock. The shock melted, before Ayame hugged back.
Shigure watched on, before calmly stepping out. A brief glance at Kyou sent the message. Once the door to Yuki's room was closed, they silently headed down the stairs.
"WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED UP THERE? WHY IS THAT DAMN RAT A--A KID!"
"Maa maa.. Kyou.. Your too loud. We don't want to interrupt their brotherly moment, do we?"
A vein twitched.
"Sou da.. Does Kyon-kichi want to hug little Yuki too?" Shigure's eyes glittered as he poked Kyou in the side, looking at him knowingly.
With surprising ease, Shigure dodged the charge, pointing a finger in the air. "We should call Hatori. He may know what's happened. In the meantime, we will let Ayame gain Yuki's trust, and ask him if Yuki remembers what's happened."
Kyou growled, picking himself off the wall, eying the large hole he had made on impact. "Fine. I don't care. I'm going to eat breakfast."
"Don't forget to make food for everyone, Kyou! We mustn't forget little Yuki! Perhaps you would like to feed him, ne?" Shigure called with teasing air.
Something whistled through the air.
Shigure instinctively ducked.
A intimidating fork was lodged in the wall, in the exact same place Shigure's head was. "It's appalling! No respect!" he said woefully to himself.
An hour passed. The only sound that could be heard in Shigure's house was the sounds of Kyou preparing the food. It was broken by the sound of a door opening, followed by the firm thuds on the steps. Kyou remained staring down at his plate, while Shigure looked up.
"Aya? Where's Yuki? Kyou made breakfast."
Ayame smiled cheerfully, before stepping to the side. Yuki was standing demurely, a bit caught off guard at having lost his cover.
Shigure smiled warmly, remembering Yuki back when he was little. "Yuki, why don't you sit down and eat with us. Then we can talk about what has happened."
Yuki nodded, not saying a word, and gracefully sat down. With astonishing manners, he picked food from the platters, and arranged them on his plate. He ate in small bites, staring down at his plate. Shigure and Ayame shared a look. Ayame had never spent much time with Yuki, due to his constant illness. Shigure, however, spent more time with him. He saw Yuki's silent behavior as something normal. He let his eyes lazily travel towards Kyou, who alternated between eating and glancing at Yuki.
Now that he thought about it, he wondered what went through Kyou's head. No doubt they would have to introduce themselves to Yuki again, but how would it taken? They had never gotten along as children, and there was always competition when fighting in martial arts. But now Kyou had the upper hand. Shigure doubted Kyou would engage a fight with Yuki, but how about treating him?
Shigure ate quickly and stood up. "I'll be back for a moment. I need to inform Ha-san about what has occurred."
The other three watched him step out, and there was silence. Yuki gently put down his chopsticks beside his plate and stared straight ahead quietly. Ayame glanced back and forth between them before coming up with an idea. "Ne, Yuki, why don't I tell you who they are? Unless you recognize them?"
"Well, that was Shigure who just left. And this is--"
"Why is Shigure.."
"Why is Shigure living here? When did he leave the Sohma house?"
"Ano.. We'll save that for another day. Okay, Yuki?"
"And of course, this is the not-so-bright Kyou!"
"Now, Kyou, no violence in front of children!"
"I don't give a damn if that damn rat sees me pu--"
Gasp. "Kyou! Not in front of Yuki!" Ayame reached over and covered a bewildered Yuki's ears.
"Don't try hiding behind him, you stupid snake!"
Kyou caught on quickly that Ayame was using Yuki as a shield when he covered his ears. Kyou glared daggers at Ayame, when a small voice spoke up.
Ayame dropped his hands. "Do you remember Kyou, Yuki?"
Yuki nodded his head, strands off his hair slipped over his forehead. "Why is he so old?"
The sound of Shigure laughing made Kyou even angrier. Shigure had his hands on his knees, to stop himself from keeling over with laughter.
"SHUT UP! THAT WASN'T FUNNY!"
"Haha--Gomen ne, Kyou. I just didn't expect--" Shigure kept on laughing, trying half-heartedly to get it under control. Ayame gently placed a hand on top of Yuki's head, "Why don't you try asking Kyou?"
Yuki tilted his head towards Kyou. "What happened to you Kyou?"
Kyou bristled at the inquisitive gaze sent his way, not used to anything other than annoyance and anger directed to him. "What? I'm 16. I'm not old."
Yuki didn't react to Kyou's tone as he usually would if he were older, and calmly took the small bit of information.
Shigure straightened up, "Hatori will be coming in a few minutes. I hear he's bringing Momiji and Hatsuharu. Momiji can play with Yuki, what with all the energy he has. It will give a chance for Yuki to act his age."
Kyou ignored him, while Ayame happily announced that bringing Hatori was the best idea. Yuki let his eyes wander on to the other room's inhabitants. He didn't know what to make of his older brother, who never acted like this around him. He gave a slight cough, but it went unnoticed.
Shigure seemed the same, from what he'd seen of him anyway. Although the difference in hair was really the most obvious thing to Yuki. And Kyou… wasn't he that blunt orange-haired boy that kept glaring at him in New Year's? Yuki mentally shrugged. He didn't know what happened to have made him so tall and old, for that matter. Kyou sneezed.
And didn't his oniisan mention Hatori? Was it time for his check-up? Yuki gave another cough, but he stifled it. The familiar clench of his lungs told Yuki to take it easy today, unless he'd want another attack. Hatori might take him back to the Sohma house if he had an attack here. In.. Shigure's house? Yuki wondered how many things have changed so quickly. Was he kept apart from everyone that long? Did Akito do it purposefully?
Speaking of Akito, since when did he allow Yuki to leave? So many questions, and no answers that were forthcoming.
At that moment, their came a knock. Ayame instantly brightened, and went to open the door. Yuki turned his head from his absentminded stare of Kyou's hair, and heard the sound of a very cheerful voice.
"--left for a trip. She won't be back all summer."
"I see. But is what Hatori told us true? Is it? Is it?"
"Yes Momiji, it is."
"How old is he?"
"He's six, Haru."
"Where is he?"
'Haru?' Yuki thought to himself. His mind eye's flashed to the time when Hatsuharu first came to him while he was sitting by the window. It was surprising to hear him yell at him, but he understood that the boy was really hurt. Although… his voice didn't sound at all like he remembered it. Then again, everyone looked different so it shouldn't surprise him.
Before Yuki could look up properly, someone pounced on him, and hugged him tightly. His field of vision was currently obstructed by blond hair, and his brain registered one word. Momiji.
"Yuki! You're so cute!"
It was a bit disconcerting to see Momiji hugging a small Yuki, who seemed very small compared to Momiji. "Look, Haru! I could never remember how Yuki looked like when he was little, but now I get a chance."
Bunny ears popped on Momiji's head, as he turned to the wide-eyed Yuki. "Let's be friends, okay, Yuki? We can play everyday!"
Momiji pulled Yuki up into standing position. "Want to go outside?"
Yuki wanted sorely to say yes, but he didn't think he'd be able to keep up with Momiji. His hand was itching to cover his mouth so he could cough discreetly, but Momiji was already dragging him towards the door without waiting for an answer.
"Ah, how come Hatori?"
"I'm going to check over Yuki. I'm sure you remember how Yuki was always kept inside. He's not as healthy as you."
Momiji groaned, but let Hatori guide Yuki into the living room so he could sit on the couch. Hatori pulled out his stethoscope, and put Yuki through a series of different breathing methods. He pulled out his bag, and handed Yuki an inhaler. "I've already given Shigure your medication, and I will be coming here to check up on you. Remember not to over exert yourself."
"Haru, accompany Momiji and Yuki outside."
At the mention of Haru, Yuki looked up. The voice was much deeper, and his eyes looked older, but all in all, he looked exactly like the boy who had yelled at him that day. Momiji was saying something in the background, but Yuki didn't acknowledge it because he was trying to put today's incidents together. Firstly, everyone was older. Second… second, he was being picked up by Hatsuharu.
Yuki didn't know where to put his arms having been picked up so abruptly. He settled for bringing them around Haru's neck. He unconsciously leaned his head towards Haru's, hearing his voice, "It will be better if you don't run, Yuki. I'll just carry you there, and then you and Momiji can play."
Yuki nodded. He was busy looking over at Kyou who was looking over at them. Vermilion met amethyst. The first to look away were Kyou's.
"Kyou! Why don't you come!" Momiji called.
Haru blinked, his back to Kyou. 'That was fairly easy.. Kyou conceded easily..'.
The odd foursome stepped out; walking down a random dirt road. Haru walked in the middle, Momiji on one side, and Kyou on the other. It was a silent walk, save for Momiji's humming. "Where should we stop?"
Haru's voice broke Kyou's nagging thoughts, and his head snapped up. Restraining himself from snapping 'I don't know!', he muttered that he knew a place where Yuki took care of a garden.
"Oh? How do you know that?"
"I happened upon it, s'all." Kyou said uncomfortably. "So are we going there or not?" He snapped at the end.
"Lead the way."
Kyou looked up into sky, arms behind his head. He was sitting down against a tree, and it was very calming. Yuki had taken too his future garden quickly, and set about to plucking the sparse weeds with Momiji's help.
Hatsuharu walked over towards Kyou, and stood down beside him. He let his arms rest atop his knees as he watched Yuki work under the stream of sunlight that was partly shaded by trees. "So, do you know how it happened?"
Mainly to keep the White Haru, Kyou answered back evenly. "No. All we heard was a yell, me and Shigure came in, and there he was."
"…Maybe it's a part of the curse."
Kyou stiffened then relaxed. "I doubt it."
"Did you all go somewhere? Maybe some type of magic shop?"
Kyou tossed his head in annoyance. "No. Why would we go there?"
Haru shrugged calmly. "Just a thought."
Kyou glanced at him in the corner of his eye. "We did go to a fortune teller. Yesterday."
Shigure tipped his cup of tea in to his mouth. "--knew instinctively about our forms."
Hatori's eyes turned to him.
"I don't mean it like that. She didn't know about the Sohma curse. She knew that we could change. It doesn't make any sense, but it is true. I'm sure she treated Kyou and Yuki the same way. I did notice Yuki was silent after that. She may have done something different."
"We must go there, to the carnival, and speak to this woman."
"Now, Hatori, you sound like you're going to kill her."
"I for one am personally glad to finally breach the gap between my cute little brother!" Ayame stood up, starry background appearing behind his righteous pose. "But it would be better to get this problem changed."
"We will go this afternoon. The affects may wear off by then. If it doesn't, we will bring Yuki with us, when we go."
There was silence and meaningful glances all around.
"Akito will not know…yet."
That afternoon, when the four came back to Shigure's house from Yuki's garden, they were immediately asked whether Yuki changed back. Of course, it was obvious that that hadn't happened, since Haru was carrying a sleeping Yuki with him.
With some reluctance, Haru woke Yuki up so they could eat lunch before they left. Lunch happened to be a very cheerful affair, what with all the company, and it wasn't long till they were all crammed into Hatori's car and they were driving towards the carnival's location.
Luckily, it was still up, and they made quick work with their legs to head straight towards the tent. Hatori, Ayame, and Shigure walked into the tent, telling the other tree to keep watch over Yuki and to guard outside if the woman managed to run out. Luckily for them, the woman was just sitting down at her table, looking at them knowingly. She didn't seem at all surprised to see them.
Her eyes traveled to the boy, and a kind smile graced her face. Yuki returned to the smile.
"Kindly tell us what you have done to him." Hatori's clipped voice spoke.
"I kind of like him when he's little. Don't you Haru?" Momiji mused out loud. His eyes were busy watching Yuki who was looking at a booth far off. There wasn't any danger of him running into a girl or anything, since the carnival wasn't as crowded as before.
"What about you Kyou?"
"Why am I supposed to care whether that damn rat is back or not."
Haru turned to him. "So you prefer Yuki when he's little Kyou?"
Kyou sputtered. "No! He's just not-- he doesn't-- I don't know! Just shut up Haru!"
"Why are you getting so worked up Kyou? It was just an innocent question."
"Whatever. I don't care. Just shut up you stupid cow."
"What did you say! At least I'm not a stupid pansy who couldn't fight out of a paper bag!"
"Ano.. Guys.." Momiji laughed sheepishly, before motioning Yuki over. Yuki came quickly, looking over at Kyou and Haru curiously. Yuki turned to Momiji with a silent question.
"Don't worry Yuki, they always do this. Best to let them finish it."
"I'm afraid so. You will just have to wait 10 days."
"I'm afraid I don't see why you can't just fix this problem yourself."
"It is the workings of Tarot. This boy, Yuki, needed to be changed. There is a reason for everything. I'm sure this reason will help you."
"Miss Yumi, I assure you that we can pay to have him changed back."
"I do not want your money. That is all I can tell you. Ten days. That is all."
Shigure sighed. It was a lost cause. This woman wouldn't budge. Just as Hatori and Shigure were turning to leave, Ayame stood up and faced the woman. "He changes every day?"
"Yes. To the boy, it will seem like a year has passed. He will start remembering what has happened at each age. If a particular incident happened when he was 7, then he will remember it tomorrow, when ages to seven years old."
"You are positive it will be over in 10 days?"
"Well.. Thank you for telling us, at least. But if he is not changed.." Ayame let the threat hang in the air.
A/N: END! OF THE CHAPTER! YAY!
So, what do you all think? I know it's not the best, but I hope you enjoyed it! Did I mention I really appreciate reviews? -; Don't hold back, and review! Even if it's only one word or just a smiley face! Also, the words in italics (English) are of course the translation for the Japanese that is before it or a couple words before it. I decided to make it like that so no one would have to go all the way down and completely forget what they had been reading.