Az: Well… I suppose there's no excuse for it being soooooooo long since I updated this story… I'm a feckless, sad excuse for a human being, as Shimo might put it…. but I found the inspiration I needed. I reread the Fruits Basket manga, and then read through everything that I've written before, because I really didn't want to leave it where I had. So… Still no excuse, but I'm back, aren't I? ducks behind something solid Just…. Read and review? Please don't kill me…
I wake up in the morning and frown. I want to keep my eyes closed. I need to keep my eyes closed. Maybe if I just refuse to believe my body, I'll wake up later, and everything will be normal again.
Don't get me wrong, I don't usually think this. This is, I hope, a once off occasion. But, the way my life's been going lately, I doubt it.
With a resigned sigh, I open my eyes and sit up to stare at the small lake that my room has become overnight. I raise a hand out of the water that had been tickling my ears, and rub it down my face.
It's depressing when you wake up I the morning to a room that you literally have to wade through and don't start screaming bloody murder. But shit like this has been happening to me too often to genuinely surprise me anymore.
You know, you can also tell it's supernatural when your paper door isn't a sodden mess though your room is filled with water. This was obviously designed to get my goat, in a manner of speaking, otherwise, I would either be drowned by now, or would have woken up ages ago when the water flooded out into other people's rooms.
And in a way, it's all my own bloody fault.
I wade through my room to the door with my hands in the air and nose wrinkled with disgust, then open it.
Like a small toy soldier down a plughole, my legs are ripped out from under me, and I fall back into the water as it sucks out of my room and into the hallway beyond. I hit the wall an am stuck to it like a bug on flypaper.
"Good morn – Uagh! MY FLOORS!"
At Shigure's anguished cry from the level below, I can tell that the water is going absolutely fucking everywhere, and when the torrent finally reduces to a few puddles in the hallways, I clamber to my feet, soaked bandages and all, and knock on Yuki's door.
Evidently he hasn't noticed the small tidal wave ripping past his door. Bloody typical.
"Yuki, I need to borrow one of your uniforms." I wait a moment before adding: "And your underwear."
The door rips open and my cousin gives me an incredulous once over, notes the water seeping into his room, then sighs. "What the hell happened to you?"
"Don't bloody well ask." I mutter bleakly, pushing past him and heading for his closet.
"Is everything you own that soaked?"
I turn from my ravaging of his closet and stare him in the eyes honestly as I answer: "Yes."
I take one of Yuki's spare uniforms off the hangar, steal a pair of his boxers and stomp into the bathroom to towel off.
A few minutes later I emerge, dryer, but still damp, and wearing a uniform that's slightly too large for my frame.
Poking my head into Yuki's room, I mutter 'thanks' and turn to leave.
"Wait." Yuki commands in tones that are not to be disobeyed, and I pause, "You forgot the tie."
He holds up the offending object. "My uniform, you wear it properly."
I pout stubbornly. "As long as Momiji keeps wearing the girls uniform, I'll go without."
Yuki shakes his head stubbornly, looking like the perfect example of a school student, not a crease out of place. "My uniform, my rules."
I stick my lower lip out even further and glare daggers as my cousin calmly ties the piece of material around my neck, then smooths my collar.
"There. That's not so bad, is it?"
It feels like a noose, and I instantly want to tug it off and fling it childishly across the room.
Rubbing salt into the wound, Yuki then says "Don't you look cute," and maybe he notices that I'm about to start yelling again, as he quickly adds: "Come on, we have to find a valid excuse for flooding the house."
Shigure is hunched over the kitchen table, cigarette in one hand, and a mug of coffee in the other. Without looking up he just mutters "Don't even bother. I don't want to know…" and seems to sink further into his own personal pit of gloom.
Yuki and I exchange looks, but just sit down as well.
It's just gonna be one of those days for all of us.
When Tohru, Yuki and I return home from school at the end of the day, almost every single item in my room that isn't bolted down/ waterproof is lying on the front lawn trying to dry in the meagre winter sun.
Thankfully enough, Shigure looks less like he's going to top himself, and sits in the company of Ayame, who is delicately mopping his pale forehead with a designer handkerchief.
Shigure's publisher walks out the front door, calls a goodbye to her client looking like she's been lugging furniture all day (coincidence? I think not), while holding a thick wad of papers clutched to her chest like a lifeline. She glances up to see us, and her face bursts into a smile. She heads straight for me, grips me by the arm and shakes me as she says "THANKYOU" then heads for her car.
That little excursion into the realms of strangeness over, I inspect my stuff like a commander visiting his injured soldiers, then head upstairs to my startlingly bare room.
I sigh and resign myself to setting up a futon on the floor. Behind me, Yuki's footsteps stop, and one of his delicate but strong hands massages one of my shoulders for a moment.
"Do you want to come sleep in my room?"
Raising an eyebrow but deciding it's better not to comment (knowing that comment will end with raising my voice and flapping my arms like a person in a chicken suit trying to take off), I just shake my head.
"Whatever malevolent bastard of an elemental that did this to me in the first place is still out there." Inspiration hits, and I add: "I don't want your room flooding as well."
Wrapping his arms around my waist, my cousin nuzzles my neck. "Do you want me to sleep in here with you? It could be like a campout."
Flushing like a flipping traffic light, I decide to indulge the horny rat for a moment, placing my hands over his and running my thumbs lightly over the backs of his hands. "Tomorrow night, maybe? I want to check something tonight."
I can just tell that Yuki's mentally holding a party as his arms tighten around me.
"Alright, tomorrow night it is."
Damnit, I'm the cat, not him, so why is he the one almost purring?
And so I'm sitting on the floor of my room. I know I must look like I've lost it (again), because I'm sitting on my futon writing in a notebook, dressed in a singlet, boxers and a lumpy cardigan Kagura knitted me one year for Christmas. Who'da thought that the rejected clothing at the top of my wardrobe would be the only stuff I'd have left to wear? What bloody irony. Everything smells like mothballs, which is adding to the stink in here, since the moisture is doing something horrible to the varnish on the floor boards. So I look like I rooted through a charity bin and came up with the regect leavings, I smell like a wet dog, and I'm sitting in the middle of an empty floor writing feverishly, and next to me it's the sword. No, wait, that bloody deserves capitals. It's not just a sword, it's the title of it as well. It's The Sword.
I'm thinking of pulling an all-nighter. I can probably weasel out of school tomorrow if I act crazy or sick enough tomorrow in front of the dog, and then I can rest after hopefully catching the bastard elemental that seems to insist I learn how to swim. Damn, fucking…
Why do they all seem to have a grudge against me? Seriously. I'm just minding my own damned business, then all of a sudden things blow up, freeze, burn, attack me, or just leave me wishing I was dead. Do I deserve this? Is this some sort of divine punishment? I thought it'd been punished enough.
I close the book, then put that and my pen in a sealable plastic bag, and close it securely. I don't know how it's happened, but that book is precious to me now, and if it gets destroyed, I'll be one pissed off kitty.
Damn I'm bored. I wish I could have brought something to do, but I don't want to run the risk of that getting soaked too.
I check my watch again, hopefully, like maybe an hour might have passed while I was musing. 9.42. Great. It's times like these that I wish again my imagination didn't suck rocks. Or at least that I didn't have a one track imagination. I try to distract myself, and all I start thinking about is tomorrow night. Then my heart starts beating uncomfortably, and I get annoyed at myself for being such a sucker. He's the rat for god's sake, and I swoon like a girl whenever he so much as smirks at me.
I'm sure my cat ancestors are all hissing at me in their graves, but I don't think I care anymore. Yuki's been such a support to me, albeit a reluctant support at first, but now he's closer to me than he's ever been before. It's funny, but I can see myself yelling at him years from now… Fuck, how romantic. You know you love a man, 'cause you can keep the arguments going for years.
I pick up The Sword and inspect the scabbard. I run my hands over the hilt, then draw the blade slowly out, and it catches the light from my ceiling and seems to magnify it into a white brilliance. I carefully run my finger over the blade, then curse and suck my thumb. Fuck it's sharp, it cut me, even through the bandages. I carefully push the blade back into the scabbard, then stare reverentially at it, as the sword sits docilely in my lap, but seems to hum with it's own energy.
It's overwhelming something, to think that my mind created this, that it was all a fluke, but it's all so real and powerful.
My eyes continue to stare at the sword, but my mind drifts, back over the past months.
I hear a faint sound, wings, maybe, buzzing across my ceiling like a large mosquito, then my eyes start to get heavy.
Before you know it I'm …
Fuck, fuck fuckity fuck.
I open my eyes and stare at the water, a few inches away from my nose, as I awake from my slump in the morning. My notepad and pen float cheerily past in their bag, and I stand and hiss at the water. Once again, I must look a right sight. I'm soaked from the shoulders down, and holding my arms away from my body in disgust like I'm about to draw in some Mexican stand-off at high noon. The cardigan is heavy and rivulets of water are dripping from my sleeves and down my thighs constantly.
I just had to fall asleep, didn't it? This is so unfair.
My book bounces off the wall, then floats happily past my wardrobe as I fume.
Right, that's it.
I bend over and pick up The Sword from where it's sitting on the bottom, then hold it above the waterline and glare fiercely at the giant puddle my room has become.
The bag stops floating as ice forms around the corners of my room on the surface, then slowly spreads in. The water I'm standing in gets cooler, and then eventually all is frozen.
There's a few moments when I look hurriedly from left to right for an escape route, then I eventually call out pitifully: "Yuuuuki…. Shiiimo…."
Thank god for paper doors.
I hear someone shift next door, then call out again.
The door to Yuki's room slides slowly open, then heavy footsteps come down the hallways towards me.
My own door slides open with a crunch of breaking ice. I twist as best I can in the ice around my legs just in time to watch Yuki's expression dissolve from shock into hysterical laughter.
"Damn rat! Just help me!"
"hahahahahaHah ha ha…"
Yuki lowers his head for a moment and the laughter putters out. He looks up again, obviously trying to keep a straight face, then starts to giggle again, leaning heavily against my doorframe.
"You thought that one through well, didn't you?" Shimo chuckles, Yuki's eyes flashing amber for a moment.
"Oh, both of you go jump off cliffs!"
I unsheathe The Sword and swing it at the ice, attempting to free myself.
Yuki and Shimo continue to laugh like demented hyenas in the background.
Something inside me snaps. "GOD DAMNIT! Be helpful or leave!"
The laughter continues as I cut my way free.
This bloody elementals won round two, but I will win the war.
Az: Whoo, chapterage. Once again, as I always say, please review, it makes my world go round… and it'll probably make the next chapter come out sooner too… I don't care, review to tell me I'm an aggravating individual and now on your hit list, whatever floats your boat. ' Heh… Don't hate me?