I don't own Yummy Yuki or any other Fruits Basket character.
Fruits Basket belongs to Takaya Natsuki.
There's something that you won't show
Waiting where the light goes
And anyway the wind blows
It's all worth waiting for
Anyway the wind blows.
Windmills, Toad the Wet Sprocket
Another long day.
Sometimes I seriously wonder if I was in my full mental capacity when I accepted the position of School president.
Even though I didn't want it, I wanted it.
I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to force myself to make decisions. I wanted to be someone who actually accomplished something and not just someone who got by on a label given by people who didn't know him and saw him fitting their ideals of a prince.
It was something I desperately needed.
Now, I resent it.
I resent it because while I was busy with the student council, while I was trying to pull myself together to become a better person, a bond seems to have formed between Honda San and Kyo.
Honda San and Kyo.
Honda San and that Baka Neko!
I see them now, how much she changed him. How the tension left his body, how relaxed he is now, except when dealing with me, of course.
That could've been me. He could've been me.
Why isn't it me?
Why is it that for me to move forward, I have to leave something behind?
I sigh sadly. Honda San is still as kind as ever; her treatment of me has never changed, her smile never faltered.
I don't want to think like that.
I open the door and walk in. The others must've come home over two hours ago. I try to remember if she has to work today or not…not. Too bad, I would've picked her up.
"Tadaima!" I call out and am surprised at how tired I sound. Suddenly, sleep sounds like a fantastic idea.
I had barely begun taking my shoes off when Kyo strolls into the entrance area with a bag slung over his shoulder. He drops the bag and grabs his sneakers, pulling them on, all while giving me a death glare, which I pointedly ignore.
I'm too tired for his antics. What does he have to be angry about anyway?
Standing up, he marches to the front door and slides it open, about to leave.
"Kyo Kun!" She calls out anxiously. I hear some banging coming from the kitchen, hurried footsteps and then, a loud crash signaling her fall.
Apparently that doesn't even slow her down. She hurries over with a wrapped package, her eyes focused solely on my cousin, then notices me.
"Yuki Kun! Welcome home. How was your day?" she smiles widely.
"It went well Honda San, thanks." I reply, happy that she noticed that I was there. I'm always happy when she notices me; I guess that's what love is all about.
She then turns her attention to Kyo. "Here you go, Kyo Kun. I packed dinner for you and Shishou San!"
"Un…thanks." He mumbles, though I can tell that he's happy.
And suddenly, I feel like I'm intruding on their moment. Like I just phased out of existence.
I don't like that feeling.
I hurry upstairs, trying to drown out their conversation, and in my room I bury myself under the covers and for the billionth time in my relatively short life, wish I was someone else.
It was morning. I didn't think I'd get any sleep last night, but I did. I must've been more tired than I thought.
I stumble out of bed and head towards the bathroom.
It's so early, or so it seems. I just want to go back to sleep. That's about as coherent as I was at the time. It was Sunday, and so I was entitled to more rest.
Suddenly I remember that Kyo had gone over to Shihan's to spend the night, meaning that I had Honda San to myself all day, well I was certain that I could ignore Shigure if I tried hard enough. That woke me from my half slumbering state and I hurried to change and go for breakfast or lunch or whatever meal Honda San was serving.
I look over at a wall clock; it was 11:30 am. I smile; there was plenty of time left in the day.
I found her washing dishes in the kitchen.
"Oh, Yuki Kun! Ohayo Gozaimasu! Did you sleep well?"
"I called you for dinner but you had gone straight to bed. You must've been so tired!" Her eyes were big and compassionate, and focused on me. I felt more important at that moment than when the entire school fell silent at seeing me stand at the podium to address them.
I had to ask. "Honda San, do you have any plans for today?"
I was thinking that I'd garden with her, study with her, and walk her to her part time job. Nothing too extravagant. There was no need for such things; Honda San's presence makes the most mundane activity a memorable occasion.
"Not really. Did Yuki Kun have something planned?"
I shrugged. "It's such a nice day. It'd be a shame to waste it staying indoors, so I was thinking I'd do some gardening, would you like to come along?"
"Yes!" She smiled so sincerely and I thought my heart would burst.
That's the way it should always be, moments like this.
Just me and her.
I grab something to eat from the fridge and help her dry the dishes while she sets out the ingredients for lunch. We engage ourselves in small talk; the student council and their upcoming activities, school, and anything of common interest.
I live for moments like this.
Heading over to the table, we sit and continue our conversation. Later, Shigure popped his head out of his study to complain that no one cared to see what he was doing and that he could've been dead inside that room. I rolled my eyes and told him to get over himself.
Honda San, of course, immediately panicked and began to apologize.
Soon it was just us again, and in my head I begin planning exactly what we should do; I didn't want to waste a moment with her. God knows when I'd get another opportunity to spend the whole day with my wonderful Honda San.
We started chatting about gardening and I told her about rotating crops and aerating the soil; insignificant things that she seemed to find incredibly interesting. I wanted to laugh at that; she was just too cute for her own good.
Then the phone rang. I pick up and it was Kagura, seeming tense, but trying to sound cheerful nonetheless. I sensed it though. After asking about Kyo, Shigure, and I, she asked to speak to Honda san.
That was unexpected, but in spite of my puzzlement, I hand the phone over and try not to pay attention to the conversation. That would be rude.
"I'm fine, thank you Kagura San!"
"Really?" She sounded genuinely surprised and I couldn't help but turn to look at her. She looked shocked.
"No, I didn't know!" She protested, as if hurt. "No one told me."
"Really? Thank you so much Kagura San! I'm so glad you told me. Please join us!"
Her face was now concerned as she tried to convince Kagura to come to whatever it is they were talking about.
"Oh! If you can manage, please do come. I know Kyo Kun and all of us would be happy to see you! ... Good bye!"
She puts the phone down and hurries over to me.
"Yuki Kun! Kyo Kun's birthday is the day after tomorrow!" She exclaimed in an urgent tone.
I stare at her blankly. I wouldn't have known, since Kyo and I were far from friends, there was no reason for me to know when his birthday was; and when we were children, my mother and Akito made certain that I was separated from those who would've known.
"I don't even have a present for him! I have to make a cake!" She went on. "Kyo Kun doesn't like chocolate, so Vanilla? Nuts?"
I clenched my fists under the table. This was supposed to be our day together; I didn't want her to think about Kyo or anyone!
But there he was again, coming between us.
He doesn't even need to be here to ruin my day.
She turns to face me, her eyes still large and anxious. "Yuki Kun! We have to go shopping!"
And so my plans for a quiet day with her evaporated into thin air. Instead, I was to be tortured by shopping for a gift for my archrival, with the girl I loved, who possibly loved him more than me.
Wasn't that just grand?
To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. What I felt was something between frustration and rage; I didn't want to share her today or any day! I felt my teeth grind together as I attempted to control my temper. But I couldn't say no to her, not when she looked so dependent on me. So, I forced myself to smile and nodded.
"Let's go then."
Damn you, Baka Neko…
It didn't necessarily have to be bad. I mean, it would have been just her and I, regardless of the reason for the shopping trip. We could've bought Kyo any old thing then spent the rest of the day with the stupid cat forgotten. But it seems that in a previous life, I had angered the God of love, and so rather than it being her and I, Hanajima San called and invited herself and Uotani San along.
The whole world was against me, apparently.
Not that I have anything against Honda San's friends, after all, they are important people to her. I told her that her friends would keep her company and that I didn't want to impose on them, but she insisted that I join them, and help her pick a gift for the Baka Neko.
"Yuki Kun and Kyo Kun are so much alike!" She stated.
Saying Kyo and I were alike was like saying that Niisan enjoyed wearing rags.
I was trapped.
We met them at the mall. Uotani San seemed more amused than usual, the prospect of buying a gift to torture or tease Kyo with apparently made her day. I guess they had the kind of relationship were they'd tease and argue all day, possibly over nothing...that sounded painfully familiar. Regardless, had she suggested that the gift was indeed to torture him; I would immediately second that motion. Hanajima San was serene as usual, though she kept looking at me strangely, and I suddenly realized, to my everlasting horror, that she could probably sense my turbulent emotions.
That would be bad.
As much as I wanted Honda San to realize that I did not want to be here, I would never wish her to know through Hanajima San.
I wanted her to realize it herself, how hard it was for me to willingly give up my day and my plans for someone who was so uncivilized that he'd never appreciate it from her, and hate me all the more for it…
No, that's not true, not about her anyway. The old Kyo wouldn't have appreciated it, but this Kyo, he'd smile and thank her and blush and tell her it was unnecessary. And she'd smile back and then they'd…
I shook those awful thoughts out of my head. I had to bury my feelings so that no one would notice.
I doubt I succeeded, as Hanajima San kept glancing at me. She never said anything, and I had no reason to believe that she wouldn't. She was loyal to her friends. I was merely an acquaintance.
Honda San started listing off Kyo's hobbies and interests, which didn't take long. I tried my best not to put the cat down too much, but it was a quite a short list, reflecting his limited intelligence.
We found ourselves at the local sporting store. Hanajima San suggested getting something for his martial arts hobby, and I nodded with as much interest as I could muster while inside I was screaming for someone to put me to sleep. I think I would rather spontaneously combust than hear his name one more time.
We looked at wrist and ankle guards, Gi's, kendo swords, gloves and so on.
Honda San obviously had a limited budget, and the way she eyed things that were beyond her financial reach was heart wrenching. There was an embroidered Gi belt that she admired expressively and I couldn't offer to help her pay, I didn't want to insult her in front of her friends.
It was strange, how money was no object to me. It never was, while it was such an issue to her. Yet, I would have gladly traded the world's riches for a chance to live the life she lived. Even with all the tragedy, she had a mother who loved her, loyal friends who stood by her and a personality that the direst situation couldn't contain.
Everything I ever wanted.
I was fairly pathetic in comparison.
We browsed through other shops, looking for something else to buy, but a couple of hours later, found our selves back at the Sporting store. Uotani San suggested that Honda San get Kyo a plain black belt and embroider it herself. I felt like someone tore my heart out of my chest.
Not only was she going to buy him something, but she was going to give him something she made as well!? A part of herself!? Something precious like that…
Damn that stupid cat.
Damn him to hell.
Hanajima San turned to look at me again, and asked my opinion in that eerie disinterested voice of hers. I wanted to hurt her, and then realized that she probably already knew that. A small smile crossed her face as she waited for my answer.
"I think that would be a good idea, Honda San. But wouldn't you need to get string and other sewing material as well?" I said as smoothly as I could, wanting to discourage her indirectly.
"Actually, I already everything I need from Home Ec. class!" Honda San answered cheerfully. "But do you think Kyo Kun would like it?"
At that moment I seriously wondered if she was doing this to me on purpose.
"I'm sure he would." I certainly would, anything from you would be a treasure to cherish for the rest of my life.
She was satisfied with my answer and immediately went to purchase the belt.
I though that my torment for the day had concluded, but boy was I wrong.
It was late afternoon when we left the mall. I had invited all 3 to ice cream, and they discussed arrangements for a surprise party, going even as far as making a guest list, and a menu.
I wanted the ground to open up and devour me. Another part of me told me to shut up, swallow my pride and enjoy as much as I could of Honda San's company.
So I did.
We got home around dinnertime. Shigure was whining that he was left all alone while Honda San and I went on a date, and then began pressing us for details.
Honda San immediately blushed and began stuttering denials. Was she truly horrified by the prospect of going on a date with me?
Looking at it, I guess I am quite the bore compared to Kyo.
But isn't that the way it's always been?
Then why does it hurt so much now?
While we ate, Honda San let Shigure in on her discovery. He listened attentively, gave her a few suggestions and permitted her to have a surprise party for Kyo when she requested.
I didn't say anything. I was trying to blend in with the furniture as much as I could.
I ate quickly then excused myself, promising myself to return later and wipe that smirk off Shigure's face.
Did everybody know, about my feelings?
God, that's embarrassing.
I went to my base, it was quite late but I wanted to check on the crops, and clear my head. Yet, even my secret haven was against me. There was practically nothing to do other than watering the plants; no weeds, no sickly looking yellow leaves, nothing.
Back at home, Honda San was busy making a shopping list for tomorrow. Shigure was going on and on about what he wanted for his birthday and went as far as marking it on the calendar for her. When he saw me, he smiled and marked mine as well.
I wanted to kill him, and I wanted to thank him.
I settled for yelling at him.
"Mind your own business!"
"But Yuki Kun! Why don't you want Tohru Kun to know when your birthday is?"
Honda San turned to face me with her enormous eyes.
I couldn't say anything, or look at her for that matter, so I opted for grabbing the nearest heavy object and flinging it at Shigure.
I turned to leave.
"Yes, Honda San?" What did she want? My birthday? My love?
"Would you mind if we…"
Did she know?
"…reviewed some of the math homework together?"
I sigh, if that's all she wanted from me; then I will take what I can get.
"Of course, Honda San."
Meet Yuki Sohma, tortured tutor extraordinaire.
While I checked her homework, Honda Saw was doodling on a piece of paper. Glancing at it, I found it filled with a multitude of potential designs for Kyo's belt. When she noticed where my eyes were, and possibly, the frown on my face, she panicked.
"Oh! I'm sorry for not paying attention! But I was just trying out designs for the belt and I hope I can finish it in time for the party!"
"Well, you got all the answers right. Good Job Honda San!" I hope I wasn't really frowning.
"EH! Really? If it wasn't for your help I couldn't have done it! Thank you so much Yuki Kun!"
Genuine happiness and gratitude.
I'll take it.
School was my only chance to get away from the planning and everything else by immersing myself in the Student council duties. After school, I ran into Haru by the lockers, and he was more than happy to fill me in on what happened during lunch.
"Honda San told us about the surprise party." He started, "She also said that you went shopping with her yesterday for a present for Kyo."
"Why what, Haru?" I slammed the locker shut with more force than necessary.
"Yuki is angry. Mystery."
I slowly counted to 10. As much as I liked Haru, and appreciated everything he's done for me, I wanted him gone far away.
I just wanted to be alone.
He wasn't even fazed. "Are you going to buy Kyo a present?"
That was unexpected, and the idea never even crossed my mind. "Even if I did, he wouldn't accept it." I find myself smiling sadly for some inexplicable reason.
"Why not try? It would be a good opportunity for you two."
"No, it wouldn't Haru. There's just too much anger between us. He'll think I'm making fun of him and I wouldn't like it if he threw it back in my face."
It would never work. Kyo has always hated me, even before he knew me. That's what idiots like him are all about, single-minded assumptions that do nothing but hurt people.
Haru just looked at me sorrowfully.
And the damn opened.
"Don't you dare!"
My cousin looked up in surprise. I didn't know where this was coming from, but it had to get out…
"Don't you dare look at me like it's all my fault!"
But I didn't give him a chance to finish. I left quickly, knowing that he'd probably lose his way trying to follow me. I felt low, doing this to Haru who was only showing concern, but I was sick of this.
Having to be nice to Kyo, when he started everything.
Having to watch him with Shihan, who loved him unconditionally while my mother sold me and Akito tormented me.
Having to see him make friends with everyone while I'm always unnoticed.
Having to watch him with Honda San, when he did nothing but yell and never appreciate anything she does.
It's not my fault.
Honda San was making a cake when I got home. Momiji was helping her with much more enthusiasm than I deemed necessary.
"Welcome home Yuki Kun!" She said, beaming.
"Yuki!" My cousin waved at me, half covered in flour. "We're making a cake for Kyo!"
Really? "I can tell."
"Do you want to help?"
Do I want to jump off the roof? "No, that's alright."
"Ok!" Momiji's wide grin doesn't falter and he turns back to Honda San. "Chocolate icing!"
"But Kyo Kun doesn't like Chocolate!" She answers.
"Ehhhhh! He doesn't? Who doesn't like chocolate?"
I'm not all that fond of chocolate myself, but it's not like anyone cares.
"Where's the birthday boy?" I ask as nonchalantly as possible.
"Kyo? Shihan called and asked him to come to the Dojo!" Momiji volunteered.
"Shigure San called Shishou San and told him about the party!" Honda San adds. "So we can make the cake at least!"
"Where will you put the cake though?" Obviously, they couldn't keep it in the fridge where he'll see it.
"I'm taking it with me!" Momiji jumps up happily.
"So why go through all that trouble? Why not buy one in the first place?" I sigh. Why go through all that trouble for that Baka Neko?
"Eto, I wanted to make the cake." Honda San replies much too meekly for my liking.
I smile though, "I'm sure that it'll be delicious."
That, I was certain of.
I don't know how I survived the rest of the night or the next day at school.
Haru's words haunted me still, but I didn't want to risk getting put down in front of everyone. It would be too much like offering my heart on a platter to Honda San; I'm not strong enough to take that kind of rejection. I'm not sure if I'll ever be.
At school, everyone was excited. Honda San was clearly energized, which made her nervous and even more clumsy than usual. She and Momiji had huge smiles on their faces; Uotani San looked like she was trying to hold in her laughter all day. It was quite amusing actually. I really wanted to know what she got for Kyo.
Hanajima San was unruffled as usual. She said that she had a present for Kyo as well. I'm not sure that I wanted to know, or if I would have wished that kind of thing on Kyo.
On second though, I would.
Haru didn't say anything about yesterday, I wanted to apologize though, but seeing as he and Kyo got into an argument and he turned black, there was no point.
I felt left out.
When the two began fighting, everyone else took the opportunity to discuss last minute arrangements.
"So, we'll come straight home with you?" Uotani San was saying.
"Yes! I could use your help with the decorations!"
Decorations? Dear God!
"When is everyone else coming?" Hanajima San asked.
"Well, Shigure San said Kyo Kun and Shishou San will be coming around seven thirty…."
"Aya said he'd come straight over from work! Ri Chan, Kisa and Hiro are coming with Hari! They'll bring Tohru's cake with them." Momiji added.
Niisan too? He'll probably ruin everything!
"What about Kagura San?" Honda San asked worriedly, "Is she still busy?"
"Yeah, she said she'd try to come, but couldn't promise." Momiji shrugged.
"I hope she can make it, it would be nice to see her after so long!"
"Did you finish with the embroidery?"
"Yes! I'm glad that we had a free period today. I barely finished it!"
They don't even notice that I'm here.
Am I expecting too much of people?
I mean, why should they notice me when I'm purposely keeping quiet?
Things went as planned. Kyo went directly to Shihan's, and everyone else came home with us. Secretly, I was wishing that I'd have a meeting, but there was no one in the meeting room.
I tried to look on the positive side of things, surviving this would be a good thing, right?
It would mean that I'm capable of taking a lot more torture than I thought.
That I've become stronger, right?
Who am I fooling?
I'm just doing this because I love to see Honda San happy, even if it's all for Kyo.
That's what love is all about I guess. Pain, longing and heartbreak.
But isn't happiness part of the equation as well?
Or aren't I ever entitled to any?
Shigure had all the decorations out for us and everyone immediately went to work: Hanajima San and Honda San in the kitchen, while the rest were to put up the decorations. Uotani San immediately picked up a balloon.
We had less than 2 hours.
I wanted to tear everything to pieces, but Honda San had worked too hard on the planning and I would never want to hurt her by ruining her plans.
But couldn't she see how hard this was for me?
Have we drifted apart that much?
Haru gave my shoulder a squeeze "Yuki, fight!"
Leave it to Haru to put things like that. I won't let you down either, Haru.
And after the party, I'll think about moving to Okinawa.
Time flew by as we worked, and everything was up. I have to say that we did a good job.
It was fun, in a paper-cut kind of way. But I can't say that I didn't enjoy myself at all.
"HA HA HA! It looks marvelous! Though I have to say that I'm disappointed that you couldn't wait for me to arrive; to give you my professional opinion on the color scheme of the decorations!"
Wrong, it would be as much fun as stabbing myself with a spoon.
"Yuki! Why don't you come over here and say Hello to your brother?" Niisan came much closer than I liked and offered me a wrapped package. "I was certain that you would feel left out if your amazing older brother didn't bring you a gift as well. So please, do accept this offer of love from the bottom of my magnanimous heart!"
That was unexpected.
"Um, thank you." I manage.
I couldn't believe that my own brother knew how I was feeling.
"Please Yuki, do contain yourself! Did you see that Gure San? Did you see how he hugged my gift to his fragile little heart and promised himself never to let go of that symbol of our eternal bond?"
"Wait a minute…" I begin.
Niisan takes his cell phone out, "You were wrong Tori San! Yuki clutched my gift closely and thanked me with eyes brimming with tears!"
"I did no such thing!" How silly of me to think that he actually did it for a reason other than to brag.
But Niisan was beyond control. Haru, once again, wraps his arm around my shoulder. "Yuki, fight!"
"Alright!" I reply a little too tersely, but Haru doesn't seem to mind. He takes the present out of my hand and shakes it lightly.
"Hmm, I wonder what it could be?"
"It's probably something from his shop!" Momiji suggests.
I think I'm going to throw up.
I put it aside.
Uotani San was looking between my brother and I, flabbergasted.
"That's your brother?"
She was about to say something else but Hatori arrives with the others. I take a look at Honda San's cake.
It was covered with white icing and decorated further with the words 'Happy Birthday' in yellow and orange icing.
It looked great. That, I couldn't deny, even if it wasn't for me.
I smile and tell her, she blushes and thanks me.
Uotani San, Hanajima San and Momiji start discussing the type of music to play.
It was getting quite crowded, and all the presents were in a pile in the corner of the room.
Looking at it, maybe I should've gotten Kyo something.
Haru seems to sense my distress, he whispers in my ear. "Don't worry Yuki, it's from the both of us." He holds a wrapped package in his hand.
Then Kyo walks in with Shihan.
And everyone; well, with the exception of Hiro, Hatori and I who didn't say anything, and Hanajima San who is apparently incapable of yelling; shouts "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
Kyo was shocked, then looked torn between blushing and laughing. He turns to Shihan and yells, "You told them?"
Shihan smiles; "Happy birthday, Kyo."
I'm not sure if my parents ever said that to me; Akito hated birthdays for his own crazy reasons. Birthdays were about family, friends and fun; things I never had when I was younger. The very things I would've wished for as I blew out the candles.
Not that there were any for me…
Stop it. Just get through this night.
Soon, everyone was laughing and generally having a good time. Even Kunimitsu joined us at some point.
I stand in the corner trying to fend off my brother without resorting to violent means. Shigure eventually comes and drags him off saying something about reliving old times.
Thank god, it wouldn't do to destroy what Honda San and the others have worked so hard on.
Haru comes over and stands beside me, not saying anything. He doesn't need to, I know exactly what he wants from me, so I indulge him.
"What is it Haru?" I ask, sighing.
"Why are you doing this to yourself?"
"What do you mean?"
"It's his birthday, of course she's going to dote on him. It'll be your birthday soon and he'll be in your shoes."
"Thank you for your unparalleled wisdom."
"Yuki is upset with me… mystery."
"I'm not upset with you Haru. It's just been a bad few days, that's all."
He looked unconvinced then as an after thought, adds "You know, it didn't take me long to convince her to call you by your name. Doesn't that mean something?"
"Yes, it means that you haven't learned to stay out of my business!"
He smiles. "I know."
I'm not a party person. They're much too noisy for my taste; not that I've been to that many parties in the first place. I didn't feel the need to mingle. I didn't feel like doing anything besides watching the others.
I told Haru to go and have fun; he didn't need to keep me company.
Looking around, Honda San's friends, Momiji and Kyo were playing cards,
Shigure and Niisan were involved in a theatrical conversation while Hatori looked like he was in pain. Hiro and Kisa were watching something on TV.
Honda San was probably in the kitchen. I thought about helping her, but was afraid I'd subconsciously force my self to drop the cake.
Speaking of which, Honda San makes her way into the living room with the cake adorned with lit candles.
She begins to sing 'Happy birthday' in her angelic voice, and most join in.
I find myself drawn to Honda San's face. She looked so happy, a lovely blush covering her cheeks.
In the dimmed lighting and amidst the singing, I felt something heavy pressing on my chest and realized that I was close to tears.
If Honda San was happy, I should be too, right?
Maybe it was that Honda San looked so beautiful at that moment that I felt my heart break.
Maybe Akito was right. These feelings I have, they're sick and twisted, just like me; confusing my need for a mother figure with those for her. A small part of me screamed out in protest that my love was pure, that I wasn't looking for something like that, that I truly did love her.
I did, right?
Looking around me, seeing her hovering over Kyo like he was the center of her universe, confused me even more.
I had to sort my feelings out.
I must sort my feelings out.
Otherwise I'd go crazy.
Soon Kyo was opening his gifts. I looked on with curiosity, wanting to know what he got from everyone. Honda San catches my eye from across the table and waves lightly, her cheeks a beautiful rosy hue. She seemed quite pleased with everything. I would agree; she had planned quite well.
Now if only it would be over with.
Kisa and Hiro bought Kyo a martial arts movie, Hatori's was a gift certificate for some Sporting goods, Shigure got him a pair of expensive looking sneakers; Shihan's gift was a new Gi. A digital wristwatch from Momiji and a camera from Ritsu. Momiji also presented Kagura's gift, a familiar blue hooded sweatshirt. An odd-looking good luck charm, or so she says, from Hanajima San. Uotani San's present was a stuffed cat. "So you don't ever feel lonely without your kitty friends." She chuckled. We all laugh nervously.
When Kyo was opening Niisan's present, I'll admit that I was quite nervous about what it could be. As far as I know, Kyo has no idea about what Niisan's shop actually sells, nor do I want him to find out, ever. But luckily for me, Kyo pulled out a simple plaid scarf. I let the breath I was holding out. Kyo looked skeptically at Niisan and mumbled a thank you.
When he began to open Haru's present, Haru pulls me forward and says, "This is from me and Yuki."
The room fell silent. I could see Honda San's eyes widen with barely contained delight, but it was Kyo that distracted me. His face was the epitome of shock; then it was quickly replaced by something between revulsion, suspicion and hate. I've seen that expression much too often.
I look away, I don't like that look.
"Aren't you going to open it, Kyo?" Shihan asks gently.
Kyo begins to tear the wrapping much more violently and carelessly than with the others.
I feel insulted, and not just
for me, but for Haru as well.
How dare he?
Haru senses my annoyance and gave my shoulder a squeeze, meant to calm me.
When Kyo was done destroying the packaging, he found a Game boy advance.
"I have one. It's cool." Haru explained.
"Yeah! Me too!" Momiji added, "There's a really cute game for it called Kirby's nightmare in Dreamland and…"
I keep my eyes away, I hear Kyo mumble a thank you and reach for the last box amidst the cheers and comments.
It means nothing though. Nice try Haru.
Honda San laughs nervously and says, "That's mine."
I glance at Kyo from the corner of my eyes and watch him pull out the belt. I can't make out the embroidery.
He was speechless while his eyes took in the handiwork, and then he blushed.
"Do you like it, Kyo Kun?" She asks meekly.
"…It's great, thanks." He smiles slightly, though I can tell that he's holding his happiness in.
Both blush. Niisan starts spouting poetry about a gift from the heart and stuff like that, Shigure snickers and Momiji begins to tease Kyo about the blushing.
Uotani San and Hanajima San smile at Honda San.
And I wish I was elsewhere.
Why do I feel like I've been cheated out of what could've been mine?
Why is my whole life such a joke?
It wasn't fair.
But it was over.
Soon after, everyone begins to leave. I tell Haru to go home when he offers to spend the night.
"It's fine Haru. But thank you, for everything."
"Yuki should stop tormenting himself. Things aren't as complicated as they seem."
"I hope so."
Shihan walks past me and thanks me for inviting him, patting me on the shoulder on his way out.
Niisan asks me if I opened his present, and I tell him that I will later. He smiles and says that it was a good party and that he'll wait for my call. I didn't know what he meant. I never, nor do I ever, intend to call Niisan on the phone.
Uotani San and Hanajima San tell me the same thing on their way out, then Uotani San gives me a serious look and says that Honda San is happy. I give Hanajima San a questioning look; did she tell her?
"You're too quiet." She says. "Tohru Kun will worry."
And they're gone.
I think I've had it with cryptic remarks.
Now that everyone has left, I turn to the living room. It wasn't as messy as I thought it'd be but I start to clean up anyway. Shigure had gone to walk everyone else out.
I hear Kyo and Honda San in the kitchen.
"…it's really great." He was saying.
"Really? I mean, it wasn't too sloppy or…"
"It's perfect, this whole day was perfect. Thank you."
"I'm so glad." I can hear the smile in her voice.
I feel uncomfortable, like I'm spying on them.
I quickly finish picking up the things on the floor and was about to take down the balloons.
"That's alright, leave it till tomorrow. You should go to bed." Shigure says lightly, "It was a good party, ne Yuki Kun?"
"Honda San outdid herself as usual." I reply, hoping that Shigure didn't detect how resigned I sounded.
Who am I kidding? This was Shigure.
"That she did! You surprised me as well, or was that just Ha Kun?"
"Still, I figure you didn't object too much, that should mean something."
I don't answer, choosing to head off to bed. I'm not tired, not really, but my head is about to explode from all this thinking.
As I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I start to wonder about my life.
Why should I have to share the only real thing I ever had? The only honest feeling I ever had?
Something that expects nothing in return: untainted love.
I'm such a fool.
Thinking that I'd ever really belong anywhere.
I belong nowhere.
No one really cared.
Everyone always did hate the rat.
Akito was always right about that.
If it wasn't for this damned face, no one would give me a second glance. Maybe that was better though; the truth rather than this superficial concern.
But I loved her. I loved her so much that I wanted to see her happy, regardless of who she was with, even if it was that Baka Neko; so long as she was happy. I kept telling myself that, hoping that one day I could actually believe it.
I found the most amazing person in the entire world who accepted me wholeheartedly and has given me the affection I've been seeking my entire life, and now I had to give her up…?
Just stop it!
I have to give up these childish thoughts, these possessive selfish feelings.
I promised myself that I'd continue to believe and move forward. I couldn't depend on anyone. I had to depend on myself, because the world isn't as dark as it always seemed. She taught me that.
I had to get out from under Akito's shadow and prove him wrong. Prove the curse wrong.
Whatever reason fate had to bring Honda San into my life, I had to embrace it. But, at the same time, I could not hold her back or expect her to act in a certain way.
Honda San is not a thing.
I do not own her.
She had to be free; I had to set her free.
Because that's what I love most about her.
If I can only love her from afar, so be it.
If I can only have her friendship, so be it.
If that meant that I would be a stronger person, and if I finally learned to love myself, so be it.
Suddenly, I feel like I'm suffocating. The room seems small, dark and reminiscent of everything I feared, and everything Akito ingrained in me. I had to get out.
I hurry out of bed and down the stairs. The house is quiet and dark.
It's 3:19 am.
The decorations are still up, but everything else is clean. I can make out that much in the dimmed lighting. I don't feel like turning the lights on.
Since I have nothing better to do, I start taking the balloons down, as I move around in the dark; I unexpectedly bump into something soft and fragrant.
"Yuki Kun?" She calls out worriedly. "Is that you?"
"Yes Honda San." I have to yell so she can hear me in this form.
"AHH!" She wails as quietly as she could, "I'm so sorry!"
I could make her form out in the dark as I'm trying to get out of my Pajamas.
"Honda San, please stay still." She could step on me.
Death by Tohru, What a great way to go.
I try to get free but since Honda San is half lying on my clothes, I'm having some trouble getting loose.
"Can I help you?" She asks anxiously.
"If you can try to pull me out… I'm stuck for some strange reason."
I see her place her palms softly against the wooden floor and run them across little by little. She finds me and pulls me out gently.
"I'm sorry" She apologized again, though I have a feeling that she may not be talking about what just happened a minute a go.
"I couldn't sleep." She confesses as she stands up and walks towards the light switch, I take the opportunity to climb up her arm and settle on her shoulder, allowing myself to indulge in her closeness; I may not have such an opportunity again.
It takes a while for my eyes to adjust to the sudden change in lighting.
She moves to the table and sits, bringing her hand up to me, and I climb on.
Obviously, she doesn't want a disgusting rat on her clothes. I get ready to jump down, but she scratches my head affectionately with her other hand.
"Yuki Kun couldn't sleep either?"
"Are you feeling ill? You seem a little down."
A little she says. "No, I'm fine."
She looks at me with her beautiful eyes, studying me.
What does she want me to say?
'I want you to be happy!' I wanted to scream.
She suddenly smiles then jumps to her feet. "I have something for Yuki Kun!"
"I'll be right back!" She gently places me down on the table and hurries upstairs, her feet light and silent.
What? Something for me?
I transform back, and hurriedly put my clothes on, pants first of course.
Honda San walks back in as I'm reaching for my shirt.
I don't know why she blushes, but it's cute.
"Here." She presents a folded piece of cloth to me, looking somewhat nervous.
It was a white scarf, with my name embroidered in lilac thread in the corner.
My heart stops beating for an impossibly long moment.
It was a simple piece of work, but to me it was the equivalent of the Mona Lisa.
"Thank you…" I'm breathless.
"I've been working on this for while actually, the scarf was our knitting project at school, but I thought it was too plain so I put your name on it. I only finished it a few days ago."
I was still stuck on the scarf.
"Your school project?" I ask numbly.
"Yes, I could've chosen a lot of different things, but I wanted to make you a scarf to keep you warm since it's so cold outside and I worry that you might get sick and I thought that you weren't feeling well because you've been so quiet lately and …" She continues but I didn't hear half of what she said.
"I…thank you." I don't think that words could ever truly convey what I meant or felt at that moment.
"Do…do you like it?" She asks quietly.
"I love it, it's wonderful."
"I'm so glad." She said the same words to Kyo earlier, but somehow, they sounded different when said to me. More meaningful, more anxious, more content. My heart does somersaults at that.
I wrap the scarf around my neck. It's downy and warm, but even if it was a potato sac, Honda San made it for me.
She smiles brightly and sits down. I follow suit, both smiling and sitting.
"I wanted to thank Yuki Kun for helping me out the other day." She starts, "I know that Yuki Kun must've had other things to do, but you still came with me to buy a present for Kyo Kun."
"It was important to Honda San." I shrug, a little embarrassed.
She looks a little sad now. "I wanted Kyo Kun to have a good time today, because I don't know what the future holds, and I wanted to do something for him."
I frown. "What is it Honda San?"
"N…nothing really! Just being sentimental!"
But I can tell she's hiding something.
"It's alright, because nobody knows what the future holds, right?" She asks me, like she's looking for reassurance.
I give it to her, just like she's always given it to me. "Of course, but as long as we give it our all, we will always look back at those times with fondness rather than regret. You taught me that Honda San."
And that's why even though I can't have you, I will never regret meeting you. I will never regret knowing you or loving you.
Her eyes become misty and she reaches for my hand. "No matter what the future holds?"
"No matter what the future holds." I reply, squeezing her hand in return.
I meant it. It felt good to say it out loud; painful, but good.
A tear slides down her cheek and I brush it away. "What is it Honda San?"
"Nothing. I'm glad to be here with Yuki Kun, always." she responds, "No matter what it may seem, or the circumstance, I'm always thinking of Yuki Kun."
Huh? What the…?
'Say it!' My mind screams almost immediately. "And I of Honda San."
Our eyes meet and the world disappears around us. I don't know how long we stay there, gazing into each other's eyes, but the sound of the clock softly beeping for 4:00 am wakes us from our daze.
Her eyes spot something on top of the TV. It's my present from Niisan.
I reach for it and open it. "It's from Niisan." I tell her.
It was a square velvet box, with a note saying. 'For the Prince and Princess, a promise.'
Inside were two matching silver rings. I take one out and notice it was engraved Princess. Honda San takes the other out and reads out loud "Prince."
I think I'm going to die of embarrassment.
I try to think of something to say to lighten the suddenly awkward mood, but I can't come up with anything. Honda San looks at the ring in her hand with a gaze so fierce that I'm not sure that I can say anything.
"They're beautiful." Her voice reduced to a soft whisper, "What does the other one say?"
"Princess." I manage, "It's a promise ring."
"A promise ring?" She echoes.
I nod, and then, she does the unthinkable. "For the Prince." She states, blushing magnificently as she takes my hand, sliding the band on my ring finger, holding my eyes with hers.
I can't breath.
I think I'm going to faint.
But somehow between her hypnotic eyes and the amazing feel of her hand in mine, I follow her lead, "And the Princess."
The ring is on her slim finger.
I wonder if she can hear my heart pounding in my chest.
I wonder if I'm awake.
I think I'm going to cry.
In the back of my mind, I question how Niisan knew which ring sizes to get, then I focus that part and every conscious part of me on observing and ingraining every move she makes, every second of this surreal night.
"So we'll move forward, together." It's not a question, but a statement. She intertwines our fingers, the coolness of the silver rings meet each other with a light 'clinck', the sound setting our promise in stone.
"Together." I agree.
"Always." she finishes. "It's a promise." And wraps her other hand around mine.
We didn't go back to sleep. We talked all night, as if catching up on the last few weeks of life. She was more amazing than I've ever seen, because for that night, she was mine. And maybe, if I stop being a coward and take a chance one day, she'll be mine for the rest of my life.
She didn't let go of my hand, and Kyo's name never came up.
It was just us.
The way it always should be.
The way it will always be.
No matter what the future holds for me or her, I now know that it's never too late for us. That even with all the misunderstandings and miscommunication, we'll stay together.
I can't always depend on her to be there for me, because I don't know what the future holds, but I will cherish every moment that I spend with her.
I will become a stronger person someday, and hopefully if she's still here, I will make her as happy as she made me.
It's our promise.
Note to self: In the future, talk to Honda San before agonizing over nothing. Oh, and call Niisan first thing tomorrow.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I love it! *R Junkie smiles widely then gets all-emotional* I think I'll stop writing angst and write waffy yummy fluffy romance for the rest of my life!
I love Yukiru! YUKI X TOHRU! This was inspired by every manga chapter after 60, especially the evil events of chapter 83 and 85 that didn't make it any better!
Thanks to my fellow Yukiru supporter and sister Vidanue for reading and crying with me, are we pathetic or what? ^_^ The hater of all things sappy and gay, my kawaii little brudda! And my dear dear fluffy friend fofo who always puts up with my anime, and most recently; Fruits Basket, obsession as well as my proverbial weirdness and generously read this and 'Fated' for me, thus helping my ego ascend to new heights in the great beyond!
Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome my friend Ashmh to the bottomless pit of eternal worship and obsession that it furuba! YEAH! Of course my love for Yummy Yuki is justified! YUKI IS #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*GROUP HUG* ^_^
Hope everyone's enjoying the holidays! I'm stuck at home, recuperating from surgery…T_T
Let me know what you think!