Disclaimer: Fruits Basket belongs to Natsuki Takaya. I'm not her.
A/N: In light of the recent events, especially chapter 86 of the manga, I was inspired to write a Kyoru one-shot just for a little romance. In case you haven't seen chapter 86, just know that Yuki has likely bowed out of the equation and come to see Tohru only as a mother figure. He recognized that Tohru and Kyo looked at each other with love and seemed to be trying to act as a catalyst for them to get together.
The other important bit of information is that they will be holding a school play, performing Cinderella. The cast is as follows:
Cinderella - Saki Hanajima
The Prince - Kyo
Fairy Godmother - Yuki
Wicked Stepmother - Minami
Evil Stepsister - Tohru
Okay, that said, on with the fic!
Tohru Honda sat at the desk in her room and stared at the pages before her. She was determined to do well in the school play, even if she wasn't very sure about how to act like an evil stepsister. She didn't think that her mean face was very intimidating. She hadn't even begun to memorize her lines yet because she was so worried that she was going to make a fool of herself just by not having the right expression down. Every time she read over the script, the notes would say [with an evil glare] or [sneering] or [infuriated] and she became self-conscious about getting it right.
Biting her lip in concern, Tohru stood up from her desk and walked over to look in the mirror above the vanity that Shigure had bought for her for Christmas. She wasn't sure that her outfit was intimidating enough. A flowery yellow dress wasn't very scary, and the matching ribbons in her hair, the ones Yuki had given her, weren't stepsister material, either. Frowning, Tohru unraveled the ribbons and laid them on her vanity. Then she looked to her closet door where her costume hung by its hanger over the top of the door. Ayame had made it for her very quickly, although she had no idea that he was going to give it to her at all. He must have remembered her measurements from her other dress.
With a blush at the thought of how spoiled she was by the Sohma family, Tohru reached up and took the long emerald green gown down and slipped the hanger over her head so that the dress hung in front of her body. She had seen her mother do that hundreds of times when they had gone shopping together, although her mom never bought many of the dresses that she held up to herself. When Tohru looked in the mirror, it appeared that she was actually wearing the gown. It was really quite beautiful. This was the outfit that she would wear for the royal ball scene. Ayame had told her that he was going to make her two more for the beginning and end of the play, but she could possibly imagine accepting such extravagant gifts.
Dress in place, Tohru put her hands to her hair and scrunched it up behind her head to mimic the upswept style that Hana had promised to do for her on the day of the performance. Somewhat more confident now that she looked the part, Tohru concentrated on her face in the mirror. She began trying out her wicked expressions, pulling her eyebrows together and forcing the corners of her mouth down. She thought she might look pretty evil.
"What are you doing?"
Tohru spun around, her hands slipping from her hair so that it hung back down and her face melting into one of blushing surprise. An orange head was staring at her through the door, which was slightly ajar, and it looked to be quite confused. "Kyo! I…well…I was practicing. For the play! I was trying to look like the evil stepsister." Kyo opened the door the rest of the way and stepped into her room, crossing his arms and meeting her eyes with a flat look. "Do you want to see it?! I think I can do it now!" Tohru felt very confident about her evil look and showed it to Kyo.
She certainly wasn't expecting him to start laughing. His reaction puzzled her. "Kyo? Is it not scary enough? How about this?" She made the face again, this time baring her teeth and trying at a snarl.
Kyo kept laughing. "You're really bad at that, you know," he finally spit out. "You look like a ferocious chipmunk."
"Oh." Tohru felt defeated. The floor suddenly became interesting as she thought about how miserably she had failed. If she made Kyo laugh with her face, she was going to ruin the whole play.
"Hey, don't get all upset." Kyo was visibly worried when she lifted her head to meet his gaze. "Damn it! What are you sad about now?"
"I just want to get it right," she squeaked out. "I think I'm going to fail at being the evil stepsister, and then everyone will be disappointed in me and the play won't be good."
Kyo's fiery eyes lit up at her words. "If you think like that you will fail. Here, try to do it like this instead." Tohru watched as Kyo gave her a truly angry look. It was a bit frightening to see him piercing her with hate-filled eyes and she knew that she was cringing. "What's wrong?" he asked her.
"You just look so angry, Kyo. I'm not sure I can do that."
The sly smile reformed on his face and he appeared pleased. "Sure you can. It's easy. You just have to think of something you hate. I only have to think of that damn rat!" At those words the evil eye came back.
Tohru searched her brain for something that she hated. She knew that she didn't hate any people so she tried to think of things that other people said that they despised, like homework or tests or jobs or cold weather. None of those things were that bad to her, though. Kyo seemed to be bored and he started tapping his foot while he waited. Suddenly she came up with it. "I know what to think about!"
"The curse. I hate that you all have to suffer through a curse!"
Kyo's eyes widened until they were nearly round. "Uh…okay," he said slowly. "Well, I guess just think of that then."
He looked taken aback by her choice, but Tohru tried it out anyway. She thought about the curse and how it made them all suffer, like Momiji and his mother not wanting to be with him and Rin and how Akito had hurt her, and Yuki losing his friends as a child. Then she thought of Kyo himself. While she looked at him standing there, she became aware of the pain in the depths of his eyes. It was so unfair what the curse did to him. He had to live through his mother's suicide and his father's neglect and the awful true form that haunted him. She reached a pinnacle of emotion and immediately burst into tears, not filled with hate any longer but rather a mountain of despair.
"Now what's wrong?! What happened? Why are you crying?" Kyo seemed so concerned about her, when he was the one that she wanted to worry for.
"I'm sorry, Kyo," she said, wiping the tears away. After the initial outburst she had regained control and the crying had stopped. "It's just that the curse, it makes me so sad. I can't help thinking about all of the pain that you all have, that you have."
His face softening, Kyo hesitantly reached out and wiped the last tear away, then pulled his hand back as if it burned. "Think about something else, then. You don't have to worry about me. What about Yuki? Maybe thinking about him will make you have an evil look, too."
Tohru realized that Kyo was trying to cheer her up by making a joke and she giggled, making him smile in turn. "I'll think of something," she reassured him. "How about you? Are you almost done memorizing your lines?"
Shrugging, Kyo turned his head to the side. "I guess. It's kinda hard to learn them without help, though, and I'm definitely not going to practice with the psychic after school." He shivered. "It's bad enough having to act it out with her there. I don't know how you're friends with that weirdo," he said, turning his head back.
Tohru laughed. Kyo and Hana weren't exactly close. She knew that Kyo was a little scared of her friend. Most people seemed to be. "I can help you," she told him enthusiastically. "I can read for the other parts so that you know your cues better."
"What are you kiddies up to?" a voice asked from the hallway. "Ah, young love is so sweet!" Shigure clasped his hands in front of his chest and batted his eyes in their direction.
Furiously, Kyo stormed over to the door that Shigure was leaning on and opened it abruptly, causing his older cousin to fall flat on his face. "Go away, you dumb dog!"
"Kyo-kyo is so mean!" A melodramatic Shigure stood back up, winked at Tohru, and walked off down the hall, calling back, "You two don't do anything I would do."
Tohru still stood a bit stunned when Kyo stormed over to her, gruffly grabbed her hand, and dragged her out of the room, briefly pausing to snatch the script from her desk and to let her re-hang her green dress on the closet door. "If we're doing this, it's gonna be in a place that he won't hear us! Or that damn rat!" She let him lead her through the house and outside, over to the ladder that led up to the roof.
"You go first. If I go, you'll probably fall and die or something." Kyo's tone was back to his characteristic angry tone.
"Okay." Tohru climbed up to the roof as fast as she could, not wanting to annoy Kyo by being slow. Her foot slipped once, but Kyo had caught it and given her an 'I told you so' look before she continued the climb. Sending herself up and over, Tohru scooted over to their normal spot on the tiles and waited for Kyo to join her and hand her the script that he had stuffed into his cargo pocket. She had climbed up that ladder so many times without his help, but it was kind of nice to know that he was looking out for her.
Bracing her feet on the sloping roof, Tohru leaned over her knees and held the script out before her, flipping to the first page. "Ah, Kyo, do you want to start at the beginning? 'Once upon a time there lived a-'"
"That's the narrator's part. You don't have to read that," Kyo snapped. "Skip ahead to where the Prince has his first lines. Page sixteen."
Obediently, Tohru found the page and skimmed it until she saw where the Prince first spoke to Cinderella. "Mmm, okay, Kyo, I'll be Cinderella in this part. Oh, wait, actually you have to say the first line."
"I know. 'Would you care to dance?'"
"'Thank you, yes.' Um, now they dance for a long time and then the bells ring and Cinderella runs away."
"Yeah, this part is easy," Kyo told her. She was surprised to see that his face was flushed, and he was looking away from her towards the forest. "'Wait, wait, I didn't catch your name! Oh, what's this? A glass slipper? It must belong to that fair maiden.'"
Tohru clapped her hands excitedly, drawing Kyo's shocked attention back to her. "You are so good that this, Kyo! No wonder they picked you to be Prince Charming. Hana will be a lucky Cinderella!" She could just imagine how perfect the play would be with Hana as the elegant heroine and Kyo doing his dashing prince. It was a role she had never thought of him in before, but he was very good at it. Dreamily, she stared up at the stars and pictured what the play would be like.
"Uh, are we gonna do this or not? I'd like to get it over with."
She knew her cheeks were pink with embarrassment as she smiled at her irritated companion. "Yes! Okay, let's see…. In the next part the Prince talks to his faithful servant and his parents and tells them about his plan to find the girl. 'Your Highness, is it wise to marry a girl based only on one night's dancing?'" she read in what she hoped sounded like the voice of an aged retainer in a royal family.
Kyo met her reading with a chuckle. "What was that?" he laughed.
"Was it not very good? I tried to sound like an old man."
Tohru watched as Kyo leaned closer to her to look at the script over her shoulder. She felt nervous for some reason, with his head so close to hers. "Nope, I don't see anywhere where it says in the script that the old guy should sound like a girl with a funny voice," he teased.
She had to laugh back. "All right. I'll just read in my normal voice. I don't think that the Prince should have to laugh at his servant."
"Hey, just be relieved that you only have to be the evil stepsister. If you had to play that guy then you'd probably really ruin the show. At least you have a chance with that mean face you make," he chortled, looking her directly in the eyes.
Tohru realized just how close her face was to Kyo's and blushing they both backed away. Kyo cleared his throat and Tohru quickly found her place on the page again, this time reading the lines in a regular tone. Kyo remembered his line and they continued.
After finishing that scene they skipped ahead to the part where Tohru was supposed to read for her own role and lock Cinderella in the attic.
"You did pretty good," he told her once they had finished her part. He had interrupted their reading just before the very last scene where Cinderella and the Prince had their happy ending. "You got the lines down at least."
Tohru brushed her hair back behind her ears and frowned. "Not really. I still have to learn them without having to glance at the page. And I have to know how to move around and do gestures and expressions while I'm talking, too. I'm not sure if I'll be ready."
Kyo scratched the back of his head and mumbled under his breath, "You always say stuff like that, but you always do fine. Don't freak out so much." Suddenly he changed the subject. "How are they gonna do the shoe thing anyway? I mean, isn't the stepsister supposed to have huge feet or something, so they don't fit in the glass slipper? Yours are really small," he said, pointing at them. "They look smaller than the psychic's."
Tohru hadn't really thought about that. "I'm not sure. Maybe we'll just pretend that my foot is too big. I don't know if the audience will be able to tell."
"Probably not." Kyo shut his mouth with a click and kicked at some of the moss that was growing on the roof.
A smile formed on Tohru's lips and she tilted her head to stare at the beloved boy before her. Kyo was so kind in his own way. "Do you want to finish the play now?" she asked. Despite her attempted professional approach at reading lines with him, she couldn't help the hotness spreading through her skin in what she knew was a deep blush. This was the final part, the part that had the kiss. Of course they were just reading the lines, not acting them out, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking.
"Yeah." His answer was curt and he sat upright, his spine rigid and his head facing directly in front of him. The look on his face was one of pure focus, just like he looked when he did his marital arts stances every morning.
"'I thought that my prince would never come.'"
"'I will always come for you. You are my true love.'"
Tohru looked over to Kyo at his last words. For some reason they were choked out, and now he was facing completely away from her. Bewildered, she continued to read. "'You are my true love, as well, Prince.'"
"'Will you marry me, Cinderella?'"
Again Tohru looked up. Maybe Kyo wasn't sure about that last line. He said it in such a cautious manner. "Yes, Prince Charming. I will.'" That was it. The last line. "I can't believe we finished so quickly, Kyo. You did such a great job! You know all of your lines."
"That's not the whole thing," he said cryptically, finally swinging his head back in her direction. His eyes looked different. They almost glowed with intensity.
Tohru was utterly confused. "Ah, yes, that's the whole thing." She looked back down on the page and read the remaining stage direction. 'Narrator: And they lived happily ever after. [Prince Charming and Cinderella kiss as the curtain falls].' "'And they lived happily ever after'?" she asked timidly.
Kyo swallowed heavily. She watched as his shaking hand reached up to barely touch her warm cheeks. "No," he said, bringing his face closer.
It reminded her of the time that he had sat up on the roof with her and told her that he would be there for her if she got a boyfriend. It reminded her of when he had held her tight the morning after his transformation. It reminded her of the way that he would grab her hand or touch her in a most roughly gentle way. As his face inched closer to hers she knew her eyes grew wide and her cheeks grew red and her breathing grew shorter. Everything slowed and shook. Tohru felt caught in the middle of an earthquake or a tidal wave.
Her whole world crashed back to life when his lips finally bore down on hers. He was soft and sweet and awkward and wonderful. She could feel that his entire body was shaking nervously, and she thought she might be herself, but Kyo didn't need to be scared. His kiss was shockingly welcomed. Reaching up to his cheek to copy his action, she made contact just as he broke away from her. His eyes were wide and shimmering as if he was frightened of what he had done.
"Kyo?" she whispered in a tight voice.
His mouth worked closed and then open again, the rest of his face unchanging. He still gave her his wide-eyed stare. "Yeah?"
Tohru let out the breath she had been holding and felt her mouth turn up into a giddy smile. She had never even considered kissing Kyo before. Of course she had often thought about what a first kiss would be like, usually in the safe privacy of her room, but the boy on the other end had never had a face. Now he did. Kyo had always been very special to her, just like Yuki had, but now that Kyo had taken the place of the mystery man of her dreams, she couldn't put anyone else in his place. Kyo fit so well there. He made her heart flutter and her knees weak and all of the other cliché things that a boy was supposed to do. "Thank you," she said simply.
Still his face didn't change. "Uh huh," came a stunned answer.
Ever so slowly, Kyo regained movement and shook his head vigorously as if to awaken himself from a trance. When he met her eyes again he let his mouth break into an uncontrollable grin and swiftly came back down to kiss her again, this time with less hesitation and more gusto, putting both hands to the side of her face and letting her kiss him back and bury her hands in his orange hair.
When Kyo left her the second time, Tohru felt even more lightheaded. Kyo was smiling, flopping himself onto his back and sticking his hands behind his head. Tohru slid over to kneel beside him and he took one hand and pulled her down to lay on his shoulder, out of the range of transformation. "Kyo?" She looked up and he looked down so that they could make eye contact. "I love you," she said with a giggle and a huge smile.
Kyo's cheeks darkened to a shade of red that she knew would embarrass him, but he didn't seem to care. He choked on her words and gulped a few times. "I-I love you, too," he rushed out.
Closing her eyes to bask in the warmth of her emotions, Tohru was surprised to feel Kyo tapping on her shoulder. "Hey," he said worriedly, scowling at her. "You have to switch roles with Saki. There's no way in hell I'm kissing that freak!"
Giggling in delight, Tohru covered her mouth and blinked at Kyo. "Would you kiss me if I were Cinderella?" she asked in what she hoped was a flirtatious manner. Being with Kyo always made her happy.
"What do you think?" Without warning he rolled onto his side and settled his face above hers. "Don't answer that," he mumbled, and kissed her again.
A/N: The fluffiness is blinding me! Haha, hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are much appreciated, of course ^_^