To Melt A Frozen Heart

Hi, minna-san! This is my first time writing a Fruits Basket fic, so please bear with me! Oh, and this fic is timed two years after Kyou showed his true form to Tohru and Yuki. Akito is a male in this fic. I know that he was revealed as a girl in the manga but in the anime it was implied that he's a guy. This fic will follow that anime, and be AU for those who are following the manga.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fruits Basket or any of its characters. I wish though.

That's all for now. Enjoy, minna-san!

Chapter 1-Meeting

"Someone is out to assassinate Akito."

"WHAT!"

Hatori's seemingly dry remark had caused a huge uproar.

Ayame and Shigure stared at him.

"Are you sure, Hatori?" Shigure's normally cheerful voice was dead serious.

The family doctor of the Souma clan nodded grimly.

"Someone had poisoned his medicine. Fortunately, Akito had not drunk it. One of his ever present canaries drank a bit of the concoction and apparently keeled over moments later."

There was silence as Shigure and Ayame digested that fact.

Hatori sighed and looked around the room.

They were in Shigure's house. Yuki, Kyou and Tohru were still in school.

Hatori had called upon his two most trustworthy cousins as quickly as possible to tell them of the failed attempt on the life of the family patriarch.

"Why? Why would somebody want to assassinate Akito?" Ayame asked at last.

Hatori shrugged.

"I do not know, but whoever he is, he must be very eager to get rid of Akito to use such underhanded methods."

Shigure sweatdropped.

"Anou…but is there a justified method for assassination?"

Hatori ignored the man and continued.

"I think that he will not stop here. He will probably try again."

"How is Akito taking this unexpected turn of events?"

That was asked by Ayame.

Hatori stared at the silver-haired man.

"He finds it extremely amusing."

Ayame shook his head in exasperation.

'Akito is always like that.' He thought. "He finds the prospect of death amusing, in contrast with living a cursed life. I don't blame him, actually.'

"We cannot have that." Shigure said at last. "We must do something to prevent that."

Hatori nodded.

"We have already stepped up security. Before anything reaches Akito, they are to be thoroughly checked. However," he added grimly. "this is all that we can do. I am afraid that this unknown person might send in a professional assassin. If that happens, whatever we do would be for naught."

Ayame reacted dramatically, as usual.

"We cannot have that happen!" The man waved his hands around frantically. "Akito had so valiantly, okay, albeit unwillingly, sacrificed himself to take the family curse upon himself. The least we can do is to let him live a peaceful life!"

'If I know Akito, he'd welcome death instead.' Hatori did not voice out his opinion, however.

"In that case, we must fight fire with fire."

Ayame and Hatori looked at Shigure, who had been silent for quite sometime.

"What is your idea?" Hatori asked.

Shigure looked at his best friends cum cousins.

And smirked.

"We hire an assassin."


Yume got on the computer and logged onto the Internet. She was extremely curious to see that she had mail. Opening the mail, she glanced through the contents quickly.

'Interesting request. This might prove to be amusing. I will take it,' she thought before replying to the mail.

Hai, I accept this assignment. You can expect my arrival.

Dream

Clicking on the 'send' button, Yume quickly deleted all traces of the message and shut down her computer.

There were a lot of things to be done before she could meet her client.


"I can't believe that it was so easy. She agreed!" Ayame blathered on with excitement.

Hatori kept silent but stared at Shigure.

After Shigure had come out with his suggestion of hiring an assassin to act as a bodyguard for Akito, Hatori was hard-pressed to agree.

It was a good idea.

However, Hatori did not think that it was a good idea for Ayame to do the hiring.

Sure, the silver-haired man had some contacts due to his very unique occupation, but if his contacts are as screwed up as Ayame is, then they might as well be arranging Akito's funeral already.

Hatori could feel a migraine coming.

"What did she say?" Shigure came out of the kitchen with cup of tea in hand.

Tohru, Kyou and Yuki were also there. They had all heard of what happened (courtesy of Shigure's big mouth) and were just as eager for some answers.

"Hai, Ayame-san, what did this lady assassin say?" Tohru asked. Her eyes sparkled with excitement.

"I don't really give a damn." Kyou said.

For once, Yuki agreed with the cat.

"Hai, for all I care, Akito can go to hell and rot."

Hatori frowned at the younger Soumas.

"Anou…she said that she'd meet us tomorrow at the family property." Ayame said cheerfully.

"I don't think that we should let everyone know of the fact that we have hired a bodyguard for Akito. For all we know, the mastermind of the assassination attempt could be from our own clan." Shigure piped.

Hatori wanted very much to dispute that but Shigure might be correct.

But why would one of their own do that?

"Okay, then." Ayame agreed, and Hatori's thoughts were broken. "We shall bring Yume in under a guise or something."

"Yume?" Shigure echoed. "She is called 'dream'?"

The man started laughing.

Yuki, Kyou and Tohru sweatdropped.

Hatori was starting to have serious doubts over the credibility of this so-called assassin.

Ayame looked thoughtfully at his cousins.

"Yume is her nickname. I don't really know of her real name; nobody does. She was introduced to me through one of my more prominent clients, so I think that she should be quite good at what she does."

Shigure stopped laughing but was still grinning.

"We will see about that, won't we?" He sobered. "Anyway, Ayame, have you told her about our family secret?"

Ayame looked horrified then.

"Shimatta! I forgot about that!" He wailed.

Shigure started to laugh again.

Hatori was really having a pounding headache now.

How the hell is the woman going to protect Akito now?


Yume looked thoughtfully at the data in front of her.

'This is more interesting than I first thought. The Souma family seemed to have a lot of skeletons in their closet.'

Forest green eyes gleamed with mischief and amusement.

'Fascinating.'


Akito was sitting on the porch outside his room. He was leaning against the wall and as usual, was dressed in traditional Japanese kimono. His clothes were disheveled and rumpled.

'An assassination attempt…'

A canary flew to his offered finger. Akito stroked the fragile bird.

'Whoever he is…'

The bird flew away.

'He should have tried harder.'


Ayame, Hatori and Shigure were anxiously awaiting Yume's arrival.

"What did you tell Akito, Hatori?"

Hatori sighed. He was still not sure if this hare-brained scheme would work.

"I told him that I have hired a nurse to look after him. He did not look suspicious."

Shigure nodded and Ayame glowed with happiness.

"This is very good! I can get Mine to help me get a nurse costume from my…ITAI! What was that for!" The silver-haired man gave Hatori a hurt expression.

Hatori looked straight ahead.

"Please don't push things any further."

Ayame grumbled but he stopped trying to advertise his clothing.

He did not really have any time to do that as at that moment, a sports car drove into view.

Shigure whistled appreciatively as the sexy black Ferrari slinked to a halt in front of them.

The driver cut the engine and opened the car door.

Bells tinkled.

The Mabudatchi trio stared as a girl who looked barely old enough to drive stepped out from the shadows of the car interior.

To say that she was pretty was an understatement.

The petite-looking girl was dressed demurely in an elegant long-sleeved white blouse and ankle-length skirt. Her long red hair fluttered in the wind. Bright green eyes dominated an aristocratic face.

"Anou…" Shigure ventured. "Are you lost, lady?"

That earned him a whack on the head, courtesy of Ayame.

"Baka." He called his cousin. "This is Yume."

He bowed to the girl and Shigure and Hatori followed suit.

"Konnichiwa, Yume-san." They chorused, or rather, Shigure and Ayame chorused. Hatori was still stunned.

"Konnichiwa, minna-san." The girl returned the courtesy. "Ayame-san had told me everything. I look forward to working with you all."

Shigure was looking starry-eyed. What a delicious husky voice!

"Anou…let me give you a tour of the Souma property."

"What about the man whom I am supposed to protect?"

Hatori answered.

"We will introduce you to him later, Yume-san. For now, Shigure, the man who offered to show you the Souma premises, will help you to settle in. We will take care of your car."

Yume nodded.

"Hai, arrigato. It was nice meeting the three of you."

Without further ado, Shigure escorted Yume into the house.

The remaining pair watched as Yume and Shigure disappeared from sight.

Then Hatori started to demand some answers.

"How could you hire a teenage girl to protect Akito? The chit looks barely old enough to protect herself!"

Ayame frowned at Hatori.

"The chit, as you so kindly called her, is nineteen, old enough to do what she wants."

Hatori reared back in surprise.

"Nani! She looked barely sixteen!"

Ayame shrugged.

"She is nineteen, two years younger than Akito."

Hatori shook his head.

"I don't know if this will work, but since I have no choice, we will continue with this plan." He muttered. "Let's hope that this Yume is as good as you think."


"Here we are, Yume-san! This will be your room! It is right beside Akito's."

Yume explored as Shigure carted in her two luggages.

The room was in truth an apartment by itself. It was very large, and branched off to form a tiny galley-like kitchen, a living room, a small toilet and an adequately sized bedroom.

All in all, things were looking very satisfying for her.

Yume nodded her thanks as Shigure emerged from her bedroom after depositing her stuff there.

"Are we going to meet Akito now?"

Shigure looked uncomfortable.

'Shimatta,' he thought. 'Yume-san looked so innocent and fragile, like Tohru-chan. Akito would swallow her alive.'

"Anou…" he stalled. "I think that Ayame needs to give you some more instructions."

Yume nodded but her sharp green eyes did not miss the pitying look that Shigure gave her. She wondered what kind of person Akito is like.

Ayame and Hatori came in then, much to the relief of Shigure.

"Ayame! You wanted to tell her something before we introduce her to Akito, ne?"

The silver-haired man nodded.

"Hai."

He turned to Yume.

"Yume-san, your real motive here must not be made known to anyone else other than the three of us here. You cannot even tell Akito. For all he and the world know, you are just a nurse whom Hatori had hired to look after him. At the same time, we'd like your help in investigating to find out who is the mastermind behind the assassinations. Is that okay for you?"

"I understand; now, can I meet this Akito? I am very anxious to meet my client."

Shigure, Ayame and Hatori looked at each other uneasily.

"You see…" Ayame said again, this time a tad uncomfortably. "Sometimes Akito has…mood swings, and we sort of put up with him as he is the family patriarch…"

Yume nodded.

"So he is a little temperamental?"

Shigure and Ayame nodded quickly. Yume didn't know what to make of this. It made her wonder why three full-grown men would cause to be so wary over their sick patriarch. It made her wonder what kind of person Akito was.

"Sou ka."

Yume walked to the door.

"Let's go and meet him now. The three of you have aroused my interest greatly."


"Akito." Hatori greeted the man.

Akito was reclined by the porch. He sat up slowly in acknowledgement of Hatori's presence.

"The girl that I have told you about; she is here."

"Send her in."

Hatori got up from his kneeling position and went to the door. He gestured for the trio to enter.

Yume walked in first, with Ayame and Shigure flanking her.

Her eyes were immediately drawn to the sitting figure that was facing away from her.

Akito heard bells.

The soft tinkling stopped when Yume stopped moving.

"Akito-san."

He stiffened slightly as he heard the husky voice calling out his name in greeting.

Akito composed himself and put on a placid expression before turning to face the group.

He took in the girl's exquisite face with no outward reaction.

"What is your name?"

Yume was staring at Akito openly.

The man was like nothing she had expected. She had predicted some things correctly, though. Indeed, he was very lean and pale.

But what she had not expected was his face.

He was very beautiful.

A mop of unruly dark hair that Yume itched to touch.

An arrogant patrician face.

Sardonic chocolate-brown eyes.

Akito looked like a dark prince.

A fallen angel.

"What is wrong with this girl? Is she dumb?"

An angel who had just insulted her openly.

Yume snapped out of her thoughts to see Akito staring at her with blatant disgust.

She glanced to her side at Hatori, who was glaring at her.

"Anou…Hajimemashite. Atashi wa Yume desu."

A raised eyebrow.

"Yume."

Yume tried hard to suppress the shudders that shook her body at his voice.

What was wrong with her today?

"What a stupid name."

The redhead stiffened.

'Yume no baka! This is work! Why are you thinking of stupid things like that now, of all the times!' a voice reprimanded coolly.

And it was right.

Time to work.

Deliberately, the girl let the daydreams fade from her eyes until there was nothing left but an irate green stare.

"Akito-san. I am here to take care of you, not to stand here for you to insult." The voice was cool and Yume was proud of it.

Ayame and Shigure winced.

Hatori shook his head. Before the day ends, they were going to have to look for a new bodyguard.

Akito's eyes widened.

Before Yume could comprehend what was happening, Akito was behind her.

And savagely pulling her hair.

"What did you say?" Akito's voice was threatening now.

Yume gritted her teeth and forced tears of pain back. She had too much training to cry out now.

Shigure and Ayame rushed up to try to separate the two but Hatori stopped them.

"Let's see what happens."

"Demo…" Ayame protested.

"You brought her here. You should be prepared to pay the consequences." Was Hatori's sharp reply.

Ayame shut up.

They looked on helpless, as Yume shut her eyes, seemingly with resignation.

Akito tightened his hold on the girl.

"I asked, What did you say!"

Ayame did not think that he wants to see anymore. Shigure was staring guiltily at the floor. Only Hatori was looking on emotionlessly.

And he was surprised when Yume opened her eyes again.

They were not filled with tears.

Rage.

They were filled with rage.

"Akito-san."

Akito heard her.

"I told you that I am here to look after you, not to serve as your punching bag. Further more," she added. "What kind of respected family patriarch would hurt a woman?"

Yume's voice was still calm and collected, as if the two of them had been doing nothing but discussing the weather for the past half an hour.

Ayame and Shigure looked up in shock.

Akito's eyes narrowed with anger.

Turning the girl around, he backhanded her. Yume hit the ground painfully.

"AKITO!" Hatori yelled. He made a move to go to Yume, but the girl stopped him.

"Iie." Yume stood up slowly.

The room was silent except for Akito's heavy breathing.

Yume looked up at last.

Ayame and Shigure gasped when they saw the thin trail of blood that trickled from Yume's mouth.

Akito's eyes widened with shock.

'The girl, she is still not defeated.'

Yume's eyes were not downcast.

They were a frozen green now, and the arrogance and pride in them were astounding.

"Akito-san, please stop this childish act now." Yume's tone was civilized, polite.

Akito could not believe it.

"Naze?" he whispered at last. "Why don't you just CRY!"

Yume looked at Akito.

"Why should I cry, Akito-san?" she asked. "Why should I shed my tears for your pleasure? I have my pride, Akito-san, and if you think that a few harsh words and some beatings could take it away, I'd say that you are too naïve." Yume spat blood out of her mouth.

"My pride is the most important thing that I have, and nothing can take that away. It'd do you good to remember that, Akito-san."

Akito froze.

All he wanted to do now was what Yume had said. He wanted to beat the arrogance out of the girl.

'But then, it won't work with her.' He thought angrily. 'She was right. She had won this time around."

Akito composed himself. Slowly, the harsh breathing leveled, became calmer.

"Hatori. I am tired. I'd like to rest. Take this impertinent girl out of my sight."

Yume did not need to be told twice. She strode out of the room with her head held high.

Ayame and Shigure followed her out.

Hatori waited for everyone to vacate the room before he spoke again.

"Akito. About the girl…"

"Keep her."

Hatori looked up.

Akito was back at the porch.

"Are you sure about that?"

Akito nodded imperceptibly.

Hatori left.

Akito looked at the sky.

'An unexpected girl; so spirited. I hate to say it, but I admire her guts.'

He closed his eyes.

'I'd have fun breaking her.'

Sensuous brown eyes opened again.

"This is not over yet."

"Yume."


Yume walked straight to her room. She looked neither left nor right, but she could see people pointing at her.

"Yume-san!"

Honestly, she did not give a damn.

"Yume-san!"

She just hated to be the center of attention.

"YUME-SAN!"

Yume stopped.

She turned to see Shigure and Ayame hurrying towards her.

"Yume-san, daijoubu ka?"

Yume nodded at Shigure, who had asked the question.

"Hai, daijoubu."

"Yume-san, gomen nasai, for Akito's behavior. We'd understand if you are going to abandon this job." Ayame and Shigure bowed in apology.

Yume was surprised.

"Nani? Why are you two apologizing? And when did I say that I was leaving?"

Ayame and Shigure looked at each other.

"You mean you are still going to stay after what Akito did to you?"

Now, Yume was affronted.

She looked left and right, and when she saw no one, she whispered.

"Are you two bakas? I am a professional assassin, not some puny onna. What Akito did to me is slight compared to the other injuries that I had sustained before."

The two Soumas gaped at her.

"People beat you up all the time!"

Yume rolled her eyes.

"Iie, but getting injured is my occupational hazard. What I am trying to say is that I am perfectly all right. Things like this won't fall me that easily."

"In fact," she smirked.

She had absolutely no idea how scary she looked at that moment, with that bloodstained mouth and all.

"The battle is just beginning."

Shigure and Ayame shuddered.

They feared for Akito.


"Itai…"

Yume was in her bathroom. She was accessing the damage that Akito had done to her.

So far, she had a headache due to all the hair-pulling, a tender scalp, a reddened left cheek, a delicate split-lip, and an aching posterior.

"Itai…"

"Yume."

Startled, Yume turned to see Hatori standing at the doorway of the bathroom.

"Hatori, what are you doing here?"

Hatori looked at Yume with hooded eyes.

'Nani?' She thought as she looked down.

And realized that she was only clad in a towel.

Yume turned bright red.

To her surprise, Hatori walked into the bathroom, nearer to her.

Yume found herself backing up until she felt the sink counter against her back.

Hatori raised his hand, and Yume reared back slightly.

She closed her eyes.

But what she felt was only a feather light touch on her left cheek.

Peeking with one eye, she saw Hatori drop his hand and walk backwards a few steps.

"Gomen, Yume-san, but your cheek looks slightly swollen. I have brought some medication for you to apply." Hatori indicated the small tubes of creams in his other hand.

"Sou ka." Yume said as she took the medications from him. "Arrigato, Hatori."

Hatori nodded.

"If you apply them tonight, the swelling should go down by tomorrow."

He turned to leave.

"Thanks again." Yume called after the doctor just as he was about to leave her room.

Hatori halted.

"You were very brave to stand up against Akito like that."

Yume started at his words.

She was about to ask exactly what he meant by that but he was already gone.


Okay, chapter one finished! Please pardon my horrible grammar and spelling! Arrigato gozaimasu!

Hope that the Fruits Basket characters are not too OOC. As you might have guessed, my story is not going to be centered on the main characters of Fruits Basket (In case you don't know who, mainly, Yuki, Kyou and Tohru.) It would be more focused on the other members of the Souma family, namely the 'three musketeers' and Akito! However, Yuki, Kyou and Tohru will make a few appearances here and there.

One more thing, guess with whom will Yume end up with?

Nothing much to write other than to please, please, review this chapter! Onegai! I wanna know what the readers think. Arrigato gozaimasu!