I didn't know how to describe the sensation I felt in the pit of my stomach every time I saw her, except that it felt as if I had swallowed a million butterflies. A tickling, tingling sensation promoting the moods of apprehension, fear, and excitement. She could smile at me as she would to anyone and it still somehow felt special to me. As if she was smiling only for me; only to me.

It was a stupid thing to think, I knew that, but even so... I couldn't stop thinking about her. She seemed to always be on my mind. It infuriated me at first and at times even now, but I cannot win against her. I am weak when it comes to love.

Love... A word I scoffed at, a thing I did not believe in, and yet, an emotion that found me and hasn't left. To deny it is useless; I've tried, but to no avail. When I'm around her I feel different, but it's a good different. I'm at peace with myself. She accepts me for who I truly am-- both as man and as beast. Even after witnessing that hideous form and smelling that rotten smell she still is able to smile at me with sincerity.

But never love.

In part that is my fault. I may not deny to myself that what I feel for her is love, but I cannot admit it to others. She is too pure of heart and soul; I can't touch her. It hurts, but even if I could hold her in my arms I would not be the one she'd chose. No, Yuki would win, as he always does.

It is one more bitter resentment I hold for the rat. His lure and charm are traits I secretly wish I had, but don't. At times I even wish for his ignorance, but that happens to be one of his traits that I despise so I suppose that would make me a hypocrite. However, though bitter I may be, I think there may be one trait that we share...

Those damn butterflies.

He gazes at her with love and becomes as flustered as I do when she worries about him, except, of course, in a much more calm and collected manner. I'm the exact opposite, spewing fountains of words and accusations that I don't mean. I am rude, snappy, and cruel and I hate it. Even though I'm trying I can't seem to change. I can't tell if she's just plain stupid or really that sincere to keep being nice to me; to keep being affectionate in that caring manner of hers.

The simplest thing can make her smile and most of the time I can't understand why. What is there to smile about? No one can be /that/ cheerful... And so I wonder, does she have a better poker face than that bastard Shigure? Or, is she true to herself? I ask myself this because there have been times when she's broke down in front of me; as if a mask just seems to crumble and what is left is a scared, little girl.

I do not know how to deal with people, let alone girls. I do not know what the right things to say are or how I'm supposed to help them, but with her... I would do anything to help her. I may be bad at it, as Yuki constantly reminds me, but I will try. When I see her in that frail state the butterflies activate again, but in a retching manner. I want to see her smile, as goofy as it is. I want her to be genuinely happy.

I will support her when she gets a boyfriend, even if she chooses Yuki... Because I want her to be happy. She had been a light that pushed away the darkness, much like my master had when I was a child, but she... She showed me that there was so much more to people than cruelty and selfishness. Over time I have slowly learned how to live because of her; my light during darkness.


I turned around surprised to be caught off guard. Then again, she /always/ seemed to catch me off guard. She smiled, hands clasped behind her back and as I looked into those aqua green eyes I felt that tingling sensation in my stomach again. Those butterflies had not died.

"What do you want?" I asked in a slightly irked tone, turning my head just a little to hide the blush that was slowly surfacing. Damn those butterflies and that smile.

Her smile dropped and she bit her lip, darting her eyes around on the ground. Apprehensively I turned around to apologize, but she smiled again and walked closer towards me, hands still behind her back, hiding something. Nervously I eyed her, heart pounding as she neared. The butterflies thrashed around my stomach, some inching their way up my throat.

"I wanted to wish you 'Happy Birthday!'" She whipped out a small blue wrapped box in front of her, mere inches from my face.

I was deeply surprised. /Birthday?/ Oh... Yes, /my/ birthday... It was odd hearing someone wish me such a thing and presenting a present nonetheless. It wasn't something I really celebrated...

"Uh, um... Uh..." Butterflies threatened to spill out my mouth though as I looked at her beaming with pride. I swallowed, trying to force them back down.

I took the box gingerly from her and stared at it. A yellow ribbon was wrapped around it in a perfect bow; that was so like her. She stared at me expectantly, her mind practically screaming to open it. So, I commenced to untie the bow, holding the box in my left hand as I untied it with my right. Upon lifting the lid and sorting through the tissue paper I found a small light orange book... And a darker orange cat on the cover.

"I-I hope you like it... I didn't have much money this month and I wanted to get you something special, but I wasn't sure exactly what to get you, and, uh, um..."

I continued to stare at it. It was a journal.

"D-do you not like it? If you don't like it I'll take it back, it's really no problem at all! I mean, I should have asked if you liked such things, but I knew you liked to read so I thought you might like writing, and--"

"Its fine." I roughly replied to calm her. She bit her lip nervously anyway and the portrait of innocence made me smile.

Warmly and tenderly a different kind of smile graced her features as she looked at me and I looked at her. It was not to last though as a monarch butterfly perched itself on my nose.

"Oh!" The girl gasped, hand raising to her mouth slightly.

I stared down at the butterfly, causing me to go cross-eyed. Damn butterflies. First in my stomach, now on top of my nose. It seemed content there in all it's black and orange glory, humming a low tune. It was an odd sensation feeling a butterfly walk on my nose.

Slowly, the girl inched even closer than she was to gently remove the insect, but managed to trip over a petty stone, "Got ya--ah!"

I dropped the box and caught her arms to keep her from falling, but I hadn't expected to knock heads--

-- And share a kiss.

I felt it as if in slow motion. Her rose petal soft lips tumbled sweetly over mine as I caught her. As she regained her balance we knocked heads and again our lips briefly met. A butterfly kiss.

We stared at each other, both feeling the effects of what we shared, but unsure of them. I still held her arms and she continued to stare into my eyes. I felt a deep blush and so did she as we realized what we had just done.

I let go of her arms quickly, picking up the box to avoid looking her in the eye.

"W-well, I have dinner to make, so, um, I'll, be going i-inside." Flustered she began to quickly walk away, her hands on her cheeks to cool them. I stood up, holding the box.

The butterflies made it hard for me to get the words out, "...T-Tohru!" I finally managed to spit.

The brown haired girl stopped suddenly, slowly turning, almost painfully, to look at me embarrassed. I smiled lovingly at her, but stayed where I was. "Thank you."

Though red, she smiled at me before running inside.

January 8th, 2002



The End.