Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Fruits Basket or anything pertaining to the manga or anime. The characters, places, etc... are not mine, nor do I lay any claim on them. This is not an attempt to infringe on any rights or copyrights, as this is purely for entertainment.

Authors Note: I am a very unaccomplished author, and mistakes are apparent in my work, even from the beginning. I apologize for my poor attempt at this fan-fiction and I hope this does not offend anyone in any way. Please excuse my inability to remain 'in character' and follow a guided plot. I often find myself drifting, and making little sense. That same lack of sense however causes me refrain from backtracking and fixing the problems.

--This work of fiction was inspired by both the anime, and what infinitesimal bits I know of the manga. In our minds, we always attempt to make up for anything we might perceive as 'wrong' or 'unfair', and unconsciously create a solution, arming ourselves with the alternate. We don't always seek a 'happy ending', but we often seek justification. This, I suppose, is my attempt at justification, on some level. Also, I am horrible with titles, and so I name them from theme. : )

Title: 'Autumn'

Author: Evie Gunn

Rating: R [rated for language and adult/sexual situations]

Series: Fruits Basket

Pairings: Haru x Kyou

Genre: ?

Archive: If you like... just tell me where. I'm inclined to be a pessimist, so I doubt anyone would want to, but hey...

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Autumn

Prologue: Back to the Beginning

Ten years, and a thousand miles of aimless drifting only brought me back to the beginning.

Ashes, ashes, and they all fall down, the crumbling remnants of a bridge I burned a long time ago. My mind sang like a child, spinning tunes around until they became a chant, humming through my head like a simple rhyme that was determined to drown out any shred of sanity or control that I had over my own mind and body. Churning blackness, like the weeping warmth of a charred and blackened house that had once been a peaceful home. Seething, raging, hissing; my ears were filled with the spiteful accusations that were laced through every aspect of my life, and like a weak and sickly child, I'm turned over and put to rest while another half of my soul wakes to lash out.

Black. That's what they call it, a label, a name for a dark demon half that they blame me for. In their hands, they molded me; but they won't see that. People always blame someone else.

I'm reminded of a fiery seven year-old; his red eyes glaring out like ruby lanterns from a lonely corner of his own darkness. Even at six years old, I knew they made him too. One word, one glance, and his ever-present embers would roar into a fire, energy and emotion crackling like electricity. It was different from my own malady. Where my demon rose and took dominion, like an usurper to a throne, and refused to relinquish its hold by anything but force, his was like the rage of a warrior. His could be calmed, a sword re-sheathed. His was armor, while mine was a weapon. He fought battles, I fought a war.

Similar. A word, like a curse, labeled both of us. They called us monsters. Hours and hours of my existence, tracing the shape of my life, his life, trying to reshape either of us into something other than what they believed we were. I feared they were right, about me, about him... In the end, I realized they were right, but it didn't matter; they didn't matter. Similar. Monsters... We were both human, undeniably human; with our feelings, our suffering, our joys and waning hopes and dreams. We were both Sohma's, cursed with a second half that forced us to keep our distance from those who would push us away if they could feel that secret crawling beneath the surface. We were both monsters. His own singular hell, one that ripped through him and reshaped his body into something hideous. My own singular hell, one that twisted my mind, churning my soul and reshaping it into something equally hideous. His change, his monster, was outside, mine was inside. Similar. Monsters.

I suppose that's why it was so easy to abandon him at the time. We all desperately search for the most obviously beautiful thing to contrast our ugliness. We desire those things we believe would balance us, or overshadow that which we wish to hide. Even so young, I craved, hungered for that superficial solace. So I abandoned him to the chance to follow something beautiful in the hope that my ugliness would be ignored. You never see shadows in light so bright.

His fire only blazed, it only served to burn him more, and the ash choked him like a blanket of heat, and his hate raged deeper. I was too young to understand such betrayal, too young to remember that only a moment before I wore similar betrayal like a crown for my demon. My mind quietly tucked away all of the pain and forgot. He remembered.

Ten years, and a thousand miles of aimless drifting only brought me back to the beginning. And I remembered.

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A/N: Separated Prologue and chapter one. Three people e-mailed me saying 'it would be better' if I separated them like chapters. Sorry for any confusion this causes.