Pairing: Kyou/Yuki

Rating: PG-13 for safety. I don't want to be blamed for the soiling of the innocent minds of those minors. Yeah, right.

Standard disclaimers apply.

"Are You Man Enough?"

by kaesaku

Prologue: When the Bomb's Been Dropped…

Yuki Sohma never had an enemy at school. Probably because he was popular, but also because he was never mean and he never made fun of anybody that can fit in the loser category. He was not like those stereotypical high school hotshots who will make the life of anyone who listens to punk music a living hell. Yuki had the hearts of everybody. He was, indeed, a prince.

Which is why he can't believe what he was reading.

It was the monthly release of their school's newspaper. Everyone in the cafeteria has one. And judging by the look on their faces, it seems that everyone was turned on the exact page that Yuki was reading. It really wouldn't bother him if it weren't for the fact that those looks were directed at him.

Yuki looked up from reading his newspaper and immediately, everyone pretended to be eating, talking or doing something, however stupid it may be like playing with hair, just so they can avoid the prince's gaze. Even two of his usual lunch mates busied themselves with whatever that was near.

Whatever, meaning anything that is not Yuki.

Nice reactions, he thought annoyingly.

His thoughts betrayed his actions, as he continued to eat his lunch with the usual coolness and calmness that everyone is accustomed to.

Act as if it has not affected you.

He was doing just that until one person loudly spoke what was on everybody's mind.

"Ooh, blind item… 'Wonder who's on…", the culprit cooed. "This has always been my favorite section!" You guys should read this, too!"

"Blind item:

Who is this popular guy

That have captured the hearts

Of almost everyone in school,

Yet have not dated any girl?

Clue: A top student,

A charming classmate,

A dependable friend…

Could it be that the prince

Is actually a princess?",

The culprit read with an exuberant and loud voice for everyone in her table to hear. Actually, a bit too loud since everyone in the cafeteria stopped whatever they're doing to stare at the direction of the voice with disbelief and horror. Not that they hadn't known what the culprit was reading, but more so, because of the culprit herself.

Of all people who might read that aloud, it had to be Tohru Honda.

And to make matters worse, she was sitting on that table.

In front of Yuki Sohma.

Everyone held their breath as they waited for Tohru Honda, the closest friend of the silver-haired boy, to realize the sense of the words she just uttered.

The brown-haired girl slowly placed her newspaper on the table. Her face resembles of total seriousness, as if in deep thought. And then suddenly, her face broke on an easy smile, which turned to a giggle, which then turned to a full-time laugh.

She was laughing.

"Oh my gosh! She is so good at this!" she exclaimed, pointing at the writer's name. "I mean, come on, that was not enough clue! She should have given us the initials of the blind item's first and last names!"

Everyone who managed to hear that could only blink in response.

Tohru started to dig in her lunch. "I love solving this blind item thingies… but this one's really hard, huh?"

When she didn't get an answer, she looked up from her food and noticed that Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima, her other lunch mates, were staring at her.

"What?"

That's when she realized that aside from her two friends, anyone within a 2-meter radius was staring at her.

"What?"

Well, everyone except Yuki who was busy with his food.

Or so they thought.

"Oh, I get it. Is everyone expecting me to actually solve that now?" she flashed a sweet grin.

"Well, don't worry ,everyone," she said as she cupped her hands on her mouth for the benefit of those who were on the far side.

"I know you all are as baffled as I am, but I will try my best and solve this blind item as soon as possible," Tohru announced with a peace sign on her hand.

All Uo and Hana could do was shake their heads as Tohru continued with her lunch, oblivious to the fact that the answer was right in front of her face. Literally.

Trust Tohru to embarrass everyone except herself. And get away with it.

The two girls looked at each other and then at the object of everyone's thoughts at the moment. They couldn't help but feel sorry for the prince.

- o -

Two words can describe the high school's newspaper column (or should we say, gossip column) "Eyes and Ears": fearless and influential. It was fearless in a way that it did not hold back from writing pieces about important people in school, like the teachers or the popular students (or even the janitors). Everyone was given equal treatment. If you did something worth reading and talked about, you'd definitely land on this column, student or not. Consider yourself lucky if you do. It means you are that popular.

Or unlucky.

No matter how popular you are, the tables may turn. If this column writes something appalling about you, no matter how absurd or stupid it may be, everyone will believe it.

Because for the students, "Eyes and Ears" is like the Bible.

The hidden controversies, the one everyone knows but is afraid to talk about, you read it here.

Besides, people find it awfully entertaining to read about other people's businesses. And watch them squirm in the process.

That is until you become one of the victims.

There are no statistics, no categories in choosing the victims. But, it is not entirely selected in random either. The victim has to have something that the readers will think is worth offering fifteen minutes of their time (30 minutes for slow readers). Something different. And Yuki Sohma has always been different.

"Damn, I should have done this a looong time ago."

The newspaper was carelessly thrown on the floor of the small room. It camouflaged instantly with the other scattered papers and newspaper lay-outs laying around.

"I think I just turned him into a full-time celebrity!"

- tbc -

kaesaku: This is my first Furuba fic… I usually write Slam Dunk. Anyhow, correct me if I was wrong on certain furuba facts… I'd appreciate it. Thankies! ;p