Disclaimer: Suuuuure, I own Furuba. Let's go with that. I claim this show in the name of WolfBane2, Bringer Of Bacon! Fear my squirrel army!!!! Muahahahahaha. Haha. Ha.
Tohru wasn't sure how she had come to be at the Sohma main house, or what she was doing there in the middle of the night. She could remember no reason for being there, nor could she remember how she had reached the house at all. Indeed, the girl could think of no logical reason she'd have for visiting the inhabitants of the house, especially at such an hour, when the moon illuminated the world for all the night creatures to perform their unearthly dances upon. An hour when the world belonged not to the humans, but to the shadows who stalked through the shadows, leaving no marks in the dewy grass for human eyes to find.
But although the girl's mind remained in confusion, her feet moved forward as if by a will of their own. They moved down the corridors of the house, as if they were the true masters of her body and her mind was only a passenger along for the ride. Both unnerved and vaguely amused, Tohru decided that they probably knew where they were going. She glanced at the walls she passed. Who was she going to visit, Hatori? The brunette couldn't think of any reason she'd have for going to see the Sohma doctor right now...
Her pondering were interrupted, however, as she reached a fork in the halls. Her feet directed her to the path on the left. She had been somewhat sure that Hatori lived somewhere in the right side of the house. But who else...Tohru's azure eyes shot open in alarm. Akito? No. Why would she go see Akito? She willed herself to stop, to turn around. But the teenage girl might as well have been in a dream, for all the effect her thoughts had on her actions.
Yet still, the unexpected presence that was guiding her footsteps lead her to a small room at the very edge of the house's left wing. A lone figure stood on the opposite side of the room, gazing out a window. Though Tohru couldn't see the person's face, she recognized the lean build, the dark hair that seemed to be a trait among the Sohma family members.
"Tohru." Akito did not turn to face her. But his quiet voice echoed slightly in the rafters of the room. The silver rays of the full moon bathed both the Souma leader and the corridor in shadows. "Why are you here?"
She kept her tone respectful, knowing well of how the frail leader could suddenly erupt, and exceed such violence that even Kyo and Yuki were subdued in his presence. "I am not sure, Akito-san." Tohru told him honestly. Without knowing quite why, she kept her hands behind her back, wringing them together nervously. A thought floated through her mind: It would be wise to keep my tail down right now. Leaving right now would be impolite, and besides, I can't run. I must never run in the presence of a pup who carries the curse of the Lone One, it attracts Its attention....
...What? That thought hadn't made any sense at all. She didn't have a tail, and had she called Akito a pup? He was human, and he was older then her. And who was the Lone One that the thought had referred to? But it had appeared, as if someone else had placed it there to make sure she followed their instructions.
Akito's voice interjected into her mental conflict, faraway and dream-like as the moonlight that draped the room. "What would you say if I told you that you could release Kyo from the ever-present threat of his transformation into the cat spirit's beast form?" Tohru's head snapped up, her attention now completely on the Sohma leader's voice. He continued, "It would not, of course, release him from the beast that gnaws on the soul of every human being, deep down in their hearts. It might even hurt him, because this creature of hatred would only be a feeling, instead of something that can exist on the physical plane. An invisible beast lives in the hearts of all humanity, and he would not lose this beast. But he would be free of the physical form. He would no longer have to wear the black-and-white bracelet that reminds him constantly of his role as the outcast."
The unease in her features was slowly being replaced by joyful hope. Tohru's eyes shone as she exclaimed, "You would really do that, Akito-san?" But even as hope leapt through her mind like an excited puppy, that same trilling voice in her mind again came to her: Do not waste words in this place. I must tread carefully here, and consider each word before speaking it aloud. Break the spell, and I will break the contact. That cannot be allowed to happen.
Tohru shook her head briefly, made dizzy by the strange voice in her mind that was hers and yet somehow tinged with another force. Her confusion vanished, however, when Akito turned to face her. His features were so unnervingly like Yuki's. In the shadows, it would have been nearly impossible to tell them apart. Except for his eyes. Though they were the same shape and size as the rat Sohma's, they were the deep gray of storm clouds, hiding their mysteries behind thick veils of smoke. "But to free him of the cat-beast's form, there must be something sacrificed in return." he told her, his tone flat and emotionless, yet still slightly musical, as was everything in this strange dream-state she seemed to be in.
The fear returned. This time, it was not fear of Akito himself, although she knew that being here alone was a very unwise thing to have done, even unconsciously. It was fear of knowing that what he was about to say would be something that would affect her life until its end, and knowing there would be no turning back. Worst of all, she knew what she would do. To free Kyo of the beast that haunted him, that set him even further apart from the rest of the world? There was no question. Tohru would do anything Akito asked.
"Hai!," she said eagerly, "What do you wish me to do in return, Akito-san?"
Those eyes bore into hers. An opaque look filled with calm indifference that could mean almost anything. He told her, "To rid Kyo of his beast form, you would have to carry the Sohma curse. You do know the exact conditions of what that means?"
Tohru's mind raced. But the question had already been settled when it was first asked. And if this was a dream, it would make little difference what she did, or said. Right? "Hai. I understand, Akito-san. I accept your...offer." She paused briefly, and chewed her bottom lip. "What animal form would I take, Akito-san? Each of the 13 animals of the Zodiac Legend has a current Sohma family member to inhabit."
He regarded her with vague contempt, like a shark glancing at its prey. His eyes suddenly seemed to be washed in the silver light. They smoldered with cold moonfire. "The Zodiac is powerful. But this world alone holds many legends. They all hold their secrets." Tohru took a step forward. Despite what he had done to Yuki and Kyo, Akito was still a Sohma family member, and she cared deeply for them all. The brunette said questioningly, "Akito-san? Are you all right?"
But somehow, Akito was no longer Akito. His features shifted, changed. She caught a glimpse of cold silver eyes. But there were others. Laughing blue-grey, warm chocolate-brown, prancing green, serious honey-gold. Lolling tongues that could both heal or strip skin, depending on the will of the owner; furry tails of which some wagged, some stood up defiantly, and some hung in a relaxed position; sets of razor-sharp ivory teeth.
All of a sudden, her fear vanished. These eyes were inhuman, yes, but full of love. That same voice inside her mind returned to her, but this time it was more like a memory, as if someone had spoken these words to her when she was very small: Where there is love, there is my grace.
Words came out of the mouths that were no longer Akito's. They laughed together, "Pup, when have we ever left distress uncured?" The world spun, and she stumbled backwards as her vision exploded with a color she had never seen before. Things are not as they appear...
With a faint cry, Tohru Honda's eyes snapped open. She looked around wildly. What? It was the kitchen of the Sohma home. Thankfully, the Souma home she was in was the one she'd come to love as her own. She stood on the wooden planks of the kitchen floor. Someone had left the light on over the doorway,
Shigure had probably raided the refrigerator after staying up until midnight working on his latest manuscript. The room was slowly coming back into focus. What am I doing in the kitchen?, Tohru wondered for about the 5th time in the last 2 minutes. Did I sleepwalk here? Are the guys all right? And what was with that dream...was it even a dream?
Her musings were interrupted as she heard the soft sound of footsteps approaching the kitchen. The brown-haired girl froze, listening. But she relaxed as the figure stepped into the kitchen, and she realized it was only Yuki. Although the rat Sohma was dressed, his hair was mussed from sleep, and his eyes were puffy and peered out of slits. His step was wobbly, he had probably been asleep not 5 minutes ago. He's definitely not a morning person, Tohru thought with both fondness and amusement. He's probably not even sure what planet he's on right now.
The violet-eyed boy said hoarsely, "Honda-san? Are you all right?"
She inclined her head with embarrassment. "Ah! Gomen, Yuki-kun! But I'm...not really sure. I think I might have been sleepwalking. I'll go back to my room."
He stared at her with only a fraction of his eyes showing, clearly barely seeing her at all. "You were sleep-walking?"
Tohru smiled sheepishly. "I suppose so, that's the only explanation I can think of."
"Did you have any bad dreams that might have caused it?"
The brunette had to think about that for a moment. "I dreamt, but it was not really bad." For some reason, something about Yuki seemed different. She wasn't sure what. But under his skin...it was almost as if she could see through the papery layer of skin to the warm, rushing blood that flowed beneath it...Tohru shook herself. How could she have thought that? That was disgusting! Not to mention scary.
Her friend muttered drowsily, "K. Good night, Honda-san." Eyes still almost completely shut, he turned and began making his way out of the kitchen to his room. Tohru smiled fondly. Yuki probably would completely forget he had ever come down here. The prince of their school didn't tend to become fully conscious until at least 10 in the morning.
She shook her head again, trying to make some sense of her situation. Well, there wasn't much else she could do but go back up to her room. The incident with Akito must have been a dream. How else could a midnight visit to the Sohma main house and a deal to purge Kyo's beast-form from his body be explained? Much less the even stranger occurrence at the end of the dream, when those strange creatures had taken Akito's place.
With a sigh, Tohru slipped through the kitchen door into the hallway and began to walk back to her second-floor room. She stepped past a window, and the sight of the golden full moon glowing in the velvety-blue night sky was reassuring. As the pretty brunette walked, she quietly sang a song that spoke of wandering through moonlit forests and deserted roads, of searching for something that pranced just out of reach, of both longing and hope. As far as her memory served, she had never heard the song in her life.
Author's Note: Yeah...well, I don't really have that much to say. Reviews are loved, basked in, gratifying, and appreciated! Not necessarily in that order! I have no idea where this fic came from. Let's just hope it's going where I think it is. But knowing the devious ways of plots, it could go another way entirely. Please tell me what you think!