Author Notes: So finally, we've made it to the end! You all know who our Cinderella is, and now…now we explain how things happened. All of those questions you've had all along will now clear up. So, ladies and gents, please enjoy the last and finally installment.
A Mabudachi Story:
By Ayame Kazeai
Ayame didn't know how to react. The man he loved was standing in the doorframe with an expression on his face that practically screamed "MURDER, DEATH, KILL, DIE.", while his best friend sat next to him smiling. He was torn- explain everything to Hatori, or hit Shigure with something hard, then run out of the room.
Hatori was absolutely seething in anger. So much that he really, really didn't know what to think. He found himself stumbling through his words as he attempted to say "FUCKING EXPLAIN THIS!"
Slowly, Shigure climbed to his feet and turned to look at Hatori. He had the kind of humored look on his face that made Hatori, or even Ayame, want to claw his face off. "Let me see…" he began. Hands went behind his back as he walked to the items, and kicked slightly at the lonely diamond shoe. "…without knowing it, you and Ayame met in that chat room. Since he's apparently some closet genius, he had some different username that he was using to chat in that place for Tokyo Uni hopefuls. The first night that we talked about it…you know, when you said the username, he confided in me afterwards that he was Fennec." He paused to smile over at Ayame while he added "And he was so, so happy to know that he had been talking to you. Up to that point, he had no clue. Absolutely thrilled."
Hatori's eyes shifted to Ayame, who sat with his hands covering his face.
"So." Shigure continued, hoping to take Hatori's gaze back for himself. "So I had this idea. I thought 'Hey! Why not continue this? You can make Hatori happy by being this friend and confidante online, and then just make sure that you never meet him! He'll feel like he has this beautiful, amazing, and special woman. Then maybe he'll relax and be happy.' Ayame seemed so keen on the idea, especially after I threw in a 'And we want Hatori to be happy, ne?'." He began to pace slightly while he spoke. "That, of course, is why he was gone for so long. It took a bit of convincing to get him to deceive you. Ayame, ever the honest follower…"
"Shigure, please just stop!" the snake called out in a quivering voice. So much of this, Ayame didn't even see. He had no clue that he was being made into the fool. And it stung to the core to hear it.
"NO!" Shigure yelled in response, fiery eyes shooting at Ayame's sobbing form. "You need to hear this too! You need to know what your Gure has done to you!" He was almost smiling. It was so contrite.
He looked back at the livid Hatori, who stood there with his hands in balled fists at his side, ready to spring to the attack at any moment. A smile went back across his face as he continued. "But you see, Ayame couldn't help but say yes to you when you asked him to the ball. I told him it was such a stupid idea. I really did. But he was convinced that he would just go and give you the night of your life without you ever knowing it was him, and then it would be over. He promised me that with that, it would be over. He even said he'd blow you off at the end of the night if it meant that you'd forget about him or her or whatever the hell he wanted to be known as. So we did it. We got a wig, and he made a gown. A beautiful gown, I must admit…fitted and stuffed in the right places to give him the allure of a perky young girl. He even practiced sounding more effeminate. It was all together."
"SHIGURE, PLEASE! JUST STOP!" Ayame yelled out again, but sprung to his feet this time. Tears stained his reddening cheeks.
Hatori looked back to Ayame with eyes burning in rage. He pointed a finger at him and shouted "NO, YOU JUST SIT DOWN! I WANT TO HEAR THE REST OF THIS!"
"Hatori, please!" the boy pleaded. "Just make him stop! Let it stop! It doesn't matter! Just hate me and forget this ever happened! You don't have to hear anymore!"
"SIT DOWN" Shigure yelled in return, then finished in a much sweeter tone, "And let me finish. Trust me, Hatori wants to hear this."
Fresh tears started their decent down his cheeks as he gave up. There was no use. Shigure was determined.
"So then go forward to the night of the dance. Ayame left us early to get into his outfit, then met you. You two danced, shmoozed, and carried on. He was suppose to just tell you that it didn't feel right and leave you before midnight, giving him enough time to get changed again and be up on stage at midnight. But no. No no no. You two had to go off and fall.in.love. And then, even though I tried to distract you and keep what I saw from happening, you had to go and kiss him, Hatori." he added, then asked in a mock curious tone "Now, why did you go and do that? Didn't you know that actually being able to kiss you would make Ayame fall more in love?" He laughed for a moment, hiding his face in his hands… hiding the pain that accompanied the humor. "I mean.. you didn't even realize it was him. Not even when he said your name. You had no clue. So he ran away as I told him to, and it was suppose to be over. All over."
"But you had to be so damn persistent!" he added, yelling at Hatori in frustration. "You just had to tell her, and I just had to keep you from having Ayame. I refused to let him tell you. And he wanted to. He really did, he wanted to go up to you and kiss you the way you kissed him, and then run off to live in some damn fairy tale land where you would actually give him the light of day!"
Ayame couldn't take it anymore. Hatori wasn't suppose to know. In the end, they decided that. Hatori would be better without some boy hanging all over him. Why in the hell was Shigure doing this? He wanted to know, but he didn't want to hear it. So, mustering up all of the strength he had, he made a sprint past Shigure… past Hatori…and out the door, leaving in a flurry of hair and tear drops.
Hatori, however, stood his ground. "So then what?" he asked between gritted teeth.
"I convinced Ayame that we could find you some hopeful girl that you could believe was your precious Cinderella. She'd be happy because she'd be with one of the most eligible bachelors in the school. You'd be happy because you'd think you were with Miss Perfect. It didn't work, apparently…"
"Then…" Hatori replied angrily, "Why did you do it? Why not just let Ayame come forward?"
"Because. You don't deserve him. You've let him pine over you since we were fucking kids, Hatori! And you never got your head out of your ass far enough to notice it. However, I've been there for every word he ever had to say about you. I've had to deal with him crying on my shoulder just about every damn night, wondering why he wasn't good enough for you. Hatori, he's beyond good enough for you. He's too good. And that's why I decided tonight that I would do whatever it took to tear him away from you!"
As he spoke, Hatori slowly made his way down the staircase. And right about as soon as Shigure said his last word, Hatori stood almost nose to nose with him. "Wrong answer." he replied coldly…then allowed his fist to directly connect to Shigure's chin. "I don't need Miss Perfect. I didn't need some random girl you pulled off of the streets either. And I don't need this bullshit."
Hatori turned and walked out of the room, leaving Shigure kneeling on the ground with his hands cradling his injured face, and headed out the open front door in search of Ayame.
He stood by a tree, one hand hanging onto the trunk as the other sat on his chest. A slight breeze spun through long silver locks as an upturned pale, beautiful face gazed out into the forever night sky. A hand brushed across a porcelain face, removing teardrops off of his cheeks and causing Ayame to almost leap out of his skin in surprise. He swung around to face the source of the touch. "Hatori.."
Cold olive eyes stared back at him.
"Hatori.. I'm so sor"
Lips pressed against his own cut his apology off short, and he found himself deep within the embrace of the dragon. He didn't know if he should react in panic (the calm before the storm, or the kiss of death!) or just enjoy the feeling and confusion of Hatori's kiss.
Perhaps it wasn't meant to be, and perhaps the prize had been won through deception and deceit. But no matter what got them this far, neither of them could give a damn. Because in the end, through all of the crap and lies and sorrow…they'd get their happy ending.
Disclaimer: Fruits Basket is property of Natsuki Takaya…tell her that I will gladly enjoy her profits.
End Notes: You'll have to forgive me. I'm absolutely in love with the cold, evil Shigure that we see in the manga. That's why I decided to make him our bad guy! Yes, I still love Gure-chan…but my love for the spoilers that I live off of tells me that if I want him to be true to character, I'll make him as true as he can be- and paint him out to be the cool, collective, hilarious, deceiving, evil jackass that he really can be.
Hope you enjoyed!