Thanks for the reviews! I really appreciate them. In this chapter Akito will make an appearance, and Yuki will be mercilessly tortured and embarrassed by his ever loving guardian Andromeda about whom he is in love with… Yuki and Kyo plushies for everyone who can guess who it is!
Plus, we discover Yuki's not so pleasant experiences with Akito, and why our favourite rat is so terrified of him, in addition to a small outlook on the twins' past and their previous master.
I'm probably not going to detail every Capture the two make… it would take way too long and involve way too many chapters, so I'm just going to write about the cards I can make a decent event out of… something humorous or really dramatic or uber-cute.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket or Card Captor Sakura. They belong to Natsuki Takaya and Clamp.
Not So Different
Tohru left for work immediately after school and Yuki had a council meeting. Kyo waited for him to finish at Andromache's insistence and they walked home together… something which Shigure found rather amusing.
The two boys collapsed on the couch, tired from the day's events. "What a nightmare! I don't know how we got away with that!" Yuki exclaimed.
"Yeah, I hope that the cards don't to decide to show up at school too often." Kyo added wearily.
The cats trotted up and settled themselves into their charges' laps. Yuki absently scratched Andromeda behind her ears; an act, he had learned, she enjoyed immensely in her current form. She purred and he smiled down at her.
"You have to be prepared for anything." Andromache told them haughtily.
"Tell us something we don't know." Kyo said with a wry laugh.
"I'm being serious. This is no laughing matter." Andromache snapped.
"I know, I know. I'm sorry." Kyo smiled softly and scratched her underneath her chin; a place he knew from personal experience that cats liked to be scratched. The silver cat purred despite herself, relenting to his gentle touch.
Yuki smiled at the obvious bond between his cousin and his guardian. He gathered Andromeda into his arms and stood.
He said goodnight and made his way up to his room. He put Andromeda on the bed and she transformed into her human self. She averted her eyes as he changed, but that didn't stop her from asking the impertinent question; "Tell me, how long exactly have you been in love with Kyo?"
Yuki froze as the words left her mouth, his hands stilling in the act of doing up the buttons of his shirt, revealing his toned torso.
Andromeda smirked. "What? No denial? You silence only in incriminates you further Yuki-chan!" she carolled.
Yuki composed himself. "I'm just amazed that you even asked such a stupid question!" he said calmly, avoiding her gaze as she turned to watch him.
"Liar." She replied with a gentle smile. She patted the bed and he sat beside her. "My sister and I have been watching you for a long time now, Kyo too." She began.
"We had selected you because our previous mistress was beginning to lose control of the cards, although she commanded them until her death two years ago. "
"Slowly the cards were slipping out of her control, because she began to ignore them; she stopped using them and they became unstable." Andromeda looked sad. "So, we began to search for a successor, just in case; for if the cards escaped her she would not be powerful enough to recapture them. And we found you and Kyo; you have been equally powerful since you were little, we first found you when you were five. By the time you turned ten we thought we were going to have to come and get you because the Cards were too unstable for her to regain the power over them that she'd lost. "
Andromeda sighed. "Lucky for you she managed to get them under control for a while, because both of you had it pretty rough at the main house. All the same, my sister and I still believe her lack of discipline over the Cards had something to do with her death. Too much power for her to handle all exploded out of her control at once."
"Is there any connection between that story and the question you asked me?" Yuki queried.
"Not really!" Andromeda said happily and Yuki sighed. "Just that I've known you since you were little; therefore I've known about your feelings for Kyo for quite a while. I think it'll be good for you both… if the baka neko ever gets his act together."
Yuki smiled slightly. "It'll be a long time before that happens." He said.
"Not if I've got anything to do with it!" Andromeda replied in a sing-song voice.
"Oh, Andromeda! Don't -" Yuki began, but she silenced him with a finger on his lips.
"Now, now. Don't you worry your pretty little head over it." She berated him gently. She smiled and kissed his cheek. "Get some sleep." She commanded.
He nodded and yawned, and the amused Andromeda didn't bother to point out that he'd forgotten to do up the buttons on his shirt.
Gold light enveloped her, and a small golden cat curled up at the end of the bed.
In the other room, silver eyes glowed in the darkness as Kyo turned restlessly in his sleep.
"Did you find anything out?" She asked her sister mentally.
"Yeah, once he knew we'd been watching them for so long he didn't try to deny it or tell me otherwise." Andromeda answered. "How about you?"
Andromache sighed. "The minute I asked the question he almost bit my head off. As far as I can tell, Kyo still needs time to discover his feelings… either that or he's in major denial."
The pair were silent for a while before Andromache asked. "Did you tell him? About Kyoko?"
"A little. I didn't tell him her name; it would've been way too much for him to handle, considering I'd just told him that I knew he was in love with Kyo." Andromeda answered with a wry smile.
"Fair enough. Like I said, the minute I asked him about his feelings for Yuki he threw a spaz and started ranting about the 'kuso nezumi'… it was almost frightening."
"Let's not breach the subject with either of them for a while." Andromeda sighed. "I personally don't want to be on the end of one of those punches!" she said with a mock shudder.
"I agree. I don't think they'd thank us for it, and I'd rather they punched Shigure than us." Andromache replied. "I've already been told once today that I'm a female version of Yuki." she looked highly affronted, but the small victorious smile on her face gave away her true thoughts on the matter.
"Well yeah, that was the reason we decided that you would go with Kyo and I with Yuki; so that they would be able to understand each other better." Andromeda reminded her.
"We are the Yin and Yang in our master's life… their perfect balance of light and dark." Andromache intoned.
"That is what Claudia wanted when she created us; for us to help provide their balance." She sounded wry.
"I don't think she would've expected it to be so literal this time around." Andromeda joked. "I guess this is to make up for the lousy job we did with Kyoko."
"Kyoko made her own choices, it wasn't our fault she chose to ignore her power!" Andromache reprimanded her sharply.
"I'm kidding… I know Kyoko brought it on herself." Andromeda reassured her sister placatingly.
Andromache's silver cat eyes looked solemnly out of Kyo's window. "How do you think they'll take the knowledge that Claudia Reed married into the Sohma family?"
"Probably all right until they discover that her husband was the first cat and her daughter the first rat." Andromeda replied. "More to the point, how do you think they'll take the fact that Kyo's aunt wasn't just the previous Cardcaptor, but Tohru's mother?"
"You sensed it too?" Andromache asked her sister.
"Yeah, Tohru has a small amount of power, but that wasn't what gave it away." Andromeda replied.
"Let me guess, it was Tohru's little 'My mom used to say' speech last night wasn't it." Andromache said.
"Yeah, and she quoted Kyoko word for word. But I recognised her anyway." Andromeda added.
"Of course, what kind of guardians would we be if we didn't recognise our own charge's daughter?" Andromache asked indignantly.
She yawned. "I swear, so much has happened already!"
"And it's only day two!" both kittens chorused before curling up and falling asleep against their charges legs.
The next morning, Kyo was still pretty pissed off about the conversation Andromache has attempted to have with him the previous night.
"How do you feel about Yuki? Do you care about him?"
"HELL NO! WHY WOULD I CARE ABOUT THAT DAMN RAT!"
"All right, calm down… I was just asking." The silver woman said coolly, turning her back on him.
"Why do want to know?" Kyo asked her.
"No reason, I was just curious." Andromache answered icily.
Kyo rolled his eyes. "Stop doing that! You sound like a female version of Yuki!" he snapped.
"Sorry." She said, hiding a smile.
Now, said silver haired boy was staggering down the stairs, half asleep as always. Kyo froze when he realised that Yuki's shirt was opened, revealing the firm, pale contours of his chest.
Yuki glared blearily at his cousin. "What do you staring at baka neko?" he demanded groggily.
"Y-Y-Yuki…" Kyo stammered, blushing furiously, mystified as to the reason why he was reacting so dramatically. Wordlessly, he pointed at Yuki's chest.
Disconcerted, Yuki looked down. He realised with a jolt what Kyo was talking about. His own cheeks burned red, and he turned and fled back up the stairs. "Andromeda! You planned this!" he yelled.
Kyo sweatdropped as he heard Andromeda's innocent "Planned what?" then the "Oh that, yeah I did." And followed by a squeal of; "Knock it off Yuki!"
Kyo's cat curiosity got the better of him, and he made his way up the stairs to listen to whatever was going on between his cousin and the golden guardian.
He could hear Yuki's soft protests. "No way Andromeda! I'm not going back down there dressed like this!" Kyo found himself blushing as images of Yuki's pale skin beneath his open shirt rushed unbidden into his mind.
"Don't be like that! Trust me, this'll work!" he heard Andromeda reply.
"What are you on about?" Yuki demanded.
The door burst open and a grinning Andromeda pushed Yuki out the door.
Kyo flushed scarlet again, mentally yelling at himself for doing so.
Yuki tried to ignore Kyo, and failed miserably because he couldn't help but notice that his orange haired cousin was staring at his revealed torso… maybe Andromeda was right after all.
When he'd run back upstairs to yell at his guardian, she'd laughed at his embarrassment. When he'd begun to redo the buttons on his shirt, she'd stopped him, but eventually allowed him to leave the middle one done up.
"No way Andromeda! I'm not going back down there dressed like this!" he protested.
"Don't be like that! Trust me, this'll work!" she told him.
"Andromeda," Yuki said softly. "He's not interested in me like I am in him."
"Nonsense!" she'd scoffed. Grinning wickedly she'd opened the door and pushed him out.
"What do you want baka neko?" Yuki asked. He quickly did up his shirt buttons now that Andromeda was out of the way and unable to stop him.
"Nothing; I was wondering what was going on is all." Kyo replied.
"Sorry about that." Yuki said, sounding calmer than he felt.
"Forget it, it never happened right?" Kyo replied awkwardly. They were silent for a moment, before Kyo blurted; "What was with that anyway?"
Yuki coloured. What was he supposed to say?
Luckily, Andromache slunk out of Kyo's room in cat form. As Kyo bent to pick her up she asked; "Is she being immature again?"
"Yes, and I don't want to talk about it." Yuki said shortly.
"Yuki! Kyo! If you don't hurry up you're going to be late for school!" Shigure called. He'd just woken up, and both boys were thankful he'd missed the events of the previous few minutes.
"Coming!" both boys called.
"My, my, my… what have you two been up to eh?" Shigure giggled pervertedly.
Both Yuki and Kyo punched Shigure in the head as the walked past him. "Stupid Shigure!" they both muttered.
School that day was blissfully uneventful. Yuki, Kyo and Tohru coasted through the day without anything supernatural happening, much to the relief of the two boys. Immediately after the final bell rang, Tohru left for work, followed by Momiji, who was going to visit his father. So once again Yuki and Kyo walked home together.
Once they were safely out of sight of the school, Andromeda and Andromache slunk out of their bags and on to their shoulders.
"Phew! Quiet day." Andromeda yawned. "It was so boring!" she complained.
"Good!" Yuki and Kyo said together, before glaring at each other and turning away.
"Quiet is good… boring is good too." Yuki added, and Kyo nodded reluctantly in agreement.
They were about to round the corner and go up to the house when Andromache stopped them. "Wait… there's something there." She frowned (As well as any cat can).
"Damn… we spoke to soon. So much for quiet." Kyo growled.
"Hold up." Andromeda ordered. She and her sister leapt off their shoulders and trotted to the corner so they could peer around at the house. The boys could tell they were having a heated mental discussion as they assessed the situation.
"Well? Which card is it?" Kyo demanded.
"It's not a card." Andromeda said softly. She looked at her sister, who sighed and nodded reluctantly. The customary gold and silver lights surrounded them, but instead of their usual all out gold and silver attire, their waist length hair was a normal black colour, their eyes a vivid blue and they were wearing the Kawiia High School uniform.
"It's Akito." Andromeda finished.
Kyo saw Yuki freeze and attempted to lighten the mood. "Awww man! Now I can't tell you apart!" he whined, startling a laugh out of Yuki, who had gone incredibly pale at the mention of Akito.
Andromeda laid her hand on his shoulder. "It's all right Yuki… we're not going to let him hurt you." She said quietly, and Yuki realised with a jolt that they knew about every horrible thing Akito had ever done to him, he could see it in Andromache's hardened eyes as she agreed with her sister.
"Yes, we won't let him touch you." She murmured.
Kyo watched them curiously. He had no idea why Yuki was so afraid of Akito, but realised almost immediately how their guardians knew because Andromache had explained it to him a little the night before.
"Oh, and Kyo…" Andromeda pointed to a small gold pin that was attached to her tie. In turn, Andromache pointed to a small silver pin on hers. "So there." Andromeda poked her tongue out at him and grinned.
Yuki smiled, feeling better knowing his guardians were watching out for him. "So, do you have names for these forms? Normal ones I mean. It's going to sound weird if you have the same names as our cats." He said.
"Yes, I am Tsukiko and Andromeda is Taiyo." Andromache replied.
"How ironic." Kyo said wryly. "The moon child and the sun."
Andromeda pulled a face at him and all four of them began to laugh. The tension lifted and the mood lightened.
"Wow Kyo, I'm impressed. Did you work that one out all by yourself? Who said you were stupid?" Andromeda giggled.
"That's it; you're going down girlfriend!" Kyo laughed and chased her around the corner, she shrieked delightedly as she tried to evade him.
Andromache and Yuki followed, laughing. Not even the scowl on Akito's face as he watched them could stop Yuki from chuckling as Kyo pinned Andromeda to the ground and tickling her. He heard light laughter coming from Shigure and Hatori (Who had come with Akito) and smiled slightly.
"Why isn't Kyo transforming?" Yuki asked Andromache mentally as he realised with no small amount of surprise that there wasn't an orange cat in front of him.
"Our magic prevents the curse from working. We're basically stronger than it is." She replied. "So we can hug you without repercussions."
"Hello Yuki, Kyo." Akito said coolly, annoyed at being ignored for too long. "It's nice to see you again."
Kyo got off the ground and helped Andromeda to her feet as Yuki warily returned the greeting. "Hello Akito."
Akito smiled cruelly. "Is Miss Honda not with you?" he asked.
"She had to work." Kyo answered shortly, the frivolity gone from his voice.
"Oh, such a shame. But tell me, who are these two young ladies?" Akito replied.
"I am Tsukiko, and this is my twin sister Taiyo." Andromache said icily. Akito inclined his head regally to each of them, a gesture which was returned stiffly. Even the usually happy Andromeda was grim faced.
Akito's gaze wandered back to Yuki, his eyes raked the silver haired boy's body hungrily. Instinctively, Yuki winced and cowered away from him as the older boy moved towards him. "I haven't seen you in such a long time Yuki." Akito murmured in his ear. "You must come and visit me soon; we have a lot to catch up on."
Yuki's eyes widened and he blanched. Kyo could see the fear radiating off his body. He felt the sudden need to help his cousin get away from Akito, but short of bashing Akito's head in he wasn't sure how to do it. He didn't know what made him feel like that; perhaps it was the was Yuki's entire was body was shaking in terror as Akito's hand slipped inside his shirt, caressing the pale skin and riding the cloth up at the back to reveal a long thin scar across the small of Yuki's back.
"He's had that scar since he was seven." Andromache told him mentally, and Kyo felt his blood boil. Rat or not, Yuki didn't deserve that kind of treatment. There was a difference between a fight, and sheer torture.
"Hey Yuki! We'd better do that math homework from the other day." He said, stepping forward.
Yuki's eyes snapped to Kyo, and Kyo gave him a slight smile. His cousin's eyes lost some of their fear as he trained his eyes on the orange haired boy. "Yes, I'd forgotten about that." Yuki said. His voice was hoarse.
"Well, come on then; we haven't got all day!" Kyo snapped good naturedly, grabbing his shoulders and propelling him inside. "You're the maths genius; you'll get this done in like, half an hour!"
"In other words, you need help and you expect me to provide it." Yuki retorted with a grin.
"Yep, that's pretty much it!" Kyo answered, winking at him conspirationally. Andromeda and Andromache grinned when they saw the blush staining Yuki's cheeks. Akito saw it too and scowled.
"Okay, but it'll cost you." Yuki said, recovering quickly.
Kyo quirked an eyebrow at him. "What did you have in mind?" he asked suggestively, just joking around.
Yuki flushed again, darker this time, and both Andromeda and Shigure had to repress their laughter. "Baka neko! I meant that you can help me write that Japanese Essay that's due tomorrow… seeing as I haven't started it yet." He replied.
"Deal!" Kyo laughed and pulled Yuki upstairs.
"Ahem!" Akito coughed pointedly, reminding them that he was still there.
Yuki turned. "Goodbye Akito." He said politely, "I'm sorry I have to leave like this."
"I understand, but you must come and visit me this weekend." Akito replied coldly.
Yuki paled. "Of course… I understand." He said softly, fearfully, before Kyo grabbed his hand and pulled him into his room.
Yuki sighed with relief. "Thank God that's over… for now. Thanks for helping me out back there." He rested his head lightly on the doorframe. His breathing was ragged.
"Don't mention it." Kyo answered with a shaky smile. "Are you all right?"
"Wow, you're actually concerned about me?" Yuki said, surprised.
"I never said that!" Kyo snapped. "It's just that the twins are probably worried about you is all." It sounded lame and they both knew it. Kyo absently tightened his grip on Yuki's hand.
"Uh Kyo…" Yuki stammered. "You still have my hand."
Kyo turned scarlet. "Sorry, I didn't realise." He dropped Yuki's hand as if it were a hot coal.
"It's all right, forget it." Yuki answered, sounding calmer than he felt. His heart was racing at their closeness.
Kyo turned to face his desk to hide his burning cheeks, and the confusion in his eyes. He'd been acting weird around Yuki all day, what the hell was this about?
"Anyway, about that maths homework…" he said with somewhat false cheerfulness.
"What? You were serious?" Yuki demanded.
"Naturally, kuso nezumi." Kyo laughed good naturedly.
"All right then, baka neko." Yuki chuckled, the awkwardness gone for the time being.
As the light banter and insults continued, they were unaware of the five eavesdroppers at the door.
Andromeda, Andromache, Shigure, Hatori and Akito all had their ears glued to the keyhole. Andromeda couldn't stifle a giggle. Akito glared at her. "This is not acceptable. I cannot allow my Yuki to get too close to that disgusting cat. I'm going home, are you coming Hatori?"
"No, I think I'll stay here for a while, I'll walk home later." Hatori replied. "You take the car."
"Very well then." Akito stalked away.
"Well, I for one am happy that they're getting along better." Shigure whispered.
"Yeah, me too." Andromeda said cheerfully.
"Why don't we go downstairs and leave them to it?" Hatori suggested.
"Good idea." Andromache agreed. She grabbed the protesting Shigure and towed him away from the door, while Hatori ushered a complaining Andromeda after them.
As Akito's car pulled out of the driveway, the four sat down at the low table in the dining room.
"I must say I'm a little surprised. Yuki and Kyo haven't brought girls home before. Come to think of it, I don't think they've ever brought anybody home before." Shigure said thoughtfully. "Our family position doesn't really accommodate that sort of thing."
"We're just their friends. In fact, I think we're the only girls in the school apart from Tohru, Saki and Arisa that don't try to jump them wherever they go." Andromeda answered.
"I believe it. If Yuki goes through the same thing his brother did every day, I can well imagine the problems that might cause for them, not to mention the stress." Shigure replied.
"There was a girl's school around the corner from the all boy's academy we attended." Hatori explained. "Aaya was very popular."
"If Yuki looks anything like him then yes, the stress is huge, probably more so because our school's co ed." Andromeda said. "I overheard him saying to one of the other guys in our class that the only way they'd leave him alone was if they found out he had a boyfriend."
Shigure chuckled. "Even then they probably wouldn't get the message; Aaya tried that too, it was rather amusing."
"Speak for yourself." Hatori snapped. "You weren't the one who had to pretend to be his boyfriend." Andromache choked as she tried to hide her laughter. Andromeda laughed out loud.
"Anyway; that was pretty much when we realised that his feelings for Kyo had changed dramatically." Andromache said quietly when she recovered enough to speak.
"Hmmm… I think we just stumbled on to the same page." Shigure giggled pervertedly.
"Shigure, you will keep your mouth shut, understand?" Hatori said firmly. "I doubt Kyo is as sure of his feelings as Yuki."
"Awww! You're spoiling my fun Ha'ri!" Shigure pouted.
"You'll get over it." Hatori answered matter-of-factly.
"But…" Shigure protested.
"Fine." He sighed and changed the subject. "So Tsukiko, Taiyo, how did you meet Yuki and Kyo?" he asked.
"On our first day, Mayuko-sensei told them to show us around." Andromache replied smoothly, telling their hurriedly concocted, but well rehearsed lie. "They seemed really nervous and worried at first, but we've been friends ever since."
"I see; and when did you realise that Yuki… liked Kyo?" Shigure pressed.
"About two weeks ago," Andromeda said so cheerfully that Hatori grinned. "We always thought there was something there, but they spent so much time arguing that it was hard to tell, but since they've stopped in the last few weeks it was easier to tell due to their moping!" she grinned. "And believe me, Yuki doesn't like Kyo, he loves him."
"Don't tell Akito, he won't like it." Hatori said wryly.
"And we won't like what he'll do to them if he finds out how close they are." Shigure added quietly.
"We have no intention of telling Akito; his reaction to them being friendly was bad enough." Andromache said grimly.
They were silent for a while before Andromeda got up. "We'd better make sure that they're not killing each other." She said brightly.
Shigure chuckled. "I doubt that'll happen anytime soon." He snickered.
That was when Tohru came home from work. "Hi everyone, I'm home!" she called, and then noticed Hatori. "Oh, hello Hatori." He smiled at her.
She looked to the two girls, and for an instant her smile faltered and her eyes widened before she recovered herself. "Oh, hello, I don't believe we've met, but you're wearing our school uniform." She said curiously.
Shigure and Hatori exchanged a look; how, if these girls were in her class, did Tohru not know them?
"Shit! We forgot about Tohru! What if she recognises us? We're using the same ID's as we did with Kyoko!" Andromeda yelled mentally.
"Well it's too late now!" Andromache retorted.
"Ah Tohru, this is Taiyo and Tsukiko, they're friends of Yuki and Kyo's." Shigure said cheerfully.
Tohru's eyes narrowed for a split second before she smiled brightly. "I see; we'll that's great!"
"You just missed Akito." Shigure told her.
"Oh," she replied softly. "What a shame." She seemed genuinely sad about the fact.
"Yeah, and you missed the boys' little show!" Hatori grinned. They told her what had happened.
She laughed. "I knew it!" she giggled and clapped her hands together. "Who wants drinks?"
She made her way into the kitchen, and the twins followed, offering to help her. Tohru turned to face them. "You know, I may not have seen you since mom died, but give me a little more credit. It's not like I wouldn't notice that you look exactly the same as you did two years ago, even ten years ago… Andromeda, Andromache."
The twins flinched. "We're not trying to insult you Tohru, we forgot you would recognise us if you saw us." Andromache said.
"Yeah, and our cat forms too, no wonder you didn't think Kyo's food request for us was so strange, you knew all the time!" Andromeda answered.
"I had a hunch; you just confirmed it for me today when I saw you. What are you doing here anyway?" Tohru asked.
They explained quickly and quietly, just in case a certain puppy had decided to eavesdrop.
"I see; so Yuki and Kyo have to take over from mom?" Tohru said softly. The twins nodded. "And mom is Kyo's father's sister, which explains why they've been chosen. Wow, this is really amazing." Tohru smiled happily. "I can't believe I didn't see it before, Kyo does look a lot like mom. Hey! That means that Yuki, Kyo and the others are my cousins!" she realised.
The twins sweatdropped, "She sure does get excited easily." Andromeda said mentally.
"Hmmm…" Andromache answered. "Tohru," she murmured as the girl made to pick up the tea tray.
"Don't say anything to anyone. We haven't even told the boys yet."
"Okay, I won't. I promise." Tohru replied. Before she picked up the tea tray, she went over and hugged them both. "I've missed you." She whispered.
"We missed you too Tohru-chan." They replied.
"We'll talk later, Hatori and Shigure will be wondering where we are." Tohru told them, opening the door to reveal an eavesdropping Shigure.
"There's a card coming, I can feel it." Eriol said suddenly.
Sakura closed her eyes and sensed for it. "Yeah, it feels like the Fight Card."
Meiling cackled delightedly, recalling her own tussle with the feisty card. "They have no idea what they're in for!" she giggled.
"In more ways than one." Tomoyo sighed. "One, their Fight Card will be ten times more volatile than Sakura's, and two, have you noticed Yuki's attraction for Kyo?"
"It is rather obvious." Eriol drawled, wrapping his arms around Tomoyo's waist. "Unfortunately, Kyo hasn't noticed a single thing, as far as I can tell." He looked troubled.
"Oh, I think he has." Sakura said mildly. "I just don't think he's as sure of himself or his feelings as Yuki is." Syaoran kissed her cheek and she smiled.
"Perhaps, but they'd want to hurry up and get their act together." Eriol replied. "Their hearts being at peace with each other is crucial for them to both pass the final tests. If they cannot learn to trust each other, and to trust their hearts, they will both fail." He glared off out the window for a moment, looking grim and worried.
"But isn't it up to their guardians to test them?" Meiling asked.
"Yes, but that is how it works with the twins. They are the Yin and Yang; unless their charges are in perfect balance, they cannot hope to defeat the balance of Andromeda and Andromache. If you think it was difficult to defeat Yue, then they are in for a bigger shock than Sakura and Syaoran ever had." Eriol answered her, his voice dangerously quiet.
"Well, at the rate they're going, they're never going to achieve the love that they need to survive their trials." Syaoran said. "Have you seen the way they fight at school?"
"Yes, they're idiots." Eriol said dryly.
"Or maybe they're not as stupid as they look." Spinel Sun, in his smaller form, trotted into the room. "From what Ruby Moon and I have been able to find out, if they ever did fall in love, the consequences would be immense."
They all looked at him curiously, so the cat-like creature launched into an explanation. "Well, for one thing, the entire family is run by Akito Sohma, the head of the family. As such, his word is law and to disobey is a life of disgrace and unhappiness, and, I might add, obedience isn't much different." Suppi sighed, shaking his head.
"Go on," Eriol urged him.
"Basically, Akito has a bit of an obsession with Yuki, and is determined to keep him shut away from the rest of the world so he can keep him for himself. As for Kyo, Akito can't stand him, and is determined to keep him locked up in a cage the moment the poor kid graduates." Nakuru followed Suppi in.
"Why, what has Kyo done to deserve being locked away for the rest of his life?" Tomoyo asked.
"Kyo was born the Cat, and such is the fate of the Sohma Cat." Nakuru shrugged.
"Oh, I see." Eriol, (being a half reincarnation of Clow Reed) knew about the curse, as did the others, it was common knowledge amongst those of Clow linage that Claudia had married into a cursed family, they were related after all. "Then Yuki must be the rat." Both his guardians nodded their conformation.
"This little saga suddenly got a lot more interesting." Eriol murmured. "The first Cat and Rat to show affection for each other since the first of their lineage; Claudia's husband and daughter."
"True, although this time, the affection is hardly platonic." Meiling said sardonically.
"They're in for a hard time." Syaoran said with a grin at the girl's comment. "We will have to watch over them." he added seriously.
Eriol leant back, his eyes closed. "Yes, indeed we will."
Yuki and Kyo did the required work in near silence, only speaking when they needed to. Both of them felt awkward around the other, for once not knowing how to act, as neither felt like picking a fight.
When they finished, Yuki got to his feet and bid Kyo a hasty goodnight before retiring to his own room for some sleep.
Kyo woke early as usual, being beaten only by Tohru. "Good morning Kyo!" she said happily.
"Yeah, hi." He replied shortly.
"Did you see the news this morning?" Tohru asked wickedly, having switched it on when she got up (for background noise) and finding something very interesting on the cable news channel. Kyo shook his head and went into the living room to check it out. Andromeda and Andromache were sitting in front of the TV, their tails twitching from side to side in perfect sync. Kyo shook his head when he saw them and turned his attention to the news bulletin.
"…Reports say that a teenage girl has been seen loitering around the dojo district, challenging all the martial arts masters, and local gangs, in the area. Sources say that this girl is ruthless and has yet to be defeated. She has even defeated the locally renowned Kazuma Sohma…" the reporter stated, a small smirk gracing her face. Kyo stared at the TV in disbelief; this chick had even beaten Kazuma! He found hard to imagine that anybody could beat Kazuma!
Yuki staggered down the stairs around half an hour later and found a very grim looking Kyo waiting for him.
"Yuki, we have to go and visit Shishou." He told him.
"Why?" Yuki mumbled.
"Go and take a look at the News Bulletin on the TV." Kyo told him impatiently.
Yuki staggered into the living room to have a look at the program, which was currently reviewing the morning's stories. Kyo heard him utter a soft "Shit."
He came back out into the kitchen. "You're right, maybe it's a Card." He murmured to Kyo in an undertone.
The orange-haired boy nodded feverently. "Yeah, we'll go after breakfast. We should still make it to school on time."
Listening for all she was worth, Tohru smiled triumphantly to herself, as she knew exactly what was going on. She knew that it had to be the Fight Card that was causing all the trouble, although she sincerely hoped that Kazuma hadn't been hurt.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Yuki spoke to her. "Miss Honda, do you mind if we go to visit Shishou before school?" he asked.
She smiled at him. "Not at all Yuki, you two go right ahead. But you'd better eat first." She said, as she put breakfast on the table.
"All right then." Yuki said sitting down opposite Shigure, who had managed to drag himself out of bed long enough to eat.
"What do you think he's going to tell us?" Yuki asked Kyo as they neared Kazuma's house.
"Hopefully how to beat this thing." Kyo replied.
Personally, Yuki found it hard to believe that Kazuma would know how do defeat a magical being, but he didn't tell Kyo that for fear of aggravating the already testy Cat. Andromache and Andromeda giggled allowed at his thought, succeeding in doing what Yuki had hoped to avoid… aggravating Kyo.
They arrived at the dojo, and Kyo knocked on the door to the small cottage next door. When there was no answer, he led them around the back of the dojo. "Shishou?" he yelled.
"I'm up front!" Kazuma called back.
They took off their shoes and made our way back, leaving the two kittens with their things; their mental link meant that they would still be able to listen in to the conversation.
The boys sat cross-legged on the rush mats in front of Kazuma. The older Sohma sighed. "I suspose you heard about my defeat." He said, sounding slightly amused.
Kyo nodded. "We want to know how we might beat her." he told their master without preamble.
Kazuma stared at them. "You can't be serious. You can't defeat her, she's too strong!" he exclaimed.
"Master, this is important." Yuki said softly. "Any information you can give us will be appreciated."
Kazuma sighed. "There's nothing I can tell you except not to fight her. She's unbeatable."
Kyo stood; they were going to be late for school. "No one is unbeatable with the right tactics." He said.
They said their farewells and collected their gear and their guardians. "Well that was a waste of effort." Kyo grumbled.
Yuki resisted the urge to say "I told you so."
I spent the whole day trying to come up with a logical way to defeat the Card. Evidently, she was the Fight Card, the girls had confirmed this when I asked them about it. Eventually, all I could come up with was us working together to defeat her, which basically meant that it was never going to happen.
After school, Tohru went straight home, as if she knew that we had other things to do. She just gave me a knowing smile and headed out with her friends.
Kyo and I went to the park to find this Card. The girls promised to look after our things while we tried to capture the thing.
We walked around the edge of the pond, and it was eerily deserted. I guessed that no one wanted to come because they were frightened.
It seemed that they had good reason to be afraid, as we soon discovered. The Card came charging at us from out of nowhere, and only our reflexes honed from years of training helped us to get out of her way. Kyo moved to her left, so I immediately went to her right. We've been fighting each other for so many years that we know one another's moves by heart.
The girl attacked Kyo first for some reason or another. She threw punch after punch at him, and he somehow managed to dodge them, but I could see that she was wearing him down gradually. My heart leapt when she hit him square in the stomach and sent him flying. He's had worse injuries from me I suppose, but I still felt bad for him.
While she was busy sparring with Kyo, I leapt at her from behind and dealt her a blow to the back of her head which made her turn on me. At least I was quicker than she was, because I managed to keep up my attack before she could strike back. I felt Kyo hammering her from the other side, and I knew we had her beaten. I reflected momentarily that this had been surprisingly easy, but not for long, as I swept my arms up and called her back to her true form.
As soon as I held her Card in my hand, Andromache, disguised as Tsukiko, silently handed me a pen, and I wrote my name on the bottom of the Card, giving Kyo the top spot.
"Man, why was that so damn easy?" Kyo asked me.
"I guess it was because we were able to work together to defeat her." I said carefully.
I expected Kyo to snort and scoff at me, but instead he looked thoughtful. "Maybe…" he answered, and I felt happy.
When we got home from capturing the Card, Tohru was waiting for us. I could've sworn that there was a triumphant smirk on her face. I mean, since when does Tohru smirk? I also thought that I saw her wink at the twins, but when I asked them they said I must have been imagining things.
Andromache hissed in pain when she saw the growing bruise on my stomach and disappeared. I thought it was out if disgust, but she came back seconds later with Tohru following her, carry a bag of frozen peas and trying to look bemused about following a kitten… trying being the operative word there, why did I get the feeling that she knew something we didn't. I dismissed the thought from my mind as she handed me the peas with a straight face and left again.
Later I went up to the roof, avoiding everyone. I pulled the Card out of my pocket, where I still hadn't put it in the book. I must have stared thoughtfully at it for at least an hour, because before I knew it, Yuki had come up to the roof to find me, and we sat in silence contemplating the newest edition to our Card collection.
"Hey Yuki." I said suddenly. "Would you let me use the Fight Card to try and beat you?"
"No!" he scoffed, "Why would I want to do that?"
I cringed a little at the tone of his voice. I suddenly remembered that he had to go and see Akito the following day, since it was Friday today. "Hey Yuki, why do you hate Akito so much?" I asked him. I saw him stiffen as he remembered that he was visiting the head of the family the next day. "What did he do to you to give you that scar?"
He was silent for a long time, and I didn't think he was going to tell me, but suddenly he began to speak, his voice flat and emotionless. "When I was younger, before I moved to Shigure's house, Akito raped me. He would do it whenever he got the chance, to remind me that I belonged to him and him alone. Every time he was finished with me, he would take a knife and cut my body with it, just to make sure that I remembered even when I wasn't with him." he smiled bitterly. "He'll probably do it again tomorrow; no doubt that's why he wants to see me."
I was horrified; this is what the man who was 'protecting' us was doing to one of our own? I remembered the scar I had seen on Yuki's back the other day and shuddered inwardly.
For a moment I didn't trust my voice, but eventually I said, "He wants to lock me up after I graduate. I made a deal with him when I was a little kid that if I could beat you in a fight then he would let me go. If I can't beat you then he'll lock me up and throw away the key."
It was Yuki's turn to stare at me, and in that moment I think we reached a new understanding, because he put his hand on mine in a strangely intimate gesture that for some reason made me blush slightly and said in a very quiet voice. "I don't want you to be locked up Kyo."
He stood up then, and looked down at me with a sad smile. "Perhaps I will let you beat me using the Fight Card. No one deserves to be locked up like that." He smirked at me. "Besides, it might finally even up our abilities enough to make a decent fight."
With that he walked away, leaving me spluttering indignantly in his wake.
"Kuso nezumi!" I yelled.
I could've sworn I heard a very soft reply of "Baka neko…" float back to me.
But something told me it was different this time? How did I know?
I didn't hate him anymore.
I woke early Saturday morning and went out onto the roof to watch the sunrise, and then I went down to train. By the time I got back everyone was up and about. I waved a hello to Tohru and Shigure and went absently up the stairs.
I ran into Yuki in the hallway. He looked more pale than usual. "Are you ready to go?" I asked him.
He sighed. "As ready as I'll ever be." He whispered.
That decided me. "I'm coming with you." I said.
It was testimony to his fear that he didn't try and stop me.
Shigure drove us to the main house. We told Tohru that she could go out, but she said that she'd rather stay home and keep the cats company, which I thought was a little weird.
When we got there, Shigure accompanied Yuki to greet Akito, and then went to visit Hatori. I hung around on the roof of the main entrance of the house, lying down looking up at the sky, until I felt a familiar sensation engulf me. "Crap…" I muttered, sensing a Card nearby. I looked around trying to see where it was…
It didn't take me long to find it, because I suddenly had my own person raincloud following me around, no matter how hard I tried to lose it.
Someone forgot to tell this Card that cats hate water!
I tried to get rid of the thing by dodging it as best I could, until I suddenly remembered a crucial thing. "Hello! Baka, you have MAGIC you moron!" I yelled at myself.
I ran out and turned to face it before it could follow me. "Return to your true form, Rain Card!" I commanded it, sweeping my arms out in front of me.
It exploded in a shower of raindrops and swirled into my waiting hand. I looked at the picture on the Card. It was actually rather adorable; a childlike figure sitting on a raincloud.
"Well aren't you cute." I told it sarcastically. It must have heard me, because the card ejected another shower of raindrops at me. It was mocking me, I just knew it.
I shook the water out of my hair, and attempted to wring it out of my t-shirt.
Awww fuck… fuck, fuck, fuck.
Around half an hour to forty-five minutes later, Yuki and Shigure walked out of Akito's house calmly, as if nothing had happened, which, I thought to myself, was probably not the case. Thankfully I had dried out by then.
The car ride home was silent. Shigure didn't make a single comment either, which surprised me, but I noticed Yuki's hand was shaking and realised that he'd probably seen it too.
When we got back Yuki greeted Tohru cheerfully before heading up the stairs. I heard him close the bathroom door.
I went and sat on the roof with the cats, lost in thought, and hoping that Yuki was all right.
An hour later, as I went back into the living room, I discovered that Shigure had gone to a meeting with his editor, and that Yuki still hadn't left the bathroom.
"I'm worried about him Kyo, what if something happened to him at Akito-san's." she fretted.
I was up the stairs and at the bathroom door before she finished her sentence.
I knocked on the door. "Yuki?" I asked quietly.
"Go away." He said vehemently. It sounded like he'd been crying.
"No, I damn well won't go away!" I replied, just as strongly. "I'm coming in.
And so I did, and I was appalled by what I saw.
Yuki was sitting in the bathtub, tears were streaming down his face and he was scrubbing fiercely at his skin.
I went to him and pulled the coarse scrubbing brush from his hands. I looked his body up and down, blushing faintly as I did so.
But my embarrassment was short lived as I saw what Akito had done to him.
Yuki's back, stomach, legs and upper arms were littered with old wounds. There was a fresh cut on his inner thigh that was bleeding sluggishly. I let out a gasp of horror as I took in the devastating sight before me.
"Yuki…" I whispered, at a loss for words. His hands grabbed for the scrubbing brush again, so I threw them out of his reach. I helped him to get out of the tub, all the while my mind racing. This was why Yuki never wore shorts or anything other than full length pants, and why he never wore sleeveless shirts, he couldn't bear to let anyone see him like this.
Silently I handed him a towel and led him back to his room. I turned my head while he dried and changed his clothes. I saw that his new cut was still bleeding, so I told him to wait while I went to get some bandages for him.
When I returned he was sitting on the bed. I knelt in front of him and wrapped up his leg.
I had scarcely finished when he gave a heart wrenching sob threw himself into my arms. "I feel… so dirty…" he sobbed in between gasping breaths. "Why does it have to be like this?" he asked.
Slowly I wrapped my arms around his slender waist, inwardly shuddering at how thin he was. "I don't know Yuki, but it's not your fault." I told him as I let us sink to the floor.
We lay like that until he fell asleep.
I think it was that moment that I knew that I wanted to protect him no matter what the cost…
If I could've hidden my scars when Kyo came in I would've gladly done so. I saw the look of horror in his eyes when he saw them all, showing just how many times Akito had raped me.
The one he had put on my thigh a scant few hours ago was still bleeding, and I was trying desperately to wash the filth from my body, like I did every time it happened, but no amount of scrubbing would ever make me feel clean again… None.
I felt Kyo gently tug the scrubbing brush out of my hands, and I mutely allowed him to help be back to my room. I vaguely heard him tell me that he was going to go and get some bandages for my leg.
As soon as he'd gone my legs gave out from under me. I was in so much pain, both physical and emotional.
Kyo came back and knelt in front of me to wrap the bandages around my leg, and I noticed through the haze that he was being unbelievably gentle with me.
Tears welled up in my eyes at the thought. Someone was being gentle with me in a way no one ever had been before.
Unable to bear it any longer, I cannoned into Kyo, sobbing my heart out. "I feel… so dirty…" I told him, my breath hitching on every word. "Why does it have to be like this?" I asked him.
I gratefully felt him wrap his arms tentatively around my waist, and I leaned into him. "I don't know Yuki, but it's not your fault." I hear him whisper to me, and for a moment, I believed him as he lowered us down until we were tangled together on the floor, me a sobbing mess, and him a comforting glow that wrapped itself around me and allowed me to vent my emotions on him.
Last thing I remember, I was falling asleep in his arms, which was exactly where I wanted to be.
END OF CHAPTER 2!
What did every one think of chapter two? I've pretty much based this story in the Anime, but there might be references to the Manga.
Yuki seems pretty pitiful right now, but this explains why he's terrified of Akito and it gives the boys the opportunity to deepen their relationship. Hands up if you hate and despise Akito! I do…
This is officially the longest chapter I have ever written! 21 pages! WOO HOO! Mind you, I have no idea what I'm going to do in the next chapter…
Please read and review, it means a lot to me!
This is dedicated to Ying Ying and Uyen, for being patient, and Carly who likes this couple too!