Twill: I do not own Fruits Basket, though I wish I did. Then I could hug them all until the cows came home, no pun intended… until now.

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One Day

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The day was pleasant and warm, a light breeze blowing from the West and the sun shining down happily. To Hatsuharu Sohma, it was the perfect day to be out, wandering the countryside. He was supposed to be looking for a villa, or a house, or something (he couldn't quite remember) but after passing the same rock, which appeared rather inviting, Haru had decided he would prefer to sit, for a while anyway.

Bees wobbled lazily through the air and Haru sighed. It wasn't often that he had this much free time to himself. Usually any one of many family members would nudge their way into his life and he'd have to carefully nudge them away. Momiji, for example, often nattered on about homework, friends, Hatori, and Tohru.

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"Haru," the little bunny would always begin, "I think Hari's weird. He never talks enough! What if he's not getting enough air? What if his brain starves and he becomes stupid? We can't survive without a doctor!"

And then Hatsuharu would look blankly at Momiji for a solid few seconds before asking the most penetrating question of all time: "What?"

Momiji would laugh and proceed to explain. "In Biology today, remember? We learned about the brain, and how it needs oxygen or else you have a stroke."

"Are you saying that Hatori has had a stroke?"

At this point, the rabbit's imagination was running away with the boy. "He's always cooped up in his study, or hiding somewhere, so isn't it possible he had one when nobody was looking?" Momiji would stare off in whatever direction Hatori may be, eyes big and watery.

Haru, at this point, shrugged. "I suppose it's always possible. But I don't think Hatori would be much of a doctor if he let that happen."

Satisfied, Momiji would then move on to the next topic. "Haru," he would begin, as always. And then things progressed from there. "What do you think Tohru eats for breakfast?"

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Momiji was the most frequent and trying example of distraction in Haru's life, but he couldn't fault the rabbit for it. In fact, the ox surmised, if Momiji were to ever stop he'd probably seek out the blonde, just to hear him ask strange questions.

Other Sohma members, however, were an entirely different case. Yuki was constantly belittling himself, Rin refused to eat and stay safe, and Kyo had anger problems. Haru felt it was his responsibility to make sure they all stayed sane and healthy and out of prison.

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Yuki often stared, secretly he believed, at Kyo and Tohru whenever they spoke to each other, or did anything that put them in close proximity. Haru, who was quiet observant, would secretly watch Yuki secretly watch the pair. And then the rat would sigh inaudible, and Haru would shuffle over.

"Ne, Yuki."

"Hm? Did you want something, Haru?"

Quite bluntly, gaze unwavering and bland, the question always made its way from Haru's lips. "You know I love you, right?"

Agitated, afraid, annoyed, Yuki would furrow his brow and regard his cousin coolly. "I wish you wouldn't say that."

"Why?" Haru's hand always found its way onto the bottom of Yuki's shirt, tugging insistently. Always knowing the answer, always expecting the same response, Hatsuharu always asked the question anyway.

"Because it's embarrassing, and I don't think you really mean it." With this, Yuki would leave, to school or, his room or his garden. But at least for a few minutes, Yuki wasn't worrying about Kyo and Tohru, and making himself feel bad. For a moment, Yuki could only hear and think about someone loving him.

To Haru, that was a victory.

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"Rin, you need to eat something." Quietly, unobtrusively, a small plate of rice balls or takoyaki would slide forward.

Fractions of a second later, the plate would slide back. "I'm not hungry." The plate war would continue, without words, for several minutes, until, "I don't like this anyway, so I'm not going to eat it."

"I made it for you."

With a quick glance, an exasperated sound, and sharp movements, Rin would snatch up whatever snack was at hand and eat it. She would glare defiantly at the end, as if stating that she had been forced and that just wasn't fair.

Then Haru would slide another plate forward, smiling for all the world.

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Yuki and Rin, and a few others, were the ones that worried Haru. He was afraid that they would one day disappear if not told they were loved or fed. Someone like Kyo, on the other hand, was safe. And he was fun.

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"Let's fight."

"What! No!" Kyo would shove the clinging ox away and huff, glaring so furiously he was in danger of lighting Shigure's house on fire. But Kyo was angry, and Haru was persistant.

Tug. Tug.

"Go away, ya damn cow!" Kyo was often stubborn, never seeming to learn that Haru would not be dismayed. If it meant the use of more aggressive tactics, so be it.

Enter Black Haru.

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With a swing or a sneer, the fight was on. Or so Haru had been told. Those moments were fuzzy at best in his memory. But what he did know was that Kyo had entered with the attitude of a toddler whose favorite crayon had been broken, and left with exasperation. Thus the world was saved.

Breaking from his reverie, Haru stood. The shadows around him had grown long and the breeze was cool. Even the sun wasn't as friendly, dipping down toward the horizon. It was time to continue the search for whatever it was. He would have plenty of time to think about his time with the family later, most likely when spending time with them. Life was funny that way.

His only concern for the moment, other than locating that place for which he searched, was determining how a day could have passed.

A mystery…

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Twill: Well, there's my first attempt at a Furuba fic. Short, short, and short. I'll come back, though. And I hope my next fic will be longer. Ja!