Aishuu Offers:
Somewhere Slightly North of Reality
A Fruits Basket Fruits Basket is the brainchild of Talaya Natsuki.

There was an art to asking for directions.

Sohma Hatsuharu had, by necessity, learned it.

First off, asking old ladies was a really bad idea. Due to his white hair and somewhat... punkish style, he knew he seemed somewhat intimidating. Most of them just turned around and walked away really quickly, but every now and then one of them would attack him with a cane.

Or worse.

Asking young females was another no-no. He may not have been as popular as his cousin "Prince Yuki", but many of them fell at his feetand never managed to form a coherent sentence. Once he had naively agreed to let a girl lead him to his destination, only to be led home via a route filled with boat rides, resteraunts, and movie theatres. It had taken the girl six hours to lead him a distance of a mile to a taxi station. And it was only through very quick reflexes that he'd managed to avoid getting hugged at the end of it all.

He hadn't asked a female for directions since.

It could almost make him wish he has Kyou's Juunishi curse. Cats at least always knew where they were. Oxes didn't give a damn. It was a problem. since he was human as well, and had human responsibilities.

Asking older men for help was a chancy thing. If he was lucky, they'd assist him while only muttering a few things about "kids these days". If he was unlucky, he'd get a sermon, threatened with the annoying old proverb "The nail that sticks up will be hammered down", and sent on his way without directions. A few times the lectures had been severe enough to bring out his darker side, and the resulting incident had got him a day in juvie until Hatori had arrived with a large sum of money to hush the incident up. Akito had been more amused than anything by the incident, for which Haru was profoundly grateful.

Haru wasn't stupid enough to ask children. He knew that many of them were smarter than most people gave him credit for, but with his appearence, he'd be accused of trying to kidnap them or worse. That was if he was able to get near enough to ask- most of the times mothers dragged their kids across to the opposite side of the street when they saw him coming. So process of elimination left one group.

Teenage guys.

It was actually kind of fun to ask for directions from guys. Some of them cowered before him, others stuttered, and others puffed up and got flushed. No matter who he asked, though, he always got an honest answer- the guys always seemed to be eager to get rid of him. He wasn't that fond of being viewed as a threat, but it wasn't an assumption he'd go out of his way to correct.

So when he got lost for what must have been the umpteenth billion time in his life, he didn't panic. Instead, he patiently waited until he ran into a teenage guy, which luckily didn't take too long. "Excuse me, I'm looking for the Sohma house. Have you seen it?" he asked politely.

"Sure. I just passed it- less then a mile to the North," the young man answered. "I don't suppose you could tell me how to get to the Tendou dojo, could you?"


Yes, it was a xover with Ranma 1/2. If you haven't seen that series, you wouldn't have gotten this. And yes, it's an old joke, but I could just SEE this happening. Sorry for the lack of warning, but that would have ruined it.