Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket.


I loved it.

I loved the sunlight playing on his white and black hair. I loved his arms that encircled me. I loved the feeling of my head on his broad chest.

I loved just hearing his heartbeat. It's slow and melodic; at a tempo that hypnotizes me into wanting to sleep.

I am fully awake however. I don't want to sleep. I want to stay up and watch him.

Hatsuharu is a majestic being. I've always known this, but it's in the sunlight that his beauty is fully realized. His hair is like delicate feathers over his forehead. Obsidian-coloured eyelashes slope upward away from his cheeks. He has a nicely curved nose, a delectable set of full lips, and a pointed chin that slides into his milk white throat. His traits are heightened by the golden light. It's as if he's a glowing king.

I never get tired of looking into his face. I leaned in closer, drawing the blanket around me as if we had an audience and I was concerned about my lack of clothes. I could feel his breath on my cheek.

The atmosphere was beautiful and serene.

I loved it.

My feet extended to his toes under the covers. My toes danced over his like a pianist uses his fingers to strike the keys of his instrument.

This has been occurring for three months. We've managed to be discreet with our actions. No one knows. Why should they? It's none of their business.

"Kagura..." His voice was clogged with hours not dedicated to sleep, but it was still rich and vibrant. Hatsuharu's eyes fluttered open. I don't know if he's more beautiful when he's lost in the stupor of sleep or if it's when I can gaze into those silver eyes.

He smiled. "Would you stop that?"

I continued to balance my toes on his. Next, they traveled up his legs.

His legs were stacked on top of mine now. It was if we were one being. If I could be connected to him for all eternity, I wouldn't mind.

His hands gripped my shoulders. In the space of a second, he was looking into my eyes from above.

I giggled. I couldn't help it. I'm always laughing when I'm next to him!

Hatsuharu grinned. "Kaguuurraaa..."

"Hatsuharuuuu," I sang teasingly.

I sprang up and ran! Nude and uncaring, I dashed about the spacious room.

He soon went after me. We were laughing and running. I ran behind the dresser and peeked out at him. The object behind his back covered me from my neck to my ankles. With the sheet trailing after us, he lifted me high in the air.

"Put me down!" I laughed, hoping that he wouldn't.

I didn't need to worry. "Never. Never, never, never! I'll never let you down!"

He carried me to where we previously lay and dropped me on the bed.

It didn't occur to me that he could come to mean this much to me.

Three months earlier, we were vulnerable souls that reached out to each other. He was the one who came to me first. He went into my room one night and told me a terrible story. Yuki rejected him with bitter words. Hatsuharu put up a front of being indifferent to it, but I could see how he truly felt. He was devastated.

First, he held onto me as if I were his only salvation. My arms encircled him. We cried. I knew how it felt to taste the bitter blade of unrequited love. People thought we were impervious to Kyo and Yuki's distaste of our displays of affection. No one sees that we get just as upset when they push us away.

His kiss had the taste of his tears. I felt regret and a question laced in it as well. Why couldn't you love me, Yuki? I couldn't answer his question. I hoped that by pressing my lips harder on his, I could dispel his inner storm.

Where did my loyalty to Kyo go? This wasn't the way to console Hatsuharu! I should've used my mouth to form comforting words, not confuse him further. But I knew that in my arms was a person who needed me. It felt nice to be wanted and needed instead of shunned. This wasn't a feeling I could experience with Kyo. I needed him as well. I wanted to be loved so much.

The next day, I heard his heart march sleepily in my ears.

In the back of our minds, we were aware that I wasn't Yuki and Hatsuharu wasn't Kyo. However, we didn't care about that. To each other, we were stand-ins for the ones we loved but didn't love us in return.

It wasn't questioned by us. It was just accepted as the way things were. It was as if we were we were in a play that started when the sun went down. We were kin during the day, but at night, our nocturnal personas surfaced. Sugar substitutes. That's what we were to each other. We weren't as sweet as the pure sugar Yuki and Kyo embodied, but the spurious sweetness was enough for us. The dark was our solace. We were each other's solace.

I view him as the sweetest sugar now, but I won't tell him how I feel. Our relationship is fragile enough as it is. We are lovers, secret lovers, but… I don't think he loves me. He says he does. But the basis of this "relationship" has been based on settling for second best. We live nocturnal lives as well as through nocturnal lies. If I say a word, he would leave me and where would I be? I still want to comfort him, although this sort of selfish act isn't the best way to console a shattered heart.

And when it comes right down to it, I'm a person who doesn't deserve even being in Hatsuharu's presence. Compared to Yuki and Rin, I'm a selfish person who has no courage. Rin sacrificed being with Hatsuharu so Akito's wrath wouldn't be enacted on him. Yuki convinced him that he wasn't stupid because of his role of allowing the Rat to ride on his back in the story of the Chinese Zodiac. How could I compare to her self-sacrificing decision and Yuki's kindness? They are stars in the infinite atmosphere that I can never aspire to. He's better off without me.

Artificial love is better for him. I would be selfish if I told him I loved him. Like our relationship, my feelings will be concealed behind the door of my mind.

"What're you thinking?" Hatsuharu asked as he looked into my face.

"Nothing."

We're so alike. That's the reason I love him. He's my king, my lord, the sugar of my soul. I would be nothing without him.

He inquisitively gazed at me. Hatsuharu doesn't just look at me behind closed doors. He looks into my heart and soul. I swallowed a growing lump in my throat. I wouldn't let him see something that'll only destroy him in the end.

Hatsuharu didn't pursue an answer even though he knew I was hiding something from him. He stood once again and wordlessly gathered the articles of clothing strewn across the floor. My heart shattered when he handed me my dress. This was the end of the play. As soon as the morning light made its entrance in the east, we were transformed into cousins again. Our roles as secret lovers ended as of now.

As his defined muscles became concealed by a pitch black shirt and his powerful legs were inside his pants, I wistfully looked at him. I would count the minutes until his body would be revealed to me once more. I would savor reclining on his chest when morning rolled around.

I would be happy and sad. Happy because I have another chance of being beside him. Sad because the morning sun would steal him from me again. I would act as if I were insanely in love with Kyo. He would pursue Yuki passionately, genuinely, I'm sure.

I used to love the serenity of morning. I now despise when the sun rises and brings the golden light that will make him a dream to me. The sunlight makes him look glorious.

That doesn't take away from the fact that the sun is a thief.

Fin