Author's Note: I hope you like this story, some of it is a bit cracked-out but I tried to include equal amounts of drama to balance the humour. Some chapters are unbetaed, so please tell me of any errors you find so I can correct them. Thanks for reading!
Blue Heaven, chapter 1
"This new class sounds… odd, don't you think?" Tohru asked as they walked in the direction of said class. It was the first day of the new term, and to everyone's surprise, a course entitled 'Family Life' had been exchanged for Health.
"I mean," she continued worriedly, "what if they want us to do some sort of project with our families? Like keep a diary that we all have to write in?" Her eyes widened and her speech quickened with each word until her eyes were bugged out and her words all ran together. "ThatwouldbehorriblebecauseIknowmy auntanduncleandcousinwouldn't—"
She was abruptly cut off when Kyou's hand lightly cuffed her on the back of the head. "Shut up," he told her genially. "If that's what it is, we'll just make something up."
A sane person might have taken offense, but Tohru just beamed at him. "That's so kind of you, Kyou-kun," she burbled happily, "going to that much trouble for me."
Shifting uncomfortably, Kyou glanced round at the others. "Not like any of us have normal home lives," he said. "We're all going to be lying our asses off."
Hana turned her liquid gaze upon him. "My home life is perfectly normal," she said tonelessly.
"And ain't that ironic?" Uo muttered wryly. She didn't know the whole story behind the Sohmas, but with half of them living with people other than their actual parents, it sure didn't look good for them.
"Hana-chan has a wonderful family!" Tohru enthused.
"So what happened to her?" Kyou wanted to know, but… something… sizzled and with a truncated yelp, he abruptly fell silent, much to Yuki's amusement— the smile that crossed his face was nothing short of luminous.
Kyou shot them all a filthy look and loped down the hall, darting into the room ahead of them. They followed more slowly, taking their seats.
Uo watched the teacher, but there was no hint of the torture to come on Kurosaki-sensei's face. She really hoped it wouldn't be any sort of stupid diary thing, as she sincerely doubted her father could stay sober long enough to write a coherent paragraph or two.
"I'm sure you've all been speculating as to what this class will entail," Mr. Kurosaki said by way of beginning, "but I don't think any of you have been able to guess correctly."
A groan went up among the students, Kyou chief among them. Mr. Kurosaki flashed a grin that clearly said, "if I have to go through this, so do you."
"For this class, you will have a fictional marriage with another classmate. Your grade is based on how you respond to the real-life, adult issues assigned to you throughout the course of the year."
The teacher's words were met with varied gasps of astonishment, dismay, and delight. (that last from members of the Prince Yuki Fan Club at the idea of being 'married' to their reigning monarch)
"You will be expected to work closely together for several months, which is why you'll be allowed to choose your spouse instead of having one be assigned to you. You have ten minutes to find yourselves a husband or wife; if by the end of that time you are unattached, another single person will be assigned as your spouse."
There was an air of breathless suspense. Uo imagined she could hear the finger tendons twanging like guitar strings on the girls who were gripping the edges of their desks, forcibly restraining themselves from rushing in Yuki's direction. She ducked her head, letting her hair swing forward and cover her face so she could grin.
"Your ten minutes starts… now," Mr. Kurosaki said, and there was a bone-jarring cacophony as chairs were scraped back and feet thundered across the linoleum.
Uo ran a discerning eye over her prospects, which were, she was sorry to say, few and meager. To no one's surprise, Yuki had immediately been surrounded by every girl in the room except for herself, Hana, and Tohru.
Hana sat calmly at her desk, eyes glazed as she stared out the window in supreme disinterest. Kyou was tensely mauling a pencil, his gaze fixed with malevolent jealousy at the swarm around his cousin. He appeared to be looking for someone in particular.
Tohru, also to no one's surprise, went directly to him. "Kyou-kun," she began, then leapt back when he twitched violently in surprise.
"Yeah?" he snarled. His face wore its customary surly expression, but it softened marginally when he saw who it was. "Yeah?" he repeated in a slightly more pleasant tone.
"I was wondering… if you wouldn't mind too terribly…" Tohru flushed a brilliant pink and began bowing repeatedly and quickly. "That is to say—"
"Just spit it out," Kyou commanded. The kid might have a shitty personality, Uo thought, but he wasn't stupid. It was clear he had a suspicion what Tohru was going to say, if the equally bright pink his ears were turning was any indication.
"If it wouldn't be too much of a horrible, horrible imposition," Tohru whispered miserably, hands twisting the hem of her skirt into a wrinkled mess, "would Kyou-kun do me the honour of marrying me?"
Aching hope skittered across the boy's features before he was able to get himself under control, leaving Uo feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed, as if she'd witnessed something private that she had no right to see. She glanced away, toward her other friend.
"Hey, Hana," she called, getting that girl's attention. "Wanna shack up and be the fashionable lesbian couple?"
Hana's brilliantly dark eyes turned slowly toward her. "No," she replied, "but thank you for asking."
Uo sighed and looked around. Tohru was beaming again, and Kyou had a tentative smile on his face, so Uo knew they'd worked things out between them. There were a few boys loitering across the room, shooting speculative and hopeful glances her way, but she sincerely doubted she'd have the patience to be "married" to them for the rest of the school year.
Across the room, Yuki Sohma looked about two minutes from hanging himself. At least a dozen girls were still clamoring in a tight ring around his desk, all promising to be the best wife ever, to do his laundry and cook his meals and rub his shoulders and—
A rare flash of pity twanged through Uo and before she knew entirely what she was doing, she was up and striding toward his side of the room. She shouldered her way easily through the throng and faced it down, putting herself between them and him.
"Get lost," she said menacingly. "I'm gonna be the princess of this kingdom."
"Miss Uotani," Yuki said, clearly startled, "this is very kind of you, but not at all necessary."
She didn't tear her eyes away from the staring contest she was conducting with a particularly hostile fan of the prince, but answered out of the side of her mouth.
"You're the least obnoxious guy in the room right now," she told him flatly. "I'm doing this for myself as much as for you. We get along, right?" Now she did dart a glance at him. At his nod, she continued. "So this won't hurt nearly as much as if you had to have one of these idiots—" she jerked a thumb at the remaining protesters "—or if I had to settle for one of those mouth-breathers over there."
The other thumb pointed at the remaining boys on the far side of the room, staring wistfully in their direction.
"Deal?" Uo asked, smiling broadly and sticking out her hand to shake.
"It's a deal, Mrs. Sohma," Yuki said after a moment's hesitation, smiling back and grasping her hand in his own. The resultant wail that went up from the disappointed huddle of girls only made them grin harder.
"Alright, alright, everyone back in your seats. When I call your name, announce your new spouse's name," called the teacher over the chatter.
Tohru jumped slightly in her chair when her name was called, but her voice was clear and strong when she spoke. "Sohma Kyou." A few aisles away, Uo could see the tension in Kyou's shoulders relax fractionally.
When her own name was called, Uo couldn't keep the smug grin from spreading across her face. "I landed Yuki Sohma," she announced gaily.
Tohru spun around in her seat, wide-eyed. "Oh, good!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands. "I'm sure Yuki-kun will make a wonderful husband!"
"And if he doesn't…" Uo cracked her knuckles loudly, and laughed at the fan club members' outraged glares. Yuki only shook his head at her in amusement.
"Hanajima Saki," the teacher said. "Who have you married?"
"I am a widow," Hana replied serenely. "My husband died on our wedding day."
"Miss Hanajima, that's not how this works," the teacher said with forced patience. "The point of this exercise is to work with another person in a typical family unit so you get some experience with it."
"It was tragic," Hana continued, as if the teacher hadn't spoken. "As we came out of the temple, a freak storm came up and blew over a tree, which fell on him. All his internal organs were crushed. I was devastated, but am holding up well under the circumstances."
All this was said with a perfectly deadpan expression, but when the teacher opened his mouth to protest once more a halo of sparks sizzled around Hana's head, briefly illuminating the room with pale blue.
"You have my condolences," he said tiredly, sighing, and sat heavily in his chair as Hana nodded her thanks with all the regality of a queen.
At lunchtime, Momiji bounded the hall toward them with Hatsuharu a few, rather more sedate, paces behind his cousin. "How was that class? Will you have to write out diaries?"
"No, it's going to be much better than that!" Tohru enthused. "Kyou-kun and I are married, and we have to keep a ledger of household expenses, and every week another issue will be given to us that we have to overcome, and there will be role-playing so we learn how to work through our differences, and—"
"You married Kyou?" Hatsuharu quirked a brow, eyes flicking toward Yuki.
"Yeah, what of it?" Kyou demanded hotly, getting in his cousin's face.
"He didn't mean anything by it, I'm sure!" Tohru said, insinuating herself between the two boys and pushing on Kyou's chest until he backed off.
"Then who did you marry?" Haru asked Yuki, unperturbed. Kyou seethed and let Tohru placate him.
"Me," Uo said, stepping up. "It was the least I could do, with all those she-wolves circling him like that."
"That means you're the princess, then!" Momiji said happily. "You need a tiara!"
"Can you see me in a tiara?" Uo snorted, though secretly she liked the idea.
"Yes," Hana replied vacantly. "A tiara of pearls, with sapphires to match your eyes. Yes, sapphires… they have excellent vibrations."
"I can't wait to get started!" Tohru said into the silence that fell after that statement. "When do you want to do it, Kyou-kun?"
Kyou started so drastically he tripped over his own feet and nearly fell to the floor. "What?" he gasped, staggering slightly as he regained his footing.
"Our assignment for this week," she clarified, oblivious to his reaction and Uo's laughter. "We have to come up with a household budget. When do you want to do that?"
"I don't care," he replied, glaring daggers at Haru, who was smirking at him. "Just tell me when you want to, and we will."
"Okay!" she said cheerfully, and turned away to respond to Momiji's persistent questioning.
"Whipped already," Haru commented.
"I am not whipped!" Kyou howled, coming after his cousin with murder in his eye.
"You are so whipped," Uo couldn't keep from goading him, and he turned toward her with hands outstretched.
"There's nothing wrong with being amenable to your wife's desires," Hana intoned. "I myself had every intention of being that sort of easygoing spouse, before my tragic and untimely widowhood."
Kyou's angry colour abruptly left him at her use of the word "desires". Turning on his heel, he fled down the hallway.
"Where's Kyou-kun going?" Tohru asked, watching his escape.
"He needed some air," Haru replied. "I think marriage is stifling him."