The proposal was overheard, and it caused a tremor of rage to travel down the spine of Kyo Sohma. The hands held loosely at his side clenched into fists, as did his jaw as he attempted to not charge Yuki and pound that stoic, calm face of his into a pulp. Stomping back into his room, slamming the screen behind him, he plopped face-first down on his bed. Orange hair the only thing visible as he buried his face into his pillow, a scream full of hatred and rage sounded into the stuffing. It went unheard, but when was that a suprise? Kyo was normally unnoticed and unheard, didn't even belong in the zodiac though cursed with the same thing as the rest of them. Yet...

Yet Tohru was always there, accepting him though he didn't belong. She gave him a place to live, willingly allowing him into her heart even though he was painfully aware of the monster that he was forced to carry and control with beads of bone and blood. And had he allowed her to enter into his own heart? A place that he once believed to be nothing more than a dark abyss that couldn't hold love for himself, much less a person of the opposite sex. Now, he had a girl who ruled over his heart, his thoughts, and more importantly, he was sure that he held a place in her mind even now, after that proposal of the damned rats. Certain that she would come by to talk to him, or she would give him those glances that plainly said they needed to talk. Moping would get nothing done, and even if she made her mind to agree to his Yuki's offer, Kyo would still remain a heavy influence on Tohru...

So why did his heart ache so bad? Why did the mere mention of Yuki and Tohru togther make him want to kill Yuki, more so than the usual violent urges towards him. A sigh, then rising to his feet, the cat sneaks from his bedroom and to his usual hiding place: The roof.

A marriage proposal! On Christmas day! How joyous this evening should be. Tohru Honda, still sixteen, should be celebrating that she was able to capture the heart of the one dubbed "Prince Yuki". But she couldn't. She couldn't say yes. She couldn't say no. She couldn't make up her mind. Her heart was full of something, and she was sure Yuki was the source of the majority of most of it but in the back of her mind she couldn't do it. She couldn't simply give her hand to the rat in hopes of erasing all the bad that surronded his eyes, in hopes of preventing any pain from plaguing his already pained heart. Did her near-rejection cause more pain? If she did say no, would Yuki really od as he said and leave the house he had so longed called home? And where would he go?

Sadness weighed heavy on her mind, as did confusion. But oddly enough, the usual smiling girl felt furious. He gave her an ultimatum, telling her to choose him or lose him. What kind of love was that? What was he thinking with such things? Tohru sighed, a habit it was becoming and not one she liked. She was far too young to feel so old. Venturing quietly back into her room, she fetched Kyo's gift and went to his room to give it to him, but there was no answer when she called from him outside his door. Setting the package outside of his door, she moved towards the roof, assuming that he would be there...

Yuki was pacing about his room and conemplating the past few minutes of his life as he held right to the velvet box within his hands. Had he done the right thing? There was no time to reflect on these matters however, as he caught a glimpse of Tohru outside his window. Watching her curiously, he saw her climb a make-shift ladder and disappear. Yuki frowned, knowing that was where Kyo often went when plagued by something or another, but why would she venture to the roof? Was she there to see Kyo? Would she inform Kyo of this morning's antics? Only one way to find out, and though it wasn't normally the mild-mannered rat's way, he would eavesdrop on the conversation... This was his possible wife, and he wanted to be sure nothing would prevent it, not even a cat that could easily be taken care of.

Kyo knew she would make her way to the top of the house, as she did when she was seeking his exclusive company. One of her sweaters lay next to him, one he brought for her as the morning were still chilly. Of course, she was going to need it as she had came straight from her room, pajama clad without a jacket to shelter her form the winters' wrath. Quietly, Tohru padded towards Kyo with a gentle smile on her face to mirror the forced and hesitant smile upon Kyo's own visage. The two were not suprised to find the other already present, and both slid into their usual comfort zone. Tohru, cross-legged sat next to Kyo, shoulders would brush occasionally as they both stared foward as if waiting on the sun to tell their tales.

"Merry Christmas," murmured Kyo, tiring of the silence that settled over them. His orange eyes slid over towards her, tracing down her form as she hugged herself to shield from the cold. The sweater was removed from the roof's top and placed around her shoulders within seconds, and silence fell over the two once more. Tohru forgetting her manners, and not yet replying to the merry greetings from the cat. Both were lost in their thoughts. Kyo's dwelling on she, and Tohru's thoughts so scattered it was causing her head to spin inwardly.

"Merry Christmas, Kyo-kun," is finally muttered from Tohru, as she now looks towards the orange-haired boy, oblvious to the rat that hid in the shadows listening to the non-existent conversation between the two.

A genuine smile crosses over Kyo's face as she finally speaks to him, though it's fleeting as the thoughts of Yuki come back to him. "Kyo?" A frown is evident on the girl's face, tears glistening in her eyes.

Concern takes over Kyo's facial features, moving down a bit to look Tohru in the eyes as he awaits her to continue with why she called her name. "It's rare that you come up here with a problem. Usually you're here to hear mine, so... this time, I'll listen to you, alright? What's wrong, Tohru?"

Her breath is expelled, as his is held, both waiting for Tohru's confession, but she's unsure how to start it. Fearful of Kyo's reaction, fearful by confessing to him, she'll realize what descion she'll come to within that second, and she's well aware that she's balancing on a ledge. If she tips towards Yuki, will Kyo break? And if she doesn't go for Yuki, will Yuki be able to stand yet another rejection? Removing those thoughts for a moment, she tells Kyo the entire story not aware that he knew everything already.

The cat tried his damndest to keep the anger from creeping it's way into his voice, remaining neutral as he can as not to influence the matters of -her- heart. "Let him leave, I say! With that damn rat gone we can both be happy. Not seeing his face anymore wouldn't be so bad." Shaking her head, Tohru couldn't help but smile. This was the Kyo that she was expecting when she climbed up that ladder to reveal this secret to him. Little did either know that said rat waited with baited breath in the shadows of the house, still listening intently to the conversation.

The words, "I don't know what I want.", hung in the air. Words Tohru feared to admit aloud for fear of harming one heart or another. Perhaps she should take her leave of this house... That would prevent her from dealing with any of it, wouldn't it? Then she could hurt them all equally, that'd be fair, wouldn't it?

Kyo was staring long and hard at the girl, and as if reading her thoughts shook his head and growled, "Don't you dare think of giving up, Tohru. You're strong, right?" His hand slipped into her own, offering his strength if need be. An awkward smile came over him as he murmured, "Listen closely, Tohru. You're the girl of my affections, as little as they may be. Since you've entered my life, I've been trying to be a person that's worthwhile. One that you can admire, one that you'll be able to love as much as I love you.

"I realize that you love me as well, maybe not in the same way, but I'm in your heart. In your mind. I've occupied a spot there so long, I'm a famaliarity to all of you. Your body, your heart, your soul- if you will. When you get married, you'll be giving all that to that one person, and they had better be someone that deserves it. It pains me to admit, but that's not me, I don't think. I cause nothing but heartache and pain, and I'm selfish. This is plain to see, yet you've been my rock. You've kept me to this house when I felt like I lost all hope, when I felt like I was drowning and wanted to escape, you kept me here. So, please, for this moment, let me be your rock? Let me be the reason you decide to stay here? Because if you leave now, even though this situation is tough, I'll leave to. Do you understand that? I'll chase after you. This time that I have, this time that I'm free before I'm forced into confinment, I want to spend it with you..."

Tears were being shed now, by both parties atop the roof and Kyo continued onward. "Should you agree to marry him, I'll cooperate with you, alright? If you must hand your heart to him, I'll let it happen with a smile. It's the least I can do to re-pay you for all you've done for me..." Knowing he would change, he couldn't help but tightly grab ahold of her thin arm and pull her to him. For a moment, she was locked in his embrace and then he was back to his zodiac form: an orange cat. Kyo nuzzled his face into her knee, demanding attention from the female which she willingly gave him. Cradling the cat in her arms, face pressed against him as tears fell down her cheeks, she murmured the words, "Thank you."

His words, however sweet did nothing to cease her heart from racing. She was in love with Kyo, in the same sense she was in love with Yuki. She couldn't have them both, she couldn't run away, she had no choice but to choose. But her choice would hurt them, wound them deeply. Just thinking of such harm caused tears to fall harder from her eyes, sobs that she couldn't stifle as the cat in her arms felt his heart breaking with the thought of letting her go to his enemy...

As tears were being shed, and others were listening, a car was being pulled into the driveway, and in it was Akito and his constant companion, the rooster, Kureno... Furious was the supposed "God" of the zodiac, and it was all for one being.

One girl...

Tohru Honda..

Who only had...

6 days.