Lord Cynic: (peeks around the corner) "Is it safe?" (Doesn't see rampaging readers) "Phew, it felt like I was Austin Powers… except that I'd get mauled instead. Anyways, this is another one of those 'phase changes' for me, and this time, as you can see, it's Fruits Basket. I watched the whole anime about a week ago, and have been hooked on it and the manga ever since. Well, I had up to volume 3 before watching the anime, but now I'm more inclined to collect as much of the set as I can.

Before that, though, I thought I'd give you this offering. It's sort of a two-in-one deal, if you want to look at it that way. They're both connected, so it's supposed to be a whole one-shot. The first part is in 1st-person POV, the second in 3rd-person. The title should've given away who the protagonist is, so I won't say anything on that subject.

A few people have already read them from my Live Journal, and I thank them muchness. Now I can duck my head before the flames come in… and then grab some marshmallows. Snack time!

Oh, one more thing, I promise: Tomokazu Seki and Yui Horie rule! If you don't know who they are… shame on you." (calls out to nowhere in particular) "I'M SO SORRY! I APOLOGISE FOR THEM! I APOLOGISE TO THE ENTIRE WORLD!"

Lord Cynic: "I don't own Fruits Basket. Go stalk Natsuki Takaya instead."

A Cat's Tale

Once again, I've gotten my ass kicked by that damn rat, Yuki. Damnit, I wasn't even able to land a punch before he sent be flying through another door, into the yard. Then again, I've never even been able to touch him. But that's beside the point. As I lay in a heap in the bushes, I could see the hatred in his eyes. But why should he be angry? If anything, I should be, and am, the one who's pissed off! He has no damn idea what it's like to be on the end of an ass kicking every single time!

Of course, it's always been like that. Even if I try to become stronger, no matter what I do, it's never enough. I spent four long, damn months training in the mountains with my master, but I can never beat the rat. He never even looks like he's trying, either. It's as if he's humouring me. Well, there's nothing funny about getting the crap kicked out of me, you asshole! I bet that he even keeps a stopwatch to see how long it takes to humiliate me yet again, then tries to beat it every time. Damnit, I hate him! I hate him!

I hate him, but not being able to beat him isn't the only reason. That damn Shigure once accused me of only wearing my hatred on my sleeve, like some kind of pansy bracelet. He had the nerve to tell me that I was too afraid to understand the real reason. The hell I am! What right does that slack off gave interfere in my business? Damn nosy bastard is too lazy to do his 'job', but loves to intrude on every thing in this house, and never once looks sorry for it! I don't care if he does own it, he does not own the right to trespass on my life ambitions or my reasons for them. He doesn't know the real reason I hate that damn Yuki. He doesn't know the driving force behind my search for revenge. He doesn't know why it is that I despise that pretty boy, as well as almost everyone else in the family.

Everyone pushes me away because of what I am. Everyone hates me because I'm the outcast. Everyone turns his and her noses at me because I'm the cat, the travesty of the Sohma name. The cat, who was tricked into missing the banquet, by the one who was supposed to be his friend. The cat, who was denied the chance to belong because he was betrayed – by that damn rat. Ever since I was born, I was looked down upon because of what I was, who I would become and my so-called fate. Even my own mother couldn't face the truth. She couldn't bear to believe that I am who I am, and she couldn't be honest with me. Damn it, she even committed suicide because she was afraid and ashamed of me. I knew she was afraid of me. I knew she was ashamed of me. Hell, I might have been young then, but I wasn't, and am still not, as stupid as everyone believes. I could see the fear in her eyes; I could hear the tremble in her voice; I could sense the hesitation in her actions towards me. But she never spoke the truth, she never told me the one thing I've always wanted to hear. Instead, she took the easy way out. And don't even mention that dirt bag I could call my 'biological' father. That bastard walked out on me when he learned how cursed his 'son' was. He is not a real man… I know that. But I don't care anymore. He can go to Hell for all I are, because it's not as if he's the only one.

The people in my 'family' look at me in disgust. They know that since I'm the cat, I have another secret buried deep inside me. The beads I wear on my wrist keep me from revealing that secret. It's not my fault… It's not, so why am I treated like I am? It's not my fault I'm a monster, so why does everyone look at me like I'm a bomb about to go off? Everyone treats me like a disease, like I should be locked away for good. Well, except for Kagura, but she only thinks she loves me. Deep down, I know she's as afraid of me as everyone else. Kazuma-sensei has always been the only one who truly understood me. He took me in willingly and taught me the most important skill I'll ever learn. He's always been the father I never truly had, and yet, it pains me, it pains me that I might have disappointed him. For all the time and care he put into raising and training me, I still cannot beat that damn Yuki. In the end, he's still the only one who gets to feel good in the end.

I hate that damn rat with every ounce in my being, but not only that, I envy him as well. He's the one who everyone likes. He's the one who will have everyone hanging on his every word. He's the one whose idea everyone will accept without question, and who people admire whatever he does and wherever it goes. It sickens me that even his pretty boy looks have guys blushing for one stupid reason or another. No one notices the other Sohma, not if the "Prince" has something to say. That's what pisses me off the most. He's the main attraction, and all he has to do is walk into the room. In the end, it doesn't matter if I'm around or not. It doesn't matter if people knew the curse or not – no one gives a damn about the cat.

Yet, I know that's not true. Even if everyone else is going gaga over that damn Yuki, one person always looks for me. She knows how frustrated I get when Yuki gets all the attention, and she'll trot over to my desk, flanked by the humoured Yankee and psychic freak. She knows I feel left out, and she'll keep me company to try and make me feel better. Even if I'm being a complete asshole, she's the one who apologises for no damn reason at all. Even if I fail to restrain myself, she assures me that everything is okay. No matter how pissed off I am, she is able to calm me with words and expressions. She knows who and what I am, and yet she isn't repelled. She even gave me the three words I've been seeking all my life: "I was afraid," and still accepted me. I don't know what it is about this goofy-grinning girl, but I'm okay with it. In all honesty, I'll be glad to only be noticed by one person, as long as it's her.

Kyo Sohma sat on the roof of Shigure Sohma's house, watching the stars. It was his special place, which he was glad everyone else understood. He was now able to relax and think about things without getting his ass kicked for no reason. After training in the mountains for four fantastic months, Kyo was becoming used to the outdoor conditions – until the weather changed, if it did. And, what it supposed to get really cold tonight? He couldn't remember if anyone had said anything, and he hoped it wouldn't…

Unfortunately, it did get cold. Scratch that, it was freakin' freezing. Kyo hated rain almost more than anything else, and perhaps someone hated him, because it was bucketing down. He couldn't go inside, though. It was too early, and he didn't want to chance meeting the mutt or the damn rat. He would just have to weather the storm and hope it wouldn't last long. It would definitely be one of the times that he'd regret not wearing a jacket. Oh well, and he'd be damned to admit it, but Shigure's favourite phrase did have a place at last. "Que sera, sera." Besides, it didn't matter, and he didn't care very much. It wasn't as if anyone was going to notice he was gone.


Kyo froze in mid-thought, then nearly jumped out of his skin barely afterwards. When he realised who it was, he calmed down. It was she, it usually was. But what the heck was she thinking, being out there in the pouring rain? She was going to catch a cold again, and it would definitely piss him off again.

"Go back inside," he muttered gruffly, "you'll catch a cold."

He waited until he thought he could hear footsteps going down the ladder – except that she was coming up instead. He cursed mentally, wondering what she was going, especially after he'd specifically told her to go into the house. Well, she was always stubborn, and wasn't quite accustomed to showing how she really felt. But still, it didn't mean she could just risk her health for the Cat. He didn't deserve it.

"I said," he repeated firmly, "go insi -"

"I'd like to stay up here with you," she mumbled abashedly, fumbling with her nightclothes.

Kyo froze again. Did she really say that? No, no, of course not. However, she hadn't moved, even though the rain was as horrible as ever. He cringed as it singed his thin clothes with moisture, but there were more pressing matters. What should he do? He didn't want her to get sick – again. The mutt and that damn rat would have a right fit, and then promptly blame it on him. More importantly, though, she would lose that smile again. The smile that always persuaded him to stay, when he could've very well taken off forever. The smile that fired off latent feelings in his stomach ten times stronger than those after he was forced to eat leeks. Horrible, disgusting things, he hated them with a passion. After all, they were the worst damn things in the –

"K-Kyo? What's wrong?" the soft, feminine voice of his company asked tentatively, looking up at him with those large, green eyes of hers.

"What about you talking about?" he demanded, although he quickly dropped the brief aggressive tone in his voice. "What do you mean what's wrong?"

"You're staring at me," she stated simply, although it came out in nothing but a mumble.

And so Kyo was. Wait, what was that? Was he really staring at her while being lost in his own thoughts? Well, judging by the embarrassed blush on her face, he probably had been. But now what? If he didn't do or say anything, she'd think he was some sort of vile pervert. There was no way in Hell he'd be mistaken for that damn Shigure! But what should he do? He didn't have a clue, and even in his mind, he knew he was sounding like an idiot.

"I'm sorry," the girl beside him said quietly, beginning to stand up.

Oh, for…

"Don't apologise," Kyo said irritably, pulling her back down somewhat roughly. She blinked at him with those same green eyes of hers. "Just don't," he continued more gently. "It doesn't suit you."

Her brows furrowed in confusion, giving her a really adorable expression on her face. Oh crap, what was he thinking? Non-Shigure thoughts! Non-Shigure thoughts!

"Your face isn't suited for frowning," he finally spoke, hiding his face so she couldn't see the thin blush spreading across his face.

Her eyes widened in shock, and his heart thumped like heavy footsteps. However, for some reason, he wasn't worried about what he'd just confessed to her. It was as if a large weight was lifted off his back. As she smiled at him, he knew he'd done the right thing, by him and by her. Screw Yuki, and everyone else for that matter.

"C'mon," he said quickly, standing up and still shielding his face from her view. "You're still going to get sick if you stay out here."

"Okay!" she replied brightly, smiling her generous, goofy-looking grin.

He let her climb the ladder back into the house, which left him alone on the roof. He paused to stare at the sky, with the knowledge that even through the rain, there would always be a clearer sky to calm it. Through the rain that was his hatred, his quick temper, his curse and his jealousy, she and her smile were the clear sky of hope.

Yes, as long as she cared about him, no one else mattered.


Damnit, he hated irony.

The End

Lord Cynic: "I've already been commented on my choice of couplings. I am going to tell you know that Kyo/Tohru is my main coupling, but I am almost generous with other options. I am open to Yuki/Tohru, but as far as Tohru/Sohma fanfics go, that's it. I might have some fun with Kyo/Kagura if I can think of something good, or otherwise experiment around with stuff. A few more things: Kyo, Haru (White and Black), Hatori and Hana rule; Tohru needs to get angry occasionally; and Kisa is the damn cutest thing I'm likely to see for a long while. That's the first time I've uttered something like that, and I'm almost proud. The whole Kisa-based episode had me hooked. Okay, I'll shut up now before I lose more of my manhood."