AN: Hi, It's been a while since I last submitted a new story. I am wondering if I am really ready for this one, but here it is.I think this will be a bit different from previous stories. My daughter read my first few chapters and said, "Mom, this story isn't going to have a happy can it?" My only response to this is to have faith. This is going to be a rocky road for Shigure, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru, but it will have a happy ending (I hope).

I do not own Fruits Basket or any of the Fruits Basket characters. These are the property of Natsuki Takaya.

The plot is my own as are any original characters that I might introduce. Please keep in mind that in my fan fictions, Akito is always going to be a guy. The basis of my fiction is the anime although I may incorporate some details from the manga. Please read and review. Is this a story you will continue to read? I hope so...


She was just a slip of a girl when she came to live with us. I'm not sure when I began to view her as a desirable woman. She was sacred ground for me, destined for one of my younger cousins. My goal was to keep her as safe as possible even as I used her to break our family curse. I'm not sure when my view of her destiny and her purpose changed.

Given my nature, the fact that she changed something within me could be called remarkable. My perception of myself is brutally honest. I have been called a pervert and a manipulator. I will be the first to admit to these charges. I've been accused of being cruel and using people for my own amusement. This too is true. I've always had fun manipulating people, pulling their strings and making them jump in the direction I desire. I am very good at it. It has always been a hobby of mine, but I did begin to change when she joined our household. I don't know if it was due to her sweet and optimistic personality, or if it was due to her innate compassion and unconditional acceptance of each of us and all of our idiosyncrasies. Maybe it was a combination of all these things that began to change me. It wasn't just changing me, it was changing all of us. I think that these changes made him nervous, the one who ruled our destinies, or at least liked to think he ruled our destinies. I've always been selfish enough that my destiny has remained my own. Even so, just by knowing her we are stronger, better people. At least I like to think so.

Each of us carries around some tragedy and some pain from our past that we like to keep hidden from the world. She saw past our masks to what lay within each of us. She saw our faults and found our redeeming qualities. She forced us to realize that we were worthy of love and gave that love to each of us freely. I suppose it is inevitable that I love someone such as her.

The real question is how do I make her fall in love with me? I no longer see her as a potential mate for my cousins, they've had five years to declare their intentions and they still dance around the edges of their emotions. She needs someone stronger than that, someone willing to declare his intentions and love her openly. Why have I not declared myself yet? Well…there is a little matter of her still being very naïve and innocent. I am loath to destroy those qualities within her. Then there is the matter of an age difference. I don't want to scare her away with my experience and savoir-faire. So what is my first step?

"Shigure-san…" A lilting voice drifted in from the corridor jolting the writer to reality.

Shigure Sohma closed the file in which he was beginning the first chapter of his newest book. This book was one he wasn't sure would ever be written for his public. It was a private book, almost autobiographical. Even if he were to publish it, no one outside of his family would recognize it as his life. On the other hand, those family members who read his books would recognize it and he did not want to give them that much insight into the workings of his mind. Shigure Sohma was a very private person. He was a mystery to both his fans and his family and desired to keep it that way. There were two or three exceptions to this. Hatori knew him the best. Ayame and Akito knew him only a little less.

"Hai, Tohru-kun, please come in."