Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket. Actually, I really don't even own the beginning idea to this story either. I got a doujinshi made by a fan about Kyo and Tohru through a fanfic contest I won on Fruitygroup in Yahoo. Since I cannot read Japanese, I just looked at the pictures and got the gist of the story, and therefore got an idea for this story. I do, however, like to crochet scarves and blankets… that's about all I can do to be honest when it comes to crocheting. I could make you a scarf like NONE OTHER.

Uhhh… I think Tohru might be a little OOC. I can't tell, really. She might seem stronger than she is in the manga, although in the latest chapters she's been extremely headstrong, especially when it comes to Rin…

Song to listen to while reading this chapter: Aqualung, "Brighter than Sunshine"

Hopefully, you all like this one as much as my others. Enjoy!

Tohru glanced back and waved to the security guard sitting at the front desk of her work-place as she stepped through the clear glass doors to the outside. He smiled back and then turned his attention to the monitor in front of him, where she knew he was changing it from the camera shots of the building to late night television.

Propping open her pale blue umbrella, she stepped out from underneath the protective overhang and allowed the coolness of the night and soft rain refresh her senses from the dulling work of cleaning offices every night for money to get her through school.

Resigned, Tohru sighed. There was no use thinking about how much homework she still had to do from earlier today. It was already well past nine o'clock; her small apartment was still a good forty-five minute walk from where she currently was at.

A brisk pace was what she needed. Yes, stay positive.

Walking, she couldn't help but think back on the past four months of her life. Everything had changed so quickly that she had had next to no time to mourn. Her mother had died in a car accident. Her grandfather had passed on soon after. Her cousins moved away after receiving the inheritance promised to them from her grandfather, giving her no choice but to use what money her mother had left, plus the inheritance given from her grandfather, to get a small apartment; the one she had shared with her mother was too much for such a small income as hers.

A job was a necessity that she could not forsake.

Tohru looked up, startled from her thoughts. Looking around, she realized that she had no idea where she was standing.

How… could this be? I walk this way so often…

The rain pattered softly on her umbrella, and a tiny wind blew rain against her already soaked legs.

Panic rose within her chest; tears pricked behind her eyes, stinging.

Tohru put her hand to her chest, trying to calm herself as much as humanly possibly. Gripping the umbrella tightly, she took in small breaths of the cool night air.

Scanning the area quickly, she saw that the sidewalk she was currently on led her straight to a set of concrete, white stairs. A small light illuminated the top of the stairs, calling to Tohru like a beacon, quite literally, in the night.

Tucking herself to be as small as possible, Tohru set off quickly for the stairs in front of her. The closer she got to the light, the more paranoid she became about her surroundings, darting her eyes from side to side seeing things in the shifting, rainy shadows. When she got to the stairs, it seemed as if the adrenaline that had been pumping through her veins and propelling her was suddenly depleted.

She felt safe in the light of the stairs; even though she knew it was irrational to feel such.

Sighing deeply, Tohru put a hand to her heart yet again to attempt to calm herself.

A laugh escaped from her mouth. A nervous laugh, not one of mirth.

Taking her hand away from her heart, Tohru placed it onto the slippery wet railing of the cement staircase, thankful to feel the sharp cold of the metal and rain mixed together.

Using the rail as a helper, Tohru slowly made her way up the short stack of stairs, her heart still hammering in her chest with nervous anticipation. As she stepped onto the top stair, Tohru lifted her eyes from her feet to survey what the wonderful light illuminated.

A large squat object sat under the light, midway from where she was standing to the other end of the walkway.

Tohru's anxiety melted into cautious curiosity. She slowly stepped away from the stairs and made her way to the middle of the walkway.

Time seemed sluggish; the rain seemed to hush all noises but her beating heart and shortened breath.

It was a brown box. A very large, squat brown box.

Tohru's curiosity peaked. She continued to walk towards the box sitting in the middle under the light.

The light seemed too bright after the darkness she had just been running in. The reflection from the rain and the white concrete only made it seem more so. The brown from the box was welcoming in all of this overwhelming brightness.

A splash of crimson peeked over the box's lid.

What… a pretty color

The rain fell in large drops from the overhanging light, making odd splotching sounds as it hit the white concrete between the normal sounds of soft rain.

Tohru stopped short, staring into dark crimson eyes.

A boy was sitting in the box.

Posted October 28, 2005