Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket. I do, however, own a terribly stuffy nose. Sometimes I wish that it would just fall off and a newer, better model would appear. I don't know if that would fix the stuffiness, but you just never know 'til it happens.

Yes, it has been over a month. That happens when finals time comes around and when dying from random winter illnesses. So it goes.

Song to listen to while reading: Rilo Kiley: "The Absence of God"

Kyo sat on the ground next to the dining table. It had been six hours and fifty minutes since that girl—Tohru—had left to go to school.

Not that he had a running count or anything.

Kyo also hadn't gone through all of the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, bathroom, or pantry. Nor had he found Tohru's panties in the top drawer of a dresser and started blushing like crazy… while shifting through them to see what designs she liked.


Kyo sighed for the umpteenth time in the past six hours and fifty-two minutes. It had been a long day. Laying his cheek into his hand, Kyo slouched while staring at the door.

Why… couldn't she have bought a T.V.? Or a friggen radio or something…

It was like going from one box to another.

His eyes unfocused as he began to mentally make a list of things she needed to have in her house to keep a guest not unbearably bored. Also known as happy.

The next thing he knew, he was being shaken awake by a gentle hand.

Opening his eyes, Kyo found the girl—gah, Tohru—kneeling not too far from his face. She smiled sadly and pulled her hand away.

"Kyo-kun… I'm so sorry," Tohru murmured, her brown eyes glancing at his for a moment before moving them onto something else. "I had to work right after school…"

Kyo looked out the nearest window and found it to be dark.

"What time is it?" he asked, his eyes staying on the darkness beyond the window.

Kyo saw Tohru flinch and make a face in his peripheral vision.

"Erm… around 9:45 p.m."

Kyo's eyes slid away from the window to look at the girl still kneeling in front of him. She looked paler than she had before she left this morning…

Bright sunlight white shirt floating brown hair brilliant smile at him him him

Kyo felt his heart twist a little and his stomach suddenly begin to flutter slightly. Tohru shifted slightly in front of him, blushing a little under his intense gaze.

Kyo's cat ears twisted slightly to the side and he turned his face toward the window he had been previously looking out.

Tohru suddenly started to life and she grabbed his hands. Kyo's face burned brightly at this sudden, unexpected contact and his face turned away from the window with a whip towards her.

Brilliant smile at him him him

"But! To make it up to you I bought some dinner for you! I hope you like salmon!" Tohru exclaimed, letting go of his hands to place a warmed brown sack into the space she occupied for a brief moment.

Kyo stared down at the package.

She… thought of me…?

Kyo looked up Tohru, her face showing no signs of wanting anything in return. A transitory feeling suddenly filled him—fearhurtpainsuffering—before it disappeared as though it existed in a past life…

A past life…

That was what he used to have before Tohru. And yet… it felt so wrong to feel that. Tohru would soon be a past life as well. His former master would…

Kyo pushed that thought from his mind with an angry thrust.

Kyo came back from his thoughts as he watched as Tohru stood and brushed off her knees. "I'll get you some water; the chopsticks came with the salmon."

When Tohru pattered back with a cool glass of water, Kyo looked up at a softly smiling Tohru.

"Would you like anything else, Kyo-kun?" she asked.

"A radio."

Tohru blinked down at Kyo for a moment before cocking her head to the side and intelligently asking, "Eh?"

Kyo ignored her for a moment as he opened the container housing the salmon; it smelled so amazing that he was salivating.

"I just about gnawed off my left arm from being so bored today. A radio or T.V. would be nice," Kyo replied, stuffing a bite of the salmon into his mouth; how did he get to be so hungry?

Tohru was silent for a while before Kyo chanced a glance up at her. Kyo's blood suddenly turned to ice as he saw Tohru's eyes filled with unshed tears, her hands twisting at her waist in a painful manner.

Kyo's ears lay back in shame and was about to open his mouth to apologize when Tohru suddenly sniffed out, "I-I… can't afford a T.V. or radio right now because I was-was going to get you some clothes to wear besides what you're wearing right now… and-and I bought some pajama bottoms after school today for you so that you didn't have to wear my tiny shorts again and-and—"

Kyo's ears drooped miserably; how could he have made her cry?

"Oy. Tohru," Kyo said, loud enough to get her attention without sounding too harsh.

Tohru looked down at him with water-filled eyes and tracked cheeks, her nose sniffing sadly. Kyo waved for her to sit down with him and Tohru silently complied.

It took Kyo a minute before he could get it out, and he couldn't look at her as he muttered softly, "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to say it like that. I'll… live without a T.V. Just… please… will you stop crying?"

When Kyo glanced over at Tohru, she was nodding fervently, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand while sniffling pathetically.

Kyo felt the guilt eat away at his soul.

Pushing the ends of his shirt over his hands, Kyo leaned forward and soaked up the tears that made their way down her cheeks before she could clean them up. Tohru's eyes widened and a pretty blush suddenly made its way to her cheeks. Kyo's face was almost as crimson as his hair, but he trudged on and cleaned up the tears that weren't there as well.

After Tohru's face and eyes were dried, Kyo retracted his sleeve-covered hand and stared at the dining table and at the cooling salmon.

"I'm… sorry."

Kyo looked over at Tohru, suppressing a scowl. "Why are you apologizing?"

Tohru shrugged slightly. "I didn't… mean to cry."

Kyo turned back to his salmon and put a piece into his mouth. "Sometimes it's okay."

In his peripheral vision, he saw Tohru's eyes widen then soften, and a small smile appeared before she looked away from him.

"Thank you."

He saw Tohru turn to him, surprised.

Kyo popped another piece of salmon into his mouth before muttering, "For dinner and for… the pajamas…"

Tohru smiled. "I didn't want you to be uncomfortable and throw my shorts at the door again."

Kyo inhaled and began to choke on the piece of salmon.

"Oh my gosh! Are you okay?" Tohru cried out, her hands flying in a haphazard manner in the air around Kyo.

Kyo stopped choking and gulped down some water, gasping as he came up for air.

"Yeah," Kyo croaked out, clearing his throat as his face burned brightly.

Those… damned… shorts…

Kyo heard Tohru sigh in relief as she stood. "Oh good. I'm gonna get ready for bed and do a little homework before going to sleep."

Kyo nodded and began to eat the remainder a little slower. In what seemed like a second, Tohru had changed into a matching pajama set and was sitting at the table with Kyo, a book in hand.

Kyo blinked. How…does she change so damned fast?

A clear plastic package entered his view as Tohru pushed something shyly across the table.

"Here are your pajamas. I know they aren't much, but hopefully you don't mind them too much. Tomorrow since I don't have school, we'll go shopping before I go to work." Tohru said, smiling.

Kyo stared at the pajamas—they were a nice brick red coloring—before turning back to Tohru. "Do you work every day?"

Tohru smiled sadly over at Kyo. "I have to. I get every other Sunday off so that I don't go over 60 hours every two weeks."

What Kyo didn't hear was…now that you're here…

He knew he was an undue burden on this girl… why was she helping him?

Glancing up at Tohru as he ate the last piece of the wonderful meal he had been brought, he noticed her forehead furrowed in concentration as she read the homework for next week.

I… don't get it.

Kyo picked up his plate and glass to clean up and put away. When he was finished, he turned back to Tohru to find her passed out on top of her textbook; the gentle rise and fall of her chest let Kyo know that she was indeed asleep.

Kyo was silently glad that he had gone through the contents of the closet today; he now knew where she kept everything for the bedding. As he set up her bed where he had seen it that morning, Kyo thought back on the exchange and sudden change in emotions that he had seen Tohru have in the span of an hour—smiling, crying, smiling, worried, relieved, sleeping; it was almost too much for any male to handle.

Smoothing out the sheet and blanket, Kyo looked over at the sleeping girl.

They were going to spend the most part of the day together. He didn't care what they would be doing… as long as she smiled at him…

"Hey… Tohru…" Kyo murmured softly while shaking her shoulder.

Tohru's eyes gently opened; lifting her head, unfocused eyes peered heavily at Kyo.


Kyo smiled slightly. "Yeah… it's time for bed."

Tohru muttered something incoherent, glanced down at her textbook, and slowly crawled over to the bed Kyo had fixed-up for her. Tohru sighed softly as she settled beneath the covers, and soon fell asleep.

Kyo shook his head. Brushing a hand through his hair, Kyo turned and went through his nightly routine of washing up and brushing his teeth before opening the package that contained his pajamas.

Slipping them on, Kyo then made his own bed. Turning out the overhead light, Kyo burrowed under the covers before sneaking a glance over at the girl not even five feet from his own bed.

She was facing away from him, her breaths coming deep and even.

Sighing, Kyo closed his eyes.

I don't deserve all of this.

Tucking that thought away, Kyo fell asleep.

Posted December 13, 2005