D/C: I don't own Fruits Basket…I own a couple of manga volumes, though!

This is my third FB one-shot. I got the idea after finishing volume 7 or 8, I really can't remember…it's just that there was a Yuki/Ayame part which really touched me and I felt that I had to write a story about them.

Enjoy!

A Second Chance

He had been in there for so long, and he was starting to get really worried about him.

He paced before the door, hands clasped tightly behind his back. He kept glancing at the paper door, but no one came out through it. The silence almost made him think that nobody was actually in there…but then again, Akito never needed to be loud in order to be intimidating.

This was not good.

Yuki…

-

"I'll be seeing you later, then…Yuki,"

Akito got up to his feet. On his way to the door, he stopped next to him and bent down until his mouth was in level with the boy's ear. 'I trust you'll be obedient this time, Yuki…won't you?' he said softly.

Yuki's fists clenched, but he said nothing. Akito smirked. He straightened up and headed for the door. Yuki watched silently as he left, and then he just sat there, staring into empty space, while Akito's words echoed in his ears.

"Your loyalty should rest with me, Yuki,"

"You don't want to pay a visit to your special room, do you?"

"I trust you'll be obedient…"

After what seemed like ages, Yuki slowly got up to his feet. He turned around and took slow, unsteady steps, he made his way to the paper door which led to the front yard. He slid it open and stepped outside…and there, he bumped into someone. He looked up.

"Ayame…?" he whispered, surprised.

"Oh, thank goodness! I was about to come in and get you, you know," Ayame said, sounding relieved. Yuki didn't respond. Ayame grabbed him firmly by the shoulders. "What happened in there with Akito?"

"Nothing," Yuki muttered, averting his eyes from his brother.

"Look at me," Ayame ordered, and when Yuki didn't, he placed a hand under his chin and lifted his face up towards him. "That's not a nothing face…Akito obviously did something, or said something."

Yuki pushed Ayame away from him. "Alright, he did!" he snapped. "But it's none of your damn business, so leave me alone!"

Ayame frowned. "How rude, and I was just trying to help," he mumbled.

"Yeah? Well, you can stop now," Yuki muttered, walking away from him.

Ayame grabbed his arm. "But I want to help, Yuki," he insisted. "I came here as soon as Hatori told me you've been called by Akito."

I'm gonna kill that Hatori. He wrenched his arm out of Ayame's grasp. "I'm going home, Nii-san," he murmured. He slipped his feet into his shoes, which he had left on the stone steps before going inside. "And I don't want you to follow me."

Ayame watched him as he made his way down the steps. "It was about Tohru, wasn't it?" he said suddenly.

Yuki froze at the bottom of the steps. "How do you know?" he said in a hollow tone.

"It's obvious, isn't it? Because Tohru is the only one you care about, isn't she?" Ayame said quietly. "And you'd only act like this if Akito had said something about her."

"He…he told me to stay away from her, or he'll do to her what he did to Rin…and Kisa," he whispered. He waited for Ayame to say something, but he didn't. He was immensely surprised, however, when Ayame walked right past him without any word. "W-wait! Where are you going?"

Yuki didn't know why, but it hurt him to see Ayame walk away like that.

"Didn't you tell me to leave you alone?" Ayame asked quietly.

No…don't leave…I need to talk to someone…I need to talk to my older brother…

"Nii-san…"

-

Ayame stopped…or rather, the hand which clutched the back of his coat held him back. He slowly looked around, although he knew what he was going to see. Yuki stood there, holding his coat.

Just like the last time…

Ayame hadn't intended to walk away from Yuki, but he wanted Yuki to need him. He wanted to feel like a good brother, and now he was given a chance…a chance just like the last time…

I won't blow it away this time, though…

Ayame put his arms around Yuki and pulled him into a hug. Yuki stood, frozen, for a moment and then he, too, lifted up his hands and clutched at his brother. Nobody had hugged him in a long while…he needed it now; he needed to feel that sense of closure, of warmth…

Ayame smiled. "I'm sorry, mon frere," he murmured. "I'm sorry for never standing by your side before. I'm sorry for being such a lousy brother."

"No…" Yuki murmured.

"No?" Ayame repeated. "You won't accept my apology?"

Yuki looked up and smiled at his brother. Ayame was taken by surprise; Yuki had never smiled to him, or even in front of him before. It was such a waste that he never did.

"No…" Yuki repeated. "You're not a lousy brother…it's my fault for never giving you the chance to be my brother."

Ayame stood staring at him for a moment, and then, he, too, smiled. "Thank you," he said softly, and before Yuki could react, he bent down and kissed his forehead. Then he whipped out his phone, and dialed a number. "Tori-san! You won't believe what just happened!"

"Don't go telling Hatori everything, dammit!" Yuki snapped, trying to grab the phone out of his brother's hand.

"Yuki, yes, that Yuki, he just accepted me as a brother!" Ayame said happily.

"Nii-san!" Yuki protested.

Thank you, Yuki, for giving me a second chance…

-

A/N: Awwww! Excuse me, but I'm such a sucker for brotherly stories! I know I over-did it in this story, but I like to think that someday Yuki will accept his brother for what he is, and I like to think it'll be an overly-dramatic/emotional moment such as this one.

Anyway, if you did like this, then you could always review!

- S. N. B.