I don't own Fruits Basket.
The doctor is in.
Indeed. The doctor is in. Thinking. Pondering. Organizing his thoughts.
Souma Hatori has just finished another one of his extraordinary but common tasks. And now, he was sitting on his big doctor's chair, his chin resting on the back of his hand.
flashback – a few hours earlier…
"Yes. Hatori speaking…"
"Hatori…" a voice from the other line came. He recognized it at once. The head of the Souma family called him― again.
"Akito… yes, what is it?" he asked.
"Someone needs your ability, Hatori."
"Yes… someone seeks your help. All you have to do…" a pause. "…is erase."
"Will I be the one to come over?"
"Iie… they shall be the ones to come to your house…"
"Okay then. I'll wait for them here." He finished the conversation.
He sank back on his chair and went out to see his patient. He opened the old-fashioned, Japanese-style, sliding door and saw a male member of the Souma family with a beautiful blonde woman who looked so pale and miserable. Behind them hid a little boy with the same hair as the woman's.
"Is she the patient?" he asked. The man just nodded sadly. The doctor stepped aside for them to enter. "Akito told me about it… but I did not expect it to involve you." He continued as he led the couple to his private clinic with the boy following them…
With his gaze.
I knew it right when I opened the door. Another bitter memory will be erased with the help of these hands… and another memory― even painful― will be created… by me.
That boy. The look on that boy's face. Too innocent. Too pure. And yet, because of a curse, he has to experience an even more painful thing than being a jyuunishi at such a young age.
back to present
His eyes shifted to a frame nearby. He stared at it for long.
'Kana…' he said to himself.
He laid his head back and closed his eyes. How many more people would be like Kana and Momiji's bother? How many more members of their clan would be born cursed?
He reached for a cigarette pack lying on top of his neat and organized desk and took one stick. He lighted it and went out to sit on the front porch, beautified by the stone gardens just below it. He took in the taste of menthol, held his breath from quite some time, and exhaled while watching the faint smoke rise and slowly fade.
Cursed. That's who we are.
flashback – a few hours ago (cont.)
The doctor sat before the patient. He gave her a scrutinizing look before casting her husband a glance.
"Uh… should I go out?"
"I think so."
"Okay then. I'll just go around the main house." He said while preparing to walk away.
"You need not worry about her. This will only take about three to five hours but I advise you not to see the process. It'll be done by the time you get back."
She just sat there, lost in her own thoughts. Hatori studied her again and caught a blur of blonde in the corner of his eye, peeping behind the door.
"I was told to erase your memories…" he started talking to her who seemed to have her attention elsewhere. "Are you sure about it?"
"Yes." she half-whispered.
"You shall forget everything about your son…"
She refused to answer.
"Will you… will you not regret it?"
Her eyes lowered, as if piercing through the wooden floor saying, "The only thing I regret is that that creature came out of my body!" all the while hugging herself.
I thought I was slapped real hard with what she said. True. She was not referring to me. She dropped her words unguarded before me for she did not know the fact that I am also one of those 'creatures'.
I am a jyuunishi. The dragon. The fifth animal of the zodiac. But being born like this wasn't what we could have wanted. The thirteen of us could have craved for a normal life.
We are beyond commonplace. We transform into some kind of animal once embraced by the opposite gender outside the circle of jyuunishi. Some people get scared. Others scorn us. But that is what we did not ask for… for despite of being cursed, we are, after all…
back to present
He had just finished the cigarette stick. He stood up to get another but stopped upon seeing the rabbit behind the pillar.
"Momiji…" he called the boy who was named Momiji.
He came out of the shadows and walked towards him, a smile pasted on his face.
"Nee, Hari, mama will be alright, ne? Ne"
Hatori patted the boy's head as he knelt to crouch down on his level.
"I helped mama, right? Papa told me I did…" Momiji added while staring directly into his eyes.
"It's alright, Momiji. It's alright." he told the younger jyuunishi.
a few hours ago … (cont.)
"It's settled then." Hatori said then placed his hand before her closed eyes, thus, covering them. The look on the boy's face kept on playing in his mind. Momiji was unaware of what lies ahead. Underneath those rabbit eyes of innocence lies the look that remains unseen. The sad look that nobody could understand. The look that only a jyuunishi can know. Understand. Possess.
Momiji's mother fell unconscious. Hatori held her and carried her to a bed intended for patients not so far away. He stared at her sleeping form with eyes that were void of any emotion before walking out of the clinic.
"Your mother is only sleeping. She'll be okay." he patted the boy's head and went back to his room.
Another task finished. Another memory erased. Another sad look created.
Another one… thanks to his…
I passed by the boy. Beneath those inquiring eyes were blaming looks. The same thing I see in every jyuunishi everytime I erase the memory of someone they love. The same thing I saw in the mirror the day I erased Kana's memory.
It wasn't my fault to be blessed and cursed with this ability. But no matter where you look at, you will still end up with the same thing. The one who erased the memories of the jyuunishi's loved ones still remain to be…
back to present
The child's weak smile faded as tears started forming in his eyes. He bit his lip trying with all his might not to cry. With shoulders trembling and knees buckling, he failed to hold them back as they flowed freely down his cheeks. Momiji buried his face on the older man's chest.
"I did it for mama… I h-helped ma-ma, ne, Ha-Hari? I helped her… didn't I?" he had a hard time saying in between sobs.
Hatori wiped his tears and placed his hand on Momiji's right shoulder. He gave the boy a smile before telling him, "You are a brave boy."
Hatori nodded. He cradled the boy in his arms and drew him closer.
"Hari… did I help mama?"
"Hai… you did help her… greatly." He half-lied.
"I'm glad to hear that from a respected jyuunishi… Hari, can I rest here for a while?" Momiji asked while yawning.
"Yes." The dragon replied while laying the rabbit on his futon.
He gazed at Momiji for a long time before lighting another cigarette outside.
Indeed, there are some who can understand and accept us. Some hose minds are open and clear enough to absorb the fact that we are cursed but are still beings like them even so…
He absentmindedly gazed at the smoke rising lazily upwards before disappearing slowly.
We are still left to be, after all…
He took another glance at the sleeping boy before tapping his cigarette lightly, ridding the ashes building upon it. He watched silently as the clouds cover the sun with the cigarette's ashes falling down the sandy garden to mix with its finer grains.
A/N: waa! My first and only Fruits Basket fic… gomen if this one's confusing with the frequent change of timelines… but I loved it for some reason…. Nayway, please r & r. onegai!