Disclaimer: I don't own it. It is the wonderful creation of Natsuki Takaya.

Waiting in the Rain
By: Starlight – x1

He stood watching as all his hope disappeared into the darkness of the woods surrounding the house. The falling rain obscured his vision, dripping from his hair into his eyes. Kazuma Sohma barely noticed as he stared at the spot where he had last seen Tohru Honda. One hand reached up and wiped uselessly at his face before he slowly bent and picked up Kyo's bracelet. Kazuma ran callused fingers over the worn beads and prepared himself to wait.

Have I done the right thing? And even if he had, would Kyo ever forgive him? Kazuma closed his eyes and saw in his mind's eye the bright flash of Kyo's smile.

"He may never smile again." Shigure's warning echoed through his thoughts.

The door to the house slid open and Shigure spoke from behind him. "Why don't you come inside Kazuma-dono? You're getting soaked."

"Thank you Shigure-kun, but I will wait here."

"Very well." Shigure withdrew and the door shut. Kazuma lifted his face to the sky, letting the raindrops run freely over his face, accepting the discomfort as a small form of penance for his action. Waiting in the rain was the smallest form of reparation for his great sin against one he loved as dearly as a son. But still, he would wait. Kyo's look of utter shock, disbelief, and fear as he stripped his only protection away haunted him. Kazuma closed his eyes.

Please Tohru-san, heal Kyo's heart. Show him the worth I've always seen in him.

Memories of Kyo flooded him then. Memories of smiles that he had possibly erased forever. Please, help him to smile again.

How long he stood there Kazuma didn't know. Eventually the rain slowed and stopped, the clouds making way for the sun. A brief shower as the weatherman had predicted. Kazuma gripped Kyo's beads tighter, feeling the smooth orbs leave indents on his palm. Soon he would know what had become of his gamble. Had he cursed Kyo further or given him an opportunity for redemption? Had he cursed himself?

A movement in the trees caught his attention. Kazuma's breath caught for one agonizing moment. Then… redemption.

Tohru exited the woods cradling Kyo's cat form in her arms. A smile of gentle serenity curved her lips. In her arms Kyo was utterly relaxed. Kazuma felt the tension of waiting and wondering drain away leaving him feeling slightly shaky for a moment.

Tohru stopped in front of him. "I think he's sleeping." Her eyes were tender as she looked down at the cat in her arms. Her wet hair was plastered to her head and she was covered in mud from head to toe but to Kazuma she appeared as beautiful as an angel.

"I will take care of him." Kazuma held out his hands. As Tohru handed over Kyo he saw for the first time the scratches that marked her left shoulder. Dried blood colored her pale skin. "Tohru-san," Kazuma began, concerned.

Tohru glanced down at her shoulder and then up into his face. "It's nothing." She smiled brightly. Then she continued in a lower tone, almost a whisper. "He didn't mean it."

The door opened and Shigure came outside. "My goodness Tohru-kun, you're soaked. You better get dry immediately, we can't have you coming down with a cold now can we?"

"Um, er, of course not Shigure-san."

"Quickly now." Shigure ushered the now flustered Tohru inside and sent her up to her room to get cleaned up and change into dry clothes.

Kazuma carried Kyo up to his room and laid the sleeping cat on his futon. He had just finished setting the boy down when Kyo transformed back into his human form. Kazuma carefully dressed him in a yukata to sleep in and washed his mud splattered feet.

Kyo only stirred once as Kazuma drew the blanket up over his shoulders. He opened sleepy eyes. "Shishou?" He murmured.

"Go back to sleep Kyo." Kazuma briefly rested his hand on Kyo's head and watched as Kyo's eyes closed and he drifted back to sleep.

Tomorrow would come and maybe things would be different. Most likely he would face the backlash of his forcing a decision on Kyo. But for tonight he was watching his son sleep as he had done so many times before. Tomorrow was tomorrow. Tonight was enough for him.





A/N: Here is my first tentative foray into the world of Fruits Basket fanfiction. What do you think?