Author's Note: Hello, hi! This is my very first Fruits Basket fic. I've seen the animated series and I recently read the latest volume of Fruits Basket–released in the U.S. (12), of course. I don't know any further from that point concerning the story and all, so this is not what happens in the manga. I just came up with the story. Just to be clear. . .in case. I just hope you all enjoy it and please be gentle.

Disclaimer: Fruits Basket does not belong to me (of course, though I wish it did) and the song is not mine either. It was my inspiration. Anyway, enjoy. Oh, and there are some spoilers.

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"Inflatable" by Bush

Kyo tossed and turned as he lay in his futon, his eyes fiercely shut, trying hard to bring upon himself the slumber that he so desperately needed. When he finally realized that he could not sleep, he turned toward the clock. Three fifty A.M. , he thought. In about ten minutes, Hatori would be there to pick him up and he and Shigure would be on their way to the main house.

The graduation had been great. His time spent with Tohru was something that he would never forget. He smiled sadly, reminiscing. He even enjoyed Yuki's company, which said a lot. He didn't even mind all the others who came to see Tohru.

Tohru, he thought wistfully. It always brought him such peace when he thought of her. She was a tranquilizer for his very soul. She was able to do what no other was able to do for him: calm every single one of his demons.

He thought that his love for Tohru alone would save him from this. . .this. . .fate. He knew it would never fail him and in a way, he was saved. She had saved him from a greater suffering that lay inside him. She had saved him from the long years of bitterness, but unfortunately it did not save him in the way he had hoped it would.

Tohru, aside from Kazuma, was the only one who could ever make him smile and that was when he shined brighter than the sun and that was when he knew she was the only friend he had.

He was pulled from his thoughts as the door opened with a soft creek. "Kyo?"

He sat up.

"Are you awake?"

Kyo tossed the covers aside and got up.

Shigure entered the room. "Hatori will be here soon. Are you ready?"

Kyo did not reply, he bent down to fold his futon. "I will be."

Shigure watched him as he moved in his room, remaining quiet. He looked lonelier than he ever had before. Shigure wanted to say something; something smart and sincere, but no words came to mind. Instead he turned away and left Kyo on his own.

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Tohru's smiling face appeared in Kyo's mind's eye as Shigure left his room, and the warmth it gave him made him want to soar. The sweetness of her he held within himself, he'd carry with him.

He went into the bathroom to bath and change his clothes; to brush his hair, to brush his teeth. He didn't even know why he bothered, but he did it.

When he was finished, he headed out into the hall where Shigure stood, waiting beside Hatori.

"Are you ready now, Kyo?" Hatori asked.

Kyo nodded and so Hatori lead him toward the door, Shigure following suit.

Kyo kept an even pace behind Hatori. He kept his head titled forward just a little as he walked. His legs and arms felt heavy as if they were made of lead. He suddenly felt as is he were being lead to his death. The only things that were missing, were the chains binding his hands and legs.

He felt a little like a loser. He had lost and this was his punishment. He had finally begun anew for himself and this was what he got. It just didn't seem fair. He knew he was different somehow, though. It seemed that Tohru had given him the chance to be something else. Before she came to Shigure's house, he was an angry boy with a rage he could hardly contain. But when she moved in, he could feel it right away: the need and want to change. . .for Tohru. It came slowly and it showed. Every one took notice of it, too. He was able to step down as the "angry boy" and be someone more. . .at ease; someone gentle and kind. Especially, around Tohru, but it seemed it had all been a waste because now he was off to his unfortunate fate.

He felt a tug at his heart as he thought of Tohru. This was it. This was really it. There was no turning back. There was nothing left for him to do or hope for and yet he still hoped, still prayed for a way out. I want to see her, he thought. But I don't want her to see me like this. I don't want her to worry. He stopped. What would she say when she woke up and saw that he was no longer in the house? Would she ask for him? Would she cry for him upon learning the truth? Would she come for him?

It seemed too soon. It seemed there was more to accomplish, more to achieve! Tohru. . .

It seemed only days ago she had come to live with them in the house. It was too soon. It was just too soon to be the end. Tohru. . .

He felt as if he were slowly coming apart at the seams. His sewing was coming undone, but he would try to hold himself together. He needed to.

"Kyo."

He stopped and turned, facing the one person her could never defeat. He could try now. He could fight him. Maybe it wasn't too late! But he knew it was. The bet he made with Akito had passed and he had lost.

Yuki looked as if he wanted to say something, but he said nothing. Instead Kyo spoke: "Take care of her."

Yuki did not respond. The surprise was sharp in his eyes and it showed a little in his face, but he gave a soft, slow nod. For a moment they stood there, staring at each other. Yuki nodded again, more firmly and Kyo smirked in response. For once they each showed the other the respect they truly held for one another.

"I leave her completely in your hands." With that Kyo followed Hatori out.

"Tohru will need someone when she wakes," Shigure said before he left. "Stay with her."

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When Tohru awoke, it was like any other day. She showered, brushed her hair and brushed her teeth, she made her bed. She went into the kitchen to make lunch. Kyo might be up already, she thought, a smile on her face. But it was not Kyo she met with in the kitchen, it was Yuki.

"Good morning," she greeted cheerily.

"Good morning."

Tohru looked at him. "Is everything alright?"

Yuki did not reply and as she looked upon his sullen face, her heart began to ache. She suddenly felt very uneasy as she looked at him. Something wasn't right. Something was wrong. "Where is Kyo?" she asked, suddenly panicking.

Yuki did not respond. With a deep breath after a long pause he said, "This was something that you could not have prevented. Akito meant for this to happen. This is the fate that befalls the cat of the zodiac."

"Where is Kyo?" Tohru asked again, her chest rising and falling rapidly now. "Where is he?"

"He was taken to the main house for his. . .confinement."

Tohru's world cracked and as she reached out to touch it, it fell apart in pieces that stung and nicked her fingers.

Kyo will be confined just as soon as he leaves high school, came Akito's resounding voice in her head. Just like the previous cat before him. For his whole life. Until he dies.

Did that mean that Yuki and everyone else would soon be moving back to the main house to stay with Akito? Would she be alone again?

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A memory of the previous cat flashed in his head and he felt sick. This was what everything came down to. This was how it would all end and that was where he was to stay and breathe his final breath.

"Kyo!"

He stopped. "Tohru. . .?"

"Kyo!"

He turned and when he saw her running to him, tears in her eyes, he was stunned for a lack of a better word. "W-what are-?"

"Kyo." She stopped in front of him, her eyed reflecting her hurt and sorrow.

"Oh. Akito won't like this at all," Shigure said. He turned as Ayame and Yuki stepped out of a car.

"Tohru wished to see him and how was I to deny her?" Ayame smiled.

"Hm," was all Shigure could say, but he smiled and walked away, respecting Kyo and Tohru enough to leave them be for their last good-byes.

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Kyo was speechless. "Tohru. . ."

"I wanted to see you," she said, sniffling as she wiped her tears. "I just couldn't. . .bear the thought of never saying good-bye."

Good-bye? Kyo thought. He looked away. "Hm." Of course.

Tohur let her head fall. "I'm sorry, Kyo. I'm sorry I couldn't help you. I wasn't able to. . .save you. I. . ." She let her voice fade and drift into the wind. Her tears fell one by one, creating a small waterfall down her face.

With great gentleness and care, Kyo lifted her chin and looked at her. "There was nothing you could have done," he said. "Don't be stupid."

She laughed softly to herself as he removed his fingers from her chin.

He wanted to hold her; to kiss her, but it was nearly impossible. "But. . ." He looked away, hiding the blush on his cheeks. It would have been easier if Yuki and Ayame weren't watching, he thought, not knowing they had slipped away inside to give Tohru and him privacy. "Thank you."

Tohru gazed into his face, his blush turning crimson. "For what?"

"For saving me."

"But I-"

"You saved me in a different way."

She smiled at him, tears still in her eyes.

Kyo turned to her again. The warm smile on her face melted his very soul and he couldn't help, but soften his features. "I love you, Tohru." With that he leaned forward and kissed her forehead. It was the most he could do. "Thank you," he whispered in her ear before turning away.

Tohur watched as he walked away. He looked so alone and she felt responsible. She wanted to be with him because she. . . loved him just the same.

A tear escaped her eye. She opened her mouth, Kyo's name on her tongue, but nothing came. She mouthed his name, but nothing wanted to leave her tongue. Another tear and another. One more attempt and another tear.

"I. . .Kyo. . ." she whispered. "I. . ." She closed her eyes and soon Kyo's words drifted into her head: Sometimes, just say it. It's okay. Just say what you want.

Before she knew it, she was running to him, the tears never once stopping and her legs moving faster and faster until she was behind him. She took his arm and stopped him. He turned to her.

"I love you, Kyo," she sobbed. "With all my heart. I love you!"

Kyo looked at her with disbelief. He had only showed her his tears once and that was when she saw his hideous form and excepted him despite it and this. . .made it twice.

He reached out to touch her face, but hesitated. With a warm smile of encouragement from Tohru, he caressed her cheek with his finger tips and leaned forward to kiss her cheek.

When he pulled away, she took his arm and pulled him to her gently. She would choose this time to be bold and to do what she wanted. She looked into his eyes and then kissing his lips.

Kyo found it hard to pull away as he returned her kiss with one of his own.

"I love you Tohru Honda," he said, when they parted. "Bye."

"Good-bye," she whispered, a bittersweet smile on her face. She choked back the sobs in her throat. "I'll always love you."

"Thank you," he whispered before turning away. It pained him to walk away. It hurt him more than anything else. But there was no other choice, and so as he walked away from her forever, he realized that he was inflatable for her; inflated and filled with sweet memories of her and he would carry her with him for as long as he lived.

The End

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Jess a.k.a. RedGem270