DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fruits Basket or any of its characters.
A.N. An update for those who reviewed. Thank you very much.
Ayame's heart thudded inside his chest as his feet skidded with the wind towards his best friend's house. It was perfect, he knew, everything this day would turn out perfect! His hopes were high, his heart was beating, all the colors were vibrating with life –this was his day! You be ready, Tohru, Ayame thought determinedly. He beamed as he swiftly made his way. His excitement got the best out of him; he stopped the cab too soon because he knew he wanted to get rid of the positive tension he was feeling through walking. Ah, he was to burst! This day was truly magnificent.
This day was supposedly a bad day; a day to wreck his life, a day to be erased from his future calendars. But when he woke up this morning with THE IDEA, his heart and soul just knew everything was going to be alright. No wrong, just right. And if ever there are things to make that positive energy reverse, Ayame knew his high spirits would be enough to fight for the beauty of what he believed. This was a great day.
"Splendid, splendid!" Ayame chanted to himself as his fine shoes skipped through each pebble, stone and flower. I am splendid, he thought, flattering himself, for having thought of such brilliance. He was close to perfect (as others called him), after all. He blushed at the thought. He couldn't wait, couldn't wait! When Shigure's door appeared, Ayame bolted towards it with lightning speed. It wasn't lock, so he busted right in. "Tohru, Tohru!" he called happily, not minding if anybody heard him.
Silence, unfortunately, greeted him without a party.
Ayame frowned in wonder. Though it was day time, the dimness of the house did not go unnoticed. "Tohru? Shigure?"
"Shh…" someone hissed, the voice coming from the kitchen. "…No one's home…"
Ayame slowly tiptoed to the kitchen and found Shigure squatting on a corner, eating a chicken drumstick. "Whatever are you doing there, Shigure? Where's Tohru? Why are you eating chicken like that?"
Shigure swallowed the morsel he was chewing and wiped his lips with the back of his hand like a child would. He groaned. "My editor's coming over today, so I was hiding here."
Right. Shigure had an editor. But he really didn't care now. "Where's Tohru?"
Shigure groaned again. "She's working. Have you forgotten?"
"Stop whispering," Ayame said, walking over to the dining area to sit on a tatami. Shigure had the right mind to crawl behind him. Settling comfortably, Ayame sighed as he leaned his face against his knuckles. How could he ever forget Tohru was working? He couldn't go to her workplace, they had an agreement that they would see each other later when she came home. He glanced at the wall clock and found out he was six hours early. Darn. "I can't believe I forgot she's not here yet." He glanced at Shigure and saw the young man lying face front on the floor. "I suggest you sit across me like a normal person would."
"But we're not normal," Shigure replied in a muffled voice. He groaned again and sat upright on a tatami. "Why are you here anyway? Shouldn't you be working?"
Ayame shook his silver head happily. "Oh no. I wanted to see Tohru at once. But it seems my memory has failed me. Over-excitement, I suppose." He then realized the distraught on Shigure's face. "What's the matter?" The editor. "Don't worry, your she wouldn't kill you."
"I know. I'm just…" Shigure dejectedly sobbed as he hid his face from Ayame. "Disappointed. With myself, that is."
"Disappointed?" Ayame creased his fine brows again. Disappointment was least of Shigure's usual sentences.
Shigure shook his head and sobbed again. "I didn't get through with this week's chapters. I always fake it that I never get it on time but I truthfully do! But this week, it has been different –I honestly did not work on my stories! I fail miserably, Aya-chan!"
"You're feeling the total opposite of what I'm feeling," Ayame honestly replied. He reached out and placed a sympathetic hand on Shigure's dark head. "But why? What bothered you that much?"
Shigure peeked at him above his arms where he hid himself, from the table of sadness and sniffed. "You wouldn't understand…"
If Ayame was feeling bright and bubbly this day, it was the total opposite indeed for Shigure. He was close to suffering. The entire week he did not budge a finger to type on his stories, what he did do, however, was to observe his little flower. He watched her the entire week that they have been together and analyzed her when she was not around. By watching her, he wanted to know if Tohru was a girl in love. Her little expressions, her blushes, her quirks and at the end of each day that he would be alone in his futon, he would realize that he had been a fool to not notice before.
How could he miss a girl who was in love in his very own home? And here he was, priding that he knew a lot about women. Mind you, it wasTohru, not just any other girl. He actually missed out on Tohru! He must have been too blinded of his affections to notice that the girl was blooming not because of him, neither Yuki nor Kyo, but because of Ayame. Today felt oddly peculiar, because a week of that realization drove him nearly mad. Was he that stupid? Was he that smitten with Tohru Honda? Kami, he was pathetic.
Ayame poked him on the elbow to nudge a little life from him.
"Oh not now, Aya-chan," Shigure replied, burying his face at the darkness of his crossed arms that rested on the table. "I am at loss for words, writer that I am… or was."
"Don't be silly," Ayame said. "You'll get over that, whatever that is."
Shigure groaned to himself again. Ayame was oddly positive today. Having Tohru appear on his used-to-be bright mind, he knew he really didn't have to ask Ayame of the reason for the optimism. Will he get over this? He was close to admitting the fact that he was suffering a heartbre– but he stopped himself before it came out from his mind. He was not having a heart#!#?. No, no, no! He was not even in love with Tohru. He was just obsessed with the idea of having a pure girl in bed. Darn, here he was again, in denial.
His nose twitched when the strong smell of tea invaded his senses. He looked up to find Ayame's silver eyes smiling at him, and in front of his arms two cups of steaming tea. I just couldn't hate this Souma, Shigure thought. Maybe jealous or envious of the possible sex positions, but Shigure just couldn't bring himself to be jealous of having Tohru's love. This was Souma Ayame, his best friend... the one who always gave smiles, the one who never gave up and the one who always won the race. "Aya-chan…"
"Shh," Ayame whispered, pushing Shigure's cup closer to him. "You're not home, remember?"
Both of them were on Shigure's study room, the room of concentration. Pencil on lips, Shigure's fingers were busy punching on the typewriter while Ayame read one of his works. Just a few moments ago, both of them have been brainstorming. Ayame tried hard as possible to come up with out of this world ideas to help Shigure with his writings. The little help was very much appreciated by the author. As he typed, Shigure gave a quick glance on Ayame's serious look as he read. "So… what's gotten you so worked up anyway?"
Ayame's seriousness was immediately replaced by a bright smile. The smile, however, was close to a mischievous one. "Oh I'm spilling the beans later, Shigure. The first to know is Tohru, of course." He resumed reading with a silly smile on his face. "Shigure, why don't you get a computer? Its much more convenient than that old piece of yesterday. The editing is much easier, believe me."
So he was changing the subject, Shigure thought. "This 'old piece of yesterday' for your information, means a lot to me, Aya-chan. This is where I get my most fantastic ideas. I couldn't trade this for a computer."
Ayame shrugged. "Running out of ideas yet?"
Shigure shook his head, his fingers moving on their own accord. "I'm doing great."
Ayame nodded and smiled. "That's good." He flicked his wrist to see his watch and inwardly sighed. He hoped Tohru would get the notion to leave early from work. He was getting too frustrated. "Are Kyo and my brother going to be present tonight?"
"That would be perfect."
"Oh you just wait."
Their small conversation was interrupted by a loud knock on the front door. Shigure and Ayame jumped to their feet.
"That must be my editor/Tohru!" both young men exclaimed at the same time.
They paused and stared at each other, then laughed.
"Tohru-chan has her keys," Shigure said after a moment.
"I'll get it," Ayame volunteered as he recovered from laughing and went down the stairs as Shigure crossed his fingers and wished that the visitor wasn't for him.
As he reached the front door, his heart beat wildly against his chest. He just knew this wasn't for Shigure. He opened the door and found exactly what he was craving for the whole week.
"Did you guys hear that?" Souma Haru asked with false surprise at the two bickering cousins. He would get back at them for teasing him a schizo and a homo! Kyo would die if only he found out that Ayame was going to be on top of someone he loved. Haru knew he himself also admired Tohru, but wasn't completely head and heels over for her. He snickered to himself. He decided to play with fire more, knowing full well the burns for that would be very pricy indeed. "I think that was from Tohru's room!" Haru watched in awe as the cousins gave each other a look and race up the stairs. "You guys are sooo gonna die."
"Tohru, Tohru?" both young men asked, knocking on her door. "Are you hurt?"
Inside, the couple was moving frantically about, completely forgetting of the most possible solution. If Tohru hadn't been so distracted of Ayame's birthday suit, she probably would have thought of it first. With a loving grin, Ayame looked her in the eyes, gave her a kiss and pulled her close for a hug.
Tohru was in a daze, but she managed to wake up. She gasped as a cold, smooth scaly Ayame slid himself up her leg, hiding under the covers of her skirt, making himself warm on her thigh. With a dark blush on her face, she knew this was no time for an argument. She hurriedly stashed Ayame's clothes on her drawers and opened the door. "H-hai?" she asked breathlessly, feeling Ayame's snake head slide inside the left garter of her panties. Then, she realized that both boys altered their gazes from her, and they were blushing from head to toe.
Kyo cleared his throat and coughe. "Aherm… (cough) your… top…"
"Uhm… Tohru," Yuki said, "Your blouse…"
Yuki even missed out to point out that her hair was unruly as well. Ignoring Ayame's perverted musings under her skirt, she blushed deeply and nervously buttoned up her blouse. She must've looked like someone who had just made love. Well, Ayame and she were close to doing it but he carelessly slipped on his silk clothes and landed on the floor with a thump. "Oh… sorry…" she huffed. She tucked the loose strands of hair behind her ear and took a deep breath. "I'm alright… no worries."
Kyo nodded and turned to go downstairs.
Tohru was thankful that the impatient one had gone downstairs but was a little disappointed to have Yuki still on her door. He was giving her one of his 'I-know-something's-wrong/up' looks. "I'm fine, really." She really wasn't. She wanted to pull Ayame from her body. He was licking somewhere he wasn't supposed to... She bit her lip hard, trying to stop a moan or shudder from coming out of her mouth.
"Yes!" Tohru exclaimed with a loud gasp and her eyes widened. "See you downstairs!" Without waiting for a reply, she closed the door at his face and prayed to Kami-sama that Yuki won't get mad. Her hand instantly flipped her own skirt and pulled Ayame's tail from her dress. She angrily threw him at her bed and glared at him. "You hentai!"
The snake crept under her bed sheets and appeared a long lump, and after a POOOOOOF, Ayame appeared again, his private area covered with her pink blanket and his face with the same hue. "Only for you…"
Tohru gruffly went to her drawers and pulled his clothes out. She shoved them at him and crossed her arms across her chest. "How do you expect to get back out? Nobody else knows that you're here!"
Ayame bit his lower lip, trying to look cute. "For the weekend you could steal me a few pieces of bread and I'll live. I don't have to expose myself. Let's play pretend that I'm your sex slave and you could–"
"Not the sex slave thing again," Tohru sighed, sitting beside him. "Won't you be serious? I really consider leaving you right now."
He put his hands on her shoulders and leaned close. "But wasn't that arousing, what I did to you? Incase you didn't know, snakes are sensual creatures…"
"No they are not," Tohru responded. Ayame was about to say something, but she put two fingers above his lips. "Because I love you, I will give you a week, Ayame. I'm giving you the chance to figure things out for us. If you can't think of a solution, I have to leave. Do you hear me?" Tohru didn't want to see, but she perfectly saw how crestfallen his face had become. His eyes shone clear loneliness. "If you can't figure it out in a week…"
"I know, I know," Ayame whispered, burying his face on the crook of her neck. He bit the soft skin gently and licked the forming redness there. "I will think of something. I won't give up…"
Tohru reached out behind her and smoothed his hair with her fingers. "You really love me, don't you?"
"More than life itself…"
"Ayame, what are you doing here –"
"Tohru!" Ayame exclaimed, jumping on her, trapping her lithe frame in his long arms. He lifted her from the ground and squeezed her tightly against his chest. "Tohru! I missed you!"
Tohru gazed down at the small creature that appeared at her feet and saw it (happily?) slide to lock itself on her ankle again. She rolled her eyes and bent down to pick up his useless clothes and bring it upstairs. "I'm home!" she called out. She then looked down at Ayame. "Is Shigure home?"
Ayame just squeezed her ankle harder, only to press himself closer, not to pain her.
"You actually enjoy being a snake, don't you?" Tohru asked as she went up the stairs to her room. She closed the door behind her and sat down the bed. She noticed that his body was still locked around her ankle. "You seemed happy when you opened the door for me. Does that mean you actually thought of something worth while for a change?" A soft giggle escaped her lips as his thin tongue licked her ankle. Somehow, she was talking without taking heed of what he thought. It felt so much easier, talking to him while he was in his reptile form. Like talking to her mother's picture. The only difference –major difference, was that Ayame could actually lick her in the process and change into a gorgeous male specimen. "How was your day? Mine was terrible. I kept dozing off." Oops, she thought, he wasn't supposed to know that.
Ayamedid notice and quickly snaked his way up her leg to the bed. After a puff of smoke, he appeared in the nude, with a very worried handsome face on his head. "Why? Are you ill?"
I kept thinking about today, she replied in her head. I kept thinking if it was right to trust you with this. I don't want to leave you. But will you make me? "Oh I don't know…"
His silver eyes softened instantly and he kissed her quickly on the lips. Cupping her face in his hands, he smiled. "Oh Tohru, were you worried that I would not think enough to pull us through this mess?" He kissed her nose. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for making you worry… for not thinking and taking care of things. I'm supposed to be the responsible one and I'm sorry if I failed you."
Tohru clutched his wrists and shook her head. "You're such a prince charming, Ayame…"
"And you, my princess," Ayame replied, kissing her softly.
After another mind-boggling kiss, Tohru pulled away and sighed. "Okay, let me hear it. What's your plan?"
"Okay," Ayame nodded, his cheerfulness coming back in full force. "You'll make love to me after I tell you about my plan…!"
"It's a sure bet, love…"
After much silence, a very frustrated Kyo slammed his palms hard against the dining table, rattling all tea cups and the people as well. "That's not possible! Tohru would not leave this house!" He was hyperventilating, his eyes were widened close to bloodshot and his knuckles had turned white. Seeing that none of the housemates, even Tohru herself was silent, Kyo impatiently turned to his cousin. "What do you think, Yuki? Why don't you fucking say something? He's your damn brother!"
Yuki turned his eyes from the people that surrounded the table, tried to look somewhere else. Kyo seldom called him by name and now meant specifically that he was serious. Things were serious after all. He wanted to react violently as well. If he was Kyo, he would probably do worse –break the table in half, slam the teacups one by one against the wall and pound the broken pieces till they were powdered on the floor and of course, take Tohru's shoulders and give her one good shake. But that he would do –if he were Kyo. Unfortunately, fortunately, he was himself. Calm, peaceful Yuki. He noticed that Shigure was silent, not his usual cheerful self –it gave Yuki the impression that the dog knew something about this… Yuki sighed.
Ayame, his favorite brother (ugh), announced that he was taking Tohru in his own home to work for his boutique. He said that she didn't have to work so hard at his shop and she wouldn't have the trouble of going home late. At the boutique, Ayame said, Tohru was going to get paid real well and he was going to give her meals too. Tohru also added that she was going to work hard and was already looking forward to working with him.
Yuki was purely stunned. Shocked to hell. His brains felt numb yet was close to exploding. Up to this point, he was still struck on his seat, dumbfounded and speechless. He really didn't disagree with the idea Ayame proposed. In fact, it was one of the most considerate and practical things he has ever heard from his brother. But what was most disagreeable was the reality of Tohru's leaving. He never imagined that it would happen in this lifetime. He had been loving her for quite some time now, been so used to having her around, gotten so comfortable by the mere idea that there was someone sweet as Tohru waiting for him every weekend at home. He knew Kyo had better chances in romantic terms but it was okay. For as long as Tohru was close, it wouldn't hurt that much. Tohru's happiness was what counted the most. But this… this was totally unexpected. Though Ayame's place wasn't too impossible to reach, he knew that it was different. And besides, she was going to be near to living with AYAME, HIS BROTHER!!!
Massaging his temples for a moment, he raised his face to meet Kyo's angry glare. He sighed and turned to Tohru. "Tohru…" he began. He didn't want to ask, didn't want to speak any longer but… He couldn't just ignore the hope that shone bright in Tohru's eyes. She was asking him to say yes. He felt his heart twisting inside his chest, his palms cold with sweat. "Is th-this… what you… want?"
And judging from Tohru's blush and nod, it was all he needed to see.
"Its decided then. When do you plan to leave?"
It was a different case for Kyo. He was so enraged by Yuki's decision –that imbecile was an imbecile indeed, he stormed to his room up to the rooftop. His thoughts were mumble jumble –he wanted to squeeze the life out of each and every people in the house. And Yuki, that stupid useless rat! How could that idiot not see? How could he decide just like that? Yuki was blind, blind as a new born rodent! He pounded his clenched fist against the tile, hoping a lamp would bounce on anybody's head. He shut his eyes close and squeezed them tight. He choked on something thick on his throat –damn it, was he crying? He covered his face with his hands and grumbled, warm tears sliding at the corner of his eyes.
If only I could have told her what I felt, Kyo thought. I love you, Tohru, I love you!
And she's leaving…
"We all love her," a familiar voice said.
Kyo glared at his side and saw the splitting older image of Yuki, only with longer hair. "What the hell do you want?"
Ayame gazed up at the sky and sighed. "I'm sorry."
Kyo didn't reply. Maybe the tears had helped relieve some of his stress. But his heart was still aching. If his senses weren't as sneaky as a cat's, he would have strangled Ayame and left him to die on the roof. But something told him that Ayame was protected by an unseen bubble –Tohru's love, which made him indestructible. Because of those senses, too, he cursed himself, was why he was now suffering with emotional pain. Loss. Tohru was not theirs anymore. Never will be. But now that he thought of it, she never was. He sat properly on the tiles and snorted. "Shut your asshole, dickhead. You don't have anything to be sorry about. Tohru loves you." He felt the sting inside his chest as he said the last sentence. "What I want you to say is that you won't break her heart."
"But I won't!" Ayame exclaimed, turning to him. "I never could imagine that! I love her dearly-"
"That's enough, sicko," Kyo cut him off. Hearing those words were good, but wasn't exactly amusing and healthy for his heart. "I can sense it. Both of you are… mated." Kyo wanted to die. Kyo wanted to smack his teeth from his skull but the words came out naturally, truth that they were. Yuki came to mind. The rat was clueless. "Yuki doesn't–"
"I know… it'll fall into place soon enough," Ayame said seriously.
"Please, Ayame. Don't break her heart." You've broken ours already. Don't think I missed out on your best friend.
Ayame nodded. "You can visit every week to make sure I don't."
"Free lodgings and food?"
Ayame chuckled. "Having Tohru at home, nothing would be impossible…"
Having heard the word 'home' from the snake's mouth, Kyo just nodded and stared at the ever welcoming dark sky.
Not only was Tohru Honda a woman in love.
Sweet little Tohru grew up.
A.N. Don't comment on the OOC-ness, I know it already. The plot, oh please, I'm the one writing it. This is fiction, give me some credit. However, if you're kind and sweet and special enough, why don't you give me a review? Hehehehe…
Sure bet the next chapter is the last one -however, I thought that this chapter was best as an ending. Yippeee for Ayame that he figured it out huh? Oh well, not the greatest great but at least I tried! Hehehehe… Hope this pleased some. Please review so I know what you think. Hopefully, there's an epilogue on the way.
Thank you to all who reviewed.
With much love to you all,