Hello, all. My second -er, almost third- story on FF. It's just a little story that had been teasing at the edge of my mind, and the only way I could get any peace was to just shut up and write it. So, I did, and here it is. It's not too original, but it promises to at least be mildly entertaining. In my anxious little mind, I even cooked up a tiny plot, so that if there were people who would like me to continue with this, I could. So, here it goes.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Fruits Basket, save for the plot.
The Birthday Boy
Kyo sat still, listening to Tohru fuss around in the kitchen, singing one of the more popular songs they girls at school all seemed to hum as they went along.
He glanced at Shigure and Yuki's empty places. Shigure had loaded up with his publicist for his book signing, ironically one of the trashy novels he came out with, dragging Yuki and Ayame along for the ride, presenting them with a chance for 'brotherly bonding'. Kyo sniggered. Yuki would be having a hell of a time of it, while he got to enjoy life without his meddling cousins and have Tohru all to himself.
He glanced at the kitchen, sighing. Or maybe it would be hell for him. Without those two, he had less of a restriction when it came to Tohru, which probably meant less will power. He gazed heavy-lidded at the kitchen door.
Delicious smells wafted from that kitchen, smells that made his mouth water and his eyes glass over. She knew him all too well. While there was no health-nut Yuki, Tohru could fix him such a breakfast as he now rarely got. He felt grateful and humble. And hungry.
"Kyo-kun!" came her cheerful voice as she whirled into the room from the kitchen, oven mitts on her dainty hands and a platter in them.
He felt the drool gather in his mouth. Salman. For breakfast nonetheless. Kyo stared at it hungrily, his chopsticks at ready, poised above the tiny bowl of rice she handed him.
"I hope you like it," she said brightly, but as always when she spoke to him, she heard a hitch in her voice. He looked up from shoveling rice into his mouth to look at her down cast teal-colored eyes. She looked a little uncertain as she placidly lifted rice to her lips. He hesitated, then looked up at her again, moving his lips to the side in indecisiveness. He bit them lightly, then looked up at her again. "It's good, Tohru-kun."
She smiled so wide her eyes nearly closed and she cocked her head in that adorable way she had. "You really think so?"
He nodded, and continued to eat, a blush creeping over his tanned skin. They continued to eat in silence, unusual for the lovable if ditzy Tohru. He kept sending her quick glances over his food, noticing her almost sad eyes. He suddenly felt guilty. Did she miss that pervert and his damnable pet rat?
After thinking such thoughts, all he could seem to do was pick at the remnants of his meal.
After a bit, Tohru rose to clear the plates. "I guess we'll have leftovers tonight, unless . . . you want something else, Kyo-kun?"
He saw something flitter across her face, almost mischievous as she glanced at him. "Ugh, leftovers are fine." He stood, wiping his mouth on his jacket sleeve as he grabbed up his backpack, slinging it more than one shoulder.
Tohru hurried through the chore of putting everything away, slipping on her shoes, and rushing through the door, as usual, tripping over the frame. With an ease of long practice, Kyo threw out his arm and neatly caught her that way without turning into a cat. Though sometimes he missed and he ended up turning into one anyway.
But most of the time, that was on purpose.
As he listened to her flood of apologies as he did nearly every morning, he thought about those times he caught her like that on purpose, staring at his feet as he did so. It was only a second, but a second of pure bliss.
In one instant, he had memorized ever soft inch of Tohru he had come into direct contact with, so unlike the hard body of the only other girl he'd touched, Kagura, the nightmare boar. His eyes darkened at the thought of her. Sure, she was nice enough to most people, but he couldn't stand her. She annoyed him so damn much. He didn't hate her as he claimed so often, but he could never think of her like that. She was like . . . another guy. Eww.
He was startled out of his thoughts when Tohru spoke.
"Kyo-kun, what's your favorite kind of cake?"
He looked at her, his defensive nature rising. "Why in the hell do you wanna know?" he asked incredulously.
She shrugged. "You know how I like finding out about people." Her innocent smile was warm and he instantly relaxed.
"Ugh . . . " He thought about it for a few minutes, then looked over at her, Tohru with her shining face and warm smile. Her scent caught his nose, and he made his decision. "Strawberry shortcake," he said, nodding.
Tohru looked pleased. "Mine, too," she said, clearly delighted. "What about your plain out favorite dinner food, one you don't get often?" She looked down, blushing a little bit. "Mine is, ugh, you'll laugh, but I like that American chicken place, KFC. Extra crispy."
He looked at her, a little surprised, then smiled a little. How like her to have something so oddball as that. He shuffled along, and he knew Tohru had decided that he wasn't going to answer.
"American barbecue ribs."
She looked at him, confused. "Ribs?"
"That's my favorite, that I don't get often."
She smiled. "Okay." Then she looked straight ahead and walked down that path that she did every day. She sped up a bit, and he caught a whiff of her strawberry scented body spray, deciding that is he had a favorite fruit, it would be strawberries.
Unless Tohru turned out to be a fruit. Then she'd be it.
He smiled faintly. "Stupid onigiri girl. . ."
Kyo wandered idly through his day, only at school mourning the loss of that damn rat, when his rodent cousin's fan club stalked him for lack of a better candidate. He did his best to avoid them, the rabbit, the tiger, and the cow, as he just didn't feel like it today. He'd had a good morning; he wanted to make it a good day.
Every now and then, he would run into Tohru, surrounded on either side by Hana and Uo. She would wave cheerfully at him, perhaps stop and talk to him for a few minutes, then head on, laughing with her friends.
He watched her from his favorite spot on the grounds, a large oak, as she did as she usually did, talking and laughing with the Yankee and psychic. He idly wondered what it was like to be so close to someone as that. He generally didn't get along with most people, boys because he was so competitive, and girls because he was so blunt.
Tohru wasn't like that. He almost had to be around her. Without her, he just got pissed, and then he'd get pissed some more when he realized that he was pissed. How he'd suffered through that short eternity that she'd gone to live with her grandfather, he still didn't know. He had a nasty suspicion, that now, since she sunk her clear painted nails into his heart, and burrowed her way into his feelings farther than anyone had ever gotten, that he couldn't survive another bout without her.
When the last bell rang, he practically bowled people over trying to get to where he knew Tohru waited for him. S
There she was, intently whispering with Uo, Hana scanning the crowed. Suddenly, she paused, her creepy eyes skimming over him. She held up a hand, said something short. Tohru stopped, searching the crowd, then looked back at the tall Yankee, who was nodding. He felt a pang of maybe hurt that Tohru wold keep something from him. He scowled, ducking his head as he drove through the herd of people. He didn't stop when he reached Tohru, his palm going flat against her head as he dragged her along. She flailed around, finally pulling away. He kept his head down no his bangs would hide his eyes so she couldn't see the hurt.
He suddenly felt her delicate hand on his shoulder. Instead of doing what he wanted to do, which was shrugged her off, he gently pressed his shoulder muscle into her hand. She ran to face him. "Kyo-kun? What's wrong, Kyo-kun?"
He pulled away and continued to walk.
"Um, Kyo-kun? I have to go to work..."
He stopped. "I'll walk you."
She held up her hands, clearly flustered. "No, no, no!" she cried, a blush rising to her face. "You, you uh, you need... You need to go home!" she exclaimed. "In case Shigure and Yuki come back!"
He looked up, and she saw the flash of pain, and longed to cuddle him. "Okay," he said, turning in the direction of the Sohma property.
Oh, Kyo-kun, she thought, her eyes swimming, please, just do this, just once. I promise, I'm goign to make it up to you. I promise.
Late that night -later than Tohru usually came home, Kyo opened his eyes a little bit as he heard the door slide open, then closed. He was fuzzily glad they had no school tomorrow, because Tohru would be so sleepy and got sick when she didn't get enough sleep. He recognized her footsteps, the light padding of tiny feet as she headed for the kitchen.
His brows furrowed, and he burrowed his face deeper into his pillow. Tohru never went to the kitchen. She went to her room, then took a shower, then went to the kitchen to drink a glass of milk, and then back to her room to sleep in her big pink bed.
He ignored it, reminding himself that he was mad at her, and that he didn't need to check up on her.
Then he forced himself to sleep.
The next morning -or afternoon, really- found him sill in his bed, with the scent of Tohru lingering. He opened his eyes to see his favorite black shirt and cargo pants neatly washed and folded by his head, the clean smell of washing powder drifting up to his nose.
He got up, rubbed his nose, and went to the shower directly next to his room, then padding back with a towel around his waist. When his door was closed, he threw it into the hamper, and pulled on a clean pair of boxers, then slipping into the clothes she'd laid out for him.
When he again pulled open the door, a strong smell wafted up the stairs.
He thunked down, walking into the dining area, where a large pile of food sat. He stared at it in amazement as the scents of his favorite foods drifted around him, the plate of ribs atop rice and all manner of the little things Tohru had picked up form him that he liked.
In the middle of it all sat a huge strawberry shortcake, decorated with seventeen candles.
He stared and stared, mentally kicking himself in the ass over and over again as he thought about how he'd acted yesterday with Tohru. Her scent mingled with that of the cake, but he could still feel her presence, somewhere in the far corner of the room.
"Tohru?" he asked, walking around the table. "Toh--"
He saw her hand, tiny and a little pale, with pretty peach fingertips curled a little in the air. She was asleep, curled up by the table, slumbering soundly, her breath puffing out lightly and with little sound.
He could practically feel his expression softening as he nudged her arm lightly. "Tohru... Tohru..." Her nose wrinkled, and suddenly he hated having to wake her. She must have stayed up all night, waiting for him to get his lazy nekko ass out of bed so she could celebrate –whatever it was– with him.
Suddenly, her huge blue eyes blinked open, and she smiled up at him sleepily. "Kyo-kun..."
His eyes widened, and a blush threatened to creep over his high, tanned cheekbones. The thoughts he so tried to maintain, to think of Tohru as an air-headed little sister, had failed him, as always.
Instead, he'd thought maybe this would be how she would greet him in the morning if they had slept in the same huge, pink bed. All warm and soft and rosy from sleep, with her eyes still blurry at the edges.
"Good morning, Kyo-kun– oh!" She let out a gasp, and sat up, bumping into his chest.
"Shit," he said it clearly and without emotion as Tohru gently tapped against his chest, soft and feminine body providing him with a tiny touch of Heaven ever as he fell back and took the form a cat.
Tohru stared at him as he fell back, eyes wide and mere pinpoints of black in a field of white.
The clothes hit the floor with a plop, Kyo landing lightly on his side. He sighed and grumbled as he pushed his way out form under the pile of clothes. "Jesus, Tohru, watch what you're doin– Tohru?" Her name was said with a slight quaver in his voice.
She sat on the floor, her head bowed and knees together, hand limp at her sides on the floor.
He stepped up. "T-Tohru?"
She lifted a hand, gently wiping what appeared to be tears from her cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Kyo-kun. I ruined your birthday. The food is cold and I didn't sing to you like I thought I would, and worst of all, I turned you into a cat, and I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, I just wanted it to be special for you and--"
"Birthday!" Kyo felt dizzied by her flurry of apologies, but what confused him the most was the mention of a natal day. "It's not my birthday!" he shouted. "Who in the hell told you it was my birthday!"
Tohru looked at him, shocked, and he felt like the worst kind of heal as he watched the tears rolling down her face. She blinked, then wiped her face on her sleeve. "Shigure-san said it was. He asked me to make sure your birthday was special, because he and Yuki would be gone, and that Akito might not let anyone come--"
"That rat bastard," he snarled. "Er, son of a bitch." He looked up at her, as directly as he could in the form that resisted eye contact. "Tohru, it's not my birthday. It won't be for a long while. Shigure just thought up one of his shitty schemes."
She wiped at her face again, then smiled. "Oh."
Kyo looked at her, then sat, placing his paws together and looking at them. "Uh..."
He looked up. "What?" he asked defensively, laying his ears back in what could have been shame.
She smiled, that lovely smile that always made him feel better, and to him, she looked just as beautiful, even with her red eyes cherry-colored nose. "Can I hold you, Kyo-kun?"
He paused, then looked up at her, his eyes almost swimming as he looked up at her. He ducked his head, and faked a grudgingness as he went forward, stopping at her lap. She placed her hands gently under his 'arms, and lifted him until her face was cuddled by his cheek. He closed his eyes, and instinctively purred, rubbing his soft fur against her skin. He felt captured by the moment, and didn't ever want it to end.
So they sat there, suspended in the comforting rumbling of his purr.
Suddenly, his eyes opened. "Tohru, let-"
There was a puff of orange smoke, and suddenly he was staring Tohru in her eyes, naked as the day he'd been born.
He briefly reflected on the irony of that thought as he stared into Tohru's shocked eyes as she fell a little back, using her hands to catch herself.
"Oh, my," she said.