Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket.

Title: Pandemonium
Fandom: Fruits Basket
First Posted: May 26, 2006
Pairing(s): of editors and monkeys (most other canon couplings included as well)
Story Summary: Mitsu has a run-in with poor Ritsu Sohma. They work together to build his confidence, break the curse and keep the world safe for editors everywhere.
Rating/Warnings: 'T' for now, to be safe. Some bad language (not much), some evil Akito-ness later
Story Notes: in Mitsuru's POV

A/N: Enjoy!

I was late.

Now, most people would only be mildly upset by such a small inconvenience. However, my case is rather special. My very sanity was riding on the success of my venture, and being late could upset everything.

I clutched my briefcase tightly, easily speeding up into a run.

"He better be there," I muttered to myself. That author caused me no end of trouble. I had loved my job before him; but after he was assigned to me it became a veritable hell! "He better be there or I'm going to... I'm going to..." I let out a quiet wail. "I don't know what I'll do. I could lose my job! He'll lose his contract with us. Oh, everything will be ruined. Damn him. Damn him, damn him damn him to the deepest depths of bloody he– AHH!"

Too preoccupied with Shigure the evil author living in his happy land of Mitsu-ruining infamy, I wasn't paying attention to where I was bolting off to. I ran straight into a solid back, my briefcase colliding with a person's arm or shoulder or head– I was never really quite sure– as I fell most ungracefully onto my belly.

"Oh no!" the person said fretfully. They were beautiful– a little warm in a full kimono perhaps, but beautiful all the same. "Are you alright? How could I have done this? How could I have committed such a grievous crime! I'm sorry! I'm SORRY! I'M SORRY!"

I held my head as I got up. "It was my fault actually, so there's no need to apologize. I was just hea–" I stopped. I clapped my hand over my mouth in shock. I had let myself get distracted again! I had to get to Shigure! "Oh no! I'm going to be late! Damn it! This day is getting worse! He's not going to have it and I'm not going to have time to make him work and I don't know what to do! NOO!"

I looked at the person I had bumped into. The young woman was wringing her hands nervously, looking ready to collapse. "I'm sorry." I said, wanting to apologize and calm her down. "My name is Mitsuru. I didn't mean to bump into you, but I'm..." I stopped as I noticed her circling frantically, spouting some mad apology and wishing severe physical harm upon themselves– the foul beast who had upset such a poor, busy woman. For some reason, I could have sworn that we had met before... I gave it a brief moment of thought, but was interrupted when the poor girl went into hysterics.

"Oh, I'm so unworthy! I don't even deserve to stand in the same light as this poor, wonderful woman who was only trying to get to wherever she was going on time! I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm–"

I put my hand on her arm. "It's alright," I said, "If I run I can be nearly on time." Suddenly, though, I remember where I had seen her before. My eyes went wide and I tried to stay in control. "I– Oh... my... I know you! I know you! Don't you remember me? Your name, it's..." I snapped my fingers as the name came to me. "Ritsu-san! We met at sensei's house, and..." My eyes widened further. "Aren't you a ma... A ma–"

He nodded and looked away shamefully. "That's right. I do remember you. And I..." He sniffed, and I thought I saw tears staining his pretty face. His voice was soft. "I am actually a man, even though I'm dressed like this."

I felt so bad for him; I couldn't help it. I put a hand on his shoulder in a gesture of comfort. "It's... alright. You make a very beautiful woman, I assure you."

He hiccoughed a little, though I got the impression that he was trying to laugh. "Th-thank you."

I smiled at him kindly. "I don't think any less of you for it. I'll admit that it's strange, but..." I shrugged. "I suppose you must enjoy dressing like this, so–"

"No," he said, rather loudly. "I don't." He turned his face away. "I don't. It's so embarrassing. I do it to be more comfortable– I'm not nearly so stressed and... and m-more at ease when I put on women's clothing. But I wish that wasn't so."

I looked up at him inquiringly. There had to be some story behind that.

"It's... I know it embarrasses my parents. I know they're ashamed of me. I'm so ashamed of myself. It's... terrible." He bit his lip hard and looked away. "I wish I could be a stronger person."

At his admission, I thought for a long moment. I had wanted to go and harass Shigure for awhile, hopefully to persuade him to write, but I wanted to help Ritsu-san. He seemed like such a good person, and more worth my time than stupid, idiot sensei could ever be. Besides, I knew that he'd still torture me even if I came early or not.

"Um... Hey! Why don't we have lunch or something? I did have an appointment, but..." I glared fiercely at some imaginary being (projection of a stupid writer) over Ritsu's shoulder. Then I sighed. "Actually, the deadline for those chapters is tomorrow, but I thought that maybe if I went and harassed him today, he'd get it done and not give me a hard time. However, your situation seems a little more important. I'll... threaten him or something. I'm sure he's already done it, he just loves torturing me."

"Y-you mean Shigure-nii, right?"

I nodded. "That's exactly who I mean. The damn idiot." I glared again.

Ritsu laughed nervously. "Eh... You're right. He wouldn't be cruel enough to not finish it, I'm sure. He'll pr-probably have it finished as soon as you stop by his house tomorrow."

I let out a happy, shaky– if disbelieving– sigh. Maybe in my dreams... "That would be a miracle! But enough about that– let's go eat; I'm starved!"

End A/N: Thanks for reading! Please leave a review!