I'm Home Again
By: Akeryou-sama
Chapter 1/Prologue

Note: Yo. This is my first Fruits Basket fiction. I haven't read the whole Manga series, I've just read the first one, and watched the all the anime episodes, so I'm basing this off of the characters the Anime shows. It'll be a short fiction too.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket.

Hi there! You should remember me! I'm Tohru Honda. I'm that 16 year old girl who lived the 'exotic' life, you could say, only now I'm 22. Oh… so you don't remember me then? Well, let me give you a re-cap of my life.

Six years ago in May, mom died. After she passed away I went to live with my paternal grandpa. After a while his daughter decided to move in and so they did some remodeling. Grandpa went to live with her and he asked me if I had any friends I could stay with.

Hana lived in a five member family and I didn't want to burden her. Uo lived in a one bedroom apartment and I'd just be a burden to her. So, I took the chance and decided I could live on my own, which I did.

I stayed in a tent on the property of the Sohma family. At the time I didn't know it was theirs. Eventually I stumbled upon their house and we became friends. They offered me room and board in exchange for me to be their housekeeper.

I found out the Sohma family curse soon after that. 13 members of the Sohma family turn into animals-the Zodiac animals plus the cat to be exact-when hugged by the opposite sex.

I spent a lot of time trying to help them figure out how to break the curse, but eventually we found no cure. Akito, the head of the Sohma family and bearer of the full Zodiac curse, sent me away.

I still haven't given up on finding a cure. As my motto states, Never give up. I won't ever give up until I die, or the curse is broken.

I think during that time, I fell in love with Sohma Yuki. He's the rat. Sohma Kyo is the cat, of which after hearing the folk tale of the Zodiac animals, I became the first person in the year of the cat fan club. I felt so bad for the cat, which had been tricked by the rat. I wanted to quit being year of the dog and become year of the cat instead.

I moved to America after I had been banished by Akito. I live in a small, four bedroom apartment in New York City. I've graduated from a four year college and now have a good career as a journalist. I also have a part time job as a janitor at the newspaper building.

Chapter 1 – Before
Tohru knelt, head bent facing the front of a room in the Sohma family main house. Akito lay outside, on the deck with the shoji door opened.

"Akito," Tohru began and paused, "We've yet to find a cure. I'm sorry."

"You still think you can find a cure, you foolish girl," Akito said stood up, silently, "You think that because you're not cursed, you can find the cure that the Sohma family has yet to find after centuries of searching?"

"No—" Tohru was cut off as Akito grabbed a handful of her hair causing her to cry out.

"You think you're better than us. Is that it?" She yelled as she shook her, "Answer me!"

"N-no," Tohru replied, "I just want to help. I won't ever give up. I want to-AH!" She cried out as Akito gave a tug on her hair, "I want to help my family!"

"Your family," Akito sneered, dragging her to her feet, "Is that what they are? You are no Sohma. You are a filthy wretch. You are forbidden to come back here. If you do, you will face death. You are to never see your… family again."

Tohru was thrown from his sight and landed in a heap at the other end of the room. She slowly stood up, wiping a trail of blood from her broken open lip. Tohru bowed to her and turned from him, facing the door.

"So be it. But remember, Akito. It is you who is destined to die for the curse. It is you who holds the curse. It is you who bears this curse. And it was I who tried to help," Tohru said softly and walked silently out of the room, not looking back.

Present Day America

Tohru sighed, rising from bed as she woke from her nap. She climbed out of bed before straightening her unusually tidy room and bathroom. She walked out of the room and began to clean the house, first starting with the kitchen, then the living room, followed up by the den and the main bathroom.

She glanced at the clock and sighed as she began to fix a small lunch, "It's almost 11:30. I have to get to work soon."

Tohru had to be at the newspaper building from 7 until 10. She got home, cleaned, fixed lunch, and then went to her part time job as a janitor from 12 to 8. She returned home at 8, fixed dinner, took care of her personal things, and then went to bed, only to repeat the process the next day.

Tohruuuu I'm hungryyy. What's for lunch?

This is the best food I've ever had, Miss Honda.

Leeks! What are you trying to do? Kill me?

She continued to stir the red sauce in the pan as she held tears back, which had formed due to the thoughts of the three men she had come to love as family.

She did return three times a year to Japan. Once on Valentines day to drop off gifts for everyone at Shigure's house, unnoticed, a second time on May 1st to see her mother's grave with Hana and Uo, and the third time on New years to drop off New Years gifts, leaving no traces behind, other than the gifts.

In all reality, she did dislike Akito, but Tohru knew she was only protecting her family in her own way. She was an evil, cold hearted, control freak kind of female. She disliked it when anything went on behind her back. She had been 'punished' many times by the hand of Akito and found the reason why Yuki wanted to leave the main house so bad-he was beaten by Akito.

She pulled the pan off the stove, shaking the thought from her head. She poured the thick, tomato and ravioli mixture into her bowl and pulled out a pre-made salad bag. She served herself some salad and sat down at the table to eat.

The past is the past. I can't blame Akito for doing what she did. That's just who she is and if I were to blame her for that, I'd be blaming her for being who she is. Tohru thought and sighed, Mom, what am I to do?

'Just be yourself. Everything will work out in the end.'

You're right mom. I'll make the best of everything. I promise. Tohru thought determinedly as she finished eating her lunch and stood up.

"I guess it's been 4 years since I left Japan, mom. Should I go back? I really want to. I don't care what Akito says. I'll die one way or another," She said and laughed bitterly, "Oh mom. I miss Yuki so much!"

Since she was already for work, Tohru quickly rinsed out the dishes, washed them and then left the house, walking to the bus stop a block away, where she would be taken to the New York Times newspaper building.

It's only been four years since Akito practically banished me, and yet… it feels like forever.
Tohru thought as she scrubbed the toilet at work.

A tear fell from her eye and she wiped the tear away quickly. She wouldn't cry. Not again. Even if she knew she could never see the man she loved again.

NO! I don't love him! Not anymore. I don't… I can't… Tohru thought as she ignored her heartache and stood up.

"I might as well work faster. It just might let me get my mind off of… him," Tohru said and sighed sadly, "No more, Tohru Honda. The past is the past. Enough of living on the past. You've got a future ahead of you, so quit it!"

I thought that you were all about saying what you feel. Normally I hate people who whine all the time, but in your case… it would be okay to complain. Be selfish; say what you want once in a while. It's okay to let yourself be sad.

"Kyo…" She whispered as she gazed out at the sunset, "Wait a minute! Sunset?"

She spun around and looked at the clock. It was 8:30.

"Oh no! I'm not going to make it to the store to pick up those groceries!" She said and quickly finished up her window and got dressed back into her other clothes before racing out of the building and making her way to the store.

Miss Honda you're so kind. … I think it's about time you came home … Miss Honda, I noticed this morning, you don't look well. It's been quite hot out lately. You shouldn't overexert yourself.

"Yuki…" She whispered and rubbed her arms, eyes down cast.

Let's come back when it's light out. If there's another landslide and you get hurt, your mother will be in even more pain. … Congratulations on operation: kidnap the princess.

"Shigure…" She whispered and blinked away tears that formed in her eyes.

She entered the grocery store and picked up the few things she needed. She sighed, deep in thought as she trudged the steps up to their house.

I want to go home. I want... I want Akito to know, I don't fear her. I shouldn't have let her scare me off like that. I won't let her keep me from my family. She thought determinedly as she entered the house and slid off her shoes.

"Kyo once told me that it was okay to be selfish once in a while. Well… I haven't been… I didn't want to…" She said, her voice thick with built up emotion, "I'm going to be selfish. I want to go home. I want to go back to Japan. I don't care what Akito said."

Screw Akito and screw her threat. I don't give a damn about her. I'll die one way or another. She thought angrily and tears spilt from her eyes and down her cheeks as she leaned on the door, sliding down to sit on the floor.

She bent her head, "I still love Yuki and I miss him so much. I want to tell him how much I love him. I want him to know that I love him and accept him for who he is and I would never reject him for what he is.

"I will go home and I will stay home for good. I won't ever leave Japan again if I can help it. Not with out my family," She finished and smiled bitterly as she let the tears roll freely down her face.

The next morning was Monday and Tohru called up the airport to get her a one way ticket to Japan. She'd leave at 8 Friday morning. She called Hana and Uo and asked them if they would pick her up at the airport Friday at noon their time (look at Author's Note 2 atbottom for info). She sent them her blankets and a few other things.

Tuesday was spent cleaning, working on getting the house up for sale, and quitting her job. The rest of the time seemed to go by fast. Most everything was left behind, sold, or thrown away, save her personal effects and the things she sent out to Hana and Uo.

She had two bags, a small duffle bag and a large duffle bag. The smaller one had her laptop and the few pictures she had, wrapping in clothing. The larger one held her four pairs of shoes and most of her clothing.

Tohru smiled at them before heading down the stairs and to the bus stop, which was only a block from the house. From there she rode to the airport and then, after getting through all the security, she boarded the plane to Japan. If all went well, she would be reaching Japan at about 12 in the afternoon, Japan time.

The plane ride was long and uncomfortable. Tohru managed to get a few hours of sleep, the rest of the time she spent talking with the lady that sat next to her-Kagome Higurashi- in Japanese or playing Dai Hin Min (AKA: Rich man poor man) with some of the other passengers.

"So, did you just graduate from College?" Kagome asked and smiled at Tohru.

"Actually, I graduated this past month. I'm going back home to visit my mom's grave and some of my other friends," Tohru replied, smiling slightly.

"Oh. When did you're mom die? My dad died when I was ten," She replied and Tohru smiled sadly.

"I'm sorry. My dad died when I was three and my mom died six years ago when I was 16," Tohru said and smiled slightly.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Kagome told her and she shook her head, "Do people tell you that often?"

"It's fine. I've gotten used to that," Tohru said and laughed, "Yes. People used to tell me that often enough."

Kagome and Tohru sat in silence for a moment before Kagome pulled out a deck of card.

"Would you like to play Dai Hin Min?" Kagome said and Tohru beamed.

"I love that game! I used to play it with the guys I lived with and my friends!" Tohru said cheerfully, masking her slight sadness.

"Mind if we join in?" A couple of older men said and the two girls shook their heads.

"Not at all," Tohru said and laughed.

"You lived with guys?" Kagome said as she dealt the cards to all four of them.

"Yes, three to be exact," Tohru said and smiled, "Two of them were my classmates. They lived with their older cousin, who could be a real pervert, but he was real nice."

"Sounds like Miroku," Kagome replied and laughed, "Gropes everything with two legs, a bust, and a butt."

"Well, Shigure wasn't like that. He was more of a flirter. He had this thing for high school girls," Tohru said and smiled, laughing slightly.

"Revolution," One of the guys said and Tohru grinned.

"Counter revolution," She said as she laid down the last of her cards, causing the guy's jaw to drop, "I'm not very good at this game, but I still win a few times. Hana is the best person I've ever met at this game. Then again, Hana has physic powers too…"

The game went by fast and they played a couple more before Tohru started to drift to sleep. She fell asleep half way through the ride and didn't wake up when they stopped to refuel twice.

At the end of the ride, Kagome nudged Tohru, waking her up and smiled at her.

"We're here," She said and Tohru nodded.

"Thank you. I guess I'll see you around sometime," Tohru said and smiled at her after they exited the plane and grabbed their bags.

"Yea. Oh look, there's Inuyasha and mom. I'll see you later Tohru! Bye!" Kagome yelled as she waved over her shoulder and ran to the two people who came to pick her up.

Tohru started to look through the crowd. She frowned and turned around, looking at the other side. She heard her name called and spun around, spotting Hana and Uo. She grinned and ran to them, her bags bouncing on her shoulder and back. She let them slid down and plop to the ground, the smaller one landing on the bigger one.

"Hana! Uo!" She cried out and hugged them both, "Oh I missed you two!"

"You're early Tohru," Hana said once they had pulled away and left the airport, walking to the house Uo and Hana lived in.

"Ah," Tohru said, wincing at the tone in Hana's voice, "Well, I decided it was time to come home for good. I wasn't going to let Akito push me around anymore. If I'm going to die, it might as well be because I was with my loved ones and not of old age."

"What? Did that asshole jerk you around?" Uo said angrily and Tohru sweat dropped.

"Kind of. Just a death threat, nothing to worry about," Tohru said and laughed.

"Nothing to worry about…? What the hell?" Uo said and shook her head before smiling, "Too bad I can't rough her up anymore."

"Too bad… What are you talking about Uo?" Tohru said and looked at her friend.

"She's dead, Tohru. Akito got really sick last winter and dropped dead at the New Years Celebration," Hana said softly, "It was right after the medallions were made."

"Medallions..? What are you two on about?" Tohru said and stopped, scratching the back of her head.

"They found a way to lock the animals away. The Zodiac members can be hugged by the opposite sex now without changing if they're wearing their medallions," Uo said and Tohru's jaw dropped.

"You mean…?" She said and looked at them in half shock, half joy.

"Yes, Tohru. When you see Yuki next, you can hug him to your hearts content. Same with the other Zodiac members," Hana said with a slight laughed.

They walked on in silence. It was a slightly uncomfortable silence, but was interrupted when Tohru sighed.

"They miss you, you know that Tohru?" Hana said softly, "They were so worried about you; we all were when you left. We didn't stop worrying until we got your gifts that New Years. Haru told me that when Akito read your card, he was angry and left the New Years Celebration."

"Kyo told me the same thing. What did it say?" Uo said and Tohru grinned.

"I shan't tell you. It's a S-E-C-R-E-T," She said and laughed happily and carefree.

Mom once told me it was better to live than to dwell on the past. That's what I'm trying to do. I'll quit dwelling on the past and live my life happily with my friends… with my family.

"Hey… This looks familiar," Tohru said and looked at Hana and Uo, "Isn't this the way to Shigure's house?"

"We live close to their house. The main house is letting us use it. Well, more like Hatori," Uo said and smiled.

"Hatori?" Tohru said puzzled.

"He was named the head of the family," Hana said and Tohru nodded in understatement.

"We also have Haru and Kisa with us too. Momiji stays there from time to time along with Hiro," Uo added and smiled again, "It's quite fun to have all these Zodiac members around us. With all their different personalities, it's amazing!"

"I see. How are Kisa, Momiji, Haru, and Hiro anyways?" Tohru said, suddenly curious at their wellbeing.

"Good. They were really sad the first little while after you left. Hiro was always angry at something until Kisa cheered up after getting your gift and card," Uo said and laughed at the memory, "Hatori is alright. Shigure, Kyo, and Yuki come over nightly for food."

"My cooking isn't as good as yours is. They really miss you're cooking, you know that, right?" Hana said and smiled at Tohru.

"Can we visit them? Please? After we put my stuff away?" Tohru said, pleadingly, "I want to see them."

"We were planning on it," Uo said and smiled, "They went to Kazuma's for a fight. Kyo finally pissed Yuki off enough and Yuki wanted to blow some steam by fighting Kyo in a mock fight."

"I see," Tohru said as they walked up the path and stairs to the house.

"Kisa and Hiro should be at the main house visiting their parents. Haru is with Yuki and Kyo. Momiji is with his dad at his dad's business," Hana said once they reached the house.

Hana unlocked the door and they all walked in. She directed Tohru to her room and they helped her unpack her things. It took them three hours to get done putting away Tohru's things and to eat lunch. After unpacking her things and eating, the three friends left their house and headed up to Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo's house.

Author's Note 2: And FYI the approximate time from New York to Japan is about 13 hours straight –no stops- I believe. If you get confused with the 8 in the morning to noon (12 in the afternoon) Japan time, Japan is 13 hours ahead of New York. So, if you leave America at 8 there, it takes approximately (2 extra hours for layover and refueling and what not) 15 hours to get to Japan. You reach Japan at 11 at night America time. Now, add 13 hours to that and you get Noon (12 in the afternoon) in Japan. If there's any sort of problem with this, please let me know or just look over it.

Note 3: It's depression all over again! But, I guess I should have known. Yuki and Tohru aren't meant to be. –Glares at random objects- Pfffft. All well, we can dream, ne?