Welcome to The Zodiac Host Club
Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket or Host Club. This story is very loosely related to Host Club besides the fact there's a girl hanging out with all men. I mearly merged the ideas together in my head to entertain my soul. ... (awkward silence)
Chapter 1 - Drunk on a Night Like This
A beautiful Chinese silk wedding dress embroidered with beautiful satin-blue ribbon and cut of the most precise measurments to fit her frame perfectly. She looked magical almost like an angel with her hair in an up-do that would put the best models to shame. Crowning her head was a soft veil, now sticking to her wet hair and plastered to her slick shoulders. She should have felt like a princess today. It was too bad. Too bad it all went down the drain. Too bad she felt like the biggest moron on the planet. It was all just... too bad.
The thunder continued as she ran down the empty streets, ruining the expensive material of her dress as she sloshed through muddy puddles and stepped on the ends of her dress occasionally. She didn't even notice it. All she knew was her wedding day was the greatest mistake of her life. It was too soon! She'd given him everything without anything in return. Her exit wasn't even dramatic like the movies. Like when the girl would flatly refuse to marry the groom and run down the isle, everyone gasping and causing chaos throughout the entire ceremony. Nope, she didn't even make it to the alter, she just ran away. From everything and everyone.
She should have known better, she should have seen through his lies and deceit. But now here she was running through an unfamiliar territory in a wedding dress in the pouring rain.
She would not -- no she could not -- believe her eyes when she found her lover with another. On their special day of all days. Her friends warned her but she wouldn't listen. She loved that man with all her heart, she'd given herself to him... how could he betray her? She felt so unworthy. Maybe that is why he was with another: she was just not good enough for him. For anyone at that matter.
The girl tripped, finally collapsing to the floor in a shriveled heep. It was painful, everything buried deep in her soul was ripping so slowly and painfully. Her heart ached and throbbed with such sorrow she did not know she was capable of feeling. Sobs racked through her body and she bowed down to the floor, her hands covering her face. Where was she to go in an unfamiliar place? What was she to do? She felt like a lost cat with no home. No one to turn to.
She looked up through hazy eyes and found herself before a bar. Slowly she brought herself to stand up wobbling on her now twisted ankle. After staring at it for a moment, she slowly made her way to the door and stepped inside the warm room. The bar reminded her of a saloon. Red drapes covered the windows and a piano player sat in the corner on a rather dusty wooden piano playing some ragtime. The whole ordeal seemed as if she were in a dream state.
"What will it be, lady?" The bartender asked nonchalantly, startling the girl out of her stupor. She wondered why he acted to indifferent as he continued to stare at his glass, cleaning it with what looked like a rather dirty towel. Was it everyday that he saw a girl soaking wet in a wedding dress step into his bar? Or did he simply not care?
"Ah... ahem..." she tried to find her voice while coughing. "Whatever is good I guess..." she responded lamely while trying to sit on the stool. The man dropped a shot of whiskey before her eyes and walked away to tend to another customer.
"Here. It looks like you'll need this. It's on the house." The man didn't wait for her response as he asked the next customer what he'd like.
The brunette began plucking out the pins in her hair and threw her wedding veil off onto the bar counter. What a hassle that mass of white fluffiness was. The veil slipped off the counter and fell to the floor in a pile. She stared down at it thinking of everything she'd just run a way from moments ago. Then, she turned her attention to the dark colored liquid and picked up the small glass of liquor. She smelled it in disgust and wondered why she even thought about ordering any alcohol. But the pain in her chest reminded her of her sorrow. She needed to relax and just get away from all of this.
In one huge gulp the girl downed the liquor. It burned her throat with a warm sensation leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. She shook her head in dismay. Is this what she'd come down to? Drinking alone to drown her misery away? She didn't even like alcohol...
She narrowed her eyes. Who cared anyway? There was no one for her anymore, there's no one to tell her what to do. Suddenly she felt angry. She felt so stupid for believing into that man's lies, his talk, his superiority over her. And to think she ever loved someone like that.
She stared into her empty glass. That was not entirely true. Dispite catching him in the act with another woman, she couldn't help but still love him... she shook her head and hit it lightly with her fist. That was insane! She couldn't love a man that would do that to her! He obviously didn't love her since she was so foolish and dumb.
"Sir!" The bartender turned around to stare at her and she suddenly felt nervous under his gaze. "I'd like... another one of... these things." She called out shaking the glass. With only one drink she was already feeling tipsy. Now she remembered why she didn't drink. She hated herself, she was unworthy of any kind of love. What did she do to make someone turn his back on her like that? Hours before they were about to be married? It was all her fault; everything. Her friends warned her but should wouldn't listen to them. Her fiance wouldn't even allow her to invite her few friends to the wedding. They all must hate her, she was an awful, awful person.
About an hour later and a few dollars poorer, the girl stumbled out of the bar. The bartender was nice enough to give her an umbrella as she hiccupped and leaned her shoulder against the wall to release some weight on her ankle. She shifted her wedding dress away as she fumbled with the umbrella. She got it open only to realize there was a gaping hole in it from it's wear and tear over it's lifetime. The girl frowned.
"Cheap man... can't even... give one of these..." she stared at the umbrella unable to even identify what it was. She never talked in such a manner either. Was she really that drunk? "These... these... oh what do you call it? Wetter keeper... under thinger..." She shook her head and started wandering around aimlessly hobbling on her sore ankle.
Now full of alcohol and sorrow, she was regretting drinking while being depressed. Now the hurt exploded and it was unbearable to take. All she could do was let her vision blur with tears as the night drew on. It was cold and the rain would only grow harder. She felt tears welt up in her dim blue eyes, the drops of sadness tracing their way down her face and off her chin. She wanted to start her life with him... she wanted to have a home, a family, someone to come home to. She wanted to love him so much. The tears continued as she staggered across a street and onto a rather old cobblestoned one, all the while trying to keep her broken umbrella above her head. She had no idea where she was going but her feet urger her to keep walking.
She hiccupped and tried to lift the hem of her dress to try and keep herself on her feet. Slowly she let words tumble from her drunken mouth singing quietly and slowly while rocking side to side on her jello-like feet:
"A youth one day in a garden fair
A rose found withered and dying,
And all for love, ah!" She threw her hands high above her head, "love in vain
This rose was sadly sighing..."
Not far away a handsome young man held a paper lantern and an umbrella in the other hand as he walked along the walls of his home. He was making his way to the main gates eager to turn in for the night and get out of this miserable rain. The other guys knew he hated the rain but Shigure kicked him out to make sure all the gates around the property were locked.
"Ah ah, Kyo-chan!" The young man could still hear the older man's taunting voice,"It's your job to check the gates when it's raining, now go!"
"Jerks..." he muttered to himself as he reached for the brass handle of the main gate. The cool metal pulled and the creaking of the door echoed through the streets. He was about to go in when a voice caught his attention.
"Heart of my heart, I love you,"
He flinched, being startled by such a destitute voice in the middle of the road. Before his eyes was what looked like a spirit, her head swaying from side to side as if looking for something.
"Life would be naught without you;"
She kept on singing and stopped to look up, staring right at him now, sniffing and continuing to walk towards him. As she came closer he squinted to see it was not a ghost, but rather... a girl? He did not know whether to be afraid and run, or continue standing before this beauty listening to her gravely serenade him. She continued teetering closer but the young man's feet stayed glued to the floor. He wanted to move but something made him stay. She was so haunting.
"Light of my life, my darling,
I love you, I love you."
What was the matter with this girl? As she came closer he smelled a strong whiff of alcohol. It didn't smell like cheap alcohol either and it was pungent. He ignored that for a moment as she suddenly stopped walking, about two yards away from him now swaying with tears and rain falling freely down her face. He was about to call her out when she made another weak sniffle and extended out a pale hand towards him.
"I can forget you never,
From you I ne'er can sever.
Say you'll be mine forever,
I... love... yo--"
Suddenly the girl's eyes fell closed and the umbrella slowly tumbled out of her hand as she fell forward, her head tilting up towards the sky.
"H-hey, watch out!" The man cried dropping his own umbrella and lantern. The street was suddenly darkened as the light went out, but he caught the drunk girl, before she fell over flat on her face, with his upturned palms. He hefted her up and turned her over, careful that she would not touch his chest so he could turn her around and stare at her colorless face. Her skin was cold to the touch as well. Rainwater splashed over her face and eyelids and it soaked into his clothes as well.
"Hey! Hey wake up! Come on wake up." He shook her lightly as she only turned into his embrace and tried snuggling closer as the man only kept pushing her away, making his arms straight so she would not come any closer.
"Oh come on..." he moaned. He looked around, water dripping off the ends of his messy orange hair, hoping that maybe her friend or someone would be chasing after this drunk girl but the streets were only filled with the sounds of rain. He looked down at the girl out of arms reach in a peaceful slumber and couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was upclose. Her hair must look pretty when it was dry and those lips... he shook his head trying to back down a strange feeling within him. He watched her even breathing and sighed again. Oddly, the smell of alcohol lingered with a faint fruity aroma.
Noting that no one was about to come take this girl he sighed in defeat. He propped her back on his knee and carefully lifted her up under her armpits, dragging the drunk girl into the house gates. He had no choice but to bring her inside. He began walking into the gate and shut the door closed with one foot. What was he supose to do with this girl? He couldn't leave her on the street in her drunk state of mind. Someone might do an indecent thing to a girl like her. He started for the main hall, aggravated that he was now soaking wet and couldn't run inside, afraid to jar the girl awake, as he pulled her to the house. Her attire was strange enough but he couldn't make out what dress she was wearing now that it was ripped and soiled.
He took his eyes off her and mentally apologized for soaking the floor as he entered the hall calling out for help. He bet they'd make him clean it up anyway. He knelt down with the girl's head resting in his lap. Suddenly he heard her moan and his attention snapped to her. Her eyebrows knitted together as her dry mouth moved.
"I better let Ayame take care of this..." he muttered as the girl's body fell limp. Under his arms he felt her shift and put a hand up to her chest. He grinned inward. "Don't worry, you'll be fine..." He didn't know why he was talking to her like that but somewhere deep inside, the girl felt something was about to turn her world back right-side-up. "I wonder where she came from..." He wondered aloud pushing stray hairs away from her face as lights went on and men gathered around the scene.
In a world full of complete strangers there would always be one she could depend upon. So her mother told her. What would happen to her now? She felt so broken up inside like she'd never be able to stand up again. But maybe there would be another to help her stand up again. One to heal her broken heart.
To be continued...