Credit: to Twilight Sazuka for beta-reading, and also to Card Captor Sakura for the quote on happiness.

Disclaimer: If I owned Fruits Basket, this wouldn't be fanfiction; this would be the next volume.


Yuki walked down the school corridor with two sodas in hand. "Machi," he turned a corner and frowned at the sight before him. "What are you doing?"

Motoko, Minami, and another girl (presumably another of his fangirls) were cornering Machi. She didn't look terribly upset or scared, but regardless, Yuki wasn't particularly fond of whatever the girls where doing to his girlfriend. Besides, Machi tended to be indifferent often.

"Oh, Yuki!" Motoko cried out, looking flustered that he appeared and surprised at his frowning expression, which the fangirls saw so infrequently.

"What are you doing?" He repeated his question, this time with more anger.

"Oh, we..." she fumbled for words, which Minami quickly supplied, "We were just talking to Kuragi-san!" His glare didn't falter – he wasn't buying their excuse. The girls were certainly intimidated. Whatever happened to their prince to make him so angry? Where was his ever forgiving smile? Rabid fangirls tend to be oblivious.

He held a hand out and the girls wondered what he meant by that. They were hoping forgiveness, but their hope was crushed when Machi took his hand and he pulled her to his side. "Are you okay?" he whispered in a soft, tender voice that would've made the fan club members melt if only they weren't in such deep trouble (they weren't so dense as to start squealing when their dear Prince Yuki was mad at them. Why, they could never imagine; after all, they were saving him from that witch's seduction). Machi nodded and tugged at Yuki's sleeve to suggest going off on their way.

He didn't budge. Instead, he told her to go on ahead and that he had some things to say to his dear groupie. She nodded in acquiesce and left. "I want to know..." Yuki began after she left. "Why were you cornering Machi?"

They began several half-baked excuses, but with the glare given after each of them, the girls figured that Prince Yuki couldn't get any madder at them and the truth could only help.

"Alright, here's the truth: we wanted to protect you from her." Motoko said, although the voice laced with bravado when she announced the mission to the club was gone.

"Protect me?" he replied incredulously, wondering if this was another false reason.

"Yes. Because... Because you're Prince Yuki and you should belong to the school and not any one individual! It'd be unfair for any one person to have someone as great as you!" she reiterated the club motto with a strong voice that was threatening to waver. It just seemed silly now that she was uttering it in front of Prince Yuki himself. "And...and we can't let a witch seduce you!"

"What makes you think she seduced me?" His anger was quickly dissipating in light of such amusing reasoning.

"Because someone as great as Yuki would never even touch someone like Kuragi – who's clumsy and can't do anything right and has creepy mood swings all the time and who's so weird and..."

"Don't say that!" Yuki thundered, startling everyone, including himself. He softened his tone, understanding that his fangirls weren't deliberately trying to hurt innocent people (well; they were, but they thought it was for a good cause). "If I tell you why I'm dating Machi, will that satisfy you and keep you from harming her?"

The girls nodded fervently. Yuki drew in a breath and began storytelling. "I really like Machi because... Because..." He paused and frowned. "Well, I'm not sure why."

Minami gave a triumphant cry, "See, Yuki-kun? You're slowly coming to your senses! Soon, you'll be out of that witch's spell!" She shut up with a glare from him.

He continued with his story of sorts. "Maybe it'd be easier if I just started about how we met and such. I first met her in the student council. There was a huge mess in the student council room and she was in the middle. She...well, she might not like for me to reveal this, but if it'll keep you away from her: she's had a traumatic past in concerns with her mother and perfection. So she hates perfection and tries to destroy it whenever she can. In some strange way, I understand her. Completely. I think it's because we're so similar. No, don't stare at me like that. Being my fan club, it may seem impossible for you, but I'm not perfect either and, like her, I've had pressure from my mother to be so. But unlike her, I comply. She rebels. I love her because she has that courage to rebel. To not care what other people think at all. To be so impulsive. I would love to be like that for a day. I guess opposites attract.

"No, perhaps not. Because, in the end, I think we are more similar than different. If we bared our souls, I wouldn't be surprised if they were identical. It's hard to describe – have you ever read Wuthering Heights? No? Well, it's a good book. I remember one of the characters, Catherine, saying, '...he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same...' I think it describes us well enough – except I wouldn't go on a murderous rampage like Heathcliff." He chuckled, but stopped upon noticing that his fanclub was staring at him for the second time. "I'm not making much sense, am I?"

"No – you do make sense, Yuki-kun. I...can understand." Minami replied. In an honest afterthought, she added, "Sort of."

"That's good – I was beginning to wonder if I was rambling like those male leads in romance novels who talk for pages about the person they love. Should I continue? I understand if you girls have things to do..."

"No, no; please continue, Yuki! The lunch period isn't over for quite a while."

"Well, that's pretty much why I love her. I love her for a good many other reasons, but I can't possibly begin to list them all. You know, I can just imagine her blushing furiously at that comment," he chuckled to himself and had a dreamy look on his face. Disturbed, Motoko coughed lightly. It was practically a crime to be so rude to Prince Yuki, but it was even more of a crime to let him continue dreaming about that witch. "Ah, right," Yuki noted the cough and continued, "So I hope that you won't try to hurt Machi again. I know that you don't agree with my opinion of her and many people don't either. But...I love her. And I think that's reason enough for me to continue doing so."


"Club members, the situation is direr than we thought!" Motoko exclaimed. "It turns out that that witch Kuragi's hold on Prince Yuki is strong enough to place delusional thoughts into his head!"

"President..." Minami found the courage to argue, "I don't think we should make any more attempts to break them apart."

"Minami!" she cried in horror, "Has that witch gotten you too?"

"No! It's that... Prince Yuki seems so happy. And since we're his fan club, don't we love him?"

"Of course!"

"Then, aren't we supposed to want the best for him?"


"Since he's so happy with her, shouldn't we let him remain happy?"

"Have you forgotten the club motto already? Prince Yuki is too precious to belong to any one person! He is the school's! If we keep Kuragi away from him, then the whole school will we happy! Isn't that better than just Kuragi being happy?" Motoko hotly replied.

"But you're forgetting that it makes Prince Yuki happy too! And, I don't know about the rest of you, but if the person I love is happy, then I'm happy. And since I love Yuki and he's happy, then I'm happy."

Motoko went speechless for a few seconds. In that time, the rest of the club started applauding.