Disclaimer: Don't own, unfortunately.

This is a pure AU, and I apologise for using the characters in this horrid way! Well, not really, ha! Firstly, they are not Sohma's as such, and the curse is not the zodiac curse, but I promise it's not that bad, just give it a go and review when your done, please. I'll update as soon as I can.

Curse

Day 1

Aya told me the weirdest thing today. It gave me the greatest idea for a story, but for some reason I just can't seem to write it. It would be easier to give you a sample of it, to let you understand;

She knew there was someone following her, she just didn't know who, or why. Why anyone would be following her she couldn't fathom. But it was dark out, that could have been the reason-bad things happened after dark... She shrieked suddenly as a hand came to rest on her shoulder, spinning her around. She found herself staring up and into dark eyes that glittered in the reflected light of the moon. She heard the whisper of his breath as his mouth descended upon hers.

Definitely not up to my usual par-usually I can write pages of stuff without even thinking! Where's the suspense? The lust? The love? The angst of a broken heart? Why can't I just write the damn thing?

Maybe it's because Aya told me about it, but usually when he inspires me it's good. So why can't I write it now? Yeah, I know, I know, your getting confused. Perhaps I should try explaining some things here.

First of all Aya, or Ayame as his parents named him, is my best friend, and has been for a long, long time. Since we were three or something. He's one of those boys that's always going to be good looking. I kid you not, he'll probably end up a highly paid model some day-or an actor. I would envy him, but I have my writing to bring me fame-and it will, trust me. Anyway, he has this really long hair that he loves way too much. I'm surprised his dad hasn't made him shave the whole thing off-he might have, if he cared enough.

My other best friend is Hatori, he's always so serious all the time-he wants to be a doctor, I just don't understand what that has to do with him not having fun. Aya and I take great pride in annoying him, flirting all the time-not that Hari's homophobic mind-but it drives him crazy all our over the top antics. Aya won't admit it, but he has the biggest crush on Hari, has had for years. It's too perfect to watch sometimes-great inspiration though. The girl (Aya) trying so hard to win the heart of the serious and stoic man (Hari), but he has so much trouble accepting love.

Perfect smut.

I would have helped get them together, but I've never really been sure about which way Hari swings. So I haven't mentioned it. But things have been getting a little weird with Aya lately. He's gotten more withdrawn, less-exuberant. keeps looking over his shoulder like he's expecting something to happen.

Which brings me to the reason I'm explaining all this to begin with. Aya said something today in school, something strange. Hari doesn't believe him, and I figured it would turn into a great story. But thinking about it... well, it's just that it's not like Aya to be that... raw with us.

Here's what happened.

"Hey! Aya!" I yelled, waving over to him.

He smiled brightly and bounced over to where Hari and I were sitting on the outside benches for lunch. He sat down beside me, shooting his 100 watt smile at me. "Hey Shi-can, Tori-san.!" he said.

"What's got you so happy this afternoon?" Hatori asked, frowning at him, like he always did when he saw Aya had no lunch with him (did I mention he's a major worry-wart?)

Aya shrugged. "i passed my science test, the last time I did that was... how many years ago?" he asked wonderingly. "Three or four years at least." he reached across the table to take some of Hari's biscuits. "Call's for a celebration don't you think?" he grinned again.

Hari shook his head with a sigh, but he was smiling as he pushed the rest of the biscuits across the table to him-like he always did. He always took extra because Aya never took lunch. We knew why-even if he denied it.

Like he always did when we were eating lunch, Aya played with his hair, pulling it over his shoulder and braiding and un-braiding it. I was going to ask him a question when I saw the marks. Dark bruises on the side of his neck. I glanced at Hari. He had seen them too.

"Hey Aya." I said in a half whisper.

"Yes Shi-chan?" he asked, oblivious to what he had revealed.

"What happened to your neck?" I asked.

His hands dropped from his hair and he shook it out, immediately letting it hide the marks.

"Was it him again?" Hari asked, his voice calm, but angry at the same time-I don't know how he does it, I've tried, believe me, and I can't manage it.

Aya shook his head. "Dad doesn't hurt me guys." he said quietly.

We'd had this conversation one too many times before. We knew right well it was his father who was responsible for his bruised cheek, the angry looking scar on his arm, and on a far more regular basis, the black marks on his neck. He had admitted it to us once how he got them. I think he thinks we were too drunk to remember it (need I say we are seventeen-do you really think we'd pass up the chance if it came?)

I could just imagine what it was like.

"When I say get down to the basement I mean get your bastard ass down to the basement!" his father hissed angrily, his fingers squeezing painfully into the sides of his neck.

Ayame struggled-he hated the basement, he always had, it was always so cold and dark. When he was down there he didn't know when he'd get back out. But his fathers grip was too strong. He was only succeeding in hurting himself more.

"Dad please, come on-I haven't done anything!" he pleaded.

The pressure increased as he was forced forward to the basement. "Don't talk back to me you little freak!" his father spat angrily, flinging him through the doorway.

Ayame stumbled down the steps a little way before catching himself as the door slammed closed and the lock snapped in place. He sat down heavily on the steps and shivered. Wondering how he was going to explain the marks to his friends the next day.

"He didn't!" Aya insisted, pulling me out of my imagined going's on. "At least not this time." he admitted.

That got me, Aya never admitted his father hurt him, we knew, but he never admitted, except for that one time. Hari snorted, he didn't believe a word, he had patched Aya up one to many times in the past to believe him.

"The who did it?" I asked.

"Can I tell you guy's something?" he asked, his voice losing it's confidence, like it usually did when he asked us to do anything for him, it was like he expected us to say no.

I nodded.

"Lately I've had the feeling someone's following me." he said. "Not the good kind of following, and yesterday-after school when I was going home someone grabbed me, a guy, all cloaked and hooded and he started pulling me somewhereā€¦" he trailed off, his eyes trained on Hari.

I glanced at our stoic friend to find him frowning at Aya.

"Ayame, that is the worst story you have ever come up with to explain the marks."

Aya stared at him, eyes wide. Then he seemed to shrink in his seat, twisting his hair round a finger. "I knew you wouldn't believe me." he murmured. "But it's true."

"someone in a cloak? Honestly Aya, I think your getting mugged story was better than that. Leave the story making up to Shigure, do yourself a favour and just admit it was your father!" Hari said, letting his anger seep into his voice, he hated the way Ayame just accepted what he got.

Aya got up, he stood for a moment, staring at Hari. "Dad didn't do this. The guy who's been following me for the past two weeks did. I'm not lying, but if you don't believe me-fine!" he turned and flounced off.

Aya's the only person I know who can 'flounce' and not look stupid, I don't know how he does it.

"Honestly, he could just tell the truth!" Hari complained. "He knows we know, so why does he keep pretending?"

I shrugged, I knew it was because he needed to have an illusion, because if he admitted to what his father did it would be real. He needed to pretend it wasn't. but it was no use telling Hari that, he just didn't understand.

But just because I understood didn't mean I accepted Aya's story, I was as convinced as Hari that his father had made the marks. But that stuff about a stalker-now that had given me an idea.

Which leads me to my current predicament, sitting in my room, writing about what happened today instead of a hormonally charged smut story like I should have been doing.

But now that I think about it. It is a bit weird.