A/N: I know that this is a very common idea among fanfiction writers – one of the characters makes a bet and is forced to become romantically linked with some other character. Very easy and nice plot, but overused. I still wanted to make this fic, as an experiment about my skills and about this series, too. This is not intended to be a parody, as I can't write those, but I've tried to add as much humour as I could with my lacking skills. Because this is a test, and I already know that the plot is pretty much clichés after clichés, please give me comments about the grammar, the behaviour of the characters and so on. (Grammatical corrections are appreciated, since English isn't my mother tongue!)

Oh, and by the way, I've used a bit different versions of the names: Tohru is Touru, Kyou is Kyo, Sohma is Souma. (These are alternative romanizations, and I won't change them.) Also, this fic is anime-based and may not fit into the canon of the manga.

Warnings: a bit of swearing, Kyo's wicked mind, KyoYuki pairing – shounen-ai (boyxboy) ahoy!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Fruits Basket or its characters, but is it a sin to wish I did?

Of Bets And Butterflies

by eishi © 2007

Chapter One: About the Bet

Had Souma Kyo known what was waiting for him that day, he'd chosen to skip it and stay in bed the whole day. Naturally, because seeing into the future is pretty hard (even if you tend to turn into a cat once in a while and have more of something called instinct than most humans), he'd woken up like every other day, gotten dressed and went to school to spend to day in half-comatose. The first lessons had been quite nice, actually; the breaks had been pleasant, too. It was episode during the lunch break that had made him furious and hope to never have been woken up that day.

Damn it all.

As he strolled down the forest path he took out his anger on every little rock he could kick and every little animal he could grimace at. The cats that usually liked to follow him were now carefully – and wisely – avoiding him, as was, in fact, all the other fauna too. The road in the woods seemed almost too quiet as the contrast for his angriness.

Stupid Yankee girl. Stupid wicked mind of hers. Stupid witch for agreeing. Stupid Touru for doing nothing. To hell with all girls. They were just so darn frustrating creatures. Stupid school, stupid life… and most of all, stupid rat boy for interfering!

The reason for Kyo's anger was Uo. Well, fine, Hanajima and Touru had agreed with her, so they were also partly guilty… for that horrible, unimaginable, torturing—

Actually, it all had started few days ago, when Uo had taught them a new card game. It was pretty complicated game, with all those little rules and special cards that most of the time everyone was quite confused. Kyo hadn't been the only one that had thought that the game didn't exist in reality and Uo had just made it up herself. That had led to a little quarrel, which had led to a fight about the game and its rules, which had led them to playing the game with money. First Kyo had been winning, then Uo, then Hanajima, then Touru, and then Kyo again. (Everyone else had been so scared that they had decided not to enter the game.)

Then it had come to the point when the game had turned to a rivalry between him and Uo. Hanajima and Touru had watched them play fear in their eyes, wondering what could happen next. The worst thing happened. During this day's lunch break Uo had sneered and said that she could beat Kyo anytime.

Kyo, of course, had not been pleased with that statement. He had naturally said that the Yankee girl offered him no challenge. They had quarrelled again, and finally Uo had said something about a bet. Kyo had instantly agreed. Hanajima and Touru had looked at each other, then agreed with Uo. The stupid rivalry had to stop, and if the bet was the only way, so be it.

They had decided that the one who lost the game had to do something the other ordered as a punishment. Kyo had ordered Uo to dye her hair red. Uo had ordered Kyo to kiss the first person that came into the classroom. They both had agreed to their punishments, and the game had proceeded.

Kyo had lost. He was sure that the Yankee girl had cheated… She was so going to pay for this…

Still, Kyo had not been worried. The odds were that his "punishment" was going to be one of the girls – likely one of those pretty, silent ones – since there were far more girls in their class than boys, and besides, most of the girls were tolerable and so on. He hadn't been worried at all.

Then the classroom door had opened, and his "punishment" had walked in. Kyo had almost jumped out of the window to commit a suicide the second he had seen the person.

He had to kiss Souma Yuki as his punishment.

His cousin. His rival. The rat.

He was seriously going to kill Uo, the rat boy, or himself. He just couldn't figure out the order.

Which was why he was now stomping home, furious gaze in his eyes.

Oh, he was so going to make the Yankee girl pay for this. Her cruel laughter was going to haunt him for years in his nightmares… The day when she'd lose and had to cut her hair and dye it pink and yellow would dawn someday. How she'd regret the day she had even suggested the idea of him kissing his cousin.

You will pay for this, Yankee, you will… Kyo repeated to himself. The thought of his revenge upon Uo was the only thing that gave him strength right now. That was, because he still had task to complete: to kiss the rat. Yuck. Just the thought of his long-time rival made him shiver. And he'd have to kiss the rat in public, because Uo had ordered him to. She would die soon and painfully…

When Kyo arrived home, he was greeted with Shigure's enthusiastic blabbering and Touru's nervousness. Touru was worried of him, naturally, because she knew very well that the cousins could barely be in the same room for five seconds without starting a riot. The rat would surely beat him up for even trying to come near… let alone kiss. (Strangling. Yes, that would certainly be the best way to kill Uo.)

"My, Kyo-kun, you look so gloomy! Why's that?" Shigure asked with faked care. Kyo saw from his vicious smile that he knew about the bet. "Too far away from you dear Yuki-kun, hm?"

"Ahem, Shigure-san…" Touru tried, but Kyo saw from her smile that she was amused by the thought too. The naïve, innocent Touru. The world surely was changing these days.

"Drop dead, dog," Kyo hissed and leaped upstairs. Unfortunately the rat was home and was coming downstairs, and they met in the middle of the stairs. Yuki just glanced at him, obviously unaware of the bet, but it still made Kyo furious.

"What are you staring at, you damn rat?" he shouted, pushed past the rat and locked himself to his room. Own space. Now.

"What's with him?" Yuki asked when he got downstairs. Shigure was in the living room, drinking tea and reading newspaper by the table, Touru sitting on her knees and doing homework by the same table. Shigure snickered a bit.

"Oh, he's probably having just some problems in his love-life."

"Shigure-san…" Touru sighed, but Yuki could read from her expression that they knew something that he didn't, and didn't want to discuss it. Yuki chose to ignore this and the cat overall and focus on the contests of the refrigerator.

After all, the cat's bad mood was no concern of his.

Later that evening Touru went to work, and Shigure muttered something about visiting Ayame's and disappeared soon after Touru. Kyo wanted to smash something, badly (preferably Uo's head), because he knew very well why Shigure had chosen that evening to disappear. Stupid dog. Stupid Touru. Stupid rat…

Kyo stayed mostly in his room that evening, but when his stomach started to beg for food, he had to surrender and go downstairs. He had hoped to not see the rat, but of course he just had to be in the kitchen. The boys glanced at each other – the other curiously and the other angrily. Kyo made his best to ignore the rat boy, snatched his milk and onigiri and ran away. He could imagine the astonished look the rat shot at his back, but chose to ignore that as well.

You damn rat, why are you always, always getting into my way?

The rest of the evening was spent in complete silence, as Kyo stayed in his room and the rat in his. The tearing silence was finally shattered when Shigure came home, happily shouting something random about two lovers, quarrels and romantic comedies. Kyo wanted to smash his head, too, but came to the conclusion that such a reaction would have earned too much interest from a certain rat-boy he wished to avoid. Shigure could keep his head this time.

When Kyo couldn't take the ticking of the clock and the happy voice of Shigure and the uninterested voice of the rat that came from downstairs, he fled to the roof to wait for Touru's return – although he wasn't sure did he really want to see her after her betrayal… That silly girl had agreed to the stupid Yankee's stupid bet…

He had been thinking all day about the bet and how he should be doing it – or should he do it at all. It just wasn't worth it. Heck, it might even be better to receive a beating from Uo because of breaking the promise than a beating from the rat for keeping it. It just wasn't worth it.

Still, his mind was nagging him about fair play – they had had a bet, he had lost, and this was his punishment. Had Uo lost, she would surely have dyed her hair red without blinking an eye. He would just be unfair to her if he didn't do his part.

Kyo shifted uncomfortably and placed his hands behind his head. He'd just have to tolerate it. It was a punishment, nothing more. He could handle it.

He stared at the stars and wondered, was he allowed to tell the rat beforehand about the bet or not. Either way, it would still be extremely humiliating. (Hanging. Yes, he would kill Uo by hanging her.)

Luckily there was no deadline – he wasn't in a hurry. Besides, he somehow had a feeling that it would take some time to approach the rat. The stupid rat was always cautious, left never an opening, even when he was asleep. The rat even punched him if he was standing near – one meter was the rat boy's limit. Uo had to be laughing her lungs out right this moment... How the heck was he supposed to do his part if there was no way to get near the boy?

"Come down, you dumb cat."

Kyo almost jumped up. The very rat boy he had been thinking about had climbed up the ladder and was peeking over the edge of the rooftop. His leer was uninterested and held no emotions in it.

"What do you want?" Kyo grumbled. The rat rolled his eyes.

"Honda-san just got back. She's serving supper right now."

"I'm not hungry."

"And I'm not your personal messenger. Come down and tell her that yourself."

Kyo was fighting the urge to kick the stupid rat down right now, and thus said nothing to the rat's statement. The rat shrugged.

"Have it your way." He disappeared, and Kyo heard a small thump as the boy landed. He punched the roof and made a hole in it – and almost immediately Shigure's melodramatic whining was filling the air: "Oh, my beautiful house! My darling, lovely house! Kyo-kun, you have to pay this one yourself! I can't be repairing this darling house all the time with my non-existent savings!"

Lying mutt. He's the richest of this stupid family.

He ignored the cries of Shigure and waited until the others had gone to bed. After that he finally dared to sneak into his own room, pleasantly sure that he was able to avoid the rat for once.

When Kyo woke up next morning, he was having trouble remembering the real world. As he ate his breakfast, something told him that he had to do something horrible, but couldn't remember what. He didn't have to muse that long, though. He remembered it the second he saw his cousin stumbling down the stairs.

Holy… I'm so going to kill Uo.

The blood-filled thoughts of Uo disappeared (Stabbing. He would stab Uo to death) as he watched the rat eat breakfast, still half-asleep. Maybe he could do this after all. Maybe, if he just made Touru look this way and then kissed the stupid, damned rat he'd get away with it right now—

"Good morning, children! Kyo-kun, are you awake at all? You're pouring the juice onto the table." Shigure's wicked grin was too much for him. Kyo slammed the onigiri balls back the plate and ran away.

Something told Kyo too that Shigure was going to make the bet as hard as he could – and enjoy every second on the way.

"Do I really have to do it in public?"

Uo was surprised when the orange-headed boy asked that, in almost pleadingly-like manner, but felt no pity.

"That was one of the conditions. Kiss the first person that enters the classroom in public," she emphasized. Kyo frowned.

"You-are-the-most-cruel-person­-I-have-ever-known," the boy hissed slowly. Uo laughed.

"You don't mean that. I'm a very nice person."

"Not right now."

"No, not right now. But you know, every person has their dark moments." She tilted her head a bit left and smiled. "So, you've finally decided to act like a man and accept your punishment?"

"I guess I don't have any options," Kyo grimaced. Uo laughed again.

"No," she said sternly.

"Thought so."

"Finally learning my character, are you?"

"Feh. I learned ages ago that you're not worth of trusting. I just happen to forget that fact a lot."

"Shut up and hurry up with the bet. I want to see the Prince's face when you lock your lips with him."

"Could you keep your voice down?" Kyo hissed hastily. Uo grinned, but decided that maybe it was the time to really be quiet. Kyon-Kyon was seemingly at his limit of insults.

"Okay, okay." She shrugged. "Just do your part. I'm eager to see how he'll react."

"I'm not," Kyo muttered. Uo just grinned viciously.

Stupid Yankee. So he really did have to do it in front of a crowd. (Poisoning. One day, he'd put some arsenic in her drink and…) Kyo could almost feel the imagined bruises and broken bones he would really have the day he'd kiss his cousin. Not only would the rat beat him up, so would the fan club of his. In addition, so would Haru if he heard of the bet.

Maybe I should start making the reservations for my grave place, Kyo thought darkly. Then he sighed, looked up to the blackboard (which was filled with the teacher's incomprehensible writing) and then again to his notes. This was a situation he just couldn't win in. Either way, he would be the one that lost. So…

Behold, the fan-clubbers of Prince Souma, he boasted in his mind, your precious Yuki will be defiled by his own cousin! Ha ha ha!

… if you can't beat the enemy, join 'em. Or something like that.