I was inspired to write this by the little scene in volume 8 where Momiji talks to Tohru about Ritsu briefly when he sees Tohru's hand after she meets Ritsu. Momiji seems to be fond of Ritsu but they never have a scene together – at least in the English translation so far. So I thought I'd write something about them. Hope you all enjoy.
Momiji had just finished getting dressed when his phone rang.
"Guten Morgen Haru!" came the cheerful reply. "Where…"
"Listen, something's going down." Haru interrupted. "We're getting Yuki out of that hellhole today."
"But how, Haru? Shi-chan said…"
"I know what he said. There's been a change. Shigure-nii talked to Akito. Hatori-nii and I will get Yuki out while he deals with Demon Akito to make sure he doesn't go back on anything."
"Danke Gott." Momiji breathed, closing his eyes. "He's been in there so long, Haru."
"Listen. I know I said I would spend today with you, but…"
"Go!" Momiji yelled. "What are you waiting for?"
"I know it's lousy timing with…"
"Haru," Momiji began, "If you don't get off the phone right now, I'm sicking every rabbit in the complex on you. I mean it."
"Yes sir." Haru answered in amusement, practically smirking over the phone line.
"Seriously though – what do you want me to do?"
"Stay put until you get word from me or Hatori-nii. And get ready to give Yuki your biggest patented hug. He's going to need it."
"Momiji, I really am sorry. I'll make it up to you."
"Don't worry about it! Go get Yuki!"
They disconnected, and Momiji smiled.
Three hours later, Momiji heard a light knock on his door.
It was Ritsu, standing in his usual kimono and his hands locked together.
"Ritchan!" Momiji exclaimed in surprise. "I didn't think you were coming again until next month!"
"Um, may I come in?"
"Of course! Come on!"
Ritsu bowed himself in, and Momiji closed the door behind him.
"Can I make you some tea?" Momiji asked. "I think I remember camomile's your favorite…"
"Oh, that's alright." Ritsu looked slightly nervous. "So you know about Yuki-san? Isn't it wonderful?"
"Yes!" Momiji nodded enthusiastically. "It's great!"
"You see, that's why I'm here." Ritsu continued. "Hatori-niisan thought it would be a good idea for us all to be out of the line of fire, just in case. So he called me, and we thought you might want to come to the onsen with me for the weekend."
"Really?" Momiji's eyes brightened.
"Yes!" Ritsu smiled softly.
"Kyaa!" Momiji squealed. "When?"
"Well, Kagura's mom has already taken Kagura-san and Isuzu-san away. Kisa-san's mom took Kisa-san and Hiro-san to their vacation house an hour ago. So they can try to get Yuki-san out before Akito-san changes his mind as soon as I call them to tell them our train has pulled out of the station."
"Akito-san will be less likely to notice us going by public transportation than private Sohma. Unfortunately I don't have my driver's license yet."
"I'll pack quick, then!" Momiji ran about, whipping out his weekend bag and tossing two pairs of clothes and a pair of pajamas in.
"Don't forget your swimsuit. You'll go into the hot springs and down to the lake, won't you?"
Ten minutes later, he had arranged his bathroom essentials and was ready to go.
"Um," Ritsu began self-conciously, "If you'd rather I change into men's clothing, I could run to the rooms I still keep here…"
"That's fine!" Momiji answered brightly.
"You don't mind that I…"
"Nope. I don't mind how Ritchan looks at all!'
"Thank you." He smiled, coloring slightly.
"So, let's do this. The sooner Yuki's out, the better. Are we passing the front gate?"
"You aren't" Ritsu answered, and Momiji thought nothing of the qualification at the time. "It's better if you use the breach in the wall."
"Momiji-kun." Ritsu said quietly, locking eyes with him, "I'm not a fighter like Hatsuharu-san or a diplomat like Shigure-niisan. I really don't know what I would do if we got caught, so let's try to lay low, if that's okay?"
"Okay." Momiji nodded. They slipped out of the house quietly.
Momiji watched Ritsu in fascination. The young man had not been out of the compound that very long, and he weaved through the gardens effortlessly. Monkeys could be very graceful creatures on the move, and Ritsu could be very graceful indeed when not flustered by outside pressure. Momiji was surprised how quick he was even in the kimono.
The most dangerous stretch of their journey began as they passed the main house. Ritsu reached for Momiji's hand instinctively as he navigated them past Akito's nosey guards. Momiji would have to ask him later if Ha'ri had given him their schedule for the day.
Finally they reached the breach in the wall that was one of the worst kept secrets of the complex among the Zodiac children.
"Okay." Ritsu whispered." I have to be seen leaving the front gate, so I have to go back in. I'll be right out."
"Will you be alright?" Momiji asked, slightly worried. He had seen what Akito had done to Ha'ri and didn't want a repeat performance with anyone else.
"It can't be helped. This won't work otherwise. I'll make sure I'm seen around Hatori-niisan's house and then leave. He said he'll tell Akito-san I was over for a checkup if any trouble comes up.
"I'll be right there." Ritsu bowed and made his way back in.
Fifteen minutes later, Ritsu rejoined Momiji outside."Are you ready for the train station?"
They made a dash. It was only a few blocks. Luckily, they only had a five minute wait. They got on the train without incident. No one batted an eye – Ritsu was a very convincing girl – not like some painfully obvious transvestites. In spite of Ritsu's earlier comment about his clothes, it was actually Momiji who had toned things down, considerately aware that Ritsu wouldn't like the stares that his own artistic dressing usually produced.
"Well," Momiji said cheerfully once Ritsu made his call to Hatori, "That was exciting."
"It was, wasn't it?" Ritsu chuckled.
"Do you think there will be trouble, if he does look for me this weekend?"
"We don't seem to have the bad luck of being among the Zodiac members who have caught Akito-san's attention, so as long as we're not in his line of sight and we're already gone when everything happens, I think it will be alright."
They sat in silence for a little while once they were in their compartment.
"Momiji-san, you're quieter than usual. Forgive me, but I know it's that time of year, so is it possible that today happens to be…"
"Yes." Momiji sighed. "It's that day."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"I don't know." Momiji replied honestly. "I know I'm glad I'm not alone today. Haru was going to spend the day with me."
"Not your father?"
"Papa couldn't. Mama wanted him to go somewhere with her today."
"Ah. I see."
They were both quiet for a while.
"Haru was very mad at Papa when he found out." Momiji began, "And I think even Ha'ri was a little too. But it's not Papa's fault. After all, Mama is the whole reason I do this in the first place. It's just that, well, they don't understand…"
"That you don't hate them." Ritsu whispered. Momiji looked over at him.
"Ayame-niisan and Yuki-san's mother" Ritsu began, "is a horrid woman. What she has allowed to happen to Yuki-san…
But our mothers aren't like that. My mother…when she apologizes for me I start to get nauseous and I can't think right. And I know, I know what it's doing to me. But I love her, and I know that she does what she does because she's scared for me. So I can't hate her."
Ritsu looked at Momiji quietly. "So I know how you feel, Momiji-kun. Some of us have parents who handle the curse well. Others have terrible parents. In some ways, it's harder being stuck in the middle like us, isn't it?"
Ritsu gave Momiji a sickly smile, and Momiji realized for the first time how broken Ritsu really was. The older boy looked at him and grabbed both hands with his own.
"Momiji-kun, your mother isn't bad. She was just…sick. Try to remember that. And don't let anyone tell you not to love her."
"I love her." Momiji cried. "I love my Mom."
"Of course you do." Ritsu answered, folding his arms around him and rocking him back and forth. "Of course you do. I do too."
The train sped along with both boys who had been damaged by their mothers in different ways.