Last chapter, more like an epilogue than anything else (sorry...but this is short). I want to thank everybody for supporting me through this, especially soda's girl, who lasted through the depressing middle section with me.
Disclaimer: (The last time I have to say this for this fic!) I do not own Fruits Basket.
Chapter 16: This Is An Epilogue...
Yuki stared determinately at the silver thing in his hand. God damn him to hell if he didn't manage to cut his hair within the next five minutes. The brunette to his left said for the umpteenth time, "Yuki...Are you sure you don't want me to do it? I know how clumsy you can get and chopping things up for cooking is already a major task for you. Maybe I shoul-" The silver-haired boy turned to smile lovingly at her, and interrupted her in a laughing, but still serious voice, "I promised myself I would do this. That was almost two months ago. Plus, we will be graduating soon, and I don't want you to have to accept your diploma with bandaged cuts all over your hands. I can do this."
Tohru blushed at Yuki's face and words, still not quite used to something she had once pined for him to be every day. He was happy; and openly so. Yes, the curse was still upon him, but it wasn't burden. At last, it didn't matter to him at all. He wasn't afraid to touch her, to stroke the side of her face, or carefully braid her hair, picking strands apart gently with his long fingers. There wasn't a shadow in his eyes that she could not see into. And she was happy, because Yuki was. Tohru couldn't stop herself: she smiled like a complete goof and threw her arms around Yuki, directing a kiss straight to his lips.
The scissors hit the tile floor, and Yuki slowly started to back away, anticipating the transformation. It never came. Surprised, the rat froze, halfway between beaming and hormones. God help him. The result came out in the form of him finally pulling the brunette closer and for the first time, deepening the kiss. He checked mentally. Nope: definitely not a small rodent. Tohru blushed for a complex of reasons, and closed her eyes. Finally. Another shared thought that was neither Tohru's nor Yuki's. They broke apart, Tohru letting her head rest against his chest. It felt...right. It just felt so right.
Somewhere, off in a different dimension of reality, Yuki heard the front door to Shigure's house open and close. A deeper red that could easily compete with Tohru's spread across his face, and he removed Tohru's grip from himself. He dropped to the floor, using the scissors as an excuse to be embarrassed if someone happened to wander into the kitchen. He stood back up smoothly, and smiled at Tohru again before moving back towards the trash-can. The silver-haired teenager leaned his head forward slightly, and to the right, letting the right side of his hair drape away from his face. The silver scissors flashed, and about two inches of hair fell into the can. Yuki did the same to the left side of his hair, then let his head drop even more. He reached over his shoulder, and trimmed the back of his hair, catching the bits of hair that fell in his left hand. He brushed those of into the trash-can, and quickly cut his bangs until they were almost out of his eyes. He combed through his hair, making sure all of the cut hair was out of it, before turning to face Tohru.
"Did I cut too much off?"
"Nope. It looks exactly like it was when I first met you. Happy now?"
Th rat put the scissors back into the organized drawer before taking Tohru's hand. He led her out of the kitchen back into the area with the TV in it. Kyo, Shigure, and Haru looked up at them accusingly. Since when were these three the Spanish Inquisition? Ignoring them, Yuki motioned for Tohru to sit down, and quickly followed her. But the pale girl sprang back up immediately, busying herself with tea and nonsense like that. All of the Sohma males winced as the kettle hit the kitchen floor (as usual). Haru tapped his fingers against his leg impatiently, and complained, "When do they get here? They're usually on time!"
He was, of course, speaking of Tohru's friends, who were now regulars for lunch and the afternoon of Sunday. Shigure shook his head, clucking. He admonished, "Now now, let's not be to hasty with our girlfriends everyone." He was instantly focused on by three death glares. Kyo attacked, "Since when are you Mr. Innocent-Holier-Than-Thou, huh?" Shigure made a motion with both of his hands as if to say Okay, okay, back down, and just laughed. Two white hands landed on either of his shoulders, and Kita sat down next to him. She pulled at the sweater she was wearing over one of her new dresses, and asked, "Do girls always have to wear this kind of thing?" The dog's laughter increased, and shook his head.
"Hand me those: I can put them in."
Kita handed him the two sliders and allowed him to clip her hair away from her face. She lived with Shigure now; the Main Sohma House being practically abandoned. Now the building was more of a place for family gatherings than anything else. Most of the zodiac had dispersed to their various places, keeping in close contact.
Kagura was in Osaka, teaching (ironically) yoga and learning how to be a psychologist. She was already teaching anger management courses. Rin had accepted a scholarship, and was attending Med School early. She had a boyfriend...What's-his-name Aiyaki. From what they had heard, she had moved in with him. Kisa and Hiro hadn't really done anything, but were known to drift off into their own world when left alone. They were inseparable. Hatori and Kana were dating again after the man she married cheated on her for his secretary. With Akito's (who now only answered to the name Kita) fall from power, her memories had come back at an alarming rate. It had taken Kita, Shigure, and Hatori just to convince her it was never her fault.
Tohru came back into the room, balancing eight cups and a small tea-pot on a tray. She set it down in the middle of the table, and disappeared. She returned with a deck of cards, and set them by the tray, already predicting the some-what chaotic games of Dai Hin Min. Tohru finally sat down, and poured six of the eight cups of tea. She placed a cup before each Sohma and herself, and tucked her feet under the kotatsu. Then the doorbell rang. A pause. Then a chorus of angry doorbell ringings. Exasperated, Kyo got up before Tohru could even move, and returned with the two girls trailing behind. Tohru smiled in greeting to her friends, and poured the last two cups of tea. Hana kissed Haru on the cheek, who protested with a "Saki...!", and sat down next to him. Uo leaned Samuel-kun against the wall and threw her arms around Kyo's neck from behind.
"Orangey, you ready to have your ass kicked again? Just because I'm you girlfriend doesn't mean I'm going to be nice!"
"Do what you want, just don't hug me, Yank!"
She laughed, ruffling Kyo's hair. They were a fun couple to be around, even when they progressed into one of their make-out sessions. Those always ended up into bitter spats, which ended in bets, which ended in Uo kicking Kyo's ass in Dai Hin Min. Tohru handed the deck with a sarcastic solemnity to Yuki, who cleanly cut it. He dealed, and mentioned, "The curse is broken." There was shocked silence in response to his declaration. The rat looked at everyone, knowing no one believed him, and turned to hug Tohru. Once again, nothing happened except for predictable blushing on Tohru's part.
"Go ahead: try."
Wary, Uo hugged Kyo. Nothing happened. Hana wrapped her arms around Haru, who protested with another "Saki!". He remained in his human form. Puzzled, Tohru reached over and hugged Shigure, who grinned sloppily before Kita said in a chilling voice that was from her Akito days, "Shigure Sohma, if you are thinking what I think you are thinking, you will be lynched by lunch-time." But he didn't turn into a dog. Kyo said wonderingly, "Why...?"
Yuki answered, "The only reason why the curse existed was to inhibit us, correct? Well, the only way the curse stayed in motion was if it actually had affect on our lives. When Aki-...Kita came back, we all lost any reason to be reminded of the curse. He was all that kept us in that rut. Now that we no longer care, it no longer exists. The curse is broken."
Nobody knew how to react: it wasn't like they ever prepared for this. But Tohru saw it all. Shigure shed his exterior, still perverted, but not because he was using it to hide himself. Kyo broke through the walls. Light streamed into Yuki's abyss, dissolving it for all time. The flowers bloomed for Hatori. Hiro had no barriers between him and Kisa. Yuki, much to his disgust, had spent an entire week with Ayame, "bonding". Who knew that Yuki could put up with the snake for that long?
Momiji...Well, Momiji's memories returned, and she was appalled. But Momiji had already realized the curse was gone, and upon seeing her, hugged her deeply. The woman had tensed up, waiting for the disgusting creature to turn into it's true form. But Momiji never did. She had broken down into tears, realizing what she had done to her son, and taken him back into her home. Momiji had his family back.
Yuki's hand slid into Tohru's as Haru dealed. She looked down, and saw what he had put there. A bracelet, made of opaque, cream-colored glass, the edges shaped in a bumpy pattern. Exactly like the ribbon he had given her on White Day so long ago. She blushed, but accepted it, sliding it carefully onto her wrist before picking up her hand of cards. Everyone noticed it immediately, but said nothing, not knowing what it meant. Only Yuki and Tohru understood it as they did.
There was one thing carved on the inside; a small picture of the sun.
The sun has returned. Because of you, Tohru, the sun has returned.
I'll let you translate the bracelet as you will, although I will tell you now: it wasn't a proposal of marriage. As for the bracelet itself, Yuki had tried to make one himself, but failed entirely. Instead, in that week when he was with Ayame, the two managed together to barter someone into making it. The bartering system involved some items in ayame's store, a glass-blower who was low on his money wanting to buy them, and...Well, you get the rest. This would be the single and only reason why Yuki could bear to be around Ayame for that long. I hope y'all had a grand time reading this fic, and I'll consider a sequel, but I highly doubt I will do one. But, if this story is well received, I'll be glad to continue doing Yukiru stories and what-not.