A Dress Made of Satin
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket. I'm not that blessed.
"Stupid, stupid STUPID!" Machi yelled furiously. No-one responded to the sharp cry that echoed through the chilly air, she was all alone, that infernal snow continuing to fall lightly onto her brown tresses. She dislodged what hadn't yet melted with a vigorous jerk of her head.
'This is just perfect' Machi thought furiously, with even the perverse pleasure of desecrating the glistening frozen water underfoot not serving to placate her, her temper was rising rapidly. 'Damn Kakeru, and damn Kimi…and…just damn them all!' she yelled, mentally this time, she was coming into a neighbourhood and was in no mood to deal with some upstart brat that might decide to question her.
"How much farther is it?" she muttered sourly, digging around in her thick winter coat for something. Naturally, being Machi, her pockets were crammed full of the kind of things that most people her age had long since grown out of holding on to, broken shoelaces, bent hairpins, torn strips of paper…the list went on and on.
Machi continued to rummage impatiently until she felt two gloved fingers graze against a sharp edged object. Swiftly yanking it out from amongst the junk, and feeling vaguely grateful for the gloves that had spared her a paper cut, she peered at the little laminated card. It was bent and battered by now, having gone through this very same ritual countless times since Machi had reluctantly left the student council room that evening.
Ravens Perch House
67 Mikan Street
It never changed, no matter how much she looked at it, nope, always the same unchanging, unwanted message. She scowled fiercely, and stamped the ground harder, sending flurries of the accursed, pretty junk flying up into the air.
'I guess I better stop dawdling and get moving' Machi thought, and gloomily continued her trek.
'Huh, talk about literal' Machi thought as she stood in front of her final destination, Ravens Perch House.
It was impressive, she would give it that much. Evidently named for the great black sculptures of birds that were obviously ravens lining the roofs edge, the three storey, gray stone, sash windowed structure was imposing to say the least.
It didn't make Machi any happier though to be standing here in the cold, and, albeit unwillingly, admiring it.
'Why am I here again?' she asked herself for the umpteenth time that day.
"Hey everybody guess what?!" Kakeru screamed, bursting in through the door of the student council room and giving half its occupants minor heart attacks.
"What?" someone asked rhetorically, rubbing their bruised rear gingerly. Kakeru did this a lot.
"Mrs. Sugimiya just gave me this!" he yelled hyperactively, racing around the small room, a thin yellow card flapping in his hand as he waved it about excitedly.
'Of course we don't know what that is because you won't stay still!' Machi thought irritably, watching as her maniacal little brother tore around the room.
Up to this point, Yuki had been staring with one arm buried in a filing cabinet drawer, frozen as the ridiculous spectacle unfolded around him. Now he seemed to wake up. Extending a hand out, he snatched the mystery document out of Kakeru's flailing hand as he commenced his fourteenth revolution.
Kakeru was halfway around again before he realised. "Hey!" he pouted. But he wasn't really annoyed, they all knew that, it was just one of his daily entertainments (not to mention exercise) to make one of them chase him for something they needed.
Yuki ignored him and started to read aloud to the other council members.
To the student council
In response to the Creative Funding Appeal launched by Kaibara High School in October, I bequeath my second property of Ravens Perch House, 67 Mikan Street, Edo Tokyo to the student council to use the contents as they see fit to raise funds for their 'Elderly in Need' scheme.
Yours Sincerely, Rosemary Tomura
As Yuki finished speaking, the assembled teenagers broke into excited chatter.
"This is fantastic!" someone yelled out from the babble. "I live near that house, it's really and old and fancy, I bet it's got tons of stuff we can use!"
"Oh Yuki-kun" Kimi crooned from where she'd materialized oh so conveniently beside him. "Does it say anything else?" she inquired nosily, peering at the writing.
Yuki's eyes flicked back to the letter. "Only that to gain entry, a set of house keys and a master key has been left in the care of the main office and an inventory has been left on the hall table inside the house" he said blandly, Kimi's closeness beginning to make him uncomfortable as he moved away carefully.
"Great!" Kakeru spoke up again, clapping his hands together gleefully. "Someone should go over after school! It's Friday, so there's plenty of time to go through the inventory!" However Kakeru never thought ahead, ever.
Hitomi interrupted his exuberant tirade first. "I can't go today, I have netball practice"
"Neither can I" Keiichiro said apologetically "my orchestra leaves for a weekend trip this evening"
"My parents are gonna be out of town for a while so I have to look after my younger sisters" Miyako said.
"I gotta buy new boots!" Kimi squealed happily. This wasn't really an excuse, but none of them felt willing to argue with her on it.
And so it transpired that everyone had prior engagements to attend to. Even Yuki claimed to have an appointment to keep.
Simultaneously, all heads turned to Machi. "W-What?" she stuttered, hell, them staring at her like she was a relic of the Ice Age or something sure wasn't helping her insecurities any.
"Machi-kun can go!" Kimi announced triumphantly, immediately gaining a glare from her target. "I can what?" Machi hissed, comprehension beginning to dawn on her. "You can go to the old house and sort things out!" Kimi replied, oblivious as to how much danger she was in right now.
Machi was well and truly annoyed with this, and was about to protest loudly when she caught sight of the look on Yuki's face. He looked torn, guilty, like he would like to relieve her of the duty but could see no way to do so. She felt ashamed for making him feel this way and made a decision.
"Fine, I'll do it" she said, her thin voice cutting through the expectant silence like the slash of a katana.
"Wonderful!" Kakeru cried, blissfully unaware that he was being mentally cursed into the ground at that moment "Meeting ended!"
"That's not your job!" Naohito yelled furiously, but his words went unanswered, the hyperactive highschooler was long gone by then.
Machi kept her head down, so as to hide the boiling rage she was sure was showing on her face. 'How dare they foist this task on her?!' She was so lost in her angry thoughts that she didn't hear the tentative footsteps drawing nearer, and only realised when the owner of said feet spoke quietly.
"Kuragi-san?" Yuki asked hesitantly. Machi's head snapped up in surprise, she had been repacking her things slowly on purpose because she felt she really needed a little alone time right now.
"Sohma-san" she stated curtly "is something the matter?" she queried coolly.
Yuki looked a little startled by her question, and them seemed to come back to himself. "Are you sure you want to do this, Kuragi-san?" he asked rather uncertainly "If you would like we can postpone this until Monday and do it as a group"
Machi shook her head firmly. "Thank you but no, Sohma-san, I will manage fine on my own"
"If you're sure, then…then I bid you a good evening, Kuragi-san" And smiling slightly at the disconcerted girl, he tugged on his coat and swept from the room, leaving Machi quite alone.
'Oh yeah, that's how' Machi thought dejectedly 'well, better get it over with I suppose' Another search of the pockets produced two small silver keys, the larger of which she inserted into the old fashioned lock and turned it slowly, savouring the tiny feeling of satisfaction she couldn't help but feel when the mechanisms gave out an almost inaudible click. Grasping the lions head brass knocker firmly, she pushed open the great oak door.
Her first impression of the eerie mansion was that it was big, the second was that people more given to tidiness would have had a hell of a job keeping this clean enough to be habitable and the third was why was she standing still, yet again, with the whirling snow gathering inside the hall and making puddles on the floorboards?
Machi moved swiftly, stepping inside and shutting the heavy door with some difficulty. She exhaled deeply, at least it was warmer in here, surprisingly for such a large house, not that she was complaining. Sighing she shrugged off her damp coat and slung it carelessly over a elephants leg umbrella stand, then set off to find the fabled inventory.
She found it just where the notice had said it would be and picked it up curiously 'I wonder what kind of stuff is in this place, if that umbrella stand is anything to go by'.
Opening the first page, she scanned the page at random. Goats hair chaise lounge…18th century French designed gilded mirror…seven Kokeshi dolls…an engraved music table…jeez, who keeps all this junk? Machi thought wonderingly as she rifled through the remaining pages.
Machi sighed with feeling. If she didn't start soon she wouldn't get tout of here before nightfall, and she was sure that the hulking shapes around would look a lot less friendly without the cold light of day to reveal their identities. Turning back to page one, she chanted tonelessly "Collection of embroidered swan cushions…"
"No. NO. Don't you dare fall!" she yelled as the huge mountain of brocaded teddy bears found lurking in a dark cupboard threatening to come crashing down loomed over her. Alas, her pleas went unheard.
Five minutes later she had eventually disentangled herself from their cuddly death grips and surveyed the room she had just completed. 'Just one more to go' she thought gladly, and walked down the tapestry covered (these people evidently hadn't known the meaning of moderation) hallway to what her map said had been the main bedroom when the house had been used in full time residence.
Machi pushed open the door. This room wasn't that much different from the others she had seen before it, but still…there was something that set it apart from them. It was somehow more comfortable, the atmosphere more relaxed and homely, beckoning her to come and greet it.
"How strange" she murmured, looking around the space. All of a sudden, she remembered something, and quickly flipped over the checklist until she reached the last page. 'Whoa' she thought, 'this changes everything'.
A side note by the woman who had donated the property said that she had lived primarily in one wing of the house and that the main bedroom had never been used while she owned the property. Machi was stunned. That meant that this room hadn't been opened in over 70 years! There could be anything in here.
Machi's task suddenly seemed a lot less tedious, and she eagerly began to throw open drawers and doors and wardrobes to see what marvels they contained.
By the time she was done, the Persian rugged floor was decorated in a colourful layer of jewellery, scarves, diaries…it was all here. And it's all wonderfully messy too, Machi thought contentedly. Something caught her eye then, a dark wooden panel that was different from the rest. Curiously, she hooked her fingers into the side of it, and tugged carefully.
Machi was shocked, really shocked at what she had found. It was a wedding dress, pristine and starched, obviously it had never been worn. How sad she thought. Machi tentatively reached out and fingered the thin material.
Satin, she realised. It was so beautiful, she mused, letting the snowy fabric slip through her fingers silently. 'Looks like it might fit me too…' Machi jerked away in shock at herself. 'Where had that come from?' she wondered, slightly shakily.
She glanced furtively around, even though she knew no-one else was in the house.
'Alright then, just this once' Machi began to slide off her skirt slowly…
Outside the house, the snowfall was getting heavier, stinging the scrunched up eyes the silver haired boy that struggled through it, shielding his face.
'I hope we're not it for a blizzard' Yuki thought worriedly, 'my secret base has taken so much damage lately, the crops will die if we get another storm like last month' Yuki had lost a sizable quantity of his finest tomato plants some weeks back, and was not at all eager to see history repeat itself.
He had begun walking away from the Sohma compound with the full intention of going straight home after his medical check up with Hatori, but found his conscience steering his feet in quite a different direction.
And that was how he came to be doing exactly what Machi had many hours before, standing, in the cold, in the snow, outside, freezing. He had felt compelled by some inborn chivalry to come and check on Kuragi-san.
He spotted light on the second floor. 'So she's still here' he noted curiously. Hurrying through a rare gap in the soon to be late night traffic, he reached the other side of the street, and ran quickly up the rose quartz path and into the house.
The heavy door shut with a resounding slam. Yuki flinched. 'Can't be helped I suppose' he thought and he set his foot on the first step of the grand staircase.
Machi stood before the full length mirror, mesmerized by how much a single garment, no matter how beautiful, could change her so much. 'A perfect fit' she thought, the irony escaping her clouded mind as she twirled around and around.
'I feel beautiful…' A great bang in the distance tore her brutally out of her reverie. Her white gloved hand flew to her heart, willing it to desist from beating like it was about to burst.
'Okay…OKAY Machi! Stay calm. There's someone in the house with you! That's okay. Just grab a weapon and go hide, yes, that's a good plan' Machi's pale eyes swept the room for anything that she could use to defend herself. They alighted on an ornate candlestick perched proudly on the stone mantel. She grabbed it unceremoniously with one hand and rushed out the door and along the hall, clutching the dress's skirts with the other.
'Kuragi-san?' Yuki whispered, creeping as silently as a rat through the darkened hallways towards the faint light source ahead. He received no answer. Yuki frowned, was she in some kind of trouble? He continued to pad noiselessly onward.
Machi was hidden safely, behind a suit of armour no less, awaiting the intruder's arrival. She saw a shadow precede its owner and gripped her candlestick tightly, her mouth becoming a grim, thin line. 'Here they come' They called out something quietly, Machi didn't know what, the wild thumping of her heart was drowning out everything else. She braced herself.
'Where is she?' he asked himself. Yuki reached the doorway of the room, light spilling from the crack and illuminating the billions of dust particles swirling around. As he stretched out a hand to push it open more, he sensed a disruption in the air patterns behind him. Instinctively, he threw up his arms to protect his face and waited for the blow that never came.
Instead a shaky voice spoke to him. "S-Sohma-san?" it stuttered.
'Wait a minute, what?' Very slowly, Yuki lowered his arms and every centimetre revealed degrees of the facial expression of a horrified looking Machi. Her grip went lax and the makeshift club hit the carpeted floor with a dull thunk. Its former owner began to stammer uncontrollably.
"SOHMA-SAN! Oh I'm so sorry! I didn't know! I thought you were a burglar! I was-"A finger pressed gently against her lips stopped her frenzied babbling. "Its alright, Kuragi-san, I should have known that my unannounced presence might frighten you, I apologise" he whispered, removing his finger from her now speechless lips.
Machi regained her voice after several long seconds and when she made to speak, it was hoarse. "But I should not have reacted as I did regardless, I could really have hurt you…" she trailed off miserably, leaving a dead silence.
Yuki tilted up her shin to force her to look at him, although she tried to avert her eyes, his gaze was as hypnotic as ever. "I am fine, Kuragi-san" he said softly, reassuringly, holding the girls eyes, knowing that his own showed no blame for her rash actions.
She relaxed then "if you're sure" she said, starting to smile slightly. Yuki started to smile too, and it was only then that he noticed her unusual attire.
She was wearing a full length pure white satin wedding dress. A skin hugging bodice accentuated the feminine curves she hid beneath her uniform. Silvery, almost sheer sleeves flowed from her mid shoulders to stop just short of her fingertips and a long floaty skirt caressed her ankles and bare feet, swaying in the draft.
Uncertainly, he voiced a question. "Kuragi-san, please do not think me rude for asking this of you, but where did you obtain that garment?" Yuki asked, eyes sweeping over her figure.
'Oh my goodness! I completely forgot about this thing!' Machi thought, panicked, as her brain worked overtime to come up with an excuse for what must have been a serious breach of some policy somewhere.
Yuki watched her stiffen again, and stopped what he was sure would have been a fervent series of apologies with a soft brush across her cheek. Her eyes which had closed flew open and widened as she saw what he was doing. Machi didn't say anything, she was as if hypnotized, pulled into the boundless pools of violet that were his eyes.
Yuki was entranced, unable to tear his gaze away from her spellbinding exquisiteness. "Do not make excuses for your beauty" Yuki whispered almost inaudibly. Machi didn't know what to say, but the matter was taken out of her hands not milliseconds later when her secret crush for as long as she could remember pressed his equally satiny lips to her own.
Machi stood stock-still for a moment, as all her fantasies came at once. While she was doing this, Yuki began to pull back, obviously fearing that her lack of response meant that he had overstepped the boundaries.
'No! I can't let this go!' Machi screamed inwardly, and uncharacteristically threw both arms around Yuki's neck. Yuki was stunned at her abrupt assertiveness, but not at all unhappy at the unexpected turn of events, moving his hands to her waist and his lips slowly over hers. She pushed forward a little, and they tasted each others mouths, slipping in their curious tongues to learn a way to please the other.
Afterwards, they stood there, still in that tight embrace, a tad breathless, waiting for their starved lungs to catch up with their hearts. Machi removed her head from its comfortable position in the crook of his neck and asked softly, with a touch of humour lacing her tones, "What was that for?"
Yuki smiled. "Well you know how they say that when you die you see your past flash before your eyes?" Machi nodded, not having a clue what he getting at, at not caring in the slightest as long as she was allowed to keep doing what she was doing. Her new consort continued, giving a small laugh as he did "well I guess I was reborn, because I just saw my future".
Machi's eyes widened, and for the first time in Yuki's memory, became warm with happiness. "You are my future" he said gently, eyelashes falling down as his lips met those of his ice princess.
Sooo…what did you guys think? Come on! I'm all agog to see whether four days of very hard work paid off, so please review!
Right, notes: First off, I apologise for any OOCness in this fic and any murderous intent incurred as a result, I only have Wikipedia and volumes 1, 2, 3, 6 and 9 to draw from. I hope I'm not too bad, because have so many ideas for these two…
I have made it so that Yuki is not cursed here.
And lastly that there will probably be four sequels to this. And a drabble.
Alright, bye! R&R please! Thanx xxx