Until she started to change, how was Akito supposed to know she was different from Shigure, Kureno, Ayame and Hatori? Her father had always called her his princess, yet that was just another cute nickname. After his death nobody called her that. She was introduced to everyone as a boy, made to wear boys clothes and bow rather than curtsey. When she was 7 she noticed her voice was higher than 13 year old Kureno and Hatori... so of course she copied them. She made her voice deeper, practicing it in her bedroom, she changed her walk to match Ayame's stride. Her mother kept her hair cut short, but Akito didn't once protest... because it was cut like Shigure's. She clung to the four elder boys, who were never left alone with her. In company they too were forced to refer to her as a boy, so how was Akito to know?
"Why aren't I as tall as you?" She asked Ayame one day shortly after her ninth birthday. He looked pityingly at her before patting her on the head.
"Because you're still young." He had said... she had no reason to disbelieve him. When she turned 11 and started her period, she asked Hatori why, the 17 year old replied
"Everyone grows up Akito." The answer had seemed acceptable, so she no longer pursued it. At 13, as 13 year olds do, she began to develop, and her mother began to shield this from the world. Believing everyone was equal she didn't object to 19 year old Kureno a male, being the one to bind her breasts every morning with bandages.
"Why do we have to keep ourselves hidden?" Akito asked, now her own personality shone through slightly grumpily as she wriggled into her too large robe. The Rooster hesitated before speaking finally deciding to answer bluntly.
"It's indecent of us to walk around naked, our body is something only those we truly trust should see." Satisfied with that answer Akito nodded.
When she was 15 she gained minimal independence, her mother had tired of monitoring her every move. She sat down beside Shigure and after surveying the 21 year old curiously for at least 3 minutes in silence she spoke
"We don't look the same." Though her voice was still forcibly deep it had a cruelness all of its own that had developed due to her years of harsh punishment at her mother's hands. She had herself blossomed into a violent young girl, a temper to rival most men's.
"Of course we don't." Shigure had smiled.
"Why not?" She inquired.
"Well... we're family but not very closely related. Why would we look alike?"
"I'm small... and frail looking. You look... stronger."
"Because I'm a man and you're a woman." Shigure said simply, smiling over his book. Akito looked confused. "Hmm... let me think. Oh I know!" He crossed to a fruits basket in the corner of the room, and placed a cherry and a grape on the table in front of her. "A cherry and grape."
"I'm not an idiot I know what fruits are." She snapped, reaching forward to snatch the grape. He batted her hand away.
"They're different... yes. In all aspects right?" He asked raising an eyebrow. She nodded. "Size, shape, colour, taste... dare I say personality."
"Fruits don't have personality moron." She'd said scathingly, pouting a little.
"Aha! See, 'fruits' they all come under one heading. While you and I are both fruits you're a cherry and I'm a grape."
She seemed confused.
"Hatori, Ayame and Kureno..."
"Are grapes like me..." He said handing her the fruits. "We're men. You... are a woman like your mother." He tapped the cherry. She glared.
"I am NOTHING like my mother." She said firmly. Without another word she put the grape in her mouth, bit mercilessly, and left the room. Shigure chuckled to himself at the imagery. He placed his hand under his chin.
"You'd be surprised," He whispered to himself. Maneater.
A/n: I don't even know... but the vision of Akito eating the metaphorical grape man was just too much