Disclaimer: Fruitsbasket is not mine.
A/N: Oooh. My next top OTP, if you didn't know.
Akito rolled to her side and sneezed. She furrowed her brows and sneezed again. Scowling, she sat up on the futon, blankets falling down her waist, and stared at the door. Voices streamed through the shoji and she bit her lower lip, annoyed.
She could hear Ayame's high-pitched laughter and grumbled darkly about how Ayame was always so loud and flashy. In truth, however, she wanted to be outside, to hear the joke that Ayame was laughing at, and to enjoy the clan's Christmas celebration. The Sohmas' Christmases were not as grand as their New Years, but every gathering with the Juunishi was special.
But, at least, Akito started to think, she didn't have to see her. This time, she wouldn't be given an opportunity to make her wear a male's yukata. She wouldn't be able to laugh at how sick and uncomfortable she was.
"Stupid flu," Akito mumbled, sniffing.
But being eight and sneezy and cold, Akito decided that unwrapping presents was still more fun than being stuck inside her room. She could evade her if she wanted to, like hide behind Shigure or Kureno or Hatori. She really wanted to see her gifts! She rose from the futon and trudged cautiously on the tatami. She slid the door open, looked around to see if anyone was looking and smiled triumphantly to herself.
Akito blinked. Her heart thumped. If she were caught, she'd probably have to stay longer in bed and be forced to drink bitter herbs. She glanced around, scanned for the owner of the voice and sighed in relief. "Oh. It's only you."
"Only me?" Shigure asked, dramatically hurt.
Akito's frown deepened. "Yes. Only you."
Shigure inclined his head toward Akito and said, "You're not supposed to be out."
"I want to get my gifts," Akito said curtly.
"You're sick," Shigure reminded cursorily.
"I want my gifts," Akito insisted, still rooted to her spot.
"You can't go out," Shigure said, crossing his arms and plopped down right in front of Akito.
Akito glared at Shigure, but Shigure was too busy watching the wall of Akito's room. "I want to go out!" said Akito, stomping her right foot against the tatami.
"You still have fever," said Shigure casually.
"But I – " Akito stopped to cover her mouth and sneezed.
Shigure chuckled. "See?" When Akito's eyes grew sharp, Shigure said, "If I give you my present, will you get in?"
Akito didn't answer.
"Here," said Shigure, pushing a small white box to Akito.
Akito seemed disinterested; nonetheless, she opened the box and her eyes widened with curiosity. "What's this?"
"It's a peony-"
"Of course I know what a peony is!" snapped Akito. "What is it for?" she asked.
Shigure smiled genially and took the peony-shaped silver from Akito. He ran her fingers through her hair and clipped the flower on.
"Oh," Akito said with round eyes.
"Now, will you get in?" asked Shigure, raising his brows.
Akito nodded obediently and headed back to bed. She laid on the futon and pulled up the blanket, aware that she was still wearing the clip and Shigure was watching.