Ok, so, I know it's not on my profile and no one was expecting this, but I really wanted to put up the first chapter of this and see if anyone had any interest. It's really interesting to me to see how my writing has improved since "Titan's Child" which is also about a rape victim.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket, or the song "You Found Me". Other people do.
One – You Found Me
"I don't think I want you to get Kana back. I want you to meet someone who will make you happy for the rest of your life. I want you to be a thousand, no, ten thousand times happier than Kana ever will be. That is what you deserve!" Ayame leaned in closer while Hatori listened patiently to his tirade.
"You know, perhaps you should try being this determined with Yuki." He said it as if the other man knew what he meant; though Aya really had no idea.
"Oh, you think so?" He faked it.
Shigure interrupted. "You'll find someone, someday. A woman whose love fills your heart and lifts your spirit; even when you're apart; but whose greatest gift to you will be staying together."
"Spoken like, a true poet." Ayame chimed in.
"Novelist, novelist!" Shigure corrected.
Hatori began thinking to himself. A new love… That may be more than I can realistically hope for. It may be more than anyone cursed by the Zodiac can hope for. The three teenagers returned from the lake and he watched them contentedly walking side by side up the path. And when I think about it, isn't it enough to have had a love like Kana's in my life; if only for a short while. Is that not already more than I deserve?He came to his conclusion. Yes, for now the best thing I can do is keep watch over the others. And I hope that the never have to know the same suffering that I have.
Little did he know that love has a mysterious way of creeping up on you when you least expect it…
"NO!!" He heard the scream from somewhere nearby. It was nearly two in the morning and Hatori was only out because of a late house call, he never expected to hear someone yelling. He ran towards the source of the sound and after turning and seeing many empty alleyways, he finally found her.
Crumpled in a ball in the corner of an alley was a young woman, barely in her twenties if he had to venture a guess. Her shirt was torn down the front and she was covered in cuts and blood. Her face was bruised, and a quick glance showed that her skirt was also bloody. The last thing he wanted was to see a rape victim this close to Sohma house.
"Let me help you." He stated simply as he tried to reach out and help her up. It was no use; she cringed at his hand and whimpered. She wouldn't let him touch her. He didn't really blame her; he didn't really like the male sex at the moment either. He tried to think quickly and finally he flipped open his cell and dialed Shigure.
"Ha'ri! I never expected you to call! What can I do for you?" Shigure cheerfully sang on the other end.
"I was wondering if you would bring Tohru over, I need her for something." He braced himself for the awful joke that was inevitable.
"Oh you dirty man! Trying to steal my precious innocent housewife! How evil of you!"
"No, I found someone who needs help. She won't let me near her." He thought for a moment and then added. "I think she was raped."
Shigure's tone turned serious and he told Hatori he would be over as soon as possible. The young doctor decided sit down against the wall opposite the poor girl and wait for his cousin. She watched him nervously and jumped every time he moved. He tried to seem as non-threatening as he could, but no matter how hard he tried he still scared her.
He examined her in his mind, looking over her and deciding what was the most critical of her injuries. A couple of her fingers were obviously broken, but the bruise on the side of her head worried him more; at the rate it was growing it was almost surely a concussion. In the darkly lit alley he couldn't see much more than her face and her hands, but one injury worried him more than all the others. There was a long bruise forming around her neck, right underneath her chin. He thanked God that he had come when he did, if the man had held onto her any longer or tighter, he was sure she would be dead.
Finally Shigure found them. Hatori looked up at him when he turned the corner and pleaded with his eyes for the other man to be civil and quiet. Shigure understood the message and made slow, cautious movements without saying a word. Tohru was by his side and she surveyed the situation carefully before slowly approaching the battered woman who was now trying to watch both Hatori AND Shigure at the same time.
"It's ok now." Tohru tried. She reached a hand out to her but pulled back quickly when the girl jumped. "We aren't going to hurt you. I promise. I know it's scary, I can't imagine going through what just happened to you, but I know that we can help you now." She sat down in front of her and continued. "I know that Hatori and Shigure are probably the last people you would want to find you, but they are nice, good, kind people. They won't hurt you. I can't promise that things will ALWAYS be better, or even that they will be better soon, but anything is better than sitting here. Please, come with us. We don't want to see you hurting."
All through this speech Tohru was inching herself closer and closer to the girl. By the time it was over she was close enough to help her stand and walk a little. Hatori was relieved and amazed at her ability to say exactly what people need to hear. Ever since she had moved in with his cousins he knew that she was important and special. At this particular moment in time her talent for knowing what people need to hear was invaluable to him. Not to mention the fact that she was female.
They took her straight to Hatori's home/office. With much coaxing from Tohru, the girl let him examine her for anything major. He took his time bandaging the worst of her cuts and wrapping her two broken fingers. Afterwards, she was led to a guest room and Tohru sat with her to make sure she didn't pass out from the concussion. Hatori and Shigure sat outside on the porch talking over the event as the sun began to rise. A sharp ringing cut through the silence and Hatori went inside to answer it.
Shigure listened as his friend's tone grew dark. "I see… Well then… I understand… Yes, send him over…" Were some of the fragments of conversation he overheard. When Hatori finally returned his face held a look of grim anger and suspicion.
"Ritsu was in a car accident at two this morning. He was killed instantly." The words struck like a brick to the head. The death of a family member was always cause for sadness, but the death of a member of the zodiac was also cause for concern. A new child would be conceived within minutes of the death of the last animal and this mother and baby would have to be found as soon as possible.
"Poor Ritsu, I don't know what we'll do without him." Shigure bowed his head in respect.
"We may not be without him for long." Hatori interrupted. "The hospital called, a Sohma came in looking for treatment for several broken fingers and a lot of scratches. The nurse said he looked like he'd been in a cat fight. He didn't want to come to me for some reason, but they are sending him over anyway." He paused and let the idea wash over Shigure.
"You think he's the one?" The dog looked back at the guest room where Tohru was sitting across from the girl; the door cracked just enough to get a glimpse of her bruised face.
"And it happened at two this morning. At least, that's when I heard her scream. If that girl in there is pregnant, it may be our next monkey." Hatori said with grim loathing. Not of the monkey, but of the man he would soon have to treat. He thought in silence for a moment and then addressed Shigure. "Did I ever tell you about how the Zodiac members come into being?"
"Same as anyone else, except two months early right?" Shigure thought this was common knowledge among those who lived "inside". "Why do you bring it up?"
"There's another part of it." Hatori continued. "Something my father taught me before giving over the practice. Supposedly it would help me identify who was carrying a zodiac child before the baby was born." He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and sat down on the porch.
"Every child born into the zodiac is born under a particular circumstance. For the cat its anger, Kyo's parents were fighting the night he was conceived." Hatori's example was a well known fact among the older Sohmas. "It actually has a strange resemblance to their personality if you think about it. The rat is born out of obligation. You can guess how Yuki came to be." Hatori sighed.
"And where does the monkey come from?" Shigure asked, slightly afraid of the answer.
"Fear." Hatori spoke the word with contempt. There was a hesitant knock at the front door and Hatori glared at Shigure before getting up to answer it.
The man standing on the other side of the door was tall, easily Hatori's height. His white dress shirt had blood spattered on it and his left hand was swollen and purple. In his medical mind, Hatori was cursing the man for not coming earlier; those broken fingers had been left much too long. In his personal mind Hatori was holding onto every last bit of control he had to keep from breaking the rest of his fingers to match. "Come in." He said reluctantly.
He led the man to a chair and sat him down and began cleaning the cuts on his face that resembled fingernail scratches. "How did this happen?" He asked out of courtesy.
"Oh… I was… I got in a… It's a long story." He finished stuttering. Hatori poured a little too much antiseptic on a particularly bad cut on the man's neck. He watched the man cringe at the sting and felt a sadistic pleasure.
"What side of the Sohma family are you on?"
"My mother married into the family, we live at the very edge of the outside. I rarely come into the main house so I'm sure you can understand my not wanting to bother you this early in the morning." He was beginning to feel a little more comfortable; just what Hatori wanted.
Shigure still sat on the porch; he listened to his friend interrogating the man, trying to find out if he was a candidate for parenting a zodiac member. He was also listening for the man to give some sign that he was the one who raped the girl who now sat with Tohru in a back room. He stood and decided to help his friend a little.
He walked around behind the man so that he didn't see him and slowly pushed open the door to the guest room. "Miss, could I borrow you for a moment?" He asked slowly. The girl looked at Tohru, who nodded, and then she stood slowly. She held onto the wall as she walked out using it to keep herself standing.
Shigure leaned over and whispered to her, trying his hardest not to seem threatening. "I'm going to have Hatori turn his patient a little; can you tell me if it is the man who did this to you?"
She took a deep, shivering breath and then nodded slowly. He smiled at her and then looked up at Hatori. Once he caught his eye he nodded. Hatori turned the chair slightly and the girl jumped. The man couldn't see her, but she saw enough of him to identify him. She nodded vigorously and backed into the guest room as quickly as possible, she fell backwards and Tohru caught her. Shigure pulled the door shut behind her and grabbed the phone off Hatori's desk. It was his current greatest pleasure to call the main house security.
In less than five minutes two armed men came to the door and "escorted" the rapist off of Sohma property and into the hands of the law. Hatori was overwhelmed with relief that the man was no longer at large. It was now eight o'clock in the morning and he hadn't gotten any sleep. Someone would be coming soon to ask him to check on Akito and then the usual day's work would commence. But what was he supposed to do about the girl?
He looked over her and saw "her" for the first time in all of the long hours of the morning. From the top of her head of jet black hair to the tips of her petite little feet, he could tell she was afraid. The ends of her hair extended past her collarbone, its dark color making sharp contrast with her pale complexion. Her eyes were a rare sight; they were the lightest shade of blue he had ever seen. Her small frame was dramatically accentuated by the blood-stained and torn clothing. That would have to be dealt with immediately.
"Shigure" He called over his shoulder. "I have to go talk with Akito, can you and Tohru get her cleaned up and maybe find out something about her?" He looked again at the dark purple line across her throat. "She won't be able to talk, but maybe you can figure something out."
Shigure nodded his acceptance of the task and watched Hatori leave.
Sorry to any Ritsu fans out there. But I had to kill off a member of the Zodiac and I didn't want to kill anyone else. I invented the thing about "origins" and if you are wondering about where all of them come from, REVIEW and I'll tell you. It's actually one of my more creative ideas...