I don't own Fruits Basket.

Manga-verse, set before the end, but sometime after the Cinderella play.


"Where're Tohru and Kyou?" Kazuma asked.

"I banned Tohru from cooking, and after I threatened to use leeks he left the kitchen," Hanajima explained.

"He's very territorial," he apologized as he walked up behind the young charcoal-haired woman in his kitchen.

"I can sense that," she replied, pausing in her task of slicing vegetables as she tilted her head in thought. "Like a cat," she added.

He froze for a moment, unsure if she knew of the curse, clearly Tohru's closest friends would know something was strange, and Hanajima seemed to be quick with her observations.

"If I spray him with water, he'll back down," she explained, the sharp sound of the knife on the cutting board accentuating her malicious laughter.

He let out the breath he was holding, and joined in with a chuckle of relief.

"Water?" he asked, unsure if she was using it as a comparison or not. A part of him believed she would actually squirt him, and he couldn't help chuckling at the image of her brandishing a spray bottle at Kyou that flashed across his mind.

"It's never come to that, just a few words here or there to deflate his ego. I don't normally carry a spray bottle around with me," she joked.

"I suppose I should have focused on manners a bit more than I did," he reflected, rubbing the back of his neck.

"You can't blame his behavior on yourself, he's just slow," she remarked, sliding the vegetables into a pot on the stove, and stirring them around in the broth.

He didn't respond to her, but moved a few steps closer and reached out for her wavy hair. She usually wore it in a braid, but he preferred it flowing free. Whether it was the amazing senses she possessed or coincidence, her hair swayed out of his reach just as his fingertips brushed it, and she turned around to face him, the ladle in one hand, while the other was cupped under it.

He looked at her for a moment, not sure of the meaning of the gesture.

She moved the ladle closer to his face. "Don't tell me you've never tried your food before serving it."

"That's a-" he was cut off by the ladle being pressed against his lips.

"Try it," she ordered, tilting the spoon. He obeyed, and parted his lips ever so slightly

"Good," he commented, taking her hand holding the utensil in his to tip the remainder of the sample into his mouth.

"Is it almost done?" he asked expectantly.

She nodded, giving him a smile.

He slowly released her hand and returned the smile. "Is there any way I can help?" he offered, earning himself a laugh as she turned back to the stove.

"What's so funny?" he asked, moving to her side in order to get a view of her face.

"I've heard the stories about you cooking," she answered, her eyes daring him to argue.

"I can at least set the-"

She cut him off, "That's how I got Tohru and Kyou to leave the kitchen."

"He'd never leave the kitchen if I were cooking," he mused.

"And for a good reason," she muttered, returning her gaze to the pot, and stirring the bubbling contents

"I'm not bad for never having had lessons," he argued.

"I've never had lessons," she quipped.

"Then maybe you should teach me," he suggested.

She stopped moving the spoon and looked over at him. If he was joking she couldn't sense it, and his jaw was set with determination.

"I could give you lessons at my dojo in return," he offered when she didn't respond.

"My brother did seem to have some interest in your dojo when Tohru mentioned it," she thought aloud.

"Then, I'll give him lessons, and you'll give me lessons," he concluded, whipping his head around to the door leading to the dinning room when he heard the sound of plates breaking.

"I'm fine," Kyou's called just as the door slid open, revealing Tohru.

"Uhm, where do you keep the broom?" she asked, glancing back and forth between the two in the kitchen and Kyou picking himself up from the floor in the other room.

"Over here," Kazuma answered, peeking into the other room as he walked to the far side of the kitchen.

"I'll get it," Kyou snapped as he entered the kitchen, storming past Kazuma to the little closet, and wrenched open the door.

He shot a look of contempt at the man and his fellow student as he felt for the broom.

Tohru slipped into the closet while he did so, and got her hands on the broom before he noticed.

"I told you, I'll clean it up," he said, following Tohru out of the kitchen.

Kazuma chuckled as he watched Kyou relieve Tohru of the broom. Tohru closed the door with an apology for the racket, while Kyou started to push the pieces of broken ceramics into the dustpan.

"Can we start the lessons now?" he asked, making his way back toward the stove. Hanajima hadn't moved once during the spectacle.

"Stirring should be simple enough," she replied, moving over a half step, and holding the utensil out to him.


A.N.- This is my first time writing anything for the Fruits Basket fandom, concrit welcome! XD If you like FMA, please check out my other stories.