this is my very first fan fic, so please tell me if it sux ass (or if it doesn't). the story takes place after tohru sees kyo's true form but before they go to the beach house. so around the 7th or 8th volume. and for those that don't know, the Louvre is a famous art museum in France (it will make sense once you start reading). i'm gonna stop talking now.

Disclaimer: I don't Fruits Basket or any of it's characters.

Chapter 1- Izuki's Surprises

The clear blue skies and dreamy white clouds spoke of late spring. The air had a comfortable warmth about it, past the chill of winter but not yet balmy like summer. As lovely as the atmosphere was, however, the conversation between three teenagers was not quite on that level.

"Excuse me?!" Kyo growled loudly. "You wanna say that again, kuso nezumi?!"

"I suppose you weren't smart enough to catch that," Yuki replied with the usual calm iciness he used with Kyo, "so I'll repeat: Why do you even bother coming shopping with us if all you do is complain, baka neko?"

Tohru expected Kyo to reply with another snarl, and maybe (probably) challenge Yuki to a fight. His response surprised her. "I-I just felt like it, is all," he stammered, blushing slightly. His shoes became insanely interesting at that moment, because that seemed to be all Kyo could look at.

The silence that followed was very uncomfortable, and nobody wanted to be the one to break it.

"Um," Tohru said, hoping to break through the unexpected tension. "How about we get going now, so I can start lunch for everybody?"

"Of course, Honda-san."

". . .Yeah. Let's go."

Chatting casually, Tohru and the others didn't notice the unfamiliar boots sitting by the front door, next to Shigure's. They brought the bags of groceries to the kitchen and put them in their respective places. Then, out of the blue, the three teenagers heard a loud burst of feminine laughter.

"That didn't sound like Shigure." Nobody could deny Tohru's observation skills. "Do you think it's his editor?"

Yuki and Kyo didn't answer. They glances at each, wide-eyed. Oh, God, they thought. She's back.

Curious, Tohru started toward the living room, where the laughter had come from. The boys followed suit.

". . .staring at my boobs the whole time. In the middle of the fricking Louvre. I mean, God, who does that?" As Tohru entered the room, she caught the end of a girl's odd conversation with Shigure. From where Tohru was standing, she could only see Odd Girl's (as Tohru had mentally nicknamed her) waist-length wavy auburn hair and pale arms clink clink clink from the silver bangles on them. If Odd Girl felt the presence of someone behind her, she said nothing. Shigure, however, glanced up at Tohru and grinned goofily.

"Ah, back from shopping already? Well, anyway, there's someone here I want you to meet." Odd Girl whipped her head around to look at Tohru, revealing large green eyes and a nose with unmistakable character on her pale, smiling face. Her expression changed quickly, from pleasant to surprised to ecstatic. Before Tohru could register what was happening, Odd Girl was squealing girlishly and hugging her.

"Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod!!" Odd Girl sure knew how to shriek. "I've been wanting to meet you for soooo long!! You're even more adorable than they said!!"

"Uh, um, excuse me," Tohru yelped, but her words were muffled, seeing as how her face was currently being hugged to Odd Girl's chest.

"Izi-chan, she can't breathe! Let her go!" Kyo--or was it Yuki? Or Shigure? It was slightly hard to hear in Tohru's position--yelled.

Still squealing, albeit quieter, Odd Girl let go of Tohru, only to grab her shoulders and hold her at arms-length. "Let me have a good look at you," she murmured. Her wide eyes swept over Tohru, from her small feet to her tiny miniskirt to her innocent blue eyes and now-messy hair. Satisfied, Odd Girl let go of Tohru and sat back down as if nothing had happened.

Tohru, on the other hand, stood disshelved and confused. What just happened? she thought. A strange girl suddenly attacked me with a hug and then seemed to analyze every inch of me. I wonder if she's a Sohma?

During the once-over from Odd Girl, Tohru caught a few details. Odd Girl was around half a foot taller than her, with an hourglass figure she showed off with a a form-fitting raspberry camisole. A frayed denim miniskirt clung to her hips. Her bare toes were painted a wild blue and the silver bangles Tohru had seen before made their clink clink clinks as Odd Girl moved.

Shigure, sane for once, beckoned Tohru to sit down sit down next to him. Can someone please explain what just happened? she thought.

"You're probably wondering what just happened, Tohru-kun," Shigure voiced her exact thoughts. Vaguely, Tohru nodded yes. Kyo and Yuki took this as a sign to sit down, Yuki slightly bemused and Kyo frowning.

"Well, this lovely young lady in front of me," he waved his hand at Odd Girl, who was now calmly drinking her tea, "is our charming cousin Izuki Sohma. The reason you haven't met her before now is because she's been living in France."

Izuki put down her cup and smiled apologetically. "Sorry about the hug. I've just heard a lot about you from Shigure and Ayame. They described you as very angelic. But now that I've met you, I can see they weren't exaggerating much."

"Oh, you don't have to apologize!" Tohru said. "I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself first." She bowed respectfully. "It's wonderful to meet you Izuki-san!"

Izuki giggled. "Oh Tohru-chan," she snorted. "Call me Izi-chan. Everybody does."

"Anyway, Izi-chan," Yuki interrupted, "can I ask why you're back so soon? I thought you were staying in France unitl next year?"

"Yeah, really" Kyo, ever the polite one, piped in. "Why are you back so soon?"

Izi-chan mock-pouted. "Aww, don't tell me you didn't miss me, Kiki-chan, Koko-chan. I am very much wounded."

Both boys bristled at the nicknames Izi-chan had bestowed on them years ago. "I thought I told you never to call me that!" Kyo bellowed. Yuki just shook his head and sighed. (a/n: FYI, 'kiki-chan' is yuKI, and 'koko-chan' is KyO. get it? oh, and irony: i actually have a cat name coco, and she isn't orange. or a guy.)

"But it's adorable, don't you think Tohru-chan?" IZi-chan cooed, her voice sugary-sweet.

"It's not 'adorable'! And don't drag Tohru into this!" Kyo's face burned red. Tohru assumed it was from anger, but Kyo just didn't want to look stupid in front of her. (a/n: um, it's a little late for that.)

"Kyo-chan," Izi-chan huffed, "I asked Tohru a question, not you. Tohru-chan, don't you think their nicknames are simply adorable?"

"Oh, um, well. . ." Tohru stuttered. She didn't want to offend her new friend, but the last thing she wanted was for Kyo to be mad at her. "I guess that depends on your point of view. I'm going to go make some more tea, okay?"

"Oh. Yeah, sure, more tea would be great." Izi-chan, thankfully, didn't press Tohru for a more decisive answer.

"I'll help you," Kyo muttered as he rose to leave the room. Tohru, of course, protested, saying he should rest, it was her responsibility. By the time she'd finished her rant, Kyo was halfway to the kitchen and Tohru was following him mutely.

Izi-chan had watched the exchange with interest. It had been a year and some months since she'd last seen everyone. At the time, Yuki was ice cold and never talked, never even smiled; Kyo was loud and angry all the time, and would have blown up if anyone had apologized nonstop like Tohru had. So why didn't he? she wondered.

Ding. Ding. Diiiiing. A bell went off in her head. Oh, duh she thought. I should have known right away from that look her gave her. He's never looked at anyone like that before, but I've seen it enough to know it when I see it.

She was thrust from her thoughts when Shigure asked, "So what's the verdict?"

"Definitely a keeper." Her face was suddenly serious. "So, when did it start?"

"When did what start?" Yuki asked. He hoped she wasn't talking about what he thought she was talking about. He was coming to terms with his feelings for Tohru, and of course he knew of of her budding feelings for Kyo and his for her (after all, who didn't?), but he wasn't sure he was ready to talk openly about them.

Ignoring Yuki, Shigure spoke. "Actually," he said, "you just missed something bog. She's accepted him. All of him." At this, Yuki got up and left for his room. He couldn't, it turned out, talk about them, and especially not about that.

Izi-chan's eyes widened. "You mean the. . .?" She couldn't say it. "How did it happen?" (a/n: if you haven't figured it out yet, they're talking about tohru seeing kyo's true form.)

"Kazuma-dono came. He did it." Sigure's ever-present smirk was nowhere to be seen on his face.

"And she's. . .okay with it?" Izi-chan had seen the looks both those two had given each other--whether purposely or not--but was this girl real? Were Tohru's feelings budding love? Or just pity?

Before Shigure could respond, Kyo came in with a tray full of tea and snacks with Tohru right behind him, giggling about something he'd said in the kitchen. Kyo had a whisper of a smile on his face, too. As he set the tray down, his eyes locked with Tohru's for a split second, before he looked away. If his gaze had stayed on her, Kyo would have seen the blush slowing spreading across Tohru's face.

Izi-chan took this as the answer to her question. Although, to be absolutely sure, she'd have to come by very often, lest she miss something important. Very often indeed. . .

i suppose this could be considered a one-shot, but it's not. next chappie: izi-chan performs a good deed for everyone at shigure's house, and tohru learns more about the Odd Girl.