To Defy A Curse

Kyo finds Yuki being attacked in a dark alley, and saves him. But when Yuki falls into a coma, will anyone believe Kyo didn't do it? While waiting for Yuki to recover, Hatori reveals a secret about Kyo and Yuki's past … Rated M for a reason, people. Hurt-Comfort, Angst, Family Issues, Family Bonding, Friendshipping.

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Takes place after Kureno told Tohru about Akito being a woman, but so far, Kureno is the only Sohma whose curse has broken.

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Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with TokyoPop or Fruits Basket, and no profit is being made from this story.


Kyo Sohma trudged through the night streets, heading back to Shigure's place from Shishou's dojo. It had been a good day, and he found himself humming absentmindedly. As soon as he realized it, he stopped – and heard something that instantly set him on edge.

Years of martial arts training and fights with Yuki and Haru left him familiar with the sound of fists hitting flesh. It was coming from a nearby alley. On instinct or out of curiosity, (he was the cat, after all,) he began inching silently towards the dark gap between buildings to investigate.

Something – bile, his heart, a gasp – caught in his throat and choked out any sound he might've made.

Four guys were beating up a fifth, who was curled in a ball and whimpering, trying to protect his head and ribs, and failing badly. Kyo recognized the victim's purplish-grey hair.

"Hey," he growled, stepping into the alley and drawing the thugs' attention. "Get away from him."

"What's it to you?" one of them sneered. Kyo sneered back.

"No one beats up my cousin but me."

Yuki, shaking badly, raised his head a little.

"K – Kyo?" he rasped. There was a pleading tone in what was left of his voice the cat didn't think he'd ever heard before. The rat started coughing … blood spilled out of his mouth. Please just be a bitten tongue, Kyo found himself praying, though he was sure it was much worse.

The thugs rushed him. Kyo brought down the first with a sucker-punch to the stomach, the next with a roundhouse kick in the groin, and the other two by grabbing a shoulder each and slamming their heads into a brick wall. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Yuki transform.

Shit.

He stepped over and around the four attackers, getting between them and the whimpering rodent. In a swift movement, he pulled off his beads and stuffed them into a pocket of his jeans.

The transformation was slower and more painful than he remembered it being, as though the cat's true form was reluctant to show itself. Probably because I'm helping the rat. When it was done – when he was the monster again – he roared. It was actually more of a long, low, growl, but it still sent the four guys scrambling to their feet and running, yelling in panic and glancing over their shoulders in case he was giving chase.

Now that the 'fight', such as it was, was over, Kyo wasn't really sure what to do. He bent over the half-conscious rat and mulled over his options. He couldn't get the beads on around his paw without damaging them, so he was stuck a weird mutant creature until Tohru hugged him or he changed back to human on his own. Yuki was a rat, and although he was badly hurt, Kyo could hardly take his cousin to a hospital like this. He wasn't about to take him to the main estate, either, and he was a lot closer to Shigure's house than the dojo …

Shigure. He'd said he was having the Hatori and Ayame over for drinks tonight; the family doctor and Yuki's big brother.

"Hang in there, Yuki," he managed. "You're gonna be fine. I'm getting you home."

He leaned down and carefully, gently as he could, picked up the rat in his jaws. They seemed oddly suited for the task of carrying a small creature – probably a cat thing. Hoping he didn't jostle his passenger, Kyo set out at a run for the woods.


"And so," Ayame concluded drunkenly, "Mine and I would be most pleased, Honda-san, if you would come work in the shop with us."

"Ignore him," Hatori advised the flustered girl. "He's out of it – by this stage he doesn't even know what he's saying."

"I don't know … he makes a good argument …" contributed Shigure, imagining Tohru in a maid's outfit.

"Where are Kyo-kun and Yuki-kun?" Tohru asked, looking at the sliding door and trying to control her blush. "It's getting late."

"Don't worry about them. They're big boys, they can handle staying up past their bedtime. Besides, tomorrow's Saturday." Shigure emphasized this conclusion by raising his glass of sake in a toast.

"Perhaps they snuck off to the red light district," offered Ayame.

"Do we even have a red light district around here?"

"It does a brother proud …"

"Seriously, do we?"

"… Little Yun-Yun and Kyon-Kyon, all grown up." Ayame pretended to wipe away a tear – or maybe he really was crying. It could be hard to tell with him.

"Ignore them," Hatori insisted to Tohru, who was trying very hard to follow his advice.

There was a lull in conversation, and Tohru thought she heard an odd rustling outside, before remembering the house was in the woods and it was probably just the trees.

"I hope they aren't fighting again," she said quietly.

"Honda-san, they are rat and cat … fighting is what they do," pointed out Shigure, making the motions of another toast.

Tohru watched the door, biting her lip worriedly.


Kyo put Yuki down on the porch, near the door but not near enough to be trampled when someone came out.

"HATORI!" he shouted.

The door slid open almost instantly, and Hatori and Tohru both came out.

"Kyo-kun! What's the matter?" asked Tohru, wide-eyed and frightened. Kyo froze.

They'll think I did this …

He nudged Yuki, very carefully, and waited until he was sure they saw the rat before turning to run.

"YUKI!" Tohru screamed, falling to her knees and reaching to pick him up. Hatori stopped her.

"We don't know how badly hurt he is. We need to move him very carefully." Never before had the dragon been so grateful for his ability to hold his liquor. "Go back inside and get a thin sheet of cardboard – we can use that as a stretcher. I'll stay with him."

Tohru stood, nodded, and rushed off to find some cardboard.

"What's happened?" asked Shigure as Tohru ran by frantically. She didn't answer, but instead dug into the recycling pile and raised an old unfolded cereal box over her head triumphantly, then ran back outside.

"This should do." Hatori nodded in approval. "Now he needs to be slid onto the stretcher without jostling anything." The Sohma family doctor eased the cardboard under the rat's unconscious form. "Let's get him inside."

The girl followed him back in timidly, and asked in a very small voice, "Will he be okay?"

" … I don't know," Hatori admitted. "If he's weak enough to have transformed … It doesn't look good."

Yuki didn't stir as he was carried to his room and the cardboard was rested on his bed. If Hatori had dared to risk moving the rat again, he might have shifted him to the actual sheets, but as it was, health and safety took priority over comfort.

"Tohru." She had followed him all the way to Yuki's room, and now snapped to attention from her position in the doorway. "Run downstairs and get my medical bag." It's lucky I brought it along with me. "Then go back downstairs and tell Shigure and Ayame that Yuki's hurt, but do not let them come up here – they'd only get in the way. You can come back up, I might need you to get more things for me."

She nodded. In minutes he had his kit and she was downstairs again. I hope she can control those two. It's really not fair of me to ask this much of her …

It actually wasn't as hard as Hatori feared. Tohru didn't say how badly hurt Yuki was, since she didn't know, and the two drunks seemed to take as a given that if Hatori wanted or needed them up there he would've told Tohru to fetch them, or yelled for them himself.

"Haa-san's a good doctor. He'll take good care of otouto-kun."

They also seemed to be assuming it was Yuki who'd called for help, since neither one asked about Kyo.


Kazuma was getting ready to go to sleep when the smell of rotting meat assaulted him, making him sit up in bed. Kyo had left over an hour ago – had something happened?

"Shishou … " he heard his foster son whimper. Half-asleep and hyper-alert at the same time, he tore through the paper door to get to the monstrous animal's side.

"What happened, Kyo?" he asked quietly, kneeling beside him.

"Yuki … he … I swear, Shishou, it wasn't me …" The boy began to sob. Kazuma hugged the warped cat around the neck and ran a gentle hand down his back until the child calmed down.

"What happened, Kyo?" he repeated, even more softly.

"Yuki was attacked. I heard something in an alley and I went to see and these guys were beating him up – he was coughing blood, Shishou – and then I used my true form to scare them off and he transformed, too, so I took him to Shigure's because Hatori's there tonight – but …" Kyo bowed his head. "… but … I couldn't face them. After I made sure they found Yuki … I had to leave. I know they'll think I did that to him …" The cat began to cry again. "… But I swear, Shishou, I … I may have been mad at Yuki a lot, before … but … I never really wanted him dead."

Somewhere in the retelling Kyo had turned back to human. He pulled the beads out of his pocket and fumbled to get them back on; Kazuma took them from his now-clumsy grip and slid them onto the teenager's wrist.

"I'm proud of you."

"Wh – why?" Kyo's red eyes shone with surprise at this unexpected declaration.

"You went against the cat's dislike of the rat to keep Yuki safe." Kazuma ruffled Kyo's orange hair and hugged him again. "Now come inside. You need some sleep."


Notes:

Updates will be sporadic.

My understanding of Japanese honorifics is limited to imitating how people speak in the books. Please correct any mistakes.

We'll find out in a later chapter how Yuki came to be attacked, and explore what prompted Kyo to save him.

Kyo went back to the dojo because he figured his Shishou would be most likely to be hear him out. He didn't take Yuki there from the beginning because he knew Yuki needed medical attention and figured Hatori would know what to do more so than anyone else.

The others in the Zodiac will appear in later chapters, including Akito. Everyone except Shishou, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru has little to no doubt it was Kyo who attacked Yuki. Tohru only doubts it because of how much she cares for Kyo.

Published July 29, 2008