Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket

Dedicated to all those we have lost in the past, are losing in the present, and will loose in the future. But most importantly, this story is for all of the wonderful people who will be there for us forever.


Slipped Away

It was warm outside.

It was Spring.

It was sunny.

It was beautiful.

It was May 1st.

It was the worst day of the year for one girl in particular.

She tried to act cheery around the house that morning, and reassured the three boys living there with her that she would be fine going somewhere by herself. She did not want to cause them any trouble.

As the sun crept across the sky, getting higher and higher, she walked quietly through the forest. Birds chirped and sang joyful tunes. She found it nearly impossible that they could be so happy today. But then she shook her head, clearing her mind of such bitter thoughts.

It was nice that these little creatures were happy, even if not everyone else was.

Tohru was not exactly unhappy, more like…saddened. Only on this day each year was she sad, even though she would never let it show in front of others. On the outside, she always forced a smile, but on the inside she ached and her heart throbbed painfully. But she would never cause her friends to worry about her because of something as insignificant as her own sadness.

Maybe that was why she wanted to visit her mother's grave alone today; so she would not make anyone else sad. Or maybe it was because she just wanted to be alone this time; she needed to be able to cry without worrying others.

As she walked through the forest, she looked up at the sky, white cotton clouds scudded slowly across the vast expanse of blue.

Oh Mom, she thought miserably. Why did you have to leave?

I miss you

Miss you so bad

I don't forget you

Oh, its so sad

Her long, black dress fluttered behind her in the wind as she walked up the steps to the graveyard.

She blinked and looked around, but she was alone.

Good.

She did not want anyone to be troubled if she were to cry.

She slowly made her way through the aisles of headstones, searching for the one she sought. Finally she found it, clean and already draped in flowers, meaning that her grandfather, Saki, and Arisa had already come and gone.

She collapsed onto her knees and placed the bundle of pink, white, and red flowers to the side.

"Oh Mom…" She whispered. "Why… Why did you have to go and leave me all alone…"She knew fair well that her mother had not left her all alone, but she was caught up in all of her old memories that she could just not help but ask out loud.

It felt very strange to Tohru: crying. Why do people cry? To mourn for their loved ones? To relieve themselves of their own pain? Or was it both? Tohru could not choose an answer.

She remembered that day perfectly.

It was just another normal day like any other, aside from the fact that Tohru had not woken up on time to wish her mother a safe day. She had gone to school with a cheerful smile on her face, like always, and she had kept the smile there the whole day.

Even during recess when the kids played "Fruits Basket" and even though they never called "Onigiri", she smiled.

I hope you can hear me

I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away

Was the day I found

It won't be the same

Oh

Then, the teacher had suddenly called her out of class, and she had followed quickly.

She was calm at first, but when she heard the urgency in her teacher's voice, her smile had faded. Panic rose inside of her as she dashed out of the room, her two best friends following quickly afterwards.

Even before she knew what was happening she was crying. She did not know why, she just could not control her body and for some reason she was crying.

The only things she remembered after that were a car, an ambulance, and a boy.

Through the tears she had seen the figure of an orange haired boy about her age. He had been frozen to the spot where he stood, and only when Tohru appeared at the scene did he flee. He ran faster than any person she had ever seen, but Tohru had not paid much attention to him.

She knew what had happened with this boy; he must have seen her mother's death play out right before his eyes…

Then Tohru blinked her eyes back to the present.

She found herself still kneeling in front of the headstone, her hands clasped together in the prayer she had been trying to send for her mother. But instead of a prayer, the memories came back to her and she now found herself sobbing without control.

Why? She thought to herself as she wept. Why couldn't I… do that one, simple little thing?… Why?… I couldn't even wake up to wish you goodbye and to be safe…Why? … It was such an easy thing… Why couldn't I do it… She wondered desperately as the memories pelted down on her like hail once again.

She could hear the door to the room open as her mother stepped in that morning. She felt her give her a kiss before she left.

Why didn't I wake up? All I had to do was say six words…six little words… 'Goodbye, I love you. Be safe'… That was all I had to do… and I couldn't do it… I'm so sorry…

I didn't get around to kiss you

Goodbye on the hand

I wish that I could see you again

I know that I can't, oh

I hope you can hear me

Cause I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away

Was the day I found

It won't be the same

"It…It's all my fault…" She choked out softly. "I could've prevented all this… but… " She could not finish.

She found out that, when you were terribly sad, that it was easier to think your thoughts than say them aloud.

Speaking them only made it hurt more.

But she felt that if she confessed them out loud, her mother would be able to hear her more clearly and hopefully, forgive her.

She remembered the day of the funeral a few years ago. She had not fully understood when she had been told that her mother was dead. Her mother was a great person, and she could never be taken away by just a simple accident.

At least, that is what Tohru wanted to believe. She wanted to make believe that she was just a little girl at the time and that she was playing a game of some sort, but in actuality, she was only a few years younger than she was now.

And, as much as she tried to push the fact away, she knew the accident was real, and that her beloved mother was gone.

The girl kept asking herself childishly why her mother would not wake up, why she had left her like her father had.

Somewhere, deep inside her, she knew that her mother was never coming back, but her mind refused to listen.

She tried to push the feeling away and pass the whole accident off as a dream and that she would wake up the next morning to see her mother.

But she never woke up.

It was a nightmare.

A nightmare she could never wake up from, no matter what she did, no matter how long she wept and no matter how hard she tried.

Tohru knew that her mother's passing had been her fault. If she had just said those six little words… it was so easy.

Why couldn't I say it? … If only she had said those words, Goodbye, I love you. Be safe. That was all she had to do.

It was like reaching out for a stray balloon and holding onto the string. And then, you do not know why or how, but one second you have it and the next it's gone. And once it's free from your fingers it takes off into the sky and you never see it again.

Tohru had done this.

She had let her mother slip right through her fingers and before she knew it she was gone forever. Her spirit rested in Tohru's hands that morning, and she let it slip away, and float into the heavens above.

Why? She asked herself again.

"Why…" She sobbed. Speaking her emotions stung like a thorn of ice in her heart, but it was easier for her mother to hear when she spoke. "Why… why… why?!" She wailed. "Why couldn't I do it? … It's my fault… it's my fault… Mom…"

This pain was worse than being beaten, worse than being struck with a knife, it was worse than having the sky shatter and the whole world caving in on you.

This pain… Tohru cried harder, placing her right hand over her aching heart and curling her fingers tightly around the fabrics or the dress there.

It's all my fault…

I've had my wake up

Won't you wake up?

I keep asking why

And I can't take it

It wasn't fake it

It happened you passed by

Eventually, Tohru had accepted her mother's death and learned to move on.

But it was simply impossible to live on the pretense that her mother was still alive.

She had to let go.

And she did.

But once a year, she would go back to that time and remember everything.

Today was that day.

May 1st.

She knew that she was not the only person who had lost a loved one on this day. Thousands of other people all over the world had lost people close to them on that day several years ago as well. And thousands of people across the world were losing loved ones right now. But no one else cared.

Only a few people would care about the passing on of the little, insignificant people like Kyoko. No one aside from friends and family cared. No one else knew.

But even if they did know and did care, it would only be on their minds for a short period of time. The death would not haunt them like it haunted the people close to the deceased person.

Other people would just shrug and move on. But it was impossible to know the feelings of someone who lost the one they loved. It was simply impossible.

You could never know how they felt, until it happens to you. Then, just maybe, you might be able to relate to other people's pain.

If someone close to you dies, a few people are sad, and a few people shed tears, but they are only a fraction of the billions of people in the world.

If you loose someone, the world does not care. Unless they were an important person, no one cares.

To the world, you and your loved ones are just tools, pawns that the entire world uses just to keep the population alive.

That is all we individuals are thought as to the world.

If we loose someone, the world seems to shrug and say 'So what?' and continue spinning without them.

That is life, and Tohru knew it.

To the world, Kyoko was insignificant, she was insignificant, her family, Arisa, Saki, Kyo, Yuki, Shigure, Kisa, Hiro, Momiji everyone was insignificant to the world.

No one mattered.

Their job was to live, help keep their race alive, and then die without a second thought. And once someone was gone from this world, they never came back. No matter how much you loved them and no matter how badly you wanted them back, they would never return.

You could cry so hard that you'd drown the world, but still, no one cares, and no one would come back to life.

No one.

Now you're gone

Now you're gone

There you go

There you go

Somewhere I can't bring you back

Now you're gone

Now you're gone

There you go

There you go

Somewhere you're not coming back

Tohru pushed all of her painful thoughts away, yet the tears only flowed faster.

She wiped them away but it seemed that for every one she wiped three replaced it.

She buried her face in the sleeve of her black dress, letting the tears seep into the materials. Before long, the sleeve was soaked and the salty water was all over her arm. The tears dripped down her cheeks, plummeted to her lap and soiled her dress.

Then, she managed to see through them and she reached for the bouquet she had brought with her. It carried 3 red roses, 3 white and 3 pink.

Carefully, Tohru slid one of each color from the group.

She read the words engraved on the smooth, cold, gray stone for what must have been the thousandth time. Her eyes focused on two main sentences. To the left it said: Beloved wife, and to the right it said: Beloved mother.

Tohru placed the white flower on the left and the pink one on the right.

The white ones are for Dad, the red ones are for Mom, and the pink ones are for me. She thought. The white ones will show what a wonderful wife she was, and the pink ones will show what a wonderful mother she was.

Tohru decorated the grave with the other six flowers and brushed her tears away again.

The day you slipped away

Was the day if found

It won't be the same

Tohru thought she had heard footsteps behind her but she did not bother to turn around and look for she knew she was imagining things.

No one else was there; she just wanted to believe that someone would come to comfort her. But she knew that if someone did come, she would only worry them and cause them trouble.

She dabbed her eyes with her sleeve again as a few strays made it onto the ground.

"Hey, are you okay?" Asked a familiar voice. Tohru jumped and her eyes flew open with surprise. More tears escaped but she let them fall as she stared up at Kyo.

"K-Kyo-kun?" She gasped, trying to blink and see past the blur.

"Duh, who else?" He asked jokingly.

Then, Tohru bowed her head and began to sob again. Kyo thought that his sarcasm had offended her. "Hey now, c'mon, don't cry. I'm sorry-" He stopped when she looked up at him, her blue eyes overflowing with tears and emotions he could not point out.

"Kyo-kun…" She whispered. "Kyo-kun, thank you so much!" She cried, burying her hands in her face.

She wanted nothing more than to be with someone, to have someone else by her side to help her through this, and Kyo was last person she expected to see.

Then, something happened that Tohru never would have thought to happen, ever.

Kyo wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a hug.

A hug.

Something Tohru had never seen him give to anyone else before. This was the second time he had hugged her, after the incident with his true form was over.

Her heart skipped a beat and her eyes tripled in size. She tried to hold the tears back, but still a few managed to escape.

"Its alright." He murmured. "Remember? I told you to let people know what's on your mind, to open up and to just let someone know what's going on. And I told you…"He paused to hug her tighter. "That I'd always be there to listen." With his final words, Tohru burst into tears.

She buried her face in his shirt and wept until the sun was halfway through the Western part of the sky. During her crying, Kyo heard her whimper out things about her mother, but most of all, his name.

He let her cry as long as she wanted, as long as she needed.

He did not care.

He could wait.

And he did.

They day you slipped away

Was the day I found

It won't be the same

Tohru nestled closer to Kyo as the sobs kept consuming her.

She remembered that Kyo had been that boy from long ago who she had seen running away. And not only because he had seen her mother's death, but supposedly cause it as well. Her guess was that he could not bring himself to face her and explain what had happened at the time, but he had told her later.

She knew everything, and she knew how Kyo blamed himself, but she would not hear of it. She knew that she could have prevented her mom's departure from this world, because she had not told her to be safe.

Tohru's sobs were beginning to die down, and soon afterwards, Kyo voiced her thoughts.

"You know it's not your fault." He said softly. "It was-"

"Don't say it Kyo-kun!" Tohru stopped him. "It wasn't your fault either."

"Your right." Kyo admitted.

For so long he had blamed himself and deep down he still did.

This is because people with good hearts often take blame for someone else's fault or for something they did not do. But in this case, there was a question: What happened when each person had a good heart? They try to take the other's blame and make their burden lighter because that is simply who they are. It is in their nature and desire to make others happy, even if it means hurting themselves.

"It was no ones fault." Kyo continued. "If anyone's, it was your Mom's own fault for being so nice all the time." The words sound harsh, but he said them in such a soft, careful way that it was not offending at all.

"She was so nice…" He trailed off as Tohru looked up at him. "I don't think the accident was an accident, it was supposed to happen, it had to. We can't change what has to happen. I think your mom just had to pass on when she did. The last thing she wanted to do was leave you all alone, but I think she died because she's needed more somewhere else." He tilted his head up to the sunset painted skies.

Then suddenly, Tohru understood everything he was saying. That was not only true for her mother, but for everyone who passed for unjust reasons or at an early age.

Sometimes, people died to get rid of problems in this world, but in a lot of other cases, people passed on to get ride of problems in the next world. If someone leaves this life early, then that means they are desperately needed in the next life, and that they cannot be waited for any longer. So, in order to get them there faster, they must pass on from this world first.

Tohru understood now. Her mother left her far too early, but she had something to accomplish somewhere else. She was needed somewhere else more than she was wanted here.

"Kyo…kun…" Tohru balled her fingers into fists. "Thank you…Thank you so much…really…" He had told her exactly what she had needed to hear.

"Anytime." He whispered into her ear. After one last moment of silence, Kyo loosened his embrace on Tohru. "Do you wanna go back now?" He asked gently.

"…Y-Yes." She sniffed.

"Okay." Kyo stood up and offered Toru his hand. She slid her small fingers onto his palm and he slowly pulled her up. Tohru stood shakily, for her limbs had become stiff from kneeling almost all day.

"Really, Kyo-kun, thank you." Tohru gave a small smile.

"No problem." He replied, wrapping an arm around her waist.

Tohru turned her head around slightly.

Goodbye mom, I love you. I always have, and always will. And I understand now…why you had to leave. So do whatever it is you have to do and don't worry about me. I have all of my friends with me, Kyo-kun, Yuki-kun, Shigure-san, Uo-chan, Hana-chan… They'll all be here for me, so don't worry. I know I'll be happy with them, but I'll never forget you. But… I've missed you all this time and I still feel the same…

I miss you…


A/N: Please review.