03.07.2009, edited 01.10.2010

Chapter 1 – Yozamu

Saturday 15th October 2011

Silence consumed the great Sohma estate that night he first returned to the place of his nightmares…

… In the Sohma estate, everyone was forbidden to leave their individual homes after curfew, especially if they lived near Akito's quarters…

… But just because they weren't allowed outside didn't mean that they couldn't hear the Nezumi's screams of terror through their double-glazed windows, or see the blackened window in Akito's house, which would now surely be splattered once more with the crimson blood of his most prized Nezumi…

Only one person was outside on this fateful night, disobeying the Kami's orders – Hatori.

-'Why?' He thought to himself. 'Because if I am not here, then I won't be able to save him… I won't be able to heal his wounds if he comes, not if I'm inside… Yuki would never come and ask for help, not now, he wouldn't even when he was little… so I must be there to offer it to him, and carry it out even when he says that he is not worth the trouble…'-

So all Hatori could do was sit there on that cold night, smoking his cigar, and watching that blank room, waiting for the screams to cease, the moment when he could enter the household and rescue the teenaged Nezumi who still couldn't escape from his nightmares, not even ten years after they had began…

-'Please, if there is another god out there… please help Yuki… please…'-

It was only when he heard someone else running up to that room did he get of his lookout post and see who would intervene foolishly with what was happening…

... And would try to help them in every possible way...


But in the dark world of the Sohma's, as Hatori knew all too well, there is only one god that will ever be with us – and that god is here, on earth... his name is Akito Sohma, and he's the one person who wouldn't want to help me…

Because he was the one raining down the endless torment upon me...

"Please… Akito… please… stop…" Amidst the echoing silence a small voice spoke, trying to keep the shuddering out of his frail tones… in vein…

My voice…

"Aww Yuki, my poor little Yuki… are you scared…?" As I sat there, terrified in that bleak darkness I could feel Akito's frail, chilling fingers stroke my face, lingering just long enough to send a shiver down my spine… "You know it's only your fault that this is happening… don't you…? You know that I wouldn't be like this if you only did as I asked, and stopped GOING AGAINST ME!"

As Akito's temper rose I could feel his hand grip my silver hair roughly, before using it to propel me against the wall, blood trickling down the painted panes as I fell limp, helpless to stop the onslaught that I knew was to come…

"There, there, my little Nezumi, don't cry…" As he spoke my hand flew up to my cheeks. Had I really been crying…? Apparently so… "Do not fear about being alone… sure, the others will leave you, but I never will…"

That made me cry out even more – a sobbing, desperate cry – how could he call a life seeing only one person, a person you feared as 'not being alone'? If being alone was having a life without Akito, then I would gladly choose to be 'alone' for all of my life – gladly

But I would never – could never tell him that... I wasn't strong enough...

I never was...

"No! A… Akito… p… please stop…!"

I could feel the tingling sensation on my back before I fully comprehended what was happening – that the blooded rope slashing against what was left of my cloths and my bare flesh wasn't from a nightmare… at least not one that I could wake from and think of as a dream – because I was already awake… and this wasn't a dream – it was a reality, and there was nothing I could do to stop what was happening…

"AKITO, OPEN THE DOOR!" We both paused for a moment, frozen in time, as someone tried to open the locked door, and, once they realised that they couldn't, began pounding upon it frantically. But the voices… one I could unmistakeably identify as Hatori's… but the other one… W-was it Niisan's?

"AKITO!"

Either way, it didn't matter, as, alas, Akito turned away from the sounds smirking maliciously, and as the pounding of the rope resumed I forgot about the voices who had been trying to rescue me, all sound blocked out behind the terror…

I closed of my ears to the words that Akito whispered around me, but it didn't stop them being etched upon my soul, remaining there for all eternity, for everyone to see. I had grown a mask over the years I had been away from Akito's cruel gaze… but it didn't matter now. You would have to be blind not to notice what I was like.

How pathetic I was.

So I lay there, unmoving as Akito tortured me, trying to keep my mind off the horrendous things that were happening to me… and failing dismally…

Then, as I thought I was about to collapse from the exhaustion and the pain, he stopped, and crouched down next to me, low enough so that we were face-to-face as he forced me to stare into his swirling black orbs.

"Don't worry, my precious little Nezumi… I won't let you be corrupted anymore… I'll make sure that you come back home…"

After all the pain I had been forced to suffer through, it was only after he left the room that I allowed myself the small bliss of nothingness, of collapsing into a world that surely was better than this one…

… But the fates wouldn't even let me stay in that state for long.


"AKITO, OPEN THE DOOR! AKITO!"

We stood there for what seemed like hours, pounding at the door, trying to force it open… but in the end it was actually Akito who let us in.

"He's ready for you Hatori." His voice sent a shiver down my back as he left, completely unconcerned about what state Yuki could be in… "Make sure he doesn't die..."

… And in a bad state he was.

In the corner of the dark room lay Yuki, but it wasn't the calm, 'masked' Yuki we had known to develop over the last few years.

This Yuki was a wreck.

Huddled as far as he could from the foreboding oak door, you could barely see him amongst the shadows and the blood. But what you could see of him was enough to make even the most hardened of hearts feel queasy. All around the room were shreds of silken cloths, and what was left on the boy barely even covered him… and played no part in protecting him from the pain that had been inflicted to the rest of his fragile body.

It simply looked as if he had been clothed in red – that was how bad he had been hit by the rope that lay on the floor tauntingly, abandoned by its master…

"What has Akito done to him?" Never had I heard Ayame's voice so quiet, so… serious… and it scared me in a way to see him like that… so vulnerable… "If I see him…"

"Then you'll do nothing Ayame. You won't, and Yuki won't do anything either… because we can't do anything about it." I whispered, pain of the situations turning my voice bitter.

"So what?" Ayame's voice had turned slightly annoyed as he fully understood the state that we were all in – his pretences of playfulness and 'care freeness' now completely gone from his system as hate boiled inside him. "Are we just going to let this… this…?"

"Yuki…?" I went slowly to him, and as I crouched down next to him he began to shiver violently. 'This can't be good…' My mind informed me, to which I glared inwardly at myself, "Yuki… are you alright…?"

"Leave me alone…" The teenager's hoarse voice shocked me – how long had he been in this room, alone, with no food or drink, screaming…? "P… please… I… leave me…"

Why wouldn't the boy look up…? Why wouldn't he relax now his fears were gone…?

"Yuki…" Ayame crouched down at the other side of him, concerned at his brother's health. "Akito's not here anymore… You can look up…"


"Why won't you look up my Yuki when I am speaking to you? I want to see your beautiful amethyst eyes…"


"NO! L-leave me alone!" Even though there was some power in his voice, by the end of his sentence it had crumbled away into a plea, rather than a demand.

"Yuki…" Ayame reached out and touched Yuki's shoulder gently, but he flinched away, curling up into an even tighter ball.


"It's such a pity that you haven't learned from the mistakes in your past Yuki… I suppose I'll just have to tame you again…" He grabbed my shoulder roughly and caressed my skin gently, before digging in his nails, slicing though everything in their path, flesh, cloth or bone… "And you know how much I love to keep you in your pitiful place now… don't you…?"

"Get away from me Akito!" I awaited the punishment that would come from my words obediently – now those words had passed my lips there was no going back, and no time for please… pleas which would be sure to fail…


"Hatori…?" I looked up from my case and saw Ayame facing me, a worried expression on his face. And I only had to look down briefly to see what caused the expression on his face; the curled up Yuki was shaking violently now, and I knew instantly why that was – he was having flashbacks…

And there was only one way to stop him from having them…

"I'm sorry for doing this Yuki…" I whispered to him as I pushed the sharp needle into his bare flesh, causing him to go limp in my arms. "But it's the only way to stop you from suffering… The only way…"

"What are you doing to him Hatori…?" Ayame whispered as I carried Yuki away from the room of his nightmares and into my office, careful not to wake him, as even the powerful sedative that was working in his bloodstream wouldn't keep him in anything more than a light slumber – his rat DNA already becoming immune to the human sedative.

"Taking him to safety, at least for now. Call Shigure Ayame. Tell him that Yuki won't be back… at least not until he is no longer in this state… I don't want Honda-san to have to worry… its best if she doesn't know about this until he chooses to tell her, I suppose…"

"Know what Hatori-san?"

"Know the secrets that are contained in this room... I doubt if even he can remember all that happened here..."

[Little did they know that the memory was etched into the frail boy's memory far too well...]


I must confess that I have a soft spot for the "almighty author".

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fruits Basket. (This will probably be the only time I'll say it, as I generally forget to put it in xD)

The original plotline for this story (well, three chapters were outlined) is from Kajikistune.

Kyae

P.S. This chapter, and all subsequent ones were edited at the date of the epilogue, to complete the story fully.