Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket, Tohru, Yuki, or any of the Sohmas that appear in this story. I do, however, own Becky Bridges, Mike Dallas, Nancy Bridges, and any other characters you have never heard of. I also own the Bridges' family curse.

With These Hands

by A'isha Ishtar

With these hands, I will go through life like nothing is wrong with me.

"G… Go on, Mike… please…" She pressed herself closer to her boyfriend's body, burying her face in his chest. Her right hand was clutched quite tightly in his left, their fingers practically woven together. Her nails were painted a muted, almost metallic shade of silvery blue, his unpainted, their natural fleshy color. She, dressed in the white tank top and Daisy Dukes; he, dressed in Levis with no shirt. His right hand was occupied with most of her back section of blonde hair. He was giving her Eskimo kisses, as she had, early on in their relationship, forbid him from kissing her with his lips.

But now… she knew he really loved her. She wanted to know if he loved her enough to keep and accept her secret. She wanted to see how he would react. He loved her, so… so he deserved to know the truth about her, didn't he? He deserved that. If she was going to spend the rest of her life with this boy, he had to know.

"Mike…" she whispered his name. She decided to suck it up; she knew this would be excruciatingly painful. But if it was for the one she loved, it was well worth it. She reached up and gave him a kiss of her own – on his cheek, not lips. Not yet. "You can do it now. Please, do it."

"Mmm…" Mike had his face in her hair now, inhaling deeply, obviously smelling the scent of her After the Rain shampoo. "Do what, babe?"

"… Ah…" She placed the hand she was holding at her waist, palm down, and pushed her body up against him. She loved him; she deserved to suffer for him. And suffer she would; she would experience the most pain she could for Mike. "K… Kiss me… now…"

"Gotcha, babe. Finally, I get a taste of you. Here I come, sweetie." He leaned down, and she saw his eyes closed. She forced herself to close her own eyes, right before his lips came for hers. His lips made contact with hers, and she squirmed before the pain kicked in. His lips were moist, but they were thinly chapped, even after she had warned him not to be out in the wind so long.

Then, all at once, the pain came. Her entire chest and the top portion of her stomach felt like they were on fire. The area were Mike's hand was on her waist and the beginning of her back felt like someone had thrust a candle on it and was letting her burn. Her knees felt scraped; Mike must have had his knees against hers. Her hair was being singed. Smoke rose from virtually her entire body, and the pain was terrible. She gasped and gasped, trying to breathe through the agony and her scorching throat. It hurt so badly, she couldn't focus on anything else. Her mind didn't drift to the kiss for even half a second. The pain was too bad.

She jumped away, shrieking in distress. She brushed her body frantically, her fingertips searching subconsciously for the burning flesh. But there was none. There were no flames anywhere on her body. It was her secret that had caused this. She clapped a hand over her mouth, lips feeling as if they were boiling away, and her cheeks wailing with a flaming sensation.

Fortunately, her secret had what could be called a safety attached to it. A way of ensuring protection and avoiding most of the prolonged discomfort.

Her green eyes rolled back in her head, and she fainted dead away.

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"Unh…"

She felt her sense of feeling returning to her. She could feel her entire body now. She felt that her chest and her stomach had been bandaged up, also covering the spot on her waist. Her lips were covered with something, a gel or cream. Her hair was wet, tied back in a ponytail. She groaned once more and blinked her eyes open.

Sitting by her bed were two people. One of them was her mother, Nancy Bridges, who was asleep. The other was her boyfriend, Mike Dallas, who was very much awake. She stretched a little, trying to sit up. "… Mike? What's going on? How did I… get in my… room?"

"Look, Becks…" Mike stood up, and she could see that his face was white as a sheet. She suddenly noticed how terrified he looked. His blue eyes were wide, he was sweating, his hands were shaking. The glass he held in one hand was trembling so violently that some of the water spilled onto the carpet of her room. He put the glass down, and took a few steps back. "I won't… you know… blab your secret, okay? This… curse thing or whatever your mom was telling me." He shook his head. "And I know we've had some good times. But, Becky, I mean… let's be real about this. I don't think I can handle this. I just couldn't handle someone I can't kiss without hurting. I'm sorry, I just…" He was moving ever closer to the door. "I don't think we can be together anymore, Becky… I'm sorry… bye…"

And he left.

Becky stared after him. She half-expected him to come back and laugh, say he was only joking, and take her out to a movie or something. But he didn't. He was really gone forever. And it felt like her heart was getting burned as well, a flame engulfing her entire chest. She clutched where her heart would be, as she felt her eyes fill with tears. Was this how it felt to have your heart broken?… but it hurt so bad…

She covered her burned face, and began to cry.

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Becky stared into the mirror, and an ugly face with an uglier secret looked back at her. Blonde hair that was now slightly thinner, falling somewhere in between her shoulders and the middle of her back. Large emerald eyes. Dressed in a brand-spanking-new schoolgirl's uniform. Her cheek still sported a burn mark; she didn't have any concealer that wasn't expired. There was no eyeshadow, but a very light coating of rosy gloss adorned her sore lips.

"Mom… I don't wanna go to school."

"Rebecca, this is a new place. It's a chance for us to start over. Please just try this school."

Becky felt her eyes welling with tears, and she ran an arm over her eyes to wipe them dry. "B-But… wh-what if… what if everybody h-hates me again? Mom, this curse is ruining my life."

"Look." Nancy put her hands on Becky's shoulders, kneeling down to her eye level. "Sweetie… I know we're not normal. I know it's awful to have to live like this… to go through your life wondering if you'll ever find anybody who will… just love you regardless of everything. Despite or even in spite of the curse. I know what it's like. But trust me, Rebecca." She put her arms around her daughter. "These thoughts will pass. You will find someone who will accept you for who you are… for what you are. Somebody will accept and love you while managing to ignore the curse."

Becky sniffled, and stood up, nodding. She grabbed her backpack, and swung out the door to begin her walk to school.

Maybe her mother was right. Maybe she'd find somebody here… who would accept her.

She had to… but she could only hope.

So… tell me what you think. I know there aren't a lot of you who like OC pairings, but those who do, please review this if you read it! Anything I can improve upon? Any constructive criticism? … Any praise? XD I do hope you liked it…

And now, I give you a promise… Yuki WILL show up in the next chapter. This chap was kind of just me being Professor Exposition. LOL *sings* Professor Exposition, explainer of things! She's clarifying plot points – to explain away confusion!* Epic-ness…

Till next time!

~Ai-chan ^^