DISCLAIMER- I do not own Fruits Basket.


Four words circled repeatedly through Kyo Sohma's head like a broken record – incessant, unceasing and not very pleasant.

I hate my life.

Perched on the roof, his knees drawn up to his chest, he thought it to himself again and again, the monotone of the repetition blurring the words together and making them lose all meaning.

I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life.

"I hate my life." he muttered aloud, then coughed. He'd been sitting in silence for almost an hour, and when he did finally speak, his voice was all gravelly and rough. Swallowing a few times to clear his throat, he stood up to go back inside, wondering if Tohru was back from work yet.

"Whoah...shit!" he stumbled as he took a step forward, one leg caving in under him, as it had gone to sleep during his hour of sitting on it. Losing his balance, he ended up sprawled on one side in a most undignified manner, cringing as he scraped his arm against something sharp and a hot burst of pain flared through it.

Muttering obscenities, Kyo pulled himself upright and said, loudly, "I hate my life."

Obviously, saying it louder would get the point across and make everything better.

Inspecting his arm, the cat frowned. A large, but shallow graze across it was starting to well up with blood. Turning to see what he had cut it on, he noticed the sharp edge of a broken roof tile protruding from among the other tiles on the roof.

"Hm..." he pressed his other hand against the graze to stop it bleeding. "Ouch." Touching the wound stung, but actually...it was...distracting?

He took his hand off, smearing the blood slightly, and sighed heavily, slumping back against the roof. The last week had been... low. He seemed to have been stuck in a rut of depression for most of it. In fact, he'd felt worse than he had felt in a long time – he hadn't been that depressed since he started living with Tohru.

It started on Monday, when his bracelet got caught on something and while trying to pull it free, it started to slip over his hand a bit. Naturally, he panicked, stood frozen for a few seconds, eventually got it loose slowly and carefully, and spent the rest of the day in a bad mood. A nightmare that night only served to worsen his disposition, and things went downhill from there.

Normally at this point Tohru would have been there to cheer him up or support him, but lately the optimistic girl had been spending more and more time at work, putting in as many hours as possible so that she'd have more time to spare when it came to exams. For the last week or so she had just been home in time to cook dinner and get the chores done before heading to her room to study or sleep.

I hate my life.

I wonder, he thought with a curiosity due to being the cat, how long I can go without thinking, 'I hate my life.'

About thirty-one seconds. This was probably because he was trying not to think about it, and to not-think about something you kind of need to think about it to remember not to think about it.

The scratch had pretty much stopped bleeding by now. Licking the stain of blood from his arm, he glanced over at the sharp roof tile.

This is a scientific experiment. He told himself. If I cut deeper, it'll take longer for it to stop bleeding...right? That seems obvious. What if I make two more cuts- one deeper, and one longer. Which will stop bleeding first?

After thinking about this a moment, he honestly couldn't figure out which one would, though he had a feeling it would be the deeper one. Guess I'll just have to test this then.

Bracing himself, he pulled the sharp roof tile out of the roof (which was surprisingly easy, as it was loose anyway) and held it against his grazed arm. Testing testing one, two...three.

He let out a hiss of pain as he quickly sliced his arm, gritting his teeth. The hot burst of pain faded quickly into a dull ache, but it still felt...good? It still felt good while it lasted...

"Umm." He didn't stop to think about it, instead cutting his arm a second time, making this wound longer but shallower.

Now to just sit back and see what happens.

As he waited, he found his mind drifting back onto that familiar pattern of monotone. I hate my life. I hate my life. He could almost chant it to a tune. I-hate. My-life. I-hate. My-life.

He snapped himself back to attention. Don't zone out. What if Tohru gets back and you don't hear her? If she comes up here, she'll be all like, 'Ah! Kyo! You're bleeding!', and then she'll call Hatori and...yeah, gonna be hard explaining all this.

Eventually the long cut's trickle of blood slowed and stopped. The deep one, however, continued...and continued...and continued.

Well... I guessed right, anyway. He turned the roof tile over in his hands. Maybe I should do it a few more times, though... just to make sure the results are accurate. That was what they normally did in science, right? Conduct each experiment a few times to make sure the results weren't just a fluke.

Here goes. Commencing the second round of tests. Three, two...one.

Slice, went the blade, and he found himself thinking, That cut's for Akito, damn him.

Slice, and that one's for the damn rat.

"Maybe two more..." he mused, "Just to make sure it's really accurate."

Slice, that one's for leeks.

Slice, that one's for being the cat...

He was pretty much out of room on this arm now. Holding his two arms together, his face contorted into an expression that he wasn't sure was a smile, or a frown. His left arm was unmarred and smooth, his right sticky with blood and gouged with cuts.

Interesting, he thought, these four new wounds all seem to be bleeding at the same rate.

He felt a sense of release, at any rate. Normally when he was really frustrated, he squeezed ice, the burning sensation seeming to calm him down and take his mind further from his troubles. It seemed making himself bleed did the same thing.

"Uhh...uh, damn." he looked around the roof and finally came completely back into reality. "I think I had better clean up now..."

Tucking the roof tile into his pocket, he stood carefully, holding his injured arm against his shirt so that it wouldn't drip blood everywhere. Climbing down the ladder was a bit awkward, but he managed, heading straight to the bathroom.

I don't want Tohru to see this, he decided as he rummaged for the first aid kit in the cupboard under the faucet. Or anyone, for that matter. They'll think I'm suicidal. Which he wasn't, because he hadn't cut his wrists and had absolutely no intention of killing himself.

Finally finding the kit, he held his arm under running water for a few moments to wash away the blood. It stung like hell, but finally all traces of red had vanished down the sink. He headed back to his room, taking the kit with him.

...note to self - trying to tie a bandage with one hand is not easy. With much swearing and muttering, he succeeded in binding the wound too loosely, then too tight. Then it all began bleeding again, which just made a huge mess.

After another trip to the bathroom to wash off the blood, then heading back, his mood had sunk back down again. His fifth attempt at bandaging went somewhat better, which cheered him up a bit until he looked down at his shirt.

Shit. It was smeared and spotted with bloodstains, which would be...hard to explain to Tohru, to say the least. Guess I'll have to chuck it out. He thought despondently, pulling it off and stowing it in some dark corner under the bed. I'll dispose of that later...

Putting on something with long sleeves to hide the bandages, he made for the door but swayed suddenly, feeling lightheaded, and even had to lean on the doorframe to make the room stop tilting.

I'm tired... he decided, heading back to the bed and lying down. He felt his eyelids drooping, and a sense of exhaustion washed over him.

It didn't take him long to fall asleep.

'Prince' Yuki Sohma was, surprisingly, just as human as the rest of us. Despite his 'princeliness', which should have made him impeccable in all ways, he had managed to procrastinate long enough that his assignment on industry-and-its-effect-on-the-environment was due the next day... when he'd barely started.

Luckily he had a formula for completing geography assignments. Simply mention the words 'global warming', 'greenhouse gases', 'abiotic effects' and 'sustainability' enough times, and you're sure to pass.

It had still taken him all afternoon to complete, and his arm was sore from writing. His eyes were sore from reading, and his brain was sore from researching.

As he sat, staring at his finished work, neat in its smooth, crisp, shiny plastic sleeve, he reveled in that glorious, completed-assignment feel. Ah, that sense of satisfaction. That notion of work-well-done. That wonderful freedom... at least, until the next assessment came along. In fact, he was pretty sure that they were getting another one tomorrow.

The sound of the front door opening downstairs brought him back down to earth, and he headed down to find Tohru struggling to carry her schoolbag along with several large plastic bags of groceries.

"Ah! Sohma-kun...good evening." she grinned cheerfully, attempting to lift a hand to wave but failing as both arms were slung with shopping bags. "I bought some groceries on the way home... I'll get started on dinner in just a minute."

"Good evening Miss Honda...let me help you with that." ever the gentleman, he took the bags from her and set them down on the kitchen counter, while she headed to her room to get changed.

Yuki glanced at the grocery bags. His work on the assignment had informed him that most industries used plastic bags, which were very bad for the environment.

… he couldn't be bothered doing anything about it.

Deciding to give Tohru a hand and put away the groceries, he unpacked them and laid them out on the counter, but drew a blank there, as he didn't know where most of it went.

Miss Honda probably has her own order of where things go... he mused. I wouldn't want to put everything in the wrong place and make it hard to find for her.

Still, he knew milk went in the fridge- that one was pretty obvious. He wrinkled his nose as he put the three cartons away, he never drank milk. He couldn't drink it without thinking of Kyo's backwash, which thoroughly disgusted him and put him off completely.

Thanks to that stupid furball, I am living a life deprived of milk. He realized suddenly. No calcium. That can't be healthy.

Tohru headed back into the kitchen at that moment, breaking his train of though. "Oh! Sohma-kun! You unpacked the groceries."

"Yes, but I didn't know where to put most of it." he replied. "Do you need any help with dinner?"

"Umm, no, it'll be ready quite soon actually." she set about putting things in cupboards and refrigerator. "I cooked it last night, I just need to heat it up and make the rice..."

She froze suddenly, her facial expression switching from happy to concerned to mortified. Yuki didn't quite know what to think.

"Um, Miss Honda...is something wrong?" he ventured.

Tohru stared up at him with wide eyes. "Ah... Sohma-kun...I never thought about this before!"

"About what?" he asked, puzzled. What is she talking about...

"I've made beef! Is that okay?" she stared down at the floor. "I can't believe I've never realized this before! I'm such an idiot!"

"Miss Honda, stop panicking!" he really had no idea what she was getting so worked up about. "Please calm down and tell me what's wrong. You've made beef for us before, haven't you?"

"Yes, but I just realized..." a frown marred her face. "Well...beef...Hatsuharu. And every time I cook pork... Kagura. Lamb...Hiro...and chicken..."

Yuki maintained a schooled countenance. It wouldn't do to laugh at her when she was so distressed. "Miss Honda... it's fine. Really. We don't mind, and they don't mind."

"Really? Well, that's okay then!" she looked so completely relieved that Yuki had to smile. "I'd better get started then."

As he didn't have anything else he particularly wanted to do, Yuki opted to stay in the kitchen for a while. This, however, involved making conversation with Tohru. Although the rat wasn't the best at small talk, it was generally easy to talk to the girl, and today was no exception.

"How was work?" he asked.

"Ah...good!" she replied cheerfully as she set about preparing the food. "Same as usual. It'll only be for a few more days that I work so late, then I'll be around as much as I used to be." a flicker of concern crossed her face. "This is okay, isn't it? I know I haven't really been around the house much, but I'm still keeping up with the housework!"

"No, it's fine..." he assured her quickly. "What about the assignment? Have you finished it?"

"Yes! I tried to get it done early." Tohru said, "but did you know, we're getting another assessment tomorrow."

"Yes, I did hear something along those lines." Yuki sighed. "For what subject was it, again?"

"Umm, PE I think."

"I see."

Just when you hand one assignment in, another comes along. School could be so cruel sometimes.

He stayed in the kitchen for another half an hour, helping where he could – mainly by washing utensils as Tohru used them or mixing where necessary. Finally, however, most of the meal was complete and Tohru was just waiting for the rice to finish cooking.

"Uh, if it's not too much trouble...could you please fetch Shigure and Kyo and tell them dinner's ready?" she asked. Yuki nodded.

Heading for Shigure's room first, he entered to find the dog reading what looked like – actually, he didn't want to thing about that...object that his older cousin was looking at.

"Dinner's almost ready." he said amiably, averting his eyes from Shigure's reading material and instead gazing at the junk-filled room. It was a wonder the dog managed to sleep at night without choking due to dust, mothballs and lack-of-ventilation.

"Ah, good!" Shigure threw his magazine down and rubbed his hands together. "I'm starving!"

"You're always starving." Yuki said flatly, and Shigure shrugged as he got up. "Just as well, with cooking as wonderful as Tohru's." The dog promptly wandered out to fawn over Tohru and the food.

Heading to Kyo's room next, he found the door shut, and knocked. "Dinner's ready."

No reply. With an irritated sigh, he knocked louder. "Hey, stupid cat! Dinner's ready!"

Still nothing. Annoyed, Yuki headed back downstairs to find Shigure already tucking in while Tohru waited for the two boys.

"Is Kyo coming?" she asked as Yuki sat down. The rat shook his head. "I think he was asleep."

"Oh. Umm, I guess I'll just set some aside for him to eat later."

The meal passed relatively quickly. As usual, Shigure vanished immediately afterwards with no offer to help wash up. Once that chore had been completed, Yuki headed back to his room to read over his assignment one more time.

"...I forgot a bibliography."

Oh, the trials of being a student.

Reviews are greatly appreciated, as is constructive criticism. I apologize if characters are OOC... they haven't really started to interact yet. I also apologize if this was a bit longwinded.

Thank you for reading, if you did, and I hope you enjoyed it. I will try and update sometime within the week. =)