Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket, this is merely a fanfiction for which I make no money.
This is the first time I've posted anything for this fandom. But I've been writing fanfiction for 7 years now. I've decided that Fruits Basket fanfiction (Yuki/Kyo specifically) needs more contribution. Thus: Tango With Death.
"Oy, Yu- err… Rat!" I called. Yuki looked up. He was giving me that look again. It was weird. Like a cross between annoyance and something else. "You're gonna be late."
Yuki stood and stretched. He'd been putting the finishing touches on a homework assignment or something and wasn't looking at the time.
"How is Miss. Honda?" Yuki asked.
I shrugged. "Can't talk; that idiot worried herself into laryngitis."
"I'm surprised you even know that word."
I shook my head and toed on my shoes. Yuki followed me out the door and to the path leading to school. I glanced over my shoulder at him.
"You're not going to argue with me?" he asked.
I shrugged again. Truth was I'd been avoiding him all week. Something was bugging me. I didn't feel like yelling at him. I didn't even get mad when he called me stupid anymore. I remembered the minute I stopped fighting him. We were arguing about something stupid and I told him that something was his fault. He got real mad and yelled, "Stop blaming me all the time! It's not my fault!"
But instead of getting mad or trying to hit him, I just stopped breathing for a second. The way he said "it's not my fault" reminded me of when I used to yell that over and over again; trying to make myself believe it. It was like by saying it wasn't his fault, he took away my escape. I felt bad for blaming him, stupid as it was. I couldn't blame him for any of it so the blame fell back on my shoulders.
No, don't think about it. It'll crush you again, I thought. Even so, the heavy weight slammed into my chest and I tripped over my own feet out of shock. I caught myself before I fell and growled angrily when I heard Yuki snicker. "Shuddup," I muttered. It was ridiculous. I couldn't even yell. I kept hearing him yelling that it wasn't his fault and to stop blaming him. I gnawed on the inside of my mouth until I tasted blood and ground my teeth until I saw the entrance to the school.
Uotani and the wave girl met me at the front gates and started interrogating me about Tohru. "I'm not her damn keeper!" I yelled. "She's fine, just has a sore throat. Leave me alone."
"Poor, poor Tohru," said Hana. "I should come over to attend to her waves…"
"Damnit, don't come over. Let her rest!" I shouted.
"Hey!" Uotani yelled. "Don't yell at a lady."
"You're no lady!" I objected.
Uotani got that dark look she always got when she was about to kick me or something. She punched me on the shoulder and looked past me at Yuki. "Hey, prince!" she greeted him with a salute. "How's it going?"
"Why didn't you yell at him?" I yelled.
Uotani shrugged. "You're more fun to scream at. The Prince wouldn't freak out like you."
"I'm well, thank you," Yuki replied. "And how are you Uo-san?"
The Yankee grinned. "Same as always; can't complain." She looked over at me. "'Cept about Kyon."
"Damnit, I thought I told you to quit calling me that!" I yelled.
Uotani ruffled my hair and turned to the door to our homeroom. I followed her in, grumbling the whole way.
As soon as I sat at my desk, Mayuko-sensei slammed a textbook right by my left hand. I jumped. "Damnit!" I yelled. "Is everyone gonna give me a hard time today?"
"Your last book report was terrible, Sohma," she started. "I want you to pick a new book and do another."
I muttered about witches teaching literature and Sensei turned around to give announcements.
I let my mind drift to other things. Once Mayu-sensei was done yapping, I glanced around the room and saw people taking out their notebooks to copy the board. I was about to do the same when my eyes fell on Yuki, who sat diagonally from me. I felt an odd gnawing in my stomach and turned away quickly, wondering if I was sick. I shook my head to clear the feeling and focused on copying down the words written on the board. None of what I wrote sunk in as I copied it and had barely finished the last word when the bell for gym rang. My stomach gave an unpleasant lurch when I remembered we were playing tennis and Yuki was my doubles partner. Tennis was the one sport I wasn't good at. Surprising as that was, considering I'm great at martial arts, something about using a racket to hit a ball was ridiculous. I was fine at badminton but tennis was another story.
We started stretching as soon as we finished changing into our gym uniforms. It was a little cold and I bristled when the air hit my skin. I heard a cough from behind me and turned. Yuki was covering his mouth with his hand and I had a fleeting worry that the cold air would mess with his asthma. I shook the worry away. It made me angry that I couldn't control my emotions regarding Yuki.
I didn't even call him "Rat" in my head anymore.
I sighed and stood up across from our opponents. Yuki strode forward, managing to look elegant even though he was just walking and took the position at the front. On the teacher's piercing whistle, the guy on the opposing team served the ball which Yuki volleyed back. This went on for about a minute until one of the guys on the other team hit the ball into the net.
The guy in front tossed me the ball and I cursed under my breath when I realized I had to serve. I glanced at the back of Yuki's head and tried to remember how to serve the ball. Surprisingly, I managed to get it over the net, unfortunately, one of the guys on the other team hit the ball in my direction and I missed completely, getting hit in the stomach. I let out a grunt of pain and lobbed the ball back to their server. He served it back and it headed for me again. Determined not to get hit again, I smashed the ball with the racket and sent it flying to the other side. It landed out of bounds.
I cursed under my breath and looked up as the other team served the ball. "Fifteen-love!" he shouted as he hit the ball back on our side. It headed toward me and I missed again, letting the ball bounce behind me.
Yuki looked over his shoulder and shot me a disparaging look. I sighed. "Damnit," I muttered. "I hate tennis."
Yuki sighed and faced forward. I tossed the ball over to the other side of the net and cursed as it flew past me. I didn't even swing at it this time.
I was really losing patience with this game.
"Sohma!" the gym teacher yelled. "Get your head in the game!"
I muttered random curses under my breath and watched as Yuki and the other team volleyed the ball back and forth. Yuki made a big show of covering my ineptness so I got frustrated and started to try to play. I managed to hit the ball once without doing anything wrong but the next time it came, I crashed right into Yuki.
We both fell on our asses because neither expected the other to be there.
"Stupid cat," Yuki hissed at me. "You're in my space."
"This game is stupid!" I snapped. "I hate it."
"You just hate things you're not good at. Honestly, if we lose this game it'll be your fault."
I sputtered incoherently for a moment. Yuki had said the words "your fault" and I felt like a hand had clutched my heart and was squeezing it for all it was worth. I felt a wave of crushing anxiety and nausea wash over me and I knew I was going to puke. I ran off toward the nearest garbage can and heaved for a moment before spilling my breakfast into the can.
I was too shocked to stand for a few seconds after Kyo bolted. When I finally managed to get my bearings, I turned in the direction Kyo had run and saw him gagging over a trash can. I didn't understand why he was throwing up. He didn't seem ill. Then again, he hadn't quite been behaving normally lately. He wouldn't pick fights with me and ignored my obvious instigation. It was getting on my nerves.
Before I knew what I was doing, I was sprinting over to the garbage can. Kyo had finished emptying his stomach and was kneeling on the cement, holding his head in one hand and bracing himself against the ground with the other. The teacher came over and clucked his tongue.
"You shouldn't be in school if you're sick," he said.
"I'm not sick," Kyo snapped. Although, it was clear by the gray-ish pallor to his face and sweating forehead that he was far from well.
"Take your cousin to the nurse," the teacher told me.
Kyo stood up and headed for the building, ignoring me when I followed. He was shaking visibly and was still breathing quite heavily.
"What's the matter with you?" I asked.
Kyo clenched his fists and resolutely ignored my question. I walked beside him in silence, ignoring the way he kept glancing at me and wrinkling his nose in dislike. At least he was still himself enough to give me dirty looks. For some strange reason, that served to calm me.
Kyo swayed a bit as we entered the nurse's office. The nurse gave Kyo a quick up and down look and pointed at a cot. Kyo stared at the floor for a moment and I thought he was going to refuse. Thankfully, he sank down to the cot and allowed the nurse to examine him.
"What's the matter, Sohma?" she asked.
Kyo just grunted at her.
"He's sick," I explained. The idiot, I added silently.
"I'm not sick, damnit!" Kyo shouted.
"Come off it, idiot. You just puked into the garbage can. Don't tell me you did that for kicks."
"What's… what does a… damn r-rat like you know?"
There was no malice in his voice and for a fleeting moment, I thought he had looked pain when he said the words "damn rat." He'd certainly stuttered.
I scoffed. "I know that healthy people don't empty their stomachs."
"Shut up," Kyo muttered.
"Lay down," said the nurse. "I'm going to call your guardian and have him pick you up."
"Shigure can't drive," I told her. "And we only live a short distance from school."
"Oh… I see," she said.
"He can walk."
"No," said the nurse. She looked over at him. "I'm not sure what's wrong but I don't want him walking alone."
"Shigure would be a bother," I explained.
"You should walk him home, then, Sohma-san," she said.
I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Come on, then, cat," I muttered.
The nurse smiled. "Is that his nickname for you, Sohma-san?" she asked Kyo.
Kyo just grunted and stood. He strode to the door and stalked out. I followed. "If you act like an idiot in public, it reflects poorly on me," I admonished him.
"Keh," Kyo grunted.
I waited for more but Kyo didn't seem to have the energy to retort. It was really boiling my blood that he was ignoring me and I didn't dare to venture a guess at why.
"You're such an idiot," I growled as we exited the building and headed for the tree-lined path.
Kyo sighed. "Yeah… whatever."
Now, I was angry. "What do you mean 'whatever?' Aren't you going to yell at me? Aren't you going to get mad and try and start a fight?"
"Why do you care?" Kyo shot over his shoulder. "It's not your fault anyway."
"What does that mean?"
"Lemme alone, damnit."
Kyo picked up his pace and all but jogged back home. When I reached home, Kyo had already stalked up the stairs and Shigure immediately started badgering me with questions about why we were home.
"He got sick at school and the nurse sent him home," I explained. "She didn't want him walking by himself, so I was granted the great honor of escorting him back."
"Oh dear," Shigure muttered placing his kimono sleeve over his nose and mouth. "The whole house is full of germs. How terribly gross."
"Well I'm not sick," I snapped.
"Shoo!" Shigure shouted. "I'm not taking chances."
I shrugged and turned to go back to school. The house was insane and I had a student council meeting after school.
I lay curled in a ball, clutching my throbbing head for what seemed like forever until the pounding ache was replaced with horrible images. A woman lying bloodied on the road. A woman lying partially dismembered by the train tracks. It was a good thing I'd emptied my stomach earlier so I didn't have anything to throw up. "This is your fault!" Akito's voice screamed loudly in my head. He'd never said anything like that to me but it was an easy thing to imagine. I know, I replied miserably. It's my fault, not Yuki's.
I whimpered as waves of horrible crushing anxiety flowed over me. I was feeling smashed by darkness and depression. I was having trouble breathing, too. I curled up tighter, trying to protect myself from the horrible mantra of I hate myself running through my mind on endless repeat. It was stifling. I couldn't muster up the strength to straighten out. I just lay, hugging my knees to my chest and waited for the moment to pass.
When the horrible emotions finally subsided enough for me to think clearly, I realized I was hungry. I wondered down to the kitchen to see Tohru preparing some soup. Shigure had obviously told her I wasn't feeling well.
"You should be in bed," she squeaked.
"That's my line," I replied. "You still sound like you have a frog in your throat."
She waved her hand at me dismissively. "I'm fine, Kyo-kun," she rasped. "You should go back to bed."
I felt the color drain from my face. Great, now I'm worrying Tohru again. I always hated making her worry. It felt like a sin, or something. She was always taking care of other people and ignoring her own problems. That was why she was sick in the first place! Her Yankee friend was having a bad week and she spent it frantically trying to cheer her up. It was no wonder Uotani was in such a bad mood when she'd heard Tohru was sick.
I grumbled. "I'm not really sick," I muttered.
Tohru looked over at me. "Really?"
"Yeah…" I replied. "I just got…" I couldn't finish the sentence. I couldn't tell her that I got sick because of something Yuki said. She'd fret worse if I told her that. "I ate something funny for breakfast, I guess. I'm okay now."
"Oh no!" she panicked. "If I had made breakfast, you wouldn't have gotten ill. I'm so sorry! But, I'm making you soup now so maybe you'll feel better and I-"
"I'm alright, you doofus!" I gave her hair a playful ruffle. "I'm not sick. You should be in bed taking care of that sore throat."
Tohru turned back to the stove. "I'll be okay, Kyo-kun," she said, turning off the burner. She transferred the soup into two bowls. "That's why I made enough for both of us." She handed me a bowl and we brought our soup to the dining room to eat. Tohru munched on the soup happily and I sipped at it. The soup tasted oddly bland, but I knew it had to be delicious. No way would Tohru make something that didn't taste fantastic.
We started an easy conversation and kept at it for a few minutes while we ate our soup. "Hey, when Yuki gives you his notes, will you let me copy them too?" I asked.
She smiled at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortably like she knew something I didn't. It was weird; she never gave me that impression before. "You called him 'Yuki,'" she said.
"So what?" I asked, bewildered. What does that have to do with anything?
"I've never heard you say his name without adding something mean," she explained. She finished the last bit of soup and brought both our bowls to the kitchen.
I thought about what she'd said. It was true that I was calling Yuki by his name more than usual. And it was true that I wasn't calling him mean names anymore, but I didn't feel like explaining just why. Not when most of the reason was a mystery to me. I knew I was having a hard time being mean to someone I couldn't blame for anything, but that didn't explain why I couldn't still get mad at him. It was almost like someone had dumped a bucket of cold water on my fiery hatred of the rat. I sighed and helped Tohru wash the two bowls and spoons before we both retreated to our rooms. I lay down to appease Tohru and stared at the ceiling until the sound of Yuki returning home startled me. I hadn't thought I'd been lying there for so long. I felt my muscles tense when Yuki walked by my room toward his own.
What do you think? Comments? Criticism? Let me have it. I'm always looking to improve.