Chapter One: I Fell on Black Days

The beauty of spring had blossomed into summer. Everything was green and luscious, flowers burst with life, proudly displaying their colors. The bright sun's rays seemed to be getting more intense with each passing day. People seemed happier, school was out and tourists were pouring in. However, Yuki saw none of this as he stared blankly out the window of Hatori's car. Akito had summoned him. He felt like his world narrowed into a dark room of despair.

Hatori Sohma was the Sohma family's doctor. He had come today to Shigure's house to tend to Kyo, who had caught a violent flu virus that had been going around. Haru had it last week, and it lasted three days. He warned everyone to keep away from Kyo lest they catch it, especially Tohru, who thought it her duty to tend to anyone sick in the house. Yuki's last interaction with Kyo was the night before, when the stupid cat tried picking a fight with him and as usual, he lost. Hatori gave him an examination for his asthma and deemed him healthy, then dropped the bomb on him.

Packing away his equipment Hatori softly said, "Akito requests you accompany me back to the main house."

The gravity of those words crushed down on Yuki's chest and he felt as though he was having an asthma attack just then. And that was how he ended up here, trying desperately to get control of himself, repeating over and over in his head, It's going to be alright.

Hatori watched the nervous teen from the corner of his eye as he drove. Yuki's body was as stiff as a board. His hands were clenched tightly into fists in his lap and he appeared to be trembling slightly. Hatori felt like a monster bringing him to Akito, but Akito's orders were always to be obeyed. Hatori knew as well as every other cursed Sohma what the leader of the family was like, the horrible things he had done to Yuki. At past visits to the main house, Hatori could hear Yuki being punished for some thing Akito dreamed up in his twisted head. Many times he tended to Yuki's wounds after these visits.

He was especially worried about this visit. Yuki was done with school now and was nearing his eighteenth birthday. He could make plans for his future now and Akito would not hear of him going too far away from his influence. But the foundation for this worry really was based on the fact that lately Akito had become more violent, falling victim to attacks of pure rage. Hatori himself suffered the consequence of such attacks while treating Akito for stomach pains two weeks ago. He felt as though he was sending Yuki into the lion's den. His heart sunk, he didn't know what he could do.

The car crunched across the gravel and came to a halt. The main house loomed in front of Yuki like a mountain. Yuki tried to remember the person he was, the person Tohru and Machi were helping him to become. Drawing on that small reserve of strength, he sighed and unbuckled his seatbelt. As his hand reached to open the door, he felt Hatori's hand on his shoulder. Surprised, he turned to look at the older Sohma.

"I will be back to check on you if you do not return before Kyo's health is restored."

Yuki thought he detected a flicker of concern in the usual monotone of Hatori's voice. Looking into his green eyes, Yuki couldn't read anything. He just nodded to Hatori, thanked him for the ride, and solemnly followed the doctor into the house to Akito's chambers. Hatori knocked on Akito's door, to which was answered with an irritated, "Enter!"

They stepped into the room, Yuki's heart picking up pace. He and Hatori bowed to Akito, and Yuki took his place kneeling at the mat placed before Akito's bed. Hatori approached Akito's bedside and was the first to break the heavy silence.

"How are you feeling today, Akito?"

"I'm feeling fine, Hatori," snapped Akito angrily. "Aren't you lucky my health has not failed, seeing as how you have not checked in on me in three days!"

"My sincerest apologies, Akito", Hatori said as he bowed once more. "I was making sure I had not contracted the flu that plagued young Haru, as I did not want to bring it to you. As it would have it, it seems Kyo now has come down with it as well."

"I don't give a shit what's the matter with that damn cat! He is not apart of this family! Why are you wasting your time helping him!"

Anger flared through Hatori's chest as he answered indifferently, "As Kyo lives with Yuki and Shigure, either of them could be infected, and either of them could carry it to you."

Akito considered that for a moment.

"Yes, I can see how that makes sense. What would I do without you, Hatori? With all these diseased children running around.." He reached out and caressed Hatori's face, his fingers running over Hatori's blind left eye. Hatori's stomach crawled. Just like that, Akito's hand dropped and his eyes snapped to the kneeling boy at the foot of his bed.

"Speaking of children, you are dismissed, Hatori. I have some business here with Yuki."

Hatori hesitated. "Will Yuki be needing a ride back to Shigure's? I can wait-"

"He will not be going anywhere soon, Hatori," Akito snapped, cutting him off. "And don't you return until you are sure that flea bag cat has not infected you will his illness. I do not want it in my house."

Hatori bowed again and took his exit, stealing a glance at the kneeling boy. Yuki was as still as stone, eyes glued to the floor. Oh Kami, this did not seem good for Yuki. Hatori had no idea what Yuki had done to deserve this violent attention from Akito, and he was powerless to stop it.

Akito got out of bed and circled around the kneeling boy. He stopped behind Yuki, who steeled his spine for attack. Instead, Akito asked, "So, Yuki, why is it you have not been to see me in so long? I have been expecting you to come to me with your future plans. It is a shame I have to ask for your presence."

"I'm sorry, Akito," Yuki apologized, struggling to keep his voice from shaking.

"Well!", snapped Akito, "Answer my question!"

"I, well, I was thinking of going to the University in Okinawa."

Akito laughed at this. His chilling laugh filled Yuki with a sense of dread. Something much deeper was going on here, something more than Akito wanting to know his plans. But what? Akito circled back in front of him and seized his shirt, yanking him up to stand before him. Yuki still did not meet Akito's eyes.

"Why would you go to Okinawa, Yuki? It's so far away from me, from your family. Do you not love us? You want to be away from us? From me?"

Not even giving Yuki the chance to stammer out an answer he continued. "Well, Yuki, you should know that I see and know all. I know you must think I am a fool. But I know the true reason you wish to go to the University in Okinawa."

He couldn't know…could he?

"It is because that is where Machi Kuragi is going, is it not?", Akito questioned in a sinister voice.

Yuki betrayed himself by meeting Akito's eyes when he said Machi's name. That confirmed what Akito already knew, and he backhanded Yuki with all the strength he could muster. Yuki went down instantly, the taste of blood filling his mouth, his lip bleeding and split open. Before he could get up, Akito swiftly kicked him in his left side, right in his ribs, causing him to drop back to the floor, whimpering in pain. His breath was coming in short gasps.

"You are a fool!", Akito screamed at him. "You could never love that girl! You could never be with her! What is it with you IDIOTS in this family, trying to bring your miserable, cursed lives on the innocent? Have you not learned anything from Hatori's mistake?"

He stomped down on Yuki's left hand, making him cry out. He leaned all his weight on that hand as he leaned down and yanked Yuki's chin up to look in his pain filled eyes. Akito smiled at him, delighting in his pain, excited by the bright red blood staining the boy's alabaster skin.

Yuki stared into Akito's cold eyes, positive his pinky finger and ring finger were broken. Hell, he may have a few broken ribs as hard as Akito had kicked him. It hurt to breathe. For someone who's health was poor and was always sick, Akito had brutal strength. And now, he used it on Yuki.

"Have you not learned anything from your own mistakes?", Akito hissed. "Think of those poor children's memories I had to have Hatori erase. You are always causing this family problems, Yuki. Always causing ME problems….I guess, I will have to teach you a lesson."

Akito grabbed a fist full of Yuki's hair and pulled him to his feet, ignoring the painful cry from the boy. He got right up to Yuki's ear and whispered, "I always knew this day would come, Yuki. You NEED me to guide you. Why? Because you are nothing! NOTHING!"

He started steering Yuki by his hair down the hall. Yuki instantly knew where they were headed. Terror seized his soul.

"Please Akito! Please, no!", Yuki begged, trying to dig his heels into the floor, trying to delay the horror about to befall him. All he succeeded in doing was having Akito kick his legs out from under him, thus causing him to be drug across the floor to a trap door at the end of the hall. Akito flung it open. He grabbed Yuki's shoulders and said, "You will not be leaving me, Yuki. Especially not for some girl, who does not and can not possibly love you. This is for your own good."

Tears began to stream from his purple eyes as he pleaded, "Akito please! I'm sorry! PLEASE!"

Akito sneered at him. "Good bye, Yuki." Then he shoved Yuki, who tumbled down a few stairs and landed on his face in the small crawl space. He rolled over just in time to see Akito slam the door down, engulfing him in pitch black darkness. He choked back a sob when he heard a padlock snap into place. He squeezed his eyes shut and curled up in a corner, cradling his injured hand, trying desperately not to panic. It would do him no good to transform.

It's going to be alright…It's going to be alright…