Hiiy everyone - sorry it's been like 6 months since the last update for any story - I've been like really really busy with important exams, but now it's the summer holiday I'm going to hopefully update more and more :) I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as you have others - please review
Thanks to everyone who's been reading along, and sorry for the wait! To those who have left reviews: I've been doing my best to reply to all the reviews, but I've lost track of which ones I've responded to and which ones I haven't! If I didn't reply to your review, I apologize, and would like to thank you now for telling us what you think! I'll try to be more on the ball after this!
Thank you all,
Chapter 3 -
"Why hello little mutt." Yuki's voice was colder than before, more possessive as he grinned evilly as the dog shuddered. "Has something happened? After all, you don't usually wear such suits that cover your neck now do you? Is there any particular reason for the sudden change?"
Shigure turned in horror to see the figment of his sleepless nights leaning casually against the frame, smirking lightly at the dog's discomfort.
"Y-Yuki-kun... san..." Shigure whispered, his eyed suddenly widened in fear of the slight boy.
When Akito Sohma, the god of the Juunishi heard her Yuki returning quietly from 'washing his hands', the last thing she had expected to happen, happened.
Shigure Sohma, the bane of her existence for the last nineteen and a half years, the one who never showed fear or respect to anyone unless it gained him more power (much to her continuous annoyance), was afraid – he was actually cowering before Yuki.
It was inconceivable – surely!
And yet the scene was playing out before her very eyes!
"Hello Shigure." Yuki whispered, his velvety-soft voice containing just the correct amount of malice and mockery in their tones to send shivers down even the hardest of spines – even Akito herself could feel a slight trembling in her body from the tone her Nezumi was using.
But Akito wasn't scared – oh no. She was proud of her new protégé. Never in her wildest imagination would she have imagined that she could have transformed Yuki so well, that he could do this after just over a month of re-educating him. She had thought, deep down, that it would have taken years of carefully executed 'lessons' and beatings for her favourite 'pet' to see the world they lived in like she did – after all, he had always been so... so resilient before...
And yet it had only taken one week to break him down enough to retrain him...
If she had suspected that was all it took sooner... well, if she had known, she would have dragged Yuki out of this pitiful house years ago.
All she had had to do was order her Dragon to remove select memories, rather than heal her Nezumi! Who would have thought that removing the memories of that Honda girls 'kindness' would have such a drastic effect on Yuki?
That kindness that she had given him had made him so pathetic – useless, even.
But certainly not anymore.
Now, Yuki was a rat actually worth inviting to her banquet. And it would only begin there...
Content that her plaything was fully in her control, Akito settle back in Shigure's chair to watch the show.
"Y-Yuki-san..." Shigure muttered, and Akito almost laughed aloud at the respect Shigure gave to Yuki when that Honda kid couldn't hear. Whoever would have thought that allowing young Yuki to get his revenge would bring out this intimidating side? Shigure looked like he would run away in fright at the slightest movement from Yuki, and it pleased Akito to no end. "What are you doing here...?"
At this, Yuki's smirk instantly turned into a look of mock hurt – a look he had learned directly from the master... mistress.
"Am I not even allowed to accompany Akito-sama when he visits the Juunishi?" Yuki spoke, and Akito noticed that he referred to her in her 'guise', just in case the Honda girl or the monster overhears. "Simply because I had to move out for a while – does it mean I am no longer allowed in this house? I haven't visited here in so long... I thought you would have been happy to see me, my little mutt..."
Yuki's eyes darkened in anger, and Shigure took an involuntarily step backwards, right into Akito, who pushed him away in disgust at the dog's cowardliness.
"...But obviously I was wrong." He spoke louder, his voice filled with both mock-sorrow and bitterness.
"Don't say that Yuki-kun – we're glad you came!" Tohru protested, having heard him as she came back into the lounge.
"Thank you, Honda-san, but if Shigure doesn't want us here – well, I wouldn't want to impose..." Yuki told her hesitantly, and Akito had to admit to herself that the rat really knew how to wrap humans such as the girl around his little finger.
Akito stood up suddenly, causing Shigure to jump slightly in fright, not that anyone was paying attention to him at the moment. 'It's time for me to take part in this drama then – oh I haven't had this much fun in a long, long time...' Akito thought as she moved next to Yuki, her smaller figure seeming to fit perfectly next to Yuki's slightly toned one.
"Yuki is correct. It is only polite of us to leave if we are making our dear host uncomfortable with our presence." Akito purred, smiling slightly at Shigure, whose brain instantly started moving to foresee what Akito would say, and coming up blank. "Anyway, I'm sure Shigure wouldn't mind visiting me at the main house later instead. I have the perfect room for him to stay in, after all, do I not Shigure?"
Tohru looked blankly at Akito after she had spoke, obviously not understanding what the significance of this particular room was. However, after that night with Yuki a few weeks ago Shigure certainly did know which room Akito was talking about.
"N-now hold on a moment Yuki!" Shigure panicked, rushing to the hole in the wall to block their way out. "I-I never said you weren't welcome here! I-I was just surprised at your arrival, t-that's all! Please, feel free to stay here as long as you like – don't let me stop you!"
Smirking, Yuki returned to his former position of leaning against the wall, picking up a rice ball on the way to eat, and Akito sat down delicately to enjoy the rest of her tea which, thanks to Shigure's rude outburst, was one degree Celsius colder.
Moving to sit in the spare chair, Shigure watched Akito smirking about something, and was instantly puzzled.
Then it clicked.
Thinking back about the situation, Shigure realised, much to his annoyance, that neither Akito nor the rat had made any move towards the door, or the gap in the wall while they had been talking. They both had known how he would react once he heard Akito's threat, and he, stupidly, in his desperation not to return to the Kuraku room, had fallen straight into their hands, practically inviting them to live in his house.
Still panicking, Shigure racked his brains, anxiously trying to come up with a plan to get out of this awkward situation. Quickly finding an escape plan, he continued to speak.
"I'm sure Tohru-kun would love for you to stay for lunch, however I have an important meeting with my editor right now about a new book I was thinking of publishing, so I-I'll just be going..."
Feeling triumphant that his scheme would succeed, he turned and practically ran to the door – to freedom...
That one word, spoken by the rat with such confidence and emptiness made Shigure freeze where he was, only a foot away from escape. He was so close, and yet so far.
"You are lying, Shigure." The silver haired boy whispered into the dog's ear, causing said dog's eyes to widen.
Shigure turned around slowly to find the once relaxed Yuki no longer calm, but ferociously angry.
"You forget I have known you for years, little mutt... You would never rush out to a meeting with your editor. And anyway, you still haven't answered my question..."
Shigure slowly looked at Yuki, and found that his throat had dried up, stopping him from speaking.
Yuki's eyes darkened in anger, and Shigure took an involuntary step backwards, right into Akito, who immediately pushed him away, in disgust at the dog's cowardliness.
There was such rage, such fury in his violet eyes. Shigure could feel his blood turn to a crimson ice under Yuki's frosty gaze – he felt as if he were drowning in those dark endless pools of amethyst...
"Why are you wearing a suit, Shigure? Why aren't you showing off your present? Why are you rushing to leave when we have only just arrived...?" He asked sharply, stepping closer with each question.
Shigure began to feel his breathing become more laboured – he couldn't look away – he couldn't speak... he couldn't move...
"I'm not leaving until you answer me Shigure..." He whispered, and Akito smirked lightly at the words. After all, it was such a perfect opening to reveal her special surprise for her Nezumi and the Inu.
"You won't have to leave, Yuki..." She smiled coldly at all in the room, especially since Kyo – who had unseen made his way to the top of the stairs made a thud that could only be interpreted as collapsing.
Yuki slowly looked at Akito, in shock, and the spell was instantly broken – Shigure was free. Unnoticed, he began to slowly edge towards the door, intent of escaping from Yuki and Akito for as long as possible.
"W-what do you mean, A-Akito-sama...?" Yuki asked, his voice high with an undistinguishable emotion, his entire body slumping slightly, almost in submission to the god.
"I mean what I said little Yuki – you won't have to leave."
"I... I still don't understand Akito-sama..." Yuki whispered, although, deep down he did know, and was praying it wouldn't be so.
"Yuki-kun... you will be staying here, for now." Akito told him slowly, like he was a young child on his first day at school, ignoring the emotion that was showing on the rat's face and turning away.
Surely, he had misheard.
Akito couldn't seriously be asking him to let Yuki back into his house after all that had happened.
"Pardon my asking, Akito – but have you gone mad?" Shigure asked weakly. "I seem to have misheard what you said... I thought that you said that he would be staying here... with me..."
"Yes, Shigure you idiot!" Akito cried in exasperation. "That is what I said. Oh, and he will also be returning to... what was that high school called... Kaibara...? Well, he will be returning there too."
Tohru, from the other end of the room, where she was trying to understand what was going on, suddenly looked up, a piece of it all 'clicking' in her mind.
"Y-Yuki-kun's... coming... back...?" She asked dumbly, and two of the three in the room rolled their eyes at her slight density.
Yuki was still in shock.
Akito nodded silently as she took the last sip of her tea, placed it down onto the table, before walking out of the gap in the wall.
"I bid you farewell, Honda-san, Yuki, Shigure. I should be in contact with you soon." She promised as she walked to the car.
Oblivious to the others, Tohru clapped her hands together, clearly delighted.
"That's wonderful! Yuki-kun – you'll get to come back to school now! Everyone will be so happy – we've all missed you! The student council had been such a mess without you over the last few weeks! I can't wait to tell everyone! Y-Yuki-kun...?" She asked, noticing only near the end of her speech that he had not joined in with her joy.
Yuki had been staring at the retreating Akito in shock, and waited only a second before running after her, stopping her before she reached the car, to Tohru's surprise.
"W-what...? Why Akito-sama?" Yuki questioned shakily, fear of abandonment evident in his eyes.
"Yuki, my dear Nezumi, you can serve me best from here right now." Akito explained gently, looking him in the eye soothingly, as she went to sit down in her limousine.
Submissively, Yuki stepped forward, towards the car, and knelt down in the dirt, staring at Akito with pleading eyes. Looking closely, Akito could see pain and hurt in those beautiful eyes, and there was a lone tear pouring from his left eye, rolling down his porcelain cheek.
"Did... did I do something wrong Akito-sama...?" Yuki asked meekly, his eyes filled with confusion. "D-did I displease you somehow...?"
"No, my little Nezumi..." She whispered, willing herself to have the patience to deal with the tamed rat. "I just need you to be here right now... it will be easier for you to follow out my orders."
"But... I want to stay with you Akito-sama..." Yuki replied dejectedly, knowing that she wouldn't let him get in the car with her.
Akito embraced the rat from where he was, cradling his head as he knelt before her.
"My sweet little Nezumi," She crooned to him, rocking him slightly. "The one who is so loyal to your god... I need you positioned here so that all of my Juunishi might someday become as loyal to me as you are. Can you understand that?"
"Y-yes, Akito-sama." Yuki replied, still slightly unconvinced. His soft voice was slightly muffled as he spoke; his face was placed against Akito's shirt as she comforted him.
"My little Nezumi, you are the only one here who can bring them all back to me – who can return my Juunishi to their rightful place," Akito whispered, unwilling to allow anyone else to hear. "It will be hard though. They have all been taken from us by that stupid Tohru Honda girl, and you must return them home... Yuki-kun, you need to stay away from such a person as she – and stay with me, and be comforted forever in the dark."
"I understand Akito-sama." Yuki replied, just as quietly, reassured, safe in the arms of his beloved god.
Yuki sat in his old room in Shigure's house after Akito had left, bitter tears of anguish running down his soft cheeks.
'Why do I have to stay here of all places?' He thought to himself resentfully, chucking one of his pillows to the other side of his room, into the suitcase which Akito, to no one else's knowledge, had had delivered to this room. 'This place is a hellhole – Akito knows that... but... but then again she knows what's best for me... she always does...'
Yuki took a slight comfort as he mulled over her words and began to relax. He was god's favourite after all – Akito had said that many a time specifically to him. She had promised him that none of the others would be valued like he was, even if he did manage to 'convert' them...
And so, in devotion to god, he would do his very best to fulfil the wishes of his god, and to get rid of that Honda girl finally.
When asking about the girl, Akito had told him that he had lived here before, and then she had moved in and taken over – and had even manipulated him into becoming friends with her! Each time he heard that, Yuki couldn't see how he could have fallen for her trickeries - he had been searching all night for a reason to like her, but could discover none.
Ah well, it was easy enough to pretend to like the girl without being that nice to her – anyway, it would be worth it in the end when he could see the look of pain and betrayal in her weak face as she realised that Akito had won, and she was nothing.
Now that would be sweet justice.
And finally being rid of those stupid people at that school he had once gone to – those stalkers who posed as a... fan-club... He shuddered to think of them.
Well, for now he might as well use them to fulfil his own goals, like he was going to do with all the others.
It would be perfect – just like his master had promised it would be.
First he would capture Hatsuharu, well, fooling the stupid Ox wouldn't be too hard – he was born to follow the rat blindly, and so would do whatever was asked of him, if he spun a sweet tale of promises that would never occur.
Then, there was young Kisa... she was naive, innocent. She hadn't seen the world's cruelties yet, and so it wouldn't be hard to get her to follow him – after all, if she was manipulated into believing that Tohru didn't like her, she would follow him blindly, and it would hurt the Honda girl even more.
After Kisa there was the happy-go-lucky Momiji – a rabbit who wouldn't be so happy-go-lucky after he too was convinced of the cruelty in Honda that was all too clear...
Of course, the Doctor Hatori would be harder than the others to sway than the others, and force wouldn't work on him like it would Shigure. But still... Hatori wasn't the only one who could erase memories anymore... Hatori kept a tight hold on his hope, in the wish that Kana would be happy – and because he had met Honda too...
So simply removing the memories of those influential women would cause him to turn to Akito's way of life... and then it would be much, much easier to ensnare the other Juunishi.
Then he would have to deal with that meddling brother of his, that Ayame. But watching him succumb to the darkness once everything he had held dear was taken from him would be wonderful... to make him feel what Yuki had, so long ago, when he had begged for the Snake to help him, only to be turned away heartlessly...
After him, there was of course that officious Isuzu, the lover of his Ox... she was feisty that one, but nothing Akito couldn't handle – after all, Akito had requested to break that one herself, due to the trouble the horse had caused.
Following her, was the brash and brazen Hiro – applying to his sense of self-pride, and his fear of Kisa being injured would make it easy to control the young ram.
Oh – and that annoying Ritsu with his constant stream of headache bringing. To have him dark and brooding would be a relief to everyone, and so he would see to that too.
Then there was Kureno – The only one of the Juunishi that he had almost no contact with, Akito's one-time pet bird, the one who was in disgrace now... well, in a way he had already been converted.
Penultimately there was Shigure.
The little pet mutt.
Well. Akito-sama had told him she didn't care for one such as him in her Juunishi.
So, as long as he didn't kill the dog, Yuki could do what he wished.
At least, he could carry out his revenge.
'He was the one who caused all of this. He sent me to be tortured. He was the one who sent me into the darkness... And I shall never forgive him for that.'
Lastly there was Kagura, obsessively adoring the cat, for reasons Yuki couldn't understand. For her, all he would have to do was turn her against Kyo. Fortunately he had an idea for that.
And then the monster himself had to be trapped.
Twelve Juunishi, the Cat.
Eleven who would be welcomed into Akito's world, one who would be kept away, and the last who was never allowed in there from the beginning.
'Well, it's time to bring the Ox down...'