Color by Letter

Summary: This is why its dangerous to fall asleep in class. Uotani and Arisa enlist the help of innocent Tohru in tormenting a sleeping Kyo.

Rating: T, because the author and Kyo both have potty mouths. (The author assures all involved that hers is worse.)

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Well, aside from a computer, a car, and a television. Everything else is either rented or my mother's. (I'm in college, I'm allowed to still be living with her.) Also, this is unbetad. If there is any glaring mistakes or typos, please let me know. (Especially if they're the kind that either make me blush or go 'Holy crap what the hell that's a bad typo! Bad naughty word!'

Spoilers: All to be safe, but takes place shortly before 'Sort of Cinderalla' is announced.

I hope this is at least mildly amusing.

Class that day had pretty much been canceled. Well, more to the fact that it was a study hall, as their teacher had to step out for several hours due to a family emergency. Even saying it was a study hall was stretching things a bit; their class leader had to take care of some business and anyone else remotely capable of, or caring to take, leadership were all pretty absent from the room.

This suited Kyo perfectly. The last several days had been pouring rain, and on top of all the studying that had to be done for the midterms earlier that day, he was driven beyond the point of exhaustion.

At first, the teen had tried to be discreet in his search for a cat nap, having had the foresight to open a book as he propped one arm up and leaned heavily against his palm. Anyone looking would at first assume he was deeply engrossed in the same page for twenty minutes.

Just as he was about to exit from the limbo between the real world and dream land, he felt the gentle pressing of a cool palm against Kyo's forehead. Cracking his eyes open, he grunted at Tohru, who had her other hand against her own forehead. What do you want, I'm tired, let me sleep for a bit and wake me when the teacher comes. He was almost positive she understood the full extent of what he meant to say with the grunt.

"I'm sorry, Kyo-kun, I just wanted to make sure you weren't coming down with a fever. You seem to be even more exhausted than usual." Her quiet voice, accompanied by the rhythmic motion of her fingers smoothing his bangs back in place, nearly caused an immediate face plant against the desk. "Are you feeling okay? Do you want me to find some cold medicine?"

If he grunted again, she would likely take it as a 'yes.' So with the last remnants of his strength, he managed to rumble out a reply. "I'm fine."

"Okay, just let me know if you need anything." His reply to her was lost as her fingers gently scratched against his scalp. He didn't feel his head slide from his palm, feel his cheek slam on the desk, or hear Tohru's startled yelp. He was gone to the world, finally and completely wrapped in the elusive blanket of sleep.


Uotani snorted out a gleeful laugh as she rested her elbow on her friend's shoulder. "Looks like you found Carrot Top's sweet spot, Tohru."

Panicked now, the girl wrung her hands as she frantically circled around the sleeping boy. "I-I didn't mean to! You don't think Kyo-kun hurt himself, do you?"

Waving her hand, Arisa shook her head. "Nah, his head's hard enough that there shouldn't be any lasting damage."

"Damage?" Thoughts of concussions and bruisings circled through Tohru's mind, and she was nearly at the stage where she was picturing the two of them, twenty years from now, and Kyo staring off into space as he experienced another 'episode' of the damage he incured while falling face first into a desk.

"Relax, relax, if it hurt at all he would have woken up. And besides, listen to that." Arisa paused as Tohru leaned in close to Kyo's sleeping face. "That is the sound of a guy in dreamland, not the concussed."

Breathing a deep sigh of relief, Tohru relaxed. "I wonder if he's cold..." Trailing off, she padded over to the coat room.

Eying her prey, Uotani wondered at all the devious things they could do to their hapless victim. Dipping his hand in lukewarm water was too simple, and even if she had a feather and shaving cream, that fun would be over too soon. This would have to be something that would test their skills, something that could be interrupted at any moment and yet still provide enough embarrassing blackmail for the rest of the term.

Sniffing, she wrinkled her nose as she caught the unmistakeable whiff of girls with too much time on their hands and a distorted view of self importance. Glowering over at a quad of girls huddled around pushed together desks, she nearly threw something at them when inspiration struck.

"Hey," she said as she walked over to the group. "I need these three."

The girls blinked up at her, eyebrows raising in unison and each one with varying degrees of derision. "Please," the one in pigtails piped up. "First, these aren't your colors. And even if they were, why would we give them to you?"

Resting a foot on a chair and leaning on her knee, Uotani smirked. "Because if you don't, I'll just take them anyway. And it's not for me. We got a sleeper in here." She jerked her thumb behind her.

One of the girl's eyes widened with fear as she rubbed her shoulder, flashing back to the painful memory of having her arm brutally torn out of her socket, then pummeled with it, before it was rammed back in place. Sometimes a traumatic memory becomes even more so with the passing of time and an over active imagination. "No no no, he'll murder all of us!"

"Stopped you from being so clingy, didn't he?" Pinching her nose, she sighed. "Look. None of you have to be actively involved, and even if he does get mad at you just... hide behind Tohru, yeah?"

"Hide behind... Tohru. She's not the most intimidating person, you know."

"Have you ever seen Orangey stay mad at her?"

Two seconds later, with her prize in hand, Uotani held back a gleeful cackle as she sidled up beside Hanajima.

"It is a brilliant plan, and I shall help," Saki murmured when Arisa finished revealing her diabolical plan of glorious evilness.

"...I was going more for 'fun' than 'brilliant.'"

"That works as well."

Tohru came back then, arms full of her heavy coat. Before Arisa could stop her, the mothering girl had the material secured around the slumbering boy's shoulders. Instead of waking up, as she had feared he would, Kyo seemed to merely snuggle down further.

"Hey Tohru, you know we can't let him get away with this, right?"

The girl looked up with wide eyes. "With what? He's only sleeping, and Kyo-kun hasn't been sleeping very well lately."

Arisa firmly vowed that she would not falter under her friend's sweet disposition. This would take some... finagling.

"All right, true, but he's still asleep. And this is the only time I can pick on him." Tilting her head back, pretending to be deep in thought, she paused for a few seconds. "We could cut his hair. Or put something really sticky in it, something that would take days to get out!"

"Oh please no, that would just be terrible!" Once again, Arisa tensed as Tohru absentmindedly ran a hand over the threatened target. The boy must really be out of it, he hadn't even stirred at the contact.

"We could always hand his bracelet from the ceiling."

Tohru's reaction to this took her completely by surprise. Rushing around the desk, the shorter girl clutched at Uotani's uniform jacket, her eyes wide. It wasn't this that really surprised Arisa, but the protective gleen she saw in the young girl's eyes, behind the pleading, did.

"No no, don't take those from him, they were... ah... a gift. From someone important to him. Maybe his Shishou-"

"Oh, what beautiful waves..."

"-I don't really know who, he never ever takes them off, but leave them alone, please? If not, I'll... I'll have to..." Tohru's eyes welled up as her voice got softer with her distress. "Get upset... with Uo-chan..."

Unable to take that look anymore, Uotani pulled Tohru into a tight hug. "Okay okay, no one's ever going to touch the bracelet, I promise." Saki joined the embrace, and Arisa turned to the group of girls she knew was eavesdropping. "I said no one."

There was a collective 'eep!' from the group, and in the hallway an upperclassman nearly wet himself in fear. By the end of the day, it was understood by everyone that if anyone touched the bracelet of anyone else, Uotani Arisa, ex-Yankee and well known badass, would hang them by their toes from the flagpole. Naked.

Decades later, students would still dare each other to remove someone's bracelet. Only the bravest would even attempt this, but the lasting fear would cause each one to run away at the last second. (By this time, the story would have evolved to the vengeful spirit of a girl who had her wrist jewelery stolen just after she died would rise out of the tiles and eat their spleen through their nose.)

"I-I'm sorry," Tohru sniffled.

"Hey, don't worry about it. It's nice to know you'd get upset over something. Not that I want you upset, mind you." With a last squeeze, Arisa pulled back. "But there's only one thing left to do now, you know."

Tohru blinked. "What's that?"

Holding up her weapons, Uotani flashed a wicked grin. "Paint his nails."


"He's stirring again. Tohru, you're up."

Gulping, Tohru set the polish down and reached her fingers up to Kyo's head. The others paused their work as the orange haired boy settled further into sleep.

"I don't think Kyo-kun's going to be too happy when he wakes up," Tohru whispered when the threat of an angry teen waking up passed.

"Probably not, but the guy had it coming, falling asleep in class like that." Arisa blew on the nail she had just finished with. After a brief survey of the hand, and wiping away any excess polish with her finger, she heaved an accomplished sigh. "There, that's done. Tohru, you're up."

Blinking, the other girl looked up at the sleeping boy. "But he's not waking up."

With an evil grin, Uotani pulled out a black nail polish pen from the box. "That's not what I meant. My romaji's too sloppy, and Hanajima's already busy at work. We need your lettering skill."

Tohru paused as she reached for the pen. Romaji? Really? She supposed that it made sense, what with the tiny space of a nail and the thickness of the applicator. But still, the positioning was awkward, and she was used to writing on paper, not nails! And they only had one shot at each letter, and if she messed up they would need to do the entire nail over again!

Sensing her friend's discomfort, Hanajima stood up from her own task. "We have faith in your abilities. All you need to do is write the letters we tell you to." Taking a moment, the dark haired girl hugged her distressed friend, arms draping over her shoulders like a comforting cloak.

Strengthened by her friends' faith in her, Tohru felt a great determination well up within her. "Right! I won't let you down!" Kneeling beside the desk, she picked up one of Kyo's hands. "Just tell me what to write!"

Arisa thought for a moment. Glancing down, she smirked at what she saw as her brain quickly churned through words and letter counts. Mentally switching to English, she went through a few possibilities. Eyes lighting up, she counted on her fingers three times to make sure. "Okay, start with a 'P' then a 'R'-"

"Um, could you please slow down?"

Uotani could feel the ticking of the clock as Tohru painstakingly scripted out each letter. Each movement made she was sure would wake up their victim. Each sound magnified in her ears, echoing with an exaggerating volume of such magnitude. A sneeze from a fly, she was certain, would wake him up, ruining their perfectly plotted plan.

"All done!" Tohru proudly exclaimed, gently blowing on the drying nails. She let out a startled hiccup as a hand clapped over her mouth.

"Shhh, we must remain absolutely quiet until it dries..." A solitary boy at the opposite end of the classroom coughed as he turned a page in his book. Whipping her head around she glowered at him. "I. Said. Quiet."

Five minutes passed slowly, creeping along as each sound was once again magnified tenfold with each second. Finally, Hanajima stood up and clasped her hands in front of her. "It is finished."

"Great, now we wake him up." Rolling up a magazine from her desk, she loomed over Kyo.

"Do we have to? He looks really peaceful."

"Fine, let's just wait for him to wake up on his own, then." Sitting on a nearby desk, Arisa was suddenly aware of how boring it suddenly was. She briefly considered messing with the boy's hair somehow, but Tohru's previous pleading flashed in her mind. And she wouldn't even contemplate the second thing she threatened. Why those beads were so important, she'd likely never know. But she did hope that if Kyo really never did take them off, then he would at least take the time to wash them while he was in the shower.

Idly, she struck up a conversation about nothing and everything going on outside the classroom. A part of her wondered if maybe Kyo would hear something in his sleep. Could she give him a message through osmosis? Likely not, but as they talked, she slowly steared the conversation toward topics that she could see causing his hackles to rise.

"What about that guy from gym class? I can't remember his name. You know, the one that was flirting with you?"

Tohru's eyes widened in shock and confusion. "What? Who was flirting with me?"

"I'll kill the bastard!" Everyone jumped as Kyo jumped awake, still half asleep.

"Aw, looks like I won't be needing this." Disappointed, Uotani tossed the magazine back onto her desk. Still, she enjoyed that she was able to get a rise out of the boy, even if it had been while he was sleeping.

"Fear not. We would not allow anyone like him near our Tohru-kun. His waves were unpleasant."

Rubbing his eyes, Kyo blearily looked around his desk. "The hell are you talking about?"

"Aw how sweet, Kyon Kyon's so protective while asleep."

"Shut up, you damn Yankee."

He was irritable, yet there was only the crankiness that came from being abruptly woken. Arisa wondered just how long it would take him to notice-

"What the hell?"

Ah, there it was!

There was a sudden clatter behind her, and Arisa was partially amused to see that the girls had taken her advise to heart as they all huddled behind Tohru.

He glowered up at the tall girl. "Take it off."

"What? But our dear Tohru-kun worked so hard on those letters! Didn't you?"

"Um, well, Kyo-kun doesn't need to keep it on if he doesn't like it..."

Deflating, Kyo curled back down on his desk. "I don't care, whatever, just..." Still exhausted, he reached up and pulled whatever was covering him up over his head. It felt safe and warm, and he doubted anyone could reach his nails under here.


Later than evening, Kyo returned home and trudged up to his room. More than once on the way home, he had been certain that the storm would sweep him away, and all that anyone would be able to find the next day would have been his umbrella.

He made sure to keep his hands stuffed well inside his pockets all day at school, and had kept glaring at anyone he was sure was staring at the hand that held the umbrella on his way home. Kyo would find a way to exact his revenge on all involved. He'd place black dye in that damn Yankee's shampoo, or maybe unhem her pants so she would think she was shrinking. As for the psychic, he was certain he remembered seeing a shop that had dresses with mostly pastels and frilly white lace. He could do a wardrobe swap. He'd be broke afterward and would have to live on roots and wild berries for the rest of his life, but it would be so worth it. As for Tohru...

Truth be told, she'd likely just barge in his room once she got off work, apologize profusely with that damn look in her eyes, effectively squashing any anger still remaining. And then she would likely rise to her friends' defenses. And then all of his plans for sweet and glorious revenge would never be able to lift off.

Damn her. Scratch that, damn him for being unable to stay mad at the girl for more than ten seconds.

Tugging off his school uniform, making a mental note to pick it up later so Tohru wouldn't have to, Kyo changed for bed. The very last thing he did before crawling toward his bed was to tug off his socks. He couldn't sleep with them on, even in the dead of winter. Either his feet would get too hot, or it would feel as though his toes were being strangled by the ankles. He nearly ignored the flash of color, his sleep addled brain assuming it was a trick of the half light, and snuggled deeply under his blanket.

Ten minutes later, he became wide awake as he threw the cover off. Clicking the lamp on, he stared down at his toes in disbelief.

"What the hell?" he shouted, bringing his feet into the light. It took a couple of seconds to readjust his legs out of the shadow.

Once again, there was a letter for each nail, and once again it was in the alternating green and orange. (Why those two colors, he couldn't figure out.) The lettering, too neat to be Uotani's yet with more flourish than the 'Property of' on his finger nails, read 'Honda Tohru.'

With a sound that was suspiciously similar to a whine, of which he would deny to his grave, Kyo flopped back down and smacked the lamp over. All the fight left, and his momentary burst of alertness swiftly washed away with the hammering rain on his window. "I'll kill those two tomorrow."

I doubt Tohru knew what was on the toes. Also, the number of letters for those four words was too perfect to pass up! Randomly, my cat's sweet spot for sleeping is between her shoulder blades. My own is on my hair line to my left, your right. I wish it would knock me out like that, though...

This may be mildly OOC. I must write for this series more often, though. It was ridiculously fun.