Bad Ideas Gone Wrong Productions presents
A Fruits Basket fanfiction by Geoduck
He could always tell when Kyo was staring at him from behind. Maybe it was because he could detect the faint sound of the young boy breathing. Maybe it was Kyo's qi.
So Kazuma set down the tea kettle he had been filling and turned his head around to smile at the boy. "Hello, Kyo. Finished your homework already?"
Kyo nodded silently. He had a serious look on his face, as if he were carrying the weight of the world on his seven-year-old back.
"That's good. Is there anything you wanted to ask me?"
Kyo hesitated for a second and shook his head.
"No? Are you sure?"
Another hesitation, and then Kyo nodded.
"All right, then." Kazuma finished filling up the kettle, put on the lid, and set it down on the burner. He slowly ran his finger next to the stove's dials. "Now which one do I turn…?"
Kyo snorted. "Shishou, you still haven't learned?" The boy brushed past his master. "It's the one in front. You turn it clockwise… here, give me your hand." Kyo's small hand grabbed Kazuma's larger, calloused one, and held it up to the dials. "You turn it to the right, halfway, until the gas lights." With a popping sound over the hiss of gas, the burner lit. "Then you move it back. There." Kyo let go of his master's hand. "And when it's done, you turn it all the way to the left. Got it?"
"Got it. You're a patient sensei, Kyo."
Kyo blushed at the compliment. He didn't handle praise very well.
Kazuma tunelessly hummed as he waited for the kettle to boil.
"Do you have a… uh, TV?"
"A TV? Yes, I think I do have an old set in a storage room. I'm pretty sure it still works. Why? Is there something in particular you are interested in watching?"
"Not really. It's just that…"
It's just that the other boys talked about what they had watched on TV the night before. Conversations that naturally excluded the always already-excluded Kyo.
It's just that, when one of the boys asked him what his favorite TV program was, and Kyo told him that he had never watched any TV before, they laughed at him and called him stupid.
"…I wanted to see what it's like."
Kazuma smiled. Kyo so rarely requested anything that he could hardly deny the boy anything he asked for. Especially when the things he asked for were so modest. "Why don't we see if we can find it and plug it in. Then perhaps you can watch for a little while."
Kyo's smile lit up the room. "Thank you, shishou!"
It was a matter of about fifteen minutes to find the antiquated set (under a pile of old linens in a storage room), find an appropriate place to set it (table in the living room), plug it in, and adjust the antennas. Turning the channel dial, Kazuma found a program of cartoons. "Ah, maybe this, Kyo? Do you like cartoons?"
Kyo shrugged. "I don't know. I've never seen them."
Kazuma grinned sheepishly. "Good point. Why don't you watch, and I'll get a cup of tea." The martial arts master walked back to the kitchen, glancing over his shoulder at his foster son being enthralled by the pictures from the box.
He hadn't washed his cup earlier, so he needed to rinse it out first. After doing so, he poured himself a cup, and took it with him to watch television with Kyo.
But Kyo was on his feet, looking incensed. "Shishou, this is TV? This is stupid! This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen! It's all stupid lies!"
"Cartoons are make-believe, of course, Kyo. Things happen in them that don't happen in real life…"
"Well, this is the stupidest make-believe ever. No way that a stupid mouse could do that kind of stuff to a cat."
Mouse? Cat? Kazuma looked over at the program that Kyo was watching.
Tom and Jerry.
And Kyo never watched television ever again.