Who You Are You?
She was the light that broke through the dark. Like a single candle flickering in the middle of a dark forest. She was always there, always had been, always would be. She was Tohru Honda, the girl that was never supposed to leave, the girl who had become as much a part of his life as Kazuma. But Kazuma was the fatherly type, and that was okay. Yet Tohru… what was she to him? Why did he feel his heart flip around in his chest whenever he came near her? Why did he keep feeling the need to turn his head and look at her? Why? For a long time, he wondered this. For a long time, Kyo refused her light and kept himself in the dark. That is, until that fateful day, when everything went wrong. That day when everything crashed down around him, broken, shattered, gone. Gone as if it had never been there in the first place.
"Akito! No! Please… she hasn't done anything wrong!"
"She has done something wrong, you idiotic cat! She's taken you away from me, pulled you out of my grasp as if you all were nothing more than flimsy paper! I have a right to do this-"
"You don't have a right!" Kyo was screaming now, as if his whole body was on fire and he was failing to beat out the flames. "YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!"
A resounding 'slap' sounded in the air as Akito's palm collided forcefully against Kyo's cheek. He barely even flinched, however, giving her a look of pure hate. It almost scared her, as if he might actually go all out and hit her back. Apparently Kyo was not a fool, since he merely stood there stiffly, knowing any pleas to Akito were not going to work. Hatori stood nearby, looking down at the ground, dreading what came next.
"Hatori, you know Tohru has always taken care of us ever since she got here!" Kyo said, almost pleadingly. Self pride went out the window when Tohru was concerned. "You can't do this-"
"He will do this. Hatori will do anything I say, will you not?" Akito glared in the older man's' direction. Hatori hesitated for a split second, but reluctantly nodded. Tohru stood nearby, her bangs covering her eyes and her mouth turned down into a frown. Silent tears dripped down her cheeks as she listened to everything unfold. Before she even had time to blink, Hatori was by her side. Kyo stared, terrified for once in his life, as the dragon gently set his hand against her forehead. Akito held the cat in place, her sharp fingernails digging into his skin. Kyo was strong enough to pull away, but every time he did… something in the bond he shared with Akito made him stop. He almost felt as if his heart were being ripped out every time he moved.
"Please forgive me, Tohru," Hatori said quietly. "But stay still while I'm doing this. If you pull away… the consequences could be great. It will only hurt for a minute… and then… and then…" He was clenching his teeth together to keep himself from crying as well. Trying to make himself forget the time he had done this exact same thing to Kana. Trying to forget how much Tohru reminded him of better days. To his utter shock, she lifted her head and smiled. It was a sad smile, granted, but it was still an expression he was not familiar with when it came to dealing with erasing memories.
"Don't worry, Hatori-san," she murmured, her sweet voice filling him with guilt. Somewhere in the background he could hear Kyo shouting, but everything seemed to be happening in slow motion now. "I forgive you."
Then it was over. For a split second, Tohru could feel his fingers digging into her mind, almost as if he were grabbing something and pulling it out. It was so painful, so terribly painful… yet not physically. Like the kind of pain one would have if they saw their parents die before their eyes or if the world ended and left you alone on a desolate stretch of land with no one to talk to. The kind of pain someone would have if they knew, even for a second, they would be completely alone. Forgotten. After the pain, there was nothing. Just a blank slate with nothing but a couple scribbles here and there written on it, the only thing in her mind that was intact. Everything else, every memory having to do with the Sohma family and then some… were gone. Floating away in the wind and lost forever.
Kyo was livid. He wrenched himself away from Akito and ran to Tohru's side, tears streaming down his face unabashedly as he tried to shake her awake. She wasn't dead, he knew, but she might as well be. Yuki picked that moment to arrive back with Ayame and Shigure – who had dragged him to the 'fabric store of fluff' for the day as if it were some special occasion. When the rat saw what had happened, saw the smirk on Akito's face and the distressed look on Hatori's, he crumbled to his knees. Tohru… no… not Tohru… she was all we had… she can't be… she… can't… be…
Shigure looked resigned, as if he had been expecting this from the start. If one stared into his eyes closely, they might even see a deep seed of regret there, like he was blaming himself for the current predicament they found themselves in. He should have been responsible for making sure Akito didn't get into one her 'moods' and do something like this. He should've expected it… but now it was too late. Kyo held Tohru in his arms, cradling her gently as if she might break any minute. His eyes were screwed shut, completely shutting off the world around him. Akito was starting to slowly lose the smirk and – for a moment – she even looked slightly regretful as well before covering it up with an angry glare in Shigure's direction. He merely shrugged, averting his gaze.
"We should get her inside," Hatori said. He tried to keep his voice from cracking and to keep the 'business' mask on his face. "Waking up like this will be overload to her senses. She won't know where she is or who she's with, nor will she remember much. Akito, would you like to take your leave now that your orders have been carried out?"
"Ah, this is absolutely dreadful!" Ayame cut in, his face twisted in utter horror. "Our priceless flower has had her petals stolen. Oh Hatori, how could you do such an evil deed such as this?"
Hatori ignored his childhood 'friend' expertly, moving toward Kyo and Tohru slowly. The cat looked up, a murderous expression on his face. "If you take one more step, I'm going to kill you," he threatened. Hatori stopped, stunned into silence for the time being while Yuki, Shigure, Ayame, and Akito watched with mixed fascination.
"Fine, then carry her yourself," He replied evenly, tilting his head a little so that his damaged eye was covered by hair. Kyo slid one arm under the crook of her knees while holding her head up with the other and stood shakily afterwards. Yuki stepped forward, as if to try and help, but Kyo shot him a death glare. Usually that kind of look wouldn't make him stop in his tracks, but for some reason… this time was different.
Akito tried to protest, but it was only half heartedly. All the energy had been sapped out of her by this time. Shigure offered to be the one to take her home, since he figured the last thing Hatori wanted to do at this moment was leave when Tohru's condition was his fault. Akito agreed – partly because she was tired and partly because she really did like Shigure, no matter how cold she was to him. Kyo's world was solely focused on Tohru at that moment. His eyes never left her unconscious form.
Tohru, however, was having a battle in her mind. A battle she was not winning.
"What is this place? Who are you?" An image of Tohru, not a day older than five years, squeaked to another older picture of herself. The older girl cocked her head to the side and grinned. It was an uncharacteristic grin, so different from the timid frown that young Tohru was giving.
"No, who are you?" The other Tohru asked, her grin stretching wider across her face. "Who are you, Tohru Honda?" It was then that the grin dropped off. A sad little smile replaced it, much like the one Highschool Tohru had given Hatori before he erased her memory. "You don't know. You're so lonely, Tohru Honda. You've always been, right from the start. Did you know that? Did you know you were lonely?"
Five year old Tohru was suddenly squeezing a stuffed cat. It was old and worn, orange too. Orange was one of her favorite colors because it reminded her of the sunset. Tohru didn't know why she loved the sunset, nor did she know exactly why she loved this cat either. Why did she have so many questions? "W-Where am I?" She asked again. "Please… please, I'm scared!"
"Don't you know?"
"W-What? O-Of course not…"
"It's your mind," older Tohru answered, the sad smile widening just like the grin had. It unnerved the young Tohru to the point that she hid her face against the stuffed cat. "It's a place of refuge and a place of nightmares. It's everything you are. But there are many places where you cannot go, because they are locked up tight. Until you find the key, you won't remember. Until you find what you're looking for, you will be lonely. I'm sorry… but I have to leave now. You're going to be all alone again."
"P-Please!" little Tohru cried out. "Please! Don't leave me here… I beg you…"
The elder Tohru seemed to consider the request for a while, but finally shook her head. "I'm afraid I can't do that, child. But I can't just leave you here… it would be cruel. I'm not cruel, because I'm you, and you aren't cruel."
This seemed to confuse the five year old, but she nodded anyway, urging the older to continue. So older Tohru obliged. "There's a light down that way. Can you see it?" She pointed, and the younger Tohru nodded. Now that she thought about it, it seemed very close indeed. "Walk down that way until you reach the light. When you go through it you're going to see a lot of people who tell you they know you even if you don't know them. Be yourself around them, because they all love you very much. One more than others, actually. He's waiting for you out there, so you shouldn't keep him any longer."
"But who is 'he'? You said 'he' loves me more than the others! Who is he?"
Another smile, though this one was more amused than the others. "You're a very smart girl Tohru. I'm sure you'll figure it out. No matter how naïve you are, no matter how many mistakes you make, he will always love you. You'll know him by this, so don't forget. Don't forget."
"I won't forget!" The five year old answered, giving a smile of her own now. "Thank you for showing me the way."
"Oh, and Tohru?"
The elder shrugged, sticking her hands in her flannel pants pockets. "Don't get lost."
Somehow, these words seemed to mean more than any of the others. Hesitantly, young Tohru nodded in response, hugging the cat closer to her body as she started off toward the pinprick of light. She didn't know how far she walked or how long it took for her to walk there, only that the light was getting closer and closer every moment. Tohru looked back, hoping to see the elder standing somewhere near, but there was only darkness. Right before stepping into the light, she turned again, clutching the cat in a death grip.
"I won't forget!"
I'm hoping for this to be a really long story, people! So if you have any ideas, then don't hesitate to ask if I could put them in. Reviews are WELCOME! Seriously, if you don't review I won't feel like anyone is liking the story... and that makes ME sad. So come on, people! GIVE REVIEWS! MAKE ME HAPPY!
Yes, Akito erased Tohru's memories. I know, I know, I'm such an evil person. Forgive me? Anyways, I don't know exactly where this would be set at. Sometime after the last episode of the anime. I'm thinking Akito-san has just had enough of Tohru's meddling so... she's all 'do it, Hatori! Mwahaha!' XD. I've read some of the manga, but this won't be following it (except for the personalities. Akito is definitely a girl in this story. Otherwise, Shigure would have no one to lurve on! :P).
Sooo, I hope you enjoy. I'd love some reviews... and favoriting... and likes... and stuff... *hint hint* XD