Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket. Fruits Basket belongs to it's original creator.


Fading Lights

Chapter 1

Long dirty blonde hair hung about his back, tied back by a maroon colored hair bow. His brown eyes watched her intently as he stood there with the palms of his hands resting gently against the trunk of the tree. He has been watching her from afar for the past few days now.

A young woman sat there on the swing set, her legs dangling and her bare feet digging in the bed of sand below the swing set. Her delicate hands were wrapped around the chains holding up the swing she sat in as she swung through the air. Her legs were pumping her entire body, willing it to move back and forth in the rubbery seat.

It amazed him at how serene she looked with her eyes lighting up with excitement, her lips pulling back into a bright smile, and strands of her hair flying back at the force of the motion of her swinging on the swing set. It created a child like air about her that made him feel drawn to her.

Ritsu felt his heart pounding hard in his chest. If only he could gather enough courage to go up to her and introduce himself. But he couldn't. His nervous and anxious nature made him a big coward. And it was his cowardice that made him feel so sorry and pathetic. He didn't want to suddenly lose his composure and scare her off with his nervous banters of apologizing. Of course, he's been trying to control the urge of apologizing constantly.

His nails dug into the bark of the tree, bottom lip poking out into a pout. He wanted to join in on the magic that the girl was feeling. His nameless angel seemed to be pleased with herself. He wouldn't be surprised if she suddenly sprouted wings and took off into the air, only to fly to the heavens, as she played on the swing set.

His throat seemed to tighten the longer he stood there watching her in secret. It almost seemed like their gazes met before, but he would climb into the trees whenever he thought she could see him. He was really agile that way thanks to the spirit he was cursed with – the Monkey.

She finally came to a halt, digging her heels into the soft sand below. Once the swing stopped moving, Ritsu watched the girl rise from the swing set and walks over to a nearby bench where a pair of shoes and a black school bag was waiting for her. He could tell from her dark blue uniform that she went to the same school as Tohru, and his four younger cousins. Maybe they knew her. His heart stopped, his cheeks flushing as his body began to tremble.

That's it! School! Maybe they do know her?! Ritsu let out a happy squeak the possibility of this girl he's been watching for the past week being known by Tohru or one of his cousins. It only made his heart pound all the more inside his ribcage. But unfortunately, he squeaked a little too loudly and Ritsu had become so lost in the happy thought of Tohru or one of his fellow Sohmas maybe knowing his beloved angel that he failed to notice that she was watching him now.

"Hello there." A female voice broke Ritsu out of his little daze, making him snap back to attention. His cheeks flushed at seeing gentle blue eyes staring at him from behind a pair of glasses. He could see a few strands of her brown hair hanging off to the side as she tilted her head at him. Ritsu just jumped back in surprise at realizing how close they were, tripping over the end of his purple kimono in the process.

The girl's eyes went wide, but she flinched at seeing him land backwards into the bushes. She finally opened her eyes a minute later, lowering her hands. "Are you al…right…?"

Ritsu used that moment to run off, leaving the girl in the park. He stopped once he was sure he was out of her sight completely, feeling out of breath as he leaned over to catch it. He didn't mean to be rude like that, but he just wanted to admire her from afar for a little while longer. The Monkey's bottom lip poked again and he cried out, his hands pulling at his hair.

"I'm sorrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy! I'm so sorry!" he wailed.

His apologizing rant didn't last for very long for it took a lot of energy to even spazz out and he was already tired from constantly thinking about the girl he admired so much. A whimper left his lips as he leaned back against a nearby tree and slid down to the ground. The locks of his dirty blonde hair shielded his arms as he buried his face into the palms of his hands.

"I'm so pathetic, if only I could be more outgoing like Aya-nii or bold like Gure-nii." His voice quivered, making his entire body tremble with tears burning at his eyes.

"Who's Aya-nii and Gure-nii?" the same voice from before greeted his ears and he gasp, slowly lowering his hands. He peeked out at her from over the tips of his fingers, staring into a pool of blue.

The girl frowned and went about digging into the pockets of her skirt.

He did not say anything. All he did was watch her pull out a white handkerchief. Much to his surprise, she gripped the white cloth and reached out, pulling his hands away from his face before wiping away the tears he did not know fell.

She then smiled. She was crouched before him, gently dabbing at his eyes.

"I figured you were the one watching Me." she said softly. The girl's words made Ritsu's heart jump again, but he remained silent. It was quite clear that his surprise was known for the girl laughed a bit. She just pulled the handkerchief away, placing to back into her skirt now. "I didn't think there was a girl that liked to watch another girl swing."

Her tone was teasing.

Ritsu did not bother correcting her. He was just enjoying having her talking to him. He was used to being mistaken for a girl anyways. It never bothered him, much. He saw her eyebrow furrowing as she tilted her head to the side again.

"Wait, you're not a girl," the girl began a second later. His blush returned, forcing him to turn his head away in shame. Ok, so, maybe being mistaken for a girl [b]did[/b] bother him, a lot! His new acquaintance smiled with a nod, "You're definitely a boy, but you're pretty for a boy though."

At least it was a compliment, and not a sarcastic one at that. Ritsu allowed himself to smile as the girl now sat down on the ground before him with her legs tucked under her and her hands placed in her lap. She smiled again.

"So, does the monkey have a name?" that made him go tense. Did she see him transform the other day?

Oh no!

The girl must've seen his body beginning to tremble for she frowned again.

"I'm sorry, that must've been insult. I didn't mean for it to be. I only said that because you know, you climbed into the tree yesterday like one and I thought it was sort of … cute." She mumbled. It was her turn to look away now.

His heart rate slowed at hearing her explanation and Ritsu swallowed back the nervous lump in his throat. Now must be the time for him to speak.

"N-no, don't be sorry." Ritsu wasn't surprised to hear his voice croaking like this. He hasn't drunk anything all day, let alone spoken all day. He felt his heart beating rapidly in his chest again at seeing the girl smiling warmly. At least she didn't see his cursed form. That was good. She wouldn't get into trouble and neither would he.

"Good then I'm not." His acquaintance said softly. The two of them looked over at hearing a car honking and much to his dismay, the girl stood up. She frowned a bit, but forced her to smile. "Will you come back here tomorrow, Mr. Monkey?" her tone lilted with a lot of playfulness as she said this.

Ritsu cracked a smile and nodded. That must've been enough for the girl smiled more. She waved good-bye before running over to the car.

"Then tomorrow, Monkey!" her tone carried against the wind as she got into the car. He didn't know how long he sat there, watching the car drive away into the distance. His heart was pounding like mad. His hands were trembling. He finally spoke to her. And the girl wasn't repulsed by him dressing like a girl, but…

Ritsu shrieked, going into a panicked state. "I forgot to ask her for her naaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!" his wail rang in the air, echoing into the distance.