Fruits Basket Fan Fiction ❯ Seasons of Sorrow ❯ Winter's Tears of Hope = Longing ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

DISCLAIMER: All FB characters still belong to their creative author, Takaya-sensei—she hasn't included me in her will as of yet!

Winter's Tears of Hope

Edited by: Miya-chan 10-19-05

(Back to a few months ago…)

"Yuki, I'm glad you could make it today," Kazuma said.  "Rather brisk autumn weather we're getting, don't you think?" Kazuma asked this as he laid down a set of hot tea for the both of them.  He was rather proud of this feat since he hadn't burnt it that badly—Yuki, he knew, of all people, would understand this lack of culinary skills (or any housework skills) and therefore, would appreciate it more.

"Hai, it is.  Why didn't you come by Shigure's place like always?" asked Yuki.  "We could have taken a walk through the forest—I know you like the change of color on the trees' foliage this time of year."  Yuki began to sip his tea carefully so as not to overwhelm his sense of taste too much (past experience taught him this).
 'Wow,' he thought, 'Shihan did make a better tea today.'  So, he gave a small smile in appreciation and drank more to Kazuma's delight.

"Well, I wanted to talk to you in private without Kyo 'accidentally' overhearing our conversation.  Kyo mentioned that he managed to convince Tohru-san to learn some self-defense stances..." Kazuma started out.

"We all helped to convince her," Yuki pointed out, while taking another sip of his tea.  "Kyo kept getting dragged into arguments with Shigure whenever the subject was brought up, and in the end I had to persuade Honda-san to allow herself to be taught some defense techniques, nothing requiring a trip to the mountains to train for."  Yuki smiled at that thought picturing Kyo underneath cold waterfalls with a bear on the side.

Kazuma seemed to be picturing the same scenario in his mind, but he quickly got back to the subject at hand.  "Well, either way, I did want to ask a favor from you, Yuki, and I sincerely hope you'll at least consider it."

Yuki was definitely curious at this point since Kazuma seldom requested anything from him.  He respected Kazuma deeply and would do what was asked of him.  "Sure, what is it, Shihan?" Yuki asked.

'Well, it's now or never.'  Kazuma smiled, then he bit his lower lip in anticipation.   "Well, how to put this, could you please let Kyo handle this task on his own?  I've been looking forward to an opportunity presenting itself for Kyo to enhance his skills further, and this is indeed a very good opportunity.  But," he paused, "in this case, to actually do that would mean..."

"That I stay out of the way," Yuki interjected quietly.  He himself was looking forward to finally getting a chance to spend time with Tohru (hey, he'd take any chance that came around!), and who better than him to teach her.  He did understand that Kazuma saw Kyo as his own son and, therefore, was putting himself on the spot to ask Yuki this—if Kyo ever found out, Kazuma would probably be in a world of hurt, to put it mildly.  Still, his alone time with Tohru was becoming less and less as of late (the wilting garden was proof of that)—he was getting a little desperate.

Kazuma saw the conflict in his relative's eyes.  He had to thank the fact that his martial arts skills helped him to read Yuki.  He was seldom a very forthcoming youth when it came to conversations, and it was a lot of hard work on his part to read Yuki as best as he could.  Even then, it was really a matter of good guesses.  Yuki was still good at `hiding'; but lately he'd seen the young man under a lot of stress, and therefore, the teen had been letting down his guard inadvertently. 
'No,' thought Kazuma, 'it wouldn't be fair to him either.  This was definitely a bad idea.'

"Never mind, Yuki, I shouldn't be asking something like that from you.  It was just a foolish thought on my part that I wanted to do for Kyo.  I didn't mean to push you away from Tohru-san.  I'm sorry," Kazuma said smiling, as he proceeded to drink the remainder of his tea.

"Iie, Shihan, gomen," Yuki quickly replied while snapping back to reality.  "I was just lost in thought, that's all.  It would make sense anyway. Kyo's much more interested in the whole thing than I am.  Honda-san mentioned how he would make a good sensei someday.  I'll probably be too busy anyway to really be of any use to her."  Yuki paused here with his eyes cast down.  "She deserves better..." Yuki quietly finished off as he stared at his cup of tea.

"Yuki...I..." Kazuma hoped to get the conversation straightened out but...

BEEP, BEEP)!!  Yuki brought out his phone and saw the caller ID.  It was her.
'Okay, time to leave,' Yuki thought.  He didn't want to keep him waiting any longer than necessary, so he quickly got up.  "Gomen ne, Shihan, but I must be going now.  Arigatou for the tea.  It was very good," Yuki hurriedly replied.  With a quick bow, he took his leave and left Kazuma with his thoughts.

Kazuma really thought himself fortunate to have Yuki's confidence, yet he knew Yuki would always indulge whatever favor was asked of him.

Even if it did mean that he'd be getting the `short end of the stick'.  Without a second thought, he would put others before his own sake...

'Arigatou, Yuki.  You are really... too kind,' Kazuma thought solemnly.


Blinking back the memory, Yuki continued to stare down at Kyo and Tohru with a somewhat sad expression. 
'Well, at least I can be close by and watch her.  That'll be enough for me,' Yuki thought as he walked away and continued dressing himself warmly.

He was starting to notice his weight loss recently, not to mention the dizzy spells that popped up once in a while.  Lack of appetite would do that to you, not to mention the stress.  Yet, he felt it was more than that...

'That's a weird thought.  Well, just the same, I better be careful.  I'm already getting the looks from Akito.  The one and only person that looks straight at me and looks me over each time I visit.  Akito won't be happy to see me falling apart.'  Yuki let out a sigh with that thought.  'Good thing it is winter—the bulkier the clothes the better.  No need to worry anyone else—especially Honda-san.  I'm sure she'd freak out if she saw me losing any amount of weight.'

By this time, Yuki was fully dressed and heading down the stairs to go outside. 
'I better eat something before going outside.  I think we still have some oranges from yesterday.  That sounds good.'  He figured that Tohru managed to find some good oranges and decided to buy them.

He then noticed Shigure finishing up his work, and from the looks of it, he was just starting his sick game of 'Let's-see-how-far-the-editor-will-go-before-resorting-to-blood- spilling-to-get-the-manuscript'.  That editor was, if anything, persistent—it was amazing that she stuck with him through all these years, living the same routine over and over and over...

'Well,' Yuki thought, 'I'm not sticking around to see anything related to bloodletting or whatever.'  He stood in the kitchen peeling his orange and grabbed a napkin. He was about to head out until a rather annoying voice called out to him…
Author's Cubby Hole:
All right, FINALLY, the 2nd is up!  Lots more to digest, hopefully!  I think I have rebellious readers because I left you hangin' on the last chapter!
GOMEN NASAI!  Hopefully you'll still come back for more!
I had to update during the week because it seems that many wonderful authors are also updating towards the beginning and end of the week.  I'll never have anyone read my work of art (all right H'kat, calm down, it ain't all that!) if it's at the bottom of page 10!
Really, I want to hear your thoughts on this so far.  Review, review!  I've got mine below the ### signs (look down!). ANY mistakes with how they address each other or the spelling of these wonderful Japanese phrases, please let me know tout de suite (French for immediately)!  Thanks soooo much!
(SOS Chapter 2 Post Remarks - 7/20/04)
So much to do! Lots of interaction between Yuki and his martial arts teacher, Kazuma.
I had to watch the anime to be sure I got the honorifcs right between the two--it'll be YEARS before we see any interaction between the two (and very little at that!) in the English manga that's being released. Oh well.
I always imagined that the two got along very well. In the anime, Yuki even genuinely smiled at Kazuma. I have to agree with some speculation out there that Kazuma probably trained Yuki exclusively (Akito is possessive) and therefore has a different type of bond with his student/relative than with the others. Nothing that jeopardizes Kyo's relationship with Kazuma of course--that's always sacred! I hope I had conveyed this in this chapter. There will be more interaction between the two later on to put more emphasis on this `bond'. Future chapters will explain my point a little further! Be patient!!! There's a reason to my madness!
Oh no! Yuki better take care of himself! Even if Akito is `calm', you don't want to push it!
Music: Same as before…piano soothes the soul!
Again sorry for the late post but I was constantly being inspired to write on my stickies many portions of my story. Unfortunately, none were for the beginning, only to the middle and ending portions! It's hard to start it off, not to mention connecting the present timeline with future timelines. Talk about cohesion problems!
Well, that's my take. Excuse me while I wipe off the deluge of yesterday's trash from some of my readers from my face!