Fruits Basket Fan Fiction ❯ Seasons of Sorrow ❯ Winter's Tears of Hope = Outside Looking In ( Chapter 4 )

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

DISCLAIMER: If wishing were true, I'd own this product…better yet, I'll just settle for Yuki instead! Yes, Yuki, mmm-hmmm…he'd definitely be mine! (SIGH) Until then, Yuki and others still belong to Takaya-sensei…
Winter's Tears of Hope
Outside Looking In

Edited by: Miya-chan 10-19-05
As Kyo was busy correcting Tohru's stances, Yuki had a sudden sense of déjà vu. He reminisced about another time he had stared at two individuals learning martial arts while he looked on from a distance.
`It was around ten years ago…'
Kyo and Haru were practicing their lessons for the day in a clearing. It all appeared well even though it seemed that Kyo was hard on Haru. Yet, Haru didn't seem to mind or care. They looked like they were having so much fun. That's the way it always looks from a distance…
Yelling and rough playing. Yet always laughing. Always being…happy.
Unbeknownst to the two boys, Yuki observed them with his large, solemn eyes. He couldn't hear their conversation, since he was too far away, but he could clearly see that they were enjoying themselves while learning the exercises. His desire to be there, if only to just listen, was burning deep within him. To be able to share what they had…
Joy. Fun. What they had in those two little words were considered foreign to Yuki at this point in his life. That… and being happy. Such words didn't usually exist in Yuki's end of the world, let alone in the same sentence. Being secluded from the world will have that effect on your life.
He often wondered what their conversations were actually like. He pretended that he could hear them, and then he'd imagine what one or the other would be saying. Those were the very few times that he could actually say he was having “fun”.
Little did he know that the reason for his seclusion was walking towards him from behind. Slowly, lifting a hand to stroke Yuki's left cheek, Akito asked, “Did you not hear me when I called for you, Yuki?”
Yuki, with widening eyes, suddenly froze in the spot he was standing in and immediately lowered his head while turning around to “face” the clan head.
“G-G-gomen na-nasai, Akito, I wa-wasn't aware that you were calling. I'm s-so sorry,” Yuki stammered nervously while keeping his arms at his side and both eyes stuck to the floor. He didn't want to see Akito's face at the moment, fully expecting the rage that the clan head may bestow upon him for not obeying his `god' sooner.
Fortunately, the clan head seemed in “good” spirits (at the moment anyway) and walked in front of Yuki, regarding the scene that Yuki was just observing. Yuki didn't dare move an inch.
“Hm. Is this what had your complete attention, Yuki? So much that you didn't even hear me?” Akito asked with eyes narrowed at the two boys.
Yuki's eyes widened even more so while still glued to the floor. `Please don't guess right,' Yuki begged silently to himself. He really didn't want the young clan head to figure out that he'd rather be down there with them than up here.
Akito turned Yuki around roughly and grabbed his chin with the right hand while lifting it up. “Do not make me ask again, Yuki,” Akito stated coldly.
“Iie, Akito. I-I just wondered when I'd be able to start taking lessons like them with Kazuma-san. Not so many lessons, just a few, maybe… maybe,” Yuki's voice trailed off as he now fully awaited the “discipline” he deserved for voicing his selfish thoughts to Akito. It wasn't exactly the truth but close enough—why anger Akito any further and on purpose anyway…
But what occurred next shocked Yuki.
“Hmmm,” Akito said while holding her elbow with one hand, the other hand tapping at her jaw line. “No doubt you would be far superior in your lessons than those two idiots down there. Hmph, they are rather pathetic, don't you agree, Yuki?”
Yuki didn't want to say anything unkind about his cousins, and he was trying to figure out a way to reply to Akito's question without angering her, but Akito apparently didn't need his consent as she continued talking.
“It would be fun to see those two fail miserably at trying to defeat you... But, such a pleasure is just not meant to be. You're not ready Yuki—you're still too frail from your asthma attacks,” Akito said this as she started to caress Yuki's cheek. “I don't want my precious little mouse harmed in any way by two village idiots who probably don't even know what asthma is. Just as well, who would want to be in their company—having to interact with a bakemono and his stupid cow friend? Truly despicable… you're far more special than they could ever hope to be. Come, our tea is ready.”
Akito then took Yuki's hand and led him away from there. Yuki took a quick, longing glance over his shoulder and once again found himself swallowed into Akito's world of despair…
Of course, a few weeks later, Akito once again surprised him and let Kureno start taking him to Kazuma's dojo for his lessons. Very few times at first, but gradually they increased… and the rest as they say is history.
Yuki's reality caught up with him, once he realized that Kyo was teasing Tohru, and of course, Tohru was in full panic mode.
“You shouldn't tease her like that,” Yuki said from his perch on the porch.
“KUSO NEZUMI, when did you get out here?!” Kyo yelled with eyes blazing.
“Ages ago, baka neko,” Yuki replied calmly.
“Ohayo, Yuki-kun!” Tohru replied cheerfully. “Did you get enough rest this morning?”
“M-hm,” Yuki replied with a smile. “Thank you for asking, Honda-san.”
“Did you eat the meal I left for you on the counter? I hope it was still warm enough for you to eat when you came down,” remarked Tohru worriedly.
Yuki frowned as he was finishing his orange. Tilting his eyes upwards, he tried to recall if he saw the meal on the counter… he had been in such a hurry to get outside he hadn't even check. Guiltily, with eyes cast downward, Yuki replied, “I'm sorry, Honda-san, I must have overlooked it on my way out.”
“Damn rat can't even notice a plate full of food in plain sight. Tohru shouldn't have bothered to leave you anything if you're just going to blow her off!” Kyo spat at Yuki.
“Iie, Kyo-kun, it's all right,” Tohru immediately stepped into the escalating conversation. “Yuki-kun was just too tired to notice. It's okay because pretty soon it'll be time for lunch. Then you can have a nice hot meal, Yuki-kun.”
“Thank you, Honda-san but…” Yuki started.
“Just let the damn rat starve! We'll all be better off without him around!” interrupted Kyo.
Yuki stood toe to toe with Kyo at this point, gray-lavender eyes glaring into red-orange eyes. Unfortunately for him, over the years Kyo had grown quite a bit taller than he had. Heck, most, if not all, of the male members of the Jyuunishi were either his height or beyond. Damn the genes…
And Kyo sure knew how to rub that in.
“What, did you FINALLY wake up you stupid, SHORT rat? You are messing up my class, so get the hell out of here!” Kyo yelled rather loudly to Yuki's face.
Before Kyo had a chance to react, he felt a sudden rush of air leave him as he keeled over to one knee, gasping at the sudden pain in his stomach.
“Oh, Kyo-kun! Are you okay?!” Tohru rushed over to Kyo.
“The only SHORT thing around here is your attention span, not to mention the complete lack of guard around an opponent. Really, I had thought you would at least get better in that regard with your extra classes, baka neko,” Yuki unemotionally replied as he flexed the fist he used on Kyo.
“DAMN YOU!!! THAT'S IT! YOU'RE MINE TODAY!” Kyo yelled as he got up to face off with Yuki. Yet once again…
“Kyo-kun, please don't! We've finished our exercises for today, so let's practice on your guard instead and…” said Tohru nervously, hoping that Kyo may just drop the matter altogether.
Thankfully, Yuki knew when to quit. Completely ignoring Kyo's outburst (and Kyo altogether), Yuki replied, “I didn't mean to interrupt your lesson, Honda-san. I'm sorry.”
“DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON A CHALLENGE, KUSO NEZUMI!” Kyo yelled from behind Yuki, with both `cat ears and tail' on end.
“Iie, please don't apologize, Yuki-kun. It is getting late—I think we're all just a little bit hungrier with the exercise and all,” Tohru said smiling, relieved that Yuki didn't want to pursue the matter any further.
“HEY!” Kyo tried getting Yuki's attention.
“Well, do you need help in the kitchen? I can wash the dish you left out for me and help you with anything for lunch,” Yuki asked Tohru with a little hope that he'd finally get to spend time with her.
“Oh, you really don't have to trouble yourself with anything, Yuki-kun. Just relax and leave everything to me!” Tohru hurriedly replied as she started heading towards the house.
“It really is no trouble at all, Honda-san…” Yuki replied with a soft smile.
“HEY! DAMN RAT!!! GET A CLUE… she doesn't want you in the kitchen just to wreck everything that you touch!” Kyo yelled from the side. To Tohru, he calmly replied, “You know, you really have to learn to speak up for yourself, especially to the clueless, STUPID RAT.” Of course, the emphasis on the last part was directed more to Yuki than to Tohru.
Yuki was getting frustrated once again with Kyo's interruptions but caught the meaning behind his remark. He looked closer at Tohru to see if there was anything denied in her eyes—those were usually the best place to look for the truth, especially with Tohru.
Yuki's smiled faltered, if only for a moment. He saw no denial… just apprehension that she might cause him pain if she said anything at all. He didn't like to see her feeling so helpless with herself, so he took the initiative to let her off the hook that Kyo so inconsiderately put her on.
Putting on his best smile for her, he remarked, “Don't worry Honda-san, I understand. (chuckles) It is true that I can be considered a bad omen in the kitchen. I never meant to give you any trouble in the past—I'm so sorry.”
“Please don't say that! I loved having you around in the kitchen even if the left burner on the stove had to be fixed twice, and the rice cooker had a fuse blown the other time, or even when there were too many plugs into that one outlet and we lost power for the week…” Tohru exclaimed as she recited just a few of the many “incidents” that Yuki unfortunately found himself in.
`Well,' Yuki thought with a sweat drop, `I've really been a handful for her. Good thing she didn't mention the time I almost burned down the kitchen. Kyo would never let me live that one down—just more to throw back in my face later on. She really did clean up that mess well… you couldn't tell that there was even a small fire there. Who knew that to light the stove didn't really mean to literally LIGHT IT UP.'
Yuki then realized that maybe he was being selfish in trying to spend time with Tohru—he only thought about how he felt, yet he didn't think to see if Tohru even wanted to spend time with him. She did mention that she loved having him around, but, if his presence was giving her more grief than anything else, it would probably be better if he just backed off. She seemed more than happy with Kyo around…
“Please Honda-san, really, it's all right. I understand. I'll just go and take a walk instead. It's been a while since I've walked around here. I'll be fine. Please go on ahead—I won't be long,” Yuki calmly replied with a smile. Seeing that she was still hesitating, Yuki turned his back on them and walked away with his smile still in place. When he felt them leave to go back to the house, he let his smile fall from his face and let out a heavy sigh as he continued his walk through the pristine forest.
Kyo actually was without words during the whole end of the conversation. He sort of figured out that he had said something that put Tohru on the spot. He could tell when he looked at her face… it didn't help any when he heard Yuki make up for his mistake and let her off the hook by actually agreeing with Kyo.
`Kuso nezumi, always trying to be the righteous one,' thought Kyo with a frown on his face. To Tohru, he softly replied, “Listen, I'm sorry about that. I just got carried away because the kuso nezumi interrupted your lesson. I didn't mean to put you on the spot.”
“Iie, Kyo-kun, you were right. I should have told Yuki-kun a long time ago. It's my fault,” Tohru sadly replied, but just as quickly recovered. “I'm going to make him his favorite meal today, both lunch and dinner, to make it up to him. Could you help me, Kyo-kun?”
She looked so hopeful that all would be well with just a few dishes of food (and she was probably right) that Kyo couldn't deny her request. Besides, he owed her that much.
“Sure, but I'm not going anywhere near LEEKS! Those things are poisonous!” Kyo exclaimed about his not-so-favorite food.
Tohru laughed at this and both went up to the porch and into the house.
Unknown to both parties, a pair of black eyes observed the whole argument and conversation. Shigure closed his eyes and simply smiled as he walked away to find his editor who was no doubt trying to end her life again.
`Hmm, this is coming along much better than I had planned…'
Author's Cloud Ten:
YES! I am up by one review…THANK YOU NATTY1066! As you can see, I am up in cloud ten (way past nine)…I'm soooo happy! I'll hold off the bloodletting rituals for a while longer !
I'm so thrilled that I decided to post two chapters today instead of one. Both are rather lengthy compared to previous chapters so I hope it doesn't bother anyone.
Must I say it…? (Yes H'kat, go for it!) Okay, the usual tidbits are below—and please review! Yep, reviews are the best…one word is okay for reviews, too, so plug away my wonderful readers!
(SOS Chapter 4 Post Remarks - 8/03/04)
All right, let's get this show on the row!
I've started to notice that I'm using a lot of flashback moments in my story. I don't anticipate using it as much in future chapters, but for now and for the next few chapters, that's basically what will be happening, so hopefully no one is too confused or put off by it. Trust me, those moments are worth remembering for later chapters. Everything has a basis, right?!
Talk about flashbacks, the one I used here was actually my twisted explanation of a scene in the Vol. 3 manga just before Yuki's collapse. This scene had a young Kyo and Haru in their yukatas, laughing, while Yuki looked on from a distance. You could see clearly a hand being brought up to Yuki's head--who else could it be?
How do you like the "short" moment between Kyo and Yuki? I absolutely see Yuki being the shortest among his male cousins. He carries the Rat Zodiac so he's bound to be small...that and the fact that his brother Ayame is not considered tall (at least not in my POV). I know how you feel, Yuki, being short is a pain when trying to find clothing in your size. STOP picking on him, Kyo!
There's definitely a bit more drama here, but I hoped it was balanced out with Yuki's rather inept skills in the kitchen. Now, raise your hands those of you who've actually had these kinds of problems...hmmm...that many?!
Well, my musical moment came during Yuki's flashback--I chose to listen to Madonna's "This Used to be My Playground". It blended well for the past and present least, I think so.
So that's it for this chapter...on to the next one!