Fruits Basket Fan Fiction ❯ Seasons of Sorrow ❯ Memories of Spring = To Chase A Rat ( Chapter 10 )

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

DISCLAIMER: If Furuba were mine, I'd keep Yuki all to myself…back off you rabid fans!!! MINE…ALL MINE….HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!
(Ahem) H'kat really doesn't own anything…she's just having a normal nervous breakdown…
Memories of Spring
To Chase A Rat
As Hatori left Yuki off at the path leading up to Shigure's house, Yuki let out a sigh of relief. `Home sweet home—that's the expression, right?' was Yuki's wandering thought as he walked up the path in the darkening twilight. Spring was in full bloom as he passed the massive flowering trees along the way. Yuki always loved the smell as the scents mixed together, so he took his time coming up the pathway.
It had been one very long day and Yuki just wanted a nice, hot meal (leeks really did sound yummy at the moment), and a hot bath afterwards. He found that the steam from the hot bath eased all his tension away, not to mention helped him breathe easier.
`I guess the pollution is starting to get to me…oh well, nothing like a nice, quiet, hot bath to take care of it…' thought Yuki contentedly at that idea as he breathed in once again the floral scent around him.
Thus was Yuki's trailing thought when he heard Kyo's shouting as Yuki approached the house. `Hmmm, scratch the quiet part,' thought Yuki disdainfully to himself. `It's a good thing we don't have neighbors around here…we'd never hear the end of the complaints for Kyo's loud mouth. (Sigh) I guess I should be grateful that the loudmouth isn't picking fights with me anymore…wonder why that is? (Shrugs shoulders.) Probably just taking it easy for the big tournament that's coming up after graduation. Works for me…I won't complain.'
Yuki held his backpack closer as he continued up the path to the house. He was about to open the door, shifting his backpack to over one shoulder, when he heard loud footsteps rush quickly to the door, and then the door abruptly whooshed open. Before he had time to react, he suddenly felt a warm and delicate body crash into him.
“UMPH!” was all that Yuki let out as he closed his eyes to the inevitable. `It had to be now…'
`When it rains, it pours…' was Yuki's thought while struggling to get out from under his clothing. This was rather difficult since he barely dodged being crushed by Tohru and his backpack. Just then he felt Tohru struggling to get up and move around, profusely apologizing the whole time.
Knowing that she won't be able to see him in the dark, he cried out to her, “Don't move Honda-san! It'll be alright…just don't move.” Yuki continued his struggle to make it out of his suffocating garments. `Man, it's getting harder to breathe under all this.'
“Gomen nasai, gomen nasai! I won't move Yuki-kun…take all the time you need…I won't even breathe!” exclaimed Tohru as she literally froze in her spot for fear of stepping on him by accident.
“Tohru-kun, if you don't breathe, I fear you'll collapse on Yuki-kun anyway,” was Shigure's amused comment while standing by the doorway with Kyo beside him and Kazuma just inside behind them. Seriously thinking about it, Shigure decided it was best to find Yuki before he was hurt. He then focused his gifted keen eyesight to look into the darkness to find Yuki underneath his clothing and backpack.
“Damn rat, why don't you watch where you're going?!” was Kyo's exasperated response as he glared at the bundle of clothing on the ground.
“Blah, blah, baka neko,” was Yuki's muffled retort.
“No! It's all my fault…I should have been watching more carefully. I was too worried about dinner and didn't think to be more careful. I'm so sorry, Yuki-kun!” replied Tohru guiltily.
`She sure can put Ritsu to shame with her apologies,' thought Yuki dryly as he struggled some more to get out. (Heavy sigh) `But now she's feeling guilty because of me. I seem to be making people feel that way around me a lot lately…' Stopping for a moment, he responded to Tohru, “Honda-san, it's all right. Accidents happen…that's why they're called accidents. Just breathe and relax…I'll be out (struggles a bit) of this (struggles more) before you know it (still struggling).”
“Okay, Yuki-kun…I'll relax,” smiled Tohru gratefully while waiting for Yuki to make his way out of his clothing.
Frustrated at how Tohru was bestowing so much attention on Yuki, Kyo couldn't help but glare more intensely towards Yuki's direction. Little did he realize that all his aggravation was drawing unwanted attention from elsewhere…
Shigure finally located the little nezumi struggling underneath the mound of clothing and was walking over towards his form when he stopped dead in his tracks. Guessing his senses to be correct, he quickly glanced over to the dense brush by the house, just outside of the light, and narrowed his eyes even more. What he saw brought dread to the inu's widening eyes.
Just as Shigure was about to say something, Kyo blinked in surprise and immediately sensed what was nearby. Seeing that Yuki was just freeing himself from his `enclosure', he yelled, “YUKI, FREEZE!”
Unfortunately, Yuki was so focused on just breathing and getting himself out of the clothing that he didn't register what Kyo just yelled. (Sputters—actually sounded like a tiny squeak.) “Finally!” Yuki could finally see all those before him and breathed in the fresh air with great relief. It was then he smelled and sensed the worst of his fears as the Rat of the Zodiac.
Eye's widening to large saucers and feeling a terrible pit in his stomach, Yuki eyed a very large, very wild, and very hungry cat that fixated on Yuki's form. All was still and quiet for that moment the two animals eyed each other. What is a rat to do?
Yuki bolted to his left as he ran for dear life, ignoring the pressure he felt in his chest as panic overrode his entire body. Pure instinct was driving him to run wherever it could be considered safe. All the while that he was running, he kept dodging each swipe of the cat's massive claws.
“YUKI-KUN!” screamed Tohru hysterically as she watched in horror as the cat chased the rat relentlessly.
The others were too stunned to do anything at first, but upon hearing Tohru scream, they immediately reacted. Shigure tried time and again to grab, Yuki but he kept missing. The rat was fast, not to mention panicking—he wasn't about to stop for anything in the world. Plus the cat kept lashing out at Shigure…he barely manages to dodge each of the cat's attacks.
`RUN! DODGE! (Huff, huff) RUN…RUN…RUN!!!!!!!!' was the constant chant running through Yuki's mind as he masterfully dodged another strike. He purposely stayed in front where the light reached him, avoiding where Tohru was for fear the cat may lash out at her, too. Going to the forest was not an option…the others wouldn't be able to spot him, and he'd never make it out alive on his own in his rat form. He was already loosing the edge from his adrenaline…'JUST KEEP RUNNING…KEEP RUNNING!!!'
Tohru was about to help out but was immediately shot down by Shigure. “Stay where you are Tohru-kun! This cat is too wild—it may hurt you as well!”
Tohru nodded in consent and with tears in her eyes, she watched with terror at how the cat was slowly closing in on Yuki's rat form.
Kyo was still too stunned, but seeing Tohru's eyes wild with terror, he acted quickly and tried grabbing Yuki. `Dammit, he's too fast!' was Kyo's frantic thought as he also kept missing him. Interestingly, the cat dodged Kyo and went around him as he continued his chase of the rat.
Kazuma stood by Tohru's side and was about to join in the chase when he saw Kyo trying to nab the rat as well. Thinking on his feet while under pressure is Kazuma's forte, but this was too much. Just then it hit him—the cat was not just dodging Kyo, he was avoiding him altogether, not even trying to attack him. “Kyo, stop trying to get Yuki! Just get the cat out of here!”
Kyo turned around with a bewildered look across his face when it also hit him. He summoned the cat (unknowingly but he did), so he can certainly get rid of it…well, at least try. If he only knew how.
“Just focus yourself on your instincts Kyo-kun! You do it all the time when you're upset…use that as a channel if you must, but do it now!” barked Shigure as he tried distracting the cat from Yuki. He knew Yuki was starting to lose his momentum, and it was only a matter of moments before the cat reached Yuki.
Just then, Yuki ran straight past Kyo's legs. He seemed to be limping and could no longer keep up the chase. He collapsed just out of Kyo's reach, panting heavily. Kyo just stared at Yuki's hazy eyes for that instant and felt an immense familiarity overwhelm him. That and something else more potent.
The wild cat seemed to be victorious as it launched itself toward Yuki, but it was stunned when a blow hit it across the face and sent it flying back. Facing the adversary with wild and angry eyes, the cat met another pair of angry eyes, red-orange in color. Kyo was crouched protectively in front of Yuki's rat form and just glared right back at the cat.
To see the two in this match of wills, an outsider would have been dumbfounded. But what would really have shocked them was hearing Kyo growl low in his chest, with eyes glowing with rage. The wild cat unfortunately didn't want to back down after such a chase and made another attempt to get Yuki. Kyo used his very heightened reflexes and kicked the cat square in the face again. Kyo once again regained his crouched stance in front of Yuki with eyes glowing even brighter as his expression darkened even more—clearly Kyo was the more intimidating of the two cats.
The wild cat knew at this point that it was no match for Kyo, let alone for the 2nd form that he clearly sensed through Kyo's eyes and low growl—any animal knows to interpret that as a warning to back off. Backing away hurriedly, the wild cat dashed off into the woods with no backward glance.
Letting out a sigh of relief, Shigure got up from his position on the ground and walked towards the others. Glancing to where the cat had run off to, he ensured that it didn't circle around to come back for its prey. He keenly heard his set of `friends' as they chased the cat further into the forest.
Panting, Kyo snapped out of his trance and collapsed to the ground. He'd never felt so exhausted—using his own ability to relate to his Zodiac form completely wore him out mentally. He couldn't imagine how the other Jyuunishi handled the pressure, if they ever did at all.
Shigure patted Kyo's head as he wearily walked by. “Good job, Kyo-kun.”
Kyo glanced up and saw him walk back to the others. Kazuma had Yuki cupped in his two hands and had him against his neck. Tohru was just a crying mess, hugging Kazuma and laying a soothing hand on Yuki's rat form.
Sobbing so profusely, one could barely make out her cries for forgiveness as she continued to stroke Yuki. “I'm sorry, Yuki-kun, I'm so sorry. I was so careless…it's all my fault…please forgive me for being stupid…please forgive me…” (Sobs more quietly)
Yuki all the while was trembling terribly with all the anxiety and fear still running through him…there was no way he would be returning to his human form in this condition. The pressure in his chest was becoming more unbearable with every passing moment…he really needed to take his medication. Just then, he heard Tohru's cries and felt terribly for causing her so much grief. Summoning up some strength he had left somewhere within him, he tried consoling her. “Tohru, p-please don't cry. None, (huff) none of this is your fault, and you're not (huff) stupid. I'll be f-fine. (Wheezes) I'll be fine…”
Hearing that, Tohru looked up teary-eyed at the rat. She could see how worried he was for her—so concerned that he didn't even realize that he called her by her first name. She smiled tearfully and sniffled some more, nodding her head as she continued stroking her dear friend.
Shigure looked on with compassion and gently laid his hand on her shoulder. “Come on, Tohru-kun, let's get those leeks. I'm sure he'll be needing a nice cup of your stew.”
“Eh?! De..demo…” stuttered Tohru.
“It'll be all right, Tohru-san. Go right ahead. I'll take care of Yuki in his room. I'm sure by the time you return, he'll be more than happy to try out your stew,” smiled softly Kazuma to Tohru. With that, he cuddled Yuki a little closer to his chest and walked back into the house.
“See, Tohru-kun? He'll be all right…come on. We'll need to hurry if we don't want the food to get cold,” prodded Shigure gently to Tohru as she wiped her tears away.
“Um, okay,” sniffled Tohru. She saw Kyo getting up from the ground and she walked over to him. “Daijoubu, Kyo-kun?” she asked with worry.
“Yeah, I'm good. Just go on with Shigure…I'll keep an eye on the food until you get back, all right?” responded Kyo as he cleaned himself off. He looked up to Tohru's concerned face and gave her a small smile to ease her worries.
With all these assurances, Tohru finally let a small smile grace her face. She then started walking away with Shigure right behind.
Passing Kyo, Shigure whispered to him, “Make sure you also get rid of the other `visitors' around the place.”
Closing his eyes, Kyo could also sense these `visitors'—it was going to be a long night. Sighing, he whispered back, “Yeah, sure.”
With that, Shigure walked on and kept consoling Tohru along the way.
After taking Yuki's things inside, Kyo managed to get rid of the intrusive cats for the time being and went back into the house. He went to the kitchen to turn off the stove and decided to head upstairs to check on Kazuma.
He found Kazuma in Yuki's room, sitting on his bed while stroking the rat in the crook of his right arm. He had Yuki's medication next to him on the nightstand and it seemed that Yuki's wheezing was becoming less audible as time went on.
Kyo walked away and headed for the roof when he heard Kazuma calling out to him softly. “Kyo, this is not your fault. Don't blame yourself, okay?”
Without a reply, Kyo continued his way up to the roof.
Kazuma sensed his departure and let out a heavy sigh. Shaking his head, he returned his attention to Yuki. Yuki seemed to be calming down a little more after having taken his medication. In all honesty, he could tell when talking to Tohru that Yuki was about to go into a seizure. Seeing that Tohru was in no condition to see that, he tried consoling her the best that he could and walked hurriedly into the house to get Yuki's medication to him.
Kazuma unfortunately has had experience in taking care of Yuki's seizures as a child. They were frequent for the poor rat, but each time they occurred, Yuki begged Kazuma not to mention anything to Akito for fear that Akito will put a stop to his lessons.
As Kazuma continued comforting Yuki, it brought back memories of those times he started giving Yuki his lessons…
Edited by: Seiren-no-Kaze 02-23-07
Author's Cavern:
I'm hoping that you're enjoying the story thus far! My poor Yuki is being chased by a bad kitty—muchos thanks to Kyo for coming to the rescue. I always wondered what would the situation be like if Yuki were in his Zodiac form and a cat was nearby…hmmm. I hope I didn't embellish the Zodiacs' abilities too much here.
Well, I hope you liked my little action piece here. This is rather short compared to my other more recent chapters—hope you don't mind! But don't worry…the next few chapters will be longer with informative flashbacks, so hopefully they will keep you guys reading my angsty fic!
No musical moments for me here since it was rather short. “To Die For…” from Lion King soundtrack worked for me on the chase scene…think about it. I think it worked…but then again you may think H'kat is just plain weird. That's true I'm afraid…
AnimeFreakVee52: Thanks for your great review—Aya and Yuki forever! It's much loved!
Also to all my readers—hello and thanks for reading. Please leave a note to me on my last request about that particular spoiler. I've pretty much come to a conclusion that I will include this spoiler in the fic, but I really want your input first. As I said under my profile, the next few chappies will remain neutral but future ones will have the adjustment made. Ja ne!
09-07-04 H'kat
---I'm starting to just leave my post-remarks here—didn't think you guys mind! Although H'kat may still put up latest news bulletins for readers under profile if chapters will be late in being posted, etc. Keep checking just to be sure!---