Fruits Basket Fan Fiction ❯ Seasons of Sorrow ❯ Memories of Spring = An Onigiri All Grown Up ( Chapter 13 )

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

DISCLAIMER: I could wish upon a star and just maybe it'll come true! It's not working though…have to wish harder!
Memories of Spring
An Onigiri All Grown Up
Humming happily while preparing the last of their meals, Tohru glanced over to Kyo, who was helping with the packing of their lunches for their class field trip today. He was careful to pack them all neatly, just like she would have done. Of course, he would have preferred to just chuck Yuki's meal down the trash, but having Tohru there would make that impossible.
`Our last class field trip as seniors. Then just a few more weeks `til the big Class Dance, and then…graduation,' thought Tohru wistfully. She was happy that graduation was finally approaching. Her promise to her mother would finally be fulfilled, and she would be able to fully celebrate to her heart's content with all her friends, including Kyo.
She thought she would burst with joy when she heard Kyo making plans for the tournament that was taking place after graduation—knowing that he was doing this ensured that he would still be free and not locked up at the Sohma compound. His livelier mood and his general smiles at her (he's constantly smiling…wow!) only put her more at ease with the new situation.
Sadly, she still couldn't come up with a solution to the Sohma's `curse' no matter how hard she tried, but it seemed to be a moot point now since most of the Jyuunishi moved on with their lives as they normally did. No tears or anguish have been expressed by anyone…in fact, things have relatively been calm as of late. There was this edginess in the air, but that must have been because of all the excitement recently, what with graduation and all.
That and the fact the she herself would be moving on. Yes, after these past few years with living in the good graces of her adoptive family, she was finally ready to move on, both emotionally and physically. Words could never express how thankful she truly felt for all that this family has done for her, from helping her with her situation in life plus helping her to move on after her mother's death. She knew that if she were on her own with all these problems to bear, she probably wouldn't have made it through those tough moments without her surrogate family to support her. Tohru could never thank them enough for being with her throughout all these years…
`Shigure-san…Yuki-kun…Kyo-kun…' thought Tohru endearingly as she finished with the last meal.
It was the hardest decision she had ever made up to that point in her life. The decision to let them go and move forward as an adult, just as she was sure her mother would have wanted her to do. To become her own person, without having to rely on the aid of her adoptive family. She wanted to prove to herself that all that she'd learned from the Sohma family and from her mother helped prepare her for life's trials. Working full-time and learning to make her living would definitely be a step in that direction; she was sure of it.
When she had told the members of her household of her decision last month, she forced herself to remain resolute and firm. At the same time, though, she also fought to stem the tide of tears that were threatening to overwhelm her if she didn't finish with her speech…
“So what do you think?” asked Tohru nervously as she twisted a loose thread from her apron between her fingers. Her heart was breaking into a million pieces in the silence that followed her announcement.
All three guys had seemed to stare at nothing in front of them, too stunned for words at the moment. She kept talking so that the eerie silence could be broken. “Uo-chan and Hana-chan both helped me look for the apartment since we'll be living together. I'm so happy to know that I could get it so close by here! I can still come by to visit, and make sure this place is spotless and of course check on your groceries and hopefully, maybe, talk with you like always…and…and…”
“It's alright, Tohru-kun, you don't have to go through so much trouble on account of us. You know you're always welcome to stop by and just visit. I can manage with the regular household duties…after all, I have a very good friend who's taught me well by just her example,” Shigure replied with an affectionate gaze. “I'm very happy for you and proud of you to be able to make such an adult decision all on your own. Your mother would be proud as well, I'm sure.”
Tohru was struggling throughout Shigure's commentary to keep herself together. Smiling gratefully, she turned to the other two men in her life…funny how they've become just that in just a few years. Thankfully, she didn't have to wait long for their responses.
“I agree,” replied Yuki softly. “Your mom would be so proud to see how far you've come. If it's not too much inconvenience for you, please visit or call us anytime you like.”
“Absolutely…I'll have Shigure-san's number on speed dial, promise! And I'll be visiting often…oh, please visit me, too, though!” pleaded Tohru while grabbing Yuki's hand. “I'll give you the address and the directions on how to get there. Kyo-kun, will you come by, too? If you're too busy, I'll understand…” remarked Tohru worriedly as she saw that Kyo still hadn't said a word to her.
“Feh…like I'm going to let that kuso nezumi take up all your time when he's visiting you,” replied Kyo while eyeing Tohru's hand on Yuki's. “I'll give you Shishou's number over at the dojo in case you want to call me, and I'm not here. You know how to get to the dojo, so come and visit whenever you want.”
Seeing how well they were taking her decision and supporting her like always, Tohru couldn't help but burst into tears. (Sniffles) “Arigatou, arigatou…”
“There's no need to thank us, Honda-san,” said Yuki soothingly while holding her hand with both of his. “We want you to be happy, and we'll be right beside you every step of the way with any decision you make for yourself. So please, don't cry anymore…tears really don't suit you, Honda-san,” Yuki commented softly as he lifted one hand to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
Tohru nodded at this and smiled widely as she took a handkerchief from Shigure. She released Yuki's hand and made very good use of the napkin. She looked to Kyo who once again fell silent and asked him, “Will you still be able to still give me lessons, Kyo-kun? I mean, not that I'm forcing you to or anything since you have your tournament and all. You may be really busy, so it's all right that you stop with my lessons. I completely and utterly understand…”
“Please stop. If you still want your lessons, I can give them to you here at the house, there at the apartment, anywhere you want me to,” replied Kyo, hoping to calm Tohru down. “Besides, I may get a chance to finally put that Yankee in her place when I show her what a real fight is like! This is one match she won't stand a chance against me!” remarked Kyo as he stood up with the gleam in his eye at the victory he could almost taste. After all, Uo happened to beat him at any challenge she gave him…
Everyone just sweat-dropped to this. Shigure, being who he is, just couldn't let this one opportunity slip past him. “Yes, my little koneko, such dreams to aspire to. Just remember to accept defeat like a man when she lands you a good one in the face.”
“WHAT'S THAT, STUPID DOG!” cried Kyo as he grabbed the smiling inu by his collar. “I DARE YOU TO SAY IT TO MY FACE!”
“He just did, baka neko,” replied Yuki coolly, as he brought a hand to soothe the headache that was forming with all the yelling.
“WHAT WAS THAT NEZUMI!” yelled Kyo louder as he ran over to Yuki while dragging Shigure by the collar.
Pulling leeks out of nowhere (Yuki probably keeps them with him just for these kinds of cases), Yuki stuffed it straight into Kyo's gaping mouth. With Kyo down for the count on top of Shigure, Yuki replied calmly, “You really are deaf, aren't you?”
“Kyo-kun, please get off. I'm not that kind of guy… Remember the innocent eyes around here…” the inu remarked slyly while struggling to get Kyo off of him.
“NANI????!!!!!!” Kyo shrieked as he jumped up and had Shigure by the collar with a death-grip once again.
With a broad smile, Tohru looked on…yep, these are the people supporting her!
(End Flashback)
Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo had been a wonderful blessing…along with Momiji, Kisa, Hiro, Haru, Kagura, Ritsu, Hatori, Ayame, even Rin. They were all wonderful to know and have as friends, and yes, even as family. She only wished that she could have befriended the elusive bird of the Zodiac, Kureno…so full of secrets and living in a world so separate from her own, along with the young Sohma leader.
Akito. Just one person can have such an effect on everyone. Even Tohru admits to this…Akito's presence is always felt, regardless if the clan head was in front of you or not. How her heart went out to this individual, and how she had hoped so many times to be able to reach out to this lost soul. She had to constantly remind herself of what her mother would say sometimes. That doubting is easy…but that Tohru must believe. So, being the good daughter that she is, she will not lose her belief that the clan head is reachable. Maybe she couldn't reach out to the young Sohma, but just maybe someone else could and would.
“DAMN YOU, BAKA!” exclaimed Kyo. Tohru snapped out of her thoughts at hearing this outburst and turned around. She saw that Kyo had spilled milk on his uniform, and Shigure was right behind him. Shigure must have bumped into Kyo (`accidentally' of course) when Kyo was taking a drink from the carton.
“I was just checking to see what had your interest. You were staring over at Tohru-kun so much, I'm surprised she doesn't have holes in the back of her head,” grinned Shigure slyly.
“Eh? Kyo-kun, did you ask me something? I'm sorry I wasn't listening! I must have spaced out again! Please ask me again what it was that you asked,” cried Tohru in a panic.
Kyo had actually turned a nice shade of red at Shigure's words and was about to pummel him if it weren't for Tohru. “Nah, it wasn't anything important. Are you finished with the lunches?”
“Um, yes! Thanks for helping me with the packing of the meals. Are you ready with your things for the field trip?” asked Tohru with a broad smile. She then went over to Kyo with a rag and wiped the milk (it wasn't much) from his uniform.
Still with his nice shade of red across his face, Kyo stuttered, “S-sure I'm ready. Don't worry about it. Let's go check if the stupid rat is ready by now.”
“M-hm. Shigure-san, was Hatori-san done checking on Yuki-kun?” asked Tohru.
It's been over a week since the run-in with the wild cat, and Yuki's wrist was improving everyday. Hatori had actually come over early the following day after the incident, and he had Yuki stay home to run a full checkup on him. For once, Yuki didn't put up a fight—apparently, the drugs had quite an effect on him since he slept soundly the whole day. Hatori had made subsequent visits since then and today was one of those kinds of visits.
“Oh, Haa-san, the worrywart of our family…I swear he'll go bald before his time. He should be wrapping it up with Yuki-kun. Let me go check on our beloved dragon,” remarked Shigure with a grin as he ascended the stairs to Yuki's room.
“NO!!!!! I am NOT taking ANY MORE pills than you already gave me! I feel like a walking pharmaceutical with all these pills I'm forced to take FOUR times a day! I'M NOT A PILL POPPER!!!!” cried Yuki in frustration as he glared at Hatori. Apparently, Hatori was used to this not-so-gentler side of Yuki because he kept packing his things calmly.
With one final snap of his case, he took a deep breath and turned to face Yuki who was sitting on his bed, gripping the sheets with tight fists. Placing his hands on Yuki's own, Hatori brought them both to the front as he crouched to Yuki's eye level. With a pleading expression, Hatori evenly replied, “You aren't a pill popper, Yuki. And I know that taking your medication often throughout the day is murder. But I need you to follow through with the regiment—it's important. And I promise it won't be for much longer. I'll still ask you to continue taking your multi-vitamin, but that'll be it. Just give it a little more time, okay?”
Hatori sure knew how to bring the angered Rat of the Zodiac around. Yuki closed his eyes as he sighed in defeat while nodding in consent to Hatori's request. Hatori smiled softly at this and patted the youth's head as he got up from his crouched position. He turned around to see Shigure standing by the doorway with the usual goofy grin plastered on his face.
“Ne, Haa-san, don't you think you can also use your persuasive talents, and get Yuki to stop attacking me when I have to get him to take his medication? Hmmmm?” pleaded the inu with hopeful eyes of a pleading puppy.
Of course, Hatori didn't fall for it by a long shot. “Baka.” To Yuki, he replied over his shoulder, “If you run into any problems, you know where to reach me. And if you need to, send Shigure flying through the air every now and then. Goodness knows he deserves it every once in a while.”
“Haa-san is too cruel! Such a cruel, cruel world that loves to torment the most innocent of souls…” cried Shigure in his `self-pity.'
“You're no innocent soul, you hack,” Hatori replied coolly as he went out to the hallway with Shigure close at his heels.
Yuki sighed heavily as he flopped backward onto his bed and closed his eyes. He was already exhausted from the stress of these frequent checkups. That plus the pills he's had to take are taking their toll on his nerves. `I wished they made pills the size of a pinhead…life would be so much easier…'
“Hey, damn rat! Get up…we don't want to be late because of you!” yelled Kyo as he stood at the doorway with Tohru.
“Um, Kyo-kun, it's okay. Maybe Yuki-kun is too tired and wants to stay in today,” replied Tohru anxiously as she looked at Yuki still in bed.
Yuki's eyes snapped open as he got up from his bed. “No, T-Tohru-san, I'm fine. I was just daydreaming, that's all. Let's get going.” Yep, it had dawned on him a few days back that he was calling her by her first name without realizing it. He was so happy that he could finally take this little step but also felt a little uneasy—it was going to take a little getting used to.
“It's about damn time! If we're late because of you, I'll send you flying over to the theme park, got it?!” exclaimed Kyo as they all descended the stairs and grabbed their things.
“Are you ever quiet, baka neko?” replied irritably the rat. It was already a long day for him.
“Now, now, children. The more you talk, the later it gets…now, scoot! And give my best to your homeroom teacher!” called Shigure as he ushered the teenagers out the door.
As the trio left with the nezumi and neko still at it, with Tohru smiling through it all, Shigure and Hatori both looked on in contemplation.
“It's certainly odd for you to give your regards to Mayu-san,” remarked Hatori suspiciously as he drew out a cigarette.
“Hm? Oh, that…well, why not? She's not all bad,” replied Shigure languidly. `As long as she minds her own business…' Clearing his throat, he said, “Anyway, you've been a rather doting doctor as of late. Anything you mind telling me?” With that question, Shigure gave him a sidelong glance as he eyed Hatori very carefully.
Hatori let out a puff of smoke as he regarded his old friend. Both were very much aware that Shigure was testing him to see his reaction to his rather bold question. Hatori was pretty sure that Shigure had known for some time how guarded Hatori has been with Yuki's care plus keeping a tight lip about anything dealing with Akito.
So Hatori, for the moment, answered him with a question of his own. “Do you really need me to answer that? I would think you'd know exactly why I do what I do…”
Shigure then regarded him with a smirk. `Coy, aren't we my dear Haa-san?' thought Shigure as he noted how well Hatori answered his question, and yet he didn't. He had to admit that Hatori was getting just as good as he was to dodging questions but answering them just the same. If that made any sense to anyone...
“Well, as long as all is well, que sera, sera, ne Haa-san?” remarked the inu with a knowing smile while getting out a cigarette of his own.
“Hmph. As enlightening as this conversation is, I need to get going. I'll see you later. Try to stay out of trouble,” replied Hatori with a wave of his hand as he started down the path He had actually wanted to catch up to the teens and give them a lift, but knowing that mentioning the idea to Shigure would only make him more suspicious of the matter, Hatori kept silent.
“Of course, my dear Haa-san. I'll call you later,” responded Shigure as he stood pensive at the doorway. Letting out a long puff of smoke, he thought wryly, `Nice dodge, Haa-san. But I'm afraid I'm rather persistent…it's only a matter of time and patience. I have both…for now.'
Edited by: Seiren-no-Kaze 02-23-07
Author's Return (10-05-04):
Yep…I'm back!
A special thank you to Aura Black Chan…I so appreciate your kind thoughts found under both of my stories! I'm feeling much better…thank you so much for caring!
AnimeFreakVee52: Thanks for your devoted review! Being hyped is a good thing! I love my Yuki, too (don't tell Takaya-sensei! J/k)! More people should pamper our beloved Yuki! I'm glad the fic's writing structure is pleasing to read for you—hopefully others will agree. I will still strive to keep these typos down to a minimum!
As for post remarks, this story is rather short…gomen nasai! However, I didn't want to add more to this chapter by taking away from the other chapter…the flow process would be ruined. So to make up for it, the following chapter will be extra long! Yep…long, but it'll be fun (I hope) since it's dealing with the theme park adventure! I wanted to take a little break from the usual angst…having Kyo, Haru, and Uo together will be an interesting adventure, ne?!
Back to this chapter, we've finally taken a peek into Tohru's end of the world. I read over my story and found the obvious omission of our heroine—it was intentional though. As you can see, she's been living as normally as ever, and it looks like our young heroine is moving on with her life as peacefully as she has lived it. Everything is so calm from her perspective…hmmm…
What is Hatori up to…Shigure wants to know…you want to know…I even want to know! Stay tuned!
The single I listened to here is Celine Dion's “I'm Alive”; it describes our Tohru so well in the sense that she's living life fully due to her constant support group, the Sohma Family.
Remember to leave your kind thoughts on the review board…'til next week! Ja!