100 Poems

BY : Takiko
Category: Fruits Basket > General
Dragon prints: 1234
Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Japanese words used:
Isuzu=Rin’s real name
honke=main family house of the Sohma’s
anou=hesitation sound, basically "Ummm..."
saa=sound of indetermination, sort of "um... well...", also means "yea"
-nii=to address informally a big brother
-oneechan=to address informally a big sister
-chan=used to address in a affectionate and personal way, usually reserve for family or close friends or small children, usually girls. Also can mean sweetie, dear, and other cute terms.
-kun=used to address younger people or colleagues, Mr. or Ms.
-san=a proper way to address people, it is like using, Mr., Mrs., Miss
sensei=title used when talking of or to members of certain professions (this is refering to Shigure in this chapter, perhaps because he is a professional author)
obi=sash used around the waist of a kimono. The obi is made of 3 belts and a braided cord.
obi belt=the third layer of the obi. A ladies formal obi is 4 meters in length and 60 centimeters in width. It is folded in half and wraped twice around the waist and tied in back.
obi-jime= thin braided colored cord used as the last layer of the obi.
kimono=a loose outer garment worn with a sash
shimenawa=tradition decoration for Japanese New Year's celebration. It is hung over the entrance way of the household. It is thought to prevent "evil spirits" from entering.(further explained in story)
kadomatsu=traditional decoration for Japanese New Year's celebration. It is set on the sides of the entrance of the household. It is thought to welcome "good luck" into the household.(further explained in story)
Oshogatsu=(New Year; literally, "new month"), is the most important celebration of the year, a festive occasion with good feelings and nostalgia.
Omisoka= the day of New Year’s Eve
Susuharai=Traditionally both inside and outside the house are cleaned before New Year's. This time is called Susuharai. The stains and dirt, physical and spiritual, of the past year are scrubbed out in order to purify the home and make it fresh and serene for the New Year. People work hard to prepare for the New Year, with one or two weeks of cleaning and shopping before it. (not mentioned in this chapter)
“Uta Karuta”-The Hyakunin Isshu Card Game=a traditional Japanese card game, often played at New Year's. It is based on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. (not mentioned in this chapter)

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, also called Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each or 100 poems by 100 poets) , is an anthology of 100 poems by 100 different poets. The poems are all "waka" (now called "tanka"). Waka are five-line poems of 31 syllables, arranged as 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. The waka represented in Hyakunin Isshu were court poetry, which almost exclusively used the waka format from the earliest days of Japanese poetry until the seventeen-syllable haiku came into prominence in the seventeenth century. It was compiled by Fujiwara no Teika in the year 1235 C.E. It is one of the best-known works in Japan, and has been translated into English by Clay MacCauley, Tom Galt, Sharman Grant, and several others.
visit this site for more info:http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/hyakunin/index.html


Summary: A Rin Story. The story starts with the New Year’s Celebration for the Year of the Rabbit and the possible things that went on during those three short days.

Pairings?: HaruxRin, ShigurexRin

Note: This follows the manga mostly. Also note Rin’s eyes are dark brown in this story. Haru’s eyes are brown, & Shigure eyes are dark gray. Also for those that might not know, Rin is the horse, Haru the cow/ox, Shigure the dog, Kisa the tiger, Kagura the boar, Momiji the rabbit, Kyo the cat, Yuki the rat, Ritsu the monkey, Hiro the sheep, Ayame the snake, Hatori the dragon, and Kureno the rooster. More author notes at end of chapter. ^_^

Drama/Angst/AU(just cause I’m making this all up)/Lime (maybe lemon)
Rating: R
Written: Chapter 1, Dec. 2002-Jan. 17, 2003, edited Jan 18-Feb 10.

All characters belong to Takaya Natsuki the creator of Fruits Basket. I'm just borrowing them a bit.

“100 Poems”
by Yui-chan (Takiko)
chapter one: Omisoka
(rated R this chapter for language)
following three poems from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu
Minamoto no Toru

Like Michinoku prints
Of the tangled leaves of ferns,
It is because of you
That I have become confused;
But my love for you remains.
Emperor Koko

It is for your sake
That I walk the fields in spring,
Gathering green herbs,
While my garment's hanging sleeves
Are speckled with falling snow.
Oshikochi no Mitsune

If it were my wish
To pick the white chrysanthemums,
Puzzled by the frost
Of the early autumn time,
I by chance might pluck the flower.

*She remembered seeing him across the room.*

It was New Year’s eve and the main house was active with people for the festive occasion. Handmade paper lanterns, flowers, ribbons were just of few of the many items adorning the extensive halls of the Sohma's honke; everything was decorated colorfully; everyone was dressed brightly for the very important celebration, including herself. The ornate but tight cream colored obi cinched her waist like a corset making her breasts want to naturally spill forth over the sash, but the three layers of heavy silk kimono pressed her ample bosom painfully flat like a boy’s chest. She wore a dark pink kimono imprinted with an even geometric design of dusky pink sakura blossoms, next layer was bright maroon of heavy brocade, followed by another one of light pink with explosions of white peonies and mixes of dark purple swirls. It was toped with a light green wrap splashed with tiny white and pink flower patterns at its edges. She could barely suck in a breath without feeling she would break a seam. It felt like her skin was suffocating. At least the normally stylish tight clothes she wore were much more comfortable and not so confining. The extra long sleeves dripped low to almost sweep the floor. Rin scowled. Her feet were cramping up from being wrapped so tight like a damn geisha. She wanted to rip off all her clothes and run naked through the party. That would be fucking hysterical to do; it'd definitely shake the people up at the party. But she stood and brooded. She liked parties but not gatherings like these where she felt like some bug under a microscope being examined by the family elders. The music was dull and she longed to dance wildly in the snowy garden to a “Linkin Park” song with just her favorite short skirt, a tank top and a beer in her hand.

Shit and it was just beginning. The party was going to last three long days.

Earlier she helped Kisa dress for her part in the banquet and dance. The year of the Tiger was coming to an end. Even though she didn’t like dressing in kimono she did know how to wear one and dress someone in one.

“Kisa..stand still,“ she scolded the younger girl as she wrapped her in the expensive clothes.

“You will only wear this once. So let me get you in it.” Rin didn’t smile as she worked with the heavy cloth. They all wore new garments every year, never the same. It was to symbolize the newness of the coming year. Kagura was standing nearby with the obi belt. She was smiling that silly dreamy smile of hers. No doubt, thinking of Kyo. Kagura could be so brain dead. How many times does a person have to say 'no' for her to get a clue. “Don’t just stand there admiring it, come over here. I need to put that on now,” Rin called out to Kagura.

Kisa's eyes were getting watery and looked on the verge of tears. Rin was no good with kids, but she thought she try. “Kisa-chan...look up.”
She took a tissue and dabbed the tears that were forming. “It will be fine. Momiji-kun will cheer you up with his dance.”

Kisa’s eyes wavered. ”I would likeveryvery much dance with Hiro-chan.”

“Ehh? You can’t; he is the sheep and you the tiger...you don’t dance together.” Rin’s fingers were crumpling the used tissue, damp with salty moistness. Kisa looked ready to cry; her voice was thin and tinny like a mewing kitten that lost her way.

“But...” she said quietly as her cheeks tinted a pale pink, “but....afterward...?”

“Isuzu-san?” Kagura interrupted as she handed her the obi, “The kadomatsu decoration Kisa-chan made for the front entry was very beautiful, don’t you think?”

“Hai....” Kisa smiled a little. “Isuzu-oneechan ..thank you for your help on the kadomatsu.”

“Sure,” Rin nodded absent-mindedly as she tied the bright red obi into place. She motioned silently to Kagura to hand her the braided obi-jime cord that went on last.

The day before the girls worked on making the traditional kadomatsu and shimenawa now gracing the front entrance to the main house for the Oshogatsu, the New Year's, season. These decorations were thought to bring good luck and keep bad luck away. The kadomatsu was made of pine. Bamboo and blooming apricot branches were added, making it more elaborate. Pine symbolizing strength and longevity; bamboo for resilience, growth, and uprightness; and apricot blossoms for steadfastness in adversity and fertility. The pure white blossoms bloomed even in snowy winters. The decoration was set up on both sides of the front entrance. The shimenawa was hung in archarchway of the entrance. It mademade of straw rope with zigzag’s of red and white paper twisted into it. All these items were symbolic to prevent the entrance of anything impure and evil into the house. But Rin thought it ironic that it didn’t take into account the evil already there. It was always there in the form of a young man that was their “god”, Akito.

“I made some rice and straw flowers to place of the offerings’ table.” Kisa whispered. The younger girl was looking happier.

Kagura perked up. She was going back and forth between being quiet and composed to being loud and excited. Now, she was a bundle of energy.

“Oh, look here,“ Kagura pulled out a big fat mandarin orange she was hiding away in the sleeve of her kimono and proudly cradled it to her breasts. “This is what I am giving. I love oranges! They remind me of my Kyo-kun!” She beamed happily twisting side to side as she hugged the fruit. Rin just looked up and away without comment. Kagura was completely hopeless. There was nothing she could say to make her change her mind. She was bound and determined to make a fool of herself. And who was she to stop her really. If she felt strongly about something herself she would move heaven and earth to get it. But nothing as hopeless as this, she could not see herself doing that. No, not that.

Rin looked at Kisa placing her palm on her soft coppery hair. “Kisa-chan might dance with Hiro-kun during the New Year though.” Her voice sounded far away as she stared off over her girl’s head while her slender fingers smoothed through the child’s hair. Not everything was hopeless. With the simple clearness that Kisa shared with Hiro, there was still hope.

*Her eyes watched him.*

Shit. Three long days. She raised both her hands to touch her cheeks; they were hot. She was hot from being warped up in all the silken garments and hot because her temper boiled. Her long black hair had been lacquered and bundled up into an elaborate traditional Japanese style complete with fragile antique ornaments and combs. Her pale skin was powered like a snow maiden’s, lips tinted like a ripe cherry, and cheeks painted like a pink flower kissed them. Her dark brown eyes flared. She hated looking like this. She hated tradition. She hated it all.

She was so caught up in her private misery she was taken off guard when a gentle hand rested on her shoulder. At first instinct she wanted to brush it away, but a peaceful languorous voice called her name which made her stop.

“Rin?” The honorific dropped, so intimate and personal the way he said it. She knew who it was.

“Haru.” She didn’t turn her head but instead her eyes searched for that person across the room. Where did he go? He was there a minute ago. Quietly sitting reading as the party swirled around him. He looked totally unaffected by his surroundings. How could he concentrate to do that with all the commotion taking place. It secretly amazed her. The hand on her shoulder squeezed slightly and she was reminded of the person behind her.

“Rin.” Her thoughts interrupted again. This time she turned around to meet the gentle brown eyes of the boy that loved her. Her hand rose to touch his cheek briefly which made him shyly blush. He was so tranquil and she had him wrapped around her fingers. But he didn’t mind. He never minded. Yet still her insides went soft around him causing her to wonder sometimes who had who entwined.

“The banquet is starting,” he said quietly.

“How am I to eat or do anything in this getup? I can barely sit down,” she quipped irritably, as she lead him away to quieter place so they could talk. He followed her to a corner.

“It will be fine. That’s why you kneel. You seem to manage each year.” His hands turned her around to face him. He looked so peaceful, his wild white hair brushing into his calm brown eyes but his lips were twitching upwards stopping shy of a smile.

“But ever year they seem to add one more thing on. I swear someone is making it more difficult for me!” She frowned kicking the floor with her heel.

Haru laughed at that, his lips forming a smile that would melt snow. Normally she hated when someone laughed at her but not him, never him. He was completely guileless; no malice was in that laugh and she knew why she loved him.

She did, truly she did. A first true love, pure and innocent. He was too good for her. Even in his black moods he was pure. She was restless and he was stable. Her hand reached out to lightly hold his hand as if to draw from his natural calm. Her heart never faltered for him as she knew his didn’t either. Rin knew she would love him forever, but she also knew it wasn't going to work. She was certain that something would happen to ruin it. Selfish, she was selfish. She wanted him yet she knew it wasn't going to happen. She would tell him one day, but not today. Protect, always protect.

A sad little smile crossed her lips and his finger came up to trace the smile.

“You smile,” he said soft and soothing.

Only he could make her do that. She parted her lips to slyly nibble his finger and lick it.

“You are hungry.” He pulled back his finger in mild surprise, her lips leaving a small red stain of lipstick.

“I am famished.” She didn’t care if anyone was looking. But she knew Haru's body was blocking the view of what she was doing.

“Soon.” His lazy eyes held a promise of soft touches and kisses. Soon would seem like an eternity.

“If you go black it will be more exciting.” Two of her fingers traced a line up his black kimono, to the white one peaking underneath to play idly with the stray black hair that fell at the nap of his neck.

“But I won’t remember.”

“I will.”

Haru smiled innocently, the edge of his mouth quirking to one side, and squeezed her hand. “If it happens it happens.”

A finger hooked under one of his chains he wore around his neck and she tugged in down so he would meet her eyes dead on. He was so devilishly handsome when he smiled like that. How could such a boyish smile be so seductive? Sometimes all reason went out of her head when he did that. He wasn’t wearing much jewelry today: two simple black chains and silver studded earrings, two in one ear lobe, three in the other. And he wore a thick silver ring that her thumb now traced over as she held his hand. The simplest of his attire and elaborateness of hers. It stood out so clear to her like the contrasts in their nature. The only thing out of place was the golden yellow wrap imprinted with red and orange fans and leaves that lightly rested across his shoulders; he was dressed for a banquet and good enough to eat.

“Come with me,” she whispered huskily.

Rin lead him to another room with no people to stare at them. She slid the door closed. It was the offering room. No one was in it at the moment. All the offerings to the house gods were placed out neatly on a table by the family members and guests. Her offerings were chestnuts of all things. She didn’t put much thought into it. She stared at them all and didn’t know why, but felt nostalgic? Almost wishing she was small again and not to know all the things she knew know. She looked up and him took his hand. She brought it to her lips and softly kissed each finger like they were the most sacred things in that room. More sacred then offerings to gods. She didn’t want to wait until after the banquet she wanted him now. Her heart fluttered like a bird stuck in a cage. It was beating so wild. His hand was so warm. And she was feeling so hot. However, he slowly pulled his hand away and brushed her lips with the pad of his thumb and shook his head. A sigh escaped her lips. He was right; it was too dangerous to do anything here. She composed herself and let her green wrap slip off her shoulders to spill its ends onto the floor.

“Tell me, why I am wearing this again? It is not the year of the Horse. But you would think the way I’m dressed up it was,” she complained.

“And w it it be bad for it always be your year? Anyhow are you not to sing before the dance?” His voice could be so soft. “ For Kisa-chan’s sake you wear it, but you like the attention admit it. Everyone is looking at you.”

“Shut up!” She bit out and turned away before he saw her rising blush. He was right she did like to be the center of attention. Rin didn’t mind him being so blunt; it was one of his most endearing qualities, but this gathering wasn’t fun. It was boring. “So what if I do, but not this way. I’d rather do it on my terms. I don’t like to be a bird trapped in a cage that everyone looks at. I’d rather fly out and poop in someone’s hair like some damn pigeon.“ She faced him with a smirk. She was being argumentative, but he didn’t seem to mind. He just laughed again.

“Why you!” She hit him in the chest with her fist in a teasing punch. “Stop laughing at me!”

“Why? You say the funniest things.” He intoned in his quiet drawl. “Just stop hitting me or do you want me to go black in the middle of this party.”

“I’d *love* to see that.” She grinned even wider and playfully punched him again.

“Rin..” Haru shook his head, “It won’t happen cause I’m not mad or irritated with you.” He smiled and tucked back a loose black strand of her hair that floated free of its comb.

“Asshole, ruin my fun!“ She pouted and pounded one more time on his chest before she gave up and leaned her head against it, pressing her ear to his heart, listening to the steady beat, letting all her frustrations bleed away with each pulse. She stood quietly, her fingers lightly gripping the front of his kimono, feeling his breath stir on her neck. Her own heart started to slow down to his paced beat. So sure, so secure. Her voice was barely a whisper. “You know I care for you very much.”

“Hai, so do I.” After a minute past he added. “We better leave. We are late.”

“I can always say you got lost getting to the room.”

“It is only two rooms away.”

“So?” she intoned sarcastically.

His arms wrapped around her and held her gently. “So stubborn.”

“Everyone is here then? I saw Shigure-nii earlier so that means Yuki is here.”

“Ahhh...sensei’s visit with Akito-san was quick.”

Something in his tone wasn’t quite right and she shifted to look up at him.

“You sound suspicious.”

“Do I?” Haru sounded a bit edgy but he tilted his head as if thinking.

“Don’t you like Shigure-nii?”

“Saaa...I do like him, but I don’t trust him.”

“Haru, you are not saying something. Please spit it out. You know how I hate it when people don’t get to the point.” She said impatiently.

“I greeted Shigure-sensei when he came. He was the last one to come. So strange. I thought he had an accident. It is not like him to be so tardy since he is the one that has Akito-san’s ear. He told me that much.”

“So where is the mouse?” She noticed he didn’t mention Yuki. Somehow that made her nervous. It was unexplainable, like a tiny whisper in the back of her mind that sent out ghostly tingles down her spine. Her body pressed closer to Haru’s as if that would make this odd feeling go away. She didn’t want to seem impolite. She and Yuki never got along. The stuck up snob, Akito’s little toy. Just thinking of him made her feel bitter.

“Yuki? He didn’t come.” He stated listlessly, like it made him sad.

“What? You must be joking? The precious rat not come to the feast?’ Her tone was on the edge of mockery as her eyebrows quickly shot up. She couldn’t hide her feelings well.

Haru let one arm hold her as his hand let go to tug at his ear. It was a nervous habit of his. It meant he was worried. “Anou...He isn’t coming and neither is Kyo. And the neko promised to fight with me over the New Year.”

“Kyo?” She was beginning to feel like a stupid parrot. She hated looking foolish. Kagura will be sulking. Kyo wasn’t coming either. Not that it mattered but still he ways always was there in the past too. The outsider, locked outside the room of banquet. That must make him feel like shit. But being on the other side of the door wasn’t much better sometimes.

“Why?” She finally said.

“It is a girl. I asked if Yuki was running away and sensei said he wasn’t; he was running to something.”

She nodded at this. This was totally mind blowing. Yuki was not coming. What would Akito think? What would he do? She didn’t want to be in Yuki’s shoes. Akito’s wrathful rages were notorious. She actually found herself feeling a little sorry for the rat.

She relaxed a little and their embraced ended. “Does she make him smile? Smile, like you make me?” Her lips curled playfully. The mood had gotten too somber. Damn Yuki! He sure spoiled things even when he wasn’t here.

“I don’t know, but I will find out.”

“Always protecting. You love Yuki.”

“Hai, I do. I will always be grateful to him.”

She didn’t want to talk about the prefect Yuki anymore. But Haru loved the mouse dearly for some reason so she had to bite her tongue so not to talk bitterly about him in front of him. Though she knew Haru knew her feelings toward Yuki.

The door suddenly slid open with a loud bang and both were caught in surprise! Rin jumped like a fireworks' explosion went off two feet away. She blinked as well as Haru. She tried desperately not to look as shocked as she felt. It didn’t work.

“Who?” She gapped a bit then shut her mouth. Standing there decked out in full elegant kimono with flowing white hair that shined like pure silver was the most beautiful creature she knew. It was Ayame. He always had to pop out of nowhere like that and give everyone a heart attack!

“Ha, ha, ha! So I see that my services are not necessary! You two are gripped in the deep bosom of blossoming love! I feel it!” His fist pounded at his chest to accent the last three words.

“Ayame-nii....please...shhhhhh..” Rin put up her finger to her lips.

“I see...you want privacy.” His voice lowered, “ But I came to fetch you both. I saw you two sneak in here earlier,” Ayame winked. “But I didn’t tell a soul.”

“Thank you ...Ayame-nii.” She stepped forward and took both his hands and rested her forehead on them. “Thank you.” She was grateful for Ayame’s kind nature. Everyone thought he was a big loud mouth and absolutely frivolous but she knew he was giving and could be discreet at times. He was so unlike his brother, Yuki.

“You can thank me later sweet Rin-chan.” He touch his finger to her chin and tipped it up. His golden eyes were hypnotic and shined with a luminous light. “I see that unearthly desires can not be contained by mere mortals such as we. I totally approve of this affair. What could not be more of dreams, a fair raven hair beauty and her knightly suitor.”

Haru still was standing there in a dazed mode like he got hit by a truck. He blinked a couple time and scratched his head. “Hello Ayame-san,” he finally said. Haru wasn’t too good at being taken be surprise and recovered slowly.

Rin blinked at Ayame for his last comment. He could be so...so...over the top! “Ayame-nii, I suggest we follow you *now*.” She clipped out the last word sharply. He was making a scene, but she couldn’t be mad at him for just being his enthusiastic self.

“Right this way!” Ayame turned leave.

“Ayame-nii, wait,” she called after him and touched his sleeve. He turned quickly, his long silvery hair swirling around him before in settled on his shoulders and back. “Uhh?” he questioned.

Her expression was serious. “Don’t tell anyone. Not even Hatori-nii.” She let her hand drop to her side that took his sleeve. Ayame was well meaning, but he liked to gossip.

The handsome snake pouted elegantly as he toyed with the ends of his hair, twisting a strand around his finger. He sighed, his shoulder visible sagging, before he straighten up. “OK, I will delay saying anything even to Tori-san. But it cuts my heart deep not to share this joyous union.”

“You will live,” her features soften allowing a small smile which was partly prompted by Haru stepping up to her side.

“Just let me know how I can assist.” Ayame answered in a thoughtful matter, resting his long fingers along side his neck and folding one arm across his chest as he looked down on her.

“You already have,” Haru said in his lazy fashion, finally speaking up.

End of Chapter 1
author notes:
1. Thanks and huggles to Mona-chan and Belinda-chan for proofreading this chapter!
2. Also like to thank the otoko_to_onna RPG for birthing my idea for a Rin story.
3. I am patterning Rin's personality on the horse zodiac and the brief times she was in the manga.
4. I had Rin be pleasant to Ayame because the horse follows the snake in the zodiac. So I am assuming that they would be at least pleasant to each other and might like each other.
5. I like to thank the story "Transitory Dance" by Aishuu, a wonderful story. It is where I got the idea Rin can sing.
6. The title was not the original working title but after doing research on japanese poems which I wanted to use in this story I came upon the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. This I found perfect to use in the story and it in turn became a part of the title too.
7. The poems in the beginning are from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu as you might have guessed. I selected each poem with a purpose. Each chapter will start with poems from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.
8. Sorry for the long glossary in the beginning of the story but some of the japanese terms might be unfamiliar to some readers. ^^;; I just decided to explain all japanese words I used in the story.
9. Songs listened to while writing this piece: various Christmas songs and Enya
10. Comments are welcome if you like.
11. Hoped you liked it so far. ^_^

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