A New Kind of Fruit Basket

BY : KeikoDogDemon
Category: Fruits Basket > General
Dragon prints: 1932
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.

A New Kind Of Fruit Basket

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket, just the original characters I've created, so please don't sue me.

It was the end of Tohru Honda’s second year of high school. As she threw her backpack over her shoulder, she let out a deep sigh. It had been an exciting twelve months, but she was incredibly glad it was over. As she walked out of the classroom, Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajiame ame up behind her.

“Hey, Tohru, we’re free!” Arisa yelled.

Tohru laughed. “Hi there, Uo. And yeah, I s ths the year is finally over. It’s been a good one though, hasn’t it?”

Saki put her hand on Tohru’s shoulder. “So what do you want to do this summer, Tohru?” she asked.

Tohru stopped and turned to her friends. “Hmm…I dunno. Maybe we could get Yuki and the others to join us for a picnic or something when it gets warmer.”

Arisa smiled. “Great idea, girlie. Want me to ask them about it?”

“That’s okay. Momiji said he wanted to go to the mall today with everyone, so I’ll ask them all about it while we’re out…that is, if you want to come, too.”

“Sure, we’ll come,” Saki said. “It could be fun.”

At that moment, Hatsuharu and Momiji walked up to them from around the corner, and Yuki and Kyo came through the door of the classroom behind them.

“Hello everyone!” Momiji said. Then, turning to Tohru, he started jumping up and down and shouting, “Are we going to the mall? Huh? HUH? Are we? Are we?”

Tohru laughed. “Sure, Momiji…are the rest of you coming?”

She was answered with a simultaneous, “Yeah.”

“Okay then,” she said. “Let’s go.”

The mall was absolutely crowded. Kids from all over Tokyo had come for something to do on their first day off. Loud talking and mindless chatter were all that was heard as the group walked through the large doors. The first thing they came to was the video arcade.

“Come on!” Momiji shouted, pulling on Tohru’s arm, “let’s go inside! Please?”

“Sure,” she answered.

“Last one in’s a rotten egg! Ha ha!” the blonde boy shouted as he ran ahead, pulling Tohru along with him.

Arisa smiled as she saw the younger boy pulling her best friend behind him. Then, turning to Kyo, she said, “Hey, Orange Top, Saki and I are going to do a little window shopping. Tell Tohru, okay?”

Kyo waved his hand at them. “Sure. Go right ahead.” Then he and Yuki made their way into the arcade.

Hatsuharu was left standing outside the game room, alone. Looking up, he caught a glimpse of the second floor balcony of the mall complex, where the signs of a few stores could be seen from the floor below. He caught sight of a kid in a tight leather jacket, who looked like he wasn’t much older than himself, sneaking up behind an old woman with a large beige-colored purse. Without warning, the punk grabbed the purse out of the lady’s hands and ran off with it.

As the poor woman fruitlessly called after him to bring back her purse, the kid pushed dozens of other people to get away. He craned his head to see if anyone was following him, and as he did so, to Haru’s horror, he ran right into a young girl who was standing near the edge of the balcony. She lost her footing, and almost in slow motion, she fell to the floor below. Hatsuharu rushed forward and, taking a dive, he caught the girl in his arms. Both of them hit the ground with a hard thud.

He braced himself for the transformation that he knew was inevitable. When there was no “poof” or black and white smoke that signified he’d turned into a cow, he slowly opened his eyes.

Tohru and the others, upon hearing all the commotion out in the main compound, rushed out of the arcade to see what was going on. Seeing Haru on the ground next to a strange girl, Tohru gasped.

Haru got a good look at the girl. She had long, shiny blonde hair and hazel eyes. She had a good complexion…except for the slight blush she had on her face. Realizing why it was there, he quickly pulled his arms away from her and turned the other way. All of a sudden, another young boy came up behind him.

“What the hell are you doing, pal?” the boy shouted? “Aren’t you even going to help her up?”

With that, the guy put his arms around the young lady, and almost immediately, there was a loud “poof” and a golden-colored smoke surrounded the girl. When it cleared, the guy h she sheepish expression on his face and was holding what looked to be a very, very large cat.

“Shishi…Shishi, are you all right?” Haru turned to see two other girls rushing towards them. “Oh no…she’s transformed! She’s a lion!”

The guy looked at the strange animal in his arms and, with a shout, dropped it onto the floor.

One of the lion’s friends picked her up and, wrapping her in a large coat, turned to the crowd of confused teens and said, “Follow me.” Still confused and dazed, they all obeyed. However, one of the girls, Haru noticed, stayed behind.

The girl carried the lion outside to a huge fountain and sat down on the concrete surrounding the water. Tohru leaned down and peered into the feline’s eyes.

“Wow,” she said. “Are you…a member of the Zodiac?”

The lion shook her head. “Not exactly. I’m familiar with the Sohma household, but my kind are very different from those of the Chinese Zodiac.”

“Oh,” Tohru replied, confused. “Then…why did you transform when that boy touched you?”

The girl holding the lion answered her question. “We’re members of the Astrology. We transform into the twelve animals of the signs of the twelve months. Shishi here represents the sign of Leo, the lion. Actually, in her case, I should say ‘lioness’.”

By that time, the third girl finally came out of the building and joined the crowd of mostly bewildered teenagers.

“Erasing that boy’s memory?” Shishi asked.

The girl smiled. “Yes.”

Wow, Tohru thought. This is insane. That girl just erased someone’s memory…just like Hatori!

The girl with Shishi in her arms introduced herself. “My name is Ookami. This girl here with us is Shishi’s younger sister, Sakana. We’re all members of the Astrology.”

Tohru’s eyes went wide with delight. “Oh really, that’s wonderful! What animals are you?”

Ookami looked at her. “We are not to give that kind of information. However, tonight is a new moon. Come with us back to our home, and you will see our transformations.”

Yuki’s eyes popped open. “You, too, have an annual transformations?”

Tohru asked, “What do you mean, Yuki? What does she mean?”

“Miss Honda,” he started, “Members of the Zodiac transform into their animal forms when they’re at Sohma House during the New Year’s dinner, after the dance, on the eve of every New Year.” Then, looking at Ookami, he asked, “But why would you transform tonight? It’s not yet a new year.”

Sakana answered him. “Our transformations come on the night of every full moon.”

“Twelve times a year?” Kyo shouted.

“Yes,” Ookami replied with a grin. “And we don’t even have to be together. We transform wherever we are when the sun goes down, and we stay that way until after midnight.”

“Oh, my,” Tohru replied. “I never realized that there were others besides the Sohmas who were under this kind of spell. It’s really very fascinating.”

“As Shishi said,” Sakana began, “the Uesutsus… that’s the name of our family…well, we have always known of the Sohmas and their curse. However, not many of them know about us. The head of the Sohma family, Akito, is to blame for that. He tries to keep all of the younger members of the Zodiac in the dark about the fact that there are others just like them…or that when they come in contact with a member of the opposite sex from the Astrology, that they will not transform, because our curses are so similar.”

“Well, that sure as hell is the truth,” Kyo stated. “I’ve never heard of anyone named ‘Uesutsu.’ And it’s not just ‘cause that’s not a very common name.”

“Yes, it’s true,” Haru said. “Akito has never been one to let his own be subjected to something that will draw them away from him. He was probably afraid that our loyalty towards him would be threatened if we ever found out about others like us. And for him, that’s all he has; our fear of him is the only thing that gives him power. If another’s influence gave us new ideas, then there’s no telling what we might learn. I can see why he might be worried.”

After hearing all of this, Yuki stared at Ookami and the others diligently, as if to study them. He observed the looks on their faces, to see if there was any chance that a gaffe expression could tell their whole life’s stories; but none of them even quavered in the least. Just then, Momiji walked up to Yuki, disturbing his concentration.

“Um, Yuki,” the small boy began, “can we go over to their house? They said that they’d be transforming tonight, and I want to see what animals they are. Please, pretty please, with sugar on top?”

Yuki sighed. “I don’t know, Momiji. The rest of their family may wish to spend this special night with them alone, without strangers from another family present. We may just be intruding in on their privacy if we go.”

Ookami smiled. “No, it’s quite all right, really. There will only be a couple other members, including us. Everyone else will go to the Uesutsu shrine on the other side of town. That’s usually where I am at this time of the month, but I’m spending some time with Shishi and Sakana.”

“So it’s all right then, if we come over?” Momiji asked excitedly.

“It’s all right with us, and I’m sure some of the other Astrology members would love to meet a few of the infamous Sohmas our family has heard so much about.”

“All right, then,” Tohru said with a big smile. “We’ll all come to your house shortly before the sun sets tonight.”

Placing Shishi on the ground, Ookami wrote their address down on a small napkin and handed it to Tohru. “Here is our address. Everyone will be glad to see you; and I am personally looking forward to the occasion.”

With that, Sakana and Ookami wrapped Shishi back up in the coat and, waving goodbye to the others, headed towards the parking lot and their car.

A few minutes later, Saki and Arisa spotted Tohru and waved. They were carrying the purchases they’d made while everyone else had been meeting the Uesutsus.

“Hey, guys,” Arisa said. “You done playing games already?”

Tohru turned to the boys, but they shook their heads.

“Yeah,” Kyo stated, “that got boring real quick.”

“Well,” Tohru began, “maybe we should all go home then.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Yuki said. “We’ve all had a long day.”

With that, they left, the memories of the recent events still clouding Tohru’s mind, as well as four members of the Zodiac.

Hatsuharu couldn’t get his mind off Shishi. The instant that he saw her just before that boy touched her and made her transform into a lion, he knew there was something about her that drew him to her. He didn’t know if it was her beauty or what. Some kind of strange sensation went through his body every time he thought about her. He was never one to believe in love at first sight, but in this case, his train of thought on that matter had turned and started going in the opposite direction.

After the introduction at the mall, he, Tohru, and the others had gone on to Shigure’s house. He asked the novelist if it would be all right if he stayed at his place that night, because it would be too late and dark outside for him to make the long trek home after they visited Shishi’s later that evening. Shigure said sure, he didn’t see why not.

“Besides,” he said, “school’s out now. Now’s the time to be around your friends.” Then, with a sneer, he added,” Especially Tohru…that girl sure is cute.”

Both Yuki and Kyo popped him a good one for that remark.

Around 7:00 PM, he and the others bid Shigure farewell and headed to the address Ookami had written down on the napkin for them. It took Haru a while, but he eventually led everyone to the right house.

Like Shigure’s house, it was hidden amongst many trees. It wasn’t as seed aed as the dog’s home, nor as big, but it was still a good distance into the forest. It had a wraparound porch with a swing by the front door, and a huge flowerbed that took up most of the front yard and another side of the building.

Haru was the first up the porch steps. He knocked on the door and waited for a moment. When no one came, he bent down and took a peak at the inside through the mail slot. Staring back at him were two brown eyes. Letting out a surprised shout, he fell back onto his behind and bumped his head on the hard wood of the porch floor.

“Ouch…damn it, what was that?”

Slightly hysterical laughter came from inside. The door opened, and there stood Shishi, in her natural form, staring down at him with a big grin on her face.

“Hey there,” she said. “Glad you could make it.”

Haru jumped to his feet, his cheeks flaring red. “What the hell did you scare me like that for? Geez, we just met and you already think you have to start pulling jokes on me.”

She laughed again. “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t resist.” Then, looking behind him, she spotted the others. “Hello there. Welcome to Uesutsu House.”

“Hi Shishi!” Tohru called, running up to the porch with a huge smile plastered on her face. “Wow, I love your house! It’s so beautiful! And the flowers are just amazing!”

“Those belong to the owner of our house,” Shishi replied. “He likes to plant them in his free time, when he’s not working.”

Tohru’s smile never left her face. “Oh, I almost forgot! I never introduced myself ealier! My name is Tohru Honda, and this is Yuki, Kyo, and Momiji…and it seems you’ve already met Hatsuharu.”

“Yes,” Shishi replied with a chuckle. “He’s quite the gentleman for breaking my fall the way he did.” Haru blushed.

“Well, come on in,” Shishi said. “Sakana is eager to see you again, and I’d like to introduce you to some of the other Astrology members.”

She led them through the front hall into the living room, where there was a large table filled with snacks and beverages awaiting them.

“Wow…Miss Shishi, you and your family have really outdone yourself,” Yuki said, astonished that they’d work so hard to make strangers feel welcome in their home. “You really shouldn’t have.”

“Whadda ya mean, rat boy?” Kyo said, his mouth watering. “They’ve got slices of salmon and cod…and is that tartar sauce I see over there?” He rushed at the food, but Yuki clomped him over the head.

“Mind your manners while we’re here, why don’t you, you stupid cat.”

“Oh, you wanna pick a fight with me here and now, is that it? Okay then, bring it on!”

“Nonsense. We’re guests here. Now stop being so inconsiderate and be grateful for what they’ve laid out for us!”

“Whatever, you damn rat.”

Tohru let out a sigh of relief when the argument ended at that. Then, turning to Shishi, she asked, “So where is everyone else?”

“They went fishing this evening…the lake near here is where we get our fish from. No sense buying it when you can catch it yourself.”

Just then, they all heard the front door open and saw Sakana walk through the front door with some other people.

“Hey, Sis, ‘bout time you got home. As you can see, they’ve arrived.”

Shishi introduced Sakana to them all properly, and then turned to the other members of the family that had walked in behind her sister. Tohru followed her new friend’s gaze.

There were two guys. One was tall and relatively handsome, with dark black hair and brown eyes. The other was slightly shorter than the first and looked like maybe he was in high school; he was shorter than the first with brown hair and silver-colored eyes.

Pointing to the black-haired gentleman, Shishi said, “This is Hitsugi. He’s 28… the owner of the house and our guardian. The brown-haired guy is Rizaado…he’s 16, like us. He’ll be a junior next year like us, too.” Then she introduced the two of them to Tohru and the members of the Zodiac.

“Are you two members of the Astrology?” Tohru asked politely.

Hitsugi smiled. “Yes, Tohru, as a matter of fact, we are. Rizaado and I both will be transforming tonight along with Shishi and Sakana.“

Momiji’s eyes lit up. “This is so exciting! I can’t believe there are others besides the Sohmas that are cursed! We’re not as alone as I thought!”

“Come on you guys,” Shishi said. “Let’s party until the moon comes out. Then you can see what animals the others are.”

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