Like a Switch

BY : Demonic_Host
Category: Fruits Basket > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 3509
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, own or make money from Fruits Basket or any of its associated characters.

Like a Switch

Chapter Twelve


A week had gone by since Shigure’s last visit. In the grand scheme of things that wasn’t a very long time. It just felt like that to you given that he had practically proposed the last time you had seen him. You hadn’t directly told him no but you knew he would have been hurt either way. Even if it wasn’t instantly apparent, any man would feel rejected by anything less than a “yes”. You were just glad that you had avoided a direct answer until the bouncer had come to escort him out at closing time so you hadn’t been witness to a look of heartbreak. 


Shigure had his own faults but he was a sweet man. One who lived under a curse yet still managed to help others and smile. You might not want to get married as young as you were but you also didn’t want to hurt him either. Even thinking about the situation a week later left you feeling like there were knots where your intestines should have been. 


As you applied a faint, dewy hint of blush that was popular you tried to push him to the back of your mind. That was easier said than done as you started to consider that the men you’d see tonight would probably end up drunk. Unlike him. You looked at yourself one last time before cleaning up and putting your things away. The walk to work would be enough time for the lightly applied makeup to fully set. So as you thought up as many things to distract yourself as you walked it ended up working. 


In fact, you did such a good job that you almost walked into someone. As you apologized you tried to move to the side as a show of respect. However the person didn’t make a move to get around you. When you realized that you looked to see who it was. When you saw Yuki with a carefully guarded look on his face you couldn’t help but blink owlishly. The last time you had seen Yuki had been when you had turned him back into a Human in the bathroom. 


“Long time no see, Yuki,” you greeted. 


He nodded in acknowledgment. He backed up closer to one of the local shops so that you could move out of the way for those who were in a hurry to pass. You moved to follow him but not before sparing a glance towards the alleyway that lead to your work. You couldn’t spend too long with Yuki or you’d be late for work. But a short conversation shouldn’t hurt anyone. 


“Did you come to talk or were you waiting for someone else?” You asked. 


“I came to talk with you. Did you have a few minutes?”


“A few,” you told him as you looked back to the alleyway. 


He followed your momentary gaze. On an unconscious level he placed his hand on your elbow in an attempt to move you away from the alley. Neither you nor he really moved of course but his touch lingered. Beneath the blue lace that covered your elbow he could feel the heat of your skin. He imagined the soft skin below; Yuki couldn’t help but envision the softest peach skin. The little that he had touched before had been soft and distracting. For once the only person he had to worry about making him transform was himself. 


“How did you know how to transform me back?”


You tilted your head. It was a good question, one that you should have been able to answer. Yet you honestly had no idea. It was like you knew the words you wanted to say yet they couldn’t come out. Or like a fog that obscured your vision of the truth. You could see a hazy silhouette of the truth, sense that it was there, but not be able to see any of the details that comprised it. 


“I don’t know,” you whispered in a baffled tone. 


“So I was an experiment?”


You shook your head slowly as you tried to put into words a better explanation for him. “I knew it would work. I just don’t know how I knew.”


Yuki made a thoughtful sound. His hand slowly trailed down your arm. Despite the lace covering your skin the slow motion brought goosebumps. He laid his arms over one another, grasping the opposite elbow. For a moment it seemed like he was hugging himself and that pulled forth the urge to do it for him. You resisted that urge of course. It would have been unseemly to hug him in the middle of a main sidewalk. 


“I know that we are related, but I’ve never seen you at the Sohma house. Why is that?”


“I left Japan ten years ago. I just recently came back.”


He tilted his head, gray hair slipping around his face. You reached up and pushed the side bang back behind his ear before you realized what you were doing. Before you were able to draw your hand back Yuki had placed his own over it. For a few heartbeats he held your hand to the side of his face. In just that small moment your heart bled for him. The way Yuki held himself and spoke didn’t make you think it was out of some perverted notion. What kind of life had he left that he was that starved for attention? You knew that he couldn’t hug or be hugged by many girls in this world but what about his father? Or uncles? Granted Japan wasn’t the most affectionate of masculine cultures but still…


Despite your first misgivings of overtly being affectionate in public you stepped in closer to him. You slowly moved to put your free arm around the slender young man, letting him pull free if he wanted. Instead of moving away from you he dropped your other hand so that his arms could wrap tightly around. You lifted your hand and ran your hand through his hair soothingly. Politely you ignored the shiver that raced through his body as he loosened up. 


“I’m here now,” you said soothingly, whispering to him, “And I won’t just run away.”


That was probably going to bite you in the ass at some point. Regardlessly you couldn’t help but mean it when you felt the way he held you. It was like he wanted to hug you tight as Momiji did and yet was afraid to at the same time. You repeated your promise to him again before he pulled back. You saw the unease on his face as he realized that you and he had just been hugging on a well traveled sidewalk. Or maybe it was the fact that he had let you hug him in general. Either way you stayed quiet as he straightened his Chinese styled shirt. 


“I apologize. I didn’t mean to cause a scene.”


You couldn’t say that he didn’t cause a scene, at least not truthfully. So you said nothing about that as the gunmetal gray haired teenager regained his composure. At the very least it was only a hug and a rather platonic one at that. 


“Don’t worry about that so much. I am the one who hugged you first remember. Besides I’m sure you have plenty of other things to worry about. And I would love to talk about that more but I really do have to get to work,” you smiled apologetically. 


He nodded in understanding. As you walked away, Yuki felt like his chest tightened up. He didn’t want you to be in that dark room with lewd men. If it hadn’t been in the adult entertainment sector then touching wouldn’t have been allowed. As it was, Yuki knew that wasn’t the case. Whoever paid for the time could do as they pleased. As long as it was from the waist up. His fist clenched as he stood on the sidewalk. He couldn’t help but feel like that was a degrading job. But what could he do? He was still in high school. He wouldn’t be able to afford to offer you a better alternative. And that was unlikely to change for the next six years. 


Besides that Yuki wasn’t naive; you would eventually want to date someone and it would look bad if your livelihood was paid for by someone who wasn’t in your direct family. It was true that he could pretend to be your half brother or something along those lines but that didn’t feel right. He didn’t want to be your brother, not when he wanted to pull you in for another hug to experience that supernatural euphoria again. It was true that he still felt warm from your touch like it was a barrier protecting him from the world. But it was stronger when you were in his arms. He had never felt like that with his own brother so he didn’t think it would be an appropriate feeling even for a pretend sister. 


At the very least he knew that he wouldn’t have to work so hard to avoid declarations of love from his fangirls tomorrow. That was a gift that you had unknowingly given him.

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