Like a Switch

BY : Demonic_Host
Category: Fruits Basket > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 3408
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, own or make money from Fruits Basket or any of its associated characters.

Like a Switch

Chapter Sixteen

 

“Ignore him,” Yuki said with a small smile. “Some people never learn their manners.”

 

“What did you say you overgrown rat?” Kyo challenged with his hair standing on edge.

 

He was kind of cute in that young high school way. Though from what you could see he didn’t particularly care. Which was good. Guys who were concerned about their looks tended to be more conceited than girls who felt the same. Still he was rather small. He just wasn’t as slender as Yuki from what you could see. But you still had that urge to put some more meat on his bones in the hope that he got taller as well. Considering the fact that he and Yuki were still only teenagers there was still a chance that they’d get taller and fill out a bit more. You just hoped that the later would be in a healthy way.

 

“The Tiger?” You whispered to Shigure questioningly as Yuki traded an insult back to the orange haired teenager.

 

Shigure smiled and leaned in. “No, Kyo here is this generation’s Cat.”

 

Oh. Poor guy. You looked at him a bit more as you tried to figure out how to handle the introductions. You could do a normal, safe introduction. The kind that was generally expected of you. Or you could do something a bit different. That would be more in line with how you met Yuki and Shigure. No doubt it would also stop the fight you were starting to see unfold before you. You could already see how their cursed signs affected their relationship. Though it seemed that Yuki was able to keep his cool much better than Kyo.

 

With your mind made up you strode forward. You moved between the two boys who had decided to bicker at the doorway. And without any further warning, you pushed your way into Kyo’s personal space. Your arms wrapped around him as he instinctively tried to take a step back. No doubt Kyo expected to transform in a puff of smoke which was why he instantly went quiet. When that didn’t happen and you practically felt how shocked he was, you smiled. By that point the room had gone quiet again.

 

You had no way of knowing that both Shigure and Yuki had gone quiet not out of respect or surprise, but because they were repressing the urge to act out. Yuki’s hands clenched at his side as the hug went on for far too long in his opinion. He wanted to rip you away from Kyo. Just like the rat he turned into when he was hugged by most of the female population, Yuki wanted to stash you away from the Cat. Shigure on the other hand was amazed by the violent urge to chase both boys away, literally chase them away. He could feel his body tighten as it prepared to snap. As though he had been set to guard you and they were somehow hurting you with their presence. But the writer knew better than to act out on those violent urges. Just as Yuki knew not to literally rip you away from the stunned carrot top.

 

When you finally did step away from the rapscallion, you smiled and introduced yourself. “Hi. I’m Anita Sohma.”

 

“What the hell was that?” Kyo bristled.

 

This time Yuki really did reach out and grab you. He quickly started to pull you away from Kyo. Meanwhile Shigure took a step or two forward, ready to get between you and the prickly teenager if necessary. He might even do it if it wasn’t necessary.

 

“A hug,” you teased lightly.

 

Shigure Vaguely realized that both he and Yuki were acting as though Kyo would hurt you. He knew that Kyo might be prickly at times but he had never seen him physically lash out at a girl before. It was different with people like Yuki who, despite not seeming like it, was adept at martial arts.

 

“I know that! But I meant...uh…”

 

“Miss Anita is part of the curse too. Her touch doesn’t cause us to transform,” Yuki filled him in.

 

“What the hell? There’s no way!” Kyo rebuked. “All of the zodiac animals are taken and unless she’s like that bastard Akito there’s no way she’s part of the curse.”

 

You went quiet at his objection. As much as you personally hated Akito, you had to admit that your position in the curse was very similar to Akito’s. Though you hoped that’s where the similarities stopped.

 

“Kyo I think you should calm down,” Shigure said as he folded his hands inside of his sleeves.

 

“Why? What’d I say wrong now?” The hothead questioned. “I just said what we all know. We already know who all of the signs are.”

 

He wasn’t wrong. It was just that all of this talk about Akito and being compared to him was nerve racking. It made your stomach clench up and the muscles around your spine to clench. It also happened to make you a little depressed as you thought about Akito finding out you were back in Japan. He would ruin your life to try and keep you reliant on him and caged up. When that happened your only real option would be to move away again. And based on how happy and concerned that two of the men were over your visit with Hatori...well you selfishly hoped that made an impact.

 

“Be quiet you stupid cat. Can’t you see that you’re bothering her?”

 

It was strange to see Yuki suddenly having a bite to his words. Before today you wouldn’t have guessed he even knew any rude words much less used them. Granted ‘stupid’ wasn’t terribly offensive in the grand scheme of things but it was a long ways away from how he spoke to you. You figured that the two of them must not get along. Which was sad as you would have liked to see them defy the zodiac stereotypes.

 

Kyo bristled even more. His eyes quickly moved between Shigure who had gotten closer and to where Yuki’s arm had wrapped around your waist to pull you back. You didn't notice exactly how familiar and intimate of an action that was even as he shifted his arm around to rest intimately behind you. You were far more focused on the riled up teenager in front of you. With the way his shoulders were it almost looked like his clothes were trying to stand on edge in the place of a cat’s fur.

 

“Stupid? I’ll show you stupid you dumb rat! At least I don’t go around accepting that people are part of this screwed up family curse without asking how!”

 

Curiosity killed the cat and all that. Although he was right. It was fascinating that neither Shigure nor Yuki had questioned you about your roll in the curse.

 

“Maybe that’s because unlike you, I remember how to treat people politely,” Yuki tossed back almost instantly.

 

Before Kyo had time for another retort, a very feminine voice cut through the tense air of Shigure’s room. “Kyo? Yuki? Shigure?”

 

“We’re in here Tohru!” Shigure called out.

 

You weren’t sure if it was the girl’s voice or if it was Shigure’s but both Yuki and Kyo had gone quiet again. Though the looked far from finished with their rivalry. It was in that silent moment that you realized that Yuki still had his arm partially wrapped around the back of your waist. His rested on the curve of your hip like it was an old friend, settling there rather intimately. You chose to stay quiet as you didn’t want to draw attention to that fact and embarrass him.

 

“Momiji said that you were fighting again,” a soft, sweet voice called out from behind Kyo. “What were you two fighting over this time?”

 

Kyo scuffed at the voice that came from behind him. You saw how he started to relax and that made you smile. Whoever the girl was behind him, she was good for his temper. You hadn’t been around them for very long and you could already tell that much.

 

“What were you fighting about?” She managed to ask from her position behind Kyo.

 

When Kyo moved out of the doorway with his hands in his pockets, another girl was revealed. She was small; very petite. Her wide eyes made her face look very youthful and her rich brown hair made her features look softer than if there had been a sharp black contrast. She reminded you more of a kid with that expression on her face more than anything. And you couldn’t help but wonder how much she knew about the family situation. Did she know? Was she a part of the zodiac curse herself? You had no way of truly knowing without asking her. But the poor thing seemed to get all flustered when she saw the position that you and Yuki were in while in Shigure’s room.

 

“Oh my!” She nearly stuttered. “I’m Tohru Honda. It’s a pleasure to meet another member of the zodiac!”

 

Well that actually answered both of your rising questions actually. Which of course only left more. But you knew better than to ask them right away. You would wait for it to seem more natural, like it was the naturally progression of the conversation and not something you were suddenly dying to know.

 

“I didn’t think I would get the chance to meet the rest of his family. Especially his girlfriend! I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend,” Tohru said politely with a friendly smile on her face.

 

If it wasn’t for the fact that you remembered that Yuki still had a hold around your waist you would have been very confused. As it was you were more amused than anything. Especially with the way that Yuki’s face had started to color in embarrassment. You grabbed his hand before he had time to withdraw it. You held it to your hip as your arm stretched across your body to keep it there and make it look more natural. Your fingers brushed across his knuckles, igniting a deeper blush on his face. But it kept him from transforming at least. That had been your main goal.

 

“They aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend,” Shigure spoke up with a very serious tone.

 

You felt as he walked up behind you. There hadn’t been more than two or so feet between you and Shigure anyways. But you didn’t quite expect him to stop so close behind you either. You could feel the heat from his body. Barely, ever so faintly, but it was there.

 

“Oh but..I thought...with the way that they’re…” Her jumbled words were full of embarrassment as her face colored.

 

You couldn’t blame her too much for her assumption. After all displays of affection were not usually seen in Japan. It was considered a bit more of a private affair than it was in other, less reserved counties. Which was probably why places like your job did so well. So you couldn’t complain too much. That didn’t stop you from jumping in surprise when you felt Shigure’s arms wrap around you from behind. He even went up and around Yuki’s arm with his, hugging you as tightly as he could with Yuki’s arm in the way.

 

For a moment you could help but bask in the warmth. It felt good to be surrounded like that. It almost felt natural. Like it was something that had been missing from your life though you had never realized it. The sensation was silly and even you got a little flustered as you contemplated it. Especially considering the fact that you knew how it must have looked to the stunned girl (Tohru) in front of you. Though your embarrassment didn’t stop you from feeling the void of Yuki’s warmth when he suddenly let go and pulled away. No doubt he was uncomfortable with his arm being smashed between you and Shigure.

 

“Like you she knows about the curse. Only she is a part of it as well despite not being among the members of the zodiac. You see Tohru, she’s a very special case,” Shigure spoke up, talking about you. “Why don’t you show Tohru what I mean Yuki?”

 

You brought your hand up to grip Shigure’s arm as he filled in the gap that Yuki’s arm had left. You had known that Shigure was a very hands on person towards you but right now he seemed to be taking it to the next level. If you didn’t know any better you would say that he was trying to get Yuki to move away from you. Or at the very least trying to embarrass him by trying to get him to hug Tohru as a demonstration. Little did you know that was exactly what he was trying to do. Shigure had given into the urge to chase the Rat away from you, though he chose to do it in a far less violent way than he originally wanted.

 

Yuki cast a glare over towards Shigure as he took an unconscious step away. You resisted the urge to pull him back to your side. After all it had been his choice to move away and you wouldn’t disrespect that on purpose. Just like you hadn’t disrespected his choice to hold onto you by bringing it up at the start.

 

“What?” Tohru asked in confusion.

 

You decided to take pity on her. And on Yuki in a way as she looked towards him for the answer. “When I hug them, it’s like I’ve shielded them from the curse. The shield doesn’t last forever though. But it will last long enough so that the can do to another person whatever I did to them or what they did to me. Like right now if he hugged you he wouldn’t transform. Neither would Shigure. If they hugged you a second time, however, they would.”

 

Tohru looked between you and the two of them with wide eyes. And then she started to smile. Like it wasn’t a polite smile that you were used to seeing on people’s faces. This one was genuine. She even clasped her own hands in excitement.

 

“That sounds just like a fairy tale!”

 

She had a vivid imagination. You liked that.

 

“So you’re like the fairy godmother?”

 

Aaaand that’s about when you laughed. You couldn’t help but imagine yourself dressed up in a sparkly blue robe, shaking a silver wand at the two of them to change them from animals to humans. ...actually that didn’t sound too far off if you thought about it. Huh. The more you thought about it the more serious your face got. After all, the role they told you that you were born into was passed down through generations and probably translated a hundred

 

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was making fun of you!”

 

“Relax Miss Honda. I’m sure she didn’t take offense,” Yuki tried to soothe over his frantic friend.

 

You shook your head with a pleasant smile on your face. She had actually given you quite a bit to consider with her statement. Of course it wasn’t something that was dire or serious but it had sparked your imagination. What if her idea was closer to the original truth than the one you had been told? Who was to say she wasn’t right and that the oral tradition was wrong? After all, the story that you had heard had sounded biased…

 

“I wasn’t offended,” you spoke out, echoing Yuki’s words. “It’s just that you said something that made me think. But it’s nothing important.”

 

“Oh, I see,” she spoke in a much calmer tone. “Well, would you like to stay for lunch?”

 

...oh gheese it was already that late? You should have already been in bed sleeping if it was lunch time for most people. After all you worked the perpetual night shift even if you had been granted a few days off from work to recover. If you threw off your sleeping schedule you were going to be miserable at work when you returned on Monday.

 

“Sorry, I should be going,” you spoke out with remorse. “It’s a long walk back home and I need to get to sleep. I work during the night you see, so I should already be asleep.”

 

Shigure’s grip tightened around you, not that you noticed really as you contemplated the situation. On top of that you saw that Tohru nodded with a disappointed look on her face. You really hated that you had to do that. But it was at least a twenty minute walk back to town and with how sore your body was that was going to take longer. On top of that your sense of direction wasn’t that great. So with all of that it was likely to take an hour just to get back home.

 

“Um, Miss Anita?” Yuki spoke up.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Don’t you remember that we decided it would be best if you and Momiji stayed here until tomorrow? Hatori left you in our care after all and I don’t want you to catch a cold trying to walk back home in the rain.”

 

...you felt like a ditz. How could you have forgotten that?

 

“Are you sure?” You asked quietly.

 

“Yes, you’re welcome to stay,” Shigure said instantly with his arms still around you.

 

“I won’t be much company,” you warned them. “Before Momiji called Hatori, I had been planning to go to bed soon.”

 

“In that case why don’t you use my bed,” Yuki offered in what almost feel like a rushed manner.

 

Odd. What was even stranger was the fact that you heard and felt Shigure growl. Not like a playful sound, or even a sound of frustration. It sounded exactly like a dog who was warning someone away from an area they were guarding. It sounded quite angry. You weren’t the only one to notice either. Judging from the look on Tohru and Yuki’s face it definitely wasn’t a normal thing.

 

“Thank you,” you replied with a smile as you ignored the others’ reactions.

 

As you started to put your hands to Shigure’s arms to move out of his hold, you felt the young writer shake. Like a shiver had passed through his body. You didn’t see the confusion that passed over his face. But Yuki did. Tohru would have been able to as well if it wasn’t for the fact that she looked more surprised at Yuki’s offer.

 

“That’s very nice of you to offer your bed to her Yuki,” Tohru complimented. “But I know how much you like to study. So if you want she could stay in mine.”

 

“No,” Yuki said quickly. But then he realized how hasty he sounded as he cast a side look over towards you. “I mean I don’t mind. I have finished all of my homework. It’s fine if she stays there.”

 

Being talked about without being talked to felt quite strange. Though you didn’t say anything as you slowly moved out of Shigure’s arms. Even though it was your choice to do that you couldn’t help but feel as though the world had gotten a lot colder.

 

“Could you show me to your room then?” You asked before the conversation dragged on.

 

Thankfully you’d gone out in comfortable clothing. It wasn’t perfect to sleep in but it was better than your usual clothes at least. You had gotten dressed with the idea of comfort in mind since you had been sore after all.

 

“Of course,” Yuki said charmingly.

 

As you followed him you were none the wiser to the look on Shigure’s face. It was like he couldn’t decide between glaring at Yuki and looking at your retreating form with a pitiful expression.



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