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 Twenty-two

Yuki smiled softly as you sat a glass of water down in front of him along with one dessert or another. He wasn't really paying attention to any of that. From what you could tell he was just trying not to look around him or make eye contact with any of the other hosts. No doubt the theme of the week seemed a little immodest. Most people would consider walking around like you were at the beach a bit immodest so you couldn't blame him. Your top had wide straps as well as the fact that covered down to the middle of your ribs. You also had on a wrap like skirt that matched you sandals. Which meant that out of most of the hostesses you actually had a lot of skin covered. But compared to the modesty level that Yuki was no doubt used to with his school uniforms you were practically naked. But there wasn't much you could do about that. After all it was your boss that decided to go with a beach theme. Which was like a mix between a cheesy Hawaii and Japanese summer festival decorations.

"Yuki, are you okay?" You asked, edging into a conversation as you took a seat.

"Yes," he answered, though everything you noticed said otherwise.

His eyes would not really move away from your face. That wasn't the actual problem. It was an amusing sign that he was trying to be respectful in a climate that made that difficult; usually on purpose. So that wasn't the problem. The issue was that because of how steadfast he looked into your eyes you were able to notice the poor pallor of his face. Specifically you could see traces of dark bags under his eyes as though he hadn't been sleeping well. And that was the cause for concern for you. You knew that he was in senior high school of course. And many students were sleep deprived; that was accepted as normal. That didn't mean that you liked to see it in action on someone you actually knew.

"How have you been?" You tried to hear it from him. That would help to give you a better idea about his situation. 

"I've been doing well."

Normally alcohol was a great social lubricant. It helped even tightly lipped business men loosen up. However there was a sort of moral line that you didn't want to cross. While he might have deserved a drink to relax, he was still too young. And it wasn't by like a couple of months which was negligible. He was years younger than the drinking age in Japan. You didn't want to risk him getting carded if someone else rightfully thought he looked too young to drink. They'd find out that he was too young to even be in the establishment. Which means he really would be in trouble legally. You doubted his school would let him stay if such charges were brought against him. And it was just a downwards spiral from there.

"Hmm," you made an unconvinced sound. "How is everyone at your house? Are they doing well?"

"You want to know about Shigure," Yuki pointed out dryly.

You shook your head. "Right now I want to know what's upsetting you. You look tired. You don't look like you've been sleeping well. But since you don't want to talk about yourself I thought this would be a good way to start."

"I haven't been sleeping well," Yuki said as he tested the waters with his answer.

See; you knew it.

"School work been keeping you up?" There was definitely a sympathetic tone in your voice as you watched him.

"No, no more than normal," Yuki responded evenly.

"Then what?" You asked as you leaned forward.

Yuki's eyes followed down from your eyes to your chin. Then they drifted towards your neck and practically bare shoulders. And since you had leaned forward so intently, expressing a keen interest in what was keeping him up, you placed your hand in front of you so that they were on the curved seat. Which only made it that much easier to notice you cleavage. Yuki's face heated up quickly before he turned his gaze in another direction.

"Yuki?" You prompted.

You sat up a little bit straighter as you realized what had embarrassed him so quickly. Though you didn't mention or tease him about it. Instead you waited till he calmed down enough to exhale a deep breath.

"What's causing you to lose your sleep?" You asked once you saw him start to look back towards you.

"Do you remember how Shigure said that you affect our subconscious side unconsciously?"

You could barely hear his voice over the music and the ambient chatter. He looked so serious yet so afraid. Like he knew that you were going to run away from him at a moments notice if he was honest. You couldn't have known but at that moment Yuki felt the polite, mature facade he put up for the world to see faultier. He was so tired after three weeks of not feeling like he had slept well. And he had been worried about Shigure for the last month as well; though that worry had expressed itself as anger and irritation even internally. And suddenly after three weeks or a month, depending on someone's perspective, there was an opportunity to change all of that. Even if it was only for a moment. But the issue with that was that he needed to open up and reveal the truth so that Something could be done. And as Akito had told him plenty of times in the past: if someone knew the real him, they'd hate him.

Tohru might have shown him that it was okay to open up a little every once in a while but this felt more than a little. He felt like he was on the precipice of falling into a dark corner of himself. The selfish, greedy side that wanted to stash you away from the world like a precious treasure meant only for him. He could practically feel the dark beast knowing on his humanity and compassion. What would you think of his honesty? Would you accept his selfishness as much as anyone could, like Tohru had? Or would Akito be right again? Would you hate him for his weakness like his own mother had?

Yuki almost jumped when he felt your hand on his. He could feel you trying to relax the fingers as you moved in close enough that part it your legs touched him. His breath caught as he resisted the urge to pull back. This wasn't like at school or anywhere else he went. He didn't have to worry about transforming with you. It was still a concept that he hadn't quite internalized.

"Yes, I remember," you said with a guilty voice. "Shigure said he had no idea how far that I could affect you from. Just that we would have to be close. I'm so sorry."

You honestly thought that you'd been keeping him up and tormenting him with armerous sensations. That seemed like the most logical assumption on your part. You'd been having one of the two dreams every other night for the past month. Which could have affected his waking hours and school performance. Oh god you hoped you hadn't affected him so strongly that he got into trouble for improper conduct. Unlike girls, guys had a much harder time hiding if the were aroused just by the very nature of the signs.  And then on top of those steamy dreams you did work in a Host club which allowed clients certain liberties. You might do your best to desensitize yourself for work but you were only human. And if he felt when you responded to clients over the link that came with the curse that might have been enough to keep him up all night. (In more ways than one.)

"I can try to see if they will let me transfer to the sister club in Hokkaido," you said quietly, gently squeezing his hand in a form of reassurance. You weren't sure why he had started to be affected by your physical state so recently but it still felt like your fault. "Maybe if I move farther away you guys won't be affected..."

The thought of what you were saying registered inside of Yuki like a cold chill. You were going to try to move away? No. No. No. That was absolutely not been what he'd been trying to make happen. He wasn't really sure what he had wanted to happen to begin with but Yuki was sure that it hadn't been more distance.

"No," Yuki said so quickly that he sounded a little like a frightened child.

You stared at him in confusion. What did he mean 'no'? Didn't he come to tell you that what you were doing, what you were dreaming, was affecting them all? Wasn't that why he and Shigure hadn't visited you in a month? You had imagined all sorts of explanations over the last month but once Yuki talked about how you unconsciously affected them, all the pieces fell into place.

"That's the farthest I could move away in Japan and still keep my job," you said with a thick, slow tone of resignment. "I could at least try moving away to see if that weakens the connection so you can sleep well again."

"No, don't," Yuki tried to rephrase what he meant quickly without sounding too much like a whining child.

His eyes turned down as he tried to build the polite wall back up around himself. Akito had been right. The moment he let his guard down you had wanted to move away. Yuki clinched his hands tighter as he clenched his teeth. You watched as mental anguish ran over his face before he started to lock it back into place with that neutral, soft expression of his. And from what you could see he was intently focused on where your hands rested on his. Had you overstepped? Did he not want you to touch him? It was so hard to tell. One minute he seemed to want to cling and then the next it was like he found the contact too base for his liking or something. At least with Shigure and Momiji you knew where they stood - more was better. But with Yuki you were far less sure. Which was funny because he had been the one to tell you that your hugs had a supernatural euphoric sensation to them.

"I don't want you to leave," the young man spoke again.

"Then what do you want?" You asked, almost pleading for something to help you understand.

Just because you were older didn't mean that you had all the answers. Nor did it mean that you knew what was best for everyone. You might have been at the head of the curse with Akito but unlike him, you had no desire to rule anything. In fact, you would much rather have someone tell you what to do. Even after everything that you knew that Akito had done to you, you still had the urge to be ordered around deep inside of you. You'd much rather know what someone wanted from you directly than have to stumble around in the dark. It's why you worked where you did even though it was out of most people's comfort zones. It let you figure people out within the confines of already knowing exactly what most people wanted from you. It was why, when all was said and done, you were so comfortable around Shigure. Even if you weren't ready for that level of commitment, you at least knew what he wanted from you. It wasn't as straightforward with Yuki. And it was that uncertainty that made you crave directions.

"I want you to stay," Yuki admitted quietly. So quietly that you hadn't been able to hear him.

You squinted a little as you looked at him, trying to concentrate on what you were supposed to have just heard. But you hadn't been able to hear him at all. And reading his lips wouldn't have worked, they had barely moved.

"What?" You asked in a gentle voice, moving your hands away slowly Incase that's what was upsetting him. After all, you did just remember that he seemed upset by the contact back at Shigure's house. "Yuki, I'm sorry but I couldn't hear you."

Grabbed your hands the moment he realized that you were moving them away. It was almost painful how tightly and quickly he gripped them. Your heart sped up as you saw his eyes cast an animalistic glow in that split second, just like a rat's if light was shined on them in the dark. The only difference was that his had been purple instead of the usual silver-gold that came with the protein coding which allowed for night vision in the wild.

"I'd like it if you'd come back home with me," Yuki said in a forced politeness as he held your hands to him instinctively. "You see, the night after you slept in my bed was the best night's sleep I have ever gotten. I was able to sleep very well for a week, and for me that was rare. But your presence faded after a few days and I haven't been able to sleep very well since then."

And he was very tired. So tired that the polite shield he had been trying to build back up so that you didn't run away from him seemed like an impossible task. He could feel your hands in his, and his own were quite unstable. He was afraid. And his hands were shaking. Yuki knew that he had crossed the line of civility. Asking you to come back so that he could have a restful sleep was inappropriate. He knew that. And he hated himself for asking. Even the stupid cat would have done something as selfish and inappropriate as this.

For your part though, you were a bit stunned. Even though his hands were so tight it felt like he was breaking. There was definitely something wrong. Something that you didn't understand about what Yuki was going through.

"Yuki?" You tried to get his attention. He seemed so afraid that he was shaking. "Yuki, look at me. I don't know what you're thinking but it's okay. You don't need to be so afraid. Take a deep breath okay? It's okay."

You weren't sure why everything escalated so quickly but it had. The best you could imagine was the fact that he hadn't been sleeping well. That tended to have a drastic effect on people's emotions and reactions. And despite the fact that you hadn't known him for very long everything inside of you screamed to help him. From the little you did know of him he seemed like a good kid. You had heard a lot about him fronShigure after all, even if it might have a bias perspective. Not to mention the connection from the curse - internally you knew you could help but consciously the only thing you knew that would help was hugging him.

Unfortunately he still had a hold of your hands. Which meant that you couldn't give him a hug in the usual sense. Instead you did the next best thing. You scooted closer to Yuki and leaned your head against his shoulder as best you could. You didn't have to say a word as you rested against him. Slowly his hands loosened and you were able to pull yours free. Once they were you used them to wrap around Yuki and hold him loosely. From what he had told you, your hugs made them (him) feel warm and loved. And instinctively you knew that was exactly what he needed right now. Judging by the way that his arms timidly returned the embrace you would have to say that you were right.

And just like with Shigure not too long ago, he fell asleep in your arms.


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