• Fruits Basket: Flying without wings

    Akito groaned as she rolled over. She felt like she’d been through some kind of mill, all stiff and slightly sore. Light shown from her lamp, and she wondered what time it was. The lamp was usually off until she ordered it on. Suddenly she heard someone walking in from the sliding door.
    She sat up and looked around, blinking a the light that shown behind an overhead figure. “Who turned on the light? Turn it off. Now. I’m trying to get some rest.”, she complained. Someone shuffled from the far side of her bed, a dark head coming in to view. Akito sighed. “What are you doing here, Shigure? Please leave.”
    Shigure turned to face her, his expression unreadable. “Hardly Complimentary, Akito-chan,” he chided gently. “After all, you have been asleep most of the day. Hatori-kun instructed me to keep an eye on you.” The book he was holding slid on to the bed as he sat down next to Akito. Akito looked astonished.
    “What?,” she said. She stared at her wall clock in disbelief. “No!,” She looked up at Shigure, a hint of anger in her eyes. “Why didn’t someone wake me up? I have half a million things I have to do today,” she exclaimed, her eyebrows arched. Shigure stood up smoothly.
    “Would you believe me if I said we tried?”
    Akito narrowed her eyes. “We who?”
    ‘Hatori-kun and I. We came running when we heard you screaming late last night.,” Shigure replied. Akito sat up straighter.
    “Who was screaming?,” Her expression dared to defy her tone as she denied being the screamer.
    “That would be you, Aa-chan.”
    “Don’t cal me that, Shigure,” she flopped down on the bed and buried her head in a pillow. “Just leave.”
    “You haven’t changed, you cunning girl. You haven’t changed.,” Shigure said quietly. “I’ll tell Hatori-kun that you’re awake,” he added louder. He stood up and picked up his book. He was gone before Akito knew it.
    “Won’t you just leave me alone for once?,” muttered Akito. It seemed to her that Shigure was after her for some reason. Not that she thought it was bad, she thought it was akward, after sleeping with her own mother three years ago. “I hate you,” she whispered, even though she knew it was a lie. After a while, tears welled up in her eyes.
    “Akito… sulking like a miffed toddler isn’t going to help,” she told her self, choking on sobs. It just doesn’t make sense. They’re abandoning me aren’ t they? They hate me. Yeah that’s it. But…why do they decide to come back….when I least need them. Sheesh I’m pathetic. she though.
    “In your case it might, Akito.” said a voice.
    Akito sat up quickly. Hatori was leaning against the nearest wall, staring at the floor. “Hatori-kun,” she whispered, gathering her thoughts.
    “Shigure said you were awake. Akito, you need to vent…I presume.,” he said, sitting next to her. Akito felt her lips trembling. She buried her head into Hatori’s shoulder, tears flowing freely from her eyes.
    “Hatori-kun, I just don’t know what to do.,” she sobbed ,”Is my life crumbling beneath my feet?” Hatori closed his eyes and set his arm around Akito’s shoulders. He knew she would be hard to reason with.
    “No. It isn’t,” he said carefully.
    “Then explain to me why that woman’s so cruel to me! Explain to me why Shigure keeps leaving me then coming back to me when I least need him! Can you?,” she cried.
    Hatori took a deep breath and paused. She’s angry about Ren-san. She needs Shigure. What would I do if I was in her position? he thought. “Why don’t you try and talk to them?,” he said. Akito forced a fake laugh.
    “I’m sorry Hatori. I just. Just. Ah, you’re right. I do need to vent.,” she wiped tears from her eyes. “You can leave. If you don’t mind.” Hatori smiled weakly and nodded. He stood up and patted Akito’s shoulder and walked out of the room. Akito plopped down on the bed. Her eyes were red and her heart ached. I shouldn’t have asked him to leave….she thought. Why am I so…….naïve? She shrugged off the bed sheets, not bothering to straighten them out, knowing that one of her house maids would take care of them.
    “Akito-san! You’re awake, please hurry!,” said a panicking voice.
    “What is it?,” asked Akito. She walked over to the frantic house maid.
    “Y-you’re the head of the family right?,” asked the house maid. Akito looked over the unfamiliar maid.
    “Yes, I am. You’re new?”
    The maid nodded her head. “You’re due for a dinner with your mother at seven. It’s six thirty. Kureno is here to guide you.” The maid quickly walked away. Akito turned around and faced Kureno.
    “Ha. That new estate maid is a mess, is she not?,” asked Akito. Kureno smiled and hugged Akito.
    “Get dressed. You have to go see Ren.,” whispered Kureno. Akito groaned.

    Shigure walked out of the sliding door. As he closed the door, someone pulled at his sleeve. He looked down and raised his eyebrows. “I see you’re out, Ren-san.,” he said. Ren was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall.
    “Yes, well, I have to attend a dinner with that thing. I just figured I would see if I could talk to anyone to cancel the event.,” she sighed, looking up at Shigure.
    “Well you’ve caught me.,” laughed Shigure. ,”But I’m afraid I can’t help you out with your situation, Ren-san.” He sat down next to Ren.
    “Please,” she said ,”Call me Ren.”
    Shigure smiled and opened his book, scanning the pages.
    “But I still see you call Akito-chan a thing,” he muttered. Ren closed her eyes and smiled.
    “It’s because I feel sorry for you members of the zodiac. Being made to be bossed around by a foolish child.”
    “You know, Ren-san, Akito would get mad if she heard you talking like that.,” he whispered quietly. Heh. If she heard that I’d be in trouble. Just watch Shigure. he silently told himself. Ren jerked her hand back and slapped Shigure’s face, her eyes filled with rage.
    “Why do you always talk about that thing? It’s like you’re in love with her!,” she snarled.
    Shigure grinned and set his book down. He turned to face Ren. “Unfortunately for you, I am in love with Akito-chan. And I do hope to marry her someday.”
    “You’re very naïve Shigure,” scoffed Ren.
    “And I would like to hope that my soon to be mother-in-law isn’t,”
    Shigure stood up and looked down at the older woman. She turned her head away from him. He continued down the darkened hall. Ha! You are so brilliant aren’t you? Just think, Shigure, you could write about this in your next Belles Lettres. A man that cannot marry the one he has loved for so long gets revenge. Ha! That’ll sell. Shigure laughed at his stupid pun and kept walking. Who does her mother think she is? I know Ren is physically and mentally ill, but can’t she still have a little sense….
    “Shigure, I hope you haven’t been playing around lately. In times like these you should be at home.,” called a voice.
    “Oh hey, Hatori-kun. You called me here remember?,” teased Shigure.
    “Yes but I didn’t think you would come. But at least you came. You aren’t as lazy as I remembered you.,” replied Hatori. Shigure closed his book and slid it in his pocket.
    “Well, it has been a year. How’s your job. Have you seen Mayu-chan lately.,” asked Shigure. Mayuko Shiraki was a high school teacher that Shigure dated when they were younger. She was now Tohru’s home teacher.
    “No, but I assume you have. Teasing her again.,” sighed Hatori. Shigure grinned and forced out a laugh.
    “I wish that were true.: