Categories > Anime/Manga > Fruits Basket > We Can Fall Apart or Fall Together

Ways to Spend the Sorrow

by NekoKamiFL 1 review

Dealing with it.

Category: Fruits Basket - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Akito, Ayame, Hatori, Hatsuharu, Hiro, Kagura, Kasuma, Kisa, Kyo, Momiji, Ritsu, Shigure, Tohru, Yuki - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2006-08-16 - Updated: 2006-08-16 - 3173 words

"And it only hurts when I'm breathing.
My heart only breaks when it's beating.
My dreams only die when I'm dreaming.
So I hold my breath to forget."
-Shania Twain, 'It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing'

-Chapter Two-
-Ways to Spend the Sorrow-

Waking up was the worst. If you could even call it waking up. In order for one to wake up, one must first be sleeping, and that was something Yuki did very little of lately. In any case, he would open his eyes to the horrible, mocking sunlight and pray for death. Surely it would be less painful than the disgusting feeling in his heart. It was a concoction made from heartache, jealousy, resentment, bitterness, and the cruel resignation that had made themselves at home in his soul since he learned that Tohru and Kyo were together. The horrible sensations had refused to leave him and, quite the contrary, instead deemed it appropriate to curl up in the pit of his stomach, heavy and purring like a contented cat. How ironic.

He hated irony, he decided. It was such a terrible thing. It was like an insult, dancing naked in the face of its unfortunate victim as if to say in a sing-song voice, "This is everything you ever dreamed of being wasted away in a matter of seconds, and you can't do anything about it! Oh, and I'm here to wave that in your face and bite you in the ass with it."

Kami, was Yuki ever feeling sadistic. That was how he felt after his initial upset, anyway. As he sat or laid around thinking about Tohru and Kyo, for he had nothing better to do, the pain rose up and spilt over, turning into something ugly and shameful. It made him think awful, nasty thoughts. Like how much he hated Tohru and her sweet smile. How he couldn't stand it when she looked at him like she believed he could fix the world for her. How badly he wanted to grab her and shake her until she realized that everything was not all right and would not be all right. How she had ruined everything.

That cynical train of thought lasted about a week, in which Yuki lost track of how many doors he broke and walls he punched. Everyone kept their distance from him, even Tohru, and that made him angrier. She was such a coward. What, was she afraid to face the person whose heart she broke? Couldn't she look him in the eye without feeling ashamed? Good. She should feel that way. Horrible wench.

Sometimes he would just scream. It didn't matter if other people were home or not. He didn't care. As long as he could find some small release from his frustration and rage. He basically figured he would be an unpleasant, violent bastard for the rest of his life, however short a time that would be, because surely all the pain would kill him before long.

And then one day he accidentally came across Kyo when he was dragging himself down to the kitchen to force food into his stomach. He lost it.

"You fucking bastard! This is all your damn fault! You worthless, foul Cat! You don't belong anywhere and especially not in this fucking house! I-"

He hit Kyo hard in the cheek. "-Hate-"

He kicked him in the stomach. "-/You!/"

Yuki dealt the final blow with everything in him and sent Kyo flying across the room and into the wall. By this time, the other occupants of the house had arrived at the scene. Shigure and Tohru stood in the doorway, the former with his eyes wide, the latter in tears.

The Cat stood up slowly, wiping a trickle of blood away from his mouth, wincing slightly. Yuki glared at him, ready to throw another punch should Kyo try anything. They stood there like that for a long time, just staring at each other. Then the Cat broke the silence.

"I know." It was spoken softly and without any menace.

The roaring anger in Yuki's chest faltered. 'I know'? What was that supposed to mean?

"Y-Yuki?" Tohru was almost sobbing now. She looked downright terrified of the Rat. Not that he could blame her.

Yuki didn't know what to do. He couldn't think of anything to say, and suddenly he was very tired. The hatred and fury melted away as quickly as they had come, and all that was left behind was an empty sort of sadness. Without a word, he turned on his heel and left, retreating into his room so that they wouldn't see the offending brightness in his eyes.

When he slammed the bedroom door shut behind him something heavy and dreadful shifted in his gut, and he knew that in one single moment he had sealed himself away from everyone and everything in the world. That thought rang true and loud through his mind, like a death sentence announced by a judge to a condemned criminal. Then something inside him broke. Knees too weak to support his weight, will too frail to battle his pain, Yuki collapsed unceremoniously on the floor, entire body limp. The first shock of water on skin - the first tear - fell to his hands, splayed out in front of him in a feeble effort to hold himself up. Then came another and another, until they were so great in number that they were forced to travel down his cheeks in tiny salty rivulets. He squeezed his eyes shut, unable to stop crying and unwilling to witness his own moment of weakness, but that only made the tears come faster.

At the very least, he refused to cry out. He wouldn't sob. He wouldn't let them, whoever they were, hear his anguish. And so he was forced to bite into his bottom lip so hard that he drew blood, and that ran down his chin to fall and mix with the tears on his hands. His body shook, his heart ached, but he'd be damned if he would share that with the world.

He sat there on his floor for the rest of the night, immobile and silent, the doomed prisoner in his own exile, a fallen angel to the last.


Kagura, for what it was worth, tried working through her upset. She attempted to act like nothing was bothering her, despite the fact that doing so was very hard for a person prone to extreme bouts of emotion like herself. She plastered fake smiles on her face and used a falsely cheery voice when speaking, and everyone bought it. Strange.

Even she could tell that her ruse was utterly pathetic, so why did other people believe her? The answer to that question hit her hard in the stomach, brutally true in all its unwelcome glory and leaving her breathless.

It was because none of them, the people in her family both inside the Sohma walls and out, actually knew her. From the time she was a little girl Kagura's life had revolved around Kyo. Every second that he was near she would be by his side whether or not he wanted her there. And when he was absent, she spent all her time thinking about him. Beyond the Cat, she had few friends. There was Tohru, but the idea of turning to her now was out of the question. She was Kyo's girlfriend now. Any time they had in each other's presence was painful. Shigure had always been supportive of her, as he was with all the young Jyuunishi. But she couldn't go to his house, either... They lived there. Together...

Of course she was acquainted fairly well with all the members of the Zodiac, some more than others, but few of them had ever really been close to her. Most of them were too young or too old, the only one close to her in age being Ritsu. Unfortunately, the idea of being best friends with the Monkey had never been especially appealing. Sometimes Kagura thought he might even be afraid of her.

So now, she realized, she was more alone than before. And who did she have to blame but herself? Had she not obsessed over Kyo so much throughout her existence, she wouldn't be in such a position. She'd have comrades to turn to, shoulders to lean on, people who would recognize the front she was putting on and tell her it was okay to drop it. They would assure her that being angry, being sad, feeling betrayed was all right. But they didn't exist, because she had never bothered to know them.

She'd damned herself from the beginning without even realizing it and now she was paying the price. With that in mind she resigned herself to her punishment, wandering the halls of her home without destination or purpose. She found herself wondering every so often, did anyone care? Was anyone going to come and save her? She doubted it, brushing such things off as wishful thinking.

But then Momiji showed up. He found her sitting upright against a tree in the garden and deposited himself on the ground next to her. She didn't ask why he was there, and he didn't give her a reason. When he first spoke, it was so quietly that Kagura wasn't sure if she had heard him correctly at first.

"Kyo loves you, too, you know."

Her response was long in coming, tainted with an edge of bitterness that she hated. "He doesn't."

The boy just shook his head, making his blonde locks swish around his face. "Of course he does. He has to."

"And why is that?" Damn it. Why did she have to sound so condescending?

"Because you were the first person to love him."

His words ignited a hint of shock in her. That was true, wasn't it? She had loved him before anyone else. Before his own mother, even.

"So what?"

Momiji sighed as though his meaning should have been obvious. "So, there's no way you can't love the first person who accepted you for who you are."

"If he loves me so much why didn't he ask me to be his girlfriend?" she spat out. There it was again. That animosity that couldn't possibly have come from her own heart. Yet it did. But maybe, she thought, it was directed at herself, and she only took it out on her cousin because she didn't know what else to do.

"Because he's not in love with you." The Rabbit shrugged.

"But you just said-"

"I said he loves you, not that he is in love with you. There's a difference."

Kagura looked at him in doubt. What difference could there possibly be?

Seeing her skeptical gaze, he elaborated. "When you're in love with someone, you want to be with them. They're like your other half - they complete you. But just love on its own comes in a bunch of forms. You can love a friend, or a family member, but you're not in love with them, like you are with your husband or wife. Kyo loves you like a friend, a really close one, even if he doesn't act like he does."

"But I don't want him to love me like that! I wanted to be with him! I... I wanted..." There were tears in her eyes now, and she knew that the words she didn't want to say because they were just a lie were going to come spilling out. "I wanted him to be in love with me!"

Momiji was looking down, and his eyes were sad. "Did you really want that, Kagura?"

Why did he have to ask that? She was just going to lie again. "Of course! I... I still do..."

Two brown eyes filled with pity turned to her. "You didn't. You may want that now, but you never used to, and you know it."

Damn him. Damn him. "What do you know anyway?" she retorted, voice full of self loathing.

He shrugged again. "You're right. Maybe I don't know anything at all. But then I don't think you do either." He was up and gone before she had a chance to reply.

She hated him. That stupid, annoying little brat who was so obnoxiously sweet and innocent that it made her want to vomit. He thought he knew everything about everything, that he was so smart. But the worst thing about Momiji was that she really didn't hate him at all, and that he was absolutely right.

She had never wanted Kyo to love her when she always claimed to love him. The thing was that she always thought she would find someone better, as cruel as that was, and that the Cat was just a fall back. She spent many determined hours trying to get him accustomed to the idea that she might - might - be around a lot... If she never fell in love with someone else. And now she was alone, realizing that all her efforts of "training" Kyo had resulted in a lack of friends or potential boyfriends so that he was her only option anymore. Except he was taken. And Momiji had accurately guessed all of this, proving that he was wiser than his young appearance and sixteen years let on.

It started to rain sometime as she was sitting outside, but Kagura didn't notice. She was too busy counting the pieces of her shattered pride.


Akito called a meeting. Hatori sent the word out and within an hour all the members of the Zodiac had assembled before the head of the family, along with Tohru, Kyo, and Kazuma. Their anxiety was a palpable thing; gatherings of this nature were rare, and usually only occurred when Akito was, for lack of a better term, extremely pissed. The fact that he had ordered other people besides the Jyuunishi to attend was even more unsettling. Whatever reason they were there, it was sure to be unpleasant. And all they could do was kneel before the pale young man as he paced the floor, lined up in a row with their heads bowed and hands folded in their laps.

"So..." Very suddenly Akito stopped walking and swept his calm, calculating eyes over them one by one. "Do you know why you're here?"

There was a silence in which every one of them thought over that question. The answer was obvious, but no one spoke up. Except Tohru.

"I... T-this is about... Kyo and me, right?" Her voice was shaky and uncertain and it made Akito smirk in amusement.

"For once the stupid girl is right. Well done, Miss Honda, I commend you." He was teasing her. It made Kyo furious, but he just ground his teeth together and clenched his fists tight, digging into his palms with his nails. The sting of pain helped ease his anger... A little.

Akito continued, "I'll be frank with you all. This... Union between Miss Honda and /him/-" He sneered at Kyo. "-Does not please me. I'll give you three options."

The already thick apprehension in the atmosphere grew to choking levels.

Now Akito was speaking directly to Tohru, who had unconsciously moved her hand to grasp Kyo's, eyes closed in worried anticipation. "You can end your disgusting relationship and go on living in Shigure's house. Or you can choose to stay with him, in which case the two of you will leave here and be forbidden to ever return or even make contact with any of the Sohmas."

Hatori, who had been hanging on Akito's every word, was shocked. The man had obviously contributed a great deal of thought to this. For either way he was assuring that everyone would be unhappy. If Kyo and Tohru were to break up they'd both be miserable, and the Dragon had learned fast that when Tohru was upset, everyone was upset. If they remained together and were forced to move, none of the Sohmas would ever see or hear from her again, something that would surely have a negative effect. And besides that, Tohru would miss them, making her depressed, and in turn doing to same to the Cat. It was hopeless, a lose-lose situation. But Akito wasn't done yet.

"However, if neither of those options appeals to you, there is always the choice of erasing your memory. Much less painful... For you, at least, Miss Honda."

And there it was. The easy way out. Forgetting meant never feeling sad or regretful. Forgetting meant starting anew and leaving those who remembered with all the sorrow. Surely Tohru would choose that, for it would be the best for her. That's what Hiro was thinking, anyway. And Hatsuharu. And even Yuki couldn't be sure what her decision would be. Slowly, the doubt spread from one set of eyes to another as they turned on the Riceball, silently asking what selection she would make. But one pair of brown eyes remained hopeful.

Momiji looked around and saw the uncertainty in his family members' faces, and then he grew angry. How could they think that Tohru would just abandon them? After all she'd done? He had faith in her. They'd promised each other, hadn't they? They vowed to keep all their memories, no matter how hurtful they were, because they were all precious. No, Tohru wouldn't give up. Not like Momiji's mother.

"So, Miss Honda, what will it be?"

"I... I don't want to forget..."

The Rabbit grinned despite the current situation.

"And I... I can't imagine leaving everyone... But... I c-can't break up with Kyo, either..."

Akito's upper lip curled. "Those are your only options, girl. Pick one before I do it for you."

Shigure couldn't keep quiet anymore. "Tohru... You and Kyo... Go. Leave together. We'll be fine here; you won't have to worry about us. The two of you just be happy, okay?"

"But, Shigure-"

The Dog held up a hand to stop her protest. "No, I mean it. You make a good couple, and you should be together."

Everyone else turned to Tohru, who had swung around to look at Kyo. The Cat was staring at his older cousin in disbelief. Of course he wanted to stay with Tohru, but would everyone honestly be okay with that? Really, it didn't look like Shigure was going to give them any other choice. So Kyo just nodded and held Tohru's hand a little tighter, trying his best to assure her that everything would be fine.

They left the main house twenty minutes later, quiet and deep in thought. Something in the air had changed, and it was impossible to tell if it was a good or bad shift. One thing was blatantly true: nothing would be the same again.


Just one little note... Writing this chapter made me very sad. Thanks to TakTak for helping to cheer me up.

Disclaimer: Fruits Basket and all its characters are property of Natsuki Takaya. I do not claim any rights to them whatsoever.

~ The Neko Kami of the Fruit Loops
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