sarasusa: (sai from HnG artbook)
[personal profile] sarasusa
Author’s Note: My attempt to write a fic for a request by [livejournal.com profile] ferretgirl_1124 here on fic_on_demand--it didn't wind up satisfying the terms of the request, alas.
Title: Secret Bases
Fandom: Fruits Basket
Rating: K+ for mild teen angst.
Pairings: a bit o' Kyou/Tohru here, a bit o' Yuki/Tohru there…
Summary: Set somewhere during manga vol. 9 (after the end of term, just before the momentous visit to the summer home).
Disclaimer: Heigh-ho, nobody home, Furuba copyright have I none, still will I be merry...


Secret Bases

7:20 AM Kyou
Once he's into the woods around Shigure's house, he settles easily into his loping run. Tohru's still asleep, he thinks, she was up real late working on that assignment. It was stupid to have lingered that extra minute with the milk carton in his hand, listening for the creak in the stairs.

He leans forward into the clean-edged air. For now, he's just bone and muscle and motion: alone with the earth like when he trained in the mountains.

9 AM Yuki
Tendrils of sleep drag at him, reaching from the blankets he's abandoned. He frowns into his mirror, buttons his shirt. No Student Council business today at least, and while it's all very well to be challenging himself and growing, part of him rejoices in a day at home, a day with books and plants and Honda-san.

Sliding open the kitchen door, he's flooded with the light of her smile, and thinks: She is morning, she makes morning matter to me.

9:45 AM Tohru
Laundry's out and catching the wind now. She smiles at sun-glow through flapping sheets, then turns back into the house. But first she darts a look at the path into the woods to see if Kyou-kun's coming back from his run. He isn't. Maybe he went over to Shishou-san's dojo.

The breakfast dishes are downstairs, and she answers their call gladly.

Last time Kisa-san was here, they washed up together. Somehow they'd squirted too much detergent into the water. Soapy bubbles got all over the counter. By the end they were giggling helplessly, a clump of iridescent foam on Kisa-san's hair and some on Tohru's nose. Tohru went and got a clean towel. It was while she was patting away at the younger girl's head that the thought occurred to her, making her stomach jump oddly—Did Mom feel like this with me?

She unties her apron and hangs it up; as if that were a signal, she hears Yuki-kun's voice behind her. "Honda-san!" She comes forward to take the empty bowl from his hands; he holds onto it a moment, glows down at her. "May I borrow you to help at the base this morning?"

10:30 AM Kyou

Kyou's stride slows—somewhere to his left, Tohru is laughing. His mind flashes to Tohru's cheerful bumping and tripping through the woods by the lake house, and he snorts quietly.

Then over her giggles comes another voice: light and gentle, harsh to his ear. Kyou stiffens.

"Here, let me help you, Honda-san!"

The Rat's laughing too.

Tohru: "I just picked up the first basket that came to hand—I didn't think—"

"It's all right. If we make a nest of the spinach and lettuce the strawberries won't fall through the weave. They're smaller than usual, that's part of the problem."

Their voices are coming closer now.

Kyou's stomach does an impressive, if unexpected, reverse somersault. In moments, he's scrabbling up into a maple. Safe in an upper fork, he slows his breath and allows himself to look down.

The two of them move at a snail's pace, weighed down with baskets and bags packed with vegetables.

Tohru's got her hair bundled back in braids, the weird kind that somehow loop together. "—afraid I'm imposing," she's saying.

Yuki shakes that too-long hair out of his face. From above, Kyou can only hear his smile. "Believe me, Honda-san, we've been the ones imposing on your kindness. It's high time you had your friends over to dinner again, and I'm sure Shigure will be only too delighted to pester—that is, to welcome them."

"But—but—" (Kyou can tell that Tohru's baskets are the only thing keeping her from flailing her arms) "I know that you are in the middle of homework and preparations for Student Council, and Kyou-kun always prefers not to have a crowd of visitors—"

"That's what he has the roof for," Yuki says, voice suddenly dry. "It's his problem, not yours, if he doesn't feel like welcoming Hanajima-san and Uotani-san."

Just then, the canopy of branches stirs slightly in the breeze, and Yuki tips his head back. His gaze lands right on Kyou and widens.

Dammit, this is worse than meeting them on the path.. He forces himself not to look away. Watch him tell her I'm eavesdropping.

Then Yuki gives a brief, sharp smile and drops his eyes, not a word spoken.

"I hope—" Tohru hesitates, and the eyes of both boys are immediately on her—"I hope Kyou will play Rich Man, Poor Man with us. And Yuki-kun, would you too?"

"It'll be my pleasure." Yuki suddenly sounds—young? Shy?

Leaning his forehead against skin-smooth gray bark, Kyou watches them vanish around a turn in the path. I'd probably have told her.

"Don't get him," he remarks aloud, landing soft on the ground.

If he hurries, he can catch up.

END



This feels pretty rough—I'm passing the hat for suggested revisions. I find Yuki hard to write, partly because—as of manga vol. 12—Takaya's still withholding key information on what makes him tick.

In other news, I'd like to tout the virtues of

del.icio.us!


What is it?
--An online location for your bookmarked websites, so you can retrieve them from any Internet connection
--A flexible system for organizing bookmarks (you assign subject tags--then, if you click on one of the tag labels, it will retrieve all the sites with that tag).
--A way to share your favorite sites with others!

[livejournal.com profile] lislemck posted about it some time back, but I just got around to setting up my own account (take a look!). And boy, is it fun--not to mention a lot easier to deal with than the Internet Explorer favorites-folder system.
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