Chapter 1: Get Ready To Rumble
Written March 2003; humor; 100 words.
Ever notice how, when Kyou and Yuki are about to fight, exciting colorful backgrounds appear, and a jazz drum solo begins to play?
Kyou slammed his hands to the table. "Take back what you just said about my mother!!"
Yuki sipped at his tea. "Make me," he said mildly.
Kyou and Yuki tensed. Exciting colorful backgrounds appeared, and a jazz drum solo began to play.
Kyou shouted. "SHIGURE!! Do you MIND!? We're trying to FIGHT here!!"
"Excuse me", Shigure said cheerfully, as he pulled his exciting colorful background painting away.
Yuki leaned into the next room. "Tohru? I'm afraid that Kyou and I are about to fight. You might want to practice later."
"Oh dear," Tohru said from behind her jazz drum set.
Chapter 2: Love Hurts
Written March 2003; humor; 100 words.
This is an out-take from episode 1 of the anime.
The Prince Yuki Fan Club girls performed their full choreography as Yuki and Tohru walked past them.
"L! O! V! E!" They shouted the letters, and formed the letters with their contorted bodies, in a strangely unsettling manner. "We Love Yuki! Yuki! Luh-luh-luh-LOVE! Luh-luh-luh-LOVE!"
But then, all three of them suddenly fell to the ground, groaning and holding their arms and legs, in obvious pain.
Yuki glanced back at them, and sighed. "I wish they wouldn't try to do that so soon after breakfast."
Tohru also glanced back, and agreed. "They should have done some stretches and warm-up exercises first."
Chapter 3: Radio Gaga
Uo found Hana standing at a classroom window with an unusually distant, and strangely unsettling, look on her face. Uo wasn't psychic, but she could feel the electricity in the air.
"Hana?" asked Uo. "Are you picking up poisonous psychic waves?"
"No..." Hana said softly.
Uo gasped. "Tohru! Is she in trouble!?"
"No, no..." Hana said. She seemed to be concentrating.
Uo frowned. "Well, what is it, then?"
Hana looked up to the sky. "I can hear Radio Free Europe."
"I've heard of people picking up radio stations from the fillings in their teeth," Uo said, "but this is ridiculous."
Chapter 4: Sucker Punch
Written March 2003; humor; 100 words.
This is an out-take from episode 4 of the anime.
This contains slapstick violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Tohru and Kyou sat on the roof and talked about Kyou's training.
Tohru tried to demonstrate her interest. "I do know a little bit! I have a couple of moves I can show you! Um, let's see—"
She punched Kyou's shoulder. "Right Straight!"
Kyou turned and grinned. "You suck— AAUGH!!"
He had turned too quickly. He lost his balance, slid backwards, and fell off the roof, in a most un-cat-like way.
Tohru gasped. "KYOU!! Are you alright!?"
Kyou shouted back from the ground. "OUCH!! OUCH!! OUCH!! NO, damn it, I'm NOT alright!! SHIGURE!! QUIT LAUGHING AND CALL A ****ING AMBULANCE!!"
Chapter 5: Unleashed
Written March 2003; humor; 100 words.
This is an out-take from episode 9 of the anime.
This contains creepy adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
Mi lasso'ed Shigure and drug him away from Tohru and the others.
Tohru gulped. "Oh, poor Shigure."
Yuki smiled. "Well, if he'd just give her the manuscript—"
"But she'll give him rope burn if she drags him to his bedroom like that," Tohru said. "She should have wrapped the rope more carefully. And she should have used the middle of the rope, to leave both ends free. That makes it easier to tie his arms..."
She trailed off as Yuki, Kyou, and Uo stared at her.
Tohru gulped again, turned very red, and fidgeted. "At least... that's what I've heard..."
Chapter 6: The Dirty Fork
Written June 2003; humor/parody; 100 words.
Just an excuse to quote Monty Python's Flying Circus.
This is an out-take from episode 12 of the anime.
The hot springs head chef wailed. "NOOOO!! This is inexcusable! Only my complete lack of competence as a chef could allow such a lukewarm dish to be served to you! I beg your forgiveness!! May I be cut into a thousand pieces for this egregious act!!"
The hot springs hostess also wailed. "No! It was my fault! I clearly waited too long to serve your meal!"
"No, it was MY fault!!" the chef said.
"It was MY fault!!" the hostess said.
AND NOW, THE PUNCH-LINE!
Kyou held his head and scowled. "Lucky we didn't say anything about the dirty knife."
Chapter 7: Everybody Wants A Rock
Written June 2003; humor; 100 words.
See also College Roomies From Hell!! by Maritza Campos.
See also "Everybody Wants A Rock" by They Might Be Giants.
This is an out-take from episode 1 of the anime.
Tohru was admiring the rocks that Shigure had painted like the Chinese zodiac. Then she saw another rock. "Are you going to paint that rock too?"
"Oh no," Shigure said. "That's my pet rock."
Tohru's face fell. "Your... pet... rock?..."
Shigure picked up the rock and held it towards Tohru with a warm smile. "Say hello to the nice young lady, Fluffy."
Then he frowned. "Is something wrong, miss?"
Tohru was walking backwards slowly, with a nervous smile on her face. Don't make any sudden moves, she thought. Just back away slowly, and maybe the crazy man won't hurt you.
Chapter 8: No Lemons, No Melon
Written June 2003; humor; 200 words.
This was inspired by "Weird Al" Yankovic's brilliant song "Bob." If you don't get the joke— re-read Yuki's last line, Shigure's last line and Kyou's last line carefully.
Tohru came into the common room of Shigure's house. She found Yuki watching television, Shigure looking through a picture album, and Kyou sulking in a corner.
She looked over Yuki's shoulder at the TV screen. "Oh! They're showing 'Star Wars'."
Then she noticed how intently Yuki was watching the movie. "The scenes on the Death Star are your favorites, aren't they, Yuki?"
Yuki smiled sheepishly. "Yes. I used to imagine that I was in the movie, when I watched it as a child. But that's just silly. Rats live on no evil star."
Tohru went to Shigure, and looked over his shoulder. "What's in that picture, Shigure?"
Shigure smiled. "I think... it could be Kyou..."
Tohru giggled. "No, it isn't! It's a picture of Hatori's car!"
Shigure frowned, and looked more closely at the photograph. "Was it a car or a cat I saw?"
Kyou scowled. "You'd better stay away from that sick bastard, Tohru. Do you know what he did this afternoon? He saw a group of high school girls, in an open shelter in the park, and he transformed himself to jump in their laps."
Tohru gasped. "You mean—"
Kyou sighed. "A dog, a panic, in a pagoda."
Chapter 9: Ping Pong Club
Yuki smirked. "I thought, at least at ping-pong, Kyou might have a chance to beat me. But, as usual, he's hopeless."
Kyou threw the ping pong table aside in anger. "How can I beat you with all these stupid rules, you damn rat!?"
Yuki sighed. "You know, you're the one who wanted to play this game in the first place..."
Mara suddenly appeared. "In that case... I'll try playing with you."
"Ooh, that sounds like fun!" Momiji said. "Play her! Play her!"
Tohru whispered to Yuki. "Is she a member of the Zodiac?"
Yuki frowned. "No... although, with those fangs..."
Chapter 10: Second Base
Written June 2003; humor; 100 words.
When I was growing up, back on the farm, we had a catnip patch in the woods. Whenever my father or I mentioned our "catnip patch," we would get a smile and a wink, as if we were growing something else...
This contains controlled-substance humor. Reader discretion is advised.
Tohru had gone to visit with Yuki while he tended his vegetable garden. "I wonder if any of the other Sohmas have secret bases," she said out loud.
Yuki smiled. "Kyou has a garden too. It's that way..."
Tohru excused herself, followed Yuki's directions, and found Kyou working at his secret base.
"Oh!" Tohru said. "Look at all the beautiful catnip!"
Kyou panicked. "It's not what you think! It's for, uh, medical purposes!"
Tohru smiled sweetly. "There's nothing wrong with catnip, Kyou. I could make us some catnip tea."
Kyou grinned. "Okay, but be careful. This is primo stuff, man."
Chapter 11: Touch Of Gray
Written June 2003; humor; 100 words.
See also "Touch Of Gray" by the Grateful Dead.
Tohru was chatting with Yuki. "Could I ask a personal question? It's unusual for a high school student to have gray hair. Is it because you transform into a rat?"
Yuki smiled. "No. I had darker hair, until I came to live here, with—"
Shigure came up. "Oh, Tohru? When are your little high school girl friends coming to visit again?"
Kyou came up after him. "You sick bastard!! And what the hell are YOU lookin' at, rat-boy!?"
Oh dear, Tohru thought. I had better get some hair coloring. Living with the two of them could give anyone gray hair.
Chapter 12: Rabbit Season
Written July 2003; humor; 100 words.
Just an excuse to quote a Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoon.
This is an out-take from episode 15 of the anime.
Tohru, Uo and Hana watched some "cops" chase Momiji the "robber" through the long school hallway.
"I don't know why they're calling it 'Cops and Robbers'," Uo said. "It looked just like hunters chasing a rabbit to me."
"Eep!" said Tohru. She feared that the Sohma family curse had been discovered.
"That's ridiculous..." Hana said. Tohru relaxed.
Hana completed her thought. "It's duck season now."
Uo frowned. "No, it's rabbit season now."
Hana also frowned. "No, Uo, it's duck season."
"It's RABBIT season!" Uo shouted angrily.
"It's DUCK season," Hana said menacingly.
Tohru blinked. "I thought it was Elmer season."
Chapter 13: Bad Apple
Tohru was preparing a Caesar salad for dinner. Shigure and Yuki were both chatting with her.
Tohru suddenly yelped and jumped away from her cutting board.
"What's wrong, Tohru?" asked Yuki. "Did you cut yourself?"
"There's a worm in this apple," Tohru said nervously. "It took me by surprise."
Shigure picked up the apple. "Why, that's no worm! That's my cousin, Fred Sohma! How's it going, Fred?"
Yuki kneeled at Tohru's side, but scowled at Shigure. "There's no worm in the Chinese zodiac! And you shouldn't tease Tohru like that!"
Shigure grinned. "Aw... But it's so much fun."
Chapter 14: Splintered In Her Head
Tohru was waiting outside Akito's room. Yuki and Kyou were both waiting with her.
Tohru, fretting like a relative in a hospital waiting room, held a huge "Get Well" bouquet in a basket. Yuki held a much smaller basket, while Kyou had just grabbed some bedraggled roses from the estate gardens.
Finally, Hatori came out of Akito's room. "Oh!" Tohru cried. "Will Akito be alright!? I know he's so frail, and—"
Hatori smiled patiently, and held up a tiny pair of tweezers. "Tohru, it's kind of you to think of him. But he only had a splinter in his finger."
Chapter 15: Write Out (part 1)
Written May 2004; humor/self-insert; 100 words.
Shigure reviewed some short stories that he was working on in-between longer projects.
He paused to skim through a light and fluffy high-school romance. He smiled as he read about an innocent high school girl, waiting under a flowering cherry tree for her True Love—
Wait a minute, Shigure thought. What am I DOING!? Writing love stories about teenaged girls at my age? This is just CREEPY!
Shigure switched off his computer with a cold shiver.
The author reviewed some anime fan-fiction that he was working on in-between Fruits Basket drabbles.
Wait a minute, he thought. What am I DOING!?...
Chapter 16: Write Out (part 2)
Written May 2004; humor; 100 words.
Tohru peeked into Shigure's room, and saw him frantically typing at his computer, before Yuki gently pulled Tohru back.
"I thought that Shigure had already finished his latest novel," Tohru said.
Yuki explained. "Do you remember that Hatori has the ability to erase memories? Well, he came for a visit. He happened to rest his hand on Shigure's computer. And then, he sneezed, and—"
"Oh dear," Tohru said. "Is there anything that I can do?"
"Well," Yuki said, "you should try not to get sick. I'm afraid that Hatori may not be welcome in this house for a few months."
Chapter 17: Write Out (part 3)
Written May 2004; humor; 100 words.
Shigure handed Mi a thick envelope, and she eagerly opened it. "For once, you've finished a manuscript on time?" she asked.
As she flipped through a few pages of the manuscript, her face fell. "Um, Shigure? This is meaningless gibberish."
"Of course," Shigure said. "I encrypted it and destroyed all my unencrypted backups. It's valuable intellectual property, you know."
Mi sighed. "Fine. How do I decode it?"
Shigure handed her another, much thicker, package. "This is the first volume of the decoding instructions..."
And so it was that Mi began to seriously consider a second career in psychotic axe-wielding homicide.
Chapter 18: Love For Sale
Written June 2004; humor; 100 words.
See also "Love For Sale" by Talking Heads.
It's a generic routine, but it works with Yuki and Kyou.
A disheveled Yuki and Kyou returned to Shigure's house after a difficult day at school.
"So, how did today's 'bachelor auction' fund raiser turn out?" Shigure asked.
Kyou scowled. "Most of the school clubs went bankrupt when all the girls cashed in their funds to bid on 'Prince Yuki'."
Yuki smirked. "Oh, Kyou. Are you still upset because no one would bid for you?"
"Shut up, Yuki!" said Kyou.
Yuki continued. "Or is it because Uo-san finally bid for you out of sympathy?"
"Shut UP, Yuki!!"
"Or is it because she 'won' you for only five yen?"
"SHUT UP, YUKI!!"
Chapter 19: The Rat In The Hat
Written June 2004; humor; 100 words.
See also Kodocha / Child's Toy.
"Let's see your anime costume, Tohru!" said Shigure.
Tohru shyly came into the room. She was wearing a beautiful kimono— and a miniature revolving Ferris wheel in her hair.
"It's wonderful!" Shigure said sincerely. "You look just like Kurata Sana's mother. But where's the rest of your costume?"
Yuki, in rat-form, peeked out from Tohru's hair. Fake fur had been glued to his tail, to make him look like Maro-chan the squirrel. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he said.
"Just remember to hug Yuki regularly, Tohru," said Shigure. "Otherwise, you'll end up wearing a naked bishounen for a hat."
Chapter 20: Truth In Labeling
Yuki and Kyou found Shigure sitting at a table, sniffing loudly and sadly paging through an old book.
"Uh, Shigure?" asked Yuki. "Is something wrong?"
"Oh, I've just caught a nasty summer cold," Shigure said. "And I've been researching the Sohma family tree, and I've only just learned that my parents were never married."
Kyou smiled. He smiled so widely that the others feared that the top of his head might come off at his jaw.
Yuki sighed. "Kyou, don't—"
"No, Yuki, let him say it," Shigure said. "It is his catch-phrase, you know."
Kyou said it. "YOU!! SICK!! BASTARD!!"
Chapter 21: Don't Ash
Hatori had come to Shigure's house for a visit.
Hatori patted his pockets, and frowned. "Shigure? Could I 'bum' a cigarette?"
"I'm afraid not," Shigure said. "I've quit smoking."
Hatori was surprised. "Really? Well, congratulations, Shigure. How did you kick the habit?"
Shigure held up an empty ashtray. "Tohru emptied and cleaned the ashtrays. Just look at this ashtray. It's so clean, you could eat soup out of it."
Shigure's eyes went all sad and shiny. "How could I think of soiling Tohru's virtue with the butts of my vice?"
Hatori sighed. "Kyou is right. You ARE a sick bastard."
Chapter 22: Bottle Battle
Yuki was admiring the kitchen, after Tohru had finished cleaning it. He opened the refrigerator. "Even everything in the fridge is clean... except for the water bottle."
Tohru leaned in for a look. "Oh, dear! Are those bread crumbs, floating in the bottle? But the water bottle was the first thing that I washed out..."
And then, Kyou shuffled into the room. Ignoring the others, he grabbed the bottle, and drank straight from it.
Kyou picked himself up from the ground after Yuki had bodily thrown him out of the house.
"ALRIGHT!!" Kyou shouted. "I'll use a glass next time!!"
Chapter 23: Mad Dog Madness
Tohru walked into the bathroom— and collided with Shigure, who was brushing his teeth. POUF!!
"I'm sorry!!" Tohru cried.
Shigure had transformed into a dog. "No, no, I should've closed the door. But I need opposable thumbs to brush my teeth, so..." He began to spit out his toothpaste.
And then, Yuki and Kyou walked up. "MAD DOG!!" they shouted.
Shigure winked at Tohru, and then he growled at Yuki and Kyou.
"Think we can out-run a rabid dog?" Kyou whispered.
"I don't know," Yuki whispered back, "but he'll attack the first person he catches, and I can out-run you."
Chapter 24: Pet Shop Boys
Written October 2004; humor; 200 words.
This contains creepy adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
Tohru walked up to Shigure, just as he hung up the phone. He was clearly struggling to keep from laughing out loud.
"Shigure? What is it?" Tohru asked innocently.
"That was Hatori, at the main Sohma house," Shigure said, in-between stifled snorts and giggles. "Yuki and Kyou transformed into Zodiac animals at the same time. And then, they were both picked up by Animal Control."
Tohru gasped. "That's terrible!"
"Don't worry," Shigure said. "They're safe now. Hatori bailed them out, and erased the control center staff's memories...
"But this is the best part. They were both locked in the same small holding cage at the control center. And they transformed back while they were still in the cage."
Shigure giggled. "Just think about it, Tohru! Yuki and Kyou, helplessly locked in a small metal cage... both of them naked as the day they were born... and both of them, so tightly wedged against each other that they could barely even move!"
Tohru pondered the mental picture that Shigure had just painted. And then, the sweet and innocent girl suffered an atypical nosebleed, and passed out from a sudden loss of blood.
Shigure frowned. "Ah. Maybe you shouldn't think about it."
Chapter 25: Killing Mi Softly
Mi found Shigure's front door wide open. "Is anyone home?" she called out.
She found Shigure lying on the kitchen floor, his face and chest covered with what looked like blood. Kyou kneeled over Shigure, holding a butcher knife, his own clothes splattered with red.
Mi sighed, and pointed at a half-empty ketchup bottle, lying next to Shigure.
Kyou hung his head. "I told you she wouldn't buy it, Shigure."
"It's not surprising," Shigure said. "You're a terrible actor, Kyou."
Mi grabbed Kyou's butcher knife, and held it to Shigure's throat. "Manuscript! NOW!!"
"Nuh— now that's cuh— convincing!!" Shigure stammered.
Chapter 26: Honda Horror
Tohru, Yuki, Kyou and Shigure sat around their table. "It isn't a summer night unless you tell a horror story," Shigure said.
"Well, do you know any scary stories?" Yuki asked.
"Oh, I know!" Tohru suddenly said. "Sometimes you get serial killings, in a drama..."
"That's true," Yuki said.
Tohru lowered her voice. Her face seemed to fall into shadows. "Victim #1 would be Kyou. Then, one by one... all the Zodiac Sohmas are killed...
"And *I* am the murderer!!"
"YOU'RE the murderer!?" Yuki said. Kyou hung his head and groaned.
Shigure smiled. "Tohru, a horror story should be believable."
Chapter 27: Splitting Hares
Tohru had made dinner for several of the Sohmas. After dinner, she brought out a huge colorful box.
Shigure raised an eyebrow. "What's this?"
Tohru explained. "The supermarket put their left-over chocolate Easter bunnies on sale. It's an unusual dessert, but it's good chocolate. What part would you like?"
"Oh... the ears, please," Shigure said.
"Tail," said Kyou.
"The head, please," said Yuki.
"How about one of the legs," said Haru.
"What part would you like, Momiji?" asked Tohru.
Momiji whimpered. As Tohru began to dismember his Zodiac animal, his eyes rolled back, and he passed out.
"Oops," said Tohru.
Chapter 28: But I Repeat Myself
"Shigure?" asked Tohru. "What are you writing?"
Shigure explained. "I'm writing a 'challenge' response for one of the LiveJournal writing communities."
"What's the challenge?" Tohru asked.
"Oddly enough, this week's challenge is the word 'challenge'."
Tohru bit her lip. "Isn't that... dangerous?"
Shigure laughed. "Don't be silly, Tohru! It's not as if we could fall into a recursive loop!
"Well, let's start with this..."
Eric sat down at his computer. He read the latest challenge from one of the LiveJournal writing communities on his "Friends" page.
Well, Eric thought, let's start with this...
"Shigure?" asked Tohru. "What are you writing?"...
Chapter 29: Only In My Dreams
A defeated Yuki lay unconscious at Kyou's feet.
Kyou raised his fists in triumph and shouted. "I FINALLY BEAT YOU, RAT-BOY!! MWAH HA HA HA!! MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!"
Shigure leaned into Kyou's room. "Kyou!! Wake up!! You'll be late for school!"
Kyou woke up with a gasp. "It was... only a dream?"
Shigure sat down to breakfast. "Where's Kyou?" asked Tohru.
"I decided to let him call in sick," Shigure said. "Actually, when I woke him up, he began to cry into his pillow."
Yuki frowned. "And I thought *I* had trouble waking up in the morning."
Chapter 30: Hot For Teacher
An assistant principal addressed Tohru's class. "We have a new part-time substitute teacher, beginning today."
Shigure swept into the room, humming his "High School Girls" song to himself. He glanced across the room full of cute young girls, and noticed Tohru and her friends.
Tohru simply blinked in surprise. But Uo reached under her desk, and cradled her section of pipe in her arms, just for Shigure to see. And as Hana stared at him, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up on end.
Shigure gulped. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, he thought.
Chapter 31: Behold The Power Of Cheese
"Happy birthday, Yuki!" said Tohru.
Yuki looked at the table that Tohru had set. "Is this for me?"
"I made all your favorites," Tohru said. "A cheese omelet, cheddar cheese biscuits, potatoes au gratin, and macaroni and cheese— and Swiss cheesecake for dessert... Oh, and Shigure told me to make some leek soup, not because you like it, but because you know that Kyou doesn't like it—"
Then Tohru bit her lip. "Yuki? Is something wrong?"
Yuki was weeping with joy. He went down on one knee and held up Tohru's hand. "Tuh... Tohru? Wuh... will you muh... marry me?"
Chapter 32: It's A Kind Of Magic
Kyou found an excited Shigure and a disgusted Yuki in the common room. "Whassup?" Kyou asked.
Yuki explained. "Shigure ordered another costume for Tohru from my brother's shop."
Kyou scowled. "Not another maid uniform!—"
Ayame led a bashful Tohru into the room. She wore a colorful (and tight and skimpy) plasticky blouse, skirt, and tall boots, and she held a large ornate baton.
"Behold!!" said Ayame. "Magical Girl Tohru!!"
Yuki was suddenly as excited as Shigure. "Well done, Ayame! That cosplay suits you, Tohru!"
Kyou held his head and groaned. "I can't believe that I'm related to these sick bastards."
Chapter 33: Blues In The Night
Uo and Hana were sleeping over with Tohru.
Hana heard some quiet music in the night. She sneaked up to an open doorway, and found Shigure playing a koto in the moonlight.
"Did I wake you, Hana?" asked Shigure, without stopping.
"No," Hana said. "I didn't know you played koto, Shigure."
"I once played this song for a beautiful princess from a distant land, on a night like this, many years ago..." Shigure stopped, and sighed. "You're not buying this, are you?"
"No, but it sounds like a lovely story." Hana sat down. "Please continue the story and the song."
Chapter 34: Paladin Through The Out Door
Shigure found Kagura standing at the front door of his house. "Hello, Kagura. Waiting for Kyou?"
"I can't wait to see my hero, my paladin, my knight in shining armor!!" Kagura shouted.
Kyou walked up— and walked past Kagura, completely ignoring her.
Kagura scowled, and followed Kyou inside. "Excuse me, Shigure. My paladin needs punishin'."
Shigure called after her. "Could you do it outside, please?"
Kyou's body suddenly burst through the wall behind Shigure, and flew into the trees.
Shigure looked at the Kyou-shaped hole in the side of his house. "No, I suppose not," he sadly said to himself.
Chapter 35: Sorry
Written March 2005; humor; 100 words.
Published 20-Feb-2006 by request.
Kyou shuffled into the kitchen, completely ignoring Ritsu. He looked in the refrigerator, and sighed. "Ritsu? Did you take all the milk again?"
"I'm sorry!! I'm sorry!!" Ritsu said.
"Yeah," Kyou muttered, "You are sorry."
"I'm sorry that I'm sorry!!" Ritsu said.
Kyou grabbed Ritsu's collar. "Shut it, Monkey-Boy. If I hear 'sorry' one more time, you're gonna regret it. 'Capiche'?"
Ritsu clapped both hands over his mouth, and nodded.
And then, an annoyed Yuki walked up. "What's all the shouting about?"
Ritsu mumbled into his hands. "Mmmph mmmph."
Yuki held a hand behind one ear. "Sorry?"
"AAUGH!!" said Kyou.
Chapter 36: Thin White Fake
Yuki and Tohru were visiting Ayame's clothing store.
Tohru saw a CD on the table. "What's this? 'Station To Station' by David Bowie?"
"I'm going to ask for an autograph when Mr. Bowie stops by, this afternoon," Ayame said. "He's a new customer."
"You're lying," Yuki said flatly.
"Of course," Ayame said. "But perhaps it will give us something to talk about."
Tohru read the album's song titles. "'Station to Station'... 'Golden Years'... 'Word on a Wing'... I'm afraid that I don't know these songs."
"Perhaps my younger brother is a fan," Ayame said hopefully.
"Who's David Bowie?" asked Yuki.
Chapter 37: A Not-So-Great Transformation
Tohru, Yuki and Kyou stared at a stack of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. "Do you want some help, Tohru?" asked Yuki.
"Don't worry," Tohru said cheerfully. "This is a job for... Um, just a minute, please..."
Tohru ran for her bedroom. Yuki and Kyou sweat-dropped. They could hear her pulling off her clothes, as she ran away.
After a long silent awkward pause, Tohru returned, disheveled and out of breath, wearing her new magical-girl costume. "This is a job for MAGICAL GIRL TOHRU!!"
Yuki respectfully applauded, but Kyou wasn't impressed. "Tohru, that was a lousy 'Magical Girl Transformation'."
Chapter 38: The Prereader
Hana walked up to Shigure's writing table, and set a loose-leaf copy of "Summer-Colored Sigh Volume 2" in front of Shigure.
"So," asked Shigure, "what did you think?"
"Technically, it was flawless," Hana said. "I found no spelling or grammar errors. But..."
Shigure raised an eyebrow. "But?..."
"The plot was utterly predictable," Hana said. "The characters were stereotypical, their situation contrived, and their romance maudlin. And the vocabulary was greatly limited, as if it was written at a sixth-grade level."
Shigure grinned. "In other words?..."
"It was an excellent dime-store novel," Hana said. "And I can't wait for Volume 3."
Chapter 39: Space-Shipped
A tall thin woman with wild hair and strange clothing walked up to Shigure's house, and knocked at the front door. "Pardon me, but have you seen— there you are, Ryo-ohki!"
Tohru and Kyou answered the door. Tohru held a small cat-like creature. "Is this animal your pet, Ma'am?" she asked.
"Yes and no," Ryoko said. She took Ryo-ohki from Tohru, and tossed the cabbit into the air. It transformed into a small space-ship.
"Oh my," Tohru said. "Kyou? Can you turn into a space-ship, like that cat-thing?"
"No," said Kyou, "but I wish I could. That would totally ROCK!"
Chapter 40: The Monthly Visitor
Tohru noticed a magazine on Shigure's writing table. "Is that a new magazine?"
"Yes," Shigure said. "They bought the serial rights to publish my next novel, in twelve monthly installments."
"Oh, how wonderful!" Tohru said. "Will you earn more money that way? Or is it for the publicity?"
"A little of both," Shigure said. "But the real reason I did it was so that..."
As if on cue, an openly-weeping Mi came to the door. "Shigure? I'm here to pick up the... first installment... of... WHAAH!!"
Shigure grinned. "Mi will come to 'visit' me twelve times, instead of just once."
Chapter 41: Storytime Tohru
Tohru was reading a childrens' book to Kisa before bed-time. She held the open book in one hand and cradled Kisa in her other arm.
"'The Story Of Miss Moppet' by Beatrix Potter," Tohru read. She opened the book to its first page.
"'This is a kitty called Miss Moppet. She thinks she has heard a mouse!... This is the mouse peeping out from the cupboard, and making fun of Miss Moppet... This is Miss Moppet jumping just too late; she misses the mouse and hits her own head!'"
Tohru paused. "Kisa? Don't let Kyou see this book."
Chapter 42: Good Rockin' Tonight
Written May 2005; humor; 100 words.
For a private challenge from worldwalkerpure: "A humorous piece with Hanajima and Uo-chan."
Hana found Uo playing music over headphones. "Is that a new iPod?"
"Yep," Uo said. "Finally saved up enough money to buy one."
"What are you listening to?" Hana asked. "Metal? Punk? Ska?"
Uo bit her lip and covered the iPod's display. "Um, I'd rather not say..."
Hana engaged her "denpa" power and "eavesdropped" on Uo's iPod. She actually raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Pat Boone?"
Uo grimaced. "Hana, you're a dear friend... But I swear to God, if you tell anyone, I will KILL you."
"I shall tell no one," Hana said solemnly. "But then, who would believe me?"
Chapter 43: Gluesome
"Kagura?" asked Tohru. "Where is Kyou taking you on your date?"
"The beach!" Kagura said. "And since we'll be wearing swimsuits..." She reached into her backpack, and held up a small bottle.
"Is that sunscreen?" Tohru asked.
"Nope!" Kagura said. "It looks like sunscreen, but it's actually industrial adhesive. I'll just ask Kyou to rub this on me, and then we'll literally be inseparable!"
Tohru gasped. "Kagura, that's crazy!"
Kagura giggled in a deeply disturbing way. "Well, don't try to warn Kyou, OK? I'd hate to have to glue your mouth shut."
Tohru slowly and nervously backed away from Kagura.
Chapter 44: Sharp Dressed Man
Yuki walked into the front room. "Shigure? Why is Ayame here— OH MY GOD!!"
Shigure was wearing an amazingly colorful kimono. "I thought Shigure might be tired of his dull blue-gray garments," Ayame said, "and so I brought him something with a bit more panache."
Yuki gulped. "Shigure, it looks like a rainbow threw up on you."
And then, Mi walked into the room. She took one look at Shigure and fell to the floor with hysterical laughter.
Shigure pulled a face. "Ayame? When you said that this kimono would bring women to their knees, this isn't what I imagined."
Chapter 45: Seeing Red
Tohru guided a sunburned Uo into a bathroom at Shigure's house. "You shouldn't have worn a sundress," Tohru said.
"You're right," Uo said. "Got any lotion?"
"There's some in my room," Tohru said. "Let your top down, and I'll help you apply it."
Just as Tohru left the bathroom, Kyou shuffled up. He wasn't wearing a shirt, and he unfastened his pants as he entered the bathroom.
Tohru heard two screams of pure terror. She found Uo and Kyou cowering in the bathroom, trying to cover themselves.
"Let's never speak of this dark day again," Uo whimpered.
"Agreed," Kyou gasped.
Chapter 46: Rain In The Face
Tohru was in bed, trying to sleep through a rainy night.
Kyou had patched the ceiling of Tohru's room after breaking it. But every minute or so, a drip leaked through. Tohru's bed was under the patch, and the drips fell on her forehead.
Tohru was too polite and timid to complain. But the drips were slowly driving her crazy.
Drip... Drip... Drip...
The next morning, Kyou shuffled into the kitchen. "Is breakfast ready yet?"
Tohru slowly turned, holding a kitchen knife. Her eyes were dull and bloodshot. She giggled in a deeply disturbing way.
Kyou gulped. "I can wait!..."
Chapter 47: Bringing Down The House
Yuki and Kyou couldn't stop fighting long enough to eat breakfast with Shigure and Tohru.
Yuki scowled. "Must you be so truculent, so early in the morning?"
"I don't know what that means," Kyou said, "but I don't like it!"
"WAIT!!" said Shigure. "You've already weakened my house with your fighting! If Yuki throws you through a wall one more time, you could—"
CRASH!! BANG!! BOOOOOOOOOOM!!
Shigure and Tohru looked at the smoking ruins of Shigure's house.
"What'll we do now?" Tohru asked.
"If I transform into a dog," Shigure asked, "would there be room for me in your tent?"
Chapter 48: Astronomy Domine
Yuki, Tohru and Kyou were lying on the roof of Shigure's house, gazing up at the night sky.
"It's so beautiful," Tohru said. "I feel like we could slowly drift away, into the stars..."
Yuki smiled. "Actually, the Earth is hurtling through space at eighteen miles a second."
Tohru giggled nervously. "Now I feel like I need to hang on to the roof."
Yuki also chuckled, and turned to Tohru. "Don't be silly..."
He looked past Tohru, and saw Kyou clinging desperately to the roof, like a cat up a tree.
Yuki decided to keep the astronomy lessons to himself.
Chapter 49: Give Peace A Chance
Yuki was excused from class, late in the morning, to take a phone call from Shigure.
"I wanted to warn you," said Shigure, over the phone. "Haru had another one of his 'black' spells, back at the Sohma house, this morning. He was completely berserk. No one could come near him.
"Hatori tried to sedate him with a tranquilizer gun. He got a shot in. But Haru's body transformed under the extreme stress, and then he ran away in Zodiac animal form."
Yuki guessed the rest. "And now, he's wandering around— naked, dazed, and, well, tranquilized out of his skull."
"Please walk Tohru home," Shigure said. "We all know that Haru can be a bit odd, even when he's sober and 'white'."
"What about Kyou?"
Yuki imagined that he could hear Shigure smirk over the phone. "What ABOUT Kyou?"
Kyou was slowly walking home alone, lost in his thoughts.
Maybe I AM too quick to fight, he thought. Maybe, if *I* tried to stop fighting with Yuki, and the family? Maybe—
As if on cue, a naked Haru walked up to Kyou and offered him a daisy. "Peace!" Haru said.
Kyou shuddered. I'd rather fight the sick bastards, he thought.
Chapter 50: Hot Dogs And Cool Cats
Kyou found Shigure, Tohru and Yuki sitting around a heated table.
"You're cold?" Kyou said in disbelief. "Man, I'm burnin' up!"
Shigure smirked. "You know how to make a cat go 'woof'? You douse him in gasoline and throw a match on him. 'WHOOF!!'"
"Oh yeah?" Kyou said. "You know how to make a dog go 'meow'? You stick him in the freezer, and then you put him on a table-saw. 'MRRREEEEEOWW!!'"
A horrified Tohru suddenly began to cry.
Yuki scowled. "You know how to make a kind-hearted girl go 'whaah'? You tell cruel dead-animal jokes in front of her."
Chapter 51: Shigure's Schadenfreude
"Momiji?" asked Tohru. "Could you tell me what 'Schadenfreude' means? It sounds like a German word."
"Ja!" the half-German Momiji said cheerfully. "There's no exact translation into Japanese or English for it. But, it's pleasure felt from someone else's misfortune."
Tohru gasped. "How awful! Who could feel something like that?"
A tearful Mi suddenly ran past them, clutching a manuscript to herself. "Excuse me!!" she said between sobs. "I have to get this to the publisher's office in thirty minutes!!"
Tohru and Momiji turned, and saw Shigure peeking around a corner and snickering.
"Ah," Tohru said blankly. "Schadenfreude. Got it."
Chapter 52: Too Hot For Words
Yuki and Tohru watched Shigure as he ran for the front door.
"Where are you going!?" Yuki called out.
"South Pole!!" Shigure said over his shoulder. "Bye-bye!!"
Tohru blinked. "What was that all about?"
"It must be his new editor," Yuki said. "She has more of a, uh, fiery temper than that other woman."
A young woman with wild red hair, angry green eyes, and a tight and skimpy red dress ran past them. She held up a copy of one of Shigure's books— which she had apparently set on fire.
She yelled at Shigure. "SUMMER-COLOR THIS SIGH, YOU PERVERT!!"
Chapter 53: Into The Trees
Tohru, Yuki and Kyou found Shigure tending a tiny tree in a large clay pot. "Is that bonsai?" Tohru asked.
"Yes." Shigure answered quietly, without turning away from his work. "As a writer, I thought that I should learn to appreciate the trees. If there was no wood pulp for paper, then there would be no books, and I couldn't earn a living as a writer."
"Goodness," Tohru said. "I'd never thought of that."
"And without wood for lumber," Shigure said dryly, "I couldn't repair my house after 'Two Certain People' wreck it with their fighting."
Yuki and Kyou sweat-dropped.
Chapter 54: Pirates vs Ninja
Published 23-Sep-2005; humor; 100 words.
"Magical Girl Tohru" strikes again! This was inspired by "Talk Like A Pirate Day" (September 19th).
Uo and Hana met with Tohru at a high-school costume party. Uo wore loose Caribbean clothing and a kerchief over her hair, and carried a cardboard sword; Hana wore an all-black outfit with fingerless gloves and a hood that covered her mouth; and Tohru wore her magical-girl costume.
"Settle a bet for us, Tohru," said Uo. "Who wins a fair fight? Pirates or ninja?"
Tohru giggled. "Magical Girl Tohru for the win!" She beeped her friends' noses with her plastic staff.
"Pirates and ninja have BOTH been pwn3d," Hana declared.
Uo burst into sentimental tears. "WHAAH!! Ph34r t3h cute ones!"
Chapter 55: Watered Down
Yuki walked up to Shigure. "Where's Kyou?" Yuki asked.
"Ah," Shigure said. "I'm afraid that Tohru spilled a pitcher of ice water on him, and..."
"Let me guess," Yuki said. "She said, 'how cute!', and then she took him away to play dress-up."
As if on cue, Tohru also walked up— holding hands with a female Kyou, who was wearing Tohru's school uniform.
Shigure burst into hysterical laughter, but Yuki smiled kindly. "You seem to be taking your latest Sohma secret discovery very well, Tohru."
"I do have a question," Tohru said. "Just how many alternate forms does Kyou have!?"
Chapter 56: The Faux Flautist
Tohru noticed that Uo was carrying her length of pipe. "How can you openly carry that weapon in school?" Tohru asked.
"I just drilled some holes in it with the metal-working tools in Shop class." Uo said. "And now... watch this."
As a teacher walked up, Uo held the pipe to her mouth, and began to play it like a flute.
After the teacher passed by, Tohru congratulated Uo. "That's a clever disguise. It even plays in tune."
Uo winked. "It also makes me more popular with the boys. They keep asking me about 'this one time, at band camp'."
Chapter 57: Spring Has Sprung
Hatori stood at the open door of his private doctor's office, looking out at the Sohma family estate. It was late in winter, but the weather was warm, and Hatori was taking notice of the first signs of spring. Some plants have already sprouted, he thought to himself, and I can hear early birds singing...
As if on cue, a tearfully embarrassed Ritsu ran past, wearing a light and colorful sun-dress. Then Ayame ran past, also wearing a light dress, and shouting reassurances to Ritsu.
It MUST be spring, Hatori thought. The family cross-dressers are already modeling their spring fashions.
Chapter 58: Are We There Yet
Riding in the back-seat of Hatori's car, Yuki and Kyou fussed at each other, as Tohru silently sat between them and sweat-dropped.
"Stop TOUCHING me!!" Kyou yelled.
"I'm NOT touching you, you idiot," Yuki growled. He held his hand in front of Kyou's face. "See!? This is me, not touching you!"
"HATOOOOORRRIIIII!!" Kyou whined loudly.
"What, are both of you six years old!?" Hatori said impatiently. "Shigure, can't you do something about those two!?"
Shigure didn't answer. He was hanging through his open window like a happy dog.
Hatori silently resolved to charter another bus for their next road trip.
Chapter 59: Yuki Was Yukky
Tohru served miso soup for Shigure, Kyou and herself. "Where's Yuki?" asked Shigure. "Surely he wouldn't miss this delicious home-cooked dinner."
"I backed into him as I opened the miso paste jar," Tohru said. "I thought he ran back to his room after he transformed."
Kyou tasted his soup, and grimaced. "Ugh! This tastes like—"
POUF!! WHAM!! A dazed and miso-covered Yuki suddenly appeared on the table in front of Shigure.
After making sure that Yuki was unharmed, a grinning Shigure held up one arm and snapped his fingers for attention. "Uh, Waiter? There's a naked bishounen in my soup."
Chapter 60: Not A Patch On It
Yuki and Kyou were shopping for Halloween costumes, with Tohru along to keep the peace.
"How about a pirate costume, Yuki?" asked Tohru.
"No, I'd better not," Yuki said. "I shouldn't wear an eyepatch around Hatori, since he's lost some sight in one eye."
"Oh!" said Tohru. "I'm sorry. That's very thoughtful, Yuki."
Yuki smirked. "And I also shouldn't be a zombie, since zombies eat brains, and Kyou doesn't have a brain."
Kyou growled. "Very funny—"
"In that case," Tohru said innocently, "you shouldn't be the Scarecrow from 'The Wizard Of Oz', either."
"TOHRU!?" shouted Kyou, more hurt than angry.
Chapter 61: Whistled Away
Shigure suddenly looked up from his newspaper with a frown.
Yuki and Tohru both looked at him. "What's wrong?" Tohru asked.
"Can't you hear it?" Shigure asked. "Excuse me. I have to go."
As Shigure left, Tohru blinked. "What was that about?"
Yuki shrugged. "As the 'dog', Shigure has exceptional hearing. Maybe he heard something we can't hear."
A tall man wearing a long colorful scarf stood by an incongruous blue booth, muttering to himself about errant canine robots, and impatiently blowing a dog whistle.
Shigure walked up. He looked at the stranger expectantly.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "What?"
Chapter 62: Beyond Endurance
Yuki and Kyou were about to begin the school endurance run, and their personal competition, when they heard a familiar voice.
Kagura was standing at one side of the crowd, wearing a skimpy cheerleader outfit, and making a spectacle of herself. "KYOU!! KYOU!! GO GO GO!!"
Kyou groaned. "Oh, for the love of..."
"I'll be waiting for you at the finish line," Kagura said, "to reward your hard work with hugs and kisses!!"
The race began, and Kagura shouted again. "Wow! You're running so fast!... WAIT!! The finish line is THAT way!! Why are you running in the other direction!?"
Chapter 63: Rave On
"Hana?" asked Tohru. "Are you alright?"
Hana didn't answer. "Don't worry," Uo said. "Hana just doesn't like rainy autumn weather. Still, let's check her bracelet..." She pulled up Hana's sleeve— and a bracelet of black and white beads broke off her wrist and fell away.
To Tohru and Uo's horror, Hana suddenly... transformed.
Monster-Hana wore a baby-doll T-shirt, baggy jeans and platform shoes, fluorescent dyed hair and temporary tattoos, and a back-pack full of sugary candy and glow-sticks. "Where's the rave?" she asked, grinding her teeth.
Tohru whimpered. "I'm scared. Please hold me."
Uo embraced her. "I'm scared too, hon."
Chapter 64: Immature Content
Tohru found Shigure sitting at his writing desk, deep in thought. "Is something wrong?" she asked.
"Mitchan just called," Shigure said. "She said that my publisher is concerned about my latest novel. I've included more violence and adult language than expected from my proposal."
"Why did you do that?" Tohru asked innocently.
Before Shigure could answer, Yuki and Kyou walked past them. Kyou was trying to start a fight, but Yuki was ignoring him. "DAMN IT!!" Kyou yelled. "HOLD STILL so I can HIT YOU, you SONUVA—"
"I think my environment had something to do with it," Shigure said mildly.
Chapter 65: Bored Silly
Shigure found his breakfast waiting for him, along with a brief note from Tohru. She had already left to spend a day off with Uo and Hana.
Hmm, Shigure thought. Yuki said that he was tending his garden today, and Kyo is... well, who knows where he's gone. I've got the house to myself today.
I could do some research for my next novel... or catch up with my newspaper and magazine subscriptions... or I could just go for a walk, and enjoy the peace and tranquility...
Shigure sighed. Fifteen minutes by myself, he thought, and I'm already bored silly.
Hatori answered his office phone. "Sohma Residence. This is—"
He winced, and held the receiver away from his ear, as Shigure whined at him loudly. "HAAAA'RI!! I'M BOOOOOOOORED!!"
"And this is a problem that concerns me because?..." Hatori said.
"Come play with me!!" Shigure said. "You can take a day off!!"
"Actually, no, I can't," Hatori said. "I've scheduled an exam with Akito, and— look, can this wait? I've got another call."
Without waiting for Shigure's answer, Hatori changed the line. "Sohma Residence. This is—"
It was Ayame. "HAAAA'RI!! I'M BOOOOOOOORED!!"
Hatori began to beat his head against his desk.
Chapter 66: Unfair Freshener
Yuki returned to Shigure's house after a quick trip to the store. "I'm home!" he called out.
"Did you get everything we need for the bathroom?" Tohru asked.
"Yes." Yuki reached into his shopping bag, and produced a small aerosol spray-can. "I can't wait to try this new air freshener!"
Kyou rolled his eyes. "Just when I thought you couldn't be any more of a girly-boy... What is it? 'Luscious Peach'? 'Ocean Breeze'? 'Cinnamon Spice'?"
Yuki calmly sprayed Kyou in the face. Kyou promptly passed out.
Shigure sniffed the air. "Goodness. I didn't know they made a 'leek' air freshener."
Chapter 67: All-Tentative Lifestyle
"Thanks for letting me stay with you in your tent," Uo said to Tohru.
"It isn't much," Tohru said, "but you can stay as long as you like— YEEEK!! Uo, that tickles!! Hee hee!! You'll make me pull the tent down!!"
Uo straddled Tohru, and grabbed her wrists. "In that case," Uo said softly, "I'd better hold you tightly."
Tohru's eyes widened. But then, she relaxed, closed her eyes, and waited.
Uo slowly leaned in. Their lips met...
Uo woke up with a gasp.
Hoo boy, she thought. That dream just made my friendship with Tohru so much more complicated.
Chapter 68: Tin-Foiled
"What happened to your 'Prince Yuki Fan Club'?" Kyou asked Yuki. "I haven't seen 'em for awhile."
"Well, it's like this," Yuki said. "They began wearing tin-foil hats, to shield themselves from Hana's denpa, because Hana was divining their thoughts and, uh, foiling their schemes against Tohru. But they wore the tin-foil hats during their P.E. class, under a hot sun, and..."
Kyou raised an eyebrow. "You mean?..."
"Yes," Yuki said. "They baked their brains."
"I didn't know they had brains to bake," Kyou said.
Yuki sighed. "I wish I had five yen for every time I've heard that line."
Chapter 69: October Project
Tohru found Shigure writing at his desk, with his door open to a cold October night. Mists drifted across the grounds, and night birds occasionally called out.
"You're working late," Tohru noted.
"Yes," Shigure said, "but this late autumn nighttime weather is the perfect inspiration for my new novel. It's a ghost story."
As if on cue, they both heard a wordless cry of sheer despair, like the pitiful lamentation of a lost soul.
Tohru whimpered, but Shigure smiled. "Oh, that's just Mitchan, spending the night in the next room. Did I mention that this manuscript was due in July?"
Chapter 70: Mermaid Smiled
"What's wrong, Tohru?" asked Kyou. "You're even more spaced-out than usual."
As Yuki dope-slapped Kyou, Tohru smiled apologetically. "I was just re-reading 'The Little Mermaid'. When I was a little girl, I wished I was a mermaid, free to swim the deep wide ocean..."
"You know," Shigure said darkly, "Hatori could employ a secret technique of the Sohma family to transform you into a mermaid."
Tohru gulped. "Ruh— really!?"
"No," Yuki said. "Shigure is lying."
Shigure grinned. "If you'll settle for a sexy mermaid costume, we could go to Ayame's shop, and—"
"NO!!" Yuki and Kyou yelled in perfect unison.
Chapter 71: Death Scene
A pale and weak Hana lay in bed. Tohru kneeled at her side and held her hand.
"Tohru?" said Hana. "Thank you... for being here..." Her eyes rolled back, and her lifeless hand fell away.
Tohru slumped and wept loudly.
The high-school Drama Club play ended. The house lights came on.
Yuki and Uo walked up. "With your frail look and your flair for dramatics," Uo said to Hana, "you're perfect for death scenes."
"Um, Tohru?" said Yuki. "You can stop crying now."
"Actually, no," Tohru sobbed. "I CAN'T stop crying."
Uo sighed sadly. "Our kind-hearted Tohru was well-cast too."
Chapter 72: Wipe Out
Yuki and Kyou carried an unconscious Haru on a surfboard. They set him down next to Shigure. "We told him the waves were too high today," Kyou said.
"'Death Of A Gremmie'," Shigure said. He leaned over Haru, and frowned. "Uh oh. Haru's not breathing."
And then, Shigure grinned. "You both learned CPR from Hatori, right? Well, here's your chance to perform the 'Kiss Of Life'."
Yuki and Kyou sweat-dropped. "You kiss him," Yuki hissed.
"No, you!!" Kyou said.
"Look," Shigure said, "if we don't have some half-naked and wet bishounen yaoi action here, the fan-girls will NOT be happy."
Chapter 73: Fried Like Rice
Published 21-Mar-2006; humor; 100 words.
For a private challenge from worldwalkerpure: "Tohru and a rice cooker."
Kyou watched Yuki and Tohru wash dishes.
Yuki scowled. "You COULD help, Kyou."
"YOU told me to STOP," Kyou yelled, "after I broke a dish!!"
Tohru tried to keep the peace. "You could wash the rice cooker, Kyou. It won't break."
"Fine!!" Kyou dunked the cooker in the sink.
Tohru gasped. "KYOU!! UNPLUG IT FIRST!!"
From his writing desk, Shigure saw the lights dim, and smelled smoke. He overheard Tohru screaming in fright, Kyou screaming in pain, and Yuki shouting at Kyou.
For pity's sake, Shigure thought. When they're not demolishing the walls of my house, they're starting electrical fires.
Chapter 74: Tight With Him
Tohru and Kyou met up with Uo and Hana to spend a day off together.
Uo noticed that Kyou was wearing a very tight T-shirt that left his arms and midriff bare. "Lookin' good, Carrot-Top!" she said, with a wolf-whistle. "You been workin' out?"
"Yeah, yeah," Kyou growled. "I've just out-grown this T-shirt."
"Our little Kyou is growing up, Tohru," said Hana. "Um, Tohru?..."
A red-faced Tohru was staring at Kyou's muscular torso, despite herself. "Tohru?" whispered Uo. "You're drooling, hon. You shouldn't let the boys catch you drooling over them."
"Our little Tohru is growing up too," Hana noted.
Chapter 75: Snake On A Plane
Published 15-Jun-2006; humor/parody; 100 words.
See also Snakes On A Plane.
This contains strong adult language. Reader discretion is advised.
Tohru, Yuki, Kyou and Shigure boarded a passenger jet airplane and took their seats.
Snake-Ayame suddenly slithered up from Tohru's collar. "I hope we have a smooth flight!" he said cheerfully.
"GAH!!" said Kyou. "What the hell are YOU doing here!?"
"Saving air-fare," Ayame said.
Yuki scowled. "Taking advantage of Tohru's good nature again?"
"It's alright, Yuki," said Tohru. "I don't mind, really— KYOU!! You're CHOKING him!!"
A stewardess walked up. "Is there a problem heeEEEEK!!"
Kyou held up a half-throttled snake-Ayame, and explained the problem loudly and clearly.
Chapter 76: Checking It Twice
Mi peeked into Shigure's writing room, and found her sensei revising handwritten notes on a sheet of paper.
That must be the outline for his next novel, Mi thought. He must be hard at work in the pursuit of literary perfection.
Satisfied with her observation, Mi left the room. A few minutes later, Tohru walked up.
Shigure held up the paper. "Here's my shopping list. Thanks, Tohru. You're so helpful."
Tohru skimmed through the list. "I'm glad to... um, Shigure? Do you really want me to buy your underwear for you?"
"Yes, please," Shigure said, with an impressive straight face.
Chapter 77: Kyou Throw
Yuki and Kyo fell into yet another fight while they were visiting the Sohma house with Shigure.
Kyo charged at Yuki, slipping slightly on a well-polished hardwood hallway floor. "AWRIGHT!!" he yelled. "IT'S ON, RAT-BOY!!"
Yuki stepped aside, and effortlessly swung his arm out against Kyo's back, throwing him to the floor.
Kyo picked himself up, sliding like a cat on ice, and charged again. Yuki danced around him, and dropped him like a sack of potatoes.
"Mind if I wait at the gate?" Shigure asked.
"Not at all," Yuki said, as Kyou struggled for balance. "This could take awhile."
Chapter 78: Parting Is Such Sweet Yaoi
After an interminable visit, Ayame was saying his goodbyes to Shigure at the door. Yuki and Kyou hung back, impatiently waiting for Ayame to leave.
"Dearest friend," Ayame said dramatically. "Keep me in your heart until I return."
"Fare thee well, o noble soul," an equally dramatic Shigure said.
Kyou rolled his eyes. "Why don't you kiss each other goodbye while you're at it?"
Without skipping a beat, a grinning Shigure held Ayame's face and planted one on him.
"AAUGH!!" said Kyou. "MY EYES!! THEY BURN!!"
"One of these days," Yuki said irritably, "you'll learn to keep your mouth shut."
Chapter 79: Not Facing Up To It
Kyou walked up to Uo. "Hey, Yankee! Why ya wearin' your pollen mask again? There's no pollen, this time of the year. Didja rejoin your gang?"
Uo sighed. "Not today, Kyou," she said meekly.
"Or MAYBE you've got a big ol' ZIT on your face!" a smirking Kyou said. "That'd suck, even for a tomboy... like..."
Uo hung her head and squeezed her eyes shut. She was obviously mortified to tears.
Kyou suddenly felt ashamed himself. "You DO have a?... Oh. I... Uh..."
Unable to form an apology, Kyou slinked away, hoping that Hana would kill him quickly and cleanly.
Chapter 80: Dedication
Mitsuru was settling in at her desk at the publishing office. She checked her computer, and found the 'proof' files of Shigure's latest novel were ready for review.
There was a request for her to read the dedication— Shigure had submitted it at the last minute. It's probably some inside-joke at my expense, Mitsuru thought.
To my editor, with sincere thanks and appreciation for her patient and forgiving kindness. (I'll try to do better next time, Mitchan!)
Mitsuru held a hand to her mouth and blinked back tears. Oh, sensei, she thought. You always know how to make me cry.
Chapter 81: Pigskin
A well-tanned Kagura was visiting with Kyou and Tohru.
"Kagura?" asked Tohru. "Don't you have any tan-lines?"
"Nope," Kagura said. "Wanna see, Kyou?" She began to pull off her blouse.
"AAUGH!!" said Kyou.
Kagura explained. "I spent some time in the sun after I transformed into a boar. My skin kept the exposure, even after I turned back."
"That's a relief," Kyou said. "I thought you'd been lying out nekkid."
Kagura smiled slyly. "I'd love to watch you get an all-over tan the 'old-fashioned' way!" She suddenly glomped Kyou and began to pull off his shirt.
"AAUGH!!" Kyou said again.
Chapter 82: The Book Of Hana (part 1)
Uo and Hana were walking part of the way home together after school.
Uo crossed her arms and shivered. "Brr... Summer's over, Hana. It's gonna get cold tonight."
"Mmm," Hana said. "I think I shall bring my heated table out of storage, and enjoy this crisp autumn evening with a cup of hot tea and a good book."
"Sounds like a plan," Uo said. "Whatcha gonna read?"
Instead of answering directly, Hana reached into a pocket, and held up a copy of Shigure's latest and newly-published dime-store novel.
"Wait a minute," Uo said. "I thought you said 'a GOOD book'."
Chapter 83: The Book Of Hana (part 2)
A slight and pale young girl in flowing black clothing slowly walked through a woods in autumn. A study in black-and-white, she passed through the colorful falling leaves like a ghost from another time.
As she passed an abandoned and ancient shrine in ruins, she paused, and tilted her head to one side, as if she had heard something. An outsider might have thought she could hear the voices of the spirits— like a psychic.
Hana paused for a sip of tea. This character is strangely familiar, she thought. But it doesn't matter— this is obviously Shigure's best work yet.
Chapter 84: The Book Of Hana (part 3)
Shigure heard a quiet measured knock at the door from his writing desk. Tohru and the boys were out, and so he went to answer the door himself.
Just as he opened the door to see Hana, apparently come to return her copy of his latest novel, a gust of wind blew up the autumn leaves behind her. The colorful leaves seemed to swirl in the air around Hana, as if they were a physical manifestation of her power.
"GAH!!" said Shigure. He staggered back, and tried to calm himself. "How do you DO that?"
"Do what?" Hana asked innocently.
Chapter 85: Bedding Against Her
Tohru awoke in the night. It was very cold outside, and rather cold in her room, and yet, she felt wonderfully warm. She realized that a transformed Yuki, Kyou and Shigure were snuggled up against her.
They must have transformed under stress from the cold, Tohru thought, and then they instinctively looked for a warm place while they were half-asleep. Well, that's alright, as long as—
*POUF*!! As if on cue, the animals transformed back. Tohru suddenly found herself under a pile of naked Sohmas.
Tohru was so embarrassed that it took her approximately seventeen seconds to remember to scream.
Chapter 86: Hungry Like The Wolf
Shigure was poking around in his kitchen. "Has Tohru gone to buy groceries yet?" he asked Yuki.
"Yes," said Yuki. "Relax, Shigure. She'll be back soon."
"I should hope so," Shigure said in a dramatic trembling voice. "There's no food left. Why, the wolf is at our door."
As if on cue, they heard a scratching at the door. Shigure went to open it. It was a wolf.
"Very funny," Yuki said. "You can send your 'Zodiac friend' away now, Shigure."
Shigure and the wolf both made big sad puppy eyes at Yuki.
"Now CUT that OUT!!" Yuki said irritably.
Chapter 87: Smile On You
Kyou walked up to Tohru. "Whatcha lookin' at, Tohru?" he asked. "...uh, Tohru? Hello? Tohru?"
Tohru was holding a small photograph in her trembling hands. "Our school pictures came back."
"Oh, yeah," Kyou said. "Man, I hate smilin' for pictures—"
"So does Hana," said Tohru. "But she smiled for her picture, this year. She gave me this print."
"No foolin'?" Kyou said. "I've never seen the psychic smile. Lemme see."
As Kyou looked at the print, the color slowly drained from his face.
"Oh, man," Kyon gasped. "The only thing even scarier than Hana's usual dark look is Hana's smile."
Chapter 88: Ransom Note Worthy
Published 14-Jan-2007; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days 2006 Theme Exchange #14 "mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs" prompt.
Shigure had invited Mitsuru to his house for a business brunch to discuss his next novel.
"It's a crime thriller," Shigure said, "about an eccentric recluse who abducts a young woman, keeps her prisoner in his rural house, and does THIS and THAT to her. The only clue is a ransom note made from newspaper word cut-outs."
"Sounds creepy," Mitsuru said. "How can you imagine things like that?"
Instead of answering, Shigure opened his newspaper. It was full of holes from word cut-outs.
"*eep*" said Mitsuru.
"Why, Mitchan," said Shigure. "You look unwell. Would you like to STAY for awhile?"
Chapter 89: The World's Address
"Yuki? Is something wrong?" a concerned Tohru asked.
"I visited my brother at his costume store today," a frazzled Yuki said. "It takes me awhile to relax after visiting him."
Tohru blinked. "Why?"
"Why!?" Yuki asked. "Uh, you DO understand by now what he does for a living, right? Doesn't it weird you out at all?"
"No," Tohru said sincerely. "I think it's wonderful. And I think the world would be a better place if everybody felt free to wear what they like."
Yuki sighed sadly. And I thought she was one of the sane ones, he thought to himself.
Chapter 90: Pale And Precious
Published 23-Mar-2007; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "I'd want you beautiful and pale, the way I've dreamed you were" prompt.
See also "Pale And Precious" by the Dukes Of Stratosphear (XTC).
Hana strikes again!
Hana answered Uo at Hana's front door. "Sorry I'm late," Uo said.
"That's alright," Hana said. "Tohru and I have been playing dress-up."
"No foolin'?" Uo said. "I know Tohru's been to Ayame's costume store, but I didn't know you were into that stuff too."
"I've always wanted to dress Tohru up... properly," Hana said.
Tohru walked up. She was wearing one of Hana's long black dresses, and her face was pale with heavy make-up.
"Oh, THAT ain't RIGHT," Uo said.
Hana and Tohru looked away with identical forlorn expressions. "How very cruel," they said in perfect unison.
Chapter 91: Window Buy Bye
Published 19-Apr-2007; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "by the window" prompt.
This contains off-screen violence. Reader discretion is advised.
An angry Kyou walked up to Tohru, who was working in front of Shigure's house. "Have you seen the damn rat?" he asked her.
"Um, I saw him go by the window." Tohru pointed back at the house. Kyou stormed off to start a fight.
A moment later, Shigure walked up. "Have you seen the boys?" he asked.
"I saw them go by the window." Tohru pointed again, just as Kyou and Yuki raised their voices.
And then, a disheveled Yuki walked up. "Have you seen Shigure?" he asked.
"I saw him go to BUY a window," Tohru said.
Chapter 92: It Runs From The Family
Ayame fell into a coughing fit during a visit with Yuki and Tohru. "Are you alright?" Tohru asked.
"Certainly," Ayame said. "I was never as ill as Yuki, but I am prone to breathing problems, now and then, myself."
"You two are more alike than one might first think," Tohru said innocently. "And I think Yuki is slowly becoming more like you."
"Could it be true!?" Ayame suddenly hugged Yuki too tightly. "Could it be that you're following in your brother's footsteps!? Perhaps you might even join me in business at the costume store someday!!"
"Kill me now," Yuki whimpered.
Chapter 93: The Chocolate War
"Did you over-hear Yuki and Kyou?" Tohru asked Uo and Hana. "They both said that they wouldn't accept any chocolates from anybody on Valentine's Day, this year, no matter what."
"So, the 'chocolate revolution' begins, eh?" Uo said. "It'll be interesting to see how this works out."
Just then, Yuki ran past the three friends at top speed. The Yuki Fan Club was close behind him, waving chocolates in the air. And then, Kyou also ran past them, with a chocolate-wielding Kagura close behind him.
"Their Valentine's Day rebellion is in danger of becoming a Valentine's Day MASSACRE," Hana said.
Chapter 94: Love Letter On
Hana noticed a pad of pink stationary with sparkle hearts in Uo's open locker. "I am surprised to see you using such feminine school supplies," Hana said.
"That isn't for school-work, ya goof," Uo said good-naturedly. "I wrote a fake love-letter and put it in Tohru's locker when she wasn't looking."
Hana frowned. "Why would you play such a cruel trick on poor sweet Tohru?"
"Aw, lighten up," Uo said. "I thought she'd be happy to have an anonymous admirer. And the letter was anonymous, so what's the... what?"
Hana pointed. Uo turned, and found Tohru standing behind her, holding Uo's letter in her hands, and staring at the pad of stationary in Uo's locker. Tohru had obviously made the connection.
"Aw, nuts," Uo said. "I'm sorry, Tohru. I didn't mean to... uh, Tohru?"
Tohru began to cry— but her tears were unexpected tears of joy. "I'm so HAPPY!! I didn't know you felt this way about me!"
Uo sweat-dropped. "Hey, wait a minute! That's not— you're not— I'm not— HANA!! HELP!!"
Hana took up Uo's and Tohru's hands and pressed them together. "You make a lovely couple," Hana said with a straight face.
"Hoo boy," Uo muttered to herself.
Chapter 95: Journal Turn
Shigure set down a notebook in front of Yuki and Kyou. "What's that?" Yuki asked.
"Tohru's private journal," Shigure said. "Daily diary, teenage angst poetry, and such. Tohru's actually a talented writer, if a bit naive—"
"You read Tohru's private journal!?" Kyou yelled. "You SICK BASTARD!!"
"This is truly reprehensible," Yuki growled.
Shigure shrugged. "If I hadn't read it, we wouldn't know that Tohru wrote about both of you."
Kyou and Yuki sweat-dropped. "Ruh-really?" Kyou stammered.
"Yield to temptation," Shigure said as he left, "and read it for yourselves."
"I hate Shigure," said Kyou.
"I hate him more," Yuki said.
Chapter 96: Paint It Black
Uo and Hana had accompanied Tohru back to Shigure's house after a day of shopping.
"Oh," Tohru said. "Hana? I think I have your bag of cosmetics."
"You can tell?" Shigure asked. "Cosmetics all look the same to me."
"Hana's are distinct," Tohru said, as she peeked into the bag. "Black lipstick... black fingernail polish... black eyeliner..."
Uo sighed. "I can't understand why you don't wear SOME color."
"Black suits me," Hana said.
"So," Shigure asked Tohru, "what color are Hana's under—"
"Don't ask her that!!" Uo yelled.
"They're black," a naïve Tohru reported.
"Don't tell him that!!" Uo yelled.
Chapter 97: Royalty Off
"Somethin' wrong, Carrot Top?" Uo asked Kyou.
"Yuki's been whining about the 'Prince Yuki Fan Club' again," Kyou said. "I'm not jealous, but it's still annoying to hear someone complain about being the center of attention, y'know?"
"Aw, don't worry." Uo patted Kyou's head in a condescending way. "Yuki might be 'Prince Charming', but you'll always be the 'King Of The Idiots'."
"Ha ha," Kyou said. "Very funny."
"The 'Duke Of Doofuses'," Uo said.
"That's ENOUGH," Kyou growled.
"'Baron Of Grey Matter'," Uo said, trying not to burst out laughing at herself.
"Must— NOT— punch— GIRLS!" Kyou said to himself.
Chapter 98: A Head For Cleaning
Kyou and Yuki watched Tohru slowly work her away across Shigure's kitchen, on her hands and knees, scrubbing the floor with a cloth.
"That's our Tohru," an admiring Yuki said. "Slow but steady, like the tortoise that won the race in the end."
An oblivious Tohru worked her way up to the far wall, and whacked her head against it with a dull thud.
"And her head is as hard as a turtle's shell," Kyou said. "We'll be lucky if she didn't just damage that wall."
"Don't be rude," Yuki growled. "Besides, you're not one to joke about thick skulls."
Chapter 99: Love Scene Scene
"This is an unexpected visit," Hatori said to Shigure. "Can I help you with something?"
Shigure cast a glance at Hatori's bookshelves. "May I consult your medical library?"
"For your writing?" Hatori asked. "Certainly. Are you researching forensic science for a murder mystery? Or perhaps, a tragic character's rare disease?"
"Actually," Shigure said, "I'm writing a love scene, and it's too 'vanilla'. Where are your books on sexual deviance?"
Hatori face-palmed. "...get out of my office."
"*I* know!" Shigure said. "Since you're a doctor, maybe you could demonstrate something with Ayame for me!—"
"GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!!" Hatori shouted.
Chapter 100: Drive-By Psychic
Uo and Hana were walking along a city street. Uo was wearing her painted gang long-coat, and Hana was wearing her black veil and cloak.
They neared another woman standing by a car. "That woman has locked herself out of her car," Hana said.
"How do you know— uhm, never mind," Uo said. "Think she'll let us help when we're dressed up like this?"
Instead of answering, Hana concentrated her denpa on the car. Its door-locks unlocked by themselves.
"Good job, Hana!" said Uo.
Hana concentrated again, and the engine started remotely.
"Okay," Uo said, "now you're just showing off."
Chapter 101: Creative Impulsed
"Shigure was up late last night, writing," Tohru said to Yuki and Kyou. "Why does he write? It's none of my business, but he doesn't seem to need the money."
"No, but he enjoys the work," Yuki said. "At least, he enjoys torturing his editor."
"Yeah," Kyou said, "and he enjoys being a sick bastard."
Yuki growled. "Kyou..."
"And your brother's more driven than Shigure," said Kyou.
"In other words," Tohru said brightly, "we're not just dealing with perverts— we're dealing with highly motivated perverts."
"...yes, you could say that," Yuki said.
Tohru, Yuki and Kyou shuddered in fear together.
Chapter 102: Candy Jarred
"What are you eating, Shigure?" asked Tohru.
Shigure held out a small bag. "Candy. Want some?"
Tohru shuddered. "Is something wrong?" Shigure asked.
"I'm sorry," Tohru said. "Mom told me never to take candy from a stranger, because they might be a pervert. And you're not a stranger, but..."
"I am a pervert?" a grinning Shigure asked. "No offense taken. Actually, this kind of thing happens to me all the time."
Shigure turned away, and called out to Kyou, who was lounging nearby. "Would you like some candy, Kyou?"
"Stay away from me, you sick bastard!!" Kyou shouted back predictably.
Chapter 103: Total Sakuration
Tohru, Uo and Hana were walking to school together. "Just smell the fresh spring air!" Tohru said.
"*ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!*" said Uo through her pollen mask.
"Oops," said Tohru. "Sorry."
"Look," Hana said, pointing ahead to a thick grove of sakura trees.
"Oh, NO!" Uo said. "It's like a deadly gauntlet of toxic allergens!"
"Should we take another way to school?" Tohru asked.
"There isn't enough time." Uo put her arms around her friends' shoulders. "Tohru? Hana? Just drag me through... and if I don't make it, donate my body to science."
"We shall respect your wishes," Hana said solemnly.
Chapter 104: Editor In Residence
"Isn't Shigure's editor here late?" Yuki asked Tohru. "She usually gives up and goes home before dinner."
"Oh, she said that she's staying until Shigure finishes his current project," Tohru said. "Until a completed manuscript is in her hands, she's not leaving, no matter what!"
"I see," Yuki said solemnly.
Yuki walked up to Mi, and handed a single-page form to her.
"What's this, Yuki?" asked Mi.
"A change of address form," Yuki said, "If you're waiting on Shigure, you're going to be here awhile. And I've already filled in our address for you."
Mi hung her head and whimpered.
Chapter 105: Don't Let's Sparta
Akito had summoned Hatori and Shigure to a private meeting. Much to their surprise, they found that the pale and sickly Akito was wearing a Persian helmet, armor and cape, and holding a shield and spear.
"...are you feeling OK?" Shigure asked.
"I feel fit for battle!" Akito declared. "In fact, I think that all of the family should dress like this from now on."
""This is madness!" an aggravated Hatori said.
"MADNESS!?" Akito suddenly shrieked. "THIS!! IS!! SOHMA!!"
"You know," Shigure said after an awkward pause, "I'm going to have to go with 'madness' on this one as well."
Chapter 106: The Funeral Party
Shigure and Yuki were sitting at their table, waiting for Tohru to serve another wonderful home-cooked meal.
"I haven't seen Tohru all day today," Shigure said. "I wonder what she's been doing."
As if on cue, Tohru swept into the room. She was dressed in black from head to foot, and her face had an unusually somber expression. She turned down the lights in the room, lit a candle and set it on the table, bowed formally, and then silently returned to the kitchen.
"This is only a guess," Yuki said, "but she might have spent the day with Hanajima."
Chapter 107: The Domestic Cat
Published 2-Dec-2008; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "make him tame so he can live in peace with the world" prompt.
Tohru was serving dinner. "Thanks, Tohru," said Kyou, as she set a bowl in front of him.
Yuki raised an eyebrow. "I never thought I'd see the day when you'd be polite to a girl."
Kyou shrugged. "It's the least I can do."
An unusually forward Tohru rested a hand on Kyou's head and ruffled his hair. "Kyou's just my big ol' kitty cat," she said sweetly.
Yuki blinked. "I REALLY never thought I'd see the day when you'd let a girl do THAT."
"What's the matter?" a smirking Kyou asked. "Jealous of the attention?"
"Insanely so," Yuki admitted readily.
Chapter 108: Tickling Her Fancy
Published 19-Feb-2009; humor; 200 words.
For the 31_days_exchnge "boys in the hostel" prompt.
This contains cheesy adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
After Yuki and Kyou's latest fight resulted in major structural damage to Shigure's house, the Sohmas had reluctantly returned to Sohma House. Meanwhile, Hana had invited both Tohru and Uo to her house for an extended slumber party.
"I wonder what Yuki and Kyou are doing now," Tohru said idly. "Maybe they're staying with Hatsuharu."
"Perhaps all three of them have stripped to their underwear," Hana said, "and engaged in a tickle fight."
"Nice one, Hana," said a giggling Uo. "And a nice mental image, as well... Tohru? Are you OK?"
Tohru's eyes were as big as saucers. "Do you think they're really doing that?" she asked.
Uo giggled again. "No, of course not. You see, when girls have a sleepover, perverted boys like to imagine us having tickle fights in our underwear. It's only fair to imagine them doing the same."
"Oh," said Tohru. "Uhm... may I ask another question?"
"Of course," Hana said kindly.
"Can we have a tickle fight in our underwear?" Tohru asked with childish innocence. "It sounds like fun."
Uo blinked. She glanced at Hana, who nodded solemnly.
Then Uo suddenly began to pull off her pajamas. "Prepare yourself, Tohru— I'm gonna wipe you out!!"
Chapter 109: Resissytation
Hatsuharu walked up to a group of girls. "Is something wrong?" he asked calmly.
The crowd parted to reveal Tohru kneeling beside a prostrate Yuki. Uo and Hana stood behind her.
"Yuki's having a really bad asthma attack!" Tohru cried. "The school nurse is coming, but—"
"Don't worry." Hatsuharu also kneeled beside Yuki. "I can perform artificial respiration."
Yuki suddenly sat up. "WAIT!! I'm *gasp* feeling much *gasp* better!!"
The group of girls murmured in sudden yaoi-crazed disapproval. "Let Hatsuharu SAVE you," Uo growled.
Even if I do not die, Yuki thought to himself, I might soon want to die.
Chapter 110: Guard Let-Down
One of the women at Tohru's part-time cleaning job pointed a to a window. "Tohru? Your friends are waiting for you again."
Tohru saw Kyou and Yuki waiting near the staff entrance of the building. "It's so brave of them to wait for me on a dark street and to protect me from molesters," she said.
And then, Tohru and the woman watched Kyou and Yuki have a sudden argument which quickly escalated into a no-holds-barred fight.
"Who's going to protect you from THEM?" the woman asked Tohru.
"That's not the first time I've been asked that question," Tohru said.
Chapter 111: Dog Gone It
Mi found Kyou lounging in Shigure's writing room. "Where's Shigure!?" Mi yelled.
"Beats me, lady," Kyou grumbled. "I'm not that pervert's keeper— URK!!"
Mi grabbed him by the collar and shook him frantically. "FIND him and—"
Shigure walked up. "Problem?" he asked.
Mi dropped Kyou like a sack of potatoes and grabbed Shigure's collar. "Listen!" she shouted, "Until you finish your overdue writing, you are NOT ALLOWED to leave this room without PERMISSION!!"
"Well, I don't mind asking your permission to use the bathroom," Shigure said, "but I didn't know you were into that kind of play."
"...eww," said Mi.
Chapter 112: Don't Look Now
Tohru and Uo were about to leave school when they found a male uniform lying on a hallway floor.
Uo picked up the clothing, and found a student ID in a pocket. "Huh. These are Prince Yuki's clothes."
He must have transformed under stress, Tohru thought. "I, um, don't know what happened," she hesitantly lied to Uo, "but we need to look for him."
"We need to look for a naked bishounen?" Uo asked with mock reluctance. "Well, OK, if we HAVE to."
And then, Hana walked up. "What's going on?" she asked.
"We're looking for a naked bishounen," Uo said.
"Do you mean the one over there?" Hana pointed out Yuki, who was cowering behind the next corner.
"EEP!!" Tohru covered her eyes in embarrassment.
"I thought you said we needed to look for him," an amused Uo said.
"Would you please return my clothing and let me go home?" Yuki asked.
"I wish I had five yen for every time an 'M' said that to me," Hana said.
Tohru, Uo, and Yuki slowly turned to stare at her.
"...that was a joke," Hana said.
"When YOU say things like that," Uo said nervously, "we can never be sure."
Chapter 113: Practice Makes Pervert
"So, Tohru," said Shigure. "Would you like to have a copy of my latest novel?"
Tohru glanced at Yuki, who silently shook his head. "Um, I think I'll pass," she said nervously.
"Don't push that stuff on her," Kyou growled. "How did you become such a pervert, anyway?"
"It took many long years of training, study, and practice," Shigure said dramatically, "to become the pervert I am today."
"That's NOT something you should be proud of!!" Kyou yelled.
"Goodness," Tohru said. "I had no idea it was so much work—"
"That's NOT something you should be impressed by!!" Kyou yelled.
Chapter 114: Habitat For Inhumanity
Published 23-May-2016; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "I'm living here in pieces / somewhere you're living in pieces, too" prompt.
Tohru found Shigure making out a personal check and stuffing it and a remittance into an envelope. "What's that?" Tohru asked.
"It's a donation to one of my favorite charities," Shigure said with unusual modesty. "It's been some time since I gave to them."
"That's wonderful," Tohru said sweetly. "May I ask what the charity is for?"
Shigure read the charity's mission statement. "Rebuilding Homes For Families With Extremely Violent Teenagers Who Constantly Bicker About Nothing In Particular, Causing Major Structural Damage While They're At It."
"That is oddly specific," Tohru thought out loud, "and yet, it's also strangely familiar."
Chapter 115: Hot Pot Topic
Shigure and Yuki were delighted to find that Tohru had prepared a sukiyaki hot pot. "What's the occasion?" Shigure asked.
"I just felt like cooking something nice," Tohru said cheerfully.
Kyou was not as impressed. "I don't like the looks of those ingredients," he growled.
"Then Shigure and I will eat them," Yuki said as he reached for a morsel.
"HEY!!" Kyou yelled. "WAIT A MINUTE!! I haven't decided yet!!"
"Well, hurry up," Yuki said. "The rest of us are hungry."
"WHY IS THAT MY PROBLEM!?" Kyou yelled.
"Tohru?" said Shigure. "Maybe we should just stick with stews and curries."
Chapter 116: Bricked
Tohru and her friends were preparing to drop an egg and a brick in a shoebox from the upper-story window of their physics class.
"If we want to cushion the egg," Uo suggested, "let's send Kyou outside to 'catch' the bricks."
"Very funny, Yankee," Kyou growled.
"Or we could give the egg and the brick to him," Hana said, "and throw HIM out the window."
"OK, that's enough," Kyou grumbled.
"Or," Yuki added, "we could throw him out the window later anyway."
"If you're trying to make me feel welcome at this school," Kyou said, "you're doing a terrible job."
Chapter 117: Mum's The Word
Kyou watched Tohru plant some flowers in Shigure's front yard, while Shigure lounged by the front door.
"What are those?" Kyou asked.
"Chrysanthemums," Tohru said.
Kyou raised an eyebrow. "Who's Chris, and what does this have to do with his mother?"
"No, Kyou," said Tohru. "C-R-Y... no, wait, that's not right."
Kyou turned back to Shigure. "Hey, 'Shakespeare'! How do you spell chrysanthemums?"
"C-H-R-Y-S-A-N-T-H-E-M-U-M-S," Shigure said effortlessly.
Tohru gave Shigure a round of golf-claps. "Not bad," Kyou admitted reluctantly.
Shigure stood tall and tugged at his kimono. "And THAT," he said smugly, "is why I'm the head of the house."
Chapter 118: Love Isn't In The Air
Published 15-Nov-2016; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "I was in the middle of the sweetest, quietest romance" prompt.
This contains slapstick violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Shigure was reviewing a draft of his dime-store romance novel. The lovers gazed deeply into each others' eyes, he read. As he leaned in, their lips brushed—
Kyou yelled from the next room. "LET'S GO, RAT-BOY!! MY FIST, YOUR FACE!!"
Shigure sighed and returned to his draft. The lovers gazed deeply into each others' eyes, he read. As he leaned in, their lips brushed—
A well-punched Kyou flew into the room, over Shigure's head, through the opposite window, and some distance from Shigure's house.
Shigure sighed again and shut down his computer. I can't work under these conditions, he thought.
Chapter 119: Waves Crashing
"Uo? Is Hana feeling unwell today?" Tohru asked Uo. "She seems even more distant than usual."
"You know how Hana can pick up psychic waves, like a radio receiver?" Uo said. "Well, she usually tunes out most of the waves, and picks up only one stream at a time. But she caught a mild cold, and the congestion has temporarly disabled her 'tuner'."
"I noticed that her eyes were unfocused, but I didn't realize that she was literally unfocused," Tohru said. "It must be overwhelming to be in tune with... EVERYTHING."
"WHARRGARBL" said Hana.
"So it would seem," Uo agreed.
Chapter 120: Lost At Sea
Shigure, Yuki, Kyou, Tohru, Uo, and Hana stood on the beach on a beautiful day. "Smell that fresh air!" Tohru said happily.
"Smell it while you can," Hana said darkly.
"What do you mean?" Tohru asked.
"As the oceans become more acidic, due to human production of carbon dioxide, many phytoplankton will be destroyed," Hana said. "And phytoplankton produce half of the atmosphere's oxygen. In less than a hundred years— possibly within our lifetimes— there might be far less fresh air."
"'Let's take the girls to the beach!' THEY SAID," Kyou grumbled to himself. "'It will be FUN!' THEY SAID."
Chapter 121: Don't Lose Your Temper
"It'll be winter soon," Tohru said to Uo. "It'll be nice to see you wearing Mom's 'Red Butterfly' coat again."
"I dunno," Uo said. "I was thinking about buying a plain overcoat."
"Really?" Tohru asked. "Why?"
"That coat isn't 'me' anymore," Uo said distantly. "And I'm not proud of who I was. I was so angry."
"Don't say that," Tohru said earnestly. "I love you as you are, and who you were is part of who you are."
"If you'd said that to me a few years ago," a touched Uo said, "I'd have punched you right in the mouth."
Chapter 122: Snek Rekt
Shigure met Tohru and Yuki at the front door as they returned home from school.
"I thought I should warn you," Shigure said, "that Ayame came for a visit and spontaneously transformed."
"Thanks for telling us," Tohru said. "He doesn't frighten me, but it'd be a shock to walk up on a live snake."
"Wasn't your editor visiting today?" Yuki said. "Have you warned her about Ayame?"
"...oops," Shigure said.
"What if she finds him!?" Tohru asked.
As if on cue, the friends heard a shriek from inside the house.
"Why, THAT would be TERRIBLE," Shigure said with poorly-concealed amusement.
Chapter 123: Deface Desk
Tohru, Kyou, and Uo sat at the school-desks assigned to them for the next semester.
"Someone scratched a heart into this desk!" Tohru said. "You shouldn't deface school property, but it's still cute."
"You're lucky, Tohru," said an amused Uo. "My desk has male genitalia."
Tohru took a peek. "Oh dear," she said.
"Mine has the same," Kyou grumbled. "This school is full of perverts."
Uo glanced at Kyou's desk. "Oh MY," she said. "Mine's bigger than yours!"
"Don't make things weird," Kyou growled.
"Feeling INADEQUATE?" Uo asked smugly.
"YOU'RE MAKING IT WEIRD!!" Kyou yelled.
"Oh dear," Tohru said again.
Chapter 124: Enjoining A Fan Club
Published 28-Jul-2017; horror/humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "here is the first realisation: you don’t want to die today" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
See also "Joining A Fan Club" by Jellyfish.
"I've devised another plan to 'remove' Tohru," Motoko said to the Prince Yuki Fan Club in their meeting room. "We'll need a weed-eater, a live chicken, and some Cool Whip—"
"I WOULDN'T DO THAT IF I WERE YOU," an otherworldly voice suddenly said over the classroom intercom.
"Ha-Ha-Hanajima!?" a terrified Motoko stammered. "B-b-but the school offices are locked! D-d-did she break in to use the intercom!?"
"Silly girl," the psychic Hana said, as if she could hear Motoko. "I didn't need to break in."
"All th-th-those in f-f-favor of emigrating to S-S-South America?" Motoko whimpered.
Everybody else raised their hand.
Chapter 125: Hall Mark
Published 26-Aug-2017; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "you came, and I was mad to have you: your breath cooled my heart that was burning with desire" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
This contains slapstick violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Yuki, Kyou, and Shigure were walking along a long dark hallway to a family meeting in the Sohma house.
Shigure noticed Kyou glancing from side to side. "Relax," Shigure said. "Akito isn't waiting to ambush you."
"Akito isn't the one I'm worried about," Kyou said nervously.
"KYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUU!!" Kagura burst from a doorway, glomped her crush, and threw them both into an opposing room with a very long, very loud crashing noise that ended with the sound of an empty bucket falling over.
"Kagura certainly enjoys his company," Yuki noted.
"Perhaps Hatori can put them in adjoining hospital beds," Shigure said.
Chapter 126: The Curse Could Be Worse
"You two need to let Tohru hug you and transform you," Shigure said to Kyou and Yuki, as Tohru stood by.
"WHAT!? WHY!?" Kyou asked. "The whole point of the curse is to avoid hugs!"
"And we've both successfully avoided transformation for weeks," Yuki added.
"That's the point," Shigure said. "A curse is a curse, and you NEED to SUFFER. Akito's orders."
Yuki narrowed his eyes. "Really? Are you sure this isn't just one of your own perverted jokes?"
"Why, Yuki! How could you even suggest that?" a hurt Shigure cried.
"Because you're a perverted joker," Yuki said.
Chapter 127: Hamster Dunce
Kyou ran up to Yuki and Shigure and held out a large rodent. "LOOK AT THIS!!" he cried.
"Is that a rat?" Shigure asked. "No thanks. We already have one."
"I found this hamster in Tohru's room!!" Kyou said. "Do you REALIZE what this MEANS!?"
"You're a pervert?" Shigure asked.
"The Sohma family curse is CONTAGIOUS!!" Kyou yelled.
Yuki face-palmed. "WHY would TOHRU turn into a HAMSTER, you IDIOT!?"
As if on cue, Tohru walked in. "Oh dear. Did my new pet escape already?"
"TOHRU!!" said a still-panicking Kyou. "YOU TURNED INTO A HAMSTER!!"
"I DID!?" Tohru cried. "I'M SORRY!!"
Chapter 128: Curse These Allergies
"*ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!*" an allergy-suffering Uo said to Hana.
"Bless you," Hana said.
"Thank you," Uo sniffled. "It's strange for a psychic like you to BLESS someone."
"Actually," Hana said darkly, "I could place a curse on you to relieve your allergies... but then, you would become my personal slave... FOREVER."
Uo gulped. "Ruh-really?"
"No," Hana said. "I lied."
Uo sighed. "Dammit Hana. I'd accept that curse to relieve my allergies."
"You could just become my slave anyway," Hana said hopefully.
"Hana? I love you, but BITE ME— *ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!* *ATCHOO!!*"
"Bless you," Hana said.
"Thank you," Uo sniffled sadly.
Chapter 129: Don't Eat The Yellow Snow
An obviously distressed Tohru carried a large bowl past Yuki and Shigure. "What's wrong, Tohru?" asked Shigure.
"I was going to collect some snow to make 'snow cream'," Tohru explained, "but the snow around the door is, um, yellow."
"Shigure!" said Yuki.
"It wasn't me!" Shigure said. "I haven't been in Zodiac-animal dog form since before the snow fell."
"Actually," Tohru said, "whomever it was that um, urinated in the snow? They, um, spelled out 'Kyou' with their, um, urine."
"Ah," Yuki said. "I beg your pardon, Shigure. That 'spells' a human troublemaker instead."
"One with impressive aim," Shigure added.
Chapter 130: There's No Place Like Sohma
Tohru was timidly accompanying Shigure and Yuki on a visit to the main Sohma house.
"Please relax, Tohru," said Yuki. "You're completely safe with us."
"Sorry," said Tohru. "I know this place is your home, but it's a little bit spooky."
"Our family might be cursed," Shigure said, "but the estate is perfectly normal."
"...except for the medieval graveyard," Shigure added.
"And the poisonous chokecherry trees."
Tohru whimpered again.
"And the site where the UFO crashed."
"Could you please STOP THAT!?" Yuki yelled as poor Tohru trembled.
"No, I really don't think I can," Shigure admitted.
Chapter 131: Power Cry
Published 24-Feb-2018; angst?/humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "when it all gets too much, my strategy is to have what I call a power cry" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
A dejected Tohru returned from school and trudged past Yuki, Kyou, and Shigure. "Is something wrong?" Yuki asked.
"Not really," Tohru said. "I just had a terrible day."
"Is there anything we can do?" Shigure asked kindly.
"Would you mind ordering out for dinner?" Tohru asked. "I need to go to my room and have a long cry."
The Sohmas watched Tohru walk away. "That's actually a good way to deal with stress," Shigure noted.
"Really?" Kyou asked. "I'd always thought you were supposed to SUPPRESS your anger until you SNAP."
"Sometimes YOU make ME want to cry," Yuki said.
Chapter 132: Reality Bites
Published 30-Mar-2018; crossover/humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "And sometimes you get what's coming around. And sometimes you ARE what's coming around" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
See also Azumanga Daioh.
This contains slapstick violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Kyou returned to Shigure's house to find Kisa visiting with Shigure and Yuki. "Where have you been?" Yuki asked.
"I spontaneously transformed into the cat," Kyou said, "and some girl kept trying to PET me. I had to BITE her to get her to stop."
He turned to Kisa and pointed at her. "Let that be a lesson to you," he said. "Never try to pet stray animOUCH!!"
Kisa had bitten him, even though she hadn't transformed. "She took matters into her own hands," Shigure said.
"And her own mouth," Yuki added.
"OW OW OW OW OW OW!!" Kyou said.
Chapter 133: A Nod And A Wink
Yuki noticed Hana looking at him. After a moment, she smiled ever so slightly and nodded to herself.
"What was that about?" Yuki asked.
"Oh, nothing," Hana said enigmatically.
"No, really," Yuki said. "Please tell me."
Uo walked up. "Whassup?" she asked.
Instead of answering Uo directly, Hana smiled ever so slightly and nodded to Uo.
"Oh, *I* gotcha," Uo said with a wink.
"What does THAT mean!?" Yuki cried.
"Oh, nothing," Uo said, also enigmatically.
"ARRGH!!" said Yuki.
"Our 'Prince Yuki' is surprisingly easy to tease," Uo said to Hana.
"No more so," Hana said, "than any other man."
Chapter 134: Waiting Game
Published 19-May-2018; humor; 100 words.
This contains slightly suspect DRAMA. Reader discretion is advised.
Ayame was waiting with Shigure while Hatori examined Yuki in his office.
"How long have we been waiting?" an impatient Ayame asked Shigure.
"Another five minutes since the last time you asked me," Shigure said.
Ayame swooned against Shigure. "I fear I won't last much longer," he lied.
Shigure held his hand. "Be strong for me, dearest Ayame."
Ayame's eyes went all shiny. "Oh, Shigure!—"
And then, Hatori and Yuki walked up, and Hatori cleared his throat.
"There's not much point in taking me to the doctor," a pained Yuki said, "if you're just going to make me sick yourselves."
Chapter 135: Freeze Framed
Uo found Hana frowning at the Prince Yuki Fan Club girls— all of whom were paralyzed with fear and staring back at Hana like deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming box truck.
Uo waved a hand in the girls' faces and got no response. "Hana?" said Uo. "What did you DO to them?"
"Nothing," Hana said. "I overheard them talking about Tohru, and I merely gave them a stern frown."
"Y'know, maybe you should get another face," Uo said. "The face you've got now SCARES people."
"I don't want to hear that from a Yankee," Hana said smugly.
Chapter 136: It's Bigger On The Inside Than The Outside
Tohru opened her closet to find Hana's brother Megumi staring at her.
"What are you doing?" Tohru asked.
"Nothing," Megumi said with not-at-all convincing evidence.
"Could you do it in your onee-san's closet?" Tohru asked patiently. "I need to get dressed for school."
"OK." Megumi closed Tohru's closet behind him and left Tohru's room.
I hope that's the strangest thing that happens to me today, Tohru thought as she reopened her closet.
She found a pale female hikkikomori staring at her. "Akenaide yo!" the girl said.
Tohru closed her closet. I'll just wear my gym clothes to school, she thought.
Chapter 137: The Season Is The Reason
"Yuki?" asked Tohru. "Is it my imagination, or has your hair grown longer and thicker since winter started?"
"It's my 'winter coat'," Yuki said with a smile. "It's a side effect of the curse."
"The cold weather might also explain... that." Tohru gestured to Kyou, who was lazing under a toasty-warm kotatsu.
Yuki pulled a face. "His lying so close to its heating element would also explain why this room smells like cat hair."
"Aw, gimme a break," Kyou said. "I took a bath just last month."
"It's not necessary to wait until spring to take another one," Yuki said.
Chapter 138: He Went Out Through The Back Room Window
Tohru answered a knock at the door of Shigure's house to find a disheveled and embarrassed Kyou.
"What happened?" Tohru asked. "I thought you were inside."
"I was," Kyou said. "But I, uh, started a fight with the rat-boy, and he, uh, threw me out of the house."
"Oh dear," Tohru said. "But why didn't you climb back in through the hole you just made in the wall?"
"This time," Kyou said, "he threw me cleanly through a window and latched it."
"Oh dear," Tohru said again.
"So," Kyou said sheepishly, "could I, uh?..."
Tohru giggled. "Yes, please come in."
Chapter 139: Girlfriend Is A Sohma
Published 20-Oct-2018; humor/romance?; 100 words.
See also "Girlfriend In A Coma" by the Smiths.
This contains mild adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
Kyou was trying to push a clingy Kagura away. "Fer cryin' out loud!" he said. "You're a Sohma too, ya know!"
"So?" Kagura said. "We share the surname, but we're so distantly related that it doesn't matter."
"It's not that!" Kyou cried. "What would the Sohma family think if they saw you acting like this?"
"Shigure doesn't seem to mind," Kagura noted.
"Well, yeah, but Shigure's a pervert too," Kyou admitted. "But what would our ancestors think?"
"If they're watching over us now," Kagura said eagerly, "let's give them something to watch!"
She's always been an exhibitionist, Kyou thought nervously.
Chapter 140: Fruits Basket
Tohru and Yuki were sitting cross-corners at a kotatsu, and Kyou was lying under the opposite corner. All three were munching on mandarin oranges.
"Isn't this nice and relaxing?" Tohru said happily.
"Ugh," Kyou said. "Tohru, this mandarin has seeds."
"That's not HER fault," Yuki said. "What do you expect HER to do about it?"
"If that's how you feel about it, then YOU can have 'em." Kyou flicked the seeds at Yuki.
Yuki stretched his leg under the kotatsu and kicked Kyou's head into the floor face-first.
This isn't nice and relaxing at all, Tohru thought to herself sadly.