Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket or any of their characters. I only own my OC.

A/N: This chapter took longer to write and it's shorter because I was switching between this story and my Walking Dead one. But I like the way this chapter turned out. Especially since Emiko finally meets someone you all have been waiting for.


Chapter 7: Smiles and kisses

"So you guys played Rich Man-Poor Man at school today." Emiko smoothly repeated what her older sister shared with her. "How'd that go?"

The two of them were walking the halls of where Tohru worked. She had just ended her shift but Emiko had been there with her towards the end since she arrived earlier than usual from her job.

"It went great!" Tohru exclaimed. "Kyo was playing really well but then Hana-chan won by playing a Revolution Reversal card." She said with marveling brown eyes. "It was such an amazing move."

Emiko hummed. "Yes, that is to be expected from Hanajima. She is a very good player. Plus she's the one who taught us how to play."

"You're a good player too, Emi." Tohru hurriedly complimented her younger sister.

"Thank you but I'm nowhere close to beating Hanajima anytime soon." Emiko responded evenly. "Although, I don't care that much about winning. I just like to play for fun."

"Maybe next time you can play with us?" Tohru asked with excitement. "That would be fun, wouldn't it?" Her eyes softened as she glanced at her younger sister. She was sadly aware that Emiko preferred to be solo at her middle school, and it was a topic Tohru brought up a few times with her.

Emiko's answer was always the same, that nobody in her middle school was worth befriending. She would tell her that it was pointless to look for a best friend because Tohru was already hers.

Which was nice to hear that Emiko considered her her best friend, but it didn't stop Tohru from feeling sad. Emiko needed friends, even despite her saying it wasn't necessary. That's why she always liked it whenever Emiko hung out with her, Arisa and Saki. During those times Tohru was able to see her sister's guard lessen, and she would see a glimmer of how Emiko used to be….before their mom died.

That glimmer gave Tohru hope that once Emiko started high school she would be her vibrant self again. Even though it would be a new environment, maybe Emiko would be less guarded with her new classmates, and she would befriend them….or at least one or two of them. It definitely would make the transition to high school fun and it would be helpful to have someone there for her.

Tohru would be there for her of course, and she knew Arisa and Saki would too. However, befriending someone from her class would be better for Emiko. Especially since they would share school work and activities together.

"Yes, it would be fun." Emiko answered, nodding her head. The two of them were now walking down a flight of stairs. "Also, there was an announcement at my middle school saying they were looking for volunteers for the culture festival your high school is doing." She casually brought up. "And I signed up for it."

That was a surprise but it was a good one. Tohru smiled at her sister. "That's such good news, Emi! That means you get to be with me, Arisa, and Saki. Also Yuki and Kyo! In class today we were discussing ideas and we settled on making rice balls." Her smile fell a little after saying the last sentence. Her thoughts returned to the rivalry between Yuki and Kyo, and what she had witnessed at school today.

"Tohru, you alright?" Emiko gently asked her. She saw the loss of brightness in her older sister's smile and it confused and worried her. "You got real quiet there."

Tohru started to panic because she didn't want her younger sister to worry about her. "Oh, I―"

"Watch out!" Emiko shouted when she saw her sister miss a step. Her warning came a second too late and with a grimace she watched as her sister fell down the stairs. The only comfort she had about the fall was that Tohru hadn't landed on her head, and from appearance it didn't seem like she broke anything.

Emiko was careful walking down the stairs to where Tohru was. "Crap, Tohru." She softly said, and crouched down next to her.

"It's okay, Emi. I'm not hurt." Tohru bashfully informed her. Inside she kept repeating 'ow' over and over again. Why did she have to be so clumsy? Emiko was never this clumsy.

Emiko let out a relieved sigh. She still didn't like that Tohru had fallen but at least she had verbal confirmation that she wasn't hurt.

Some of her sister's belongings from her school bag had spilled onto the ground when she fell. Emiko was helping Tohru gather her things when she heard a giggle. At first she thought it had been her imagination but then she saw Tohru's expression, and that let her know she heard it too. The two of them looked at each other before shifting their eyes towards the sitting area near the front entrance.

A blond boy wearing sunglasses, and an overall cute outfit, was sitting casually on one of the couches. He was smiling cheerfully at them and at their undivided attention he released another giggle. The blond boy then jumped off the couch and walked until he was in front of them.

Now that he was closer, Emiko scrutinized him. His hair was short, and on the wavy side. He looked younger than her, and she thought he was probably around the same age as Megumi. It was the way he dressed though that made him have a more younger, feminine, appearance.

Emiko didn't know him but she thought the feminine style suited him very well. She almost looked away from him because of the way he was smiling. His smile made Emiko think of her sister. He had the same brightness in his smile as Tohru. He was a stranger though, therefore his smile wasn't about to outshine Tohru's.

The blond boy looked at Tohru's school bag where one of her notebooks was sticking out. "Tohru? You're Tohru Honda?!" The boy directed his attention onto the strawberry blonde. "That means your Emiko! Emiko Honda!" He exclaimed, thrilled. The sisters were silent from hearing the boy say their names.

Emiko heard an accent when he spoke but she couldn't quite figure out what kind it was.

"Yes, that's us, but how do you know―" Tohru sheepishly tried asking.

"Sieh da!" The blond boy interrupted merrily. "Welch! Ein gluck!"

Tohru's eyes were wide but Emiko's remained narrowed in thought. They relaxed once she figured out what language he was speaking. It was German. Now did she know German? Nope. But she'd seen foreign movies before with subtitles, and a couple of them had been German. That's how she was able to finally recognize the language. Too bad she wasn't fluent. She had no idea what he was saying to them. He could have been cursing at them, but something told her with the way he was smiling lightheartedly that he wasn't doing that.

Schön euch beide zu treffen!" He said taking off his sunglasses, and it was then that Emiko saw his eyes. They were a light brown, but not like hers. His eyes were more on the golden side. Golden brown would be a better way of describing them.

"I'm sorry but we don't understand." Tohru admitted to him shyly.

"Unfortunately we don't speak German." Emiko bluntly said. Tohru remained surprised even after finding out it had been German the blond boy spoke. It was still a language she did not know.

The blond boy wasn't discouraged in the slightest and instead leaned forward. "Sehr hübsch, ihr beide."

He softly said and Emiko watched as he kissed her sister's cheek before moving over to her and kissing her as well. That all happened so fast she didn't know how to react properly. But what was the proper way to react after getting kissed by some stranger? Sure he was on the cute side but he was still a stranger.

The fifteen year old had never been kissed on the cheek by a boy before. Actually she'd never been kissed by a boy at all. She was in a stupor that only broke after hearing Tohru's ramblings. Emiko looked at her.

Tohru was talking to the blond boy with a blush on her face. Emiko shifted her gaze onto him, expression almost blank. From the looks of it the blond boy wasn't at all bothered by her lack of outward warmness. He just smiled kindly at her, and his friendliness was making her feel bad for not being friendly in return.

Even Tohru, who was talking so fast, was able to give a friendly aura. But not Emiko. At least on the outside.

The truth was that although the strawberry blonde appeared more on the cold side, on the inside she felt warmth, even if it was small. It was like she was standing close to a barely lit candle. She was puzzled and annoyed for feeling this way.

"Uh. Okay! I mean, that was…." Tohru said in a daze. She started putting the rest of her things into her school bag. Emiko gave her what she had and then stood up with her. Tohru then reached for her hand, and Emiko felt her squeeze as she started apologizing to him. "Sorry, but we gotta go now!"

Emiko and her sister ran to the entrance of the building. She didn't look over her shoulder to where they left the blond boy, despite a part of her wanting to. Since Emiko didn't do that she missed the flier about the culture festival dropping from Tohru's backpack. A flier that made the blond boy look with intrigue.

As Tohru and Emiko were running, Emiko lifted a hand to touch the cheek where she had been kissed by him. She dropped her hand to the side once she felt the small warmth from inside spread all over her face.

Emiko, however, blamed the running for her flushed state.