Sorry ya'll, had my brother and sis in law out last weekend and didn't have a bit of time to write. Plus through the last chapter everything laid out in my head clearly, from here I've been wondering where to go:) Excited to see how Luc gets on with Kyo. My own brothers attitudes around my son seem similar to what I imagine Kyo would be like and over the last two plus years, my boy has gotten both his uncles wrapped securely around his cute little fingers LOL:) I'll definitely be drawing heavily from their interactions! I cant wait! Also let me know what you think! I definitely want to stay as true as I can to the original characters though it's difficult given the different circumstances:) Also, if you haven't read the manga I highly recommend it! My local library had it in the youth graphic novels section so check there:) otherwise, definitely wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise! And all the scans I found confused me at parts. The discussions in fruits basket get too deep for bad translations:)
Shigure pushed his glasses up his nose as he procrastinated by calling Kyomi again… for the third time that day…
"SHI! Would you stop pestering me and finish your blasted writing already!? Don't make me come over there and beat you up until you do it!"
"Why Kyomi, are you suggesting something provocative?"
Shigure called her back with the fakest of tears running down his face.
"You're so cruel just like Hatori…."
A long sigh came over the line. "I feel like I owe him fifteen years worth of alcohol for putting up with your nonsense for fifteen years by himself. What do you want this time anyway?" Kyomi was in the middle of folding laundry on the couch with Luc playing with his car track at her feet. It had a rollercoaster-type drop and loop that sent the car flying.
"WWWWEEEEEEE!" Shigure heard over the phone and laughed heartily at the boy's antics.
"He certainly sounds like he's having fun." Shigure commented still laughing.
"You should have seen him. He lifted both hands in the air and jumped when his car went flying. It never stops amusing him. We went for a walk earlier and the whole way he was singing 'Way doo doo, way doo doo. Like Baby Shark, run away? He made me sing it the whole way around the block. I'm pretty sure everyone was thinking, weird americans…" Kyomi recounted shaking her head and laughing. "He's too cute though and he's doing so much better speaking I can't tell him to stop." The multilingual world that the boy lived in had resulted in a speech delay that he had been in therapy to help correct. "Hatori set us up with a great therapist for him and in just a few months the boy is speaking in phrases. English only so far, but he is understanding more and more Japanese as well."
"I am glad he's made so much progress." Shigure got a conspiratorial grin on his face. "Have you heard anything from your brother since you officially met last week?"
Kyomi sighed, "No, nothing besides that one call early in the morning. He only asked a few things about living in the US for a school project apparently, but hey, it's something I guess."
"You hoped for more?" Shigure knew his friend.
"Of course I did! I hoped, but I didn't really think he would even call the one time so it is still better than I expected." She had been shocked to hear from him only a few days after they had met. A little annoyed that he woke her up so early after being up late finishing a project for the shop, but a little extra coffee that day had solved her grumpy sleepiness.
"Well I have some interesting news. Ayame and Hatori are coming over for a visit and when I told the three children about it, Kyo actually said to invite you too!"
Kyomi nearly dropped the phone. "WHAT? Are you screwing with me Shigure because I will pound you if you are."
"No no, not at all. Well, his exact words were, (Shigure doing an impression of Kyo), 'if you want to invite Kyomi to control the rat's stupid brother, I wouldn't mind.' Then he all but ran out of the room. In teenage boy speak, that means he at least thinks better of you than he does Ayame." Shigure encouraged.
"Ah, that makes more sense. Aya didn't really set the bar high for me as a sibling though, did he?" Kyomi mused, slightly amused at her brother's reticence in admitting he would like to see her. "So when is this visit happening?"
"This afternoon! You can come over directly after Luc's nap."
"Oh wow! That's soon! Wait, did you bother me all day to wait to tell me this at the last minute?"
"I'll see you tonight!"
Shigure hung up before she could get an answer. Luc looked at his mother as she growled at the phone and declared, "You are so dead Sohma!"
Later that afternoon, Kyomi loaded Luc up into their small compact car and drove across town to Shigure's home in the mountain. She only made one wrong turn since she hadn't been there before and was impressed with herself. She hadn't been to Shigure's home before, so she brought a small gift. She giggled maniacally at what the bag contained. She parked next to Hatori's luxury sedan and got Luc out of his car seat before grabbing her bags. She hadn't thought about it since Luc had always done so well staying close to her, but she had forgotten to keep ahold of his hand. She turned around with the bags after closing the car door to see her son missing.
"Luc! Where did you go?" She yelled for him. She heard giggles from the other side of the car and saw his little head duck out of sight. She shook her head at the silly playful boy and keeping an eye on him, she set her bags down on the front stoop before going to stalk her son to play a little hide and seek.
"Hmmm, I wonder where Luc went? Where could he be?" She wondered aloud while 'not looking' at where he was hiding even as she walked straight towards him.
Luc giggled and went to hide on the other side of Hatori's car. "Hmm, I thought I saw Luc here. Where could he have gone?" She said as she got to the place where Luc had just been. She heard more giggles as she rounded Hatori's car now. Suddenly, Luc took off running across the lawn towards the pond.
Kyomi got very worried he would fall into the pond and took off running after him. "Luc! Stop! Come back here!"
Of course, being two years old in full on play mode, he didn't listen or hear her over the sounds of his own laughter. He kept running until he found himself caught and swung around to sit on someone's shoulders.
Kyomi saw Hatori grab her son turn and swing him up onto his tall shoulders and she breathed a sigh of relief. "Tori! Thank you! I didn't bring a change of clothes for him and I didn't really want him smelling like pond water." Kyomi laughed grateful that Luc had been saved. Kyomi turned towards the house to see the audience standing there. Shigure and Ayame were standing smiling at their antics. Yuki had a very confused look on his face and was glancing between Kyo and Kyomi almost like he was seeing a resemblance. Tohru was immediately in love with the toddler and he was taking up all her attention. Kyo was watching his sister's interactions with her son with a somewhat blank look on his face, but with what she also thought was longing. She gave a small wave and inclined her head towards them, "Thank you for inviting us. Sorry about all the commotion."
Shigure waved away her words and handed her the bags he had found at the front door. "It is normally even livelier than that here so it's no trouble at all. Let me introduce everyone. This is Yuki, Ayame's younger brother; Tohru, Yuki and Kyo's best friend; Kyo, your brother; and Hatori and Ayame, your childhood friends." At his last introductions, she hauled off and Gibb smacked him in the back of the head.
"Shigure when will you ever learn some tact? And that's for hanging up on me after pestering me all morning idiot." She then turned to the shocked teens and bowed again. "It is very nice to meet you Yuki and Tohru, and very nice to see you again Kyo." She turned to Hatori and took her son. "This is my son Lucas, but we call him Luc." Luc waved and in his little toddler voice said, "Hi". He then ran to Ayame saying, "train! Choo choo!" He has a train set he always plays with at the shop. Ayame took Luc's bag from Kyomi and took the boy into the living room. Yuki and Tohru stood in shock at the new revelation. Kyo stood unmoving watching them all from under his hair, leaning against the door frame, with his hands in his pockets.
Yuki was the first to speak. "Kyo has a sister?"
Tohru reached out to Kyomi and took her hands, "It's so wonderful to meet you! I had no idea that Kyo had a sister! I'm so glad he has someone else in his life!"
"Oh! Shi, here is something for you for hosting." Kyomi said with a downright evil grin, she then handed Hatori a bag as well. "This is to begin to make up for putting up with those two by yourself for so many years." Hatori opened his bag first and pulled out a bottle of expensive French Bordeaux. His face lit up and he thanked his old friend. Shigure, meanwhile, was whining about the bottle of lovely castor oil he pulled from his bag.
"That's also for all your annoyance this morning, puppy."
"Kyomi, why is it you hate me so?" The man lamented.
"I only hate that you always have ulterior motives for everything and don't tell anyone about them. You know I've always hated that." They continued their squabbling until Tohru declared, "Dinner is ready so let's go eat!" Everyone trooped inside and sat down except Tohru and Kyomi. Kyomi followed Tohru back into the kitchen.
"I can help you with whatever is left, Tohru."
"Thank you very much, Kyomi!" The two girls chatted about the dinner as they moved everything to the table. Once they were done, the girls sat down, and they all said thanks for the meal and dug in. Shigure and Ayame were having their usual embarrassing discussion. Kyomi who was sitting next to Shigure, whacked him with her napkin. "Can you two please save it for later?" She said exasperated.
"Sorry." They both said in tandem. Yuki and Kyo just stared at the two men who were listening to someone for once in their lives.
Yuki turned to Kyomi. "So you are Kyo's older sister right?"
Kyomi nodded in affirmation. "Yup, by fifteen years I think? I was in the same grade as Hatori and these two hooligans. We are half siblings though. We share a mother, but my father passed when I was about three."
Tohru nodded in sympathy. "It's not easy losing a parent. I'm sure your mother was glad to have you."
Kyomi wasn't entirely sure how to answer that. "I hope so."
"I've never heard of you before now." Yuki said mostly confused and slightly suspicious of this person who seemed to be so close to the older men at the table.
Kyomi smiled sadly and looked at Kyo for permission to tell the story. He gave the faintest bit of a shrug and continued eating his meal. She nodded and began a shorted version of her story.
"My father was Irish. We lived there when I was born and moved back here when he passed. The life went out of my mother when he passed. I went to the all-girls school next to the all-boys which is where I met these three troublemakers. We were the best of friends all through elementary school. Through the course of those years, I did find out about the Sohma's secret so don't worry about keeping that secret. Around the beginning of our first year of middle school, for reasons I'm not getting into because I really don't understand them all myself, I was given up for adoption, had my memories erased of my life to that point and then was sent to the US to live with a family there." That last sentence came out in a rush and left Tohru with tears in her eyes and even more questions in Yuki's.
"That's just awful. How your mother must have felt having you sent away."
"Don't be stupid Tohru, our mother is the one who sent Kyomi away to begin with." Kyo said his first words of the evening and he sounded rather angry.
"Kyo is right. I'm still not exactly sure why, but she was complicit in me being sent away." Kyomi said sadly.
"Especially since we were told you had died in an accident. Oh, the pain we went through getting over the loss of such a dear friend!" Ayame dramatically lamented.
All three teenagers' eyes went wide at that statement. "THEY SAID YOU DIED?", the three said in unison. Kyo hadn't learned that particular fact yet.
"I didn't know that part until I had returned to town for different reasons and then my memory returned. I had been working with Ayame at his shop part time and suddenly it all just came back." Kyomi shrugged. "We still really aren't sure why, but I'm happy to have family again." She smiled at her three friends and gave her brother a small smile as well.
Yuki caught her wording. "What happened to your adopted family? They must miss you now that you are so far away. "
Kyo answered before Kyomi could even open her mouth. "Don't pester her about that you damn rat. She's been through enough as it is without you butting your head in."
"Kyo! Please be careful what you say around Luc. I don't want him picking up any colorful words yet." Her voice turned softer for the next thing she had to tell him, "And you don't have to protect my feelings. I am alright." Kyo crossed his arms and stared down Yuki daring him to ask again.
Kyomi ignored her brother and went on, "Around four years ago, my whole adopted family went on vacation and were in a car accident. None of them survived. A few months after Luc was born, my husband also passed. That's why Luc and I came here. I found this town by accident but felt at home here, so I stayed. I only found out after regaining my memories why the pull to stay was so strong." Kyomi smiled. "Maybe it was more fate than coincidence. Luc was my reason for getting up in the morning for the longest time, but I was starting to become lonely from raising a child by myself. It's not an easy task. Now at least I have my old friends to pester me while I'm doing laundry or while I am working at the shop." Kyomi glared at Shigure and then Ayame as she spoke.
"My mother raised me by herself as well. My father passed when I was a toddler, so it was just the two of us for the longest time. I lost her too my first year of high school." Everyone was looking at Tohru now as she spoke. Tohru got her famous look of determination on her face as she said, "You aren't alone now. You have all of us to help you! All you have to do is ask and we can help however we can!"
Kyomi laughed at her enthusiasm and bowed to her new young friend. "Thank you so much Tohru and thank you for helping Luc eat while we have talked. He would have been a mess if it weren't for you!" Luc looked up from his plate for the first time since he sat down. He had been fastidiously attempting to use the baby chop sticks that Tohru had given him to try eating his eggs and rice. He looked at his mother and said, "Mmmmm!" She laughed at him and as the rest of the table joined in, she noticed Kyo sneak off up the stairs. She caught Tohru watching him go too with sadness in her gaze even as she laughed at Luc. Tohru caught Kyomi watching her, and she nodded to the older woman as she excused herself from the table and followed Kyo up the stairs.
The rest of the table returned to lighter topics. Ayame was excited that Yuki had promised to visit the shop. Kyomi made a mental note to avoid the shop that day. Shigure was encouraging Ayame's mischief while Hatori tried to coral them for Yuki's sake... And failed. Kyomi wondered how her brother and Tohru were doing.
Tohru had found Kyo on the roof. He was sitting with his knees up and his head sitting on his crossed arms on his knees, staring at the skyline. Tohru came and silently sat next to him.
"Mom gave her away. She lost so much in her life because of that action alone. I feel like an imposter who stole her family." Kyo said with a quiet anger.
Tohru sat mulling on those statements. She thought about how Kyomi presented the story of her life and told Kyo, "I don't think she sees it that way at all. It doesn't seem at all like she blames you for anything. It doesn't seem like she blames your mother either. She just seems sad and confused about it all. I'm sure she would be saddened to know you thought badly of your mother."
"You're right I would be." Kyomi's voice came from the ladder. Both teens watched as she carefully joined them on the roof. "After going through myself what our mother went through, I don't blame her for her actions anymore. I've pulled myself through that despair and it was the hardest thing I've ever done. She also didn't have the experience of a loving supportive family that I found in my adoptive family. Her parents were old fashioned and not as loving. I met them before they passed. They were scary!" Kyomi huffed a small laugh. She looked at Kyo, "I would never try to tell you what to think about it all, but I've learned that she did her best with what she was given." Kyomi shrugged. "It might not have been enough for us, but it was all she had."
Kyo sat with those thoughts for a little while before nodding. He lightly tapped Tohru's head with the heel of his fist. "Didn't you have dessert made for tonight?"
She sprang up. "Oh yes! I'll go get that out right now! It will be ready in just a moment!"
Kyomi smiled at the girl as she disappeared over the edge of the roof. Kyomi was about to follow her when her brother's words stopped her, "You really don't hold a grudge against Mom for everything?"
Kyomi looked out over the horizon absentmindedly wondering which direction her home was in. "Understand, I remembered all this a few months ago now and have had several talks with Ayame and Hatori especially about all it. This realization didn't come over night. I hated that growing up I took care of our mother more than she took care of me. Though it sounds like she tried to overcompensate with you and went too far in the other direction." Kyo huffed in agreement at that observation. "But I also know because of that, that she did love us in her own way. She had just been beaten down by a life where she had no support." She punched Kyo lightly on the arm. "Come on, your girl has dessert for us."
Kyo jumped to his feet and Kyomi could almost swear she saw cat ears coming out of his hair. "Hey! She's not my girl! You can't just say that you idiot!"
Kyomi stood as well laughing, "Oh, so she's Yuki's girl then?"
Kyo face got red at that. "As if that damn rat could get a girl like Tohru. HA! Don't make me laugh!"
Kyomi was laughing even more now. "So, you do have feelings for Tohru, just as I suspected." She said as she pushed her glasses up her nose. She climbed down the ladder to the sound of Kyo's denial, laughing at his persistence. She was just glad that he didn't seem so sad anymore and that he was following her back down for dessert.