The Fox and The Rabbit

BY : MarieKrepps
Category: Manga Misc > General
Dragon prints: 3853
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Fruits Basket, nor do I make any monies from this fanfic. For entertainment purposes only.

“I can’t, I just can’t do this anymore!”

Aimi watched her parents arguing. Her small face peeped around the doorway. She was doing her best to be silent and unnoticed. They seemed to argue all the time now. And it was all her fault.

“Helen, please. Please don’t do this,” her father pleaded. His face was still so young and yet he appeared more and more tired lately. There were lines around his eyes where there shouldn’t be, dark circles underneath. As if these constant arguments with his wife made sleeping impossible. He spoke in English, showing his daughter just how desperate he was to get through to his wife. Helen just shook her blonde head.

“I’m serious, Daisuke. I’m done. I’m going back home.”

Her mother turned to stomp out of the room and spotted her there. Her lovely face had been upset, tears glistening in her eyes but at the sight of Aimi standing there, her brow furrowed, her features turning dark and menacing. “Go back to bed.”

“Mommy?” Aimi whined, also lapsing into English to appeal to her mother.

“I’m not your mother! You are not my daughter! You’re just a monster!” Helen screamed and stormed down the hallway.

Aimi was left watching her go, her small arms wrapped around herself in comfort.

5 Years Later

She wasn’t so sure about this school. She could already sense that there were some shady characters here. And upon entering her new classroom and getting a good look at her fellow students, Aimi knew she was right. There were only a few weirdos here, most of the kids seemed pretty normal and average. Very few rebels and troublemakers. She would stick out like a sore thumb, as usual. It didn’t help that she’d moved here halfway through the school year.

Almost as soon as she picked a desk and sat down, a trio of girls approached her. From the looks of them, they seemed like the most unlikely group of friends Aimi had ever seen. One girl had the poise and attitude of a gangster, her hair dyed a light color. One girl had her fingernails painted black and a strange aura swirled about her. The other was small and quiet and full of smiles. But as they spoke and introduced themselves, she couldn’t help but grin. They were very kind people. She could sense it. It brought out her more social side.

“My name is Honda Tohru, pleased to meet you!”

“I’m Hanajima Saki. How do you do?”

“Yo, I’m Uotani Arisa. What’s up?”

Aimi bowed to them each in turn. “Hello, I’m Fujimoto Aimi. Please call me Aimi chan!” She beamed at them. “Let’s be friends!”

“Hmm, you give off very pleasant but strange signals. Even stranger than the Sohmas,” Hanajima said. Her voice was monotone but her dark eyes were lit up in interest. Honda shook her head at her friend.

“Hana-chan, let’s not make her feel unwelcome on her first day!” Honda said.

“Yeah, don’t scare her off just yet. She seems just as happy-go-lucky as our Tohru here,” Uotani laughed and clapped Aimi on the shoulder good naturedly. Aimi couldn’t help but to laugh too. She loved the friendly feeling between these three. It put her mind at ease and helped her raging “gift” settle down a little. In fact, she hadn’t felt so relaxed around other people in years. But the feeling wouldn’t last.

When she stood, Uotani whistled. “Wow, you’re pretty tall for a first year. You are sixteen, right?”

“Oh yes,” Aimi waved her hand and giggled. “You wouldn’t believe it but up until a few years ago, I was the smallest person in my grade. I used to get teased in middle school about being an elementary schooler!”

“Perhaps you’ve reached you full height now,” Hanajima said, her eyes raking Aimi’s body with interest. It didn’t bother her, Aimi knew the girl could sense her strangeness. But how much could she actually guess about her?

“So, what made you transfer to this school mid-year?”

Aimi’s face closed up before she could flash her fake smile. She hoped they hadn’t noticed. Her voice was smaller when she spoke. “Oh, I had to home-school for a short time. I had an accident and was in the hospital for a while so I had to cram to catch back up. I think I’ll be okay as far as my grades are concerned.”

“Oh, did your parents get new jobs here?” Uotani asked. She seemed generally curious.

Aimi’s skin tingled just thinking about why they’d moved. Again. This was the third school in four years. She ran a hand through her strawberry-blonde locks. “Uh, something like that, yes. I live with my father. It’s just us, I have no siblings. We actually live not far from here so I can walk to school easily. I hope to stay here until I graduate.”

But even that was a stretch. It seemed like a dream that could never come true. The “gift” made that almost impossible. At least, that’s how Aimi felt.

“Oh, I live alone with my father too!” Uotani said. She threw an arm around Aimi’s shoulder, invading her personal space like they were old buddies and it was perfectly normal. Surprised, Aimi stiffened for a moment before letting herself relax again. It was just impossible to feel nervous around these three. She could almost feel the comradery like a warm touch on her skin. In was in the very air she breathed. It gave her hope.

“Oh? I’m sure we’ll be the best of friends then!” Aimi exclaimed.

I want to be happy here. I want this to work out. It just has to, she thought.

“Are your hair and eye color natural?” Honda asked.

“Of course they are!” Uotani answered before Aimi could open her mouth. “Look at her closely. She isn’t all Japanese, are you Aimi?”

Honda threw her hands up in nervous warning. “Uotani, that’s kind of rude to ask…”

But Aimi shook her head with a smile. “It’s fine, Honda-chan. I am mixed, actually. My mother is American. I got my green eyes from her.” Thinking about her mother had her stomach dropping into her knees but she overlooked the feeling. She wanted to live in this moment right now, not dwell on the past. And right now she was making friends.

“You have to meet the Sohma cousins. Kyo-kun has only been here a few weeks too. Hey, orange-head!” Uotani yelled. When the boy with the orange hair approached them, cursing out Uotani under his breath and giving them all a sour look, something in Aimi’s stomach went cold.

There was something wrong with this boy. He was cursed. Something about… an animal… what was it? She reached out with her senses, trying to get a feel for his aura. Yes, it was definitely something animal related. Something… feline. All of a sudden, her “gift” was talking to her, her own curse telling her exactly what she needed to know.

A curse. Yes. Zodiac curse. Family curse. The one who wasn’t invited. A monster inside. Does he know? Oh yes, he knows. But do they? No, Uotani and Hanajima know nothing. Honda is uneasy around him. Does she know? Why is she nervous in his presence?

Aimi had unknowingly learned a terrible secret about a family that she would soon become involved with for some time.

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