Amethyst eyes flickered over to the cat as he began to pass, giving his final statement after (surprisingly) answering Yuki's question. If anything, he expected Kyou to ignore it. Why did he care? Was it simple curiosity? That was the only logical answer seeing as the cat and the rat would always hate each other. It was their destiny. He quietly shut his locker and picked his bag back up, tucking it under his arm, before following Kyou to their classroom.
Most of their classmates had already arrived; it was clear that if Kyou hadn't have run most of the way that he would have been late; serving detention would certainly have been in his future. An eerie silence fell upon the students as Yuki entered, followed by light whispering, taking him a moment to realize they were gossiping about him. He had nearly forgotten about the cut that was taped shut along his lip but, clearly, the others found it conversation worthy as they began to chat among themselves quietly about what could have happened. His hearing was pretty good and he heard quite a few variations of what caused it as he silently made his way back to his seat. One did bring a faint smile to his lips, hearing that Kyou had finally snapped and landed a good punch.
Yuki ignored his classmates as much as he could during the school day which was rather easy as they were focused on their classes. Lunch was a different story, however, as it gave them time to talk among themselves. Yuki chose to stay quiet and picked up his bag, taking notice of his bento and wondering if Kyou had remembered to grab his from the kotatsu on the way out. He doubted it, seeing as Kyou had a one track mind and was most likely focused on getting out the door and to school on time. He sighed quietly, separating the layers of the box and using his chopsticks to split his lunch in half. Yuki grabbed a spare set of takeout chopsticks from his desk as well as one the bento layers and moved quietly over to Kyou's desk. He watched him for a moment before setting the objects down and returning to his own seat.
Deep breaths. He just had to take deep breaths to keep his anger to a less destructive state, As Master taught him, he must keep level headed if he wanted to achieve his goal of defeating Yuki. Pssh... even as the rat spewed mockery. He had not failed. It was simply a tie!
The bell rang across the school grounds, signalling the warning before the start of classes. Kyo might have thought he was running too late but he had enough time, The little brat was right. He didn’t want detention again.
The cat slammed open his locker, slipping off his shoes and throwing a few things he didn’t need inside. If it weren’t for Kyo’s cat sense of hearing, he might not have heard Yuki’s low tone question. He turned slightly, looking at the rats elegant silhouette. [#d89104 “I just forgot to set the alarm. I must have been just out of it waiting for you to come home that it just slipped my mind.”] He slammed the locker closed and threw his bag over his shoulder. [#d89104 “Not like you care.”]
Kyo took a couple steps pass the other, leaning in slightly. [#d89104 “Just go back to ignoring me like you always do.”]
Yuki watched silently as his cousin face planted into the sidewalk and jumped up angrily shortly after. It had certainly awakened his fighting spirit this morning, that was for sure. He was positive that if there weren't so many students around to see it that Kyou would have taken a few swings at the rat only to be roundhouse kicked into a wall shortly after. Until he learned not to attack so blindly, Yuki would always see right through his moves.
[+purple "It was a simple test to see if you were observing your surroundings,"] Yuki retorted quietly as he watched the cat try to dust off his unifom before the small group of Sohmas made their way closer to the school. [+purple "Obviously, you failed. If you had awoken on time like the rest of us, you wouldn't be rushing to get here before the final bell."]
Momiji reached up, taking Haru's hand lightly and looked up at Yuki. [+goldenrod "Kyou-kun doesn't want to get detention for being late again!"]
Yuki smiled faintly at this, pulling open the door of the school and stepping inside. He stopped at his locker as the rest of them did to change his shoes and prepare for his day. He glanced at Haru and Momiji as they passed by in order to get to their classroom on time then shifted his gaze to Kyou. He was still probably a bit sore from the rat's action but that didn't surprise him. Kyou could hold onto grudges for quite some time.
[+purple "Why didn't you leave on time?"] Yuki asked his cousin quietly, curious to see if he would get an answer.
The group in the distance became clearer has he approached, keeping his pace fast and determined. He could make out Haru, Momiji and Yuki. That Yuki who thought he was better at everything! That dirty son of a-
Kyo planted face first into the concrete sidewalk, groaning as his temper bubbled to its boiling point. [#d89104 “You rat! How dare you trip me when you knew you were about to lose!”] He scrambled quickly to his feet and brushed the dirt off his now ruined uniform.
[#d89104 “And you guys!”] he pointed at the other two zodiac members, [#d89104 “Why didn’t you stop him? Don’t you two have any respect for a fair match?”] [i Pssh, all a bunch of idiots.] The cat adjusted himself awkwardly as they continued to make their way towards the school.
Shigure's home was strangely quiet as Yuki got ready for school. Normally the cat was up and making ungodly amounts of noise while Shigure encouraged it but this morning was different. No sounds from Kyou, minimal noise from Shigure. He wondered if his cousin was even awake yet but decided against checking while he pulled his uniform out from his closet. Why ruin the peace and quiet? Besides, if he did Kyou would simply be unappreciative and do nothing but run his face the entire morning. It was best to allow the cat to learn his lesson.
Once the rat was dressed and the cut to his lip re-taped, he organized his books and notebooks into his bag before snapping it closed. A last look around the room reassured Yuki that he was ready for school. He headed down the hall quietly, giving Kyou's room a glance as he passed it, and headed down the stairs to the kitchen in order to grab something to eat. Shigure had prepared an incredibly easy breakfast, rice and egg, which he appreciated as it gave him something to start his morning with. He greeted the dog quietly before eating, then threw a quick bento together before gathering his things and leaving.
The house was still quiet.
His walk to school was relatively quiet and gave him a chance to think and review materials he would need for the day's tests. It didn't stay too quiet, however, as Momiji and Haru caught up with him on the last stretch and one of them began to talk his ear off. He didn't mind it, Momiji was a sweet kid and just wanted to be accepted by those he loved. Haru didn't seem to mind, either, the ox remaining quiet as they made their way to school. Another sound caught Yuki's attention, able to pick it up under the rabbit's voice, and caused his gaze to shift faintly. It was Kyou, he could distinguish his sounds almost anywhere.
He must've overslept again, lazy cat.
[+goldenrod "...Haru helped me paint it, which was good because I got it everywhere and Tori said-"] While the rabbit continued to speak, Yuki stuck his foot out slightly in order to trip the cat when he was almost on them, waiting to see if Kyou crashed into the ground because he wasn't paying attention.
Kyo supposed Yuki was right. He was cold, agitated and tired. This wouldn’t be a fair fight. Maybe... maybe he’ll feel more like himself in the morning. This evening had been so strange for the pair of them it almost seemed out of character.
The cat stood and led the way back into the house. [#d89104 “Night,”] he grumbled as he made his way back into his room. He closed the door quickly and the moment his head hit the pillow, he was fast asleep.
There was chirping outside his window and Kyo hated it. Fucking birds always waking up too damn early. He rolled over and eyed the clock. 7:47... He squinted, trying to remember why that was important.
[i Shit! I’m going to be late for school!]
The cat threw the blanket off and stumbled to his closet to get dressed. He tossed everything into his bag in a haphazard manner before angrily stomping out of his room to grab one of last night’s rolls with some butter. The guardian was sitting in the kotatsu and looked up at Kyo’s entrance.
[b “Running late are we?”] Shigure started, looking over his glasses and lowering his paper.
[#d89104 “Forgot to set my alarm, dog,”] he snapped, shoving a piece of bread into his mouth.
Shigure smiled. [b “If you leave now, you might be able to catch up to Yuki.”]
[#d89104 “Like I care.”] Kyo crossed the small house to the front door and hurried down the street towards the school. They didn’t live especially close to the institution but he wasn’t about to have Yuki talk down to him about always being late. He had trouble keeping time, so what? As long as he gets there, it really shouldn’t matter what god-damn time it is.
Thinking about what Yuki was going to say got his blood boiling and convinced him to turn his hurried walk into a sprint. He’ll show him! [i I’ll get there before he does!]
The last beams of daylight stretched over the property and slowly faded out, leaving Yuki in the growing dark to tend to his plants. He didn't need a lot of light to see what he was doing as he knew the layout pretty well and what he should be looking for. There weren't many weeds to eradicate as he was usually on top of it, checking on his garden at least every other day. He was happy to see the plants doing well, growing strongly in their recently-turned soil and their regular waterings. Many of them would be ready to harvest in the coming months which would give Kyou and Shigure items to experiment with, though he was a bit envious at the thought of the cat using them. It wasn't because he didn't have a hand in growing them but because he had natural skill in the kitchen. Kyou could easily come up with something everyone could enjoy, especially with fresh ingredients, and Yuki was stuck on the sidelines to watch. He hated the fact that, one day, Kyou could possibly survive outside of the Sohma cage while Yuki would forever be trapped inside; Yuki lacked even the most basic of survival skills.
It was frustrating.
Once he was fully satisfied with his garden's progress, he rose from the cold ground and pulled his jacket a bit tighter around his frame. The sun's dying light had taken the warmth with it, leaving chilled air behind. It was best to return now while he was still relatively healthy as he didn't wish to catch a cold nor hear Hatori's lecture with it. Quietly he made his way back to the house and ascended the stairs only to run into Kyou. His presence surprised the rat, causing Yuki to pause in his steps, and look over him carefully. He seemed fine, nothing out of place, which left him wondering just what exactly his cousin was doing outside...and on the ground. Normally if the cat was outdoors and still on the property, he was lounging on the roof watching the world pass by. It was a bit strange and Yuki wasn't fond of it.
[+purple "I wasn't aware that I was supposed to be following your set schedule,"] Yuki retorted quietly. He noticed the cat's slow and lethargic movements, indicating his sleepiness. Kyou should probably be in bed instead of instigating. [+purple "I suggest you go up to bed soon before you fall over; I'm not carrying you upstairs and Shigure will most likely leave you here as well. A cold circulating around the house is the last thing we need right now."]
Kyo inhaled deeply, taking in the night air, his mind clear of thoughts. He was driven back to reality by the sliding door and light footsteps. He recognised Yuki without even getting up and listened as the rat descended the few stairs.
The cat sat up, looking down as Yuki walked the path leading into the forest where everyone knew his garden was. He was only slightly curious but knew Yuki preferred it was his personal sanctuary so no one ever interfered. He frowned, feeling useless again. At least the rat had something he needed to take care of.
Frustrated, Kyo stood up and walked to the roof’s edge. As times before, he jumped down, landing in front of the porch. His figure casted a shadow across the ground as he stared at the path Yuki took. He waited awkwardly. What exactly for? He wasn’t sure. Maybe it was to fight. Yeah, that was it.
Kyo took a seat on the steps and crossed his arms against the cold. He didn’t know how long he’d been sitting there but when Yuki finally showed up, he was feeling the fatigue of sleep. [#d89104 “Took you long enough,”] he yawned.
Yuki couldn't stop the eyeroll from taking place, directed at Shigure's comment. Honestly, he could live without much of the dog's input as it seemed to only stir the pot instead of providing a solution to the problem it was directed at. He stayed silent, though, and ate his dinner in silence. He was a bit surprised to see that Kyou remembered how much the rat ate and had given him a portion size that was perfect. He was able to finish it all, bread included, and relaxed a bit under the kotatsu as the others worked on their meal. He was almost always done first due to how little he consumed so this wasn't a first for Yuki. Kyou seemed to finish shortly afterwards, the male rising and collecting both of the teen's empty dishes.
Once he grew tired of Shigure's presence, he rose and passed through the kitchen in order to head upstairs. He noticed two bowls sitting on the counter, out of place on the clean surface, and moved over to investigate. Inside were the strawberries Yuki had grown, dusted with some sugar, and it made him smile faintly. Carefully he picked up one of the bowls and made his way upstairs to his bedroom in order to finish his homework.
Since school was something he excelled at and took pride in that fact, finishing his homework was an easy task. The complicated math lesson was finished in virtually no time and his essay took a mere ten minutes to write up from scratch. Slender hands shut the last book and set it into his back pack, wondering how long it took Kyou to work on his homework and actually finish it. Or did he leave some of it uncompleted? Did he put an effort into it or did he simply write down some answers and hoped he got lucky? Honestly, Yuki was a bit jealous that Kyou could basically do as he wished and not having so much scrutiny. He wished he could allow things to slip and put minimal effort into some things but Akito would never allow him to live it down. He could only imagine what he would receive from the head of the family if he came home with anything less than straight A's. Yuki sighed faintly, choosing to forget about such disturbing thoughts for the time being, and ate his dessert instead. It didn't take him long to finish the fruit and he decided to use some of the last daylight left to check on the rest of his garden.
Yuki pulled out a light jacket from his closet and slipped it over his shoulders before heading down the stairs and outside. Even though he didn't plan on staying out long, he knew better than to tempt fate. The rat had a tendency to fall ill easier than the others and the last thing he wanted was a cold. Quietly he headed across the property and to his small garden in the corner in order to check his plants. This was one place Yuki found true joy, he loved the feeling of bringing something to life and helping it thrive. Kneeling down onto the cold ground, he inspected the progress of his plants while pulling out a few weeds as he went along.
[b “Eh, I’ll just have some groceries delivered,”] Shigure dismissed as he eagerly dove into his meal. [b “And, by the way, Yuki,”] he said through a mouth full of curry, [b “I take full offense. My bad jokes are what keep life in this place.”]
Kyo stayed silent for most of the meal, minding his own thoughts from the Sohma family to training thoughts to school. He had so much homework to do. The pressures and socialization of life were just too complicated. It frustrated him to be so weak. But... Master did say that being with people and being comfortable around them takes practice. Just like martial arts.
Kyo let his chopsticks clatter against the ceramic bowl, disrupting the silence between them all. He gathered to his feet, picking up his dishes and taking Yuki’s as well- since it was empty and all. The cat crossed the small space into the kitchen, piling three small bowls with homegrown strawberries. He didn’t serve them but left them in the kitchen for the rat to find. He sprinkled each of them with white powdered sugar before taking his own up to his room to be alone.
Kyo closed his bedroom with a heavy sigh. He crouched beside his text books, looking at the assignments briefly. Math he was decent at sure, but language, literature, science- all useless information as far as he was concerned.
Within minutes, he had finished his dessert and his math he finished in about twenty. Kyo shoved everything else beside the twin bed and threw on a hoodie. It was cool out tonight but he was sure it was a full moon.
The house was quiet as he left his bedroom, not much of a surprise. They all seemed to go their own ways whenever there was down time. A little lonely if you asked him. He took his usual path up to the rooftop where he laid back and watched the stars and city from afar. It felt peaceful and not as lonely up there. Vaguely, he wondered if the rat was doing alright. Yuki always seemed to have his shit together. What a gift.
The rat watched quietly as Kyou moved around the kitchen, able to focus on only one thing at a time. It wasn't an efficient practice but he supposed that was why the redhead excelled at cooking and baking while Yuki couldn't. He was like that with many things, actually, Yuki noticing that if his cousin tried to juggle a lot of things at one time, he would easily lose track of what he was doing and wind up doing something completely different. Perhaps that was why he didn't care for school so much, the cat unable to focus on all of the different things around him.
He enjoyed watching Kyou move around the kitchen, each move fluid and effortless. It was one of the activities Yuki had no skill in, the rat causing so much damage that he was basically banned from using anything in the kitchen other than the sink, and liked to watch others who had a knack for it. He still disliked Kyou and the two fought constantly but he did enjoy seeing him at work. The cat seemed to like his work, getting lost in it, and seemed satisfied with almost every dish that came out. It was no wonder he was put in charge of feeding the three Sohmas.
Amethyst eyes rolled a bit at Shigure's antics, Yuki slowly sitting down at the table and letting his gaze fall on their guardian. He sometimes wondered how the dog of the family could have guardianship over anyone as he was the biggest child in the house most of the time. Kyou may have a bad attitude but he could be more mature than Shigure could most days. He was sure that if it weren't for Hatori, Shigure might not have gotten this far.
[+purple "I'm sure Shigure won't mind going to the store,"] Yuki responded quietly while picking up a piece of bread. It was still warm, the smell of the baked treat combining beautifully with the curry. He ripped a piece off, dipping it into the bowl and chewing on it slowly. It was just as tasty as the last time Kyou made it. The substance stung the cut to his lip a bit but he expected that to happen, it just caused the rat to eat a bit slower and be more careful. [+purple "It's about time he contributed something to the house other than messes and bad jokes."]
Kyo grumbled slightly about not needing Yuki’s homegrown strawberries but decided to let it go. As the rat stepped out of the room to patch himself up, the cat continued to think, letting his hands do the work almost absentmindedly. He was used to cooking. Master at the Dojo was terrible at it and someone had to keep them from starving to death. Might as well be him.
He frowned slightly as he stirred the finely cut vegetables into the curry. He thought about his words and how wrong he probably- most likely was. Yuki and the others always went back. It was their duty and calling. The cat was never like them, but he’d be damned if Akito ever showed his smug little porcelain face anywhere near this house. He imagined Akito looking much like his punching bag back at the dojo. Unlike Yuki, he wouldn’t mind playing dirty with the Sohma God.
When the rat returned, the rice was just beginning to boil. [#d89104 “Yeah, sure, why not. As long as Shigure still has dried yeast we should be ready to eat in a half hour.”] Kyo was calm, only seeming to able to focus on one event at a time. Something that Yuki would call ‘simple-minded’... but he didn’t care. They just needed something on that table. Something that brought people to together.
Kyo’s cheeks felt hot again with embarrassment. Akito... always seeming to bring out sentimentality within him. Damn it.
His hands flew across the kitchen like he was training for a fight. He was precise and quick that, in just a half hour as promised, the food was ready and laid out on the table.
[b “Why Kyo, you shouldn’t have,”] Shigure cooed. [b “Look Yuki, we’ve been blessed today.”]
[#d89104 “Tsk, shut up and just eat it,”] he snapped, cleaning his hands on a wet dish cloth. [#d89104 “And just so you guys know, we need more yeast and vegetables. I cleaned us out.”]
With a grunt, he sat down at the table across from Yuki and pretended that nothing unusual was happening.
Some of the male's weight fell against the counter, the rat reaching out to push the bowl of strawberries from the edge to prevent it from falling. He had to admit that he was a bit surprised that Kyou didn't jump on his comment about his fighting and that he was being so....nice. It wasn't that the cat couldn't be kind once in a while, he'd seen it already, but it wasn't directed towards Yuki. He couldn't keep the slight look of confusion from slipping on his face as he watched Kyou, either, the male moving around him in order to look through the cupboards and even going as far to ask the rat what he thought about the cat's choice for dinner. Did something else happen while he was away? Had Kazuma landed a good kick in the cat's head and caused this behavior? He felt a bit as if he were in another dimension with another Kyou, it certainly made more sense that this.
[+purple "I have no complaints with that,"] he answered quietly, agreeing with Kyou's dinner decision. The rat wasn't in the mood for take out, or any food really, but the cat did have a way of making regular food taste amazing. Yuki was convinced he could make an old shoe taste good. [+purple "We can have the rest of the strawberries for dessert."]
The slender male moved to one of the far cabinets, sorting through the first aid supplies and medicine until he found the butterfly strips he was looking for. It was a bit strange having to be the one to need things from this cabinet, typically it was Kyou especially after a pretty bad fight between the two of them. Everything seemed to be backwards today. Yuki moved over to a mirror on a nearby wall in order to see the cut and couldn't help but frown a bit at it. It sat along the left corner of his mouth, stretching down over his lip and a few centimeters below it. The bleeding was basically nonexistent, much different than when he was on his way home, but still looked a bit angry. He made a mental note to give it a good cleaning as he bathed tonight.
As he put two small strips on one end of the wound, he couldn't help but think about Kyou's words. He was wrong, the rat would have to see him again at some point. It wasn't a secret that Yuki was his favorite and he would do anything to make it known. If Akito called, the rat was required to show up and in a timely manner. Should he decide against it, there would be hell to pay. Kyou was lucky as he was able to fly under the radar and do as he pleased, he didn't need to check in like the rest of them did. Yuki let out a quiet sigh as he pulled the strips tight and secured them on the other side of the cut to pull the skin together and encourage it to heal. Once finished, he returned to the kitchen and cleaned up his mess in front of the cabinet.
[+purple "Do you think you can make that bread you baked with it last time?"] Yuki asked quietly, glancing over at his cousin before putting the last supply away and closing the door gently. [+purple "It went really well with the dinner."]
[i Akito’s parting gift.]
[#d89104 “Tsk,”] Kyo scoffed, redirecting his anger to someone who deserved it more then Yuki, admittingly. Akito... that boy who thought he ran the whole damn Sohma household, had everyone under his finely filed thumb to bully and misdirect, tease and hurt. He thought he was a god.
The cat wasn’t even offended by the rat’s comment. In fact, he wasn’t even thinking about Yuki anymore. Anyone who thinks that they can push around whomever they damned like better be able to take the punches he could throw. Even if that meant he’d be thrown in that dark room...
[#d89104 “Aaah, forget about that greasy black haired creep, Yuke. He can go rot in his fancy house without you ever seeing him again.”] Kyo could care less about why the rat was there in the first place. Right now, it was about being home and being safe. Safety was most important priority. Was that ironic for him to think? Even hypocritical? How the fuck should he know?
The carrot top moved around Yuki to throw open the cabinet and looked through the boxed meals. [#d89104 “Hey, how does rice and curry sound? I don’t want that take-out crap that Shigure loves so much.”] He tried too hard to make it sound casual that it didn’t sound normal to come out of his mouth at all. His cheeks began to warm up with embarrassment. [#d89104 “Not that eating out is stupid or anything. I just think we should make something.”] He should shut up.
Amethyst eyes flickered and briefly narrowed in Shigure's direction as he heard his comment. He had a lot of nerve to call them children as the dog was possibly the biggest child in the house. If Hatori wasn't around, he wondered if their guardian could even survive on his own. Yuki decided not to engage, however, and turned his attention back to his work. Fighting both Shigure and Kyou weren't worth it today, he'd save that for when he had more energy.
As Kyou stole one of his precious red berries, the thought briefly crossed Yuki's mind to stab his hand with the parring knife but thought better of it. That would also lead to a fight that he didn't want to deal with. Besides, Kyou typically made enough to share whenever he cooked so he supposed he could return the favor with the fruit. Once he was finished, he reached over and carefully set the knife in the sink before picking up one of the strawberries and munching on it.
How much should he tell Kyou? Yuki was aware that once he admitted who hit him, more questions would follow. If they didn't come from Kyou, they'd come from the other party in the house. Should he tell him that it came from the meeting with Akito? That he was in the room with Momiji when the leader of the family attacked the small rabbit? Should he tell him that he stepped in on Momji's behalf, to try to protect him, and got hit for it? Unfortunately he couldn't come up with a lie that would be believable, Akito was the only one brave enough to even raise his hand towards the rat without fear of being punched into the next galaxy. He wasn't that clumsy, either, preventing him from using that as an excuse. Yuki continued to mull these thoughts over as he finished the rest of the strawberry he was currently eating.
Kyou could be such a pain in the ass sometimes.
[+purple "If you must know, it was a parting gift from Akito this afternoon,"] Yuki answered quietly. The juice from the strawberry caused his lip to sting, the slender male reaching over and picking up the stained cloth to dab at it again. Only a few drops of blood appeared on its surface, the injury almost completely clotted. Before he ate another one he'd need to get some butterfly closures on it in order to keep the skin together and to prevent it from becoming dirty. The last thing he needed was an infection. His gaze then flickered over to Kyou for a moment, watching as he continued to eat the berry he had stolen from his cousin. [+purple "Luckily for you, it's not deep. You can go back to throwing sloppy punches at me tomorrow."]
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