It all boiled down to their places in the zodiac; Yuki and Kyou's hatred of each other was born from that story. It was the rat's fault that the cat missed the banquet, thus losing his place in the zodiac eternally. [i "The cat will always hate you, no matter what you say or do. There is no kindness in that beast, only animosity. Don't you ever believe his lies, dear Yuki."]
He could hear Akito's words in his head plain as day since they had been repeated to him on a regular basis. As Yuki listened to the cat's words, something else made itself abundantly clear to the slim male: it really [i wasn't] the zodiac placement that made them hate each other, it was Akito. Ever since they were childen, the God manipulated their feelings for each other and every zodiac member around them, keeping them all in place and mostly compliant. That realization made his stomach hurt a bit more, Yuki stepping back to lean against a sturdy tree.
The rat noticed the red on the cat's cheeks when he brought his gaze up to Kyou again, the male rubbing the back of his head as if he were trying to cover it up somehow. He was quite handsome when he was slightly embarrassed like that, the blush really made his eyes pop. Kyou was attractive without realizing it, especially since most compared beauty to Yuki. Just because he didn't look like the male didn't mean he wasn't attractive in his own way.
[+purple "Thank you, Kyou....it means a lot to hear you offer me that,"] he responded in his normal, soft tone. His fingers were finally starting to warm again from their adventure in the cold water, feeling beginning to return. [+purple "If you still want a place in the zodiac....maybe we can figure something out together."]
[i Did he really mean those words?] The cat looked up at Yuki, rising to a stand to gaze at the other fully, to find some sort of insincerity in the other’s face or posture. The only time he ever heard those kinds of words were from Kazuma. Those feelings and inclinations only came from people who actually cared about him. He knew that he and the rat were no longer eager enemies but did he want to be closer? Did Yuki want that?
Sure, the thought of disappearing was easier to think rather than to act on but the odds felt like they were so against him... that eventually the darkness would win. He wondered vaguely whether Akito would enjoy that outcome or hate it since he’d be down one less soul to torture. With things the way they were, Akito would win in the end no matter which path he chose. After his failure for some sort of redemption for Yuki’s sake last night, everything was hopeless.
[#d89104 “Did I ever tell you why we started being enemies in the first place?”] he asked, turning his gaze back to the water. [#d89104 “Growing up, everyone always said I was the stupid one compared to the rat. The cat’s mistake was always held over my head and I was reminded how much of a burden I was to even exist.”]
[#d89104 “Then one day, Akito offered me this crazy deal that if I ever beat you in a fight, I would be welcomed back into the zodiac.”] Kyo wasn’t one to feel nervous about saying things that were on his mind. He couldn’t care less about hurting someone’s feelings but now... his previous hate for Yuki seemed unjustified. There really was no reason to hate someone for something they couldn’t control- being born a zodiac animal. [#d89104 “I just thought maybe that’s what I was born to do but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”] Not after his most recent fuck ups.
[#d89104 “You... can come talk to me about stupid and boring things too.”] Though he was sure those words were lost on Yuki since he had Haru to go to. How could he compete since they’ve just recently become friends? The cat could feel the heat rising in his cheeks just thinking about it, slightly annoyed and rubbing the back of his neck.
Yuki rose from the log, carefully stepping over sticks and roots as the two continued along in silence. The fact that Kyou didn't completely answer his question and danced around it worried him a little, his eyebrows knitting together in deep thought. He knew what it was like to feel alone, to think you were better off dead, and he became worried that in the near future he could possibly walk in on Kyou a few minutes too late. Thinking that made his stomach hurt; the two were supposed to be sworn enemies but he didn't want that fate for Kyou. He still had so much to offer.
Shortly after they had continued their trek through the woods, Kyou had taken the lead and navigated expertly through the trees until a stream and small waterfall were reached. The rat didn't venture this far into the trees very often and had no idea this was even here. The trickle of the stream and waterfall were beautifully melodic, instantly giving Yuki a sense of calm and peace. He branched off from his cousin, going over to the waterfall and reaching his hand out to the water. It was quite cold as it ran over his fingers, numbness beginning to tingle in them after a minute, and he finally withdrew his hand. It was easy to see why the cat enjoyed this spot, it was something beautiful in his dark world.
His gaze shifted over to Kyou when he finally spoke, listening carefully for any words that would give away future actions. Luckily he didn't hear any. [+purple "I won't,"] Yuki promised quietly as he took a couple steps away from the water and shoved his hands into his coat pockets to warm them back up. [+purple "I know it might be hard for you to believe, but you can tell me anything. It's hard when you don't have anyone else to talk to, even about the stupid and boring things. No matter what it is, it can stay between us; it's no one else's business, anyway."]
Kyo narrowed his eyes, hating how quickly he thought that answer. He didn’t really want Yuki to know, especially after the story he shared but... no one would understand more than him. [i It just doesn’t feel right.]
[#d89104 “Eh, it doesn’t matter.”] He smirked and stood up, knocking Yuki’s head softly with his fist. [#d89104 “Don’t worry about it. Come on, the walk’s not over yet.”] He stuffed his hands back in his hoodie pockets, waiting briefly for the other to follow.
He wanted to talk. He just didn’t always have the right words. Sometimes he thought he sounded like a kid, using simple terms and analogies. He wasn’t as smart and intricate as some of the other zodiac members, especially Yuki. Academically, they were on different spectrums.
The cat walked a little bit ahead, leading on till they came to a stream with a small waterfall. He remembered finding this spot for the first time a few months back, knowing that Master would have loved something like this. It had been a homey spot away from home when he wanted to be away from Shigure’s house. It was a good change not to be alone around it especially since he reconsidered his answer from earlier.
[#d89104 “Master says being sad isn’t a bad thing as long as you don’t get lost in it,”] he started, stooping down to be closer to the water. The walk gave him time to think over the words he wanted to say that wouldn’t freak out a normal person. The last thing he wanted was someone of consequence finding out. [#d89104 “He also says that sometimes my sadness is like mud where it feels like I can’t move. That’s what I felt like this morning. The mud just comes more and feels harder to get out of.”]
He raised his eyes to Yuki’s. [#d89104 “Don’t tell Master about it. He’s worried enough about me already.”]
It hurt to think about that day, Yuki's hand unconsciously wrapping around an area on his left forearm. He remembered it well, choosing not to tell Kyou about the after effects of it. How Hatori made someone watch him constantly for weeks to be sure there wouldn't be another episode. How angry Akito had become when he learned about it. How that empty feeling returned shortly after his attempt and protecting the others was the only thing that filled it even a little.
Something in him almost broke when he felt the cat's arm around his shoulders to give him an awkward hug. He couldn't remember the last time someone touched him so kindly. He wanted to turn and hug Kyou tightly, to bury his face into his shoulder and let all of his pent up feelings out. Unfortunately he didn't think the cat would take too kindly to such actions, especially from his enemy in the zodiac, and stopped himself from making such a motion. Instead he leaned over a bit, allowing their shoulders to touch.
[+purple "Do you still wish to disappear, Kyou?"] he asked quietly, looking over at his cousin. [+purple "And why were you thinking that in the first place?"]
The cat watched his cousin as he thought over his response, taking too long for Kyo’s liking. He was always so impatient. Always in a hurry to get answers that never seemed to satisfy him but... the moment Yuki spoke, he had his full attention. He could visualize it as the rat described his personal experience in surprising detail.
It managed to make him feel slightly sick, thinking about hearing the news if Yuki had been successful that night. Things would have been different but better- he was not so sure. Without Yuki, Kyo wouldn’t be able to prove himself. Honestly, if it weren’t for the drive to beat the rat that Akito gave him in exchange for a better life... Looking back on it now, it had always been the God’s plan to pin them against each other all for a stupid story that happened before their time. He wanted both of them to suffer.
Yuki seemed so small after admitting his dark secret, slouching slightly on the fallen tree. For a moment, Kyo felt guilty for having thought of giving up on himself though he wasn’t sure there would be anyone who would come for him like Haru did for the rat spirit. He pushed people away. Even he knew Kagura was only head over heels for him because she felt guilty for their childhood.
He thought about the last night and how Yuki had come to see him, that guilty feeling harboring in his chest. With a dry swallow, Kyo took a few steps closer and sat beside the rat spirit and very carefully- if not extremely awkwardly- put an arm around Yuki’s shoulders and attempted a hug. The silver hair didn’t need to know about his personal thoughts for the day. He’d rather comfort someone else instead of the other way around. He felt stronger that way.
While the gesture seemed brief, Kyo felt a little better and a little warmer sitting beside the rat spirit. Maybe Yuki would miss him but that was a thought for another day. Today he would be here, in this moment. [#d89104 “One day, you won’t have to be the one to suffer all the time,”] he said, keeping his eyes on the ground. [#d89104 “You’ll find that person that will make all the suffering you went through worth it.”] He scoffed, [#d89104 “Or I think that’s what that sapp Haru would say right now.”] He laced his fingers together, letting the air cool his warm cheeks.
How strange it felt admitting these dark thoughts and feelings to another being...but at the same time, how [i relieving] it was. These were things he had never told anyone nor did he ever dream of doing so. They didn't fully leave him, still appearing from time to time, and caused the rat to rethink everything he had done in his life. Was it still worth it to stick around? Would anyone even miss him? Would anyone even [i care?]
Yuki easily kept up with Kyou's pace, allowing the quiet to overtake them and for Kyou to think on the words he had spoken. He wasn't sure if they were going to help him or not but it would give his cousin another perspective. The cat suddenly stopped near a tree, Yuki standing beside him, and finally looked over at him. Those beautiful red eyes were looking into his own, seeming to search for an answer to an unspoken question. It was then that he spoke, asking what worked for the rat.
He remained quiet at first, shoving his hands into his coat pockets, and averted his gaze to rest on the tree nearby. These were incredibly personal thoughts and feelings. If they could help Kyou though....maybe it was worth it to share.
[+purple "....I tried once, you know. To stop existing,"] he started quietly. [+purple "When I finally made that decision, I started to feel better...like all this suffering would finally end. After a checkup with Hatori, I stole his letter opener from his desk, then that evening I had a disagreement with Akito and he attacked me. I felt then that it was the time for the rat's chapter to finally come to a close."]
He moved away from Kyou a bit, stopping beside a fallen tree and sitting down on the sturdy surface. His gaze had averted from Kyou's, Yuki finding these memories a bit difficult to recall but even worse to admit out loud.
[+purple "I intended to bleed out, hoping that if I hit a major blood vessel it would be quick. I missed. Haru found me and brought me to Hatori; I remember the sad look that he had in his eyes. I'll never forget it. It surprised me to know that someone was upset with my actions and was hurt at the thought that I wanted to leave them. Then I began to think about others in the zodiac, like Kisa and Momiji. My existence as the rat, as the God's favorite, meant that I took the brunt of Akito's abuse so they wouldn't have to. So, to answer your question, I suppose I'm still here for the others, so they don't have to suffer as much as I do."]
Yuki’s words caught him off guard, unintentionally holding his breath as the other showed some light on his own darker thoughts. Nearly perfect Yuki felt like that too? He supposed Akito would make anyone feel that way. He supposed even their parents did so as well... How the darkness was making everything the same color, dull and grey.
And for the first time since last night, Kyo thought about the plan he would have executed today. He felt that empty, hopeless feeling again that seemed to drown him. How- had Yuki not been downstairs this morning- he would have walked out of that shell of a home, through the surrounding forest until he reached the edge that marked the end of Sohma territory. How if he would have thought hard enough about it, he would have found the anger, the courage, the spite to just simply step off. To finally [i wake up].
Kyo stopped walking, pausing beside a barren tree. The forest seeming quieter now. The cat spirit raised his eyes to Yuki’s, somehow not finding them as intimidating as they usually were. [#d89104 “You said [i used to]. Did thinking about someone else help you through it? Is there someone you’re stickin’ around for?”] Someone making it all worth it?
Yuki had no idea that his cousin felt like that. Why would he? The two had never really gotten along before this, never taking the time to really see one another. They were following their lots in life and venturing along their predetermined paths. Now, though, the rat was discovering he was enjoying the other male's company. It wasn't a chore to talk to him or even act civil around him; it was almost like they were [i normal]. Of course, that was far from the truth but it was nice to pretend for a while.
[+purple "I used to wish that I would disappear, too,"] the rat admitted quietly after a while. He kept his eyes on the path this time, carefully stepping over raised roots and other hazards in their path. It was difficult to admit these things out loud, especially to someone he fought so much with, and was a bit ashamed to admit that perfect Yuki even had these dark thoughts before. [+purple "That life would be so much better for everyone if I didn't exist. How easy it would be for [i me] if I didn't exist. Then I started thinking of ways to stop existing and it strangely made me feel better. Every way I thought of, I paused to think how it would affect those around me and whether it would be worth it. Sometimes, not existing is easier."][
The cat spirit fiddled with the lint in his hoodie pocket as he listened to Yuki’s answer, finding his experience relatable in the opposite sense. It was apparent they lived very different childhoods since the head of the house was so candid on his opinion of the pair of them. What was it like to be Akito’s favorite? As a child, he didn’t know better. He thought Akito loved everyone but him though now he knew that wasn’t true.
Kyo sensed the shift from Yuki’s body beside him but made no move to avoid the proximity. It was strange... to feel comfortable... or even safe around the rat. He didn’t answer Yuki’s question immediately but muddled over whether it was worth it to tell the truth. [i You need to stop second guessing yourself. Human interaction is not meant to be difficult.] It just came more naturally to some.
[#d89104 “It feels like nowadays, all I ever am is seen,”] he admitted, stepping over raised roots in their path, [#d89104 “There doesn’t feel like a day that goes by where someone isn’t judging what I’m doin’ or what I’m sayin’- what I’m [i not] doing.”] He could see Shigure and Akito clearly in those times. Even school gave him anxiety knowing that they expected results from him- but what was the point? At the end of that graduation... he knew what was waiting for him.
[#d89104 “I wish I would disappear someday.”] Kyo kept his gaze on the foliage at his feet. [#d89104 “I hope all this bullshit is just a nightmare I haven’t woken up from yet and sometimes it really, really feels like I’m ready to just wake up from it all.”] He never asked for this life. Why did he have to endure the existence of the cat? Because [i God] said so.
The rat put his hands into his coat pockets, matching Kyou's pace as the two began their walk through the familiar woods. This was an area both males disappeared into often, mostly to escape Shigure as well as each other, and Yuki took comfort in the fact that it was familiar territory to him. As boring as it was, he liked predictability. It was comforting.
Kyou's words caused him to glance at the cat, bright eyes observing him for a moment before turning back to the path in front of them. It was an idea Yuki was familiar with, there were quite a few times in his childhood where he wished he was invisible...or that he didn't exist. They were always when he was with Akito and when his brother was around. Now that he had entered his teen years and was finally around other people, he found himself on both ends of the spectrum. There were times when he was noticed when he didn't wish to be, like when girls developed obsessive crushes on him, and when he wished to be like in group activities. It was quite a strange place to be.
[+purple "When I was a child I would have done anything for that kind of reality,"] Yuki admitted quietly. The thin rat shifted a bit closer to Kyou to avoid a large fallen tree that spread onto part of the path, returning to his original spot once it was clear. [+purple "Sometimes being invisible is a blessing. Now, though, I find myself balancing in between wanting to be invisible but wanting to be seen. But I want to be seen for [i me], not the person others think I am or want me to be. Why don't you want to be seen, Kyou?"]
Once the rat spirit joined him, the pair began their walk though remaining silent, which for him was slightly unsettling. But what was there to say? What could they talk about? Did they have something in common besides dreading being a member of the zodiac? What the fuck do normal people even talk about on walks?! Overthinking was making his head spin and dipping further in a darker mood.
Kyo looked over at Yuki, the cool air making the tip of his small nose a little red. He couldn’t help but to smile. Yuki looked so visibly pale in the gray world around them. Kyo always stood out like a sore thumb with his carrot top, making it impossible to go anywhere without being stared at. Yuki must feel the same way with a face so delicate and soft.
[#d89104 “Do you ever wish people didn’t see you sometimes? Like you could blend in with the walls?”] It wasn’t a great conversation starter but he hoped maybe it could bridge some more similarities between them, if only to fill the silence. A good opportunity to feel less alone.
Yuki watched quietly as Kyou finished the tea in his cup and set it into the sink before disappearing. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that answer, if there was a way to interpret its meaning. They all had days where they didn't "feel like themselves" but was that all it really was for the cat? After all, the two had kind of been getting along....and all the stuff with Akito....
He shook his head as if to forcefully dispel the thoughts from his head, finishing his own tea and setting his cup next to Kyou's. While the taller male may enjoy the brisk air, Yuki knew well what would happen if he stayed out too long in cooler temperatures without proper coverage. The last thing he needed was to get sick. Quiet footsteps took him up to his room and to his closet where he dug out a warmer coat and slipped it on over his shoulders. Once ready, he made his way downstairs and outside to meet Kyou.
Yuki walked in silence for a while, hands tucked inside his coat pockets, and glanced at Kyou every now and then. He wasn't sure what to say, or even if he should say anything at all, and figured that it was best to let Kyou speak first. That is, if he chose to speak at all. It was a strange feeling knowing the two haven't fought for a while, almost as if they were trying to get along. He liked having this weird peace with the cat even though it was hard to get used to at first. It almost made him feel like his life really could be normal.
Was it strange that Kyo almost felt defeated. Maybe... nothing terrible was going to happen today. Maybe he didn’t have to punish himself if someone was here with him. Maybe Yuki thought everything was going to be okay.
Or maybe not.
Either way, he wasn’t going anywhere.
The teen gripped the cup a little tighter, pursing his lips as he thought of a believable reply. [#d89104 “Like I said,”] he started, feeling a little guilty that he was making Yuki of all people worry, [#d89104 “I’m just not feeling myself today.”] He heard the pitch fall in his voice as he said it, hoping that the rat wouldn’t make it a big deal. He sighed. [#d89104 “I’m an early walker so when you’re done with that tea, meet me out back.”]
The cat finished his portion of tea and discarded the dish in the sink, taking care to step past Yuki and out to the back porch to stretch. It was much cooler than he expected outside but a welcomed chill to his warm cheeks. Being kind and polite was awkward for Kyo especially when it came to Yuki but he was sure interactions like that were supposed to be normal. [i Weren’t they?] Perhaps they could talk more.
Kyou was certainly one to talk about getting sick in the current weather, the rat remembering how he recently had to carry the stubborn, orange ball of fluff home recently. It was slightly amusing that he would try to play that card, a bit more amusing were the sounds of him trying to voice out his thoughts before stopping himself suddenly. It wasn't like Kyou to trip himself up with his words, at least not like this, and it was a bit refreshing to see the male in a more human light.
[+purple "I'd still like to go, if you're okay with it,"] he admitted quietly after a moment of silence. He could see the light color in the cat's cheeks which caused him to wonder what exactly that was all about. Kyou wasn't feeling feverish, was he? If so, he certainly shouldn't be out in this kind of weather. Still, the cat would do whatever he wanted whether it was in his best interest or not, and trying to talk him out of something was like arguing with a wall. [+purple "I have a warmer coat I can wear, you don't have to worry about me. But...are you sure you're feeling okay?"]
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.