Fruits Basket: It's Our Turn

Fruits Basket: It's Our Turn

The curse was never broken, and all is 'well' in the Sohma residence. But was the bond meant to hold this long?

1,019 readers have visited this universe since THESexyMaid_001 created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fruits_basket

Introduction

A long, long time ago, God decided to invite all of the animals to a banquet. He sent out word for all of them to come to his house the following evening, "And don't be late!" he said. When the mischievous rat heard the news, he decided to play a trick on his neighbor, the cat. He told the cat that the party was the day after tomorrow. The very next day, all of the animals lined up for the celebration. The rat led the way, riding all the way there on the back of the cow. Everyone had a wonderful time, except for the cat, who missed the whole thing.

The Sohma curse of the Chinese zodiac consists of three main categories- the Juunishi (zodiac), the cat, and the god.
The Juunishi represent the twelve main zodiac animals- the rat, the cow (ox), the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the ram, the monkey, the rooster (bird), the dog, and the boar. The Juunishi are twelve people who transform with a "Poof!" into the animal they represent when they are embraced by a person of the opposite gender or when their bodies are under pressure (When they're sick, weak, etc.). Even if they are embraced by their own parents or siblings, given that they are the opposite gender, they transform. However, if they embraced by a Juunishi member of the opposite gender (including the cat and the god), they do not transform. The Juunishi must stay by the god's side forever, even if it means being reborn many, many times. This also means following all of the god's orders. While a Juunishi of a single animal is alive, another child of the same animal cannot be born. However, when a Juunishi member dies, this means that a Sohma child is soon to be born to this particular animal's curse.

The cat follows the exact same rules of which the Juunishi follow, except its curse is a bit darker. He must wear Juzu beads; a bracelet with round red and white beads made of the bones of great and powerful priests and dyed with blood. When the beads are removed, the cat transforms into a hideous monster with a foul odor, known as "the cat's true form".
The god is the actual God who held the banquet in the above story. They bare what is called "the core of the zodiac curse". They tend to get sick a lot, and they die at a young age. Often times, the god and the Juunishi/cat aren't alive at the same generation. The god especially hates the cat for some reason.


Normal Person:
1. Paris Aomori - kleean
AS MANY AS WANTED

Rat:
Keiko Sohma - THESexyMaid_001
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.~

Cat: Atsuhiko SohmaShyFox
~The cat is excluded from most Sohma family affairs and shamed away. Because of this, they have a particularly bad attitude towards most people and hate to be talked to. They have horrible anger issues and are rather socially awkward.

Ox:
OPEN
~Another of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and strong companion. Compatible with Snake or Rooster.~

Tiger:
Pippa SohmaMiyer
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.~

Rabbit:
Haruji Sohma - Prokesyegan
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig.~

Dragon:
Kaida SohmaLuna Delta
~A powerful sign, those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dragon are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top. Compatible with Monkey and Rat.~

Snake:
Hiiro SohmaSailorTitan
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake are seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, jealous, slightly dangerous, smart, they rely on gut feelings, are hard-working and intelligent. Compatible with Rooster or Ox.~

Horse:
OPEN
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse love to roam free. They’re energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, and they enjoy traveling, love and intimacy. They’re great at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes seen as a drifter. Compatible with Dog or Tiger.~

Goat:
Yuuto Sohma - kyuukonhime
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.~

Monkey:
OPEN
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They’re energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing self before pleasing others. They’re heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, morals are weak. Compatible with Rat or Dragon.~

Rooster:
Juro SohmaLuna Delta
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative. Compatible with Ox or Snake.~

Dog:
Miuru SohmaProkesyegan
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Dogs excel in business but have trouble finding mates. Compatible with Tiger or Horse.~

Pig:
Ichirou SohmaTHESexyMaid_001
~Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are extremely nice, good-mannered and tasteful. They’re perfectionists who enjoy finer things but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are good companions until someone close crosses them, then look out! They’re intelligent, always seeking more knowledge, and exclusive. Compatible with Rabbit or Goat.~

Head of Family:
Aiko SohmaZalgo
~The Head of the Family is cold, unfeeling and, in a sense, evil. They are mainly just acting out. Being the Head of the Family is a lot of weight on the shoulder, only adding onto the anger and attitude. They are also usually very sickly and need a constant eye on them.~



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[center][size=300][font=FONT OF CHOICE][color= COLOR OF CHOICE]❝The Basics❞[/color][/font][/size][/center]
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RULES OF CHARATCER SHEET
1. For Physical Description, Personality and History, you must have at the least 1 – 2 paragraphs for each. If this isn’t completed, then your character will be denied until you correct it.
2. For your likes and dislikes, you can have a minimum of 5 each. If this isn’t completed, then your character will be denied until you correct it.
3. Find as many picture as you can. But a minimum of 2 – 3 is required. If this isn’t completed, then your character will be denied until you correct it.
4. You MUST us the Character Sheet provided. If this isn’t completed, then your character will be denied until you correct it.
5. On the portion that says “Thoughts on Other Characters” you just list each character as they are submitted and list what you think about them. If you are a member of the Zodiac, you know all the others, no one can be meeting for the first time ever. Whether you know them well or not is up to you. You may or may not know the Normals at first, so just leave them blank until you feel you can fill them in.


RULES OF ROLEPLAY
1. No god-modding.
Other than the fact that some of us can turn into animals, no one has and “super powers” or anything of the sort. No one is a complete master at anything. We are all still humans.
2. No sexual scenes.
Romance is encouraged, but please keep it PG. If you really want to, take it to PM.
3. No repeated use of slander.
Saying a bad word here and there is okay. But not every other word you say has to be f*** or s***.
4. Proper grammar.
We all have the ability to use proper English, so please do. Capitalize when you’re supposed to, punctuation where it should go, etc.
5. No quickies.
If you’re in a rush, wait to post. Nothing is worse than a simple sentence to go by. Please try to make your posts at least 200 words or more.
6. Stay with it.
No ding-dong ditching. If you want to make a character, you better stick with the RP. If you have a legitimate reason for having to quit, we understand.
7. Be regular.
Post once or twice a day. It sucks to be stuck behind when your partner is absent. If you have a reason, say it in the OOC or PM the GM.
8. Reserve & OOC.
Pay attention to the OOC. If you want a character in this RP, you have to reserve. If someone has already reserved the role you want, ask to be put on second reserve, in case they disappear or quit. Also check the OOC regularly for any updates or notices.
9. Keep it even.
Not everyone has to be graduated. Some can be in high school, some can be in college or have jobs already. But don’t make it to where only one is in school still. Let’s try to have an EVEN VARIETY.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 9 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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Fingers drummed against the steering wheel, pure annoyance spreading through Kaida's body at this point. By no means did Kaida want to be sent home early from her normal time, and she sure as hell didn't want to be trapped in traffic... Kaida rubbed her eyes as she blinked twice. She had gotten about two hours of sleep, six hours less then normal, simply due to how she was on call frequently. Now, she had the rest of the day, and the next three, off simply due to the fact she hadn't taken one sick day or off day since she had begun her job as a Surgeon.

With only her thoughts as company in the car, Kaida's annoyance slowly drained as the traffic progressively got better, Kaida making it back home in one piece as she parked the car in her driveway. She'd need to change before she went anywhere, plan and simple. She had a busy few days, but she needed to make time for family before she began to fall asleep.

Getting out of her car, Kaida walked straight into home, shutting the door behind her as she pulled off her shoes, heading to her bedroom with a sigh. Her entire wardrobe was filled with kimonos and dresses of all kind, all of which Kaida was comfortable in, but little pants or shirts by themselves. All the ones she had were primarily fitting for work, but not visiting family.

Stripping down of her clothes, Kaida was eventually satisfied with the kimono she had put on. Multicolored with pink waves and purple lace, the base being a dark tide pool blue. Plopping down onto her bed, the next mission to was to a quick brush through of her hair, and once that was done she would be out the door and heading over to the Sohma family estate.

Within twenty minutes of fussing, Kaida was slipping on her sandals and throwing her phone and pager into her passenger seat. For one reason or another, however, the raven haired female as extremely reluctant to even start driving there. Sure she wasn't that far from it, so she'd park at least two-thirds away from the house to not be a bother. She needed to get herself sorted out on the way there. There was no reason to be such a stick in the mud, anyway, was there?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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Haruji stood there, looking at the goatish Yuuto with concern, still looking about them, hoping no one would notice a goat loitering their streets. Thus, when the front door swung open, Haruji was taken aback, stepping back in surprise before looking at the sight in front of him. Hiiro had, indeed, gotten ready, looking quite nice for the meeting to come, her green kimono a lovely shade… Then again, Haruji was a bit biased, after all, green was his favourite colour…

He got a bit distracted with this fact, his concentration snapping back upon seeing Hiiro’s disapproving face. What was wrong?... Was it because there was a goat and a young kid floating outside her house, making quite a bit of noise? Haruji never thought of looking fancy for the Family Head, and was taken aback once more upon Hiiro’s request that they return home to get prepared. Before he could respond, Hiiro returned once more into her place, leaving Haruji and Yuuto outside, Haruji himself looking quite stunned. He lifted the sleeve of his coat up to his face, sniffing it.

”Do I smell?” Haruji asked aloud, looking down at Yuuto, who had already turned around to return to his house, huffing and puffing about Ichirou and the Family Head. Although Haruji was quite happy, at the proposition of meeting another cousin of his, it was a strange time to feel optimistic, as the Family Head meeting was stressing them all out.
Yuuto began walking away, still in goat form, towards his house, apparently not seeing Haruji’s presence at all, however this did not deter Haruji’s interactions with his goatly cousin at all.
”I’ll see you there, Yuuto!” Haruji called, going the opposite way. Desperate times called for desperate measures; he would have to return home and at least grab a tie and sort out his hair and maybe grab an ironed shirt… it was still the afternoon, which meant minimal danger, although one had to be careful; it was dangerous entering the house at any time.


The house in question being Haruji’s own home, not any of the residents of his family, no. It was quicker to climb into the first-floor of the two-storey house, into his room, the window always open for his return. It would take a while to return to his loving grandparents and after he explained the whole situation it would late in the evening. They cared, yet they spoke too much and, after all, all Haruji wanted was a tie.

To get into his bedroom, Haruji climbed up the drainage pipe that ran along the side of the house, swinging into the window with the ease of a professional. He knew for certain his father had a tie or two in his room, which was the place Haruji planned to take the tie from. His own bedroom in the house was quite sparse; one bed, an empty desk, a small wardrobe; there wasn’t much to come home to. Even his father’s room, a room someone actually lived it, was equally as empty, everything in its place and neatly kept. Haruji threaded carefully, sure no one was in the house yet still cautious.

It took him little time at all to find a tie, a lovely dark, rich colour of green. He almost laughed, thinking how it would compliment Hiiro’s kimono, yet it felt out of place to laugh in that room. Instead he put the tie on with no problem, smoothing the creases in his white shirt with his hand; he was still in his work uniform, which was plain in itself, put it would do. Haruji also took his coat off, making him less messy-looking than before; he would carry it with him instead, not trusting leaving it in the house.

Once he made sure his hair was fixed, his shoes quickly polished and his shirt tucked into spare black trousers he found in his own wardrobe, Haruji was forced to leave the house from the front door, fearing of getting dirty on his descent down the pipe. The kid didn’t take his time once outside the house, walking quickly away as fast as he could until he could not longer see the house on the horizon behind him. He survived the infiltration that day; which was lucky, since he did not wish to spoil the day with any unsavoury interactions… even though he knew he would, eventually, return that week to do as such. However it was not the time to think about the future, when the present already had to be addressed.
As he was closer to the Sohma estate than Hiiro or Yuuto’s living places, Haruji decided to head there instead, believing he would meet them there. He did not rush down the avenues towards the house, his beige-brown duffle-coat folded and held at his side, looking quite formal indeed with his shirt and tie. Hopefully it would meet Hiiro’s expectations.

As Haruji continued to flatten the mess of hair he had with his hand, Haruji paid little attention to what lay in front of him, eventually bumping into someone in front of him, nearly falling over. Attempting to preserve his pristinely black trousers, Haruji caught his balance just in time knowing, since he did not transform into a rabbit, whoever he ran into was male.
”I’m so sorry!” Haruji cried, bowing down as low as he could without kneeling on the concrete side-walk, not taking the time to even look up to whom he was speaking to ”I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I’m in a bit of a rush and-”

Haruji kept his bowing position, continuing his apology, yet to realise that he had bumped into his cousin Ichirou who was also on his way to the Sohma estate...





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If Miuru was surprised by Aiko’s warm-enough welcome into his abode, she did not express it, nor did she express any gratitude of sorts for said warm welcome; she simply took a step in when offered, with a soft ”Thank you” as she went along.

She took a moment or two, once inside to respond to the latter half of Aiko’s greeting, slightly distracted by the sight of Keiko in the house also; although the silver-haired senior had made it evident that she was visiting, it was another to meet her there; it was a new experienced, visiting the house with little escort of external forces. It almost seemed that Keiko was moreso a deer rather than a rat, a deer caught in the headlights, frozen on the spot and looking down at the floor in a suspicious manner. Miuru raised a quizzical eyebrow at this behaviour, yet did not carry on with her curiosity within the conversation.

Instead she turned her gaze once more on Aiko, not quick with an answer, acting like a sponge, intaking the atmosphere she had taken a step into. It was heavy, yet it was not uncomfortable being there; besides, she wasn’t there for frivolous matters that the atmosphere would obstruct her goal. Ignoring the compliments that were simply relayed from her father to which, in her eyes, were unreliable, Miuru decided to finally get to the point of her visit.

”... I do not mind speaking with you whilst searching for the item. My time is not bound, Sohma-san... “ Miuru stated as clearly as Miuru could, remembering to always address the Family Head with respect, despite the fact that her father would prefer she went home as quick as she could. Miuru knew little of the Family Head, yet her father had already drilled her, in fear, before, to always show respect. Perhaps it irked her a twitch, showing respect to a stranger, however said irritation was quickly soothed by the fact that, since she knew little of Aiko, outside of rumours, she had little cause to not show him respect, especially since he did care for the family as their Family Head in many ways, explained to her before that incident.
At the thought of respect towards the Family Head, Miuru turned her stare to Keiko once more, who remained frozen in the spot she stood in.

”Keiko… fancy seeing you there…”
Her statement was quite confusing, especially since Miuru did, indeed, know of Keiko’s visit to Aiko, however in her monotone voice the small joke probably lost, if you could call it a joke at all. It was meant to “lighten” the mood, which was difficult, in such a dead-pan and serious tone.

Nonetheless, Miuru entered further into the house towards Keiko, giving a respectful nod to the Family Head on her way, her green irises slowly surveilling the room, wondering where her father had dropped his precious notebook.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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#, as written by Zalgo
”... I do not mind speaking with you whilst searching for the item. My time is not bound, Sohma-san... “

He was quite pleased with how the girl was behaving so far.
With any luck I can learn more about her and have no other obstacles in this already miserable day. His thoughts dwelled on all the happenings of his day, shaded by his already sour emotions while he watched Miuru silently explore the foyer with her eyes alone. "Excellent. Perhaps I can serve as your guide through the house for the time being while we search for said item and discuss various topics. Naturally as it is your first time here you must be unfamiliar with the setting, no doubt a hindrance to finding this possession belonging to your father." He offered his assistance as any good host would, showing fine manners to his guests despite his feelings towards them.

His feet glided along the floor silently as though he were walking along air, bringing him over towards the doorway on his left leading into the adjoining hallway. Before he was to take her along for the tour he realized others would be arriving soon, deciding there what he'd have Keiko do seeing as she was just standing there. "Keiko, if it is of no trouble to yourself would you please welcome the other members inside and tell them I'll be joining them shortly?" He asked of her, knowing well enough the answer before she even needed to speak. The mask of politeness he wore around others existed only to hide his real one, one which if discovered he knew would make trying to compel the other members to heed his words a far greater task.

He reacquired Miuru within his line of sight and in a most deliberate yet subtle motion he gestured for her to follow him into the house for a tour of his abode. "Do follow myself for the time being. It would be a shame for you to get lost here." he suggested to her, trying to sound and seem welcoming when at best he could accomplish mildly creepy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma

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Yuuto Sohma


It was quiet now. No Hiiro's calls of him to entertain her and help her out with things. No Haruji cooking for him like he always did whenever he stayed over. It was only him, his thoughts and all the glass scuptures that he had made over the years. Some made for himself and other intended as gifts that had never given due to forgetfulness. Smoke filled the living room, leaving a human Yuuto standing in his living room with his furred pants in hand slippers in his mouth.

It was something that he had grown used too, but not something that he enjoyed though. He knew the days where he very nearly became a goat due to the stress of work, but meeting the head had always made him turn very quickly. 'This is the son of the old head after all....it's not like he's the same right? An apple could always roll away from the tree right?" he thought to himself as he dug through his closet for some kind of formal wear. The only thing he could find was a purple kimono that he hadn't worn in a long time. He sighed, holding the fabric in his hands. "Damn the curse for what it's worth." He muttered to himself as he put it on and made his way downstairs.

If anything, to be in the good graces of the new head would be something that he could use to his advantage and at the very least not wind up with another scar on him somewhere. He looked around the many glass art pieces that he had and picked up one of his earlier pieces an experimental neon heart that he had made a while trying to get into making neon signs. It seemed like something that would be a nice gesture. And if no...well it was something pretty to look at at the very least.

He made his way outside, the glowing heart tucked away in an shoulder bag. The walk toward the Sohma estate always felt like a death walk. It wasn't often that he went, but when he did it was something that he had loathed since childhood. Then again there was the glimmer of hope that it (and his sanity) wouldn't go down in flames...again...


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma

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Ichirou Sohma

Deep in Ichirou’s gut, he felt as though the day was only beautiful because it was trying to trick him; all the pretty young women walking around in their sundresses as they shop with their friends, kids running around and playing tag, the sun warming him almost to the core. Yeah, something was bound to happen. Maybe it would be really bad or really good.

Thud

Ichirou held his breath in as he waited to transform. When that didn’t happen, he sighed in relief somewhat louder than a normal person would.

I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I’m in a bit of a rush and-

Ichirou turned to look at the much smaller figure. “No worry about it, kid,” he laughed as he pat him on the shoulder. The boy looked familiar, but considering his deep bow, it was impossible for Ichirou to see his face from that angle. So Ichirou kneeled down and looked at the boys face. It was Haruji, the Rabbit.

Haru!” Ichirou squished Haruji’s face between his hands as he stood up, roughly but not enough to hurt the smaller man. “What are you doing zoning out here! That’s dangerous for a soft little guy like you.

Ichirou proceeded to pinch Haruji’s cheeks before letting go. The only other Zodiac member he saw often was Keiko. So it was refreshing to see the others once in a while. Being one of the oldest, he found it interesting to watch the others grow. Not that they had much opportunity to grow, a lot of them had gone to all boys or all girls schools.

Maybe I’m just being narrow minded,” Ichirou scolded himself out loud. The when he realized he wasn’t talking in his head, he smiled sheepishly and turned back into the direction he was heading. “So are you heading to the Sohma Estate? I was hoping to get some fresh air and hang out with Yuuto, but I have a feeling something is going to happen.

Ichirou smiled at the path ahead of him.

I just hope it’s a blessing and not another curse.” Ichirou breathed in deeply. Something about the weather was just getting to him. It was perfect … perfect for a family outing.

We should have a bonfire or something Haru! We can have everyone come! That way we can get to know each other more! What do you think?!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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Keiko Sohma

Keiko… fancy seeing you there…” Keiko bowed to Miuru and smiled.

It’s nice to see you again as well, Miuru.

Aiko continued his conversation with Miuru and Keiko went back to her apathetic state, simply waiting further lead.

"Keiko, if it is of no trouble to yourself would you please welcome the other members inside and tell them I'll be joining them shortly?"

Of course, Aiko. It is absolutely no trouble at all!” Keiko bowed again, this time to Aiko and turned for her leave. She felt as though it would be better for her to wait in the front entrance and she could guide everyone from there. It made things a lot easier and they could all converse freely as she stayed posted at her station.

She was still in her school uniform, which somewhat made her feel even worse. She was sure everyone else would be nicely dressed to meet Aiko, but she hadn’t even bothered to take time to change. It seemed as though Aiko was used to seeing her in her uniform, but the formal part of her nagged at how indecent and rude it was for her to wear such common clothes in the presence of such a higher up.

Out of habit, Keiko kept her hands folded neatly in front of her and her eyes to the floor. She would only see the others feet when they arrived, but that was all she needed. At the moment, she was the doorman, all she had to do was say hello, show them to the room and inform them of Aiko’s momentary absence. It wasn’t a special day, not that Keiko was aware of, so not that many people should have been showing up. Most the Zodiac would have been getting off of work and going home. Who could have had business with him didn’t even cross her mind. Keiko wasn’t very in the loop, everything she knew about them really came from Ichirou. She occasionally saw Miuru on the way home from school, and Pippa did go to the same school as her, but other than that, Keiko was at home, studying or in the park with Ichirou. She couldn’t even recall the last time she had seen or even talked to anyone else in her family.

Most of her life had been revolved around Aiko. Then there was what time she dedicated to Ichirou. She shared a loving bond with 14 people and she willingly got to know two of them.

Another reason to add to the ‘Why They Should Hate Me’ list …

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Atsuhiko Sohma

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#, as written by ShyFox



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He sat in the back seat quietly as things zipped past, his hand resting just under his chin while leaning his elbow just on the edge of the car window.

"Atsu... we should be there soon, you should prepare yourself." said an old but wise sounding voice from the drivers seat.

Atsuhiko gave a long drawn out sigh not really responding to the man driving the car. Part of him was sad that he would never be scolded by the older man, and another part of him was glad to get away from his nagging. Either way deep down he was going to miss Masa. The now elderly man had been caring for him since before he could talk, but now that Atsu was on his way to live with the other Sohma's there really wasn't a need for the caretaker any more. Caretaker?.... Atsu remembered the first time he had called Masa the "nanny", it was an almost hour long explanation of the difference between himself, his job, and that of a nanny. Atsu could remember just wishing he would have been scolded and sent on his way instead of talked to death. But that was just the way Masa was, he would much rather talk to you then raise a hand to you, so in a way Atsu believed he ben grateful to the old man for not beating the snot out of him.

"Masa-sama.... what do you think, they'll think of me?".

It was a simple question that made the older man take in a long drawn out breath then release it. The old caretakers eyes looked at the young man he had seen grow from a babe to a young man over the years. He had never truly been familiar with the curse that his new employer had spoken to him about when he took up the task of caring for the young child. That was until an accidental bump into one of the maids young daughters. For a while Masa had thought that maybe his employer was just a little touched in the head for believing that such a curse existed, but how could he deny it's existence any longer when he watched his young charge morph into a cat before his very eyes.

"Atsu... all I can tell you... is to be true to yourself no matter what. You were told of the curse and... the cat... sadly I will no longer be with you to protect you from the unknown. So the best thing for you to do is... know yourself. You know that you are not what some of these other family member might expect you to be Atsu... prove to them that you are not the cat from the story. That you can become something much more than that, show them that you do not believe that this curse runs your life and that you will rise above it. Other than that.... I wish the best for you. You have my cell phone number, and the address of where I am to take up my next employment. If ever you wish to talk to me, write me, or even visit, you know how to contact me.", Masa's voice actually sounded slightly emotional with a small hint of sadness in it.

Atsuhiko looked out the window again as the car stopped in front of the Sohma main residence. He knew that he would not be staying in the main house, because he was the cat, but he had to be 'introduced' to the rest of the family... before he was shoved in a corner somewhere. He turned his glance from the home back up to the drivers seat where Masa gave another sigh and turned around to look at Atsu. The young mans eyes almost pleaded with the old man, begging him to just drive away and take him along to wherever he was going to next.

Masa felt for him, the last thing he wanted for the young man that he felt for like his own child was to be taken somewhere he knew he would surely be mistreated, and shunned. But what other choice did he have, there had been no sign of the boys mother since she abandoned the family, and no other living relatives than his fathers family.

"Be strong Atsu... and I'm sure in the end... all will be well. One day, you will be able to leave this place, or you might find someone to share your life with. I just hope that whatever it is... makes you happy." Masa reached out to shake the young mans hand.

Atsuhiko nodded at the man he thought of like a father, reached out, and grasped the elder's hand and firmly shook it in his.

"Thanks Masa... for.... everything." before things could get more emotional than they already were. Atsu, opened the door and got out of the car. He then went to the trunk that had already been opened, pulled out a couple of suit cases and set them on the sidewalk in front of the gate to the Sohma main house. There was a casual wave to Masa, the car started up, and began to pull away. Masa glanced back several times at Atsuhiko in the rear view mirror, before he had gotten too far away and could no longer see him. He almost felt as though he was abandoning his child, but ultimately, he was just the boys caretaker... and he had to move on.

Atsu watched for a while till the car was out of sight, a couple of times he almost felt like tears might be forming in his eyes, but he forced them back. After a moment or two, Atsuhiko took his suitcases, one in each hand, and with a deep breath stepped through the gates of the Sohma estate. The walk up to the doors felt almost like an eternity, like his feet were encased in cement as he trudged up to the main house.

With another deep sigh he made it to the front door, setting his suitcases on either side of him.

"Well.... here goes." and with that he reached up and knocked on the door of the Sohma main house.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Atsuhiko Sohma

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Keiko Sohma

Keiko had been feeling as though no one would show, but it was probably just the silence that was making everything dragged on. At that, she began to slightly hum the piece she had been working on for piano. Not long after, she began to tap her side to keep time. Knock knock, it threw her off completely, but she should have known better than to dwell on her thoughts instead of stay sharp.

The smaller silver-haired girl slid the front entry way door open and bowed.

I apologize, but Aiko is on business right at this moment. But he should be done shortly, if you would like to follow me to the room he has requested everyone remain in until he returns.” Her usual apathetic state was interrupted by the confusion she felt, for when she looked up, there was a very unfamiliar face before her. “Hello there. I think you might have the wrong residence. Would you like me to help point you in the correct direction?” It seemed to instant as she changed to the Keiko everyone who wasn’t a Sohma knew. The Keiko that smiled instead of the one that seemed to stare into the distance with a blank expression.

Keiko noticed his eyed and let out a small laugh. “What curious eyes you have, sir. They are quite the oddity. I find them very mystifying if you don’t mind me saying.

She assumed that he must have been a tourist or just moved to town; otherwise he wouldn’t have wandered into the Estate. Keiko was sure that last thing any newcomer would want is to be yelled at for wandering into the wrong place. But there was a slight twitch in the pit of Keiko’s stomach. Maybe she had seen him around before?

My name is Keiko, by the way. Keiko Sohma.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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Kaida's hands twitched as she slammed her car door shut, grabbing her phone tightly as she scurried the remaining way to the house, her pace fast and effective before she came to a halt. Who was that? Not to far away, she could see a gentlemen in a purple kimono... Was that Yuuto? Sure they hadn't really spoken much, but she still smiled, waving her hand in the air.

"Hey! Yuuto!" Kaida gave a small jog towards the male, eventually coming to yet another stop. "It's nice to see you again... You look like you're actually marching to your death, what's wrong?" Kaida mused, quickly before backtracking. "Ah, I do hope you still remember me, I don't believe we met a lot besides the times we've bumped into each other, have we?" The raven's smile was a gentle one that was a filled with ease.

Why was she so compelled to ramble today? Was it because of how much she rarely talked to anyone besides her coworkers and Aiko? The thought made Kaida's smile faultier, not a lot, but enough to be noticeable to those who liked to observe others. Of course, the fact of the matter was that Kaida rarely bumped into the older members of the family, and a very slim few even bothered to have her number.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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Yuuto Sohma


Yuuto's thoughts wandered toward ways of getting out of the estate without picking a fight with someone or completely loosing his mind to a cocktail of anger and fear. Muttering to himself in gaelic didn't help the fact that some called his crazy every now and again. However this was a common occurance that he had become used to it.

His train of thought was interupted by the call of his name. He turned and tilted her head to the side. "Yes...I..." He mused trying to remember who she was. His head perked up a bit in thought at it came to her mind. "That's right. I think I've only ever seen you at the estate until now." He said scratching the back of his head. He looked at the ground avoiding eye contact somewhat out of lingering nervousness. He sighed at her question, still feeling like he was on a march to his own doom. "I'm just headed off to see the head is all. *Téigh i dtigh diabhail more like it...Haven't really been there since I went to see that last head so long ago actually."

He adjusted himself and pushed the glass encased glass heart back in the bag as it seemed to want to fall out with every step. It was always heartbreaking to see one of his creations get destroyed because of something like that. He looked up, trying to look less nervous than he actually was, though the goat eyes where every apperant for someone who observed people a lot. All he wanted really was to go back to his furnace and swing molten glass around into something pretty, not loose his mind in front of the family. Especially family that he wasn't that familiar with.

*'Go in the devil's house

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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Haruji was uncertain whether he felt flustered due to the fact that he bumped into someone, or simply relieved that it was a man and not a woman; nevertheless, he kept his head down whilst apologising, his eyes slightly closed, his face red out of humiliation.
“No worry about it, kid,”
Haruji opened his eyes, recognising the voice, and saw the face of Ichirou Sohma up close to his, the Rabbit Zodiac member was given such a fright to warrant staggering back a step or two. Not that Ichirou was scary in the least, of course, no; however Haruji did not expect it to be the person he just so rudely bumped into. As Ichirou began to get to his feet, Haruji began to regain his composure, unsure what to do other than make sure he looked presentable.

“Haru!” Ichirou began, the fall not spoiling his mood in the slightest, it seemed.
“Ichirou-kun!” Haruji sputtered, his face a mixture of happiness and surprise, however whatever he wished to say was cut off by his cousin squeezing his face, as if he was a doting grandfather greeting his grandson. Haruji didn’t complain, however; it could have been a lot worse, and it was good to see Ichirou, especially since he survived the accident with no qualms. He seemed rather fine, in fact, and as lively as ever, towering above Haruji, despite the fact that both were in their early twenties.

“What are you doing zoning out here! That’s dangerous for a soft little guy like you.” Ichirou began, after the face-pinching. However Ichirou did ask a good question; what was Haruji thinking, zoning out there? In his rush he neglected his surroundings and, thus, endangered not only himself but the Sohma name.
”Sorry Ichirou-kun; I guess I was in a hurry, and kinda didn’t pay attention at all, heh…” Haruji responded, giving a sheepish grin whilst flattening out his messy-hair. However it seemed like Ichirou was in a world of his own, slipping into a contemplative state that made Haruji take a step closer to his cousin, with a quizzical expression. Sometimes, of the odd occasions Haruji did actually meet up with Ichirou, he often seemed to be doing such, especially in the park; as if he was in a deep state of thinking.

”Ichirou-kun?” Haruji asked, waving a hand in front of Ichirou’s face, receiving the response of ”“Maybe I’m just being narrow minded,” in return. Haruji was unsure what to think of this, so instead of words, Haruji gave Ichirou an uncertain smile; bright and big, yet slightly confused on what Ichirou had stated. Ichirou gave a gingerly smile of his own, realising that, whatever he said did not quite fit the conversation and hustled on to change the topic.

“So are you heading to the Sohma Estate? I was hoping to get some fresh air and hang out with Yuuto, but I have a feeling something is going to happen.”
At the mention of the Sohma Estate, Haruji’s face lit up, as if he just remembered what he was rushing for in the first place, however his expression somewhat dimmed at the proposition of ‘something happening’. Haruji was never a fan of conflict, nor was he an expert by any means; he was usually the one in the background, meekly trying to find a middle-ground, even if both oppositions denied that there was any.

“Yeah, I’m heading to the estate just now! Although, last time I checked on Yuuto he was a bit, uh, busy, so he might be a bit late but… but you don’t think something will happen, right?”
Haruji’s expression darkened ever so slightly once more, into a small frown, as if he never considered the dangers of wandering into the estate and the issues that could be brought up. Hiiro was pregnant, with lone motherhood a potential future. Yuuto disdained the Family Head to the point of pure hatred. Haruji was a bit oblivious and, if not a bit, ignorant to never realise the dangers of waltzing in with an innocent mindset. His small frown almost developed into a rare large one, however Ichirou’s continued dialogue distracted Haruji a bit more.

“I just hope it’s a blessing and not another curse.”
The optimism in the statement, although laced with a bit of pessimism, lightened Haruji a bit more. The Family Meetings shouldn’t always be feared; sometimes it was good to meet up with everyone again. Whether Ichirou meant it like that or not, it brought a big smile to Haruji, as he seemed to perk up in less than a second. Before Haruji could interject, however, Ichirou carried on.
“We should have a bonfire or something Haru! We can have everyone come! That way we can get to know each other more! What do you think?!”
Haruji’s face was similar to a child’s when confronted with sweets at a candystore; the notion of a bonfire brought on the notion of barbeque, and barbeques meant cooking, which meant good food to him.
”Ichirou-kun, that is the best idea ever!” Haruji exclaimed and, in excitement, began to run down the path of Ichirou, stopping after a step or two ”Come on! We have to tell the others!”

It was difficult to negotiate with someone whose eyes seemed to sparkle right in front of you, and was also almost skipping down the road ahead of you. It was difficult not to think of Haruji as a young high-schooler interacting with his much older cousin; his own flimsy expressions and behaviour was quite childish. Despite Haruji’s innocent demeanour, however, he himself quite understood his actions, almost accepting that the world seemed a bit brighter by acting bright...




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Miuru, herself, felt a bit suspicious of the Family Head Aiko Sohma; from what she had heard, he was suppose to be… well, not polite and welcoming into his abode, that was for sure. Keiko’s behaviour was quite suspicious also, yet Miuru had yet to comment on it. For all she knew, this was the norm, and said normality was nothing that her opinion should oppose upon. Unless they started blood sacrifices in the middle of the lounge together, Miuru did not concern herself with how they held themselves; at least they let her in to begin with. After all, it was her own father’s silliness that caused her presence, which was equally as suspicious; she wondered how longed he planned for this meeting, or if at all; maybe he was losing his mind, and she did not even know about it. Whatever the case was, Miuru’s current cause was to find the notebook and survive whatever meeting was occurring; it could have been worse, honestly, to Miuru.

"Excellent. Perhaps I can serve as your guide through the house for the time being while we search for said item and discuss various topics. Naturally as it is your first time here you must be unfamiliar with the setting, no doubt a hindrance to finding this possession belonging to your father."
He did speak an awful lot, despite the fact that Miuru spoke so little. Whatever, he was going to provide her a guide, if not through someone else; she could nosey around a bit for the lost item, at least… The only bit that concerned her was the ‘discuss various topics’ sections. Miuru was not so lost in her own psyche not to establish the solid fact that she was flawed in conversation skills. However the Family Head seemed ever so eager to speak, if not even a bit, and Miuru found little ground to refuse a little chat at least.

”Thank you for cooperation…” Miuru noted, pushing the bridge of her spectacles up her glasses, her behaviour formal, rigid and her ordinary, in regards to Miuru’s interactions. The Dog Zodiac member obientant tailed along the Family Head as he began to motion further in the foyer, Keiko still curiously in her spot, deserving another blank stare from Miuru. It did not seem she was joining them on the tour either, as Aiko requested her to “welcome the other members inside” before turning once more into the house, permitting Miuru with words and indications that she was welcomed there in a sense. His welcoming, although warm in one aspect, seemed quite awkward, in the least, as if Aiko was rowing against the tide.

Miuru didn’t seem to care much, however, about this, and it meant little whether he was smiling or frowning, laughing or shouting at her; if he was willing to let her get inside to retrieve the item, that was enough for her. Not even Aiko’s note of “getting lost” in the house stir any remarks on Miuru’s empty face, as she simply lay her eyes on the smaller cousin of hers, her face hard to read beyond ‘indifferent’.
”I… I shall not stray.” Miuru confirmed with a nod, following Aiko into the house, her eyes scanning the area around her ”I… simply wish to find… notebook…”

It seemed like that was the only description Miuru had for her father’s lost item; ‘notebook’. She had a feeling that she would know it once coming across it, and hoped that no one had been going through it. Miuru had yet to figure out what was concealed within this secret notebook and, although Miuru had no solid ideas, she was beginning to slowly realise what may lay within it. It was either a registry of medicines and dosages given to patients or… no, he was not stupid enough to bring it outside of his house, Miuru hoped. This made her eyes seem all the more livelier in comparison to her face, searching as though there was something to be hid...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma

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Hiiro sighed once again and she began to twirl her fingers around a small strand of red hair that had already escaped from the bun on top of her head. Of course, she had an odd feeling about all of this. She never knew why it was such a big deal to go meet the head. It seemed to stress a lot of people out. 'Will it stress me out?' She thought, 'Would that hurt the baby somehow?' She thought again, a worried expression flashing across her face. Maybe this was all a bad idea. Maybe she shouldn't even bother going. It was sure bothering everyone else. But she knew she had to. She had no choice. She looked up at a nearby by clock that was hanging up on the wall, and sensed that the boys were already heading to the Sohma Estate instead of coming back here. She turned around, twisted the knob on the door, and opened it.

Once she stepped out of her house, she lifted the small doormat and took out a tiny bronze key and locked the front door before putting the key under the mat again. She stood her small stature up straight, lifting her chin high. She smoother out the back of her kimono that had gotten all crunched up from leaning on the back of the door. With two fingers, she stuffed that pesky strand of hair back in the bun and continued on her way. She just hoped that the boys at least tried to look their best...Even though she can't imagine what men say is their best...

She continued walking down the path to the Sohma Estate, feeling a sort of anxiety build up inside of her now. She felt as if someone was tugging on her sleeve and telling her to go back. 'Ugh. Cut it out, Hiiro!' She mentally thought, thinking that her mind was playing tricks on her. She continued walking until she saw a small figure in the distance. Hoping it was one of the boys, she quickened her pace up and realized it was Haruji.... and someone else beside him. Haruji, himself, looked very bouncy for some reason...

"Oh, there you are! Wait up!" She called out, quickening her pace up quite a bit to meet with him, "Do you know where Yuuto went? Is he heading over to the Sohma Estate, too? My gosh, why are you so far away?! It's hard for me to--" Her sentence was cut short once she had gotten up to him, looking up at him and taking in his full appearance.



~ FLASHBACK ~
Weee~ :D




"You look like you're over-dressed." A mans voice said quietly behind her. Of course, she would recognize that voice anywhere. "I am not! Maybe you're just...under....dressed..." Hiiro snapped back quickly, her voice fading away at the end of her sentence. There she was, in fact, over-dressed. They were just going to a very fancy dinner, but she felt the need to look her best. She was wearing a soft pink kimono, a colour that some would get confused with white because it was such a light pink colour. Her hair fell down it curls, with hair accessories and flowers stuck in her hair. She was standing near a window, looking outside with her arms folded in front of her. She didn't even bother to look back at her fiancé.

She could hear a small chuckle behind her, only making her stick her chin up higher with what looked like a slight annoyed look on her face. Her fiancé, Daisuke, knew she wasn't really mad. It was just the way she acted. Even though she acted mean, he knew she really wasn't. And for some reason, he loved her for that. She could give him the meanest look, and that'd only make him love her more.

"I'm just kidding. You look beautiful." He said with a serious expression on his face. She turned around, finally looking at him. His hair was smoothed back with gel, the first time she has actually ever seen it look that way. He was wearing a plain black shirt that buttoned up with matching black pants. He was trying to get his stubborn tie to work...so it would look just right. The tie was a dark shade of green, just like that of a Laurel Leaf Willow trees leaves. She smiled.

"You don't look so bad yourself."




~ END OF FLASHBACK ~
Yay~ :D




Tears were starting to build up in Hiiro's eyes just from the memory. Hiiro wasn't the one to cry, let alone cry in front of people, but she couldn't help it. It pained her. The memories she got every so often. She suddenly realized that Ichirou was there with them, so she quickly turned around and wiped away the tears that were starting to fall from her eyes and down her cheeks.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! It's just these hormones...It's so hot out here and all. I'm sorry."
She quickly said, all while brushing away her tears and using her hand as a fan to bring the heat off her face. "Hello Ichirou. I'm sorry. It's just....Today isn't my day." She half laughed, half cried. 'God, this is embarrassing! Stop!' she mentally told herself, but somehow she couldn't stop crying. She couldn't go to the head like this. She had to stop.

"I'm going to...go find Yuuto. I'm sorry again. I hope we can meet up soon, Ichirou. Haruji, meet me...somewhere." She rushed quietly as she held a hand under her now plugged up nose. She quickened her pace up again, leaving the two boys to think about what the hell just happened. She mentally cursed at herself while she continued walking away, looking for Yuuto.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Atsuhiko Sohma

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#, as written by ShyFox



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Atsu rubbed the back of his head nervously, first rattle out of the box and he runs into a girl. Not his most ideal situation.. but from what he gathered she was a Sohma like him, so there were no worries if they bumped into each other or something.

"Uuuuh nice to meet you Keiko my name is.... Atsuhiko... Sohma.", he said with cracks and breaks in his voice just out of sure nervousness.

He wasn't sure how she would react, she clearly believed that he was someone that had wandered onto the Sohma house and was just lost. Granted he felt completely lost but he was sure that he was in the right spot. When she commented on his eyes like a curious child he kind of side glanced with a slight blush crossing his cheeks. He wasn't actually aggravated or upset about the question, he had dealt with questions about his eyes his entire life, but that didn't change the fact that it embarrassed him sometimes.

"Yeah... I know they're weird... listen. I was told I have to come here.... and then they would tell me where I should go from that. I'd really like to talk to whoever is in charge, and get that over with... ." he said with allot of nervousness and uncertainty.

He knew that the person he would more than likely be sent to was the head of the Sohma house, and from what he had heard that wasn't necessarily a good thing. The head or the 'God' was typically cruel to everyone in the Sohma family, bitter, ill and a complete control freak. But the head always certainly hates the Cat in the family. And the fact that Atsu was just now showing up... meant that he had years of cruelty to catch up on. But some how, Atsu wasn't really afraid of what might happen.... he was afraid of how he might react, and what the rest of the family would think of him if he acted badly. If there was one thing he didn't like it was someone that thought they could control Atsu by being a tyrant, and if this head of the family tried to get onto him telling him how he was the worthless, ignorant, useless Cat. Well he knew that his temper would fly, and he might not be able to control what comes out of his mouth. He didn't grow up knowing the story of the zodiac, or living by its stupid rules, so anything that the cat is supposed to be.... he didn't believe one bit.

As he looked down at this girl, he bent down slightly again picking up his suitcases. He didn't know what animal she was, or even if she was a member of the zodiac. He just assumed she was if she was in the main house. She was kind of cute in a small mousy way and he wondered how she got her hair to be the color it was. But to prevent himself from looking like a dumb ass he kept his mouth shut and the comment to himself.

"Ummm can I come in now?" he asked looking around what he could see in the foyer of the home.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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"Yes...I..." Kaida watched as the younger male's head perked just a bit, "That's right. I think I've only ever seen you at the estate until now." Kaida drew her gaze away to look in front of them as she listened to Yuuto sigh. "I'm just headed off to see the head is all. *Téigh i dtigh diabhail more like it...Haven't really been there since I went to see that last head so long ago actually."

'Oh yeah, I do believe hearing that they weren't very fond of each other... Or at least, he and the previous Head. Chances are it might very well be the same case now...' Kaida looked back over to Yuuto, her tone one that really seemed carefree at the moment. "Well, to introduce myself properly, I'm Kaida. I live pretty far away, but I'll be moving close by if I can find a place to leave that isn't close to my brother's location." Kaida neatly folded her hands in front of herself as they walked... "You know... I'm sure everything is going to be okay. I'm heading over too, actually, so even though you don't really know me I promise to be there if you need me, okay?"

Silence was quickly to follow as she quickly picked up on the messenger bag with curiosity. "If you don't mind me asking, what's in the bag?" In a way, she must of looked like a curious little girl a bit with a small smile and a small skip in her step.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma

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Ichirou Sohma

Ichirou-kun, that is the best idea ever!” Haruji exclaimed and, in excitement, began to run down the path of Ichirou, stopping after a step or two “Come on! We have to tell the others!” Ichirou smiled at the bouncy little adult in front of him. It was always nice, from what he could remember, to be around Haruji.

Before Ichirou could follow the rabbit to respond, a distant voice approached the two.

"Oh, there you are! Wait up!" Hiiro called out, quickening her pace up quite a bit, "Do you know where Yuuto went? Is he heading over to the Sohma Estate, too? My gosh, why are you so far away?! It's hard for me to--" Out of nowhere, the woman stopped in her tracks and stopped her speech. Ichirou looked at Hiiro, concern clear on his face. He only took a few steps towards her before she snapped out of what ever trance she was in.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! It's just these hormones...It's so hot out here and all. I'm sorry." She quickly said, all while brushing away her tears. "Hello Ichirou. I'm sorry. It's just....Today isn't my day." She half laughed, half cried. "I'm going to...go find Yuuto. I'm sorry again. I hope we can meet up soon, Ichirou. Haruji, meet me...somewhere."

Hiiro rushed off towards the Sohma Estate, leaving Ichirou utterly confused in her dust.

Well, I guess Aiko is getting a ton of visitors today … I hope Hiiro is okay by the time she gets there.” Ichirou turned to Haruji and scratched the back of his head. “Did I do something?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Atsuhiko Sohma

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Keiko Sohma

… listen. I was told I have to come here … and then they would tell me where I should go from that. I'd really like to talk to whoever is in charge, and get that over with …

Atsuhiko Sohma … and he was sent here to talk to Aiko? He must be one of the Zodiac, Keiko thought. Now that she thought of it, he was looking at her like he was trying to figure something out about her. Keiko bowed to him, in order to apologize for thinking him an outsider.

I’m sorry for both my rude behaviour, oblivious actions and the momentary absence of Aiko. He should be back soon.

"Ummm can I come in now?" Keiko nodded and moved aside so he could enter. She wanted to ask which Zodiac he was, but she wasn’t sure if he really was. Keiko did feel something about him, the same something she felt around the other Zodiac members. But this one was slightly different.

This question may or may not apply to you, but you will understand what I mean if you have the ability to answer it. If I may ask, which are you? I am Keiko Sohma, the Rat.” Keiko slid the door closed and bowed again in introduction. She began to show him to the designated room for waiting. “I am sorry if I have met you before, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t. That or I don’t remember. I’m not in what you would call tip top shape.” Keiko laughed lightly, suddenly stopping. She looked away and motioned at the door. “I have to wait for the others to arrive, will you excuse me…

Her apathetic appearance emerged once again as she made her way to the foyer once more. Keiko wasn’t one hundred percent sure what she was thinking. It was a natural habit for her to be welcoming to a new face. She hadn’t even realized she had walked out in the middle of a conversation. Thank the heavens she didn’t realize. Keiko was always the type to scold herself uncontrollably for such rude behavior.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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#, as written by Zalgo
”I… simply wish to find… notebook…”

Aiko picked up on this detail almost immediately.
Ah, the notebook of her father no doubt and I don't believe it's just his personal thoughts on paper. Aiko did surmise as he led Miuru down the illuminated yet still surprisingly dark hallways. It was as though the bulbs only lit the small few feet of space within the portion of the hallway they were situated in, leaving the gaps in between lamps with little else but shallow darkness.

"First up, here is the kitchen. As you can see, my chefs have made hors d'oeuvres in preparation for when more
of the family arrive." He revealed a rather large and well kept kitchen stocked with state of the art kitchen appliances and utensils. The chefs there were working quite well, preparing the appetizers for the family with great skill. The chefs did communicate between each other frequently but all of it was strictly business. They did not speak of outside concerns,
joke around or even smile. It was a grim atmosphere indeed. Alas, he did not stay for long, continuing down the
darkened hallways to their next destination.


Down one hallway in particular the wall which held no doors was lined with portraits of all the former heads of the family, all in chronological order. "You can see the portraits of my father, the family head and each family head preceding him.
My ancestors have all had their place found upon this wall." He informed Miuru as they traveled down the hall. The way in which each portrait was drawn and arranged made them all look like they were watching them, their eyes following them all the way down the hall until the portraits themselves were out of sight. There was a blank opening at the end of the line,
a nameplate set at the bottom had yet to be etched.

"It is quite interesting. As I've heard you are but a year older than myself yet we have only now met. Not to say that there were not valid explanations on both our parts as to why a meeting such as this never came sooner but I have seen almost each of the older family members, your father included, at least once before." He conversed with her as they arrived upon their next stop within the manor. The sliding door opened to reveal a large Japanese rock garden. It's overwhelmingly grey hue was bathed in the noonday light, a light which made Aiko avert his gaze while standing askew of the opening as to not be directly within the path of the light. The garden was beautifully arranged, the rocks arranged in a flowing pattern which evoked an almost fluid feeling of flowing and ebbing despite their immobility. This arrangement worked well with the walkway which was suspended over the rocks like a bridge over a river.


There was one feature within the garden that stood out quite distinctly. A large ivory coloured table which stood upon a single pillar in lieu of legs. At the very edge of the table was another long ivory colored rod attached to the table's rim. At the top of the rod there was a long curved bar which bore a distinct similarity to a rib separated from it's ribcage affixed to it. "This is the garden. It's a purely aesthetic segment of this house although it does serve a purpose quite close to me. You see, I tend to feed the crows which come here, hence the table. I do enjoy watching them come and dine." He explained to her. His face was still colder than the stone of the tallest mountain's peak and yet despite his grave appearance his tone almost grew warm as he spoke of his hobby. Of course, that warmth did fade to nothing as he continued to speak.

"Your father has always been quite loyal, always serving my family to the best of his ability. He's been there for us in
the best of times... And the worst of times." His tone did harshen, a slight menacing element becoming part of his voice. "I've spent many years speaking to people well older than myself. I've only ever had seniority over others in title and training alone. Though you are indeed a year older than myself I intend to speak with you as an equal, if not in position within the family hierarchy then at least in age. That way I hope to foster a lack of need for such reservation as you've shown so far. Such intent is not ill welcomed, no?" He proposed his intentions to her, at least a part of them. The appearance of honesty was necessary in all things. To create a sense of sincerity in his words would make control so much easier as his father had taught him. His father was masterful in manipulating the other members of his family, selling them every word he spoke as though it was dogma, an absolute which was undeniable. Aiko knew he was not the man his father was. His only hope was to be even a shadow of the person his father was.

As such, to create trust between himself and Miuru would be a necessary step in transforming this newcomer into a valuable member of his retinue. After all, even as intelligent and dedicated as Keiko was she was still only one person. Kaida's counsel proved wise in the past but she did not serve him as Keiko did. Even if Miuru were to simply be motivated to not oppose his dictations that would be enough. He planned to work her into becoming another servant but should that fall through a friend would be a welcome position for her to fill as well. As it already was, he had few friends within this family
and the more he could garner the better. "I've spoken much already. How about yourself? How has life treated you
in these many years we haven't spoken?" He wanted to hear more about her. The more he could get her to open up the better and with each detail she releases to him their relationship could only grow.


As a person, he regarded her in only a slightly better light than the rest. Her natural shyness and quiet nature pleased him and the fact she was taller than him was of no consequence. He was used to looking up in order to speak with others. Her being almost his age and yet standing two feet over him was a mild novelty, something to be noted and sorted away to the back of his mind. As for her beauty, well, she was a female member of the Sohma family. Little else needed to be said in that regard, although her dress sense was quite plain, like vanilla. Still, the more audaciously dressed members of the family tended to be the more troublesome he found. The way she dressed was welcome enough.

Tucked deep within the back of his mind was that niggling fear which reared it's ugly head from time to time. The need for an heir. Just who would help him bring the next head of this family into this world? And how? The very thought of someone else's body heat within close proximity of his person repulsed him deeply. Even if I were to find an appropriate candidate for such deed any form of intimacy would be close to impossible he believed.


His concerns were many, each fear saturating him thoroughly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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Yuuto Sohma


Yuuto grimaced a bit. He wasn't all that used to meeting new people on such short notice, but a trip to the Sohma estate always let him come back with something new. At least this time it was something good. [b]"Well, to introduce myself properly, I'm Kaida. I live pretty far away, but I'll be moving close by if I can find a place to leave that isn't close to my brother's location." He nodded at her introduction, thinking of some of the houses that former neighbors have recently moved out of. They were somewhat small if they where anything like his place. He shrugged at this, turning back to Kaida. "I guess I am something of a very known face around the estate. I guess it wouldn't be a surprise though. The last Head had it for me something fierce." The goat shivered at the memory. He could even hear the sound of breaking pottery in his ears from that moment. Something he wished would not start again.

His head perked up at the mention of her being there for him, causing him to blush a bit. "You're not the only one now. Apparently I've worried so many people that they live near me just to get me out of the house more often. Hiiro lives about two doors down from me and Haruji is at my house a lot cooking. It's just a disorganized mess right now, but you're welcome to come by any time." He gave the best smile he could in the situation in an attempt to be friendly, though it looked more like a smile someone would make while grieving for a loved one.

He started carefully opening his bag, making sure the heart didn't fall onto the ground. He held up against himself so the light from it showed, it was still glowing like it was beating, causing Yuuto to giggle somewhat. "Just a piece I make some time ago. I was going to give it to the new head to quill any bad blood between us hopefully." He said, sliding it back into his bag as carefully as he took it out. "I work with glass as a hobby. And actually I have glass sculptures for everyone that I forgot to give everyone at Chirstmas due to my little mental break at home that day. You're also welcome to come get it, I'd love to see it go to a good home." It was a rare occerance for him to actually feel calm in going to the Sohma estate, then again he didn't have anyone walking with him to calm him down. At the very least it was good to have someone that wasn't hormonal and carrying life in their belly going on a tirade about whatever walking with him. That was for sure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

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"Oh, there you are! Wait up!"
When it seemed that Haruji and Ichirou were to return to the road towards the Sohma estate, they so happened to meet up with Hiiro, who she, herself, was making her way towards the estate, just as planned.
”Hey Hiiro!” Haruji began, giving a warm smile in Hiiro’s direction, however it felt as though the Snake Zodiac member was a bit occupied with herself. Although she looked quite beautiful in her sanguine kimono, with her hair and make-up nicely done, she seemed… well, very stressed out. Well, that was a given; after all, they were heading over to the Family Head, where Hiiro was planning to tell Aiko Sohma of her lone pregnancy. However her earlier, optimistic behaviour threw Haruji slightly off reality, and it was only when he saw Hiiro in her anxious state. Nonetheless, Hiiro continued on, still looking quite occupied with her own introspective-self.
"Do you know where Yuuto went? Is he heading over to the Sohma Estate, too? My gosh, why are you so far away?! It's hard for me to--"
At the mention of Yuuto, Haruji recalled what had happened earlier, also hoping that his goatish cousin had returned home safely. Yuuto, also, seemed quite occupied at the time; a family meeting was turning out to be quite a hectic and panicked affair. This was proven more evident, as Hiiro, once again, spaced out, almost as though she had forgotten she left a cooker on at home there and then.

”Hiiro?” Haruji inquired, taking a step towards his red-haired cousin, however it seemed as though she could not hear him, caught up within an intense thought of hers. It didn’t take Hiiro long, however, to snap out of it, looking a bit worse-for-wear from whatever she was thinking of. She was quickly to regain some composure, however, at the sight of Ichirou; she must’ve been wondering why Haruji was bouncing down the street only seconds before by himself! Nonetheless, Hiiro hastily brushed aside her odd behaviour as [color=#]”hormones”[/color], and was hastier to leave their company in search of Yuuto.
”Hiiro, hold on!” Haruji began, taking a step or two forward after her, however, once Haruji realised that it was futile to follow her, the young man let out a pensive sigh, rubbing the back of his head. Indeed, family meetings were chaotic indeed.

“Well, I guess Aiko is getting a ton of visitors today … I hope Hiiro is okay by the time she gets there… Did I do something?”
Haruji turned around to see Ichirou scratch the back of his neck, looking as mystified as Haruji; well, Haruji, at least, some part of the story, however he was starting to get the feeling that he knew quite little about Hiiro, despite how close he thought they were. Or, again, the family meeting was getting to everyone…
Oh, you did nothing!” Haruji exclaimed, facing Ichirou with a nervous smile ”It’s… just a rough day, I suppose, hahah…”

Haruji’s laughter trailed on awkwardly, however he was capable of still maintaining a smile.
”Anyway, we better head for the house! Otherwise the meeting will begin without us!”
Without another word, Haruji continued down the path the same as earlier, with a joyful step, however, unlike earlier, his doubts were eating more and more at him; will it be alright? Haruji couldn’t care less what the Family Head did to him, no; he had enough physical and mental lashing to gain a tolerance for it over the years. It unnerved him, however, to think of others in that situation… and yet there was no solution to the problem without conflict. It felt as though they were running into a rabbit trap, yet there was no where else to go, other than the Sohma Estates.

”Come on Ichirou, get a move on!” Haruji added cheerful, trying to boost his courage up as much as possible...


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And so the journey through the Family Head’s house began and, despite everything, Miuru would be lying to herself if she did not ever fester a curiosity for what lay inside the mysterious house. Such stigma and rumor had hovered its property over the years, a house Miuru had yet to step into until that very day, however it did not live up to the suspicious expectations that were thrust upon it. Whether or not it was the environment itself or simply Aiko’s calm and efficient way of guiding, Miuru could not tell, yet her eyes seemed more active than they usually do in a normal day. Who knew when she would be able to return to the house, to satiate her curiosity, and thus the girl planned to make the most of her visit, even if she did not seem to be enjoying the guide externally.

Her interest contrasted the dark atmosphere that garnered the house like a heavy piece of cloth, as not only the hallways contained an almost eternal darkness, but also the people within were more shadow like than human. They did there job with efficiently, yet there was no liveliness in the work.
Not that Miuru was complaining, no; she never did hold a sentiment for a lively environment, yet even she noted that it was all a bit strange, if not even abnormal. She simply nodded as Aiko moved on from the kitchen, as if she was only noting the layout, and nothing more. It was hard to navigate through the hallways, as the light was dim and weak in the house. It was also a strange thing to note, but with Aiko’s lead, it caused little hassle.
She wondered how her father could walk these halls; most likely due to experience, yet Miuru doubted the man’s eyesight quite a lot… yes, the same father who sent her on this odd errand. She had yet to fully figure it all out, as she kept silent and kept the time not wasted on words to think about [i]why
she was there; to find a notebook. Why? Well, it was important. But then again, he could have went in her stead, what was so important about that day-

"You can see the portraits of my father, the family head and each family head preceding him.
My ancestors have all had their place found upon this wall."

Miuru snapped back in concentration, naturally following Aiko around without even thinking. She was grateful that she did not fall over or even bump into the host in her deep thought; whatever was occurring within her household, she had to focus on the task on hand. The family portraits, indeed, hold Miuru’s interest, however whether or not it was the intense style of the portraits or not, it was uncertain. Nevertheless, Miuru took a closer look at the paintings or, at least, as close as she could without it being considered rude; they stared right back at her, each portrait containing the illusion that the figures within them watched passersby. There was only one portrait left empty, with no inscription to the nameplate.
“Who…” Miuru whispered, however it was barely audible, and Miuru did not elaborate on the question; if it was of importance, something would have been said.

"It is quite interesting. As I've heard you are but a year older than myself yet we have only now met. Not to say that there were not valid explanations on both our parts as to why a meeting such as this never came sooner but I have seen almost each of the older family members, your father included, at least once before."
Aiko’s question did not catch her off guard, especially since it was the first time he approached their lack of acquaintance in their brief company. Aiko, indeed, echo a question Miuru also asked herself, however Miuru had an inkling why; the rumors surrounding the Family Head were suspicious at best, her father protective of his now sole child. Yet she could hardly answer him with such an answer, especially since Miuru was uncertain of it herself.
”I… I participate a lot… school activities…”
It wasn’t untrue; Miuru was, indeed, often caught up in sport events held by the school, however it was not the best answer to the question. The Dog Zodiac member felt there was none available to her at the time, thus kept her suspicions to herself. All she knew, herself, was there was a reason why her father did not quite allow her with the Family Head, albeit Miuru had yet to decide which reason it could be.

It seemed like the question was put aside, for the moment, as Aiko escorted her out in the garden, a glaring bright light of the afternoon that was welcomed from the dark corridors of Aiko’s abode. It was, indeed, a beautiful garden, in many regards; laid out well, yet still maintaining a natural imagery. The rock garden did impress her to some degree as Miuru, colour-blind to some degree, never understood the aspect of having a green garden.
The grey, stone garden space, although dull to some, was a welcomed changed, which was expressed by adjusting her glasses on her face. The ivory table situated in the garden drew her attention, like a bright centerpiece of the painting, the rib-cage fixture interesting her the most, especially the one bone that had gone awry… There was something familiar to the statue, which lead her to think back on what her father once told her… Did the current Family Head not have difficulties, in regards to his rib-cage? Alas, her father never indulged her with the details, believing that she had no use of said information…

This is the garden. It's a purely aesthetic segment of this house although it does serve a purpose quite close to me. You see, I tend to feed the crows which come here, hence the table. I do enjoy watching them come and dine."
Aiko once go interrupted her train-of-thought, and although his face did not seem lively in surmising an activity he claimed he enjoyed watching, there was some sort of enthusiasm in his voice… Miuru thought anyway.
She found he spoke a lot, and was hard to read thus, as if the more words he spewed, the more it concealed… Or perhaps Miuru had grown too accustomed to brief, broken conversations. Most likely the latter, regardless, whilst talking of the crows his tone did… seem to change. Or, rather, it was a different aspect to a stranger she knew through stories in the years before that moment. However, the further they trekked in this conversation, the more in-depth they were journeying…

"Your father has always been quite loyal, always serving my family to the best of his ability. He's been there for us in the best of times... And the worst of times."
All through the tour, Miuru rarely looked up, beyond looking at the floors or walls, rarely even made note in her behaviour to indicate any interest or the like. However, at the mention of her father, Miuru looked up at Aiko straight on in the face; her expression, of course, did not change, however it was evident that he had her attention. Despite her ponderings of him, Miuru could care less what others thought of her father, however at the mention of “the worst of times”…

"I've spent many years speaking to people well older than myself. I've only ever had seniority over others in title and training alone. Though you are indeed a year older than myself I intend to speak with you as an equal, if not in position within the family hierarchy then at least in age. That way I hope to foster a lack of need for such reservation as you've shown so far. Such intent is not ill welcomed, no?"
Miuru’s “reservation”; she gave an audible sigh, supposedly a substitute for a laugh, however, to strangers, it sounded more like a sigh of thought. She found Aiko quite suspicious in his comment, as she found suspicion in anyone who found her distant, to some extent; Miuru shifted her glasses on the bridge of her nose, in the process of thinking.
He did speak some truths; they were, indeed, around the same age, in comparison to other members of the Sohma clan, it was odd, in fact, that they had not bonded one way or another due to this alone.
Of course, probably due to his ailments, that would be impossible, however, was it so strange to request friendship from one almost equal in age? What was the protocol for these situations? Miuru continued to fiddle with her glasses, looking less likely to be thinking, moreso simply fidgeting for one reason or another.

”I… … An acquaintance would not be… ill welcomed…”
Miuru almost repeated Aiko, however avoided the topic of being equals; this was the Family Head she was conversing with, she could not simply waltz about whilst paying no attention to her surroundings. It almost seemed that Aiko caught onto her lack of conversation, which was little to none; now faced the challenge of interacting.
"I've spoken much already. How about yourself? How has life treated you in these many years we haven't spoken?"
Miuru mused the questions asked of her. How strange to ask how she were, was she not standing in front of him patiently?
Alas, it was a question… she was not asked of lately, or in the same manner posed. Her mother avoided her at all costs, becoming just another tenant in the house; her father inquired about her well being, but it was moreso to check if she did not go wild in front of others once more.
As such, she gave another little sigh, a replacement for a smile, and looked at Aiko’s face as she spoke; it was polite enough to do so.

”I… am well, Sohma-san… There isn’t… really much to life…”
Miuru finally stopped messing around with her glasses, having calmed down a bit more. It was not as challenging as she thought it would be, conversing to the Family Head. If all she needed to do was to say she was fine to interact with him, Miuru found the job easy.
”Yourself… Sohma-san… is there… life here?”
Miuru never comprehended how odd a question she posed, nonetheless she meant it, to some degree; despite the beautiful garden, a full-working staff and a large home… something felt amiss. Or, rather, just like the chefs before, it felt as though there were shadows, not humans, wandering the house… although that was a far too elaborate thought on the situation to actually express. Miuru had yet to realise that what she had just said was rather elaborate and, daresay, quite gloomy, regardless, since Miuru was having a little “streak” in dialogue, she continued.
”Father… is a stick in the mud… Mustn’t be much company…”
The notebook had yet to escape her memory, of course; as much as the conversation was quite nice, she was still there on a job, an errand. Yet there was no need to rush it; there was another errand in hand, to see another dimension to her father… For she did find him quite to be a stick-in-the-mud, regardless of the smiles and cheer he acted upon.

Whether she found Aiko to be a stick-in-the-mud… she did not know. The atmosphere around him was quite heavy and distant, however they were never things Miuru would actively complain about, for she would be similar, in the regards of being somewhat aloof. Yet he talked quite a lot or, rather, quite a lot to Miuru’s standard. As she thought before, it felt that he was hiding something away from her, through his questions and narration. Almost as though this was one half of a stranger… Then again, as a stranger, in some aspects, she found Aiko hard to judge.

Speaking of Aiko, it seemed he was thinking, to some extent, to himself, as it took a while for Miuru to respond to his questions, even when they were brief and simple.
”... … …I… can hear the cogs in your brain… turning from here…”
Miuru threw in that last remark, almost like a bad attempt to lighten the mood, however which would probably be blown into the wind, due to the fact that Miuru kept her monotone voice whilst saying it. Yet her remark remained the same; being quite brave, she wondered what he was thinking of. A brave thought, and an almost hypocritical one, as many could ponder the same about herself. Regardless, Miuru had little idea of whether she would ever be allowed to meet the Family Head again, and a notebook could always wait.
Let her curiosity be satiated before she returns to her “happy household” environment...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aiko Sohma Character Portrait: Miuru Sohma

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zalgo
”I… … An acquaintance would not be… ill welcomed…”

This was good in Aiko's eyes. His proposal was well received enough which was a step in the right direction. Any and all feedback was crucial in guiding his approach to bonding with her and knowing a method had some hope of progression was even more beneficial. As she spoke he noticed an odd psychological tick of hers where she would adjust her glasses despite having adjusted them no more than a minute ago. To people more comfortable with being around people the finer details often found themselves lost on them. Ticks, odd habits, speech, all these factors were observed for the sake of better guiding one's own conversation seeing as how a person like himself has had trouble in the past with properly conversing with other people in ways that go beyond simple master and servant routines.


”I… am well, Sohma-san… There isn’t… really much to life…”

A very standard answer. Not very informative, seemingly par for the course of this conversation. If there was one detail he could immediately take away from just talking with her it was that she didn't much care for talking. Despite the lack of desire to express much detail upon looking deeper into her words there was more to be gleamed from such simple responses. He noticed a slightly more depressed tone given the phrasing of her response in comparison to some of the other family members. When she said there wasn't really much to life he deduced that that could either mean she's bored of her routine life and looking for more or perhaps something of a more depressing train of thought. Alas, it was all but speculation, tenuous in nature.


”Yourself… Sohma-san… is there… life here?”

His expression changed ever so slightly to a bit of a puzzled look. His gaze turned towards the rock garden momentarily, pondering if she was wondering about the presence of life in a garden comprised almost entirely of stones. His stone cold expression of indifference returned as he assumed she wasn't being literal as to the location and meaning. He did consider the more figurative meaning of her question after his temporary understanding of the matter. He could not deny that his house was rather grim in nature, influencing those within it. Miuru had continued speaking but his thoughts did not turn from that aspect of her inquiries.


”... … …I… can hear the cogs in your brain… turning from here…”

He had heard such a folksy metaphor before although it was from someone much less bearable in temperament than herself.
"I would dare wonder what the mechanism of a brain would sound like. Seeing as how the components comprising the brain are entirely soft and unlike a cog in many ways I imagine the onomatopoeia for a brain in the process of thinking would be akin to a squishing noise." His response to her dry attempt at humorous levity was delivered in a similar seriousness.

The silence that followed was palpable, thick like an encroaching molasses. He did consider her conversation, replaying the words inside his head and taking apart the words in sequence. He looked up to the sky whilst shielding his eyes from the light, appearing to be looking for something. He searched for the dark moving shapes and listened for the tell-tale sound of crows wings flapping. He knew they wouldn't be here, not now at least, but his heart did hope.
I shouldn't expect for them to be present right now. They always tend to come around the later portion of the evening when there is food to be had.


"I cannot lie and say such atmosphere was an accident. My father did take great pains to keep the staff on focus at all times, as he was focused on his role all the time as well. I do not disagree with his reasoning." He answered her question in a manner most direct, not really beating around the bush so to speak. With a motion to Miuru indicating his wish for her to follow he walked ahead, talking as he took her deeper into the darker recesses of his household.

"Your father is perhaps the only real lively person still found commonly within these walls. Since the passing of my father his tone has been more somber yet still somehow optimistic in some sense. Unlike the others in this house, his job is secure and he keeps his spirits aloft by bringing up his family often. Perhaps too often, but I digress." At this point the darkness of the halls they found themselves in had effectively overtaken the light. The light was only strong enough to allow for one to see one's own hands in front of them. Besides that and the dim lamps set at the ends of the halls, only bright enough to reveal the corner they were set in, it was as black as night in there.

Aiko found himself navigating the halls just fine, his memory and natural aptitude for navigating the dark helping him serve as an effective guide through the long winding halls of this house. He made sure to look back over his shoulder at Miuru, making sure she was still close behind him and hadn't lost him in the oppressively dark halls. chances were likely that even if she happened to stray from her guide he could still see her long after she'd cease to be able to see him. His time spent in utter darkness honed his vision to be well adapted to such sparse lighting.


Without warning he stopped, turning to face a door which was concealed by the darkness to all but himself and others familiar with the layout. He slid open the door to reveal what was likely a welcome sight by this point: A decently lit medical room. It sported a plethora of medical equipment ranging from common medical supplies to machines costing in the upper thousands. If it were not for the fact all this was set up to accommodate one person this house could have rudimentary reconstruction done and be transformed into a capable hospital.

There were some medical charts and information posted along the walls, mostly lists designed to better serve the doctor but there were other aesthetic attachments to the room as well. There were a couple pieces of art hung up here of a very dark nature. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicholaes Tulp and The Anatomy Lesson of Joan Deyman. Two starkly grim pieces of art by Rembrandt, a dutch artist who lived during the renaissance. These pieces would be ill suited for anyone else due to their disturbing nature but Aiko found them very suitable. The theme of medical science taking great leaps in a period of scientific enlightenment felt appropriate to him. On top of that the dark portrayals within were very thought provoking, a fuel for his dark dreams. "Here is the infirmary. I believe it is likely you will find the notes you seek here." He stepped into the room
and invited her inside.


She was not the only one searching the room for the files. He was curious as to the gravity of her fathers mishap. He had some suspicions but in order to confirm it he needed to see the evidence first. Of course, there was still the matter of Miuru, his daughter, still in his presence. He was not sure how soon he would have another opportunity to converse with her. To learn as much as he can about her he needed to capitalize on the moment before he let her slip.

Perhaps he could buy more time, time which could yield valuable insight.
"Since you are here I take this opportunity to ask you this: How well do you know the other members of this family?
To be more specific, the other zodiac members. I ask because a few may be showing up later this evening and,
should you desire, you are invited to the meeting." He extended the invitation to her. It was a dangerous gamble to bring her along to this meeting depending on who arrived. While seeing her interact with the others would be interesting indeed he too would need to interact and she would be there to spectate such interactions. He was going to be on stage, metaphorically speaking, and the faith others had in him was to be decided there.

Today is looking to be a long day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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"I guess I am something of a very known face around the estate. I guess it wouldn't be a surprise though. The last Head had it for me something fierce." Kaida watched the younger male shiver, a frown gently placing itself of Kaida's face. Her thoughts were confirmed without her even asking about it, but that only left further questions she'd need to ask at a later time, perhaps when she was more familiar with Yuuto.

"You're not the only one now. Apparently I've worried so many people that they live near me just to get me out of the house more often. Hiiro lives about two doors down from me and Haruji is at my house a lot cooking. It's just a disorganized mess right now, but you're welcome to come by any time." Noticing the small tint and the mournful smile, pardon Kaida for thinking like this, Yuuto only seemed to draw Kaida in ever so slightly. He was intriguing, someone she didn't feel like she needed to worry about from what she could see right now.

"I may have to take you up on that, Yuuto." Kaida offered a small smile back, her attention quickly drawn back to the bag as he began to open it.

The glass, beating heart nearly made Kaida light up with excitement. It was beautiful, and the skill such a thing like that must of needed... Kaida could only listen to the smallest of giggles Yuuto let escape him as the heart let off a glow. "Just a piece I make some time ago. I was going to give it to the new head to quill any bad blood between us hopefully." Well that was more then generous of Yuuto, but Kaida still worried as she watched Yuuto put away the heart just as cautiously as he took it out. She didn't exactly know Akio's thoughts on ever member, be it he met them before or not, so she had no way of truly knowing what could happen. Then again, what fun is life without risks and mysterious? "I work with glass as a hobby. And actually I have glass sculptures for everyone that I forgot to give everyone at Christmas due to my little mental break at home that day. You're also welcome to come get it, I'd love to see it go to a good home."

"That's sweet! I'll make sure to find a proud place to show it off at my place." Kaida brushed her hair back, looking over to Yuuto as she walked. "I may just have to pop by and bother you every now and again for the next few days. I'm on vacation time at the hospital I'm now working at... Oh! Maybe I should give you my number, so I'm not completely rude and just barging in..." Kaida offered, scratching the back of her head as she gripped her electronics tight with a small smile tugging at the corner of Kaida's mouth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Haruji Sohma Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma Character Portrait: Meiko Tachibana

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Hiiro kept on walking, trying to wipe up the stained tears on her face. She had calmed down some as she tried to get her act back together. She couldn't go to the family head already crying. As embarrassed as she already was, that would just be more humiliating. She had called heard Haruji call out to her as she was leaving, telling her to wait up or something of the sort, but Hiiro kept on walking on. True, she hated drama. She despised it. Drama was the main thing in her school years with all the other kids, and she didn't want any part of it. Now, she's feeling as if she's bringing on that drama now and, quite frankly, felt a little guilty about it...

Now, with her tears dried, she continued walking on. She had no idea where Yuuto was, but knew he would be somewhere in this area. All this walking around was already tiring her out...and she hadn't even been walking that long. It was like playing a game of Hide and Seek. She huffed as she thought of it being like that, obviously returning to her regular self. If she wasn't in the condition she was in, she'd be running and dancing all over the place until she found that guy. But now, she could only stomp around slowly, spinning her head in all directions while trying to find everyone.

After about ten minutes of walking around, she saw him...looking rather nice in his kimono. There, also joining him, was another girl. A young woman to be precise. She looked around their age...and was sort of on the taller side. Well, probably not. Hiiro was always just short so everyone was considered "on the taller side" to her. She couldn't exactly remember her name. Maybe when she got a better look at her...

She didn't even bother to say anything as she walked up to the pair. She hoped they could at least hear her footsteps, not wanting it to feel a bit awkward for her if she just barged in...which she was sort of doing...but oh well.

"Yuuto..." She said quietly, interrupting their conversation, "I've been looking around for you. And here I find you flirting with a girl--" She said, pointing an accusing finger at Yuuto being turning to the woman. Kaida. That was her name. It suddenly came to her. "Kaida." Hiiro said in a greeting tone towards the girl, bowing while doing so. She turned back over to Yuuto, that glare reappearing on her face. "Five minutes. I want to get going." She said in a threatening sort of tone, giving him the count down for whatever he was doing before. She turned back towards Kaida, having her voice a bit more soft again, "Good day, Kaida. We should do it again sometime..." She said with a small wave as she walked away, leaving the two alone.

She wasn't planning to go far. She just took a few steps down the road, enough distance so Kaida and Yuuto could keep having their conversation without Hiiro over-hearing. A worried expression flashed among Hiiro's face just for a split second, hoping they didn't see any evidence that she had just been crying a few minutes before...





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'Hontou ni taisetsu na mono igai subete sutete...'

The quiet voice of Ayumi Hamasaki burst through the young woman's head phones connected to her blue phone that was stuffed in the black belt around her equally black pleated mini-skirt. Her orange sandals decorated with small, yellow flowers made the "flip flop" sound as she walked her way down the empty sidewalk. True, a few cars sped up and down the streets every half a minute, but it seemed like no one was out today. Her long, black hair was kept away from her face in a high ponytail as it swayed steadily in the quiet breeze. She was wearing a soft-purple coloured knitted sweater. Too bad it wasn't enough to keep her warm from the wind. A chill ran down her spine as she shivered, remembering her sweater she had left at her work place the day before.

In fact, she was on her way to her work place right now. She didn't live too far away so she was capable of walking. Last time she checked, her father was watching some boring Japanese reality show that really made no sense to Meiko once-so-ever, so she decided to head out and take a walk to her work because she had forgotten her favourite sweater there....her only sweater...and just wanted to check up on her files and such there. It was more or less to keep herself occupied.

She could see the sign of her company in the distance. She was almost there. Her brown purse was slung over her shoulder, while she was holding a bunch of different books and files underneath her arm. It was really irritating her...since she wasn't used to carrying so much stuff. She usually liked to keep all her things she needed in her office. She brought everything she thought she needed on the first day, so she wouldn't be stuck doing...well, what she is doing now. Transferring more items from her house to her work.

Meiko continued walking until she came to the front door. The music from her ipod was still playing through the head phones into her ears, but she could care less about that right now. She huffed as she balanced some books on the top of her head just so she'd have a free hand to open the front door. Once the door swung open a little too fast for her, she kept her back on the door so it wouldn't close.

She got inside, all the lights mostly off. True, most people were off today. She headed over to her desk, which she had somehow managed to earn, and put all the books and things on her desk. It scattered out into a mess on the floor, the file papers coming out of its folder. "Goodness..." She sighed, not bothering to bend down and pick everything up as she headed over to her own little computer. The thing was a crap job. And even though she was an expert at this stuff, she cant fix crap jobs. She stared down at her computer as she kept pressing the "on" button multiple times...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuuto Sohma Character Portrait: Hiiro Sohma Character Portrait: Kaida Sohma

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Yuuto Sohma


Yuuto smiled slightly. It felt nice to actually have someone to talk to without wandering about doing things for them. Wasn't everyday that he go to meet a family member outside of the estate on common ground. Then again, most of those he met in the estate had the wrong impression of him enitrely, so if was a relief to finally talk to someone with out him being...mentally compramised to say the least.

"Well I have to get going. I'm meeting Hiiro at-" Before he could even say anything further, there was Hiiro pointing an accusing finger at him and scolding him like a child. Again. It was an irk. Not as bad as somethings, but an irk none the less. "What he hells? I wasn't flirting..." He muttered as he walked away from the them, leaving him slightly irritated. "Well speak of the devil. Anyway. Gott a go. I hope to see you around sometime." He said as politely at he could through obvious irritation.

He turned on the ball of his heel smoothly and walked away toward Hiiro, tilting his head to the side. "Thought you wanted me to meet you there." He said with a sort of "that was kinda rude" influx in his voice. He looked at her for a second, noticing the look of worry on her face and made a slight bleating noise. "What's the matter, lass? Something's on your mind." His tone was calm and comforting, but still matter-of -fact. "We're almost there, so you can tell me now or later if you want."

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