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Fruits Basket: Unwavering Bonds

Japan

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a part of Fruits Basket: Unwavering Bonds, by THESexyMaid_001.

You are in Japan.

THESexyMaid_001 holds sovereignty over Japan, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

563 readers have been here.

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

Setting

You are in beautiful Japan. You are in the city, but breath-taking beaches aren't to far either!
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Japan

You are in Japan.

Minimap

Japan is a part of Fruits Basket: Unwavering Bonds.

6 Places in Japan:

14 Characters Here

Ichirou Sohma [6] "I will always be here for my family ... no matter who or what."
Masaru Sohma [6] "Freedom can be a dangerous thing, darling."
Kutaki [6] My mind if full things, good and bad. It's up to you which idea you hear."
Nozomu Sohma [3] "Scram! Leave me alone!"
Suki Angelvine [3] "No cloud is so dark that the sun can't shine through in the end."
Raiden Sohma [2] Bow down before me
Keiko Sohma [2] Is it not my job to be deceiving?
Choko Sohma [2] The Analytical Rooster
Chayme Reed [2] "Look at me. Do I look like I care?"
Satoshi Sohma [1] "Family? What has this family ever done for me?"

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suki Angelvine Character Portrait: Nozomu Sohma
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#, as written by Laseu
Nozomu Sohma


Nozomu frowned at the parade of giggling teenage girls and glared at one that happened to look his way. 3 o'clock was definitely not his favorite time of day; crowds of relieved students would overwhelm the streets, filling them with loud and unnecessary shrieks and shrills of laughter. If there was anything he needed most, it was most definitely not that. He reminded himself for the thousandth time that day that yes, others were as bad as he thought they were. He had spent the majority of his day up until now, taking a nap, or entertaining himself with the stray cat that visited him every once in a while. His hair was still a sloppy mess from when he woke up from his nap before going out to buy some cat food just thirty minutes ago, and in those thirty minutes that had gone by so far, he was already thoroughly disgusted by the world.




Nozomu swore to himself, the new shortcut he thought he had found had led him to a dead end. He impatiently combed a hand through his tangled hair, and swung the plastic grocery bag over his shoulder before proceeding back towards home.

It was a semi-sunny day; the it wasn't extremely cold nor warm, and it wasn't completely cloudy or sunny. They weather was simply neutral, and it wasn't exactly lifting Nozomu's spirits much. Then again, it would have made no difference to him if the sun had been shining or if the weather was dark and dreary. A genuine smile was a rare occurrence - so rare in fact, that he wasn't even sure if he knew how to make one anymore. He couldn't remember the last time he actually smiled. Was it ten, thirteen years ago? He wasn't sure.

He had been lost in his thoughts, and set the plastic grocery bag down for a quick stretch when he heard a familiar squeal coming from behind him. Turning just at the last minute, Nozomu hurriedly caught the airborne cat that had come flying at him. Completely caught by surprise, he let out an awkward mix between a cough and a laugh, giving the small cat a quick peck on it's head. "And where did you come flying from," he questioned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suki Angelvine Character Portrait: Nozomu Sohma
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Suki Angevine



Suki woke up, curled up in a ball, to the bitter scent of alcohol. Her spring green eyes fluttered open, and flicked over to her shoulder, where her cat laid. Chuckling softly, she gently moved the cat to her bed and stood up quickly- wincing when pain shot through her. She had gotten home late last night, to find her father drunk as always. He screamed at her, and beat her. It wasn't too bad this time. If she wore long sleeves, she could cover most of it up.
She took a quick shower, having to scrub her achy body until every hint of alcohol was erased, and replaced with gentle lavender. She had slept in late- it was already noon. She had already missed her only morning class for today, so there was no reason to rush. Careful not to cause any unnessesary pain, she slipped on her clothes, collected her cat, and hurried out.

Suki paused for a moment when she passed by her father. He was on the couch, a beer bottle still clutched in his hand as he slept. The love and respect she felt for him was gone, and yet she still felt obligated to take care of him. With a heavy sigh, she took the beer bottle, emptying the rest of its contents. She then shifted him into a more comfortable position, and covered him with a blanket.




Aimè, her cat, was an odd looking thing. He was black with a spattering of white, like he had been splashed with paint. Not only that, but he was abnormally small and only had one ear. Suki loved him though- she had never been one to find her affections with the most normal of things.
With Aimè on her shoulder, Suki made her way through town and avoided catching anyone's gaze. Her shift covered most of the bruises, but it was loose enough that if she lifted her arm the sleeve could roll up and reveal the purple marks.

Out of nowhere, her little cat suddenly jumped off her shoulder and dashed down an alleyway. "Aimè!" She called, chasing after the little thing. When she caught up to him, she saw that a red haired boy was holding him. "And where did you come flying from," He asked, looking over the cat.
"I'm so sorry! That's Aimè. He just jumped right out of my arms and came running down here. I'm Suki, by the way. Thank you for not being terrified- he can be a little exuberant." Suki shyly stood a few feet away from the male, smiling softly.

Suki reached for her cat, accidentally making her sleeve slide up her arm. Dark hand prints and a few untreated shallow wounds covered her thin arm, and it would be impossible to say it was from some sort of accident like falling down the stairs. She quickly jerked back, but knew he had already had a perfect view of the damage done to her. If one were to look closely, they could see that a few other dark bruises were peeking out from under her shirt.
She took a quick step back, stepping in a puddle and causing murky water to splash all over her and a little on him. "I'm sorry." She quickly apologized again, biting her lip.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mei
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Mei Sohma


Mei grinned to herself as she sauntered down the street, headphones in and world out. It was looking like it'd be a good day today - had been so far, after all. She paid the busy street no mind, avoiding people with an expertise that came with years of practice. Instead, se lost her head to the clouds, thinking about what to do later on. Passing by thronging crowds and near-empty alleyways alike, Mei moved her head minutely to the beat only she heard.


The scent of something amazing hit her nose and she stopped immediately. Yakitori! Her whole self lit up, and she near bounded over to the stall, eyes wide in admiration of the fine cooking job of the vendors. How wonderful! Mei's hand held her wallet before she even knew what she was doing. Ten for cheap... could she even hold that many? It was cheap, after all, she reasoned. She nodded to herself, smiling brightly at the vendors. There were a lot - a sudden thought struck her mind. She knew immediately who would enjoy partaking in this snack with her.

Soon enough, Mei was merrily strolling again, hands totally occupied by the delicious yakitori. The scent wafted to her ceaselessly, and she thought she might be driven mad by not eating them. She gave them an analytical eye. Totally worth it, she decided. After all, it was her money. Koji would just have to believe that it was eight for cheap, not ten. That little omission was fine with her.

"Koji!" she called out as she reached his workplace. "Hello? I brought you some food!" She waved the sticks carefully as she looked for him. "You better appreciate it!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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"Sweetheart, the only thing you attract is trouble and I don't need anymore more of that," Masaru huffed, hands on his hips but an unmistakable mischievous twinkle in his eyes. The flirtatious endearment tumbled easily from his lips, just another quirk that made Masaru, well, Masaru. He gave an exaggerated wince when Ichirou punched his arm, a pout covering his face before he let out a laugh and allowed himself to be tugged along by the wrist, waving at his coworkers(almost all of whom just carried on with what they were doing have seen this scene one too many times to care).

"Goodbye, everyone! I'll see you later!" He cheerfully called out before Ichirou pulled him out of the store, Kutaki still attached to his back like the world's clingiest backpack. His friend was still chattering on, practically vibrating with excitement. It made sense, at least a little bit. The Zodiac members, as linked as they were by their curses, didn't see each other as often as some might like. Some lived away from the Sohma compound, people had busy jobs and school lives, a general reluctance on some of the members' parts and so many other things kept them from actually seeing one another. So tonight, if everyone chose to come, was a special occasion indeed.

"My, aren't we a gentleman?" He quipped, sliding into the passenger's seat and buckling up as tightly as he could. Ichirou's driving skills were infamous and for someone who'd been riding with him all of these years(the horror...the horror...), well, if he didn't take safety precautions, that would mean he was a complete idiot.

"...As long as there aren't any snags or fights." Ichirou finished, sliding into the driver's seat.

"I'm sure it will all go smoothly," Masaru said with a smile, even if he didn't believe it himself. No, they didn't always get together, but when they did, tempers were sure to flare. Someone would say something wrong, someone would get upset- these get-togethers never really ended well with all of the immensely different Zodiac members thrown in together, personalities and opinions violently clashing with one another.

"Now, what do we have to do before the bonfire?" He asked, smoothly switching subjects. "We can worry about reminding everyone once we actually have something to remind them about."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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Kutaki held her grasp tight around Ichirou's neck, refusing to let go. She hadn't seen him in a while so giving into the clingyness she felt. It amused her that Ichirou gave up on trying to get her off and just walked to his car with her on his back as if it was nothing. He was talking with Masaru about a bonfire party he wanted to have with the whole Zodiac family. She guessed she was part of the conversation too, but she just didn't have anything to add. Yes this was most likely going to go down in flames and Kutaki knew a couple members she would want to stay away from during the bonfire otherwise she might start a fight herself. They got to the car and she was reluctant in letting Ichirou take her off, just because his driving was dangerous enough without the added danger of having someone on your back as you drive. Unlike Masaru, however, she didn't put her seat belt on, call her a free-spirit or adrenalin junkie, but either way she found it more exciting not to.

"Now, what do we have to do before the bonfire? We can worry about reminding everyone once we actually have something to remind them about," Masaru said as they started to pull away from the curb.

Kutaki pulled herself to the edge of her seat, so that her chin rested on the back of Ichirou's seat, "Well I have a bunch wood outside my house, leftover from this winter that we could use up," she stated matter-of-factly as the car took a sharp turn around a corner sending her sprawling across the back seat. When she came back up there was big smile on her face. "There's also several dirt areas near my house that we could use to place the bonfire. As for food you'll have to find your own way," she said as she patted Ichirou's cheek, "So Masaru that new waitress fall madly in love with you yet?" She turned her head slightly to look at the snake in the shotgun seat. She noticed the waitress earlier, one she hadn't recognized from before and it was an ongoing joke with him about how he gets everyone to fall in love with him so quickly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chayme Reed
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#, as written by Laseu
"Oww...Why do these things always have to happen to me?"

Chayme sat comfortably spread out across a park bench, nursing his bruising eye with one hand and supporting the Popsicle in his mouth with the other. Chayme was somehow a sports-inflicted injury magnet - and he wasn't even in a sport. Sports. Chayme didn't even want to think about the horrifyingly dangerous subject. Who the hell was it that decided to add sports to the already numerous requirements for college? If having to meet face to face with The Beast meant graduation, forget college - a job at McDonald's after graduation wasn't looking like a bad idea.

Chayme swung himself off the aged bench, and dumped the remains of his cold treat on the solid ground beside him. There was already a decent amount of trash and litter spread out throughout the place, and one more thing to clean up wouldn't hurt. Or would it? Chayme looked solemnly down at what he had discarded, and contemplated whether or not to clean it up. He had two choices; save the world by throwing it away and all the usual crap, or spare himself the effort of getting his hands dirty and walk away feeling perfectly fine.

"The Jury has come to a conclusion, and choice two it is! A very intelligent choice too, I might add."

He pivoted around and began his walk home, giving himself a mental pat on the back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suki Angelvine Character Portrait: Nozomu Sohma
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#, as written by Laseu
Nozomu Sohma


Nozomu confronted the stranger with a cold stare, tightening his grip on the cat newly identified as Aimè. Cats he had no problem with, people on the other hand were an entirely different topic. He hated the complexity of humans. A smile, a frown, a laugh, a cough, a gasp. They all had over a hundred meanings. A cat on the other hand, was simple. Purring equaled happiness, hissing equaled aggression. There wasn't much to it. People were deceptive - cunning and skilled liars by nature. There was no denying it.

"Ugly," he murmered to himself, noticing the smile that had formed on Suki's lips.

Nozomu flinched as the girl advanced her arms towards him, her sleeve rising, revealing a gallery of injuries and spots of blue and purple. "Are you--," he began. The girl glanced up at him and threw herself backwards into a puddle, her sweater and pants soaked. The girl apologized over and over again, her face flushed and nervous. As if to consult her, Aimè sprung herself (was it male or female?) out of his arms and padded over to the flustered female.

The sky was empty and motionless, other than the several gradually moving clouds and several birds. In all truthfulness, Nozomu was lost as to how he should react. This was the most time he had ever spent with someone else, nevertheless a girl. The silence was awkward, and he proceeded to fill the emptiness in the only way he knew how to.

"Got a drunk living with you?" Nozomu smirked, unaware of how close he was to the truth. "Awww, poor baby. Mommy and daddy don't love you, do they? But then again, who would love an ugly worm like you?" He laughed, and waited in anticipation for the girl to break out into tears and pathetically run away.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Satoshi Sohma Character Portrait: Chayme Reed Character Portrait: Eri Sohma
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"...So, you see, if you follow this formula, the result is eight because..." As the last class on Friday afternoons, the last thing that a student wants to deal with is math class, especially a math class where the teacher insists on teaching right up to the bell. Students were already fidgeting, no longer taking down notes, slowly zipping up their bags, eyes trained on the slowly ticking clock right above the door. The last person one would expect to still be diligently writing down the lecture, pencil making neat work of the formula in their notebook would be one of the school's sports players. It was a bit of a stereotype, yes, but true often enough to be a fact. Unless, of course, the athlete happened to be Satoshi Sohma whose concentration was fully on the teacher as he scribbled more numbers on the board.

The bell finally rang, a wave of relief hitting the class as they all rushed from their seats, making a great ruckus as they rushed out the door, all but ignoring their teacher's exclamation about a quiz Monday. In contrast, Satoshi was almost reluctant to put his school work away, taking his sweet time packing everything neatly in his bag. It wasn't that he adored school or anything, but it was much better than the alternative. With no games this weekend, no practice, no school work, he had no excuse to stay away from the Sohma compound. The very thought was almost painful, casting a dark cloud over his weekend. Satoshi slung his bag over his shoulder, making his way out of the classroom.

As he began to walk through the sea of students, a familiar, tiny blond bumped into him, almost tumbling over at the impact. Eri Sohma squeaked an apology, a look of pain painted on her normally sweet, cheerful face(that was not an opinion, it was a statement of fact. No one could deny that the Sohma girl was sweet) before running off to parts unknown.

"Ah..." He paused, watching her disappear into the crowd of students. Well, all right then.

"Hey, Satoshi!" He stopped in the middle of the hall, turning his head to face the person speaking to him. Far from being jostled as he stood by students trying to leave, they parted around him. Whether it be out of fear due to his old reputation or respect for his new one, he couldn't be sure and didn't bother to wonder about. It's not like he cared about any of these people

It was the gym teacher, Endo-Sensei, waving eagerly at him as he jogged over, a broad grin on his face. Endo wasn't the atypical gym teacher; he was overly enthusiastic about his job, eager to help students(especially those who didn't want any), and had a perpetual almost obnoxious can-do attitude.

"Have you set up a tutoring session with Chayme yet?" Ah, yes, Chayme Reed, the newest cause of Satoshi's irritation. He wasn't quite sure how someone could be failing gym class, but Chayme had managed it. Which was why Edo-Sensei had suggested extra-credit in the form of tutoring sessions(gym tutoring sessions. It was almost enough to make Satoshi laugh. Almost) with the school's resident athlete extraordinaire; Satoshi "the Beast" Sohma. Who, of course, had agreed because he was getting some extra credit out of it as well. It wasn't that he needed it, but the temptation of doing even better, giving his grades even a little bit of a boost, was too much for the perfectionist to ignore.

"Not yet, Endo-Sensei," He admitted, voice deep and stoic as always, face pulled into its typical emotionless mask. Oh, they'd talked before, if you could really call it talking. It had been extremely awkward, neither wanting to really talk to the other except a quick acknowledgement that they had to work together some time in the future. "I can go do that now." It was apparently what the teacher had been hoping for, given the wide grin covering his face.

"Excellent! Have a great weekend, Satoshi!" With that, Satoshi was left alone in the halls. Well, at least he didn't have to go straight home...

Finding out where Chayme was was a bit of a hassle. Apparently he'd already left, nursing an injury from gym class. Satoshi mentally snorted. He had his work cut out for him between Chayme's reluctance to do anything that required effort and his apparently inability to do anything exercise related. However, he did find him eventually, walking away from the park near the school.

"Hey, Reed," He called out, voice blunt and almost harsh as he caught up. "We need to talk." Ugh, talking to people. This was someone more socially inclined than Satoshi.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Raiden Sohma Character Portrait: Choko Sohma
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Image





The door to his office slowly opened without Raiden noticing. Then he heard a distinct phrase. "Keiko is here to see you sir."He rather liked Keiko. Maybe it was because she was nice to him. He was the head, but almost every member of the family was older than he was. He really hated them all. He did. They were just so mean to him, they wouldn't follow orders, and some tried to go against the rules. Never minding them, they would get a punishment, they always did.

He smiled slightly. "Please bring her in"

After a couple minutes of waiting he noticed that what was before him was not Keiko. Well it was actually Keiko and Choko who was holding some flowers. Raiden frowned a bit. He didn't especially want Choko to be here at the moment. Nonetheless he would need to see what she wanted. He then sat back in his chair a bit and looked at the two girls. With a careful check on his voice he said, "So how may I help you today?"

At this point Raiden watched as both girls seemed to take a bit to answer. A bit annoyed he stood up and started walking to a door. "Nevermind We'll do this over tea, coming?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keiko Sohma Character Portrait: Raiden Sohma Character Portrait: Choko Sohma
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Keiko Sohma

Keiko suddenly heard movement on the other side of the door, hoping Raiden would be in a good mood, when a tap on the shoulder interrupted her worries. "Good afternoon, Keiko." The voice was somewhat unfamiliar, but beside her was Choko, the Rooster. Keiko smiled a small smile at her family member and bowed.

"How do you do," Keiko said barely above a whisper. "It's lovely to see I'm not the only one paying a visit." Her eyes flashed at the flowers and a wave of guilt hit her. What kind of person shows up at someone else's home not baring a gift. What an idiot, Keiko scolded herself mentally. But it was to late to run home or to the store ... the door opened and the maid reappeared. "He will see you now." Keiko walked in timidly as usual, but with all the respect she could muster.

"So how may I help you today?" Keiko stood silent. It probably wasn't the case, but if Choko had brought him flowers, she might have wanted to see him first. Before either could speak, though, Raiden stood and started towards the door. "Never mind. We'll do this over tea, coming?" Keiko nodded, tailing behind him. Like always, she kept a good amount of space between them and kept it as even as possible. Thank the heavens he seems to be in a pleasant mood ..., the white haired teen smiled to herself.

"Um ... have you been outside yet? It's a beautiful day ... quiet too."

But he might not be feeling well either! What a stupid question! But ... if I hadn't said anything ... I might have come off as rude. Keiko kept herself rather quiet, feeling of course that she messed up her visit with a simple sentence. But that was just her and it was impossible to change.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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"I'm sure it will all go smoothly," Masaru said with a smile. "Now, what do we have to do before the bonfire?" He asked. "We can worry about reminding everyone once we actually have something to remind them about."

"Well I have a bunch wood outside my house, leftover from this winter that we could use up," she stated matter-of-factly as the car took a sharp turn around a corner sending her sprawling across the back seat. "There's also several dirt areas near my house that we could use to place the bonfire. As for food you'll have to find your own way," she said as she patted Ichirou's cheek.

Ichirou smiled at his friends. "Kutaki, what would we do without you! Food is really the last thing I can think of. I was going to bring some of my telescopes and blankets from home, so ... yeah! Food shopping it is!" Ichirou quickly speed up to a store, practically slamming on his breaks in front of it.

"So Masaru that new waitress fall madly in love with you yet?" Ichirou chuckled as he got out of the car, earning glares from almost everyone for his death-defying driving. With a shrug, he opened Masaru's and Kutaki's doors.

"How do you do it, Masaru? You've even managed to have me fall in love with you," Ichirou squeezed his friend in a giant bear hug, leaning on him as much as possible.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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Every time Masaru climbed into Ichirou's car or, really, any vehicle driven by his friend, he always stepped out with a slight tremble in his step and a mental vow to never, ever do that again. And yet here he was, still riding shot-gun all these years after Ichirou had miraculously been given a driver's license (Masaru still liked to say that they'd only given him his license so that he'd never put another driving instructor through that again). So, really, it was his own fault that he was in this situation, clinging to his door as Ichirou made wild swerves and seemed to make a game of breaking as many traffic laws as possible. Still, through his very appropriate terror, he listened as Kutaki checked off some of their necessities, only being able to respond once the car had pulled to a safe(enough) halt.

"So Masaru that new waitress fall madly in love with you yet?"

"Hardly," He sniffed with mock-indignation, sliding out of the passenger's side door, a little disturbed that he wasn't trembling that much. Oh, Lord, it had finally happened. He'd gotten used to Ichirou's driving. "It's just a little crush." And that it was. As much as it was an on-going joke between the three, his flirtations had caused more than enough problems in the past. It was a delicate art, for someone like him, a charming flirt, to avoid exposing the family's secret. Not that that was enough to stop him, mind. The day that happened would be the day he settled down with someone and he couldn't see that happening anytime soon.

He was broken from his fake scorn when Ichirou wrapped his arms around him, nearly pulling him off of his feet in a big bear hug.

"It's all a matter of charm," He teased, returning the hug for a moment before wriggling out of it and patting Ichirou affectionately on the cheek. "You'll always have a special place in my heart, though, lover-boy. And, of course, my dearest Kutaki as well." He twirled around, wrapping one arm around her shoulders and grabbing Ichirou's wrist with his unoccupied hand.

"All right, then, enough of this. Time to shop!" He announced, and dragged the two inside the store, away from the malicious (and one or two horrified) stares of those unfortunate enough to see the terror that was Ichirou's driving.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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Kutaki gave a small smile as Masaru wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He grabbed Ichirou's wrist and soon the two were being pulled along into the store. It was a regular grocery store, quite small, but this particular one carried a surprisingly wide variety of food. The halls between shelving was very small, only big enough for one person while walking, but if need be you could squeeze two, this was done so that they could have as much food as they did. Today it seemed that the store was rather busy, which made sense people would be buying all the food they could for the weekend. Kutaki slipped out from underneath Masaru's arm, grabbed a basket and disappeared into the crowd. This was one advantage she had for being so small. She figured that the best food for a bonfire would be that which you could put on a stick and cook on the fire, so she headed to the seafood section and got shrimp, eel, and crab sticks. Her tiny body moved with ease through the crowd only getting gently bumped, and she made sure those who did bump into her weren't men, while everyone else was shoved around. She wondered idly how Ichirou and Masaru were doing in such a crowded and small area. It didn't take too long before the basket was full and she was searching for the boar and snake.

This part would seem easy considering how tall her two friends are, but the place was still pretty crowded and all she could see were tall people, or at least people taller than her. Her eyes narrowed in frustration as she looked around, she slowly made her way to an open-ish area to give her breathing room and a place to think. She heard someone talking and they were close by, it took her a moment to realize that whoever it was, they were talking to her. She turned her head and saw two guys sneering at her.

"Well, well, well, looks like some kid lost her parents," one said.

"It does doesn't it? Hey they little girl, are you lost? Do you need help finding your parents again?" the other guy said in a mockingly concerned voice. The two guys burst out laughing, Kutaki's mouth set itself in a firm frown. She wasn't as bad as Koji when it came to her height, but it didn't make it any less annoying or degrading. She wanted nothing more than to hand their asses to them, but seeing how crowded the store was and that she hadn't yet paid for the food, she couldn't really do anything except ignore them. She closed her eyes to calm her temper a bit and then started looking for her two friends again. She eventually found the top of Ichirou's head and began to head in that direction when a hand grabbed her arm, stopping her.

"Where do you think you're going blue head?" it was one of the guys, "How can we help you if you run off on us?" The sneer on his face made Kutaki's blood boil.

"I'm 26 years old," Kutaki stated simply.

"What?" was the intelligent response she got.

"I'm 26, I'm not a kid. Now let go," Kutaki said again. When that didn't happen, she lifted her leg and gave a quick strike to the back of this knee. He gave a short holler and fell to the ground on one knee.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ichirou Sohma Character Portrait: Masaru Sohma Character Portrait: Kutaki
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The store was, quite unfortunately, filled to the brim with shoppers today, all apparently planning for their weekends. While the little grocery store may hold almost everything that they might need for food and beverages tonight, it came with a risk that most of the members of the Sohma zodiac would be wise to remember. Danger was fully present in the form of those of the opposite sex, all in close quarters. All it would take would be a careless shopper tripping and falling into them or an ill-timed twist towards them in close quarters and everything would go straight to Hell. Still, the older members of the Sohma family had survived this long without exposing the clan's curse and Masaru wasn't going to let an overcrowded store end that streak.

He allowed Kutaki to slip out of his grip, watching her as she disappeared into the milling crowd of shoppers. Then, releasing his own grip on Ichirou, he blew his old friend a kiss before disappearing as well into the depths of the crowd, sashaying past various people clustered around items on sale and squeezing through packed aisles. He grabbed a few things, favorite of his own. Soft marshmallows, creamy chocolates, and, after a moment's hesitation, put back a case of beer in favor of soda. As tempting as it may be, the members of the zodiac had a hard enough time cooperating without the additional hazard of some of them getting drunk.

With his own little errands finished, Masaru looked over the heads of the crowds, craning his neck to spot either of his friends. Ichirou should have been easier to find, reasonably speaking, but it was Kutaki who caught his eye first or, rather, Kutaki's actions. He quickly elbowed his way through the crowd that had spread out around Kutaki and her would-be- well, he had no idea who they were. Bullies? It didn't really matter right then as he finally pushed past the crowd and made his way behind Kutaki, putting a reassuring and steadying hand on her shoulder as he pulled her backwards, towards hi.

"What seems to be the problem here?" His voice came off as friendly and cheerful and the relaxed smile on his face did nothing to shatter the illusion.