Chapter One

“To-o-ohru!” Momiji’s loud and obnoxious voice hollered down the halls of his father’s building.
“Momiji-kun, what’re you doing here?” Tohru asked politely, walking out of the dining hall.
“I came to help you, Tohru,” Momiji grinned, as he grabbed her hand.
“Oh! Okay, but… My shift is over,” Tohru frowned, feeling really sorry for Momiji.
“Aw! Do you work tomorrow?” He frowned for a second, but it turned back into a smile as he asked.
“No, but I work the day after tomorrow. Why don’t you come back and help me then? I usually head here right after school. You can meet me at the entrance, okay?” Tohru smiled, as she looked up at the moon from the big bay windows.
“The moon is beautiful tonight…” Momiji whispered in a hushed tone, as he leaned on Tohru’s left arm, his head lying on her shoulder.
“Yes… Yes it is…” Tohru murmured under her breath as a shadow fell across the floor as someone stood from sitting on the couch in the room.
“Who’s that?!” Tohru screamed, startled.
“Ah, stop yelling! You guys are giving me a headache…” A black haired girl stood up, as she stared at Tohru. The dark figure’s eyes burned into Tohru’s.
“Who are you?” Tohru questioned, her eyes growing wider and wider.
“Kirema!” Momiji shouted, racing over and hugging the girl’s arm.
“Ugh, it’s Momiji,” Kirema muttered, patting his head.
“I thought you weren’t aloud out of the Sohma house?” A voice asked sarcastically from behind Kirema and Momiji.
“I knew you would come… Yuki…” Kirema muttered under her breath, as Momiji turned around and hugged Yuki.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know. Kureno was using you,” Yuki’s calm voice seemed to shatter Kirema’s appearance as she fell to her knees, tears pattering to the floor.
“Why… Why do you shun him? Just because his…” Kirema drifted off as she rested her head against the couch. Tohru just stared at what had just happened before her.
“Kirema… Sohma?” Tohru said, blinking in a confused way. “Is she one of the zodiac members? What’s her animal?” Tohru questioned herself, thinking hard.
“Honda-san, let’s go home,” Yuki awoke Tohru from her daydream, grabbing her hand, and dragging her away from Momiji and Kirema. He turned around as Tohru headed down the stairs, and called to Momiji, telling him to bring Kirema to Shigure’s house when she was ready.
“Ja Vetter!” Momiji called to him, hugging Kirema around the shoulders.
As Yuki descended the stairs after Tohru, she looked back at him. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, Honda-san, I’m perfectly fine. I just don’t think that Kirema is… Okay.” Yuki muttered, holding Tohru’s hand, leading her towards their house, where the two of them lived along with Shigure and Kyo.
“What is that girl’s name again?” Tohru asked Yuki as they walked inside of Shigure’s house.
“What girl?” Shigure asked merrily, as he took his eyes away from the newspaper he was reading for a second.
“Kirema…” Yuki whispered very quietly.
“WHAT?!” Shigure yelled, waking up Kyo who was sleeping next to him.
“What the hell are you screaming about this time?” Kyo grumbled, his face turning a bright red.
“Kirema is here. Akito… Let her go,” Yuki confirmed Shigure’s panic.
“You’re kidding, right, Yuki?!” Shigure grunted as he stood from his seat on the floor. “Well, is she coming to visit?”
“Momiji is going to bring her here later. She kind of… Burst into tears. She wasn’t very happy when she saw me at first, though,” Yuki croaked, his voice becoming shallow and broken.
“Yuki! Are you feeling okay?” Tohru sounded worried, as Yuki slunk to the floor. “Do you want me to get ice?” Yuki nodded, as Tohru scurried off to the kitchen, Kyo went upstairs, and Shigure when into his room, just as the front door of the house slide open.

Chapter Two

“…Yuki?” A voice whispered from the door.
“Hmm..?” Yuki mumbled, half asleep, as he lay in front of the television, two blankets covering him.
“Please… Come out here. Just for a moment or two,” The whisper became more vibrant but serious.
“Um, okay,” Yuki agreed, as he untangled himself from the blankets, and stood up, wobbling a little. He walked to the door, and someone grabbed his hand, dragging him into the woods on the side of their house.
“K-Kirema!” Yuki blinked nervously, seeing how stunning she looked in the moonlight.
“I need you to let me stay here tonight. Akito told me to meet you secretly. She wants to make sure you guys don’t tell that brunette about Kureno’s curse…” Kirema’s voice sternly rang through Yuki’s mind, her serious complexion making him almost melt on the spot.
“It’s… Already been told… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” Yuki raved quietly under his breath.
“You… You… YOU TOLD HER?” Kirema shouted, her teeth growing sharper. “I should’ve ended this a long time ago! Akito was such a fool, like she always is. Letting someone from the outside live with the Sohma’s! You put everyone in danger. You put Akito in danger. Most of all, you put me in danger… I can’t forgive you, Yuki. From now on, we’re enemies. Tell Shigure I’m not coming home,” Kirema snarled at him, her eyes turning away from his. She turned around, but stopped in her tracks. “Oh, and Yuki…”
“…Y-Yes?” Yuki swallowed, frightened, his whispering voice soft and shallow.
“If you even dare tell Tohru about Shigure and me… I’m going to tell Akito everything I know about you,” Kirema snickered as she stalked off, her teeth becoming blunt again.

The next morning, as Tohru awoke from her slumber, she trudged down the stairs.
“Ah! What a pleasant morning,” She happily said to herself.
“Oh, Tohru-chan! You’re finally awake,” Shigure smiled up at her from his place on the floor. “Be a dear and make me some breakfast, please?”
“Of course, I’ll get right on that now,” Tohru grinned back at him as she skipped into the kitchen.
Yuki walked in through the main door, shaking his head and looking worried.
“What’s wrong, my prince?” Shigure sniggered, trying not to burst out laughing at his little nickname.
“…Kirema threatened to never come back. I’m sorry, Shigure… She is your,” Yuki stopped mid sentence as Tohru returned with some sushi, eggs, and onigiri.
“What?” Tohru asked, confused. “Did I do something wrong? Is the food bad? What?”
“No, no. The food is perfectly delicious!” Shigure commented her then gave her a flashy smile.
“Okay, that’s good! Thanks!” Tohru cheerfully walked out of the living room, and up the staircase to call and check up on her grandfather.
“Yuki… Are you sure? She is my…” Shigure’s voice trailed off as the screen door slid open, and Kirema stepped in.
“Hello, father,” Kirema said, breaking the silence of the atmosphere.
“K-Kirema…” Shigure stood and bowed to her. “Long time, no see, yes?”
“I’m not here to play games, father. I want my revenge. Where is Honda?” Kirema growled, her teeth growling abnormally sharper, and dog-like.
“Calm down. We can’t reveal your secret to her, too,” Shigure attempted to relieve her pain and angst, but it didn’t work.
“What was that?” Tohru gasped, as a dog lay at Shigure’s feet. “A black dog? Why is there a black dog there?”
“That’s… Kirema,” Shigure anxiously said, closing his eyes and scrunching his face as the dog bit his ankle. “Bad dog!”
“Kirema. Leave, now,” Kyo hissed angrily at her, as he shooed her out of the house and closed the door.
“Doesn’t she need her clothes?” Tohru asked, picking up the kimono she was wearing.
“She’ll be fine. She can shift in and out of her form. She’s the second dog in the Sohma family. Yes, there are two of them,” Shigure explained to Tohru, as she treated his bite wound.
“So are you two…” Tohru pried, looking closely at Shigure’s face.
“…She’s my daughter,” Shigure muttered, embarrassed.
“You’re… Daughter?! How old is she?” Tohru blinked, looking very confused.
“She’s about a year older than us, Honda-san,” Yuki stuttered, as he shivered because of the draft coming through the hole in the door.
“So… There are two rats then, too?” Tohru cocked her head to the left as she looked at Yuki.
“No. This is something that Akito cursed Kirema with. Kirema is… Akito’s daughter, too,” Yuki gulped, looking especially frail and distant from the two others.
“Akito’s a… Girl?” Tohru gasped, shrinking back at the thought of someone having a child with Akito, since she was so mean and heartless. Yuki just nodded, and sipped his cup of tea.
“Akito gave birth to Kirema, and I didn’t know until recently. She was named after my mother, Karin. Akito thought of the name, and it stuck. But Kirema would always disobey Akito, so Akito punished her with the same curse her father, me, has. Akito has never forgiven me, but at the same time, she knows it’s the best gift I could’ve given her, since… Well, when Akito passes away, Kirema will be the goddess of the zodiac. You must treat her with respect, you two. Kyo was destined to be with Kirema but, Kirema hates Kyo with a great passion. So, I guess he’s up for grabs,” Shigure explained further, mocking Kyo as he walked past and into the kitchen.
“Shut up, you old man!” Kyo hissed, blushing.
“Don’t call me old, I’m barely thirty!” Shigure wailed at him, squinting hard because of embarrassment.
The sliding door slid open. Kirema stepped in, completely naked.
“Kirema! Show some dignity,” Shigure said, covering Yuki’s eyes, as he turned away.
“Honda, please, don’t touch my things,” Kirema coldly growled, swiping the kimono away from Tohru.
“I-I’m sorry…” Tohru apologized to her, a tear dripping from her eye.
“Don’t cry. Crying won’t get you anywhere in life. It’s a useless feature that humans have,” Kirema snarled at her, her teeth growing sharper than Shigure and or Yuki had ever seen.
“Kirema…” Shigure began, but was cut off as Kirema turned into a dog and ran off.
“She’s under a great deal of stress. She shouldn’t be pushing herself so hard. I’m going to go find her,” Yuki offered, leaving Shigure and Tohru gawking at him as he left.

  As Yuki walked into the thickets of trees outside of Shigure’s house, he wondered whether or not Kagura knew about Kirema, since most zodiac members never came in contact with her.
“Yuki-kun, why are you out here?” Hatsuharu screeched at him from behind. “You might get hurt!”
“Haru, I’m fine. I’m trying to find… Someone,” Yuki mumbled under his breath.
“Who’re ‘ya tryin’ to find?” He said in his slang.
“Kirema. Akito let her go, since she’s almost eighteen. Akito said that a girl her age should be able to roam freely, as long as she returns each year for the New Year’s festival,” Yuki clarified for Haru.
“So, that little puppy isn’t locked in her cage anymore?” Haru said, guffawed at her, as she slunk out from behind one of the bushes. “Isn’t that her?” Hatsuharu blinked, pointing at Kirema.
“Kirema. Kirema… Please, Kirema. Come home with us, Kirema. Your father is worried, Kirema. He wants you to come and live with us… With Kyo… With him,” Yuki softly purred to her, gently bending down and picking her up. “Haru, help me carry her back.”
“Sure, sure, hand her to me,” Hatsuharu nodded, grabbing Kirema, pressing her tightly against his chest so she wouldn’t be dropped.
“Let’s just hope she doesn’t trans-…” Haru muttered, just as Kirema turned back into a human.
“…Sorry, Haru! I can walk the rest of the way if you’d like,” Kirema apologized, her face turning a pale pink, making her look even more stunning.
“It’s okay. I promise I won’t look at anything. I’ll carry you though, since it’s kind of rocky and I don’t want your feet getting hurt,” Hatsuharu smiled down at her, as she just blushed more.
“You’re so cute when you blush, Kirema!” Shigure buzzed, walking off the porch in his slippers and night kimono and embracing Kirema tightly.
“Uh… Shigure?” Hatsuharu and Yuki gawked silently at him.
“Ye-e-es?” Shigure sang out, as he looked over his shoulder at them.
“…She’s naked,” Haru pointed out sourly, seeing as Kirema looked like she was in pain because of his tight hug.
Shigure just stood there, looking at the two men before him. He slowly turned towards his daughter, quickly letting go and running into the house. He slammed his door hard, as Kirema stood there and blinked.
“It’s not like he hasn’t seen me naked before…” Kirema mumbled to herself as she looked at Kyo, who was standing in the door way of the house.
“What’s she doing in our front yard?” Kyo asked, raising an eyebrow.
“She was under a great deal of stress, so she transformed, and now, she’s naked. Look away, Kyo, just look away,” Hatsuharu muttered to the orange-headed man at the door, as he picked her up and walked into the house with her in his arms.
“Ah, whatever!” Kyo growled at Haru, stalking back into the kitchen.

Later that night, as Shigure emerged from his room, he saw Hatsuharu and Kirema lying on the floor together.
“Ah… You two are so cute together,” Shigure snickered to himself as Hatsuharu twisted around and hugged Kirema, still sleeping.
“…Father,” Kirema whispered, her face turning a pale color.
“Kirema, I want you to come with us to the lake house,” Shigure whispered, so that Hatsuharu wouldn’t hear him.
“Why bother? It’s not like mother wants me. She told me to get out of her life,” Kirema sniffled, a single tear streaming down her face and dripping off her chin.
“I want you to live here. I want you to stay with me, Kirema. I love you so much, Kirema. You’ve truly blossomed into a passionate young woman, and I would like you to live with your old father. I’m sure you and Yuki will get along,” Shigure explained further into the matter.
“…Okay,” Kirema looked up at her father, as he sat on the floor, stroking her hair gently. “…Father?”
“Yes, my dear daughter?”
“…I love you, father.”
“I love you too, Kirema…”

Chapter Three

“Breakfast is served!” Tohru’s voice rang out around the house, everyone waking, feeling very groggy.
“Why do you have to wake us up so early?” Kyo growled as he walked out of the bathroom, a towel over his head, as he dried his hair.
“Because, we’re all going to the Sohma’s lake house,” Shigure said merrily, as Yuki descended the staircase.
“Haru and Rem are coming with us?” Kyo asked, looking down at them as they sat on the floor, watching the television.
“Mhm,” Kirema mumbled as she took a bite of her dumpling.
“Rem, why do you have to come? You’re just going to ruin all of our fun,” Kyo jeered at her, as her eyes lit up.
“Do you seriously want to go, kitty-cat?” Kirema shouted at him, standing from her place on the floor.
“Oh, I seriously do want to go, you stupid dog!” Kyo hissed, rolling up his sleeves.
“Don’t act like you aren’t going to hit me. I may be a girl, but I can kick your ass! I’m not holding back, just because you’re a year younger than me.”
“Younger?! You should be younger than me, you brat! I’m going to claw you to shreds this time!”
“Like you could, you foolish boy! Of all the times I’ve beaten you, don’t make Yuki come out here and shame you, too,” Kirema howled at Kyo, as she flung herself at him, breaking through the door of the house.
“Don’t… Touch me!” Kyo hissed, biting Kirema’s shoulder.
“Ouch, play fair! If you want a loving wife and children, this isn’t the type of sex any girl would want,” Kirema snapped back at him, slapping his cheek so he would stop biting her.
“What?! Like any girl would love me,” Kyo tried biting her shoulder again, but Kirema dodged, breaking the wall next to the door, and smashing the porch.
“Kyo… I love you!” Kirema shouted, so that Shigure, Yuki, Tohru, and Hatsuharu heard her.
“W-What?!” Kyo blinked, confused, as he lay on top of Kirema, his eyes looking straight into hers.
“I-I’m sorry… But, I-I love y-you…” Kirema mumbled again, as her lips touched his for a split second.
“K-Kirema…” Kyo blushed, his hands clutching at the ground as he braced himself for a deeper kiss.
“K-Kyo…” Kirema blushed just as Shigure walked out of the house, seeing them on top of each other, kissing.
“…Kirema, Kyo, if you two don’t want to go to the lake house with us, that’s fine. Just, don’t mess up the house while we’re gone,” Shigure smiled down at them, as his voice broke the kiss.
“No, no, father, I’m going. And I’m sure Kyo wants to go, too. He has a romantic side, too, you know,” Kirema blushed harder, as Kyo crawled off of her, and then picked her up from the ground.
“I’m going. Don’t worry about my packed things, it’s already taken care of,” Kyo stammered, as he pointed to the bags sitting on the staircase.
“Very well, then. Kirema, why don’t you go get your things packed and we’ll leave in a few moments. Hatori is coming to pick us up around one o’clock. Be ready by then, my dears!” Shigure skipped to his room, after announcing that to everyone.
“I’ll go pack my things now. I just hope Hatori isn’t mad with me…” Kirema murmured half to herself, as she ascended the stairs.

“Kirema, it’s so nice to see you,” Hatori grinned shallowly, hugging her tightly. “Where have you been for the past month? Akito has been very worried about you, you know.”
“Akito let me go. She’s just being selfish. Don’t let it get to you, Hatori. It might get to Shigure, but he’s an overall softy,” Kirema hissed into his ear, as she broke the embrace.
“So you’re coming with us then, yes?”
“Duh. Why else would I have my crap packed? It’s not like I have a choice. Tohru practically begged me to come, and Kyo wasn’t any better. Let alone the fact that, Yuki still isn’t feeling well,” Kirema muttered, crossing her arms as she took a step back from Hatori.
Hatori just stood there and blinked, as he extended his hand towards her.
“What?” Kirema asked, her expression twisting from one to another.
“Let me carry your bags, princess.”
“I told you, Hatori! Don’t call me princess,” She growled, as she stalked off towards his car.
“She really does seem like a princess,” Tohru thought to herself, as she grabbed her two bags and headed after Kirema.
“I guess this means we’re leaving! Oh, how exciting! My, my, I can’t wait to see the look on Kirema’s face when she sees the lake house,” Shigure pondered at his own question happily, as he jumped into the car.
“Oh, great, just great! I have to spend three hours in a car with that damned rat,” Kyo muttered, as he sat down in the car, his head hitting the ceiling. “And, Ha’ri… Get taller ceilings in this damned contraption!”
Tohru, Hatori, and Shigure just laughed, as Yuki and Kirema stared menacingly at each other in the back seat.

“It’s so beautiful out here!” Tohru gasped, as she saw how amazing the mountains looked in the sunlight from this angle.
“Yes, it is indeed very beautiful,” Hatori murmured, as he thought of Kana, and how much she meant to him.
“Kirema! Kirema! Please, Kirema! Don’t call-,” Shigure said, stopping half way in his sentence, as Kirema picked up the phone.
“Hello, mother?” said Kirema, as Akito picked up the phone. “Yes, he’s acting up again. Please, tell him to come down. Yes, yes… Yes, I’m perfectly fine… No, he hasn’t. Yes, he’s eating enough. Yes, he’s here, too… She is, too. Is that okay? Should I remove her? Or… Okay, yes. I understand completely. Very well then, goodbye, mother.”
Click. Kirema hung up the phone, as Shigure sat in the corner crying.
“Oh, you’re completely useless. Pick yourself up. He isn’t coming, don’t worry about it.”
“…I’m not worried about… Him…” Shigure said, trying to sound calm and collected, but Kirema knew he was just slowly breaking down.
“Come now, Honda-san. I think that we’re going to take you around the lake, isn’t that right Kyo?” Yuki sweetly mumbled to Tohru, but his voice got sharper as he said Kyo’s name.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, sure let’s go,” Kyo agreed, as he stood from sitting on the couch and walked out of the back door.

As the three left, Kirema stood between Hatori and Shigure, trying to escape their tight grasp on her life.
“Why the hell do you want to turn me into some boy’s bride? You two have been nothing but trouble since I was old enough to understand your dirty talk. Just leave me alone, and let me go!” Kirema struggled with her words, as Shigure and Hatori pinned her to the ground.
“Don’t you think of going anywhere, Kirema. Akito told us to bring you home, and she wants you home, right now. So you’re going to go home!” Shigure growled with stern words, like a true father.
“Uncle Hatori! Father! How could you do something this low? I’ve been trying to run away from Akito for my whole life. Don’t make me turn into a-…” Kirema stopped mid-sentence, as the three came back from their walk around the lake.
“Shigure, Hatori… Get off of her. If she doesn’t want to go home, don’t make her go home. I mean, you were the one who invited her to live at our house, Shigure, so don’t send her home so soon from the vacation,” Yuki pointed out, walking into the kitchen with Tohru following.
“Why the hell would you want to take her home?” Kyo asked, thinking up some awkward thoughts about why she would be sent home.
“Oh, no reason…” Shigure grinned in a fake way. “Akito just… Wanted to see her daughter so much, that, um, she was going to go visit while we came here! Yeah, that’s good, that’s good…” He mumbled quietly to himself.
“What ever, you crazy mutt,” Kyo shrugged, twirling his hand as he sat on the couch next to Kirema, who was huddled in a ball, shivering. He looked at her, wishing he could do something, just as Tohru walked in and saw her on the couch.
“Oh no! Is she okay? Is she okay? Please, Kyo, tell me she’s okay,” Tohru panicked, flitting around the room.
“I’m,” Kirema mumbled, yawning and stretching, “perfectly fine. I just needed a little nap, that’s all-,” she stopped, as Tohru stood peering right into her face.
“What are you doing?” Kyo questioned, raising an eyebrow at her.
“I’m examining her eyes, to make sure she had enough sleep! I want to make sure she’s as rested as possible,” Tohru grinned up at Hatori, as he walked over and bent down, looking into Kirema’s eyes as well.
“Kirema… What have you been eating?” Hatori asked, as he examined her further.
“Uh… The stuff that I’ve always been eating? Anything and everything that I could find to keep myself alive, really,” she confessed, her face turning a pale pink.
“I think she has a fever, I can smell it from across the room,” Shigure started barking out commands as he knelt next to his daughter.
“Shigure… I think we should bring her home to Akito. Akito sounded really worried when I talked to her last. I think maybe we should…” Hatori sympathized, as Kirema whined at him.
"Our vacation is over… We’ve been here long enough. I wasn’t planning on staying over night, anyway,” Shigure concluded the conversation, as he went into his and Hatori’s room and started packing his things.
“I guess we’re leaving then, huh?” Kyo chirped, as he went upstairs to pack his belongs, Tohru following him.
“Let’s go home, now, Yuki,” Shigure called to him, since Yuki was just finishing his meal in the kitchen.
“Very well, Shigure. I’ll be finished with this in a second, my stuff is already packed,” he said calmly.
“Let’s be on our way, soon, guys! Kirema isn’t feeling well, and Akito wants her back at the main house before sunset. Hurry, hurry, let’s get a move on, c’mon!” Shigure yelled up the stairs, and in Yuki’s ear, as he rushed outside to see Hatori carrying Kirema to the car because she was so tired.
“We’re coming! Gosh, just calm down,” Kyo screamed back at him, as he, Tohru, and Yuki loaded into the car for a long drive home.


Story was submitted on October 22nd, 2009.
Story was updated on WORD document on August 23rd, 2009.
Story was updated on website October 22nd, 2009.