LunaescenceLunaescence
 
"Perks and Perverts" by Hakkyou Kaosu


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Me: yet another one-shot.
Zen: you really like these things, don’t you?
Me: yep! ^-^
Mouretsu: (shrugs) whatever keeps her happy.
Zen: and busy…
Me: this one’s for all you Shigure fans!
Zen:…is she gonna start the story any time soon?
Mouretsu: …

SUMMARY: ONE-SHOT A book-signing. Simple, routine. Not this time. Shigure -X- Reader

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fruits Basket or its characters or you.

(Y/n) — Your name
(L/n) — Last name

Perks and Perverts

Shigure stood at the doorway in one of his business suits. Mitchan had scheduled a book-signing earlier–a co-signing, actually. He was now almost officially late.

“I’m off!” he called to the teens in his home.

Yuki merely waved, not seeming to care too much. Kyo responded with an annoyed “If you’re gonna go, then just go already!”

Tohru smiled kindly at him. “Good luck, Shigure-san!”

He smiled and grabbed her hands. “Tohru! You always show me love when they forsake me!” The response: two lumps on the head courtesy of two irate males. After a few more theatrics, Shigure finally left. His fake smile wavered slightly–there was no one to fool right now. He made his way quietly to the city, negotiating the crowded sidewalk with practiced ease.

“SHIGURE!!!” Mitchan was clearly ready to kill–whether herself or him wasn’t too clear at this point. Shigure plastered the grin onto his face, ready to face the weepy editor. She was waiting outside the door of the building. He looked up at it. A new exclusive bookstore’s grand opening.

“Where have you been?!” Mitchan cried. “(Y/n) was here an hour early! You’re lucky she covered for you!” She grabbed his arm and dragged him inside. “No time to waste!!”

Shigure let himself be pulled into the large store. He looked around. It was fairly big, with a massive selection. He wondered who the other author was… Mitchan had told him but…well, he hadn’t been paying attention to put it lightly. At least Mitchan gave him her first name, (Y/n).

The dog found himself being taken to the end of the large ‘library’ store. There was a table set up, yet no line waiting. No one was signing. In fact, the area had been roped off…

He cocked his head to the side. Whoever was signing with him was no where in sight. So where was this other author covering for him? He turned his head, hearing his name. He blinked at the sight that greeted him.

`````You, that morning`````

You were ready. Finally, a book signing. The first step in what you hoped would be a wonderful career. You’d written many books, had even gone on tour. But this book-signing was in Japan. Your first foreign signing.

You had moved here because of the larger fan base. You’d always wanted to live in Japan, and since many of your fans hailed here, you figured why not? They’d be able to get your books easier, and you were always one to please your readers.

You still had time to burn, but you decided to start out anyway. Maybe the other author was there already. If so, you could get this underway sooner. The signing would last until evening, with a few breaks in between. You’d heard of this ‘Sohma, Shigure’ before. Hell, you’d read his books–well, some of them anyway. They were good. Kinky at times, but still good. You had no doubt the man was at least slightly a pervert. His books–the ones you had read–had had plenty of…creative thinking.

You locked your door and walked out onto the streets. You wore a simple, sleeveless blouse and a business-style skirt that ended slightly above your knees. There had been a bit of a heat wave lately and you were no mood to sit in a building all day. Murphy’s Law. The air-conditioning may not be good or it could break down. Either way, the day was going to fairly warm.

You had a jacket, but you didn’t wear it. In the evening on the way home maybe, but not with the sun up. The nights got pretty cold, despite the heat of the day. You liked being prepared.

You met Mitchan at the store. Your editor had introduced you a few days ago, when the signing was being planned. The poor women looked so nervous. She had said everything would be fine, that she had talked to–and would again–her writer.

“Hey, are you okay Mitchan?” you asked.

She jumped and looked over at you. She smiled shakily. “Yeah, just really worried about Shigure-sensei…”

“Didn’t you call him?”

“Yes, I just got off the phone about ten minutes ago.” She said, still on edge.

You grinned at her. “So what’s the problem?”

She sighed. “You don’t know that man…”

You just cocked your head at her. “I will later…”

“Yes.” She answered, then she started muttering. “I hope he doesn’t blow this off. He always runs away when I try to get the manuscripts… And he never pays attention to deadlines. That man is the most selfish on the planet…”

“Oh come now,” you said. “That’s hardly fair. Have you even met every man on the planet?” (AN: I don’t own that phrase, I just really like it ^-^U)

She looked at you. “You don’t know…”

You laughed nervously. Maybe you were wrong about this Shigure-sensei… You had thought he would be a nice guy, you honestly hadn’t considered any other option. You just felt he would be a…well, a nice guy.

“I’ll go inside and help set things up.” you said. Mitchan nodded and continued to wait at the door, wringing her hands. You entered the building with one last, concerned glance to the distraught editor. Could he really be so bad? Well, you’d find out soon enough, you supposed.

You helped the employees set up the tables and arrange the books on the displays. They thanked you with much gratitude. It was their grand opening, and they didn’t have too much help. You just grinned and politely brushed off the appreciation, you weren’t one for too much attention. You were just helping. A few asked for a pre-emptive signing, since no one had arrived yet. You agreed, but only if they stopped thanking you like you were some member of royalty. Apparently you had more fans than you had thought.

The great clock on the upper floor balcony chimed, filling the room with the sound of musical bells. It was time to open. And the other author was no where in sight. Uh oh…

Mitchan looked near a heart attack. Poor woman. She probably had to put up with this all the time. You walked up to her with a kind smile. “Don’t worry,” you said quietly. “I’ll think of something…”

She blinked at you. Then a bright, thankful smile spread across her face. If the fans came in to find a missing author…who knew how the crowd would react. It was best to delay as much as they could. You wracked your mind for a way to postpone the signing.
‘Come on, (Y/n), think!’ you commanded yourself. You gently fiddled with the stone on your bracelet. It was a beautiful onyx jewel with a wolf engraved in it. It had been given to you by an old wise man during one of your book tours. The soothsayer had refused pay, saying it was part of your destiny. You had been confused, but he would not budge in his resolve, so you graciously accepted the gift. It was precious to you.

There was only one thing you could think of to do, but it would put you right in the middle of everyone, the center of attention. Your shoulders tensed unconsciously. You didn’t like that much attention. But it was necessary. If you didn’t distract the fans, Mitchan and her writer would be in deep trouble…

You sighed. Mitchan had become a loose friend, and you couldn’t let her crash and burn because of one inconsiderate man. “Suck it up, (y/n),” you muttered to yourself. “Ya gotta do it, so do it.”

You found a platform-like area. You quickly talked to some of the employees, telling them what was happening. They nodded and quickly set things up. They had roped off the signing area and made a small conference-like area around a podium they brought in. Just in time.

The doors opened and fans began to filter in. They gathered in the space provided. You stood up to the dais and pasted on a bright smile to hide your fear. You didn’t like crowds…

“Welcome!” you said in a cheerful tone. “Before we get to the signing, we will have a small press conference. You can ask questions and I will answer to the best of my ability. So…who wants to start?”

There was a pause as the fans took in the information. Your heart was pounding. Would they buy it? Or would all Hell break loose? A young girl raised her hand tentatively. You beamed at her. “Yes?”

She shrunk back a little. “Um…I was just wondering…Are you going to stay in Japan? Or is this just a temporary residence?” she said quietly.

You grinned, almost a true smile but the fear was still strong. “I have moved her permanently. Japan is now my home.” You answered. She smiled happily, seemingly very pleased that you would stay to in her country to write.

A few more people raised their hands, getting into the flow. You answered questions about release dates and upcoming works. A few questions were slightly personal, and you forced yourself to joke around a little with it. You didn’t want to be rude, but nor did you really want to give out that information.

It had almost been a half an hour, and inquiries were becoming sparser. You were still feeling scared and nervous, not liking the eyes of the crowd in the least. But you pushed yourself to deal with it, even though you could feel your resolve weakening with each passing second. You weren’t sure what would fail first, the supply of questions or your bravery.

One more hand was raised. You called on the young adult. “Where is Shigure-sensei?”

You felt your lungs freeze. It was the one question you had hoped to avoid. You didn’t have an answer. And you didn’t want him to lose face in front of his fans. You smiled; a nervous tilt of your lips that barely passed as plausible. “Well…”

Your eyes caught movement and you looked up. You saw Mitchan dragging a man in a suit and had to hide a sigh of intense relief. “He’s right over there, if you would like to ask him a few questions, feel free when he reaches the podium. But please wait until then.”

The man had turned when the question was asked. He just blinked. You stepped down shakily and sent him a quick look. Its meaning was clear: ‘Get your ass over here.’ He grinned like nothing was wrong, like he was right on time and everything was going as it should.

Shigure couldn’t help but grin at the beautiful young woman who glared at him. This job definitely had some perks. Maybe this signing wouldn’t be nearly as boring as he had thought… He surveyed you as he walked up. He could tell you were shaken, probably not fond of public speaking. Yet you had diverted the attention of the crowd and bought him time. He reached you and grabbed your hand, administering a soft kiss on its back.

“I guess I owe you…” he whispered softly, so only you could hear. You doubted anyone else would anyway–they were too busy going ‘aw’ to hear much else. Apparently his chivalrous gesture had scored him points.

You blushed, making him smirk. His eyes traveled lazily over you, gleaming lightly with lecherous enjoyment. He seemed to approve of what he saw. ‘Yep,’ you thought. ‘Definitely perverted.’

He strode up to the dais with innate grace. His smile was professional but still held a goofy quality. And completely fake. You weren’t sure how you could tell this, but you did. The grin form earlier had been real, but not this. What was he hiding?

You considered this while he answered his fans. He seemed to be the playful type. He didn’t do anything too dramatic, but it was clear he liked to fool around. You were in deep thought. He seemed like a nice guy, yet he was hiding something. What? What could darken what seemed like such bright spirit?

You didn’t notice his gaze on you until his fingers brushed your bare shoulder. You jumped at the light shock from the contact and your eyes flew to his. Your skin tingled and buzzed from his touch. Did he feel that too?

He smiled lightly, a little more genuinely. “Would you care to stand with me?”

You blinked at him, eyebrows furrowed in slight confusion. His eyes glanced to the podium, then back to you. You gulped and wrinkled your nose lightly. “Do I have to?”

He laughed. “Yes.” He said, taking your hand and leading you back to the crowd’s attention. You let yourself shrink a little behind him, letting him take the lead. You helped to answer a few more questions, since most were directed at both of you.

“Are you two a couple?” You could nothing but blush in response. Shigure chuckled lightly and grinned mysteriously. He did not answer the question.

“I believe we should sign some books now.” he said. He placed a hand on the base of your spine and led you to the table while the store employees un-roped the area. Your skin was warm and nerve-endings prickling from his grip. He released you only to pull your chair out for you.

When he pushed you back in, he let his hands rise and linger on your exposed shoulders, his face close to your neck. The girls were swooning at what seemed like such an intimate gesture. The man knew how to charm, you’d give him that.

And you were attracted to him. You wouldn’t react this way if you weren’t. You were almost painfully aware of his body sitting mere inches from your own. You could touch him if you wanted. And you wanted. But you did not allow the contact. You were not some love-sick teen. You were an adult now. You could handle chemistry. You could squash desire. Yet it still burned, low and intense, just beneath the surface.

It wasn’t helping that during the entire signing his arm or thigh would ‘accidentally’ brush yours as he reached for something or shifted slightly. And from his grin, he knew it too. You wanted to smack him for it. You wanted to kiss him. Anything but sit here and try to ignore it.

The hours crawled by, taking eternity for the first break. Lunch. The morning crowd had dispersed and the signing area was roped off again. It would open again after the noon meal for the next round of signing. Things were going well. You sighed and made to stand but Shigure beat you to it. He gently pulled out your chair and offered a hand.

You raised an eyebrow. “Quite the gentleman, aren’t we?” you said softly. You sighed. “You don’t have to make it up to me you know…”

“I know.” He said. “And I wasn’t. I merely want to help.” His smile took on a perverted tilt. “And I like touching you.”

You felt your cheeks warm in a blush. You averted your eyes. “So I noticed…” you muttered, turning to go.

“Do you not like it?” he whispered in you ear, lips brushing softly against the tender flesh.

You jumped even as you felt a shiver race down your spine. ‘When did he get so close?’ “Um…” you could feel him smile against your neck. You were blushing brightly by now. You hadn’t expected this.

“You do.” he answered his own question with certainty. He gave your lobe a quick lick, making you shiver again. “Come.” He shifted to stand beside you, his arm lingering loosely around your waist. He led you to the staff lounge of the store. They had a small buffet set up there for the volunteers and employees of the book-signing.

Shigure was not particularly sure why he was allowing himself to so blatantly flirt. Nothing could come of it. The curse would not allow it. It was too risky… But he felt tempted to take that risk. Very, very tempted.

He found you delicious. He wanted more than a few teasing touches. But he also knew it would not be permitted. But a little voice whispered in his mind, quiet but persistent. ‘What Akito doesn’t know, certainly won’t hurt him…’ Shigure felt a smirk tug at his lips. Maybe, he promised himself.

He wanted that embrace. He had been denied it his entire life. He wanted true passion. Unhindered and wild. The curse was in the way of that. If he could find a way around it… but he couldn’t. Damn the curse, it was air-tight. He had resigned himself to being the lowest of the low, using innocents to try and find a way to that embrace. He didn’t like it, but he would do whatever necessary. The curse…he’d find a way.

His grip tightened on you a bit, his hand dropping to lightly rest on your hip. You probably should have slapped him, but it felt good. You wouldn’t hurt him for something you both enjoyed. It wouldn’t be fair. And besides, if you did that, he’d let go… and you didn’t want him to.

You found yourself drawn into conversation with him. You told him about your life at home, how you had stumbled into your first publication. Then moved here, as you’d always dreamed. He told you of the three teens in his home, how much ‘fun’ it was with them bickering. He told you of his two best friends and a couple of his exploits as a part of the Mabudachi Trio. You couldn’t help but laugh at a few of his adventures. You found you wanted to meet these friends. They sounded fun.

Soon break was over and Shigure led you back to the table, hand returning to rest lazily on your hip. Once more, he held your chair and pushed you in. This time dropping a soft kiss on your shoulder before seating himself. If anything, the attraction had increased. Greatly.

The fans filtered in again. You continued to sign books and answer a question or two. Your body felt like it was humming with the close proximity of the writer beside you. He had moved his chair a little closer. As a result, the ‘accidental’ brushes happened more often. You weren’t sure how much more you could take.

The tension was building steadily. Anticipation gathering heavily. If something didn’t happen soon, you swore you’d break, do something to give his perverted mind something to think about –fans or no. finally, an employee roped off the area, not allowing any more fans. You finished signing the few that remained. Shigure finished up just after you.

Wishing his last fan well, he turned to smile at you. You were too busy stretching. Sitting in chair hunched over books all day did something was not the most comfortable thing in the world. Add in all the sexual tension being generated and it got worse.

Shigure watched you stretch, letting his eyes soak up the image. His hungry gaze traveled over your body as you sighed and relaxed. He wanted you. There was no more hesitation. His eyes rose back up to see yours, looking at him with a blush. He offered a smile, knowing his quite impure thoughts showed in it.

You couldn’t help but blush when you glanced over to see him looking at you like that. His smile was sexy, his eyes dancing with the mischief of his thoughts. You didn’t feel the need to smack him or turn him aside.

You felt slightly confused. Usually, if a guy ever looked at you like that, you probably would have punched him. But you found that you wanted nothing more than to tackle the fellow author and jump his bones. Not a common thing. You’d never felt that way before. And you found it exciting.

Shigure smiled broader. The smile wasn’t fake, it was real. As was the hunger and desire it reflected. He stood and pulled out your chair, helping you up for the second time that day. He kept his hand on you lower back as he walked to Mitchan, who was talking to the store manager. You thanked her and Shigure just said good-bye.

“Don’t run away next time I come by! Do you hear me?!” was her own farewell.

You grinned. “Do you really run away?”

“Of course not!” Shigure said in mock hurt. “How could you believe such things?”

You chuckled. “You were late today. And it didn’t seem like an uncommon occurrence.”

He sighed. “I do not run away. I take short trips to visit family that just happen to coincide with Mitchan’s visits…”

You laughed. “And poor, innocent you gets blamed for the whole thing.”

He nodded, a dramatic expression on his face. “Yes. Woe is my dilemma…” he grinned when you laughed lightly again.

“Don’t worry,” you said, patting his arm. “I believe ya.”

“Do you?” he said, tone suddenly serious. You looked over to him; his eyes had lost their playfulness, filled instead with heat. He backed you gently up against the wall of a building, hands coming to rest on either side of your head. “Do you really…” his hand moved, fiddling with the front of your blouse, his eyes following the actions intently. “Do you want to believe?” his eyes rose to yours suddenly, dark and hard. “Can you believe?”

You blinked at him. What was he talking about? His eyes were showed the desire that you felt boiling in your own veins, yet they had taken on a different gleam. He was serious about it. You frowned. Would you believe everything he said? No matter what it was? Did you trust him that much?

“Yes.” You were crazy. You’d known him less than twelve hours, yet when you looked for the answers, they were clear. Right there, engraved on your heart. You trusted him completely. It was your destiny. The words rang in your mind, clear as the first time you’d heard them from the old man. This was where you belonged. Here, with him. Good or bad, it was supposed to be. And there could be no denying it.

Shigure’s eyes softened, the heat smoldering brightly in them. His head lowered to yours, lips brushing. His hands grabbed yours, pinning them gently against the wall as he increased he contact. His lips devoured yours, the softness receding in the wake of urgent need. His tongue stroked at your lips, his teeth nibbling, begging. You opened your mouth and he did not hesitate. His tongue thrust inside, sparing not a second. One hand released you to dive into your hair, tilting your head for greater access.

Your mind was spinning, all coherence lost. Your hand rose to cup his cheek, kissing him back with equal passion. You closed your mouth over his tongue and began to suck on it softly. You dragged your tongue along his, eliciting a gruff moan from him. He tore his mouth from yours, trailing soft kisses down your jaw line to your neck.

“We should go somewhere…” His voice trailed off as he nipped at your ear, his meaning clear.

You were no where near objection. “Where?” you asked breathlessly.

“…Your place.” He said. He had the teens at his own house, you recalled. You nodded and gripped the hand that was still pinned against the bricks of the wall. He stayed in stride with you as you led him to your apartment. You felt giddy and nervous, the anticipation seeping into your being.

You reached your door and Shigure began to kiss your neck as you grabbed your key. Fumbling with the lock, you found you were shaking too badly to open it. Shigure chuckled and closed his hand over your own helping you guide the key to the lock.

It clicked and opened, only to be locked again by Shigure the second you were both inside. He shut it by pushing you almost roughly against it, mouth hungrily crashing down on yours once more. Your lips parted immediately, denying him nothing.

He kissed you ravenously, his desire strong. He’d never felt like this before, never wanted someone so badly. Your arms lifted and wrapped around his neck, pulling him close. His own hands gripped your sides; abruptly tugging you flush against him. In the back of his mind, something registered. Something was slightly off. But Shigure disregarded it. You felt too good against him for him to care. He loved it. The feel of your bodies so close. Nothing could break through the thick haze of desire.

You stumbled into your bedroom, taking off the Shigure’s tie as you went. His jacket was long gone, as were his and your shoes. Collapsing on the bed, you let yourself fall into a fog of hot need. Nothing existed but the molten passion, nothing but the other person.

`````Next Morning`````

Shigure shifted lightly, nestling the warm figure more snuggly into his arms. A light was flashing against his eyelids. He frowned and squinted one open. Your bracelet had caught the light and was throwing it back at him. He gently shifted your arm, redirecting the light to hit the pillow and not his eyes. That done, he cuddled deeper into the blankets, pulling you closer to him.

He sighed. He felt exhausted but…refreshed. He smiled at the memory of last night. He had reason to be so tired. His eyes widened as finally the fact he had brushed off last night clicked again. He was holding you. Close. And still in human form. Hell, he’d held you in plenty of ways last night, and not once did the curse rear its ugly head. Why?

He gazed at you. You sighed in blissful sleep and burrowed your head against his shoulder, not willing to wake just yet. The shift made the light glint off your bracelet again. Shigure looked to it. A charm? His fingers fiddled with the chain, coming across the onyx stone. He saw the silhouette of a wolf engraved in the pretty stone. Not a charm, a counter-charm…

That must be it. It nullified the dog’s curse. What else could it be? He could always try it out, but… He didn’t want you meeting Akito. Whether it was the jewel or not, he would take it as the blessing it was and not question too deeply. He had been given what he wanted, he would not ruin it. He did not want to drive you away. He wanted you to stay. With him.

You blinked lightly, slowly coming out of sleep. You smiled and snuggled closer to the warmth beside you. Then you remembered. Your eyes widened and you looked up to see Shigure smiling softly at you. A real smile. You grinned in response, leaning to give him a soft kiss. “G’morning…” you whispered.

“Morning.” He said, nuzzling your neck affectionately.

“What now?” you asked. You weren’t really experienced in this and weren’t sure how to handle the infamous ‘morning after.’

He grinned. “Breakfast.”

You nodded. “Okay. What would you like?”

His grin turned lecherous and he rolled over, pinning you beneath him. “You.”

`````Later``````

Shigure had brought you home to meet Yuki, Tohru, and Kyo. Actually, he just wanted to take you in his bed. It was a male dominance thing, he’d said. You just smiled. You didn’t mind in the least.

After a while, you met Ayame and Hatori. They had welcomed you. Ayame in his flamboyant, dramatic way and Hatori in his own quiet, wary manner. While Ayame had fawned over you, Hatori had spoken to Shigure. They had been quiet and serious, but Shigure firm in his resolve. He wouldn’t give you up. No matter the danger. He would keep you. He’d protect you. He’d do whatever it took to make sure he didn’t lose you. You were his.

Hatori had grudgingly allowed it. He would not tell Akito just yet. But eventually, the head would need to be informed. Shigure shrugged. He’d worry about it when it happened. Until then, nothing would taint his time with you. Nothing.

You met Hatsuharu and Momiji a little while later. Followed by Kisa and Hiro. They had all decided to visit Shigure. Coincidentally on the same day you were there. Well, the next morning anyway…

It had been then that you discovered the curse. Momiji had completely glomped Tohru, just as you and Shigure walked into the room. All eyes had turned to you, making the situation worse. You had shrunk back under the attention, and Shigure had taken you aside. Well, if aside meant back upstairs to his room…

It had not been hard to accept, though you were very confused. You trusted Shigure with all your heart. All your soul. Soon after the discussion, Shigure decided you needed help soaking in the information. He felt you needed to be ‘comforted’ and decided to help you ‘relax.’ It had been a few hours before either of you returned back downstairs.

The cursed teens had been slightly surprised that Shigure had taken a lover. But they had, for the most part, accepted your presence. Whether out of genuine liking or merely as a matter of necessity was unknown. You and Shigure were inseparable. If he wasn’t at your place, you were at his. Smitten didn’t begin to cover it. You had fallen in love.

It slipped out one night, just before sleep claimed you. You had been too afraid to mention it, but exhaustion had loosened the words. He had stiffened lightly, but then relaxed. Pulling you closer, he whispered them back, kissing your ear gently as if to seal the words there.

A few days later, at Shigure’s house, there was a phone call. You and Shigure were…otherwise occupied and not in the house, so Tohru had taken the message. Hatori would be by later to pick up Shigure and you. Akito was not happy. An hour later, Hatori was waiting in the living room.

He waited until you and Shigure walked calmly into the house after your very long ‘walk’ in the woods. Shigure automatically greeted his friend with a bright smile. The fake grins had almost disappeared altogether. He had no reason to pretend anymore. But the somber expression the doctor wore had the writer narrowing his eyes. You sensed the tension, but were unsure of it.

“Shigure…?” you asked.

“Come on, (y/n),” he said softly. “I suppose it would have had to happen sooner or later. I just wish it was later. Very later…”

Hatori nodded to you in greeting. “You’ve been told of the head of the family, Akito.” It wasn’t really a question. Hatori had told you about him before. You realized how tense everyone else was. Yuki was almost trembling, his hands tight fists. Kyo looked agitated, almost pacing, his eyes restless. Tohru looked worried and slightly fearful. “He wishes to meet with you. Immediately.”

You nodded. “Is…this bad?” you asked.

Shigure tightened his grip on you waist, holding you possessively close. Hatori’s eyes narrowed when there was no ‘poof.’ Shigure had told him, but he had not seen it until now. It was intriguing, but only added fuel to the fire.

“He is angry,” The doctor directed this at the author. “Very angry.” His voice lowered. “I warned you, Shigure. I warned you to tell him sooner…”

“I know.” Shigure said bluntly. “And I ignored you.”

Hatori sighed. “Let’s go.”

Shigure nodded. You looked to him, your confusion evident. His eyes softened, but he was still anxious, you could tell. He smoothed the frown from your brow, giving you a tender kiss. “Don’t worry,” he whispered, so only you could here. “I’ll protect you from him. No matter what…”

Your worry increased. “But what about you?”

He smiled comfortingly. “I’ve handled him before, don’t worry about me.”

You nodded, but it didn’t help the worry rising inside you. The trip was quiet, Shigure choosing to sit in the backseat with you cradled against him. You did not object. Hatori led you through the main house, to a certain area, to a certain room. A certain person.

The door opened. Shigure stepped in first, leading you by the hand. He walked in and knelt down, gently pulling you down to take a seat as well. He said nothing. Just waited. You followed his example. The anxiety and fear was building up. You didn’t know this man, had heard the barest of him. But based on your love’s attitude, he was not one you would want to know.

Shigure’s quiet and withdrawn behavior worried you. Your hands began to tremble lightly. You clenched them to make them stop, but only succeeded in making the shake worse. Your eyes were darting around the room, searching for this man who would hold such power over everyone.

Sudden warmth on your hand made you jump. You turned to see Shigure offer a nervous smile. This would decide everything. You knew it. The thought entered your mind and echoed through your consciousness. This was it. This man held everything in the palm of his hand. The fate of his family and their happiness. Your fate with Shigure. You tried to smile back, but failed. His hand tightened, trying to offer comfort as best he could in this situation.

You kept eye contact, too scared to look away. Afraid that if you let your eyes leave him, he would disappear. He would be taken away. Forever. You didn’t want that. Something shifted in front of you, in the corner of the room. Your eyes darted to the movement, almost fully adjusted to the gloom.

A figure stood and walked steadily forward. You could not really see him, nor did you think you wanted to. You could sense the evil in him. The darkness. It was blinding, overwhelming. Shigure had his head lowered in a display of respect. As much as you did not wish to leave yourself so vulnerable to this man, you followed his example.

The footsteps were all that you could hear now; soft and barely audible. A pair of feet appeared in your stunted line of vision. They stopped, but nothing happened. No one spoke. The silence stretched out, feeling like an unbearable weight on your heart. It pressed on your lungs, making it difficult to take breath. But you did not move. You did not speak. You barely allowed yourself to breathe.

“This is her?” The voice was cold as ice, sneering and filled with disgust. “You lied, Shigure. You kept her existence from me. Her. This…tramp.” Shigure stiffened but still did nothing. The figure leaned down, gently running a hand along Shigure’s chin, drawing his face up. Shigure’s grip on your hand told you to remain still. You obeyed.

“This slut drove you to hide from me.” The voice continued, the anger seeping into the ice. There was a pause. “You want her, don’t you?” the voice said, tone laced with quiet malice. “Don’t you?” the voice demanded, firmer.

“Yes.” Shigure said. There was no hesitation, no doubt. Only clear certainty.

The figure laughed, a scornful sound bereft of amusement. He released Shigure abruptly, instead turning to you. One step. That was all it took. One shift of a foot and he was in front of you. He grabbed your hair and roughly yanked your face up. You did not cry out. You didn’t dare make a sound.

For the first time, you saw his face. Mere inches from you, he glared with unrestrained hatred. He didn’t even know you, yet his eyes blazed with a dark hostility that spoke of great harm. He had just seen you, yet he hated you immediately. You forced yourself not to tremble under the cold fire of his odium. You would not show him the weakness he sought. You would give him no reason for the destruction he yearned to bring about.

His eyes narrowed at your calm face. Before you could realize he had moved, your head had snapped back from a harsh blow. Your cheek was already reddening, already bruising when he brought his hand down again. You almost fell, but kept yourself upright. You were hit yet again for the effort.

Shigure was trembling from the effort to remain still. If he acted against Akito, it would just make it worse. But God, he hated that you were being hurt. His heart ached, his mind screaming at him to make the family head stop. But he could not. It would only anger him more. Then, you would have no hope.

Finally, Akito grew weary of hitting you. He grabbed your hair and threw you down. “You will not have him.” he sneered, his voice filled with cruel mockery. “You cannot even hold him in your arms. How can you hope to ever keep him?”

You said nothing, merely drew yourself up once more. Shigure’s clenched hands were shaking; you let your hand fall on one tightly clasped fist as you resumed your previous sitting position.

Akito himself began to tremble as new rage washed over him. “I told you…” he said, voice shaking with viciousness, barely controlled violence. “YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM!!!” he yelled, bringing a fist down heavily. You were flung to the side, your hand ripped from Shigure’s. You hit the wall head first, making your mind fuzzy and the room spin.

Shigure couldn’t take much more. He prayed for the Sohma head to stop, begged silently for some show of mercy. He did not want you hurt, even though he knew it was too late now. He would not allow any more harm. His eyes blanked, his face became an emotionless mask of stoic anger. No more.

Akito kicked you ferociously, cracking a rib.

No more.

He lifted you up by the hair, holding you against the wall. There was blood flowing from a cut on your forehead, dripping down your face in a morbid design of red.

No more…

Akito drew his back his fist, preparing to deliver more blows, his sadistic temper not yet satisfied.

NO MORE!!

The words rang through Shigure’s mind, screaming loudly and drowning out all else. He was not aware of moving, only of your pain. He caught Akito’s fist just before it struck. His grip was tight and bruising, vicious in its own right. “No. More.” He bit out, his words clipped and furious.

Akito looked at him in shock. Shigure had always been the most docile of the rest. The obedient dog. But not any more. His eyes flashed with a wrath that rivaled Akito’s most violent fit.

“No. More.” He said again. Akito let his fist go slack, but Shigure did not release him.

Akito’s eyes narrowed and a smirk covered his lips. “You can have her, if you can carry her out of this room in your very own arms.” He said quietly, nastily. He released his hold on your hair, throwing you roughly at Shigure. He was counting on the dog transforming. Shigure would not be able to carry out the order then. But nothing happened.

Shigure released the family head, throwing him forcefully to the side so he could catch you with both arms. He immediately curled you into a protective embrace close against his chest. He nuzzled your hair lovingly, his heart aching, eyes burning with the apology you were no longer conscious to hear.

Akito looked on with wide eyes from his position on the ground. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He was supposed to transform and then pitifully try to carry your unconscious body out of the room. He was supposed to fail. He was supposed to suffer!

A feral growl tore from Akito’s throat; he launched himself up and at the cursed dog. He never made it. Hatori grabbed him from behind. His arms reached up under the head’s, holding him firmly back by his shoulders. Akito fought wildly, like a ferocious animal. His teeth were bared in an inhuman snarl, his anger consuming him.

Hatori did not release the man. He looked to Shigure as Akito continued his struggles. Shigure nodded. Carefully lifting you into a better position, he carried you out of the room.

“A deal is deal, Akito.” Hatori said quietly. He had not wanted Shigure to be like him. He had dreaded having to hear the decision to erase your memories, waited in painful suspense for the cries of pain as Shigure was scarred irreparably. His memories had overlapped the present, driving him to leave his post down the hall and enter unbidden. It was lucky he did.

Akito shrieked in rage. He had been tricked! “She’s a freak!” he screamed. “A freak! She will hurt you! She will use you!” His threats and warnings were thoroughly ignored.

Shigure walked away, holding you close to his chest, close to his heart, the sounds of Akito’s earsplitting rant fading behind him. He carried you to Hatori’s outer office, far from Akito’s rooms.

Shigure laid you on a bed and went to the sink nearby, dampening a cloth. You had stopped bleeding, but you had gotten fairly covered in blood. He gently washed your face; the livid bruises making him wince as they were uncovered. He retrieved another cloth, wetting it in cool water. He sat on your bed, pressing lightly on the discolored flesh. Tears began to fall as he tried to help reduce the beginning swelling. A soft sob tore from his throat.

He leaned over you, gently planting a kiss on your lips before burying his face in your neck. His shoulders shook heavily, and he made no effort to hide his grief. He had allowed this. If he had only acted sooner…

The door opened quietly, but Shigure paid it no heed. “I made him take some medication.” Hatori said softly. “He is asleep and will be for quite some time.” The doctor watched his close friend for a second longer, and then went about gathering medical supplies.

He gently rested a hand on Shigure’s shoulder; he couldn’t work if there was someone in the way. Shigure straightened. His lips still trembled and his shoulder shook, but he forbade the sobs that ripped at him. His eyes were blurred with his tears, but he did nothing to clear them.

“You did it, you know…” he whispered as he silently worked. “You got her out. You saved her. And yourself.” He glanced at Shigure. “You made it. Akito cannot go back on his word. You know that. She’s safe. And she’s still yours…”

Shigure did not acknowledge having heard. He merely kept his eyes glued to your face, his hand clasping yours in a desperate grip. “She’s hurt…” his voice cracked. “I allowed it…I allowed him to hurt her…”

Hatori straightened. He looked at Shigure for a second. Then he drew his hand back and slapped him. Shigure’s free hand rose to his red cheek, turning to his friend with wide eyes. “You saved her. You fool. You still have her.” He said quietly, his voice intense but kept low.

Shigure bowed his head. He still had you. Hatori had been far from so fortunate…

You stirred lightly, wincing with a soft groan. Shigure was standing in an instant, leaning over you with intense worry. Would you hate him? Would you despise him? Forsake him? …Leave him?

You opened your eyes, glazed and foggy. They landed on Shigure’s own and a small smile tugged your lips. “Shi…gure…” you whispered.

“Shh.” He hushed softly. “You’ll be okay. I’m sorry…I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you…”

Your smile didn’t waver. Your hand raised and gently cupped his cheek. “You did nothing wrong.” You whispered. His eyes filled with fresh tears. He clasped your hand, holding it to him. He leaned down and kissed you. He tasted of tears and pain. But also of relief and unbelievable love.

You returned the kiss with all the love you held. You let him feel your heart, let him feel that there was no pain or sadness. No blame. You trusted him and you loved him. Nothing could change that. Ever.

Hatori smiled softly, regret and old pain visible for a brief second as he allowed a small moment between the lovers. He wondered fleetingly how Akito had found out about you. He frowned. It was a good question, despite the fact that things had turned out–for the most part–quite well. He would have to look into it…later.

He gently shifted Shigure out of the way again, relieved when he saw some of the old playful cheer back in his eyes. There would be no scars. Of any kind. He bandaged your cracked rib and cleaned the cut on your forehead. You would be perfectly fine. He told you to take it easy, stay in bed for the first few days at least. Weeks were preferable, just in case.

Shigure smiled, a perverted gleam in his eyes. “Don’t worry, Ha’ri! I’ll keep her in bed!” Hatori rolled his eyes and you blushed. He deemed you ready to go home in the morning, with orders of resting in bed, not just being there. Shigure pouted lightly. You laughed and gave him a small kiss.

“Later, love. Patience is a virtue…” you whispered.

He smirked. “My thoughts of you are anything but virtuous.”

Hatori discreetly left the room. Akito would not wake until late tomorrow afternoon. If he had Shigure take you away in the morning, then things should be fine. Akito would cool down. As much as the family head would despise it, he would allow the union. He had made a deal, after all.

=====End Perks and Perverts=====
Me: woo! My longest one-shot! ^-^
Zen: …who told him?
Me: (shifty eyes) He’s got his ways…
Mouretsu: (smirk) in other words, you don’t know.
Me: hey, I don’t want to get in his head. It’s scary in there. o.oU
Zen: o.0U
Mouretsu: …eh.
Me: well, hope ya liked it! Bye bye! ^-^ (waving enthusiastically)



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