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fic: Fool and Dog
rate: T
Pairing: Shigore/Akito
Disclaimer: Fruits Basket is not mine.
Summary: Shigore and little Akito bond, Hatori glares and there are no heroes. Warnings: Spoilers and hints of shounenai.
posted on 2-23-07

I love Akito as a girl, but for some reason Akito as a boy is a louder muse. You will see I mix anime and manga canon to my heart’s content. Please induge me. :-)

Not my best by far, but amusing to write.





Fool and Dog

Part one: Offering

God has been sick in the head and stomach since last week, a small, restless ball under the covers, tiny toes curled up in agony. God is only twelve and already has the eyes of an invalid. Shigore holds him close, never gagging at the stench of disease. Only a few hours ago he had pulled Akito onto his lap and rocked him to sleep, but now the boy is awake again and Shigore contents himself with holding his shoulders as his tired head thump onto his chest to the to the rhythm of pained spasm. Little God moans and curses deliriously, tiny hands fisting Shigore’s best suit.

“Don’t worry, Akito-san dear. I won’t leave you. I will lie and use people for you. I will kill for you if necessary. Damn, I will even sing for you if that sends you back to sleep.”

Akito should be upset, but the fever makes him laugh childishly until coughing prevails.

Hatori, who is passing by with a tray loaded with colourful , psychedelic pills and bottles, scolds Shigore because both of them take perverse pleasure on it.

“Shigore, if you want to kill Akito-san right away at least use something more merciful than your sense of humour.”

Shigore shrugs and chants merrily. “ Poor Haa-san, you are just being jealous because God loves me more.”

Hatori casts him a dignified glare and proceeds to drug Akito to his heart’s content. The needles poke, sting and mark the already offended forearm. Akito blinks away tears and clings closer to Shigore, tiny hands reaching and clutching with each metallic stab. Good cop and bad cop. Shigore and Hatori exchange their masks as if they were their real faces.

“Stupid Jyuunishi.” Akito mutters deliriously, toes clenching and unclenching under the soiled covers. He presses his legs to his chest and turns to Hatori, his hoarse voice almost hopeful. “Hatori, am I dying?”

“I will bring you more painkillers.” Hatori answers tersely and leaves the room.

Shigore pulls God up, resting his chin on the top of his warm head as he embraces him comfortingly. He presses his nose to the sickly wet hair, sniffing the familiar, soothing scent of ill child. “Ssssh, Akito. You know it's wrong to think about dying.” Shigore intones the old litany as he brushes loose hair off the contorting face. “You must keep yourself alive for us. And we are very grateful. So grateful.”

He grins charmingly:

“Besides, if you die I will die too.”

The boy answers promptly to the old teasing. He smiles magnanimously through his torment and misery, tiny hands reaching for Shigore’s chest, sensing his heart. “I won’t let you die, Shigore...Maybe.”

“Thank you, Akito-san.” Shigore answers with equal amounts of love and cynicism, and neither is lost on the delirious but sharp boy. He holds the Sohma's precious scapegoat to his chest and starts rocking him gently once again, being careful about sore limbs and needle wounds. He wants to tell Akito his sacrifice is worth it. He wants to tell Akito he has lived a happy life, that he has loved, dreamed, travelled, been silly and written books of all kinds- so many things that would never be possible without Akito's suffering.

He wants to tell his God how truly grateful he is. But he knows this gratitude would only hurt Akito, who has nothing but indepted relatives to cling to. So he keeps quiet and rocks his God to sleep, pretending his meagre offering is good enough just because it's done out of love.

------

Part 2: Curse

“Hatori…Hatori… FUCK YOU ALL.” God sits bolt upright in the middle of the night, pushing Shigore off the futon, nails clutching thin air. “WHY DON’T YOU FUCKING MAKE IT STOP? I’M IN PAIN, DAMNIT.”

Shigore crawls back to the futon and Akito nestles his body close to him, breathing fast as the pain peaks once more, his face livid and wet with involuntary tears. He mumbles something incoherently and mean and then starts screaming again with his girlish voice.

Shigore holds him back and Hatori rushes into the room with wide eyes. When the door slides open, Shigore glimpses little Yuuki curled up against a wall with his eyes tightly shut, fists pressed to his ears as he shakes with unadulterated terror. And for a second, Shigore can see God through Yuuki’s fear. And God through Hatori's despair. But he also can see God through his own control, for since he can remember Shigore is always the one holding this boy back, restraining, refraining, keeping him from falling completely into his own abyss.

The Fool and his Dog, what a sad arcane they make.

Hatori’s work is to keep Akito’s alive. Shigore’s work is to keep Akito’s human. Neither of them is old or wise enough for the job and very good at what they do, but they keep going nevertheless. They are everything Akito truly has.

“Please, PLEASE!” Akito has reached the begging stage now, huge, pain-crazed eyes staring up pathetically at Hatori as the doctor opens his white yukata and examines him all over again, surgery scars and things Shigore can’t even name mapping the pale torso and thighs. “Please, Hatori. Please. Make it go away.”

Hatori’s hands are shaking.

Exhausted, Akito collapses back into Shigore’s arms, whimpering dejectedly as he carves his own naked thighs with sharp nails, trying desperately to distract himself from the old pain with a new one. Take it away, take it away, but it’s obvious the child doesn’t know anymore what he wants to be taken away. Shigore pins his bloody hands over his head while Hatori fastens the restrains around the convulsing body. A possessed God, rolled eyes of epiphany gaping at Shigore, pleading, pleading, pleading, but Shigore can’t give what he wants. Now he is the Bad Cop, holding Akito down, while Good Hatori blesses him with his holy drugs.

“I’ve broken the needle in his arm.” Hatori informs and then, after a brief thought, slaps Akito hard, making him stare at him with dumb, childish shock. Precious seconds. Enough for the new needle to reach the vein and fill Akito with blessed morphine. It’s okay, really. At this point Akito won’t remember being hit.

As he passes out, retching all the way to unconsciousness, Shigore wraps him once more with his arms as Hatori collapses back on the other side of the futon, looking ill, Akito a moaning buddle of soiled sheets between them.

“It’s wrong, Shigore.” Hatori speaks between deep, even breaths. “It’s wrong and no matter what we do it’s always biting us back on our arses because he is mean and insane and it’s not even his bloody fault. And he’s only getting worse with age.”

”That’s why they call it a curse, Haa-san.” Shigore says gently, stroking the boy’s black hair and kissing his feverish temple. “Akito’s job is to remind us that being a Sohma is not that simple.”

“And he sure enjoys his job, doesn’t he?” Hatori declares with bitter calm as he points at the closed sliding door with a terrified child behind it. But soon after his hands are already rising to cover Akito protectively and to feel his pulse once again.

Akito will always be Akito, and he is working very hard to be the worst version of himself, but Shigore and Hatori are old enough to remember a tiny baby-God who wouldn’t, couldn’t sleep, sore little throat contracting without a sound after hours of unrelieved screming.

In the end of the day, they are still family, and love and hate each other just like all other families, cursed or otherwise.

At some point during the night, Yuuki enters the bedroom and curls up by the futon because he knows God needs his Zodiac. Now he is too terrified to leave.

-----

Part Three: Saviour

Next day Akito is too numbed to raise his throbbing head from the pillow, half-lidded eyes watching the world and the birds outside with somnambular concentration. Shigore is lying behind him, stroking his back soothingly while he reads out a book. Today they are going through The Great Mirror of Male Love.

Akito tries to turn around and fails, but Shigore immediately guesses his wish and soon they are facing each other.

“Hatori thinks I’m mean.” Akito works the words slowly with his swollen, dry tongue, his throat so sore he starts coughing muck all over again, painting green the sheets between them. “I don’t think he likes me.”

Shigore gives him a sideways glance.

“Of course he likes you, silly. You are his God.”

“It’s not the same thing.” Akito declares with childish seriousness.

Shigore wonders if it was a mistake to expose Akito to books. Nice, wordy books full of information about a world Akito will never know, with true love and true people, and all the things in between.

Sod that.

“No, it’s not.” Shigore admits not without approval. Akito learns fast and as a compliment, he pats the boy’s cheek gently. “But we are family, and Hatori knows more than anyone else what you’ve done for us all. Sure he loves you, even if he hates you as well. The same applies to all of us.”

That seems honest enough to Akito and he looks at the walls he has been trying to paint black. “I’m getting worse, isn’t it? Yuuki doesn’t play with me anymore. He hides when I yell at him.”

Shigore closes the book and turns to give Akito an whimsical smile. “If by “worse” you mean “crazy” I guess you’re very close to the truth, Akito-san.”

The boy presses his yukata sleeve to his mouth and laughs at Shigore’s bluntness, snuggling closer. Really, Shigore never know how he is going to react.

“But don’t fear.” He adds with a loving smile. He truly loves those quiet afternoons. “ I’m the Dog. And dogs are famous for being faithful to the worst kind of people. You are truly safe with me.”

Thankful but too divine to tell him so, Akito kisses his cheek gently and grabs the forgotten book with his tiny hands. Shigore watches as the boy reads carefully, mouth shaping the big words silently.

Maybe it’s the light of the sun, or the chirping of Akito’s birds. Shigore catches himself dreaming about a day a blazing messiah will drop from the skies like an angel of love, just to break their stupid, stupid curse, taking all the pain away. And on that day, Akito will not smell like something rotting in a grave, Shigore will be able to hold him tightly without hurting him and Akito will be old enough to be kissed.

Not that age really matters, Shigore ponders with a silly smile spreading on his face. He has always been a pervert and if he keeps feeding Akito the right books... He is lovely, divine and he has potential, even if only in a Sohma psychotic way.

He chuckles at his own absurdity and ruffles Akito’s hair. The boy grants him a puzzled grey look over the interesting little book, but doesn’t ask.

The Fool and his Dog. Sometimes Shigore can’t tell which one he is.

Next day Akito is healthy enough to land little Yuuki in the infirmary for a whole week. Shigore visits the little Rat now and then out of sheer guilt. He is too happy things are back to normal. Hatori too. But neither of them say anything when they pass each other in the Main House’s obscure corridors.

There is nothing to be said.

In his huge room of white feathers and billowing curtains, Akito watches the seasons go by from the round windows. He half cherishes, half fears Shigore’s dream of a white-clad saviour who will break the curse and save them all. But he already knows that by the time she arrives he will be too insane to recognise her for what she is.

-----------

And that's the end. Thanks for reading this far. I hope you enjoyed it. :-)

Note:

1. The Great Mirror of Male Love (1687) is a collection of man/man erotic short stories by Ihara Saikaku. It felt like the kind of stuff Shigore would read to Akito – if only to embarrass Hatori. :-)
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