Introduction (Amelia)

The most prominent sound on this Spring afternoon was the sound of birds tweeting. Everything else was drowned out by this melodic chorus of thrushes. It was only when you concentrated when you could hear the light murmur of the city traffic. Every so often, footsteps could be heard. These were both of the slow walking types and the sort from those rushing from A to B, yet the latter was still uncommon. These footsteps belonged to a variety of people: children, businessmen, street cleaners. For the majority of the people in this neighborhood in the middle of Tokyo, today was like any other day.

Except, this wasn’t like any other day. Not for Hiro. For one, he was sat in this park by himself. This was a park that only a few years ago, he would have avoided for it wasn’t a ‘fun’ place to be. There was nothing to play on after all. Well, except the acres of grass that were popular with children. Here, they could be as creative and imaginative as they wished.

Sitting in the park by himself allowed Hiro to think. The setting surrounding him reminded him of that one day. The day he bought some crepes from a random stall, parked up by the boulevard of trees. One strawberry, one chocolate, one banana chocolate… Even he had to admit, they did taste good. Of course, he didn’t have the crepes to himself. That would have been absurd, even for an elementary school kid. Instead, he shared them with Tohru and Kisa. At the time, he didn’t care for Tohru, but the happiness that the crepe and spending time with Tohru brought to Kisa? He had loved that.

Reminiscing about that day? This wasn’t like Hiro. He had never loved spending time with Tohru, even if it was from his own petty jealousy. Why would he want to remember such a time? Sighing to himself, he shook his head. No, he was being too harsh. Tohru had raised several points that day, even if she hadn’t exactly realized to what extent. And, although it had been a long time since then, they were still valid. They weren’t valid to the same extent anymore, but that didn’t matter. Hiro scowled as he paused in his thoughts and concentrated, thinking about the last few years. Had he changed that much? Sure, he had aged a few years, but… what had actually changed?

After a few minutes, he sighed as he began to stand up from the wooden fence he was sat balancing on. Brushing the palms of his hands together to get any dirt off of them, he began walking towards the park’s gate. He was heading towards the city. His thoughts were still rushing around in his mind. It became harder to think about things, though, as the sounds of the city around him became louder.

Seeing kisa (Lita)

Passing through the steel arched park gates Hiro felt a sense of nostalgia recalling that day, a childish, absorbed boy couldn’t be there for his most beloved. Jealousy and enraging guilt had consumed a child Hiro, feeling intense emotions for one so young. With this cheesy idea only wishing to be a heroic prince coming to save his only princess but another appears. Someone pure of heart and doing what he knew inside was failing to do for the girl he loves. Always has loved and knowing that may never change. A small smug escaped Hiro’s lips to himself admitting that clumsy Tohru saved him from enraging emotions, he had no control over. Who knows how things would have turned out then, that thought sends spikes into Hiro’s heart. This encounter between a young Hiro and Tohru, did more than shift Hiro’s thinking. It changed everything for him but always with one goal in mind, to keep the princess smiling.

Indeed a cheesy child notion Hiro has kept with him all these years envisioning Kisa as his princess still. The mere thought of the glowing tigress, Kisa had transformed into sent Hiro’s heart racing. Both reaching the ripe age of seventeen, it was a blessing in itself he still got to be with his beloved sunshine, that made the grey dissipate. Realising Hiro had been lost in the absence of thoughts, he was still standing near the park entrance. Why shouldn’t he be lost in such dreamy thoughts? The blue sea sky sang happiness, with no single cloud to be seen – Nature’s atmosphere was at its ripened peak for you to lose yourself in immense thought. Hiro’s golden sunflower hair swayed to the side, the light breeze greeted. Swinging his head to the side, everything comes to a stand still. The once thoughts of venturing into the bustle city, quickly are replaced by plaptating, passionate heartbeats. There were no plans to see his princess today, knowing Kisa would be hanging out with friends. Yet, the swing motion of Hiro’s head, his chestnut eyes are swallowed up by a glowing radiance few meters away from him – on a nearby bench surrounded by friends.

Dearest Kisa, beloved Kisa overpowering words repeated over and over in Hiro’s mind. His Kisa had always been cute to him but today was the cutest in existence for some reason. That small, angelic smile was there as usual but his chestnut eyes were entranced elsewhere at her sunshine, golden long dress. A golden lace trim around the edges and daisy yellow bow underneath her chest area. Her daffodil hair went down to her shoulders, glowing in the spring sunshine. She was all the sunshine Hiro needed in his life and by this point Hiro was lost in beaming rays of happiness, even if not close by her. Her angelic smile was all he lived to see from his princess these days and it was enough to be by her side. Hiro could never ask for more, he dare not, more of feeling like he had no right to – faint guilt from that day still existed somewhere inside. Satisfied to his beloved around others, Hiro smiled in comfort heading into the other direction. Before making the turn to leave, Hiro’s head swings over once more, feelings of comfort quickly turn to discomfort, making a gripping round fist – squeezing intensely.

strawberries and daffodils (Amelia)

Hiro’s head became noisy very quickly. His own thoughts were having an exchange. He couldn’t do anything. He froze on the spot; his fist gripping his palm tighter and tighter.

Don’t do it, Hiro.

Why not?

You’ll look like an idiot.

Why would I look like an idiot?

Because she won’t say what you want to hear.

And why’s that?

She hasn’t given you the ‘right’ answer in 17 years… What makes today any different?

Hiro wasn’t used to fighting – not with himself anyway. Deep down, he was quite emotional. Conflicted. What should he do? There was only one thing he knew in this moment – Kisa’s smile was beautiful. She was treating him right now. All Hiro ever wanted to do was to make Kisa smile. Seeing her smile, laugh and joke with her friends brought so much joy to him. Yet, it also brought so much envy to him as well. It should be him making her smile and laugh like that – not them.

In fact, now that he thought about it, Kisa had never smiled like that for him. What was he doing so wrong that meant he had never seen her smile like that for him? His fist was currently the tightest it could be as it began to shake a little. His usual frowny face had turned into a somewhat angered and pouty one.

“Seems like someone else has some hots for the cuties over there!” an unfamiliar voice remarked from behind Hiro.

“You’re right!” a second one chimed in, a slight snigger coming out at the same time. “But if all he’s gonna do is stand and stare, maybe we have a chance, boys!”

Hiro stayed still as the owners of the voices walked past him – one brushed his shoulder against Hiro’s. As he glanced in their direction, he saw that they were a similar age to him. He didn’t know who they were, nor why they were so confident about ‘having a chance’. What did they have that Hiro didn’t?

“Fools…” Hiro mumbled under his breath. He didn’t want to cause a scene. Not here. Not now. If he was loud, if he had caused a scene, that would mean Kisa would hear it. She would see it. It was safe to say that she wouldn’t be pleased with him. Not only that, but Hiro didn’t want to ruin her happiness. Instead, he settled for kicking a stone that had been laying there on the pavement. It had a lot of force behind it, but it – thankfully – didn’t damage anything… or anyone.

Taking his nails out of his palm and heaving a heavy sigh, Hiro took one last glance towards Kisa and her friends. They were completely oblivious to the world around them as they continued to joke around. A small smile tugged at his lips for a brief moment, before he began to walk in the direction he was facing. He had no new destination in mind. His plan was to follow the pavement.

The path lead him to a street full of different shops and business. Continuing to drag his feet along the asphalt, his hands were tucked into his pockets. Hiro peered into every shop window. Somehow, he had ended up in an area he wasn’t all too familiar with, so a child-like curiosity had taken over him. He came across a café which, as he noticed when he peered through the grand window, appeared to be quite popular. Able to feel the coins in his pockets with the tips of his fingers, he made a quick decision. It was time to have a quick indulgence.

“Welcome!” the cashier exclaimed as Hiro walked into the café. In reply, he gave a nod before he began to look at the menu. There was a wide variety of teas and coffees available, as well as many different delicacies. After a minute or so, he settled his decision and ordered a hot chocolate and a slice of chocolate cake.

Cafés were somewhere Hiro enjoyed visiting. It allowed him to watch others and observe from a distance. Sure, he was often somewhat doubtful of others’ common sense and found them annoying. The main thing, though, was that he was out of the way. It meant he could have some time to himself to reflect and to relax. His current people-watching stint was soon to be distubed as the waitress arrived. Here was his hot chocolate and cake. As she placed the drink on the table, he couldn’t help but give a small smile. Man, that looked good. There was nothing better than a hot chocolate with cream and chocolate sprinkles!

The waitress soon disappeared as she finished serving him and as she disappeared, so did Hiro’s smile. Of course, he wasn’t upset that the waitress had gone. He couldn’t care less about her. But there was something about the cake that had caught his eye. Little did he know upon ordering the cake… that the chocolate desert came served with cream and strawberries.

It was something so small, but he couldn’t help but stare at the red fruits. After today’s events, there was only one thing that he could think of as the fruit remained in his vision. That day. The crepe day. The day Tohru told him to be the prince he so wanted to be.
Snap out of it, Hiro.

Was this some kind of joke? It had to be. Sure, he was besotted with the tigress, but he couldn’t let little things like this affect him. Pouting, he stroked one of the strawberries with the prongs of the fork as he thought hard. He concentrated as he mentally argued with himself once again. As he came to a conclusion, he slammed the fork back onto the table as he stood up. The usual ambience of the café fell silent as the other customers turned to look at him.

“I have to do it,” Hiro mumbled his breath. “I have to try!” With a determined look on his face, he paced out of the café. He had let his hot chocolate untouched and his chocolate cake only grazed by the fork’s prongs. Not even a single bite had happened. His walking pace was quicker than before as he retraced his steps. There was no dragging his feet this time. He was on a mission now – a mission that could fail if he was unable to navigate through the ever-increasing crowds. She had to be there, right? There was no way she would have moved… Right?

As he reapproached the gates of the park, he looked over to the other side of the road, scanning for any signs of Kisa. His eyes began to widen as he realised she and her friends were missing. Was he too late? No way. That wasn’t possible, was it? He hadn’t been gone that long, after all. He continued to walk along the pavement – his eyes were darting everywhere as he tried to search for his beloved. There was no way he was backing down this time. He had to find her.

Reaching a crossroads, he noticed a familiar set of colours walking away from him. The shiny blonde hair, the dress that reminded him of daffodils. Yes… there was no doubt about it. That was her, alright. That was Kisa.

“Kisa!” Hiro shouted, hoping that his voice could be heard over the sound of the traffic. “Kisa!” It was only after his third attempt that she glanced around, her lips parted in surprise.

“…Hiro?”

“Kisa!” By this point, he was sprinting over the zebra crossing to meet her. “I want to talk to you.”

The Confession (Lita)

Spring sunshine blinds Hiro into a daze as time felt like it was freezing the moment, he called out to Kisa. The illuminating sunlight surrounding Kisa is a bright Aura, as Hiro reaches for her hand, panting rapidly out of breath. The green man was about to turn red as when Hiro raised his head seeing his Kisa’s surprised expression, grasping her small hand – pulling her back towards the park main gate. Hiro in those few seconds wasn’t even thinking about his actions or what Kisa may have thought of him. This prince was going to follow through being there for his princess, to not be tied down by prior jealousy or hesitation.

Kisa stood there out of breath herself from Hiro pulling her but a small smile escaped her lips that Hiro thankfully didn’t notice. She hadn’t seen Hiro for a few days, staring over at his dashing blonde locks that had turned more golden with time. Hiro always dressed classy today was different, Kisa thought he looked extra handsome today. His checkered blue and white shirt, dark blue denim, black denim jacket and black converse – complimented him very nicely. Kisa stopped staring for a few seconds before Hiro let go of her hand and stared into her auburn eyes.

“ . . .Sorry about dragging you over. . . here so suddenly. ” Hiro stuttering along his words. Looking over at Kisa, she just gave him that same angelic smile that is sunshine itself to him. Not seeming bothered by his rather abrupt manner. Tucking her golden hair behind her ears, takes one step towards Hiro shyly.

“That’s. . . okay, you just surprised me is all” Kisa staring directly into Hiro’s brunette eyes looking a little flushed. Hiro is ataken by how close Kisa was, the gap was about 2cm, no way when they were younger – Kisa would have made such a move. Kisa has always been a shy, awkward individual but it’s these traits Hiro fell in love with. But over the years Kisa’s confidence has grown at a steady pace, only having the prince pine for his princess even more. Hiro still staring at his princess, stubbles back for a second and coughs briefly.

“I had no idea you would be out with your friends today, but. . . hadn’t seen you for a few days. Soon as I saw you, thought I should say hello at least”. Hiro looks a little flushed casually speaking his mind, as this was not the time to be chicken – after dragging her near the park entrance. Hiro was scared at this point what Kisa even thought of this random situation, he looks down for a few seconds – but then a hand takes his. Hiro’s heart starts racing just like every time his princess is beside him and seeing his Kisa smiling happily taking his hand.

“I feel like going for a little stroll, let’s go Hiro!” Kisa randomly insists. Next moment a vulnerable Hiro is being dragged through the park main gates.

This is not what I had imagined.

Kisa is strangely forward today, her confidence has grown with time though still very shy around new people, crowded places. But as Kisa holds Hiro’s hand softly, pulling him along, Hiro raises his head looking up at the sun piercing through the greenery of foliage, it was a peaceful serenity in this moment. Things were not going as he had planned mentally in his mind but Hiro was rolling with it. It was good Kisa hadn’t noticed yet Hiro’s red beet face, he just wanted to die in that moment, anybody would. Kisa and Hiro walked for a few minutes along the wide path, either side, aged chestnut trees towering over the pathway with its intertwined branches.

The day, this moment all seemed like a dream. Why was it taking until a moment like this with Kisa to confess his feelings? Hiro had this swirling thought going around, before that he could have made his feelings known. But Hiro believed in the right ‘time’, he felt it as his heart began to skip a beat faster. Kisa and Hiro reach the end of the pathway, stopping in front of the park’s main fountain. Nobody else was about so late in the afternoon, the trickling of water droplets pouring from the fountain looked ascetically pleasing to the eye – glisnising through the raise of sunshine. Casually Kisa lets go of Hiro’s hand and goes over to look at the fountain closer. Hiro looked on in dazzlement, admiring how beautiful Kisa has grown over the years.

“Fountain looks so beautiful today, Hiro” Kisa comments following a little giggle. Hiro didn’t understand why today of all days, over and over recollecting a ditzy girl, crepes and her words.

“You can be a prince” that pierced through so easily leaving a profound impression that still remains strong after all this time. Hiro’s expression softens looking over at his princess, looking so happy and full of life compared to so long ago – being forced into the dark. Kisa belongs in the light always and Hiro wanted to be the one to banish any negative that would harm her. Hiro walks over to Kisa, his princess looking at the gushing water as the sun rays bounces off.

“Kisa, I said before, I wanted to talk to you if you’ll hear me out” Hiro’s hands are trembling nervously with his sudden outburst to Kisa. Turning her gaze towards his maroon eyes, shows that angelic smile once more.

“You look nervous, Hiro” Kisa commented forwardly, which only made a nervous Hiro more determined. Hiro raises his red beet face looking directly into Kisa’s auburn eyes, choosing to no longer hide it. He moves a step closer to her. Kisa ruffled her golden dress, her smile turned to a nervous one. Noone was around the fountain, sunlight crept over where the sohma pair stood – making the water’s surface shine a million stars. Hiro places his right arm behind the back of his head, ruffling his golden locks still looking at Kisa. A sense of awkwardness filled the air.

“This place, this park, holds a memory that had never left me, thanks to a incomptent girl and her words” Hiro sincerely confessed. “That. . . day. . . back then I was just a child who thought they were thinking like an adult. Who thought they were doing the right thing when they weren’t” Hiro’s expression began to look bleak slightly as he continued. “A child really does not know better, choosing to ignore you Kisa was not the better decision”. Hiro paused for a moment, surprised Kisa was intentionally listening to his words, her auburn eyes piercing right back in response. Hiro took a breathe to continue while his face began to turn redder.

“All this time still, has eaten away at me for not being there for you, when you were in the dark. I carried so much regret and guilt, I say carried past tense as coming here today. Made me remember her words and reassurance. Much as I’m willing to admit it now compared to that day, I was just a selfish child who thought they were thinking like an adult, that was just a lie” Hiro’s expression changed again to a content smile. The atmosphere felt relieving as Hiro’s sadness Kisa could hear through his words was fading away slowly. Kisa places her golden hair behind her ears again in an awkward manner and slight blush escapes her cheeks.

Kisa had felt somewhere a cloud of guilt still hungover Hiro from that dark time. She could never hate or feel disappointment for someone who had always been there at every turn. Hiro had always been special to Kisa but till now, she had never given a true answer to that. Without thinking Kisa reaches out her hand for Hiro’s, looking slightly desperate as the wind blow her dress to the side. Hiro couldn’t see Kisa’s hand was shaking nervously to how he would respond because the old Kiss would never have been this bold.

At this point Hiro’s face was flushed with red all across, when his princess is reaching out her hand so forwardly. This angered and delighted Hiro, as it’s a prince’s duty not a princess’s. Hiro could feel the unrestful, unruly feelings begin to well up inside of him. His face red beet turns to determined taking his princess’s delicate hand, kneeling down on one knee and kisses the back softly. Kisa loses her footing for a second, from the suddenness, as she looked down at this regal prince before her.

“Hiro. . .” Kisa looking directly down at Hiro, she’s never seen till now. Full of such determination and aggression. Hiro stands up, holding onto her hand tightly looking directly into her auburn.

“You’re not allowed to be so forward, reaching out your hand because that is my job. As your prince to protect his princess always, to cast away any darkness that may come to befall you. I will be the one to always and only do this” Kisa’s expression looked blank at this point. She’d never heard Hiro talk so forward about his feelings but somewhere inside felt ecstatically pleased. A massive blush appeared on Hiro’s face once more as his grip on Kisa’s hand softens.

“You are like the sunshine, you’re smile is like sunshine banishing any negative I have ever felt. I want to protect this but guilt held me back from ever pursuing my own selfishness. . . but no longer. There is no one in this world I love more than you princess. . . Kisa.” Hiro’s heartbeat is racing millions miles an hour as his confession catches the both off guard. Kisa looks down for a moment, Hiro looked so radiant and all too much to take in. Hiro briefly lets go of her hand, looking down.

Kisa watches him, seeping into anguish for her response. The wind blows with ease through the trees as the sun begins to set, leaving a blood orange sky.

Taking both his hands and holds them softly, making Hiro raise his head slowly.

“There is nothing to forgive, you’ve always been beside me . . . special more than anyone else to me.” Kisa gives her usual sunshine smile with ease. “You’ve always been a prince to me Hiro, I love you more than any other”. A teardrop escapes Hiro’s eye as he pulls his beloved princess into a longing embrace. A lasting embrace till the sky turned to almost a starry sky. Hiro yearned, wanted for so long his princess, dearest Kisa and the timing was right after all.

The two Sohmas let go of their embrace for a brief moment lost in each other’s loving eyes. The tigress looked so radiant in the moonlight just like in sunlight. She was the light to his darkness as the thought passes Hiro, lifting up his princess’s face and kissing her softly. Wrapping her arms around her prince happily and kissing him back in the same response. This prince will never let go of his beloved again, thanks to an idiot’s reassurance.

END

4 thoughts on “The Prince & Tigress: A Creative Fruits Basket Collaboration

  1. That was such a cute story. I very much enjoyed the slow build up to the inevitable, and you two capturering the doubt and feelings involved. Also Kudos for how you set a stage. Fleshing out the sounds, the looks and all that .Really made me see the park!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s