Summary: Sometimes we fail to see the monster in the man… But what about the man behind the monster? Akito x Tohru. Oneshot.
Author’s Note: Obviously, this is the anime version. I have read the manga, but some points just irk me… Akito, god? Ha. Also, there is some OCC-ness, especially Tohru, but I find it hard to write her… She is hard character to do justice to. As for this fiction in itself, I have no clue how this started or an explanation for the ending. This has beta’ed! Thank you, TheSorrowfulVampress! Also, go read the sequel! :)
Disclaimer: Characters and other recognizable things in this story belong to their respective copyright owners. No copyright infringement is intended, I make no money from this fan work. The only thing I can lay claim to is the original character(s) and plot—or lack therefore.
Monster In Us All
Sometimes we fail to see the monster in the man… But what about the man behind the monster? This was what I felt about Akito. Yes, he had done so many terrible things—horrible things… But what sufferings did he have to go through to become this way? What happened to twist someone to such a degree? That thought broke my heart and motivated me to want to help him—motivated me so desperately that I felt consumed, obsessed…
“Honda-san?” Yuki’s soft voice distracted me, bringing me from my thoughts. “Honda-san… Are you all right? You seem…distracted.”
“O-Oh, yes! Pardon me, I was just thinking.” He didn’t seem so sure of my answer, but left me to my thoughts nonetheless. Somehow, I felt torn between being grateful and disappointed. Yet, I didn’t have time to be selfish, not when everyone else was suffering so. ‘Oh, Akito-san…’
“Tohru-kun?” Shigure’s eyes were also worried. Apparently, he too had noticed my absentmindedness. It was just the two of us now, Yuki and Kyo were nowhere in sight and I briefly wondered how long I had zoned out. “Is there something on your mind?”
“Yes.” If anyone could help me, Shigure could. “I want to see him.”
All expression left his face, to the point it was almost frightening, but my mind was still on helping Akito that I couldn’t bring myself to care. “Akito.” It wasn’t a question, Shigure knew where my mind was; he knew all too well what I was thinking, as unsettling as that was.
“Yes… I… I want to help him… I want to see him—I have to see him!” And as irrational as it sounded, I had to see him, I had no choice… No matter what the outcome might be… No matter if I didn’t leave with my memories intact, I had to do something. ‘All I can do is hope that somehow I can help him…’
“Very well,” he answered quietly, his thoughts far away as well. “I will contact Akito-san, Tohru-kun… Are you sure that is what you want?”
“Yes.” And with that simple word, I sealed my very fate.
Fate is a funny thing; destiny isn’t always what it seems to be… The Sohma family seemed fated to be cursed, to be damned to this life—if you could call it a life… As Shigure led me to Akito, I wondered what my fate might be… Just what would become of ‘Honda Tohru’?
“Tohru-kun.” He paused just outside Akito’s room, his tone hovering between neutral and concerned. “Be safe…”
There was something in his tone, some kind of warning, but before I could ask, said object of my new fixation appeared. “Tohru-san, how nice to see you.”
Shigure, my only support, left me alone to the beast, left me alone to some unknown fate, and suddenly I wondered if I had the strength to continue with my next course of action. “Akito-san.” The room was unnaturally dark and cool; the odd, chilly air made me think of the state of Akito’s heart. ‘Lost, aloe and hu—‘
“Tohru-san,” His back was to me, his attention focus on the bird perched on his finger, “why are you here?”
There wasn’t even a hint of malice, but of some curious intent, almost as if he were testing me somehow. “I-I….” To help you, to try and save you… To try and live up to expectations, expectations I do not deserve. Yet, none of those would do… “Akito-san, I mean no offense, but you already know the answer… Don’t you?”
He did not answer for a long time, but finally freed the bird and turned toward me. “Of course, Tohru-san, of course I do.”
It took everything in me not to bend under the coolness of his gaze and even more when he started moving closer and closer toward me… His steps measured, reminding me every bit of a lion in their elegance and grace as he glided closer… ‘And I feel like the poor prey…’
“Tohru-san,” Akito’s silk of a purr was too close, his breath too hot on my face, on my hair, on my lips; I trembled. “Tohru-san, do you think you are something special?”
Every instinct I possessed demanded I move, demanded I fight, demanded I do something but just sit there like the proverbial duck. Yet, I did nothing. Nothing but stare at the floor, refusing to meet his eyes—I couldn’t afford to see the monster inside… I had to help him, had to save him…if that were at all possible. “No, Akito-san, I do not.” And, I honestly never had.
“Oh?” His hands moved, grasping my chin and forcing my gaze to his; it was like steel and I could tell my words were some twisted irony, both something he wanted to hear and, at the same time, not. “Surely the savior of my Zodiac is something special. The way the animals love you, surely I am not wrong… So, tell me, Tohru-san,” While his eyes were cold, his lips were a sharp contrast, like fire as they pressed against the sensitive skin of my throat, “are you special?”
My answer had not changed and I knew nothing I said would please him… My lips trembled as I replied, “I-I thi-think… I think we are all special…”
He said nothing, moving briefly back to search my eyes. When he smirked, I wondered just what he may have found. “Hm, you would think so.” His fingernails dug into the tender flesh of my forearms, ripping through the thin flesh as if it were nothing—the pain was quick, intense yet I made not one sound. His smirk faded as I did not react other than a few shaky tears.
My eyes dropped to my mangled skin, the faint light glinted against the trace of the thick liquid that dripped down my arms—my life blood. ‘If this is the worst he does to me, I will be fine…’
He moved away, not even acknowledging that he had marked me—not that I had expected him to. It surprised me how well someone who seemed to hate me, seemed to want me to suffer so, seemed to ignored my existence for the most part, could know me so well, and my mind whirled with the possibilities.
“Akito-san, why?” He didn’t answer, didn’t pay anymore heed to the lone bleeding and crying girl… Not that I blamed him. ‘Why are you this way?’ or ‘Who made you this way?’ might have been better questions, but I was never that good at thinking on my feet.
Finally, he did acknowledge my weak question. “Why?” He sat out in the faint sunlight, allowing a small sparrow to settle again on his index finger. “Such a vague question, don’t you think, Tohru-san?”
“Akito-san, why are you this way?” The words slipped out before I could stop them or take them back, yet, I had to know… What other reason would I have for being here?
My regret was immediate as the poor bird he had perched on his hand took the blunt of his wrath, and I silently cried for the loss of life, loss of something beautiful in Akito’s dark realm. “I do not answer to some pathetic girl. I am god.”
“No.” His eyes meet mine, the monster simmering beneath the surface scared me, and I almost ceased breathing at the withering look he sent me… Yet, I was Honda Tohru, and I was not so easily broken. “God isn’t so cruel; He wouldn’t punish the ones He claims to love so easily…” And I waited, my eyes closed to my fate.
My eyes fluttered open against my will, and I gasped, he was close—too close. His nose nearly brushed along mine as he bent over me with a dark, unreadable expression. “A-Akito-sa-san?”
He brushed his knuckles along my cheek so gently, like a butterfly’s kiss, as his eyes bore forcefully into my own. “Tohru-san, do you really believe that? Do you really think you can stand against god?”
He was trying to distract me…and I was shamed enough to admit it, but I gathered my nerve enough to answer. “No, I would never undermine God… However, you aren’t Him…”
And the fingertips that had been caressing me so slightly, so intimately dug into my skin brutally, reopening the gash from before. He smirked as blood flowed freely, smirked as he tried to break me. “I am, and you will obey me.”
“No,” There… There was a faint trace of venerability, the fear of losing something, the fear of being out of control, of being wrong... My hand unwillingly found his hand—the one with my blood covering it—and I was surprised when he didn’t pull away. “You aren’t God, but you aren’t a monster either… You are a man, you are human… As we all are.” ‘Oh, Akito-san, how broken are you?’
He didn’t move for a long time, merely stared bitterly into my eyes as if he expected me to back down or break. When I failed to do either, he growled lowly. “You know nothing… You are nothing!”
“If I knew nothing and if I was nothing, then… Why do my words hurt you?” When he stilled, I knew something had changed… Time would only tell if it was for the better, time would only show us what our fates might be.
“I-I…” The venerability was there again, perhaps stronger now than ever. He studied me before slamming his lips against mine. He wasn’t gentle – not that I expected him to be, and he wasn’t kind – I wasn’t sure if he knew how – but I let him draw me closer all the same.
My eyes fluttered closed and I went limp in his tight hold, my lips pressing back timidly. Hope, it was what I had held onto, it was what kept me going, it was what helped me believe that he could be healed. There are all sorts of monsters, all sorts of devils, and all sorts of people. All humans fight some sort of battle, some sort of sin…
Yes, I saw the monster in Akito today, but I also saw the man… Therefore, I had hope.