HOW TO DISTRIBUTE YOUR VIRTUE
by Tari Gwaemir
Tohru is sick.
Tohru always thought that mornings were the most beautiful time in the world. She would wake up as the sunlight scattered through the curtains of her window and kiss the photograph of her mother kept by her bed. Then she would wash her face and put on an apron before heading into the kitchen to prepare breakfast and bento boxes. Shigure-san never woke up before noon if he could help it, so she made sure that a pot of coffee was kept hot and waiting for him. Yuki-kun preferred a traditional breakfast, with rice and miso soup, while Kyou-kun liked to peel hard-boiled eggs and wash it down with several glasses of milk. She would set the table and pack their lunches--onigiri on some days, donburi on others--never forgetting to include a little extra food, in case Momiji-kun or Haru-kun dropped by during lunch. Then she would get changed into her school uniform and eat breakfast with the Sohma before they left for school.
This morning, when she woke up, the world seemed hazy, and her mouth felt parched and dry. She whispered hoarsely, "Good morning, okaasan," and widened her eyes in dismay at the sound of her voice.
There was a discreet knock at the door. "May I come in?"
"Yes," she croaked and covered her throat with her hands.
"The kitchen is in complete chaos without you, Honda-san." Yuki carried in a tray with a steaming bowl of porridge. "I did manage to make something edible though."
Kyou's voice called out from the hall, "Only because I turned off the heat before it burned, you useless rat."
"Shut up!" Yuki shouted back then winced. "Sorry, Honda-san."
She exclaimed, her voice cracking, "Oh, you needn't have--"
He settled the tray in her lap. "You take such good care of us...surely you'll allow us to return the favor when you need it?" He smiled and left the room.