title: horrible release
fandom: Fruits Basket
characters/pairings: Akito, Momiji
rating: G
warnings: stuffed animal abuse
summary: Akito seethes.
notes: none

His fingers trailed over the surface of the water, his long, elegant nails just barely touching it enough to make small ripples. His whole body ached, his head pounding. He had chased everyone away, but even the wind was making too much noise. The birds chirping to each other made him want to open his flesh and pour his blood out into the pool. He chewed silently on his hate and his pain as the tiny ridges moving through the liquid lapped against the edges.

Akito touched his reflection in the water, shattering it. No one could get away from him fast enough. Hatori had run off to college, his empty promises of becoming a doctor seeming hollow now that Akito was alone. Shigure and Ayame were rarely around; Ayame had some hair-brained notion that he could run a store, and Shigure was busy trying to finish a novel so that he could be published, as if that would ever happen, and so he was secluding himself at the family resort by the hot springs. Convenient, that.

He hated the members of his family for whom he bore the curse, and he derided the members of his family for whom the curse was just an unpleasant secret to be kept. He loathed those who had the name Sohma, but were untouched by the stain of the curse. And he despised with a furious passion all those who lived in freedom outside the gates that bore the Sohma family name.

When he found himself in the thrall of one of these moods, he usually enjoyed venting his rage on some simpering, weak-willed fool who owed allegiance to him, but when he felt like this, what recourse did he have?

His rage had built up, but there was no climax, no release, to offer him peace.

He stewed.

He closed his eyes, and put his forehead down on the mat. He savagely covered his ears with his hands, digging his nails into his scalp. Everyone on the planet wanted him dead; why did he have to linger like this, always in pain, always in agony, until eventually, he could bear it no more? Why couldn't he just die now?

"Akito?" Momiji's too-bright eyes and too-bright face were looking down on him with concern. "You're bleeding."

"So?" Akito ground out, not moving his fingers away from the wounds he had inflicted upon himself in the slightest. "It's my blood to bleed."

Momiji looked at him for a moment, and then Akito could have sworn there was a glint of understanding in Momiji's sparkling eyes. "Ne, Akito, do you want to hug Jiji? He's my rabbit, but I'll let you play with him if you want." Momiji held out a thin, misshapen stuffed rabbit, covered in well-loved fur, the stitches in one of his eyes torn.

Akito sneered. "Why would I want to do that? It's probably covered in germs. You want me to get even sicker? Aren't you too old to play with stuffed animals, anyway?"

"No!" Momiji laughed, far too amused. "This was a present from my mama."

It appeared as if that was supposed to suffice as an explanation. Akito took his hands away from his ears, and placed them on the mat, his eyes gleaming with the thrill of fresh prey. "How sweet. A token of your mother's undying disgust. No wonder you clutch it to your chest."

That didn't fail to hit its mark, no doubt about it. Akito practically purred with delight. Momiji purposefully raised his chin and his shoulders. "Mama may not love me, but I still love her, and when I hold Jiji, I can pretend that it's her holding me."

Akito turned away, disgusted. "Go away, and take your childish delusions with you."

Momiji put the rabbit in front of him again. "Look. Rip off his arm."

Akito stared at the rabbit, fuming, his breathing becoming audible as it became more forced.

"Go ahead," Momiji coaxed. "See? The left one has a tear in it already. Go for it."

"Won't you miss your mommy's arms?" Akito challenged.

"It's ok," Momiji answered brightly. "I can still hug it with just one arm."

"How nice," Akito sneered, turning his attention to the stuffed toy.

It was loathsome. It was horrible. It was cuddled, and patched, and ugly.

It was Sohma.

Akito sat up, ignoring his falling robe, and took the paw of the left arm in one hand, and the body of the beast in the other. He snarled and he fumed, and he pulled with all his might, as Momiji insisted upon cheering him on. He closed his eyes, and his vision went red, and with growl, he ripped the arm off, and tossed it into the water.

Momiji whistled and he clapped. Akito took deep, long breaths, and felt the anger subside gently, like the waves lapping against the edge, emanating from the torn off arm.

Quickly, Momiji slipped Jiji out of Akito's lax grip, and cuddled him to his chest. "That was really good, Akito. You threw that really far!"

It had made it out to the middle of the pool, but it was a small pool. Akito grunted in acknowledgement, and pulled his robe up to cover himself.

Momiji jumped up to his feet, earning a glare of contempt. "Ok, bye!" He skipped off faster than a damned bunny, still holding Jiji to his chest.

Akito stared at the floating, soggy stuffed arm as it gradually got heavier and heavier. It didn't make any sense. Why would that demented little fool let him destroy something he loved? Just to make him feel better? What was in it for the Momiji?

Akito stood up, and walked warily back to his rooms. He wanted the cool comfort of his bed sheets, and the darkness of his room. He would call someone to bring him tea, and he would bask in the wafting aroma of it until it had cooled to an undrinkable temperature.

He would go to sleep as the sun was setting, and he would dream of waking up much stronger.