"Words Are Meaningless" - 20 "Facts" About Haru and Rin
a Fruits Basket fanfic (of sorts) by
Originally released on LiveJournal on January 17, 2006.
No plot-specific spoilers for the series.
This was written for the 20 Fruits community on LiveJournal. Entries involve writing twenty "facts" about a character (or characters); different participants interpret the instructions differently. My "facts" are drawn from ideas for full stories I may or may not write, or just on my own interpretation of the characters.
- Sharing the Jyuunishi curse shapes their relationship in ways they have no need to discuss. They take for granted their addiction to each other's scent, and the subtle ways the bond moves between them--a living thing that shares their heartbeats and breath, connecting them like the ghost of an embrace. What they don't ever take for granted is their ability to hold each other--the bond still whispers unnecessary warnings of transformation and rejection, makes physical touches feel strange and startling on their skin.
- When Haru had his arm tattooed, Rin went along to keep him company. He doesn't know that the reason they were almost late for the appointment was that she locked herself in the bathroom and cried beforehand, and had to use cold water and makeup to hide the evidence. But he remembers that some of his blood got onto her hand, and that she didn't wipe it away until the tattoo artist was finished.
- Haru doesn't remember falling in love with Rin. He clearly remembers how his feelings evolved with Yuki--anger-confusion-adoration--but with Rin the full spectrum seems to have always been there. He doesn't remember when she became the most important person in his world, instead of sharing the position.
- When people refer to Rin by her real name, it sometimes takes Haru a moment to realize who they mean. He thinks of "Isuzu" as the mask Rin wears to keep the rest of the world at a distance, a sharp-edged coldness that she can wrap herself in. It reminds him of the way rage changes him; sometimes he watches her and wonders what the family would make of their relationship, when Black Haru and Isuzu are what most people know of them.
- Rin is the only person whose laughter he can hear without a momentary flinch. He's long since learned to cover the reaction well enough that even Yuki doesn't see it, but there is always the heartbeat of certainty that he is being mocked for something. Listening to Rin's laughter produces a far more complex response--its rarity makes his heart ache, and the sound reminds him of how her voice sounded when they were children. It also ranks fairly high on his unwritten-but-lengthy list of things that make him want to kiss her.
- Rin's lack of jealousy over Haru's feelings for Yuki is the only thing about their relationship that confuses her. But Haru's calm love for the other boy doesn't prevent her from feeling only annoyed contempt for the Rat; in most circumstances she trusts Haru's instincts about people, but her own self-loathing makes her feel that he has poor taste when it comes to falling in love.
- They slept together a few times as children, curling innocently around each other like kittens. It was only allowed when Rin was sick and he was keeping her company, so Haru grew accustomed to her breathing being uneven with pain, and to her heart hammering when she had nightmares.
- When they became lovers, it took him a while to adjust to the way she sleeps when she isn't in pain. But the sound of her pulse is the same--even through his own dreams, he can feel the change in her heartbeat that means her dreams have turned dark, and sometimes he wakes up before she cries.
- Rin woke up screaming once and didn't stop. Haru had to hold his hand over her mouth to keep the sound of her voice from penetrating the outside walls and betraying her presence to neighboring houses. She showed no sign of recognizing him, even when her screams faded; the blankness in her eyes terrified him more than anything ever had before. He held her while she sobbed and trembled, and he prayed that his parents would magically come home early from their vacation, even if it meant trying to explain why she was in his bed. Eventually, he had to carry her into the bathing room and hold her under an ice-cold shower until she came back to her senses.
- Years later, hearing her apologize for anything still reminds him of her broken pleas to her absent parents, and sends a helpless chill up his spine.
- Haru has only apologized for her behavior once, and then only because he saw that Yuki had been fighting tears. Under ordinary circumstances, he finds Rin's 'poison tongue' reassuring--her viciousness tells him that she's still fighting.
- When they used to study together, Rin usually finished her homework before Haru did. While waiting for him to finish, she often passed the time by sketching him. Long before they became lovers, she knew the shape of his body and his expressions; when they began touching each other, her body was a revelation to him, but to her, touching him was like coming home.
- Rin has never been afraid of Haru's violent side. She has never seen him fight, but she has been intimately familiar with the aftermath: bloody scratches from schoolyard run-ins, bruises from his karate classes. Sometimes it takes real effort to talk him into touching her after a Black rage--it leaves him off-balance, uncertain of his ability to avoid hurting her. She suspects he would be more comfortable if she stayed away from him then, rather than talking him into sleeping with her. The trace of shame that sometimes lurks in his eyes afterwards tells her that he enjoys it just as much as she does.
- Sometimes she wants him to hurt her. Not because she enjoys pain, but because it has been such a constant in her life that its absence makes her imagine that she's only dreaming. There isn't quite enough tenderness in the world to overcome a lifetime of associating bruises with love.
- Rin wonders sometimes if Haru actually understands that his touch is the only thing in her life that has ever really felt good.
- When lovemaking occasionally leaves marks on her body, she finds herself touching them when no one is looking: fading evidence of his hunger for her, of his loss of control, etched onto her skin.
- They have never discussed the possibility of having children. Haru doesn't want to be the one to bring it up, when the curse means they can't have a child they could both hold. Rin sometimes prays that he'll never ask her what she wants--she doesn't know how to explain the silent fear that, deep inside, she's just like her own mother.
- Haru is the only person who knows how often Rin hallucinates when she's feverish. She finds his presence comforting when she's sick, but more importantly, she trusts him to filter the world for her and remind her of what's real.
- Haru believes that Rin tells him the truth, but he no longer assumes that she tells him everything.
- Rin tells him everything when he sleeps, without ever needing to worry or wonder whether he is secretly lying awake and hearing her. She knows the patterns of his breath and movement as well as he knows hers, and the murmur of her voice fills the space between them night after night.