419: Protective Secrets – Chapter 15

Title: Protective Secrets
Author: bim-bam58
Media: Manga/Anime
Topic:  Fruits Basket
Genre: Romance/Tragedy
URL: Chapter 15
Critiqued by Ghostcat

Happy Friday, most beloved Patrons! Can you think of a better way to kick off the weekend than another chapter of FB delight?

I can, too – but eBay has this “thing” about selling large quantities of unstable isotopes so I don’t have anything better to do right now. So it goes.

In our last thrill-packed chapter, Tohru was escorted through Chris/tian the Asshat’s casino/palatial estate, shown the easy-to-destroy evidence he has collected on the Sohma curse, and even though she is still badly injured and has yet to recieve any medical treatment, managed to kick the ass of an elephant-sized henchman by punting him across the room like a soccer ball. She was then sent to her room in the company of Michael, the goon who instantly fell under her Sue mind control. As Chapter 15 is titled The Ideal Plan, I’m guessing that we’ll find out whatever asinine plan she’s managed to cobble together. I’m hoping it’s a bit more thought-out than “sneak in and smashy-smashy” but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Tohru awoke, feeling soft silk encasing her body causing to snuggle deeper into the bliss,

Well, that’s … different.

something warm tightened around her hand,

Ahhh, it’s a snake!

:smashes bed with Mr. Crowbar: 

she brought the warn object to her face and cuddled it like a 3 year old would to a teddy bear.

Perhaps it’s just me, but if I woke up and there was something unknown and warm wrapped around my hand I would not instantly press it against my face.

Tohru heard a chuckle from next to her.

Ahhh, it’s a chuckling snake!

:resumes smashing bed with Mr. Crowbar:

Her eyes shot open and she leaped from where she was only to end up landing on a hard wood floor… face first.

*THUD*

Graceless as always.

This is probably the first reasonable, if a bit over-the-top, reaction to a given situation that Tohru has had in the entire fic.

“Owwwwww…” then she remembered what just happened.

You fell out of bed onto your face; in fact, you are still on the floor. Not really all that difficult to remember that kind of thing. 

She rushed to her feet facing where she leapt from and bowed repeatedly like a hammer hitting nails of apology.

… Is she apologising to the bed for falling out, or to the floor for hitting it with her face? I just can’t tell. (The hammer and nails imagery is nice, though.)

“Oh I’m so sorry I’ve been so rude! I’m such a burden! I’m so sorry! I hope I wasn’t too much trouble, after all I did fall and everything, I’m sorry! Please forgive me!”

Again, not terribly clear who or what she is apologising to or for. Tohru does tend to apologise a lot, but it’s usually in situations where it would make at least a little sense for her to do so. This isn’t one of those situations.

Tohru ended up losing her balance again falling face first onto the soft bed in front of her.

Even for Tohru this is excessive. Maybe she broke her foot/leg/hip when she kicked Hercules in the face.

She lifted her head and with a ‘pt‘ blew the loose hair that had fallen out of her face.

Tohru is suddenly JoJo the dog-faced girl.

“I’m such a klutz…” she mumbled to herself.

No one’s arguing with you about that, dear.

That’s when she noticed the hysteric laughter.

Ahhh, laughing snake!

:pummels remains of bed with Mr. Crowbar:

She looked in front of her but didn’t see anyone… then she looked down…

At the bed, which you just fell face-first into and are only a few inches away from at this point.

Michael was literally pissing himself laughing.

Ewww.

If he’s laying on the bed directly underneath her face, then she would have had to roll over him to fall out of bed. Even someone as clueless as Tohru should be able to tell that there’s another person in her bed. One who is now breaking his toilet training directly in front of her. (How romantic.)

“You – are – so – stupid-“he manage to make out between fits of laughter.

True, but she’s not the one moistening the mattress of a prominent gangster. Glass houses and all that.

Tohru scavenged to her feet on top of the bed and started jumping in irritation

Did Tohru, with her many injuries, just climb up on top of the urine-soaked bed and start jumping up and down? That’s just silly.

“I. AM. NOT. THAT. STUPID!”

Let’s agree to disagree on that point.

*SNAP*

The feet of the bed snapped

*BANG/THUMP*

The bed came crashing down shaking the floor on impact and sending Tohru falling off the back landing on her back.

:headdesk:

She was jumping on the bed like a frustrated toddler – possibly making little squishing sounds with every jump – and managed to break it. And somehow fell off the “back”, which I assume is what the author is calling the headboard. Since the headboard is usually placed against a wall, Tohru is likely wedged in a turtle-like position against the baseboards by the debris at the moment.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

Michael was now rolling around like a lunatic, tears flowed down his now turning blue and purple because he couldn’t catch his breath, cheeks.

That’s right, roll around in your own bodily fluids. Really marinate yourself in it. Chicks love that.

If he is turning blue, that would indicate hypoxia or oxygen starvation. Any minute he will pass out (and possibly die) from the lack of air and Tohru Sue will be short a man-slave for whatever plan pops into her head at the last possible second.

“I’m so sorr-… I’m glad to see your having a good time…” Tohru stared at Michael.

‘I really am in a Looney bin…’

Why the hell is she still apologising to him? Wouldn’t it be better for her to try to find out what the hell a complete stranger is doing in her bed and why he was snuggling with her sleeping body? I know I would be a bit curious.

After about a century later Michael finally calmed down.

“Congratulations I’m officially 100 years old.” Tohru mocked sticking out her little pink tongue.

Since the pacing on this thing limps like a wounded gazelle, I feel the same way after every chapter.

Is she just going to continue laying there on her back during this whole passage?

“If only you saw your face, you would know how I felt.”

If only there was a way to describe how a person’s face looks in a given situation, perhaps by using verbs and adjectives.

Tohru rolled her eyes indicating he won the argument, he smirked in victory.

:THWACK!:

Gah! Not another one!

“Hey Michael?”

“Yeah?”

Please don’t ask him if it was good for him.

“I don’t mean to be intruding on your personal life or anything but…

“You might want to go change clothes, maybe take a shower while you’re at it. And could you help me up out of this wreckage so I’m not laying on my back for the rest of the chapter? Thanks.”

how did you end up being on of Chris’s henchmen…”

Thank you, Jeebus. It’s just an expository info-dump. (Which is possibly a poor choice of words given Michael’s lack of control over his bodily functions.)

“Ah now that is a good question…

A better question would be “Why are you in my bed?”

back last year I got into some trouble, had a bit of a thing for gambling,

Oh, sure; you wager five grand on the outcome of a snail race in Argentina and suddenly you have a “thing” for gambling.

you know when your 18 life is easy…

Yep, once you hit eighteen it’s smooth sailing into adulthood. :snergle:

but me being me I made it difficult,

Considering this is the first bit of personal information beyond his country of origin and hair color the audience has received about this character, there’s really no basis for this statement. Michael has done nothing but follow orders and privately fawn over Tohru, which doesn’t exactly brand him as a troublemaker.

got myself owing some guy 20 grand… an 18 year old doesn’t have that kind of money,

Exactly! Who the hell gives a kid that kind of credit, legitimate or not? Most teenagers can’t scrape together gas money, much less twenty grand. Like any businessman, gangsters are after the maximum amount of profit with the minimal amount of investment. Giving a teenager twenty grand is just a poor business decision regardless of how legitimate the lender is, unless the nameless loan shark in question was after something else from Michael.

  so one day I bumped into a guy who said he might be able to help,

“He said it would be tasteful and artistic! I thought it was a modeling job!”

next thing I know I was brought here and not long after I was working for Chris to pay my debt. Now 19 I’m free from my dept…

I’m sorry, did the punk kid just say he managed to pay off twenty grand in less than a year? At loan shark rates, where the interest can be several times the original amount, and while working for someone who would likely prefer Michael stay deeply in debt so that he would be easier to control?  

:puts on dark sunglasses:

Screw this writing thing, I’m gonna be a gangster!

I just haven’t had the guts to get up and leave…

Or complete a damned sentence.

the last time that happened a guy got tortured to death …

I guess that means Chris/tian the Asshat doesn’t handle rejection well.

tortured for 3 months until dying…

Which would be the “to death” portion of that statement. I sure hope the …

:sirens blare:

Crap, it’s the DRD! Move over, Lyle, I’m coming into the blanket fort.

Three months is a long time to die – it would take a sociopathic monster to pull off something like that. Michael’s inexplicable switch to Team Sue is looking more ill-advised by the minute. 

I couldn’t go through with that… I’m not brave enough… so here I am…”

Well, yeah – I don’t think many people would be “brave” enough to voluntarily spend three months being tortured to death just for quitting a pretty cushy job.

Tohru was just staring at the floor,

Which would be very difficult since she is still on her back behind the broken bed.

 looking like she was in space;

She’s floating weightlessly around the room?

Kyo did always call her a ‘space cadet’ there was a reason.

It’s because she’s a bit of a ditz sometimes, not because she resembles an astronaut.

She then closed her eyes took a deep breath and pursed her lips before turning to face Michael.

Who is rolling around on the bed somewhere above where she is laying on the floor in the Formless Void.”If … if I told you I could get us out of here… would you help me…”

Or you could just show him your boobs. Never underestimate the power of the female torso; hell, a guy this deep under the Sue-spell would probably overthrow a small nation for a glimpse of Tohru’s shoulder. 

Of course, he was just laying in bed with the woman his psychopathic boss intends to force into marriage, a bed that is now broken and saturated with his DNA. He might as well throw his lot in with hers, there’s really no good way to explain that situation that would end well for him. 

Michael mouth was agape.

Catching flies?

Get out… be free…’ his mouth came together to form a wicked smirk.

“Hell yeah!”

:headdesk:

Let’s take a look at Michael for a moment; we have a nineteen-year-old kid with no higher education who has managed to earn at least twenty grand (probably more) in less than a year working for a random psychotic stranger he just happened to run into on the street one day, wears nice suits and sunglasses, drives a nice car that someone else pays for, possibly lives in a casino/mansion, and thus far has done nothing more strenuous than stand around for extended periods of time. Seems like a pretty sweet deal from where I stand. Sure, his boss is a homicidal maniac who might torture him to death for shits and giggles – but every job has its drawbacks.

Tohru smiled a thank full smile and let out the air which was still in her lungs from before in relief.

:downs shot:

Bloody hell. Words are not LEGOs, author; you can’t just cram them together in whatever order you like.

“Firstly I need to know Christians habits?”

Well, Michael’s already covered the “likes to torture people to death” thing. That’s pretty much all I’d need to know to not agree to whatever idiotic scheme Tohru has bouncing around in her brainpan.

Michael stroked his invisible beard with his forefinger and thumb, he held that pose for about 5 minutes…

He must be a bit slow on the uptake if it takes him that long to remember his daily work routine.

“Yes thank you I’m officially 100 years and 20 minutes old, wow time fly’s…” Tohru mentions sarcastically, she was glad she picked up some things from Uo.

Technically that is sarcasm, but I don’t think Uo-chan would want to take credit for it. She has standards.

Michael turned and looked at her. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking because his black shades covered his eyes, as people say – eyes are the window to the soul – apparently he wasn’t amused since he just gave her a quick shrug.

“I don’t know, depends on what sort of information you want.”

:headdesk:

 It took you five frickin’ minutes to ask for clarification?

:THWACK!:

She wants to know his routine so she knows when he’ll be away from the room with the evidence in it, dumbass! What the hell did you think she was asking you for, his favorite color?

“Just tell me what he does during the day? His time schedule?” Desperation slowly making its self known…

‘At this rate I won’t be able to get back in time… And my hair would be grey and slowly falling out…’ Tohru thought.

Honey, you are preaching to the choir. You know you have issues with pacing if even the poorly-written characters have problems with how slow things are progressing.

Michael pinched the bridge of his nose, threw his head back and scrunched up his face.

:sniff-sniff:

Do you smell something burning?

“Hmmmm… Well let’s see… He never really leaves his ‘lair’, seeing him out of the office is rare…

Awesome – that means he never goes into the room directly beside his office, either. Just get in, knock out the guards, and … do whatever it is you have to do in order to destroy the evidence without making too much noise.

He makes sure his breakfast is started to be cooked at 5am sharp then delivered to his office my 6am…

What the hell is he having for breakfast every morning that takes exactly one hour to cook?

He does the same with lunch – cooked at 11 delivered by 12…

 Again, what is he having every day that takes the exact same amount of time to prepare? Different meals have different preparation times; is his cook planning his menus based solely on how long it takes to make them with no regards to the actual dishes themselves? 

And in the evening at 6pm he and his’ personal guards’ have a cigarette break – same time dinner is started to cook…

As a reformed smoker, I am so calling bullshit on that. Chris/tian the Asshat is not going to wait twelve hours before he lights up his first cigarette of the day.  

He then goes to his room by 11 …

Does the big bad gangster have a curfew?!?

Taking his concubine probably 3 times a week, with him… And that’s it…”

If Chris/tian the Asshat has a concubine, then that implies that he’s currently married to someone.  (Or that said concubine is a slave.) Is he going to divorce his current wife in favor of Tohru, or make her a concubine as well?

Tohru raised a eyebrow. ‘What… What am I meant to do… I mean come on there is nothi-‘

Unless he leaves his office to eat his meals or take that single smoke break, in which case there are several opportunities to get in unnoticed. Or she could just wait until he goes off to his room with his concubine, that would also work.

That’s when notices something interesting running along the floor of the room.

Something interesting – in this fic? :snorts: That’ll be the day.

“What’s up with you your grinning more than a guy after se-”

“DON’T ‘even’ go there …” Tohru warned

Please don’t go there. Ever. I’m begging you.

How could he see her expression? They haven’t changed positions since the beginning of the chapter so he should be rolling back and forth on the bed and she should be on the floor flat on her back.

Michael crossed his arms and ‘Huffed’ at the disappointment.

Thank you, Jeebus.

“Well it must have been a good through you sure did look happy, like you invented something or solved an impossible mystery.”

Like how to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time.

Tohru giggled “I guess you can call it something like that. Urmm where’s the kitchen?” Tohru asked fiddling with her fingers nervously.

‘Please be where I hope it is.’

If the location of the kitchen is integral to her plan, wouldn’t it be a good idea to find out where it is located before getting all excited? What the hell did she see on the floor of this room that would make her think of the kitchen?

“Well that’s a weird question but if it has something to do with getting out I guess I can say…

Quick guess; the plan involves either dumbwaiters or a rolling table covered with a white tablecloth – quite possibly both.

It’s under Chris’s office it huge so it covers along 3 rooms, the bosses is in the middle.”

:headdesk:

A private house with a kitchen so big it has been divided into three rooms. Bloody hell, the place must be the size of the Biltmore Estate. No wonder it takes so long to prepare his meals, the cook probably needs a scooter to get from the fridge to the stove.

“This means the room that has all the videos and pictures are over the kitchen…” Tohru mumbled to herself staring into space and beyond.

Riddle me this; if you are already staring into space, how can you stare beyond it? Does Tohru have access to some other, slightly stupider, dimension that the rest of us don’t? A kind of Twilight zone of sorts?

“Oi space cadet?” Michael asked tapping Tohru on the head.

‘Kyo… Kyo calls me that… I miss him so much…’

Oh, right – the canon love interest and current boyfriend/”lover” of Tohru. With all the other potential love interests cropping up, I kind of forgot about him.

Tohrus eyes went from glad to sad. Tears brimmed the edges of her eyes.

I can’t help but picture Puss from the Shrek series doing his patented “big eyes” bit.

“Hey hey what’s wrong?” Michael took each one of Tohrus cheeks making her look at him.

So he grabbed her by the face and the ass? Yeah, I could see how that would make someone pay attention to you. Michael must have exceptionally long arms to be able to reach her, given their general locations in the Formless Void.

Tohru gave an act of forbearance, holding back the tears.

Reading this fic requires an act of forbearance (and a bottle of rum.)

“Nothing.” She slapped on a fake smile … Like girls do with 2 tonnes of foundation…

:THWACK!:

No color commentary!

 “Anyway I have a plan.”

“Please elaborate.”

:fetches popcorn:

Yes, please do.

“I will when the time comes but for now I’m going to have to ask you to do me a favour and get me to the kitchen and the room where all the stuff about the Sohmas’ is kept.”

:throws popcorn at Tohru:

Damned tease!

I hope she realizes that the kitchen and the room where the evidence is being kept are two separate rooms located on different floors, one above the other.

“And how the hell am I meant to do that?”

Stick her in the anal Bag of Holding!

Tohru thought for a while … A fault in her plan…

:facepalm:

She can’t even figure out how to get out of the room. Here’s the thing, cupcake; if step one of your mysterious plan is seriously flawed, then chances are the entire thing will fall apart like a tissue-paper bikini.

 Hell, even Taco’s Markus Stu could come up with the “escorting prisoners” gambit – and Tohru is an actual prisoner who has an actual guard helping her! They don’t have to ambush a patrol, steal uniforms, and somehow sneak into the house – they’re already inside! She could just walk down the hall with Michael and no one would question it.

*knock* *knock*

:looks around:

I don’t remember ordering a pizza. Gumdrop, have you been prank-calling Domino’s again?

That was until her lunch came… On a table on wheels…

Covered in a white sheet… Covering the underside compartment…

Catering for all of the Library’s fics is done by the PCC. PCC – when you care enough to do the very least.

I frickin’ called it!

:does Happy Dance:
As soon as Tohru brought up the location of the kitchen, I just knew the author was going to trot out that old cliche.:sirens blare:Even a visit from the DRD can’t get me down now. It gives me a chance to try out my new elephant gun.  :WHUMP!:

It shoots real elephants!

“Your lunch is here.” a guard said as he wheeled the meal over.

“Thank you, just leave it there.” She gave Michael a quick nudge.

“Ugh yeah ill wheel it down to the kitchen when she’s done.”

“Okay then. Enjoy”

Yeah, there’s nothing suspicious about that. It’s not like the other guard is going to want to know who is going to be keeping an eye on Tohru, a person of some importance to their vengeful and sadistic boss, while Michael saunters down to the massive kitchens.

Once gone Tohru turned to Michael with a triumphant smirk and pointed to the mean table.

:THWACK!:

I’m glad the table was mean to you.

“That’s how you will get me there.”

“Oh… great…”

See, even the blatant Sue-worshipper has doubts about this horrible plan!

There is a very short Author’s Note in which the author apologises for the end of the chapter, claiming that the “paragraph went spaz”. I guess the concept of revising a passage until it is un-spazzed is not something the author is familiar with.


sorry about the end… my paragraph went spaz… next chappy in around same time… it will be done quicker once my exams are out the way :P Cya soon

JAE x


4 Comments on “419: Protective Secrets – Chapter 15”

  1. TacoMagic says:

    it will be done quicker

    I feel a disturbance in the fic…


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