There is no room for an onigiri in a fruits basket.
So they said in the anime MC loved to watch by herself at night.
She saw so much of herself in Tohru Honda. She, too, was an onigiri.
(She was also just as clueless when it came to the male protagonists but that’s just an aside from this writer.)
So when the Basket of Love auction was announced, her heart jumped in her throat.
The flyer was slipped under her door, and the door of every residence in Loveland City.
Every single woman would have the opportunity to create a basket of food and they would be auctioned. The basket’s winner would get an afternoon with the woman who’d made it.
Well. What did she have to lose?
It was her day off, so she went down to the market for supplies and a basket.
She had no idea that four men noted her in her travels, each having gotten a flyer as well.
Lucien. Gavin. Kiro. Victor.
They were all determined to win the basket. And her heart.
Days passed. The auction was coming up soon. And every day after work, MC was up making handmade onigiri.
There might not be room for an onigiri in a fruits basket. But this onigiri would make her own basket.
Finally, the day arrived, bright and clear.
Nervously, MC dressed up nicely, did her hair, and gently carried her basket out of her home, a gingham cover hiding the onigiri from view.
Lucien noted her footsteps and planned to leave once the coast was clear.
Gavin was flying above her, making sure she got there safe, though she didn’t know it. She was too busy worrying about if the onigiri had come out okay, if whoever bought it would like it, what if no one bought it at all, and a myriad of other worries.
Kiro was in disguise, walking nearby. His wallet at the ready in his back pocket, fingering it absentmindedly.
Victor was taking a car at his leisure. As he was wont to do.
She arrived, moving to place her basket gently on the long table on the stage, standing behind it, looking nervously at her feet.
One by one, other women arrived and did the same.
Then, the announcer cleared his throat.
It was time.
One by one, the other women got their bids and went away. Until finally, it was her turn.
The bidding started. She closed her eyes.
There weren’t many. She felt tears building up behind her eyes.
Then a voice yelled out a high number, and her eyes shot open.
She knew that voice.
Choose Your Suitor!
She couldn’t believe her eyes. That was definitely Gavin, and yelling out a number that had to be most of his yearly salary!
Her jaw dropped.
Gavin grinned, coming up and scooping her up in one arm, the basket of onigiri in the other.
He smiled at her, the tips of his ears bright pink.
“I wasn’t about to let anyone else get an afternoon with you. Or eat the food you made. Now, come on. I know the perfect spot for this.”
He flew them across the city. She buried her head in his chest, holding on tight. He was enjoying this a little too much.
Finally he set her down.
“Open your eyes, MC.”
She did and looked up at the ginkgo tree she knew so well, the one by the music room at their old high school.
He smiled at her and gestured to a picnic blanket. He must have set it up earlier.
She blushed and sat down.
Gavin smiled and sat down opposite her, back resting against the ginkgo tree. The leaves shimmered in the afternoon sunlight.
“Now… Let’s see what you made.”
He eagerly removed the gingham cloth and blinked.
She blushed and murmured, “There is no room for an onigiri in a fruits basket.”
Gavin blinked. He had no idea what that meant.
She looked up and explained about the show, about Tohru, how she’d never fit in and said that line.
Gavin smiled, reaching out to cup her face gently. A gentle blush rested on both their cheeks.
“Well, if you’re an onigiri, so am I. I don’t need fruit at all. Just you.”
And he kissed the woman he’d always loved, in the shadow of the ginkgo tree.
And that moment was worth every single penny.
She blinked. “Ki-“
He rushed and put his hand over her mouth. “Shhhhh, not so loud! I’m in disguise, remember?”
She blushed, nodding, and Kiro moved his hand into hers, the other grabbing the basket.
“Come on! I know exactly where we should eat this!”
The next thing she knew, she was in a car heading away from the festival. Kiro pulled off his sunglasses and hat, grinning at her as he brushed at his hair.
“I’m so excited to eat what you made, Miss Chips!! What is it?”
“I can’t tell you, it’s supposed to be a surprise for when you eat it!”
“Fiiiiine.” He pouted adorably. “Good thing the place isn’t far. I don’t think I can wait that long!”
MC couldn’t help giggling. She hoped he liked them. She’d worked so hard on them after all.
They parked in front of a large building. She blinked up at it.
“Kiro? Where are we?”
He blushed. “My apartment. I thought it would be nice to have some privacy, and since my address is private, we don’t have to worry about being swarmed by fans.”
MC blushed too but smiled. “Okay, let’s go up.”
Kiro blinked. “Wait, really? I mean, yeah, of course! Let’s go!!”
Excited, he grabbed her hand and the basket, rushed past the doorman and into the elevator, nervously moving from foot to foot as they slowly went up to the highest floor.
“Okay, here we are!” Kiro chirped, happily running out of the elevator to his apartment’s door. “Come on, Miss Chips!!”
MC laughed, following after him into a place any fan would give at least two body parts to see even once.
The apartment was nice, but obviously a bachelor pad. A bit messy, piles of books and DVDs in random places, laundry needing to be done and thrown haphazardly around the floor. Kiro coughed, a little embarrassed. “Please don’t mind the mess. I’ve just been so busy lately…”
MC smiled. “It’s okay. My place is even worse!”
Kiro laughed and moved into the kitchen. “Now, let’s see what you’ve made!”
MC sat at the table across from him, nervous as Kiro tossed away the gingham to tilt his head at the basket.
“Man, that’s a lot of riceballs, Miss Chips! You must have taken forever on this!”
MC nodded. “I did. It’s… Kind of meaningful to me.”
MC explained about the show, and how she identified with the main character and the quote.
“There’s no room for an onigiri in a fruits basket, huh?” Kiro looked thoughful.
Then he reached out, grabbed one and started to eat it.
“Mm! With riceballs this good, who needs fruit? We can be onigiri together! What do you say, Miss Chips? Maybe we can even start a line of onigiri-flavored chips!”
MC laughed, reaching for one herself.
Somewhere far away, Savin suddenly got a headache as Kiro grinned at MC, his eyes sparkling.
He was so glad he’d won.
Savin would be very, very annoyed.
A murmur rippled through the crowd as a man made his way forward. He had that effect on people, in general. The sunlight shone on his raven hair, the wind making gentle ripples in it and fluttering his long black jacket.
He smiled softly up at her, his eyes dancing.
The crowd parted for him, still whispering as he came up to MC.
“Lucien, what are you doing here?”
“I’m buying your basket. Now, how about that afternoon I’m supposed to get with you? Shall we?”
He held out his arm to her, ever the gentleman.
Blushing, MC put her arm in his and they walked off, Lucien carrying the basket in his free hand.
He lead them away from the festival, back the way they had came.
The weather was perfect for the walk. Lucien smiled softly down at her.
“Lucien.. Are you sure? That was a lot of money…”
“Worth it, if it means time with you and food made by your own hands.”
She blushed, eyes down at her feet as Lucien chuckled above her.
“As shy as ever, huh? Don’t worry. We’re almost there.”
He lead her into their building, but to his door instead of hers.
“Come on in.”
He hung up his jacket and hers, and set a pair of house slippers in front of her.
“We can’t have you catching a cold. Put them on.”
She blushed and murmured to be excused as she put them on and walked inside. Lucien put on a pair himself and carried the basket to living area, placing the basket on a small table as he sat on the couch.
“Now… I can’t wait to see what it is you’ve made. I did so enjoy those cream puffs you’d made me…”
MC’s face was bright red, her eyes looking at the basket as she murmured softly, “I hope you like it…”
He smiled. “I’m sure I will.”
And without further ado, he pulled the gingham away to reveal the contents of the basket.
MC nodded. “Because there is no room for an onigiri in a fruits basket.”
Lucien understood. He’d heard her show from his own apartment and had listened to it. He had no idea it was so meaningful to her though.
He reached out, taking an onigiri and taking a bite.
She blushed even deeper. His voice seemed so much huskier, even compared to the last time he’d said that, when she’d made him those cream puffs.
He picked up another and held it to her lips with a smile.
“Care to have one?”
She gently bit from the onigiri and his breath caught in his throat.
If this was the result, he’d have paid ten times the price. No, twenty. A hundred.
This moment was nothing short of priceless.
She blinked repeatedly as a man walked to the front of the crowd.
Victor smirked, coming up the stage to stand in front of her. She stared up at him.
“Well?” His voice was as sharp as always.
MC blinked and blushed, handing him the basket.
Victor took it in one hand and held out the other.
MC stared at it. This didn’t feel real.
“What, are you so dumb you can’t even recognize me right in front of you? Come on. Take my hand.”
Yup. That was Victor all right.
She sighed and put her hand in his. His smirk returned as he lead her off the stage.
“Wait, Victor! Where are we going?”
“I bought an afternoon with you, not just the basket. Did you really think I’d not take it?”
Well, he had a point.
He opened the car door for her, letting her inside and following in after her.
Soon enough, they were at Souvenir.
Once they entered, Victor locked the door behind them, keeping the sign on the window to “Closed.”
“Now… Let’s see what you tried to make this time.” He sat down at one of the tables, the basket in front of him, as MC sat opposite him.
He took the gingham off and stared at the basket.
MC murmured so softly, he almost didn’t hear it. “Because… Because there’s no room for an onigiri in a fruits basket…”
His brow furrowed. “Explain.”
So she did.
“Hm.” Victor leaned back in his chair, looking thoughtful. “And you’re an onigiri, huh?”
MC nodded, blushing.
He smirked at her, grabbing one from the basket and taking a bite. Not bad.
“Well then. I guess I’ll just have to add onigiri to the menu.”
She blinked up at him. “Really?”
He twirled a riceball in his long fingers, still smirking.
“Needs a name though. Dummygiri, perhaps. Awfulgiri. Dummyball…”
She looked so cute when she pouted at him like that.
“Kidding. About the name anyway.” He took another bite.
“Help me come up with one. I’ll make it a special.”
He eyed her surreptitiously over the riceball, his smile hidden behind it.
He was glad he’d won the auction. Won time with her.
He’d never admit it to his dummy, but he loved her and spending time with her.
His little onigiri.
Every second with her was worth all he paid and more.