Tohru watched Kyou talk to their classmate, Hanako, at the opposite end of the hallway, and wondered what that sensation was in her chest. It was a sort of tight, achy feeling, but not like she was ill… it was ugly, she decided, and didn’t like it at all.
At the same time, it wouldn’t go away, and in fact grew stronger when Hanako glanced flirtatiously up at Kyou and touched his arm. The urge to run up and push the girl away from him was almost overwhelming.
“I don’t feel well,” she murmured, pressing her cold palms to her cheeks. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Instantly, everyone around her turned to her. “What’s wrong?” Uo demanded as Yuki asked, “Are you sick? Where does it hurt?”
“My chest,” Tohru gasped, hunching over a little. “It’s burning.”
“That sounds bad,” commented Hatsuharu.
“The nurse,” said Yuki immediately. “We’ll bring her there. Momiji, call Hatori—“
“No, I don’t want to go to the nurse,” Tohru interrupted, rather rudely in fact, shocking everyone into silence.
“What do you want to do?” Uo asked hesitantly, unsure how to handle a Tohru acting this way.
“I want,” she replied through gritted teeth, “to push Hanako-san down the stairs.”
Silence fell as her friends processed this extraordinary comment, and then, as one, they turned to look down the hall where their classmate was now standing very close to Kyou, laughing up into his face with her arm looped through one of his.
That he looked vastly uncomfortable and about three seconds from pushing her down the stairs himself was lost on Tohru; all she knew was that it was imperative to separate Kyou from Hanako.
She began toward the pair, starting slowly but soon picking up considerable speed as she went, arms swinging with purpose aplenty. Her head was down as if bracing for impact, and she didn’t even hear the voices of Yuki and the others behind her, calling for her to come back.
Before her, Kyou and Hanako looked up and saw her coming. Kyou’s expression changed from surprise, to relief, to confusion at how Tohru was barreling down the hall toward them. He tried to extract his arm from Hanako’s but she clung to him like a barnacle, going so far as to take his hand in her and twine their fingers together.
Well. Pushing her down the stairs suddenly didn’t seem quite enough to Tohru, and she wondered if she would be able to drag her out to the street so she could push Hanako in front of a moving truck. Yes, she thought with her trademark determination, the way I feel right now, I can carry her over my head with one hand.
She was still a few yards away when, suddenly, she was intercepted by Hanajima. “Tohru-kun,” the denpa girl said calmly, “stop.”
“No,” Tohru said, and struggled against the firm grip Hanajima had on her arms. “Let me go. I have to get her away from him.”
“He is in no danger,” Hanajima told her. “Look for yourself.”
The reddish haze cleared a little from Tohru’s vision, and she gazed over Hana’s shoulder to see that Kyou had finally managed to detach Hanako from his arm and was watching them, alarmed, from the end of the hall. Hanako herself was just disappearing into the stairwell, doubtless on her way to a class.
Tears filled Tohru’s eyes as the awful feeling drained from her, leaving her limp and confused. “What was that?” she whispered, staring at Hana’s face like it was a lifeline. “It felt so horrible.”
Hana’s gaze was steady. “That was jealousy,” she replied. “You haven’t ever felt it before, which is why it was so strong when it finally came out.”
“I feel really sick now,” Tohru whimpered, and slumped against her friend. “I really… I really wanted to hurt her!”
“No, you just feel things deeply,” Hana told her. “But do you realize what it means?”
“That I’m a terrible person!” Tohru wailed. “I can’t believe I wanted—gyah!” She noticed, at that point, that everyone else had clustered around them and was listening to their conversation.
Tohru buried her face against Hana’s shoulder and wished she could fall through the floor.
“It’s late. We should all go to class.” Hana glanced meaningfully around at the others. “Tohru-kun, I don’t think you’re quite ready to go back, are you?” At Tohru’s sniffly agreement, Hana continued, “Kyou-san, why don’t you keep Tohru-kun company until she feels better?”
He blinked; the others took it as their cue to split. Soon, the hall was deserted except for them.
Tohru, in an agony of embarrassment, couldn’t bear to look at him. Oddly, he wasn’t talking either, so eventually she chanced a peep his way and almost choked to find him watching her, not with confusion or irritation, but a sort of indulgent affection that made his eyes glow burgundy-brown.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she croaked.
His hand came up to touch her hair; he trailed his fingertips down a lock that framed her face, then tucked it behind her ear before cupping her cheek. “You never have anything to worry about,” he said, his voice low. “It doesn’t matter if I talk to another girl, or if she touches me. She might have my attention for a little while, but—“
Here he stopped, blushing, and averted his eyes.
“I what?” Tohru whispered. Anticipation and hope and oh, Mom, love was flooding her, sending tingles throughout her whole body.
“You have the rest of me,” he mumbled, and then looked back at her. “All the rest of me is yours.”
Tears overflowed, spilled; he smoothed them into her skin with his thumb, caressing gently, and then leaned down to place a kiss—chaste, closemouthed— on her lips. Tohru’s hands immediately came up to grip his elbows, to hold him as closely as she dared, and she pressed eagerly back up to him.
“Touching,” commented Mayu-san, their teacher, from the doorway of the classroom. “But if you’re done establishing ownership, can you come back to class sometime soon?”