I can’t run away forever from the lid screwed tightly shut…
This chapter is loaded with hints, but the one solid answer only raises more questions.
First, Momiji is getting too big for his clothes. Momiji’s growing up! I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it.
Anyhow, he’s planned a vacation at a Sohma summer home for a nebulous “us” that includes Yuki, Kyo, Tohru, and himself, all without anybody else’s input (so, classic Momiji). The only thing standing in their way is Tohru’s unfinished homework (because Japanese summer vacations are short enough that you can actually reasonably expect students to do schoolwork), so Yuki helps her out while Momiji breaks the news to Kyo, who is out of sorts because it’s raining/storming
Momiji: You’ll come with us, won’t you? You wouldn’t turn it down, right? Right? […] Come on, come on, Kyo!
Kyo: Shut up, I said! I didn’t say I didn’t want to go. Sheesh, making me pack for a trip when I’m already beat…
Momiji: You’re nicer than you used to be.
I get the impression that the animosity between these two is mostly for show at this point – Momiji just annoys Kyo because he thinks people would find it strange if he didn’t, and Kyo is actually pretty tolerant as long as Momiji isn’t purposely pushing his buttons.
Meanwhile, Yuki gets a little alone time with Tohru (helping her with homework) and musters the courage to bring up the baseball cap.
Tohru: This cap belongs to a boy I met when I was little. He helped me when I was lost but then just left, leaving this behind. I have no idea who he was – I don’t even remember what he looked like.
Yuki: Then why did you keep it all these years? It’s all beat-up.
Tohru: Because it’s a precious memory. Because I was so happy when he saved me.
Poor Yuki is cut off by a window breaking (because of the storm) before he can respond. But that sound brings Kyo and Momiji back around, too, and it’s clear that Kyo has some idea what the two of them were talking about.
As if that wasn’t enough, Rin drops in to talk to Shigure about something (while the kids are busy with the broken window).
Rin: You know why I came here, don’t you? You know what I’m thinking about, what I want. You already know, don’t you, Gure-nii? […]
Shigure: Do I look like I was born yesterday?
Rin: You don’t.
Shigure: Ha! Are you stupid? Or is playing the fool part of your plan?
Trust me, this isn’t as bad as it looks. It’s actually much worse.
First, no, she doesn’t call him “nii” because he’s really her brother or anything – they’re just “cousins” like all the rest of the Sohmas. So instead of worrying about incest, you can worry about little things like the age gap (Rin is still in high school) or the general imbalance of power or the simple fact that Shigure is a lying manipulative scumbag and I want to wring his neck.
This was the point in the story where I needed reassurance the first time I read it about whether or not a character (Rin) was “good”. I had already figured out which animal she was (it’s pretty obvious) and rather superficially wanted to like her because of her animal, but then she started doing things which I subconsciously categorized as “unforgivable”. Never mind that she’s the one in the position of weakness here, I blamed her for the whole situation (and her dumping Haru certainly didn’t help). So I won’t tell you that she’s “actually good”, because that’s not the point. She’s a broken person, and like any person who’s hurting, it’s not always a question of what’s good and what’s bad, but what you make of your predicament. Perhaps her motives are more noble than you’d expect, but she still exists in that twilight between doing the right thing for the wrong reason and doing bad things with good intentions.
So Yuki was Baseball Cap Boy all along, but if so, what on Earth does Kyo have to do with that? Also, in case you didn’t notice, Yuki still hasn’t said anything about it to Tohru (or anyone). And how much is it even connected to that “sealed lid” he keeps thinking about?
I wonder what will happen when I open that tightly shut lid? What will be lost? What will be found?
One thing’s certain: My heart is in for some major trauma.
Until next time…