Yuki’s taken a big step forward, even if we don’t know exactly what that step is yet. But it’s having an obvious effect, and since Yuki’s reached some resolution, it’s time for the narrative to turn toward Tohru.
Tohru: Lips that touched me so gently…it was an end, and a beginning. […] I was lost in thought. I’d listened so closely to try to hear his soft voice, with words falling like raindrops.
Tohru is understandably perplexed by Yuki’s actions, which mirrors the reader’s confusion at this point. Just so you know, it’ll be a while before we discover the exact nature of Yuki’s resolve here (and in turn, what Akito said to him), so tuck that away for a bit and just note the change in Yuki’s behavior.
Everyone notices how distracted Tohru is, but at least Kyo is able to keep her company while the others are stuck with Akito. Speaking of which, Shigure has the same question on his mind as Tohru (and the reader).
Shigure: What did Akito say to you yesterday?
Yuki: …The truth. Satisfied?
Shigure: No…not yet. Not nearly.
I understand why he wouldn’t want to get into something like that with Shigure, but Yuki is being awfully evasive about it even with the people he does trust.
It’s Haru’s turn for some special attention from Akito. Lucky him.
Haru: I wish you wouldn’t laugh at me like that.
Akito: What can I do? You say the silliest things. This is what makes you the stupid Ox.
This seems to indicate that it’s not just Yuki – Akito manages to twist the knife in Haru, too, and presumably the rest of the Zodiac. The question for me is whether Akito is the root of all their insecurities or just has an inexplicable knack for hitting those sore spots (or maybe a bit of both).
Yuki greets Haru once he’s finally released and naturally asks how he’s doing – but as usual, Haru turns the question around on him.
Yuki: I made everyone really worried, didn’t I? But I’m fine. This time for sure.
Haru: Are you leaving the nest?
Yuki: I swear, Haru, I can’t tell if you say these kinds of things because you do understand or because you don’t…
Personally I think Haru does understand (but perhaps more than even he thinks he understands), at least when it comes to Yuki.
After he realizes that people are worried about him, Yuki immediately goes to Tohru and apologizes for making her worried, without needing any prodding from Haru.
Although he does tease her a bit, too, which makes her pretty flustered (and a little confused), but overall I think it was a positive interaction.
Tohru: (internally) I also get the feeling he’s suddenly become more strong-willed…
As proof, he suddenly pulls Kyo aside and warns him to keep his temper under control whenever he runs into Akito.
Yuki: I don’t care how much he ridicules you. You better not do anything stupid, or you could end up dragging her down with you.
In other news, Rin seems to be starting on a journey…and apparently she’s been living with Kagura’s family since she got out of the hospital. She doesn’t have much tolerance for Kagura’s delusions, and she’s not coy about her feelings, either.
Rin: Kagura. Why don’t you stop trying to force a romance [with Kyo]? It hurts to watch.
Kagura: Why…would you say that?
It looks like Tohru will be meeting the rest of the Zodiac very soon…and yes, there does appear to be one Zodiac member too many, doesn’t there?
Until next time…