As Kyo and Tohru continue to be adorably and frustratingly dense, Yuki abandons that awkwardness only to be drawn into Ayame’s special brand of awkward.

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Yuki: I felt like a son standing between his mother and her new boyfriend. But was it just me? Are they that oblivious!? Talk about painful…! I don’t care if they think I ran away…I’ll take being lonely over third-wheel awkwardness any day…

Then his thoughts are interrupted by a woman who mistakes him for Ayame.  One thing leads to another, leading ultimately to Aaya in a dress (as all roads tend to do).

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I hope we’ll be able to better understand each other someday.

Meanwhile, Kyo and Tohru are still adorable and clueless trying to figure out what they should do with their vacation time.  They decide to go out to the grocery store (because poor Tohru can’t think of anything “fun” on the spot).

Tohru: I’m happy…I’m happy just being able to go out with you.

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What about you!? Are you gonna be okay, being that cute!? Am I a dirty old man just for thinking that!? Am I the same as some dirty old man!?

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Saki: Uh-oh…what’s this…? I sense that Kyo Sohma has turned into a dirty old man who’s lusting after Tohru-kun…

Arisa: Don’t worry. That guy can’t lay a finger on her. He’s lightyears away from making a move like that.

Megumi: Should we put a curse on him, just to be safe…?

Tohru has wonderful BFFs. And a wonderful pathetic Kyo-kun.

After Ayame’s signature much ado about nothing, he finally lets Yuki explain why he wanted to talk in the first place.  Apparently, the woman knew Ayame in high school, and they were both Student Council Presidents (at different schools, of course).  Aaya evidently remembers her, and his first impulse is to apologize to her (which Yuki promptly dismisses, as neither of them has a clue where she lives or anything).

Ayame: Once upon a time, there was a gorgeous Student Council President with flowing white hair. This President had such a regal bearing that he couldn’t hide his bountiful charisma. Many students were fascinated by and attracted to him. The President wasn’t surprised by any of this. He’d experienced it all his life. Around that time, many events were held to deepen the friendship with their sister school, an all-girls school. Naturally, he often worked hand in hand with the President of that school’s student council. However, he was completely oblivious to the fact that this girl had special feelings for him. But it wasn’t only her feelings. He couldn’t comprehend the feelings of anyone else either. Nor did he make an attempt back then.

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Ayame: Well, thanks! Good luck and everything after graduation. Well, shall we go forth, Tori-san, Gure-san? Oh, that’s right. One more thing…what’s your name again? I don’t mind remembering. It’ll be like a memento!

Girl: …My name…? Huh? I told you…months ago…

Ayame: Did you? Oops! It must’ve gone in one ear and out the other, huh? Could it be that you have so little personality that you failed to make any impression whatsoever on me?

Shigure: Heh. It’s like sumo wrestling with no opponent…

Ayame: I see. Well said, Gure-san! It does seem like she’s been in a sumo match all by herself. But there’s no cause for concern. As long as this experience has made you realize your flaws, you know what to work on –

Hatori: Quit it already. You’ve had enough fun, haven’t you?

Girl: …I’m a fool. I feel like such a fool…!

Ayame: …What was that about? Why was she crying?

Hatori: …Because you hurt her feelings, obviously.

Ayame: …? You mean it’s my fault?

Hatori: It’s not about whether it’s your fault or not. The point is, some people get hurt like that. Some people are like that.

It’s really interesting to see their dynamic in high school, particularly because so little has actually changed about it. Shigure still loves to mock everyone around him, and Hatori still struggles to bring a little kindness and sanity to the party.  Ayame is the one who’s really changed the most. Even after Ayame was made to understand that the girl was hurt, his first impulse was to make it about himself, what he had done, not how the girl must feel about the situation.

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Yuki: Did you finally realize that thanks to Mine-san?…She’s your girlfriend, isn’t she?

Ayame: …I don’t believe I ever stated that.

Yuki: You didn’t have to. I could tell somehow.

Ayame: Indeed. That young woman…she appeared before me one day out of the blue. We began working together…just being around her made me want to smile.

(remembering) I have no proof that I can bring you happiness. But if I told you that I loved you, would you disappear on me?

Mine: What makes me “happy” is something I’ll decide for myself. And I’m not going anywhere. I’m madly in love with you, Boss, so I want to stay here forever. That is, if you don’t mind…?

Ayame: What a relief…I was so terrified that you might reject me…(internally) Oh. I see now. So that’s how people get hurt. If you’re looking for someone special, and that person tramples on you…now I understand.

Mine: Are you sad?

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These two are easily the healthiest couple in the Zodiac.  They love each other, are emotionally honest with each other, and generally really supportive.  And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to love them for that. I honestly wonder if he pretends to be gay to distract Akito (and more importantly Shigure) from suspecting Mine.  At any rate, this is the only romance in the entire series that never suffers a serious disaster.

Ayame: If only I’d been able to apologize…Is it too late for recompense!? Have I perhaps traumatized her for life!? Do I appear in her dreams every night to torture her!? Oh, how miserable!

Yuki: Listen. It wasn’t like that. She didn’t seem angry or sad. She laughed like she was kind of embarrassed. And I think her husband and child were behind her. You can’t assume she stayed unhappy forever. Maybe she is still scarred by your cruelty. But I imagine she’s been through worse since then, as well as had some great things happen. The way she smiled today made me think she’s a strong person who probably does her best every single day.

Ayame: Hold on. By that logic, I needn’t apologize to you either?

Yuki: Huh? Apologize to me? For what? Driving me crazy?

More often than not, the things you beat yourself up about are actually pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things, and given time everyone else will forgive or forget altogether.  It’s not that Yuki’s forgotten how Aaya abandoned him in his time of need, but he doesn’t let it get in the way of their current relationship, because he knows his brother has grown up since then.

Yuki: Hey, about Mine-san…I guess you have your reasons for not wanting to go public with your relationship, but…does she know you’re possessed by an animal spirit?

Aaya abruptly changes the subject and generally refuses to give any sort of response, although Mine does return to the shop mere moments later, so I honestly don’t have a clue if it’s because he hasn’t told her yet or she just found out in a really embarrassing way.

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And look who followed her home…And brings up Machi. Poor Yuki doesn’t stand a chance.

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Looks like Tohru came up with something fun to do after all!

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And poor Machi doesn’t stand a chance.

Until next time…

 

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 110: How People Get Hurt

  1. Ahh finally chapter 111 is next, I hope you’ll be able to get to it this weekend, I can’t wait! You brought up an interesting point in this chapter though, you allude to Ayame possiblyl hiding Mine from Shigure too not Akito. That’s interesting cause I always wondered just how much Ayame knew about Shigure’s “other side.” Throughout the manga we only really see Shigure confiding in Hatori about his plans but Ayame is supposedly his other best friend so I always wondered if he was intentionally kept in the dark due to his that sort of childish “innocence” he has. (Perhaps it was at Hatori’s urging in order to protect him?)

    Unless Ayame DOES know but Shigure never confides in him because they’re actually not that close after all and thus Ayame doesn’t trust Shigure? Presumably if he’d knew the full extent of Shigure’s plan I would think he wouldn’t care if he knew about Mine considering it’d be in Shigure’s best interests that she stay around and Akito not learn about her so that Ayame can distance himself further and further away thereby weakening the bond?

    (Also in regards to Ayame’s orientation, I personally always saw him as being canonically bi or pan, gender doesn’t seem to be something that would matter that much to him and I definitely headcanon Hatori being the first person he ever had deep feelings for, sorta like Haru with Yuki. I definitely agree though that he might have intentionally played up his queerness to his advantage in an attempt to seem fully homosexual and thus divert Akito’s attention away from him)

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    1. Coming Tuesday 😉
      I see it more like Shigure and Ayame’s relationship is pretty superficial at this point. They find one another amusing, but neither really trusts the other or even particularly cares about them. I emphasized Shigure because he could definitely sniff it out if he really suspected Ayame was hiding something, and if he knew how to turn it to his advantage, I could even see him betraying Aaya (granted, Hatori is pretty much the only person I feel certain he would never betray).
      As for how Aaya and Mine’s relationship might potentially factor into Shigure’s plan, the only thing I could see him doing is trying to wreck it, because that’s what he’s done with every other Zodiac relationship that’s been on his radar (except Hatori, of course). That’s just his modus operandi – his driving philosophy is “shake things up until it breaks”. Aaya isn’t all that close to Akito, but I think that’s painful to him in its own way – he hates being “nothing” to the people he cares about. Maybe some part of him even wishes that Akito would notice.

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      1. (Am looking forward to it :)) Hmm that’s interesting then that Hatori would be the only one Shigure would give any kind of consideration towards, I wonder why that is…. What is it about Hatori that would cause even someone like Shigure to consider him a true friend when he can be so careless and callous even with many others he’s grown up with? (i.e. Aaya being one)

        Based on that comment about Shigure wrecking all the other Zodiacs relationships I’m guessing you’re firmly in the camp that it was Shigure who first revealed Haru and Rin’s relationship to Akito? I had always wondered how she found out about them considering how taken aback Rin seemed, they really did give the impression that those two were hiding it well and I admit Shigure was my prime suspect as well during my first readthrough. Perhaps Takaya left it ambiguous on purpose? I mean after all Shigure put Rin through by delibrately goading Ren about that box and to think he’s one of the few Zodiac members other than Haru that Rin seemed to be close to too… OUCH! 😦 Douchebag is too light a term for him tbh, he’s definitely one of the most hateable characers in the story (and he’s not even supposed to be the main villain yet in many ways he might just be worse/more hateable than Ren!) I can see why you detest him. (I have a love-hate reationship with him myself lol)

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