THE CAT AND THE RATBelow I will describe how the relationship between Yuki Sohma and Kyou Sohma progress through out the series as they learn to work together and become friends. They are able to put their curse behind, and accept each other for who they are as Kyou and Yuki, not the cat and the rat. To find out information about their relationship as children, check out the childhood section first before browsing here!
Kyou and Yuki begin to learn how to work together for the sake of someone very dear to both of their hearts, Tohru Honda. Although they don't particularly enjoy being together, they are willing to work by each others side in order to accomplish their goals. The first scene that we really see this is when Kyou and Yuki both go to rescue her from her grandfathers house. After the renovations on her grandpas home were complete, Tohru decided it was best if she went back to living with her family. She didn't actually want to leave, but she felt like it was what she had to do. She left the Sohma's her new address, which Kyou and Yuki used to find her. They realized together that they both were unhappy without seeing Tohru every day, and so they went off on a journey to try and find the home. It is seen that they both argued while looking for the house, but I think it's safe to say they both felt accomplished once they got her and took her back home to live with them again. It is also an important image to see the three of them holding hands all the way home. We also see Kyou and Yuki work together on New Years Eve. Tohru insists that they go to the ceremony with the rest of the Zodiacs, which would then leave her all by herself on New Years Eve. After they leave, they both get irritable because they felt uncertain as to whether they made a mistake leaving her alone. When they run into Saki, Tohru's friend, and find out this would be the first NYE she spend by herself since her mother died, they both run -- and I mean run, back home to be with her. They burst open the door together and see Tohru crying with a picture of her mom. The three of them sit on the roof and watch the sunrise together as three friends. Their mutual care for Tohru is the main reason the two are able to calm down and start to tolerate being near each other. Kagura even states that she has never seen them so calm around each other before, and I think this proves that Tohru is the first reason why they start to get along.
When Kyou finds out there is a school gym race, he challenges Yuki to a battle. However, at the time, Yuki starts getting sick. Tohru tries to stop them from competing, but Yuki insists it'll be alright. The next day, the two start the race. Kyou is actually winning, and he gets excited. However, Haru, another one of the Sohma's, trips them with a rope because he is excited to see Yuki. Yuki ends up collapsing to the ground because his sickness gets worse. The face to the right shows how Kyou reacts when he realizes that Yuki overworked himself to the point of physical exhaustion just to accept Kyou's forceful challenge. This shows that even though Kyou talks a big hateful game towards Yuki, there is still some care and love for Yuki within his bones. He doesn't like knowing that Yuki fell, and he doesn't like seeing Yuki weak either. I think this also shows that Kyou expects to lose to Yuki because he has an image in his mind that Yuki is always better. Seeing Yuki fail and fall to the ground almost disturbed Kyou because his image of Yuki was altered. Haru also tells Tohru here that because of her, he can see the change within the relationship of Kyou and Yuki.
Tohru, Kyou, and Yuki take a walk in the woods on the Sohma residence summer home. She starts to feel really uncomfortable because both of them are quiet and not really talking to her nor are they fighting with each other. Tohru speaks up and tells them that she is sorry for whatever she might have done, and she wants them to forgive her. At this moment they both begin to realize that heir actions are effecting not just each other, but Tohru as well. They both confess that they just have a lot on their mind after finding out Akito was around, and that it had nothing to do with her. After the two begin arguing with each other again, Tohru starts cracking up and smiling, saying she kind of likes it when they fight. They both look at each other and get embarrassed, but are happy that Tohru is smiling once again. They all promise each other that they will be open about how they feel. Yuki and Tohru have a private conversation where Yuki explains that he is extremely jealous of Kyou. He hates how natural it is for Kyou to talk in school and hangout with friends there, even if he doesn't realize he has that talent. Tohru tells Yuki that he is also well liked by the school, he just needs to put himself out there a bit more. The pep talk from Tohru helps Yuki realize that he can also make friends if he tries harder. Later on, we see Yuki ask to play the card games with everyone else. This is allowing Yuki to get over, or start to heal from, the jealousy he has towards Kyou. Kyou also privately tells Tohru that he is jealous of Yuki because people always agree with him. We see a moment of weakness in Kyou when he explains that he will never be good enough to beat Yuki at anything. Tohru tells him that he is like a plum rice ball, and that the reason he can't see what is special about him is because the plum is on his back. However, he can see what is special about Yuki because the flavor is apparent. Tohru says, "When you envy others, that's only because you can see other people's sour plum, thats all!" Kyou tells Tohru that she also has a good flavor on her back as well, and gets embarrassed. Tohru is also there to support Kyou, helping him understand that although he might not be as strong as Yuki, he has his own special talents that no one else has. Shigure also calls Kyou out for desperately trying to hold onto the belief that he needs to hate Yuki, which causes Kyou to run away and get angry. He starts to realize that maybe what he is holding onto is wrong, and he should look at the situation from a different angle.
We see Yuki telling his friends that he is hurt because he finally lost to Kyou -- and that loss was Tohru. However, he didnt love Tohru in a romantic way, but just in a motherly way. So, he wasn't jealous that Tohru romantically was picking Kyou, but he was jealous because he also wanted Tohru to give him attention and her time. He just realized that he needed someone to fill the void in his heart, and at first, he thought that person would be Tohru. Kyou also realizes that all he had to do was blame Yuki and hate him so much that it got rid of the pain inside of him. He tells Tohru that it was comfortable and easy to be able to hide his real feelings and pain and throw them into hating Yuki, but that was just him being a coward and running away from his real feelings and his true pains. After he runs away from Tohru, saying that love is an illusion, she ends up falling off of a cliff. When he finds her again, Yuki is already by her side. Yuki screams at him and tells him not to touch her because she hit her head really hard. We see Yuki talking about Kyou saying, "When it comes to something important, he panics, and lets her cry even when he is capable of more than anybody, more than me." This is huge because the two have began to realize that they have been taking out their anger on each other. Yuki knows that Kyou has capabilities that are special to only him, and Kyou knows that he shouldn't hate Yuki for what he really just hates about himself. Kyou and Yuki have their final main talk before Kyou is able to see Tohru again. Kyou tells Yuki he doesn't think he will ever be able to protect her now after what had happened. Yuki gets angry and finally tells Kyou how he feels:
Yuki: You can't protect her? What the hell is that? So would you be satisfied if you could catch someone who was falling off a cliff? Or if you could somehow wonderfully save someone from being run over by a car? That would be wonderful! Who do you think you are, some kind of superhero?! You're just a stupid cat!They both end up crying because the truth was finally said out loud. Kyou realizes that everything Yuki said was true, that he needed to just finally believe in himself and love himself, because even Yuki, the one he looked up to, is saying this. I think that although this conversation happened in a screaming manor, it was the perfect way for both of them to let out their feelings. I think that the fact that Kyou tells Yuki he wanted to be him first is also really surprising, because if you take the Kyou from the beginning of the story and compare it to what he says now, you wouldn't even be able to believe it was the same person. Yuki admitting that there are things Kyou can do that he can't is also really surprising. Yuki used to always act like he was so much better than Kyou, and that that was a fact that couldn't change. Here we see both of them fall and expose themselves to the other. I really love the friendship between Kyou and Yuki because it shows that all people need to do is accept who they are and let go of grudges from the past, and a beautiful future can also sprout. Obviously they aren't best friends, but in the end they can tease each other and genuinely smile afterwards, which even surprises Tohru because the atmosphere between them has finally become calm!
Kyou: Shut the hell up! I'm not that sort of person! That's your job isn't it? I'd be more like you if I could! I wanted to be you!
Yuki: Shut the hell up! Shut the hell up! Shut the hell up!! That was ME! I idolized you! I wanted to be you! Idolizing! And yet you say it first? Shut the hell up! But you are Kyou, and I am Yuki, and thats the way it is. I can only be myself, and I accept that. It's the only way I can face myself. You've been protecting her! She was happy, content. True, there might have been small things, but you were a hero! You didn't have any super powers, but you were beside her. Smiling and laughing, RIGHT?! Do you really think it would be the same if I were beside her? There are somethings that ONLY YOU CAN DO! You should realize! Don't make her cry! Be strong!! Why are you still doing nothing? I, the one you admire so much, am saying this to you, Stupid Cat!