Chapter 1 Tohru Honda is living in a tent while her grandfather does remodeling on his home and passes by the home of Shigure Sohma and his cousin, the handsome class rep Yuki Sohma. Yuki and Tohru walk to school together which gets the attention of the Yuki Fan Club girls. Their attempts at intimidating Tohru get thwarted by Arisa and Saki. The three then talk about strange rumors regarding Yuki. Later in the evening, Shigure and Yuki learn of Tohru's living conditions as she arrives to her tent with a cold. While Tohru tries pleading with them to let her stay on their land back at Shigure's house, a landslide falls onto the tent. With Tohru's condition, the two men have Tohru stay the night at their house. Once she is asleep, Yuki goes off to recover Tohru's personal items.
The next morning, Tohru awakens to discover the photo of her mother, Kyoko, standing beside her. Yuki explains to Tohru that she is allowed to stay at their house until her grandfather's remodeling is done. As Yuki shows her to the bedroom she would be staying in, a orange-haired boy crashes through the roof of the room trying to provoke Yuki into a fight. As Tohru tries to stop him, she trips into him and the boy transforms into a cat.
Chapter 2 As a franctic Tohru panics over Kyo's transformation, a wooden board from the hole Kyo made bonks Tohru on the head and she falls into Shigure and Yuki. Both men turn into a dog and rat respectively. As a choppaya delivery person arrives at the door, a franctic Tohru tries explaining the situation to him. But Shigure the dog hands the deliveryman his wallet to pay for the food and the man is on his way. Realizing that there's no way to cover things up with Tohru, Shigure explains to Tohru that the Sohmas are cursed by the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, counting the cat. After a short time, the boys transform back in the nude.
Shigure then asks Tohru if she likes the "cat" of the zodiac, Kyo. As Shigure teases Kyo, the boy gets angry enough to chop a table in half with his fist. However, one of the table halfs hit Tohru in the forehead earning Kyo a slap in the face by Yuki. The annoyed class rep then allows Kyo to fight him. But Yuki easily defeats Kyo. Realizing she's late for school, Tohru rushes off in her dirty school uniform and washes it at the school. Because Tohru knows of the Sohma curse, Shigure has to inform the Sohma family head, Akito, about the developments.
At school, Yuki asks Tohru if she told her friends about the curse. While Tohru assures him that she won't tell anyone about the curse, Yuki worringly tells her that her memories could be erased from learning of the curse as such a thing happened before with friends he met in childhood. As a sad Yuki walks off, Tohru's attempt to stop him causes Yuki to transform. While in rat form, Tohru picks up Yuki and tells him that she is glad to have learned of his secret and wishes to still be his friend if her memory is erased. When Yuki transforms shortly afterward, he dresses back into his uniform, but ties his tie improperly. While Tohru helps him tie it, Yuki recalls Akito's words saying that an outsider would never accept his rat form. When Yuki asks Tohru if she is sickened by him, Tohru misinterprets his comment as thinking he asked if she was feeling better.
Back at Shigure's house, Tohru sees that Kyo fixed the damage that he caused to her room from earlier. As he tries to apologize to Tohru, Shigure's playful arrival leads an angry Kyo to storm off instead. Shigure then goes on to explain that Tohru would still be allowed to keep her memory and stay with them as long as she kept the Sohma curse secret.
Chapter 3 After Tohru is done cleaning Shigure's kitchen, she and Yuki have breakfast. The quiet mood gets interrupted by the arrival of an angry Kyo and Shigure. Shigure had tricked Kyo into taking a school entrance exam and now Kyo was going to be going to Yuki and Tohru's school.
Kyo's first day doesn't go smoothly as the crowd of students swarming around him causes a nervous Kyo to get frustrated enough to jump out of the classroom window and run off. Exhausted from the ordeal, Kyo comes across Yuki who warns him of his prior actions. They get into a verbal argument that starts turning physical before Tohru runs in to stop Kyo which results in the boy transforming. Kyo impulsively lets an angry outburst out at Tohru. The girl walks off thinking Kyo hates him now. Yuki walks off as well leaving Kyo to think over what he did.
Kyo ditches school and goes back to Shigure's home. He tells Shigure that he wants to leave the house believing that he can't interact with people like Tohru. Shigure explains to Kyo that interacting with people is like his training in the martial arts. He has to learn to improve his social skills.
In the evening, Tohru is walking back to the house from work thinking of what Kyo said to her earlier. She hears someone behind her. Thinking it's a molester, Tohru whops the person in the face with her schoolbag. The person turned out to be Kyo. Trying to explain her actions, Tohru is hushed up by Kyo who arkwardly apologizes for what he said to her.
Chapter 4 At school, Yuki turns down another love confession from a girl. The girl asks if Yuki fears being accepted by others. This comment gives Yuki some self-doubt. This also leaves him in a worst mood than usual when he pounds on Kyo harder than usual in another fight while Kyo is cleaning the classroom after losing an earlier card game.
Later in the evening, Yuki arrives at Tohru's work to pick her up. When Tohru asks if it's alright for Yuki to say what's on his mind, a drunk man pushes Tohru into Yuki causing him to transform. While walking with Tohru in rat form, Yuki explains that while he wants to live a life away from the Sohmas, he fears getting close to outsiders because he fears being hurt. Yuki believes Kyo would have an easier time living away from the Sohmas if he improved his social skills as Kyo wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind. Yuki's disgusted that Kyo would even want to be a part of the Sohmas.
As it starts raining, Yuki transforms back. Once back at Shigure's home, Yuki heads for the forest with Tohru following. Both come upon a vegetable garden which is Yuki's "secret base." Covering up the garden to protect it from the rain, Tohru tells Yuki about how her mother told her that despite the differences that people have, it is better to accept the different types of people that you meet up with. This cheers up Yuki as he decides to slowly try opening up more.
Chapter 5 A girl named Kagura Sohma arrives at Shigure's house looking for Kyo. Kagura is so hopelessly in love with Kyo that she lets her emotions get the better of her as seeing Kyo drives Kagura to start pummeling him into unconsciousness. She is also a cursed Sohma. Shigure and Yuki talk about Kagura to Tohru.
Once Kagura settles down, she explains how she had loved Kyo since they were kids and that cursed Sohma can hug one another without transforming. However, Kyo isn't in agreement over loving Kagura as this earns him another pummeling from Kagura.
At night, Tohru visits with Kyo who is on the top of Shigure's roof to avoid Kagura. The two bond as Kyo tells Tohru about his martial arts training in the mountains.
The next day, Kagura's emotional outbursts lead her to accidentally transform into a pig when she runs into a newspaper delivery man. While Kagura is a pig, Tohru tells her that she admires her devotion to Kyo's qualities.
At school, Tohru goes to the library for books on gardening and the martial arts as she wishes to better understand Kyo and Yuki. However, she receives a phone call from home.
Chapter 6 Tohru tells Kyo, Yuki, and Shigure that the remodeling on her grandfather's home is complete and that she is returning home. However, Tohru feels less welcomed with the addition of more Honda family members at her grandpa's home. Because of her mother's past as a delinquent, many within the Honda family think Tohru would turn out like Kyoko in her middle school days. When Tohru's grandpa asks if she wants to be else where, a weeping Tohru admits she still wants to be with the Sohmas. To her surprise, Tohru sees Yuki and Kyo as they take her back to Shigure's house.