Chapter 1: Prologue
Disclaimer: I own nothing except a few oddly named electronics and a falling apart bookshelf.
Every woman gets a feeling when she becomes a mother. For some it is slow to build but eventually fills every crevice with warmth. With others it is a blast of emotion, sudden as a lightning strike, but equally satisfying but different still. And while Yuzuha had given birth multiple times that night, she didn’t feel complete yet.
Staring down at her sleeping sons, mirror images of each other, she wondered what was missing. All of her children were in this room, all were safe. But why did she feel like there was something waiting to happen. Something life-altering. That was when she saw it.
A nurse was leaving, a normal occurrence in her room, which was bustling with extra care her husband had insisted upon, but what was different was the bundle she was carrying. It shifted as the nurse left the room and from it popped an infant’s arm. Yuzuha’s heart clenched violently.
“Naoki!” She said frantically, “Where is she?” Taking her eyes off of the nurse, she looked to her husband. “Where’s she taking her?”
He placed a hand on her arm. “Most likely for tests, she is the smallest.” He tried to be soothing but quickly realized that it wasn’t working.
“No, No, NO! Bring her back. They can do any damn test they want HERE!” Seeing the fear in her face and the uneasiness of his recently awoken sons, he acquiesced with a nod.
Signaling one of the nurses to follow him, he walked out, leaving his wife in her bed to calm the boys.
When Naoki reentered the room he was a defeated man. His shoulders were slumped and head hanging low. Yuzuha saw him and tears sprung to her eyes, making them glisten threateningly. The two officers from the Shinjuku police department who stepped in after Naoki, though, were what caused her to break down into violent sobs.
Sensing her distress and not understanding the feeling of loneliness held within, the remaining siblings began wailing adding to Yuzuha’s pain. The sound washed over Naoki, who had fallen to his knees, in a cacophony of sorrow.
Underneath the crying there was a phantom whimper, which was only heard by two of the rooms occupants. This sound caused them to unconsciously clasp hands, their subconscious weary of separation.
“Ryouji?”It was her tone of voice that alerted Ryouji that something was up with his wife. “Do you remember last week when you said that you always wanted children?”
Furrowing his brow and shifting his grip on the phone, he decided to go along with it. “Yes, but do remember that I was drunk.”
“Well I’m taking it as a Freudian slip. So anyways, you know the woman I was defending on a drug charge and how I thought we’d lose?” Realizing that she had most likely confused him she pushed on, not waiting for a response. “I went to her apartment today as she missed her appointment with me to prep for trial… And I’m bringing home her baby because she is in a coma. I’ll be there soon; I have to stop for diapers and some food. Love you!” With a cheery farewell, she hung up her office phone before he could respond.
Laughing lightly Kotoka smiled down at the little girl held in her arms. “He won’t be mad… We’ll just consider you a dry run until your mommy gets better. You’ll be much better off with us than in the stinky old foster system. Yes, you will!” Grabbing her bag, the young lawyer left her office, not knowing how much a difference she just made in the little girl’s life, nor how much her own would change.
It wasn’t her fault. Nope, not her fault at all, though if it was anyone’s fault it was Jiro’s. It was Jiro who called her a girl. She wasn’t a girl. Well, yes she was but not in the way he meant it. So really, it’s all Jiro’s fault that she fell out of the tree. And it was Jiro’s fault that her arm was throbbing. And it was Jiro’s fault that it was raining… just to be thorough.
Turning the corner, Haruhi could see home, and standing in the entry way was her mother. Walking up the street, she could see that her mom was not happy. Apparently it’s frowned upon to be gone two hours when you promised to be back in 10 minutes. Steeling herself, Haruhi pulled her left arm closer, hugging her body, but with that movement it jostled her elbow. This caused her to hiss violently and cringe.
“Haruhi!” Her mother yelled startled. “What happened? Are you okay?” Rushing down the road, Kotoka met her daughter and knelt.
“Yeah mom, I’m fine.”Haruhi smiled, though it came out as more of a grimace. Unfortunately for her, a car back fired, sending a loud bang throughout the neighborhood, startling her and causing another jolt to her arm. Wincing she closed her eyes. “My cover is blown isn’t it?”
Caringly growling like only a mother can, Kotoka picked up her daughter. “Oh, most definitely; and right now we are going to go to the hospital but after that you are going to explain what happened. Then, we are going to have a LONG discussion about hiding things and how it is not recommended and why. Then, and then, you are going to tell your father everything.”
Haruhi had solemnly nodded to each of her mother’s demands until she said the last one, the little girl just gasped. “No!”
Smirking evilly as she placed her daughter in the passenger seat of her car, Kotoka mocked Haruhi with the same gasp, “Yes!”
Whimpering, not in pain she was feeling but in pity for herself. “But, but, he gets so sad when I get hurt, and he cries, then he, he looks at me!” Hearing her mother snort in laughter as she drove, Haruhi explained. “You know what I’m talking about. It’s that look, like you just killed his favorite puppy, then preformed necromancy, then killed it again, all in front of him.” She looked up at her mother, while still cradling her arm. “Do I have to?” Channeling her father she pouted and tried her best to look like a wounded puppy, which, thinking about it, wasn’t too hard to do.
Glancing down, Kotoka just laughed. “No way, don’t even think of using that look. Your father does it all the time, and it doesn’t work, even with his many, many years of practice. We’re here now so no more attempts at negotiating.” Her focus was entirely on her daughter who, even as she was wincing in pain from the movement of her arm, was still arguing. So she missed the arrival of a shiny escalade, out of which came a harried elegantly dressed woman followed by two boys; two boys who resemble Haruhi, if not in appearance than in their stance.
Both were holding their left arm possessively tight to their body, while they angled themselves towards each other. Their mother frantically pounced on the first doctor she saw, cutting off Haruhi and Kotoka who just walked around the trio and walked to the front desk, ignoring the almost hysterical woman. “Doctor! Doctor! Help my sons, please? I don’t know what happened, one minute they were fine in their rooms than the next they were both clutching their arms in pain! Can you look at them?”
While their mother battered the poor Doctor, Hikaru and Kaoru took the moment to look around. Both were in pain but it wasn’t a strong pain, just a moderate ache. Though it was enough to set off their over protective mother. Scanning the crowds Kaoru quickly noticed the little girl. She was the only other child around their ages in the waiting from. She was sitting quietly in one of the provided chairs and had a small pout on her face. He smirked and nudged his brother then nodded to her.
Hikaru grinned, “Looks like someone didn’t get their way.” His grin disappeared as he noticed their mother was gesturing to them. “Come on, seems like mom wore down the doctor.”
As they left, Haruhi’s head shot up, looking for something, but not quite knowing what it was. Before she found it, her mother came over with a nurse. “Come along, brave one. Nurse Sato is going to bring us to a room to wait there, the doctor got tied up.”
While they waited, Haruhi took the opportunity to wear her mother down; forgetting the fleeting feeling that something missing was just within her grasp. When the Doctor entered he looked quite tired. Saying the first thing on her mind Haruhi spoke. “Doctor, are you alright?”
He grinned, “I think I’m supposed to ask you that, little lady. Now what’s wrong?” He picked up her chart and before she could answer, spoke again. “Another problem with the left arm; wow, odd, that makes it three in a row. Let us hope it is growing pains as well. Hold out your arm.” Walking to her, she lifted her arm at the shoulder, not able to extend it without feeling extreme pain. “Guess not.” Writing on her chart he turned to Kotoka. “I’m going to send her for an x-ray. It’ll take about 30 minutes for the results to be back, but until then, I’ll send in some ibuprofen. That should take care of the pain. So I’ll see you in half an hour.”
The door closing was Kotoka’s signal; she looked at her daughter with serious eyes. “I didn’t forget, just so you know. How did this happen?”
Groaning, Haruhi dropped her head to her chest. Stupid Jiro.
The sky was ominous. Its glow was eerie, giving off just enough light to silhouette two boys standing in front of the window in their room. They had an arm around each other’s waist, holding tightly. They didn’t react when their father entered the room, nor when he placed a hand on either shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” He asked quiet and careful. Inside his head, he was questioning. His two sons were many things, but solemn wasn’t one of them.
It was the more observant of the two, Kaoru, who answered. “Today is a bad day.”
This quiet declaration was confirmed by Hikaru as he nodded.
The males of the Hitachiin family stood there for a moment that just seemed to stretch. Finally, Naoki left, leaving his sons to solitude with a quick grip on their shoulders.
When he closed the door, he made a note to tell the household that the children’s rooms were off limits today and they were only to be bothered if they asked. Walking swiftly, he paused outside his wife’s work room, taking a deep breath to fortify himself, he entered. Still having no idea how he was to contain Yuzuha’s smothering mothering.
Across the city, there stood another child, just as quiet, just as solemn. Though there was a difference. This child was standing in the middle of the storm, at the edge of a grave. Behind her there sat a man, her father.
She had stood silent for hours, watching the rain pour, listening to the thunder crack, and not feeling a thing. Eventually, the downpour slowed to a trickle until all that was left was the sharp smell of ozone, remnants of the lightning that had lit the heavens. It was then that the little girl moved, slowly she bowed, steady and strong, holding it for what seemed to be minutes. When once again straight, she turned, reaching out her right hand, she grasped that of her fathers. Speaking firmly, she pulled at her father. “Come on Papa, it’s time to go home. You have work in the morning and I have school. Mother wouldn’t want us to slack.”
Staring shockingly up at his daughter, Ryouji stood, and smiled sadly. Even though she had never been her biological mother, Haruhi was entirely made up of what made Kotoka shine.
The twins were nervous. They glanced at each other repeatedly during class, not knowing why. In retaliation to the feeling they kept in constant contact, be it a brush of their hands, or the knock of ankles. It continued to nag at their subconscious all morning.
That is until they finished lunch, and the feeling all but disappeared. Eyes filled with confusion they linked arms and returned to their homeroom, fully intent on discussing the weirdness that had overcome their senses. That plan was derailed when Hikaru found his seat occupied.
Smirking, Kaoru slipped into his as he watched the small teen look at him suspiciously. It was that moment that Hikaru tapped the stranger on the shoulder. “What’s your name?”
Brow furrowed in confusion, the student answered. “Fujioka Haruhi, can I help you?”
Chuckling softly, Hikaru leaned in close, one hand on the back of his chair the other flat on the desk. His voice soft and fluid, he spoke. “No but I can help you. Luckily you are in the right place.” He lifted his hand off the top of the desk and slid it to the edge then inched it down. “Now, I don’t know what you learned in your previous school, but at Ouran, we have a particularly hard curriculum.” At the moment Hikaru said hard, he grasped something firmly. “First thing you learn here, is how to read.” Pulling back abruptly he returned his voice to normal and pulled out his school books from where they had been resting, inside his desk. Dropping them in front of the transfer student, he pointed. “I’m not the top student, but I’m pretty sure that says Hitachiin not Fujioka. So scram, New Kid.”
With that Hikaru tugged on Haruhi’s arm gently pulling the invader out of his seat and plopped down himself.
Grumbling Haruhi gathered her bag from the back of what she had assumed as an empty chair and walked down a few rows to the back of the class, this time talking a moment to check the innards of the desk for personal effects. Sitting roughly, she glared momentarily at the identical heads of her new classmates, and then sighed. Realizing that he had been entirely in the right to do what he did, and truthfully, could have been a lot ruder. Dismissing the memory, she pulled out her books and settled in to studying.
Smiling, she flipped a page, glad to have finally finished the placement tests the school had surprisingly forced upon her this morning, which had, truth be told, filled her with more stress than she had had during the entrance exams.
Glancing up one last time, she stared apprehensively at the boys in front, who had their heads bowed together in discussion. Haruhi fretfully hoped not to get off on such a bad foot with the rest of her classmates. Hostility was really not conducive to a healthy learning environment. Shaking her head to clear the petty thoughts, she quickly returned to her book, only looking up again when the teacher called for attention.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
You ever have those mornings? Where the moment you wake, you realize that everything in your life is about to change?
Yeah, neither had Haruhi, and the day that would wasn’t different from any other-- except that her cramps came a week early. With a thermos of hot tea and her school bag she was out the door in record time, trying to arrive early in order to put the finishing touches on her essay.
Running down the corridors, Haruhi was startled when a voice called out to her. “Fujioka Haruhi!”
Looking up she saw a teaching aid standing in the doorway of her homeroom. Bowing she started speaking fast. “I’m sorry, I lost track of time in the library going over my work. I was only running because I didn’t want to be late! I won’t ever do it again!” She bowed once more for good measure.
“Good to hear that Fujioka, but you have been summoned to Music Room 3, there is a family emergency. You are dismissed from all of your classes for the day. Assignments have been gathered and are waiting for you.” And with that, she was left alone standing in an empty hall. When the door clicked she woke from her confused daze. Realizing what he had said, her eyes widened and she took off at a breakneck pace towards the clubs room; her mind racing.
‘Is it Dad? Is he ok? Oh god did he die? Or is he seriously injured? Crippled! Attacked!’ She was panting when she made it to the doors. Pushing them open, the sight that greeted her was shocking. The normally energetic room was draped in sorrow. Breathing deeply she took a step forward and met the gaze of Mori, the only member who had noticed her entrance. He nodded respectfully, and nudged Honey, who was sitting on his lap. Honey blinked and looked up, then, following Mori’s gaze, spotted Haruhi. “HARUHI!”
With the fluid ease only a martial artist could have, he leapt off Mori and launched himself into the arms of Haruhi. “Honey-senpai? What’s wrong? Why did I get dismissed?” Rubbing his back Haruhi easily guided them to a couch to sit.
“It’s the twins. They’re sick!” Honey burrowed his head into her neck, seeking comfort and warmth, leaving her baffled.
Turning her head she searched for someone to give her answers. Tamaki was in the corner, whimpering. Meanwhile Mori had stood. When she looked to him, he just shrugged and moved to stand behind their couch, keeping watch over the duo. Hearing the soft click of keys, she shifted her gaze to the far window; there, highlighted by the morning sunlight, was Kyouya.
“Kyouya-senpai?” He must not have heard her. The situation and aura in the room began to make her panic. “Kyouya-senpai!” She glanced around the room once more, and then shifted Honey. “Kyouya!” Finally, he heard her; his entire body stiffened and he paused his typing.
“Yes?” His voice was strained, and when he turned his head, the sun illuminated his pale face. Paler than usual and his lips were tight.
Knowing that Kyouya wouldn’t want her to comment on his appearance, she spoke, with more care than normal. “What’s wrong with the twins?”
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Hikaru-kun is fine, except for the fact that he has a bad case of the flu. Kaoru-kun, he was taken to the hospital late last night with extreme abdominal pain. The host club has been excused for the day. We are going to the hospital to stay with them. Their parents are out of the country and cannot return until tomorrow. We were waiting for you. Now we can leave.” Standing he packed his laptop and pulled out his phone. Pressing a few keys, he walked to where Tamaki was crouched. Tapping his shoulder, Kyouya spoke softly to Tamaki then left. Somehow, whatever Kyouya had said made him jump up and run to the door. That how was quickly solved when Tamaki turned and spoke to Haruhi, Mori, and Honey.
“Come on family! The twins are all alone, and they need their Father! Sons! I’m coming.” Tamaki shouted out the door, than sprinted down the hall, most likely to the car waiting.
Mori leaned down and gripped Honey under his arms and placed him on his shoulders, and then extended a hand to Haruhi. “We do not want to keep Kyouya-sama or Tamaki-sama waiting.”
The car she had been expecting was not what was waiting for them. Of course, after being with the club for a few months she should have. The limo’s back door was open with a driver standing at the side, waiting to help anyone should they need it. Rolling her eyes, Haruhi crawled in, moving to the far side to make room for Mori and Honey.
Looking across, Tamaki had sprawled out and was talking to himself, murmuring about his sons. Kyouya was texting with his phone again. Leaning forward she tapped his knee. “Is there any new information?”
Lifting his eyes, Kyouya gave her an undecipherable look. “He’s doing as well as can be expected. They are almost positive it is Appendicitis. All the doctors are waiting for are the test results to come back, and then they will schedule the laparoscopic surgery. Hikaru-kun also mentioned that the doctors would like to speak with whoever is coming to accompany them. They most likely will ask for a blood donation for the surgery, as Hikaru-kun is sick and it is not allowed for the sick to give blood.”
Having not noticed the others enter the vehicle, Haruhi was startled by the whimper that came from her right. It was Honey. He was clinging to Mori’s arm, with a scared look on his face. “Poor Kao-chan! Takashi, can we get him cake? Is he allowed cake?” Honey looked beseechingly up at Mori, who in turn looked to Kyouya for answers.
Inclining his head, Kyouya answered Mori’s silent question. “He will be able to have cake after the surgery, but only after the anesthesia wears off. And Honey-senpai, it is not as bad as it sounds. This surgery is performed thousands of times a year in my family’s hospitals. Also the most experienced doctor will be operating on Kaoru-kun. I have made sure of it.”
Haruhi let out a breath that she hadn’t known she had been holding at those words. She then realized why Kyouya had been on his computer and phone so diligently, he was coordinating an entire operation from the electronics. Falling back she leaned against the seat; worried about Kaoru, she spent the rest of the car ride, thinking about all the things that could go wrong.
By the time the limo pulled up in front of the hospital, Haruhi was a bundle of nerves. She had even bitten her left thumb nail to the quick, a habit she thought she had gotten rid of in middle school. Grimacing down at the digit as she rose from the car, she wiped it off on her pant leg and stuck her hands in her pockets, to remove the temptation.
While she was distracted someone bumped into her. Haruhi gasped in shock and stumbled into Mori, who put an arm out quickly enough to steady her, as Tamaki sped by, charging through the hospital doors. Thanking Mori, she straightened her uniform and looked at Kyouya, who was just exiting the limo. “What room is Kaoru-kun in?”
He smirked lightly as he walked past, intent on catching Tamaki, answered her. “Room 504.” She nodded then smiled as he spoke loudly to gain their senpai’s attention. “Tamaki, leave the nurses alone! They have work to do.”
Honey grabbed Haruhi’s right hand and Mori’s left, the dragged them to a bank of elevators. “Poor Kao-chan, all alone… Well, we’re definitely going to cheer him up!”
Puzzled, Haruhi tried to correct him, “Honey-senpai, Kaoru-kun isn’t alone, Hikaru-kun is there.”
Honey shook his head while he bounced to press the button for the proper floor. “No, Hika-chan is sick. He doesn’t count right now.” When he finished he gave a final nod, as if that was that.
Bewildered at his answer, she glanced at Mori, who caught her gaze but just shrugged. Sighing, Haruhi faced forward just in time to see the doors open, revealing Kyouya leaning nonchalantly against the opposing wall, holding Tamaki's collar, who was enthusiastically trying to escape from him and dash down the hallway.
Haruhi furrowed her brow, watching as Tamaki got free. “How did you beat…?” She trailed off as Kyouya just tilted his head towards a set of small elevator doors with a sign above it ‘Private’. Of course, his family owned this hospital. He would get all the perks. Her line of thought was cut off when Tamaki bounced out from around the corner.
“Come on! Come on! The nurse won’t let me in.” Tamaki pouted. “They don’t believe that I am their father. I need you, Kyouya-chan, to tell them wrong!” Haruhi smiled, as they started after senpai, because she totally saw that Tamaki stomped his foot, even if it was just a little one.
Rounding the corner, they saw a large male nurse blocking Tamaki’s entrance. Holding back a chuckle, she watched Kyouya pull the nurse aside for a few words. Immediately, Tamaki lunged into the room, calling for the twins. Haruhi was pulled along by Honey, who had dropped Mori’s hand in favor of actually gaining ground by dragging the infinitely lighter of the two.
The sight that greeted her was something that would remain with her for months, if not forever. It was an unbelievably pale Hikaru, sitting next to a flushed and sweaty Kaoru, both seemingly in pain, yet still holding hands and trading quips with Tamaki, though at a slower pace.
Honey scrambled past her and gently pushed Tamaki to the side, who then promptly grasped Hikaru’s hand and started petting it, ignoring Hikaru’s protests, while Honey swiftly climbed onto Kaoru’s bed and settled on his left side, resting his head on the teen’s shoulder.
When she stepped to the end of the bed, shifting slightly to give Mori room so he could stand by the window, both the twins looked up, each with a small smile for her.
Patting his foot, she grinned encouragingly. “Feeling ok?” At the look Kaoru gave, she rolled her eyes and corrected herself. “Besides for the obviously infected organ.”
“I’ll survive, though… would I have better chances of seeing you in the maid costume if this was to become my death bed?” He smirked and met Hikaru’s gaze, both sharing a lecherous leer.
Ignoring Tamaki’s scandalized gasp, she replied, relaxing as she fell into what felt normal again. “Of course not, you ignoramuses; I would never be caught dead in that thing. Even if you both had simultaneous heart attacks, it wouldn’t happen.”
“Haruhi!” Tamaki shouted. “I can’t believe you would be so mean to your family! You should never say things like that; you never know what may happen. Why…” Haruhi stopped listening to him after that, knowing that he was gearing up for a long spiel.
Looking around, she saw that, no matter how annoying he was, Tamaki was entertaining the twins and Honey; she couldn’t really tell with Mori, but he seemed happy, if the small quirk at the corner of his lip was anything to go by. Hearing a soft creak she saw the door crack and Kyouya caught her gaze. He motioned for her to come out; shrugging she did so.
“You wanted to see me senpai?” she questioned, stepping into the hall. Standing beside Kyouya was an older gentleman in a white lab coat.
“This is Kaoru-kun’s doctor Fuoto-sama, he has reviewed the other host club member’s medical files that are already here and none of them are compatible. If it is alright with you, they would like to check your blood so that there could possibly be a pint on reserve during Kaoru-kun’s surgery. All they would need is verbal allowance from your father and medical history. Do you by any chance know your blood type?” Kyouya no longer startled her with his stoic recitation of facts, but that much information and the importance of the question caused her to pause for a few moments.
“I’m pretty sure I’m O-. And Dad will definitely say yes, if not, I’ll make him say yes. But there is a problem with the Medical History.”
“What’s that? Because your mother died when you were young?” Kyouya raised his eyebrows and continued. “I would think that your father would most likely know all that is needed, wouldn’t you?”
She shook her head and smiled softly. “Oh, no, I know all about mom. Sorry, I thought you knew, I assumed Dad had told you everything about me. No, I’m adopted and my birth mother died of a drug overdose when I was only a few months old. There is no record of me before that. But, I’ve had all my shots and besides for a broken arm, there has never really been anything wrong with me.” She looked to the Doctor, who smiled encouragingly.
“That should be fine Fujioka-san. If you will come with me, I’ll bring you to the phlebotomy lab and we’ll draw some blood. The only thing that will change is that a few more broad-spectrum tests will be added to the list. You’ll get a copy of the results and we’ll create a file for you here. This was going to happen anyway, per Ootori-san’s insistence. The time table is simply moved up. So, if you will come with me, you will be back in a jiffy.” Placing a hand at her lower back, the doctor guided her away. Glancing back, she realized that Kyouya was still standing in the same place, and that he hadn’t moved since she had revealed that she was adopted.
Turning to Doctor Fuoto, she asked him to wait a moment then ran back to Kyouya. “Kyouya-senpai? Are you alright?” He snapped out of whatever reverie he had been in and nodded sharply. “Great, can you call Dad and tell him? It might be good if you ask for his permission then as well, if that is okay?” He nodded again, so she walked back to the doctor, leaving him there.
Kyouya let out a breath as her footsteps faded away. Adopted? How did he not know that? Obviously it wasn’t a big deal to her, but… shouldn’t it be? Shaking his head, Kyouya pulled out his phone and dialed the now familiar number; deciding that if it didn’t bother her, then it had nothing to do with him. “Ranka-san? Hello, this is Ootori Kyouya, I’m calling about…”
His voice faded off as he walked towards the visitor’s lounge where it would be quieter.
Chapter 3: Chapter 2
Strangely enough, a jiffy turned out to be a lot longer than she had thought, so when she returned to the twin’s room Haruhi wasn’t quite surprised to find that her absence had been missed.
It was Tamaki who made the grand gestures and posturing, but she could tell from the creased brows, Hikaru and Kaoru had been wondering about her as well. Seeing Kyouya sitting in a chair in the corner but no one else, she raised an eyebrow.
Cutting Tamaki off mid-sentence she looked towards the twins. “Where is Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai?”
Hikaru sniffled and answered, his voice deep from congestion. “Dey went to get cake ‘n’ sweets. Honey-senpai demandeded it.” He looked confused for a moment. “Demanded? Ah, I can’t remember… Kyouya-senpai, why did you make dem gibe be medicine?! Mow my head is froggy… Arg! Foggy! Ah, screw it.” Ignoring the laughter, he rose and shuffled to the other bed in the room and fell on it, somehow managing to shift his body onto it with the minimum amount of effort.
“You gave him medicine?” Haruhi asked, taking Hikaru’s seat, still ignoring Tamaki who was now pouting by the door, an aura of disappointment surrounding him.
Kyouya looked up from his tablet and smirked lightly. “He had a fever of 39 degrees Celsius and was started to hallucinate. He was convinced that there was an invisible flying cat in the room purring in his ear. Medicine was the only other option I had besides for committing him to the psych ward. Nyquil is better than a rubber room, don’t you think?” Without waiting for a response, he returned to his work, and then added quickly. “Your father agreed. The test results will be back within 30-45 minutes.”
Haruhi nodded absentmindedly, still trying to imagine a bound and gagged Hikaru, scarily enough, the image came much faster than she thought, and even quicker was the alternative image of Tamaki in a similar state. That mental thought made her snort out loud drawing the attention of Kaoru, who had been watching clouds pass through his window. He smiled lightly and then grimaced.
Her face softened. “When is your surgery scheduled?”
“Two hours.” Propping himself up, he reached for a glass of water that sat on the side table. Sipping lightly he looked at Haruhi in contemplation.
Knowing he was trying to ask something, she beat him to the punch. “What is it?”
“Oh, Uh, I was just going to ask you to do something, but never mind.” He shifted awkwardly and returned the glass, then winced as he moved wrong.
Exasperated she rolled her eyes. “Whatever you are going to ask can’t be worse than anything else you or Hikaru-kun have asked before so just go ahead.”
He grinned and pointed down to a bag that was resting against wall near her feet. “There is a book in there; can you read it out loud? Our mother always used to read it when we were sick and it has kind of become a tradition.” Haruhi raised her eyebrows apprehensively. Kaoru was prepared for that though and instantly pouted.
Sighing she leaned down and opened the bag. “Fine, but only because you are undergoing surgery.” When she pulled out the book, she looked at him skeptically. “The Secret Garden? Really?” When he put out his lip again, she hunkered down and opened the book to the first page. “When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.”
As she read the novel, her voice floated throughout the room, peaceful and elegant. Kyouya stopped whatever he was doing on his computer and closed his eyes, letting it sink in. Tamaki ceased his muttering and just sat pouting, but that eventually went away as well. Despite the fact that Hikaru was passed out, her voice even soothed him, calming his shakes and allowing his subconscious to travel in his medicine induced dreamscape.
An hour pasted, and Haruhi was still reading, abet with a few drinking breaks thrown in. Tamaki and Kaoru had both fallen asleep, but whenever she stopped reading Kaoru would start to wake, so she soldiered on. Kyouya had long since returned to his work.
Honey bounced down the hall, holding a small box in one hand and swinging Mori’s arm with the other. Jumping in front of the twin’s door he had a move to open it, his mouth open to announce his arrival, but was stopped by Takashi who pulled on his arm lightly. “Listen.”
Frowning slightly, Honey did as he was told. Hearing something faintly coming through the door, he leaned in closer and smiled as he realized what the sound was. Haruhi was talking… no reading. He peered up at Mori then he slid the door open silently and tip toed in. Mori followed, bemused, but walking normally. He nodded to Kyouya and settled against the wall between the two beds. Haruhi glanced down as Honey settled at her feet, leaning his head against her leg and smiled.
She read for another half an hour before she was interrupted by Kyouya as she finished the current chapter. “The doctor has the results of the basic tests that will decide your eligibility for donating blood, Haruhi-Kun. They will then begin to prep Kaoru for the surgery, so he’ll need to wake.”
Nodding, she closed the book and placed it on the side table. Stepping closer to the bed, Haruhi smoothed the blanket then shook his shoulder lightly. Groaning Kaoru woke and glared at her playfully. She just raised an eyebrow and moved back to her seat.
Not having been sitting for more than 30 seconds she was stirred by Kyouya’s voice again. “He’s here.”
Honey looked up and grinned at Doctor Fuoto when he entered, icing smeared across the blonde’s lips and a dot of what could have been raspberry preserves on his nose. The doctor smothered a chuckle and moved to the foot of Kaoru’s bed, opening a file as he did so. “The tests that have been completed so far you’ve passed, so we are able to draw blood for Hitachiin-san. The ones that are still being worked on are just general scans of your DNA for any anomalies. Ah, speaking of that. Hitachiin-san’s? Neither of you have come in for blood work in over a year, so we are conducting the same tests on the blood we gathered when you were first admitted.” He shut his file and turned to leave, then glanced down at Honey, who was absentmindedly eating one of the sweets from his box. Chuckling again he turned to leave, and then remembered something. “The nurses will be in within 30 minutes to take you to pre-op.”
Kyouya nodded to the doctor then turned to the only conscious twin. “Over a year?”
Kaoru’s eyes widened and he looked to Haruhi. “Can you pass me one of my shoes?”
Confused, Haruhi did as asked, and then quickly dodged the flying projectile as Kaoru threw his shoe at Hikaru. Luckily enough, his aim was true, unluckily though, was the power and rebound, as the shoe bounced off Hikaru’s head and smashed into Tamaki’s face.
Haruhi sniggered along with Honey as their senpai awoke startled and with a bloody nose. Kaoru, on the other hand, just glared at Hikaru. “The blood tests? You said we could wait and that you had cleared it with Kyouya-senpai. I’m going into a major surgery and you forget one little detail.” Gasping dramatically, Kaoru looked to the ceiling. “I’m going to die!” Sitting up abruptly, he pointed to his brother. “I am going to SO haunt you until you’re dead.” Wincing as his histrionics caused pain to flare up his side, he settled back.
Tamaki glared at all of them as he stood, drawing the attention of the room. “I can’t belibe you would hit be with a shoe! Do you not care for your faber at all?!” His voice was muffled as he was plugging his nose, trying to stem the flow of blood. “Mober, do somebing!” When Kyouya just raised an eyebrow and adjusted his glasses, Tamaki huffed and stomped out of the room.
Haruhi’s smile faded and look to where Tamaki had been standing. “Should we follow him?” Kyouya just shook his head.
“No there are many nurses around to fix him and sooth his ego. He’ll be fine.” Sighing as he went back to his work, she looked down as Honey who had finished his cakes and was now licking his fingers. She laughed and then engaged him with a very deep question about what type of sweets would the club members would be.
“Takashi would be a Green Tea-Almond Genoise Layer Cake. It is soft, and despite the first look, it isn’t bitter, nor is it overly sweet. Plus it has layers, like Takashi-kun. Haru-chan would be a Pecan Pie Cake. Crunchy initially then intermittently fluffy and gooey and it goes really well with coffee. The twins would have to be Dark Chocolate-Raspberry Bavarian Torte. At first bitter, but once you get to the inside, sweet and caring… in its own way; sometimes a bit sour. Tamaki-chan is Ume Daifuku; traditional, delicious and saccharine.”
He paused, and turned to study Kyouya. The silence went on for a few moments before he gasped and clapped. “Kyo-chan is Chocolate Pillows!” He was stopped there as everyone, except Kyouya and Mori burst into laughter. Kyouya because he was too busy glaring at Honey and Mori didn’t because… well he just didn’t laugh often, though he did smile. Honey smiled innocently then explained himself. “The outside is sprinkled in powdered sugar and is hard but the inside is dark chocolate, bittersweet and good, very good for you. The sugar off sets the chocolate and it is amazing!” He nodded as he finished, as if everything could be classified as a sweet.
Kyouya stared at Honey for a couple more seconds then sighed softly, accepting his fate, and looked to Kaoru. “Kaoru-san, how are you feeling?”
He rolled his eyes. “The same; but I might be better if people didn’t constantly ask me that.”
“It’s a necessary question. If this wasn’t causing you such visible symptoms, you most likely wouldn’t have come in. As it is I had to tell the doctor to add 2 to your pain scale every time he asks, because you will always underscore your pain. Now, relax. The nurses will be here soon enough. Haruhi-kun, I will walk with you to the phlebotomy lab.” Kyouya spoke as he stood, putting away his tablet and walking to where Haruhi sat. She nodded and rose.
Patting Kaoru’s hand she smiled. “See you after. You better not need any of my blood. I’d rather you to stay all you. Plus, I don’t need you getting smarter and trying to take my spot as top student.” She smirked then walked out the door followed by Kyouya. They walked in silence for a few moments before she spoke. “Now why did you want to walk me? I know my way. Plus there are hundreds of staff even if I didn’t.”
Smiling wryly, Kyouya looked down the hall, and stopped walking. “You’re getting better at noticing things.” He started forward again, and then sighed. “Haruhi-kun, about your medical records…”
“Ah.” Haruhi nodded. “That’s what this is about.” She lightly grasped Kyouya’s forearm, and turned to look him in the eyes. “I don’t quite care about who my biological parents are. There have been no genetic problems with my health so far, so I’m fine with it.” He opened his mouth to speak. She beat him to it though. “But, if you feel the need, I give you permission to look into it. I know you like to have a complete file on each member. I think my father kept the files my mother kept pertaining to the woman who had me. He should be able to give them to you.” She smiled and stepped back. “Since that is solved, I can get to the lab from here. You can go back.”
Kyouya’s eyebrows rose as he watched her go, she had just dismissed him. There was no doubting that there was something different about her, he just couldn’t figure it out. Over the years, there had been very few who could make him feel so intrigued, and even fewer who could even began to understand him. That both those rare traits were held within one small girl was quite confounding.
He shook his head and turned around, bemused. Looking up, he caught the gaze of one of the nurses, who was smirking knowingly. Kyouya quickly schooled his face into its normal blank, sardonic façade, and continued his way back to the twins’ hospital room.
Chapter 4: Chapter 3
Kaoru’s surgery lasted 45 minutes and every moment was a sort of agony for each member. Never before had one of them been so sick as to have had to be hospitalized and it took its toll on their nerves. Especially for Hikaru, which was to be expected. The unexpected freak out was Haruhi. She paced, gnawed on her nails, dragged hand after hand through her hair, and even took to mumbling to herself. It was strange; mostly because she had been fine up until she returned from the lab to find that Kaoru had been taken, although she had already said her well-wishing’s to him. The fall into her worry was slow, but built, causing the other members to be worried for her almost as much as Kaoru.
When the doctor came out she pounced on him. Question upon question was pelted at Doctor Fuoto, to the amusement of all who were in the room. The poor doctor kept opening and shutting his mouth because as he attempted to answer a question, another was already being spoken. This continued for a few moments before Kyouya had to intervene. “Haruhi-kun. Stop, you need to breathe and the Doctor needs to tell us about Kaoru-kun. I apologize Doctor Fuoto, please how is Kaoru-kun’s status?”
Before he spoke, Fuoto gathered his wits, they having been addled by the young woman momentarily. “He is doing quite well. He will be on watch for 12 hours, of course. If things continue as they are now, he’ll be perfectly fine. He had no need for Fujioka-san’s blood either. If she would permit us, it could be added the hospital’s stores for someone else’s use?” Distracted, Haruhi nodded absentmindedly. Smiling the doctor spoke again. “Then that is all, I will of course check up on Hitachiin-san periodically, but he will be returned to his room soon. Hope I don’t see any of you professionally for a while, if not ever again.”
Almost all the members grinned as the doctor left, Honey beamed and waved goodbye. It was Haruhi and Kyouya who didn’t smile quite so much. Kyouya had released the tension that had filled his body ever since he got the news that Kaoru was in the hospital. And Haruhi, well Haruhi looked wreaked.
Without giving any notice, she spun on her heel, muttered, “Be right back,” and left the hospital room. The room was silent in her wake. Shuffling quietly, Mori stood and giving a pointed look to Honey as he followed the sole female of the group. Taking a left he walked slowly until he came across her slumped body. She was leaning against the wall, staring out a window, down into the little garden the hospital maintained for the patient’s use.
Silently he joined her, leaning against the opposite wall, but instead of staring out the window, he looked at the girl, no, young woman across from him. He had been initially startled to find that she was a girl. She had seemed so solid when he first met her, he had naturally assumed that the strength stemmed from masculinity, but as he got to know her, he realized the truth. Haruhi was strong. There was no need to add if it was a male or female trait. Haruhi was just Haruhi, a pillar, unshakable at first glance, and then intricate and more beautiful as you looked closer and closer. It was a natural fit for him to fall into his regular method of dealing with something more beautiful than he was used too. He protected it with his life. Honey was the first he’d met to meet those standards, though he would have protected him without that added instinct, but it was Honey who had first shown him that a person could be truly beautiful. Just like his mother had told him.
Honey had been the first, but Haruhi was the second. And for that he was grateful to her. She assuaged the thoughts that plagued him, taunting that there was only one being in the world. Now that he’d found another, he was at peace. Knowing that since there were two that he’d found, he could patiently wait for the one that was meant to be his. Haruhi wasn’t fit to be his, he knew that. She felt more like a sister, closer in his thoughts to Honey than anyone else, and he wasn’t into incest. So he’d protect her. Though, he had to be more subtle with her than Honey.
He smiled at her softly, and then turned so that his gaze watched the hall, ready to stop anyone from coming near her until she was ready. He gave a few soft glares at the curious nurses, then he settled back, knowing that they would be left alone.
It was almost ten minutes later when Haruhi turned away from the window. Her eyes were red rimmed, wet with unshed tears. She blinked when she saw Mori standing stoic, his back still to her. Walking forward she placed her hand on his shoulder. When he looked down at her there was a soft understanding in his expression and he held his hand out, toward the hallway, silently asking if she wanted to go back. She shook her head and instead walked over to the bank of chairs that lined a nearby wall.
Mori sat in the one next to her and waited. A moment passed and she spoke. “I don’t understand how, but you all have gotten under my skin. A couple months ago, I wouldn’t have cared so much if Kaoru-kun was sick. Sure, I’d have been a bit worried for a classmate, but not to the point of tears. And now look at me; almost bawling because he’s okay. I can’t tell if this is good, or bad.” She sighed and leaned forward, her hands covering her face, palms pressing against her eyes. “Life was so much simpler without having to worry about anyone other than myself and my father. Now I have six other people who matter.”
“Simple doesn’t mean happy.” Mori’s soft voice broke through her thoughts and startled a laugh out of her.
“You’re right.” Forcing her hands roughly through her hair, she stood, and threw out a hand toward Mori. Who gripped it gently, but didn’t use it as he stood. Grinning at him, she pulled him down the hall. “Let’s go bug Kaoru-kun while he’s on pain medication, maybe he’ll tell us something embarrassing that we can use later.”
The door to the room was open, from the outside they could see that Kaoru had been returned. Hikaru was still passed out. Kyouya was talking with Tamaki by the window. That left Honey unaccounted for. That was until they saw a flash of blond hair. Honey was on the opposite side of Kaoru’s bed with his hand extended, fully intending to poke Kaoru’s cheek.
“Mitsukuni!” Mori’s voice was sharp, a distinctive scolding tone. It worked, because Honey snapped his hand back to his side and looked over at Mori innocently.
“I didn’t do anything.” There was an unsaid ‘yet’ that reverberated through the room, causing all to smile slightly. Except for Mori, who just raised an eye brow then took his place against the wall near the foot of Kaoru’s bed.
Haruhi smiled at the familiar shenanigan, she silently reclaimed her seat beside the bed. Picking up the book that lay on the table, she began where she left off before they took Kaoru. Honey settled down as well, leaning against her leg, resting his head on her knee.
Ignorant of anything that wasn’t in their realm of calm at that moment, the members of the Ouran Host club didn’t realize the familial picture they were painting. Nor the test that would change everything that was to come. Instead they were all immersed in the secret garden, searching for the answers to the mysteries hidden within Misselthwaite Manor.
Chapter 5: Chapter 4
A week had passed since the hospital visit and all was well. That was until Kyouya got the results of the blood tests done on the three youngest members. The papers in question were spread on his desk, in an unusually disarrayed fashion. There were also various other printouts mixed within; newspaper articles, government notices, police reports. It all lead to one conclusion that left Kyouya feeling something he hadn’t felt in a long time.
Kyouya was stunned. Which in and of itself was odd but what caused his state was even more miraculous. Someone had managed to hide something from him. Actually it was some ones; the Hitachiins. He had done an extensive background check and media scouring of the entire family when he had first met the twins, but he’d missed it. The blip, a pretty big blip, well more of the absence of a blip. He should have wondered how such a prominent family could go two years without being mentioned in the media, especially after the birth of the heirs to the family.
They’d been deleted, extracted, and erased. Every single mention of anything remotely related to the Hitachiin family had been redacted until a magazine’s exclusive on the twin’s second birthday.
He had ignored the results initially because what kind of rich people didn’t have quirks; but now? With the preliminary test results he had now, he dug deeper. And deeper. Throw in a few proxy servers and a Trojan horse or two and he got the information that made everything make sense. Held in his hands were printed copies of the birth certificates for the Hitachiin children; First Born Hitachiin Hikaru, Second Born Hitachiin Kaoru, and Third Born Hitachiin Natsu; The lost sibling to the twins, whom, according to the test results, had been found in Fujioka Haruhi.
Kyouya sat back in his chair dropping the papers, arms relaxing onto the rests, and he closed his eyes. For once in his life, he didn’t instantly have an idea what to do. He couldn’t figure out a way to spin this, or even how to tell the people involved. A normal person would bring the evidence to the authorities; but then no one ever called Kyouya normal.
Haruhi wouldn’t be happy if she found out that he had had the information and didn’t share it immediately. Not to mention Hikaru would be pissed. Well, he was going to be furious anyway, but it would be worse if it came from an unfamiliar person. Kyouya had no way of knowing how Kaoru would react, that along with their parents was a problem. He didn’t want to try and figure out what to do with them yet.
Sighing heavily, he leaned forward and began to organize the papers; they would all be entering his personal files on the club members. When all the papers were put in their respective manila sleeves, he stood, slipped his glasses off his face and dropped them on top of the stack. With a soft groan, he walked the distance to his bed and slid beneath the covers. Tomorrow; he’d fix everything tomorrow.
When tomorrow came, it seemed too soon. But the papers were still there, mocking him. As he finished buttoning his shirt, he turned to pick up his phone that lay on the desk. A quick text message to the solitary female of his club, and he was out the door, barely stopping to grab his bag and jacket.
The ride to school was filled with a tension that filled his car, so much so that the Ootori driver felt it and asked if he was alright. His terse nod ended the budding conversation; making the silence stretch awkwardly until they drove up to the front of the empty school.
Entering the Club room, he was unsurprised to find it empty. Haruhi would be along soon, that is if she had read her phone in time. Going by his knowledge of her habits, he was almost certain that she had been awake, and since he’d thrown in a threat of increasing the debt if she didn’t show up to school early, Kyouya expected her to be exploding through the doors shortly.
As he had predicted, he had barely had enough time to settle into his normal seat and pull out the folder he’d slipped in his bag this morning, before the door burst in, spilling a panting Haruhi onto the floor.
Glancing at his watch, he smirked. “Two minutes faster than I had estimated. Did you run the whole way?”
She took a few deep breaths before she spoke, “Yeah, to the station and here. I think I scared a few commuters.” Haruhi stretched her back, and then walked to the chair that sat next to Kyouya’s desk, not yet sitting she glared. “What was so important, senpai, that you had text me so early and threaten 2 thousand dollars’ worth of debt?” When he only raised a brow and gestured towards the seat, she groaned and dropped into it. “Fine, I’m sitting. Now can you tell me?”
Not speaking, Kyouya just leaned forward, picked up the file and opened it. Gripping the file tightly, he met her eyes and began. “When you said you were adopted and didn’t know anything about your birth parents, I had the hospital run more in-depth test on your blood. Running checks for known markers that indicate genetic abnormalities and diseases, things like that. While the technician did that, your genetic code was run through the database, just to see if they could find someone on the system that matched. The results came back.” Because he was watching for it, he saw the flicker of panic, before she had managed to squash it.
“Was it bad? Am I going to die?” Without giving him time to reply, she shouldered on. “Genetic match? Am I related to a serial killer? Or a politician? Please tell me I’m not related to Tamaki!” Her wide eyed look of horror made him smile lightly.
“No. You are not related to Tamaki.” He placed the file in front of her. “Your DNA matched that of a missing child; kidnapped from her parents shortly after birth.” He settled back, letting her absorb the information and go through the file.
Though he had removed the papers directly referring to Hikaru and Kaoru; he knew it would only be a matter of time before she linked the names, if not the date of birth. She lifted her eyes to his, confusion clouding her expression. “Kidnapped?”
“Yes, a woman masquerading as a nurse. She took the infant claiming that she needed to run tests. Though the police were alerted within moments, she got away. I dug into your adoption case. Her name was Yamada Kanon; she died of an overdose of various opiates, most likely stolen from the hospital she used to work for as a janitor. The coroner noted in her file that there was no evidence of childbirth, but it must have been a fact that slipped through the cracks.” He stopped speaking, seeing that her eyes drifted to the floor.
“Slipped through the cracks…”She echoed his words softly.
Kyouya winced slightly. “The police system is quite a busy place. They most likely assumed that since you had a stable family wanting you, and that no one came forward to claim Yamada’s body, that this would be better and closed the case as fast as possible.” Her face was still angled down, so he continued, hoping to have her look up. “Second to getting you placed back with your birth family, the Hitachiin’s, this was the best chance of you growing up into a fully functional person. A foster family would have been most likely alright, but there are few of those. You would have ended up in a group home.”
Haruhi’s head snapped up to look at him, expression incredulous. “HITACHIIN?” Snatching the file off the table, she flipped through the pages violently, finally coming across the birth certificate. There in the small print of a typewriter were the words: Hitachiin Natsu 3rd child; Siblings- Hitachiin Hikaru 1st Child, Hitachiin Kaoru 2nd Child. “Oh crap.” Her voice had drastically lowered; as she lost her strength slumped back in the chair.
Lifting the folder out of her hands, Kyouya smoothed the papers that were wrinkled and placed it back on the desk. With that done, he turned back to studying Haruhi. Her face was blank, but her eyes were flickering slightly, betraying the fact that she was freaking out inwardly. He knew she needed time to process, which was exactly why he had asked her to meet him at school 2 hours early.
Kyouya had been working on his laptop for almost 30 minutes when Haruhi suddenly sat up straight and gasped. “Dad! I have to tell dad!” Looking around frantically, she groaned and threw her head back. “School, I have to be at school.”
His light chuckling distracted her from panicking. “I can have the main office dismiss you from classes today, and I personally release you from club activities afterschool.” At her relieved sigh, he continued. “But you have to agree to not complain about the next group cosplay.”
Haruhi grinned at him. “Deal!” She spoke quickly, because she knew that he could have her agreeing to something worse if he really wanted to, plus she really needed to get home so she could talk to her father before he got home and went to sleep. This was something that he needed to hear about immediately. Thinking about the deal, brought her thoughts to a screeching halt. “Do the twins know yet?!”
Kyouya shook his head. “I figured that since your life would be the most uprooted, you have the right to know first; though I am going to tell the family in 3 days, if you do not do so in that time. They have a right to know.”
She nodded. “Alright.” Standing, she moved to leave. Then retraced her steps until she was right next to Kyouya. Placing her hand on his shoulder she squeezed it firmly. “Thank you, Kyouya-senpai.” Without saying another word, she left, closing the door to the music room. Her footsteps soft as she made her way out into the world that had changed so much in so little time.
Chapter 6: Chapter 5
Her father had taken it the news well. Or at least relatively well. There were some tears, and a few pleas to Kotoka, but Haruhi had expected that. What she hadn’t expected was for Ranka to suddenly sit up; wiping his tears and snuffling pitifully, an attempt to bring order back to his appearance. He smiled at her, a watery one, but still a smile, then spoke. “So when are we going to meet them? We’ll need to buy you a new dress. Don’t want them thinking we raised you wrong.”
“I haven’t decided yet. Kyouya senpai gave me a few days before he notifies the Hitachiin family himself.” She sighed and sipped her tea. “I don’t know what to do.” Groaning, she pushed the cup back and rested her forehead on the table. “The only thing I know is that I’m going to have to meet them.” As she sat up, she scrubbed her hands over her face. “God knows how the twins will react. Hopefully well. Worst case scenario, I’ll quit the host club and take up an after school job to pay them back.” At her father’s look she explained. “It’d be a bit uncomfortable for them to see me every day if I’m rejected.”
With soft eyes, he moved behind her, pulling her back against his chest in a strong hug. He leaned his cheek on her head then stroked her arm. “Well then, that’s a spot to start from. I’ll buy you a dress tomorrow. Nothing too outrageous but you will wear it. I’m thinking green or blue, one of the cool colors.”
Turning, Haruhi burrowed into her father’s embrace. She nodded as she breathed in his scent, a warm spicy scent that smelled like home. Smiling softly, she let his voice wash over her. Temporarily closing out the world and receiving comfort from the small bubble off peace they’d managed to create.
Haruhi was nervous. Well, past nervous, and more like in a full blown panic. Her heart was racing and her mind was flitting from possibility to possibility. Today she was meeting the people who spawned her.
Oh, that sounded wrong. Conceived? Created? It all sounded off; maybe she should stick with biological parents? Even though it seemed a distant phrase, but she’d never been in this situation before, not many had, so maybe that was the reason she couldn’t find the right words.
It didn’t matter. They were still out there, even if she could find the proper term. Just a door away, learning the truth.
Looking at her hands, she clenched them into fists, in an attempt to stop the shaking. As she purposely forced herself to relax, she once again resisted the urge to bolt. It wouldn’t be fair to the Hitachiin’s. Or her father, who had come along and was pacing the room by the window; nor to Kyouya, who had set this all up.
He’d reserved the private rooms at the high end restaurant and he’d managed to get the twins and their parents here with minimal fuss. ‘Her parents,’ she mentally corrected.
Of course, she was sure all of this would add some sort of fee to her debt, but it was worth it; to be free from the confusion and indecision.
Her father had been right to suggest asking him for help. Apparently, Kyouya had expected it. It’d been 2 days since he’d told her the news. It hadn’t totally sunk in, but hopefully meeting the Hitachiin’s would help.
Hearing approaching footsteps, she stood and moved to the side of the table. So she could be fully visible from the door. When the door finally opened, she just stared as they walked in and they did no better. No one moved. They stood still, analyzing each other, until Hikaru broke.
He darted forward, and hugged her, squeezing her tight. There was another weight on her as Kaoru joined in the hug, but she didn’t mind. Lifting her arms, she returned the embrace, closing her eyes as she finally felt something shift inside, moving the twins from their place as a nuisance in her mind into her relatively small slot for family. And it felt right. Looking up, her eyes met the gaze of the small man they’d come in with, her father.
The man just nodded, and stepped back to lean against the wall behind him. Waiting for the twins to be done with their greeting, though they hadn’t said a word.
As though they had heard that thought, at once, they started talking. Never removing their arms, they chattered to and through her, not really caring that she couldn’t comprehend most of what was being said, let alone reply.
Her eyes once again strayed to the man, skipping over the woman who hadn’t made a move once, or change her expression. He stepped forward, just as the twins trailed off. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he squeezed it and blinked away the tears in his eyes. “Haruhi.” He said the name gently, testing the sound it made, before he continued. “It’s good to see you.” When the twins stepped back, she slid forward and entered his open embrace. Easily hugging her. That was until a sharp voice broke through, startling them apart.
Yuzuha was fuming. Haruhi, Haruhi, HARUHI! The name was mocking her. She breathed deep, trying to calm herself, but it kept coming back, taunting. She’d been able to tame herself when the twins babbled it again and again but her concentration broke when Naoki used that name in his soft soothing voice, ‘Haruhi.’ He didn’t!? How could he use that name?! She snapped. “NATSU! Her Name Is NATSU!”
Furious and flustered, she stomped out the room and had only made it a few feet down the hall before she collapsed against a wall, sobbing. Soft hands gripped her shoulders and turned her until she was crying into her husband’s chest, as he cooed and stroked her hair. “Her name is Natsu… why are they calling her that…”
Naoki sighed. “It’s been her name for over 15 years. She’s not going to change names just after finding out it originally wasn’t hers.”
Angry, she pulled back and glared at him. “It doesn’t matter! Her name is Natsu. I refuse to call her something that… That Woman gave her. She took my daughter and she won’t take my daughter’s name! No, I won’t call her the name given to her by a thief.” Yuzuha was so vehement in her refusal she failed to notice that someone had left the room besides for her and her husband.
That was when a soft voice spoke. “She didn’t.” Seeing their startled looks, Haruhi continued. “The woman who took me, she didn’t give me the name Haruhi.” At the confusion that had replaced their previous gaze, she explained. “Whoever she was, I personally didn’t care to ever remember her name, well she never called me Haruhi. I don’t know what she called me. My Mom, Kotoka, gave me the name after she adopted me. Before that, they called me Kodomo. Child… Just in case someone came to get me.”
Yuzuha was crying, so Haruhi gently knelt and held her hand. “Now, I know that I will always be Natsu to you, and I’m ok with that. But I hope you understand that I will never willingly change my name from the one my Mom gave me. Not that I won’t, in the future, consider you my mother, because you are. God forbid, I even considered that woman my biological mother, though I am extremely glad that you are my Mother and that I don’t have to be careful of becoming addicted to anything and everything anymore.
“But Haruhi is a part of me, and that won’t change. It is one of the few things left that connects me to the woman who saved me and raised me to be the person I am today. I hope you will respect that.” With that, Haruhi rose from where she had been crouched so she could be level with Yuzuha, released her hand and walked down the hall, away from the quiet room, where the twins and Ranka were overtly eavesdropping.
Pushing past the three at the door, Kyouya chased after her. The girl that he had, somehow, found himself caring about. Caring of her wellbeing, instead of just a financial interest. Consciously though, he decided not to think about that point, at least not until it became relevant.
He slowed. There she was. Leaning against the wall by the bathrooms. Seeing him, she grinned wryly. “I'll go back. 5 minutes. Ok?” When he nodded, she relaxed, without even knowing she'd been tense.
As the 5 minutes ended, Kyouya took a step towards her. Sensing his movement, she opened her eyes and straightened.
Walking forward, he stopped a foot away. About to speak, his words were cut off by her. Haruhi had slid forward and wrapped her arms around his waist. His eyes widened and he froze. She shifted and tightened her grip.
“Just for a minute. Just for a minute I need something to stay the same. To stay still.” Tucking her head down, she clung to him. “So just... stay.”
Breathing out, he brought his arms up and rested them on her back. And stood there. Being what she needed.
When a throat cleared behind him, he jolted and spun. Pulling a startled Haruhi with him.
Ranka stifled a laugh as he watched Kyouya try and right his daughter while apologizing. “If you're all put together again. You may want to return. The twins are getting antsy. Plus if you two stay out here alone too much longer people will talk.” He smirked at them as they both blushed and spun on his heel. Soon hearing their footsteps following behind.
He's going to have to change his perimeters. Again. This thought alone bothered him. Kyouya knew from experience that if someone made him change the box he'd initially placed them in, they'd force him to change himself. Like with Tamaki; originally placed in the box that included all the people who were socially high, but too much of a nuisance to bother with. Then they'd formed the host club and he'd switched boxes. From menace to useful annoyance then once more to bothersome acquaintance.
Haruhi had intrigued him before she's entered the music room. He'd gathered information on all new incoming females. She'd topped his pile as being a commoner, she held the possibility of causing a ruckus. When he had seen how different her current appearance was from her middle school photo, his interest spiked once more.
After being in the club for a few weeks she'd jumped from box to box. He couldn't quite understand her. So far, the only solution he'd managed to come up with, was to put her in her own box. Every time something new came up, he'd slap another label on it.
Though if things continued as they were he may have to remove one label from the wallpapering of classifications. 'Commoner' may not to be the truth any longer.
Now it seemed he'd have to renegotiate her debt. For a Hitachiin in monetary debt is fiscally improbable. No. Better to move up his plans. He'd solidify the initial idea in the morning, along with additional work on the enigma that is Fujioka Haruhi.
Removing his glasses, Kyouya turned off his light and leaned back into bed. The problem would wait until later. Maybe sleep would help to uncomplicated things. Or at least clarify. It might work. For the first time ever. He was optimistic.
Chapter 7: Chapter 6
Optimism was bullshit. It didn't work. Now Kyouya was standing in front of Haruhi's apartment with a fully formed plan but no closer to unraveling the complications. Knocking lightly, he clenched his bag. When the door opened he bowed respectfully to Ranka who stepped aside to let him through.
“I'm here to talk to Haruhi-kun about some club matters.”
Ranka smiled and fluttered around, grabbing earrings and a necklace. “She'll be out soon. I have to go to work, so just sit down and make yourself comfortable.” He gave a wide smile then rushed out of the house in a storm of floral perfume.
Kyouya, a little startled, looked around then settled at the table. As he opened his bag and sorted through the various papers there, he heard a door open. Looking up, his fingers fumbled. She must have just come from the shower. Her shirt was clinging to her torso while she towel dried her hair.
Eyes widening, he looked away and started counting the scratches in the table. There was a tiny gasp when Haruhi noticed him. “Kyouya-senpai. Ah. What are you doing here?”
He cleared his throat before he spoke. “I've come to talk about your debt. It seems we're going to have to change a few things.”
“Change?” Raising a brow, she dropped to the floor opposite him.
“Yes. Even though you'd never use it, the Hitachiin fortune would absolve it instantly using just the interest of one account. I already had plans for altering the debt, for after you left the host club. This revelation just brought it up a few years.” He lifted a single sheet of paper from the reams in his bag and slid it to her. “This contract will exchange a monetary debt into a collection of favors. It be payable when it becomes relevant.”
She pulled it closer to read, so he continued. “The favors would be kept to that of business. If you continue down the path you are on and become a lawyer, they'd be of that nature. I will not draw upon them until after you are in college. Along with a time delay, I have added moral restrictions, so if you feel uncomfortable doing something for whatever reason, you can refuse. Though the favor will not be counted. I extrapolated the number of favors by taking the debt accrued and divided it by the price of a legal consultation. Since you worked off 1,000,000 yen in the Host Club. I divided the remaining. Going by that formula, I figured you'll owe 18 favors. I rounded up, estimating that you may gain more before school is over.”
Pursing her lips, she stood and walked to the kitchen. “So they'll work like legal consults?”
Watching her move about, he tilted his head. “What do you mean?”
“Say I take you up on this. 5 years down the road you call me up and ask for a favor. And that favor takes a while, do you keep using favors for the entire time for every meeting or do you count multiple meetings under one favor?” Haruhi turned a nob, filling a teapot.
“Well it would've been the latter. Do you propose something different?”
Pulling down a pair of tea cups, she turned and smiled. “Of course. Initial consultation falls under the favor along with one additional week of work. Anything further will be billable at a discounted 50%.”
He grinned. “75%.”
“60% or I'll forget the deal.” She placed the cups on the table along with a plate of sliced apple pieces.
He picked up an apple and thought for a moment. Then nodded. “I am agreeable to your terms.”
“I know.” After pouring the tea, she sat and pulled out a pen. Scribbling in the new clause, adding her signature, then a quick spin left it to Kyouya's discretion. He took a sip and signed the paper. “The Host Club. My status?”
Setting down his cup, Kyouya met her gaze head on. “I think it'd be a better arrangement for both of us if you stayed. For the Club, we won't have to find a new host. And for you, well, you are going to need clients when you become a lawyer, and all those girls may need one. Plus many may one day have husbands. And of course, the others will never let you leave. So you have a place debt or no debt.” He finished his tea then stood. “I'll see you tomorrow.”
The moment she stepped through the doors of the school she was bookended by the twins. Sighing softly, she smiled and hugged them both then relinquished herself to being escorted everywhere. After their last class, she stayed seated and shooed them off.
“I have to talk to the teacher about something. I'll catch up.” Watching them leave, she let her smile drop as they turned the corner. She leaned forward and rested her chin against the desk.
Her head was confused, thoughts running back and forth playing a mental game of tug-a-war. Go or don't go. Ever since she was first conscripted because of her debt, there had been a voice in the back of her head, urging her on so that she could be free of the club. It had been a background goal and now she achieved it. And had the possibility to be free.
But free of what? Of her friends? Her new family connections? Was it worth it to trade that for what had become only a slight annoyance?
Standing she grabbed her bag, decision made.
Naoki watched her, his wife. She was laying on her side. The same as she had been for two days. Shortly after he had come back from the restaurant he had found her there in their bed and since then she had barely moved. She ate what was put in front of her on a tray and she went to the bathroom but she didn't talk. Hadn't said one word.
He stepped forward and stood at the foot of the bed. “That is enough.” His voice was harsh. “We have our daughter back yet you are mourning. Again. And this is enough. You have no right to act like this.”
Yuzuha snapped her head and stared. “...no right? You think I have no right?!” She sat up and pounded her fist on the comforter. “SHE WALKED AWAY! I FINALLY GOT HER BACK AND... And...” Her voice broke. “And she walked away.”
“And you didn't wait.” At her incredulous look he continued. “You didn't wait. She came back. You left the restaurant before she had a chance. She came back and was looking for you, but you. You weren't there for her. So this is enough. We had her and now you are making it so you can still play the grieving victim. So grow up. Now.” He said that, then turned slowly and left the room.
Breathing heavily, Yuzuha sat still for a moment as a tear rolled down her cheek, then threw a pillow at the door her husband had shut.
Standing at the doorway, Haruhi smiled as she observed the club prepping for their guests. Honey and Tamaki were bouncing around straightening pillows and bothering Mori who was trying to read. The twins where sitting on a couch back to back, Kaoru was working on homework and Hikaru was playing on his hand held. Tilting her head, she kept watching as she spoke.
“This means I can ask for a day off every now and then right?”
Kyouya smiled and stepped up next to her. “Depending on the situation, we can negotiate.”
She sighed fondly. “Fine.” She shifted her bag then looked at him. “Thanks. For everything.” Stretching up on her tiptoes, she kissed him on the cheek.
Before she could fall back to her heels there was a crescendo of sound. Tamaki was screaming about 'mother defiling her daughter', while Honey, Kaoru and Hikaru were 'aww'ing. Her face burned as she scurried away to grab the tea tray stacked with pots for the guests.
The boys followed her battering her with questions and comments, while Kyouya was left standing. He couldn't move. His ears felt hot and his eyes dropped to the ground. Mori walked up in front of him, forcing Kyouya to look at him.
The serious protector was somehow even more so. “She may have gained two new biological brothers, but we will always be her family. You hurt her, and I will help Honey make you disappear. You will never be found. Besides for that, good luck with courting her.” Mori smiled lightly and patted him on the shoulder.
Kyouya's eyes widened. Before he could think straight, another label was silently added to her box. 'Mine'.
They were married the weekend after she graduated from law school. Tamaki assumed the role of Maid of Honor and Best Man. Kyouya's father wasn't invited. Kyouya was disowned after a hostile takeover of the company, the only part of the Ootori clan that was present was Fuyumi. She had sat next to Ranka, passing him tissues, trying not to laugh at his endless supply of tears.
Naoki and Ranka had both walked her down the aisle. The two families had merged easily, with Haruhi spending weekends with the Hitachiins and for the holidays, Ranka was invited to stay in one of the many guest rooms. Yuzuha, got over herself and had been on the other side of Ranka, crying just as much. The twin's had embraced Ranka as an effeminate uncle. After having studied abroad started their own fashion line under their mother's empire.
Mori graduated with Haruhi and was front and center smiling as a woman he considered a sister was wed to a man he considered a close friend. Honey stood in as ring bearer and flower boy. Though he had grown in the years, he still had a strong sweet tooth and killer dimples, even after having taken over his family's dojo.
All were still close, even though the Ootori-Fujioka wedding was the first time they'd all been in the same room for almost a year. Letters, phone calls and lunches were enough maintain their connection.
Enough so that when Haruhi gave birth to their first child, they were all in the waiting room. If the hospital wasn't owned by Kyouya the argument on who would be the godparents would have had them kicked out.
Her contractions for her second child started during Tamaki's mammoth of a wedding. She made it through the ceremony to the reception before Mori caught her wincing. Tamaki dragged his laughing bride to the emergency room in their limo with the entire group. Haruhi forced him to go on his honeymoon, but not until having agreed to send daily updates.
After their third child she finally gave in to working part time, only doing some legalities that Kyouya brought to her through the Ootori Corporation.
When her children were all in middle school she renewed her license and started to work as a defense attorney, ignoring her husband's protests. All of which that were centered on the fact they she didn't need to work, he made enough. As a compromise she donated her salary to different foundations.
The day after Kyouya walked their last child, their only daughter down the aisle, both Ootori's retired. Fully and finally.
This is the end. If you have any problems, or spot any issues, send me a review or private message. My tumblr name is hound-of-ulster if anyone wants to haunt me there. If you have any ideas for how this should continue or what have you don't be afraid to share. Anything can happen and you could spark my muse.