Haruhi fought back the tears in her eyes as she adjusted to a bit of more comfortable position. Even with tied hands, she had managed to get herself off the floor and onto the seats of the limo. Shaking uncontrollably, she tried to stop her thoughts from running wild, going in a million directions with many scenarios. However, it was nearly impossible to stop them. She was being sold as a slave and might not ever see her father or her friends again!

And there was nothing she could do about it.

She once again went through all the faces of her loved ones in her mind, each one making the tears closer to falling. Then and there, she vowed to think of them often, no matter how painful it got. There was no way she ever wanted to forget them.

Once again, she paused on the image of Kaoru. It hit her that she just figured out her feelings for him, and now, right after, they were to be permanently separated.

The car jerked to a stop and Haruhi was pulled from her thoughts. She looked out the window- they were in a completely different part of the city. Marsh parked the car and opened the window between the driver's seat and the back, turning to look at her.

"Listen here. I'm giving you some money and you're going to go into that Victoria's Secret there." He pointed to a building with a big pink sign. Haruhi had heard of the store before, but she'd never actually had any interest in ordering from it. She felt it was a waste of money. "I'll come in in a few minutes, so it looks like we're separate customers. You are to find the most revealing looking things you can find in there. I don't care how expensive it is. Hell, I don't care if you go with the angel wings even! Just find something you think is attractive enough and then meet my by the changing rooms in ten minutes. Got it?"

She nodded and he got out of the limo, opened her door and untied her hands. He handed her a wad of cash and stepped aside to let her out. On wobbly legs that threatened to collapse under her at any moment, she got out of the car and walked into the store. Dazed, Haruhi looked around at the large number of women and girls, going through the bins of panties and bras, talking and laughing and having a good time. It amazed her at how unaware they were of how she was suffering in the clutches of mad men! They were blissfully unaware! It almost made her incredibly angry to see them so damn happy! How could they be so happy while she was stuck in such a horrible situation? It just didn't seem fair!

Mindlessly and half-heartedly, she began to browse the stuff in the store. The whole time, her mind never left how she couldn't wrap her head around how she had to suffer while everyone else in the store was just doing some shopping. The anger rose within in, making her want to scream.

Marsh walking through the door and a sales associate coming up to him reminded her of what happened last time she tried to get help, and also urge her to get moving. Man had it really been ten minutes? Shaking her head slightly, she began to seriously browse while trying hard to bring her rational mind forward- they don't know her, they don't know that Marsh was anything more than a man shopping for a woman in his life Why should she feel any resentment towards the people themselves?

Acting quickly, she picked out a red and black lacy bra and a thong to match. She also grabbed a pair of red feathery wings. Her whole body shaking, she walked to the changing rooms, where Marsh was nonchalantly looking though the lingerie.

He barely glanced at her. "Try on the bra and make sure it pushes up the little you've got."

Trying not to show the fact that she was offended by his comment, she nodded once and got into the changing rooms. Once she had fastened the bra, she turned and looked at herself in the mirror. It took all of her not to scream.

In the mirror, there was a bruised and battered woman where her reflection used to be. Her eyes were big and terror-filled. The woman also had dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep, small cuts and purple bruises all over her body. Trembling even more, Haruhi had realized there was one part she needed to examine. She took a deep breath, and then grabbed hold of her pants and yanked them down in one swift motion. Just as she expected; her lower area was black and blue from all the abuse. She was surprised that no one had taken her aside and said anything.

A tear finally escaped and trickled down her cheek. Now she felt reason to resent the other women in the store. She bore the bruises of abuse, mostly seen on domestic abuse victims. Why didn't anyone help her?

That's society. No one wants to get involved. No one wants to help me…

Swallowing the lump forming in her throat, she put the sweats back on with her hands still trembling, turned away from the horrific sight in the mirror and went to go pay for the lingerie.


"Kaoru, please get out from under there! The doctors just want to help you!" Hikaru begged. Kaoru, cowering underneath a chair in the room, shook his head rapidly, his whole body quivering. Hikaru flashed a worried look at the head of the medical team, standing up from his position on the floor. "Is he going to be okay?"

The doctor nodded, seemingly unfazed by the situation. "This is just a normal reaction to the ordeal and whatever else they put him through."

Hikaru's blood boiled. "Normal? My baby brother's cowering under a chair and you call it normal?"

"Hikaru, please quiet down, there are other patients in this hospital." Kyoya chimed in. The shadow king was standing nearby with the medical team. Even in America, the doctors knew of the important name of Ootori. Because of this, they allowed him when he insisted on standing by, hoping to assist in anyway.

Hikaru sighed with resolve and then got down on his knees again, trying once more to coax his bother out. "Kao, you're okay now, remember? You're in a hospital, safe and sound."

Kaoru shook his head again and began to cry. Between sobs he said. "Make…them… go away!"

The head doctor knelt down. "Mr. Hitachiin, I understand you went through quite a traumatic experience, but the faster you cooperate with us, the faster we can get you healed and home!"

"Maybe it wasn't the best idea for you to have him strip right now. It probably caused him to think about some instance of…" Kyoya trailed off, as his own thought lingered in the air, unfinished, but there was no need- everyone knew what he had intended to say. As he realized the gravity of his own thought, he turned to the doctors. "Everyone please clear the room for a moment. I need to speak with the patient."

"But, Mr. Ootori, sir-"


The doctors shrugged at each other and followed orders. Once they were gone, Kyoya joined Hikaru on the floor, trying to give Kaoru space at the same time. "Kaoru, they're gone for now. But I need to ask you something…what did those horrible men do to you? What did the doctors' words and actions bring back memories of?"

This only brought on another round of sobbing for Kaoru. Hikaru offered his hand to his brother. "It's okay, Kao. You can tell us. No one's going to hurt you if you do!"

The air was silent, except for the choked sobs coming from the younger twin. The words were caught in his throat as he tried to force them out. It seemed like they were tied to a stone and weighted down in his voice, almost impossible to bring up to the surface. Glancing up at last to look at Hikaru, Kaoru caught sight of his brother's eyes that were full of pain and concern. The words seemed to lose the weight of the stone, a little at a time. "I…I was…I was raped! I was raped and so was Haruhi!" He tossed the chair onto its back and threw himself into his brother's arms, all the emotions coming with the revelation crashing down on him.

Kyoya winced at his friend's words, a lump forming in his own throat. "I was afraid of that…" His voice sounded slightly strangled.

Kaoru tightened his arms around his brother as he continued to cry, letting the pain of the horrible experience out through his tears.

Later, after the doctors had successfully examined the petrified twin and had given him enough medication to calm him down, Kaoru dozed in his hospital bed. Hikaru sat in the seat that his brother had been hiding under just hours before. Staring at his brother's form, still at last, he sighed. The pain of watching his brother try to recover from what he'd been through was immense. Wanting to be near him, he silently hoped that the medication had made him more agreeable to being touched, or at least gotten close to. He moved the seat close to the bed that Kaoru lay on.

Kaoru had his eyes closed, tired from the events, as well as the medication, but was using all his willpower to remain awake, fearful of falling asleep. He didn't want to risk reliving the horrible memories in his dreams- or worse, wake up to find he had dreamt his whole return.

His eyes opened once he heard Hikaru move the chair. "Hey."

Hikaru put on a sad smile. He was really hoping his brother was finally sleeping. "Hey…" He offered his hand to his brother, who grabbed hold of it. Kaoru sighed, a still silence taking over the room. His thoughts, being thrown off track, were no longer focused on staying awake. Instead, they went to focusing on Haruhi.

Haruhi. The one who he had finally realized he did love, but whom could never articulate the feelings to. Now that he finally had a rude wake up call, he'd lost her.

"I can't really believe it."

Hikaru was confused; he could mean a number of things. "What can't you believe?'

Kaoru realized that he had spoken out loud without meaning to. "I'm just…worried about Haruhi, is all…" He half-lied. "I mean, I'm just sitting here while she's being sold….tonight!"

"You just focus on recovering, Kao. It's all you can do at the moment. Haruhi's going to be okay. Mori-Senpai, Hunny-Senpai, and the boss met up with Ranka earlier and they're going to bring her home and get our fortune back."

"I don't care about the money!" Kaoru all but shouted. How could Hikaru think of the money at a time like this? "You don't seem worried at all about her!" He tried to prop himself up on his elbows, but his aching body didn't allow him to do so for long. "How can you be so sure that she's going to be okay?" He raised his voice as best he could in the drug-induced haze he was in. The heart monitor registered his heart racing. Tears formed in his eyes as he let the worst of the worries slip out. "What if she's already dead?"

Hikaru's finger hovered over the call button for the nurse's station, worried his brother was getting too stressed, but he changed his mind. Instead he took hold of his brother's shoulder, gently trying to comfort him.

"Kaoru! Calm down! We've got two human weapons on our side! Not to mention a distraught father…ok, two if you count the boss. So maybe, count them both as human weapons in their own ways."

The twins shared a quick, yet uncomfortable laugh before Kaoru groaned in pain, his hand flying to his ribcage. When he was tossed out of the van, he had broken a rib, and it hurt to grabbed his hand, trying to prevent him from further damaging himself from the impulsive move.

After the pain subsided, Kaoru let himself sink back into the pillows and was silent for a little while. He stared up at the white ceiling for what felt like forever. "I just can't help but think about her," he said suddenly. "And this dream I had had last night, where they beat and raped her to death, it was…so vivid. So real. and I swear if I hadn't seen her right after I woke up, I might've believed she was really dead!" Tears dribbled down his cheeks and Hikaru reached to wipe them away. Kaoru began to speak faster, all his thoughts pouring out like a waterfall. "You know what the most painful thing about it was, Hikaru? In the dream she tried to tell me she loved me, just like I do, and…and…" Kaoru shut his mouth and stopped his sentence from running on further. He had just spilled the beans about his feelings for Haruhi; the deepest secret he'd ever kept from his brother! Of all the times, he had to do that now!

Nervously, he looked to Hikaru for his reaction. He didn't know how he'd react; would he be hurt? Heartbroken? Indifferent?

Down inside, Hikaru felt his heart skip a beat. He knew, since they joined the host club, a day like this would come. A day where his baby brother would want others besides just him. Although he'd known this for a long time, it pained him deeply every time he thought about it, and hoped that not thinking about would delay the inevitable. However, it only made that moment happening even more painful. The feeling of rejection hit him like a ton of bricks, and the fear of them drifting started to settle into the back of his mind, like a squatter in an abandoned building.

But even as someone as worried about keeping things the same as Hikaru was, he reminded himself that it wasn't the time for selfishness. His brother needed him. So, despite the pain he felt, he smiled.

"Kaoru, it's okay! You love her. It's okay to admit that!"

Kaoru's eyes welled up with tears at the sight of his brother's smile. He knew that Hikaru had to be masking his real feelings towards the he didn't say so, instead he said, "I love her…and now I might not ever see her again!" before losing himself in body-wracking sobs.

Hikaru leaned forward and hugged his brother tightly, trying to avoid where he was injured. Kaoru uncontrollably sobbed into his twin's chest, while they both silently prayed for Haruhi's safe return.

I feel like these author's notes aren't needed much in this rewrite...