Chapter 7

Haruhi's POV:

He gave a sour smile. "I'm wondering if you'd consider going on a date with me once we leave the island."

My eyes popped wide open. Did he...he did... I can't believe this. "But...why?"

He still looked upset. "Because I don't appreciate being tossed into the friendzone, which is something I consider no-man's land. I've confessed to you that I find you attractive and that I value your placement in my life. Did I not make it clear enough before?"

I was beginning to feel stupid, only because his words made no sense, no matter how long I thought on them. "But you said you don't see any point in joining that line. I thought that meant you put me in the friendzone."

He flicked my nose. "That night at the beach, I did so because it was the safest option for everyone involved. It's been nearly a year and that half French idiot still hasn't grown a pair and asked you out. If he won't, and I highly doubt the others in your line have it in them, I will. I've spent long enough waiting and I don't like it."

As his words sunk in and I became less and less shell shocked, I felt my more reckless side surface. The one that wanted to say something to frustrate him. I crossed my arms and turned my head to the side, staring coolly at the waterfall. "And what do I have to gain by saying yes?"

I kept watch on his expression from the corner of my eye. He looked amazed at my boldness and very confused. Even his jaw was slightly slack. "What do you want?"

He asked the question with such honest curiosity, I found it unsettling. I looked back at him fully. What did I want? Before today, thoughts of Kyoya were always surrounded by debt and curiosity as to why he chose to pretend like he was going to take advantage of me all that time ago. Now I'm actually being asked out by him and my strongest thought on it is 'why me?'

But seeing as my tongue started to knot when I tried to ask that question, I shrugged and kept silent. He looked slightly frustrated.

"Money?" He asked.

I shook my head very quickly. Definitely not.

"Obviously not status." He guessed. I nodded this time. "And all the fancy tuna I could possibly buy you would be a start, correct?"

I cracked a smile but forced it away as quickly as I could. "Why?"

I had to put such an effort into asking it that I felt winded afterwords. "Why?"

I took a deep breath. "Why me?"

His thoughtful expression returned. "That's a good question. How about I try to answer it and you accept whatever answer I give."

I nodded quickly. This was too bizarre. "Yes, try to give me an answer. Because you and I both know that there are much prettier girls that would die for this kind of chance."

"I think you just answered your question." He smirked. "There are plenty of girls that would jump at this chance. But here you are, holding me at arm's length, demanding to know why before you even begin to make your decision. You're not the type to be attracted to a person for material reasons and that's something many men in my social class desire."

If Yumi could hear this, she'd die. Not only because she isn't the one he wants, but because he's proving to want someone real just as much as she does. I found myself smiling a little when I realized he was beginning to look frustrated with waiting on my answer. "And where would we go? For our date, I mean."

As soon as he realized I was beginning to agree, he started to look satisfied. "Anywhere you'd like."

"And who would we tell about it? Obviously not the other hosts, right?"

"But of course." He replied as if it was the simplest fact. "We'd tell nobody."

I thought about that answer before forming another question in my mind. "And would it be the one time thing or would we go out on other dates?"

He tilted his head a little. I felt my face warm. Why was he staring at me that way? I can't even describe it. "If you'd like. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

I had one last question, and it was the most serious one I had to ask. I wouldn't be played. I had no interest in going out on a legitimate date if it would lead nowhere. There wasn't a point, in my mind, to casual dating. Not even the thing I did with Hikaru last year was a date to me. "Are you intending on forming a relationship with me or is this some way of satisfying your own curiosity?"

Maybe it was the question, or maybe even the tone. He looked taken aback. "I'm not in the habit of asking girls out lightly, Haruhi. If I wanted a simple date that would happen once and then never get spoken of again between us, I'd go about it differently. I'm also not doing this merely because I want you physically."

I let out an almost inaudible gasp. Now I was the one feeling slightly upset, but for what reason, I'm unsure. "Merely?"

It was almost a whisper. He shook his head. "You're naïve if you think I don't. I may be controlled but I'm still a man."

My face and my temper slightly flared. I huffed. "I'm not stupid, senpai. Which is why I'm going to say no. I'm not interested in casual dating."

He raised an eyebrow. "Then what are you interested in?"

I bit my lip, both in slight shyness and thought. "I want what my parents had. My dad said he loved my mother the day he asked her out. He spent the entire relationship trying to make her love him and proposed the day after she finally said she did. I want to go into a relationship knowing that the next major change in it won't be the end of it."

"In other words, commitment." He stated.

"Exactly. I know it seems unlikely anymore, with other teenagers willing to date and even become intimate like it's nothing. But I want that commitment and I'll wait to get it. I'll even wait until I graduate from college, when I know a relationship won't distract me from my goals."

By the time I finished speaking, I was captivated in his rapidly changing expression. He went from surprised to frustrated to awed and then finally a last emotion that I couldn't put a finger on. What is he thinking? His hands quickly but gently came to rest on both sides of my face. He leaned in until just a couple inches remained between us. My breath hitched and I saw, for a moment, that same intense potential that Yumi must see everyday. He was a bit more than what anyone would call attractive with a conquering intellect.

"Forgive me for this." He said with narrowed eyes that had no hint of any emotion I had ever personally seen. And then he practically crashed his lips against mine.

"Ky-" Was all I could get out. My eyes were wide at first, trying to understand why he was suddenly kissing me. As his lips began to move against mine, I felt a shiver go up and down my spine that caused me to close my eyes and lean into him. The hands on my face dropped to around my waist. They tightened their hold until we were connected from waist to lips.

Feeling both lost in the moment and a little daring, I brought the tip of my tongue out and licked his lip. The sudden hitch in breath told me he was surprised, but he quickly responded by bringing his hands back up to my face and licking my bottom lip with his own tongue. I didn't mean to but I ended up squeaking. The noise came from somewhere in my throat and he pulled back a few inches, breaking the pleasant contact, to gauge my reaction.

I opened my mouth to speak, but quickly shut it. What was I supposed to say after that? When his heavy stare became far too intense for me, I dropped my eyes, choosing to focus on the pale skin over his collarbone. Only then did I finally find the courage to speak. "Why did you do that?"

"You made it difficult to resist. Each time you open your mouth and give me a clue as to what goes on in your mind, you cement my resolve to pursue you."

His wording, combined with the way he said it, made me finally glance up, looking at his face through my lashes. "You never made it clear to me what you want."

"Nothing light. I've spent long enough keeping myself away from you to know that isn't what I want any longer. In two years, when we've long been gone from this island and I find myself watching you graduate, I'd like to think that we'd still be seeing one another. The same for when you walk across the stage and receive the diploma your college of choice will give you."

It wasn't quite like my mom and dad. My mom knew my dad wanted her to marry him the day she agreed to give him a chance, Kyoya was simply promising a long relationship. One that would transcend my remaining two years of high school and possibly as many as eight years of college to prepare myself for a job as a lawyer. Did he even realize what he was asking. If I didn't know any better...

I had been silent long enough that he began to look slightly concerned. The hands still on the sides of my face dropped. "Have I made you uncomfortable?"

I shook my head quickly. "No, not really. I'm just...thinking."

Oh, was I thinking. This was a huge decision for me. On one hand, he was cold and distant and calculating on a regular basis. On the other hand, he's handsome and intelligent and chivalrous. He makes me blush and feel flustered, like mom said she felt around dad. At least he has since we found shelter from the still raging storm.

He waited patiently for my response this time. When I finally formed the words, I looked up at him completely, ignoring my red face. "Alright. Whenever we get off the island, I'll date you."

The corner's of his mouth twitched. "You still seem uncertain."

"I have conditions, though." I chose to ignore his prior statement.

He raised an eyebrow but otherwise didn't object. "Very well."

I held up a finger. "One, understand from the beginning that I won't now, nor will I for many years, become intimate with you. That's what rushed the date of my parents wedding, them conceiving me."

He didn't look outright upset with that one, but he usually is good at hiding those emotions when he wants to. "I understand that one. And your next condition?"

I held up a second finger. "Two, on the day I graduate from Ouran High, if the relationship lasts, we tell everyone. There's no point in keeping it a secret at that point."

He smirked. "Alright, we tell everyone at that point. I half expected you to want to keep the secret for your college years too. Any other conditions?"

"Three, don't ever try to stand between me and what I want from life. If I decide to move halfway across the world to find the perfect college, you accept that and either deal with a long distance relationship or come with me. That's it. Those are my conditions."

That last one seemed to need a bit more time to settle than the others. After about a half a minute of concentration, he nodded. "Alright, I can agree to those conditions. I, of course, have a condition of my own."

"Of course you do. What is it?"

He smirked slightly. "Don't change your mind once we're off the island and pretend we never discussed this."

I glared. "I'm not the type of person to change my mind like that and you know it."

He exhaled through his nose, his eyes quickly darting towards the waterfall. "You're right. It's probably not going to let up any time soon. Why don't you try to get some sleep."

"I'm starving to be honest but I know there's nothing we can do. We never did eat anything before leaving to look for more fruit trees."

"If there wasn't so much wind, I would risk finding something for you."

I shook my head quickly. "No, don't worry. A day without eating won't kill me. We can find something in the morning, or right after the storm quits. I wonder how worried everyone is..."

"Knowing Tamaki, quite a bit." He said in a dry sort of tone. "I'm going to bring something up that might surprise you Haruhi. Other than some initial freezing up when the storm first started, you've not shown true fear at all."

I blinked. Wow, he's right. It's like I can't feel scared of anything when I'm this distracted. It took everything I had not to faint from embarrassment. I looked away from him shyly. So what now? Are we a couple or does that not start until after we leave the island? How do I ask? "So..."

"Don't change your behavior around me now." He said with slight annoyance. "You're usually much more talkative than this."

I glared. "Well, what do you expect me to do? I've never had a boyfriend before. I don't even know if that's what you are."

He had a look on his face that made me feel a little silly. "If you don't know the answer to that, maybe you're too young for a relationship after all."

"That's not true!" I nearly yelled and instantly hushed up. Every time I open my mouth, I seem to be either shocking him or embarrassing myself. "That's not true, Kyoya senpai. I only mean that I'm not sure if you want to start the relationship now or wait until we're off the island. If we wait, it will be easier to conceal."

When the way my thought process was going sunk in, he was back to looking thoughtful. "First off, no more senpai. Second, that's entirely up to you. There are ways to hide it from the others on the island, but it won't be without risk."

That more reckless side of me surfaced, the part of me that enjoyed the idea of keeping a big, scandalous secret from everyone. But layered on top was a very insecure and uncertain feeling. "I'm not sure I know how to be in a relationship."

He cracked a dry smile. "That's funny. Neither do I."

I looked at him incredulously. "You? You seem to know how to do everything. You even know how to survive on this island, despite coming across as an over privileged, arrogant bastard for the past year."

"Despite having no idea how to do it yourself, you at least know how it looks when someone is acting, right?" He asked and I glared.

"I can act. Are you insinuating that I'll blow our cover?"

"It's always a possibility." He said with a shrug. "It's also a possibility that I'll become jealous by all the attention the rest of the hosts give you and blow it myself. I don't particularly like it when people covet what is mine."

I lost my temper finally and shoved his chest before climbing off of him. "I'm not yours!"

Standing up, I walked towards the waterfall and faced it, my arms crossed, my mind not even on my state of dress. I could hear him moving behind me and, before I knew it, he was standing beside me, ducking down so as to not hit his head. He gave me a cautious look, likely judging my level of anger. "I've offended you."

"Yes, you did." I answered softly after a moment. "I'm not yours. I don't belong to anyone. Don't you dare say it again or I'll change my mind about this."

"Are you adding another condition?" He attempted humor and I regrettably smiled. I gave him a lighter look than I meant to.

"Yes, I am."

A gust of wind swept by the water and caused it to splatter both of us. I shivered as the cold drops touched my skin. "Are you cold?"

I stared miserably at the water for a moment before looking at him. "Yes. I just want to get back to camp. Everyone is probably scared senseless, thinking we're dead or something. If it weren't for the fact that they have Honey senpai and Mori senpai with them, I'd be even more worried. Who knows what we'd come back to in that case."

"Standing here, worrying, won't make the time go by any faster. You're better off getting some rest. By the time you wake, the rain will have stopped and your clothes will likely be dry. I'll lay them out of a dry part of the ground for you."

"I can't rest." I answered after a moment of listening to the rain. A low rumble of thunder made my shoulders tense. "I'm not tired."

"Then what would you like to do?"

An idea popped into my head. "Hey, what if we fashion umbrellas from large leaves and walk back now."

"Haruhi, remember, we can't get sick. It would be disastrous." He tried to reason with me but I couldn't stop thinking of different ways to leave the cave early."

"There's cold medicine and a full bottle of brandy in the first aid kit. We can't be further than a few miles from camp."

"Remember that we also have to find a way up the mountain the waterfall we fell from is on. For all we know, we'll have to walk several miles out of the way to get around it. It could take another day entirely to make this trip."

I bit my lip, my eyes stinging. This isn't fair, being stuck like this. What if something happens at camp while we're gone? What if something happens to us? "We shouldn't stay here long anyway."

"Why not?" He asked with a curious tone.

"This cave could be used by a large predator as a resting place. Do we want to run into it? No."

He sighed. "Alright. Grab your clothes."

I looked up in surprise. "We're really going?"

"I'll leave the cave first. Let me find something for us to work with. I'll tell you when to follow after. If either of us get sick, it's your fault, remember that."

I nodded quickly and hurried towards my clothes as Kyoya grabbed his and walked around the waterfall. Throwing them on, I ignored how cold they made me. I only put on my shoes this time and put my socks in my pockets. By the time I returned to waiting beside the waterfall, I heard Kyoya call my name in the distance. Stepping around the waterfall, I saw him on the other side of the little pond, still out of his clothes and a pile of large leaves in his hands. He gestured for me and I reluctantly stepped into the water. It immediately went to my neck and I squealed.

"It's cold!"

"Keep swimming. Don't let yourself freeze up." He told me and I forced myself to move forward until I reached the bank on the other side. Kyoya reached for me and lifted me from the water with one hand before ushering me under a tree with enough foliage to block out the rain. "These leaves are big enough to work with. I'm actually going to fashion clothes out of them so that we don't walk around in these wet ones. It will help us warm up faster once the rain stops. How's your leg."

I looked down at it, forgetting I had the injury in the first place. "It feels fine. I guess the cold water numbed it."

"This is a very risky idea, you realize this?" He asked me.

"Yes, I know. But we couldn't stay in the cave forever. If a tiger went into it to escape the rain, we'd be cornered." I added and he sighed.

"You're right about that. Bengal tigers are likely indigenous here. I should have specified not to put your clothes on. We're going to tear up the shirts to use at ties for the leaves."

Not needing to be told twice to remove the freezing garments, I stepped behind the tree and removed them before throwing them in Kyoya's direction. Back in just my underthings, I stared at my shoes. "Now what?"

The sound of something ripping answered my question. "Now I try to figure this out."

"Let me help." I called before stepping back into view shyly. I picked up a few leaves and one of the strips of cloth he pulled from his shirt and began to tie the cloth to the stems of the leaves until I had about ten going in a circle wide enough for my waist. Wrapping it around me, I tied it together and moved about in it, swaying my hips to make sure it wouldn't fall apart. "I look like a hula dancer."

Seeming to pick up on my idea, he fashioned a similar one for himself and put it on. He looked a little embarrassed but didn't say anything before taking what was left of his shirt and wrapping it around my chest and tying it in place. "Now we're at least modest enough to enter camp. We'll need to locate some more leaves to dress your wound as soon as possible. Who knows what's soaked into the ones you're already wearing."

"It feels alright." I assured him. "I think the water is helping, actually. Before, the leaves were scrapping against it a bit."

"Let's get going. We've got ground to cover." He said before picking up two larger leaves and handing me one.

The walk was kind of pleasant at first. It was one thing to be soaked and in a damp cave and another to be in the midst of the rain. It was actually warm, as one would expect a tropical forest to be. The sights of big trees and pretty flowers around me also helped pass the time, though I wished it would stop raining so that the monkeys would come back out of hiding.

"It's letting up." He murmured as we found our way back to the riverside and began walking what I'm sure is East. "Are you feeling alright?"

"I'm fine." I said distractedly. I spotted some leaves that looked like what was wrapped around my wound and grabbed some before tucking them in the waist of my leaf skirt.

"Stop here. Don't move." He ordered and I froze, afraid he had seen something in the trees. I watched warily as he walked over to a tree and reached into it before pulling out some marang. I gaped. How did I not notice the smell? The closer he brought them, the stronger the sweetness became. "Breakfast."

He placed it carefully in my hands. Holding it gingerly, I knelt on the ground and grabbed a rock by the water's edge and placed the fruit on the ground before hitting at it, narrowly missing the thorny outer shell a few times. Finally, I broke through it and handed the rock to Kyoya.

"I've never felt so hungry." I murmured, mouth full of the sweet and squishy fruit. When I looked over at him, he looked like he was suppressing a smirk.

"Let's keep walking." Was his only response before standing with his own marang and turning in the direction we needed to walk.

Five minutes later, we had both finished eating and were a bit closer to the cliff in the distance, the one we had fallen from. Kyoya had a look of contemplation on his face, so I tried to give him some silence to help him think. Eventually, even I got tired of the quiet. "What are you thinking about?"

"I'm thinking it's time we go from merely surviving on the island to making an impact. A properly carved spear could mean the difference between a can of food for dinner or fresh meat." His tone was very decisive. "Also, instead of determining what people do from day to day for the most part, I think the girls would benefit from a chore wheel of sorts."

"I can agree with that. Since Rin helps with food detail, how about putting Kojika on water retrieval duty and Kin too. They're dating and will be more likely to work if together."

"That's another thing that's been irking me." His tone changed. "I understand the girls having difficulty, but Kin Yamada is a soccer player. He has the strength to work. He's been slacking off to the extreme."

"He's been trying." I defended, remembering how he helped me put out the small fire Rin started while trying to help cook last night. "Though if that's the kind of strength he has, maybe we can add him to a hunting party. He can handle that, right?"

"I'm certain he can. We'll need more oils to mix with the lye we were making before this. Who do you want in charge of gathering them?"

I was a little surprised that he was giving me charge of this, or anything really. Despite me being the one in charge of food, he does tend to stop by the fire pit when I'm there to recommend something, mentioning how high in carbohydrates it is. A little cautious that he'd take this back at the last minute, I thought about the first day we picked flowers and harvested coconut oil.

"Korin along with an escort. She may whine the most but she claims to know which flowers to mix for the best scent. She also came back with a full bucket instead of half like Yumi did."

"I'm putting Yumi and Mina on the same team." He decided after another few minutes of walking. "They're the two biggest problems currently and it's easier for all of us that way. They'll gather firewood."

"I guess that's everyone. Anything else, the hosts can handle, right?"

"That's the intention. Though if we do get around to changing up our living accommodations, they'll need to pull even more weight while we work."

"Do we even have proper tools?" I asked, trying to remember back to our first day here, when the supplies were first rounded up. "I know we have a hammer. We used it to hammer down another tarp the day of the last storm."

"We also have an ax from the yacht's fire safety kit, a hand saw from the yacht's advanced first aid kit and one more hammer. It's a lacking list of tools but we'll take what we can get."

"Advanced first aid kit?" I raised an eyebrow.

"The kit kept in one of the yacht's locked cabinets. The saw is actually a bone saw for emergency amputations. I had Mori senpai grab it the first day he and Honey senpai scavenged."

That both did and did not surprise me. He was always thorough, but did he truly think we'd need it? "As long as everyone's careful, nobody will need to lose any limbs."

"It's just a precaution, just as all the knives we brought are. Us being here doesn't necessarily mean that a predator will find us, but it's nice to have the protection anyway."

"That's part of the reason I insisted on a tree fort. If we build it well, it will keep predators away."

"And if we build it poorly, we all either fall to our deaths or get injured enough that we lay there until we die."

I scowled at my shoes. "You're very pessimistic."

"I'm realistic." He corrected. "If our building skills get good enough, we might consider something elevated off the ground in another few months. But the likelihood of us still being here after that long is slim."

"But not impossible." I whispered so low, I figured he wouldn't hear me.

"Yes, there is always the possibility that we won't be found. Though with the combined efforts of the Ootori and Suoh families at least, not to mention the others' families, it shouldn't be much longer. Though I'll be the first to admit that even my family's personal army lacks oceanic training."

At this point, we were getting closer and closer to the cliff we had fallen from. We could make out the wider body of water at the base of it and all the plants that surrounded the area. As we paused before it, to the edge of the water, we also could make out what looked like a massive landslide right in front of us, where we would have climbed up otherwise.

I gaped, disbelieving. "Oh no..."