One Blonde Idiot

"Hikaru! Hikaru, wake up, please!"

I could feel Kaoru's grasp on my shirt collar, shaking me as I snapped out of a fitful sleep. "What, what, what?" I gasped, grabbing hold of Kaoru's wrists to get him to stop thrashing my neck around.

"It's over," he yelped. "It's over."

I knew it was over. I had known it was over when I fell asleep, and I knew it now. Kaoru did too. Then… why was he freaking out?

I looked around. We were still in the club room, which was dark except for the single lamp on the messy table in front of me. I couldn't really see anything, but I knew the place was trashed. I had known it was trashed when I fell asleep, and I knew it now. Kaoru did too. And I couldn't see his face very clearly in the darkness but I figured I probably didn't want to.

"Hikaru, are you going to just sit here?" he cried, shaking me again. "We have to do something!"

I pried his shaking hands off of me and stood up. "Calm down, Kaoru. Turn on the lights." I heard my twin stumble to the other end of the room and Music Room 3 erupted into its usual bright and cheerful light.

But there was nothing bright and cheerful about the club room tonight.

And there definitely wasn't anything bright and cheerful about Kaoru's face. He looked like he had just killed someone.

The floor was littered with broken teacups and puddles of sticky, hours-old tea and commoners' coffee. In the center of the room was the overturned table that had only made matters worse.

It hit me, then, why Kaoru was so upset. Because it had hit him. Hard. It had started out so stupid; we really thought he would show, but then he ran away from us right before our eyes. And now here were Kaoru and I. We were standing in the wake of devastation, and even though my brother was right there with me, I felt so cold, lost, and alone.

I bent down and picked up a note that was scrawled onto a napkin and placed on the chair where I had been sleeping.

Hikaru and Kaoru, it read, I wanted to stay and make sure you guys were okay after you fell asleep, but you know how my dad gets, especially after what happened tonight. You just have to try to be brave, right? I''ll see you guys in class. -Haruhi.

I threw down the note. "Damnit," I whispered.

"Aren't you upset, Hikaru?!"

"OF COURSE I AM, KAORU!" I kicked the nearest empty coffee container and dropped to the floor in exasperation. "Why did this have to happen?"

You see, it all started on the final day of the Ouran Fair.

It started out as a beautiful day, and there was supposed to be a Host Club event later on that night. But it was... cancelled after, well, the incident. It hit me like a ton of bricks, what Kyoya-senpai said - the boss was departing for France after the Ouran Fair. And then, in what seemed like an instant it was just Kaoru and I in a pumpkin patch and there was nothing, nothing I could do to bring that damn stupid blonde back.

When Kyoya-senpai, Honey-senpai, and Mori-senpai eventually found us, Haruhi had already taken off to try to stop the boss. We found them just in time to see Haruhi plummeting down into the water below, the boss zipping far away in that damn red car. And while I'll never be able to prove it, I always swore I heard him scream Haruhi's name before disappearing into the setting sun.

"Haru-chan!" shouted Honey-senpai, running to the girl's aid. We all ran after him, Kaoru practically clinging to me as I stumbled forward in desperation, my heart pounding mercilessly against my ribcage. My right arm burned in agony, and I wasn't sure if I was screaming or if it was just the voice in my head. Not only was the boss now gone and out of our reach, but Haruhi was likely hurt, if not worse. I watched as the others struggled to find her, but with my arm, there was nothing I could do to help.

Suddenly, Kyoya-senpai shouted, "I found her!" He pulled Haruhi to shore, all of us gathering around, hoping to God she was okay.

"You okay?" I whispered to Kaoru, who appeared next to me, panting.

He nodded. Then he replied, "Are you?"

I didn't answer. I didn't know.

Haruhi coughed and sputtered, clinging to Kyoya-senpai's soaked sleeve. "No use going to look for him," she murmured weakly. "He's long gone…"

"Haru-chan, are you okay?" asked Honey-senpai.

"Please, I just want to get out of here!"

We ended up back in the club room in silence, having cancelled our events for the evening. We knew the whole school would be wondering why the Host Club had locked themselves in Music Room 3 instead of joining in on the fun we'd normally go for, but for the time being it didn't really matter.

We had all changed back into our school uniforms, leaving our wet and dirty clothes out to dry. Kaoru and Kyoya-senpai had insisted I have a doctor look at my arm, but I didn't want to make a big deal about it when there were more important things to worry about.

And then, with tension running high, matters only got worse.

CRASH!

My hand flew to my mouth as the table launched itself away from us, spewing tea, coffee, and cake all over Haruhi, who could only sit there in shock and block her face from the artificially sweetened avalanche we couldn't possibly stop.

"...Oops," was the only reaction Kaoru could manage to croak out.

"Damn," I whispered.

Kaoru looked genuinely horrified with himself, and I honestly didn't know what else to do but pat him on the shoulder.

Haruhi sat in complete surprise for what seemed liked eternity, and I couldn't tell whether she was about to laugh or cry, or maybe both.

"Hey, it was an accident," I explained to no one in particular. "Right, Kaoru?"

My twin didn't respond. He was too busy trying to fix the mess he had just made.

It was strange, really. Usually I was the only who messed up. Kaoru was usually the level-headed one, but any sense of normalcy we had developed went out the window when the boss left us all behind.

"All of that broken tableware is going to cost us a fortune, Haruhi," Kyoya-senpai hissed. "I thought your debt had been taken care of this afternoon, but I suppose you'll be working up a new one." He began taking note of the damages in his sleek black notebook.

Haruhi snapped out of her trance at the Shadow King's voice. "Give it up, senpai!" she cried.

The room fell silent. He looked up, completely straight-faced, but you could almost see the death stare in his eyes through the glare of his glasses. I don't think I'd ever heard anyone defy Kyoya-senpai - maybe the boss, but definitely not Haruhi.

"It's useless, don't you understand? He's gone, and he's not coming back. The Host Club is done."

Kyoya-senpai's face fell. I didn't know what to do. Kaoru was still frantically trying to clean up; he hadn't spoken a word, and I was too worried about him to do anything about the horror that was unfolding around me. It was conflicting and frustrating, especially when the crash of more teasets echoed through the room, along with Honey-senpai's shocked and concerned wail of, "Kyo-chan!"

Kyoya-senpai had thrown a single teacup to the floor, along with his notebook. We were all completely caught off-guard. Before I knew it, the room was in shambles, as was the close-knit family of hosts that seemed so important to Kaoru, who still couldn't say a word. So when the eerie silence that followed the catastrophe was broken by Kyoya-senpai's cold but almost guilty-sounding voice that said,

"I suppose we're done here." Kyoya-senpai picked up his notebook stood there for a moment before walking out the door and turning down the hall. Before I knew it, Honey-senpai had left on Mori-senpai's shoulders and the only ones left in the room were Haruhi, myself, and Kaoru, who was now standing close beside me. I guess the usually-composed Kyoya-senpai's departure snapped him out of whatever state he was in. The three of us went over to the window to see Kyoya-senpai walking through the roses, throwing his notebook to the ground and kicking it as far as he could. The fireworks were beginning, signifying that everyone else was happy and enjoying themselves while we had locked ourselves away.

"...I'm gonna go see if I can get this stain out," Haruhi muttered before leaving Kaoru and I alone.

"...Kaoru, it's not your fault, you know," I assured my brother. "That table wasn't even the half of it."

"I know," he replied. We sat down by the window.

Eventually I dozed off to the sound of Kaoru's heavy, sporadic breathing.

My brother was broken. The Host Club was broken. And somebody would have to put it back together again.

I was able to convince Kaoru to leave with me so we would be home before it got too suspicious. I placed a reluctant hand on the cold metal handle, and I was surprised when Kaoru's shaky hand appeared beside it.

"Let's open the doors together," he suggested with a fake smile.

It smashed my heart into a thousand tiny, unsalvageable pieces. But I nodded. "Ready, set…"

I twisted my wrist and pushed the door open, hearing the welcoming creak that I was afraid to admit I'd never hear again.

And when we opened the door, we said goodbye to the Host Club.