Keep Your Enemies Closer
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. Anything you recognize is owned by Bisco Hatori! I receive absolutely no money from writing fanfiction.
(The authors note is at the bottom.)
No matter how many times it happened in the past few weeks, Kagome never remembered to look up instead of down. It wasn't her fault that Shippo had grown so much, after all. He was obviously too tall.
The kitsune in question smirked down at her, amused.
"The times certainly have changed Kagome," he said with a wink. His voice - it was so much deeper! And his hair was so much longer! Kagome would never be used to it, she figured. Damn puberty. It took away her little Shippo faster than a day (literally, in her case).
"-painful process," Shippo said, still chattering on in her ear. "Being a yokai and aging slowly is great and all, but it means that everything goes slowly. You humans are lucky, you know. You only have to put up with a year of awkward voice cracks. Try going through nearly 80..."
"Shippo, please. That's too much information," Kagome said with a grin. She tugged restlessly on the hem of her new yellow skirt. It was a bit longer than the length of her old school uniform, and the little change kept unconsciously bothering her. To be honest, it was like a slight against her; a constant reminder that things were different now. There was no going back to the old days, and that was meant in more ways than one.
"So why can't we spend time with our new classmates?" Shippo asked, running a hand through the end of his long ponytail. It was longer than Kagome's own hair, and much prettier, she had to admit, though only to herself. Shippo seemed to have developed quite an ego these past years.
"Because I don't know how to act around everyone! They're all rich and have ran in the same circles for years; I don't know anyone and I'm not sure how to act."
"Well you're not going to meet anyone by hiding."
"I'll take my chances, thanks. Naraku was easier than this."
A scornful look came from the kitsune.
"Maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration."
"Yeah, maybe just a bit, Kagome."
The two stopped just in front of an ornate closed door. The sign above it read MUSIC ROOM #3.
"An abandoned music room? This looks promising."
"Don't be such a wimp, Kags. We should go to the library and make some friends. Do you want to be a social outcast?"
"I am not a wimp! Or a social outcast!" Lie. Kagome was pretty sure that, like blood hounds, the rich elite that occupied this school had already sniffed her out and deemed her unworthy. It became rather apparent when she committed the scandal of not knowing the name of her teacup at lunch (a Worcester, apparently). Shippo didn't understand. After all, he was male, and five hundred years old or not, the opposite gender seemed to still have difficulty in picking up the social hints that were obvious to females.
A boy in ratty clothing with mussed up hair lumbered past them, muttering to himself. "-beginning to think rich kids only come to school to have a good time." The boy paused when he made eye contact with them. "Uh - gomenasai," he said, blushing at being caught talking bad about them. Immediately he rushed off down the hall.
"That's probably the other new transfer student, Fujioka Haruhi. I heard he came on a scholarship. He's probably receiving a rougher time than you," Shippo said. Kagome bit her lip in order to stop herself from pointing out how he was trying to hide too.
"Wonderful. Now he thinks I'm one of you people," Kagome exclaimed before whirling to face the door.
"Us rich people aren't all bad. I don't come to school just to have a good time; I come to babysit, too," Shippo said with a wiggle to his eyebrows that made Kagome laugh.
"I don't need a babysitter," she said as she pushed the door open, but admittedly, Kagome didn't mind having Shippo around. Quite the opposite, in fact.
"Yes you do," Shippo replied as flowers came swirling from the doorway. They both froze, seeing that the room was occupied.
"Welcome," six voices said in unison.
"Especially from people like them," Shippo muttered under his breath. He stepped in front of Kagome, obscuring her from view. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose with her fingers, knowing exactly how he felt. Apparently they had stumbled across the alleged Host Club. The girls in her 1-A class had felt it prudent to squeal about them to Kagome for hours before realizing that she was new money. Tamaki THIS and Kyoya THAT, Mori and Honey and those twins - Kagome had certainly heard enough about them for the day. Or maybe the year.
"Oh wow, it's a boy," two voices said together. Identical eyes appraised Shippo.
"Hikaru, Kaoru, I believe this young man is in the same class as you, isn't he?"
"Yeah, he's Higurashi Shippo, the one we were just telling you about," the identical boys said together. Kagome narrowed her eyes at them. What had they been saying about Shippo behind his back?
"I see. Welcome to the Ouran Host club, mister transfer student," the one in glasses said. Kagome assumed that was Kyoya from the girls' previous description of him.
"Seems like word gets around," Shippo said charmingly. "It's nice to meet you."
"Look Takashi! A girl!" said a voice from behind Kagome. She turned around to see a blond child staring up at her with glee. This must be Haninozuka Honey, if that rabbit was anything to go by.
The blond one instantly stood up tall and proud. "A female hidden in our midst? Welcome to the Host Club, princess. I am Suoh Tamaki, and am the King of the Host Club." He whipped a rose out of what seemed to be thin air and presented it to Kagome. A dazzling smile lit his face. What was up with this guy?
"Wow. Um, thanks," Kagome said, not reaching for the flower. This went unnoticed by the eccentric senpai, who fluidly tucked the rose behind her ear and pulled her out from behind Shippo.
"You are most welcome, princess. Now, which host would you prefer? The strong type? Boy-Lolita type? The mischievous type? The cool type? Or-" the audacious host reached down to cup Kagome's jaw, but somehow never quite reached it. Instead, a fist flying from the younger girl sent Tamaki crashing backwards into a vase that shattered into brilliantly blue pieces all over the ground. Tamaki stared up at Kagome in shock, along with the rest of the hosts.
"Please don't touch me like that," she said shortly. "Now, if you'd excuse me, I need to be going. Shippo?"
"You know I'm with you Kags," he said in slight awe. Kagome let out a little sigh. Apparently the past three weeks had toughened her up, but it was all covered with those lingering negative feelings. She turned to match out the door, except -
A Shadow King blocked her way.
"Now now, Miss Higurashi, let's not be hasty here," he said calmly with a smirk lingering on his annoyingly beautiful face. "That was a rather expensive vase. It was planned to be auctioned off, started at eight million yen. Higurashi is not a prominent name, and though it seems that you two can afford a uniform and a tuition, I think that eight million yen may be stretching it a bit."
Kagome clenched her fists and tried not to launch herself at the biggot. How dare he make a slight against them just because she wasn't at the same financial status as him?
"If you recall, I wasn't the one who actually broke the vase. That was your friend here," Kagome said through clenched teeth. Kyoya let out a disbelieving chuckle.
"You pushed him, Miss Higurashi."
"I was provoked."
She caught a raised eyebrow followed by an approving glance before sun-lit glasses obscured her view.
"That may be, but regardless, violence is certainly not condoned at this establishment. We're willing to forget about the whole incident, if you're willing to pay us back."
"And how am I supposed to do that?" Kagome asked sarcastically. "I can barely afford my expensive shoes, remember?"
"Well, why don't we ask the King. Tamaki?"
The other occupants of the room blinked slowly, waking up from their frozen trance. All of them had been stuck in a half conscious state, watching Kagome and Kyouya go back and forth in both awe and terror.
"Oh, right." The blond host rose to his feet elegantly and folded himself back into a chair, visibly collecting his cool. "There's a famous saying you may have heard, Higurashi. 'When in Rome, you should do as the Romans do'. Since you have no money, you can pay with your body."
"Hey, you wait one second-" Shippo snarled, marching up to Kagome's side.
"Starting today, you're the Host Club's cat."
"Why a cat, Tama-chan?"
"Because she's a lady, of course! Boys would be dogs, but cats are much cuter!" He sent an adoring look to Kagome, whose jaw had dropped to the floor. "And you are adorable, my princess!"
Kagome moved her mouth, but nothing came out. What could she say? Fair was fair, and her moral compass that had always been a stickler for rules told her to take the deal, no matter how bad it seemed. But Kagome didn't want to. Dear kami, would she ever get a break? Would this nightmare that had turned into her life ever end?
"And mister Higurashi, since I'm sure you would wish to spend your time with your sister here, you are welcome to join the Host Club as an active member. You can even help her pay off her debt, if you wish." Kyoya glanced casually down at his black notebook, but he wasn't fooling Kagome. She finally understood what was happening; why the twins had been talking about Shippo before they entered the room and why she was being forced to be the club's cat (whatever that meant). They wanted Shippo, not her.
Yet what could she do?
"Damn rich bastards."
Kagome had never wanted to "SIT!" someone so bad.
Author's Note: I'm so excited for this new story! I was actually inspired by the author of Heiress (if you haven't read that you should go see it NOW) to start this story! I loved how regular updates came at least once a week, even if the chapters were shorter, and decided that I wanted to do the same. The plot is different of course, but hopefully I'll be able to update as consistently as artemisgirl! I'll be away during a mission trip starting tomorrow through the 17th, but after that, my goal is for regular updates that are shorties-but-goodies (hopefully). If any HP fans are reading this, no, I am not abandoning Is It Ever Enough; don't worry!
This has no beta, so let me know if you see any spelling or grammar mistakes!
Read & Review at your own will!