Do You Dance, Mister Darcy?

I'm Going on an Adventure

(All Standard Disclaimers Apply)


Chapter Ten

"You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on..." - Fitzwilliam Darcy


"How are you feeling, this morning?"

Tamaki's head poked into Sonomi's bedroom. It was early Monday morning and the teenage boy had just finished getting ready for school. His sister had spent the weekend lying low around the lesser Suoh estate - practicing deep breathing, taking long jogs around the private grounds, and spending as much time with Tamaki as possible. She hadn't explicitly said she would be making an appearance at Ouran Academy that Monday, and Tamaki was expecting her to still be tangled in her bedsheets when he went to go check on her.

It was obvious she had been rattled by the events that transpired that Friday night. After receiving Sonomi's vague text message with a location pin that effectively placed her in the middle of nowhere, the young blonde immediately called Kyouya Ootori in the middle of a panic-induced mania. The dramatic rescue mission that ensued put everyone on edge and Tamaki felt eternally grateful to his friend for bringing his sister home safely.

Tamaki suspected the Ootori's intense determination to find Sonomi would have been just as fierce whether Tamaki had pleaded his case or not. The moment he revealed to Kyouya that Sonomi was in potential danger, the raven-haired teenager jumped into action leveraging as much of his family's police force as he could to track and retrieve Lady Sonomi Sinclair.

Tamaki hummed in surprise when he realized his sister wasn't in her bed – in fact, she was sitting at her vanity, dressed in Ouran's signature yellow uniform. "You're feeling up to coming to school, today?"

"I'm not going to let a jerk like Daichi ruin things for me, Tamaki," Sonomi said with determination. "If I start skipping class and allow my grades to slip, he'll have power over me… Besides," she continued, turning to face her brother, "Something tells me with Kyouya keeping an eye on him, Daichi won't be trying anything like that, again, anytime soon."

Tamaki chuckled. "Daichi is as good as dead if he ever lays a hand on you, again. In truth, I'm only as calm about the ordeal as I am because Kyouya Ootori is the last person in the world I'd ever want to piss off. You're perfectly safe with him."

Sonomi's smile dipped slightly as she thought about the past few weeks of isolating herself from the Ouran Host Club. Instead of leaning on them and believing in their friendship, she pushed the only people in Japan that cared about her, away. "I'm sorry for being so cold towards you all," she said.

Tamaki's warm smile practically lit up Sonomi's bedroom. "I've already told you – you're absolutely forgiven. If anything, Kyouya should be the one apologizing to you. I know that he's only trying to protect me, but being cruel to you is certainly not what anyone wants."

"Kyouya apologize? I can hardly imagine it."

Tamaki gave his sister a sly wink as he turned to leave. "Well, then. Be sure to come to our club meeting this afternoon. Maybe you won't have to imagine things, after all."

…-X-...

Sonomi took another glance at the small piece of parchment paper she had retrieved from her locker. Tamaki must have slipped it inside at some point when she wasn't looking. When she went to go pull out textbooks for her afternoon classes, the little note wrapped in ribbon tumbled out.

A small note requesting her presence at Ouran's Southern Gardens was scrawled elegantly across the parchment's smooth surface. Instead of a signature, there was a small wax seal with the impression of the Ouran Host Club's crest. This would be her first time resuming her attendance at the club's activities and this would also be her first time seeing Kyouya since he escorted her home in a dramatic fashion on Friday night.

She could still recall the warmth of his arms wrapped around her and the faint scent of pine from his clothing when they had mumbled their vague apologies and bid goodnight. She was too embarrassed to reach out to him during the course of the weekend and Sonomi suspected he wanted to give her space to decompress from that night's frightening turn of events.

Butterflies danced in her stomach as she made her way into the secluded gardens. Autumn had finally arrived with its orange foliage and crip, dry air. As her polished shoes clicked along the stone path, Sonomi pulled the plaid cape she was wearing tighter around her form. She listened carefully for the telltale sounds of the Ouran Host Club hidden somewhere in the maze of trees and hedges.

As she turned towards a bubbling fountain, the unmistakable sound of fawning teenage girls eventually reached her ears. Just past the dancing fountain waters, a cluster of girls in pale yellow dresses layered with coats and shawls had gathered around what Sonomi assumed to be one of the host club's famous themed performances.

As Sonomi slowly made her way closer to the giggling crowd, she could start to make out Tamaki, Haruhi, Hunny, Mori, Koaru, Hikaru, and Kyouya standing in the middle of the group of girls. Instead of the Ouran boy's uniform, each teenage boy was dressed in what Sonomi recognized as outfits from Georgian England. The ensembles consisted of richly colored waistcoats, high, stiff collars, white and beige high waist trousers, and silk cravats.

Sonomi blinked in surprise. It was as if each of them walked straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Even their hair was combed into the style typical of the era. In the middle of the group stood Tamaki, clearly reciting something while gesturing wildly with a top hat in his left hand. The rest of the club members stood around him, their gazes surveying the enraptured expressions of their eager audience.

Sonomi felt herself blush as Kyouya's hawkish eyes fell on her as she slowly approached them all. A very slight, almost indiscernible smile dared to pull at the edge of his mouth as the two of them held each other's gaze. He looked painfully handsome in his themed garb and Sonomi felt her face grow hotter by the second.

"Thank you all for joining us this afternoon," said Tamaki, his voice heightening in volume at the sight of his sister lingering at the back of the crowd. He felt his chest swell when he realized her warm, brown eyes were fixed on Kyouya. The exciting sense of victory whenever one of his schemes planned out was washing over him. "We would like to take advantage of this beautiful Autumn day and invite each of you to take a turn with us around the Southern Gardens. Gentlemen?"

He ushered to the other hosts around him fervently. Each of them nodded and began to approach individual groups of girls as the club attendees hopped and twirled around them, vying for each one's attention. However, none of the girls preening in front of Kyouya Ootori had a chance. The stoic teenager strode decisively through the crowd until he stood squarely in front of a flustered Sonomi.

"Lady Sonomi?" inquired Kyouya, lowly, extending his hand.

As if moving on autopilot, Sonomi offered a practiced curtsy and gently laid her hand in his upward palm. Behind them, a disappointed collection of female students groaned in unison as Kyouya began to lead Sonomi away from the crowd and towards a more private corner of the garden.

Kyouya's fingers remained curled around Sonomi's hand as he gently steered her towards the garden's maze composed of towering trimmed hedges. Sonomi blushed when she recognized their surroundings from student body gossip. The garden's maze was the ideal location for lovestruck students to rendezvous for… privacy. Fortunately, none of these mischievous couples seemed to be meeting amongst the branches that afternoon leaving Kyouya and Sonomi entirely alone.

They both remained silent as they wound their way to the center of the maze. Sonomi was afraid to initiate the conversation. She was still embarrassed about her thoughtless escapade on Friday night with Kyouya literally swooping in to save her. With all of his plans and obligations, she knew he wasn't the type to make time for saving damsels in distress. That was more Tamaki's thing.

"How are you feeling?" Kyouya finally asked.

Sonomi inadvertently shuddered at the sound of his voice. It was low and course as though he hadn't been sleeping. In fact, when Sonomi studied his face, she realized the rings around his eyes were darker than usual. "Have you not been sleeping?" she wondered aloud.

Kyouya chuckled. "I believe I asked you a question, first."

"Oh, of course," stammered Sonomi, embarrassed by her flustered state. They had stopped in the midst of the maze, when Kyouya was sure they were out of earshot in case a student happened to wander by. She stood stiffly in front of him, her grip tight on her cape. Tendrils of brown hair danced around her face as a cool breeze passed through the garden. "I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said.

"Are you sure?"

Kyouya's question edged more on concern than disbelief. Sonomi sighed, "I'm certainly shaken up. It wasn't what I was expecting and I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that trouble…"

"Sonomi," said Kyouya, cutting her off, "Stop apologizing. You must know, you must realize, that if you are ever in any trouble, I will rush to your aid. Finding you and making sure you were safe was the most important thing for me to do that evening. It is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of…" Kyouya's voice trailed off.

Sonomi felt her heart leap into her throat. "Matter of what?"

Kyouya hesitated. Instead of answering, he reached out to tuck a stray curl of hair behind Sonomi's ear. Once it was set in place, he allowed his hand to rest on her check, similar to how he had held her in the helicopter. As if it was the most natural thing in the world, Sonomi leaned into his touch and closed her eyes.

"You don't have to say it," she whispered.

"I'm not… I'm not well-versed in this sort of thing," admitted Kyouya.

Sonomi's eyes fluttered open as she laughed. "At what sort of thing? Isn't it what being a host is all about?"

Kyouya brought his other hand to Sonomi's cheek so he was now gently cupping her face. He was dangerously close to her now as he leaned down towards Sonomi's upturned expression. He allowed his eyes to roam across the soft features of her face, silently appreciating every dip and curve. He had been enthralled with her effortless beauty from the moment he laid eyes on Sonomi at her sixteenth birthday. There was something so organic and untarnished about her looks and personality that drew him to her.

Kyouya Ootori was built of ice, discipline, and fervent obligation. The young girl in his hands possessed all of the features and characteristics that he lacked. She was bright, joyous, modest, and brave. It was as if she were the sun and all Kyouya ever wanted to do was bask in her warmth.

Warmth.

Something Kyouya didn't know he hungered for so much. That's why he was so fiercely dedicated to Tamaki. Why he was so skeptical of Sonomi's intentions when she first came to Ouran. He was afraid she threatened to destroy the warmth and happiness he was able to experience through his friendship with Tamaki. He was determined to push her way and keep the status quo. It wasn't until that trip to the coast when he realized that by pushing her away, he was stifling his one very real chance at ever being happy…

and loved.

"Being a host is nothing but a performance," he whispered, "This is… real."

Kyouya's face began to dip lower, as if Sonomi was literally pulling him in. His hooded eyes studied Sonomi's reaction, silently asking for permission to close the gap between them. As if reading his mind, Sonomi gently lifted herself up to her toes so she could bring her mouth to his.

Their kiss was a gentle peck, at first. They pulled away almost immediately, their eyes gaging each other's reaction. When they realized neither was backing away, Kyouya pulled Sonomi's face back into his for a long, languid kiss. Their mouths moved slowly with Kyouya only occasionally daring to lightly slide his tongue along Sonomi's bottom lip. The action immediately drew a small gasp from the brunette, only further exciting Kyouya.

Sliding his hands down Sonomi's neck and sides, he settled them on her waist to help her keep her balance. As a result, Sonomi found herself winding her arms around the boy's neck, some of her fingers tangling themselves in his hair. She realized she had been holding her breath once Kyouya's mouth moved from her lips to place gentle pecks on her cheek.

Sonomi breathed shakily into Kyouya's ear and he shuddered in response. While he had considered this scenario when he dropped the small note into Sonomi's locker that morning, he certainly didn't anticipate surrendering as much as he currently was at the moment.

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun," recited Sonomi.

Kyouya chuckled as he pulled back slightly. He was reluctant to allow Sonomi to leave his grasp. "Did you just quote Pride and Prejudice?" he queried, recognizing the passage.

"It seemed appropriate," teased Sonomi, lowering her arms to play with the teenage boy's cravat, "considering how you're dressed. I'm assuming this was Tamaki's idea?" She was trying to change the topic, feeling dizzy and vulnerable after their kiss.

"Actually," he corrected, "it was mine."

Kyouya reluctantly allowed Sonomi to jump out of his reach. Her brown eyes twinkled with mirth at the thought of Kyouya Ootori pitching "Pride and Prejudice" as a theme for the host club. She took a step back to once again appreciate the gesture and his Georgian-era outfit. Kyouya stiffened under her gaze, suddenly feeling very aware of himself in the costume.

"Well, I think it suits you," she determined, reaching for his hand.

The two of them continued their "turn around the gardens". For what felt like the first time since Sonomi arrived at Ouran, she and Kyouya exchanged an earnest and genuine conversation. She asked him about his siblings, he asked her about growing up in England, then she inquired about his goals for the future, et cetera. Once in a while, Kyouya would indulge a sudden rush of desire and he'd gently push Sonomi against one of the hedges to resume his mouth's journey on hers.

Instead of feeling fulfilled, each touch, kiss, and sigh only continued to fuel him. Sonomi's shy giggles echoed in his ears as he grew more bold with each passionate exchange. It was as if any restraint he ever had was completely dissolved and he found it impossible to feel at all satiated.

"Kyouya," sighed Sonomi, gently pushing him away, "the rest of the hosts are going to be looking for us. It's getting late."

Kyouya gave Sonomi's earlobe an unexpected nibble as he finally pulled away. Sonomi yelped in surprise at the sensation and she immediately went to cover her ear. "I'm sorry for being so… shameless," Kyouya practically purred, drinking in Sonomi's frenzied state, "I had been wanting to do that for so long."

"Bite my ear?" asked Sonomi, gently swatting at his arm in retaliation. They had resumed their stroll towards the maze's entrance. The sun began to slowly dip into the horizon, illuminating the teenagers and the foliage around them in a warm glow. Surely the rest of the hosts were expecting their return by now.

"No," replied Kyouya, giving Sonomi's hand a gentle squeeze, "to tell you I love you."

Shocked by Kyouya actually verbalizing a confession, Sonomi stopped abruptly in her tracks. Looking up at the taller boy, she was completely overcome with emotion. "I love you, too," she declared quietly. Kyouya looked like he was about to make another lunge for her mouth when Tamaki's voice broke through the hedges around them.

"THERE you are!" he cried.

Kyouya and Sonomi whipped their heads around in time to see Tamaki along with the rest of the hosts jogging up to them. With the sun setting, they had sent all of the club's visitors home for the day leaving the small crew to wander around the gardens in search of Kyouya and Sonomi. While Tamaki had expected the two to confess their feelings and make-up, he certainly did not allow himself to imagine that they could possibly have been making-out as well.

However, leave it to the hawk-like eyes of the Hitachiin twins to figure out exactly what had happened. Their lips pulled upwards into eager, impish grins at Kyouya and Sonomi's flushed cheeks and disheveled outfits.

"Sonomi," they chorused, their eyes moving quickly between her and Kyouya, "My, you have quite a few leaves and twigs in your hair… how did that happen?"

Daichi may have been at the top of Kyouya's shit list, but Kaoru and Hikaru Hitachiin were certainly not far behind.

…-X-...

Once Sonomi and Haruhi were able to calm the chaos that erupted as a result of the twins' suggestive comments and Tamaki's dramatic reaction, Tamaki ordered Kyouya to dine with him and his sister that evening to "better understand his intentions".

Although it was all out of love, Sonomi couldn't help but feel cross with her brother's over-protective antics. She thought that if she were to be with Kyouya Ootori, of all people, her brother would actually be excited. It was his best friend, after all. Instead, she had to endure Tamaki's fevered rambling all the way back to the manor.

He continued to lecture her as Sonomi moved about the mansion to drop off her books, change out of her uniform, and ready the dining room for Kyouya's arrival. The servants tried to push Sonomi out of the room, insisting they were handling arrangements, but she was desperate to escape her brother's chiding.

Finally, the house staff were able to take a sigh of a relief when Sonomi sprinted after her brother when the unmistakable echoing toll of the estate's bell caught everyone's attention. "I'll get it!" insisted Tamaki, practically leaping out of the dining hall.

When Sonomi realized it was probably Kyouya at the door, she made a lunge for her brother's collar but he deftly slipped out of her grasp. The maids and servants all watched the racing siblings as they exploded out of the dining hall and barralled towards the front door. They couldn't help but smile – it had been too long since any of them had seen such life and energy within the walls of the lesser Suoh estate. The Suoh siblings were certainly quite a pair.

Struggling to keep up with her longer limbed brother, Sonomi had to slide to a halt right before she reached the manor's main atrium. Tamaki had already beat her to the front door and her ears perked up at the sound of Kyouya's low voice floating through the receiving hall. She could make out Tamaki saying something about "best behavior" as she quickly began to fix her appearance in the hall mirror.

Her cheeks were flushed from running after Tamaki and her hair, which she had opted to tie back in a loose ponytail, had fallen slightly out of place. Instead of the Ouran uniform, Sonomi had changed into a flowing, mid-length dress that tied around the waist. Since the weather had finally cooled and heavy, darkly hued clothes had been fished out of storage, the dress she had picked was a deep green she felt complimented her rosy complexion nicely. It was an outfit she desperately hoped looked nice, but didn't make Sonomi look like she was "trying too hard".

She didn't have time to primp for too long, the muffled sounds of designer house slippers on the cool, atrium tile were headed right in her direction. Quickly jumping back from the mirror and giving her dress one last tug, she smiled as Tamaki and Kyouya rounded the corner and stopped in front of her.

"Hello," she greeted meekly. Her cheeks grew hot instantly at the sight of Kyouya in his usual attire – pressed and poised. Images of him and her lost in the hedges of the Ouran Southern Garden flashed in her mind and she couldn't stop a blush from appearing on her cheeks.

"Hello," returned Kyouya, bowing slightly. Always the gentleman.

Tamaki rolled his eyes dramatically. "Ugh, I can't with this. I'm going to check on dinner. I expect to see you in the dining hall at 8:00 on the DOT." He emphasized the dot with a finger pointed at Kyouya's chest. "No funny business."

Kyouya tutted. "Tamaki, you know me better than that."

Tamaki's eyes narrowed as he carefully studied his calm, composed companion. "Do I? I've never seen you in love… I don't know this Kyouya Ootori. You better not do anything… shady."

"Well… I am the Shadow King, after all."

"Tamaki, you said you would check on dinner?" Sonomi reminded her brother as she attempted to slip in between him and Kyouya. Although she knew Kyouya was only teasing, the idea of him being anything but honorable towards Sonomi was enough to trigger Tamaki into a scandalized mania.

She began to push him towards the direction of the kitchen as the taller blonde began to ramble about "honor" and "propriety" and "purity". Kyouya watched with outward amusement as Sonomi was able to successfully shoo him away, leaving the two alone in the manor's gleaming atrium. Feeling mischievous, he quietly tiptoed up to Sonomi and wrapped his arms around her waist.

She jumped slightly when she felt his toned chest press up against her back and his sinewy arms entangle themselves around her. Kyouya gave a satisfied hum as he lightly nuzzled his face into the side of her neck, immersing himself in the perfume she had just applied. Sonomi immediately leaned into his embrace, giggling when she felt his lips beginning to travel up her neck.

"Do you think this is what he meant by something shady?" mused Kyouya.

Sonomi rolled her eyes. "Well, you are the Shadow King, after all," she parroted, twisting to meet his gaze.

Kyouya chuckled and released Sonomi from his grasp. The soft echo of footsteps as the manor's staff hurried to finish dinner preparations reminded them that they were not alone. As much as Kyouya would like to act on his impulses, Sonomi was still of an upper echelon and they were at risk of becoming household gossip.

"And every king needs a queen," said Kyouya, daring to peck Sonomi lightly on the forehead.

Sonomi laughed. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

"How many times are you going to quote Pride and Prejudice, today?" asked Kyouya, immediately recognizing the beginning of the famed novel.

Feeling bold, Sonomi pushed herself up to her toes so her mouth aligned with Kyouya's ear. "Well, if you're hoping I'd stop… I can think of one way you can shut me up."

Kyouya froze as he began to process the subtle implications of Sonomi's suggestion. But before he could respond, the giggling brunette hopped around him to head towards the manor's main parlor. Although it would be too easy for the two of them to get lost somewhere on the estate's massive grounds for time alone, Sonomi Sinclair was far too dignified to submit to her teenage urges. Instead, she was going to sit and socialize with Kyouya in the parlor where there would be plenty of household staff around to chaperone them.

But if she thought Kyouya wouldn't be able to torture her with people around, she was sadly mistaken.

Revitalized by her unexpected teasing, Kyouya was able to lounge in the main parlor across from Sonomi with new determination. He had worked so hard for so long to push her from his mind, that now she occupied the very center of consciousness, he wasn't able to focus on anything else. His eyes lingered shamelessly on her as she sat delicately on the loveseat across from him.

Even when Tamaki had appeared from the kitchens, Kyouya's focus on Sonomi was unwavering. He was able to identify the effects his gazes and subtle movements had on her. The way her eyes followed the slow movements of his long fingers across the rim of his tea cup, the way she averted her gaze when his dark eyes held hers for a little too long. He could see everything.

Now that Sonomi was able to hold him in an entirely different regard, all of Kyouya's looks, expressions, and mannerisms suddenly took on new meaning. Was that a grin or a smirk? Did he seem indifferent or was he studying her with quiet interest? All of a sudden she realized she didn't know Kyouya Ootori at all.

And the idea of aligning herself with someone nicknamed the Shadow King shamelessly excited her.

"Did you hear me?" asked Tamaki, his voice breaking through Sonomi's focus, "Dinner is almost ready, we should head into the dining hall."

Sonomi nodded quickly. "Yes, of course. I'm famished."

Tamaki flashed Kyouya one last glare before leading the three of them out of the parlor. Rising from their plush seats, it only took Kyouya a couple of long strides before he was hovering behind Sonomi, his palm pressing into the small of her back. "So am I," he whispered hoarsely into her ear.

Sonomi involuntarily shivered at the gesture. She could feel Kyouya's lips brush against the shell of her ear before pulling away to gently guide her forwards. To anyone else, it looked as though Kyouya was politely escorting Sonomi into the dining hall. But Sonomi felt like she was in some sort of daze after Kyouya practically growled into her ear and she couldn't help but focus on the pressure of Kyouya's large hand on her waist.

The anger and the hatred that had been brewing between them as a result of their misconceptions of each other had started to bubble into something entirely different. All of that passion and determination was still there – it was just being channeled via entirely new and exciting methods.

"I'll sit at the head of the table," Tamaki announced, sliding into his chair.

Sonomi and Kyouya assumed a seat on either side of the watchful blonde. Although Kyouya looked like his usual, calm self, there was a faint tinge of pink on his sister's cheeks that didn't escape Tamaki's notice. While Tamaki was used to seeing Kyouya charm Ouran's female students during the host club meetings, he could tell he had been putting up a front for the sake of the club's success. This would be the first time he would be seeing Kyouya in a genuinely romantic role. Usually he'd be excited for such an opportunity, but his brotherly affection for Sonomi made him feel overly protective.

"So, I supposed we should address the elephant in the room," began Tamaki, dropping his cloth napkin into his lap.

Sonomi and Kyouya rolled their eyes.

Tamaki chose to ignore them and continued. "Now that you two have finally admitted your feelings for each other, we should discuss the terms of your relationship."

Sonomi recognized Tamaki's language as the type wealthy, prolific families used with their children when they became "of age". She already knew "going out" with Kyouya wasn't going to be simple considering their positions in society. While Kyouya could probably hide his romances easier, Sonomi had all eyes on her as royalty and as the presumed Suoh heiress.

"Tamaki, please, this is all very new. We don't have to decide anything, right now," Sonomi urged.

Kyouya nodded in agreement. "Tamaki, I believe keeping this a secret would be best for everyone. You and Sonomi still have plenty to sort out with the Suoh fortune without rumors of Sonomi running around with the youngest Ootori son being blasted around the tabloids."

Suddenly, the ill-fated dinner with Yuzuru Suoh sprang to Sonomi's mind – specifically his insistence on Kyouya Ootori as her escort at the upcoming evening with Ouran's board. "Actually," she began slowly, "rumors about us are going to start spreading, anyway."

Kyouya visibly stiffened. "What do you mean?"

Sonomi blinked in surprise. "Your father hasn't talked to you about a conversation with Yuzuru Suoh?" She had assumed her father had already contacted Yoshio about positioning Kyouya as her escort.

When Kyouya's expression remained perplexed, Sonomi continued. "I… need to tell you what happened when I had dinner with father, a week ago," she said calmly.

…-X-...

While Tamaki, Kyouya, and Sonomi were dining peacefully in the lesser Suoh estate, Yuzuru Suoh was sitting irate in his private study positioned within the primary manor.

He was waiting impatiently for his mother to be patched through to his desk phone. Shizue Suoh stubbornly distrusted cell phones and continued to utilize the family's private phone lines whenever she needed to contact someone outside of the family's northern compound. Obsessed with privacy, she swore any utilization of publicly used phone lines would result in leaks and blackmail.

The low ticking of the grandfather clock standing imposingly against the far wall was the only sound in the room as the Suoh patriarch carefully watched for his phone to spring to life. As soon as the first ring hit his ears, he plucked the phone off the crandle. "Hello?" he greeted calmly.

The poised voice of his mother floated through the speaker. "Yuzuru, good evening."

"Good evening," he returned.

"I have called about developments with Sonomi. Did you have dinner?"

Genuine curiosity laced his mother's icy tone. He knew she was less interested in pleasantries and was eager to hear about Sonomi's acceptance of their legacy. She continued to make her preference of Sonomi over Tamaki as the heir to Suoh enterprises. She was practically counting down the days until she could send her grandson back to France. With Sonomi as the next in line, she could rest easy with the procurement of their prominence in Japanese society.

"We did," confirmed Yuzuru, "But I'm afraid Sonomi is not inclined to accept her right of inheritance."

Shizue Suoh fell silent.

Growing uneasy, Yuzuru continued. "She has informed me of her intention to decline her role as heiress. It seems she's adamant that Tamaki be the one to carry the legacy."

"That's of little consequence," Shizue hissed. "She's sixteen years old. She can't make such a declaration until she is eighteen, anyway. Such naivety – what does she expect to inherit from the Sinclair estate? A crumbling house? Struggling businesses? Ridiculous. The Suoh fortune is far greater."

Yuzuru stifled a sigh. His mother was eternally preoccupied by wealth and stature. That was why she pushed him into an ill-fated marriage with Yuki and why she was enraged when he started a life with Tamaki's mother in France. Shizue Suoh had only ever done anything if it elevated the family – love was never part of the plan.

"Perhaps she's not after the money," Yuzuru tried to reason.

Shizue laughed cruelly. "Do you think she's like you? She's giving it all up for love?"

Yuzuru flinched. He should be used to his mother's taunts, but today he was too exhausted to put up a front. "She hasn't given a reason," he sighed. "Besides, as you said, she cannot make any declaration until she is eighteen. Perhaps if we don't push her to commit herself to the family, now, she'll come around to it."

Shizue's hesitation on the other line told him that she begrudgingly saw his point. "Fine," she huffed, "we won't introduce her as heiress, yet. I suppose the ball with Ouran's board will be an ideal opportunity to assess our society's reception of her."

"Agreed. And I have already reached out to Yoshio Ootori to have Kyouya escort her for the evening."

Yuzuru Suoh had reached out to his stoic acquaintance a few days prior to request Kyouya's participation as Sonomi's date. He was surprised when he was met with reluctance. But as Yoshio explained the situation – Lord Sinclair was a good friend of his and if Yoshio's youngest son made an appearance at such an event as Sonomi's date, the Ootori name would be dragged into the Suoh drama – Yuzuru realized the entire predicament was infringing on Yoshio's drive for strict status quo.

Eventually, Yoshio agreed to speak with Kyouya as soon as he had returned from his business trip in a few days' time. After all, such an alliance between their families would ultimately benefit Ootori's interests, especially since Kyouya was the youngest son and wasn't in a situation where he was expected to make such an advantageous match. His older sons had much more promise.

"Absolutely not," snapped Shizue. "I do not want anyone escorting Sonomi. Aligning Sonomi with any family too soon will put her at a disadvantage. I want to see exactly what kind of a match we can make for her. The Ootori boy is fine, but she is far out of his league."

Yuzuru's jaw clenched. He was quietly hoping his mother wouldn't make such a demand. His real intentions of pairing Sonomi with Kyouya was to try to put his estranged daughter at ease. After all, Tamaki was good friends with the young Ootori and he assumed Sonomi and Kyouya were already well acquainted.

However, Yoshio will be glad to have dodged a bullet, Yuzuru thought to himself.

"Fine," he finally said, leaning back in his chair. "I'll talk to Yoshio and call it off."

"Excellent. And I will be reaching out to Sonomi to arrange tea. It's about time I meet my granddaughter."

Yuzuru pursed his lips. "As you wish, mother."

After bidding her son a kurt "goodbye", Shizue Suoh ended the call leaving Yuzuru alone with his thoughts. Events were moving quickly. He was relieved he was able to talk his mother out of pushing Sonomi to accept her role as heiress, but this also meant her schemes were going to simply be drawn out. Although the stately woman was efficient, when it came to achieving a goal, she'd take all the time it required.

And if it took years to convince Sonomi to become the Suoh heiress, so be it.


Author's Note:

I was GOING to wait to post this update, but I was excited and I was still feeling bad for taking so long to post Chapter Nine. So I hope you enjoyed it! FINALLY: kiss, kiss, fall in love! Now that they've officially confessed, I can start to include more fluff.

Obviously there is still plenty ahead of this cast of characters, so please continue to stay tuned! I'm going to try to starting aligning events with the plot of the show, not just the characters. I don't think I'll be able to align everything up exactly, but I'll see what I can do. It's fan fiction, after all. Rules don't apply, here.

I hope you're enjoying the story so far! It's been a wonderful creative outlet. I don't know you all are doing, but I'm going crazy spending so much time in isolation. I'm trying to do anything I can to keep my mind off of the fact the world is ending (kidding, kind of?)

Anyway, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! I very much appreciate all of your favorites, follows, and comments. They're so encouraging and it's just nice to see.

Much love,

- I'm Going on an Adventure (formally known as the Irish Baroness)