"Here's the jacket you asked for."
Aimi smiled brightly while handing over Mori's freshly laundered jacket. She blatantly eyed the jacket as Izzy took it, rocking forward on her toes. Izzy looked back at her, eyebrow quirked.
"Is it your boyfr—"
"Thank you," Izzy said over the maid. Aimi twirled a lock of dark hair around her finger, still smiling all the while. "Thank you for having it washed so quickly. I'm going to return it, can you tell Chi while I'm out?"
"Of course, young Miss." Aimi's smile didn't drop as Izzy skirted around her, the jacket hugged tightly to her chest. She was certain by now that the entire house was convinced she had some boyfriend.
Izzy sighed as she fished out her phone to call Mori. To her dismay, he didn't answer. "He usually answers," she muttered quietly, wondering if she should just wait until tomorrow to return the jacket. She called Honey next, deciding that if anyone saw her returning the jacket at school, rumors would spread. She did not need anyone thinking two Host Club members were dating. Kyoya would kill her before the day ended.
Izzy was relieved when Honey answered her phone call, joyously greeting her as if she hadn't seen him a couple of hours ago. When she inquired about Mori, she was surprised to hear he was still at school.
"He's at Kendo Club."
"Ah, makes sense. I have his jacket and I wanted to return it, do you think he would mind?"
"Of course he wouldn't, Berry-chan." Izzy found herself smiling at Honey's enthusiasm over the phone. His bubbly ways easily put her into a good mood. "Did you talk to Ozawa-hime today?"
"I did, actually! She was pretty down about some things at home. Hopefully she feels a bit better about talking a little." Izzy carried on the conversation with Honey all the way to Ouran, thanking Andou for driving her back towards school as she slid out of the luxury car. She hurried towards the courtyard, listening to Honey's quick directions towards the building she would find the kendo club in.
She came to a sudden pause, realizing that she was dressed lazily in a green tank top and black lounge pants. She pursed her lips in thought but forged on, reminding herself that she'd come this far. No point in turning back.
"Did you find it, Berry-chan?"
Izzy carefully toed off her shoes before stepping into the kendo hall. She confirmed with Honey that she found the Club, thanking him and then ending the call. She wasn't exactly sure when the club would end but she patiently waited by the door.
The club was surprisingly large, Mori standing in the very front. He was dressed in a Gi and Hakama. Izzy hummed, appreciating the sight. It had to be a talent to make some robes appear attractive. He had yet to notice but Izzy didn't seem to mind. It wasn't like he was expecting her anyway. Besides, it was nice to watch Mori in a different environment. During Hosting hours, Mori remained quiet for the most part, speaking when it was absolutely necessary.
The deep baritone of his voice almost lulled her into closing her eyes. She blinked quickly, realizing it would be awkward to explain why she was snoozing during Kendo practice. "Awkward and weird.." she muttered to herself.
Izzy turned to see a serious looking young man. He had to be a second year because she didn't immediately recognize him. He was dressed for kendo but why he wasn't falling into practice, she had no idea. "Listen, if you're here to wait around for Mori-senpai so you can confess, you're wasting your time," he sighed heavily, face drawn like he was fed up. Izzy could only stare at him, mouth hanging open at the implication.
"...Confess?" she repeated dumbly.
"Yes, confess. You know, confess that you have feelings for him? He's not going to accept those feelings so let's skip the theatrics. Please go home."
"Yes, yes, I know you feel as though you need to confess but please, not at the moment. You'll interrupt practice," the second year stepped forward, grabbing Izzy to spin her back towards the exit. He slipped his arm around her waist, forcing her out. "Mori-senpai is nice but you girls really need to stop taking advantage of that…"
"Wait, you idiot, you've got it wrong," Izzy insisted, trying to pull away. He was stronger than he looked but she figured that had to do with being in the kendo club. "I'm not here to confess to him, are you insane?"
"That's what they all say."
"Oh, for heaven's sake. Just tell him Bera is here. I don't have anything to confess to him because we're just friends. I just want to return something of his," Izzy finally managed to pull away with a glare of her hazel eyes.
"Just friends?" he repeated.
"Yes, for heaven's sake. We're in a club together."
His eyes narrowed suspiciously but he turned sharply, leaving her be for the time being. Izzy huffed and folded her arms across her chest, pinning the jacket under her arms. This was ridiculous, she should've just waited to return the jacket.
She watched him approach Mori, leaning over to quietly mutter about her. She nearly rolled her eyes, it didn't need to be such a secret that she was standing there. She had to wonder how many other girls came around trying to confess their affections for Mori on a daily basis. Mori paused to look towards her at that moment. Izzy's arm uncurled to wave at him, feeling almost juvenile. Instead of waving at her, Mori gave a short nod. She smiled, watching as Mori approached, his clubmate following behind.
"Hi, Mori." Izzy's smile was genuine, eyes darting to his clubmate. She hoped he felt silly for accosting her.
"Bera-chan," Mori returned her greeting. He turned to the other boy. "Apologize, Izuru."
Izzy blinked, eyebrows raised. She could only assume Izuru told Mori about trying to throw her out, thinking she was here to confess. It was ridiculous, she noted but she wouldn't have demanded an apology.
Izuru bowed his head to her. "I apologize, Izabera-senpai. I didn't know you were Mori-senpai's clubmate."
"Oh, well, I'm sorry for calling you an idiot," she blushed, noticing a spark of amusement in Mori's eyes. "Please, call me Bera. It's water under the bridge." Izzy smiled at him, realizing she needed a better handle on her temper. Izuru almost seemed startled by her words, taking a careful step back. His face reddened before he muttered something and quickly hurried away. Izzy and Mori watched him, Izzy frowning in confusion. "Was it something I said?"
Mori continued to watch Izuru, an unreadable look in his eyes instead of amusement. He shrugged an uncaring shoulder before turning his attention back on her. "Are you okay?"
"Hm? Oh, yes, I'm fine. I just—" Izzy paused, frowning in thought. "Well, I suppose this could have waited but I didn't think it wise to return this during school hours. Wouldn't want rumors to swell," she found herself almost babbling before remembering to hold out his jacket. "I had it washed and wanted to return it. Honey-chan told me you'd be here."
The more she spoke, the more ridiculous she felt. It really could have waited, it wasn't like it was pressing issue to return the jacket. Mori hadn't even said anything about it since forcing her to wear it. His expression didn't change much during her blathering, causing a ball of nervousness to unfurl somewhere in her stomach. She definitely should have just waited to return his jacket some other time. Izzy pursed her lips in thought. Well, it was too late now.
Mori glanced behind him at the kendo club before looking back at her. She could not, for the life of her, figure out what was going through his head. She felt her frustration with that climb. Mori was a damn puzzle and she was going to solve him if it was the last thing she'd do.
He pointed to the floor, "Stay here."
Izzy blinked at him, confused until he abruptly turned away. "Wait—what?"
Mori didn't answer, returning to Club activities. She wasn't sure why he wanted her to stick around but she relented. She phoned Andou and reassured him that she would be spending more time with her friend. He sounded worried, knowing that her friend was actually a boy and that Shinobu would not approve if found out.
She hadn't had much of an interest in kendo before but something about it had her attention this time around. A small, petty voice in her head pointed out that her interest centered around Mori, and not the sport.
She swept that voice back to the darkest corner of her mind.
The club didn't end for another thirty minutes but that was fine with Izzy, she hardly noticed. She was far too enraptured with Mori to even notice the time. Chi would probably be upset that she was out longer than originally promised. She hadn't gotten any phone calls from her aunt so she could only assume that things were fine.
She smiled as the kendo club made their exit, complimenting them as they filed out by her. Some mumbled their goodbye while others simply blushed. It reminded her of the girls when they were being charmed. Mori joined her last, out of his kendo uniform and back into his regular uniform. Izzy hummed thoughtfully, missing the robes. Well. That was new. Who'd thought she had an attraction to some kendo robes?
"Hi," she greeted for the second time. "That was interesting to watch. Different from Hosting," Izzy grinned once he joined her again. "I liked it though."
"Come next practice then." Mori moved towards the door, Izzy falling into step beside him. She blinked at the notion, completely caught off guard by the offer.
"Ah, I wouldn't want to be an interruption. Izuru wasn't too happy with me showing up to confess," Izzy snorted while rolling her eyes. "Honestly…"
"Are you upset?"
"With Izuru? Not in particular."
"Then what are you upset with?"
She didn't immediately reply, stubbornly frowning instead. It was no secret that girls actually confessed feelings to any one of the hosts. She'd been an unfortunate witness to more than one confession. Not on purpose, of course, it wasn't her fault that it was unlikely to find Hosts by themselves. It was like they just automatically came in packs of two or three and she fit right in. It wasn't unheard of to find Izzy with any of the Hosts these days. In class, between classes, the catering hall, the library. No matter where Izzy was, another Host wasn't too far behind. So, evidently she'd seen her fair share of confessions along with the impending rejections.
Izzy wasn't entirely sure why the thought of girls confessing to Mori while at kendo club bothered her. Intimidating as he was, there were still more than enough girls confessing shallow feelings for him on a regular basis. She was pretty sure she'd witnessed the majority of those confessions. Maybe it had something to do with her not witnessing these confessions for herself. It wasn't like she took pleasure in seeing any of the girls get rejected because she didn't. It was awkward, of course and she always felt a little bad for those rejected girls.
But then again, the girls were pretty relentless and after a while, Izzy simply couldn't feel bad. She had to wonder why any of the girls thought they could change how the Hosts felt. They didn't really know them. They knew them as the Hosts and nothing else. They didn't know the real psychopaths underneath their hosting personas and likely never would. Honestly, if anyone asked Izzy, it was a win for those girls.
According to Kyoya, that's why no one ever did ask.
So the question still remains. Why was she even upset?
Maybe because she was unaware of all this going on when he was at his own club?
"Do they catch you at judo club too?" Izzy asked instead of answering. Mori glanced down at her, head tilting to the side in question. "The girls, do they confess at your other clubs?" she clarified. Mori grunted in affirmation. Izzy's lips thinned. Now, she knew she'd sound ridiculous if she admitted that she was upset because of this new information. She had no right to even be upset. "They're persistent," Izzy decided after a moment. "Does it bother you that they do that?"
Mori shrugged, "Not really."
Izzy made a humming noise in her throat. Unlike the others, Izzy hadn't been on the receiving end of a confession. Not that she was looking for one. She wasn't sure how she'd even react if one of the girls pulled her to the side to confess amorous feelings. Awkwardly, she thought. She'd react awkwardly. She was, after all, the big sister and nothing more to the girls. She was also, Izzy sourly added, as straight as a board.
"I think Ozawa and I might be friends," Izzy said suddenly. She wasn't sure why she felt the need to even tell him but seeing as how he bullied her into talking to Hisa, she might as well keep him updated. "We're not enemies, at the very least."
Mori smiled at her, like he wasn't all that surprised. In turn, Izzy stubbornly avoided his gaze.
Andou was faithfully waiting for her outside. She raised her hand to wave to the older man, feeling bad that he'd been waiting around while she watched Mori's kendo practice. "Well, this was fun," Izzy smiled at Mori, turning to him. "Sorry for interrupting but I enjoyed watching! Oh, don't forget this." Izzy shoved his folded jacket at his chest, pulling her hands away immediately when he grabbed at it.
Before she could go running off to the waiting car, Mori caught her by the wrist. She was pulled back with an almost lazy jerk of his hand. Izzy stumbled from his abrupt action and to steady her, Mori caught her by the other wrist as well. She was completely ensnared.
Izzy blinked, "Um…"
If any of this, any of it at all, bothered Mori, he certainly didn't show it. In fact, Izzy felt his fingers tighten around her wrists. That feeling she'd been experiencing lately around him came flooding back, threatening to completely overwhelm her. "Thank you for returning my jacket," Mori said. Izzy blanched, a simple thank you would have sufficed. "You never said you'll come next time."
"Next time?" Izzy echoed.
Mori nodded back towards Ouran, specifically towards where they'd just come from. "Practice."
"Ah—oh." Izzy blinked, dark lashes fluttering against her cheeks. She had to wonder why it was so important that she'd come next time around. Izzy straightened up, taking most of her weight off of her arms. It wasn't like she ever expressed an interest in kendo. She barely understood it. But still, it was important to Mori. And as odd as their friendship was lately, they were still friends. Friends supported one another so if he insisted that she come around next time, then she'd come around. Though she had to wonder why he didn't invite the rest of the Host Club. Then again, she wondered if they'd be able to behave long enough.
"Sure, I'll come."
Mori let her go after that. She left with a quick wave of her hand, turning away to hide her blushing face. She kept her composure the entire walk to the waiting car, feeling his gaze trained solely on her back. Andou smiled while opening the door, an amused twinkle in his eyes. She waved one last time before slipping into the car, sighing in relief when the door closed behind her.
"I'm sorry for the wait, Andou," Izzy slumped into the chair as the older man slipped into the front seat. She could still see his smile.
"Think nothing of it, young miss," Andou continued to smile. It was beginning to unnerve her. "May I ask a question, Miss?"
She shrugged, "sure."
"Was that the boyfriend your aunt mentioned? He's quite handsome. Perfect match."
Izzy could only slap her forehead in exasperation, groaning over the old man's laughter.
Hisa peered around Izzy, eyebrows high on her forehead. It was days after they seemingly called a truce and believe it or not, a fast friendship developed between the two girls. Izzy liked to call Hisa a tic but she never dissuaded the girl from hanging around her. The brunette opted in ignoring the very smug looks thrown her way by Honey and Mori.
"It's a note, genius," Hisa rolled her eyes. They were standing at Izzy's desk, staring down at the simple note folded neatly on the desktop. Izzy only glared at her. When she didn't reach for it, Hisa took the initiative to snatch the note up. Izzy ignored her completely, sitting down while Hisa busied with unfolding the note to read it. Hisa's eyes swept the note, lips pursing into a feline-like smile.
"Oh?" Izzy balanced her cheek against her knuckles, eyes closed. "Oh what?"
Hisa's eyes were bright as she peered over the note at Izzy. "It's a love letter," she whispered with maniacal glee. "Your first one!"
Izzy's eyes popped open. "Excuse me?" The brunette snatched the note away, eyes quickly scanning the contents. "Oh...oh dear."
Hisa let out a squealing cheer before snatching it away. "Oh, how romantic. I wonder who left it," she mused while reading it over and over again.
Izzy pinched the bridge of her nose and took a deep breath. "Probably a joke from one of the girls from Host Club, throw it away."
"Absolutely not and this is clearly a boy's handwriting."
Izzy blanched at that, finally looking up at Hisa. "A boy?" she repeated almost dumbly. "What boy? I don't know any boys."
Again, Hisa rolled her eyes. "You do so know boys, don't be dramatic," she slid on top of Izzy's desk, uncaring at Izzy's offended scoff. "I wonder who has a crush on you."
Izzy's mind tried to sort out who the hell would write her a love letter. She couldn't come up with anyone. It wasn't that she was unnecessarily unpopular with her classmates but she simply spent the majority of her time with the Host Club. She really couldn't figure out who would write her a love note. She shoved Hisa off of her desk just as the school bell began to ring. "Just throw it away," she waved the note off, finding no interest in it. Instead she smiled as Honey came bounding towards her, Mori close behind. "Morning, boys."
She had no time for elusive letters.
Izzy was sure that was the end of it, forgetting all about the note while the day dragged on. It wasn't until Host Club later that afternoon that she was reminded of the damn note. In hindsight, she should've known that the note was going to come back with a vengeance. It was Hisa's fault. It's not surprising. She should've known the honey blonde was up to no good when she designated Tamaki instead of Mori and Honey. But she brushed it off and that was her mistake.
"Tamaki-kun, you'll never guess what Bera received today."
Izzy paused, glancing towards Hisa with a nonplussed attitude about her. She wasn't sure what the honey blonde was going on about but she was beginning to wonder if it was a wise choice to let her near Tamaki. "A gift?" Honey asked with his regular cutesy air around him. The girls swooned. Izzy resisted the urge to sigh.
"I didn't get any gifts today."
And then Hisa whipped out the folded note.
With that same maniacal glee in her eyes as earlier, Hisa handed the note over to the host king. She watched as Tamaki read the note over, cringing when his face inevitably turned red. He was across the room in seconds, leaning over the back of the couch to shove his face into hers. "Tamaki, please, you're scaring the girls…" Izzy trailed off, sweating nervously.
"Unacceptable, Bera-senpai!" Tamaki screeched in her face. "Explain this!" he dramatically waved the note around their heads. Izzy held her hands up as if to ward him away, face beginning to flush from all the attention.
"How am I supposed to explain that? Someone wrote it as a prank," Izzy insisted with a red face. It was a bad idea to let Hisa hold onto that note. Friends or not, the honey-blonde was a sucker for this sort of nonsense. Izzy had given her ammo and hell if she hadn't used it accordingly. Now she had to deal with the uproar that followed.
Honey blinked his big eyes and glanced at Mori. Mori, in turn, easily plucked the note from Tamaki to give to Honey. Hikaru, Kaoru and Haruhi appeared behind the couch, peering at the note as well. It was silent as the four of them read over the note. Haruhi pulled back first, eyebrows high on her forehead. She turned to Izzy, squinting in the slightest. "Um, Bera-senpai?" Haruhi prompted after a long moment. "I don't think you know what a prank is."
"This is not a prank." Kaoru rubbed his chin.
"You can't seriously be that clueless, Senpai." Hikaru rolled his eyes. Mori leaned over to read the note but didn't react like the others, not that Izzy expected him to. He straightened back up and folded his arms across his chest, silent as ever.
"I thought you were more clever than this," Kyoya commented dryly. Honestly, she wasn't sure when he even read the damn note but it was clear that he had the same opinion as everyone else. "You can't be this dense, Senpai."
Izzy made a show of dramatically rolling her eyes. "You're all being ridiculous," she shook her head. "Even if it's not a prank, it's not a big deal. You guys get confessions all the time, don't you?" she blatantly motioned to the girls around them. None of the girls seemed at all bothered by her statement, some of them even nodding along to her words.
"It's a big deal," Tamaki insisted without explaining. "Your position is very sacred, Senpai."
Izzy could only blink, clearly confused.
Haruhi sighed heavily, "He means because you're the only girl, Senpai."
The older brunette made a face, like she'd been sucking on a lemon. She found it ironic that Haruhi was pointing out that she was the so-called only girl. If they weren't surrounded by the girls, Izzy probably would have pointed it out. But Kyoya was giving her that look, that look that told her to keep her snide comment to herself. So naturally, she kept her comment to herself.
"Girls are pure, Senpai but boys…." Tamaki made a face like he'd been insulted. "Boys have only one thing on their minds and that thing is completely impure!"
Mori leaned over again, this time quietly whispering something into Izzy's ear. She blinked wide eyes as he muttered a short explanation into her ear. He leaned away moments later, arms still folded across his chest as the rest of the room watched Izzy's face gradually turn red.
"I think steam is going to blow out of her ears," Hikaru mused caustically.
"We have to find out who the culprit is at once!" Tamaki declared righteously with one finger pointed dramatically to the ceiling. Izzy glanced up, wondering why the hell he was pointing up before giving up. The girls around him began to swoon for reasons unknown to Izzy. This whole situation was messed up and she could only blame Hisa.
"Tamaki, please, stop it." Izzy regained some of her sense, shaking away the redness of her face. Her cheeks still retained some splotchy coloring. "That won't be necessary. It's unsigned for a reason, shouldn't we leave well enough alone?"
"But Senpai.." Machida Isane trailed off, her own face turning red as Izzy gave her attention. "Aren't you the least bit curious? Someone took the time to write you a love note, don't you want to know who he is?"
"Ah, but trying to figure that mystery out means I'd have to leave you pretty girls alone," Izzy thoughtlessly answered, allowing her hostess persona to resurface. It was like a mask she could slip on and off at will. It was almost scary. She got the intended results, grinning in victory when Isane swooned.
"Your Hosting day is tomorrow, Senpai," Kyoya reminded her with a frown.
"Right, right," Izzy's let out an innocent chuckle, head tilted back and hair falling down her back in rolling waves. "But anyway, back to the matter at hand. I think you guys are overreacting. It's a note, an innocent note. Nothing more and nothing less. Let's not fret, okay?"
Tamaki wasn't satisfied with her nonchalant attitude but he relented. For the moment. If he kept pushing the issue in front of everyone, she was bound to react violently. He wouldn't be surprised if she threw something at him in agitation. But that didn't mean he was willing to drop the subject entirely.
Izzy had this odd thought in her head that no one was interested in her. It was true that she didn't interact much with boys outside of the Host Club but that didn't mean other boys didn't find her attractive. They certainly did. Luckily her intimidating personality and the fact that she was never alone tended to ward those curious boys away from her. But still, boys tended to get bold and sooner or later, one of them would work up the actual courage to act on those feelings.
As her friends, it was up to them to make sure those boys didn't act on those feelings and taint their big sister. She probably wouldn't be too keen on the idea of them 'protecting' her from vile boys but she'd simply have to deal with it. If it weren't for her oblivious nature, they wouldn't have to bother with it.
That was the end of it, or so she thought. She didn't take notice that in the oncoming days, they kept a closer eye on her and any interactions she had with other classmates. She did notice, however, that more boys were willing to talk to her at class or in between. She did note, however, that whenever she dropped by for Kendo practice, the other kendo members tended to pay attention to her. Sometimes they seemed so distracted by her presence that Mori would whack them on the head with his bokken.
"Maybe I shouldn't come so often," Izzy said one afternoon after his practice with a weak smile. He ended up smacking at least ten of the boys upside the head this time around.
"It's fine," Mori shrugged, hands shoved into his pockets. It didn't really seem like he cared all that much that the kendo members were easily distracted by her. "Were you uncomfortable?"
This time it was Izzy's turn to shrug. "I wouldn't say uncomfortable," she tilted her head to the side in thought. "A little...overwhelmed, maybe? It's just odd to get this sort of attention now," Izzy tapped at her chin. "I even got another note and—"
"You didn't say anything about it."
Izzy made a strange face. "Well, it's not like everyone reacted that well to the first note so I didn't want to bring it up again," she shrugged an uncaring shoulder but rifled around in her bag. She handed the note off to him thoughtlessly. It was a wonder that she wasn't embarrassed with sharing these notes. They were horribly sappy and romantic but Izzy didn't seem concerned with it. She'd heard Tamaki spout sappier nonsense on the daily basis.
"Unsigned.." Mori mumbled once he was finished reading the note. He didn't hand it back to her, not that Izzy even realized it.
"Ah? Don't tell me you want to know who's writing these too."
Mori grunted, "Ah."
Izzy shook her head and sighed. "I think it's being blown out of proportion. They're innocent, if not a little creepy," the brunette waved the notion off completely. "I'm more curious as to when they're dropping these notes off without being noticed. They're very sneaky." This time Mori let out a sarcastic sounding snort. Leave it to Izzy to be focused on the details and not the big picture. Although he supposed she had a good point. Whoever this secret person was, they planned it all carefully since no one could figure him out.
"In any case," Izzy shook her head, brown locks fluttering wildly about. "Kendo Club. What's going on with them lately?"
Mori glanced down at her, a single brow raised. While most people would think Mori was practically emotionless, the Host Club could tell that simply wasn't the case. Mori expressed a wide range of his emotions solely through small tics and twitches. Just because he wasn't upfront and loud like Tamaki or the twins didn't mean he didn't express those emotions. He did. Quietly.
"You're distracting." Mori answered with a shrug, wondering if she really was that dense like Kyoya and Hikaru pointed out. "Because they think you're pretty."
Izzy didn't have an immediate reaction, choosing instead to purse her lips. She tried in vain to stave off the blushing fit but it was no use. Her face gradually turned red and hot. She opened her mouth but closed it after failing to come up with something to say. "Oh, well—um." Izzy struggled to say something. "I wasn't expecting that. Really, if I'm that bad of a distraction, I'll stay away," she suggested, uneasy about all of the chaos she was causing. At first, she didn't care much for kendo to begin with but each time she sat in on their practice, her interest grew.
Sometimes Izuru was kind enough to explain what she didn't understand about the sport. But for the most part, Mori tended to explain the sport to her. She was oblivious to the looks Mori tended to throw her way whenever Izuru stayed close to her for too long. Her obliviousness was endearing but dangerous as well.
"You don't have to," Mori said before she could really cement the idea of her not coming around. "I'll just keep hitting them."
Izzy laughed at that, eyebrows high on her forehead as she turned to look up at him. "Mori, I don't think bonking them upside the head is nice." she pointed out while brushing her hair away from her eyes. She was one to talk, constantly threatening to hit Tamaki or the twins with her bag whenever they got out of sorts. She caught the dry look he sent her and had the gall to snort immaturely, folding her arms across her chest. "Oh, shut up. It's not like I go around smacking people with that stick—."
"Bokken, right. It's not like I actually hit people with the bokken. Though, to be honest, it could be useful in dealing with Tamaki and the twins."
Her laughter bounced around them just as they stepped outside. Her laughter came to an abrupt halt when Katsu turned to peer at them. She was on guard almost instantly, her smiling mouth replaced with a suspicous frown. Katsu's eyes narrowed at the sight of her but he said nothing because of Mori. In fact, it seemed like he backed up even. Izzy rolled her lips into her mouth, peering around Mori's bigger form. "Afternoon, Katsu."
"Bera," he grumbled disdainfully. "Mori-senpai."
Mori didn't bother with giving him a verbal greeting, opting to stare him down instead. Izzy reached for his arm, tugging on it almost childishly. She wasn't sure if it was enough to stop him but Mori continued to stare her cousin down. However, he didn't move either.
She wasn't expecting Mori to flip her hand around, engulfing it in his much larger hand. She blinked several times, glancing at their joined hands and wondering what the hell was going through Mori's head.
"Katsu, are you waiting for your ride?" she asked after staring up at Mori. Katsu seemed a little...lost, put out even. She glanced down at his phone and noticed it wasn't lighting up. A dead battery, she frowned. "Do...do you not have a ride coming?" she asked carefully, her expression breaking in concern. Katsu didn't answer, stubbornly looking away. Izzy stepped a little closer to him, the only thing anchoring her back was Mori's hand. She couldn't fathom why Katsu was stranded at school with a dead battery. Shouldn't there be a car waiting for him just like one waited for her?
The brunette pressed her lips together, looking back at Mori with a thoughtful look. He didn't look impressed at all, seemingly on the same train of thought.
"You can ride with me, if you'd like."
Izzy was tugged back and spun behind Mori. He turned his back to Katsu and peered down into her face, not the least bit impressed. "Bera-chan."
She blushed, maybe from the close proximity, maybe from the gruff pronunciation of her name. She was undecided but she blushed nonetheless. "Look, I know you aren't his biggest fan but I can't leave him here. He's my cousin."
"I know but honestly, what's the worst that could happen? It'll be a quick drop off and it'll be fine, honestly. He's as harmless as a kitten!"
"I can hear you."
Izzy leaned around Mori to offer a weak smile before turning her attention back to him. "He hasn't been the kindest to me but he's still my cousin. I still have to look out for him. At least, I have to try."
Mori was unconvinced. "Izabera."
She was positive that all the blood rushing to her face was going to cause her to pass out. She reached up into her hair, tangling her fingers in the locks in order to find something to focus on. Mori closed his eyes, seemingly gathering himself. A small part of Izzy wanted to push his buttons just to see how far she could take his agitation. Katsu was a pain in the neck but he was harmless. "Use your phone," Mori said after a pause, motioning to her bag. Izzy blinked and looked down at her bag, remembering her own phone nestled safely away. She nearly slapped her forehead, how could she forget she had a phone?
"Katsu!" Izzy danced around Mori with a smile, rifling distractedly through her bag. Katsu and Mori stared at one another, Katsu balking to look away first. "You can use my phone to have a car sent for you."
She shoved the phone into his hand before he could protest the notion. She was smiling at him, somewhat confused when his face began to brighten considerably. Before she could ask him what was wrong, he turned sharply and dialed a number, mumbling into it when someone inevitably picked up. The phone call was short and clipped, Izzy noted but said nothing about it. It wasn't her business.
Katsu handed the phone back to her, pointedly avoiding her gaze. "Thank you, Izabera. I appreciate it."
Izzy only shrugged, "It was Mori's idea but I'm glad we could help. We'll get going first, remember to charge your phone from now on."
Mori hurried her along, brushing Katsu off carelessly. Katsu watched the two go, eyes following their every move as Mori guided her to the waiting car. He had to wonder what could have happened had he accepted the offer to ride along with Izzy. He usually went out of his way to antagonize her but even he wasn't rude enough to do so if she'd offer to take him home.
He wondered what they would've talked about.
It didn't matter, he reminded himself. Instead he watched as Izzy stood at the car, head tilted up to smile at Mori. Just like that, he'd been brushed completely off by her. All thanks to Mori. He had to wonder about their friendship, wondering if it was more than meets the eye. It didn't matter, he decided. One act of random kindness on her part wouldn't change their antagonistic relationship. She was still the enemy.
He just had to keep telling himself that.
"That's the sixth one."
Izzy tried her best in ignoring Haruhi but she couldn't help the face she made. She was sure that if she gave it time, the notes would stop. Unfortunately for her, it was the exact opposite. They just kept coming.
"I...don't know what to do. They just keep popping up. No one has even seen who keeps dropping the notes off. I'm starting to think they break into school at night just to leave the damn things behind."
Hikaru leaned over the back of the couch, peering over Izzy's head. "You shouldn't swear, Senpai, it isn't ladylike."
Izzy shot him a particularly mean look that had him shrinking away. "Like I said, they keep popping up. Each one is sappier than the last. Honestly, they could give you a run for your money, Tamaki."
The blond shot her a look of disbelief. "I'm not sappy, Senpai," he violently pouted. "In any case, let's see what they've written this time." He was charming, not sappy. Izzy shrugged casually but held the note up between her fingers. Unlike her, Hisa thought it was all so romantic. Izzy wished she'd been the one to receive all the notes instead of her. Tamaki busied himself with reading the note, his face turning a lovely shade of pink. Izzy could only watch in amusement.
"He certainly lays it on thick, doesn't he?"
"Sickening, isn't it?"
Tamaki nodded before the note was passed to each host. It was unanimously agreed that the note was sickeningly sweet and a bit much.
"Whoever this is, you've certainly ensnared them," Kyoya spoke casually.
"I don't see how I could ensnare any boy. I barely talk to any besides you guys." Izzy rubbed her forehead. "Anyway, it's really not a big deal. I'm sure it'll slow down. Can we please get back to business?"
They reluctantly agreed, their conversation slowly returning to Host business. Izzy tried her best to pay attention, she really did, but her mind insisted on wandering. Not just to those strange notes. She thought about her family, about Hisa and Katsu. She thought a lot about her problems and possible solutions. She didn't come up with much but she thought about them.
It was a relief when Kyoya ended the meeting and sent them on their way. She waved goodbye to them before following Mori. "Chi says there's a Kendo tournament coming up," she said as a way to start the conversation. "Is that what you guys are training for?" she asked, not the least bit bothered with starting the conversation.
Mori grunted in affirmation. It was somewhat now second nature for Izzy to attend Kendo practice now. Sure, she was still somewhat of a distraction but the members had grown used to her presence. And besides, sometimes she was able to talk girls into going home instead of bothering Mori with a confession. That was a win in her book.
She waved to some of the Kendo members doing their warm ups before sitting off to the side to watch. "Oh, Izuru!" she noticed the second year and waved at him, smiling as Mori vanished to change. Now that he wasn't trying to actively throw her out of their club, she found the underclassmen to be great company. He was a pretty normal person and after dealing with the Host Club and Hisa, Izzy needed someone normal in her life.
Izuru smiled carefully and approached the brunette. "It's nice to see you, Senpai. How were your classes?"
"Just fine. Mori says there's a tournament and that's what all this training is for."
"That would be true though I'm sure you must realize that with Mori-senpai, a win is guaranteed."
Izzy hummed. "That may be so but you shouldn't just depend on him to get you the win. It's a club for a reason."
Izuru chuckled. "I suppose you are right, Izabera-senpai."
"Bera is fine." Izzy insisted casually, missing the slight blush that overtook his cheeks. She constantly reminded Izuru that using her name was too much and that her nickname was just fine but he seemed to always forget. She kept him for a few more minutes, asking about how his studies were outside of Kendo Club. He continued the conversation with her for several minutes.
Unknown to either of them, Mori was watching their interaction silently.
His eyes narrowed.
TeeBeMe: my dear Isabella, so damn oblivious.