He jerked his head back in momentary bliss. Neat powdery white lines rest on top of his black notebook, next to a shiny black metallic Amex card.
Kyoya Ootori's patience was wearing thin all day.
He knew the incessant shrills of female customers and the hosts theatrics would push him further into his Low Blood Pressure Demon Lord mode. His glasses hid the dark circles under his eyes from staying up all night monitoring his holdings and securing possible future investments. And in his sleep-deprived state, he concluded that he needed something to take the edge off that was a little stronger than the cups of coffee he had been inhaling all day.
He was only human after all.
The others will be here soon. After a few minutes, Kyoya pushed up the silver frames that that had dropped down his nose as the cool façade took over his features. He quickly gathered his things from the counter before he slipped out of the Host club's changing room. As he sat at his usual table waiting for the others, he could already predict everything that would happen that day, after all, his days were spent in the same routine. Twins. Tamaki. Some mess that Kyoya would eventually have to clean up. Vapid fan girls who would fawn over every breath the Host Club would take. Making those said girls fall into his many marketing ploys. Cake. Lots of cake.
And then it would all repeat itself over and over again.
It wasn't boring per say. There was some entertainment value in watching Tamaki's dramatics or the twins schemes.
It was just that nothing truly surprised him anymore.
Kyoya could just foresee the rest of his days, his weeks-years even. His money and status meant that he done everything worth doing, seen everything worth seeing and so on or so he thought. There was no uncertainty in his future, his life had already been mapped out for him from what suit he would wear when he graduated, to the meeting in his father's office when the Ootori patriarch would hand him a set of candidates for his omiai, to every other important life detail that had been carved into stone from the day he was born.
Great expectations that were destined to be fulfilled meant that everything was...well expected.
That was until Haruhi Fujioka stumbled into Music Room #3 for the first time.
The first thing Kyoya did was inwardly grimace at the abysmal sweater she was wore. It looked like dirt. Her appearance altogether was so harsh and unkempt - completely unlike the old picture of her he had on file. It was easy to deduce that she was a boy at first glance but his Ootori superior observational skills noticed her delicate female undertones; her heart-shaped face, her smooth pale skin, and her small soft hands. Kyoya would have known right away that as if it was the most obvious thing in the world even if he did not keep a file on her like he did for other Ouran students.
Well obvious to him because he was sure that these indications easily missed by the other idiots.
Kyoya could not help the smirk that graced his lips as the other members concluded that she was a he. Sometimes his friends were as dense as they came...and these were the same boys who would leading most of Japan's most powerful industries one day. Kyoya was not sure that a few years of maturity would ever help these idiots stop being well idiots even once they would be thrusted into positions of power...but he was sure that the country wasn't completely doomed.
But something did surprise Kyoya that day - Haruhi's lack of care to correct the mistake.
Surely, being insulted by the finest that Ouran had to offer (which meant all of Japan had to offer) would have been a blow to any girl's self-esteem enough to send her weeping away and hiding in shame.
But Haruhi was indifferent to it all.
She did not try and correct the mistake that she was a boy. She did not go into hysteria like the other girls at the Host Club's charm, actually she seemed rather immune-put off almost by it. She did not even try to look even decently presentable...because lets just face it, that sweater deserved a place in a very dark room that would be locked indefinitely.
In Kyoya's world, appearances were everything. So he was intrigued by the fact that Haruhi did not want to fit in or crave acceptance even though her commoner status in a school filled with Japan's elite meant she should want it most of all. She lacked a certain superficiality that Kyoya had grown accustomed to and her candidness was something that he had never seen before.
When Haruhi broke the Renaissance vase, Kyoya silently noted to call the insurance company. With the way Tamaki and the twins ran around, he would have be a terrible vice-president to not insure it but Kyoya felt no need to disclose that piece of information as Tamaki suggested Haruhi become the Host Club's dog to pay them back.
Kyoya predicted that the Host club's newcomer would change things.
That she would continue to surprise him, and while Kyoya was certainly most definitely not bored, a little surprise here and there would be interesting in a life of rules and expectations.
And one thing to note about Kyoya Ootori was that he was always right.
Kyoya was not sure of the exact moment that he decided he wanted to fuck Haruhi Fujioka.
This was rare for him because Kyoya always planned down everything he wanted to achieve to the millisecond with several contingencies.
So when Haruhi's face in a state of absolute bliss, crying out his name one day flashed before his eyes, something rare happened.
Kyoya was shocked.
He became somewhat obsessive as he contemplated for several days, trying to pinpoint what exactly caused his revelation regarding Haruhi.
The girls he slept with were more or less just numbers on his phone. He never stayed long afterwards, his companions knew better to ask him of that. They only marveled at the pleasure to be fucked by an Ootori, and what a pleasure it was. The only reason he even bothered to remember their names was because they were usually connected to some industrial conglomerate or fortune five hundred company (that and the non-disclosure agreements he would make them sign).
There was something about that female host that invigorated him, some kind of thrill to Haruhi that the normal heiresses lacked deeply.
It was not that Haruhi was particularly beautiful, nor anything to do with his sexual appetite for her body. He had deduced long ago that she had never even experienced a sexual encounter before so he was sure that she couldn't give him anything better compared to the more experienced girls he had been with. She had no connections, titles of family legacy or merit but yet Kyoya desired her, which was an unknown feeling altogether.
Kyoya knew lust and pleasure, but the idea of desire was different to the others.
Desire meant a sense of longing, and for someone who had the world at his feet, Kyoya Ootori was not used to longing for anything.
It was strange, unexpected and not completely unwelcome but he could not figure out why he wanted to sleep with her so badly.
Maybe it was because all the other hosts secretly wanted her, and his cunning and competitive Ootori instincts wanted to satisfy his ego to be the one to win her - no, it would cause potentially irreparable damage to the Host Club who were all coming to terms with how they felt about the Haruhi.
Maybe it was her sheer obliviousness to the dark and twisted way of the world, made him want to ravish her in the dark and twisted ways of Kyoya Ootori - no, Haruhi did not belong in his world of full of money, corruption and lies, only in his bed temporarily.
Maybe because she had somehow managed to see through his cold facade, and she could come to love and accept - definitely no, he refused to even entertain that idea further.
But one day, the opportunity was handed to him on a silver platter. Well, not exactly, but enough to work with so that Kyoya could work to scratch the itch sometime in the future that had been disturbing him for days.
Kyoya discreetly slipped the small clear bag into the pocket in his black notebook after he heard the sound of faint knocking on the changing room door. If it had been one of the twins, he was sure that they would try to join in on his private changing room activities but he had enough headaches from this entire I-want-to-fuck-Haruhi deliberation to worry about two coked-out twins running around playing their games on unsuspecting targets – mainly the club's blonde president.
Kyoya did not want to have to deal with mushrooms growing in the music room nor having to make the necessary arrangements for professional fumigation services.
Then again, the twins would never knock, they would have ripped the door off its hinges and stormed into the room like a category five hurricane. And the small fist connecting with the fine mahogany was far too delicate to be any of the other boys.
Before the door even opened, Kyoya already knew who it was.
As soon as dark grey eyes met warm brown ones, Haruhi quickly cast her gaze down as she stood in front of Kyoya. She could not help fidgeting with her fingers, trying to push down the dread that pooled in her stomach. She knew that deep down somewhere, Kyoya was a good person (no matter how hard he tried to hide it) and while she knew that kindness and empathy did not come to him easily, he was not unreasonable.
She thought that surely he could understand...right? Well, Haruhi hoped so because or else she would be completely damned.
"Kyoya senpai," her voice tinged with slight nervousness.
"Is something wrong Haruhi?"
"I wanted to ask you something, I have an important exam coming up and I wanted to know if I could please take some time off to study for it?" Haruhi had barely given him a chance to speak, thinking it was better to rip off the bandaid instead of trying to ease in and dance around the request because she was sure it would irritate him even more if she wasted his time.
She knew she was asking for a favor but Kyoya did not do favors. He was repelled by the mere principle of them. He cut deals and he charged interest.
She knew that.
But she was desperate.
Kyoya silently reveled at the power he held over her. His nose and throat still burned and he had just reached the high he needed that made her request far too delectable to pass off by simply increasing her debt for the loss of profit that her absence would bring. He liked having her at his mercy, and he had a plan that would make her continue to be that way even if she did not know she was under his thumb. "I don't know what makes you think I'd be gracious enough to accept such an absurd request. I'd like to remind you of your debt Haruhi, which you seem to have forgotten your obligations to."
Kyoya watched the way that her eyes narrowed ever so slightly and how all the muscles on her face clenched.
"While the Host Club is not school work, it certainly holds as much importance considering your situation but I see that you take your debt light-heartedly Haruhi."
Haruhi was not used to talking to someone as cunning and calculative as Kyoya. She was used to throwing caution to the wind because most doting figures in her life had an attention span of five seconds or shorter. Before Haruhi could stop herself, the words flew out of her mouth like word vomit, "Come on senpai, I'll do anything you want."
She resisted the urge to slap her palm over her mouth right after. Her brown eyes widened in fear as her mind registered who exactly she was speaking those words to.
Kyoya resisted the urge to smirk, his eyes darkening at her words.
Haruhi inhaled a sharp breath, silently cursing herself. She had made a terrible mistake, one she was sure that she would pay dearly for. She knew Kyoya was nice but it was there somewhere deep down inside of him. He was still the Shadow King first and foremost, and with those words Haruhi had stepped into his dark cloud of doom instead of on the off chance that Kyoya decided to play nice for once.
Why does it feel like I just signed my soul to the devil?
There were a lot of things that the Host Club kept hidden from Haruhi.
Everyone of the hosts, especially Tamaki.
Kyoya knew that Tamaki had feelings for Haruhi (despite the blonde's self-denial packaging itself into a daddy complex where Tamaki actually thought of himself as her father) and that his bestfriend would be devasted if Kyoya ever pursued Haruhi romantically. But Kyoya justified it because at the end of the day Tamaki wanted to date her, and all Kyoya wanted was to sleep with her.
Kyoya knew that Haruhi could bring a lot of happiness in Tamaki's life, but Kyoya continued his plans regardless because he just wanted sex from Haruhi - nothing more. Maybe after he had finally slept with her, Kyoya could hatch a new plan to get Haruhi and Tamaki together and send them on their happy way to the alter. Plus, it wasn't like Tamaki was exactly pious while waiting to realize that his feelings for Haruhi, so Kyoya thought one fleeting meaningless hook-up with Haruhi was fine. It was only if Kyoya dated Haruhi that he would betray his friendship with Tamaki.
And Kyoya would never date her.
Some days, from Kyoya's bedroom window, he would catch a glimpse of Tamaki's sleek European convertible parked outside his estate during the early hours of the morning. Kyoya would usually spend those nights in front of his laptop until five or six a.m. and when he collapsed on his bed, enveloped by smooth blue silk sheets, the car would still be there as Kyoya closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.
The young Ootori was far too well acquainted with dysfunctional family dynamics embedded into the high tiers of Japanese society. His own serving as a fine case study example. Kyoya knew why a few times a month, the vehicle would park itself in behind the Ootori estate around one-thirty and would be long gone by the time Kyoya woke up. And it was not like Kyoya didn't mind, Tamaki was never uttered a word about Kyoya's indiscretions, so why should Kyoya mention Tamaki's self-induced temporary homelessness?
Everyone needed relief from their burdens so who was Kyoya too judge the way that Tamaki went on about his?
Blood lines were everything in elite society and the Suoh's were permanently tainted with unsanctioned foreigner blood that brought Tamaki to life, along with shame that could never be erased nor forgotten. It was not the blonde's fault, he could not control the circumstances under which he was born but the Suoh's still silently punished him for it. Every breath Tamaki took, every experience he had, every place he went, he carried the Suoh misfortune. For Tamaki, the extravagant interiors of the second Suoh mansion served as constant reminders of his 'filthy' – as his grandmother would describe it – illegitimate existence. The rejection he faced from his own goddamn family always loomed in the background.
Kyoya knew Tamaki was far too compassionate and proper to acknowledge his ill-treatment outright or how deep it hurt him.
There was no family waiting for Tamaki inside the second estate, there was no warmth inside the walls that would make the estate feel like a home rather than a barren place where the blonde was forced to live in exile, always at a distance from the strangers he had to call family.
Tamaki was a Suoh but he wasn't.
Tamaki had a place to live but he really did not have a home.
The lonely prince that Tamaki had played in Renge's film was never an act...it was his life.
And as much as Kyoya understood, the two friends never spoke about it.
In their world, once something was acknowledged, it became real. It was better to live in the unspoken and let everything lurk in the shadows. If Tamaki stepped inside Kyoya's home, Tamaki would be admitting his rejection, which would make it harder for the blonde to try and love people who treated him as if he were dirt. Self-denial, as mentally taxing as it was, was the way of their world.
Ignorance was truly bliss.
Some part of Kyoya, buried deep inside, understood why his friend needed to distance himself from it all, even if it was for a few hours, even if it meant sleeping in a godforsaken car, expensive leather seats or not. Kyoya would never admit this out loud, but he envied his friend for it. Tamaki held a certain degree of freedom that would never be in Kyoya's grasp.
Kyoya hated how terrible the thought sounded but at the end of the day, Tamaki was a bastard and a hafu. There would always be a part of Tamaki that would remain separate from the Suohs, half of him that his family could never control even if he was accepted by them or not. But for Kyoya, every fiber of his being was bred to think, breathe, and live as an Ootori and there was not enough distance in the entire universe that would ever change that.
Well better in front of his house rather than one of Tokyo's red-light districts, or worse, a commoner neighborhood, he thought.
Specifically, one commoner neighborhood, in particular, came Kyoya's his mind.
The young Ootori knew Haruhi could give Tamaki a home that he was missing.
Tamaki could love her, all Kyoya wanted was to fuck her before that happened.
Psychologists would have a field day with boys in the club if they ever got a chance because Kyoya knew that all of them came in varying degrees of damaged.
With the exception of Mori because Kyoya is sure that guy has had his shit together since day one (not that a perfectionist like Kyoya would ever admit it).
Kyoya knew it was one of the reasons he got along with the twins so well because despite how different they all were, misery loves company and damaged gravitates towards damaged.
It all started when Hikaru and Kaoru hacked the biometric lock on Kyoya's locker to see if he had anymore old pictures of Haruhi. Kaoru's observational skills almost rivaled Kyoya's and the red-headed teen always suspected that Kyoya was not as prim and proper as he divulged but Shadow King was hid it too well to ever get caught. The black book had been evidence that Kyoya Ootori was not as frigid, unfeeling and robotic as he pretended to be and the two brothers had finally found a game that would never loose its entertainment.
Everyone knew that Yoshio Ootori was a hard ass on his kids, so the twins had a feeling partying with someone so emotionally scarred like Kyoya would be an experience of a life time. Obviously when realizing a friend may have some deep rooted issues, one's first instinct is not to convince them into debauchery that could worsen that said friend's issues... but then again, the two brothers never really had their priorities straight.
Hikaru and Kaoru knew how to have fun, and they knew that with just enough blackmail, Kyoya could too. And a chance to see it when it happened? The twins were sure that they would never get bored.
'Andaz Tokyo Rooftop Bar, Friday at 10 PM, be there or photos of the book get leaked - Hikaru and Kaoru H.'
After Kyoya read the note the twins had left for him in his notebook, he was seriously considered double homicide.
Kyoya knew he had enough connections so that the bodies would never be found, and the Host club could find a replacement for the brotherly love package. He knew that if he had to off them, Hikaru would most definitely be first followed by Kaoru. Yet begrudgingly, on Friday night at 9:47 PM, the Ootori raced down the streets of Tokyo towards Toranomon Hills. With an iron-clad grip on the steering wheel of his luxury sports car, he blurred past the scenery of their gated upscale neighborhood, which was quickly replaced by the populated streets and neon lights.
But somehow, that night the three unlikely pair got along. It was surprising how absentee parents, so much excess that they were all drowning, and the fact that none of them had any real control to forge their own path could form the silent basis for a bond.
They weren't best friends in the slightest but a strange comradery was formed between the trio.
And so Kyoya decided to indulge himself.
The three would hop around the ritziest lounges and clubs in town and floods of drinks and champagne showers followed in their wake. Kaoru would mix some strange concoction for all of them (Kyoya never asked the specifics) before the night began and named his creations something ludicrous like 'uki doki party pack' or 'commies supermarket dirty'. Hikaru always ended up pissing on the street, claiming that he can never repeat the same spot twice in all of Japan because of 'its bad luck' according to Nekozawa Umehito, president of the Black Magic Club. Some nights they would book the most expensive hotel suites and pass out or some nights they'd do something different altogether, recently Kyoya made one of the Ootori choppers circle Tokoyo for two hours, while the he and the twins sat 10,000 feet in the air and stoned out of their minds.
It wasn't acting out per say, but all three of them needed some form of freedom in their lives even if it was for a short time in their youth. They had a life of responsibility ahead at the mercy of family names, with future company roles and candidates for potential marriages mapped out before birth. Getting drunk once in a while and acting recklessly eased that looming future, eased the fact that they would always be empty and never be truly happy.
Their lives would never be their own and that fueled the three to form a fight club style party circuit where the first rule was that no one ever spoke about it.
So it became a regular occurrence.
The Hitachiin twins knew they were under far less pressure than Kyoya. All Yuzuha and Hayato Hitachiin wanted was for their children was to take over the family business, and the brothers had the option of love marriage versus the traditional arranged, the twins could even deviate slightly from the path that had been set out for them and their parents would accept it.
It wasn't freedom, but it wasn't the same weighted shackles that had been locked to Kyoya permanently.
The Ootoris had to maintain a legacy that dictated everything from who they interacted with in society, to who they married, to even the circumstances of Yoshio's unborn grandchildren's lives. After all, the Hitachiin fortune was self-made and titles and legacies did not bear the same weight to the Hitachiins as it did to Ootori family who had been wealthy for generations.
And for that, the two brothers considered themselves lucky even if they were considered new money because seeing Kyoya made Hikaru and Kaoru realize that they had it easy.
"So our cousin found out something really interesting the other day," Kaoru mused as he looked at their raven-haired friend. The club's vice president was dressed in skinny designer jeans, printed black silk shirt with the top buttons undone and a pair of Italian crocodile loafers. His raven hair was slightly disarrayed from the dancing and his usual frames were replaced by contact lenses that showed his hazy grey eyes.
Kyoya took a puff of the cigarette.
"She's friends with Princess Seika Ayanokoji sister…" Hikaru continued, "…get this, boss got with her once when Host Club first started and she became his regular for two years hoping it would happen again."
Kyoya released the smoke that previously filled his lungs.
It was a known fact that the Host club made the process of finding a decent hookup much more efficient...they were after all notorious - as the Lobelia girls so kindly put it - for reasons beyond just striking up good conversation. But the way Tamaki went about his 'princely duties' were in some ways more twisted than Kyoya. Kyoya established clear boundaries for the girls he slept with: purely physical, no frivolous conversation and no staying longer than necessary - very straight and to the point. Tamaki, on the other hand, made it into some grand dramatic love affair, and it was very messy, lots of jealousy and too complicated for Kyoya's liking. The girl would satisfy Tamaki's craving for love and affection that he was missing in his home life until he would find a new princess. He would tell all the girls that he was 'undeserving of their love' in a very dramatic Tamaki-like fashion in a way that made the girl feel bad for her 'tortured prince' and not herself. This was the main reason his request rating stayed at seventy-percent because most girls tried to win him back, hooked on all his fairytale nonsense.
It wasn't that Tamaki was a bad guy because at the end of the day, the girls never had any interest in getting to know the real him.
The girls used Tamaki just as much as he used them...the blonde just deluded it with some romance but none of the girls actually loved him and he didn't love them.
They just wanted a prince - not a guy who slept in his car regularly.
Even Princess Seika Ayanokoji, who as jealous as she had been cared only for Tamaki because of her princely fantasy.
Of course, Kyoya already knew about what happened between Ayanokoj and Tamaki before the twins had told him. They knew Kyoya knew because well, Kyoya is Kyoya. The dark-haired boy did not need to hear something from someone's cousin who heard from someone's sister to know a secret. Kyoya knew almost every painfully hidden details there was to know about his classmates. The Ootori also knew that the Hikaru and Kaoru were just notorious gossips and could not miss an opportunity to do so.
Kyoya tossed the cigarette on the ground, watching the flame flicker and burn out against the cool ground. "I doubt that boy Haruhi would be Tamaki's type, it would disrupt his daddy's girl complex."
"Maybe he would be more drawn to the tall, dark, brooding types," Hikaru said wiggling his eyes at Kyoya.
"Good, I think Nekozawa and Tamaki would really be one for the ages," Kyoya deadpanned.
The twins laughed.
"You ain't bad Ootori, just a little bit of an asshole but that's expected for AB blood type."
Kyoya slipped his black card to the hostess for the table and the premium bottle service, knowing the twins would cover next week. When the receipt arrived, Kyoya smirked at the phone number that was messily written on top in black marker. When they walked outside, Kyoya crumpled up the thin paper and threw it on to the cool asphalt. There was no merit in pursuing the girl who had given him his number.
There was no merit in a certain female host either, but Kyoya did not ponder much on the details as he executed his plan to bed Haruhi.
The boys climbed into their respective cars and raced through the empty streets of downtown Tokyo at three in the morning.
And it continued like this every Friday night.
At school, Kyoya slipped back into his regular mask, which made the twins wonder if their late night adventures were a figment of their imagination. Hikaru and Kaoru agreed they would keep their weekend escapades with the club's Shadow king a secret because the two brothers were dead on the fact that Kyoya could be a lot of fun when he wanted to be and the twins never wanted to jeopardize their great source of amusement.
"Do you think if Haruhi saw us like this she would be disgusted?" Hikaru asked Kyoya one night, his tone suddenly sobering up. The two were smoking on a rooftop bar, looking out at the illuminated skyline while Kaoru was finishing some business in the bathroom with one of the girls he had picked up. Hikaru leaned against the glass railing wearing a designer grey denim jacket with matching jeans, a white t-shirt, and high top leather sneakers. He stared intently at his hand, clad in silver rings, holding his cigarette in between his slender fingers.
Kyoya never minded the sudden somber conversations that were sometimes brought up. While all the partying is fun, their bond was not as superficial as just getting pissed together. There were always darker undertones looming in the background, waiting to come to surface from time to time, which they occasionally did but more so because of the twins rather than Kyoya.
But this is the first time that Haruhi had ever been the topic of the conversation.
Kyoya thought intently on unspoken question that Hikaru actually is asking, do you think we'll be good enough for her?.
Haruhi Fujioka - impervious and oblivious to their charms, caring about the Host Club not because of, but despite their wealth. A commoner, yet, Haruhi was more indifferent to their money and status than girls who are born into their circles who cared about these superficial factors far more than they are willing to let on. All they've ever known is predictability, merits, superficiality, roles, and expectations set in stone. She was a different force altogether. Not because of a price tag, because what she possessed could never be bought, nor replaced making Haruhi unchartered territory.
While Kyoya would gladly let Tamaki be with Haruhi, he never shared the same sentiments about the Hitachiins, despite Hikaru's feelings for Haruhi. Kyoya knew Hikaru's affections for Haruhi were based on her ability to tell him apart from his brother. Hikaru and Kaoru had been mistaken for each other their entire lives and while they played it off jokingly as the 'which-one-is-Hikaru' game, the two brothers craved for someone to be able to see them as two separate people...and Haruhi was that person. Hikaru practically latched on to Haruhi the moment that she could tell differentiate the two brothers where no one could.
But Kyoya thought that Haruhi had so much more to offer than that and it was rather disappointing that the Hitachiins were so engrossed in being told apart that they were blinded to her other qualities. And while Kyoya just wanted to sleep with her, he thinks that Haruhi deserves better than to be idealized for one specific thing or as some fantasy version of herself that she's so clearly not. Unlike the others, the young Ootori never put Haruhi on some kind of grand sacred pedestal but Kyoya did truly believe that she needed someone who would see her as she is. Kyoya had established that it can't be him (even though he does see Haruhi for well just Haruhi) but he thinks its a shame that Hikaru doesn't.
Maybe if Hikaru did, then Kyoya would change his mind about the Hitachiins but that is only after he had achieved his goal.
Sex was Kyoya's only goal after all.
A flash of emotion flickered through the Kyoya's grey eyes but Hikaru questioned if he saw anything at all because it was gone in a nanosecond. Hikaru thought that it was terrifying how Kyoya had the ability to conceal his emotions, exercise the utmost self control and composure even in such an inebriated state. It should have been humanly impossible. God, what the hell does Yoshio Ootori exactly do to these kids, the Hitachiin silently wondered.
"I think Haruhi sees people at their core or their very best, all of this…" Kyoya loosely waved his hand around their surroundings "is just background noise."
Kyoya Ootori was gunning for Haruhi and he'd be damned if he lets Hikaru Hitachiin get in his way just because she won the 'which-one-is-Hikaru' game.
"But she's safer at a distance from so much noise."