Cannot get enough of this pairing. It's consuming me. XD (And the scene thwaped me upside the head, so I had to get it out). Hope y'all enjoy!

Haruhi reflects.

She's still not quite sure what happened, and her friends certainly do nothing to aid her concentration.

"Haruhi, how's your foot?" Hikaru asks, and Tamaki immediately gives the back of his head a solid whack.

"Stop badgering her, you fool! Can't you see she's traumatized?" He leans down and sticks his face right in front of hers, so up close and personal their noses brush. "Are you okay, Haruhi? Are you in pain? You look absolutely dreadful—"

"Now you're badgering her, Tono," Kaoru points out, his arm around his brother's waist.

Haruhi's eyebrow begins to twitch. Violently. Traumatized…she just has a sprained ankle. That's it. Nothing major, and it's not like she hasn't had worse before.

"But she does," Tamaki insists, motioning wildly at her bandaged ankle, which is propped up on a few pillows. "She's so pale!" He rakes his hands through his blonde hair, making it stand out at impossible angles. "My poor little Haruhi…I cannot believe I allowed this happen to you! It's unforgivable."

"Tousan, calm yourself, please," Kyoya remarks dryly. "There are other people in here trying to rest, and you're making a spectacle."

"But kasaaaaaan—"

He continues to babble on, though Haruhi isn't listening. She can't anymore, or her temper would've gotten the better of her, and she'd risk further injury. As it is, she's annoyed enough at being rendered temporarily helpless, since Haruhi is independent by nature and she doesn't like asking others to do what she can do on her own. The nurse who checked her said she'd have to stay off the ankle for about a week, perhaps longer, and the prospect is an uncomfortable one.

Particularly where Tamaki is concerned. If today is any indication, she's in for a hell of a time.

Mori, seated beside Hunny on the edge of her bed, studies her, expression grave, and she notices.

"I'm fine, Mori-sempai," she assures him. "Really. It doesn't hurt as much as it did."

But that's not why he's worried, and Hunny knows it.

"You should stay here, Takashi," he says firmly. "It's okay. I'll play with Tama-chan while you're gone."

Mori's brow furrows, though he doesn't reply, which his cousin interprets as agreement. Nodding, Hunny passes his stuffed rabbit to Haruhi ("he always makes me feel better"), hops off the bed, and takes the hem of Tamaki's jacket in his fist.

"Come on, Tama-chan," he urges, dragging the Host Club's king toward the door. "Takashi's gonna take care of her, ne?"

"Hunny-kun! What are you…but…Haruhi…"

"There are lots of cakes left in the Music Room. Eat some with me, Tama-chan!"


They are halfway out the door when Hunny calls to the rest of them. "We should all eat cake! Sounds good, doesn't it?"

Kyoya adjusts his glasses. "Subtlety is not his forte," he observes quietly, and grabs the twins by the elbows. "Come along then."

Hikaru's wickedly twinkling eyes meet hers before he leaves, and he winks, mouthing "Cheers."

For whatever reason, Haruhi blushes, and then realization sets in.

She's alone.

No, not alone.

Someone else is there, someone whose presence she is painfully aware of, someone who is gazing at her with such intensity her heart starts to pound and she averts her eyes. Thank god Hunny gave her the rabbit. She clutches it, hoping to ease the fluttering in her chest, the trembling of her fingers. She's not afraid of him, so there's no reason for this. None whatsoever. He's just Mori…

"Forgive me."

Startled, she looks over at him. "Mori-sempai?"

His features twist for a moment, and he repeats, "Forgive me...Haruhi."

It's like the first time he ever said her name. They had been searching for Hunny at Kyoya's artificial tropical resort, and he had scooped her up in his arms when she experienced difficulty in maneuvering through the terrain and carried her the rest of the way. She had been surprised and pleased then, and she is surprised and pleased now. But…there's more to it, and she doesn't know how to describe this feeling for the life of her.

Is she nervous?


"What am I forgiving you for, Mori-sempai? You haven't done anything…" She trails off at the wounded expression he wears.

"I should've caught you," he says, self-accusation laced through his tone. "I shouldn't have let you fall."

And then she understands.

He was there when she tripped over her own two feet and tumbled down the stairs, and the panicked voice that had cried out her name was his.

No wonder why he was so intent on bringing her to the infirmary himself…

Her heart beats a little faster.

"It's my own fault I fell, not yours. I wasn't paying attention."

"That doesn't make it right," he says, fingers bunching in the stark white sheets of her bed. "I should've protected you, Haruhi. I'm sorry. Please…I'm sorry."

Why? Why does he think it's his responsibility to save her? He is loyal to Hunny because duty is written on his blood, despite the fact that their families have merged and the old customs are no longer necessary. But while she comprehends that loyalty, she can't wrap her head around this.

She wants to tell him to smile because she hates it when he blames himself for stupid things out of his control. She hates it when he's depressed because his face doesn't accommodate frowns.

"I forgive you," she says, and it's almost a whisper. "I forgive you, so don't…don't look at me like that. Smile."

Takashi stares at her, and slowly, very slowly, a smile stretches across his lips like the sunrise.

"Much better," she says, and she means it. "I wish you'd smile more often."

He reaches forward and touches her cheek. "Maybe I will," he murmurs.

Haruhi breathes.

He doesn't say it, but she knows those smiles will be meant for her.

So she smiles back.