Interlude 4 ­– Safari

Rating – K+

ThemeAfrican Safari

Featured Character – Mori

Disclaimer ­– I do not own Host Club. Props to Bisco Hatori who created such an awesome series.

Author's Notes – Apologies on the wait here. I had some writing issues. I seem to become filled with ideas and start in this mad rush to get them all down so I don't lose them. This means that I not only have four or five fics going at one time, it also means that I have them written in the most random places – notebooks, napkins, paper towels, the back of my work schedule – well, you get the idea. You may have also noticed that there is a featured character in this drabble, and it's not Haruhi. I really wanted to examine how the other members of the Club felt about Haruhi being in their midst, and likewise how Haruhi feels about the other members of the club. Naturally they're in some rather odd situations when this takes place, but the whole point of this series of drabbles was that they revolved around these obscure theme days that Tamaki dreams up. Character analysis is just a bonus. smiles At any rate this fic is Mori-centric and takes a look at how Haruhi sees Mori and how Mori sees Haruhi. Enjoy.

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Haruhi found it difficult to concentrate over the roaring of the lions. Sometimes she wondered just what was going through Tamaki's mind when he came up with these grand ideas for the theme days. Of course, she always quickly came to her senses and decided that sometimes it was better to not know what was going through Tamaki's mind. If she really knew, she would probably have to under go years of therapy to recover from the trauma.

Most of the time, Pandora's Box wasn't worth opening.

When Tamaki had recommended an African Safari for the next theme day, she'd decided first that the fight wasn't worth it, and second that it might actually be fun. What she hadn't realized was that Tamaki would bring a zoo to school and a garden would be converted to look like the Serengeti. The African theme Haruhi could have handled. Tribal masks and costumes, native foods; that was what she had thought Tamaki had meant.

But of course Tamaki always had to do things on a grand scale, which meant that a whole section of the school now looked like a little piece of Africa.

"Haruhi!"

At Tamaki's cheerful call, she did her best to hide the grimace as she turned to face her fearless leader. "Yes, Tamaki-senpai?"

"We're out of instant coffee, among other things. I want you to go with Mori-senpai and pick up provisions."

Kyoya handed her an envelope filled with what she presumed to be funds for said provisions. "And please hurry. If you're late, I'll add the loss to your debt."

Leave it to Kyoya to make debt the key to her motivation within club activities.

"Then I'll be on my way then. Let's go Mori-senpai."

"Un."

This would easy. All she had to do was run down to the little corner store down the street and be done with it. She didn't understand why Mori-senpai had been asked to come along, though. It seemed like this was easy enough and nothing on the list was overly large nor was the item count so immense that she couldn't carry it herself. As she pondered just why Mori had been asked along, she suddenly felt him grab her by the back of her shirt and pull her tightly to his side.

Turns out Mori had an impeccable sense of timing, as a small herd of wildebeests ran by. Right where she had been standing moments before.

"M-mori-senpai," she stammered.

"Careful, Haruhi."

"Er, yeah. Right," she answered, pulling away from him. Looking at the stoic third year student from the corner of her eye, she wondered just what made him tick. Obviously there was the deep connection to Honey-senpai, but beyond that, Mori-seemed, well, a little one-dimensional. "So, Mori-senpai, besides Kendo and Host Club, do you have other interests?"

"Yes."

Did he care to elaborate on that? Apparently not.

"What's your favorite class?"

"Geography. Or Japanese history."

"Ah." Haruhi sighed inwardly. This was Mori she was talking to after all. She would be doing most of the talking. But there was something very comforting in the fact that he rarely said anything. Unlike the other members of the club that always seemed to be moving at a million miles per second, Mori represented a stability that probably would be lacking if not for him. Taking that into consideration, Haruhi continued to walk along one of the dirt paths and out of the courtyard and into the main campus.

Wearing the epitome of African high fashion, both she and Mori looked out of place amongst the order of the school. Uniformed students stopped to stare at her brightly colored outfit, and the normally cool and collected Haruhi was beginning to feel awkward and out of place. Normally she dealt with the pressure of being the commoner among the rich and fabulous, but for some reason being dressed in something other than the uniform was making her feel strange. Looking up at Mori, she realized that her feelings were silly and unfounded. If Mori could walk around campus in such a get up (tribal wear which consisted of a loin cloth and spear) there was no reason why Haruhi, who in comparison was totally clothed, should be feeling strange or out of place.

"Mori-senpai? Don't you feel silly in that outfit?"

Looking over at her curiously, Mori raised an eyebrow. "Should I?"

"Well you are mostly naked."

Mori responded with a soft chuckle. Naturally Haruhi had blurted out the obvious, which he was aware of. He was aware of the girls stopping and ogling his bare chest, but he didn't see a reason to become self-conscious about it. That Haruhi would be bothered was enough to raise his curiosity, so he asked, "Does it bother you that I am mostly naked?"

Haruhi blushed and Mori understood why Tamaki and the twins were so enamored by her. She was cute, despite her non-committal efforts to appear so. "No."

"Then I see no problem with it. It is just a costume. I do not wear clothes like these all of the time."

That was true. In fact, Mori was usually impeccably dressed, in uniform or not. Even these wild costumes that Tamaki dreamed up were worn with class. Sighing in resignation, Haruhi made a dismissive gesture. Mori was not one to raise a fuss. He dealt with his problems in his own quiet manner and trudged through all of Tamaki's harebrained schemes without complaining.

Haruhi found a new respect for her senpai that afternoon.

She just hoped that the clerk at the store would respect him, too.

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Short and sweet, ne? I didn't want to over do it, so I felt it was best to leave their quest unfinished. You guys can decide what happens at the store when nearly naked Mori walks in. Oh, and a note about what Haruhi is wearing, I figure sort of the brightly colored/patterned tunics and trousers that I, as a painfully white girl, associate with African heritage festivals. (I can trace my ancestors back to being slaves on sugar plantations in Cuba about 200 years ago, but that doesn't mean I fully understand my African heritage.) Sorry, I don't know what the official names for the garments are but I'm sure most of you can figure out what I mean.

As always, leave reviews 'cuz I love to hear what my readers think!

Mercy-Angel-09