Byouki: Our Time is Running Out

A Yang Production

Chapter Twelve: Memories of You

"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."

"Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future."


She would always wait for her parents to wake up to take her to the park. Today however, she was anxious to play with her new red ball that she got as a gift. It had been her birthday a few days back, and both her parents had given a present, which she happily received. Smiling, she unwrapped the boxes and pulled out a new sweater and a backpack. As she turned to thank her parents, her mother looked at Haruhi and then to her father. There was an unspoken exchange as her father closed his eyes and nodded his head.

"Here Haruhi," her mother placed a silver wrapped basket in front of her, "open it."

Haruhi gazed at the package with its oversized cloth ribbon and gold colored envelope. Her hands grabbed the envelope and tore it open, tearing into the card inside. Upon seeing the torn card, she began to cry as she held it out to her mother.

"There, there," her mother soothed her as she took the card. "Do you want to hear what it says?"

"Mhm." Haruhi nodded her head.

"To Haruhi-chan, Happy Birthday."

Haruhi smiled as she wiped her eyes and pulled on the ribbon. The wrapping paper fell away with ease, revealing the crimson colored sphere of rubber filled with air. The rubber was covered in impressions of Sakura flowers.

"Waaa..." Haruhi managed to say as she took hold of the ball.

Her mother and father smiled in relief. "Why don't we got to the park tomorrow? You can play with your ball then."

"Okay!" Haruhi cried with her young voice in delight.

Even though her parents had promised her they would wake up early, she was getting impatient waiting. Quietly she slipped on her shoes, and snuck out the door with her ball tucked under her arm. As she dashed along the block towards the park, she silently prayed that she wouldn't get caught. Once she reached the line of green bushes, she let out a sigh of relief and run at full speed on the concrete, bouncing her ball and let out a squeal of child delight as it bounced above her head. As she was engulfed in her play, she hardly noticed the old man sitting down on the bench, a newspaper folded under one arm and a cigarette in his breast pocket. The old man looked in Haruhi's direction and smiled as he pulled out the cigarette and lit a match. With a weathered hand, he brought it to his lips and inhaled.

Haruhi threw the ball high into the air, her arms outspread to catch the ball as she ran. Just as she was about to position herself right underneath the descending ball, her shoelaces tangle itself on a large tree root that had broken the top soil. In a yelp of surprise, she fell to the ground and her red ball bounced over her body towards the road.

"Ball!" She cried in worry.

The old man looked up and dropped his match. He reacted quickly, despite his weathered appearance. The red ball was safe within his hands as he dropped on one knee next to Haruhi, a pained and worried expression on his face.

"Are you okay, young lady?" His voice was pleasantly soft and supportive.

"Hai..." Haruhi got to her feet and dusted her clothes off. She looked at the man holding her ball and stretched out her hand. "That's my ball."

The old man smiled as he gladly gave her the ball. "That's a pretty bouncing ball you have."

"It was a present!" Haruhi smiled at the old man, rotating the ball in her hands.

"Oh? Do you know who gave it to you?"

"Mmm..." Haruhi looked at the ball while deep in thought. "I don't know. I think it might be grandpa."

"What makes you say that?" The old man settled down in the grass as Haruhi tucked the edge of her dress under her knees as she kneeled.

"Okaa-san told me that grandpa won't come see me, but I want to see him. If something comes for me that she won't tell me who its from, I just say its from grandpa, that way I can say he loves me." Haruhi looked at the old man,her brown eyes sparkling with a soft love. "I love grandpa, even if he won't come see me, I really want to see him."

The old man laughed and ran a hand through his grey hair. "What was your name?"

"Fujioka," Haruhi replied, "I am Fujioka Haruhi."

"Is that so, Haruhi-chan." The old man replied.

"What's your name?"

"Excuse me?"

"It's politeness to give your name back, my mum told me." Haruhi looked at the old man expectantly.

There was a smile on the man's face, one that a child would not understand, but it was of a cunning yet sweet plan that would allow a person's happiness. The old man closed his eyes briefly and opened them. "You can call me Hatori."

"Hatori-ojiisan!" Haruhi smiled.

"You should only call your Ojii-san, ojii. Do you to know his name?" The old smiled again.

"No." Haruhi shook her head.

"That's okay, I'm sure you'll find out someday." He ruffled her hair, stood and started to walk away.

"Hatori-ojiisan! Can you come visit me again?" Haruhi asked as she quickly got to her feet.

The old man nodded his head as he walked towards a sleek black car.

"I want to see grandpa!" Haruhi shouted. "I really want to see him! One day, I'll tell him that I'm his granddaugter!"

"I'm sure you will Haruhi-chan!" Hatori looked over his shoulder. "I'm sure he knows how you feel."

The machines around her hummed, slowly pulling her away from the pleasant atmosphere of the memory. The old man never did return to the park after that day, even when Haruhi would sneak out early in the morning to see him.

"Hatori...ojiisan..." she mumbled as sleep left her body. Her eyes wandered to the colorful mess on the floor around her bed. A few blankets had been thrown about, the occupants of the bed no longer within the room. As she scanned the remaining tuffs of hair that stuck out from the folds of the blankets, she saw that Kyōya and Tamaki were among the last to rise from bed. She gave a small scoff of disapproval before she rolled over in her bed and stared out the large glass window that reveled the hallway.

Nurses were scurrying by, their morning having started hours ago. A few slowed down by her window, peering in her room in their vain attempt to catch a glimpse of the two remaining young men sleeping. A few whispered and giggled into their hand as they walked by, waving in a friendly manner to Haruhi when they realized she was awake.

"Did you sleep well?" A male voice inquired from the door.

"Sensei...Ohayo gozaimasu," Haruhi inclined her head in place of a bow. "I managed to sleep."

Seimei sighed with relief and walked in, chart in hand, reading over the notes the nurses had written during the night watch. He carefully stepped over the silk futons filled with soft down feathers and the hand stitched silk blankets that were carelessly tossed about like common blankets. "Are you okay, the room's not to cold is it?"

"A little," Haruhi nodded her head as she raised her bed with the push of a button.

Seimei laughed. "Your friends know how to cause an uproar. Normally we would never allow this kind of thing at the hospital, but well..." He just smiled at Haruhi's scowl.

"Rich bastards..." Haruhi mumbled as Seimei placed the cold Stethoscope on her chest to listen to her heart beat and breathing.

After a few seconds and several deep breaths, Seimei pulled away with a satisfactory grin on his face. "So far, you're okay."

"I'm sure everyone will be happy to hear that." She reclined on her pillows, pulling her hospital blanket to her chest. "Could I get another blanket, please?"

Normally, her request would be met with a smile and a "sure, not a problem," but several ears had heard her request through their half wake state of mind. Tamaki and Kyōya sat straight up in their beds, their eyes wide open but their minds still trying to catch up to their bodies. The twins, and Hani were lodged in the doorway as they struggled to be the first into the room to hand over their blanket to the girl in bed, while Mori waited to enter the room. After moments of struggling, both with the speed of brain activity and the door frame, the Host Club members found themselves in a mess of futons, blankets, and limbs that were twisted in painful angles. Their shouts drew attention from those who roamed the halls, silently dividing the nurses on shift as to who would win the battle. The patients amused themselves and the hospital staff by starting a betting pool on who would win, the lead was Tamaki but Hani held the highest pay-out.

A latch clicked, distracting everyone from the battle on the ground. Seimei carefully grabbed another hospital blanket and threw it over Haruhi's bed, tucking in the corners. He inquired whether this was sufficient and only turned around when a single patient gave a yell of victory.

Several members of the Host Club glared viciously at the good doctor, with Kyōya and Mori standing off to a side, slightly disappointed with the turn of events in the room.

"Shouldn't you all be getting ready for school?" Haruhi asked, annoyed with their antics. She had never had to deal with their behavior this early before and she preferred never to do so again.

"But Haruhi..." Tamaki started but a glare from Haruhi silenced him. She shook her head.

Cellphones vibrated and everyone scrambled to find their phones in the mess of sweaters and blankets. Each was greeted by the firm voice of their parents inquiring where they had spent the night and to be sure to go to school.

There was an uneasy silence as the Host Club gazed at Haruhi, who was continuing her conversation with Seimei about her health. The male members sighed in defeat and gathered their school uniforms, intending to go home and shower before heading to school.

Mori stopped by Haurhi's bed as the others filed out the door.

"Do you want notes?" He asked softly.

"Please sempai, I would appreciate that." Haruhi replied with a smile. "Can you tell the others I'm okay without them?"

Mori smiled, ruffled her hair, and calmly walked out, his sweater thrown over his shoulder. As he walked down the hallway, he passed by Ryoji, who held his head down as he silently walked by every single club member without even taking note of their presence.

Kyōya did notice Ryoji's behavior and lingered behind, nodding to Mori as he left. Ryoji turned his head to a side, as if to look behind at the retreating Host Club but paused. Kyōya could see that the man's lips were set in a firm thin line, and his eyebrows were scrunched together indicating that Ryoji was deep in thought. At last, Ryoji turned to look back, their eyes meeting briefly, before Ryoji continued down the hall to Haruhi's room. He looked in from the glass window and smiled softly, his face still showing how troubled he was by something that no one had seen. Kyōya wanted to know what had caused this upset but knew better and walked out to the waiting limo that would take him home.

No one noticed the sleek black W221 S-Class Mercedes-Benz sitting in the parking lot, with its dark tinted windows that hid two bodies sitting calmly inside. It was this car that had brought Ryoji to the hospital and it was the owner of said car that had caused a change within Ryoji.


"Dad? Mom?" Haruhi searched through her house,trying to find signs of her parents. They had promised to take her out for ice-cream but that had been an hour ago. A whole hour!

Hushed whispers came from their bedrooms and Haruhi crept up to the door.

"He's being stubborn." Haruhi's mother spoke. "It's no use. He wants me to give up first, he was always like that, even when we played games."

"But this isn't a game!" This was her father who spoke, waving a letter in the air. "He won't even see his own granddaughter because of us?"

"I told you things would be hard for us if we got married."

"I know but I thought that enough time would pass and he would get over it."

"Father doesn't just get over anything." Kotoko firmly stated. "I can't give up everything in order for him to be happy." She smiled and took Ryoji's hands. "Can't I be selfish?"

Ryoji's anger slipped away as he embraced his wife. The letter fell from his hands and he smiled. "Of course, of course." He and his wife broke away and gazed at each other lovingly.

Kotoko smiled and gave a little cough. "I think I might be catching a cold. If it gets any worse, I'll ask for a weekend off."

The door creaked as Haurhi tumbled in. She shrieked and scrambled to hide under the bed, embarrassed at having been caught spying on her parents. Her face burned bright red as she pulled down the blankets and curled up.

"Haruhi-chan?" Her mother's voice called from the other side of the blanket. "Come out, don't you want that ice-cream?"

"Uh-huh..." Haruhi mumbled, her face buried in the mess of blankets and hands.

"Let's go then."

Haruhi finally emerged and took hold of her mother's warm hands. Her father smiled at her and patted her head as they left the room. She laughed but looked back at the discarded letter on the floor of her parent's room. There was no need to explain to her who wrote the letter. She knew who sent it and what it was about. Her parents always discussed it in such hushed voices when they thought she had fallen asleep. She wasn't such a child as to not understand their conversations. Her grandfather didn't want to come see her. As to the reason why, she didn't know that, but it hurt never the less. For the past two years, she had spent every birthday wish, shooting star and "first start I see tonight" in her vain attempt to have her grandfather come see her. How strongly she wished to see him.

"Okaa-san told me that grandpa won't come see me, but I want to see him. If something comes for me that she won't tell me who its from, I just say its from grandpa, that way I can say he loves me. I love grandpa, even if he won't come see me, I really want to see him." She had meant every single word she told the old man in the park.


Ryoji had exited the hospital during the twilight hours, and the light of the dawn was starting to snuff out the stars. He walked briskly down the sidewalk, unaware of the car that had pulled ahead, his mind full only of mixed emotions, worn memories and his hands still stinging from punch Tamaki. So engrossed was he with his own thoughts that he didn't even turn at the sound of a car door swinging open, he only climbed the familiar steps up to his apartment and opened the door.

Once inside, he stripped down and slipped into jeans and a shirt, tying back his long red hair. The house was uneasily quiet and hollow, just like the days that had followed Kotoko's hospitalization. Haruhi was just a little girl then, unknowing in the world of adults and disease. The days continued to be empty after the funeral, even as people filled in to pay their respects to the family. There was such a dead feeling in the air every single day, no matter how lively he tried to be, no matter how much noise filled the room.

Ryoji shook his head as he tried to get rid of the memory. This was no time to bring up such unpleasent thoughts, the only thing that should fill his head is the thought of his daughter's recovery and the days following after. No doubt that bothersome Host Club would be coming over, as was their fashion when dealing with Haruhi, more so now that they were becoming more self aware of the common feeling in their hearts.

"Tsk..." Ryoji scoffed. "If Kotoko was here, she would just tell me to stay calm. She would know how to handle them," he sighed as he stood in the door frame leading into the living room where her shrine stood. He leaned softly on the frame and rested his forehead on his forearm. "Kotoko..." With nary a sound, he walked across the room and opened the doors, revealing her smiling face to him. Lighting a stick of incense, he prayed for patience to deal with the Host Club.

There was a loud solid knock on the door that jarred Ryoji's calming thoughts of tying the host club members up like dry salami to the rafters of a very humid and high warehouse.

The knocks persisted, even after he ignored them for the past five minutes. Who ever was at the door was insistent.

"I'm coming!" Ryoji yelled, picking himself off the floor. He angrily reached for the doorknob and opened the door.

An elderly gentleman in a pressed black suit stood smiling, his hat placed in front of his chest as he bowed. "Is this the Fujioka residence?"

"Hai..." Ryoji replied, puzzled by the man standing in his doorway.

"Please pardon the lateness of this intrusion, but it was a long plane ride." The man straightened and smiled again. "My master had only gotten a few hours of sleep and, despite my advice, upon arrival promptly began to search for your housing."

"Who are you?" Ryoji finally broke through his confusion and managed to ask the one question that was on his mind.

"Pardon my rudeness," the old man bowed again, "I am Watari. I am here on behalf of my master, whom you are already aquatinted with."

Ryoji looked at the man's jacket just as the man lowered his hat. The symbol that was embroidered so skillfully to the breast pocket stilled the air around Ryoji, plunging him into an unnatural cold. "Who is your master?" His voice trembled.

"Hatori..." Watari stepped to the side and revealed the second member of the party, the so called master who insisted they find the Fujioka residence before he had even a full night's sleep.

"You seem well Ryoji," The man smiled as he watched Ryoji latch onto the door to steady himself.


"May we step inside, its a bit chilling out here," Hatori moved inside, motioning to Watari to help Ryoji up.

Watari extended his hand to Ryoji who accepted and stood shakily. He made his way into the kitchen and began to make tea. The guests that settled in the living room made him uncomfortable with their mere presence. His hands shook as he poured the tea and carried the tray out into the living room. The only thing that saved him was his training as an Okama from spilling the tea over his guest's lap.

"Thank you," Watari accepted his tea with ease.

Hatori however, remained still, staring into the tea before him. Ryoji sipped his slowly, letting the warmth revive his mentality and he became more aware of who the man before him was. Having regained his composure, he cleared his throat.

"What brings you here?" He asked, though he had a clear idea of what brought the man to his door.

Hatori finally reached his cup and took a sip. He was surprised by how well it tasted, despite its humble origins. Gently he enveloped his hands around the cup and swirled the warm liquid inside.

"Kotoko always wanted me to to drink this kind of tea. I think I understand now. Compared to what I drink, this is so much sweeter."

Ryoji lowered his eyes and softly smiled. "She understood the difference, Hatori-san."

Hatori placed his cup on the table and lowered his head. "I have been a stubborn man, Ryoji. Very stubborn. I was out of the country when Kotoko fell ill and when I returned..." He placed a hand over his eyes to shield his tears. "What kind of man puts his pride before his family?"

"Hatori-san, Kotoko knew she was going to upset you with the choice she made, but she was happy. Up to the last moments of her life, she never stopped thinking about you."

The older man sighed and looked at Ryoji. "Thank you, for being with her when I couldn't. My pride got in the way and made me blind. And now, Haruhi-san is in the hospital."

"Yes," Ryoji answered, "with the same illness Kotoko had."

Watari's smile disappeared from his face. He was worried for both the young lady and for his master.

"Ryoji, I'm sorry." Hatori lowered his head to Ryoji. "I don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past. Please, let me see my granddaughter, just once! I don't care if she hates me now, I just want to see her."

"Hatori-san..." Ryoji motioned for his father-in-law to raise his head. "She has always wanted to see you. Please, just lift your head."

"I'll take care of everything! I know of great doctors and a wonderful hospital where she will get better! I just don't want to lose my granddaughter like I lost my daughter."

Watari looked at both men and sighed into his tea. He had long ago met the young lady, posing as just a random old man. It was his master's wish to see his granddaughter that prompted the visit to the area but in the last moments of the plan, Hatori panicked, sending Watari out in his place. Watari was armed with his usual suit and a hidden microphone that broadcasted to a headset Hatori was wearing. He had chuckled at his master's shyness and how long it had taken his master to sign a simple birthday card that Watari had to write in his place, for the master had strained himself with what to write. In truth, his master cared deeply for his daughter and granddaughter yet, he respected the social world that looked at status and ranking. The departure of his daughter had left a dark mark on the family. Rumors began and there was troubles. His master was stubborn when it came to giving up. It always had to be the other side that gave up first, no matter who it was.

"Haruhi...she will decide if she wants to see you, but I'm more than certain that you'll get to see her." Ryoji comforted the man.

"Thank you, thank you." Hatori softly smiled.

Watari coughed and tapped his crest on his suit. "Master, there is another matter at hand that you have been putting off, avoiding really."

Hatori ran a hand through his neat combed hair. The wrinkles around his eyes deepened as he narrowed his eyes in frustration.

"Ryoji, you know I am not the young man I once was." He started, loosening the blue tie around his neck. "I have made many mistakes over my years, some of deep pain, but I have learned. I'm getting to that point in life where I need to hand over the family name to someone younger, with talent and intelligence. I had hoped that Kotoko would be the one, marrying someone I had planned for her, but then she announced she wanted to marry you."

"Hai, I remember that day," Ryoji lifted a hand to his face and rubbed his cheek. "You hit me pretty hard that time. I was afraid that you would kill me."

"I was ready to, but Kotoko stopped me. I had never seen her so angry before." Hatori shook his head, recalling the fury that had filled Kotoko's eyes.

"She could be pretty convincing..." Agreed Ryoji.

"I told her I would disown her, that she wouldn't be left with anything but nothing stopped her from going with you. I hated you, for stealing away my only beloved daughter, my only child. My wife died giving birth to Kotoko, so it was something unforgivable. Kotoko, she was happy with you. I forgave you for that, but my anger at her defiance still lingered. Now, I'm left with only my name."

"Sir..." Watari placed a hand on his boss's shoulder.

"I'm fine Watari, I still have plenty of years left." Hatori chuckled, waving Watari's hand off. "Ryoji, I want to name Haruhi as my heir, and also give her our family name in addition to yours, I won't steal that away from you, even if I wanted to."

"I know," Ryoji held up a hand, "my parents were just common folk, but my father died when I entered middle school and mother recently passed away. I can understand, but thank you for letting Haruhi keep the Fujioka name."

"I'm sure you have to talk to her about this, but I would rather be the one to tell her everything, I owe her that much," he paused and looked at the shrine in the room, "and Kotoko."

"Would you like to see a picture of her?" Ryoji stood and walked into his room, taking a picture off his wall. "She's 16 now."

Hatori took the picture in his hand and stared at the girl. She was among the Host Club, smiling as she accepted a forkful of cake from a short blond child holding a stuffed rabbit. On her right were orange haired twins that were trying to style her hair. A tall dark haired youth hovered over the blond child and Haruhi, an expression of silent protection on his face. In the background was a tall blond teen, his face showing his childish emotion of jealousy over the attention Haruhi was getting. Finally in the far back, talking on a cellphone was someone with short black hair and glasses. He looked calm and collected, yet clearly annoyed with the blond idiot in front of him.

"Who are these young men around her?" Hatori asked, a new emotion of protectiveness taking over.

"Pests..." Ryoji replied.

"I see..." Hatori slowly replied, looking at the picture again. "May I keep this?"

"Yes," Ryoji nodded.

The two men continued to talk about Haruhi, Hatori wanting to know how his granddaughter had grown over the years and Ryoji wanting to know what else Hatori had in mind for Haruhi. Their talk lasted until morning, when Ryoji promptly changed and was about to bid his guest farewell when Watari suggested to his master that they give Ryoji a ride to the hospital, "in order to know where Haruhi is when you are ready to visit her Master Hatori."

"Ryoji," Hatori settled into his seat and raised the windows, "you said these young men were pests. You're not suggesting that they could possibly be..."

"Don't say it," Ryoji snapped, crossing his arms over his chest, "I have to deal with them on a regular basis, I don't think I could survive having them around with those types of ideas in their heads."

"What does Haruhi have to say about this?"

"She doesn't know. Unfortunately for her, she's not too bright in that area, which is good news for me. I don't know if I could give her away so quickly."

Hatori pulled out the picture and scanned the faces, his eyes narrowing in anger and recognition. "Let me deal with these children. My company has been doing well these past few years."

"Watch out for the Ohtori in the back of that picture. He's the mastermind of the group."

"Ohtori...the medical production line Ohtori?"

"That's the one."

"Ohtori..." Hatori repeated the name as he slipped the picture into his suit. It seems this is going to be more difficult than I thought. "I'll be fine. My granddaughter means more to me than what these families have to threaten me with. Will you talk to Haruhi about letting me see her?"

"I will."

"Good, that makes me happy."

The car slowed to a stop and Watari opened the door for Ryoji to step out.

"Oh, Ryoji?" Hatori called out just as Watari was about to close the door. "Just make sure you keep those men away from Haruhi when the time comes. I'll be doing my best also, because I don't want her to be upset or heart broken because of them. They are dangerous silent bombs that we need to destroy before they are set off. Will you help me bring them down if we need to?"

Ryoji stared back at the man. The Host Club were the first group of friends that Haruhi had made at her new school but like Hatori had mentioned they were ticking time bombs. Worse was yet to come when Haruhi would, if she accepted, take on her grandfather's name. This was a large gamble to play if they kept those members near her in their current status.

"Will you take care of them?" Ryoji asked.

"I am already dealing with one of their members and I was not aware of it. I have seen that young man's father," Hatori commented, "but he is human, there are ways to make him break."

"I leave them in your hands then." Ryoji bowed.

Hatori smiled as the door closed. Ryoji walked into the hospital, Hatori's words in his head, repeating continuously. He walked down the hallway to Haruhi's room, his head held low as he replayed his own words in his head. The group of men he had handed over to Hatori walked by him and he paused, starting to turn his head to look at them when he stopped. He knew it was only a matter of time before they would realize what was going on within themselves. Haruhi needed to get better and they were a crutch she needed to get over. On the other hand, they were her friends and they genuinely cared for her. He looked back and briefly met eyes with the young Ohtori heir, the one he had warned Hatori about. Breaking eye contact, he walked forward and smiled as he saw his daughter. She would be the one who decided what would happen in time, even her grandfather would have to listen to her. Ryoji had done what he could to protect his daughter and her grandfather would do the same.


Watari walked over to a dark colored car and waited until Haruhi had disappeared before he opened the door. He was anxious to see his master's face after hearing the words Hatori-ojiisan coming from his granddaughter's lips. He had been worried about the strain this pride of his master was causing.

The door was thrown open but instead of the joyful atmosphere he expected, all he could feel was sadness as he looked at his master. Hatori sat in the darkness of the back seat holding the large headphones in his limp hands.

"Hatori-sama..." Watari took away the headphones and was about to close the door when he heard a sound.

"She called me Ojii-san..." Hatori finally spoke, lifting his face. There were small tears in his eyes as he looked at Watari in disbelief. "She called me Ojii-san. She said she wanted to see me...she wants to see me! She doesn't hate me for being so full of pride."

"Hatori-sama, I always said that she could never hate you."

"She wants to see me, my granddaughter wants to see me."

"I know sir, I know."

"If Kotoko would just come home..."

Wataro didn't reply because he knew of this side of his master. Even though he wanted to be able to hold Haruhi in his arms, the rules of his society made it so he could not freely pursue his granddaughter and daughter. He could not even forgive his son-in-law because of his pride.

"I want to see you too..." He pulled out a picture of his daughter with her husband and their little one year old Haruhi. She was so tiny in the picture, he could hardly believe he was missing her life. He wanted to be able to visit her on Christmas and give her a present. He wanted to see her on his evenings, bring her over to their house to play in his large backyard. He was, however, a man of business and there were rules to follow if one wanted to succeed.

Watari looked at the rearview mirror and saw his master looking down at the old photo, now having weathered edges and a small tear. Then he saw his master's eyes look down at the new picture, his eyes passing over the men present. As the car continued down the road, Watari kept checking in on his master, watching as he fell asleep holding onto the pictures tightly.

"It took a while, Hatori-sama, but you can finally hold her and she can finally call you Ojii-san." Watari mused outloud. "I wouldn't mind seeing her again."

A cellphone rang and Watari looked at the sleeping form of his master in the back seat. He quickly pulled off to a side and answered the call.

"Watari-san here." He answered. He listened in silence and was startled by the information he was receiving, looking back at his master. "Did Hatori-sama make you do this?"

"Hai," came the reply.

"You do know what you are doing by challenging them correct?"

"It is part of his plan to counterattack."

"Right, they are riding on a high horse I suppose. But to go with this route..."

"Hatori-san knows what he is doing" The caller dismissed Watari's concern. "I am just checking in."

"I will tell him once he awakes that the reports were delivered. If I had known about this I might had talked to him..." Watari paused and sighed as he remembered Haruhi. "But I think I know why he did this."

"Is the girl alright?"

"How did you know?"

"He spoke to me about her, she seems like a good girl."

"We're not sure. If the young miss has the same illness as ojousama, then I fear the worst."

"I will do my part for her, she will soon take on the family name."

"Possibly, take care." Watari hung up the phone and fixed his eyes on the pictures. "Hatori-sama."

In different areas of the town, sitting innocently on several desk were several packets of information. They had company names on them, most of them having been tossed to aside. A few however remained on the desk.

Osaka Company

Fujiwara Industry

Fuji Hotels

Sakura International

Tsukino Medical

These, though they remained on the desks, only occupied a corner of all the space. The one packet that had sent a shiver of threat down the spines of the family head was in the hands of the reader. Five head of household sat at their desk, their pen in hand as they looked over the information given to them. It was startling that such a small company had rapidly crawled its way to the top. Yet, for all its fangs and claws, there were ways to deal with such a company. They searched the stock database and took notes, trying to find ways to kill this little kitten before it became a full fledge tiger.

A distraction pulled them away from the packet, leaving the papers spread over the desk. Emblazed on the top of each document were bold golden letters that spelled out the name of the company at hand.

Kiba Corporation

Yang-chan: Just a note, some things are not always so obvious! LOL, putting that aside, I had a hard time writing this chapter because I had horrible writer's block! ARGH, it was painful. Now that the new character has been introduced in the chapter let me give you some stats!

Hatori, age 58. Hobbies include: Tea testing, wine sampling (why, if I know nothing of wines?!), and spying on his granddaughter from behind well secured walls of protection (AKA: hides in a car while he has Watari stalk Haruhi). He is the head of the house and wishes for his granddaughter to inherit everything. Looks are a little deceiving, for while he looks harmless, he can become a dragon to protect his family! Stubborn and prideful, though he has softened over the years after his daughter's death.

Hatori: I am not stubborn, merely unable to move from my opinion that I hold strongly!

Yang-chan: And trust me when I say that more troubles are soon to come!