Kanoi: I am SO, SO, SO, SO, SO SORRY!! There is no excuse good enough for why it has been almost a year since my last update. All I can say is that senior year killed me and then this whole summer I've been preparing for college and going out of town.
Hikaru: I refuse to listen to your sorry excuses!
Kaoru: Hikaru, don't be so cruel. You don't know what it's like to be a high school senior, after all.
Kanoi: Ah yeah... This is true. You're still an itty, bitty tenth grader!
Hikaru: SHUT UP! -tackles Kanoi-
Kanoi: GET OFFA ME!!
Kaoru: -sighs- Disclaimer: Kanoi doesn't own Ouran, so please don't sue her. She is, after all, now officially a poor college student. Also, she would like to make it known that she is not making fun of anyone who is in the tenth grade. She is simply picking on Hikaru. Warnings also include yaoi, yuri, AU, and vampires.
Hikaru: -stops his attack on Kanoi- Um... don't vampires fall under the AU guideline?
"Hikaru," Kaoru giggled through kisses, "why do you want to do that in the library?"
"Because it will drive Kyoya insane," Hikaru responded and then placed a deep kiss upon Kaoru's swollen lips.
Through all the groping, the twin lovers still somehow managed to make their way to the library door. Hikaru reached behind Kaoru to open the door, making a grab for his brother's butt in the process. As soon as his hand touched the metal of the door knob, Hikaru froze.
"What is it?" Kaoru asked in worry.
"Listen," Hikaru commanded.
Kaoru did as he was told, and his amber eyes widened in surprise.
Haruhi laughed as Tamaki searched for the one book he was trying to explain to her. It was ridiculous to the brunette as Tamaki didn't even know the title, and there had to be at least 15,000 books in the library.
"I think you must be the most ridiculous person I've ever met," Haruhi informed the vampire.
"That is not a very nice thing to say, Haruhi," Tamaki told the woman with a pout.
"Well I wouldn't have to say it if you would just stop looking for that stupid book," Haruhi said.
"But I so badly wanted you to read it. I felt it would greatly help you to understand my kind," Tamaki explained.
"Though I do love books, I would much rather learn about vampires from you," Haruhi told him. "Now come down from there."
She extended a hand to help Tamaki off the ladder. Tamaki smiled gratuitously and took the offered hand. Once he got back on the ground, the two stood staring at each other, hands still clasped.
Haruhi's honey eyes fell to their hands. She pulled their hands closer to her face, seeming to examine the pale skin.
"Your hands… They're so cold," Haruhi said in awe.
"Well, I am dead after all," Tamaki stated awkwardly.
"I suppose I hadn't thought of that…" the woman muttered.
"Hikaru," Kaoru whispered, turning his head away from the minutely ajar door, "do you think we should tell Kyoya about this?"
"No, it's not our business," Hikaru answered, still peering into the library.
"No buts about it, Kaoru!" Hikaru whispered harshly. "We're going to forget we ever saw this." He turned and started walking down the hallway.
"If you say so," Kaoru muttered before following after his brother.
"Haruhi," Tamaki uttered meaningfully, grasping both of the woman's hands firmly, "I promise we will find out what happened to you."
"Thank you," Haruhi said softly, voice full of genuine gratitude.
"Éclair, what a pleasant surprise," Kanako greeted jovially with a smile.
"The pleasure is all mine, Lady Kanako," Éclair said humbly.
"Might I ask what brings you to the castle today?" Kanako asked.
"I'm doing a bit of research," Éclair answered.
"Anything that I can help with?" Kanako's smile was a bit too knowing for Éclair's taste.
"Not at the moment," Éclair answered with strained politeness and then turned to leave.
"You're doing something you shouldn't, aren't you, Lady Éclair," Kanako guessed.
"Could it be you are looking for a certain missing duchess? Possibly by the name of Fujioka Haruhi?"
A lump stuck in the vampiress's throat.
"Good luck," Kanako said brightly and walked away.
By the time Éclair turned to call after her, Kanako was gone.
"Tamaki, open the door!" Éclair shouted as she banged her fist on the door to the library.
By this point, the other vampires of the manor had gathered around the High Lady, watching in a mixture of worry and curiosity.
When Tamaki finally did open the door, he couldn't even utter a sound before Éclair demanded, "Where is she?"
Tamaki stared at the vampiress quizzically. He wasn't used to seeing his partner so frazzled.
"Oh, never mind," Éclair huffed before pushing roughly pasted the High Lord. She spotted Haruhi quickly enough and stormed over to the brunette woman.
Haruhi blinked owlishly. "Is something wrong, Lady Tonnerre?"
"Does the name Kanako sound familiar to you?" Éclair demanded.
Haruhi shook her head slowly. "Should it?"
"What about… Kyoya, what's the name of Lady Kanako's sister?"
Kyoya pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, replying calmly, "Ayakonoji."
Haruhi's eyes widened, shimmering with fear. "That… that name does sound familiar."
Éclair nodded, eyes determined, and then swept out of the room. No one was quite sure just what had happened.
"I don't understand what I've done!" Nekozawa cried out as he was shoved rather roughly into Benio's office.
As soon as the door shut, Benio leaned forward to rest her chin on her laced fingers. "I have it on good authority," the Captainess of the Guard announced to the mage clearly, "that you know something about the disappearance of Duchess Fujioka."
"I-I have no clue what you're talking about!" the mage stuttered in protest.
Benio sighed tiredly. "You're a terrible liar, Nekozawa."
"Please, Captain Amakusa, spare me!" Nekozawa begged, throwing himself onto his knees in front of her desk.
Benio's eye twitched in irritation. "I'm not the one you need to take it up with."
Nekozawa stared at Benio in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Why hello there, Sir Nekozawa."
Nekozawa turned, and his eyes widened once more in fear.
In the corner of the room stood Éclair, smiling venomously with opera glasses raised to hide her crystal eyes.
"L-Lady Éclair," Nekozawa stuttered.
"I believe we need to take a small trip, Sir Nekozawa. That is, of course, if it is okay with Captain Amakusa?" Éclair turned to Benio expectantly.
"Take him. I don't care," Benio replied with a shrug. "Just make sure he doesn't send a message to his beloved mistress."
Éclair smiled in fake warmth at Benio. "Of course." She turned to Nekozawa. "Come along now. We have much to discuss."
The two had been walking through the lesser used corridors of the castle for quite some time. With every minute that went by, Nekozawa's panic increased.
"Where are we going?" the mage demanded, making a valiant effort to appear brave. However, to Éclair it was a lame attempt, and she continued to stay silent.
Finally, the two came to a very discreet door at the end of a dark hallway. Éclair opened the door, and a dark carriage awaited the two.
The six vampire lords were once again gathered in the sitting room; however, this time they had Haruhi and Renge with them.
"So, tell me again why we had to all come in here?" Hikaru demanded. His arms were wrapped possessively around his twin, perhaps giving an indication to what he would rather be doing (or who, for that matter).
From his spot in a plush armchair, Kyoya responded, "Éclair said she had something important to share with us."
"Well when is she going to get here? Sometime within the current century, I hope," the elder of the twin lords said in a snotty tone.
"Show some respect, you fool!" Renge shouted, smacking Hikaru upside the head.
"Ow! What the hell!" cried the wounded vampire, rubbing his injured head.
"You should show more respect for Éclair. She is your superior, after all," the honey-blonde vampiress scolded.
Hikaru turned his head to glare at the girl. "Yeah, well I'm your superior," he growled.
Placing her dainty hands on her slim hips, Renge curtly informed him, "Doesn't count."
"What do you mean 'doesn't count'! Then why should it count for Éclair?"
As the two bickered, Kaoru carefully untangled himself from his brother's arms. Once safely on the other side of the loveseat, Kaoru turned his attention to Kyoya and asked, "Do you know what this is all about?"
Kyoya pushed his glasses up and responded, "I do believe she has discovered something that could help Haruhi get her memory back."
That statement had drawn the attention of everyone in the room, including Hikaru and Renge, whose argument had gotten rather heated.
A bright smile broke out across Hani's face, and from his spot on Mori's lap, he cheered, "Congrats, Haru-chan!"
Mori also sported a small smile, and with a nod he said, "Congratulations, Haruhi."
Tamaki, however, took the cake with his excitement. He picked up Haruhi and began to spin her around, making all kinds of joyful noises. Meanwhile, Haruhi was hitting him as best as she could, demanding he put her down. The twins chanced a glance at Kyoya. However, there was no sign of anything other than his usual stoicism.
When Tamaki did finally put her down, Haruhi walked over to Kyoya. "Are you sure?" she asked, voice full of uncertainty and hope.
Kyoya softly shook his head, responding, "We'll simply have to wait until Éclair arrives."
Haruhi nodded in understanding.
It was an agonizing hour of waiting with very few words spoken before Éclair finally walked through the door. Everyone in the room stood, anticipating what she would say.
Éclair turned her head back to the hall. "Well, are you coming or what?" she asked, voice clear and irritated. "No one here is going to harm you. As I told you before, we need you."
Everyone waited with bated breath as a man in a black cloak walked into the room.
A gasp escaped from Haruhi's lips. "I know you," she said slowly, carefully. "I remember seeing you before I woke up in the woods."
The vampire lords and Renge's eyes widened in surprise.
Éclair nodded stiffly. "Haruhi," she began, "this is Nekozawa Umino. He is the High Mage in Ouran's royal castle. More specifically, he works for Baroness Ayakonoji. He created the elixir that caused your amnesia. I'm sure he can give us the details behind why this was done to you, as well as create a cure."
Kanoi: Man, I feel like Eclair is taking over the story!! I promise that will stop soon, not sure on which chapter though. Just know she will stop being such a prominant character soon.
Kaoru: You shouldn't worry so much. At least you gave everyone in the Host Club speaking parts this time.
Kanoi: This is true... Scenes with that many people are so difficult. They eat me. I'm much better at writing small groups.
Hikaru: Trust me, it shows.
Kanoi: Shut up! -attacks Hikaru-
Hikaru: GET OFF!! KAORU! HELP!
Kaoru: ...Anyway, Kanoi hopes the next chapter will come out fairly soon, but she makes no promises. She starts University in a couple of weeks, and she's very busy up until that point. Then her classes are sure to keep her rather busy. So yeah, just keep your fingers crossed.
Kanoi: -stops her attack on Hikaru- OH YEAH! Let me know if you people would prefer longer chapters (around this length) with more time between updates, or shorter chapters with less time between updates (about one update every week). I do promise no more year long waits, however. I've put all my other WIPs on hiatus until I finish this one, so yeah... Top priority here!