The Misuzu Pension is set amongst a thick forest of lush Japanese maple. In autumn, the forest is gloriously robed in crimson and gold, but with an unkempt front yard, a leaking roof by the east wing, broken windows by the second floor, and a deafening silence reigning in the air, the Misuzu Pension looks just like a deserted mansion in one of those horror movies. It is now a far cry from what it was about ten years ago.
With a growing competition with newly-opened resorts and vacation houses around the area, maintaining a pension as a one-man army proved to be a difficult task for Sonoda Misuzu.
A couple of months back, in hopes of reviving the pension, Tamaki and Haruhi have agreed to share ownership with Sonoda. Repairs, decorations, new recipes, tea parties, poetry readings, balls – they have a lot of plans, and as Kyoya looks at the slowly deteriorating house that cloudy Monday afternoon, he finds his chest feeling heavier yet again. He feels like time has stopped in that place, frozen in the middle of a very sad chapter of a still unfinished story.
"Things aren't supposed to be this way," he forlornly says to himself as he locks his car and walks into the lobby.
A grand piano yellowing in age is the first thing he notices upon his entry; and for a minute he remains standing there, staring at the old instrument with an expressionless look on his face.
Hesitantly, he raises a hand to touch the keys but withdraws it half-way. His vision is blurring yet again, and with a heavy sigh he tucks his hand in his pocket and walks towards the east wing, his chest still heavy.
It is midmorning, and an average sized window at the farthest corner of the hall provides the corridor a small amount of light. Slouched against one of the walls are Hikaru and Kaoru, sound asleep with a small blanket of a dull shade of blue draped over them. Opposite the twins is Mori, seating uprightly, Hunny sleeping on his lap.
"Mori-sempai," Kyoya calls out, walking towards his senior.
Mori looks at him stoically as ever, his hair ruffled, and dark patches under his eyes. Unshaven, Mori looks older, tired, and raw-boned.
"Your voice," he says monotonously, "keep it low. They're sleeping."
"I'm sorry. How is Haruhi?"
"She ate. Very little. She says she's okay."
"A therapist from our hospital is supposed to be here –"
"She left. Haruhi won't see her."
"She fell asleep just now."
"You've all been watching over her?"
Mori says nothing in reply. His silence suffices.
Casting another look at the sleeping twins, Kyoya pushes his glasses back at the bridge of his nose, and heads towards the door.
"I'll go check on her," he says, "I'll have somebody come over and help Ms. Misuzu cook lunch. Please have Hunny-senpai and the twins rest in one of the rooms."
"What is it sempai?"
Mori looks down at the floor. It takes him a minute before he can open his mouth; his eyes on the floor, he mumbles, "What should we do now?" with great difficulty.
"What we can," is all Kyoya says before disappearing to the door, his voice unnervingly gentle and certain that for a moment it feels like his words are echoing all over the silent corridor.
"But what can we do?" Kaoru murmurs, opening his eyes as the door closes. "All this time it has been a carriage ride, a fairy tale, but aren't fairy tales supposed to end happily ever after?"
Beside him, Hikaru opens his eyes and glances at the door, his fists shaking.
"I guess… real life doesn't," he says, bitterness dripping in his voice.
An Ouran Host Fanfic by Akizuki Sai
Standard Disclaimers Apply
It is already sunset when Haruhi wakes up. From her bedroom window, the sky is a beautiful shade of orange and blue, like paint splattered in a white canvass. The wind is playing with the curtains, sending it flying in every direction, silhouetting Kyoya, who is busy reading a book in an armchair near the bed. When it finally mellows down, she squints and squirms in a struggle to sit up. Her arms and limbs remained limp, however.
Instinctively, Kyoya looks up at her, and quickly closes his book to help her.
"You must be hungry. Ms. Misuzu prepared a nice lunch for you, should I ask somebody to bring it up?" he asks.
"W-What are you doing here?" Haruhi asks, not answering Kyoya's question.
"As you can see, I was reading," he says sardonically, "and just a couple of seconds ago, I was asking you if you would like to have lunch."
She takes no regard of the sarcasm in his tone and asks him another question: "Aren't you supposed to be in Tokyo?"
"I was in the area. I thought I'd drop by," Kyoya says, not at all frazzled.
Haruhi raises a questioning brow at him.
"Why did you think of dropping by?" she asks.
"Because I've been told that you haven't been eating much, and that you don't want to see the therapist," Kyoya says. Running a hand on his hair in exasperation, he removes his glasses and looks at her seriously.
Haruhi feels a chill run down her spine, and for a moment Haruhi looks scared, but she quickly brushes it off and says, "It' doesn't matter. I won't get better anyway."
"If you keep up this fasting of yours, yes, you won't get better."
"I'm not really hungry."
"It's not about having the appetite, you know," Kyoya says, kneeling by her bedside, his dark eyes looking straight to her brown ones. "You're a smart girl. I don't think I need to explain that to you."
"Perhaps you should," Haruhi says, stubbornly looking away.
Kyoya gives out another sigh and with gentle, swift fingers moves Haruhi's chin so that she is looking straight back at him. Surprise is evident in her pallid face.
"You can't die, do you hear me?" he says in a bare whisper. "Your life… it isn't just yours anymore."
Haruhi's eye begins to well up by his words, and she looks down, her hair cascading towards her face, and strands of it brushing against Kyoya's nose as the wind blows. The silence between them is stiffening, like an invisible hand choking the life out of them.
Haruhi opens her mouth a number of times, wanting to say something, but not a word escapes from her lips until she felt Kyoya slowly placing his hands on her small shoulders, and her sobs slice through the silence as he pulls her close.
"I m-miss him," she says in between her sobs, "I miss him."
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
-The stanza quoted above is from John Keat's Ode on Melancholy, which is one of the inspirations of this story.
- I've been contemplating for some time if I should still use some of the usual prefixes (like sempai). I decided to keep it since I can't picture them otherwise.
- I opted to keep the length of each chapter to more or less a thousand and a hundred (sometimes two) words. Writing this can be fun but at the same time depressing, and I figured that drama is better in small doses. Forgive me for the shortness.
Sai: I know it's been almost a year since I last updated this story. Rest assured that Limitless will not be discontinued. I just had a lot of issues to deal with, particularly with my university and personal life (and it didn't help that I've lost my notes for this story half a year ago), thus the long unexpected hiatus.
Thank you for all the helpful and wonderful comments. I really appreciate it.