Author: DreamCager

Title: The Broken Path

Date: 11/12/06 begun

Rating: PG

Genre: Romance, bits of angst here and there

Pairings: HaruhixKaoru (gasp A forbidden straight pair!)

Disclaimer: If anyone were to confuse me with Bisco Hatori then something must be wrong. I don't think I look much like BONES production company either... (i.e. Not mine)

Reason: Because I've had this one in my mind for quite a while. Hope you all like this story, despite its unpopular pairing. For those of you who are eccentrics like me and think HaruhixKaoru could happen, this is my shout out to you!

Problems: This may be a bit OOC. I like to keep as close to the original characters as I can when I write fanfics but sometimes OOCness can't be avoided. I'm introducing some original characters too (hence the title) so they may be a bit under-developed--I'll remedy that in later chapters.

Notes: My knowledge of Ouran up to this point consists of the anime's season 1 and up to volume 7 in the manga. This story begins near the end of Hikaru, Kaoru and Haruhi's senior year at Ouran Academy. This means Honey, Mori, Kyouya and Tamaki are all now alumni but they are still going to be characters--just not constant characters! Constructive criticism is appreciated. Flames will be stoically ignored. Believe me when I say I'm fire-proof. Either way, I hope you all enjoy this fic.

The Broke Path


Another Pack of Cards

"We were strikin' matches just to watch 'em burn..."

Kenny Chesney, Young

"Ha-ruhi!" cried the twins as they assaulted their female, cross-dressing classmate.

Their arms holding her tightly between them, Fujioka Haruhi no longer struggled to disentangle herself as she may have once had. The Hitachiin brothers had greeted her in this fashion for years now and she had learned to deal with it. It was the days when they didn't sling their arms around her neck that she worried.

"You two," muttered Haruhi but where annoyance would have once threaded her voice there was now a gentle fondness. "Will you ever change?"

"Never!" they intoned, grins plastered across their cat-like faces.

"Hikaru, Kaoru, stop wasting time," sighed the Host Club's Vice-President as he strolled up to the clump of seniors, his pen poised over an ominous black notepad.

Pen still in hand, the boy reached up and pulled his thin-rimmed glasses down, gazing over at the group with a slightly impatient stare. However, his light brown eyes held a secret amusement deep within them as though he were harboring some inner joke deep inside.

"You wouldn't want me to call Onii-chan and tell him of your lack of club initiative, would you?"

"Don't be threatening us with Kyouya-sempai, Reiji," droned the twins.

"He doesn't care what we do...," began Hikaru.

" long as we don't bankrupt the club," finished Kaoru.

"Then maybe I should give Suou-sempai a call. He would be ever so delighted to know you two are as unscrupulous as usual."

The junior's voice no longer held any sense of humor. The twins only smiled at his efforts and Haruhi sighed, wondering why the kid even tried to be as intimidating as Kyouya-sempai.

"Tono is 'roughing it' in the mountains right now with Mori-sempai and Honey-sempai, trying to get in touch with his inner Buddha," said Kaoru in way of explanation for their lack of fear, though they wouldn't have been afraid of Tamaki either way. "He won't have any cell phone service for a while."

"Besides," snickered the older twin as he nuzzled Haruhi's neck, his eyes shinning playfully, "what tono doesn't know won't hurt him."

Reiji looked as though he was going to shoot out a barbed retort but the sound of the door opening behind them silenced him.

"Sorry I'm late," sighed the bored voice of the red-head who entered, his eyes closed lazily. "I was jus-MAH!"

The boy quickly turned and slammed the door shut behind him, scrambling to get it locked. Once the door was firmly bolted the yakuza-style Senior marched over to the rest of the hosts, locking his blazing eyes onto the friendly trio.

"Hitachiins, what are you doing?" demanded Kasanoda spearing them both with his gaze. "F-fujioka cannot let her secret be made known! How can we hide her true self if you two do these things when the door isn't even locked?"

"Baka! If you came on time we wouldn't have left the door unlocked for everyone to worry about!" snapped back Hikaru, who was never one to accept the blame for anything.

"Hikaru!" growled the yakuza heir, his eyes white-hot with anger as he rounded on the older Hitachiin.

Both boys locked angry glares and Haruhi stiffened, her eyes wide as she saw two of her friends bare their teeth at one another. Before she could say anything to smooth things over she felt Kaoru's arm leave her and reach out to the other boys. All eyes turned to him in surprise. A small, apologetic smile crossed the younger twin's lips as he placed a soothing hand on Kasanoda's shoulder, relieving some of the D-class senior's anger.

"Gomen-nasai, Kasanoda-kun," voiced Kaoru softly. "You're right. We should be more careful when it comes to Haruhi. It wouldn't be good for any of us if her identity were exposed."

"Kaoru!" gasped Hikaru looking ticked that his brother had sided with Kasanoda.

"It's true, Hikaru," insisted Kaoru simply as he turned back to his brother. "We should be more careful from now on. Graduation is only in a few months but that's no reason for us to let our guard down. Reiji is right also--no more goofing off."

"K-k-kaoru-sempai!" gasped Reiji his young face lighting up.

Kaoru gave him a grin.

"Okay everyone," Kaoru began as he turned to face them all, "our guests will be arriving soon so I need you all to work double-time today. Hikaru, Haruhi, get our costumes ready. Bossa-nova-kun, ready the tea sets. Hop to it!"

Kasanoda, calmed by Kaoru's sensitive demeanor, set to work without a word. Hikaru had a stubborn look on his face but Haruhi pulled him along with her to gather up their costumes. She had a smile on her face.

She enjoys the club now, thought Kaoru as he gazed after them both fondly. After all the crap we've put her through she really likes the Host Club... or, at least it isn't just an unpleasant way to pay off a debt.

He chuckled and turned his attention to the younger boy next to him. He frowned, suddenly realizing one of their number was absent.

"Hey, where's Shiro?"

"Oh! About that..."

Reiji scrambled through his notes frantically and the younger Hitachiin wondered how he'd ever get over the fact that Kyouya had chosen this commoner to be the next Host Club VP.

"Ah, yes!" exclaimed Reiji with only a hint of relief in his voice. "Shiro called and informed me that he would miss the first hour of club today due to a make-up test for the day he was ill."

"Well, that's not good," muttered Kaoru as he raked his brain for a possible solution to being down one host. "Let's see, we'll... offer his customers advance tickets to our dinner party next month."

"Great idea!" praised the junior as he made a note of the decision. "I'll make sure they get seats next to his place at the piano."

Kaoru smiled after him before moving to help Kasanoda set up the area. The work of the Ouran High School Host Club President was never done.

To be continued...

Author's Notes: This chapter... yeah, I basically hated it. I just needed to get the characters and some of the newer info in first but I couldn't figure out an interesting way to do it. Sorry all. --;; It will be better for chapter 1, believe me.

Anyway, what do you all think of the new character Reiji and having Kasanoda and Shiro in the Host Club? I'll get to why later--I'm not terrible enough just to throw in random characters without reason. Still, any feedback you can provide on first impressions are good. Oh, and Reiji isn't in any way related to Kyouya. In Japan many younger kids often refer to older kids they look up to as Onii-chan and Onee-chan (big brother and big sister) but this is often seen more in young children.

And what about Kaoru as the Host Club's President? ;; I know, he and Haruhi are the main characters in this fic but that's not why I chose him for that position. He's the only one who can really fill it when you see my cast, though. Hikaru is too hot-headed for the position, Haruhi, though she likes the club now, would push her Club duties behind her and all the others are too new to the Club or hold different positions. That's my opinion anyway...

As for italics, I only italicized full Japanese words this time and left the honorifics alone. I think I'll continue to do that too...

So, yeah, reviews and constructive criticisms are very much welcome. Bring it on!