Title: Country Roads

Series/Characters: Ouran High School Host Club/Tamaki

Rating: PG

Word Count: 789

Author's Note: I had the song stuck in my head, and was in the mood to right. I may come back and develop this more, but for now it's just a one-shot. : )

It's always…interesting to see Tamaki's serious half. His life in France hasn't really been developed yet, so don't hurt me if it's wrong in the future.

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It had been no more than a week since Tamaki Suoh, heir in-training to the Suoh legacy, had returned to Japan. Though, 'returned' wasn't quite the word for it, since he had been born in dear France. His mother was sickly, and they needed help…so he left his home country, to be raised as any wealthy child should.

He was being escorted to one of the Suoh mansions. Which one, he didn't know, except that it wasn't the main house. Ever since he'd arrived in Japan, he hadn't even so much as taken a step onto the property. It was to be expected, however, since he was the son born through an affair - a 'dirty child,' if you would. Not that Tamaki minded. He was here in his father's homeland in exchange for his mother's comfort and health. As his mother's son, he felt it his duty to care and protect her, even if they were oceans apart.

"Almost heaven, West Virginia

Blue ridge mountains

Shenandoah River -

Life is old there

Older than the trees

Younger than the mountains

Growing like a breeze…"

A song trailed into his senses – an English song, or, to be exact, an American one. The lyrics sounded pretty, but he wasn't in the proper mindset to even begin translating them. Though, he had to admit, it did bring back memories of beloved France… of beloved Mother. He wasn't sure why.

When his mother fell ill, they had moved to a small villa in the countryside – one of the only things they had left. Her father's company had fallen, and they were left with near nothing. It was hard, of course, but they worked through it. Tamaki could recall kind farmers passing on their way to market, a stream that always seemed too far away, a mountain range in the distance, surrounded by trees and plants he couldn't name.

"All my memories gathered round her

Miners' lady, stranger to blue water

Dark and dusty, painted on the sky

Misty taste of moonshine

Teardrops in my eye…"

He had missed the chorus while wrapped up in his thoughts. The boy propped his arm against the car window, his head resting on his knuckles. It was strange, the next stanza. The words described a girl…described a lady, though the last few lines confused him. However, as he delved deeper into his memories of France, the words began to find their meaning.

His mother, though frail, was kind and gentle. She had the sweetest of voices, and she always smelled of roses, even if she hadn't been anywhere near the garden.

Tamaki had never seen his mother swim. He had gotten her to take him to a small swimming hole one day, but she simply sat on shore and watched, never getting wet.

Her eyes were the clearest blue, as to put the sky to shame, equally matched by her pale skin. In a poetic sense, if his mother was pale, then the moon was the color of grain. When dressed in her favorite cobalt gown, he felt as if he was gazing upon the night sky.

A tear found its way down his cheek, and he resumed listening.

"I hear her voice

In the morning hour she calls me

The radio reminds me of my home far away

And driving down the road I get a feeling

That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday…"

Tamaki's memory of his mother's song was one of the more precious ones. Before she had fallen dreadfully ill, she would hum a sweet tune when coming to wake him from his sleep. Though, looking back on it now, he really couldn't differentiate between dreams and reality.

In all honesty, he missed his mother. Part of the deal for his mother's care was that they were not to see each other. He couldn't call her or write her…he even heard chatter among servants that she had gone into hiding, ashamed of letting him go.

There was no time for regret. What's done is done – as much as he missed France, he'd do his best in this new world.

"Country roads, take me home

To the place I belong

West Virginia, mountain momma

Take me home, country roads…"

Someday… Someday, he'll go back – he'll return to France. He'll return to his mother, no longer ill, and thank whatever and whoever helped cure her. By that time, he'll be a respected businessman, perfect for the heir of the Suoh family. He'll impress his grandmother, and prove that he's not some filthy child born of an unruly relationship. He'll be a person his mother can be proud of, and not regret his decision of leaving.

The road may be long, but he'll stick it through – he'll go home.