By Keiraun

Ratings: K+

AN: Fanfiction. I haven't written a single piece of fanfiction in almost three years. Wow. Its sad to think I haven't really improved, either. This will be my only fanfiction project, no guarantees on any sort of time-table, though. If you notice any glaring grammar mistakes or anything, tell me. The rating WILL go up, probably to M, so don't be surprised. I threw in some minor Japanese throughout out of habit, I suppose.

She came to work early, that morning, as she did every day. She came in early, and she stacked the shelves with the essential items that every downtown Tokyo business man needed: cigarettes, melon bread, new papers, chewing gum, condoms, bottled water. Sometimes anju pears when they were in season, too, those always seemed to fly off the shelves. These where the things that consumed her mind every morning before classes.

The days of the Host Club were just memories now, memories that only seemed to come to mind when she lined all the instant coffee on the shelf in the back of the store. Initially, after her graduation, they always seemed to be around. All of them. Tamaki would barge in unannounced whenever she had a paper due, Hunny (with his rather tall shadow in toe) whenever she was cooking, the twins whenever they needed help with their Physics or Chemistry or English homework, which was almost every day.

As the months went by, Tamaki transferred to a French University, became engaged, and lived his life away, preparing to take over Suoh family business. She only heard from him in his annual Christmas card (mostly recently featuring teddy bears building a snowman), which were almost inevitably signed by dear sweet fiancée Rebecca.

Hunny's dojo had opened, somewhere in Kyushu, in the Fukuoka prefecture if she remembered correctly, something like that. She'd only hear from him in his Christmas cards, too, always signed by Mori-sempai. Mori would always write a few paragraphs on the top panel of the card, about how he had graduated from business school, about how he moved to a new apartment, about his new dog, Zatoichi. Mori-sempai would write about Hunny's new prodigies, his new girlfriends, how much taller he'd gotten in the past year, just his latest happenings, too, and would always apologize for how busy his cousin was, and how much they both missed her. Mori always give his address at the end of his latest update, but Haruhi never really had enough to say to respond.

The twins, well, she didn't know where they were. They didn't write, they didn't call, but she wasn't the slightest bit surprised. They were probably on some zany travels, some wacky adventure that Haruhi wouldn't want to be a part of, or so she had concluded.

And Kyouya, well, she hadn't seen him since the day he graduated, since she, the twins, and the new "hostlings", as Tamaki called them, raised their glasses to toast their departing sempais.

And so life moved on and on. Haruhi was studying diligently as ever, having just been accepted into the Toudai Law Studies program. She worked two jobs to pay for her off-campus flat, and watched her life slowly build towards her childhood goals as she stacked newspapers beneath their appropriately printed company sign.

It just happened, one day, when Haruhi was stacking newpapers on the large, green racks that she noticed a familiar face just above the fold. He was an older man, facial hair, glasses… she knew him from somewhere but unable to pinpoint just who he was. Curiously, she unfolded one of the papers to see a rather interesting headline.

Ootori Company CEO and Family Patron Yoshio Ootori Dies of Congestive Heart Failure

Kyouya's father, she thought to herself briefly, he must devastated. She pulled out her cell phone and opened it, only for her to remember a second later that she hadn't heard from him in over five years.

I'll write Mori tonight, he probably knows Kyouya's number. She creased the paper again and added it to the pile, then went into the storeroom to get today's Tokyo Times.

And so the day rolled on without event, she walked to campus, took her morning classes, ate her bento, afternoon classes, and she walked home. She noticed clouds were gathering. It was going to rain that night, no lightening, she checked the weather report during lunch break. She stepped into her apartment, no mail in the mailbox, no messages on the answering machine. And so she eased, slowly, onto the couch, and grabbed the remote.

"-tori Yoshio-san was 63 years old. Next, on sports, the Karps are looking at one of the toughest games of the season!"

Oh yeah, I should probably write to Mori for that number.

And so she wrote. She wrote about work, about classes, about making bentos, about stocking coffee and thinking of the way things were. She mentioned Kyouya's father's death, maybe Mori wouldn't have heard in Kyushu, and she asked for his address. She apologized for never writing back. She just never had that much to say.

She just wasn't that interesting.

And she sealed the envelope, walked to the foyer where the postboxes were, and she placed it in the outgoing slot. She looked out the window, briefly, and watched the rain slowly weave its way down the glass. Fascinated, she pressed her fingers lightly to the glass and traced the path of the droplets.

A clamor at the entrance shocked her out of her momentary daze. "Eh! One moment!" she shouted, rushing to the door.

Before her stood a tall, slightly disheveled man, suitcase in each hand, and glasses nearly slipping off the tip of his nose. He jarred his head quickly backwards to readjust his spectacles, sending beads of rainwater from his hair flying into her face.

She rubbed her eyes, half in disbelief and half to wipe the water away, though in actually a greater percentage would go to the former.

"Eh, Kyouya-sempai?" she gawked.

"Haruhi, konbanwa. May I stay here tonight?"