Yes, yes I know its been ages and ages since I've updated and I know that I am truly a terrible person who deserves to be tormented eternally in the deepest circle of hell BUT! (and this is the important bit) I have finally actually got round to writing the final chapter of this fic. Yay!!!
Anyhoo, the point is I had slight writer's block and I thank all those who commented and those who offered suggestions. I like comments; they are the source of all my power.
Right, so, here is the last chapter of this fic, please comment.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran Host Club………..yet…………..
As always, the hallway leading to the third music room of Ouran High School echoed with the faint sounds of laughter and the soft lilt of female conversation.
Two pretty girls in Ouran uniforms walked hurriedly down the corridor, heads bent together and giggling as they approached the double doors. As the first girl pushed open the door a breath of air that smelled faintly of wild roses brushed against her cheek.
The tall blonde standing framed in the doorway tilted his head slightly to the side, his blue eyes sparkling, and shot them a smile so charming that they could feel the blush rising in their cheeks.
He bowed, his eyes glinting mischievously at them through the golden coloured bangs that had fallen over them.
"Princesses, welcome. What will be your pleasure today?"
The host club was packed, as usual. As Tamaki showed the two new arrivals to a table, he passed Kyouya, whose customer was currently examining one of the bouquets of roses that decorated every table.
"What's this one called Kyouya-senpai?"
Kyouya picked one of the dusky pink roses out of the bunch; fingers twined delicately around its stem and as he examined it.
"Ah, the Rosa Chinensis, more commonly known as the China rose; a beautiful specimen extensively cultivated in China as an ornamental plant."
He smiled down at the pretty girl who was watching him with wide, entranced eyes, and delicately placed the rose behind her ear so that the flower sat nestled in her blonde hair.
"However, its beauty pales in comparison to yours princess." he said.
Smiling and satisfied as his customer blushed and looked at the floor, one hand reaching up to gently touch the rose, Kyouya surveyed the rest of the room and saw the twins having tea with three other customers.
Kaoru was laughing as he served one princess tea while Hikaru talked animatedly with the other two. There was a sudden clatter as Kaoru 'dropped' a tray, and two cups and a teapot skittered across the carpet.
Hikaru burst out laughing as Kaoru picked up the tableware. "For God's sake Kaoru, you're so clumsy!"
"Hikaru!" Kaoru cried; gaze averted and blushing furiously as tears began to gather under his eyelashes. "Don't laugh at me…"
Hikaru stopped laughing and looked at his brother with concern. "Kaoru?"
Hikaru rose from his chair and embraced the younger twin, tilting his chin up with one finger so he could gaze down into his tear-filled eyes.
"I'm sorry Kaoru, please don't cry. You know I can't stand it when you cry."
Kyouya scowled as girls throughout the room, including his own customer, let out cries of "KYAAAA!" and emitted small clouds of floating hearts. He realized that they were all having to do their bit to make up for Haruhi's absence from the club but that tea set was expensive and he wasn't going to risk it being broken just for one of their 'brotherly love' acts.
He continued to allow his gaze to travel across the room until it came to rest on the remaining two host club members. Honey-senpai was being his usual self, happily munching cake as a crowd of girls fussed around him, wiping smears of chocolate from around his mouth and smoothing his hair. Occasionally one of them would look almost apprehensively back over her shoulder to look at the somber boy sitting on the other end of the couch.
Kyouya frowned. They had been informed that although Haruhi would make a full recovery from her injuries, she would not be well enough to attend club activities during the last few weeks before summer holidays; a fact that had caused many exclamations of misery among Haruhi's customers.
He and the other host club members visited Haruhi after club activities as often as they could; he himself standing aside, quietly smiling and making the occasional dry comment while Tamaki stood, smiling fondly at the head of the bed and the twins and Honey leaped on her bed yelling and hugging her.
The others didn't seem to notice, but Kyouya had seen the way she would crane her neck as they came in, as though expecting to see someone standing in the doorway behind them. The way her smile would falter slightly when she realized that it was just the five of them.
He sighed and looked back over at Mori. One of the girls had said something to him and he had responded with a small smile, but it seemed forced and emotionless. Mori had seemed so withdrawn lately. Well, he corrected himself, even more withdrawn than was expected from Mori-senpai.
He shrugged and turned to his next customer. Honey-senpai had told them just to leave alone, that things would sort themselves out soon enough.
Honey knew Mori better than any of them; he'd just have to trust him.
"Honey-chan! What kind of cake would you like?"
The one of the strawberry on it! It's cute, like you!"
Mori smiled slightly at his cousin as the girls threw themselves on him, hugging him tightly. It really was a wonder he didn't suffocate among the floating hearts.
Mori looked up, saw Kyouya looking at him and sighed. Dutifully he leant over to his cousin and wiped a small blot of cream off his chin.
"Be careful Mitsukuni."
Honey grinned up at him. "Arigato Takashi!"
Mori resumed his position at the end of the couch with his head resting on his hand.
He knew he hadn't really been pulling his weight the last couple of weeks but he couldn't help it. Everything he saw reminded him of Haruhi.
He found himself comparing every girl who came into the club to Haruhi. The smell of roses seemed suffocating, constantly battering into him the memories he was so desperately trying to put out of his mind. Each memory hit him like a firework, exploding into minor bursts of guilt, remorse and sadness.
He sighed and gazed out the window at the sprawling Ouran grounds, glowing in the late afternoon sunlight.
He missed her so much. Everyday.
He had planned on refusing to return to host club but Mitsukuni had convinced him. Haruhi wouldn't be attending anyway
that was his fault
so he supposed he might as well. It would be summer holidays soon anyway, so it would be easier to avoid her.
He sighed softly as he looked around the club. She'd been a natural here. She'd fitted in. And now that she'd left she'd next an empty space. There was nothing there.
Nothing but the lingering scent of roses.
That had been over a month ago.
Mori stepped out of the dojo into the sunshine; tilting his face upwards with his eyes closed to momentarily bask in the afternoon warmth. He opened his eyes with a frown, something was wrong.
There had been no cry of "Takashi!" and no small blonde figure had hurtled himself at him. He looked around at the small bench near the dojo door where Honey usually waited for him after kendo practice.
In place of a small childlike boy, swinging his legs and playing with a worn usa-chan doll there was a note in an envelope marked "Takashi".
He walked over and picked it up carefully. He opened it and scrutinised the sheet of paper inside. It was definitely Mitsukuni's handwriting.
Gone home early, you'll have to walk home yourself. Try not to be an idiot!
Mori frowned and turned the letter over. What was that supposed to mean? After re-reading the letter a few times he shrugged and put the note in a nearby bin.
He turned down the street and turned into the park he and Honey always walked through to get home. He walked past playing children and laughing teenagers who were out enjoying the sun and smiled slightly to himself.
He turned, as usual onto a path that branched off from the main one through a grove of trees and walked gratefully into the shade the trees offered.
This was always his favourite part of their walk home. Away from the noise and commotion of the rest of the park, this path was canopied by spreading and interwoven branches of trees that bathed the path in a dappled green light. The path also ran through a small river that gurgled cheerfully on its way to the pond in the centre of the park. The path led onto a small bridge that passed over the river.
Mori stopped in his tracks.
There was a girl on the bridge.
Haruhi was leaning on the railing of the bridge, one hand held out over the river so that it caught droplets from the occasional rainbow tinted spray that the river threw up. She was wearing a pale green sundress that fell to her thigh and white sandals. The bruise on her face had faded and was replaced by a contented smile as she watched some leaves that had fallen into the river dance in the current.
Mori stared at her in shock. It's ok. She hasn't seen you. Just walk away and…
Damn. From what his could see of her with his eyes cast to the floor, Mori saw her lift her arms from the bridge's wooden railing and turn to him. Arms clasped demurely behind her back.
What were the chances? How could she possibly know that…
Mori's face darkened and he scowled slightly.
"Try not to be an idiot!"
What the hell was that supposed to mean!? He wasn't even going to talk to her.
How could he possibly talk to her……?
"Mori?" the voice repeated, this time with a slightly more timid edge.
Mori's head jolted up a little as he was startled out of internal guilt-ridden monologue and he caught a brief glimpse of her face. She looked confused, her face set with a stubborn look.
He lowered his gaze again. He'd forgotten how pretty she was……
There was an exasperated sigh from up ahead.
"So that's it then? You're not going to speak to me." she said in an annoyed tone, folding her arms over her chest.
She dropped her face, her hair falling into her eyes. This time her voice came out as more of a hurt whisper.
"You're not even going to look at me?"
Mori shut his eyes; he could feel his heart caving in just listening to her. She sounded so sad.
He couldn't stand this. Why did she keep doing this? Didn't she know he didn't deserve to speak to her? Let alone look at her.
Just walk past her. It's for the best.
Heart sinking in his chest, he walked up to her. He kept his head down.
He walked past her. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her turn so her eyes could follow him. Out of the corner of his eye he caught the look of wounded confusion on her face.
He walked past her, looking straight ahead. Fighting with each step not to whirl around and run back to her.
"I was awake!"
He stared straight ahead in terrified disbelief. The words flooded through his mind, repeating themselves over and over, each time feeling like a slap in the face.
The sounds of the path; the murmuring of the river and the chirping of the birds, seemed deafening in the stillness.
He thought he could feel Haruhi's gaze on the back of his neck.
Just run. Run before she laughs. Quick……
He felt a tentative touch on his hand and screwed his eyes shut with the agony of mental anguish.
"Mori? Look at me."
He felt his neck move of its own accord. Even in these circumstances he couldn't bring himself to deny something she'd asked of him.
He looked down into Haruhi's eyes as she walked around him, eyes never leaving his, until she was standing directly in front of him.
He way he looked at her was identical to the way he had before he had left her sleeping at Kyouya's house. Simple adoration marred with terrible loss and sadness. He found he wasn't even scared anymore. He had passed as far through fear as he could go and was now floating in the calm waters on the other side.
She was looking up at him, her eyes were thoughtful, tinged with apprehension and, he frowned inwardly, fear?
As if hearing his thought she dropped her eyes nervously. She picked up one of his hands in both of hers and began to delicately trace a pattern on it with one index finger.
"Did you mean it?"
He blinked in surprise. This wasn't what he'd expected. Well, he was sure the laughing would start soon enough and then……
"Mori?" She tilted her face up to his and looked at him. "Did you?"
He sighed to himself.
Might as well, he thought, his thoughts taking on a hysterical edge. Since it doesn't seem likely that you're going to disappear into a hole in the ground, you might as well tell her the truth.
His heart was pounding and a hot blush was rising in his cheeks but he forced himself not to look away from her shining eyes.
"Every word." He said calmly. Sadly.
He heard the small intake of breath as she gasped and watched as her eyes flickered over his face, examining it studiously for any sign that he might be lying.
After what seemed like an eternity to Mori, she dropped her gaze again. When her eyes moved back up to meet his, they were still filled with that nervous apprehension but now they were dancing and shining with barely contained joy.
She bit her lip and stood on her tip toes so that her face was right up next to his.
Mori could smell her shampoo and feel the rapid beat of her heart against his body.
The sounds of the pathway stopped. Everything stopped. Mori held his breath and felt his heart stop in his chest.
Haruhi smiled and looked into his eyes.
"I love you too."
Letting out a delighted laugh at his completely stunned expression, Haruhi placed one of her hands on each of his shoulders and pressed her lips against his.
Once he had recovered from his initial shock,
(Haruhi loves you. Haruhi is kissing you. HARUHI is kissing YOU!)
Mori closed his eyes and pulled her close against him, relishing the way she clasped his arms around his neck and allowed herself to be lifted off her feet as he kissed her back.
Not far away, hidden under the cover of leaves and branches and unknown to the two on the bridge, the rest of the host club hid in two trees overlooking the scene.
"Kawaiiii" Haru-chan and Takashi are so cute together!" Honey exclaimed delightedly looking fondly across the water at the two kissing figures in the distance.
"Cute!? That's my beloved daughter you're talking about! And she's being violated! Don't worry darling, Daddy will save you!" wailed Tamaki, making to jump down from his branch.
"Shut up Tamaki." Kyouya said in an amused voice as he grabbed the blonde's collar and pulled him back into the tree, causing a small shower of leaves.
Kyouya leaned languorously back against the trunk and smiled wistfully at the couple as Tamaki sulked next to him.
Kaoru smiled too as he watched looked at Mori and Haruhi but he was mindful of his brother who was clutching his hand and watching with an unreadable expression.
Well, unreadable to most people anyway.
Kaoru squeezed his brother's hand.
"You alright?" he said, his voice full of concern.
Hikaru sighed and then nodded, turning to Kaoru with a weak smile.
"Yeah. She's happy right?"
Kaoru smiled and nodded before tugging Tamaki's foot where it hung beside his shoulder.
"Come on, m'lord. Let's go."
One by one, the other members of the host club jumped, climbed, or in Tamaki's case, fell out of the tree and strolled away across the grass in the afternoon sunshine.
And on the bridge, oblivious to all this, two figure kissed in the dappled sunlight.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Oh dear god longest chapter ever………
Well I hope you enjoyed my random little fic and watch for other quality Sakura Seraphim productions (pffffft).
Thank you lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots for reading and even more if you reviewed.
I love you all!