Basket of Fruit

Chapter 9


Tamaki rolled over in the sheets, looking out at the bright afternoon sky outside the large windows of his bedroom. He cast an arm over his head and stared at the ceiling while his cell phone rang on his bedside table. It was already past lunch, but he didn't feel like getting up nor eating nor dealing with work. He hadn't been feeling like himself lately and he didn't want to admit to himself why.
Sighing heavily he picked up the phone, the longer he put it off the worse it would be. Looking at the caller ID his eyes widened at the name on the display. He quickly flipped the phone open before it could go to his voice mail and put it to his ear. "Haruhi?"

"Sorry, I'm not disturbing you, am I?" Asked the unsure voice on the other end.

He smiled sightly, running his free hand over his short blond hair. "No. I wasn't doing anything important."

"Oh, good." She sighed with relief. "I wasn't sure if you might be working or something."

"No, my weekends are usually free. Unless something unexpected comes up, of course." He pushed himself up, resting his bare back against the high white wood of the bed's headboard. He waited for her to continue.

"Oh, well thats good then... I didn't want to be a bother."

He smiled more now. "You never can bother me, Haruhi." His voice slightly husky.

The way he said her name caused her to pause briefly. "I-uh..." She continued a little flustered. "I just wanted to call and make sure that everything was alright. You left kind of quickly yesterday. I was just wondering if something was bothering you."

'You.' He thought. Seeing her, being near her did things to him. Things he hadn't felt since she had left and taken part of his heart with her. He had thought he was over her, even if he had never really had her but the more time he spent with her, the more he wanted her. He wanted her to himself. Wanted her for whisper his name in the night. He closed his eyes.

"Tamaki?" She called when he didn't answer. "You still there?"

He smiled sadly as he pushed his desires off to the side. "Sorry, Haruhi. Something for work had come up and I had to leave" He lied smoothly.

"Oh." She was relieved. "I guess that kind of thing happens often, huh?"

He leaned forward, resting his elbow on his knee, the phone held to his ear with his other arm. "Yes, sorry to make you worry."

In her apartment Haruhi pushed the plate set around on the table with a slim finger, feeling a little unsure where to take the conversation from there. Picking up the gift she put it away with the other dishes. She could give it to him the next time he was over. "Well I just wanted to make sure everything was okay. I'll let you go. Talk to you later, Tamaki."

"Good-bye Haruhi."

She flipped her cell phone close and sat down at the small kitchen table. Kaoru had mentioned that Tamaki I taken her leaving hard. She wanted to ask Tamaki if that had been why he had never visited. Out of everyone in the club, she had expected to see him the most but during her five years there, not once had he come to see her. She admitted to herself a long time ago that she had developed feelings for the blond prince and his absence during those years had hurt. Even now, peeks of his former self seemed to be peeking out from the cracks in this new person. This new Tamaki. "A Tamaki who makes out with random girls in a club..." She sighed.

Riinngggg~ Haruhi jumped at the sudden ring of her phone. She frowned at the unknown number on the display and answered the phone. "Hello, Haruhi speaking."

"Miss Fujioka?" Asked a deep male voice from the other end of the phone.

"Yes, this is Haruhi Fujioka." She leaned back in her chair a little.

"Good afternoon, Miss Fujioka. My name is Lee Lawson, from Lawson and Market Law. I'm calling in regard to the resume you submitted."

She sat up even strighter. "Yes?"

"We were very impressed with your resume and your recommendations. If you are still interested, we would like to have you come in tomorrow afternoon for an interview. How does that sound, Miss Fujioka?"

She smiled. "I would be honored, Mr. Lawson." She wrote down the time and address on the back of the flower card from Hunny and Mori's flower vase, having no other paper around and hung up the phone. She smiled at the card, excited and anxious for the interview. She decided she should make the use of what would be her last free afternoon and worked on unpacking more boxes.

-oOoOoOoOoOo-

Mr. Lawson was the co-founder of Lawson and Market Law. An older man of some 50-years, his hair was still thick but graying along with his light beard. He held an air of authority and power that might have had something to do with his size. Under his tailored suit jacket, Haruhi could tell he took care of his body as much as he did his mind. She glanced around at all the certificates framed along the walls. Despite all this, he had a gentle smile. "Miss Fujioka," He held out his hand to firmly shake her smaller one. "may I be the first to welcome you to Lawson and Market Law. I hope you enjoy your time with us."

Haruhi returned the smile. "I'm sure I will."

Sitting back in his large padding chair, Mr. Lawson folded his fingers together. "Seeing as how you have no current job experience, we will start things out with a trial period. During this time we will test your knowledge, skills and resolve." She nodded to show that she understood and he continued. "We tend to do things a little differently around here. Our lawyers are fighters! We want to make sure you have the right edge. That drive to win." He leaned forward. "Before we feed you to the sharks, we will make sure you are ready to handle them." He leaned back then, his lips pressed in a thin line. "However if we determine that you are not cut out for this, we will have to ask you to leave."

Haruhi licked her lips. She had expected this. She knew being a lawyer wasn't going to be a cake-walk. She needed to be tough and stand on her own. She could do it.
Seeing the resolve in her eyes, Mr. Lawson smiled. "Good. I think you'll do well here. Now to start you off..."

She was to start the following morning. She would spend a week shadowing the other lawyers within the firm. Each would share with her a previous case file from their records for her to review. She was then to present how she would go about defending her "client". Mr. Lawson warned her that some of the files had been tampered with and that she was to note down any discrepancies she found. She was also to sit in on any court trials her shadowee might have that day.

She opened her apartment door and dropped her keys into the small ceramic bowl on the table in the front hall. "I'm home." She called out to the empty apartment as she took off her shoes. Making her way into the kitchen she got to work making dinner for herself.

She hummed in the quite apartment as she chopped some vegetables while waiting for the rice to be done. It didn't take long and soon her simple dinner was ready. Still excited over her new job, she picked up her bowl and sat down at her small kitchen table to eat. She shoved the last bit of her dinner into her mouth and decided she should call her dad to let him know the good news. Putting her empty dish on the counter next to the sink. Leaning against the counter, she brought her phone up to her ear, patiently listening to the ringing tone.

"You've reached the Fujioka residence. Please leave a message." Her own voice greeted her as the answering machine picked up. Her dad must still be at work. He really needed to change the message of the answering machine, but he thought it was cute and didn't want to change it. She sighed.

"Hi Dad." She started her message when the phone beeped. "I just wanted to let you know that I got a job at Lawson and Market Law. They have me starting tomorrow." She paused, unsure what else to add to her message. "Love you, Dad. Take care and get lots of rest." She flipped her phone closed and rolled it around on her hand. She glanced around the apartment for something to do and set her sights on cleaning the remaining dishes from dinner and preparing a lunch for tomorrow.

The dishes put away and the kitchen clean, she walked around the apartment only to find herself in the bedroom. She soon set to work unpacking the remaining items of cloth sitting in the last few boxes left in the corner of her bedroom. It didn't take long however as she finished folding the last of her shirts, closing the sliding draw beneath her bed. Getting up, she dusted off her pants and started to breakdown and gather the now empty boxes. Her shoes on and keys in hand, Haruhi grabbed the now bundled cardboard and a bag of garbage and headed to the dumpster.

Haruhi closed the door to the garbage room behind her and paused on her way past the wall of mail boxes towards the elevator. Glancing down at her the keys in her hand, she noticed a single smaller key among the other larger house keys.

She didn't expect to have any mail just yet. She had only moved in after all but it wouldn't hurt to see if there were any flyers or coupons that she might be able to use. Finding her small mailbox to the far right of the wall, Haruhi crouched down to turn the key in the small lock. Inside was a small handful of flyers and a magazine on show cars that must belong to a previous owner.

She saw no one else on her trip back to her apartment. Dropping the mail down onto her coffee table, Haruhi dropped onto the couch in front of it and checked the time on her phone. "Only after seven?" She sighed, wondering what else she could do with her time on a Monday night. Nothing came to mind. The apartment was clean, dishes done and her things were all put away. She relieved with a start that this was the first time since she could recall that she had any true free time. There was no more studying to be done, no shopping or cleaning she needed to do and she had everything she needed prepared for her new job tomorrow. She had nothing to do.

"I can't believe I'm doing this." She glanced down at the phone sitting next to her on the couch. She had never sought out the Host Club before. They had always just shown up. Keeping her on her toes and never letting her have a spare moment to herself. Even when she was in university, she had her roommates and her studies to keep her busy but as she looked around the empty apartment, she wasn't sure what else to do.

Her phone in hand, she was left with a decision she didn't know how to make. Who should she call first?

She flipped open the phone and started to scroll through the contacts. All of the host club members phone numbers were in it, from there home, cell to work numbers. She had even added in the phone number to her new job while she had been on her way home. She glanced at the contact above it and selected dial.

"Haruhi." The voice on the other end purred, holding a slight note of amusement to it. "I was just thinking about you. How did the interview go?" He asked.

She didn't bother to ask how he had known. Kyouya always seemed to know everything that went on. Very little got past him. "Well, I got the job." She announced happily, leaning back on the couch.

"As expected of our brilliant Haruhi."

She blushed lightly at the comment. "Well we will see how things work out. I think I will enjoy it though. They are even going to start giving me my own cases in a few weeks."

"Well I wish you all the best in this new endeavor. If there is anything you need, please feel free to ask." He assured.

She shook her head but realized he couldn't see the gesture. "No, you've done more then enough already, Kyouya. I want to do this on my own."

A low chuckle reached her ear from the other side of the line. "Same old Haruhi, never accepting anyone's help."

She wondered briefly what he was currently doing and pictured him sitting behind a desk somewhere with his laptop in front of him, working late as always. "... I'm not disturbing you, are I?" She asked meekly having realized she might have interrupted him at work. It wasn't that late after all and Kyouya aways worked into the early hours of the morning.

Sitting in his apartment, he leaned forward in his armchair. His tie hung loosly around his neck and several of the topmost buttons on his dress shirt at been unbuttoned. He moved his laptop computer from on top of his legs to the table in front of him and dropped his feet back to the floor. "No, not from anything important."

"I'm sorry! I wasn't sure if you might be working late or not but I just wanted to let you know that I got the job. I'll let you get back to work. Sorry for bugging you. Take care of yourself and try not to work too hard. Goodnight, Kyouya."

The phone beeped in his ear before he was even able to say goodnight or even insist that she had not interrupted anything important. He glanced over that the figures and data displayed on his laptop's screen and took his glasses off. Dropping them onto the table, he leaned back and punched the bridge of his nose as he fought to calm down the headache threatening to startup. Eyes closed, his phone still open in his hand, he waited for the ache to subside.

He had been going over the sales figures for a new project when he got her call. Even though he had known about the job already he had been hoping to hear from her how the interview had gone. He had wanted to hear the excitement in her voice when she told him she had gotten the job. She dream job. He turned his head to the side and glanced across the empty and quite apartment.

Pushing himself out of the chair he walked over to the large window that overlooked the city. He leaned his forehead against the cool glass and looked down at the blurry lights below. He felt the need to see her smile and pushed himself back from the window. Stocking back across the room he snatched his glasses off the table and put them back in their rightful place and glared at his laptop.

A frustration rose up in him as the darkness inside broke out from under his careful control. With a swift motion he knocked the computer to the floor, shattering the screen and turned to get a drink.

-oOoOoOo-

Haruhi turned the phone over in her hands a few times, a habit she had picked up during her time over seas. She didn't feel like calling the others now. She might disturb them also and she didn't want to be a bother. Didn't want to burden them. Haruhi opted to send them all the group email and left her phone on the coffee table as she went to take a shower.

Her long dark hair wrapped up in a fluffy green towel she had found in the bathroom, she slipped on her pjs and moved back towards the living room. She had taken her time in the shower but it still wasn't enough and now it was barley eight o'clock. Dropping back down onto the couch she picked up the remote from the table to find something on tv. Haruhi clicked around a few channels till she found the news. It had been a while since she had been back in Japan, she might as well use her free time to catch up. It might even help her with her new job.

Her phone beep to let her know that there was a message waiting. She smiled as she read over the replies from the other hosts.

"Congrats, Haru-chan! =^-^= Takashi and I wish you the best! We should have cake to celebrate!" - Hunny.

"That's wonderful news, my dearest Haruhi. Happy to hear you are finally reaching your dream!" - Tamaki.

"I think this calls for a celebration! We should go out and get some drinks!" - Kaoru/Hikaru.

She pulled her legs up to her chest on the couch and glanced up at the TV. The news reporter was talking about the various stocks and financial workings of many of Japan's larger corporations. Behind him their stock numbers were displayed on the back wall with small red or green arrows to show profits and looses. Haruhi noticed the name Ootori pass across the screen and smirked to herself seeing the small green arrow.


Sorry for the long delay! I have reposted all previous chapters, its worth a re-read for those following the story. Please R&R