Rating: T for safety
Warning(s): AU; Crosses over with Kiniro no Corda
Summary: [AU, Ouran High School x Kiniro No Corda Ouran Academy was always known as a good music school, so what happens when they face off against Seiso Academy and St. Lobelia's Institute for first place in the triennual music competition[CH5 Music Camp in Karuizawa begins with some revelations.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran High School Host Club, Kiniro no Corda, Skip Beat! or any other anime that may or may not be mentioned.
Thank Yous:Sailor Melina, as usual, for being the ONLY beta-reader to go over it in a week's time. Thank you for making it suck less!
Chapter Five: Revelations
"I can't believe the Chairman didn't tell us where he posted the standings!" Kaho blurted out, breathless, as she collapsed to the ground by the grand staircase marking the lobby of the Ohtori vacation home. She wasn't athletic by any means, and all the running had tired her out. "Whoever finds the list first knows the scores first?" she mimicked. "And how many rooms does this house have anyway?"
"We've seen fifteen bedrooms, ten music practice rooms, a common room, a kitchen, a dining room, a formal dining room . . ." Shoko recited all the rooms they had seen so far. "Do you count the terrace? That makes thirty, not including bathrooms." She seated herself more gracefully beside her senior. "And the Chairman said it would be a fun way to get us familiar with the house and each other, right?"
Kaho sighed, pulling herself into a sitting position. "I know, I know," she said. "It's just, we've been at it an hour, and no one's found anything."
"What are you two doing?" Len snapped, spotting them as he flew down the stairs. "I checked all the upstairs bathrooms and triple-checked the terrace. We haven't found that list yet, so we don't have time to relax! I'm going to the formal dining room; you guys check the bedrooms again!" He dashed across the lobby, wrenched open a small side door, and disappeared.
Kaho moaned, dropping her head into her hands. "And I think the worst part of this is him." After the Chairman had announced that he had posted the results of the last competition somewhere in the vacation home, and they would have to work together to find it on their own, the gathered students had quickly split into their respective schools and loyalties. Tsukimori had quickly taken leadership of the Seiso team, telling them all rather forcefully that if Ouran or Lobelia found the list first, they would never find out the scores. Kaho thought that he was overreacting.
Shoko laughed. "Who knew Tsukimori-senpai had such leadership qualities?" She pulled her friend to her feet. "We'll go to the bedrooms and look around again. We don't want to be caught lazing by Tsukimori-senpai again."
Kaho agreed. After having caught Keiichi napping in the dining room, he had given the first year a sharp smack with a rolled up music score. "Who knew Len was so violent?" she corrected Shoko, slowly making her way up the stairs. "He overreacts way too much. Especially over music."
Shoko giggled. "You know you love it," she said, as they entered one of the bedrooms in the north wing.
"Oh, hey," A short girl with long blonde curls said, brushing by them, towing a brunette behind her. She paused as they entered the room. "There's nothing here, but you may as well check, because we might have missed it. Say, either of you want to explain why your leader is going ballistic?"
"He just really, really wants to find out how he did in the last competition," Shoko ventured shyly.
"He's worried that if you or the Ouran students find it first, you won't tell us where it is or something," Kaho added, her voice layered in scepticism.
The girl snorted. "Well, if you find it, tell us, okay? We'll tell you if we find it. I'm Arisa Kimihiro, this is Hana Yasatsune. We'll see you later," she nodded and disappeared, towing the quiet brunette behind her.
"I kind of feel bad for them," Shoko said softly after the Lobelia pair entered another room. "They're working with only six team members today. They're at a disadvantage."
"Where's their seventh member?" Kaho absentmindedly threw all the pillows off the cavernous bed. Maybe it was posted on the headboard? No suck (such) luck. She moved on to the next bed, throwing the pillows back on haphazardly.
"I heard that she got special permission to arrive tomorrow morning." Shoko entered the attached bedroom, checking the shower. "No one is saying why, though."
Kaho sighed and moved on to the dresser. "Well, it doesn't really matter. Help me move this dresser back, maybe they tacked it on behind the mirror here."
Meanwhile, Haruhi and the other Host Club members were tearing apart the recreation room. She didn't really understand why it hadn't occurred to anyone that they would probably find the list faster if they split up and looked for it. She also didn't really understand why it was necessary for her to be dressed as a hippopotamus for this event.
"Haruhi!" Tamaki's voice came out of the games closet. "Check under the pool table! Maybe they posted it on the underside of it!" Haruhi shook her head before complying. Oh yes. That was why she was dressed as a hippopotamus. Upon hearing the words "scavenger hunt," the Host Club King had declared that the Host Club had to have costumes for the event, and thus both the Seiso and Lobelia teams had a half hour head start, while Haruhi found herself being stuffed into a hippo costume. On the bright side, she thought, as she glanced upwards while under the table, they managed to force Kyouya into a snake costume. He was, rather predictably, making notes on a clipboard rather than helping with the search. Then again, she wouldn't put it past him to already know where the list was.
Nothing. Haruhi shook her head and crawled out from under the table. "It's not there, Tamaki-senpai," she called in the general direction of the games closet. The blond boy bounced out of the closet, dressed in the green safari wear. Of course, the safari theme would force everyone except him to be dressed as animals, she mused inwardly.
"Off to the formal--" Tamaki was cut off by two pillows smacking him in the face. The twins, dressed as parakeets, had been ripping apart one of the couches.
"There's nothing here, Tono," Hikaru said, his voice bored. "Everyone's already checked these rooms."
"Tama-chan, Tama-chan, let's search the basement!" Honey-senpai, a little lion for the hunt, dashed out from behind a bookshelf, where he and Mori (an antelope, for some bizarre reason) had evidently been checking. "I bet no one's been in the basement yet!"
"Basement it is!" The twins, delighted with an excuse to take Tamaki into somewhere dark and frightening, grabbed their lord's arms and began frogmarching him to the stairs.
"I FOUND IT!" A loud yell, audible through at least most of the house, echoed from the direction of the kitchen. "KITCHEN PANTRY, ON THE INSIDE OF THE DOOR!"
"Oh." The twins looked disappointed. "Looks like we don't get to go into the basement after all." At the exact same moment, they dropped Tamaki and headed for the kitchen pantry, followed closely by Kyouya, Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai.
"Come on, senpai," Haruhi said, pulling the second-year to his feet. "You want to check the scores, don't you?"
Upon reaching the kitchen pantry, Haruhi saw that the standings were, indeed, posted on the inside of the pantry door, which was currently propped open by a petite, blonde girl. Amusingly enough, she saw that the list was several inches above the girl's head. A small crowd of Lobelia and Seiso students were already clustered around it.
"Did you really need to yell about having found it?" Tsuwabaki, the opinionated brunette from Lobelia, was scolding her. "You couldn't have taken it down and found the rest of us to show it to?"
"I'm four foot ten. I can't even read the list, let alone take it down," the blonde defended herself casually. "Sorry."
"Oi, contrabass girl," Hikaru had managed to shove himself to the front. "You got eleventh. Kaoru, you placed eighth."
"Thanks," the girl replied, choosing that moment to attempt to make her escape from the crowd.
"Second," Kyouya murmured, impressed. He had angled his glasses in such a way as to be able to read the list from a distance. Haruhi raised an eyebrow; she had thought that Kyouya would never settle for second, but maybe this competition was a bigger deal than she'd realized. "You scored last, Haruhi."
"I knew these would come in handy!" Tamaki was beside himself, digging through the 'safari pack' that he had insisted was a vital part of his costume. He brandished a pair of binoculars, scanning the list "Third! Kyouya, you got second! And Kaoru got eighth and Hikaru got twelfth and Honey got fourteenth and Mori got sixteenth and Haruhi got twenty-first! Mom, we have such a talented family!"
Haruhi didn't see the point of telling Tamaki that there were only twenty-one competitors in the first place.
Kaho stared, in awe, at the spread of food in the formal dining hall. She had seen a similar spread of food at the opening dinner party before the first competition, but she had assumed it was just a special thing. Did these people really have meals served by servants and fancy food like this every day?
"Try the duck," Azuma pointed out, seated on her right. "It's especially well done. After all," he lowered his voice to a whisper," it's your reward for coming in third last."
Kaho winced. The memory still smarted; to her surprise, she had placed ahead of Hana, the really shy first-year from Lobelia's. She felt bad for the poor girl, especially after hearing the White Lily Society tear the girl apart over it. Arisa had mentioned to them that she had felt really nervous and missed notes because of it, but had backed off when they started in on her too.
Really, Seiso was in the lead anyway, so Kaho didn't understand why he was picking on her. Other than just to pick on her, of course. But Len had placed first, as she knew he would, and Ryoutarou had placed a very respectable fourth. Maybe Azuma was disappointed with his own placement of ninth; but Kazuki had placed tenth and he was celebrating. In fact, no one except for her had placed below fifteenth. Kaho sighed inwardly and turned to Shoko, sitting on her left.
"So are we watching Dark Moon tonight?" she asked.
"I hope!" the younger girl's eyes lit up. "Can you imagine Ren Tsuruga on that forty-eight inch widescreen TV in the recreation room?"
"Oh god," Kaho squealed, dramatically fanning herself. "Wow. That would be sohot."
"And Itsumi Momose . . ." Kazuki broke in, sitting on the other side of Shoko, a faraway look in his eyes. "On a forty-eight inch TV . . ."
"Personally, I like Mio," Arisa mentioned, across the table, pausing in her rapid intake of food. Kaho was impressed at how much the petite girl had managed to consume in only a few minutes. "Her actress, Kyoko, is really new in the entertainment industry, but she acts really well. Ohtori-kun?"
The dark-haired boy raised his head from the conversation he had been conducting with the other Ouran students. "Yes, Kimihiro-san?"
"Does the TV in the rec room have cable?"
"Great!" Arisa turned back to Kaho and Shoko easily. "Then Dark Moon in the rec room at ten pm." She looked down the table, evaluating the other students, and then shrugged. "Hey! Dark Moon in the rec room, ten pm!" she called out. She proceeded to inhale her food.
At the other end of the table, Haruhi shook her head. She was surprised that such a small girl had such a loud voice. She was also surprised at the amount of food that she was consuming. Where did all that air come from, and where was she putting all that food? "What's this Dark Moon, anyway?"
Tamaki stared at her, horrified.
Haruhi immediately wished she had kept her mouth shut.
"Haruhi!" he sobbed, throwing himself on her. "You're too poor to afford a TV!"
"No, I'm not!" she snapped, trying to escape from his grip. He'd been over at her apartment before, hadn't he seen the TV in the corner? "I just don't watch TV very often!" With effort, she shoved the host club king back into his own seat.
"Dark Moon is the remake of an old drama from twenty years ago – Tsukigomori," Kaoru informed her, laughing. "It's starring Ren Tsuruga and Itsumi Momose. You should go watch it tonight. And try the Peking Duck, it's done particularly well."
In the recreation room that night, Haruhi noticed that about half of the competitors had shown up to watch Dark Moon. Tamaki and the twins had opted to come as well. One of the couches was already occupied by Hino, Fuyuumi and the short blonde girl from Lobelia's; another was taken by two Seiso boys.
"But Hana said that she wanted to practice, because she placed second last, and Hinako, Chizuru and Benio think that intense love dramas are misogynistic, and so of course Kimiko said the same thing," the girl was saying, "So I guess I'm the only one from Lobelia's that showed. Hey, Fujioka-san, Hitachiin-san, Hitachiin-san, Suoh-san."
Haruhi quietly took a seat on the third couch, the twins choosing to sit beside her as Tamaki returned the greeting cheerfully and joined the two Seiso boys. Hihara and Tsuchiura, right? "Who's the blonde girl?" she asked Kaoru quietly. "Hikaru called her something earlier, didn't he?"
"Arisa Kimihiro," he replied, amused, as the opening credits for Dark Moon began to roll. "Plays contrabass; the instrument is twice her size."
The drama wasn't quite a horrendous as Haruhi had feared; though she thought the plot was rather clichéd and simple when Tamaki had ranted and raved about it to her, the acting carried it off quite well. The only thing that was truly horrendous about the whole thing was actually Tamaki and the girls, shrieking at all the appropriate moments. Haruhi supposed, however, that it was a good thing, as the character Mio was supposed to evoke that reaction from the viewers.
"She's brilliant!" Kimihiro breathed at the end. "Did you see that scene with the knife and Mizuki? Switch it over to Japonet Scoop, do you mind? There's an interview I want to see."
Tsuchiura, apparently in control of the remote, flicked over to the desired channel before offering his opinion. "The scenes were really well done," he agreed. "I didn't expect a love drama to be quite so captivating."
"And the way that Mio becomes more and more soulless as the plot progresses! Her actress portrayed that so clearly in the last scene!" Tamaki raved. "It makes me scared of her . . ."
"Don't be silly, Tono," the twins chorused immediately, devil's smiles appearing on their faces. "We're sure she's very nice in real life. Or at least," they looked at each other. "Nicer than us."
"Actually, I heard that Kyoko, the actress for Mio, was actually the angel in the Sho Fuwa PV for Prisoner, and she was in that Curara ad too," Hihara added. "I looked her up on the internet."
"I thought you had a thing for Itsumi Momose," Hino threw in, amused. "The girl who plays Mizuki, not Mio."
"I do," Kazuki grinned. "But I have a healthy appreciation of Mio too."
"Shh!" Kimihiro interrupted suddenly. "The interview is starting. Mika's in it!"
"Mika?" Tsuchiura frowned. "Isn't she your team member who didn't show up today?"
Kimihiro nodded, focused on the TV. Haruhi, looking over to the TV, saw that they were conducting an interview.
"So how do you feel about your first single Ephemere not only making the Oricon, but giving Fuwa's last single a good battle for first?" the interviewer asked of the band. The keyboardist, a dark-haired boy with bangs that flopped in his eyes, sat in the centre, clearly the spokesperson for the group. Sitting at his left was the vocalist and only female of the group, with long black hair held back by a red ribbon. On his right sat the guitarist, a rough-looking youth with a dragon tattooed on his arm. Left of the vocalist sat the bassist, a tall, dignified boy with long hair. Right of the guitarist sat the drummer, a lean youth with his ears pierced multiple times.
"Well," the keyboardist replied, "It was really unexpected. Technically, Ephemere isn't Eternal Night's first single, just our first single with our new vocalist. Overall though, I'd say we're feeling pretty good." A boyish grin spread across his face.
"Mika's the vocalist," Kimihiro said, motioning to the girl with long black hair on the screen. "She's not actually trained in French horn," she explained to the other shocked competitors. "She's trained as an opera singer, but last year she auditioned for a role in Carmen at the Tokyo Metropolitan Opera, and she actually got it. After the performance, a talent agency signed her on right away, and then like a week later, Eternal Night picked her as their new vocalist." Her voice echoed the pride she felt in her friend. "The French horn was kind of a fairy thing."
Haruhi laughed. She understood what Kimihiro meant by 'a fairy thing.'
"Makes sense," Tsuchiura said calmly. "Lobelia's fairy is known to pick people who already have musical training anyway. A second-year who was already a top opera singer and making a bid in the entertainment world would be a prime candidate for being your school fairy's chosen."
"So tell us about your new CD," the interviewer asked, curious.
"Well," the keyboardist continued, "it's a concept CD telling the story of a vampire who falls madly in love with a human girl, and what results because of it."
"Thank you so much for the interview!" The interviewer turned back to the camera. "We're just about out of time, so here is a sneak peak at the PV for Ephemere."
"Ephemere," Tamaki said, oddly thoughtful. "Short-lived. Temporary."
"Appropriate, then?" Haruhi asked, rising. "I think I'm going to go to bed; where are we sleeping?"
"They posted the roommates and room number lists at the head of the grand staircase in the lobby," Kaoru replied with a smile.
"Another attempt for us all to become happy and friendly," Hikaru added, smirking. Haruhi sighed inwardly, feeling sorry for whoever ended up with him. She wasn't sure if the twins had ever spent a night apart.
"I'll go check it then," she said, rising.
"We'll come too," Hino added, pulling Fuyuumi to her feet. "I'm tired."
At the head of the stairs, Haruhi scanned the sheet. "Hino-san, you're sharing with Tsuwabaki, first room on the left, west wing." She pointed out the name and room address on the sheet as Hino looked over her shoulder.
"Shoko, you're sharing with Hana, next door to me," the redhead smiled at her.
"Errr, Fujioka-san," Fuyuumi asked, her voice surprised as it was curious. "Why is your name listed on the girl's sheet?" Her finger pointed out that Haruhi would be sharing a room with Kimihiro, first door on the right.
Author's Notes:I'm not entirely sure when (or if) this piece will finish, because I've lost a lot of enthusiasm for it, though seeing as I have the entire plot planned out and all I have to do is write it, I really may as well write it. . .
Anyone who doesn't like that I threw in an OC, here's my reasoning: I have no 'link' between the Ouran and Seiso students and the Lobelia students. Ouran and Seiso students don't have anything against each other, plus certain characters for both schools are friendly enough that they'll just click (example, Hihara and Tamaki), but the Lobelia students don't, so I made one to provide more interaction overall for the Lobelia students, which becomes important later in the plotline. Arisa's character is mainly inspired by the Sakura character in Nodame Cantabile, but because she's the one interacting with both other schools, her predominant trait is being easygoing and friendly.
Really, at this point, the plot's just getting started. Fangirls, stalkers and riots here we go . . .!
As always, please review! Feedback will be awesome.