Disclaimer: Ouran is not mine.
Summary: Haruhi needs to expand her vocabulary. To the rescue the most eloquent of the hosts. (Mori/Haruhi)
Author's note: No words.
Haruhi is lost in a world where no one speaks her language.
"I can't," she says, "I have chores to do. And homework."
"Let your maids take care of the chores," the twins chime at her, knowing full well there aren't any maids who can take care of anything for her
(They just forget, sometimes and then she's very aware she doesn't speak their language either.)
"I can't," she repeats.
The twins respond by whisking her off, to exactly the kind of fancy place Haruhi always feels mildly out of place in.
This time it's a restaurant, so fancy she doesn't even try to be completely at ease.
The other hosts, sitting round a dining table loaded with too expensive food, have been waiting for them it seems.
There are some standardized greetings that transcend language barriers (cute wave; calm look; fake smile; excited shout) she can't answer to because the twins are helping her (forcing her, more like) out of her coat.
"There's a button missing," Kaoru informs her and Hikaru follows up with: "Why don't you throw that crime against fashion away and buy a new coat already?"
"A button is easily sewn on again. No need for me to waste money," she replies with as much ease as the twins seem to have difficulties understanding her words.
There's an expression on their faces, something like wonder or disgust or something in between; they stare at her as if in desperate need of a bilingual dictionary. (Truth be told, she's too.)
Before there's a silence long enough to be awkward, Haruhi's engulfed in a pair of arms, in warmth and excitement.
"My ever so cute darling-daughter!" Tamaki shout-says while spinning her round in his arms, towards the other hosts. "We've prepared for you the most incredible banquet of edible delicacies!"
Haruhi expertly sidesteps Tamaki's forced embrace, takes a look around the table, her head swimming with the feeling of being talked at in a foreign language.
(For the most part, Tamaki could actually be talking in French to her. She wouldn't know the difference.)
"That's a lot of food," she finally states and means 'Isn't that too much?'.
"Yes!" Tamaki cries and means he would have liked for there to be more, "Isn't it wonderful?"
It's Hunny who prevents her from sending Tamaki into his corner of woe and misery with a blunt comment. (She only does because Tamaki interprets a malicious intent into her words where there is none.)
"Look!" Hunny cries purposefully adorable, "I saved you a seat and a piece of cake, Haru-chan!"
And he tugs her down, to 'the seat he saved' (in fact, the table's so large at least another twenty persons could find seats) right between him and Mori.
"Oh, I'm not really hungry," she says as Tamaki and the twins sit down as well. "I have to-"
"You should eat," Kyouya notified her while sipping at a glass of something red and expensive looking, "after all, the 'banquet attending fee' was charged to your debt."
(Occasionally Haruhi can't help but feel that accruing to her debt is Kyouya's way of telling her something.
She just wishes he had chosen a less subtle, less coded way to do so, because, frankly, subtlety like this goes right over her head.
Not to mention to her ever growing debt.)
"Fine," she says, even though it isn't. She takes a fleeting look from the seafood presented on a platter to the sweet-looking piece of cake on her plate, a long look at a just as terribly sweet-looking Hunny.
(She just knows she lacks the vocabulary to express herself in this case.)
She tries anyway.
"Hunny-sempai," she begins, pokes at the offending mixture of sugar and whipped cream on her plate with a fork she took up. "I don't think I-"
It's then she notices all the Host Club members looking at her, more or less expecting to hear a hymn of praise and gratefulness from her.
(Hunny, his eyes big and childlike, is looking the most expectant of them all. Just like she knew it would, her vocabulary fails her.)
Swallowing what she had been about to say along with a forkful of cake, she breathes instead:
"It's good," because it is; really, really good, something she would never buy for herself, even if it wasn't worth a whole week of her housekeeping money alone.
She takes another forkful.
The others display something that might be various stages of disappointment (from none to exaggerated).
(After all, they had been expecting praise. What they don't know is that 'It's good' can be translated as close to praise as Haruhi can come.)
When half the piece of cake is gone, Haruhi's very stuffed and slightly ill.
(Around her, the twins are squabbling with Tamaki; Hunny's indulging his sweet tooth; Kyouya's preoccupied pretending to not know any of them.)
Her next forkful's pain, the one after that torture, the constant glances at her wrist-watch bring no release.
Then, not exactly suddenly, certainly unexpected, her plate is swapped with one of seafood.
"Mhm," she comments.
"Aa," Mori states and begins to bury his fork into the remaining cake on the plate he took from her.
(Sometimes she finds herself thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, Mori might be able to act as an interpreter to her.)
The seafood's a nice gesture, a warm gesture and it looks more than delicious on the plate.
She finds she isn't hungry at all.
She's sick from sugar, from sugar and it all and very, very far behind on her chores and her homework.
So, she leaves the food untouched, sighs, takes another futile look at her wrist watch.
There isn't even enough time to release another suffering sigh.
Mori's hoisted her up, up, up; Haruhi is carried far, far, far away.
(Hunny waves happily at their retreating forms, Kyouya can be bothered to lift an eyebrow.
The twins and Tamaki, too caught up in their discussion about who threw the first platter of food (the twins), don't even notice their absence for several more minutes.)
Mori sets her down outside the restaurant, not too gentle, no too much as if she were fragile.
Before the cold can start to even nibble at her skin, her coat is wrapped around her.
"Eh," she says and it's all she can do to translate these untranslatable words she wants to say.
"Thanks, I guess."
(It's a lacking translation, one in which most of the nuances she wanted her words to convey are lost.)
Mori lifts the corners of his mouth halfway and she decides he just might have interpreted her meaning right.
"Well." She shifts in her coat. "I'll be going home now." And she starts walking.
He starts following.
( Either he hasn't as good a grasp at her language as she thought, or he simply ignored the unspoken 'going home alone'.
With Mori, it would probably be the latter.)
"Mori-sempai," she tries to rephrase her sentence into something he can't ignore; he interrupts her with a barely discernable mumble of "Takashi."
She blinks, isn't sure if she can translate that one word correctly, isn't even sure if there even exists a word for that one in her language.
"Takashi?" she inquires, not knowing if this has the same meaning for her as for him.
"Takashi," he compensates, voice a bit louder, a lot firmer than before.
(And she figures it just might mean the same thing.)
"Fine," she says in a way that's impossible to interpret for him and walks on.
There, lost in all those ambiguous meanings, Mori slips his large hands over Haruhi's tiny ones.
She doesn't contradict this particular interpretation of his.
They walk on, hand clutched in hand, because, for this, they need no translation.