Disclaimer: Ouran High School Host Club, the plot and characters, belong to Hatori Bisco and not me.
Eye of the Tiger
It was something Haruhi had believed she understood. Food was one of her few passions, and she relished it, reveled in it, lost herself in it. Hunger was the instinct that drove one to consume. She had thought she understood all there was to understand about hunger. She certainly hadn't expected to learn anything about it at the Tokyo Zoo.
Now, standing here in front of the tiger pen, staring into the hungry eyes of a huge striped cat, Haruhi noticed whole new dimensions unfolding, dimensions which (though they had been there all along, she realized) she had not noticed until this very moment, and in which hunger played an unique part.
Haruhi would never have considered going to the zoo on Tamaki's list of commoner activities. After all, she and her father had rarely gotten the chance when she was younger, and now that she was old enough to go herself, she never really had the interest. The zoo was just another Tokyo attraction, or so she had assumed.
She was surprised to find out that none of the other members of the Host Club had ever been to the Tokyo Zoo, then subsequently disgusted to find out that this was because most of them just went on safaris or hikes in tropical rainforests instead. Why see wildlife in cages when you could just as easily fly to South America or Africa and see them in their natural habitat? Damned rich bastards…
Nevertheless, the rest of the Host Club had jumped on board according to the King's wishes (or were dragged aboard kicking and screaming, in Haruhi's case) and that weekend had found them strolling between pens containing birds, primates, big cats and a host of other animals of all shapes and sizes.
Haruhi had allowed herself to be dragged around by the wrist for the better part of an hour while one or another of the more excitable members of the club pointed out this or that. The sun was shining, it wasn't too warm or too cold, the air was fresh and Haruhi was grudgingly forced to admit that she wasn't completely miserable being there. She certainly could have used the weekend to study, but maybe she could get some kind of extra credit in biology class…
The presence of an animal handler carrying a massive python for visitors to see up close an pet was the cause of incredible commotion amongst the group of hosts and for the first time in forty-five minutes, Haruhi's wrist was freed in deference to more interesting tactile adventures. Sighing in relief, she stepped back, then, sure that they would be occupied for a while, she had wandered over to the nearby giraffe pen to regain some semblance of personal space.
As she'd stood staring at the tall graceful animals, her mind drifting like a cloud, something had pulled her back to reality: A tightening in her spine, a prickling at the back of her neck, a feeling of being watched intently. Blinking, she had turned and met an intense feline gaze.
The tiger pen was just down the path from the giraffe pen, and it took her a moment longer than it should have to remember that the big cat was caged and couldn't get to her, because it was staring at her with such certain intensity. She breathed a sigh of relief and moved closer, until she was no more than a stone's throw away from the big animal.
It was still staring at her, and she stared back, mesmerized by something she could barely define. With just its gaze it communicated so much: power, confidence, superiority, pride in spite of the fact that he was caged and on display for the amusement of weaker creatures. And behind it all, a primal need, a hunger that seemed to have less to do with food and more to do with instinct. It was a drive, a knowledge, a predator's instinct.
Something tugged at her memory.
She gasped as realization struck her full in the chest. Her eyes widened and it suddenly seemed a bit difficult to breathe. This was a predator's gaze, and she'd been pinned under it before.
Memories flashed before her eyes, replacing the scene in front of her with something that had happened not so long ago. It had been dark then, and she had been on her back, and he was hovering over her. And the eyes gray, not golden, but this look was the same.
What were his words as he'd pushed her down onto the bed?
"…you say that you don't care about male or female but…I'm a man, so I can take you at any time, and a as a woman, you'd never be able to stop me…It's up to you if you wanna be so innocent, but being so defenseless is your own fault…"
There had been a pause, a silence, and when she looked into his eyes, it was those eyes. The stirrings of understanding had begun at that time as well as she'd stared up at him, mesmerized. But there had been a hesitation, a measure of uncertainty and apprehension that didn't quite fit flickering there as well, and the spell had been broken. And she had spoken and he had blinked, and before she could read that message clearly, he had started to laugh and pull away.
This tiger, eyes strong and golden, did not. It was different, but it was so much the same, and synapses fired and connections were made, she felt her face heat at the implications. Those eyes had been trained on hers, those hungry eyes.
Just what had she been missing all this time?
Her chest tightened with something akin to panic, just as terrifying, but somewhat less unpleasant. She realized she was breathing too hard, that people might be staring at her, and there was a rushing in her ears, like the roar of a cresting wave, but she was too busy drowning in the memory of an onyx gaze to give it much thought. If she hadn't broken the spell, if she'd allowed herself to become the predatory's prey…
"Haruhi! Look at this! Look at this!"
Someone grabbed her wrist and she was jerked sideways, away from the tiger's unyeilding eyes. She blinked and the spell was broken. Her head swam, her limbs felt like lead and she felt like she had cotton in her ears. Her heart was pounding from the adrenaline the memory had flooded her system with. Tamaki was yanking on her arm and he was moving too fast for her suddenly clumsy legs to keep up. She stumbled as she was pulled into someone else's path, bodies colliding, and then she was falling backwards.
Kyoya's head jerked around in surprise as she fell away from their collision, his eyes flashing as his arms folded around her shoulders, catching her before she had a chance to get better acquainted with the pavement. And for an instant she was staring into the eyes of a predator again and heat flooded her veins. Then he shifted, and the sun glinted off his glasses, and when she could see them again, they were once more cool and assessing, as though he'd slipped on a mask.
"You should be more careful, Haruhi," he informed her as he set her back on her feet.
He then turned and began strolling away, allowing a distraught Tamaki to inspect her for damage and beg forgiveness. Haruhi's ignored the plaintive wails of the blonde maniac beside, her eyes drawn after Kyoya, and she couldn't help but notice his slow, measured strides and the way his shoulders blades shifted under his shirt as he moved.
Power. Confidence. Superiority. A certain deference to weaker animals.
He stopped. His head turned and he glanced at her over his shoulder. The predator's eyes glimmered at its prey from behind the mask once more before he turned and strode away.
Haruhi couldn't help but think she had never in her life wanted so badly to be devoured.
I have never been to the Tokyo Zoo, so my layout of things is probably way off.
This was written at 4 am. That's all I'll say. XD Thanks for reading, please leave a review! (Flames will be shot out of a cannon into the Grand Canyon.)