Well, this little doodle was inspired by a friend who borrowed a quarter from me (well, a dime, actually) to make a copy in the school library. I took it for granted that he knew that I didn't expect him to pay me back, so I just stared at him like an idiot when he handed me a dime the next day. Said friend will not be mentioned, coz he probably won't read this. XD

"Oh, no. OH no. OHNO. OooOOHh NOOooOOo!!"

Sweat glistened on Tamaki's brow as he rifled frantically through his pockets. Growing more frenzied by the second, he reached deep into his pockets and turned them inside out. Nothing but a rubber band, a picture of Haruhi, and some lint.

"No0o0o0o!!" he cried, sinking to his knees amid the bits of pocket lint and disappearing into a swirling black hole of endless doom.

The pointy-faced, strangely angular librarian glared daggers at him over her half-moon spectacles, stamping due dates on books with unusual vehemence. Whack. Whack. Whack.

Yes, our lordship was in the school library. He had meant to make a quick copy of the worksheet he'd borrowed from Kyoya (Tamaki's had mysteriously been found floating in the angel fountain by the clock tower, he'd made a mental note to talk to the twins about that) and zip back out to attend to Host Club duties.

However, copies costed ten cents a sheet, and Tamaki didn't have any change. (or bills under twenty dollars, but that's beside the point) He'd tried asking the librarian to make change for him, but she merely glared at him icily and asked him if she looked like a bank teller.

In the depths of despair, Tamaki was about to resort to searching between the chair cushions for lost change, when he felt a light tap on his shoulder.

He turned around, and his violet eyes met Haruhi's coffee-brown ones. It was as if an angel had descended from above, sent by the forces of heaven to relieve him of his plight. A tiny speaker in Tamaki's mind flicked on, and the Hallelujah chorus wafted through the library's rafters, threading its way through the numerous cobwebby things lining the antiqued bookshelves.

"Did you lose something, senpai?" Haruhi asked, slightly apprehensive of the deranged look on Tamaki's face. She was torn between wanting to comfort him and obeying the more natural reflex of turning tail and fleeing.

"Haruhi!" Tamaki sobbed. "I need to make a copy, but the librarian's a demon in disguise and-"

"Wait, what?" Haruhi interrupted, bewildered. She chanced a glance at the librarian, and their eyes met. For a moment, Haruhi was frozen, incapable of tearing her eyes away from the bloodshot ones of the librarian. "WHAT?!" she yelped, her heartbeat quickening.

Then, the world came back into focus, and the librarian turned to look back at her books, nothing but an elderly lady with her graying hair neatly coiffed, dressed in a drab beige.

Haruhi heaved a sigh. Apparently, Tamaki-idiocitis was contagious.

"Senpai, the librarian isn't a demon."

Tamaki chose not to respond to that. "And I don't have any change to feed this vile beast!" He gestured madly at the inert hunk of metal and plastic sitting in front of him.

"Er, don't you think you should have told me that first? And how is it that you can order giant fatty tuna for lunch, and yet not afford to use a ten-cent copy machine??" she asked incredulously.

"It's not that I can't afford it," Tamaki replied, startled that she would think that. "I just don't have change."

"Not even one quarter? Why not?"

"It isn't proper for royalty to jingle," Tamaki said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "It simply isn't done."

Once again, the ways of the rich were too much for Haruhi. She groaned inwardly, and pulled out her coin purse. She shook the contents out into her palm, then picked out a quarter and held it out for Tamaki.

He stared at it in wonder. His mouth dropped open slightly, his indigo eyes round. He was absolutely astounded.

"What?" Haruhi asked uneasily. Maybe he'd never seen such small denomination coins before? Good God, he looked like he was going to break out in song and dance, like in some sort of grotesque Broadway number. She prayed that she hadn't been sucked into some alternate universe of high school musicals.

"I can't take your money," Tamaki whispered, almost reverently.

"Why not?" Haruhi was starting to wish she hadn't come to the library at all . . .

"Because . . ." Tamaki trailed off, unsure of how to approach this delicate subject. "Well, YOUNEEDITMORETHANIDO!!" He yelled in one big rush.

The librarian flashed him a vicious glare so full of loathing it nearly set the wallpaper ablaze.


Startled, the librarian looked down at the book in her hands. She'd stamped a hole clear through the first ten pages.

Meanwhile, Tamaki's eyes teared up, and he grabbed Haruhi, snuggling her in a viselike grip. "Oh, my sweet, giving daughter! Thinking nothing of herself! So noble!" He sniffled.

He stroked her hair for a few moments, while Haruhi gathered her ever-fleeing sanity.

"Senpai," she began, struggling to keep her voice even, "it's only ten cents."

At this, Tamaki released her. Blinking back tears, he gently took the coin from her. Cradling it in the palm of his hand like a precious diamond, he carefully put it over the coin slot and dropped it in.

In complete silence, still with eyes like an adoring puppy's, he pushed the glowing buttons on the machine, and waited till it spat out his copy. Taking the copy out of the tray, he folded it neatly and stuck it inside his jacket.

He and Haruhi exited the library together in silence, and made their way to the third music room. Tamaki got the door and held it open for her.

Settling into the inconsequential chatter of her patrons, Haruhi thought that was that. But then, she glimpsed Tamaki out of the corner of her eye. He was in full on prince mode, and she wondered vaguely which girl he was charming witless. But . . .

Eh? Why is he getting closer and closer . . . to me? And what is that look on his face? Ew. That doesn't look healthy . . .

"Haruhi," Tamaki said in a breathy voice, taking her hand. He knelt down on the floor in front of her.

Flowers blossomed out of nowhere, and the girls whispered breathlessly among themselves, absolutely shaking with excitement. Several fainted.

Heedless of all that, Tamaki continued in a voice quivering with emotion. "Your chivalrous donation saved me from crawling on the ground scrounging for coins. I vow to pay you back no matter what the consequences!"

Shiing. Crystalline rainbow bubbles floated up from the floor, and a blindingly bright light of valiance emanated from Tamaki. Somewhere in the background, Kyoya was taking souvenir pictures.

And Haruhi's exasperated reply was lost amid the squealing of fan girls.