Perhaps Love

Part 1

Author's Note: I spent a month writing this story and I'm very, very, very proud of it. This couple doesn't really get much attention (10 or so stories on so here's me contributing. My first Ouran fic, and please review. I also have a website up for this story, so please check it out at www. Geocities. Com/ girlquinndreamer/ perhapslove. html (no spaces, of course). The link is also on my profile page. Thanks and enjoy!


It was all about connections, Kyouya thought.

Kyouya sat quietly in his room with two human atlases open in front of him. The pages were filled with pictures of the internal human body, with muscles and nerves displayed in detail.

Kyouya checked his notes and sketched the network in the forearm. While doing so, he reached for his room remote and clicked a button, turning the overhead lights on.

It was nearly sunset and his father was not home yet. However, Kyouya was not a fool. He knew his father was at the Fujioka apartment.

After all, Kyouya was turning twenty in two days.

Kyouya closed his notebook, put his pen down and began to search for a name in his cellphone. When he found the desired name, he pushed the talk button, sending the call through.

Kyouya knew he had to work quickly.

--

"Happy birthday, Ootori-san."

Wada Souichiro, eldest son and heir to the Wada Banking Company. Ouran alumni and former classmate in 3-A.

Kyouya smiled gently. "Thank you, Wada-san."

Souichiro soon excused himself as Kyouya weaved through the people in the grand ballroom, occasionally stopped by fellow Ouran High School Academy alumni, their parents and his father's associates. He smoothed down the lapel of his suit, and readjusted the eyeglasses on his nose.

"Kyouya!" a familiar voice called.

It's about time, he wondered.

Immediately, a fair-haired man pulled him in a hug. "Kyouya! Bonne anniversaire!" Four other young men and a young woman soon joined them, all decked out in full formal wear. They were his fellow Host Club members from his days in high school: Morinozuka Takashi, Haninozuka Mitsukuni, Hitachiin Hikaru and Kaoru and Fujioka Haruhi.

"Congratulations, Kyouya," Suou Tamaki, the former Club leader greeted. "You have reached the age of ripe manhood--." Tamaki continued his speech of beautiful coming of age and youth as Kyouya turned to the others.

"Did you just arrive?" Kyouya asked.

"Uh-huh!" Hunny smiled sweetly, already armed with a plateful of cakes. Mori said nothing, just stood behind his cousin and nodded.

"We would have been here earlier but Haruhi was being picky on the dress we picked for her," the Hitachiin brothers spoke in unison.

The only female, Haruhi, frowned, turning away from the twins who stood on either side of her. "You were trying to get me in a low cut dress."

"But it's alright to wear one," Kaoru smiled.

"Yeah, especially since you kind of grew a cup size," Hikaru added without missing a beat.

"Yeah, whatever," Haruhi grumbled.

Kyouya took a moment to look at Haruhi's dress. It was a pink Hitachiin creation, he could tell right away, with rouching and lace in the right places to give her curves. He could imagine Tamaki's reaction when he first laid eyes on her. Most likely, the French man would have been rendered speechless... that was Kyouya's best guess.

"But doesn't she look beautiful?" Tamaki asked Kyouya after finishing his speech no one was listening to.

"A beautiful daughter..." Kyouya said and then turned to Tamaki while lowering his voice so only he could hear, "... or a beautiful woman?"

Tamaki stepped back while covering his quick rising blush with his hand. Kyouya knew Tamaki was not a fool... he understood his meaning. The reaction made Kyouya smile.

"Kyouya," he heard his name called. Kyouya turned, coming face to face with his older image. His father curtly greeted everyone and then turned to Haruhi. "Fujioka," Yoshio addressed her. "May I speak with you privately?"

"S-sure," she followed Kyouya's father towards the outside patio of the ballroom; she was soon followed by Kyouya. They weaved their way through the crowd until they reached the night air outside on the patio.

Kyouya only watched quietly as Yoshio turned to Haruhi. "I hope you considered what we spoke about last week."

"Actually, I'm going to have to decline--" Haruhi took a moment, standing tall before the older man.

It was time. Kyouya stepped forward.

"Actually Otou-san, I don't think Haruhi would be a well-suited bride."

Both Haruhi and Yoshio stared at Kyouya with wide eyes. "I think she would be a fine bride."

"Yes, I think she is smart. After all, she has top grades in her law school," Kyouya noticed her twitch at the corner of his eye. She was probably wondering how he knew that. "However, overall, Haruhi and I are... unsuited for one another."

"Kyouya," Yoshio spoke. That tone was familiar: disappointed, almost threatening. "You are now twenty years old. Both your brothers before you were engaged to be married, both to well-educated, dependable women." Yoshio did not sound happy with Kyouya's refusal. "You will do the same."

"I believe a marriage with another woman would prove better," Kyouya answered.

Yoshio's eyebrows lifted. "You have someone in mind?"

A smile found its way to Kyouya's lips. "Houshakuji's only daughter."

"Renge-chan?" Haruhi muttered in disbelief.

Yoshio stroked his chin, a sign to Kyouya that he was listening. "Although she isn't in law school, she is set in her father's footsteps. She is well-educated, very dependable and deeply dedicated. And since our families are associates..." Kyouya did not need to explain any further; he knew his father was seriously considering his suggestion.

Yoshio turned to Haruhi. "I hope this does not prove as inconvenient."

"No," Haruhi quickly shook her head. Before she could explain any further, Yoshio excused himself and left to find Renge's father.

When they were alone on the patio, Haruhi turned to Kyouya. "Um..."

"No offense, Haruhi, but you're not marriage material. At least, not mine," Kyouya explained, moving his glasses farther up on his bridge. "You were going to refuse anyway."

"Yeah..." Haruhi rolled her eyes. "I was surprised when your dad asked me. I mean, I would think you would be married to a rich girl."

"That's why I refuse to marry you. It won't benefit me in the slightest."

"I see," Harushi stared at him with disbelieving eyes. "Marrying Renge-chan, a family you have business relations with, will just strengthen that contract."

"That's part of it," Kyouya admitted while staring off into the ballroom.

"What else?"

A smirk formed on his face. "Even if I'm not the Ootori heir, I do intend to branch out into my own business endeavors. Having a powerful name behind me is ideal, don't you agree?"

"Hm..." Haruhi's eyes trailed in the same direction of Kyouya's. In clear view near the ice swan was their crowd of friends. Tamaki was desperately scanning the room, most likely searching for Haruhi, the twins teasing their Tono, while Hunny continued to stuff his mouth with Mori standing close by. Haruhi turned back to Kyouya and for a moment, his mask fell, an almost fond smile on his face.

It did not fail to escape Haruhi's sight. "Who do you think you're fooling, Kyouya-senpai?"

Kyouya locked eyes with Haruhi.

Haruhi just shrugged. "I mean, even though we're not in high school anymore, you still look out for Tamaki-senpai." She turned towards the ballroom and took a step towards the ballroom. "But anyway..." she took a few breaths before peering over her shoulder and smiling at him. "Thanks." She returned to their friends, particularly to a teary-eyed Tamaki.

Really, that girl was too observant for her own good. How she could read a person like a book was a dangerous asset. However, that was going to make her a superb lawyer, Kyouya thought to himself. He took a few steps into the ballroom and saw his father on the other side of the hall, talking to a familiar face.

He made a mental note for himself to make a house call before the week's end.

--

Renge could feel something was wrong. Maybe not wrong, but perhaps different. When her father came home, he was a little quieter than usual. He arrived late afternoon and immediately they had their traditional tea.

"How was your trip?" Renge asked.

Her father put down the Parisian newspaper to make eye contact with his daughter. "It turned out very well. In fact, Ootori's youngest son had his twentieth birthday party and I attended."

"Kyouya-san?"

"Yes... In fact," her father took a sip of his tea and placed the cup down. "Renge, I need to speak with you."

That caused her to put down her own tea. "What is it, Otou-sama?"

"Renge, you are the only heir to the Houshakuji fortune, but you are also my daughter. I want you to get married, eventually."

Renge's eyes widened. "Married?"

He nodded. "Yes. And marry well." He tried a weary smile; hopefully, the expression would lighten the serious mood. "I believe Ootori's son would be a well-suited match."

That caused Renge to spit out all her tea across the table and onto her father. "Kyouya-san? Him?" she said wide-eyed, covering her mouth with her napkin.

Taken aback, Renge's father grabbed a napkin to wipe his face. "Yes," he said, ignoring the fact that she had yet to apologize. "I thought you wanted to."

"That was almost three years ago!" she shrieked. "And besides, even if he does resemble my Miyabi-sama, he does not all fit the princely personality!" Renge jumped on her feet, onto the chair, with one foot on the seat and the other atop the headrest. "Yes, the cool type but not an ouji-sama!"

"But Renge, please hear me out," her father pleaded. "He has an excellent upbringing and is studying to be a doctor. He also has an excellent mind for business." If she did hear him, he could not tell, with all the shrieking and some sort of gibberish about a host club... "In fact, he seems interested in you, Renge. He asked to marry you."

Renge seized her tirade. "He... he did?" A hint of a blush found its way to her face.

"Uh-huh."

Renge sat properly in the furniture, allowing him to continue. "Renge, I think this marriage would benefit not only this company, but you as well. Kyouya-san is a respectable young man."

Renge did not have to ask twice. "When will I be married off?"

"Not for a while. However," he reached for her hand across the table and took it in his own. "Don't misunderstand. Although I want you to marry well, I want you to be happy. So, I want you to move back to Japan, continue your studies there and become truly acquainted with Ootori. After all, it's been a few years since you've seen one another."

Renge stared back at her father.

"However, you must have left an impression. For him to ask me for your hand in marriage after all this time."

Renge's shoulders relaxed and placed an assuring hand on top his own. "I'll leave for Japan."

"No rush, Renge. You can take time--."

She shook her head. "No, Otou-sama. I agree with you." She stood tall on her feet. "I must start soon in order to establish our fated lovely romance!"

"Um..." Renge's father watched in silence as she pranced across the room.

"I'm going to pack now!" Renge tore down the halls, into her room and shut the door behind her. She did not hear her father calling behind her, informing of a cordial dinner at the end of the week in the Ootori home. She stood against the door, head held high.

She had been expecting this since she was young. Growing up, Renge watched her classmates being pulled into arranged marriages. It was an effective way to create new ties or strengthen existing relations; Renge was not dumb. She knew she would not be an exception to the rule. Was not one of the reasons being sent to finishing school was to be marriage material? She was groomed to be a man's bride since childhood.

But... Ootori Kyouya?

Not that she was very disgusted by the fact. He was very good-looking, and very much a polite gentleman. However, spending time with the Host Club, she managed to see that there was not a romantic bone in his body.

Renge frowned. It would be ideal if my husband did... Commoners had it better. Snuggling to keep each other warm in the dead of winter with only a blanket or spending all their food money on firewood, since ALL commoners did that, was somewhat romantic. After all, is it not commoners who make those movies with those leading men with those extraordinary lines "You complete me", "I will love you 'til my dying day", "This is true love; it doesn't happen everyday," and a million more?!

However, she was not a commoner and would have to make due. Renge headed to her closet and started searching for her old things, throwing out last season's Ferragamo heels and Chanel dress in the process. She found a small box and opened it, revealing her old Playstation 2. Quickly, she plugged it in to her television and opened up a saved file. Immediately on screen appeared a tall man, wearing a white school uniform, a red scarf and glasses.

"You are exceptionally beautiful today," the digital image said. "I find myself falling more in love with you."

A hint of a smile formed on Renge's face. Yes, she would make due.