She was up early, as usual, already showered and dressed for the day. Her mind was busy processing several different words from the English language while she spread a bit of butter across a piece of bread. Although her mind was seemingly elsewhere, she was not distracted from her morning tasks. She placed the knife with hints of butter still clinging to the metal in the sink where the plate and glass from her father's dinner last night also lingered. She would clean them after she ate later that night.
She was clad in the Ouran High School male uniform, the same one that had been given to her by her fellow Host Club members. Although they had provided her with the fine fabrics that she could never have afforded to purchase for herself, she was still forced to work off the costs of it – and the spare one – along with the vase that she had broken the first day of her attendance in Ouran High School as the only scholarship recipient. She seemed to have accumulated more than enough debt to leave her entangled in the affairs of the club until she graduated. Perhaps even after.
Despite the fact that she had to keep her true sex a secret, the concept of being mistaken as a male was not as tragic as another in her position might be led to believe. At least she wasn't forced to do odd jobs for the club. While she was originally meant to serve as a lackey, her natural charm and charisma led to a quick acceptance amongst the club rankings. Sure, she still had to purchase the club's highly favored drink, instant coffee, but such a pointless task paled in comparison to the ones she might have if she were not a host. She could only imagine what type of horrors she would suffer. Barely surviving the twin's antics now, she shuddered to think of what she would have to do under the service of all of the club members.
Somewhat satisfied with her knowledge of the English vocabulary (she had a test first period), she padded around the kitchen, collecting the various ingredients for her bento box and munching on the piece of bread. Having already cooked the rice, all she had to do was make the onigiris. While she expertly crafted the rice balls, a skill toned to perfection after having prepared her lunch ever since she was a child, her thoughts lingered to science. She had a test in that class today as well, but being ever so practical, she didn't fret about it. Instead, she actually felt a bit confident. She had only briefly studied the information, but she was sure that she would do fine. While science wasn't personally her strongest subject, she was still the best in her class. She was the best in all of the courses she took.
She had to be.
It was how she received the scholarship anyways. Ouran High School was defined by prestigious families and wealth. They didn't bother with the "common people" unless said common person was an extraordinarily gifted and or talented student. Haruhi Fujioka was exactly that. Gifted and talented with brains and an independent mind, she had passed the exams with flying colors and was thereby awarded the chance to attend the prestigious Ouran High School. All she had to do was stay the top in her class.
After finishing the last rice ball, she moved on to chopping up the carrots. Rapidly slicing the vegetables, her thoughts drifted back to English and she went over the terms once more in her head. It wouldn't hurt and she had nothing better to do.
She was one of the first people to arrive to class each morning, sitting in her seat and reading a spare novel that she carried in her book bag. She could easily finish a book in less than a few hours, but there were often too many things distracting her these days. Whether it was homework, chores, club duties, or just the interruptions caused by her fellow club members, reaching the next chapter seemed to take longer these days.
Of course, she still had free time. There were occasions when she could leisurely read in peace. Sometimes, there would be a few minutes to read before she fell asleep. Occasionally, there were times during the host club when she could lose herself amongst the pages of a good book and ignore the coos of 'mermaid princess' that Tamaki wooed his designators with. Most rare, however, were the weekends when the Host Club didn't bother her and she could enjoy the silence, a good book, and the warm spring – nearing summer - days.
Today, she had arrived fifteen minutes before class started. There were only four other people in the room. Three guys and another girl. The guys, whom she really didn't associate with, ignored her presence altogether. They'd emit boisterous laughs occasionally, but never once did this break her concentration on the paper bound book she held in her hands.
The girl, on the other hand, was one who visited the Host Club as often as she could. She was, perhaps, the most envied one amongst her friends. She was in the class with three of the members! Sighing dreamily as she admired the lovely features of Haruhi Fujioka, she let her gaze lower to the novel in the cross-dresser's hands.
'He's so smart!' she thought, 'I am too lucky to be graced with such a handsome and intellectual and charming and...'
Haruhi turned the page as the rest of the class started to file into the room. Some lingered around their friend's desks, others started to take their books and supplies out of their bags, while a few busily tried to copy their friend's homework before the teacher walked into the room.
Oblivious to some things, but highly aware of others, Haruhi was unaffected when she felt two sets of strong arms wrap themselves around her. Actually, she had started to rely on this daily ritual of theirs as an alarm of sorts.
"Haruhiiiiiii," her name was chorused by the most mischievous students of, perhaps, the entire school.
She stuffed her novel into her book bag and started to withdraw her supplies for class to the best of her abilities while still entangled within the embrace of her captors.
"So cold," one voice said.
The other voice, perfected to be indistinguishable, replied with, "Hasn't seen us in so long and doesn't even provide a greeting."
"Whatever shall we do, Kaoru?"
"I don't know, Hikaru," followed by a humming sound.
Haruhi didn't need even need to see the wry smiles plastered across two equally identical faces to know of their existence.
Three, two, one...
"Kaoru, Hikaru, please remove yourselves from Fujioka."
The Hitachiin twins whined a bit, but released the cross-dresser from their confines and took their seats as the teacher started to set up in front of the classroom.
After a few moments of securing her possessions on top of her desk, the teacher moved towards the center until she was positioned directly in front of the class behind her wooden podium.
"I am aware that this chapter has been extremely difficult. This chapter is perhaps the single most challenging one we'll cover in this class, but I am positive each and every one of you will do fine with this exam, despite the lack of time we have had to review. Especially since I'm sure no one would be so foolish as to not study," the teacher said as she gazed around the classroom with a serious expression.
Hikaru and Kaoru gazed at one another with blank expressions. Both were thinking the same thing: 'What test?'
Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran High School Host Club.