A/N: The names of Kyouya's brothers? Completely made them up. Damn you Wikipedia, for not showing me their names! DAMN YOU! Anyway, enjoy!


Quandary

This is not for real
Afraid to feel
I just hit the floor
Don't ask for more
I'm wasting my time
Default, Wasting my Time


"You are invited to assist the play 'Romeo and Juliet', a work by W. Shakespeare. The show will begin at 8.03pm, with a break of 20 minutes in between. Beverages and canapés will be provided by the Ouran Cafeteria."

Tamaki leaned over her shoulder as she read through the invitation with a small hint of dryness. "And, and? What do you think?"

"It's very…" Haruhi looked for the right word, waving the thin paper around. "Purple."

Tamaki's face twitched in horror. "I knew it! I knew it was too flashy! Of course, this colour is noble, but maybe it's too gaudy for the show, and I knew my dearest, dearest daughter wouldn't like it, I'll get it changed right away," he raved, then muttering to him self, "Even if purple is my favourite colour."

Haruhi sighed, shoving the invitation under his nose. "It's fine, don't change it, sempai. We shouldn't spend more than we have, anyway."

"But I want them to be perfect for you, Haruhi-chan," Tamaki protested feebly.

"It's not any good if it's perfect and expensive. Remember that whatever money we win with this will go to help re-construct the primary school, so we can't expect to spend much if we want to have a lot of benefit from this."

"Oh," Tamaki said, his spirits dimming noticeably as he fretted. "You're right, you're right. I'll…leave it like this, then…purple…even though you don't like it…and…"

Haruhi rolled her eyes, and tried to put some enthusiasm in her next sentence. "Why don't you go see what the twins are doing with the costumes? I don't want them to make the dresses too frilly."

"I'll do that for you, my sweet daughter!" he proclaimed, and ran off, leaving her alone and rubbing her forehead.

When she had agreed with the neighbours to hold a charity event for the re-construction of the primary school--which had crumbled during an earthquake--, she hadn't expected they wanted something of this proportion. The local theatre had been rented for some weeks, and inside it, herself, plus Host Club, plus some other Ouran students, would put on a play for the neighbours. They'd charge a minimum fee, and the money would go to the project, so of course, that left little budget for their props and other things. And of course, Haruhi wanted to avoid getting further into debt than she already was.

The sun was glaring at her from atop the sky, and Haruhi brushed a few beads of perspiration from her forehead. Their work so far had consisted in creating the props, the costumes, and rehearsing. Of course, most of the students helping Haruhi knew of her condition as a girl, or at the very least suspected; so it had been easier without the need to cover any neighbour's slip up. It also meant their work would be sloppy, cheap, and slow.

I have the son of a yakuza-boss, a crazy otaku, and a club of crazy people as my staff. This is going to earn so much money.

Supposedly, the stars of the opening nights were going to be the parents of all her so-called staff. Supposedly. Haruhi let out a nervous, shaky laugh, and frowned at the image of the Suoh matriarch frowning with distaste upon the theatre, and everything else. I hope she doesn't come. I don't need everyone hearing her poor opinion on us, and she's not doing us any favour.

"Haruhi," someone called from behind her.

She turned around, snapping out of her thoughts. "Ah, yes, Kasanoda-san?"

"We're having a bit of a problem with the balcony," he said.

Haruhi rubbed the bridge of her nose, and straightened her shoulders. "Alright. I'll come help you."


By the end of the evening, everything was more or less in place. The set was done, and looked better than she'd hoped--but then again, it had been Renge the perfectionist doing it. The costumes weren't extravagant, modern, or flashy. All Haruhi was missing was her Romeo.

She found him, of course, behind the stage, sitting at a table, and doing what he did best. When Tamaki had heard the news of who had been cast for which role, he had gone into a full-blown rant about why Romeo was more of the blond kind--and stupid, Haruhi had added dryly. Of course, the casting hadn't been her job, that had been entirely up to the female neighbours--they were completely to blame for Renge in her role as Juliet, and Kyouya as Romeo.

Haruhi stopped in front of the table, and pushed the lid of his laptop closed, smiling at him over it. "It's time to change, Kyouya-sempai."

He sighed, and stood up, rubbing his shoulder lightly. "I suppose if I must."

"You're not doing me any favour, you're just contributing to make the world a better place," Haruhi smiled. "Or in any case, this neighbourhood."

"Hnn. I know," he answered. "It's why I'm not adding this to your debt. Besides, most of our clients will come see us. That should win you enough money."

"The better for the school, then," she told him. "Well, go on, get dressed as Romeo."

Kyouya gave her a small smile, and was on his way, with Haruhi watching him go. If she was completely honest with her, this was the only time in her life when she regretted not being better at acting. He's playing Romeo, and I'm only worried because we'll never hear the end of it from Renge, she reasoned. It had nothing to do with the fact that Kyouya would kiss Renge. At all. In fact, Haruhi was perfectly alright with it. She also needed to go see how things were going near the entrance.

There was a line of limousines, all black and sleek, lined up along the block. It intimidated some of the attendees, but Haruhi was implacable. Rich people had stopped intimidating her long ago. Of course, there was always an exception.

"Fujioka," a dry voice remarked.

"Ohtori-san," Harhi acknowledged, bowing politely at the man and his companions--mostly bodyguards, for sure.

"So this is where my son likes to spend his time these days? Hn," he replied with disdain.

"There is nothing unhygienic in the common world, I assure you, Ohtori-san," Haruhi supplied softly.

"Of course," the man said, although he didn't seem to agree that much. "These are my sons, Daichi and Jiro."

"Pleased to meet you," Haruhi smiled, recognizing the severe traits of the Ohtori men in them, and realizing for the first time that Kyouya looked a lot more kinder than the rest of his family. "The play is going to begin, so if you will, we have reserved seats for you in front row," Haruhi explained, stepping to the side. She couldn't help letting out a dry "I'm sure you're very proud of your son for doing this," before smiling and telling them to enjoy the show.

They left, with one of the brothers--Daichi, Jiro? Haruhi couldn't tell, really--looking over his shoulder at her, with a hint of curiosity. Obviously, there was some sort of shadow settled over all the men from the Ohtori clan, some sort of mysterious veil that gave them charm and imposition. It seemed that for all the darkness around them, there were still a few--like Fuyumi, who Haruhi had met at one of the rehearsals-- that provided the light.

She checked her watch, and gave a sign to Inoue-san to close the doors of the theatre, and turned around. She had a show to supervise.


The play went well for about five minutes or so.

Then everything went downhill at once. Renge slipped in the backstage, ending up with a suspicious limp, and asking Haruhi to fill in for her--after all, even though Haruhi sucked at acting, she had proved to be rather well at doing Juliet. So that brought Haruhi in the changing room, trying to fit inside a dress obviously made for someone with more breasts.

Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was somewhat pleased that Renge wasn't Juliet anymore, because then the balcony scene wouldn't happen. But that was stupid of her to think--just because Kyouya was going to kiss the girl playing Juliet was not a reason for Haruhi to indirectly wish the girl wasn't Renge. Right?

There was a knock on the door at the same time she finished zipping her dress. She opened the door, to find him standing in front of it, looking down at her with something akin to amazement.

"It's like the dress was made for you," Kyouya mildly observed.

Haruhi tilted her head, looking down at herself. "You think so? I thought it would end up looking bad around the chest, since Renge-san is…you know."

He coughed, blushing slightly and attempting to mask the fact that his eyes had been drawn to her chest a moment before. "No, I don't know," he told her. "I came to see if you needed to rehearse anything."

Haruhi shrugged. In her mind, the words 'kiss' and 'scene' floated around aimlessly. Haruhi pushed them away. "I'm okay, I think. I'm better at this that I was with the Zuka club's theatre play," she told him.

Kyouya smiled. "Alright. Well, better get going then. Balcony scene is up."


It was only a bit later that she remembered what a balcony scene meant.

She would be standing on a small, possibly unstable, stand, raised two meters from the stage, leaning against a cardboard rail. And Kyouya was going to kiss her. In front of a lot of people. And she would probably, not for sure, but possibly, blush. A bit. Or a lot.

She was already beginning to feel her face heating up just by watching Kyouya climb up the ladder to where she was--and she had to swallow thickly and concentrate hard on remembering the words. But all that came to her mind right then was the reason why she was feeling like this.


They're talking about first kisses, and Haruhi isn't paying them any more attention that she does on a normal day, once the Club meetings have finished.

The twins are shrugging their shoulders when asked if they've had their first kiss, although everyone can see the look they give each other, and the small smile that twitches on their lips. Tamaki explodes into a glorified speech of how his first kiss will be for someone he deeply loves--before Kyouya cuts in to remind him that he already gave his first kiss to that little girl from France he told him about. Mori doesn't answer, and Honey says he's been kissed--and leaves it there.

"So you're hosts, but you haven't been kissed?" Haruhi asks, starting to pay attention.

"We entertain people with our charm, Haruhi, not with our body," Kyouya smartly remarks from his chair, snapping his book shut.

"Am I the only one here who's had her first kiss given to a client?" she asks, a bit bothered. "What about you, Kyouya-senpai?"

Kyouya stands up from his seat, and walks to where she is, looking down at her with a secret smile. "I'm afraid I'm the only one here who hasn't been kissed," he whispers, a bit too loudly. Then he leans down to say: "That doesn't mean it'll be clumsy," into her ear, like some sort of promise.

And Haruhi wants to wonder what he means, if he's trying to prove a point. If it really wasn't her imagination telling her that Kyouya had been nicer, closer, kinder, warmer to her, ever since Tamaki had almost left. But she can't continue with those thoughts, because Tamaki is onto them a moment later, scolding Kyouya for improper-Mommy-acting.


She realised, the moment Kyouya's hand touched her on that balcony, that all her envies and her jealousies were all due to this one fact. She didn't want Kyouya--who was inexplicably dear to her--to lose his first kiss to a girl who would later fawn over the event with the rest of their patrons. That was it. Really.

"Haruhi," he whispered, leaning in as the public held their breath. "Just you," he said, and she wanted to ask what he meant by it.

But before she had the chance to, things went to worse. His lips were barely over hers when the balcony trembled under her feet. Things happened too fast for her to realise them, but she did remember something. He was falling, she was falling, and while the whole theatre screamed, they reached for each other and fell to the ground together.


"--almost romantic, if you don't count they're unconscious and with a few bones broken."

"-- worked so hard for this, it'll be a pity when we have to cancel every show to start again with the decorations. We'll have to find another Romeo too--"

"--never saw Haruhi look so horrified before--"

"--ladder falling from under his feet, and she sort of plunged after him--"

"--think I saw them smile before hitting the--"

"--look. She's waking up," Renge's soft voice said from the end of a hospital bed.

"Haruhi-chan," Tamaki said, by her in an instant. "Please, please, never scare daddy like that again, you hear?"

"Oi. I'm her father here, you idiot," Ranka barked from behind him. "Haru-chan made us so worried," he told his daughter, kindly and smiling.

"What--" Haruhi croaked.

"The balcony didn't hold with both of you leaning against the rail, and the balance was lost," Kasanoda explained morosely.

"You fell, Haru-chan!" Honey said, eyes wide. "We were so worried, because you and Kyo-chan were falling, and we couldn't do anything!"

"Where am I?" she asked. "Where's Kyouya-senpai?"

"You're in one of the Ohtori hospitals. Ohtori-sama insisted you were brought here," Mori said.

"Kyouya's over there," the twins supplied.

Haruhi turned her head to see him, sleeping, in a bed next to hers. "What--"

"He was the first to hit the ground," Kaoru explained. "Playing hero, that idiot."

He looked troubled in his sleep. Like he knew he wasn't supposed to be there at all. Haruhi bit her lip, and closed her eyes.

"We should let her rest," Renge said, her voice not admitting any objections. They left the room, and Haruhi barely had the time to see that Renge's leg was bandaged up, too.

The hospital room was white, and quiet. Some machines were buzzing, and the noise coming from outside was muted. Thick curtains covered the windows, which was perfect, because if anyone had seen Haruhi doing what she was about to do, they'd bustle in to stop her. She stood up from bed, a bit dizzy but not that worse for wear, and walked to Kyouya's bed. The floor was cold, so she sat on it, leaning down to observe his face.

"Sleeping beauty?" she murmured to herself, bemusedly. His lips were not that far away, and they hadn't finished that balcony scene, so why--no, Haruhi. Focus.

A hand was suddenly smoothed on the back of her neck, pulling her down.

"Kyouya-senpai?" she asked the obviously awake boy.

"Wake me up," he smirked, not opening his eyes.

Haruhi realised he was referring to her previous remark. "But your first kiss…"

He chuckled warmly beneath her. "Didn't you hear me when I said it was just for you? Now wake me up."

Haruhi laughed softly, and leaned in. "Kyouya-senpai is such a princess," she murmured, and kissed him.

He kissed her back, awake now--he kissed her again, and again, until she was dizzy, but even then he wouldn't stop, not that Haruhi minded anyway. At least it wasn't Renge doing this with him, she thought. That was all. There was no relief in her, not even when his fingers tightened their hold on her arms, or when his tongue brushed her lips, or when he breathed over her cheek, warm and smiling, and obviously, obviously--he cared for her.

Haruhi was no liar, especially not to herself, so she thought: I care for him too. And really, all I wanted to do was be the one who kissed him first. And possibly, if it could ever happen--forever, too.

So she did just that.

::end::