It had been nearly a month since physical examinations had taken place, and the time had quickly passed by without too much trouble arising. Sure, there had been tests and quizzes here and there, but Haruhi Fujioka had managed to ace every single exam and pop quiz thrown in her direction with flying colors. Being the only scholarship student in the school meant that she had to constantly focus on maintaining the highest score in the class. One could only assume that it was a difficult task to do, and, in addition to her duty, the two rather distracting Hitachiin twins tended to occupy every second of her life as they clung to her desperately like drowning men – or, at least, like children to their favorite toy.
If one were to ask the twins for a reason as to why they flanked Haruhi Fujioka's sides whenever humanly possible, they would merely claim it was for exactly that reason: "she's our toy!"
It was a well-known piece of information that everyone in the school was aware of – some more painfully than others; amongst them were Ritsu Kasanoda and Tamaki Suoh.
After two weeks of absolutely nothing extremely troublesome occurring, Haruhi was beginning to wonder as to whether her school life was finally starting to balance out.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
It was Monday afternoon. Classes had ended for the day, club activities had commenced, and Haruhi had finally finished her math homework. Nothing out of the ordinary had occurred thus far, and Haruhi hoped it would remain that way.
The Host Club had decided to celebrate New Years on that particular day, and each member donned a kimono that Mrs. Hitachiin had designed. The fashion designer had also slipped in a pink kimono for Haruhi, making her sons promise beforehand that they would take a few pictures together in their holiday garb to add to her ever-growing scrapbook.
As usual, Kyoya Ootori, the 'cool-type' of the Host Club, was making his rounds, asking customers questions ranging from whether or not the tea was good, would they like to place an order on a Hitachiin-design kimono, and were they willing to RSVP for the Host Club's upcoming tea party.
Unfortunately, Haruhi's day was about to go downhill from there.
"Haruhi," Hikaru said, wrapping his arms around her neck from behind. He dropped his head onto her kimono-clad shoulder and glanced at what she was working on.
"Why are you starting on that essay so soon?" the elder twin questioned in a dull tone.
"I already finished the homework that's due tomorrow," Haruhi replied while flipping through the textbook she had borrowed from the library.
"But the essay isn't even due until next week," he retorted.
"It's better to finish things early so I don't have to worry about them later."
"I don't think you're human," Hikaru said, grabbing a few strands of her hair and checking for split ends.
Haruhi, who had become oh-so accustomed to the twin's behavior, merely scratched out a word that she had misspelled and continued writing.
"I sneak away for a few moments to spend time with my toy, and you haven't even turned around once."
Haruhi turned around to face him with a less-than-amused expression.
"Where's Kaoru?" she asked, realizing that the younger twin was no longer present.
"Bathroom," Hikaru replied, grabbing a few more long strands of her hair since he had lost the previous ones when she had turned around.
"Why aren't you with your clients?" Haruhi inquired. There was still a group of three girls huddled around the table, but they seemed content chatting with themselves despite the twin's absence.
Hikaru shrugged, "They don't come for Hikaru. They come for Hikaru-and-Kaoru. Actually, they think it's Hikaru who's in the bathroom right now."
"I can't imagine how they could mistake the two of you," the scholarship student replied, "both of you are so different from one another."
"Like I said," Hikaru repeated with a grin, "I don't think you're human."
Haruhi shook her head. Noticing the younger Hitachiin had finally returned to the room, she pointed out his arrival to her companion.
"Eh," Hikaru said with a mock sigh, "I guess it's time to get back to work. Not like you care."
"I do care," Haruhi replied, turning around to face her paper, "it means that I can actually concentrate on my work."
"You know, you're making it really hard to leave."
"Sorry," she replied honestly while picking up her pen, "I don't want to distract you from your customers."
"How about you sit in with Kaoru and me?" Hikaru asked before she could start writing again.
"Huh?" Haruhi inquired, turning around to face him again.
"Let us host you," Hikaru explained.
"I'll pass. I already spend enough time with you and Kaoru as it is, and I really should get as much of this essay done as possible."
Although she had declined, the elder Hitachiin twin was not about to take no for an answer. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Hikaru kicked her chair back and swept her up into his arms.
"What are you doing?" she asked dully as she looked up into his eyes. He could have applauded her for remaining so straight-faced despite how he had just literally swept her off of her feet.
"I'm going to host you," Hikaru replied, walking over to the table where his brother was waiting with a curious expression.
"Why? I don't need to see you act incestuous with your brother."
With a mischievous grin, Hikaru placed her into the empty chair alongside the rest of the girls that had designated him and his brother that afternoon.
"Hello ladies," Hikaru said with a devilish smile, "sorry for the wait. As you can see, we have a new arrival: Fujioka Haruhi of class 1-A."
The girls at the table smiled at her kindly.
"Nice to meet you," Haruhi said, bowing her head politely in reply. She quickly glanced at Hikaru with an annoyed expression when the girls had finally turned away from her. He replied with a grin.
"So where were we before Hikaru had to go to the bathroom?" Hikaru asked. Haruhi assumed they were switching roles again, but kept quiet because of the wink that the elder twin directed at her.
"Kaoru-sama was telling us about the trip Hikara-sama and Kaoru-sama took to Africa for New Years," the girl furthest away from Haruhi replied.
"Ah," Hikaru, posing as Kaoru, exclaimed, "Africa!"
Kaoru smiled at their audience, "We went on a tour of the safari during the day, and then we spent the night -"
"Hikaru!" Hikaru cried out, blushing from his brother's words, "it's too embarrassing! I mean, we were only eight…"
"Oooh!" the girls (minus Haruhi) squealed, "What happened?"
Hikaru bit his lip and turned his head to the side to glance away from his twin.
"I told Kaoru that the lions roamed the hotel grounds and that they might sneak in and try to eat him when he was asleep. He wouldn't even go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking me up. We slept together so we could scare the lions off if they tried to attack," Kaoru explained.
Hikaru smiled fondly at his twin, "Hikaru kept me safe."
"I was selfish. What I really wanted was for you to stay close to me," Kaoru replied, tilting his twin's chin up to look him in the eyes.
The fan-girls, hooked on the scene, cried out, "Moe! Moe!"
Haruhi wondered if she should drop by the supermarket before heading home; there was a sale on fish and she had a few coupons for various items.
Hikaru glanced at Haruhi to see her expression, but then felt his face drop at the sight of her lack-of-interest. The girl hadn't even so much as blinked throughout the entire act.
Feeling his face slip, Hikaru settled back into his seat, ignoring the confused expression that his brother had fixated on him.
The twins went on to talk about their upcoming trip to California. Mrs. Hitachiin had a fashion show in Los Angeles, and then they planned to spend the remainder of the day touring the studios in Hollywood.
"I heard the weather's quite nice in California," the girl next to Haruhi said.
"It is," the twins chimed.
Haruhi checked the time on her watch – still over half an hour to go.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!"
Haruhi and every other person in the clubroom turned to face the source of the commotion.
"Eh, my lord just got rejected by a girl!" Hikaru exclaimed as the girl continued to point out each and every flaw in Tamaki's 'princely' character.
Haruhi gazed at the ranting female that had just ruined her two weeks of (somewhat) peaceful tranquility. She did not appear to be of Japanese origin, but her accent had already given that away. She was wearing the female school uniform, so Haruhi could only safely assume that she was, indeed, an Ouran student.
"You're the worst!" the girl finally exclaimed as Tamaki fell limply to the ground; it was as if his spirit had just been knocked out of him.
Haruhi watched Kyoya Ootori enter the scene, murmuring something that she couldn't hear due to the distance that separated them.
"Fiancé-sama!" the girl cried out in joy as she ran into the raven-haired boy's arms, "I wanted to see you so badly."
Kyoya looked befuddled by the sudden turn of events as he gazed down at the girl latched onto his center.
"Fiancé?" the club members repeated.
The clients had been dismissed for the afternoon. Kyoya Ootori had politely bid them goodbye with a charmingly fake smile on his face, stating that the club had some urgent business to attend to. The girls, albeit a bit disappointed, were quick to leave when they saw how depressed the club's president was; they would hate to burden the charming blonde with their presence, especially when he had been practically attacked by that rude girl's words.
"Feel better soon, Tamaki-sama!" the girls had said, waving to the distraught blonde who sat weeping in the corner. They shot a few more glares at the girl that had caused their prince so much pain before finally exiting through the doorway of the third music room.
Takashi Morinozuka shut the door behind them before reclaiming his spot next to his cousin, Mitsukini Haninozuka.
"Why am I here still?" Haruhi whispered from her position between the twins.
"Moral support?" the twins suggested wryly.
Haruhi felt her eyes slant at their answer.
"You're Kyoya's fiancé?" Hunny inquired curiously; the Host Club (Haruhi included) stood across from the seated girl.
"Yes," she replied with a smile, "I'm Houshakuji Renge, and I'll be in grade ten, class A starting tomorrow."
The members glanced at the distraught prince who was still sulking in the corner; his best friend had failed to tell him about his future wife.
"We're not engaged," Kyoya had already assured him; however, the blonde was too lost in his own misery to acknowledge the raven-haired boy's words.
Renge continued with her speech while ignoring the club member's disbelieving expressions, "It was love at first sight. He was affectionate to backyard plants that nobody else paid attention to, and he kindly stretched out his hand to the injured kitten…"
Haruhi felt both twins lean their weight against her; they were shaking so much from their bottled-up laughter.
Hikaru was the first to finally ask, "Are you sure you have the right person?"
The girl, as if a switch had been flipped, launched into another passionate rant. She concluded by pointing at Kyoya, proclaiming, "You, who looks like Ichijo Miyabi-kun from Uki Doki Memorial!"
The twins quickly took a step back, dragging Haruhi along with them.
"Otaku!" the club members fearfully exclaimed in unison.
"I see," Kyoya Ootori said, finally comprehending the situation, "a girl with a lot of interest in characters. She replaces me with her favorite character, Miyabi-kun, and makes me her fiancé. Then, she proceeds to get lost in her wildest fantasies. That sums it up."
Tamaki looked at his supposed closest companion, "Wait, you're not engaged?"
Kyoya adjusted his glasses by pushing them further up his nose, "No, (you idiot), that's what I've been telling you. I haven't affirmed the fact even once."
However, not one to be deterred, Renge launched into the flattery technique, "From the reports, I see that Kyoya-sama is the one who manages everything in the club."
Hunny nodded excitedly, "Yes, Kyo-chan is the store manager."
"How exciting," the girl squealed in delight, "such a title suits him very well! I have always wanted to be a draw-girl for the store!"
"We don't need one," Hikaru piped up from Haruhi's right.
"This is a Host Club, not a bakery," Kaoru explained from the scholarship student's left.
"I've decided!" Renge exclaimed, "While preparing to be a bride, I will also be an administrative assistant for the Host Club!"
"She's not listening," the twins sighed in defeat.
"Ehm, Kyoya," Tamaki said, as if to persuade the 'cool-type' to dissuade the girl from interfering with their club's affairs.
"She's the daughter of one of the important business partners of my family," Kyoya explained with a charming smile.
For some reason, Haruhi felt her being become paralyzed with fear, and – wait, was that evil aura coming from Kyoya Ootori?
"So," the raven-haired boy said, turning to face the scholarship student, "please take care of her, Fujioka-san."
"Wait, why me?" Haruhi asked at the same time that the twins loudly protested, "Why her?"
"Because," Kyoya replied, "she's the only female in our club."
Haruhi stared at him with a confused expression, "When did I become a member of the Host Club?"
"On the same day that the twins signed the contract with me," he replied.
"What position is she, Kyo-chan?" Hunny innocently asked.
"Female-attire model," he replied.
Suddenly, her wearing the pink kimono made sense.
"We get funds for advertising different designer's outfits," Kyoya stated – so that's why they had club photo shoots! – "and having a female model makes it easier for the clients to decide whether or not they would like to order their own."
"Ah," the twins said as though they had contemplated his reasoning, "that makes sense to us. We approve!"
"Wait!" Haruhi was very annoyed at the sudden information, "I did not agree to this."
"What's done is done," Kyoya said dismissively before gathering up his book bag and taking his leave from the clubroom, "see you tomorrow."
"Wait for me, Kyoya-sama!" Renge exclaimed, chasing after him.
"So," Hikaru said with a suggestive grin, "since Haruhi is going to be wearing costumes when we have cosplay days, does that mean we should we get some measurements?"
"I believe that entitles us to another four hours with Haruhi," Kaoru added.
Donning identical, devilish smirks, the twins dragged the struggling Haruhi out of the third music room with plans of yellow measuring tape and frilly pastel-colored dresses from their mother's spring line in mind.
"Haruhi-chan, Haruhi-chan," Renge exclaimed in delight as she held a bowl of cookie batter in hand, "should I put more sugar in the cream?"
"Ah, yes," Haruhi replied after a moment, "how is the chocolate?"
"Everything is going as planned," the transfer student stated, showing Haruhi her progress, "I'm melting the chocolate now."
Haruhi felt her eyes widen in shock as she finally realized how wrong the situation was, "Don't use the direct flame!"
Renge then proceeded to botch even more of Haruhi's (simple) instructions as she placed hot water into the bowl of chocolate. Haruhi could only watch on with a horror-stricken face.
The scholarship student must have been sadly misinformed because she had believed that her life would become suddenly easier without the constant presence of the Hitachiin twins looming over her shoulders. For the forty-three minutes that the two girls had been in the kitchen, bonding over the task of making cookies for Kyoya Ootori (under the insistence of Renge,) Haruhi had never felt so stressed in her entire life as she did at that exact moment.
Finally, after another ten minutes of botched instructions and failed attempts, Renge's fifth batch (attempt) had finished cooling.
Satisfied that the most recent batch of cookies that Renge had made were better than her other ones, Haruhi told the girl that they would end there. Haruhi gathered her ginger-flavored sweets into a small napkin-filled basket, all-the-while watching the girl across from her cheerfully place the burnt and slightly-deformed cookies that she had lovingly created onto a heart-shaped platter.
Renge made her way towards the door with a light bounce in her step, but paused before making her exit.
Haruhi looked up curiously to see what the problem was.
"You're too noisy, fake king," Renge stated through the open door. Haruhi could clearly see the eccentric blonde, Tamaki Suoh, behind it before he disappeared with a quick dash to the side.
Haruhi, deciding not to interfere with what she assumed was going to be World War III, continued to place the next batch of cookies onto her plate. Even though she had been distracted by giving Renge instructions on how to properly heat the oven, stir the batter, melt the chocolate, etcetera, she had still managed to make three successful batches of cookies of her own.
If the scholarship student had known that the situation would have turned out to be so bad, she would have just given the transfer student all of the cookies she made from the start.
The freshman heard panicked shouts coming from the hall, and quickly strode out of the kitchen with her cookies in hand.
"Renge-chan?" Haruhi inquired as she spotted the medusa-like appearance of her female companion.
The boys were standing against the wall, spitting out what Haruhi assumed to be the severely-burnt cookies that Renge had baked.
She was slightly curious as to how her own came out. Deciding to test the outcome of her work, Haruhi took a bite of one of the unsweetened ginger cookies that she had made.
Considering the fact she hadn't cooked sweets in a very long time, Haruhi thought they turned out pretty well. Since she lacked a sweet tooth, she had never had any reason in particular to make desserts for herself.
Hikaru appeared at her side a moment later, stepping closer to her. The elder twin tilted her head up before taking a bite off of the cookie that was already half way in her mouth.
Haruhi swallowed the rest of the cookie that had not been broken off by her classmate and stared at him with a dull expression, "What was that for?"
"I was getting rid of a bad taste," he said with a wild grin, "and it tasted pretty good. Maybe you should bake a cake for us next time?"
Kaoru, never one to be left out, appeared on her right and licked her cheek, claiming, "You have some cream on your face."
Haruhi rubbed at the spot where his tongue had lingered moments ago.
"Our toy should take better care of herself," the twins said.
"Kaoru," Haruhi chided, "I would have cleaned it myself if you had told me, and Hikaru, if you wanted a cookie, you could have just asked."
Tamaki looked on in jealous disbelief, wondering how the cute and innocent Haruhi could allow those two devils to touch her in such an indecent manner.
"EVERYONE'S CHARACTERISTICS ARE VERY BAD!"
Haruhi turned to face the raging transfer student. Her posture was very cool this time; she was positioned in such a manner that the club members felt glued to their spots, "All of you lack any negative aspects."
Haruhi wondered how that was a bad thing.
"Girls find that terribly dull; they are weak for beautiful men involved with trauma. Soon, they will become bored with your actions. Are you trying to make Kyoya-sama's store go bankrupt?"
Haruhi doubted that the term "bankrupt" was even included Kyoya Ootori's dictionary by the way he tracked the club's finances with an iron fist.
Pointing at each member of the Host Club, Renge assigned them their new characters.
"Mori-senpai wasn't even assigned a new role," Hikaru muttered afterwards, passing the basketball that Renge had thrown at him over to his twin.
"What has us being in the basketball club got anything to do with people not being able to tell the difference between us?" Kaoru asked as he positioned the ball against his hip.
"Well, at least Tamaki-senpai seems enthusiastic about his character change," Haruhi concluded as she watched the blonde practice his role as a lonely prince. Renge applauded his enthusiasm and excellent first attempt.
"Haruhi-chan," Renge said, turning to the girl with a kind smile, "since you're also a member of the Host Club, I'll give you a task to do as well!"
"Eh?" the scholarship student questioned, wondering why her week was continuously becoming progressively worse.
Tamaki had gone through over two-and-a-half boxes of tissue in less than twenty minutes in order to subdue his nosebleeds.
Haruhi wondered if her mother (bless her soul) was taking a break from watching over her in the heavens.
"You're so cute!" Renge squealed for the umpteenth time as she tugged Haruhi over to the side with her. They were watching Hunny and Mori perform a scene from Renge's first project as administrative assistant. She had referred to it as "Host Club: The Drama," but it seemed more like "Uki Doki Memorial Live Action."
Haruhi donned an outfit from Renge's own cosplay collection. It was a maid outfit, but it wasn't just that. The costume was actually a kitty-maid costume equipped with garters and a serving tray. Haruhi was in charge of serving drinks to the club members between casting breaks, and to the directors and camera men that requested it.
And, seeing as she was a pretty high school student dressed in kitty-maid cosplay, she had been running back and forth between the ever demanding twins that were becoming exceedingly annoyed at the younger staff members that continuously tried to hit on their toy and the playboy director that had been attempting to monopolize her time ever since the start of the filming.
"Haruhi-chan," Renge said, posing in her more-modest maid costume. Instead of cat ears, however, she donned a pair of bunny ears, "want to come over and play dating simulation games with me afterwards?"
"Dating simulation game?" Haruhi repeated. She'd take the twins dragging her around any day.
Renge, who took Haruhi repeating the term as confusion, gasped in shock, "Haruhi-chan, you are seriously missing out! I have decided, then. We will definitely go play Love Love Café after filming is done today."
"O-kay," Haruhi supplied with a weak smile, but the older girl had already turned away to yell at Hunny; the blonde senior had botched up the scene by tearfully apologizing to the freshmen that he had just demanded money off of.
"Haruhi-hime!" Tamaki called out, running over to the long-haired girl with a bright smile on his face.
"Was my acting impressive?"
"In a sense, I suppose it was," she replied; having been distracted by delivering drinks here and there, she had been unable to actually watch his performance, "Would you like a drink, senpai?"
"Sure," he said with a light blush staining his cheeks. He took the drink that she held out to him and gazed down at the contents. He assumed it was some kind of fruit juice by its color.
"I think I could be a successful actor. To be honest, it's not that bad being like this for a while," the blonde said before raising the cup to his mouth and taking a sip.
"Personally," Haruhi said, her eyes gazing into his, "I think you're good enough as you are now."
Tamaki felt his face turn red. Why did she have to say such cute words when she was already ten times cuter than usual in the cute kitty-maid cosplay?!
"Haruhi-hime really thinks that?" Tamaki asked with teary eyes.
"Yes," she replied with a smile before explaining, "If there were any more negative aspects, it'd only be more troublesome."
Tamaki felt his soul leave him as she continued to smile at him. Such words with no ill intention attached and from such a cute girl too. It could definitely be considered a low blow.
"Haruhi-chan!" Renge called out as she stuck her head out from around the corner, "I need you to help me with something."
"Yes? What is it?" Haruhi asked as she walked around the corner to join the self-proclaimed club manageress. She (obliviously) left Tamaki by himself to sulk over her words.
"I'd like for these two to be in the film!" Renge said as she extended her hand to the two class D students that were … blushing? Perhaps they were just nervous or hot. The weather seemed surprisingly warm that day.
"Why is she wearing that?" the boy with spiky hair questioned under his breath to the girl next to him.
Haruhi Fujioka, the cute female student that had recently joined Ouran Academy high school branch as a Class A scholarship student, was dressed in a kitty-maid cosplay.
"Isn't it cute? I picked it out!" Renge exclaimed loudly while clapping her hands in delight; her bunny ears bobbed back and forth with her movements.
"Yeah," the rough-looking boy with slightly longer hair said from beside his companion; he looked down at his shoes as he felt his blush deepen even further, "it's cute."
"What did you want my help with, Renge-chan?" Haruhi asked politely, trying to place the conversation back on track; she was totally oblivious as to how uncomfortable her attire was making the Class D students.
"Ah, yes," Renge said, as if she was just remembering what she had called the scholarship student over for, "I want these two to be in the film, so could you please explain to them their roles?"
"What roles?" Haruhi inquired.
"The bad guys!" Renge passionately exclaimed as the guys looked on with irritated expressions, "There should always be bad guys in the climax! The club members will unite upon being hurt by true villains, and then the story can end wonderfully when the villains reform themselves under Kyoya-sama's touching dialogue!"
"Er," Haruhi said, watching the Class D students become increasingly agitated, "Renge-chan. Maybe it's convenient for you, but if you only see people two-dimensionally, don't you think that there's so much you miss? Like, for example, the person's true character?"
Renge looked at her with a bewildered expression. A moment later, she grabbed onto the longer-haired class D student's arm and dragged him behind her, "I don't quite understand what you're saying, Haruhi-chan. Well, anyways," she said to the boy, "please stand over here."
"Hey, you idiot!" the spiky-haired boy shouted at her, "Don't just say whatever you want!"
The boy that Renge had been dragging behind her suddenly pushed her away, shouting, "Don't act so big-headed just because you're from class A."
"Renge!" Haruhi shouted, dropping the serving platter that she had still been carrying along with her before making a mad dash towards the girl, "Watch out!"
The scholarship student felt the effects of her body becoming sandwiched between the iron bars of the lighting structure and the weight of the girl that she had managed to save from the impact that she had just suffered.
"Owch," Haruhi murmured to herself between Renge's frantic screams that searched for reassurance. She wouldn't be surprised to find her back bruised the next day.
Glancing up at the familiar voices despite the pain, Haruhi spotted the twins running towards her at full speed. They were still dressed in the basketball uniforms, she noticed through watery eyes. Her contact had relocated to the bottom of her eye socket (very irritating) when she had crashed against the metal bars.
Seeing the tears threatening to spill from her eyes and quick to interpret the scene, the twins immediately launched themselves at the class D students. They were about to let the guys have a taste of their fists, but Takashi Morinozuka had arrived on the scene before they could land the first punch.
"Let's get out of here," the class D students said nervously, running off before even more dangerous Class A guys came to rip a piece out of them. They really hadn't meant for Haruhi Fujioka to get hurt. Having caused her pain, and having to live with the scorn of all of her admirers was evidently enough punishment since nobody bothered to chase after them.
"Haruhi…" the twins said, embracing her, "we're so sorry that we weren't there."
"It hurts…" Haruhi replied weakly, "you're hurting my back."
The twins immediately dropped their hands to her waist, not wanting to lose contact. However, their hands had dropped a bit too low, brushing against her butt.
"You perverted twins!" Tamaki said, hitting them away from the injured girl, but had only managed to worsen the situation because his hand had ended up on her chest in the process of pushing the twins off of her. No matter how undeveloped it was, touching a girl's chest was the most unwise thing a guy could do.
"Evidently," the twins intoned, "my lord is the actual pervert here."
Haruhi, blushing and angry, turned away from the scene of the blonde chasing the two twins around.
"Cameraman," Renge said, having finally recovered from the shock. Now she was shaking with delight, "Were you able to get that?"
"Yes, perfect!" the cameraman replied with a thumbs up.
"Even though it wasn't planned, we can put Haruhi and me in the film as the young girls that are antagonized by the evil villains, and then the twins launch their attack to avenge the girls, but Morinozuka –"
She was cut off by Kyoya slamming a piece of rock against the camera's lens, thereby destroying the expensive piece of technology in a single blow.
"All the film shot up to now!" the camera man shouted in disbelief.
Renge stared on in confusion.
"I'm very sorry," Kyoya apologized insincerely in a stony tone of voice, "but we can not have any evidence of the club member's violent actions. It's also very unpleasant of you to cause this kind of trouble."
"Why…?" Renge asked with teary eyes, "Kyoya-sama should have said, 'don't worry about it' and pat my head gently. Kyoya-sama should have…"
"But, that's not Kyoya," Tamaki elegantly interrupted, "that's Miyabi-kun."
Haruhi crouched down in front of Renge, holding out a hand to the other girl, "I think that there are various reasons to fall in love. I also think that it must be fun to get to know the person little by little through looking at their personality."
Renge finally understood what the girl in front of her had meant earlier when she had been trying to persuade her to look at a person, not as a two-dimensional character from a video game, but as a real person.
"I'm sorry for causing so much trouble," Renge said with her head bowed.
Haruhi smiled and embraced her in a comforting hug.
"Haruhi-chan!" Renge exclaimed as she entered into the club room waving the latest addition to her dating simulation game collection, Doki Doki High, "You really must come over and play this with me! I was able to get a copy early even though it doesn't come out for another month!"
Haruhi glanced at the girl with a nervous smile, "Sorry, Renge-chan, but the twins are forcing me have dinner with them."
"What?!" Renge cried out, turning into her Medusa-like counterpart as she stormed off to resolve the problem, "Hikaru! Kaoru!"
Haruhi smiled into her cup of tea.
"I do believe that I'm rubbing off on you," Kyoya Ootori said as he claimed the seat across from her.
Since he was the only member of the Host Club that was not a regular host and she was the only female that opted not to be hosted, it was only natural that they share a table out of convenience.
He took a biscuit from the small tray in the center of the table that divided them and bit into it.
"It is difficult to imagine that I could ever compare," she replied honestly, perusing through the essay that had been returned earlier that day. She had aced it, of course, but the teacher always wrote such nice comments.
"Indeed it is," he replied, opening up his laptop and delving into his work.
Haruhi turned her attention to gaze out of the window that they were seated next to. The sun was shining, and there were only a few clouds lingering in the sky. She hoped, if anything, that it would remain that way. Even if her life continued to be full of eccentricities such as the Host Club and Ouran High School in general, she hoped the sun would always continue shining.
"Mother in heaven, please keep watching over me…"
This chapter was really based off of the manga -- the conversations, that is. Ah, and I finally gave Haruhi an official membership status in the club. Even though she isn't hosting, I have as much fun dressing her up in outfits as the twins do. By the way, the ending kind of hints at her fear of thunder, if you didn't understand why it ended like that. However, that's not going to show up for a few more chapters. I'm also contemplating writing a Hollywood arc or something in which the twins drag Haruhi to California with them and adventure (and the Host Club) follows; I'm thinking of something along the lines of a fashion show or movie. Anyways, see you next chapter and thank you for all of your kind reviews.