They say that people are the truest to themselves when the sleep. They say that this is when people drop their guards, and when a person's mind can truly explore.



This place was, Kyouya decided, a very very peculiar castle. If any more oddly casual paintings, or strangely tinted roses, or sweetly tempting smells, or anything else normallynot there made themselves present, he wasn't going to be able to cope; not to mention it was ridiculously crowded and people were pushy-- and if he ever found out who'd just bumped him forward into the wall, that person was going to be very sorry. And it was cold, and he was cold, and his manner and thoughts were numb.

The castle was packed to the brim, mostly young ladies and a few friendly-looking men-- all somehow comfortably functioning in this distinctly defunct building. Or chateau. Whatever.

And it was sunny. How did that work, anyway--

Oh. A glass ceiling. That was fine, too.

But it was terribly, terribly cold.

A voice that was not particularly loud-- but still clearly attention drawing-- came from somewhere, and he raised his head to try and decipher what it was saying. Quiet fell over the assembly for a moment-- activities paused-- no one wanted to miss the announcement.

"We are searching for a missing member-- I repeat, we are looking for our missing member. If you have seen him, please inform him that he is needed. Thank you."

Silence for a moment. Then activities resumed.

Kyouya shrugged. It wasn't particularly important to him-- why would someone looking for a lost member matter to him at all? The voice was awfully familiar, sure, but it didn't bring him any benefit; plus, it would probably have helped if a name and description-- for they did have a purpose-- were provided. Movement and bustle resumed. Kyouya still remained cool and detached.

A small boy, music score sheet clenched in his fist, almost ran straight into Kyouya. The kid looked up and scowled; a bandage was seen clearly on his cheek-- perhaps a sign of being delinquent?

"Sorry," he muttered sullenly, "-but I have someone to find before it's too late…before it's too late, before she leaves."

Kyouya only watched as the oddly familiar elementary student disappeared back into the crowd. How did he know this kid, and that piano music...?

Whatever. He didn't care. He never really did care about people much, other than for whatever benefit they would bring him…

Remembering people wasn't really going to help him in this place.

He paused at this thought. Help him with what, exactly?

Whatever. He felt cold, and that was enough to focus on for now.


Looking about, he was able to find what looked like a garden in the midst of the citadel; there were roses, plenty of roses. But nothing more.

Kyouya frowned a bit at this, and moved closer for another look; perhaps this peculiarity could aid in figuring out where the hell he was. On the way, he was bumped by some bespectacled girl with a rather austere sort of air about her-- straight locks that appeared to have been naturally wavy blew a little in some not-possible breeze. He didn't pay much attention to her-- and why did he sudden have the thought, "third in class and smitten with--" with…who? He couldn't remember, and the title he had initially associated with her faded quickly from mind. It wasn't long before he couldn't recall having the thought at all.

He realized he had stopped, and wondered why he paused in the first place. Continuing, he spotted a red haired man easily-- people apparently thought him terrifying, as they gave him a wide girth-- and Kyouya could see why, for the expression on this man's face looked to be trained for intimidation. The man was feeding something behind a rosebush, but Kyouya decided not to pay him any mind, though he had a niggling feeling that this man was somehow a friend of a friend…

Wait. Friend?

Kyouya suddenly wondered how that was possible. Acquaintances, should have been the thought. Never friends. An Ootori never madefriends; they made partners and associates.

He shook his head, and wandered more. He decided that there were simply too many people here; too many people to be able to devote so much energy to observing. There was a couple over by the far wall, looking over Ginori teacups and shyly smiling at each other. There was a little girl tugging on the hem of a darkly robed man, who was holding a silly looking cat puppet. There was a malicious-looking girl being forcibly removed from the area, kicking and screaming and-- ugh, what unsightly behavior. There were even a group of three girls acting out a play on a far-set stage; the castle's regulars seemed to ignore them, but the group had its own share of fans causing a racket.


Kyouya continued to wander, finally noticing that many people were watching him and giggling and whispering as though they thought he could not hear them.

"Tell him!" one would say.

"No, you tell him!" the other would whisper in response.

Kyouya frowned, wondering what on earth-- was this even Earth?-- was happening, and why he was the center of attention so suddenly.

Turning around as gracefully as possible, he decided to rest for a bit.


There was a bench. An uncomfortable looking bench.

…An uncomfortable looking bench that he wasn't, apparently, allowed to use. For just as he was turning to sit, a booming voice that only he seemed to hear came from nowhere, and stated,


Kyouya frowned. "And why not?" he testily inquired, raising an eyebrow. Who-- or what-- was he talking to?


Kyouya looked. No one was there. "By whom?"


"I meant someone real."


Kyouya repressed an angry look, because there was no one to look at: the voice had no speaker. He instead directed his glare to the spotless, uncomfortable looking bench, and decided it was a losing battle that didn't make much sense. Nothing seemed to make much sense here, anyway-- and where exactly was here!?

Even as he asked himself, he was aware of the strangeness of his words. Of course he knew where he was, but…where was he again?

He shivered. It was really cold, even though the conversation with the bench distracted him for a moment.


The intangible P.A. system rang again. That first voice, the one that was not-yet-loud-but-still-very-clear, cut through activities as the people again dropped everything to listen.

"We are still searching for our missing member. I repeat, we are still looking for our missing member. If you see Ootori Kyouya, please alert him that he is needed quickly. Thank you."

Kyouya blinked. Was that his name just called? What was he required for? He couldn't remember making any such agreements or deals or commitments…

The commanding, all-knowing air he'd spent all his life perfecting held up, but he furiously thought and wondered andquestioned himself inwardly.

That was when the large, ornate, suddenly appearing doors to his left opened, revealing dramatic silhouettes of six figures. He peered through his glasses at the group-- one tall, one short, two of equal height, one of average height and one a head shorter-- as they became more and more visible through the fog and rose petals.

He looked at those people-- and how silly of him to refer to them asthose people when he knew perfectly well who they were!-- and was finally, finally, aware of where he was. These people-- no, his friends-- were there, reaching out to him and telling him how terribly missed he was and--

Kyouya glanced back at the citadel he had been wandering around, and let his eyes slide over all those familiar, familiar faces as he took in how exactly he knew each one. He knew them. He knew this castle too, with all its charm and friendliness and atmosphere.

This was nothing more than an interesting dream, but this--

-this was-

-this was the Host Club.


Kyouya woke to six faces surrounding his bed, and hid a smile; an outward scowl was important, for he did have appearances to maintain. He looked at each of them, reveling in how warm he felt now; he mused a bit on how much he felt as though he cared, as though he believed in intangible benefits--

This was the waking world, and these were--

-they were-

--they were his annoying, wonderful, friends.



Sorry if it seems out of character, but I tried to do a "what if" for Kyouya softening up enough to actually have a dream like that. xD