Authors Notes: Hunny/Haruhi is my favorite alt-host pairing of the series, and I finally came up with an idea for a fic featuring it. Very much AU, but has manga-verse characters. Will contain Hunny/Haruhi, Tamaki/Ayame, Kasanoda/Renge, Nekozawa/Reiko, and Hikaru/Kaoru. So yes, this will contain a smattering of shounen-ai, although it's a bit different than normal. For those of you who don't know, Reiko and Ayame both appear in the manga. The title comes from a song by the Dresden Dolls.

Disclaimer: I no own. I no make money. Pity me.

-----

Chapter 2: Heart

The sky opened up, giving way to what it threatened to do earlier. The rain, however, was the last thing on Haruhi's mind. After a few moments, she blinked, then looked down at the doll. Nothing. Pressing the button a few more times, she waited five minutes before finally giving it up as a lost cause.

"Must have gotten a defective doll or some sort of prototype. Stupid Renge. Stupid Kyouya. Stupid me for going along with thi-"

Her rant gave way to a scream, then a crash and a thud, as lightning struck outside and thunder shook the building.

Huddling under the coffee table and nursing a bruised head, she couldn't stop the tears that formed as another roll of thunder passed through. It was all she could do to focus on her breathing, so she didn't notice when someone crawled under the table with her. She was hugged, pressed against a warm chest, and for a panic stricken moment she thought Reiko had come back. But no, Reiko had breasts. This chest was definitely lacking those.

She looked up, and screamed again. In her haste to scramble back away from the figure, she whacked her head again, and then everything went black.

-----

It was always dark by the time her mother got home. Little Haruhi was used to it, for despite being so young she was an astoundingly mature child. She understood that her mother had an important job. She kept the world safe, just like the heroes on those stupid cartoons her father watched (while claiming that Haruhi had been the one who wanted to watch them in the first place). Her mother was a lot better than them, though, and far more real.

Tonight, she looked more tired than usual, and when Haruhi took the briefcase and set it beside the door, she could see the rings under her mother's eyes.

"How did it go?"

Her mother smiled at her, slipping off her shoes. "We're almost done. Just a few more days, and I'm confident that we'll get our bad guy."

Haruhi didn't know the details of her mother's cases; never did, not until after they were finished, and she was too young to fully comprehend most of them. There was one thing, however, that she got loud and clear. There were a lot of bad people in the world.

"Why are there people who do bad things? Don't they know that everything would be better if they didn't do them?"

Her mother ran a hand through Haruhi's hair, smiling sadly. "There will always be bad people in this world, Haruhi. That's why the world needs people like you and me, to protect those who are innocent..."

-----

When she came to, there was someone hovering over her. Her vision was blurry at first, and she squinted a bit, trying to make them out. Blond hair... who...?

Suddenly, it all came back into focus. For a brief moment, she wished that it hadn't.

The Companion was leaning over her, his face level with hers, a worried expression on his boyish features. She refrained from sitting up too quickly, as that would not only knock their heads together and make her headache worse, but sounds were also filtering in now, and she could hear the pitter-patter of rain on the window. No thunder again yet, though. One small plus.

"Are you okay?" His voice was smooth, beautiful, not at all something that a young boy would possess. She supposed that made the 'age' on the certificate the right one.

She realized he was staring at her, waiting for an answer. "I- I'm fine." Something was tugging at her mind, shouting Look at me! Look at me!, but she ignored it for the moment. "Are you... Were you the one who was hugging me?"

He nodded, and she could see relief reflected in those wide brown eyes. He seemed so... human. Nekozawa could pass for a human, all of the Companions could, but somehow this one was different. She didn't know how, she just knew he was.

He took her hand, and she let him help her sit up. She placed the other on her forehead, groaning slightly as the room span before settling into place again. She had a good knot on her head, and knew she'd have to be careful for the next few days. She was suddenly hugged again, from the side, but she was more prepared this time. "Don't do that again. You scared me."

A light blush settled on her cheeks, and she wondered at the strange behavior of the Companion. They aren't normally this touchy-feely unless set on lover mode. But I didn't select any modes at all... there were none to choose. Did he just have a default? But he pulled away before she could think on it any farther, and he looked slightly different now. His eyes were wider, and there was some expression on his face that made him look younger.

"My name is Mitsukuni Haninozuka, but you can call me Hunny for short!" Haruhi could have sworn there were little flowers springing up around him out of thin air.

"R-right..." She was a little weirded out. No, scratch that, she was a lot weirded out. Still, there wasn't much she could do about it but go with the flow. She belatedly realized she should introduce herself. "I'm Haruhi Fujioka."

She stood, being steadied by the shorter boy the whole time, then sighed and steeled herself. "This is your new home, Hunny-" She paused, looking down at him. He looked as if he would pout if she tacked on a 'san'. "...kun."

Giving him a short tour (it was a small apartment), she felt exhausted when she was finished, and sank onto the couch, leaning her head against the back. Hunny smiled cutely and placed a hand on her forehead. She blinked. "I'll go get you a glass of water and some asprin, Haru-chan. You just stay there and rest, okay?"

He took off. The phone rang, startling Haruhi badly, and she fumbled at the side of the couch before grabing onto the receiver, raising it to her ear with shaking hands. "Hello?"

It was Renge. She was mercifully speaking at normal tones, for once. Haruhi thought she really would have tracked the girl down and at least put her in some serious pain if she screamed. "Did it arrive yet?"

Haruhi switched hands, allowing herself to lay down and put her head on the arm rest. "Yeah. It's really strange, though. This isn't a Tamaki model. Are you sure you got the order right?"

There was a brief silence at the other end of the line. Haruhi could hear Hunny in the kitchen, glasses clinking and water running. "Yeah, I'm sure. What model did you get?"

"Ah... 'Mitsukuni Haninozuka'." She frowned. "You know, it's strange. I didn't know that any of the Companions even had last names."

Renge sucked in a sharp breath. "Haruhi-kun... they don't."

"I brought your water!" Haruhi stared at the boy who was coming around the side of the couch to stand in front of her, smiling widely.

"I'll call you back," she mumbled. Ignoring Renge's shouts, she let the receiver drop back into the cradle, taking the water and trying not to spill it everywhere. "Hunny-kun..."

He looked concerned. "What is it, Haru-chan? Do you need something else? You know what always cheers me up?" She opened her mouth to answer that no, she really didn't need anything else, but he barreled on. "A cake! I'll go make you one!"

She watched as he took off back into the kitchen, then looked down at her water. She took the asprin, draining the glass, then set it on the coffee table with a soft clink. Rubbing her forehead, she closed her eyes. Just to rest. Just for a minute.

-----

When she opened them again, her eyes were bleary and she felt groggy, as if she had just awoke from a too-short nap. Frowning, she sat up a little, wondering what had woken her in the first place.

After a large crash in the kitchen, she realized what it was. "Hunny-kun!" Standing so suddenly that she was struck with dizziness for a good half-a-minute, she made her way into the kitchen. Upon seeing the damage that had been done, she was tempted to just go lie back down. Instead, she sighed.

"Hunny-kun, why is the stove on fire?"

Technically it was smoking, but from the smell (and the fire extenguisher he held) she guessed it had been on fire not too long before. He looked embarrassed, and a little upset, and she found she couldn't be mad at him. "I'm sorry, Haru-chan! I didn't know the cake would burst into flames like that!" He started crying, real tears, and Haruhi almost had a heartattack. Could Companions cry? She'd never been around a model that had the propensity for it. Sighing, she placed a hand on his head in lieu of an embrace. She gave an inch, he took a mile, and grasped her around the waist, eyes scrunched shut and looking miserable.

Haruhi smoothed down his hair, resisting the urge to rest her chin on top of his head. "Hunny-kun, it's okay. I'll show you how to bake a cake so you can know for next time." He looked up at her, eyes wide and shiny. She smiled. A slow flush crept up his cheeks, but he smiled back.

It wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. He was at least good at cleaning up, and she had him clear the kitchen before they started. Her headache had seemed to disappear, and the fog she woke up in scattered.

After he was done, she took out all the supplies to make a cake and showed him each step. When they slid it into the oven and closed the door, she felt it was worth it, to see him that happy. They're so simple, so easy to please. I guess I can see why Reiko has one now.

That brought to mind something else, and she paused in her wiping down of the counter, turning to Hunny. "I almost forgot. Do you know why you have a last name?"

He looked at her, confusion warring with surprise. Confusion won out. "What do you mean, Haru-chan? Everyone has a last name."

She frowned. That wasn't the answer she'd been expecting. "Hunny-kun, no other Companion has a last name. You're the only one that I know of."

Now he looked really confused. "Huh? What's a Companion?"

Haruhi paled, staring at the short blond in front of her. I got the only broken Companion ever made. I am definitely going to kill Renge.

-----

"...and that's what a Companion is." She'd taken him into the living room, explaining him the basics behind the company and the dolls while the cake baked. Maybe his memory circuits or programming was damaged? I'll have to... ugh, actually call and talk to Kyouya. I can't dump all this on Renge, even if it is her fault.

Hunny looked as if he was digesting this information, nodding to himself and staring down at the couch. Feeling as if she'd finally gotten through to him, Haruhi let out a sigh of relief. Before she could stand, though, he looked up at her sharply, eyes narrowed. It was that other expression, the one that was the complete opposite from how he usually looked, the one she'd woken up to.

"That's interesting and all, Haruhi, but I don't see what it has to do with me. I'm a real person, after all."

She froze, a half-smile pasted to her face and one eye twitching. Real... person... Cracking slightly, she put her head in her hands and tried not to sob. Hunny grabbed one of her wrists and pressed it to his chest. "See? I have a heartbeat and everything. So I have to be a real person. Only real people have hearts."

To Haruhi's shock and horror, she could feel it, beating steadily beneath her fingers. "That's- that's not possible." No Companions have hearts! What's going on here? Her eyes flew up to Hunny's, her's stunned, his grim.

"This heart, it was made to beat only for you." His expression became shadowed. He leaned forward, and for a panicked moment she could have sworn he was going to kiss her. Then the timer rang, startling them both.

"I- Cake. Done." She stood up, freeing herself from his grasp, and fled the room. She'd never been so grateful for the existence of her kitchen timer in all her life.