The teashop was nearly empty, for it was in the early hours. The winter sun was rising, and I was staring at my watch, which was heading towards six. I had never expected him to be late for a meeting. I gazed in amusement as I searched the outside for an arriving limousine. Suddenly, the door opened with a ring, and Kyouya Sempai entered.
"Eh, Sempai! You didn't use the limousine, for once." I exclaimed.
"I felt the need to cleanse my mental turmoil by walking in cold air, Fujioka." He grumbled, "There had better be a good reason for you to call me at six in the morning."
"You are late anyway, Sempai. The meeting was at 5:30, so you're thirty minutes late."
"Whatever," he sighed. He scratched his ruffled hair. "I was planning your wedding, and bearing with a nervous Tamaki is more difficult than you expect. I only had—"
"You have my pity, Sempai. Have a seat." I interfered. He sank down on the chair, and ordered coffee.
"They only serve tea here, Sempai." I whispered.
He gave a dark, ominous glare at the waiter, and spat out, "Give me whatever you have with the most caffeine."
I was feeling immense pity for the cowering waiter. Kyouya Sempai mumbled blurred expletives that I had never heard him speak. Perhaps meeting him in these hours was not a wise choice to make. Nevertheless, I persevered.
"So, why have you summoned me in this dreadful period of the day?" Kyouya Sempai drawled.
"There is something I want to ask, about the event a week ago."
"Ah, the proposal. Yes. What troubles you?" He observed me through his thin glasses.
"Well, Sempai, when I asked you what merits were there in arranging the proposal, you said there would be a mental merit. I wonder—"
"Ah." Kyouya Sempai smiled knowingly at me. "I just wanted to assure that the wife of my future business partner would be a wise one, that's all."
"That's the merit, Sempai?" I stared disbelievingly at him. "I expected something more."
"What, something in the lines of 'wanting my friend to be happy'?" He chuckled immoderately. Seeing me nod, he continued. "You are the most observant woman that I had ever met, Haruhi. Yet, you are sometimes too naïve."
He sipped his tea, then nearly gagged. I noticed that in his irrational anger, he accidentally ordered the '99 concentrated green tea', a specialty that only Buddhist monks drink. Hmm, he seems more amusing when he is a bit drowsy. Perhaps I should arrange more meetings in this hour.
"Well, but your assumption is partly correct." He smiled. "It would be advantageous if the happiness of my business associates was assured. Remember, I am an egoist, Haruhi. We'll meet at your wedding, good bye."
When will Kyouya Sempai acknowledge that he too, like Tamaki Sempai, possesses human warmth? That he too his protective of the ones he treasures? As I watched the back of Kyouya Sempai leaving, I wondered.
Yet, he was Kyouya Sempai, and he might always be like that. Perhaps I should plan his marriage someday.
I smiled, and then sipped his leftover tea. I nearly threw up. It was almost seven o'clock.
The sleep deprived Kyouya Sempai was quite interesting. I cannot believe that he overlooked the crucial fact; we were in Hani Sempai's teashop. He should have noticed from the mounds of data that he collects, or at least from the overflowing mountains of cake in the counter. Ah well, I should inquire later.
"Neh, Haru-chan. Kyou-chan is terrifying in the morning, eh?" Hani Sempai surprised me by approaching silently from the behind.
"The same goes for you, Sempai." I sighed. "You are perhaps more terrifying when you wake up."
"I'm quite glad that you chose to marry him, Haru-chan. It was completely your own decision." He smiled, silently waiting for my reply.
"Well, we have been going out for almost 2 years."
"But there seems more behind your sudden approval?"
Hani Sempai was sharp as always. "Yes, Sempai." I showed him the ring that I received a week ago. The diamond glinted in the sun. "This ring……I noticed moments after I received it—the ring was his mother's. I recognized it from her pictures."
"Yes, it was." Hani Sempai nodded, his lips forming a small smile. "You should visit his mother soon. She was delighted that her son was getting married."
"Yes. All of us went to Paris a month ago. We made the exact replica of the ring, though Tamaki's mother was more than willing to give her own ring."
"Tama-chan really cares for you, Haru-chan." Hani Sempai once again gave his serious expression.
"Yes, I realized that a week ago, from the ring that he gave me. I dared to think that he loved me as much as he loved his mother."
"Yes, he does." Hani Sempai sipped the leftover green tea. He gagged. "Hmm, so this is what Kyou-chan prefers? I should give him more of this in the wedding, then."
Not bothering to correct his misunderstanding, I continued.
"The realization was what made me accept the marriage. Even though it was a sudden decision, I was certain about it."
"And you love him, too?" He asked.
I laughed. "Sempai, I don't go out with a person that I do not love."
Both of us were quietly immersed in thought. I imagined the expression on Kyouya Sempai's face when he will receive the concentrated green tea. Come to think of it, when was the wedding?
"Uh, Sempai, about the wedding…"
"Ah, you are excited, aren't you? Tomorrow, you are getting married!"
"Don't tell me that you forgot about your own wedding! Hika-chan and Kao-chan are visiting this afternoon. They said you need to chose from their final two candidates of the wedding dress, out of—"
"405 dresses, I know, Sempai." I sighed. I stood up.
"Thanks for the tea, Sempai. Make sure that you give more of that green tea to Kyouya Sempai."
Tomorrow, then, I would become a Suoh……
"Haruhi, the laces don't go there, you shouldn't just tie it in a knot. It lacks elegance!"
"Renge-san, why are you in here?"
"We've only got 30 minutes till the wedding, and you are still trying to wear the dress! Unacceptable!" It seemed that she was more excited about the wedding than I am.
"Well, at least if I am dressed in something, then it must be fine…" I mumbled. The Hitachiin twins had suggested that I should get married in a swimsuit. That nearly earned a slap.
"Fine? Fine? Fine? This is more shocking than when I first found out that you were a girl, Haruhi!" She rummaged around, trying to get me properly dressed.
"Why don't we let Hikaru and Kaoru here? They would do this in an instant."
"Haruhi, I am astounded by your complete disregard for gender. They are men. They should not see you undressed! I am surprised how you even got married—"
"Ah! We're done!" Renge-san finally stood back, and observed me with satisfaction. "Beautiful, Haruhi!"
"Er, thanks, Renge-san."
"Five minutes." Mori Sempai quietly murmured as he entered the room.
The wedding was devoid of any porcelain vases, for obvious reasons. As I slowly marched to the front, accompanied by my father, I noticed something incredible.
It was snowing in March.
The sky had been gray in the morning, and now, snowflakes were hovering silently in the air. However, I felt warm within the snow.
Father was whispering hurried words to Tamaki Sempai. Later I found out that the words consisted mainly of threats, insults, and most surprisingly, thanks.
I stood next to Tamaki Sempai. I should now refrain from calling him Sempai, though. He stood silently, his eyes widened at my sight. It was quite uncomfortable. Then, he regained his pose, and whispered silently to me.
"I had requested that no porcelain vases should be placed in the wedding, Haruhi, for obvious reasons."
"I don't know, Sempai. The first—" I stopped in my tracks.
"What, Haruhi? You were saying?"
I did not continue, for he did not need to know. The first time when I broke the porcelain vase, I was thrown into the host club, a magical world. The second time when I broke a vase, I—
I fell in love.
Would there be a third time, too?
The rest was a mere repetition of all weddings, yet I found myself feeling those events new, and warm.
It was snowing in March.
Tamaki, my new husband, kissed me. Then, he silently walked to the corner where a piano stood. He began playing.
Mother in heaven, watch him play. Watch him play in the place where you stood, where you loved me. Watch him play.
Finally, the end. I enjoyed writing this, and is now thinking of a sequel, hinted slyly at this chapter.
Please review, for they would always be considered.
-To Think, To Link, To Sing.