Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran High School Host Club and all its related indicia. They belong to Hatori Bisco. No copyright infringement was intended.
Title: The Submission of Haruhi Fujioka
Summary: Kyoya Ootori has been given an ultimatum by his father: make Haruhi Fujioka his bride by the time he's twenty-one or he forfeits his rights to inherit the Ootori zaibatsu. But our wily heroine can never be swayed easily—or will she?
"I'm afraid, Father, that is one order I cannot fulfill."
Kyoya Ootori has been given an ultimatum by his father: make Haruhi Fujioka his bride by the time he's twenty-one or he forfeits his rights to inherit the Ootori zaibatsu. But our wily heroine can never be swayed easily—or will she?
Kyoya stared at his father stonily with the same blank eyes after saying those fateful words. It was the first time he ever said it—and more importantly, the last—to his father. He hated to fail his father, who thought of his talents higher than anyone else.
But it was an impossible request: it was the only thing he could never do. No matter how many resources he could pull up, it was still impossible.
"Oh, Kyoya, that has to be the first time you ever told me that," Ootori stared just as stonily back at his son.
He didn't have to add: "And it should be the last."
Kyoya straightened his glasses on his nose, ignoring the small beat of sweat that gathered at the bridge. He never panics; it will never do good to show discomfort now.
"What you ask of me is the impossible," Kyoya said slowly, dropping a sugar cube in his teacup. He faintly wondered at that; he didn't like his tea sweet and preferred it black. He must be more nervous than he thought.
Calm down. Act cool. You are of the cool type. Deep, unnoticeable breaths, please. One, two….
His father's sharp voice broke through his silent meditation.
"What so hard about having Haruhi Fujioka as your bride?"
Kyoya internally winced at every mention of the unattainable task. Not that he thought of Haruhi as unsuitable. In fact, he always suspected that there was a side of him that thought of her more than a commoner with a huge debt; simply put, he interested her unlike any other shallow, air-headed girls he had to deal with every day at the Host Club.
"First of all, Haruhi is not easily swayed by anything. If it was any other girl, I could persuade her by just being the heir to the Ootori zaibatsu. Or at the very least just smile and flash her an expensive engagement ring. Haruhi in neither impressed with wealth or material goods." Kyoya took out a small notebook from his pocket. "Her only interest is following in her mother's footsteps to be a lawyer. That was her initial reason to come to Ouran in the first place. She wants to be able to qualify for a scholarship in the law department of Todai."
"Surely having her agree to this plan is not hard. I have faith in your skills; why would I suddenly declare to the world that my youngest son will be the heir to everything I and my fathers before me have built? I am confident that you could lead our family to even greater heights than your brothers could ever achieve. This is my last test for you to prove that you deserve all that I am leaving you."
At any other moment, Kyoya would have lost his cool and actually feel very pleased at his father's praise. But his mind was on other things.
"Or is it that Miss Fujioka has…chosen someone already?"
"That I do not know of. She was hugely popular during her middle school days. She had a love confession roughly once a month. She stays indifferent to many of the other men in school as well."
Kyoya took a deep breath. Though what he said was true, he had a nagging feeling that there might be someone already cutting through her apathy toward men. And it wasn't him.
"Forgive me for my impertinence in asking you this," Kyoya continued slowly, weighing his words, "but why are you so adamant for me to marry her? She's a commoner. I thought you'd have me engaged to someone of higher rank or wealth, such as the daughter of a business partner."
Ootori stood up to fill his glass with some fine vintage brandy from the crystal decanter in the built-in bar of his office. "It just shows how you underestimate my skills, Kyoya. Your marriage to her isn't for profit. This I will admit only to you: the only reason I agreed on your sister Fuyuki's marriage is because though the man is worthless, his family still had ties with us and their stocks are increasingly growing. I just saw it as a business opportunity." He smiled suddenly and Kyoya was taken aback; he rarely smiled. "But I can't help but feel happy that my only daughter has found her own happiness."
Ootori returned to his seat and his smile was gone. "Haruhi Fujioka could do more for you than ten noble-birth girls could ever give you." The smile was back, but it was a bit bigger. "There are only five times in my life that I had ever been truly happy. The first was my marriage to your mother, God bless her soul. Second, third, fourth and fifth was the birth of my children. Make this the sixth time I could be happy. So that I may live to have my happiness for a seventh time."
Kyoya wanted to ask what Haruhi could do for him but thought better of it. There was a finality in his father's tone that brooked no argument. It was this character of his that has made the Ootori family one of the most feared in the business world.
He sighed and stood up. "I will say it again though I know it might disappoint you. I know this is the first time you will hear of it in your life and most of all it came from your own son. I cannot guarantee anything." He left the room without a backward glance.
Ootori brought the tips of his fingers together and managed a smirk.
"Oh, you will guarantee it to me, Kyoya. I promise you that." He looked at one of the few photo frames propped on his desk. He stared at his wife's face with a mixture of happiness and melancholy. "It's time that I set things right. Though this might not be the best of methods, this is the only way I can ensure things will happen as they should be."
Kyoya glanced at his books without much interest. His studies never really got his attention as much as watching the stock market, but he knew that he needed to do his best.
Recent discoveries have determined that suppressing the immune system—more specifically, trying to repress the CD4+ T cells in the body—can lead to the reduction of the activity of the HIV in the body…
I can't ask Haruhi to marry me! Asking her and convincing her are different things!
Essentially, the new therapy plan could only be successful if the patient is on the early, acute stages of infection…
I can't even ask her to go out on a date with me!
Experiments have already established that blocking viral replication with antiretroviral medication attenuates immune activation and boosts the number of CD4+ T cells. The next step would be immunosuppressive therapy, which could slow down viral replication by limiting the T cell activation and prevent the CD4+ t cells from apoptosis…
Besides, she'll just reject me or think that there was an ulterior motive. Well, I do have one. Marry her or lose the inheritance altogether.
This novel line of attack against HIV is in its early days, and the scientific community is still cautious…
I have to be real cautious about this. Screw this all, I need to do this! This is my future…
But with antiretroviral resistance on the rise, immunosuppression could prove to be a much needed extra weapon in the anti-HIV arsenal.
She might—and will—resist at first, but I have to suppress her. Luckily, I have a lot of weapons on my own arsenal….
He woke up very early, a rare occurrence for the Low Blood Pressure Demon Lord. He had prepared all he would need for today.
There was no room for failure.
Note: The article featured on this chapter is T Cell Turnoff by Bianca Nogrady from the December 2007 issue of Scientific American magazine. The content is the property of the author and the publishing company which bought its publishing rights. No copyright infringement was ever intended.