Haruhi pulled down on her suit jacket and brushed her hands over the front. Looking in the mirror, she raised her eyebrows in question, biting her lower lip. She didn't get it: what it was that was so 'great' about her.
"Haruhi!" Tamaki came running around the corner. "Are you descent?" He obviously didn't care about the answer to his question because he was already in her presence by the end of it. "Ahh, my beautiful orchid!"
He took her hand in his, kissing it, gently. "Come, come, now. My luscious day lily."
"Day lily?" She followed him, trying to keep her footing. "Where are we going, why are we going this way?" She looked back to the main room.
"My lovely cherry blossom, height of the day time, Rose of Sharon."
She brought her eyebrows together. "What is going on? What have you done?"
She halted. "Tell me this instant, or I will put on this lipstick!" She pulled red lipstick out of her right coat pocket.
"Haruhi!" He brought his hand up to his mouth. "Where did you get that?"
"My father. I thought I'd bring it with me from now on to keep you guys in line." She slipped it into her pocket and crossed her arms.
His face turned red and he crossed his arms, as well, moving to the corner. "We have a customer." He looked back to her. "A very, very rich customer. And she's asked for you."
"For…for me?" Haruhi stepped forward, gesturing to herself. "Why?"
Tamaki turned back around and shrugged. "Not sure. You must be getting a reputation." His face was happy and unhappy at the same time. He somehow pulled this off.
She looked at the ceiling. A very rich customer. "But…how is this a bad thing?"
He looked away from her, rubbing his arm. "She wants to take you away from the Academy. Out to town. And…she has a reputation for seducing our boys." He sat down and put his hand up to his head. "Or, rather…thinking she is seducing our boys." He looked back up to her. "We allow a few kisses, agreeable company, that's it."
Tamaki looked over to Haruhi. Her face was as white as a sheet. "Haruhi?" He walked to her and waved a hand in front of her. "Hello?"
She pushed him to the floor without thinking. Shaking her head she apologized wordlessly. "What did you say?"
"She's…she's very rich?"
"How old is she?"
"Twenty-four." He stood up.
Haruhi put her hand on her chin. "Well. I'll just not be seduced." She turned to him and nodded her head. "How…rich?"
Tamaki looked to the ground. "Very rich."
She let out a long sigh. "Ohhhhkay…" She walked to the mirror and looked at herself. "Do I look presentable?"
"Yes," he smiled, "as always."
Haruhi walked outside and saw a long limousine waiting for her. She clutched her hands against her legs and tried to stay calm-looking. Always like everything here was perfectly ordinary for her.
"Haruhi. The lady's name is Katsumi, and she loves white roses." He slipped a white rose into her hand, which was near her back. "Also, compliment her hair, if you can, and never look at her dogs for too long. They're terrifying."
They stopped in front of the car and the driver came out. He opened the door and bowed. "Please, enter."
Haruhi smiled and got into the car. Tamaki gave a thumbs up as the door shut.
Haruhi was afraid to look at this woman. What would she be like? Tamaki didn't say anything about her general appearance. What did that mean?
"Hello." Her voice was soft. "You're even cuter than your reputation admits."
Haruhi kept one eye closed as she turned, finally seeing her. She held a fluffy puppy in her lap. The woman was quite beautiful. "My name is Katsumi, but I'm sure you've been told that already." She laughed, quietly. "And you're Haruhi. It's lovely to meet you."
Haruhi smiled awkwardly.
Katsumi made a sound of slight contentment and pet her dog. Katsumi's hair was long and black, which complimented her dark brown eyes. She wore red lipstick that made her look like a black widow. To tell the truth, Haruhi was terrified of her. She shivered.
"Uh…Katsumi. I have a gift." Haruhi moved forward and presented the white rose to her.
"Oh!" She reached her hand out and took the rose, then clasped Haruhi's wrist with her other hand. Haruhi looked down to her wrist and then to Katsumi, trying not to be phased. Katsumi moved her hand up Haruhi's arm, feeling her soft skin. "It was very thoughtful of you." She smiled, her red lips shining. "Thank you, Haruhi." She let her go of her wrist and took the rose.
Haruhi sat back in her seat.
"Ah, my house!" Katsumi looked out of the windows. "We're here."
Haruhi took a bite of her food as Katsumi watched her eat. She tried not to act as frightened and awkward as she felt. What kind of a person just watches someone eat?! "So." Haruhi tried to take the pressure off of the silence. "What is it that you do, if you don't mind me asking?"
She sat back in her chair, smiling. "Nothing." Looking back to her she winked. "Isn't it wonderful? I made my fortune, now I live in it. And every few years if I run out…" She took a sip of her champagne," I simply marry another man who's about to die." She laughed. "Simple."
Haruhi felt sick. What a ridiculous woman. So ambivalent and stupid. She resisted the urge to laugh at her. She thought she was so amazing, and yet she was nothing at all – all alone in this house – reduced to hiring a host from a service to fill her need for company. And the host wasn't even a man. Suddenly, Haruhi wasn't afraid of this woman anymore.
"Extraordinary, indeed." She went back to eating.
Katsumi called her servant after a while and had the dishes taken away. Dinner was finished, and they retired to the limousine.
"You know, Haruhi, I feel as if I've known you for years."
Haruhi's insides turned. Years? They had barely spoken. So complimenting her hair was out of the question.
She looked out of her back window. "I wish to see you again. I can see you becoming…one of my favorites."
Haruhi's heart stopped beating in her chest, and her eyes shot wide open. She couldn't breathe for a moment, and wasn't sure if she'd ever be able to talk again. What would she do? But this was an important client! She couldn't tell her off! Oh, no, oh no. She closed her eyes.
Katsumi looked to her and smiled. Then Haruhi looked to her as well, thinking for a moment. "Katsumi. You're right."
She smiled at her, her black hair falling behind her shoulders as she sat forward. "Oh, Haruhi."
"It is as if we've known each other for years." Katsumi smiled. "We're like star-crossed lovers meant to be together for centuries and centuries!" She knelt down in front of her. "As if we have been engaged from the moment our eyes met!"
"Engaged?" Katsumi sat back, slightly.
"Yes, my love! My orchid! My day lily! It's as if our marriage was predestined by the fates!" She moved her hand up, sweeping across the sky. Turning back to her she held her hands, tightly. "We are to be, oh yes, for all eternity, man…and wife!"
"Well…wait a minute, here. I didn't mean-."
"But, Katsumi…I know that you might not chose me among all of the many men here…and if not, I will honor that, believe me. But, I thought…"
"Well, I was… just as a friend, Haruhi!" She laughed, quickly. "As a good friend!"
"Oh…I see." She stood and sat back in her seat, putting her hand up to her forehead, shielding her eyes. "Then I will respect your wishes and always greet you with a kind, friendly spirit when I see you."
Haruhi kissed her hand as she stepped out of the limousine. "Goodbye, my cherry blossom!"
"Yes…yes, goodbye, Haruhi!" She laughed, weakly. The door shut quickly.
Haruhi waved as the car drove away.
Walking quickly up the stairs she finally was inside the Academy. "Freedom! Safety!" She opened the doors to the club and shut them, sliding down the wall and burying her face in her hands.
Once she looked up she was looking at the blinking faces of the entire host club. She stared back.
"Uhh…." She looked to all of the guys in front of her.
"Ummm…." They all awkwardly stared at her in unison.
Finally she spoke.
"It went alright." Haruhi sat up and stood, walking to a chair and sitting down, getting a glass of water. Tamaki sat down and the twins gathered around both sides of the chair, Honey at the base. "Haruhi! Did she kiss you?!"
"Honey!" They all quieted him and Kaoru put his hand over Honey's mouth, pulling him away from her.
Then they all watched Haruhi, hoping she'd answer the question.
She smiled. "No… But I do think I scared her."
"Scared!?" Tamaki's eyes went wide.
"No, no! Not from the Host Club…just from me." She laughed to herself. "I just don't think she'll be coming to me again in the future."
Somehow, this made Tamaki very happy.
Mori stood a few feet away from them. "How?" They all turned to him. "I have gone out with…Ms. Katsumi and she is not swayed easily." They all turned to Haruhi. He narrowed his eyes. "How did you do it?"
Haruhi smiled. "I proposed!"