AUTHOR'S NOTES: My first Ouran Host Club fic! So please be gentle. XD

If you haven't been reading, this contains spoilers for the end of the anime. You have been warned.

FOR THE AWESOME KYOY, because she has given me shiny colorbars to squee over.

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The night sky was dotted with multicolored fireworks that blazed against the black background, creating huge fountains, spinning rockets, and so much more. The exploding sounds, however, were almost lost in the hubbub of the Ouran Festival, as many students (possibly even teachers) danced, frolicked, ate and pretty much had a grand time as the festival was wrapped up.

"Look at all the pretty fireworks!" squealed Mitsukuni Haninozuka, otherwise known as Honey, who was perched on his cousin Takashi Morinozuka's shoulders. Mori simply smiled and nodded, acknowledging Honey's comment. The members of the Ouran High School Host Club were lounging around the nearest buffet table, just watching the fireworks and resting their feet after each of the boys had a dance with Haruhi Fujioka, the secretly-female member of the group.

But were they all there?

"Where's the lord?" asked Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin simultaneously.

Four faces turned expectantly towards Kyouya Ootori, the supposed authority on their lord's whereabouts – and his best friend. Kyouya blinked a few times as though searching for an answer.

"I think it is best we don't bother him now, where he went. Let him come back on his own."

But judging from the way the vice-president of the club responded he already had the answer long before the Hitachiin twins brought up the question.

Maybe it was because Haruhi was also gone.

And Kyouya knew how to put two and two together…or in this case, one and one.

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The garden – gardens, actually – at Ouran Academy were large, well-maintained and many, with towering green hedges that were always meticulously stripped off wilted leaves and awkward twigs, a multitude of ornamental plants that were simply there for show and to add lots of color to the verdant environment, constantly spotless benches, and intricate fountains in all shapes and sizes.

Usually there were a handful of students wandering around or simply sitting idly, whether alone or with a few friends, but tonight the gardens were utterly deserted. That is, except for two students weaving their way towards a small, circular fountain adorned with a shapely woman in a toga pouring water out of her pot and surrounded by tall hedges dotted with tiny blue and pink flowers.

Haruhi smoothed out her skirt and sat down on the edge of the fountain as Tamaki Suou, the Host Club president, beckoned her to sit beside him.

"Won't they come looking for us, senpai?" she asked hesitantly. "And what if others see us…"

"They won't. They're all at the festival," said Tamaki confidently. But Haruhi still wasn't too convinced by his assurance.

"Why did you bring me here?"

"Haruhi…"

His voice seemed so far away, as though they were on opposite sides of the academy. As she heard it, Haruhi felt something race up her spine, leaving her insides tingling. Why was she suddenly so excited? She thought of dragging him back to the festival, but a larger part of her insisted on her staying beside him…in the garden…alone

"What?"

"About awhile ago…I can't believe I tried to leave. I almost left the Host Club…left everyone…left…" Tamaki sighed, running a hand through his blond hair and tapping a foot. "How can I be so stupid?"

"Don't be stupid," Haruhi sighed. "But…I'm glad you came back to stay, senpai. I mean…not just me, but also Kyouya-senpai and everyone else…if you left, you would really be stupid."

Both of them knew just how awkward the atmosphere was becoming, despite her tart comment. Tamaki inched a little closer to Haruhi, but still continued gazing skyward, watching the distant fireworks and probably thinking of the rest of the Host Club, and basically the rest of Ouran Academy enjoying the festival. Haruhi, on the other hand, stared down at her shoes, knotting her hands idly as they stayed silent.

It felt like forever and a day when she finally said something else.

"Thank you…senpai."

"No…thank you. If it weren't for all of you, I wouldn't have decided to stay here. I don't know what I would do without you…"

"You'd probably be lost and confused in Paris," Haruhi answered, the corners of her mouth slowly moving up in an amused smile. "Then you'd call Kyouya-senpai, or me…"

Tamaki actually laughed, and turned to face her. "Very funny."

"But it might even be true."

They were quiet yet again, and overhead, the fireworks continued, exploding with sonorous cracks and bangs that drew distant screams of surprise and delight. When everything died down, Haruhi spoke again.

"Maybe we should go back."

"What?"

But Haruhi couldn't tell if he didn't hear her, or he just didn't believe her. Nonetheless, she stood up, despite that voice in her head telling her that it was much better to stay with him in the garden…and felt a tug at her hand.

"Senpai…"

And she found herself returning to her place beside Tamaki.

Now he inched closer to her, but she barely noticed, until he took her hand in his again. Haruhi stared into his deep blue eyes, and he gazed back at her with a gentle smile. They were so close that they could feel each other's breaths…

And then the sky was pierced suddenly by a spinning rocket that left a sparkling trail etched in the heavens before exploding with a resounding boom that was echoed by the subsequent blasts. Everyone saw it and craned their necks to watch the scene.

Everyone, that is, except Tamaki and Haruhi.