Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran, nor do I own an umbrella, but if anyone would like to buy either for me, I would more than willingly accept.
Kyōya put his arms around her waist and his nose in her hair, inhaling the scent of a sleeping Haruhi. He was just falling into his own blissful state of sleep when she cleared her throat and said:
"Just what do you think you're doing, Sempai?"
Ranka had sounded more worried about his 'precious daughter' lately in their phone calls and emails. It wasn't that he said anything specific, but Kyōya could tell. That's why he wasn't surprised when, as he met the okama for coffee, the boisterous man burst out with pleas for Kyōya to watch over Haruhi.
It was a little confusing to understand, with all of the loud wailing and carrying on, but Kyōya was able to gather that Ranka had changed his schedule recently, which had caused him to leave Haruhi at 3 in the morning to go help out at work. Because of this, she was alone for the 4 or 5 hours before she got up to go to school.
Ranka would not be assuaged when Kyōya helpfully pointed out that she would be sleeping peacefully during this time; in fact this observation made him shrivel up and roll under the table.
"What if a prowler bursts in and whisks her away?!" he shrieked suddenly. "What if there's a fire at the apartment and she's burned to a crisp?! What if she wakes from a bad dream and has no one to comfort her?! What if…" the man's ponderings ended in a wail.
"What if I were to look in on her?" Kyōya suggested as he ignored the stares they were receiving from the rest of the café.
"Oh, Kyōya, I knew I could count on you!" Ranka declared, clasping one of Kyōya's hands with both of his. "I knew you were dependable! I knew that you would be the one to make sure my daughter has nothing to worry—"
"Yes," Kyōya interrupted. "Now then, if we could arrange a specific time…?"
It was 2:30 in the morning, it was raining, it was cold, and Kyōya was not happy. As he got out of the car, his driver had handed him an Ōtori official umbrella, but he couldn't very well use that. That would be shouting to anyone that would be able to see him to call the tabloids immediately, and he could just see the headlines: Ōtori's Son Takes Morning Walk in the Rain to See Destitute Lover!
Kyōya sighed. Citing an important project that needed his immediate attention, he had his driver take him to school. From there he had planned to walk to the Fujioka residence. He hadn't counted on the rain, and as every freezing drop fell, he cursed himself for not having enough foresight to anticipate this.
"Kyōya!" Ranka exclaimed, greeting him with concern for his waterlogged state. The okama fussed about him for a few more minutes, shoving a steaming cup of tea into his hands, assuring him that Haruhi wouldn't wake up while he took a shower, and the like.
After bidding him for the thousandth time to look after his cute daughter, Ranka bounced out the door and off to work.
Kyōya's first order of business was to get dry. He found a stacked washer/dryer in the bathroom, and proceeded to figure out how to operate it. It wasn't that difficult. He made sure to inspect the off-brand detergent that they had, just in case it contained anything he was allergic to.
After a quick shower, Kyōya ventured into the kitchen to find himself another cup of tea while his clothes were drying. Fortunately Haruhi's father had left everything lay haphazardly across the kitchen after making Kyōya's first cup so he didn't have to go rifling through the cupboards.
He only had to poke around a little in the living room, quietly so as not to disturb the sleeping Haruhi, before he found the table. He had to kick Ranka's futon out of the way in order to set it up, but he decided that he may as well do a little work if he was going to be awake at this time of day. He changed back into his clothes and turned the brightness on his laptop down so that it wouldn't awaken sleeping eyes.
He was halfway through the takeover of a small rival company when Haruhi moaned and rolled over. The light from Kyōya's laptop and her bangs fell across her face, and Kyōya had to stop for a moment to appreciate the scene. It was Haruhi, without her blunt comebacks or her glare, without her boyish mannerisms or her natural smile. Kyōya found himself reducing her debt for the capability to be so defenseless.
At 6:30, Haruhi's alarm went off, causing both of them to jump. Kyōya hadn't realized he'd dropped off, and leapt up as Haruhi rolled over and hit the snooze button. He tiptoed into the bathroom to retrieve his dripping shoes; no matter, he'd get some clean socks and new shoes at school. He tiptoed back into the living room and folded up the table with some difficulty and he was sure a moderate amount of noise. After kicking Ranka's futon back to its former place, he retreated to the kitchen and sneaked out the front door.
That was close.
"Are you all right, Kyōya-sempai?" Haruhi asked him as she brought him a cup of tea. "You seem tired."
"I'm fine; I was just up doing some business this mo—ah, late last night. Don't worry yourself about it, your customers are waiting."
"Of course," she nodded and headed across the room to join her waiting fans.
Kyōya regarded this as a challenge. Not only would he be learning invaluable information about Haruhi, he would also be gaining more trust from her father, and most importantly, he was training himself to be able to wake up at any time of the day, ready to do the business of being Ōtori Kyōya.
The most obvious drawback of this mighty plan was the fact that he was sure he'd be ready for bed by 7 pm. He'd have to ask Ranka to buy him an inconspicuous looking umbrella for the next time it rained. And he'd have to come up with a better excuse than a school project if Ranka wanted him to continue this for any extended period of time.
"Kyōya! Please look after my cute daughter!" Kyōya looked up at the boisterous interruption of his thoughts.
"I'm sorry I have to leave early today, but please watch over her while she finishes her duties!" the King exclaimed, and flounced out of the room.
Kyōya didn't know why he'd asked, the only service Tamaki provided for Haruhi while she finished her club duties was chasing the twins around for bothering her, which they were only doing because Tamaki was there. As it was, they were leaving early as well.
Kyōya was just finishing up the takeover of a small rival company when Haruhi interrupted.
"I'm finished cleaning up, Sempai," she reported.
"Yes, good work today," he muttered, only half paying attention.
"See you tomorrow," she called as she retrieved her bag and headed out the door.
Kyōya smirked from behind his laptop. "Yes, see you tomorrow."
The Tokyo rail system fascinated Kyōya. It was fast, convenient, and not as deserted at 2 in the morning as one might think. It had become Kyōya's mode of transportation to the Fujioka residence in the past months. A month and a half ago when he informed his father that he was doing extended research necessary for his future, his father had insisted that he take a car, but Kyōya had been firm: taking the train in his street clothes was part of the experience.
He would rather that the Hello Kitty umbrella was not part of the experience, but Ranka had insisted that it was. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, the third son of the great Ōtori Empire accepted the… gift… and used it when necessary.
As Kyōya emerged from the station, he realized that it would again be necessary. With an inward groan, he popped it open and proceeded toward his destination, its cheerful pink defending him from the gray skies. As he walked, Kyōya allowed his mind to wander. He had found it harder to concentrate in these last weeks. For some reason, he was finding Haruhi distracting. At first it was only when she moaned or muttered in her sleep, then it was the sound of her breathing, and now Kyōya could be distracted just knowing that her sleeping form was three feet away.
Lightning flashed as he opened the door to the small apartment.
"Morning, Kyō-chan," Ranka called quietly but cheerfully, stepping around Kyōya as he headed out the door. "See you tomorrow!"
"Have a good day," Kyōya called back, and closed the door. He shook out his umbrella and helped himself to a cup of tea, then took his usual spot at the living room table to get down to business.
Thunder crashed and Kyōya regarded the possible electrical effects on his sensitive (and expensive) laptop, and so opted to read one of his textbooks instead.
The first major problem he ran into was that there was no light to read by.
The second major problem was a cry of fear from the girl across the room.
It was the first time he'd ever heard Haruhi make such a noise, and with his nose still in the book, made a mental note to reduce her debt for being defenseless again. When he looked at her, he considered reducing her debt for the sudden urge he had to take her in his arms. He admonished himself for his momentary weakness and applied himself more thoroughly to his book. Which he couldn't read. Because it was dark.
Lightning tore across the sky, and before dark settled back in the apartment, Kyōya's book lay open to page 245, facedown under the table. Haruhi clung to his shirt, trembling. Kyōya wasn't quite sure how he'd gotten across the room; it seemed he'd been drawn by some unstoppable force. When he put his arms around Haruhi's slight shoulders, her trembling decreased.
When the rising sun chased the thunderstorm off to torment someone else, Kyōya was unsuccessfully trying to disentangle himself from Haruhi. He was rather frustrated. She just wouldn't let go!
"Haruhi," he growled quietly. "If you don't let go I won't be able to leave, and I believe you'll be more embarrassed than I when you wake up."
She moaned in response and rolled over, releasing her death grip on him for the first time in two hours. Kyōya jumped when her alarm went off three minutes later, and she smacked the snooze, which allowed him just enough time to escape unnoticed.
"Haruhi!" Tamaki leapt across the Third Music Room and glomped his precious 'daughter.' "I yearned to come to comfort you during this morning's thunderstorm, but Shima would not allow me to leave the house at 4 AM!" he reported, squeezing her within an inch of her life. The look she shot to the stoic senior across the room saved her from an early squished death, as Mori lifted her out of Tamaki's arms with ease.
Kyōya watched the scene with amusement, wondering what Tamaki would do if he knew whose arms his daughter had taken comfort in earlier that morning.
Tamaki was whining. "Mori-sempaiii, put down my daughter! I must make sure she is not still riddled with the shock of the harshness of Mother Nature."
"I'm fine, Tamaki-sempai," she sniffed, as Mori put her down. She glanced at Kyōya. "In fact, I slept right through it."
"Ah, Ranka-san," Kyōya started while sipping on his unnecessarily expensive coffee. "I'm not going to be able to come tomorrow morning."
"Ehh?!" Ranka wailed. "But—but Kyōya-kun, you promised!"
Kyōya remembered no such promise, but continued unabated. "I'm attending a business dinner with my father this evening, and therefore will not be able to go to bed until late. I fear that if I then try to, as you say, 'protect' your daughter, I would not be able to do so satisfactorily, that is, I would fall asleep myself, thus rendering my services useless."
"But who will look after my cute daughter?!"
The words "I'm sure she'll be okay for one night, Ranka-san," almost escaped Kyōya's lips, but he thought better of it and smiled devilishly into his coffee.
"I could always call Tamaki in as a substitute," Kyōya offered smoothly.
His request for a day off was immediately approved.
Haruhi was yawning after club hours. It was immediately deemed cute, and the handsome men of the Host Club (sans Kyōya) were fawning over her.
Mori offered her coffee.
Hani offered her Usa-chan and cake to go with the coffee.
The twins offered to take her home with them and put her down for a nap.
Tamaki cried out in indignation at the twins' suggestion and carried Haruhi off to a far corner of the room with the twins hot on his heels.
"I'm just a little tired," she explained when they gave her the chance. "I didn't sleep very well last night."
"Daddy will buy you a King sized bed, perfect for my princess!" Tamaki declared.
Her protest of "a bed like that wouldn't fit in my apartment, Sempai," went unheeded, and Tamaki continued his tirade.
Soon he had the whole Host Club lined up at a blackboard, planning out the 'Haruhi's bedroom' project. The twins were planning the color scheme, curtains and bed sheets, Mori and Hani were planning a cake eating corner complete with a table and a tea set that matched the curtains, and Tamaki was everywhere, giving orders and making minor changes.
"Only the best for my beautiful daughter!" he announced, and Kyōya smirked from behind his laptop.
Haruhi stood nearby, completely exhausted. "Damn rich bastards…" she muttered.
Ranka continued to shower praise down on Kyōya whenever they met for coffee on the weekends. Kyōya covered his guilt in smiles, and Ranka accepted them like candy.
The truth was Kyōya was finding it hard of late to keep himself from lying down on the floor and napping next to the sleeping Haruhi. Seven or eight times already he had gone to sleep on the floor next to her futon innocently and woken up to her alarm clock, finding himself wrapped around her. The last few times she'd been cuddled up to him and he'd had to implement some Houdini-like moves in order to escape without waking her.
It was a problem, he'd admitted to himself. But what exactly was the problem? Was it just that his actions were inappropriate, or was it that he wanted them not to be; that is, did he want these particular actions to be the norm, accepted by all parties involved?
It seemed that was the opinion of his subconscious as he pried Haruhi off of him five minutes before her alarm was set to ring. His plan had always been to steal out of the Fujioka residence a good half an hour before Haruhi's alarm went off, but this plan had never come to fruition in the entire semester he'd been watching over her.
"See you at school later," he told her quietly as he gathered his things.
He could have sworn there was a smile on her face as he left, but he was sure it was just his imagination.
"Kyōya." Tamaki's tone of voice informed Kyōya that something was amiss. He hoped it was something important, since Tamaki had abandoned his designators to address it. "Haruhi."
The ensuing silence caused Kyōya to look up at Tamaki, inviting him to continue.
"She's been… looking at you."
"I'm sure she looks at lots of people," Kyōya said in a tone that told Tamaki to get back to work.
"Mother!" Tamaki hissed. Kyōya rolled his eyes. He knew when to pick his battles, and apparently this was one he'd have to fight, albeit not at the current moment.
"Tamaki, could we possibly postpone this conversation for another time, perhaps when you don't have ladies waiting to be entertained by you?"
"No!" Tamaki whisperingly insisted. "She's looking at you right now!"
Kyōya turned his eyes toward the girl in question and found that she was, in fact, looking at him. He sent her a glare that normally would have caused her to blanch and get right back to work, but this time she just smiled, acted like she hadn't seen it, and continued chatting with her customers.
"See what I mean?!"
"I appreciate you not throwing a loud fit about this," Kyōya remarked, returning to his laptop. "You are welcome to later, however, after club activities are over for the day."
"Kyōya," Tamaki said in a tone that Kyōya did not expect. "I'm not going to throw a fit. I just wanted you to be aware… She's looking at you."
Kyōya looked up sharply at his friend's unusually serious words, but the King was already sauntering back to his adoring fans. He chanced another look at Haruhi. She blushed when he caught her looking, and her customers burst into squealing about how cute Haruhi-kun was when he blushed.
Kyōya looked back at Tamaki. He couldn't think that she… his thoughts trailed off as he scanned the room.
Tamaki glanced at him over his shoulder, surrounded by a sea of giggling girls. The twins stuck their tongues out at him. Hani looked from him to Haruhi and back, and then grinned at him. Mori gave him a knowing look. When his eyes returned to Haruhi, she smiled at him again.
He had long since abandoned the idea of any work getting done when he was alone in a dark room for several hours with Fujioka Haruhi.
So he lay on the floor staring up at the ceiling. He considered his situation for several minutes. If he was going to wake up next to her, then why had he not given up the idea of getting any sleep on the floor?
So he crawled under the futon with her, noting immediately how much more comforting her body heat was than the cold of the floor. He pondered his current position. Why, he asked himself, hadn't he given up the idea of keeping his hands to himself, since he seemed to always wake up in a tangle of limbs as it was?
So Kyōya put his arms around her waist and his nose in her hair, inhaling the scent of a sleeping Haruhi.
He was just falling into his own blissful state of sleep when she cleared her throat and said, "just what do you think you're doing, Sempai?"
"You're awake?" he asked in the tone he usually reserved for informing her about an addition to her debt.
"What's with the sniffing?" she asked.
"Sniffing?" he repeated, beginning to tactfully detach himself from her.
Haruhi, who had yet to turn toward him, reacted to their precarious position by catching Kyōya's wrists, thereby preventing his escape. "You sniffed my hair," she accused.
"I—" he began, but realized that she was perfectly correct. He was completely at a loss for how he was going to defend himself to her, and subsequently to her father and their fellow Host Club members. Kyōya cursed himself and wondered where that man had gone, the one who always used to have everything planned a hundred steps ahead.
"I just thought it was weird," she continued, and to Kyōya's horror pulled him closer to her back. "Oh, and if you're going to put your arms around—" at this she indicated his left arm, which she had been lying on, "put them like this." She repositioned the offending arm under her neck and left his right arm draped across her waist. "It's uncomfortable otherwise," she informed him, and after checking to make sure her alarm was set, fell asleep.
Kyōya was shocked. He could only flop over onto his back and lay blinking at the ceiling, wondering if the previous five minutes of conversation had in fact happened. One clue to indicate that it had was the fact that Haruhi was cuddling with his left arm. Alternately, the fact that she was snoozing peacefully was evidence that it hadn't.
Kyōya realized that he could stay awake in a state of bewilderment all night or he could wake her up. If she was surprised to see him, he would just tell her the truth, that her father had asked him to look in on her, and if she wasn't…
"Haruhi," he called tentatively.
"Mhmmm…" she moaned, rolling over onto his shoulder and snuggling into him, her face inches from his.
"Ha-haruhi," he stuttered.
"Kyōya-sempaiii…" the murmur became a whine as she slid her eyes open.
He stared at her for a moment, waiting for her reaction.
"Can I go back to sleep now?" she drawled, blinking.
"No," he said firmly. "How long… how long have you known I've been here to... sit with you?"
"I always get up right away," she informed him.
"Huh?" he inquired, at his wit's end.
She smiled sleepily. "I never hit the snooze button on my alarm."
Author's Note: I hope you have enjoyed. Please leave me a review, especially if you're going to alert/favorite/C2/etc. I've always found it strange to get notification of alerts without notification of a review...
I love the idea of Kyōya walking down the street trying to be nonchalant with a pink Hello Kitty umbrella.
My deal with the ō: I study both Japanese and Chinese, and the sound for "ou" is very different in romanji as compared to pinyin; the 'ō' feels more Japanese to me, somehow.