A/N: This story happened because a story I read reminded me of Dylan Thomas's poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." It's a beautiful poem and very poignant, and I felt this to be an interesting concept. (Due to not knowing whether this poem is copyright protected, I am removing my partial quote of the stanza. Please search for the poem to read it for yourself! Thanks for understanding!) Here's a quick note on Tamaki's grandmother:
I made up a name for Tamaki's grandmother because, as far as I know, she doesn't have a name in the story. Due to that, I looked for an appropriate name for the woman who holds all the power in the Suou empire. What I found was a name that seemed perfect for the context of the story-- Suou Azami. The name 'Azami' means 'the thistle of a flower, symbolizing defiance' according to a website I found. After you read the story, I think you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran, nor do I own Dylan Thomas's poem that is referenced above and in the story. I hold great respect for both the owners of these great works and find them to be fascinating, each in their own way. I only own a love for writing and a desire to entertain. Thanks!
-An "Ouran High School Host Club" Fanfic-
Haruhi was in her last year of college when she heard the news. She sat at her desk, listening to the professor lecturing on the day's reading assignment. The British literature class she'd signed up for as a filler course had indeed proved intriguing, but she felt this poem to be especially poignant on such a day.
Her cell phone vibrated once, signaling a new text message. It was from Kyouya. She hadn't heard from him for a while. It was surprising to see his name pop up on the screen, but then again, Haruhi knew surprises never ceased with the host club.
Waiting until class ended, she slowly gathered her books into the backpack she'd carried since high school. The room emptied quickly, mostly freshmen and sophomores heading to other classes.
Haruhi had worked her way through college, never stopping to look back at her years in the host club. When the twins had offered to pay her tuition, Haruhi had exploded. They'd always been friends, but she would not be beholden to anyone. Not again.
After the older group had graduated, the host club disintegrated. Haruhi had found herself missing being around her senpais, but Tamaki was always around. He simply wouldn't leave her.
Hunny and Mori had gone off to college together. Neither one had meant to forget, but they'd become busy as the heirs to their own families and simply lost track of time. Haruhi heard from Hunny every once in a great while; he'd call, and she knew Mori was listening in to the conversation, always silent.
Kyouya had viciously taken over his father's business empire when the man refused to return the business Kyouya had bought years ago. The man tried to run it into the ground, but Kyouya simply fired him and began running the business himself...a great Oz, hiding behind the guise of his self-appointed "face of the company." He'd gone through college in two years and then truly taken over the company.
Haruhi wondered occasionally how the shadow king was doing, but the news reporters were wonderful information sources. She'd hear about another company bought out by Ootori-sama every so often. That was enough to assure her Kyouya was doing well.
Hikaru went to train with his father after high school. Kaoru had loved the fashion side of his mother's business so much that he'd gone to Paris to study. It was the first time the twins had been separated in such a way, but they seemed to manage all right. However, Haruhi was always the first one to know if either of them had a bad day, was worried about the other, or simply couldn't sleep.
As far as romance went, Haruhi had found herself attracted to Tamaki after he rescued her from falling into the ocean. Eclaire had gone back to France, and Haruhi knew Tamaki had chosen her over his mother, even if the choice seemed subconscious.
Something in her reacted to that fact. It struck her as odd that he would choose her when his love for his mother was so great. She took a long time to mull things over, never really understanding why he would do such a thing.
It wasn't until he pulled her into his arms on his graduation day that she figured it out.
"Do you understand, Haruhi?" He had asked her.
She pulled away from him, looking at him skeptically. "What are you saying, senpai?"
"You've asked me before, but I've denied telling you," he replied. "Ask me again."
Haruhi took a breath. "Why did you jump?"
"Because I chose you, Haruhi."
Then he had kissed her. It was light, very light. Just a brush of his lips against hers. And she hadn't been able to stop herself from leaning into him. She'd never experienced anything quite like it.
And though the twins had been disappointed, both of them had told her to follow Tamaki. They'd seen something in her that she couldn't figure out for herself until he kissed her. Then she'd understood.
Looking back on it, she should have known he wouldn't graduate without doing something. That was when he'd asked if she'd like to date him. For a year, they had gone on dates, some that had the feel of one of Tamaki's "commoner research trips" and others that had a more upper-class tone.
The thing that was so special, though, was the way Tamaki never treated her differently. She was always his precious Haruhi, but he never acted like the rich guys she'd met in Ouran. In his heart, she thought, he was just a simple French boy who had been thrown into a strange world, and all he really wanted was to find his place.
That was why she knew things would never really be the same when his grandmother returned to Japan upon Haruhi's graduation. News of Tamaki's relationship had reached the Suou grandame, and she wanted to reassert her power over the situation. Tamaki had never really gotten over his desire to please the woman, no matter how many times she hurt him. So when the woman demanded Yuzuru force Tamaki to break up with Haruhi, Yuzuru knew his son would do it.
He'd assured Tamaki he wouldn't have to marry anytime soon, and Yuzuru added, Tamaki was more than likely to live longer than his grandmother. The Suou son simply looked at his father despairingly, and that was when Yuzuru realized Tamaki wasn't as placating as he appeared.
Tamaki was hurting, and he surprisingly enough did not like his grandmother. However, years of watching her terrorize her son and reign supreme over the Suou business empire taught Tamaki the virtue of patience. And, as Yuzuru finally realized, his son intended to wait out his grandmother's decisions.
But this decision was one Tamaki was not taking well, and he fought, in his own way. Dating Haruhi secretly worked for about a month before the Suou madame took drastic measures, sending Tamaki overseas to business school in the United States.
Haruhi heard nothing from him for a month. Then he managed to get his hands on a cell phone that his grandmother knew nothing about. The call came at 3 a.m. It was the first time he told her that he loved her. She couldn't be mad at him for waking her up when he finally confessed his feelings.
After that a comfortable routine developed between the two. Haruhi would email Tamaki of the mornings and receive a reply that night when she went to bed. They didn't talk on the phone again; Tamaki complained that he wanted to see his precious Haruhi and not just hear her beautiful voice.
A year passed in this manner. The two continued to email even after the great madame ordered Tamaki's return to Tokyo. He never saw her, nor she him. Hikaru kept her updated on Tamaki by bringing photos and stories of their times together. Occasionally Kaoru would accompany him, on break from school. Haruhi spent her time studying, maintaining her stellar grades and trying not to think about Tamaki.
The following spring, her cell phone rang after class.
"Haruhi." It was Tamaki's voice. The first time she'd heard it in a very long time. "I need to see you."
The conversation was short. A quick arrangement and meeting time, then goodbyes. She made her way to the restaurant that night, the same one where he'd told her about leaving for the States.
"Grandmother has cancer," he reported, his voice a dull monotone devoid of any hint of emotion. "It's spread throughout her body."
Haruhi was silent. What could she say to something like this? On the one hand, it was sad that the Suou monarch was dying, leaving her son and grandson behind. On the other, it opened a world of possibilities to Tamaki.
"She wants me to marry," he said next. "She's picked out a list of possible candidates and plans to interview them this week."
Haruhi plastered a pleasant smile on her face. "When does she want you to marry?" She asked hesitantly.
"In two months."
Silence reigned over the couple. Haruhi looked down at her food, contemplating what this might mean for them. She'd known the woman didn't like her, and nothing she could do would change things. However, she didn't want to just give up like this.
She glanced at Tamaki and saw in his face a wealth of emotion. Some things were obvious: pain, despair, depression. Others were surprising: hatred, loathing, hopelessness. Haruhi put her hand over Tamaki's.
"She's giving me a choice," he finally said. "Marry the girl she chooses and become the heir..." Tamaki paused before saying, "or leave the Suou family."
That had been two months ago. Tamaki had fought his grandmother for the first time in his life when he declared that he would not marry. The woman became furious, demanding he bow to her will.
The fight ended with his grandmother in the hospital after having cut herself on a piece of broken glass. Tamaki landed at Haruhi's apartment, cradling a bruised arm and cut cheek. He'd chosen to leave the family.
Threats became the norm for both Haruhi and Tamaki. Haruhi's position in college was threatened until the twins came to her rescue. Tamaki's funds were cut off, so he got a job playing the piano in a local hotel bar. His mother's health was threatened if he did not cut off relations with Haruhi.
That was what made him leave. Haruhi understood his feelings. He loved his mother deeply, and even though he wanted to be with Haruhi, he couldn't leave his mother unprotected. The Suou grandame might cause her more suffering, and Tamaki couldn't face that.
Once he'd gotten settled, he emailed Haruhi. Misuzu had given him a job at the inn. It was really simple because Tamaki had never shown great aptitude for cleaning. He did, however, show some cooking ability. Misuzu provided him room and food and even gave him a small paycheck each month in exchange for his help in the kitchen during breakfast and his piano skills during the afternoon and evening.
Tamaki wasn't sure if his grandmother had spies watching him, and he really didn't care. Working for Misuzu was surprisingly fun, and he enjoyed being out of the stuffy second Suou mansion. While he missed Haruhi terribly, Tamaki consoled himself with the emails they still exchanged.
Sighing a bit, Haruhi took out her cell phone and flipped it open. Clicking on the new text, she stilled suddenly. Kyouya's words were terse, blunt, and very surprising.
"Suou Azami died in a car wreck this morning. Check the news for details." That was all he wrote, but Haruhi felt it like a ton of bricks being lifted from her shoulders. It was cruel that she should feel this way, especially since the doctors had only given Azami-san six months to a year to live. But the woman would not be one to simply wait out death.
It reminded Haruhi of the poem they'd examined in class. The poem was written by a man named Dylan Thomas and titled "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." It was strange that Suou Azami would remind her of this, but then again, perhaps not.
The poem filtered through Haruhi's daze, and she recalled how the last line talked about raging against the dying of the light.
Suou Azami certainly had raged against death, against Tamaki's defiance, against her own powerlessness. She'd screamed out against these things, her words falling on deaf ears as she watched those she'd once controlled moving beyond her grasp.
Later, Haruhi wondered to herself if that wasn't why the woman had ordered her driver to take her out that morning. The news reported that the man was obviously drunk and had simply driven through a red light. It was unfortunate the semi that broadsided the back end of the car couldn't brake in time. Azami-san never knew what hit her.
Perhaps her rage against her circumstances led her to order the man to take her out for an early breakfast. Perhaps she wanted to taunt the powers that be by risking her life with someone who was too far gone to understand the consequences. Or perhaps despair had finally taken hold in her heart.
Treatment after treatment had failed in the two months since the diagnosis. She had traveled all the way to the States to receive state-of-the-art treatments, but nothing worked. The cancer had taken over her body, and perhaps that realization of impending death had caused her to snap.
Whatever the case, Haruhi mused, Suou Azami did not go gentle into that good night.
Her phone rang as she was leaving campus.
"I'm coming home."
Haruhi smiled a bittersweet smile. Suou Azami raged against the dying of the light but still met death. And, strangely enough, Suou Tamaki, like his grandmother, raged against the dying of the light as well. But Tamaki had found a light at the end of the hopeless tunnel his life had become. Suou Azami had not.
A/N: It's a bit heavier than most of my writing, but then again, the subject matter is heavier no matter how you look at it. I like Thomas's take on death; it's hard not to rage against death, especially if, like Suou Azami, you desire control over everything in your life, including death. Anyway, please tell me what you think. It's the first time I've written something of such heavy stuff, and I'd like to know how well I tackled it. Thanks for reading!