A/N: The plot bunnies took hold of my brain tonight. After writing my other story, "Going Gently," I was so stuck on the idea of Kyouya as Oz (see the other story or just read this) that I couldn't concentrate. So I wrote this, borrowing characters from both Oz and Ouran to enjoy. It's a more fun story, I think, and I like the idea of Haruhi contemplating these kinds of things. Besides, the manga and anime used the common "Alice In Wonderland" scene so prevalent already. I think it's time to compare the characters to a new movie! LOL. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this randomness!

Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran or the Wizard of Oz. Actually I don't really like the Wizard of Oz, but I couldn't help this story! Haha. Anyway, I write for entertainment purposes only and don't get paid for my work. Thanks!

Facing Oz

By: Rae

-An "Ouran High School Host Club" Fanfic-

Haruhi was in Oz.

She'd known it the moment she landed in the host club; she was walking into the land of Oz. It was the most obvious thing she'd ever seen, and she had walked right into it.

The "Wizard of Oz" was a movie she'd seen as a little girl on one of the rare nights she'd watch movies with both of her parents. She'd been fascinated by the flying monkeys, pointing out to her parents that monkeys couldn't fly because the ones at the zoo didn't fly.

Sometimes the girls at the host club reminded Haruhi of the flying monkeys, especially when they went all "moe-like" and began to figuratively float off the ground in bliss. She often compared them to rabid dogs in her mind because of the way their eyes glazed over and they almost foamed at the mouth. This was especially true of the twins' patrons, Haruhi mused.

Then again, some of the girls also reminded her of the Wicked Witch of the West, glaring at one another in the halls and viciously fighting over the hosts' best attributes. She snickered at the thought that Ayanokouji-senpai was the Witch of the East, crushed by Dorothy's house...or, rather, Haruhi's arrival into the club.

Looking around the crowded room, she couldn't help thinking that Hunny-senpai reminded her of the dog Toto. A sweet puppy who was extremely lovable, but vicious when anyone attacked his family. Haruhi paused a moment and realized it was strange to compare her friend to a dog. Then again, she thought while watching him flop in Mori's lap, perhaps there was some merit to the comparison.

She looked at Mori. Who would Mori be in the story? That one took some more thought. Certainly not the Cowardly Lion, she knew. He wasn't a Scarecrow-type, either. And he didn't strike her as the Tin Man either. Though, she thought, perhaps Mori was most like quiet Uncle Henry. He was the silent, supportive type. Yes, that made perfect sense for Mori.

A girl's scream brought Haruhi's eyes to the sofa the twins had taken over. The two were doing another "brotherly love" routine, and the girls were, of course, eating it up. Haruhi sighed. Even after realizing Hikaru and Kaoru liked her, she still had no attraction to them outside of friendship. They reminded her too much of the Tin Man with his belief that he needed a heart.

It wasn't that she disliked the twins. She did enjoy their company on occasion, when they weren't scheming to annoy her or Tamaki. However, they could be quite cruel and callous in their words and deeds. She'd certainly seen that in Karuizawa when Hikaru had insulted Arai-kun. Though she would never say it to their faces, she sometimes wondered if they would ever consider others' feelings. Haruhi somewhat doubted it.

A whirring noise now sounded throughout the room. Ah, Renge was coming out on her strange mechanical contraption. Haruhi had always wondered where Renge got that thing in the first place. It wasn't feasible to have such a device in the third music room, especially considering the floor below it still held classrooms. However, Haruhi wasn't given to excessive bouts of curiosity, so she never inquired as to how it got there.

Haruhi always thought Renge was like Glinda the Good Witch in a strange sort of way. She wasn't always kind like Glinda, but she was smart. Renge knew what girls wanted, and she worked with the hosts to provide better services, something Kyouya had complimented her on many times.

Now Renge was arguing with Tamaki, calling him an idiot. Haruhi smiled slightly; it was funny to watch the two of them argue. Tamaki, the Scarecrow who needed a brain, was now trying to point out that he at least looked good. Haruhi snickered at that.

A word from Kyouya, however, had Tamaki cowering in his corner, just like the Cowardly Lion. With his sandy brown hair, Haruhi realized, Tamaki could probably play the lion in the tale. He certainly cowered well; she remembered when her father had come home to find Tamaki on top of her. Her poor senpai had been terrified of her father's wrath.

Watching as he made his way back to the girls he seemed to love so well, Haruhi wondered why she'd never fallen for him like the others. Perhaps her logical side kept her from falling for someone so obviously unsuited to her. She didn't see the compatibility between them in the least, and she'd told him so at one point or another.

Whatever the case, Haruhi knew that Tamaki was not going to be the one loved. She just couldn't see that; he was too like her father for her tastes, for one thing. And he never really attracted her in that way, for another.

So that left...Kyouya. Haruhi grinned; he had shown his true colors the moment he started manipulating things as the shadow king. Faceless Wizard, hiding in the shadows. Though she didn't think Kyouya hid, per say; he just seemed to melt into the background so smoothly that one forgot he was there, slowly pulling the strings of the scene's players.

Even Renge would have agreed that Kyouya was the Wizard. When she had arrived at Ouran, Renge immediately pegged Kyouya as being behind the club's profits and management. Tamaki had cowered in his corner, but Kyouya, strangely enough, preened. Haruhi had noted that incident and filed it away to be considered at a later date.

That date came when the host club surprised her by showing up at her apartment. Haruhi had watched as her father congratulated Kyouya for being an excellent club president, then amended his words to the title of vice-president. Again, she watched Kyouya accept the praise, neither bragging nor humbling himself, simply listening.

Perhaps that was when she'd begun to look at him differently. The great Wizard of Oz, the one who'd manipulated things to suit his interests, was someone Haruhi always felt was selfish and cowardly himself. In the film, the wizard hid behind a curtain, creating a faceless persona that was supposedly mighty and powerful, when, in fact, he was just a man stuck in Oz.

That was what surprised her. Was Kyouya just a man stuck in Oz like she was? She'd often thought of herself as Dorothy, desiring simply to go home. Her practicality and logic precluded her from indulging in the fantasies the other hosts liked to create; however, Kyouya seemed able to both create fantasies for the patrons while maintaining one foot in the real world to manage the club's profits.

When she'd first joined the club, Renge had praised Kyouya's leadership and directive abilities, saying the rest of the club should take lessons from the great Ootori. Haruhi brushed it off at the time, thinking Renge simply didn't understand the club's shadow king, but as time wore on, she realized perhaps Renge wasn't wrong in her assessments.

It was through Kyouya's shrewd investments that the club stayed afloat, meeting the planned budget. He'd never allowed them to go completely overboard in their decor, costuming, or themed parties, and many times, he even encouraged the same networking they would be doing later in life by forcing the club's members to utilize contacts for the things they wanted to bring into the host club.

In a way, Haruhi mused, Kyouya was kind of like a mother to the club. He managed the menial tasks the others would find infinitely mind-numbing while herding the hosts into a somewhat structured lifestyle amongst the ladies. And, like the Wizard, he managed to trick some of them into thinking they were getting what they wanted when he'd planned for it all along. His manipulations were effortless, clean, and surprisingly effective.

Despite that, however, Kyouya was also friends with the hosts. He didn't keep to himself completely, and Tamaki's friendship with the Ootori son was the proof of that. Tamaki seemed to have bridged the cold distance Kyouya placed between himself and the rest of the world and made the boy confront his own desires. Because of that, Haruhi realized, Kyouya couldn't abandon his friendship with Tamaki, nor could he quit the host club.

He wanted to be in Oz, she thought. Or, perhaps, he wanted to be around the hosts. He liked and cared for them in his own way, and that was why he was willing to put up with the twins' antics, Tamaki's constant badgering, Hunny's excessive sweet tooth, Mori's imposing stoicism, and the gaggle of girls flocking to their doors.

So where did that leave her? Haruhi was Dorothy, or at least, she identified with Dorothy. She wanted to get out of Oz as fast as possible, and working in the club was merely a means to an end. It was kind of like killing the wicked witch in a way. She shaved off a percentage of her debt little by little.

No amount of wishing would get her out of this crazy place she'd unexpectedly walked into, and now she wondered how much she wanted to leave. If she left the land of Oz, would she be leaving the Wizard and her friends behind? Then it hit her. No, the Wizard would be leaving her. Just like in the movie. Kyouya would eventually graduate before her and leave Oz.

Haruhi felt her heart squeeze painfully at that thought. Kyouya, the Wizard of Oz, would leave, and then? Oz would no longer be Oz. The twins, try as they might, would never be able to keep the host club afloat, and Haruhi certainly wouldn't make the time for it. There would be no point anymore.

Looking at it that way, she realized the world would turn into a black-and-white Kansas again, without the vibrant colors of Oz that so captivated her young eyes as a child. And no Oz meant no Wizard to create fantastical worlds for patrons who were silly enough to believe their eyes while the Wizard himself went off to tally up his daily profits.

In a way, Haruhi always thought Kyouya was the most down-to-earth of the group. He was practical in a way none of the others were. His ability to multi-task was rivaled only by her own. He obviously cared enough to contact her father and keep up with her family life as well as her school life.

Why hadn't she realized these things before? It took her a moment before she understood what her heart had already figured out. Kyouya was the most obvious choice. Why would Dorothy go for a Cowardly Lion, a brainless Scarecrow, or a heartless Tin Man when she could be with a smart Wizard with an unexpectedly good heart?

Her heart pounding from this strange revelation, Haruhi began to scan the room for any signs of the shadow king. She couldn't see him. Where had he gone? And why did she want to see him so much?

"Looking for someone?" The familiar voice washed over Haruhi, causing her to blush as she whipped around to face him.

"Ah, n-no," she stammered, feeling foolish for blushing. Still trying to gather her wits, she muttered, "Just a wizard. That's all."

The dark-haired boy looked at her quizzically a moment before jotting something in his ever-present notebook. A second later he walked off, leaving Haruhi to calm her frantic heartbeats.

The next week found the host club dressed in yet another theme. Even Renge participated in this week's theme, Haruhi noted as she walked into the room. Then she stopped dead in her tracks.

The room had been redecorated drastically. Large, overly dramatic cardboard trees and houses were positioned almost haphazardly at one end of the road, a yellow pathway leading out of the "village" and through a fake cornfield and forest to a curtained area at the back of the third music room.

Haruhi's mouth dropped open as she gazed at the hosts standing before her. Each one was dressed in a costume from the 1939 film she'd been comparing them to just the week before. However one host was conspicuously absent from the mix.

Haruhi's gaze unconsciously traveled to the black curtain over the back corner of the room. Kyouya's head peeked out from behind the curtain. His gaze was both haughty and amused as he looked at her. She shook her head, trying to retain her wits. Then he smirked at her.

As the twins whisked her away to dress her up as Dorothy, Haruhi realized something.

The Wizard wasn't leaving Oz anytime soon. And...neither was she.

-The End-

A/N: When I was three-quarters of the way through this story, I realized Haruhi sounded an awful lot like Kaoru contemplating the carriage turning into a pumpkin. It's interesting to think about, but I can see Haruhi coming up with something like this...sort of. Anyway, I hope you liked the story, and I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially because this is my first oneshot KyouHaru fic. Though it's a bit more contemplative and introspective than I originally intended, I like the way it came out. Please let me know what you think of it, and thanks for reading!