Sometimes, Haruhi mused, case documents scattered in neat piles around her, she wondered why she picked Tamaki, of all people, to fall in love with.
AN: Written about a year and a half ago. Let's imagine that Tamaki and Haruhi finally confess to each other and end up with the successful fulfillment of their dreams (aka, making it at their jobs)
Ouran High School Host Club belongs to Bisco Hatori.
It was several months after the honeymoon, although with Tamaki, it sometimes felt as if their entire relationship – from their first meeting in the third music room, the ups and downs of their high school career and finally, to after Haruhi entered law school (with Tamaki, sometimes with the rest of the host club, awaiting her by the gates at the end of every day) – was one long, continuous honeymoon, as least on Tamaki's part. The blonde had not lost one inch of his charisma, and he still treated Haruhi with the same puppy-eyed eagerness she had experienced in all her days in the Host Club.
Sometimes, Haruhi mused, case documents scattered in neat piles around her, she wondered why she picked Tamaki, of all people, to fall in love with, when there were obviously better choices out there.
Haruhi worked steadily, still meticulously single-minded in her focus, sifting through cases and examples and slowly building up her defense, evidence and facts as her brick and mortar. She didn't notice the inky storm clouds gathering outside the impressive, wide windows, or the way the shadows grew long upon her table until the soft rumbles of thunder roused her from her work.
The flash of lightning came seconds later, cracking like a whip in the air, and Haruhi's head snapped back, instinctively curling into her chair, shrinking away from the window, her heart racing as though race horses had started galloping at the sound of thunder, dragging her heart behind them.
The room was now lit only by the warm glow of her desk lamp, and by the occasional cracks of white lightning beyond the window, and yet Haruhi made no move to seek safer sanctuary, no longer hiding beneath a table or seeking the cold darkness of a closet.
She stared, facing the wide glass panes full on with a mix of morbid fascination and badger-like determination, unwilling to back down even though each flash of lightning sent shivers crawling down her spine. She had to clamp down firmly on the instinct to bolt, utilizing each and every skill she had picked up in the courtroom, schooling herself to calm, to narrow her focus to a tight band, to ignore the extraneous details – and in this case, her very environment.
The seventh lightning-thunder combination had just flashed when the door opened, slamming with a resounding boom against the heavy wood wall like a counterpoint to the thunder, startling Haruhi so much she leaped out of her chair. One Suoh Tamaki stumbled in, blonde hair askew and breathless.
"Haruhi!!" he yelled, almost matching the thunder in volume, and the next thing Haruhi knew, long arms were folding around her, one hand pressing her head lightly against his shoulder, as if to block out the sight of the lightning.
"Tama-," Haruhi managed to get out, before Tamaki crushed her against him, knocking the breath right out of her as the blonde alternated between growling at the incessant weather, mumbling sweet, supposedly comforting nothings into her ear, and wailing about the injustice of life.
"And I'm so sorry I couldn't get here faster, and that you had to endure the storm on your own. It's alright, Haruhi, I'm here now! You don't have to be afraid! Do you want me to sing? Drown out the thunder? Where did I put the headphones – I must do something about having some of kind music player on hand at all times, or maybe–"
Being with Tamaki in situations like this always made her feel better, Haruhi decided, simply because his antics distracted her so thoroughly from whatever frightened her. She tensed slightly as thunder rumbled again, and felt fingers curl around her waist more securely.
"Tamaki, I'm alright," Haruhi pointed out, cutting off Tamaki's spiel halfway, even though she still shivered slightly. "It's barely five minutes into the storm, so don't wail about failing in your duty or whatever other ridiculous notion you have."
He looked down at her with large, almost luminous eyes, and in one of those sudden shifts of mood, muttered, "I promised you that first time that I'll keep an eye on you, to make sure you never have to be alone with your fear ever again. I keep my promises, Haruhi."
Haruhi wasn't quite sure how to respond to that.
"What about the promise you make to your work?" she found herself asking. "You're supposed to have a conference today."
"Phone conference. I hung up. My beautiful wife is more important."
"It was only Kyouya," Tamaki said dismissively, shifting slightly behind her so he could take a better grip on her smaller form. "He'll understand."
It was only Kyouya, Haruhi thought, sinking deeper into Tamaki's embrace, but somehow she knew that if was any other client, they would have met the same fate – a screech of worry and a sudden, obnoxiously annoying dead tone of the phone, the Suoh heir disappearing without a peep of explanation. Kyouya would understand – grudgingly and with no small amount of calculative retribution, but the others won't and they would be merciless, unforgiving.
Tamaki would still do it anyway. It was just the kind of person he was, willing to make sacrifices for the things that matter.
"Yes," Haruhi simply said, tucking the revelation aside to be examined later. "Can we watch the storm for a little while?"
"Why?" Tamaki's tone was baffled.
"Facing up to one's fears is the best way to overcome them. I want to try." She didn't tell him that his presence calmed her considerably.
"Oh. Of course," Tamaki said immediately, instantly supportive, giving her a soft kiss to the temple, accompanied by a brilliant smile – one that had captured dozens of hearts back in the host club days.
Tamaki had changed in many ways… but some things never changed.
"Judged, and found worthy by the jury," Haruhi muttered to herself, a slight smile curling her lips. "Case adjourned."
"Eh? Did you say something, Haruhi?"
Haruhi was a lawyer. She worked with hard facts, with eye witnesses and physical evidence, things that can be proven empirically or justified in some tangible way. Intuition and emotions had a firm foothold in the courtroom, yes, but it was a subtle thing, an undercurrent battle the prosecution and defense used against each other. More often than not, what reassured the jury and tipped the scales were the undeniable evidence presented to them.
"Oh, nothing." Haruhi carefully leaned her head against Tamaki's shoulder, turning towards the window as lightning arched bright streaks across the black sky, finding it considerably easier to suppress her shivers.
Tamaki wasn't the best choice, but he was the best, the perfect choice for her, because he changed and adapted to her without ever losing touch of his inner person. Haruhi knew she chose correctly.
After all, all the evidence was there to be read and judged, and Haruhi was nothing but practical.
AN: as always, con/crit and comments are always welcome.