See You on Wednesday
So this is a Fanfiction requested by my friend and rp team-mate on Gaia, and it's a futurefic for the pairing Kaoru/Haruhi because, she says, there aren't enough of them. So I hope you like this. I know it's taken a while and I'm very sorry.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran. I want to. But I don't.
Cold November rain pours down in sheets around Kaoru as he hurries down the road, umbrella clutched in his fingers and bag dangling haphazardly from his shoulder. The veil of precipitation makes everything appear misty, and greyer than usual, and as Kaoru sighs in exasperation and pauses under the awning of a coffee shop, his breath is visible in the sodden air.
Why did I tell Hikaru to go ahead? he asks himself presently. It's still at least ten minutes to the dorms. You'd think they put them on campus...
He mentally grumbles to himself, a slight scowl on his attractive and currently soaked face. His cat-like, golden eyes lift to the heavens, only to be greeted by dark grey, rolling clouds. They show no sign of desisting in their endless action of dropping water down to the already wet earth.
Kaoru curses under his breath and folds down his umbrella, deciding that he'll be better off going inside to wait for the rain to let up. Once indoors, and mercifully free from the tumult of rain, the redhead gazes about the clean and friendly-looking café. The place is low-ceilinged, but many lights illuminate it, giving it as bright, airy feeling, so separate from the heavy greyness outside. Other people, also wet and frazzled-looking, sit about at other tables, nursing steaming cups of coffee and reading newspapers and books. Some sit in pairs or small groups, and Kaoru's ears catch small snatches of conversation as he passes them and takes a seat in the corner.
Discovering that his phone is out of battery, he slouches slightly in his seat and stares in annoyance at the tabletop before him. Presently, a waitress approaches him and he sullenly asks for a coffee, still staring at the table. A few minutes later, he has calmed somewhat and looks up at the returning waitress to thank her.
When she gives him a smile, he stops and stares at her, suddenly recognising the slight girl before him. Her hair has grown a little, cut to a tufty bob that sits in very slight waves around her face. Her large, brown eyes are exactly the same as before, full of knowledge and kindness, and now tinged with something deeper that comes with age. She is taller, even if by only a few centimetres, and Kaoru blinks several times at how very different she looks from them only having been apart for a few months.
"Haruhi?" he feels a need to check, to make sure that she is not some apparition, or some stranger with the same features.
"Kaoru," she smiled wider at him, warmth coming to her large chocolate-coloured eyes. "Hi, it's good to see you..."
"You too," replies Kaoru fervently, grinning at her. "How have you been? How's uni?"
The smile drops from her face and her gaze falls to the table, staring intently at the coffee she's just put down. "Uhh... yeah, it's... okay I guess... How are you?"
Kaoru's eyebrows furrow in confusion and slight worry. "Haruhi, what's wrong?"
Her head lifts and he glimpses a startled expression, before another smile- obviously forced- appears on her face. "Oh, nothing, Kaoru, really. I was just thinking about umm... which chores I need to do later..."
Kaoru raises his eyebrows in an I-can-tell-you're-lying kind of way. "I'm not buying it," he tells her flatly.
"Kaoru..." she looks and sounds strained, not something Kaoru is used to. "Kaoru, can we please not talk about this right now?"
"So there is something the matter then?"
She sighs. "I finish my shift in half an hour. We'll talk then."
Quarter of an hour later, the rain has stopped, but Kaoru continues to sit in the corner, drinking his coffee so slowly that by the time he's finished, the last brown dregs have turned cold, and eventually Haruhi approaches him, now in her normal clothes and shrugging on a coat.
"Come on," she says, giving a signal to a guy at the counter that she's leaving. "I'll walk you to the dorms."
Once they've gone back outside, inhaling the fresh, wet scent of rain-soaked evening, they begin wandering along together in silence, until Kaoru's curiosity and concern overrides his patience, and he asks, "So, what was wrong earlier?"
A kind of invisible curtain falls over Haruhi's features, and her expression becomes down-heartened and careful, even guarded.
"Uni," she answers blankly as they turn a corner onto another road, mist obscuring the end of the street from their view.
"Oh... what about it?" asks the twin. "Are you not enjoying it? I can't imagine that- you work really hard..."
But Haruhi is shaking her head. "I'm not... not enjoying it..."
"Oh... well... Are the other students being mean to you or something? Because you can just tell me and Hikaru, and we'll soon sort them out."
She's shaking her head again. "Not that either. They can't exactly be 'mean' to me."
"What do you mean?" Kaoru's eyebrows lower somewhat and he looks bemused.
"There are no other students."
"Huh?" The confused expression intensifies.
"There are no other students because I didn't get in," she explains, sounding calm, but Kaoru knows her well enough that he can see she's upset about it.
"You didn't get in?" Kaoru's eyebrows have risen in surprise. "But... how? Didn't you pass the entrance exam?"
She looks up at him as they continue wandering through the mist. "No, I passed. It's just... There were these fees that needed paying at the beginning of the first semester..."
"Ah. And you couldn't pay them?"
She nods for the first time. "I didn't have enough. I've been saving for years but it didn't even cover half. I guess that's what you get if you aim too high."
"What about a scholarship? That's how you got into Ouran."
She looks saddened and weary, eyes tired from having thought this over again and again, countless times. "There were so many applicants; so many like me. I didn't get one of the places."
She sighs. "So I decided to take a year off, try to earn some money, and then try again next year. If I can get one more job I'll almost certainly have enough."
"How many jobs are you working?" Kaoru asks concernedly.
"At the moment I have this one and two others."
"Why so many?" He is surprised again. Maybe the whole situation is such that surprises are bred every minute.
"It's hard to get a job with decent pay when you're completely unqualified and fresh out of school."
Kaoru thinks this over, trying to measure her carefully blank expression.
"Let me help you."
"What do you mean?" she asks, looking at him sharply.
"Me. I can give you the money. You can start next semest-"
"What do you mean, 'no'? It's a great idea!"
"Kaoru, I can't use someone else's money to get into uni. It wouldn't be right."
"But... Okay, how about if it were a loan?" he tried to bargain. "I can help you now and later you can pay it back, if that's what bothers you."
"Kaoru, I can't accept it. I'm fine, I can manage."
They're getting nearer to the dorms now, the mist receding slightly, though the promise of rain still hangs in the damp air.
"Kaoru, please, just drop it," she says, looking at him sternly and an annoyed look to her soft features. "I'm not going to accept, no matter what you suggest, so you may as well stop wasting your breath."
The pair came to a halt outside Kaoru's dorm building, and Kaoru looks down at Haruhi sadly, not wanting to argue.
"Fine, I won't mention it again," he sighs. "But can I come see you again? I know Hikaru and I have been missing you. Hikaru especially."
Haruhi looks up at him, chewing on her lip a she thinks.
"You can. Hikaru too, but... But only if he really wants to."
The redhead nods in understanding. It would be natural for both of them to be this way about each other.
"Okay, I'll be there next week. Wednesday."
She nods, a smile finally forming on her face.
"Next Wednesday it is."