A/N Hey guys! Sorry this took so long to update. I've been bogged down...well, with life in general. Haha. I normally don't like OCs, but this story needed something to get it moving along. Plus, you have to admit, within the Ouran realm, there aren't enough girls. So hopefully this is forgivable. So, onwards to Chapter Three!!


Chapter Three

Strawberry Fields

That night, we talked out the situation and finally came to a resolve. Hikaru wanted me to stay until I got things settled out and had enough money to safely live on my own. I told him brashly that I didn't have enough time to tie up loose ends in one place, and that I should be able to move on out when I wanted to. I insisted that I should earn my keep and get a job, and he argued that I shouldn't worry about it, and should concentrate on getting myself together. He said he was gonna give me money so that I could buy new clothes and other things, and I replied that I didn't need it, I wasn't going to be there long anyways. But he wouldn't drop it, and I finally complied. He decided that we were to go clothes shopping tomorrow, and no later. Even after all this debate, he never asked what I was running from, or about my past, and what I desperately needed to get out of. Understanding and patient from the start, I knew I could trust him and spill my side of the story later. A heart to heart was the last thing on my mind.

"You know, I do have a guest bedroom," he stated later that night. "You won't have to sleep on the couch forever."

"Oh don't worry. I'm plenty used to it. Trust me," I laughed but cringed as I realized the truth behind those words.

"No, I can't have you on the couch. It's really not that comfortable."

"Hikaru, don't worry about it. It's fine."

"All I have to do is clean up the spare room a bit and then…well, here let me show you." He walked down the hallway and opened a door that faced opposite of his own room. I couldn't believe what I saw. Hundreds upon hundreds of CDs were stacked on top of each other, thrown in boxes, or littered the floor. Perhaps there were thousands. A few pieces of miscellaneous artwork could be seen leaning against the canary yellow walls, while random papers and posters scattered the disorganized room.

"A couple of days?" I asked sarcastically.

"Okay, maybe a week. It could go faster if you helped me," he offered, giving me a winning grin.

"Wow," I said, flipping through his music collection, "how many CDs do you own?"

"You know, I really don't know. I lost count after three thousand," he stated breezily, as if it were no huge feat. I looked at him in utter wonderment.

"You lost count…" I started, "after three thousand?!"

"Yeah, wouldn't you?"

"I don't know what to say to that."

"What do you mean?"

"How the hell do you even begin to own three thousand CDs?"

"I like my music."

"Well, obviously."

After that I gave up questioning him. I just figured it was an obsession. Like my father's love for buying me girly dresses. Basically the same thing. Although dresses could be more useful…I quit trying to make sense of it all.

"Wait," I said. "There's no furniture in here…so what's the point of even cleaning this place up for me to stay in?" I said, realizing the lack of furnishings for my new found room.

"Oh, we'd just buy some," he nonchalantly replied.

"Buy some? Isn't this supposed to be a few weeks deal? A few months at the most? Now, you're buying me furniture, which I obviously don't need, as I'd be content to sleep on the floor? Really, Hikaru, I'm fine, you don't need to do all this stuff for me."

"No, no, no. I won't have it. It's my money to spend, and I'll choose how I want to spend it. Besides, I was planning on making this an actual guest bedroom anyways. Now, I have the motivation to make it one. I needed to clear out my stuff and get organized too, so you're helping me. So I should be thanking you."

"I don't know about that," I said.

We spent the next two hours going through his music library, putting things in boxes and trying to get the room looking somewhat cleaner. He said after all our hard work that the room looked much better. I couldn't see the difference. We decided to call it a night, and he went quietly into his bedroom while I walked gaily to the couch and fell asleep after struggling to grasp the concept of three thousand CDs.

xxx

High pitched screams filled the air as I awoke to the sunny brightness that penetrated the shades the following morning. A girl was yelling, no, shrieking about something. About what? It was way too early for this, my mind wasn't functioning yet. I peeked my head around the corner into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about.

"Who the hell is she?" shouted a petite brunette at a poor defenseless Hikaru. He looked about as confused as I was, and like he had just woken up. Well, he still had bed head and was wearing boxers. Yeah, he probably did just wake up.

"Who is what?" he asked, yawning.

"That girl. On your couch. What is she doing here?" Uh oh. I just messed up his relationship or something, didn't I? I thought, as I silently tried to string coherent ideas together. It must be his girlfriend. Man, why do I have the worst luck? He was actually kinda handsome. Wait, Haruhi, stop it. You're here to get over yourself and start over. Not fall in love. Not again.

"Oh, Haruhi? I'm just helping her out," he replied cheerfully.

"And you met this girl, Haruhi, how?" the brunette retorted.

"She showed up at my door asking for help. I couldn't turn her away."

"But she's leaving now…as soon as she wakes up, right? It was only a one day thing."

"No, she's gonna stay for a while, until things get settled."

"HIKARU!" she said exasperatedly. "You can't have strange girls staying at your house just because you feel sorry for them! You need to fix this. Now."

"Awww, fuck off, Mikako. This is my house. My life. I can do what I want. Now, are you going to help or what?"

"Help? What do you mean 'help'?"

"You know, make friends, talk to her, you know, other girl stuff. I was going to take her clothes shopping today, wanna come and help her pick out some stuff?"

"You're buying her clothes?! What the hell is wrong with you, Hikaru?"
"Stop being a bitch. Now, are you going to help or what?"

"Hikaru…"

"What?"

"What's Ami gonna say when she finds out that some girl is living with her boyfriend? Have you thought about that?"

Oh, so she isn't his boyfriend. As I looked closer at the two, I realized they looked very much the same. Both held the same casual stance as they confronted one another. They both had the same face and bone structure. But what was the dead giveaway was the eyes. Both had the same luminous yellow-orange orbs that flashed this way and that. Though Hikaru's were bigger. And to me, more beautiful. That settled it. They have to be brother and sister, I finally concluded.

"Aww, shit, I didn't think about that," he admitted. "I'm sure she'll understand though. I mean, she's doing things that are…a bit questionable, but I trust her. She should be able to trust me too. Don't sweat it. I got it under control."

"You should tell her before she finds out on her own," said Mikako.

"I know, I will. Don't worry about it. Now, back to business. Would you like to join Haruhi and me for a little shopping jaunt?"

"There's no winning with you, is there?" she finally calmed down.

"Nope," he cheekily smiled.

"Alright, I guess I should get to know the girl that captured my bro's heart with sob stories," she teased.

"Hey!" Hikaru poked her playfully in the ribs.

"Well, you should wake her up then."

"She's probably already awake from your awful banshee shrieks," joked Hikaru.

"Stop it!"

"Alright, alright. I'll wake her up."

I sprinted from my hiding spot and jumped on the couch. I flew the covers over me and pretended to sleep. The next thing I knew, I was dressed and whisked into a car.

xxx

I knew something was up the minute we sat in the car. Hikaru had donned a baseball cap and sunglasses…and the bright yellow orb that our blue speck in the universe revolves around was no where to be found in the sky.

"Hikaru, what's with the getup?" I asked, wondering why the heck he wanted to look so suspicious.

"Well, I don't want to be recognized."

"Recognized? Why would you be recognized?" I asked dumbly.

Mikako looked at Hikaru. Hikaru looked at Mikako. They both stared at me unbelievably.

"Are you serious right now?" Mikako asked, trying not to sound patronizing but failing horribly.

"Uh, yeah," I snapped back, as I thought it wasn't a stupid question to ask.

"Oh my God, I mean, wow, she didn't…she didn't recognize you? She doesn't know who you are? You did tell her your name right? You do know who he is, don't you?"

I was so lost. Was there something I should know about this young man that I didn't already? I did know some things about him, I mean, I knew he liked cherry Starbursts. God, how disgusting. Then the thought came to me. A look of horror and utter confusion spread across my face.

"Please don't tell me you're a serial killer…" I said, shocked.

There was silence. Then laughter. Hikaru and Mikako couldn't stop the convulsions of hilarity that rocked their bodies.

"Omigod, omigod, stop the car! Stop the car!" snorted Mikako.

"I can't…I can't…breathe!" Hikaru said, doubling up in laughter.

"You guys need to fricken shut up before you crash the car!" I yelled, not at all amused and terribly worried that we would end up mangled on the side of the road.

Hikaru pulled over into a gas station, and there Mikako and he chortled and guffawed until their hysterics subsided. Finally, Hikaru turned back to me and said in most serious manner, "No, I am in no way a serial killer." This, of course, set them both off again, so I had to sit through yet another five minutes of their giggling.

"Okay, I get the point. You're not a murderer. But you still didn't answer my question. Why do you look so iffy?"

"Aww, man, I look iffy? Wasn't the point of wearing this supposed to make me blend in?" he asked Mikako, pouting.

"Well, I don't know many people who would wear sunglasses when it looks like it's about to rain, Hikaru, but how else are we going to cover up those golden eyes?" she answered.

"True," said Hikaru, and then he turned to me again. "So, you really don't know who I am?" I shook my head no. "Well, I'm Hikaru Hitachiin."

This didn't mean anything to me, and I smartly answered, "Yes, your name is Hikaru Hitachiin, you live in a small house in California, you like nasty cherry Starbursts, and you're completely obsessed with music. What's this huge secret that I'm out of the loop in?"

"Oh, honey, it's no big secret," said Mikako, smiling and immensely enjoying my naivety.

"Okay, I'm an actor," stated Hikaru.

"A movie star," added Mikako with an outrageous Hollywood accent.

"You know, have you watched December Rain?" asked Hikaru.

"Or Captive?" provided Mikako.

"Maybe you've seen Unbreakable?"

"What about Elephants Don't Lie?"

"That was an indie film, Mikako."

"Who knows? She could've seen it!"

"Umm, oh yeah, those names sound familiar, I don't think I've seen them all though… Wait, you were in them weren't you?" Hikaru and Mikako both chuckled at my sudden illumination.

"Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Please claim your prize at the front desk!" exclaimed Mikako. Hikaru just smiled back, thoughtful and unexcited.

"Yes," he said. "I was. Now you know who I am and why I have to wear weird getups in public."

"He gets trampled by star struck teenagers otherwise," continued Mikako. "Really, it can get pretty ugly sometimes."

"I can only imagine," I replied.

"Yeah, well, anyways, let's go shopping," said Hikaru, starting up the car and pulling out of the old gas station.

We entered the overcrowded mall, after taking about 5 hours to find a parking spot. Even when we finally found a space to leave the car in between two giant SUVs that made Hikaru's mini cooper look like a toy, it the spot was so far in the back of the parking lot that it took us nearly twenty minutes to reach the entrance to the shopping center.

"God, are you trying to kill me with exercise?" Mikako smirked.

"Well, you are starting to get a bit chubby," said Hikaru, but he immediately regretted saying that when he was met with a slap to the head. "Hey!" he cried out.

"Served you right," retorted Mikako.

"Please, we all know you could stand to put on a few pounds," said Hikaru. "You are the exact opposite of fat. I mean, you're…"

"Just shut up," interrupted Mikako, but in playful way.

I entered the mall wide eyed and dazed. People strutted this way and that, wearing designer label clothes and carrying their over-packed purses. Teenage girls with heavy makeup flirtatiously smiled at young men who had nothing but impure thoughts on their minds in this impressionable stage of their life. Signs stating "SALE", "CLEARANCE", and other such slogans were slapped on storefront windows. Trust me, I've been in malls before, and none of these things surprised me, but I was still taken aback. You have to cut me some slack. I hadn't been in a mall for at least a year.

"Let's get started, shall we?" asked Mikako, linking arms with mine. Maybe this girl wasn't so bad after all.

Of course, we had to get the essentials. Jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, shoes, oh, and of course, underwear. At this point, Mikako pulled me into a lingerie store and told Hikaru to wait outside. He patiently obliged. "Now, to get the fun stuff," she said excitedly. "I think I'll get a few things of my own. He is family after all. He won't mind if I dip into his charge account," she winked.

After getting those necessaries, the three of us went to get us some extra things. "Come on, you have to have a few outfits," said Mikako, dragging me from one store to another. Soon, I was trying on skirts, leggings, high heels, graphic tank tops and tees, and even hats.

"Really, is this all necessary?" I asked as I pulled another camisole over my head. "I mean, I really don't need this much."

"Please," said Mikako. "Of course it is. Besides, it's my brother. He has the money. Don't worry about it. Now lemme see how you look." I opened the dressing room door and let her in to reveal that the hot pink shirt she had picked out was draping over my slim frame. "Damn, girl, you're a stick. I guess we'll have to go with an extra small."

"But that won't even cover my midriff!" I said.

"That's the price you pay for being so skinny," replied Mikako. "You can't always win." I sighed inwardly. I guess the color did look good on me. Mikako flung another article of clothing over the door. "What do you think of this?" she said excitedly. I stared at the offending pink sundress, oozing girlyness with every ruffle.

"No," I said firmly.

"No? Why not?"

"I just…can't…" The dress brought back too many memories. Memories of my father, adoration beaming from every pore as he urged me to try on one frilly thing after another. The hurt that I had caused him; I just couldn't face that past yet. "Sorry, it just…reminds me of someone."

"O, okay," came the quiet reply. "I'll go look for some more jeans." I hung up the dress and touched the silky material.

"Maybe some day," I whispered to myself.

xxx

Several hours and many stores later, we trudged out into the parking lot carrying an endless supply of bags. "Jesus, you guys. Don't you think you went a bit overboard?" sighed Hikaru, underneath a mound of shopping bags.

"How can you expect a girl to live without the basic essentials?" countered Mikako, seemingly pleased with her shopping venture.

"Essentials?" asked Hikaru, confounded.

"Oh believe me," said Mikako, "this is only the start to the makings of a great wardrobe." Hikaru looked at me, baffled. I just shrugged my shoulders.

At last, we got to the car, after feeling like my arms were about to break off from the weight of my new clothes.

"Uh, you guys…" I started.

"Hmmm?" they both responded.

"How is this all gonna fit in the car?" I asked.

"Oh," they both said in unison. We all looked at the small mini cooper and tried to think of solutions to our dilemma.

"Well, we'll just get a little claustrophobic," said Hikaru as he started to pack things into the tiny convertible. We drove home with bags on our laps, bags poking at us from all sides, and bags restricting our every movement. When we finally got back to Hikaru's house, Mikako said that she had to get home and meet a friend for dinner. She gave Hikaru a peck on the cheek, hugged me goodbye, and hopped in her car. I waved to my newfound friend. "That was fun," said Hikaru, picking up the shopping bags and putting them into the house.

"Yeah, it was."

"Come on, let's go inside. I bet you're starving."

"Oh, God, yes."

"I hear Chinese food calling my name!" he hollered, making his way to the phone.

"Hikaru?"

"Yeah?" he said turning to face me with the phone in his hand.

"Thanks."

"No problem." He grinned, and began to dial the number to small carry out place. "Hey, does almond chicken sound good to you?"

"Sounds fine."

Boys. Can they think of anything besides food?