Important A/N: This is my first Ouran story. Don't worry, I'm still working on 'Allen in Wonderland,' slowly. In here, this is the closest thing to a crossover you will get from me, since I usually don't do them unless asked. I'm trying new writing styles and experimenting with different techniques. Can you guys tell me what you think? Reviews are totally welcome, thank you!
All characters © Hatori Bisco
Ootori Kyouya pushed his glasses up on his nose and stretched, sighing. It was becoming difficult to see the screen of his laptop due to the glare coming from the sunny light outside. On such a balmy day as this, Tamaki had insisted that the windows be open to allow the scent of flowers, bugs, and other smells of spring to pervade the third music room, saying that it would contribute to the romantic ambience of the club. And the main host, eloquent as ever, had gotten his way.
Kyouya did not particularly like the springtime: everything seemed too bright and too carefree, not to mention the season wreaked havoc with his allergies. However, there was one aspect of spring that he didn't mind, although he would not be caught dead saying it aloud. Besides, if anyone ever found out, Kyouya could have their families' companies bankrupt in a heartbeat. And what was this auspicious occasion that had the third son of the Ootori family secretly in high spirits? Two words: Mother's Day.
It was common knowledge to anyone of the Ouran High School Host Club, member or guest, that Suou Tamaki was known to his fellow members as otousan, and Ootori Kyouya was unfortunately named the okaasan. Some would say this was because these two were the original founders of the popular club, which does makes sense, but those who are more familiar with its members know that this was just an inside joke shared between the two.
And, as always, in the second week of May, the club took it upon themselves to celebrate Mother's Day. In Ouran's early years, Kyouya had dreaded this day because it jeopardized his weal and made others create an unnecessary fuss over him. Yet, he had grown to enjoy Mother's Day more and more as time went on—it was as if he had a second birthday. The members of the host club presented him with gifts that proved they could actually act civil at times. But of course, only Tamaki was aware that Kyouya actually liked the attention of Mother's Day, and that was fine by him. The others still thought he hated it, which only caused them to act more uproarious and make more of a fuss.
Kyouya leaned forward and picked up his black leather note pad, perusing his statistics for the day. This Mother's Day should be rather interesting, the Shadow King thought. It was their first year with Fujioka Haruhi, an Ouran Host whose true gender was known only by the other members. Kyouya made a note in his pad. Usually she was the one being fussed over, the unfortunate girl. Hmm… he wondered what she would do tomorrow.
As usual, Tamaki cancelled their philandering for the afternoon to celebrate the holiday. And, as usual, Kyouya put on his perfunctory façade, shooting pernicious and darkling glances at anyone overly enthusiastic. He endured Tamaki's cries of "Okaasan! Otousan is here to spread his love!" and the Hitachiin twin's shenanigans. Haruhi kept shooting sympathetic glances at him, yet at the same time Kyouya could see her carefully hidden smugness at watching him bear all of the attention for once.
The guys presented him with Mother's Day gifts that easily cost more than Fujioka's entire condominium. Hunny and Mori gave him passes to the MAMA, the Museum of Ancient Martial Arts. Hikaru and Kaoru bestowed upon him tickets for an arctic cruise. And Tamaki, being the fool that he was, presented Kyouya with a king-sized kotatsu for his room. As if he didn't have enough already.
Kyouya didn't feel uncomfortable when it was Haruhi's turn to present her gift. He was aware of her dearth of finances, but feeling pity for others was not something the self-proclaimed "egoist" was all too familiar with.
"I know you're a little old for this, and that it's not much," Haruhi began, a sheepish look in her amber eyes. "But I think Kyouya-senpai would receive merits from reading these." She gave a winsome little smile.
Kyouya looked up at the m-word.
Curious, he opened the package with tentative fingers, blinking in surprise at what he saw. Once again, Fujioka Haruhi had been efficacious in catching the Shadow King off-guard. This had only happened one other time, on that occasion where he had been unfortunately abandoned at that department store.
It was a set of six hardcover books, a series. Kyouya read the title through his glasses: Artemis Fowl. It was written by some European author whose name he was unfamiliar with.
"Aahm?" Tamaki peered over his friend's shoulder, Hunny doing the same on Haruhi's. "What did she get you, okaasan?" Kyouya threw them a cursory glance.
"Books," he replied, shrugging his bony shoulders.
Haruhi tried not to feel embarrassed and flipped a short strand of brown hair out of her eyes. "They should be easy reads, since they're children's books. I read the series a few years ago, and you reminded me of them—they're pretty good." Not to mention this could teach you a lesson or two, Haruhi thought, then mentally slapped herself. She had forgotten that sometimes Kyouya-senpai was telepathic.
A thin eyebrow elevated. "Oh?" He opened the spine, relishing the fresh new-book smell and the crackling of a new cover opening. Haruhi reached over and closed it a moment later, however.
"It's better if Kyouya-senpai reads it at home," she answered his silent gaze with just a corpuscle of fear in her voice. No, she did not want him reading it with her around, for her own health and sanity. The Shadow King didn't answer, but obligingly placed the book back in the package that it had come in. He thanked her, and the party went on for a while until one of the teachers came in saying that they had better go home before it got dark outside.
So now, Kyouya sat on his bed, clad in pale blue nightclothes that matched his dark-blue comforter. His thick black hair was freshly washed and hung in dark clumps around his face. Kyouya drew in air through his nose and let it out refreshingly through his mouth. Homework, done. Plans for the club, done. Profit totaling for the day, done.
The youngest Ootori son gazed out of his double-sash window, where the springtime sky was dark enough for him to see his own reflection clearly. Dark gray eyes fell on the bag in the corner of the bedroom, which was Haruhi's Mother's Day gift to him this afternoon that he had forgotten about. Sighing again, softer this time, Kyouya retrieved the bag and took out the first book. He glazed over the synopsis on the back golden cover and made a little sound that was as close as he'd get to laughing—che!—in his throat. It was a fantasy series, hardly commendable for the likes of him.
Didn't Haruhi say that I reminded her of this story?
Kyouya flipped to the end of the book. 400 pages—they were all around that length, more or less. He could easily have them done in a night. That is, if he actually submitted to reading them…
The Shadow King rose from his bed and securely locked the door. Then he shut the blinds. Who knows what his family would say if they saw him reading a children's book? He ignored the fact that he was only seventeen—Ootori Kyouya had long since considered himself an adult.
As the moon rose, full and gleaming white in the sky, Kyouya sat propped up against his thick pillows reading the Artemis Fowl series. The main protagonist (or antagonist, shall we say) was a pre-pubescent prodigy, debonair and intimidating, a millionaire who managed a lucrative business in the world of crime. The boy, according to Colfer, had pallid skin and raven-black hair.
It seems as if I bear a physical resemblance to this character, Kyouya thought humouredly. This was probably why Haruhi had made the connection. After reading some more, Kyouya became conscious of the fact that he and this Artemis Fowl not only shared a similar physique. Like him, Artemis Fowl took every opportunity he could get to humiliate and debase his opponents. He spoke with a powerful eloquence that put a shiver into anyone who crossed him. Kyouya found himself smiling whenever Artemis made a comeback that would utterly stupefy the other speaker. He was beginning to enjoy this book for apparent reasons. Ootori Kyouya was, albeit a few years older, the spitting image of this fictional Artemis Fowl II. He would have to thank Haruhi in school the next day.
However, the Ootori became increasingly uncomfortable as the series went on. Artemis's daunting and shadenfraudic behavior kept turning against him, repeatedly jeopardizing the safety of his companions. At the end of the first book, he had manumitted his captive along with the acquired gold that he had stolen. As the saga continued, Artemis began to lose his criminal edge, yielding to his fluctuating emotions more and more.
What are you doing? Kyouya thought, eyes narrowing. Threaten them with your money and power. Come, you and I are so similar—demand a fee for whatever you do! You won't get any merits for this!
By the end of the series, Artemis Fowl's friends and comrades had changed him into a different person. He no longer cared about merit, but more about his reinstated family and underworld friends. Instead of pursuing a cold and criminal career with much personal gain (which would have made him a tremendous amount of profit, thought Kyouya, who did not always go by the rulebook himself), Artemis decided to use his money and influence to help the world and others.
Pushing clean coal-black hair from his brow, Kyouya closed the last book with a snap and tilted his head back against his pillow. Although the series was ubiquitous with ridiculous fairies, trolls, and time-warps, it wasn't half-bad. Kyouya only wished that Artemis Fowl's edge hadn't waned so much. The Ootori heir and Artemis could have been brothers at the start of the series, they were that much alike. But the latter grew soft as the pages progressed.
It hadn't been a complete waste of time, Kyouya admitted to himself as he saw the early peaks of the dawn light rise into the sky outside his window. Even if the series was meant for children, he had found it to be somewhat amusing.
Hmm. Had she given him this book because he bore such a strong resemblance to the protagonist? Kyouya stroked his chin. Maybe Haruhi had been trying to tell him something.