Ten Secrets Mori Will Never Tell
Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran. It owns me. We have a mutual agreement to be awesome together.
Author's Notes: Yes, I am totally a Mori fangirl when I'm not freaking out over Tamaki being beautiful. I support sewing!Mori and wife!Mori of the manga, and yes, this is totally self gratification. Shut up. XD A few Hunny/Mori implications, but definitely can be taken as friendship. I hope someone enjoys! Thank you very much for reading!
When they were six, it was Mori—not Hunny—that broke the Ming vase in the foyer of the Haninozuka estate. It was dark in that corner and he didn't see it, and Mori had always been all angles and knobs, anyway. "Don't cry, Takashi," whispered Hunny, hugging him about the neck, and that was that. No matter how much Mori protested, Hunny insisted on accepting responsibility, and not one of the Haninozuka family believed Mori's desperate attempts to persuade them otherwise on the story.
(It explains, later, why Mori likes Haruhi so much upon their first meeting. He hates the sound of breaking ceramic, too.)
The actual secret wasn't the vase, since everyone knew that. What they didn't know was that Mori, overwrought with guilt, snuck cake into Hunny's room every morning for the month of his friend's punishment. The thoughts of a six year old: cake made Hunny smile, and Mori liked Hunny's smile.
Afterwards, the daily cakes stayed. Mori kept quiet, counted how many times Hunny brushed his teeth, and learned not to cry.
Mori liked to sew.
This wasn't exactly a secret—he often made adjustments to the costumes for the Host Club, and at home, he mended the many holes and scrapes that Satoshi acquired with his active lifestyle. It wasn't work for a young, well-off man to be doing, but Mori enjoyed it. There was a quiet, methodical movement to the act. Hours could be passed in peace, nothing but the soft snick of thread pulling through fabric to interrupt his thoughts. Besides that, it reminded Mori of his great aunt, and they'd been close.
Mori joined the Host Club because Hunny had and because Tamaki had asked him in a kind manner. A small part of him was intrigued, too. Their eccentric band—it was so warm, so lively. But he hadn't really understood why Tamaki invited him until a few months after the fact.
"Oh, so you've seen the new kimono!" Tamaki gushed. Studying the fine line of stitching, Mori glanced up from the fabric in his hands, startled at the unexpected attention.
"Ah," he said. "Yes." And then, because Tamaki seemed to be waiting eagerly for something more, he added, "I like it."
"I thought," said Tamaki, smiling, "you might."
(He can't count the number of times he's had to stitch up a new hole in Hunny's bunny. Hunny says Mori has healing hands, but no one gets it except the two of them.)
He once saw Kyouya's black notebook.
It was an accident. Mori picked it up, mistaking it for his own Japanese History notes, and opened it to find a spreadsheet. Its contents, for the protection of his own brain, were immediately censored.
It was almost enough to make him relieved to graduate in a year. The future was a terrifying place.
(He still wants to be there, somehow despite it.)
Everyone said Mori was Hunny's personal bodyguard throughout middle school. They called him Hunny's "best friend," they nicknamed him "The Haninozuka Living Shield," and they branded him with the reputation of the protector. That was okay. Mori didn't mind, even if it wasn't entirely the truth. Besides, there was a grain of reality left in the titles, in that Mori would do anything to protect Hunny, absolutely anything, and yes, if he dared to flatter himself, he liked to think he was the best of friends.
But Hunny was the shield.
Mori didn't like to talk. It wasn't that it was unpleasant—more that it was difficult, sometimes, to express himself. Conversation put him on the spot, tucked in a corner with no escape. Too often, words suffocated Mori.
But Hunny saved him from that. "You don't have to say anything, Takashi," exclaimed Hunny, hands on his hips. "Just let me talk, all right? I know what Takashi wants to say!"
The relief was crushing. More so than the shame of leaving the responsibility on Hunny's diminutive shoulders. And that was the way it stayed—with Hunny speaking for Mori, with Mori always two steps behind Hunny. Not because of servitude or their familial relationship, but because Hunny was seventy pounds of fearsome, distracting, iron-hard chatterbox power. It was Hunny that broadcasted Mori's true self without ever forcing Mori to open his mouth, and it was Hunny that promised—one night on the Haninozuka estate, between their futons in the dark, almost like a dream—that, "I'll always protect Takashi."
(To be honest, it's Mori that needs Hunny. He doesn't need the shield so much anymore, but listening to Hunny communicate Mori's thoughts is like a magic trick that never gets old. It's heartwarming to know someone understands; before breath, before spoken word, before anything but a glance, is a place where they've found common ground and a place for Mori to hide if he needs to.)
Mori knew that he could talk to the twins. They had something in common, after all. In fact, they had the most common from anyone else in the Host Club, even including Hunny. After all, Mori drove home past the boutiques that sold the Hitachiin's most famous clothing line, and it was equally routine to stop outside the windows and study the intricate pleating on whatever wait inside. Mori liked the Hitachiin style. It was outgoing, it was classic, and it was detailed. The color of the thread was a perfect match for whatever rare dye work the fabric required, one hundred percent of the time.
He often thought he'd like very much to discuss it with the twins.
(But Mori doesn't bring it up. He has a disquieting feeling that if he does, it'll become so much easier to get wrapped up into their world—and his family has plans for him that don't involve needles.)
It wasn't sad, just something of a disappointment.
Mori, when he was staring out windows, spent a lot of time daydreaming. One of those fantasies, though he'd never admit it, involved carrying Hunny on one shoulder and Haruhi on the other.
Whenever he looked at them, a lot of the time he was wondering if it was possible. They were both tiny things, and he was very tall.
(He hasn't done the proper math. Yet.)
Mori, on a monthly average, threatened four people for Tamaki.
Not that Tamaki knew that. Sometimes Hunny suspected, but since he approved he never said anything. Mori thought that maybe Hunny (and in fact, every member of the Host Club) practiced the same routine. It wasn't that many people hated Tamaki—but rather, the few that did had a hard time stopping. Sometimes they needed encouragement. Mori liked to get to them first, since the twins wouldn't know when to stop and it was best that Hunny keep out of the mess.
(He's sure Kyouya is on constant guard, but the only time Mori catches him iis when the man lurking around the school grounds, stubble-chinned and bleak eyed, likes to look at Tamaki far too much. For three days, no one notices except Mori, and Kyouya's moods become increasingly irritable. Then, on the fourth day, the man is gone. Tamaki wears a bruise on his arm, but a bright smile on his face. Mori never asks. Kyouya resolutely never tells. This is for the best.)
Usually all it took was a glower to intimidate any potential problems. That, or Mori said, completely serious, "You should stop now."
Once he hit a locker so hard, his knuckles stung for days.
But in the end, Mori didn't mind doing any of it for Tamaki so much. It was the least he could do. Tamaki gave him a world where Hunny was happier, where people welcomed Mori like a dear friend. If Mori had to think about it, he would've said his life was much more open than before, when there was nothing but Hunny and Mori and grass chains under a blue sky.
Not that before was bad. But now, now was good, too.
(Besides, Mori is weak to sunny smiles and things smaller than himself.)
Hunny was the first person to tell Mori he was loved.
It wasn't that Mori's parents didn't appreciate or adore him. On the contrary, Mori was their perfect son. But Mori inherited his own tranquil nature from them and often they spoke only half as much as he did. Endearments were few and far in between. Satoshi was, in actuality, the first real shock to the family for years. Noise wasn't unwelcome so much as unfamiliar, though, and Mori's little brother knew enough of their unspoken language to recognize his own cherishment.
Still, Mori hadn't realized how important it was to hear such a thing out loud. Nor did he know the way his heart would skip, as if skinning a knee in the home stretch, and lose itself in his throat. His hands trembled, and his face burned.
Hunny, impatiently waiting, knuckles drowned in the too-large shirt for his nine year old frame, seemed unaware of Mori's problems. "Well?" he demanded, after nothing seemed forthcoming. "Don't you have anything to say back? Huh, Takashi?"
(Mori still can't say "I love you," not without going cherry-tomato red. He finds this sort of thing precious, despite.)
When Mori was upset, things became broken.
It was all the fault of the shakes. Too many chemicals in a body that was normally quite calm. Or maybe it was because Mori taught himself out of crying, or wringing his hands, or shouting when he was very young. He learned to hide distress, along with most other emotions that might be troublesome to others. It made sense; it was a practical move at the time. But now, Mori expressed worry and panic through his motion in an entirely different way than intended: he became clumsy.
Which was a pity, because Mori gradually began to realize he became flustered very, very easily.
(He learns to hide the majority of it over the years. But not even Hunny knows that when Mori feels truly miserable, he can't go near stairs. He has the scar—a weird mass of white high up on his left thigh—to prove it.)
(The thing is, Mori isn't interesting enough to hoard many secrets. He tells most of them to Hunny, who in turn tells most of his own to Mori. That makes Mori feel good, because it's nice to share things with friends. He feels important to only Hunny when that happens. That feeling, for most of Mori's life, is the greatest motivation for all he does—it reminds Mori that he has a place belonging at Hunny's side, no matter what anyone says to convince them otherwise. Besides. He has no reason to keep secrets. The very bones of Morinozuka Takashi are honest… except for this one thing, and they keep it locked in his heart where the muscle is strong.)
In his worst nightmares, there were sea monsters and Hunny's eyes were cold. That glare existed outside of his dreams, though—and on the rare occasions Hunny revealed it, Mori felt drugged, and lost, and afraid.
(Some things shouldn't be told.)