AN: So sorry this is late. I'm dead. I'm really dead. I've got five different projects (five different storylines) that have deadlines coming up, and filming plus the day care and home life has left me anything but inspired to finish this chapter. My deepest apologies.
"I still don't understand why I have to have dinner with him" Hikaru grumbled as he stared at the blank spot against the wall where a mirror used to be. The tall, almost giant man behind him merely grunted in response as his tiny blonde counterpart hopped upon Hikaru's chair.
"But young Master you look so pretty now!" Honey giggled happily as he held up a lock of hair for Mori to add into the short ponytail. Mori tied it with a blue ribbon quickly, the short edges falling against the young boy's neck. Kyouya stood overlooking the spectacle as the maids and servants ran around with the food this way and that, trying to make everything perfect for the play date.
"How did you manage to get him in women's clothing anyways?" Hikaru asked, not taking his eyes off the bare wall. Mori and Honey continued to pick and pin at his outfit, making it as fresh as possible for such old clothes while Kyouya merely smirked.
"Oh we just sent Fuyumi to handle it…" He answered. Hikaru would have gulped out of terror had so many people not been in the room. He merely settled for a shake of his head in pity as footsteps were suddenly heard running towards the room. Mori stopped first to look around, his ear twitching as he looked quickly down at Honey. The smiles on their faces were now gone and they knew that something had happened, something bad…
"Uh young master! Come! Come taste the food to see if it's to your liking!" Honey yelped out quickly as he tugged at Hikaru's hand pulling him towards the back door. Hikaru protested digging his heels into the floor as he looked around sensing something himself amidst.
"But you two cook the same thing every nig-"
"No no just come young master! We've changed things around a bit. You need to come and taste it all." Honey whispered quickly. Mori pushed Hikaru's back, forcing him through the door as Hikaru followed rather blindly, not able to pin point what this odd feeling in the pit of his gut was.
"Well…alright…" He whispered as he looked back into the room again. Kyouya smiled before closing the door quickly so his eyes couldn't wander. Nearly seconds after he was out of the room Fuyumi rushed in, her skirt held in her hands as her high heels clacked against the marble. Breathing heavily she blew her hair out of her face before locking her eyes into Kyouya's.
"…we have a problem…."
Haruhi walked slowly down through the old castle, the moonlight shining in through the old windows which creaked as she passed by them. The wind was silent but they moved feebly against one another creaking out a soft thud every time they hit. Haruhi had long abandoned her shoes in a nearby corner; they were far too loud and scratched at the back of her ankles. Now her long blue dress dragged against the dusty floor, giving her the illusion of floating on top of the tile. Her hair fell in curls across her back, her bangs now blurring her vision as she looked earnestly about her.
"I don't think I've ever felt so alone in my whole life…" Haruhi whispered as she took in a deep breath. Her heart was beating like a drum against her chest, so loudly that she was sure someone was laughing at her in a corner that she couldn't see. Her body was shaking, her eyes darting from one edge of the wall to the other. Now that she knew she was in love, it was hard to stay focused. Her lungs felt like someone was squeezing air harshly out of them, pulling and manipulating until it was impossible to breathe.
But then, something miraculous happened.
All of her worries were calmed with a single note, a soft, and beautiful hymn being played nearby. Haruhi lifted her head up slowly, her bright brown eyes searching through the windows to see the source of the sound. Haruhi cautiously opened the door to the garden and the music suddenly became louder, gliding through her ears. She tip toed gently out the garden door, careful not to disturb whoever was playing. She seemed to melt in with the scenery of blue and green as she walked amongst the bright flowers, each blooming and more beautiful than the next. With each step, with each more beautiful flower, she came closer to the mystery player. Her heart fluttered with the possibility of who might be behind the hedges.
Though, when she peeked her head around, truly, she already knew who it was playing.
And there he was, sitting in the moonlight underneath a beautiful garden of violet roses, the pianos keys giving into his hands as he pressed down upon them with love and care, as if each was a baby he was caressing. And his music….Haruhi could have plucked the sweet notes out of the air and eaten them as candy she was so enticed. She walked almost as if she was in a dream towards him, he, so focused on his playing did not notice as she walked behind him, her delicate hands wrapping around his neck as she leaned on him, digging her head into his shoulder.
Tamaki slammed on the keys in surprise as he shot his head up, looking back at Haruhi as she tightened her grip on him.
"Don't leave." She muttered into his shoulder as she clenched his clothes tighter. Tamaki seemed frozen but dropped his shoulders a bit with a sigh.
"…you shouldn't be here Haruhi." He whispered, looking ready to bolt as soon as she let go of him.
"…you're wrong Tamaki…this is exactly where I should be." Haruhi answered, slowly lifting her head from his shoulder. She kept her arms tight though, in case he should try and run. Tamaki turned to face as she relaxed her hands, his eyes, usually bright and happy, now clouded with a mature sadness she couldn't place.
"I love you Tamaki" She said the words so quickly that her heart felt empty once they left her lips. She gasped to get her breath back before slowly touching her lips, she'd said it…she'd really said it. Her body felt thinner than air, like she could fly at any moment, as if a burden she didn't know she had had been lifted off of her. Haruhi looked quickly down at Tamaki, waiting for him to say something, anything, but…he didn't. He just sat, looking at his feet.
Her body sunk.
"…Tamaki?" She asked tenderly.
"I'm serious Haruhi. Go back inside. Eat dinner with Hikaru….I'm begging you." Tamaki whispered. Haruhi furrowed her brows together in annoyance as she shook her head quickly.
"…why would you say that?" She asked, trying to hide her hurt.
"Because…you have to get closer to him…you have to…you have to break the curse." He whispered slowly before dropping his head.
"I-I already am Tamaki, I'm helping him find a girlfriend, that's my part in this isn't it?" She asked flabbergasted.
"…it has to be you." He answered in a low tone. Haruhi moved her hands to his cheeks as she attempted to lift his head.
"What has to be me? Tamaki I don't understand!" She yelled out in frustration. He grabbed onto her hands, his eyes brimming with water as he pulled her in closer to him, his breathing heavier.
"He has to love you! He has to love you to break the curse Haruhi!" He yelped out before shaking his head.
"You can't…you-you can't love me, it's wrong, it's not a part of the plan. You have to love the young master…you have to!" he yelled, almost to himself now.
Haruhi stood in shock at his words, her hands shaking softly as she watched him pitifully fighting back words that he couldn't say. Her eyes narrowed in determination and anger as she backed away from him slowly.
"…No…" She hissed out.
"Haruhi please, just listen to me…" He whispered standing up. Haruhi shook her head quickly, placing her hands in her hair as she closed her eyes, whimpering in denial.
"NO! You can't make me! I WON'T! Tamaki I love YOU! How can you tell me...." she dropped her hands, tears gliding down her cheeks as she hiccupped "how can you tell me to go and court someone else…"
"Because…you have to..." Tamaki whispered.
"That's not a good enough reason!" Haruhi yelled out as she backed away from him. Each step he took she countered.
"…then because…I-" he looked at her in straight in the eyes for the first time in their conversation and stopped dead, he swallowed hard before croaking out the words he knew he'd later regret.
"…Because I don't love you…"
There was a hard silence between the two, Tamaki watched her, waiting for her to do something, to cry, to yell, to run away, but she did nothing. Haruhi merely stood, watching him like a frozen statue, petrified. Minutes passed like hours before finally something broke the gaze. Tamaki looked up quickly as he felt something hitting his face, he wiped it away before examining it.
"…it's raining…" he looked back to the spot where Haruhi was before to find nothing but the pretty garden scene, made ugly by the grey and dread of the rain as it started to pour upon the grounds. Tamaki knew she couldn't have gotten far, and he knew he could easily catch up with her if he wanted to. But he made no move to, for he knew that it wasn't fair to her.
So he sat down upon the ground and shook his head in shame as he whispered the words "I love you" to no one.
"He didn't come."
"Ehhh…I'm sure that he had a good reason, I mean, he might be sick or, or ill, or, or not well-" Honey bustled out following after Hikaru quickly as the angry man stormed through the castle halls. He sent a glare down at the brown eyed child before taking in a deep breath.
"First off, those are all the same things, secondly, not one of them excuses him from being invited to my banquet, refusing invitation without notice, and leaving me to eat…alone. Go ahead and throw him back in the dungeon for all I car, that boy obviously has no head to notice." Hikaru complained mumbling to himself as he threw the ribbon out of the bottom of his hair. His orange locks fell lavishly about him while he shook it free, slamming open the door to his room.
"But sir, we've already moved his things to the servant's place in your room..." Honey whispered softly. Hikaru's ear perked up as he walked into his room, everything had been cleaned, as normal, and everything seemed to be in place- however he could already sense that something was wrong. Hikaru walked around slowly, observing every object and it's placement before finally eyeing the servants door.
He heard a small shuffle, faint, and almost inaudible from across the room.
"…Haruhi" he whispered threateningly, stepping over the door before forcibly trying to open it. To his anger it was locked tight and the young boy had not yet come to open it for him. Hikaru, now getting angrier by the minute slammed the door handle up and down in an attempt to beat the door back so he could wring the servant's neck.
"Haruhi open this door right now!" He yelled. There was silence, only agitating him more as she suddenly slammed his fist against the wooden door.
"Please just go away…" came out a small voice. Hikaru blinked a bit, taken back by the drooping depression that had come from it. His grip on the handle weakened and his anger seemed to melt a bit as he leaned his head against the door to listen to the other side.
"Haruhi?" He asked. He attempted to move the door open one last time but Haruhi threw herself against it to keep it from even budging. Curled up in her long flowing dress she dug her head into her knees, taking in uneven breaths as she tried to keep herself calm to talk.
"Please…please just for right now, go away, please…" she whispered, her voice cracking in the middle of the sentence.
Hikaru's anger returned quickly as he threw himself away from the door in a fit of anger. His face had turned red from embarrassment as he shook his head, rubbing his temple.
"Telling ME to go away, TELLING ME! Whose castle does he think this is? Skipping dinner, locking himself up in a room, and having the nerve to order me out of my own room, JUST STAY IN THERE AND ROT FOR ALL I CARE!" He yelled storming out. Honey and Fuyumi watched with caution as he mumbled to himself, obviously off for yet another trip to visit Kaoru.
Slowly and steadily, they walked into the young masters room. It had been adorned with the finest of fabrics, and bright red cloths hung from the ceiling across the walls. His bed had been nearly three times the size of him with a lush comforter and finely laced goose pillows supporting his head. There was a fireplace that was now dust and full of ashes that shelved a few books, his portrait hung above them all like a looming reminder of what they used to be.
"Haruhi…please unlock the door, it's us." Fuyumi said calmly. Haruhi had to think about this for a moment but throughout the room there was a small click as the door creaked open. Fuyumi and Honey quickly headed inside before closing the door behind them. Fuyumi looked up at Haruhi as the young girl sat down on her bed and her eyes saddened.
"…oh Haruhi..what happened..?" She whispered. Haruhi looked up at Fuyumi, taking in a deep breath before choking on her own breath as she whimpered, throwing herself into the mother's warm arms. She let out a childish wail before hiccupping, clinging onto the woman tightly.
"Shh…it's ok love, it's ok…" Fuyumi whispered sitting down with the girl as she sobbed into the servants dress. Honey sat down beside the two of them, offering his own comfort as he pulled out a cherry tart and offered it to the sobbing girl.
"N-no thank you." Haruhi managed out as she sat up to try and regain some dignity.
"OH alright…well…would you mind if I ate it then? All of these tears are making me crave something sweet." Honey whined.
"Go..go ahead." Haruhi whispered rubbing her eyes quickly. It was so embarrassing to be seen crying like this, let alone over something so embarrassing to talk about. Fuyumi seemed calm enough though as she stroked the girl's short brown hair until she felt calm enough to talk about what had upset her so much.
"…is it really true…are they all expecting me to marry him…?" She whispered leaning her head on Fuyumi's shoulder. Honey bit his lip some before looking back up at Fuyumi for an answer. With a heavy sigh she merely nodded, making Haruhi's eyes water again.
"But I don't love him…" She whispered.
"Maybe not now but…just give him a chance, I'm certain you'll take a liking to him." Fuyumi said calmly, pushing Haruhi's bangs back and out of her face. She wanted to protest and yell that she wasn't meant to be with him- but there really was no point. Tamaki didn't love her, Hikaru wouldn't love her, and they'd all find out she was nothing but an ordinary girl. Haruhi looked down at the woman's pregnant belly and moved her hand over it. She didn't feel a thing.
"…I think he'll kill me before I can do that" Haruhi whispered.
"I'm sure you'll be fine dear." Fuyumi whispered tossing her hair quickly. Haruhi sighed some before looking up at the ceiling with glossed eyes, she'd apologize to Hikaru tomorrow, all she wanted to do right now was get a good night's sleep and forget about all of this.
"…so, you'll think about it then? Spending time with the young master?" Honey asked in a soft tone. Haruhi sighed before waving her hand.
"…I'll hear what he has to say, but I'm not making any promises to break the spell or anything." She muttered. The two smiled greatly at this and Haruhi relaxed against the castle wall. As soon as she closed her eyes they shot back open again as a large sound of breaking china rang loudly through the castle.
"What was that?" Haruhi asked hearing yells now from outside the door.
"Young master?" Fuyumi asked shooting to her feet as she ran out the door to find out what all the commotion was about. Honey and Haruhi quickly followed, though at a slower pace, trying to keep two steps behind the woman at all times in case Hikaru had happened to be in one of his moods again. Fuyumi led them up the large spiral before rushing into Kaoru's tower, only to stop at the doorway.
Haruhi tried to peer over her shoulder a bit to see what was going on. The room was filled with a dead silence. Haruhi gulped some before standing on her tip toes, had his brother passed away in his sleep like the rest of them? Nervously Fuyumi took a step forward, allowing Haruhi to get into the doorway and look around.
The curtain was still pulled around the young boys bed so she couldn't tell what was going on, in it she saw Hikaru's shadow, hunched over and hugging at the small body. Without much thought she wandered over to him, the thoughts of his temper and ingratitude far behind. She sat beside him slowly and looked down at the replica of the boy that sat beside her. He had looked the same as before, pale, sunken eyes, his entire body obviously starving from lack of nutrition.
But then- something amazing happened…
His hand twitched…and then his arm…and then, ever so slowly, his golden eyes, pure, and beautiful, fluttered open to the sunlight. He took in a quick breath and Hikaru quickly reached over to stop him from moving, a panicked and childish look of ignorance written across his face.
"Here, here sit him up…." Haruhi finally interjected, seeing the boy trying to move his hips. Hikaru acknowledged that she had been there for the first time before nodding dumbly, gently lifting a shoulder as she pulled at the other, easing him into a sitting position.
"Kaoru…are..are you..are you really awake?" Hikaru whispered.
Kaoru seemed to blink a bit before taking in another gasped breath, holding onto Haruhi's hand for strength. His face seemed to glow a bit before returning to normal. He coughed, doubling over, causing both Hikaru and Haruhi and quickly bend to his aid.
"Young master, may I suggest something?" asked Kyouya, now entering the room smoothly from his place on the stairs. Hikaru looked back quickly, nodding a bit dumbly before returning to his brothers aid.
"Yes, yes anything." Hikaru whispered.
"It seems that Kaoru is getting stronger each day that Haruhi is here…him awakening surely means that some dynamic has changed between the two of you, am I wrong?" He asked. Haruhi looked down but Hikaru still looked rather confused, shaking his head some.
"No, no, I still want to throw him out of my castle with a few less limbs." He answered.
"Ah…well then, perhaps, asking Haruhi that which is required of you would give Kaoru more strength to talk?" Kyouya asked. Hikaru twisted up his face at that, eyeing Kyouya before looking back over at Haruhi.
"…but he's a boy." He answered bitterly.
"Of course, young master knows best…twas only a suggestion." Kyouya whispered.
Hikaru looked at his younger brother, still looking like a fish out of water before turning to Haruhi. He frowned like a small child before sighing, crossing his arms and looking down at the ground, muttering something under his breath. Haruhi tilted her head, leaning in a bit more.
"I'm sorry I didn't understand that…what did you say?" Haruhi asked.
"…will you marry me?" Hikaru grumbled out again. Haruhi sat back in surprise as Kaoru took in one last giant breath before exhaling quickly.
"Wait a second here, how much of this did I miss? Cause I'm really confused now." Kaoru pointed out. Haruhi, who looked mortified at that shook her head slowly at first before quickening her pace.
"NO!" She yelled out before sticking out her tongue, muttering something along the lines of 'gross' and 'can't believe he asked me that' before walking out of Kaoru's tower to go clear her head.
It was going to be a long sentence here, that was for sure.