make your last stand

Tamaki, who had lately seemed like he was a thousand miles away, is finally within her reach.

"I - I love the host club, too!"

For an alarming moment, when her feet lose purchase on the carriage as it begins to writhe and thrash beneath her, she thinks he won't follow. As she goes into a free-fall over the edge of the bridge, she has the sort of ephiphany that only strikes a person when they think they are about to die. The realization is bittersweet - there's so many things I want to tell you, Tamaki. God, we - we were all so stupid, why didn't I--?

"Sempai!"

Through the wisps of her brown hair Haruhi can make out Tamaki's alarmed expression, and the settling sun behind him. Her hands reach out uselessly for him. She blinks once, feels the sting of tears on her face, the salty air of the sea against her back - and suddenly Tamaki is in the air too, arms thrown out before her, reaching -

"Haruhi!"

Their fingers eclipse, and he takes her in his arms. It's as though the center of gravity in Haruhi's world has been re-established. Tamaki is here - she can feel the familiar press of his expensively tailored clothes against her breast, those warm hands around her waist, those expressive violet eyes staring down into her very soul. They're plummeting headfirst now but she doesn't care. She can't take her eyes off of him.

I - I could die like this, right here, and it wouldn't matter, she thinks desperately as her own hands reach up, her fingers exploring the soft contours of his face. It would be okay, because I'm with him.

Their faces draw nearer, and Tamaki regards her with the most tender expression she's seen him wear yet. Her heart flutters as he leans in, presses his face against the hollow of her shoulder and breathes her scent in as he bundles her against his chest.

"Tamaki," she whispers, and her voice sounds strained, choked. "I -"

She can't find the words, but it doesn't matter, because he understands.

"I feel the same way," he murmurs hotly into her ear, just before they hit the water.