Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this new excuse for mischief… especially for the prophetic one. A curtsy is dropped to Bisco Hatori in grateful recognition of her creative escapades.
Haruhi slipped through the doors without drawing attention to herself; the music room was already abuzz, with most of the customers clustered around the loveseat where Tamaki did much of his entertaining. Most of the hosts hovered around their golden-haired leader, peering over his shoulder with varying degrees of interest. I wonder what happened. Excitable young women flew back and forth, chatting animatedly as they compared notes; most of them carried copies of what looked like a newspaper tabloid. Is that what has them keyed up? Only Kyoya held himself apart from the pervasive din, and she sidled over to the Host Club's second-in-command, hoping for some answers.
"Good afternoon, Haruhi," he greeted politely. "You're nearly two minutes late, today… though under the circumstances, I suppose it's forgivable."
"What's going on, Sempai?" she asked, skirting the matter of her tardiness.
"The newspaper club released a special edition of the school newspaper this afternoon," Kyoya replied.
His tone was so neutral, Haruhi couldn't tell if this was a good thing… or a bad thing. "Is it more gossip?" she ventured. "I thought Komatsuzawa-sempai agreed not to publish any more rumors."
"No, nothing like that this time." Turning slightly, he plucked a neatly folded newspaper from the table behind him and placed it in her hands. The garish headline read, 'Your Stars Have Aligned! Find Out What's in Store!'
Haruhi scanned the first few columns. "They're horoscopes?"
"Yes, one for every day of the year," he confirmed. "This is the latest school-wide fad, and as you can see, the Host Club is not immune."
She hummed as she idly flipped the pages, then stopped. "Why is this one circled?" she inquired.
Kyoya smiled thinly. "That is my horoscope; Tamaki was good enough to bring it to my attention."
Mystified, Haruhi read the entry.
Today is not a day for rash behavior; stick to your comfort zone.
Notice the subtleties of everyone around you today and file it away
for future use. Remain calm. Protect your assets. Keep an open mind.
Pave the way for romance, or it will catch you unawares.
She lifted thoughtful brown eyes to Kyoya's and said, "It doesn't really say anything useful. You'd do all of this anyhow… right, Sempai?"
Frowning, Haruhi added, "This horoscope is almost tailor-made for you."
He adjusted his glasses and said, "Except for the line about romance, I'd have to agree."
"I don't think it's wrong, Kyoya-sempai; you plan for everything, don't you?" she asked, amusement sparkling in her eyes. "You probably already have that part of your future scheduled, but even you aren't immune to love."
"Even me?" he echoed.
"Sure," she replied with characteristic bluntness. "Maybe the stars have aligned in such a way that you'll fall for someone… inconvenient, and that's why you'll need to keep an open mind."
The shadow king's eyes narrowed, but his protest was cut off by Tamaki's querulous tones. "Kyoya! Kyoya! Tell me you've seen this! It's most intriguing! Oh, Haruhi! You're here!" The Host Club's president snapped his fingers insistently. "Come! You must tell us your birth date!"
The twins were at her sides in a trice. "His lordship doesn't know your birthday?" Kaoru asked in horrified tones.
"What kind of father is he?" Hikaru added, sounding properly shocked. "We know the natal day!"
"Yes, we do!" Kaoru agreed smugly.
They hauled Haruhi across the room and presented her to Tamaki, who sat with his elbows on his knees as he poured over the newspaper spread upon the coffee table. Wide purple eyes eagerly darted from one twin to the other. "Well? Well? Out with it! This is important!"
"Sempai, it's really not impor–" Haruhi weakly protested.
"Nonsense! Listen to this!" he interrupted, urgently stabbing his reading material with a finger.
You love much and are much loved, but the perfect flower
will always bloom just out of reach. Duplicitous friends make
ready rivals. Brace yourself for many disappointments.
Console yourself with gardenias. Beware of kittens.
"That is my horoscope! Mine!" Tamaki exclaimed. "This is unthinkable!"
"Why kittens?" Haruhi murmured, ignoring the borderline hysterics.
"I… I… I must have gardenias!" At the blond king's pleading look, Kyoya whisked out his cell phone and punched in the number for a florist.
"What good will gardenias do?" muttered Haruhi.
Hikaru, who'd remained at her side tossed up his hands in a helpless gesture. "You know how superstitious his lordship can be. Maybe they'll make him feel better."
"So how about it, Haruhi," chimed in Kaoru. "Are you ready to see your horoscope?"
One of the yellow-clad girls in the crowd clasped her hands together. "Yes! When's your birthday, Haruhi?"
"Umm… February 4."
"Oooh! The first day of spring! How appropriate!" cooed one of Haruhi's admirers.
With a hasty rustling of newsprint, Tamaki found the appropriate section and scanned the prediction. Blanching slightly, he read it aloud.
Actions speak louder than words, but only if you hear them.
Reconcile yourself to irreconcilable differences with those
who are no match for you; however, love is closer than you might think.
Another's heart beats for you in secret. Listen carefully.
"Oh, he has a secret admirer!" squealed one of the girls.
"How romantic!" sighed another guest, setting off a clamor of speculation from her neighbors. "Who could it be? Do you have any ideas? It says someone close! Could it be someone here?" Excited giggles made it difficult to hear what anyone was saying.
"I still think it should've said that the way to Haruhi's heart is through her stomach," grumbled Hikaru, earning a poke in the ribs from his brother.
Tamaki stood to his full height, the color rising in his face. "What could this mean? It's so mysterious!"
Haruhi's brows drew together. "It's more straightforward than kittens and gardenias."
"Reconciling the irreconcilable?" ranted the blond as he began to pace.
"He's in denial," Kaoru commented dryly.
"Definitely no match for us," quipped Hikaru.
Wait just a minute… Haruhi straightened, thinking fast. "You know… you spelled 'irreconcilable' wrong, Kaoru," she remarked, tilting her paper for him to see.
"No I didn't!" he protested, snatching the paper and quickly scanning her horoscope for mistakes. He froze guiltily when Hikaru groaned.
"Thought so," Haruhi smiled.
"Indeed," Kyoya agreed, suddenly appearing behind Haruhi's shoulder. "Your horoscope also has a suspiciously 'tailor-made' quality."
"Really?" she replied blankly. "I'd think it could apply to just about anyone."
"Hmm," Kyoya responded. "In any case, I wonder what the 'stars' have predicted for our two Geminis?"
Hikaru shrugged. "It's nothing special…"
"Wait!" Kaoru interrupted. "Look… it's different!"
Two red heads bent together over the newspaper to read.
You're only a step ahead of the ones behind you, so don't waste time
watching your back. Open your eyes to what's right in front of you.
Two heads may be better than one, but two hearts of one mind
can spell disaster. Beware self-fulfilling prophecies.
The twins gaped at Kyoya. "You changed it!" Hikaru accused as Haruhi reclaimed the paper to see what it said.
"How?" Kaoru demanded.
Kyoya shrugged nonchalantly. "Since last spring, Komatsuzawa-kun has permitted me to serve as the newspaper club's unofficial fact-checker… just to ensure the complete veracity of their articles." The Hitachiins exchanged a knowing glance, and Kyoya continued. "It was not difficult to discern the pattern in the new special edition. All of the hosts received customized horoscopes. Determining the source of these predictions took even less time." His coolly superior denouement was interrupted by a soft gasp from Haruhi.
"Does our future shock you?" Hikaru inquired, draping his arm over Haruhi's shoulder as he tried to see what had caught her eye.
Kaoru followed suit on the other side, asking, "Have you unraveled Kyoya's phony prophecy?"
"No… today's horoscope…" she mumbled. "Which one of you…"
Ah, yes," Kyoya drawled. "I've been meaning to ask you two about that…"
Before he could elaborate, a howl of dismay rang out, and Tamaki streaked across the room in a flurry of scattering newspaper. "Beware of kittens!"
Craning her neck, Haruhi looked in the direction from which he'd come. "What's Nekozawa-sempai doing here?"
A couple hours later, the last of the customers excused themselves, and Haruhi—the Host Club's dog—was left to clean up in relative peace. It was taking longer than usual to put the music room back to rights, even though the twins were 'helping'. Kaoru stood in the middle of the room leaning on his broom and pointing out stray bits of newspaper that Haruhi had missed, and Hikaru's main contribution was to mutter, "Beware of kittens," every so often and snicker to himself.
Kyoya lingered as well, tapping away quietly on his laptop. As the dinner hour approached, he raised his voice to ask, "Did you have plans this evening, Haruhi?"
His question startled her from her thoughts. "What?" she responded, pausing in the process of fishing out a crumpled tabloid from under one of the loveseats. When her brain caught up, she replied, "Oh… yes. I'm meeting Dad at the front gate when he gets off work. But, you probably knew that… right, Kyoya-sempai?"
"Hmm. Ranka did mention something to that effect."
Haruhi suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. If he already knows, then why ask?
"What time does Ranka finish up?" Hikaru asked.
"Normally, he works until closing on Fridays, but Dad is off early tonight," Haruhi explained.
"Is today… special?" Kaoru inquired casually.
Haruhi picked up the last of the newspapers and straightened the pile she'd collected. "Yes… but you guys knew that, too… didn't you?"
Just then, there was a sharp rap on the door, and a man opened it and poked his head in. "I've got a delivery of flowers for one Haruhi Fujioka. Is this the right place?"
"Yes," Kyoya smoothly replied, moving to accept an enormous arrangement of gardenias and tipping the courier before sending him on his way.
"Console yourself with gardenias," he recited as he placed the flowers in Haruhi's hands.
"For me? These were Tamaki-sempai's…"
"Oh, I think they were intended for you all along… in a roundabout way."
The young woman closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet scent that was quickly filling the room. "I really can't afford this kind of…"
"Don't worry," Kyoya smoothly interrupted. Nodding towards the twins, he added, "I'm billing those two, since this was their scheme."
The Hitachiins stood shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the room wearing awkward expressions. "I don't know what you're talking about," insisted Kaoru.
"We were just messing with his lordship," Hikaru stubbornly declared.
"Coincidence," Kaoru shrugged.
"Just a crazy fluke," Hikaru agreed.
"You did plan this, but how did you know?" Haruhi asked, surprised that the famously self-centered twins would make such a gesture.
A decorous tap at the door saved the twins from answering, and to everyone's surprise, Haruhi's father swept into the room in a swirl of navy silk. "You're looking quite elegant this evening, Ranka," Kyoya greeted, crossing the room to welcome their guest properly.
The cross-dresser received two thumbs up from the twins as well, and he flashed them a dazzling smile. Then, Ranka's eyes lit on his daughter and the extravagant bouquet in her arms. "Oh, gardenias!" He was at her side in a moment and took a deep breath of their fragrance. With misty eyes and a voice grown husky, he murmured. "How appropriate; these were always Kotoko's favorite! Remember, Haruhi?"
"Yeah," she replied, giving her father a soft smile. "They smell like her."
Turning towards the twins, Ranka explained, "Today is my wife's—Haruhi's mother's—birthday."
"I think they already knew that," Haruhi opined, giving the two redheads a long look. "Did you tell them, Dad?"
Ranka placed a manicured nail against his chin and looked towards the ceiling. "I'm sure I mentioned it to Kyoya-kun, but I rarely speak with Kaoru-kun and Hikaru-kun… which really is a pity. Did you order gardenias for Kotoko, Kyoya-kun?"
"I was aware of the preference, but those two are responsible for turning the club room into a bower," he replied, radiating displeasure.
Ranka hummed thoughtfully and stroked a soft, white flower petal. "Is that so? But how did you boys find out about my wife's love for gardenias?"
"Research," Hikaru grinned. The twins had drifted across the room and were now perched on the table where Kyoya's belongings were spread.
"You really do need to protect your assets more carefully, Kyoya-sempai," taunted Kaoru as he pointed significantly towards the object his brother cheerfully waved.
A highly unamused Kyoya stalked over and whisked his black notebook out of Hikaru's hand. "Indeed."
"Haruhi, tell your poor father what's going on," Ranka sighed, affecting a pout. Haruhi plucked a paper from her collected pile and passed it to him, wordlessly pointing towards the day's horoscope. With a pleased cry, Ranka swooped in on the twins, pulling them into a tight embrace and planting noisy kisses on each of their cheeks. Once he'd thoroughly embarrassed them—and Haruhi—he exclaimed, "You must join us… all of you! We're going to visit Kotoko's grave and then find some dinner."
The twins exchanged a speaking glance but waited for Kyoya to take the lead. "We would be pleased to escort you this evening, Ranka," the black-haired host announced with a glint in his eye. "I'll call Tachibana and have him bring the car around. Kaoru, Hikaru, you round up the others."
"Sure," Kaoru quickly agreed.
"Whatever," Hikaru said, a fraction of a second later.
Haruhi covered a smile when the two exchanged surprised glances. They aren't often out of sync.
Before the Hitachiins could leave, Ranka firmly gripped their shoulders, squeezing with unmistakably masculine strength. Dropping his feminine façade for a moment, he murmured, "Kaoru-kun, Hikaru-kun… I had no idea you cared." With a soft smile, he added a low, "Thanks," before thumping them both on the back and pushing them towards the doors.
Even the commonest of common things becomes rare
when it is precious to someone. Do not underestimate your influence,
for it transcends every obstacle, shaping the future. Rest easy
in the knowledge that those you hold dearest are held dearly.
Expect great things. Accept new things. Smile.
End Note: This oneshot was written for the Live Journal community ouran(underscore)contest and their prompt for Oneshot Challenge #22—Horoscope. In addition, 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy' fulfills part of my claim at the Live Journal community 30(underscore)kisses—Theme #11, Gardenia. Posted on March 29, 2009. 2,376 words.