Author Notes: I don't really see how this fits with the theme this week over at LJ's ouran_contest, but I needed to write some MoriHaru or I was going to explode, so this is what happened. XD

Pairings or Characters: Mori/Haruhi
Warnings:
none
Word Count:
831
Summary:
It's about time Haruhi outgrew her phobia. This is the last storm she'll fear.


Downpour

At twenty-one, Haruhi is still afraid of thunder. The fear is no longer crippling, and she can continue to function to a certain degree when she hears the tremendous roars of the heavens. But she feels unsafe, uncomfortable and loses her ability to focus until some time after the rumbling subsides. Now that she is a senior in college, and preparing for law school, she feels that having this fear is silly.

Something must be done, she decides, and dials a number she hasn't in quite a while.

"Mori-sempai!" she greets, days later, as the tall twenty-something saunters up to her from out of the station. He grunts in reply, but the usually inexpressive line of his mouth is pulling up into a smile as she looks shyly up at him. "I hadn't expected you," she tells him honestly.

"I was free," he says simply, as if his family's billion-dollar company isn't waiting for him to return to the reins at that very moment like she knows it is. That the rest of the old club members couldn't spare the time to come as well goes unsaid, but his body language and his silence admit what neither will acknowledge. But she had called for a host, and is pleasantly surprised that it is one of the far less obnoxious of her old friends that has arrived in response, so she sees fit to invite him to her home without delay.

In her tiny apartment she can barely afford, she pours him tea and tries to start a conversation, but he's still just as quiet as he was back in high school. She doesn't mind the silence, though. It's comfortable, familiar and allows her to drift into thought. She thinks of a day at the pool, a pair of strong arms, and slices of strawberry cake, which she hasn't thought of in quite some time, as she listens absently to the sound of rain coming down on her windows.

"Haruhi," calls his deep, soothing voice, stirring her from her daydreams, and it is in that moment that she realizes he hadn't once called her by name since arriving until right then. It is also in that moment that she realizes how much she missed the sound of her name rolling off his tongue.

"Y-Yes, Mori-sempai?"

"The weather report says there's a storm tonight."

"Ah, yes... So, did you have something in mind?" she asks hopefully. She tries to ignore the feeling that her cheeks are much warmer than usual as she stares absently into her tea cup.

"Nn," he affirms, but doesn't see fit to explain any further.

She dares to steal a glimpse of him, but the moment her eyes look up from her cooling tea, they meet with his and she feels like she's frozen. His dark pupils are locked on her so intensely that it's getting hard to breathe, but he looks away after another moment -- though it feels like so much longer -- and she wonders how much blood has pooled in her face as her own eyes return to the cold drink in her hands.

---

Like the weather report predicted, by evening the downpour has started and the rumblings of thunder can be heard. Haruhi continues to wash the dishes she used to serve dinner -- her finest, though compared to what her guest is used to, quite ordinary -- but cannot prevent the small yelp that slips out as she drops a plate when she feels a hand on her arm. There is no crash, and she slowly opens her eyes to see he's caught it and has placed it on the counter to dry.

"M-Mori-sempai," she sighs, placing a soapy hand over her pounding heart, "Y-You startled me."

"I'm not your sempai anymore," he points out quietly, his hand slipping from her arm to her wrist. Her eyes are glued on the large, tanned hand until her wet, soapy fingers are entwined with his. "Relax," he whispers in her ear, but she's not sure she can.

The storm gets worse over the next hour, and he sits with her in the middle of her tiny bedroom floor. She shivers and shakes worse than she has in years, keeping her eyes closed tight, and wonders if this was a bad idea. The large hand holding hers squeezes suddenly, and she hears his soothing voice in her ear over a clap of thunder, saying her name and assuring her she's not alone. And then he's kissing her, and any thought that she's shaking from fear of the thunder and not the nerves she forgot she always had around the wild type host, goes right out the window.

Those strong arms she had daydreamed about earlier that day are now around her, and she knows that this is the last storm she'll fear. From now on, she'll associate thunder with that pair of strong arms and his kisses with lightning, and there's nothing to fear about that.