"It's the time for the holidays! !" proclaimed Tamaki as Haruhi entered Music Room 3. "The time to be the ultimate gentleman has arrived!"
"So...did anyone get any presents?" Haruhi asked. Tamaki stopped short. The entire host club froze. "I'd take that as a no..." Haruhi grimaced. "Ah well...I got stuff for all you guys..." The guys flushed, feeling bad.
"Uwaaah!" cried Hunny, running to Haruhi. He embraced her side. "We didn't get anything for you, though, Haru-chan!"
"Hunny-senpai!" shouted the twins and Tamaki.
"Oh...that's alright." Haruhi picked Hunny up and hugged him. "What's there to get for a commoner like me?"
'What?' the twins and Tamaki screamed in their heads. 'We would've gotten a hug from Haruhi if we had just said it...'
"We're so sorry we didn't pick anything up for you, Haruhi," said Hikaru.
"Extremely sorry," added Kaoru.
"Oh, well like I said...that's al-" Haruhi started.
"How can you ever forgive us?" Tamaki questioned, gripping Haruhi's shoulders.
"If you would let me finish my statement," Haruhi growled, whacking Tamaki squarely on the head. "That's alright! I don't need you spending your money on me!"
"But you got us stuff!" exclaimed Hunny, tugging on Haruhi's shirt. "And we'll probably be showered with gifts from our customers..."
"Oh, right," said Haruhi. "I forgot. So, you guys don't need these things anyway, so I'll just return them-"
"No!" interjected the host club.
Haruhi smiled. "Then shut up and accept them. I left them just down the hall a bit...so, well, I'll be right back."
"Alright, men! Huddle up!" Tamaki called. "What do we have to get for Haruhi?"
"Kisses!" suggested the twins, clasping hands and raising them. "Courtesy of the Hitachiin brothers!"
"No." Kyoya turned them down without hesitation. "What's something she wants or could use?"
"A pen," suggested Tamaki.
"More money," added Hikaru.
"A cute stuffed animal!" exclaimed Hunny.
"Now we're getting somewhere," Kyoya remarked. "She could use more pens and pencils, everyone loves gift cards, and a stuffed animal could be a nice companion."
"For when she hears thunder," Tamaki muttered, under his breath and to himself. "I'll get the stuffed animal!" he offered, louder.
"Awww..." Hunny pouted.
"Hey...I'm back!" Haruhi called. They all turned.
"Remember, size equals huggable and not too flamboyant. Haruhi wouldn't be happy if you spent lots of money on her," Kyoya told Tamaki quietly.
"Right," Tamaki whispered. "Er, Haruhi...how about opening presents later...so you can open ours at the same time?"
"Oh, you're getting something for me?" Haruhi's face lit up.
Blushing, trying to keep a straight face, and desperately trying to not run and embrace and/or kiss Haruhi, Tamaki managed a strangled and shaky, "Yerp."
Haruhi grinned widely. "Thanks, guys! You didn't have to!"
"Of course we did," Kyoya replied suavely. "You're one of us, and we get presents for each other."
"Really?" Haruhi asked incredulously.
"Well…not really…" said Tamaki. "Alright! No. But I think everyone will agree in saying that now we have someone to give a present to, and it's all very exciting."
"Yeah! We don't really give many presents at all!" exclaimed Hunny.
"Oh…well, thanks guys," Haruhi said, flustered.
After their grand party, the host club settled down to open gifts quietly. Hunny, Mori, and Haruhi started, all opening each other's gifts.
"Oh, haha!" Haruhi laughed when she opened her gift, a packet of pens and pencils. "Thank you so much, you two!" She rose to go hug them.
"You're welcome, Haru-chan!" Hunny was practically bouncing off the walls from excitement. He quickly sat down and tore at his present, shredding the wrapping paper. "Whee!" He stuck his new bunny plushie on his head and twirled around. "Thankies, Haru-chan!"
Mori opened his present, holding up a Santa hat with an unreadable expression.
"Well, I didn't know what to get," Haruhi explained. "I have the receipt so you can return it to get something you actually want."
Mori uttered a single word – "Thanks." – and placed the hat on his head. Haruhi beamed.
"Ours next!" sang Kaoru and Hikaru as they ran over to present their gift.
"Okay!" Haruhi laughed. She pulled at the tissue paper within the bag, withdrawing the present. She looked at it, blinked, and then laughed. "Kaoru, Hikaru, thank you!" They had given her a gift certificate to the nicest, fanciest restaurant in the area. "You guys are getting to know me really well! Although completely unsolicited and inappropriate, I will only accept it because I love food."
"Oh, don't say that," pouted Kaoru, placing a finger lightly under her chin. He breathed, "Take me with you," into her ear. She rolled her eyes.
"It could just be you and us," Hikaru added quietly in her other ear.
"Nice try, guys," Haruhi remarked. She pushed their faces away. "You still have to open my gift to you."
"True," agreed Hikaru, and they both leapt back to seat themselves and tear away the wrapping paper covering their boxes. They wordlessly pulled out a vest for Kaoru and a short-sleeved sweatshirt for Hikaru. Elegantly embroidered on the vest and sweatshirt's left lapels were the initials of both twins; a K on the vest and an H on the sweatshirt.
"Do you guys like them?" Haruhi asked tentatively. The twins looked at their gifts, at each other, and then at Haruhi. "I-I mean I can take it back if you don't like them," Haruhi stammered.
"Did you…make these?" croaked Kaoru.
"Yes…are they alright?"
The Hitachiin brothers descended upon Haruhi, hugging her.
"They are amazing!" whispered Kaoru, kissing Haruhi's cheek.
"We'll wear them whenever it is possible!" murmured Hikaru, kissing Haruhi's other cheek.
"Aww…thanks guys!" sighed Haruhi, beaming. She gave them both pecks on the cheek. Tamaki flushed where he stood. Those little traitors! Getting a kiss from his Haruhi before him…
"I'll go next, if you don't mind," said Kyoya. Tamaki looked up.
"Sure, go ahead," he groaned. Kyoya knew how big Tamaki's gift was, and realized it was better saved for last. Kyoya walked to Haruhi as the twins tripped happily back to Tamaki.
"I love these!" exclaimed Kaoru, whisking off his uniform's jacket and throwing on his new vest.
"Seriously, they're awesome!" Hikaru also threw his sweatshirt on.
Kyoya presented his gift to Haruhi, saying, "Merry Christmas."
"And to you, Kyoya-senpai," Haruhi replied. She opened the card that Kyoya had handed her. "Kyoya-senpai…I can't take this." Her face fell as she held up five gift certificates to be used anywhere for ten thousand yen.
"I'm not taking it back," Kyoya retorted stubbornly.
"But -" interjected Haruhi.
"Just keep it," Kyoya told her, laying a hand on hers and the gift certificates. Haruhi's eyes filled as she looked up at him. She leapt up to hug him.
"Thank you," she cried into his shirt. "Kyoya-senpai…thank you!"
"You're welcome," Kyoya said, putting his arms back around her, slightly awkwardly. Wiping her eyes, Haruhi eventually seated herself again.
"Now you have to open your gift," she remarked, voice shaking slightly from her tears. Kyoya smiled kindly, tearing open his present. He chuckled slightly as he held up a calculator watch and a small pad of paper with its own pen. "Now, I know you have a cell phone, but the watch will be easier to access," Haruhi explained. "With the pad, you can keep track of any computations you make that are important."
"No need for the explanation," Kyoya laughed. "It's great! Thank you, Haruhi." He rose and kissed her on the cheek. As he walked by Tamaki, he gave him a high five. "Good luck," he muttered.
Haruhi looked down at the gift certificates, several more fat tears rolling down her cheeks. Tamaki lifted a finger to wipe the tears away. Haruhi blushed as she looked into his suddenly close blue eyes.
"Let's open ours at the same time," Tamaki suggested.
"Sure!" exclaimed Haruhi. She ripped open the card and read:
Merry Christmas, Haruhi! I figured that whenever you heard thunder, you could just hold this little guy tight and think of all us at the host club who will always be there for you!
By the way, since it's Christmas time and all, I love you. I've loved you almost since I first saw you. I just always want to stay by your side.
…And I just thought that you should know that!
Haruhi finished reading the card and her eyes welled up with more tears. She pulled out Tamaki's actual gift and immediately began sobbing. She embraced the panda teddy with all the signatures of the host club members on it.
Hunny stopped running around. "Haru-chan?" Haruhi cried and cried, the generosity of the host club running through her mind. Tamaki barely touched her arm, and she fell off her chair and into his lap. He placed his arms around her gently.
"Tamaki-senpai!" she wailed, bawling into his chest.
"Shh," he crooned. "Shh, it's okay, and you know it."
"No," she sobbed. "My present's crap! Total crap!"
"Of course not!" Tamaki murmured. "I love instant coffee."
"What did you do?" Hikaru whispered into Tamaki's ear.
"Shut up!" Tamaki hissed.
"Huh?" hiccupped Haruhi, looking up, tears still streaming down her cheeks.
"Just Hikaru," Tamaki replied. Haruhi's tears had slowed, but she still gave gut-wrenching sobs every so often, each one nearly breaking Tamaki's heart. He laid his forehead on her upturned one.
"Wow," stated Kaoru, looking at Tamaki's card to Haruhi. Hikaru came over to look, and he let out a low whistle.
"G-Get away f-from there," stammered Haruhi through her tears. Kaoru immediately dropped the card. Hunny came over to stand next to Haruhi and Tamaki.
"What's wrong, Haru-chan?" he asked. She reached out to hold his hand. He smiled and fell to his knees, holding her hand with both of his. Kaoru also knelt next to Haruhi and placed his arms around her.
"It's alright, Haruhi…we're all here," he whispered. Hikaru sat in front of Tamaki and hugged Haruhi as well. Kyoya and Mori came to sit nearby the rest of the group. Haruhi's tears slowed again, and she closed her eyes, wiping her face with her free hand. She buried her face in Tamaki's chest, snuggling in close. She wished this moment could last forever.
Eventually, Tamaki's legs got numb with her on them and he stood up, still holding her as she had been seated in his lap. She put her arms around his neck as he carried her towards the doorway.
"Haruhi…" he breathed. "Look out the window. It's snowing!" He placed her on the ground and she ran out the door to the hallway excitedly. Tamaki looked fondly after her, smiling.
"Senpai!" she cried, turning with the most excited face he'd ever seen her wear. "It's beautiful!" She ran back and smashed into him with another hug. He lifted her up and spun her around.
As soon as he had placed her on the ground, she put her hands on his cheek and pulled her in for a kiss. His face grew slowly more and more red, but he kissed her back, enjoying the moment. She eventually came away to leap up and throw her arms around his neck, and her legs around his waist. She placed her forehead on his.
"I love you too, Senpai," she murmured. She fell back down. He placed a finger under her chin to lift it, and stooped down to kiss her again.