Learn to Fly
Summery: Continues after the events of the Ouran Fair, Haruhi and the gang know that the peaceful days of the host club are limited and are set to enjoy what time they have left while they discover their feelings and love along the way.
Author's Note: I've been writing this for fun. So I'm not interested in looking for a beta reader and I do my best to read over these chapters before I post them. I'm writing them during my free time between work and sleep, so I'll do my best to post often and I'll keep these chapters around 5k or more. I love reviews. They make me happy and make me want to write more. So please review!
Well, here's the first chapter. Please enjoy!
Since the incident with Éclair and the Ouran fair, things for the Host Club had returned back to normal. Well, as normal as they could get when it came to the Host Club. Tamaki was happily back with his Host Club family, animatedly plotting what the next club theme was going to be. Kyouya was carefully making sure that daddy-dear didn't blow the whole of their budget flying in real African elephants from Africa while the twins made bad jokes about how their king was related to an elephant in one form or another. Mori and Hunny, the senior most members of the group, sat off to the side; Hunny snacking on various cakes while Mori watched everything with a careful eye.
Haruhi was slowly cleaned up the remaining cups sitting around the many tables of the 3rd music room. The club had just ended for the day, all the girls gone home and the club members were cheerfully enjoying each other's company. It felt like everything was back to normal.
Haruhi carefully stacked the empty cups onto the tray she was carrying. Considering that as of just a few weeks ago, the club had been on the brink of being disbanded, it was almost strange how quickly everyone fell back into their normal routines. Mind you, everyone seems to be avoiding discussing what the future of the Host Club was going to be. Now in her second year of Ouran High, Haruhi knew that their host family was not going to be forever. There was the real issue of two of their most senior members impending graduation. Mori and Hunny were now in their final year of Ouran High. What was going to happen then?
Though none of them spoke of it out loud, the events that had passed brought to light the importance of the Host Club to each of its members. Tamaki was right in a silly way, they were a family. They were all friends too, which meant that replacing lost members for the sake of continuing the club was almost out of the question. Almost, because Kyouya could be very persuasive when he wanted to, and the club was making him a good deal of money. So much so, he had considered ways of introducing the host club to the general public. But even so, there was the possibility that this would be the last official year for the host club, but that didn't mean their little family had to end just yet.
The winds were changing however, and it made Haruhi worry. She worried if she would be able to keep up with her well-to-do friends after they had all left Ouran. She worried that they would all drift away. Ouran was the bridge between worlds for Haruhi and the guys. Her being the commoner meant that she didn't have access to their high-class world, even if they could and did invade hers often, she would never be welcome in their inner circles. She picked up s small porcelain teapot from the table, and carefully added it to the tray.
Tamaki glided up next to Haruhi, scarring her and almost causing her to drop the entire tea set. "Haruhi! Why are you still wearing that boy's uniform? You would look so much cuter in the girls one." He held up the desired yellow uniform.
She made sure she had a firm grip on the tray and worked on slowing her racing heart. That had been a close one. If they had dropped, she would have suddenly found herself at the mercy of Kyouya again and under a pile of new debt. She shot Tamaki a quick glare before letting out a small sigh and continuing with her clean-up of the music room. Tamaki seemed to ask this everyday now, and her answer never changed. Even if everyone now knew she was a girl, she didn't want to dress like one. "I told you, sempai, I'm just not comfortable in the girl's uniform and I don't really care what I look like or what others think." She slowly carried the cups into the back room. Better to get them put away before something did cause her to drop them.
Most of the club had been dreading the moment when here secret would get out. Sighting that it would mark the end of her time with the host club. However that did not seem to be the case. It had happened, so innocently and out of the blue that Haruhi hadn't even given it any thought when a fellow classmate walked up to her at the fair and asked her simply if she was really a girl. Haruhi had just looked at her blankly and nodded, much to the dismay of the rest of the host club.
"Tamaki, just because everyone knows that she is a girl now, doesn't mean you can force her to wear the other uniform. And besides," He pushed his glasses back up. "you should know by now that you can't make her do anything she doesn't like."
Tamaki turned from waiting by the back room door for signs of his 'daughters' return. "By Mommy dear! Haruhi would look so much cutter in the other outfit." He begged again.
"Come on boss, give it a rest already." The Hitachiin twins frowned. Kaoru shook his head slightly, crossing his arms. "After all, you should be nicer to Haruhi now."
Hikaru nodded. "Yeah, since she's paid off her debt, she can leave whenever she wants, you know."
Haruhi took this time to enter back into the main music room and was about to wipe down the tables when the prince's out burst made her stop.
"What?!" Tamaki spun on Haruhi, rushing over to take her by the shoulders. "Haruhi! You can't be thinking of leaving? I've been nice! Haven't I? I have right? If you're leaving because of me, I'm sorry! Please don't go!" He was almost in tears.
"Tamaki! Hey! Tamaki-senpai, will you stop!" Haruhi tired to pull out of the prince's grasp with little luck. His hands on her shoulders were starting to hurt. "Tamaki, you're hurting me."
He still wasn't listening however. "I promise Haruhi, I can change! Give me a chance! You don't need to leave, I'm sure we can come to an understanding!"
Kyouya rubbed his temples. He was starting to get a headache. "Tamaki." The one word was enough. The low, firm command was all that was needed to get the way-were prince to stop. He let go of Haruhi and turned to the Shadow King, his mouth open to speak.
Haruhi rubbed her shoulders, sure there would be a bruise there in the morning.
"Haruhi." Mori's deep voice caused her to look up. She hadn't noticed the two seniors move across the room to her. "You alright?" Mori put his large hand, affectionately on the top of her head. She couldn't help but smile a little at the larger man's attempt to comfort her. She would be really sad to see them go.
She nodded. "Yeah, I'll be alright. Thanks Mori-senpai."
"Haru-chan, if you're done cleaning. You are welcome to come sit with us and have some cake." Hunny smiled brightly.
Kyouya walked up to the little group. "That will have to wait, there is some important club business I would like to discuss first." They turned to the clubs Vice-President with questioning eyes. Tamaki and the twins moved closer. Kyouya nodded, seeing all the members were now paying attention. "Good, now this concerns you, Haruhi."
"Me?" The only girl in the group pointed to herself. She wasn't sure if she should be worried or not. She was slightly confused.
Apparently, the other were just as uncertain. "What is it? Haruhi hasn't done anything wrong has she?" Hikaru looked ready to jump to her defense. His brother put a warning hand on his shoulder, an unspoken warning to calm down.
Kyouya just held up his hand. "It's not something she has done wrong… yet, but it's something I would like to bring to light." They reminded silent and waited for him to continue. "Since it is no longer a secret that Haruhi is a girl, and seeing as how the population of Ouran did not seem to have felt betrayed or hurt by this fact, as the first hostess of the host club, I believe it is time to bring in some firm rules."
Haruhi frowned. "Rules? But things are going fine."
Tamaki eyes suddenly lit up. "I want to make a rule! Haruhi must at all times, dress like a girl!"
The twins smirked. "Not going to happen."
He turned to the to doppelgangers. "But why not!"
"Tamaki, that is not the issue here." Kyouya gave him a dark look. Tamaki's shoulders slumped in defeat; he would never get to see his little Haruhi all dressed up. Kyouya cleared his throat. "As I was saying. Now that Haruhi is hosting as a girl, she is not only hosting females clients, but several male students have also expressed their interest in the host club." Tamaki suddenly jumped up to protest, but the Shadow King shot him back with another glare. "Kasanoda himself, has requested you three times next week, Haruhi."
"Really?" She smiled. "I haven't seen him in a while, it will be nice to catch up." The twins sighed. She may not have noticed, but they knew that the young powerful gang leader had a crush on the female host.
"That being said. It has come to my attention that over the last several weeks, Haruhi has been requested by all of our fan club leaders." This statement meant nothing to Haruhi, who was obviously unaware that they even had fan clubs, but the guys exchanged a worried look. Kyouya continued. "The Host Club has survived this long and worked all this time because it is our job to give these ladies a piece of something they can never have but for even one moment make them believe is theirs. However, if they feel that this item already belongs to someone else, then the magic is broken and we are out of a job." He looked at Haruhi to make sure she was following and he judged by her confused expression that she was listening, but did not understand where he was taking this. He snapped his notebook closed. "We can't afford to let the girls get jealous of Haruhi. Before they felt that any attention the other hosts gave to her was nothing more then strong friendship or…" He sighed. "male love, for each other."
Tamaki frowned. "So you believe the girls are starting to get jealous of Haruhi and have been sizing her up?"
Kyouya blinked, surprised at his normally dense friend's sudden insight into the situation. "Yes, that is what is starting to happen."
Haruhi tilted her head as she processed this news. "Well… that's not going to work." She frowned. If the girls become angry with her, it would mean she would have less clients and might even cause her problems outside of the host club too.
"So, what should we do, Kyouya-sempai?" Kaoru asked.
He pushed his glasses back up. "The solution to quite simple really. Either she must appear to be in love with all of us, or none of us."
"What?!" Hikaru and Tamaki jumped. "What do you mean she has be to in love with us?"
Haruhi turned confused brown eyes on the two. Suddenly she got it. "Ohhh! I see." The men turned to her, surprised. "If the girls think that I have strong feelings for one of you, then they will be jealous and angry. However if they think I love you all equally, they will be more interested in deciding who I love more, rather then the fact that I love you at all."
"Precisely." Kyouya smiled proudly. Though the girl was notoriously dense when it came to feelings of love and affection, she was always quick to grasp the situation.
"But-but-but-" Tamaki's face was flushed, this head swarming with a confusion of thoughts. Haruhi would need to love them all? Or make it seem so? But he didn't like the idea of her having to pretend to love and more so, he didn't like that she would also have to show such love to the other members of the club.
"Of course, we can always do the exact opposite."
"Have Haruhi hate us!" Tamaki whaled, chest fallen.
Kyouya shot him another glare, wishing his friend would calm down. "We can continue to insist that we are no more then friends, however this will be harder then making the girls believe then if we are all in love."
The twins were whispering to themselves, while Tamaki sat a little always from the group, trying to work out the situation for himself. Hunny who had been quite throughout the meeting, decided to speak up. "Kyouya has a point." They looked at the small senior. "It would be easier to make the girls believe we are all in love, then if we were only just friends. Though I think for this to work, it's only Haruhi who can act like she is in love." Mori nodded in agreement.
She met Hunny's brown eyes for a moment, then frowned. "Yeah, your right. If you guys show any signs of affection towards me, then that breaks the hosting spell, that correct Kyouya?" She turned to see the Shadow King nod.
"Also, however much our king would wish Haruhi to be his queen for each of the events that the club does, in order to keep the girls in line, he will need to make sure that Haruhi is either paired with one of us as a time or none. Making sure that no pair is repeated till there are no other matches."
"That's not fair!" Tamaki came out of his thoughts. "I wanted Haruhi to be the Jane to my Tarzan!"
The twins glared at their king. "What were we going to be? A bunch of monkey?!"
The other members pretended not to hear. Haruhi was nodding. "No, that makes since." Again she frowned. "This isn't going to be easy… I'm not sure what I should do to make the girls think I am in love with all of you."
Kyouya smiled to himself. Only Haruhi could think and rationalize something like this so easily. He cast a look over the other members of the club. He knew what was in the hearts of some of these other men, he knew what he was asking of Haruhi was not going to be nearly has hard on her as it was going to be on them. After all, how do you brush off a girl's attentions when you have been trying everything to just to gain them? He returned his eyes back to see Haruhi's brown ones looking to him for an answer. "I'm not sure myself, but do whatever you are comfortable with first and do it slow. It's going to be rough in the beginning until the girls understand what is going on. Even dropping hints with your clients will help speed along the process."
Haruhi smiled. "Alright, I'll do my best. If that's everything though, I'd like to be heading home." Kyouya nodded. She said her goodbyes to the other club members and gathering her things, left the music room.
"Hey Haruhi! Wait for us!" Hikaru and Kaoru ran after her down the hall. Smiling when they finally caught up. Kaoru looped his arm about her waist and Hikaru frowned, wishing to do the same. He glanced down at his right arm, still in a cast from when he broke it during the carriage incident during the Ouran fair.
Noticing his silence, Haruhi looked over. "Hikaru, how much longer will your arm be in a cast for anyways?" She asked.
He moved the cast arm a little. "I'm not sure, I have an appointment with the doctors to find out later this week."
His twin brother nodded. "With any luck, they might even take it off then."
"Oh," She looked between to two with a smile. "That's good then. After all, I bet it hasn't been very fun having all your clients know which one is which, huh?"
The twins paused on that. "I don't think it's been that really." Kaoru started.
"But it's more that we can only do so many brotherly-love comments about it." Hikaru finished.
They looked at each other and smiled. "It gets in the way of our acts."
"Figures." Haruhi sweat-dropped and let out a sigh. "Oh well, I hope you get the cast off soon, either way, Hikaru."
"Haruhi." She looked over at the softer spoken of the twins. "Are you alright with this?" He asked, the jokes gone from his voice.
"What do you mean?"
"I'm talking about what Kyouya said in there. I know he's right and that we need to do something to keep you in the host club but I was wondering… If you are alright pretending to be in love with all of us?" Kaoru spared a glance at his twin, seeing that his brother had taken a sudden interest in the far wall. Though Hikaru hadn't said much about this plan, his brother knew that he was confused. Hikaru knew he was in love with Haruhi, had for some time now and he was sure this plan of theirs was going to cause problems. He hoped that his brother would be strong and see that it was only an act that they would all need to put on, but… even Kaoru was worried. What happened if this plan lead to, bigger things…
Haruhi was in thought. "No, I'm not bothered with it. It makes sense. I just don't know how I'm suppose to act."
The twins turned to each other and smiled, setting their thoughts aside for the promise of fun. She didn't know how to act, but- "We can help you there."
The remaining members of the host club watched the three of them leaving the school grounds from the window of their clubroom.
"Kyouya," Tamaki addressed his dark friend. "Are you sure this is necessary?"
He nodded. "I would not have suggested it if it wasn't."
Hunny frowned. "This might cause more problems though, for us." Mori was already moving towards the door, waiting for his shorter cousin to catch up.
Kyouya couldn't deny that. There was the possibility that someone might truly act of his feelings for Haruhi. They had been lucky to escape one year with so few problems. He hoped that their friendships would be strong enough to outweigh the feelings of their jealousy and love, but not everything can last forever.
Hunny soon joined with his cousin and left. Leaving the two best friends alone.
"I know Tamaki, but this was the only plan I could come up with. Just remember, no matter what she does in the club, you can't act on it, because it's only an act and you will only get yourself hurt."
He blond haired prince sighed. "You're not making this easy on me."
Kyouya smiled at his friend. "Where would the fun be in that?"
The following day after classes, Haruhi was strangely nervous about the clubs activities for the day. She was going to have to start pretending to have feelings for the other hosts and would have to make sure it was obvious enough for their clients to take notice but not so much what it looked like she was throwing herself at the men or being forceful in her attentions towards them. This was going to be harder then she first thought.
First thing first, she should work on flirting with one or two of the hosts each day. If she flirted with them all it would make her look like a whore and they didn't want that either. So she had to pick new ones each day, all the while dropping hints to her clients that she wasn't sure who she liked and always asking their opinions on the other hosts, in hopes of trying to understand her own feelings. That was the plan anyways.
It was up to the other hosts to act as natural as possible.
Kyouya announced the arrival of their guests. It was now or never, Haruhi picked her target and waited for her clients to come. Kanna and May were two quite first year students. They were both new to the host club but at taken a liking to Haruhi, as they were still too shy to request any of the male hosts.
"Oh Haruhi," Kanna played with the folds of her skirt. "How are you feeling today?"
Haruhi smiled brightly at the girls, carefully pouring rose tea into their cups. "I am quite good," She paused, she might as well get this over with. "..however." She frowned a little, dropping her eyes away from her clients.
It had the desired affect. The girls both moved closer to the edges of their seats, lowing their voices so that the other around wouldn't be able to hear. "Haruhi, what is it? What's wrong?"
She wasn't very good at this kind of thing.. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks, embarrassed that she was even going to pretend to say this next part. "… how do you know… if your in love?"
The girls, taking into account the blush on her cheeks and the unusually shyness, happy smiled at the hostess. "Oh Haruhi!" May happy clapped her hands together. "You should just know."
They were falling for it. Just as the twins had told her. The brother's rude comments about how easy the girls were to manipulate came to mind and it was time to continue on with this plot of theirs. She wasn't allowed to say who she was in love with, just hint. While her two clients talked about love, she cast her eyes over the other hosts before settling on Mori sitting with Hunny and their clients. Mori nodded, seeing her eyes on him.
The girls, noticing Haruhi's far off stare turned to see who she was looking at. Was it the person she was in love with? Was is one of the other hosts? Haruhi turned her eyes back to the girls before they had a chance to figure it out, asking if they wouldn't say anything about any of this and changed the topic.
The girls left some time after that, wishing her luck is discovering her feelings and making her promise to tell them who she liked when she figured it out herself. Once the girls had left, she let out a sigh.
"Not bad, it's a start." Kyouya seemed to have come out of no where.
Haruhi glanced up at him from her seat on the couch. "You were watching the whole time, weren't you?"
He just smirked. "Maybe, but the blush was a nice touch. I didn't know you had it in you."
She glared at him for a moment, but heard her next client coming in. "Drop your pencil."
Kyouya blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Walk by and drop your pencil, pretend you don't notice." Haruhi turned her back on him and greeted her next client. A third year student named Sarah with nice long black hair and a simple pretty face. She had been one of Haruhi's clients last year and had happily decided to continue to request her even when it got out that she was really a girl.
Haruhi smiled at the girl as she sat down. She quickly poured her a cup of tea and left it to Sarah to fill in the conversation while Haruhi tried hard not to watch Kyouya move about to room. Wondering if he was going to help her out or not.
She was about to fill Sarah's cup when she felt something tap against her foot. She looked down to find Kyouya's pencil. He was still slowly making his way over to check on the twins. Taking her queue, Haruhi excused herself and moved to catch up with him.
The twins have given her a basic rule to follow, Touch.
She reached out, lightly grabbing Kyouya's arm to gain his attention. Her movement from her designated couch had already caught a few eyes but to touch the Shadow King, it almost felt like everyone had stop speaking.
Kyouya looked down at the hand on his arm, but turned slowly to the hostess. "Haruhi?"
She let go of his arm and smiled. "You dropped your pencil." She quickly held up the small item.
Kyouya made a show of checking his pocket for the pencil before lightly taking it from her hands. "Thank you, Haruhi."
She turned to head back to her chair, trying not to listen to the murmurs about the room. Even the other hosts had watched the exchange with interest. Now she needed to use one of the other rules the twins had given her. Always look back. Quickly she cast a look back over her shoulder to see Kyouya had continued his walk towards the others, his pencil now back in its rightful place. She returned back to her client, hoping that the stunt had worked.
Tamaki had watched the exchange with interest. He was curious to see how Haruhi was going to handle this new task. The whole pencil trick had seemed harmless at first, but when walking back to her chair, she had cast a look over her shoulder, with such a small sweet smile that it had caused him to clench his fist. Nothing she does is real. Nothing she does means anything. It's an act. It's an act.
He snapped back from his thoughts and cast a bright smile on the girl next to him. "Yes, my princess?"
She frowned slightly. "I asked if it was true that Haruhi-chan is in love with Kyouya-sempai?"
The prince shook his head. They had been warned to expect such questions. "No my dear, I do not believe it is. Though she has been a little strange of late…" He pretended to think about it, before smiling and changing the topic.
Haruhi was glad when the last of their clients for the day was shown to the door and the club closed for the evening. She sighed and let her head fall back against the back of the couch. She felt two people sit down next to her and didn't need to look to know it was the brothers.
"You did a good job, Haruhi." She could hear the smile in Kaoru voice.
"Yeah, just keep that up and you'll have the girls convinced in no time."
She looked over at Hikaru. "You think?" He nodded and she let out another sigh. "It's not as easy as I thought it would be… its weird to be…" She was looking for the right way to phase it. "to be so fake."
The twins laughed at that. Hikaru turning to look over at Kyouya who was busy typing on his laptop. "Hey Kyouya! Nice job with the pencil act."
The Shadow King hide behind his glasses, not even looking up at the twin's remark. "I have no idea what you are talking about."
Kaoru waved his hand. "Yeah, yeah."
Hunny came bouncing up and stopped in front of Haruhi. "You did a good job, Haruhi. They now think you are in love with Kyouya. Now we need to make them think you like someone else too." He smiled so brightly, holding his bunny Usa-chan. "Since there is no club tomorrow, I think you should come down to the kendo hall, Haru-chan."
"The... kendo hall?" Now that she thought of it, she had never been to that part of the school. Though she had a vague idea where it was. Before she could ask the next question that came to mind, someone else asked it for her.
"Why should she go there?" Hikaru cast a suspicious eye on the small senior.
The small blond teen just hugged his bunny. "Cause, it's not something she would normally do and it will catch people off guard." They all agreed with the small senior there. Haruhi never went down to the kendo hall so it was bound of gain some attention from the other students. Hunny smiled. "Oh, and Haru-chan, you should bring something as a snack, cause we are always hungry after practice. Right, Takashi?"
"Ah." The much larger senior nodded with a small smile.
"Oh, alright." Haruhi agreed reluctantly. It would gain the attention of some of the students and they wanted to make them talk as much as possible. So she figured it wouldn't hurt to go along with it. Besides, she was interested to see the kendo hall and wondered if she would get to see Mori or Hunny training.
The twins shrugged and started to help Haruhi with the cleanup. It was then that Kaoru noticed that someone from their group was missing. "Hey, where is Tamaki?" The others looked around at this, not knowing where their blond leader had gone to.
It was Mori who was able to answer that. "Down there." He pointed out the window that viewed down into the small courtyard below. They all moved over to the window to see Tamaki standing down by the edge of the water fountain talking with a girl with long brown hair.
Kyouya pushed his glasses up. "Hmm… another confession."
The twins nodded. "How many is he up to now?" They turned to the dark haired vice-president.
He opened up his notebook and flipped through a few pages. "This one would be the eight this year."
Haruhi looked over in surprise. "Eight confessions this year? Really?" She looked back down to see the girl in obvious tears. Even from here she could see the girl's shoulders shaking. Tamaki knelt down before her, holding up a rose. The girl after a moments paused, took the offered flower wiping the tears from her eyes.
Hikaru threw his good arm over Haruhi's shoulders. "They cry, he give them a flower and they walk off smiling. Every time."
Haruhi saw the girl start to leave, before turning back to wave at the prince, smiling. She turned to Hikaru. "Do you guys get confessions too then?"
Hikaru blushed and turned away. His brother smiled, putting an arm around her waist. "All the time. Though never as many as Tamaki."
"Oh." She didn't know what to say. She didn't know they got confessions so often. She knew that they were well liked and admired in the school but love letters and confessions just never occurred to her. After all, in all her time in the host club, she had never received any. Even when they did think she was a boy.
They all went back to their after club duties. Soon Tamaki reentered the clubroom and dropped down into one of the oversized high-backed chairs, letting out a large sigh. "They never get easier."
Kyouya used to the routine, closed what he was doing and walked over to his friend. "An after club meeting this time, huh? Don't you normally handle these things in the mornings?"
The blond prince nodded. "Yes, but this one was so insistent that I meet her at that time. There was little I could do and besides, how I hate having to hurt all these beautiful princesses!" He clutched his heart before leaning back over the armrest of the chair, letting his arms hang over his head. He watched the others clean up the room from this new upside down vantage point while he let his thoughts wonder.
Kyouya just shook his head and walked back over to the other. Haruhi caught his attention then, her arms laden with tableware. "Kyouya-sempai, I forgot to ask, why is the host club going to be closed tomorrow?"
He looked up from his planned. "Oh, I have several appointments to keep and Hikaru has a visit with the doctors. So with I figured it would be best to close the club for the day."
"Oh, I see." She smiled because she didn't have anything else to say and finished with her choirs. She wondered what kind of snack she should bring for Hunny-sempai and Mori-sempai tomorrow and if she needed to go out to the store to get anything.
Once classes were done for the day, she said goodbye to the twins as they headed off to the doctors to see about Hikaru's arm. She wished him the best and headed off towards the keno hall. She had been unsure what to make for the two seniors as a snack. So she settled with making two small bentos. For Hunny's, she made sure to include lots of sweet things like fruits, a little bit of cake and some commoner's candy. But she had been at a loss as to what she should put in Mori's. He very rarely ate any sweets during club hours and she wasn't sure what he would like to eat in general. So she had made up some rice balls, added a few cut veggies and some cold meats. Hoping that he would enjoy it.
She turned down the final hallway that would take her to the kendo hall. She looked around. The hall looked like all the other in the school, the peach coloured walls with white trim greeted her like all the rest in the school. Other then the artwork, it all looked the same. Small groups of students moved about the halls, coming in and out of the various classrooms. Some have her curious looks, wondering why the hostess was in that particular section of the school.
A second year student, whose name Haruhi could not recall at the time, detached herself from a small group of girls and bounced up to greet her. "Haruhi-chan! What are you doing out this way?" She asked sweetly.
Caught off guard, flashed the girl a large smile. "Oh, I've just come out this way to meet with Hunny-sempai and Mori-sempai."
The girl looked over her shoulder and down the long hall. "Oh you're going over to the kendo hall." The girl frowned then. "Though I think you are a little early, they normally don't get out of a while yet."
"Oh, that's ok. I don't mind waiting till they are done. I hope to see you in the club sometime. Bye!" Haruhi moved past the girl and continued on her way down the hall. She could hear the kendo students from the hallway as they went through their paces. Once to the door she was happy to see it was already open slightly and that the students all had their backs to her, so she didn't feel like she was interrupting them. Mori was standing in front of the students, giving instruction when needed and making sure their form was correct. He didn't look up from his students as she slipped into the room.
She felt someone take her hand a moment later and she looked down to find Hunny. He smiled and pulled her to a small bench at the back of the room. "Thanks for coming, Haru-chan." He spoke softly, not wanting to interrupt the lesson.
She smiled at the small blond teen. "No problem, Hunny-sempai." She watched Mori instructed the students for a while longer before turning back to Hunny. "Sempai, why are you sitting back here?"
The little blond turned his sweet brown eyes to her. "Me and Takashi take turns sometimes instruction the kendo class. I just like to watch and sometimes we do demonstrations for the students. Since I don't normally practice kendo, I leave most of the work to Takashi." He gave her a large bright smile. "After all, the Haninozuka style of martial arts is a lot harder to learn then kendo." He turned his eyes back to his larger cousin. "But Takashi is very good at kendo, so I know he enjoys this."
She nodded and continued to sit in silence. She knew that Mori was currently the kendo grand champion, so it was no surprise to hear of his love for the sport. She was just happy that Hunny took a interest in Mori's happiness. Hunny was a good guy. She enjoyed seeing him acting more his age from time to time. It helped to remind her that the small blond was not a child like he pretended to be.
"Mitsukuni." Mori's deep voice echoed across the hall.
Hunny silently got up, leaving Haruhi alone on the bench and walked up to his taller cousin. They stood oppose to each other in front of the students, who had taken several steps back and were excitedly waiting for the two to spare. Haruhi could easily over hear some of the conversations close to the back of the class.
"This is exciting!"
"Yeah, I can't believe you missed the last match."
"Man I would give anything to be as good as them."
"I wonder if Haninozuka-sempai would dual me?"
"Yeah, like you would ever be able to beat him."
They hushed as the two cousins bowed to each other. Haruhi turned to attention back to her friends.
If you didn't know better, you might have thought that this fight was very one sided. Mori towered over his older and smaller blond haired cousin but the stacks were really in Hunny's favor. The Haninozukas have always been the best in what they did, and Hunny was their heir for a reason.
They dropped into their fighting stances, both waiting for the other to make their move. Mori held his wooden sword steady and even, waiting. Hunny smirked and lunched himself at his cousin. Hunny sent a fury of kicks and punches at the taller man, Mori calmly blocked each, knocking the small boy back with a precise swing of his sword. Hunny flew up then down, landing in a crouched position, swinging his leg out to throw Mori off balance. It worked, as Mori moved back, his stance was broken and his defenses open.
Hunny rushed in, grabbing his cousin's arm and threw him over his shoulder. Mori landed with a large and heavy thud. The fight was oven almost as quickly as it had started and the class broke out into applause.
Slightly concerned, Haruhi found herself moving to check on Mori, who was just picking himself off the floor. "Mori-sempai, are you alright?"
He was surprised to find Haruhi's brown eyes so filled with concern. "I'm… alrighty." He smiled softly and picked himself off the wooden floor, dusting himself off.
She caught Hunny's eye then, the small blond teen was smiling brightly. It was then she realized that everyone was looking at her. She blushed and excused herself, retreating back to the safety of the bench at the back of the room.
Hunny and Mori bowed then faced the class. "Why did I lose?" Mori placed a hand on his hip, his wooden kendo sword pointed at the floor. He nodded to one of the students close to the front.
The student stood up and bowed. "You lost your footing, Sempai. And Haninozuka-sempai took advantage of the opening." He bowed again before retuning to his seat.
Mori nodded. "Good. Remember that next time. You are dismissed."
As the class was filing out, Mori and Hunny moved to join Haruhi at the back of the class. Haruhi smiled up at them, holding the two small bento boxes. "Hungry?"
Mori smiled. "Ah."
After the two had changed back into their school uniforms, they had headed out into one of the small garden to enjoy Haruhi's homemade bentos. Few students were in this part of the school at this time of the day, and she was thankful for that.
"Wow, Haru-chan! You made all this?" Hunny excitedly looked through the small lunch box she had handed him.
She nodded. "I hope you like it."
Mori open his bento, carefully looking at its contents before taking a bite from one of the rice balls. "Good." He concluded.
She smiled again, happy the two of them were enjoying the food she made. She really loved to cook and the chance to share it with others always felt great. More so when she wasn't being forced to cook for the entire club. That was just tiring. "Hunny-sempai, I was wondering." The small blond looked up from his bento dish. "What are you two planning to do after graduation?"
A serious look filled the small man's eyes. "Well, once we are done at Ouran, we are going to be working with our fathers to learn the family business. I assume it will be similar to what Kyo-chan and Tama-chan are going to do."
"So you're not going to continue to study?" She had no idea they weren't going to continue with school, and Kyouya and Tamaki also might not go to university?
Hunny nodded. "We will still study and take courses but it will be only on a part-time bases, when we can." Mori nodded, signaling that Hunny was correct.
"Oh." She looked down at the blade of grass she had been playing with between her fingers and let her thoughts wonder. It had been a strange request to meet up with the two cousins after class but she had to admit, she enjoyed spending time with Hunny and Mori. It was something that she really didn't get to do much. She sighed thinking about how this was only because of the clubs plan to make everything think she was in love when them.
Hunny put down the half eaten cupcake. "Haru-chan, what's wrong?"
She shook her head. "I'm not so sure if this plan is going to work."
Hunny and Mori shared a look. "I think it should be ok. Once the girls think you are in love with all of us, you won't need to try so hard."
She frowned a little. "I think that it's more that I'm deceiving them… again." She felt Mori put his warm hand on her head. She looked up at her tall friend. He smiled softly down at her. She knew what he was trying to tell her without needing to speak. He was telling her that it was okay, she wasn't doing anything wrong and that they were here for her. She smiled sadly then. "Thanks, Mori-sempai." She was really going to miss these two.
They ate the rest of Haruhi's bento, enjoying each other's company while talking about the club and other host members. Once they were done, Haruhi happily accepted the offer of a ride home.
When she opened the door to her apartment, her dad happily called to her from the living room. "Haruhi! Where have you been~?"
She took off her shoes at the front door and stepped into the apartment. "I had some club stuff to do." She called back, moving into the kitchen to start dinner. She didn't need to tell him that she had been spending time with Hunny and Mori, without the rest of the club there. Her dad would have wanted to know every last detail, and she was tired and didn't feel like explaining. "I thought you had to work late tonight?"
Ranka leaned into the kitchen. "I did but I just wanted to see my lovely daughter." The cross-dressing red head swept his daughter into a large hug. "It's been so long since I got to enjoy your cooking! I just had to come home."
"Dad! Can't breath-" She pushed to get out of her father's grasp. After one last, final squeeze, he released her with a large grin. She sighed but smiled. Her dad and Tamaki were so similar at times. "You just had my cooking the other night, dad."
He shook his head. "Yes, but it's a father's right to enjoy his daughters cooking every chance he can get."
She couldn't help but smile. "Go sit down, dad. I'll let you know when dinner is ready."
Ranka leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. "Ok dear. Oh, so how are things going at school?"
"Great dad." Just great.
Please review and let me know what to think. I'll be posting the next chapter very soon and I'd really love to know what you think.