A/N: This is an Or So They Say side story. It's not exactly necessary for you to read OSTS before reading this; however, it will help with some of the small details I put in. This is Mori and Chizuru's story, and it will be a three chapter story. I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Nothing owned, nothing earned. Entertainment purposes only. Thanks!
OSTS: Chasing Innocence
-An "Ouran High School Host Club" Fanfic-
Mori wasn't always the quiet man of the host club; in fact, he could be quite talkative when it was just him and someone close to him. He was best friends with Hunny even though they were cousins and shared a rather unique bond, and that was why Hunny knew him so well and could seemingly read his thoughts. The two had grown up together and were quite comfortable around one another, having chatted about all sorts of things over their friendship.
It was for this reason that Hunny knew Mori felt a fierce protective streak for women. Mori's mother had been abused by her father, and while he didn't know the full details, Mori knew his father had rescued the woman from a horrible situation. They had been betrothed, yes, but they also fell in love. When he learned what an awful man his grandfather was, Mori made a pact with himself to protect those who couldn't protect themselves.
This determination worked to his advantage as a child. Having grown up in the family he did, it was expected that Mori would immediately become the next master in martial arts. He and Hunny trained together, Mori excelling in some areas while Hunny excelled in others. They never competed with one another but felt more comfortable as partners, using their unique strengths and talents to gain the best results.
As they grew up together, Hunny and Mori became the legends of Ouran, garnering the reputations of the strongest fighters, and Mori allowed it only because Hunny often joked that he would have to talk to others to make them stop saying such things about him. Mori usually shook his head and let Hunny have his way. When Haruhi came into the host club, Mori's protective nature was sparked, which was probably what helped when he found her that day.
It was after graduation, and Mori was settling into university with Hunny; the two visited the host club frequently enough, but they were really enjoying the chance to study things in a more concentrated manner. Mori and Hunny had never spent all their time together, despite host club appearances, so it was not unusual for Mori to go off by himself. He was the one of the two friends who appreciated nature, and he took advantage of the morning air to get a run in and wake himself up.
On that particular morning, he was finishing his run and walking through the trail in the woods near his house that he found so invigorating. Hearing a scuffle, Mori's instincts went on high alert. He stopped walking immediately and stood very still, listening to see where the sounds had come from. A high pitched scream erupted from somewhere to his left and then another, more muffled came. He turned and began walking as quietly as possible, so as not to scare off whoever was there.
He found a shrub nearby and crouched down behind it, listening intently again. Another scream suddenly rent the quiet air, and Mori was instantly on the move.
"Get away from me!" He heard the woman scream, and the instincts that he stopped him originally went from caution to full fury. "Help! No! Heeeeellllp!"
The last cry for help was muffled again, and Mori burst into the nearby clearing, feeling sick at his stomach when he saw the group before him. Five men, all grubby and rough looking, surrounded a young woman, who was gagged with something. She was writhing back and forth but pinned to the ground by a half-naked sixth man who was in a position that made Mori want to vomit.
The men hadn't noticed him yet, and he was going to make good on that. Since they were so enraptured by the sight of the terrified woman, Mori crept up on the two closest to him with their backs turned. With only a slight amount of effort, he knocked them out, gaining the attention of the others. The three men stood up, snarling at him.
"Back off," one growled, pulling out a switchblade. "She's ours. We found her first." He approached Mori menacingly even as the man on top of the woman began mounting his own, very personal attack against her with increasing fervency.
Her moan set Mori off, and he didn't wait for the other men to get any closer. With a well-placed kick, the man, and his switchblade, were sent flying through the air. The other two exchanged glances and ran to stop him from getting any closer. Mori paid them little attention. He was furious, and all he could think was to stop these men from hurting her any more. A muffled scream was pulled from behind the gag, and his instincts went into overdrive.
Punching first one man and then the second, he grabbed their heads and slammed them together, causing blood to pour from the nose of the second man who was unfortunate enough to have his face smashed against his companion's skull. The two fell to the ground, too dazed to be any sort of threat to Mori.
By this time, the sixth man was straightening his pants and desperately groping in his pockets, looking at Mori with a mixture of horror and fear. The sight of the woman's ripped clothing and terrified eyes further enraged him, and he sent a kick at the man, hitting him in the side of the head and watching in grim satisfaction as the man crashed into a tree and then slumped to the ground, unconscious.
When he was satisfied that the men were not going to cause him any problems, Mori crouched down near the woman but not close enough to touch her. She gazed at him with horrified, shame-filled eyes, and his heart broke for her. Having experience with terrified animals and deciding he should be cautious, Mori put his hands out, palms forward, and showed them to her. She watched anxiously.
"I'm not going to hurt you," he told her, low voice filled with some strange combination of pain and anger. "I want to help you. Would you like me to call an ambulance and see if I can get a woman to come?"
She thought about that for a second and then shook her head. She wriggled a little, still bound, and stared at him pleadingly. "I won't touch you unless you want me to," he said, feeling the need to comfort her. "Would you like me to untie you?" At this, she nodded vigorously.
He moved toward her then, slowly so as not to startle her. "I'm going to turn you over so I can get to your arms first," he explained. She nodded again, and he gently rolled her onto her side, smiling a little when she shifted her weight to help him. Taking out his own knife, he cut through the rope holding her arms together.
When she was free of the rope, he lifted her body a bit so she could pull her numbed limbs out from underneath her. As she did so, they heard a pop, and she cried out in pain. Mori quickly laid her back on the ground, looking at her with concern.
Putting the knife away, he reached for the rope around her face, eyes narrowing at the tightness of it. The knot wasn't very well done, and he easily untied it, but his eyes narrowed even further at the sight of her reddened skin and the swelling at the corners of her mouth. He gently tugged on the piece of cloth forced into her mouth, and she obediently opened her lips to allow it to pull free.
When she was free of the disgusting gag, she coughed feebly, eyes watering at the jarring motion on her arms. Mori looked at them more carefully and then sighed and told her, "I think your shoulders have been dislocated. If you don't mind, I'll call a few people who can help us. We can keep this discreet but prosecute the men who hurt you at the same time. Is that all right with you?"
It wasn't in Mori's nature to be so accommodating to someone, but under these circumstances, sudden action would most likely send her into more panic, and he knew it would be dangerous for her. He thought he could call Mitsukuni and get him there in just a short amount of time since they lived near one another. And then he could call Kyouya and take the woman to the special hospital the Ootori's set up for family and friends. There the Ootori special police force could take care of the prosecution and interrogation of the men who had hurt this poor woman.
"Yes, that's fine," she said, her voice soft and low. He took a moment to really look at her and saw her beautiful face was streaked with tears and reddened by the abuse to her mouth.
The woman on the ground before him was tall; he could tell this just by looking. She was certainly taller than Haruhi, and her soft, brown eyes were huge, giving her an innocent appearance that made her situation all the more horrendous. Her brown hair was cut short in layers that framed her face, and Mori thought she must look lovely when she wasn't so abused and hurt.
Pushing the speed dial on his phone, Mori had Mitsukuni agreeing to hurry there with the twins and Renge as Haruhi still hadn't been found. Another call later, and Kyouya was headed to his special family facilities to prepare them for the woman. He hung up the phone and then decided it was time to deal with the men who were behind this mess.
Turning to the one who had raped her, Mori's eyes filled with anger, and he picked the man up from the ground and moved him into the center of the clearing. Grabbing a bit of the rope they had used to tie up their victim, Mori now secured the man's arms in a knot that was unlikely to come loose anytime soon. Spotting the man who attacked him with the switchblade, Mori went to him and picked up the shiny object on the way, closing and pocketing it. He pulled the man over to his buddy and dropped his unconscious body on top of him. Again he bound the man's arms, using much less rope than what the attackers had used on the woman.
He did the same with the other four men, dropping them all on top of one another to form a ragged dog pile with the perpetrator of the worst crime at the bottom, suffocating under his friends' weight. Mori ran out of rope when he got to the fourth attacker but didn't care. He had already incapacitated the men; they weren't going anywhere. The rope was a mere precaution.
Moving back over to where the woman was still laying watching him, Mori sat down next to her, not touching her. "What is your name?" She finally asked him, eyes on his unmoving form.
Mori answered slowly, "Morinozuka Takashi. And what is your name?" She appeared reluctant to answer, so he said, "You don't have to tell me, but the doctors will want to know. And if you want to prosecute these men, you'll have to give the details, including your name, to the police."
"I am Watanabe Chizuru," she said, shivering a bit as a cool breeze rustled through the trees.
Seeing her shiver, Mori began looking for something to cover her with. Bits of her outfit, or what was once her outfit, littered the clearing, and he couldn't find something ideal for covering her. He spotted a jacket laying near a tree and walked over to it, seeing that it was feminine and must belong to her. He took the jacket and covered her trembling form and then sat back down to wait for Hunny and the others to arrive.
"Mori-senpai! Mori-senpai, where are you?" The twins voices called together as they suddenly crashed through the brush towards the clearing.
The abruptness scared Chizuru, and she reached out, grabbing Mori's arm in a tight grip that would not be loosened. He looked at the fear in her eyes and put a hand on her shivering arm, gripping it reassuringly.
"Here," he called, not bothering to raise his voice as loudly as the twins. He knew Hunny would have heard him.
A few minutes later, Hunny, Hikaru, Kaoru, and Renge walked into the clearing. "Oh my," Renge said lamely, looking at the scene before her. The twins' faces went blank, and then they slowly filled with anger as they looked at the men piled together. Hunny cracked his knuckles ominously.
Looking down at the woman still clutching his arm, Mori asked her quietly, "Can you walk or would you like me to carry you to the car?"
Chizuru tightened her fingers and replied, "Please carry me. I don't think I can walk."
Mori nodded at her and let go of her arm long enough to stand up. Then he bent over and picked her up carefully, trying to avoid putting any pressure on her dislocated shoulders. When he inadvertently jostled her, Chizuru clenched her teeth and grabbed his arm again. Mori turned to Hunny, awaiting some sort of sign.
"I've got Bossa Nova-kun coming with Tetsuya and some of their guys," Hunny said softly. "They still owe us after Haruhi, so he's going to hold these guys for us until we can get some of Kyou-chan's police to come pick them up. I'll stay here and wait for them."
Mori nodded and then began to pick his way slowly through the brush back to the trail. The twins and Renge followed, lost for words. It seemed that the woman did not need another woman to be with her. She was quite content in Mori's arms. The group made it to the limo, and Mori gently lowered Chizuru into the car while the others entered from the other side. He walked around the car and climbed in as well, sitting next to her and not commenting when she immediately reached for his hand.
Without bothering to try to buckle the woman into her seat, Mori told the driver to go to the hospital, and the car took off. Chizuru winced at every bump but otherwise gave no other visible signal of her distress. The twins and Renge looked from one to the other in some concern.
"Um," Renge finally said, getting everyone's attention, "I'm Hoshakuji Renge, and these are Hitachiin Hikaru and Kaoru. I'm really sorry about what's happened to you." She trailed off and decided her lap was a lovely place to look.
"Thank you," Chizuru said quietly, smiling a little when Renge's eyes met hers. "I'm Watanabe Chizuru. I'm so glad Morinozuka-san was there to help me."
The twins exchanged glances and then Hikaru said, "We are, too. He's very good at helping people."
"He's very strong, too," Kaoru added, giving Mori a smirk that the older boy ignored. "Mori-senpai is one of our favorite people."
"Senpai?" She asked, confused. "Are you students?"
"We are," Kaoru said, indicating himself, Hikaru, and Renge, "but Mori-senpai graduated last year. He's in college now."
"He goes to Tokyo University," Hikaru explained. "He's going to take over the family business when he graduates, but for now he's studying different things."
Chizuru nodded, and the group lapsed into a more comfortable silence until the car arrived at the hospital.
Mori got out of the car and quickly walked to the other side to assist Chizuru. She gripped his arm tightly again once she was out of the vehicle. Kyouya was standing just outside the door, clinical concern in his features. He didn't speak but merely opened the door to allow the group to enter.
Inside a team of nurses and doctors waited. They rushed the small group, causing Chizuru to sink back in fear. When her breath sped up and her panting became whimpers of fear, Mori stepped away from the professionals and glared at them menacingly. It seemed they got the point because several of them walked away while some of the more approachable nurses came to direct Mori to the patient room where Chizuru would be staying.
The examination was long and painful. Chizuru refused to let go of Mori until he promised to remain in the room, and when she cried out, Mori almost punched the doctor who caused her pain. The group waiting outside was mostly nervous; though Kyouya was a bit more in control of himself. Finally they finished the examination and told Chizuru they would be keeping her overnight to make sure everything was all right. She agreed, albeit half-heartedly, and Mori offered to stay with her for a while.
When the last nurse left the room, Chizuru immediately broke down, sobbing into the sheets of the hospital bed as Mori moved to sit in the chair next to her bed. She reached out for him and grabbed his hand when he gave it to her. He was slightly uncomfortable but knew that this had to be difficult for the girl.
The rest of the group filed into the room silently, but Chizuru took no notice of them as she cried. "Wha-what will I tell my pa-parents?" She sobbed out, eyes wide with horror. "What if I'm pre-pregnant? I j-just started sch-school! I c-can't have a baby!"
With that last pronouncement, Chizuru pulled Mori's hand until he was close enough to wrap her arms around his arm. She cried and held onto him for all she was worth, and it was enough to break Renge's heart. She, too, began to cry quietly as she sat next to the twins. She reached over and laid her head on Hikaru's shoulder, causing him to look quite uncomfortable.
From his place inside the door, Hunny decided it was time to move in and see if he could help his awkward-looking cousin as he dealt with the weepy woman on the bed. As he moved closer, however, Hunny was surprised to see Mori pull his arm free of her clinging grasp and move closer to the bed, wrapping her in his arms and patting her head clumsily.
"Shh," he whispered, so quiet the rest of the group strained to hear. "It'll be okay. You'll see. Everything will be just fine." As he soothed the distraught Chizuru, his friends were amazed to see her calm in his arms. Eventually she drifted off to sleep, her head falling back to the pillow with a quiet thump.
Chizuru was released from the hospital the following afternoon, but the doctor warned her that she might have to come back. They supplied her with the phone numbers for a few counselors in case she wanted to receive counseling for her ordeal, but Chizuru was determined never to speak of it with anyone. She was moved to the Morinozuka home as she didn't want to go back to the apartment she lived in by herself just yet.
The days passed, and Chizuru gradually became more and more comfortable with Mori and Hunny, who spent much of their time together. She was introduced to the rest of the host club, sans Haruhi, who had not yet been found, and while she found them kind people, she was slightly overwhelmed with the exuberance of Tamaki and the calculating nature of Kyouya.
By the following Friday, Chizuru was ready to go back to her apartment even though she felt obligated to Mori for his part in her rescue. So she moved back and began to visit Mori at school every few days. They became friends, and Mori was incredibly protective of the small woman, going so far as to intimidate some of the other university students when they approached her. Hunny found it cause for speculation, Chizuru found it sweet.
She continued her visits to Mori, growing more excited to see him each time she went. Even though he was the quiet one of the host club, Chizuru was able to draw him out of his shell with her well-placed comments and intelligent questions. He couldn't help but be impressed with the woman's tenacity and allowed her, little by little, to gain his trust and companionship. In short, Chizuru was becoming part of an elite club few ever gained entry to: she was landing a place in his heart.
But this place was interrupted by a shocking announcement that she gave him one day. Chizuru had gone two months without thinking of the incident and had begun to associate Mori as a friend instead of her rescuer. It had taken a while for this to change, and that was why her discovery and subsequent shock made it harder for her to put him back in the category of friend.
She wasn't really suspicious until two months after the attack. Then she noticed something amiss. She hadn't had her period. So she went to the nearby pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test. It came out positive.
"Mori!" Chizuru called as she dashed into the host club's room that afternoon. She couldn't find him at school or at home, so she tried the last resort.
Haruhi looked up from her place next to the twins. It had taken a long time, but the two women had finally met, and Haruhi found the older girl a calm, sensible type that she immediately liked. Seeing her this frazzled, however, could not bode well.
The rest of the host club patrons sat and stared in shock at the new woman who had entered the room. They had no idea who she was or how she knew Mori, but it was obvious the two were more than just host and patron. Mori walked Chizuru into the back room to see what the matter was. Hunny remained seated, knowing Mori would not appreciate anyone interfering. And this, more than anything, convinced Mori's patrons that the woman was someone special indeed.
Inside the back room, Chizuru sat in a chair Mori pulled up for her. Takashi was worried that she was sick; her face was pale, and her eyes had widened and were fearful. He put a hand on hers as he knelt beside her and tried to convey the calm he was known for.
As she looked at him, all the memories of that morning came back to her, and she felt sick at her stomach. Realizing what was happening, she leapt to her feet and raced to the trash can before emptying the contents of her stomach. Chizuru groaned as Takashi rubbed her back soothingly and brought her a wet cloth to wipe off her sweaty forehead and mouth.
She felt a little better and sat down again. Mori brought her a cup of water to sip on, and she did so gratefully. He once again put his hand on hers. "What is it, Chizuru?" He asked, having long before dropped the honorific on her request.
Looking into his eyes, her heart clenched, and Chizuru clamped her mouth shut to ward off the second urge to throw up. When she was sure she was safe, she whispered, "Mori, Takashi... I'm pregnant."
He sat down hard on the ground next to her. It would have been funny if the situation weren't so serious. The two stared at one another as it really sank in. It was almost Christmas, and Chizuru would be returning to her family's home soon to celebrate the New Year with them. They had no idea about her attack and would have to be told about the pregnancy. Kyouya's police connections had made it possible to keep the entire ordeal quiet and still get justice, for which Chizuru was grateful. Now she would have to relive it with her family.
After explaining what was happening, she felt the need to get away and quickly said her goodbyes to Mori and the rest of the host club, who were all waiting outside for them. She went back to the apartment to rest and tried to forget about what she knew would be waiting for her in the morning.
When Christmas came, the host club opted to spend it together as a group. They invited several people to join them including Chizuru, and she gladly agreed to come as she had no desire to see her family yet. It was a joyous time of celebration, and Mori was as chivalrous towards her as always, but she was inclined to take advantage of that under the circumstances. He knew how difficult it would be once she returned to her home, and he wanted to ease her fears as much as possible.
She left for home December 28 and planned to come back to her apartment January 3. It would give her enough time to talk to her family and celebrate the New Year with them. Her plan was to tell them of her pregnancy on New Year's and see how they took the news.
On New Year's, Chizuru worked up her courage to talk to her mother about what happened. The conversation was painful, and she struggled not to cry more than once. Her mother was a hard woman who was only happy that Chizuru had gotten into an exclusive university where she could possibly make a good match for herself. Hearing that her daughter had gotten herself pregnant, no matter the circumstances, infuriated her, and she walked into the dining room with a cloud of anger over her head.
Chizuru's father and older brother sat together, both reading parts of the newspaper, and she gulped. Her mother was on a mission, and no one would be able to stop her.
"Dear, do you know what your lovely daughter has done?" She asked in a sugary sweet voice the family had come to associate with impending doom. Her father and brother looked up to see her mother's eyes narrowed and her lips thinned into an impossibly tight line.
"No, what?" He asked, giving Chizuru a stern look that made her cringe.
"She's managed to get herself pregnant," she said viciously, spitting the words out in a hiss.
Her father's eyebrows raised at that, and he turned inscrutable eyes to her. She felt the eyes of her mother and brother follow him. "Is this true, Chizuru?" She tried not to lower her eyes or tremble as she nodded obediently. He exploded. "How could you do something like that?! What kind of a daughter are you? Some sort of slut?! I did not raise you to get yourself pregnant without a husband! How dare you shame this family!"
Her eyes began to water despite her best efforts at control, and she dare not attempt to interrupt her father's tirade. He continued to yell, "Did you just go to college so you could sleep around? I can't believe this! I will not allow you to remain in this house! You are no daughter of mine! Get out, get OUT, GET OUT!"
By this time, Chizuru was crying in earnest, and her heart was beating in loud thuds that she was sure everyone could hear. She looked to her mother, who had a cruel smirk on her lips, and then she saw her brother. He stood and walked over to her, an expression of pure contempt on his face. Taking her arm, he turned her to the door and walked her out. Together they walked the steps to her room, and she gathered her things. He said nothing.
When she had closed her bag, he automatically picked it up and took her arm again, leading her to the stairs. Chizuru obediently walked in front of her brother, feeling sorrow and shame consume her. As she neared the stairs, her tears picked up, knowing she would be leaving for the last time. She began to take a step when she was suddenly shoved from behind.
Falling headfirst down the stairs, Chizuru screamed in fear and wildly groped the air with her hands. Finding nothing to grab onto, she cried out as her body hit the stairs and began rolling down to the landing below. If her parents heard her, they did not show it, nor did they come to see what the matter was. When she finally landed, Chizuru curled into a ball and clutched her stomach protectively.
Her brother walked down the stairs, bag in hand and grabbed her roughly by the arm, pulling her up to stand. She cried in pain as her stomach lurched, but he would not allow her to stop, yanking her forward. He pulled the door open and shoved her outside, throwing the bag behind her. Before she could even turn around to face him, she heard the door close.
Her stomach was now throbbing painfully, and Chizuru knew something was wrong. Pulling her coat around her, she attempted to walk to the train station nearby, but her stomach clenched in a particularly painful way, and she crumpled to the ground, terrified and in more pain than she could remember being in.
Grabbing her cell phone, Chizuru did the only thing she could.
When Mori answered the phone, he could hear labored panting. "Hello?" He called. No answer. "Is someone there? Answer me." He listened hard and finally heard a voice he recognized. "Takashi... I need your help... so much pain..."
"Chizuru?" He asked, feeling concern well up inside him. She didn't answer him. "Chizuru!" A dull click answered him followed by a dial tone.
A/N: That's the end of the first chapter. I hope you've enjoyed this intro to Mori and Chizuru's relationship. Please let me know what you think by reviewing, and I promise I'll be updating OSTS soon. I recently wrote out the entire timeline for Haruhi and the hosts as well as their interactions with their respective wives, so I've got a good idea of where the story will be heading in the future. Thanks again for reading!
Until next time...