A/N: New story!
However, instead of an Akatsuki story, I recently got re-hooked onto Ouran High School Host Club, so guess what story it is? :P
I know, I know, I'm sorry about 'The Cell Phones'. Really, I am :/ But, isn't it amazing? I think I started that story last year. Ooold.
But, with that aside, enjoy this new story!
Disclaimer: I do not own OHSHC. Bisco Hatori does.
NOTE: Even though in the summary it says that Haruhi keeps it from the whole Host Club, Kyouya does know. Because, hello, he knows everything. Haha :P
EDIT NOTE: This has been re-written! If you read this before 9:00PM on Thursday, June 18th, re-read it!
"Haruhi, do you remember…"
She sat on the edge of the bed, clutching the purple-pale hand while looking down at the man's pale, dimmed face. The grip stayed tight, as if it loosened any the man would fall away into the earth, eaten alive by the core.
"…The story Cinderella?..."
Her brown eyes squinted at the face, the once smooth and happy textures now faded and emotionless. She waited impatiently, wanting the closed lids to spring open and surprise her with a stupid expression, just like he would to try to scare her.
"…You talk now as if you hated it…"
How could she be so damned foolish.
"…But whenever your mother told it to you…"
Her knuckles turned white, her features becoming strikingly harder as she continued to examine the face, still waiting, foolishly, for those eyes to open.
"…Your eyes would shine so bright and mesmerized…"
She blinked slowly. Why, why did she think in such ways. She closed her eyes again quickly and turned away from the unmoved figure. No more.
"…So, I was wondering…"
The tips of her fingers hesitantly separated from the still hand, until eventually, suddenly, she couldn't feel him anymore.
"…If you would like to hear that story again…"
She wanted to reach back. Just wanted, one last time, to make sure this wasn't a sickening, horrid joke. But, she couldn't. The hand -- the one that held her own hand tight when she was afraid, the hand ruffled her hair when she did something well, that touched her cheek when she wasn't feeling right -- that hand, was too cold to remember. Too rubbery to hold right. Too lifeless.
"…Once upon a time…"
She took a deep breath and stood up. Her eyes opened up to the bleak, dim world around her.
"…There was a young girl named Cinderella…"
She took a step foward, her shoe tapping the filthy floor beneath her.
"…And Cinderella lived with two mean stepsisters and her evil stepmother…"
She took five slow steps to the door, hanging her head, watching the floor tiles pass as they changed in pattern. Every now and then, there would be a dirt footprint on the tile. A size 12, it looked like. Same size as the lifeless ones that could no longer walk behind her.
"…Dad, what happened to Cinderella's mother and father?..."
She took a large breath of the stuffy air and reached her hand foward to reach the doorknob. It was cool and sleek, contrasting against her sweating, clammy hands.
"…Well sweetheart, I'll tell you this…"
She turned the knob down and pulled it toward her, just enough to let a sliver of light shine into the darkened room. It reached over her shoes and as far as to the bed behind her. It touched the once alive face, as if it, too, was trying to revive its lively emotions. Alas, not even the light could bring him back.
"…Her mother and father went to a wonderful place…"
This was it. This would be the last time. Last time to say anything she could. Last time to do whatever she could. Last time to see what she couldn't see before.
She looked back.
And she started to cry.
"Haruhi...Haruhi, it's time to wake up..."
"Haruhi? Oiy, Haruhi...HEY!"
The girl's head snapped up from the table it was resting on and came almost face-to-face with one of the Host Club's twins. His orange hair was parted to the right, slightly covering his right eye. He was peering at her with golden eyes, matched with an annoyed expression, as if he was trying to wake her up for the past few hours.
He scoffed lightly. "Haruhi, milord's waiting for you. You shouldn't fall alseep like that."
She sat up straight in the chair and stretched, her back popping. "Hikaru, I doubt that he will throw a fit. It's not like I'm that late. I only dozed off for a few minutes."
The two stared at each other for a few moments. Then, the boy smirked, and he nodded to the wallclock behind her. She raised an eyebrow and turned to face it.
"HIKARU, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE WAKE ME UP EARLIER?!" She jumped out of the chair, making it topple over, and she ran towards the door before she could let him answer. As she ran, she didn't notice that he wasn't following. In fact, she didn't seem to notice anything except for the path in front of her.
Up the stairwell, to the left, down the hallways. As she passed the large window, in her rush to reach the Club Room on time, the tall pink clocktower caught her eye. She stared at it, long enough to let the few white doves mechanically pass it, just like they did practically every five minutes.
She growled in her throat.
"Haru-chan, Haru-chan!" the bunny-loving Host Club member called to her, jumping on her from behind and latching himself onto her neck. She jumped in surprise and almost fell backwards.
"Hunny-senpai?" she questioned as she caught her breath again. She felt the boy nod agaist the back of her neck.
"Haru-chan, why are you here early? You're usually so late!" The boy let go of her neck and bounced in front of her. His blonde hair, she noticed as she looked down at him, had something sparkling, which also kept his bangs from going in his face.
"Hikaru woke me up..." she muttered tiredly, still unhappy that she was awoken. Even more so, she was unhappy that she was fooled by the clock that was pushed foward a good half hour. Those stupid, ignorant twins...
She pointed at the sparkle that sat atop the boy's head. "Um, what's that in your hair?"
He giggled and spun around on his left foot, right leg bent in the air. "It's a clip!"
"Yeah! Isn't it cute?" He giggled again, holding his Usa-chan, the pink stuffed bunny his grandmother gave him, close to his chest while spinning.
Her eyebrow twitched a little as she watched him, wondering how he could even be a boy, much less a lifeform of this earth. As the tallest boy of the Host Club, Mori, caught Hunny before he could get sick (or get Haruhi sick from watching him), the blood type AB, evil-dark-overlord vice president came into the scene.
"Ah, Haruhi," he interrupted, making all eyes go to him. There was a glint in his glasses from the sun coming through the window. "I'm surprised to see you here, considering the circumstances."
"You could have very well stayed home if you wanted to. The school nor the Host Club would have held it against you," he told her.
Haruhi stayed silent. Hunny stood in front of Kyouya, a.k.a 'evil-dark-overlord', looking up at him.
"Kyou-kun, why would Haru-chan want to stay home?" the small boy asked, his eyebrows raised in confusion.
Even though Kyouya looked over at Haruhi for confirmation, she couldn't see him. She was looking down at her shoes uncomfortably. He looked back at Hunny.
"Certain curcumstances," he answered instead.
"What 'certain circumstances'?" two voices in unison asked. Hunny and Mori turned their heads just as the twins, Kaoru and Hikaru, joined the group.
Haruhi tensed up a little more.
"I'm afraid it's not my place to say. However, I'm sure you will all find out in due time," Kyouya answered. Though he wasn't directly looking at her, he noticed Haruhi had tensed more. She must not have wanted them to figure out whatsoever, period.
Mori, too, had noticed this. Though he hadn't any clue as to what was going on, he grabbed Hunny before he could ask Haruhi. Hunny looked at Mori, blinking.
"Don't ask," Mori told him plainly. Before Hunny could protest, the twins spoke up for him.
"But we all want to know." The two slid closer to Haruhi and peered their faces close to hers. This made her back up to the window and press her back uncomfortably against the panes. "What are the 'certain circumstances', Haruhi?"
She still didn't answer them. Rather, she panicked in her head. Kyouya, Mori...save me!!
"Kaoru, Hikaru, don't pester Haruhi," Kyouya stepped in. When the two stood away from Haruhi to question him, she let out a tiny breath of relief.
"But, we just want to know--" Mori pulled the two gently away from Haruhi.
Haruhi sighed quietly in relief. Thank you...
"Haruhi." She looked up at Kyouya's call. They looked at each other for a brief moment before he said, "You may go home if you want. However, if you need someone home with you--"
"I'll be okay Kyouya-senpai," she interrupted him quickly. "Erm, my dad is usually out at this time anyway, so I don't need--"
"Haruhi, my daughter!!" Haruhi tensed up and turned away quickly from the oncoming blonde idiot.
"Haruhi, my daughter..."
She started to walk away quickly. "I...I'm going home!!" she stuttered loudly, making sure Tamaki heard.
Yes, he heard. Did he care? No.
"But, Haruhi!" Tamaki grabbed her shoulder to stop her. "You always go home alone, with no one there with you! I say, I should go home with you!"
She began to struggle under his grip. "No, Tamaki, I don't--"
"Hey, if he gets to go, then we have to come, too!" the twins added.
"Guys, really, don't follow me--"
"I want to go with Haru-chan!" Hunny interrupted, jumping next to her with Usa-chan.
They four boys stopped to stare at Haruhi.
"I'm going home alone. None of you are going to come with me. I want to be alone."
Tamaki let go of his daughter's shoulder, nothing holding her back now. "But, Haruhi..."
This was her chance. She ran.
"Ah, Haruhi!!" Tamaki called again. He set his foot foward, about to follow her, until Kyouya stopped him.
"Tamaki, we have to get ready for our customers soon."
Tamaki stopped at looked back at the vice presisident of the Club. "But, Haruhi...!"
"Haruhi is allowed to leave today, and will return when she's ready to," Kyouya answered easily, writing things down in his black book.
"But why does she get to leave?" the twins asked in unison.
Kyouya couldn't help but solemnly smile.
The phone rang again.
"Oh, Haruhi I'm so sorry to hear about your father..."
"Haruhi, are you okay? I'm so sorry about the news..."
And, one more time.
She snapped, tired of another 'I'm so sorry' phone call.
"I know, I know. You're sorry."
"Actually, this is Kyouya."
Haruhi jumped. "Oh, Kyouya-senpai! I'm sorry!" Great, now everyone's got her saying it.
"Haruhi, would you still like for me to keep quiet about your father?"
She almost responded right away, but decided to question first. "Why, is everyone getting worried?"
"I need your answer now. I do have customers waiting."
"...Don't tell anyone yet."
There was a pause in the line.
"Very well then. We hope to see your return soon."
The line clicked. Kyouya was gone. Although she was slightly afriad of him...
...She sort of wished he didn't have to go. At least she wouldn't be completely alone.
However, as she began to visualize a longer phone conversation with him, she instantly thought that being alone would be for the better. ("So Kyouya-senpai, how was school?" "You still owe some debt from the vase you broke earlier." "Er, yes, I know." "Of course, I wouldn't expect anything else from a commoner. Just, keep up the good work, as they say in your world? *insert evil-winning-"I Own Your Life" smile here*" "...Goodbye, Kyouya-senpai.")
As she sat on the kitchen counter for a few moments next to the phone, she was relieved to hear silence for at leat just a little bit. Just the breeze blowing outside the window, a couple of birds flying by, the phone not ringing--
Oh, damn it.
Haruhi jumped off of the counter and went to her room. After quickly getting undressed from her school uniform (she felt too lazy to change before, go figure) and changing into a pair of baggy jeans and a red T-shirt, she took an old, worn out baseball cap of her father's and slid a pair of sneakers on. She had to get out of the house.
As she locked the door behind her, she pulled the cap over her eyes a little lower, hoping not to be recognized by wandering townspeople. She slowly walked down the metal stairway, her sneakers making clanking sounds as they hit them.
When she hit the bottom, she was relieved. No one was really outside right now.
She pulled her cap up a little bit, unable to see very clearly with it down so low. The sun was still high, and it was warm out...
Wait...So why wasn't anyone there?
She walked down the street, suddenly looking for everyone. Besides the few out-of-town people walking around, no one she knew was there.
She hesitantly took a few more quiet steps, waiting for people to attack from the bushes to scare her.
"EEEE!" Haruhi jumped and staggered backwards. The atmosphere was so quiet and still, she hadn't exactly expected someone to actually call her name.
A little girl in long black curled pigtails timidly walked up to her. She wore a black blazer with a white shirt underneath and a plaid skirt dress with black shoes . She held her hand out and grabbed onto Haruhi's shirt gently.
Haruhi blinked and brought herself up from the ground to sit on her knees, calming her pacing heartbeat down a notch. She came eye-to-eye with the girl, recognizing her as her downstairs neighbor. She sighed. "Hi, Rina-chan. What are you doing out here?"
Rina looked at Haruhi with her dark brown eyes. "Um, I got lost..."
A small sound of confusion escaped Haruhi's throat. "Lost? But, shouldn't you be at school?"
Rina sniffled quietly. "I was, but...These mean boys put something over my eyes and made me walk to the woods next to the school...And then they left me there..."
Haruhi blinked. "Rina-chan, did you get lost in the woods and come here?"
Rina nodded. Haruhi sighed and stood up, taking Rina's tiny hand in hers.
"Well, I'll walk you back to school, okay?" she asked. Rina nodded again. "I'll talk to your teacher and the principal about the boys."
"Will...Will they get in trouble?" Rina was looking up at Haruhi with pleading eyes.
Haruhi scratched the back of her head. "Well, they should..." Rina whimpered.
"I don't want anyone to get in trouble because of me..."
Haruhi frowned a little. "Rina, it's not your fault. They should be in trouble. What they did to you wasn't right."
Haruhi tugged on Rina's hand lightly. "Come on, Rina. Let's go."
After a little cajoling by Haruhi, the two walked together to the elementary school, Rina still not comfortable with having the boys getting in trouble. However, Haruhi knew it was right for them to, even if Rina disagreed.
Upon entering the school doors, Haruhi asked Rina, "Do you know where your classroom is?"
Rina nodded. "Yeah, but...can you come with me?"
Haruhi sighed, but nodded. "Sure."
After following the little girl down a few hallways, they came upon what was apparently Rina's classroom. She knocked on the door, and the teacher opened the door.
She had glasses similar to Kyouya's, with fading brown hair pulled up into a neat bun. Her expression was very strict. But, that might just have been because it was aging and the wrinkles made it look sort of...distorted.
"Koizumi-san!" she excalimed. She grabbed the girl's hand harshly. "How dare you run away from school!" Haruhi flinched at the teacher's strictness. Okay, maybe it wasn't just the wrinkles.
Rina stood in front of her with a trembling expression.
"Excuse me, teacher-sama--"
The teacher glared harshly at Haruhi. "Excuse you indeed. What a rude child! What gives you any right to talk to me in such a manner--"
"I'm sorry, but Koizumi-san did not run away."
The teacher blinked, ridding of her harsh glare for just a moment. However, she glared again, her green eyes piercing into Haruhi's. "And how do you know this?"
"She's my neighbor. I've known her ever since she was born. I'm sorry, but she would never run away from here. This is her favorite place. Even more than home."
The teacher glanced at Rina before looking back at Haruhi, the same glare set in place. "And who are you, exactly?"
"My name is Haruhi Fujioka."
Almost immediately, the teacher's face suddenly turned solemn. "Oh, I see. I heard about your father."
Haruhi gave her a confused - and even a bit annoyed - expression. How many people did her father know?
"But, still, how did Koizumi-san end up out of school grounds?"
Haruhi looked down at Rina, and said, "Rina-chan, would you like for me to tell her?"
Rina paused. "No...I'll tell her, Haruhi-chan.."
Haruhi blinked, but she smiled. "Alright."
The teacher looked at Haruhi. "Well, can you explain to me briefly what happened?"
Haruhi looked At Rina again. She had no idea if she was going to tell the truth, or something to keep the boys out of trouble. She knew Rina should tell the truth, but maybe...
Maybe Rina should just do what makes her happy.
She pondered this for a few seconds, before looking up at the teacher with a small smile.
"Let's just say, certain circumstances."
What's going to happen?
What does the future hold?
So many things that I put off,
Assuming I'd have time, assuming I grow old.
What's going to happen?
And will I be alive, tomorrow?
What's going to happen to me?
A/N: Chapter 1, finished!
So, tell me what you think through your reviews. Even if you think it sucked, just tell me! I want to hear what you guys think ^_^
Thanks for reading! Review!
Edit 6/18/09: And I'm serious about the reviews. Yes, I do check my email everyday, and even though Story Alerts and Favorite Story emails make me happy, reviews really do just make my day ^_^ So please, if you want another chapter out, take a little itty bit of space out of your time and review! :P
Finale: What's Going to Happen? (c) Scrubs, My Musical