Author's Note
There's a special appearance by one of Ouran's supporting characters in this chapter.

Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran High School Host Club; the rights go to Bisco Hatori-sama. I do, however, own the plot of this story. This work is purely fictional and does not happen in the real plot of OHSHC, except maybe for a few flashback scenes.

Chapter 39 – Ouran's 44th Annual School Festival

It has already been two months after Takashi's sudden outburst in the Third Music Room about a certain loathed (by many) person named Kurosawa Raiden. The students of Ouran Academy had just finished their final year exams, with Haruhi getting the top spot in exam scores and the seniors will finally be graduating and be enrolled in Ouran University.

(Ouran Academy houses four different school levels, namely Elementary School, Middle School, High School and College/University. Since these four schools are on the same grounds of Ouran Academy, both Takashi and Mitsukuni will still be able to join hosting activities after their classes have ended.)

No one had exactly forgotten about Raiden, despite the fact that everyone ended up with a busy schedule within the last two months of their time. Well maybe except our dear Haruhi, she seemed to have forgotten his existence all together, although there was a tiny part of her memory about him trying to gnaw its way back into her mind.

Even though everyone was busy, all the hosts seemed more aware of their surroundings now, including a certain red-head named Kasanoda Ritsu. He, too, knew about the current situation surrounding his friend, Haruhi, and would do his best to protect her as much as the others would.

Flashback about a week after all the hosts found out that some crazy dude was stalking Haruhi…

Kasanoda was walking around the school gardens of Ouran, trying to find some peace after being surrounded by a bunch of girls who, if he was not deluding, wanted to get his contact number; they seemed to be interested in him and that caused him to blush a bright red before trying to escape them.

This incident kept happening to him after that event with Haruhi a while back where he confessed his love to her, who in return was so oblivious about it that she bluntly turned him down without meaning to. Now she ended up with his senpai, Morinozuka Takashi, and he was actually happy for them. At least, his dear friend would be in good hands in the end because he knew that his senpai would take good care of her.

He was strolling quietly around the rose gardens when he overheard them. He didn't mean to eavesdrop in their conversation but Haruhi's name caught his attention. He hid behind the rose bushes and perked his ears up as he listened in on the conversation between the Hitachiin brothers quietly.

"What are we going to do Kaoru?" Hikaru started with a worried look etched across his face as he conversed with his twin brother, Kaoru. "From what Honey-senpai and Kyouya-senpai said the other day, that whatever his name was—"

"Kurosawa Raiden," Kaoru interrupted before silencing himself and motioning for Hikaru to continue.

"Yeah, that Kuro-whatever dude," Hikaru continued, "is 'stalking' Haruhi. And what was that deal about him? That 'when he sets his eyes on something, he'll do whatever it takes to obtain it' part? Just… what is that Kaoru? I don't like how it sounded. The look on Kyouya-senpai's face was so seriously intense that I had to believe that whatever this was, it was getting pretty serious," Hikaru slammed his fist against the ground, trying to get rid of his anger and frustration. "Why do I have the feeling that something's bad going to happen to her?" Hikaru grimaced, tears threatening to come out as he bit the bottom of his lips.

Kaoru looked at his brother sympathetically, "I'm not sure what's going to happen exactly, Hikaru," he said as he laid a hand on Hikaru's shoulder in order to calm him, "but I know we—all of us will always be there to protect her. And I also know that Mori-senpai will definitely not let anything happened to her, you saw how protective he can be towards her," Kaoru added reassuringly.

"Yeah, I guess you're right Kaoru. I believe Mori-senpai will protect her the most, but we will too," Hikaru replied with a determination. He rubbed his eyes with the back of his fists as he could feel the wetness coming out.

"What was that about Fujioka?" Kasanoda appeared from behind the rose bushes he was earlier hiding on.

"B-Bosanova-kun!" Kaoru said, surprised. Hikaru looked surprised too.

"Is something going to happen to her?" His face was serious and there was a hint of worry. He pressed them on; wanting to know what was going on with Haruhi. The look on his face was scary that it can turn a crowd into a human blizzard, but the twins were used to it by now although they still felt a little bit disturbed by it.

Hikaru and Kaoru looked at each other then decided to let him in on the current situation.

End of flashback…

Yes, Kasanoda Ritsu will do whatever it takes to protect her, just as much as the others would.

The day before Ouran's 44th Annual School Festival – Opening Ceremony Preparations in Progress…

"Everyone, please move all the tables to the salon in the Central Building," Kaoru instructed the workers behind him as he watched over the scene.

"Yes sir," one of the workers replied and carried the tables with his co-worker to the Central Building.

"Ah, please be careful with that," Kaoru addressed another worker.

The preparations for the Opening Ceremony were coming along well. Everything was in perfect order and everything was also going according to schedule. Normally, school festivals are mainly handmade, whereby the students create the sets themselves from scratch. However in Ouran, the school festival places more emphasis on the students' planning and leadership skills. Most of the students in Ouran are expected to become the leaders of the future.

Kyouya and Haruhi stood behind Kaoru, a few feet away, as they observed the scene before them. Kyouya had, in his hand, his notebook and he was busily writing down notes and sometimes gave out instructions on what to do at a passing worker. Haruhi just looked on, her thoughts occupying her mind, most probably on the meat sale at the supermarket today. I might have to rush over to the supermarket later to get that meat. I wonder if I'll be able to make it in time before they're sold out… she pondered mutely.

Just as Haruhi's thoughts were nearly far away from reality, though her body remains physically on Earth, a series of neighs were heard a few meters to where they were standing. Both of them turned to look at the direction of the sound and Haruhi almost wanted to face-palm (and decided not to). Instead, her left eye decided to twitch.

"Ah, they have arrived," Kyouya announced with his glasses glinted in the sunlight.

There stood majestically, seven adult-sized horses; two were as white as clouds, one was a dark bay, two were as black as midnight and another two were chestnut browns.

Haruhi saw that Hikaru was herding the other horses at a leisurely pace as he rode on one of the chestnut brown horses. Tamaki and Mitsukuni also joined in the riding, and each of them was on the white horses. She directed her eyes to Hikaru's right side and saw Takashi. Her heart skipped a beat and her stomach made a flutter; she never thought he would look that good on a horse before. Maybe it was because of the samurai upbringing he seemed to possess. Whatever it was, Haruhi could not direct her eyes elsewhere.

Then, she noticed something. Both Hikaru and Takashi were talking to each other and they looked… pleasant…? She did not know what word was suitable to describe the current atmosphere they were giving off, but she liked it. She came to a conclusion that both Hikaru and Takashi were already in good terms with each other. She smiled softly at that thought and joined Kyouya and Kaoru to meet up with the others up ahead.

"There… There…" Hikaru pulled the reins on his horse as he willed it gently to stop; the other horses seemed to follow too.

"Not bad, good job Hikaru," Takashi praised and Hikaru smiled genuinely.

"So Haruhi," Tamaki began; straddling the horse in a very prince-like manner, as he saw her approached them. "What do you think of the horses? Aren't they beautifully majestic? They are flown here straight from Iceland, courtesy of the horse-riding club!" he excitedly added, his prince-like manners still intact. Sparkles of tiny light were appearing around him, making him looked more like a prince.

A crowd of mostly female students were gathering around them and Haruhi could hear the contented sighs coming from them and resisted the urge to heave an exasperated sigh. She knew she should have been used to this by now, but it was still unbelievable how absurdly fancy and ridiculous everything was. She did not choose to comment about it but replied Tamaki's question with a, "Yes Tamaki-senpai, they are quite beautiful," she smiled one of her hosting smiles.

"Ne Haruhi," Hikaru called as Haruhi stood in front of the dark bay horse, blinking at it with curious eyes. She turned to look at him and waited for him to continue as she absent-mindedly started to stroke the dark bay horse in front of her gently. The horse leaned to her touch, liking the feeling.

"Are you ready to ride your horse yet?" Kaoru added as he straddled his horse (the other chestnut brown).

Haruhi stopped stroking Shino. "Oh yeah, I'm suppose to ride her for the festival parade, right?" Haruhi nervously laughed. "I forgot about that…" she trailed off nervously again. "…Can I be excluded from this?" she said pleadingly, although she knew she was not going to get out from this no matter how much she begged. She started stroking Shino gently again, completely unaware of what she was doing.

Takashi chuckled and Mitsukuni laughed at her behavior, they were both still straddling their horses.

"Nonsense, I shall have none of that Haruhi!" Tamaki overdramatically said, "It is our job as Ouran hosts to entertain the ladies with our utmost charm. By riding these majestic creatures, don't you think that the ladies will be more than just entertained?" he added in a very dramatic stance yet again.

"Come now Haruhi," Kyouya interrupted as he slid in his notebook into his blazer's inside pocket, "we need to have a dry run before the real festival tomorrow. You do remember that you still have a total of 2,745,332 yen of debt right?" he stood next to his horse and mount it easily, a smile that was all too calculating was plastered on his face and Haruhi could not help but shudder. "I hope you haven't forgotten your horse riding lessons two weeks ago," he smiled that smile again.

Flashback to two weeks ago; in the music room after hosting activities…

"Haruhi, I think it would be in your best interest to learn how to ride a horse properly," Kyouya announced one day after hosting activities ended. All of them were still lingering around the music room, despite the fact that hosting activities were over for the day.

Haruhi looked quite confused. "Why? It's not like I'll need to ride one anytime soon anyway," she replied back, trying to back out from whatever schemes they were planning on her.

"Oh Haruhi~" Tamaki interrupted, "you have to, no, you must know how to ride a horse. It is one of the important traits of an Ouran host. Otherwise, how will we go on about during Ouran's Annual Festival? I thought of the idea just two nights ago; all of the hosts riding horses for the Ouran Host Club Special Parade~! Kyouya helped me chose which horse color would go best with each host," he added triumphantly. "Isn't it brilliant?" he gave her a sort of happy puppy look, waiting for her to agree with him.

"I think it's a complete waste of an idea," she shot back bluntly which sent Tamaki to his corner of woe.

"Haru-chan, wouldn't it be fun to ride horses with everyone?" Mitsukuni appeared by her side, working his cute charm on her as he holds Usa-chan in his arms. "Ano ne, I think it'll be fun to ride horses alongside each other~!" he beamed up happily as tiny pink flowers appeared around his head.

"Yeah Haruhi," Kaoru started.

"Don't you ever want to know," Hikaru added.

"The feeling of riding a horse?" they said in a synchronized manner.

"No, not… really," she replied, there was a slight hesitance in her tone and they knew they nearly had her wrapped around their little fingers.

"Haruhi," Takashi walked over to her from his couch. She looked up to him with curious eyes that said, 'what is it Takashi?' He cupped her face with his right hand, "it will be easy (to ride one), I promise (I won't let you get hurt from it)," he smiled gently down at her. She blinked and nodded slowly before letting out an, "okay then," very quietly, lost in his deep baritone husky-like voice.

Everyone cheered (Kyouya smirked) and Tamaki was back on his feet again, feeling more spirited than ever, "Everyone! I have thought of the perfect theme for the annual festival. It will be…" he trailed off dramatically.

End of flashback…

Haruhi sighed out loud and gazed up at Shino with slight apprehension; it was not because she was fearful of riding Shino, it was just that she was feeling slightly doubtful on her horse riding skills. Technically, she only learned the basics of riding a horse for only two weeks and that, in Haruhi's opinion, was not enough. What if she fell and made a fool out of herself?

As if sensing Haruhi's sudden change of emotion, Shino nuzzled and licked Haruhi's face, in a way telling her that it will be okay. "That tickled," Haruhi laughed affectionately. "Alright, alright, if you insisted as well, then I might as well do it," she said in defeat to Shino and chuckled. Haruhi took a deep breath and climbed up from Shino's left. She held onto the reins and straddled Shino comfortably while keeping balance at the same time.

Rose petals suddenly swirled calmly around the grounds of Ouran as all the hosts proceeded with the dry run for their special parade. Tamaki led up front, followed by Kyouya slightly behind to his right and Mitsukuni to his left. Then came Haruhi behind Mitsukuni but in-line with Tamaki, next to her right was Takashi and finally, the twins. It was a beautiful sight to behold; seven bishounens riding their respective horses and all the students were awed and mesmerized.

"Oh look! It's the host club!" one of the ladies shouted excitedly from the sidelines.

"All of them look so handsome," another one said as her eyes turned into heart shapes.

"I wish I could ride with one of them," said a lady as she blushed at the thought of riding on one horse with one of the host. Every other lady sighed in content, happy with what they were seeing.

Opening Ceremony for Ouran's 44th Annual Festival…

Beautiful orchestral music flowed around the air of Ouran grounds; female students dressed in beautiful and elegant colorful gowns were dancing with their male partners, dressed in the traditional tuxedos. Everyone twirled and moved in time with the flow of the music; lots of happy faces can be seen around the Ouran grounds as everyone enjoyed their time.

Meanwhile in the Central Hall building, an orchestral music began playing to set the mood of the event. This is when everyone would have a chance in sealing business deals with everyone else, whilst socializing at the same time. Murmurs and chit chats floated around the hall as everyone greeted each other and the occasional gossips amongst the female aristocrats as well as boastful compliments of the male parents with each other about their sons and daughters' achievements in Ouran Gakuen.

The interior of the hall was transformed into a beautiful garden filled with different arrangements of ikebana, courtesy of the twins and the ikebana club. Ikebana arrangements were part of their specialty next to fashion; they've inherited the special skill from their grandmother, who was currently on her special journey to seek inspiration for more beautiful ikebana arrangements at the other side of earth as she rode her motorcycle into the sunset with her husband.

The hosts were wearing the same outfit for the opening ceremony of the festival. Each host had put on a black swallow-tailed coat that had silver buttons sewn on it, together with black pants striped with gray lines and polished black shoes. Underneath the coat, they wore a white striped dress shirt with gray lines down the middle and they had a black tie made out of satin, tied around their necks. In the breast pocket of their coat, each host had placed a single rose of their assigned colors: Tamaki had a white rose, Kyouya had a purple one, Hikaru and Kaoru each have a light blue rose and an orange one respectively, Mitsukuni had a pink rose while Takashi had a dark blue nearly black rose placed inside his breast pocket and Haruhi had a single red rose placed in hers.

They were standing a few feet away from each other at the grand staircase of the central hall. Tamaki at the center with Kyouya, Hikaru and Kaoru on his left while Haruhi, Takashi and Mitsukuni on his right. There were already a large number of people gathered in the hall and every one of them looked up at the grand staircase. Then, as if on cue, each host placed their right hand over their left chest (over their hearts) and bowed slightly to the audience.

"Welcome to Ouran's 44th Annual Festival," Tamaki graciously greeted the audience with a prince-like gesture, "We, the Host Club, will be your hosts for today," he smiled like a charming prince now and this earned a swoon amongst the female audience of the hall.

"We hope you will enjoy your stay here with us," Kyouya continued off where Tamaki had stopped, "and we will have an Ouran Host Club Special Parade tomorrow, at the last day of the festival." He too smiled charmingly as he finished.

2nd and final day of Ouran's 44th Annual Festival…

A soft wind blew around the grounds of Ouran Gakuen making the cherry blossom petals swirled together into a beautiful dance of elegance; female students dressed in elegant kimonos of various colors and male students dressed in modern Japanese slash Western tuxedos were seen enjoying the cherry blossom viewing banquet down at the Cherry Blossom fields.

The theme for the host club's special event was traditional Japanese mixed with a Western flair.

Haruhi, dressed in a special custom made outfit for Ouran host club's special parade event, looked very much like a boy with a very pretty face.

She was wearing a long-sleeved, collared white shirt underneath a black vest sewn with silver buttons. On top of the vest, she had put on a sleeveless maroon coat with golden linings at the outer edges and patterned sakura sewn at both sides on the front of the coat. The coat reached just above her knee. She had also put on black pants with suede riding boots. She tied a long white cloth around her waist as a means of a belt. On her arms, she had put on light brown arm guards. She tied a red ribbon bow around her neck to complete the look of the outfit.

As she walked by pushing the cart laden with desserts and hot drinks around the hall, a lot of heads that mainly consisted of the women audience and maybe a handful of men, turned to her direction as they looked at her in awe. It was as if she gave off this great brilliance that radiated off of her.

Her eyes were somewhat dreamy, warm and content that nearby females would blush involuntarily as she smiled up at them, offering them tea or coffee or the variety of desserts on the cart. Of course, they still do not know that Haruhi was, in fact, a girl. All they were seeing right now was a pretty face bishounen. Even a few of the men, who has similar personalities like Suoh Yuzuru would be unaware of the blush slowly forming on their faces as they gazed continuously, with acknowledgement and appraisal, towards her.

You can see Tamaki using his charismatic personality as he entertained the guests that were gathering around him and Kyouya working his business charm with the clients of the Ootori Zaibatsu as well as the clients of the host club. The twins were enjoying the fashion debate they were having with a group of fashion-crazed guests, while Mitsukuni and Takashi conversed with some of the ladies who frequented the host club as well as those of their family's business partners where the former did most of the talking and the latter gave out his views every now and then when needed to.

All of the hosts were wearing outfits similar to that of the Shinsengumi era (a/n: I'll explain this bit at the end of the chapter, under Author's Notes).

Tamaki wore a white vest under a sleeveless golden yukata-fold jacket secured with a brown leather belt. On top of that, he had put on a three-quarter sleeve long white coat that reached past his knees. The coat had purple flower patterns sewn on the front with golden rectangular linings. He wore brown colored pants with dark coffee brown riding boots. Both his arms had similar arm guards like Haruhi's but they were of golden color. He secured the coat by wrapping a long white cloth around his waist as well as an extra belt for added security.

Kyouya was wearing a silver buttoned black vest under a double button black trench coat. He wore black pants and black riding boots and instead of arm guards, he had put on thin black gloves. He secured his outfit with tying a long white cloth around his waist, much like Haruhi and Tamaki did. Underneath the white cloth was another extra blue cloth that he had wrapped diagonally around his waist. He did not wear his glasses today as Tamaki insisted that he put on contacts instead because the outfit went better with contacts. Even if his outfit looked simple, it still gave him the Shadow King aura.

As for the twins, their outfits spoke out their characters; Hikaru was wearing a white shirt underneath a thin black, long-sleeved jacket that he folded halfway up his arms. He secured the jacket with a white cloth tied around his waist. Over the jacket, he had put on a long green collared coat that reached just past his knees. The coat had dark orange flower patterns sewn on the front with black rectangular linings. He had put on black pants with brown riding boots.

Like the others, Kaoru was also wearing a long-sleeved white shirt underneath a black vest, embellished with silver buttons. Over the vest, he had put on a long black and white, sleeveless jacket that reached past his knees. The jacket was tied together with a silver ribbon. He wore black pants with black riding boots; he had also put on a black belt underneath a long white cloth that he had tied around his waist. He tied long strips of maroon ribbon around his hands to look like gloves.

Mitsukuni adorned a long sleeve white shirt, which he folded a quarter ways up his arms, underneath a black vest. He had tied a long gold colored cloth around his waist to be made into a belt. Underneath the gold cloth, he had also tied a square-ish purple sash that had white sakura flowers pattern on it. He had also put on black pants like the rest of the hosts and brown riding boots. He opted for an open simple thin leather black gloves for his hands.

Takashi's outfit fitted him so perfectly that you would wonder if he was a modern day Japanese man or actually a man from the Shinsengumi era. Since his upbringing was related to the samurai ways and tradition, the outfit really brought out his wild character side like everyone had claimed. He was wearing a green yukata-fold vest underneath a long-sleeved black jacket. He had put on brown arm guards on both his arms that reached up to his elbows. Over the jacket, he had put on a sleeveless, long dark colored coat that reached just above his knees. There were silver and blue flowers sewn onto a rectangular shaped black background on the front of the coat, with silver linings at the edges of the black background. Also like the others, he had put on black riding boots and black pants.

The outfits made all of them looked taller and leaner and somewhat intimidating yet approachable. Everyone in the Central Hall were admiring and complimenting them. No doubt, everyone agreed that the whole Cosplay or outfits they currently adorned complimented their characters sufficiently and also made them (well, some of them) somewhat desirable, especially to the female guests.

The hall was now filled with a lot of people talking and slowly, the space inside the hall was filled up. It seemed that everything was going according to plan and nothing out of the ordinary was going to happen, or was it?

"Haru-hime, you look lovely in that… outfit," a beautiful voice, so familiar, spoke out behind her. Haruhi jumped slightly as she was startled and turned around to see the very man that her mind nagged her to remember. Her brain told her to just walk away, but her body told her to stay put. The other hosts were not near her at the time, unfortunately.

"K-Kurosawa-san?" she started, a slight nervousness in her voice, one that did not go unnoticed by the said man in front of her. "What are you doing here?" she asked forwardly, not implying any rude intentions at all.

"Why, attending this festival of course. It is open to public, is it not?" he gave her a crooked smile that could have melt any girl or woman who saw it. She tried hard not to flush and to just stand her ground. And so, she did it successfully.

"Well yes, of course," she replied, her nervousness all gone, "I didn't think that you were the type to attend such events," she added bluntly, her eyes fixed with his.

"Oh? So, what type would I be?" he quirked up an eyebrow, sounding interested.

"I don't know," she said truthfully, "maybe the type who would put work over social gatherings, like a few people I know. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your stay here, if you'd excuse me," she was about to walk away with the dessert cart when he called her.

"Will I be able to see you again later?" he said hopefully.

"I don't know," she shrugged and gave him her natural host smile and walked away.

Raiden smirked and walked away through the throngs of people currently in the Central Hall. He definitely could not wait to see her again, but he had to be careful not to be seen by any of the other hosts, he knew how protective they could be. Ichigo had mentioned that somebody from the host club had been inquiring information about him a few weeks back and added that the club had most probably knew about his existence as well as the research he did on Haruhi. He knew he had to be careful especially now when he was risking his presence to be known. Maybe he could get Haruhi to be alone with him later, but for the meantime, he might as well enjoy the festival.

Kyouya took a seat on his designated area, fingers typing away on the Pineapple laptop placed in front of him. On the outside, he may have looked like he was so busy doing his work on his laptop, but he actually did see Kurosawa talking to Haruhi a while ago. He chose not to do anything for the moment and to just see what will happen afterwards. However, he will have a lookout on Haruhi, just in case. Kyouya chose not to tell the others about Kurosawa's attendance because he knew it would create a stir amongst them, especially to his senpai, Takashi, and right now, they have guests to entertain. Any chaos resulted from that would give them all trouble.

He will act and tell the others when the time is right.

Later that afternoon…

"Alright everyone, please gather in the preparation room in twenty minutes," Kyouya instructed the rest of the hosts, "We will proceed with the next event for the festival."

The time was nearing afternoon and the hosts had gathered inside the preparation room in order to get ready for their special event for the school festival: the Ouran Host Club Special Parade! The first ones to arrive were Kyouya (obviously), Takashi (Mitsukuni was still in the hall, eating cakes) and surprisingly Kaoru (his twin was still in the hall with Tamaki and Haruhi).

"Kyouya, Kaoru," Takashi called them quietly and both mentioned boys turned their heads towards their senpai, "if you may please follow me for a moment. I have a couple of things to discuss with you both. Don't worry Kyouya, it won't take long. It wouldn't affect the parade time, I assure you," Takashi added and walked over to the lounge area.

Kaoru blinked a few times and pinched himself several times to make sure he heard what he just heard correctly. He looked over to Kyouya who seemed unfazed with how much words the senior had spoken. He assumed that the third-year senior was extremely tired at the moment.

"What's up, Mori-senpai?" Kaoru started, curiosity laced his voice.

"Yes, Mori-senpai, what is it that you wish to discuss with us?" Kyouya looked over to Kaoru. He had a bit of a hard time believing that their senpai actually wanted to talk with both of them. The combination of people (himself and Kaoru) was just odd, so to speak.

"It's about Haruhi," Takashi began and Kyouya as well as Kaoru looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to continue, "Soon Mitsukuni and I will be graduating in a few days time and will start our college years. I will have less time to come to the host club due to my college schedule, which also means less time for me to see her, to protect her. So I need both of you to look after her for me when I'm not around, protect her by any means necessary and notify me immediately through my cell phone if something is amiss. Can you do this?"

The three of them grew quiet for a few minutes as both Kyouya and Kaoru were contemplating about this because it was so sudden. Sure, they cared about Haruhi; everyone did, still does and always will. They would put their lives on the line for her because that is how much she meant to them. Takashi looked at them expectantly, he was sure that both of them would do it.

"Of course, we'll do it," both Kyouya and Kaoru replied at the same time. Takashi smiled gently.

"But why did you ask us, Mori-senpai?" Kaoru asked. Kyouya said nothing as his question was the same as Kaoru's.

"Because I trust you both with my heart than I do with the other two, not that I don't trust them enough, and I know you will do whatever it takes to keep her safe because out of all the hosts, you two can relate to her more than the other two," Takashi explained honestly.

"Wow, I don't know what to say to that but thank you for thinking of us that way Mori-senpai," Kaoru replied in surprised. "I didn't know that that's how you felt about us," he smiled, suddenly becoming shy.

"Ah," Takashi gave him a small smile and laid his hand on Kaoru's head once.

That's it, Kyouya thought silently as he listened to Takashi's explanation, words running around in his mind, interlacing together, now I understand why he trusted us more and why we were chosen to do this task. My combination with Kaoru seems ideal now; I may need to discuss further plans with Kaoru in order to keep an eye on Haruhi even though I could do all this by myself, but now's not the time to be selfish about things. It's a shame that I didn't pursue her from the very beginning; I could have made Father proud to have Haruhi as my future bride. But I guess right now's not the time for that sort of thinking. Haruhi is happy with Mori-senpai and I should respect their relationship. I'll choose this time to protect her silently with my shadow king skills. He smirked inwardly and pushed up his glasses. I must let Mori-senpai know about Kurosawa's visit earlier, he thought in realization.

"Mori-senpai, earlier on there was someone who came to see Haruhi," Kyouya started and this caught both Takashi's and Kaoru's attention.

"Who was it, Kyouya-senpai?" Kaoru asked, although at the back of his mind, he felt uneasy because he had a feeling he knew who Kyouya was talking about.

"Yes, who was it Kyouya?" Takashi's voice turned serious.

"It was Kurosawa-san. He was here earlier, talking for a moment with Haruhi in the Central Hall," Kyouya added and he noticed the emotion changed in his senpai's eyes.

"I believe that he wishes to see her again at a later time," Kyouya added again confidently, "I didn't mention this earlier to you because we had guests and customers during that hour."

"Yes, I understand Kyouya. You did what you had to do. Thank you for telling me this," Takashi replied, reassuring Kyouya that it was okay, that he would not get angry because Kyouya did not mention this to him earlier on. "Alright, I can hear the others approaching near. Thank you both of you, for this doing this. Let's get ready for the parade," Takashi said as he got up from his couch as did the other two.

"You're welcome, Mori-senpai. Glad to be of service!" Kaoru replied and gave him a grin.

"Yes, let us get ready," Kyouya smiled knowingly.

Just as the three of them got up from the couch, the door of the preparation room opened and walked in the rest of the hosts with smiles and grins on their faces, although Haruhi seemed exasperated with the others' antics.

"It's time for the Ouran Host Club Special Parade!" Tamaki announced, one hand flourished out as the other lay on his chest and this earned a cheer from Mitsukuni, while Takashi and Kyouya looked on and smiled, Hikaru and Kaoru joined Mitsukuni in the cheer and Haruhi laughed quietly as she watched over their antics. She walked up next to Takashi and pulled him down slightly to give him a kiss on his cheek. Takashi blushed and run his thumb along her cheeks as he cupped her face.

"Mommy! What is Daughter doing?" Tamaki asked horrified.

"I believe that 'Daughter' is giving a kiss to the Prince, Daddy," Kyouya played along and smirked.

"B-but, I'm the Prince of the Host Club," Tamaki pouted and poked a mushroom at the corner.

"Haruhi's being so bold today!" the devil twins snickered as they watched the scene unfold.

"Oh, shut it!" Haruhi replied and laughed.

Mitsukuni cheered more and laughed along with the twins.

Each host had freshened up from the previous hosting event in the Central Hall before all of them proceeded towards the entrance where the seven beautiful horses stood majestically, waiting for each respective host. Each host then mounted on their respective horses and reared their horses to walk along the Ouran grounds in a very peaceful pace.

Suddenly, a whirling of cherry blossom petals mixed with rose petals fell down from the sky and showered the festival with a beautiful sight to behold. It was as if the host club came out from a fairy tale, one that absolutely awed every passerby and spectator as they watched the hosts strolled along the Ouran grounds on their special parade. Each host including Kyouya and Takashi adorned a beautiful smile that melt each of the ladies heart in their vicinity which caused a frenzied reaction from the spectators.

Takashi reared up his horse next to Haruhi's so they walked in sync with each other. The other hosts were currently in the spur of the moment as they waved to their customers, especially Tamaki. He was dangerously giving out sparkles and smiling charmingly like the prince that he was, as he waved at all the visitors and customers that stood along the sides, watching them parade. The twins were grinning cheekily as they waved to the visitors and Kyouya smiled with a beautiful charm as he also waved occasionally to the visitors. Pink flowers floated around Mitsukuni as he happily waved at the coming visitors and customers.

Since most of them were distracted, Takashi took this chance to speak with Haruhi.

"Haruhi," he began in his deep baritone voice.

"Yes?" Haruhi replied, waiting for him to continue as she turned her head towards his direction.

"Will you do me the honor of going out on a date with me on the next day after my graduation?" he asked in his humble manner, blushing slightly because it took all his might to ask her properly like this, even though they are a couple already.

She blinked and noticed the slight blush on his cheeks. She laughed in amusement before giving her answer, "Yes, I would love that." She smiled genuinely and blush a soft pink.

Takashi smiled fondly, feeling at ease when she said yes. Now, all that he needed to worry about was the date. He needs help from the host club in order to make it successful. After all, he was planning to ask her the question. He should have a talk with the host club after the festival was done.

Later that evening…

The festival was nearing its end; the sky was turning a pretty pinkish orange hue. The wind was slightly chilly during this time with a hint of iciness. The grounds of Ouran were already sparse of incoming visitors to the festival, and most of them went home right after the festivals were done.

The host club was at the central hall, overseeing the cleaning after the festival. They helped as well though, with throwing away stray trash, especially Haruhi. She just could not let it past her. The other hosts were a bit far away from her current location, including Takashi and Mitsukuni, as they were supervising the workers with the cleaning progress.

"Hello," Raiden greeted from behind her, a few feet away.

"Ah, Kurosawa-san," Haruhi stopped momentarily with cleaning the bits of crumbs on the floor. "You're not going home yet? The festival is already over, other people are already going home too," she stated as she continued sweeping away the crumbs.

He smiled, "If I remembered correctly, I did say earlier that I wanted to see you afterwards," he said and added, "and please, call me Raiden." He smiled again, the sort of smile that would make a girl blush and melt to the floor. Somehow, what he was attempting to do to her, did not work on her at all.

"Ah yes, I guess you did say that," Haruhi replied, "So, what is it that you wanted to see me for, Kurosawa-san?" she added bluntly. She did not want to get so familiar with this man, despite his attempts to make her do so, he radiated off a troublesome stance much to her dislike but she will try not to be too judging over him.

He twitched a little inwardly when she did not choose to call him by his given name as he expected but he still smiled as he conversed with her. "How have you been, Haru-hime? I have not seen you for quite some time," he asked pleasantly.

"I've been… well," she smiled softly at some distant memories in her head that involves Takashi, something that Raiden noticed quickly much to his chagrin. "By the way, how did you know that I go to this Academy?" she asked, her forehead creased with puzzlement and stopped sweeping. "I don't think I've ever mentioned about it before when we first met," she added again, becoming more puzzled by the minute.

"I didn't know actually," he started pleasantly; "it's just that an acquaintance of mine from a family business went here earlier and invited me along. I saw you earlier on when I was conversing with a few of my acquaintances that I've met here and decided to greet you while I still had the chance," Raiden lied smoothly.

"Oh, okay. Anyway, I have to go now. I need to continue with the cleaning. Please, excuse me," Haruhi said and turned away.

"Wait—", Raiden called and just as he was about to grab hold of her wrist, another hand grasped it instead. Said person placed her behind him and towered over Raiden easily. His posture was defensive and protective and his steel gray eyes were piercing through Raiden's emerald ones.

"Sorry, but I can't give her to you," Takashi said icily with a hidden warning. He then proceeded to walk away with Haruhi – who looked up at him with so much love – by his side and with his hand placed at the small of her back as he directed her towards the rest of the host club. The rest of the host club was staring at Raiden intently with a murderous fiery aura that instantly changed when she joined them. They were now laughing happily at something silly that Tamaki just did.

"For now," Raiden smirked and walked away.

Author's Note

Outfits for the hosts are based on the game/anime Hakuouki. You should go and check it out; it's absolutely filled with a lot of bishounens from the Shinsegumi era. Now the outfits I described above were from the time when the Shinsengumi was westernized, this included weapons but the Hakuouki men prefer to use their katana instead.

To see the outfits, search for "Hakuouki Hekketsuroku". Below shows which Ouran host adorns which character's outfit from Hakuouki Hekketsuroku:

Tamaki – Hijikata Toshizo's outfit, but according to the color I described above
Kyouya – Hajime Saito's outfit
Hikaru – Shinpachi Nagakura's outfit
Kaoru – Sanosuke Harada's outfit
Mitsukuni – Heisuke Todo's outfit
Takashi – Souji Okita's outfit, but according to the color I described above
Haruhi – Chizuru Yukimura's outfit

[Edited: 15th June 2014]
[Edited: 24
th July 2014]
[Final edit: 3
rd June 2015]