The Cafe
An Ouran High School Host Club fanfiction
Featuring Ootori Kyouya and Houshakuji Renge
"To Kyouya, being in the cafe made him feel content, and that everything was right in the world."
Author's note: This was originally supposed to be a three chapter story, but then it blossomed on its own. Pretty much, everything I wanted to do in my first Kyouya/Renge "Perhaps Love" but didn't get to do, well, I put in here. And although this takes place when they are roughly the same age in "Perhaps Love" (20-21 years old), the plot points are very different.


Chapter 1:

Ootori Kyouya didn't expect his life to be very eventful.

Since his graduation from the Ouran Academy, Kyouya immediately started down the path of his father's expectations: he began his education in college, separating school and social affairs. He continued to see the Hitachiins, Hani, Mori, Haruhi and Tamaki on occassion, but with no club activities to maintain, Kyouya encountered less distractions.

He could finally focus on important things, like work, homework, networking and anything else to his professional gain.

"May I join you?" inquired a feminine voice.

Kyouya sat in a half empty cafe, his table nestled in the back of the room. He had his white laptop set up to the left side of the table, with powerpoints from the day's class on display; his textbook and a blue highlighter were laid out in front of him and his order of black tea was sitting to his right.

Besides the waitstaff, this was the first time anyone had spoken to him since he started studying there. He wasn't deaf to the female patrons as they whispered to their friends about the good-looking man with glasses in the corner of the room. And despite the very audible admiration, never once did these girls hav ethe tenacity to approach him.

Kyouya looked up and soon realized that it wasn't a random cafe admirer.

It had been two years since he last saw her, but she was still recognizable. Her tawny hair was shorter than before, touching down just past her shoulders. The yellow Ouran dress uniform was gone, replaced with a high collar sleeveless coral knee-length dress and a cumbersome large ribbon to the side of her neck for decor. Same pert nose, same amber crystal eyes... "It would be my pleasure," and in true gentleman fashion, pulled out the chair opposite him for her to sit in. "It's been a long time, Renge-kun," he started as he resettled in his own seat. "How are you?"

"I'm fine, great even!" she answered, her cheeks pink with excitement. "I just started school today and so far things look very interesting. And here I am, ending my day with a familiar face," she beamed.

"Which school are you attending?"

"Todai", and she pointed over her shoulder. "What about you, what are you doing now?" Renge peered over to his textbook, glancing at the title on the top pages. "Business classes?"

"And pre-med," he corrected.

Renge sat back and tilted her head to the right. "Of course," she sang, "typical Kyouya. Always with his hands full."

He shrugged and a soft smirk broke over his lips. "Are you staying for some tea?"

"I'd love some," and she reached for the small printed menu that sat on the table.

Hours passed as their conversation unfolded into that evening. They spoke of her transfer into her second year economic classes, his double majors, how he preferred this cafe over the one which sat on the main road closer to his university. She also informed him of how the second generation Ouran Host Club was faring around the time of her graduation and that they were expanding to different excursions and events.

The sky was orange by the time Renge stood from her seat. Kyouya automatically did the same. "I should be going," she said to him. "It was really nice talking to you."

"Same to you," he answered politely, with a touch of sincerity.

"Well," she hooked her white purse over her shoulder, "Maybe I'll see you around? Bye-bye," and she glided out of the cafe.

Kyouya sat down again and looked over his workspace. His computer was hibernating and his book was open to the same page it stood at over two hours ago. Realizing he wouldn't get any studying done, he packed up and left, paying for both orders of tea.

Two hours of study time lost. No matter, Kyouya thought. It was just a one time event.


"So, she broke a vase?"


With laptop hibernating, Kyouya sat in the cafe with Renge across from him. They were talking over a cup of Earl Grey, his books off to the side, closed and forgotten. He thought yesterday was a one-time event... did he jinx himself?

"When we found out that Haruhi-kun was a woman, well, we all liked her so much, we didn't care that she kept that secret," Renge recalled her graduation ceremony. "I mean, we all thought it was weird seeing Haruhi-kun in the girl uniform. But the reactions were positive, I would say. Half of the male students were relieved that she was in fact a girl because they had been questioning their own sexuality for months! The girls, well, we were somewhat disappointed that such a perfect boy wasn't real." Renge sighed, her eyes drifting off to the cream colored walls.

Kyouya said nothing in response, merely watched as she stirred a sugar cube into her tea.

"So," she asked rather bluntly, "how did you feel about her?"

He paused as he pulled his own teacup to his lips. "I consider Haruhi a friend."

"No, no, no!" she shook her head. "You know very well what I mean!"

"I can't say I do --"

"Did you look at her with romantic eyes?"

He kept quiet, keeping his answer to himself... but mostly because she kept talking.

"It's a classic shoujo storyline!" Renge elaborated, tapping into her knowledge like a true otaku. "This cute attractive girl in the constant company of good-looking men! There are two results to this," and she held out one finger, "One: some of the males fall in love with her, and," she held out a second finger, "two: the rest see her as a dear member of the family, treating her like a little sister or something. It was evident that Hani-senpai and Mori-senpai were the latter, showing family affection. Even a blind man could see Tamaki-kun stood in the former category. The twins were with him too, but better at hiding it... Well, Kaoru-kun better than Hikaru-kun at least." Renge then pointed a finger to him. "Where do you lie? Did you find Haruhi-kun attractive?"

Kyouya tried not to roll his eyes. This girl still loved to meddle! In true diplomatic fashion, Kyouya answered with hopes that his vagueness would satisfy her. It worked with his Host Club patrons, after all. "I think every woman is attractive in their own way, physically or mentally.

She stared at him blankly for a few moments, her head tilted to the left. And suddenly she burst into her signature laugh. "Oh-hohoho!" she tittered. "That's a terrible answer, Kyouya-kun!"

Kyouya blinked, surprised at his miscalculations.

"I'm not talking about every woman, I'm talking about Haruhi-kun! There must be something you like about her."

He waited for a moment, calculating the pros and cons of admittance. When it seemed like nothing could go too wrong... "You saw it yourself during our club sessions. Haruhi has the gift to speak from the heart and have you change your views on yourself and others."

Again, Renge tilted her head to the left. "And that's Haruhi-kun's attractiveness?"

"That's Haruhi's strength," he clarified, hoping she would get the message and leave the damn subject alone.

"So then, what is my strength?" she suddenly asked, batting her eyelashes at him.

Wait... what did she ask? Kyouya looked at her curiously. "Your strength?"

"Yes! My 'strength'," using air quotes on the last word. "Or you can just tell me what is attractive about me. Like you said, all women have something, right?"

Ah-ha... perhaps this girl was digging for a compliment. He could feel himself getting backed into a dark corner, overpowered by a pair of large, shiny amber eyes. "Your strength," he chose his words carefully, "is your drive. You strive for a goal and you attain it, no matter what."

"If I want something, I'll do what it takes to get it. Is that bad?"

"Not at all," he answered sincerely.

She smiled, and to Kyouya, it seemed as if his compliment satisfied her. "Then, I guess in a sense, we are a lot alike."

Strangely, Kyouya had never thought about it before.


Kyouya soon realized Renge was a creature of habit. Every Friday afternoon, she would walk into the cafe and sit down with him by three o' clock. She would place her purse down on her left side while grabbing the menu with her right hand. She would order the creme brulee tea, and whenever she put sugar cubes in her cup, she would agitate it in half-circles with her spoon, before stirring with full clockwise motions.

It had been a full semester, and already Kyouya was familiar with her schedule. It was the first Friday of the spring semester, he already had an order of her tea and chocolate bread pudding sitting in front of her chair by the time she arrived.

Renge glanced at the menu very quickly and then looked at him. "How did you know?"

"You've been going down the dessert list since you've been coming here," he explained. "I'm positive that's where you left off."

"It is," she laughed and began to prepare herself some tea. "So, apparently New Years was a very romantic time for some people," she initiated conversation.

"I suppose you're referring to Tamaki and Haruhi," Kyouya briefly recalled the very loud, overjoyed drunk-with-love phone call from Tamaki that he received at two a.m. New Years morning.

"It's rather sweet," Renge smiled. "I'm sure they will be very happy."

"I have no doubt to that," Kyouya's foot momentarily grazed his full book bag.

"You know what I think?" she said out of the blue. "I think you and I should see each other outside the cafe."


"Instead of the afternoon, let's say evening time. With real food and wine, not just tea and desserts. Say for example, tomorrow night at seven o' clock at night?"

Kyouya's eye twitched. Did she just... wait, did she just ask him out on a date? "You're asking me out on a date?" he said before he realized it.

"That's your call," Renge told him. "If you pick up the bill as soon as it arrives, then it is a date."

Kyouya tapped his fingers to the table for just a moment. A date? With her? The idea perplexed him. Not that time with Renge was dreaded, after all, he had been spending all his Friday afternoons with her since last year... Conversations with her were always refreshing to him, and it didn't hurt that she was easy on the eyes. So how would she look if she was dressed for a date? Kyouya was interested. "How about seven-thirty?"

Renge broke out into a grin.