I'm afraid that I haven't read the manga, so this is based entirely on the anime. And anyone who has read my other fic is absolutely forbidden to read this one.
Tamaki sat at his desk in silence, staring the screen of his laptop. He had typed the date and title, but not a single word of the essay that was due tomorrow. He couldn't concentrate. His father had arrived home today.
Things had been better between them lately, now that Tamaki was officially the heir of Suou family, but even so... he sighed, staring down at his fingers. For a second, he imagined that they rested on a piano keyboard, not a computer keyboard, and a wave of calm washed over him. Then the daydream faded.
With another sigh, Tamaki glanced out the window. It was twilight; the day was quickly ending, and he still hadn't gotten any work done. He should have been working that afternoon, but as usual he hadn't been able to resist spending the day with his friends; his real family. Honey and Mori; his son and his brother; Kaoru and Hikaru, his mischievous younger brothers; Kyoya, his best friend, the "mother" of his family; and Haruhi, his...what?
Tamaki sighed heavily yet again. This wasn't making it any easier to work. What was Haruhi to him? The question had been plaguing him for ages, but especially since the Ouran Fair. They had danced; he had stood with his arms around her while they watched the fireworks; they had sat for hours together under the stars; and they had almost kissed, but at the last minute she had pulled back. And now what? For the last month they had been closer, it was true, they had spent more time alone together, but in terms of romance their relationship hadn't progressed an inch.
Suddenly a knock came at his door, interrupting him.
'Tamaki-san, there is someone to see you,' the maid said from the doorway. Tamaki sighed. He really had to do homework. He would just have to decline the visit. Still, though...once again his thoughts strayed to Haruhi.
'Who is it?'
'A young lady...' Tamaki's hopes leapt— 'named Miss Diana.' His hopes fell, and he felt his face settling into a sulk. He had homework. He didn't feel like entertaining one his of scatter-brained fans. What was she doing here, anyway?
'Of course, I'll be right down.' His wishes didn't matter. Diana was a lady, and it was his responsibility to make her happy. He got to his feet without bothering to save the all-but-blank document and headed out of his rooms, down the grand staircases to the entrance hall, where Diana was waiting.
'Welcome, my princess,' he greeted her, taking her hand in his and pressing a red rose between her fingers. 'How delightful to see you again so soon. Please, come in.' Tamaki had entertained her at the Host Club earlier today. Actually, come to think of it she had been talking about how much she would love to hear him play piano, and he might have told her charmingly to come by anytime, that he would be happy to play for her. He hadn't expected her to accept the offer, though, and besides, he hadn't meant to come by his home; he had meant to come by music room three. His father didn't like him having friends over.
That didn't matter, though; what mattered was Diana's happiness.
'Would you like something to drink, princess?' he asked, leading her by the hand across the entrance hall.
'Just a glass of water, please,' she replied, her voice tentative and shy. He marvelled that she had worked up the courage to come here alone. Tamaki flashed her a smile and called to a maid, asking for two glasses of spring water to be sent to the parlour.
'Come along, my dear. Tell me, how has your day been since we parted company? I can assure that although the sky was clear, my world was far darker while we were apart.'
Diana smiled and ducked her head. She should have been used to his charms by now, because even though she had only come to the Host Club for the first time that afternoon he sat next to her in math class, so they had spoken many times.
'I was thinking about you, too,' she replied softly, and then smiled shyly up at him, and he smiled genuinely back. She was happy, and it was because of him. 'Your house is beautiful,' Diana added as they reached the parlour and he opened the door, bowing her in.
'Perhaps; yet it fades in comparison to you, my angel.' Diana blushed prettily. Half-Japanese, like Tamaki, she truly was a lovely girl, with long raven hair and jade-green eyes. She was also the heiress of a powerful company. To Tamaki, though, looks and money had never mattered. To him, all women deserved to be happy. He thought of his poor mother, torn from the man she loved, wasting away sick in bed, finally separated from her son, too...no one deserved that. The guilt at leaving her clawed at him, as it always did, and he hid it by smiling even more dazzlingly down at little Diana.
No, it didn't matter that she was pretty. Many people thought that the way he charmed girls, the way he ran his Host Club, was manipulative, but that wasn't true at all. Tamaki would never dream of taking advantage of a girl—he just wanted to make them happy. All of them. Young or old, rich or poor, ugly or beautiful, stupid or smart, it didn't matter to Tamaki.
'So, can you play me a song?' Diana asked, shattering his reverie and glancing towards the grand piano in the corner.
'Of course,' he replied. 'Please, make yourself comfortable. Do you have any specific requests?'
'Play me something romantic,' she replied, settling herself down on the sofa and lifting the glass of spring water, which had arrived before they had, to her lips. Tamaki turned and walked to the piano, real pleasure rising within him as he anticipated the feeling of the keys beneath his fingers. Sometimes it seemed that he was only happy when he was playing the piano. Well, when he was playing the piano or when he was with Haruhi. Tamaki suppressed a sigh. What was he going to do about her?
He could see her face, her wide, innocent, intelligent, beautiful brown eyes. Her tousled, short hair...usually he preferred longer hair on girls, but on her it didn't matter. She was still... As Tamaki began to play the familiar melody of Greensleeves—what could be more romantic than an ancient love long from countless centuries ago?—he couldn't banish his Haruhi from his thoughts. He imagined playing the piano for her, just for her...
The harmonies wound on and on. He closed his eyes, the notes coming effortlessly, some soft and tender, some intensely passionate. The music was alive in him, and he forgot where he was, just lived for the melody running through his entire body. This was where he belonged, sitting at a piano, not behind a desk running a company.
'That was beautiful,' Lady Diana whispered when he finished the piece, tears in her eyes.
'Not nearly as beautiful as you,' he replied quietly, but he wasn't really talking to her; he was talking to Haruhi. Why did he always act like such an idiot around her? Why couldn't he be smooth, charming, charismatic, as he was with other girls? Tamaki suddenly realized that Diana was talking to him.
'You will have to forgive me, my princess,' he said quickly, getting to his feet and striding across the room to her. Gently, he took her chin in his hand and lifted her face, gently forcing her to look up at him. 'So distracted was I by your exquisite beauty, it seemed that time stood still. What were you saying?' She giggled. Diana had always been shy, and Tamaki suddenly wondered if she was in love with him. Many girls were enamoured with him, enchanted by him, but not actually in love. Tamaki hoped that she wasn't, because if she was then he wouldn't be able to make her happy; he couldn't say that he loved her back. No, sometimes Tamaki wondered if he was even capable of loving a girl, because after all those he had met, charmed, entertained, all the girls he had kissed, touched, adored...he had never actually had feelings for any of them. He had just wanted to make them happy. He had never felt anything for any girl, except maybe...
...Haruhi... Once again there she was in his mind, his beautiful little rose, more than his friend, more than his daughter, his...
'I was just wondering if you always play here, in the parlour.'
'Oh no, this is only for entertaining guests. I have a piano in my room that I use to practice, or just to play for myself.' He preferred that piano, the one he had had shipped from France, the piano he had used through his childhood to play for his mother. The sound wasn't as good, it wasn't a polished ebony grand, but even so he loved it.
'Can I see it?'
'I beg your pardon?'
'I'd like to hear you play on your own piano.'
'But Lady Diana, the sound isn't nearly as good on my piano. Why don't you come and sit with me? We can play a song together.'
'I can't play the piano, Tamaki. And I'd really like to hear the piano in your room. It just seems like it would be more...personal.' She lowered her eyes, her cheeks flushing again. Tamaki wondered how long it had taken her to work up the courage to see him at the Host Club, how much she had prepared for this moment when she would come to his house. She was so shy...this must mean a great deal to her. Could she be in love with him?
'As you wish, my princess.' His father definitely wouldn't approve of him inviting a young lady to his room; he would be punished for it, later. But if this was so important to Diana, how could he refuse her? How could he see her face fall with sadness? He wanted to make her happy. He needed to make her happy. Tamaki offered her a hand, helping her to her feet, and led her off through the house, towards his private rooms.
It felt strange, though, almost a violation. Of all of his friends, the only one who had seen his room was Kyoya. For a moment Tamaki imagined bringing Haruhi to his room. He would love to play to her on his private piano, and they could just sit and talk, she would tease him about the unnecessary extravagance, the ridiculously romantic decor, there would be no one around to interrupt when he put his arms around her and...
Abruptly, Tamaki tore himself from the fantasy. He was wont get carried away in his fantasies, and if that happened now it would be quite awkward for Diana.
'Well, here we are,' he told her, opening the door to his rooms. They first stepped into a small foyer. To the right was the door to his office, to the left was a small sitting room and straight ahead was his bedroom, where he kept his piano so that he could play whenever he wanted, or just look at it and remember his beloved mother.
'In here,' Tamaki said, leading her to his bedroom, his only retreat in his father's cold house. She shouldn't be here. He didn't want her here. But...he had to make her happy. He would play for her, see her eyes light up with happiness, and then she would leave and he could have his sanctuary restored.
'As you see, it's quite an old piano. Are you sure you want to hear it?'
'Actually...' Diana paused, looking at the floor. 'Will you just come and sit with me for a moment?'
'Of course.' He led her to the low sofa which sat against the wall and waited for whatever it was she wanted to talk about. She didn't say anything, though. Instead she continued to stare at the carpet, black with a pattern of red roses, and Tamaki got the distinct impression that she was gathering her nerve.
'Princess, is everything all right?' He gently cupped her cheek with his hand, turning her to face him. For a moment she kept her eyes down, but lifted her gaze to meet his, and with sudden resolution leaned forward and kissed him.
Tamaki's first reaction was shock. That wasn't at all what he had expected. She was always so shy. Why the sudden forwardness? Gently, he kissed her back for a moment before pulling away. For once, even he was unsure how to respond. He didn't want to hurt her feelings, and it wasn't that he didn't enjoy kissing her, but...
'Diana...' he began, but before he could finish, before he could ask what she was doing, she wrapped her arms around him again, pulling him against her. What was she doing? He wondered worriedly if she was drunk, or stoned. This wasn't the Diana he knew. Again, he tenderly disengaged. He had thought that she wanted to hear him play the piano. But was this her reason for coming here? Had she been planning this?
'Diana,' he repeated, smoothing the hair back from her face, 'what are you doing?'
'What does it seem like I'm doing?' she replied, a brazen response that belonged on the lips of a femme fatale, and seemed feeble coming from shy Diana. Still, she kissed him yet again, this time even more passionately, and before he could respond he felt her hands at his chest, nimbly unbuttoning his shirt.
And Diana's intentions were suddenly clear. Why she was doing this he wasn't sure, but there was no doubt about what she intended. His mind flew forward in a furious fantasy, her touch suddenly burned his skin as his imagination took wing, and Tamaki felt his hands moving to the ties on her dress seemingly of their own accord. After a moment he stopped, though, something holding him back. What was it? Something was bothering him, telling him that he shouldn't be doing this. For some reason he didn't even want to do this on anything more that a purely physical level. Why? If wasn't as though he hadn't slept with girls before. What was it? What was holding him back?
He was probably worried about her happiness. That would make sense.
'Diana,' he said firmly, pulling away, 'Diana, why are you doing this? Is this really going to make you happy? Is this really what you want?'
'Tamaki,' she replied, 'you know me. I wouldn't do this if I hadn't thought about it. Tamaki, I...' she looked him directly in the eye, her face brimming with passion, fear and something stronger. 'Tamaki, I love you.'
And that was all she had to say. The words crashed over him. I love you. When was the last time someone had said that to him? In his whole life only three people had ever said those words. His mother, his beloved mother, the mother he had been forced to abandon, and the two girls who had really fallen for him since he had come to Japan. Tamaki felt his breath hitch, and warmth spread over him, penetrated the cage of ice that he had built around his heart. The words pushed away his father's cold looks, banished the long, dark nights of loneliness, broke apart the cruel, heartless world of politics that he had been thrust into at such a young age.
Maybe he wasn't so selfless after all. It was certainly true that he strived to make girls happy no matter the cost, but...maybe he did this for another reason, too. Maybe he just wanted to feel loved.
Instead of kissing Diana, Tamaki pulled her close, holding her to his chest. I love you, she had said. Love. The one thing he craved above all and the one thing that always seemed to elude him.
Still, though, something grated at him. Trying to ignore it, Tamaki leaned down and kissed Diana passionately, his fingers twisting in her hair, but the thought wouldn't go away. What was it? What was wrong?
And suddenly there, in his mind, there was another face. Smaller, but less delicate than Diana's, with wide eyes like melted chocolate, a face so infinitely beloved.
With a gasp, Tamaki pulled away. He got to his feet, bringing a trembling hand to his brow, trying to sort out his thoughts.
He quickly stepped forward a few paces, then turned feverishly back. Diana was sitting on the sofa, looked after him in confusion. He couldn't do this. The cruel, harsh, wonderful truth crashed down on him in one precious moment: he loved Haruhi. Loved her. Of course he had loved her as a friend for a very long time, but this was different. Why had it taken him so long to see? He was completely in love with her, and he loved her. He had had no idea that his feelings were so strong. Why had it taken another girl to make him realize?
'Tamaki?' Diana asked tentatively. Tamaki took a deep breath. How was he going to handle this now? With trembling hands he re-buttoned his shirt before running his fingers through his hair, hesitating a moment and then going to sit back down again, on the opposite side of the sofa from Diana.
'Diana,' he began, 'I—' But what could he say? I don't love you? I love someone else? Both would upset her. He realized suddenly that Diana thought that he was in love with her. Because he hadn't seen him at the Host Club before, because she only really spoke with him when she was the closest girl around and therefore the focus of his attentions, she didn't understand the way he was. Because she was so shy, so innocent, so inexperienced, it wouldn't cross her mind that he, a prince, would strive charm all women, not only those he had feelings for. She thought that he treated her the way he did because he actually liked her, not just because he wanted to see her face light up with pleasure.
'Diana, I don't think we should do this.'
'Why not?' she asked, her face flushing as rejection crashed over her. 'I love you.'
How could he do this gently, without upsetting her?
'You hardly know me. You can't possibly love me. Maybe you're in love with me, but there's a difference.'
'So you're saying that you don't love me.'
'Ah...well...' what could he say now? 'Diana, I like you very much. And I suppose...I suppose I might grow to love you if I knew you better.' That was a lie. He could never love anyone but Haruhi. 'But I also respect you, and I don't think we should do this unless you're absolutely certain. I think that you should get to know me better first. I would hate for you to make a wrong choice and regret it.'
This was so awkward. Never had Tamaki been awkward around a girl before. It just didn't happen. So why now?
'Oh, Tamaki,' she whispered, tears filling her eyes. Brilliant. 'You're so considerate, you're such a gentleman.'
After a moment of surprise at her reaction, Tamaki forced a smile down at her.
'Come on, now, it's late. You should get home.' He turned away and fiddled with something on his bookshelf, giving her an opportunity to fix her dress. When he saw in the mirror that she was presentable he turned around, smiled, and walked to the door. He would have to see about getting switched out of her math class. Not immediately, of course, but within a few weeks.
When Tamaki stepped out into the hall with Diana in tow he glanced to his left and saw his father standing at the end of the hall and knew that he would be punished for this later. For now, though he just led Diana back to the entrance hall, thanked her politely for coming and handed her another rose before ushering her out.
When the door was closed he leaned against it for a moment, breathing heavily. That had been terrible. Why did someone have to fall in love with him now, just when he had finally fallen in love? It was ridiculous. It was unfair. Tamaki felt himself beginning to sulk, and a moment later he fell to the floor, wrapping his arms around his knees. Why was life so hard?
'Tamaki-san, get up,' someone said above him, and he looked up to see Shima looking down disapprovingly. Still pouting, he got to his feet and stalked off, back to his room, where he flopped down on his bed. A beautiful girl had just tried to hook up with him. So why did he feel so miserable? Why did he feel so lonely? He wanted...he wanted to see Haruhi.
I love Haruhi, he thought to himself, and then decided to try it aloud.
'I love Haruhi,' he whispered. 'I love her. I love Haruhi Fujioka!' He laughed ecstatically for a moment, but then stopped. It didn't matter; just because he loved her didn't meant that she loved him. And besides, just think how long it had taken him to realize that he loved her. Haruhi was smart, but she was also pretty oblivious, and so used to being alone that her whole nature was set against opening up to others. It might take her years to realize that she was in love with Tamaki.
He curled up into a ball in bed, pouting. He wanted to see her. Now. Still sulking, he sat up, grabbed the phone and dialled Kyoya's phone number.
'Kyoya, I need heeeeelp,' he whined.
'What is it, Tamaki?' his friend sighed. 'If you want me to proofread your essay I will, but I'm not going to write it for you.'
'It's not about that,' he snapped, 'it's about...about...' but he suddenly had an idea. 'Never mind, I'll see you tomorrow Kyo-chan, bye!!!!!' Tamaki hung up and swiftly dialled Haruhi's home number.
'Hello?' Tamaki's blood froze. It hadn't occurred to him that Haruhi's father might answer the phone.
'Um...hello, can I please speak with Haruhi? This is...Diana,' he said in a high-pitched voice. There was a moment of silence.
'You can't fool me,' Ranka said in a low, deadly voice. 'I know who this is. And even if you weren't calling ridiculously late at night there's no way I would let you talk to my daughter—' there followed a lot of static and some scrambled words that he couldn't understand. Tamaki wondered worriedly if the family was under attack and was on the point of calling for a car to rush to the rescue when the static stopped.
'Hi, Sempai,' Haruhi said on the other end, and he sighed in relief.
'Hi, Haruhi. Sorry to be calling so late.'
'It's only nine o'clock. Anyway, what's up?'
Aw, she was so kyooote!
'Actually, Haru-Chan, I was just wondering if you could help me with my essay.'
'You haven't written it yet? Isn't it due tomorrow?'
'Why are you asking me? Kyoya's in your class, why not ask him?'
'He said he wouldn't help me. So why don't I just come on over with my laptop, and—'
'Sempai, you're second in your class, behind Kyoya. I'm sure you can write an essay without the help of a younger student like me.'
'Can I come over or not?' he demanded. If she said yes then it would be the second time he had been over to her house alone. It had taken him a lot of courage to drop by without the rest of their friends the first time, but now that he knew that he loved her it seemed stupid not to go see her.
'Um...yeah, I suppose so. But my father will be mad.'
'Thanks Haru!!!!!!!!' he cried, leaping to his feet and jumping up and down. 'Ok, I'll be over in a few minutes. Bye!!!'
Maybe the evening wouldn't be so bad, after all.
I watched all 26 episodes straight, breaking only to go to school, and this was the result. Not brilliant writing, I know, and not a very creative storyline. Just a bit of fun. It'll only be a few chapters long.