The bell rings, signaling the end of another school day at Ouran Academy. All of the students file out of their classrooms, some chatting amongst themselves about what they're doing after school and the like, while others make their way to various clubs and after-school activities. Well, all of the students except for Amber that is. She's so focused on finishing her drawing that she hardly notices the bell at all.
"Hey, Amber! It's time to go!" calls one of the girls from class.
"Forget it, Mayu. She's not going to answer you," interrupts one of the other girls. "Just let the brat be; she doesn't talk to anyone, really."
As the two girls leave, Amber sighs and puts down her pencil. 'I am not a brat...' With a last once-over of her drawing, she puts her sketchbook away and packs up her things. 'I'm just quieter than most people...' She picks up her bag and makes her way through the halls of the school and up to the second level, where the familiar double-doors are a welcome sight to her. With a small, soft smile on her face, Amber opens the doors and steps inside to be met with the usual swirling gust of rose petals.
"Welcome!" the hosts greet.
Amber waves, "Hi, everyone."
Hani, unsurprisingly, is the first one to react. "Hi Am-chan!" He runs up to her and hugs her, causing her face to flush a little.
She pats his back nervously, "H-Hi, Hani-kun."
He grins at her, "How are you? Are you here to come and sit with me and Takashi again today?"
Building up her smile again, she nods, "Mhmm."
"Yay! Come on! Let's go have cake!"
Amber laughs quietly, "Just a second, okay?" She looks up at Kyouya, "Would it be alright if I used the back room to change out of my uniform?"
He nods, smiling his signature grin-that's-not-really-a-grin, "Of course."
Nodding her thanks, She detaches from Hani and hurries into the back room. After locking the door, Amber pulls off her yellow monstrosi- err... dress, revealing her red tee-shirt and black windbreaker pants, then swaps her black Mary-Jane shoes for black and white sneakers. That being done, she puts her shoes in her bag, along with her uniform, and goes back out into the main room.
Hani sees her and waves her over, "Over here, Am-chan!"
She smiles and walks over to their table. The small blonde gestures for her to take the seat at his left, Mori being on his other side. She obliges, setting her bag down beside her chair. Amber nods to Mori with a small smile, "Hello."
He smiles back and nods in return.
Hani grins, "What kind of cake would you like today, Am-chan? We have chocolate, strawberry, lime, and we just got vanilla, too!"
"Hmm... the vanilla sounds really good, actually."
Hani slides a slice over to her, "Here you go!"
She smiles, "Thanks."
This is how things usually go during the week. Amber always goes to the Host Club to see Hani and Mori, though the former is the main reason she goes. The hosts are used to her daily visits and consider her a regular. In fact, a lot of the guests like watching the two small upperclassmen talk; in their minds, it's like watching two children having a play-date. They think it's... cute.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" comes a girl's voice.
Again, a lot of the guests. Not all of them.
Amber looks up and, surprise surprise, it's the girl from the classroom before, only her friend Mayu isn't with her. And she doesn't look happy.
"I'm visiting my friends. Is there something wrong with that?" Amber asks in return, doing her best not to sound mean, but not to let her shyness kick in either.
She's about to say something back, but Hani and Mori are both looking at her now which seems to stop her. "No... I was just curious since you don't seem to have many friends in class." She sits down across from Amber, "In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard you talk to anyone..."
The smaller girl decides against replying with a rude remark and instead looks down at the piece of cake in her plate.
"You know Am-chan, Kururugi?" Hani asks.
"Yes, we're in the same class. She never says a word to anyone, though, even when we try to be nice and talk to her," she answers coolly.
Amber frowns at the confection before her, resisting the urge to kick the girl from under the table.
"Well, Am-chan's shy. I'm sure she doesn't do it to be mean," Hani defends, making Amber want to hug him for sticking up for her.
Kururugi shrugs, "Maybe. I wouldn't know, since I don't know a thing about her. I suppose I'm just not good enough to be spoken to..."
"You know that's not true," Amber finally speaks up. "I might talk to you if you didn't always call me a brat..."
Now, Hani looks at Kururugi with big eyes, "You called her a brat!? Why would you say something so mean!?"
She looks between the two of them and frowns at the brunette, "Because she acts as though the rest of us are below her. She thinks she's better than the rest of us, stubborn girl..."
"That's not true! Am-chan would never think that! She's not that kind of person!" Hani cries, obviously upset at this.
Amber glances at the boy, then at Kururugi and sighs. She gets up from her chair and picks up her bag.
Hani looks at her as she starts to walk towards the door, "Am-chan? Where are you going?"
"Home, Hani-kun. I'll see you tomorrow," she replies, not turning around to look at him.
"Because it's obvious that this conversation is upsetting you." Amber pauses and turns to him with a tiny, sad smile. "I came here to see you, not to cause problems. So, I'll see you tomorrow after school, okay? You too, Mori-kun." With that, she turns and leaves, shutting the door behind her. She heaves another sigh as she makes for the stairs and the school's doors. 'Well, that figures. I was looking forward to seeing him all day, and that witch had to show up and ruin it...' She pulls our her cell-phone and calls home for the driver to pick her up. He's there within ten minutes, and he brings her back to her house where she kicks off her shoes goes straight up to her room. 'I hate people like her... Why can't she just accept the fact that I have a problem trusting people? The hosts are the only ones I've ever really talked to, and Hani and Mori are the only two I really, REALLY trust...'
A knock on the door breaks her out of her thoughts. "Amber, is everything alright?" comes her mother's voice as she opens the door.
"Yeah, everything's fine Mom. I'm just a little tired from school," she answers, laying on her bed.
"If you're sure... Well, tonight is the maids' night off, and your father and I are going out for the day, so you'll have the house to yourself for a few hours. Will you be alright when the maids leave?"
She nods, "Yeah, I'll be fine. Have fun."
Her mother hugs her and goes back out into the hall, "Alright, we're going then. Be good."
The door closes, and Amber completely immerses herself in the picture she'd been drawing earlier. Minutes turn to an hour, and she's once again so focused that she only faintly nods when a maid comes in to inform her that they are leaving for the night.
About another two hours later, around six, the doorbell rings, snapping Amber from her trance.
She sighs and closes her sketchbook, then gets up and hurries downstairs to answer the door. She pulls the door open and is very surprised at who she finds standing there. "Hani-kun? W-What are you doing here?"
He looks at her with concerned eyes, "You looked really sad when you left today... I wanted to make sure you were okay!"
"Oh... Well, uh... would you like to come inside?"
He smiles a little and nods.
Amber steps aside to let him in, looking around as he walks past her.
"Takashi didn't come with me. I said I wanted to come see you by myself," Hani informs her.
She blushes faintly and closes the door, "Okay." She walks back into the house with him, "Umm... do you want something to drink or anything? My parents are out, and the maids have off tonight."
He shakes his head, sitting on the sofa. "I wanted to talk to you."
Curious and hesitant all at once, she joins him on the couch, "What is it?"
He looks down, "Amber, about what happened at the Host Club..."
She knows he's serious by his tone, plus the fact that he'd used her full name. He never uses her full name.
"Well, Hika-chan and Kao-chan heard everything. They told Tama-chan and Kyo-chan, and they said that Kururugi isn't allowed at the Club anymore because she insulted you," he explains.
Amber's eyes go wide, "What? Why? I mean, that was why I left. I didn't want to cause trouble..." She looks down at her hands, fisted in her lap.
Hani takes one of her hands with his, causing her to blush brightly and look up at him. "You didn't cause trouble for anyone. She did. Amber... don't ever worry about upsetting me, okay?"
She glances at their hands, then meets his eyes, "Why not?"
"Because you can't upset me," he says with a little smile. "You're my friend, and if someone makes you feel bad, I want you to tell me. You don't deserve to have people call you names. You're a nice person."
She blinks at him and slowly smiles, though her blush doesn't lighten any. "...Okay, Hani-kun."
He smiles wider and pulls her into a hug, "Good!"
Mustering every ounce of courage she has, she murmurs, "Mitsukuni..." Amber leans back enough to kiss him lightly on the cheek. "...Thank-you."
He looks at her with wide eyes and a blush to rival hers painted across his face. He holds a hand to where she'd kissed him and smiles, looking away and taking her hand again. "There's... something else I have to tell you." He sounds determined, but not as serious as he was before.
"What's that?" she asks, trying her best not to think about her hand in his.
"...I really like you, Amber... Like more than as a friend..." he murmurs, looking back up at her with a nervous smile.
Amber's face is about the shade of a cherry, and is a perfect picture of surprise. "Y-You... like me?"
He nods, "A lot."
She takes a breath to try to calm herself, then looks up at him from under her eyelashes. "I-I'm glad... I-I... really like you too, Mitsukuni."
Now he wears the same shocked face that she had moments before. He stares at her for a moment, then leans in and gives her a quick peck on the lips, thoroughly surprising her. When he backs up, the two stares at each other silently. After about ten seconds, they smile at the same time, both their faces still bright red...
The next day, things seem to return to normal. Amber still visits the Host Club every day, and she still requests Hani and Mori each time. Customers come and go, and the incident with Kururugi is just about forgotten. The only difference now is that when guests watch the two smaller upperclassmen talk, they're both always grinning from ear to ear...
...And they're both always holding hands.