Butterscotch
By: Manna


xOx…

The Microfic/Drabble Meme
:Christmas Requests:

For: Forced Simile
Prompt: "A vacation from a vacation."
Flower: Red Hibiscus


xOx…

She'd turned to all of them with an expression she seemed to wear all-too often, and as her lips parted—not that he had been looking at them, of course—words had flown from her mouth, sharp and jagged, cutting him to the quick.

"I don't even know where we are!"

Perhaps it wasn't so painful after all, he thought moments later, but the fact that she had taken off, leaving him with Kyouya's smirk and Hikaru and Kaoru's terrible off-key singing—or were they chanting?—in the middle of a fancy restaurant was most definitely like a javelin to his fragile, fluttering heart.

With an excuse to find something—a drink, something to eat, his sanity—he wandered off in search of her, that elusive, quirky killjoy that had stolen his heart—not that he would admit it, even to himself.

He found her in a bookstore, three blocks from where their friends were having a late lunch. "Haruhi!" he sang out, and at the strange stares of the people all around him, he lowered himself in a crouch to read the cover of the book she was reading, remembering to speak softer. "What are you reading?" he asked, even as his eyes scanned the title. Better Homes and Gardens. He arched an eyebrow curiously. "A cookbook?"

The expression on her face—one of exceptionally calm concentration—had not flickered even the slightest since his appearance. She leaned back in the chair and continued to read. "Yes, Tamaki-senpai." He knew she wanted to add something sarcastic to the end of that sentence, but she refrained from doing so, and instead flipped the page.

He sat on the arm of the overstuffed red chair and looked over her shoulder.

"Butterscotch pie?" he asked. "I've never had it."

She stared at him. "What?"

"I've never had it." Then, a moment later, "Oh, Haruhi! Please use your cooking abilities to make me one! It would mean oh-so much to hold a delectable treat—made by your loving hands!"

She winced a whole millisecond before he could start on his tirade, and he cut it off quickly—all things considered—before he could offer to buy her the cookbook, a new house with a spacious kitchen, expensive mixers and dishes, and while he was at it, a wedding ring.

He gave her his sweetest, most innocent expression, "Please, Haruhi?"

"If you promise," she said, closing the book and pushing it into his arms, "not to drag me out of bed at five o'clock in the morning for one of your so-called vacations…then I will."

"So-called vacations?"

"Yes, this." She swept her arms around her, facial expression neutral except for her lips—not that he was staring at them, of course. They were turned upward just the smallest bit. "I was sleeping. Soundly, I might add. All of a sudden, a band of hooligans busted down my front door and dragged me—"

He gasped, and held onto her shoulders tightly. "Hooligans?" he echoed. "Breaking and entering?" His eyes widened. "And they dragged you…! Oh, Haruhi! Are you all right? Who would do such a thing!"

Before he could add any more to that sentence, including a hug and/or a lengthy speech on self-defense and how she could rely on him to always protect her, she shrugged his hands off. "You're one of the hooligans, you idiot."

He stared.

"You delusional monkeys dragged me out here to God Knows Where to spend the weekend. I have studying to do, Senpai. I don't have time to eat lunch at fancy restaurants."

"You seem stressed," he said gently, giving her his trademark smile, the one that made old ladies swoon and young girls blush. It seemed to have the opposite effect on Haruhi. Her expression warped into a scowl, one that looked terribly frightening.

"No more vacations, Tamaki-senpai."

"But—"

"No more." She folded her arms over her chest and gave him her best no-nonsense, don't-even-argue-with-me expression. "Or you won't get a pie."

Pie was delicious, and baked by Haruhi's own sweet hands… Well, it would be even better! How could he turn down something like that?

On the other hand, no more vacations meant less time spent with Haruhi herself, and the thought made his heart sag with the same heavy weight of sorrow he often felt when confronted with the thought of not seeing her every day.

"Can we at least finish this vacation?" he asked her, feeling almost timid. It had been going quite well until she'd realized she hadn't a clue as to where she was.

"I don't see as how I have a choice." She sighed. "But I'm not going back to that restaurant. Whatever was on that plate looked disgusting."

He agreed with her about the food, but he didn't dare say anything concerning it. He liked listening to the sound of her voice when she wasn't angry. And even then…

"I will stay right here, in this spot until I feel like moving, and you, Senpai, should go back to the restaurant with the o—"

He had a suddenly wonderful, brilliant idea, and it burst from his mouth before he could stop it, "Why don't we go home?" He pretended that he hadn't cut her off mid-sentence.

"…What?" She stared at him in confusion.

"It can be a vacation from this vacation," he said eagerly, already planning the return flight home. Haruhi would get the window seat, and maybe if he was lucky, she'd fall asleep with her head on his sh—

"The twins were singing, weren't they?"

"Well…"

"I'll bet it was more like chanting."

"…Yes." He couldn't lie to her. Usually, he didn't mind the insanity the twins offered, but lately, everything that annoyed Haruhi had begun to annoy him, too. Maybe he spent too much time around her—oh, but there was no such thing!

She thought long and hard for a few moments before getting to her feet. "All right," she said. "Let's go. But you have to buy that book or you won't get your pie."

Overcome with joy—both at the thought of spending time with Haruhi and the knowledge that she was making him something homemade, something special just for him—he wrapped his arms around her neck and shoulders in a warm hug. She remained perfectly still, her foot tapping against the ground, the only sign of her impatience.

Something was different about her, though, and as he pulled away, he realized what it was: the corners of her lips were turned upward in an almost-smile.


xOx…

Author Notes:

Short, simple, and to-the-point…if there was a point, that is.