Summary: I can't stop running. I can't. I'm already so far behind. And why would Haruhi fall in love with the underdog?
A/N: Just a one-shot of how I think Hikaru and Haruhi's relationship should be. Hope you like it :P Reviews make HikaHaru fairies come to life! :D And you know that makes sense. xD
I run. Faster and faster, quicker and quicker.
But I can't find her.
The sky is dark and immense, like someone's just stained the whole sky with black ink, and it shifts and rolls in on itself, restless and angry. Now and then, a crack of brilliantly white lightening forks above me, illuminating everything for a split second in foreboding light. It only takes a few seconds before the furious and gravelly roar of thunder follows, so loud that even I flinch.
I can't imagine what's like for her.
Her being Haruhi Fujioka, the only girl in the wildly popular host club.
Her being our Haruhi, who suffers from an irrational yet intense fear of thunder.
Her being the girl I love.
And you don't need to tell me I'm not good enough for her.
I love her for her steadfast independence, so strong that she never needs to lean on anyone and still has strength to spare for everyone around her. I love her for her patient bluntness, so down-to-earth that she'll always get down to the core of anything and say exactly what you need to hear. I love her for being her; she's so beautiful in everything she does, though I'd never be able to tell her.
The rain begins to pelt down even harder, sticking my hair solidly to my forehead as it pounds and stings my skin.
What would... Haruhi love about me?
I don't know.
Before I met the host club, all I had was Kaoru and all Kaoru had was me. We didn't need to win anyone's affection so never even tried. We were both so accepting and needing of the other that we didn't need to develop any characteristics to try and please the rest of the world; we didn't care what the rest of the world thought.
Isolated and insulated, I grew up twisted and selfish, not bothering to work out how you get someone to like you.
I never knew I'd fall in love.
How do you get someone to love you?
All I can do is run as fast as I can.
When I first heard the distant rumble of thunder, I was in the car with Kaoru, on the way home. I instantly ordered the car to be stopped and, before it had even stopped moving, jumped out. Almost falling over in my desperate haste, I began to run.
Kaoru once told me I'm hot-headed and impulsive.
I never learnt to control my emotions and think things through. If I had, it might have occurred to me to get the driver to drive back instead of running. I try to change, and be more level headed like Kaoru, but it's so hard to change what's already been woven deep into your subconscious.
That thought, that one word pounds painfully in my head like a pulse, following the slam of my footfalls.
Slam, slam, slam.
Change, change, change.
I know I'm maturing. I dyed my hair to prove to the world that I'm a single, independent person who doesn't need to lean on everyone else. I'm acting more caring and considerate to people, especially Haruhi. I'm acting more like a gentleman when the situation requires it, exercising some mouth control.
But I'm still miles and miles behind everyone else.
One rumble of thunder and I'm running and searching for her like a madman, all maturity forgotten.
Change, change, change.
I'm sprinting her route home, ducking and diving into all the little side paths where she might be hiding from the thunder. I even took a detour and literally slammed into the glass door of her supermarket, hands pressed up against the glass so I could frantically scan the inside for her.
No-one was there.
I can barely breathe, never mind shout. My exhausted voice comes out raspy and forced, using up air I don't have; I try to draw in hissing gasps through clenched teeth, but I can't seem to get enough oxygen. My coiled, tense muscles are practically screaming, agonised and deprived.
But I can't stop running.
I'm already so far behind.
I think... I think Haruhi might be falling for Tamaki.
I think she might be falling for him as hard as I've fallen for her. Every fibre of my body refuses to acknowledge it, tries to reject the tiny, subtle signs. But I think she is. I don't want her to be falling for him. But I'm terrified she is.
I love her so much.
So much that all I can do is run.
Tamaki doesn't need to run.
He's already got that magic, that sparkle that everyone loves. He knows how to be kind and accepting, how to react towards everyone he meets. He's loving and selfless and only wants to keep us all together, happy.
He was already there when we met Haruhi. He didn't have to run. He started making her fall for him the moment she met him.
He's already far ahead of anyone else. Of me.
Now that I know I love her, I'm trying to catch up so that maybe, maybe she'll see something in me worth loving.
But I'm so far behind.
I run and run, as fast as I can, trying to catch up.
Change, change, change, change, change, change.
But I'll never get there in time. I started too late.
You don't fall in love with the underdog.
I finally reach Haruhi's block. Without breaking stride at all, I sprint up the flimsy steps, three at a time; several times I almost lose my footing on the slippery rain water and I have to jerk and grab onto the icy handrail to keep from falling down. I only pause when I'm finally in front of Haruhi's door. Instantly, the utter exhaustion floods my system and all I can do is collapse against the door, gulping as much heavy, wet air as I can.
There's no way she can hear me but I stutter her name anyway, struggling to breathe, clasping a stabbing pain in my side. Suddenly the night flashes as a crack of lightening shoots from the sky; almost instantly, a dark, threatening roar fills my eardrums, telling me the storm is now nearly directly above me.
My face pales as I hear a muffled yelp from behind the door.
What am I doing? Who cares if I'm exhausted?
Taking a last deep draught of air, I shakily begin banging my fist insistently against the door.
There's no response.
The thunder rumbles again and I desperately begin slamming the door with both palms when I make out her short scream again.
"Haruhi! Open the door, damn you!"
Bang, bang, bang.
Change, change, change.
I'm too late to catch up. She'll never love me back. Why can't I stop trying?
"Haruhi, please, just open the freaking door! Let me in!"
But a roar of thunder overcomes my shout and my plea falls on deaf ears; I bite my lip in angry anxiety, glaring at the wood of the door as my fist bangs it again.
For the first time, my fist falters.
What if Tamaki's already here? Or someone else? What if someone's got here before me and all that running was for waste?
Maybe I should just leave.
Maybe I should just stop running.
But then there's another crash of thunder and I hear a sudden bang from the apartment as something falls and hits the floor hard; my heart clenches painfully.
I'm too late to catch up. She'll never love me back. But I can't stop trying.
Because I love her.
There's a small grace in being so immature, so far behind; I'm amazingly and childishly stubborn. Even if I know it's getting me nowhere and my pride is telling me to back down before I crash and burn, I can't help but need to go for it. I need to keep fighting for her, because I don't know what else to do.
I'll never be able to stop running for her.
And right now, all that's between us is a flimsy commoner door.
Impulsive and stupid, I ready my shoulder and take a few firm steps backwards until I'm almost in the rain again. Then, with a short warning shout of 'I promise to buy you a new door!', I charge forward.
And then the door disappears.
I've got too much momentum to stop and fly madly through the now open doorway; my shin whacks against a step and I end up sprawled over the floor, my chin hitting the wood hard which instantly knocks a string of colourful language from my mouth. Ow.
"Ah! S-sorry, Hikaru."
Jumping at the sound of her voice, I clumsily flip round, needing to see her.
She's behind the door, one hand clutching the handle as she stares down at me apologetically. I think she's trying to stand up straight but she keeps subconsciously huddling over, her tiny shoulders shivering: her knuckles are going white on the handle because she's holding it so desperately, like it's the only thing keeping her up: her beautiful, strong eyes are red-rimmed with compressed tears.
It's the saddest thing I've ever seen.
Hastily scrambling up, I run over to her and, without thinking, grab her shoulders and pull her firmly towards me. She falls against my chest and I wrap my arms tightly around her, kicking the door closed as an afterthought.
Another rumble of thunder shakes the room and I hold her all the tighter, pressing my wet cheek against her hair. Despite quickly complaining that I'm dripping water everywhere, she clutches my shirt and buries her face in my chest, shaking violently like her knees are going to give out any second.
It's only when faced with her phobia that she becomes this vulnerable.
I want to stay here, holding her, forever.
Even if she's only leaning on me because of the thunder.
I hold her closer and glance around as the thunder roars again insistently; the storm's getting worse and I suddenly realise that, despite running all the way here, I have no idea how to help. I desperately search for something that'll comfort her, feeling out of my depth.
Commoners... find comfort in small spaces don't they?
Haruhi hid under a table that one time and their houses are way small too... so, all I need to do is find somewhere small to hide? Comforted by this revelation, I instantly spot something.
Suddenly smugly motivated, I daringly knock Haruhi's feet from under her and scoop her up, bridal-style; she grabs onto my shirt in surprise, glancing up at me accusingly.
"Hikaru, your soaking; you're going to get me all wet." She comments bluntly with a frown, obviously not affected at all by my impulsive attempt at being chivalrous; I can't help but smile.
Terrified or not, Haruhi is always Haruhi.
"Quit moaning..." I grumble quietly, silently thanking Kami that the lights are turned off so she can't see the hot blush colouring my face, born from cradling her so protectively against my chest.
She opens her mouth to retort back but suddenly seems to change her mind and her mouth closes wordlessly as I hurriedly carry her across the room. Coming to my genius destination, I awkwardly open the door, trying to ignore Haruhi's perplexed look.
"Hikaru... the... cupboard?"
"C...commoners find comfort in small places, don't they? Where else is there?!" I splutter indignantly, flustered as I promptly stuff her into the cupboard.
Well, more like placed her in the cupboard. I might have been a little more rough than I should have been, but I was nervous! I couldn't help it!
Completely awkward, I scramble in after her and try in vain to get comfortable while I throw an arm round her and shuffle against the door so it closed slightly, only letting a bit of light flow in. I pull her to my side as I fidget; it was so cramped. Why is this comforting?
Suddenly, I hear a strange sound.
Coming from Haruhi.
Blanching, I whip my head round in horror.
"Haruhi, are you seriously laughing?!"
My God, she is. Here I am, doing my best to be a gentleman, keeping in mind her weird commoner ways, and she sitting there snorting in laughter! What does she want me to do? Even when another rumble of thunder sounds, despite cringing and letting a few tears of fear roll down her cheeks, she just keeps on uncontrollably sniggering as though I've just done the funniest thing in the world.
"Ha.. aha... oh my God, Hikaru... heh..."
"Wh-what?! Why are you laughing at me?! I'm trying to help!"
"You... I can't believe you just... aha... the cupboard..." She chuckles, shakily rubbing some prior tears from her face before she looks up at me in utter amusement. "Hikaru, why are we sitting in the cupboard again?"
I flush in embarrassed confusion and glare down at her. "Because it's comforting for commoners!"
"Yes. Now be comforted, damn it."
She raises an amused eyebrow but before she can retort back, the thunder suddenly reminds us of its presence with menacing roar; despite it being slightly more distant than the last, Haruhi's still caught off guard and jumps wildly in panic, her hands moving on reflex and flapping uselessly around her ears. Panicking slightly myself, I hurriedly do the first thing that comes to mind and simply tighten my hold, making sure she can feel my arm around her.
And for some reason, she relaxes into me instead of pursuing the subject of cupboards and, shaking slightly with the aftermath of thunder, leans her head against my chest.
Oh my God.
I have no idea that to do. What is she doing? Should I do anything? Flustered, I merely lean my cheek on her hair as before, breathing in her subtle scent. I love her. I'll change whatever I need to change. I'll grow up until I'm practically unrecognisable, even if I have to run for the rest of my life, if that'll get her to see me.
I just want her to love me.
It sounds selfish, but I do, more than I've ever wanted anything else in the world.
I want her to love me so much.
I need to become more mature and selfless and less impulsive; more like Tamaki or Kaoru. I need to rewire the very core of my personality, because I've lived too long without caring what other people think and never growing up. Haruhi'll never like me if I can't even do that.
It's hard. It's really, really hard and I'm scared I've run out of time.
The raindrops hit the roof hard, in time with the internal plea that beats a purple tattoo inside my skull. I want her so bad.
Haruhi suddenly speaks up quietly from my side, her beautiful eyes slowly sliding closed. "Hikaru... thank you."
There's a long, deep pause as I glance uncertainly at her before she thankfully decides to elaborate.
"Thank you for running back here, just for me. Thank you for waiting so long at the door, even when I couldn't open it. Thank you for being here with me."
I don't know what to say. Is she thanking me for the immature qualities that the world threatens me to fix? To change? My young, underdeveloped heart instantly burns and squeezes painfully until its longing intensity suddenly fills my entire body and halters my breathing; but all I know to do is to simply hold her tighter against my side.
I feel like crying when she sleepily speaks again, her words dripping in sincerity.
"I really like this side of you. So, please... Hikaru, never change."
I can love you for who you are.