Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran. Bisco Hatori does.
I originally wrote this for ouran_contest's "history" challenge on LJ. Since it's quite long, it'll end up being 3 or 4 chapters. I hope a few of you bear with me until the end XD I love writing Tamaki x Haruhi, especially in this kind of context. This was beta read by lovinjerryt and euphoric_words 8D
This is posted on LJ as Une Histoire de Simplicité.
Haruhi had a history, she knew, of making rather rash decisions on the spot, despite the fact that she was sensible by nature and knew better than to rush into things without thinking. The fact that she did it anyway was tied to the truth that deep down, though she knew it was all wrong, her emotions and her curiosity often got the better of her. It was mostly because of this facet of her personality that she was currently walking back toward music room three not five minutes after classes had ended, hand still clenched around the beautifully scripted note from one Éclair Tonnerre that currently lay in her pocket. There was nothing wise or necessary about heeding the request of the note, but there was some subtle curiosity that drew her toward her destination, some kind of faint desire to know exactly what it could possibly be that this strange French girl, the very woman who had previously been engaged to Tamaki and had nearly threatened to change all that they held dear, wanted from her.
Éclair was already inside the music room when Haruhi entered, adjusting the strap of her school bag more comfortably on her shoulder. With careful slowness she made her way toward the elegant girl who stood patiently in the middle of the room. She had previously been examining a painting on the wall, but upon hearing Haruhi enter, she had fixed her eyes on her with an almost predatory stare. Haruhi drew her hand from her pocket.
"I'm glad you decided to meet me here," Éclair's voice was smooth as silk, and as she turned her eyes on Haruhi, the girl under her stare could feel the distinct sensation of being invaded. She was beginning to wonder if this was a good idea. Éclair had the same sense of quiet, predatory grace as a panther, and she looked, for the moment, as though she was about to make Haruhi her prey. It was knowing this that kept her extremely wary as she turned her eyes toward Éclair's startlingly blue ones without faltering. It took more courage than she knew she had.
"What did you want to talk about, exactly?" she asked, looking around the empty expanse of the third music room. There were no brightly colored costumes or babbling customers chatting idly with the Hosts at painted tea tables, and the effect was almost eerie. It seemed odd to see the place empty, but she shook off this thought and turned her attention back to Éclair. This was all about business, she was sure. "Is this about Tamaki-senpai?"
"Not really," Éclair said idly, adjusting the strap of her red dress and then turning her eyes back to meet Haruhi's. For a moment, Haruhi felt as though she was being frozen. "Though I did think it was touching that you would risk your life to bring him back to your little club. You really must care about him."
"None of the others really knew how to function without him around…"
"But you didn't either, did you?" Éclair reached out a hand and cupped Haruhi's chin. Haruhi stared up at the taller girl in surprise.
Eyes narrowing, Éclair lowered her head to ghost her lips slowly across Haruhi's, taking in the softness of the other girl's skin. Her fingers, moving with a fluid grace she knew this awkward Japanese girl would never hope to possess, teased loose hairs back behind Haruhi's ear. Haruhi had stiffened in surprise at the kiss, but now she was more or less relaxed again and seemed to be waiting curiously for what was going to happen next. It seemed less that she wanted to be kissed again than that she simply wanted to know what would transpire if she and Éclair stayed in this position. For a moment, a flare of possessiveness shot through Éclair's body, surprising and amusing her. This girl was strange and intriguing to Éclair, and it felt exhilarating to kiss her again, with more force this time, and hear the small, barely audible moan that slipped up from Haruhi's throat. There was something about her that made Éclair both fascinated and bold, and she ran with it as naturally as she could, soaking up her feeling of control. She was the one who held the cards at this moment, and it was delicious. "Tamaki is a lucky man to have you, isn't he?"
"What?" Haruhi's large eyes were confused as they looked up into Éclair's, azure meeting chocolate and melting together in a whirlpool of confused emotions. They were the eyes of a deer, innocent and childlike in the light they exuded despite the sense of practicality that Haruhi carried herself with. Éclair gave a satisfied smile. 'She doesn't even know he has feelings for her…' she thought. 'He's too simple to show her his feelings. It's a good thing I don't have the same problem.'
Slowly, Éclair moved away, leaving Haruhi standing alone with a confused expression on her face. Smiling deftly, she turned to weave her graceful way toward the double doors. She would leave Haruhi with thoughts of the encounter, and sooner or later the girl would come to her, drawn to her like a moth to flame. For better or for worse, she would have her. Éclair was not a narcissistic woman, but she knew that she had feminine wiles that were variably impossible for men to resist; she knew this based on pure fact and reason, rather than casual self-assurance. She was sure that in this regard a woman, even if she was Haruhi Fujioka, would be no different.
As Éclair stepped out through the doors of the charming music room that the Host Club held its duties in, she nearly collided with a tall blonde figure who stiffened slightly at the sight of her. She gave a smile up at him, assessing his posture and expression all at once in less than the time it took to blink and storing the information away for later use. Sweet, simple Tamaki, who would never even know what he was missing out on, because she was clever enough to get it first. In the time she had known him, she had learned that he was many things; kind, gentle, innocent, rather sharp-witted when it came to matters of importance. But he could never hope to be called clever, for which Éclair was secretly grateful for a moment.
"Hello, Tamaki," she said conversationally, and his tenseness melted away as he gave her a smile. She knew even in such a short time since meeting him that he was powerless to resist the temptation to be pleasant with a lady. It was also one of the many things his mother had gushed about as she brushed her hair.
"Good evening, Lady Éclair," he said politely in French, as guileless as ever. His eyes were guarded in a way she didn't expect, but his graciousness did not seem forced. "What brings you to Ouran? Not going back to France yet?"
Éclair shook her head and then reached her hand up to stroke his cheek delicately, careful not to scratch him with her red-painted nails. He jumped a little under her hand as though her fingers burned him. "No, I've got something to do first," she explained, still stroking his face. "But Tamaki, it seems that you might have a harder time winning over your Haruhi than you thought."
Tamaki's face was blank. "Wh-what?" he asked, pure confusion seeping over his features. And then realization. He was not as daft as everyone liked to believe, and she could see the quick wit in his eyes now, his brain turning as he processed the hidden meaning behind her words. "Éclair, what are you…"
But she turned and headed down the hallway away from him, leaving him to ponder the matter without another word, almost enjoying the way she could feel him staring open-mouthed at her retreating back like some kind of mental patient. She knew the whole setup was cruel, but she was tired of being lonely. Tired of being denied. Éclair was, despite her place in society as a privileged young woman who would someday inherit a large fortune, not nearly as fortunate as logic would dictate. For once, she had taken what she so deeply yearned for, even if it had the potential to tear her ex-fiancé to bits.
Tamaki was stunned beyond speech, and as he watched Éclair move gracefully down the hall, the realization slowly sunk in. She had done something to Haruhi. Something… something… he wasn't exactly sure what it was (he couldn't be sure exactly what to put past Éclair, as he had not known her for very long), but he rushed into the room before him anyway, ready to take on any scene that might meet him. He was as wound up as a spring, ready to uncoil on cue, and it was with this sense of preparation that he burst in through the double doors, eyes scanning the room like a madman. He wasn't sure what he had expected, but it certainly hadn't been Haruhi standing in the middle of the room, completely unharmed but looking pensive.
"Haruhi!" he was on her in a flash, wrapping his arms around the girl briefly and then pulling back. "What happened? Oh, my poor, precious daughter! Tell daddy all about it!"
"Nothing happened, senpai…" she said, though she looked more than a bit shaken, and Tamaki, horrified, pulled her against his chest. It was with a leap of the heart that her cheek came to meet him, warm and comfortable and absolutely… perfect, that contact between them.
"I don't believe you," he declared dramatically, cooing paternally as he brushed his face against her hair. He vaguely ignored the soft, feminine scent of lilies that burst forth to tempt his senses into distraction. "Now, you need to tell me what happened…" his expression and voice were serious, something odd and foreign in the gaiety of this room. It felt almost sacrilegious to ignore the usual cheer of the voices that echoed here. "Because you look like something really did happen."
"Senpai… it was nothing," a light blush rose up on her cheeks at the memory of those warm lips pressing hers, cherry flavored and oh-so soft. She should not have enjoyed it, that much was clear to herself, and it was enough to make her slightly ashamed. At the sight of her blush, Tamaki flew off the handle yet again.
"Clearly you're too traumatized to tell me!" he gasped, bringing a hand up to cover his face in a wild fit of melodrama that Haruhi knew only too well. "I'm going to have a small chat with Éclair, but don't worry. Daddy will be back soon!"
"Tamaki-senpai…" she began, but he had already flown out he door, fueled by the enormity of his assumptions of the situation and running as fast as his long legs would allow (which was, to be fair, faster than she had assumed was even physically possible for a human). Haruhi sighed and watched him go, wishing for a moment that Tamaki was one who could be reasoned with. Life would be so much simpler and filled with so much less drama if he had the ability to listen to the facts now and then. She moved over to one of the velvet sofas to mull things over, and as she sank slowly onto the plush cushions she became aware of the fact that her lips still tingled from the kiss. Her blush rose higher and she scolded herself for getting caught up in it.
"It didn't mean anything, Haruhi," she said aloud, sternly. "She just kissed you to confuse you, that's all."
"That kiss didn't look like it was meant to confuse you, Haruhi…" came a devious voice from behind her, and she jumped slightly, turning to see two red-haired figures advancing on her. The one who had spoken was Kaoru, she figured quickly, as she watched them take seats on either side of her.
"She probably likes you," Hikaru said, wiggling his eyebrows.
"What?" Haruhi looked back and forth between the two twins, who sighed synonymously at the clueless girl, shrugging their shoulders. She fixed them each with their own incredulous look so there could be no doubt of how perplexed she was by the situation.
"It would be a shame if that harlot stole our Haruhi, wouldn't it, Kaoru?"
"It really would."
"What?" Haruhi asked again, confusion overtaking her. They sighed again
"You're hopeless," they declared, each sliding one arm around her solemnly.
Meanwhile, Tamaki had managed to catch up to Éclair by now, and he was breathing heavily as he came up behind her in a way that suggested he had run in from another continent. She stopped walking at the sight of him, and though she knew very well what this was about, she played innocent for his benefit. There was something vaguely exhilarating about playing the role of the naïve, blameless one in the situation. It was almost enough to make her feel guilty.
"Yes, Tamaki? What is it?"
"What…" pant. "Did you do to Haruhi?"
"Nothing bad," Éclair reassured him, a small smile slipping across her lips as she stared up into the blonde boy's eyes. She could feel a kind of cold venom seeping into her that was not entirely unpleasant. 'This is what happens when you break someone's heart… there is a chance they will turn around and break yours in turn.' Revenge was nowhere in her mind in the situation, but in a way, revenge was happening whether she wanted it or not. It was almost too good not to enjoy, though she realized in some small place inside that it made her a bad person to get joy out of this. "I only kissed her."
Instantly, Tamaki's face went white as a sheet, the transition from delicious peach to stark white almost too quick to perceive and certainly not healthy. His eyes widened, fixed on her face, and he began to tremble. "You did what!?" suddenly, the calm charm that she had experienced from him since they had met was shattered as he fell to his knees, bringing his hands up to his face in a fit of drama she had not expected. "Noooo! My poor, precious daughter! Her lips, defiled!"
Slightly disturbed, Éclair backed away a few feet, almost afraid of what he was going to do next. She was unsure of exactly what was going on, but she was beginning to see the bare truth laid out before her eyes; Tamaki Suoh was completely insane.