Before the Doors Opened
AN: Yeah, I'm starting another multichapter fanfic before completing the others, but this plot bunny grabbed and decided to drag me along. This will be updated every so often or when I get inspired. Also, I will be doing this first chapter on various computers, so there maybe a few errors because of that.
Warning: mild spoilers for some of the later manga chapters and I mean very mild.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran.
Chapter One: The Only Trip Abroad
She was standing by a bench in a busy French market, and every so often, someone older would approach her asking something in French. As a four-and-half year old, she tried to puzzle out what they were saying, only to fail and have to respond in her native language, Japanese. The ask-er would always leave and not do a thing because the language barrier was far too great to overcome. Even if the ask-er tried to do something, she would try her best to tell them that her mommy told her to stay here by this bench.
Getting tired of standing, she sat down on the bench tucking her legs underneath her and then looked at the skyline behind her. In the far distance, the famous tower stood against the backdrop of the clouds and blue sky. At this moment, her young brain couldn't supply the name of the tower or the city she was in. All she knew was that her mommy had brought her along and was here for a case, and that was all she knew, nothing else and nothing more.
"Salut, petite fille," said a voice from behind her.
"I don't know French, except for a few phrases," she responded back in Japanese but continued to look at the skyline.
"Oh, Japanese! I don't get to use it much," the voice responded back exuberantly in her own language, even though it was somewhat...dated.
"At least, now I have someone to talk to," she said before turning to look at the source of voice and becoming surprised at the boy she saw. "Ain't you a little young for knowing two languages?"
"Non, my dad lives in Japan and sends me all these dramas like Oshin*."
That certainly explained the dated style of language he was using and how he knew Japanese. She sighed and looked at the boy, taking in his features. His hair was blond with trances of brown mixed in, and his eyes, they were a particular shade of blue that almost looked like they were purple. In all, he was odd, but even odder was that her feelings of dread that had appeared whenever someone had came up to her had not appeared when he did. "Your dad lives in Japan? Why aren't you with him?" She asked.
"I live with mom and my dad visits. Dad did something that grandma didn't approve of and that's why we don't live together," said the boy.
"Oh. What did he do?" She asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
"Something called an affair. What about your mom and dad?"
"Mommy is a lawyer, and she brought me here while on a case. Papa is home in Japan."
"Where's your mommy at?"
"She left me here and told me to stay here, but all these people keep coming up to me and trying to talk to me."
"Would you like me to keep you company, princess?"
"My name is Réné. What's yours?" The boy named Réné asked.
"Haruhi," she replied back before letting a yawn escape from her mouth.
"Are you tired, Haruhi?"
She merrily nodded her head and closed her eyes as Réné took a seat beside her. As she drifted asleep, he said something about staying with her until her mom came or until she woke up.
When she awoke, her mom was holding her, and the sun had went down some what, but Réné was no where to be seen, and for some reason, that made her sad. "What's the matter?" Her mom asked.
"Where's Réné, the boy that was here when I went to sleep?" She asked.
"The blond boy?" She nodded before her mom continued. "He had to leave, but he didn't want to and told me that he wants to meet you again when he goes and visits his father in Japan."
"You enjoyed his company?" Her mom asked looking at her thoughtfully.
"Yeah," she said as she stared into space.
"You can always plan on meeting him when he finally visits his father. We should get going. Tomorrow's another busy day," said her mom as she helped her stand up. "We are going sightseeing after lunch."
She smiled looking up at her mom before speaking very rapidly about what they should see, forgetting about the sadness about not seeing Réné when she woke up.
Before her dad left for work, he told her that there was a box in one of the closets that she should look through because her mom had made it to be a time capsule to be opened once she graduated high school, which would be happening within the week. Telling him that she would look at it, he told her that it was on top of the box that held her things from elementary school. Once he told her its location, she immediately began to urge to him to get to work and not to worry about her.
When he left closing the door behind him, she stretched in her chair at her desk where various textbooks and notes were spread out. She was about to get back to what splayed out in front of her when the picture frame on her desk caught her eye. Resting her eyes on it, she recalled that picture had been taken on her first date with her boyfriend and remember said-boyfriend would want her to take a break from school work. She laughed slightly to herself and went to find that box, dragging her desk chair with her to help her to reach it.
As she brought it down, she noticed first the handwriting on the side as her mother stating it was not to be looked at until her high school graduation. Then she noticed, with the box securely in her grasp, the written word on top. "France," she said lightly as the word slipped out without her meaning to.
She climbed down from the chair and dragged it back to her desk before going to the low-bearing table. Reaching the table, she laid the box down and then sat down, only to stare at the box. Her brain was in overdrive trying to think of why there was a box with 'France' written on the top of it, but no answers came to her. Without an answer except the box itself, she opened the box and was surprised. Sitting on top of a flat piece of cardboard was a handwritten note from her mother and a out-of-date passport. Reaching out to the passport, she found her brain finally supplying the answer she had been so desperate for before opening the box in the form of a memory.
She remembered, as her hand picked up the passport, being in France with her mom three months before her death. Then as she brought the passport closer, a picture fluttered down from between the cover of the passport and brought her attention to it. Laying down the passport, she picked up the picture and flipped it to its front side, ignoring all writing on the back. She was stunned as she looked at the picture, but her eyes were glued to the boy that was sitting next to her younger self.
In the picture, the boy was awake, unlike her younger self, and his eyes told her all she needed to know. The boy, she remembered, had introduced himself as Réné and had a father living in Japan, but his eyes reminded her boyfriend that she had gained in her second year of high school but met in her first year of high school. Starring at the picture more so, she was even more convinced that she had met her boyfriend well before her first year of high school.
Thinking about how this new information would make her boyfriend react caused her to roll her eyes as his over energetic self appeared in her head reacting in exactly the way she would expect him to. As the image in her head disappear, she remembered there was writing on the back of the picture that she probably should read. Flipping the picture, she was able to see the writing again.
Réné and I was able to talk while you were still sleeping. He reminded me of your dad when I first met him. I would think that if you two meet again, you would think of him in the same way that I think of your dad.
Reading what the familiar handwriting read, she couldn't help but smile and then laugh so hard that her eyes closed automatically and her hands went to her now aching midsection. As her laughter died down, more memories came to her that stuck out like little red flags begging to be clarified with an object or a picture. Those begging memories won their way with her, and she went to grab the box with her elementary things in it.
Once back at the table, she went through the rest of the box marked 'France' and found more pictures under the flat piece of cardboard. Each picture brought back forgotten memories of France and made them clear again. When she finished, she put the pictures back in the box and placed the handwritten note and passport with the picture back in its place before closing the box. Pushing the now closed box aside and pulling the box with her elementary things it towards her, she opened the larger box and was surprised once again. "Damn rich bastards," she muttered a little fondly, "I've met every single one before I even left elementary school."
AN: I hope you enjoyed this first chapter of Before the Doors Opened and would love for you to drop a review. I need to know who you want me to do next and general gist of the situation. I haven't plan too far ahead with this, but it will be updated whenever I get struck by inspiration. I ended up doing this on two computers.
*-Oshin...go ask your older Japanese neighbor or go look it up on wikipedia