Hello beautifuls. Have an ending. It is short. It is rushed. It is substanceless. All in all, it is perfectly consistent with the rest of this fic.
Haruhi woke gasping, half-expecting to find herself over her head in icy water. Then she remembered she was at home, in her bed. On land.
I hate water, thought her half-awake brain. Which wasn't true. She actually liked water quite a bit, in reasonable increments.
She cast her gaze over to her alarm clock, which read 5:52. Shit. Only eight minutes left. She contemplated going back to sleep for those precious minutes, but knew she'd wake up even more tired if she attempted such a feat. Grudgingly, she rolled onto the floor, her face smushed into the carpet, and grunted.
"I hate mornings," she groaned incoherently into the ground, admiring her mind's variation in sentence structure. Dutifully she picked herself up, grabbed her towel from where it hung on her closet doorknob, and plonked into the bathroom for a shower.
The shower lasted far too long, as it always did, and when she got out she was considerably late for her bus. She dressed quickly, looping her tie around her neck, threw a bit of lunch together, and slipped out the door. After almost a year at Ouran, she was used to forfeiting her breakfast.
She only just managed to catch the bus on the corner of her block and plopped, quite out of breath, on one of the frontmost seats. Her bag heavy on her lap, she managed to fumble her tie into a hasty knot, and ten minutes later she jumped up and scuttled off the bus, bidding the driver a hasty farewell.
Her chest was fluttering like a hummingbird as she walked the two blocks to Ouran. At any flash of blue out of the corner of her eye, she jumped half a mile, before realizing that the boy wearing the blue jacket was, in fact, dark-haired. When a hand grasped her shoulder, she jolted and whirled around, her heart frozen between her lungs.
It was Kyouya.
"My, aren't we on edge this morning," he said drily, eyeing her with interest.
She exhaled forcibly. "Hi, senpai."
"You look flushed," he observed.
"It's a warm day," she countered, frowning.
"Could it be I took you by surprise?"
She glowered. "Why are you so interested?"
"No reason." He pushed his glasses up his nose and glanced skyward. "Lovely morning."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Beautiful."
"Hm." Kyouya pulled out his notebook and scribbled something down.
"He- hey!" Haruhi screeched. "I didn't even do anything, what are you writing about?"
"What a presumptuous little thing you are," Kyouya noted lightly. "Why should I be writing anything about you? Besides the fact that you're in a particularly foul mood today, far more sarcastic than usual, and excessively impatient with me."
"Senpai, we've been talking for about twenty seconds."
"Nothing beats being observational."
Haruhi glanced toward the entrance to the school. "Right. Well, as pleasant as this has been, I have to get to class, so please excuse me…"
"Have fun," Kyouya murmured, turning away, scribbling rapidly into his notebook.
Haruhi whirled around. "Fun?"
"Hm?" Kyouya glanced up.
"What do you mean, have fun?"
Kyouya blinked. "I couldn't specify," he said finally. "It simply seemed the right sort of thing to say."
"Well… well just… good." She turned on her heel and marched away.
His airy laughter trailed behind her like a banner.
Her shoes clapped through the sparsely populated halls as she made her way to her first class. As she trekked past the first music room, she began to hear a faint hum of a melody wafting through the halls. A cluster of girls ahead of her peeped into the door to the second music room and giggled to themselves.
"He's so talented," one sighed as Haruhi approached.
"I know, I know!" her friend agreed. "See how focused he is?"
"Shhh, don't distract him!" cried the third in an unnecessarily hushed voice. "Come on, we're being pests…"
Haruhi hovered unnoticed behind them as she peered over their shoulders. A blond head was just visible over the graceful slant of the grand piano. "Pests? Lovely girls such as you?" said the ever-smooth voice of Suou Tamaki, who continued to play without missing a beat. "I'm only flattered that you'd stop and listen."
Haruhi snorted to herself. As if he didn't do it for the attention.
"Oh… well…" The girls blushed and tittered. "It sounds beautiful, Tamaki-kun."
"Really, it does! I've never heard anyone play as well as you."
The third nodded vehemently.
The trill of his laughter was like ripples of deep blue velvet. "By all means, then, stop by some other time. I'd be glad to play for you whenever you like."
Oh yeah, thought Haruhi. Boywould you be glad.
"Ah - alright!"
"See you this afternoon!"
He smiled his farewell and dove right back into his music. The girls moved, and then Haruhi's view of him was unhindered, a straight passage from her eyes to the glory of his outline, playing with a vibrant intensity that moved all the way through his neck, his shoulders, pooling past his wrists and into his fingers - not that Haruhi could see his fingers, exactly. She just - she just knew. She knew his passion well enough to know his hands. It just made sense.
She swallowed as his music crescendoed into a brilliant key change, and ducked quietly through the doorway, pressed herself against the wall. The contours of his face, wrought with concentration, almost pained her in their aching beauty, illuminated by the pale morning light. He seemed so alive, so somber, so empowered, all at once.
He glanced up and saw her as he pounded away at the keys, and a brief smile flitted across his face. "Haruhi," he said. "I didn't hear you come in."
There was something fearfully attractive in the way he could speak and play so powerfully at the same time. She wasn't sure what it was, exactly, but it was there, and it frightened her a little. Almost like if she discovered too much of his brilliance, she'd realize there was nothing she had to offer him that could possibly entice him to love her.
Er - like. Like her. Because she wasn't in love with him. At all. Not one smidge.
…well, maybe a smidge. A smidge wasn't really that much, anyway. A mite. A bit. A fraction.
"Come sit by me," he said, a quiet command, and she peeled herself from the wall, crept around the thrumming piano, slipped onto the edge of the stool next to him.
His fingers danced, and his foot pressed gently on the pedal, and he swayed slightly, his eyes half-lidded, and watching him, she knew she was in love. It was terrible. Just looking at him she got into this state, all flustered and red and heated, choking on her own tongue. She hated herself for it a little, because he did this to every girl who set eyes upon him, and her pride made her imagine she wasn't the average girl by any means.
Well by this means, said her franker side, you are.
Yet it wasn't as if she'd fallen for his smarmy host façade, all glossy words and superficial expressions. It was this undiluted emotion that ran deep through his bones that she adored, this devoted fervor with which he lived his life. So maybe - maybe she saw something more in him than everyone else. She hadn't fallen for his shell; she'd fallen for his heart.
Then she realized that he'd stopped playing and he was staring at her, his head tilted to one side.
"Oh," she said, jolting a little. "Ah - that was… really pretty…"
"What were you thinking about?" he interrupted. "You were really zoned out."
"Nothing," she said vaguely. "Just - nothing, really."
He looked so ridiculously crestfallen at her evasiveness that she shed her guard and pried herself open a crack, just for him. "Well - you, I guess."
"I'm nothing?" he teased.
"Wha - no! Of course not, I just… didn't want to… you know."
"You don't have to be shy," Tamaki said. "I always want to know what's on your mind." He sketched out a simple tune with the keys before them. "You are - very much a mystery to me, Haruhi." He leaned closer to her, dramatically, his eyes flashing. "But I like what I see."
She tutted her disbelief and folded her arms. He just grinned and dropped a kiss on her forehead before returning to his plain little song.
She contented herself with watching the way his fingers curved over each other as they reached for the notes until he said, amiably, as if discussing the weather, "What are we, exactly?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, knowing full well the implications of the question.
"I mean - what can I call you?"
"Haruhi?" she suggested, and he laughed. "I don't know," she continued. "What do you want to call me?"
"Haruhi's good," he said with some hesitation. "But… I'd like it even better if you were… if you were my Haruhi."
"You're not going to suggest some sort of relationship label?" she asked, her mockery hiding her surprise.
"Somehow," he chuckled, "labels don't seem to be up your alley."
She blushed. "Yeah, not really." She traced one of the black keys with the tip of a finger. "So… what do I get to call you?"
Then his eyes were in her face again, searing and earnest. "Yours," he declared. "Yours for as long as you want me, and then some."
She wilted. "Tamaki-senpai…"
"I mean it," he said heatedly. "I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, Haruhi. Not to you."
"I - okay," she whispered.
"Do you believe me?" he demanded.
"Of course I believe you," she said. "It's not a matter of believing you. It's a matter of… of…"
"I don't know," said Haruhi finally, frustrated. "I have no idea."
He put an arm around her waist and tugged her close so that their hips were aligned. "Confused?"
"Very," she said. "But… but not about you, … there's so many factors, you know? Like… like… factors."
He pulled thoughtfully at his nose. "Usually," he said, "I don't have this hard a time understanding you."
"Usually," she replied, "I'm more eloquent." She exhaled and reminded herself that she could trust him. "I'm scared."
He smiled. "I was, too," he admitted, "but then I realized it was you."
"Right," said Haruhi. "Yeah. That's right."
"My father said something to me," he continued. "He said I'd better not just be fooling around – that I'd better be serious about you. Suous don't have time to waste in the frivolities of casual dating," he added with a sarcasm she rarely heard on his tongue.
Haruhi was quiet for a moment. "So – what does that imply, exactly?"
Tamaki let out a sigh and glanced at the ceiling. "I've decided – it doesn't really matter."
She hadn't expected that. "Oh…"
"Because I am serious about you," he plowed on, his eyes in her face again. "I'm ridiculously serious about you. I'm so serious about you that I'd probably offend you…"
She cackled. "Somehow I don't think I'd be offended, exactly… but I'm not all that sure of things yet, senpai. I – I don't want to say something without meaning it. If you know what I mean."
"We'll take it slow," said Tamaki, nestling his forehead against her neck. "I won't tell you I love you for at least another month, I promise."
She giggled. "That's reassuring." She hoped he'd pick up on her facetiousness.
"Good." (So maybe he wasn't so sharp after all. Ah well. She'd train him.) He kissed her neck gently. "I suppose I ought to ask if you're planning on staying a boy?"
Sighing, she ground her teeth. "Can I get back to you on that?"
"Of course." His lips traveled up to her jaw. "Take all - " He kissed her chin. "The time - " Her nose - "You need…" Tilting his head, he leaned in and took her lips between his. Exhaling softly, she slid a hand around his neck and responded enthusiastically, falling into a sloppy sort of rhythm that neither of them completely understood. His fingers wound easily into her hair and he held her head so solidly between his hands and just kissed her, all wet and firm and soft.
A delicate cough tore them apart after a few minutes, and Haruhi glanced up to find Kyouya standing in the doorway, an irrepressible smirk on his face.
"Having fun?" he asked, and continued without waiting for a response, "Someone will see you, you know."
"Then help us out, mother dear, and close the door," Tamaki said impatiently.
Kyouya bowed sarcastically and pulled the door shut behind him.
"Don't we have to go to class?" Haruhi bit her lip wryly.
"In a minute or two." Tamaki grinned and pulled her closer still so she was practically on top of him. "I wasn't finished."
"Well then," said Haruhi, rolling her eyes, but her sarcasm was interrupted when he began to kiss her rather thoroughly again.
Not that she minded much.
Oh, Kyouya. You just know everything.
Anyway, sorry this wasn't my best. I kind of just wanted to slap an ending on it so I can devote my attention to Greater of Two Evils. Because I enjoy angst-fluff so much.
Maybe, someday, I'll write something with a plot. ...nah, that's what original fiction's for. Heh.
Anyhow, thanks for reading! Cheers!