My Brother's Wedding

Chapter Five

The big day had arrived and yet, in the blink of an eye, it had all passed Hikaru by. One moment Kaoru and he were spending their last moments of being single brothers, then the next Kaoru was married and sharing his first dance with his wife. Reality came crashing down on him, like a bolt of electricity, as if all afternoon he'd been watching from outside of himself.

This was real.

Kaoru was married.

Hikaru tilted his head, watching as Kaoru wrapped his arms around the waist of his smiling wife. Mei looked gorgeous in her mermaid style dress, its medium length train fringed with lace. Her hair was pulled back artfully at the nape of her neck and over it she wore a finger tip veil, in an antique style lace. Kaoru wore a black three button tux with a white tie and vest. The pair of them stared into one another's eyes as if no one else in the world existed or mattered.

Hikaru grinned lopsided at his brother. He must have grown a lot, if he could watch his brother willingly separate himself from him and not feel alone or abandoned. But he wasn't alone, Haruhi was with him. Haruhi was always by his side. He glanced to his left where Haruhi was seated, she had a ghost of a smile behind her lips, and her eyes danced the way they normally did when she was about to eat. Hikaru found her hand beneath the table and gave it a light squeeze. She looked up at him with her deep brown eyes, which he knew he could get lost in forever.

Kaoru had asked Hikaru what was going on between Haruhi and him, but he had no real answer. How could he explain the way he felt for her? Kaoru continued to prod and tease but Hikaru wasn't budging. He wouldn't jinx a good thing. They'd reached some sort of understanding that didn't need words. Which suited him fine, as he was never that good with words anyway.

Kaoru and Mei finished their dance with a passionate kiss before exiting the dance floor. The lead singer of the band took the mike and announced the bridal party dance. Hikaru shot a look over to his brother at their sweetheart table, Kaoru returned his glare with a cheeky grin as if willing him to protest.

Haruhi had already stood and held her hand out for Hikaru. He tore his gaze away from his brother and back to Haruhi, smiling despite it all.

"I'll dance with you, but you have to let me lead," he teased while taking her hand in his.

"How can you assume I haven't learned the girl's part?"

Hikaru tilted his head and stared at her.

"Alright fine, you can lead," she sighed in defeat.

Hikaru laughed as he led Haruhi by the hand onto the dance floor. Mori was sharing a dance with one of the other bridesmaids. Honey had dragged Reiko onto the dance floor with him, despite her reluctance. Tamaki had a line of five women waiting for a turn, the snooty French girl among them. Kyouya, it seemed, was ignoring the formality and was still seated at the table. Hikaru stepped onto the dance floor and turned to face Haruhi. She stepped into his grip, automatically falling into the male position. It was a few seconds into the song before they got their limbs sorted out, but once they did… it was perfect.

How had he never realized how perfectly she fit between his arms? How her head was the perfect height to fit just beneath his chin. They moved together perfectly; despite some fumbling awkwardness that inevitable when you danced with Haruhi when she was trying to be a girl. Before long the song ended and another one started, but Hikaru wasn't ready for it to end. Tonight was perfect, everything was perfect. His brother was married to the woman he loved, and he…

Haruhi pulled away attempting to sit down again but he pulled her in close to his chest once more. She blinked at him owlishly with those big brown eyes.

"Not yet," he whispered into her hair as he brought their bodies close together.

The MC opened up the dance floor to whomever wanted to dance and Hikaru and Haruhi swayed to the music. The other Host Club members filled in and out; Mori sat out after the first mandatory dance, Reiko had enough after a song or two and Honey was back with her at the table, Tamaki was going through partners being his princely self. Not that Hikaru took any notice.

He was lost in a world that belonged only to him and Haruhi. He felt his hands on her body. The beating of her heart against his chest, the awkward way she held herself, yet molded with him as if this was exactly where she was meant to be. Two songs turned into three, then four, then five and even more. Despite that, they never left the need to speed up and moved slowly on the dance floor together. Occasionally their eyes would meet and Hikaru would have that feeling sweep over him, that goofy-giddy feeling he only felt in her presence. Maybe it showed on his face, because their eyes would meet and Haruhi would blush before looking away.

The dancing was ended when the MC came up and announced the beginning of the bouquet and subsequent garter toss. Unceremoniously, Hikaru was yanked by the arm by Tamaki, the blonde's eyes dancing dangerously. At the same moment Reiko was gently guiding Haruhi into a throng of woman in the middle of the dance floor. Hikaru watched helplessly as Haruhi was jostled around in a mass of single women, each vying for a prime position to catch the coveted bouquet.

Mei was positioned in front of the crowd and Hikaru caught a conspiring grin shared between her and Kaoru. In a moment of uncharacteristic clarity, Hikaru saw it all. This was another one of their set ups. Without thinking, Hikaru dashed forwards through the crowd of women just as Mei prepared to toss her bouquet. He saw her turning slightly and looking for Haruhi. Either she would aim for Haruhi and Haruhi would be crushed beneath the weight of a bunch of desperate women, or she'd directly hand the bouquet to Haruhi, both of which would have equally disastrous results.

Slipping between a couple of giggling bridesmaids, Hikaru grabbed Haruhi by the arm and physically dragged her off the dance floor and out of harm's way. At the same moment Mei caught the action and in a panic lost grip of the bouquet. With her arm arched to throw, or pretend to throw, the bouquet was propelled through the air and spiralled in the wrong direction before landing in the lap of Ayame, who for all appearances couldn't care less about the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Hikaru gripped Haruhi tightly by the arm and headed out the door to the banquet hall. Whatever his feelings, this wasn't the way he was going to share them with Haruhi. They were out of the doors and down a long hallway when Haruhi finally spoke up.

"Hikaru, where are you taking me?"

"Away," he panted, scanning the hallway for some safe haven.

"Why?"

Hikaru stopped and let go of Haruhi's arm, which he realized he had in a death grip. Haruhi grabbed a hold of her arm, rubbing it gingerly where he'd gripped her.

"It was a set up. Ever since I came back to Japan, my brother and Mei have been trying to get us together." His words came out in an exasperated flood.

Haruhi blinked at him.

"So, we ran out on the bouquet toss?"

"Yeah."

"Why does it matter? It's just a silly tradition."

"But don't you know that if you catch the bouquet you're the next one to get married?"

"Yeah…"

"So…"

Haruhi stared at him, seemingly oblivious to his train of thought. Hikaru felt a wave of embarrassment wash over him. Of course Haruhi didn't care. It's not like they were dating. They were just friends. Right? But it was more than that between them. Even he recognized there was something deeper between them. What he felt for her now was much stronger and more concrete than he'd ever felt in High School. His first impression on returning was right. High School had only been puppy love, his first crush. But, that didn't change the fact that feelings change and not always for the worse.

Maybe he'd just needed the time away to realize this, or maybe he really was dense, but he'd fallen in love with Haruhi all over again. He'd never stopped really. Yet this time it was different; there were no obstacles in his way. It was just him and Haruhi, but where did he go from here?

"Let's go back inside. I think they're about to cut the cake," Haruhi offered, finally breaking the long pensive silence.

Hikaru shook off his reverie, and slipped his arm around Haruhi's waist.

"You're always thinking with your stomach," he teased.

The moment slipped him by in an instant.

"Shut up, Hikaru."

Hikaru only laughed in return.

Back inside their return was noted, and they were greeted by a pouting face from his brother, and a foiled look on Mei's face. Across the room, Hikaru caught sight of a blushing Tamaki holding the garter while standing beside Ayame, who put forth an expression of displeasure at catching the bouquet, but Hikaru swore he could see a smile beneath those lips.

Haruhi and Hikaru took their seats back at the table with more than a few mischievous grins from their dining companions, Honey, Reiko, Mori and an indifferent Kyouya. What any of them thought, they didn't say. A waiter came round shortly after with cake and Honey was quickly distracted from conversation. Reiko was reminding him to breath while he ate, Mori was silent as always and Kyouya, as usual, was writing in his notebook.

The night carried on much in the same vein. After cake, Hikaru gave a moving speech to the happy couple. And Haruhi's speech was insightful, if not a bit dry. Hikaru managed to convince Haruhi to join him for a few more dances, but before long, the reception was over and the happy couple climbed into the back of a white limo while the guests waved them goodbye amid a cloud of bubbles.

Shortly after that, people staggered out and Haruhi and Hikaru were alone on the steps of the building. Hikaru scuffed his shoe into the dirt for want of words to say. Now would be the perfect time, now that they were alone, to make everything clear.

"Hikaru?" Haruhi broke the silence between them.

Hikaru raised his eyes to meet her's. "Yeah?"

"Is there a reason you didn't want me to catch the bouquet tonight?"

Hikaru choked and hurriedly looked back down to his feet. Just when he was preparing the right words to say, she left him speechless.

"I-" he stalled. This was it, the moment he could confess, again.

"I know we have a past," she said delicately. Well, as delicately as Haruhi can.

Hikaru forced a laugh. "Don't worry about that, Haruhi. That's all kid's stuff. Water under the bridge…" he muttered, staring at his feet; he couldn't meet her gaze.

"Well, I don't know how often we're going to see each other after the wedding. Law school starts back up in a few weeks and now the wedding is over."

"We'll still see each other!" Hikaru looked up and was locked in by Haruhi's troubled gaze. He couldn't stand the thought that this was all going to end just because the wedding was over. He had to tell her before it was too late.

"Yeah…" Haruhi titled her head smiling one of those rare smiles. "I just wanted to tell you. I think I'm falling for you."

His heart stopped. It was one of those weightless moments where you're sure it's a dream. Yet it couldn't be a dream because only Haruhi could confess so bluntly.

"I-"

"I'm sure you don't feel the same way anymore, after what happened between us in high school. I just wanted to let you know."

Haruhi stood up and brushed off her dress. Hikaru was on his feet in an instant. Words may fail him but actions never did. Haruhi was motioning to walk away when he captured her by the wrist and brought her to his chest in one fluid motion. Haruhi stared up at him with wide eyes as he captured her lips in his.

It was the kiss he'd been waiting for all his life. The kiss he'd never thought would happen. Yet here he was, standing outside the reception hall to his brother's wedding with Haruhi in his arms. He tangled his hands in shoulder length hair. She tasted sweet, and soft and everything he dreamed of. And for one brief shining moment, she was completely his and he realized this was how it was supposed to be.

They pulled away breathlessly after a few minutes. Haruhi's cheeks were stained pink with a charming blush and Hikaru had a grin wide enough to split his face.

"Nothing you could do could ever change how I feel about you, Haruhi." He grinned. 'Because I know now, I never stopped loving you. Not even for a second.'

A/N: And this short story comes to an end, and yet despity the briefness of it, I'm going to miss it. I have intentions to continue with a sequel and some spin offs about other couples from this story BUT I am currently writing an original story and that is consuming all my writing time so don't expect any of that too soon. Now that I have your attention I'd like to thank everyone who read, reviewed, favorited and alerted, you're all amazing. A special shout out to Mimi-dudette for being a mega awesome beta of awesomeness. And with these final words, I am officially the proud author of two completed serials. :D

Love Nic