This … is an experiment.

I wish to make that perfectly clear: it's an experiment.

I have never written lemons before. I have never written slash before. I have never used this pairing before. I have never dealt with drama in the same way as I am about to. It has been *years* since I last attempted to make a Fanfiction OC. The writing style is probably going to change a couple times between chapters as I try new things.

This is an experiment. Please, oh please be gentle.

It's my personal opinion that the first chapter is depressing.

Music theme for chapter – "Eternal" by Evanescence


Outside the Fujioka home, the rain fell in buckets. The streets had long ago flooded, leaving Haruhi in her home alone. Her father, after working one of his late nights, couldn't drive home, so he was staying at a coworker's house until the storm let up. Luckily, it wasn't a thunderstorm, just an unexpected downpour, so the phone and power lines were still functional. She managed to make herself comfortable under a kotatsu table while flipping through a text book and diligently studying for the Tokyo U entrance exams. She stood and made her way to the kitchen, deciding it was time for a snack. She was ready to reach for a bag of chips when she heard a knock from the door. She heaved a sigh, who would be visiting at this time of night and in this weather? And for that matter, why did visitors always come when she was underdressed? Well, whoever it was would have to deal with her t-shirt and non-designer jeans for the time being.

"Tamaki-Senpai?" she breathed at the rain-drenched figure on the other side of the doorway.

"… Didn't know where else to go." The blond faked a weary smile … very obviously faked. His eyes were puffy and bloodshot, his lips were chapped, his shirt looked it had been dropped in a swimming pool, and his shoes … weren't there. But his feet were covered in blisters and the bottoms of his pants were frayed.

"Come inside." She said, shutting the door behind him once Tamaki entered, "Did you … walk all the way here?"

He nodded.

"You might feel better after a shower." She said, leading him towards the bathroom with a gesture of her hand, "The towels are in the cupboard there, I can dry your clothes for you, too."

"You're very kind." He said, squeezing out another forced smile.

"We're friends, aren't we?" she replied, returning the smile.

"But you still address me as Senpai."

"Old habits die hard I guess."

"I guess … thank you." He added before stepping into the bathroom and shutting the door behind him.

Haruhi waited outside the door until a few minutes after she heard the water start before stepping into the bathroom as quickly as possible and grabbing the soaked clothes from the counter. She took a towel from the hallway cupboard and made her way to the laundry room, throwing the clothes in the washer and the towel in the dryer, setting the dryer's timer for ten minutes. While waiting, she loped to her father's room and retrieved a box of clothes from the bottom of his closet that had been stored due to lack of use. She carefully selected a pair of pants and a green sweater that looked about Tamaki's size in time for the dryer's timer to go off. Taking the warm towel and folding it on top of the clothes, she snuck back into the bathroom and set them on the counter for when her friend came out. She set about making a pot of green tea while she waited for him to emerge. When the tea was finished, they crossed paths in the hallway, Haruhi holding two mugs by their handles in one hand and carrying the tea pot in the other.

"There, the dry look is good for you." She said, trying out another friendly smile, "Have a seat." She led him back to the living room. The kotatsu table would have to be a paradise for the blue-eyed teen's sore feet. After setting down the tea and mugs, she moved her text book off the table and poured tea for each of them, taking a seat opposite Tamaki. She raised her cup to her lips and took a sip before noticing her friend was only giving the tea a vacant stare.

"Aren't you going to drink it?" she asked, setting down her mug.

"I'm not thirsty."

"Liar." She snorted, earning a surprised raise of the head in response, "You're dehydrated from crying on the way over here."

Tamaki smiled again, this time somewhat genuinely, at his brunette friend's intuition. The smile quickly faded, though. In exasperation, Haruhi stood and went to the other side of the table to take a seat next to him. Taking up the mug, she held it out for him to take and helped him to keep it steady as trembling hands brought it to his mouth. He drained the mug in seconds. He must have finally realized how thirsty he was to drink so quickly with no qualms as to how hot it was. She patiently poured him another mug, which he didn't even grant a second glance to. Another half-second later, he had collapsed onto her shoulder, sobbing and shaking uncontrollably.

She rubbed his back soothingly. Whatever rant or explanation he might have come up with beforehand was only coming out in the form of broken sentences now. "Everything I do … everything I do … and she … I couldn't help it, I … i-it happened so fast, that I couldn't … first … and now … I hate her … " he choked while staining Haruhi's clothes darker with tears.

"Shhh, take it easy, Senpai. It's OK." She soothed, engulfing him in a close embrace. Tamaki's grandmother had always struck her as old-fashioned, so this came as no real surprise to her. The couple had made every effort to hide their relationship, but it was never a secret to the members of the Host club. Even after Tamaki and Kyoya graduated, the group had promised not to leak the secret to anyone.

Tamaki's sobs eventually dissolved into the occasional sniffle. He leaned back and wiped his face with his sleeve. Haruhi's hands lingered on his shoulders. "Does Kyoya know?" she asked.

He shook his head. "He's still at Keio University." He said with another sniff, "I was going to visit him this weekend, but …"

"We'll take the train this weekend and visit him, then." She decided aloud, "He'll at least want to know what's going on. You can stay here as long as you want."

"I-I don't want to impose."

"You're an idiot." Haruhi stated bluntly, "All we've been through and you still think you're imposing? Get real." She stood and started down the hallway, "I'm going to set up the spare bedroom. Help yourself to whatever's in the fridge. And drink up, I don't want you complaining about a headache later."

Tamaki blinked the sleep out of his sapphire eyes. He wasn't sure what time it was, but he was still a bit groggy and his muscles were very sore from the night before, so he turned to the side to nuzzle the pillow some more.

"Wake up, sleepyhead!" A male voice chimed from the doorway.

A fuzzy-headed blond looked up to see the long-haired redhead known as Ryoji Fujioka standing in the doorway. He immediately jumped in surprise. "Sir, I swear, you daughter and I did nothing inappropriate last night! I came over, yes, but I was a perfect gentleman!"

"Oh, relax." Ryoji said, tossing the polo shirt and pants from the night before at him, "Haruhi said you fell asleep before those finished washing. I also have some old clothes like the ones you're wearing if you don't like those. In any case, we need to go shopping. We'll go to the shoe store first. I have some old tennis shoes you can borrow for the time being. I'm making breakfast, but I won't wait for you, so hop to it."

Tamaki stared in amazement after Haruhi's father left. It was easy to see where Haruhi got her kindness, even if he was being a bit pushy about it. After donning his clothes and trying his best to smooth out his bedhead, he made his way to the kitchen and towards the smell of cooking eggs.

He had failed to notice a few minutes prior that Ryoji was wearing a blue dress with a pink apron over it. He did his best not to stare, but Ryoji simply looked up from the stove with a smile. "What do you like on your omelet?" he asked.

"Anything's fine." Tamaki sighed, lingering by the doorway. As nice as the calmness was after last night, anything was better than the silence, so he tried desperately to strike up a conversation. "I noticed there was a computer in your spare bedroom."

"It was my wife's office before she died." Ryoji explained as he flipped the omelet over in the pan, "Haruhi sometimes uses the computer for homework, but that's just about it. So we turned it into a spare bedroom for visiting relatives and guests like you."

"I see …" Tamaki watched the redhead flip the omelet onto a plate and pour some juice into a glass. Ryoji handed the plate and glass to Tamaki before giving the blond head of hair a playful ruffle. "Try not to look so down in the dumps, kid." He said, before taking his own plate and moving to the table. Tamaki followed, taking a seat opposite the older man.

"It's a little hard not to." The blond said with a shrug, taking his fork and poking at a mushroom that was peeking out beneath the layers of fluffy egg.

Ryoji shot a slight glare at his guest. "Eat up. I won't be insulted if you say it's terrible, but at least give it a try."

Tamaki did as he was told, cutting off a piece of the omelet and chewing it slowly. It was surprisingly tasty. Ryoji had added green pepper and sausage alongside the mushrooms, as well as a few spices. "It's good." He said, taking a few more bites.

"I'm glad you like it." Ryoji said. Though, his next statement threw poor Tamaki through a loop. "Forgive me if this is a personal question, but I am a little curious. Did you tell your parents about your boyfriend?"

Tamaki spat out his orange juice in alarm, coughing a few times at what had managed to get down his throat during his shock. "Just what did Haruhi tell you!" he managed to say once he was done choking.

"Now, now, Haruhi's been a good friend and only told me that you were going through a rough time and needed a place to stay. But come on, you didn't really think you could hide in the closet from a drag queen, did you, dearie?"

Tamaki had to take a moment to still his pounding heart before speaking again. At least Ryoji was ten times more accepting than his grandmother was. Should he have expected any less? He took a deep breath to try and calm himself. "Can't get anything past you, can I?" he said with a weak smile.

"Oh, don't get me wrong, dear, you did a good job of hiding things. I even thought you held some interest in Haruhi for a while there."

"Perhaps, at some point." Tamaki said, his smile becoming a little more genuine, "But Haruhi's more of a sister to me. I've known Kyoya for years. You know, at one point, his father was going to make him quit the Host Club? He basically threw it back in his father's face, he all but flat-out said 'I don't want your company and I don't care what you think anymore'. He's so brave, I admire him."

"He sounds like quite the guy."

"He is."

It was a very cold late autumn day in Minato, Tokyo. Normally, Kyoya could enjoy studying outdoors on his favorite café's deck. But today, he used one hand to click-clack away on his laptop and plucked a piece of sushi with his chopsticks using the other while sitting at one of Keio University's dining halls. His only evening class had been cancelled. Winter break was a few weeks away, so with nothing better to do for the rest of the day, he ate lunch and studied.

Hearing the familiar chime of his cell phone's ringtone, he reached into his pocket and checked the caller ID. Ritsu Kasanoda. The red-hared "Casanova" had joined the Host Club shortly after Mori and Honey graduated, more or less taking over Mori's former position in the club. As such, he had edged his way into Kyoya's group of friends.

"Hello?" Kyoya answered, setting down his chopsticks.

"We have a problem." The gruff voice on the other end answered, "There are some rumors flying around among the girls. One of them saw Tamaki walking down the street in the middle of the night. Rumor has it he was kicked out of his house."

"What?" Kyoya unconsciously gripped the edge of the table; this could only mean one thing, "How many people are talking about it?"

"Relax, that's the extent of the rumor, there's nothing about you in there and even if there was, I doubt it would ever reach your father's ears."

Kyoya breathed a sigh of relief, "Do you know where Tamaki is?"

"Sorry. I'll ask Haruhi and Mamoru when they get here."

"Call his house, too. If it's what I think it is, they'll be more likely to answer to you than to me."

"You know you're not in charge anymore, right?"

"Do you want to help or not?"

"Relax, I'm joking. I'll give them a call."

"Thank you."

"Yeah, yeah, no problem. I'm being requested. I'll call you back."

"I'll talk to you soon."

His cell phone flipped shut with a click. He folded his hands and rested his forehead against them. This couldn't be happening. He still didn't have any plans to take over any of his family companies. He was going to business school because he wanted to start his own company. But he was attending school using Ootori family money. If his father found out about this, nineteen years, his whole life, spent proving himself to his father was going to go down the drain. This couldn't be happening. How was this happening?