Title: As He's Always Been

"Ano, senpai?" Haruhi asked as she watched Tamaki rummage through his bag in a rather odd fashion.

"Yes, darling?" She didn't want to spoil his fun. He was sparkling again, but she just had to know.

"Your books… why are they covered in ramen noodles?" Tamaki froze, immediately forgetting whatever he was looking for.

"Oh ho ho!" Tamaki struck a righteous pose and Haruhi sweat dropped.

"Get ready," Hikaru started, draping his right arm on her left shoulder. "He's off again." Kaoru finished, draping his left arm on her right shoulder.

"Why do I have the feeling like I'm about to regret asking that?"

"Don't you always?" Kyouya asked in a monotone voice, not looking up from his computer. Haruhi blanched.

"I hate you all…"

"Commoner noodles!" Tamaki began, sparkling again. "Very cheap, very filling. To make them doesn't take much time or effort so as not to cut into the busy commoner way of life. It is also the perfect study food!" Haruhi watched in amusement as he glided across the floor in an overdramatic way, throwing his arms up or stopping and striking a ridiculous pose every so often. He stopped moving suddenly when he realized Haruhi was laughing.

"So I guess…" She said, wiping her eyes and calming herself down. "This is your brilliant study strategy?" She opened her eyes and looked at Tamaki, who started to blush.

Haruhi sat in between the twins, looking back and forth between them, not sure what to do. They were fighting, and she knew that this wasn't another one of their fakes.

"I can't believe you'd do that to me, Hikaru. You were supposed to be my older brother, and protect me." Haruhi watched a few tears roll down his cheeks and stared at him, surprised. He's never cried like that before. Hikaru, on the other hand, was fuming in anger.

"You deserved it." was his simple reply, and he turned his back. "Come on Haruhi, we're leaving." Haruhi, still watching Kaoru, started in surprise.

"Haruhi…" she heard Kaoru whisper. "can you stay? I need somebody here with me." Haruhi looked back and forth between them again nervously, both watching her expectantly.

"Haruhi." Hikaru demanded impatiently. "Are you coming or not?"

"She's not coming, Hikaru, because she's staying with me." Hikaru shot him a look that could kill in an instant, but Kaoru's eyes burned through his. Haruhi sighed and looked out the window. It had been a long day, and the last thing she wanted was for this to happen. Her breath caught in her throat as she noticed the huge black clouds rolling through the sky. She turned back around and looked at Hikaru, reaching out to him slightly.

"Ano…" she said uncertainly, only to be ignored by both of the twins, staring each other down. She took in a shaky breath, weighing her options. "I'm just gonna…" she trailed off and staggered out of the twins' house. Once outside, she braved a look at the sky. I hope I get home before it starts.

Tamaki couldn't concentrate on the commoner noodles he was stirring on his stove or the pile of books stacked on his kotatsu and thrown all over his room. No, he was worried. His gaze kept straying to the sky; more specifically, the nasty black clouds that were rolling through the sky. He sighed, knowing that Haruhi was safe in her house. He hoped her father was home to take care of her. It would only mean trouble if Tamaki showed up at Haruhi's home unannounced.

He was thrown back into reality when he heard his cell phone ring. Tamaki perked up slightly.

"Maybe it's Haruhi! My beautiful daughter calling to have me come rescue her from the nasty storm!" He leapt through the air and landed on the kotatsu with a thump. Reaching into his bag and pulling out his cell phone, he frowned. "Hello?"

"Hai, Tono? It's Hikaru." Tamaki sat up, brow furrowed as he recognized a tint of panic laced through the Hitachiin's voice.

"Hikaru? What's wrong?"

"It's Haruhi."

Haruhi tried to keep her vision clear as she crawled through the grass. The rain was coming in buckets now, drenching her clothes. It started drizzling about ten minutes after she left the twins' house, but it picked up quickly, becoming a full- blown storm in a matter of minutes.

With each crack of thunder she could feel her bones shake beneath her flesh. She always remembered that the day her mother passed away there was a huge thunderstorm. She remembered sobbing all night long, wishing her mother would come in to comfort her, to smooth down her hair as she always did and tell her everything was going to be all right. But she never did.

Haruhi could no longer see her hand in front of her face. The thunder was picking up, now accompanied by vicious- looking strikes of lightning. She looked around quickly, the edges of her vision blurred. She could barely feel her limbs, too scared to move. She didn't know how long she had been outside, but she was pretty sure she was turning blue. She took a deep breath, and with a shudder, passed out. Mother in Heaven, are you still here…?

Tamaki balled his hands into fists, trying to control his anger as he listened to Hikaru's rushed story. He closed his eyes and in an instant, exploded.

"You idiots! How could you let a young girl go out in the streets alone? This is the second time she's been lost on your watch in the middle of a thunderstorm. I thought you both had matured. Because of your childish fighting, Haruhi is now in real danger!" He paused suddenly to let himself calm down and for the information to register in the twins' mind. He spoke again, but this time in a dangerously low voice. "I suggest that after tonight, you both stay away from me for a while if you don't want me to do something I might regret later." With that, he hung up the phone and rushed out the door.

Hikaru and Kaoru sat quietly, listening to the dial tone, Tamaki's words echoing through their heads.

I thought you both had matured. Because of your childish fighting, Haruhi is now in real danger!

Hikaru stood up suddenly, making the bed shake and creak on its springs. Kaoru looked up at him, pain in his eyes.

"Hikaru?"

"I'm going to look for her." Kaoru shook his head, even though Hikaru couldn't see it.

"No, Hikaru." Hikaru whirled around angrily, his face right in his brother's.

"What do you mean, no? This is our fault, we should be helping!"

"We had our chance. We lost it. Now it's Tamaki's turn."

"What?"

"Shut up, nii- san. You know exactly what I'm talking about." Hikaru sat back down on the bed next to Kaoru, turned slightly away from him.

"Is it really the right thing for her?" Kaoru leaned back, a smile on his face.

"I think I'll let you decide."

Tamaki willed his driver to go faster. He couldn't stand the thought of Haruhi being alone outside in the middle of a thunderstorm. He drummed the tips of his fingers on his knees, mumbling to himself furiously.

"Where are you, Haruhi?" Tamaki couldn't sit still in the car, fidgeting every few seconds.

"Tamaki, I wish you wouldn't fidget so much. It's driving me insane." Tamaki whipped his head around to face Kyouya, suddenly angry.

"How can you be so calm about this, Kyouya? Ha- Haruhi… she's out there alone!"

"Are you in love with her, Tamaki?" He froze suddenly at Kyouya's blunt question.

"Wha… what?" Tamaki blushed. There was no way.

"You know exactly what." Tamaki's blush deepened as he stuttered out an answer.

"W-w-well of c-course I l-love her! She's my d-d-daughter!"

"No, you imbecile, that's not what I asked." He rolled his eyes and Tamaki sat in stunned silence, not sure what to make of the conversation he just had. Suddenly he threw the door open and jumped out into the street. The car launched to a halt and the driver stuck his head out.

"Suou- sama?" Tamaki ignored him for favor of running in a direction perpendicular to the direction the car was facing.

She's here… I can feel it…

"She has to be here somewhere! Haruhi!"

And there she was.

Tamaki fell to his knees in the mud, his heart wounded at the sight of her. Sopping wet and shivering, she lay in a crumpled mess on the ground, right next to a street. Her skin had a bluish tint to it, and he could feel tears welling up. He couldn't take his eyes off of her as he moved closer, afraid that if he touched her she'd disappear.

Do I love her? But of course. I mean, a father is supposed to love his daughter. But am I in love with her?

In love? What is that?

As he neared, he could see that she was still breathing, and he allowed a few silent tears to trail down his cheeks in relief. He drew her carefully into his arms, cradling her cold body as close to him as he could. He pulled out his cell phone.

"Kyouya, bring the car around. She's… she's alright." He gasped when he felt her stir in his arms, her eyes opening slightly.

"Tamaki… senpai?" He stood up as he heard the car speed to a halt. He hugged her to his chest.

"Haruhi, my love… don't worry anymore. I'm here, everything will be fine."

Kyouya watched his best friend in amazement. Never has he seen anybody so devoted to one person. But as he watched, he couldn't help but feel a slight twinge in his heart.

What was that?

But he knew. He couldn't help but envy Tamaki for everything he had. He had so much love, and wasn't afraid to give it. That was one of the things that Kyouya so desperately wanted, but couldn't have. And as he watched his best friend hunched over the girl who stole his heart, he felt the tears prick the back of his eyes.

Tamaki's eyes refused to leave Haruhi's crumpled form from the minute they entered the car. The bluish tint had left her skin, but her breathing was still irregular, hitching every now and then, and she was shivering immensely. Tamaki took off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders, still holding her close.

Kyouya's question was momentarily forgotten as he fought back a few tears at the sudden relief. The fact that she was safe and in his arms hit him suddenly, and the burden was so much that he didn't breathe for a few seconds. He hunched forward, his hair falling in front of his face. She's safe now. Even thought I know that, why do I still feel so broken inside?

Haruhi hadn't felt this safe in a long time. Despite the fact that she didn't know where she was, she had a vague recollection of cold fear, and someone looking at her with the most pain she'd ever seen in one expression. There was something about that face… and it made her feel like everything was going to be okay.

She had known for a while that she was in love with Tamaki. She didn't show it, but his eyes were her favorite thing in the world. The amethyst orbs melted her every feature every time she saw them. It was everything she could do not to lose her cool around him. The butterflies that appeared in her stomach every time she was in his presence threatened to make themselves known. My god, how she loved him. The idiot son of the chairman.

Hikaru lay in bed, wide awake. Is it really the right thing for her? He didn't know. But, then again, he never will. In ten years, he'll look back on this moment and wonder, was it really the right thing for her? What would have happened, had he actually went to find her? And if he had? What would have happened? There would always be unanswered questions. But now, it was his turn. Hikaru clenched his hands into fists. He doesn't deserve her.

"Do you love her, Hikaru?" Hikaru looked around frantically. When did Kaoru get here? Upon meeting his eyes, he looked away, ashamed.

"I don't know." Kaoru smiled, his face full of understanding.

"Then let me leave you with this: when and if you figure it out, if you love her, let her go." Hikaru sighed and moved back, making room for Kaoru on the bed.

"It's just us against the world again, isn't it?" Kaoru chuckled.

"Only for a little while."

Haruhi opened her eyes and stood up. She scanned her surroundings. She was standing in the middle of a seemingly endless room of white.

"What…?" She turned her head around and caught the glimpse of a shadow on the wall. She took a step towards ot, but suddenly the floor was pulled out from under her, and she fell forwards. She lifted her head again and found herself outside in from of her apartment complex. Confused, she took in the sight of her house. "I'm home…?" She realized suddenly that it was raiging, and her eyes widened when she heard the first clap of thunder.

"Haruhi." A chorus of voices called her name and she whipped her head around. "Haruhi." She covered her ears with her hands and buried her face in her lap. "Haruhi." She shook her head.

"What do you want from me?"

"Haruhi." No, it couldn't be. She couldn't bear the pain. But the voice was too distinct, too honest not to be.

"Mother… is that you?" A figure suddenly appeared, kneeling down next to her.

"My baby, you've grown so big." She ruffled her hair and then stood. The night lit up behind her as another round of thunder and lightning rumbled through the sky.

"H-help me…" Haruhi's mother seemed not to hear her, merely turning around and walking away. Haruhi gasped and reached out, missing the hem of her dress by a few centimeters. "P-please! Please…" she felt cold all of a sudden, the rain soaking through her skin.

"Haruhi." Haruhi looked up as the familiar voice rang through her ears. He was standing nervously a few feet away, not looking at her. He looks so broken…

Tamaki couldn't decipher Haruhi's face. He froze when he saw her face crumple in confusion, then sadness, then hurt. And the tears fell. He didn't understand what was going on. Why hasn't she woken up yet?

Haruhi stirred, and both Kyouya and Tamaki's eyes flitted over to her sleeping form.

"T-Tamaki…" Tamaki's mouth fell open. Why was she saying his name? "Do… do you love me?" He whipped his head around and locked eyes with Kyouya. His icy stare burned into the blonde. And it was mocking him. I told you so.

Do I… do I love her?
Do I even know what love is?

Haruhi sat on the ground, still not finding the strength to stand. She couldn't figure out why Tamaki of all people was standing in front of her and why she just asked him the question she did.

"You need to start letting youself rely on other people, Haruhi. If… if you want, I could be that person. Can you trust me enough?"

Can I trust you enough? You've always been there for me. And I love you, but… I don't know.

I think… I think I do love her. And why not? She's beautiful, inside and out.

And, before he could stop himself or even register what he was doing, he lifted her chin up and pressed his lips to hers in a vain attempt to wake her up.

Please, my love. Return to me…

Kyouya's eyes widened in utter shock as he watched the Suou heir suddenly lean forward and kiss Haruhi's lips so tenderly, so passionately.

So there are happy endings.

He smiled and leaned back, his glasses flashing. Maybe, just maybe, he'd be lucky enough to find the one for him.

Haruhi's eyes flew open. The first thing she saw was Tamaki's closed eyes, tears pooling in the corners. She couldn't believe that the one she loved was kissing her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and Tamaki jumped and gasped.

"Haruhi!" She gently brushed the side of his cheek with the back of her hand.

"I'm not dreaming, am I?" Tamaki's tears fell, and he gave her a hundred- watt smile.

"No, my love. I'm right here. I'll always be right here."

As he's always been.

Hi, all! It's been a really long while since I did anything with this story, but I decided to just group everything together since it was really short and really didn't need to be separated into chapters. Thank you for reading!

~LinedWithCharcoal