"Maria! Get up right now! Kyoya's here!" yelled my Mom all the way from downstairs.
In all honestly, I would have came downstairs had Kyoya's name not been mentioned. But it was too late to un-hear those letters that were placed in an unfortunate order to create a sound that resulted in a name that meant a particular dark-haired friend who was probably seriously pissed.
I reluctantly swallowed my pride and marched downstairs to see Mom, Connor, and Kyoya all assembled around the kitchen table.
"What's the special occasion?" I asked.
"School." Connor replied.
After what was about half an hour of changing (twenty minutes made up of me staring at my face in the mirror and saying "You sexy beast, you.") I went back downstairs. My Mom was already heading out early to catch a flight; there was another conference in Phoenix, and Kyoya was giving me that I-know-what-you-did look.
"Look, before you say anything, I'd just like to point out that he had it coming. I mean, Tamaki left his fedora just lying there. He better be thankful I got to it before the twins did."
Kyoya did not look amused.
"But that didn't mean you had to do this." he held up the rainbow painted hat, which had originally been one solid color before I had another one of my revelations.
"He's going to blame me!" Kyoya stressed.
"Dude, rainbow fits him, if you know what I mean." I said, joking for the most part.
Kyoya's lips twitched. He bit his lower lip to hide the fact and then resumed to look angry.
"Oh, you just wait until Tamaki gets back from….gets back from…where is he again?" Kyoya switched from looking angry to exasperated.
"Camp." Connor and I both replied at the same time, way too quickly for the all knowing Kyoya.
"Right…camp." I guess he decided he was too tired to fight this battle right now, "Let's just get to school."
Out of Maria's POV
Things hadn't been easy since the return trip to France started. Tensions were high. There had been a lot of arguing and frustration between Connor, Tamaki, and Maria. But it was the hardest on Kyoya, since he had no idea why.
Connor didn't believe in Maria's decision. She just went up and joined the secret agency that was indirectly responsible for the death of her father, and was holding Connor himself hostage by a threat.
In his eyes that had been a very foolish decision, and no matter what her reasons were (which Maria refused to share anyway) he would never approve.
But he knew that constantly arguing was no way to live.
He settled for holding a grudge quietly, shooting disapproving looks at her every now and then, sometimes going as far as to say "this is a huge mistake". But whenever he verbally expressed his disappointment, she'd direct her attention to something else, pretend not to hear him.
But everyone knew that she heard every word.
In case you're wondering, Tamaki wasn't really at camp. In fact, Tamaki's only been known to disappear for long periods of time under one circumstance: the agency.
He was training, considering he moved up a level he now had to be briefed on what would be required of him.
It was the same agency that offered him a chance to see his mom again. It was the same agency that ordered my own father to kill me, and ultimately resulted in his death. It was the same agency that I was currently working for.
I heard he was a level three agent now.
Level three agents were allowed to kill.
And there was no way I could picture that naïve face, with those innocent blues eyes, staring down a target…holding a shot gun…pulling the trigger.
In their system, we all started at the bottom. After a whole month of training and what-not (Mom thought I was studying abroad while I was really at a location that I'm not allowed to disclose to anyone) I still hadn't moved up a single level.
But I did manage to land my first task, however small that task may be.
I just had to watch someone, that's all. But it wasn't the task that was the problem.
Nope, I had more of an issue with the someone the task was referring to.
"Oh no! You mean my star pupil is going to be a week late for his return?" cried Mr. Mason, the orchestra/instrumental conductor.
"No, he'll be back tomorrow. He just got a bit delayed with flight times." I lied.
"I hope so! Because guess what?" the big ass smile on the guy's face tipped me off.
"You want Tamaki and I to perform a duet again, for whatever reason." I said.
"No…I do want you to perform something but your partner will not be Tamaki for this assignment."
Now that came as a shock. Tamaki was always my partner whenever times called for a collaborative piece. And before him, I'd never really taken kindly to working with others. Music may be enjoyed by all, but that doesn't mean it has to be performed by all.
"Who?" I demanded, trying to mask my urgency by tagging a little giggle on at the end. It made me sound more manic than anything else.
"I think I'll let him tell you! Come in!" he called to the separate band room that led to the practice room. The door knob turn and I was greeted by a slim-form, face detailed in the sense that it was devilishly handsome, eyes that were wide, perceptive. They took in everything.
He seemed way too calm.
And he was displaying the fakest smile that made it impossibly hard not to punch the face.
"Ms. Standford, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Grant." said the clueless Mr. Mason, and trust me when I say he was freaking elated.
"Nice to meet you." I said, trying to still my shaky hands as I extended them forward.
"The pleasure's all mine." Bingo. There it was. That smug smile.
We both knew something that Mr. Mason didn't.
Joshua and I had met on previous occasion. In fact, he was responsible for launching an attack on Haruhi Fujioka, as well as attempting to kill me.
Notice a pattern yet?
He was after commoners. Why? Well, for those of you who aren't aware of his history, his father's "got money in the bank". He's been led to believe that commoners aren't worthy to his stature. So after being expelled for bullying a commoner, he suddenly convinced himself that commoners had no right attending Ouran if he couldn't attend.
Thus, he decided to attack Haruhi and me.
Luckily Tamaki and I were already working on a case at the time, but that's a whole 'nother story (literally) so we were prepared for danger.
Either way, we sent him to the police station.
From what I've been informed, there wasn't enough evidence against him. Charges had to be dropped. Apparently, two eye-witnesses aren't good enough anymore. Especially since our whole binge drinking incident, we were no longer a viable source.
Either way, he paid his way back into the good grace of society, and he was let back into the school.
How do I know all of this, is the question you may be asking.
Well, because the agency told me, of course.
Because he was that someone I was supposed to be watching.
Out of Maria's POV
Joshua watched the girl across from him as he entered the room. He expected her to gasp, he expected her to cry out in fear, maybe even run out of the room. He was but a millisecond away from killing her not too long ago.
But she did none of that. She looked him straight in the eye, extended her arm and said, "Nice to meet you."
And he didn't like it. Didn't like the confidence that she had.
Common vermin shouldn't be allowed to look at him with such disdain.
"The pleasure's all mine." He thought he was going to vomit.
Meanwhile Connor, needing to retain his musical scholarship at Ouran due to the need to supervise his little sister, decided to purchase a new violin. God, he hated the violin. Every note he played was another flashback, another memory.
Keeping up appearances wasn't doing any good for his health either.
His hair was visibly duller and his eyes had dark circles under them.
Maria knew now that being observant of her brother could be beneficial for everyone, so she noticed immediately.
"Are you not getting enough sleep?" she would question.
"I'm sleeping just fine." he would answer. The way she clicked her tongue in disdain, he knew that she spotted his lies.
"I'm worried." She would reply. But didn't she know how much he worried about her everyday? How much he prayed that she would make it through the night, that the agency would never give her something she couldn't handle. Never put her in actual danger.
Didn't she know that the dark circles under his eyes were partly her fault?
When Tamaki and Maria had disappeared around the same time and missed a month of school, Kyoya was highly suspicious. But then again, Tamaki was gone "at camp" a bit longer than Maria was, and even Maria's mom confirmed she was studying abroad.
But still…the coincidence had raised suspicion.
And around a week before Maria's return, Joshua Grant was re-admitted into the school.
Strange, Kyoya thought, Strange.
After a particularly ugly episode he'd had at home, where he laughed manically in his father's face and then proceeded to start bawling, his doctor prescribed him every medicine under the sun: Lithium, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics of all sorts, you name it. His case had been immediately moved from mild to moderate.
Maybe it was the added stress of having to keep up with a new medication schedule, or maybe it was just the fact that he was so damn worried about that stupid rainbow hat. Either way, he was more paranoid than usual.
Feeling his mood wavering and not knowing whether or not it was due to his affliction or genuine concern, he popped an extra pill, just to be on the safe side.
"Welcome back!" exclaimed Haruhi.
"Good to be back." I replied.
And then I was moved instantly.
I swear, I think I apparated there.
But Harry Potter reference aside, the twins were revealed, and I knew their ninja skills were involved.
"Guys, why did you do that? I was in the middle of a conversation." I reprimanded. I observed my surroundings to see that I was moved from the main corridor to the abandoned music room that we all came to address at the host club room.
"It wasn't our faults this time!" said Kaoru.
"Seriously, you're accusatory ways are mortifying." muttered Hikaru. I would have to hide his dictionary later.
"No, it wasn't their fault. I asked them to fetch you for me." said Kyoya, only looking up briefly before going back to writing in a notebook.
"Haha." I mocked the twins, specifically Hikaru, "He asked you to fetch me because you're a dog!"
"Well…you're the stick." He said, motioning to my physique.
"Silence." Kyoya ordered calmly. And you better believe all was silent.
"I needed your opinion on something." Kyoya said, addressing me only. That was his way of saying to Hikaru and Karou "you can leave now. I no longer require your assistance". And they left.
"What's up, Kyo?" I said.
"You were gone for quite a while. We didn't know how long you would be gone, so we arranged a replacement about a week ago." He said.
I paused, "But I'm back…so…"
"We're not asking you to resign. We're just saying he's so beneficial to the club that we'd like both of you to stay." He said. He was picking around the subject carefully. This person was hired a week ago…wait a minute.
"Maria, I hope you don't mind if we make Joshua Grant an official host."
Out of Maria's POV
Maria knew this was, overall, a good thing. It would make it that much easier to keep an eye on the guy. As she went down the hallway she took out her tape-recorder and said
"Subject has been participating in host club duties since my absence. No further information can be disclosed."
She also typed her reports, just to be on the safe side in case she lost her tape recorder.
No one knew about her case except Tamaki. And he'd be back by tomorrow to help things along.
After typing up her report on a computer and saving it, she caught site of Joshua just out of the corner of her eye. Just as she got up to follow him, she was stopped abruptly.
"Maria! You've been missing my class for over a month, and now that you've come back you decide to skip!"
Maria whimpered. Why must her life be so difficult?
"Sorry, Ms. Clark." she said, simply because Stephanie had insisted on being called that in public.
Your not even a real teacher, she thought bitterly.
Ever since Stephanie had been stationed at Ouran Academy, she had grown fond of the place, and asked to be permanently stationed there.
Counting Connor and I, that's about four agents in one school, thought Maria.
It left her wondering, what was so special about Ouran Academy?
A/N: YESH! I'm glad I actually got this up so soon. I knew I couldn't keep u guys waiting for long, with the way I ended Secret Messages. So what do you guys think? Leave a review if you have the time, I'd appreciate it :D. Or, if you don't, thanks for reading anyway!