Haruhi sits in silence next to Mori, watching as the chaos unfolds around them. The twins sit on a couch, loudly extolling the vices and virtues of something. Tamaki stands nearby, alternating between wailing loudly about whatever it is the twins are saying, yelling at the twins, and attempting to argue with the brick wall that is Kyoya. Kyoya himself merely sits, serenely tapping at the keys of his laptop, talking circles around Tamaki – trying to get him to leave him alone without agreeing to anything. Hunny is bouncing around the room, chattering at Usa-chan, stopping for the occasional bite of cake or to make some remark to the others. And Mori sits quietly next to her, watching the chaos unfold.
She turns to look at him for a moment, and the movement causes him to glance at her. Their eyes meet, and an entire conversation takes place – the twitch of an eyebrow, a quirk of the lips, a tilt of the head, a blink, the scrunch of a nose, and a nod.
'They're so crazy'
'You're not going to join in?'
'What do you think?'
'Yeah, I think I'll just stay here as well, if you don't mind.'
And then they turn back to continue watching their friends.
She matches them all, in an irregular way. Like a reflection – exactly the same, the ins and outs, the good and bad, all the same, yet all different. Flipped, reversed, off-kilter, changed in some indefinable way.
Haruhi sits, trying to finish her algebra homework. Tamaki is yelling nearby, making it hard to concentrate. She closes the book with a sigh, turning to listen to what the host king is shouting.
"-Kyoya! I'm telling you, it would be magnificent! All we need is-" Tamaki is babbling, obviously trying to convince Kyoya of the sheer brilliance of his plan. He wasn't having much success. In his earnestness, he is scatterbrained, logic jumping out the window in a desperate escape attempt as his thought process goes all over the place. He is letting his emotions do the talking, trying to pull at the heartstrings of his audience. However, his audience is Kyoya, and the only way Kyoya would even consider such a preposterous thing is if the facts were presented to him in a calm and logical fashion. He still wouldn't have done it, in the end, but he would have at least pretended to pay attention to the pitch.
"Are you even listening to me, Kyoya?" Tamaki shrieks, and the tirade begins anew.
Kyoya sighs and adjusts his glasses, before turning and waiting for Tamaki to pause for breath. And when that happens, he begins speaking in circles around the obviously out of breath boy. Tamaki listens in bewilderment, obviously confused as to what, exactly, Kyoya is saying. Haruhi knows – she wouldn't make a very good lawyer if she couldn't unravel that convoluted way of speaking. Tamaki looks ready to protest, albeit feebly, but he never gets the chance to, because Haruhi is suddenly right behind him.
"Tamaki." She says steadily, tired of listening to him plot ostentatious displays of wealth. The blond in question turns to look at her hopefully. And then she is speaking, using the language specifically designed to confuse and befuddle all but a select few – legalese. Tamaki didn't stand a chance.
After a few minutes, Haruhi finishes, and Tamaki slinks off to his corner of woe. Kyoya raises an eyebrow – just a hairsbreadth, hardly noticeable, and Haruhi smirks at him for a moment before returning to her table and re-opening her algebra book.
At first glance, she resembles none of them. Brown hair, brown eyes. No designer clothes, no putting on airs, no gourmet food of fancy cars or two-story bedrooms. Nothing like them.
Exactly like them.
Hair. Heart. Skin. Eyes. Face. Hands. Lips, ears, nose, fingers, toes, feet, elbows, knees, shoulders, neck. Intelligence, understanding, empathy, sympathy, obliviousness, gullibility, cunning, mischievousness, dullness, silence, loudness, serenity, naïveté, skepticism, optimism, pessimism, belief, doubt, life.
Exactly the same.
Haruhi sits with Hunny, listening in amusement as he chatters away between bites of cake. The club won't open for another half hour, and her homework is done for the day. So she sits and listens, smiling and taking the occasional sip of tea from the cup in her hands. Mori sits across from them, reading and stealing the occasional glance at them from over the top of his book.
Kyoya and Tamaki are having a meeting with the twins about the costumes for their next cosplay, the theme of which had been decided at yesterday's club meeting.
"It's really quiet in here today." Hunny remarks, and Haruhi nods, humming quietly in the back of her throat.
"Hey, Haru-chan…" Hunny says slowly, "Weren't you the one who had the problem with the costumes? How come you're not over there helping them fix it?"
Haruhi looks at him and smiles. Hunny looks up at her for a moment with widening eyes, then at the four boys huddled together in the corner of the room, speaking quietly, and back at her again.
"I wanted to spend some time with you, and I knew that would never happen if they weren't otherwise occupied." Haruhi says, and Hunny's eyes dart back and forth between them one more time.
Then he grins, launching himself at her. She laughs softly as she catches him and he hugs her, so quietly he almost didn't hear it.
Then he returns to his seat. Takes a bite of cake. Chews, swallows, and begins chattering once again.
She knows them. She sees through the walls, the masks, the diversions, which they all use to hide themselves from further hurt. She can tell them apart, knows their hopes and dreams and fears. She knows what makes them tick and what makes them happy. She knows them better than they know themselves, sometimes.
Haruhi sits at her desk and steadfastly ignores the twins' attempts to rile her up. After several long minutes, she acknowledges the something niggling at the back of her mind, and starts paying more attention to the two of them. Though she wouldn't let them know so in a thousand years.
There – the slightest hitch in a voice, almost unnoticeable. Now that she's looking closer, the smile on his face looks slightly strained, a tiny bit forced. Her eyes narrow slightly, before she reaches down to rifle through her bag.
"Hikaru." She says, and they both stop goofing off to look at her, wearing almost identical Cheshire cat grins.
"Hikaru," She repeats, to re-enforce the subliminal message (yes I mean YOU), "I left my English book in the classroom, could you go get it for me?" and he nods and leaves, sauntering slowly over to the door as if to prove that she wasn't forcing him to do anything.
As soon as the door closes behind him, she turns to look at Kaoru. He is staring after his brother, a slightly forlorn expression on his face. Then he notices her looking at him, and clears his face into a smile. Still strained.
"You're not going to lose him, you know." She remarks conversationally, eyes never leaving him.
Kaoru jumps, looking up at her. He meets her gaze, and she can finally read the fear in his eyes, the confusion over her statement, slowly morphing into panic and relief as he realizes what it was she just said.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He says, nervousness dripping from every pore, and sounding so much like Hikaru in that one moment that she just had to smile.
"Yes. You do." She states. "You may be growing apart a bit, and it's scary, but it's a good thing, and you'll never lose him completely. He'll always be there for you - I'm sorry to say that you are well and truly stuck with him."
Kaoru's eyes go wide and he stares at her in shock. He opens his mouth to respond, and the doors to the third music room swing open, revealing Hikaru, book in hand. He walks into the room, closing the door behind him as he complains half-heartedly about the walk. Haruhi thanks him dryly, before sending a small smile at both of them and turning back to her homework.
Hikaru asks if he's feeling alright, as he's looking kind of pale. Kaoru waves him off, mumbling something about being a little cold. He jumps infinitesimally as Hikaru wraps an arm around his shoulders to warm him up. Kaoru waits a moment, a heartbeat, the briefest hesitation, before he catches Haruhi's eye across the room. She nods, and he wraps his arm around Hikaru's waist, not feeling nearly as cold as he was before.
She watches them as intently as they watch her, searching out nuggets of information, bits and pieces of back-story, likes, dislikes, habits. Soon enough she is handing out Advil from the medicine cabinet before they have the chance to ask for it, and dispensing help with homework, aiding them like they help her.
Haruhi sits at her table, listening with half an ear as her clients talk at her. The clock strikes four, and Kyoya stands, announcing that club activities are now over for the day. The room slowly clears of giggling females, until they are the only ones left.
Hunny and Mori are the first to leave, waving goodbye and hurrying out the door. The twins are next, driven out by a rampaging Tamaki. Then Kyoya, speaking quietly into his phone as he glides through the doorway.
She looks around the nearly empty room and smirks. Digging around in her bag, she triumphantly pulls out an envelope. It is plain and white, square instead of rectangle, like the king that pre-made cards come with. She shakes her head slightly as she pulls on her bag; unable to believe she is about to do this. Thank god it's the weekend.
Tamaki is sitting at a table, his bag on the ground at his feet as he watches her, waiting for her to leave so he can lock up for the night. He forgot to lock it once, only once, and he dreaded to think what his father would do if he forgot to do it again, especially tonight.
As she walks by him she tosses the envelope onto the table in front of him. There is a gasp from behind her just as she opens the door. She turns to look at him over he shoulder – he is clutching the card with both hands, looking back and forth between it and her. She smiles.
"Happy father's day, Tamaki."
And she closes the door behind her.
They couldn't trick her. Couldn't fool her or misdirect her. She knew them to well for that. Far to well, she'd sometimes say. But she never complained beyond that, and neither did they, and so it was.
Haruhi sits at her desk, watching them plot. They were trying to be secretive about it, but she could tell they were doing it anyways.
She wasn't quite sure how they did it – communicate like they did. They didn't even seem to be looking at each other. But she knew the signs, regardless. The twin smirks, the tapping fingers, the slightly cocky air.
So she paid attention, and as a result, could nip things in the bud just as they started to bloom.
"Don't even think about it." She whispered in his ear as they rose from their seats. In the throng of people leaving the last class of the day, the cacophony of scraping chairs and mindless chatter, it went unnoticed.
Hikaru's head whipped around and she locked eyes with him, staring him down. He looked away first, giving in and somehow –she would figure out how they did it eventually- told his twin about the change in plans.
She smiled at him, a knowing smile that cut right though him, before turning and walking towards the third music room.
They were her, and she was them. Separate, but bonded. The Ouran High School Host Club. Tamaki Suou, Kyoya Ootori, Takashi Morinozuka, Mitsukuni Haninozuka, Kaoru Hitachiin, Hikaru Hitachii, Haruhi Fujioka. Tamaki, Kyoya, Mori, Hunny, HikaruandKaoru, Haruhi.
Woah, that monstrosity started it's life as a drabble- the first little vignette. Then my pen kept going. Oops. Well, it's now just over 2K, and I think it's done. Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong and there's a glaring typo in there somewhere.