Love in Fashion
A/N: Thank you for clicking, Mei and Kaoru are a recent couple obsession of mine and when they first appeared in my story 'My Brother's Wedding' I couldn't get them out of my head. After some gentle nudging from my readers, you know who you are. :D I decided to write a prequel to 'My Brother's Wedding' It is not necessary to read, MBW to understand this story however. There will be vague references to TamakiXHaruhi relationship seeing that during the timeline this story falls under, they're still dating. If you haven't read, 'My Brother's Wedding' and would like to see where Mei and Kaoru go from here I encourage you to do so. This story is completely written a total of 4 chapters and an epilogue. Chapters will be posted once a week, on Sunday, until its conclusion.
Special thanks to Enigmaticrose4 for beta-ing this for me. And for being my most recent convert to this couple.
Word Total: 11,204
Down an endless hallway her feet echoed off the ostentatious walls; the sound echoed in her chest. Modern style furniture looked at odds with the old world architecture. Heavy velvet draped arched windows, while students with a-symmetrical haircuts and wearing striking floral and geometric patterns leaned over the arms of modernist furniture set up in comfortable seating arrangements besides the windows. Ever few feet there was door, with large golden numbers rising ever higher upwards the farther down the hall she went. Some doors had white boards pinned to them, half scribbled messages smudged and undecipherable. Occasionally a fashion poster or notice was tacked to cork-boards to the front of the door. Mei passed an empty arched window. Through it and just beyond the rise of the city, she could see it, the Eiffel Tower. Paris, the city of lights; a place for romance; the fashion capitol of the world, Mei had arrived! A part of her was convinced at any moment she'd wake up to her mom pounding on her bedroom door. Mei squeezed her eyes shut for a moment and then reopened them. Nope this wasn't a dream. She really was here, in Paris, France, attending the fashion school of her dreams.
Ahead of her the corridor split in two directions. 'You think they'd give you a map or something.' She thought agitatedly. Mei glanced at a group of her peers standing in the doorway of an open dorm room. Together they were having an animated conversation spoken in rapid French. Pretending to decide which way to turn, Mei ease dropped on their conversation, trying to practice her newly learned French Skills. But they were speaking to fast for her to understand.
'Damn it.' She fumed, 'What was the point of all those lessons with Tamaki if I can't understand a damn word they say?'
Mei hefted her designer bag, a gift from her dad, higher onto her shoulder. She turned down the hallway to the right. Students came and went as she made her way down another corridor. The other students watched her progression. It gave her the impression of being the only member in a parade. Some greeted her kindly in French, but when she tried to reply it was fumbled and heavily accented. She earned more than a few contemptuous glares and even more snickers and remarks she couldn't understand. Her face was burning bright red, when she found her room at the end of the corridor.
Inside her room, she slammed the door shut behind her. Her chest was heaving as she surveyed her room for the first time. It was moderately sized, with a large arched window, smaller than the ones out in the corridor, but still huge. Along with two twin sized beds there was a fabulous view of downtown Paris. Mei fell into the empty bed by the window. Staring out it, she watched the clouds float by as the burning blush faded from her cheeks. Glancing across the room, she noticed the other bed was already made and posters were hung on the walls surrounding it. At the foot of the other bed a pink 'C' was hung. Mei fell back onto her empty bed, the mattress exhaled in protest as she did so.
'This may be harder than I thought. I thought when I got that scholarship everything would be easy… maybe I was wrong.'
Mei rolled over in bed, sighing deeply; the escaping hair made her bangs flutter. Grabbing her silk strands, she rubbed them between thumb and forefinger. 'Quit moping!' She scolded herself. 'You're in Paris! So what if you don't speak the language that well! You'll get the hang of it!'
Mei sat up suddenly pumping her fist triumphantly.
"That's right," she said aloud.
With new found vigor, Mei unpacked her things. A few hours later, while tacking up some posters of her favorite j-pop singers. Her roommate, Cecile, arrived. Cecile was a statuesque French girl, from the south of France, with natural blonde hair and cherry red lips. She was in her second year at the school. Though she seemed interested in Mei, and spoke slowly so Mei and she could converse, it was obvious she was frustrated by Mei's poor language skills. Cecile, related information to Mei about the school, the way classes ran, teachers to watch out for and mistakes everyone made and not to worry about. It was pretty late by the time the two of them went to bed. But Mei couldn't sleep. Tomorrow would be the first day of lessons. Would she be able to keep up with her dismal French? What if she fell behind? Thoughts swirled in her head as the soft sound of Cecile's snoring filled the room.
Paris, been there, done that.
Their mother had been bringing them to France since before they could speak, period. Fashion, it was their heritage. Hell, it was practically in their blood! They were expected to take over the company one day. So no one was surprised when they enrolled in one of the world's top fashion schools in Paris. Did they really need to go to fashion college? No. They'd been designing since they were barely out of diapers. It was more of a need to get away…
Kaoru glanced at his melancholy twin, sitting in the seat beside him in the limousine. Hikaru had pressed his forehead against the tinted window of their private car. Hikaru stared blankly out at the passing city streets. If you asked them 'why Paris' they would have given you the generic answers. For the city, for the fashion or for the experience –this they would have said with their trademark devious grins- But, the truth was, they were running away. Or rather, Hikaru was running away and Kaoru was tagging along. Not that he minded; Kaoru was always with his twin.
If Hikaru needed to go to school in a different country to get over Haruhi, so be it. Kaoru leaned across the seat, poking his twin in the ribs.
"Quit pouting, we're almost to the school."
Hikaru scowled at his brother, "I am not pouting." He said in tone that was suspiciously close to pout.
Kaoru gave him a 'sure you're not' look.
Which Hikaru returned with a 'don't tell me how I'm feeling' look.
Their stare off was ended when the driver pulled up to the front of the school. They slid out the back of the car and into the bright morning sunlight. The building was styled in a French architecture that reminded Kaoru of the age of Marie Antoinette. Students in stylish –probably self made clothes- hung about speaking rapidly in French. Kaoru breathed in deeply the scent of lingering summer. Standing outside this school there was a deep sense of 'right-ness' as if this was exactly where he was meant to be. Kaoru looked over to his brother shooting him a devious grin. Hikaru mirrored the expression. They had arrived.
As they walked through the crowds, students stopped and openly stared. Not a lot of Japanese natives attending this school, they supposed. As the crowds parted to let them through, it left them feeling like celebrities. The pair of them smiled mischievously as they strutted through the crowds. Things never seemed to change. This was just like another 'Ouran' only with different students and a different national language. It was quite possible they'd never stop being the center of attention. Luckily, they'd learned to accept it and embrace it.
In the classroom, were rows of wide, flat art tables, slanted upward. A few students had taken their seats towards the front, another group hung around the desk of another student in the middle of the room. The student in the center of them dramatically shared a story about his summer vacation. His arms flailing as he did so. Kaoru was reminded of Tamaki for an instant and glanced at Hikaru out of the corner of his eye to see if he noticed it. Hikaru, blissfully oblivious, had already taken his seat at the back of the classroom. Kaoru followed after and dropped into a seat beside him.
Kaoru dropped his messenger bag over the back of his chair, while Hikaru dropped his unceremoniously to the floor. Kaoru smiled, another change in the reflection, slowly their individual personalities were starting to develop. Hikaru leaned back in his chair, his feet propped up underneath his desk as he stared at the ceiling. Kaoru watched him for a moment wondering what he was thinking about. Haruhi probably…
Kaoru looked away and towards the entrance of the classroom. Students were filing in, in pairs and groups and it didn't take long for the classroom to fill up almost entirely. As expected for a fashion school the students were dressed impeccably. Of course none as well dressed as Hikaru and him; there was no room for competition really. The clock struck ten and a door to the back of the room swung open crashing into the wall behind it. Out of it strode an imposing middle aged French-man with salt and pepper hair in a black tailored suit.
He had a stern mouth and when he spoke, it was in rapid French, "Welcome to Fashion Design, I am Mr.-" he was cut short as the door at the back of the classroom swung open.
A blond tumbled through the door panting heavily and clutching her knees.
"Sorry." She said in heavily accented French. When she looked up, her too tan skin was beet red.
Kaoru shared a look with his twin and devious smiles were mirrored on their expressions. With all the excitement they'd forgotten Mei went to this school too and why she was going there.
The teacher approached Mei, arms folded over his chest. His thin lips looked even thinner with anger.
"Do you enjoy interrupting my class?" he asked crisply.
Mei scowled at him.
"Well? Do you find it entertaining to be the center of attention?"
Mei opened her mouth but no words came out.
"Well? Speak up!"
"I don't know what you're saying!" Mei snapped back in Japanese.
Kaoru and Hikaru bit their lips to stifle their laughter.
"You will speak 'French' in my class." The teacher said crisply.
"I'm sorry," Mei ground out in French. "I got lost."
The teacher turned his nose up at her as if she had a particularly foul odor. "Take your seat. I'll let it slide this time. Next time, be on time and speaking our national language." He swept past her and to the front of the class.
Mei scowled at his retreating figure, while still hanging back in the doorway, obviously still lost. Hikaru was snickering quietly. Kaoru was tempted to join his brother. But he felt for her, obviously she had a loose grip on the language…
"Mei," he whispered.
She turned to him, her eyes narrowing. Kaoru beaconed for her to take the empty seat next to him. Glancing once more at the teacher, she stomped over to the back of the room before falling into the seat next to Kaoru.
"What the hell are you doing here?" She hissed beneath her breath, her eyes darting to the front of the room where the teacher had proceeded with his introduction of the class.
Kaoru held up his finger, signaling her to wait. Mei glowered at him in return. Reaching into his bag, he retrieved a note pad. Laying it on the desk in front of him, he wrote:
I go to school here. Duh.
Mei snatched the pad from him as he handed it to her. She read it with narrowed eyes before writing back:
I can see that. Why didn't u guys tell me u were going 2 school here? :(
Kaoru read her note and suppressed a chuckle. From the corner of his eye, Kaoru checked on Hikaru. Hikaru seemed to be half paying attention to the teacher but mostly doodling on his desk.
Kaoru wrote back:
You never asked.
Mei looked up from the paper and her scowl deepened. She hastily scribbled:
That's a lame excuse!
Kaoru shrugged and smiled at her. Her furrowed brows and pursed lips made him want laugh, but he stifled the reaction then wrote:
But it's the only one I got. :D Do you want help with your French?
Mei read over his note, glanced up at him then back at the note. She wrote:
Like I'm stupid enough to fall for that 1. No thanks.
She shoved the notepad into his hands and redirected her attention to the front of the class. Kaoru smiled slightly and shrugged. 'Suit yourself, I suppose.'
A/N: Thank You for reading! Now, while I have your attention, I'd like to invite anyone interested to join a new writing contest community for Ouran on Livejournal. Winners will receive banners custom made by our own Notimari and the right to brag over your fellow authors. We're looking to have a fun interactive community, if you're interested PM me for more information.