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From her perch at the top of the bell tower, Haruhi spied him sitting in the garden. He was all alone and staring off into space, taking no notice of the people around him. She cocked her head and ascended the steps down to the ground. She had never seen him upset or sad before. He was usually pretty emotionless. Today though, even from such a distance, Haruhi could sense that something was wrong.

When Uchiha Sasuke first transferred to Ouran Academy, Tamaki was all over him like white on rice. He argued that Sasuke, with his perfect skin and raven hair, would make even the most uptight girls swoon. Kyouya agreed, even while Haruhi protested that it was ultimately up to Sasuke himself whether or not he would join the club. The twins seemed to think that if they put him in an uncomfortable position, that Sasuke would have to join. That only left Hikaru with a twisted wrist and Sasuke with a week's worth of Saturday detentions. Mori and Hani tried to put him in his place, but before any fight could break out, the school administrators put a stop to it. Haruhi, meanwhile, had her face buried in her hands, asking herself how such intelligent boys could be so stupid.

As she stepped out onto the grassy field separating her from Sasuke, she remembered how silent he had always been. She never really took his silence for shyness or sadness; it was more like he was agitated, like the whole of Ouran annoyed him. She knew not to judge – that never did anyone any good – but she couldn't help but feel a resentment toward him for labeling them all as rich snobs. His perfect features and deep, dark eyes gave him an ethereal look, like an alien, something too beautiful to be real. She connected his tiring attitude to his looks. She figured that he thought that if no one else was as beautiful as he was, then no one was worth talking to. This inference, though, was contradicted by her own friends who were some of the most beautiful boys on campus, and had the largest hearts she had ever known. Since that theory had been disproven, she settled on the idea that he was just lonely and had no inclination to talk to someone.

She stood behind him and spoke softly. "Uchiha-san?"

A jerk of his head and he was facing her, his obsidian eyes boring into her innocent expression. A full mouth was wound tightly into a thin line in the space between his chin and his nose. It was the closest Haruhi had ever been to Sasuke and she took in his porcelain skin, his long, thick eyelashes that kissed his high cheekbones when he blinked. Something stirred inside her that she shook off in a second; she wouldn't be one of the girls that followed around any boy, much less Uchiha Sasuke. She was there only to help him, if that. He still hadn't said anything and she stepped back and curtly nodded, silently telling him she would leave him alone. She turned on her heel, head down in slight embarrassment and defeat. She only got a couple steps when, "Fujioka?"

The voice wasn't the strong, sly hawk voice she had gotten used to whenever he thought it appropriate to speak, but a fragile, quivering sparrow whose wing was broken. She turned sharply to face him, but he was staring off into the garden again. It was almost as if he hadn't even spoken. She placed two fingers on her lips, debating whether or not she should say something.

"Are you alright? Schools out, you can go home now," she tried, taking a step closer.

He looked down, staring at the green, green grass. He was silent for a very long time, his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his school uniform. Haruhi shifted her weight from one leg to the other ever so often, waiting for his response. "It doesn't matter. It's stupid." A shudder coursed through his body; he hunched his shoulders, balled his hands into fists. He tossed his head up, glaring at Haruhi and before the words left his lips, she had braced herself for the ice that he shot at her. "Mind your own business, Fujioka. Just 'cause you're a scholarship student doesn't mean that you are an expert on making things better. Save it for your pathetic Host Club." Before the last words were out, he walked away, leaving her alone in the garden, the cherry blossoms raining down around her.


"What a loser," Kyouya commented after Tamaki pried the story out of Haruhi, the King seething in a corner with the Hitachiins, plotting Sasuke's demise.

"No," she said, tucking a lock of chocolate hair behind her ear. Shaking her head, she smoothed the leg of her pants. "He wasn't trying to be rude; I just think it was a defense." She looked down. "I felt sort of bad for him," she breathed.

"Bad for him? My darling daughter truly has the largest heart in all the world!" Tamaki swooped her up into his embrace, twirling around and around on one toe. While Haruhi struggled, Kyouya stepped up to the window, his chin resting on his forefinger.

"I think we need to figure out what is ailing our poor Uchiha-san. If we break him down enough then we might be able to convince him to join the Host Club."

When Haruhi finally extracted herself from Tamaki's death grip, she wobbled over to Kyouya eyeing him warily. "Kyouya-senpai, that's just cruel. If he's having a hard time we just need to let him know that there are people that will be here if he needs to talk. We shouldn't trick him into spilling all of his emotions out to us just to make a profit."

The cool type narrowed his eyes and pushed his eyeglasses up with his middle finger, and Haruhi couldn't help but think that he was flipping her off. "In recent weeks we have seen a steep decrease in club profit. With the Uchiha, we could double what we've lost and have more money to pay for more extravagant scenes and costumes. It is a win-win. The emo gets to vent and we get the cash."

Haruhi looked at Kyouya, stunned. Her mouth fell open and her eyebrows knit together. "How can you be that impersonal, senpai? He's a person, not unlike you, me or any of the rest of us in the Host Club!"

"Haru-chan is right, Kyouya-kun! As a Host Club, aren't we supposed to make people feel good?" Hani jumped onto Haruhi's leg, nuzzling her knee with his cheek.

Kyouya looked around at his fellow club members to seek support, but was only met with glares and frowns. Rolling his eyes, knowing he had been bested, he sighed. "If that's how you all feel then fine, we will leave the Uchiha alone. For now. But if he ever does want to expose his worries, it will be one of us who listens."


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