This was originally intended to be a oneshot, but it looks like it'll end up having at least one more chapter, perhaps more. This takes place a while after the end of the anime. It has some similarities to parts of the manga, but you do not have to have read the manga to read this. (Although, you should! It's fantastic! And much longer and involved than the anime...) Please enjoy!
I watch as an entire day goes by.
I walk into the kitchen.
She's wearing a cute apron and an even cuter expression as she smiles and hands me a lunch that she made just for me.
She drew Kuma-chan on the front of the bag, and as I examine her crooked little doodle, she straightens my tie and tells me to have a good day at work.
I tell her I love her, and, blushing, she tells me that she loves me too.
I hastily scoop her up into my arms, shamelessly freaking out about how cute she is and spinning her around.
I fast forward through a day at work where I do dry business-type things and just long to get back to her.
She is right there at the door when I come home. The light from the setting sun dances off the diamond on her finger. She is radiant.
We have her homemade dinner under the kotatsu.
She then comes to my side of the kotatsu and settles herself next to me, holding tightly onto Kuma-chan. I'm very glad that they've become such good friends.
She falls asleep in my arms. I kiss the top of her head, and everything is right in the world.
Until I wake up.
Everything is right in the world until I wake up and realize that I'm in the Suoh second mansion, I'm alone, and I was having the same stupid dream again.
It's a culmination of all the childish daydreams I used to have. I've lost count of how many times that dream has invaded my head. I used to like it. I used to hope for it to come. Now, when I don't want it to come ever again, it won't leave me alone. Even now, she won't leave me alone.
I realized a while ago that I loved her. Somehow I broke through my denseness and realized that what I felt for her wasn't paternal affection. I didn't want my cute little daughter to love her daddy, I wanted a beautiful girl named Haruhi to love her host club king, her princely type, her big idiot...
I don't know why I didn't realize this earlier. I've been called an idiot on many different occasions by many different people, including Haruhi herself, but I never took it seriously. Now that I know that they were all right about me, it's just embarrassing.
Needing someone to pour my heart out to, I snatch my cell phone off of my nightstand and hit number one on my speed dial. It rings about seven times before he answers. Before he says anything, I hear him moving, probably rolling over to look at his clock to see that it is indeed six in the morning on a Saturday and that his rage has ample justification.
"What do you want, you idiot?" Kyoya says angrily, making my heart beat faster with nervousness, feeling as if he'll reach through the phone to strangle me. I should know better than to call him this early, but... no one understands me quite like Kyoya. That is evidenced by the fact that he calls me an idiot more than anyone else. I need to talk to someone about this right now, or I might implode.
"Mommy, I miss our daughter," I start out, having not broken the habit of calling her my daughter when I talked about her.
"You're not my husband, and Haruhi is not our child," he growls groggily.
"I know," I say sadly, feeling as stupid as ever.
"I'm going to kill you," he adds. The completely genuine-sounding threat sends a shiver down my spine, but I must be strong. I have to tell my best friend what's going on with me.
"Mommy," I say again, not even thinking about it. "I miss Haruhi. It's driving me crazy."
"You were already crazy," he states, his voice gradually increasing in volume and anger. "Only a crazy idiot like you would be up this early thinking of such stupid things. Go back to bed, you moron, and maybe you'll wake up and be a bit less of an idiot!"
"You're so mean!" I whimper, feeling as if I might not be strong enough to take this onslaught of early-morning insults from a seething Kyoya. "Kyoya, I've realized something very important."
"That you're an idiot?"
"Well, yes, that too, but I've also realized something more important. I've realized that I love Haruhi," I say gravely, but it does feel good to get it off my chest. My relief is short-lived, however, as Kyoya does not respond. I quickly wrap my blanket around myself, feeling something like a cold wind as I await Kyoya's response.
He finally says, "Are you sure you've realized how much of an idiot you are?"
"Of course you love her, you idiot!"
"No, Kyoya, you don't understand. I... I don't love her like a father loves his daughter. I realize that now. I love her in a very different way than I thought I did. Kyoya, I love Haruhi... I want to buy her a kotatsu so that we can sit under it together for the rest of our lives. You too, of course, will be welcome to sit under our kotatsu-"
"Stop fantasizing, you idiot! And keep me out of your delusions!"
He is about to reach his boiling point.
"Kyoya, I miss her so much..."
"Then you shouldn't have let her go!" he yells, and the line goes dead.
I close my phone and try to hold back my tears, trying to console myself with the fact that Kyoya only yelled at me because he doesn't like to be awake early.
There are some things I know for certain about Kyoya. One: he is terribly scary in the morning, in a way that makes my heart tremble in fear. Two: he really does care for me. Three: he is usually- almost always- right.
I hear a scratching at my door, and I go and answer it, knowing that it is Antoinette. She is also an early riser.
As soon as I open the door, she bursts through and tackles me, knocking me to the floor.
"Antoinette!" I cry helplessly as she lovingly attacks my face, coating me with wet affection.
When she finally calms down a bit, I tell her, "Antoinette, I need to talk to you."
She plops down onto the ground by my side and cocks her head curiously. She has always been very perceptive.
"I just called Kyoya. He yelled at me," I say, frowning.
Antoinette's face is a mixture of emotion. She seems to be thinking that I should not be surprised by Kyoya doing such a thing, but she also seems to be plotting on my behalf to attack Kyoya with love the next time he visits because she knows he doesn't like it.
"Ah, there's no need to get revenge on Kyoya for me, Antoinette," I say calmly, stroking her head. She seems a bit disappointed. "Kyoya had the right to yell at me, I suppose. I'm an idiot."
Antoinette vigorously shakes her head.
"No, Antoinette, it's true! I didn't think so either, but I've realized that I am quite an idiot."
She looks at me with big, sympathetic eyes. She probably knew that I was an idiot all along...
"I told Kyoya that I love Haruhi."
Antoinette is not surprised at all.
"No, not like a father loves a daughter, like a man loves a woman."
Antoinette stands up and makes spastic barking and howling noises, her eyes wide with utter shock.
"Shh, girl. Sit down."
She obeys, but she still looks shocked. "I know, it's quite surprising, isn't it?" I say with a small smile as I resume petting her head.
The smile fades fast, though. "I miss her, Antoinette. I don't know what to do."
Sensing my sadness, Antoinette plops herself over my chest and nuzzles my arm with her cold nose.
It's been months since she left. I don't want to remember how many months it's been, because that just makes it hurt worse. She was offered a scholarship to study abroad for a semester while still being able to retain her scholarship at Ouran. She took the offer, of course. Why wouldn't she? What would keep her here?
The thought is painful, and Antoinette nuzzles my arm more fervently.
I'm so selfish. I wanted to be the thing that kept her here. I wanted her to hesitate to take the offer because of me.
After all she did that day to stop me from leaving Ouran, and then she just decides to travel thousands of miles away to study abroad. She didn't tell me about it, or anyone else, until she was sure that she was going. She had already decided without consulting any of us.
I thought that she cared about me to an extent, but I guess that extent did not go as far as I thought. She did not tell me of her decision personally, but she announced it at the host club, while our guests were present. She said it casually and with a smile, as if it was not a big deal. She said she would be returning after a semester abroad, which would end in late January.
After her little speech, she was met with a multitude of protests. All of the guests rushed over to her, begging her not to go. She shrugged it all off, saying that she would miss everyone at Ouran and would not be gone that long. She said the opportunity was too good to pass up and that she would be foolish to not take it, especially since such a good opportunity might not come again.
Hikaru, Kaoru, and Honey clung to her, sobbing and telling her that she was not allowed to go. I just watched it all unfold from my couch, unable to move. The three of them were smothering her, and she glanced over at Mori as if she was about to yell for him to rescue her.
Instead, he walked over and said, "Mitsukuni, please get off of Haruhi."
Sniffling, Honey removed himself from Haruhi, as did the twins.
"Haruhi," Mori said seriously, looking her straight in the eyes. "Are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes, Mori-senpai, I'm sure," she said confidently.
Honey and the twins moved over to Mori and attached themselves to him instead of Haruhi, crying even harder than before. Mori placed a comforting hand on the head of Honey, who was wrapped around his leg. "It's what she wants, Mitsukuni. She'll be back."
Haruhi smiled at him happily, and he gave her a small smile back.
She then told everyone that she was sorry but had to leave the club early today to go home and pack, seeing as she would be leaving the next day.
As she went toward the door, leaving a crowd of weeping, sniffling, and hysteria behind her, Kyoya, who was standing by my couch, spoke up.
She turned to look at him. "Ah, don't worry, Kyoya-senpai, I have not forgotten about my debt. I will begin working on paying it off again as soon as I return from studying abroad."
I tried to catch her gaze, which was was not far from me, settled on Kyoya. He nodded and said pleasantly, "Be safe, Haruhi."
They also exchanged smiles, and with that, she left. Not once did she even look at me.
I remained on the couch, still unable to move or speak.
"Tamaki..." Kyoya said from his spot near the couch.
I looked at him, and the look he gave me only furthered my state of confusion. There was an uncertainty in his eyes, and a hint of something else. Anger? Disbelief?
I didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know what to think at all.
"Well," he said resignedly, "If you're just going to sit there, I'm going to go get some tissues for our guests."
After he had gotten a whole cart of tissues and started offering them to the girls, I got up and left the third music room without a word to anyone.
I don't want to run away, but I can't take it, I don't understand...
I muse over her name in my head.
"Haruhi," I say out loud, the name sounding good on my lips and utterly heartbreaking at the same time. "Haruhi... Maybe..." I tell Antoinette, "...she's not the one for me."
Antoinette's face is covered in compassion.
"Or rather, I am not the one for her. I truly thought I was... I don't know... perfect for her, and her for me. I thought that she and I had some sort of understanding, even if we hadn't yet voiced it in words. If she could leave me the way she did, perhaps what she feels... felt... for me does not resemble my feelings for her at all. Maybe I am not perfect for her at all."
I say the words, but everything in me does not wish to believe that they are true. I put my head in my hands, and Antoinette just whimpers quietly as I fall apart.
If I'm not made for you, then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Kuma-chan is Beary's Japanese name, in case you didn't know.
The idea for this came to me after listening to the lovely "If You're Not the One" by Daniel Bedingfield.
Please review? :)