~Gateway~

by: Phoebe Floros

~Chapter I: My First Days At Ouran Academy ~

I couldn't help but mope on the plane ride over. I sat in my seat, a frown stronger than gravity on my face, arms crossed and stomach empty while my mother fussed over me. I wouldn't say a word to anyone, but could you blame me? Of course not.

When we arrived, a long black car was waiting at the Honda Company's private hangar to take us to the company-paid home we would be living in for the next few years or so. We slid in and for a moment, I felt like some character in a television show. I felt that anything could happen to me; I could solve an international crime and catch the criminal or fall into a deep, unrequited love for a beautiful Japanese man. Then I returned to reality, where I was some regular girl in a regular situation. God, I hate my life.

My parents signed me up for the prestigious Ouran Academy. I had been to private school, and I had thought that I knew the meaning of "rich". Apparently, I did not, because my uniform alone cost ¥41343, which is equivalent to about $500.00, which, is a little steep. Besides, the girl's uniform was hideous. It was the color of a yellow laffy taffy and had a terrible high collar that itched. I hated the block heels and the stockings. Girls back in America shouldn't complain about pleated skirts or polo shirts when Ouran girls have to deal with banana-colored dresses and brown shoes.

The Academy gave me a private tutor that would help me with my studies while improving my Japanese. After a few weeks of learning, I was caught up in my studies and could stumble my way through a regular conversation. I could easily understand the teachers, though; I was much better at translating than speaking. My first day at regular school was about halfway into the semester. I made my way into Class 1A and took my seat next to a young brown-haired boy with large, shining brown eyes. He smiled at me and I nodded, but only to be polite. I wasn't good with the language yet and hoped that he wouldn't say anything to me. Much to my dismay, he opened his delicate little mouth.

"Hello. My name is Fujioka Haruhi." His smile was bright and warm. He instantly made me feel at ease, even though I could barely speak. "You look familiar," he continued, "did you just transfer to this class?"

"I came here from the United States earlier this year... but I had to get tutors to help language," I said in my broken Japanese. "Would it be yes if I spoke to you in English? I'm scared I'm not well at the language."

The boy smiled and he looked like he was trying not to laugh. "Of course not. But don't you think that speaking the language would help you? You seem to know it well enough."

I blushed, this Haruhi boy was very cute and paying my complements besides. "Well, I can understand it well enough, it's just that when I speak it I find it difficult. But you're right. My tutor told me I should speak it more," I said finishing my though with a mix of languages.

Haruhi smiled. "See, you've got it." The bell rang and people began to file into the classroom, occupying empty seats. There was a set of twins that caught my eye; they entered the room with their arms linked. That was defiantly something American boys would never to. One of the twins sat behind Haruhi, while the other sat to the right of him.

"Aren't you going to introduce us to your new friend, Haruhi?" It was the twin sitting behind Haruhi that spoke. His brother spoke next. "Yeah, Haruhi, it's rude to keep people from your buddies." The second twin had a slightly higher voice than the first and almost immediately, tears sprung to his eyes. The twin sitting behind Haruhi jumped from his desk and tilted his twin's chin up to meet his own. "Oh, Kaoru! Did Haruhi-chan hurt your precious feelings?" Kaoru looked up into Hikaru's golden eyes. "Onii-san!" With that, he glanced around at the accumulating female surroundings. Clara looked around to see that all the girls in class were crowded around their small group of tables, watching the blatant display of incest. "Onii-san," murmured Kaoru, "Hikaru, you're embarrassing me…" Hikaru pulled his brother closer, if that was even possible, and smirked. "Kaoru, it's just that you're so cute when you're upset," he spoke very softly as if to accent the deafening ooooohs and ahhhhs of the surrounding girls.

Haruhi looked over at me, his face red and full of embarrassment. "I was never one to ogle over two boys making out," I joked, still a little creeped out by the twins' PDA in front of the whole class. "Is everyone at this school like that?"

He shook his head, but then caught himself. "Erm, well there are a lot of strange people here, but that's mostly because they all have too much time on their hands."

"Well, I'm glad to have met a normal person. I'm Clara Whittaker, by the way. My family moved here because of my dad's job." I stuck my hand out for him to shake, but he just nodded kindly.

He pointed to the twins, first to the one with the lower voice, "That's Hitachiin Hikaru. The other one is Kaoru." He leaned in and whispered, "They aren't really like this. The whole "twincest" thing is just an act. We're actually part of the –"

Before he could finish his sentence, the teacher walked in. She cleared the gaggle of girls, pointing them in the direction of their seats with frightening ferocity. She raised an eyebrow and shooed the twins back to their respective seats. They scampered off like little foxes and settled back into their desks. Adjusting her spectacles, she picked up a remote, firmly pressed a button and a huge flat screen television lowered down from the ceiling. "Everyone should be silent while we watch the announcements," she stated firmly. In the next moment, the television flickered to life and two people appeared on the screen. While the two students were filling the school in on the dates for certain tests, certain times certain things were due, I zoned out, staring at the front of our sensei's desk. Only when the softest, most masculine voice graced my ears did I look up and stare intently at the television. Seven boys stood in a line of varying heights, striking intricate poses in Victorian costumes. The blond in the middle stood apart from the other six and said, "Hello, princesses. On Saturday, March 19th the Host Club is going to be having a Victorian themed social in the courtyard. Come to see the Cool Lord," the image flashed to a tall, dark haired boy with wire-rimmed glasses in a waistcoat and bucket shoes pouring rose-colored water into a basin, "the Shōta Lord," a small blond boy was pictured playing in a garden with a pink bunny, "and his protector, the Wild Lord," cut to a tall, dark man, standing above the small boy, his arms folded over his chest. "Come visit the Natural Lord," a clip of a familiar-looking brown-haired boy sat on an iron garden chair in surrounded by rosebushes, "along with the Mischievous "Little Devil" Lords," Clara had certainly seen the "Little Devil" Lords before; they were Kaoru and Hikaru, the twins that were practically making out with each other less than a minute ago. "And let's not forget, darling ladies, about the Prince." The video cut back to the original speaker, a blond young man with violet-blue eyes and a caring smile. "We are waiting," he whispered, and the screen cut to black.

I turned to Haruhi, my mouth agape. He was the "Natural Lord" from the advert. He was a deep red, his hand over his mouth. "I should never have let them dress me up and film me. What was I thinking," he muttered under his breath.

The room filled with the coos of its female occupants. "Haru-chan, you looked so kawaiii!"

"Didn't the twins looks especially dreamy?"

"How 'bout that Tamaki-senpai? He is so princely."

"I looove Hani- and Mori-senpai! They are the sweetest thing!"

"And that Ootori-senpai! He is so perfect!"

I leaned over to Haruhi, a grin on my lips, "What exactly is a 'Host Club'?"

Hikaru leaned over from behind Haruhi. "You should come to Music Room #3 after school and find out for yourself, Princess…"

"…I'm sure you'll have the warmest welcome imaginable," Kaoru finished for his brother.

Haruhi smiled. "You should come by. Some of the guys are crazy, but it's pretty fun."

(A/N: I hope this chapter was okay. I just wrote with reckless abandon. I need to get to bed, too. Haha, please read and review! Don't worry, though, there will be more Hikaru development and LOTS more of Tama-chan. Thank you for being patient!)