Lifestyles of the Rich and Beautiful
A/N: A multiple crossover featuring characters from Ouran Host Club, Code Lyoko and Angela Anaconda. Nanette suggests a 'field trip' to Japan to encounter Renge, whom she feels is a long-lost cousin, and according to her research, the two do have a distant relationship. Sissi comes to make a friendship with Ms. Renge quickly as well, seeing as they have so much in common.
Chapter 1—Following a Whim, Backed Up By Research
Nanette had been busy writing to her pen pal, Cici for quite some time. Cici had mentioned that there was another girl that reminded her quite a bit of their old friend from Kadic, Sissi Delmas. The girl mentioned, Renge, was no longer living in France. Renge, on a whim, she had decided to travel to Japan to meet Kyoya, who was Ouran High's resident 'number cruncher' and revenue keeper par excellence. Kyoya reminded Renge of a character that wore glasses from a dating sim that she played almost nonstop. She felt that this character would be exactly like the one she had encountered in the false world of the romance RPG. However, once she traveled to Japan to meet him, thanks to her dad's royal treatment of her, Renge's plans of marriage didn't work out as she originally planned.
Nanette felt pity on the young lady as she read more from her pen pal. Apparently, Renge was currently the president of the Host Club, making certain that their customer fan base was satisfied with the variety of men it had to offer. She had no trouble there, since Haruhi was the Host Club's main draw, even after finding out that Haruhi was a girl, the girls didn't really care. Her natural good looks, talent and pleasant nature kept the customers returning for pampering and semi-indulgence.
The more Nanette read about Renge the more certain she was about their relationship to one another. She had heard her parents mention an 'odd cousin' before, but her name had never come up in day-to-day conversations. Curious, Nanette began to do some research on her own, and her intuition was correct. Ms. Renge was indeed a relative, if a distant one.
When the time had come for research projects, Nanette was more than pleased to share her wealth of knowledge about Renge. Angela, for one, was impressed, but she had never heard Nanette speak of her before.
"What possessed you to research her ? Why didn't we know of her until now ?", Angela asked, curiously.
"It's because, Angela, I wasn't aware of her until I was poking around the Internet and came upon an article about her and her business skill. I was thinking I could learn from her. Cici, my pen pall, said that she knew Renge from a distance and that she reminded her of our friend Sissi from Kadic.", Nanette explained.
"How is Sissi by the way ? Since the last trip we had to France, we really haven't heard much from her.", Angela mused aloud.
"Je nes sais pa, but I was thinking we could all go on a field trip to Japan.", Nanette replied with a sparkling grin.
"Why such an impulsive plan ? We don't know anyone in Japan, remember.", Angela reminded, gently.
"You forget our friend, Yumi. I'm sure she could be a great guide for us.", Nanette retorted, with a bit of haughtiness to her tone, non-intentionally.
"You really thought this out, didn't you ?", Angela chuckled with amazement. Nanette nodded in turn, her grin became all the wider and even more sparkly than usual.
"I suppose I'll have to figure out a way to make this scheme work and only because you're my friend.", Angela said, teasing her. Nanette hugged her friend from the side and nudged her in the ribcage.
"Better think of something quick because Fall Break's coming and we don't have any ideas of where we should travel this time.", Nanette reminded her. Just then, Angela's immense imagination thought of a plan and she decided to have all her friends join in. With their cooperation, she and the others would be certain to earn enough money to travel to Japan. With Nanette's know how, massive funds and frequent flier miles, this trip was about to become a reality, even if it only started out as a whim and a gossamer connection between two completely unrelated people.
Chapter 2—Teaming Up With Kadic Academy
At Kadic, school children were asked to turn in a report about educational facilities elsewhere in the world. Sissi's project was one based on Ouran Academy, and there was a wealth of information at her fingertips thanks to the Internet and massive books that had been published chronicling the size and architecture of the school itself. Page after page, Sissi's eyes grew wide in astonishment at the meticulous nature of the structure of the school and its size. This academy was five to ten times larger than Kadic. In fact, she was pretty sure that the school was bigger than any other she had heard about. She wondered if she could see it for herself someday. What she didn't realize is that her friends in Tapwater had the exact plan and their idea was already being realized. But, Sissi already had an idea under way and within moments after phoning her father, the Principal of Kadic Academy, she and her friends were going to see exactly why Ouran Academy was one of the 'jewels of the East'.
It was a late October evening at Paris Airport. Sissi, Odd, Jeramie, Aelita, Yumi, Ulrich and the others had come together, bags packed, for a vacation that was about to transform their lives forever. Suddenly, Sissi heard an excited and affectionate shout in French.
"Mes amis !", the familiar voice exclaimed joyously. It was Nanette, rushing toward them with open arms, gathering them all up in a bear hug. She had so much to tell them about.
"What brings you to the Airport, Ms. Manoir ?", Jeremie asked, inquisitively.
"I'm going to Japan to visit Ouran Academy.", she stated with a genuine smile.
"Funny. That's where we're going too. Sissi is interested in the architecture, design and uniforms. She also wants to see what a day in the life of the students is like.", Odd chimed in. Nanette giggled.
"I'm going to visit my distant cousin Renge Houshakuji.", Nanette added. "Seems like though we have different goals in mind, we're all headed to the same location.", Herve quipped, pushing his glasses back upon his face. He had been keeping a clipboard the whole time to keep track of Sissi's 'To Do' list. After looking at that list a second time, he was unsure if Sissi would be able to accomplish everything she wanted to during the trip, but she had reassured him earlier it wasn't going to be a disaster if everything didn't go according to 'schedule'.
"I can't wait to fly on a real airplane again. It's so thrilling ! I got dibs on having a window seat ! ", Nicholas cheered, jovially.
"You can have your window seat. Gordy and I'll stick closer to the exit just in case we hit excess turbulence and the plane goes down.", Herve added with a hint of despondence in his voice. He knew Gordy could sympathize with his acrophobia.
"Must you really be so morbid, Herve ? We're going to Japan. Relax, we'll be fine. Besides, Yumi will be able to show us around, and she still speaks fluent Japanese, so I'm certain that's going to be a major help.", Sissi reassured Herve, rubbing his shoulders to calm him a bit. Herve felt his heartbeat begin to decrease. He nodded, realizing that, as usual, his friend was right.
Chapter 3—Meeting the Host Club
After enjoying an unusually peaceful night of sleep in the hotel, the children and faculty from both Tapwater and Kadic were paired off into teams and were to meet with one of the local 'notorious' characters of the renowned Ouran Host Club.
Sissi and her friends were paired with Mori-sempai. Mori was cosplaying as Frankenstein to fit in with the Club's theme of Halloween, which was right around the corner, so everything in the room fit the mood and eerie nature of the holiday itself.
Mori didn't say much but he certainly knew his way around the campus. He always had Honey with him, who happened to be dressed in a rabbit suit. Honey was so sweet and cute it was almost a distraction for the girls of Sissi's group to remain focused on the task at hand.
Angela's group was paired with Kyoya-sempai. Kyoya, strangely enough, had taken it upon him to actually participate in preparation of Ouran Academy's Halloween Festival, but had saved the Club tons of money by buying supplies in bulk from The Oriental Trading Company magazine. To suit the whole occasion, Kyoya had donned the part of a zombie IRS agent, which, oddly enough, fit him like a glove.
Kyoya had plenty of details to fill them in about the Club itself and how it had come to start. The origin story itself was fascinating, but Nanette was more interested in Renge. Renge was watching the clients as they were fawned over by Tamaki and the mischievous Hachiin twins. They were both dressed as werewolves. As usual, they were playing the 'which one is Hikaru' game, once more. Haruhi was the only one that could tell the twins apart, even if they died their hair differently to separate one from the other. She could tell by their personalities that they were individuals, and they enjoyed that recognition from her.
"I can see why this club would have become so popular. The ladies that come in are very pretty.", Nanette mentioned as she observed all the well-dressed girls in yellow squealing and tittering over the boys' attention.
"No more so than you blossoming flowers.", came the voice of the resident 'Prince', Tamaki. Haruhi shook her head back and forth, impressed with how suave Tama-chan could be and how brazen of a flirt he was.
"Did you come to be dazzled by oodles of handsome men ?", Tama-chan questioned the young blonde girl. She blushed darkly and lowered her gaze for a moment.
"Actually, I wanted to meet Renge-sempai, if that's permissible.", Nanette said. Suddenly, there was a rumbling noise and the whir-and-click of a motor working beneath the school grounds itself. Before their eyes, Renge had appeared from the floor plates from a trap door and introduced herself on a grand scale.
"Who dares ask of Renge Hoshakuji ?", she asked, with a manic laugh. She was dressed as one of the witches from Mahou Tsukai Tai, befittingly enough.
"Spooky !", Tammy and Millie murmured, hugging each other tight.
"I do, Ms. Hoshakuji. I was doing a project about my heredity and your name came up in my family tree. It's not a direct lineage. But I thought I should at least get to know my distant cousin better. Besides, maybe, since you're from France, you could help me work on my pronunciation and conversation skills better.", Nanette said.
"Of course. I wouldn't mind helping a fellow Francophile like yourself. I'd love to see the research you did too; you've gotten me intrigued.", Renge said, jumping from her platform to meet Nanette face to face. Renge had other plans on improving Nanette's 'fashion sense', but it seemed that the two had created an instant friendship on the spot.
Chapter 4—Ouran's Halloween Fair
Nekozawa, Ouran Academy's resident goth photophobic, was relishing every moment of the Halloween Fair. He and the rest of the Black Magic Club had been decorating and preparing the Academy for what Nekozawa called 'the most frightening and macabre haunted house in the history of Ouran'. He declared that this year, like every year before, the Black Magic Club would publish photographs of whatever team came rushing out of the haunted house, screaming like babies. Needless to say, many of the students didn't care for Nekozawa's shenanigans, but this was the one time of year he could 'fit in' and feel 'normal' for a change.
All the guests were bedazzled at the extent of decoration everyone went to. Nothing was spared, not even down to the tiniest detail. It seemed now that the chatter around campus was how teams were going to be established and how Nekozawa's little game was to be played. Kyoya reminded the newcomers that the President of the Black Magic club didn't necessarily play fair. If he knew someone's weakness he wasn't afraid to exploit it, but this time, the Ouran Host Club had their own ploy to combat Nekozawa's scheme. If he thought he had the most eerie ideas, he hadn't seen anything yet from the boys in the Ouran Club.
Kyoya was a master strategist and he had set up booby traps all over Ouran to open when triggered by Nekozawa and his posse. "Don't you think that's a bit extreme, Kyoya-sempai ?", Hani questioned, thinking that the boys would get injured.
"I'm not that sadistic. Come on, what do you take me for, some kind of emotionless automaton ? I added the safety feature of mattresses. You wouldn't expect me to risk a liable suit on our heads, right ?", Kyoya said, straight-forwardly. Tama-chan shook his head in disbelief. Kyoya could have a bit of a mean streak in him, but he was always the conscientious sort that hated seeing another human being suffer. "Just one question though, is this going to be some sort of security system that can identify them from the other students ?", Tama asked. Detail oriented as he was, Kyoya left nothing to chance. "Absolutely. All that needs to be done now is lying in wait and record the whole spectacle for posterity.
Herve was loathing the darkness around him. If it was one thing he loathed, it was darkness. Gordy wasn't much of a comfort, and neither was Nicholas. Nick was typically the brave one, but the macabre atmosphere had triggered fear in the core of his being. "Nick, you have got to promise me we won't be the ones losing this contest.", Herve remarked. Nick knew there was no reward even if they won. This was simply some game that the affluent played to pass the time. To be honest, the whole charade disgusted him somewhat, even if it was intriguing to see how 'the other half' lived.
Meanwhile Sissi and her group were exploring the eerie halls of Ouran. She was the bravest of the group and the others stuck close behind her. She was certain she could hear Nekozawa cackling somewhere in the background, but it didn't bother her. After having dealt with XANA, these faux phantoms were nothing compared to his devious agents.
It happened very suddenly. A crash followed by high-pitched screams followed by a thud was heard in the forier of the Academy. Mori went to investigate to see what had transpired, and just as he and the Club had planned, there Nekozawa was, catching his breath. "I wasn't expecting the likness of Samara. I must admit, that was a really classy touch. Who was playing her ? She was perfect !", Nekozawa commended them. They were flattered to be complimented by him, even if it was strange praise. Tama brought Haruhi close, patting her on the head. "I must admit I had help from the Drama club, but Haruhi here, she's the real star of the show, like always."
The lights were brought back on and every team reassembled in the dining room, where a feast was awaiting them. "Isn't it a bit late for dinner ?", Angela thought to herself as she eyed the repast in front of her. No one else seemed to mind that there was free food, and all of it was succulent. Another contest was held, but this time it was for a prize: A new Ferrari. Most of the students weren't interested but Jim fell in love with the Ferrari at first sight. It was first prize to the person who had the best costume. Somehow, many of the guests thought this would be a biased event, but strangely it wasn't.
The judges were all clients of the Host Club, and they each cast a vote pertaining to their favorite 'character' involved with the 'Halloween Parade'. First prize, oddly enough, went to Jim, who was dressed as Dwight D. Eizenhower. He was a dead ringer lookalike for him as well. Suzanne joked to him about the car and where they would put it. Luckily they had a third garage to store it for the winter, since the car would be used mainly for leisure driving. The second and third prizes were a fantastic sum of money and a trip around Europe, all expenses paid.
Since all the costumes worn by the students from Tapwater Elementary were so impressive, they won second prize. Mrs. Brinks was so overjoyed that she nearly wept at the gift. Third prize went to Haruhi, who had never been on a trip outside of Japan. Of course, Tama-chan begged to go with her, and she accepted the invitation.
Chapter 5—Going Home
Though the stay had been more than comfortable at the academy in the presidential suites, it was time for everyone to pack up their belongings and head home. Some of the students were reluctant to go, since they had been spoiled rotten by the fine dining, elegance and haute couture they had experienced. Nonetheless, they had all enjoyed themselves immensely and were more than happy to return home.
Sissi felt a bit of an ache in her heart saying her farewells to Renge. She was like the big sister she never had. It seemed that her extended family was becoming larger all the while, no matter where she went. She noticed that Yumi was having the harder time saying her farewells but she comforted her. "Maybe they'll invite us back. Don't be so downhearted, Yumi. You know you look far prettier with a smile on your face.", Sissi said, sweetly. Ulrich agreed, blushing lightly when Yumi grinned effervescently at him.
Angela Anaconda saw a different side to Nanette again in her second trip to a foreign land. No longer was the bully that she remembered, but a kinder, gentler creature who looked out for others and made certain everyone was pleased. To be honest, Angela liked this version of Nanette better than the old one and prayed that this Nanette was the one that was going to remain. Josephine confessed to her best friend that it was a miracle and such things, though rare, happened constantly.
Although it was a bittersweet goodbye, all the students left Ouran Academy with whatever snacks they had secretly stashed aboard the plane. A lot of the students carried on about how bizarre Nekozawa was and how 'creepy' he could be. But others remarked on his tenderness and zest for life. He was definitely an 'interesting' human being, unique to say the least.
A couple weeks had passed since the kids of Tapwater or Kadic had heard from their friends at Ouran, but one day, everyone received a forwarded email from Nanette. It was the photographs that had been taken during the Halloween Festival. Smiling from ear to ear, she chuckled lightly at the memories the photos evoked and the unbridled chaos and entertainment she and her friends experienced at Ouran Academy. Truly, it was an event that she, nor the others would ever forget. Then, there was another attachment. It was a video from Renge, wishing them all a pleasant, safe, fun and sweet Halloween. "That was rather thoughtful. Who would've ever guessed that Renge cared so much about us and wasn't just looking out for herself ?", she thought as she had finished viewing the video. She didn't know when everyone would meet again but somehow, she was certain there would be a day when they would reunite. Until that time, she held the memories of her extended family in her heart and carried her friends' photographs with her wherever she went.
At Kadic, Sissi received a package from the school mail room. It was a box containing three Ouran school outfits. One was a custom made yellow dress (the school uniform for female students attending the academy) in Sissi's measurements. The two others were dark green, which were worn by elementary Students attending Ouran (Yuzuru had humorously mistaken Millie and Tamiya for elementary students based on their stature whe he had met the Kadic schoolchildren before the fair, so this was a loving gift to the two from Ouran's principal). Sissi smiled and placed her new dress, shoes and socks into the closet while she delivered Millie and Tamiya's dresses to their dorm rooms. They couldn't have been any happier.
"Thanks, Sissi ! These dresses are beautiful.", Millie said, twirling jubilantly in her new dress. "We've never looked better.", Tamiya concurred, with a large, sparkling grin on her face. "You're welcome.
Apparently, Mr. Suoh thought you were both elementary students.", Sissi retorted, chuckling lightly. "Ah, that's ok. I'm used to being called short now anyways. Besides, these dresses look fantastic !", said Millie.
With that, Sissi smiled and headed back to her room to write an email to Renge thanking her for everything with a hope that she'd be seeing her again very soon.