Hello Everyone!

Here is the next chapter as promised, please excuse the length of this addition. I got going and just could not seem to stop. There is a lot of information in this chapter as I'm trying to set up several story lines all at once. I'm deviating from the facts of the manga just a bit in regards to Honey but I don't think it will matter much. Before we go any further I would like to remind everyone that this fic was rated M for a reason. That being said this chapter does not contain a lemon and I don't have any plans to add one to this story. However, things will be getting a little heavy between two of our favorite characters so if that sort of activity bothers you, you may want to skip the last portion of this chapter. For those of you that do like that sort of thing, please enjoy!

Chapter 15

New Acquaintances

The magnificent blonde seen roaming the halls of the hospital was the subject of several of the staff members, nurses and even the patients conversations that day. The young man looked like an angel as he all but glided through the hallways in his white shirt, his golden hair glittering in the sun that filtered through the windows. The man's violet eyes seemed to hold a somewhat serene and sorrowful quality that only added to their other worldly perception of him.

Tamaki wandered aimlessly down the hallways of the Otori hospital. He had arranged to meet his best friend at the institution but upon his arrival he was informed by the staff that an emergency meeting needed to be held and Kyoya was required to be present. It would be another hour before Kyoya could meet with him. Not having anything else to do Tamaki walked around taking in the scenes around him. This place dredged up memories of his childhood and it was all he could do to keep those somber thoughts at bay. He recalled his mother's illness, how frightened he had been every morning when he woke up and snuck off to his mother's room praying the whole way that she would still be there. He could remember the paralyzing fear he would feel as he crept toward her room. He was always hoping that her illness had not stolen her away from him during the night. He remembered the unbridled relief he would feel when she would open her eyes and beckon him to her. Tamaki could still imagine the feeling of her warm arms wrapped around him in the early morning hours and the sound of her voice as she cooed to him reassuringly.

Before long he had managed to wander into the children's ward. Tamaki was in disbelief at the sheer number of children that seemed to be housed here. He himself had been a relatively robust and healthy child, only catching the common cold on a few occasions but it appeared that some of the innocents here may not be so lucky.

A staggering sense of discomfort and depression swept over him, he felt the need to distance himself from it. He surmised that it had been nearly an hour since he began his wandering, certainly Kyoya would be finished with his meeting shortly. Tamaki turned back towards the reception area determined to put some distance between himself and this discomfort. He felt a slight amount of shame for feeling this way, he knew if Haruhi were here she would not run away. More than likely she would stop and speak with some of the patients, that was her way of trying to comfort those who may not be able to comfort themselves. He envied her ability to understand the average commoners problems.

Tamaki had nearly made it out of the children's wing when he heard a melodic voice floating through the hallway. The sound was beautiful and Tamaki found himself drawn to the sound like the sailors of old following the sounds of the sirens as they sailed across the sea.

He stood silently in the doorway not wishing to disturb the two strangers that the room held. A pale boy was propped up by several snowy white pillows. Tamaki imagined the boy could not have been more than ten years old. The boy's eyes were closed and his hands were clasped together on his lap, he sat so still that it already looked as though he had left this world.

The young woman's song continued, her voice soft as the peel of bells. Tamaki was unable to make out the woman's features as her back was turned to him. She had long hair that fell to her waist that was the color of caramel. Tamaki moved to take a step into the room as he was no longer able to keep his burning curiosity at bay for another second.

He halted as the weight of someone's hand settled on his shoulder.

Tamaki turned towards the appendage and looked into the mahogany eyes of his best friend.

"So here you are, I have been looking all over the hospital for you." Kyoya allowed the barest hint of annoyance to tinge his voice. Truly it had not been difficult to find his wayward friend. All that Kyoya had needed to do was follow the path of stunned doe eyed women to know that his friend had come this way. Even so he wished Tamaki would learn to just stay put in one spot for a while but it appeared that was too much to ask of his excitable friend.

"What? Oh sorry Kyoya." Tamaki mumbled turning his attention back to the rooms occupants.

This struck Kyoya as odd, not at all the normal reaction that would come from Suou Tamaki. Usually he would be in hysterics at the mere thought of Kyoya being upset with him. Kyoya's eyes turned towards the object of Tamaki's attentions. His brow quirked up in interest, he folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the door frame just observing his friend and indulging himself in the woman's sweet voice.

The young woman's song concluded and the small boy opened his eyes. The circles beneath his eyes were so dark they looked like bruises.

"Ootori-san." the small boy said, his voice high and melodic. The woman in the room turned towards the door as well, her eyes were wide with surprise at the unexpected guests.

Kyoya inclined his head and pushed himself off the doorframe, he took a step into the room. "Daisuke-kun, how are you feeling today?" he questioned his cool voice warmed up just a tad.

A smile broke across Daisuke's face, "I feel rather well today Ootori-san. Sister says I might be able to sit in the courtyard outside. She's promised to read me a story, haven't you?"

The woman's eyes flickered to Kyoya, uncertainty rang clear in her expression.

"I told him I would have to ask one of the doctors first, his condition is already so fragile. Do you think it would be alright to take him out Ootori-san? Just for a few minutes, so that he can get some fresh air."

Kyoya moved towards the bed and asked Daisuke a few questions. He asked the boy how his breathing had been today and when his last coughing fit had been.

For the first time since coming upon this room Tamaki's eyes left the form of the woman and the child and moved to his friend. He watched as Kyoya removed a stethoscope from a nearby drawer and pressed it to several spots on the boys chest and back as he asked the boy to take deep breaths. Tamaki saw Kyoya's eyebrows come together on his forehead in concern but the expression was quickly erased.

After the short examination Kyoya turned to the woman in the room, "Ren-san, I don't think it would be a problem but of course I will have to consult with Daisuke-kun's doctor as I'm not yet a practicing doctor. I'll request that the doctor personally stop by within the next hour or so that the two of you can enjoy some of the afternoon out-of-doors." Kyoya returned the stethoscope to its rightful place.

Ren blushed, "Of course Ootori-san. I often forget that you aren't yet a doctor. You already carry yourself with the poise and authority of a doctor. Thank you very much for your time."

Kyoya smiled amiably, these were the times where he truly felt his worth. When he was able to help others and gain the praise that he had always secretly craved from his father.

Kyoya took note of Tamaki's stunned silence upon seeing Ren. The woman was truly lovely, her long hair fell in waves to her waist and her eyes were bright and honest. Her eyes reminded Kyoya very much of a certain other woman that they both knew and he wondered if Tamaki had made the same connection. You could read every emotion that ever passed through Ren through her eyes. It appeared as though his friend was quite taken by her.

The bespectacled youth nudged Tamaki with his elbow, "Come on Tamaki. I don't have all day to fiddle around with you"

Tamaki shook himself from his reverie finally turning his attention to his friend.

"Right, of course! Let's be on our way then." Tamaki said before clumsily walking out the door still dazed by his encounter with the young woman that Kyoya had identified as Ren.

The pair walked in silence to the waiting car that would take them to french bistro downtown that Tamaki fancied so much. Kyoya began to worry when they had reached the restaurant and Tamaki had still not spoken a word.

The bespectacled youth released an exasperated sigh, he wasn't sure what the problem was but he knew his friend would not stop sulking until he talked about it.

"What is it, Tamaki?" he asked and braced himself for the onslaught.

Tamaki did not speak right away as the question he wanted to ask was difficult. He cleared his throat and asked, "Kyoya... what is wrong with that boy? Daisuke-kun?"

Kyoya did not allow the shock he felt to cross his face that had not been the question he was anticipating.

"Daisuke-kun has leukemia Tamaki, it's a form of blood cancer. Children don't often get this form of cancer but it isn't unheard of." he trailed off not knowing what more Tamaki wished to know or if he wanted to know anymore at all.

"Well, he is going to get better right?" Tamaki asked hopeful.

Kyoya's mouth set into a frown, "The condition is treatable if that is what you're asking Tamaki. The form of cancer that Daisuke has can be treated with chemotherapy and has about an 85% survival rate in children if they are treated early and properly."

Tamaki allowed a relieved sigh to pass his lips, "Well that's good to hear! He will feel better soon."

Kyoya frowned, shaking his head. "No, Tamaki. Treatment is available but it's very expensive... Ren-san cannot afford Daisuke-kun's treatment any longer. Without it, his prognosis is bleak."

Tamaki's brows furrowed on his forehead, "What do you mean Kyoya? Why aren't you helping them."

The dark haired young man struggled to suppress a grimace, he didn't want to have to explain this to his friend, he knew he wouldn't truly understand. "Tamaki, it's not the hospital's responsibility to pay for his treatment. If that were how things worked the hospital would not generate enough income to even operate." he sighed knowing what the other man was probably thinking. "We do all that we are able to. Do you understand?"

The blonde nodded his head looking dejected. He did understand, he knew that was the way the world worked. What Kyoya said was logical and practical but somehow it still didn't seem fair. Tamaki was unable to understand why innocent people had to suffer so much.

The young men ate their meals in silence, neither wishing to converse with the other any longer. Kyoya silently cursed the meeting he had been forced to sit through this morning. The discussion had been about basic hospital operations and what technologies they felt they should invest in next. Kyoya had nearly been bored to tears, he knew he had some fresh ideas but now was not the time to present them. Later, when he could use his concepts to his advantage he would reveal his plans to other associates.

Tamaki's mind was made up by the time they departed, he was going to learn all that he could about Ren and her family. He would find a way to get Daisuke the treatment he needed. What was the point of being privileged if you weren't able to help others?

Honey couldn't help but smile as he enjoyed the ride in his car to the train station. It felt as though thousands of tiny butterflies were fluttering in his stomach.

Honey felt an odd sense of guilt and trepidation as his driver weaved through the dense traffic. He knew that what he was doing was in no way wrong but he had kept this a secret from all of his friends, including Takashi.

He was in love and none of his friends knew it. The young man wasn't ashamed of the way he felt for her, he didn't want her to feel as though he were withholding the status of their relationship from his friends because he didn't want them to know. He just wasn't ready to share his happiness with anyone else.

Honey was aware of how selfish he was being but it was really nothing new. Whenever he found something he truly loved it was difficult for him to allow others anywhere near it. He was terrible at sharing.

Initially, the woman he had grown to love had frightened him because she was different. Her interests, though harmless, were unusual and shocking to those that were unfamiliar with them. She was socially awkward and had not known how to properly convey her feelings. Yet she had continued to try and eventually she had clearly told him how she felt. Her clumsy forms of affection were endearing to him, she had made considerable progress since they day he had first met her.

He waited as patiently as possible as his driver came around to his door and opened it for him. The small man nodded to his driver then made his way through the hustle and bustle of the train station with his destination just ahead of him. Years ago, before Haruhi had ever come into their lives he would have been unable to navigate through the station. Before Haruhi he had never done anything on his own or bothered to learn how to. He had staff at his home that took care of his every whim assuming Takashi had not done so before them and though he was loathe to admit it now, he knew that his world had been just as small as his other friends before he had joined the host club. Now he was allowing his world to expand as he left himself open to new experiences and relationships.

Honey arrived at the platform though the train had not yet arrived, he was roughly ten minutes early. He didn't mind the wait, he had packed himself a snack to help combat any boredom that he may feel. He unwrapped the snack cake and took a bite enjoying the sweet butter cream and soft golden cake that filled his mouth.

As he stood he could not help but notice that he had garnered someone's attention. He had felt the man's eyes on him before he ever spoke though Honey made no indication that he was aware of his presence.

The man that approached him was middle aged, mid-forties if Honey had to guess. He was dressed in a black suit, glasses obscured his eyes from view and he carried a black briefcase.

An amiable smile settled on his face as he crouched down to eye level with Honey. "Are you lost little boy?" he requested, his voice soft and sweet. The smile on the man's face caused creases to form at the corners of his eyes.

Honey's stomach twisted into a knot though he was unafraid. He knew he could pummel this man into next week if he so desired. Honey was curious as to why this man had stopped to talk to him. He obviously did not realize that he was a full grown man.

He shook his head and decided to play along for a moment, giving the man the benefit of the doubt that he really was just trying to be helpful. "No, I'm waiting for my mommy to get back. She just went to get me some juice."

The older man nodded his head, "Is that so? What a big boy you are waiting for your mommy so patiently. I see you like sweets. You know, my sister owns a bakery just around the corner. Would you like to go there with me? I'm sure she would love to feed a cute little boy like you." he reached out and tickled Honey's stomach.

Honey was barely able to contain the revulsion he felt well up inside of him. This man was a predator looking to prey on young children. Sometimes Honey felt his unusually young looks were both a blessing and a curse.

He mustered up an exaggerated smile and placed his hands beneath his chin in a very childish gesture, "Really mister?! I want to go!"

"Excellent, come along with me then." the man held his hand out for Honey to take and he did.

He allowed himself to be led away from the platform where his beloved would arrive. Honey was well aware that there was no bakery near this station. He knew every pastry chef in nearly all of Japan at this point. As they reached the entrance and exit area where the security team worked Honey used his other hand to grab the man by the elbow and slammed him face first onto the ground. Honey bent the man's arm behind his back and held him there as a commotion started around them. The security team were rushing towards them yelling for him to release the other man.

The man was screaming at Honey calling him a freak, saying a child shouldn't be so strong.

He waited until the security team finally reached them before answering, "Well I'm not exactly a child you see, I'm a college student. I believe I'm older than what suits your tastes though my looks seemed to be right up your alley."

Honey felt a small sense of satisfaction well up inside of him when he saw the other man's eyes widen as he truly began to grasp the situation he was now in.

"Hey kid, who are you? Why are you roughing people up like that? Let go of him right now!" The security guard yelled.

Honey cleared his throat but made no move to release the man, "My name is Haninozuka Mitsukuni. You may have heard my name before, my father runs a well-known dojo. This man tried to solicit me, he assumed I was a child."

The security guards expression grew dark, "What are you saying? Is what this young man says true?"

The man on the ground shook his head, "No, no I was simply trying to help him. I thought he was a lost child."

"Oh, is that why you invited me to eat sweets at your sisters bakery? You never did mention what the name of her shop was. Would you mind telling us?" Honey replied.

The man sputtered, trying to come up with a quick answer clearly not anticipating the question.

In the end the security guards took the man in for questioning, Honey hoped they would find something to put the man behind bars where he belonged.

On his way back to the platform Honey did his best to put his bitter feelings aside. He didn't want to distress his companion when she arrived.

He reached the platform just as the train was pulling in, the doors to the train opened and people began to flood the platform going in all directions. He saw her before she was able to spot him. Seeing her relieved some of the heaviness that had settled in his heart due to the days events. He watched patiently as her large dark eyes scanned her surroundings, searching for him.

Their eyes met and he watched as her smile brightened her features. She was clutching the Usa-chan that he had gotten for her. The stuffed animal was nearly identical to his own except it was yellow with brown eyes. She hurried over to him with her luggage dragging behind her.

"Hello Reiko-chan." he said cheerily when she finally reached him. "How was your trip to Paris?"

She blushed in response, "It was wonderful, the catacombs were magical and I learned some very powerful new curses. Would you like to be my test subject?"

Honey couldn't contain his laughter, "Oh, I don't know about that Reiko-chan. How about we discuss that over dinner?"

"I would like that very much Mitsukuni-kun."

The small man took her hand in his feeling content and complete in a way that he never had before in his life. Reiko was the unlikeliest of lovers but he adored her in spite of himself.

Haruhi shuffled around the kitchen searching for the spices that she needed to for the dish she was preparing. Takashi had offered to take her to an up scale restaurant but she had declined his proposition. She had not wanted to inconvenience him in that way but she had been interested in the concept of a date night. It had not taken him long to agree to allow her to prepare him a meal.

She took a deep breath when she was unable to find what she was looking for. She was on edge and she could not find her curry powder. After debating on what she would make for him she had decided on a traditional curry. Haruhi knew there was no reason for her to feel so tense, Takashi had eaten her cooking before on more than one occasion but it had always been in a group setting. This was much more intimate and all she wanted was for him to enjoy the food she prepared and her company.

The petite woman closed her eyes and ran her hands down her face in an effort to calm herself. She silently counted to ten, it was a method she had learned to use when Tamaki was being exceptionally annoying and it always seemed to work. She opened her eyes and nearly jumped when she noticed that her boyfriend had joined her by her side.

The look in his eyes was curious though he didn't voice any question.

She sighed, "It's nothing, I just can't find the curry powder."

The tall boy moved around her searching through her cabinets before his hand finally closed around a small bottle. He placed it in front of her.

"Seriously? Where did you find that?" she asked in disbelief, she had looked all over the shelf that she usually kept all of her spices on and it had been nowhere to be found.

Takashi pointed two shelves up, "Up there." he said.

For Haruhi it would have been all but invisible as that shelf had been far above her own line of sight. She had been ready to pull out her step stool to examine the higher shelves but now she didn't have to. That shelf was just on eye level for Takashi. It bothered her that she did not know how it had gotten up there in the first place.

She was trying to get accustomed to having such a helpful partner in her life. Since her mother had passed away she had always been the care giver in one fashion or the other. She had been the primary care giver to her father, her friends and to Tamaki throughout their failed relationship.

She turned back to the simmering pots on the stove top and stirred the ingredients together. "Takashi, you don't have to help. You can go relax in the living room, it will only be a few more minutes."

He didn't say a word but she found herself surprised when she felt the warm brush of his lips against the back of her neck. She turned to watch him walk out of the room and into the adjoining one. Unconsciously her hand moved to the spot where his lips had touched. The small bit of contact made her feel warm and she could not suppress the smile that blossomed on her face.

The two finally sat down for their meal and Haruhi was pleased to see that Takashi ate what she had prepared with gusto. She delighted in the few approving rumbles that seemed to emanate from his chest during the meal. It filled her with a sense of pride when the food she prepared with her own hands was enjoyed by the people she cared about.

When they were finished eating she had tried to wash the dishes but Takashi had insisted that since she had cooked he could at least do the dishes. Haruhi looked on as he filled the sink with hot soapy water and began to scrub their plates and glasses clean. She marveled at the fact that he didn't even blink an eye at the thought of physical labor. The other friends she had made throughout her time at Ouran would have balked at the thought of hand washing dishes but Takashi took to the task readily enough.

The tawny haired girl marveled at his muscular arms, he had opted to wear a sleeveless shirt this evening which brought this prominent physical feature of his to light. Spring had fully bloomed and the days were growing longer and warmer though the evenings still held a bit of a chill. Only a week was left before exams and spring break. Takashi had not divulged any of his plans for the time that they would spend at Misuzu-san's pension. That would have made her anxious with Tamaki as he tended to have extravagant and often irritating plans. Haruhi truly treasured her personal time away from studies and she was confident that was something Takashi understood. He had always had a firm grasp on what she desired in a way that no other man ever had.

Haruhi dried the dishes as Takashi washed them and in no time the kitchen was wiped down and clean. She glanced at the clock and noticed that it was only 8 o'clock, still relatively early in the evening. She wasn't really ready to call it a night so she suggested to Takashi that they could watch a movie. Though her outing with Katsu had never come to fruition she was still interested in watching a French foreign film. He agreed to the suggestion easily and the two settled down on the couch together.

Takashi sat next to Haruhi and put his arm around her shoulder but kept an otherwise respectable distance from the petite woman beside him. The opening credits began to roll and he noticed that the lights were still on in the room. He leaned over Haruhi and turned out the lamp on the side table. In the process of pulling his arm back to his side he accidentally brushed against Haruhi's chest and his motions halted for a fraction of a second upon realizing what he had done. He peeked at her from the corner of his eye and in the dim light he could not be sure of what she was thinking. After a few seconds of scrutiny he determined either she had not felt the accidental touch or she did not think it was worth complaining about. All he was certain of was the burning embarrassment he felt.

Haruhi felt the gentle caress of her boyfriends hand against her chest and the tension that settled in him shortly thereafter. She was fairly certain that the touch had been unintentional yet she could feel her heart pounding in her chest and the blood coursing throughout her body. She chanced a quick glance at him and she was barely able to make out the blush on his cheeks.

The girl reached out and placed her hand upon his knee, a gesture to let him know that she was not upset or disturbed by his touch.

Takashi tensed as he felt her small hand settle upon his knee. The touch was innocent and gentle but his senses were heightened by the mishap that had occurred moments earlier. He desperately wanted her to remove her hand, to give him just a little space to cool down. He knew it was irrational that he was reacting in such a way to such a benign touch but he was unable to quell the reaction. He cleared his throat and removed his arm from around her slim shoulders, he crossed one leg over the other effectively dislodging her hand and ending the physical contact between them.

Haruhi shivered at the loss of his touch and the warmth of his body. It was fifteen minutes into the movie and she could honestly say that she had not truly watched a moment of the film. She was too preoccupied about what was happening between she and Takashi. Sitting in the dark she seemed to be hyper aware of how close she was and she desperately wanted to kiss him.

They had not yet consummated their relationship physically. Haruhi did not think there was anything wrong with that, she did not wish to rush any aspect of their relationship as she was happy just to spend time with him but it was a bit frustrating. On the rare occasions that they had completely alone since they became an official couple they kissed but Takashi always seemed cautious, like he was holding something back. His hands always stayed in the safe zone below her breasts and above her waist line. Truth be told, she would not mind if his hands would wander every so slightly in one direction or the other.

There was a piece of Haruhi that was chagrin at the thoughts she had towards Takashi. The wanton feelings that she had been subject to while in his company were a bit uncomfortable. She had never been an overtly physical person but it had been over a year since her last romantic encounter and she could not deny the intense attraction for the man beside her.

Deciding she did not agree with the hands off approach that he seemed to be taking, she took it upon herself to bring them closer.

Haruhi shifted her body on the couch so that she was able to rest her head on his shoulder. It seemed as though he would allow this and he moved his arm to wrap around her once more. She was able to settle in and try to salvage what was left of the film.

He had tried to put a little distance between them but it appeared as though his little one would not allow it. Takashi gave in a bit too easily, he wrapped his arm around her once again and settled his large hand on her side. He could feel the heat radiating off of her skin, a portion of her shirt had ridden up when she had shifted on the couch and his fingertips were barely touching the exposed skin.

Takashi found himself helpless to fight against the temptation to touch her, slowly he ran the tips of his fingers up and down her side. Each run of his fingers up her body revealed a bit more of her heated flesh until eventually they ran across the raised blemish.

She recoiled from his touch almost instantly and looked at him wide-eyed.

"Takashi... no... I'm sorry."

He struggled to repress how affected he was by her reaction. Was his touch so disturbing to her?

He stood and rubbed the back of his neck to shake off some of his embarrassment.

"I think I should go." he said, careful not to let his distress leak into his voice.

Haruhi's heart dropped, she could feel her face flooding with color. He misunderstood her discomfort, it wasn't that she did not wish for him to touch her. She was merely embarrassed by her scar.

"Wait, Takashi." she said, she grabbed his hand gently and squeezed. "Please don't leave. I just..."

Her words died on her tongue as he took her face in his large hands and kissed her full on the lips. She opened her mouth for him, allowing him entrance without provocation and he quickly took advantage of the opportunity. He moved his hands lower and settled them on the small of her back. As their kiss deepened he pulled her slender body to his until their bodies were flush.

Haruhi calmed down and allowed herself to revel in the delightful taste of her lovers mouth. She could feel his large hands rubbing circles on the small of her back and her body was reacting. Her heart rate accelerated and she could feel the heat spread through her entire being. There was a throbbing just south of her belly that was not all together uncomfortable and it was one that she was all too familiar with now.

The tall young man was waging a war inside himself, one that his rational and decidedly gentlemanly side was rapidly losing. He lifted the back of her shirt and allowed himself the pleasure of feeling her smooth skin beneath his calloused hands. When he was certain that she was comfortable with his touch and that he was not moving too quickly he shifted his touch to brush against her sides once more.

She attempted to jerk back from him but he held her to him and continued his ministrations. After a few moments she conceded and he continued. He made sure he paid special attention to that part of her that she seemed so ashamed of. If anything the jagged scar made his love for her stronger, Haruhi was a fighter and she had not let someone so hateful take her from this world. It made him feel proud of her.

The small woman lifted her arms to allow her lover to remove her thin cotton tshirt. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she should be protesting this but her resolve was crumbling and she could not bring herself to care. She loved Takashi and he loved her, for the first time in her life she was of the mind-set that love was all that mattered.

Takashi pulled away from her briefly just long enough to remove his own tshirt and pick her up off of her feet. She caught on quickly as she wrapped her legs around his waist, she kissed him softly on the side of the neck and smiled against his skin when she heard the low rumble of approval emanate from him.

It took Haruhi a moment to realize that he was moving them to her bedroom. Her stomach knotted with anticipation and nerves.

The young man didn't give his love a moment to cool down, as soon as she was resting safely on the bed he climbed atop her and continued his assault on her petite body.

His hands roamed up her body and brushed lightly against her small chest. He felt her sharp intake of breath and her reaction made him smile into their kiss. Takashi knew that he was reaching his breaking point, soon he would reach the brink of his self-control and his instincts would win over his typical calm and collected demeanor.

Takashi broke away from their kiss and looked down at his lover. Haruhi's cheeks were flushed pink with color and her breathing was slightly labored. He could see the question reflected in her eyes.

"Haruhi... we can stop now if you want to but if we keep going... I'm not sure that I'll be able to stop."

Haruhi's eyes widened as his words sunk in and she processed the meaning behind those words.

"Are you saying you want me, Takashi?" she whispered, abashed by even asking the question.

"Yes." he said. He shifted atop her slightly, the question had made him uncomfortable but his answer had been the truth.

The answer was so simple and yet it spoke volumes to her. Despite all of her flaws both physical and otherwise he still wanted her in spite of it all. Haruhi reached up and took his face in both of her small hands.

"I love you, Takashi." she said and then she kissed him.

Takashi wanted to show her how much he cherished her. He was determined to show her that she had surpassed all others to become the most precious person on the face of the earth to him. She had exceeded Mitsukuni to whom he had dedicated most of his life to, now he wanted to dedicate whatever remained of his life to Haruhi.

The next morning Takashi shifted as he awoke. The woman he had shared the night with was still wrapped up in his arms, her short hair was disheveled and Takashi grinned at the small love bit that showed on her collarbone. He wasn't sure how Haruhi would feel about that when she woke up but judging by her slow and even breathing he wouldn't have to know for at least another hour or two. He nuzzled into her neck and inhaled the sweet scent of her that was only slightly marred by the sweat of the previous evenings activities. Takashi marveled at the peace he felt within himself as he laid next to th woman he loved.

"I love you, Haruhi." he whispered to her, knowing that he would receive no answer but that didn't matter to him. In this moment he was perfectly content and happy.

Well, that's the end of this chapter folks! I have not started working on the next installment but I'm hoping to at least start it later this week. I'm hoping to have the next chapter posted some time late this month or next month. I hope the end of the chapter with Takashi and Haruhi's interlude wasn't too much or too lacking. I wanted to describe them being physical without it coming off as smut and I think I achieved that. Anyway, thanks for reading!