"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
-Seneca (Circa first century AD)
The time had come a time where you move forward or just move on.
Kyouya pressed his way through the crowd following the bobbing blond head of Tamaki.
"This way, mom!" Tamaki waved over the crush of family and parents.
As a result, people stared at Kyouya murmuring about the foreigner calling him 'mom.' Kyouya sighed and adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose.
"Horita, do something."
"Yes, Master Ootori."
Kyouya's personal guard fanned out in front of him forcing a pathway for him through the crowd. Tamaki had reached the top of the stairs by the time Kyouya made it through the crowd and was waiting for him along with Mitskuni and Takashi.
"Hey, Kyo-chan!" Mitskuni greeted him.
Takashi nodded a greeting.
"Are we ready to cheer on our darling daughter and mischievous sons?" Tamaki beamed.
"I suppose so," Kyouya said coolly.
Tamaki fronted the charge into the amphitheatre. As decreed by their former king, it was imperative that former members of the host club gather to watch the youngest of them graduate university.
How time flew.
Had it really been six years since Haruhi stumbled into his life? Hard to imagine she was graduating university.
They descended another set of stairs into the amphitheatre, Tamaki, having arrived at five am, had managed to secure them seats in the very front row. Mitskuni congratulated him on the great seats while Kyouya accessed the room, taking note of the person sitting farthest along their row. Ranka looked up as they approached having heard Tamaki's voice.
Ranka rose to his full height and shouted. "I thought I told you to stay away from my little girl! You broke her heart and then let that Hitachiin date her!"
Tamaki shrank under his glare, murmuring, "But it was a mutual break up…"
Ranka noticed Kyouya, Mitskuni and Takashi greeted them cordially adding a gentle berate to Kyouya. "Kyouya, I haven't heard from you in ages, how have you been?"
"Sorry, Ranka-san, work has been keeping me busy."
"Oh, you started your own company didn't you?"
"He did," Tamaki interjected, "And they're opening up a new branch in the Boston, come spring."
"No one asked you, you womanizing little insect." Tamaki tumbled into the corner of woe. Ranka then turned back to Kyouya said, "Then will you be in Boston while Haruhi is; I would feel so much better if she had someone trust worthy with her while she goes to Harvard."
"Unfortunately I'll only be in the US during the open ceremony."
Ranka's expression fell and the conversation was dropped permanently as the University President came onto the stage, requesting everyone to take their seats again. Once Tamaki was roused from his corner of woe they all turned in their seats to watch the graduation procession.
Kyouya stared past the hundreds of students his eyes searching out the one person he had come to see. He spotted the twins first and then Haruhi, her hair was pulled back in an elegant bun and she was wearing a pair of thick rimmed glasses. The twins, Hikaru before her and Kaoru after her, were interrupting the march by switching places at random and pulling on Haruhi and her valedictorian sash. Hikaru tried to take her cap too but Haruhi slapped his hand and he sulked while cradling his hand. They weren't together any longer; Hikaru and Haruhi's relationship had been brief, lasting less than six months before they both realized they were better off as friends.
Tamaki, having spied Haruhi, decided to narrate each step she took.
"Look, there she is… she's taking her seat… Kaoru, Hikaru, don't you dare touch my darling daughter. Especially you, Hikaru Hitachiin!"
From the corner of his eye, Kyouya noticed Haruhi sighing as Tamaki's voice carried across the amphitheatre. The twins responded by sticking out their tongues in Tamaki's direction.
Kyouya sighed and drowned out his idiotic friend by thinking about the past six years. His life had gone as he planned; he received a degree in business and before he even got his diploma, he had his fledgling pharmaceutical company well underway. There'd been no time for dating, for relationships of any kind really; he had neglected his old host club friends on his rise to the top. That's what had convinced him to come out today, well, that, and Tamaki calling him every five minutes until he agreed…
The president gave a brief commencement speech and then introduced the valedictorian, Haruhi, top as always. She looked beautiful as she took the stage; her frumpy high school persona had blossomed into a refined woman of culture. She still couldn't be convinced to spend recklessly as the twins would want her to, or as girl as Tamaki would have wanted, but somewhere along the way she developed a sense of style.
Haruhi took the podium. "Thank you for coming, parents, teachers, friends, my fellow graduates…" she spoke in that same collected and cool voice that had always admired in her.
As Haruhi's eyes trailed across the room their eyes met and electricity jumped between them. Kyouya's heart sped up and Haruhi faltered for a moment.
"As I was saying…" she recovered gracefully.
Kyouya looked away and Haruhi continued on as if nothing had happened at all. On the outside, no one would know how just one look from Haruhi made his pulse race and his stomach churn. He was a master of appearances. To the rest of the world, he was calculating and cold Kyouya Ootori and he planned to keep it that way there was no room in his life for romance.
There was a small tug at his sleeve and Kyouya looked down to Mitskuni.
Kyouya lifted his brow in question to the petite blond.
"You never told her how you felt, did you?"
Kyouya decided to pretend he didn't hear him because the twins had started to holler and whoop over the end of Haruhi's speech. She glared in their direction waiting for them to finish.
When they did, she delivered her final lines, bowed and left the stage. Kyouya watched her return to her seat, discreetly; he didn't need to pique Mitskuni's suspicion any further.
Why hadn't he ever told Haruhi how he felt? Now that was a complicated question. He could use the expected answers, that he was too ambitious, too busy and too selfish to make time for another person. But the truth was he was afraid, yes, he, Kyouya Ootori, the shadow king, was afraid of a petite brunette.
It all started when he was only just beginning to learn to love.
By that time, Haruhi was falling for Tamaki.
When he would have realized how he felt for her, Tamaki had already swept her off her feet and he wasn't ready to open his heart up anyway.
Tamaki and she dated for a while and then mid-way through college in ended on friendly terms.
There had been that one moment when they were alone in his apartment, shortly after the break up. Haruhi had been in the neighborhood when a downpour started. She showed up at his door soaked and shivering. He loaned her his shirt while he sent her out her clothes for dry cleaning. Some movie came on the television, not that he could remember what the movie was, his attention was focused on the half dressed Haruhi curled up on his couch. It struck him that night how easy it would be to touch her, to kiss her to be with her… and the thought startled him. Could he love; could he be loved in return? In the same moment he realized what he wanted; he was too afraid to take it.
In the end, he choked and let her leave his apartment with stiff words and clean clothes.
A few weeks after the incident, she started dating Hikaru.
Kyouya threw himself into work and forgot about Haruhi.
It was easier said than done. It was harder to see her with Hikaru. At least with Tamaki he felt like they deserved one another but with Hikaru… it just got under his skin. How could she be happy with Hikaru? She should be with him!
He pulled away from the others by blaming his fledgling company, hiding his feelings had always been second nature to him anyway.
Then six months after they started dating, Hikaru and Haruhi broke up.
There were no opportunities this time; he had burned his bridges with her.
He'd all but given up completely.
Years passed and though he kept religious tabs on Haruhi's life, he never heard of another beau. Of course by then, he was so deep in self denial now it was hard to tell what way was up anymore.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you your graduating class 2011!" The president's voice rolled over the auditorium ripping Kyouya from his musings. Had he been zoning out that entire time?
The applause was thunderous and then the crowd surged forward as the graduating students went to mix with their friends and family. Kyouya impulsively searched the crowd for Haruhi before locking onto her like a homing beacon, their eyes met across the room and for once he held them.
The twins dragged her over, each with an arm over her shoulder and he suppressed his jealousy. Congratulations were shared and everyone decided on a meeting place for the 'after party'. But once they got into the parking lot there was some confusion about the seating. Everyone had brought their own car or limo and Tamaki in a rare mood of economy had decided they should take two limos, his and Kyouya's.
Somehow, Haruhi and he ended up alone in his limo.
How did this happen? Kyouya wondered to himself.
"It's been a long time since I've seen you, Kyouya," Haruhi remarked.
Kyouya gave her his best host club smile. "I've been really busy with the company."
Haruhi smiled and it melted him in the way only she could. "I think we've known each other long enough to do away with the host club niceties." Haruhi said, bluntly.
Kyouya looked away to disguise his smile. Leave it to Haruhi to cut him down within two minutes.
"I haven't been able to congratulate you yet on getting into Harvard."
"Thank you, I heard you're opening a new branch in Boston."
Haruhi's words were halted as the car screeched and swerved, Kyouya down the bench from Haruhi was vaulted across the cab landing Haruhi and pinning her to the seat.
Haruhi's hair fanned out around her on the seat and Kyouya was reminded painfully of that moment in the beach house when that first flower of unattainable desire had bloomed in him. They were both panting from adrenaline and neither made a move or said anything.
It was a moment where you move forward or move on.
And for the first time in his life, Kyouya Ootori chose to be impulsive and seize this moment.
His lips captured Haruhi's and she sighed into his mouth and after initial hesitance wound her arms around his neck.
The driver didn't stop to check on his passengers but he had a sneaking suspicion they had worked it out. Tamaki smiled in the driver's seat proud of his good deed; he had brought his two best friends together what better happiness was there than that?
A/N: This is written as a graduation gift to my dear Engimaticrose4. She's graduating today from NWFSC today! Congrats girl, enjoy your fluffy KyoXHaru, you earned it.
Also, forgive the many typos I am sure are in this. I edited it late at night and wrote it last minute. (damn you rl)