A.N.:Hello everybody, and happy fourth!:) Well, technically the fifth, but I haven't slept yet and there are fireworks in my yard, so it's still a holiday. This here is my first Ouran fanfiction, or at least the first chapter. I have the entire thing finished, and I'll post one of probably 4 or 5 chapters daily, assuming my computer doesn't violently explode sometime soon. I should warn you now, this is not a very happy story, though it's got some fairly optimistic scenes. Just don't read it if you're looking to cheer yourself up, unless you like other's pain. Then go right ahead.
Disclaimer: Ouran High School Host Club belongs solely to its creator, or more accurately some Japanese publishing company-but Bisco gets the credit.
Everything went wrong the day of the basketball game.
Tamaki had noticed recently-which meant things had started at least a month back - that Kyoya had been depressed. This wasn't too unusual, they had exams coming up soon, and the host club had been busier than ever with all the school's end of term events. Yet the dark haired boy was clearly losing weight and seemed so preoccupied recently that he rarely even ate unless Tamaki shoved a meal under his nose, and then only reluctantly.
So it was obvious, to Tamaki at least, that something had to be done to lift Kyoya's spirits. Hence why he had suddenly appeared at the Ootori household that Saturday morning, accompanied by the entire host club and carrying a basketball under one arm.
Kyoya did not seem the least bit pleased by either of these things. It was clear he had only just woken up, and apparently did not appreciate six people barging up to his room before breakfast. Tamaki beamed despite this, taking the death glare he was receiving as a form of motivation rather than a threat.
"Kyoya! The weather's great outside, come play a game of-"
He got no further before the door swung shut in his face. Or, rather, on the foot he had placed in the doorway to prevent this exact thing happening. Tamaki might have been proud of his forethought, only it hurt much more than he'd expected.
Ignoring the blond boy as he nursed his foot in the corner, Haruhi moved forward and grabbed hold of the door's edge just as Kyoya went to close it again. Somehow she didn't so much as flinch when his furious glare was directed at her-though behind her all but Mori were cringing with unreserved terror- and met his gaze with her typical calm.
"We'll do something else then. But we're not leaving unless you come with us, Kyoya-senpai." She explained, her forceful behavior causing even Tamaki to stop his whimpering to watch anxiously for the inevitable outburst.
Instead Kyoya merely sighed, glaring at them through a ruffled mask of black hair. "Fine. Let me at least dress first."
And with that he moved to slam the door once more, and this time nobody stopped him. Almost as soon as the Shadow King was out of sight Hikaru and Kaoru appeared at Haruhi's shoulders, their over-dramatized fear forgotten.
"Eh? He never gives in that easily." Hikaru whined, sounding almost disappointed that there had been no more fuss.
"Oh well, he'll put up a fight when we try to make him play." Assured Kaoru, confirming as much.
"Why are we trying to cheer him up with basketball, of all things?" Haruhi wondered, shooting Tamaki an accusatory glance for his idiotic plan. "That's going to make him feel worse."
"I know!" Hunny piped up from his spot atop Mori's shoulders- his inevitable hiding place when faced with Kyoya in a poor mood. "We should give him sweets instead. But he doesn't like sweets… Ooh, then maybe he'll let me have them! Let's buy him some cake!"
"No way." Kaoru said immediately. "It'd be way more fun to make him play basketball."
"No!" Tamaki had stood now, and his voice carried such conviction that even Hikaru and Kaoru found themselves turning to listen. "If Kyo-kun doesn't want to join us, or if he wants to do something else, then we'll agree and do what he asks. So no complaining."
The outburst was so uncharacteristic for their King that the host club found itself nodding collectively, even Haruhi, who rarely agreed with Tamaki. To her relief the others seemed a little unnerved by the fact that the blond boy's determination was for once directed towards helping one of the club's own members. Good. Maybe now they would realize Tamaki was serious in his anxieties, maybe they would see what only the two of them had: something really was wrong with Kyoya.
"Touching. But you do realize I could hear every word you all were saying, don't you?" The voice was followed by the sound of a shutting door, and an almost audible creak as six necks turned slowly to face a stony-eyed Kyoya who, if possible, seemed even bitterer than he had before getting ready.
"Ah, Mother's ready!" Tamaki chirped after a brief awkward silence, clearly deciding it would be best to pretend nothing had happened. "Come on, children, let's go!"
Even for him the happiness was sickeningly over-done, and none of them would have been surprised if Kyoya had suddenly strangled the idiotic blond. Instead, far more frightening, he merely sighed and allowed himself to be pulled down the hallway as if resigned to spending the day in Tamaki's clutches.
"…That was painful to watch." Hikaru said into the silence with an odd mixture of amusement and discomfort in his expression.
"Maybe Kyoya really does want to play with us." Hunny suggested cheerfully, hopping down from Mori's shoulders. "Wait up! Let's go, Takashi, I want to play too!"
"Somehow I don't think that's it." Haruhi murmured, but even so followed the energetic young blond as he hurried in pursuit of the Host Club's kings.
The game- for they did end up playing, in a private court Tamaki had had set up on the rooftop of his manor for no apparent reason- was in itself anticlimactic. Neither Haruhi nor Kyoya actually played, each absorbing themselves in separate sources of study material for the upcoming exams. As for the sport, somehow the twins managed not to cause either themselves or Tamaki serious harm by the time they decided to take a break, which was a bit of an accomplishment.
"Ah, it's no fun with an odd amount of people." Hikaru complained, popping the top of a soda can and casting Kyoya a pointed look. "It's no fair when it's just us."
"Kyoya-senpai~" Kaoru leaned against the arm-rest of the older boy's chair, smiling devilishly. "Come join us."
"Aw, who cares about studying? We never study and we do fine." Hikaru this time, earning a look of envious disbelief from Tamaki, which he ignored.
"I'm not playing that stupid game."
"You can be on our side."
"Why on Earth would that convince me?"
"You'll be against Milord."
Kyoya cast a glance at Tamaki upon hearing this and found the blond boy in a state of indignation, rambling about how he and Kyoya were the closest of friends and would join forces against the others or some such nonsense. The dark haired man shut his books almost immediately, standing up and adjusting his glasses with an eerie false smile.
"All right, let's play then."
"Eh?" Tamaki froze mid-rant, adapting his characteristic sad-puppy expression. "But mommyyy-"
"Ah ah, whatever Kyo-kun wants, right?" Hikaru retorted, eyes glinting mischievously.
"Uh huh- unless Milord was lying?" Kaoru scolded, with a cruel smile that didn't fit his playful tone at all.
No doubt the host-club's king would have continued his objections for quite some time, if at that moment Mori hadn't caught Haruhi's eye. She motioned once towards the exasperated shadow king, and he nodded once to show he understood before snatching the basketball from Tamaki's arms and immediately taking it into play. Startled, the blond boy called out a few protests as he charged back to the court, and soon the game was once again in full swing.
Haruhi shook her head at the behavior of her friends, turning back to her books as soon as the potential danger had passed. Somehow she had become so used to their antics that she was able to study despite the frequent noise the game generated, though once or twice she was almost hit by the ball. Things passed like this for another half hour before she was startled out of her studying by a shout from Tamaki. The sound contained none of the blond boy's usual mirth, and Haruhi felt her stomach clench with dread before she had even looked up.
Kyoya was doubled over, the basketball he had successfully seized bouncing away listlessly, forgotten. He was shaking, eyes shut tight from pain as he gritted his teeth as if subconsciously trying not to shout, and therefore make his discomfort more obvious. For a moment most everyone stood frozen with shock and bemusement, and Tamaki had ran to his friend's side before the others had so much as registered that something was happening.
"Kyoya, are you okay?" Of course not. "Are you hurt?" Obviously! "What happened?" I don't know, now do I? "Kyoya!" I can hear you, damn it!
None of this came out when the dark-haired boy attempted to respond, however. Instead he was hit with a sudden blast of nausea and retched onto the court (not in front of them!). Tamaki shouted his name again (what good does that do?) and reached out to grab hold of his shoulder (don't touch me!).
"Don't!" Tamaki drew back reflexively, stunned by the venom in his friend's voice. Kyoya, pale, shaking, and drenched in sweat, was glaring at him with a look of fury reminiscent of a wounded cat.
"Kyoya…" Perhaps it was because of this, but the blond boy had smoothed his tone, speaking as he would to an injured animal. Suddenly Tamaki was unaware of Kaoru's voice in the background as he shouted into his cell phone for an ambulance, of Haruhi running to comfort a petrified Hunny, of Mori and Hikaru running for help, of everything except the unreal sight of Kyoya Otori, laid raw in the face of some unknown pain. "You need to go to the hospital-" And he tried to take the other boy's arm again.
It seemed Kyoya was as aware of his helpless situation as Tamaki was, and perhaps that's what caused him to flinch away from the other's touch so violently. He stumbled backwards, knowing from the boy's position that he had shoved Tamaki away rather harshly but unsure when exactly he had done that. He could deal with that later, though. He had to stand up straight, somehow pass this off as nothing. But even as he moved to do so a sharp pain shot from his abdomen, and for a moment his vision was black with agony.
Suddenly he was surrounded by the others (how did they get here so fast?), all looming above him (am I on the ground?) and apparently in the midst of a discussion (I didn't faint did I?). After a second his head cleared enough for him to register that he was not lying on the ground but half-sitting, keeping himself upright with his elbows. Haruhi, Hunny, Kaoru and Tamaki were crouched around him. The latter seemed to be talking to him, but his words were hard to catch.
"We..…alling an amb…. S-stay wi… God… Ky… Kyoya! Please, answer me, Kyoya… Kyo-kun!" Tamaki's chest was tight with the same panic that cracked his voice. Kyoya seemed to be awake-his eyes were open at least- but he was staring forward as if he couldn't see or hear the blond boy's attempts to reach him.
Then his eyes flickered to catch Tamaki's, and he spoke weakly but sharply. "What do you want, Tamaki?"
The joy that had filled Tamaki at his friend's voice drained away in an instant, for almost immediately afterward the dark haired boy had contorted with agony yet again. He sat up sharply, clutching his stomach, before falling limp so suddenly Tamaki only just managed to catch him before his head hit the concrete. For a moment there was silence except for the wailing of a siren, growing louder and louder by the moment.
"Wh-what's wrong with Kyoya?" Hunny asked at last, giving his stuffed rabbit a firmer-than-usual squeeze.
For once, Tamaki had nothing to say. He glanced helplessly at Haruhi, knowing there was no point, none of them had an explanation for this. The brunette, at least, managed to say, "I don't know."
And there lay the reason for their ever-increasing looks of anxiety. He had ideas every now and then, but it was always Kyoya who made them work and Kyoya who handled the real problems. Tamaki was never any good at that, but he had to at least give everyone something to do, to make them and himself feel as if they were doing something. "Kaoru- call Kyoya's dad, tell him to meet us at the hospital. Hunny run down to meet the ambulance, tell them what's happened. Haruhi, go… grab some things to bring to the hospital, there's a library downstairs."
They hurried to follow his instructions with uncharacteristically grim expressions. Nobody questioned the need there may be for books at a hospital. It seemed likely that Kyoya would be there for more than an overnight visit.
A.N.: Well, I'm not sure what to say here… Most of my explanations for why I'm writing this will follow the next chapter. I don't know how well this came out- parts I like, parts I don't, and every time I read through it I edit like a madwoman. Today's a holiday, so I posted it anyway. Wow, I ramble a lot… sorry about that. Reviews are appreciated! Chapter 2 should be up very soon.