Title: I Gain Nothing
Pairing(s): Kyouya/Haruhi (sort of), Tamaki/Haruhi
Timeline: Post-series (again…)
Summary: "Do you really think all I ever want to gain in life is money and power?"
Disclaimer: Ouran High School Host Club belongs to Bisco Hatori and any others holding ownership rights.
Author's Notes: So I suck at oneshots. My writing teacher already told me as much. The internet is the perfect vortex into which I can toss them all.
Actually, there's nothing really objectionable in here for me to have rated it K+. I just don't think ickle kiddies should be subjected to my pointless, angsty, love-triangle nonsense.
This is a DRAMA-verse, which means anything that happened in the manga/anime which has not taken place in the drama (up to episode 8 right now) NEVER HAPPENED. It has been erased from the face of the earth.
I GAIN NOTHING
"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." –1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV)
That night, everyone had gathered at Tamaki's house to celebrate her acceptance to Harvard Law School. Most of the other hosts had flown in to come, and Haruhi felt a little guilty for putting them to so much trouble. But Tamaki assured her that they were all eager to congratulate her and excited to see her again after all this time. Haruhi supposed she'd have to take his word for it, but if she'd had to choose any of the former Host Club to make such assurances, Tamaki would have been the last one.
All the same, they seemed happy enough to see her. Tamaki had decided to host the party at his house, as none of them fancied squishing into Haruhi's apartment. He had made sure to special-order a cake, of which Honey had been enjoying the better portion. The twins had congratulated her with what she took to be sincerity, but they seemed to be having more fun pestering Tamaki. They prodded him about school, work, Haruhi, anything they could think of. She didn't appreciate the endless stream of questions regarding their relationship, but she was more worried about Tamaki's reaction. He looked as if he might pounce on them any minute.
Kyouya had taken a seat in the corner. It was one of the first times Haruhi had seen him sitting without his computer, and he looked somehow…incomplete. He was merely watching the others, one hand resting in his lap, the other swirling a drink absently. Even when they had been a club, Kyouya had never quite seemed to fit. He'd spent most of his time in the corner, taking care of official business. Haruhi couldn't ever remember seeing him with a guest, unless he happened to be selling something. He had told her when she first joined that they all played up their individual characteristics for the girls, but he had never told her what his was.
Cool, Tamaki had called it. What did that mean?
He glanced up as she approached. "I never said congratulations, did I?" The corner of his lips tugged up in a half smile. "Congratulations."
She didn't answer. "You look bored," she observed.
"Bored?" He considered. "I don't think I could ever be bored around all of you."
"Thanks, I think." She frowned slightly. "That was a compliment, right?"
"Don't you know a compliment when you hear one?" If she hadn't known better, she would have sworn he was teasing her.
"That's not an answer."
"Of course it is." He waved a hand dismissively. "The fact that I answered your question with another one should tell you something, at least."
"You know, sometimes you can be really frustrating; has anyone ever told you that?" But she was smiling as she said it.
"So I'm told. But I've always taken it as a compliment. Nice guys finish last, you know."
She suppressed a laugh. "You're so determined not to be a nice guy. Is it because Tamaki is? Like, the dark to his light, or…something."
He thought about that a moment. "Maybe. But I like to think of it as a business maneuver."
"Of course you would. Everything's business to you," she said, only half-jokingly.
He looked at her solemnly. "Whatever you think, Haruhi, I'm not a nice person. But I make a clear distinction between business and pleasure."
That piquéd her interest. "Is something…" she groped around for a word and finally settled on, "…wrong?"
"No. I think everything is just the way it's supposed to be." But there was the slightest hint of bitterness tingeing his voice, she hesitated before leaning against the chair.
"If something's wrong, you can tell me."
That earned a smile. "Haruhi, our little caretaker. Who knows what the club would have become without you."
She was trying to come up with a reply when the twins almost hurtled into her. She squeaked and started to fall backwards over the arm of the chair, until she felt a hand grab her arm and another against her back, holding her up.
"Oops, sorry about that!" they laughed. The hands released her as the twins hauled her back up. "Haruhi, come have some cake before it's gone. Tono'll have a fit if he finds out you didn't get any."
"Hey, that's a nice dress," Hikaru commented as they dragged her away. "Did your dad pick that out?"
Haruhi glanced over her shoulder, her mouth open to invite Kyouya too, but he was already getting up and heading for the door.
"Sorry, I need to go do something. Save me a piece of cake." She pulled herself out of their grip and left two mystified twins behind as she hurried off.
She had been to Tamaki's house a decent number of times, but it was so immense that she inevitably got lost. Just as she was deciding whether to go back or start searching aimlessly, she heard voices.
As it turned out, it was only one voice. Kyouya was in the foyer, on his cell phone—well, he hadn't discarded that, anyway. He sounded annoyed about something, but he was speaking in English, too fast for her to understand. Hm, she'd have to work on that when she went to America.
The sound of her footsteps made him glance up, and he said a quick goodbye and hung up.
"Are you leaving?" she asked, because she didn't know what else to say. Come to think of it, why had she come out here?
"In a few minutes. I was just going to go back in and say goodbye. Is something wrong?"
"No, I—" She broke off, not sure what to say.
"I'm not leaving because of those two," he said, as if reading her mind. "I have some things I need to get done."
"You can't stay any longer?"
He folded his arms loosely over his chest. "Do you want me to?"
"Me?" She looked at him blankly.
"This is your party," he reminded her.
"So if I tell you to stay, you will?"
"Maybe," he said casually. "But I'm more curious to know: do you really want me to stay?"
"Huh?" She had no idea what he was talking about now. She thought there must be some kind of hidden meaning in his words, but she couldn't figure it out.
"It was just a question." He checked his watch. "I really should be going."
"Have I done something?" she asked. She couldn't think of anything she might have done to make him want to leave like this, but she couldn't think of another explanation, either.
He didn't answer for a long time, and Haruhi was trying to come up with another question when he abruptly said, "Do you really think all I ever want to gain in life is money and power?"
She was speechless. Actually, she didn't have a clue what he was talking about, but the question had left her without a single thought except, What else could he want?
"I don't know what you mean," she said slowly.
"I think that's what most of them believe." He nodded in the direction she'd just come. "Maybe not Tamaki. Or maybe so. But what do you think?"
"I…" She fumbled for words in her scattered thoughts.
"I see." He turned to look out the window.
"No, it's not—I mean, not really; I just…" Well done, Haruhi, she congratulated herself. "You never really talk about wanting anything else."
"Don't I?" He thought a moment. "No, I suppose not."
She hurried on: "I'm sorry if I upset you. You just surprised me, is all."
He seemed to retreat inside himself again briefly and said, a little distantly, "I lied to you that time."
"At the cabin."
She struggled to make sense out of his words. "Oh, you mean Nekozawa-senpai's cabin." What had made him think of that after all these years? And what had he lied about?
"I never lost my glasses."
She blinked. "Sorry?"
"You are an interesting one," he said, almost to himself. Then: "Do you remember anything that happened then? After they pushed you off?"
"Well…it was really cold…and I was kind of drifting off when I felt Tamaki grab me. I don't remember anything else till I woke up on the beach. And you said…" She stopped. "You didn't have your glasses then," she remembered slowly. "But you just said you didn't…"
He paused for a moment, thinking. "Do you ever wonder what I would have done in my room, if you hadn't figured it out?"
"I've never really thought about it," she admitted.
"Really." He let out a sound that might almost have been a laugh. "I've thought about it more times than you probably want to know."
"What are you saying?" she whispered.
"I'm saying I never lost my glasses," he repeated in an equally unenlightening tone.
"Then…" she began, slowly, "then…you came after me, too." She said each word carefully, deliberately, like she was unwinding a fragile piece of thread that could snap at any moment. "Why didn't you tell me? Are you that worried about me thinking you're nice? I figured that out for myself, anyway."
Again he said nothing. Haruhi fished in her memory, trying to recall everything she could about that trip. She had mostly begun to relate it to the ability, the need, to sometimes depend on other people. But he wanted her to remember something else.
"Senpai…" she began hesitantly, "were you the one that saved me?" It had never occurred to her that it might have been someone besides Tamaki; wasn't he the one holding her, dripping wet, when she woke up? Hadn't she heard him calling her name earlier, trying to wake her up?
He still didn't answer, but he looked away again, and that was all the answer she needed.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked again. "And why are you telling me now?"
"You're a smart girl, Haruhi, but sometimes you're not very self-aware. If you'd think about it, you'd know why."
She opened her mouth to ask him another question, but just then they heard the sound of some people coming noisily down the hall, and Haruhi turned to see Tamaki and the twins.
"We've been looking everywhere for you two!" Kaoru declared. "Is this what you meant when you said you had to take care of something, Haruhi?"
"I just came out here to make a call. But I'm leaving now, so I'll go say goodbye to the others and I'll be back."
"Hey!" The twins rushed after him. "But what were you doing alone with Haruhi?" they called. Haruhi shook her head and smiled inwardly.
"What's he in such a rush for?" Tamaki wondered. "And at your party, too."
"Don't worry; I think something important came up. And I'll probably see him when I'm in America." She winced slightly. She hadn't meant to say it like that. "I mean, it's not a big deal if he has to go." She hesitated, wondering if she should breach the subject of that beach trip. She was equally curious to know why no one had ever told her. But Tamaki's thoughts seemed to be elsewhere.
"What are you thinking?" she finally asked gently.
He looked at her, a strange look, as if she was some apparition that might fade away at any moment.
"What happens when you leave? Do you still want…you still want us?"
She would have laughed if not for the insecure look on his face.
"Are you worried I've got my eye on some rich American heir? I know it won't be easy, but that's what makes it special."
He brightened. "Then let's go to dinner tomorrow. You choose."
She hugged him. "I'm going to miss you," she said quietly.
"Of course. You won't find anyone as charming over there." She laughed, and he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. It had grown out, but she kept it trimmed to her shoulders now. She had really liked how easy it had been to take care of, cut that short.
"I'll miss you, too."
Then he kissed her, a soft, gentle kiss that nevertheless made her heartbeat quicken. He drew her closer, and the kiss grew more insistent. She wrapped her arms around his neck and returned it with equal fervor.
There was the slight sound of someone clearing their throat, and the two jumped apart to see Kyouya standing at the edge of the foyer. His face betrayed no expression, but Haruhi got the distinct feeling that he was a little disturbed.
"Uh…so you're leaving now?" Tamaki finally asked.
Kyouya nodded. "I want to be back in Boston by Monday, so I thought I'd leave early and beat the weekend traffic."
"You really can't stay any longer?" Haruhi found herself saying. "School doesn't start for weeks…"
"I have some other business to take care of, too," he answered.
"Do you think you can come back at least once before the semester begins?" Tamaki asked.
"Maybe." Kyouya turned toward the door. "Sorry I have to leave so early. Congratulations again."
"I'll see you sometime there." It was almost a question, because he hadn't mentioned that at all. Even now, his only answer was a slight nod before he opened the door and was gone.
"What's wrong with him?" Haruhi wondered aloud.
"He's probably just stressed," Tamaki said, though he didn't sound convinced himself. "Let's go back in."
He took her arm gently and began to lead her down the hall. Haruhi glanced over her shoulder once, as if he might reappear, but everything was quiet except for the sound of their footsteps.
"What were you two talking about, anyway?" Tamaki asked eventually.
Haruhi closed her eyes briefly.
"Do you really think all I ever want to gain in life is money and power?"
- Fin -
Author's Notes: Haha, wasn't that just the BEST ENDING EVER? Not…
I actually think I will expand this eventually (not anytime soon), at least so I don't want to go jump off a cliff every time I read it. But right now I just wanted to post some more angsty crap. I hope you got some amusement out of it, but if you feel like you just wasted about five minutes of your life, feel free to flame.
By the way, I'm really tired and grouchy right now, so forgive me if I sound depressed and/or pessimistic.
If you've made it this far, I'd love at least a line telling me that I should never write again. That way, I'll know someone actually finished this.