"Haruhi!" The girl groaned as one pair of hands pulled her book away while another gripped her shoulders, preventing her from snatching the book back. She looked into the gleeful faces of the twins with trepidation, wondering what on earth they were up to now.
"What?" Haruhi asked grumpily, looking at her history book with longing.
"Why aren't you enjoying the party?" Kaoru asked, settling down on her right side and draping an arm over her shoulder.
"Yeah," Hikaru said, sitting down on her left and wrapping his arm around her waist. "Everyone else is enjoying themselves. Even Kyoya. That's got to be his eighth glass of the spiked cider, from the way he's staggering around."
"I need to study," Haruhi said, hoping against hope that this one time they would let her be. She didn't even know why she bothered though.
"You study too hard," Hikaru said, exchanging glances with his brother.
"I know!" the twins chorused, standing and pulling Haruhi, snug in their grasps, with them. "Let's play a game!" Haruhi groaned, but knew it was useless to protest. The twins carried her to the center of the music room and deposited her on a couch.
"Hey guys!" Hikaru called, drawing the attention of the other hosts. "Kaoru and I just had a great idea. Let's play a game!"
"What game?" Tamaki asked, drawing nearer, a glass of cider in his hand which was, from the slight slur in his speech, probably spiked.
"Truth or Dare!" Kaoru said, picking up where his twin had left off. Tamaki looked at Honey, who nodded eagerly; then at Mori, who inclined his head in acceptance; and finally at Kyoya, who shrugged, stumbling into a chair across from the twins and Haruhi, who was surprised to see the usually contained and analytical host so loose and clumsy looking.
"Alright then!" Tamaki said happily, taking a seat next to Kyoya. "Let the game begin! I'll go first. Kyoya. Truth or dare?"
"Truth," the dark-haired teen said after a moment of consideration.
"Hmmm," Tamaki said, obviously thinking hard. "I know! What's your favorite love song?" Kyoya sent his golden-haired friend a murderous look before taking a large swig of his drink.
"Taylor Swift's 'You Belong With Me'," he said sulkily, ears turning faintly red. The twins burst into howling laughter while Tamaki asked, "Isn't that that blonde country/pop singer from America?" Kyoya nodded jerkily before getting unsteadily to his feet and staggering over the drink table to get more cider. Once he came back he said, "Mori. Truth or dare?"
"Dare," Mori replied solemnly. Kyoya thought hard for a moment before saying, "I dare you to prance around this room like a foolish, love-struck girl. Mori then proceeded to get up and do such a good impression that he had them all crying from laughter.
He sat down, completely straight-faced, and asked Honey, "Truth or dare?" Honey chose dare and then was told to reenact Romeo and Juliet with his stuffed rabbit, which he did with trademark cuteness.
"Kaoru," Honey said, "truth or dare?" Kaoru chose dare. Honey, after screwing up his face in concentration, finally dared him to eat an entire chocolate cake, which, to Haruhi's disgust and amazement, Kaoru did with ease.
"Hikaru," Kaoru said, licking the last bits of chocolate icing off his fingers, "truth or dare?"
"Truth," Hikaru decided, grinning at his twin.
"Who in this room, besides me, would you most want to sleep naked with?" Kaoru asked without having to think about it.
"Why, Haruhi, of course," Hikaru answered easily, turning to the blushing Haruhi and asking, "Truth or dare?"
"Umm… dare?" Haruhi said hesitantly, fearing what Hikaru would ask her to divulge if she said truth.
"I dare you," Hikaru said, and evil smile spreading across his lips, "to kiss every person in this room and tell us what they taste like." Haruhi just looked at him blankly, still trying to process the dare.
"Absolutely not!" Tamaki yelled, his eyes bugging out of his head. "I will not allow my daughter to be defiled in such a way!"
"You don't have a choice, boss," Hikaru said, smiling like a cat who had just caught a juicy mouse. "A dare is a dare." Tamaki drew himself up, about ready to go into full ranting mode, when Haruhi said, "Fine, whatever."
Ignoring Tamaki, who appeared to have just turned into an ice sculpture, Haruhi got up and walked over to Honey. Leaning down, she brushed her lips against those of the young man. Pulling back, she ran her tongue over her lips before smiling and saying, "Cake. Sugar."
"Now now, Haruhi, that's not quite what I had in mind," Hikaru said, snagging the girl's wrist and pulling her so that she fell practically into his lap. "Here, let me show you."
Before Haruhi could protest, Hikaru's warm mouth covered her and all thought of words was lost. Opening her mouth, she ran her tongue over his lips. Those lips parted and soon she tasted the inside of the volatile twin's mouth. She ran the tip of her tongue curiously along his teeth, marveling at the strange smoothness of them. Then, remember herself, Haruhi pulled back, gasping.
"Well, Haruhi," Hikaru said, smiling at her, "what do I taste like?"
"Chocolate," she decided after a moment, refusing to acknowledge her momentary loss of control. "Dark chocolate." Hikaru smiled, his eyes filled with heat and… something else. Something gentler.
"My turn," Kaoru said, leaning over and, while she was still held in his brother's arms, proceeding to kiss her soundly. Haruhi felt her heart leap and her stomach lurch as being pressed between the two brothers caused something deep in her lower region to jerk and start to tingle. Alarmed, Haruhi pulled away, praying that her cheeks weren't as red as she thought they were.
"You taste like chocolate, too," Haruhi said, her voice a tad too breathy for her liking, looking into the calmer twin's eyes. "Milk chocolate though. Not dark." Kaoru smiled at her, a real smile this time, before pulling her up and placing her on her feet, saying, "Halfway there, Haruhi."
Shaking her head, Haruhi turned to Mori, then hesitated, not sure how to proceed. The tall, silent young man had always treated her with kindness, but she didn't know him as well as say the twins, or even Tamaki.
Seeing the uncertainty in her face, Mori smiled. Standing, he stepped towards her and, laying a hand on her cheek, leaned down. Their lips met. This kiss was different, Haruhi realized. It lacked the passionate edge of the twins' kisses, but it was also no quite as innocent as the kiss she had given Honey.
Pulling away, Haruhi smiled at the tall youth, who smiled back, his eyes warm and filled with laughter. It was the most expression Haruhi had even seen on his face, besides when he was looking at Honey.
"You taste like… pumpkin pie. Comforting and tangy," she said, aware that Mori's strong, calloused hand was still resting against her cheek.
"And you taste like strawberries," Mori replied in his deep, honeyed voice before stepping away and sitting back down.
Haruhi turned to Tamaki and Kyoya, who had apparently gotten another glass of cider at some point. The bespectacled youth had a grip on his friend's shoulder, as if forcefully keeping him in his seat.
Hoping she didn't lose her nerve, Haruhi bent down towards Kyoya, her stomach lurching uncomfortably. Kyoya smiled at her, less controlled and with more warmth than usual, probably thanks to the alcohol in the cider. Stretching up, he met her halfway.
The kiss was neither as warm as Mori's, nor as passionate as the twins', but it was still nice. A kiss between friends. And they were friends, Haruhi realized as she pulled away. Somewhere along the line Kyoya had become more then a distant figure to be respected for his ability to deal with Tamaki and keep the Host Club running smoothly.
But there was something strange about how he tasted. Well, not necessarily how he tasted, but more as if there was something that should have been there but wasn't, or was there and shouldn't have been.
"Apples," she said, looking at Kyoya, still trying to puzzle out the taste. "Tart, fresh apples. Or a glass of cold water with lime in it." Kyoya smiled.
"I have to agree with Mori," he said, his voice slurred, a little giggle erupting from his throat. "You do taste like strawberries." Haruhi smiled at him, then turned to Tamaki.
The golden-haired youth looked at her, his blue eyes filled with uncertainty. He looked so lost and confused that Haruhi just wanted to pat him on the head and tell him not to worry. Instead she leaned down and, putting her hands on either side of his face, gently kissed him.
The kiss was sweet and chaste. Even chaster then the one she had shared with Kyoya and Mori. But this time it was as if Tamaki was too afraid to do anything that could be seen as enjoying himself.
After several moments Haruhi pulled away and said, "Vanilla. You taste like vanilla." Tamaki looked hesitantly up at her. Haruhi smiled at him and watched as he smiled gratefully back.
Turning away, Haruhi returned to her original seat, inserting herself comfortably between the twins, saying, "Satisfied?"
"Slightly," they replied, grinning suggestively at her. Haruhi shook her head and sighed.
The game progressed from there. Mori confessed to singing Brittany Spears in the shower; Tamaki admitted to flirting with a guy, though he refused to say who; the twins said during the summer they sometimes sleep naked together. The highlight of the evening, however, was when Kyoya had to stand on a table (which was a precarious situation considering he was on his thirteenth glass of cider) and sing "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. Haruhi laughed so hard she cried and Kyoya, by this point, didn't seem to care.
At last the night wrapped up. Honey and Mori left first since Honey was getting tired. The twins followed not long afterwards, leaning heavily on each other and staggering down the hall. Finally it was just Tamaki, a very drunk Kyoya, and Haruhi.
"Would you go grab his jacket?" Tamaki asked Haruhi, standing next to the couch his giggling friend was laying on. "I'm going to try and get him to his feet." Haruhi acquiesced and went to the changing room where they had all left their jackets. As she came back she paused, without knowing why, and peaked around the door.
"Come on, monami, on your feet," Tamaki said, attempting to pull the taller male upright. Kyoya just giggled and flopped back down, pulling his friend with him, so that Tamaki landed with half his body pressed against Kyoya's and his hands on either side of the youth's head.
"Whoops, Daddy fell down," Kyoya said, laughing and winding his arms around Tamaki's neck. "Silly Daddy."
"Kyoya, come on, let me up," Tamaki said, though Haruhi noticed he made no move to remove his friend's arms from around him.
"Daddy kissed his little girl tonight," Kyoya continued, wrapping his arms even farther around Tamaki, completely oblivious to the fact that Tamaki had said anything at all. "She said you tasted like vanilla. Do you taste like vanilla?"
"I don't know," Tamaki replied, his voice sounding slightly strained.
"Here," Kyoya said, burying his fingers in Tamaki's hair and pulling him closer. "Let me taste you." With that he surged upwards and caught his startled friend in a kiss. Haruhi blinked in surprise.
Tamaki froze for a second, but did not pull away. Then, ever so slightly, he relaxed and let Kyoya kiss him, allowing his body to press the raven-haired youth into the sofa. Haruhi raised her eyebrows, then decided she better interrupt before it went too far (she wanted to go home at some point soon).
Stepping out from the changing room, she cleared her throat loudly. Tamaki leapt up from the sofa as if scalded. Haruhi looked at him in askance, then looked at the hysterically laughing Kyoya.
"Umm… he's drunk, he's really, really drunk, doesn't know what he's doing… I'm going to go get the car to pull around, could you bring him down?" Tamaki asked, tripping over his words and staring pointedly at a spot over Haruhi's shoulder, cheeks a brilliant flaming red. "I better bring him home with me, his dad would freak if he saw him like this."
"Sure," Haruhi said, acting as if nothing had happened. "I'll bring him down. Go get the car." Tamaki nodded and fled.
Shaking her head, Haruhi walked over to Kyoya, who was still sprawled on the couch giggling. She stopped and looked down at the normally uptight host, a smile creeping across her face.
"You can quit the act now," she said, placing her hands on her hips. "I know you're not drunk." Kyoya stopped laughing.
"What do you mean?" he slurred, looking up at her blearily. "I'm not pretending anything."
"Yes, you are," Haruhi said, grinning at him. "You haven't had a single drop of alcohol tonight. The cider you were drinking came from the non-spiked bottle that Honey brought. When I kissed Hikaru, Kaoru, and Tamaki tonight I could taste the alcohol, even though they had only had a little bit. You should have reeked of it. But you didn't. There was absolutely no taste of any kind of liquor. So quit pretending. Though I commend your acting skills."
Kyoya looked at her for a moment before sitting up, perfectly sober, and saying, "I'm impressed." Haruhi shrugged.
"So," Kyoya said, his voice cool and controlled once more. "I'm sure you are wondering about that little display you just witnessed."
"Not really," Haruhi replied. "I kind of guessed you had feelings for him. I just didn't know he had a thing for you too."
"He doesn't," Kyoya said, tugging the cuffs of his shirt. Haruhi raised an eyebrow.
"He kissed you back," she stated, looking at Kyoya intently.
"Yes," Kyoya replied thoughtfully, pushing his glasses up, "so he did. An interesting development."
Haruhi shook her head in exasperation and said, "Come on. Get up and lean on me. He's waiting with the car and I don't think his poor little brain could handle it if you aren't completely trashed when you get down there."
Kyoya smiled thinly and got to his feet gracefully, laying an arm across Haruhi's shoulders. As they exited the music room, he said, "You're right. He does taste like vanilla."