punkish furball – What's up, people? It's chapter three! XD

Words to Ponder:

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This chapter was beastly, but I got through it! I had to split the pre-existing chapter 3 into two sections because I added some additional content. Everything after the split didn't seem to fit with the changes I made. I hope you like it! XD

Chapter 3: Family Ties

"Are you alright, Go-chan?" Honey asked the silent raven by his side. He, Takashi, and Kagome just stopped in front of the karate club's practice room at the middle school division of the academy. The afternoon practice was almost over, and Yasuchika and Satoshi would be out to meet them any minute.

"I'm fine," Kagome answered shakily, "I'm just a bit nervous."

Takashi pressed a comforting hand onto her shoulder. "It'll be fine."

"Takashi's right," Honey insisted, "Sato-chan and Chika-chan will love you!"

"Even in drag?" Kagome questioned dryly. Honey giggled and shrugged his shoulders.

"The ladies sure do love you like this!" he said encouragingly, but it didn't help Kagome feel better. She didn't know if Yasuchika and Satoshi would be as receptive of her cross dressing habit as their older brothers, and she didn't want to make a bad impression. She at least wanted to explain her state of dress first, and she wasn't too keen on doing that out in the open.

"Maybe we should wait for them in the car?" Kagome hastily suggested, jerking her thumb behind her, "I'm sure they already heard I'm a boy by now, and they'll find out the truth once we meet in person. It'll make dropping the bomb a little easier if we're not in public." Her relatives seemed a bit lost on the lingo but understood where she was coming from.

"Ok, you and Takashi wait in the car for Sato-chan and Chika-chan and I will come over for dinner tonight!" Honey suggested. Takashi nodded before grabbing Kagome's hand and leading her to the car waiting to pick them up. His stride was much longer than hers, but his pace was slow enough for her to keep up with.

"Ya know," Kagome began now that it was just the two of them, "We aren't going to get to know each other if we never speak." Takashi looked down sharply in her direction. "I'm not saying we need to spill our guts right now and I understand you're a pretty quiet guy, but little things here and there wouldn't be so bad." Takashi was silent and they reached the car before he uttered a response.

"I like peppermint," he quietly admitted. Kagome smiled softly in return. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

"Is that why there's peppermint shampoo in the host club's bathroom?" she asked before she added, "Why is there even a bathroom with a working shower in a music room in the first place?"

"When the club first opened, Mitsukuni and I still participated in the karate club. When renovations were made to the room for our club practices, an equipped bathroom was installed so we could freshen up quickly after practices," Takashi explained, "Eventually we quit."

"…the room was renovated just for that?" Kagome asked in bewilderment. If so, the whims of the rich certainly knew no bounds. Takashi nodded affirmatively.

"Tamaki arranged it," he explained as he opened the car door for Kagome, "His father is the chairman of the academy."

"Really?" she exclaimed after taking a seat inside the car. Takashi sat next to her, closing the door behind him. Again he nodded.

"I never would have guessed seeing how ero-senpai acted!"

Takashi smiled knowingly. "You've never met Suoh-sensei."

To pass the time as they waited for Satoshi to join them, Kagome asked Takashi a few questions about the academy and classes in general. From what he told her, Kagome decided the curriculum was basically the same one she had at her old school, but she had no clue how she'd keep up with the rest of the A class. Her father's connections were the only reason she was enrolled with the high level section and she hoped she'd meet his expectations. She'd have to work hard if she wanted to catch up with the rest of the class and not fall behind.

The electives she'd take were a whole other issue, but she'd been given a one week grace period to pick out what she liked. P.E. was definitely out now and most of the others were geared toward aiding heirs and heiresses in dealings with foreign relations, finances, and any other skill or knowledge they'd need to run their families multiple companies and firms. It was all nothing Kagome was genuinely interested in.

'What I wouldn't give for a normal art or music class,' Kagome thought wryly.

"Yō, Taka!" Satoshi greeted his brother happily as he entered the vehicle. After giving the driver a quick nod, Satoshi took a seat across from his siblings as the car began to move.

"So you're our new bro, eh?" he asked, looking at Kagome with a big grin, "But I guess away from school you're our sis!"

Kagome relaxed and let out a deep breath. It seemed like Honey told her younger brother about her current situation and he didn't think she was a complete weirdo.

"That would be me," Kagome replied as her cheeks colored, "Nothing like cross dressing to build character!" She smiled when Satoshi began laughing.

"It was actually supposed to be a prank," she clarified, "I didn't think it would work so well."

"Best trick ever!" Satoshi cried, "You totally fooled everybody at school! I'm glad to see you're a lively one. We couldn't handle it if we got another sibling like you, right Taka?" The younger boy playfully nudged Takashi in the arm. Kagome could immediately tell Satoshi was the more outgoing of the two brothers and that they were very close.

"Tou-san will be back around dinner," Satoshi said once the car came to a stop in front of the Morinozuka estate, "Are you gonna transform into his adorable little daughter before he gets back?"

"That's the plan!" Kagome remarked. The Morinozuka siblings exited the car and stood in front of the large mansion.

"Your room is across from ours in the east wing on the second floor," Takashi stated and began walking toward the estate with Satoshi at his side and Kagome following behind them. As soon as they entered, they were greeted by a series of maids and butlers, one of whom immediately took Kagome's dirtied hoodie to have it cleaned. Kagome quickly trailed behind Satoshi and Takashi with eyes filled with awe at the mansion's enormous size.

"Here it is!" Satoshi announced once they stopped in front of her room. When he opened the door, Kagome instantly gaped. This room was easily twice the size of her old one! What little belongings she possessed were stacked in a far off corner and seemed insignificant compared to the grandeur of the rest of the room. It contained several existing pieces of furniture—a large bed, a dresser, a nightstand, and a vanity mirror with matching stool—stationed around the room. The dark wood of the furniture blended in with the room's neutral color scheme of creams and tans.

"We had one of the guest rooms remodeled to become your bedroom," Satoshi explained, "The furniture's still the same and it has its own bathroom. It was kind of a rush job, so we're sorry if you don't like it. We could fix it up later if you want! Maybe even extend it a little more and change the colors."

"Nonsense!" Kagome protested, "It's all perfect. I'll just get settled in and change my clothes."

"If you say so!" Satoshi replied happily and pointed to two doors across the hall from her, "Mine and Takashi's rooms are there if you need anything."

"I'm sure I'll be fine until dinner," Kagome remarked, smiling brightly.

"See you then, Nee-chan!" Satoshi said happily.

Kagome blushed at the use of the familiar title; it would take a while to get used to him calling her that. Takashi nodded in her direction before the two brothers left her to her own devices. Once they were gone, Kagome closed the door behind them and began sorting through her things. She put her clothes and shoes in the closet and placed her pajamas and under garments in the dresser. There was plenty of room to spare once she was done. After that, she set up a few photos and personal items on the dresser and vanity. Her warded jewelry box containing the Shikon no Tama was placed on the nightstand next to her bed for safe keeping.

After she finished unpacking, Kagome went to her closet to pick out a new outfit to wear for dinner. After briefly shifting through her clothes, she picked out a navy blue cotton dress that ended at her knees with thin spaghetti straps.

'It's the best thing I got to wear,' she thought grimly and hoped dinner wasn't an extremely formal affair.

Grabbing the proper bra from her dresser, Kagome changed out of her school uniform and slipped on the dress. After hanging up her blazer and trousers, she walked toward the vanity, took a seat in front of the large mirror, and began brushing her dried, curly hair into a loose raven wave.

'Make-up?' she briefly considered before shaking her head at her reflection. At a knock on the door, Kagome set down her brush and stood up, smoothing the wrinkles from her dress.

"Come in," she called out. The door opened and Morinozuka Akira was standing in the hallway. He was a very handsome man. Takashi and Satoshi favored him greatly especially his athletic build and tall stature; he even had a few inches on Takashi's height. He was nervous, Kagome could immediately tell, but he smiled at her and his eyes were clouded over as though he could cry at the sight of her any second. It was clear he had been waiting for this day for a long time.

"Hello," Kagome began sweetly while deciding how to address him, "Akira-san." She almost frowned when his face faltered, but he quickly recovered from her greeting.

"Hello, Kagome-chan," Akira replied and beckoned her closer, "Come here and let me look at you." Kagome walked up to Akira until she stood about an arm's length away from him. He placed his hands on her shoulders and looked at her up and down.

"You're just as pretty as Nodoka-san," he commented happily, "but I can see it! There is certainly some Morionozuka blood in you!" Kagome blushed slightly but continued to smile. She wasn't sure how true the statement was, but it was a nice thing for Akira to say.

"Come on then!" Akira said excitedly and removed his hands from Kagome's shoulders, "Dinner's nearly ready and everyone's eager to meet you."

Kagome followed Akira down the corridors and stairways until they ended up at the estate's formal dining hall. There was a sizeable gathering of people waiting for them. She immediately recognized Takashi, Satoshi, and Honey, but there were several unknown faces among them: two beautiful, statuesque women speaking with each other blithely, a brunet a few inches taller than Honey with the same soft, chocolate brown eyes talking to Satoshi, and a gargantuan bearded man stationed alongside them. He was the first to notice she and Akira entered the room.

"There she is now!" he bellowed excitedly, "The only daughter of the Morinozuka family." All eyes turned to Kagome and Akira.

"Go-chan!" Honey exclaimed happily, "You look so pretty!"

"Indeed she does," Akira commented with a smile, "Let's get to the table so we can get through all the introductions before our meal." Kagome smiled brightly before taking a seat at the long table between Takashi and Satoshi.

Dinner was not as bad as Kagome expected it to be. It was much less formal than she thought and no one made any comments on her table manners or what sort of cutlery she used. A fork was a fork and she had no clue why they had so many in one place setting.

The two women she saw were Akira's and Haninozuka-san's wives. Akira's wife, Fumiko, regarded her kindly despite the circumstances of her birth. The other woman, Haninozuka Chie, accepted her just as readily and enthusiastically as her older son did and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Her husband, Yorihisa, was a beast of man in size compared to his two sons, but he was much gentler than his appearance let on. Their son and Honey's younger brother, Yasuchika or Chika as Honey called him, treated her with respect but mostly kept to himself throughout dinner and spoke only when Satoshi or one of the adults addressed him. He seemed to ignore Honey completely. Kagome could tell the two families were extremely close and deeply rooted in the past relations between the Morinozuka and Haninozuka families as they explained their history to her during the meal.

"It's nice to finally meet you," Yorihisa said to Kagome once the final course had been cleared away, "I never thought the day would come when there'd be a female born in the main branch of the Morinozuka family!"

"Pardon?" Kagome asked tentatively.

"There haven't been many girls born into the Morionozuka family since we joined with the Haninozuka two generations ago by marriage," Takashi clarified for her, "You're currently the only girl in the main branch of both families by birth."

"Of course, I doubt you'd want to utilize your birthright and learn our families' martial arts," Yorihisa added, "Only a few women learned our style, right Akira?"

"True," Akira answered briefly.

"Learned what style?" Kagome asked.

"The style of martial arts created by the Morinozuka and the Haninozuka families," Akira answered, "While we do operate many dojos and conduct several police and military training facilities, there is a style integral to our families' history and that is exclusively taught to members born into the main branches of both our families. Traditionally, it's only been taught to males, but a few girls learned it before."

"You wouldn't have any interest in that kind of thing, right dear?" Fumiko commented airily, "Us ladies would rather leave the training to the men." Chie nodded in agreement.

"Actually," Kagome began timidly, "I've been undergoing miko training for the past year or so."

Technically, that wasn't a lie; Kaede and Miroku did begin mentoring Kagome after she became more confident in her spiritual abilities and wanted to be more involved in the group. Her archery immensely improved, her healing skills were more developed, and her innate spiritual powers had been honed seamlessly. Needless to say, she was all too familiar with intense training sessions. She would have also mentioned the combat training she had with InuYasha, Miroku, and Sango, but she figured it wasn't as good of an idea as she thought. She only knew the basics when it came to hand-to-hand combat and doubted any of her family members would be impressed.

"Miko?" Fumiko repeated curiously.

"Yes," Kagome answered, "I'm the active priestess on my family's shrine, so I've been studying with my teacher, Kaede-san, and my mentor, Miroku-san. They didn't teach me any formal martial arts, but I have had to train a lot and have gotten very good in archery."

"So my Nee-chan's a master archer?" Satoshi said playfully, "You should try out for the archery club at school!"

"I'm not all that good," Kagome protested, "But I have gotten much better than when I started!"

"If you want to join, we could get you a private instructor!" Akira encouraged excitedly, "It's no trouble at all and the school's team will certainly be glad to have you."

"No need for that," Kagome politely declined, "I don't really have any interest in competitions and Kaede-san and Miroku-san are the only teachers I'll ever need." Akira deflated slightly when Kagome refused his offer.

"Go-chan keeps mentioning Miroku-san," Honey commented curiously, "Is he your boyfriend?"

"He's not my boyfriend!" Kagome shouted abruptly.

"Are you sure?" Satoshi asked slyly before gaining a more serious tone, "Nee-chan can't be dating just anyone." Takashi grunted in agreement.

"Miroku-san is a close friend and he's involved with another friend of mine, Sango-chan," Kagome clarified hotly.

"So do you have a boyfriend?" Honey asked again.

"Why do you care so much?" Chika commented under his breath, but Satoshi heard him.

"Nee-chan's a Morinozuka!" he scolded him harshly, "We need to watch out for her, ya know. It would be disgraceful if we let something happen to her!"

"Don't I get a say in this?" Kagome asked wryly, "It's my love life and I am older than you."

"But Taka and Mitsukuni are the oldest!" Satoshi reminded her, "If they say we can get involved in your love life, then that's all there is to it."

"They're getting along well, aren't they?" Chie commented with a slight giggle as their children continued to squabble.

"It's a shame we have to get going," Yorihisa said as he stood from the table and motioned to his children stand with him. His wife quickly followed his lead.

"I'll see you at school, Go-chan!" Honey exclaimed, giving Kagome a big hug.

"See you," Chika said, nodding in her direction before both boys left with their parents.

"Well then," Akira addressed his children, "It's gotten late. You had better get to bed."

"Gotcha, Tou-san!" Satoshi exclaimed before heading upstairs toward his room.

"Goodnight, Akira-san and Fumiko-san," Kagome said. She turned and stared at the long expansive corridor trying to remember the way she and Akira came. Takashi stepped forward and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"This way," he said, guiding her down the hallway with his gentle touch. Once his eldest children were gone, Akira sighed unhappily.

"Give her some time, dear," Fumiko said in a soothing tone, "All this is very new to her. She'll need time to adjust to being here with us."

"I know," Akira replied glumly, "I'm not exactly patient though." He loved his sons very much and wouldn't trade them for the world itself, but wasn't it every father's dream to have an adorable daughter to coddle and spoil? He wanted Kagome to be his sweet little daddy's girl! Fumiko giggled and placed her delicate hand on Akira's arm.

"She's already taking to Takashi and Satoshi and it's the same for them," she stated, "It's only a matter of time, my love." Akira looked down at his wife marveling at her understanding. She was truly a magnificent woman and he was glad to have her by his side.

"I trust your judgment."

-O0o0O-

Kagome sighed as she walked through the corridors of Ouran Academy alongside Haruhi and the twins as they left for their lunch period. Today was her first official day of attending classes. She still hadn't scheduled her electives, but Suoh-sensei himself set aside some time today to show her around the school and help her make her decision. Apparently, he was eager to meet her after speaking with Tamaki. She was sure her senpai told his father all about her uniform situation. Since she wasn't called to the office about it, she assumed he was okay with the arrangement.

The look on Akira's face when Kagome came downstairs for school wearing her cleaned hoodie over her long sleeved shirt with her black trousers was priceless, but he was amused by her attire and allowed her to go to school dressed as she pleased. She decided to forgo her bad boy braid today in favor of a low hanging ponytail resting on her right shoulder. In addition to that, she wore a few of the rebel type accessories that arrived for her at the estate this morning. It was nothing too extreme; the package contained a series of crosses and chains, arm bands, and several small, clip-on earrings. Kagome picked a silver cross to wear around her neck and a single silver loop earring placed in the tip of her ear. When she arrived to her classroom, Renge applauded her choices and praised herself for picking the perfect rebel character for the host club. She swooned when Kagome promptly gave her the finger.

Hikaru and Kaoru also proved to be rather troublesome in their efforts to promote her character; Kagome personally thought they acted that way just to piss her off. Both of them always seemed to be touching or flirting with her in some way and succeeded in soliciting a violent response from her that was typical for a rebel character. Hikaru was a bit more insistent than his brother, but Kaoru always followed his lead. Haruhi was the only one she could converse with normally as the twins teased both of them. Nevertheless, she and the other three hosts became known as the Friendly Class Quartet within the first half of class. Kagome wasn't sure to be glad for or irritated with her new companions.

"I forgot my lunch!" Kagome realized once she spotted Haruhi carrying her cloth covered bento. Not wanting to put a large dent in her finances from buying lunch from the cafeteria, Kagome had purchased a premade bento from a nearby convenience store before school. The driver quickly made this stop for her when she asked. It was a bit more expensive than she was used to, but it cost much less than the school provided lunches.

"Want an escort back to class?" Hikaru suggested slyly.

"We don't want our host club's rebel to get lost," Kaoru added. Kagome snorted.

"I can handle myself." Kagome retreated back to the classroom with Haruhi stating they'd be waiting for her in the dining hall behind her. When Kagome reached the classroom, she retrieved the plastic container from her bag before she turned around and started walking towards the cafeteria. She quickly lost her way.

'Which way do I go again?' Kagome thought exasperatedly. Looking down while she was in the midst of her thoughts, she noticed she was about to step on something. She knelt down and picked it up; it was a yellow puppet in the shape of a cat.

'How cute!' she thought and placed the puppet on her hand using her fingers to move its stubby arms, 'I wonder who would carry around this thing.' Kagome immediately thought of Honey, but she had only seen him with Usa-chan. Did he have other stuffed animals? To be on the safe side, Kagome pocketed the puppet and continued walking trying to navigate through the maze of corridors. It took no time at all before she gave up.

'I can't believe I'm lost,' Kagome thought wandering the halls with no destination in sight and her head hanging down in defeat, 'I should have paid more attention before.' She didn't expect the sudden collusion that caused her to fall back to the ground on her bottom. Fortunately, she kept a tight hold on her lunch.

"Who put this wall here?" Kagome grunted, wincing at the force of the impact. She eeped when she felt someone lift her up by her underarms. She opened her eyes fully to see Takashi holding her up in the air before placing her gently on her feet.

"Go-chan!" Honey exclaimed as he stood next to Takashi, "Why are you in the senior's section? Shouldn't you be at lunch now?"

"I got lost," Kagome answered sheepishly as she up to her older brother. He was so much taller than her, not that it was exactly hard to surpass her height.

'He's so tall. He's even taller than Koga-kun and InuYasha,' Kagome thought absently while taking in Takashi's much larger stature. Her train of thought lead her to another pondering. 'I wonder what it would be like to ride on his back compared to InuYasha.'

Mori noticed the contemplative look on Kagome's face and the adorable pout pointed in the direction of his long, broad form. He had seen that look on Honey's face many times before and knew exactly what it meant. He gently took her bento from her before he turned his back to Kagome and lowered in front of her. She blinked a few times before squealing happily and jumping on her older brother's back.

'Yay!' Kagome thought and snuggled into Takashi's form. She noted fondly that he smelled like peppermint.

"It's nice to ride on Takashi's back, huh?" Honey asked cutely and Kagome nodded with glee. The seniors then began to walk in the direction of the dining hall.

-O0o0O-

"I wonder what's taking Kagome-san so long," Haruhi commented after popping another piece of her homemade lunch into her mouth, "Maybe he lost his way back."

"Doubt it," Hikaru commented, "He seemed quite sure of himself when he left. He'll probably wander in here any minute now." The time stretched on and Kagome still didn't appear. Haruhi stood to her feet and began heading toward the exit.

"Where are you going?" Hikaru asked.

"It's been too long," Haruhi explained, "Kagome-san must be lost. I'm going to look for him."

"Hold it, Haruhi," Kaoru said and grabbed onto her arm.

"Kagome will turn up soon," Hikaru added, "Let's wait some more."

"Wait for what?" Tamaki questioned as he walked up to the three hosts. Kyoya was following behind him and they both had lunch trays in hand.

"Kagome-san got lost on his way to the lunch room," Haruhi explained, "I was going to go find him."

"Ahh!" Tamaki screamed and began to run around the cafeteria frantically waving his arms about, dropping his tray in the process, "Kagome! Kagome! Where are you? Come back to me, my little cricket! Tou-san misses you!" Kyoya ignored him and took a seat at the twins' and Haruhi's table.

"I wonder," he began with his hand thoughtfully placed on his chin, "how Mori-senpai will react when he finds out you lost his little sister."

"Now that you mention it, he did seem to get a little more protective toward Kagome-san when he found out she was a girl," Haruhi commented.

Hikaru's and Kaoru's eyes widened as they began to think of all the possibilities and repercussions for losing Mori's younger sibling.

-the following thought is brought to you by the Hitachiin Twins' Inner Mind Theater-

Mori towered over the twins as they cowered from his imposing countenance in the dark expanse of his shadow. He regarded them coldly as he menacingly cracked each one of his knuckles.

"Where is my little sister?" Mori asked in a deadly calm voice. The twins continued to shiver and began to shake their heads signally they didn't know Kagome's whereabouts. Mori looked at them with a sadistic twinkle in his eyes before a wide sinister grin stretched across his face.

-this thought has been a production of the Hitachiin Twins' Inner Mind Theater-

"Ahh!" the twins abruptly shouted and grabbed Haruhi by the arm, running towards the dining room exit screaming Kagome's name.

"Let me go!" Haruhi shouted and struggled to get free from the twins' grasp.

"No, you have to help us find Kago-umm—" the twins halted suddenly when they both ran into something solid. A solid Mori's chest to be specific.

"Hi, Hika-chan, Kao-chan, and Haru-chan!" Honey shouted from his customary place at Mori's side, "Where are you three going in such a hurry?"

"Honey-senpai, Mori-senpai," Haruhi began after slipping away from her captors' loosened grip, "I think that Kagome-san is—" Hikaru and Kaoru quickly covered her mouth.

"What Haruhi was trying to say was—" Hikaru started.

"—have you seen Kagome today?" Kaoru finished nervously.

"I'm right here!" Kagome said and lifted her head over Mori's shoulder. Her hair was slightly ruffled from the ride and a large smile adorned her face.

"Kagome!" Tamaki shouted happily with his arms opened wide, "You've returned to me! Come to Tou-san!" He wilted when Kagome stuck her tongue out at him.

"I would have stayed away if I knew you would be here," she said disdainfully.

"Ah, it's the entire host club!" the girls of the cafeteria exclaimed, "Look at Kagome-kun!

"He's bonding with Mori-senpai."

"He's so cute!"

"Absolutely dreamy!"

Kagome blushed and hid her face in Mori's neck, feeling totally secure against him as she hid from the prying female eyes.

"Can we go please?" she asked gruffly in a slightly muffled voice, "Don't we have hosting or something we could be doing right now? The club should be opening today, right?" She slid off of Mori's back and landed with a slight thud on the marble floor. As soon as she was standing on her feet, Kagome was swept away into Tamaki's open arms as he twirled her around the lunch room.

"So eager to learn the ways of a proper host!" he cried, affectionately nuzzling her raven head, "Fear not, my young protégé! I may have lost my Haruhi to those unscrupulous twins, but Tou-san won't let you fall prey to them and their disgraceful agenda!"

"We resent that, boss!" they protested loudly. Haruhi sighed before returning to the rest of her lunch and sat by Kyoya. Honey and Mori sat in front of them with a large array of sweets set out for Honey to eat. Mori set Kagome's lunch aside for her.

"Excuse me?" a bespectacled brunet inquired quietly as he approached Tamaki and the captive girl in his arms.

"Who are you?" Tamaki asked curiously.

"I'm class 1-A president, Soga Kazukiyo," he answered, "I came to escort Higurashi-san to Suoh-sensei's office."

"My father?" Tamaki repeated disbelievingly.

"That's right," Kagome recalled, "I guess Suoh-sensei planned to meet with me during our club time." She slipped away from Tamaki's grip effortlessly.

"But my protégé…" Tamaki began weakly.

"Later, ero-senpai," Kagome called over her shoulder before she left with Kazukiyo.

Tamaki whimpered as Kagome left instantly knowing his father arranged his meeting with her right now on purpose. He must be planning to usurp his fatherly duties!

Kagome ignored Tamaki's antics and followed behind Kazukiyo as he led her to Suoh-sensei's office. It didn't take long for them to arrive at their destination.

"Here you are," he announced, stopping in front of the main office, "Suoh-sensei should be expecting you. His office is right through here, Higurashi-san."

"Thanks, Soga-kun," Kagome said and sent him a grateful smile before entering the main office. Looking towards the back of the large enclosure, she spotted a door with a rectangular plaque bearing the name "Suoh Yuzuru".

'That must be where he is,' she thought before walking up to the door and knocking on it softly.

"Come in," Suoh-sensei answered gently. She carefully opened the door and walked inside. As she expected, the office area was large and grandly decorated just like the rest of Ouran Academy. In addition to that, Suoh-sensei's desk was littered with pictures of Tamaki throughout many stages of his life. She had to admit he was pretty cute as a child especially with his bright, round eyes and rosy cheeks begging to be pinched, clutching an oversized teddy bear.

'I bet that big blonde goofball still has that teddy bear somewhere,' Kagome thought than noticed something a little odd, 'But why aren't there any pictures of Suoh-sensei's wife?' Clearly, Suoh-sensei loved his son and proudly displayed his image throughout his office. Why wouldn't he do the same for Tamaki's mother?

Seated behind his desk, Suoh-sensei watched her expectantly with a small welcoming smile. Tamaki didn't resemble his father much, but it was obvious that the older man was just as handsome in his youth when he was his son's age.

"No need to be so shy," he said cheerfully as he smiled brightly at her, "Please sit and make yourself comfortable."

"Yes, sensei," Kagome answered and took a seat in front of his desk, "Thank you for seeing me today." She was surprised when Yuzuru frowned.

"Being called 'sensei' is so dry and boring," he stated melodramatically, "I know Akira-san far too well for that. Think you could call me 'Otou-san'?"

"Otou-san?" Kagome repeated, wondering why everyone seemed to want her to call them by that title.

'I guess Tamaki-senpai has a few more similarities with his father that I first thought,' Kagome mused.

"You're right; I suppose that title rightfully belongs to Akira-san," Yuzuru amended, "How about you call me, 'Oji-san', little cricket?"

"I think I can handle that," Kagome replied with a smile, "Yuzuru-oji-san." Yuzuru smiled charmingly before standing to his feet.

"Now that that's settled, why don't we get started, cricket?" Yuzuru said, "There are many classes you need to see!"

Kagome stood and followed after Yuzuru as he showed her all of Ouran Academy's elective courses in action. He pointed out the many classes he passed while flamboyantly praising the work of all the students. Kagome could tell the chairman had a lot of pride in the student body. As she suspected, many of the elective classes dealt with finances or business skills, nothing she was truly interested in. She nearly ran into Yuzuru's back when the older man came to an abrupt halt.

"I'm so sorry, cricket!" he cried apologetically as he turned to her, "I got so caught up that I didn't ask you what you like!"

"It's alright. I really don't have a good idea of what I want to take," Kagome insisted, but Yuzuru quickly shook his head.

"Tell me. What do you like, little princess?" he asked gently.

"Well," Kagome began, "I'm really like history and folklore….and I guess I could say a few things related to medicine too."

"Medicine?" Yuzuru asked, recalling that the Morinozuka family had minimal involvement in those types of business practices. Just what were the ambitions of the little Morinozuka female?

"I've been training under a miko for the past year or so," Kagome explained, "Part of my training involved learning about the fundamental aspects of medicine."

"A miko?" Yuzuru repeated excitedly, "Like a shrine maiden?"

"Yes," Kagome answered, "I haven't done anything too amazing. I've had to set a few broken bones and mended minor cuts and gashes. I also was taught about different herbs for medicinal purposes." Yuzuru quickly pulled Kagome into a tight hug.

"So accomplished, little cricket!" he exclaimed as he nuzzled the top of her head, "These classes will never do for someone like you, but don't worry. Everything you need is right here at Ouran! You can only take two electives this semester, but we'll find the perfect ones." The chairman released her and began leading Kagome down the hallway.

"Of course, you simply must let me see you in action," Yuzuru continued, "Our school's very own priestess! Akira-san did mention you lived on a shrine. We will plan a field trip there immediately. Of course, I'll go on my own first to see just how wonderful it is!"

"You and Tamaki-senpai are certainly welcome," Kagome replied. She smiled as she listened to Yuzuru prattle on excitedly. He was offering her something she didn't receive once the jewel was completed and she spent less and less time in the past. He offered her a future.

-O0o0O-

punkish furball – Hope you liked the new and improved Chapter 3! X3

Also, for the record, I had to make up the names for Akira's and Yorihisa's wives; the wiki pages didn't mention their names.

Until next time, L83R DUD35! XD

(revised 01.25.2013)