punkish furball – Hello, all! XD
Words to Ponder:
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This is the remainder of the split from the original Chapter 3 with additional content! This job is getting slightly easier as I go, but I'm not finished yet. I'll have to say that this editing process is really getting me in the spirit to write more. Without further ado, please enjoy!
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Flashback transition: -O0o0O-
Chapter 5: All According to Plan
Kagome hummed happily to herself as she walked side by side with Mori toward Ouran Academy. Satoshi already left for the middle school division to meet up with Chika. It was much easier going to school now that some of her newness began to wear off. Instead of staring at her and whispering as she passed, her peers approached and greeted her warmly. They were mostly girls who frequented the host club, but a few male students who knew her relatives' combat skills spoke to her as well.
"Takashi! Go-chan!" they heard Honey shout as he rushed toward them excitedly. Kagome noted with a smile that he protectively held his cloth wrapped bento in his hands next to his school bag.
"Good morning, Honey-san!" Kagome greeted her cousin happily. Mori quickly stood by his side. Guessing that her relatives were heading to their own classroom, Kagome walked ahead of them in the direction of hers.
"Where are you going, Go-chan?" Honey asked. Kagome stopped and turned to face him.
"Class?" she stated as though the answer should be obvious. Honey grinned before shaking his head and rushing toward her.
"The host club has a morning meeting today!" he clarified, "You have to come with us."
"Fine," Kagome relented with a slight shrug. Honey took her hand in his before he headed in the opposite direction of Class 1-A and up several flights of stairs. Mori silently followed after them.
'Great,' Kagome thought exasperatedly and blew up her bangs, 'All that insanity is actually planned.'
If the host club's hours were always as chaotic as she experienced, Kagome could only imagine what the meetings would be like. When they reached the music room, Mori pushed open the double doors letting Honey and Kagome walk in ahead of him. All of the other members were seated at a long table. Everyone was situated around Kyoya as he steadily typed at his laptop excluding Haruhi. She sat at the far most, opposite end as she silently read one of her textbooks while jotting down a few notes in her notebook.
"Good morning, Kagome!" Tamaki exclaimed merrily, "You're looking positively charming and sweet this morning. Are you looking forward to today's meeting?"
"Let's just get on with it, ero-senpai," Kagome replied and took a seat by Haruhi.
"Good morning, Haruhi-kun," Kagome greeted her happily.
"Morning," Haruhi replied quickly, glancing up from her textbook and giving Kagome a gentle smile. Mori and Honey each took seats across from the twins closer to the other hosts. Honey immediately placed his bento in front of him, grinning from ear to ear.
"Hey, Honey-senpai—" Kaoru began.
"—what's with the lunch box?" Hikaru finished.
"Takashi, Sato-chan, Chika-chan, and I each bought one yesterday and Go-chan made us all lunches!" Honey answered, "She cooked dinner last night too!"
"Really?" Hikaru and Kaoru chorused in surprise.
"Yep!" Honey replied, "She took us to supermarkets to get the ingredients she needed. One for commoners and one for rich people!" The twins began to murmur excitedly to themselves; they had never been in a supermarket before—commoners' or otherwise.
"You can cook?" Tamaki asked with his eyes glinting excitedly in Kagome's direction.
Kagome rolled her eyes and turned away from him. "Yeah, I can."
"So what did you prepare?" Kyoya asked, pausing in his typing.
"It was just mushroom and tuna pasta and salad. Nothing too special," Kagome answered with a wave of her hand.
"It actually sounds pretty good; pasta's always a good dish to make last minute," Haruhi commented, lifting her head from her textbook.
"Thanks," Kagome responded with a slight shrug of her shoulders, "I had to get the canned tuna from that supermarket you told me about. They had really good sales."
"Canned tuna was ¥500 for three whole cans!" Honey informed the others.
"Only ¥500?" Kyoya inquired curiously.
"A whole tuna in a can?" Tamaki exclaimed, marveling at yet another piece of commoner wisdom. Haruhi rolled her eyes before closing her textbook and turning to Kagome. If they've never been in a supermarket, her friends were far more sheltered than she thought.
"I'm glad you were able to find it," Haruhi stated, "If you go again, their best deals are on Sundays."
"I'll definitely be going back," Kagome replied before reaching into her school bag and retrieved her wallet. All of the hosts watched as she pulled out a small green plastic card from her cat-shaped wallet.
"I've already started collecting supermarket points!" Kagome said with a grin.
"Neat," Haruhi replied and pulled out her matching card from her jacket pocket, "I saved some too. I get a lot when I buy the instant coffee for the club. Maybe we could split them up?"
"Sounds good to me!" Kagome replied.
"Supermarket points?" Tamaki repeated curiously.
"Are those like credit cards?" Hikaru asked.
"Their names aren't even on them," Kaoru commented.
"Not exactly," Kyoya said as he resumed typing, "I'm guessing that the store has a loyalty program where customers can earn points based on their purchases that are redeemable for priority services and incentives available exclusively to card holders."
"Sounds like our club's loyalty program, doesn't it?" Hikaru asked his twin.
"Yeah, now that I think about it," Kaoru replied, "Imagine what it would be like—"
"—if our guests had cards like that for the host club," Hikaru finished.
"It would be so cute!" Tamaki gushed as he imagined their patrons flashing their own little pink plastic cards decorated with colored roses, "We'd be integrating Haruhi and Kagome's commoner ways into our club practices! Don't you think that's a good idea?"
"Indeed," Kyoya answered with a sly grin as he typed away at his laptop, "I'll see what I can come up with by the end of the week."
Hikaru and Kaoru both shared a look; Kyoya didn't seem annoyed that Kagome and Haruhi continued to talk without joining the others. It seemed he was getting even more ideas from Kagome and Haruhi's casual conversation than the actual meeting.
Hikaru turned a mildly irritated gaze to the two girls conversing. It was odd seeing Haruhi talk so freely with someone let alone another girl.
"Although I'm sure you two are bonding—" he began.
"—we're here for club business not grocery shopping tips," Kaoru finished.
"Nonsense!" Tamaki interjected before Kagome and Haruhi could reply and waved his hand extravagantly in their direction, "Everything's going according to plan."
"You have any idea what he's talking about?" Kagome asked Haruhi in a whisper as she stared at the host king curiously.
"Nope," Haruhi replied flatly.
"And what plan is that, Tama-chan?" Honey asked.
"Didn't you realize it when I declared Kagome my newest daughter?" Tamaki questioned.
"Clearly not," the twins commented dryly in unison.
"Now that Kagome's my daughter," Tamaki began, "Haruhi has a sister to experience feminine bonding with. This would lead Haruhi to getting in touch with her inner femininity and start doing more feminine activities. Also, Kagome will feel more welcomed in the host club because she has a female companion to confide in."
"Really?" Kaoru questioned skeptically.
"I'm not sure just how feminine bargain hunting is," Hikaru added.
Tamaki chuckled and waved his hand in dismissal. "My simple minded followers. You have no concept of my grand schemes." He sighed and looked off at the two girls, envisioning the expected result of his so called plan.
-the following thought is brought to you by Tamaki's Inner Mind Theater-
Both Haruhi and Kagome giggled as they stood in an unspoiled and gleaming kitchen wearing frilled pink aprons over matching sundresses.
"What is this?" Tamaki asked as he walked toward the two girls, "Have my two daughters been working hard today?" They turned to him with light pink blushes on their cheeks and their hands gently clasped together over their aprons.
"We've just finished preparing your lunch for today, dear," Haruhi answered in a sweet voice.
"We spent so much time on it, but I hope you're not upset," Kagome added.
"Why would I be, my sweet princesses?" Tamaki asked graciously.
"We hope you aren't embarrassed. We designed your bento based on our feelings of love-love for you!" Kagome exclaimed and Haruhi nodded eagerly. Both girls stepped aside and revealed a pink heart shaped bento box containing two heart shaped rice balls colored light pink nestled between an assortment of crisp and cleaned veggies.
-this has been a production of Tamaki's Inner Mind Theater-
Tamaki abruptly stood up and raised his fist high in the air. "I don't care how embarrassing it is! I will gladly accept it!"
"He clearly has an active imagination," Kagome commented, staring blankly at the host king.
"That's one way to put it," Haruhi said dryly.
Kagome shook her head in Tamaki's direction before turning her attention back to Haruhi. "As I was saying, I peeked at the produce section while we were at the market. The selection was pretty good, but I prefer the greengrocer's street market a few blocks away from home."
"The Morinozukas' mansion is by a street market?" the twins asked in unison, looking to Mori for answers. He just shrugged his shoulders.
"She's referring to the shrine the Higurashi family owns," Kyoya clarified without stopping his typing.
"Really?" Haruhi commented, "Usually street markets have higher prices."
"True, but the shop owner is a very sweet old man that runs it with his family," Kagome explained, "He'll give you good deals without much haggling and he gives me some fruits for free when he gets something interesting."
"Interesting?" Haruhi asked, "Like what?"
"Cantaloupe or strawberries when they're in season," Kagome answered excitedly, "And sometimes he gives me a few I haven't tried before. Like mangos or pomegranates."
"Sounds good," Haruhi commented with a smile, "So you like fruit?"
"Yep!" Kagome responded, "It's delicious and nutritious and, if you know how to pack it properly, it'll keep for a long time without being refrigerated."
"Pack?" Kaoru questioned.
"Where exactly do you take it?" Hikaru asked skeptically. Kagome jumped slightly at the sudden question; she wasn't sure how to answer it.
"Well, I…you see…" she began, trying to buy some time as she thought of a believable answer.
"Yes?" Hikaru pressed and everyone seemed to be waiting for her reply.
"I don't take it anywhere in particular," Kagome quickly said, "I just like to…take it…when I go…camping!"
"Camping?" all of the other hosts excluding Kyoya and Mori questioned.
"Yeah," Kagome replied nervously, "Ya know…roughing it in the woods, building campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Being in nature is really refreshing!" She sheepishly rubbed the back of her neck and hoped the others believed her words. She didn't exactly tell a lie. Kagome liked to bring back different things from her era that her friends wouldn't have the opportunity to try—more than just junk food.
"That's not a girly activity," Kaoru commented, "Kagome might be a bigger tomboy than Haruhi."
"Looks like your plan is shot, boss," Hikaru said with a roguish grin.
"Don't say that!" Tamaki protested loudly, "My plan will work!"
"It sounds like fun. You must spend a lot of time outdoors," Haruhi told Kagome with a grin.
"I guess you could say that," Kagome replied sheepishly, "I've always preferred being out in the open air than staying inside."
"I think that's pretty cool," Haruhi commented appreciatively, "I've never been camping before."
"Well, if you want," Kagome suggested offhandedly, "I'll start by taking you to the greengrocer's market and we'll take it from there."
Haruhi chuckled lightly behind her hand. "Sounds good! I could try some of those fruits you mentioned. I'm always trying to make Tou-san eat healthier while he's at work. Maybe I'll find something he'll like."
"Of course, my daughters!" Tamaki exclaimed, "An outing to Kagome's shrine will truly be spectacular!"
"That invitation only encompasses one person and it isn't you, ero-senpai," Kagome informed Tamaki dryly and stuck her tongue out at him. He looked at her with watery eyes and his bottom lip trembling only to receive a blank look in return. Tamaki's attempt at the sad puppy dog eyes fell short when compared to Shippo, Rin, and Honey.
"Don't even try it. I'm immune to your puppy eyes," Kagome declared before taking a glance at the clock on the wall, "Looks like it's about time for class to start." She stood up from her seat and stuffed her hands in her hoodie pockets as she walked toward the door.
"She's right," Haruhi verified and packed her textbook and notes away in her bag before joining Kagome at the door. Mori and Honey also stood to escort the two girls to their classroom.
"See you round," Kagome called out to the remaining hosts with a slight wave of her hand without looking back at them.
"Looks like that meeting accomplished nothing," Hikaru remarked as he and Kaoru both stood to their feet.
"I wouldn't say that," Kyoya replied, closing his laptop, "I obtained a lot of useful information pertaining to Kagome."
"That's nice, but we have no idea what we're gonna do for the club today," Hikaru reminded the shadow king.
"Of course we do," Kyoya said with sly grin, "We'll simply do something Kagome suggested."
"So we're gonna go camping with our guests?" Hikaru suggested wryly.
"Or grocery shopping?" Kaoru added.
"Nothing like that. With what I have in mind, we won't be leaving the school grounds," Kyoya informed them coolly.
"Well, I support you!" Tamaki exclaimed, immediately agreeing with his friend's suggestion, "Surely if the club does something Kagome enjoys, she'll grow to love it more and more. Kyoya, you have my permission to do whatever you need to prepare for today's club time."
"Of course, Tamaki," Kyoya said with a grin and pulled out his cellphone, "All I needed was your say so. I'll make the appropriate calls."
Hikaru and Kaoru sighed as they watched the two juniors walk away as Tamaki babbled excitedly in Kyoya's free ear. They had known Kyoya long enough to realize how he operated.
'Manipulation at its best.'
Kagome panted as she raced toward the music room. Her hood bobbed up and down in time with her quick steps and her low hanging ponytail threatened to come undone. Her elective class that ended just before host club hours was on the other side of campus so she had to hurry. Haruhi and the twins had a free period, so they didn't have to worry about being late.
'Kyoya can kiss my ass if he wants to dock me for a few minutes,' Kagome thought as she continued to sprint. She took a quick glance at one of the ornate clocks decorating Ouran's walls as she passed it. She was already seven minutes late. Just when the familiar pink double doors came into view, Kagome slowed her gait and held her hands in front of her to push the door open.
"Sorry, I'm late!" she exclaimed as she came to an abrupt stop inside the music room.
"Really, Kagome," Kyoya commented from his spot near the doorway; it seemed like he was waiting for her, "Do we need to have another chat about punctuality?"
"No, Kyoya-senpai," Kagome glumly replied and crossed her arms over her chest, "So what humiliating cosplay will I have the pleasure to wear today?"
"No cosplay today," Kyoya informed her, "but your guests are eagerly awaiting your arrival."
Kagome blew up the loose bangs hanging in front of her face with slight irritation, but slowly walked toward the back of the room where a group of familiar faces without a host were seated at a small round table.
"Sorry I kept you waiting, ladies," Kagome said as she took the only unoccupied seat, "I hope you don't mind me being late."
"No problem, Kagome-kun," one of the girls sitting around her said cheerfully. Her name was Rei and she was one of Kagome's regulars, a petite, bespectacled brunette.
"So have you been enjoying yourselves?" Kagome asked, propping her elbow on the table and resting her head in her palm. The girls giggled.
"We have," Rei answered.
"This is a great idea you had for the host club today! It must have taken a lot of planning," another regular girl, a bubbly raven named Tsukiyo, praised.
"Idea?" Kagome repeated with one slender brow raised. Her guests nodded happily. She remembered this morning's meeting, and she certainly didn't provide any productive input let alone pitch any ideas.
"Tamaki-kun told everyone it was your idea when the club opened," Tsukiyo clarified.
"Who would have guessed you like fruits so much?" another brunette, Satoko, said with a sweet smile, "It's so cute!"
"Fruits?" Kagome murmured to herself, "What's going on?" She turned in her seat and looked around the room. She spotted all the clients as well as the other hosts enjoying exotic fruits and vibrantly colored, frozen confections excluding Honey. He did, however, have brightly decorated fruit tarts in the place of his usual cakes. Just as she turned back around to face her guests, a delicate glass bowl appeared in front of Kagome filled with a dark pink frozen treat topped with dark red, spherical fruits.
"Cherry sorbet, my dear?" Tamaki offered courteously as he held the dish out to Kagome.
"Sorbet?" she repeated curiously.
"Yes," he answered and set the bowl in front of Kagome, "This is how the rich enjoy the sweet taste of fruit."
"So this is what you meant by my idea," Kagome realized as she looked at the frozen dessert. It looked exquisite, much better than the frozen yogurts and ice creams she enjoyed before. Just as suddenly as Tamaki appeared, Kyoya stepped to her side, offering her a small silver spoon.
"Consider it a treat," he said with a small grin, "That greengrocer you mentioned gave us exceedingly good deals on the fruits we bought. Especially when we mentioned your name."
"You bought all this from him?" Kagome asked skeptically, "I don't remember him selling sorbet before."
"We had it all freshly made by Ouran's cooking staff from the fruits we bought," Tamaki said excitedly, "You can try as many flavors as you want!"
Kagome snorted before gently snatching the offered silverware from Kyoya. Scooping up a small dot of sorbet in her spoon and plopping it in her mouth, Kagome tasted the dark pink dessert. Tamaki and her guests were all looking at her in anticipation, eagerly awaiting her reaction.
Kagome grinned as she pulled the spoon from her mouth and scooped up more sorbet. "Delicious!"
"Such a cute face!" Tamaki exclaimed, "I knew you'd love it."
"It appears our rebel has a weakness," Kyoya commented, pushing back his glasses.
Kagome rolled her eyes before continuing to eat her sorbet; she had every intention of enjoying it. Once she was done, she placed down her spoon, picked up one of the plump red cherries in the bowl, and bit into it. Once it was gone, she spit the pit into a napkin and held the remaining stem between her thumb and forefinger.
"Are cherries your favorite?" Satoko asked.
Kagome shrugged and started to twist the stem between her fingers. "I like them, but they aren't exactly my favorite." She turned and saw Haruhi walking back to her table carrying a new tray of sorbets and fruit.
"Hey, Haruhi-kun!" Kagome called out to her. Haruhi stopped briefly before walking over to Kagome's table and greeting her guests.
"Here," Haruhi said and placed a fruit on a saucer in front of Kagome, "It's a pomegranate. You like them, right?"
"Thanks!" Kagome cried and plucked one of the ruby red seeds from the fruits. Haruhi noticed the cherry stem she held.
"What are you doing with that?" Haruhi asked. Kagome placed the pomegranate seed in her mouth before holding up the stem.
"I remembered something me and my friends used to do," Kagome said and plucked a new stem before handing it to Haruhi. Haruhi placed the tray she held on the table and took the stem.
"What am I supposed to do with it?" she asked.
"Put it in your mouth and try to tie it in a knot with your tongue," Kagome explained. Haruhi shrugged her shoulders and both girls placed the stems in their mouths.
"I think I almost swallowed mine," Haruhi mumbled through her closed lips and spit the broken stem out in her palm. It wasn't long before Kagome spit out hers producing a perfect knot.
"Wow, you did it, Kagome-kun!" Rei exclaimed.
"But what's its purpose?" Satoko questioned. Kagome shrugged.
"I don't remember," Kagome answered truthfully, "I guess it's just something silly my friends and I did when we were younger." She whipped her head around when she heard Hikaru and Kaoru snicker behind her back.
"What's so funny?" Kagome asked gruffly.
"You really don't know?" Hikaru asked, "You have all those skills—"
"—and you don't even know what they're used for," Kaoru finished.
"What do you mean?" Kagome asked impatiently. The twins continued to laugh so Kagome waved Kyoya over to her table; he was always full of answers.
"What is it?" he asked when he reached her. Kagome removed another cherry stem and placed it in her mouth. Within seconds, she fashioned another knot and held it out for Kyoya to see.
"What does this mean?" she asked bluntly.
Kyoya's eyes widened slightly behind his glasses before he smirked. "The knot itself doesn't have any significance. The action of tying a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue shows that you have great dexterity using it."
"I guess that makes sense," Haruhi commented, "Your tongue is a muscle." Kagome and her guests nodded in agreement.
"You don't understand me," Kyoya said, "Displaying that skill implies that you are very good at something."
"And that would be?" Kagome asked and placed another stem in her mouth. She made another knot and held it between her teeth. Kyoya took it, holding it between his thumb and forefinger. He untied it and placed the stem in his own mouth, looking Kagome directly in the eye. It wasn't long before he spit out an identical knot to the one Kagome produced. He leaned forward toward Kagome's face, towering over her much smaller figure. Kagome gulped; somehow when Kyoya did that, he looked much more provocative than she did.
Fan girls eagerly watched the scene unfold between the cool type and the rebel type, fighting the urge to squeal. They didn't want to disturb them now even though they already shared an indirect kiss!
"It implies that know how to use your tongue very well," Kyoya answered, "That combined with your speed supposedly makes you an exceptional kisser."
"Say what?" Tamaki exclaimed from across the room. He rushed over and cradled Kagome's head while protectively covering her ears.
"How dare you say such vulgar things to Kagome?" he cried, pressing her head to his abdomen.
"It was just an explanation," Kyoya responded, "I meant no harm." Tamaki paid him no heed and held Kagome tighter.
"Senpai, he can't breathe!" Haruhi shouted, but Tamaki continued to hold fast to Kagome's head. He only stopped when Mori quickly appeared and pried Tamaki away from his sibling. Once she was free, Kagome took several big gulps of air while Mori affectionately patted her head.
"Thanks," she said before casting an irritated glance at Tamaki. He whimpered at the cold look and retreated. Seeing that Kagome was alright, Mori nodded before leaving with Haruhi not far behind him. Kagome sighed before she grabbed the pomegranate and started popping seeds in to her mouth.
"Is there anything special about pomegranates?" Satoko asked shyly; the interaction between Kagome and Kyoya nearly gave her and her surrounding peers a nosebleed.
"Actually, pomegranates symbolize fertility and fruitfulness," Kagome answered.
"They do?" Rei asked.
Kagome nodded. "It's because they have some many seeds. But in Ancient Greece, they called it the fruit of the dead, and it is said that the seeds taste like human flesh."
"Really?" Tsukiyo asked, turning slightly pale along with the others.
Kagome giggled at her clients' reactions and continued to eat the fruit. "Of course, it's only a myth. Pomegranate seeds play an important role in an Ancient Greek legend explaining how Persephone came to be goddess of the Underworld. Hades kidnapped her and tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds. Since she ate the food of the Underworld, Persephone could not leave it behind and was condemned to spend four months out of every year at Hades's side as his queen. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the harvest, mourns her daughter's stay with the dark god each year, and the earth is no longer fertile during this time. That was how the ancient Greeks explained winter." Kagome held out the seeded fruit to her guests.
"Try it!" she urged them, "I promise if you eat them, I won't steal you away." The young girls quickly took the seeds from the offered fruit, secretly hoping Kagome would break her promise.
"I don't get it," Tamaki commented as he overheard Kagome's story and turned to Haruhi; he already recovered from her recent rejection, "Do you guys learn about mythology in class?"
"Nope," she answered briefly as she bit into a strawberry.
"So how does Kagome know so much about it?" Tamaki asked.
"You can't tell?" Haruhi replied, "He likes history. His face lit up when he was telling the story. I wouldn't be surprised if he knows much more than just that."
"Another thing he likes!" Tamaki exclaimed with an idea was cooking in his head. He turned and sharply pointed his finger at Kyoya.
"Kaa-san!" he sang, but Kyoya waved him off.
"Already working on it," he replied and pulled out his cellphone to make some calls. Everything would be ready within the next few days.
"Make us a boxed lunch, Kagome," Hikaru and Kaoru chorused as they stood in front of her desk.
Kagome frowned and looked up from her notebook. "Wouldn't a more proper greeting be 'Hello, Kagome'?"
"Hello, Kagome. Make us a boxed lunch," the twins said while wearing matching grins causing Kagome to groan.
"Why should I?" she asked. Because her relatives enjoyed the homemade bento she made for them earlier this week, word quickly spread throughout campus that the rebel host was a good cook. Honey and Satoshi bragged relentlessly about their lunches and texted several pictures of them to their friends—the host club included.
"You made one for the others—" Kaoru began.
"—so we want one too," Hikaru finished.
"I don't see what the big deal is. It was just some leftover pasta, rice balls, octopus weenies, vegetables, and a cupcake," Kagome said.
"If it's really not a big deal—"
"—just make us one."
"Ask me the proper way and I'll consider it," Kagome said and turned away from the twins. They both shrugged and retreated to their desks, waiting for class to start.
When lunch time rolled around, the twins were no closer to saying the magic words Kagome wanted to hear. They continued to pester her as they sat in front of Kagome and Haruhi at their usual table in the dining hall. Kagome groaned loudly as they persisted before she took her chopsticks and popped an octopus weenie in Kaoru's mouth then Hikaru's.
"There," she said and returned to her lunch, "One for Kaoru and one for Hikaru. Now quit bugging me."
"Actually, you got it wrong, Kagome," one twin said, "I'm Kaoru."
"And I'm Hikaru," the other said.
"Since you got us mixed up, I think you owe us a lunch," the first twin who spoke remarked confidently. Anyone looking at the quartet would agree with the twins' statements; the way they parted their hair corresponded with who was which twin.
"I did not," Kagome replied with a snort, "I can tell the two of you apart. You changed your parts when you went to the bathroom before you played that 'Which one is Hikaru' game in class. Don't try to con me out of a lunch with such a lame trick." Both Hikaru's and Kaoru's faces fell as they stared at Kagome doubtfully.
"How did you know?" Kaoru asked.
"Haruhi told you, right?" Hikaru suggested.
"Nope," Haruhi said, "I noticed you changed your parts, but I didn't say a word about it."
"Then how?" the twins asked in unison.
"You two may be twins, but you don't act identically," Kagome explained, "When I consider you two, Hikaru comes across as more of an ass."
"An ass?" Hikaru repeated harshly. Kagome grinned when he started to fluster with anger. It was about time that he knew what it was like to be teased.
"That's right," Kagome said, "The ass twin gets octopus weenies second. The sweet twin gets another." She picked up another weenie and held it out to Kaoru. He hesitated a little before taking the offered piece of food in his mouth and eating it.
"Thanks," he said, causing Hikaru to bristle.
"So what do you like in your bento?" Kagome asked politely, "Rice balls? Tamagoyaki? How about some tempura?"
"How come he gets one?" Hikaru asked angrily.
"The sweet twin gets a boxed lunch," Kagome explained matter-of-factly, "The ass twin gets what's left over."
"Haruhi! Kagome!" Tamaki shouted as he rushed up to them, "Come with me! Don't you know our host club has a meeting?"
"Hey, we do have class after lunch!" Haruhi protested.
"And I have my elective class just before the host club starts," Kagome added.
"It'll be fine," Tamaki urged them, "Official club duties are grounds for excused class absences. I'll see to it myself."
"Fine," Kagome relented and stood to her feet along with Haruhi.
"You're more excited than usual," Haruhi commented dryly, "Is today a special occasion?"
"It is!" Tamaki sang, "I think you will be very pleased with today's cosplay. Especially you, Kagome! I crafted it with you in mind."
"Me?" Kagome questioned, wondering what he and Kyoya put together this time. The fruit and sorbet they had at the club were all delicious and she even took a few pieces back to the manor to munch on after school.
"So let's get going!" Tamaki shouted and began running towards the third music room holding Haruhi and Kagome by the arm. As the two girls were whisked away, they left behind their half-eaten lunches. Hikaru smirked as he descended on Kagome's leftovers causing her to sneer.
Kagome grumbled as she stepped out of the dressing area and walked toward the main room of the host club.
'What in the world have I gotten myself into?' she thought woefully. Once she entered the main room, Kagome blinked once…twice…three times. Once again, the whole room was completely transformed and she could hardly recognize it!
'Who did all this while we were changing?' Kagome thought in disbelief.
There were large white pillars stationed in all corners of the room with vines and olive branches delicately hanging around them. In the middle of the room was a large, elaborate fountain with several smooth, stone benches placed around it. In the center of the fountain, there was a statue of a man preparing to throw a discus surrounded by little pipes, skillfully disguised as hollowed reeds, spraying streams of water. The platform the figure was set on was a flowing waterfall. A thick heavy mist clung to the floor, making the room appear as though it floated amongst the heavens. Kagome gently ran her fingers over one of the pillars; the material seemed too smooth to be stone.
"Could this really be ivory?" Kagome asked herself out loud not believing that such expensive art work could be wasted on a high school club.
"Of course it is," a voice said behind her. Kagome didn't have to turn to know it was Kyoya.
"Was all of this made just for us to use?" Kagome asked him as she let her hand fall from the pillar.
"Yes," Kyoya remarked, "Tamaki had me order them yesterday and they were delivered this morning."
"Hmm…" Kagome mused quietly, "I'm guessing were supposed to be gods from Greek mythology, right?"
"Of course," Kyoya answered, "I expected you to know this is an Ancient Greek setting."
"It was more than a little obvious," Kagome responded dryly, "Of course, the host club wouldn't dare dress as anything less than the gods." She frowned and tugged the hem of her costume.
"Stop that," Kyoya scolded.
"I can't help it," Kagome said with a pout, "I'm supposed to be a boy and dressing like a girl isn't the best way to keep the charade up."
Kagome was dressed as Athena, goddess of wisdom, courage, and war, a true symbol of heroic endeavors. She wore a light blue toga style dress that draped her petite form and ended at the middle of her thigh with a dark blue sash tied around waist. A silver breastplate that began just over her collar bone and ended at the bottom of her bosom covered the top half of the dress. Her long raven hair was curled and kept loose with a crown of silver leaves around her head.
'I don't make a very convincing boy dressed this way,' she thought but was grateful for the chest armor. Her chest appeared flat without the use of athletic tape. Wearing it for a long time was certainly itchy!
"Tamaki picked that cosplay for you, so there's no avoiding wearing it," Kyoya explained. Kagome sighed; she didn't want to be caught complaining unless she wanted a repeat of the Vocaloid incident.
"So ero-senpai strikes again," Kagome commented and sent an appreciative look in Kyoya's direction, "At least you look cool."
Kyoya grinned. "I am the cool type after all."
Today Kyoya was Poseidon, god of the sea. His costume was a dark blue toga clasped around his waist with a golden disk and ended at his ankles leaving his chest bare. The way it flowed around his legs reminded Kagome of gentle, deep sea currents. A simple golden coronet was around his head studded with a bright blue sapphire. It matched the golden bands he wore around his arms.
'He's got a nicer body than I expected,' Kagome thought as she discreetly admired Kyoya's physique. From what Kagome had seen, Kyoya was a workaholic whether he was attending to club business or his school work, one of the classic definitions of a nerd or geek. She was surprised he was so fit and in shape.
'Of course, it makes sense considering he's in a host club,' Kagome mused.
"I personally would have picked Hades for you," Kagome mentioned with a grin.
Kyoya chuckled softly. "Someone else suggested that, but Tamaki felt Poseidon was better suited for me."
"Okay, gentlemen!" Tamaki shouted with his fist high in the air, "We must pick tomorrow's cosplays based on our Ancient Greek theme."
"Then why isn't Kagome-san here?" Haruhi asked.
"Poor Haruhi!" Tamaki cried in disbelief, "Don't you know a 'surprise' when you see one?"
"Somehow," Haruhi mumbled, "I don't think Kagome-san would enjoy this type of surprise."
"Of course, as the king of the host club, I will be Zeus!" Tamaki exclaimed, ignoring Haruhi's comment as he pictured himself on the lofty throne of Olympus.
"And what about us?" Hikaru asked.
"We don't know any about Greek mythology," Kaoru added.
On cue, Kyoya pulled out a large textbook, the same one used in the academy's introductory course for Greek mythology, and flipped to a few pages that he marked. "I've done a little research on the topic. Greek myths have many notable twins. There's Gemini, the zodiac symbol."
"Next," both twins answered in unison after reading a few lines on the two.
"How about Prometheus and Epimetheus, two Titans," Kyoya suggested after flipping through a few pages.
"Titans?" Kaoru repeated with a grin.
"That sounds more like us," Hikaru answered.
"So Haruhi, who would you like to be?" Kyoya asked, "Artemis, Demeter, or Aphrodite?"
Haruhi took the book and looked at the goddesses Kyoya suggested. She wrinkled her nose; none of them seemed to fit her. It was rare she was given the opportunity to choose her costume, and she wasn't going to waste it especially after her stint as Meiko. Her interest piqued when she spotted a name among the listings of Titans.
"How about Themis?" she suggested.
"The embodiment of divine order and law," Kyoya read aloud from the written description, "Fitting."
"Is there a god of cake?" Honey asked excitedly.
"No," Kyoya answered, causing the senior to pout, "but Dionysus might suit you."
"A god of wine?" Kaoru asked, incredulously looking at the short narrative on the indulgent deity.
"Who is also associated with elaborate festivals and gluttonous behavior," Kyoya added.
"That fits him alright," Hikaru commented and the others couldn't help but agree.
"But I want to be cute!" Honey protested.
"Then how about Antheia, goddess of flowers," Haruhi suggested as she read off a random name from the book. She doubted any of the gods could be classified as deities of cuteness so Honey would have to be a female this time around.
"Yay!" Honey cheered, squeezing Usa-chan tightly. Mori looked at Haruhi and nodded approvingly in her direction.
"That leaves Kyoya-senpai, Mori-senpai, and Kagome-san," Haruhi said.
"The shadow king is definitely suited for Hades," Kaoru said.
"And Kagome should be Persephone," Hikaru suggested with a sly grin.
"So true!" Tamaki exclaimed with pink hearts invading his pupils.
-the following thought is brought to you by Tamaki's Inner Mind Theater-
Dressed in a gleaming white toga accented in pink, Kagome skipped around a lush grass covered meadow. She giggled before pressing her hand to her lips and blowing kisses to the green earth. Beautiful, vibrant flowers bloomed wherever her sweet kiss landed. She smiled at her work before turning to Tamaki, who was surrounded by a series of billowing clouds, garbed in a stark white toga fastened around his waist.
"Does my creation please you, my king?" Kagome asked softly with her head bashfully lowered. With a haughty laugh, Tamaki approached her and placed his hand on the small of her back, pulling her to him. Kagome shyly looked up at him from beneath her soot colored lashes.
"Certainly, but the beauty of these blossoms pales in comparison to you, fair goddess," Tamaki said as he brushed back a stray black curl from Kagome's face, "Olympus has never been blessed with a sweeter being."
Tamaki squirmed with glee as he pictured himself frolicking with Kagome in an endless field of flowers. "She's a beautiful goddess bringing forth the blessed beauty of spring!"
"And in addition to that—" Hikaru started.
"—she's queen of the Underworld," Kaoru finished.
"Making her Kyoya's wife," the twins added with devious grins. Tamaki immediately blanched and his eyes widened.
As Tamaki held Kagome securely in his arms, she was abruptly pulled away from him. Kyoya had stolen her away and held her tightly against his chest bridal style. The two were surrounded by a thick, black mist as the nearby flowers withered and died around them.
"Kyoya—" Tamaki began weakly, but Kyoya cut him off.
"Surely you wouldn't deprive me of my queen, brother dearest?" Kyoya asked his eyes slightly hooded behind his silver frames. Kagome blushed at the dark god's slow seductive drawl and clutched his black robes in her hands.
"Kyoya," she whispered dreamily.
"No! This can't be true!" Tamaki shouted as he sank to the lifeless earth while Kyoya whisked the blushing goddess away from him.
-this has been a production of Tamaki's Inner Mind Theater-
"No!" Tamaki shouted and grabbed Kyoya by his light blue blazer, roughly shaking him. The bespectacled boy hadn't seen this coming so there was no way to prevent it.
"Daddy won't allow it! Give her back! Give her back to me!"
Eventually, the group managed to calm Tamaki down, but he still didn't want Kyoya dressed as a wretched fiend stealing the hearts of helpless damsels in the host club. He was declared Poseidon, a fitting role seeing as the god was second in power only to Zeus. Mori and Kagome were both declared Ares and Athena, well known siblings and deities of war in Greek culture. Tamaki immediately warmed up to the idea when Athena was specified as Zeus's favorite daughter.
Kagome shrugged. "Whatever makes him happy."
"Kagome!" Tamaki shouted, rushing towards the two dressed as Zeus, king of the gods and god of air, thunder and lightning. His toga was stark white in color and outlined in gold. It clasped on his left shoulder and revealing a portion of his bare chest. A wreath of golden leaves lined in white was around his head of blond hair.
'He's got nice abs for a goof ball,' Kagome thought absently.
"Do you like your costume?" Tamaki asked when he reached Kagome, his eyes shining with enthusiasm and happiness, "As a lover of history, I knew you would appreciate this!"
The other hosts emerged garbed according to today's theme. In an elegant lavender dress trimmed in gold, Haruhi was definitely looking the part of the lawful deity. The twins appeared wearing matching white togas with an orange or light blue sash clasped on their opposite shoulders as the twin titans. Honey was dressed as Antheia, the goddess of flowers and wreaths worn at festivals and parties. His costume was a soft light pink toga lined in gold with a wreath of brightly colored flowers perched on his soft blonde hair. Over his arm, he held a basket filled with similarly colored blossoms with Usa-chan on top of them. Mori was Ares, god of violent war and bloodlust. He wore silver gladiator inspired armor with leather wristbands and helmet with a bluish colored plume so he and Kagome could match.
"So what do you think, Go-chan?" Honey asked.
Kagome tapped her chin in thought before holding up five fingers. "I give you five points for effort."
"Five points?" Tamaki repeated with a small whimper.
"I think we deserve a little more than that," Kyoya commented.
"Five and a half points," Kagome amended, "I would have given you more if you chose a different cosplay for me."
"But you're so cute!" Tamaki protested as he gestured to her outfit.
"I'm also supposed to be a boy," Kagome added dryly and tugged at her dress, "Dressing me like a girl doesn't help pull that off."
"No matter what you say, that argument makes sense," Haruhi remarked. Tamaki withered.
Lovely maidens eagerly waited on the outskirts of Mount Olympus, hoping to be blessed with an audience with the gods. Fragrant teas and sweet ambrosia were provided to sate their hungers as the throng of deities tended to their earthly desires.
"You look so lovely today," Rei commented as she sat next to Kagome on a smooth stone bench draped in ivy.
"Thank you I guess," Kagome replied stiffly, "I'd rather not have worn a toga like this though." The goddess was not enjoying herself today.
"But you have such nice legs, Kagome-kun!" Satoko insisted, "I think you would look so cute in a real dress."
"Yes," Tsukiyo agreed, "maybe a pink one."
"No," Rei protested, "definitely blue to match his eyes."
'Oh good grief,' Kagome thought and snorted.
"Looks like we ran out of refreshments," she said, looking at their empty tea cups, "I'll get us some more. Is instant coffee good for everyone or do you want something else?"
"Whichever you like is best!" Satoko stated and the other two girls agreed.
"Whatever," Kagome replied before leaving to get more coffee. As she walked, she observed the other hosts on her way. She had to admit they weren't so bad at what they did even if she didn't completely agree with it. It was like they belonged in the lime light. Even Haruhi played the role of host well.
Kagome watched Hikaru held Kaoru's head tenderly in the crook of his neck, whispering sweet nothings in the boy's ear and causing the girls around them to nearly faint. She shrugged. She didn't understand while their brotherly love act was so popular.
Across from them, Honey was trying to make a flower crown for one of his guests. It was painfully obvious due to the growing pile of torn flower petals and stems by his side that he wasn't succeeding. Tears began to well in the corners of his big, brown eyes until Mori reached over and guided his hands as they tied the stems, but he didn't have a clue how to make one either.
"Here, let me show you," Kagome said as she stepped forward. Gathering a few flowers, she quickly fashioned the colored blooms in a crown. She had a lot of practice; Shippo and Rin loved to play in small expanses of wildflowers and Kagome always joined the fun when she could.
"You like flowers, Go-Chan?" Honey asked excitedly. Mori looked at her intently, waiting for her answer.
"I guess," she answered before setting the finished crown to the side and starting another one. Honey grinned at her response before tucking several blossoms from his basket in Kagome's crown of leaves.
"Who would have thought you liked them?" one of her relatives' guests remarked, "I think it's so sweet!"
"If you say so," Kagome replied, tying the second crown together, "There are a lot of things I like and I doubt they could all be thought of as sweet." She plopped a finished crown on a random girl's head and went back to get the tea, leaving a few star struck fans behind. She passed Tamaki as he was seated in front of the fountain with a younger lady preening under his attentions.
"My dear," Tamaki began suavely, "I will treat you as precious as Zeus treats his treasured Hera in the heavens." Before the girl could reply, Kagome burst into laughter.
"And what is so funny?" Tamaki asked slightly annoyed.
"If you did your research as well as you think you did, you'd know Zeus hardly treated Hera like a treasure," Kagome answered in between giggles.
"What do you mean?" Tamaki asked.
"Zeus was a lover of women and cheated on Hera regularly. The king of the gods is well known for his erotic escapades with god and mortal, male and female." Kagome was willing to bet that the only feature of Zeus that Tamaki was fixated on was that he was king. After that, no other information mattered.
Tamaki gawked at the girl with his mouth wide open. "How do you know that? My child shouldn't say such lewd things!"
"I'm taking the intro to Greek mythology elective," Kagome responded, "It's the same class you made me miss today. I guess I should be grateful for the refresher. I do have a test coming up." Kagome grinned and crossed her arms over her chest. "The more I think about it, the more Zeus suits you, right ero-senpai?"
"Lies! All lies!" Tamaki shouted.
"Would you really do that to me, Tamaki-kun?" the girl who Tamaki was previously entertaining asked in a shrill voice.
"No, no! I would never!" Tamaki repeated over and over to console the girl, but it was a useless endeavor.
"Tamaki no baka!" she shrieked as she ran away. Tamaki stretched his hand toward the fleeing girl, watching in disbelief as she left.
"Buck up, senpai!" Kagome told the distraught boy but received no response. Kagome sighed; as much as she hated to admit it, she didn't like seeing the goof ball looking so down. She reached up to her crown and removed one of the flowers Honey placed there. She stood on the tips of her toes and tucked it behind one of Tamaki's ears. He looked up to her and sniffled.
"Daddy shouldn't be upset," Kagome forced herself to say through gritted teeth, "His favorite daughter would be very unhappy if he is." She wailed as Tamaki suddenly grabbed her and twirled her about, lost in his own bliss. Her guests' refreshments were forgotten.
"Good job, everyone!" Tamaki exclaimed once hosting hours were over. He approached Kagome who was clothed in her regular uniform.
"So did you like today?" he asked, obviously fishing for complements. Kagome sighed and motioned for him to lower his head. When he did, she gently patted his mop of blonde hair.
"You did good, senpai," she replied with a small grin.
Tamaki and the twins squealed and grabbed Kagome tightly around her waist with Tamaki on the right and the other two on her left. They sighed happily as they nuzzled her hair with their cheeks.
"Let go!" Kagome shouted and struggled in their grip, "Never mind! I take it back! You're terrible!"
Tamaki and the twins ignored her and continued their ministrations. In the midst of their snuggling, all three boys were thwacked on the head with wooden sword. They immediately let Kagome go to nurse the growing bumps beneath their hair.
"Stop defiling my Nee-chan!" Satoshi shouted, waving his sword proudly and protectively wrapped his arms around Kagome's waist.
"Thanks, Satoshi-san," Kagome said gratefully.
"No problem!" Satoshi said proudly and let Kagome go.
"Sato-chan, you're here again?" Honey asked playfully, "You're becoming a regular."
"I have to help Taka protect Nee-chan's honor," he explained and pointed an accusing finger at Tamaki, Hikaru, and Kaoru, "Perverted senpais are taking it too far!" Takashi nodded and petted both his smaller siblings on the head causing both to grin.
"I'm not a pervert!"
punkish furball – And that ends chapter 5! XD Have a Happy New Year everybody! ~.^