CHAPTER 5.
Nerves


"Hikaru, if it really bothers you that much, you can always ask Kaoru to do it."

"What? No way! I can totally do this…"

Haruhi sighed, wishing she could shift a little on the bed to prop herself up more. Alas, the accident had prevented her from everything besides minimal movement with her head. She had regained slight feeling around her neck, but the rest of her was utterly… numb. Ah, how she wished this numbness would leave her. If only she could get her own blood flowing by running or walking or even crawling. Anything would be better than this. She directed her attention toward Hikaru again.

It had been about three days since moving in with the twins. Three days in which she had had to rely on them and the maids for everything. It was just humiliating in some instances, especially this. 'This' meaning every time her legs and arms had to be helped along with circulation. Kaoru and the maids had been doing it before – the younger twin brother seemed as if he enjoyed it, which kind of irked Haruhi a little – but Hikaru had finally said that he was going to start. For some reason he was nervous… and she wasn't sure why. He had always been very flirtatious and eccentric, but that was usually only when he was around his brother. Maybe the pair of them made some sort of exuberant 'team'. By himself, Hikaru was sort of awkward, like there was a piece missing to his usual excitement.

"Hikaru," she sighed. "If you're so uncomfortable-"

"It's not that, Haruhi," he said indignantly. There it was then, that mischievous smile that always set her on the edge and warned the girl that he was about to do something totally inappropriate to the situation. Sure enough, a moment later Hikaru was right up in her face. "I would like to get your blood flowing."

Just like that, he pulled back again, sitting on the edge of her bed and swinging his legs back and forth. He looked a lot like a pouting little kid now. "But wouldn't it be weird for you? Like… I don't know…"

"Honestly, Hikaru, I can't feel whatever you do so…" she paused, and then grimaced. "Which reminds me: I only need you to rub my arms and my legs. If you even think of doing anything else…"

A slight embarrassed blush spread across Hikaru's face. Haruhi's eyes narrowed for a moment, and then she let go of an exasperated sigh. "You were thinking about it, weren't you?"

"Eh! No, of course not!"

Cue eye roll from Haruhi. There was a long silence, until finally Hikaru shifted on the bed and decided to do her arm first. He took the girls' right hand in both of his and began to massage her fingers, running his palms up to her elbow and down again over and over again.

I kind of… wish I could feel that, Haruhi thought to herself. Hikaru was smiling now and talking to her, like he could make her feel nice with words instead. He told her about school and how the Host Club was doing, told her he hoped she could come soon, and told her all about the funny moments with Kaoru, Tamaki, Kyoya, Honey, and Mori. He reminded her that Kyoya would say that the incident at the beach was no excuse for slacking off and that she should come soon and start work again at the Club (though, Haruhi figured he was mostly telling her that because he wanted her back, not because Kyoya had said anything).

"Hey, I think my arms are good now… thanks…" she said, stopping him in his tracks.

"Huh? Oh, right."

Hikaru stopped with her arms and shifted again so that he was farther down, touching her ankle once with his finger as if it was giving off electric static. Finally, after much embarrassment, he started running his hands up and down, starting at the end of her toes and working his way up to her thighs. Haruhi was watching him like a hawk the entire time, making sure he kept that mischievous attitude down for this one.

Well… this is awkward…

"Hikaru-"

"AHH! Wait, what is it?"

Haruhi's eyes were trained on the window, and she seemed to be mulling something over. Hikaru followed her gaze, and realization clicked when he saw the fast approaching grayish black clouds. Thunder… it was coming and she had no way to run or hide in her condition.

"It'll be fine, Haruhi," he reassured her. The girl didn't look so confident in that, but she tried for a smile (it came out looking a lot like a grimace, but she did her best, darn it!). Hikaru seemed to buy it, so she relaxed a little. Having people worried about her would just make Haruhi stressed out… and yet…

those storm clouds kept coming closer every minute.


Kaoru usually slept in a fetal position, like someone would roll over and smother him if he didn't (that 'someone' usually being Hikaru, who seemed to sleep like a maniac most of the time). The youngest twin wasn't a very deep sleeper – since he always expected calls from Tamaki and the other Host Club members at ungodly hours of the morning anyway – and… well, he didn't especially like thunder storms either.

Hikaru wasn't asleep, though… he pretended to be. Kaoru sighed and rolled over, poking his 'older' brother on the shoulder. "Hey, you're worried, huh?"

"Yeah, maybe a little. Why the heck did I leave her in there all alone anyway? Remind me, will ya…?"

"She did say she could handle it, right? That it was no big-"

"-deal. Right. But that still-"

"-doesn't mean-"

"-that she's not afraid! I know, I know! So… I guess we should check up on her… but she's probably fine. Yeah, just fine…"

Apparently neither of them believed those words, so they jumped out of bed after pulling on some pajama pants and raced down to Haruhi's room. Slowly, they opened the door... and froze. What they saw wasn't surprising, but it was very uncomfortable and disconcerting at that. Usually, Haruhi would run and hide when there was a storm, so the twins had had an image of her under the table or cowering under the covers. They had forgotten all about her paralysis.

"Haru-"

The windows lit up with thunder and lightning, interrupting what Hikaru was about to say. A shriek riveted around the room from Haruhi. Her face was a deathly pale color, and she looked as if she might faint any moment. Tears streamed down her face in bucketfuls.

"Haruhi!" Both twins exclaimed, running to her bedside. Hikaru didn't hesitate in wrapping his arms around her and Kaoru leaned against her shoulder affectionately. The elder twin reached back toward the table sitting beside the bed and produced his headphones, gently settling them over Haruhi's ears. She was breathing way too heavily for his liking, and the whole 'ashen faced' thing was really freaking the boy out a little.

Hikaru turned up the volume on his music player and held her closer. "Don't cry…"

"H-Hikaru…!" She cried as another flash of thunder, louder than the last one, cracked nearby. The music was on the highest volume now, buts Haruhi was still afraid. Kaoru seemed to be at a loss and so did Hikaru. The older brother sighed and shifted so that he was sitting in front of Haruhi. He put his hands against her cheeks and looked directly into her eyes. Unintentionally, the words came out of both the twins' mouths at the same time.

"Calm down."

Even though she could barely hear them, she shut her eyes tight and tried to focus. It isn't going to hurt me. It's just thunder… it's just… thunder…

All three of them fell asleep like that. Kaoru, with his back squished up against her shoulder and his knees pulled up to his chest and Hikaru, with both arms squeezing Haruhi around the waist and his chin on the top of her head. She finally was able to get to sleep as well – though the elder boy felt her stir every now and then when the music would end and he would have to quickly start a new soundtrack before the thunder arose again.


Updated! Sorry it took me a while. :( School is being terrible to me right now. But just a few more weeks until I get to go on vacation! Yay! Hope you like it. :)