I just want to say, I really hope no one sees/saw this as romanticizing self harm, because that is never what I wanted to do, and the main reason why I wanted so badly to abandon this story. In reality, self harm is a really dangerous and horrible addiction, one that doesn't just have magic anime happy endings where you tell your friends and they kiss your scars, etc. Please, if that is something you suffer from, or have in the past, or are considering, I urge you to reach out and find a support system, and a healthier way of releasing your bottled up feelings. There's something that's right for everyone. For me, it was writing fanfiction of my favorite characters doing it, instead of actually doing it to myself. It didn't always work, and it wasn't like magic, and it took literally years and years, but I'm in a better place now, so know that it does get better. I hope this story can resonate with everyone in a positive way. Please reach out, and also please enjoy this ending.
"Surprise! Happy Birthday, Kyoya!"
The surprise was that club activities had been cancelled for the day, so it was just the hosts in the club room that day, without having to perform for their lovely lady patrons. They also had put together a little party with snacks and decorations, 'commoner style' as Tamaki put it, because of course he had taken the opportunity of Kyoya's birthday to make Haruhi show him what a commoner birthday was like. The other surprise was that the hosts had actually planned it entirely without Kyoya's help, including all the numbers involved, which was a small miracle in and of itself.
The price limit for gifts had been a mere 500 yen, an apparent commoner tradition, and they made him sit in the center of the room and open all their silly commoner gag gifts for him. The only one who took it seriously was Mori-senpai, who gave him a book of old japanese folktales, one he already had (although he did not mention). That was actually what made it most flattering: Mori knew him well enough to choose a book he'd actually like, so much so that he had already owned it.
He wasn't one for sweets but there was a sugary, commoner's grocery store birthday cake for him nonetheless, and Kyoya abandoned his piece only halfway finished, excusing himself from the table to wander the room a bit. The conversations had strayed by now, the twins consumed in opening up and testing out the strange gag gifts for themselves, Hunny consumed in the cake, Mori consumed in Hunny. Tamaki had just begun playing a little piano, teasing that he knew Kyoya loved it so it would be his special birthday treat before settling at the instrument tucked in the corner.
Kyoya found himself standing at the window, staring out at the dark grey sky. It had been raining on and off all afternoon. He wanted to scoff at the irony of the birthday weather, but actually, it was perfect. He didn't want this day any different. He closed his eyes, trying to soak in the something in the pit of his stomach that certainly wasn't nothing. It was fleeting, but it was there. It was something that wasn't loneliness.
He opened his eyes when he heard the host approach, although at her jump it appeared she thought she had been sneaking. He offered her a sly look out of the corner of his eyes.
"Since we have this moment, I thought I'd let you know that I'll be happy to add your share of today's bill to your ongoing tab. As club bookkeeper, it is my duty to keep track of your expenses, and I certainly wouldn't shirk those duties, even on my birthday."
"My 'ongoing tab'? How can you be such a monster on your own birthday, Kyoya-senpai…"
He simply hummed in amusement at the response, turning back to the window. They both stared out together for a long moment, Kyoya waiting for Haruhi to find the courage to say whatever she had come over here to say.
She'd found her courage, so it was his turn.
"I know you talked to Tamaki, and we've spoken. I'm sorry for putting you in that position. You did the right thing."
He peeked over at her just in time to catch her cover her mouth for a moment with her hand, maybe out of surprise, or emotion, before dropping it again and taking a deep breath, the moment passing. It was a surprisingly feminine thing for her to do, and he was glad he'd caught it.
She seemed a little at a loss of what to say, and he couldn't blame her. She cast a look over her shoulder at the rest of the club, making sure they hadn't been spotted yet, before turning back to him.
"You can trust me, Kyoya-senpai."
He nodded once. It was the truth. Tamaki's music was drifting all around them, and it was like he was here in this conversation, too. He wondered if his eyes were smiling. By Haruhi's expression, he thought maybe they were.
"I'm taking matters into my own hands now. You don't have to worry."
He hoped it said all that needed to be said. She smiled with understanding, and nodded.
"Let's head back to the party."
Kyoya lifted a brow at the scene over her shoulder. The twins were now fighting over one of his stupid gag gifts, dramatically enough that Tamaki had stopped playing to go over and yell at them, attempting to break it up, while Hunny was nearly falling out of his chair in some kind of sugar coma, Mori frantically standing by, trying to help. Of course he already knew this, but that group really couldn't be trusted alone for more than five minutes at a time. Even so, he couldn't have it any other way.
"Okay. And Haruhi?"
Already a few steps away, she looked back over her shoulder at him in surprise.