A/N: Hi. Wow...i suck. But here is a chapter. And it only took seven months.
"Is that so?" He responded. Haruhi sighed and sat up straighter, looking Akito in the eye.
"Even though I have not been diagnosed with Leukemia, it doesn't mean I'm not a carrier right?" Akito nodded.
"Which means you must be very careful from now on. Slight changes in your lifestyle can be the difference between staying healthy or otherwise."
"In other words, I'm not exactly free from this illness then huh?"
"Afraid not." Akito replied solemnly. To his surprise, Haruhi didn't look as upset as he thought she'd be. It almost seemed like she expected it. At this point of being acquainted with her, he wouldn't put it past her for shoving something like this to the back of her mind. She was very wise and mature for her age and grasping the situation she was in was something she probably figured she needed to accept.
"So what do you recommend I do from here on out?" Akito gave her a small smile.
"You're a smart woman Fujioka-san, I doubt I need to tell you to stay away from smoking and drugs." Haruhi chuckled dryly.
"Of course not Ootori-san, but surely there is more I can do to stay healthy."
"In all honesty, I think you'll be fine. But if you're so inclined, I would suggest frequent doctor's visits. You're already living a healthy lifestyle so you should be fine. However, you may also want to be cautious around the cold season. Even a common cold can amplify the effects of the illness." Haruhi pressed her lips into a hard line. The list of suggestions seemed too simple to be able to really reduce the risk of Leukemia. But she was worried about her health even though she didn't show it she figured she was simply paranoid.
"I guess…thank you Ootori-san."
"Of course, oh and Fujioka-san," Akito called her attention as she started to get ready to leave. ",Kyoya is currently in a meeting with our father at the moment. So I'm afraid you'll have to wait to tell him what I told you…as I'm sure he wants to know." Akito resisted the urge to smirk at her narrowed eyes.
"I'm sure you have a clue as to what I'm suggesting." Akito challenged. Haruhi, unaware that a light pink had dusted across her cheeks, only sighed.
"I think he understands the situation just as well as I did."
"I bet he'll still want to hear it from you." Haruhi smiled before bowing and leaving the room. Akito finally let his smirk show once she left, knowing that he had flustered her. But she was darn good at trying to hide it. It almost didn't seem like she was blushing.
"She is indeed quite the catch nii-chan. Good for you." Akito said to himself quietly before returning to work.
Outside, Haruhi was exiting the extravagant hospital and thinking to herself. She did indeed understand what Akito was implying about Kyoya and herself. But, she didn't have an answer she was certain of. It was true that she and Kyoya had finally come to terms with their affections but, she wasn't sure where they really…"stood". Which Haruhi blamed herself for, seeing as she excused herself due to slight embarassment on her part. Yet, the morning after, aside from Kyoya being in an extremely good mood once he woke up (on his own terms thank goodness) the two still seemed to be on strictly amiable terms. She didn't know what to expect from him or what would become of them. But for now, she decided not to worry about it. Besides, she deducted that spending time with Kyoya really was never stressful and she didn't want that to change.
Kyoya stopped in front of his dad's study and knocked, waiting for a response on the other side for permission to enter. It was not long after Kyoya had landed back in Japan that he received a text from his father. It didn't tell him much about whether or not he was, to put it bluntly, screwed, which would have prepared him for this meeting. But all it said was that when he got back, he would like to talk to him. That's it. There wasn't even a specificity of when he was even returning; luckily Tachibana was able to inform him of when he did return (December 26th). So today, with no clue as to what Kyoya should expect, he was ready for whatever his father threw his way.
"Enter Kyoya." With his permission, Kyoya swiftly entered the room and shut the door behind him then approached his father's desk.
"You wish to speak with me father?" Upon entering, Kyoya noticed that his father had put aside all his work. Usually when he was summoned, he would at least be looking through documents or going through stocks. But not right now. His attention was focused solely on his son.
"That is correct. However, before I go on, I must ask: Is there anything you want to say right now?" Kyoya thought for a moment. Suddenly his father was giving him room to take control of the conversation. Which was odd. But he had to think carefully; as if he were treading on dangerous grounds. Was his father expecting him to say something? Was he supposed to explain himself as to why he left America so suddenly? Or was he supposed to apologize? But that would be showing weakness which would be completely unacceptable. So instead of taking the dangerous road and answering, Kyoya just shook his head.
"There is nothing that comes to mind father." Kyoya said. Kyoya noticed that his father had quirked an eyebrow ever so slightly.
"Really? So you have nothing to say regarding the fact that you left for Japan earlier than planned?" From Kyoya's perspective, he was surprised that Yoshio didn't hold the slightest bit of anger in his voice. It was just a mere question. But Kyoya wasn't going to put down his defenses yet.
"I'm afraid not. At least, nothing that would excuse my rude dismissal anyway." Yoshio looked at his son with puzzled eyes. It was obvious to him that he was playing it safe by refusing to say anything. But, Yoshio was expecting something more from his son. But it seemed that Yoshio had actually gotten away with one of his schemes regarding Kyoya without him knowing. And coming to that piece of information, Yoshio's expression changed from confusion, to one of amusement.
"Huh, so I guess you didn't notice that I was purposely prolonging our stay in America." The look on Kyoya's face appeared to be unchanging, but his eyes were a dead giveaway in showing how stunned he was, even with his glasses.
"Why would you prolong our stay father?" To say that Kyoya wasn't angry would be a lie. He was indeed very angry, of course it wouldn't show, but he couldn't help but let a tiny bit of coldness slip through in his voice. No one else would be able to recognize it, but Yoshio could, seeing as how he would do the same thing when some of his business partners got on his nerves.
"At first, it wasn't on purpose. But then, after taking great observation in your impatience, I decided to see how long it would take before you would leave on your own. And must I say, how on Earth can one be so stubborn?" At this point Kyoya was baffled. His father had kept him in America for his own amusement? What did he mean by stubborn? Kyoya had stayed because that's what was required of the business trip. Though Kyoya wanted to be angry, he couldn't help but realize that his father's words had been about a completely different situation. It seemed as though, this conversation wasn't going to be about his abrupt departure.
"Father, are you saying you expected me to leave?" Yoshio scoffed.
"I expected you to downright say 'No' to my proposal. Imagine my surprise when you consented even though you were having some issues with Suoh and Fujioka-san."
"Wha-" Yoshio stood up abruptly, silencing his son.
"Kyoya, let me finish. " Yoshio said coldly, the anger apparent in his voice. "There are many things I could be angry at you for and many other things I should be angry at you for. However, nothing has made me more upset than knowing that my son, an Ootori, has consented defeat." Yoshio took a seat again before continuing. "You have always done things I've never expected you to, Kyoya. Some things have even surprised me. But the most surprising, out four, would have to be you, once again, giving Suoh what he wants. However this time, you have given away what you want too." Kyoya, too, took a seat in front of his father, almost collapsing into it. This conversation was not where he thought it was going. It sounded as though, his father was actually being a father for once and not just his teacher (pertaining to the world of business).
"What were the other three?" Kyoya asked.
"One, you were the backer for the supply company that was about to be bought out from us. Two, you gave all rights of that company back to me; pretty much saying you didn't want it. And three, you fell in love with Haruhi Fujioka." Kyoya didn't respond. Well actually, he didn't really know how to respond to that. He was for sure not going to act humble about it.
"Taking into account of your actions over time, I realized that I really don't have any control over you anymore." Kyoya wasn't going to argue about that. He had known for a while what it was he really wanted; whether that was his father's company or Haruhi as his partner. And what he wanted was going to require some rule breaking. But it didn't matter as long as it got him where he needed to be and it especially didn't matter now, considering that it seemed like his father was letting him off the hook.
"My point is, Kyoya, you've fought tooth and nail to get exactly what you want up until now. And in order to do so, you have always done all you could within your power to reach your goal. But suddenly, when you find something that comes once in a life time, you just let it slip away in a heartbeat."
"You're talking about Haruhi again aren't you?" It was more like a statement. This conversation was all about Haruhi. He should have seen the signs. He should have realized that his father was silently rooting for him from afar after the little fiasco with Tamaki and Haruhi that one night.
"Damn right. But really, I'm just wondering what your reason was, for trying to push Fujioka-san to Suoh and running off to America, when you end up reconciling anyway?" Apparently he knew of their wonderful Christmas morning yesterday. If he knew that much, there was no use in trying to lie or avoid the question.
"I was, quite frankly, just being an idiot." Yoshio snorted.
"Isn't that the truth? You're a fool." Kyoya smiled slightly at his father's words. He had slipped in the unsaid words 'love sick' before that last word. And he knew he was right. A few minutes of silence passed between the two men before curiosity took over Kyoya.
"Father, before we continue, what was your reason for extending our trip in America?" Yoshio smirked.
"I just wanted to see how important Fujioka-san was to you. And I was correct in assuming you weren't going to wait for me to decide when to leave in her time of need." Kyoya exhaled deeply. He hated himself for not leaving earlier.
"Anyway, Kyoya, now that you know you have met my expectations, it would only be fair of me to offer you the Ootori zaibatsu. However, in knowing you are capable of standing on your own two feet, I can already infer what your answer will be." Kyoya's brain was going into hyper drive. This conversation was all over the place. But it was a good thing Kyoya knew how to handle it. And Kyoya had wanted to have this conversation for many years. Except, now, his answer would be different than it was last year.
When Kyoya descended down the stairs after his meeting with his father, he saw Tamaki waiting for him at the bottom of the steps. After Kyoya saw the look on Tamaki's face, one of dread and anguish, Kyoya almost smiled bitterly. He had just gotten out of one trap in talking to his father just to, literally, walk into a new trap. Kyoya figured that Tamaki didn't really believe the lie that he had fed to him and the twins. Although, what he said wasn't really a lie; it was more like uncertainty. He didn't think that anything would really evolve between Haruhi and himself as he didn't want to ruin their friendship. He didn't even know where the sudden impulse came from when he kissed her. But one thing was certain: Their feelings rang true to each other and apparently, also to Tamaki. Oh boy.
"Afternoon Kyoya." Tamaki greeted him once he was close enough to talk to him without shouting. Although, Kyoya was a little uncomfortable with the sad tone that his best friend held in his voice.
"Hello Tamaki. What brings you here?" I'll give you one guess, Kyoya's inner self told him sarcastically. Tamaki took a deep breath, which was more like a sigh, but then chuckled softly.
"I think we both know why I'm here." Kyoya thanked the stars that Tamaki did not say this with any malice. He wouldn't be able to handle it if he was mad at him.
"Why don't we talk upstairs?" Tamaki nodded and together they made their way to Kyoya's room.
When Haruhi opened the door to her apartment, she wasn't really surprised to find the twins along with Honey and Mori waiting for her inside.
"Haru-chan's back!" Honey exclaimed, instantly latching himself onto her leg.
"It's about time!" Hikaru told her.
"What was taking so long?" Kaoru asked. Haruhi narrowed her eyes at the twins.
"I was gone for 45 minutes."
"They were getting impatient." Mori told her. She gave him a nod and smiled; she was happy to be back with her friends. She just wanted to get past her illness and have everything back the way it was because if she didn't, it would be hard to get rid of them. One specifically, a blond. But as she looked around the room, she didn't see her golden haired senpai.
"Tono told us an interesting development before we came here Haruhi." Kaoru told her solemnly. Kaoru noticed his brother's mood drastically darken, his original happiness suddenly forgotten.
"Oh? What might that be?" She asked turning to slip off her shoes (only after Honey extracted himself) and taking off her winter coat.
"The boss said that you and Kyoya might be romantically involved." After the words left Hikaru's mouth, Mori swiftly whacked the twins on the head and gave them a stern look. They were shocked by his actions but Kaoru understood why he did so.
"Sorry Haruhi. That was rude. But you can't blame us for being a little more than persistent in finding out what he meant." Kaoru mumbled.
"I see…" She replied quietly. Haruhi wasn't sure how to respond. Should she tell them? It would do no good to keep anything a secret, but from the way the twins were behaving, she was a bit apprehensive about what to say. Nevertheless, Haruhi knew they deserved an honest answer (well that and she couldn't really put a rumor like that to rest easily). Yet, she would ease everyone into it.
"Well, what would it matter if Kyoya-senpai and I were together?" She asked bluntly. Kaoru could almost hear Hikaru grinding his teeth. Sure enough, Haruhi had no idea of their feelings for her. Sensing some discomfort around the room, Honey intercepted.
"Of course not Haru-chan! After all, Kyo-chan is a great guy." Hikaru and even Kaoru looked down at their feet guiltily. What the twins saw through their eyes was different than what their senpai saw. And what Honey saw was usually the brighter, and definitely the lighter side. Hikaru knew he was just being bitter and Kaoru knew he was being biased because Hikaru was his brother (not to mention his twin).
"I…I guess not." Kaoru replied quietly. He looked at Hikaru and willed him to respond. But while Hikaru had been temporarily grounded by the weight of his senpai's words, the fact that Haruhi would choose Kyoya over him was not okay.
The older twin shrugged "indifferently".
"I guess its fine. If you like people who only treat you as a slave." As soon as Hikaru said it, the atmosphere grew tense. Kaoru had winced, knowing that his brother was not going to handle this well but had hoped he would. Honey looked at him with disapproving eyes and Mori was no different except his eyes looked like they wanted to voice out the harsh scolding they represented. But none of them were as affected as Haruhi. She was upset but mostly infuriated. He dare to say that when he had treated her the same, when all of them had treated her the same, at the start of her time with the host club? Even after she became a host, she was still subjected to a lot of the chores that had to be done around the club, with the twins always requesting that she buy some more commoner's coffee. And he had the audacity to single out just Kyoya?
"How are you any different Hikaru?" She asked, her eyes cold.
"Oh please, I'm completely different than him."
"So you have never ordered me around before?" She was seething by this point and it was very apparent to Hikaru. He knew that he should have just shut up at the beginning when he said what he was thinking. But he just couldn't. And therefore, his grave was just getting deeper and deeper.
"I don't anymore!"
"And neither does Kyoya." Haruhi, though still mad, had managed to calm down and urged for Hikaru to look at her. Fighting would get nowhere and Mori was starting to get edgy.
"Hikaru…Kyoya is your friend. Why would you say something like that about him?" Everyone but Haruhi knew the answer to this question. It was no mystery that almost half of the Host Club harbored special feelings for the lone female member. But to Haruhi, it was a mystery. But Hikaru was less than willing to explain his behavior.
"I have my reasons. And I would think you would've found out for someone who was able to tell Kaoru and I apart." He replied with a bite in his tone.
"Haru-chan, though he is going about it the wrong way," Honey said giving said twin a pointed glare. ", Hika-chan is right. There is a reason some of us are not exactly okay with the relationship you and Kyo-chan have."
"Who is "some of us"?"
"Hikaru, Tono, and me." Kaoru responded.
"What do you guys have against Kyoya you guys? Isn't it my choice of who I want to…who I like?" She didn't want to say "date" as they really weren't yet.
"Haruhi, it isn't Kyoya." Mori told her.
"It's us." Hikaru finished. Haruhi furrowed her brows. What did that mean? If they were saying it was them that had a problem against Kyoya, it didn't change her statement earlier.
Noticing her confusion, Hikaru got fed up.
"Gah. How hard is it to piece together the fact that the three of us are in love with you?!" Haruhi's head snapped towards Hikaru with wide eyes who in return scowled and looked away.
"L-love?" She stuttered. She had not been expecting that. Mostly because she had no idea, but she guessed that was what Hikaru was trying to point out. She had known about Tamaki's feelings for her for a while now, but it came as a shock to realize that the twins felt the same as well.
"I guess the big secret is out." Kaoru said sadly. Kaoru frowned at Hikaru and Mori and Honey joined him.
"I guess it is Kaoru." Everyone in the room turned to see Tamaki shrugging off his coat and Kyoya leaning against the wall next to him with a deadpan expression.
"Oh please come on in." Haruhi said sarcastically.
"I hope your meeting went well." Tamaki started when they reached Kyoya's room. Kyoya only nodded as he shut the door. He walked over to the couches where Tamaki had seated himself and sat on the one opposite of him. They sat in silence for a while, not knowing what to say to each other just yet. But they knew what had to be done and it was better for it to be salvaged before unnecessary awkwardness befell upon their friendship. After all, Kyoya was taking away a chance at happiness from his best friend.
"I should have known you didn't buy that crap I said at the hospital." Kyoya started. He felt relieved when Tamaki gave him a small smile.
"Not one bit my friend."
"It wasn't completely a lie." Tamaki's smile faded.
"I know. But…I also knew that what you and Haruhi had was inevitable. The way you guys behaved around each other was completely different than how she was with me, the twins, and even Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai." Kyoya's heart clenched. He had noticed something different between them the whole time. And he thought he was able to hide his emotions. But this was Tamaki who was not only his closest friend, but who could also snuff out hidden attractions between two people from a mile away. Kyoya thought himself a fool for thinking that he could hide that from him.
"I'm sorry Tamaki."
"What do you have to be sorry for Kyoya?" He asked curiously.
"Well it's no secret that you love her too." Tamaki blushed and began to scratch the back of his head.
"That…that's true. And without a doubt I'm also crushed by the revelation of the outcome," Kyoya looked away guilty at his friend's words.", However we all had the same chance at winning Haruhi's heart just like you did. And just like everyone else, you deserve to be happy too Kyoya." This was just like last time. They were at his home, sitting on a couch, and a problem had arisen between the two friends. And Tamaki was once again giving him the best advice he's heard in a while. And though he wanted to agree with that advice, there was still the nagging thought that Kyoya still owed too much to Tamaki.
"I feel that is unfair to you. You've encouraged me more than you will ever know when it came to the Ootori Zaibatsu. I owe you more than taking away a chance at your happiness."
"You don't owe me anything Kyoya. You gave me your friendship and that's all I could ask for." Kyoya looked at him dumbfounded for a bit, before smiling slightly.
"Is that so?" Kyoya so much wanted to believe him…why couldn't he believe him?
Tamaki stood up and regarded him seriously.
"I just wanted to come here to set some things straight my friend. I wanted you to know that I am truly happy for you. I also want you to know that even though I lost Haruhi to you that I still want to be friends." When Tamaki said those words, Kyoya analyzed them carefully. There was no way Tamaki was okay with this. Absolutely not okay. And yet he was, because Tamaki was not one to hold a grudge.
Kyoya held out his hand and smiled.
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Tamaki grinned at him and shook his hand.
"Where have you been boss?" Kaoru asked.
"I went to pick up Kyoya," He said hanging up his coat. ", So that I could bring him here to discuss some things. I see Hikaru has already started." He gave Hikaru a pointed look.
"So without further ado, why don't we all sit down and talk about this." Everyone nodded and went in the living room. Haruhi found it kind of funny that the Host Club decided to use her house as a meeting headquarters but couldn't really say anything much about it with how important this was.
When everyone was seated, Tamaki began.
"It has become clear that our precious Haruhi has taken in interest in Kyoya." Haruhi blushed which Hikaru noticed.
"And even though many of us care for her," Tamaki continued. ", I think it's best to point out that this isn't about us or even Kyoya. This is about what Haruhi wants. Whatever happens, happens and we must respect her decision." Everyone but one nodded their heads slowly. Kaoru knew that he would let his brother go after Haruhi if it came to that. And even if Haruhi found someone else, even outside of the club, he would let it be, because he cared for her. Mori and Honey already knew how important Haruhi's input would be and only wished that she was not forced into anything. And though it hurt, Tamaki had already come to terms with the outcome between his two closest friends.
Tamaki regarded Hikaru who had not nodded or said anything.
"Hikaru, you know what the right thing to do is." The blond said gently. Hikaru scoffed.
"Of course I know it is…but that doesn't mean…I just…I hate it." His voice had gotten quieter and quieter with each phrase. Tamaki smiled sadly at him and opened his mouth to speak but paused when he saw Haruhi walk towards the distraught twin.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. Hikaru gasped in return. They stayed like that for a few seconds before Haruhi picked her head up from his chest and smiled sweetly.
"Hikaru, whatever happens won't change the fact that you will always be my friend. However, I want to apologize to you for not realizing your, not to mention Kaoru's and Tamaki-senpai's, feelings until just recently. That was very cruel of me."
"I-"Hikaru was at a loss for words. How could she just fix something of this caliber with those words alone? The impact of those words coming from her made all the difference. But it also made him feel just as lonely as before. What he said now wouldn't change her feelings and like Tamaki had said earlier, he had to respect that. But that didn't mean that this revelation wasn't crushing him on the inside. But if he couldn't hold onto her heart, then at least he could still hold onto her friendship.
Besides, if Kyoya screwed up, who would she come running to? Hikaru thought mischievously.
Hikaru nodded once and hugged her once more and Haruhi couldn't have been happier. She knew she was hurting her friends more than she thought she could, but she was happy that they could be understanding because as corny as it sounded, she couldn't see herself with anyone else but Kyoya.
The rest of the meeting was spent discussing Haruhi's appointment with Kyoya's brother. The fact that she could end up still getting Leukemia worried the six men but Haruhi assured them that Akito said she would be fine. Kyoya made a mental note to talk to Akito about just how "fine" she would be. The group stayed for the rest of the evening until Ranka came home and began to pester Tamaki. By then, everyone deemed it a good time to bid their farewells. All but one.
Haruhi had just finished waving off the twins when she felt someone walk up next to her. She didn't have to look to know who it was.
"That wasn't as bad as I had predicted." He said slipping his arms through his jacket.
"On a scale of one to ten, one being extremely bad, what was your prediction?"
"Zero." He said dryly. She glanced at him with narrowed eyes.
"You really didn't have that much faith?" Kyoya chuckled at her reaction and unconsciously slipped closer to her leaning on the rail.
"That was before I talked to Tamaki before we came here. And before you used your natural charm on Hikaru." Haruhi scoffed.
"There was no charm. I was just being honest." She said finally facing him, to see him doing the same. To her surprise, she saw him smiling at her.
"I know. And that's what I love about you." Haruhi swiftly turned away again, sporting some red cheeks that were definitely not caused by some cold weather. Kyoya smirked at her reaction and pushed on forward.
"I believe we have one more thing to discuss before I leave Haruhi…and also before your father gets too impatient." Haruhi paused and looked at him with a puzzled expression.
"My father? What-?" And that was when she saw the door cracked open, that closed once she noticed her father peeking through it. She sighed but regarded Kyoya.
"And what would that be?" She asked him quietly, already knowing the answer. She had been asking herself that question since Christmas morning.
"Well there happens to be this girl I'm hopelessly in love with." He said with an all serious expression on his face. He promptly stepped forward and circled his arms around her waist.
"Yeah?" She asked. She hoped her voice sounded as calm as she thought it did. Kyoya nodded.
"However, I don't think it's fair to have kissed her without having set some things in stone." Haruhi couldn't have been more embarrassed by his words. She leaned a little closer to him and fisted her hand in his jacket and leaned her forehead on his chest.
"And what would that be?" She whispered. Kyoya laid his head on her own.
"Well let me ask you: Would you, Haruhi Fujioka, please go out with me?" Haruhi's face had to be on fire. That was the only way to explain why her cheeks felt so hot. But she knew better than to think that. She knew this could only be caused by him. She figured if he kept doing stuff like this, she would still never get used to the feelings of her face on fire and her heart running a million miles per hour. There was no way she was going to ever relax around him. But there were ways of getting around it. There had to be a way to control this. Maybe there would be a day when seeing him would end the feeling of butterflies in her stomach and maybe there would be a day when his recent touches wouldn't ignite her skin and make it feel as if she had just received a thousand degree burn. Yes, there was a day that could happen. But only in another universe.
Because then that wouldn't be love would it if those reactions never occurred? So she said what was only appropriate in accordance to her feelings.
A/N: I'm like crying. That should not have taken that long. However in my absence, I did win an MVP medal in tennis and I'm finally getting my grades back up in math. Gosh dangit I hate math. So yes, my time away was spent being a good student. The next chapter will also be the last one. It is what I like to call "The Epilogue"