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Shadows & Roses

By hellbutterfly91

Drama / Romance

Arrangements

I tugged at the uncomfortable skirt my mother had insisted I wear. Dresses and skirts were nothing new to me, in fact most of my school uniforms consisted of such, but this one was a little shorter than my knee length school skirt. It was made of a pale blue wispy material and was paired with a white sweater and white ballet flats. My brown hair hung in soft waves, the sides pulled back with a pearl embellished clip that was a heirloom from my grandmother before she had died.

With a sigh I adjusted myself again and felt my mother reach out and take my hand.

"Don't fidget Misora. You will ruin your outfit." she scolded.

"Why did I have to get dressed up in the first place? You've never insisted that I dress like this before for a simple meeting with the Haninozuka and Morinozuka families." I asked turning to look at her.

"I am sure that Mother and Father have their reasons for this." my younger sister Kasumi replied from where she sat across from me in the limo. She wore a pink dress with white trim, her hair pulled back with a white ribbon.

I rolled my eyes and turned to look out the window again. My sister took everything that our parents said as gospel. I had learned a long time before that my parents could very well be wrong. They were not saints by any means. The only other person that saw this was our older brother Isamu but he was away studying at College. However unlike me he didn't care as long as he inherited the company from our Father.

We pulled up to the front of the largest house on the Haninozuka compound. A moment later my door was opened and I climbed out of the car before waiting for Mother, Father and Kasumi to climb out behind me. Once we were together we headed inside.

"Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Nishimura. Mr. and Mrs. Haninozuka and Morinozuka are waiting for you in the parlor. Allow me to show you the way." the maid said as we walked in and headed for the parlor as if we'd never been here before.

Both my parents and the Haninozuka family had been in business together for ages in addition to the fact that our family was one of the lesser known martial arts families of Japan. By association with them we were also linked to the Morinozuka family.

As a child I had visited here more times than I could count. Both families had boys that were around the same age as my sister and I. I got along with the two oldest, Mitsukuni or Honey and Takashi or Mori.

Kasumi was content to wander behind Yasuchika or Chika who was Mitsukuni's younger brother and Satoshi, Takashi's brother. Chika and Satoshi didn't seem to mind her following the two of them around. I wasn't sure just what the 3 of them did when they were together but it kept her out of my hair.

The four of us walked into the parlor and found both families talking amongst themselves. All of them looked up as we walked in.

"Mr. and Mrs. Nishimura and their daughters Misora and Kasumi." the maid announced and with a bow left.

"Atsuo, Hitomi, welcome." Mr. Haninozuka smiled standing up and walking over to my parents.

"Thank you for having us, Yorihisa" Father smiled.

"And I must compliment both your daughters on their ever growing beauty. Especially you Misora…you are growing into a beautiful young woman." he smiled warmly at me.

"Thank you Haninozuka-San." I smiled.

"We have much to discuss Yorihisa. Perhaps the children should step out for a while. I am sure that they would enjoy catching up." Father replied.

"Indeed. Mitsukuni, why don't you and Chika take Misora and Kasumi the garden? The flowers are beautiful today." Mr. Haninozuka said.

"Of course Father." Honey grinned and hurried forward with Takashi close behind, Chika and Satoshi bringing up the rear.

"How have you been Sora-Chan?" Honey smiled as we walked out into the garden.

"I've been good. I'm not ready to go back to school though." I replied thinking about the British Boarding School that Kasumi and I attended.

Honey nodded solemnly as did Mori.

I had been shipped off to St. Vincent's Girls School since I was old enough to go to school with Kasumi following when she was of age. I spent all of the school year there and breaks here in Japan with my family. Mori and Honey were the only friends I really had at all. There were a few girls I sort of was friends with in London but none like Honey or Mori. I could tell them most anything and they almost felt like my older brothers more than my friends.

"You should come to Ouran with Takashi and I! You could come to our Host Club and have cake with us!" Honey said looking up at me.

"I would love to but it's all about convincing Mother and Father. They expect both Kasumi and I to graduate from St. Vincent's and become respectable young women and hold up the Nishimura name. Thanks to Isamu they'll have their heir and the two of us will be nothing but pretty little ordainments on the family tree." I sighed.

"Don't be sad Sora-Chan!" Honey cried suddenly looking up at me as if he were about to cry.

"I'm not. Things will work out one day." I smiled and Honey smiled back.

"You're very dressed up." Mori pointed out as we walked.

"Mother insisted I dress up like this for some reason." I replied tugging at the hem of my skirt yet again.

"Mother and Father seemed rather odd as well today. What do you think could be going on?" Honey asked.

"It's got to be something big that's for sure. Mother never insists that I dress up unless it's for something very important." I replied.

"Merger?" Mori suggested.

"Perhaps." Honey nodded.

A moment later a maid approached us, "I have been asked to bring you inside. Dinner is ready."

"Thank you." Honey said and he turned to where Chika, Satoshi and Kasumi were walking behind us.

"It's time for dinner!" Honey called cheerfully to our siblings and I saw Chika scowl a little at his brother's exuberance but I chose to ignore it, the three of us heading for the house.

Soon we were all seated around a long table as the Haninozuka servants brought around our food. Our parents all sat at one end with us at the other. Honey sat at the head of our end with Mori and I on either side. Kasumi was next to me and Chika and Satoshi were next to Mori.

We had roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetables and I noticed that Honey slipped his vegetables into his napkin. When he saw me looking he grinned and I had to stifle a laugh.

After the food was gone I expected that they would bring around dessert which was always excellent thanks to Honey's sweet tooth. However instead of the bringing in the food Mr. Haninozuka stood up as did my father.

"As I'm sure that you all have figured out tonight is a very special occasion. There are a couple of announcements that we would like to make." Mr. Haninozuka said.

Father nodded, "The first is that Hitomi and myself have come to a conclusion. We want the very best for both Misora and Kasumi and that is why we sent them to St. Vincent's all these years. However we have missed them greatly in doing so. That is why we have decided that when term starts next week both will be attending Ouran Academy."

My heart jumped into my chest and a grin spread across my face, "Are you serious?" I asked.

Father and Mother both smiled at me.

"Of course sweetheart." Mother replied.

"Oh my! Thank you!" I smiled and quickly stood from my chair and hurried over to hug both of them.

Father gave me a hug and Mother gave me a soft kiss on the forehead before I walked back to my seat.

"I think we should have a toast! To Sora and Kasumi finally joining us at Ouran!" Honey grinned and stood up, holding the crystal goblet of water that was in front of him up, Mori and I following in his lead.

"To Misora and Kasumi." Father smiled and everyone toasted.

I had just raised my goblet to my mouth when Mr. Haninozuka spoke up.

"I'm glad to see that you both are getting along just as famously as always. You will surely have a wonderful marriage if you keep that up." he smiled.

At the word 'marriage' I choked on my water. Setting my goblet down I began to cough. A moment later Mori had come around the table and preceded to pat my back until I could breathe again.

I looked at Honey whose brown eyes were wide, Usa-Chan abandoned on the floor in shock. I realized that he had gone just as silent as Mori usually was and wasn't about to reply.

"Did you just say marriage?" I asked looking at our parents.

"Indeed. We have come to the conclusion that after you both graduate from Ouran you are to be married." Mr. Haninozuka grinned, a mirror of the one that usually was stretched across Honey's face.

"That is the whole reason that you are going to attend Ouran. We thought it only right that since you're betrothed that you should attend the same school and get to know each other." Father replied.

"B-But what if I don't want to marry Honey? What if I want to marry someone else?" I asked.

"I'm sorry Misora but the choice has already been made." Mother said.

I gaped at my Father and Mother. I couldn't believe that they would do this to me or that the Haninozuka's would do this to poor Honey. Unable to control my rage anymore I tossed down my napkin and rushed out of the dining room.

I didn't stop running until I reached the steps of the front door. It was dark now but the moon was full. Pulling my knees up to my chin I buried my face in the wretched skirt that my Mother had forced me into and cried.

Soon I heard footsteps and a moment I felt someone sit down beside me.

"Sora-Chan?" Honey asked and I felt his hand rest on my shoulder.

"Hi." I smiled pulling my face out of my knees.

"Don't cry Sora. Here! You can hold Usa-Chan!" he said holding the rabbit out to me.

"Thanks." I smiled and took it hugging it to my chest.

"I don't want you to worry Sora. I promise that I will take care of you and I will be the best husband ever! I promise." Honey replied.

I nodded, "I know Honey I just wish they didn't do this to us. I'm sure you don't want to marry me."

"No but I do love you. You're one of my best friends. And now you get to go to school with Takashi and I! You can meet all of our friends at the Host Club!" he smiled.

"True." I smiled wiping my eyes.

"Don't worry. It's like you said…everything will work out in the end." Honey replied and gave me a hug.

I took a breath and nodded, "Lets go back inside. I should probably apologize."

"Okay." Honey replied and we stood up together.

Waiting just inside the door with a tissue was Mori.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

I nodded, "I'll be fine. Thanks." I replied.

He gave a nod and the three of us headed back to the dining room.

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