The Host Club's Misery Business

No, This Is

After the events of yesterday, it was hard just to go to school today, let alone work the second day of the Fair. The club and I were decked out in the butler costumes we were wearing the day before. The atmosphere was stagnant, as no one wanted to talk about the elephant in the room…

"So what are we going to do about Tamaki-sempai?" says Hikaru. Well, he's never been one to bead around the bush…

"We're going to do what we always have done, host. And this fair is going to go off without a bang, got it?" I say in a menacing tone. "But really, there's nothing we can do. So let's just get back to work."

Kyoya steps in, "Rikku's right, we're all responsible for the well-being of this fair. And if we allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity and neglect our work the Fair will be a disaster. So let's get back to work." Slowly but surely they all get back to work, and I think to myself, wait a minute. Did Kyoya just take some responsibility off my shoulders? But that's when he takes me by the hand and leads me away from the crowd. "Look, Rikku…" he starts.

"What is it Kyoya?"

He hesitates for a second, "Haruhi is quitting the Host Club."

I feel tears welling up inside me, yet I remain stoic, "When?" I ask.

"After the Ouran Fair." He says.

I turn away from him to wipe my eyes. I then turn back around, "Well," I say. "We can't keep our guests waiting, no can we?"

He pushes his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, "I don't think we can."

The Club gathers in the clubroom to change into tonight's cosplay, medieval royalty. I'm wearing a black version of the guy's costumes while Haruhi wears a dress… "Might I ask why Haruhi is the only one dressed as a girl?"

"Because Mori-sempai said 'no'." says Hikaru with a snicker.

That's when Kaoru takes me by the hand and leads me to the stairwell. And that's when I think to myself, what's with the taking me by the hand stuff? But anyway, Kaoru looks at me sympathetically, "I know Haruhi's quitting the Host Club," he clasps my hands between his. "But that doesn't mean you have to as well. I know you care deeply about her, and you'd do almost anything for her. I know exactly where you're coming from. But—like I'm now learning—you can't protect them forever. And while you may be a lot like them, you're not the same. We have to go our own way."

"We?" I question.

"You see, I'm a lot like you." He says. "I feel I always have to be there to protect Hikaru. And I've always wanted to be the most important person in his life but…"

"Haruhi is." I say.

"And you are to me." He says.

I blush, "Kaoru I—"just then Kaoru pulls me into a loving embrace.

He holds me tight, "No words, just love."

That's when Kyoya comes out of nowhere and pulls me away, not even questioning why Kaoru and I were hugging. He leads me to the garage, "W-What's wrong?" I manage to ask.

"Tamaki's leaving for France." He says.

Tears pool in my eyes, "That idiot!" I exclaim. After all he's put me through, after I've made this club run smoothly, after I've fallen in love… "So he's on his way to the airport now, isn't he?"

Hikaru pulls up in the horse-drawn carriage, Kyoya squeezes my shoulders, "Get that idiot back!"

Hikaru, Haruhi, and I follow the car up until the carriage hits a boulder and Hikaru goes flying. Not that I don't care and all, but the car's getting away. So I release the horses from the carriage and hop on one of them. I extend my hand to Haruhi, "Let's go."

She pouts, "Why don't I get my own horse?"

"Do you know how to ride one?" her silence is confirmation enough and she gets on.

We're now neck and neck with the car on the bridge. Haruhi reaches out to Tamaki which loosens my grip on the horses mane. The mare veers out of control and sends Haruhi flying off the bridge, and then I pull to a stop. I leap off the bridge after her only to be elbowed by Tamaki, who eventually gets to her and softens her landing. Which is great and all, but who's going to save me? I make contact with the water and instantly start drowning. But in the mists of my sinking I feel two arms wrap around me and pull me to the surface. It wasn't till I opened my eyes that I realized I was in the arms of Kaoru.

Tamaki's here and everything's back to normal… well, our normal. The Fair ends with a ball, and I'm pretty sure Haruhi's blown her cover by dancing in a dress. But oh well. But just as I was headed to the punch bowel Mori whisks me off away from the crowd and into the hands of Kyoya. "Look," he says handing me a garment bag. "I love you." He says after I change into a bright yellow version of Haruhi's dress. "But I know who loves you more, he says pushing me in Kaoru's direction.

I land in his arms once again, and that's when I know this is no time for words. So instead I look deeply into his eyes and he looks deeply into mine, and then we kiss with the passion of a thousand sunsets.

And to think all this started with a ten million yen debt…

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