The Host Club's Misery Business

A Day in the Life of the Suzuki Family

Winter break starts and I'm just about done with my make-up work, which I wouldn't have to do if I hadn't missed the last two weeks of the term, which wouldn't have been the case if I didn't have to stay home because of all the bruises Ryukyu gave me. Not that this isn't normal, but he's gotten so desperate lately he's been going to the gay bar all week. When he's drunk all he ever talks about is this "Ranka". But despite all that winter break has begun, Ryukyu spends all his time in his room sleeping, and until the next term begins the Host Club is a distant memory. I went shopping, sat through breakfast without getting knives thrown at me, and finished all my make up work. Now I've positioned myself near our back window with a clear view of the near-winter landscape, I can finally take my time now that the Host Club isn't breathing down my neck. But now that I think about it, ever since I "joined" the Host Club all I've ever painted was their "your-life-savings-couldn't-cover-this" cosplay, I've been painting like their little work dog. I finish my rough sketch of the landscape and move on to the shading and value, I decide black-and-white would be best for this one. I lose my focus when I hear, what might as well be a tornado, coming from the unit right above us.

Ryukyu slides open his door, "Damn-it Rikku, how many times have I told you to keep it down!"

"Sorry brother, it won't happen again." just what the hell is Haruhi doing up there.

"You're damn right it won't!" he yells.

He closes his door and I try to get back to my drawing, what I didn't realize was that I had made a heavy pencil mark right across my paper. Frustrated, I start over and manage to get to the charcoal, and then I hear another sound and smear the charcoal all over the paper. By the time I'm done I have six consecutive "do-over's" balled up on the floor around me, but something inside me told me this wasn't a coincidence. I put my fleece-lined bomber jacket over my black and grey striped sweater and my dark-washed boot-cut jeans and head upstairs to check on Haruhi.

"My God, she better be fucking dying for her to make that much noise..." I say to myself as I climb the rickety old steps to the upper level of the condominium.

I make it to unit 206 and knock on the door. Haruhi greets me through a crack in the door. "Oh you're still alive. In that case you're dead." she was too jumpy to respond to what I was saying.

She locks my shoulder in an iron grip, "Oh Rikku you must stay for tea," she flashes me this strange look. "I insist."

"Well alright I guess, but just keep it down my brother's-", I walk inside and see six male faces staring at me. Haruhi quickly locks the door behind me. I feel around for her shirt collar and grabbed it pulling her closer to me. I attempt to whisper, "What is wrong with you? If you know the meaning of the word "vacation", then why did you bring Them. Here."

"It's not my fault, they invited themselves." she rationalizes.

Now the rest of the club is just staring at me, I creep over to the end of the table and sit criss-cross style,"I hate to break your pattern, but you don't have to sit like that. There's plenty of room."

All of them are sitting around talking to Haruhi's... father, I think. It's hard to tell under all the make-up, skirt, flamboyancy, and the stage name… Ranka? I don't even want to know. For some reason the Host Club thinks when you barge into someone else's home uninvited that gives you the right to ask for lunch, they're lucky Haruhi's too nice to tell them to-

"So Rikku I've heard you live close by, so how often do you visit Haruhi?" of course the stalker would want to know that. But there's no way I'm letting them barge up in my place.

I don't see any point in lying to him, "Well I do live close by..." where is something Kyoya could find out on his own. So he might as well hear it from me, "I live one floor down actually."

"Wow Rikku-chan, I thought it was a myth but commoners really do like to live close to each other!" you are so lucky you're cute.

"Wait so the all the homes are the same. Damn yours must be poverty-stricken as well." you aren't as lucky Hikaru.

"Well I think it's admirable of you to move close to my darling little girl so she can finally have a girlfriend!" both of us just had to face-palm right there.

I wasn't about to make them think they were welcome at my place. If they knew what I was putting up with everyday they'd try to save me, but they don't know how hard I've worked just to get where I am today. I just can't deal with them getting involved in my personal life. Thank God for their short attention spans, Ranka was going on about what he already knew about the Host Club.

"What the hell dad? I didn't know you were getting calls from Kyoya-senpai!"

The she-male was sheepish to answer, "Well what do you expect me to do? You hardly ever tell me anything about school." I tuned out most of what she was saying until she left, but therefore, all the attention was on me. And I knew Kyoya just had to play 20 questions.

"So Rikku, who exactly do you live with?"

I saw no point in lying to him, he's just find out the truth one way or another. But considering there's so much I can't say I'd have to filter a lot, "Well at home it's just my brother and me," good start. Now all I have to do is sell him a bit, "When our parents died he studied case managing and law for a while so he could win my custody, after that we settled here and started rebuilding our lives. But I will admit he has been busy with his job and the college courses he's taking online." At the rate my heart is going they should have been hearing an echo by now. I was pretty sure everyone else would buy it, no problem; it was Kyoya I had to convince. But with a story like that would make even the toughest lawyers crack, but my question now is: will it get Kyoya off my back? The glare on his glasses hid his eyes—but when are is eyes ever visible?

He put on one of his fake smiles,"Well it sounds like you have a very loving brother." he says. I had mixed emotions about that. Glad that he bought it for now, but something else. Something having to do with the "loving" part, I didn't know how I felt about it because I wasn't completely sure if Ryukyu loved me anymore. I looked at the clock attempting to find a way out.

"It's getting late, and I completely forgot I had to get food." without the slightest hesitation I went to the door, grabbed my shoes, and left. Technically I didn't lie, it might not be that late but Ryukyu never cooks anyway. There was only one grocery store in town and that's the one where Haruhi was... but knowing if I didn't come back with food I'd get something thrown at me larger than a textbook... I have to go right now. I sneak in, grab my skateboard, and head over to the grocery store. Once there I waste no time getting half the things I need; now all that was left is the meat. As I get closer to the meat isle I make out two distinct silhouettes, and as I get even closer I recognize six distinct faces. The Host Club. Their running around the store as if it were an amusement park; Tamaki was complaining about how hungry he was, the twins were running over to a display of "commoner's coffee", Honey was filling a shopping cart with full size cakes and Mori was pushing the cart. All the idiots were here. Wait, not all of them, where's Kyoya?

-Kyoya POV—

I don't mean to sound like Tamaki, but I had to check on Rikku's living conditions. The story on her brother sounded suspicious—borderline filtered, but she did manage to make a convincing argument for him. But one thing I cannot ignore are those wounds I saw on her at the water-park. And since I'm sure they didn't just pop up out of nowhere, something's going on at home. I now know that her legal guardian is her brother, since she apparently has a brother. Most of her information is back in America. All I know is her parents died on—what is considered in the US as "9/11", they were apparently mixed. After their death Rikku moved here at the end of middle school. All I needed to know now were her living conditions. I went down the stairs and to unit 106. I knocked lightly on the door, no answer, I reached to knock again and the door swung open. A man in his early twenties stood in the doorway with half empty beer bottle in his hand, he was about the same height or maybe a little taller than Mori-senpai with the same black hair and dark skin as Rikku, you could easily tell they were related.

"Can I help you?", I remember Rikku telling me those kinds of comments were called commoner sarcasm.

"That depends, is this the Suzuki residence?"

He paused to take a few gulps from the bottle, "Well that depends who's asking."

I decide not to mention my name just yet, "I'm one of Rikku's friends from school, you know, Ouran Academy."

He had to think for a minute. Really? You don't even know what school your little sister goes to,"Oh right. Well come in."

I went inside and he closed the door behind me. While his back was turned I did a quick onceover of the place, and honestly it's hard to tell Rikku even lives here, there were clothes, textbooks, plus beer bottles and cans all over the place. But other than the natural odor that would imamate from a place like this there was a distinct smell, yet I couldn't place it. Based on the smell coming from him I assumed he was "under the influence", so I decided to take advantage of that.

"Oh by the way my name's Suzuki Ryukyu."

"Well Suzuki-san, is it okay with you if I go in your sister's room?"

"Sure it's the one in the back."

This was so easy it wasn't even pleasurable. From the looks of the Living room I guessed Rikku was pretty much living in her room, yet once I left I recognized that same smell started to fill the room again. I'd have to make note of that. I opened the door to find that the room was relatively neat, that was until I looked under her bed, sewn into the mattress was a rather large first-aid kit. I could understand keeping a small one around for cuts and scrapes, but this one was fit for an ambulance. I went to open the case only to find it covered in a sticky substance, when I opened the actual case I found out what that substance was: blood. It was everywhere. Though some of the supplies kept dry; like the multiple-feet long roll of gauze, the half gallon of peroxide, and thousands of bandages ranging from small enough for a finger to large enough to cover a gaping hole. And probably what scared me the most: about ten jars of consular. I looked for more evidence around the room. The trash can next to her desk was nearly filled with blood spattered papers, and the dates on them were all too recent.

In my investigating I didn't hear anyone at the door, and before I knew it Rikku was there.

-Rikku POV—

I found Kyoya in my house, in my room. Ryuu must have been getting drunk if he let him in here, I knew I hadn't fooled him at Haruhi's... but now everything was out in the open. He was looking through my bloody first-aid kit and the bood stained homework I had to re-do. I could barley talk without letting tears leak through my eyes, "I'll walk you to the door." was all I could manage. I couldn't even think about the rest of the club finding out. As we leave my room I freeze looking down on my brother. He had collapsed and was sprawled out on the floor, I run over to him to put my index and middle finger to the arteries in his neck: his pulse was slowing down. I kneel down next to him and cradle him in my arms. Warm tears dampen my cheeks, "Kyoya call an ambulance!" His phone was already out dialing, once he got someone on the line he gave them directions. He then told me an ambulance was on its way here to take him to an Ootori Hospital. I was too frantic to protest. I continued to cradle Ryukyu in my arms and crying streams of tears that land on his shirt, because that's all I can do.

Since I was Next of Kin I had to fill out all the paperwork the Ootori hospital required; the Ootori hospital required extremely detailed paperwork. His tests were done and he's in a room by the time I'm finished. Kyoya escorts me to the waiting room, there waiting for us was the rest of the Host Club. It took all my willpower just to look at them—it would take a miracle to speak, all the looks I got as a child were being thrown back in my face. I hate attention no matter what the reason; positive, negative, sympathy, or affection—I hate all the attention they bring. In all honesty it was strange to see the club in such a depressing atmosphere, let alone with faces like that. And above all Tamaki gave me a genuine look of grief. I turn to Kyoya, "Why did you call them here? This isn't anything I couldn't handle by myself."

"That's not true and you know it. I told them to come because no one in your position should be alone right now"

Tamaki walked up to me, put his hands on my shoulders and looked the straight in the eyes, "Why didn't you say something before?"

I try my hardest to avoid his gaze but I can't look away. I swat his arms away, "Because I didn't want you to know Tamaki." Near rage pulses through me as I look to Kyoya, "Just what did you tell them?"

"I haven't told them anything, that's your job. But if you don't I will."

Just then the nurse calls us in and says we can see Ryukyu now. He just started to wake up when I got in, I went over to him and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. Once he was fully awake he started asking questions. "Rikku, where am I? What happened?", I knew the drill for this one.

"You hit your head on the doorframe pretty hard and now you're in a hospital"

He looked around and saw the Host Club, "Then what are they doing here?"

"They drove me over here to make sure you were alright. Hey I'm going to grab you something from the cafeteria, they should be serving dinner by now. And don't worry I know exactly what to get." and with that I left and the Host Club followed behind me. I knew they had a thousand questions for me but I motioned for them to keep quiet until we're near the cafeteria.

"Okay… now", they all blurt their questions out one after another.

"How could you lie.." Hikaru starts, "To your brother like that?" Kaoru finishes.

"Is Rikku-chan's big brother going to be alright?"

"Is he?"

"And one final question," Haruhi starts. "What really happened?" everyone except Kyoya chanted in unison.

Well none of those were questions I actually wanted to answer, but I couldn't slip away from them now. Since the last one I'd have to explain everything I figured that was best to answer first.

"Well today I'm not so sure about, but usually on weekends Ryukyu sleeps most of the day and gets up in the afternoon for a few beers. Then after he's done with his classes he throws up and he's usually fine afterwards. But today he probably cleaned off a whole shelf and nearly died of either alcohol poisoning or nearly OD." everything was silent except the background noise of the hospital.

Tamaki was the first to break the silence, "So… is this normal for him?" the answer they've all been waiting for.

I guess the whole truth was coming out, "Well uh… somewhat. During the week it's an everyday occurrence; he'll come home smelling like a mini-bar, try to study but... but he'll get frustrated and start to beat and harass me instead. But I don't bring it up to him because once he's sober he won't remember anything."

"So your not going to tell your brother he nearly OD?" questions Kaoru.

"I never do. Besides what good would it do me? The oh I'm so glad my brother knows he's a drug addict doesn't go over well with the police." I say. I sigh in frustration and look away from them, "Remember what I said about Ryukyu winning my custody battle?" they nodded. "Well that's only half true. Ryukyu himself, was in such a downward spiral he couldn't care less is I never saw him again, so I was the one who studied case managing. On the day of the trail all Ryukyu had to do was deliver the lines I fed him." warm tears started streaming from my eyes as I hurry to wipe them away. But by that time my face is already red. "My point is I love him, and he's all I have left in this world. So it doesn't matter how much bull-shit I have to put up with... I'm never going to leave him! I've done nothing but work hard and fight for everything I have; I fought to stay with Ryukyu, I fight everyday to survive being with him, I fought relentlessly for a good education; and I still fight to this day to make a better future for myself. But not one of you can relate. Everything you have has been handed to you... or you've had someone by your side supporting you 110%" tears stream down my face, but I don't bother to wipe them. "None have you have ever fought for anything your entire lives! So you couldn't possibly understand me."

A house visit, a rude awakening, a dirty little secret spilled, and a life story out in the open. It's amazing what can happen in a day.

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