Long Forgotten

Chapter 23

“BOOM!” I winced for the umpteenth times, crouching under the table into a ball as I shivered in fear while cupping my hands to my ears and shutting my eyes tightly to block out the raging storm from outside.

I shouldn’t have wandered off on my own! I thought regretfully to myself, wincing once again at the deafening thunder that boomed outside the dark and lonely chapel. The more the storm prolong, the more it had made me remember that night. That terrifying experience which I’ve no intention of going through again. Panic soared through me as seconds turned to minutes or even longer. I could feel myself being constricted, as though there were ropes tying tight on my shoulders, hands and legs. I shuddered from my drenched clothes.

In the midst of my constant panic and fear of the thunder and darkness surrounding me, I had not noticed the sound of footsteps in that had entered the chapel until they neared me. My eyes widened as I felt my heart froze the moment the stranger stopped in front of me and bent down.

N-no... No!!!!!! Get away from me!

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10 hours before~

“Two plates of scramble with sausages and bacons! One plate of pancakes with scramble eggs!” I yelled into the busy kitchen as I clipped the note of order that I had just written on a string along with the other orders and stepped to the drinks counter to get two cups of Americanos and one orange juice for the awaiting customers.

“Wow. It sure is busy here in the morning.” Haruhi stated as she came over to get some drinks for the customers as well.

“Yeah. But it’s a new experience isn’t it?” I grinned at her and stuck out my tongue playfully at her.

“You two have made up?” Haruhi chuckled softly at my happy mood.

I nodded as my ponytail bounced at the movement behind me. “When he finally realized why I was mad at him. Can you believe it? I mean you don’t have to come up with such a ridiculously dangerous act and get everyone worried just to win the game right?! How can he be so inconsiderate?”

I huffed angrily as my face scrunched up at the thought of what the twins had done yesterday. It was unbelievably stupid! Can’t he see that it had me worried? I had thought that something horrible had happened to him! And he just laughed like it was nothing! That was why I ended up ignoring him for practically the whole day, till at night when he had caught me sitting on one of the tables, gazing the stars in the sky, when everyone had gone to sleep and pestered me for the reason why I was so mad.

“That’s why they are...”

“Idiots.” I finished her sentence together with her and we ended up in small pits of giggles.

“I said I was sorry didn’t I!”

“Huh?” Haruhi and I turned to the stairs, only to find Hikaru chasing after Kaoru, who was storming down and ignoring his brother.

“It wasn’t my fault you know, I didn’t even remember pushing you off!” Hikaru groaned when they had both sat at one of the tables. “Hey! Don’t go faking tears already!”

“The floor was so cold and hard! And to add it on, I was awaken by that horrible alarm tone! Oh morning Arisa, Haruhi.” Kaoru sniffed as he rubbed his eyes.

“Morning you two.” Haruhi and I replied as we walked over to them.

“Morning,” Hikaru said as he leant back onto the chair. “We want some breakfasts. Toasts with pesto brand butter and garnet brand syrup.”

“And eggs with bacon. I want Bizly cereal with dried fruits too.” Kaoru added in.

“We don’t have those in our menu.” Haruhi stated blankly with irritated looks which clearly stated that she wanted to ‘damn those rich kids’ again.

“But we have bacons and eggs though.” I suggested helpfully.

“You ridiculous Beelzebub brothers!” Out of nowhere, two rolled-up papers came down, hitting the two redheads and I almost wanted to stifle a giggle, but I quickly cover it up with a cough when the twins glared at me. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do! So when we’re here, we should enjoy the tastes of Karuizawa!”

I quietly walked away from the lectures that Tamaki was giving the twins since it doesn’’t applies to me and the customers are waiting for their food to be served. I reached the counter just as a set of food was placed on the table for them to be served.

“Bacon and eggs for table five and blueberry pancakes for table thirteen. Got it!” I mumbled out loud to myself and carried the food to their respective customers. While serving the food, I could hear Tamaki explaining some nonsensical rules he had come up with. I just shook my head and mentally thanked god that I wasn’t involved.

“My dear Arisa, would you be so kind to help me collect the delivery of groceries from Arai Grocery? They should be here soon.” Misuzu called out behind the cash register. I nodded as I walked to the door and accidentally bumped onto something or someone in front of me, causing me to fall onto the ground on my butt.

“Ouch…” I winced at the impact. “I’m so sorry! Are you ok?” I panicked and stood up immediately as I went forward to help up the boy, who had also fell onto the ground, except much worse because the things he was carrying had practically sprayed all over the floor.

“Y-yeah.” He rubbed the back of his head and bend forward to pick up the fallen box and the food.

“Arai Grocery right?” I asked as I tilted my head on one side in question and handed him the last one of the tomatoes that had fallen out of the box.

“Yap!” he gave me a cheeky grin as he handed me the groceries.

“Arisa do you need help to carry the groceries?” Haruhi asked as she walked over to me.

“No need Haruhi. I’m not a child you know.” I pouted while putting down the box of groceries and lifted my arms to show her. “See? My wonderful guns!”

“You have none.” She chuckled and bent over to take the box but I swatted her hand away.

“No can do!” I immediately took the box and stuck out my tongue at her. “I’m carrying it!”

“H-Haruhi?” I heard the boy mumbled in confusion before suddenly shouting out in disbelief, “No way! Haruhi Fujioka?!”

I had jumped in surprise when he shouted, almost dropping the box in alarm.

“Arai?” Haruhi turned to look at him as though something had struck a chord in her. “Long time no see! It’s been since middle school graduation that we’ve met right? How are you?”

“Why are you here?! A-and your hair! You had cut your hair?!” I could see a tint of redness forming in his cheeks when he spoke to Haruhi in a mixture of disbelief and happiness.

I smirked inwardly to myself, not noticing that the twins and Tamaki had come over to see what was the commotion about and that Kaoru had long taken the box of groceries out of my arms.

That boy had had a crush on Haruhi! This could get interesting~

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“So how’s Ouran?” Arai asked Haruhi. “Do you still have contact with the rest from middle school? I guess these are your friends from Ouran huh?”

“It’s nice. Kazumi calls me once in awhile and we would take over the phone,” Haruhi replied as she drank a glass of orange juice. “These are the twins, Kaoru and Hikaru, Arisa, Honey-senpai, Mori-senpai, Kyoya-senpai and Ta… Erm… An acquaintance of mine.”

Tamaki froze as though he had been struck by lightning and then disintegrated into thin air.

I just watched in amusement, almost wanting to burst out laughing. My bet that he must have said something just now that had wanted Haruhi to change the way she had to introduce him.

It’s nice to have reunion like these. How I wish I had been to middle school and meet such situations too. I sighed unconsciously at my thought.

“You ok?” I heard Kaoru asked me in concern and I gave him a nod as I handed him and Hikaru a cup of ice lemon tea while noticing the scowls that Hikaru was sending in Arai’s direction.

“Oh.” I muttered under my breath when a chord struck in me and Kaoru raised a brow at me in confusion.

“Your brother love Haruhi too isn’t it?” I whispered in his ear, and I felt as though my action had made him shivered a little.

“Y-yeah…” He stammered his whisper a bit but then looked at me with his eyes widened. “Wait. How did you know?”

I smirked and sat beside him. “How can I not know? He’s practically sending him dagger-eyes as though he would kill him in a second.” I grinned at him cheekily. “Just like you when you’re jealous~” And then I left quickly to get myself a glass of green apple-celery juice.

“I…I did not!” he hushed at me, but I turned around and roll my eyes at him before turning back to walking to the kitchen.

“Senpai,” I paused my way to the kitchen and turned to the figure crouching at the corner of the room, tearing strips of paper as a dark and heavy gloomy aura surrounds him. “Why are you tearing these papers?”

“I’m making a hamster house…” he mumbled, depressed.

“But why are you ripping off your hard work? It’s such a pity you know.” I told him quietly as I sat with him.

“My daughter notices my hard work?” He turned to me in mixture of previous depression and current elation and surprise.

I nodded, but quickly add in before he could give me a bone-crushing hug. “And who do you think have to clear the mess you make? It’s me you know. So shouldn’t you stop making a mess instead of adding it to my workload?” I pretended to look upset and gave him a upset pout.

He immediately changed his mind frantically about making the hamster house and cleared up the mess he had made while apologizing to me for making me work even more as I stood back up to go get my drink.

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I groaned. “Kaoru, if you don’t stop him now he might get a slap from Haruhi.”

I’ve been watching Hikaru throwing spiteful remarks at Arai despite Haruhi’s means to shut him up; and watching Haruhi growing angrier by the minute had told me Hikaru is going to get a tight slap from her.

Even I would want to do that to him. I mean you can say bad things about me, but if you criticize my friends, you have to beware when you’re alone. You may probably be dead if someone else were to find you the next day.

“Can’t he tell that Haruhi don’t want anything to do with him anymore? She doesn’t have room for him in her life so he should just go away!” Hikaru commented in a dull and annoyed tone.

At the next moment, Haruhi stood up and slapped him. I could tell he was stunned as Hikaru had his eyes fixated on the ground.

“What the hell is wrong with you Hikaru! It’s not something for you to decide on whether who I should consider as my friend! I won’t let you continue to insult my friend!” She scolded him, while I looked at Kaoru who was clearly upset at the situation. I could tell that he felt angry that his twin was hit, yet knew it was a lesson for him to learn.

“Who cares about others? We’re the ones who are your friends aren’t we?!” Hikaru yelled back at her, his face red and his whole body was shaking, before rushing up the stairs and to the room while Kaoru ran after him.

I sighed, rubbing the back of my neck as I leant back on the chair, together with Tamaki, who then stated that the twins world were still very small.

I wondered how Kaoru was coping. I knew that he must felt the same like Hikaru, it’s just that he’s better at keeping his emotions in check, unlike his brother. Then if it’s in this case, he must have been hurting too.

My gaze flicked from the spot where the fight has occurred to the stairs leading to the rooms. Unconsciously, I stood up and headed up to the twins room.

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“…It was too much even for Haruhi.” I heard Kaoru’s muffled voice outside their room as I stood quietly, waiting for him to finish his ‘older and more mature’ brother talk with Hikaru.

“I just can’t help it! I don’t even know why I got so irritated!”

“That Arai guy is leaving soon, let’s go apologize to him okay?” I smiled inwardly at the mature and understanding side of Kaoru. Though he may be an idiot sometimes, he would consider the other party first.

“Ok fine.” Huh? Fine what? I snapped my attention back to the door, trying to listen what they were saying, but there were no conversation anymore except for some movement and shuffling coming from the room.

Thinking that they be coming out soon, I lifted my hand to knock the door, but my hand ended up almost hitting on Kaoru’s face.

“Wait. Why are you wearing…” I started, pointing at him from top to bottom, but was cut off.

“Be back later.” He just gave me a knowing look and patted my head before going down.

I turned back to face the room in front of me and knocked at the door before going in.

“Back so soon?” Hikaru stated before taking his gaze away from the PSP that he was playing to me. “Oh… It’s you.”

I gave a heavy sigh before walking to the bed and sat beside him. “You’re not going to apologize.” I deduced, looking at the redhead who was lying on his tummy on the bed as he turned his attention back to his game.

He continued playing, and didn’t answer me but I knew he was listening and he couldn’t find anything to answer me.

“Being jealous may be a good thing sometimes,” I started, staring at the ceiling as I rested my hands on the bed. “But Mr Green-Eye may make you lose something you hold dearly you know.”

“I kn- What! I..I’m so not jealous!” He retorted immediately when my words finally registered in him.

I rolled my eyes at him. “Yeah, you’re soooo not jealous, that is when pigs can fly. Hikaru, you should learn to control your emotion and not let them get the better of you. You can’t possible act on impulse every time you feel uncomfortable or upset. You need to learn how to think before you act.”

“What do I have to do then?! I didn’t mean to get so angry, I just feel so irritated and I don’t even know why!”

“That answer you have to search on your own. No one would be able to help you on it. The answers can only come from within you. Just be patient and think through it alright?” I gave him a close eye smile before standing up to ruffle his hair mischievously, earning grumbles and a death glare from him, and then heading out the room.

I closed the door behind me on my way out and turned to go down to look for Kaoru, but he was already standing near the door of his room, leaning on the wall, waiting for me. Gold, topaz eyes filled with a mixture of sadness, gratefulness and love, gazing at me

“Nice speech you’ve got there.” Kaoru muttered softly as he pushed himself off the wall and walked towards me and wrapped his hands around my waist, drawing me close to him. I just hugged him and patted him on the back, reassuring him that I was there, as I rested my chin on his shoulders.

“Thanks. You ok?” I said, looking at him worriedly, both hands cupping his face. I knew he would feel as upset and irritated like Hikaru. After all, people always used to say that twins would have some kind of connection where they would feel the same as the other. Besides, from what I had heard from Honey, that Haruhi was the first person they had let into their world. I’ve to admit I was a little jealous over this though.

He meekly nodded, but I could still see that he wasn’t as he had claimed to be. Unconsciously, I reached over and planted my lips onto his. He froze at my forwardness, before giving a groan as his lips crashed with mine, followed by his hands which were around my waist, pulling me even more closer to him than I’ve ever imagined. Fireworks had seemed to explode in my head; shivers went through my spine as we were thrown into an overdrive sensation. When we finally pulled apart, breathless, our face flushed. Still weak from the kiss, I leaned on to him, touching my forehead with his for support.

“That’s one way to brighten up one’s mood.” He gave me his famous Cheshire grin as he wiggled his brows at me teasingly and I just giggled, my face still a little flushed.

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“Have fun!” I waved at Haruhi who left for her date with ‘Kaoru’. Giggling inwardly, I knew all about this plan since the mastermind had told me all about it and I am going to participate in it.

“Are they gone?”

I gasped in shock, turning around rapidly as I held my hand to my chest. “Oh god Kaoru! You almost gave me a heart attack!”

“Sorry…” he smiled sheepishly at me, one hand rubbing the back of his neck while the other slipped into my hand.

“Haruhi just went off. How about Hikaru?”

“He should be reaching there soon.”

I held up my other hand that wasn’t holding his to give him a high-five but he ended up holding onto it and pulled me closer to him to give me a kiss.

“Ehem…” Someone cleared his throat behind us and we hastily broke apart.

“I don’t think we would need to see this early in the morning right? No PDA with my daughter in front of us.” Tamaki teased us, making our face turned bright red, while Kyoya, Honey and Mori watched us in amusement.

Kaoru coughed into his fist to clear the awkwardness. “Let’s go!”

“Go where?” I giggled at their confused faces, they were so epic.

“We’re going to follow them on their date!” I added excitedly as we walked to the place where Haruhi and Hikaru have to meet.

Just then, Tamaki snapped. “Just why is Haruhi dating Hikaru, especially after what happened yesterday! Hikaru’s so dead too!” He grabbed onto Kaoru’s t-shirt and yelled at him in the face.

“Do you think this is Haru-chan’s first date?” Honey added thoughtfully while I sweat-dropped. With his question, it’s not helping the situation at all.

“Ano… senpai… If that’s the case won’t you want to kill me too?” I started, looking down at my feet with my hands fidgeting at the hem of my shirt as I twirled my right foot around on the spot. “Since I was in this too…” I looked up at him and gave him my best innocent teary puppy eyes.

“I…I…” he gaped at me in horror and shock, at lost with what to do. He looked as though he had committed some massive crime or something. The others just looked at me in amusement, wondering how it would turn out. I bit on the bottom of my lips to keep myself from bursting into laughter. But it was no use.

I ended up giggling like a mad girl who had too much sugar early in the morning and the others, except Mori and Kyoya who had smirks on their faces, chuckled with me too.

“Senpai, you’ve got to see your face. Being upset while seeing you looking like that, it is impossible!” I fell onto Kaoru for support as my giggles turned into laughter.

“Y-You! You tricked me!” Tamaki gasped, stepping back a little in disbelief. “My little daughter tricked me!” He then turned to some corner on the street and started to grow his depressing mushrooms.

“I guess I’ve started to rub on you too much, Arisa. You’re starting to act more like me and Hikaru.” I could feel Kaoru’s chest rumbling on my back as he chuckled.

“Really?” I turned around and raised a brow and pouted at him. “I thought I was all along like that!”

“That’s right! It’s because of you shady twins that had caused my poor daughter to learn your ways! I forbid you to stay near her from this moment! I’ve got to bring Haruhi back too! If not she’s going to turn like you two too!” Tamaki accused, while pointing a finger at Kaoru and stormed off towards the ‘dating’ couple.

Kaoru and I immediately pulled him back and everyone hid when Hikaru turned back in suspicion. “Milord, I think this would be a good thing for Hikaru to learn to get to know more about the people he cares about. For a long time, we’re only concerned about ourselves and we’re exceptionally codependent. That’s why we tend to shut others out. We’ve never cared how others had felt, that’s why we’re who we are today. Hikaru is especially immature and acts how he feels without restraint. Though he’s not conscious of it yet, but I know he really cares about Haruhi a lot. But all he knows is to throw his feelings at others, ending up being a possessive kid. He doesn’t know what to do even if he wants recognition as a friend. If he wanted a real friend and be one, he has got to respects others too. That’s why I think that Hikaru has to learn how to interact with others personally first.” Kaoru explained in deep thought and I slipped my hand into his to give him some comfort and encouragement.

“Kaoru…” Tamaki said, impressed. “Good job! I see that you’ve finally broken out of your shell huh? Since when you’ve become so mature?”

“The thing is… I didn’t realized it myself until I’ve met Arisa.” He confessed, turning to smile at me as I gave him a smile back, feeling some heat rushing to my cheeks and I turned away so that no one could see me blushing as I suddenly became extremely interested with the bushes.

“In other words, today’s date is meant as a trial for Hikaru to learn how to get along with others.” Kyoya reconfirmed.

“Yap!” I replied, giving him a thumbs-up.

“It’s like a fantasy movie!” Honey exclaimed with fascination.

“That’s why I don’t want you to interfere, Milord!” Kaoru pointed out.

“If you do, you’re dead. You got it senpai?” I tilted my head to one side and gave Tamaki my most innocent smile. He gulped visibly and cowered in fear.

“If that’s the case, why are we following them?” Tamaki asked.

“Because it’s fun!” Kaoru simply replied and everyone followed him and continued to watch Hikaru and Haruhi from afar.

I paused in my steps when I heard a soft, almost inaudible rumble from a far. Chills started to run down my spine and I glanced at the sky worriedly.

“I hope the weather won’t change so soon…” I muttered to myself.

“Yeah.” I almost jumped when I realized that Tamaki was beside me doing the same too.

I quickly plastered on my smile and pushed my worries back to my mind. “Come on senpai, they’re waiting for us. She’ll be fine.”

“I guess so. You’re the same too right?” He said, looking at me in concerned and I briefly nodded.

“It’s a secret senpai, okay?” I winked at him and started pulling him forward to join Kaoru on our ‘stalking’ mission.

“Let’s just hope the sun will stay with us, shall we?” he grinned happily, most probably at the thought that no one knows the secret of his daughters besides him.

“Yeah!” I grinned excitedly and ran forward to catch up with Kaoru with Tamaki walking behind me.

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The date had pretty much gone smoothly. Haruhi and Hikaru had been looking at stalls, mostly food, typical of Haruhi. Apparently when we were distracted before, they had manage to interact, with Hikaru not being a jerk and Haruhi not being sarcastic.

"Shall we leave them be now?" Honey pondered while savoring his just-bought strawberry ice cream.

"I guess so. They're getting along fine now." I answered, distracted with the shops around that I've not visited yet, pretty much all of them.

"Yeah. I guess we can head back now. It's getting boring watching them already." Kaoru concluded. Everyone else nodded and turned back heading to the pension. "Arisa?"

"I'll be right there!" I replied, giving the dress I last look, trying to capture the design of it, before following behind them. I loved the way the ruffles was made on it, making it look pretty yet not too girlish. What's more, it’s blue!

I continued walking behind the group slower, my eyes looking in different directions, half-hoping that something would catch my eyes just like the dress earlier. Unknowingly, I had drawn away from the group when a pastel-purple cotton scarf with some flowery designs of pink blossoms on it. I had practically plunged my face onto the barrier that was keeping me away from it, the glass window.

“Kawaii!!! This definitely fits with Haruhi’s next outfit!” I squealed in delight, being mesmerized in the simplicity of the design, yet outstanding at the same time, I hadn’t noticed that my squeals had caught many attentions except for the specific group of them which I was supposed to be following. I quickly dashed into the shop, eager to possess it before another customer would do so.

“Thank you Miss! We hope to see you again!” the sales lady bowed in respect as she see me off the shop.

I grinned excitedly at the two items I had just bought. When I was paying for the scarf, I saw a necklace and ended up getting it for Kaoru too. It was a love locket with 2 sides for him to put pictures in it. Behind it, there was some cravings stating ‘Love forever and always’. I really hope he’ll like it though. I had even had it wrapped and placed in a blue bag back in the shop just now and had already written a small card for him too.

“Wait a minute...” I stopped in my tracks. “It’s suddenly so quiet... Wait, where are the rest?” I pondered out loud. My sudden excitement drained away from me in less than a second and was immediately replaced with loneliness and fear just as the lightning flashed across the sky, followed by a distant sound of soft thunder, signifying that a storm in near. My eyes frantically darted around me in search of any similar figures but I couldn’t. I began clenching the bags I had as I strode briskly along the streets in hope that I could remember any familiar shops so that I could head back to Misuzu's pension. But it was no use.

“Hey, look what I found guys~” I heard someone slurred behind me just as I accidentally stepped into an alley. I gulped. Me and my stupid sense of direction... My hand clenching even tighter before and I could feel my blunt nails digging into my flesh.

“Hey hot stuff! What is someone like you doing here?” the guy in grey t-shirt called out to me as he dangerously neared me, along with two other friends of his.

This is practically a deja vu like what happened at the beach. I backed away from them with every step they take towards me. Panic raced through me. I gasped when I felt my back hit the wall.

“Aww, looked like this little kitty had been caught!” His friend with a black torn t-shirt chuckled evilly.

‘Can’t you see little girl? There’s no one to save you now, is there?’ I could practically hear the chuckles from the kidnappers who had me in the past.

“No...” I muttered under my breath, clutching the bags near my chest.

“What did you say kitty?” the other guy taunted while giving me a wicked grin.

“I say no! Get away from me!” I yelled, trying to hide my fear towards them.

“Wow feisty!” the first guy in grey said, stepping closer to me. “Or else what?”

Fear began to over-ride me again. I couldn’t think of what I could do as I shut my eyes tightly in hope that I could find a way out.

“Or else this!” Another voice shouted angrily and then moaned of agony and punches could be heard.

My eyes blinked open, only to find Arai standing here and the three guys sprawling on the floor.

“Are you ok?” he asked in concern as he flexed his wrist. “Hey, aren’t you Haruhi’s friend? Ari-something...”

A rumble rang through the area as I tensed up again. “T-Thank you...” I gave Arai a quick bow and then ran out of the alley, not caring if he had called after me, searching again in hope that I would be in the right direction back to the pension.

As I search for my way, I felt tension creeping up to me. Thunder could be heard almost immediately after each lightning flashes across the sky, which means a storm is nearing.

“I wonder if they are looking for me now... Stupid me for not even bring my phone! I hope it won’t raining till I’ve found my way back...” I mumbled under my breath in frustration in my own stupidity for wandering off on my own. Just as I had completed my sentence, it began to start pouring after the sky had released a few drops of rain, getting even heavier by the minute. Within seconds, before I was able to react, I had been drenched from head to toe.

“Me and my stupid mouth.” I cursed, my eyes darting anxiously around the area and spotted an old looking church out of nowhere. Sheltering my eyes from the rain with my hands, I ran to the church and peered my head through.

“Erm.... H-hello...?” My voice echoed throughout the chapel as I shuddered from the cold.

Lightning flashes dangerously across the sky making the church inside of the church to look even more as if it was from a horror movie, to me that is, and immediately thunders followed right after giving a deafening roar that could most probably be heard from even a thousands of miles away from here.

“Eeep!” I shrieked, my hands shifted to my ears and I dashed into the church, heading straight for the table up at the front and hid under it.

I can’t hear. I can’t hear anything... It’s just a storm... There’s nothing wrong with it... I chanted in my mind in hope for myself to be able to drown my mind into my thoughts and away from the storm. But it was no use. Seeing as another strike of lightning came, brightening the insides of the church temporary, I cringed, waiting for the next round of thunder to roar through the area.

I shouldn’t have wandered off on my own! I thought regretfully to myself, wincing once again at the deafening thunder that boomed outside the dark and lonely chapel. The more the storm prolong, the more it had made me remember that night. That terrifying experience which I’ve no intention of going through again. Terror soared through me as seconds turned to minutes or even longer. I could feel myself being constricted, as though there were ropes tying tight on my shoulders, hands and legs. Sounds and voices from that night echoed and replayed in my mind like a broken tape recorder. I shivered from my drenched clothes, hugging my legs close to me.

In the midst of my constant panic and fear of the thunder and darkness surrounding me, I had not noticed the sound of footsteps in that had entered the chapel until they neared me. My eyes widened as I felt my heart froze. The clapping footsteps echoed louder with each step towards me.

N-no... No!!!!!! Get away from me! I cringed back, I hope that maybe the ground would somehow open to swallow me up, taking me away from here. I could feel the stranger right in front of me now, peering closer and me wishing all the more for everything around me to disappear.

“A-Arisa? Gosh, thank goodness it was you...” Haruhi sighed in relief as she too shivered in from both fear and cold.

“H-Haruhi?” My eyes popped open, not believing what I’ve just heard, my hands lifting a little away from my ears. It was no stranger. It was really Haruhi!

I rushed forward and hugged her just as she did the same, partly in relief, when we heard another rumble. Having another person with me had somewhat calmed me down a little, but still, my nerves continue to twist and turn with every boom, crackle or roar of what Haruhi and I hated and we would hugged each other even tighter in hope for some comfort.

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Back with the Host Club~

“Wow, that’s one incredible lightning.” Kaoru noted, staring out the window, just like Kyoya and Honey.

“I hope Hika-chan and Haru-chan have found some shelter.” Honey pondered worriedly, hands pressing onto the window as he peered at the gloomy clouds that were about to release a downpour anytime.

“They should be in taxi and be on the way home.” Kyoya stated calmly as thunder roared followed by the downpour they had expected.

“Tamaki you seemed unsettled. Is there something wrong?” Misuzu questioned as he came downstairs after acquiring to the customers’ needs, seeing the usual dramatic prince looking so nervous was unheard of.

“Where’s Arisa?” Mori suddenly blurted out and everyone turned to look at him, partly surprised with the sudden question raised.

“I thought she had went upstairs?” Kaoru contemplated, recapping when he had last seen her.

“Upstairs?” Misuzu tilted his head in a girly manner as he said. “She wasn’t there. I thought she had gone to buy something that’s why she didn’t come back with you guys.”

“What?!” Tamaki and Kaoru shouted in shock.

Just then, the shop’s phone rang. “Hello~ Misuzu’s pension! How may I help you?”

“Ah! Arai-kun! Huh? What?” Misuzu exclaimed in shock over the phone, making everyone to snap their heads towards his direction. “Hikaru had quarrelled with Haruhi and he had ran off? Haruhi ran off after him too? No. They are not back yet. Arisa? No, she’s not back yet. Eh? You’ve seen her? Oh thank goodness. Ok, thank you very much. I’ll let you know when they’re back. Thank you dear.”

“Well?” Tamaki urged anxiously.

“Apparently Haruhi and Hikaru met Arai-kun outside a store and Hikaru ran off after that with Haruhi chasing after him. Arai met Arisa shortly after when she was somehow cornered by some thugs, but after he saved her, she just ran off immediately after that! Though he did mentioned that she seemed to be in distress.”

“I’m going to find them!” Kaoru and Tamaki claimed in unison. But before they took off Kaoru’s phone rang.

“Hikaru?” Kaoru said, eyes darting to the entrance of the pension, in hope that Arisa would appear. He could feel the guilt raging within him for not making sure that she had gone back with them. He had been too focused on his brother that he hadn’t realised where she had gone to.

“Hey Kaoru? Could you send a car over?”

“Where are you? Is Haruhi with you? Have you seen Arisa too?” Kaoru popped his questions at his brother.

“Hikaru!” Tamaki snatched the phone away from Kaoru and bellowed through the phone. “You didn’t see Haruhi get in the car did you? If not, go back now! Go back and find her now! Arisa might probably be with her too! GO BACK AND FIND THEM NOW, DID YOU HEAR ME?!”

“Huh?” Hikaru stopped in his track in confusion. “Milord, not in this thunderstorm...”

“YOU IDIOT! GO BACK RIGHT NOW!” Tamaki yelled in both frustration and worry, while the other just looked at him in total shock. Never have they ever see the king goes into such a huge rage before. “HOW DARE YOU LEAVE A GIRL IN THE RAIN! BEFORE YOU THROW INTO A FIT LIKE SOME JEALOUS JERK, THINK ABOUT HOW THE OTHERS MIGHT FEEL! HARUHI IS AFRAID OF THUNDER!!! AND SO IS ARISA TOO!!! THEY ARE SO SCARED OF IT THAT THEY COULDN’T EVEN MOVE!”

“What... How am I suppose to know...” Hikaru muttered in frustration, yet guiltiness as flashes of the things that Haruhi had mentioned to him about the weather ran through his mind. “Idiot...” He took off immediately back to the track where he had previously ran pass.

Kaoru, on the other hand, had also too burst out of the door the moment Tamaki had finished his episode, before the rest had time to react. Cursing under his breath as he went on a search for Arisa, hoping that she was alright.

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“Hikaru!”

“Kaoru!”

The two redhead ran into each other just right in front of the old church shouting out at the same time. “Have you found her? Have you gone there to check?”

“A church?” Hikaru asked.

“Could she be in there?” Kaoru said and then caught his breath when he saw trails of puddles of water on the ground.

“~Arisa? Haruhi? Are you in there?~” the twins stepped in and walked towards the front of the altar. Small quivering could be heard as they near the front.

The two redheads walked to the front, in hope that they would be there and what they saw made their hearts seemed to have dropped. The two girls were crouching right under the table. Both having their hands holding on tight to their ears as they stuck close to each other in anxiety.

“Arisa.”

“Haruhi” the boys said in unision.

“K-kaoru?”

“H-hikaru?” the two girls lifted their heads a little to see who were before them, but seeing them both looking so terrified and almost brimming in tears made them feel even more ashamed of themselves.

Another claps of thunder bellowed, causing both Haruhi and Arisa to yelped and flinched. The twins knelt down and sat beside them. Hikaru pulled off the table cloth and covered over them, while putting his earphones over Haruhi’s ears, pulling her to lie onto him. Kaoru went over to hug Arisa, tugging her close as he covered her ears with his hands.

“Y-ou’re late...” Arisa murmured, feeling a sense of safety and comfort washing over her as she snuggled into Kaoru, keeping her eyes shut, feeling the exhaustion creeping up to her and darkness pulling her into a deep sleep.

“~Sorry...~” the twins confessed, looking far ahead, both not knowing that those words were not heard as the girls had fallen sound asleep.

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Arisa’s POV:

The Next Day...

“Hey Arai-kun!” Haruhi and I welcomed him in the pension as Arai held up a watermelon in front of us.

“Here’s the watermelon I’ve promised,” he grinned.

“Thank you very much Arai-kun!” Haruhi exclaimed, her eyes as big as saucers staring at the huge juicy looking fruit in front of her.

“Erm... Arai-kun...” I started, suddenly feeling shy. “Thank you for saving me from those thugs yesterday... And I’m so sorry for suddenly running away after that!” I bowed in gratitude at him.

“Nah, it was nothing.” he brushed it off.

“Wow! A watermelon!” Kaoru called out as he and Hikaru came down the stairs. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at Hikaru, hoping that there wouldn’t be another outburst again.

Thankfully, it was what we had hope for. Hikaru had beamed at Arai and started chatting with him instead of being green-eye monster.

“Thanks for the watermelon!” he said happily as he took it over from Arai and patted him on the shoulders.

“Looks like he had grown up a little huh, Kaoru?” I looked up at my boyfriend and gave him as cheeky grin which he returned it with a kiss, taking me in little surprised.

“Eww~ No PDA bro!” Hikaru yelled in disgust as he fake gagged, making everyone burst out into laughter.


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