calypsa: (Tama-chan)
Bree ([personal profile] calypsa) wrote2009-12-24 08:17 pm
Entry tags:

little Christmas fic

I wrote this little Ouran Christmas fic for shinebunny over on holiday_ouran, so I thought I'd share.

title: Souvenir
rating/warning: eh, PG, no warnings, 'tis not at all shocking
characters/pairings: Haruhi/Kyoya, with appeareances by the rest of the boys
word count: 2,402
summary: Haruhi goes to a Christmas party at Kyoya's after being away from high school and the Host Club for five years.

“Welcome, Haruhi,” said Kyoya in a sweeping voice that was clearly a remnant of his host club days. He smiled – that sly, plotting smile that had always made her knees just a little weak – and gestured to a prim looking maid to take the little plate of home-made Christmas cookies out of Haruhi’s hands. He helped her out of her coat himself which surprised her a little (but only until another maid quickly whisked the outer garment out of his arms and into another room) and led her down the entrance hall and into a large room lit by a fireplace and one huge – but not ostentatious – Christmas tree.

Kyoya waved her into the room – another grand leftover host club gesture – and she walked past him through the door. She felt a little out of place in such an impressive room and more than a little exposed without her big scarf and tiny plate of cookies to hide behind. She spotted Tamaki only a moment before he saw her.

He was crouched on the floor next to a little girl with long dark hair who couldn’t have been more than four years old. They seemed to be playing with a toy nativity scene and Haruhi could just make out Tamaki’s voice – exaggeratedly gruff and deep – as he moved the three bearded wise men figures about over the little manger. The little girl giggled and he joined her laughter, sounding no older that his little playmate. A moment later when he looked up and saw Haruhi, childlike joy spread across his still-boyish face.

“Haruhi!” he shouted, running across the room and throwing his arms around her. She couldn’t help but laugh and hug him back, remembering a younger, more insecure version of herself who would have tolerated his embrace with a long-suffering sigh. “I’m so glad you came!”

“Me too,” she said simply, beginning to feel a warm sense of belonging and hominess in her belly. Hikaru and Kaoru made their way to her with a hair’s breadth more dignity and restraint than Tamaki had, and Honey bounded up to her and hugged her tight while Mori smiled, warm and silent. And for a moment, it felt like they had never parted. But then Haruhi noticed how broad Honey’s shoulders had become, how wise Kaoru’s eyes were, how mature Hikaru looked when he smiled, how strong and sure and grown up Tamaki was despite his childish face. Only Kyoya seemed untouched by time. But then, he had always seemed so much more mature than the rest of them, so practical and intelligent, that these few short years would have had to turn him into an old man to make him seem any wiser.

She was ushered over to a couch nearby and the former members of the Ouran Host Club arranged themselves beside her or on the arms of furniture, only Kyoya standing a few steps away.

“So, Haruhi, how is law school going?” asked Tamaki, eyes bright.

“It’s going well,” she said with a deep breath. “It’s just as hard as I thought it would be, but I have some great professors and we have a lot of practicing attorneys come in and lecture, which is really great because they let us ask about current cases.”

“I’m so proud of you, Haruhi.” Tamaki’s smile was sweet and wistful, and it reminded her of being a little girl in her father’s arms.

“What about you guys?” she asked, looking around at all these faces at once so familiar and so strange from the time that had passed between them. “What have you all been up to?”

She listened intently as they took turns describing their lives, all these familiar strangers, and she felt a little sad. She was sad she had ever let herself fall out of contact with them. They had been so close in high school, like a little family. But come graduation they had all drifted away like dandelion seeds, off in their different directions, their different lives. She got an email now and again from Kyoya or Kaoru and Tamaki still called her occasionally, but she hadn’t actually seen any of them in almost five years now. And the strangest thing was that she hadn’t really realized how much she had missed them until this moment, surrounded by their excited voices and good-natured teasing. She squinted a little against the uncharacteristic moistening of her eyes as she felt her heart contract and expand in the warmth of these dear, dear friends.

“Who wants to decorate a gingerbread house?” Haruhi looked up and saw a beautiful, dark haired woman with a bright girlish smile and a round, very pregnant belly standing beside a long table at the side of the room. The table was covered in candies and icing and a small village of plain gingerbread houses.

“Come on, Tamaki!” cried the little girl he had been playing with earlier. “Come help me!”

“All right, Yuka, I’m coming,” he laughed. He placed one hand over Haruhi’s and said something about catching up more later, then let the little girl tug him over to the gingerbread table. Honey joined them, never having shaken his love of sweets (it was nice to see that some things never changed) and ate about as much candy as he stuck to the roof of his house. Mori stood nearby, quietly sipping at a glass of wine and looking so sophisticated that Haruhi caught herself staring at him.

“Fuyumi, will you please sit down?” said Kyoya, a sort of affectionate exasperation in his voice that reminded Haruhi of how he used to sound when he spoke to Tamaki.

“Oh, hush,” she said, smiling and running her hand over her round belly. “I’m pregnant, not disabled.”

He sighed and smiled and adjusted his glasses with one graceful finger, hiding his eyes behind the glare on the lenses. “True, but it wouldn’t hurt you to take a rest now and then.”

Haruhi felt her cheeks warm a little. As reserved as he was, even displays of fondness that obscure were rare and she felt she had seen a glimpse of a secret part of him, another one of the thousand tiny mosaic pieces she had collected in all her time knowing him, and yet she was still unsure of the full picture these little shards of color formed.

“Are you worried about me, Uncle Kyoya?” Fuyumi teased.

Haruhi thought for a moment that she saw a slight flush pass over Kyoya’s cheeks, but then she blinked and was no longer sure if it had been real.

“Uncle Kyoya?” Another little girl, younger by a year or two than Yuka, had appeared beside the bespectacled young man and was tugging at his pant leg and looking around him at Haruhi.

“Yes, Tsukiko?”

“Who’s that?” She pointed with her round, baby arm and short fingers at Haruhi and whispered very loudly.

“That is my friend Haruhi,” he answered, and he sounded just like he always had when speaking to clients, with a smile in his gentle even voice. “Would you like to meet her?”

Tsukiko nodded and then followed Kyoya over to the couch where Haruhi still sat, hiding herself behind his legs. He sat down and ushered the little girl out to stand before Haruhi, her tiny fingers fiddling with the hem of her little red dress.

“Haruhi,” he said very formally, “I would like you to meet my niece, Tsukiko.”

“Hello, there,” said Haruhi, waving her hand at the timid little girl. “You have a very pretty name.”

“I like your hair,” she said, taking a step forward and reaching up to touch with the naïve boldness only little children have.

“Yes, Haruhi, I had been meaning to say I think that hairstyle is very becoming on you.” He smiled and Haruhi could not read his face. He had always been that way. She could never really tell if he was being sincere or laughing at her. No matter how she tried, she never could quite wrap her mind around him. His words were all so careful, so specific, and she couldn’t figure out if that was because he wanted to be precise or because he wanted to hide his true thoughts the same way he hid his eyes behind the flash of his glasses.

“Thank you,” she said, unsure of her footing on the strange terrain between them. With the others, she always knew where she stood, but Kyoya . . . There was something about him that was a little enthralling but at the same time made her feel unsteady, almost as if he had his own gravitational pull tugging her toward him with stumbling steps.

“You’re very pretty.” A soft, round hand patted her cheek and the little girl looked over her shoulder at her uncle. “Don’t you think, Uncle Kyoya?”

“Yes,” he answered, his voice soft and almost sad. “Beautiful.” Haruhi felt her breath catch in her throat - unsteady - and wasn’t sure what to think for a moment.

“Tsukiko! C’mere!” called Yuka, waving a bag of icing and jumping up and down.

“Coming!” The little girl darted off without so much as another word, leaving Haruhi and Kyoya to sit on the couch, cast in oranges and reds from the fire’s glow.

“So,” she said after a moment, knowing that she sounded awkward but no longer able to bear the heavy silence. “Uncle?”

Kyoya smiled, for once his face unguarded as he looked at the two little girls now standing beside Tamaki. Haruhi’s heartbeat quickened.

“They are my sister, Fuyumi’s daughters,” he said, his lovely melodic voice sounding strangely dreamy. She could never ever remember seeing him like this. It felt like she could finally see something of Kyoya’s real emotion, love for his family, like a river deep and steady and rare. “She’s pregnant with her third now. They say this one will be a boy.”

“That’s wonderful,” Haruhi answered, now unable to look away from his face. The fire crackled and neither of them spoke, both knowing that the other was not one for unnecessary words. Both knowing that there was more between them than there were words for, things left unsaid for so long that they no longer had voices. And again, Haruhi felt a creeping sadness, this time in the pit of her stomach, as if she had lost something she never knew she could have. She had a strange desire to reach out across the space between them and clutch at his neatly tailored jacket, to pull him towards her and close that space, that strange distance she no longer wanted to feel pushing their bodies away from one another. But she didn’t, couldn’t, and the moment passed. They stood, separated and wandered into the group to join the activities. Haruhi thought she could feel him watching her, but each time she looked his eyes were directed elsewhere.

There was a small uproar when the twins figured out that the small plate of cookies sitting on the table beside the gumdrops were made by Haruhi’s own hands. She laughed as they were passed around as if they were some precious thing, and everything felt so wonderfully familiar that she could almost feel herself returning to that younger girl that had known them all so well.

The evening passed too quickly, more like moments than hours, and the guests were beginning to depart. Honey and Mori were the first to leave. Honey wished her luck in her studies and promised they would see each other again soon and Mori patted her head and smiled, reminding them both of how young they once were and how much was still before them. The twins were next, a flurry of invitations and embraces warmly crowding her as they pulled on their coats. And Tamaki, with a significant glance at Kyoya, bid her goodnight with a soft smile and drew her to him in a hug she could feel down into her bones. He handed her a pretty ivory envelope and headed out the door, his scent lingering and making her almost forget she was not going to see him tomorrow in Music Room III. The envelope contained a card inviting her to a New Year’s celebration at the Suou main estate.

“I’m glad you could come.” Kyoya helped her on with her coat and she once again felt confusion as she looked up at him. But warmth overcame her uncertainty.

“Thank you for inviting me,” she said. “I had a wonderful time. It has been so nice to see everyone again after all this time.”

“Yes,” he said, and his eyes tried to hide themselves again. “They have all missed you.”

She smiled. She knew. Haruhi stepped forward, placed a hand on his arm and did something her younger self had never had the courage to and leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. Not as bold as she wanted to be, but as much as she could manage with her head spinning between faraway thens and cinnamon scented nows. He adjusted his glasses and looked away, but she could see the small smile curling his lips and for once he didn’t look as if he were adding sums in his head when his eyes returned to hers.

“I hope to see you at Tamaki’s party next week,” he said.

“Of course I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it.”

“I’m glad.”

One of Kyoya’s security men pulled the large white door open for her and offered to escort her to her car. She shook her head and pulled her coat tight around her against the sudden cold from outside. As she turned, Kyoya took her hand and squeezed it once, gently.

“Merry Christmas, Haruhi.” His eyes shone and his smile was genuine.

“Merry Christmas.” Slowly he withdrew his hand and she walked out the door into the night, stars shining down on her from the frozen sky. Though her boots clicked on the icy sidewalks and the cold seeped through the fabric of her coat, she felt a warmth and peace she had not realized she had been missing and she couldn’t help but smile at the thought of seeing them all again in just a week. Even though she had almost forgotten them, they were still a family, and that was a love that didn’t even fade with time.

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