Categories > Anime/Manga > Ouran High School Host Club > King, Queen, Knave

Part One

by evil_whimsey 1 Reviews

Once he's envisioned the outcome he desires, Kyouya begins to plan, and devise, and very quickly he realizes that Fujioka Haruhi is going to be a problem.

Category: Ouran High School Host Club - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters:  - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006/12/02 - Updated: 2006/12/02 - 1251 words

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Preface:
The following is a collection of "missing scenes" from the "Ouran High School Host Club" Manga (English Edition, Volume Six). Readers familiar with these episodes may recognize some dialogue and key phrases as direct quotes from original text. This is done to emphasize the context of these re-interpreted scenes, and with no intent to plagiarize the original work.



1.

So far as Ootori Kyouya is concerned, competition for the Central Salon at the Ouran school festival was over the moment the Host Club applied for it. They had contrived to concede the prize to the student council the previous year, by unanimous agreement and without regret, for it had been the appropriate decision at that time.

But there is a time to give away a prize in the interest of future benefit, and there is a time to grasp victory in both hands, and this year the Host Club will have the Central Salon. Not only will they win, they will achieve their aim in spectacular, memorable fashion, as befits their reputation in all things.

"All your brothers were at the top of their classes when they were at school," says his father. "I'm sure you know that alone won't impress me now."

As if it even needs mentioning. For as long as Kyouya can remember, his father has been explicitly clear on what was expected of him as an Ootori, and the youngest son of a brilliant, ambitious family. The rota of expectation has been a principle fixture in his experience, kept ever before his gaze, in one way or another since childhood. Like a prayer on a prayer wheel, turning and turning, grinding out the same petition year after year. He is no less bound to the future laid out for him at birth, than he is bound to the earth by gravity. His father's wishes are the fundamental facts of Kyouya's life, inescapable and omnipresent.

There is no competition or challenge the school could devise that would remotely approach the rigours of growing up Ootori. The contest for the Central Salon will be a child's game for him; he knows this before the terms of the competition are even announced.

He thinks that in addition to engineering the Host Club's success this year, he will give himself the bonus prize of defining the precise shape and savour of their victory. Each member of the club, he decides, will shine according to their talent. The spectators will be kept spellbound throughout, and their competitors will believe they have every chance of winning--right up to the moment of their decisive defeat.

Once he's envisioned the outcome he desires, Kyouya begins to plan, and devise, and very quickly he realizes that Fujioka Haruhi is going to be a problem.

*

One might not know it at a casual glance, but Haruhi is a very, very bright girl. Her academic achievements aside, she is capable of devastating insight, in the most unexpected situations; Kyouya can attest personally to this.

Having stumbled unprepared into Ouran's cloistered microcosm of privilege and wealth, she is socially adrift much of the time, forever being brought up short by circumstances the other students have taken for granted all their lives. That being said, he's watched her adapt at impressive speed this year, and has wondered more than once if any of them would fare as well in her world--of train tickets and budget meals, instant coffee and apartment housing--as she has fared in theirs.

It is at the end of a long day of classes, followed by the perennial insanity of Host Club hours, followed by dinner at home, homework, and final revisions for tomorrow's Physics examination, that Kyouya pulls up the encrypted folder on his laptop for the data pertaining to his plans for the competition.

She is going to see right through this, he thinks.

He isn't sure how, or when (though knowing the girl, it will be the most inconvenient moment possible). But he can picture it in his mind: Haruhi, standing apart from the group, taking a short respite from the Hitachiin twins' predations and Tamaki's theatrics, gears turning apace behind her deceptively absent gaze. She will see something amiss in the arrangements, something not quite square.

First she will suspect, then calculate, and then announce her conclusion to the group the instant she reaches it, her ruthless logic steamrolling its way over discretion or second thoughts.

Losing the illusion of true competition will of course negate a goodly part of the reward for their effort, and taint the entire enterprise for the Host club. An unacceptable outcome, and one which Kyouya must at all costs circumvent. But how?

He thinks and schemes, discarding dozens of ideas, from reasonable to ridiculous. But after two hours without an answer, he's forced to admit that the problem won't be solved tonight. He'll have to sleep on it, and see how things look in the morning.

That night, he dreams strangely.

"Don't forget to take the Joker from the deck, Senpai," says dream-Haruhi, perched in his lap. "We don't use wild cards in this game."

"Then what shall I do with him?"
he asks her, the cards shuffling slick in his hands, flashing through his fingers like trickster magic.

"Set him aside for luck." And with a smile full of mischief, she slips off his glasses, folding the frames delicately. "And I'll set these aside."

He isn't worried. In this dream, his plans have come to beautiful fruition. Everything is already in his hands.

"But how do you expect me to see?" Pretending sternness for the sake of their game.

Her laugh is a bright, sweet thing. "You can see well enough to steal a kiss, can't you?"

Of course he proves her right.

*

The content of the dream he dismisses as spare baggage of his adolescent male psyche. It is nothing more or less than the normal, healthy product of a subconscious awash in hormones, and wholly insignificant to Kyouya beyond that. What preoccupies him upon waking, then through breakfast and school preparations, is the dream's /context/, particularly the significance of that deck of cards.

Could there be a message in this, that might help solve his dilemma? What could it mean, Haruhi reminding him to take out the Joker, the wild card, from the deck he was shuffling?

She obviously functioned as a wild card in his contest schemes; rather than trying to hide his plans from her, should he look for a way to prevent her competing altogether?

Though the solution would be simple to execute it feels dishonourable to him, and seems an inelegant way of securing his aims. He will save it for a last resort.

"...take the Joker from the deck...," she had said. "Set him aside for luck."

Kyouya leaves off trying to read the morning headlines, and picks up his phone.
"I have an errand to run before classes this morning," he tells the driver. "I'll be ready to leave in five minutes."

Last week, the car had taken an alternate route to avoid traffic, and he recalls passing an eye-catching storefront display full of games and novelties. If there is any place he's likely to find a deck of cards on a moment's notice, it will be there, and he reasons that buying it himself is more expedient than sending someone to purchase the item and bring it to him later in the day.

He is looking for inspiration, and needs to find it quickly.

*
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