Hikaru and Haruhi go on vacation together. Hikaru x Haruhi.
They visited Singapore at the beginning of July, and neither mentioned the paper-thin possibility of rain, much less thunderstorms. (Haruhi having scarcely been abroad before, her first trip was meant to be a bit on the tentative, if not downright cautious, side - tropical countries during the dry season were, they reckoned, quite a safe bet) The taxi driver waxed enthusiastic all the way from the airport to the hotel about the annual food festival. Hikaru studiously watched the traffic and buildings outside, while Haruhi expressed genuine enthusiasm in meticulously spoken English.
"Today is the first day of the festival," she said to Hikaru. "How about we drop by?"
"I'm not overly fond of seafood, crabs included."
"I'm sure they'll have plenty of other food to choose from. We'd have time to rest too - the festival won't finish until midnight, so the driver told me."
When they reached the hotel, he took a quick shower and went to bed. She hung their clothes in the closet and arrayed their personal items carefully on the dressing table - spending her life among appearance-conscious men had made her almost enjoy it - before curling up on the bed next to him, drifting pleasantly in and out of a light nap.
Three hours later, refreshed and ready for an early dinner, he was still reluctant to attend the food festival. "Too many people," he stated. "And is eating all we'll be able to do?"
"You can always complain to me afterward," she offered. "No, eating is not all we can do - at this hour shops might still be open. We can buy souvenirs, or look up non-seafood dishes."
She waited if his face would suggest that he was thinking of Kaoru, but either he was too guarded or she was too imaginative. "I wouldn't mind prawns, for one. But I prefer buying souvenirs during the daylight."
"Really? That's wonderful." She gave him a wide smile, knowing it would not offend him. Twisting people around her little finger was, after all, not exactly in her department.
It was crowded, but not stiflingly so; the chattering tourists and citizens, camera flashes and general rush of humanity were not as torrential as they had expected. Hikaru, more out of practicality than gentlemanliness, fetched several skewers of spice-laden satay for Haruhi. Combined with the bland taste of the accompanying rice-based /lontong/, they were a delectable sting on the tongue. She failed to cajole him into eating the same, so she whisked him off to search for something prawnish. ("Lobsters are okay too, right?")
The hands on his wristwatch were showing ten-thirty. "You tired yet?" he asked. They had had no luck with the prawns, which was, privately speaking, no great loss to him.
"Not in the slightest." She wondered if he was planning on visiting a night club or a similar place.
"You were yawning just now."
"Oh, that? My brain needed a tiny extra supply of oxygen, that's all."
They walked back to the hotel. She marveled at the bright lights, somehow subtly different from those in Tokyo; he said it must be the air.
His cell phone emitted a low, apologetic beep as they crossed the hotel lobby. "Go on," she said. "Kaoru's probably worried about us."
Hikaru's eyes touched briefly on the message on the screen. "It's not him."
"It's the lord. He wants to know if you're okay, if there really have been no rain, storms or squalls."
"And he asked you because he understands that you'd tell me he asked?"
"I suppose," Hikaru said, dropping the cell phone back into his pocket, "it's because he thought I wouldn't."
(Brief letter attached to a picture of Hikaru and Haruhi against the backdrop of the Chao Phraya River)
We decided to go to Bangkok before our time is up. When I said I wish we could stay longer, he looked like he wanted to give me a surprise birthday trip or something, but didn't want me to suspect that. We'd be arriving home on Sunday at the latest.
Love from your daughter,
P.S. You can show this picture to anyone who goes asking after me. I think some people just might. Don't let any of them keep it, though.