Being the most popular club at Ouran has its perks; but when another club wants to sit down and observe the structure of the club, can the Host Club manage while still keeping their secrets?
Submission for the livejournal ouran_contest drabble challenge.
Word Count: 5685
-noun, plural eÂ·gos.
1. the "I" or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
2. Psychoanalysis. the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
3. egotism; conceit; self-importance: Her ego becomes more unbearable each day.
4. self-esteem or self-image; feelings: Your criticism wounded his ego.
5. (often initial capital letter) Philosophy.
a. the enduring and conscious element that knows experience.
b. Scholasticism. the complete person comprising both body and soul.
6. Ethnology. a person who serves as the central reference point in the study of organizational and kinship relationships.
Under the Observer's Eye
He had always said "club was family," even going so far as to assign roles; but it was rare, to say the least, when Tamaki's metaphors...er, fantasies, were actually coherent and even more rare when they were true.
A sharp knock on the door preluded the dramatic entrance of one of the many science clubs of Ouran. Haruhi sighed, wishing--for once--that something, /anything/, in Ouran could exist without the unnecessary flourish.
"Ouran High School Host Club," a tall teenager in large, round glasses called out.
The room went silent as they all turned to look at their four fellow students decked out in lab coats. Three of them were looking around and furiously taking notes on their clipboards. Haruhi put down the tea set she was carrying. She excused herself from her customers, before walking over to where the rest of the Host Club was gathered to greet their newest guests.
"Hello," Tamaki said. "What can the Host Club do for you gentlemen?"
He paused looking at each in turn. His eyes widened to see that one of the four was a young woman, hair swept up in a high bun and thin, fashionable frames balanced perfectly on her nose. The Host Club "king" sauntered over to the girl, his charm oozing from his every pore. "And you, my lovely lady," he said. "How many I help you?"
He caught her still writing hand. She looked up, seemingly lost in his eyes while he kissed her hand gently. The other two note takers continued to scribble furiously as they watched Tamaki and their female club member.
"Ah, Suou-san," the leader of the group said. "I have a request for you and your club."
Tamaki let go of the girl, allowing her to go back to her notes--her cheeks slightly flushed. He walked over to stand with his club members, allowing the other teen to continue.
"I am Kengaku Rikei, president of the Observational Science Club," he said. "And these are my club members: Kengaku Fubuki, Gijutsu Seimei and Shisaku Shosun."
The three members bowed briefly as their names were acknowledged.
"Kengaku-sempai," Kyouya said. He had stopped his own notes to curiously gaze upon the intruding club. "How many we help you?"
"We have started a new area of study and are in search of a group to observe. Seeing the phenomena that is the Host Club, it seems most suitable to use you for our means."
"I'm sorry," Kyouya said politely. "But in the interest of the our clients, we cannot allow you to conduct any experiments."
"Ah, you misunderstand Ootori-san. We have no interest in your clients, it is just the Host Club we want to observe."
The bespectacled men stared down at each other. Rikei's eyes were hidden behind his own large frames, while Kyouya's sharp eyes took in the elder's stance. "Ootori-sempai," the girl, Shosun, interrupted. "This is a private study. The results of which will be opened only for our club members and sponsors, and any future members. Nothing will be published and we can assure you that your clients will be left nameless. There will be nothing that will harm your club at all."
"I'm afraid I still can't allow it."
"But Kyouya," Tamaki whined.
The other club members groaned. If Tamaki's soft spot had been hit, there was no helping them now.
"Ootori Kyouya," another club member, Fubuki, spoke. "Third son of the Ootori family, fourth child total. Vice President of the Host Club, number one in his class."
"While only VP, he controls the club and it's finances. Subject to the President's whims," Seimei continued. "His relationships are based off of beneficiality. He does nothing where he doesn't get something out of it. Often uses the Host Club as a guinea pig."
"Kyouya!" Tamaki whined. "Is this true?"
The other teen just rolled his eyes. "You seem to have a lot of research done already, why do you need to observe our club?"
Rikei smiled. "We are the Observational Science Club," he began. "Our research means nothing if we can't observe you in your entirety, not just the information we are able to collect here and there."
"So you just want to sit in the room and watch us?" Haruhi asked.
Rikei looked over at the newest club member. His smile widened as he looked her up and down. "Ah, Fujioka Haruhi," he said, a slight drawl to his speech.
Her brows furrowed at the way he said her name. "Haruhi," Kyouya said.
He grabbed her wrist and pulled her behind him. The twins quickly came to flank either side of him, cutting off any view the other club may have.
Rikei continued to smile; the other members of his club turning back to writing furiously. "I'm still afraid that we cannot allow this--"
"Nonsense Kyouya," Tamaki stepped in.
The "king" stood with posture straight, eyes half closed, and a beautiful smile crossing his lips. "Of course we'll help our brothers at the Observatory Club out--"
"Observational Science Club," the three younger members of the club corrected.
"--If they need our help, who are we to say no?"
"Tamaki," Kyouya warned.
He was ignored as the blond approached the other president. "When will you need to begin?"
Rikei smiled. "I thank you Suou-san," he said.
"Tamaki," the other man insisted.
"You have helped us greatly and saved us the trouble for petitioning the superintendent to allow us to observe your club. We will begin tomorrow. We just ask you to act as if we're not here, just as you normally would."
"Ah--not a problem," he said.
Rikei nodded and thanked the other president once again. The other club members bowed politely. All four left, this time without the flourish.
Tamaki turned back to the group. Kyouya had already left to resume whatever he did with his own notebook. Haruhi had returned to her customers, as had Mori and Honey.
"Good one our lord," Hikaru chastised. Kaoru repeated the sentiment.
"These people are masters at taking in people's behaviors and figuring things out about them."
"So? Does this mean you two have something to hide?"
"No," Kaoru said.
"But Haruhi does," Hikaru finished.
Tamaki's jaw dropped and his eyes widened. "Haruhi!" he yelled.
Kyouya rolled his eyes. Of course, he thought to himself. Only /now would he think about that./
"Kaa-san," Tamaki whined. "What are we going to do?"
The shadow-king, however, was already coming up with his own plans.
The three freshmen Host members walked into the third music room, already having forgotten about the day before. They were startled, since they were supposed to be the first ones there, to find the room already occupied. Occupying each corner of the room was one of the Observational Science Club members. They had brought desks from another part of school and set them up; drinks and snacks being set next to the desk on a separate table.
The twins automatically took up a defensive position around Haruhi, looking at the already scribbling observers with narrowed eyes. "Ah," Rikei said. "Please, pretend we aren't here."
"How can we when you're talking to us?" Haruhi mumbled.
The president smiled, pushing up his glasses some and calmly jotting something down. "I apologize, /Haruhi/. I will return to my silence, but please remind your elder club members the same."
Haruhi nodded. Kaoru was glaring at the president, while Hikaru guided her out of the room to the accompanying room, where the changing stalls were.
"The nerve of that guy," Kaoru muttered as he entered.
"Does he give anyone else the creeps?" Haruhi asked from behind the yellow curtain of one of the stalls.
Hikaru nodded, forgetting that she couldn't see him.
"It's scary how he and Kyouya-sempai are so similar," Kaoru said. "Except I definitely wouldn't want to be left alone in the same room as that guy."
The door opened, startling the twins. They looked up to see Kyouya enter. A stormy look had already clouded his complexion. "Please do not associate my likeness to that of Kengaku."
"But how did you--"
Kyouya waved off Kaoru's question. He walked down to the wrack that held all of the costumes for the day. He looked down the line, picking out his own and another one. He walked back to the stall where Haruhi was changing. "Are you decent, Haruhi?"
Her head peaked out from the curtain. "Yes," she said. "Do you need something Kyouya-sempai?"
He nodded and pushed the curtain aside to join her. The twins yelled in outrage but a sinister look from the shadow king had them silenced. "Keep Tamaki out of here," he said. "Until I'm through."
Kaoru nodded, dragging his brother out of the changing rooms. They had both finished changing already. "Keep the other club out of here as well!" he yelled before the left.
"Change of plans," Kyouya said once the door had snapped behind them.
Several hooks lined the stall and he hung up his costume before he put the other next to it. Haruhi looked at it with an odd look. "Um--Kyouya-sempai, you don't expect me--"
"Yes. Like I said, change of plans."
"It's the only thing I could think of that could possibly throw these people off of your secret."
Haruhi held up bits of the fabric, looking at it. She was almost entirely dressed in her current costume. "But why is it so bad that they know? They said they weren't going to be sharing the information."
"It is never wise to give anyone something that can later be held over your head. For the sake of the Host Club, it's better that this particular knowledge not be leaked out."
"Ah, okay. But couldn't you just do what you always do?"
Kyouya shook his head. He shrugged out of his jacket and picked up one of the extra hangers in the stall. He neatly put the coat on the padded instrument and hung it up. He deftly began to unbutton his shirt. Haruhi remained transfixed with the new costume, slowly beginning to take it off of the hanger. "The Kengaku family is very close to my own. A lot of our medical research is contracted out by his family's facilities and vice versa. I cannot risk threatening any member of the Kengaku family without risking relations outside of Ouran."
Haruhi looked over at Kyouya, a bit surprised. Her eyes widened as she saw the pale expanse of his chest. She adverted her gaze to stare back at her dress, her cheeks slightly pink. "But doesn't that go against what you just said. Aren't they holding something over your head then?"
He smirked, pleased with her cleverness. "A mistake of my father's, I assure you," he said.
Shrugging into his costume shirt, he turned to grab Haruhi's chin. He lifted it, looking down into large, hazel eyes. "Or," he drawled. "I could just be concerned with you. Jealous, perhaps, at how Kengaku-sempai looked at you yesterday."
"A-ah," she stuttered. "But, putting me in a dress wouldn't make things better--so that couldn't be it."
Kyouya smiled, his eyes holding a multitude of emotions. He released Haruhi's chin. "Will it not?" he mused. "Get changed. Tamaki will be coming in soon."
She nodded, turning to her costume. In her flustered state she didn't bother to make him leave. He, however, didn't get a chance to observe Haruhi, as he too had to change. Unhooking his belt, he made quick work of stripping out of his pants and changing into the other ones. He thought over his own deception; how he was so very glad that Haruhi seemed to be oblivious to the world when it came to things involving her.
"Ah, Kyouya-sempai," Haruhi said, interrupting the older teenager from his thoughts. "Could you help me?"
He looked over to see Haruhi standing in the new costume. The elaborate back was too hard for her to do herself, however. He nodded, hands with a slight tremor reached out for the back of the dress. He allowed his knuckles to graze over the naked flesh at the small of her back. She shivered in response. He smirked.
"How could women wear this?" Haruhi said.
Kyouya laced the back together, pulling them tight and jarring her body from time to time. "And why is it that all the guys get to wear plain outfits. Won't you think they'll suspect more if I'm the only one in a dress."
"Already been taken care of. There will be two more members that are dressed as women."
Haruhi gasped as the air was taken out of her lungs. The dress was tied tight, restricting her breathing. "Be glad," Kyouya murmured. "That you don't have full breasts; it would make this whole process all the more worse."
She didn't know whether to be insulted or relieved at his comment. Instead, she decided to remain quiet, concentrating on breathing as Kyouya took the matching overcoat off the hanger. He handed it to her to complete the last part of her costume. Kyouya went to finish dressing himself, adding the finishing touches.
Haruhi and said teenager looked at each other before they both exited to the stall. Tamaki stood at the newly opened door looking irate and murderous. His breathing came out in heavy pants and his hair and clothing were mused. The twins stood behind him, not even bothering to look apologetic.
"What were you doing with my da--"
A hand slapped across his mouth as the twins pushed him inside the room. The eldest two Host members also entered. The doors were secured before Kaoru removed his hand.
"Kyouya, you better have a good excuse--"
"There has been a slight change of plans," he said, without batting an eye at the furious Tamaki. "Haruhi, Honey, and Tamaki's costumes have changed. Please take note of the new labels. If you need help getting on your costume, please ask another member to help. As Haruhi found out, the back is difficult."
All eyes turned to look at Haruhi in her period clothing. It was a Victorian era dress from Europe. A dark maroon, the dress was straight, long, and high-necked. Silver buttons decorated the front of the dress and jacket. Extra fabric bunched up in the back and the skirt had extra, puffed fabric circling it at three intervals to the bottom. It was extremely conservative, but it covered her entire body; and while there may be a suspect of the body beneath the clothing to being feminine, with the jacket it was hard to tell.
"We still have to do something about her hair, a simple wig--I think. Now, if the rest of you would get dressed, I would be appreciative, we do have customers to serve."
Kyouya turned to the side of the room, where his notebook was laid. He picked it up and adjusted his glasses. He opened his notebook to check on his notes, making mental notes of the first customers and high priority customers to come later in the day. "Tamaki, you should hurry. Sensube Atome-san is first on your list."
The blond widened his eyes and hastily made it towards the wrack. He skimmed the extra costumes, looking for his own. Kyouya mentally made a note that asking Atome-san (a very pretty, influential, and practical girl) to come early was the right thing to do, as it distracted the Host Club president from fretting over the new costume change.
As it was, Tamaki changed into his own Victorian period dress without a word of complaint. Though Kaoru had to help him out. Honey, likewise, didn't complain. Mori, however, found the dress a bit too difficult to string up; and Haruhi ended up having to help. Hikaru had already helped her affix a wig to her head and was now helping both Tamaki and Honey do the same.
"I thought Atome-sempai wasn't supposed to come until later today; and I'm pretty sure she designated you," Haruhi said.
She was finding it hard to walk in the constrictive clothing. Even standing seemed to be difficult and she had to clutch to Kyouya's arm to stay upright. He wasn't going to complain, however.
"Atome-san had a...change of heart, I guess you could say," he said. "She felt that she needed someone much more handsome and dashing than myself. I recommended Tamaki for the position."
Haruhi looked over at him, her eyes blank with disbelief. "Uh-huh," she said, her expression toneless. "I can believe the 'more dashing' part but somehow I don't think Atome-sempai would care about that."
Kyouya smirked. "Ah," he said. "You refute my 'more handsome' statement--"
"I did not," she interjected, her cheeks turning slightly pink.
"Ah, but you did in your silence over that fact."
Haruhi rolled her eyes. He was getting just as bad as Tamaki on some accounts and at times she couldn't stand it. Her stomach always did flips, especially when he proceeded to give her one of his rare, real smiles. "Can I go ahead out, shouldn't we have some customers already?"
"No, actually..."he said, before raising his voice to address the entire club. "For the duration of the Observational Club's stay with us, please do not allow Haruhi to wonder off on her own. If she is with clients, that is one thing; but we don't want any of the other club members to be able to corner her or any thing similar."
"So we're to act a shield?" Kaoru asked.
The shadow king nodded, pushing up his glasses. Mori exited one of the stalls, dressed in his period clothing. The men all wore tailored trousers, a long sleeve white shirt, and a vest and jacket that matched the pants. With Mori now in costume, the Host Club was ready and all exited the room together. Several girls had already entered and sat down in the respective areas of the Host they had designated.
Behind the squeals and gasps of the girls, each member could clearly hear the rapid scratching of pencil on paper. Kyouya tried to reign in his annoyance and smiled, politely at the girls. "We are sorry to keep you, ladies."
"Welcome to the Host Club," they all said together.
The girls smiled and clapped. The men dressed as men bowed politely; while Honey and Tamaki curtseyed. Haruhi tried to do the same, but it was much more awkward for her. Again, she found herself clutching to Kyouya's arm to steady herself. "I think this was a very dangerous idea," she mumbled to the attached teen.
He looked at her from the corner of his eye. "Hikaru, Kaoru," he said.
"Yes, sempai?" they said together.
"Please escort Tamaki-hime over to where Atome-san is sitting. Mori-sempai, if you'll escort Honey-sempai. I'll escort, Haruhi."
Mori nodded, reaching down his hand for the smaller blond's. Honey took it and they--carefully--made it over to the grouped section of couches where the girls who designated both seniors waited. The room of girls squealed again, watching the two teens make their way across the room. Honey had a natural grace from all his martial arts training, and that grace transferred over to wearing a dress magnificently well. He curtseyed politely when he came to the girls again, Mori bowing, and then the two sat down.
Atome-san, for her part, tried to hide her own amusement over Tamaki's state of dress. She really wasn't one for the exuberant blond, but she would do her part for an old friend. She smiled at Tamaki when he sat down a bit awkwardly. "Suou-san," she said politely. "That dress looks very beautiful on you." And it did.
"Ah, thank you," he said with a flourish.
He batted his long, blond ringlets out of his face with toss of his hand. He smiled at her, his eyes half closed and seductive. Or it would have been if his makeup had not been so horribly done. Atome could barely keep from laughing. "So tell me, Suou-san--"
"Ah please, Atome-hime, such formalities aren't needed here. You, of course, may call me Tamaki-hime."
Atome quickly lowered her head, biting her lip so as not to draw attention to her brimming laughter. "Ah, yes...Tamaki-hime."
She reached down and picked up her tea. She drank it slowly, hoping it would subdue her laughter. Tamaki just continued to smile.
++Observational Science Club Notes
Observed: Ouran High School Host Club
Observers: Kengaku Rikei, president; Kengaku Fubuki, vice president; Gijutsu Seimei, and Shisaku Shosun
Observation Time Period: One Week
Notes and Conclusions:
It was with much difficulty and discussion that the OSC came to a decision on who to observe for our study on ethnology. However, after a discussion with the Newspaper Club, it was decided that the Host Club, and more specifically, the president of said club--Suou Tamaki--was the best to observe for the purposes of this study.
On asking for permission to observe the club, it was Ootori Kyouya who immediately shot down the idea. He has an extreme protective quality over the Host Club, and especially of it's members. A noticeable attachment to the special student, Fujioka Haruhi was found.
Seimei and Fubuki observed him the most. Fubuki noticed his constant diligence to knowing the details of everything that went on within the Host Club, including even the smallest details of their clients. Fubuki remarked how he would have made a great resource within the OSC/. Seimei noted the hostility he held towards our being within the Host Club. He also remarked that the attachment to Fujioka Haruhi was unusual and has come to suspect that the youngest Ootori holds feelings for his younger counterpart. On further review, all members of the /OSC agree. His attachment is much like that of a crush, even going so far to shield Haruhi from us.
Fujioka Haruhi, the newest of the Host Club members, is another unusual case study. Shosun was the main observer, they being the same age. Shosun has become convinced that Haruhi is hiding something. It has been agreed but since our observations have come up with little to suggest what, most likely thanks to the Host Clubs protectiveness of him, we have decided to leave it alone. Haruhi seems to be a unexpected binding factor within the club. All the older members of the Host Club seem drawn to him and go out of their way for him, though some more obviously than others. Suou Tamaki's adoration towards Haruhi is highly unusual, and more than once Seimei heard him call the special student his "daughter." Further investigation to that relationship pulled up nothing. It is possible that this is one of the many relationship connections the Newspaper Club was speaking about. Suou seems to be quite the unusual character, and it seems rather normal, for him, to assign roles that don't necessarily fit--though all the club members have agreed there is more to this relationship that is not quite obvious without further research.
The seniors in the class, Haninozuka Mitsukuni and Morinozuka Takashi, are a bit curious too. Honey seems to be quite enjoy the atmosphere of the club, specifically the constant flow of sweets. Morinozuka, however, seems to be a bit more out of place. The attachment of the two seniors is undeniable, it is rare to ever see them separated. There is, without a doubt, an air of servant and master about them. Seimei, who has a younger sister in the same class as the younger Haninozuka and Morinozuka, has found out that in the past, the Morinozuka family was subservient. This explains much of their relationship. As to why they're in the club, it seems it is the same as all others, save possibly Haruhi. Again the Newspaper Club seems to be correct in their own observations. Like everyone in the club, it is Tamaki who is the middle of the group; they easily comply to his wishes--even the seniors who, by all right, should be the leaders of the club.
All observations on the twins Hitachiin Hikaru and Kaoru has been decided by all members to be void. Both twins went against the direct wishes of the OSC by addressing the observers. The practical jokes and impolite attitudes have been noted but nothing is of use because none of us are exactly sure what was an act and what was their true selves.
Since, with ethnology, we must find one person to serve as our central reference point in our study of organizational and kinship relationships, it was decided before we began that Suou Tamaki was that person. We found that the Host Club was a bit harder to breakdown as simply as we had first planned. It seems that there are several key people in the club that serve as binders for this motley crew of students. However, since the founder and president of the club, it is still Suou we decided it to be the most appropriate to study.
A melodramatic and overly exuberant teenager, Suou seems to, on observation of Shosun, exude a grace and charm that is unique to him, save possibly his father. It is by no doubt of any member of this club that this/ is why Suou is so popular not only with the girls of Ouran, but also within his friends. There seems to be little thought about following him, though often Ootori corrects the thoughts to be of a more sensible nature. Suou seems to be excessively caring, not only of his clients but also of his friends. He has built up a strange familial relationship with his fellow club members, as mentioned briefly above. The self-proclaimed "father" of the Host Club, Ootori--as vice president--seems to have been designated the role of "mother." However, it seems that only Haruhi has been given a title of "daughter." A rather curious action on the part of Suou who is obviously over protective of the special student. The twins, seem, to be rather amused by this connection. It is even more curious how Ootori responds to said relationship as it has already been pointed out that he has possible homosexual tendencies towards Haruhi./++
A growl ripped through the room, stopping the conversation that was going on. The Host Club looked down at the end of the table where Kyouya was staring at his computer. The light of the screen was reflecting off his glasses making it impossible to see his eyes. His face looked impassive as ever.
"Is something wrong, Kyouya-sempai?" Haruhi asked.
He shook his head, returning to read the classified document he had managed to get his hands on.
++/It was my job, as the president of the /OSC to observe Suou as much as possible. As expected, the shallow exterior of the man is just as much a guise as is his complete leadership of the Host Club (by which we have no doubts that truly is the job of Ootori.) His interest for his club members goes far beyond just that of within the walls of the third music room. On a private, non-client meeting of the club, it was Suou who was urged his fellow students to continue their best in their coming exams. He even went so far as to offer to find tutors for those subjects in which they were doing poorly. Again, because of his status, Haruhi was given more attention. Suou also seems extraordinarily involved with the well being of his clients. At least three personal problems were solved for the girls that regularly attend the Host Club, even though those problems were in no means connected to the club. And lest we forget the Newspaper Club who he helped--despite their horrible reputation--so that the club would not have to be dissolved.
I find it most important to note that, though this group is very odd, the thing--or rather person--they have in common is Tamaki. It was he, we have found, that connects everyone. It was he who brought them in and it is he who keeps them here. A respect for him, for his desire to help people, and his desire for people to be true to themselves is something that exudes from Suou more so than even his charm. He is an unique person in many ways, this just being one of them, but it is this characteristic that surely is why people, and especially this particular group of people, are drawn to him. With the conclusion of this report, I have to state that the Host Club, and Suou Tamaki ended up being the perfect person to study for our journey into ethnology.++
Kyouya sighed, reading through all of the report. There were still some random information about each observer, but nothing that he seemed to care for. It was a relief, he had to say--even with being called gay--that the club had managed to keep some of its secrets. He smiled--they had certainly pinned Tamaki however.
"Kyouya-sempai?" Haruhi asked.
She stood right behind him, looking over his shoulder to gaze at the screen. "What are you doing? Everyone else has already left, are you going to stay much later?"
The bespectacled man glanced around the room, confirming her statement. He had been so focused on the report he hadn't noticed anything that was going on. "Is that the report from the Science Club?" she asked.
"Yes it is. I just wanted to make sure they didn't figure anything out, specifically about you."
Kyouya looked up at her and then looked down to where she was pointing as his laptop screen. His brows furrowed in anger as he read the ending remarks of the report.
I have no doubt that you, in your eternal desire to know everything that may possibly concern you, your club, or your friends, have found yourself reading this report. Be aware that this is not the official report. We know you are not gay, just as we know that Haruhi is not a boy.
Next time, before hacking into another club's computer, you should think of better means of covering your tracks. Though, from us, nothing can be hidden.
Kyouya slammed his hands down on the long table. His laptop shifted with a slight bounce away from abrupt force. Haruhi just continued to stand behind him. An IM popped up and she brought Kyouya's attention to it.
OSCPrez: "I do hope there is no grudge for our having fun at your expense, Ootori-san. However, one last advice before our club is officially through with this report--the real one, that is."
Kyouya waited for the rest of the IM, not wanting to speak with the elder teen.
OSCPrez: "Both Shosun-chan and I agree, it would be best for you to confess soon, as the competition for your "daughters" attention is seemingly fierce. Wouldn't want to miss out on a great opportunity? Or perhaps, you would approve of others taking interest---"
Kyouya shut his laptop. The snap echoed in the empty room. "Kyouya-sempai?" Haruhi asked.
Her head was cocked to the side, looking at him as he leaned against his computer. The setting sun was coming into the room, washing the room with an orange glow. "Are you okay?" she asked.
He nodded, standing up slowly. He turned half around to look at her. He smiled at her and sighed. Grabbing his laptop, he moved to the adjoining room to grab his stuff. Haruhi followed him, going to get her own stuff.
"Haruhi," Kyouya said.
She hummed in response. She nodded her head in thanks as they entered the room, he holding the door for her.
"What are you doing tonight?"
She paused, picking up her bag. "Well, nothing that I can think of."
He walked over to her and reached for her hand. She didn't protest though she looked startled. "Then I think it's about time I took you out for dinner."
She blinked a couple of times, staring at him with confusion and distrust. "I don't think I can afford any place where you would take me, nor could I pay you back if you were to spot me."
Kyouya smiled again. He pushed up his glasses with his other hand, still holding his brown, leather bag. "No, this one is completely on me with no strings attached."
"Somehow," she said, allowing herself to be pulled gently from the room. "I don't think you do anything without strings attached."
He laughed but didn't deny it. She didn't protest either, as she was escorted to dinner.