Someone from the Fruits Basket cast makes an appearance.
Pairings or Characters: Haruhi, Kyouya, Mori, Honey, Kaoru, Hikaru, Tamaki, Satoshi, Chika, OCs
Warnings: AU/AR, OOC?
Summary: As a newly graduated lawyer at the top of her class, Haruhi Fujioka has the world available for her. Then why does she choose to become a district attorney in the small, country district of Toohaku? New faces, and old, Haruhi is faced with new issues, new friends, and a new lifestyle as she settles into her new, country abode. Can she last in a district where all four, small towns are interconnected in the business of the other and where a handful of “eligible bachelors” have decided to vie for the newcomer’s attention?
A/N: While the theme for ouran_contest was eventually canceled for lack of participation, this chapter continued on with it.
Theme: Crossover (Ouran x Fruits Basket)
The whistle of her electric kettle brought Haruhi back into the real world. It was late and she had been given back log work from other ministries while her own district position was slow. Looking over the jumbled, black and white pages, she understood why the tedious documents were shoved to the side to be done by someone else. If she had that option, she would do it too.
Putting her pen down, the young lawyer stood and walked over to her kettle. She turned it off and went about her usual motions of making tea. It was all second nature at this point.
“You’re here late again,” a voice said, causing her to jump.
The tea in her hand sloshed over the lip of her mug, splashing on her white blouse. Haruhi cursed under her breath. She slammed the mug down on the table and turned to glare at the man in her doorway.
“And what brings you here, Kyouya?”
There was a tiny half-bath at the end of the office and she walked past her visitor towards it. Grabbing a few paper towels from a dispenser, she wet them and began to scrub furiously at the stain.
“That’ll hardly work,” the spectacled man commented.
He had moved from the doorway to sit in one of the chairs in front of her desk, awarding him a perfect view of her from in front of the bathroom sink. Haruhi caught his eye in the mirror and narrowed her eyes.
“It’s your fault this happened to begin with, you should apologize.”
His only response was to quirk his lips before pulling out a notebook. He ran his pen across the page with practiced grace.
“And what ‘observation’ are you jotting down now?”
It was a habit of his, Haruhi had found, and one of the more obnoxious ones. He kept his written musings to himself though he had no problem letting you know anything that was just on his mind. It made her all the more curious about what exactly he wrote down.
As she expected, he didn’t answer her. She continued to work on the stain, finally giving it up for a failure and making a mental note to soak her shirt overnight. Walking out of the bathroom with some extra paper towels, she made her way to the table to wipe up the mess there.
“I seem to be seeing you more and more often, is there any particular reason you keep showing up in my office?”
Kyouya looked up at her. He pushed up his glasses, smiling slightly at her, and put his pen back in the loop in his notebook. He shut it with a snap and zipped it up. “No particular reason,” he said. “Though you do seem to be a topic of interest lately.”
Looking over her shoulder, Haruhi sized up the man who was sitting nonchalantly before her desk. She wasn’t sure what she felt about his statement. From what she had seen thus far, being the ‘topic of interest’ was not a good thing. People in towns of small populations seemed to be up in everyone’s business and it disturbed her that she was being included in that nosiness. Not to mention that the local consortium of long married women were already dead set about finding her a proper husband. Haruhi shivered. While she enjoyed the company of many of those women, they were kind and cooked very well, she couldn’t imagine what they felt were “proper.”
The basic brown paper towels were now sopping wet with the split liquid. There was only one trashcan in the office, next to her desk, and she picked up the saturated paper and hurriedly crossed the room to dump it. She kept one hand under the mess so that it wouldn’t drip on her nice, wooden floors. She sighed when she made it the waste basket without any more messes.
Kyouya was watching her, amusement clear in his eyes. “What?” she asked snappishly.
“Nothing,” he replied though he didn’t avert his eyes.
Heaving a big sigh, the brunette fell forward letting her forehead slam against the desk.
“You shouldn’t do such things, it’s unhealthy. People will begin to wonder if country life has driven you mad.”
“You’re driving me mad,” she growled. Lifting her head a bit so her chin rested on the desk, she stared down at him. “Seriously, why do you keep showing up here?”
“You are, as you were in college, very interesting to observe.”
The door, thankfully, opened before Haruhi had time to explode at him. She had always been very cool headed, something that won her high points in college, but something about Kyouya drove her to the breaking point almost every time.
The woman in question sat up at her desk and smiled at the boys standing in her doorway. She motioned them in, getting up so that Michi could sit at her desk. He beamed with pleasure at having the nicest chair in the office. Not that it was much to begin with though.
“What brings you boys here,” she asked, looking over at Hiroshi and Satoshi. On nights when the elder boys kendo practice went over, they often came by to walk her home. It was rare to see Michi here though, meaning they had probably come from home.
“Okaasan wants to see you,” Hiroshi stated.
“Oh?” It was rare for Kameko to call her out like this. Actually it was rare for her to request anything. Haruhi looked at the stacks of paper still waiting to be done.
“Yeah, there are a bunch of moms over at the house and they wanted to see you as soon as possible,” Michi explained. “So we were sent to fetch you.”
“Plus kaasan says you shouldn’t spend so much time up here. It’s not healthy.”
Haruhi smiled, reaching over to tousle Hiroshi’s hair. She bent down to grab her briefcase, pausing to fondly kiss Michi on the top of his head. Satoshi shifted from foot to foot, looking off to the side with a blush staining his cheeks. “Well I can’t very well refuse your kaasan, can I? But I can’t let this work be left undone. Will you boys help me close up for the day?”
The two elder boys took off for the small storage closet, knowing the full routine by now. Michi waited in the chair, his legs swinging and hitting the desk. “Can you help me put things in my briefcase?” she asked him. He nodded enthusiastically.
The two of them started stuffing the mounds of paper into her soft, brown leather briefcase. She instructed the younger boy on how to correctly put the folders so they wouldn’t spill out. He did so without much trouble, though he almost dropped a couple for their sheer size.
“You’re very good with kids,” Kyouya said.
“I know you’re an only child, but did you grow up around a lot of kids?”
“No, actually, I was a very introverted child. I guess I still am, in ways. I didn’t have a ton of friends growing up and spent most of time taking care of my father…” she paused for a moment. “You know what, that’s probably where I get it from?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t follow.”
Haruhi reached over and turned a picture of her father around for Kyouya to see. “I love him dearly but otousan was never the most…mature of people. I spent most of my life taking care of him one way or another, so I suppose he’s just like a big kid, in the end.”
“Are you not worried about him now that you’ve left? If I remember correctly, you lived at home when attending university too.”
Haruhi smiled slightly, turning the picture around before turning to face the filing cabinets. She riffled through them, looking for nothing but hiding her eyes. “I worry over him a lot. We talk pretty constantly though but we have good neighbors who check up on him, make sure he’s eating right, and many of his friends keep me informed.”
Grabbing a file from the cabinet, she pulled it out to go through the contents quickly before putting it back in. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt a tall, thin form press against hers. “You don’t have to hide yourself from me.”
“I didn’t think I could hide anything from your observant eyes, Ootori-sempai.”
He laughed quietly. “Falling back into old habits, are we?” he teased. Reaching forward he closed the cabinet, taking her hand that was pressed against the old metal. He pulled her towards her desk and sat her down. Michi had vacated the seat when Kyouya moved and now all three of the younger boys were staring at the scene quietly. Satoshi’s eyes were narrowed and uneasy.
“Ms. Haruhi?” he said timidly.
She looked over at the boys and hummed. Satoshi shuffled his feet. “Um, nevermind. We’re almost done here.”
“Good,” she sighed. Taking her hand from Kyouya, she glanced over her desk to make sure everything was packed. “Are you boys done yet?”
“Hai,” they echoed.
Moving to the bottom drawer of the old desk, the opened it up slightly and grabbed a bowl of candy. “You guys know the drill, only one each so you don’t spoil your dinner.”
The boys ran forward to pillage through the basket, each picking one candy bar for their own. “Oh, I see,” Kyouya said, writing again in his notebook. “You get them to do what you need through bribery.”
“Shut up,” Satoshi said, looking at the elder man defiantly.
“Satoshi,” Haruhi admonished, putting the candy back in the drawer. She noticed that all three boys were staring at Kyouya angrily.
“We help out Ms. Haruhi because we like it,” Hiroshi said. “The candy doesn’t matter.”
“Then give it back, if it doesn’t matter. Surely Ms. Haruhi doesn’t have such an expendable budget to pay to treat you all the time.”
All three boys looked over at Haruhi in horror. It was her turn to glare at the spectacled man. “Shut up,” she said plainly. The boys giggled under their breaths. “I treat them because they help me out. It’s a trade in services, like any business, except they get candy instead of money. Now leave them alone.”
She stood up and closed her briefcase. Satoshi reached forward and grabbed it from her, hoisting it over his shoulder to carry like he did his own school bag. She smiled her thanks to him while grabbing for her purse. “If you don’t mind, it’s time to close up, so everyone out,” she shooed.
The guys, old and young, obeyed and walked out of the door. The younger boys stood by the door, watching as she looked around the office one last time before shutting out the lights and walking out the door. She turned to lock the door and Satoshi took the moment to flick off Kyouya who remained at the top of the stairs. The elder man chuckled, opened his notebook and jotted something down. Satoshi swallowed. This didn’t bode well for him, he was sure. No one knew what we written down in that notebook, or what he did with it, but everyone was certain it wasn’t for the betterment of mankind that he made his observations. Satoshi just hoped his father didn’t hear about.
“Okay boys, you ready to go back?” She turned to face them. They nodded eagerly. Michi reached out and grabbed Haruhi’s hand and she squeezed fondly. Nodding to Kyouya as they passed him, she kept her attention on the excited boys. He didn’t follow, she was glad to note, but could clearly feel his eyes on them all the way down the stairs until they turned the corner in front of Yumi’s Restaurant. It was unnerving.
“So what did your okaasan want?”
Hiroshi shrugged. “Dunno. They’re having some kind of meeting and wanted you there.”
“All the moms?”
“There were some new people there too, ones I hadn’t seen before,” Michi pointed out.
“Huh, I wonder what’s going on then,” she contemplated outloud.
“Can’t be anything good,” Satoshi mumbled. “Nothing good happens when that many moms get together.”
The other boys agreed quietly as they continued to walk home slowly.
“No, absolutely not,” Haruhi said, stamping her foot for extra emphasis.
“But Haruhi it’s already been arranged,” Kameko placated. “It’s not that bad either. He’s a very nice young man—”
“Doesn’t matter,” she replied. “I’m against this and I’m not happy that all of you decided to play matchmaker knowing my previous feelings on the subject.”
“Now really, dear,” one of the elderly women cut in. She sat in an honored position at the end of the table in an arm chair and blanket covering her legs. “This is a request from us, who, may I remind you, have been so very kind to our newest addition. You wouldn’t want to throw that kindness back in our faces, would you?”
Haruhi fell to her knees and moaned unhappily. “You sly old bat,” she grumbled, glaring at the elderly woman. If the old woman was offended by the comment, she didn’t show it all. Instead she motioned for Kameko to continue, a smile on her face.
“He’s going to be the new doctor in this area, but he’s from this town originally. He is a slightly older than you, but he’s a very nice man. Yumi can vouch for him, she’s a cousin of his you can meet his sister Rin tomorrow. She’s here visiting while he settles back in.”
“I thought you said he was from this area, why is he settling back in?”
Kameko looked down at her tea and then over to Yumi who had joined the meeting, though was unmarried herself. “Hatori and Rin’s parents died in an accident when they were much younger. Rin is older by several years and took off as soon as she turned 18, Hatori left later to attend university. When he left, they sold the house and everything with it.”
A pit opened up in Haruhi’s stomach as her instincts filled in the gaps. “Let me guess,” she said dryly. “I live in their house now.”
Yumi nodded. “But don’t worry,” Kameko butted in. “They don’t have any ill will against that house, or any desire to get it back. So it won’t be awkward.”
“And Kameko’s husband can vouch for their family,” the elderly woman said. “He’s lived in this house since he was born and grew up next to the Sohma family. I believe he and Rin were in the same class a couple of times, correct?”
Kameko nodded, her eyes drifting off to the side. “They actually dated in high school,” she spoke quietly. “I can remember everyone being sure that they would marry; that he would be the one to keep Rin from leaving.”
“But he wasn’t able to and is now much better for that fact,” Yumi exclaimed, trying to lighten the mood some. “And this really is getting off subject. Haruhi we’re not really asking you to go on a blind date—”
There was a squeak from the hallway then the running of feet heard on the wooden floors. Kameko rolled her eyes, knowing that her boys had been eavesdropping. They had all taken to Haruhi since her moving in and she would have to make sure they knew not to mess with their plans. The boys tended to like practical jokes when things weren’t going their way.
“Anyway,” Yumi restarted. “We’d like you and Hatori to…hang out some. It’s been a while since he’s been gone and it would be nice to have someone that he didn’t grow up with be around him.”
“Think of it like the recent newest addition welcoming the current newest addition,” the old woman piped in.
“And that’s all it is? Just me greeting him, welcoming him, and asking if he needs anything?”
“Don’t be so boring Haruhi,” the old woman admonished. “He’s a handsome, well mannered doctor. He was always a kind child and I’m sure you two would have lots in common. Don’t be so cut and dry all the time. Get to know him, show him a good time and maybe he’ll show you one too.”
“I’m going to ignore the fact that you just made me sound like a prostitute,” Haruhi said, frowning at the old woman.
“A little sex never hurt anyone,” the woman fired back.
Many of the women giggled behind their hands. Haruhi turned a weird sort of green and shot off the ground. “No, no. I don’t want to be hearing something…something like that from…oh god.” She ran from the room, hand covering her mouth, and out the front doors. Forgetting her shoes, she ran out of Kameko’s yard and into her own.
Once there she slid down the front door, her hand still over her mouth, and tried to calm down. The old woman speaking about sex was nauseating at best, it was the panic and nerves of being forced into what could only be called a first date that was tearing her apart.
At a young age, the doctors had diagnosed her with a type of social anxiety. It had been advised that therapy to help adapt Haruhi to other children would be the best solution but her father would have none of that and they couldn’t afford it either. Instead, they allowed the little girl to throw herself into her own hobbies, things that she enjoyed and was comfortable in doing, and then socializing her through those things. She still hadn’t had a lot of friends though and never did she have a boyfriend.
“Maybe moving here wasn’t such a good idea,” she whispered to herself.
She moved her hand away from her mouth and down to help her push off from the floor. She wobbled a bit but used the door for support. Keeping her hand always on a wall (except when there was an entranceway), she made her way up the stairs to her bedroom. Sleep had never been more welcoming.
Haruhi turned from locking her door to see a tall, dark-haired man with glasses staring at her. He had obviously been the one to address her. She finished locking up, grabbed her briefcase, and trotted down the pathway to meet the man.
“Are you Haruhi Fujioka?”
“Yes, can I help you?”
The man reached out his hand to her. He was wearing casual clothes—dark jeans and an off-white turtleneck—though the clothes were still stiff…or he was. She got the distinct impression that he didn’t often wear this type of clothes. She shook his hand, noticing the firmness. Looking into his face, she saw a very solemn, thin face. His cheek bones were noticeable, probably from one too many missed meals, and his dark, brown hair covered his left eye.
“Good morning, I apologize for disturbing you as you go to work,” he said. “I’m Hatori Sohma.”
Haruhi’s eye went wide while she tried to plaster a smile that hid her nervousness. “Oh, Hatori-san. It’s nice to meet you, I heard you were coming into town.”
He laughed quietly, probably to himself, and allowed himself to smile. “I have the distinct impression by your ‘deer in a headlight’ expression, that the old betties of the neighborhood have set you up as well.”
She closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh. Again he laughed quietly. The sound was deep but awkward—as if he didn’t do it often. “Am I keeping you from work?”
She opened her eyes and looked at him. He pointed to her briefcase. “Oh, yes. I was just heading to my office.”
“Allow me to walk you there then?”
“Hai,” he said, smiling slightly.
Hatori reached down and opened the fence from the inside. Opening it, h e stepped aside so that Haruhi could walk through. He closed it before returning to her side to walk down the sidewalk.
“So you are the new DA? I had heard you graduated with honors from your law school, I can’t imagine why you’ve come to this area.”
An old lady smiled at the two as she came down the sidewalk. Hatori stepped off so that she could pass. She reached out and squeezed at the man’s arm with a quiet “welcome back,” and a conspirator’s wink at Haruhi. The doctor laughed to himself as she turned red from the attention. He asked his question again when they continued on their way.
“I have some reasons,” she answered. “And you? Kameko-san said you left this area pretty quickly. Why did you choose to come back?”
“I have some reasons,” he answered in return. Haruhi rolled her eyes, glancing at him. His face was still stoney. “Bad attempts at jokes aside, I’m actually quite fond of this area. It holds…significance.”
“Of your parents?”
Hatori reached up and played with his bangs smoothing them over his eye more. He nodded but didn’t say anything.
“I lost my mother when I was young, though I was lucky enough to retain my father. The loss of one parent was awful enough, I can’t imagine—”
“Would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?” Hatori interrupted.
Haruhi halted in her steps, surprised by the outburst. “Um, what?”
“I’m sorry. I’m…I’m not very good at being subtle but we are almost at your office,” he paused to point up at her office. “I know the old betties are trying to play matchmaker but beyond them, ignoring them, I’d appreciate…someone to talk to.”
Haruhi halted slightly, angling her body to look up at the man. “You talked to Kameko then, didn’t you?”
“She tends to have a…more reasonable mindset than most of married women who seem to find matchmaking their only hobby.”
The doctor laughed. “It’s been like that since I can remember. At one time they had all decided that my sister, Rin, and Kameko’s husband, Kisho, were going to marry…of course, this was decided when they were seven. Rin was a tomboy, and Kisho followed her everywhere. I always got the impression that they found the idea laughable all the way up through high school.”
“I believe most people would.”
“You would think, but a lot of people take their efforts seriously.”
They had traveled the course of the stairs together, stopping outside the DA’s office so she could answer it. She opened the door, pushing it open and turning to invite him in. She, like him, noticed the street…or rather the people in it. “Well they could be less obvious,” she mumbled.
“I believe we may have just supplied them with quite a bit of gossip,” he replied.
She invited him, waiting for him to enter and the door to be closed before answering. “That was the point, right?”
Hatori sat in a chair in front of her desk while Haruhi busied herself with making tea. She looked over her shoulder to speak to him. “You want gossip of a possibly relationship between us as a shield, correct?”
“And how do you figure that?”
She turned towards him, slinking over to her desk, and turning the picture of her father around—the one with him wearing a lovely blue and white dress and smock. Hatori picked it up and studied it but didn’t seem surprised.
“How did you know?” the doctor asked.
“Intuition, really. I guess growing up around gay men has had its affects on me. I figured Kameko would have told you to seek me out as a confidant in this area, one who would keep your secret and not judge you.”
The kettle began to whistle and she walked over to the table to pour the cups. She smiled at him again when she served the tea and they fell back into conversation with each other.
The first thing that set off warning bells was the fact that Satoshi was absent from the usual cleaning routine. The second was how quiet Michi and Hiroshi were while helping out. Haruhi continued to eye them as she went about her business. The silence was broken by a light knock before the door opened. The young DA turned to look at the door, smiling when she saw Hatori there.
“Good evening,” he said, quietly, looking at the other boys.
“Tall one is Hiroshi, Michi isbthe younger,” she said, pointing at both boys. They mumbled a hello in return.
“Kameko and Kisho’s boys,” Hatori mused, stepping into the office and closing the door. “Hiroshi looks the spitting image of his father growing up, and Michi has some of the finer touches of his mother.”
The younger boy threw down the broom he was holding. “Did you just say I look like a girl?”
Hatori blinked, putting up both hands to placate the boy. “No, not at all.”
“I don’t know, that’s what I heard too,” Hiroshi said, putting his hands in his pockets and eyeing the man warily. “You gonna let him get away with insulting a small kid like Michi, Ms. Haruhi? Do you really want to hang out with someone who makes little kids cry?”
On cue Michi began spilling out crocodile tears and bemoaning nonsense words. Haruhi rolled her eyes. “Honestly, you two. He didn’t call you a girl Michi and stop playing up the dramatics. You two Hiroshi—don’t encourage him.”
Michi’s tears slowly stopped as he looked at the unfazed woman. “But Ms. Haruhi—”
She turned around and gave him a look not to continue down that path. He shut his jaw with an audible click, slumping his shoulders in defeat. Hatori chuckled quietly to himself as he watched on.
“They seem to have taken a liking to you,” he commented as he approached the woman near her desk. The boys went back to their volunteer duties, though they kept a wary eye on the man.
“I’m sure their curiosity will wear off eventually,” she said with a sigh. “Though I’m sure when that comes I’ll miss the help with closing up.”
Again the doctor allowed himself to chuckle. “Can I help?”
Haruhi shook her head, thrusting more files into her briefcase. “You seem to have a lot of work for such a quiet district.”
“Ah, I’m going over the old files.”
Haruhi shrugged. “Mostly to get a feel of the area, but I also want to make sure everything…/seems/ right.”
“No discrepancies, you mean?”
She stopped, looking at the other man. “Yes and no. There are things I’d like to investigate more, if possible.”
Hatori smiled, pushing back his glasses with long, elegant fingers. Haruhi continued on her routine, putting up some files that wouldn’t fit in her briefcase. She moved to the small table where she kept the electric kettle and other snacks and began cleaning up.
An unexpected knock had the room stop and silent. Haruhi knitted her brow and walked to the door. Hatori, sitting in front of the main desk, turned his body to see the door, while the boys came to stand across from the door.
“Yes?” she said, opening the door. “Oh, Mori. What are you doing here?”
The tall man looked anxiously around the room until his gaze landed on the doctor. A moment of silence passed as Mori just stood there staring, before he returned to look at Haruhi. For the first time, Haruhi could read him and he was definitely nervous.
“Um, Mori, is there something wrong? Please come in and take a seat. I can make some tea, if you’d like.”
He walked into the office, looking around, and fiddling with the hem of his shirt. “Morinozuka-san,” Hatori greeted cordially. “You’ve grown since the last I saw you. I hope your family is doing well.”
Mori nodded, fidgeting all the more.
“Is Satoshi okay? He’s usually here in the evenings.”
The silence grew, and so did Mori’s discomfort. Hatori stood, coming to stand next to Haruhi. “Morinozuka-san? What’s wrong?”
The younger man looked anxiously between the two. He met Hatori’s gaze, the older man recognizing the hidden aggression. Without another word, Mori stepped forward and cupped Haruhi’s face with both hands. He r eyes went wide as she watched the man stoop down and kiss her. It was sloppy, short, and in-experienced but it left her lips tingling from the contact.
Hiroshi and Michi cat called in the background and Hatori laughed quietly. Haruhi stood still, frozen in spot. Mori, his face bright red, bowed formally, and then quickly exited the building. Hatori stepped out of the door to watch as the stoic man ran down the street.
“Wow, this place is much more interesting than I remember,” Hatori mused.
“Wha-what just happened?”
The doctor turned back around to look at the younger woman. “I believe that you’ve just been indirectly confessed to.”
Haruhi blinked a few more times before turning around and sitting at her desk, dumbfounded. Her fingers played with her lips.
“Let’s finish up cleaning here, boys,” Hatori announced, moving to finish up what Haruhi was doing. The boys eyed the doctor carefully but did as he said.