Chapter One: Host Club Dog
Toru spent most of her free time thinking about Haruhi. There was so much she owed the younger girl, so much she couldn’t repay. The rest of her classmates were chattering animatedly until the next teacher showed up, but Toru sat in the back, strategically remaining out of view. Her clothes were shapeless and unfashionable, seemingly chosen as a perfect mixture of tans, grays, and pink that would blend her into the walls of the school rather than silly notions like if they matched. When one’s eyes did focus on her, there wasn’t much to look at. The front pocket on her hoodie bulged, giving her a misshapen, heavier, androgynous appearance. Toru always wore her hood low so that her face was cast in its shadow. She looked genderless and boring.
There was a squeal from two rows in front of her. Her hazel eyes were drawn toward the yellow clad figure of Chiagi. The brown haired girl was blushing profusely, probably at something Tamaki had done. A chorus of happy sighs whispered through the room as the girls in the elegant yellow uniform gossiped about Prince Tamaki and Kyoya. Toru glanced at the boys, careful to angle herself in such a way that she wouldn’t be seen.
Tamaki was his usual shimmering self. He spouted off prose and poetry, creating a romantic atmosphere. One could practically envision the classroom filled with the provocative scent of roses, the moody light of candles. Each glance gave his willing victims the erotic image of ownership, as if he were theirs and theirs alone for that moment in time. She’d never been privy to that gaze directly, but she’d watched him use it and had learned to avoid it. “We’ve completely redecorated the club room, my lovely,” his amethyst eyes were simmering with feeling. “Its still nothing compared to your beauty, my Goddess.”
Kyoya seemed more pleased than usual. Toru’s lip quirked involuntarily. A pleased Kyoya was at his most predatory. She watched his sharp eyes flicker over the girls around him and outward toward the rest of the room. Toru made sure her face was firmly behind a text book for the next class when the dark boy’s gaze swept over her area of the room. After, she could see the pleased crook of his lips when the sighs of romantic adulation had reached their peak and all the girls in the class watched Tamaki with rapt attention. He was a shark that scented blood in the water. That’s when Kyoya spoke, “Remember Hime-samas, the auction will take place next week, just a day before final bookings for the month,” he gave them that rare, polite smile and another round of sighs started.
Toru shook her head and retreated behind the wall of her book. An auction didn’t sound very helpful to her current problem. She needed to figure out how to get Haruhi to loosen up a little. It was a difficult task, the younger girl spent her time studying or doing mundane household chores. She didn’t see old school friends, she never went on dates and if there had been a single spontaneous moment since Toru had moved in at the end of the last school year, she couldn’t remember it. Haruhi seemed perfectly unmotivated to do anything about it and it was that stubbornness that made Toru’s job difficult. She wanted to do something fun tonight, but if Haruhi got her way, they’d probably just end up staying at school late and studying…again.
Library Room #1 had been requested for use by the Library club. Library Room #2 was currently being rented out by the Drama club for a Ghost Busters parody. Haruhi and Toru had been mistaken for extras and allowed entrance, but after the third “paranormal” interruption, Haruhi had begun to look really depressed and Toru suggested they try again. Library Room #3 apparently used that time block for tutoring, but unfortunately you had to sign up ahead of time, and there was a two week wait.
By the time the girls reached Library Room #4, they had trekked around the vast campus toting all their books and study supplies. In Toru’s case, that was an extra thirty pounds of books shoved into the pouch of her hoodie. Between her baggy clothes and the junk she carried in her front pocket, she looked fifty pounds heavier. She felt her eyes drooping and knew focusing on school work was going to be a difficult task even with Haruhi there to nag her into submission.
As they pushed the large doors open, the noise of chattering buzzed at them like the drone of a fly swarm. It sounded like they’d entered a cafeteria, but students stood laughing and socializing around the book shelves. Some sat, drinking tea and catching up with their friends. The girls just looked at each other dumbfounded. With an exhausted sigh, they pushed the doors closed again, retreating from yet another failure.
Haruhi started walking and Toru instinctively followed. The younger girl’s mood was contemplative and somber. Toru could tell Haruhi was thinking about her deceased mother and her dream of following her footsteps as a lawyer. She tried to lighten the mood, “You know, given the spirit of fanaticism the girls seem to have here, there were probably at least a hundred copies of Twilight in there.” The taller girl frowned as she spoke, “It’s quite possible I would have exploded from the proximity.”
Haruhi didn’t take the bait, “You know, I’m beginning to think rich kids only go to school to have a good time.” Her voice was soft and somber.
Without missing a beat, Toru smiled, “Maybe you’re onto something.” Pointing forward at the grand staircase before them she skipped ahead, “They’re probably all too lazy to climb all these stairs. We could scout out the top floor.” Toru patted Haruhi’s shoulder when the smaller girl drew even with her. Haruhi’s gaze was still far away as they began their journey upwards.
Once they’d finished their ascent, movement along the wall caught Toru’s eye. A lovely mirror with an intricately beveled edge covered a five foot long section of the wall and reflected Haruhi’s appearance. The tall girl grinned at the resulting mish-mashed effect and stepped forward into the view. Silver filigree decorated the edge of the mirror and ornate marble vase’s decorated low wooden displays. The floral arrangements were probably several hundred dollars each, considering the number of exotic fauna present. The finery clashed with the two plain figures in the reflection.
They were both wearing hideous glasses that covered the features of their faces. Alone with Haruhi, Toru stood at her full height, towering over her friend at almost six feet tall. Haruhi looked like someone who just didn’t give a damn about appearances. Her hair was a mess, her posture stooped, her shirt untucked, and her sweater bunched awkwardly from wear. Haruhi looked completely androgynous. In a crowd of students, Toru could hide along the edges, Haruhi would stick out like a sore thumb and move obliviously through the throng of students. In this deserted hallway of exquisite murals, expertly chiseled sculptures, and lovely marble inlays, the girls seemed just as out of place.
Toru noticed the door before they reached it. The hall reached a T junction, but there was only an alcove to the left before a dead end. A sign above the door declared it to be Music Room #3. “An abandoned music room?” Toru’s voice was hopeful.
Haruhi’s expression was resigned. “I guess this is the only place we’ll be able to study.” When she opened the door, they found the Host club.
“Welcome to the Host club,” a gentle, but intoxicating breeze of swirling rose petals caressed them.
“Host club?” the girls spoke in unison. Toru sounded confused, as if the term were not found in her dictionary. Haruhi sounded appalled, as if the term were found in the wrong sort of dictionary. Toru’s gaze was locked on Haruhi as if awaiting an answer.
“Only those with excellent social standing and those from filthy rich families are lucky enough to spend their time here at the elite private school, Ouran Academy. The Ouran Host club is where the schools handsomest boys, with too much time on their hands, entertain young ladies, who also have way too much time on their hands. Just think of it as Ouran Academy’s elegant playground for the super rich and beautiful,” Tamaki’s voice was unmistakable. Nothing so pompous sounding could have come off as elegant or agreeable from anyone else.
Haruhi seemed shocked to the core. Toru watched her sag against the doors behind them, as if trying to melt through the pretty pink wood. She’d never seen her friend look so disheveled, even when Rankapoppa was at his worst.
“Oh wow, they’re boys,” the twins spoke in unison. Toru’s hooded eyes flashed over to them at the insult. They didn’t look mean or mischievous at the moment, perhaps a bit bored. They were light skinned, had impeccable posture and stood side by side as the perfect reflection to one another. Their red hair was parted based on the position, left and right.
“Hikaru, Kaoru, that visitor is in the same class as you, right?” Kyoya stood next to them, posture rigid, his arms crossed over his chest in their usual barrier position and from the distance, his glasses blocked out whatever information his eyes might have given away. Toru couldn’t tell if he recognized her or not, but given Kyoya’s reputation for knowing everything, she didn’t doubt it.
“Yes, he is, but he isn’t very sociable, so we don’t know him too well,” once again, their speech was perfectly together. Even more amazing, their motions, the way they turned their heads to look at Kyoya and shrug, they were also perfectly in sync. Toru couldn’t help, but feel a little insulted for poor Haruhi at this point. She did look androgynous, but her eyes, really, her petite frame, gave it away, right?
Kyoya smirked and pushed his glasses back into place, “Its impolite to say it like that.” Toru grinned, he did know. The twins shrugged at each other, one the mirror of the others confusion. Kyoya’s muted gaze locked in on the girls.
“Welcome to the Ouran Host club, Fujioka Toru, and Honor Student,” his normally even voice had placed subtle emphasis on Toru’s assumed last name. She froze in place. Did he know? She’d gone through a great deal of effort to keep her family name concealed, for her own protection and Haruhi’s. His gaze was steady, taking in all the little details. She remained confident in the fact that her current outfit concealed any of her usual tells, most importantly, the expression on her face.
“What? Then, this exceptionally rare honor student we’ve heard about, Fujioka Haruhi, is you?!” Tamaki was leaning forward in amazement. He sat on a beautifully carved chair with plush, red cushions looking every bit the part of a royal prince. “I didn’t know Fujioka from our class and Fujioka the honor student were related.”
Haruhi was trying to escape and fumbled with the door handle to no avail. She turned, looking at the blonde with a scandalized expression and interrupted that train of thought, “What? How do you know my name?” Toru was uncomfortable with Haruhi’s panicked fidgeting and moved further into the room.
It was Kyoya who provided an answer, “It’s just that our school tradition makes it difficult for commoners to get in. I’ve been told that unless you possess a rather audacious nerve, you cannot be an honor student here.”
The rather insulted, exasperated, expression on Haruhi’s face was made somewhat humorous by the awkward acceptance of his statement. “Why…thank you…”
“Don’t worry, Haruhi. I’m a fan of audacious,” Toru turned back to her friend and gave her a thumbs up. She was careful and avoided the expensive looking vase on the pedestal. Out of caution she stepped further away from it. As she moved, Tamaki seemed to glide by her and appear beside Haruhi.
“Yes! He’s saying you’re a hero, Fujioka-kun,” Tamaki put a casual hand on Haruhi’s shoulder. “Even though you might be at the head of the class, you’re the poorest person in the whole school. You’re a hero to other poor people!”
Haruhi side stepped away from the boy’s contact and walked away looking for another exit, “I wouldn’t go that far.” Tamaki didn’t seem to notice her rebuff and followed.
“It doesn’t matter, does it? Long live the poor!” He poured on the sparkle. Haruhi was making her way over to Toru when Tamaki became impassioned once again, “Welcome to our world of beauty, poor man!”
He was gorgeous and it had hilarious little effect on Haruhi. The smaller girl turned and headed calmly towards the door. “Goodbye. Toru, lets go.”
A tiny blonde and blue blur whisked by Toru and grabbed Haruhi by the arm, dragging her even with her tall friend. It was a short, fair haired boy that looked like he belonged in the green of an elementary uniform rather than the blue of a high schooler’s. “Ne Haru-chan!” Even his voice was cute, “Haru-chan, you’re a hero? Amazing!” His bubbly praise was infectious and you could practically see little pink flowers dancing about his aura.
Haruhi looked disheveled to say the least. She had just been hauled across the room by someone half her size. “I’m not a hero, I’m an honor student,” she said it almost like a mantra. And then she snapped. “AND WHO ARE YOU CALLING HARU-CHAN?!” her angry snarl had an immediate effect on the boy. He squealed uncomfortably and tears rushed out of his eyes.
The little blonde sobbed as he ran towards the tallest figure in the room. He was darker skinned and more athletic looking than the other boys, he was also the only person who’d been silent from the beginning of this strange encounter. He was bent over wiggling a stuffed pink bunny back and forth in front of the little blonde who’d sought him out for comfort, it was almost comical.
Toru wasn’t amused though, because she was too irritated. She flashed Haruhi a clearly annoyed look. Normally the petite girl didn’t react so…cruelly, at least not to children. She vaguely registered Tamaki speaking again as she moved over to the little blonde and knelt behind him. Toru was just the right height for him to see her face without anyone else doing the same. She adopted his speech pattern and spoke in a soothing, quiet voice, “Ne, don’t mind Haruhi,” she apologized for her friend’s rudeness. “We all get a little cranky when we miss nappy-time, yeah?” She bit her lip and dug around in the pocket of her hoodie before offering the little one a chocolate bunny sucker wrapped in pink cellophane, “Here, cutie pies shouldn’t cry.” She tilted her head to the side and smiled at him.
He wiped his tears and beamed at her. His little frame practically bounced on her in an enthusiastic hug, which she returned, before he took the offered lolly. What an adorable child, she thought.
Tamaki’s voice snapped her out of her musings. “Having our first openly gay member is interesting! Tell me what type of boy you would like.”
Toru watched, in shock, as Tamaki gestured towards the tallest boy. “The wild type.” His eyes were almost as dark as his hair and there was a subtly displeased tilt in his mouth. There wasn’t anything particularly “wild” about his appearance. “The boy lolita type,” the little blonde looked up and beamed happily as he munched on his bunny sucker. The cute, pink bunny was cradled in his other arm. “The little devil type,” the twins turned in unison, leaning against each other’s back. Their name seemed more appropriate, the smirk on their face dripped mischievousness. “The cool type,” Kyoya didn’t gesture at or acknowledge Tamaki’s introduction, but Toru could think of no better Ice Prince than Kyoya.
Toru suddenly wondered just what type of place this really was. She moved away from the boys and found herself heading back towards the door.
“Its not like that! We were just looking for a quiet place to study!” Haruhi’s voice was strained.
Tamaki’s tone was practically sultry as he ignored her statement. “Or maybe you’d like to try me? How about it?” Toru looked over her shoulder in time to see Tamaki run his fingers up Haruhi’s jawline.
That’s when the petite brunette really lost it, she cried out a bit and lurched backwards, slamming into Toru and launching them both into the podium. Toru was too busy keeping her face from being smashed to worry about the ornate looking vase they knocked off, but Haruhi made a grab for it. The impact was hard and the tinkling sound of expensive china shattering seemed to echo through the room.
At this point, Toru was slumped over the pedestal with Haruhi draped over her back. When the twins seemed to press in as well, Toru began to feel a little claustrophobic as Haruhi’s panic set in and she began to fidget.
“Ahh! The Renaissance vase for the auction!” One of the red head’s started. “Now you’ve done it. We were going to start the bidding at eight million yen for that!” The other finished.
“Eight million yen!” Haruhi was mortified. Toru twisted enough to lift Haruhi up and set her on the ground, she was clearly running numbers worriedly. The petite brunette looked up at the twins and spoke, “Um, can I pay you back?”
Toru righted herself and sat calmly on the pedestal as the twins spoke again, “Could you?” Two pairs of amber eyes gave them a once over, “You can’t even afford the uniform. What’s with those awful clothes, anyway?”
Haruhi was practically trembling. Toru’s attention flashed to Kyoya who’d moved close to her side and knelt before the shattered remains of the Renaissance vase. He carefully picked up a shard and examined it in the light, “What will it be, Tamaki?”
“Have you ever heard of this saying? When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” The prince was sitting in his throne, legs crossed. His chin rested elegantly on the knuckles of his right hand as his left gestured with dramatic flair. It was his words and air that were affected by a sudden change in attitude. “If you have no money, then pay with your body. Starting today, the both of you are Host club dogs.”
Shock must have reset Haruhi’s brain. She stood stock still with the goofiest expression on her face. Toru watched as the boy’s gathered around them. Tamaki waved his hands in front of Haruhi’s unresponsive face. The twin’s leaned in close. Kyoya looked like his normal observant, yet uninterested self. The tall one had a confused quirk to his right eyebrow, but the rest of his face was blank. The little blond stood in front of Toru and nudged Haruhi with his fingers, even narrating his action in a cute voice, “Poke, poke.”
The tall girl watched her friend fall sideways and land hard on the ground. She nudged Haruhi with the toe of her shoe, “Oy, I’m not carrying your scrawny ass home…”
- This is an Ouran High School Host Club fanfiction. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest can be found here.
- I’d really love to hear your comments or suggestions, so leave a comment! 😀