The Only Constant is Change

It's Haruhi, Kaoru, and Hikaru's final year at Ouran. Dynamics are changing and evolving... What will happen to the Host Club Members?

Author's Note: This story takes place about 8 months after the events in A Faire Shot at Mythology. It can be read as a stand alone, but it references events and items from that piece as well. If you are reading my work for the 1st time, I would humbly suggest reading my other stories The Game and A Faire Shot at Mythology before reading this to completely understand some of the relationship dynamics that I use. I promise that if you like this style of writing you will like those too. =)

http://archiveofourown.org/works/681492/chapters/1250078

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70. At the Ball

Hikaru nodded in agreement to a comment made by a blonde woman in the group of attendees who had surrounded him. Glancing discreetly around while still giving the impression that he was focused on the conversation; he saw that Kaoru was similarly mobbed by another group off to his left, Kaziki casually leaning against a pole as he kept an eye on the group. Renge was chatting with Mai and a group of models in the corner, and his mother was holding court at the front of the room – Allegra Versace and a couple other designers at her side as they presumably discussed the bombshells that Yuzuha had dropped so casually in her welcome speech. Akira and Yorihisa blended seamlessly into that group with them, giving the appearance of just two more interested, attractive, and wealthy men. But where are Kyouya and Haruhi?

Murmuring another non-committal sound of agreement to a conversation he was only paying half attention too, he started to look around again, only to catch Hani’s eyes. Hikaru could read the amusement in them as Hani glanced over to Hikaru’s right with a slight tilt of his head before turning back to the conversation the blonde woman seemed intent on monopolizing – something about how cow prints should be the next big thing. Following the lead Hani gave him; Hikaru shifted his stance slightly and breathed a quiet sigh of relief as he spotted Haruhi, Kyouya, Takashi, Zhi, and Sakura all dancing together in a group. There was a crowd of people around them, but it seemed that for the moment at least his lovers weren’t being bombarded with questions or unwanted attention. 

“So what do you think,” the blonde asked him directly and laid a flirty hand on his arm. 

Hikaru suppressed his natural reaction to shudder at her not-so-subtle attempt at flirtation. “It’s definitely a different idea, but I will need to discuss it with my brother and Renge. The idea of Phoenix Collection is about pushing boundaries and finding a new definition of sexy, but we are still focused on finishing school, so the concept designs HDG has posted are just the first ideas. There will be more in the future. ” Hikaru gave her a dazzling smile before addressing the group. “Please excuse me.” 

He could see the disappointment in their faces as he turned and walked away, but he knew from experience that if he didn’t get out of there, the group would monopolize him for the entire evening. And really – Cow prints?!? Ugh! Definitely NOT something that is going to go into Phoenix Collection, unless we suddenly decide to do cowboy chic. 

“I take it you aren’t interested in doing a cow themed line,” Hani asked with a laugh as he stepped in line with Hikaru. 

“Ugh! Gods no,” Hikaru glanced around quickly before responding. “I mean, can you really see it?” 

“Not at all,” Hani giggled. “It sounds like a one of those horrid themes that Tamaki would come up with during Host Club.” 

Hikaru groaned as he thought back to some of the truly wretched ideas that the Host Club King had come up with over the years. “He did have some doozies. Speaking of the boss, do you know where he’s at? I haven’t seen him in a while.” 

“He went to go find his friend Marika. She was going to bring her girlfriend and boyfriend tonight so they could meet everyone.” 

“Marika… Marika… Oh! The friend of Tamaki’s that did the interview.” Hikaru sighed. “Gods it was only a couple of days ago, but it feels like a lifetime. I think I may be happy to go back to school next week, if only to have a break from the craziness of this vacation.” 

Hani’s lips pressed together in a thin line. “It is definitely going to be quieter.” 

Hikaru saw the gesture, stopped in his tracks, and laid a hand on Hani’s arm. “I’m sorry. I forgot that the end of this trip isn’t going to be an easy one for you and Takashi.” 

Hani briefly put his hand on top of Hikaru’s before replying. “Thanks, we will make it work somehow. But you are right; this trip has turned into something radically different than what I expected.” 

“You can say that again,” Kaoru sighed as he stepped up and linked his arm with his brother’s. “Have we done enough schmoozing yet? I just want to hang out with our friends and maybe do a little dancing.” 

“Mom will be on our case if we don’t do at least another round of mingling later, but I think she will forgive us for taking a little break now,” Hikaru responded. 

A few steps later and they joined the group, just as the music turned a bit slower and more sensual. With a wicked grin, Hikaru reached out pulled Haruhi in close, while Kyouya followed behind her. As they started dancing Hani just rolled his eyes and stepped off to the side to talk quietly with Takashi, while Kaoru walked over to rescue Renge from her group. Off to the side, Zhi and Sakura were dancing together, giving the appearance of being completely absorbed in each other, while still managing to keep an eye on everything in the immediate area. 

Pressed between her lovers, Haruhi let the beat of the music flow through her. Without thinking she raised her left arm and twisted it so it would wrap around Kyouya as he pressed against her back, while wrapping the other around Hikaru’s hip and tucking her hand into his waistband at his back. Together the three of them silently let the music dictate how their bodies moved and together found a rhythm that was both sensual and simple. 

Relaxing now that he was back where he wanted to be, Hikaru settled into the rhythm for a few minutes before leaning in to say, “I have to say, this has been the most eventful build-up to this Ball and the first time I have actually really enjoyed myself at it. Usually Kao and I are bored beyond belief with all the schmoozing and networking that has to happen. I mean, I know why it has to happen, but that doesn’t stop it from being a drag.” 

“Networking is a necessary evil,” Kyouya replied. “It serves a purpose, but I never really enjoy it. Though I do enjoy observing those who consume too much alcohol, those who agree with everything that is being said in the group they happen to be in, and those who think that they are better than their peers. It gives me insight into who I may end up working with.” 

“What kind of insight?” Haruhi asked curiously. 

“Well, the group that drinks too much, usually is either trying to cover boredom, stress at the job, or is a lower level staffer who is out on their own for the first time and is going to take advantage of everything available,” Kyouya responded with a nibble to her neck that caused a little hum to escape her lips. 

“Kao and I call the second group the yes-men,” Hikaru answered. “They are so eager to be accepted by others that they agree to everything, even if it contradicts their own belief or even something that they agreed to five minutes earlier. They have no opinions other than whatever the biggest player in the room is saying. The sad part is they often don’t even realize that they are doing it.” 

“The third group usually included my father,” Kyouya finished. “Old men that don’t see that the world is changing under their noses. They lost their innovation and are now clinging to the past.” 

“So why even bother going?” 

“Because every once in a while, there is someone with an interesting idea,” Hikaru answered. 

“And it reminds me of who I don’t want to be,” Kyouya confirmed. 

“Sounds like High School,” Haruhi muttered. 

“In so many ways,” Hikaru laughed. “Some people never outgrow it.” 

“True,” Kyouya sighed. 

“Excuse me, what are you doing with my daughter,” a mock serious tone was replaced by a look of fondness , as the three startled and looked around quickly to see Ranka standing next to them tapping his foot. 

“It’s called dancing, dad,” Haruhi responded cheekily. 

“That’s not how your mom and I did it,” Ranka replied with a grin. “I remember there being more space in between the bodies.” 

Haruhi laughed, “I’ve seen the acts at your old bar, Dad. We weren’t even coming close to some of the things I saw your staff do.” 

Ranka tossed his head back and laughed. “Fair enough. Though I still retain my right as a father to be at least mildly disapproving when I see my baby girl squished between two unruly boys.” He winked at Hikaru and Kyouya who grinned and gave a slight bow. “Even if I happen to actually like both of said boys.” 

“Is this where I complain loudly that you are being unfair?” Haruhi joined in the easy banter. “That I am eighteen and I can make my own decisions…”

“Ugh, do we have to?” Ranka’s voice held a melodramatic tone. “I got too much of that at the bar. Drag Queens are far worse than unappreciative teenagers.” 

All three burst into giggles, before Haruhi said more conversationally, “Was there something that you wanted or needed, Dad? The last time I saw you tonight you were in the group with Yuzuha.” 

“I was but she gestured that it was time I changed. I just wanted to double check with you again to make sure that you are really ok with it. I promise I won’t be mad if you want me to stay male tonight.” 

Haruhi stood on tiptoes and kissed her father’s cheek. “I won’t be mad at all. In fact, I am really looking forward to seeing the dress that Yuzuha designed for you. Go. Get changed. We will see you in a few.” 

“Has anyone told you lately you are the best daughter in the world?” Ranka held back a sniffle. 

“I love you, Dad. All of you. I am proud to be your daughter in any form.” 

Ranka kissed the top of her head. “I love you, baby girl.” 

Haruhi laughed. “Dad. GO!” 

“That’s the Haruhi I know,” Ranka grinned. “Ok. See you all in a few.” 

“Your dad has changed so much in the time that we have known him,” Kyouya remarked as they watched Ranka exit the room to head back upstairs. 

“For the better, I think,” Hikaru agreed. 

“I haven’t really thought about it now that you mention it,” Haruhi responded, head cocked slightly to the right. “I mean I knew how much of an impact the Host Club had on me, it changed my life, but I didn’t really realize how much it changed my father’s as well. Without you guys, I would still likely be buried in my books and my father would be stuck at the bar without a way to advance. I am so appreciative of everything that has happened.” 

Kyouya pulled her close and kissed her cheek, “You changed our world… it’s only fair we return the favor.” 

Hikaru stepped into wrap his arms around both, “changed for the better.” 

“Hey you guys!! This is a party!! Look like you are having fun!!” Renge’s voice carried into their space. “Sheesh!” 

Haruhi giggled. “I think that’s our cue to dance again.” She saw Renge beckoning her to join the group on the dance floor.” 

Kyouya grinned and gestured for them to join her. “Go. I am going to go find us something to drink. I’ll be right back.” 

“Haruhi all to myself?? Let’s do this!” Hikaru grinned as he pulled her back onto the floor. 

Kyouya chuckled at the kiss Haruhi threw his way before turning and walking towards the area serving food and drinks. 
 

 

********************

Ranka looked at himself in the mirror and did a slow twirl, feeling the silky material slide around his body. The dress was a relatively simple black sheath with rhinestone straps and a sequined rose pattern along the slit that ran up one thigh, but the silicone breast enhancers and corseted waist gave him curves that weren’t normally there. It’s beautiful and feminine and I am so nervous…

Delaying the inevitable for one minute more, he fussed with the clip that turned his ponytail into an updo and checked to see if the makeup applied earlier was still in place. It’s all in place… Ranka girl, you can do this!

Giving himself a sassy wink and blown kiss in the mirror, he turned and walked out of the room.

Descending the staircase slowly, he looked out at the crowds wandering through all the rooms. None turned to whisper or stare and his confidence started to increase. I’m just another girl in the room…

When he reached the landing leading to the bottom floor, he saw a handsome brown haired man in fitted designer suit, looking intently up him. Putting on coy smile, Ranka descended the stairs slowly, putting a little extra sway into his hips.

“Are you Ranka?” the man asked with a dazzling grin and a thick Italian accent.

“Why yes, I am,” Ranka’s voice naturally slipped into the higher breathy tone that he used when in drag. “Who are you, you sexy thing?”

The man took his hand and kissed the top of it before giving Ranka a wicked grin. “I’m Gio. I am your escort for the evening.”

Ranka’s heart started beating a touch faster at the devilish look in Gio’s eyes. It’s been a while since I have had this level of attraction for someone. I wonder what Yuzuha is planning. He took Gio’s proffered arm and started walking towards the front of the house, a smile on his face and a light flirtation already planned in his mind.

When they reached the entrance to the Ballroom, instead of going in, Gio steered them to the left towards the exit to the outside.

“Aren’t we going into the Ball?”

“Not quite yet, bella. I am waiting for a signal.”

Butterflies danced in Ranka’s stomach at the caress Gio’s tone made of the endearment. He stopped them just outside the door to the outside, maneuvering his body so that Ranka was pressed up against the wall of the hallway.

Breathless at the nearness of the gorgeous warm body nearly pressing him into the wall, Ranka managed to whisper, “What does Yuzuha have planned?”

A dark chuckle left Gio’s lips as he bent in close to whisper, “Oh bella… this has nothing to do with that tramp Yuzuha Hitachiin’s little fashion empire.”

Ranka froze.

“Yoshio Ootori sends his regards. He would like to speak with you.”

Before Ranka could move, he felt a sharp prick in his neck. Slipping into unconsciousness fast, the last thing he felt Gio kissing him on the cheek and whispering “Sei così bello. Io amo gli uomini trans.”

 

********************

“Sei così bello. Io amo gli uomini trans.” – “You are beautiful. I love tranny men.”

   
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