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. =)


10. Decisions

Haruhi explained the situation between Kaoru and Tamaki to Kyouya as they drove to the Carrousel du Louvre. Kyouya listened carefully as he slid through the Paris traffic in the silver Aston Martin DBS. He was still surprised that Tamaki tossed him the keys as they were walking down the stairs, trying to decide if they wanted to take a limo or get a car, since they knew they would be running around this afternoon. Well, Tamaki knows I can't resist slick cars, but now that Haruhi told me about finding them together this morning, I am wondering if this is his way of distracting me from asking questions. If so, Tamaki my friend, you are not getting off that easy. I am going to corner you sometime this week for a conversation and that will definitely be a topic. 

"So what do you think?" Haruhi's voice cut into Kyouya's reverie. "I think Hika will be ok, but he was in such a state of shock this morning." 

"I think Hikaru is stronger than we may be giving him credit for. If I know you, you talked him down and gave him something to think about. Why are you second guessing yourself now?" 

"I don't know. I think that I may just be worried that he will decide that he needs to spend more time with Kaoru and want to stay with him tonight." Haruhi blushed a bit as she continued, "That probably sounds awful. I want him to do what he needs to do for himself, but I am also feeling a little selfish, because I have wanted to have you both with me together for months. I love both of you so much and waking up between you is incredible. I guess I just don't want that to end so soon." 

Kyouya smiled as he reached over and took her hand. "I can absolutely understand that, my love. I never thought I would ever get to point that I wasn't a least a little of jealous of Hikaru and you. Now, I can honestly say I am not anymore. I absolutely love watching him make love to you. I love the way your body reacts to him because it's different than the way you react to me. I love watching the way he reacts to you." Coughing a bit to cover up his own blush, "I know this is so far from where I was a year ago, but I am getting curious about the way he would react to my touching him. He is attractive to me in a way I never expected to feel about another man. I just don't know how he feels." 

"He would absolutely love it if you touched him," Haruhi smiled back as she stroked the back of his hand where it was entwined with hers. "You have to know he has had a crush on you for a couple of years. He just thought that you would never be interested in him in that way, so he let it go. He is fully bisexual. I know Tamaki and Kaoru consider themselves flexible, but they still prefer women as partners. Hika would be equally happy with a woman or man, regardless of how the rest of the world saw him. I have to really give Yuzuha credit for accepting both her sons for who they are and not who she wants them to be." 

"I wish my father had even a fraction of Yuzuha's tolerance." The smile faded as Kyouya thought about the domineering and unrelenting head of the Ootori family. I doubt he will ever accept it if I have a relationship with Hikaru as well as Haruhi. As it stands, he already disapproves that I am willing to share Haruhi with someone else, even if that person is a part of the well-connected as the Hitachiin family. 

"I know my love," the love and sympathy evident in her voice. "I wish I had an answer for you on how to deal with your father, but I don't. I will just enjoy every moment I can with you and hope that he never decides to take you away from me." 

"I won't let that happen." The firmness and resolve in Kyouya's voice helped alleviate some of Haruhi's fears. Further discussion was curtailed as they pulled into the valet area for the Carrousel du Louvre. After giving the keys to the Aston to the valet, Kyouya linked his hand in Haruhi's and they walked into the convention center toward the hall where they knew the Hitachiin design team was working. Since they were not known to the paparazzi that covered Fashion Week, they were largely ignored as they walked by. 

"I think this is the first time that I have ever been ignored by the paparazzi," Kyouya commented quietly to Haruhi as they walked by the line of photographers. 

"Ahh… the price of being rich and famous," Haruhi teased her lover, "Funny. I don't have that problem." 

"Ha-Ha… Just wait Haru-love, as soon as you are out of high school and we go out in public together in Japan, you too will be front page news. Probably even more than me, actually. I can see the headline now – Wealthy Ootori son caught by Commoner. Article on page 14." he teased right back before getting serious, "Don't worry about it, though. For the most part, they are harmless. They want the juicy tidbits and especially if our relationship with Hika comes out, we WILL be juicy for a while, but it will quickly fade into old news." 

"I never really thought about it, but you are right," Haruhi responded, "though, it may come out sooner than you realize. Unless you plan on avoiding me and Hika completely for the next week and a half, the chances of us getting caught on camera at some point are pretty high. I know there will be photographers at the Ball, but at least there we will be surrounded by the other Host club members, so the relationships that we all have may be a bit more muddled. I know, for example, that I will likely be dancing with all of you at some point, which will make it harder to determine if I am specifically dating one of you." 

As Haruhi finished her statement, they reached the security guard protecting the entrance to the working area. Kyouya gave their names and the guard called for a member of the Hitachiin group to come and escort them in. 

"I am actually impressed at the level of security here," Kyouya commented to Haruhi. "Hika mentioned in passing that it was tight, but I may have to make some suggestions to my family's police force about what I have seen. I know it may seem annoying to wait for and escort, but it also means that someone from HDG will visually identify us as well as having our ID's checked. That way someone can't slip a fake ID past the guard and sneak into the restricted areas." 

"I agree," Haruhi answered. "I also sent a text to Hika earlier letting him know we were on our way, so it shouldn't be too long before someone comes to get us." 

Just as she finished making her statement, Renge came up to the guard station to identify the couple. She had full identification badges already made up for them and without any further fuss, the guard let them into the restricted area, while telling them to keep their badges on at all times. 

Once through the door, Renge turned and gave both Kyouya and Haruhi a hug. "It's so good to see you both! Sorry it is me greeting you instead of Yuzuha, Hikaru or Kaoru, but they thought that since I am still a bit less conspicuous than they are, it made more sense in case some of the paparazzi were watching. I will take you to them." 

"I appreciate the consideration." Kyouya said formally. 

"Of course," Haruhi answered with a smile for her friend, "So tell me, how is it going as Yuzuha's assistant? I am so excited for you that she is letting you show one of your designs at such a prestigious event." 

Renge's excited chatter kept both Haruhi and Kyouya amused as they traversed the hallways to the working area for Hitachiin Design Group. As soon as they entered Yuzuha, Kaoru and Hikaru immediately came up to greet them. Yuzuha claimed the first hug by pulling them both into her. "Hello my darlings! I am so excited that you are joining us." Turning to Kyouya she said, "Kyouya-yoshi, Hika and Kao were telling me all about the Suoh Guest House and the change in the venue, but I wanted to thank you for using your connections to get all of the last minute details organized and printed." 

Kyouya was stunned for a moment before he felt unusual warmth spread through him at Yuzuha's affectionate use of the phrase meaning adopted son.I have heard her call Haruhi her adopted daughter, but this is the first time she has called me son. I know she knew that I was dating Haruhi too, but her complete acceptance means more to me than I ever thought it would. 

A small smile crossed Haruhi's lips at Kyouya's stunned expression. He needs to learn that others can accept him for who he is even if it is different from the norm and Yuzuha is the perfect person to get him started. She warmly returned Yuzuha's hug as the older woman turned her focus from Kyouya to her. 

"Haru-yoshi. What are you wearing?! That outfit is so three months ago!" With a dramatic wave of her hands, Yuzuha teased the girl her sons cared so much about and who brought such joy to their lives. "I have a wardrobe for you being sent to the Guest House, but right now you need to get changed into that outfit over there, because I am stealing you from the boys. They can go take care of the printing, we are going to lunch. You my darling are going to cause a stir this week." 

The stunned look on Kyouya's face was nothing compared to the look that now graced Haruhi's. Hikaru chuckled as he addressed his mother, "Mama – can I at least say hello before you whisk her off?" 

"I suppose so, but make it fast." She winked at her son. 

Hikaru pulled Haruhi into a tight hug and whispered in her ear "Whatever my mom tries to convince you of, remember you can say no. She may pout, but she only does it for attention. She really won't make you do anything you aren't comfortable with, including facing the press." Pulling back slightly, he kissed her deeply, "I love you." 

Haruhi felt a bit of relief at Hikaru's comment and decided to test his theory. "All right Yuzuha-dono, I will change, but we need to have lunch somewhere relatively private. I am not ready for the cameras just yet." 

Yuzuha pouted then laughed as she saw the stubborn look on Haruhi's face, "I see my son warned you before I could work my magic. Of course we can stay out of camera range for now. It will actually stir up more excitement for next week, if we play hard to get." 

Kaoru groaned at his mother's words. "Mama, do you ever get tired of manipulating or twisting the press to do whatever you want them too?" 

"Never. They are tools to be used to stir up interest. I want them completely interested in our designs this week. I fully plan on winning my bet with Allegra Versace." 

"Mama," Kaoru warned, "What exactly did you bet Allegra and what happens to the loser? Hika and I need to know what we are up against." 

"Nothing much," Yuzuha waived her hand airily as she continued, "I just bet her that Hitachiin Designs would cause more of a buzz at Fashion Week this year than Versace does. The loser has to wear a gown of the winner's design on the night of the Grand Ball." 

Hikaru, Kaoru, and Renge all groaned. 

"Thanks mom," Hikaru grumbled, "like we weren't under enough pressure to present designs that the critics will receive. Kaoru, Renge, and I are still in high school and you are putting us up for comparison with the leading Italian designer and reigning Queen of Fashion Week." 

"You may still be in high school, but you are Hitachiin and you have been doing this since you could toddle over and grab the fabric I was working on. Fashion is in your blood and I fully intend to showcase that. You my dearest sons have been ready for two years – Now it's your chance to show the world what you can do and shape Fashion for the future." She smiled at both of her beloved sons. "Besides, you have something that Allegra doesn't – friends that love you for who you are, not what you can do for them. Your friends are your biggest advantage. Don't be afraid to let them help." 

Haruhi reached out and took a hand of both Hikaru and Kaoru. "Your mother is right. We will do whatever we can to help you, because you deserve it. Whatever you need, we have it covered." She kissed first Hikaru then Kaoru lightly on the lips, before turning back to their mother. "Ok Yuzuha, I will help you win the bet, because not only do I believe in my friends, but I want to see the infamous designer Allegra Versace walk down the staircase wearing one of Kaoru and Hikaru's designs. Show me what you want to change into." 

With that, Yuzuha led Haruhi over to a dressing area. Kaoru and Renge turned to go back to the design they were working on, while Hikaru turned to look at Kyouya. 

Quietly Kyouya spoke. "I want you to know I am completely with Haruhi on this. Whatever I can do, please let me know. You and Kaoru mean a lot to me. Your friendship has helped me see the world through a different perspective. I … care… about you." 

Still not quite what I want, but I will take it as a start. Hikaru took a deep breath and responded, "Let's call for the car and go get the printing completed." He reached into his pocket and called the valet service, telling them to bring the car around to the side entrance. Once that was complete, he gestured to Kyouya to follow him. While they were walking Hikaru turned to Kyouya and hesitantly added, "I care about you too and there is something that I both need and want to talk to you about. I am just scared because I don't know how you will react." 

Startled by the statement, Kyouya stopped in mid-step, his silver eyes looking deep into Hikaru's golden ones. "You are scared? Of what exactly?" 

"Of your reaction to this," Hikaru glanced quickly around to make sure they were completely alone in the hallway. Seeing that they were, he reached out with one hand to cup Kyouya's face before raising his lips slightly to meet Kyouya's. The first brush was light, tentative, as he half-expected the shadow king to pull away from him and shatter his hopes completely. In fear, he started to retreat, already planning his apology. 

Kyouya's mind raced as the feel of Hikaru's lips jolted through him. Gods, I really have wanted this. I want him. Sensing that Hikaru was about to pull away, Kyouya gave a deep growl and wrapped his arms around Hikaru, one hand sliding into his soft auburn hair while the other slid around his waist. He deepened the kiss, lips wanting more as he traced his tongue across the seam of Hikaru's lips. It was a request for entrance rather than a demand. 

Hikaru was lost in the sensation of Kyouya's mouth on his and eagerly opened to receive Kyouya's tongue. Slowly he slid his against the other as they twisted, teased and tasted each other for the first time. He slid his arms around Kyouya's back holding them together as they explored this new passion. Finally they pulled apart and looked at each other, breath heavy and hearts beating wildly, arms still wrapped around. 

"Wow… ummm… yeah. I am not scared anymore." Hikaru laughed shakily. 

Kyouya smiled. "I have wanted to do that for a while now. I just wasn't ready to admit it until this trip." 

Hikaru's body felt lighter at Kyouya's comment, though his jeans definitely got a bit tighter. He returned the smile while saying, "Haruhi will be so disappointed that she missed it." 

"We can't disappoint our princess; we will just have to give her a repeat performance." 

"I think I could handle that." Hikaru placed another quick kiss on Kyouya's lips before reluctantly letting him go. 

"Good. Because I fully plan on making it a habit." 

By mutual accord though still a bit out of breath, both men turned and finished walking down the hall. Upon seeing the car that Kyouya was driving, Hikaru let out a slow whistle as he slid inside. "Wow. Now that is a flashy car. I didn't know you had access to an Aston here." 

Kyouya started the car and pulled out onto the road. "I didn't actually. Tamaki tossed me the keys this morning as Haruhi and I were trying to decide if we wanted to take a limo or rent a car. He knows I like fast cars and I have a thing for Astons." Kyouya glanced over at Hikaru as he said Tamaki's name. "Speaking of Tamaki, if you don't mind my asking, Haruhi told me that he and Kaoru spent last night together. I want to know how you are feeling about it." 

"Honestly, I was a bit upset this morning, but Haruhi calmed me down and after talking to Kao on the ride over, I am doing a lot better. It really isn't fair for me to be jealous that he spent the night with someone else, when I shared a bed with you both. So yes, I was surprised that it was with Tamaki, but let's just say that as of about 5 minutes ago, I am far less jealous than I was earlier this morning." Hikaru winked at Kyouya. 

Kyouya smirked, "Hmmm… I wonder why." Absently, he stretched his arm out slightly and captured Hikaru's hand with his own as they lapsed into a companionable silence while they sped along the Parisian streets. 

Hikaru sighed in contentment as Kyouya's hand curved around his. I have seen Kyouya hold Haruhi's hand like this when we all are driving somewhere. It's really nice to be the one holding his hand, even if there is no one around to see it. After that kiss, why am I still afraid? I need to ask him if he will go on the red carpet with me, but I still don't know if he is willing to go public with me. I have to be willing to accept that our relationship may always be in the shadows. He is the Shadow King after all as well as being an Ootori. Gods, his father! I didn't even think about how hard it would be for Kyouya to tell his father about a relationship with me. I am so used to my mom accepting everything about me that I can't understand how cold and distant Yoshio Ootori is to his son. I want a relationship with him as much as I want one with Haruhi, and I think I could accept if it had to stay hidden from the public, as long as the ones I care about most knew about it. I don't want to be a guilty secret. 

Kyouya saw that Hikaru was deep in thought and decided to stay silent until they reached the print shop. Pulling up to the front of the shop, Kyouya quickly found a parking place and he and Hikaru ran inside to complete their errand. The shop owner was thrilled to be able to help out such prestigious customers and assured them that the banners, flyers, and invitations would be complete in three days. 

Satisfied with the completion of the errand they decided to stop for lunch before heading back to the convention center. They found a quiet little sushi restaurant. Sitting across from each other in a booth, they ate and chatted about a number of different topics, before a stray thought crossed Hikaru's mind which made him suddenly laugh out loud. 

Looking at him in puzzlement Kyouya asked, "What's so funny?" 

Waving his hands around to include the restaurant, Hikaru replied, "This. I think this is the first time that you and I have actually been alone for any length of time without at least one of the others with us. It's like our first date happened and we didn't realize it until we were halfway through it." 

Kyouya laughed with him. "Apparently is a day for firsts. My father would be disappointed. Let's see… since waking up less than 8 hours ago, my firsts have been – Seeing Haruhi doing partner yoga with Mori, not having my photo taken by the paparazzi, kissing you and now our first date. How about you?" 

"Watching Haruhi and Mori do yoga always gives me chills, they are so beautiful together. I am always just a teensy bit relieved that every time I have watched them, she immediately comes over to me after. I am too scared of Mori to be jealous, but damn, the two of them together in that moment are just so perfect, it makes my heart ache a little bit. I am just thankful that she loves me and not him. Well, she does love him, but at least she doesn't love him the same way she loves us. Does that make sense?" At Kyouya's nod and emphatic agreement, Hikaru continued, "Let's see, other firsts. Kaoru beat me in the sleeping with another man category, but I think that first for me may be remedied soon, so I won't worry too hard about it, so kissing you and our first date round it out." 

"I think you are right, you don't need to be jealous of Kaoru." 

"And you don't need to worry about what other's think of you." Hikaru responded as he reached across, grabbed Kyouya's hand and brought the knuckles to his lips. Still holding the hand, he continued, "Haruhi and I, along with all of the others in the club love you for whom you are. Not who others expect you to be. I just wish there was something I could do about your father. I want you to know, right now before anything happens between us, that if you need to keep our relationship quiet and out of the public eye, I will make sure it happens. I just ask that we not keep it a secret from the others in the club. I can handle the world not knowing, but I can't handle being a guilty little secret kept from the people I care about most." 

"I would never ask you to keep our relationship a secret from the others. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Hani, Tamaki, and Mori have a bet on when we announce it to them. If you think about it, all of us have unique relationships with the others, and for whatever reason, it works. I know that I can be completely myself with any of you and I won't be judged for it. That is so far from the way I was brought up, that I treasure it far more than the wealth of my family." He reached across the table and stroked Hikaru's cheek. "I don't know what I am going to do about my family. Once upon a time, I couldn't imagine wanting anything other than proving that even though I was the third son, I would be the best heir to the Ootori Empire. Now… I am starting to think that maybe instead of following an ideology I don't agree with and cutting out everything that makes me happy to be a 'dutiful son', I can find a way to build my own empire. I am not worried about the money. I made sure that I have wealth and power without him, just to prove that I could. I just don't know if I stepped away if I would still have the Ootori honor." 

"I think you have far more honor in your actions and interactions with others than your father does. For him it is only about what can be gained. For you, it is about how you can make the world a better place for those you love. That, to me at least, is the far more honorable path." 

For the second time that day, Kyouya was stunned at the words of another. He couldn't speak. Quietly Hikaru got up from the table, paid the bill, and came back to get Kyouya. Wordlessly he climbed into the driver's seat and drove both of them back to the Carrousel du Louvre. I hope he finally heard what all of us have been trying to tell him for years. 

Do I really have more honor than my father? I know the workers and vendors prefer to come to me, but I just assumed that it was out of the respect for him, that they didn't want to burden the Head of the family with their petty problems. Kyouya's thoughts kept looping until he looked up and realized that they were back at the convention center and the valet was waiting for him to exit the vehicle. Blinking rapidly, Kyouya focused on the moment and turned back to Hikaru, noticing they were still far away from the area with all the paparazzi. He then realized that Hika hadn't spoken a word since his declaration in the restaurant. Smiling in relief he said, "Thank you." 

Hikaru breathed his own sigh of relief and returned that smile with a grin of his own. "Shall we go back inside? I figure Haruhi will need rescuing from Mom, right about now." 

"Let's go." Kyouya linked arms with Hikaru as they walked back to the working area. 

Sure enough, Haruhi's eyes lit up in relief as she saw her two lovers stroll back into the workspace. She approached both of them, kissed them both on the cheek and ironically said. "Bye." 

"Huh?!" Two puzzled expressions looked at her. 

"You guys left without saying goodbye." 

"We are so sorry Haru-love!" Both sets of arms wrapped around her as she laughed. 

"So does this mean that you will do it?" Yuzuha clapped her hands as she saw the three laughing together, their arms wrapped around each other's waists. 

"Do what, Yuzuha?" Kyouya inquired. 

"Mom! I didn't get a chance to ask yet!" 

"What did you want to ask us Hika-love?" 

"I was trying to work up the courage to ask you both if you would join me on the red carpet for the opening ceremonies." Hikaru blushed as he rushed through the rest of the statement. "I just didn't want you to have to openly admit your relationship with me, if you didn't want to. I mean there are going to be so many cameras and people and-" 

"Hush my love," Haruhi said gently. "I would be honored to walk the red carpet with you. You are my friend and my lover. I will proudly announce that to the world. I can handle a few cameras and questions, if you are there with me." 

Hikaru calmed down at Haruhi's declaration. Kissing her briefly in thanks, he took a breath and looked at Kyouya. "My offer still stands. I can walk the carpet with just Haruhi, if you prefer." 

"Offer? I get the feeling I missed something important." Haruhi's voice was puzzled. 

"I think you have far more honor in your actions and interactions with others than your father does." "I want you to know, right now before anything happens between us, that if you need to keep our relationship quiet and out of the public eye, I will make sure it happens." Hikaru's voice echoed in Kyouya's head. Suddenly the internal debate about honor was resolved in Kyouya's mind. Turning to Haruhi he said, "You did miss something, but it doesn't really matter now. You already know, you just haven't realized it yet." 

"I will proudly walk the red carpet with my lovers. I will make that statement for the world and I will answer it with the ones I honor the most beside me." With that final statement Kyouya pulled Hikaru into his arms and kissed him deeply, while Haruhi, Kaoru, Yuzuha, and Renge stood by smiling.

"I am SO going to win my bet with Allegra!"

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