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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35. Fashion Week Begins

Kyouya couldn’t see anything beyond the spots in front of his eyes; his glasses did little to shield him from the onslaught. I thought I was prepared for this. I am not sure that I am, but there isn’t any going back now. He felt Hikaru squeeze his hand in tightly in a gesture of support and understanding. It’s ok though. Hikaru needed this. It means so much to him and he has never asked me for anything before. I will get through this as long as I still have both of them at my side when it is over. I just wish I could touch Haruhi now. It was my choice to go to Hika first, and I don’t regret it but I need her calm right now.

Hikaru was a bit more used to the flashbulbs, so after a few moments, he started walking forward tugging slightly on Kyouya’s hand to lead him, while placing his other hand on Haruhi’s back to both guide and offer a bit of support, so she could navigate the carpet in the boots without stumbling. He could hear the questions being yelled at him by the curious reporters – Hikaru who are your escorts? Are you dating them both? What are their names? Are they part of HDG? Do they go to school with you? Hikaru ignored each one, knowing that they would find out the answers soon enough. He just plastered his trademark Hitachiin smirk on his face and continued walking, every once in a while throwing a wink toward a reporter.

Haruhi was grateful for the support of Hikaru’s hand at her back. Hika is ignoring the questions so I can too. It will come out when it comes out.She glanced swiftly at Kyouya and saw the stoic mask on his face. She could tell he was trying to process the overload. Thinking quickly she tilted her head toward Hika and said as quietly as possible. “Is there any way we can shift positions delicately? I need to touch you both.”

Hikaru understood the need and knew Kyouya was having the same thoughts. He replied, “I agree. Kyo showed his support of me, by taking my hand, but he needs you too. I am also familiar with the Red Carpet etiquette, where you two aren’t yet. When we get to the end of this path, we will need to turn around and face the photographers one last time. I will shift to your other side then and put you in between us. It will look better for the photos and will give Kyo the reassurance he needs. I can’t tell you how much I love you both for doing this. I promise it is almost over.”

Kyouya heard Hikaru’s low comments and felt a wave of relief wash over him. He squeezed Hikaru’s hand in thanks. Softly he said, “It is more overwhelming than I anticipated, but I am still proud to be here with both of you.”

They reached the end of the carpet, and true to his word, as he was turning them; he put Haruhi in the middle. She put her arms around the waists of her lovers and they did the same for her, hands resting on her hips and forearms pressed tightly together at her back. Holding their smiles in place for another wave of flashbulbs, all three of them took comfort in the ability to touch each other. After what seemed like an eternity to Kyouya and Haruhi but Hika knew was only about 45 seconds or so, they were able to turn and Hikaru led them into the convention center.

Much to the relief of all three, there were far less paparazzi in the hall, though they knew they were not completely in the clear just yet. Spying Tamaki, Takashi, and Hani already seated in the Hitachiin Box, Hika led the way over to their friends. Handing in first Haruhi then Kyouya, Hikaru said, “I really love you both and I can’t thank you enough for doing that with me. I have to meet Kao, Mom, and Renge in the back, but I will come get all of you for the end walk.” Swiftly he placed a quick kiss on both of their lips.

Kyouya had recovered enough to give him a sly smile. In a teasing tone he said, “You are welcome. I know we both wanted to support you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it up to us later… After all, you know what happens when I have been stuck in leather pants for several hours…”

Hikaru grinned at him, “Oh I am completely looking forward to that part. I promise you.” With a final wink, he blew a kiss back towards the box and walked away.

Haruhi watched him walk away with a smile and slid her hand into Kyouya’s. Turning slightly she looked up at her other friends. Both Takashi and Hani winked at her while Tamaki surreptitiously laid a hand on her shoulder – all giving her their support. The hard part is over. Now the aftermath occurs. I can get through anything as long as I have my friends at my side.
 

 

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

The Winter Fashion Week Highlight’s Event was in full swing as Hikaru and Kaoru bustled about backstage. It was a familiar kind of stress and excitement since they had been present for it for years, but the tension this year was more apparent since this was the first year they had any of their designs going out on the runway. Both knew that their mother had approved the designs and though she loved them unconditionally, she was still a fashion designer and shrewd business woman at heart. She would not have approved them for the collection if they didn’t meet her exacting standards.

Kaoru felt the most pressure, since the dress designs were mostly his and would be the first to be noticed and commented on. Not that Hika doesn’t feel the pressure too, but his designs are more likely to be actually purchased and used regularly, so there is a comfort in that for him. Haute Couture, as much as I love it, is not the kind of thing you can wear every day, though our designs are trying to change that concept a bit. He tried to picture Haruhi going to the grocery store in the outfit she was currently wearing and started to giggle. Definitely not for everyday wear, even if she does look stunning in it. She could get a lot more use out of those boots and that necklace, however, and not just as costuming for the sexual fantasies of my pervy brother and equally pervy friends.

The announcement of the first of the Hitachiin Design Group designs shook Kaoru out of his thoughts and he rushed back to the changing area to help Hika usher the models into their places. He saw Hikaru standing ready on one side gesturing for him to come join him. Kaoru mouthed at Hika, “Where’s Renge?” At Hikaru’s shrug, Kaoru turned around to look. A flash of aqua disappearing around the corner caught his attention and he started walking to find the person he knew was currently wearing that particular dress.

“Reng-“Kaoru’s words froze on his lips as he stepped around the corner. Renge stood there in a passionate kiss with Mai Nakasaki. From the intimacy in their body language, Kaoru could tell that this was not a first kiss, but something that showed a long and deep relationship. Renge and Mai?? What?? How Long? How did Hikaru and I not know? His confusion caused him to step back around the corner. He pressed his back into the wall for support. He heard the softly spoken words from Renge’s mouth and they twisted something in his stomach. “Bonne chance, mon bien-aimé”. Good Luck, my beloved.

Mai hurried around the corner to take her place at the back of the line of models waiting to go onstage, her status as HDG’s premier model apparent in the placement. Renge followed a moment after, patting her hair and smoothing her hands down her body to make sure that everything was in place. She was so focused on the line of models that she didn’t see Kaoru as she walked past.

Kaoru was trying to make sense of what he saw. Renge and Mai were kissing and it definitely looked like this was something that was ongoing, for perhaps a really long time. They must be a couple. It’s just… I never knew Renge swung that way. She had that crazy interest in Kyouya for a long time and then she kept telling us what the guests of the Host Club would like, so I assumed that she was trying to help us get their attention. Didn’t she date one of her classmates for a time? And what about the kiss I gave her earlier? Unless I completely misunderstood her response, it seemed like she enjoyed it and that she may be attracted to me. Was I wrong? An internal voice (once again sounding suspiciously like Haruhi) responded to his questions with one of its own. So what if she is in a relationship with Mai? You are also sleeping with Tamaki and Hika. Were you planning on giving them both up on the off chance that Renge wanted to date you? … Well, no. I was hoping Renge wouldn’t mind about Hika and I wasn’t really going to tell her about Tamaki. He realized how cold his response was before his inner voice blasted him. You weren’t going to tell her? How is that fair to her? How would that be fair to Tamaki? You know he won’t be a guilty secret. He would immediately end the relationship that is just forming between the two of you and likely he would step away from you. He would probably step away from Hikaru too, and by extension Haruhi and Kyouya, because he wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings or put them in a potentially awkward position. It would fracture the group. You KNOW this. Do you really want this to happen because you are too afraid to tell the truth? Are you so selfish that you want your relationship with Tamaki, but would deny Renge one with Mai? Especially since it’s obvious they have been a couple a long time.

“Kao?” Hikaru’s concerned voice brought Kaoru back to the present as he touched Kao’s arm. “What’s wrong brother? I can feel you hurting.”

Shaking it off, he gave his brother a watery smile. “I am ok, Hika. I just saw something that is making me question myself. I realized something that I didn’t want to admit and I am feeling rather scummy because of it.”

“Tell me.”

Pulling his brother into his arms, he said, “I promise to tell you, but I can’t do it right now. I need to have a discussion with someone first and while I know you will support me 100%, I need to do this on my own first. To prove to myself I can. Can you understand that?”

“Yes, but I don’t like it.”

“I know. I love you my twin.” Taking a deep breath and putting on a real smile, he continued, “I have a feeling at the end you will tell me I am being silly. But for right now, let’s make sure that our models are perfect to walk and then go get the rest of our friends. Mom was right. They are our foundation and they deserve to walk with us as part of HDG.”

“Ok.” He gave Kao another hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I love you too. Whatever it is, you always have that. But you are right about mom and our friends. They do deserve to walk with us.” A shy smile crossed his face. “I still can’t believe that they love me. I never believed they could.”

Kaoru grinned, “You are one lucky dog, brother.” Then thinking of Tamaki, he added. “So am I brother. So am I.”

Hikaru grinned back, “Let’s capture the Fashion World and make Allegra Versace walk into the Ball wearing one of our dresses. Mom was totally right to make that bet. We will win.” Linking arms, they walked back to the others, smirks firmly in place.

 

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

In the box, the rest of the Host Club watched the as several designers put out a sample of the designs they were going to be showcasing that week. Tamaki and Hani were fascinated and kept asking Haruhi questions, since she was the closet to the twins and therefore this ‘world’ they had never really seen. Takashi and Kyouya watched the show with polite interest, but grinned inwardly in amusement at the rapture with which their blond counterparts were enthralled. Finally, Haruhi saw Hikaru and Kao walking toward her and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Why don’t you ask Hika or Kao that one? I really only have the faintest knowledge of fashion and I have no idea why feathers are apparently ‘in’ this season.”

Hikaru’s heart skipped a beat when he saw the love in Kyouya and Haruhi’s eyes as he walked toward the box. However, the tone of Haruhi’s voice as he got close enough to hear the tail end of her comment, made him grin. It was one part exasperation, one part patience, and one part fondness, though it was looking like the exasperation was going to increase if he didn’t do something. Swooping in to answer the question for her, he said, “Because fashion is whimsical like that. This year someone decided it is feathers. Next year it could be snakeskin, for all we know.”

“My hero!” Haruhi mouthed to Hikaru, who grinned.

“We are here to escort all of you backstage.” He gestured to the stage. “You can see the groups doing their final presentation now. HDG will go last since we are the group that is hosting the Grand Ball at the end of the week. We do need to hurry though.”

“On our way,” Tamaki said making sure to let his glance linger a bit longer than absolutely necessary on Kaoru, as he exited the box with the others. He smiled to himself as he felt Kaoru’s hand linger on his back for just a moment.

The whole of HDG including the Host Club walked the runway to the sound of applause and fanfare. The men of the Host Club were in their element, being no strangers to applause and approval. Yuzuha smiled to herself as she watched the boys offer arms to the different models and assist them in the turn around. Hmmm… I wonder if I can talk them into modeling for me in the Spring Collection. They are naturals at this.

As all the designers gathered on the stage in one large group, Yuzuha stepped forward to do the official closing of the night and the opening of Paris Winter Fashion Week. Grabbing a wireless headset, she hooked the earpiece around her ear and adjusted the microphone toward her mouth. “Greetings Friends, fellow Fashionistas, and darling Press. I want to officially welcome you to the gorgeous city of Paris for Winter Fashion Week. Over the next five days, you will have a chance to see the collections for 20 different top designers and enjoy the marketplace filled with over a hundred more. As you all know, at the end of the week, one of the leading designers hosts the Grand Ball, and I am pleased to announce that this year that honor goes to Hitachiin Design Group. Traditionally the event is held here at the Carrousel du Louvre, but as we at HDG like to break from convention, both professionally and personally, we are going to be holding the event at another location. Tickets are, of course, sold out so those of you that thought this year would be the same as all the others are in for a huge disappointment,” Yuzuha paused to enjoy the grumblings of the crowd that hadn’t bothered to buy their tickets in advance. “I can promise you that nothing you will see from Hitachiin Designs this year will be what you may have grown accustomed to… After all, it is the nature of Fashion to change and evolve and we as fashion devotees must change and evolve with it. We are passionate. We love intensely and we appreciate beauty in all of its many forms. Therefore, the Grand Ball will be held at a brand new venue. Just as this year my sons have demonstrated their singular ability to hold their own in the world of fashion, a dear friend of theirs has turned his passion for architecture into something bold, stunning, and a worthy partner of HDG. It is with my absolute pleasure that I announce that the Grand Ball will be held at the Maison des Roses on the Suoh Estate just outside Paris.”

The crowd burst into thunderous applause.

Kaoru and Hani each slipped an arm around Tamaki to support him as his legs gave out in shock.

 

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

Yuzuha is as brilliant as she is devious. Kyouya couldn’t keep the respect from coloring his mind as he watched her work the crowd. In one fell swoop she implied that our triad was perfectly normal since Fashion breaks from convention all the time, so why can’t love, and also implied that those who can’t handle the novelty aren’t true followers of Fashion. Dear gods, I am glad that Yuzuha‘s calling is Fashion, because if it were politics, she could easily be running the nation. Leaning toward Hikaru, he let some of his thoughts emerge, “I think I love your mom. She just manipulated the press and everyone else in a way and with an ease that many politicians would kill for.”

“I know,” Hikaru said. “Isn’t it awesome?!?”

“Completely, Hika-chan,” Hani piped up from the side that was still gently supporting Tamaki. “She is something else.”

Taking a final bow, Yuzuha turned and walked back toward the rest of the group. It was the signal for the group to exit the stage and prepare to leave. As she got closer a wide smile lit her face, “So how was that boys?”

“Brilliant.” Hikaru answered.

“Devious.” Kaoru echoed.

“Perfectly Hitachiin.” They said together and each gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you my loves and thank you Kyouya, Takashi, Hani, and Tamaki for walking out with us.” Turning to a still slightly stunned Tamaki, she added, “Tamaki, I hope you don’t mind the way I announced the venue change for the Grand Ball. I felt it needed a bit of flair worthy of the Host Club.”

At the mention of the Host Club, Tamaki straightened. Taking Yuzuha’s hand he bowed over it and laid a kiss on the back. “It was most appreciated. I am honored that you were willing to change the venue to highlight my humble home.” Then with a puzzled grin, he looked up, “I don’t think I actually ever asked, but what it the attendance going to be for this Ball?”

“500 tickets were presold, and there will be about another 100 people from different media outlets.”

Tamaki felt panicked and dizzy again. Six HUNDRED people!! However, he recovered quickly as his mind went into overdrive. “The ballroom can hold about 200, so I will make sure to open up the library, Music Room, and Conservatory.”

“You can also open up all the bedrooms. We will make sure all our clothing and stuff is locked in the closets. The back patio can also be swept, tented, and space heaters brought in to warm it,” Kyouya added in the brisk voice Tamaki associated with the Shadow King and Host Club. “I can help you organize it all tomorrow.”

The panic slowly left Tamaki’s face as his friends nodded their agreement. “Ok. We can do this. It will be a big crowd, but we will manage.”

“And it will be the best advertising for the space to hold events.” Hani said. “Do you have a website set-up yet for people to go to and an email so they can inquire?”

“Eeep… NO! How soon will it take someone to design one?” panic crept back into Tamaki’s voice.

“Actually Tamaki…” Kaoru started.

“You do have a website.” Hikaru finished.

“What?!?” Tamaki whipped his head around to look at the twins. “I do?”

“Yes.” The twins said together. “You do. We built it for you.”

“What? When?”

“Well it was going to be our Christmas present to you,” Hikaru started.

“It’s really simple in design right now, mostly because we were trying to keep in the limit of $50 each for gifts that was set. But the domain name is yours for the next two years at least and it comes with unlimited email.” Kaoru finished.

“If you know of a good graphic designer, we can turn it over to them and have them take photos this week to add to the site as well as finesse it into something professional.” Hikaru said with a smile.

“Yes! Leave that to me,” Yuzuha said with a smile. “It will be my pleasure and my treat! I know the perfect photographer and he will be thrilled at having the first glimpse of the venue. I will also have my graphic designer look over the website. I am sure she can do something spectacular in a short amount of time, especially since she has worked with Hika and Kao before.” She looked slyly at the six young men and two young women standing in front of her.

Haruhi laughed at the expression on Yuzuha’s face. “Out with it Yuzuha. I have seen that look on your sons’ faces enough to know you are plotting something.”

“Oh Haru-yoshi, you are my darling darling girl. I was just thinking that every good event photo shoot needs models… and since we have six amazing male and two gorgeous female specimens right here it would be a shame to let it go to waste. We could even add Mai for a flash of color with that hair of hers. Hitachiin Design Group would be glad to supply the clothing for such a shoot…” She gave all of them a look of pure innocence.

“I can definitely confirm that I now understand where Hikaru and Kaoru get their deviousness and ability to manipulate from. Their mother is an unparalleled master at it,” Kyouya smirked.

“Kyo-yoshi,” Yuzuha pretended to be affronted. “I would never try to manipulate my son’s friends!”

“I meant no offense, only my sincerest appreciation of an art form I have observed since I could walk. It is a brilliant idea. It helps Tamaki greatly. It gives HDG a leg up and bragging rights. Having six males and three females in the photos will also subconsciously imprint the idea of unconventional relationships and help spare Hika, Haruhi, and I a great deal of bad press.” Kyouya bowed and kissed her hand as well.

“Not to mention gets all of the Host Club to be your models, which is something that I KNOW you have wanted for some time, mother,” Kaoru teased.

“Of course I want all of you as models! You are all gorgeous!! Any designer would give their left kidney to be able to work with such beautiful raw material.”

“We will do it.” Hani said. “It sounds like fun. It just can’t be tomorrow or on Tuesday since that is Haruhi’s testing for her next belt.”

“Oh Haru! You didn’t tell me that you were testing this week!” Renge pouted, “I want to watch and cheer you on.”

Haruhi squeezed Renge’s hand, “Honestly, so much has been happening that I just forgot to tell you. I am doing a demo with Hani and Takashi around 11 and then I will be taking my test around 12:30. Are you free?”

Renge looked over at Kaoru who nodded at her. He responded for her, “Renge and I were going to meet for lunch that day to discuss some things, but I can pick her up early, we can watch your demo and testing and then we can grab a late lunch.”

Hikaru arched an eyebrow at his brother. You have a date with Renge? When did this happen and when were you going to tell me? What about Tamaki?

Kaoru could feel the questions burning in the twin bond and mouthed the word ‘Later’ to Hikaru, who crossed his arms and looked stubborn.

Renge however was completely oblivious to the interchange between the Hitachiin brothers and said with a squeal, “Oh that’s perfect!”

“Well, then let’s plan for Wednesday. We will want to give the photographer and GD as much time as possible to edit and post the photos and website.” Yuzuha said briskly. “We will plan on starting early, so we will be at the House by about 7:30 to set up. I will bring a variety of clothing. I believe Renge told me there was a tropical conservatory – it will be perfect for swim wear. For now, go home. I am going to make a few phone calls and then I am going back to the Hotel. Renge darling, did you need a ride?”

Renge looked up and saw Mai discreetly standing across the room, leaning against a pillar letting her lust show in her eyes. She always does get horny after a show, not that I am complaining. She said out loud, “No, but thank you for the offer. I am going to grab a ride back with Mai.”

“Not a problem. Now then… Boys! Haruhi! Get yourselves back to the house and get some sleep. You are going to need it for the next week.” Yuzuha shooed them towards the exits. “And remember – Smile for the cameras!”

The whole group laughed as they made their way out the door to where their limo was waiting.

   
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