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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48. Fitting In

Kaoru started to follow the others out the door when he realized that Renge was still talking to Sakura about Saturday’s Ball. He paused and waited for her to finish. I am glad that Renge has another person to wear her designs. They are still a bit simple but she has come a long way in her design aspect in the last year. A few more years at HDG and she may be able to strike out on her own. He smiled as she looked up and caught his eyes.

She smiled back and quickly finished up her conversation with Sakura, promising to send the dress over the next day and scheduling a time to come over on the Friday before to make sure it fit properly.

Sakura threw her arms around her new friend in gratitude and fairly bounced away as she waved goodbye to both of them.

Renge walked back over to Kaoru. “I’m sorry for the delay. Just had to confirm a few details.”

“Not a problem,” Kaoru said with a smile. “Sakura seems thrilled to be invited.”

“Who wouldn’t be?” Renge responded with a laugh. “It is going to be THE EVENT of the year and probably talked about for the next several. I am happy that she was willing to wear one of my designs.”

“Your designs are clean and simple. They have their own kind of elegance and they fit well within the HDG logo.”

Renge blushed, “I think that’s the nicest thing you have ever said to me. I am learning so much from your mother and you. I promise not to waste this opportunity.”

Kaoru grabbed her hand and squeezed. “I can see that you take the design aspect of fashion seriously and that wins you more points with me than all the flattery in the world. Fashion is my life. I love every bit of it from the first initial sketches to the craziness surrounding putting on a show. There is something really rewarding in making people feel sexy and confident.”

“Well your designs definitely do that. The stuff you and Hika have done for this show is amazing. It’s edgy but still something that can be worn relatively comfortably.”

“Relatively?” Kaoru asked with a smile.

“Relatively.” Renge responded emphatically with a grin. “There is no way ANYONE can comfortably wear six inch heels with a mini-skirt without tape or flashing their underwear.”

“That’s what the long leather duster is for…” Kaoru answered. “Though honestly, I don’t think Hika designed that particular set of heels for all day wear. His favorite comment about those more elaborate designs is ‘they only need to go across the bedroom not the boardroom.’ I know some of the models have grumbled about wearing them on the catwalk.”

“According to Mai, no one would dare to seriously complain, because as difficult as the extreme designs are to walk in, they make the model’s legs and ass look fabulous. Plus, aside from the crazy designs, most of his stuff is comfortable AND sexy.”

“I think that’s mostly Haruhi’s influence, though he would never admit to it. She is adamant about only wearing heels where she won’t accidently fall and break her neck.” Kaoru laughed as he remembered witnessing several discussions between his brother and his best friend. “No matter how much Hika tried, Haruhi always won out in the end. So he started making his designs more wearer friendly. It has actually made HDG shoe sales skyrocket. It’s hard to resist sexy shoes to start with, but when you can wear them for more than fifteen minutes without killing your feet they become worth their weight in gold.”

“So that’s why most of the models have a closet full of HDG shoes,” Renge replied. “Makes sense, really. Slightly off topic – I have a question. What did you want to do this afternoon? I know we talked about grabbing a bite to eat so we could get a chance to talk, but is there anything specific you had planned after?”

“Not really. Why?”

“Versace and Chanel are both running their winter line today. I kind of want to check it out but I promised that I would spend the time with you.”

“I think that sounds like a perfect afternoon.” Kaoru grinned. “I want to subtly rub it in to Allegra, that short of her prancing down the catwalk naked leading five naked men on leashes before having sex on the stage, there is really no way she is going to win her bet with mom. Hika, Haruhi and Kyouya are THE buzz around town. Now with Haru getting her Mastery today it’s not just the fashion world buzzing.”

“I am so proud to call her my friend,” Renge said sincerely. “She is taking all the sudden press with a grace that not many could match. It has to be so hard.”

“Me too,” Kaoru said and squeezed her hand again. “I worry about her and Hika, though. Yoshio Ootori is not a man to be crossed lightly and I KNOW he won’t be pleased with Kyouya publically coming out as bi.” He took a deep breath and let it out in a long sigh. “There was a slight chance that he wouldn’t hear about it for a few days when the story was just fashion-linked, but now that it’s crossed genres, there is no way he won’t know by this evening… which means that Kyouya is going to get an earful at best. I don’t even want to know what the worst Yoshio Ootori can come up with is. I just pray that it doesn’t kill the relationship between the three of them.”

Renge wrapped her arms around Kaoru and held him tightly in a hug, “Kyouya knows that he has friends that won’t judge him and it’s obvious he has been distancing himself from his father. I am not supposed to know this, but my father let slip that many of the business leaders in Japan would rather deal with Kyouya Ootori than Yoshio. Yoshio’s cold, calculating, and ruthless business practices are making him enemies. These same business leaders were impressed by the way Kyouya started building his own portfolio while still at Ouran. All of the Host Club knows that it was Kyouya’s attempt to get some sort of recognition from his father, but the business community saw it as something different and impressive. Aside from my family and the families of the Host club members, everyone who has done business with Kyouya Ootori has reported back that he is fair, innovative, and has solid business sense. He carefully weighs each decision based on risk, while still seeing the big picture. In the end, it means that he has more successes and people want to be allied with the man on the upward track. So while some of them may publically reiterate their own ‘wholesome family values’,” she let the sarcasm fill her voice as she said the phrase, “they will still jump in line to do business with Kyouya. If anyone calls them on it, they will say that while they don’t personally agree with Kyouya Ootori’s lifestyle choice, he has the right to live his life as he chooses and his business acumen is not affected by his personal life.”

Kaoru let himself be comforted by her words and the feel of her arms around him. “How did you get to be so savvy to the politics of the business world?”

She huffed before responding with a slight grimace. “I know all of you thought I was nothing but an anime-obsessed twit when we first met, but like Kyouya, I grew up watching my father negotiate his way through years of complex business transactions. While the actual business aspect never interested me – that was my brother’s obsession – I was fascinated by the way each side interacted both publically and behind closed doors. So much posturing, body language, hidden meanings, and unspoken desires. I guess that’s why I was drawn to anime at first. It is all about body language and interaction. Also why I kept pushing ideas during Host Club and probably why I finally got into Fashion. We both know that the right outfit can make or break a deal. When you know you look good it adds a subtle aura of confidence and competence.”

Kaoru pulled back a bit and stared into Renge’s eyes in astonishment.

“What?” Renge asked, confused.

Kaoru framed his hands on her cheeks and pulled her into a soft kiss before saying, “You are amazing… you know that? I feel so dumb for ever believing you to be another annoying idiot. I am sorry.”

Renge’s lips still tingled from the kiss, but she managed to say with a grin, “I take what I said earlier back. That’s the best compliment you have ever given me.”

Kaoru laughed and held out his hand. “It won’t be the last. Now that we are so far behind the others that the media has probably left, let’s get out of here. I know a great restaurant where we shouldn’t be disturbed.“ There was a catch in his voice as he continued. “I do have something that I need to talk to you about.”

Renge sighed, “I do too. I just hope it won’t change the way you look at me.”

“Funny, I was thinking the same thing.”
 

 

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

Forty-five minutes later they were seated in the back corner of a restaurant about half a mile from the Carousel de Louvre. They had placed their order and were now sitting across from each other, tongue-tied.

“I want-“ Kaoru started to say at the same time Renge said “There is-“

Both chuckled a bit and lapsed back into silence. Taking a sip of his water, Kaoru said, “Ok this is weird. We were having a great conversation before and now we both are awkward.”

“I know. I just need to tell you something but I am not sure how to do so. I like our conversations. I like… I like you.” Renge said with a blush. “I don’t want to ruin that but there is something that you need to know before this thing between us goes any further. Gods… that’s assuming that you even want things to go further. I mean, you may not even think of me in that way. Granted. You have kissed me and I kissed you back so I think I am good at thinking tha-“

Kaoru’s finger on her lips silenced her frantic rambling. “I do want to let whatever this thing is between us play out. I like you, too. Much more than I ever thought I would… but there is something I need to tell you too. You may not wan-“

“I’m in a long term relationship with Mai Nakasaki!” Renge blurted against his finger. “I have been for almost a year and a half. It happened just after I started working for your mom.”

“I saw you kiss her on Sunday night. I admit that I was confused at first because I had kissed you earlier that night and you had responded to me too.”

“Oh gods,” Renge turned a deep shade of red. “I didn’t know. What you must think of me?!? I wasn’t trying to lead you on or anything. Our kiss was so hot. I felt dizzy when you stopped. I wanted it to go on forever… but I feel the same way when I am kissing Mai.”

Kaoru took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I am really glad to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt it. Did you talk to Mai about it?”

“I did. We had a short conversation last week and a longer conversation yesterday about it and a few other things. She said she suspected that I was attracted to you by the way we interacted at the workshop last Friday.”

“And…”

“And she is quite ok with my having a relationship both her and you, as long we don’t try to push it to be a triad.” Renge giggled a little. “Unlike me, Mai really isn’t attracted to men. She is an expert at flirting and making it seem like she is without crossing boundaries. That kind of flirting is a game to her.”

A thought crossed Kaoru’s mind, “What about the Spin the Bottle game? She kissed both Hani and Tamaki.”

“That’s just it – it was a game. Tamaki’s kiss was almost chaste, which I totally didn’t expect knowing how flamboyant he can get. She did play it up a bit with her dramatic flair at kissing Hani, but it was pretty obvious that neither of them felt anything beyond amusement. After spending time with you guys this week, I am realizing that Hani has about the same interest in girls that Mai does in guys.”

“Pretty much… though like most of the group, Haruhi seems to be an exception for him.”

“What about you and Haruhi? The twincest act-thing aside, it was pretty clear that it wasn’t the first time you had kissed her. I thought you had a crush on her too.”

“Any crush I had on Haru is long gone,” Kaoru smiled as he responded. “Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces. She is probably my best friend outside of Hika and I would do anything for her, but our relationship is really just based in friendship. When we kiss or flirt, it’s also just a game, and mostly done to tease Hika, Tamaki, or Kyouya.”

“Really?!?” Renge’s eyebrow arched.

“Yes really,” Kaoru said with a smile. “I know it probably doesn’t look like it to outsiders, but if you don’t trust me, ask Haruhi. We are friends. If the need ever arose, we could be lovers for an evening, but we will never be in the kind of long term committed relationship that she has with Hika and Kyo, or even the kind of relationship between her and Takashi.”

“I believe you,” Renge said then added with a mischievous wink, “and who wouldn’t sleep with Haruhi for an evening if the need arose. I know I would.” She laughed as Kaoru spit out the water he was in the process of sipping. “Seriously though, Haru is also my closest friend and she was actually the one that pushed me into the decision to tell you. She knew I liked you before I really realized it.”

“About the same here.”

“So you won’t be bothered or upset that if we start a relationship that I will still be in one with Mai?”

“It would be rather hypocritical of me if I was.”

“You are talking about your relationship with Hika,” Renge said and took his hand across the table. “I know that you guys share a bond. I want you to know that I am ok with that. It would be wrong to get in the middle of it.”

Kaoru sighed, “Thank you. Honestly, I had forgotten about the bond with Hika. It’s such a part of us and so accepted by our friends and family that I tend to forget that the rest of the world doesn’t accept it. Or rather, I couldn’t care less what the rest of the world thinks about it.”

“Then what did you mean about being a hypocrite?” the confusion was clear in Renge’s voice.

Kaoru ran his hand through his gold tipped red hair. “That’s what I needed to tell you. I have been falling for two people in the last week that I never expected.”

“I hope that I am one of the two or are there two other people you are falling for?”

He smiled slightly, “You are definitely one of the people I am falling for; though I guess technically there is a third I am curious about doing some activities with.”

Renge held up a hand. “Ok, I am officially confused. Let’s break this down. In the last week you started falling for me and who else?” She bit her lip unconsciously.

“Tamaki.” The name came out of Kaoru’s mouth with a whoosh.

“Tamaki,” Renge echoed with a bit of a lilt.

“It started as a way of keeping each other company when Hika, Kyo and Haru slept together, but it’s turning into something more.” He licked his lips before continuing. “I really like him. The same way I really like you. I know that both relationships are new and may or may not work out, but I want to try. I don’t want to give up on either. Are you ok with that?”

“Tamaki…hunh…,” Renge said again. It wasn’t until she saw the apprehensive look on Kaoru’s face that she realized that she still hadn’t responded. “Oh, sorry! I am fine with you dating Tamaki too. I have gotten to know him a bit better since we both have been in Paris this year and he is a really good guy. I just thought he was still pining after Haruhi or secretly in love with Kyouya.”

Kaoru let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Well... you aren’t far off. He will always be at least a little bit in love with Haruhi (and she with him) and he is more than a little in lust with Kyouya. I am letting those three work out whatever it is they have between them.”

“Generous of you,” Renge answered with a smirk.

Kaoru grinned, “Isn’t it? Though watching Kyouya and Tamaki together is seriously hot.”

“Watching Kyouya and anyone together would probably be pretty hot, I would imagine. That man just oozes this seriously sexy dominance vibe.” Renge laughed. “I don’t know if he realizes it or not but I have no doubt he knows how to use it. How many of you now have fallen for Kyo?”

“Nearly as much as have fallen for Haruhi.” Kaoru replied with a giggle. “Tamaki, Hika, Haru, and I think secretly Takashi wants him too. Hani wants Kyo to dominate him and that’s saying something because Hani doesn’t bottom.”

“Wait… bottom like in BDSM?”

Kaoru slapped his hand over his mouth and muttered, “Damn… that just slipped out. I must be comfortable with you because that would never have crossed my lips otherwise.”

Renge giggled, “So spill… Hani is a Dom? That must make Takashi his sub. Interesting, but I can see it. Who else is in the scene? The Host Club just got even juicier than they were before.”

“Gah… the others will kill me…” Kaoru answered. “But if you still want to be in a relationship with me you need to know. Hika and I have dabbled. We are both Switches but he leans more to the top and I lean more to the bottom. I am also a masochist… ok, I will be honest. I am a pain slut. My body turns the pain to pleasure and this endorphin rush that is incredible. Does that bother you?”

“I have bottomed a few times to Mai and I can understand the pain/pleasure thing, though I can’t take a whole lot of pain.”

“So you and Mai?”

“Mostly for us it’s the kinky sex. She had a previous partner who taught her a few things. I do like the fisting though.”

Again Kaoru spit out his water. Setting his glass down and pushing it away he muttered, “I think I need to just stop drinking.” Louder, he said, “You will never cease to surprise me.”

Renge winked at him. “Good. A girl should be mysterious. So I take it the activities you kind of mentioned being curious about must be more D/s or S/M related?”

“Yes. Last Saturday night the group had a discussion and… experimented. You can say it was eye-opening for a lot of us. All of us are curious about exploring at least a bit more.”

“Together or separately?”

“Separately, mostly. Though with the way this group works, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another ‘group activity’ night.”

“What do you want to explore and with who?”

“I want to experience more impact play – floggers, canes, hands. Hani may look small and innocent, but I promise you when he is in his Dom role, he has just as much of a control aspect as Kyouya.”

“Can I watch?”

“I don’t have a problem with it; I am a bit of an exhibitionist. It would just depend on if they others were comfortable.”

“That’s fair. Though I have to say after seeing all of you close to naked the other day, I would enjoy watching any of you.”

“Wait… when did you see us close to naked?”

“Sunday. Before the Red Carpet. I got to the house and you all were asleep up in the conservatory. All snuggled together half naked and looking yummy. Though it looked like you were completely naked, now that I think about it… too bad the way you were cuddled into Hika, I couldn’t see anything.”

A loud laugh burbled up through Kaoru’s throat. “Dear gods… Haruhi was right. You do fit in with us freaks.” He then mock glared at her. “Shame on you for peeking when I didn’t get the opportunity to do the same.”

“Do you want to?”

“Do I want to what?”

“See me naked,” Renge murmured in a delightfully wicked tone.

“I think the answer to that is obvious by this point, don’t you think?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

Kaoru turned the full wattage of his Host club smile on her, “I have this fantasy where I pull you into the fabric room, lay down a bolt of velvet and silk and fuck you hard until you are screaming my name.” He grinned at her quick intake of breath. “Does that answer your question? Yes Renge. I want to see you naked.”

“Let’s go.” Renge grabbed her bag and dragged him out of the booth.

Laughing Kaoru responded, “What are you doing? We haven’t gotten our food.”

“Later.” Renge grabbed their waiter in passing and said in rapid fire French, “We have had an Emergency. Please pack our food and have it delivered to the Hitachiian Design Group at the Carousel de Louvre. Here is my business card and contact information to give to the guard.”

“Of course, mademoiselle. We have catered for HDG before. I hope that everything is all right and the emergency turns out to be only a small thing.”

Renge kept her voice perfectly normal as she replied, “I have a feeling it will be anything but small, but I am confident that I can work the situation out to a satisfactory conclusion for all.”

Kaoru choked back his laughter at the double entendre.

Grabbing his hand, Renge pulled him out the door to toward the car.

   
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