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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68. Interlude II

Ranka looked down at the perfectly tailored tuxedo in a navy pinstripe. Suppressing a smile, he replied, “I believe the proper term is ‘a tuxedo.’ You don’t like it?”

Rolling her eyes, Haruhi walked toward him. “The cut suits you well and you look fantastic… but that isn’t what I meant. Why aren’t you wearing a dress?”

Ranka looked up to catch a smirking I-told-you-so look in the mirror from Yuzuha. Turning back to Haruhi, he answered her question with a sigh. “Mostly because I didn’t want to draw any more attention to you than I already have. Tonight has the potential to be difficult enough without having to explain the strutting drag queen on the dance floor.”

Haruhi giggled at the image her dad's words evoked and wrapped her arms around her father in a hug. Looking up at him, she said earnestly, “Dad, like I said earlier, I am not ashamed of you in any way. I love you equally when you are male and female. I want you to wear whatever you are most comfortable in tonight… because knowing that you are being who you are will give me the strength to be who I am.”

Ranka held tightly to his daughter for a moment and tried to blink back the tears that were threatening to fall. “Did anyone ever tell you how wonderful you are babygirl? Honestly, working with HDG the last month has really made me aware of both the masculine and feminine parts of me. I know I had to look good in drag for the bar, but I thought that also meant that I could look schlubby as a man because on my day off who wanted to go through all that effort. I am fast learning through your boyfriend’s completely breezy-yet intimidating-awe inspiring mother [he mock glared at Yuzuha in the mirror for effect… which was promptly ruined by her blowing a kiss back at him] that masculine can look sexy and be relatively easy to do. Because of that I am enjoying it much more. So to answer your earlier question- I think tonight I want to do both… as long as you won’t mind.”

“I won’t mind, I promise.”

“YES!” Yuzuha clapped her hands once before addressing one of the stylists. “Bring that prototype for the Spring DQC line out. Thankfully we made it in black, so it will fit in with the Winter line. Ranka, you are going to look fabulous in it!”

Ranks gave Haruhi a what-on-Earth-have-I-gotten-myself-into look which made her giggle. With a final hug she mock whispered, “Welcome to MY world, Dad.”

“Ranka – Sit back down. I want Elise to add more shadow to your eyes. We want to emphasize the androgyny aspects. Haruhi – what are you still doing standing around in a robe? Get to Maizie’s station! Time is wasting!!”

Ranka and Haruhi exchanged mock guilty glances with each other, perfectly understanding what the other was thinking in that moment, before moving to their stations.

 

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

One hour later and the entire HDG contingent were prepped, primped, and ready for the red carpet descent. They were all taking the last few moments to relax before the runner arrived to usher in their entrance. Therefore it was a surprise to Haruhi that Akira Morinozouka was the one to gather everyone together and not Yuzuha.

“I know we are about to head down to the Ball, but I wanted to clarify a few things before we do. House Zouka is providing Security tonight for both the HDG contingent as well as for the general guests. Still we wanted more for Haruhi, Hikaru, Kyouya, and to an extent Kaoru, because they are the target for the most animosity from Yoshio Ootori and his followers. Zhi and Sakura Fujimia have offered to protect Haruhi, Takashi will stick with Kyouya, Mitskune will be with Hikaru, and Sakura’s cousin Kaziki will protect Kaoru. Yorihisa and I will protect Yuzuha. There are also extra bodyguards that will be keeping an eye out for everyone, but who will remain in the shadows unless they are needed. Otherwise, be aware of your surroundings but try to enjoy yourselves. The best way to strike a blow into the heart of a man like Yoshio Ootori is to appear that he does not affect you… If he affects you, he has power over you. We are taking precautions, but we do not want him to realize that we are doing so.”

A discreet knock on the door announced the arrival of the runner. “It’s time. The media are stationed off to one side at the bottom of the staircase and the attendees are on the other. The rest of the first and second floors are open and guests are milling around. We have cordoned off the staircases, so you can make your descent without the others getting in the way. We will open it back up after. Current buzz is extreme excitement with the primary topics being the venue and the exclusivity of the event.”

“Thank you,” Yuzuha responded and turned to the others. “Let’s do this. We will stop at the base of the stairs for a few moments so the media can get their photos. Smile, my darlings!!”

Both Akira and Yorihisa offered their arms. With a practiced smile, she took both, while Yuzuru and Ranka flanked either side. Together the five of them led the way out of the room.

*

“We are next,” Kaoru said to a very nervous Renge. He leaned over to kiss her cheek. “I won’t let you fall, I promise.”

“I trust you,” Renge replied and looked over at Mai, who was looked dazzling between Hani and Takashi. When her girlfriend mouthed the words “I love you” and blew her a kiss, she relaxed even more. A few heartbeats later and they walked out the door.

*

Hikaru turned and swiftly wrapped his arms around both Haruhi and Kyouya. “I need you both, so much. I am…” He couldn’t finish the sentence put pressed a quick kiss on both their lips.

“Us too,” Haruhi said with a smile and a squeeze of the hands she held.

“I’m not afraid of my father or to show the world I love you both. Let’s do this,” Kyouya stood straighter, pushed his slightly tinted glasses up and stepped forward.

*

“My lady,” Hani purposely took a long lingering look up her Mai’s body before teasingly meeting her eyes.

Mai who grinned back at him and did the same in reverse, “You are a heartbreaker, you know that Hani. If I wasn’t a lesbian, I would totally snatch you up in a heartbeat.”

Hani laughed and winked, “If I wasn’t gay - I might let you.”

Takashi rolled his eyes at the flirting between the other two, which caused them to giggle harder until the runner indicated that it was their turn to go.

*

“That leaves us, love,” Zhi turned to Sakura. One hand came up to caress her cheek. “Are you as overwhelmed by this mad, crazy, incredible world our friends have dragged us into as I am?”

“Absolutely, but Takashi and Hani are like brothers to me and Haruhi is a doll… I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus there are other definite upsides.” Sakura smirked back at him.

“Like what?”

“LOOK AT THESE AMAZING SHOES!!! AND THIS DRESS!!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!”

Zhi couldn’t help the snort of laughter that escaped. It turned into a belly laugh before he got out. “I never worry about losing you to another man… unless he happens to be a shoe designer. Thankfully, Hikaru is already taken.”

Sakura grinned at him, “I wonder if he knows any other shoe designers…”

Zhi put on a mock glare, “That’s it. When this Ball-thing is over Kusanagi and I are going to tie you in a chair in a locked room and have our way with you until you forget all about silly things like shoes.”

Ignoring the frantic waving of the runner, trying to get them to move, Sakura stretched up to kiss him and place her hand lightly over his groin. “Promise?” she whispered before turning and sauntering out the door.

“That woman will be the death of me,” Zhi remarked casually to the runner with a wink, before hurrying to catch up to his wife.

“Welcome to HDG,” the runner responded quietly with a smile as he shut the doors to the Dojo and turned to stand guard.

   
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