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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38. On the Road

To their credit, the twins did nothing more than glance at each other quickly, before looking back at the blond still shuffling his feet in embarrassment – wide grins on their faces.

“Haruhi’s Room!!” they said in unison as each grabbed one of Hani’s arms and dragged him up the stairs.

Hani had a moment of pure bewilderment, before it finally dawned him that the twins were not only NOT weirded out by the idea but were completely excited about it. I really should have listened to Takashi and not let my uncertainty get such a tight grip. Hika and Kaoru are nothing if not unconventional. Still… he was a bit stunned about the reaction.

“What do you think Hika, should we go for the glamorous look or the more natural look?”

“I was thinking a cross of the two actually, kind of the way we softened Ranka’s look.”

“Oh that would be good, but we have to do at least one glamour style, because that cerulean blue shimmer dress would look phenom on Hani.”

“Definitely,” Hikaru glanced at Hani’s feet. “You still wear a size 9, right?” at Hani’s bewildered nod, he continued, “Perfect! I will call and have a few pairs of shoes brought over… Flats, heels, and maybe a casual shoe or boot…”

“Boots. It fits with the winter line and you do know how to make a damn sexy shoe, brother!”

“Will do,” Hikaru whipped out his phone and marched immediately into the bathroom to gather make-up, while Kaoru whipped Hani around and sat him down in a chair, before pulling the sweater Hani was wearing over his head, so he was just in a tee shirt and his jeans.

“Better. Less chance of smearing make-up.” Kaoru said with a wink, before whipping out a stylist cape, “Still better safe than sorry… It’s too bad we can’t trim your hair. Oh well, we can always use extensions.”

“Uh… Kao-chan,” Hani said as something Hikaru had said clicked, “You said you softened Ranka’s look. Do you mean Ranka Fujioka, Haru-chan’s dad?”

“Naturally. With that crazy red hair, the colors he was wearing were slightly gaudy,” Hikaru answered instead coming back with his arms full of cosmetics before dumping them on the end table he dragged over. “By changing the colors slightly, he was able to bring out his natural bone structure more and enhance his feminine persona. Haru says the patrons at the bar are thrilled and Ranka gets a kick out of the increased attention… and tips.” Hikaru grinned.

Kaoru glared at his brother, “Not that he was doing badly off before, but the touch-up makeover did help boost his confidence and it also gave us a chance to teach Haruhi the right way to wear make-up so she could avoid the gaudy pitfalls. The poor girl was terrified of even lipstick before we started working on her.” Kaoru winked before asking Hani. “When did you first start wanting to explore your feminine side?”

“Well,” Hani blushed again, “I guess it started with the idea of the slightly effeminate Lolita-shan when I started with the Host Club, and then all that cosplay we did for the clients, I almost always had a girly outfit because it fit with the whole cute idea. I guess I just started to really enjoy the dress up part and I started getting secretly excited whenever Tamaki would come up with something new. One evening in the Music Room, all of you had left and Takashi and I were cleaning up, and he caught me twirling around in one of the costumes pretending I was a girl. He asked me about it in his unflappable way and I broke down. Being the incredibly awesome lover that he is, he just held me and said that it didn’t bother him, and he would help me however he could. So every once in a while, I will dress up to the best of my ability and we will go out… usually to a BDSM club, since it isn’t even blinked at there. It’s the only other time besides rope that I will bottom for him.” Hani smiled shyly at the twins, “but I always still look like a boy in drag, which is why I was hoping you could help me.”

The twins grinned back at him, “Of course we can!”

“Takashi won’t know what hit him, when we are done with you.” Hikaru smirked. “You are going to be able to go out with Haru and Renge to the clubs and be hit on by all the straight guys, who will have absolutely no clue. It will be fun to watch.”

“Screw the clubs; I am curious about going to the dungeon.” Kaoru said impishly. “Having you top me in full Fem splendor would be awesome!!”

Kaoru’s comment followed by an eyebrow wiggle made Hani giggle. “I think I could do that Kao-chan. I really think I could do that.”

“Good. I will hold you to that. Now… sit still, hold on, and enjoy the ride.”

The twins bustled into action around their friend.
 

 

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

The Land Rover pulled out of the gate to the Maison des Roses and was immediately hit with a wave of flashbulbs as the paparazzi angled for any picture they could. With a sigh, Haruhi pushed her sunglasses up her nose in a movement reminiscent of Kyouya, which made Takashi smile. As the second sigh crossed her lips, he felt he needed to ask. “How are you doing with all of this?”

She gestured to the paparazzi now fading in the distance, “You mean all of the cameras and stuff?”

He nodded.

“I am really trying to get used to it. I didn’t realize how invasive it actually feels. I don’t know how you guys handle it in Japan.”

“For one, the press is a bit more polite there and at least gives the appearance of avoiding interference with people while they are still students unless it is a specific public press conference or fundraiser-type event. It also isn’t quite as bad for Mitskune and me as it is for the others. We don’t usually get the paparazzi following us, like Kyouya or Tamaki will, but we do get the sports reporters and fans. I wish I could tell you that it will stop bothering you at some point, but it never really has for me. It does get easier to put on a mask though.”

“Is that why you always appeared so stoic any time we were at Ouran?”

“Yes. It was easier for me to have the quiet mask, just as it was easier for Mitskune to hide behind the Lolita-shan one. The twins just pretended no one outside of them existed. Tamaki came late to game since he spent most of his life here in France, but his grandmother drilled into him how to act in public, so while it was a shock, he knew some of what to expect. Of all of us, the person most used to the Japanese paparazzi is Kyouya, since he has been exposed to it since he was a child due to his father’s prominence in business and his brothers’ advantageous marriages.”

She sighed again, “Kyouya tried to warn me a bit, but it was mainly about after I graduated. Then this week happened and I saw the cameras for the first time as we went into the Fashion Week prep and it made me nervous…”

At her third sigh, Takashi reached out and took her hand, just letting soothing energy flow to her. She smiled at him, shakily, “Last night was nerve wracking, though I will never tell Hikaru so. He needed me to support him. Though I have to admit, I am just as glad he hid the newspaper this morning. I don’t think I am ready to see the headlines… even if it is going to be worse for Kyouya. Gods… when his father sees the coverage, he is going to freak out.”

Takashi brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed her palm. “What are you most worried about?”

Forcing herself to say it out loud, she answered, “That his father is going to drag him back to Japan and I will never see him again.”

“Ahh…,” Takashi gave her palm another kiss as it seemed to soothe her. “Haruhi, you must know that Kyouya won’t let that happen.”

“I want to believe that it won’t happen.”

“It won’t. For all the power that Yoshio Ootori has, his son has reached his majority and is legally his own person. The most that he could do is disown Kyouya and disparage him to his business contacts.”

“Oh, Is that all?!?” the sarcasm dripped from her voice.

Takashi chose to ignore it. “Yes that is all. But what Yoshio doesn’t realize yet, is if he tries to do so, all he will succeed in doing is putting himself up for ridicule. I am not supposed to know this, but my father is far more frank about business with me than most. Yoshio’s stagnant hierarchical condescension is starting to rub several upcoming and prominent business leaders the wrong way, especially where his youngest son is concerned. They have dealt with Kyouya professionally when his father has deemed it beneath him, and everyone has had nothing but praises for Kyo. If Yoshio tries to blackball his son professionally, it will appear to be the act of a bitter old man rather than a savvy businessman and it will backfire on him. Yes, there will be some companies that will stay on Yoshio’s side, but the majority will look to the son with the better head for business and the pulse on what is upcoming and trending. I know you don’t care about money, but even if Kyouya is cut off from the Ootori family fortune, he has been building his own for some time. It was how he was able to buy the medical company out from the under his father. I also know that is just one venture. This winery is another. If he partners with Tamaki, the way I think he is intending, they have the potential to be a very savvy business duo.”

Haruhi really listened to Takashi and let the truth of his words wash over her. Takashi observes everything and only tells the truth as he sees it. I know he wouldn’t lie to me which makes me feel a little less panicky. She brought his hand to her lips and laid a kiss on the back of it in return. “Thank you, ashke. I needed to hear that. I can’t promise that I won’t still panic inside at the cameras, but I can hold steady in them for the ones I love.”

“I know you can… and you have all of our support behind you, no matter what happens,” Takashi smiled at her. Then changing the subject, he asked curiously, “Ashke? I haven’t heard the word before.”

Haruhi blushed slightly but smiled back at him, “It’s a word from a language made up by one of my favorite authors. I was reading her a while ago and some of it must have slipped into my subconscious. In the stories, the word means ‘beloved’ or ‘beloved friend’.” Her blush deepened. “It must have slipped out, I am sorry.”

“Please don’t be,” Takashi turned and held her eyes for a moment, letting his true feelings for her show, before he had to turn back to the road, “I love it.”

Haruhi’s breath caught at the intensity of Takashi’s eyes. Gods… if I had seen this intensity before I dated Tamaki or played that game with Hika, Kao, and Kyo, my path may have been radically different than the one I am on now…

Takashi heard the catch in her breath and said quietly, “I will never begrudge what we have now and I would not change a single thing in my life or wish that anything would have been different in yours. What could have happened is immaterial… I will forever cherish what has happened. It has led you to being here with me in this moment and that is worth everything. I can share you with all the others, as you can share me, because I have a piece of you that is mine alone… Ashke.”

Haruhi blinked back tears and responded equally as quietly. “You are my foundation Takashi. I think you have unconsciously been that from the start when you would rescue me from the over eager attentions of either the twins or Tamaki. When you and Hani started teaching me martial arts, you became the foundation for a skill and when we started doing yoga, you were my foundation to finding my balance. I am sorry that I missed it until recently, but I won’t take for granted again. I need you in my life as much as I need Kyouya, Hikaru, or Tamaki and the others. I will do whatever is necessary to keep it that way.” She laid her head against his shoulder and let the silence reign in the car for a few more moments. She kept her fingers twined in his and let their combined energy flow back and forth. After a couple of miles she turned the subject to their upcoming destination.

“So tell me a bit about this monastery. You mentioned that it caters to several different types of meditation. Obviously yoga is one way, but what are some of the others.”

Takashi blushed faintly.

Now that’s interesting. Haruhi thought before deciding to tease her partner, “Takashi you are turning pink. What are the other types?”

He took a deep breath before answering, “Well, aside from yoga, there are several other different martial art meditation like Tai Chi, guided meditation lotus-style, some close partner dancing and…” Takashi’s voice was barely above a whisper, “tantric sex.”

Haruhi burst out laughing as Takashi blushed almost purple. “Tantric sex, huh? Takashi… I never would have expected it from you. Hikaru or Hani – maybe… “

“It was Mitskune’s suggestion.”

“Ahhh… makes a teeny bit more sense, now.”

“I didn’t… I don’t expect us to use that particular wing of the monastery,” Takashi hurriedly added. “I really just thought the yoga would enhance your focus for tomorrow. Honestly.”

“I know ashke. I am just having a bit of fun with you.” Though now that you said it, I am not ruling it out… I want you, my partner. Haruhi grinned. “It does sound like it will help. Since I am also terrified about tomorrow and the testing, but I trust in you and Hani and if you both say I am ready, I will believe you.”

“You are ready.” Takashi smiled back at her as they pulled up in front of an ancient stone building.

 

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

Kyouya growled under his breath as he saw the line of paparazzi outside the gates. “Damn it, it’s too early for this.”

Tamaki glanced at his friend and then turned back to watch the gate open, “The paparazzi? Well, we kind of knew to expect this, since we announced where the Grand Ball is going to be held and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that once my name was invoked the likeliest place for the legendary Hitachiian brothers to be staying would be my place, and since you came out as Hika’s boyfriend, it would make sense that you were there too.”

“I know. I was just hoping not to have to deal with this for a few more days.” He glanced over to the side to see Tamaki fiddling with his phone. “What are you doing, Tamaki?”

“Trying to see how widespread the gossip is. I don’t know what happened to the newspaper this morning, but I want to see how much they know, so we can see how much damage control we have to do.”

“I have a feeling Hikaru or Kaoru hid it, probably Hikaru. It’s like him to not want to put a damper on our ‘date days’.” Kyouya sighed. “But I do need to know. Sorry Tama, I know this was supposed to be about me and you.”

“And you are my best friend, so I am doing everything that I can to help,” Tamaki said with genuine affection in his voice. “Ha! Found it… Hmmm…”

After hearing Tamaki hmm and ahhh for another thirty seconds, Kyouya was about to flip and he tried to snatch the phone away.

Tamaki was expecting the hand to fly out and try to take the phone, so he made sure he held it out of grabbing distance. With a grin he said, “Nun-hunh. Nope. You are driving and it would be a shame to crash this sexy piece of machinery, so you will have to be content with my telling you what it says, rather than reading it yourself.”

“Well than why don’t you actually read me what it says,” the threatening note in Kyouya’s voice only made Tamaki grin harder.

“The press all agree that Haruhi was smoking…”

“And...”

“You are being described as gorgeous, sexy-as-hell, heartthrob, Mr. Cool, and my favorite Jalapeño stud muffin.”

“TAMAKI!!!”

“Yes, Kyouya,” Tamaki tried to put as much innocence into his voice as he could and still maintain a straight face.

“What did they say about the three of us? Do they know who we are?”

“They are saying that it’s not fair that Hikaru has two such gorgeous creatures in his life, that it’s not surprising that he is bisexual, and they are curious if all three of you are dating or if he is just dating each of you separately… duh…the second set of pictures should have answered that one, it’s pretty obvious that you all are in love with each other… it’s kind of sickening how cute the three of you are together, actually.” He took pity on his best friend as he heard another growl rumble out of Kyouya’s throat. “Right now, you are still a mystery though they do have your names. It wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that you went to the same school as Hikaru and Kaoru and as much as Dad is trying to crack down on leaking information to the public, any student or parent could have confirmed that you went there and showed the press a yearbook with your pictures.”

Kyouya breathed a sigh of relief, “Ok. I can deal with that. Not that they could get much from Ouran beyond our exceptional grades, though they may pull the Host Club into this. Are you ok with that?”

“Well, it hasn’t been made public, but grandmother officially made me her heir last week and my father sneakily forced in a clause that it cannot be revoked unless I choose to deny the position. I am not sure how he got it by the old bat, but it is done.”

“I have a new respect for your father. Congratulations my friend! Why didn’t you say something earlier?”

“Honestly, I forgot. It was such a relief to finally have it done that I must have just pushed it to the back of my mind… besides; I have had MUCH more interesting things happening around me.”

“Well aside from the fact that we are going to have to have a discussion about your putting yourself and your accomplishments behind everyone else…” he glared at Tamaki.

“Yes sir…” Tamaki said meekly.

Kyouya continued, “It is a relief that your grandmother can’t use the situation against you. Not that anything untoward occurred during Host Club hours, since we were very careful about that and we would have been shut down by the school board if even the slightest hint of impropriety occurred, but the idea may be enough to start more gossip and drag you, Hani, and Takashi into the limelight.”

“Too late, honestly. I am in already… An alert just popped up showing you and me in the car as we were leaving the Estate. I am not exactly unknown to the French press… Ugh, what a lousy shot – obviously got me in mid-sentence… but as I was saying. I am already in and as soon as Haruhi shows up at a National Martial Arts tournament tomorrow and does a demonstration with Hani and Takashi, they will be too.”

“Damn. I didn’t think about that.”

“I bet you that they did and used it as some sort of show of solidarity. I am learning that Hani can be more scheming than I ever gave him credit for.”

“Yes he can be,” Kyouya sighed again before saying, “I hate the fact that all of you are in this situation.”

“Damn it Kyouya!! Stop taking on the world by yourself and let us be there with you!” The anger in Tamaki’s voice quickly cooled to something more temperate. “We are a family and we will stand together as one. Period. Now I know that we can’t come out that we are all kind of, sort of, dating each other, but we can come out as fierce friends and let the gossips chew on that. If we come across as an close knit group of friends and keep shoving that in the presses collective faces, they will ultimately come to the conclusion that we are… cue dramatic music… a close knit group of friends, which will quickly lead them to noting us as boring and moving on to other exciting gossip on the latest political scandal.”

“You are right, Tama.” Kyouya said with a smile at the fierceness in his friend’s voice. “If we don’t give them fodder it will fade quickly. I know this…” He turned and looked at Tamaki for a moment before getting a wicked grin that set Tama’s pulse racing. “But even though we are keeping it from the press, don’t think that it means that I don’t want to bend you over the hood of this car and do bad things to you.”

“You better. I want some sort of payment for offering my architectural expertise… and besides it’s all I can do to keep from leaning over and sucking you off while you are driving.” He gave Kyouya a wink.

Kyouya’s breath hitched at the lust in Tamaki’s voice but saw the wink and the grin. “Tease.”

“Always mon ami… With you – Always!!”

   
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