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. =)


31. Tactics

Six heads whipped around and stared incredulously at Kyouya. Haruhi's heart skipped a beat. Did he really just say that? What does he mean? I know I am officially dating two men and now may be occasionally sleeping with another, but could I really be comfortable dating all six of them?

"What exactly do you mean Kyo-chan?" Hani asked carefully.

"Hikaru said something earlier this week that I have been thinking about off and on for the last few days. Based on how much the intimacy has evolved between all seven of us, it would be logical to continue to explore the curiosities and desires that we all seem to be feeling, as long as everyone is comfortable with the idea. Once we return to Japan, we will be required to return to a much stricter sense of formality which will make opportunities to explore without observation much rarer." Kyouya looked into the faces of his friends and saw their expressions still bordered on shock, though Hikaru and Hani's faces also held contemplation. However, no one said anything. Feeling a faint blush creep up his skin, he continued awkwardly, "Haruhi, Hikaru, and Kaoru still have five more months of school until they graduate, which means they will HAVE to maintain all appropriate decorum publically or risk being kicked out of Ouran. Thankfully, the Hitachiian family is probably considered the most progressive and liberal of the aristocratic families, due to their strong artistic heritage, even as they are still well respected for their shrewdness in business. I know the Morinozouka and Haninozouka families have a strong ethical and moral code that they follow, though it seems to be slightly more adaptable than that that of the Ootori family. I know I am already being constantly watched and reported on to my father. He already strongly disapproves that I am willing to allow Haruhi to date Hikaru. After tonight, I fully expect a confrontation with him in the relatively near future." Kyouya took a deep breath and finished his thought, "I am actually far more prepared for that now, than I ever expected to be, mostly because of everything that has happened between all of us this week. It may be slightly selfish of me to ask or appear slightly desperate, but I want to take these weeks and be free, while I still can."

The vulnerability in Kyouya's voice, having never been heard by most of the others, stuck them all deeply. Haruhi wrapped her arms around her boyfriend, while both Hikaru and Tamaki grabbed one of Kyouya's hands, squeezing gently. After a moment Hikaru said gently, "I will help you experience anything you want, need, or secretly desire." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at Kyouya to make him smile. "I am curious though about what I said that started this idea in the first place."

Kyouya smiled at his lover and said, "It was when we were at the Sushi restaurant and you made the random comment that it was the first time we had ever really spent any time alone together. It made me think that the same probably goes for everyone else, since we generally do everything as a group. When Haruhi made the comment about dating everyone, it sparked the thought that we could all 'date' each other this week by spending some time each day in pairs with one group of three."

"I understand what you are saying, Kyo-love, and I think it's a great idea. It lets us all dig deeper into our friendships." Haruhi smiled up at her boyfriend.

"And if we all agree to be completely honest about our actions, what we are feeling, and what we might secretly be fantasizing about, we could find that there is someone in the group willing to help make it happen in a safe, loving way." Kaoru added. "For example – I really do want to explore more of my masochistic bottom side…"

"Which Takashi and I can help you with," Hani answered. "While I have something that I have never admitted to anyone but Takashi, but Hika-chan and Kao-chan might be willing to help me with."

"Of course we would," the twins chorused. "But what is it?"

Blushing Hani said, "I want to keep it a secret for now and maybe do a big reveal to everyone, if we all decide to 'date' each other this week. If we decide not to, I promise to share it by next weekend."

"That's fair," Haruhi said, giving her Sensei a gentle smile and wink, "though our curiosity might kill us."

"Tamaki, Takashi, what do you both think of the idea?" Kyouya asked.

"I like it a lot actually," Tamaki answered. "But what would be the limits or rules. I don't want anyone to feel jealous or left out. I really don't want to hurt our friendships in any way."

"I agree," Takashi said quietly, "But so far, nothing we have done this week has hurt our friendships, only made them stronger. We haven't judged anyone, yet, for anything that they have wanted to do; we have talked openly with each other about everything and made it happen."

"I have to admit I really like the idea of spending a day alone with each of you," Haruhi said with a hint of embarrassment in her tone. "Not that I am complaining about being surrounded by a group of sexy men all the time, I promise." She giggled. "I am not even sure I would know how to act with just one person anymore. But since I have had fantasies about each of you before Tamaki and I ever started dating - let alone Kyo, Hika, and I - I am curious. I also suspect that my darling lovers have had similar fantasies, though they might not have admitted it before. I want them to be able to experience everything they desire too." Letting her breath out in a slight sigh, she added. "Plus Kyo is right about what will have to happen when we get back to Japan. I want to experience everything while I still can."

"Then let's do it!" Hani grinned. "We still have some activities that have to happen for Fashion Week including the Red Carpet tonight and your Aikido testing on Tuesday…"

A look of panic flashed across Haruhi's face, "I thought that was next week. No... You are right it's this week. I just am really nervous about it. I don't want to disappoint you or Taka."

Takashi leaned over and laid a swift kiss on her forehead. "You won't disappoint us. I promise." He exchanged a look with Hani, who nodded. "In fact, I was debating making you an offer, but I wasn't sure how to bring it up before and I didn't want to offend or make either Kyouya or Hikaru jealous. But there is a small monastery just outside of Paris that I was thinking about visiting. They are a sect that focuses on different types of meditation practices and energy exchange. If you like, we could go there tomorrow and spend the day doing yoga and practicing your routines."

Haruhi looked at her lovers, who smiled back at her. Kyouya answered the unspoken question, "After having watched the way you two share energy together, I think that is a great idea. It would be good for both of you, I suspect." He leaned over and kissed her briefly on the lips before whispering in her ear, "I know he loves you in his own way as you do to him. The beauty you create when you are together is breathtaking. You share energy in a way I can't with you. Don't be afraid of it. Embrace it and let it help you through the testing. I will still be here for you, I swear." Saying louder to the group, "I was actually trying to find a way to steal Tamaki away for a bit, since there is something that I wanted to discuss with him. I can spend Monday with him, as long as he doesn't mind, that is."

"I am all yours, mon ami," Tamaki said with a grin and a wink. "Any way you want me, in fact."

The others laughed at Tamaki's outrageous comment and attempt to lighten the mood.

"Which leaves us Hani in our hands," Hikaru said mischievously. "We get to learn the secret first!"

"You may not want to do it Hika-chan," Hani warned.

Kaoru looked over at the other blond, "Yes we will. Trust us."

"Oh that I do, or I wouldn't have brought it up in the first place," Hani answered. "So now that tomorrow is set, what is the plan for the rest of the day?"

"Weeeelll… The make-up artist and hair-stylist is going to be here at 3pm. We need to leave for the Louvre by 5:15pm to make the Red Carpet." Hikaru responded.

"Renge will be coming over at 2:30 and getting ready here. We will pick up Mom on the way. The plan was we would all ride in the limo, but when we get there – mom, Renge, Hika, Kyouya, Haruhi, and I will get out at the red carpet. The driver will then take Tama, Hani and Takashi over to the VIP entrance, where they will head to the Hitachiian box. All of us will join them there after going through the paparazzi and pomp to watch the event." Kaoru finished.

"I am sorry that all of you can't walk the carpet with us," Hikaru said apologetically.

"Oh don't be," Tamaki said, while Hani gave a visible shudder. "I HATE being in that kind of limelight and it looks like both Takashi and Hani agree with me. We all want to support you both, but I am much happier doing it from the box."

"Agreed." Takashi said with obvious relief.

"OK. The afternoon is scheduled," Kyouya looked at his watch. "It's 10:15, what do we want to do for the next five hours?"

A huge grin spread across Haruhi's face. "How about a little tactical training?"

Puzzled, Kyouya said, "What do you mean, love?"

Gesturing to the window, where all of the Host Club members could see the snow drifts laying pristine on the gardens of the Suoh estate, Haruhi said eagerly, "Snowball fight!"

"Oh Haru-chan, you are ON!"



Ten minutes later all seven of the Hosts were bundled up against the cold and running out the door from the Ballroom onto the back patio. Quickly rules and teams were set up Haruhi, Hani, and Takashi against Tamaki, Kyouya, Hikaru and Kaoru. They determined that it would be a "capture the flag" style of game.

"But what do we want to use as flags?" Haruhi asked.

"I have an idea!" Kaoru said mischievously, "Be right back." He ran back inside the house. Within two minutes he came back down with two items hidden behind his back. Adopting a formal air, he bowed to Takashi and handed over the item to be used as the team flag for Hani, Haruhi, and Takashi.

"HEY! That's my underwear!" Haruhi blustered as she recognized the scrap of lacy pink in Takashi's hands, while he blushed hotly once he realized what he was holding.

"It's incentive for the other team to capture." Kaoru said while giving her a wink. "All of us are pervy enough to want to steal your panties."

"When we win them, I think you are going to have to parade around in them, just for us," Hikaru taunted.

"And when we win, I am going to make you do the same," Haruhi replied with a smirk as Hikaru blushed and the others wolf-whistled.

"And for the other team's flag - something we ALL have been dying to get our hands on for the last three years… Kyouya's Notebook!"

"Hey! Where did you find that? It's private. I don't want it to get wet. Give it here." Kyouya demanded as Kaoru danced around him holding it just out of reach.

"Don't worry; I also brought a plastic bag to put it in, so it doesn't get damaged." Kaoru laughed as he demonstrated. "I figured the notebook is also something that all of us wouldn't mind getting our hands on. If only to find out what the elusive Kyouya was writing about all those years."

Kyouya glared. "If it gets ruined, I am coming after you."

"Deal." Kaoru grinned impishly. "Ok. Are we set? Boundaries are the walkways. First team to capture the other team's flag wins. On the count of three, we will run to opposite sides and set down our flags. After that it is game on… One… Two… Three!"

The count had barely crossed Kaoru's lips before Takashi was off like a jack rabbit to place the flag on a hedge that was peeking out from the snow, visible to the other team. Kaoru followed suit quickly and placed the notebook on a similar hedge on the opposite side of the area. Meanwhile, Hani and Haruhi split off to take up offensive positions, while Takashi set up a defensive position around the flag. On the other team, Tamaki was put as the guard over the notebook, while the others started to form a ready supply of snowballs.

The first snowball to make contact, hit Kyouya square in the chest. Looking up, he saw Haruhi laughing and scooping up snow to form another. Adjusting his glasses, he quickly formed a snowball and with a war cry, chased after her, tossing it midway. Haruhi however was too quick and dodged out of the way before it could hit, taunting him the entire time.

Soon enough there were snowballs filling the air as all the hosts pelted each other and chased each other down laughing the whole way. Very quickly the ground became a maze of trampled paths as each team tried to approach the other's flag but were turned away by a barrage of fluffy white powder.

After about forty-five minutes of it looking like Team Hani might win the battle by using strategy rather than numbers, but Team Kyouya had a trick up their collective sleeve and used their sneakiness in a blitz attack on Haruhi. Kaoru and Hikaru snuck up behind her as she prepared another volley to lob at Tamaki. Picking her up, Hikaru tossed her over his shoulder and started running back to his flag, Kaoru behind tossing snowballs at Hani who had run after her instinctively. This left Takashi alone to deal with both Kyouya and Tamaki throwing snowballs at him, but he wasn't quick enough with forming them to be able to keep up. For every one he got in, Tamaki and Kyouya had two on him. They started edging closer to the flag, all the while pelting Takashi.

Haruhi wiggled enough on Hikaru's shoulder, that she was able to off balance him, and they both fell laughing into a snow bank. Seeing how close she was to their flag, she started to run to it, dodging the snowballs Kao and Hika threw at her. Hani seeing that she didn't need rescuing and might, in fact be on her way to winning the game, turned back to Takashi and realized the trick that the others had played on them. By distracting Hani with Haruhi's abduction, Team Kyouya had launched an attack on the flag. Immediately, he started making his way back to his lover, but it was too late. With a triumphant yell, Tamaki snatched the lacy pink panties off the hedge as Takashi ducked away from a snowball thrown by Kyouya.

Standing up and bowing in surrender, Takashi smiled as Tamaki danced around the garden waving the frilly lace around like a token. Grinning, the others regrouped and laughed as they watched Tamaki's antics. All were breathing heavily after the energetic game.

"Good game, Tama-chan!" Hani said sweetly, "You won fair and square."

"Thank you." Tamaki grinned. "We knew we wouldn't be able to beat you if we couldn't find a way to distract you. I am just glad it worked. Two more minutes and we would have been sunk."

"I almost had it," Haruhi smiled as she handed Kyouya the bag containing his notebook. "Good game, though. I am just bummed that we will never know the secrets hidden in this innocent looking notebook."

Giving her a swift kiss, Kyouya responded with a grin, "You already know my secrets. You don't need to see my notebook for that."

"Mmmm…" Haruhi responded to the pressure of Kyouya's lips on hers by clutching the lapels of his jacket and pulling him closer. Snuggling her head against his chest, he wrapped his arms around her, just content to hold her for a moment.

A flash of pink dangling on the end of a finger, recalled Haruhi to her senses. "Ummm… Tamaki, can I have my underwear back now?"

"Not a chance, Princess." Tamaki grinned. "To the victor go the spoils and I fully intend to keep this souvenir. However, I am not a heartless victor. What do you guys say to lunch, relaxing in the Jacuzzi, and taking a nap before we have to get ready for the Show tonight?"

"Sounds good to me Tama-chan." Hani linked his hand in Takashi's.

"Completely. We are hungry." The twins bracketed Tamaki and started propelling him towards the house.

"I can think of another way to relax, but food and the Jacuzzi will do," Kyouya said with a meaningful stare at Haruhi who smiled back at him.

"Sheesh, Kyo since when did you become the sex-obsessed one?" Hika mock pouted. "I thought that was my job."

"Oh don't worry. You were fully included in my comment." Kyouya smirked.

"I better have been."

Haruhi's laughter echoed through the hallway as the group stomped off the snow, removed their outer layers and proceeded to the Dining Room where a hearty lunch was set out for them.

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