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. =)


50. The Calm Before the Storm

The filtered light from the Conservatory windows woke Haruhi and she snuggled into the warmth of two bodies. Wait two? It was just Hani and I up here last night. Once that thought would have sent her sitting upright to see who it was but all of the revelations and experiences of the last week had made it so her curiosity was peaked but not overwhelming. Instead a new kind of challenge presented itself. I wonder if I can guess who it is without opening my eyes. She let her hands slowly wander over the chest of the man who was currently her pillow. She opened her senses and tried to pick up what she was feeling. Hmmm… chiseled chest, about as long as mine… Her hand slid up to caress down his face. Hair is longer than the rest – Hani then. Now to figure out who is spooning me. 

“You can stop playing possum anytime, Haru-chan.” Hani‘s voice drawled seductively as he leaned over to press a kiss on her lips. “We are awake.” 

Haruhi kept her eyes firmly closed. “I’m not playing possum; I am honing my observation skills by trying to guess who joined us last night. I fell asleep with one and woke up with two.” She could feel the body behind her shake in silent laughter before tightening his grip on her hip. 

Hani giggled, “Well then… What are you observing since your eyes are closed?” 

She stuck her tongue out at him, knowing that he was teasing her. The laughter that followed confirmed that he knew exactly what she meant. “I know that I am currently lying on you. Your hair is longer than the other guys and your chest is just a bit longer than mine.” 

Intrigued by her answer, he said, “Hair I will give you, but how are you determining the length of my chest?” 

“Resting my head on your shoulder, means I have to move further down in the bed. My hips are almost directly beneath yours, which means that the person I am on is nearly my height, which also means you, since in this position, on any of the others my hips would be more in-line with theirs.” 

“Makes sense. So who joined us then?” 

“That is going to be trickier to determine, since it’s a bit more difficult to touch much more than his arm and thigh from this angle.” 

“You aren’t going to let something that trivial stop you from trying though, are you?” 

“Stop smirking at me,” Haruhi replied with a grin, eyes still firmly closed, “and no.” She ran her fingers over the smooth skin of the thighs and hips that were running parallel to hers, noting the gaps between their bodies, before lacing her fingers with the man behind her and bringing his hand up to her lips. Kissing his fingertips, she smiled before craning her head back for a kiss. “Good morning, Hika-love.” 

Hikaru gave into the kiss with a smile. “We are never going to be able to trick you in the Which one is Hikaru game, ever again are we?” 

Haruhi laughed as she opened her eyes and stared into warm golden ones, “Nope. Never. I thought you understood that years ago.” 

Hikaru laughed. 

“Why don’t you explain to Hani how you knew it was Hika using only the faintest of touches before the curiosity get the better of him,” Kyouya’s voice, full of amusement, came from the direction of the Conservatory door. 

This time, Haruhi did sit up in a sudden movement, and immediately wished she hadn’t as every part of her body protested the movement and an involuntary whimper escaped from her lips. She saw Kyouya and Takashi standing in the doorway wearing nothing but pajama bottoms with smiles on their faces which immediately turned to concern at her obvious pain. 

Takashi immediately turned and ran down the stairs, while Kyouya rushed forward and sat on the edge of the cabana. “Are you ok, love?” 

Haruhi took a deep breath and lay back slowly, letting her breath out in a hiss. “I am fine. My body is just protesting the abuse it went through yesterday. Dear gods, it’s been a long time since I have been this sore.” 

“You put it through much yesterday, ashke,” Takashi said as he returned holding a familiar jar. “Here, use this. It will help.” He approached the bed and handed the jar to Kyouya, who opened it and immediately started rubbing it into the muscles of her legs. 

Hikaru sat up and scooped out another generous amount before starting to rub it into her abdomen and arms. 

Deftly extricating himself from under Haruhi, Hani moved to sit by Takashi head on his chest as they let Hika and Kyouya rub the salve into her this time, knowing both needed the reassurance and the connection. 

Haruhi let the coolness of the salve and the warmness of her lovers’ hands sooth her abused muscles. Sighing in relief as the muscles relaxed, she sat up with the blanket around her and cuddled into both their bodies as they took up positions on either side of her, across from Hani and Takashi. The five of them smiled at each other for a moment before Haruhi turned to Hika. “So when did you join us? I didn’t hear you come in at all.” 

Hikaru smirked, “Tamaki, Kao and I all got home at the same time. When we got here the house was dark but there was a faint light in the library. Imagine our surprise when we opened the door to find Kyouya and Takashi, naked and curled around each other on the couch, sound asleep.” He raised an eyebrow at Kyouya. “I guess they did take my suggestion of having a good time to heart.” 

Kyouya blushed faintly while Takashi leveled a serene gaze at Hikaru. 

That serenity was shattered when Hani asked, “So who won the strip chess game?” 

Takashi turned a deep red and Kyouya burst out in laughter. “I should have known that we couldn’t have kept that a secret. When did you see?” 

Hani smirked, “I came downstairs to grab blankets and some more snacks and saw the light in the Library. When I peeked through the door you both were… shall we say… completely engrossed and it wasn’t in a game. But there were clothes thrown everywhere and the chess set had fallen off the table, so it wasn’t hard to guess what happened.” 

“Damn Kyouya, I never knew you even KNEW about strip chess. I would have challenged you a long time ago.” Hikaru teased his lover. 

“I overheard you mention it once to Kaoru and then Takashi said he and Hani played and…”

Hika grinned and reached across Haruhi to take Kyouya’s hand. “Honesty lover – I am glad you had a good time and I really hope to get a chance to play with you soon.” 

Kyouya squeezed his hand, “Count on it.” 

“So who won?” Haruhi asked curiously. “You both are equally matched.” 

“We each won one match each and-“ Takashi started. 

“Then we never finished the tie-breaker,” Kyouya grinned and winked at Takashi, “though I can safely say we both were satisfied with the end result.” 

“I just bet you were,” Hikaru responded with a leer. “But as I was saying – the three of us came in, saw you both occupied and almost before I could turn around they were running up the stairs to Tamaki’s bedroom. I didn’t want to disturb you, so I just covered you guys with a blanket in case you got cold and went looking for Hani and Haruhi. When I saw them up here asleep on this huge bed, I couldn’t resist crawling in with them. I didn’t think they would mind, since it was late and they both were obviously exhausted.” 

“Didn’t mind at all Hika-chan, but that goes back to the question I had earlier Haru-chan. How did you know it was Hika-chan spooning you this morning?” 

“The length of his thighs against mine and the gaps between our bodies were consistent with the height of one of the twins. Both tend to snuggle in the same way so that confirmed it for me. Then I just had to determine which. I did that when I kissed his fingers.” 

Hikaru looked at his hands, “My fingers? How? I know you can tell us apart by the way we kiss so I purposely didn’t kiss you once I realized what you were doing.” 

Haruhi leaned her head against his shoulder, “Your fingertips are more callused than Kao’s. He has softer hands since he works mostly with fabric and yours are a bit rougher because you work with metals, leather, etc.” 

“Hey! Are you trying to say I don’t work as hard as my brother?” Kaoru said indignantly from the doorway were he and Tamaki were lounging. “Soft hands…. Hmph… and after I brought you something to wear besides the blanket.” He walked forward and tossed a pair of pajama bottoms at Hikaru and Hani before dangling a satin cami and pants set in front of Haruhi. “I kind of figured that none of you would remember to grab clothing and since we will be invaded in less than an hour by the crew to set up for the photo shoot, I thought you might want to have something on when they get here.” 

Haruhi snatched them out of the air and wiggled into them, grinning as she said, “Thanks Kao. You’re an angel.” Even though she knew everyone had seen her naked, she was still most comfortable in some clothing. 

Kaoru winked at her, turning to the others he said, “Hear that? It’s confirmed. I’m an angel.” 

“The things you did to me last night could hardly be described as angelic,” Tamaki muttered in a voice that he knew everyone could hear which naturally caused the group to break out in laughter resulting in Kaoru to smacking him on the arm. “See!” he said, rubbing his arm where Kao had hit it. “Definitely not an angel.” “Fine.” Kaoru pouted and flopped dramatically onto the cabana near Hikaru. Resting his head in Hika’s lap he said sincerely, “I am sorry for abandoning you so fast last night.” 

Hika ran his fingers through his twins gold tipped red locks and responded with a smile. “I understand. Trust me. I have done it often enough to you when Haru or Kyo was around.” Changing the subject he said, “What time are mom and Renge getting here?” 

“About 10:30.” 

Hikaru glanced around, “Anyone know what time it is?” 

Kyouya pulled a phone out of the pocket in his pajamas and looked at it. The screen indicated that he had a message from his sister and another missed call from his father. His voice was odd as he said, “It’s 9am. We have an hour and a half until the photo shoot… Maybe less than that for something else.” 

Haruhi immediately noticed the distress on Kyouya’s face. “What is it, love? What could happen before then?” 

Kyouya sighed, but at a subtle nod of support from Takashi he took a deep breath and relayed the conversation with his sister last night. He ended with, “My father just called again, so it’s clear he is now in France. It’s only a matter of time before he comes over here to confront me.” Turning to Hikaru and Kaoru he said, “I am so sorry. I had hoped this could wait until after Fashion week was over and we were back home. I know he will make a scene and that’s not fair to either of you. You both have put so much into this.” 

Hikaru stretched his hand out and locked it hard onto Kyouya’s before saying, “I’m not worried about us. I am worried about you.” A dangerous glint entered his eyes. “There is nothing that Yoshio Ootori can say or do that will destroy our family. He may think he has the power to do so, but he really doesn’t. Maybe it’s time he learned that lesson.” 

Kaoru’s voice was equally as hard as he continued, “Our family now includes both you and Haruhi, Kyouya.” He looked around at the united look in Tamaki’s, Hani’s, and Takashi’s eyes. “And you are protected as well by the Suohs, Morinozukas, and Haninozukas. Your father has less support than he thinks he does.” 

Kyouya rubbed a hand through his hair and pushed the glasses up on his nose. “My father will disown and discredit me. The first I no longer care about. It has been a long time since I realized that I don’t need his approval. I have planned for that. I have investments and accounts that he cannot touch, so I am not worried about money, at least in the short term. It’s the discredit part that worries me more. Love him or hate him, my father is a shrewd businessman and he would have no compunctions against smearing my name and yours, Hika, through the mud to destroy any potential business alliances or investments. We all know homosexuality is not generally accepted in the business community. He will use that as wedge. There are still many who follow his lead.” 

“Again… less than you may think, Kyouya,” Kaoru answered. “Renge gave me some interesting insight into the general business atmosphere last night and the general consensus is that most of the up and comers would rather do business with you than your father. You are fair and honest in your dealings. Your father is not. Even coming out as bisexual would only cause a mild stir. The community will publically declare their ‘traditional family values’ while keeping their mistresses and lovers on the side. But they will also say that while they may not condone your personal choice of companion, your business acumen is not affected by it. In the end that is all that really matters in the long run.” 

“How would Renge-“ Kyouya started to say, bitterness warring with hope in his voice. 

“Don’t discount Renge, love,” Haruhi interjected before Kaoru could. “As much as she played the brainless debutante, she has an extremely sharp mind and she watches people. Her father is nearly as powerful as yours and both she and her brother have been at his side for every business transaction and networking event. Her father once told me that he discusses every transaction with them before he agrees to it. The reason – Darian sees the details of the numbers and Renge sees the details of the people. She learned how to read people as she was learning how to read. It’s why all of her suggestions always seemed to work – no matter how far-fetched they were. If she is convinced that the business community would support you, then I would trust that as truth.” 

Kyouya let out the breath he was holding. He looked around into the faces of his friends – the people he cared about more than anything else in the world. He looked at the ring on middle finger of his right hand… a ring that Haruhi had given him several months ago and he had never taken off. He looked over to see the matching rings on their fingers. Then he stared into Haruhi and Hikaru’s eyes. The determination he saw reflected there cemented his own. “I would give anything to keep you in my life. I WILL give up everything for you. You both ARE my life. One I would never have known existed before I met you.” A thought crossed his mind and he gasped. “Oh Haru! You’re father! I can protect you but my father bought the bar where Ranka works a long time ago and the complex where you live. He will use it to retaliate against me. I know it.” 

“Well then it’s probably a good thing that Ranka Fujioka no longer works at the bar,” a bright feminine voice echoed through the room followed by one Yuzuha Hitachiin and then surprisingly both Akira Morinozuka and Yorihisa Haninozuka. Both Hani and Takashi scrambled off the bed to bow to their fathers, but they waved them back with a smile. 

“Sit sons, we have much to discuss but this issue needs to be addressed first,” Akira said. 

“Mom – You’re EARLY!” Kaoru said with such incredulity that it made the others laugh. 

Yuzuha chucked and replied, “It does happen on occasion. When the need is desperate.” 

“Yuzuha,” Haruhi said with a tight feeling in her stomach. “What do you mean my father no longer works at the bar?” 

“I mean that he no longer works there. Ranka has been such a help with suggestions and ideas for a new line over the last few months that I made him an offer of full-time employment with HDG. He started last week, but wanted to wait until you got back home to surprise you with the news.” Yuzuha grinned. “I hope he will forgive me for ruining the surprise.” 

“What line is that mom?” Hikaru and Kaoru said together, falling back into old speech habits in shock. 

“Why a line for the fashion conscious Drag Queen, of course! It’s a whole untapped market… and we all know how flamboyantly gorgeous some gay Queens are. Give them a designer option and they will eat it up!!” Turning to Haruhi she said, “I know your father isn’t actually a drag queen but his knowledge of the community and contacts have been invaluable. He is a gem.” 

Haruhi just stared at Yuzuha for a moment before slowly climbing off the bed and throwing her arms around her in a hug, tears streaming down her face. “Thank you. It is perfect for him.” she said simply. 

Yuzuha hugged her hard for a moment before letting go and wiping the tears from her cheeks. “It was my pleasure, truly, and something that I have been thinking about for a long time but the time never seemed right until you came into our lives. I know I am not your mother, but I think of you as my daughter. You broke my sons’ self-imposed solitude, gave them friendship and love. There is NOTHING worth more to me than that.” She leaned into whisper in Haruhi’s ears alone. “I know its wishful thinking but I dearly hope that you will be my daughter in truth someday.” 

Haruhi felt her cheeks redden as Yuzuha pushed her back toward the boys. 

“What about their apartment?” Kyouya asked. “My father will evict them upon his return to Japan.” 

“As Haruhi is now a member of House Zouka, she and her loved ones will always have a place on our Estate,” Yorihisa responded. “That includes you, young Kyouya Ootori. I am aware of your triad with her and Hikaru Hitachiin. However, for appearances sake, you must remain in separate houses until after her, Kaoru and Hikaru have graduated or they will be removed from Ouran.” 

Kyouya sat in stunned silence. It’s more than I could ever have believed. “I understand. The honor you do me is humbling.” 

“You are worth the honor, young Kyouya,” Akira said with a smile. “Besides, we have ulterior motives. Some of our younglings are business minded and are currently building their first portfolios. Having someone their age who has already demonstrated that he is a savvy player in the market will be an invaluable resource for them. They know that you are still attending University and they won’t interfere with that but they may still ask for advice. Please be aware that you are not obligated to help them in exchange for lodging. That offer stands regardless as you are bound to one of our House.” 

“I would be honored to assist in any way I can. It is always worthwhile to see a venture through new eyes.” 

“Good! Now that that is all settled – Off you all go! Showers please and be back here in 20 minutes for make-up.” Yuzuha clapped her hands and made ‘shoo-ing’ motions. “I will show the photographer up here to set up, since this is a beautiful room, though we will eventually use all of them to get a good range for the website.” She turned to Hani and Takashi. “Your fathers have something they need to discuss with you, so I can wait to use you both when you are done with them. When Yoshio Ootori shows up, we will be a united front against him. NOW GO! Time is wasting and we don’t want to lose the light.” 

Seven young adults scrambled to their feet and ran out of the room; choruses of “Yes Ma’am!” fading in the air as they disappeared down the stairs. 

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