Kyouya stood frozen in the doorway of the Third Music Room, his hand still on the doorknob as he stared at the sight before him. He had expected to be the first to arrive, as usual, but instead of finding a dark, empty room he had walked in to find an utter mess and uncontrolled chaos. This was what he got for leaving campus for the afternoon to attend to the planning for Tamaki's most recent pet project.
Scraps of colored paper littered the floor, along with various artificial flowers and ribbons, while a pile of rhinestones glittered on one of the tables. Kyouya turned from the mess to who he was sure was the culprit and found Tamaki sitting on his usual sofa. His hair was disheveled, his face covered in paint splotches of various colors, and he had his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth in concentration. Kyouya's eyes narrowed and he approached him – momentarily pausing as Honey ran past holding a piece of sheer fabric high above his head, allowing it to trail after him as he went – stopping to stand behind the sofa with his arms crossed over his chest.
"Tamaki," he addressed the blonde, but received no answer. Sighing, Kyouya looked over the back of the sofa to see what was so important that it required Tamaki's full attention and concentration.
Sitting before him was a box. It appeared to have once been a mere shoebox, but it had been decorated with gold paint and had artificial red roses glued to the corners of the top and little crowns drawn on it with glitter. Tamaki was currently working on creating a heart with magenta sequins on the top of the box, around a letter T that had been made out of diamond-colored rhinestones.
"What is this?" Kyouya demanded, his voice booming. The others all stopped what they were doing to turn their attention to him, and Tamaki finally looked up from his little art project.
"Ah, Kyouya!" he greeted his friend, grinning and holding up the box he had been working on decorating. "I decided we should have a raffle at the Renaissance Faire, so we're busy decorating our own boxes for the entrants to put their names in."
"A raffle?" Kyouya asked in a low voice. "Why didn't you consult me first?"
"Don't worry," Tamaki told him, ignoring his tone. "I had Hikaru and Kaoru make one for you, too."
The twins suddenly popped up before him, holding up another box. This one was painted dark purple, and had black lace glued to the outside rim of the box top. A silver K had been painted on top of the lid, surrounded by a heart made out of artificial black pearls – at least he hoped they were artificial, as real ones would have put a rather large dent in the club's activities budget.
"This place is a complete mess," he said, his tone still stern. "The customers will be here in less than half an hour. I suggest you all stop screwing around and get this place cleaned up before they arrive."
He took off his glasses and looked pointedly at the twins as he took out his handkerchief and began cleaning the lenses, causing them to swallow hard in fear of his wrath. They immediately saluted him and scurried off to start cleaning up the room, and Mori caught Honey as he was making another round of the room with his makeshift banner flying behind him.
"What is it Takashi?" he asked, his wide brown eyes blinking in confusion.
"Time to clean up, Mitsukuni, or else Kyouya won't let you have any cake today."
Honey immediately joined the twins in cleaning up the room, not wanting to be deprived of his favorite afternoon treat, and Mori quietly began picking up the art supplies on the table he had been seated at.
"I guess I should help them," Tamaki stated, standing up from his sofa. Kyouya's hand shot out, grabbing him by the collar of his jacket and yanking him back so he fell onto the sofa once more. Tamaki let out a squeak as he landed, holding up the box he had been decorating in front of his face as a makeshift shield when he saw Kyouya rounding the side of the sofa to stand before him.
"Explain," Kyouya demanded, putting his glasses back on.
"W-Well," Tamaki started, slowly lowering the box and setting it in his lap, "I had an idea."
"Yes?" Kyoya prompted, arms crossing over his chest once more.
"The attendees of the Renaissance Faire will get the opportunity to be escorted to the Royal Ball by their favorite host," Tamaki explained. "They enter by putting their name into the box of the host they want to be their personal Prince for the evening. Of course, there is a price: Ten-thousand yen per entry, and they can put their name in as many times as they want as long as they pay for each one."
"Interesting," Kyouya said, his stance relaxing considerably once he heard that there would be a price attached to the entries. "And I suppose we randomly choose the winners at the close of the Faire's daytime activities?"
"Exactly!" Tamaki replied, grinning. "The twins have already spoken to their mother about creating matching outfits for each of us and our prospective winners."
"You do realize that this is going to create even more work for me, arranging this little raffle?" Kyouya asked, raising an eyebrow slightly.
"Nonsense," Tamaki said, brushing off his concern with a wave of his hand. "The biggest part of the operation was creating the boxes for the entries, and we've already gotten almost all of them done. Haruhi just needs to make hers, and then everyone will be covered."
"And who will be responsible for taking the entry fees and making sure no one is cheating by stuffing the boxes with extra ballots?" Kyouya wondered.
"The twins volunteered to be in charge of running the stand for the raffle," Tamaki told him. "Don't worry, Kyouya, I already took everything into consideration. You don't have to lift a finger for this."
Kyouya regarded him suspiciously. It was extremely rare that Tamaki took the initiative for any planning stages during one of their events. The fact that he had gone to such lengths for this particular little endeavor gave him reason to think that the self-appointed Host King was up to something.
"Don't look at me like that," Tamaki said after a moment.
"What's the catch?" Kyouya demanded.
"There is none," Tamaki assured him. "I just know how hard you've been working to arrange things for this event, and I figured I would take full responsibility for this raffle to help you out. Besides," he added, standing from the sofa and brushing some glitter off of his jacket, "would you have agreed to let me do it otherwise?"
"Probably not," Kyouya conceded, then let out a heavy sigh. "Very well. I leave this little raffle in your hands. Just make sure Hikaru and Kaoru know not to let any entries slip by without the fee being paid."
Tamaki smiled and nodded. "Alright. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to help the others clean up."
"Actually," Kyouya said, stopping him once more with a hand on his arm, "you should probably focus on getting yourself cleaned up. You have paint all over your face."
Tamaki nodded again and left the music room, intending to make his way to the boys' lavatory down the hall so he could wash his face. He only made it a few feet, however, when he heard the door open once more behind him.
"Tono," Hikaru called in a loud whisper.
Tamaki turned around and made his way back toward the club room, stopping before the twins, who had popped their heads out through the door to speak to him.
"Are we still on?" Hikaru asked once he reached them, still keeping his voice down.
"Yes," Tamaki told him, puffing his chest out proudly. "Did you actually doubt my methods of persuasion? You did what I asked you to, right?"
"Two boxes, as identical as we are," Kaoru replied.
"Good," Tamaki said excitedly, smiling and rubbing his hands together. "And you're sure your mother will be able to finish the costumes for the ball in time?"
"Are you kidding?" they answered in unison.
"She was excited when we told her about it," Hikaru said.
"Couldn't wait to get started on the designs," Kaoru added.
"In fact, she said she'd have them all finished by tomorrow morning," they concluded.
"Most excellent," Tamaki said, his smile getting even bigger. "You know what you two have to do to make our plan work. I'm trusting you to get it done."
"Yes, sir!" they replied, saluting him before disappearing back into the club room.
Tamaki sighed happily and turned around to continue on his way to the restroom, bumping into Haruhi, who was on her way to the club room to make her usual preparations for their guests.
"Ah, Haruhi!" he greeted her, gently grasping her shoulders to help her balance herself after their collision. "Guess what? We're going to have a raffle at the Renaissance Faire and the winners get to be our dates to the ball."
"That's... nice?" she told him, unsure how to reply. She'd already heard about the entire thing from some of the girls in her class, who couldn't stop talking about it after his announcement earlier that day in the cafeteria.
"It'll be the perfect chance to get Kyouya and Miku together," he told her conspiratorially, winking at her and giggling.
"If you say so," Haruhi replied, side-stepping around him. "Speaking of whom: Is Kyouya-senpai in there already? I needed to talk to him about something."
"Of course," Tamaki told her. "He's always early."
Haruhi thanked him and quickly made her escape into the club room. She still couldn't believe that she had more or less confessed to having feelings for him, even if he had been too oblivious to realize what she was saying. She leaned up against the closed doors after entering the room, her eyes closed, and let out a relieved sigh.
Haruhi opened her eyes and looked down into Honey's smiling face. He was holding a shoebox up above his head, and he held it out to her in offering.
"What's this for?" she asked as she took the box from him, her brow furrowed in confusion.
"Tama-chan said we should all decorate our own boxes for the raffle," he informed her. "Except for Kyo-chan, because he doesn't like arts and crafts. Hika-chan and Kao-chan did his for him."
"I see," Haruhi said, looking around the room for Kyouya and finding a mess of art supplies littering the floor and tables. "Is that what all of this stuff is for?"
"Yep!" Honey replied, grinning. "You can use any of these supplies we got from the art class to make your box super cute and pretty. Just don't forget to put your initials on it so everyone knows it's yours."
"Got it," Haruhi told him with a nod. "By the way, where is Kyouya-senpai?"
"He's over there," Honey told her, pointing to the far corner of the room. Sure enough, Haruhi could see a dark head of hair peeking up over the back of one of the high-backed chairs that Tamaki usually sat in like a throne.
"Thanks," Haruhi said, patting Honey on top of his head before making his way over to where Kyouya was sitting. She sat the shoebox down on a relatively empty table as she went, taking a deep breath to calm her nerves and wiping her slightly sweaty palms on her pants. She had one shot to make this plan work, and if he didn't agree to her request it was doomed to fail.
"Kyouya-senpai?" she carefully addressed him, seeing that he was sitting with his eyes closed and a hand held to his head in exasperation.
"Yes?" Kyouya addressed her without moving.
"I know you've been under a lot of stress lately, with getting everything together for this whole Renaissance Faire, and, well... I was thinking maybe I could do something to help you relax."
Kyouya lowered his hand and opened his eyes, turning to look at her curiously.
"And what, exactly, did you have in mind?"
"A picnic," she told him.
"A picnic?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
Haruhi nodded. "I was thinking I could make an extra bento tomorrow and we could eat together out on the lawn. It's supposed to be a beautiful day."
"Just the two of us?" he wondered.
"I figured you might want to get away from Tamaki and the others for a change," she replied. Kyouya simply eyed her quietly, causing her to fidget nervously with the sleeves of her jacket.
"You're right," he finally answered after a long moment of silence. "It would be nice to take a break from all this planning and get away from them all for a little while."
"So I take it that's a yes?" Haruhi asked for her own clarification.
"Yes," Kyouya replied, nodding once.
"Great!" Haruhi said, clasping her hand together and grinning. "I'll meet you outside of your classroom at lunchtime tomorrow."
"Alright," Kyouya replied. "For now, though, would you mind helping the others clean up this mess? I would like the room to be reasonably presentable by the time the customers arrive."
Haruhi nodded and quickly wandered off to help Mori, who was rolling up bolts of sheer fabric on the other side of the room, her grin still firmly in place. Kyouya had agreed to the lunch offer, and so her plan had been successfully set into motion.