Hey, everyone! I've decided to take a short-break from my other stories to write a new one-shot. This plot popped into my head weeks ago, yet I haven't had time to write it, and it's been nagging at my mind lately. But now it's time for me to finally use it!
Bold print will represent those black, pink-framed boxes that pop up during the show.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Ouran characters… but that would be an awesome Christmas gift!
Chika and Honey stared at each other, their faces expressionless, their eyes unreadable, both of them standing a foot away. "You know you can't hide your true strengths and weaknesses, Mitsukuni," Chika said darkly. "It is time you prove how strong you really are,"
"Isn't my beating you in combat enough, Chika-san?" Honey asked in his sweet-tone, though his face was serious. "Why do you want to see how strong I am?"
Light reflected off of Chika's glasses, giving him an ominous look. "So I can prove how weak you really are. If you fail in this task, then everyone shall know who the REAL champion in the family is, and everyone at the dojo will look upon me with more respect than what they've ever given to you."
Honey glowered. "I won't fail."
"Then lets start…"
Stiffly, Honey handed over his pink stuffed bunny, Usa-chan, giving it to Chika. "Good. We'll see how you are in seven days… IF you're that strong,"
Honey sighed, watching as his little brother walked off with his beloved stuffed animal. Don't worry, Usa-Chan, we'll see each other again, AND I'll beat Chika at his own game. He mentally promised, then walked the other way.
~Honey's Five Sleepless Nights~
It had only been two hours since Chika and Honey made their bet, but to the lolli-shota it felt like years. Out of the rest of his stuffed animals and bunny-fied belongings, Usa-chan was his most valuable possession, the one thing he carried with him everywhere, the second thing he loved that he was never caught without!
…The first being Mori, who sat beside him in homeroom later that morning, and the wild giant noticed how quiet his cousin was, and how down he appeared. "I'm fine, Takashi," Honey sighed, when his cousin gave him a glance. Having as tight a bond they had, it was simple for the two of them to communicate without the other having to speak.
"Something's missing," Mori pointed out calmly, his expression stoic.
Honey nodded. "Chika has Usa-chan. We made a bet yesterday. If I can go an entire week without Usa-chan, he'll have to join us for tea and cake in the Host Club for a month. If I try to get Usa-chan back any earlier, I'll have to give up eating cake for a month."
"Don't worry, Takashi. I'll be strong… I mean, at least he didn't tell me to give up chocolate!" He giggled as little pink flowers bubbled around him.
Mori only nodded, though he had a feeling his cousin was pushing his limits, knowing how much he loved that pink bunny. If he asked for him back, the lolli-shota would lose his cake-privileges, which would be like salt in a wound.
It was going to be a long week.
They went to the Host Clubroom later on, their clients gathering around them, swooning over Honey's cuteness as the lolli-shota shared tea with them. "By the way, Honey-senpai, where's your bunny?" one of the girls asked. "I haven't seen him with you at all today."
"Yeah, me neither," another client said.
"Yes, where is he?" said another.
Honey turned white, shrinking into a shocked chibi-form. "Um… he's not here right now, he's… taking a vacation!" he replied, trying to keep up his cute appearance, though his eyes began to shimmer. "He just left this morning, but I miss him already."
"Aw…" the girls replied.
"That's weird," One of Haruhi's clients responded, overhearing the conversation as she passed by. "I thought I saw your brother with him. He and a couple friends were tossing a pink bunny around in the courtyard earlier during lunch."
Honey's heart nearly stopped.
[His bunny is being tossed around?]
Picturing Usa-chan in such a position brought forth horrible thoughts. What if he dropped in a fountain, or got caught in a tree, or landed in the street, or if one of his arms or legs fell off, or his head? …It was no wonder Honey fainted.
"Oh my gosh!" One of the girls gasped.
"Is he alright?" Asked another.
"Honey-senpai, are you okay?" One of his clients asked him.
"Augh! Something's wrong with Honey!" Tamaki shrieked. "Quick! Someone get some candy, cake, and anything chocolate! HURRY!"
"Man down! Man down!" The Hitachin twins cried, wearing army-helmets and talking into walkie-talkies, running over with a stretcher, loading up Honey, and taking him to the couch.
Haruhi arched an eyebrow. "Why did Honey give Chika his stuffed bunny?" she asked. From what she remembered, Honey cared more about his possessions (and cake) more than his brother, after seeing how he had beaten his brother in combat in order to keep eating cake at midnight.
"From what I can tell from the gossip going on in the middle-school section, Honey had made a bet with his brother to prove how strong he is," Kyouya answered, writing on his clipboard. "He had to give up that rabbit for a whole week, otherwise go a month without eating cake."
The tomboy blinked in surprise. "Harsh. I didn't think Chika would be that cruel… let alone believe Honey-senpai would make a bet like that. Why didn't they just, you know, have another karate competition?"
"Apparently Chika was tired of losing in battle, so he moved on to weaknesses," Mori replied bluntly.
"That would be a better strategy." Kyouya commented. "By making his brother give up something he holds dear, Chika might have a sporting chance in beating his brother at something, no longer living in his shadow."
Haruhi looked back over at Honey, who was laying on the couch with swirls in his eyes, as the twins fanned him and Tamaki waved a chocolate bar above his nose. At this rate, Kyouya might be right. she thought. If Honey is like this on the first day, who knows how he'll be later in the week?
The day was over, and Honey walked down the hall of his manor to his bedroom to get some sleep. Chika passed by him, dragging Usa-chan on the ground. "Not bad for a first day," his brother said, smugly. "Perhaps you might just make it after all."
Honey glared. "Just be careful with Usa-chan. If I see one tear or stain on him when I get him back at the end of the week, you're going to be in big trouble," he said, his tone as dark as his expression, the same expression he had when someone woke him up early from his nap.
Chika, however, wasn't phased. "He's in my possession now, brother. What I do with him is my business until you get him back." he smirked, holding the bunny an inch from Honey. "You don't want him back so soon, do you?"
Honey bit his bottom lip, but didn't reach out, keeping his calm and standing his ground.
Chika pulled back. "Oh, good. I enjoy playing with him, and there's so many games we must try out over the next six days." With that, he turned around and walked into his room.
Honey turned white, wobbled a bit, and slumped onto the ground, then inched along into his own room. He can torment me all he wants, but I'm not gonna give up! he told himself, slipping into bed. It's not the first time I had to go a few days without something I love. At least I don't have a toothache this time! I can make it! He closed his eyes, yet sleep didn't come. He turned on his side, onto his stomach, back onto his back, but couldn't feel comfortable. He didn't have to think to find out why… I've been sleeping with Usa-chan for so long, I can't get to sleep without him! He buried his face in his pillow and groaned.
[This is going to be a long week]
Sleep had evaded Honey last night, and Mori noticed immediately, watching as his cousin slouched in his seat, his eyelids opening. "Mitsukuni?" Mori asked.
"Huh? What?" Honey gasped, looking around. "Oh, sorry, Takashi. I didn't get enough sleep last night. I uh… stayed up too late eating cake."
Mori stared at him. "You don't eat cake at midnight on Mondays."
"Uh, I just started! I figure, to keep my mind of Usa-chan, I could add another night to my midnight snacking! Great plan, huh? Maybe I'll do it every night this week!"
"Yeah, I think it's a good idea too!"
That conversation actually helped Honey get through the second day. That night at midnight, he started eating cake, candles lighted all around as he began to scarf them down. This is great! Why didn't I think of this sooner? he thought cheerfully, looking around at all the cake, and the stuffed animals he brought down and set up to make a tea-party scene.
His face fell when he saw that one spot was empty. The spot next to him… where he always sat Usa-chan.
Oh… eating cake at midnight isn't even the same without him! he thought sadly, moaning and leaning forward, his face dropping onto the top of a strawberry cake.
[So much for a great plan]
Chika, meanwhile, watched from the doorway, trying to keep back a snicker. This is going to be easier than I thought! he said to himself, then snuck away. Big brother isn't as tough as they say he is.
Everyone in the Host Room stared at Honey. Their theme for that day was Jungle Safari, the entire room set up like an African jungle, all the hosts dressed up as jungle-guides, wearing khaki suits and hats, holding swords, binoculars, maps, and even having a couple animals lingering around, like monkeys and cockatoos (though Haruhi was concerned about whether or not they went as far as unleashing a tiger in the room). They were ready for their clients…
Honey, on the other hand, needed some adjustments. His hat was crooked, his shirt was buttoned all wrong, his shoes were untied, his binoculars were hanging on his back, and he had bags under his eyes.
[Looks more like something they'd spot on a safari]
"Uh, Honey-senpai? Are you alright?" Hikaru asked.
"Yeah, you look like something the cat dragged in." Kaoru added.
"I'm fine…" Honey yawned. "Just got up a little too early this morning,"
"At what time, 4 AM?" Haruhi questioned. "You look like you haven't slept a wink!"
Mori bent down, re-buttoning Honey's shirt, adjusting his hat, and placing his binoculars in the front. "Nothing to worry about, Ha-(yawn)-aru-chan. C'mon, lets let our clients in! I can't wait to show them (yawn) what we've done…"
The clients came in, and the Hosts when into their act, showing the girls around. Honey began to fall behind, his eyes drooping. "Senpai, are you okay?" one of his clients asked.
"Yeah, you look awfully tired," another commented.
Honey managed a smile. "Must be the hike. Jungles tend to… (yawn) to have a way of making you get a lot of e-exercise…" he replied.
There was a roar and a tiger leaped out in front of them, leaving the girls screaming… followed by Haruhi's voice in the distance: "YOU ACTUALLY BROUGHT IN A TIGER?"
[She should have known they'd go this far]
"DOWN, KITTY!" Honey shouted when the tiger swiped at them. The tiger shrank back, letting out a 'mew' like that of a scared kitten, sitting still. Honey smiled, patting the tiger on the head. "Don't worry, he's a show-tiger. He's as tame as a house-cat, and very nice!"
"DON'T WORRY, HARUHI! I'LL PROTECT YOU!" Tamaki was crying in the background, upon hearing Haruhi's yell. They looked over, seeing Tamaki swinging down on a vine.
"Uh, my lord, watch out for that-!" Hikaru began to shout.
"Tree…" Kaoru finished.
Honey yawned, slumping against a tree. "Are you sure you want to go on, senpai? We can rest if you want," one of his clients asked.
"No way! We can't… stop the safari now (yawn)…" Honey replied, tiredly.
Mori picked up his cousin, carrying him on his back. "This way," he said to the girls, and they continued on.
Their clients went wild. "SO CUTE!" they all exclaimed.
That night, Honey lied in bed, staring at the ceiling. He was supposed to pretend to be in trouble during the false tiger-attack, thereby having Mori step in to help 'rescue' him, yet he was too tired to even flinch. Worst yet, he had snapped at the poor wildcat, breaking out of his cute-act for a brief moment which he normally never did, and probably scared a year's growth out of the animal!
Four more days… I don't think I'll make it… he thought, groaning. He shook his head. No, don't give up! You gotta stay strong! There's no point in getting Usa-chan back if it's out of weakness… especially if it means going without cake for a month. I can make it… I can MAKE IT.
Honey slouched at the table, a teacup sitting untouched next to his head. He had bags under his now-bloodshot eyes, his hair was a mess, and his skin was starting to lose color.
[He's not going to make it!]
The rest of the Hosts watched their friend from another table, all of them concerned about the well-being of the lolli-shota. "Poor Honey-senpai. Being separated from Usa-chan must be pretty hard for him," Kaoru commented, quietly.
"I'll say. I haven't seen him this down since that time he had to go without sweets for three days," Hikaru agreed.
"He's been really tired lately, too. If he doesn't get some sleep, he might unleash his inner-demon!" Tamaki added, trembling at the thought of Honey showing his darkest-side.
[Still has nightmares about last time]
"Let alone it'll decrease the club's profits if his clients are deprived of his cuteness," Kyouya commented, typing at his laptop.
[The least-concerned about the situation]
"Wait! What if we got Usa-chan back from Chika for him?" Tamaki gasped, smiling as a plan developed in his head. "Then he wouldn't be so depressed!"
"That would be interference. He'd lose." Mori put bluntly.
Tamaki shrank into chibi-form, thinking about it, then began to rub his chin. "Well then… What if we had Chika hand him over himself? We could make him believe carrying around that bunny doesn't seem so fun, and he'd get bored and give him back!"
"Uh, I doubt that would work, Senpai," Haruhi commented. "If Chika got bored with it, he'd just leave it at home in his room, let alone hide it somewhere Honey-senpai wouldn't find it."
Honey whimpered a bit.
"I doubt he'd get bored with it anytime soon, anyway," Hikaru said. "He takes it out of his locker every day to toss it around with his friends,"
"Yeah, yesterday they made a game to see who could throw it higher over the fountain without getting it wet." Kaoru added. "Safe to say, not many people made it clear over."
Honey let out a sad moan.
"STOP IT YOU GUYS, YOU'RE MAKING HIM FEEL WORSE!" Tamaki snapped, then rushed over to Honey. "There there, Honey. Why don't you lie down for a nap? Here, you can snuggle with my teddy-bear if you'd like." The host-king handed him the stuffed bear.
Honey looked at the bear, then raised it up…
And threw it onto the ground. "TEDDY! NOT AGAIN!" Tamaki wailed, scooping up his teddy bear and quickly whipping out a first-aid kit.
"I'll be fine, guys." Honey muttered, bitterly. "Stop worrying about it."
The sternness in his tone got all the hosts (Tamaki especially) to leave him alone the rest of the day.
Honey looked out the cafeteria window, watching as Chika and a couple friends ran around, throwing Usa-chan around. He felt like he was going to be sick.
[Might hurl at any moment]
"Hey, Honey, wanna come sit with us?" Hikaru asked, as he and his twin popped up behind the lolli-shota.
"We've got some extra cake… chocolate, too!" Kaoru added, trying to persuade him.
"No thanks…" Honey sighed, standing up and walking away. "I'm not hungry…"
The twins looked at each other, stunned.
[This is worse than we thought!]
Honey sat at the edge of his bed that night, looking up at the moon. He couldn't help but reminisce about the day he got Usa-chan…
A younger Honey is sitting in the living room, his grandmother handing over a box. "Here you go, Mitsukuni-chan," she said, smiling. "I made him just for you,"
Honey opened the box, taking out a pink bunny. "A bunny! Thank you, Grandma-chan!" he exclaimed, hugging the stuffed animal tightly. "I love him!"
"I knew you would. There's nothing you love more than bunnies… except maybe chocolate!"
"I'll never love anything more than this one. He's the best thing I've ever gotten!" he ran up and hugged his grandmother, both of them giggling. "Thank you so much!"
*End of Flashback!*
A cloud passed by the moon, taking the shape of a bunny. Honey's eyes watered, and he fell back, groaning.
Honey had stayed awake every night that week, and couldn't even take a nap during the day, the thoughts of being separated from Usa-chan, let alone what kind of fun his brother was having with the bunny. He thought he wouldn't even be able to muster the strength to go to school that day, if Chika hadn't walked into his bedroom, holding Usa-chan.
"Mitsukuni, lets go or we're going to be-" Chika began, but paused, staring at shock at the condition his brother was in. "Whoa! What happened to you?"
Honey looked at him, looking pale and sickly.
[The opposite of beauty sleep]
"Just not feeling good…" Honey replied, tiredly. "I might stay home today…"
Chika stared at his brother, clutching the rabbit tightly. "It doesn't have to be this way, you know." he said, firmly. "I can give you back Usa-chan. A month without cake is better than lacking sleep…"
Honey glared at him, darkly.
[Eyes of the beast]
"I'm NOT going to give up." Honey snapped. "I've made it this long, Chika, and I plan on making it one more day! I don't care what you do with Usa-chan, or how much sleep I lose! You may believe not having him around will weaken me, but I'll prove you wrong!"
"Mitsukuni, you look like you might collapse any second!" Chika argued.
"I'm perfectly okay! In fact, lets have combat right now, and I'll prove it to you!"
Chika shook his head. "Get dressed. We're going to be late." With that, he walked out.
Honey breathed deeply, then sank to his knees, sobbing.
Chika stood outside the door, listening. Suddenly this isn't so fun anymore… he thought, holding up Usa-chan, staring into the bunny's black pebble-eyes.
That entire day, Mori watched Honey's every move. He picked up his bag when it began to drag, he took extra notes when his cousin was having trouble keeping up in classes, and even carried him on his back more than usual between classes. Normally the girls flipped for this, but after seeing how ill Honey looked, all they could to was gasp.
"You think he's going to be okay?"
"You don't suppose he's caught something terrible, do you?"
"Why did he come to school? He looks like he might pass out!"
"Mori oughtta take him to the nurse. He looks awful!"
"Should we get him some get-well cards?"
"Where's his Usa-chan?"
Questions like this buzzed around wherever they went. They finally made it to the end of the day, reaching the clubroom, though their clients were swarming him with concern, especially when Honey wouldn't so much as look at them, hardly touching the cake that sat before them. "Please, eat, Honey!/Should someone call a doctor?/Mori-senpai, what's wrong with him?/Lets go get Usa-chan from Chika, before he gets worse!/Would you like some candy?/Is he going to die?" they all babbled at once.
Finally Mori stood up, and picked up Honey, walking over to the couch with a canopy above it, lying him down. "Sleep," he said.
"Takashi…" Honey tried to protest, sitting up, but Mori gently pushed him back down.
"You need rest. Get some." he rubbed his head, keeping at his side.
Everyone stared, surprised. They expected Honey to straighten up and flip Mori, or the lolli-shota to start a tantrum, or at least see him give his cousin the sad-eyes!
To their amazement, Honey actually closed his eyes, and fell asleep!
"YAAAAAAAYYYY!" they all cheered.
[IT'S A MIRACLE!]
"Shh!" Mori hissed, pressing a finger to his lips.
"yaaaayyyy." they all whispered, quietly.
"Leave it to Mori to handle Honey," Haruhi commented, smiling a bit.
When Honey awoke, he was inside a limo, Mori sitting next to him. "What happened? I dosed off," he asked, looking at his cousin.
Mori merely shrugged.
"Not much, huh? Okay…"
They reached the manor, and Mori stepped out with Honey. Chika was on the steps, waiting for them, Usa-chan in his arms. "You look better." he said.
Honey nodded, grinning. "Yeah, I got a nap in."
Chika looked up at Mori. "Satoshi is here. I asked him to spend the night."
Chika and Honey looked at each other, the lolli-shota's eyes falling on the pink bunny. "Do you want to spend the night too, Takashi?" Honey asked, straining to take his eyes off his beloved possession.
Mori looked at him, and shrugged.
He smiled. "Great! I'll make some extra cake tonight!"
"Have fun," Chika said, then walked inside.
Honey let out a sigh, and Mori set a hand on his shoulder. They then walked inside next.
Chika and Satoshi sat in his room later that evening, Chika cradling Usa-chan in his arms. "So, you think he'll be okay?" Satoshi asked. "He looked like a wreck at school today."
Chika nodded. "Yeah. I thought he'd cave in, but he never did," he replied. "I guess my big brother's as strong as everyone believes."
Satoshi nodded. "You've been taking pretty good care of Usa-chan for him, too. I noticed how you always examined him after tossing him around, and when he got wet you quickly toweled him off and threw him in a dryer. You even set him on a pillow inside your locker!"
"Yeah… just don't tell anyone though. I don't want them to think that I've turned soft like my brother,"
"Heh, I doubt your brother's THAT soft, if he can go days without sleep to beat you in a competition. …So, are you really going to join him at the Host Club?"
Chika looked down at Usa-chan. "If he can make it through the night… I suppose I'll have to keep my end of the deal." he set the bunny aside. "C'mon, lets go get something to eat. I'm starving."
The two boys walked out of the room, not noticing the lolli-shota crouched behind the door, smiling softly to himself. He looked inside the bedroom at the bunny. Looks like I'll be able to make it, now that I know that Usa-chan was in safe hands after all. he thought, then frowned a bit. Though… I still miss snuggling with him.
Sighing, he walked toward his room. "Still tired?" Mori asked, watching him pass by.
"A little," Honey replied. He felt a hand on his shoulder, and looked up at his cousin as he guided him to his room. Mori then scooped him up and lied him in the bed, covering him up and sitting beside him. Honey smiled, snuggling close to him. "Thanks, Takashi. …You make a great substitute Usa-chan."
[Better than Tamaki's teddy bear, at least]
Honey chuckled, then drifted to sleep, the wild giant staying at his side the whole night.
A couple days later…
Things were back to normal at the Host Club, except for the new guest they had. "Do I really have to do this for a whole month?" Chika sighed, boredly sipping his tea.
"That was the deal," Honey replied, smiling as pink flowers once again bubbled around him. "It'll get better, Chika! I'll introduce you to all my clients, you can try every flavor of cake, and you can have a part in our next theme! It's gonna include outer-space, and we're gonna wear helmets, and fight aliens, and use laser-guns, and make the whole room look like the solar-system, and…"
"Glad to see Honey back to normal," Haruhi said, smiling.
"He looks better with that bunny, anyway." The twins agreed in unison.
As Honey continued on, Chika groaned and slammed his head on the table. One month… I'm not gonna make it… he thought, bitterly.
Usa-chan, in the meantime, sat in his usual place next to Honey, where he belonged.
A/N: This was my first attempt of writing an Ouran fluff-shot. Sorry if I got anyone out of character, made some mistakes, and made Honey creepy. …At least no one got killed by a tiger, right?
Please review. I accept constructive criticism, but please no flames.