Why Me?

Chapter Twenty-Three

Melanie looked back down at her phone, checking to see that she was right on time before she rang the doorbell to Hikaru's house. Earlier that week, he invited her over for what he said was a big secret, and a secret it was indeed. Every time she asked about it, he would just place a single finger to his lips, promising that he wasn't going to tell her. She nervously tapped her fingers against the side of her thigh. To say that the anticipation was on the verge of killing her would be a severe understatement.

When she heard the door open in front of her, she snapped out of her thoughts. Standing right in front of her was none other than Hikaru. At first glance, Melanie assumed everything was normal. His hair was combed back, yet a little messy in that way that he liked to keep it. His outfit consisted of a stylish white and gray ensemble. On further inspection though, she noticed that his shirt was covered in a soft, almost silky powder. It looked oddly similar to flour, but why would Hikaru ever be in the kitchen?

"You look gorgeous," He said as he took a step outside, briefly placing a kiss on her lips before leaning back again. He motioned for her to come into the house, which she followed.

"Thank you but… Hikaru, why are you covered in flour?" Melanie asked him, letting her eyes trace the front of his body. Upon closer inspection, the cream-colored substance was on more than just his shirt, it seemed to be all over his jeans too. Quite an interesting choice for him to wear gray in this situation.

"Well, I was going to try and surprise you with something but it's not turning out quite as well as I had hoped it would." He was still very collected in his demeanor despite the gnawing feeling that Melanie felt there might be a chaotic scene coming up very soon.

"Oh, do you need help?" Melanie made steps towards the kitchen, only to have Hikaru cut her off.

"No! That'll ruin the surprise!" He exclaimed, relentless with his excitement. Melanie peeked under his arm slightly to see that the kitchen looked like as equally messy of a disaster as her boyfriend did. He was definitely baking. She hadn't heard any other noise going on in the house, leading her to believe that it was empty and he had truly gotten this far without even the slightest bit of help.

"Hikaru, wouldn't you rather have this turn out well than be a total surprise?" There was steady eye contact between the two of them. Hikaru started to show signs of being a little nervous. Gazing at the face of his cute little girlfriend didn't make it any easier to deny her.

Suddenly, he sighed. Pushing his hand through his tangerine hair, he stepped out of the way for Melanie to get through.

Her initial reaction came in two stages. First, this was the messiest kitchen she'd ever seen. Second, she still had no idea what the hell Hikaru was trying to accomplish here.

"Oh my God," She mumbled to herself, walking up to the counter. There was a laptop open with a recipe up, surrounded by an almost exaggerated amount of chocolate chips. An open bottle of vanilla extract and bag of sugar sat next to the torn apart bag of flour.

"I know what you're thinking. You have just found the one flaw to my otherwise perfect character."

"No, I was thinking that if you didn't have a personal chef for the first 17 years of your life you would be dead by now."

Hikaru laughed to himself as he made his way up to a bowl that was sitting on the counter.

"Well, I guess the secret is out then. I was trying to bake some chocolate chip cookies for you since I know they're your favorite but it's not coming out quite that well…" His words trailed off as he reached the end of his sentence, almost as if he was starting to feel embarrassed at what had occurred.

Melanie felt the corners of her mouth involuntarily rise. It was a delightful gesture for him to push himself out of his comfort zone like that, especially for something as foreign to him as an apple pie.

"That's alright Hika, I really appreciate the effort." She replied, pushing up the sleeve of her navy dress and walking up to the bowl. It had at least a half bag of flour in it, and she was sure the other half of the bag was residing all over Hikaru's clothes. "Luckily for us, we can fix this."

Hikaru eagerly nodded his head, awaiting further instruction. Melanie took a dry measuring cup and starting taking the flour out of the bowl, putting it back into its bag. Then she starting to scroll through the recipe that he already had up.

"Where is everyone anyway? This place is so empty." She asked as she continued scrolling.

"Mom and dad are out of town until next week so they gave all of the staff the time off. Kaoru is staying with Hunny while they're gone." He explained while leaning against the counter.

"So why are you still here then?"

"So I could bake for you, of course." He replied, sending a flirtatious grin her way. She returned the favor before turning her attention back to the recipe.

"Okay, so we are going to start by mixing the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla together," She started, one by one putting all of the ingredients in the bowl and starting to mix. Hikaru was transfixed at the way that she continued to go with the recipe, knowing when to divert from it and when to stick to it. It almost made him wish that he could actually bake.

"Do you mind measuring out the flour for me?" She asked, handing him the measuring cup before quickly adding, "If you went through half of the bag, you put too much in."

While she giggled at her joke, Hikaru stuck his tongue out playfully. While he did mess up the first time, it couldn't possibly be that hard to measure out two cups now that he knew to use a measuring cup.

When he finished, he handed the cup back to Melanie. She stuck her finger into the powdery mixture, much to his curiosity.

"Is there a reason why you did that?" He questioned. She simply shook her head.

"No, not really. I just did that so I could do this." She quickly took her finger and bopped Hikaru in the nose with it, leaving more flour on the one part of his body that didn't already have it.

Despite his initial confusion, he let a mischievous smile cross his face as he watched Melanie's face light up with joy at her little prank.

"Oh, is this funny to you?"

"I think it's hilarious, Hika." Melanie replied as she nodded her head. She had the same sort of look in her eye that Hikaru always had. It was vivacious and lively, as if she didn't have a single care in the world that moment.

Perhaps unluckily for her, Hikaru was ready to match that energy.

He quickly enveloped Melanie in a hug, leaving all of the powder that was already on him also on her.

"Hikaru! Are you tickling me?" Melanie struggled to keep her voice at a normal level as she started laughing uncontrollably. Of course he was tickling her, he couldn't just let her get away with that.

"I think you should say you're sorry to me for putting flour on my nose." He replied as he continued tickling her stomach. She wrestled a little bit but his grip wasn't about to let her go at any moment.

"No way!" She continued. As her legs started to give out from underneath her, she slowly fell to the ground. Hikaru was relentless though, and followed her there, his semi-wicked smile enjoying the entire scenario in front of him.

"Well then I guess I have no choice than to keep going,"

He did lighten up on the intensity of it though. He just wanted to tease her a little bit, just like she loved to tease him.

"Okay! I give up, just give me a break!"

Hikaru smirked to himself, leaning back and allowing Melanie to hoist herself up again. She slowly regained her breath but continued sitting there, looking sweetly at Hikaru despite the scene that just arose.

"You're lucky you're so damn cute, you know that?" She managed to mumble in between breaths.

His head tilted slightly to the right as he stared at her and just smiled. His heart felt very complete at that moment. Melanie was just so right for him. The right amount of funny, yet compassionate, serious but still caring, and she was willing to put up with him. He leaned forward, wiping some of the flour off of her lip with the tug of his thumb. Melanie's face started to have a sheer rosy glow to it at the gesture. It was strangely innocent, yet tension filled.

"That wasn't fair."

"What? The tickling?"

"No, you can't just sit there being so irresistible, barely touch my lip and then not kiss me. You're just teasing me now." She pouted, moving right up to where he was sitting and gazing at him. They were maybe twelve inches apart, but it felt much farther than that.

"Hmm, is that so?" Hikaru pretended to play dumb, leaning back and biting his lip playfully. Melanie stuck her bottom lip out in a pout, waiting for him to hopefully give in.

"Yes, that is so," She continued, taking another step towards him. He smirked. It was in that way that meant that he was going to revert back to his old habits, and no amount of reasoning with him was going to work. "are you going to keep messing with me?"

Hikaru kept up the façade, he wasn't used to having this sort of power in his hand since usually it was Melanie who held back from him. That of course meant that he had to keep messing with her.

"I don't even know what you're talking about, I'm just trying to bake cookies is all." He started as he looked back down at the recipe before mixing up the ingredients in the bowl.

He could hear Melanie exhale loudly as she got right up next to him, leaning her head rather uncomfortably against his arm. She closed her eyes momentarily, just swaying with the rhythm of Hikaru's arm moving, until she suddenly felt something cold hit her face.

Upon reaching her hand to her cheek, she pulled it back when she pulled a sticky, brown substance off.

"Did you just throw… cookie dough at me?" She asked, slightly dumbfounded.

Hikaru stood there silently, his mouth in a wide, almost seductive smile while he just simply licked the spoon. While normally this wouldn't seem like a turn on, it was the way that he was going about this situation that started to cloud her senses. He was attractive and he knew that he was. Not to mention that he knew exactly how to use it to his advantage.

Melanie could feel her muscles tense up while her knees threatened to give out on her. She could never truly understand how in cheesy romance novels they would describe moments of sexual tension with saying that people would rip each other's clothes off. That insatiable need that was characterized by saying that they couldn't possibly wait another few moments, as if their hunger for each other was so strong that it overrode all common sense.

At least up until that point. She couldn't be bothered to even recall all the times where she was ready to pull his shirt right off of his body. In that moment, with the way he came across as so effortlessly seductive, his smirk and his eyes left her frantic. She had to exhaust a huge amount of self control to stop herself from practically jumping on him.

"What's wrong, Melanie?" He asked, still smiling as he licked the spoon again. The sound of her full name being rolled off of his tongue like that sent tingles throughout her body.

"Hikaru, please just let me get back to baking these cookies before I lose it."

He leaned down until he was roughly eye height with her, remaining there for the briefest of moments before he took his finger and wiped off the cookie dough, sticking it into his mouth. Melanie could feel the heat start rising up in her cheeks, they were probably awash with red as she held her breath. Meanwhile, once Hikaru started to see the blush build up in her cheeks, he finally decided to let up on her. He leaned in but started hovering when he was just barely two inches away from her own lips. He flicked his eyes up at hers.

"How is that for unfair?"

If her face was red before, it was completely dark now.

Hikaru softly planted the kiss on Melanie's lips, taking his time before lingering again and then finally leaning back. Melanie found it hard to function at that point. She felt so paralyzed with embarrassment that she couldn't even move for a minute. Hikaru went back to baking, but Melanie stood silent.

"There will be more of that to come, don't worry," He continued, winking at her briefly before putting the cookies out on a prepared baking sheet. It took her a while before she loosened back up, but in the meanwhile she started to take a handfuls of dough out of the bowl.

After the cookies had finished and both Hikaru and Melanie had changed their clothes, Hikaru was quite adamant about Melanie promising to keep her eyes closed while he took her somewhere. When she agreed, he nodded his head excitedly as took one of her hands and started to lead her somewhere. She could tell that they had taken a step outside once her feet touched the grass, but when she asked Hikaru what he was doing he told her that they were almost there.

When he finally stopped, she felt him place his hands over her eyes the moment she decided she was just going to open them.

"Nope, no peeking yet!" His voice was walking the line between speaking and singing. His aura betrayed just how animated he was.

"C'mon Hikaru! I've waited all week to know what was going to happen, can't I finally see?" Melanie whined, but not even attempting to pry his hands off.

"Just let me say one thing first, okay?" He asked, excited when he felt her nod her head.


"So I was really trying to think of what to do for our date, I wanted to do something really personal that I hope you'll love," He was glad that she couldn't see his face, but he knew that it was starting to flush a little too. "and then I thought of how much of a hopeless romantic you are and I thought of the perfect, Nicholas Sparks inspired date for you."

He took his hands away from her eyes and as Melanie opened her eyes, she immediately understood what he meant. There was a picnic blanket sitting there, the classic red checkerboard type, with a sleek wooden basket on it. The area was surrounded and lit by a few cherry red glass candles. You could hear the light pattering of water hitting the stone waterfall just a few feet away. It was quiet and relaxing, yet also sweet and light.

"How do you feel about dinner under the stars?" He asked, intertwining their fingers as he began leading her over to the scene. Melanie failed to find the proper words, just stuttering continuously as she sat down. Hikaru opened the basket and pulled out a classic set of bento boxes, a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, and a couple other small dishes, setting each of them out onto the blanket carefully. When he finished setting it up, he glimpsed over at the girl beside him, sending her a genuine grin.

"I hope the silence is a good thing."

Melanie nodded her head profusely, reaching over the assortment and taking Hikaru's hand. One by one she slipped her fingers in between his, grasping his hand and giving it a light squeeze.

"It's a very good thing. You just keep finding ways to surprise me and I'm running out of things to say that don't make me sound like a broken record." She answered, picking up a strawberry with her free hand and taking a bite. "These are delicious!"

Even with the dim lighting, Melanie could see him start beaming.

"I'm glad you like them." He continued gazing at her, not even touching his own food. Melanie took her own turn looking at him and couldn't help but laugh a little bit.

"Hikaru, how did you manage to do this?" She asked, taking a bite of some rice in the bento box. He chuckled nervously before placing a finger to his lips.

"A magician never reveals his secret."

"Was it Tamaki?" She asked, only to have him shrug in return, taking a bite from his own bento box.

"As I said, I never reveal my secrets," He replied, "speaking of Tamaki, did you ever get to speak to him about the whole 'babying you' thing?"

"I actually did," Melanie started as she finished a bite. "even though I think Kyoya had something to do with it, he was unexpectedly okay about it. You were right."

"As I figured, I do have a knack for being right." He started gloating, only to have Melanie scoff.

"Don't overinflate your ego too much." She started joking, rolling her eyes playfully. Hikaru didn't even attempt to fight back. "Anyway, he said that he had time to think about it and he has, and I am quoting here, given us his full and happiest blessing."

This time it was Hikaru's turn to scoff, about to say a smart comment before he noticed Melanie's face start to turn slightly sour.

"Mel? Is everything alright?" He asked, looking concerned. She stopped eating her food and let out a heavy sigh.

"Well, and I already know what you're going to tell me about this, but a couple of girls overheard the exchange between me and Tamaki happen and ever since it's like I've been having an even harder time than ever with some of the female guests at the club. Some of them have been kind of rude in class, and while it normally doesn't bother me, recently I've been feeling insecure about it." She confessed. It must have been a hard pill for her to swallow if she was going to honestly admit that to Hikaru. He was the last person she ever would have wanted to worry, but she figured that she might as well be truthful about what was bothering her.

"Melanie, look at me." Hikaru's voice was serious, a hint of sternness appearing in the way that he addressed her. She felt sheepish for not wanting to even make eye contact in that moment, but she knew that this would happen if she said that. "What is it that I'm always telling you?"

"Stand up for myself, ignore them-"

"So why aren't you doing that?"

"Well it's pretty hard to ignore people saying that your boyfriend is out of your league and that I'm commoner scum and should go back to where I came from."

Hikaru sat there, almost dumbfounded at the words that were leaving her mouth. How could she even entertain these lies about herself? When he looked at her, he knew none of those things were true, and it hurt him to think that she didn't see all the wonderful things he saw in her whenever she looked in the mirror.

"Melanie, you know none of that is true. You know damn well that just because you don't have as much money as some of the assholes that go to Ouran that you are inferior to them. Not that the way you see yourself should be based just off what I say but you're one of the kindest, most compassionate people I've ever met! You are talented and smart and are one of the only people who can really, truly genuinely make me laugh-" Hikaru paused for a moment when he saw her wipe away a tear from her eye. He leaned over the basket and gently brushed another one of them away before reaching for her chin and pulling it back up. He wanted her to face him when he said the next thing that was on his mind. "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever met, inside and out. So no, I don't care what a couple of girl have to say. The most important thing to me right now is that I see you smile every day because that means you're happy, and that means everything to me."

Next thing she knew, Melanie was trying her hardest not to let the tear that was threatening to spill from her eye shed. Her throat was hurting from trying to contain her emotions but she had actually been dealing with that pressure for far longer than she had let on, and to have that reassurance from Hikaru felt selfishly good.

She refused to hesitate even for a moment as she jumped on top of him, holding her arms around him tightly as they collapsed into the ground. Hikaru, who's eyes were wide open from not expecting the sudden display of affection, also wrapped his arms around her.

"Thank you so much for saying that," She whispered it into his neck, not moving her head from it's location until she felt calmed down. Hikaru didn't even attempt to move her, just taking one of his hands and gently stroking her hair as he stared up at the stars. They remained like that for a few minutes, until finally Melanie peeked up from her hiding spot and also looked up at the bright sky ahead of her.

Hikaru felt his phone buzz in his pocket, and after seeing that Tamaki had sent him a string of messages asking how the date had gone, put it away.

"What time do you need to be back home?" He asked, looking down to see if she seemed to be feeling better.

"Well, my mom is actually working the night shift tonight so I don't really have to go home to be honest." She replied. Her last words drifted heavily through the air, as the realization both hit them that she really could spend the night. Despite the fact that they had already shared a bed before, something about this seemed different, and Hikaru was sure she could sense it too as she looked up at him.

"… Is that okay with you?"

This time it was Hikaru's turn to feel a little embarrassed.

"Only if you're comfortable with that."

Melanie bit her bottom lip slightly as she nodded her head.

"I am, I can't wait to cuddle." She giggled, turning her head back up to the stars just in time to see a shooting star. "Ooh! Hikaru make a wish!"

"I could really go for some more strawberries but it seems like we might already be out."

"Well now you're definitely not getting any by saying your wish out loud."

"We'll see about that. What was your wish?"

"I'm not going to ruin it like you ruined yours!"

"Aw c'mon! Who is to say it would have happened anyway?"

"I know for a fact it will."

Hikaru stuck his bottom lip out into a little pout, leaning back onto the palm of his hands and staring up at the stars again. In the hour that they had been out there already, he could see a couple of clouds starting to cover up part of the sky. Perhaps this was an indicator of rain, but hopefully that didn't mean it was coming any time soon.

"Whatever it is, I hope it does." He breathed the words into the night sky. The humidity was starting to get thick, a sure sign that the rain was definitely planning on rolling in. Melanie looked up at the sky too, seeing the same sight.

"It looks like it might start raining, we should probably head inside," She suggested, pushing herself off of the ground. Hikaru continued to sit there, but instead glanced over to the small heated pool that was only a couple of meters away from them.

"I mean, we could but you know what else feels really good on a night like this?" He asked, finally starting to get up. Melanie tilted her head slightly, confused at what he was suggesting.


"Night swimming." He replied, beginning to unfasten the buttons on his shirt one at a time. When he finally reached the bottom, he pulled it off from him and threw it on the blanket underneath him.

"Are you sure about this Hika? What about the rain?" She asked, subconsciously walking behind him. He had no hesitation as he took a running start and jumped right in, resurfacing a few moments later.

"It feels great! And I promise the water isn't that deep, Mel." He started, shaking his hair out and pushing one hand through it, "Just sit on the edge and then slip in, I'll catch you."

At this point, fear of the water wasn't even her major concern since she knew he would help her if anything were to happen. It worried her more about what would happen to the picnic if it were to start raining.

"What about the picnic?" She asked.

"Everything is in a basket. If it starts raining, then we'll just take it inside."

Fair enough.

"Okay then, I guess it wouldn't be too bad to be in the pool for a little bit," She replied, standing there hesitantly as she thought of how she was going to go about this moment. Finally, she just decided to screw it and pulled her shorts and shirt off and tossed them both off to the side.

"I'd be okay with seeing this a little more often." Hikaru grinned from the pool, making his way closer to the edge and extending one of his hands out. Melanie quietly giggled at him while she grabbed it, sitting down on the concrete, with her feet already wading slowly in the water. She hesitantly pushed herself in and just as Hikaru had promised, he caught her.

"Thank you," She replied as she wiped some of the water from the splash she made off of his cheeks. She wrapped her legs around his waist and put her arms around his neck to secure herself. "kind of bummed that I will have to walk around in a wet bra for the next few hours but the water feels really nice so it kind of makes up for it."

"I don't know how to use a dryer but you're more than welcome to dry it off in there. That's no big deal." Hikaru promised as he slowly started wading through the water. It was silent outside with the exception of the sound of the breeze floating through the leaves on the nearby trees. That slight white noise felt peaceful to the ears, almost therapeutic.

The duo laid in the water, just enjoying the touch of each other's skin against their own. Melanie placed her head in the crook of Hikaru's neck, humming an English song to herself while Hikaru used his finger to draw small circles along her back. He enjoyed the sound of her humming. It was a nice reminder that she was right there and close to him, not leaving any time soon.

After a few moments Hikaru's mind drifted off. He thought about the future, those close to him, how school was coming close to an end and he was going to have to make some big decisions soon. That was somewhat scary for him, but he could only imagine that for Melanie, who was in the grade above him, it was even scarier.

"You're oddly quiet, is everything alright Hika?" She murmured, her face still buried in his neck.

"I was just thinking. You're graduating this year, what are you planning on doing?" He wondered out loud. He could feel her head lose contact with his skin and was then granted with her eyes staring right at him. She was still sitting on his lap facing him, her arms wrapped a little more loosely around his neck.

"Are you sure you want to get into this? It's such a nice night, do we really need to discuss the future right now?" She was biting her lip quietly at the end, her calm silky eyes burrowing deep into his.

"Well I just started wondering if you are worried at all?" He waited briefly before asking the question. He didn't want to push her buttons, but also felt like something was bothering her about it.

"To be honest, I kind of am. My siblings want me to move back to the states for college, but I have so many things that make me want to stay, so it's hard trying to decide what to do, you know?" She mumbled her words, obviously not enthusiastic about it. Hikaru took this as his cue to really not press the issue further. It was obvious that he couldn't fully comprehend that feeling, so he didn't have anything left to say on that matter.

Suddenly, Hikaru felt the warm touch of Melanie's hand on his cheek, trailing down his neck and toward his chest. He glanced down at her finger momentarily before moving his gaze back up to her face. It was dimly illuminated by the soft lights outside of the pool, catching on her eyes and making them appear like they were ever so slightly twinkling. As she moved even closer up his lap, he could feel their chest start to touch once again.

"Let's not worry about all of that right now, okay?" Her voice was breathy, not wasting even a single moment as she quickly found his lips with her own. While one hand traveled through his still damp hair, the other one settled at the top of back, again trying to limit the space between the two of them to nothing. She wasn't wasting any time in heating what was initially just a simple kiss to much more, and for once Hikaru was the one that was completely caught off guard by it.

The second he caught a break, he briefly pulled back, looking bewildered at her.

"W-what is happening right now?" Hikaru asked. He knew his eyes must have been betraying his confusion as Melanie just lightly laughed at him. His further unexpected glance was met with her voice meeting his ear, she leaned in close enough that he could feel the heat radiating off of her skin.

"I'm okay with anything, I just want you to touch me." She softly whispered into his ear. He lost control of his hands as she took them and moved them to the lowest part of her back, partly on top of her skin and partly on her bare underwear. Afterwards she moved her hands right back to where they were laying before.

"Wait, are you sure you want this?" He asked again. This time his question was only answered with the feeling of her placing a small, sensual kiss right underneath his jaw line on his neck and mumbling a sweet sound of agreeing.

Well fuck.

He'd be lying if he said he wasn't also into it.

A:N: All I listened to when I wrote this chapter was Lovebug by Jonas Brothers and you know what? That shit still slaps 10 years later.

I guess this would be the time to say that for now on, the story might actually get T for a little bit. If that makes any readers uncomfortable, feel free to just skip over those parts.

I wrote this chapter so long ago and am once again using it as a way to get out of writer's block, so I hope it didn't seem too unbearably jumpy for everyone. I just need to get over this hurdle to try and get back in the swing of things, ya know?

Anyways, thanks for reading, see you guys next time :)