Hey peeps, sorry it's been so long! I write when I get ideas, and I've been running dry with the stress of junior year. But I'm back! Hope you like my new installment of Scarred, But Not Yet Broken! Please like and review, and as always I don't own Ouran High School Host Club, but Lilith "Mika" Castus is mine.

Please enjoy!

('^')

"Haruhi, how do you deal with those buffoons' day in and day out. It must be so tiring!"

"Oh, honey, why do you let them dress you up like a boy? Please wear this dress today! You would look so cute!"

Haruhi looked on in amazement as Ringo and Mika seemed to feed off each other's energy. It had been a few weeks, and they were like siblings more than anything. Honestly, it was never really rocky between the two; from the first day, what with her father walking in in drag after a long day to dinner with their new arrival, it was like a click settling a long-lost member into the family. Mika, though not a shopper herself, loved helping to find and design drag outfits with Ringo whenever she could, and Ringo loved doing her eye makeup from time to time, using her as a test dummy. Technically, he hated seeing Mika cover her scars, never letting her use it in the house or their small suburb, but he understood their school and her precarious situation, and even if she argued against her, her rattled state of mind.

With Ringo, he never got to take care of Haruhi – his little girl was too bull-headed to let her, or blind to his attempts, but Mika provided a bridge. Mika looked out for Haruhi at school, from outside that boys' club, while at home Ringo could look out for Mika. Haruhi could be perceptive at times, but Mika was hurting behind her mask. Years of trying to read his little girl made Mika an easy test, and on the days she'd come home from a lonely day at school with an irate or chipper Haruhi, Ringo's shenanigans brought that light back to her eyes. That was also something that worried her; Mika had not found her place. From her updates from Kyoya behind their backs, he knew this.

Yes, the club promised to look out for the girls, but they were always focused on Haruhi and their club. Mika was a foreign "commoner" in their eyes, and in the youngest class at that. She couldn't find a club, and the twins would whisk Haruhi away at times, leaving her to sit alone. There were small interactions with her classmates, but Mika preferred to sit in the back, back to the wall, observing those around her. She knew their names and clichés, yet they knew little about her. And this isolating environment worried Ringo. How could Haruhi notice so many things about these boys, yet be inattentive to her long-lost friend?

('w')

Mika POV

Weeks had passed, and life was… different to say the least. Home life was terrific; I love Haruhi and Ringo, yet can't help but miss my home… a home that disappeared along with the people inside it. It was funny to watch the Host Club interact with Haruhi from afar, or beside Mori and Honey depending on the day. But exactly that; besides the lite interactions with Honey and Mori, everything was from afar. The club was not the place for me; too many rules or manners to abide by after a long day in the back of the class. Many of the girls only tolerated my presence because I'm close to Haruhi, but even then, I could feel the stares. The boys were nice, but I kept my distance. I still flinched anytime someone stepped to close to my back, or brushed against me too forcefully. I could tell that Mori and Honey respected that, hell Kyoya was never close enough to test the boundaries, but the others were too clingy.

Some days a week, instead of hanging out by the music room, I'd explore, looking for clubs to join. Most of them were not for me, and while I wanted to join a swim team again, it seemed like the girls did not take it seriously, too afraid of ruining their hair. The grounds were beautiful at least, making short walks pleasant while all of the preppy children preferred the air-conditioned indoors. It was on one of these walks that I spotted a head of vibrant, shaggy red hair. It was interesting that he didn't spot me from afar (these horrid yellow gowns could be spot miles away if you weren't careful) but I was glad he didn't notice my company for a moment. I didn't know him, never met him, but watching him tenderly care for the flower beds at his disposal was interesting and rather… cute. His shoulders were hunched, and if I could guess, his eyebrows were tense in his concentration. He made to put a poppy in the hole he'd dug, but the roots were too interwoven from its old pot. "Wait please!"

Ritsu POV

The voice startled him, raising his hackles and frowning his mouth as he turned back to yell, but was surprised yet again by the hand that took the flower from his hand. "Sorry, I think it was in the pot during transport too long – you need to loosen the roots so it doesn't starve itself." He watched as the same hand that willingly came so close, also gently loosened the roots, unafraid of the dirt. Raising his eyes, he was blinded by yellow, then restored by the bright green eyes that were so focused on her job at hand. No one was in the gardening club; they had all ran when he entered. No one ever approached him in school, calling him scary, yet here was a girl he had never met, practically brushing shoulders and so at ease in his presence.

Mika POV

"Who are you?" Not exactly the most eloquent or pleasant introduction, but I took it in stride. After all, this was his flowerbed, his territory, and I had just infiltrated a seemingly sacred place possibly.

"Sorry, I didn't mean any offense. I'm Castus Lilith-" she extended her hand with a smile stretched across her cheeks "class 1-B. And you are?"

Just general POV at this point – pronouns and such in the first person are difficult :_(

"UH-" Ritsu blushed up a storm, getting flustered. WTF she's not running. "Kasanoda Ritsu. It's nice to meet you." He quickly bowed his head, as she did the same.

"You as well. Are you head of the gardening club?"

"Uh, I mean, technically, I guess. Why do you want to know?"

"Well, um, would you have any openings?"

Ritsu was astounded; she wants to join my club. She can join my club. I can have a club. I can have a friend. "Um, ya. Just don't get in my way."

Mika saluted playful, inadvertently getting dirt on her forehead. "As you say, Boss."

Normally, Ritsu would get annoyed at that name, but seeing the vibrant smile he gave, shoulders relaxed, with the cute bit of dirt she didn't mind sporting, he didn't really mind.

"We got more poppies in the greenhouse – you know where that is newbie?"

"No, think you can show me the ropes?"

"Come on Castus-san-" Ritsu got up and offered a hand before he realized how dirty it was, but even then she accepted the help. "I'll show you the way."

"Aye aye, Captain. And please, call me Mika. That's what my friends call me."