Yukihime211 here, once again after a long hiatus! Also, be prepared for my trademark long chapters. Better get comfortable, because it may take a while to finish reading. :D

Disclaimer: I own nothing except my own OC's. Ouran belongs to Bisco. Sorry if the characters are a bit OOC. Just a heads up, my writing might not be up to par as it used to be since it's been far too long since I've really written in this. Also, my style somewhat changed through the chapter. ((That's because I already had about a quarter finished for a while now, then set it aside for a while and decided to pick it up again))


Chapter 20

Forgiveness?

I silently walked out of the hospital, only to bump into Hikaru and Kaoru.

"Uh...Hi you two," I said awkwardly.

The two stared at me silently for the longest time.

"Is something the matter?"

Hikaru was the first to speak.

So...how'd it go?"

A soft smile crossed my features

"Much better than expected...Ryan, he's finally given up."

A breath of relief echoed softly and Hikaru wrapped an arm around my shoulders.

"Good to know that guy finally knows his place."

I bit my lip slightly.

"I should probably get going soon. It's getting late."

The two nodded and Kaoru smiled slightly.

"We'll give you a ride home."

I hesitated for a moment before declining.

"No...It's okay. There's something else I need take care of first."

The two of them looked at me curiously, but let it slide.

"Fine...But you know, I thought you said that you'd at least try to fill us in on what's going on," remarked Hikaru.

I knew that! But it was better said than done...I bid them farewell and headed for my next stop that day.


Kyoya had returned home with a sigh. He had gotten word that someone had managed to retrieve classified information from one of the computers at school. The investigators were positive that the one who had infiltrated the system was a student. However, finding the culprit seemed to be a difficult task. Kyoya although, had an idea on the whereabouts of the person.

His phone began ringing incessantly and he couldn't help but sigh. With a quick flick, he answered the call.

"Hello?"

There seemed to be a long pause, before the caller answered.

"It's me. Look, I think we need to talk," the female voice responded.

It was about time that the call was made. As much as he didn't want to admit it, this was something essential he had to do.

"Let's meet up somewhere and we can discuss this more in detail," he arranged.

A quick affirmation was said and the two hung up.


Tamaki sat in a desk, scanning through the papers which were confiscated from the girls that had been bullying Sakuya. It was all basic information such as her birthdate, place, parents and such. However, something quickly caught his eye when he came across a document that didn't exactly seem relevant.

"That's weird..." he mumbled.

He continued reading it, his curiosity getting the best of him. As his eyes fully scanned the paper, his eyes widened with shock. He stood up abruptly from the desk, and one of the secretaries looked at Tamaki curiously.

"Is something the matter Suoh-san?" she questioned.

He didn't respond, merely exited the door, his mind swirling with questions. But one of them that stuck out the most was, "Why?" As he walked off, he could vaguely hear the secretary insisting he return, but his mind traveled elsewhere.

He wasn't sure if he should inform the others, as this wasn't exactly their business, but then again shouldn't they all get to know what was really going on with the usually tight lipped hostess? For now, all he knew was that he needed to speak to Sakuya personally. Otherwise, he wasn't sure if he was capable of staying silent.

He whipped out his cell phone, speed dialing Sakuya as he unconsciously walked through the hallway leading towards the sports club section.

/0/0/0


It was time to come home. There was no more use hiding. At least, that's what Kou tried to tell himself. It had been forever since he decided to end his 'business trips' and pay a visit to his beloved wife. Though, as he watched the days go by and his own body aging...he wasn't so sure anymore if it really made a difference. There was so many times where he had convinced himself it was time to let her go.

Yet, whenever he set his eyes on her, he couldn't seem to bring himself to do so. Five years was a long time...In those five years so much had changed. His strained relationship with their daughter, obtaining a rather hefty fortune (but that seemed irrelevant now) , and so much more...

He walked towards the hotel's balcony and gazed outside, where several neon signs flickered. He looked back and grabbed his suitcase when he got the call that a car was waiting outside to take him to the airport.

0/0/0


Haruhi walked home with several bags in hand. They were having a sale at the supermarket that day, yet she couldn't help but worry about Sakuya. That girl always seemed to get into trouble somehow; unintentionally of course, but still.

She finally reached the apartments and entered her home, where her father sat with a newspaper in hand. Now that she thought about it, Sakuya kind of had it hard with her dad. Sure, her dad could be a little...odd. But at least she knew he loved her.

On cue, Ryoji set down his newspaper and hugged Haruhi.

"Haruhi~ Darling, I haven't seen you in forever."

He worked late hours at a...well at a bar. So he always treasured the times he could spend and see her.

"I saw you just a few hours ago..." she said with a sigh.

Ryoji, or as the drag queen called himself, Ranka released her. He waved his hand slightly.

"Technically, but we hardly spent any time together," he pouted.

She set down the groceries and started putting them away in their place.

"What do you want for dinner?" she asked absently.

Ryoji blinked and gazed at Haruhi intently.

"Is something the matter?"

Haruhi looked up at her father with curiosity.

"Why do you think something is the matter?" she questioned.

Ryoji crossed his arms slightly. Haruhi sighed once more, knowing it was no use trying to hide it anymore.

"I know it's not any of my business... but I have this friend who has daddy issues."

Had she actually said 'daddy issues'? That was serious business. Ryoji sat down and motioned her to do the same.

"I think we all have some sort of complex. What makes this different?"

Well, actually now that she thought about it, what had suddenly brought the thought back to her? Could it possibly be because that seemed to be the pinnacle of the problems that always seemed to follow Sakuya?

"Well, I've heard of overprotective parents, but her dad seems to take that to the next level. I'm not exactly sure, but I think he's has someone feeding him information about her whereabouts and almost never letting her out on her own. Though, the weird thing is, even if he is all 'protective' I can't help but feel like there's something more under that. Like some overbearing tension is constantly hovering over the two. Like, her house is void of any pictures of family whatsoever. Sakuya's my friend and everything, but I get the feeling she's hiding a lot more than meets the eye," she explained.

Haruhi definitely had a knack for analyzing these sorts of things, even though not so much when it came to her own problems.

Ryoji rubbed his chin, nodded as he listened to her quietly. He made his own observations after a moment.

"It sounds to me like this happens to be a lot more complicated than I thought. My guess is that her father feels some sort of guilt, or shame over something that has to do with the past," he assessed.

Haruhi nodded, the same feeling that she seemed to get.

"Maybe you should try talking to her about it; one on one to finally get the scoop on what's wrong."

Haruhi had inkling, but it was best to follow her father's advice on this one. She had a gnawing feeling that it had to do with Sakuya's mother as she recalled the talk about the accident. There were some holes in her story that didn't always sit well with her.

0/0/0

I stepped out of the car, turning off my cell phone so it wouldn't serve as a distraction whilst I had a serious meeting.

As I entered the quiet café, I scanned the area in search of Kyoya. I instantly found him, whispers of his 'handsomeness' filtering the area.

I rolled my eyes and sat across from him.

"Hey…"

He nodded slightly, but then got right to the point.

"Alright, what is it that you'd like to talk about?"

I sighed and knew this wasn't going to be easy.

"Let's break up," I said in a rush.

Kyoya arched a brow curiously.

"I assume you've finally taken care of Ryan?"

I nodded, shutting my eyes tight as I awaited his answer.

"Alright... How would you like to make this 'break up' public?

What? Did I just hear right? I opened my eyes in disbelief. Well, that was easy.

"You mean… you're letting me off just like that?"

A light smirk played on his lips.

"Oh, would you like me to make this more difficult for you? Well if you-," he began.

I shook my head with widened eyes.

"No, no, no! I-I didn't mean it like that. I was just… surprised is all…"

He adjusted his glasses before staring at me with a slight frown.

"Don't flatter yourself. Did you actually believe that I had feelings for you?"

I felt my face heat up with embarrassment and anger.

"Of course I didn't! You, cold and unkind… The mere thought brings chill down my back," I countered back hotly.

He chuckled lightly and I couldn't help but rub my arms to keep the goose bumps away.

"Right… Enough of that though. As I was saying, the ploy still has one final task to accomplish and that's to put up an act of how the 'break up' came to be. Now, care to share your ideas? Or is it safe to assume that I should come up with the plan?"

I took a deep breath, trying to calm my temper.

"Look, you don't have to be so rude. If I had known that you were going to be so grouchy, I should have just asked one of the twins to do this instead of being coaxed into choosing you…" I muttered.

A dark aura seemed to surround Kyoya, but then passed. I waited expectantly for his response. Actually, I had completely overlooked his question about a 'breakup plan' and honestly, I wasn't so sure what was such a big deal. If anything, the stupid Kyoya fan girls would finally leave me in peace.

"You realize that if we don't think of this delicately, not only will it not make things better with the bullying, it would likely make it worse."

I paled at the thought.

"Then what do you suggest?"

Kyoya was smug and I couldn't help but gulp with nervousness. This was definitely not good…

0/0/0

Tamaki cursed under his breath, something he hardly did. Why hadn't she picked up?

"Come on Sakuya, where are you?"

As he walked through the hallways, he suddenly bumped into Hunny, who was attired in a karate suit. Even after the incident, he still had matters to take care of back at school.

"Tama, what's the matter?"

Tamaki looked on apologetically.

"Sorry Hunny! Uh, I've got to go," he explained.

Before he got any further, Hunny grabbed a hold of Tamaki's wrist, making sure he went no further.

"Tamaki…"

Tamaki turned back towards Hunny, and sighed. He had no choice…

"I'm sorry Sakuya," he thought silently.

0/0/0

Kaoru surfed through tons of channels, lost in thought. A large part of him was finally glad that the Ryan incident had finally passed. Yet, another part was wondering what would come next. He knew very well that this wasn't exactly the end of his troubles; or rivals. As much as Kyoya would probably deny it, he had feelings for Sakuya, just as he did. And then there was Hikaru.

He was the most complicated of the situation. Kaoru had watched the jealous outbursts Hikaru had made when Ryan was putting the moves on Sakuya. And being his brother, he could tell these signs meant that he liked Sakuya as well. How ironic that the twins, that shared pretty much everything had fallen for the same girl.

Kaoru really liked Sakuya, but he wasn't sure if he'd be able to go up against his brother for her. It would just cause a lot of strain, something he didn't want.

"Hey Kaoru!"

Kaoru nearly leapt out of his seat and turned towards the source. Hikaru looked at him with confusion, his hair still a bit wet from just exiting the shower.

"Yeah?"

Hikaru pointed towards the bathroom.

"The bath's ready if you're planning on bathing," he explained.

Kaoru smiled, hiding the fact that he was still a little distracted. He grabbed the towel sitting beside him and turned towards the bathroom.

"Thanks," he merely replied.

Hikaru nodded, still looking at him oddly.

"You okay?"

Kaoru froze in place for a moment before turning towards his brother.

"Just peachy, why?"

Hikaru stood silent, and started toweling his hair.

"Uh, no reason. Don't stay too long in there, okay?"

Kaoru nodded and shut the door behind him, leaving behind a still mystified Hikaru.

"What's up with him?"

0/0/0

I finally got back home, where Yoneko was waiting for me expectantly. I looked at her curiously.

"Is something the matter?" I asked curiously.

She smiled tentatively.

"Well… my wedding is coming up and I was wondering if you'd… be willing to be my maid of honor."

Had time passed so quickly? Well… I didn't know if I could bare it. Shutting my eyes tight I willed myself to smile.

"O-of course I will."

She squealed, as if she couldn't be any happier. Sure I was happy for her, but it would still be really hard to part with her after she was left to care for me for quite some time now.

"Oh, you'll look so cute in the baby blue dress I have in store for the other maids," she said happily.

She went on and on about some other stuff, but I sort of tuned out. That is, until she brought up a very important thing. "Well, now that I think of it, you're going to need a date to go with. Do you have anyone in mind or are you planning on making your fake hubby escort you?"

I nearly froze in place when she brought up Kyoya. She tilted her head, looking at me curiously. "Dear? Are you alright?"

I managed a smile as I unfroze and nodded. "Yeah… do I have an option to go alone? I don't exactly want to deal with those sorts of things right now…"

I didn't want to deal with anymore fake, obsessive, or delusional boyfriends. Not that I ever had one to begin with. Yoneko crossed her arms sighing slightly. "What happened this time? Honestly, it's always something when it comes to those boys."

I sat down on the couch, reclining back. "Do you have to ask? Can't we just leave it at that?"

Yoneko stared at me expectantly as she waited for me to crack. I willed myself not to look in her direction and ignore the stare. I grabbed a stray magazine and pretended to read, even though I could still feel her gaze boring into me.

I stood up from the couch. "I'll be in my room," I said casually. One of the only ways I could escape her was to hightail it out of there before I cracked; I was determined not to. Yoneko sighed softly.

"Alright, you can have it your way," she said with defeat.

0/0/0

The next morning should have been an ordinary school day, but it was far from it. When Hunny had contacted the rest of the club members, much to Tamaki's dismay… there seemed to be a solemn expression on the cheerful third year's face. One that not even Mori could cheer up. He had asked everyone to gather in the host club earlier that morning to discuss what Tamaki had discovered. Sakuya was unaware of what was about to happen. Hikaru yawned as he entered the classroom with Kaoru trailing behind him.

"So what's so important that you'd ask us to get to school an hour earlier than usual?" he complained slightly. Kaoru too, looked at them inquisitively. Yet there was something in the atmosphere that made him think that the meeting wasn't going to be a happy one.

"M'lord?" questioned Kaoru. Tamaki wouldn't even look at them as he shifted in his seat uncomfortably. Obviously, he wasn't very happy to give them the news either. Kyoya too, looked on skeptically. Normally Tamaki would tell him everything, but this time he hadn't said a word.

"Do tell. I hate being out of the loop," noted Kyoya, who was surprisingly not sticking his nose in his little black book, phone, or laptop.

"And where's Sakuya? If we're having an important meeting, shouldn't she be here too?" said Hikaru suddenly.

Hunny bit his lip as he looked at them with a serious expression. "That's why we called up this meeting. It's about Saa-chan," he explained.

The room fell silent. Sakuya? What had happened this time? As far as everyone was concerned, the whole Ryan issue had finally been resolved. Not to mention that Kyoya and Sakuya's relationship was going to be publicly broken this afternoon.

"What do you mean Hunny-senpai?" asked Haruhi with a serious expression written on her face. She had arrived to their emergency meeting a little late since there was a delay in the subway. At the moment, that didn't seem very important. What was important was to find out what was going on with Sakuya and why did Hunny look so grave?

It was then Tamaki's turn to speak up. "Well… you know how Sakuya ran off and got injured? We all know that she was being bullied for a few weeks now, despite her attempts to hide it from us. Well on that day, there were a group of girls threatening her with personal information. It was supposed to be classified but somehow they got their hands on it. And well… I managed to confiscate the manila folder with her information. I know it's considered a violation of privacy, but as the Chairman's son, it is my duty to oversee these sorts of issues," he explained, somewhat guiltily.

"And… what's the big secret?" asked Hikaru. He already knew Sakuya had trouble talking about her past to them, but she had promised she would eventually. That day had yet to come. He was starting to believe that the day would be too far away for them to reach. He hated how she constantly pushed them away.

"Take a look…" said Hunny as he spread out the contents of the manila folder.

0.0.0

I yawned, finally arriving to the school. I was a little surprised when I hadn't gotten word from the others. Usually I'd be riding with the twins to school, or 'talking strategy' with Kyoya but it was silent on both ends today. I stepped out of the car, passing the gates as my classmates strolled along the courtyard. I scanned the area for any signs of Haruhi and the twins, but was disappointed when I found no sign of them. "Weird…" I mumbled to myself.

I had entered the hallways absently, nearly bumping into one of the students. "Hey, if you don't watch where you're going… One of these days you're going to end up running into a wall." I looked up, gazing at Yasuchika Haninozuka; Hunny's younger brother.

A smirk formed on my lips. "Why hello to you too, Chika. What have you been up to lately? How's your secret obsession with baby chicks going along?" I teased, raising my voice at the last part.

Chika's face burned up and he adjusted his glasses slightly. He leaned closer to me and hissed, "Will you kindly shut up." I couldn't help but laugh. He was just too cute sometimes when he got flustered.

"Okay, okay. I'll be good," I said feeling like my spirits had been raised a bit.

Chika sighed heavily. "You can be such a handful sometimes…" he said under his breath. I caught the sentence just fine though.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked indignantly with hands on my hips. Uh, hello? I'm supposed to be the upperclassman here.

Chika rolled his eyes. He opened his mouth to say something, but then shut it again. "You know what… forget I said anything, okay? It's too much trouble to try explaining it to you without you getting offended," he explained.

That certainly piqued my interest. Removing my hands from my hips and a firm expression written on my face, I wasn't about to let this go. "What do you mean without me getting offended?" I asked, trying to stay calm.

0/0/0

Chika flinched. Had he actually said that out loud?! And right in front of Sakuya too?! Now he was in deep… with no real way out of explaining himself. If there was a time where he wished he wasn't so blunt, that would be today. Despite Sakuya's calm disposition, he could practically see the cogs in her brain working to process what he had just said. He'd never really seen her 'angry' per se and he wasn't keen on finding out either. Before he could stop himself, his mouth started running off again.

"See! Right there… You're doing it right now and I haven't even said anything! You're constantly causing trouble for everyone. Like taking things way too personally, to getting tangled up with some creep, bullies, and getting pneumonia! Everyone's got a keep a close eye on you or you'll end up nearly run over!"

Sakuya's mouth hung slightly ajar. Is that the impression she had given off about herself to him? Did everyone else think the same way too? She knew she could be a little… difficult. But it wasn't like she had tried getting into trouble intentionally! It was just that… trouble always seemed to follow her. Like karma; karma for her mother's current state. She shook her head. No. She couldn't allow herself to succumb to wallow. Kaoru had made sure to make that clear to her.

"Oh…" was all she could muster. It wasn't like she could counter what Chika had just told her. Not when he was actually spot on. Chika looked up from the floor to look back at the girl, whose energy had deflated.

"Uh, look I didn't… What I mean is-," he began.

Sakuya held a hand to stop him. She shook her head. "No… you made it perfectly clear what you thought about me… Heh. Who knew that having someone point out your flaws could be this hard to swallow? A ha ha ha… funny thing is, I can't argue with you there! It's just kind of eye opening…" she trailed.

Her own gaze traveled to the shiny floors of the hall. The hallways were filled with the constant beat of shoes against tile. The sound nearly drowned out her lowered voice. A few students stared at them curiously, before being herded back to class by teachers. Chika gazed back at her, guilt ridden. The bell chimed.

"I'd better… get back to class," was all he mumbled before turning away so he wouldn't create any more damage. He left Sakuya to stand in the middle of the hallway.

She looked like a statue, glued to the middle of the hallway like a lonely ornament. The only movement resided from her long hair, which fluttered in accordance to the breeze created by the hall's recipients. It was only after the hallways were nearly cleared that Sakuya made any notion of moving from her place.

0.0.0

"Mazaki residence," said Yoneko automatically as she made a grab for the phone. It was odd for the mansion to ever get a house call. The only person she could think that would call them was… She scoffed internally. Right! Him calling about good news was as likely as pigs flying.

"It's me," replied a gruff male voice.

Yoneko nearly dropped the phone, fumbling quickly before securing her hold on it.

"Mazaki-sama!" she exclaimed in bewilderment.

0.0.0

I entered the classroom, taking my place in my seat as class was about to start. I looked around, spotting the twins and Haruhi sitting in their respective seats. I smiled back at them when I was sure I had caught their eye, but instead of returning the smile, they merely looked away. The smile fell from my lips. What was going on here? Had I done something wrong? Or had something bad happened? I didn't have time to delve too much on the subject when the teacher began the lesson for the day.

After classes had let out for lunch, I made my way over towards the twins and Haruhi. The other students were on their way to the cafeteria, leaving the classroom practically empty.

"Hey guys. Where were you this morning? I was looking all over for you," I said once I reached the three. Their expressions looked practically unreadable and they had yet to respond to my question.

"Guys?" I asked once more, as I got closer to them. They had heard me… right? Kaoru was the first to look at me; although it was with a saddened expression on his face. "What's going on?" I could feel the air around me thicken with anticipation and dread.

"Why?" asked Hikaru suddenly, staring down at his clenched fists. His bangs hid his expression, though I could see him tremble slightly.

I furrowed my brows in confusion. Why? Why what? Why is he looking so solemn? Why is everyone looking so solemn?! Had I done something wrong? Why were they treating me like this? These questions swirled around me, but I could hardly find the answer to it.

"Why didn't you tell us about what really happened to your mother?" Haruhi finally asked.

I immediately feel like someone had punched the air out of me. How many more people knew about this? Had that crazy fan girl spread the word to others? Was that why they were acting like this? I backed up slightly.

"H-how-," I began. I heard a few pairs of footsteps enter the classroom and quickly turned toward the source. I blinked several times as I stared back at Tamaki, Kyoya, Hunny, and Mori.

"Trying to run away from our confrontation, eh? You do that a lot, don't you?" noted Kyoya as he adjusted his glasses. They were in on this too?! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I could feel the walls beginning to crumble before me. It left me feeling exposed; utterly vulnerable to their judgmental looks.

"I-I…" I was unable to produce any more words. Tensing slightly, I could feel a sense of claustrophobia wash over me. They had blocked my means of escape, meaning I had no choice but to listen to them. The sound of palms slamming against desk rattled me back into awareness. Hikaru had risen from his desk, glaring down at it.

"It was stupid of me to believe you'd actually open up to us…" said Hikaru as he looked up with a look of disgust on his face. "No matter how hard we try to gain your trust, it'll never be enough for you, will it?!"

I flinched at his tone but stood my ground. My heart was racing and at that very moment I wished that the ground would swallow me up whole. A disappointed expression crossed Hunny's face.

"Didn't you feel lonely, keeping these burdens to yourself? I thought… I thought we were good friends. And friends are supposed to rely on each other… Through thick and thin…"

I looked over at Tamaki, who had been quiet the whole time. Guilt flashed through his expression before he turned away. He… he had gotten a hold of my information, hadn't he? It made sense, being the chairman's son and all. But it pained me to know that he had been responsible for letting everyone know.

"And you thought it was alright to look through my files to find out?" I asked accusingly. It wasn't fair that I was on the cutting board while they were just as guilty of doing something that they knew they had no right in doing.

"You didn't give us much of a choice, now did you?" said Hikaru crisply. Kaoru looked like he wanted to say something, but kept silent. He had already known half of my story, but I had made him promise not to tell anyone else. Still… the other half must have rattled him pretty hard.

"Were you ashamed? Was that why you kept this all a secret?" observed Haruhi. She didn't look at me with scorn or anger. If anything, she was asking me calmly, trying to figure me out. The inquisitive nature made me feel like she was a detective interviewing a criminal suspect.

"We just want to understand your reasons a little better," mumbled Tamaki.

The intercom suddenly crackled to life. "Will Sakuya Mazaki from class 1-A please report to the administrator's office please? Sakuya Mazaki to the administrator's office; your father is waiting to pick you up."

"Well, isn't that a convenient coincidence," noted Hikaru sarcastically. Kaoru bit his lip. "Hikaru… don't you think you're taking this a little too far?" he asked uncomfortably. Hikaru scoffed. "What? Don't think she can face the truth? Well she's long due for a reality check! I'm surprised it took us this long though. Would've saved us a lot of trouble…"

I grabbed my things without so much as looking at them and then reached the door, where Mori was currently standing guard. "I need to get through," I said softly. Mori turned to Kyoya and Tamaki who both nodded. After he moved out of my way, I ran out of the room.

My face flushed and I could hear my heart thudding against my chest. My life was officially over… I had unceremoniously managed to make my friends hate me. All because I was stupid enough to believe I could run away from my past. To continuously push away my friends at an arm's length; living in guilt and fear of being rejected.

Well, I had managed to make my worst nightmare come true. Yoneko was leaving, I had lost my closest friends, and everyone knew the truth now. I had never truly felt this alone since I had returned to Japan last year. Perhaps… this was the end of my school days at Ouran; the school where I had made the most amazing memories.

0.0.0

The host club members watched as Sakuya had rushed out of the room the moment the opportunity had arisen. The seven stood in silence. "Hikaru… I know you're mad, but I have to agree with Kaoru. You were way out of hand. I'm just as disappointed that she couldn't see us as confidants… Although I guess I can see where she's coming from by keeping this a secret," Haruhi said, finally breaking the silence.

"Does she really think we're shallow enough to care about social status? I mean, we're friend with Haruhi for crying out loud," said Hikaru, opting for ignoring Haruhi.

Haruhi rolled her eyes, sighing. "Gee… how thoughtful of you…" Hikaru really needed to learn how to use the word known as tact. Well, all the members did, really. Hikaru just needed to learn how to use that word the most.

Hunny looked ready to cry. "Do you think Saa-chan will come back to school after this?" he asked worriedly. He had only spoken what was on his mind. Kyoya sat in one of the empty desks, sighing.

"In all honesty, I have no idea. Judging by her expression, I wouldn't be surprised if she thought it would be the best solution to up and transfer to a new school. All the other times, she would stay home from school until Kaoru went out and talked to her."

Everyone turned to Kaoru, who froze in place. Kyoya was well-informed, wasn't he? Kaoru couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed. He rubbed the back of his head. "It's not like I did anything extraordinary or anything…" he mumbled. In all honestly, he wanted to keep that as secret as possible from Hikaru.

"I… I don't want to lose Sakuya-chan," said Tamaki shifting guiltily. If only he hadn't run into Hunny or come across the manila folder. It was never his intention to drive Sakuya away.

Hikaru didn't seem swayed. "Typical. I bet the next school she enrolls into, she'll do the exact thing," he grumbled.

Kaoru was starting to get a little fed up with Hikaru's attitude. He didn't really mean that, did he? Not when he liked Sakuya just as much as him. He was just angry, betrayed even. All of them felt like that, but that didn't mean they never wanted to see her again.

"You can't mean that," said Mori.

Hikaru scowled as he crossed his arms across his chest. "Oh I do! With all my heart! I'll be happy if I never see her again!" he exclaimed. "I don't understand why you all aren't as angry! You think anything will change after she comes back? As far as we know, she'll come back with a new set of secrets she'll keep hidden from us!"

Kaoru marched over to Hikaru and struck him across the face. "Hikaru, that's enough!" The room was filled with surprise. Has Kaoru… just done that? To his own brother no less? The two were known for their play fights, but this was not such an occasion. Kaoru was seriously pissed at Hikaru. Kaoru's chest heaved a few times as he tried to cool down. Warmth spread over the hand he had used to strike Hikaru as it turned a dark shade of pink.

Hikaru placed a hand where his brother had struck him, eyes widened with shock. The imprint of his brother's hand was clearly evident. "K-Kao-chan?" said Hunny carefully. He slowly walked towards the younger twin.

"Don't! Don't come any closer Hunny! I'm fine! If anyone needs a reality check, it's you Hikaru. You're acting like a spoiled two year old that just broke their toy out of spite. Okay, Sakuya didn't exactly tell us about her past, so what? Are you seriously going to throw away your friendship because of it? We're shaped by our pasts that much is true… but our past is only a fraction of who we are! There's so much more to a person; their kindness, their likes, their dislikes, their ever-changing personality, and most of all, their friends. You can't say that all of those memories we had with her are all for nothing! Let that sink in for a moment, and then maybe you'll come to realize that you're making a stupid mistake in pushing Sakuya away!"

Tamaki couldn't help smile at Kaoru. "Now… when did you become so mature?" he murmured as he watched the scene play out.

0.0.0

I sat in the car, my father sitting just across from me. When I had arrived to the Administrator's office, he was already there for me patiently. When I studied him, I noticed his eyes looked so tired… It was like he had given up on everything. Even after we had left the school, I had no idea what was going on in his mind and as to why he had decided to pull me out of school at that very moment. He would never come to my school personally.

Ever since mom's accident it had always been someone else who would come to my open house meetings, or my orientation. But now… here was before me without giving me so much as a clue on what he was doing back from his business trip.

We stopped at a stoplight before taking a right. My face scrunched up in confusion. This wasn't the way back home. "Uh… where are we going?" I managed to ask.

He sighed heavily, almost as if he was dreading what he was about to tell me. "We're going to go visit your mother. I have some… business I need to discuss with her doctor," he explained. A wave of panic washed over me. He was going to talk to her doctor? He couldn't mean… This ominous air which blanketed the atmosphere made me realize something dreadful.

I couldn't even form the words I wanted to ask the most. I didn't want to believe it! I didn't even want to think about it, but what else could it be!? Sure there had been very small signs of improvement, but that didn't necessarily mean that she was waking up anytime soon. Five years had already gone by. How many more would we wait until we'd give up? I balled my hands into small fists, pressing them to my ears and shut my eyes tight.

"And I think it's time we put our differences aside; at least for your mother's sake," he explained.

I pulled away the hands from my ears and then opened my eyes as I stared back at him with scorn. "Oh, it took you this long to say this to me?! Do you know how much I suffered because of you? How I felt after you rejected me as your own daughter because of what happened to mom? Being told that if I hadn't been so rebellious that this would have never happened? To be hated by my father! To become isolated from the world?! The people you hired to care for me were the only family I could ever truly feel loved by! And you'd continue to run away from me! Now all of a sudden you expect me to forget all of the hurt I've felt until now and forgive you? Oh wait… you never asked for forgiveness! All you asked for was a truce…"

My father growled with frustration. "That's not what I meant! I know what I've done up until now was wrong… and I can't even expect you to forgive me after all this time. I just want… I just want things to go back to how they were…" he murmured the last part. I looked away, directing my gaze out the window.

"Things will never be the same again…" I said, my voice trembling. "Both of us made sure of that a long time ago…" I could clearly taste the bitterness in my words. If I had paid more attention earlier, I would have noticed the hurt expression on my father's face. "That's what I was afraid of…" he whispered.

The rest of the car ride was silent. He parked into the visitor's area and the both of us stepped out of the car, heading towards the hospital. I feared that this would be the last time we would ever set foot on these grounds.

0.0.0

Hikaru and Kaoru sat on opposite ends of the room, trading spots with their classmates after lunch break had ended. The other students murmured with one another, trying to figure out what they had missed during lunch period that had led to the two fighting. Not even Haruhi could placate this situation on her own.

It was up to the brothers to get back on good terms. Well, she had to side with Kaoru in this argument. Even if he had taken some rather… extreme measures to make Hikaru understand. Hopefully Hikaru took this time to reflect on what he had said previously. Kaoru's had made clear what the other members had speculated was going on. Kaoru had feelings for Sakuya. Whether Hikaru had gotten the message back there or not, she didn't know. All she could do now was wait and see how things played out.

Kaoru had trouble concentrating during class as lessons continued on like normal. Not with Sakuya gone. He worried that she really would transfer out. Not to mention the fact that it had been her father that had come to get her. As far as he was concerned, maybe Sakuya's father had decided to move them out of Japan altogether! He wouldn't be able to bare that. He hadn't even gotten a chance to tell her how he felt about her.

Hikaru's actions had infuriated him, and he wasn't going to allow him to continue badmouthing Sakuya. She didn't deserve that. Not after all she had suffered up until now. It was reckless of him, but he didn't regret it. Hikaru had needed someone to open his eyes and realize his mistake.

Gauze was taped to the side of Hikaru's cheek, where Kaoru had smacked him. Hikaru still couldn't wrap his mind around what had just happened. Kaoru had never struck him before. The two hardly ever got into arguments… but this time it was different. He was still clouded with anger, but it had subsided some. He wasn't going to forgive Sakuya too easily… but Kaoru had a point. He didn't really want to see her leave. Maybe this weird vibe he had felt around Kaoru these past few months was all due to Sakuya? Kaoru would never get this hyped up, no matter how harsh Hikaru was with others. He was starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together and he only needed a few more before the answer would be complete.

0.0.0

After my father had left to go talk to the doctor, I was left to do whatever I wanted until they finished their business. This time, I wasn't going to dawdle. Not when I knew what would happen after their discussion ended. After getting lost a couple of times, I finally made it to my mother's room. A new bouquet of flowers was set up at her bedside with a little card attached to it. I walked over and plucked it from his place. The card was simple, with a little flower crown picture in the front.

I flipped it over and my chest tightened as I read the message and realized that I knew the sender; very well actually. I nearly collapsed on the chair set up beside my comatose mother. My hands shook slightly and I knew that this was my limit. All the pent-up stress, all my emotions, all my regrets, all of my mistakes surfacing through and all it took was that stupid card.

It was then and there that I started bawling, like when I had when I was a little girl. Aching for the comfort only my parents could produce. I didn't want a substitute; I didn't want this feeling of emptiness, this feeling of abandonment! This utter feeling of loneliness I had carried for so many years… I just wanted my mother back! I needed her guidance, her unconditional love, and to hear her soothing voice once more. I had messed up so bad and no amount of money could ever make it better. I threw myself at her bedside, burying my face in her chest.

"I'm so sorry! It's my fault! I should have listened to you! None of this would have ever happened if you hadn't come running after me. If I hadn't run away daddy would still love me… We could have been happy together, the three of us! Just like before! I miss you! I miss you so much! I'm sorry I didn't visit as often as I should have, I'm sorry you had to miss so many birthdays… I'm sorry you never got a chance to meet my friends! I'm sorry I was selfish! Mama… I beg you, please forgive me!"

I continued to babble about how much I needed her now, how I had messed up, how I made my friend hate me, how I continued to run away from my past. This would be the last time I could finally unleash everything I had always wanted to keep to myself. The last time I would be able to inhale my mother's familiar scent, because I knew my father had finally given up hope. Keeping her in limbo like this was unfair… we were going to have to let her go. I wished with all my heart that she could hear me at this very moment. To feel her touch for one last time! I continued to bawl, dampening her hospital gown's front.

I could faintly hear her heart pulsing with artificial life rhythmically. If it wasn't for these machines, my mother would have been gone long ago. This only made me more miserable, knowing she would probably never wake up…

I paused as I suddenly felt my mother's hand twitch, shifting until it brushed up against my arm and then almost pat me soothingly. The heart monitor was beginning to go out of control and I quickly pulled back in alarm. "Mom?!" I exclaimed in disbelief. Hearing the commotion, a nurse entered the room and gasped.

"Oh God… Get the doctor over here, now!" she exclaimed frantically. More people began flooding the room, grabbing different utensils from a drawer. The same nurse pulled me away from my mother. "You need to get out of here," she instructed. What?! Leave now, but what was happening?! I could have sworn mom had touched me, but now they were kicking me out?

"Let go of me! Mom… mom moved!" I said, pushing her away as I attempted to get to my mother again. The doctor finally arrived and the room chattered nervously, talking about some medical book. The doctor took a look at me before turning to the nurses. "Get her out of here, now," he said sternly.

It was at that time that a large male nurse took a hold of me and dragged me out of the room. I was screaming. "No! Mom! It's me, Sakuya! Your daughter! I want to see my mother!" I screeched as I continued to struggle. I watched as they wheeled away my mother towards the intensive care unit. "Mom!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. My face was red and a new wave of tears drenched my face.

0.0.0

Oh dear… things just got a lot more intense! D: Poor Sakuya… What will happen to her mother now? Will she be able to reconcile with her family and friends? And most of all… will Kaoru finally man up and confess? All these questions and more will be answered in the next chapter, where we'll finally come to a conclusion. Stay tuned!

A/N …It is now 3:33 am. I've been writing the lasts bits of this chapter for the last six hours and I promised myself I would finish this before classes started up again, and I did! I'm not sure when I'll be posting the last chapter, but hopefully soon. Oh, I'll be holding a little closing ceremony forum for this story pretty soon; where I not only thank my readers immensely for sticking through with this story, despite the obvious lack of updates recently, but also giving a little something in return. This will only apply to people who have favorited, alerted, or reviewed (or both/all of the above) my story. I'll probably hold something of a raffle and whichever name I pull out gets a one-shot of their Oc and a ouran member. Well, until next time! (Which hopefully won't end up with a 2 year hiatus like last time… ^^;)