The Lily Of The Valley
Sequel to Israfel's Digitalis
Ouran Koukou Hostu Bu is not mine, and never will be.
Summary : Kaiya, broke and a struggling lawyer, is the thorn among lilies in search for a way out from her personal Gehenna. But the way out isn't always the saint's road, and sometimes, redemption comes in the form of being caved in. OC/Kyouya, OC/OC and Kyouya/Haruhi.
. . .
It's been quite some time since I've contacted you, and for that, I deeply apologize. Things at sister's law firm aren't going smoothly and we had to relocate to London earlier than we had expected. I know it has been a week since I last contacted you, but do forgive me. The Hidekis do get busy from time to time, too, y'know, not just the apple of your eye.
Speaking of Ootori, how is he? I don't suppose you still talk to him…Do you? After that wedding, (which I was not invited to, that little prick) he just kinda ignored you, huh? I hate Ootori, and both of us know that. Until now, I cannot fathom why you had fallen for him...Oh, don't worry, I'm not trying to badmouth him or anything…Then again, you know me too well to fall for my lies.
I still can't believe I had to leave you (and Japan) for all of eternity. I didn't want to, I swear, but duty calls. Father…well, I don't think he has much time left. After all, he had just survived his third stroke. We're spending billions and billions of yen to keep him alive…And when that fails, he needs me to take over the business.
I do hope you understand, but enough about me and my lame excuses. How're you? I hope you're doing well in the law firm you joined in…What was that, Shiraga and Co.? I remember the pics you posted from graduation and your happiness still lingers even when you're so far away. I even got a chance to take a picture of you smiling.
It's been…five years since graduation…and five years since I left. I want to jump on a plane right now to see you. Well, yes, of course I miss you. I just hope when I visit you, your apartment wouldn't be reeking of decaf. Haha, never mind. I know it's impossible for you to give up your coffee.
I need to go now and help dad get up from his chair. And, besides, my mother is bugging me to turn this thing off. Reply quickly, okay?
. . .
A soft smile on her usually hard face, Kaiya gently folded the piece of paper and tucked it inside her jacket. It was a typical and quixotic thing for Tsubasa to do, sending her hand-written mail instead of the virtual kind. They were still best friends, even if it had stung when she had told him that she still loved Kyouya. Not even the great Ootori could make a dent in their friendship. Or, if Kyouya did have an effect on their friendship, he made the bond between them stronger.
Kaiya then reached for her third cup of coffee to scald and numb her tongue and heart. Thinking about Kyouya and Tsubasa made her feel queasy. It just wasn't right anymore. The past was the past and there was no use in pondering on the 'what ifs' in life. They were grown-ups and only silly little children had the time (and the effort) to pretend.
She then booted her PC and waited for the files to load. She only had two cases, and therefore had a lot of idle time to sit and drink too much coffee. 'There are still things that remain the same,' she had often told herself about her unhealthy addiction. Coffee was the only thing she could hold on to now; when her own dreams let her fall instead of fly.
Her office cubicle was quaint, but it wasn't cozy. She felt as if she was trapped in a metal box. The stainless steel table was cold and dead, along with the hard chair and the steel mug. Perhaps the office was a mirrored reflection of her own self, always trapped in someone's cold gaze…Or maybe, that cold gaze was her own.
"Nakamura!" It was the shrill, high-pitched voice of her boss' younger sister, whose name she didn't know (and didn't want to know). Ever since she had started working here, the younger sister had been ordering Kaiya around to do her chores. 'Pick up my clothes from the laundry house,' she would say, 'Buy me a tofu burger.' And the worst part was; her own boss seemed to like treating Kaiya as a lapdog for his sister.
"Hai, Shiraga-san?" 'What do you need this time, you freaking princess?' Thank Kami that Nakamura Kaiya was a natural at being an apathetic stoic. If her emotions were as volatile as Tsubasa's and if she liked to speak out as much as he did, she would probably have been fired by the Shiraga family on her first day.
"Aku-nii-san wants you to get the new files from the mini office down the block," She giggled, waggling her fingers to make Kaiya stand up and walk underneath the harsh noon sun. The witch then left the now-lawyer, taunting her from afar that if she didn't follow her orders, she might get fired and getting fired would not be part of her plan to dominate the whole world.
. . .
Nakamura Kaiya should not have trusted any word than came from Shiraga-hime's glossed lips. By 'down the block,' the teenager meant 'on the other half of the city.' Kaiya, with no extra money to spare for transportation, had to sprint from one side of the city to the other…while melting like one of those rich-kid parfaits under the perpetual glare of Helios. Of course, this would all be fine and dandy except for the fact that she was attempting to balance a mountain of manila envelopes.
The walk back to the main office was tougher than the walk to her destination. The lunch time bell had already rang, and students and office workers alike prowled the city streets like sumo wrestlers mashing into one another. Cars, too, were like Greek chariots fighting until death for the best parking spot. It was definitely not a good time to be walking with a stack of files.
"I swear," Kaiya muttered under her breath, "I will murder that kid." Her arms had pins and needles and were this close into turning numb and useless. She was sweating as if she was thrown into an oven and her once-fixed hair was frizzy and messier than it had ever been in her life, "I will murder that kid."
Turning around, (almost as if Karma's mission was to make her pitiful existence even more pitiful) the sable-haired ashen lawyer then collided with a young child, not more than two or three years old. The collision sent the files dancing in the air, but Kaiya could care less about them. Maybe the child was hurt and injured! Scarred for life! Turned amnesiac! What would her (at least, Kaiya thought the child was female) overly-rich parents do to a not-so-lawyer-y lawyer! Panic engulfed her as Kaiya rushed to the child's side.
"….Are you okay?" She asked, feigning as much tenderness she could summon before barfing into the trash bin. But the falseness soon faded to genuine concern as the child began crying, crystalline tears falling from her grey eyes, "Hey, kid…Are you hurt or…?"
"MOMMY!" The child shrieked, attaching herself to Kaiya like an orchid to a tree. The older girl was obviously taken aback, staggering backwards. The girl buried her face into Kaiya's arms, as the child's dark sepia locks cascaded down her back like a wild waterfall.
"Mommy," The young girl then whispered; her voice only slightly louder than the swaying of the wind, "Where have you been all this time?"
"Dear," Kaiya muttered nervously, attempting to escape the young child's too-tight embrace, "I'm not your mother…Come on, let's find your real parents."
"Y-You're not my mommy?" Tears once again began falling from soft grey eyes, staining Kaiya's conscience red.
"N-No, I am not…" Kaiya then told her as she gathered whatever envelopes she could find. The task that was given to her was slowly replaced with the task of finding the child's parents, "I can help you find your real mommy, though. Come with me."
If Kaiya could bring the kid to the office, perhaps her boss would be able to contact and locate her parents. It was a long shot, but she tried it anyway. Holding the kid's hand, they made their way –together—to Shiraga and Co.
. . .
They were about to reach the entrance when Kaiya stopped dead in her tracks. It was that feeling again; as if rogue liquid shadows seeped into her bones and danced in them as if there was no tomorrow. It was that strange feeling again…and she knew—somehow, she knew—that he was there. Cautiously walking up the steps of the stylishly chrome building with the files and the child, she heard his voice.
"Ah, it was a pleasure doing business with you, Shiraga-san." His voice alone cut through her like a jagged piece of a broken mirror; it was a different kind of pain altogether. She wanted to run away, to hide, but it was time for her to learn how to face her problems head-on. It wasn't going to be easy, but she needed to try anyway. 'Like how I let him go.'
"No problem at all, Ootori-san." She stopped again. Hearing his name was like adding ten thousand kilos of salt to the wound. It stung, and Kaiya knew she wasn't ready to face him just yet. But it didn't matter if she was ready or not, because he turned around just when she was trying to flee.
'Karma…it hates me.'
"Kira?" The concern in Kyouya's voice was evident. It was something different, something unknown, and truth be told, that kind of concern frightened her. Kaiya, well she didn't know who Kira was, but she deduced that Kira was an ex-girlfriend of his that he took a liking to. Of course, that didn't seem possible…and all her doubts about another possibility were erased when she heard the child speak and break from her hold.
"DADDY!" The little girl—Kira—ran towards him, and it was when everything had become clearer. The young child had grey eyes and chocolate-colored hair. And when Haruhi emerged from the darkness that was inside the office, everything became clearer, and even more salt was added to the never-closing wound.