AN: Honestly, I'm a little surprised how quick I wrote this chapter, but it is a bit shorter than usual. Though I am looking forward to writing the next one, which will feature the Lobelia Girls Strike Back episode.
Star Crossed and Everything
A week had gone by since the amusement park incident and still no one from the host club had seen their tallest member, the exception being Honey of course. The girls from the club were constantly asking about him as well, his absence garnering him unexpected popularity. His presence was in high demand. But more than that, his friends missed him.
Honey had been surprisingly tight lipped about his cousin. Only commenting that he needed time away from the club.
But patience wasn't exactly any of the Host Club's strong suit. So Tamaki closed the club for a day and herded the others to the school's kendo dojo. They planned on cornering their stoic host at kendo practice. And since Honey usually watched Mori practice, it was the perfect chance to catch them off guard.
Haruhi just thought it was a bad idea. They had already messed up his life enough. They should just give him his space.
And it wasn't until after she bolted that Haruhi remembered the girl, Kagome, Mori had been seeing. She was the only normal person she had met since starting Ouran. She was also the one to encourage her to make up with the same club who had helped ruin her relationship ironically enough.
Haruhi knew it wasn't her fault for what happened (nope the blame was shared equally among the twins, Tamaki, and Kyoya), she still felt guilty though. She should have done more to stop the club or at least shut the twins up.
But they never listened. And she had a feeling that they were about to make things much worse.
They waited in the hallway for Mori. He and Honey were the last ones out, and as soon as the duo caught site of them they immediately stilled. Honey jumped off his cousin's back and stood uneasily between the Host Club and the stoic host.
"Mori-senpai, we've missed you at the club," Tamaki nervously exclaimed. It seemed even he could read the tense atmosphere for once. Mori didn't reply. He simply let his cool gaze sweep over each of them, before turning away.
Tamaki gulped and said, "We were hoping you would return to the club soon."
"Since your absence, your request rate has doubled," Kyoya added. Haruhi facepalmed in irritation, now wasn't the time for that. And here she thought Kyoya had more sense than that.
"Yeah, so forget about whatshername," Kaoru carelessly said.
Mori stiffened, his fists clenching at his side.
"She's just some dumb Lobelia girl," Hikaru added, missing the dark aura that suddenly surrounded the upperclassmen. "She was probably just using you to get to Haruhi."
"Hey," Honey yelled, startling the twins. It was rare to see the blond third year so angry. "Don't talk about Kagome-chan like that!"
Before the twins could reply, Mori spoke up, "Just, leave me alone."
And with that, he stalked off.
Honey easily caught up to his cousin. Thankfully, none of the others had decided to follow. And it wasn't until they were in the limo that he decided to speak.
"Have you tried talking to her?" He had texted her a few times over the week, but had not gotten a response.
Mori didn't even twitch, just stared blankly out the limo window.
Honey hugged Usa-chan closer to him and asked, "Why not? You care for her, don't you?"
He looked up at that. He did care greatly for her. Much more than he thought was possible after knowing someone for so little time. He thought about going to the shrine everyday since the incident at the amusement park. He wished he had chased after her. And he had even found himself beginning to dial her number before losing his nerve, mostly because he was scared.
What if she really did hate him?
He hadn't meant to keep his host club duties from her. It just never came up, and he was happy in their bubble. There was no interference from his friends (and apparently hers).
"You should call her," Honey spoke again, watching his cousin carefully.
After Mori had stalked off, Haruhi had taken off as well. She wasn't about to let herself get tangled up in any more of the Host Club's antics. She quickly made her way out of the school, determined to have a normal evening. But in her hurry, she ended up running into someone.
"Sorry about that," she apologized, looking up at the boy. He was about her height and wore a middle school uniform from one of the nearby schools. She had never seen him before, but there was something familiar about him.
He recognized her though.
"You're one of those host club members," he bluntly and a bit rudely replied. Souta wanted to be mad at the girl, but he still wasn't entirely sure what had happened that day at the amusement park. All he really knew was that Kagome and Morinozuka had broken up because he was seeing other girls.
But that was also according to the Lobelia girls. And Satoshi had tried to explain to him that everything was just one big misunderstanding. Though that didn't fix Kagome's dejected mood and Morinozuka hadn't bothered to explain himself.
He had really liked the upperclassmen, too. But he had also idolized InuYasha as well. And all he had done was hurt his sister.
"Uh, yeah. I'm Fujioka Haruhi," she replied, a little awkwardly. "Who are you?"
"I'm Higurashi Souta," he answered, finding no real harm in talking to her. Maybe he would learn something useful.
"Oh, so you're Kagome-san's brother," she replied in surprise. Maybe she could undo some of the damage. "Is your sister here with you?"
He snorted and said, "No way. I came here on my own."
"I see," she murmured, slightly disappointed. "What brings you over here then?"
"I was checking out the scholarship requirements," he said, holding up a familiar brochure. "I don't think I'm quite cut out for it though."
"Don't give up so soon," she encouraged with a smile. It would be nice to have another normal person attend Ouran. "I'm actually on the scholarship myself."
"Really, any pointers?"
Haruhi thoughtfully tapped her chin and said, "Study hard and any moment you can. And if you can, study with a partner. It's time consuming, but it will be worth it. What's your current rank?"
Souta scratched his cheek and humbly admitted, "I'm actually number one. Kagome used to be ranked pretty high herself, until the we—she got sick."
"How did she get into Lobelia then," she found herself asking, truly interested.
Souta shrugged and replied, "I don't know the details. But Benio and the others saw her at one of the shrine's performances and took a liking to her."
"Do you think I could talk to her," she inquired.
"I guess it couldn't hurt," Souta spoke. Maybe she could help clear the misunderstanding. He hated to see his sister with such low spirits, it was hard enough to watch when the well had closed. "She's with her friend at a sushi restaurant not too far from here."
Haruhi took a deep breath before entering the small restaurant. Though Souta had given her pretty descriptive directions, she still had trouble finding the place. But once she entered, she had to wonder if Mori had been there himself. He certainly would have appreciated it. As it was, she was pretty impressed herself.
The place was pretty quiet for a Friday night, which made it easier to spot the older girl. Kagome was sitting at the counter, playing with a bowl of food while another girl in a school uniform she didn't recognize, was sitting next to her.
"Kagome-san," Haruhi spoke up, tapping her on the shoulder. Both girls turned to face the younger one. Kagome's blue eyes lit up in recognition.
"Haruhi-san," Kagome said, recalling their first meeting. "From the cultural festival, right?"
She nodded her head. It seemed she didn't recognize her from the day of the incident. But now that she got a good look at the Lobelia girl, she felt her guilt increase. There were bags under her eyes, as if she hadn't been sleeping well. And worse, they were still red and slightly puffy.
"Your brother told me I could find you here," she carefully spoke.
Yuka eyed her suspiciously and asked, "What do you want with Kagome-chan?"
"I'm a friend of Mori-senpai's," she bluntly replied. Honesty was the best policy where she was concerned. "We're actually in the host club together."
"So what, he sent you to be his messenger," Yuka snorted in derision. "Didn't have the guts to talk to her himself, the coward."
"Yuka," Kagome yelled in reprimand.
Haruhi wasn't fazed though. She calmly took the available seat next to them and explained, "Actually he doesn't know I'm here. And I'm sorry about the club's rude behavior. We shouldn't have followed you on your date."
"Why were you guys following them anyways," Yuka asked, easing up on her tone.
"The others are too nosy for their own good," Haruhi grumbled. "But they're usually not too bad."
Kagome was tempted to roll her eyes at that, thinking about the rude attitude of the twins. "What about glasses? How did he know so much about me?"
"That's just what he does," Haruhi answered with a shrug. She wanted to levitate the other girl's concern so she tried to explain what the club was about. "The host club isn't as lewd as Benio would make it out to be. They're just a bunch of bored rich kids who occasionally like to help people."
Kagome sighed deeply and looked forlornly into her bowl of oden. "Then why didn't he tell me about it?"
Haruhi didn't know how to answer that.
"I get what you're trying to do, but I need to hear it from him," she quietly continued as she pulled out her cell phone. Honey had texted her a few times, but she couldn't find it in herself to even read them. And after hearing Haruhi's explanation, she was tempted to call Mori. She should apologize for her rash actions.
Despite how mush she wished she didn't, she missed him. But before she could find his contact, Yuka snatched up her phone.
Yuka glared at her and said, "I know that look. You're going to call and apologize for something that isn't your fault."
"No," she forcibly interrupted. Kagome could be such a pushover sometimes. "He needs to call you. Do you want to go through the same thing you did with InuYasha?"
Kagome's shoulders instantly sagged in defeat. Yuka felt guilty about pulling that card, but it needed to be said. The miko deserved so much better than someone who was just going to string her along. And she didn't know if she could handle watching a depressed Kagome again.
"I'll go grab you some food, Haruhi-san," Kagome gloomily stated as she made her way into the kitchen.
Haruhi silently watched on, concerned. She was curious about the older girl's history and with that InuYasha guy, but she held her tongue. It really wasn't her business. Instead she asked, "Is she really allowed to go back there?"
"Yep," Yuka simply answered. "Her friends run this place."
"Uh-huh. And it's a good thing for Mori that Shippo-san is still out of the country on business," Yuka added, her gaze lingering on the door Kagome had disappeared though.
Haruhi's brow furrowed in confusion. "Why is that?"
"He's really protective, and acts more like an older brother to her," She said.
After walking Haruhi home, Kagome had declined Yuka's invitation to stay the night. (She was pretty sure the other girl just wanted to stop her from calling Mori.) She was tired, physically and emotionally. She just wanted to crawl into bed and forget the last two weeks had even happened.
She stopped at the Goshinboku before heading inside. It always gave her peace of mind, no matter what was going on in her life. But sitting next to the tree's mighty trunk was the raccoon Mori had won her at the amusement park. And between it's hands was a hand written note, simply saying `I'm Sorry'.