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11 June 2009 @ 03:36 pm
Russian Roulette Ch 2 [The Edge of the World]  
Title: Russian Roulette -- Chapter 2
Pairing: Kyouya x Haruhi; Tamaki x Haruhi
Fandom: Ouran High School Host Club
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG
Summary: In a high-stakes game, the revolver points at the most lethal player.

Chapter 1    Chapter 2


The Edge of the World

…sometimes he felt like falling off…
and the edge of the world looked so inviting and bleak

“I was a saint once upon a time, but that was centuries ago,” and he was a devil just before that, but that was millennia ago.

“I was religious in a lifetime I don’t remember,” and now she is an atheist with needles and televisions for organs.

-

She is now eighteen (one plus eight does not make nine). Her hair is longer, fuller, and just as straight. She has long stopped cross-dressing (the scandal) and two years ago, Fujioka Haruhi was reborn as a girl. And in this newly touched, barely tangible, redivivus shell (ready and red, burnished and brought out of rust) she stops drawing in attention.

Not that she ever wanted it, she would explain. Simply that…things had been out of her control, out of her reign (like a lost-favored duchess forgotten). But now—Haruhi wants to assert—she is herself alone. Not some fungible (seemingly indispensable) part of a collective. The Host Club has lived its glory days, and now—now—it is her turn.

To reclaim them. Haruhi yearns to grasp what she has forfeited.

Haruhi tosses up, high into the wailing, blurry air, her cap (accidentally her diploma too) and wonders what is the point of this stupid, Western tradition. And as her head is racing, still burning for answers, still in immolation because of some recondite, forbidden knowledge, she laughs.

Light and cheery, a laugh she has not heard in years.

The Twins swarm around, rushing to embrace her. It makes her proud, almost haughty, like she was the queen bee and they were presenting her with pollinated gifts.

“Isn’t this great, Haruhi?” Kaoru asks, never leaving his brother’s side.

“Yes it is!”

“Now that high school is over, it’s like our lives are really beginning.”

Or ending.

“But there’s university to consider, and I really can’t—”

“Loosen up,” that was Hikaru (the reckless one), “you can afford to take one day off, right? Besides” (shifty eyes) “Don’t you have a date with Tono tonight?”

Oh yes. That was what she forgot.

“That’s right…I do. I guess I got so caught up with graduation that I…completely forgot about our date.”

“Then you better go get ready.”

For a moment, she thought she detected a tone of sarcasm but brushed it off. That had been so long ago (what felt like a distant memory sinking below a dusted horizon). And she and Hikaru (and Kaoru too, because neither Twin wanted to be excluded) are both mature, civilized people. And they both know it is all just-a-matter-of-time.

-

Behind the main Suoh residence lies another manor house: there lays the road. It was erected in the ancient style, for some hazy ancestor’s second wife and first love. There is a secret, shrubbery-concealed path, leading from the back gate to the front door.

And sitting, feet dangling off the banister, on the front porch is Tamaki deep in contemplation. Lines (where there once was nothing) etched at the corners of his mouth and words half-forming on his lips.

He practiced.

And repeated.

“Will you—”

Time stops short. He blinks, emits and anguished cry, ruffles his blond feathery hair, and crumples the paper. It is useless. It is idiotic. It is a disaster waiting for the dams to break.

-

Haruhi seeks Kyouya’s advice (really knowing, in her core, that she shouldn’t).

He orders tea to be served, examines her cursorily, full of that detestable, characteristic curiosity—eyes never flickering, never blinking (she thinks he must be a robot). And suddenly, Kyouya smiles cunningly (sinisterly) and Haruhi knows she is in trouble.

Immense trouble, something she can’t sweet-talk her way out (not that he ever fell for sanguine smiles and syrupy swords—of words adored). But still, his expression is benign and cordial, is intrigued. And so, he sympathetically (grudgingly) listens to her woes.

“I have a feeling he’s planning something tonight,” she parts her lips and rivers flow out.

“And why is that?” (Kyouya would be an excellent psychiatrist, if he weren’t so greedy and noxious and smart).

“I’m not sure. Well, for one thing, he has been avoiding me all week. And when I tried to call him last night, just to ease my nerves about graduation and everything, he…just too weird, you know?”

“Perhaps he’s been preoccupied. Tamaki was never one for multi-tasking,” the artless brute.

“Maybe. But then when I asked him if he were still up for tonight, he was very clear that I ‘had to be there no matter what’.”

“He’s confusing. That’s what he is. Don’t think too much on it. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an important business matter to attend.”

Haruhi rises from her seat, thanked him (not sure for what) and left. Left a melancholic twang in the wake.

Haruhi slips some more, off the edge of the world.

-

Formal attire has never been her forte, abstruse abstractions implanted with surgical detail. But still, she could barely make heads-or-tails of which is which. Taffeta is for…never wear silk when…

She slammed down on the acceleration and swerved into a back alley. Out, she steps from the car, heady (old mead for the old maid—the adage goes) and—she loses the rhythm. Down some dingy stairs, covered in brown, rotting leaves, and muted (the streets) with sounds of soft, classical piano.

Haruhi pauses momentarily at the door, brushes back her hair, and plunges through.

Inside, Hikaru and Kaoru welcome her happily.

She runs to embrace them, afraid that if she didn’t, they would disappear through cloth and smoke like fallen pearls from that dress they made (just for her) last year.

“What’s wrong, Haruhi?” Kaoru asks, never ceasing to lace up the collar (time is short: the show is in two days).

“I need a dress,” she responds and laughs. Never thought she’d ever say those words.

-

Tamaki is particularly jumpy and nervous that night. He spills wine before the bread even arrives, rubs at it hurriedly—wait, dab not rub (she wants to admonish)—and wrings the napkin into swans and turtles and other origami masterpieces.

She sips at her water, refused the wine, and looks at him anxiously. He has not slept in days: eyes gloomy and dark, sunken. Skin is taut and waxy like old newspapers covering the sickly flesh of corpses. Today is June 11, she reads the title across his forehead.

“What is it?” Haruhi dares to speak.

“Nothing, nothing. So how was graduation?”

“All right. I’m glad high school is finally over,” lies, “But I am going to miss everyone.”

“Tokyo, right?”

“Sorry, what?”’

“Tokyo University, that’s where you’ll be studying next year, right?”

Haruhi plays with her fork, delaying the inevitable. “Yes.” It comes out as a choked whisper.

“That’s great. It’s very prestigious, very…you.”

“And you’ll be at the Sorbonne?”

“Yeah. Just for one year.”

“Oh. I see. Well, it’s also very prestigious and very you.”

The joke is unappreciated by both. She sighs, never was one for comedy. Now tragic-comedy, in that she is an esteemed epicure.

“Haruhi, I was thinking…”

“Yeah?” she prompts (prods, growing impatient—already knows).

“Let’s get married.”

And that is that.

In a moment, everything collapses, and Haruh is pushed beyond the edge of the world. She gathers herself and jumps, not glancing back. No time. Tamaki reaches to pull her back, hands trembling.

But she keeps falling.




 
 
 
★♪☆ Kari ☆♪★: KWMSsunshinebabe415 on June 20th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this chapter! Awesome job!! I can't wait to read more.