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16 November 2008 @ 01:54 pm
A Thousand Kisses Deep  
Title: A Thousand Kisses Deep
Pairing: Tamaki x Haruhi
Fandom: Ouran High School Host Club
Genre: Angst, Romance
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,764

A/N: Written for ouran_contest; the theme was "song fic title". I used "A Thousand Kisses Deep" by Leonard Cohen, and rather than incorporating direct lyrics to fit the mood of the story, I used the song as a guideline for the plot.

A Thousand Kisses Deep

alive and shall be: cities may overflow (am
was) assassinating whole grassblades, five
ideas can swallow a man; three words i’m
-prison a woman for all her now: but we've
such freedom such intense digestion so
much greenness only dying makes us grow

—“am was”, e.e. cummings

He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.

—“The Wasteland”, T.S. Eliot

the ponies run, the girls are young

The days are brief, the nights are scarce, they are trapped in an imaginary world.

Tamaki graces her face, feels the softness under the calluses (worn and torn from years of playing piano, of performing, of serenading and impressing). He can almost feel her for a moment, and could just barely make out the lines (the tiny, fractured wrinkles) hidden behind alcoholic slumber.

He likes those best, those diminished kisses. And when he does (kiss her) early in the morning, before she’s awoke and spun all mechanical, he can taste the salinity of piers and croissants. Of buttery warmth and breaking chills.

She has the face of no one else, a face unparalleled.

The days are bare, the nights are stark, they are two wanderers lost at sea. The spraying blasts from ocean-gods, the siren sings—masks herself irenic. Tamaki cannot feel his feet. They are light, they are spry, they are unconsciously dancing on clouds.

He was—he is—a string from a violin, a note lost and stifled from sounding. He is thin and wry, he can carry their hearts and soar.

He is light,

Tamaki steps away from their bed (odd, an intimate space as shared space). Congratulations, they are newly-wed.

They have won for themselves all of eternity (together).

“Congratulations, you are newly-wed,” he reads the letter again and tosses it aside. He does not need that, any of it. Not now, and perhaps not ever but that is still too early to tell.

He loves her. And she loves him. And that is enough (But it is still too early to tell).

The days are beaten, the nights are sick, they are tossed haphazardly over the moon.

you lose your grip, and then you slip into the Masterpiece.

He sits staring blankly into the outside, sitting by the window where he thinks she will show up. Eventually. This is how it always is with her: everything will come to pass—eventually. When she is ready, when she is feeling refreshed and fine and willing to partake.

And indulge.

And believe.

That he is there, prepared, with his lists of memorized charms and this was an agreement—a compromise they made, on both of their parts.

But still, it takes a while. This he knows, all too well.

Tamaki smiles when she enters the door. Her cheeks are flushed and her lips are chapped, and he opens his arms to embrace.

She walks towards him, gently and carefully (cautious) and rotates her head and engrosses herself in everything. Surrounds herself with aromas and sights and voices and textures.

She could hear and taste the maudlin décor (a synesthesia she creates for her very own).

“Hi, sorry I’m late.” Her breath is rushed and minty.

Tamaki shakes his head, does not mind, is the perfect, always, endearing, charming, perfunctory gentleman. “Doesn’t matter. I’m glad you made it.”

“I said I would.”

“I know, and you always keep your promises.”

“Are you mocking me?”


They laugh, and share a secret moment. A fugacious moment, a moment destined to die before the hour fades white. (Outside, the sky starts to snow.)


Now it is spring, and they have returned (for a very short visit—he explained) for the Viewing Festival. At Ouran, where they once attended the soporific classes and chimerical scenes, they shake off their outer skins and emerge as kids.

His father is there, waiting by the cherry trees, a grin already spreading (a sigh already resonating). He takes her and kisses her, right on the lips. She is surprised, but understands: this is Tamaki’s father.

And father and son, exchange a few words. A conversation that does not carry and like static (like stasis) sends jittery tingles crawling up her spine.

The announcement is made: they want to marry.

And on this day, Haruhi remembers her tenth birthday. And recalls the thousand cherry blossoms taking flight, and herself, as hollow as a kite and wafting away too—more free than oxygen, more than helium.

Into the air, where the castles are pristine and perfectly untrue (in an eggshell sky).


There is a story he likes to tell,
Of how they met (of how they found)
Each other and the other’s existence
Just around
The Corner Deli and pick-


The wedding is a quiet affair, understated and dignified it laid on its side to rest. And in some small way, he had a premonition that this symbolized something (in his warped, childlike mind, the world revolves in symbols and shadows). A symbol for death, for respite, for a long-fought ease-pleasing lull he didn’t even know.

That he wanted.

That she wanted.

That by some misfortune, they are cursed: waiting.

“At least she’s pretty,” his grandmother said.

He smiles and agrees to dance with her, the wizened, bitter-mouthed lady. Old as the silk kimonos she wears, flutter-gather, smooth as butterfly wings.

“And Japanese.”

Tamaki continues to smile. The flowery scents turn acrid. And dry and wounded and filthy.

“A full one at that.”


Overhead, the plane takes off.

He takes her to Paris, where he’s promised her years before. They had a thousand miles to take and a million promises to keep.

They exit the airport and resurface (resurrected) as another new-old couple. He takes her hand (that was sweet, that was clichéd) and takes her down the avenue. She walks, he glides, they are in France.

Where she will meet his mother.

“All thanks to Kyouya-sempai,” Haruhi jokes.

But Tamaki is dead-serious in his reply, “Yes it is.”

Paris is raining, Paris is surreal. The drops fall in harmony and even the slick, wet streets are somehow poetic.

I saw there were no oceans left for scavengers like me.

They have sex that first night.

It came as a shock, unanticipated and frenzied and impersonal. It was not how she envisioned it (or how he planed it).

I love him, I love him, I love him.

And she sighs when the incantatory rhythm fails to take effect. They are disappointed but they are in love. And that will suffice, here in France.

Here in France, love is an art that also has a pernicious melody.


Marie, hold on tight.


There is a ball later in the week (Tamaki’s mother is hosting) on a ship. Romantic but wasteful.

But Haruhi allowed herself to be talked into going, for Tamaki more than anyone else. He wanted to see his mother. And this is an opportunity he cannot miss. Public and distant, he can cover his spots and tragedies.

Haruhi dresses with discretion.


She sees Mother & Son embrace and feels the stings of jealousy.

She sips at her remains of her drink, a martini for solace (a martini for your thoughts?). The waiter whisks the empty glass away, and Haruhi is astonished. The waiter gives a very Kyouya-esque smile.

Enigmatic and wise (and cunning and oblique).

“What are you doing here, Sempai?”

“Spying, just like you are.”

“I’m not spying. I’m waiting for Tamaki to return.”

“But why aren’t you there with them? A marital dispute?”

Haruhi blushes. The crimson is harsh against her milky skin, and the moonlight is only making it uglier.

She does not respond, is lost for words, is depleted of her legal wits and skills.

The green sting goes deeper into her heart. An apple martini, to be exact.


“Are you all right?” she asks.

He shifts to meet her eye and then retreats, and the bed dips just a little, a rocking boat set out to conquer roaring tides.


She could hear the edginess (and could smell the private tears). Haruhi reaches over to touch his shoulder. He takes her hand and kisses the knuckles. They lean in and are nose-to-nose.

And she almost says I love you but that wouldn’t feel right. And so, she keeps her silence and waits for him to sing.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed, I’m back on boogie street.

They are back in Japan before the month is up. They are changed (somewhat) and the Twins are quick to notice, are quick to remark (as caustic and brilliant and inexorable as they ever were).

In the evening, the Twins throw them a homecoming party, just for their closest friends (except for Kyouya who is still mysteriously away, on business—assuredly).

And they all exchange some furtive glances and pass along a heaping of gifts. And without inquiring, they all know what occurred in France.

And could see it flawlessly, iridescent like an opal, in vicarious eyes. That Tamaki’s mother made her peace and is resting forever.

(They could see that Haruhi’s come to terms too, which was unusual—being sentimental—of her.)


He walks in the garden sometimes, after work (after training all day to be Just Like His Father). He sits looking out to the west, to see the sun set and the swirling clouds of energy around it. It reminds him of a van Gogh painting materialized.

On certain days, he wishes he were like his father. And then remembers that he really doesn’t (doesn’t want to fall in love with a French girl Just Like His Mother).

But he can’t escape thoughts of her, how unfair it is.


Tamaki walks without stop, walks in circles around the garden and waits for the hour to grow old.

And imagines his own hair turning hoary and bright.


The years wind down (and there is no additional news from France).

Tamaki and Haruhi consider having children, and decide against that—for the time being. They are still young, still wild and vulnerable, and have the world in neat, little cartons.

He kisses her every night, and she returns the gesture (she’s learned to show affection back).

we gather up our hearts and go, a thousand kisses deep.

The ocean sways, they are transported away.

Their feet are leaden (deadened) and anchored to the beach. Their heads are out of the clouds now, and they couldn’t be happier.

It is time enough to tell.

Kat Sua ★: kyouya posestarianprincess on November 17th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
This was just gorgeous. I liked the way you phrased things and how it was so easy to picture everything happen. You're a great storyteller. 8D
treeflamingo: lovetreeflamingo on November 18th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC)
they are two wanders</i> lost at sea</i> bah humbug on typos.

In other news, I have decided what impresses me so about your writing: you have a dimensional understanding of intricacy the way spiders do, or the way those women did who sewed thousands of pearls onto the queen's dress until their eyes failed. The way men do who look at a snowflake and see physics. You take thirty flavors of the same color and do not braid them but tesseract them. Your writing must be viewed from afar, in order to tell what is going on. And then, once my poor eyes (my sad excuse for complex - I can only braid, not even French) have accustomed themselves to the grand and simple thing you are trying to get across, I can walk forward a few paces and gaze individually at all the thirty flavors you used to paint it. This impresses me in the same way as snowflakes and physics and dresses with thousands of pearls sewn on and pristine spiderwebs constructed in mellifluous silence in improbable places. From a technical standpoint.

From an emotional standpoint, your writing (this fic especially, I think), hits me like a glove in the face when I don't even know whom I've insulted or how. I am dumb and honored, because your lace glove has touched my canvas cheek. I offer to wash the glove, but I haven't the appropriate soap. I may never write TamaHaru again. I feel I haven't the right.

May I ask you a personal question? What is your ratio, generally speaking, of drafting to editing? Timewise, I mean.
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on November 19th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Stupid spelling, I am like forever failing at those things. Thank you. :)

I am literally here wordless. That is definitely the most impacting review I've ever had. I thank you. I don't feel worthy, to be honest. I only try to convey my personal insight on a pairing or character. I don't even think my stories make sense half the time.

Errm...to tell you the truth, I don't edit. I usually write it all in one setting and let my stream-of-consciousness flow. Haha.

treeflamingo: cookietreeflamingo on November 19th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
And I, apparently, fail at HTML. ::shrug::

I suppose it makes sense that you don't edit your work; I can't possibly imagine how you would edit that kind of thing at any rate. I have occasionally disentangled from my mind one perfect little strand of story that needed no polishing to remove the extraneous bits and fill in the scratches. But this is a rare phenomenon (only rarities merit the word phenomenon - does that make "rare phenomenon" twice for emphasis, or merely redundant?); it usually takes me weeks, sometimes months, to get a story really up to snuff. My jealousy factor has just increased by 13.7%

It's so interesting - I just went through an reread the story. And it made sense, right off the bat. It made more sense than last time. Haruhi's jealousy when Tamaki and Anne-Sophie are together made sense. Kyouya's prolonged absence made sense. The romance embedded cautiously in that whole first section made sense. I was right, in my first comment: once I see the whole picture, the details are more impressive. As in, they impress, physically. In+press. It's so interesting. I do love your writing.
ex_courages on January 1st, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
This was utterly beautiful. I enjoyed every single moment of reading it ♥