Chapter 4: Renewed Commitments – What You Wanted by OneRepublic
Another day, another busy workday.
Haruhi made her walk to the law offices where she worked, ready to account for her odd behavior at the party. Thankfully, most were happy knowing that she was not truly sick. Some had feared that they would have to take over for the hard-working commoner the way she worked, but such was not the case.
Everyone knew it was only a matter of time for the brunette. She had won almost all of her cases, making good press in the process. She had the best work ethic there, with more integrity than was thought possible in one lawyer. Having an Ootori ask her to attend a public charity event was just the nail in the coffin for her future promotion. She had been there long enough that being made associate was possible, but only because she had risen so fast.
Haruhi was blissfully unaware of all that.
Haruhi went back to her desk to continue her research for her next case. She had seen her elders, and had been stopped by so many people in the process of walking back to her desk. She had already wasted so much time with talking, but that was to be expected. Rumors spread fast there. Sickness was the worst.
Haruhi had not yet called her friends to tell them about her rather awkward meeting with Kyoya. She would later that day of course. If not, then the twins would be on her doorstep, with Hunny trailing not far behind with two others in tow. She had been given the day of space as agreed, even if Sunday had not allowed her to figure everything out to her satisfaction. Work helped her channel her frustration about the situation with Kyoya.
Lunch crept upon her like a prank from the twins. And speak of the twin devils, Haruhi had texts from both during lunch. Hikaru wanted an update, and Kaoru said that he was going on a date in a few days. The girl he was interested in had finally agreed to a date. That was a good excuse for a phone call.
“Kaoru, is your other half nearby? Or do I need to call him separately?”
“I’m right here, Haruhi. What happened?”
“I’d call it awkward, but I’m not sure if anything Kyoya does is really awkward.”
Both twins snickered before continuing.
“Don’t worry, Haruhi, you had a loud shouting match with him and stood up to him. He’s probably not used to it anymore.”
“Yeah, Hikaru’s right. Did you shout again?”
No, but we got close. It’s not like us to do that so much. We’re usually much more civil toward one another. We understand each other and don’t see a point to such tactics. Why won’t he listen to reason?
“It got heated at the end, yes. But the beginning was awkwardly quiet. Then we started talking like old times, and then it got loud when I made a comment about the present.”
“Is he coming back?”
Haruhi paused before saying, “No, not yet. He needs more time. But I think I got something through to him about how much his actions have hurt us, or me at least. You guys will have to have your man talk to get everything straightened out.”
“That’s what counts. Tono isn’t useful right now since he’s in his trip of woe, but he’ll be able to help when he comes back, after more stern talking from you.”
Unlikely, but maybe. I’m not the problem between them and unlikely to be helpful.
“Tamaki is really hurt and confused. He needs time, nothing from me for once. I just want those two to reconcile.”
“Haruhi, we all want that. And then have him reconcile with all of us. But Hunny is seeing him soon, so maybe he’ll just scare Kyoya straight.”
It was Haruhi’s turn to chuckle.
“If Hunny does that, I will take all my earnings and buy him a year’s worth of cakes. It’d be worth it to bring him back.”
“We trust in you, Haruhi. Just stay strong. We’ll each take a stab at it.”
“I’m glad there’s a bunch of us in that case. So, what’s this about the girl?”
“She agreed! She finally agreed!” shouted Kaoru.
“Kaoru, I’m glad you’re so happy, but I have eardrums already abused by Tamaki’s outbursts. Please don’t add to it. Just make her happy and don’t mess up, ok?”
“I can do that, Haruhi.”
“Good. Alright, I gotta head back from lunch, but we’ll be in touch.”
The three exchanged their goodbyes, and Haruhi went back to work. But at least she was smiling after the encouragement from the twins. She organized her papers and picked them up before heading to a meeting. The two groups argued, and Haruhi found it hard to focus since it reminded her of arguments she had had.
They don’t have to be so loud. Don’t they realize they’re on the same side? When will Kyoya figure that out? He could use a good kick from Hunny in that respect. Usually he’s much more calm and objective about this. What changed?
After the arguing slowed down, Haruhi put in a few seemingly common sense words in her mind, which sparked more loud arguing. She wanted to roll her eyes.
They make me want to sit them down. If Kyoya were here, he’d have strong words for them as well for wasting time with such useless arguments. We’d make a good team getting them all into shape.
Those thoughts calmed Haruhi down, even putting a smile on her face. The idea of them being a team sounded wonderful at that moment. Anything to make them stop arguing so much.
If I can get him to calm down, then he will see that this is all us getting upset over wounded pride and misunderstandings. It’s nothing more than that. I can do that.
Finally, the men arguing agreed that Haruhi was right, and they sat down to begin negotiations. Haruhi smiled to herself.
I’m glad that’s done. One right phrase is all it took. Could it be that simple with Kyoya? Perhaps I’ve taken the wrong path with getting through to him in this instance. I need to explore this more.
The negotiations finished, and Haruhi went back to her desk, caught up in thoughts of how she could change her approach to reach out to Kyoya. There had to be a way. She was sure of it.
The rest of work went by quickly after that. Once she was walking home, she called Mori, who she knew would be visiting his cousin. Mori answered, and the four got down to business.
“Haru-chan, what happened? Did he figure things out?”
“Not yet. There’s still hope for him. I made sure he knew how much he had hurt me, as well as the rest of us. Are you ready to talk to him?”
“Oh yes, I already know what I’m going to talk about. We just need to have a little chat and let him see that we care. It’s a little different from you.”
“I’ll meet with him next.”
“Good, I’m glad you decided to do that, Mori. I don’t think it’s time for the twins.”
“Especially not with Kaoru going on a date.”
“Nah, Kao-chan could do it, but Hika-chan couldn’t. He’s still upset over how Kyoya treated you.”
“Why is Hikaru upset? I thought I made it clear to him that this could happen.”
“He just doesn’t like seeing his friends get hurt.”
“He’s not as bothered by Tamaki.”
“He never dated Tamaki, did he?”
Haruhi got their point and moved on.
“So what else is new?”
“I finally finished furnishing the basement! It’s dark and perfect for my crystals. You’ll have to come over sometime to see it and tell me if it’s scary enough. I’m going to be doing my first bit of Black Magic in there soon.”
“For whom, Reiko?”
“That’s not important, Haruhi.”
In other words, Kyoya should expect a spell of bad luck coming his way.
“We won’t let anything serious happen.”
“Just work on being a good friend and standing up to Kyo-chan’s challenge. You got this.”
“I do, Hunny. Reiko, I’ll come by in a couple weeks to see you. We need some girl time.”
The conversation ended soon after that, and Haruhi was satisfied. Now she just had to call Tamaki, but based on the time, it was too late to call Tamaki. She would have to wait for tomorrow.
That was nice. I’m glad things are developing well in their new home. All this good news, and Kyoya can’t share in it. It’s wrong. He needs to come back so he can be a part of it again. I miss him and our talks. Everyone misses him. I need to accomplish this challenge, for their sake at least. I’ll just be friendlier like Hunny is trying. It’s not like us, anyway. That’s my commitment, to have more conversations like we used to have. But also ask more questions. I have a challenge to win.
Meanwhile in France, Tamaki waited by the phone for a call that never came. He had not asked her to call immediately upon having her day to think, but he had hoped she would. She did not. He did get a phone call a little later, though.
“Renge! I didn’t expect to hear from you! It’s nice of you to call and check on me.”
“I know you were hurting last time we talked, and I’m still hurting, too. Have you had more time to think about that day?”
“I have, but I’m still so confused about Kyoya. I don’t want to talk to him yet.”
“Don’t worry, Tamaki, I’m sure he understands. He said some hurtful things. It’s not like him.”
“No, but enough about him. It’s still sensitive. How about you?”
“That’s fine. I’m doing a little better, but I was hoping to hear a happy voice from you. You may be a little over exuberant at times, but you cheered me up before, as you have in the past.”
Two hours later, Renge went to bed feeling better, determined to call Tamaki again. She had not had a conversation like that in a while with him, and she missed that. Now was as good a time as any. He seemed lonely out there. And she definitely liked the comfort.
Tamaki was glad to comfort Renge, but he still felt weird talking so much to her. That kind of ease was something that he used to have with Haruhi. It bothered him that he did not have it with her at the moment, even though they were reconciled. But he would deal with that when she called him.
In another tall, glass building, Kyoya Ootori was setting up meetings.
After that weekend of seeing people, Kyoya had been ready to tell his mind to forget about his friends so that he could focus on work, but he did not have to. Such thoughts were driven from his mind when he received an email back from the Americans, informing that they had just seen his email, as it had gone to their spam box, which they rarely checked.
Kyoya smarted from having an email of his be considered spam, but he channeled it as the engineers had agreed to meet with him in a few weeks, to discuss the possibility of working together. He had competition from another medical group in the area, as the engineers had made it clear that they would be spending time with both companies, seeing who they would give their business and ideas to.
And there was nothing like a little healthy competition to make Kyoya Ootori get moving.
Within a week, he had conference rooms set aside, hotels arranged, and social events to introduce the engineers and their business associates to Japan properly. They would be blown away by that, which left only the matter of the rumors he had heard from various sources of his. Rumors of how the engineers were the deciding factor in giving their business, based on who they liked more, specifically who they could trust more. Kyoya was confident that his hosting abilities would win the day there, so he did not worry about it.
The week flew by for him. He had not received any phone calls or surprise visits, until Sunday. It had not even occurred to him that the week was done until he was walking down the street toward a café that he liked to eat lunch at. It was then that he ran into a composed Renge.
“Renge. What brings you here?”
Kyoya’s eyes darted around, looking for anyone else familiar. It was just her. She gave him a soft smile.
“I’m meeting some friends for lunch. You?”
He shrugged before answering.
“I needed a break from work.”
“Have you been working all weekend?”
Renge looked concerned while Kyoya reviewed the days in his mind.
“I have. Possible business partner coming to town. I must prepare.”
“I thought for sure you’d be like Tamaki and taking a break.”
Her mentioning Tamaki made him pause. Tamaki had still not called him back. He would have to try again.
“No, I’m afraid not. Have you heard from Tamaki lately?”
“Yes. Just talked to him yesterday. I was feeling a little down, and he brightened my day. We have some shared experiences now.”
Well, that’s a nice way of putting it. Time to stop while ahead. I should call tonight.
“I’m glad you could talk to him. Unfortunately, the work world calls. I hope you have a good rest of your day.”
Renge yelled out to Kyoya as he turned around and left.
“Don’t work too hard! Hasn’t Haruhi convinced you to take it easy yet?”
Thoughts of Tamaki almost always led to Haruhi. He just associated the two together, for better or worse. Hearing Haruhi’s name made him think of his last conversation with her and how he had yet to figure out how to deal with her. She still had not proven herself with the challenge, but she had managed to make him look outside of himself to see her hurt. It was one step closer for her, almost too easy. But was he going to let his emotions win and let her in?
Instead of tackling such thoughts, he took out his phone and dialed Tamaki’s number. No luck. He left a message this time.
“Tamaki, we need to talk. I know it hurts, but we need to talk about it. I need to explain. Call me when you’re ready.”
Work sped on ahead after that. Before Kyoya knew it, it was time to meet with Hunny for lunch.
“Kyo-chan, you made it to another event! I’m so glad!”
“It’s good to see you, too.”
Somehow, Hunny always has a smile on his face. You would never think by looking at him that I’d hurt him. I’m sure he’ll have lots to say based on what he’s observed of our friends over the past few months.
“How is the business? Expanding? Too much?”
Haruhi never asked me that once. I suppose she’s not curious about that, or assumes.
“The work is never too much for me to handle. I enjoy it. I’m doing what I always wanted to do. Meeting with possible business associates in the upcoming weeks from overseas.”
“That’s great! When will we get to meet them?”
Hunny is eager as always, but I can see Haruhi waiting just to ask them questions about what they do, wanting a full explanation. She’ll have to wait to receive it with me.
Kyoya sat for a moment, looking at Hunny. Hunny continued to beam innocently at him.
“Once they agree, then you’ll meet them. It may take some months, though. They’re not known for making fast decisions.”
“I’m sure you’ll be able to convince them, as you convince everyone else. You’re good at that. You have the ideas and sound planning to win.”
I haven’t convinced Haruhi yet, or Tamaki for that matter. I wish I could. It is just more arguments that don’t lead anywhere. I’m glad that won’t be the issue with these new guys. Honesty will be my downfall.
“But they’re interested in someone trustworthy and honest.”
“You’re trustworthy. Is it wise to be completely honest in your business?”
“I don’t think so, but they’re engineers, an odd breed. They do things differently. But enough about me and my business. What about you? How are things between you and your new bride?”
“She’s wonderful! We both like the house a lot. Let me tell you, Kyo-chan…..”
Hunny continued to talk pleasantly for another twenty minutes without much help from Kyoya. Kyoya learned of the odd quirks in Hunny’s home, as well as his concerns for Reiko practicing Black Magic in the basement. Hunny spoke of the new techniques he was creating and teaching to his students and how they took to it.
He’s so…. friendly. No questions. No word of Haruhi or Tamaki. Seemingly no concerns at all. It’s a nice change. Why?
“Aren’t you going to ask me about the reason why we even need to have this conversation to begin with?”
Hunny reached out and patted Kyoya’s arm.
“You need time to think. When you’re ready, you’ll talk, right? I trust that you’d tell me if you have an issue. That’s what friends ought to do.”
Has he spoken to Haruhi? I don’t think he has, and he ought to. It’d make this easier. But Haruhi has concerns. What are his?
“So you don’t have any issues with me?”
“You need to talk things out with Tama-chan and Haru-chan. You can do that since you’re all closer to one another. If you need me to speak to them, I can.”
That’s kind and accommodating. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s almost tempting, but that seems like the coward’s way out.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I need to discuss this with them personally.”
“I thought so. I’m here to help.”
Where are these thoughts with Haruhi? Why doesn’t she want to help the way Hunny does? A little understanding is needed, rather than barging in as she tends to do. She’s trying to help in the wrong way. She’s not interested in true reconciliation.
“I thought you might say that. I see you as someone easy to confide in, even if I don’t. Normally, I confide in them, but not right now. My trust is shaken. I’m a little burnt out, if you will.”
“I can see that. Tama-chan can be a little much at times.”
So accepting. I don’t have to do much, and I’m already talking to him. Why can’t I have that with Haruhi? Never mind. It’s not worth it if she doesn’t want that anymore. She won’t win the challenge this way.
“It’s about more than that in this case. He and Haruhi especially are the ones I turn to, who look out for me. They haven’t. You have acted as you always have.”
Which isn’t always a good thing if we want to be good friends, but now is not the time to bring that up. Let’s deal with those two first. We can work on that with time.
“By sitting here and talking while we eat cake? Of course. For a friend, I can’t imagine doing many better things.”
“And there’ll be more opportunities to do it in the future.”
“Just not in the next few weeks.”
“Why not?” asked Kyoya with uncertainty.
“Because everyone wants to eat with you!” said Hunny as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
Haruhi doesn’t. She just wants to argue, and I give her the power to do it by keeping track of her and talking to her. I don’t have to do it, though, do I? I can greet her if we meet, but I doubt she’ll seek me out on purpose. That could just work.
“I don’t know if everyone does want to, but if it is anything like this, I don’t see why not.”
“Great! I know Takashi wants to really soon.”
“Send him my way.”
“Oh, there he is! Great timing, Takashi! I’ll just head out now so you two can talk. Say hi to Haru-chan for me, and see you around, Kyo-chan!”
Hunny bounced out of his chair and headed out the door, waving to both males as he did so. Then he was gone.
“Mori. This is unexpected. What bring you here?”
“You. We should have lunch next week. Wednesday?”
“Yes, that is good for me. Here?”
“That works. I have to head back to work, but we’ll talk soon. Take care of Haruhi.”
Kyoya analyzed his lunch time on his way back to work. Both Mori and Hunny knew he was seeing Haruhi soon, but they responded differently.
Hunny seemed unconcerned, but Mori seemed to think something going on. He’s observant, but he came in at the end. He can’t possibly know what I talked about with Hunny. Besides, I’m not going to hurt her when I see her, just make it clear that I have no preference for her. She’s supposed to come to me, not the other way around for this challenge. Let’s make this happen and show Haruhi what I can do.
As he walked back into his office, his secretary handed him his messages.
“You’re smiling. Did you have a good lunch with your friend?”
“I did. It was a good time to renew the friendship and my commitments to myself.”
End Chapter 4. Next chapter: Someone to Save You by OneRepublic