Epilogue: The Next Few Years
“Haruhi, have you any objections to getting married in about six months?”
“With the amount of help my Dad has already promised, and with your resources, I’m sure it’s doable. Any sooner might seem to imply something, but I don’t want to wait much longer, either.”
“Good. We’ve got a venue for the wedding, a few hours away.”
“Why so far?”
“Because it’s the largest hotel in the country, and my father already arranged it for us.”
“Oh,” said Haruhi, looking uneasily at her fiancé, “I didn’t expect him to do anything like that for us.”
“Nor did I. He doesn’t always help out to such a degree with wedding plans, but he seems more willing to do so because it’s you.”
“Because he respects you.”
Haruhi was honored by the attention from her future father-in-law, and she left it at that. As it was, the next six months would pass more quickly than she would like.
Within a month, all services had been arranged, and the invitations had been sent. Both Kyoya and Haruhi were good planners, but they had nothing on the resources and life experience of Yoshio Ootori.
With those logistics planned, they next tackled the overall theme and color ideas so they could know the clothing arrangements. Normally, Haruhi would not be pushing to deal with it, but she had an overly eager father clamoring for father-daughter bonding time over dress shopping. The sooner it was done, the better.
“Haruhi! We’re going shopping tomorrow! Let’s meet in the plaza tomorrow at eight, alright?”
“Why so early, Dad?”
“Because I’ve got thirty dresses that you need to try on, and I want to make a decision about dresses by the end of this week. We’ve got no time to lose! And I want to spend time with my little girl before she gets married!”
Haruhi groaned inwardly at the thought of so many dresses, but she knew this day was coming. It seemed her father was saving the majority of his frilly outfit fantasies for now, so she could deal with that. It was not every day that she got married, and she wanted to look nice, but hopefully without too many ruffles.
The next morning, Haruhi was awoken by two sets of hands pounding on her door as if the apocalypse were coming.
“Haruhi, wake up! It’s time to have some fun with us! Come on, we got breakfast!”
“I already have plans with my Dad!”
“We’re meeting him there! Come on and get dressed already! We got dresses we want you to try on, with you in mind!”
As it turned out, there were many benefits to having best friends who were in the fashion industry, since they had access to everything. It pleased Ranka to no end.
“Haruhi, you look so adorable!”
“Dad! It costs as much as I make in a year! No!”
“But, but, it’s beautiful. Oh, here’s a nice one! Try this one!”
“Dad! You don’t get it! That one costs even more than the one I’m wearing right now!”
“But I saved money!”
“Not this much!”
“Okay, then try this one! Look at these sleeves! It positively shimmers!”
Ranka was twirling around in a circle, showing it off to all the world who would look. He did not deflate until Haruhi tried it on.
“I look like a shiny cotton ball. No thanks, Dad.”
The twins waited until Haruhi had rejected all twenty-nine other dresses on Ranka’s list, and then they brought out their three dresses (two of which were still in the planning stages).
“Try these on! We think you’ll like them a lot!”
“They look stunning. But where’s the price tag?”
“Silly Haruhi, these are our dresses! Consider it an early wedding present if you like one of them!”
Haruhi went in to try the dresses on. The first one had the twins’ jaws dropping, while Ranka jumped up and down like a kid at Christmas.
“Choose that one, Haruhi! It’s so beautiful!”
“I like it, too. But, let’s give the other two dresses a chance, too.”
Somehow, by the time that Haruhi walked out in the next dress, Tamaki and Renge had appeared inside the private dressing area, and their reactions were similar to Ranka’s. The only difference was that Tamaki and Renge were slapping hands and turning their heads in the same direction with excitement written on their faces.
“You should wear that one, Haruhi! It’s a dream! Kyo won’t be able to keep his eyes off you!”
By the time Haruhi came out in the last dress, somehow Mori had also appeared, in tow with a smiling Hunny and Reiko.
“Wait, not yet! It’s missing something! Kaoru, you know which one we need, right?”
“Yes, I do! The second one!”
Kaoru appeared moments later with a veil, something that was supposed to be a companion piece to the dress. Plopping it on Haruhi’s head, he stood back to appreciate his work.
“Now she’s perfect!”
With Haruhi’s face glowing under so many approving faces, and joy from finding such a perfect dress for her, Haruhi looked like a proper bride. It was everything she had hoped for in a dress: white satin with a thin layer of lace around the edges of the sleeves and bodice, a skirt with an A-line flare to it, and the satin hemmed into three layers for the skirt, with a small string of pearls embroidered into the edge of each layer. The train was just enough that Haruhi could walk without assistance.
While everyone congratulated the twins on such a well-done dress, Haruhi smiled to herself about the look she would elicit from Kyoya. She looked forward to it very much.
With that decided, Haruhi was much relieved. The rest of the decisions for clothing were fairly easy to figure out with input from others, and Haruhi enjoyed watching Kyoya try to hold back his curiosity about the dress, especially after everyone else threw it in his face that they knew that he would like it.
Before she knew it, Haruhi was getting married. The weekends spent traveling to and from the venue with Kyoya were exhausting, but they had overseen all. Their Western wedding was sure to be the talk of the year, especially since it involved the Ootoris, who are never outdone. Everyone had accepted their invitations, and the entire hotel would be filled.
As Ranka walked Haruhi down the aisle, he said, “Kotoko would be so proud of you right now. I can see her smiling at you right now.”
Haruhi was not known for crying, but she cried at her wedding. It was not often that she saw such looks of love and adoration so openly displayed by Kyoya, and then to hear his vows, well, it was too much.
“I, Kyoya Ootori, take you, Haruhi Fujioka, to be my wife. To have and to hold, from this day forth. I pledge my life to you, my other half. What started as a high school crush became so much more, to want to help you, but also to want your ultimate good. You make me want to be a better person. I promise to stand by your side in support, no matter where jobs lead, or life takes us. No matter what happens to our friends, I’ll always be your best friend, someone you can come to. I will provide for you, in good times and bad, and I will love and respect you, every day, for the rest of my life. I vow to always be there for you, and I’ll fight to keep us together, no matter what it takes. That you can count on. This is my promise to you, the woman I love.”
Haruhi was afraid that she would not get through her vows, but glances at her friends’ and Ranka’s excited faces gave her the calm she needed to get through.
“I, Haruhi Fujioka, take you, Kyoya Ootori, to be my husband. For every day that we have together, until death do us part, I promise to love you. I love you for all you are: your good heart, your intelligence and endless knowledge of the world, and how you share it with me, your fair ways of dealing with others, and your ability to lead, even if you aren’t afraid to play dirty. You were there for me at a time when I needed it most, and I vow to give that same measure of comfort and care in our daily lives together, whatever form that requires. I promise to come find you at the end of a long day of work, and to make sure that you are taken care of, since you put my and others’ needs before yours. I will be your partner in life, helping you make the hard decisions, so that we can always work together to be the best version of ourselves possible. Forever I vow to be there for you and with you, in good times and bad. I have discovered that there’s even more to life, and I want to fully live that life with you, and only you, the man I love.”
If anyone had been looking at Ranka during Haruhi’s vows, they would have seen many tears. Ranka had cried a little at hearing Kyoya’s vows, but it was nothing compared to Haruhi’s. To see and hear his daughter pledge her life to Kyoya gave him the greatest satisfaction. Kotoko would be so proud! To see them kiss made him break several people’s eardrums, as well as cry happily with Misuzu. And when Haruhi walked down the aisle with Kyoya, Ranka understood what they meant by giving his daughter away.
When it came time for best man speeches at the reception, Kyoya and Haruhi prepared themselves to listen to Tamaki rhapsody upon their match as only he could. Mori had done the speech for Hunny’s wedding, and Tamaki had been the easy choice for Kyoya. It was rather surprising, then, that Hikaru and Kaoru walked up to the stage and began talking, finishing one another’s sentences per their usual routine.
“We all knew this day was coming,” said Hikaru.
“Though some of us knew it sooner than others,” added Kaoru before looking at his brother.
“That our best friend, Haruhi, would get married.”
“Some thought they knew what she would do, but even now, she continues to surprise us,” said Kaoru, thinking back to Haruhi’s attempts to mimic her now-husband.
“Almost since the day we met her in Host Club, we’ve been inseparable.”
“Sure, she tries to run away and ignore us from time to time, but we know she cares.”
“Because she dragged us out of our own little world, and showed us concern that we didn’t understand at first, simply in being able to tell us apart.”
“And for that we’ll forever be grateful to her for letting us into her life.”
“As a result,” said Hikaru, staring at Kyoya, “anyone who did want to marry her would have to get past us. Since she is so caring, she needs someone who will treat her the way she deserves.”
“We may have doubted at first,” said Kaoru.
“Maybe a lot.”
“But, now that we can see how she is treated, we’re happy.”
“And we wish Kyoya and Haruhi well, because they deserve happiness. No one would be better able to make things happen than our resident Shadow King.”
“So here’s to happy couple!”
When the twins sat down, Mori stood up.
“Haruhi brought all of us in the Host Club together to truly be a family that we hadn’t been before. Both Haruhi and Kyoya are good people, and when Haruhi graduated, some of us worried that she would never be the same. But, Kyoya brought her smile back, and he made her happy in a way that we hadn’t seen in a while. In addition, Haruhi brings out a new side of him, who cares about others, but especially about Haruhi. They make a good couple. Here’s to Haruhi and Kyoya.”
Once Mori sat down, Hunny jumped up, eager to share his bit. By this time, Mr. and Mrs. Ootori were prepared to sit a while as they listened to all their friends send their well-wishes.
“The first time that Kyo-chan took Haru-chan outside, I assumed he was only doing it because he felt he had to. And even after that, he always made it seem as though he was looking out for us, when all along he was doing it for himself and Haruhi. None of us are all that surprised now as we look back, since he was spending so much time with her, but I like to think that I helped their cause along with all our parties, especially helping Kyo-chan pick the right moment to dance with Haru-chan. Anyone who watches those two dance together knows that they’ll always be faithful to one another. They’re well-suited and like-minded, and I’m glad they each found someone who made them so happy. Here’s to Kyo-chan and Haru-chan!”
Finally, Tamaki, who had been dancing in his seat, stood up. He scampered out to the middle of the group with a smile on his face that could put the Shanghai skyline to shame. Haruhi had wondered what he would say about them, and she was not disappointed.
“Kyo has been my good friend for many years. I don’t know what I’d do without him! He’s always been there for me, and I love him like family!”
Tamaki would have continued if he did not notice the laughing expressions on all of the host club’s faces as they imagined his idea of “family”. So be it. They were his special family.
“In the same way, I love Haruhi too! While she may not be my little girl anymore, she’s still a friend that I care about. I want the best for both of my friends, because they deserve it! Kyo has always been a little on the quiet side, and there aren’t many who can draw him out of himself the way Haruhi can. She can do that with anyone, but she has mastered that art when it comes to my best friend.”
Tamaki paused before coming to the next part, wanting to say it right.
“Certainly, I wouldn’t have expected this outcome at first, but now that I can see how well Haruhi complements Kyo, and he her, it makes sense. And I couldn’t be happier for them. They’re perfect together, and ever since I realized that Kyo loved her, I made it my mission, with a little help from Renge, to bring them together. And they’re so cute together! Was I the only one who cried during their vows?”
While Renge shouted about them being perfect together and that she had known all along, Tamaki allowed his inner mind theater to overtake him for a moment. He imagined the two giving their vows again, and then their faces morphed into his and Renge’s. He sighed for a moment before continuing.
“Kyo and Haruhi are a special part of my life, and to see them together makes me happy. To have my two best friends together like this, so happy together, makes me glad that I sought out Kyo all those years ago, and then made Haruhi join our club. It was the best decision I ever made. Because of them, I found a new, special family, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you for your friendship, and here’s to the married couple, Kyo and Haruhi!”
Tamaki took a moment to look at his friends, and all three smiled at one another. In the end, all had worked out as it should, and their friendship was stronger for it.
After the speeches were done, the food was eaten, and even some fancy tuna appeared, even with Kyoya’s complaints and attempts to get rid of it. The dancing commenced after that (without Haruhi being bumped into every ten minutes), and when the bouquet was thrown, Renge, the maid of honor, finally caught the bouquet. That she looked knowingly at Tamaki right after made Tamaki blush, while the rest of the hosts laughed at the situation.
At the end of the reception, Kyoya and Haruhi got ready for their honeymoon. Their first stop, however, was Kotoko’s grave, each bringing some flowers and tokens from the wedding so that she could appreciate them. After that, they hopped in Kyoya’s private plane for a well-deserved honeymoon, and lots of alone time, of course.
Married life agreed well with both Haruhi and Kyoya, and getting used to living with one another was different at first, but they grew to like it.
However, before too long, Haruhi was receiving a loud phone call from Renge, while Kyoya chuckled to himself, having received a phone call at two in the morning from a frantic Tamaki.
By the time they attended Tamaki and Renge’s wedding, Reiko had a little girl in her arms, a veritable angel with the temperament of her father, and the looks of her mother. And Hunny could not have been prouder.
When Kaoru’s longtime girlfriend caught the bouquet at that wedding reception, some were beginning to wonder if Renge and Tamaki were up to their old tricks again. If those two did have a part in it, then they were not going to say.
It was right after a long day that Haruhi received a call from a triumphant Kaoru, announcing his engagement. Haruhi decided to share the good news with her husband. After hopping into bed, Haruhi patted Kyoya’s side, and he was quick to sit next to her, eventually pulling her into his lap to cuddle before they fell asleep.
“I just had even more good news, Kyoya.”
“What’s that? Who’s getting married now?”
Kyoya put his chin on Haruhi’s shoulder while slipping his hands around Haruhi’s waist. Haruhi beamed as she put her arms on top of Kyoya’s arms.
“Kaoru. At long last.”
“That’s good. I’m surprised he didn’t do it sooner.”
Haruhi shook her head at her husband. After that, she patted his arms again.
“I think he would have, if he wasn’t so concerned about Hikaru. However, given that Hikaru was the one who locked the two in a room for five hours in order to force his brother to stop putting it off makes it clear that he’s okay with it.”
“He ought to be, by now! He’s got a girlfriend of his own.”
“Chosen by Kaoru, even. He knows his brother well,” Haruhi said, sliding her head to the side so that she could rest her head against Kyoya’s. She proceeded to pat his arms a third time.
“Is that a hint? Are you worried that I don’t know you well by now?”
“It might be. I think you do know me well. Too well, sometimes.”
“Which is why I can’t help but wonder why you keep acting strange tonight. Is something wrong?”
“Oh, there’s nothing wrong at all. Quite the opposite. I guess you weren’t paying attention to what I said at the beginning of this conversation.”
Kyoya paused for a moment. While he thought, Haruhi removed his glasses, and then she turned to face him, a wide smile on her face.
Finally, the lightbulb turned on.
“What’s the even better good news, my wife?”
“You, Kyoya, are going to be a father.”
“I thought you were only going to get your yearly checkup today.”
“I was, but I wasn’t sure, so I asked to see a gynecologist as well. Naturally, they allowed me to see one right away.”
Kyoya chuckled before kissing his wife. Sometimes, words were not enough to convey all the joy that can come in life. For everything else, there were soul-crushing hugs and long, soulful kisses.
“How far along are you?”
“Two months in.”
“Seven months to get ready, then. I hope I’m a good father.”
“You’ll be an even better one than your or my father. I have no doubt of it.”
“I love you, Haruhi Ootori.”
“And I love you, Kyoya Ootori.”
When word reached the rest of the hosts that Haruhi would be a mother, there was a firestorm of hugs and claims of being the best uncle in the world. Haruhi smiled alongside her husband with the knowledge that all of her children would be well-loved.
By the time Kaoru held his wedding, Haruhi was fuller than a hot air balloon rising in the sky, and still just as beautiful, at least according to her husband. He had taken to keeping one hand in hers, and the other always touching a part of her stomach, in the hopes of feeling a kick. Haruhi did not dance that time, but she had everyone coming over to talk to her, so she never felt left out.
Arriving several days early, like any good Ootori boy, Haruhi and Kyoya’s first son was born. With a pair of lungs inherited from Ranka, the little boy looked just like his father with his patches of black hair and onyx eyes, and all fell in love with him on the spot. Soon, the newest Ootori heir was placed into the arms of his parents before being passed along to all the excited extended family. No one knows who was more pleased about his birth, his mother (after many hours of labor) or Yoshio Ootori, but he was loved by all.
In later years, the boy would grow up, a studious and quiet boy like his father, though he had a habit of trailing behind Mori, who taught him kendo at a young age. He also played much with Hunny’s little girl (and later boy) who learned kendo dutifully, and he was very protective of his twin younger siblings.
It was after Mori’s marriage to a sweet, quiet, though rather clumsy (they met by accident when he saved her from tripping), girl, that Haruhi found out that she was pregnant again. She had hoped for a girl, and Kyoya shared that wish. They were happy to be wrong when they found out that there would be fraternal twins.
When all the hosts gathered outside the waiting room for Haruhi, all children in tow, it was quite a circus. Between Hunny’s two children and Tamaki’s boy, there was plenty to keep busy with besides work, but all had come together, just as they had for other weddings and births. Hikaru and his new bride sat off in a corner by themselves, hoping for Haruhi’s safety, as the women had bonded over time, and there were some who were worried, despite Kyoya’s assurances.
But once again, Kyoya was right. The children came late, but they were both healthy. The little boy and girl looked alike, with their faces and hair matching Haruhi exactly, where the only difference besides gender was their eye color. The girl had her mother’s eyes, while the boy had Kyoya’s.
This set of twins also wreaked havoc with their tendency to dress similarly (and even cross-dress without realizing it), no doubt encouraged by their shady uncles. The boy followed his father around everywhere, and when he was not with his family, he could be found with Hikaru and Kaoru, who liked having another twin to talk to. He would learn sooner that he could depend on more than just his twin sister for love.
Meanwhile, his sister was spoiled by all who knew her, except maybe her mother. Kyoya loved his little Haruhi, and the boy that dared to date her would have much to contend with. However, she found even more affection from Tamaki, who eventually had a crop of boys, but no girls. Tamaki gladly spoiled her, and it was rumored that Renge was already planning a marriage for her and the boy who was a year older than her.
All of Kyoya’s and Haruhi’s children found love, in the immediate and extended family. How could they not, with such examples before them? Ranka was always willing to babysit in the afternoon, and he loved dressing up his granddaughter. The hosts were there, even with their own families growing.
Most of all, the children had their parents’ quiet love. Despite the long work schedules, Kyoya always made time for his family. His business even prospered, between Kyoya’s intuition and leadership, the latter made more famous with a wife who was just as intelligent. Haruhi took six months off in order to take care of the children before going back to work, and while she did not take on as much work as before, she followed her dreams. She came home early, giving her children all the love she remembered from when her mother was alive, and Kotoko’s spirit was there.
And each day, Haruhi and Kyoya kept their wedding vows. They worked hard to maintain their life, compromising as needed to grow, and keeping one another first.
“Yes, dear?” he said, as he put an arm around his wife.
“When did I look more beautiful, when I was pregnant, or not pregnant?”
Haruhi was not one to ask such questions, so Kyoya was curious.
“You look equally beautiful to me, whether pregnant with one of ours, or just as you are now.”
“Too diplomatic. Try again,” she said, elbowing her husband of many years.
“You have a certain appeal right now, all slim and easy to turn around like so. Much easier to kiss you.”
To prove his point, he did just that. After that, he continued.
“However, seeing you pregnant with our children makes me prouder, and more beautiful than anything I can imagine and can’t explain. You glow in a way, as well. It makes you just as attractive to me.”
“Hmm, that is acceptable,” she said before getting up.
“Have I mentioned lately that I love you?”
“An excellent distraction tactic. It’s working.”
“Good,” he said, before pulling the covers closer to them, “Now why are you asking?”
“Someone has to keep you honest,” Haruhi said with a smile.
“No one else will ask me such awkward questions, so it’s far better that it’s you. Perhaps I should’ve answered differently, then, to make this more interesting.”
“Just stop while you’re ahead, dear. We should try to go to sleep now before one of our little wanderers finds their way into our bed halfway through the night.”
“An excellent notion. You can sleep right here, next to me,” Kyoya said as he laid down and pulled Haruhi closer.
“I much prefer it here, than anywhere else. Good night, Kyoya.”
“Good night, Haruhi.”
The little ones always came (sometimes more than one, especially during thunderstorms), and space was always found. Haruhi and Kyoya loved their children, just as much as they loved one another. The love they shared was long-lived and fruitful.