Chapter 1: Drifting Away -- Missing Persons 1 & 2 by OneRepublic
“Where’s Mommy?” cried Tamaki.
Despite the fact that Tamaki was now an adult with a company to assist with and had been told by Haruhi to stop with the family idea, he still, in moments of panic, reverted back to his high school days when he talked about certain people. One in particular was Kyoya, much to everyone’s chagrin.
While the others groaned about Tamaki’s name for Kyoya, they still wondered the same thing as Tamaki. Ever since all of them had graduated from college and started their working life, the Host Club still hung out together, albeit only once a month. Much advance planning happened so that they could all meet up, despite their busy schedules.
With both Haruhi and Mori in law, they had a certain flexibility for meetings, and Hunny had command of his schedule more than anyone else. Meanwhile, the other four had a harder time, what with the twins flying between Japan, Italy, and France regularly in the name of fashion, then Tamaki having duties for the company that drew him all over Japan. Kyoya was always in meetings or traveling abroad, but he managed, usually.
“Maybe Kyo-chan is sick,” said Hunny helpfully.
“We saw him yesterday at a restaurant, talking away. Highly unlikely,” said Kaoru.
“That’s right. That place makes some really great food, so it’s doubtful,” added Hikaru.
Mori shook his head while Haruhi walked to the corner where Tamaki was calling Kyoya incessantly, trying to get an answer. After trying the numbers he had three times, he slunk down to the smooth, wooden floor, where Haruhi put her arm around him. Haruhi had resigned herself to the idea of Tamaki always being dramatic like this, even if she did not care for it at certain moments, like now. Moping would not bring Kyoya back.
“It’s alright, Tamaki. I’m sure he’s just busy or in a meeting right now. Give him time. You know what happens when he gets calls in meetings.”
“Haruhi, I don’t understand. Doesn’t he want to see his friends anymore? Aren’t we important?”
“I don’t understand either, Tamaki. But let’s wait and see. Then we can question him about it when he comes.”
After another hour, Hikaru finally said, “He’s not coming, guys, just like the last two times. We might as well give up.”
“But he always called if he could not before,” said Tamaki, still holding onto hope.
“He’s late. The Shadow King is never late,” replied Kaoru.
Mori grunted his approval at what the twins said, while Tamaki and Hunny looked deflated at the thought of Kyoya not coming. Haruhi was trying not to dwell on the fact that this was the third month in a row that Kyoya had made an excuse and not come. The first had been because something at work changed suddenly, and the second time, he called after everyone met and told them that he could not.
By the end of the meeting, Kyoya did not call. The group made the best of their time together, trying not to dwell on him and instead discussing what was new in their lives.
The recent news in their lives had been a mixed bag. A few months ago had started a rough patch in Tamaki and Haruhi’s relationship, but they had been working on it, as Haruhi had been beginning to drift away for various reasons. Before that, the big news had been that Kyoya received a large portion of his father’s company, which happened soon after Hunny and Reiko had gotten married. Mori was well on his way to becoming a judge as he wanted, so he was satisfied.
Tamaki was walking Haruhi back to her apartment downtown after the meeting when he started to talk out loud about Kyoya, his frustration and confusion coloring his words.
“Haruhi, I don’t know what’s going on with Kyo these days. He’s next to impossible to get ahold of, and now he’s missed yet another reunion. What’s his problem? Are we no longer his friends? We all try to call him.”
“Kyoya has that new company to worry about. That’s probably part of it, but the rest, I don’t know. It’s been a while since I last saw him, probably at that meeting when I snapped at you. Thankfully, he was beside you then so that we both could cool off.”
“He understands you well, Haruhi. He always has. He knew that you were frustrated, even if I missed it, first in your actions, then in the tone of your voice. He’s actually part of the reason why we were able to reconcile so fast.”
“Really? When were you planning to tell me that?” she said, confusion in her voice.
“I hadn’t told you? Oh, I thought I had told you that I sought out advice. With him, though, it was more him coming to me and telling me I was messing up.”
At this point, they made it to Haruhi’s place and sat down to finish the conversation in separate chairs. While the furnishings were sparse, the apartment still felt cozy and homey, with pictures of all the Hosts on the walls. All the Hosts had helped Haruhi in decorating, so Haruhi always loved coming back to her apartment.
“I’m sure he had ideas on how to fix it, too,” said Haruhi, a small smile on her face.
“He did, after I asked him a couple times.”
“Well, I’m glad you made the effort. I was beginning to think that it would not work out between us because we were so dissimilar. I thought we just didn’t understand one another.”
The two smiled a little more easily at one another after that.
“There were misunderstandings, but they can be dealt with. I didn’t recognize them at first. I didn’t want that to be the thing to end our relationship. After all this time, I wanted to make this work. Kyo helped a bunch. I was hoping he’d come so that he could see the improvements between us.”
“There’s still time for him to see it. Maybe we should go visit him together.”
Tamaki’s face took on a light, joyous look that put Christmas trees to shame.
“Haruhi, that’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Let’s go see him tomorrow!”
“I can’t, remember? I got that case.”
Haruhi’s face saddened at the thought of having to wait to see Kyoya, and that Tamaki had forgotten about her schedule yet again. Him and his ideas. Tamaki’s face soon reflected Haruhi’s.
“Oh yeah, I forgot. Sorry, Haruhi. What about two days from now?”
“I don’t think the case will be done by then either. You should know by now that cases like this take a few days.”
“Then let’s aim for next week. How about Wednesday? I don’t think you have anything then, and I have to go out of town Friday.”
“Sure, let’s aim for then.”
With her agreement, Tamaki’s smile came back full force.
“Good! This’ll be great! Kyo will be so surprised! And then we’ll just take him out to lunch-“
“Assuming he has no plans.”
“After this stunt today, he should know something is coming. Say,” he said, another of his ideas coming on.
Haruhi saw the look on Tamaki’s face and sighed. She knew that whatever was coming was probably not going to be good for someone. Before, it was Kyoya as he tried to figure out how to finance the schemes and cosplays ideas he had, and now, it was Kyoya again, but for his own good.
“Haruhi, we both know that he knows that something is coming. So why don’t we make sure of it, starting tomorrow? We’ll get everyone to do it. We can all take turns calling him and making sure he knows that we care, just in case he is feeling down about having to miss today. What do you think?”
It had taken some conditioning from Haruhi to get Tamaki to ask her for her opinion about his schemes. Usually, he just went ahead and did them without thinking of how the others might feel about it. Haruhi was glad that he had taken her words to heart and now asked her, most of the time.
“You know, Tamaki, that’s a good idea! Why don’t we call the rest and set up a schedule for all of them to call?”
With that, phones were whipped out, and they made the calls. When Tamaki left, he left with a spring in his step, hopeful that all would be well when he called Kyoya on Monday. He would make it early since he knew that Kyoya did not like Mondays, or getting up early.
Haruhi went to bed cautiously optimistic that all would work out as Tamaki hoped. For Tamaki’s sake especially, she hoped that Kyoya did have a real reason for not coming and that he would enjoy all the calls. She would definitely have a few words to say to Kyoya when she got a hold of him on Tuesday, but he had to expect that after missing yet another meeting.
Kyoya’s absence hurt everyone, even if Tamaki showed it the most. Haruhi cared about Kyoya and wanted him to be happy and successful, but there was a difference between living to work and working to live. She hoped that Kyoya had not slipped into his former habits of working so much and keeping everyone at a distance as he had when he went to college, breaking free of the tyranny of his father, only to become absorbed in college work. He wanted to make his own path, but to do that, he would need to work his hardest, and work hard he had.
When Tuesday came around, Haruhi made her call. She had not heard from Tamaki yet how his talk with Kyoya went, but Tamaki was coming for dinner, so no doubt she would learn then. The phone rang for her, but no one answered his cell. When she tried his work, a secretary took a message to him. Haruhi was frustrated. Tamaki appeared later for dinner, with just as gloomy news. He had no response, and he had talked to the others, to find that he had been unreachable for everyone. It was then that Haruhi was really glad that they were going to see Kyoya in person tomorrow. She would have some stern words with him.
Meanwhile, in a pristinely kept, glass building, Kyoya worked away on keeping his part of the company in shape, looking after the people and new leads of people to work with. The most recent lead he had had was from an American company who worked with and synthesized medical isotopes. There was likely to be a shortage of those isotopes in the next few years as those kinds of treatments became more popular, so it would be good to be ready to have a source. Few in Japan dealt with it, so Americans would do since they loved a good deal. He sent out an email to the company, inviting them to visit Japan to perhaps expand their business. It was only a matter of time.
After that was done, his secretary came in with this day’s message from the Host Club. Today was Haruhi. A part of him felt bad about what he was inflicting upon Haruhi, as he knew she would hear the most from Tamaki about the lack of communication on his end. At the same time, if she and the rest of the Hosts expected to stay together, then this would test their relationship in a way that would help. The rest of the Hosts were finally trying to talk to him, after giving far too much space in the recent months.
Yes, he had asked for more space from everyone at the last meeting he had attended. The work load had increased exponentially, but he had not expected to hear so little from anyone besides Tamaki, and that was because he sought out Tamaki at first.
After that meeting’s spat between Haruhi and Tamaki, someone had to talk to Tamaki. Kyoya had to deal with Tamaki’s hysterics at the thought of Haruhi showing yet another sign of not being interested in him, so he thought it necessary to tell Tamaki that Haruhi had reason to act thusly. In the process of helping Tamaki, he got to hear every little detail about Haruhi he did and did not want to know since Tamaki insisted upon telling all her good qualities as much as possible.
The combination of copious descriptions of Haruhi and fretting over what he had done wrong made Tamaki forget about the fact that Kyoya was under a great deal of pressure at that time, which annoyed Kyoya to no end. It did not help that he really did not have time to deal with Tamaki’s drama, too. But, no one else seemed eager to help these two despite their long history together. That thought tended to rile Kyoya up more than he was willing to admit, for both of their sakes.
The Host Club had grown together more during college, and Tamaki talked to the others much more, so they should have seen the warning signs and helped Tamaki. For Haruhi, he could see that she was unhappy and irritable around Tamaki, and how no one else saw that was beyond him. Usually Mori or Hunny would do something, but with all of the wedding plans, Hunny had been more busy of late. Mori was just his normal, quiet self, but he was still observant, just as Kyoya was when it came to Haruhi.
Yes, he had had feelings for Haruhi back in high school, but that had been a while ago. He had buried those feelings long ago because those two were happy together, despite their differences. He wanted her to be happy and to have the best that life could offer, like any friend. If Haruhi wanted Tamaki, then he would do his best to help. Tamaki was his best friend, and Tamaki had it bad for Haruhi, and he could never hurt Tamaki like that.
Still, Haruhi had ignored him in all of the drama of the last few months. The fact that she had finally gotten around to contacting him surprised him a little, as he had been expecting something more from her if anything. No matter. She and the rest of the Host Club were annoying him right now, and if his conscience pricked at not even calling them, then he rationalized it away. There were other things he needed to deal with. If they were truly his friends, then they would forgive him. He was trying to balance a great deal at that time, and drama had no place in his life. Each time in the past three months he thought about going to those monthly reunions, his stomach would clench at what he would see when he arrived, and it made him uncomfortable not knowing why it hurt. Tamaki would be smiling and back with Haruhi, and he would see his friends. Then why did he feel bad about going?
With any luck, tomorrow he would hear from the Americans, and then he could see how willing they were to go into business together. After all, no one said no to an Ootori, or messed with one and lived to tell the tale.
End Chapter 1. Next Chapter: Au Revoir by OneRepublic