title: anything easy has its cost
fandom: Ouran High School Host Club
characters/pairings: Haruhi/Tamaki, Kyouya, Hikaru/OFC, Kaoru/OFC, Mori, Honey
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Haruhi finds herself bothered by a rumor, finally. (futurefic)
notes: takes place long after the end of the manga, even though the manga isn't done yet. ^_~ and now, years, later, can say... this has to be AU because it's totally been jossed.

She rushed into her office, scrambling to keep from dropping any of her briefs until she got to her desk. Her assistant trailed in after her, holding a cup of coffee, which she took with more than just a bit of gratitude.

"Fujioka-san, how was court this morning?" she asked, quickly moving around to sort out the briefs Haruhi had dropped in order of importance.

She sat back in her chair, releasing her breath with comfort. It was good to have someone efficient to work with. "No complaints. What's on the schedule for the afternoon? Do I have time for lunch?"

"I got you a salad," Maaya said apologetically. "You've got appointments until four, and you need to get the contracts for the Ootori group by seven."

She grimaced, and reached out to sort through the papers on her desk. "What about the tenement eviction case, do we have any action there?"

"The landlord has given us..." she started, but then, the door to her office burst open, and a flurry of rose petals whooshed in.

"Haru~hi!" Tamaki pranced inside, beaming from ear to ear, dressed in a white suit with a blue pinstriped shirt, and a red tie. "Haruhi, you look beautiful today, as always. Here, I brought you roses!" He plopped them down on her desk, on top of all her briefs and files and Kyouya's contracts... He swooped around, and put his arm around Maaya's waist. "Maaya-chan, darling, you look like a stunning flower, as always. Please tell me this backbreaker isn't overworking you again, is she? I wish I could take you away from this grubby little office and give you the life that a sparkling gem like you deserve!"

Maaya giggled, blushing madly under Tamaki's piercing and unflinching gaze. Unimpressed, Haruhi picked up the flowers and put them back on the table behind her. "Tamaki, please unhand my assistant. Our appointment is tomorrow, I'm sure."

He winked at Maaya, and kissed her cheek, and then plopped down in the chair across from Haruhi. "I know, and I was so looking forward to it, but I have to jet to Paris tonight. Actually, the car is downstairs waiting to take me to the airport. Haruhi!" He jumped to his feet, and reached across the desk, and took Haruhi's hands. "Come with me! I'll show you the Champs Élysées, Montmartre, the Louvre, Le Jardin du Luxembourg..." He leaned down, and gingerly placed his lips on her hands.

"Not now," she replied shortly, pulling her hands away. Maaya giggled, and left the office, wiggling her eyebrows at Haruhi. "Really," she sighed. "You could have just called me. You didn't need to come out of your way. Honestly, an email would have been enough."

"But I really wanted you to come with me!" Tamaki whined. "All you ever do is work, work, work! The last time you had any fun was in high school! Remember the host club? We had fun there, right? At college, you just studied, studied, studied. And now... look at all these papers! When are you going to take your first vacation, when you retire?"

She looked up at him, annoyed. He actually sounded concerned. What an idiot. "Not everyone has as easy a life as you do. Just go on your trip, Tamaki. I'll see when you get back."

Tamaki sighed deeply. "Fine, fine, I'll go away and give you space. That's all you really want, I know," he moaned dramatically. She rolled her eyes. "I'll buy you something nice in Paris, all right? When I get back, we'll have dinner together." He sounded so eager, like a gigantic dog who still thought he was a puppy.

Smiling affectionately, she nodded to him distractedly. "Fine, fine. Just go now. Have a good trip."

He put his hand to his forehead. "Well, it won't be as good as when I finally convince you to come with me... But all right. I'll see you soon. Take care, Haruhi!"

He flounced off, kissing Maaya's hand as he spun past her.

She sighed, lovesick, and grinned at Haruhi. "Fujioka-san, you're so lucky!"

"You think so?" Haruhi replied in a flat voice.

"Of course! You have such a gorgeous suitor!" she gushed.

Haruhi rolled her eyes. "Sure, sure. I need the Endo brief, please."

But Maaya was still swooning. Really. Tamaki's visits were too distracting!

She entered the Ootori estate from the back entrance, as always, and showed herself up to the Master's offices. Kyouya worked at one of three plush offices in the city, but he was always home by six o'clock, and it was the easiest way to be sure to catch him. His personal valet met her outside the antechamber for his office, and went in to see if Kyouya was able to see her.

She sat down on the leather couch, and pulled out the relevant files, putting them in order. It was only a few minutes before she was ushered in to see him. It was enough time, though, for her to have everything in perfect order, which was good, because Kyouya hated to waste even a second.

As always, he was seated behind his desk, looking somewhat bored. He put down his pen, though, and looked up at her, smiling. "Haruhi. How lovely to see you today. You have the contracts?"

She placed them down on his desk. "Here. I've tagged the places you need to sign. Everything has been drawn up to your exact specifications."

"I trust you," Kyouya said easily, but she could tell that he was quickly scanning over every part of them. She smiled slightly to herself. She actually found his attention to detail comforting. Working with him had taught her much about being a conscientious lawyer. He picked his pen up, and started to sign the documents.

"I'd also like to discuss a tenement rehab project that your group is involved in," she added cautiously, watching him carefully for signs of any reaction.

"Ah? You're involved in that? That's unfortunate! Are you going to make things difficult for me, Haruhi?" He winked at her, clearly unconcerned, and passed her the signed documents.

Damn rich... She took the signed contracts, smiling, and put them away. "I'll make things as difficult as I have to, if I can save the tenets the difficulty of being made homeless."

"Aren't you overstating the case? But I'm afraid I don't have time to discuss the matter now," he sighed dramatically, looking balefully at the clock on his desk. "I have dinner with my wife and her parents at seven thirty, and then we're going to the opera."

"How charming," Haruhi grinned. She was fairly certain that Kyouya considered opera something that he had to endure, as part of the burdens of his wealth. Of course, he would never come out and just say something like that. "When can we schedule a time you can discuss the project?"

He chuckled. "Tamaki left for Paris today, didn't he?"

She blinked. "Kyouya, don't change the topic."

"I'm not, not really, but it's interesting to me... Tamaki needed to borrow one of the Ootori group's pilots for his personal jet, because his own was out of commission. The hazards of last minute travel plans." Somehow, Haruhi failed to sympathize with Tamaki's travel difficulties. "According to the report I got, Tamaki and a young lady were the passengers on the jet. My wife seems convinced that Tamaki has taken off with the Matsuni heir to propose to her under the Eiffel Tower." He narrowed his eyes, watching her for her reaction.

She shrugged, nonchalant, and pulled out her calendar. "But, according to the society pages, isn't he off to Paris or Milan or New York to get engaged every other weekend? He has a lot of weddings to plan... the host club instilled in him many bad habits. So, will you be free Thursday evening?"

"I won't be free until Friday at the earliest. And you are as cold as ever," he remarked, clucking his tongue. "Tamaki would be heartbroken."

"We both know that he wouldn't," she stated plainly, and she stood up. "Thank you, Kyouya." She held out her hand to him, which he took, but instead of shaking, as she expected, he raised her hand to his lips, and kissed her knuckles softly.

She just stared at him.

"Those host club days are long gone. But I don't think any of us have forgotten anything," he winked at her. "Looking forward to seeing you, Haruhi."

She rolled her eyes and pulled her hand away. "Yes, yes. See you Friday."

Really. They were all just as much trouble as ever.

She pulled her modest little hatchback up the long and winding drive of the Hitachi estate. The twins' mother was still the lead designer for her company, but she had passed on the day-to-day managing to her sons. Additionally, Kaoru had started to paint a bit. It was actually fairly disgusting.

He was a damned genius.

She parked next to the maid, and went in the servants' entrance. She was greeted in the kitchen by the cook, who told her that the 'masters and mistresses' were in the west garden. She nodded pleasantly, and accepted a small pastry puff. The west garden was accessible if she went through the main hall, and down the west wing, to the veranda.

This house was disgustingly oversized.

She went outside, and sure enough, found the twins, both sets, having tea in the middle of the labyrinth garden. She wound her way through it expertly, having been there too many times to get confused, even though the Hitachi twins instructed their gardening staff to change the layout of the maze a little bit every day.

"Haruhi!" Hikaru called out, waving brightly. "Have you come to play with us?"

"Playtime ended for some of us a long time ago," she groused cheerfully. As much as she never once had any trouble telling Hikaru and Kaoru apart, their wives were another matter entirely. Jia and Xia were twins that Hikaru and Kaoru met in Hong Kong when they were there for holiday four years ago. The two sets of twins had a frighteningly lot in common, and were married in six weeks. Just like Hikaru and Kaoru, Jia and Xia hated to be apart, and loved to confuse people about their identities. Perhaps it was their femininity that stumped Haruhi, but every time she thought she had them worked out, she was proved wrong, much to all the twins' amusement, so she stopped even trying to tell them apart. "I have the contracts for the charity auction drawn up."

"Bo~ring," Kaoru yawned. "If you want us to do boringboring work, you're going to have to play a little!" He winked at her.

Hikaru jumped to his feet, laughing. "Penalty ga~me! Now, you'll have to find me in the maze if you want to get me to sign anything!" He took off running, and Xia, presumably, since she was his wife, jumped up, laughing, and took off after him.

Haruhi sighed. "I don't need Hikaru to sign anything. Just you, Kaoru. It's for your art, after all. You will be done in time, right?"

"Yes, yes," Kaoru replied, sounding bored. He was smiling affectionately, though, looking back to where his brother had run off. "Stop nagging me."

"Kaoru~chan," Jia whined, slinking over to plop down into Kaoru's lap. "Does it bother you to see your brother and your wife run off together?" Haruhi blinked. All right, then, that was Xia. Really, she wondered if they could really tell each other apart. Xia didn't look too upset about her husband running off with her sister, though. She was tracing patterns on Kaoru's chest as she swung her legs.

Kaoru sighed deeply, and slipped his hand up her skirt. "I know. Those two. What will we do with them?"

Haruhi rolled her eyes. "Sign the contract, please, Kaoru, and then you all can do anything you like, on your own."

Kaoru and Xia both snickered, and Kaoru reached across the table to take the contract. "It's for five paintings, correct? No theme?"

"Correct," Haruhi nodded.

"Kaoru-chan's already finished three of them," Xia proudly informed her. "Oh, by the way, Haruhi-chan, is it true about Tama-chan?"

Kaoru giggled at the endearment she used for Tamaki, like he always did. Haruhi took back the contract, making sure it was all done properly. "What about him?"

"I heard that he got married in Venice to an Arabian oil heiress. Is that true?" She leaned forward, which perhaps inadvertently pushed Kaoru's hand up her leg further, eager for Haruhi's answer.

"That seems unlikely," Haruhi dryly replied. She packed the contract up, and stood up.

"What would you do if our Lord did get married one of these days?" Kaoru asked, his eyes glinting wickedly. "It's bound to happen sometime. Have you ever considered it?"

She slung her attaché case over her shoulder and shrugged. "No. Take care. I'll see you at the auction, if not before."

They both laughed, and waved to her. "Haruhi is so cold!" Xia exclaimed cheerfully. "I feel sorry for Tama-chan!"

"I don't feel too sorry for him," Kaoru snickered. "He's the one who has insisted on waiting for her, after all."

They were still laughing when she reentered the house.

Damned annoying rich bastards... What the hell was all that supposed to mean, anyway?

She entered the Haninozuka estate at the front door. She was hardly the only visitor there; every day, students of the martial arts from all around the world and in various walks of life came to the estate to study, usually in one of the many lower dojos throughout the campus. She parked in the lot behind the main dojo, and then walked over to the private house of the head of the Haninozuka family.

She slipped her shoes off outside, and knocked on the door quietly. This estate was easily the most traditional place she had ever been, even more so than the temples she had visited for class trips in middle school. Of course, to Mori-senpai, and Honey-senpai, this was just home.

The door was opened by one of Honey-senpai's acolytes, who bowed to her, and waited for her to enter. She went straight back, to the long, traditional room where Mori-senpai and Honey-senpai were waiting for her.

As soon as she stepped inside, Honey-senpai bounced, and jumped over to her. "Ha~ru~chan! It's so good to see you! It's been too long! Hey, hey, do you have time today? In a little bit, a really BIG cake is coming over! You'll stay to have some, right? Right?"

She smiled easily, and patted Honey-senpai on the head. "I wish I could stay, Honey-senpai, but I have court this afternoon. I brought over the release forms for the Women's Self-Defense Event. Please remember to take it easy on them, Honey-senpai, or they won't give you any cake afterward." She tried to sound stern, but really, she was a little afraid of what Honey-senpai would do.

"Eh?" Honey-senpai cocked his head to the side, and pouted. "That's mean, Haru-chan. I won't do anything bad." His bottom lip wibbled a bit, but Haruhi knew full well that he was in complete control of it.

Still. He was so cute...

Mori-senpai put his hand on Honey-senpai's shoulder. "Don't worry. I'll be there, too."

Haruhi smiled gratefully at Mori-senpai, but Honey-senpai just looked at Mori with a questioning look. "Of course Takashi will be there. Why wouldn't he be?"

Haruhi chuckled to herself, and started to stand up. It was reassuring that some things never changed. "Well, then..."

"Oh, Haru-chan," Honey-senpai turned to look at her again. "By chance, do you know who Tama-chan is going to marry?"

Haruhi sighed deeply. "Honey-senpai, not you, too. I expect the twins to chase every rumor. Even Kyouya teasing me is expected. But you're not the type..."

"Ah? But it's not a rumor, Haru-chan!" Honey-senpai protested. "I got a call from Tama-chan yesterday morning from Cairo. He said that Kyou-kun wouldn't talk to him because it was six in the morning, but he needed to know where the best place to get a diamond was. He said he needed a really big diamond! That's for an engagement ring, right? I told him about a mine in South Africa, and he hung up before I could ask him anything else. But I thought you'd know. You mean... you don't?" He looked up at her with big, liquid eyes, and then he turned and looked at Mori-senpai, biting his lip. "Did I... did I say something wrong?"

Mori-senpai was rubbing his shoulder reassuringly. Haruhi thought her heart had stopped, but she forced herself to smile, and stand up. "Don't worry. It's nothing, of course. I don't know anything about it, but I'm sure I will soon. I have court, so. Take care, Honey-senpai, Mori-senpai."

"Ah! Haru-chan!" Honey-senpai jumped up, concerned, but she just laughed, and waved him off.

She wanted to get out of there quickly. Out the door, put her shoes back on. Over to her car. Out the gate. Back into town. She couldn't think about this now. She had a case, and her client couldn't afford to lose. She had to stay focused. She would stay focused. It was just.

That was a shock. That was all. Such direct information, from Honey-senpai. But it didn't mean that... of course it didn't, because even Tamaki wasn't so foolish as to... there were plenty of reasons for wanting a diamond. Plenty. She was sure. She couldn't think of any just then, but that didn't mean that he...

She didn't have time to think about it now. Focus. She had court.

She would... think about it later.

She entered Kyouya's office, still riffling through her papers. It had been a difficult few days. She felt like she was losing her mind. And probably seeing Kyouya now was the worst possible idea, but...

"Haruhi," he greeted her casually. "You look a bit bedraggled. Please, have a seat. I'll call for tea." He picked up the house phone and called the kitchen before she could object. Sighing heavily, she sat down at one of the wing back chairs on the other side of Kyouya's office, and dumped her papers on the small table between the chairs. Kyouya strolled over, looking down his nose at Haruhi's disheveled state. "Goodness. Whatever has you in such a flurry?"

She watched him sit down neatly, resenting a bit his composure. "About those tenements..."

"We've decided to resettle the current occupants in one of our new buildings for working families. Each unit comes equipped with the latest appliances, and we'll be offering them a moving stipend to help ease the burden. Is this acceptable?" he asked raising his eyebrows. He chuckled as her shoulders slumped. Of course, he was ten paces ahead of her... "Now, tell me. What has got your feathers so ruffled? I wouldn't expect you to be so discombobulated when Tamaki isn't in town..."

She wondered how many more synonyms for 'messy' he could think of. "I'm not. Discombobulated, or. It's certainly not because of him! Normal people sometimes have bad days, that's all..."

Kyouya chuckled and put his chin on his hand. "Everyone has bad days, Haruhi. But this is definitely related to Tamaki." She blushed furiously, and his grin widened. "You've been to see Honey-senpai, mm?"

Deflated, she stared down at the expensive, antique Persian rug, following the whorls of color with her eyes. "What does it mean to fall in love to a rich person?"

"It has a different meaning for different classes?" Kyouya asked, astonished. "I didn't know."

"Well," she sighed. "You got married to a rich heiress who your older brother was courting. It seems you two have an entirely cordial relationship, and you care about each other. Because your father was intent on merging the families and their interests, you were able to become the Ootori heir, and she seems pleased to have a younger and desirable husband. It's a business relationship, isn't it?"

"Is there something wrong with that?" Kyouya shrugged. "Are you saying that poor people only marry for love?"

She shook her head. "Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai married discreet, traditional girls from good families, to carry on their names, since they are the heads of their families. But... I don't think anything's changed between Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai."

"You can't expect the two heads of one of Japan's oldest and most prominent families to be out in a homosexual relationship, do you? This is the way of their families. Nothing more." Kyouya sounded unconcerned. "What about the twins? You don't think they married for prestige or position, do you?"

She narrowed her eyes. "They found two people almost exactly like them so they could continue to play and act like children." He chuckled. "But... Tamaki... if he's going to be the heir of the Suoh family, he needs... a respectable wife from a respectable family, doesn't he?" Her voice got low, and sullen. Saying this out loud was practically an admission, and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to make one...

Kyouya sighed loudly. The tea service came in, and the maid left the cart at Kyouya's elbow. He stood up to pour out two cups of tea, not bothering to ask Haruhi how she liked it, since he knew well enough by now. "It's hard to believe, but after all these years, you still don't know him at all, do you?"

"Eh?" She looked up at Kyouya, surprised. "Are you saying that I'm wrong? But his grandmother..."

"Is now 89 years old, and last year, she suffered a mild stroke." He held out a teacup to Haruhi, smirking. "She can't retain control of the Suoh group for long, which means she will need to pass it on to someone. All this time, she thought if she could force her son to leave his French mistress and come home, he would relent, and go back to his 'respectable wife,' as you would put it, and produce for her a suitable heir. But, Tamaki-san has refused to even consider another woman, waiting patiently for the time when he could be reunited with his love." He sat down, and sipped his tea carefully. "Why do you think Tamaki is always running off to France every other weekend?"

"Eh?" she stuttered, confused. "What do you mean? Doesn't he just go there on a whim, to go to parties, and the like...?"

Kyouya actually laughed. "If he was traveling on whims, just living the life of a carefree jetsetter, wouldn't he be going all over the world? But every time, he goes to Paris... Can't you figure out what he's doing?" Kyouya chuckled, and Haruhi narrowed her eyes. Damned rich bastard, always acting so superior... "He's going to see his mother."

"Ah!" Haruhi's back straightened, and she stared at Kyouya, stunned. "But... his grandmother...?"

"What can she do?" Kyouya shrugged. "If she throws him out of the family and strikes his name from the registry, he'd have a line a kilometer long of potential employers. If his mother's health declined again, he has the money and means to make more money to give her the best care in the world. There's no longer any threat."

"Ah... I see..." Haruhi nodded slowly. "So... he's essentially free, is what you're saying?"

"Do you think that he was ever really caged down to that old woman?" Kyouya laughed. "It was always just a matter of time, wasn't it? Tamaki's natural charm and grace is more than enough to get him through in this life. Granted, when he was younger, in school, he did worry... cut off from his mother, he worried that she might die before he could see her again."

Haruhi hung her head down. Tamaki... never told her anything like that, but then, when could he have, really? He was always smiling, bright like the sun with her. Was Kyouya the one he opened up to?

"Tamaki will definitely follow his father's path, and marry for love," Kyouya said, winking at her. "Regardless of rank, and anything else. There's only one person he could ever consider marrying."

She turned her face away, blushing. Did he mean...? But Tamaki didn't mean... She took a troubled breath. Did she want Tamaki to...? "Hm, we're back to love, then. So, tell me, Kyouya... have you ever been in love?" He couldn't have, though, could he? Kyouya's heart was ruled by logic. As hers was ruled by practicality. And Tamaki's was ruled by beauty. Therefore...

"Are you sure you want me to answer that?" Kyouya replied silkily, and Haruhi looked up at him, surprised by his tone. He chuckled softly. "I've loved precisely two people in my life. Though, I shouldn't really say that in the past tense... Didn't you know, Haruhi?" She stared at him blankly. "In both cases, it was for the same reason, too. I love Tamaki, and I love you, because you two were the only ones to look past my veneer to see me." He got up, and stepped closer to Haruhi.

She wasn't thinking clearly. He just said...? What? What was he doing?

He leaned down, and touched her chin. "So, naturally, I'm most interested in the happiness of the two people who matter the most to me." He leaned down... her eyes widened. What was he...?

He kissed her. It wasn't exactly a peck on the lips, but he wasn't trying to force himself on her. She blushed violently. It was... nice, actually.

He winked. "Do me a favor, Haruhi? When you see Tamaki again, please be honest with him about your feelings. It's about time, don't you think?"

She nodded mutely, and grabbed blindly to gather up her things, scrambling to get out. Amused, he helped her.

As she fumbled for her car keys, she wondered how she could keep Kyouya's promise when she didn't even know how she felt herself.

She was typing up opening statements for a wrongful eviction case when he burst through her door. She barely even looked up, she was so used to it, and when she finished her sentence, she saved her document and minimized the window.

"Haruhi! I've missed you! Wait 'til I tell you all about my trip. You're not going to believe it! You really should have come with me. I went hot air ballooning, and I went to Africa! I met the most interesting people there and I think I might have helped with an uprising but I'm not sure. And I got taffy! Want some?" He held out a box of pink candy.

She closed her laptop, grinning. "I'm glad you had a good time, Tamaki. Did you... did you see your mother?"

"Eh?" he drooped, draping himself over her desk. "You knew?"

"Kyouya mentioned it," she admitted.

"That Kyouya," he groused. "I wanted to surprise you!" He grabbed her hands, and pulled them to his chest. "You have to come with me soon! She's really anxious to meet you! You'll love her. She's the most wonderful woman in the world! Ah, excepting you, of course, and your deceased mother. I bet the two of you will get along beautifully!" he beamed, clinging to her hands like they were a cherished teddy bear.

He was being so cute. And. He really wanted her to meet his mother... She took a deep breath. "You bought a diamond in South Africa?"

"Oh!" He laughed, self-consciously, which she swore he did because he knew how cute he was when he did that. "Yeah... I did. Since you already know about ma maman... My father was planning to wait until after grandmother died to marry Mother, but... well. Things have changed, so. He asked me to get a new diamond to fit into the setting for her engagement ring. So." He shrugged. "Mother will probably coming to Japan next year for the wedding!"

She knew it. There was a totally logical explanation and it had nothing to do with Tamaki getting married, but it was about love.

That damned word again.

"That's fantastic, Tamaki. I'm so happy for them." She couldn't help grinning. And she couldn't help thinking... her mother would really like Tamaki. And. "...Well, if you give me more than ten minutes notice, maybe I will go with you to Paris next time. I don't even have a passport, you know!"

"Really?!" He practically leapt over her desk, and hugged her around the waist, putting his head in her lap. "You'll come? That's so great! I can't wait! When can you go? Next week? The week after?"

She patted his head, running her fingers through his soft, beautiful, silky hair. He was like a puppy. He was like he had always been, actually. The same Tamaki she knew in high school.

The same one she...

She brushed her fingers over his cheek, and he looked up at her, smiling. "I love you, Tamaki."

His eyes widened, and his mouth made a little 'o.' He gaped at her, his body frozen.

Her intercom buzzed. "Fujioka-san, your four o'clock is here. Shall I show them in?"

She stood up, displacing Tamaki, and pressed the button on the intercom. "One moment, Maaya." She turned and smiled at Tamaki. "I have work. We'll have dinner later this week to talk about when I might go with you to Paris. All right?"

"Ah. Oh. Yes," he said, confused. She ushered him out gently, pushing him all the way out the main door. Her appointment, the legal team for a convenience store chain that was wrongfully cutting staff for frivolous reasons, were furiously whispering to themselves, asking, 'Is that really the Suoh heir? It is! She works with the Suoh group?'

Grinning, she led them into her office.

It was ten minutes later, which was frankly longer than she had expected. She was pacing back and forth, explaining to them why their terms were unacceptable and why she would be able to prove that in the court, and Tamaki burst back into her office.

"Sorry, sorry, but I forgot something!" he laughed cheerfully at her 'guests.' "I just need to borrow her for one second. Don't mind me!" He grabbed Haruhi by the arm and pulled her into an embrace, kissing her deeper than she'd ever been kissed before. She grasped at him weakly, trying to keep from falling down, but as the kiss continued, she felt like she was blacking out, and her whole world was swirling down until it was just Tamaki and his arms and lips.

When he broke off, she gasped for air, and stared up at him, speechless.

"Haruhi," he said softly, smiling. "I love you, too."

She blushed all the way down her neck. She swacked his shoulder and squirmed out of his arms. "I know that, idiot. Now get out of here! I'm working!"

He laughed brightly, and waved jauntily at the fish-faced men who were clustered together at her desk. Tamaki pranced off, and she turned to them and rolled her eyes.

"The Suoh group is really in trouble. Now then, where were we?"

Suddenly, they were willing to discuss much better terms for her clients.

When she got home that evening, she told her father that she was going to Paris.