First things first; I knew that this would be a bad idea when I agreed to it.
Sure, joining the Host Club probably had its advantages that would pan out and I’d be able to say that this was all worth it in the end. However, just because there is some pay off in the end doesn’t mean that I was having the greatest time right now.
I’m a firm believer of the ‘the ends justify the means’ philosophy, but I had to admit, this kind of sucked.
Now I’m sure that it’s obvious exactly what the immediate causes of my… annoyance are; Tamaki’s breathing is annoying, let alone the rest of him, and I actually had to host people. I was not a people pleaser, so of course dealing with giggling, preppy, rich brats was annoying beyond belief. It wouldn’t be the first time that I’d done such a thing – I’m still a little miffed about that stupid café project that Korosensei gave us, not to mention the people at True Cross (even if they weren’t as vapid as the students here) – but that didn’t mean I liked it any better. It was just exhausting to deal with people. I’m no introvert, but damn hosting was a new level.
I had left all the people stuff to Nagisa back in the Class E days, so I mean, I guess that was coming back to bite me in the butt now.
Nagisa still hadn’t let me live that little impromptu performance down.
Because not only did I agree to join the damn Host Club at fucking Ouran Academy, but I had also done so in possibly the most dramatic way that the club has ever seen. That includes the fact that Haruhi only joined after smashing a vase so that she could work off a debt. Seriously… I participated in a theatrical duet with a guy that I’d never met before that moment. Sure I’d known who he was – who didn’t? – but even though I knew the song, that didn’t mean that I had to join in.
I didn’t even bother to change lyrics or anything all that much! I just sang Zac fucking Efron’s part and danced with the other teen.
I can’t believe I did that. Why did I do that?
It was unbelievable. I’d made a complete fool of myself and only now was I realizing this. Normally, I wouldn’t give a fuck about what people thought of me, however this year was just different. I was the shit at True Cross Academy, and no one (save Shiratori Reiji and briefly the cram class kids) really had that strong of an opinion of me. There were simply too many people in the school and I was amongst the A Classes, so the masses mainly knew me by my ranking and the fact that I was part of the illustrious cram class.
Some people had known me because Yukio was my brother, but that was very much not an issue here. Well I mean, a little bit here… a rumour had begun to circulate around the school – no doubt the Hitachin twins’ fault – about how there was secretly a fourth Ootori. They apparently hadn’t let it go even though Kyoya and I had both insisted that I was not related to him by blood and had ranted about it to anyone who would listen. The current rumour that the students seemed to like the best was that after being publicly shamed for having a third son, the Ootori head of house had hidden the fact that he’d had a fourth child. The school couldn’t seem to decide whether or not they believed that I was a true son (my appearance suggested otherwise) or if I was illegitimate and that’s why the Ootori family (read: Kyoya) ‘adamantly’ refused to claim me.
This wouldn’t be too awful on its own, but that meant that rich whiny kids were doing their best to dig into my background. Now I was good with computers and I employed people who are even better than me, so it wasn’t like they were able to find anything important. However there were documents available because if I had no record at all it would be more suspicious than if I had a couple things pop up when you search my name.
The first thing that would pop up was my art which I had a website for under my name. The other stuff is some basic social media which consisted of your average teenager pictures (carefully taken and constructed of course) and a bunch that the Class E kids and Izumo had tagged me in. Nothing too special really, and certainly nothing that people would make waves over.
However, if they weren’t satisfied with that, then they would start to dig into school records. Records, which I had kept truthful out of some damn sense of pride. So it showed how I went through Kunugikaoka in Class A up until I got suspended for assaulting another student and then finished my third year in Class E before stealing the top spot. Then I went to attend True Cross Academy with scholarship worthy grades only to get involved in something near the end of the year and which caused me to be effectively bedridden up until exams because of serious physical and psychological injury.
Apparently Mephisto thought it appropriate to leave that in my official transcripts as if it was some excuse for possible mediocre grades. Oh no, the poor dear was kidnapped and tortured – you can’t expect too much from him.
Well fuck you, because I claimed the top spot in my damn year regardless.
And while some of those facts might actually interest some people, that wasn’t what I was all that worried about. It wasn’t a secret as to what the circumstances were when I transferred to Ouran. What was a rather unfortunate fact was that I was an orphan. My father was Satan, so it makes sense why he couldn’t be there (not that anyone knew that because the records simply indicate that no father was identified) and my mother was listed to have died in childbirth. My papers don’t mention Yukio or any names – so that’s a blessing I guess.
But that just left the fact that I spent a lot of time in an orphanage after being dropped off my a priest and then I was adopted by a sketchy fucking couple that turned out to have been killed in a car accident before I was even half way through middle school. There was a distinct lack of any kind of child’s protective services and I was just sort of suddenly emancipated.
All the same, there was a lot for the rumour mill to work with there. With the higher scrutiny and sudden approachableness making me both less and more intimidating causes mass speculation as to why I was adopted, what happened after my adoptive parents were killed? Why didn’t I just return to the system? How was I affording such good schools? All things that didn’t exactly paint a good image. Surely it helped a bit with what intimidation factor that I lost when I decided that ballroom dancing with Suoh Tamaki in front of like half the school was a good idea.
But none of that was the reason why I had a pretty big issue with all of… this.
It was the actual Host Club and my role in things. I apparently didn’t understand fully what the fuck I was getting myself into, because next thing I know, Tamaki casually outs me to the entire fucking school and the news has spread like wildfire. Practically overnight, anyone who was ‘anyone’ knew that I was gay or at the very least, not straight. You couldn’t very well have your first gay host when nobody else knew that they were gay right? Tamaki had immediately set out to make it public – very much unlike Haruhi’s true gender. If she wanted to cross dress her way through high school then that was her choice but shit, did he really have to out me like this?
It was the school’s latest source of gossip, so of course Asano heard of it.
So I wasn’t exactly in the closet while at Kunugikaoka so if Asano had bothered, he probably could have found out that I wasn’t straight. But he had focused mainly on destroying me intellectually rather than ‘sinking to that level’ and going after me for something that was inherent – notice he never mocked me for having bright fucking red hair – he decided to show me up like the arrogant asswipe that he is.
However with that effectively failing and me showing him up yet again by skipping a year seemed to push the guy a little bit farther. Asano being at Ouran was already a little weird because Kunugikaoka did have a high school program but thinking logically it might have been due to the loss of reputation after I beat him. So of fucking course in his butthurt haze, he decided that he should go and hit below the belt.
It’s not like anything else worked, right?
Of course I didn’t know about this shit until fucking art class 2 days after the news had made its way through the entire student body – which was kind of slow for how little students there were but I’ll let it go due to how accurate and collected the rumours were.
So I walked into art class after a successful run through some individual comp-sci bullshit and all eyes were one me. Now that in itself wasn’t all that unusual for me, but it was the intensity that was beginning to bother me. We were allowed to work on our own individual projects, so I popped my earbuds in and got to work on sketching. Some other people in the class had followed suit, but there was still a good chunk that were staring. I didn’t bother turning on my music and just busied myself while waiting for someone to start whispering.
And whisper they did.
Somehow, the people in my art class managed to be some of the last people to find out because it was very obvious that the novelty of having an out and proud gay kid hadn’t yet worn off. They were looking out of the corner of their eyes like I was going to break out into song and dance at any moment – which after that two-person flash mob, wasn’t all that unwarranted, I’ll give them that. What did they expect to change though?
Now that everyone knew I was gay I was going to suddenly become freaking Leigh Damian or something? How about hell no? I don’t even understand where they were going with any of this, but at least they didn’t do anything other than watch me.
Until they did.
Here I was, minding my own business and drawing like the freaking art nerd that I secretly am, when someone decides that now is the perfect time to ask me questions.
“So are you like, really gay?” Some randy asks out of the blue causing the previous flow in the room to end abruptly – the only thing missing was a comedic record scratch. I turn around slowly to look at the teen that was sitting backwards in his chair so that he could lean towards me with open curiosity plastered all over his face. I was the only one that moved, and the other students that possessed some common sense immediately tensed up.
My movements were slow and only telegraphed annoyance. I reach up slowly and then violently wrench the earbuds from my ears. “Excuse me?” The kid didn’t look all that perturbed by the fact that I had responded so negatively. He just kept pushing, as if he saw it as a sign that I was eager to answer.
“I said; are you really gay? Like, was that a rumour that someone spread? Or do you really like to take it up the ass?” The kid had a weird look on his face, somewhere in between curiosity and sadistic glee. He was an asshole. Great.
“Well that’s none of your business, now is it.” I snap a bit. I’d escaped being judged to my face so far, but I wasn’t about to let people walk all over me for this. Bitch I will find all your dirty laundry and fucking air it to the world. What was his name again?
He grins at me and shifts in his seat, actually showing that he’s not a pansy by maintaining eye contact. That of course just means that he’s an idiot. “Well I think it’s my business if I’m going to be sharing a class with a fag.” He shot off, sneering and jeering. “I mean, you aren’t really, right?”
Well fuck you too.
“I feel like who I like isn’t any of your damn business, but to clear some shit up because you’re clearly an intolerant and stupid human being–” I sneer back, pointing at him with my pen before turning and beginning to ink part of the sketch while I went about roasting this kid while also confirming my ‘fag’ status. “I’ve seen your course load, you’re not exactly slated to become a doctor or even a business man – so yeah, I’m not straight. So fucking what? It doesn’t affect you.”
The kid stared at me in disgust and sort of just leaned back in his chair. All of my focus was on the teen at this point, but I could feel the tension amongst the other students. Even the teacher was tuning in now.
“Um? It totally affects me. My parents are paying good money for me to go to this damn school and now people like you are being allowed in.” The teen sneered, “first that charity case Fujioka came in to make all of us look bad and now they’re just letting fags in.” The teen threw his hands in the air and then made a show of looking around the room so that he could bring everyone else into this conversation. That was usually a move that I made, so I mean, kudos for that I guess. “Does anyone else feel threatened?”
I suppressed the urge to full on laugh.
Then I gave up on that and just fucking laughed at the guy. “Threatened?” I asked incredulously, “I’m sure you have plenty of reasons to feel threatened, but me liking guys isn’t one of them.” A couple students shift uncomfortably as the smile slips off of my face to leave behind a cold look. I lean back in my seat and look down my nose at the students in the room. “What’s your name again?”
The teen looked slightly taken aback but didn’t hesitate to puff out his chest and proudly proclaim that his name was Sen Akihiko. How fucking unoriginal of his parents.
“So Akihiko,” not bothering with honourifics which clearly bothers Sen but who gives a shit, right? I make a show of snapping my notebook shut and glaring at the teen. “I hate to break it to you – no, I actually don’t; you seem to need to be taken down a peg or two – but just because you have a dick doesn’t mean that I’m into you. I have standards, and you meet exactly none of them.” I pointedly ignore the soft mutter of ‘language’ from the teacher.
“Back the fuck off, asshole.” I finish with a sneer and move to turn around again thinking that I’d won this little impromptu showdown that this idiot had chosen to start. Everyone else followed my lead, evidently believing that the show was over. I’d gotten the last word and we were clearly done here, right?
Akihiko just could not let things go. Nope. He had to be high and mighty and try to establish himself as top dog.
“Hey faggot! We’re not done here yet!” he snarls, actually getting up from his seat and storming over to the table that I had situated myself at. I flicked my eyes up towards him lazily and glared for a moment before craning my head around to look over at the teacher in the corner of the room.
“Hey! As far as the school’s policy is, there’s a zero-harassment tolerance here at this school. So teach, you wanna intervene?” I call over, watching with satisfaction as she turns a bright red and she shuffles off of her seat in small half-aborted motions.
Finally, she decides to stand and awkwardly rushes over to the two of us before looking between us with uncertainty. “Well another rule of the school is that people are allowed to have opinions and express these opinions…” she trails off nervously, her eyes flickering up to meet Akihiko’s before immediately returning to the ground. Needless to say, I didn’t like that response at all.
“So everything’s okay because it’s his opinion, never mind the fact that he’s used a gay slur numerous times as well as blatantly indicated that he would be more than happy if I were to mysteriously leave the school–” I break off, not caring that I was arguing with a teacher. Apparently, she was just another damn example to prove that more money pumped into a school doesn’t mean that you get better teachers. This art teacher was such a fucking pushover, holy shit.
“That’s not what I said!” she insisted, looking very panicked, but Akihiko cut her off before she could continue to dig herself into a hole.
He turned to glare at her, “hey! Don’t you go taking this piece of trash’s side, remember that I wasn’t the first one to think this. I’m just one of the few who is saying what everyone is thinking,” he defends. “Asano-san is planning on speaking with the principal, so the smartest thing to do is just not get involved, Sensei.”
And wasn’t that just a little interesting piece of information.
The teacher looked thoroughly stunned and taken aback, so I didn’t hesitate to scoop all of my supplies back into my bag and shove past her. “Asano… huh.” I curse quietly as I stride towards the door.
The teacher managed to recover in the two seconds that it took for me to get past her and make it pretty far towards the door and quickly yelled out; “hey! What are you doing? You can’t leave the classroom!”
I look over my shoulder and grip the doorframe hard enough to cause the wood to creak audibly. “Well I sure as hell ain’t staying in a class where I–” and here I blatantly look Akihiko in the eyes, “–‘don’t feel safe,’” I sneer before leaving the room and slamming it shut behind me.
‘Calmly’ striding through the halls on my way to get the fuck out, I pull out my phone and casually place a call. “Ritsu-chan? Tell me what you can find out about Sen Akihiko.”