Kyoya approached him the next morning before classes began. Mitsukuni was meeting up with some of the Karate Club members to spar and give some pointers, so he was all alone for the moment.
"Ah, yes Mori-senpai, there you are. I've been meaning to speak to you," Kyoya remarked, looking not at all surprised to see him. Takashi turned to face him as a sign that the younger man had his attention.
"I've noticed you've been more silent and withdrawn then normal during club hours. While normally I wouldn't comment because Honey keeps our guests entertained quite well, due to some approaching uncertain circumastances, I would like you to try to be a bit more attentive to your guests from now on. Your style of hosting is the closest to that of our natural host and I want Haruhi's customers to feel comfortable turning to you," Kyoya stated.
Takashi merely raised an eyebrow.
Kyoya twisted to open his bag and took out his black notebook, flipping to a page.
"If my calculations are correct, Haruhi will have successfully paid off her debt by the end of the month or maybe even sooner. Before I was confident she would remain in the club. Now, I am not so sure. Thus, I must ensure that should she leave, profits don't fall. If she is no longer serving as a host, you will make the most suitable substitute to take on her usual clients," Kyoya explained like he was conducting some sort of business meeting.
Takashi's thoughts had begun to race the moment Kyoya brought up Haruhi leaving the club. He felt vaguely sick at the thought of no longer seeing her sitting in her usual spot, lending a compassionate ear to the girls who designated with her.
"Mori-senpai, did you get all that?" Kyoya queried.
Feeling frantic all of a sudden, Takashi gave him a stiff nod before stalking away from the young Ootori. In his hurry, he missed the smirk that flashed across the Shadow King's face before his cool mask of indifference slid back in place. All he knew was that he needed to talk to Haruhi. He had almost made it to her classroom when the school bell sounded. Sighing, he turned around and headed towards his class. Talking to Haruhi would have to wait till after Host Club then.
Sitting through class had been hellish. He was sure his notes were atrocious because he barely heard a word in his lessons all day. He wasn't worried, he would just get the notes from Mitsukuni. No, he had something far more important on his mind. Like what he would do if Haruhi left the Host Club and he no longer had an excuse to bask in her presence. No longer had an excuse to watch her, or pull her into his arms, or pat her incredibly soft hair. That uncomfortable feeling in his gut resurfaced.
No she wouldn't quit the Host Club. Would she?
Takashi had to admit that he was surprised she had been able to put up with them for this long. He understood the desire to right a wrong, to pay back a debt owed. But honestly, they could have easily absorbed the cost of the broken vase with the combined riches of their very prominent families at their disposal. Originally, they had simply wanted to toy with the poor commoner. But he now knew that Haruhi was a very intelligent young woman. She had changed them all, for the better. He was sure that if she really wanted to, she could have left the club a long time ago. He had no doubt she'd be able to find a way to come up with the money somehow. So why did she stay?
"Ne, ne Takashi would you like some cake?" Mitsukuni asked.
Realizing he hadn't been paying nearly enough attention to his cousin during Host Club as he should be, Takashi nodded. Honey cheered, happy that he had indulged him. Mitsukuni was aware that Takashi wasn't partial to sweet things. After eating a few bites of the cake Mitsukuni had placed in front of him, Takashi refilled the girls' cups and wiped some icing off Mitsukuni's cheek. His role as the wild type successfully carried out, the girls broke out in cries of "MOE!" and whispered excitedly to each other about his actions and Mitsukuni's cuteness.
Without the presence of Haruhi, he would simply go back to existing. Mechanically going through the motions of what was expected of him, day in and day out. No, he couldn't lose her. If he did, the world would fade back into monotone, back to dull gray. She was the one who breathed life into him. The person who made him realize that he had an identity outside of Mitsukuni's caretaker. Haruhi made him feel like Morinozuka Takashi mattered. She had proved to him that others would like him just the way he was, without Mitsukuni by his side. She liked him as he was. Haruhi didn't just tolerate his presence as a package deal with Mitsukuni. And that, that fact had turned his whole world upside down. It had given him a new perspective on life. And he wanted nothing more than to show Haruhi that her faith in him hadn't been mistaken. He wanted to show her how much he loved her.
Turning to Mitsukuni, he said softly, "Mitsukuni, I can't come home with you today."
Mitsukuni looked surprised at his sudden statement, but his expression quickly morphed into a pout.
"But Takashi! I wanted to play with you and eat more cake!" he whined.
"Tomorrow," was Takashi's only reply.
Something glinted in Mitsukuni's eyes but it was gone before Takashi could identify it.
"Fine," Mitsukuni pouted, "Guess it'll just be me and you then Bun-Bun."
The sad look on Mitsukuni's face prompted the girls to assure him that they would play with him, shoving more cake in his direction, and Mitsukuni quickly recovered the cute expression he normally wore. But Takashi could tell it was just an act. Nevertheless, he had to speak with Haruhi today. He could make it up to Mitsukuni tomorrow. His resolve firm, Takashi turned to te clock, willing the tie to pass quicker.