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The Lily of the Valley

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Whenever she opened this door, she wasn't entirely sure what to expect. The first time she opened the door, she was greeted by a set of knights. The next instance she opened this door, she saw men dressed in gowns. In all honesty, she was curious with what she would see this time around. She placed her hand on the ornate renaissance style door handle that lead into the unknown. Chizuru looked at the box she was holding. She hoped that the recipient would find the contents satisfactory.

"Please wait a moment, my princess we're still not -" a certain Host King was at a loss for words.

There it was. The uncomfortable animosity towards her. The suspicious stares from a pair of twins and the unreadable expression that hid underneath those glasses. She knew that they didn't start with on the right foot.

"Chizuru!" A pair of familiar hazel eyes greeted her.

Chizuru walked towards Haruhi as she briefly greeted the other hosts. She handed a box filled with books, photographs, essays all written by Kotoko Fujioka herself. It wasn't much but she hoped this would give Haruhi more information about her own mother.

When the Zuka Club brought her to St. Lobelia to perform, Haruhi and Chizuru spent a few moments backstage and they were able to connect well with each other. If there was something they had in common, they were both raised by a single parent.

"What's this?" Haruhi's voice was uncertain. The last time she got a gift from Chizuru, her father lost his mind. She gave her more than enough clothes to wear for the next two weeks.

Chizuru smiled until her dimples showed. Her usual calm demeanor was gone since couldn't hide her excitement. "Open it."

With a sense of caution, Haruhi took off the lid and she had a pensive expression. Haruhi looked at all sorts of photos of her mother years ago. There was an essay Kotoko Fujioka wrote about the value of a Japanese woman in society. It even had a sketch made by Haruhi's mother in art class.

"You remembered." Haruhi was at a loss of words with what Chizuru gave.

"Our mother's have the same birthday. How could I forget?" Chizuru took a deep breath. She looked briefly around her surroundings and let out a small laugh. Her body would have already vaporized with the stares from the other hosts. "I should get going. It looks like you guys are about to start soon."

"You should at least stay for some refreshments." Kyoya offered. He couldn't let the vice-president of the Zuka Club leave just like that. It would look bad on their end. He asked Haruhi to prepare a cup of tea and some biscuits.

Kyoya didn't see the need to check for competition outside of Ouran, but he's done his research on the three pillars of the Zuka Club shortly after their first encounter. Maihara Chizuru was a self-proclaimed feminist. She was the eldest daughter of Yukio Maihara, a prominent figure in the export of Japanese made products to other countries. They had several travel agencies that catered to foreigners going on local tours. Her parents separated when she was just four years of age due to a mistress her father kept. His father was a close business partner of their family as well.

"I must apologize for their behavior, Maihara-san." Kyoya pushed his glasses as he continued to pour some tea.

Chizuru bit her bottom lip and tucked her hair back. "It's fine, Ootori-san. I can see where they're coming from. I apologize for Benio's behavior back then as well."

Tamaki peered carefully from the back of the couch. "Kyoya, why are you acting this way towards her?" his suspicion loomed in the air.

"She came in here with a gift for your daughter. As her father, you should treat our guest with some courtesy." Kyoya pointed out.

Tamaki had a sudden change of mood and sat beside Chizuru. He started giving her all sorts of sweets until the table piled up.

"Tamaki-senpai, that's enough." Haruhi looked at the mess she would have to clean later. "Sorry about that. They can really get on your nerves."

Chizuru took a bite with one of the eclairs Tamaki placed. "It's fine. I hope what's happened between us can be something we can set aside."

In all honesty, Chizuru didn't find the thought of a Host Club as unappealing. It was how she saw a princely idiot pretending to be a knight that infuriated her. She can't blame the Host Club for having such notions. The savior complex men had annoyed her. Japanese men were conditioned to believe they had a certain authority over women. They grew up thinking that was the right thing to do. Women don't need others to save them. They can save themselves.

"Are the eclairs not to your liking?" Kyoya said as he offered her a glass of water. "We have other things we can offer like a raspberry chiffon cake."

"They're actually quite good, Ootori-san." Chizuru replied. "Thank you for your hospitality."

Chizuru was described as a young woman whose ideals that were too unconventional. That notion puzzled her. How was equality between men and women unconventional? Wasn't equality a basic right? Weren't Japanese women tired of being seen as the lesser sex?

She looked at the man who sat across her. He on the other hand, was a man who upheld society's standards to the dot. The most unconventional thing he's done was to run a host club.

"The Host Club was Tamaki's idea." Kyoya said as if reading her thoughts. "He thought of the whole concept. I just make sure things run smoothly."

Chizuru straightened her back. No one has ever read her so accurately. She always kept a lot of her thoughts to herself, so how did he see through it? Like a moth attracted to a flame, she decided to let her curiosity get the best of her. That was the first decision that started it all.