Title: Bonus Round (2/3)
Fandom: 咲-Saki/Ouran High School Host Club
Rating: U
Summary: Fresh from their prefectural-level victory, the five ladies of the Ryuumonbuchi High School Mahjong Club have arrived in Tokyo to compete in the national championships. But before they make their debut on the national stage, an afternoon of unparalleled delights awaits them -- courtesy of the Ouran High School Host Club.
Disclaimer: All characters are copyright of their respective owners; I lay claim only to this particular story.
Notes: This story mostly follows anime continuity for both series, with a few references to the manga. Set pre-series for 咲-Saki (during the flashback shown in EP 20), between EP 14 and 15 for Ouran.

For those who may not have seen 咲-Saki, the Ryuumonbuchi girls are one of the teams that the main characters compete against in the prefectural tournament -- this story is set one year before the start of the manga and anime storyline. In this picture, starting from the top and going clockwise, are Ryuumonbuchi Touka, Kunihiro Hajime, Amae Koromo, Inoue Jun, and Sawamura Tomoki.

Per Japanese convention, all names are given in the FamilyName FirstName order.

Bonus Round

Part II

Fujioka Haruhi was beyond ready for it to be summer break.

There was only one week left in the Ouran spring term, and her preparations for the upcoming summer holiday were almost complete. She had a half-packed suitcase (waiting for a final load of laundry to dry), a train ticket to Karuizawa (in spite of her protests, her father had insisted on paying extra for her to take the shinkansen instead of transferring between trains and buses), directions from the train station to Misuzu-san's guesthouse (less than half an hour's walk), and a studying plan all worked out so she could do her part-time job and still complete her summer homework. It might mean more than a few early mornings and late nights, but the work would not be any more difficult or tiring than the housework she was used to doing at home. The whole thing was even a little exciting -- living away from home, and working at her first real part-time summer job, just like a normal high school girl --

'Haru-hiiiiiii! When you're finished slicing that cheesecake, could you fetch the tape? Someone's had another accident with the glitter.'

'Don't look at us like that!'

'Yeah, we weren't the last ones to use it! Someone forgot to put the cap on properly!'

Haruhi sighed and set the cake knife down. Normal high school girl...yeah, right. 'I'll be right there, Tamaki-senpai!'

It was the third time she had had to de-glitter the Hitachiin twins in the past week and a half, so she was able to let her mind wander back to thoughts of summer as she helped the sulky, silver-spangled Hikaru and Kaoru clean off their clothes with the sticky side of a long roll of packaging tape.

Part of her felt guilty for not letting the rest of the Host Club know about her summer plans. It had been easy to turn down their repeated invitations to join them on whatever exotic holidays they were planning this year. She didn't have a passport, for one thing. She didn't know how to ride or ski or sail, or do any of the things that most of her classmates seemed to be planning to do on their summer travels. Most of all -- and this was the thought that truly strengthened her resolve -- she didn't want to be dragged along like a pet that couldn't be left behind when its owners went out of town. She knew that the Host Club didn't think of her that way, but that was how she felt, and even if she couldn't be entirely honest with them she could at least be honest with herself.

She'd been able to dodge their questions and evade their offers, but the whole thing still felt strangely wrong. Disloyal, almost. Yet she knew that if she even hinted at what she would be doing they would find some way to get involved, and she didn't want Misuzu-san to have to deal with...well, with the Ouran High School Host Club.

The de-glittering process was nearly complete when the quiet buzz of a mobile phone caught everyone's attention. Kyouya whipped out his phone and answered it before it could ring a second time.

'Yes? I see. Yes, thank you.' He ended the call, and looked over at Tamaki. 'The ladies from Ryuumonbuchi High School have just left their hotel in Nihonbashi, and should be here within half an hour.'

'Excellent!' Tamaki clapped his hands twice, like a kindergarten teacher at the front of a classroom. 'Gather round, everyone -- Mommy and I want to talk to you.'

The twins were about as glitter-free as they were likely to be, so Haruhi carefully collected the used packaging tape and took it over to the large porcelain jar that doubled as a non-burnable trash container. (It never ceased to amuse her that even Ouran's waste disposal bins looked like priceless museum pieces.) She checked her clothes one last time for stray sparkles before tossing the tape into the jar and replacing the lid. As she headed back to rejoin the others, she saw that Honey and Mori had joined the twins in the centre of the music room where Tamaki and Kyouya were waiting.

Tamaki smiled beatifically at her as she approached. 'Now that you've all been good enough to come in on a free weekend, I can finally share more information about the special event planned for today. We have out-of-town guests to entertain.'

'Guests?' said Haruhi. 'Not clients?'

'A small distinction, made just for today.' Tamaki reached out and playfully tapped Haruhi on the tip of her nose. 'Don't worry, dearest daughter -- this afternoon's work will count toward your quota.'

'I wasn't worrying about that, Tamaki-senpai,' Haruhi muttered, rubbing her nose. 'I just wondered why you're making a distinction.'

'These ladies are not like our regular clientele,' Tamaki replied. 'They're from a different school in another city, and visiting Tokyo for -- well, I'll let Kyouya tell you all about them, since he's been taking care of most of the arrangements.'

Kyouya stepped forward, clipboard in hand. 'Our guests are five ladies from Ryuumonbuchi High School, a private high school in -- '

'Ryuumonbuchi?' Hikaru said suddenly. 'Like the property developer?'

'...yes, that Ryuumonbuchi,' Kyouya said, looking at Hikaru over the top of his glasses with undisguised surprise. 'He happens to be chairman of the scho -- '

'Hey, wait a minute,' Kaoru interrupted, cutting Kyouya off in mid-word as he turned to his brother. 'How do you know this Ryuumonbuchi guy?'

'Father was in talks to buy one of his buildings. Or maybe sell one of ours.' Hikaru scratched his head. 'There was a building involved somehow.'

'I don't remember hearing about that.'

'What? Come on, we totally eavesdropped on that late-night phone call -- '

'Hikaru! Kaoru!' Tamaki said sternly. 'Let Mommy continue now.'

'As I was about to say,' Kyouya said, as the twins hung their heads in chastised silence, 'these five ladies from Ryuumonbuchi High School are in Tokyo for the week to participate in the national high school women's mahjong team tournament, which begins tomorrow morning. We issued an invitation for them to visit Ouran and be entertained by the Host Club this afternoon, and they accepted.'

'The Ryuumonbuchi mahjong club president is the daughter of the school's principal, and the granddaughter of its founder,' Tamaki explained. 'What better way to spread the fame of our club than to entertain such distinguished guests during their stay in our fair city?'

Haruhi privately doubted that fame was the appropriate word to use, but she knew better than to say so aloud. 'Is there anything we should know about them?'

'I took the liberty of collecting some background material on our guests.' Kyouya held out his clipboard, displaying a stack of papers at least an inch thick. 'You may find it enlightening, or at the very least informative.'

With their usual lack of propriety, the twins clambered over each other (and Haruhi) to get a better look at the clipboard.

'Jeez, Kyouya-senpai,' Kaoru said, shaking his head, 'where'd you get all this?'

Hikaru prodded the stack of papers with a finger. 'And how long did it take you to put it together?'

'I made a few enquiries.' In Kyouya-speak, they knew, that meant that he had mostly stopped short of consulting police records. 'And it didn't take long.'

'Honey wants to see!' Sitting on Mori's shoulders, Honey leaned forward, resting his elbows on top of Mori's head and propping his chin on his hands. 'Read it to me, Takashi!'

Kyouya held out the clipboard to Mori, who took it and held it up so that Honey could follow along as he read aloud in his usual placid monotone. 'Ryuumonbuchi High School Mahjong Club. President: Touka Ryuumonbuchi. Representing: Nagano Prefecture.'

Haruhi stifled a gasp. 'W-wait...they're from Nagano?' But that's where Karuizawa is...where Misuzu-san's guesthouse is...oh, please tell me this is a coincidence....

One of Kyouya's eyebrows arched slightly at Haruhi's reaction, but he merely replied, 'Their school is representing Nagano Prefecture in the women's team tournament. It appears that they defeated the reigning prefectural champion, Kazekoshi All Girls' School -- which according to my information was quite a feat for their first time participating.'

'Oh...I see.' Just coincidence, then. Haruhi hoped that she didn't look as relieved as she sounded. 'They're not going to expect us to play, are they?'

'These ladies are here to relax before the tournament,' Tamaki said firmly. 'We won't offer mahjong unless they specifically ask for it.' A thought seemed to strike him, and he pressed a finger to his cheek and tilted his head to one side, regarding Haruhi contemplatively. 'You don't happen to play, do you, oh darling daughter of mine?'

Haruhi shook her head quickly, vehemently, before Tamaki could get any dangerous ideas. ''Not at all! I mean, I've seen other people play -- the arcade near my old school had one of those big mahjong video game machines right at the entrance -- but I've never played myself. I wouldn't know where to begin.'

'I see.' If Tamaki was disappointed, he didn't show it. 'Well, as I said, we won't offer mahjong unless they ask for it.'

'Don't you think they look like nice people, Takashi?' Honey looked down at his cousin. 'And there's seven of us and five of them, so we won't have to worry about any of them being lonely!'

Mori gave a brief nod of apparent agreement and held the clipboard out to Kyouya -- only to have it intercepted by the twins, who immediately huddled over it and began to flip the pages.

Kaoru was the first to comment. 'Hey, look, Haruhi -- they're our age!'

'They're all first years?' Hikaru said, as Haruhi wandered over to look at the clipboard with them. 'Must be a brand-new club.'

'Or a very selective one,' Kyouya remarked, taking out his phone and flicking it open. 'Ryuumonbuchi Touka appears to have personally recruited the other three players on her team -- none of them had been planning to attend Ryuumonbuchi High School until quite recently. And she and Amae Koromo are first cousins.'

The twins were flipping through the clipboard so quickly that Haruhi could only get a glimpse of the names and accompanying photographs of the Ryuumonbuchi team. 'Ryuumonbuchi Touka, Kunihiro Hajime, Inoue Jun, Sawamura Tomoki...wait, why are there are only four pictures?'

'There were no photographs of Amae Koromo. None that I could locate, that is.' Kyouya sounded slightly put out, both at the thought that his research efforts had not been entirely successful and that Haruhi had been the one to point it out.

Before either Haruhi or the twins could reply, Tamaki sailed forward and plucked the clipboard out of their hands. He began to turn the pages with a jaunty air, but within moments he was frowning, as if he couldn't quite believe what he was reading. 'Kyouya, what is this? Everything that's in here is...it's boring!'

Kyouya paused in the middle of entering a message into his phone. 'Do you think so? Though I'm hardly an expert on the game, I found most of the material quite interesting. On page eight, for instance, is a professional's analysis of Inoue Jun's playing style -- '

'That's not what I mean!' Tamaki let the pages of the clipboard fall back into place, and turned the full force of his frustrated glare on Kyouya. 'Your research is impeccable, as always, but playing styles and school attendance records are not what we need to know! How can we as a Host Club tailor our hosting style to fulfill the desires of our honored guests if we don't know the first thing about their hopes? Their dreams? Their fiery ambitions? The deep and burning, wild and yearning passions that stir their maiden hearts?'

'Considering why they're in Tokyo,' Kyouya murmured, more to himself than to Tamaki, 'I suspect that "mahjong" would be reasonably near the top of that list.'

His cool response only seemed to frustrate Tamaki even more. 'But we don't even know what kind of cosplay they might like!'

'I don't deal in speculation. That's your department.' Kyouya's phone chirped quietly once again, and he closed it with a snap. 'And since they appear to be ten minutes away from the main gates, I'll just double-check to ensure that security knows where to direct their car.' He swept the clipboard out of Tamaki's hands and made a casual but purposeful exit though the door leading out to the main corridor.

'Why, you unhelpful...' Tamaki fumed at Kyouya's retreating back, then spun around on his heel, deliberately turning his back to the door. 'Never mind! Hikaru! Kaoru!'

The twins snapped to attention, saluting in perfect unison. 'Yes, milord!'

Tamaki held up a clenched fist, his eyes blazing with determination. 'Our theme for this afternoon will be....'

'Will be....' The twins copied his movements, fists raised and eyes afire.

There was a tense, expectant pause -- and then Tamaki let his arm drop to his side.

'It's no good,' he moaned. His shoulders slumped. 'I'm not feeling inspired at all.'

'Not feeling inspired?' Hikaru said, aghast.

'At all?' said Kaoru, equally horrified.

'I say we give them cake!' Honey piped up from his perch on Mori's shoulders. 'Everybody likes cake!'

Haruhi, concerned that Tamaki was about to curl up in a darkened corner with only mushrooms for company, finally ventured into the conversation. 'Is there some reason why we can't just offer tea and light refreshments like we usually do, and see if there's anything they might like to do?' she asked. 'Walk on the grounds, or sit by the pool, or tour the school? It's the weekend, after all; we're the only ones here. And however they want to relax, we can entertain them.'

As her words sank in, the look of despair vanished from Tamaki's face -- and he sprang at her with a happy cry, his eyes liquid with joyful tears.

'Brilliant!' He grabbed her hands and whirled her around, almost sending her flying across the room, before pulling her close and crushing her to his chest. 'Simply brilliant! Just what I'd expect of our very own natural type.'

'Mm-hm!' the twins chorused, nodding in complete agreement. 'Just what we'd expect of a natural type!'

'Okay, okay!' Haruhi managed to extricate herself from Tamaki's fervent clasp. 'You keep calling me that, Tamaki-senpai, and I still don't think I really get what it means.'

'Never mind that now!' Tamaki spread his arms wide, his confidence fully restored. 'It's time to greet our guests with the best show of those qualities that make us world-renowned hosts!' He pointed at each club member in turn. 'Twins, be at your most impishly charming! Honey-senpai, prepare to eat plenty of cake! Mori-senpai, radiate strong and silent Japanese masculinity with every fibre of your being! Kyouya...is not here right now, but I'm sure that he'll do whatever it is he does that makes the ladies swoon! And my brilliant Haruhi -- ' He paused, and grinned. 'Oh, I have plans for you.'

Haruhi gulped.

As if on cue, the music room door opened and Kyouya stuck his head into the room. 'If you're going to escort them to the club room,' he said to Tamaki, 'then I suggest you head for the front entrance now. Their car is arriving.'

'Excellent!' Tamaki shot his cuffs, adjusted the knot of his necktie, and strode towards the door. 'I shall return. Places, everyone!'

As Tamaki departed, Kyouya slipped into the room. He waited until the door clicked shut before looking over at the rather rumpled Haruhi. 'Should I even ask?'

Haruhi ran a hand through her hair, trying to smooth it down. 'Probably not.'

'Tama-chan said that he has plans for Haru-chan!' Honey said gleefully, and vaulted over Mori's shoulders to land with easy grace next to Haruhi, right in the spot that Tamaki had just vacated. 'Right, Haru-chan?'

Kyouya bowed his head. 'My condolences,' he said, in a tone of voice that would have been more appropriate for addressing the chief mourner at a funeral.

'It's all right.' Haruhi managed a smile. 'As long as our guests enjoy themselves today, I don't mind.'

But summer break, she thought, really can't come fast enough.

Return to Part I
Continue to Part III

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