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Little Birds

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Cherry blossom petals flutter around Haruhi and Tamaki, landing soundlessly, gracefully; their bittersweet reminder of beauty's intangibility and life's brevity muted by the utter joy they bring to those who bear witness. Moonlight frosts the grassy areas beyond, dusting them sage, silver and white as the rolling grounds play with the ambient light.

She dashes ahead a few feet and twirls in place with her arms outstretched and hands wide open. He simply watches, enjoying her moment of child-like delight. A gust of chill wind transforms flutter into flurry, a pink and white tempest that ends as quickly as it begins. Haruhi pulls the light-weight cardigan she wears over her flowery dress tighter around her.

"Are you cold?" Tamaki asks approaching her. Her sweater is much too thin for such a brisk April night and he's worried she'll get sick. They should have just gotten into the car.

"A little," she says which means it's much more than that.

She always minimizes discomfort, unwilling to be a burden on anyone. He knows this. He stops in front of her, then reaches out to pluck a few stray petals that cling to her hair. She keeps it shoulder-length now and he likes it, though he'll always be partial to the short bob she used to maintain when first they met. He's sentimental that way.

He doffs the vanilla kidskin jacket she gifted him for his birthday and settles it around her shoulders. He glances down, the gold lariat he gave her for her 22nd birthday back in February rests against her soft skin, its intricate chain laying smoothly against her chest though the tipped points of the dangling hearts dip into her modest cleavage.

When his eyes lift to hers, he sees her watching him quizzically but with a smile.

"Admiring your gift?" she asks.

"Admiring you," he responds before dropping his head to meet her rising one. She looks around to see if anyone is watching, then offers her lips to him. They're warm, giving and familiar.

Neither of them is the awkward teenager they were when they first embarked on a journey of discovery and love. She has been nothing short of amazing to him in her willingness to learn and to please. And he, in turn, always aims to please her more than she needs.

Her hands grasp the ends of the cashmere scarf wrapped around his neck, keeping his face close to hers.

"Tamaki?" she asks quietly.

"Yes?"

"I'm tired. I think I'd like to go home now."

I'm being selfish. To her, he says, "Of course. I'm sorry to keep you out so late. I'll take you back to your apartment-"

"Tamaki?," she interrupts, pulling him just a bit closer.

"Hmmm?"

"I want to go to your home."

"Oh," he simply says, then "Ohh," he says in understanding, his cheeks warming.

She says she finds it charming, but it irks him that she can still make him blush like a schoolboy instead of the graduate student, businessman and major stockholder of Suoh Enterprises that he is.

"Can we?" she asks, eyes aglow. As if she needs to beg.

"Just try and stop me," he says grabbing her hand and walking them briskly out of the park.

They slide into the warmth of the antique Duesenberg belonging to his father, a gracious allowance from the senior Suoh to mark his son's 23rd birthday. Getting Haruhi to take a day off from school and work had been the harder task of the two. The newly hired chauffeur, unfamiliar with the Suoh heir, had looked a bit surprised when the young, blond-haired, European-looking gentleman first greeted him this morning, explaining the day's itinerary in impeccable Japanese.

Tamaki had suggested to Haruhi that they fly the corporate jet to Okinawa for the day, but Haruhi refused to spend money foolishly; instead urging him to send the money it would have cost directly to the Okinawan effort for independence. They debated about it, but in the end he did so as René Grantaine, not Suoh Tamaki. She'd given him a sharp look at his modest deception, but they agreed to disagree. And so they took the early morning bullet train to Kyoto where they visited the same places he'd seen for the first time with Kyoya a decade before.

Gazing across the reflecting pond at the Golden Pavilion, he regaled her with stories about his early days in Japan. "I can't believe I didn't tell you that." She'd laughed at the way he revealed his early adventures with his still-best friend, then an unsuspecting middle schooler. "And can you believe his family didn't even own a Kotatsu! I mean, come on, really?"

She chuckled. "Neither did mine, remember?"

"Yeah, but your dad's place is small. Kyoya could've had a hundred Kotatsus just in his bedroom."

"So did you really force him to buy one?"

"Just one," he says as if it's the number and not the "forcing" that's at issue. "I asked him why they're only used in winter when they could easily be multi-seasonal. Did I ever tell you about my idea to make a reversible Kotatsu?"

"With the mahjong table?"

"Or whatever you custom designed. I'm going to make that happen, Haruhi. Wouldn't it be nice if elementary schools had children sit around a Kotatsu all year long instead of cold tables? I think it would lead to better interpersonal skills."

"I think it would lead to lots of kids getting kicked in the shins."

"Haruhi, you have to dream BIG."

"I'll let you do that for the both of us. How is Kyoya anyway?"

"Good. I spoke to him last week and he's in the middle of some major deal. Typical. New girlfriend."

"Another one?"

"What can I say? He's easily bored."

"And difficult to understand. He always was wrapped a bit tight."

"It gets him what he wants."

"Does it?" The way she drops her voice in volume and inflects her question, makes him throw her a puzzled look.

"I know this: the Host Club wouldn't have lasted six months without his management."

"Is he still obsessed with his place in the Ootori legacy?"

"No so much now. I think he's happier, too."

"I hope so. He deserves it. Tell him I said hello, ok?"

"I always do, right after he asks about you."

She doesn't reply.

Later that evening, back in town, they feast on seasonal cuisine prepared by culinary masters and sip warm sake. The walk in the park is impromptu and now the young couple is cuddled in the back of the elegant automobile contemplating what awaits them once away from the prying eyes of the public.

The drive home is quiet, the city's bright lights left behind and the chauffeur discreet as he spies on them. They're a handsome pair, though strikingly different in appearance. The girl sitting beside the Suoh heir apparent is his fiancée, he's been told. It must be a love match because she watches her escort with an unmistakable look the driver's seen a thousand times during his career, but which always makes him smile.

As they leave downtown and head to the outer suburbs, the landscape changes to less crowded housing, high brick walls, and mansions set back from the road at the end of serpentine driveways that bespeak wealth. The Deusy pulls into one such entrance and follows a long drive that curves into a copse of red budding trees, continuing until it pulls up in front of a multi-storied manse, Western and elegant in appearance.

The exterior lanterns flanking the wide front door flicker on with the movement but Tamaki directs the chauffeur to bypass the main entrance and pull up to the servants' entrance at the back of the house. They exit there and Haruhi slips her arms through the jacket's, pulling the over-sized sleeves around herself. The air here is colder than mid-metropolis but it's peaceful, so very different from the hustle and bustle that ever exists outside her abode.

The driver is dismissed for the night. As soon as the car is out of sight, Tamaki reaches for the girl and holds her close, drawing her upward so his mouth can taste hers hungrily. "Been wanting to do that for the last hour," he says roughly as they part and she drops down from her toes. "You're rules are so unfair, Haruhi."

"Delayed gratification has its charms, though. Don't you think?"

"Charming but frustrating. Inside, ma belle." She precedes him to a simple arched door, white stone crunching beneath their feet. Tamaki punches his code, HARUHI4EVA, into the keyless entry pad and the green light flashes, unlocking the house to them.

Their footsteps echo on the kitchen's ceramic tiles. Antoinette's collar tags jingle and her claws click-click their way rapidly towards them tail spinning in wide circles. Though no longer a puppy, she's still exuberant when her master arrives, rising up on two legs, pinning him against the counter trying to lick his face.

"Antoinette, get down," Tamaki chortles, his lack of firmness with the canine clear. Haruhi just smiles.

"Wouldn't you rather I be doing that?" she asks and giggles.

"Merde. Antoinette, down!" he insists, pushing the fluffy dog away who drops to four paws then turns to Haruhi for attention. She bends over to ruffle the silky ears and press her cheek to the dog's head.

"You're a good girl, Antoinette, aren't you? Silly Tamaki. Where's your water bowl?" She retrieves it then heads to the sink, filling the dish and returning it. Antoinette dogs her steps and laps at the cool drink when presented, tail activity reduced to a simple wag. Their interaction, along with Haruhi's heels clacking against the hard floor, echoes throughout the darkened room.

"Take off your shoes before Shima-san hears us. She might be sleeping," Tamaki whispers.

"If she's asleep how could she hear us? And doesn't she wear a hearing aid? Why would she be wearing it if she's already asleep?"

Tamaki is frustrated by her logic. "I don't know, but she's got ESP or something."

Haruhi slips off her heels, reducing her height by several inches. "Hey Shorty," Tamaki quips. "Do I know you?"

"Oh be quiet, Halfer."

"Ahh, but which half is which? And which do you prefer?" She gives him a death stare regarding their ongoing joke about the accuracy or inaccuracy of certain stereotypes. He's never noticed much difference between himself and his friends' masculine attributes but it embarrasses Haruhi to no end so he teases her about it.

"I wouldn't know, I'm sure," she says sliding his jacket off her shoulders and placing it on the back of a low-backed stool pushed under the dining island. Tamaki is busy rummaging in the refrigerator. "You can't still be hungry," she whispers with incredulity.

"Why not?" he replies, eyes scanning the abundantly filled bins and shelves in front of him. "Yesss!" he exclaims and reaches into the crisper for a handful of kumquats. Stepping back, the door eases closed and he steps to his left to open the wine storage unit, searching for, finding and laying claim to the single golden bottle of Cristal Cuvee stowed beside the Dom Pérignon and the Krug he's not allowed to touch per his father's threat of disinheritance. "Grab a bowl and some flutes, would you?"

He turns and finds her standing next to him. "No strawberries?" Haruhi asks, a little disappointed.

"Not today, but you'll make these sweet, my sweet," he charms plopping the small orange fruits into the earthenware bowl Haruhi holds in one hand with champagne flutes and linen napkins in the other. He steps away from the full-length door and it hisses closed.

As Haruhi moves past him, he pivots, grabbing her by the waist with his free arm and pulling her against him. "You know I'm always hungry for you," he says against the top of her head and he feels her body sigh.

"Give me ten minutes?" she queries turning her face upwards.

"Five," he says brooking no argument. She simply nods and leaves him behind.

He slowly follows, Antoinette pushing past him as he climbs the first flight of two shadowed staircases that sit at the back of the house. He's not thinking about much except for the girl who he hopes is ready and waiting for him in the far north bedroom in his well-appointed bed. Otherwise preoccupied, he yelps when a short dark figure emerges onto the first floor landing.

"Shima-san, you scared the hell out of me."

"Mind your words, Master Tamaki."

"Sorry, but you did."

"Just making sure everything is fine."

"Everything is…good. I'm fine." He catches her looking at the champagne in his hand.

"Is Miss Haruhi staying the night?"

"Ummm…I don't know but you don't need to do anything for us."

"I've already stocked the refrigerator with things I know she likes just in case she's here for awhile."

Tamaki eyes the elderly woman with fondness. "Thank you, Shima-san. I always can count on you, can't I?"

"As long as you understand that, I'm content to remain in your service."

"I do and…" He pauses, then adds, "Sleep well." She bows slightly and turns, retreating into the dark hallway to her apartment. She'll be discreet and un-bothersome for the rest of the night. Perfect. Tamaki turns and bounds up the second flight. It's been more than ten minutes and he's unwilling to give up any more time than necessary on unnecessary things.

The door to his suite is ajar and as he enters, he immediately looks to his bed. The covers are turned down but Haruhi isn't there. Shower? He heads to the large, double sink bath. The room is steamy, the heavy glass doors of the double shower stall bearing droplets of water from recent use but Haruhi is not there either. Whatever. Maybe she's roaming.

Since there's opportunity, he strips off his clothing and leaves them in a pile on the bamboo bench outside the bay. Stepping into the larger than usual space, he closes the heavy glass door and regulates the temperature before stepping under the wide spray. Turning his back to the shower, he tips his head back and closes his eyes, letting the heated water wash over him.

He doesn't hear her enter or is even aware of her presence until she swings the door open and steps inside to join him. Once alert to her, though, he merely smiles as she molds her naked body to his, wrapping her arms around his waist, her breasts pressed against his mid-torso. The hurried rush he'd felt before has eased into the less urgent mode of one who knows there's time enough for love.

Haruhi's hands slide upwards along his back as she kisses his chest. With both of them fully drenched, Tamaki reaches up and pushes the long-armed, articulated shower head to one side. Haruhi releases him and he turns in place to grab the sea sponge that rests in the impressed multi-shelved niche beside the water control lever. Squeezing out a huge dollop of fragrant bodysoap, he mashes it into the sponge with his fingers until it's a soapy, sudsy mass with a looped cord attached.

Haruhi's arms appear on either side of him from behind, her hands opening and closing with an unspoken request. He lets the sponge drop into one hand, then turns to face her. Her hair is twisted up, held in place by a blue clippie thing with her bangs askew and sticking to her forehead. So cute.

"Hair or body first?" she asks.

"Anything you decide is fine with me," he says before pulling her naked body upwards along his own arched one to take her mouth with his own. She moans into him hooking a leg around his, drawing his rising erection against her stomach, then pushing him back.

He'll let her decide their order for the evening and, apparently, she's decided to be practical. Very Haruhi of Haruhi. With the loop around her wrist she slides the sponge along his chest leaving a trail of iridescent bubbles on his skin. He relaxes as she coats him with lather from the neck down, back and front, carefully avoiding setting him off prematurely, though he wouldn't argue if she cared to do so.

She drops the sponge to the floor, then splays her hands, letting each one descend slowly along the contours of his toned arms - shoulders to hands and back until they meet at his clavicle. She caresses his torso to his flat abdomen, sliding hands around his back and upwards to feel the strength of broad shoulders. He hums his approval, relishing the feel of her small hands sliding with soapy slickness as she tells him how much she loves his body with touch alone.

She continues her veneration, squatting down to follow the long lines of his legs, coated with coarse pale hair on his lower legs that becomes finer as her hands move upwards to massage his thighs. His breathing is shallow as her face nears his erection but she doesn't touch him. So frustrating and arousing simultaneously.

"Haruhi," he begs.

"Patience," she advises and he groans.

She rises, her hands roaming his tight buttocks, a single finger sliding between muscle to lightly tease the pucker within. He grunts as he tightens around her touch, pearly precum issuing from his fully turgid cock between their pressed bodies.

"Haru…" he sighs, breathing somewhat labored.

That's when she tells him in a rather stern voice, "Bench."

The way she orders him is both shocking and stimulating, and he loves her this way. He moves to the back of the over-sized stall where a permanent ledge topped with bamboo slats waits. He lets himself down onto it, arms limp and legs spread, bent at the knees.

Haruhi picks up the wooden dipper and bucket on the floor beside his foot and fills it with water channeling from the shower head nearby. She repeatedly ladles water over him, letting the bubbles wash away along with all remaining traces of tension. The sound of flowing water further adds to his tranquil albeit expectant mood. Attending to his studies while learning how to manage a nationally recognized business is challenging and tiring but Haruhi's sweet attentions have, except for his evident arousal, left him boneless.

She refills the bucket, then drops to her knees before him. Picking up the sponge, she offers his phallus every bit of loving attention as the rest of his body. It doesn't get any better than this until it does.

In his mentally relaxed state, he can only release a long soundless sough of breath as her fingers encircle his length with a soap slicked hand. Her touch is smooth and easy, a different sensation than the rougher texture of the sponge she rubs against his balls. He trembles, offering deep sounds of contentment for her efforts as his body ratchets tighter.

She stops, her awareness of his responses keen. The sponge is lost and she rinses him off. Placing both hands on his thighs, she looks up into his heavy lidded eyes.

"I adore you," she says and he's undone emotionally by the fervency in her voice. He mouths the words "Je t'aime." She takes him in hand and drops her head, taking just the tip of his cock into her mouth, swirling her tongue around him. His eyes are pressed closed, focused on nothing but the overriding sensation of pleasure that grips his entire body. Mon Dieu.

She alternates her swirl with several quick hard laps at the underside of the head, something she knows he likes. It never does take much to send him over though he wishes he could hold off just to keep her angelic mouth doing devilish things to him. But it's fine. Just…fine.

"Hhh- aar-" he manages to utter before speech is lost, just as he is, in the maelstrom of emotion and sensation that envelops him in its fierce, unrelenting grip pushing from his scrotum seed, his nervous system spasms of release and his heart unwavering love for the woman who has brought him to this. He's out of touch with reality for a few mindless minutes.

In the immediate afterglow of orgasm, his blond head falls forward towards his chest. He hears Haruhi moving about but is too relaxed to do anything but listen. When she says softly, "Head back, please," he obeys without questioning, eyes still closed, and feels Haruhi's fingers massaging his scalp with shampoo. He imagines himself the prince he's always considered himself to be, while knowing he's nothing but a slave to the woman handling him. Such is her power over him.

"Haruhi?" he finally says in a husky voice as she rinses out the shampoo.

"Yes?" she replies still attending to him, watching where the bubbles flow so as not to sting his eyes.

"Do you…like doing that?"

"Doing what?"

"You know…that."

She presses a fingertip into his cheek and he opens his eyes, finding hers looking pointedly into his own not far above. "You mean bathing you?"

"No." He feels awkward.

"Then you must mean shampooing your hair."

"Haruhi, you know what I'm talking about."

One corner of her mouth turns up. "So why can't you just say it? We're grown-ups now and we know each other quite well, I'd say."

"Fine. Do you enjoy…giving…head?"

She chuckles at his discomfort. "No," she says, a sly tone in her voice.

His disappointment is clear. "No?"

"I only enjoy giving it to you," she murmurs, leaning in to kiss his mouth. "You taste like champagne, you know." He couldn't be more pleased at her analogy than if he'd thought of it himself. Her host training has obviously made a lasting impression.

"Really? How?" Ever the sucker for a compliment, he can't resist asking.

She drops the ladle into the bucket and straddles his legs, her core pressed into his belly, her calves curled around his. It's only been a few minutes, but he can almost, almost feel a twitch at the base of his cock reigniting.

"Well…, she begins. "You're fragrant, fresh and succulent."

His eyes are wide as he confesses, "I think that's the dirtiest thing I've ever heard you say. I…love it!" She laughs out loud and he adds, "You're amazing."

"Amazing," she states though it nearly sounds like a question.

"Yeah. Utterly, positively, uncategorically, fucking amazing."

She tips her head at him. "Hmpf. Then I better get a good tip."

"Better than good," he promises then queries through pursed lips, "Can we nap first?"

"We?"

"Okay. Me."

"What about the kumquats?"

"Oh hell. And the Cristal."

"Not too much. I need you alert and attentive."

"Oh, I'll be attentive," he reassures, covering her backside with his large hands and pulling her hard against him so that her breath hitches and she mewls her need. "Just give me a few minutes." But he's drowsy.

She untangles herself and leaves him alone. He forces himself to stand up and follow. Just a few winks. He towels off and secures the bath sheet around his hips, scruffing a smaller towel through his hair.

In the bedroom proper, Haruhi is lying on the bed on her stomach, chin resting on her hands, facing the antique French baroque footboard. The bowl of kumquats is next to her, the Cristal and glasses on the nightstand. She's wearing his pajama top, leaving him only the bottoms. He's bought her lacy nighties and satin sleepshirts, among other things, but she continues to steal his pajama top whenever she sleeps over. It's usually how he knows she plans to spend the night.

"Hey," he calls and she looks over, her hair twisted into a towel and the rounded curves of her bottom peeking out from under the hem of her makeshift nightwear. It's a lovely picture that he plans to mess up. Never put off until tomorrow what one can enjoy today.

Haruhi rolls over onto her back and brings her hands up in front of her face. "I'm a prune," she chides. "And it's all because of you."

Tamaki drops both towels to the floor and slips into the pajama bottoms that match her top. He nicely but firmly forces Antoinette out of the bedroom, locking the door behind her firmly, locking it for the night. He strolls back to the bed and stretches out beside her, imitating her position. It's well after midnight and his lethargy and bodily satisfaction have made him undeniably sleepy. He hears Haruhi talking to him about…something, but it's already past his ability to comprehend.

He's asleep.

End ~ Chapter 1