Title: Unsual Guests
Author: XWingAce
Rating: G.
Word Count: ~7000

Summary: The Host Club is visited by the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler. Along with something else looking for a Host.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who is owned by the BBC. Ouran High School Host Club belongs to Bisco Hatori. I'm just playing with the characters and concepts. No harm is intended.

Note: I've tried to write this so that it's not required to know both fandoms, knowledge of either one should suffice to understand the fic. Should anything be unclear, there is some information in the above links, or you can always ask me.

Why? Because I can. And it works.

Credit: I'm always a little nervous when writing crossovers, especially if one of the fandoms I'm writing in is new to me. So there are lots of people to thank for their feedback and assistance in making this fic better. First of all, the folks at for their insightful comments on an early snippet of this fic. Then there's my wonderful betas; for her comments from the DW corner, pointing out what from the Ouran side I needed to explain a bit better. And , , and for advice on some needly questions with regards to use of tenses and honorifics. I couldn't take all of their advice, unfortunately, so any strange things and errors you might still come across are wholly and entirely my fault.

Feedback: Yes please. Lots of it. Reviews make me smile, concrit makes me cheer. Tell me what you think I could do better next time!



This is not the darkness of deep space. This is a swirling mass of colour, currently red, with no directions discernible to an outside human observer, in the extremely unlikely event that there should be one. Looking for some hold, this hypothetical observer’s eye would catch on a spinning blue box, suspended amidst the riot of colour.

Inside this box, which does not from the outside look like it could house such a roomy interior, are two people: a youngish looking man who is busying himself around what must be some sort of control console, and a young woman with long blond hair. She is watching the man dance around the ship and listening to him extolling the virtues of a planet he has not yet named.

“Meteor showers, every two hundred years. And I’m not talking about ten or a hundred stars falling from the sky,” the man says, looking up at the woman for a second. He uses his hands to emphasise the enormity of the number he’s about to say. “I mean billions of streaks of light, like fireworks visible over the whole planet.” He leans on the console and grins at the woman. “Think about it, Rose; all that beauty and nobody there to see it.”

“No one?”

“Except us, of course. We’re on our way now.” The man sits himself down on a bench near the console, using the latter to prop up his feet. “The planet’s got plenty of wildlife, but nothing with sentience. Most of the time.”

“That sounds like there are people there sometimes.”

The man grins again. “There are. The meteors do something to some of the animals. After that display, about ten percent of the large predators suddenly develop a society. But it only lasts a genera…” He is interrupted by a shudder of the ship and flashing lights on the console. Jumping up from his prone position, he asks: “What was that?”

“Doctor, what happened” The woman, Rose, asks in return.

The Doctor, frantically hopping around the console, doesn’t stop to look at her to reply. “Didn’t you see that flash back there?” He points to a bulb on the console that doesn’t at first glance appear to be connected to anything. “A spatial glitch. That means something isn’t where it should be.” He muddles around some more with the controls and stares at the monitor. Now he finally stands still long enough to look up at Rose and grin. “And I’ve just managed to track it down. The meteors will have to wait. Here we go!”


Midnight. Not a sound from the…no. From one of the balconies of the grandiose building that is part of the even grander campus that houses the Ouran Academy, there is a sound: the sound of a young man yelling.

“Haruhi! Haruhi! A falling star! Come to Daddy so we can look at it together!”

After a short pause, there is a response from another young voice. “It is very beautiful.”

From that point on, the silence of the night is broken further as the first voice starts muttering all sorts of things about romance and wishing on stars.

About a minute into the ramble, this is interrupted again by the second young voice. “Can I go back inside now, Tamaki-senpai? Only there’s still a lot to clean up from tonight’s party and even though there is a holiday coming up I don’t want to be home too late.”

“Oh how sweet, Haruhi! Of course you may, and daddy will make sure you get home safely afterwards, too!”

Then silence descends again. So does the object that Tamaki has taken for a falling star. It closes on a large, Gothic mansion, disturbing several cats on their nightly prowl with its brightness. There is a collective ‘meow’ when the object splashes into a pond near the house, thereby emptying it of all its water. The crash serves to extinguish the light, plunging the estate back into darkness. When perfect silence returns, a shadow darker even than the surrounding night emerges from where the pond was. It crawls up the side of the house to a first floor window, through which it disappears.

Then it is as if nothing had ever happened.

--- ---

Part 1.

Rose was first out the TARDIS door to sneak a glimpse outside and see where they had ended up this time. With a ship that could travel anywhere in space and to any time you cared to imagine, their destinations were always a surprise. Though the main surprise seemed to be how often they ended up on Earth, really.

Bright light filled the corridor that was visible through the crack in the door. Rose opened the door further and got out. The air was clean and what few sounds she could hear were of peaceful activity. She walked past the curtain that concealed the TARDIS from casual view.

Rose wasn’t sure if they had landed behind the curtain through happy accident or deft piloting on the Doctor’s part – most likely the former – but it came in handy. It would probably provoke some questions if a large blue wooden box, which was how the TARDIS appeared on the outside, suddenly appeared in a corridor. Then again, maybe it didn’t matter so much. The TARDIS’ camouflage mostly relied on that very peculiar human trait of wilful denial. If something looked out of place enough, everyone would just treat it as if it wasn’t there at all. And a blue wooden box with ‘Police Public Call Box’ written on it was extremely out of place nearly everywhere. At least, that was the explanation the Doctor tended to use when asked why the ‘disguise’ worked at all.

They were on Earth again, or so it appeared. She supposed the long, wide corridor with high and many-paned windows could have occurred on many other planets. But through those windows she could see a clock tower that looked suspiciously like Big Ben’s, and the face of the clock had Roman numerals. Somehow she doubted those would occur on whichever random planet you cared to mention.

She walked over to the windows and looked outside properly. Ornamental ponds and formal gardens filled the sunlit view below, with two wings of what was probably the same building they were in just on the edges of her vision. The tower was close by, but these gardens weren’t to be found anywhere near the Houses of Parliament. So, not Westminster, then. Not like this corridor looked like it belonged there anyway.

“Enjoying the view?” The Doctor joined her at the window, hands in his pockets as usual. He raised his eyebrows as he caught sight of the view below. “Hmm. Not bad at all. Bit too formal for my tastes, though.”

“Just trying to find out where we are. Any ideas?”

The Doctor directed his eyes upward. One hand slipped from a pocket and started scratching behind one of his ears instead, mussing the already untidy brown hair even further in the process. “Well,” he began, and simultaneously he started looking around further, at whatever fixtures presented themselves in the corridor. “I traced that anomaly back to the early twenty-first century, so that’s when we are. We should only be out by a couple of days. As to where…” He walked along the corridor to one of the ornate doors. Then he fished out his spectacles to read the sign hanging over it. “Probably Japan.”

Rose also looked up at the sign. The symbols on it were blocky and unfamiliar, but they quickly resolved themselves into English. From the Doctor’s comments, the sign must originally have been in Japanese. Another feature of the TARDIS. Beyond being capable of travelling both in time and space, it also formed a connection with its occupants, translating most written and spoken languages. The existence of that connection had freaked Rose out when she’d first found out about it, so long ago now, but it was very useful in cases such as this. Because Japanese itself might as well have been Raxacoricofallapatorian for all that she could understand of either language. The sign read ‘Third Music Room’.

In the time it had taken her to approach the door and read the sign, the Doctor had returned his glasses to the inside pocket of his brown pinstriped jacket and shot another glance around the hall. “This door seems as good as any other. Let’s take a look, shall we?” And with that, he pushed down the handle to open the door. The door was snatched out of his hands, opening fully without apparent further assistance. Ripples of harp strings sounded while rose petals floated past on a slight breeze.

“Welcome, strangers, to our elegant Host Club,” a voice greeted them. When she’d overcome her astonishment, Rose saw that it belonged to a young man with blond hair that seemed to glitter in the overhead lights. He had been seated in a graceful pose with four other boys, all in the same blue jackets and black trousers, standing around him. Now he stood up and approached Rose and the Doctor as if he were dancing towards his objective. He halted about three feet away from them, put a hand to his chest and bowed. “Standing before you is Suoh Tamaki, King and founder of this eminent society. How may we serve, sir and madam?”

He was quick with his assumptions, wasn’t he? Rose saw the Doctor open his mouth to answer the boy, but before he could do so, the self-proclaimed king continued: “If you both have come to judge Ouran Academy’s facilities, it would be my honour to assure you that, even in her idle hours, any daughter of yours will be secure and entertained.” He danced back to the other boys, snatching a rose out of one of the vases filled with them while he did so. “Our members consider it their duty to brighten the life of every guest that presents themselves to us.”

He waved the rose around as if it were a conducting an orchestra with it. “Allow me to introduce them! First, the Hitachiin brothers, Hikaru and Kaoru!” Two of the boys, both with red hair and clearly twins, stepped forward, raised their thumbs and winked at Rose. Then one swung the other into a tango dip. Up until that point, the two had been exact mirror images, not just in their movements, but also in looks.

Tamaki paused for breath to continue his introductions. He was interrupted by the same rippling harps that had greeted Rose and the Doctor when they had opened the door. Rose petals were wafted across the room again.

The effect was rather spoiled by the harsh bang of the door slamming shut. Two people had entered, again in the same clothing as the five members of this ‘Host Club’. One, taller than the Doctor and with short, spiky black hair, stood with his back to the door, breathing hard. The other, short and blond and clutching a pink bunny, was already halfway across the large room, crying and shouting “Haru-chan, Haru-chan!” He ran to the brown-haired young boy Tamaki had been about to introduce and buried his face in the other boy’s chest.

“Honestly, when will you people learn to come on time?” The only one of the room’s original occupants that hadn’t had any introduction at all yet now spoke up. He moved over to a box next to the door and flipped a switch. The harp music stopped and the rose petals drifted to the floor. He changed hands on his clipboard to push rimless glasses back up his nose. “You’re lucky we haven’t got any guests. Think about how an entrance like this would have upset the ladies.”

“Kyoya…” Tamaki started before swallowing the rest of his comment and illustrating his point by wildly indicating the tableau formed by the two young boys.

The one addressed as Haru had untangled himself from the little blond boy’s embrace and was now on one knee, brushing at the tears on his face. “Honey-senpai, what’s the matter?” Rose saw the Doctor focus his attention on the two young boys and started paying closer attention as well.

The kid was still sniffing too much to reply, but the young man who had slammed the door was now standing next to him. He answered, a single word in a deep bass tone, almost a grunt: “Nekozawa.”

“Nekozawa?” repeated almost the entire group of boys with the exception of Kyoya, across whose entirely placid expression flashed a hint of annoyance. Rose was the only one to notice this, however. Everyone else, including the Doctor, remained focused on Honey and the young man.

Honey nodded while wiping away the remnants of his tears. “He was being extra scary today.”

This caused various expressions of shock, especially on the face of Tamaki, who was pouring with sweat and looked ready to start declaiming his woes for all to hear.

Kyoya interrupted him before he had a chance to begin. “While I am certain that the matter of Nekozawa-senpai acting more frighteningly than usual is one that concerns us,” he said, inclining his head to the little boy, “there are some matters that require more immediate attention, I feel.” He turned to face the Doctor and Rose. “You, for instance.” He spoke at an even tone without any particular expression. “Ouran Academy is an institute of education for the extremely wealthy and influential. You are not, by age, dress or behaviour, the parents of any prospective student here.” He moved his head slightly to check his notes, and now the light reflecting off his spectacles made it impossible to see his eyes. This only served to make him even more expressionless. “Nor are you new teachers, for there are no positions open. Even if there were, you do not seem to meet the standards of this school.” He paused. “This leaves me with two pertinent questions: Who are you, and why are you here?”

The rest of the group had changed formation. The young boy that had dried Honey’s tears had been forced to the back of the group by Tamaki and the twins, while Honey and the tall young man had taken a step forward, their postures now alert. Kyoya stepped aside so that he was no longer between them and the Doctor.

The sudden switch in focus felt a little threatening to Rose, but it didn’t faze the Doctor. He just smiled. “Thought you’d never ask. Yes, hello.” He waved, then nodded at each member of the club in turn. “I’m the Doctor, and this young lady,” he put his hand on Rose’s shoulder, “is Miss Rose Tyler.” He stuck his hands back in his pockets before continuing, now pacing in front of the group. “As to why we’re here, now that might be a bit harder to explain. I could go into all sorts of philosophical arguments.” He stopped and faced the group again. “But you were in the middle of an interesting conversation there.” He looked at Honey questioningly. “What was this about someone acting strangely?”

“Kindly do not try to change the subject.” Kyoya’s interruption once again forestalled an exclamation by Tamaki. He looked away from the Doctor for a second to placate the boy who had proclaimed himself king of this little club. “Tamaki, it is my estimation that we had better investigate these strangers…” Kyoya trailed off, then quickly turned his head to look at the Doctor. “‘The Doctor’, did you say?”

“That’s right.” The Doctor’s eyes followed Kyoya as the boy slowly walked around both him and Rose. From behind the glasses, Rose could see Kyoya’s eyes fixed on the Doctor, carefully taking in the whole picture from messed up brown hair through shabby brown pinstriped suit to downtrodden tennis shoes. Rose found his reaction very odd, especially since the face beneath the glossy black hair still betrayed no emotion.

Clearly she wasn’t the only one to think that, because when Kyoya was just about halfway, Tamaki interrupted. “Kyoya, what’s wrong?” He was speaking for the whole Host Club, because the rest looked just as shocked as he did.

“Nothing,” was Kyoya’s initial reaction. After a glance at the Host Club’s faces, he explained further. “There is an Ohtori family legend about a Westerner who helped drive out evil spirits. He called himself ‘The Doctor’. When I researched that, I found many references to this person in other stories, mainly in Europe but also in Asia. Most are very incomplete.” He returned to his inspection of the Doctor, but also continued his explanation. “Descriptions of the Doctor vary wildly, but this person does match one of them. There are also a few mentions of other methods of identification.” He took two steps closer to the Doctor and extended his hand. “If you will permit me?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows and extended a hand as well. Kyoya took it and then pressed two of his fingers to the inside of the Doctor’s wrist. After about thirty seconds during which the silence in the room became almost oppressive, he stepped back. Then the silence was broken by gasps of surprise from some of the Host Club members as Kyoya released the Doctor’s hand and gave a slight bow. “My apologies for the intrusion, Doctor-sensei. It is an honour to meet you.”

The Doctor looked a little uncomfortable with the display of humility, but he recovered quickly enough. “The honour is mine, Ohtori-sama.” He grinned at Kyoya. “Congratulations on your research. I see I’ll have to cover my tracks a bit better in future.”

“We’d hate to interrupt, but,” one of the twins started, while both of them pointed to the door. “There are people here,” the other continued. In the doorway a number of girls in yellow dresses had appeared, so far unnoticed because Kyoya had disabled the harps and roses that normally greeted them and that would have alerted the Host Club to their presence.

Tamaki tore his eyes away from the Doctor and Kyoya to follow the twins’ indication. Then he exclaimed: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have guests! Fascinating as this conversation is, we must attend to our duties.” He danced over to the door to greet the girls. “Enter, enter, princesses mine.” He emptied a nearby vase of its roses by distributing them among the girls. Some of them reacted to this attention by nearly swooning. “Take these pale reflections of your beauty as tokens of our regret that you should have waited. Your hosts will join you shortly.”


What had been the most strange about the whole thing, Fujioka Haruhi decided, was Kyoya-senpai’s reaction. It seemed so strange for the aloof and calculating vice-president of the Host Club – also known as the Shadow King – to humble himself so before a stranger, though the stranger obviously wasn’t quite as strange to Ohtori Kyoya as he was to the rest of the Host Club. Of course, that had only spurred on the curiosity of the other Host Club members, who now seemed more occupied with the two strangers than their designated clients.

Kyoya-senpai actually seemed least affected by the strangers’ presence. Upon noticing the two’s discomfort with the hordes of curious girls, he had quickly and efficiently arranged for a more private table. The curtains that concealed the musical instruments the Host Club had no use for but couldn’t throw out because they were school property served perfectly well to conceal their new guests as well. Kyoya had also appointed Haruhi, who hadn’t been specifically designated by any of the Host Club’s customers at that point, to look after them.

This didn’t stop the rest of the club members throwing curious looks over to the curtain and calling Haruhi – busy fetching the tea the two strangers had requested -- over to ask about their guests. Tamaki-senpai especially seemed preoccupied with them, not that that was particularly strange. Tamaki’s ability to focus all of his attention and charm on a single subject was largely responsible for making him the most popular of the hosts. But it also hampered him, because if there was something occupying his mind other than the guests at hand, he had trouble tuning this out to the point of neglecting his responsibilities. Haruhi had been the target of such obsessive tendencies often enough to know that it just didn’t stop being annoying. The guest seemed not to mind, though. They were taken in by his every word when he turned his attention back to them.

Attention which was currently being expended uselessly on the unyielding curtain and Haruhi, who was now close enough to the curtain to hear the conversation going on behind it. Unlike the Japanese the strangers had spoken in their few words to the Host Club, this conversation was in English. Not all the words made sense, but Haruhi could pick up the gist of the conversation anyway.

“A school club where guys entertain girls for money? That’s sick.”

“It seems to be entirely voluntary to me. And with people this rich, they can probably do what they like. That’s capitalism for you.”

“But they’re just kids.”

Teens, Rose. And you’re not that much older. Three, four years, maybe? What were you getting up to at that age?” The remark was followed by an exclamation of pain and a laugh from the Doctor that Miss Tyler echoed soon after.

Haruhi pushed through the slit in the curtains at that moment, interrupting the conversation. The Doctor was still rubbing his right shoulder, although the expression on his face was playful rather than pained. He greeted Haruhi with a wide grin and switched to Japanese without even blinking. “Ah, tea!”

“We’re all in high school,” Haruhi tried to reassure the strangers, “and there’s nothing indecent happening.”

Miss Tyler was looking out through the small gap in the curtain, a dubious look on her face. The gap just admitted a view of Hitachiin Kaoru in the arms of his brother, almost kissing him. The girls around them were, as usual, nearly fainting at the sight.

Haruhi followed her gaze and smiled. “Okay, those two are a bit strange, but they’re not doing anything they don’t want to, and the guests like it.”

The young woman apparently wasn’t convinced. “What about the little one with the bunny? He can’t be much over twelve, can he? And you look pretty young yourself.”

“Honey-senpai is nearly eighteen years old.” Haruhi put down the tea tray and poured out three cups before taking a seat. “He just doesn’t want to grow up, I suppose. I’m fifteen, just like them.” That was said with a nod to the twins.

“A club that turns people’s eccentricities into merits. Very inventive.” The Doctor smiled as he sipped at his cup. “Does this club have any other female members, then?” The remark caused a sharp look from Miss Tyler, alternating quickly between the Doctor and Haruhi.

“Not really. There is a girl who thinks she has something to say about the club, but really it’s Kyoya-senpai and Tamaki-senpai who run things,” Haruhi replied, completely missing the Doctor’s implication.

“Hmm.” The twinkle in the Doctor’s eyes diminished as he turned serious. “What about Honey-san? He seemed pretty upset when he came in.” He returned the cup to its saucer and placed the ensemble back on the table with a clink. “Someone was acting scary?”

“A classmate of Honey-senpai, Nekozawa-senpai. He always wears a dark wig and a black cloak over his uniform, and he’s so obsessed with black magic he’s created a Black Magic Club. He’s always waving a voodoo cat puppet around, too.” Haruhi said, shrugging. “I think it’s weird, mainly, not that frightening once you get used to it. Tamaki-senpai is always scared of him.” A smile. “But then he overreacts about everything.”

A thought struck and Haruhi frowned. “Honey-senpai usually isn’t very frightened by Nekozawa-senpai, though. That is strange.”

“Strange enough for a closer look, maybe?” the Doctor interjected. Then he turned to Miss Tyler and grinned at her. “Rose, how would you like to go back to school?”

--- ---

Part 2.

“I can’t get this bloody dress on properly!” Rose complained, struggling with the layers of underskirt and the puffed-up sleeves.

“You could let someone help,” was the Doctor’s retort. The idea had got into his head to let Rose take a look around the school during the day, and he wouldn’t let himself be dissuaded. When the rest of the Host Club had agreed or at least not protested, that was it for Rose’s objections.

Since the grounds were normally off-limits to people who weren’t teachers, servants or students, this was slightly more problematic than it would seem at first glance. According to Kyoya, it would be easiest for Rose to dress as a third-year. That would at least allow her to accompany Honey to lunch without too much comment, even if she couldn’t actually attend classes. The Doctor had agreed. So now, the following day, she had to dress up in the Ouran Academy girl’s uniform. The outfit had been conveniently provided by the twins and was proving difficult to get into, hence Rose’s complaints to the Doctor.

“Yes, let us help,” the twins seized on the Doctor’s comment, offering their assistance simultaneously. For some reason, the whole Host Club had shown up to help her get ready rather than just the few who were necessary.

“Not a chance.” The two of them were far too mischievous for Rose to allow them to dress her. Maybe the Doctor himself… no, she wasn’t going there. He’d always kept away when she was picking out clothes anyway. He probably wouldn’t even be able to help. Ah, this was nonsense. She’d been able to get into much more complex dresses by herself; she should be able to manage this one.

After a further short struggle, she managed to get the sleeves on her arms and the skirts falling as they should. She stepped out from behind the curtain tying the ribbon around her neck into a neat bow.

“Rosie-chan, you look cute!” That was the reaction of Honey, whose full name, as Rose had learned last night, was the lengthy moniker of Haninozuka Mitsukuni. She could understand why it had been shortened. Mitsukuni was a mouthful; Honey seemed to fit the boy much better. Still, that didn’t give him any excuse to call her by cutesy nicknames. She glared at him, but only got a sunny smile back.

“More beautiful than the rose you take your name from.” Placing himself between Rose and Honey, Tamaki offered her the rose he was referring to. She waved it away.

“Not the words I’d use, but they’re right.” The Doctor put one arm around her waist and gently stroked a stray strand of blond hair back over her shoulder with his other hand. “You’re supposed to be rich and influential, so remember your manners, Dame Rose,” he murmured.

Rose giggled, but then Kyoya interrupted. “It’s time to go.”

The Doctor let her go and she followed Honey out into the corridor. They were joined by the tall young man, finally introduced last night as Morinozuka Takashi, or Mori for short. Over the course of the previous evening and this morning, Mori hadn’t yet spoken more than three words to Rose and less than ten words altogether that she had heard. He seemed more concerned with following Honey around like an obedient puppy – a puppy that was nearly twice the size of his master, but still.

When they were about halfway to the school restaurant, in an otherwise deserted stretch of corridor, a trio of youths joined them. All of them wore black velvet cloaks over their uniforms, though they fell open and the hoods were down to reveal their faces. The one girl among them was bedecked with questionable jewellery, and the boys both carried some sort of pointy-eared hand puppet.

“Haninozuka!” the tallest of them started. “What have you done to our president?”

Mori placed himself between Honey and the three kids. “Nothing,” he replied in Honey’s stead. The spokesman of the trio started to sweat and raised his puppet threateningly, obviously afraid of Mori.

“The Black Magic Club, I presume?” Rose asked Honey, who nodded. Then she turned to the three others again. “He’s that different?”

“He won’t know us. He’s completely obsessed with him.” All three pointed at Honey. “And he has neglected the rituals! He’s never done that.”

The girl came forward and pulled another hand puppet from a satchel. It was more detailed, but also far more used, than the ones the two boys were holding. She held up the puppet reverentially. “He’s even abandoned Belzenef” She sounded close to tears.

“When did this happen?” Rose asked.

“He was like this when we came back to school after the holiday,” the spokesman answered. Then he pointed and glowered at Honey again. “What did you do?”

“Nothing! He’s scaring me too!” Honey hugged his fluffy bunny, which had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Then he looked at the hand puppet the girl was still holding up. “Belzenef must be lonely. Does he want a hug, too?”

“Mitsukuni,” rumbled Mori. When Honey turned his attention to him, Mori pointed at his watch.

“Oh, we’re going to be late for lunch! I’m hungry!” All other cares apparently forgotten, Honey sped off down the corridor, softly singing, “cake, cake, strawberry cake”.

Rose jogged alongside Mori in order to catch up. “Is his attention span usually this short?” The grunt she got in reply could have been either a yes or a no.

The lunch started out without too much fuss. Honey got his strawberry cakes, while Rose couldn’t determine what exactly Mori was eating. She herself had stood baffled by the enormous selection before simply choosing the default menu. She didn’t recognise half of it, but it was delicious.

But then the relative tranquillity was interrupted. “Honey-kun!” a voice exclaimed, and a tray was set down next to Rose. When she looked up to see who was speaking, she thought for an instant that Tamaki had joined them. But the boy’s voice was different, and then she could see his hair was longer, slightly less blond, and his eyes were far bluer. They did have similar facial structure, though. “I’ve been trying to attract your attention all morning.” He smiled widely and brightly at Honey while he took his seat. “You’ve been ignoring me.”

Honey was starting to look scared. Was this maybe Nekozawa? If so, then he certainly didn’t look like he’d been described. Still, he was definitely invading the group. “If he’s been ignoring you, then he probably doesn’t want to talk to you.” Rose said. “Why don’t you take the hint?”

Nekozawa turned to face her, smile still fixed on his face. “And who is this beauty?” He seized her hand and planted a kiss on it. Rose felt the tip of a tongue. All the while, he kept his eyes fixed on hers. “From Europe, am I correct? But much wider travelled than that, I think.”

There was a weird twinkle in those blue eyes, and that grin was just a little too wide. In behaviour, as well as looks, Nekozawa seemed to be imitating Tamaki, but where Tamaki had tended towards the annoyingly flowery, he hadn’t crossed over into creepy. Then Nekozawa blinked and turned back to Honey. “I would love to talk to you in private soon. It won’t take long. Maybe after school?”

“Go away.” Honey had frozen, all the cheer from his expression gone. But he wasn’t showing any fear, either. He was glaring at Nekozawa threateningly. In someone who looked older, it might have been frightening, but to Rose the effect was almost comical.

“Yes. Go now.” Mori reinforced his command by taking Nekozawa’s tray and placing it on another table. Even though nothing about Mori, certainly not his expression, had changed, that came across as much more threatening.

Still Nekozawa didn’t seem all that impressed by Mori’s veiled menace. He smiled again at Honey and simply walked away. “See you later.”

As soon as Nekozawa’s back was turned, Honey pulled out his bunny again and pressed his face into it. It did little to muffle the sobbing, though. Mori wrapped an arm around Honey’s shoulder protectively.

“You’re right, Honey, he is scary.” Rose tried to comfort the boy as well, although that was hard without getting too familiar. “Maybe we had better go tell the Doctor about this.” She looked at Mori. “Do we still have time for that?”

Mori nodded and the three of them headed for the Host Club headquarters. The Doctor was there, and it had been arranged that whatever hosts had free periods after lunch would be there as well. Because it was still lunchtime, the corridors leading to the Third Music Room were deserted. Or at least they should be, but when they were almost home safe Rose heard the sound of running footsteps.

All three of them halted. After a few seconds Nekozawa appeared, quickly slowing down when he saw they had stopped.

“Oh, good, I had hoped to find you almost alone,” he said, and started to approach Honey, who had resumed his glare from at the lunch table. Nekozawa’s grin now was different, though, colder, almost hungry. His tongue slit along his lips, snakelike. He stalked ever closer to Honey.

Rose drew aside. She should be doing something, but the strange – alien, no doubt about it – way that Nekozawa was acting was more frightening than if it really had been some snake-creature. For this moment at least, she was frozen. Just like Honey, whose glare was dropping and his resemblance to a rabbit in headlights increasing with every step Nekozawa came closer. Mori, however, threw himself in Nekozawa’s path, arm stretched out to deliver what looked like it would be a painful blow.

It never arrived.

Nekozawa hissed, and a pinkish mist came out of his mouth, straight into Mori’s face. The taller young man dropped like a rock. His momentum still carried him into Nekozawa’s path, but the youth easily stepped around him.

“Takashi!” The shock of seeing his protector fall had spurred Honey back into action. He sprinted toward his attacker, ducking under another cloud of pink mist. Then he grabbed Nekozawa’s wrist and pulled the young man –more than a head taller than Honey – over his shoulder in a throw that ended with Nekozawa on his back, on the floor. There was a little blood trickling onto the hardwood floor where he must have hit his head. As soon as Nekozawa was out of commission, Honey dropped to his knees next to Mori and frantically started checking him over. When there seemed to be nothing physically wrong, he started shaking the young man’s shoulders and pounding his chest, saying, “Takashi, Takashi, wake up,” over and over again.

The commotion had alerted the Doctor, Kyoya and Tamaki that something was going on. They came out to check what was happening. When they saw Mori and Nekozawa on the ground, they came sprinting to join the group. Tamaki gently drew Honey back to give the Doctor and Kyoya room to check both unconscious forms.

“They’re both still breathing,” the Doctor said. He looked up at the sound of a bell. “We’d best get them out of the corridor.”

Tamaki and Kyoya lifted Mori while Rose helped the Doctor carry Nekozawa. Once inside the Third Music Room, the two were deposited on couches. The Doctor gave Mori a quick check, determined there was nothing he could do, and then turned to Nekozawa.

Despite the head injury, the boy seemed to be regaining consciousness already. His lips and eyelids were twitching.

“He shouldn’t be able to do that yet,” Kyoya judged. “From that hard a blow to the head, one should remain unconscious a lot longer.”

“How did that happen anyway?” Rose asked. “I mean, one minute Nekozawa here’s attacking a little scared boy, the next he’s on the floor.” She looked at Honey. “What did you do?”

“He hurt Takashi. He was attacking me. I defended myself.” Honey bowed, hands pressed together under his chin. “My family runs the most renowned martial arts schools in Japan.”

“A true warrior; powerful yet inconspicuous, worthy to serve as my host.” Nekozawa had spoken, but his voice sounded different. High and clear like a bell, an octave even above Honey.

“Host?” Tamaki asked, reinterpreting the remark completely the wrong way. “You were perfectly welcome to come to our Club and request him.” Honey didn’t seem to agree, wildly shaking his head and holding on tight to both Mori and his bunny.

“Not that kind of host.” the Doctor corrected. “What are you?” he asked Nekozawa. “Some sort of symbiote?”

“I was on my way to the hunting fields of the afterlife. I got lost. But this is a much better afterlife than the one I was promised.”

“Afterlife?” Rose, Tamaki and Honey asked simultaneously.

The Doctor however, seemed to understand something of what Nekozawa, or at least the entity occupying his body, was saying. He was mumbling to himself. “Sentience after a meteor shower.”

He turned to the Host club members. “Was there a falling star, a meteor recently? Do any of you know?”

Tamaki started waving his arm around. “Yes, yes! Eight, no, nine days ago, after the big party!” He turned to Kyoya, seeking support for his assertion. “Remember, Kyoya, I called Haruhi out to see it.”

“You did, and by doing that threw my schedule into complete disarray.” Kyoya spoke up from his position, standing behind the couch Nekozawa was lying on. His tone of voice was that of a long-suffering parent. “But I suppose we at least gained some information from it.”

“I’m so sorry.” The Doctor was addressing Nekozawa again. “We knocked you off your course.” He looked at Rose. “Remember what I said about the animals developing sentience after the meteor shower? Those meteors had to be little spaceships, each bringing in a symbiote. We knocked one of them off its course. And it landed here on Earth.”

“Always Earth.” Rose had trouble keeping a hint of laughter from her voice. It always ended up back on Earth, no matter how you turned it.

“Well, it probably followed the trail from our course instead of its companions’.” The Doctor turned back to Nekozawa, eyebrows now dropping into a frown. “But even if it is an accident, this is wrong. You can’t go around using humans for hosts! Leave these kids alone.”

“We could take you back.” Rose offered. “We were on our way there.”

“This body is weak and its mind unsubtle. I shall gladly leave it. But I like this kind of body much better than that of an animal. I shall stay.” After these words, Nekozawa’s mouth opened and a hazy black shadow poured out.

“Stop that!” The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the shadow. However, he had only just managed to switch it on before the shadow dispersed again, revealing Kyoya, eyes once again invisible behind the reflection of his spectacles. His hand was stretched out over Nekozawa, as if to stop the shadow that had been there moments before.

“What happened?” Honey asked, only just beating Tamaki to the question.

Rose tried to be a bit more original. “Where did it go?” Okay, so not much more original.

The Doctor was next to Nekozawa again, examining him. The boy now truly seemed to be unconscious, eyes closed but mouth still open, breathing evenly. Then he looked up a Kyoya, who was looking on with interest.

“It must have dispersed,” Kyoya said. “Too weakened to keep switching bodies.”

The Doctor studied Kyoya intently. “I suppose so.”

Rose took another good look at him as well. The young man’s face was still as unreadable as it had always been, however; nothing to indicate that something had changed.


The events had been confusing, Haruhi thought. Moreover because they still had no real idea of who the Doctor and Rose actually were. Coming in five minutes after everything was over hadn’t helped either, of course. Now that the whole thing was over, Kyoya-senpai seemed eager to let the strangers leave. To take pressure off the Doctor, he had given another explanation, citing numerous legends about time-travel and aliens and evil spirits, but this was all extremely beyond Haruhi’s experience. The Doctor had let Kyoya do the talking and kept studying him surreptitiously. Miss Tyler had contributed some snippets of explanation, but they had just served to make the story even more outlandish.

Tamaki-senpai had accepted everything and started off embellishing on the story with all kinds of ideas he had to have caught off some manga or TV show, which left the twins shaking their heads before they started cooperating with his fancy in order to amuse themselves. But that didn’t bring anyone any closer to a full explanation.

Mori-senpai had woken up after ten minutes, and that made Honey-senpai happy enough to not mind only a partial explanation. Nekozawa-senpai had taken longer to wake up, and as soon as he did he had fled back under his black robe, claiming an enormous headache. He hadn’t even stuck around to find out what happened. Then again, maybe he remembered.

Some of Kyoya-senpai’s story must have been true, though, because the whole Host Club was now looking at a small blue wooden box. The Doctor and Miss Tyler had claimed it was their ship, to the general disbelief of the club members, except of course Kyoya. The two strangers said their goodbyes and then entered it. Soon a ghastly wheezing filled the corridor, and the box faded in and out of view a few times until it finally disappeared completely, leaving just an empty stretch of floor behind.

“Well, that was interesting,” Kyoya-senpai said after looking at the cleared space for a few moments.

“It seems a shame we have nothing to prove it, though,” said Tamaki-senpai. “Imagine, a real alien, and it came to our club! And then it died before we could ask it anything.”

Kyoya-senpai lifted his head to look at Tamaki-senpai. His lip curled into the slightest smile. “Yes, a true pity, my Lord.”

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