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This is Chapter 61 of the Ouran High School Host Club manga series.

Synopsis

On a class ski trip, Hikaru is troubled to overhear that Tamaki might be unable to realize his feelings for Haruhi because of an emotional "trauma." The stress of his conflicting feelings render him unable to sleep, so the following morning, he takes out his frustrations on the timid class president. When the president twists his ankle, the two wind up stranded at the top of a advanced ski course. Hikaru is determined to take matters into his own hands and get his friend to safety. When he awakes in the nurse's office, he reaches a decision and asks an unwitting Haruhi to be his girlfriend.

Chapter Summary

61 towel clad

left behind

While Hikaru soaks in the outdoor bath, he mulls over the conversation he heard between Kaoru and Kyoya, shaken by the idea that Tamaki is not a complete idiot and actually suffering from some emotional trauma. A towel-clad Kaoru appears and scolds him for not waiting up but proceeds to tease him for avoiding alone-time with his roommate, Haruhi. Kaoru tells him that Honey, Mori, and Kyouya rented a lodge nearby. Overwhelmed by new concerns about Tamaki and Haruhi, Hikaru takes the edge off by playing in the water with some classmates. Unaware that Hikaru overheard his earlier conversation, Kaoru decides not to worry him about Tamaki’s “trauma”.

At home, Tamaki shows his bath powder collection to Antoinette, in awe of the commoners’ items… until he discovers they smell like rotten eggs.

61 hair love
Hikaru returns to his hotel room to find Haruhi well-rested from her long bath. When he discovers that she plans to let her hair air-dry, he berates her for mistreating her hair and ends up drying it for her. Afterwards, he asks to talk to her. Active Haruhi resurfaces, and she ushers him to sit beside her, all-ears. He admits he has a friend who has a problem, but to help solve that problem would burden himself. Haruhi thinks long and hard then tells him to find a win-win. He says there’s no such thing. She asks him what’s the easier solution, which he says is to help the other person, but Haruhi points out that it would inconvenience him. He snaps that he owes a lot to the “other person”. He quickly gives up and declares bedtime.

61 ski terror

The impossible challenge

Hikaru is unable to sleep soundly that night, distracted by Haruhi’s presence and his own inability to help Tamaki. The next morning, Honey impresses the girls with his high-jumps on the snowboard, and Mori impresses the boys with his X-treme moves. Haruhi is anxious to see Tamaki, but Kyoya informs her that he won’t be coming. Meanwhile, Kaoru tries to persuade an exhausted Hikaru to get some sleep. The happy class president chats them up, unwittingly inviting harassment from Hikaru. Hikaru

61 box garden

"But I owe him a lot!"

“offers” to teach Soga to ski, and they accidentally wind up on the advanced slope. Haruhi, who was dragged along by Kaoru’s efforts to stop the madness, braces herself to follow Kaoru to the bottom, but not before telling Hikaru that she wants him to choose himself over the “other person” because she cares about him as a friend. After seeing the two off, he turns around to find Soga missing. While looking for the boy, he thinks to himself that a relationship with Haruhi would be dishonest in the current state of things and that he wants nothing more than to protect the perfect little world he’s found in the Host Club. He finds Soga near the base of a tree with a twisted ankle. The boy is unable to move, and the slope is too steep to carry him down. Hikaru feels helpless for both Soga and Tamaki. In a wave of determination, he promises to get Soga to safety and piggybacks him through the snow and wind, mind occupied by a backflash of when he first met Tamaki.

61 be mine

I like you.

He opens his eyes to Kaoru and Haruhi standing over his bed. He demands to know if it was all a dream, but Kaoru explains that Soga is getting his sprain treated and that Hikaru fainted from relief and exhaustion as soon as the rescue squad (and Mori) arrived. Kaoru leaves to tell Soga and Kyoya that all is well, and Haruhi picks up her phone to inform the worried girls’ lodge. Hikaru suddenly tells her he likes her, and she thanks him for the strange compliment. “I’m serious,” he interrupts. Having decided not to deny his own feelings like Tamaki, he smiles at her. “I like you. Will you go out with me?”

Somewhere on the snowy road, a frantic Tamaki rushes his chauffeur along in order to reach his sick friend in time.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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