Chapter Eleven, up!Title: Silent ChallengesSeries: Chapter Eleven, 625 wordsPairing/Character: Mori & HaruhiRating: TSummary: "Takashi had learned over the course of their drive that his cousin and Haruhi had gone for their own walk during the past evening, and found himself more curious than ever as to what they had spoken about. "Cross-posted to ouran_fanficsFF.net
The brush became greener and the air a bit thicker, as they neared the end of their hours-long excursion to a remote village. Sitting between Takashi and Tuan in the back of a Jeep, Haruhi kept herself amused while watching the shortest member of their team drive.
"I'd have to imagine that to anyone who didn't know better, seeing Mitsukuni behind the wheel would be kind of like one of those people who like to give the illusion that their dog can drive."
Seeing her point, Takashi laughed, but was more concentrated on Haruhi's wording. "Mitsukuni, huh?"
"Yeah. I'm trying it out."
He nodded. "Hn."
Takashi had learned over the course of their drive that his cousin and Haruhi had gone for their own walk during the past evening, and found himself more curious than ever as to what they had spoken about. He simply smiled and wrapped an arm around her waist.
Pointing to a fork in the road ahead, Tuan directed Mitsukuni to the right. "We should be arriving any minute now. This is a very kind village, I think you'll like the people here. Plenty of them should be able to speak to you in some English, but feel free to stay close to my father or me if they only speak Vietnamese."
Although Tuan addressed the entirety of their group, he kept his eyes trained on Haruhi. Acknowledging his host, Takashi nodded his comprehension while lacing his fingers through Haruhi's beltloops.
Before long, their time in the village was drawing near its end. Having divided her days between cooking and cleaning, engaging in local habits and culture, and finding various tasks needing additional hands to fulfill, Haruhi found herself in the middle of the happiest form of exhaustion she could have ever imagined. Every day had presented something new. She had thatched roofs, removed stones from fields, and collected water for elderly villagers. Young children taught her local games and begged to braid her hair.
Day after day, Haruhi had lost herself working alongside peasants and nobility, who in the evenings gathered together to share in the pages of their recently acquired Bibles. Sora, realizing Haruhi would not have one of her own, had set aside for her a Bible when distributing the books at the beginning of their stay. It was different from the donated texts only in that it was printed in Japanese and had been inscribed with Haruhi's name.
When approaching Sora to give her thanks, the woman's reply had simply been, "I don't mind if you do not open it, but just remember to be thankful you will never have to hide what other people spend their entire lives looking for."
Standing on the tarmac, Akira and Trung clasped hands and gave one another a final bow.
"I cannot thank you enough for joining us these past few weeks. Bringing in such vital supplies from out of the country was a tremendous help. As was your willingness to be hands-on and accompanying us."
Akira gave a nod and a barely-there smile, "Of course. You know my family will always be there to help provide for such a need. Truth be told, it was not so much bringing provision, as it was simply being among people that I found to be gratifying."
While Akira promised to also bring along his younger son if another such trip were to occur, Trung was left apologizing for the sudden absence of his own son. He assured his guests that Tuan wished them the best, and as they boarded their plane, bade them farewell.