This is Chapter 17 from the Ouran High School Host Club manga series.

Chapter Summary

After Haruhi gets third place on the midterm results for 1st-years, she's at risk for expulsion from Ouran since she must remain first in her class to keep her scholarship.  Since Ayame is the top 2nd-year female student, Kyoya asks her to help. She tutors Haruhi, but soon gets bothered by the noise in the Host Club salon. She explains her feeling in a long-winded way, explaining that she doesn't like loud places and that Haruhi doesn't seem to care about her grades, as she puts herself in such a noisy place. The Host Club notes her ability to speak for long stretches without breathing and make up theories as to how she can do so. They nickname her "Miss Morse Code" because her speech sounds like Morse code. Haruhi apologizes for the others and Ayame tells her not to worry about it.  Tamaki makes several peace offerings which Ayame refuses. As she starts her speech on why she refuses some melon bread, Tamaki holds his breath to see if he can hold his breath as long as Ayame. It doesn't work well and he passes out as a result. Noting her coldness towards Tamaki, Haruhi asks Ayame if she holds a grudge against Tamaki. In another long-winded response, she says that although he is popular and intelligent, she is repulsed by him.

The next day, in the class that she shares with Tamaki and Kyouya, Ayame comments to Tamaki that he didn't make a proper entry when he was in charge of class the day before. He apologizes, but she tells him that she already fixed it for him. She coldly tells him that she's pointing it out because she doesn't want him to repeat that error, and goes on to correct other things about his writing and the rain. He apologizes again, but a group of girls compliment him, tell him not to get discouraged, and start swooning over him with one girl saying how happy she is that she got to listen to him start the class. Tamaki tells her that he'll whisper to her every day if it makes her happy and the girl blushes. Ayame is not impressed and asks him not to do that as it is distracting and will only cause more noise. Later, she angrily wonders to herself how such an idiot can have higher grades than herself, revealing that she has a grade complex.

The complex developed two years prior, during her last year of middle school, in spring. When she first met Tamaki he complimented her straight hair. She took the compliment very personally, causing her to blush and tremble. She soon realized, though, that he complimented many other girls in the same way. This annoys her and makes her think that maybe he doesn't know any other Japanese phrases or that he's stupid. Soon after, Tamaki gets second place on their midterm exam, pushing her to third. She initially thinks that it's a fluke, but the grades are consistent, making her more frustrated and causing her to despise Tamaki.

Haruhi and Ayame

Ayame's disapproving gaze.

The next day, Haruhi and Ayame discuss test problems while Tamaki spies on them. The rest of the club wonder what he's doing and he tells them to give them tea and check on how Haruhi is doing, subtly. Both of the girls already have heard them and Ayame glares at Tamaki, then pours her own tea which she brought from home. Ayame asks Haruhi if she wants to go somewhere else, but she says that she doesn't really mind. Ayame tells Haruhi that she must be quite stressed, having to get first place and worrying about others' opinions. Haruhi smiles and says that she doesn't care about her ranking, just that she has a goal that she wants to carry out, that what other people think is irrelevant. Ayame is suprised and thinks back to when she got ranked the highest. She tells Haruhi that she just wants to study in quiet and that's why she resents people who disrupt her. She also says she hates when people put their expectations on her.

She starts to say that she hates something else but the twins, who are now standing behind her, exclaim that they have found a natural curl. They tell her that her hair must be very wavy and start to give her beauty tips until she yells at them to stop. She also yells at Tamaki to leave her alone, and tells him that it's why she hates the rain and angriliy asks him why it matters if her hair is straight and that he took it for granted. She yells at him that he makes her uncomfortable while he doesn't even care and to stop twisting her feelings around. After this she runs off crying while Haruhi yells out for her. After she runs off, the twins say that it's probably because of her grades complex, but Mitsdukuni tells Takashi that she probably just likes Tamaki.

Ayame runs to the girls' locker room where she has Kuma-chan stowed in her locker from when she'd found him on the floor. She throws the teddy bear on the ground and starts hitting it, mad at herself for admitting how she feels. She then picks it up, hugging it while blushing, saying that he doesn't even remember what he said to her. Tamaki is revealed to be standing behind her and says what he said when they first met while getting down to her level and grabbing a lock of her hair. He apologizes and says that he meant what he said, causing her to blush. She angriliy apologizes because she can't meet his expectations since "both [her] hair and heart are twisted." But he makes her blush once again by saying, "The rain is a necessary prelude to beautiful weather. So even if your heart is in a downpour right only means that it will become exceptionally beautiful in time."

Inspired by Ayame, Tamaki decides to have a June event, since nothing usually happens in June. Ayame attends. She let her hair get curly and other girls attending comment on how nice it looks.  In the aftermath, she goes and corrects Tamaki's statement about rain and beauty in her long-winded way. She also becomes a regular at the Host Club.

==Characters in Order of Appearance==



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