My Little Brother

NOTE: (24 April 2003) Okay, I wrote this three years ago and I'm just posting it now. ^^; Everything under this note was from a file from the past. So don't go sueing me now that I've learned better.

Ramblings: I think this is the first Koganei Kaoru fic ever.

Translations:

Shimatta - Damn! Kaasan - mother, mom [O]Nii-chan/Nii-san - brother (older) Moshi-moshi - Hello (on the telephone) Baka - idiot 'tooto - brother (younger)

Part 1

"What is this, Kaoru?"

"Huh?" Koganei spluttered as he quickly hid the manga he was reading under a Math textbook. He turned his head to see Kagerou reach for the envelope on his dresser.

"NO! Don't open that!" He jumped out of his chair to grab the piece of paper, but Kagerou's hand was too quick for him. The floor didn't catch him gently.

"Hmm…the first year are going camping next next week? Why didn't you tell me about this?" Kagerou asked the little boy who was covering his nose.

"Because I DON'T WANT to go there." He tried to grab the letter again, but Kagerou moved out of the way.

Recca's - now also Koganei's mother nodded. "I think it would be FUN and GREAT for you." She patted the little boy's head with a smile. "You should go."

"What!!??" Koganei yelled. "What's so fun about spending time with a bunch of kids who sit around a -whatcha call that- campfire!??" He turned away and sulked.

Kagerou put the letter back into its envelope. "Ne, Kaoru, you are still a kid…"

Koganei's eyes shot daggers into Kagerou.

"Okay, you are still young. You should learn that, you are lucky you still have lots of energy to do things in the outdoors. When you're already old and you want to do something, you'll soon find out you CAN'T. That's when you'll sigh, and say 'I wish I did that when I…'"

"Okay!! I'll go!! Even if it kills me with boredom!!"

A smile appeared on Kagerou's face again. "That's a good boy…" She left the envelope on his desk, and went out.

Koganei crawled to his desk and stared at the envelope. "Shimatta!!" He tossed it away and it fluttered silently beside his bed.

The school bell rang and students piled out of the door. Koganei walked sulkily, wearing a backpack, with his hands in his pockets, towards home. His usually cheerful attitude could not be found anywhere, because all throughout the day his classmates only talked about the upcoming camp. "Ptooei…"

"Kaoru-kuuunnn!!!"

He glared at the one who called his name. It was Ganko, trying to catch up with him while dragging Kondo with her. The fourth-grader* panted when she reached the boy near the gate.

"What do YOU want with me?" He stared at her from head to toe, then at Kondo.

"Why are YOU so sulky?" Kondo replied cheekily.

Koganei was about to snap "None of your business" when Ganko interrupted, talking a mile a minute.

"Kaoru-kun!! You're so lucky!!!" she gushed. "I just found out you're in the camp!! I'm so jealous!!"

The brown-haired boy frowned and narrowed his eyes. "Camp? Me, lucky? Are you crazy?? I'll do anything to get out of that!!"

Ganko's eyes widened. "But…Kaoru-kun!! You don't want to explore forests and hike mountains and do other stuff?"

A clear "NO" came out of him.

"Huh?" Ganko and Kondo looked at each other. "Why?"

"Hn. Because I don't want to! I'll just be bored while they sing around in the campfire…la, la, la..yuck!!"

Kondo jumped on Ganko's head to reach Koganei's height. "They sing? Wow!! I'd love to go to camp!!" Suddenly he warbled a LOUD, tuneless song.

"Kondo!! Quiet!!" Ganko grabbed the fox and tried to strangle him to stop. Everyone looked at the trio while Kondo kept singing in a LOUD manner. "Shhh!!!"

Koganei took the opportunity and ran home to Recca's.

"Hey! Kaoruuuu!!!"

"I will not go. I will not go. I will not go. I will not go."

An open backpack was lying on the floor, with books and notes scattered around it. There was even some uneaten cookies, which fortunately the ants did not smell.

On the bed was a cluster of brown hair, the only thing that could be seen from Koganei as he lay deep under the covers.

"I hate camp. I will not go. I hate camp."

Kagerou was facing him, sitting on his desk chair, her arms folded across her chest. "How can you say you hate camp when you haven't been in one? Come on, Kaoru."

"Kaasan??!"

A voice yelled outside the room. Suddenly Recca burst in, holding Yanagi in his other hand.

"Oh, Recca. And Yanagi." Kagerou greeted. "Good afternoon, Kagerou-san." Yanagi replied and bowed a little.

"Kaasan, can Yanagi stay here for ah..about an hour? She'll be uh, tutoring me for our exam next week." Yanagi stared at the floor and a faint red creeped up her cheeks.

"Of course Recca." Kagerou flashed a grin as she saw what was happening to Yanagi. "She's always welcome." Suddenly the cluster of hair on the bed moved.

Yanagi clutched Recca's arm tightly. "Wh-what's that!!??" she gasped, pointing at the bed.

Kagerou sighed. "It's Kaoru."

"Oh. Yeah." Recca scratched his head. "I kinda forgot this was Koganei's room, considering all the mess here!" he added jokingly.

Surprisingly, Koganei didn't lash out a good insult back at him.

"Huh? What's his problem, Kaasan?"

"Camp? He's brooding in his bed just because of camp?" Recca was incredulous. At this time of day Koganei was usually seen watching TV, playing arcade/video games, or reading a manga. But not in bed…until now.

"What do you mean, just because of camp?" That was the first thing Koganei said after Kagerou told the events to the couple.

Recca rolled his eyes. "Well, for one thing, I LIKE the outdoors. It's fun to explore, you know."

"Get a life."

"Why you little-" Yanagi held Recca, signaling him to stop.

Yanagi took her turn. "Kaoru-kun, why don't you want to go to camp?"

"I've told you people a million times," he muttered. "It's boring in there!! No TV, no games…"

"They play games there, Kaoru." Kagerou corrected.

"I mean, VIDEO games. And what they do there are all so LAME."

"That's it." Kagerou stood up, with a tone surprising everyone even the sullen Koganei. "If you don't want to go Kaoru, then I- we will not force you any more. I'm trying to teach you to love your youth and the outdoors. But you just won't listen. I'll just have to teach you with another way."

Yes! Koganei's heart jumped when he heard he wasn't to go anymore.

"You won't go to camp cause you are grounded, young man - if that's what you want to be."

"Grounded!!" Koganei cried out from the bed. Yanagi had a pitiful look for him. Recca snorted.

"Well, kiddo, if you're grounded that means you won't be able to watch TV and play VIDEO games here too!" He chuckled when he thought of his mom's plan. "If I were you, I'd go to camp. You'll just be missing a week of TV there. If you're grounded, that means A MONTH."

A month! He couldn't take that.

Kagerou wasn't smiling. "Well, Kaoru? Do you want to go to camp or not?"

A minute passed before he sat up in bed.

"You got me." He said in a small voice. "I'll go."

Yanagi hugged the boy. "Don't worry. If you can handle the Kougon Anki, you can surely handle camp."

Koganei felt a burst of joy. "Nobody's free??"

"Stop smiling, Kaoru, we've already talked about this. You ARE going to camp."

He didn't follow Kagerou's orders. "But I need a chaperone to be able to go. Nobody is free to take me."

It was true. Kagerou couldn't go, she had a job interview which, unfortunately, the day of the call was uncertain. She couldn't be gone for a whole week. Recca, Yanagi, Domon, and Fuuko, was to have their exam week at the time of camp. Saicho had a busy week at school too, while Raiha had an important appointment waiting for the week.

It wasn't because she didn't want to be outsmarted by this smart-aleck. It wasn't the reason why she was earnestly looking for a chaperone. She firmly thought this messy-haired boy needed to be taught and disciplined.

"Yes! Yes!" Koganei danced around the room. He wasn't going to that darned stupid lame camp!!!

"Hold on." Kagerou's stern voice made him halt. "I haven't yet contacted Tokiya. Their exam week is already finished, as I know."

"Onii-chan?" He giggled. "He wouldn't take me! I know he wouldn't like camp!!"

"We'll see about that. Sit down." Kagerou dialed a number. "Moshi-moshi. Is Tokiya-kun there?"

As Kagerou put the handset down, Koganei screamed, "HE'S GOING TO TAKE ME???"

The woman smiled. "Yes. Tokiya said he'll be glad too."

Saturday came. It was the day they would go to camp.

Out of the Hanabishi Residence a sulky Koganei went followed by an emotionless Mikagami. They were both wearing backpacks. Koganei had on his usual t-shirt and vest, but he was wearing long pants. Mikagami was wearing a green long-sleeved polo and blue jeans.

Recca, Yanagi, Domon, Fuuko, Kagerou, and Ganko came to see them go.

Fuuko stared at Mikagami. "You? You really want to go to camp?"

"I am ONLY Koganei's chaperone." Nevertheless, Fuuko couldn't resist a giggle.

Yanagi came over them and presented something. "Here, " she gave each of them a box and smiled. "You can use that in camp."

A smile unknowingly entered Koganei as he tore out the wrapper. Suddenly the smile changed into a frown. "A HAT???"

"Yes," Yanagi kept her naïve smile. "It will keep out the bugs."

Mikagami was forced to wear his green checkered hat.

Domon, Recca, and Fuuko were on the ground, laughing their heads off.

Now it was Ganko's turn. "Uhh…Kaoru-kun…" She was trying to hide her smile.

"Yeah, get on with it!!" he snapped.

"Kaoru-kun, could you get me a souvenir when you get back? Like, a squirrel, or maybe a big rock with a cute shape?"

"I'm not going to pick rocks for YOU!!!"

Ganko pouted. "Well then, would you, Tokiya-nii-san?"

Mikagami gave no answer. Instead, he glanced at Kagerou, who was genuinely smiling at the two young men.