It was a cool Thursday evening when the doors of the Third Music Room finally closed to its customers three hours after operations had commenced. The seven Host Club members were finally able to sit back and relax for a while, as a light dinner was laid out for them in an adjoining room. It had been a long day for all, so they were quite glad to see the back of the last group of girls as they left the room in a giggling bunch.
Haruhi Fujioka – the only female member of the group, though dressed as one of the boys - rolled her eyes as she shut the door behind them and went to see how dinner preparations were going.
In one corner of the room, Kyoya Otori finally leaned back in his chair with a small, tired sigh as he browsed through the schedule for the next day on his laptop computer. He was joined soon after by club president Tamaki Suou, who pulled up a chair close behind him and peered at the screen over the dark-haired boy's shoulder. For once he was too tired to bother himself with chasing after Haruhi's attention.
Kyoya smiled and shifted slightly to give the blond a better view. Tamaki smiled a tired smile back at him and rested his chin lightly on his best friend's shoulder.
On the other side of the room, Mitsukuni Haninozuka – affectionately known as Hani – bent to pick up some flowers off the floor where they had been carelessly dropped by some of the ladies. He smiled at a pretty pink rose, then turned and held it up to the taller boy who had followed behind him.
Takashi Morinozuka – called Mori by most – broke into a rare smile of his own as he took the flower, then crouched down for Hani to climb onto his back. Once the smaller boy was clinging securely to him, he stood and began making his way to the mini dining room.
Hikaru Hitachin, the older of a pair of twins, watched them go with a wry smile of his own. He could never figure those two out sometimes, he mused to himself as he sat on a couch in the middle of the room, sipping on a cool soft drink. Then he glanced over at Kyoya and Tamaki. The two second years were deeply engrossed in a friendly conversation – something that was rarely seen within the Host Club walls.
Kaoru Hitachin, the younger twin, was however oblivious to all this. He sat on the other end of the couch from his brother, hugging his knees to his chest as he rested his head against the back-rest of the couch, eyes closed. Of all the members, he was the only one not smiling.
He wanted to, oh how he wanted to, but he was just not feeling up to it. Since waking up that morning with an odd feeling at the back of his throat, he'd been feeling increasingly out of it as the hours ticked by. The headache had followed, along with a slight stinging sensation in his eyes, and a general loss of appetite. He knew he should have gone to see the school doctor, but one thing led to another and he hadn't been able to catch a break to do so.
Now, as he sat in the room, he suddenly felt cold and weary, and he pulled his uniform jacket tighter around him, trying to ignore the soreness that had spread to the rest of his body.
On the plus side though, it had been relatively easy for him to play the weaker sibling role as he leaned in his brother's arms to take some of the weight off his own body. He'd even managed to incorporate his feeling unwell in to their 'brotherly love' act. Unfortunately, since none of his symptoms were physically apparent, everyone else had thought it to be just that, too – an act.
"Dinner's ready, everyone!" Hani called from the door to the smaller room. "Let's eat, then we can all go home!"
This statement was met with loud approval by all except Kaoru, who was too weary to even raise his head. It was finally Hikaru who gave his brother's shoulder a shove.
"C'mon, lazy-bones, I'm starving," the older twin said, and bounded into the dining room.
Groaning softly as his aching body protested any kind of movement, Kaoru rose, stumbled, then followed his brother at a much slower pace. His actions did not go unnoticed by Kyoya, who merely pushed his glasses up his nose, made a note on his laptop, then brought up the rear.
Once they were all seated at the table – Mori and Tamaki at either end; Kyoya, Haruhi and Hani on one side, the twins on the other – for a while there was no sound in the room except for the clacking of cutlery on china, and the clinking of bottles on glasses, as the teenagers tucked hungrily into their food.
Only Kaoru had the barest scraps of food on his plate, and even this he picked at slowly, trying to negotiate with his stomach to keep something down. Hani glanced at him, then at Mori who simply shook his head. Finally Kaoru put down his fork and leaned his forehead on his brother's shoulder.
"I don't feel so good, Hikaru," he murmured, then mentally kicked himself. He'd said the same thing in their act that afternoon, but surely Hikaru could tell – couldn't he?
Hikaru looked at him in no little surprise, and was about to reply when Haruhi beat him to it.
"Kaoru, we're not hosting anymore," she said with a frown. "Stop it, its disgusting."
Kaoru blinked. "But I - ."
"Bro, stop it," Hikaru cut him off, feeling just the little bit uncomfortable as the others stared at him. "She's right, this is not the time for acting."
Somewhat stung, Kaoru touched his hand to his brother's, hoping Hikaru could feel how cold it was, but Hikaru simply brushed him off, rather embarrassed.
"I'm not - ."
"Kaoru," again Hikaru interrupted him. "Its disgusting, stop it. Finish your dinner."
Hurt, and glaring slightly, Kaoru forced himself to sit up straight again, but didn't touch his plate. Instead, he rose to his feet as steadily as they would allow him.
"Excuse me," he said as politely as he could, then left the table. "I'm going home."
Hikaru looked up. "I thought we were gonna walk home together?" he asked, but Kaoru had already left the room.
"Takashi," Hani said, turning to his larger cousin.
Mori nodded once, placed his napkin before his empty plate, and gracefully stood up to make his way out.
"I should go after him," Hikaru said, and made as if to get up too.
"Finish your dinner," Kyoya said coolly, but in a voice that froze Hikaru to his seat, and made Haruhi sink a little lower in hers.
Knowing better than to cross the rightly-named Demon King, the older twin stayed where he was. At this point, Tamaki leaned forward to look at him.
"Hikaru," he said. "I'll walk you home."
Hikaru blinked in surprise. "That's… not really necessary, Highness," he replied.
"Nonsense!" Tamaki said, his blue eyes warm. "It's a lovely evening outside. It would be a shame to let it go to waste don't you think?"
Haruhi nodded her agreement, but didn't say anything. She felt a little bad for having had a part to play in the Twins' fight and figured it was best to stay out of it till things had calmed down again.
"But Kaoru…" Hikaru began.
"Will be fine," Kyoya cut in, clapping his phone shut.
Hikaru frowned – when had he taken his phone out in the first place? – but agreed to walk with Tamaki.
Later, as they were about to leave, Hani reached up and placed a hand on Hikaru's elbow, stopping the boy in his tracks.
"Senior Hani?" he asked, seeing the serious look on his face. "What is it?"
Hani sighed. "The bonds between family are the strongest Hika-chan, but they are also the most fragile. Remember that okay?" He released Hikaru's arm with a pat.
"Okay," Hikaru replied, not sure of what else to say.
"Take care of Kao-chan."
Hikaru nodded. "I will."
b A/N /b - Heh, well i dont really know what to say because i certainly never planned on this... see, my main fanfic forte is in the Transformers fandom which i have been writing for the past three years or so, thus i was really nervous about starting on Ouran as i havent written human-centric fic within that time (Transformers being primarily mecha-centric) and am hence a little rusty..
Yet.. here this is, and i hope it comes off alright... stay tuned for the next chapter... Twins rule!