The rain poured down hard that day. The priest was nearly inaudible over the harsh pounding of the droplets of rain against the metal roofs that sheltered the group of men and women. They blended in perfectly with the dreary scenery, with their thick black dresses and suits. No one dared to make a sound except for the constant speech of the holy man who was now reciting prayers in Latin. Had it been any other occasion, the language would have sounded sweet and swift with the priest's large, booming voice, but today everything in the world just seemed bland.
No emotions showed themselves during the ceremony; stone cold faces of business men watched without depression or remorse, classmates had long ago been driven out of the sacred burial spot, and friends hid their faces with top hats and long veils. Not that it mattered; the rain that poured down so heavily that it hid any tears on their faces, and for that they were grateful.
Even Honey, who would have usually sobbed at the slightest annoyance, stood emotionless and cold, his little muscles so tense that he could have been mistaken for a statue. Mori stood beside him, his large hand on top of Honey's head; most likely the only source of comfort he could give the boy at the moment.
Kyouya stood beside the two of them. Because of the cold, his glasses were frosted with a glaring white, so his eyes were hidden from the world as he stared down at the tomb stone. The Priest had now moved on to saying a few words about the deceased. Tamaki flinched at every word that the man said, for he found nearly everything offensive to his dead friend; this man didn't know him! How dare he try and talk of him as though they were great pals! Tamaki's usually bright violet eyes slowly traveled to Hikaru and Haruhi, who had not said a word since everyone arrived.
Tamaki quickly pulled his head off of the two however; he couldn't stand to see them in such a sad state. Yes, out of everyone, Hikaru and Haruhi had a right to weep. Hikaru didn't dare look up as he heard them start to lower the coffin into the cold Earth. He wished for nothing more at that moment than to run out and stop them from doing what they were hired to do.
"Blessed be this soul that travels to heaven: Our prayers are with you." The Priest finished. He gave a soft "amen" and stepped away from the freshly dug up Earth, allowing the grave diggers to throw their shovels in the pile and fill the hole. Hikaru's hands shook more violently every time he heard the shovel's metal tip hit the soil. He wanted to stop this; there was no way any of this was real. Before Hikaru knew it, nearly all of his friends were gone. They had all whispered their apologies and taken off before they too, burst into tears. How many were still here, Hikaru had no clue- he was too absorbed in his thoughts to even care about the others. They weren't his Kaoru.
He and Kaoru were always together; that was a basic foundation that he had revolved his entire life upon. They came into the world together. They wore the same types of clothes and talked the same way. They perfected their walking and focused all their energy on being exactly symmetrical. If Hikaru felt happiness, then Kaoru felt the same happiness. If Kaoru felt pain, then Hikaru felt the same pain. So why did this world decide that Kaoru had to die alone? Why had this world, that had so willingly brought them up together, not killed them together as well?
"…Why him…" Hikaru whispered. His voice wasn't more than a failed attempt at speech however. The rain hid his voice very well, and even if he had been in a silent hall, he would have not been able to talk over a whisper. Hikaru felt hot tears run down his cheeks as the droplets poured onto his Brother's grave. Inside, Hikaru cursed at the rain for trespassing on his Brother's resting place.
But on the other hand, it was good that it was raining today. If the sky had dared to show its bright sun on the day of his brother's burial, he might have lost it. Hikaru flinched as he looked down to see his hand shaking violently before him. He brought it up to his lips and bit down on his flesh to calm his nerves. This did not seem to help, however, as tears glided onto them.
They were 'the twins' and they had been 'the twins' all of Hikaru's life. What would people call him now? He didn't want to be 'just Hikaru'. There was no way that he could live being, 'just Hikaru'.
"Damn hand" Hikaru muttered as it continued to shake. His sharpest tooth bit harder into his tender flesh, causing blood to gush into his mouth as he broke skin. As his hands started to calm, his shoulders shook with silent sobs. His now injured hand dropped to his side as he held in obvious tears. There was no life for him now.
He couldn't go home and face his parents, not by himself. He couldn't go to school and deal with all of the student's eyes. He probably wouldn't even be able to face his friends. To him, the only spot he truly belonged was beside Kaoru, in this mud and stone that signified the end of his brother's life.
An overwhelming warmness brought Hikaru out of his dark thoughts. Looking down at his now bleeding hand he noticed another's intertwined within his own. Hikaru blinked, not knowing that anyone else had been there. Daring his eyes to look at who it was, he was taken aback when he saw the tear filled eyes of none other than Ms. Haruhi Fujioka.
Haruhi, seeing him notice her, stepped a bit closer. The long sleeve of her midnight black dress draped over their hands, causing it to be shadowed from Hikaru's view as she looked back up at him. Hikaru bit his lip as he looked down in the saddened coffee brown eyes, and though they held a deep etch of depression in them, they also held fear. Fear of the rain perhaps? Or even fear that she was losing him just as quickly as she lost Kaoru?
Hikaru turned his head away from her, partly because he couldn't bear to see her nearly as miserable as he was, and partly because he was ashamed that he had scared her. That he had let her think that he would leave her. No Hikaru wouldn't take his own life; after all, he was too much of a coward to do something like that.
Hikaru stared at the ground as he cursed at himself in his mind. He was weak and pathetic, and he couldn't even keep his promise to his brother. While they had told each other they would always be together, here he was, standing beside his brother's cold body while Kaoru watched down from heaven: The Ultimate Separation.
If only he had stepped in a few moments sooner, then maybe his brother would be standing next to him, picking on Tamaki, laughing with Haruhi, eating the good times that they always managed to take for granted. Maybe if he had stepped in a minute sooner, he would be buried along with his Brother, or better yet, instead of him. Yes, it would have been better if he had been killed instead of Kaoru. Kaoru did nothing wrong. His voice was much sweeter, his tone happier. His face was gentler, and his actions much kinder. He didn't deserve to die.
Hikaru's hands started to shake again; they seemed to be doing that a lot lately. It started right after Kaoru's blood landed on him; they hadn't stopped quivering since. Hikaru let out a soft sob as his knees started to buckle. Why hadn't it been him in front of that gun? Stupid Kaoru! Why the hell did he have to go like that?
"…Hikaru…you're soaked. You're parents want you at home…we…need to say goodbye…" Haruhi whispered tenderly. She didn't want to upset him anymore than he already was, but it was really starting to downpour, and she was sure that his parents were already paranoid because of the accident. Hikaru didn't snap at her, though. He felt like he should, but when he opened his mouth to shout out harmful words, he found he just couldn't do it. So he slowly nodded and then lifted his head up to see the grave for the first time since the ceremony started.
"K-Kaoru…" Hikaru stuttered out. His heart jabbed at him, for he had just preformed an unforgivable sin by saying his name so casually. Hikaru flinched and tried not to look at anything but the grave marker. Haruhi was right after all; if he didn't leave now, he would never leave. Haruhi gently pressed her fingers against his palm and he realized that he was still holding onto her hand. He supposed this was supposed to be a nudge that everything was alright.
"You can squeeze my hand…if you want." Haruhi said in her usual soft voice. Hikaru looked up at her curiously. The boy would have laughed at her statement had the situation not been so grave. She really thought that he, a man, was going to squeeze her hand for comfort? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
None the less as he turned back to the grave he found his body reacting without him. His hand squeezed onto hers for dear life as newly made tears formed into his eyes. He was not ashamed of them at this moment; if she thought he was being childish for crying then so be it. Sniffing slightly, Hikaru used his free hand to wipe the tears and rain off of his face as he choked out-
"…Goodbye….Kaoru…" Hikaru sobbed after the words left his mouth; he never thought that the words would hurt so much. What was that old saying his mother always used to tell them? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?
She was wrong…
These words stung like acid on his skin.
Hikaru was surprised that Haruhi hadn't screamed out in pain by now, for he was holding onto her hand so tightly that it had actually turned a tomato red. Hikaru immediately let go of her and stuffed his hands in his pockets. Haruhi merely gave him a very small smile and took his arm to lead him away from the grave. She took a few steps but he did not budge.
"Haruhi…?" Hikaru whispered as he stared at the grave once more. She stopped and turned around curiously. The young woman walked so that she was beside him and then looked up into his cat like eyes.
"Yes, Hikaru?" Haruhi asked softly. Hikaru rubbed his eyes again as he took in a few deep breaths to stop his sobbing. Though it was perfectly understandable for him to cry, he didn't feel like doing it any longer.
"…Haruhi…I feel sick, and I can't move…is…that ok?" Hikaru whispered to her. Haruhi smiled a very sad smile. Her frail hands reached out for him very cautiously, but they pulled back just as she got near his arm. He didn't need physical contact right now, he needed to get home.
"Yes, that's ok Hikaru." Haruhi whispered as she unbuttoned the long trench coat that she had been wearing to protect herself from the rain. The woman threw it around his shoulders and grabbed his arm a bit forcefully. Hikaru closed his eyes, almost feeling the fear in her that if she didn't grab onto him now he would slip away.
"Come on, Hikaru…let's go home, alright?" Haruhi asked softly. Hikaru nodded slightly and allowed her to guide his ghost-like body to the limo that would take him away from the dreary place. Hopefully a change of scenery would lift him up a little.
The driver of the limo immediately woke from his peaceful nap as the two started toward the car. Slipping his hat onto his head, he got out and opened up the door for the two depressed teens.
"Home, sir?" The old man asked. Hikaru didn't answer, but Haruhi looked at the man and nodded. She would answer for Hikaru right now. The driver merely nodded politely in return and allowed Haruhi and Hikaru to enter the car. The driver closed the door with a soft click and headed back to his original spot. Taking in a few deep breaths he started up the engine; what a cold atmosphere he was exposed too- and it wasn't just the rain.
The old man checked his mirrors a few times and looked around him, the road didn't look very safe to drive tonight, he would have to be extra careful. He leaned back, turning his head towards the backseat to warn the two before spotting Hikaru leaning gently against Haruhi's shoulders.
With a smirk, the driver turned back and started the engine. The driver turned down the street and toward the mansion, however as he reached the downtown area, Hikaru's soft whisper broke out from the back of the limo. His voice was scratchy and as soft as a frightened child, but the words that he spoke broke clearly to both Haruhi and the driver.
"…Can…you take me to Haruhi's house….please?" He asked. Haruhi's eyes widened as she looked at the boy. Hikaru looked up at her and immediately tried to think of some reasoning behind his sudden request.
"It's just…I can't- I can't sleep in that room yet. I don't want to sleep alone…I can go to Tamaki's house after the storm passes but, can…can I stay at your house till then?" Hikaru asked.
Haruhi stared at the boy, but then after a light sigh, she nodded and leaned forward to go give the driver directions to her home. Suddenly, Hikaru reached out and grabbed her arm, his eyes shaking with fear. She looked back at him as his grip slowly loosened on her; what had just happened?
"…You know what…I'll just write it down for you." Haruhi whispered as she grabbed a pen and some paper from the limo. She quickly wrote it down for the driver and then passed it up to him before she sat down next to Hikaru once more. As soon as she sat down, he dug his head back into her shoulder, both of his hands wrapped tightly on her arm.
"….Hikaru?" Haruhi questioned.
Without bringing his head up from her shoulder, Hikaru cringed at her voice. He really had no idea what he was doing either, but he wanted to hold onto her right now. He wanted to know that she in fact was sitting there next to him. He wanted to feel her skin against his own; proof that she wasn't his imagination playing tricks on him.
"…Don't leave me, Haruhi….please." Hikaru whispered as he held onto her tighter. Inside, he was angry at himself for acting so childish and relying on her like this. Kaoru's death was not her burden to bear. It was his, and his alone. But his hands would not let go of her and his head would not lift from her shoulder try as he may.
"Hikaru, you aren't going to be alone. Is that's what's been bothering you?" Haruhi asked. Hikaru, however, did not register what she had said, for his eyes were slowly traveling out from reality and into his own mind. With her body heat surrounding him like a blanket and her skin serving as his soft pillow, Hikaru slowly closed his eyes. If for a moment he allowed himself to leave this Earth, leave this town, this car, this place that would soon be a world of 'just Hikaru'. For now, he would slip into dreams and relive this day like it should have been spent; with his brother at his side and a smile on his face.
Haruhi's large brown orbs looked down at the sleeping orange head. Her face saddened as she let out a very light sigh and looked out the window; it was still pouring down rain. The street and houses nearby were barely visible due to the thick downpour, so Haruhi was not sure if she was close to home or not. She started to feel restless and antsy, as if the ride would never end and they would all be dead before they reached her house.
However, a slow stop of the limo silenced the ever creeping fears in her mind. Looking down at the sleeping Hikaru once more, she sighed lightly and rubbed her temple. Leaning over as gently as she possibly could, Haruhi lifted Hikaru's head off of her. He blinked open his eyes for a few minutes before he registered where he was, and his content face was soon replaced by a lost one.
"…Hikaru…We are at my house, do you need any help getting out?" Haruhi asked gently. Hikaru shook his head for he knew perfectly well that his legs worked fine. Nothing had happened to them after all, he was not injured one bit. Hikaru cursed at himself once more in his head for walking away from Kaoru's battle without a scratch. He sickened himself…
"Hikaru?" Haruhi asked as she guarded her now soaked head from the rain. Hikaru broke out of his trance and ran out of the limo. His feet met with a puddle on his way out, soaking part of his pants as he ran over to Haruhi's very tired and wet body. She smiled unsurely as he looked at her, nearly choking on his own words.
"We should go inside and get warmed up. I'll make some tea, ok Hikaru?" Haruhi took his hand gently in her own palm and started to walk toward the apartment complex.
Though Hikaru knew that the gesture probably meant nothing to the young girl, to him it was a symbol. Even though he was too afraid to move after Kaoru was shot, somehow Haruhi managed to take his hand and lead him toward the phone. When he was too afraid to say goodbye to Kaoru, she took his hand and led him toward the grave. Now while he stood in the pouring rain, his senses unable to feel anything but bitter numbness, she grabbed his hand and led him toward warm blankets and hot tea.
She was also going to be the one that would lead him from the darkness that he was surely enclosed in, into the light. Then again…that would probably be asking too much of his little Haruhi…the sole heiress to Hikaru's little world.
"Alright Hikaru, the door is unlocked" Haruhi called from inside her apartment. Hikaru nodded and followed after her like a small newborn duck would to its mother. He had no idea what to do now; he was completely lost in this world. Haruhi sighed and guided him to the couch before setting him down.
"Here, Hikaru, give me your shirt." Haruhi stated as she held out her hand. Hikaru blinked a few times before he registered the exact words that had come out of her mouth. Slowly he looked down at his soaked clothes and did as she asked.
The buttons on his shirt were slicker than he anticipated. His still wet fingers slipped over the cold black buttons, missing them nearly every time as he tried to undo them. Haruhi gave out a gentle laugh, causing his head to snap up. She sighed humorously before getting on her knees and unbuttoning his jacket and t-shirt for him.
Hikaru blushed a very light red and tried to take off his t-shirt by himself. Sadly, common sense had long left his mind and instead of undoing the last few buttons on his shirt, he tried to slip it off of his head which only resulted in unpleasant results. With his flat orange hair in a tangle of buttons and parts of his white t-shirt, Hikaru growled at the contraption. As he tried to undo his large mess, Hikaru noticed that one of the main sources of the problem was that the buttons on his cuffs continued to get clipped in random parts of his hair. Honestly, what possible purpose could buttons on the sleeve serve?
Haruhi's gentle laughter broke out through the awkward silence as she leaned over and started to undo the knots that he had produced. Hikaru sighed at his incapability; he was becoming more useless to everyone by the day. Now he wasn't even able to take off his own shirt without Haruhi's help.
Haruhi didn't seem to mind, however; with her silk-like hands lacing in and out of his hair skillfully, Hikaru couldn't help but look up at her as she worked. There was a very small, but noticeable smile on her face as she undid Hikaru's mess. For that he was happy; at least she could smile for a little bit.
"There you go, Hikaru," Haruhi said with another soft laugh as she slipped his shirt off of his head. Hikaru muttered a small thank you under his breath as she talked about something or other- a small lecture about calling his Mother, maybe? Or did she say something about her Father? He wasn't sure at this point; all of the sounds around him were fuzzy.
Hikaru slowly lay down on the bit too small couch. The cushions smelt like the petals from his mother's garden, perhaps it was some air freshener that the commoners used? No, the scent was far too sweet. It was almost as if it was a perfect mixture of flowers, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. It smelled more like perfume than anything. The boy slowly dug his head into the cushion so that all of his senses could be focused on that soft scent instead of the horrid thoughts inside of his head.
He could hear Haruhi's small feet hitting against the carpet of her apartment. He heard the shower curtain slinging slowly open as she threw his wet shirt over the curtain rod to dry. The soft plop of water against the tub's plastic bottom slowly started to match with his breaths.
"Well, it looks like my Father is still at work, so have you decided whose house you are going to stay at tonight, Hikaru?" Haruhi asked as she walked in from her Father's bedroom. The girl had gone looking for him since she didn't see him when she walked in the door. Haruhi eyed Hikaru, who had refused to move his head from deep inside of her couches pillow where she had tested out the different body sprays she liked. Was he enjoying the scents or suffocating himself? At that point, it was a bit hard to tell.
Haruhi slowly walked over and turned his head over to see his eyes glued shut in a peaceful sleep. His chest rose and fell with a steady slow rhythm and the frown that had been plastered on his face all day had disappeared into a peaceful expression. Haruhi rolled her eyes and rubbed his hair slightly before standing up.
"Well, I guess you are staying here." Haruhi whispered before walking into her own room. Might as well get some shut eye- after all, it had been a very long day…
Haruhi was awoken by a strange softness tickling against her neck. With a soft groan, she slowly opened her sleepy eyes. What on Earth could be waking her up in this hour? Haruhi looked over at her alarm clock and saw that the digital numbers were flashing 2:43 AM. There went the rest of her sleep for the night. Haruhi looked down at her body to see that she had fallen asleep in the wet clothes that she had walked home in, and had not in fact gotten under the covers like any other sane person would.
So why did she feel so warm?
At closer inspection, a pair of hands wrapped loosely around her waist quickly answered the question. Tilting her head over a bit, she saw that Hikaru was in fact sleeping beside her, his tear covered face driven deeply into the crick of her neck. Haruhi sighed and gently rubbed Hikaru's shoulder to wake him. There was no way that she was letting him sleep with her.
Hikaru woke rather unhappily as he grumbled and slit open his eyes. Haruhi raised a brow at him, but he quickly looked around as well, almost as if he didn't believe where he was. Haruhi waited for him explain and gather his thoughts, which might have taken a while, had she not been giving him the stare of a life time all the while.
"…You were crying…I could hear it from the living room. I just acted on instinct…sorry. It's still really new to me you know…" Hikaru whispered as he looked down at the ground. He quickly began slipping out of the bed and stood beside it. Though he was outgoing, perverted, easily jealous, and way overprotective, he still was missing his partner in crime, and without him, he was practically nothing.
Haruhi gave a light sigh and then let herself lay back down on the comfy mattress. Hikaru watched the woman as she stood and took off her wet sweater. She was probably really cold now that he had let go of her. She slowly turned her head to him and nodded a bit in understanding for his reasoning. The woman turned away once more so he wouldn't be able to see her wipe away at her eyes. Hikaru sat down testily down on the bed while watching her.
"…hey, Haruhi?" Hikaru asked gently. The woman slowly sat back down next to him on the bed, her legs now slipping underneath the large heated blanket. Hikaru watched her and hid his head away as he bit his already rose red lips.
"…can I sleep here with you…? It'll just be tonight, I promise." Hikaru whispered. The young man was ashamed of himself for asking this, but though he was in a new house and bed he couldn't shake the feeling of being absolutely alone. Being able to see Haruhi, to be able to hold onto her arm or feel the heat radiating off of her body, to smell the sweet perfume that she had worn for the funeral, and to be able to make sure at all times that she was still there-
That was the only thing at the time that brought him comfort.
"Alright, climb under, any touching 'devil type' and you're going straight back on the couch," Haruhi whispered in a semi-annoyed tone as she turned on her side. Hikaru smiled lightly and gave a happy nod before slowly getting under the nice warm covers and sliding next to her.
He kept his distance since he was still a boy and she was a girl, but to be able to look over his shoulder and see her face was good enough for his overprotective nature. When he was sure she was asleep, the boy reached over and grabbed her hand; that soft hand that had learned to lead him through so many times before. He smiled slightly and leaned down, kissing the tops of her fingertips with the utmost care- he couldn't have her waking up and kicking him out after all.
"Thank you…Haruhi." Hikaru whispered as he let out a breath and fell back into sleep.