MASS NOTES: This occurs sometime after the anime – which I'm entirely going by, by the way – ends, so Honey and Mori have graduated. Chika will be the club now, because he is a bishie as well, and perhaps he decided that if he can't beat his brother at martial arts, maybe he could beat him at hosting. :P It's not a big point at all, though. Also, this is a sequel to/continuation of my one-shot Orientation, which I do make several references to, so you'd better off reading it first.

Rated T for romance content. Other than Orientation, which was extremely light in content, this is also my first, real boy-boy-love writing experience.

Which I find to be completely ironic.

To some degree inspired by EFAW's Sweet Torture, which is a must read for all you Kyouya/Tamaki fans.

Each chapter title will be a lyric or title from a song, because I'm that original. At the beginning of each chapter I will indicate the title and artist for your edification and delight.

"Don't Bother" - Shakira

Chapter 1: Don't Bother

Tamaki was doing it again. By this time, the flirtatious acts placed upon Haruhi came as no surprise to Kyouya, but even he couldn't deny that they bothered him. If Tamaki's affection for the girl were to be real, then the smart thing to do would be for him to express it as such. Then again, Tamaki had never been the smart one.

It had practically the whole school wondering how he truly felt about the newly-revealed girl, and whether or not she returned the feelings. The host club was no exception. As of late, Hikaru had been introduced into the mix as well, bringing Kaoru along with him to verbally fight against Tamaki – in a teasing manner, of course – whenever and wherever Haruhi was concerned. Chika insisted on sitting close by and commenting nonchalantly on the faults of every action they took and word they said. Needless to say, this did not help the situation.

Since the rest of the club was preoccupied, Kyouya took the time to think back to the event with Ranka at the café that past weekend; the way Hikaru had made such an impertinent remark with a pleasure befitting the mischievous twin, the way Kyouya had run off with Ranka (as a result?); the way Haruhi had stopped Tamaki from running after them, the way he disobeyed her and chose to follow; the way he had found Ranka and Kyouya together, the way he looked at Kyouya with such worry. For a moment Kyouya had believed he cared, that it bothered Tamaki to see him and Ranka together as much as it had bothered Kyouya to see the blonde with Haruhi.

The way Ranka had kissed him on the cheek before leaving. Had that bothered Tamaki? Kyouya had convinced himself it was nothing more than a result of Ranka's inane nature. Still, the man had reached out to Kyouya during that "date," both with his affectionate words and his open embrace.

It was for those reasons that Kyouya found himself on the Fujioka's doorstep later that evening, when he knew that Haruhi was off "doing homework" at the Suoh household. When the set of knocks on the door brought no answer for the first couple minutes, Kyouya debated whether or not he should have called before coming here.

Luckily for Kyouya, his fear of this was assuaged when the door opened just as he was about to leave. An arm lashed out from the doorway and grabbed onto his wrist, quickly pulling him inside the apartment before shutting the door behind them. Kyouya blinked to find Ranka staring back at him with an expression worthy of James Bond. It helped that he was wearing men's clothes this time around and no make-up, or else the masculinity might not have been so convincing.

"Ranka-san, what—?" Kyouya started, but was cut off by a harsh shushing on Ranka's part. A finger was brought to Kyouya's lips.

"If we're going to have this affair, we have to be perfectly secretive about it," explained Ranka. For a moment Kyouya was afraid he was being serious, but the silly way in which he stuck out his tongue a moment later revealed that he was joking. Ranka laughed at what he must have supposed to be the boy's fright – for Kyouya's face remained solidly impassive – and grabbed his hand, leading him to the small dining/living/family area. He sat him down next to the table and passed him a bowl of chips.

"What can I help you with, Kyouya?" Ranka asked, smiling in comfort. Kyouya opened his mouth to reply, and found that although a part of him wanted desperately to explain his current set of problems, he couldn't find the words to encompass them. What, exactly, was bothering him? Why had he come here again?

"Nothing specific," he decided. After all, he had played the "stalking game" with no specific purpose in mind, and had come out of it with progress. Whether or not this progress had been positive was a different question. The kiss was brought to his mind again, and he instantly averted his eyes to the chip bowl. He removed a crisp and brought it to his mouth.

Ranka had apparently missed this motion of aversion. Either that or decided not to question. "All right, then, how about this?" A shuffling followed. Before Kyouya knew it, Ranka had moved behind him and locked him in an awkward sort of embrace. At first, Kyouya tensed up at the contact, but soon he realized that this was what he came here for – the gentle, physical touches that no one else dared give him. He leaned back into Ranka's arms with a grateful sigh. This was what he had been craving since the last embrace at the café.

Ranka cooed in his ear. "It's my pleasure," he said, as if in reply to a thank you. Several minutes of silence passed in which Kyouya gradually relaxed in Ranka's arms, while the latter did nothing but hold him against his chest. Once that time had passed, Ranka brought his hand up to run it through the other's dark hair.

"You're too stressed," he whispered in Kyouya's ear, sending a tingling feeling down the latter's spine. "You need to relax." Kyouya frowned. How true that was. But how could he relax with a life like this? Every moment of every day he had to make sure that he wasn't disappointing his father, that he was trying his hardest, that Tamaki wasn't making a fool out of himself, that the Host Club funds were not being drained completely by Honey's eating habits; and for what? What did Kyouya get out of it?

Oh, right, he got to watch over the blonde for hours on end. But the other cared not for his longing gazes; he didn't notice them in the least.

And what of Kyouya's father? What use was there in pleasing him? True, Kyouya enjoyed the brief moments of accomplishment that brought him at least a little bit closer to his goal, but deep down he had the sinking feeling that no matter what he did, nothing truly could bring him to be admired in his father's eyes. Nothing could ever bring him to be appointed heir to the Ootori throne.

And even if such a day would come, there would always be something missing. This something was the welcome of the hugs that Ranka was more than willing to give.

Kyouya clasped Ranka's hands in his own, and discovered that he didn't want to let them go. Ever. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ranka smile.