Disclaimer: Ouran is not mine.
Summary: Tamaki bears a burden. Problem is, he doesn't even notice.
Author's note: Don't ask me why I had this idea while writing 'Of Discoveries'.
They wage a war.
When he arrives first, she takes a look at him dripping over the steps leading to the front entrance and lays down the battleground.
"Klutz," she calls him, "Such a ditzy klutz."
Tamaki stands up, a bit disoriented, and is drawn into a fight not of his own making.
"Grandmother," he calls her, "Such an honour to meet you."
Then, he smiles.
She hates him instantly.
Despite her feelings though, she tries to teach him.
(He is the only heir, after all.)
She goes into battle prepared, her weapons sharp and ready.
Tamaki is unarmed.
"Why aren't you top of your class?" she asks of him, her words perfectly poised, and looks for an opening in his defence.
Tamaki shrugs, unaware of the danger he is in, and gives her one. "My friend is just better than me."
"Your friend? The Ootori?" she laughs and the sound is that of the sharpening of a blade, "A business connection. That's all you are to him."
Her grandchild smiles.
"No, don't worry, grandmother," he tells her and just won't understand, "He is my best friend."
She shakes her head, concedes defeat for the moment and attacks once more another day.
"You will never see your tart of a mother again," she tells him, delivering what should have been a death blow.
Oblivious to his fatal wounds, her grandchild looks at her, caught flat-footed.
"I might not, but I have my memories of her," he says to her after a moment, softness in his tone where in hers there are only pointed edges.
She scoffs at him in response and gives him all the unflattering names she can think of.
(illegitimate, whoreson, love child, bastard, by-blow, illicit)
She never gets a rise out of him.
He just looks at her with eyes seeming childlike and naïve to her, the face of one who never had to fight a war.
She tears into him with rude words, rips him apart with bans and rules, tries to teach him through betrayal and arranged marriage.
Tamaki's head remains filled with immature dreams and impossible ideals and not even once he thinks to check his body for injuries.
He refuses to learn.
When words finally fail their use completely, she uses her hands.
The smack can only be heard by her and her grandchild.
It sounds like the beating of war drums.
Right afterwards, she crumbles to the floor, her heart seemingly not as into fighting as her mind is.
Her limbs refusing to cooperate with her orders, she catches sight of Tamaki holding unto his smarting cheek.
As she slips into unconsciousness, she allows herself to feel a small spike of victory.
It ends as soon as she wakes up and finds him standing vigilance over her hospital bed.
"Out," she commands, her voice rusty, yet still sharp.
Tamaki complies and she turns to her son at the other side of the bed.
Yuzuru doesn't stand vigilance, he hopes for a funeral.
Her son knows how to fight the war.
"He is a good child," Yuzuru tell hers, "If not for his quick reaction, you wouldn't be alive anymore."
She hears the hint of remorse in her son's voice.
Her son has learned.
He knows how hold his own.
Tamaki though, constantly disappoints her.
"If not for this bastard of yours I would have never gotten so upset," she retorts, making sure her voice is loud enough to be heard outside the door, where her grandchild waits.
In response, Tamaki bring flowers to her bedside.
He doesn't even stop when she throws a particular heavy (and expensive) vase at his head.
The vase only scratches him, but it is enough to let a trickle of blood grace his forehead.
(She has drawn the first blood.)
He touches his forehead, looks at his finger coming away red and asks her if she were alright.
She tells him she would be if only he left.
The next day, there are more flowers at her bedside.
She tries to find the hatred necessary to tell her grandson off, yet discovers the battles have worn her ragged and tired.
When she is released from hospital and arrives at home, Tamaki gives her a present.
It's only then she realizes it's her birthday.
A card is attached to it.
'Happy birthday,' it reads and is signed, 'Love, Tamaki.'
She looks at her grandchild, at childlike and naïve eyes, and smiles.
Then, she turns and throws both, present and card, into the garbage.
Tamaki smiles, too, and bears and doesn't ever learn.
"Bastard," she calls him.
"Grandmother," he calls her.
Their war rages on.