xXxEDITING DONE 08/16/07xXx


Effect

I most definitely need to be shot for this one……I'm so cruel to the characters sometimes. Seeing how I am a Kaoru lover, I apologize to my fellow lovers in advance. This one randomly popped up and I was so horrified by what I wrote that afterwards I threw it out. Despite how dark and angsty it turned out to be; it's worth letting out. It's twisted in its own special way…that's all I can say. It's got an odd rhythm to it as well, though it might be on purpose. I tried to express a feeling of hope in tragedy……so please tell me how it turned out, reactions, and whatnot. I give warnings of slight gore description, Hitachiinnest, and just sadness all around. And a big THANK YOU to my gorgeous beta reader pekori for not letting anything escape her watchful eye! You are an absolute doll!

Disclaimer: Don't own OHSHC. So there.


Routine.

After closing the Host Club for the afternoon, its dedicated members packed up for home and expectantly waited for their rides. Clear from the three giant window panes that decorated their ornamental, pink-hued meeting place, they had a clear view of the sky and where the weakest splotches of rain clouds gathered in it.

It didn't take Haruhi very long to spot them and thusly refuse any companionship. She simply grabbed her coat and threw it over her head, leaving anyone who had regrettably been in her path either very windblown or perplexed and sprawled out on the floor with a sore bottom.

Their blonde King picked himself up with no trace of clumsiness in his manner of disregarding the shooting pain. Rubbing the offending area would have slaughtered his unspoiled refined image-- he pushed on to bother Kyouya about the affair they were hosting in the very near future, leading to a rather frenzied argument about the companies to help uptake these tasks.

One of the twins snuggled closer to his pair, snorting in disbelief that the Shadow Lord could stay so calm when his suggestions were blatantly overlooked. On the other end of the loveseat, the other concentrated solely on his handheld video game; when he felt his focus begin to break from the annoying body warmth, Hikaru knit his eyebrows and shifted away from it, leaving the first almost miffed and pouting cutely. When he saw that Hikaru really didn't care, Kaoru lost the pout and curled up to the opposite side, lazily cushioning his head with the back of his hand.

Through his sleepy vision, Mori and Hunny joined in on the planning between the Host Club's 'parents'. Not feeling the least bit put out, Kaoru made a tiny mewling sound (perking up the ears of his supposedly indifferent brother) and stared up sleepily through one of the windows at the distant rainfall.

How nice it was to have routine.


Morning. . .

He allowed the smell of the flowers wrap around his nostils. The freshly budding gardens of the Hitachiin estate that expertly cultivated a variety of greenery released an exhilarating scent.

Out in the enormous backyard, supported by the soft manicured lawn kissed by last evening's dew, the redhead tilted his head back contently. Daybreak made everything seem to glow around his, almost as if this whole scene were some harmonious dream…

He couldn't remember exactly how he wound up here, but decided not to dig further for an explanation as another round of scented breezes hit his face.

Satisfaction stirred inside his bones feeling so be blessed with such a picturesque morning. Eyelids lowered over numbed, emotionless amber almost doubtfully. Something else stirred as well: a sensation he couldn't quite get a grasp on, a burning that churned at the pit of his stomach he couldn't name properly---

Interrupting any troubling thoughts from forming, the sides of familiar arms hooked slyly across his waist, nestling themselves securely. His older brother buried his face into the fabric of his white night-shirt, the leftover Oriental cologne still clinging to his personal aroma that just screamed his name. Hikaru's dry throat caused his voice to rumble, the rough vibes accelerated an unspoken fire in Kaoru's veins. "This is nice."

Kaoru only managed to nod, which did no good seeing how the other was engrossed in burrowing his face into the back of his twin's shoulder."Now my day is perfect."

He could literally feel the grin spreading on Hikaru's features, could hear it in his speech as he lifted his head. "The day isn't over yet. Let's do something fun."

That burning sensation--

"Just us?"

No matter how hard he might have tried, Kaoru couldn't have suppressed the hope he voiced. Soft slim fingers slipped underneath his chin and turned his face to his brother's. To please him, Hikaru softened the grin and brought Kaoru's forehead to press against his. "Wouldn't have it any other way."

Identical amber gazes smiled at each other.

A chord of red raw heat shot up his spine, drawing the younger boy back to wince instinctively. Hikaru had let him go to continue to stare ahead blankly, the grin on his lips widening and developing into a manic expression. Instead of wearing the matching night-shirt he had slipped on the previous night, he wore his blue-violet uniform, a smear of maroon glaring on his coat lapel. The same color painted the skin of Hikaru's neck and leaked steadily, bubbling from the large, oozing wound in his left temple.

Kaoru clamped a hand over his mouth, crawling backwards, gagging loudly as something gray and bulging throbbed from the very same hole. The wildfire inside of him exploded painfully until he could no longer feel his limbs.

In his mind's eye he saw the black limo, sleeked with rainwater and speeding recklessly in the direction of Ouran Academy; the tall figure crouched down, scooping up his things impatiently from the murky puddle they fell into; the bright headlights making golden highlights in orange hair; the sickening crunch the collision of car and fragile body made---


At the top of his lungs, he screamed. Maybe if he kept screaming, it would make the images go away

…Yes, the blood would just...go...away...

At his right, the bed lay rumpled and vacant. His shaking, sweaty hands scrambled for the cold sheets, willing the missing warmth to return --- Hikaru's warmth. His ears wouldn't stop ringing, his voice had died off into stone silence, but the sound of his own raging heartbeat still thumped in his skull.

One of the newer maids, who had been crossing the hallway at the time Kaoru was screaming, burst in. She had been oogling at him as ig he were some horrible disfiguring creature.

Still shaking, he wiped the peevish tears out of his fuzzy eyesight, not daring to look outside at the weather. But a dismal curiosity got the better of him. The very urge to know if his darkest intuitions were true. At the sight of black clouds and sheets of rain blocking out the morning sun, Kaoru found his throat swelling up. The flustered housekeeper ran out of the room, calling for assistance as he made a grab at his throat, leaning forward and gasping noisily.

That's when he felt the heat. Then the pain.

It heightened to an unbearable drone, went straight to his core and mutilated what felt like every possible organ inside. Pitching back against his pillows, the teenager convulsed, red-faced and panting. Through the white and gray smudges that were his vision, he saw another maid-- talking rapidly into a cell phone, the cracks in his Mother's makeup where her terror gave way. It felt like something was being taken forcibly from him, a piece of his aching bleeding organs, a piece of his soul.

And just like that. . .the connection was gone.

And sickening emptiness filled him.

Glittering amber snapped open.

Before his world disappeared into inescapable darkness, he remembered pleading for his brother, his twin, his other half to survive…to come home….


I can't feel you.

Not even in your arms. I know you are holding me. I know your embrace that you have around me, that we fit each other's bodies like missing puzzle pieces. You are more beautiful than ever with your halo of golden-red hair, your mischievous smile...

I know your response: that you are right here with me, that you would never leave my side.

Are you warm Niisan? I can't…

feel.


She never thought she'd see the day where she would have to bury her grandchildren.

Her two bright, handsome, if not…uncooperative grandsons that would have been the heirs to the extensive Hitachiin fortune, leaving this world long before her time. The eldest, killed in what the authorities and newspapers called a 'hydroplaning' car accident --- in other words: murdered by the idiot who didn't step on the brakes soon enough to stop from skidding right into him. The youngest was thankfully completely unharmed, but at the same time no better off. The physicians taking care of her beloved Kaoru confided to her the fact that if his unconscious condition pursued well into the next day, he would have to be put on life support. It was bad enough that his lungs weren't providing enough oxygen to his brain.

From what the two maids and her daughter's account of the incident, he passed out cold after experiencing a severe panic attack, throwing the kind of fit they hadn't seen since he was four. (She flinched at the memory of a little hysterical Hikaru being held back by one of the guard's burly arms as little Kaoru was whisked away into an ambulance.) He then immediately began growing blue around the gills and his body temperature dropped drastically.

She had heard about cases of twins being so close physically and emotionally that if one died unexpectedly, the other would follow suit in what doctors tried to label as natural deaths. Grandmother Hitachiin sniffed crossly, sparkling tears crinkling the corners of her aged gold eyes.

Neither what had happened nor what was threatening to happen was natural.

Her daughter and her husband were inconsolable; they refused to identify the corpse -- leaving that dreadful duty to her responsibility as well -- and kept away from the slowly wilting Kaoru.

But ever by his critical state in the one-person hospital suite were those children from the Host Club her grandsons spent most of their time attending. Every so often, she glimpsed an Ootori or an Haninozuka amid the group. The blond, a Suou if she recalled correctly, frequently visited alongside a young, short-haired female (though you couldn't tell by her figure) who never forgot to bring with her a handful of assorted flowers: a thoughtful but pointless gesture considering all the hundreds of bouquets and gifts already filling up the room. She seemed near tears every time she came and the Suou boy kept a firm arm around her, his usually cheerful disposition diminished into misery. The first few occasions he came to see them he had openly cried at the sight of his friend.

From the telling of it, Hikaru had been walking alone that morning and had dropped his things in the middle of crossing one of the less busy roads. The limousine had been rushing to its destination, and, being over the speed limit in the middle of hardening icy rain, it didn't have nearly enough time to anticipate a jaywalker.

The driver had been the Suou boy's.

That would explain why he spent most of his time by Kaoru's bedside mumbling apologies, why he would not under any circumstances look into her calculatingly weary eyes.

A small shudder coursed through her frail system; the details of Hikaru's death were too gruesome to go into, but it had not been Suou Tamaki's fault. Plain and simple. Maybe not even the driver's. Or Hikaru's.

Lacing her expensively ringed and brittle fingers through her grandson's cool ones, Grandmother Hitachiin closed her eyes pensively before damning the doings of the cosmos, whomever's merciless plan it was to steal away innocent lives.


A slow affectionate kiss to his ear. A hot whisper. 'You still have time, you know.'

Heat.

The screams ripped him in two.


Scalding hot. The moisture clinging to his eyelashes half blinded him as he thrashed about wildly… wherever he was. A sofa? Someone calling for him?

He made quite the commotion when strange swift arms made an effort to pull him up but eventually he became limp as they succeeded, surrendering himself to touching his nose into the woody-perfumed blue violet fabric in front of him.

Wait…..

Blue-violet?

Entirely unaware of the sudden shock searing through his twin, Hikaru hummed something absently but calming under his breath and rubbed his brother's back in soothing patterns. At first he had been fairly worried about the his behavior; one moment Kaoru had been peacefully napping on the other end of the loveseat and the next…absolute hysteria. But now that he was awake and cooperating, his own heart would settle down.

That expression he had seen on Kaoru's before he hid his tear-stained face into his jacket.

He never wanted to see horror like that from him ever again.

Kaoru's sobs slowed into a quieter form of weeping, and a wave of emotion hit Hikaru; it had came from his brother. Fright? Relief? Was it that bad of a nightmare?

Swallowing those repulsive feelings down, the elder protectively smoothed the orange bangs out of his other's eyes and cupped the back of his head as he observed the remaining members of the Host Club. They stared apprehensively at the episode unfolding before them, unnerved to see the calmer twin so unhinged. Hikaru turned away to murmur into his ear, "Are you going to tell me now or am I going to have to pry it out of you later?"

A stifled moan.

"Kaoru?"

The other boy looked up, amber-gold clouded by fear and damp, striking a bitter dread into his twin's insides, "Don't ever leave me…."


After school, the twins locked themselves into one of their five bedrooms. To be more exact, the one with the built-in refrigerator and walk-in closet space replaced with a mini kitchen; one of Hitachiin boys knew how to cook thanks to a spell of extreme boredom one afternoon. Hikaru passed a small dinner to his little brother who took it with a short, dazed nod before playing with his food by twirling it with his fork. He occasionally glanced to his right at his twin studying, his elbow on the desk and palm to his forehead. The body language had always meant he was really deep into it.

After a few awkwardly silent hours, Hikaru got up from his work area, throwing away the uneaten plate on their bed without a single gripe of how he slaved to make it for him or how much his uncharacteristic effort had gone to waste. Then wordlessly, he sat down hip-to-hip with Kaoru to hug him around the waist and warmly kiss the crown of his head. "Are you doing okay?"

Thankful for Hikaru's temporary concern, he plucked up a sober smile for him, "I guess. I'm sorry I didn't eat."

"Doesn't matter. We can always make more." The second shrugged. "Probably won't get a lot of sleep tonight if the storm hits."

Golden eyes rounded.

"St-storm?"

"We're supposed to have another one in the morning. We'll probably be walking with Haruhi to school if they can't fix the car." Suddenly Hikaru didn't seem too disappointed when the prospect of messing with their toy popped up.

An unforgiving, nagging icicle fired directly into Kaoru's spinal cord.

"T-Then we don't go tomorrow. We could just- just skip tomorrow."

Hikaru sighed as if the idea were a fanciful dream. "Can't. If I don't pass that language final, I'm screwed." His amber eyes narrowed a slight but uncertain glare at his twin. "You know that Kaoru."

His voice picking up several octaves, he insisted, "You can always make it up--!"

"This coming from the person who made me stay up five nights in a row to 'pre-study'? What's going on with you today?" Hikaru frowned, standing up; before he could get too out of reach, his brother grabbed his hand and tugged, begging, "Just stay home with me tomorrow. Please."

"No."

Surprised that he had said it so flatly, his grip softened to the point where Hikaru could pull out of it. As he went to throw his books into his backpack, he heard Kaoru from across the bedroom struggling to keep back evidence of frustration and desperation. "I'm not asking much out of you. Just don't go tomorrow."

Feeling a little sorry and incredibly confused, the elder blinked at him, "Why not? What's bothering you Kaoru?"

"I don't...think I can tell you…"

"Well, if you're not going to tell me than I can't help you." Hikaru stretched his arms over his head nonchalantly. "I'm going to bed. Talk to me about it in the morning."

'You won't be alive tomorrow…don't you understand baka!!'

He panicked. When Kaoru panicked, he leapt towards action instead of sensibility. He wholly blamed what he dubbed as his 'Hikaru instincts' for roughly snatching his likeness by the jaw and laying one on him: a sloppy wet one at that. A passing of three seconds-- two identical grunts -- and they flew apart, one looking beet red and disgusted by his deed, the other exceptionally scandalized. They had never gone so far as actual lip contact.

Hikaru took in a deep breath, cocking a finger in the air to signify that he was about to speak then let his breath out in an audible whoosh!, curling his long index finger inward and glancing upwards in contemplation at nothing particular.

The younger flushed an ugly red when his twin returned the kiss promptly, deepening it and sweeping the brim of his mouth with the tip of his tongue before stepping back to lick his own tingling lips.

Hikaru's mirror gold orbs shone bizarrely, roguishly.

"So…is that how you feel Kaoru?"

He stammered, "I…I don't, wait, no" choking softly cut off when Hikaru yanked him into a greedy hug, making sure that their bodies aligned, hungrily pressed together. Kaoru heard him whisper feverishly, "I thought they were all crazy when they asked us to kiss…why didn't I see it before?" The backs of glass-like fingernails brushed his cheek lovingly. "You are so beautiful Kaoru. I always knew you were, so why couldn't I tell you?"

"Because…because it shouldn't be like this--" He gasped. "I didn't mean"

Whether he didn't want to hear the rest or lust finally caught up to mar the remaining slices of his logic, the older twin shut him up with a kiss that made more than his face blaze, letting him go to slide his free hands up under his wrinkled school shirt.

At the feel of abnormally gentle caresses on an intensely sensitive region of flesh, Kaoru squeaked and began wrestling to get away, only to find himself immobile when Hikaru's tongue made a slick trail under his neck to stroke inside his left ear. When he hit the major pleasure spots, Kaoru's weight buckled his own knees, taking both of them down onto the mattress.


Thunder.

Unconsciously, he groaned out his brother's name and shot a hand upwards to search for the one that molded to fit his. Coming to the conclusion that he had not been kicked out of bed and was wrapped cozily in all the sheets available, Kaoru sat up groggily and repeated, "Hikaru? Hikaru, are you awake?"

Instead of a cranky twin to greet him, the cold and bare side of the bed took his place.

"No…no….it can't…"

Ripping away his material constraints, the younger sibling yanked on a pair of pants and a shirt thrown casually over the bedpost, running for the nearest exit. Flashes of lightning lit the way for his destination through the heavy morning rain he'd expected to see.

'He's going to be fine….he's going to be fine….he HAS to be……This can't happen; not to us…….Hikaru, why didn't you listen to me, you bastard…!'

Kaoru imagined his luck of finding Hikaru in time and throwing his hands around him, running his hands through his stupid wet hair and kissing that stupid nose -- Now was not the time to think about that--!

'Please…please whoever the hell you are up there….please let me make it in time'

Clutching at the stitch in his side, he slowed as Kaoru nearly skidded around the street bend, righting himself before speeding up. Only two yards away, his twin crossed the road.

"Hikaru! Hikaru, stop! Don't!"

The textbooks went flying as he jumped, startled at the outburst. Hikaru made a pained face under the umbrella at the sight of his things becoming muddy and ruined. He glared at his twin's fast approaching figure harshly before losing the umbrella to crouch down to scoop them up.

"Hikaru!"

There was no time to be kind about it as the headlights blared down upon them. Kaoru watched everything take place as if a spectator. Hikaru fell safely onto the sidewalk, his reflexes saving him from a couple minor scratches, as his own body took most of the impact and was sent hurtling backwards onto the driest part of the street. Yelling obscenities as he went, the elder sprinted in the heavy downpour for the fallen form, dark blood masking both of his hands as Hikaru checked over his brother's damaged arm.

Realizing that he was alright --dazed, bleeding, soaked, but alive-- he released a bark of panic-stricken laughter and shouted over the roar of the storm, "You scared the shit outta me, you know that!! What the hell were you thinking! Kaoru!"


The heat...

...was gone.

Opening eyelids made of lead, the coma patient in room 56 regained consciousness. Sensing his arrival to the real world, Hikaru yawned into one of Kaoru's hands and grinned, kissing the inner space of the wrist he had a hold on. "Hey."

"Hey," Kaoru mumbled, not really believing he was seeing his other half living and breathing. "How are you feeling?"

"You're the one with stitches in your head and you ask how I feel?" His sibling shook his head disbelieving, saying over his shoulder, "Can you believe the nerve of this kid, Grandmother?"

The graceful graying woman at the doorway with the many strings of pearls round her pencil-thin neck frowned at him sharply. "No funny business while I get the nurse."

Hikaru winked devilishly, "Does that include groping because I can't promise anything."

"You will behave."

Comforted to see her leave and glad that she was well aware of their antics from club activities, Kaoru slapped his brother's hand away. Hikaru only grinned broader at the effect he had made, "Bet you didn't know you were out for almost four days."

"Is that why my throat hurts?"

Hikaru handed him a glass of water; though it was lukewarm, he didn't feel like complaining about it. In fact, he felt like breaking out into song. All of this was really happening. As he took back the glass, his older brother said, "Tono stops by a lot. He says he's paying for the surgery and the flower arrangements and the room. His driver hit you. He was heading to school to hire decorators for the dance." Amber flashed perceptively. "But you knew that, right? You knew that this was going to happen, didn't you? That's why you didn't want me to leave the mansion."

When Kaoru didn't say anything, Hikaru cursed, growling savagely, "I should have listened to you--!"

"It doesn't matter now. You're alive," the younger consoled, touching the back of Hikaru's fisting right hand with his good arm. Hikaru shook his head once, seizing Kaoru and refusing to lighten his grip.

"It matters if you're not."

The solid rhythm of rainfall outside the small hospital window spoke muted promises of many more nights shielding their criminal acts from existence, and provided a sinister picture of what laid beyond their precious world.

He inhaled the scent of dying flowers.


End.