Disclaimer: I do not own Host Club. I would have a lot less debt if I did.

Spoilers: Spoiler's for Kyouya's family background in Volume 6 of the manga (and I'm using manga characterizations because, quite frankly, manga!Yoshio would have smacked anime!Yoshio upside the head for the unnecessary public spectacle he generated).

Son of Laius

sciathan file

Even without his knowledge - although there are some who would swear that nothing was quite beyond his knowledge – at the earliest point of his life, he had always heard the same phrase reiterated.

The phrase "This is your third son" was soon made interchangeable with a quiet, lavender tinged voice whispering, "He's just like you, Yoshio-san, just like you."

The faintest memories he had of his mother were of holding her hand – tactile memory not being his strongest point, it was amazing he still remembered it – when he was four or five and watching his father walk down the hall, his silhouetted form growing smaller and smaller as he walked away.

Her voice, soft and smoky, speaking to no one, "You will be just like him, one day. So much like him."

Closing his eyes now, Kyouya thinks that there was a hint of sadness in this, a bit of fierceness in the grip on his small hand. But he also distrusts memory – it can, of course, be influenced by any number of factors.

And yet, to his chagrin, he can't quite rid himself of the melancholy tone and replace it with the one his mother used at parties, where she smiled and pushed his five year old self forward a bit while saying, "This is the youngest Ootori."

The people around him would then give their obligatory, "Ah, he's a small version of his father!" before turning to him and saying in a rather cloyingly sweet voice, "I bet you want to be just like him, isn't that right, Kyouya-san?"

Kyouya, unsure of the answer back then, had merely smiled as his mother delicately took another sip of her glass of champagne, never failing to play her part.

From then on, his introduction was always met with the same phrase, "You must be Ootori Yoshio's youngest son…I can see the resemblance." Kyouya – ever critical, even at the age of six before any sort of rampant cynicism had set in – had wondered if there was a word for the phenomenon that caused this to constantly happen.

He had found it. The term that embodied it.

Prepotency. Although, at his current age he quote liked the definition regarding having superior power and influence, at the age of six, he had been drawn to the biological definition – "The capacity, on the part of one of the parents, as compared with the other, to transmit more than his or her own share of characteristics to their offspring."

After asking Fuyumi to explain certain parts of it (prompting her to go, "Kyouya-san, wouldn't you rather play a game? Or, I know! I made cookies!" prompting an unpleasant memory of the last time he had eaten – or rather been forced to eat Fuyumi's cookie by his older brother – in which Fuyumi had mistaken the salt for sugar…he walked away without an answer), he decided that, from what he understood, he very well should be like his father.

His mother had always thought so.

When Kyouya turned twelve and found out that the combined pursuits of following the stock market on his computer screen and constantly reading a variety of books late into the night, had…well, he wouldn't say ruined, but depreciated the value of his eye sight, he chose glasses over contacts because he had learned - from watching his father – the aura a pair of glasses lent him.

However, so as not to be seen as entirely too similar to his father, he chose round frames, as opposed to his father's square ones. The details were always important, however minute they may be.

Now he sat at tables in the morning and his father lectured about how it was important that he pay attention to his classmates.

…Kyouya wondered if he knew that he had already looked up any potential business partners as of the first day class rosters were released and had been forming social networks since that day.

It was, as his father had impressed upon him, what a third son should do. One of his sons should do.

They were expected to display characteristics in line with his father.

Order, tradition, staus quo antebellum. His father's values.

Competition, efficiency, even amongst his own sons. Family was a microcosm for business.

In fact, in the Ootori family, Ootori Yoshio was the very definition of "prepotency." But, the definition pertaining to power. Kyouya knew that his father was, in fact, the greatest in power and influence.

And yet, he would have to grudgingly admit – only to himself, of course - that in his second year of middle school, we would have liked nothing more than to be like his father. To demonstrate his likeness to his father…if only because by now he had realized that imitation was the highest form of flattery.

But he wanted to prove that, in the business world, he was more than a third son, an accident of birth – he was truly like Ootori Yoshio.

And yet, he was the third son. And his father valued order, tradition, efficacy, acumen, competition. And everything that his father seemed to be was diametrically opposed to what Kyouya wanted now.

An obnoxious voice broke him out of his reverie and brought him back to the present, "Don't you think it would be simply magnificent if we were to have a cosplay day based on the vast frontier of the wild American West, Kyouya?"

Opening his eyes he found Tamaki staring at him with and expression that told him that he was imagining something quite disparate from what would actually result should the Hitachiin twins be given firearms of any sort.

Suddenly, his idiot best friend frowned, "Kyouya, you look far too serious! Think, I as the sheriff could save Haruhi from the conniving hands of those stage couch robbing, lawless and unruly doppelgangers and you could be the ruthless banker demanding the rent from the impoverished common folk – with a dashing mustache - who unfortunately -"

Kyouya let him prattle on, knowing that once he got that star struck grin on his face nothing short of utter appeasement would be verbosely tolerated.

He gave his grudging approval, quipping, "Any property damage caused by overly trigger happy twins will be summarily added to Haruhi's debt."

This immediately caused him to protest in the name of "cash strapped commoners everywhere!"

Kyouya, narrowing his eyes merely responded back, "It was you who christened me 'the ruthless banker demanding rent from the impoverished common folk,' was it not, Tamaki?"

"But, Kyouya! You need not fear any accidental damage due to misguided uh, projectiles! No need to be particularly fearsome and take out such financial tyranny on our dear daughter!"

Kyouya laughed at him, prompting Tamaki to frown even more.

"…Have no fear, Tamaki will be there?"

His eyes widened considerably, "Kyouya! That's brilliant! Complete and utter absolute genius of the highest order! We should have a superheroes day!"

Kyouya's notebook made firm contact with the top of his head in order to jostle his brain into working order again…should that be possible.

He hadn't meant anything to do with superheroes.

In fact, he had been half serious.

Adjusting his glasses to give Tamaki his patented, "Don't bring up such nonsense again if you know what's good for your status of citizenship in Japan" look, he thought that there was only one thing that he had ever been afraid of.

Prepotency.

His greatest fear in life is that he would become like his father - although he wouldn't mind being his father in a strictly business sense.

But, he found it amusing – almost pathetically so – that he might have been saved from that fate because of an idiot….who was currently prattling on about Super Kuma-chan and his illustrious sidekick Bunny-girl.

It was almost a little pathetic. Almost.

Someday, when the idiot wasn't paying attention in the very least and therefore wouldn't think of responding, Kyouya would thank him for saving him from his genetic inheritance.

But, for now, just thinking about phrasing it like that made him feel like far more of Tamaki's idiocy that should be humanly possible was rubbing off on him.

He firmly decided that if he ever started to rattle on about superheroes, he would put himself out of his own misery.

Fin

A/N: I wanted to do a little bit of a unique look at Kyouya's relationships with his parents, and how that was impacted by his relationship with Tamaki. This idea was one that hatched itself out of that personal fandom meme, and I really wanted to expand upon it. I'm not sure if it turned out to be quite as unique as I had planned, but oh well. And thank you, laismendes for looking this over!

Hope you enjoyed!