Surprise, surprise, I didn't die.
I said I wasn't going to write a sequel, but I couldn't help myself. I got inspired. Sue me.
Warnings: twincest, Hitachiincest, some kissing, definite HikaXKao, and it's on a lighter note than Farewell Kiss, which is A Year Late's prequel. But you don't have to read that to realize the circumstances. It'd help though.
Disclaimer: I dun own Ouran. xP What else can I say?
Also: SHAMELESS ADVERTISING TIME. I swear I won't be annoying you after you follow my directions. Go to my profile page. See the bold? A forum me an Demi made. Join, post, be active, and you make us happy. :D And make Demi stop pestering me to write and advertise.
Anyway, onto A Year Late.
His voice is calm, airy, unaffected, and she wonders, in the little part in the back of her head, why he was calling her at two in the morning.
His two in the morning.
He's in America after all.
There's a long silence, and Haruhi can hear his soft, slow breathing.
"… My… flight arrives in about ten hours; I just called to ask you to come, you know," and his voice drops his coolness, adopting the normal Hitachiin spark, and Haruhi doesn't understand why his eagerness is radiating through the phone, "We both missed you a lot during the summer and we want to see our toy again."
She quirks her brow, as she completed another math problem, really? She glances briefly at the clock, "In ten hours? That's quick."
"Yeah, I've already boarded," comes Kaoru's unconcerned tone, "They said we have five minutes before take off—"
"Then why are you on the phone?" she deadpans, stopping her pencil, "Doesn't the electronic signals interfere with the airplane's radar—?"
"Now, now, Haruhi, the plane is not going to crash into the middle of the ocean just because I'm on the phone five minutes before take off," he chirps conversationally, "They said explicitly that phones are supposed to be turned off during and after takeoff and before and during landing. Don't listen to the science book—trust the airplane officials who actually know this stuff."
She frowns slightly; Kaoru's being an idealist again. Then again, all rich bastards are idealistic. And then again, they aren't exactly pessimistic.
"Anyhow, we'll be landing in Narita, that's five miles from where you live, so I called our chauffer to take you there at the time."
We?, she blinks in confusion, before absorbing the latter part of his sentence and, "Wait a second, you planned this without asking me?"
She can imagine him smiling like the annoying Hitachiin he is, and frowns—
"Anyway, ja, Haruhi, my five minutes is up. See you at the airport."
The tone flattens out, and she sighs, placing it onto her desk again. She eyes the summer break homework that she had just started on and places them away, just as the sun begins to set.
She looks at the ceiling in contemplation, mentally counting in her mind, Ten hours from now…
Her eyes widen, wait, that's the middle of the night!
She thinks she knows why he called her to the airport.
"Yuzuha-sama and Kazuki-sama had gone on a vacation; they left her company to be regulated by their sons."
Loneliness. It gets to the best of them.
But she doesn't understand why the entire Hitachiin family is so…carefree.
Her legs swing aimlessly as she tries to forget that she's in an airport with blaring white lights and she can't nod off because then the twins would ambush her and drag her off to their house—
"Haruhi! You came!"
She blinks, and looks up to see the smiling face of—Kaoru? No, this was Hikaru. When it's early in the morning, it's easy to mistaken Hikaru's smiling face for Kaoru's masks.
Especially when Hikaru looks like he has a mask on as well.
"Yeah," she stands up, brushing the crumbs of her snack (a French croissant that the chauffer had given her on Kaoru's request) from her shorts, before eying Hikaru's smile warily, "When is Kaoru coming?"
He blinks, almost dropping his cheerful façade, "Actually, when I compared our arrival times, they were—"
Kaoru strolls nonchalantly towards them and drops his bags next to the seats that Haruhi had been sitting on, "Mother didn't lie when she promised us that we'd be arriving together."
Haruhi just glances between the two.
"Anyway," Kaoru says, propping a hand against his hip, "I was held back for just a little while; some weird thing in customs check."
"Yeah," Hikaru agrees, "My flight had a five minute delay before takeoff. Apparently, some idiot had forgotten to leave the plane when it landed."
They sigh in unison, "International travel is so troublesome."
Everything is troublesome, Haruhi retorts mentally, her brown eyes sliding from Hikaru to Kaoru and back. Suddenly, she notices—
"So, what happened when you got off the phone, Hikaru?" Kaoru waves a hand dismissively, before crossing his arms and smiling a sly smile, "You were obviously busy."
They're acting as if they don't know each other.
"It wasn't my fault Sako-san felt like barging in on me," Hikaru huffs, and Kaoru's eyes widen imperceptibly, "She made me do more piles of paperwork—" and then Kaoru loosens, widening his smile, "—and to think I could've escaped to the bathroom then…"
They're acting as if they don't care.
They're acting as if finally being reunited wasn't a big thing.
(What do you expect, Haruhi? Sparkles, lights, banners, and the overenthusiastic hugs that the Hitachiins are used to giving—)
But, she glances them anxiously, hadn't Hikaru said that they were never separate for more than several days before?
Then why, she watches quietly as Kaoru slaps Hikaru good-naturedly, and the two of them laughing at their adventures, aren't they being the dramatic, showy, carefree Hitachiin that they are?
"Haruhi," Kaoru sings, sidling up to her and weighing a hand onto her shoulder, his hazel eyes full of mischief, "I think Hikaru cheated on me. Scold him for me?"
She doesn't understand why they're acting this way.
"That's not fair," Hikaru pouts, puffing up his cheeks in defiance, before taking a similar stance next to Haruhi, "Tell Kaoru I did absolutely nothing."
She doesn't understand why they're bothering her now.
"Hikaru, Kaoru, deal with this yourselves," she brushes them off, grabbing her backpack from the seat, "Kaoru, no, I'm not doing anything for you, and Hikaru, no, I'm not saying anything for you."
They smile mysteriously.
And then, she doesn't understand what Hikaru had said before and what Kaoru had said now—
She paused, her eyes widening, "You… two…"
They glance at each other, a brief intimate look—and Haruhi finally identifies the soft way Hikaru had been looking at Kaoru and the content way Kaoru had been looking at Hikaru—
"Haruhi, of course not!" they deny, wrapping their arms around her in that trademark Hitachiin hug.
Hikaru dips his face close to her ear, his voice too loud to be a whisper, "Why would we do something like that?"
Kaoru nods in agreement, his smile too sly to be satisfied, "You don't think we're actually playing this out like in the host club?"
She doesn't understand.
They're acting like they're in love.
And yet, when Haruhi glances between the Hitachiin twins, Hikaru's smile shines just a little more, as Kaoru's hand threads over and laces itself with his other half.
And she would probably never understand why the twins love using her just as much as Kyouya does.
She doesn't look up from her notebooks sprawled over her lap as Hikaru leans over and stares at the problems.
She's sure that Hikaru isn't just looking at the answers to the French comprehension problems.
"Why are you doing homework this late at night?"
She shrugs, "I should ask you the same thing; why arrive this early in the morning?"
He smiles, a little too mysterious to be normal for Hikaru, "That…" he straightens up in his seat, crossing his left leg over his right, "…is a secret."
She deadpans him and turns back to her homework, "Anyway, school resumes in a week. You haven't even done your homework yet."
"Who says?" he challenges.
"I say," she replies without looking, "You two went off to your mother's businesses straight after school. There's no way you could've done it-" without your twin "-and there's no way you can do it in a week."
"But Haruhi, that's why," he wraps an arm subtly around her, "-we're dragging you home."
Never, her inner mind claims. "Aren't you tired?" her eyes shine with the natural Haruhi concern, "After all, you have been on a plane for half a day."
He doesn't answer; he only turns away from her to stare out of the window of the backseat limo. She sighs and begins to pack up her books, knowing that she'd be home soon. She couldn't let him stay like that though.
"Why didn't you have Kaoru sit with you in the back?" she pokes again, "If you could've just asked him—"
"Mother…" he whispers, almost inaudibly, "… said that we're not supposed to be together if she isn't here with us."
She blinks, shutting the flap to her bag, "Why not?"
"Difficulties," he says concisely, "But!" he turns around happily and tackles Haruhi out of her seat, "If you're there, it's alright!"
The Hitachiin twins should be characterized with mood swings, she thought numbly as she fought her way out of Hikaru's grasp.
"Because, all the maids and servants know how well we get along with you," he smiles, patting her lightly on the head, and while Haruhi doesn't appreciate being treated like a dog, she can't help but wonder what he really means.
Hikaru doesn't hide things unless Kaoru or someone else tells him to.
"But they know that you two get along well with each other," she prods, frowning as she picks herself up from her seat, "Why the sudden change?"
He doesn't reply again—and despite being a Hitachiin, Hikaru can't lie. He just doesn't.
"Eh… back around Christmas time… there was a rumor," he phrases his words carefully, like he's avoiding bombshells, or something, "The maids, a lot of them actually, thought we were together… Mother didn't find out about this until the end of school last year…"
She doesn't understand what he's poking at.
"So she gave us strict outlines and what not," he places his chin on the seat, making himself comfortable on the floor, then he began to list things off on his fingers, "We can't do anything in public, as in where strangers can see. At school, it's fine. Around friends, it's fine. Around parents, it's fine. Around employees, absolutely not."
He waves a hand in the air, before bringing it down onto his head, averting his eyes, "So, basically, home's been a living hell. We can't do anything that implies that we're closer than we appear. Saves face, saves mother's company, but it keeps us on edge half the time."
And it's becoming clear to her that Hikaru had just memorized whatever he had to say.
Even though… he's not saying explicitly that he and his twin were together, she could get the feeling that he was entrusting the idea to her.
And- she smiles at him, running a hand through his light brown hair, setting itself on his hand- she understands.
"But you don't need me," she says softly, "It's between you two strictly, and I'm sure you'd rather do things by yourselves than messing with me… ne?"
Hikaru blinks, before he gives her a smile, "Yeah. You're right."
"Good," she returns the smile, moving her hand back to her bag, rummaging through her books, "Now, I need to get home before my father comes back and finds me missing."
She turns towards him, only to find him missing and poking through the sliding doors in front of the compartment.
"Kaoru," he leans against the seat, poking at his brother's shoulder, "Want to keep Haruhi hostage or not?"
(Hostage? Oh, no, he's not thinking of—)
Kaoru blinks, taking one glance at Hikaru's self-satisfied smirk and smiling an identical one, "Did she beg you?"
Hikaru doesn't do anything but smile that eerie grin. Haruhi widens her eyes, "No, wait, you guys, I really need to get back home; it's already two, and my dad might be home already—"
And whether or not they heard her was irrelevant because the next second the car stops and the passenger door opens. She blinks as she meets Kaoru's smiling face.
"Arigatoo, Haruhi," he says, and she can feel Hikaru crawling up behind her, setting his hands on her shoulders, "I guess we were just waiting for the signal."
She stares at him blankly, what… signal?
He reads her mind and leans down to her eye level, his smile serene.
"It's been about a year already, but…"
In an instant, Hikaru's hand was in his, the other guiding their lips together. Haruhi's eyes widen as she leans away from the scene, Hikaru fumbling for a different position, pressing his lips to Kaoru's and almost nothing's going on in Haruhi's head except—
They really do love each other.
She finally realizes, as the two pull away, looking at her uncomfortably, anxiously, expectantly, that there's another reason why they called her up, called her out—
They wanted me to tell them that their love is okay.