Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: I'm warning you all, this is a first, and without good reviews, will most likely be a last. I've never tried writing for this series before so, excuse any OOCness (I think there's a lot) and try to be as nice as you can with your opinion.

Descensus in Cuniculi Cavum

By Miranda Panda-chan

When we were little, we were always a collective, the same person yet not, identical but different. Our names were always in the same sentence; never just Hikaru, never just Kaoru, always both Hikaru and Kaoru.

But then Suou Tamaki came upon us that fateful day, and we immediately turned him down because it was either our world or everything outside our world, and he fell into the latter of the two categories. Then he told us that we were contradictory, and explained our ways to us as if we didn't know, and we were reminded of a certain nanny that we had liked, the one that had gotten away—with a good sum of money, too.

We were a collective, we wanted to be the same because were that close—we'd always been together, and if anyone ever could tell the difference between us, the secret would come out that were weren't the same person, we weren't 'us', 'we', 'both', or 'the Hitachiin Brothers'; he'd just be Hikaru, and I would just be Kaoru. And that scared us more than anything. The idea of being on one's own—alone.

But yet, we wanted to be told apart, we wanted someone to invade, because we were two separate sentient beings with different talents on varying levels. We were just Hikaru, just Kaoru; we did not share a body or a mind, only a face: you can't change how you were born. We would always be twins; perfectly symmetrical in every possible way, perfectly in sync with the other, always together, never apart. We were twins. We were every girl's fantasy.

We were a collective desperate to be individuals.

So Tamaki-dono persuaded us to join his club, not because we were moved by his speech of obvious information that we already knew, but because we were bored. We'd quit once it got boring, too. But when we opened those doors to truly join the Host Club our world suddenly expanded considerably.

But then a certain scholarship student appeared that had the gift we'd been fearing and searching for desperately since we were born—Fujioka Haruhi had the ability to tell us apart.

Then, as time passed on and we became seniors, our collective crumbled with each passing day.

It was no long Hikaru and Kaoru, no longer us or we.

It was just Hikaru. Only Hikaru. Never Kaoru.

Always Hikaru: the rash one! Hikaru! The one who obviously had a huge crush on the girl that played host every afternoon until the middle of her junior year. Hikaru! The brother that had left me like I was a third wheel! Hikaru! Hikaru! Hikaru!

And then there was Kaoru, me, well…I seemed to disappear altogether. Maybe I fell off the carriage before midnight and ended the magic for myself anyways accidentally, causing the carriage to become a pumpkin, the horses to become mice, and the driver a horse. Even when I finally caught up to the obnoxiously orange object, it would never turn back. Perhaps I knew too much of life and the Fates were punishing me. But I am invisible either way, evidently.

Always Hikaru, never Kaoru.

Maybe I'm jealous of him getting all of the attention. I'm her best friend, too. I'm the one she likes to talk to about her problems, but now she only talks to Hikaru because he never leaves her alone. He only talks to her or about her.

Which is why at dinner I have to listen to every reenactment of his day's events that involve her, which is almost all of them, and be ignored as I pick at my food. He is sitting across from me, as usual: adjacent to our mother's left side and our father's right—each one sitting at the end of the table—the exact opposite of me. And then I realized that, maybe, the clock had finally struck midnight and the magic had ceased altogether, because Tamaki-dono had stopped driving all of us. He now only had eyes for Haruhi, which was predictable. But, I imagine, she'd refuse the carriage ride when she would be the only one sitting within it. I smiled ruefully to myself, my inane musings sounded like the ramblings of a mad man: perhaps I was. Perhaps that's what I had turned into, mad about life, and obsessed over a silly theory that nobody got because I'd never explain how the magic worked—otherwise it would lost for good.

I cringe as I hear our mother squeal in delight.

Our mother adores his, Hikaru's, enthusiasm, loves hearing about events that if we'd never known Haruhi, if we'd never opened the doors of the third music room, wouldn't have ever happened. Our mother has noticed the dissolution of our collective. She hasn't gotten us confused for ages, and the cause of it is simple, Hikaru won't shut up and always has this goofy grin on his face that spread wider and wider as he and her, Hikaru and Haruhi, now them, get closer to one another with each passing day.

I bear no ill will toward Haruhi, she is my friend, too, but I can't help the anger that I seem to direct at them every time our act is compromised by her thoughtless, no ill will, comments. The scenario never changes: she speaks, he apologizes or complains about her lack of humor instead of making the usual spiteful, biting, remark that we would normally say.

I know she notices my sudden anger. She's too perceptive for her own good, hell; she probably knows why I'm angry, too. That's why on the dreaded day that I knew would eventually come—the day that Hikaru would finally get enough nerve and grow a spine to tell her he loved her and wanted to go out with her—I was surprised to see her walk into the third music room. She stomped, really, into the room where I waited for my brother to tell me of his triumph with glee, with a determined and angry look in her eyes. She stopped a few feet from me, I was sprawled out lazily in an elegant elaborate chair and she was standing, I glanced up: and it seemed, suddenly, as if she was towering over me.

"Hikaru asked me to be his girlfriend, today." She said as if that would be explanation enough for her atrocious mood. I nodded slowly, of course he did—he told me about his epiphany when he awoke us both from a good night's sleep at three in the morning. I continued to stare at her, wondering why she was up here telling me something I knew she already knew that I knew about, "I told him no." she said quietly, suddenly humble, suddenly so Haruhi. Her eyes dropped to the floor and stayed looking at her fingers that were fiddling with the end of her vest. My eyes widened considerably, and I suddenly felt white hot with anger as righteous fury began to course through my veins.

"Why? You know he likes you—you are all he," there it was again, that singular pronoun meaning only Hikaru, never Kaoru, "ever talks about! He loves you!" I yelled at her—she just my last few months hells and I don't even get the ability to say that it was okay, it was worth it if he, not me—because I don't exist outside the collective—was happy. I was standing up, without my knowledge, towering over her small frame as I shook with rage. I glared daggers at her defiant brown eyes—not bothering to hide my anger—what was the point? She already knew I how furious I was.

"Because," She said quietly, meeting my gaze, "I know how it would hurt you. I won't choose one over the other. Let Hikaru be happy while you wallow in self-pity and anger. I won't do that, Kaoru!"

Time stopped for a split second as all the anger, all the hurt and betrayal that I'd been feeling over this entire situation seemed to evaporate at the sound of my name leaving her lips.

I didn't exist outside the collective; my name was taboo as an individual, never to be spoken aloud. Always Hikaru, never Kaoru—Kaoru, I, me, didn't exist as an individual. Couldn't exist. Wouldn't exist. Downright refused.

Because it was wrong to exist without my other half, my twin brother—my sibling that was my closest friend and yet turned to my most hated enemy.

I shook my head at her, "You don't get it, Haruhi." I said quietly, I took a step back from her, my eyes wide and fearful. This wasn't right. I had it all figured out, I could live with that. I could live being a faded ghost, I had decided I could—I would—to make Hikaru happy. "I don't exist without Hikaru. I can't. I only exist within our collective. Individuality completely destroys our world. Everything becomes outside our world. Including us. Him. He's outside our world. I'm still in it." I said quietly, deciding to sit down again.

She ruined it, my whole theory about collectives and individuals that did and didn't exist that I'd spent weeks brooding on, and in the process turned me into the monster, not her, not him, not the world, me. I was the monster tearing our collective a part.

I cursed myself, and prayed for eternal damnation for my atrocity.

"How horrible do you think I am, Kaoru?" her voice was rising in pitch and I swore I saw a shimmering film of what looked like a liquid substance cover her bright brown eyes: tears. "I love all of you, even Tamaki-sempai and Kyoya-sempai. I hold my friendship with you, Kaoru, and Hikaru, in my much too high a light to throw it all away." I continued to stare at her, and she looked as if she was ready to let that film over her eyes cascade down like a waterfall on her face as she bit her lip.

I had forgotten about her side of life, beyond my iron-gate fence but right beside it stood her little white-picket fenced life. Her life was currently dealing with a huge wrecking ball of earth shattering massive chaos. The news wasn't keeping quiet about the recent campaigns of Japan's two most influential businessmen. Suou and Ootori both had recently been trying to get Ranka-san, Haruhi's father, to agree to a betrothal between their sons and his daughter.

So far no official decisions had been made, so the media said, but knowing the three of them personally, I already knew the outcome, the winner of the campaign would be Ootori, easily. Kyoya would have Haruhi for his wife without trial.

Tamaki, although loved her, yes, did not take to being forced to marry if there was no mutual attraction. His love for her was, alas, unrequited, one-sides: Haruhi did not love him, and he knew that—he was okay with that. However, that did not stop his father from keeping the campaign ongoing.

Kyoya loved her as well, and surprisingly, she loved him. It was sickening when, during our junior year—Kyoya's senior year—, they'd just be sitting by each other and you'd feel as if you'd looked onto something that was obscene, a private moment, and all they were doing was sitting. Besides, Ranka-san always did like Kyoya more than Tamaki, and he'd never make his daughter marry someone if she didn't want too, he'd only agree to whichever campaign she wanted.

Even though I, too, loved Haruhi, and we all knew my brother did—somewhere there was an unwritten law that stated that it was absolutely forbidden to fall in love with your best friend.

And, no offense to Hikaru, but he's got absolutely nothing compared to Kyoya. We all knew it would come down to Tamaki versus Kyoya; Hikaru wasn't even in their league, much less on the ballet of "Future Options for Haruhi's Husband."

"You both know I'm being pressured into something that's awkward enough without you acting like an ass and Hikaru trying for what most people know I can't give!" she yelled at me, finally letting her hold on the waterfalls in her eyes go.

Her heart, it suddenly dawned on me. That's what he asked for, the one thing she couldn't give.

How could she give it? Kyoya already held it in an iron grasp with a firm unrelenting grip, while Hikaru could barely attempt to grasp it, barely brush the edges with his fingertips.

I cringed and suddenly felt weighed down with guilt.

We were her friends. We should've been helping her. We should've been trying to relieve the stress instead of adding to it.

"You're wallowing in your own godforsaken self-pity and letting your brother, you other freaking half, make a fool of himself because of something he didn't know that I know you knew about. How can you call him your brother if you don't act like his?" I opened my mouth to say something, then shut it as she pointed to the door, "I've had just about enough of this! I don't want to hear another word about collectives or individuals, I don't want to see a look of self-pity on your face every time Hikaru decides to try and live! Alright? So get out of my sight and go comfort your brother like you should!" She said, her voice wavering, and I knew she meant it.

But it was okay now. Somehow, I'd arrived back on the carriage, now driven by Haruhi instead of Tamaki. I felt lighter as I ran down the empty hallways to where my brother had met Haruhi. I had no doubts he'd be standing there with the same look in his eyes that had been in mine for months now. But now I was the happier one. Now I knew the truth about my theory…

"Hikaru!" I called, running; he looked at me slowly from his position against the wall. "Hey, what happened?" I asked, I already knew, but it wouldn't help the situation if the previous meeting was acknowledged by any party.

"She said no." he said simply, "I knew she would, honestly, Kaoru, how could I have been so stupid? She couldn't ever—…" I cut him off; I wouldn't let him beat himself into a hole like I had.

"She's being courted by Kyoya and Tamaki, both their fathers have asked Ranka-san if he'll agree to a betrothal. It's going to be announced next week that she has agreed to be the fiancé of Ootori Kyoya." I said quietly, taking his hand in mine and leaning my forehead against his shoulder. How I had missed this…I missed my brother. I missed having Hikaru attached to my hip. He was silent for a moment.

"You knew?" I nodded guiltily and stepped back before meeting eyes that matched mine.

"Hai…I knew. I just…I couldn't bring myself to tell you, Hikaru. I just wanted you to be happy…gomen." He smirked at the irony of it all.

"Did you run into her?" I nodded briefly again, untruths and lies were going to stop for this event. "Hm," he smiled ruefully, "she told me that I needed to realize just who was getting hurt with my question. That I needed to stop being so selfish and look at the consequences my choices were having on others." He said.

"So we're even, I guess." We nodded in unison and laughed quietly. All forgiven and forgotten for the time being as we let the bitterness wash over us. We were okay now. Really okay.

We weren't a collective, we weren't individuals—that would be contradictory to everything we were—we couldn't be one or the other.

That's all we ever were. We were all each other had for protection against the outside world. We were nothing and everything without the other.

We were Hitachiin Hikaru and Kaoru.

We are just Hikaru, just Kaoru, and together we create the Hitachiin Brothers. Which is all we need to be to survive on the outside.

A/N: I know it's crap, just please review with something constructive and polite. Please? Thankies…