Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran.

Warning: Twincest. Don't say I didn't warn you. And let me warn you again in bold letters this time: twincest. Some TamaHaru at the end. Also somewhat disturbing portrayal (in my opinion) of the twins.

Written because I practically devoured all of the HikaKao fics on the net and it still wasn't enough.

Target Practice

They were ten years old the first time.

Hikaru had left Kaoru on the swings for a moment while he'd run inside to get some water for the two of them. When he had come back out, Kaoru wasn't on the swings anymore but on the ground and there were three boys standing over him.

"You can't play here anymore! This is ours!" The tall one in the middle was threatening.

The water containers Hikaru had been holding fell to the ground their contents sloshing everywhere. Hikaru ran to his twin, clutching Kaoru's hand desperately.

"Kaoru, are you okay?"

Hikaru helped him up and Kaoru had smiled slightly saying, "I'm fine, Hikaru."

But he was not. Hikaru saw the scrape along his left knee and Hikaru instantaneously felt murderous. No one, no one, hurt Kaoru!

The next few moments were a blur of screams, kicks, punches and blood as Hikaru jumped the boys and Kaoru joined in to help his brother. When it was over, the three boys were lying on the ground, groaning, and Hikaru was prodding Kaoru's wound.

Their teacher had been horrified to say the least and had instantly called Mr. and Mrs. Hitachiin over. Their furious parents had grounded them both for a month. It was then that Hikaru and Kaoru learned their first lesson: if you're going to do something naughty, never get caught.

After that incident, they were infinitely more careful. The next time something like it happened again, they would be ready. Kaoru would plant evidence elsewhere and instead of the two of them, some other poor bastard would get blamed in their place. And they never got caught again. Ever.

-

They called it target practice. It was a kind of game to be played at the most annoying of the idiot dolls that didn't live in Hikaru and Kaoru's world of "us". They both planned their moves exquisitely with Hikaru carrying it out and Kaoru erasing any and all traces that would lead back to them.

The rare times that Kaoru was not there or couldn't be there, though, Hikaru found he was quite adept at taking care of things on his own. Like when they had been in middle school, before they joined the Host Club.

Some afternoons, Kaoru would wile away lunch times in one of the Reading Rooms, immersed in some book or the other. Hikaru never went with him, preferring instead to nap at their classroom. Recently though, Hikaru had noticed that every time Kaoru would return from reading, he seemed agitated. Hikaru let this behavior continue for two weeks before finally getting fed up.

"What is it?" he'd finally confronted Kaoru, annoyance lacing his tone.

Kaoru thought about evading the question, sighed and sat down. They never lied to each other or kept things from one another. "It's just that every time I go to the Reading Rooms, there's a stupid guy who keeps bothering me. He's always coming on to me or something."

"Coming on to you?" Hikaru growled, eyes narrowing.

"Yeah," Kaoru rubbed his arm embarrassedly. "He keeps asking me out on dates and can't seem to take a hint when I tell him to get lost. And he's so touchy-feely that it's creepy. I've tried switching Reading Rooms but he always ends up finding me."

"What's his name?" Hikaru asked in a deadly quiet tone.

"Hirahara Matsuo, class 2-D," Kaoru replied. "Hikaru?"

There was a really ugly look on Hikaru's face. The next time Kaoru tried going to the Reading Room, Hikaru had held him back and told his twin he was going instead. Kaoru had spent the next hour alone in the classroom wondering what his brother was planning. When Hikaru finally returned, his mouth was set in a grim line but there was a triumphant gleam in his eyes. He made a beeline straight for his twin.

"Kaoru," his tight grip on Kaoru's shoulders almost hurt. "Kaoru, the next time anyone tries anything like that to you, you tell me okay?" Because I'll kill them, Hikaru didn't finish. But Kaoru knew all the same.

He nodded and smiled. "I understand, Hikaru."

He never saw Hirahara Matsuo again. Kaoru only found out one month later that the boy had transferred to another school. When he'd casually mentioned this to Hikaru, his twin had only muttered, "Good riddance" and gone back to eating his pasta. Good riddance. Kaoru couldn't agree more.

-

When Tamaki had mentioned wanting to recruit the Hitachiin twins for the Host Club, Kyouya's fingers had paused, hovered momentarily over the keyboard of his laptop. He had turned to Tamaki, expression somewhere between serious and disbelieving.

"Are you... sure?" it was the first and only time Tamaki had seen Kyouya hesitate.

"Of course," Tamaki frowned. "Why? What's wrong with the Hitachiin brothers?"

Silence. And then, "Nothing. Nothing at all."

Tamaki had then returned to spouting off his nonsense while Kyouya sat there, thinking. The Hitachiin brothers... huh?

-

Although the Host Club was popular among Ouran High School's female population, the same could not be said of the males. Most were envious of the female attention the boy members of the Host Club received. And of these, there were some who were unafraid to voice out their opinions.

"It's disgusting is what it is," one of the four boys hissed.

"Yeah. And have you seen those two twins, those Hitachiins? Really gross. I don't see how any of the girls can stomach that," the second boy added.

"I'll bet they don't just pretend. I bet they actually do fuck each other at home. I wonder if their parents know," a third snickered.

Fujioka Haruhi, who was seated nearby at the moment, couldn't stand to hear any more. "Excuse me, but if you don't have anything better to talk about then I think you should just keep quiet, senpai-tachi." It took a lot to rouse Haruhi to anger but bad-mouthing her friends was one way to do it.

"Ehhh? Oh, you're that newest member. Well, what would a nancy boy commoner like you know? Look at yourself, you're like a girl," the fourth sneered. " I'll bet you're a faggot too like all the rest of your pathetic club."

"Yeah, he probably is. Maybe we should teach this little commoner that we don't like their kind here," the second boy spoke, and all four of them loomed around Haruhi.

Souga Kazukiyo, who had been sitting not too far away, paled and slowly inched away from them. When he was far enough, he ran into the hallway and rushed straight for their classroom. Hikaru and Kaoru were there, playing a videogame together.

"Hikaru-san, Kaoru-san," Souga was slightly out of breath and gripped their desks for support.

"Haaaaaa?" Hikaru looked up, bored. "Something you want, class rep?"

"I – It's Fujioka. There were some second years near the fountain who were saying bad things about the Host Club and especially the two of you. Fujioka heard them and told them off but now I think they're going to gang up on her," Souga desperately told them. "You have to hurry!"

"Dammit!" Hikaru cursed and hurriedly stowed away their PSP in his bag and grabbed Kaoru's hand.

"Class rep, go on and tell Tamaki-senpai!" Kaoru called out as he and Hikaru ran out of the classroom, heading for the fountain.

The twins got there just in time to see one of the four boys knock Haruhi to the ground. Both of them tensed up in anger. Hikaru picked up a pebble and with perfect aim, threw it straight in the middle of the forehead of the guy who had pushed Haruhi.

"What the –" the guy angrily touched the place the rock had hit. It was bleeding a little.

"Don't you know bullying's against the school rules?" Kaoru icily asked as he stepped forward, helping Haruhi to her feet.

"Oi, Haruhi. Go back to the classroom," Hikaru told her, face grim.

"But what about – " she tried to protest but they cut her off.

"We'll be fine," Kaoru assured her tersely.

Hikaru grinned wickedly. "We took lessons from Hunny-senpai, you know."

For some reason, when the four bullies were questioned, they never told just who had beaten them up. They were expelled from Ouran and they found that within months their families' businesses were starting to fail.

"Well I know Tamaki was behind the expulsion," Kyouya commented offhandedly while they were in club one day. "But don't you think targeting their businesses is pushing it a bit?"

The twins turned to him. "What exactly are you talking about Kyouya-senpai?" Kaoru asked, the picture of innocence.

"Yeah, we don't understand," Hikaru chimed in, smirking.

"Of course not," Kyouya murmured with a slight shake of the head.

-

It didn't really take the twins long to realize their feelings for one another. It had always been there and it was bound to come out anyway. As with nearly everything else in their lives, they came to the realization at the same time, kissed, laughed, talked for a while, and kissed again. As though it was something that they had always known.

When they'd told the Host Club, they had fully expected everybody to be shocked. The reactions they received were a bit of a letdown. Hunny-senpai had congratulated them and said it was high time they came out with it. Kyouya-senpai had merely 'hmmm'-ed and continued with his calculations although they could have sworn it was a smile they saw on his lips. Haruhi had rolled her eyes and returned to her tea. It was probably only Tamaki who had not anticipated it and had ended up crying and shouting and being melodramatic until Hunny-senpai gave him a swift kick to the head to shut him up.

With feelings realized and the requisite people told, Hikaru and Kaoru's hormones also took that very opportune time to make themselves known. Suddenly the two were kissing and groping and touching and felt like it wasn't enough.

Unfortunately, while they were making out in the empty school hallways after class one day, a girl happened to chance upon them. Kaoru had been pushed against the wall, head angled up and moaning softly, while Hikaru was pinning him there, hands on Kaoru's arms and lips and teeth nibbling at Kaoru's neck.

The girl had stifled a gasp and backed away slowly, without both boys realizing she had seen.

The next day when they were lunching at the cafeteria, a group of girls, blushing and whispering, had come over to their table.

"Anou, excuse us, Hikaru-san, Kaoru-san," one of them spoke up first.

"Hai?" Kaoru asked good-naturedly.

"We-well... Mika-chan here said that she, uh, saw something yesterday and we just... wanted to know if it was true," another one asked shyly.

"Saw something?" Hikaru's curiosity was piqued.

"Y-yes. You see, well, Mika-chan..." the girls kept pushing Mika, the one with the pigtails, forward but she was blushing and trying to hide behind her friend.

"M-Mika-chan said she saw the two of you kissing yesterday, Hikaru-san, Kaoru-san..." one of the girls said, voice low and nearly whispering.

The group waited with bated breath as Hikaru and Kaoru stared at them and then at Mika-chan. Then the twins laughed together loudly. The girls let out a breath they didn't even know they had been holding.

"Surely anyone who thinks that –" Kaoru said.

"- And believes it –" Hikaru added.

"- Needs to have their eyes checked!" the twins finished together, grinning.

"Gomen, perhaps it was some other people you saw," Hikaru told Mika with a friendly smile.

"I was so sure..." the girl mumbled.

"I would never think of kissing my Kaoru in such a public place where anyone can see. When we kiss, I want everything of Kaoru to be for my eyes alone," Hikaru whispered in a husky, theatrical voice as he lightly placed his fingers and tilted Kaoru's chin.

Kaoru, having caught on the act, blushed like a perfect uke. "Oh, Hikaru!"

The group of friends widened their eyes and squealed. Minutes later, they were apologizing to the twins for bothering them and they had left the table. As soon as the girls had turned away, the twins dropped their friendly masks and replaced them with hard expressions.

"Hikaru."

"I know, Kaoru."

The next day, the twins noticed that come lunch time, Mika-chan was no where to be seen. They smirked at each other and went back to their food. They only looked up moments later when a shadow fell on their table. It was Mori-senpai with Hunny-senpai clinging on to his back.

"Hika-chan, Kao-chan," Hunny-senpai was frowning. "Next time you two should pick your make-out places better. Mika-chan was a really nice girl."

The two merely blinked. "Hai, Hunny-senpai," Kaoru answered for both of them, smiling slightly. At least the senior student didn't discuss 'Mika-chan's' fate with them. Poor girl, Kaoru thought grinning inside.

"Be more careful," was all that Mori-senpai added as he and Hunny-senpai left.

Hikaru and Kaoru just shrugged and greeted Haruhi when she came to sit with them.

-

The day that their parents found out about them, the two had been absent for class in the morning. They didn't come until the afternoon. When Haruhi was about to lecture them for missing classes, her jaw merely dropped when she saw that Hikaru was covered in bruises.

"What happened?" Haruhi demanded.

Strangely enough, both twins ignored her, Kaoru following Hikaru to his desk.

"Hikaru..."

"It's okay, Kaoru. I'm fine. At least they didn't hurt you. I wouldn't have been able to bear it if they had."

Their other classmates were staring at the two. Haruhi sighed, slipped out of her desk and approached them. It was only then that they looked up and acknowledged her.

"You'd better let the nurse see that, Hikaru," she said quietly.

Nothing passed between them on the walk to the nurse's office. It wasn't until Hikaru was being treated that Kaoru told her what had happened.

"Kaasan and tousan found out," he whispered, wringing his hands. "They... kami, Haruhi..."

She patted Kaoru on the back as he cried for the first time. A hug would probably have been more appropriate but everyone knew that only Hikaru was allowed to hug Kaoru. Sure enough, when the nurse had finished and Hikaru returned to them all bandaged, he wordlessly took Kaoru into his arms. Haruhi could only watch as the twins clung to each other and part of her was saying that this was private. That maybe she shouldn't be watching.

In the months that followed, Hikaru and Kaoru went to school with blank expressions, barely smiling, never laughing. They still hosted in the club, of course – they were pros after all – and the girls who designated them didn't seem to notice anything wrong but outside of the club it was like they were zombies.

Also, they never left each other's sight. In fact, they even seemed closer than ever before. After school, their limo would pull up at the school gates and they would go straight home. Haruhi had desperately wished she could have done something. Tamaki had even suggested over thirty ways on how they could help the twins – all of which had been trashed by Kyouya.

The rest of the Host Club had almost given up hope that the twins would ever return to normal when it happened.

Their parents' car crashed into the ocean while rounding a particularly sharp ravine after coming home from a party.

Tamaki had been the first to arrive at the hospital the day after the accident had happened. He had seen Hikaru and Kaoru, both pale and holding on to each other, sitting outside the hospital room.

Their mother was in a coma. Their father was dead.

And yet the worst part, Tamaki couldn't help but think, was that they both seemed to be back to normal.

Slowly, the Host Club King turned to face the twins, finally realizing what had happened. He saw that their eyes were bright and they were looking at him defiantly, as if daring him to judge them. It was at that moment that Tamaki truly felt like a father about to scold his wayward sons.

"Was that really necessary?" he asked, uncharacteristically serious.

Hikaru and Kaoru's hands sought each other and linked. They didn't even try to deny it or evade. It was Hikaru who gave the even answer.

"They were going to separate us, Tono."

Tamaki couldn't find a reply. He knew he should have told them that this dangerous game that they loved to play had to stop, that it would be detrimental to them in the long run. But in the end, all he could say was,

"What if you get caught?"

Kaoru's reply was simple. "We never get caught."

-

Their mother never woke up from her coma. The entirety of the Hitachiin estate was left to the two of them and despite what everybody else's expectations might have been, they ran the business superbly. They took business degrees in university and attended art and fashion school at night.

When they graduated at twenty three years old, they had their lives already laid out before them.

"Hikaru?"

An exhausted Hikaru looked up from removing his scarf at the figure of his brother, silhouetted with light coming from their shared bedroom.

"Kaoru! I thought you said you weren't going to be back until tomorrow." Hikaru grinned and walked over to his brother, hugging Kaoru tight to him and inhaling his brother's sharp, familiar scent. Already, the feel of Kaoru was beginning to make Hikaru forget just how tiring his day had been.

"The conference ended early," Kaoru replied softly, as he pulled away from Hikaru. There was something... strange glittering in Kaoru's amber eyes, Hikaru decided.

"...Kaoru?"

"So Hikaru, how was your date tonight?" his younger brother asked, smiling serenely.

Hikaru's eyes widened. "O-Oi, Kaoru! That wasn't a date and you damned well know it! She was going to be one of our big investors. It was just a working dinner."

"Hmmmm, really. Interesting outfit she was wearing then, for a working dinner. That dress was practically see-through," Kaoru observed detachedly, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"Wait, how'd you know her dress was...? Never mind. C'mon Kaoru, I didn't do anything. You know that. You know you're the only one for me," Hikaru pleaded, stepping closer to his brother.

"Am I really?"

"Of course you are!"

Kaoru grinned sharply. "Why don't you show me then, Hikaru?"

A week after that incident (Hikaru had been more careful with his working dinners from now on, actually making sure that the women really were there for work), Hikaru was idly sketching designs on his drawing pad over breakfast when Kaoru entered the room and unceremoniously dumped the newspaper in front of him.

"Hey!" Hikaru protested.

Kaoru merely took a sip of his coffee. "Ne Hikaru, wasn't that the lady you went on a date with last week?"

"I already told you it wasn't a date," Hikaru muttered but he took the newspaper all the same.

His eyes widened as he read the article. Apparently, the woman had made a hasty investment and now her entire company was bankrupt. As if that wasn't enough, the plastic surgery she had just undergone had gone horribly wrong, leaving her face and neck scarred. Hikaru placed the newspaper down, eyes lingering on the picture of the woman on the front page.

His brow quirked at Kaoru. "I told you it wasn't a date."

Kaoru shrugged. "She didn't think so. She told a couple of reporters in an interview that the two of you were 'romantically involved'."

"Huh. Well." Hikaru took his pencil and started sketching again. "Good riddance."

"Yeah." Kaoru snuck up behind him and entwined his arms around Hikaru's neck. "Good riddance."

-

They know they should stop. They are not vindictive kids any longer and real life is not a game.

So they link hands and vow together: never again.

And life seems suddenly more peaceful.

It is the same with the rest of the Host Club as well. Mori-senpai has opened his own dojo, Hunny-senpai has opened a chain of confectionary stores, and helps out Mori-senpai in his spare time, Kyouya-senpai is a very, very rich businessman now. And one fine spring morning finds Hikaru and Kaoru stepping out of their limo, dressed in matching outfits to attend Tamaki and Haruhi's wedding.

The event is a happy one, with Haruhi radiant and smiling and Tono being idiotic as usual but when they finally say their vows to one another it all seems to work out. Hikaru laughs as Tamaki stumbles over his words but Kaoru sighs dreamily as the two finally kiss.

It would have all gone off without a hitch if some strange guy in a pressed black suit with slicked-back hair hadn't arrived. The twins observe as the guy congratulates Haruhi – and how Haruhi seems to tense up and shy away from his mere presence.

"Who is that, Kyouya-senpai?" Kaoru asks curiously.

Kyouya looks and suddenly his lips are pressed in a thin, harsh line. "Yanagi Shin. He use to be one of Haruhi's most ardent admirers in law school. He now owns his own highly respectable law firm and it appears he has not given up on pressing his affections to her despite the fact that Haruhi is now married."

Eh? The twins' eyes continue to follow Yanagi Shin with disconcerting intensity. Hikaru and Kaoru smile slow, identical grins. Their eyes slide to meet the other's and even before their gazes meet, they already know what the other is thinking.

Target locked.

-end-

Oh wow. It sucks.