Title: Cracks on the Pavement
Disclaimer: Cracks on the Pavement is based on characters and situations that belong to Bisco Hatori (and other production affiliates that have the right of ownership). No money is being made, and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Considerations: Similarities to other stories/events/passages are purely cofincidental unless otherwise cited, and beliefs and points of view found in the story do not necessarily reflect those of the author's.
Note/s: Written for 1sentence community off at LJ. Theme Set Gamma. As per requirement, themes are written in order similar to their given set.
Cracks on the Pavement
Those dull, gold eyes — familiar in some ways but strange in others — stare back at him from above; red, chapped lips part slightly in a complaint that is soon left unfinished in the air as he chooses to keep his thoughts to himself; and Kyouya tries to stop thinking of the sick loop of selfishness and self-gratification that has always marked his and Kaoru's nights together.
"Hey, Kaoru, when you're afraid, just hold my hand, okay?"
Kaoru remembers the first time he slept with his sempai, remembers it with stinging clarity because it was the same day that he realized for certain his feelings for his twin, remembers it so, so vividly because he'd known Kyouya had known, had been confident then that he wouldn't be denied if he asked, and ask he did — when everyone had left for the afternoon, he'd somehow managed to sneak back inside the Third Music Room alone, and there he'd given Kyouya a proposal, something he was certain his sempai wouldn't reject because there had always been a certain kind of curiosity he'd sensed in the Ootori.
Far be it from him to object, Kyouya had agreed — Kaoru got his release and he satisfied his curiosity — but now he wonders why they continue, why Kaoru doesn't stop coming, why he keeps welcoming the younger twin, and why they've decided to box themselves in, in a situation that, in the end, they both know has no merit — Kaoru ends up getting more hurt, and he ends up with nothing.
There is a dream that Kaoru never forgets: a fork lies in the road, with one leading to Hikaru and the other to Kyouya, and he chooses the course leading to Hikaru even though the road is never-ending, and when he's used his last ounce of energy chasing something that's always beyond his grasp, he goes back to the fork to try and see what happens if he travels the one that leads to Kyouya…only the road ends abruptly and there is a sea of blackblackback between him and the Ootori.
Despite how much effort he gives to suppress his frustration, Kyouya finds himself roughly handling Kaoru, pushing him against the wall, grabbing at him without hesitation, demanding mineminemine, and it's only much later that he realizes how far he'd gone when he spies the wince Kaoru tries to hide as he dresses up.
Because he can't forever keep Hikaru to himself, he remains on the sidelines and watches the older twin take flight on his own, every beat of wings against the wind a slice through the younger twin's heart that will take a very long time to heal.
It still surprises Kyouya, no matter how many times it has happened already, to wake up finding the space beside him empty, the warmth from the night before now nothing but a ghostly imprint on the sheets, chilling and discomforting.
Kaoru hovers over his sleeping twin, mesmerized by the redredred lips slightly parted and sinfully tempting, and closer and closer he leans until he realizes what he's about to do — such kisses are not permitted, he knows this painfully-painfully so, so he retreats to his side of the bed and prays to whomever will listen to please, please keep the dreams at bay.
He's startled at the possessiveness that grips him as Kaoru rants about his brother — Hikaru this, Hikaru that — and to distract him from his own thoughts, Kyouya kisses Kaoru quiet, taking into him every single bit of essence the younger Hitachiin has to offer, drinking what is Kaoru without reservations, and silently asking for more.
Kaoru awakes in the dead of night, shivers slightly as the sheets slide down his torso as he stands up, dresses up unceremoniously and with as little noise as possible, and doesn't look back as he climbs down the loft and leaves Kyouya's room.
When Kaoru allows himself to just enjoy what club time has to offer, laughing with his customers, basking in the attention Hikaru showers him, Kyouya feels the cold fingers of temptation close around his throat, and he fights the urge to grab Kaoru, storm out of the Third Music Room, and find an empty room within which he can have his wicked way with the younger twin.
Observant though he is, Kaoru fails to see the direction his relationship with Kyouya is taking.
Kyouya relishes the trembling hands gripping his shoulders in a plea for more, relishes the desire thrumming almost tangibly in the younger boy's pliant body, relishes the heat his underclassman envelopes him in, but most of all, he relishes the moans and groans spilling freely from Kaoru's mouth as he claims the younger twin again and again.
The first time they came together, Kaoru had ripped the silk sheets off Kyouya's bed — silk is Hikaru and that night, he had wanted to forget.
Kyouya smiles wryly to himself as he fingers the fine material of the 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets he now mainly uses, calling to mind Kaoru's aversion to silk.
"Hey, Kaoru, I promise we'll always be together."
Kyouya finds himself patiently accommodating Kaoru's irate hurry to ride him to completion, feeling the frustration seep off the younger twin in waves even as he trembles with the force of his own orgasm moments later, and trying to make sense of the Hitachiin's broken whispers of he promised, he promised, even in my dreams, he promised.
"Hey, Kyouya-sempai, if, say, I'm the moth drawn to the flame, then who is the flame — you or Hikaru?"
Kyouya ponders the meaning behind Kaoru's words and wonders himself if Hikaru, with his honest ignorance of his brother feelings, can do more damage to the moth, or if he himself can cause Kaoru's wings to catch fire.
Kaoru doesn't take offence when Kyouya chooses not to answer.
Always intrigued by the unknown and excited by the prospect of mapping out a new territory, Kyouya slides his fingers across the creamy skin of Kaoru's chest, seeing no point in answering Kaoru's metaphoric questions when he has set himself to explore what more the younger Hitchiin can offer him — he's already given, and now he's out to take, take, take.
The desire that has been previously doused is aroused anew as Kyouya's skillful fingers trace liquid heat over his skin, and as the Ootori shifts to pin him down, Kaoru sees the inexplicable glint in his sempai's eyes, and, then and there, he finds his answer — Kyouya is the flame and Kaoru has allowed himself to play with the devil despite knowing that Ootoris don't give anything away for free.
Kyouya stumbles out of his shower in an almost drunken stupor — he has pulled, and tangled, and manipulated Kaoru's strings to the best of his abilities, taken everything there is to take in exchange for letting Kaoru play with him, but he still can't get everything that is Kaoru out of his system — vulnerability, slyness, profundity, weakness, devilry, KaoruKaoruKaoru — and he nearly crashes to the floor as he futilely attempts to deny the strength of the impression the younger Hitachiin has left on his person.
Kaoru has gotten so good at hiding his own feelings that sometimes, he fools even himself.
The teasing "Kyouya-sempai, you like me more than you're letting on" is answered by an icy "Don't give credit to whom they're not due, Kaoru."
He tries to remain unattached by acting cold, tries valiantly to keep his feelings at bay, tries desperately to hold onto the belief that he's only using Kaoru just as the younger twin is using him, but every time he hears his name pass through the Hitachiin's lips in abandon as he goes over the edge — a cadence so hauntingly beautiful and sinfully breathtaking — he can't help but admit to himself that the little devil has unknowingly carved his name in Kyouya Ootori's soul.
There are only a few times that he and Kyouya actually talk of something light-hearted — most times he asks questions that have no answer and Kyouya talks of profits, and margins, and merits — and of those few times, he sometimes even gets careless of his footing and he trips on a landmine, getting Kyouya to take the offensive and getting himself on the defensive; he hasn't quite mastered the dance they always engage in, but he finds it strangely addictive, more so when they end up skin against skin and the older boy proceeds to make him forget.
"I'm asking for sex, and I'm offering it to you in return," was what started their twisted relationship.
"Pinky-promise me, Hikaru."
Kyouya can't allow himself to desire for something that, even in his most complicated calculations, is next to impossible to acquire, so he takes matters into his own hands, "This game has exhausted its appeal, Kaoru."
Kaoru didn't expect anything from Kyouya except his physical cooperation when he proposed the arrangement, didn't expect anything from him when things started to take the place of what's usual and what feels right, so he wonders now why his world tilts off-balance from its axis at the implication of goodbye.
After a tiring party of champagne and upper-class acquaintances, Kyouya retires to his room and carefully divests himself of his three-piece suit, a contrast to how crudely he has stripped himself of Kaoru.
He jerks awake, feverish from a dream that has left him wanting, and he doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at the situation he finds himself in — he thought he could foist his troubles on Kyouya by taking advantage of the youngest Ootori's curiosity, and for his efforts, he got burnt, the perfect replica of the moth falling victim to the flame's beckon.
Kyouya lets out an ironic laugh when Kaoru, a few weeks later, seeks him out and tells him blankly that he can't get out of their arrangement, boldly and fearlessly asking him to remain his toy — mine to do with as I please — and he seizes the younger twin by the arm, backing him against the wall, "Don't fuck with me, Kaoru…" — he has never been this angry, and he hasn't once lost his control, not since the silly Suoh heir first marched in his life.
"I hate you, Kyouya, for changing what already has been established!"
Kyouya stopped the game because he'd acknowledged that they would never be the healthy choice for each other, that there wasn't anything that would ground them and keep them together, so why, now, is he feeling like he's looking at his future when he sees the quiet determination in Kaoru's eyes?
Because they only really know how to use each other for personal expediency, all these unexplained feelings vibrating through their actions, given voice by the wrong words, and expressed in gestures that sting, leave them both raw and hurting, like a bad scrape on the knee from tripping on a crack on the pavement.
"Make up your mind, Kaoru," he says quietly, but the command in his tone is hard to mask.
Kaoru has learned not to be scared of the Shadow King through all those times they've been intimate, and he has learned that Kyouya does not settle for someone whose chains can be yanked everywhere and anywhere without a fight, so he challenges Kyouya's command, keeps still, and waits for the older boy to convey his feelings first; besides, Kaoru is careful, if anything else, and he always errs on the side of caution.
"Let's change the rules: you are mine, mine to do with as I please."
"Hey, Kaoru, even when you find someone to make forever with, I'm still right here, okay?"
Kaoru can't be fooled, and he understands the real meaning behind the cruel words — the harshness is a farce, the command is a plea, his voice an entreaty, and the kiss that soon follows is a promise for more — Kyouya needs to adjust, and for the first time since they started the vicious cycle of deceit, Kaoru smiles, smiles at the silly way Kyouya adapts to the shifting of the sands.
Who knew that the selfish proposal he'd accepted once upon a depleting afternoon would become one of the most significant contracts he had ever agreed to honor?
That night, there are no rooms for uncertainty, for questions that have no answers, for profits and margins, but only for tactile sensations of fusing what one is with what the other will forever be and touches that burn the imprint of one on the other's skin, the strength of their union bringing them to the crest just as their emotions are keeping them grounded.
"When you want to go to the toy store, Kaoru, just tell me and I'll drive us there," Hikaru dangles the toy car keys in front of Kaoru, "and we'll bring a new toy back with us when we return home."
"What happens after Ouran, Kyouya?" is answered by "We'll see, Kaoru, we'll see."
The gate to the Our World has been opened many times before — there was Tamaki who had rattled the bars and wailed until he was let in, then there was Haruhi who had nonchalantly stepped in and had unwittingly woven a spell over Hikaru — and where once Kaoru fiddled with the lock to see if he could get things back the way they were, now he laughs off his mistakes and feels grateful that the lock is too rusty to be used again because having the gates opened has allowed one more person to enter, a thief who has so craftily stolen him away.
All this time he's been watching out for the happiness of another, someone who is like him but is not him, but now he's come to realize that he must look out for his own, too, that he needs to move on and let go, that he needs to erase the sins he'd written down and use a new medium to pen out his future, and as Kyouya seals a kiss over his lips, he breathes new life into him, and he knows there's no hurry, knows that from here on forward, he'll be just fine.
For those who didn't get it, the six italicized dialogues are from Kaoru's memory of himself and Hikaru as children, but it's all up to you guys how you interpret the tone of each of them as the story progresses.
And typos, point them out when you see them. Thanks!