I wrote this for a song title challenge/contest thing over on LJ. It just took me an awful long time to post it. ^.^' This was actually supposed to be longer, but I couldn't get that done in time to make the deadline for this challenge. I'll post a second part sooner or later, and maybe a third to go with the three parts of the song. But only after I get those other two pieces I've been working on done.
BTW, the song on which this piece is vaguely based is "Oh, My, My, My," or "Mary's Song" by Taylor Swift. YouTube it. It should be relatively easy to find.
Warnings: Extreme cuteness, fluff, Kyoya/Kaoru pairing and Mrs. Hitachiin's odd habit of cross-dressing her grade school-aged sons.
Disclaimer: I own neither Ouran High School Host Club nor the song by Taylor Swift on which this fic is based. I just wanted to have a little fun.
Oh, My, My, My
The first time that they actually met was just after Kyoya's ninth birthday.
It was mid-spring, somewhere in the break between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. The Ootori family had been hosting a flower-viewing tea social at one of their numerous summer homes with the express purpose of forging new partnerships with which to further expand and diversify their company holdings.
As to be expected of the Ootori group, no expense had been spared. Dozens of exotic flowers were mixed liberally amongst the traditional cherry and plum blossoms to create an artistic image that was both entertaining and relaxing in the same glance. Their blended scents were carried by the warm spring wind to coil between the elegant, individually-set tables that had been scattered across the grassy lawn. Atop of these, the finest imported teas were being served in rare antique china by friendly, attentive servants who were ready to respond the guests' every beck and call.
Ready, too, were the Ootori children, each playing the roles that their parents had so carefully laid out for them. Fuyumi, beginning to blossom herself into the confident beauty of an elegant high school girl, was entertaining their visitors with her unique combination of her father's diplomacy and her mother's good graces. Her older brothers were shifting through the crowd, making idle small talk and subtly ferreting out the most potentially prosperous connections to send their father's way. And Kyoya, as the youngest, had been pulled from his quiet alone time to recite a poem that he had learned in school, to the delight of many a visiting gentleman's wife.
"…'Twas brilling, and the sloithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe."
His arms crossed behind his back, Kyoya shifted until his weight and took a big breath as he finished the recitation. As he'd predicted, the ladies who had gathered to hear him cooed and giggled with maternal delight. They showered praises of his intelligence and cuteness over the table, a few reaching out to pat his hair or give him a one-armed hug. The grade-schooler took all of their prodding and squeezing without complaint, keeping a charming smile on his face through the entire thing.
However, once the ladies had returned to their husbands, the smile vanished and Kyoya let out a heavy sigh. His glasses had slid down to the tip of his nose, so he shoved them back into place with a huff. They were too big for him, and he was still getting used to the bizarre feeling of watching the world through a window, but Kyoya would not have given the spectacles up for anything in the world. Glasses let people know at first glance that he was smart, like Daddy and his big brothers, and besides, Fuyumi said that they looked better on Kyoya than anybody else in their family.
Think of his older sister brought the slightest hint of a smile to Kyoya's face. He was just about to go looking for her, to see if she had a new puzzle-game for him to pass the time with, when seven-year-old Kaoru Hitachiin decided to throw a fit.
To say that Kaoru was unhappy with his current situation would have been the understatement of his admittedly short lifetime. He and his brother, Hikaru, had been separated for the day as punishment for scaring off five nannies and two butlers in a span of less than a month. So, while Hikaru had been taken to their daddy's office for a stuffy business meeting, Kaoru had been dragged to this stupid tea party with their Mommy.
Kaoru could count on one hand the number of times he and his twin had been separated, which was good, because he was only seven and couldn't count a lot higher than that anyway. The point was, he remembered every single time that he and Hikaru had been split up, and the one thing that he knew about all of those times was that he had hated it.
To make matters worse, his brother had dressed him up in another of her cutesy girl's designs, including big blue ribbons and curly pigtail extensions that matched the frilly blue dress. Because of that, he'd spent the entire party being picked up and cooed over by ugly-looking toad ladies with too much perfume on, all telling him the same things about how cute and adorable he looked and offhandedly complementing his mother on another wonderful design.
Kaoru hated parties like this. He hated the yucky tasteless tea and the stupid cups that Mommy always had to hold for him because she didn't want him breaking them on accident. He hated the stinky ladies' perfume and stick fake-up faces, and he really hated being without Hikaru. He just hated everything about them.
And, after being handed off to the fifth smelly ,sticky lady since the third time he'd lost count, Kaoru had finally had enough.
Shoving away from the lady's chest as hard as he could, he flailed his arms and legs until she finally dropped him to the ground. Kaoru knew how to role and use the layers of his dress so that the fall wouldn't hurt, but he burst into tears anyway. Tears would bring Mommy running, and that was all he really wanted, because Mommy would get him out of this stupid place if she thought he was hurt.
"Oh, Kaoru, sweetie, what's wrong?" Yuzuha Hitachiin gasped, bursting through the ring of her fellow well-to-do ladies to scoop her child into her arms. "Did you fall? Are you hurt, sweetums? Tell Mommy what's wrong, are you sick?"
"I wanna go home!" Kaoru hiccupped, making sure to throw in a few extra-wet sobs before the cry he'd started up began to fade. Hikaru could keep a good cry going for over an hour, but Kaoru could never match his brother's stamina for that kind of trick and was thus limited to a good five-minute burst of hysterics. "I wanna go home now! Home home home!"
Yuzuha planted a hand on the back of Kaoru's head, whispering soothing words his ear until the sobs had quiet down. She turned to the gathered guests – friends, colleagues and, oh dear, even the host himself was looking now – and offered a small, apologetic smile.
"I'm so sorry, everyone," she said, gently rubbing circles on her child's back to soothe him. "But I'm afraid that Kaoru-chan isn't used to being alone for so long. Without big brother around, it can be very upsetting…"
"Well then," said an unexpected voice, and Yuzuha realized with a shock that it had been Yoshio Ootori himself. "The obvious answer is to provide a bit of company – perhaps, someone a bit closer to Kaoru-chan's age?"
Yuzuha barely had a chance to lift a single slim eyebrow in curiosity before the head of the Ootori group enacted his plan. He snapped his fingers sharply and called out, "Kyoya?"
"Yes, father?" Kyoya asked as he appeared from the side, adjusting the position of his clip-on tie.
"I'm sure you must be bored here," Yoshio said airily, gesturing to the fashion designer and her no-longer-sniveling child. "Why don't you and Hitachiin-chan go play in the side garden, while Yuzuha-sama and I take care of some work, hm?"
"Of course, fathers," Kyoya nodded, recognizing when an order was being dressed up for the sake of propriety.
Kaoru didn't like the sound of his new 'playmate' – as people-toys went, this one sounded stupid and stuck-up. This was only confirmed when he glanced at the Ootori boy and found that his suit was still neat, his tie was on straight and, heck, even his hair was all perfectly parted and everything! Kaoru stuck his tongue out at the stuffy boy and buried his eyes in his mother's shoulder, knowing that she would never make him do something as stupid as…
"Why, that would be wonderful, Ootori-sama," Yuzuha gushed in the same saccharine-sweet tone that she always used when she knew that she had to impress a potential client. She turned Kaoru around and set him down on his feet, patting his hair brightly. "Kaoru-chan, you go have lots of fun with Kyoya-kun, okay? Mama's got a lot of business to take care of, but we'll go home as soon as I'm done. Sound good?"
Kaoru pouted and crossed his arms over his chest, but he knew that when the word 'business' came out, the battle was already lost. "…Fine."
"That's my little angel," Yuzuha giggled, then kissed his forehead and pushed him at Kyoya. "You two have fun, okay?"
Kaoru stumbled a bit on the slick grass, finally looking up into the glass-guarded eyes of Kyoya Ootori, who wasn't so much looking at Kaoru as he was studying him for information. It was actually kind of creepy, like he was some kind of bug in a Petri dish, but the feeling finally disappeared after a few long minutes.
Kyoya pushed his glasses up his nose and smiled, offering his hand to the smaller child. "It's nice to meet you, Hitachiin-chan. The side garden is just over this way. Shall we go?"
Kaoru made a face – what kind of kid used stupid words like 'shall?' – before a bit smirk crawled over his face. He battle the proffered hand away and stuck out his tongue. "You hafta catch me first, four-eyes!"
With that, he hiked up the skirt of his dress and took off running, Kyoya following behind only after he had recovered from his surprise.
Yuzuha watched the two children go, clicking her tongue against her teeth with a thoughtful noise. "My, my, my…" she sighed, running a hand through her short hair. "What a cute picture they make."
By the time they arrived in the small, naturally-kept side garden, Kyoya had decided that Kaoru Hitachiin was the strangest girl that he had ever met.
Admittedly, he hadn't met very many – just his mother, sister, servants and classmates – but he didn't think that they were supposed to be like this. His sister and mother had always taught him that girls were supposed to be quiet and gentle and treated with respect, and his classmates had never given him a reason to doubt their teachings.
Kaoru, on the other hand, had completely disregarded the cobblestone path in favor of running through the grass at a full sprint, tossing off both shoes to run in just stockings as soon as they were out of the adult's sight. Throwing off the blue suede Mary Janes also had the double benefit of forcing Kyoya to slow down and go after the discarded footwear, giving Kaoru even more of a head start than he'd had before.
Then, once she was tired of running, Kaoru seemed to decide that Kyoya was never going to catch up and ended the game early. He dropped to the ground and rolled across the grass until the momentum finally ran out, giggling down the whole way. Kyoya finally managed to catch up on the bank of a humble little pond, carrying a shoe in each hand and unable to stop the frown from pushing onto his face. "You're weird."
"Says you," Kaoru stuck his tongue out again, plucking a dandelion puff out of the grass. "I can't believe that you're supposed to be my age, four-eyes. You're awful stuff, like an adult."
"I'm nine," Kyoya hissed, pushing his glasses up his nose. "And my name isn't 'four-eyes.' It's Kyoya."
"Same difference to me," Kaoru laughed, then plopped back on the grass and began blowing the seeds off the dandelion as slowly as he could.
Kyoya scowled deeper as one of the seeds landed on the tip of his nose. He brushed it away and batted at the rest of them as they floated over on the air. Kaoru, as though he had been waiting for the proof that Kyoya was just that boring, proceeded to ignore him as blatantly as possible. He tossed the used-up stem away and rolled up into a little half-ball to start pulling off his stockings.
Kyoya's glasses slid down his nose again. He pushed them back up stubbornly. "What are you doing, Hitachiin-chan?"
"Gonna go look for froggies," Kaoru grunted, tossing his socks to the side and hopping up onto bare feet.
"'Cause I wanna."
Kyoya sighed against as Kaoru began wading out into the pond. "You'll catch a cold."
"Will not," Kaoru retorted, rolling up his sleeves. "Hikaru and I do this all the time back home."
"You'll ruin your dress."
"I don't care," Kaoru stuck his tongue out at Kyoya again, getting annoyed with the constant pestering. "Mama's already put this one on the budget for mass pro-duct-shun. We're gonna have hundreds and thousands of 'em, so messing one up won't matter at all."
Kyoya's glasses slid down his nose again, and he shoved them back up impatiently, losing what little temper he'd developed at this young of an age. "Hitachiin-chan, really. This isn't the proper behavior for a lady."
Kaoru, already up to his elbows in water and mud, stopped for a moment and stared at Kyoya blankly. Was this kid honestly that stupid? Kaoru had met hundreds of person-toys that couldn't tell the difference between him and Hikaru, and they were dumb enough, but to not know that Kaoru was a boy? It was just stupid, but he decided not to say anything about it. If Four-Eyes-san was really too dense to figure out what his real gender was, then Kaoru wasn't going to be the one to tell him. He could figure it out for himself.
Something bumped against his still hands, and Kaoru reacted instantly, snatching it up in one swift motion. "Got one!" he cheered, hoisting the struggling green form out of the water. "Ha! And it's a big one! Look at 'em!"
The frog wriggled in Kaoru's little hands, croaking in disgruntled indignation. Kaoru waded out of the pond, holding his prize out triumphantly. "I didn't know you had such big froggies out here. He kinda looks like those ladies back at the party, don'tcha think?"
Kyoya glanced at the frog over the top of his glasses, looking the ugly creature right in the eye. Secretly, he agreed with Kaoru's statement, but he certainly wasn't going to admit it.
"So, do ya wanna kiss it?"
Kyoya snapped out of his revelry, jerking back to stare at Kaoru in surprise. "Excuse me?"
"The froggie," Kaoru clarified, batting his eyelashes with exaggerated innocence. "You know, like in the stories: if you kiss a magic froggie, it'll turn into a handsome prince. Have you ever tried it?"
Again, Kyoya shoved his glasses up, sputtering just the slightest bit. "I…uh, no. That's not healthy, frogs have a lot of germs and-"
"Then I'll try it!" Kaoru reasoned. He pulled the frog back and, before Kyoya could stop him, planted a big kiss on the top of its slimy green head.
For a few long moments, nothing happened. Then, after a sudden gust of wind, nothing continued to happen.
"Auw," Kaoru pouted. "It didn't work."
"Sure it didn't," Kyoya sighed, blowing out a frustrated puff of air. "The stories say you gotta be a princess for something like that to work. The way you've been acting, you're closer to a frog than a princess yourself."
Kaoru's lips turned down into a sharp scowl, until a mischievous plot that could have come straight from the mind of his brother made the corners turn up into a tiny little smirk. "Well then," he sighed, lowering his hands and letting the frog jump away from them. "Maybe you ought'a kiss me, then."
Kyoya jerked back, his glasses falling to the very tip of his nose, but Kaoru didn't give him a chance to say anything before he took two quick steps forward, closing the distance between them. "If a princess's kiss turns the frog into a prince, then a prince's kiss ought to make a princess, don'tcha think? So why don't we try it, huh? You wanna make me a princess, Ootori-kun?"
For the first time that he could remember, the third Ootori son found himself completely speechless. "I…I…"
"Or maybe you're too scared," Kaoru taunted, leaning in close until their noses very nearly touched. His amber eye glinted in the springtime sun, a bright, cocky grin spreading out over his face. "What if I dared you, huh? Would you do it then?"
Kyoya clenched and unclenched his little fists in frustration. His shoulders were trembling with the force of his annoyance, causing his glasses to bounce up and down on the tip of his nose. It was very distracting and extremely aggravating, almost as much as the obnoxious smirk that was turned dutifully his way.
"So c'mon, Ootori-kun," Kaoru taunted, his smirk widening even further. "Kiss me. I dare you."
So Kyoya did.
It was a quick thing, a sudden motion that neither of them had really been expecting. Kyoya's glasses clattered to the ground as the gap between them disappeared and two pairs of young, innocent and completely inexperienced lips met.
They stayed that way, boggle-eyed, for a full thirty seconds before Kaoru shrieked and shoved Kyoya away. At least, he tried to shove Kyoya away but, as the nine-year-old was considerably bigger than him, it resulted in Kaoru tumbling backwards instead. His clip-on pigtails, after keeping their death grip up through all his running, rolling and wading, finally gave up and fell to the ground behind him.
Kyoya stumbled back a couple of steps, then dropped to the ground to snatch up his glasses, shoving them on with both hands un-ceremonially. He saw the pigtails on the ground, then the short hair that had been revealed underneath them, and finally the white shorts that had previously been concealed beneath multi-layered skirt, and suddenly, it all fell into place.
"You…You're a boy."
Kaoru nodded dumbly. He was staring at Kyoya with huge, round eyes and had both hands pressed over his mouth, every feature of his expression clearly reading that he hadn't expected the other boy to actually do such a thing. After another few long, awkward seconds, Kaoru finally couldn't take it anymore and leapt up, dashing away as fast as his feet could carry him.
Kyoya didn't do anything to stop him as he ran past. He remained on the ground, staring at the grass and the palms of his own hands as though they were the only things in the world worth focusing on.
There was only one thing running through his mind: "Father is not going to be happy about this."