Rating: PG at least.
Summary: It's become a ritual. KyouyaTamaki.
A/N: comment_fic: Kyoya/Tamaki, it's not just an act.
The ground has frozen over in deep November. The colored leaves have fallen but there is no snow to blanket the ground in white.
It is a middle.
The Suoh residence is before him, as glorious and bright as staring at the sun. Tamaki is much like his family's architecture, full of gold and grandiose ways. Kyouya sends his limo home upon reaching the magnificent gates. It is a common thing for him to stay at the Suoh residence. His father will not ask questions. More likely than not, he will not even notice Kyouya's absence.
Kyouya knocks at the large Lion shaped doorknocker. A loud echo of the knock sounds through the house.
The seconds pass. His mind wanders to the events of the day. The day went as any other. During the day they are 'Mother' and 'Father' of the club, the king and queen. It is a mad court, their own family circle. For a few hours a day they are Greek revelers, princes, or adventurers. But after hours, the court continues. Unlike the Ohtori household, the Suoh household's is more decadent, and yet, closer despite the broken bonds of the empty space where Anne-Sophie would be.
It is a common thing for Kyouya to be at the Suoh residence (main house, first of seven homes in varying countries) Kyouya knows the servants by name. Suoh's father is less watchful of his son, and yet, he still seems to appreciate his bond with such a high-ranking family as the Ohtoris.
The door is answered by a young butler by the name of Kai. He is young and attractive, like a walking statue to adorn the houses of the rich.
"Oh, Ohori-sama," Kai says.
"Suoh-sama is waiting for you," Kai says.
Kyouya no longer waits to be escorted for he knows this house as well as his own. The Suoh household has many bathrooms, each with a personal time era theme. On the second level of the house there is one modeled exactly like the grand Roman bathhouses, while a first level room is decorated in sparse, traditional Japanese ways. Tamaki's personal bathroom is large and white with a certain French undertone. There are cherubs to decorate the side and a small reproduction of the Birth of Venus.
It brings him back. The Birth of Venus is a portrait that Tamaki himself has posed in lieu of once when they did a historical figures shoot. He was also Apollo, and Jason. Kyouya took on Hades and Midas while the twins were Hermes, Pan and then Castor and Pollux. Mori and Honey had been absent that day, though Mori would've likely gotten Heracles, and Honey would be Ganymede.
A smile comes unbidden. What memories they have.
The bathtub is a large metal one that rests on clawed feet. It easily fits two. Tamaki started this, for Kyouya far prefers showers. Baths are far less efficient and wasting in every respect for cleanliness, but there is a certain enjoyment in them. Kyouya starts for he knows the exact right temperature and amount of bath bubbles to use. Kyouya draws the bath, and places a subtle do not disturb sign. The Suoh servants are a bit more attached than his own, and Tamaki is quite a bit more freer with nudity than he is. He undresses. On the stand he places perfectly folded pair of pants with closed glasses upon them. A white shirt and coat hang from a chair at the side.
Kyouya lets his hand dangle in the water to test the temperature. When he is satisfied, he leans in and pours in the bubble solution. It is this position that Tamaki finds him in.
"Right on time, just like always," Tamaki laughs.
"Of course," Kyouya says. He climbs into the water and not a drop is spilled as he shifts.
Tamaki undoes his coat and lets it fall to the floor in a heap. His pants and shirt join them.
Kyouya sighs slightly at this, with irritated affection. Such a contrary emotion Only someone who has spent a long time with another person, in a bond as close as marriage could understand.
"You'll have to get them pressed tomorrow," Kyouya sighs.
Tamaki grins. "But you know exactly where to get them pressed in the best places."
"Idiot," Kyouya says, but it said with much affection.
Tamaki climbs in. The water and spills over the side, displaced by his weight. Their leg touch, tangle under the bubbles.
"Shall I wash your back?" Kyouya says.
Tamaki shifts eagerly, as if on command.
The kotatsu is almost as warm as the water. Their feet are snug under the warmed blanket. Tamaki has even found ways to sneak playing footsie with their bare feet. Kyouya personally prefers to keep his slippers on due to a mix of misplaced uptight modesty and cold extremities (Tamaki and the twins may have dared a 'cold hands, warm heart' joke once or twice though there is little proof to substantiate the claim). If Kyouya does not follow suit, Tamaki will find a way to remove them himself. More than once, Tamaki has managed to remove Kyouya's house slippers with his feet by pulling down with his curled admirable feat.
"It's warmer that way," Tamaki says brightly.
Kyouya sighs, indulgent.
"Idiocy," he says, although there is no trace of sharpness or coldness in his voice.
Rina-chan runs in. She is the youngest maid, barely older than Tamaki.
"S-Suoh-sama! Am I late?" she gasps.
Tamaki puts on the full patented Host Club charm on the girl. "Oh, you could never be late. I would forgive any slip you made, dear Rina-chan..."
She blushes furiously.
"Oh, Ohtori-sama, welcome back." She curtsies clumsily and her brown pigtails bob as she rises.
"Are you hungry after your bath, Suoh-san?" She says nervously, "I'll have the cook start something right away if you wish–"
"Please, Rina-chan! I am utterly starving! I will waste away to nothing if nothing is done.
Tamaki mock faints, and the girl blushes even more.
"What do you want to eat, Suoh-sama? I-I'll go tell the cooks right away!"
"What do I want...." Tamaki ponders this a moment before turning to Kyouya. "I bet you'd know what I'd ask for."
Kyouya closes his eyes and smiles. He indulges Tamaki's eccentricities.
"Tamaki most definitely wishes for some Imoni and Amazake."
"Yes! That's exactly what I want! Amazake is delicious and the warm Imoni... I can practically taste it already."
"Ooh, let me guess what you'd want...Kyouya would want..." Tamaki thinks hard and presses his fingers to his temples, as if he was channeling some arcane knowledge. "Motsunabe! And... Gyokuro! Definitely Gyokuro! Only Gyokuro would be good enough for you!."
Kyouya nods. "Correct."
Of course Kyouya would only drink a exquisite tea like Gyokuro, though few knew of his weakness for Motsunabe. Kyouya's strange proclivity towards cabbage dishes still mystified Tamaki. Tamaki on the other hand, disliked most teas unless sweetened. While he didn't have quite as much as a sweet tooth as Honey, he still didn't care much for bitter things.
When the food arrives they both say Itadakimasu in different ways. Kyouya's is controlled, while Tamaki's is eager.
The kotatsu is as warm as a hearth of old times. It is comfortable, homey. Tamaki slips his feet under and lays them on top of Kyouya's underneath the blanket.
The steam off of the Gyakuro and Amazake rises. The cold outside cannot reach them here.
most summaries from wikipedia:
Kotatsu: basically, it's a table with a blanket (heated or plain). Thanks to Mech for pointing out that you actually do take off your slippers before getting under the blanket. My wikipedia-fu and connection failed me in that respect.
Amazake: is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice.
Motsunabe: beef offal, Chinese cabbage and various vegetables cooked in a light soup base.
Gyokuro: Gyokuro leaves are shaded from direct sunlight for approximately 3 weeks before the spring harvest. Removing direct sunlight in this way enhances the proportions of flavenols, amino acids, sugars, and other substances that provide tea aroma and taste. After harvesting the leaves are rolled and dried naturally. Gyokuro is slightly sweeter than sencha and is famous for its crisp, clean taste. Major growing areas include Uji, Kyo-to and Shizuoka prefecture.
Imoni: a thick taro potato stew popular in Northern Japan during the autumn season
Itadakimasu is traditionally said before eating and is usually followed by saying gochiso-sama deshita after eating.
Unless someone really is curious I'm not going into the Greek mythos. Everybody knows that, right?