Title: Little Prince Lost
Character/Pairing: MOMMY LOVES DADDY (Kyouya/Tamaki)
Rating: PG at most if that at all
Summary: Tamaki is stranded in places of France and his own daydreams. It is Kyouya that seeks him out and finds him time after time. Some Kyouya/Tamaki
A/N: Comment fic: Kyouya/Tamaki; France. Set in Lyon because Paris is practically a cliche. The title refers to Saint-Exupéry's brilliant story The Little Prince, as he himself came from Lyon. It's peppered with references to the story.
And many thanks go to Lin for helping with French tenses and suggesting a few things.
The phone call came at 3:30 AM. For once, Kyouya's punctuality and sense of business ethics was his undoing, or at least the cause of his loss of sleep. He never turned off his cell phone, no matter what the circumstances.
But it wasn't the phone call itself that made him wake irritably, but the ringtone that alerted him immediately who it was.
Because Mother needs a special ringtone to know when Father calls~!
(Tamaki had told him it was 'Caramel Dancing' or some other such name, though Kyouya wouldn't have known the thing if Kyouya hadn't told him. He never had time for internet banality.)
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" He growled into the phone.
"I'm sorry, Kyouyaaa. I always forget the time difference."
Kyouya leaned back and sighed. "What is it now?"
"I went to Lyon in hopes of seeing my maman. I just wanted one glimpse, just one and then I would be satisfied, but my grandmother could never know... and I...I seem to have run out of money."
Tamaki burst into tears on the other side of the line. He was nothing if not dramatic.
Kyouya sighed inwardly. He wasn't going to be getting sleep anytime soon.
"I'll make the arrangements."
Kyouya shut off the phone to the sound of Tamaki's exuberant gratitude in mixed Japanese, English and French.
Kyouya searched for his glasses on the nightstand.
He picked up the phone again. It was answered on the first ring. Kyouya hired all his men for their abilities and punctuality.
"Takahashi, prepare the jet."
On the flight over, Kyouya found himself unable to sleep. It isn't that his personal jet wasn't luxurious – it was by all means. It isn't worry for if he ever spent time worrying about Tamaki's foolish ways, he would spend every moment of the day worrying and that just wasn't his style.
It was a memory, a fragment of something that seems now as it did then. Their first hosting stint was a strange one. Roses and foxes and an interstellar prince. Tamaki claimed it to be his favorite, a design close to his very own heart.
It's from my favorite book. My maman used to read it to me
The next day, there was a copy of Le Petit Prince just for him. Of course, Tamaki gave it to him with much flourish and not as something as subtle as a book pushed into his briefcase between classes. Tamaki would never be as low key as that. Tamaki's gifts always had the quality of a love confession.
Kyouya had once leafed through the book, but he had taken English, not French and the words were unfamiliar. Still, Tamaki persisted asking every day Did you read it yet? Did you read it? Didyoudidyoudidyoudidyou?
Tamaki found another barrier, one of languages, and scaled it with just as much exuberance as he had scaled Kyouya's distance.
Oh? You don't speak French? I'll teach you!
It was always Tamaki who dragged him into the bizarre, outlandish and exotic event. Needless to say, Kyouya's life likely would've taken a very different course if Tamaki had not crashed into it.
Tamaki sat in the sun in a café. He looked perfectly at home there, his legs crossed. Kyouya watched as Tamaki put his Host Club experience to good use on a waitress. She swooned as he likely told her in French that she was the most beautiful girl he had ever set eyes upon and that his life had been made infinitely better by this mere moment that contained her.
When Tamaki caught sight of him, he lit up with such a glow of happiness that Kyouya was almost taken aback. Tamaki immediately rose and threw his arms about Kyouya in an embrace. Kyouya's arms remained stiff at his sides, but this is how it always was with them.
"Bonjour, bonjour mon ami! It feels so good to speak French again, just like when I was young with my maman."
French had been banned in his home. It was only at secret places, while teaching Kyouya that he had free use of his original tongue.
Tamaki ushered him in. Kyouya sat and crossed his arms. He had a feeling Tamaki was so eager to get him to sit because he hoped Kyouya would pay.
Tamaki smiled a bright, unnervingly sincere smile. "But you're always here to catch me when I fall and for that I am glad."
Sunlight glinted on his glasses. Kyouya looked far off, past Tamaki and his unnerving ways. Still, Tamaki knew ways to get through. All Tamaki deserved was a scolding for his childish behavior, but Kyouya didn't scold. Instead Kyouya began forming the words even though he knew it would probably be something he would regret.
"My family has a summer house on the outskirts of Lyon."
"A summerhouse? Surely we can stay together! Oh, you must have such good memories of it! To think, we could've almost met as children~ Que c'est romantique, ce doit être le destin!"
"'How romantic, it must be fate?'" Kyouya translated, frowning. His French was still rudimentary, as it was secondary to his English, but he still managed. If only by Tamaki's help.
"Yes, yes! We were obviously destined to meet!"
"I've never been to this summerhouse. My brothers have, however," Kyouya stated cooly.
"Oh! That must be fixed immediately, consider it my gratitude for Mother's constant kindness. Fathers must spoil Mothers, you see? Have you ever seen Tour métallique de Fourvière? Or Place Bellecour? Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon? Oh, oh! You must see Parc de la Tête d'Or first! I used to love going there as a child!"
On the way there, Tamaki related his story and Kyouya pieced together the details. He had stayed seven days at the at some decadent hotel on the most luxurious rooms with every form of decadence one could imagine. But Tamaki had no sense of money, and without an infinite supply, he would exhaust himself within days, as he did. With his mother refusing to meet him, he became depressed and when Tamaki was depressed, he spent money. Shopping, gourmet food, elegant yacht rides – Tamaki drowned himself in these when he wasn't curled in a corner of his own woe.
It was a good thing Kyouya was set to speed dial. Otherwise, Tamaki might not have remembered the number.
Parc de la Tête d'Or, or Golden Head Park was truly is as beautiful as Tamaki made it out to be, which was a rare event, given Tamaki's habit of dramatics. There was a large metal gate of filigreed beauty that towered high above them in their glory. Four lampposts were woven into the metal and the framework was arrayed in spirals that resembled ivy. Lakes were as common as clouds in this park, and picturesque families strolled lazily through the paths. Statues and gardens were came sculpted up, carved as if they were made straight from the grounds themselves. Tamaki seemed to revert to a vision of his younger self when confronted with nostalgia.
"Look, boats! Kyouya! I want to go boating!"
Kyouya sighed. Tamaki was such a child..
"You can go boating."
"And the animals! Did you know there's a zoo at the edge? You must see the giraffes, Kyouya! And lions, lions, did you see the lions?"
Kyouya had seen plenty of giraffes in his lifetime. Tamaki held a certain awe of them, but Kyouya was fairly unaffected. Lions were stately enough, but his eccentric uncle had a personal zoo, so they had lost a sense of mystery to him.
Tamaki pulled at Kyouya's arm like a hyper five-year-old. He resembled Honey more than a little. Kyouya hadn't seen that kind of unadulterated awe in Tamaki's eyes for a long time – even if Tamaki was hardly restrained.
"Ooh! Ooh! Next we just must go to the Jardin botanique de Lyon! Maman loves it! She used to say C'est vraiment le meilleur endroit au monde – truly it is the best place in the entire world to be!"
Tamaki grabbed his hand and lead, dragged him on. His enthusiasm was infectious. The day felt warmer around Tamaki. It was like coming close to the sun and not getting burned.
Tamaki laughed. "I've always wanted to show you so much of Lyon!"
The world through Tamaki's eye was chatoyant and without flaw. It was all light and no shadow with only shades of white and rosy edges. Even though Tamaki had long grown from this world of dreams, it was refreshing to look at this world of dreams and flying machines that Tamaki inhabited.
When it had darkened enough and Tamaki had taken to leaning sleepily on Kyouya like a drunk, Kyouya called Pierre with the town car. It was sleek and black, and compact, just as Kyouya preferred things.
Kyouya sat up straight with his legs crossed. Tamaki slunk down to lay in his lap.. Kyouya let his hands rest upon Tamaki's shoulder blades and no further. Tamaki was a little fennec fox in his lap, tamed and cared for. Someone he was entirely responsible for.
If he didn't take care of Tamaki, the idiot would be sure to get himself in some sort of trouble.
When they arrived at the townhouse, a servant greeted them. It was Armand, a middle-aged butler and head of this household. His hair was thinning and he wore white gloves that were pristine, without even the hint of a smudge.
"Armand, Prepare the guest room," Kyouya said.
"Ah, welcome young master, what a pleasant surprise."
He bowed low, and left.
Tamaki spread out, his long legs draped over the bed. Kyouya brushed a bit of gold fringe off of Tamaki's sleeping face. He looked peaceful. Kyouya brushed his pants off unnecessarily, as if clearing off shed fur. He stood up and went to his own bed for a night of surreal dreams of little golden princes who loved roses and drew sheep and tamed foxes.
Tamaki slept in until noon, though Kyouya woke far earlier. He had things to accomplish.
By the first cup of coffee, Kyouya had already emailed his father with notification of his status, rescheduled two appointments slated for later that day. Kyouya had asked to a certain acquaintance who happened to have gone into work as a Private Eye due to a personal dream. The man was quite talented at the work, and by morning an address was emailed to him, complete with pictorial proof.
It was in the first arrondissement, La Croix-Rousse that was their destination. Anne-Sophie's current residence was on la colline qui travaille – the working hill, a place where silkworkers had once toiled until blister and bone for the nobles. Perhaps it was fitting, a girl who belonged in silks upon the silk makers row.
It was 2 PM by the time they left. Tamaki looked out eagerly through the windows as they drove.
"Where are we going?" Tamaki asked.
"You'll see," Kyouya replied.
It took some time to find the address in question, but soon Tamaki did see. She stepped out of a building and immediately opened a ruffled rose-colored parasol when she came onto the street. Anne-Sophie had the same golden curls as Tamaki. She looked happy and gentle and content, like a picture from a painting come to life.
Tamaki watched, wistful, yearning as she walked off. It had the quality of a conjured up vision by opium. He said nothing, though Kyouya heard the long breath exhaled as she walked out down the road and back to her life, oblivious of who might be privy to it.
"I know you told me, Kyouya," Tamaki began, "But I wanted to see for myself."
"Understandable," Kyouya said.
"I have always been grateful for what you did then. Thank you, Kyouya," Tamaki said.
"It's nothing," Kyouya replied softly, "It was my gift."
"What did you say?" Tamaki said. "I didn't hear you."
Kyouya cleared his throat. "I said that I'm sure I'll have your repayment through next week's fundraiser. If not then you'll simply have to repay the debt manually."
"Kyouyaaaa–!" Tamaki gasped. "You wouldn't dare!"
He closed his eyes and cleaned his glasses. For that single timeframe, he looked kind, almost benevolent. The glasses returned and so did the blank expression. Roses were always thorny and inexpressive things, no matter how deeply loved.
"However," Kyouya began, "I wouldn't want to leave quite yet. I hear Vieux Lyon is a sight that is not worth missing."
"Vieux Lyon?! Does that mean we can stay in Hôtel de Gadagne? I've always heard about it but never stayed, oh maman used to walk me down the streets and watch...I still remember to this day," Tamaki said. His eyes shone as he began to ramble about French
"Yes," Kyouya said. "We can visit the Hôtel de Gadagne."
Tamaki returned to his happy, blemishless waking dreams of asteroids and foxes, a place where adults had no place. He was such an insufferable person, someone who would need to be coddled all his life and cared for. If Kyouya didn't take the job, who else would?
Of course he did not answer the whisper deep within which mocked you would fight them for the right of protection.
He would, wouldn't he? But then, it was only right. It was Tamaki who drove him to become like this. Kyouya found his own ways of thanking Tamaki for this. In small unspoken details, not grand gestures.
Tamaki stared out the window at the scenery passing by. He had not dampened, even if there was a sadness trailing about the edges.
Tamaki could find hope in any situation. It seemed he could find a bright side to any dark place. Even this, even him.
according to wikipedia:
Arrondissement: The municipal arrondissement is a subdivision of the commune, used in the three largest cities: Paris, Lyon and Marseille. It functions as an even lower administrative division, with its own mayor. Although usually referred to simply as an "arrondissements", they should not be confused with departmental arrondissements, which are groupings of communes within one département.
The rest should be self-explanatory.