A/N: Wah! I'm sorry, Kaoru! This was supposed to be for your birthday! But you know, it's here now; better late than never! And besides this is like 2 times longer than Hikaru's one-shot. Please tell me what you think about this one in a review! :) Please and thank you!
Additional Note: This one-shot has been proofread by PurpleSkye.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but the OC and my plot. :D
Shut Me Up!
I wished fervently that the twins weren't at my mother's workplace today. I was definitely not in the best mood to deal with their mischievous antics and I was sure that mom would be devastated if she lost her job because her daughter killed her employer's children. But when did my wishes ever come true? None of them ever came true; not my fairy tale wish and never my wish for peace and quiet. Why did I let my mother coax me into coming to work with her when all I wanted to do was lock myself up in my room and wallow in my depression alone and undisturbed? (And no, I wasn't emo – at least not yet.)
"Hey, it's Ren-chan!" one of the cloned brunettes exclaimed as if Santa Claus had given them an early Christmas present.
Oh joy. They were here - surprise, surprise! What happened to being a wall flower? I was usually good at that in my public high school.
"Did you miss us?" they then asked in unison as they draped their arms over my shoulders.
I glared angrily at them with my hazel eyes. Though, I had to admit, threatening to kill twins was one hard task; I wasn't sure where to look. Hikaru was always more cynical so I had reminded myself to glare more at him than Kaoru. It was difficult to decipher who was who but as I stared, I was finally able to notice their subtle differences. It was hard not to smirk at my new discovery.
"Hey, Kaoru." I greeted to the boy one my left. "Hey, Hikaru." I then turned to the boy on my other side.
Even as those two identical faces tried to mask their shock, I knew that I had gotten them right. They never seemed pleased to be told apart. Maybe if I pissed them off first, they would just ignore me for the rest of the day.
It was too late when I realized that I had just signed my own death warrant by aggravating the two.
"Kohaku-san, can we borrow Ren-chan for the day?" they turned on their impeccable charm, which instantly hypnotized mom into allowing them to kidnap me.
I couldn't believe my own mother sold me to these little devils! This was not my lucky day.
"Bad hair," Hikaru stated as he poked at my pigtails as if in disgust.
"Bad eyesight," Kaoru joined in listing down my faults.
"Thanks for stating the obvious, you demons!" I exclaimed sarcastically as I tried to get away from them. I should have known that escape was impossible.
"But you do have such expressive eyes. . . ." Kaoru added as he pulled me into his arms and stared at me with his golden eyes.
I prayed that they'd spare me from witnessing their disgusting brotherly love act. I didn't need to see such repulsive. . . .too late. I was forcefully pushed away as Hikaru reclaimed his position in his brother's arms. How incest between identical twins was seen as romantic in any way instead of the horribly wrong that it really was, was beyond me.
I shut my eyes and attempted to feel my way out of the door. I had hoped that they were too distracted by each other to notice me take my leave but I was once again thwarted, by Hikaru this time.
"Her nose ain't half bad," The older twin said, angling my face sideward.
"And she has good teeth too." Kaoru noted as he pulled my mouth open with his thumb resting gently on my lower lip; his tone was approving.
Despite myself, I couldn't help the blood that rushed to my cheeks as his close proximity sent chills down my back.
'Snap out of it, Ren!' I scolded myself mentally, trying to gather my thoughts together. 'That's just the reaction those devils want from you! You can't let them win!'
And after an hour of picking on my short black hair, they finally decided on adding on a hair extension and leaving it down. I would have put my hair up because I just wasn't used to it but they had thrown my hair clips out the window. They even broke my glasses in half, telling me that contacts would suit me better. Kaoru had asked me to put on some make-up while they searched for the perfect outfit for me. I didn't know why I actually did what he said. I never even asked why they were being obsessive over my looks. I just figured it was their hobby to give out make-overs and I was just one of their unfortunate victims.
"Is this skirt really supposed to be this short?" I questioned, uncertain about the wardrobe they picked out for me. "And are you sure this blouse is my right size?"
"Just get out here so we can see you!" Hikaru demanded, impatient.
Somehow, the twins managed to get me into a dressing room and to wear these skimpy clothes by threatening to change me themselves. Of course I chose not to be violated hence this rather embarrassing predicament. I still thought they were perverts for making me dress in something like this. It wasn't me at all. I was a comfy shirt or hood-y, a pair of jeans and some sneakers. This was a short tank top, a shorter denim skirt and high-heeled boots. There was no way I could possibly carry these right.
"If you're not coming out," Kaoru began.
"Then, we're coming in!" both he and his brother declared as they barged into the occupied changing room with barely any warning.
"Perverts!" I screamed as they joined me inside the small space.
They seemed to be aroused by my annoyance. Instead of fearing my anger, they were actually encouraged by it! 'Talk about sadistic guys,' I commented mentally as they asked me to change in who-knows-how-many clothes they believed would look good on me. Apparently, they ignored my personality when they chose from the different articles of clothing available in their fashion studio.
'Well, there's actually one good thing about all of this. . . .' I thought positively as I tried to get into the next set of clothes Hikaru and Kaoru threw over the door.
This was the perfect distraction. Who knew submitting to the twins could help keep my mind off him? I surely hadn't expected to have fun at all but playing dress-up with the Hitachiins was quite enjoyable indeed; not that I would admit that to their face. No way in hell would I openly be submissive to the little devils! I'd play as long as they'd like to but I knew it wouldn't be long till reality catches up with me and pull me back down to depression. I didn't want to go there. I needed to keep the guys entertained so they wouldn't leave me alone.
"Hey, is this all right?" I asked as I stepped out of the changing room in a casual pink Lolita dress with black hem linings and black lace along the neckline.
I cautiously strutted forward; I didn't want to trip in this knee-length, four-inch black boots they made me put on. Both of them put their hands on their chins in deep thought. There was something missing. They just had to figure out what that something was.
"Try these on," they both told me while handing me different sets of accessories. Hikaru gave me a pair of silver hoop earrings while Kaoru added some large bangles onto my wrists.
Again, they eyed me critically. After long minutes of circling me like vultures, they finally settled in front of me with similar Cheshire smirks on. They were about to speak when suddenly. . . .
Hitachiin Yuzuha had entered the scene. Uh oh. This wasn't good.
"My, who is this lovely lady, might I ask?" she inquired when she spotted me behind her sons.
I gulped. What do I do? She didn't recognize me at all! What have the twins done with me? Now their mother might get the wrongs ideas. She probably thought I was stealing her designs or something.
"This is Ren-chan!" they said together as if saying 'tada'!
"Kohaku Rin's Ren-chan?" she asked with a start.
The twins nodded once and elbowed me on the ribs. Oh my goodness, where were my manners? I bowed gently as I greeted her a polite 'good afternoon'.
"Where have you been all this time? You'll make a good model! I actually need one right now for the Parisian photo shoot, can you come with me?" Yuzuha offered with a charismatic smile.
Me, go all the way to France just to take my picture? Was she insane? What about school and my mother?
"Don't worry! We'll be home by three AM tomorrow morning. You won't miss school and I'll handle Rin. You'll be fine." Was she a mind reader too?
"I'm sorry, Hitachiin-san." I began as I racked my brain for any brilliant excuse to get myself out of this mess. "I already promised to accompany Kaoru to the mall to get the materials he need for the Host Club!" I lamely added, unsure if she would actually buy my crackpot story.
And as if lady luck suddenly decided it was time to shine upon me, Yuzuha believed me. Though, she made me promise to do some part-time modeling for her when I had free time. I told her I would with my fingers crossed behind my back.
I sighed with relief when she finally left the room. I had gotten through this problem safely and I was saved no thanks to Hikaru or Kaoru.
"Okay then, let's go!" Kaoru exclaimed as he grabbed her hand and started dragging her out.
"Hold on a minute, Kaoru! I just made that excuse to get out of going to Paris with your mom. I'm not actually going to the mall with you." I told him bluntly, refusing to be pulled along like a little child.
"We got you all dress up to go out, let's just go!" Kaoru whined, pouting his lips.
He knew I was vulnerable to the twins' puppy dog pouts. I was defenseless against it and I eventually conceded. I needed some fresh air anyway, right? Wrong. I should have realized sooner that my time of fun was about to come to an abrupt halt.
"Hey, Kaoru, where'd Hikaru run off too?" I asked when I noticed the other clone missing.
"Oh, he slipped out when you were talking to mother." He explained rather glumly.
I knew he didn't like to be away from his brother; their bond was too closely knit. I admired that from them. My little sister and I rarely got along and it was always like a third world war in our small apartment whenever we were home alone together and bored.
"Is he meeting Aoi-chan?" I guessed.
His silence indicated that I was right. I couldn't take the guilt feeling off my chest even though I wasn't really one at fault.
"How about we go to the arcade?" I suggested, trying to sound ecstatic about what we were about to do.
He raised one perfectly arched eyebrow at me. He must've wondered if I was losing my mind. I was being kind to him – that was new. I didn't know what had gotten into me either. Maybe one of their fan girls was living inside me. Yikes.
"Well as long as I'm condemned to be with you for the rest of the afternoon, we might as well enjoy ourselves, ne?" I explained, grabbing onto his hand as I dragged him toward the gaming center.
Kaoru smiled gently at me, allowing me to lead the way. I had to be honest, without Hikaru, Kaoru wasn't such a devil. I couldn't believe I just thought that. Whoever possessed me at the moment must have been Kaoru's fan.
That aside, I was actually having a lot of fun. Yes, we still argued on who was better at certain games. I thought I'd win for sure, but I didn't count on the Hitachiins having their own arcade at home. They were rich bastards, I should have expected it. It didn't help that I was a girl and he was a boy. He was physically much stronger than I was even if my mouth was more powerful at providing insults.
"Come on, let's shoot some hoops!" I told him as I pulled him towards the shooting games.
"Hold on, I just have to get this." He replied without giving me a glance. He was concentrating on the crane game at the moment. He really wanted to get the stuffed penguin I pointed out to him.
"Hurry up, Kao –" I choked on the last syllable of his name as the breath caught on my throat.
What was he doing here? And what was I doing at a place where he was? I had to get out of here. Kaoru and I have to go somewhere else. I straightened my thoughts and turned around quickly.
"Here," Kaoru said as he handed me the plush toy.
"Thanks. Let's go." I responded quickly as I walked towards the exit.
"Where are you going? I thought you wanted to play basketball next?" Kaoru inquired with a puzzled look on his face.
"On second thought, I'm feeling a bit parched. Can we just get something to drink?" I reasoned out as I smiled as convincingly as I could.
He wasn't fooled. He pulled me back into the arcade while I tried feebly to fight against his hold. It was next to impossible for me to succeed. Kaoru was stubborn; he wasn't leaving this place of fun without a proper explanation.
"Kaoru, please, there's someone I don't want to see in there!" I finally admitted. Yes, I was that desperate. If confiding in Kaoru my tragic love story would get us as far away as possible from that jerk, I'd gladly concede.
"Who?" I should have known Kaoru wouldn't settle for the big picture; he wanted details.
"My ex-boy friend, he's in there right now and I just – I don't want him to see me." I was unable to keep my voice from cracking. I was pathetic.
"He won't even recognize you, Ren-chan." Kaoru stated, trying to make light of the situation.
"Oh, that helps. Thanks a lot for blasting away what's left of my dignity." I muttered with sarcasm dripping with every word. It was getting harder to stop the tears from falling.
"Will you tell me what happened so I at least understand what you're going through?" Kaoru asked in a tender voice that cajoled me to comply.
"I've crushed on him since middle school and when he asked me out on a date one day, of course I said yes. He said he needed someone mature to talk to because he just broke up with his girl friend. I didn't know they were still together and the break-up was just a lie so he could use me to get free stuff from the Hitachiin Company." I told him; the tears fell from my eyes of their own accord.
He didn't say anything but his arms were around me the instant my sobs broke out. It was a strange feeling. I thought being in Taichi's arms was bliss but I never knew it could be this warm in someone's embrace.
"I'm such an idiot. . . ." I hiccuped as I buried my face into his chest.
I grasped at any form of comfort that came to me. Alone inside my room, even as I called out for the tears to come, they hadn't but now in the arms of this boy (who was practically a stranger to me) I was finally able to release my woes. The entire universe had gone topsy-turvy in a matter of minutes.
"I'll go talk to him." Kaoru declared; anger evident in his tone.
"No!" I screamed as I held onto him.
What would a rich bastard know about street fighting? In that kind of scenario, I could only imagine Kaoru black and blue. Hikaru would kill me if I so much as cause a scratch on his beloved twin. There was no way violence would solve anything. It was better to just stay away.
"But he's a bastard!" Kaoru countered as if I didn't already know.
"I'm fine, see?" I said as I wiped the tears on my face and gave him a big grin. If that didn't convince him, I'd just have to cross out any of my plans to become an actress.
"I'll say the acting field is out of the question for you, Ren-chan." He commented; as I thought, he didn't buy my happy facade.
"You really think so? That's too bad; I was looking forward to starring in my own feature film." I replied as sarcastic as ever.
"If you want to be in the limelight so much, my mother's offer still stands. You can be her new model." Kaoru suggested with the Cheshire smirk on his face.
"Oh please, I won't be able to handle that lifestyle. You know all that dieting among other things. I only look like this because of you and Hikaru." I retorted with my brows furrowed as I imagined myself strutting about on a ramp.
"We barely did anything. We just took rid of the ugly stuff that masked your inner beauty. Like those over-sized glasses of yours – isn't it better without that giant thing hanging on your face?" he teased, laughing softly.
"I happened to like those pair of glasses you and your twin broke in two." I whined childishly. But he was right; I did prefer not to have the weight of my thick lens over my eyes.
He was very good at distractions; my mind was - for a brief moment - steered away from him. I really had to remember to thank him for today.
"Trust us, you don't need those anymore. So, shall we?"
"You know what," I began, smiling truthfully for the first time since who-knows-when. "I want to play some more." I finished when he sent me a questioning look.
"I thought –"
"Who the hell cares if he's in there? We're gonna have fun today, Kaoru. I promise you." I interrupted him in high spirits.
"That's the Ren-chan I know and love!" Kaoru cried out happily.
I pretended not to here the last part of his statement since it made my heart to ridiculous things. Surely, he didn't mean it the way it seemed. I know I shouldn't hope for things that I knew were absolutely impossible. I couldn't let myself make the same mistake twice.
"Hey, look! The air hockey table is free!" I yelled, pointing towards the aforementioned game excitedly.
"But we don't have any more tokens left." Kaoru had stated, fishing his pockets but finding none.
"I'll stay here and reserve the table for us. Go get some tokens!" I was so determined to enjoy myself that I might have appeared bossy to him.
He didn't seem to mind. I bet he preferred my sassy attitude rather than crying. He handled me well back there but I didn't think he was used to girls breaking down in front of him. I promised myself that I wouldn't ever shed tears for that jerk ever again - for Kaoru's sake and for mine.
I watched his retreating figure with soft eyes. After spending some time with him, everything that happened with Taichi seemed like nothing. It didn't even hurt anymore. I wasn't falling for him, was I? No, that was too much; I wasn't certain if I was ready for that again. He was just a good friend.
"Hey, babe." I froze at the sound of his voice. I'd know it anywhere; much as I tried to forget it, I couldn't.
'Ignore him, Ren, and maybe he'll go away.' I chanted mentally; breathing in and out slowly.
"Pretty girls like you shouldn't be alone. Why don't you come join us for some fun?"
"Don't touch me!" I snapped icily when he grabbed my wrist.
"Feisty girl, aren't you?" he was more amused than threatened.
"Let her go!"
Kaoru was my savior! I immediately ran to his side and glared daggers at Taichi. Didn't he know who I was? That stupid jerk.
"Why won't you just dump that pretty boy and come with me, babe?" Taichi just didn't know when to quit.
"He's a jerk. He's an arrogant bastard. Don't listen to him, Ren." I recited as if it was a mantra.
"I'll handle him." Kaoru whispered in my ear tenderly.
Did I say that out loud? He should really stop confusing my feelings like this. He was acting like my knight in shining armor. It was sad to think that's all he'd ever be to me – a fantasy.
"Get your own girl friend, " Kaoru hissed at Taichi.
Who was he kidding? This was all wrong. He was Hitachiin Kaoru – son of Hitachiin Yuzuha, the great fashion designer! I was the daughter of her personal tailor.
"I'm not your girl friend." I stated in a matter of fact tone.
Taichi laughed; amused by the rejection I just gave Kaoru, who looked at me like I was crazy.
"Would it hurt to play along with me?" he mumbled hastily in my ear.
Oops. What was I supposed to think when he called me his girl friend? Even if it was pretend, I didn't think I could have pulled it off. I stared defiantly at him. The damage was done.
"I knew it. There was no way a wimp could have snatched a girl like her." Taichi snickered to his friends.
Remind me again why I liked him in the first place – he was such a bastard!
"Shut up! Kaoru is ten times the man you are!" I shouted; I wasn't about to let him insult my friend like that.
"Hey, Taichi, that chick is challenging you." One of his cronies stated.
"Why don't you play air hockey to see who's the better man for sure?" I recognized the guy who spoke as Taichi's best friend, Katashi.
"Fine." Kaoru agreed.
"You're on!" Taichi replied confidently.
"Good. The winner's prize will be a kiss from this fair princess." Katashi declared without asking me if I wanted it or not.
"What the hell?" I yelled, appalled.
But they didn't pay any attention to me. I was just a prize to them. Why did I have to be in the presence of arrogant jerks? They played anyway and I was left to stand there, wondering who I'd have to give up my first kiss to. It was not a comfortable thought and when I was fantasizing about enjoying both, it was all the more frustrating. I was turning into a pervert.
I glared angrily as they insulted each other. Couldn't they play quietly? I was all the more annoyed when they fought about me as if I wasn't there at all. Each time the puck was passed from Kaoru to Taichi, I shifted my gaze. I had known Taichi was an expert at this game but I was mildly surprised that Kaoru was just as good. After minutes of non-stop rallying, I began thinking that they'd be playing forever! And it wasn't helping my case at all – how would you feel if two guys fought each other for you? Sure, it was all very flattering but I didn't deserve this.
"Kaoru, can you just stop this?" I pleaded with the brunette.
"I'm not going to let him get away with what he did to you. Just let me avenge you, please." He told me without tearing his eyes off the puck.
"So what if you do win, you'll have to kiss me!" I stated, trying to discourage him.
"I'd love to." He smirked for he knew the reaction I would have given to his response.
"Are you insane?" I asked, meaning it to be a rhetorical question.
"Would you rather receive a kiss from him?" Kaoru bit back; there was an edge on his tone that I couldn't quite name.
"No, of course not!" I answered automatically.
"That's what I thought." He muttered; his humor was back.
I couldn't respond to that. I just watched as he cheered when he scored his first point. Taichi looked absolutely feral. He wasn't keen on the thought of losing. While I just found myself wishing Kaoru would win this and I was actually looking forward to what he would taste like. Pervert, indeed.
When Taichi scored two points ahead of Kaoru, I began to lose hope. Was I doomed to giving the guy who broke my heart my first kiss? I didn't like the idea and it seemed as if Kaoru was the same. I didn't understand the motivation behind his drive to win.
'Of course, he wants to kiss you that much!' a part of me was saying; I guess it was the stupid part of me. The other, more logical side said, 'Kaoru is just being a good friend.'
Despite all I had said about love, I was silently wishing my stupid side was right. When did I ever feel this way about Kaoru, I wonder? Before today, he was just one of the pestering twins who ruined my life. But now, I was beginning to think he meant more to me than I'd care to admit.
"Just one more point. . . ." Kaoru whispered with gritted teeth.
I didn't notice that while I was brooding over my feelings, Kaoru had tied the game. An involuntary smile graced my lips. Whatever his real motive was, I was happy that he was doing this for me. It was only now that I had perceived how handsome he was. Maybe because he was working so hard to win that I found the fire in his golden eyes so alluring. I was in love all right.
"Best two out of three!" Taichi demanded when the puck went past his defenses for the fourth time.
"That wasn't part of what we talked about, Taichi-san." Kaoru replied as he pulled me into his arms and kissed my forehead.
"That's enough, Taichi. Leave us alone." I interjected although a bit shaken; I stood in between the boys before any physical violence could be dealt.
"You don't really want to go with that wimp, right?" he asked me as if he was better in every aspect than Kaoru.
"I don't want anything to do with you anymore, Taichi!" I cried in anger as I balled my fists.
I've been struggling to control my temper all day and he was picking at my last strings. I might be the one to draw first blood. Kaoru held my hand in an attempt to calm me down. It worked instantly.
"Let me handle this, Ren-chan." He told me and all I could respond with was a nod.
"Ren? Kohaku Ren?" Taichi asked, shock written all over his face. "I didn't recognize you." He continued, trying to sound friendly.
"Don't come any closer!" I told him immediately when he took a step forward.
"Come on, Ren. I'm sorry for what happened. It was Chou's fault. I wasn't actually back with her she just –" Taichi explained but he didn't know I had enough of his ill-considered stories.
"Liar!" I uttered without letting him finish. "I don't need your excuses."
"Ren, just listen –"
"Didn't you hear what she said?" Kaoru cut in.
"Butt out! This is something between me and Ren." Taichi told Kaoru while threatening him with a fierce glare.
"Don't talk to Kaoru like that, Taichi!" I scolded him; I didn't like the tone he used and I was determined to end this once and for all. "We're through talking this out, Taichi. I'm not getting back with you."
"Don't tell me you've replaced me with this guy?" Taichi queried; his tone full of disbelief.
"You don't have the right to tell me who I can and cannot date." I stated; my tone matter of fact. There was no way I was going to let him play with my emotions again.
"But you loved me, Ren. You love me." He was a very persistent and not to mention arrogant fellow but there was just no way I would change my mind now.
"I wasn't in love with you. I was in love with your image but now I know you're just a fake." I said, straightforward.
"We can still fix things, Ren. Just give me a second chance." Taichi begged; he was so pathetic.
After all the pain that he put me through, how could he still believe he could make our relationship work out?
"No, it's over."
"You still love me right?" he insisted.
"Do you really want to hear the truth?" I asked him and when I got no verbal response I finally said, "There's no way I can take you back, Taichi, because I'm in love with Hitachiin Kaoru!"
Even with my back to him, I could feel his surprised gaze. This wasn't my idea of an ideal confession but Taichi forced it out of me. I knew he wouldn't stop till I gave him enough reason to forfeit. Despite his cocky attitude and superiority complex, Taichi regarded love with respect. Well, at least, he would never hit on a girl who was taken.
I let out a surprised yelp when I was literally swept off my feet. Kaoru had me in his arms and was carrying me away. It was like my fairy tale wish come true. I thought it was a very sweet but thoroughly embarrassing gesture.
"Kaoru!" I whined as I struggled to break free from his hold.
"Stop squirming." He ordered with that signature devilish grin on his face.
Add in Hikaru to the picture and it was like I was back in hell with this little devil.
"I will if you put me down! Honestly, where are you planning on taking me? This is so embarrassing. People are staring! Kaoru, please –" my rant was interrupted when Kaoru pressed his lips against mine.
I knew what they meant now about the glory of the first kiss but I'd say that was the best way to shut me up.