A/N: Okay, I was bored and had just finished watching the Ouran High School Host Club series. The keyboard did this all by itself instead of doing my English essay, I swear... XD This is my first proper attempt at slash, and only one of my first fanfictions. It's also a bit old, so be nice!

Disclaimer: Don't own it, never will. If I did, I'd hire the fans to make the official DVD thingies.

Oh, by the way, any Japanese honorifics in this are based entirely on what I've seen and read in anime and manga. So they may well be wrong. Feel free to correct me!

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"Boredom is an understatement for what I'm feeling right now," the ginger-haired boy lounging on a couch opposite him moaned, fiddling with his shirt sleeve.

With not so much as a sigh to acknowledge the interruption, Kyouya Ootori continued to tap away at his laptop, aware that his companion would elaborate if he wished to without any effort on his part. And 'without any effort' left him free to continue investigating the company of the family of one of their newest clients – always a beneficial activity in the business-orientated mind of the Host Club's 'Shadow King'.

Sure enough, the present half of the Hitaachin duo continued with his sorry tale of woe once it became apparent Kyouya wasn't going to dignify him with an answer.

"I mean, seriously, it'd be fine closing the Club early and all that rubbish if Hikaru would just pay some attention to me when we're not surrounded by crazy fangirls …"

That made the Vice President stop typing. He turned an expressionless gaze on the other boy and resettled his glasses on his nose before replying.

"Those 'crazy fangirls', as you call them, happen to be the market that are keeping this Club in business. Without them, your 'brotherly love' act would mean nothing, would achieve nothing. And, most importantly, would earn nothing."

Kaoru was glowering at his knees.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. But that's just it. Our 'brotherly love' is just that – an act. And …" he paused, suddenly uncertain of why he was pouring his heart out to the dark-haired boy beside him. Maybe Kyouya had actually become a sort of mother-figure to the group, after all their lord's idiotic babbling … he immediately dismissed that idea. Kyouya as a mother?! – that was just scary!

But the boy he just been contemplating interrupted his thoughts.

"And you're not sure that's all you want it to be anymore," he finished for the faintly-blushing twin.

More unable to meet the Shadow King's eyes than normal, Kaoru nodded glumly. He had come to terms with his growing feelings for his brother ages ago, and until now had managed to keep up the façade that everything was just as it had always been. But the effort was starting to tell on him, and his willpower and restraint was wearing thin.

"I just keep noticing little things about his habits, what he does; I'm taking in more details of his speech, his actions than I ever did before. At first I tried to stop it, but I gave up on that a while ago. I guess I'm just worried how long I'm going to be able to keep treating him normally, like he's not overly special to me. Well, no more than he already was, anyway."

By now, his face was glowing. He shut his golden eyes, waiting for the cold dismissal he knew would come. However, after a few moments of silence, he opened them again and turned to stare at Kyouya; he was surprised to see the other boy eyeing him, one eyebrow raised in thought. Apparently coming out of some sort of trance, Kyouya pushed his glasses back up his nose, making them catch the sunlight, before standing abruptly.

"There is a solution to your problem, Kaoru," the twin's gaze was fixed desperately on the older boy, all surprise forgotten, "Make him jealous."

A silence followed this announcement, and Kaoru became fully aware of just how alone they were in the large Third Music Room – the rest of the Club members were running around outside on the lawn, but the younger twin had feigned a headache, feeling unable to watch his brother's constant flirting with Haruhi.

"W – What?" he squeaked finally, unsure he had heard correctly.

Kyouya remained perfectly calm.

"You heard me, Kaoru Hitaachin. Make your brother jealous that you are giving attention to someone else, just as he does with Haruhi. Then you can assess his reaction in order to discern his feelings – which I somehow doubt he would even be aware of himself, however he feels towards you."

Once again the glasses were pushed upwards and Kaoru was fixed with that stare. He resisted the urge to tremble with debatable success, but at least avoided growing mushrooms in a corner like that idiot 'Prince' Tamaki did when upset.

"But that would mean I would have to – that I – and someone else – I'd have to date someone," he finished in a horrified whisper. How could he do that to someone – how could he do that to himself?!

Kyouya nodded officiously, "Of course. But I have a solution to that as well, my dear Kaoru …" he murmured huskily, leaning in closer. Kaoru flinched backwards, not bothering to hide his fear – which was growing by the second.

"Not – you're not suggesting that you – that we –"

The Shadow King smirked.

"Why ever not?" then becoming suddenly serious, he straightened up, away from Kaoru (who breathed a hefty sigh of relief) before continuing, "To tell you the truth – or part of it, at least – this venture could be quite profitable for myself as well. It could help us both considerably, so what is the harm in trying?"

Kaoru shuddered – this was the most horrible idea this demon lord had ever come up with. And that was saying something. But then his brain caught on to what the Ootori heir had just said and, all horror forgotten, he fixed his sharp golden eyes on Kyouya, who was looking out the window in a way that, in a more human person, could almost be described as wistful.

"But that means – that means you like someone too! And probably someone in the Club!" he added gleefully, Little Devil mind coming into gear, "Who is it? Haruhi? Mori?"

He was so excited at the thought of frosty Kyouya having a crush that the glare of pure ice had no effect on him. Since he was practically bouncing in his seat, and considering that he had opened his heart to him, Kyouya decided it was only fair to return the 'compliment' and trust the twin – dangerous though that may be.

"No, not Haruhi or Mori – sadly. They could at least be seen as acceptable choices for an heir to the Ootori estate. And no, I am certainly not harbouring secret feelings for your brother. That leaves you with two options."

As Kyouya took off his glasses to polish them, Kaoru was shocked to see that his normally expressionless eyes were full of an impenetrable sadness.

"I don't really see you as the type who'd like a cutie like Honey," he began cautiously, trying to gauge the other teenager for a reaction to his words, "But I don't see you liking Tamaki either. I mean, what with all his stupid 'mother'-ing you – or have you actually fallen for your Otou-san?"

The awkward silence told him he was right, but he waited to see if Kyouya would admit it. Finally, the dark boy found his voice.

"Yes, despite my constant annoyance at his stupid behaviour and my attempts to distance him, I have indeed … fallen for possibly the most flirtatious boy in the school, who is also the one I am least likely to get," a glimmer of determination returned to his eyes suddenly, "But it's always worth a try, isn't it? So what do you say, Kaoru?"

For a moment, the twin paused, but his mind was made up. He needed his brother, really needed him – and if fake-dating Kyouya was the way to get him, he'd do it. And, he added to himself, it couldn't be a bad thing to try and give Kyouya himself someone special in his life – something else to think about other than money and business relations. He stood firmly and held out his hand to be shaken.

"I'll do it."

***

"Hikaru," Haruhi began tentatively, "How come you were still willing to come fly kites with us even with Kaoru ill?"

Briefly the twin looked confused, then he smiled cheekily.

"Why should I sit around inside while he mopes about when I have the chance to be outside with you, my dear Haruhi?" he softly touched her cheek, leaning in suggestively.

But Haruhi, having never been intelligent in the ways of romance, didn't get the hint.

"But you always stay with your brother. You'd never have come with us before."

They were walking back to the Third Music Room to pick up Kyouya and Kaoru before they went home – since it was the weekend of Honey's birthday, they were all going to sleep over at the Haninozuka estate – and eat piles and piles of cake, as the small boy kept reminding them, with a flash of his happiest and most excited grin. Even bun-bun was getting more bouncy.

"So I'm not spending every second of the day with him. So what? He doesn't mind."

With that, the older Hitaachin walked off, leaving a doubting Haruhi looking sadly after him. You're making Kaoru lonely, Hikaru – I just hope you realise how much he needs you before it's too late.

"My daughter, my beautiful daughter, daddy's over here!"

She groaned, and continued to where Tamaki was waving inanely at her.

"Yes, senpai?"

"We can't have you getting lost now, can we?" unfortunately, he didn't give her a chance to mention the fact that she'd been finding her way around the school for half a year, "And anyway, why were you talking to Hikaru?"

The poor harassed girl shook her head.

"It's none of your business, senpai."

Then she walked casually on, leaving an enraged blonde almost pulling his hair out in worry at what 'that devilish twin' could be doing to her 'poor, innocent mind' and how he was disrupting their 'father-daughter bond'.

After a short while, they reached the Host Club's headquarters where Tamaki, already bouncing happily again, threw open the doors with a bang before becoming paralysed with shock at the scene before him. The others crowded around him, expressions mostly confused – if those of Hikaru and Tamaki were excluded.

Kaoru was lying spread out on a couch, eyes closed and head tilted back – was he actually purring? – with Kyouya over him on his hands and knees, glasses discarded somewhere, nose and mouth willingly attacking the smaller boy's pale throat.

***

The drive to Honey's was tense. Haruhi actually had her hand over Tamaki's mouth to stop him bursting into another enraged rant, and Honey had been forced to sit next to Mori instead of on top of him as his tall guardian restrained Hikaru from flying at his brother. Kyouya and Kaoru had to restrain themselves from laughter.

Flashback to Third Music Room, approx. 15 minutes ago:

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" screamed Tamaki, purple eyes blazing.

The couple on the couch had arranged their positioning specifically for this purpose so weren't particularly surprised at this reaction. Mildly, Kyouya tilted his head to the door whilst running one finger down Kaoru's chest.

"What does it look like we're doing, Tamaki? I am kissing Kaoru, and he appears to be rather enjoying it."

That was when a spluttering Hikaru had flown past the crowd in the entrance to throw himself at Kyouya, who easily deflected the frenzied attack with a simple martial arts move Mori had taught him years before. Kaoru looked scandalised.

"Hikaru, stop it! Nii-san! No!" Angrily, he pushed is brother away, "Why shouldn't me and Kya date if we want to? It's not like we're doing it in Club hours, or disrupting the 'brotherly love' act, is it?"

The hurt in Hikaru's eyes was not what he had expected. But it made his heart leap to think that perhaps his twin did care for him as more than a brother. Kyouya, however, was not as optimistic about Tamaki, who had simply frozen to the spot after his outburst, violet orbs wider than ever – but he would have reacted like that to any two members of the Club kissing on the couches.

Honey, however, had seemed ecstatic.

"Yay! Kyouya and Kaoru are happy again! Isn't that great, Takashi?"

Mori nodded and gave a small grunt in reply. But when Honey wasn't looking, he winked at Kyouya and gave a small, lopsided smile. The Shadow King was too shocked to do anything apart from go back to giving Tamaki a slightly-tamer-than-usual glare. Haruhi had looked at both of them, tilted her head to one side, and then nodded almost imperceptibly, mouthing 'Very clever' from behind the lord's back.

Back to present time:

They had arrived at Honey's family mansion (or one of them, anyway) and as they piled out the car, Hikaru shoved rudely past Kaoru and stalked away up the front steps, eyes blazing furiously. Tamaki, on the other hand, was strangely quiet and stared at the floor, even when he was greeted enthusiastically by the maid who opened the door.

Feeling tears prick at his eyes at the pain both in his shoulder and from his twin's rejection, Kaoru grasped instinctively for his 'boyfriend's' hand. Kyouya had stiffened then relaxed into the touch, although the 'Little Devil' knew he was far from comfortable.

***

Kyouya woke at his customary late hour the following morning, Honey's birthday, and was originally stunned that he hadn't been rudely awoken already by a hyper Tamaki. Then he remembered the events of the previous day – and now, with no one else to see his indecision, lay back and stared at the ceiling, wondering if he and Kaoru had done the right thing.

Shaking off his depressing thoughts, he washed and dressed at his own pace before picking up his notebook and a pen and heading downstairs. He was almost certain that everyone would be outside in the hugely expansive grounds somewhere so, since he never ate breakfast, he let himself out of some large French windows onto the lawn. Sure enough, he could see Mori's retreating back near the lake at the bottom of the gentle hill so he began to stroll over.

"Good morning, Mori-senpai," he said as he reached the tallest and most taciturn of the Club members, inclining his head politely and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

He only expected to be answered by the usual grunt, or perhaps a short reply, so the speech Mori did give him was a surprise.

"I see you've finally decided to take your feelings for Tamaki into your own hands then, Kyouya," It was a statement, not a question, "Be careful not to take things too far – or you will drive the small one's brother away as well as your prince. And please, if at all possible, resolve things before the end of today. I would rather that Mitsukuni's birthday was not spoilt by bad feelings within the group."

Through his whole oration, he stared straight ahead, eyes following the tiny figure of his cousin chasing the taller one of Haruhi around a cluster of rose bushes. Kyouya blushed faintly, suddenly realising that he had chosen possibly the worst time ever to jeopardise the happiness of the Club – and he didn't regularly make such errors in judgement. But it was a well-known fact that Tamaki-obsessions do things to the brains of even the most emotionless and sensible people, driving them practically insane.

He mumbled an apology to the older boy who shook his head and looked down at Kyouya, eyes kind.

"I too know what it is to suffer through unrequited love – or what appears to be. I am proud that you have had the courage to act on your feelings, unlike myself. But now it seems that the object of my affections is meant for another."

His gaze returned again to Honey, leaving no doubt as to whom he was talking about. The two boys stood in companionable silence for a while, until they were interrupted by a gleeful shout from a redhead who was charging up the lawn towards them.

"Kya!" yelled Kaoru as he threw his arms perhaps slightly too enthusiastically around the neck of his fake lover. With a shock, Kyouya recognised the signs of tears around the twin's eyes. It appeared that the split from his twin was affecting him badly.

Yet another thing for me to feel bad about, mused Kyouya whilst returning the hug gently. Then he remembered that Ootoris don't feel bad about anything unless it means a loss of profit. And the 'brotherly love' act could still be healed before Monday's school, in which case there was no reason at all for him to be worrying about profit – and what else could he be upset about … ?

He didn't notice that Tamaki and Hikaru were nowhere to be seen. Or the secretive smile Mori shared with Haruhi and Honey when they came to greet the late riser.

***

Miserably, Kaoru dragged himself up the grand staircase to his room – the room that Hikaru refused to share with him. Honey's birthday tea was in two hours, but they had all been banished to get ready while the servants put up decorations and finished the preparations for the meal.

He sighed when he saw the sight of the empty room with its unused double bed – he had been unable to face a night without his twin to hold him, and so, for the duration of it, had sat up awake or dozing in an armchair by the fireplace.

Dejectedly, he entered the bathroom, eyes fixed on the floor, absorbed in his own depressing thoughts. Had he been more attentive, he might have seen the figure with a shock of bright red hair to match his own that stood up from behind the sofa after the lock clicked.

***

Kyouya Ootori, third son and heir to the massive Ootori estate, cool, emotionless and financially-focused, only just managed to suppress a sigh as he threw himself down on his bed fully-clothed.

As he half-heartedly attempted to smother himself in his pillow, his mind wandered to its favourite occupation; daydreaming about Tamaki. The way his eyes sparkled, the way his happiness encompassed every living thing, his over-enthusiastic hugs, his crazy habits and his apparent need to believe himself related to each and every member of the Host Club.

But most of all, Kyouya thought of his smile. Himself, he barely ever smiled – but Tamaki could draw at least a small grin from him just by turning that beautifully ecstatic expression on him, looking like nothing could spoil his pure, unadulterated happiness. That face, when it lit up like that, made him feel wanted, appreciated, and his insides tingled with warmth at that feeling – it was something he never felt at home.

Yes, Kyouya Ootori would gladly give up everything he was if his reward was just one smile, just for him.

***

"Kaoru, we need to talk," came the simple announcement from behind him.

Kaoru span, recognising his brother's voice immediately but hardly daring to believe it; but there Hikaru was, face serious, gaze boring into him.

"Hikaru …" the younger Hitaachin whispered as though in a daze, "Of – of course. Come in. Sit down."

He feebly indicated the comfortable furniture in front of the now empty fireplace, golden orbs fixed on his brother. His heart raced at the thought that his brother had come to reveal his feelings – he refused to let any doubt of this show through in fear of breaking down. Setting his jaw determinedly, he decided that whatever the outcome, he would tell his brother how he felt before either of them left this room. It didn't occur to him to be embarrassed despite the fact that all he was wearing was a towel, having just had a shower – and he received his brother as though he was a distinguished guest and he was dressed in a three piece dinner suit.

Shaking his head, Hikaru sat himself down on the bed, patting the duvet beside him to indicate that his brother should sit down too. Trembling, Kaoru obeyed.

"Yesterday, after the Host Club closed early because we decided that as a treat for Honey we would play outside, you claimed to have a headache and stayed inside," Hikaru began firmly, tone detached, "Kyouya did as well, saying he had to finish the Club accounts and that he wouldn't be much fun outside anyway. When we came back to pick you up to go home, we found Kyouya on top of you on a couch, kissing you seriously – and you were obviously having no objection."

He paused to clear his throat and Kaoru tried to take the opportunity to interrupt and pour his soul out to the person who meant the most to him in the world, but when that same person held up a hand for his silence, he couldn't refuse. Instead, he stared desperately at his brother's face, trying not to cry, a beautiful pinkish tinge touching his cheeks.

Hikaru took a moment to study his brother before continuing, marvelling at the depths of the wide, pleading, hazel eyes and the attractiveness of the rosy mouth, lips slightly parted in unspoken words. He knew his twin was beautiful, had known for a long time – but only recently had these other feelings started to stir in his chest when he looked at him. Once it had become apparent that they weren't going to go away, he had taken to avoiding his brother as much as possible, unwilling to ruin the relationship they already had by inadvertently revealing that he cared more than was appropriate for Kaoru, more than Kaoru would want him to care. But it was breaking his heart telling him this, knowing how he would have to end.

"I don't know how long you and Kyouya have – been together, as it were – nor does anyone else. What I do know, however, is that it hurt to know you'd lied abut feeling ill. I – all I want is for you to be happy," he had to stop to take a shaky breath to stop his voice breaking, "And if you and Kyouya are happy together then I'm happy too. I admit I'm not that pleased with your – your choice, but if that's what – who you want, I won't –"

Now Kaoru knew he had to interrupt. He couldn't let this continue towards the inevitable conclusion of sealing their fates separately without at least trying to fight.

"No, Hikaru, that's not how it is! I swear – you've got to listen to me!"

The older Hitaachin shook his head sadly, muttering that he didn't mind, and tried to leave the bed, but Kaoru roughly pulled him back.

"Listen, Hikaru! Nii-san, Kyouya and I are not, and I repeat, not a couple. We – we had to pretend – we were trying to – oh, we were trying to make you and the lord jealous!" he finished in a rush, eyes down despite the hand that was still grasping his brother's wrist tightly.

He hardly dared to breathe in the awkward silence that followed.

"W – what? Kaoru – why?"

This was it, Kaoru knew. He took a deep, steadying breath and raised his eyes to Hikaru's. "Hikaru, I love you. Yes, I love you as a brother, but also as – as something much more – well, more …" he finished lamely.

He was about to add 'I know you must hate me' or 'I'm not expecting you to feel the same' but before he could even begin to form the words, all his thoughts had been erased by the feel of Hikaru's hands on his cheek, his chin, running through his hair. And oh, his lips – Kaoru couldn't describe the feeling of his brother's lips on his, desperate, begging, but marvellously gentle. There was no demand, no judgement in that kiss, just pure, sweet – yes, Kaoru dared to believe it – love.

When they finally parted, lips lingering on each other's, struggling to draw breath, Hikaru rested his forehead against his younger brother's. Softly, he stroked his delicate cheekbone and then down until he touched those tender lips, red and slightly swollen from the kiss. The kiss he thought, smiling widely.

His expression changed to one of worry, however, when he saw the tears filling Kaoru's eyes, and realised that his brother hadn't yet touched him, not once.

"Kaoru …? I thought – I thought that was what you wanted. Was I wrong?" he murmured, both hands moving to cup his face.

That was when the tears spilt from his brother's eyes. But instead of breaking down into sobs, Kaoru raised one hand and stroked his brother's beautiful cheek, eyes filled with awe. When he touched Hikaru's lips, he smiled, just as Hikaru himself had earlier.

"Oh no, Hikaru, not wrong. Never wrong, my beautiful nii-san. Hold me?"

At that, Hikaru laughed softly, and wrapped his arms around his brother's waist and pulled him as close as he could, resting his lips in Kaoru's hair. He was as oblivious to his brother's nakedness as Kaoru himself. This was exactly what he had wanted for the past few weeks – this was exactly where he belonged.

As Kaoru snuggled into the space between his brother's arms, he smiled. All his former worries vanished, and he even forgot about his 'boyfriend' on the floor above them. His happiness was complete.

***

Rolling onto his side and wrapping himself in silk sheets, Kyouya wondered how upset Honey would be if he pretended to have a stomach ache or something to get out of the awkwardness of dinner. Yes, Kyouya Ootori wanted to run away from this particular problem.

He had tried to keep his promise to Mori and sort everything out with Tamaki before now, but it seemed the blonde had been avoiding him all day – every so often he would see shock of unruly golden hair leave a room just as he entered, or the hem of the leg of a pair of jeans turn a corner at the end of the corridor as he walked onto it.

Sighing softly, he suddenly realised that there was one place that he hadn't looked for Tamaki, his lovely blonde prince. He jerked upright in bed and leapt up. Regardless for once of his image and dignity, he ran down the corridor, past a stunned Haruhi, until he reached the corridor that led to the Haninozuka Music Room.

Sure enough, as he crept along it to the door, he could hear the soft rippling melody that drifted through the ornate door. It made his heart hurt to hear the haunting darkness and pain of the music, and he wondered detachedly if any other pianist had moved him so – if any other could so manipulate the instrument's mechanisms to create such a complicated atmosphere.

Outside the door he stood, uncertain; but when the music completed a final cadence, he abruptly made up his mind and pushed open the door.

Inside, Tamaki sat in front of a grand piano, framed by the sunset outside the huge bay windows. The sun's last rays formed a halo around his head – or so it seemed to Kyouya. All of a sudden, he realised that he needed this brainless angel in his life – needed him to heal the brokenness that he hadn't even realised he had. He needed the prince to care for him – to love him.

There, he had finally admitted it. But now his heart hurt even more. The Shadow King, heartless demon lord, needed this prince to love him. Needed him to give him the love he had never received at home. To make him feel wanted, needed, in return. It almost hurt the teenage boy physically as he struggled to remain upright and relatively composed as he walked to where Tamaki sat, looking at him calmly.

There was no trace of his marvellous smile in sight.

"Kyouya."

The dark-haired boy found he was shaking, and couldn't stop himself wincing visibly at the cold tone of voice that greeted him. It was so different from that that normally called 'Mummy' or 'mon ami'.

"T – Tamaki."

Damn. He never stuttered. How could this boy not tell what he was doing to him?! It was getting ridiculous. Kyouya decided to throw all caution to the wind and give in to his emotions.

He positively staggered forward, falling on his knees in front of Tamaki and grabbing the lapels of his jacket in a vice-like grip. Desperately begging for a response, any response, he tilted his head to stare straight up into the prince's violet eyes. The prince stared back, indifferent.

Horrified, Kyouya felt tears building up in his eyes, in the back of his throat. He couldn't cry! Not here, not in front of Tamaki! But his self-control was in pieces after months, yes, months of acting normal, and his mask was in tatters. Even if the prince wouldn't accept his affections, couldn't he have him back as a friend?

Unable to hold back the breakdown inside him, Kyouya rested his forehead on Tamaki's knees and let go. Harsh sobs racked his body as he shook violently, but still Tamaki sat unmoving. Why wouldn't he react?! He couldn't think this was an act – an in-control Kyouya would never resort to tears, no matter what he wanted!

So they remained for several moments; Tamaki sitting perfectly still, gaze on the back of his best friend's head, Kyouya sobbing frenziedly into his lap. Then Tamaki finally moved.

He unwrapped Kyouya's hands from his clothing and stood, tipping the Shadow King gracelessly backwards into a heap on the floor.

"Kyouya, you've always been the best of friends to me, and because of that, I'll let you go. I won't stop you following your heart – it's about time you did."

At that rejection, Kyouya felt his heart shatter beyond all recognition. He looked up in time to see a soft, sad smile on Tamaki's face before the prince walked calmly out of the room, leaving him alone in the growing darkness. The Shadow King alone in the shadows.

***

The dining room was buzzing with cheerful conversation when Tamaki entered after his 'talk' with Kyouya. Honey immediately bounced over to him.

"Tama-chan! Tama-chan! Where's Kyo-chan? Why isn't he with you? Is he coming?"

Tamaki tried to smile, but found he couldn't, so he turned his head away from the older (but smaller) boy.

"I don't know if Kyouya's coming – he's not with me, anyway."

Silence fell at his casual announcement. Honey looked ready to burst into tears, Mori looked disappointed, and Haruhi looked horrified.

"What did you say to him, senpai?" she asked, and in the tense atmosphere, her simple question held an almost threatening aura.

"What do you mean, my dear daughter? Daddy didn't say anything to Ky –"

"Meaning no disrespect, senpai," she interrupted firmly, "But I think you should hear what the twins have to say. Then I think you ought to reconsider whatever you said to Kyouya-senpai – I know he worked out where you were, because I don't think there's any other reason our dignified Vice President would be running down corridors to the Music Room."

Tamaki turned questioningly, and slightly sulkily, to the twins. When he saw they were holding hands tightly, and Kaoru had his head resting contentedly on his brother's shoulder, he knew at once that this was the real 'brotherly love' – he wasn't quite as stupid as was generally thought – although it came very close …

Kaoru cleared his throat meaningfully, "Milord, I think you ought to know that me and Kyouya only pretended to be going out to – to make Hikaru jealous. A – and you."

His announcement took a moment to sink through the prince's subconscious. Kyouya had wanted to make him jealous. And Haruhi had said that Kyouya ran to the Music Room. That could only mean –

"Mummy likes Daddy!" he squealed loudly, jumping in excitement, "Since when?"

Haruhi and Mori exchanged glances, and the girl answered.

"I noticed three months ago, and Mori knew a couple of months before that. We're not sure how long he liked you before then, but it was long enough for him to have come to terms with the fact he liked you, and resigned himself to never being able to have you."

The truth struck Tamaki like a ton of bricks, literally causing him to stagger.

"Mon ami – he liked me for so long … never told me … never realised …"

Finally the drama queen – er, king - span on his toes and sprinted out of the room. As his footsteps faded into the distance, Honey turned to the others and smiled sweetly.

"I think they'll be a while, so shall we start on cake now?"

They all dissolved into giggles – even Mori spared a small smile for his special Mitsukuni.

"Takashi, you smiled for me!" Honey squeaked excitedly, leaping into his cousin's arms, "Smile again!"

Obediently, Mori obliged. Honey grinned happily and wrapped his arms around his protector's neck.

"Never leave me by myself, Takashi. Not like Tama-chan did to Kyo-chan."

Then he was gone again, pulling Haruhi over to the pile of cakes near the twins and babbling contentedly. Mori smiled once more, a bittersweet smile, and murmured softly,

"Never, my little Mitsukuni."

***

"Kyouya! Kyouya! Mon ami!" Tamaki yelled as he ran headlong into the music room, eyes filling with tears at the piteous sight before him.

The cold, commanding and strong-willed Ootori boy was now curled up, half underneath the piano stool; eyes shut tight, sobs still making him shiver in the cold room. Heart breaking with guilt and a bruisingly strong affection, he knelt down and laid one hand on his best friend's back.

"Mon ami?" he whispered softly, stroking down Kyouya's spine.

The other boy shivered at the touch, and flinched away, but still murmured brokenly back, "Tamaki, I'm sorry, I –"

"Ssh," the prince interrupted, putting a finger to Kyouya's lips as his friend opened his eyes, "I should be sorry, not you. I didn't see, I didn't realise, then I refused to listen to you, Kyo-kun. I didn't even try to comfort you in your distress," he added, eyes expressing his sadness for the entire world to see, despite his overly theatrical phrasing.

But the only one who cared at that moment was right in front of him, hardly daring to believe his ears or what his eyes were telling him. He didn't even realise that his sobbing had stopped and his breathing was now ragged from Tamaki's closeness and not grief.

"T – Tamaki?" he stammered once again.

Tenderly, the prince pulled his Shadow King out from under the stool and into his lap. He was amazed at how light the gangly boy was, and how malleable he was to his touch. He didn't offer any resistance, and merely laid his head on Tamaki's chest, emotionally drained.

"Kyouya? Look at me. Please?"

Kyouya had never been able to refuse his prince, not when he said 'please' like that. Ought to be illegal, he thought fuzzily as he tipped his head back. Nothing mattered anymore except the fact that Tamaki was holding him tight and safe, exactly like he had wanted him to for so long. Even if the prince didn't return his feelings, he would always treasure this moment, as long as he lived.

Or, of course, he could treasure this moment.

Tamaki's long slender fingers were trailing softly over his face, outlining its every detail. When the dark-haired boy's glasses obstructed his route, he removed them, brushing aside the midnight strands of hair that fell over his eyes.

"You have the most expressive eyes, you know," he murmured to the boy who sat in his lap, entranced, "And the palest skin, and the softest, most beautiful lips …"

With that, he leant down the few remaining centimetres to Kyouya's face and joined their lips in a sweet, tender kiss. He had imagined kissing Kyouya many times, not knowing the boy returned his affections, but never had he thought it would be like this. He had imagined firm, demanding kisses, full of passion and desire; this was gentle, each taking the time to mould his lips to the other's, although the prince was unable to completely erase the slight possessiveness on his part.

Kyouya whimpered softly as Tamaki ran a hand through his hair, his tongue now joining in the extended worship of his mouth. The prince's hand – his prince's hand – moved down his pale, sensitive neck, making him moan. When his mouth followed his hand, Kyouya, still suffering from emotional upheaval, didn't even try to block the small pleas and sounds of pleasure that escaped him.

"Oh, Kyouya," Tamaki whispered against his collarbone, "You're so beautiful like this – even more than before. So wonderfully … willing … surrendering … never imagined you … like this …"

He nipped and bit gently, licking away the pain, aware that Kyouya was exhausted, but unwilling to release his hold on his precious Shadow King. As the room darkened further, he tightened his arms and stood slowly, not pausing in his ministrations to his partner's neck and jawline – but he beamed when Kyouya wrapped his tired arms around his neck, and rewarded him with a light kiss.

He decided another flurry of sweet, loving kisses was in order when Kyouya whispered the three most beautiful words he had ever heard into his ear, head resting lightly on his shoulder.

This was, beyond all doubt, the most wonderful day of Tamaki Suoh's life, and it felt so right, so perfect, whispering those same three words right back at Kyouya.

***

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A/N: So that's it! Hey, I know it got almost hideously sappy and Kyouya was pretty out of character, but when I read back over it, meaning to change it, I just thought he was so sweet. Even if I do say so myself. Oh, I love Tamaki and Kyouya as a couple! I'm thinking of writing a sequel, to pair off the remaining members of the Host Club (because Mori, Honey and Haruhi deserve their own happy endings too) but it depends on time and how much people like this one. Hope you enjoyed – all comments and criticism welcome! Yes, even flames!