Hello, my fellow readers! Here's another fic that I thought up. Hope you like it, and that it meets your expectations! XD

P.S. Special thanks to Voidance; your support keeps me going, truly. So I wanted to say thanks very much! :D (And sorry this took so long!! )

Note: References to the manga, especially chapter 45

Another note: THIS FIRST ONE-SHOT IS EXTREMELY CONFUSING (TO MOST). Some may believe that it is organized very messily, but if you just look a little closer…well, you'll see something hidden behind the obvious words. ;)

Midnight, A Cup of Tea

It'd surprised me, when Hikaru had one day decided to confide in me. As his father, I feel ashamed sometimes that I can't even stay by my children, with all the business trips that happen in my life. It's the same for Yuzuha too. This is probably why I felt so honoured, so appreciated when Hikaru told me, of all people.

Now, this is a considerably difficult subject to take in all at once. So how about I use a little example to make everything clearer?

Hikaru's talent has never been in the arts, whether they be languages, painting, or music. Kaoru is the one for that, and there is no doubt that he does it well. The metaphors that he comes up with stun even me sometimes, the way they're so pure and sincere and oftentimes simple. Yet they can be so terrifying at the same time, because they really do reflect the truth. Just like that pumpkin one he'd finally told Hikaru when they'd gotten to their second year of high school. (If you're wondering how I know that, I happened to overhear. Yes. That's right. There's no way I would ever eavesdrop on their conversations. That's just shameless, haha...)

But anyways, the point is that Hikaru's not good at this stuff. He's better at subjects like science and math, where everything is black and white, and there are always either the right answers, or the wrong answers. There's no...in-between. Even so, this isn't to say that he can't come up with metaphors that are just as good as Kaoru's, once in a blue moon, and it isn't to say that he's an extremely logical person either. I think he just likes it better when things are kept simple, that's all. Of course, this can work the other way around too, with Kaoru. He's better at the arts than at sciences, but that isn't to say that he can only see in shades of grey; in fact, sometimes, I think he might be more logical, more rational than Hikaru is.

See how confusing this is? Just when you think you've figured them all out, they show you something new that throws you off. That was only a mere example of my twins' queerness. It's just like what that Suou heir told them before, I would say; they are contradictory, and it's their personality.

Hikaru had said that he would often find himself wondering: if he didn't exist, or if Kaoru didn't exist, would the other continue to be so contradictory?

I remember the exact words he'd used that night when he'd found me in my study, a cup of tea in my hand. It was a full moon, and the two of us hadn't been able to sleep. He'd said all this nonchalantly as he'd stared off into the distance, as if it were a script that he'd memorized already. "The only reason that we are contradicting anything is because there are two of us, and not just one. 'We want to be told apart. We don't want to be told apart.'" Then he'd turned to me with rare, calm eyes.

"But if it's really true that we wouldn't be contradictory anymore if the other twin didn't exist, then being contradictory wouldn't be personality. Because personality is someone's own character. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they have a twin."

The way his sentences were short and to-the-point, and the way his eyes were clear, yet hard, especially through the refraction of the white moonlight...I knew it was Hikaru. Nevertheless, I still found myself doubting, just a little bit.

"The thing is, without personality, people wouldn't exist. They would only be dolls, right?" A smirk.

"These are some of the things that I think about sometimes, when I get bored." He leaned against the windowsill, and I found myself wondering when my son had grown up. "And I've come down to this conclusion: Our personality is to be naturally contradicting. But there needs to be two of us in order to be contradicting...so without his twin, the one left behind would not have personality. And without personality, people would not exist." He'd turned towards the window again, ignoring the now-slightly-alarmed stare that I was aiming at him.

"In other words, one of us simply cannot exist without the other," he'd stated. I'd opened my mouth, ready to protest to this somewhat ridiculous and messily-linked proof. The way he was talking was slightly frightening, especially for a mere teenage boy. But I could see how this was all making sense. It's just that I didn't quite like it.

But he'd interrupted me before I could say a word. "I guess some would argue that the twin left behind could develop a personality of his own. But that won't really work, because if something else develops, then that person would no longer be completely Hikaru or Kaoru. He would be different.

"But what is true is that being contradicting is not the only part of our personalities. Because we definitely have our differences. Kaoru is the 'nicer' twin, and I'm the 'meaner' twin. But being contradictory, as well as being twins, is a small part of both of our personalities, and it connects us in a way that no one else could see. We are like...a venn diagram. I would be the left side, as the mean twin, while Kaoru the right, the nice twin. "Contradictory twins" would be written in the middle. If that middle part were to be erased, both Hikaru and Kaoru would be missing chunks of themselves." A deep breath, and then he continued.

"And so, we have amended the equation a little to better word the final conclusion," and the triumphant smile on my son, my Hikaru, was so bright and genuine that I felt I couldn't deny him of a thing he wanted if he only asked--

"The Hitachiin twins are completely different people, both on emotional and mental levels, but it's still true that one can't exist without the other."

And I'd felt a chill rush up my spine at what that sentence could possibly imply.

Yet, at the same time, there was a warmth that generated from my heart, spreading softly--something that felt like the summer sun, like chirping birds and vocal waterfalls and viridian plains--through my stomach and eventually all the way to my toes. I felt like I'd finally opened my eyes for once and I was beginning to see who my son...no, my sons are. I felt like I could begin to understand, if only by a little, the way they think, and their little quirks that make them Hikaru and Kaoru. I realized that, in the past, I'd only thought I understood them. After all, I'd never known that Hikaru would be capable of coming up with something so complex. To think that I, their father, could be so extensively and thoroughly misled.

Yes, I was slowly being let in to my twins' minds. However, at the same time, I was finding out just how little I'd known. It was intimidating, to say the least, to have all this information thrown at me all at once.

I'd always been able to tell my twins apart, at the very least, though no one had ever bothered to ask me if I could. (How else could I have known that it was Kaoru standing there at that time, eavesdropping on the conversation between Haruhi and me?) I also knew that I understood them better than Yuzuha did. But now, it was like...I don't know, like I'd graduated from being "the person who understands them the most on this world, though it's still not very much", to "their father". It's a big difference.

So I came to grasp an...awareness, myself, late that night when I crawled back into bed to my wife, when Hikaru had gone back to their room.

They are not yin and yang; that would mean that they are completely opposite of each other, when they can be pretty similar in some ways.

They are not upgraded versions of each other either; one might be better than the other on a specific subject, but they will always be balanced, equal.

They are not mirror images; a mirror only clones the original, flipping the second version around to make a reflection. Mirror images are, in effect, the same thing.

So. There's a lot for anyone to think about.