A Beautiful Thing

A/N: Last chapter! I hope you like it! 8D And if you don't know who Jedward are… Shame on you. Youtube them now. XD They rock~~~

Enjoy~!


When me and Hikaru swapped presents, I found that he'd got me a writing set. Like I thought. Course, I don't want Hikaru to know that I knew what it was ages ago, so, apart from shooting Haruhi a smug look, I do my best to act completely and utterly surprised.

...

Okay, maybe I kind of overdo it.

My first present from Hikaru: A new writing set.

My response: "Oh my God, a writing set! I had no idea, Hikaru, how did you get it? Just what I wanted! Oh god, this is such a surprise, I may just faint from the shock of it!"

Hikaru's response: "Screw you."

My second present from Hikaru: An orange I-pod.

My response: "Cool, thanks Hika—why the hell have you put loads of 80's songs on it? Bro, your taste in music is freaky... and... who's Jedward?"

Hikaru's response: "The sound of the future."

Hikaru's present from me: A new digital camera with all the extras.

Hikaru's response: "…Why do you always know what I'm getting you, but I can't guess what you're getting me…?"

My response: "I must be the clever twin. I have the brains for both of us."

Hikaru scowls grumpily at this and I snigger at him as he mutters something crudely under his breath.

The three of us are currently lolling lazily in our room in the soft morning light, muffling yawns and rubbing our eyes sleepily despite our active chatter; we had forced ourselves to wake up early before Mom came bubbling in to wish us a 'Happy Birthday' as she left for work (we wouldn't see dad until later) but frankly we couldn't be bothered to physically get up, so we were just sitting by the crease between my and Hikaru's beds (they were pushed together, as always).

Haruhi was on Hikaru's bed, half swathed in his sheet as she smiled a little dopily at our present swap, looking utterly exhausted. Though we had faithfully made her up a bed in the guest room down the hall like we promised, Haruhi hadn't managed to get that far. When we had finally announced 'bed time' last night, she had collapsed, half-asleep, on his bed and we had thought it best just to leave her there; though I can't really blame her for being so tired.

We had kept her up until past three in the morning after a school day, and then engaged her in an hour-long jump-on-the-bed-athon (she was slightly unwilling, but we still forced her to jump anyway. It was easy; I grabbed her arms, and Hikaru grabbed her legs. Need I say more?) which strangely provoked her to nearly murdering us with our own alarm clock (us laughing our heads off at the time probably didn't help).

I could have teased her about the fact she fell asleep in Hikaru's bed instead of attempting the long trek down the hall, but I was honestly too honoured that she felt so relaxed in our presence to break her strangely tranquil air.

That and I was saving all my teasing abilities for my oh-so-stupid twin.

The look on his face when he had woken up to find Haruhi so close to him was priceless; I could practically see the horrified assumptions spinning round his head as he jumped backwards, almost fell off the bed, and swore at the top of his voice. It still took him a few moments of staring blankly at me killing myself laughing before he, red faced, remembered the events of last night and finally sat back down meekly and mumbled an apology to an irritated Haruhi, whom he had rudely awoken.

As Haruhi had claimed Hikaru's bed, we had both piled into mine and had spent the rest of the night (morning?) half-lying on each other and wrestling for the cover (which took serious skill to do, as my cover is almost twice as big as my bed). I had woken up to find Hikaru's elbow in my face so had abruptly woken him up by shoving him off me. Which had, in turn, caused him to wake up Haruhi.

Hey! We were like dominos!

Momentarily amused by this thought (lack of sleep undoubtedly melting my brain), I presently glance over to Hikaru, to find him absentmindedly balancing all the parts of his present in a tower, the expensive camera wobbling dangerously at the top, guarded by only its case. I take the tower as a sign that he likes it and smile smugly over to Haruhi again. She smiles back slowly, looking completely exasperated.

"Ah! Haruhi!" I speak up suddenly, peering at her impishly. "Can we have our presents now? I want my Haruhi present~!"

"Haruhi present~! Haruhi present~!" Hikaru adds helpfully, smirking as he eyes the bag she had placed firmly behind her with a warning of 'Jump on it and you'll regret it'.

Rolling her eyes dramatically at Hikaru's eager look, she finally reaches behind her and places the bumpy bag on her lap, looking almost apprehensive. "You shouldn't be so exited." She warns with a frown. "It's nothing much--"

"Haruhi-made commoner presents~~!"

"Haruhi-made commoner presents~~!"

Haruhi twitches.

"…Why are all morons attracted to me…?" She sighs, and, though I obviously know what she innocently means to imply, I can't help but think of both Hikaru and Tamaki and have to agree. Haruhi's a moron magnet…

"Uh… this is for Kaoru." She mutters, pausing to consider it before finally taking it out, a small, expecting smile on her face.

She's holding a black rectangular box, held closed with a simple hoop latch. Though it gives the air of once being sleek and pristine, it now looks slightly grubby and used; this however, takes nothing away from it's appeal. Instead of looking old, it just looks loved, and you can tell someone's had a fair shot at cleaning it up, which makes me feel quite honoured.

I beam in delighted recognition the moment I see it and I can't help laughing happily. Hikaru however, looks completely stumped.

"You… got Kaoru a box?"

I roll my eyes. "There's something inside the box, Sherlock."

"…Ah…"

Looking quite relived that at least I got what it is, Haruhi smiles and goes to hand it over, but before she has the chance I quickly shuffle over to her and happily pull her into a hug. Her eyes twitch in exasperation as I nuzzle her neck, sniggering.

"Aw, thank you, Haruhi~!" I sing, grinning in elated disbelief. "But you know, I was only kidding about that bet."

She shrugs and shifts the box to her other hand so it doesn't get squashed, completely nonchalant to the fact she's being hug-attacked. I guess she's kind of used to it. "Obviously. I just couldn't think of anything else, and it seemed like a safe option." She reasoned, casually. "Just as long as you like it."

I open my mouth to assure her that it was 'the best present ever~!' but my twin suddenly interrupts me, sounding obnoxiously annoyed.

"What is it?!" Hikaru snaps impatiently and I glance back at him to find him glaring at the box like he wants to jump on it and find out what it is by force. I snort at him which just makes his bottom lip jut out even further in an irritated sulk.

Obviously, he doesn't like being the only one not getting the joke.

Well, either that or he's just in a sulk because I'm getting a Haruhi-hug and he isn't. I inwardly shake my head in amusement at the thought. Hikaru isn't that childish…

…Honest he isn't. He just…

…I mean…

He…

Uh…

Ah, forget it.

Rolling my eyes, I draw away from her and primly take the box out of Haruhi's hands, holding it up to display to Hikaru like a trophy.

"It," I announced, pausing dramatically for effect (Haruhi sighed), "is a bento box!"

"Ooooh~" He coos in recognition, the irritation leaking from his face as quickly as it appeared, and a grin flawlessly taking its place.

As I hold it up heroically and Hikaru happily begins to clap, Haruhi snorts and mumbles something darkly under her breath; I'd like to think it was something nice like 'Hikaru and Kaoru are amazing' or 'That bento box is full of my lovey-dovey love-love', but somehow I have a sneaking feeling it's not. Still, one can dream.

Smirking (partly at Hikaru, partly at my present, and partly at the weird mental image of Haruhi actually saying the words 'lovey-dovey love-love'), I fall back down next to my brother and neatly slip a finger into the hoop so I can pull it open.

"Let me see, let me see~!"

"No. Shove off."

"Ne, you suck, Kaoru."

"Mm, love you too."

I slap away Hikaru's hand as he tries to molest it, and happily begin looking at all the homey food she's placed in there, making a comforting palette of red and browns, green and whites; it looks so neat and cute that I almost don't want to touch it, never mind eat it. There's a few pristine onigiri on one side, plain clean rice and a secret filling, each one individually wrapped in dark seaweed. The rest is an 'organised' muddle of small meats and vegetables, all simplistic yet colourfully seasoned. I spot a small, square piece of light sugar paper tucked in the corner and carefully take it out to read 'Happy birthday' in Haruhi's neat writing.

I smile happily and cast an eye over Haruhi's perfect cooking and clumsy presentation, smirking slightly as I make a mental note to take a picture of it to mock people with later. I can't wait to see Tono's face when he hears about this…

"And this is for you, Hikaru."

Eagerly, I quickly glance up from my (adorable) bento box to find Haruhi slowly taking another smaller box out of her bag, Hikaru suddenly grinning lopsidedly like a goofy puppy. She frowns at it uncertainly for a second before finally handing it over with a polite smile. As Hikaru quickly grabs it and enthusiastically stuffs a fingernail under the rim to prise it open (still beaming from ear to ear), I promptly attack his shoulder, leaning over him to get a better a look at his present.

For some reason, I hear Haruhi sigh.

He finally gets the lid off and we both happily look inside.

It's a cake.

A smallish cake, just enough for three people, made out of fluffy, treacle-coloured sponge and sandwiched together with moist, rich (heh heh) butter cream. The top has a smooth layer of cream as well and on it, in contrast to her brilliant baking, her less-than-artistic hand had clumsily written on 'Happy Birthday' in thin, white icing.

I can't help but laugh.

It's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Apart from my awesome bento box of awesomeness that is.

As Haruhi frowns at me and snaps that she never proclaimed to be good at cake-decorating, I look fondly at my twin's face, already knowing what I'll see.

His face is bright with pure, smug delight and there's a light blush on his cheeks as he beams adoringly up at Haruhi.

He looks like someone in love.

I used to think he was a little bit dim when it came to his own emotions.

Then, a few days ago, he said something that actually managed to change my mind. He admitted that he might, just might, maybe could have a tiny bit of a little sort of crush on Haruhi. Maybe.

His exact words.

So now, I just think he's an idiot.

He's my idiot, but still a complete and utter idiot nonetheless.

Whether Hikaru wants to face up to it/stop being Mr. Blind or not, I can tell he's silently fallen completely head over heels for her. I wasn't sure how to react to it at first, when his subconscious feelings just seemed like a huge blow to our entire way of looking at life; like he was suddenly chasing the very thing that had terrified us all our lives.

But then, as Haruhi began to dance closer into our world, and into our hearts, I realised something.

Love was good.

Hikaru's freefall into love for someone who wasn't already unconditionally his was probably the best thing that had ever happened to him. He's learning to love, and to care, and together we're becoming more independent until we're almost catching up with everyone else.

We're still clasping each other's hands tightly, scared we'll fall, scared we'll get hurt, but we're finally opening up our individual selves to people and working out how to get by on our own; Haruhi's ways of steadfast and bold independence must have been subconsciously rubbing off on us, just as our ways have been rubbing off on her.

No, I don't mean Haruhi's suddenly been torturing Milord and cackling like a maniac when people get things wrong. But she has been more light-hearted lately, which is a good start.

She'll be torturing people in no time.

I'm suddenly torn from my thoughtful musing by Hikaru leaning over to her, and for one wild second I think he's actually going to kiss her; but, as expected, he doesn't. He just places his forehead sweetly against hers and grins happily at her, his face flushed a deep pink. Haruhi only responds by frowning in confusion.

"Thank you, Haruhi. I… love it. Really." He smiles sincerely before adding teasingly; "Even though the writing's all smudged and I can hardly read it."

Then he beams affectionately at her, still blushing from being so close, and I can't help but roll my eyes.

And he thinks his feelings for Haruhi only stretch to a tiny bit of a little sort of crush. Moron.

"Thought you might." She mumbles with a hasty eye-roll, ducking away from his touch and frowning down at the floor, her voice unusually quiet. Watching this in bemusement, I quickly come to a conclusion;

Either Haruhi's just heartlessly brushed off my brother's loving flirt, or she's developed a new type of Haruhi-style fluster (because Haruhi can't get flustered normally. She has to be difficult).

Just in case, I raise my eyebrows and smirk suggestively at her as our eyes catch each other, flickering my look questioningly over to Hikaru, who's just sitting there smiling dopily to himself, blissfully oblivious. Her frown deepens in annoyance and she hurriedly busies herself with the cake, worryingly butter-fingered as she snatches it out of Hikaru's hands and mutters something about cutting it up for all of us to eat.

Heh, heh...

She's so cute.

Have I mentioned that before?

As Haruhi quickly shifts over to the cake, I glance over to Hikaru, to find my dear twin glancing over at me at the exact same moment. We grin at each other.

Hikaru and I are so similar that we are unmistakably a pair; an iron clad set that works perfectly as one.

Hikaru and I are so different that our differences lock together flawlessly to create one whole person.

We are exactly the same. But we are entirely different.

This is absolute.

And we've finally found someone who completely understands.

We've found someone who understands the little ins-and-outs of our strange, devoted relationship. We've found someone who sees perfectly the subtle differences between us and seems to cherish them as the things that make us who we are. We've found someone who understands that we're a solid pair and nothing will ever change that.

She understands.

And we love her for it.

But of course, I'm now smart enough to see that she won't be alone.

The rest of host club accept us wholly and unconditionally, and I know that one day we'll find someone else who can appreciate us as the individual people yet joined pair we are. I'm quietly and contently confident in the fact we're going to enter the world and those special people will somehow wander into our path.

But Haruhi was the first. The first to understand us and break into our little hidden world. The first to stay there snugly with us but still drag us out, kicking and screaming, into harsh reality when we tried to run away from it.

Haruhi will always be precious to us. So, so precious.

We'll never let her go.

Though I know our love for her is slightly different.

I shift over to Hikaru and teasingly pat his still-blushing cheek, smirking fondly.

But as amazing as Haruhi is, she'll never be able to truly come between us and break our special bond. We love each other too much for that, and we need each other too much. If I think that anything can ever come between us, I obviously don't trust our love very much.

We still depend completely on each other, and we always will, in a way. But now it's slightly different.

Now we can find other people to love too.

It's a beautiful thing.

I smile at him and go to speak but I find a hand instantly clamped firmly on my mouth, Hikaru's eyes twinkling mischievously as I blink at him, bewildered. Sniggering, he ruffles my hair annoyingly with his free hand (a new habit of his. I don't like it... which is probably why he does it. Sigh) and gives me a smug grin, looking somewhat chuffed with himself.

"You always say it first." He pouts, sticking his lip out in a mock-sulk as he slowly lets his hand drop. "I'm saying it first this year."

Finally getting what he's going on about, I snort but stay faithfully silent, cocking an expectant eyebrow. I think Haruhi's looking over, a slow smile on her lips, but I try to keep my eyes locked on Hikaru as he gives me a suspicious look, as though he expects me to quickly blurt it out first before he gets the chance; though, of course, I would never do that to him.

I'd have to deal with him sulking for ages later.

Finally, my big brother, my twin, my Hikaru, beams happily at me and I can't help but grin back.

"Happy Birthday Kaoru!"


Finished! :D I do hope you enjoyed it! =^.^= I enjoyed linking the last chapter to the first. Because I'm a nerd. 8]

As much as I like the Kaoru/Haruhi pairing, I love Kaoru in the Hikaru/Haruhi pairing. =3 Teasing his brother and always cooing about how cute they are. XD 'Cute' should totally be Kaoru's catchphrase. Since he's pretty darn cute himself. ;] Have you noticed… that throughout the manga… Kaoru has… become… even cuter~~~~? 8D I love his 'Le gasp!' face. =3 Ah, and Hikaru's just adorable too :D As is our Haruhi, the subconscious flirt…

To conclude, they're all gosh-darn adorable.

Ah… what was I talking about again…? Distracted… by… cute… D:

Uh…

This is my thought process. Fear it. 8D

Anyway. Thank you very, very, very much for reading (and I mean that seriously - it makes me so happy when people take notice of my stories) and I hope you will continue to support me in my never-ending endeavour to write readable fiction. o(^o^)//

Buh-bye~~!