The twins were laughing so hard they could hardly breathe.
"s-stop it K-Kaoru" Hikaru finally managed to gasp but his twin paid no heed and defiantly placed his hands either side of his brother's face, the heels squishing his lips together and making him look like some sort of fish monster.
Kaoru put on a shrill, haughty voice and, moving Hikaru's lips in time, he recited
"I'm Tamaki Suoh, and I'm an alcoholic!"
Kaoru was now fighting with his brothers facial muscles as he twitched and spluttered trying hard (and unsuccessfully) not to laugh.
"My problems started when I was just a little g-girl growing up in F-France aa-and…a-and…"
Kaoru gave up and actually fell to his knees, dragging Hikaru with him as he joined him in his hysterics.
As Kaoru took a deep breath and wiped the tears from his eyes he caught a glimpse of his older brother, still in the middle of full blown laughter.
Time seemed to stop.
Hikaru had his mouth wide open in his exuberance, reveling his perfectly straight white teeth; his face seemed to overflow with joy. And as he too started to calm down, Kaoru couldn't help but notice his plump lips settle back to their natural position; never quite fully closed. At this moment Hikaru's eyes opened and he looked straight in to Kaoru's own. The deep yellow effect was stunning.
Kaoru would later wonder if it was the over flow of the sheer giddy joy of the skit before, this seemingly perfect moment in time or the sudden overwhelming sadness he felt, knowing that his brother would not be his, and only his forever.
Whatever the reason Kaoru suddenly hooked the hand still clutching his brothers' cheek round the back of his neck and kissed him.
Their lips, slightly parted, held for a moment until, with eyes wide, Kaoru stumbled back.
Had that just happened?
Hikaru's train of thought was much the same.
Had his brother just done what he thought he'd done?
A shimmering veil had set over Kaoru's eyes. As he stared in shock a bead fell away and rolled down his cheek.
Hikaru watched as Kaoru lifted a hand and touched it, looking at his fingers as if thoroughly confused what he saw there. As the salty tear registered a shallow sob escaped from somewhere deep inside him and he scrambled to his feet, turned from the room and ran.
"Kaoru" a voice echoed softly after him.
He didn't know where he was going.
He didn't care.
What had he done?
As he burst through the large, main doors of Ouran Academy he stopped briefly, panting. His head swipped desperately left and right looking for some thing…anything!
He started to run again, rain pelted his face hard washing away the tears which were now flowing freely down his cheeks.
His eyes stung with tears.
His head hurt with thoughts.
His heart ached with guilt.
Hikaru had found his way to one of Ouran's 37 impeccable bathrooms and was now standing at a luxurious wash basin staring at him self in the gold framed mirror hanging above it.
His fingers fluttered up to his lips and brushed them lightly; the memory of the soft pressure of Kaoru's gentle kiss still lingered there.
Hikaru spun the top of a tap suddenly and scooped up a handful of the cold water that came crashing out. He fiercely splashed his face.
How could Kaoru have been so stupid?
He turned and quickly hurried out of the bathroom, face still dripping, and without even turning off the tap.
Kaoru's chest heaved with sobs and he didn't know why.
What the fuck was going on?
He replayed what had happened in his head.
He remembered the perfect moment, Hikaru's eyes, the feel of his lips…then the expression on his face after.
The look of sheer shock and confusion was enough to break his heart.
He tucked his knees up under his chin on buried his head between them. Pushing his head down so his kneecaps pushed hard in to his eye sockets. The physical pressure there seemed to relieve some of the pressure he was feeling inside himself.
It could have been a minute or an hour before Kaoru's tears finally dried, (not that it was easy to tell in the downpour) and he lifted his head widening his eyes exaggeratedly to combat the blurry dark rings that had set around the edges as a result.
After a few seconds the rings disappeared but a large blurry shape still dominated his vision. He closed his eyes briefly and gently shook his head from side to side to dislodge the image. But when they re-opened it still remained. He re focused his eyes and realized he was staring at a pair of muddy shoes. He suddenly looked up to see what appeared to be his own face staring down at him.
"h-how did you-" he started
Hikaru smiled, "it's a twin thing" he stated simply.
It hadn't taken much to work out where his brother would be. Just a moment to close his eyes and focus, imagine what he would have done…
seconds later he was standing in front of a large tree in the school grounds.
(The very same tree which Haruhi had coward under in Renge's film of the host club.)
Hikaru stood patiently waiting, his feet slowly sinking in to the muddy puddle that was forming around them (that was a nice 100000 yen down the drain), Kaoru did not look up at him for some time.
As the rain started to lessen his twins head finally raised and their piercing yellow eyes seemed to meet with a crackle of electricity.
Kaoru's mouth opened and shut a few times before he finally managed to utter "h-how did you-"
Hikaru smiled, "it's a twin thing."
Kaoru didn't understand.
Why was Hikaru smiling at him?
He watched as the other boy knelt down in the mud in front of him. There was a slight squelching/sucking sound as his knees sank in to the ground and dirty brown water paddled around them.
Kaoru looked away. He couldn't stand to be near his brother right now; not while he was smiling like that.
It was excruciating when added to all the shame he felt inside.
The voice seemed to float through the air before it reached him.
Kaoru ignored it. Instead he concentrated fiercely on examining his own sopping trousers.
He scrunched his eyes shut and silently begged for this calm understanding voice to go away.
And it did…
Hikaru didn't bother calling his brothers name a third time he simply caught Kaoru's chin on his finger tips and lifted his head so that once again they were staring in to each others eyes. The motion was so sudden, so unexpected that there was no resistance from Kaoru and he moved easily.
"You are an idiot" Hikaru stated simply.
He smiled and shook his head a little, a shallow laugh escaping him.
"You are a fucking idiot, did you know that?"
And for the second time that grey day at Ouran; the twins' lips met.
The word was spinning and Kaoru was melting at the point of contact.
This was wrong wasn't it?
What was Hikaru doing?
How could he have looked at him the way he had and now…
Hikaru broke away from his brother so suddenly that the other boy's expression didn't have time to change.
His eyes were half closed, lips slightly parted and his were cheeks flushed an intoxicating shade of pink.
Hikaru smiled and allowed himself to a moment to take in Kaoru fully.
He hated to think that anyone other than himself would ever see his brother as pure and defenseless as this.
And Hikaru's smile did not waver as he gave his twin a moment to compose himself then with a sudden sharp "crack" he slapped him across the face.
"You. Are. An. Idiot!" He repeated through gritted teeth. His head bowed as a bead of emotion fell from his face on to the already glistening green below.
It looked like it was his turn to cry.
"H-Hikaru?" Kaoru's voice wavered. He raised a slightly trembling hand to cup the side of his face where a red flush was creeping its way out from the smarting point of contact, but he changed its direction halfway and he found his way to Hikaru's instead.
His hand slid on to his twins cheek and rested for a moment before continuing up in to his hair and then pulling him forwards so that the two boys' foreheads pressed together.
"I'm so sorry Hikaru." He breathed. "This is all my fault and I'm so, so sorry."
"I-I'm s-supposed to be the s-selfish one" Hikaru managed between shaky breaths. "I'm the one who's supposed to do stupid things in the spur of the moment!"
"Don't say that Hikaru-"
"Shut up Kaoru and listen to me"
Hikaru lifted his head off his brothers and grasped him firmly by his shoulders. His tears were flowing freely now. Pouring unashamedly down his cheeks.
"you're the one that's supposed to know when not to do something stupid! Why did you run?"
It took Kaoru's brain a moment to catch up with his ears and decipher what his brother had just said.
"Why did I…Hikaru, I don't understand. You just said…Just now you…"
there was an almost audible 'clink' as the penny dropped.
"You…you're not mad because I k-kissed you. You're mad because I ran away."
Hikaru didn't say anything but he dropped his hands from Kaoru's shoulders and bowed his head ever so slightly.
Kaoru could have been his mirror image.
The two boys sat there in silence for a while, just thinking, while they slowly sank a little further in to the mud, inch by inch.
Finally Hikaru spoke. His tone was soft and even, the tears had finally stopped.
"Kaoru, the two of us have been together since we were born. I love you more than anything. I wish we could stay together, just like this, always. But…"
Kaoru extended his hand over the sopping grass and placed it gently over Hikaru's.
Hikaru glanced down at this gesture, then up at his twins smiling face. "I understand Hikaru."
Hikaru smiled back and took a deep breath.
"It's natural for two people, any two people, to love each other so much they want to be together like this-" he quickly darted forward and stole another taste of Kaoru's sweet lips to illustrate his meaning. "-And I understand this Kaoru…But one day we're going to discover a different kind of love-"
"A love for someone other than each other and when that day comes we need to be ready to move apart." Kaoru interrupted with a sad smile.
"That's not what I was going to-" Hikaru interjected.
Kaoru, once again, placed his hand firmly either side of Hikaru's face "but it's what's true."
Hikaru stared in to his brothers eyes for the third time that day and he saw hurt but determination there. He knew that his brother was doing this for him. It would have been all too easy for Kaoru to let him finish his sentence earlier and hug him. And kiss him. And be happy.
That was what he wanted but instead, once again, he had shown that Hikaru's long term happiness was more important to him than his own.
He was saying no now to force Hikaru to react. Force him to move on. Force him to find someone else…
But not just yet…
"This is my fault." Kaoru sighed dropping his hands for the last time, "I started this whole stupid thing, sorr-"
Hikaru caught his brothers hands on the way down and quick as a flash, placed them both round his neck. There was a mischievous gint in his eye as he manoverd his face so that it was barely an inch from Kaoru's own.
"And I'll be the one to finish it"
Kaoru tried to slide back but the combination of suckering mud rooting him to the spot and having the trunk of a tree directly behind him made this exploit a little less than successful.
"Hikaru, you're not listening, I know I kissed you first but it was wrong, you can't-"
There was a slight 'pop' sound as Hikaru managed to free himself from his own muddy vices.
Kaoru's head only just missed the tree as Hikaru launched himself at his brother and sent them both rolling a few feet down the slight dip in the land surrounding the small oak.
When the world stood still again Hikaru was looking down at his twin, he propped himself up on all fours, hands either side of Kaoru's head , knees and feet pinning the other boy from the waste down. Somehow Kaoru's arms had remained around his neck during their brief tumble and Hikaru couldn't help but notice that as the other boy gave a groan and let his eyes flutter open he didn't attempt to remove them.
And as Hikaru's lips sank on to his own he didn't resist.
Only when Hikaru lifted his head for a second, to stare in to his eyes did kaoru finaly manage to mumble the words "you need to stop Hikaru."
"I know." Was the reply. Of course Kaoru was right. Kaoru was always right. They couldn't let this thing blossom or they would never be able to let anyone else in, because they wouldn't need too.
Hikaru smiled his mischievous smile again and lowered his face once more so that Kaoru could feel every syllable that passed Hikaru's lips against his own.
"I'll quit tomorrow."