A/N: Just a short drabble about, what else, my complicated perceptions about Kaoru's psyche. I swear, when it comes to Kaoru and Kyoya I could go on all day. I'm obsessed. Anyways, this fic neither confirms nor denies the existence of twincest, so if you don't like that you can still get something out of this. Enjoy! And review, of course, us author types like that.
What's in a name? By which we call a rose by any other would smell as sweet…
Kaoru was fairly positive that nobody else in his English Literature class had thought about that quote as long as him.
"We'll do a Romeo and Juliet theme!" Tamaki exclaimed after class that day. He started babbling about costumes, mostly fixating on his Haruhi-as-Juliet mental image.
Kaoru smiled and tuned him out, nodding absently when Tamaki proclaimed the twins to be Mercutio and Benvolio. What was in a name? If Kaoru was called Benvolio - if Kaoru was called Hikaru - would he still be the one who blushes and thinks too much?
The answer was, of course, yes. It had always been yes, since before they learned that through careful mirroring they could be Hikaru-and-Kaoru, both and neither at the same time.
"Our poor mother, she just couldn't keep us straight!" Hikaru would sometimes proclaim with a tragic sigh, wrist flung with elegant precision across his forehead. "We may never know which one of us is truly which."
And then Kaoru would shyly comfort him, and the girls surrounding them would sigh and exclaim over their tragedy. Same material, same script, every single time. A sob story they could recite in their sleep. There was some possible truth to it, but at the same time it was wholeheartedly a lie.
Because maybe it was true - maybe Kaoru really was the one to come out a few minutes earlier, the one to be cleaned off first and assigned the "Hikaru" tag. Who really knew what went on that day, or in the first few days? But that wouldn't have changed anything. That wouldn't have changed the nature of Hikaru-and-Kaoru, the seamless blending of their best and worst traits.
Hikaru took their guessing game with an intense, falsely joking seriousness that was almost more tragic than any of their tales. Kaoru could feel his shoulders tighten imperceptibly, the angle of his arms around Kaoru's neck harden, as yet another victim guessed wrong - or worse, told them that it was impossible, that they were too identical. He was looking for some sliver of proof that they weren't the same person. Kaoru could sense that Hikaru wanted their relationship to be more fluid, more separate, less dependent, but didn't know how to be without the walls they'd built around them.
For Kaoru, it was different. A failed guess didn't mean much more than successful execution. He knew that they were identical. That was the point. And there was some level of protection in that - if nobody could see Kaoru on his own, nobody could see his weaknesses. They didn't have to know how hard he really clung to Hikaru's hand.
Anybody who could guess correctly was, to Hikaru, a miracle - a god, a free agent, a fascinating accident. Kaoru didn't fall as hard for these lucky few, perhaps because he had already fallen too hard for Hikaru himself.
"Methinks milord has lost himself in the throes of false love." Hikaru spoke just loudly enough to be overheard, draping an arm over Tamaki's shoulders.
Kaoru pressed himself into Tamaki's other side. "Perhaps a distraction would do him well." The lines weren't exact - they probably didn't exist in any form in the play itself - but none of their breathless spectators seemed to care.
Kaoru's eyes slid to meet Hikaru's. His brother's face wore its sly, teasing expression with genuine enthusiasm.
For now, everything was fine. For now, Kaoru could break their gaze and turn back to their game.