Ootori Kyoya does not consider himself a victim.

Ootori Kyoya believes he is fine.

And even if you confront him (as if he would ever let you find out) he would convince you that he doesn't need help.

He would say that it's his business, not yours. He would say that if he does not show any psychological signs of an abuse victim, then he is fine.

Really, it's not so bad, he'll tell you. All you have to do is learn the rules of this unofficial game-although it's probable that it's only because Kyoya has gotten used to this game that he doesn't consider it all that awful. Don't come home late, keep your grades up-failure to do these simple requirements is only a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach. Kyoya never had any problems sticking to these rules.

The second stage of the game is trickier, and the risk is greater. Don't shame the company; don't do anything that would jeopardize a opportunity. There is not a child of the Ootori household that has not gained a beating because of a violation of a second stage-even Kyoya, who considers himself a master at this game. These are the bad beatings, the ones which leave you limping off, the ones which leave you fetching bandages and bactine. However, even that is not the worst stage.

The third stage is the nastiest, and it's not really a stage of its own, just a subtype of the second stage. Once in a while, Father will be drinking when you violate the second stage, and, like a game of Russian roulette, the bullet will go through your head. All the Ootori heirs have violated this rule as well, but it's not anything they would like to relive. Even Kyoya, self-proclaimed champion of this game, has gain one of these beatings-only once, a better record than his brothers or sister, but even so, the memory makes the Shadow King wince.

Ootori Kyoya does not consider himself a victim. He does not crawl to his bed afterwards and crying his eyes out. The only tears he sheds are those of pure physical pain. He also is emotionally strong- the beatings are not a horrible curse for him, but an unfortunate part of his life that he has learned to deal with. He almost sees it as a test, to progress while dealing with physical and psychological stress. And there are prizes in this game-the one that comes out triumphant in this grueling test shall take over the company. The one that rises from the ashes wins.

The hardest part of all of this game is hiding it from other people-particularly a certain host club. His position as vice president is favorable; he can postpone a trip to the beach until the bruises on his chest have healed. And, thanks to his high pain tolerance, he can conceal any sore muscles.

Yes, if it wasn't for a certain blonde with no sense of privacy, it would be easy. Unfortunately, Tamaki's habit of barging in with no invitation can be difficult to work around. There have been a few near misses- like the time that he barged in while Kyoya was wrapping his chest, and it was only due to his sister's quick thinking and good acting skills that he was saved- but between Kyoya's ability to lie like hell and Tamaki's naiveté Kyoya's secret is kept.

That is, as long as he doesn't mess up.


I'm going to make that blond-haired idiot pay. Kyoya thought as he was chauffeured back home. Drag me out of bed with no coffee, no warning-I should have him arrested.

Kyoya leaned back and sighed, tired after a long day in the "commoner's mall". He had used Haruhi's cell phone and called his chauffer as soon as he could, anxious to get back home. The radio was being played softly in his car, and all that Kyoya was thinking about was how good a warm shower would feel, free of any interruptions-such as Tamaki's incessant calling.


Kyoya frowned as a few familiar words drifted from the radio. "Turn it up, Kusakabe." He commanded of his chauffer.

..Ootori family suffered a massive blow to their image today when a representative that was supposed to meet the Machiko family of Machiko Inc. did not show up, gravely insulting the Machiko corporation. The alleged business meeting…

Oh shit.

Kyoya's heart started to race, and sweat arose on his palms. Was…was that meeting today? He counted backwards in the days, tried to recall….

I'm so screwed.

He put his head in his hands and started to panic, mentally going over how he could have forgotten such a crucial meeting. Of course…Tamaki dragged him out of the house so early that he didn't have a chance to think, and then he was caught up with Haruhi…damndamndamndamn….

He was going to be punished for this, certainly-the question was, how much? Kyoya tried not to remember how important was this meeting, but details flooded back and drowned him… the Machiko family were prospective business allies, and a union with them would have greatly increased Ootori stock.

For the probably the second time in his life, Kyoya was genuinely scared. Pure fear ran through his veins, and Kyoya was caught between wanting to just turn up at his father's house and get it over with, or jumping out of the limo and running. The other times where he had made such a colossal mistake were times where he was outwitted, where the other chess masters were simply better than he was. However, this time he had simply left his black king wide open, not even bothering to block the white queen.

Then, soon, too soon he was at his father's house, and even though his legs felt like stone, they still betray him and carried him out of the limo and into the house, removing his shoes and taking him to his father's office. There was no way to save this situation, no way to cool his father's anger. Kyoya didn't even know what he would say.

He knocked on the door, deciding that he just wanted to get it over with, to bring the pain if the awful anticipation would stop, to just-

"Come in."

Kyoya quickly opened the door and walked inside, saying nothing, noticing how loud his breathing was. He looked at the ground, trying not to look at his father's eyes which he knew would be filled with anger.

His father does not bother with false pretences as he would his other children. He understands that Kyoya is smart enough to know what's coming, and so Ootori Yoshio only asks what is really important.

"Where were you?'

"With Suoh Tamaki." Kyoya is careful to use Tamaki's last name, if, by some impossible chance, that would alleviate his punishment. Yoshio rises, walking slowly towards Kyoya, who is praying that he won't smell alcohol on his father's breath-

He does. The bullet's for him in this game of Russian roulette.

"And who else?" Asks his father, his face mere centimeters from his own.

"The rest of the host club."

Kyoya is still and stiff, continuing to avoid looking into his father's eyes. The silence is pregnant, and beads of sweat trickle down from his forehead.

"You will quit the host club first thing tomorrow morning. I have been too lenient in allowing you to remain friends with these troublemakers, you need more discipline. Also, as helpful as it might have been, you will discontinue your friendship with Suoh Tamaki immediately."

"…yes father." He closes his eyes, unwilling to know what is coming next.

He hears the sound of his father's hand connecting with his check before the pain actually comes, but the pain is harsh and biting and it throws his glasses off his face. Kyoya stumbles back, clutching his face, his father following and Kyoya receives a punch in the gut hard enough to make Kyoya double over and clutch his stomach.

Big mistake. Kyoya's head is now in a perfect place for his father to punch it as hard as he can, and Yoshiro does so. Blood spurts out of Kyoya's mouth, and he flies back into the door, the doorknob making its own impression on Kyoya's back. His father quickly follows. "Worthless scum." His father spits. He grabs Kyoya's hair and pulls him up, forcing him to look at his father's eyes. They are pitch black and burning with fury, like a demon's eyes. "You're a disgrace to the Ootori name."

He lets go of Kyoya's hair and lets him fall to the ground, Kyoya lets out a small moan as he hits the ground. A sharp pain explodes in his ribs not once, not twice, but three times, and he lets out a mangled scream on the last kick. He curls up in a ball, tears of pain coming to his eyes.

His father grabs him by the collar and lifts him up with a superhuman strength for a man of his age, and suddenly Kyoya's feet are to longer on the ground, and Kyoya is simply hanging. He starts to choke as his father's fingers make their way around his throat, and Kyoya is dying and the world is going black-

And then he's thrown against a wall, a painful reminder that he's still alive, and that awful cruel figure that is his father is still above him. His father grabs him by the hair again, and simply drags him out of the office and into another room. Kyoya kicks his legs and tries to keep up so that the pain will lessen, but his father is going too fast for his already-beaten body. He pulls Kyoya into the bathroom, and before Kyoya can think about how horrible it is that his father has prepared for this by filling the tub with water his face is underwater. Strong hands hold him down.

The survival instinct kicks in, and even though he knows it will only make things worse, Kyoya kicks his legs and waves his arms around, desperately trying to get away. The water is everywhere, and the rational part of his mind that tells him that his father won't actually kill him ( if only for the fact that he might get caught) is gone, and he's scared that he is going to die.

And then the water is gone, and Kyoya is gasping for sweet air, and he has collapses onto the tub, caring about nothing more than the fact that the water is gone, and the pain is gone, he can finally relax and it is over and-


At this Kyoya cannot help but scream as a strip of leather lashes his back, tearing his flesh to pieces. He arches his back and cries out, then falls back down again.



That horrible rhythm of snap-scream is back again, and Kyoya can only wait for to stop, falling down onto the tub. He notices, with mind numbing stupidity, that his jacket his gone, and that his father must have removed it while Kyoya was drinking in air.



Snap-scream, snap-scream ,snap-scream , snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream snap-scream ,snap-scream , snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream ,snap-scream , snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap-scream, snap scream….

After an eternity, his father leaves, leaving Kyoya sprawled over the edge of the tub, his blood everywhere, even in the water, so Kyoya's reflection his slightly sinister with the red, gazing back at him. For a long time, Kyoya does not move, preferring to simply lie and marvel in at the absence of pain.

Then Kyoya stood up, balancing on the counter top for support. He tried not to look at the blood, or at his reflection in the mirror. He pulled his jacket on and made his way out of the bathroom, moving slowing as to not disrupt any injuries he had. The servants passed him in the hall, but they said nothing, as they had been instructed to. Slowly, painfully he made his way to his own private bathroom.

He entered his bedroom and went into his bathroom, locking both doors. Kyoya turned the water on as hot as it could go, then began to remove his clothes. If it was not for the fact that the water-heavy clothes would be difficult to take off, then Kyoya would have gone into the shower fully dressed.

Before he entered the shower, Kyoya could not help but take a look at himself in the mirror. Dried blood sat around his mouth, and his ribs were beginning to turn purple-they might have been even cracked. There was a black eye, but the worst part is his back-he turned around and looked at his back, and a gasp escaped him. There were angry red lashes of blood everywhere, like a child decided to draw with red crayon all over his back.

Kyoya turned away and stepped into the shower, but even his usually consolatory thought of, "It's alright, it's over now." was no help. Because the worst part was still to come.

Saying goodbye to the host club.

Saying goodbye to Tamaki.


"I wonder where Kyo-chan is." Stated Hunny, who was demolishing a red velvet cake. "He usually isn't late."

"He probably just had something to do." Reasoned Haruhi. "It's not like this club is the most important thing in the world."

"Haruhi! How can you say that in front of your father?" Demanded Tamaki, tears streaming from his eyes. "How has my loving daughter turned into such a cruel-"

Suddenly, the door opened, and all the hosts watched with relief as the Shadow King walked in. "Kyoya!" Tamaki cried out with relief as he sprang towards his best friend. "Our daughter is being rebel-"

"I'm quitting the host club, Tamaki." Kyoya said, cutting Tamaki off.

If words could freeze air, these words did.

A shocked gasp ran through the hosts, and Tamaki faltered, his arms slowing coming down from dramatic position they had been moments before. "B-but Kyoya…why?" He asked, an expression of pure confusion coming over his face.

"I can't waste my time anymore with such a silly little thing. I have more important things to do than cater to the whims of idiotic girls." Kyoya said cruelly, not moving at all.

"But Kyoya, you're my friend…." Tamaki said, taking a step towards Kyoya. "You helped found the host club-"

"You honestly believed that?" Kyoya asked, this mouth turning into a bitter smile. "I was never your friend. I was just trying to get close to you so I could gain status with my father. You were nothing but a tool to me." Tamaki gasped, his mouth hanging open in shock as Kyoya turned around and began to walk away.

"Did your father tell you do to this?" Haruhi's voice rang loud over the absolute silence. Kyoya stopped in his tracks, seeming to almost turn back around.


He then walked away.

Tamaki froze where he was, his body shaking slightly, an expression of pure shock on his face. He slowly turned around-

And Haruhi was standing in front of him. "AHHH!" He shouted out, and fell ungracefully on his butt.

"Go after him." Haruhi commanded, with all the certainty and pride of a queen.

"But you heard him, he said-"

"Are you really that stupid, Senpai? He's lying. Now go after him." Tamaki remained frozen for another second, then nodded.

"Thank you." He then stood up, and turned and ran out of the third music room, leaving behind a bunch of hosts who were hoping that Tamaki's skills of persuasion were up to snuff.

Tamaki ran after Kyoya, tried to figure out where he went. If I was a Kyoya, where would I hide-?

The gardens.

Giving himself a pat on the back, Tamaki raced towards the gardens as fast as he could, ignoring the teachers who yelled at him to slow down, and the girls who asked him where he was going. All that he cared about was that his best friend was in trouble, and he was going to find out why.


"KYOYA!" Kyoya winced as he heard his name yelled at the top of the speaker's voice, which he recognized as Tamaki. But there was no reason to panic. All he would have to do was be persistent in telling Tamaki that he didn't want anything to do with the host club.

"Kyoya!" He heard his name being shouted again, and he turned in the direction it was coming from. Tamaki quickly emerged from the rose maze, and he quickly ran towards the gazebo were Kyoya was sitting.

Kyoya sighed. "Will you leave me alone?" he said, putting just the right amount of venom in his voice so that it was believable.

"Why are you lying, Kyoya?" Tamaki asked, standing at the edge of the entrance to the gazebo, out of breath from his run.

"I'm not lying-"

"Of course you are!" Tamaki leapt forward, so that his face was centimeters away from Kyoya. "You helped me found the host club! You've been my friend for three years!" The blonde grabbed Kyoya's shoulders. "So why-"

Tamaki stopped. Kyoya, in spite of himself, had winced when Tamaki had grabbed his shoulders. "Kyoya, are you alright?"

"I'm fine, it's none of your business-"

"How did you get that black eye?" Kyoya mentally cursed at Tamaki's question. In his determination to fool the host club, he had forgotten to keep his hair in front of his face. "Tell me!" Tamaki shouted, giving Kyoya a small shake.

"I tripped down the stairs, it's nothing really-"

"Does it have anything to do with you leaving the host club?"

"No, I just tripped, now will you leave me alone-"

"Stop lying to me Kyoya!"

"I told you, I'm not-AHHH!"

Kyoya stumbled forward, the pain making his knees weak. Tamaki had unknowingly grabbed his back, where the worst of the injuries were. He swooned, relying on Tamaki for balance, agony causing his mind to dull.

"Kyoya!" Tamaki supported the raven-haired teen and sat him down on the gazebo bench. "What happened? How…" Tamaki trailed off as he noticed something strange on Kyoya's neck. Kyoya struggled to get away from Tamaki, but Tamaki caught Kyoya's wrist in a vice-like grip and kept him in place. Leaning forward and pulling away Kyoya's collar Tamaki looked at Kyoya's neck closely, and then gasped at the bruises that covered Kyoya's thoart.

His eyes drifting down, Tamaki then noticed an angry red mark just visible through Kyoya's collar. Tamaki pulled Kyoya's collar away even more and looked down his shirt at his back, then swore.


Kyoya shut his eyes in embarrassment, unwilling to look at the shocked expression on Tamaki's face. All his work covering it up and now…

"Come with me." He heard Tamaki's voice say, and he did, not knowing where he was going, nor caring, and feeling nothing but humiliation and Tamaki's hand holding his own. He kept his eyes pointed towards the ground, wishing that the world could swallow him up. He thought of lies he could tell Tamaki, lies that would ultimately fail because Tamaki would see through them all. Suddenly he heard a door slam. They were in the boy's bathroom.

"Take your shirt off." Tamaki commanded. "I've locked the door, so no one is going to barge in."

"Tamaki, you're being ridiculous-"

"Do it!"

"No." Tamaki then frowned and leapt forward, ripping Kyoya's jacket off of him in an instant. Kyoya tried to fight him, but Kyoya's limbs were slow and sore, and in a second Tamaki removed Kyoya's shirt as well.

"Oh my god…Kyoya…" Kyoya looked down, unwilling to look the blond in the eyes. He could sense Tamaki's eyes gazing over the bruises on his chest, and his purple and swollen ribs. He felt a warm hand on his shoulder, and then heard the footsteps of Tamaki going around to the back.

"No…" Tamaki could barely breathe as he saw the angry red marks all over his friend's back, as if he were a slave that had been tortured by his master. It was unbearable to imagine Kyoya, cold, smart, ruthless and above all, amazing Kyoya being whipped like this. He shut his eyes, clenched his fist.

"Who did this to you?" Kyoya heard Tamaki ask in a strained voice.

He could have lied. But for once, it would be interesting to tell the truth.

"My father."

"And did he tell you to give up the host club and to stop being friends with me?"



Kyoya turned around. "Tama-"

"Oh, Kyoya." The blonde wrapped the brunette into a hug, being careful to avoid the injured spots. At first Kyoya was shocked by the physical contact, but then awkwardly returned the hug. Tamaki gently rested his hand on the back of Kyoya's head, and ruffled his hair.

The boys broke apart, but Tamaki still held onto Kyoya's hand. "Why?" He asked in a pleading voice.

"This time? Because I was the reprehensive who was supposed to be meeting the Machiko family." Kyoya said in a tone that he tried to make aloof, but turned out simply tired.

"That was you?" Tamaki asked in a surprised voice.

"Yeah, I forgot about it since you pulled me out of the house so early. I couldn't think…" Kyoya suddenly realized the mistake he made. He looked up quickly-

Only to see Tamaki on the verge of a breakdown. "That was my fault."

Crap. "Don't be an idiot, of course it wasn't your-"

"If I hadn't dragged you out...none of this," He said, indicating towards Kyoya's ruined body, " would have happened."

"No, Tamaki-"

"If I hadn't been so stupid, so vain, so concerned about my own enjoyment, never thinking about if you had anything to do that day-"

"Will you listen idio-"

"And even before when you postponed our trips to the beaches, when you winched slightly, I never thought to look deeper-"


"This is all my fault, you should hate me, you should quit the host club, then maybe none of his would have happened-"

"TAMAKI!" Kyoya yelled, his patience going to pieces. "Will. You. Shut. UP!" Tamaki quickly stopped talking, opening and closing his mouth, and then falling to his knees. "Thank you." Kyoya knelt down beside him, ignoring how his body screamed in protest. "It's not your fault, idiot. You couldn't be able to notice that my father drinks, that he's been beating the Ootori children since my mother died, that I lie all the time. Don't blame yourself."

"…Why didn't you tell anyone?" Tamaki asked.

I didn't need to." Kyoya simply replied. "It's not often this bad. Besides I-"

"What did you say?" Tamaki suddenly asked, his voice becoming dangerously soft. "It's not often this bad?"

"Well it's not, I mean normally I only get hit in the face or stomach, I stay out of trouble."

"NORMALLY?" Tamaki roared, grabbing Kyoya by the shoulders and shaking him. "YOU ONLY GET HIT ONCE, THAT'S NORMALL!"

"That's not what I meant, listen, you shouldn't be getting upset, it's not a big deal, I can live with it-"


"Tamaki, STOP!" Kyoya shouted. Tamaki had been so upset that he didn't notice that his shaking had reopened some of the scabs on Kyoya's back. Blood now ran down the teen's back.

"Oh no, I'm so sorry!" Stammered Tamaki, who quickly took off his own jacket and draped it around Kyoya. "Oh-oh God I'm an idiot, I'm so, so sorry." Tamaki bowed his head and the tears began the flow again.

"Why are you crying?" Asked Kyoya, his voice taking on a soft tone rarely heard.

"I- because-it's so horrible Kyoya, I can't imagine how anyone, especially a family member, would want to hurt you…I can't imagine what it must be like…it makes sense now Kyoya, how hard you work, how dedicated you seem to be, how unemotional…Kyoya." The blond dissolved into tears, burying his face into his hands. Kyoya raised a hand and set it on Tamaki's shoulder. How did I end up comforting him? Kyoya thought dryly.

"…So what are you going to do?" Kyoya finally asked.

"Tell someone. I have to." Tamaki responded.

"Please. Don't." Kyoya said, and even though he didn't want to sound like he was begging it turned out to be.

"Kyoya, I have to-"

"You can help. Just don't call the police or make it public."

"…Alright." Tamaki leaned over and gave Kyoya another hug. "I'm here for you, Kyoya. Please remember that."

"…I will."


It has improved. Ever since Hunny and Mori threatened-er, talked with Yoshiro, he stays away from Kyoya. Kyoya no longer winces when he walks. He no longer feels pressured to always be perfect. He feels that he can break the rules of the game and come out alive.

However, there are times when he feels the familiar stinging sensation. Like at the festival, where despite Hunny and Mori being in the same room as Yoshiro, he lost all self-control and slapped Kyoya. The host club was seconds away from action when Tamaki's father stepped in and gave Yoshiro a subtle warning not to do it again. The night after, when all the festivities and the fireworks were done, Tamaki confronted Kyoya again, and the next morning, Hunny and Mori made another visit to his father's office. This visit was… louder.

Thank you, Tamaki.

AN: May God have mercy on my soul.

This was all written from the comfort of my bed, because I'm SICK. Maybe if I suffer, other people need to suffer with me? Anyway, I wanted to write something which focused on the Tamaki/Kyoya friendship (Not paring) so, here you go. I do honestly believe that Kyoya is being abused, who says "I was excepting it" when they get hit? An abuse victim, that's who. This wasn't intended as a pairing, but if you want to see it as that, be my guest.