You've got cake on your shoe
Summary: Cakes, love and humiliation. Kaoru just loved Christmas time, particularly if he got to play cupid.
Pairing: Hikaru/Haruhi, tiny hint of Tamaki/Ayame
A/N: Merry Christmas! 8D What? I'm a month late? Of course I'm not! I'm just spreading the Christmas cheer for as long as possible! … That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. ~Anyway, I hope you enjoy this Christmas one shot! In Japan they generally have Christmas Eve off then go back to school on Christmas Day so, just to let you know, this occurs on Christmas Day.
Dedication: This is a present to my talented, funny and plain awesometastical friend, Mariel! Happy Anniversary/Christmas/NewYear! 83 Hope you like it! Lots of HikaHaru fluff, as promised xD
Hikaru trotted down the empty hallway, passing frosty, glistening windows, the smirk on his face reminiscent to a smug and contented cat who had finally caught its mouse. Being passed rhythmically and restlessly between his hands was a plain white box.
He had decided to give a Christmas present to Haruhi - because he felt that it would be very awesome and romantic of him - and, after a brief and intense debate with his twin, had decided on a traditional homemade Christmas cake. Though it had taken several attempts, which not all the ovens survived, he had finally managed to bake a cake that he smugly deemed 'delicious'. Kaoru gave it the less satisfactory score of 'edible'. The easy part had been decorating it - him being artistically brilliant if he did say so himself - and it was now evenly covered in a thin layer of sugary white frosting, while the top was decorated simplistically with a neat circle of cream and strawberries. Though he doubted whether Haruhi's non-existent sweet tooth would be able to handle it, even Kaoru had to admit it looked awesome.
The oldest twin was currently heading to the library to hunt out Haruhi as she was sure to be there, doing some homework he wasn't sure really existed. The Host Club had been closed today and the customers had been told it was so the hosts could prepare for business as normal after the Christmas party and their day off school. Both twins - who weren't quite sure what they were supposed to be 'preparing' - suspected that Kyouya just wanted to deprive the customers after the hype of the party so that when the club finally reopened, they would come in money-filled droves.
Suddenly hearing the sound of enthusiastic footsteps from around the corner, Hikaru hesitated and narrowed his eyes suspiciously in the general direction of them, the cake box coming to a firm halt in his previously fidgeting hands. He began to wonder wildly how he was going to explain himself if it turned out to be one of Renge's girls - or, even worse, a guy from his class - when the person finally bounced into view and Hikaru saw, to his surprise, that it was Tamaki.
"Tono," he blurted, noting in amusement the enormous bunch of violet irises in his sempai's hand, tied with a festive bow, and the unusually grubby state of his shoes and hands, indicating a recent trip to the gardening club. Mysterious, Hikaru mused with a smirk towards the flowers, though that smirk quickly fell away as another thought occurred to him. He frowned. They'd better not be for Haruhi.
Tamaki looked as surprised to see the oldest twin as he was to see him and it took a moment of blinking owlishly before he beamed in recognition.
"Hikaru!" he greeted happily, with something of a royal wave. "Merry Christmas! I didn't expect to see you here after school today." He paused to look mildly at the cake box in Hikaru's hand, which the oldest twin suddenly realised with an inward curse he had forgotten to hide. Tamaki smiled an annoying smile before asking, "What are you doing?"
If it came to either telling Tamaki that he was giving Haruhi a Christmas cake because he fancied her and that's what you do or jumping off a bridge into a raging river full of hungry piranhas, Hikaru would pick the piranhas every time. There was no way he was risking a lengthy faux-father lecture, especially not on a Saturday (on a Thursday, maybe).
Hesitating and wondering wildly whether he should just make up a name (as Tamaki was smiling a very annoyingly knowing 'I-know-what-you're-doing-even-if-I'm-oblivious-to-who-it's-for' smile), Hikaru finally just blurted, "Nothing! I'm doing… nothing." His sempai looked like he was about to say something so Hikaru quickly snapped defensively, "What are you doing?"
Tamaki froze. He paused as he quickly calculated just how much of his precious sanity would be in jeopardy if he admitted to a Hitachiin twin who the flowers were for, before finally (and probably wisely) parroting hurriedly, "Also nothing."
"…I better let you continue doing…"
"Yes, nothing. I shall also do nothing."
There was an extremely awkward pause as both boys looked at each other, both wanting to interrogate without being interrogated themselves (though Tamaki's motives for the interrogation were admittedly more innocent than Hikaru's). A few more seconds past in which drifting tumbleweed would have been appropriate, until Tamaki finally coughed and broke the silence while giving his blonde locks a subconscious swish.
"Well, I'd better be going," he said with a wide smile, despite being slightly disappointed at not finding out who his friend was off to see. "Nothing to do, no one to see. See you tomorrow, Hikaru! Get plenty of beauty sleep! And say hello to Kaoru for me!"
"Sure thing," Hikaru muttered with a half-hearted wave as the two hosts crossed each other and went on their way, both cradling their Christmas presents, a silent promise passing between them to never talk about that awkward conversation ever again for as long as they lived. Or as long as it took for Hikaru to get home to Kaoru anyway. Whichever came first.
Before Haruhi found herself being dog-piled on, she was having a happy, peaceful time doing her homework. The niche in the library she had hidden herself was nice and quiet, the natural light filtering in through the icy window was bright but not-too-bright and whenever she had to stop writing to think she only had to look up to see the grounds of Ouran displayed before her through the window - which, she had to admit, looked pretty beautiful frosted in ice and sent glittering by the low winter sun. It was truly the perfect place to work.
But then came the inevitable dog-pile. Sometimes it seemed like the entire world was conspiring against her homework.
Only months of practise stopped her from yelping in surprise as two arms suddenly wrapped themselves snugly around her neck and a warm body draped itself heavily against her. The person - as if she didn't know who it was - moved hurriedly however and after only two point four seconds of a cuddle, released her to skip around the small polished table so they could stand opposite her. Haruhi sighed as Hikaru, red-faced and smug-looking, grinned brightly at her.
"Hey, Ha-ru-hi!" he chirped, annoyingly singing his way through the syllables. She dryly noticed a white box that he was hiding rather obviously behind his back. "I've got a Christmas present for you, because you're such a good little Tanuki," he announced, sounding decidedly pleased with himself.
"A Christmas present?" Haruhi repeated sceptically, before looking from him to her homework and back to him again. "I'm not going to get anymore work done, am I?" she added with a resigned sigh.
"Probably not," Hikaru admitted happily.
With a last groan in mourning for her alone-time, which always seemed to be stolen from her, Haruhi actually, to the oldest twin's amusement, began putting her work away as she said to him, "You shouldn't have got me anything. I didn't get you anything."
He shrugged his shoulders dismissively as he snorted, "I didn't expect anything, to be honest, what with your track record and all. I'm not sure you grasp the concept of such gift-giving holidays. Still," he added with a dramatic sigh, his lips twitching into a smirk, "maybe it's a poor person thing. Can't give presents if you're penniless."
"I'm not penniless," Haruhi retorted, giving him an irritated look. "And I always give Dad something. I just didn't expect people to give presents at school. Can't say I've seen anyone else giving presents."
She paused rather obviously and Hikaru felt his ears heat up slightly at the straightforward question of 'So why are you giving me a present?' in her clear brown eyes, as though she was expecting this to be a part of an elaborate prank. Honestly, he must have fallen for the most frustratingly oblivious person. If he ever met cupid, he was going to have serious words.
"Just accept the bloody gift…" he muttered gruffly, before walking next to her and, while balancing the box one handed behind his back (don't try this at home - you'll break something and you know you will), he used his now free hand to pull her up next to him, a bit closer than he expected. As he quickly averted his eyes, faintly embarrassed at exactly how close he had pulled her, he didn't notice how Haruhi's own hurriedly looked away as well before he - only slightly reluctantly - took a significant step back and coughed to cover up the moment.
"Ah, uh… yeah," he spluttered, red-faced and trying to get his bearings. "So, you… Your present. Yes." He coughed again as Haruhi raised an eyebrow at his sudden lapse of focus, before finally bringing out the cake box from behind his back. "Your present," he repeated with more confidence, grinning lopsidedly as he proudly held out the product of many hours and raisin fights. "Ta-dah!" he added for effect as he flipped open the lid with his thumb.
Haruhi took one look into the box and then, to Hikaru's confusion, blushed deeper than he had ever seen her before.
Despite the fact he readily boasted to Kaoru that his cake was pure awesomeness on a plate, he hadn't really expected that reaction (though it was incredibly cute). Perplexed and vaguely amused, Hikaru smirked mildly before looking down at his cake himself, just to see whether it looked particularly amazing and romantic in this light or something.
When he saw it, he nearly dropped the box in horror.
There, in the centre of his cream and strawberry circle, complete with pink marzipan hearts, were the chirpy words, Please go out with me, Haru-chan!
All the blood rushed out of Hikaru's face and then rushed back all at once, turning his entire face as red as his hair. He couldn't believe it. His cake… defaced… with… hearts and feelings. If there was a hole nearby, he would have gladly crawled into right then and never resurface, apart from to throttle his beloved twin.
I swear, he thought madly to himself, hardly able to breathe for horror of the forced confession, when I get home, I'm going to be an only child.
After a few pregnant, mortifying seconds, Hikaru, still not up to forming a legible sentence, gathered up all his courage and manly gusto and finally nervously looked up at Haruhi's face. Her expression was shocked, for once looking at a complete loss for how to react, and though her face was tinted an uncharacteristic pink her body was tensed up, as if she was considering running away. This reaction horrified him almost as much as Kaoru's graffiti and while his face turned an even deeper scarlet, he found himself slamming the box shut and blurting, "It's the wrong cake!"
Haruhi hesitated and then, keeping her eyes fixed on the white box so she didn't have to meet his eyes, she repeated quietly, "The… wrong cake?"
Hikaru's face burned even hotter as he spluttered, flustered, "Ah- Ye- Maybe."
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. I hate you, Kaoru.
"…So," Haruhi began after a moment, still rather pink and avoiding his eyes like the plague but finally letting a healthy amount of scepticism leak into her tone. "You… know another Haru-cha- I mean," she caught herself hurriedly, quickly avoiding the trap of actually using her nickname before she rephrased bluntly, "you know another Haruhi?"
Hikaru's mouth fell open and for a second it just hung there helplessly as he struggled for what to say, feeling well and truly tortured. Haruhi tentatively raised her brown eyes and stared blankly at his rather gormless expression until, as he frantically made up an elaborate lie to preserve what little awkward scraps would remain of their friendship after this, the worst thing possible to him came out of Hikaru's mouth.
"…No…I don't," he admitted stiffly, wondering where all the walls of the world were when he wanted to bang his head against one. Maybe he could use the table. "But I didn't write… it's just… that is, I didn't… pink… though I d-uhh… um…" Oh-my-God-what-am-I-saying?
He could feel the weight of Haruhi's straightforward stare and could imagine the way her dainty fingers were tensing at the hem of her jacket awkwardly as he stumbled and spluttered his way clumsily through his emotion, all the while running what felt like a serious fever. After a few more seconds, Hikaru, disregarding the wild urge to throw the stupid cake at the wall and run away as fast as his pampered legs would carry him, felt something boiling and swelling against his heart finally burst.
Instantly, a devil-may-care rush of earnest bravery spread through his veins and he found himself asking her quietly, "So, do you… I mean… Would you like to go out with me?"
He stared solidly at his feet and held his breath, waiting in mortification for the refusal that would both crush him and possibly give his brother a black eye, but it didn't come. Not that a 'yes' did either. Haruhi just seemed to be standing there tense, looking at him and, by the sound of it, not really breathing. For a minute, neither spoke.
The ongoing pregnant silence just about did the last of his poor nerves in and Hikaru finally whipped his head up, wildly threw a hand towards the window, dropping the cake in the process, and blurted madly in an desperate attempt to break the silence, "Look, it's such a nice day today!"
Haruhi made a un-Haruhi-like gasp of horror and all but yelled, "You- You meant go with you outside?"
Hikaru's face fell. "What? No!"
"But you just said-!"
"I didn't mean that! I meant I want to be your girlfriend- No!" His face flushed a deep red not of this earth as he choked in complete and utter horror. I-hate-you-so-much-Kaoru-leave-my-cakes-alone. "Forget I said that! I didn't mean that! The other way round, the other way round! I meant you! I don't want to be the girl!"
Was it him, or was the distinct sound of laughing coming from behind that bookcase?
Though she was still attempting to calm down a slight blush in her face, the possible horror of misunderstanding like that had drained out of Haruhi's face and now she was staring blankly at him as he continued to make a complete idiot of himself (he was now trying to explain in short and flustered bursts that, for obvious reasons, he wanted to be the boyfriend). Finally, in a blunt tone that made him cry a little inside, she drawled honestly, "You're not very good at this, are you?"
"What was your first fricking clue?" he found himself snapping frantically, scowling at the abused cake box at his feet, just to cringe and instantly add, "Ah, sorry, I didn't mean to- Ah, God. Haruhi - I really like you so please go out with me and for God's sake answer so I can go and kill myself already."
That was Hikaru, the master of romance. It was a wonder the young brunette wasn't swooning into his arms (though admittedly he was so agitated that he'd probably drop her if she did).
There was a long pause. Hikaru stared solidly at his restless hands, feeling horribly conscious of - not just himself - but also of her standing before him; he felt as if his senses had suddenly heightened exclusively to the smell of her shampoo and the hush of her breathing. His fingers twitched when he heard her finally break the silence and though her tone was tentative, her words were still mercilessly blunt.
"Are… are you serious?"
He nodded uncomfortably.
Nah, Haruhi, I just decided to bare my heart out and humiliate myself for a joke. Didn't you get it?
"Ah… Well, then…"
He bit his lip impatiently.
By the way, I'm killing Kaoru if you reject me. Since he put me here, his life is on the line. Just to let you know.
"I… I think I like you too."
He closed his eyes.
I'm really going to hate brutally killing-
Hikaru opened his eyes and blinked a few times owlishly at her, looking completely floored. Though she looked slightly uncomfortable and embarrassed, a fond smile was tweaking her lips and her eyes warmed with mild amusement as she looked at him before adding honestly, "I think I have… for a while. So. Going out with you. I'd like to try."
"To… Try what?"
She raised an eyebrow. "Skydiving."
"Please let that be sarcasm."
He ignored the jibe and slowly nodded instead.
"Good," he said. It was a moronic and inadequate thing to say, but that was all that came out of his mouth. He wanted to cheer or yell but he was so shocked that he couldn't think past the slight ringing in his ears. Nothing witty or romantic or cool. He just stared at her and muttered 'good' and then fell into stunned wordlessness, looking remarkably like a goldfish.
Eventually Haruhi took it upon herself to break the silence, feeling slightly confused as to how these things were supposed to go, and said six words that seemed to carry with them the blow of her acceptance and, under the circumstances, seemed like the most wonderful six words he had ever heard in his entire life.
She pointed at his feet. "You've got cake on your shoe."
Hikaru whooped and, with a grin wide enough to rival the Cheshire cat's, he swept her up in his arms and span a few times, just for the hell of it, his insides sparkling like bubbly champagne. Haruhi snorted, exasperated, though Hikaru still caught the happy smile on her face as she, to his amazement and absolute delight, wrapped her arms around him too; her head beneath his chin and her arms around his chest seemed to fit perfectly, as if they were not only meant to be together, but meant to be beautiful together too. He muttered 'thank you' and grinned happily as he held her tighter, thrilled at the wide smile that graced her own face as she did the same.
Haruhi did, however, draw a line at the giddy spinning and casually trod on her boyfriend's foot when he began to do it again (Hikaru later complained of this meanness to Kaoru, but not without a huge and goofy grin on his face that made his brother wonder whether he was complaining or boasting).
Burying his face indulgently into her soft hair, which smelt of gorgeous, addictive and laughably artificial strawberry, Hikaru opened one golden eye to peer at the abused cake on the floor, the pride of his existence since yesterday. It had now not only been dropped, but stepped on too. He could see the smeared 'Haru-chan' bulging out of the lid like a weird growth in a mess of cake and icing and strawberry juice. And a bit of it was indeed on his shoe.
I love you, Kaoru.
Behind the bookcase and biting his fist to silence his would-be-roars of laughter, Kaoru Hitachiin pocketed his camera and wiped away a tear of mirth from his eye as he managed to calm down. Oh God, that was funny… He smirked widely as he began to trot away from the scene before his big brother decided to find out why the bookcase kept laughing at him and patted his camera contently. Such golden blackmail photos. If only he had thought to video it too. Such endless fun he could have had with that 'I want to be your girlfriend' moment…
Sniggering to himself at the thought, Kaoru grinned and mused that while he did just cause Hikaru to have the most hilariously embarrassing moment of his life, he'd also prodded him into finally being able to call Haruhi his girlfriend and, if all went well, he'd got him his first kiss too. If you stopped to think about it, he was a pretty amazing twin, if he did say so himself.
Cupid Kaoru at your service, he thought to himself smugly, deciding that he'd have a well-deserved treat when he got home. Preferably something sweet and full of so much chocolate that it was going to rot his teeth. Though he should probably hide from Hikaru for a bit, just in case.
When Kaoru got to the doorway of the library, the smallest one in the school, he paused and looked over his shoulder, a hand stuffed into his pocket. He was glad of the little hidey-hole that Haruhi had found to work in as, though it couldn't protect her from the host club, it was cut off by enough bookcases to muffle Hikaru's loud voice so that though Kaoru spotted a few people giving the corner a curious look, no one decided to investigate.
He smiled fondly in the general direction of the couple. He was honestly really happy for his twin and Haruhi and happy that things had turned out as they had. Hikaru genuinely loved her a lot - though whether the older twin realised exactly how deep that feeling ran was debatable - so the thought that he was on top of the world right now made Kaoru feel like he could jump that high himself. His twin's happiness was his happiness, in a way, and the feeling that he'd prodded him into the arms of someone he loved made him feel a happy and satisfied warmth.
His smile faltered slightly.
A warmth which masked and paled other feelings out in comparison, like that niggling fear at the back of his mind of how things would be from now on and how he'd cope being, not 'and Kaoru', but just… 'Kaoru'.
Kaoru paused before hurriedly shaking his head and distracting himself of such morbid thoughts by grabbing a plant out of his blazer pocket, a blob of blue tac out of the other, and then sticking the blue tac to the cut end of the festive plant. Grinning, he wandered out of the doorway, stood on his tip-toes and, as the doorway to the library was both too high and too obvious, instead stuck the plant to the lower frame of the sign marked 'library three'.
Taking a step back to admire his handiwork, Kaoru beamed wickedly at the innocently hanging mistletoe.
"You're welcome," he informed the air, before happily trotting off to go home where, he felt, a very large hot chocolate was in order. And possibly, he added to himself as he glanced back to the mistletoe, with marshmallows.