Author's Note: Another angst story! This time starring our very own Kaoru and Hikaru. Writing this story in first person is going to be a challenge, but I am willing to give it a shot. So far, this is only a one-shot. It may turn into a multi-chaptered story, depending on the reviews. If you want more, I'll make more. So please – sit back, relax, and enjoy! And don't forget to drop me a review!

Disclaimer: I don't own Ouran High or the little poem insert.

Chapter One: Pain brings about Laughter

It's funny, isn't it? You get it, right? The joke?


Well, here, maybe if I explained it:

You see, we were always close, closer than any siblings I knew. And the fact that we're twins makes our bond all the more special. We always thought the same things, moved in the same manner, talked in unison – all things that had people questioning, "Who is who?" We even came up with an ingenious game, testing people's abilities, seeing if anyone could tell us apart. Even our own parents couldn't tell which one was Hikaru and which one was Kaoru, and I still don't think they can. But that's was where the contradiction lied; we wanted to be told apart, we didn't want to be told apart. When we were younger, we were always sad when no one could point out the difference.

But that's okay. We've gotten used to it over the years. As long as we had each other, each one being able to tell who the other was without hesitation, we were fine. And as I sit here, watching and playing along with our "Brotherly Love" act, nodding at the right places, smiling in just the right way, and blushing at exactly the right moment to send the clients squealing and wailing in bliss, I can't help but notice it.

You know, it.

That thing you keep doing. I really wish you would stop. Can't you see how much it's bothering me?

But then – there's the joke. You don't care, do you? You don't care about me or how I feel, do you? It's all just one big act. It's always been just one big act, hasn't it?

And that's what makes it so goddamn funny! The way you can still portray these false emotions in such a convincing manner, fooling me and making me think for one instant that our bond is still intact! Bravo! I can't help but bow my head a little at the master and giggle slightly in my throat as I sit here on the couch beside you. You're so close, yet I feel as though you're a thousand miles away. You say something to the girls around us and then take my hands in your own, making them giggle and blush again. I didn't hear what you said, though. Sorry. I was too busy laughing at your joke.

And it seems like your joke isn't over with yet. You still wish to tease me further by looking at me with those eyes - all part of an act - and you still speak to me with such love -all part of an act – and you pretend that I'm the only other person in your world. But, it hasn't been that way for a while now, has it dear brother? Not since we opened the doors to this Host Club.

My inner struggle rips and tears at my insides, causing me to place a hand on my stomach and apply pressure, trying to get the pain to stop. But you keep on pretending. You keep this act up. Oh, why won't you just cut it out already? Why won't you stop? It hurts!

It must be funny for you, too, right?

I can actually feel the pain inside bubble up into my throat and get released as a soft chuckle. It starts out low, but gets louder and harder as the pain and mental strain increase until I'm at a loss for breath, clutching my stomach and covering my eyes with my other hand on the couch. All of the girls around me have stopped their swooning and are now looking at me uneasily. Even you, Hikaru, have stopped talking. I can feel your eyes on me. You're probably wondering why I'm laughing so hard, and all I can think is Don't you get it? It's your joke, after all! But maybe your joke isn't finished yet. Perhaps this isn't the punch line? Is there more? Dear God, I hope there isn't more. I can barely breathe as it is.

"Kaoru…?" I hear you call out softly and reach towards my face, swiping gently at my cheek with your thumb. That's when I realize my face is wet. Why was it wet? Oh… tears. I was laughing so hard I cried? I pull my hand away from my eyes and look at my brother, a few breathless giggles still erupting from my throat. He looks concerned. I wonder what my face looks like to make his eyebrows scrunch together like that, and for his mouth to pull down at the corners like that. And his eyes…

I can't help but start laughing again. His eyes are just too good. He truly is a gifted actor. He really looks like he's worried about me! I can feel more tears spill over and race down my cheeks, my laughter turning into heavy sobs. "Kaoru!" my brother shouts sternly and grips my shoulders so I'm facing him, "What's wrong?"

I'm silent for a moment as I just stare with a blank expression. Then I ask with a bright smile, "Don't you get it? It's so funny! It's so goddamn funny!" Tears still fall, but I ignore them.

"What do you mean, Kaoru? Please, tell-"

I suddenly stand from my spot on the couch and back away a few steps. I must've been loud because now everyone in the room is looking at me with questioning gazes. I can feel their eyes bore into me, burning my skin and causing me to feel a little trapped. But, slowly, I start to laugh again, my shoulders jerking up once, then again, then repetitively until my stomach hurts. I don't know why I'm laughing – perhaps this is part of the joke, as well?

"We're full of contradictions," I laugh. "Like those Two Dead Boys, you know?" Hikaru looked more puzzled than ever. How could he forget such a thing? It is our favourite excerpt, isn't it? Or was that all part of your act, too? "One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead boys got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other." I recited, positioning my index finger and thumb to form a fake gun, point it at my brother, and pretend to fire it. "We might as well be Two Dead Boys!"

I laugh and laugh. But why don't I feel tickled like you're supposed to when you laugh? I feel vacant, desperate, lonely, and frightened.

All eyes are on me.

Everyone's staring.

Silence eats away at my ears, even though I'm providing enough noise for everyone.

I'm laughing so hard.

I'm out of breath.

I start to hyperventilate.

I'm sobbing.

My head feels light.

The room begins to spin.

I grip my head to steady myself.

The floor suddenly comes up and smacks me in the face.

Everything goes black.

Don't you get it, brother? We're full of contradictions. It's funny how we're just like Two Dead Boys.